The big issue is the Withdrawal Agreement, not the Irish backstop

Those in the Cabinet who told the PM this week that we cannot accept a backstop which leaves us in a Customs Union indefinitely were right. They are also right to want the full legal advice on the draft Treaty they are asked to accept.

There is however a much easier argument to use against the vague proposals emerging. The UK must not seek to sign the draft Withdrawal Agreement to pay the EU £39 bn in return for the promise of 21 months or more of talks about a possible free trade deal. That would be a very bad deal. It would be worse for the economy than leaving without signing such a one sided agreement. We need to spend that money at home boosting our own economy. We do not need another two years of uncertainty. Many Conservative MPs would vote against that. It would need new legislation to permit it.

We did not vote to leave one EU Treaty only to lock ourselves into a new one sided one. Nor is the Future Partnership Agreement likely to be one any independent self governing democracy could sign.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    We are honour bound to negotiate a withdrawal agreement but not compelled to sign one.

    Big business needs a trade deal and uses thus excuse plus the Irish border question to keep us in. The EU want this because it puts them in a strong position.

    If the UK left the EU and started signing trade agreements with other countries first, this would put the rEU27 at a serious disadvantage. The UK could impose tariffs on say meat from the EU but would not have to do the same from South American and Antipidian countries providing we have a trade deal in place.

    So I am against signing a Withdrawal Agreement and a trade deal. Let us get a deal with other countries first and let the rEU27 chase after us. After all, we are their biggest customer and like any customer, we are, and should be, treat like a King and not a serf.

    • Hope
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      We now know the time limited punishment extension, first claimed by May as a transition, is not to be used to implement the agreed trade deal but to falsely negotiate a trade deal so the UK is tied in as a vassal state and to allow us to change our minds. If necessary to extend it as she proposed two weeks ago! The £100 billion May wants to give away is a fine for daring to leave.

      May’s straight jacket remainer plan will prevent any trade deals with the rest of the world, prevent control of our borders and territorial waters, give vast sums for our taxes to EU hidden and declared, as evidenced by May’s dishonest Kitkat policy, and if that fails she wants a treaty to bind the U.K. To regulatory alignment in goods and agri products and make sue the U.K. Is not more competitive than the EU in taxes, state aid, employment, social energy policies and ties our army to the EU and still wants the EAW!

      The cabinet know this and Gove states he fully supports her Chequers sell out!

      May rebuked Blaire for failing to publish advice, where was it at Chequers!

      Other news today HMRC punishing self employed on tax u turn making self employed bankrupts through back taxes that were originally agreed by the HMRC and another whopping probate tax in addition to IHT!

      JR, your party is finished no one trusts it any longer. Speak to anyone outside Westminster,read social media. There is no way back from this total lack of trust. Scare stories will not cut through because your party is actually doing what your party is trying to scare the public about. No one likes traitors and your party has achieved that label.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Plus all the making tax digital wasting their time and costing them money. Distracting them from their business. More and more parasitic jobs producing nothing and lower and lower real productivity for the UK.

        • Hope
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          JR, we read in the spectator the most important decisions formthrade deal have not been made or discussed and it is very unlikely to be achieved by December 2020! Therefore it will mean no deal, backstop or another extension.

          This is because of the abject failure of May to discuss in parallel rather than succession. It was always the case the Irish border would need to be discussed with trade. Davis made that publicly clear. May created this situation. May ahsmfailed to deliver.

          JR explain to us this is not the case and why May remains in office after her abject failure.

          The obvious outcome is that the transition is nothing of the sort, nor is it an implementation because the trade deal will not be complete by March next year or in two years time! There is no end date to a negotiation which is effectively taking place from March 2020 when we were told that is when it would be complete!

          That means a vassal state for a minimum of two years. Explain yourself and those of your,Tories MPs for allowing this. Davis would have known this was the case.

          Reply The 21 months or more after March were we to be stupid enough to sign the Withdrawal Agreement is not an Implementation period but a further negotiation period, when we will have lost our main cards in the negotiation thanks to the Withdrawal Agreement. I have consistently said before and after the vote that No deal is fine, and that we should not pay to trade.

    • Richard
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      May’s deal is no FTA. It is c£90Bn+Army+Fish+etc for effective SM+CU EU Colony status.

      Lawyers for Britain have opined since 2016 that the UK is TODAY legally entitled to negotiate RoW FTAs and Interim FTAs before Brexit, so long as they are only intended to come into force after the date of exit.

      And, even with Whitehall’s preferred interpretation, David Davis when Brexit Secretary said in Washington on 1 Sept 2017: “the duty of sincere cooperation … reduces as we get closer to the end” (presumably due to the EU’s duties of: 1) good neighbourliness & 2) sincere cooperation)

      So Plan A+, which is what the UK should be doing NOW: “Britain should put the deadlocked Brexit negotiations with the European Union on the backburner and open trade talks with rest of the world. …The IEA has also obtained a legal opinion that says Britain has the right to negotiate, but not implement, new deals before leaving the EU.”
      This was very succinctly argued in a 2page IEA paper in June, which added: “the EU also owes a duty of sincere cooperation to an exiting member state (since the exit process is governed by the Treaties), in particular to make sure that this exiting member state is not damaged”

      And former EU judge Franklin Dehousse: “Article 50 has become an essential provision of the EU Treaty. According to the principles of international law, this provision must be applied in good faith by all partners. … The EU cannot impose conditions that will make the UK exit factually impossible or extremely difficult. … By violating its own rule, the EU has enormously complicated the withdrawal negotiations”

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Is it not a strange thing that the UK government never blames the EU, it never suggests there may be legal irregularities in the way the EU is proceeding, or highlights apparent irrationalities in the behaviour of the EU, or holds up the EU’s unreasonable demands to public gaze around the world?

      • Richard
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Denis, In a real negotiation the UK would of course do that. But Brussels’ Columbo Strategy (and just one last thing…!) follows on from Mrs May’s consistent “Doormat Strategy” (aiming to throw away all her strongest cards for the benefit of her beloved EU Empire).

        The above sources believe that UK has a unilateral legal right to ramp up discussions with the RoW countries that are currently around 60% of our exports (Rotterdam-Antwerp etc adjusted) and 86.1% of global exports

  2. Richard1
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Maybe we should just offer the Irish, in a bilateral agreement, a few £bn extra as an easement to support a practical technology-based arrangement for border checks such as obviously works, and then declare that issue solved and take up the EU’s offer of a Canada+ deal, which by then would include the whole of the UK.

    There was a good letter recently in the FT from (remainer) prof vernon bogdanor on the folly and humbug of many Irish politicians on Brexit.

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink


      Unfortunately, for non-subscribers, the FT letter is behind a pay-wall

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      As far as the Irish government is concerned it is not a matter of cost which could be resolved by bunging them some cash.

      When its Europe Minister has gone so far as to reject “anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland” obviously they are not begging for help in paying for border checks.

      They want to keep at least Northern Ireland, but preferably the whole UK, under the rules of the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market forever.

      At 3 minutes 3 seconds into this Sky News video of November 24 2017:

      their Europe Minister Helen McEntee propounding their absurd, extreme and intransigent doctrine:

      “We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.

      From two days later, November 26th 2017:

      “Brexit: Remain in customs union and single market to solve border issue, Ireland’s European commissioner tells May”

      Obviously they are not going to accept any other solution, and nor will they ever agree to a future partnership which does not achieve the same legal effect.

  3. Mick
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    NO DEAL IS BETTER THAN A BAD DEAL, what happen to those famous words, if Mrs May gives in and keeps us tied to the dying corpse called the Eu in any shape or form then your party will pay highly at the next GE along with the flip flopping Labour Party, don’t take us for fools we put you into Westminster and we can and will remove you next time round

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May thinks that her deal is better than no deal. Maybe that also means that in Mrs Mat’s opinion her deal; is not bad.

      • Hope
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        May has failed her own tests on a bad deal, she has failed to keep her word and she has lied. No coming back from that I am afraid.

        • Chris
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          Yes, indeed, Hope. It seems that the PM can commit the most serious wrongdoing and yet remain in place. Where is honour, truthfulness, integrity, boldness, vision….? Apparently completely lacking from those entrusted by the people to rule this country wisely and in its best interests.

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        Rein Huizer, We did not vote for any new deal that Theresa May and the EU concoct together, we voted to Leave.

  4. Nig l
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I see Theresa May is setting up business councils to advise on policy. All major employers of course but the large vested fat cat interests that much if the Brexit vote is indurectly about. No doubt after having their egos boosted they will all come out and say what a wonderful deal she has got especially on cheap labour ignoring one of the key reasons the majority voted to leave.

    Who represents our voice? Fortunately I am contributing to the blog of one of them. I wonder if May thinks of the current ‘awkward squad’ as Major did of his Maastricht rebels but is too polite to say?

  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Quite so. As apparently the vague non-binding wording in the agreement about the future relationship leaves both the option of both May’s trade proposal (SM for goods) and Canada-style free trade open it is obvious negotiating that will take much longer than 2 years – a decade maybe – and at the end of the 2 years the backstop would activate and we’d stay in the Customs Union for the duration. Probably that is May’s plan of course – it is certainly Barnier’s.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I get the impression that we are all being herded to focus on the the resolution of the Irish backstop issue. Meantime the other fundamental issues are subjected to mushroom management. The rush to ratify has a nasty smell about it.

  7. Tactile Tactics fr.
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Merkel and her party are in the same boat 2022 Election-wise. It must be a clean agreement with no dangling bits, 30th March 2019.
    The Afd and Greens will punish Merkel severely. The AfD hope we do not leave correctly in March. As much uncertainty as possible is their friend.

  8. LoyalTory in Sussex
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Mrs May agreed to pay the money last December. This matter is done and dusted. As Mr Hammond said this week, the UK will not be known as a country that breaks its promises. Sir, if you are unable to be loyal to our party, a period of silence from you would be most welcome

    Reply I am loyal to my party and to our Manifesto pledges on the EU made in 2017. I disagree with the Chancellor who is ill advised and I think does not on this matter speak for the government

    • Know-Dice
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      And from the EU itself…

      “2. Negotiations under Article 50 TEU will be conducted in transparency and as a single package. In accordance with the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, individual items cannot be settled separately.”

      • rose
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the December Report is a report only, not a treaty. It must not be signed.

        The EU and the Irish are trying to make out it is a legally binding treaty because they are desperate for us to sign it. But until it is signed, it isn’t a treaty.

    • Stred
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Loyal to the party, not the country.

