The detail is worse in the Agreement

So as we feared the ECJ has a big role, we cannot unilaterally leave the customs union and may have to stay in for a long time if there is no mutually agreed exit deal. All the government has achieved is the elimination of the Article 50 right to leave we currently enjoy.

Our negotiating power would be dramatically reduced by giving away the money in advance of a deal, and binding ourselves into the customs partnership and law codes of the EU. Remain voters will say being in the EU is better than this, and Leave voters say this is not Brexit. As yesterday in the Commons made clear there is nowhere near a majority for this one sided and damaging Withdrawal Agreement

The Irish backstop treats one part of the UK differently from the rest and is already being used by the SNP against the Union. The huge payments buy us nothing we want and mainly relate to staying in for longer than we wish. Why would the EU bother to agree a good future partnership when they will control us and take our cash without such a deal?

The resignation of 7 more following the 8 who resigned after Chequers must be a record number for a single policy. It makes the defeat of these proposals even more likely as they will all presumably vote against.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    The time is now for the Brexiteers to produce, as a matter of the utmost urgency, a credible alternative to the May proposal. It needs to be clear, straightforward, and easy to explain and support. If you Brexiteers don’t produce it, then May’s duplicitous plan to sell hers as the ‘only alternative’, together with the scaremongers of the remain camp, will keep us in.
    Please don’t let us down, surely you haven’t just been sitting on your hands all this time?

    Reply Yes we just leave and trade under WTO rukes!

    • Newmania
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      That is not a real world alternative , no-one trades under WTO rules alone as it is we have sacrificed services and your answer is to even it up by making sure its just as bad for everyone else
      How can you be so thoughtless of families jobs services and the terrible worry a around the country

      • Edward2
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        That is nonsense NM
        Over 90% of world trade carries on using WTO rules.
        It encourages nations to have free trade agreements and it works to help poorer nations trade into rich powerful nations.
        It has been a success.

      • percy openshaw
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        The usual Remainiac nonsense from friend “mania”. If we trade under WTO rules with the rest of the world; if the rest of the world trades under those same rules with the EU then it follows that we and the EU can trade likewise – unless the EU plans to act with bellicose enmity – in which case we simply resist and strike back – unlike the snotty, craven, spineless policy on offer from “mania”, here.

      • Hope
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        You got poll in Guido shows the public want May and her deal gone. The public, both Tory and Labour shows it does not deliver the referendum. Therefore I conclude her lies and behaviour have acted against her.

        Tory MPs need to wake up. Fox and Gove who?

      • John Hatfield
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Quite right Newmania. But WTO rules would be only the first step. After that, free from the insidious clutches of the EU, the world will be our oyster.

      • mancunius
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        “no-one trades under WTO rules alone ”
        A specious argument – we do large amounts of our trade under WTO rules, so do most other countries of the world, and we shall be pursuing desirable FTAs as soon as we leave the EU’s Imperial K&K Zollverein on 29 March 2019.

        But don’t let us stop you from cowering beneath your bed.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:06 pm | Permalink


        We’ve sacrificed services? What the single market in services that doesn’t exist? That one


        How with a straight face can you come on here day after day making such silly claims . Then have the nerve to tell us you’re an expert Lol

      • JOG
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