      • Adam
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink


        Whom do you claim is not loyal to the country & why?

        • Stred
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 5:38 am | Permalink

          The ‘Loyal’ Tory in Sussex who wants to sell the UK out. I live in Sussex and voted to leave, not stay tied to the EU and paying for them to sell more to us than we sell to them.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      JR, why do you publish the same old lies from Remoaner trolls?

    • zorro
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      Nobody in their right mind would sign such a treaty. I’m not sure what T May will do.


      • Stephen O
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:08 am | Permalink

        LOL. Spot on!

    • Helen Smith
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood is loyal to the party manifesto, which May is ripping up

  9. Duncan
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Tim Martin in this morning’s JDW’s Trading Statement described May as :

    “This ‘deal at any price’ exhortation has been accepted by, I believe, a weak PM with autocratic tendencies, who dislikes genuine debate, and is locked in a tiny ‘echo chamber’ of like-minded people’.

    I have always believed that May’s a threat to our freedoms. She’s a reactionary, weak and without moral principles and therefore concerned only with the political space.

    Her desire for social control, speech and behaviour is becoming very sinister but her betrayal of the EU-Ref result is the most serious assault on British democracy since 1939

    The Tory party and its MPs are nothing less than a disgrace to the UK and its decent people

    • Chris
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      I am in complete agreement with you, Duncan.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

      Spot on

  10. Lifelogic.
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink


    As you say:- “We did not vote to leave one EU Treaty only to lock ourselves into a new one sided one”. We did alas end up with May and Hammond who seem to think exactly this. This due to the fact that about 70% of Tory MPs are essentially Libdim lefties and the membership were not given a say. They must be stopped and the party taken back off these dopes. This is also the best way to avoid Corbyn/SMP who are far more of a risk than a no deal Brexit.

  11. Newmania
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I had thought that the most annoying thing in the world were cafés that charge a fortune to put Basil on the tomato and cut your sausage in half. I was wrong, it is people who say, “This isn`t the Brexit that was in my head”.
    We will all have a favorite punishment, but mine would be a naked run across the Sottish Moors in the midge season. Some may survive it, but it will be so excruciatingly irritating that some may not.
    Which seems fair.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Strange, Newmania – I have never heard anyone use that expression. I do wonder in what kind of circles you move.
      Or did you read it on Facebook? That’s where much of the dopey remainer stuff comes from, I’ve been told.

  12. DaveF
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    We voted to leave so we should just leave- let’s get rid of the uncertainty

  13. Alison
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, your posts in the last weeks have been super, thank you.
    My terror is that Mrs May and co are proposing to sign the UK into a treaty from which is extremely difficult to withdraw.

    PS Up here, north of the border, a group of us are working increasingly hard, eg to counter ‘Chequers’ or similar.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      May is indeed planning thst. She must be stopped. It will bury the party again as John ERM Major did. Still no apology from this disastrous dope.

  14. Mel Cornwell
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Members of Cabinet MUST be given as much time as they need to read, digest and assimilate ALL the ramifications, benefits and pitfalls of the information put before them this week.
    We cannot have a situation like Maastricht, where a 3000 page document, with many links and cross references, is ‘made available’ to them at 11.45am on the day they are expected to ratify it..!
    We have all the usual nonsense abounding that suggests ‘most people no longer wish to leave’… nothing could be further from the truth… most people want JUST to leave. No deals, no crafty caveats – we do not trust the EU, and it is clear that TMPM has a heavy globalist thumb on her head…
    There is too much talk of how ‘complicated’ it is, when we all know that actually means ‘as complicated as the remain camp wish to make it’. If we just get out as first base, the EU’s attitude and behaviour will change in a nanosecond.

    • Nig l
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and Theresa May’s refusal to publish the legal advice re the Irish border is another example of her deviousness. As they as if you have nothing to hide……….

  15. Adam
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink


  16. BCL
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    It must be time we got tough. I still haven’t heard why we can’t just say that we won’t put up a border, if the EU wants to it can. Why is that issue our problem?

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    This has all the hallmarks of a pre-scripted charade enacted by Mrs May and the EU. The BBC yesterday had a timetable leaked to it of how and when Mrs May is going to snatch victory (Brexit in name only) from the jaws of defeat. The mystery is when are MPs such as yourself going to act? You must know that we are being betrayed and yet seem incapable of acting. It was clear long ago that Mrs May cannot be trusted and should be removed. Why this has not been done leads to the thought that party comes before country. What is missing from that consideration is that millions will never vote Conservative again. Perhaps many of your colleagues care more for the EU than the UK and would be happy with a Corbyn government as long as we remaain entrapped in their beloved EU?

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:42 pm | Permalink


      When you ask Leave MPs to act, I presume you mean to remove Mrs May as persuading her to change is proving impossible.
      Unfortunately, the Leave MPs do not have the numbers to oust her. The majority of Tory MPs support Remain and are happy that Mrs May is staying as close to the EU as she can get away with. They would out vote the Leave MPs and keep her in place.
      I think we must wait and see what happens when any “deal” is presented to Parliament. That is the best opportunity for Leave MPs to stop Mrs May’s sell-out.

      • NickC
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

        Chris Maughan, Even if Tory Leave MPs fail to topple Theresa May, what have they lost? In my view nothing – if she is not challenged she stays anyway. What they gain is the moral high ground and a de-stabilisation of Mrs May’s arrogance and hubris.

        • Stred
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          Yes. The local constituency will have a record of whether their MP is a quisling or not. Then deselect or put up a Conservative Leave candidate and cancel subscriptions.

        • Chris Maughan
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m no supporter of Mrs May or her current policies.
          You ask what there is to lose. Leave MPs would lose the chance to over-throw her for a further 12 months if they lost, which unfortunately appears likely. 12 months of safety and a failed challenge to her authority may actually increase her (overblown) self belief ?
          The balance of Tory MPs (Remain/Leave) neither reflects the balance of electorate or of Tory voters. Remain Tory MPs appear to be most interested in protecting their own views and protecting those of the 48%. Its quite bizarre as this approach doesn’t support the majority of their voting base.

      • Steve
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

        Chris Maughan

        “Unfortunately, the Leave MPs do not have the numbers to oust her. ”

        ……Simple; they need to tell her to her face to get out. If that doesn’t work then have her totally ridiculed during PMQ and any opportunity by conservatives, until she cracks.

        If she’s still too arrogant and up herself to resign, then see Her Majesty the Queen and ask for May’s removal on the grounds that the country is at grave risk because May is actually a lying duplicitous etc ed

        Or; just kick them into non existence at the next general election, which is certain to happen anyway. Everyone knows May is betraying us behind our backs so for now you can forget about brexit and focus on revenge.

        I’ve voted conservative all my life, next time I shall vote against them, as will millions of others who’ve been betrayed.

        Voting the treacherous ………out of existence is what matters now, and even if they do narrowly survive as a political party…..NEVER TRUST THESE MONKEYS AGAIN !

  18. Iain Gill
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    there has got to be a significant brake on immigration too, or there will be massive discontent in the land

    • John C.
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Will be? Is.

  19. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I do wonder how much longer we are going to remain as part of the failing EU so called union.

    All that seems to be happening is that various proposed so called negotiated extensions are being called different names.
    Just leave under WTO rules and allow ongoing negotiations about a trade deal at no cost.

    Then we have no Bribery, no Blackmail, just simply a Trade Agreement like any other normal Sovereign Country.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      most EU have no bribery and some have even less than the UK, Denmark, Sweden Fnland, Lux and Holland

  20. Newmania
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    By the way did we all see the Survation Poll showing remain is 10% ahead . Survation called the referendum correctly and had a sample of 20,000
    Looks as if the penny us dropping

    Reply There is not going to be another referendum so a pointless poll

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      @Newmania: wouldn’t a new referendum after say 10 years be better, in order to see whether the Glorious Global Great Britain prophesies were true or false(my guess)?
      Thanks UK could then rejoin as an equal among others, without six or seven major opt-outs.

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        I think waiting 41 years, as those of us who voted ‘No’ in 1975 had to do, is more appropriate.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink


        “Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of Liberty.”
        ― Thomas Jefferson

      • Chewy
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        I’d take that. Let’s leave properly the next see if there’s any appetite to rejoin in 10 years. Ask yourself why Norway hasn’t progressed this way.
        And the future doesn’t need to be glorious just OK to ensure the UK won’t contemplte re joining. Ceding democratic control to Brussels, adopting the Euro, listening to grandstanding EU politicians and beaurocrats with ideas and plans far removed from the British public; no tar.

      • NickC
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:52 pm | Permalink

        PvL, You are not an equal – you are bought and paid for by the EU. The EU owns you.

    • L Jones
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      As our host says, Newmania. Your own penny obviously hasn’t yet dropped.

      Though, now you’re here, perhaps you’d like to tell us what is so admirable about your EU masters and WHY we should wish to be forever shackled to the failing EU. Tell us every little thing you believe would have been to our advantage had we voted to remain – ie had we ALL completely lost our marbles rather than just a minority who were struck senseless by the shock and awe of Project Fear.

      It won’t take you long.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        L Jones,

        Please outline the so-called failure of the EU in more detail? thank you

        • NickC
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:14 am | Permalink

          Hans, As ever your idleness is astounding. Do some research yourself if you are genuine, which I doubt. Every major EU policy is a failure: from the insane CFP to regional policy; from open borders for criminals, to the odious EAW; from German mercantilism to near bankrupt southern European countries; from a huge NPL problem to a sovereign debt crisis, by way of dozens of dangerously dodgy banks and Target2; from the one-size-does-not-fit-all Euro to massive unemployment, particularly for young people in the south of the EU.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink


            Look up the statistics and find that lots of European countries have the same low unemployment as the UK but you just showed your ignorance about Europe, but what is new

          • Edward2
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            By lots, do you really mean six out of twenty eight EU nations?

          • NickC
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            Hans, When it suits you “Europe” (you mean the EU) consists of separate countries. You asked for the failures of the EU. I gave you a bare bones introduction . . . and all you’ve got is a plaintive excuse that it isn’t all the EU (you think).

          • margaret howard
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink


            ” Do some research yourself if you are genuine, which I doubt. Every major EU policy is a failure”

            Hard to believe your description of the EU depicts the reality of this great enterprise. After centuries of wasted warfare we now have an EU that is the largest economy in the world.

            The largest exporter which contains the world’s richest countries and the top three world tourist spots: France, Spain and Italy.

            It has the largest air craft industries, steel, dairy, fashion. beer, cosmetics, luxury goods, mobile telephones, energy, paper pulping,banking, car manufacturing etc etc.

            It is the envy of the planet and most of the rest of the world would give up everything to join.

            And you want to be outside withering on the fringes? Maybe dreaming of a long gone empire or even a (rickety) commonwealth?

          • Edward2
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

            It is not the largest economy in the world.
            You keep stating this.
            But it is fake news.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      I looked at the survey they put out. It is so turgid I wonder any leavers would bother to get to the end of it, especially since they won the vote and don’t care about it any more. On the other hand, if you were an avid remainer you would have the incentive to see it to the end, so of course it will favour remain.
      I wonder who fills in these questionnaires. Personally I just can’t be bothered, and if they sent me the e-mail I would have deleted in almost at once.

      • Adam
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        According to sources revealed on Twitter, the EU’s Broadcasting Policy funds Channel 4.

        • Stephen O
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:12 am | Permalink

          Yes, I read Channel 4 had sponsored this poll and then discounted its value….

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Odd that people who reject the referendum result and reject the result of the last General Election are now rushing to say policy should be determined on the basis of a poll in the Daily Mail.

      • John C.
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I demand a second poll.

        • NickC
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:17 am | Permalink

          And I demand a third referendum!!

    • libertarian
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink


      Twitter poll last night with 17,000 voters had Leave on 63%

      .All the polls said you would win , you lost. All the polls said Hilary had a 94% win chance, she lost . All the polls said May was 40 points ahead of Corbyn, she blew it and just scrapped in.

      Dont believe polls either way

    • Richard1
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      i’d have no objection in principle to another referendum for no better reason than people have changed their minds – although I think the evidence for that is thin. But remainers hoping to win if they get a second chance (& who thinks any of them would be calling for it had they won first time?!) need to be careful what they wish for. next time it will be fair dos on the money – the govt won’t just give £9m extra to remain, and Remain wont be able to use the main tactics they used last time, which was (using the authority and resources of the civil service and BoE which again they won’t have available next time) 1) to predict severe recession and even war if we voted to leave, and 2) to assert that anyone voting to leave was a racist and an idiot.

      The Country has seen these claims are nonsense. so next time remain will have to argue: the euro is good idea and is working fine because….its good to have unlimited immigration from the EU because….we want to have tariff barriers against the rest of the world as dictated by the EU & don’t want an independent trade policy because…………we don’t mind giving an extra £10bn in overseas aid to rich European countries because….

      It could all be rather tricky for Remain / [Return] when you come to think of it.

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        Remains cannot say why their second referendum is valid where the first was not. Any wriggle reason they come up with to discredit the first must also apply to the second. And if a second why not a third?

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      For me, the fact that a major BBC news website item was a student rolling her eyes when Nigel Farage was speaking says it all !

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:24 am | Permalink

        Chris Maughan, It turns out that Harriet Ellis (the student who supposedly eye-rolled) has backed Brexit since she was 14 years old (hat-tip Guido Fawkes). Queue BBC, David Lammy, J K Rowling, and various luvvies with egg on their faces.

        • Chris Maughan
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

          I’ve just caught up on the news about Harriet Ellis.
          Indeed, may Remainers have been quick to claim her as their “hero”.
          She voted Leave and still believes Leave is the correct answer.
          Her eye role simply indicated that she didn’t agree with a point Nigel Farage was making.
          The last laugh …. but again, it’s a desperately insignificant news item for the BBC to publish. The BBC are truly awful at the moment.

  21. MikeG
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    If the ‘deal’ turns out to be anything like the rumours we have been hearing, then I shall consider this to be a government of quislings and I cannot lend them my support, nor my vote. This, notwithstanding the dismal possibility of a Labour replacement. Mr Redwood: why do your colleagues in cabinet not understand this? They are set to preside over the utter ruin of our country. Mrs May’s legacy will be toxic. The Conservative Party will be destroyed. I do not wish to see any of this. But I will not tolerate them throwing my taxes at underserving foreign bureaucrats who seek only to traduce and impoverish me.

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Whilst I agree with you on your analysis of the “deal” I don’t see what the minority group of Leave MPs within the Tory party can do at this point. They have to wait for a vote on the “deal” and make their impact at this point by blocking it’s acceptance if it is a bad deal.
      They can not turn Mrs May and they can not defeat her in a leadership challenge as the majority Remain Tory MPs will keep her in place.
      The Remain/Leave distribution of Tory MPs does not reflect the electorate or the Tory voters.

      • MikeG
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        Hi Chris: Yes these are good points; I guess what sticks in my craw is the fact that much of the cabinet has explicitly supported the May stitch-up thus far, so that few people expect them to give any serious resistance. Of course…. we live in hope – but there’s now very much a feeling that the party (with the small but honourable exception of people like JR) is going to swallow this. I pray that I’m wrong, and we leave with “no deal”. Best, MG

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:28 am | Permalink

        Chris Maughan, The Tory Leave MPs may not be able to remove her, but they can send their letters in and get a vote of no confidence. This will destabilise her and puncture her hubris and invade her echo chamber. It will also put the Leave MPs on the moral high ground when the day of reckoning arrives – and it will.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:48 pm | Permalink


          are you now making predictions without a source or a reference?

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

            It is an opinion hans.
            Just like all the ones you give us.

  22. Javelin
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I see the BBC has published the choreographed news “grid” for selling the Chequers deal to MPs and the public

    I can report 99% of Conservstives across the internet think this is not Brexit but putting the UK back into the associate status of countries waiting to (re) join the EU.

    I put the odds of the Conservatives winning at the next election at worse than a hedgehog who has built a nest on the central reservation of the M25.

  23. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    To make a trade deal takes two sides.
    Mr Barnier has repeated, this very week, that without Britain being part of the EEA, the Irish border will not be solved. That is why it is called a “Backstop”. It stops. Everything. Nothing, he says, is settled until everything is settled. And he is not budging because he cannot budge.
    Mr Corbyn is not suddenly going to appoint a Tory to his Cabinet.
    Mr Putin is not going to resign.
    Mr Trump is not suddenly going to appoint Mr Obama to his government.
    We can say what we like.
    Mr Barnier is not going to shift because he can’t do it.
    It would bring down the whole of the EEA and also the EU itself.
    And that is without toe Italian crisis or the fall of Mrs Merkel or the Poles or the Hungarians.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink


      But it will be EU-LITE.

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Then Mr Redwoods suggestion of leaving without a deal, moving to WTO, is the perfect way forward and gets all parties out of this dead-lock.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      I can’t immediately find Michel Barnier saying that this very week, but no matter because when he has spoken about it previously he has made it clear that he would require a customs union to be added on. For example in June:

      “Britain could keep frictionless trade with the European Union after Brexit through a combination of both membership of the European Economic Area and a customs union with the EU, Brussels’ chief negotiator has said.”

      “As currently constituted, the EEA is only open to members of the EU or members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA). But EFTA has a coordinated customs policy of its own, meaning also joining both it and maintaining a customs union with the EU could prove difficult. The EEA agreement as it stands would likely need some form of renegotiation to make it compatible with a customs union.”

      As I have repeatedly pointed out to you, Mike, just as I have repeatedly pointed out to you that the Irish government has categorically rejected even the kind of “light touch” customs border which operates between Norway and Sweden, and to be honest I am getting sick to death of saying it again and again and again because people like you have so much difficulty taking it in.

  24. agricola
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The Irish border question can be quickly resolved if everyone wants it resolved. Whatever the trading arrangements between the EU and the UK it is only a matter of exchanging the relevant pieces of information electronically. Those who wish to abuse it can be dealt with by the Garda and RUC.

    As I understand it the £39Billion attached to the withdrawal agreement in part includes some of our financial commitment to programmes we have been involved with while members. However the bulk of it is a generous gesture to ease EU budgetry commitments due to our departure. It’s payment should not occur on reaching a Withdrawal agreement. Payment should only be made when a satisfactory free trade agreement is reached on goods and services. Something which should have happened long ago had our ineffective PM not allowed the EU to set the agenda. If payment is made before a trade agreement the UK immediately looses it’s leverage. In this event you can kiss goodbye to any sensible agreement on trade and services.

    • rose
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      “includes some of our financial commitment to programmes we have been involved with while members. ”

      This is just a try-on by the EU. We didn’t get a rebate at the beginning for programmes already in train before we joined, so should not now have to pay for programmes completed after we have left. The same with the pensions.

      The House of Lords found there is no legal obligation to pay anything once the treaty has fallen away.

  25. Pete Else
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    May is determined to sell us down the river. I suppose she wants to carry on the tradition of all the previous governments that have done the same.

  26. Know-Dice
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Off Topic 🙁

    This variable tax for Probate seems to have slipped under the radar.

    To have a variable charge (tax) depending of the size of a deceased persons estate is really not acceptable. How complicated an estate is isn’t dependant on its value.

    This is triple taxation – from the party of low taxation ?

    Tax on income
    Tax on Probate
    Finally Inheritance tax

    The Conservative Part really has lost the plot, may as well have Corbyn and his cronies, at least they are honest out admitting that they will fleece you right, left and extreme left…

    • Mark B
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      I posted here that the headlines on thr budeget were less important than the detail that was to come after.

    • Stred
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

      If it is a tax, it should have been approved by the HoC. They are lying when they call it a charge. It is a tax to fund the Justice Dept. Presumably they have huge rises for judges and Mrs Saunder’s pension to pay for. Justice?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink


        Yes its a charge, same amount of work to authorise but different escalating charges that will rise with every Budget from Now on.

        Spend money before you die to prevent the Government wiping out your savings whilst you are still alive seems to be the message.

        What a depressing policy, tax the dead because they can do nothing about it afterwards.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

          Agreed Alan, no incentive to be frugal or even work…what leftish rubbish…

          It also seems to be the responsible of the Executor to pay this fee PRIOR to probate being granted.

          So, although this can be claimed back from the estate after probate the Executor will need to find it up front…

  27. Duncan
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Excerpt from Tim Martin’s statement this am –

    ‘Boiling all these issues down, there are four simple tests which the public can use on 29 March next year to work out whether Theresa May and MPs have implemented the referendum result, and left the EU, as promised, or whether we have been hoodwinked:

    1) Does the UK still charge protectionist import taxes (tariffs) on non-EU imports and send the proceeds to Brussels?

    If the answer is “yes”, the UK hasn’t left the EU.

    2) Has the UK paid or is it continuing to pay money to the EU in return for trade?

    If “yes”, we are unlikely to have left.

    3) Has the UK regained control of its fishing waters?

    If “no”, we haven’t left.

    4) Is the UK still subject to European laws?

    If “yes”, we haven’t left.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

      And many more, such as immigration and foreign policy, regulation and the enviroment.

  28. Anonymous
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Newmania and Andy will doubtless come on here and take the micky about what a disaster it’s all turned out to be.

    The fact is that a mainstream section of the UK and the EU is dissatisfied with the EU.

    Around 30% enough to vote Leave with a much higher percentage than that wanting to Leave but too apprehensive to vote for it. Remain would have it that we are a nation where all the youth parade serenely in blue and yellow berets.

    Andy and Newmania want leavers to be ignored. They tell you we are evil and stupid and so don’t count.

    James O’Brien (LBC) yesterday. He was virtually saying that all Leavers are people who do mock ups of Grenfell on bonfire night so should be ignored.

    Is the British government or the EU government going to do anything at all to remedy the issues that are causing Brexit in the UK and the more worrying rise of the far right on the Continent ? Or are they (like Newmania and Andy) to demonise large sections of the population and ignore them ?

    If so then this is my plan : I will never vote Tory again. I will also stop paying my BBC licence.

    As a working class Tory voter all my life I am sick of being middle class Andy and Newmania’s fag. They sneer at me. To them I’m lower than a city gangsta.

    The redistributive taxation will hit them a lot harder than me. The best thing ? I don’t have to do anything at all to achieve it. In fact all I have to do is stop doing things.

    • Andy
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Gosh. You accuse me of many things.

      Other than taking the micky about your Brexit disaster (which l perhaps do do occasionally), I think you’ll find all of your other accusations are false.

      I don’t want anyone ignored. It is the Tory party which ignores people. You vote for them, I don’t.

      Discontentment is caused largely by comparative economic decline. It is the Tory party which has overseen this. You vote for them, I don’t.

      Migration also causes discontentment. The Tories have failed to fix it. You vote for them, I don’t.

      Redistributive taxes will hit me harder than most. I’m okay with that. I came from working class background – and through hard work (and luck) we ended up well off. My family has broad shoulders we expect to pay more and do not object to it. It is the Tory multimillionaires in Parliament – who you vote for – who want to keep their own cash at your expense.

      When you clearly object to everything the Tories have done and what they stand for, why do you still vote for them?

    • Helen Smith
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      My plan is to stop watching and paying for the BBC and Sky, and publish ‘Don’t vote Tory’ leaflets and distribute them at the next GE.

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Even if it cost us no money at all it would be plain stupid to accept an EU promise of talks about a possible free trade deal for the longer term when we already know:


    A Canada-style deal would not pass muster: the Irish government would still demand that the UK must remain under the rules of the EU Single Market, which of course does not apply to Canada under CETA.

    And in fact whatever the other merits and demerits of the less conventional EEA treaty arrangements Norway has with the EU and its member states:


    and it is now nearly a year since the Irish government categorically rejected even the kind of “light touch” customs border that operates between Norway and Sweden.

    Indeed its Europe Minister went so far as to reject “anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland”, at 3 minutes into this Sky News video of November 24 2017:

    “Is the Norway-Sweden border an answer for Ireland?”

    That video is still freely available for anybody who may care to watch it before they start writing another ill-informed article or book.

    * From 3 minutes 3 seconds in, their Europe Minister Helen McEntee propounding their absurd, extreme and intransigent doctrine:

    “We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      There have been some nice analogies drawn in recent comments on this blog.

      With one person comparing Theresa May to King John, who agreed to Magna Carta at Runnymede but immediately reneged once the barons had dispersed.

      And somebody else comparing the fictitious “problem” of the Irish border to the traditional story of the Princess and the Pea – because the Irish government, and the EU, will NEVER agree that any proposed new arrangements are good enough, it will always have to be that at least Northern Ireland, and preferably the whole of the UK, must stay under the rules of both the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market IN PERPETUITY.

      I see that Sinn Fein and others are now putting a bit of pressure on Leo Varadkar, accusing him of losing his nerve:

      But his answer is quite clear:

      “Yes, I’m open to creative solutions and creative language, but that backstop cannot have an expiry date or unilateral exit clause”.

      The purpose of such creativity being to assist Theresa May in pulling the wool over the eyes of her cabinet, her MPs, her wider party and the UK electors in general, in much the same way that past Irish governments have keenly co-operated with the EU to pull the wool over the eyes of Irish electors and get new EU treaties passed in referendums, including repeat referendums when necessary.

      Oddly enough, almost exactly ten years ago the very same Sinn Fein woman, Mary Lou McDonald, was accusing the Irish government of “smoke and mirrors” over the repeat referendum on the Lisbon Treaty:

      “Sinn Fein MEP Mary Lou McDonald said the Lisbon re-run was “an exercise in smoke and mirrors”. The new declarations on taxation, abortion, neutrality and workers’ rights were empty promises, she said.”

  30. hans christian ivers
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    “Hammond: If we walk away without paying nobody will be able to believe ad trust the UK, in any future trade negotiations, not a good idea”

    Reply Nonsense. Anyway much of the £39 bn is the price of staying in for another 21 months which we would not be doing

    • Steve
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink



      “Hammond: If we walk away without paying nobody will be able to believe ad trust the UK, in any future trade negotiations, not a good idea”

      I have a better idea; give the ungrateful sods the 39bn, then bill them for 60 trillion to pay for our liberating them from tyranny during two world wars and to have them thank us for keeping the soviets out of western Europe during the cold war.

      Oh and also call in that massive loan we recently gave Ireland, that should shut Varadkar up.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


        So how much do we Europeans (UK INcluded) do we then together own the Americans according to your calculations?

        • Stred
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

          The UK paid the Americans for the war debt. How much did Denmsrk pay?

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink


            If, you know history you wold know that Denmark did not have a war debt except the debt the Germans left behind

          • NickC
            Posted November 8, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            Hans, To us . . .

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted November 9, 2018 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

            What did the UK do for Denmark. Without the US there would have been no UK.

  31. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    It looks like some form of Withdrawal Agreement is now in sight John !

    I see it is being reported quite widely today in various media circles, that Mrs May has a Brexit agenda for selling a bad deal, and an temporary extension of the Customs Union membership to the Parliament and the population over the next 3 weeks.

    What a disaster if this is true, The very, very worst of both Worlds !

    Will any Mp’s try to stop her John.

    Certainly those still in the cabinet appear to have little backbone for a fight.

    Party and careers before Country comes to mind..

    Afraid the Conservative Party will suffer in the polling Stations if this is true.

    • Steve
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Alan Jutson

      “I see it is being reported quite widely today in various media circles, that Mrs May has a Brexit agenda for selling a bad deal,…”

      But not the BBC, they’re keeping quiet about it.

      “Certainly those still in the cabinet appear to have little backbone for a fight”

      That’s because they’re invertebrates.

      “Afraid the Conservative Party will suffer in the polling Stations if this is true.”

      That’s an understatement ! at the next GE the conservatives won’t exist as a political party. They’re destined for infamy, shameful epitaph and satire. I voted conservative all my life, but next time I will be voting Labour, just out of spite. Millions like me will be doing the same.

    • Chris
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Regarding your last sentence, AJ, “Afraid the C Party will suffer……”. I personally have got long past worrying about the fate of the Cons Party. They have brought it completely on themselves and one can only hope that after many years in the wilderness some sort of revamped Party will emerge. It seems the Con MPs want to learn the lesson the hard way as they are failing completely to honour democracy and effect Brexit. (Brexit here means Brexit).

  32. ian
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    All going to plan then.

  33. Chris
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I see that further skulduggery by our PM has been leaked:
    Brexit LIVE: Fury at May’s ‘secret deal’ with EU, Rees-Mogg rages at plan to ‘HOODWINK’ UK
    Theresa May is under fire from Eurosceptics who have accused her of making an agreement in secret after a memo was leaked saying how she will persuade the public to get behind it….”

    My question to Brexiter MPs is what are you going to do about it? It seems that May continually undertakes covert operations behind her Ministers’ backs in order to betray our Brexit vote. Why do you tolerate it?

    Jacob Rees-Mogg is quoted saying that this action by May will reduce trust in her/government. Mr R-M, there is no trust in the government so you cannot reduce it. I am becoming to wonder what planet he is on. I originally had great hopes for him, but not now, after these last few months of virtual inaction.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Rees-MOgg is all talk ad not much action. I thought that was pretty clear from the beginning?

      • Stephen O
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:31 am | Permalink

        To be fair there is not much Rees-Mogg can do except talk until the Government bring a deal to parliament to vote on.

        Also we don’t know what the current secret deal is nor if this is what we will end up with anyway.

        As I understand it the default situation is that the UK leaves without a deal unless the government gets a deal approved by parliament and it is not going to be easy for the government to get a deal through parliament with labour voting against any deal which does not meet the 6 tests they struggle to remember and it being hard to come up in theory with a deal which both tory remainers and leavers would vote for!

        Yes, we could still end up with a bad deal, but there is still some hope.

  34. Tony Henry
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    I voted LEAVE. My friend said after the stunning result, it would never be allowed to happen. I laughed at him but I’m not laughing now.

    How naive I was to believe a referendum result would be respected. I now realise I live in a nominal democracy with craven leaders who take their orders from unelected, faceless powerful people who take vast quantities of our money to advance their interests at our expense.

    If as I think is about to happen, that we are cheated of brexit by our lying, duplicitous, cowardly and visionless leaders, I shall never vote in any election again, large or small.

    I shall no longer consider myself a citizen of the UK because the UK as I have always understood it shall have ceased to exist.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. I will also no longer honour or respect any law as the Government will no longer have any mandate to make laws and must go so we can elect those who serve us and not the EU!

    • Steve P
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      @TOny Henry “I shall no longer consider myself a citizen of the UK because the UK as I have always understood it shall have ceased to exist.”

      My plans exactly. With a Canadian wife who doesn’t get the freedoms of movement reserved for EU Citizens the need and will for me to be British is receding if we are betrayed. On Friday I become Canadian in preparation for renouncing being British. The last time we visited Wokingham my wife’s passport was stamped to leave within 30 days even with a British Husband by her side. An EU couple with neither being British can walk in unchallenged and stay as long as they like.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      Likewise, on 24/06/16 I posted “now the fudge begins”.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Tony, vote UKIP, the only party that is not liberal left wing.
      Certainly don’t vote again for the Tory party which is not only liberal left wing but also globalist and treacherous.

  35. rose
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Of course we need to ditch the December Report and not sign the Withdrawal Agreement. The Backstab, or proposed Annexation of Northern Ireland, is just a part of that. Ditch the whole thing.

    • Chris
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      The MPs only just seem to be waking up to the implications of the December agreement. Boris admitted as much. However, many of the public knew it was a betrayal of Brexit, and Charles Moore went as far as to call the agreement May made “a complete capitulation”. He was right. Our apparently dozy/complacent MPs could not apparently see what was staring them in the face.

      • rose
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        Boris and co did understand it but their anxieties were over ridden by the Kitchen Cabinet saying it didn’t mean anything. Then they were later told by the EU and the Kitchen Cabinet that it did mean something. That is why Gove is now insisting on their seeing a legal opinion this time. And the DUP are insisting on the whole country seeing the legal opinion.

  36. Original Richard
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    The delay and mess of the Brexit “negotiations” is because the CPP selected a hardened remainer for PM to head the withdrawal of the UK from the EU.

    The PM, together with a majority of MPs in Parliament, are trying to keep the UK in as many of the EU’s institutions as possible even though this is totally against the referendum result.

    The problem is that the EU does not accept the UK “cherry picking” unless the UK continues to pay large sums to the EU coffers and accepts a vassal status.

    So unless the PM capitulates on these points, perhaps through instituting a permanent transition, and this is certainly feasible as many Parliamentary remainers would like the EU to be totally in control of our country, then the only possible outcome is a “no deal” (WTO terms) Brexit.

    The Irish backstop was not invented by the EU/Ireland but by Mrs. May to provide a reason as to why the UK should remain in the SM/CU. In fact the EU would like there to be a hard border between the UK and Ireland as they want to be able to force Ireland to join Schengen.

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Original Richard
      Ireland really need the UK to remain in a Customs Union/Single Market with them. They may take a huge economic hit with Brexit depending on how the UK leave.
      Have a read of The Irish Times, The Irish Mirror or RTE News and you will see plenty of scare stories about how bad things could become in Ireland.
      According to these media outlets, the EU have identified 15 exports which would be “at risk” if the UK left without a deal. 11 of those 15 exports are Irish exports to the UK. 90% of Irish crops are exported to the UK and nearly 50% of Irish meat is exported to the UK. Tariffs on these exports would hit Ireland hard.
      In addition, delays in transportation would cause Ireland problems. Irish exports to the EU use the UK as a transport bridge coming across the Irish sea and down UK motorways to Dover etc. When perishable produce is in transit any delays in this route could be catastrophic for the Irish.
      Perhaps these reasons explain why they are so vociferous about keeping borders open and tariff free.

      • Stred
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        This is why the EU would have to agree a zero tariff and mutual recognition of standards by 1.4.19 if we left and offered a free trade deal without paying for it.

        • Chris Maughan
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          Agreed !

  37. Peter
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Agreed. However, there is all sorts of media speculation about how May will buy off opposition, delay action and obscure the true meaning of any proposed deal. So politicians need to be on guard and anticipate any possible manoeuvre to deny a genuine Brexit.

    • Chris
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget Blair is launching an all out attack to prevent Brexit. Reported again in the Press today. He is apparently going to do whatever it takes to stop it. I have such contempt for the man, that I won’t waste any more time and energy writing about him. He is not worth it.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

      Which politicians Peter? Most Tory MPs are globalists like Theresa May and will accept the “withdrawal agreement” even if most of the country does not agree with it.
      The CBI and Euro-big-businesses have more sway over the Tory party than the electorate.
      Democracy is dead in the UK.

      • Peter
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        True. Most Tory MPs are part of the problem.

  38. Oggy
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    The DUP and the Cabinet are absolutely right to want to see the full legal text and implications of TM’s Chequers deal – she has a history of being deceitful. They should not trust her one bit.

    Lots of other ‘leaks’ (possibly fake news) coming out this morning, one of which suggests TM has been doing ‘another’ parallel deal behind the Cabinet’s back yet again.

    UKIP’s leader also says he has seen a blueprint for the deal leaked to him from deep within the EU which signs the UK into Associate membership of the CU and SM.

    John I hope you and your colleagues are keeping a VERY CLOSE eye on things.

  39. davies
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Given the lack of good faith we keep hearing about from the EU side, it really worries me that only now we seem to be talking about publishing legal texts for minitsters on anything agreed or have I missed something?

    No wonder we are being stitched up – on one side there is an organised, determined and united negotiating team, on the UK side there appears to be a small group where half of them do not want BREXIT so roll over at every turn.

  40. Tad Davison
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I despair of politicians. Surely they can see the error in this approach, but it is worth labouring the point that they could have engineered this mess all along in order to wriggle out of their obligations to the British people. They seemingly want to string out the negotiations and put as much distance as they can between the date of the referendum and the present, in the hope people change their minds. That isn’t just cynical, it reeks to high heaven!

    The inevitable consequence of this ineptitude or deliberate prevarication, is an undermining of the confidence the people have in this nation’s political process. We already had a large percentage staying away at election time, and according to some pollsters, the only occasion in recent times when these marginalised people felt empowered and where their vote actually meant something, is when we had the EU referendum. Not to deliver cleanly on that vote threatens to alienate a broad swathe all over again. No wonder so many people hold politicians in such contempt, and Theresa May just has to rank as one of the lowest along with the likes of Blair, Brown, Clarke, Heseltine and Major.

    One way or another, the public are being sold out yet again. By and large, our politicians are an utter disgrace, but to say that isn’t enough. No point in voting one lot of pro-EU toadies out, only to get another load of pro-EU toadies in their place. This has to change for democracy to succeed!

    Tad Davison

  41. hellbent
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Yes..what we want is an equal partnership with them where we can trade how and whichever way we like without being tied to their rules or anybody’s rules and unless they see sense and agree on this then we should just leave anyway. We can always make new deals with them later on that better suit us. We should let the WTO know the same that we want to trade worldwide without any rules or restrictions. All just as we voted

  42. Nig l
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Looks like another secret stitch up on the way. You have only yourselves to blame, if indeed that is the case.

  43. stred
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    The leaked memorandum, showing the programme for PR and presentation of the reversal of Brexit as a successful negotiation, is utterly sickening. It reveals the nature of 2/3rds of the Conservative Party and the Cabinet. Any remaining ministers unwilling to go along with this deceit will be purged. How any honest MP can stand staying in this reptilian swamp is the hardest part to understand. Perhaps it is because to resign the whip would encourage Labour quislings to vote with May and they would be more likely to gain an early election. We have been fighting to get our national government back but it turns out that our elected MPs are unfit for purpose.

  44. Atlas
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Agreed John,

    I hope the ERG and the DUP will see this latest sell-out of Brexit off.

  45. acorn
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Let’s say the ERG62 win the “meaningful vote”, as written into law in the Withdrawal Act. MPs refuse to approve the withdrawal agreement or no deal is reached. Mrs May says this will be a binary choice between approving her withdrawal agreement and “no deal”.

    So, what happens in the case of no deal or Parliament’s rejection of the deal. The Withdrawal Act says that in the case of no deal or a rejected deal by January 21st; the government would have to present to MPs, in a “neutral motion” an outline of its “next steps”; which I understand would not be amenable, unless Speaker Bercow says it can be.

    QUESTION: What do the ERG 62 do next? How will it play its “No Deal” hand of cards? All its cards are “hole cards” (face down; nobody knows if it has got anything), and Mrs May sounds pretty certain you ain’t got no “Ace in the Hole”. Can you imagine being known in the future, as the Prime Minister who took the UK out of the EU?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      “3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”

      • acorn
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Understood Denis. Can you tell me which Minister is currently sorting out the following for a “no deal and no transition” Brexit?

        “Over 750 international agreements entered into by the EU on behalf of member states have been identified, which may need to be replicated upon Brexit. These include some important agreements for the aviation industry. In terms of flying rights for example the US/EU Open Skies Agreement is a mixed agreement. Its benefits apply to “Community airlines” defined as “airlines of the European Community and its Member States”. Upon the UK ceasing to be a member of the European Union, the UK will cease to benefit from the US/EU Open Skies Agreement unless the EU and the US agree otherwise.” (HT: Norton Rose Fulbright)

        Reply The government knows all this and will do what is necessary. There will be plenty of planes coming from the US on March 30th and landing here!

  46. ian
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    When the gov first went in and sign article 50, they agreed with the EU that the withdrawal agreement would be sign first, which had the money attached to it and after that trade talks would start, then they came out with, nothing is agreed to everything is agreed and no deal better than a bad deal, well in a way they right because trade talks were never in the withdrawal agreement, but lead people on all this time to think that they were, the whole cabinet signed up to it including BJ and DD who both resigned from the government after signing up to it, over chequers which were a bit late in the day after signing up to Article 50 in the first place.
    I have said and am on record of saying, that signing article 50 is the worst thing you can ever do.

    What is it leading up to, well a second vote, why, It reported that Mrs May with friends want to go around the country selling it to the people, why would you need to do that, parliament will not vote it through the HOC, why, it is too vague with CU and 21 months or more extension.

    HOC will vote instead to hand it back to the people to which the media have been building up for, for the last 20 months for a win to stead in the EU.

    What would I do now, I would sign it because of it better than a second ref lead by the media and remain MPs, taking into account that the people have already been softened up for it, to vote to remain, with presser coming of fake job loses.

    Yes, I would sign it and fight on and wouldn’t allow myself to be bounced into a second vote with next to no media support on my side.

    What am I signing up to, no backstop and CU till one side decides to pull out, that the catch 22, you never get a PM from Labour or Torys to withdraw from the CU?

  47. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Not many people will believe that a no-deal brexit will save the UK 39bn. Not even most other brexiteers. IMHO, it has become a very lonely point of view

    Reply Not so. No legal liability to pay

    • Richard1
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Its either due under the treaties or it isn’t. if the UK leaves with no deal there will be no point paying it just to be nice, so international courts will have to determine whether any of its due. The UK govt’s advice is that it isn’t. I am not aware the EU claims to have have had contradictory advice? could be a waste of furhter EU taxpayers’ money to fight it.

      On the other had, in the case that the UK is out without a deal, could the UK have a case to reclaim money misspent by the EU, given its been a substantial net contributor for 40 years? Perhaps that was what President Trump was suggesting?

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink


      But the reputational consequences are significant

      • Stephen O
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:46 am | Permalink

        Hans, who do you suppose, outside of the EU will think badly of the UK for not paying over UK 39bn when the EU could not agree a deal with the UK?

        Which other countries round the world would pay a huge sum even without a deal? USA, China, India? Seriously the reputational damage will happen if we do pay and make ourselves look a soft touch in negotiations.

        Even some in the EU might whisper the problem was with the negotiations being botched by Brussels.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted November 9, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          Stephen O

          No one -except the people who negotiated this last year)- knows what would be useful to pay if no transition was required. Last year that transition was a major item for the UK and the EU agreed to a 21 moths’ period. Too what extent the bill would be lower without a transition is difficult to say. Just walking out and not paying attention to a settlement (eg EU pensions, commitments to provide capital to the ECB for outstanding commitments (unfunded capital) risks no cooperation on the part of the EU for a number of essential itejms (nuclear, access to EU airspace, smooth cross borderv traffic, etc . It is a juvenile way of dealing with problems, I guess. A bluff that the EU would be happy to call.

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Whether or not it was a deliberate plan Theresa May and Olly Robbins have got us into a complete pickle over Brexit, but of course of the two it is Theresa May who is notionally in charge and who must therefore bear the greatest responsibility.

    To recall one of many letters I have sent to the Maidenhead Advertiser on this subject over the past year, one published on May 10 2018 under the heading:

    “Solution to Irish issue and customs union”

    “I was staggered to read this in a Sunday newspaper, referring to Theresa May’s preferred plan for a crazy “customs partnership” with the EU:

    “Mrs May’s No 10 Brexit adviser, Olly Robbins, has told her that the ‘partnership’ is the only idea which will allow the UK to cut new trade deals while avoiding the need for a hard border in Ireland …”

    I suggest Mrs May should get herself a new Brexit adviser who will not talk such nonsense.

    At present the UK collects the EU’s customs dues on imports into the UK – we are allowed to keep 20% to cover our collection costs – which makes sense while we are in the EU. But Mr Robbins wants us to carry on doing it forever, almost as though we were not leaving the EU. It truly is a crazy scheme, as the EU itself has already said.

    Moreover it is not the only idea for avoiding a so-called “hard border” in Ireland; in fact by itself it would not even achieve that end.

    Here is a simple alternative idea, which unlike Mrs May’s preferred scheme would not require years for its complex implementation.

    Just make a declaration along these lines:

    “For our part we will do nothing new at the Irish border for the foreseeable future. The present free flow of goods and people can continue exactly as now.

    If there are UK tariffs to be levied on the imports we will do that away from the border, and if that leads to some evasion we will accept that minor financial loss.

    If the EU is worried that the open border may become a back door for contraband to enter its Single Market then we pledge to take all effective legal and practical measures to help minimise that problem for them, continuing with the existing full and sincere co-operation we already have with the EU and Irish customs authorities.

    What the EU and Irish authorities do on their side of the border will be entirely up to them.”

    But of course that so-called “parallel marketability” scheme would not provide Theresa May with what she wants, a pretext to keep us the economic rule of the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      “… what she wants, a pretext to keep us under the economic rule of the EU.”

  49. Nigel Seymour
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    J, You always make sense on the subject. Quite surprised that Gove has come out requesting ‘legal clarification’? I though he was now a firm chequers animal and would go along with any amount of fudge that Robbins dreams up…

    Good of you to make a showing at St Mary’s on Sunday.

    p.s. it looked as though MP’s were trying to ‘out poppy’ each other with varied versions in the chamber with some looking very expensive. Democracy I suppose (lest we forget that also)

  50. Michael
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    The big question is who is to replace Theresa May ?

    The deal as currently envisaged cannot possibly be approved by the Cabinet at which point she must be replaced as Tory leader.

  51. Fairweather
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    I am confused,John because I have read through the Belfast agreement and there is no mention of border controls. At the end of the Wikipedia post there is a paragraph from the EU about Ireland’s withdrawal from the EU and mentions a “position paper” about avoiding a hard border , common travel area etc. This has been raised by the EU and is not part of the Belfast agreement. Has Mrs May been stitched up and this needn’t have been an issue at all?
    In that case the border can be like any other country outside the EU?

  52. ian
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    If parliament vote down the withdrawal agreement that Mrs May is getting the cabinet to sign up to, then remainers in parliament and the lords will table a motion for another vote instead of a no deal, I don’t see how you can stop it and of course relying on the people to vote for a no deal will not even be on the ballot paper, remainers who table the motion, will also table what on the ballot paper for the people to vote on.

    What can your few votes do in parliament with over 500 remainers voting against you, you can not even stop it going through the cabinet if 9 ministers resign Mrs May will just replace them and carry on.

    Reply It would take full legislation to introduce a second referendum. Not time now before we leave

    • Andy
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      It is demographically inevitable that there will be a third referendum. It is simply a question of when – not if.

      The majority of under 50s reject Brexit. A big majority of under 40s reject it. A huge majority of under 30s reject it. And an overwhelming majority of millennials reject it. They are the future – and the angry pensioners who have gifted them isolation, comparative poverty and a multi-billion pound Brexit bill are not

      You and your Brexiteer colleagues are deeply misguided Mr Redwood if, for a moment, you think these future generations will not hold you all to account when your Brexit makes their lives worse. Which it will.

      • Steve P
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

        The over 50’s for the best part control the under 50’s inheritance. I suggest if they want it they learn very fast how a democracy works and get rid of that sense of entitlement and of being superior otherwise the wealthiest in the land will be Battersea Dogs home.

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:45 am | Permalink

        Andy, The tipping point was in the 40 – 45 age category. A lot more people have now seen how rotten, corrupt and vindictive your EU is, over the last 2 years. Like the young in 1975 the young now are learning about the real EU, and it is not pretty. And of course they can see the absurdity of your belief that we are incapable of being an independent nation.

  53. Helen Smith
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    You are right, but how many of your colleagues actually want Brexit to be a success and so will vote sensibly and logically? If May is keeping us in the CU then what is stopping her agreeing to Canada+++?

    If you haven’t already please submit your letter to the 1922 committee, please also liaise with Caroline Flint’s group, at the moment she is minded to support May, that would be a gross betrayal of her constituents and I think she is fairly honourable. Please help her to see that WTO or Canada +++ is true Brexit.

    • Andy
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      No it isn’t. You have no mandate for Canada or WTO.

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        Andy, No you are wrong – we voted to Leave. So we cannot remain tied to the EU with any EU-specific treaty.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


          You are right Denamark had a moral thank you obligation to the UK and still does. But we did not have any financial help from the UK before , during or after the war. Except the war effort

  54. Bob
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Reports in the MSM that Emmanuel Macron has called for the creation of a “true European army” to allow the EU defend itself from threats ranging from Donald Trump to Vladimir Putin.

    Rumours are circulating that Mrs May has already committed Britain’s support under a covert agreement known as “Kit-Kat”.

    Were you aware of this Mr Redwood?

    • rose
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      You can read all about this on BrexitFacts4EU. Go back a bit. There is a link at the side of this page.

      • Bob
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Thanks Rose.
        I cannot believe how inept our govt have been, it defies belief!

        How did this get through the House of Commons?
        Were our MP’s asleep?

        Even Nick Clegg described the idea as a “dangerous fantasy” in the televised LBC debate with Nigel Farage prior to the once in a generation Referendum.

        • rose
          Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think Gina Miller arranged for it to be a matter for the House of Commons. It may not have been a matter for the Cabinet either.

    • Stred
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      Trump must be pleased that the UK has signed up to have it’s forces fight for the EU army under EU command to defend against him. He may as well pull out of NATO. The false dossier about him from ex British civil servants may not have gone down too well either.

      • Chris
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        There will be accountability and much embarrassment when what I understand to be the true nature of UK and Australian collusion with the Obama administration in order to prevent Trump becoming President (and, in the event of him becoming President, to bring him down) becomes public. It will shock many. President Trump and the NSA are in possession of all the necessary intelligence so there will be no hiding.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      President Macron has been trying to get on top of the EU dung heap since Chancellor Merkel popularity took a nose dive. France has always prided itself as being at the head of the EU Project with Germany close in support. But since the financial crash and France dropping the leadership ball, up to now Germany has been making all the running.

      There is a lot going on that the likes of the BBC do not see and report. Which comes as no surprise to mAny here I am sure.

  55. iain
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Your words seem like simple common sense. Why can these educated wordly wise people leading our Government not accept this.

    • Chris
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      Delivering on this particular agenda i.e. staying in the EU, apparently justifies the means used. The people involved in this treachery do not lack common sense, I believe. I think they know exactly what they are doing and they have apparently mounted covert operations employing both guile and cunning.

  56. NickC
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    There is nothing vague about the Chequers plan. It is the only UK plan on the table; it has not been withdrawn; it is backed by the PM and Cabinet; it is backed by most Tory MPs and many Labour MPs; it is the result of many months work both in drafting and in negotiations; and much of the Chequers content is approved by the EU (but not all) and baked in.

    Of course the final agreement will not be called Chequers; of course it will look different to Chequers – after all, four more months of work has gone into it. But all the basics of Chequers will be there: a customs union; adherence to single market rules; elements of the CFP and CAP; UK participation in numerous EU agencies; EAW; coordination of foreign policy, defence and security; “interoperability” of EU – UK military; numerous EU-UK structured consultative processes; CJEU oversight; all enforced by treaty.

    Under the agreements being finalised now we will replace the EU set of bureaucratic rules with another set structured just like it. We will replace the EU’s multilateral treaties with new bi-lateral treaties to almost the same effect. In short we will remain under the control of the EU. EU competences will mostly prevail. That is, unless Theresa May is at least challenged, or removed. Or, unless the new (“Chequers minus”) agreements are voted down in the HoC. And the chances of either are slim indeed.

    • Chris
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      Very clearly put. I wonder how many Brexiter MPs accept this reality or are willing to acknowledge it and ACT upon it? Words are cheap and promises of the piecrust variety.

  57. GilesB
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    We can’t expect to escape from forty years of a racheting spider’s web in a single bound.

    Nor can we expect to craft a perfect partnership agreement in an instant.

    The fundamental step is from membership to ‘third party’ status.

    After that we can evolve: we can both further unwind involvement and develop a richer, not deeper, partnership.

    Once sovereign we can renegotiate any treaty/commitment/agreement. And, in extremis, and with consequences, walk away from them. Not a preferred move, but always possible.

    I agree with our host that it would be better to have no withdrawal agreement than a bad one. But an agreement (not the one on the table) that smoothes departure is an option. We can deal with renegotiating that later.

    As shown by the Italians on their budget, and the French before them, the EU rules are the start of a negotiation not immutable laws of nature.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      If we are part of the CU & SM we will not be able to negotiate trade deals. PERIOD !

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

      Whilst I agree with much of your comment, I just don’t see any UK government having the band-width or the stomach to re-visit the UK-EU relationship in the near future. There are many issues closer to home which need the governments attention. After all, this was one of the driving factors for voting Leave by those who felt the UK government was paying too much attention to the EU and not enough to the UK provinces outside London.
      Trying to “evolve” the relationship will prove as taxing and difficult as the current wrangling and would further anger the non-London electorate.
      I truly believe that this is a “once in a life-time decision” to quote David Cameron.
      I expect the relationship implemented will last for a decade or more.

  58. Lifelogic.
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    So six people have been arrested over the extremely unpleasant Genville Tower video. Can we now assume all the people responsible for the “No Pressure” propaganda film (that graphically blew children to pieces for failing to be sufficiently enthusiastic about the 10:10 campaign to reduce CO2 emissions) will now all be arrested and questions this seemed to me to be far more offensive. And this was even a professional production must have been hundred involved or who funded it?

    Millions of other people have produced obnoxious and highly offensive videos all over the place. The police are going to be kept rather busy. Especially if we get dopey Diane “The Police cannot pick and choose between crimes” Abbott as Home Secretary!

    • rose
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, the police cannot pick and choose between hate crimes. I notice they are quite happy about an effigy of Boris plus severed head of the PM being paraded through East Sussex before being burned. Just think how many gardens and houses they could be searching in that county and how many arrests and imprisonments they could be making.

  59. Dennis
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if T. May realises this. Seema not. Probably no one has said that to her. Perhaps they are too scared.

  60. Dennis
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Trump would not get into this position. I wonder when later he will say that the UK ‘negotiation procedure was the worst in world history. And he would be right.

    • Chris
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      He won’t mince his words, you can be sure, and quite rightly so.

  61. Ron Olden
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    John Redwood is making too much of this.

    No ‘backstop’ agreement, or anything else, can EVER trap us in a Customs Union indefinitely, against our will.

    No Customs Union, Trade Agreement, International Treaty (including any withdrawal agreement) is indefinite, or enforceable in law without current legislation.

    Both the UK Parliament and the EU are sovereign, and either side will be able to legislate to Leave it at any time

    Just as the UK, Greenland, and various former Overseas Departments of France were able to Leave the EU itself, the USA has withdrawn from agreements and Treaties, and Scotland, if it so wished, is able to leave the UK, continuing membership of any ‘Customs Union’ ‘Customs Agreement’ or any other agreement will be conditional on the passage of legislation and the continuing consent of Parliament.

    The priority is getting us past 11pm on March 29th 2019 when we will have left.

    Whatever we say in motions in Parliament in advance of that date doesn’t matter. It’s what we legislate for after the event that does.

    So say whatever we have to.

    Reply Not so. Getting out of an international Treaty without a Clause 50 exit is very difficult

    • GilesB
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:16 am | Permalink

      Case law and discussion around the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties (VCLT) seems to accept that for commercial treaties there is an assumption that the parties intend to allow unilateral withdrawal, with twelve month notice, unless the treaty explicitly provides otherwise. With an exception for treaties agreeing international waters.

  62. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m staggered that any cabinet minister would be prepared to support whatever rubbish plan Theresa May finally devises without seeing the official legal advice, setting that against other advice, and forming his own judgement on how it would most likely to work out.

    • rose
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      In the Liaison committee Bill Cash asked her straight whether she had shown the Chequers proposal to the law officers. I have never seen her look and sound more crooked. He couldn’t get a straight answer.

    • acorn
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      The only legal advice that matters, is that which Mr Barnier gets. You keep forgetting that the UK is leaving the EU voluntarily, the UK is not being thrown out of the EU.

      Article 50 bequeaths nothing tangible to a leaving member state, except for the possibility of some future relationship, that is guaranteed to be much less than it had as a member; the EU can’t allow it to be anything different.

      The only thing the UK has to offer is a large trade deficit with the EU, which reduces EU unemployment. But, there comes a point where the EU will not want to get paid in a depreciating Sterling currency.

      • Stephen O
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:08 am | Permalink


        The large trade deficit is not the only thing the UK has to offer. There is also UK 39bn without which the EU will have a big hole in its budget with very little time to deal with it.

        With no deal the UK has an interest in other countries leaving the EU, so it can make trade deals with them directly not via Brussels. Given how fragile the EU is even the example of a no deal UK surviving outside the EU will do the EU tremendous damage.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        I can recall a time when the UK government was deliberately trying to spread the false idea that it would be illegal for the UK to leave the EU, so I certainly do not accept your strange view that the only legal advice which matters is that given to Michel Barnier. So not only should the official legal advice given to Theresa May be published in full there should then be enough time for other lawyers to get stuck into the analysis made by the government lawyers.

    • Andy
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Theresa May’s plan – whatever it ends up being – is Brexit.

      It is what you all voted for.

      If you don’t like it you have only yourselves to blame.

      You voted for something without any idea of the details. You didn’t check the smallprint.

      The small print, you all agree, is rubbish.

      Shame. Your fault.

      • Oggy
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        You do talk some crap.

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:58 am | Permalink

        Andy, Theresa May’s Chequers based plan ties us to the EU via new bi-lateral treaties. Being tied to the EU, subject to its rules, competences, power and court, is not leaving by definition.

      • rick hamilton
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        We voted Leave to take back control of our own laws, money and borders. There is no need for small print to understand what that means unless you have no imagination and cannot think for yourself.

  63. Mrs Alison Houston
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,

    I think it is time to start speaking out about EU military unification, the fact that our defence forces are being taken over by EU central command and control.

    Brexit cannot happen because the government has already signed away our sovereignty, and broken constitutional law in allowing this to go ahead. Parliament has been ignored. The Queen will be forced to break her Coronation Oath by assenting to this EU military/police force, as it will be funded by British tax payers, but without representation. Our children and grandchildren will be conscripted to serve this foreign power.

    I think it is your duty as a real Conservative to support the British Constitution and the people, of whom you are one. It is time to start shouting about this usurpation of power by the executive. You are old enough to live with the consequences for your career. Somebody has to start making a public row about it, until the matter is given the treatment of disinfectant sunlight and proper scrutiny and rejected.

    It is more important than the future of your party. There is no Brexit without sovereignty and no sovereignty when the Constitution is ignored. There is no ‘divine’ right of parliament in Britain, no ‘divine ‘ right of the executive.

    • Duncan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear.

      Too many spineless Tory MPs prepared to sell the UK down the river. We expect treachery from Marxist Labour. We expect loyalty from the Tories and we’re NOT GETTING IT

    • Andy
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      “Our children and grandchildren will be conscripted to serve this foreign power.”

      No they won’t. Stop being hysterical. Calm down. Have a cup of tea. Watch Pointless.

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:00 am | Permalink

        Andy, Your children will not thank you for your blind adherence to your EU ideology when they are conscripted by the EU military, assuming you get your way and we remain.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink


          there is no EU ideology even if you continue to repeat the nonsense

          • Edward2
            Posted November 9, 2018 at 12:11 am | Permalink

            Read the Five Presidents Report hans.
            It is all laid out.
            An ideology for the future of the EU.
            Surely you know?

  64. ian
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    The only way out is no agreement between the EU and the UK and that means no vote in parliament because there is nothing to vote on and you leave on the 29th of March 2019, but come back with any sort of an agreement for parliament to vote on, then, can’t see how you can win.

  65. Dennis
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    I’ll try again –

    Trump would not get into this position. I wonder when later he will say that the UK ‘negotiation procedure was the worst in world history. And he would be right.

    • rose
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I notice he had the opposite effect to Mrs May campaigning: where he went, the vote went up; where he didn’t go, the vote went down.

  66. Original Richard
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    There simply is no Irish border problem.

    Both the President of the EU Commission and the Irish PM have guaranteed that there will be no hard border with N.I. even if there is no deal between the EU and the UK.

    It’s simply an issue designed by Mrs. May and her other EU collaborators to keep the UK locked into the EU’s institutions and to continue paying money into the EU’s coffers.

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Original Richard.
      I completely agree with you on this point.
      I believe Theresa Villiers, Owen Paterson, David Trimble et al have been broadcasting this for some time. Numerous article in The Daily Telegraph and other papers have covered it.
      But neither Mr Barnier nor Mrs May want to accept it.
      You have to ask yourself why this is. Perhaps is a useful negotiating tool for both sides to use ? … or something else.

  67. Dennis
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Oh! Now it’s been moderated. A glitch no doubt.

  68. Steve P
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    There is no issue with this border that existed long before the EU was even thought of. It is EU legislation created since that demands a hard border – not UK, ROI, or WTO so a simple fix would be for the EU to modify its legislation. Furthermore, the island of Ireland only has 6 ports of entry for international trade so this EU concept of hundreds of miles of criss-crossing country lanes will be a smugglers paradise costing them billions is total fallacy. 6 ports is relatively easy to control. No matter how imaginative I get I can’t see a ship laden with BMW’s or oil avoiding tariffs being smuggled into or out of UK through country lanes unnoticed.

    The border issue is simply a mechanism by which the EU and unfortunately our PM is trying to say it is technically not possible to leave regardless of how we voted – unless we pay them 39 billion and remain. I’m not that stupid but I think some of our treacherous leaders think we are.

    • Andy
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      “There is no issue with this border” says man who completely ignores the fact that people were shot/blown up at it at regular intervals. (By both sides).

      • Chris Maughan
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        I would hope that adding Custom Tariffs to the existing mechanism for VAT, Exchange Rate, etc away from the border should not lead to violence.
        Nobody is proposing armed guards at the physical border which would be irresponsible.

      • Steve P
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

        There is and never was a trade issue on this border. The days of the troubles are long past and have nothing to do with trade – only remainers and the EU draw a relation between the two in a sick effort to stop UK leaving. As somebody who survived two atrocities during the troubles I can assure you I do not take lightly or even ignore what happened but some of us look at facts and do not associate the atrocities from all sides with trade

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:04 am | Permalink

        Andy, Your ignorance is astounding. The PIRA paid no attention to the border which was mostly porous – PIRA blew people up away from the border.

  69. ian
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Reply to reply, they can ask or vote for an extension to Article 50 and make time, I put nothing past remainers in the cabinet, parliament and the lords, even bulldozing through or Henry the v111 by Mrs May for more time or anything else, you can never be sure what is going to happen, one thing for sure, they all hold the people in contempt.

    • Steve
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:39 pm | Permalink


      “I put nothing past remainers in the cabinet”

      Right bunch of stinkers ain’t they just !

      Now I’m going to do tea after a hard day’s British graft. British Stake & Ale Pie, British Chips, British Marrowfat Peas, British Gravy.

      British and proud !

  70. FranzB
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    It comes back to the same thing- what you really want is to have your cake and eat it- to belong to a CU and the SM until you can get things going but only to suit yourselves and then quit anytime you like, well this is called cherry picking by any other name? stupid stupids

    And what UKIP and Tory brexiteers originally really wanted was to have an open equal partnership with them which would include some of the other countries that you thought would also leave the EU. That way UK could be the rule maker, the rule giver, well it hasn’t happened that way, and won’t happen, so suck it up

    Reply No, I just want to leave

    • Andy
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      We know you want to leave Mr Redwood.

      My objection is that it will be people like my children paying your bill.

      I would have no qualms if Brexit only affected Brexiteers.

      But we all have to pay for your folly – and not just economically.

      What you are taking from future generations amounts to theft.

      Stealing their futures, their hopes to satisfy your own petty nationalism.

      • Chris Maughan
        Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        Both my children voted to Leave.

      • NickC
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        Andy, If we really left, at least my children would not be paying the folly of your EU bills. Most nations in the world are independent of the EU. We could be as independent as New Zealand and just as prosperous as we are now. I would have no qualms if Brexit only benefited Brexiteers. What you want to take from future generations amounts to theft. Stealing their futures and their hopes to feed your own petty EU ideology.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink


          Ideology again

        • Chris Maughan
          Posted November 8, 2018 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

          hans christian ives
          My two childeren voted to Leave. Speaking to them and understanding their views on Brexit informed my decision to vote Leave.
          A number of younger people (admittedly not the majority) voted to leave because they could see a better future for themselves in their chosen field.
          Younger people will be more inclinded to vote for the European Project. We must keep in mind the well proven historic trend of youngsters being inclined to liberal thoughts whilst young and then moving away from these ideological views as they mature. The cross over point has been proven to be 34 years old (Source = YouGov).

      • Original Richard
        Posted November 8, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

        Andy, a majority (64/36 of Parliamentary constituencies) voted for freedom – that is the freedom to elect and remove those who set our tax and spending plans, decide the policy on immigration and foreign affairs etc.. Freedom is priceless.

        The economy was clearly not the top concern as we were warned in no uncertain terms by the PM, the Chancellor, the Governor of the BoE, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the CBI, the IMF, the corporates, the POTUS, the EU, the hedge funds etc. that a vote to leave would bring disaster.

        But we were being fleeced by the EU :

        Paying £20bn/year (£15bn loss of control, £10bn net) for the EU membership fee which goes to assist other countries with their industry and infrastructure and goes to subsidise corporates moving their factories out of the UK.

        Belonging in a SM/CU which brought an £80bn/year trading deficit.

        Sharing our fishing waters with an unfair allocation of resources.

        Accepting unlimited immigration when England is the most densely populated major country in Europe and consequently the UK is struggling to build the houses, schools, hospitals, courts, prisons, roads and other infrastructure to accommodate the massive increases in population.

        Allowing the corporates to bring in unskilled, low wage workers from the EU to increase profits and avoiding the need to invest in machinery and technology at the same time reducing the tax base.

        Accepting immigration from the ME and Africa when the EU signs the UN Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and REGULAR migration.

        Giving away control of our military, with the strong possibility that your children, or their children, will be forced into conscription for an EU army.

    • sm
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Franz, just in case you weren’t in the UK in 2016, we were assured by the then Prime Minister in the clearest of terms that Leave meant leaving both the Single Market and the Customs Union, and that is what I voted for.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      It is only Remainers like May who want to belong to the CU and SM. Odd you haven’t spotted that.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink


      You should read some of Mr Redwoods publications. He is consistent and has been so for a very long time. He wants something that many people do not really appreciate: true independence and from a position of independence close ties with friendly countries, especially the US and countries like Canada and Australia. Like Mrs Thatcher, he liked the idea of a European version of NAFTA but not the sort of integration that is on the agenda in Europe. He also does not believe that “independence” would be economically bad, on the contrary better than EU membership in the long term. That view is not always on full display here but it appears to underlay his daily opinion pieces in as far as they relate to trade and foreign policy. Opponents call this “Little England” . This view is also popular among members (not necessarily voters) of the Conservative Party and different from the crude propaganda populism of UKIP. ( in my humble opinion of course). The essence is optimism: the UK does not have to be a “price taker” in international relations. Most EU countries, even Germany (and France possibly but not across the board) are more keenly aware of the limitations facing small (smaller than a large Chinese provice or Indain State) countries. Countries like Italy and Poland are aware of their global insignificance but also of their substantial power to use blackmail within the EU. That approach takes a certain public cynicism that appears to be absent in the Conservative Party and I find that very respectable.

  71. ME
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

    no-one I know, odd though the name rings with most similar beliefs. Do politcs carry on in the most …..extended….. “family”. Eerie if true.

    • ME
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      The same self-righteousness, pomposity !!!!
      But mine is made-up and make-up.
      Is one of your crew taking me off for fun??? A good performance if so.
      The real me, ???? I’m still working on him.
      So odd!!!

  72. nothappy
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Imagine that old Irish Border assuming an importance even greater than 39Bl, and all the more incredulous since it is an invisible border. Get it, an invisible border is holding everything up?

  73. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    Here’s Daniel Hannan still talking about EFTA as a solution for the UK, nearly a year after the Irish government made it very clear that it will not tolerate even the kind of “light touch” customs border that operates between EFTA/EEA Norway and EU/EEA Sweden:

    And only about ten days since I pointed this out to him directly …

  74. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    And now the legal advice is to be kept secret!

    Anyone still think we are leaving?

  75. Bob
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Off topic:
    Italy has offered sanctuary to a Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi and her family following her acquittal on a charge that she blasphemed against Islam.

    This makes Italy the first Western country to publicly lend support to her. They put our Govt to shame.

  76. Turboterrier.
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    John, maybe we leavers should have had a philosophy like this in the fight for our freedom from the EU.

    “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”
    “If your enemy is secure at all points, be prepared for him. If he is in superior strength, evade him. If your opponent is temperamental, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.”

    ― Sun Tzu, The Art of War

    A lesson for the learning?

  77. Freeborn John
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Why have you left May in place when she is so obviously incompetent? History will not judge the passivity of pro-brexit MPs kindly. Doing nothing = surrendering. What will you do next if anything? She is obviously desperate for any deal and you are obviously prepared to let her make one concession after another when you all sit on your hands.

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Freeborn John
      Unfortunately, the Leave MPs do not have the numbers to oust her. The majority of Tory MPs support Remain and are happy that Mrs May is staying as close to the EU as she can get away with. They would out vote the Leave MPs and keep her in place.
      I think we must wait and see what happens when any “deal” is presented to Parliament. That is the best opportunity for Leave MPs to stop Mrs May’s sell-out.

  78. Chewy
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    The words are fine and correct, but the time for mere words is coming to an end. We have a good idea of what will be presented and it won’t be good. The legal advise looks like being kept under wraps as I reckon it will be obvious that it will be hard to break out of the Customs Union once in, especially given a Remain dominated Parliament and with the EU completely disincetivised to offer any realistic trade deal. Now it’s time to see how many of your colleagues will join you come what may and vote this deal down. Despite what nonsense will be propergated backing it will be in neither the party’s or countries interests.
    I’ll be making that point to my local MP who I believe is attending a dinner this Friday and who for himself elected in 2017 on the back of the Brexit vote; don’t bite the hand that feeds and all that!

    Reply Of course I will vote against a bad deal !

    • Chewy
      Posted November 8, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      I’m confident you will. Just are there enough of your colleagues who’ll hold there nerve? Fingers crossed.

  79. Chris Maughan
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    Voting in the referendum to Leave the EU was not conditional on a deal.
    It’s that simple.

  80. Chris
    Posted November 7, 2018 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    If what the Express reports is true, I have a question, Mr Redwood: why does our PM have to keep running to mother Merkel to get Merkel to help push through her (May’s) Brexit betrayal? Partners in crime?
    “BREXIT BOMBSHELL: May calls Merkel to HELP seal Brexit deal by CHRISTMAS

    THERESA May has sought Angela Merkel’s help to seal a Brexit divorce deal as efforts intensify to get it agreed by Christmas, it has emerged…..”

  81. Edwardm
    Posted November 8, 2018 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    The bigger issue is that Mrs May is still PM and that Conservative MPs have not removed her and selected true Brexiteers as replacement candidates.
    In the meantime Mrs May is playing her own game, creating a web to entangle our country as a vassal state, trussed up with the strings in the hands of the EU , and calling it Brexit.
    If the democratic wish of the people is curtailed, then democracy will be seen to have failed by the population at large, and that may be the biggest problem in the end, though I cannot see the future.
    The arrogant stupidity displayed by the majority of MPs in the damage they are inflicting on the system of democracy (either by keeping Mrs May or wanting to overturn Brexit) is astounding. The people simply want to be led and governed by their own representatives, not outsourced to the EU.

  82. mancunius
    Posted November 8, 2018 at 3:08 am | Permalink

    MPs need to bear in mind that when we leave in March 2019 with May’s ‘agreement’, we have guaranteed a vast sum of money and an extremely restrictive regime in return for no promise whatsoever of a future trading agreement.
    All the EU would have agreed would be a vague and unspecified ‘hope’ to negotiate at an unspecified speed, and unspecified end-date, some unspecified trading terms.
    As ‘nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the EU could lead UK negotiators up the garden path for several years, until on the final day they add completely new demands, and the whole process shows itself to have been a complete waste of time.
    That is the EU. That is what they do, and how they behave. May and Robbins have only encouraged them in such behaviour by not being clear, robust, and principled on behalf of the UK. They have given Brussels the idea they are obsequious, unprincipled, weasel-worded weaklings, ready to deceive and sell the parliament and people of Britain down the river.
    We now have no choice but to break off negotiations, and prepare everything and everybody – and above all our smug and incompetent administration – for WTO terms.

  • 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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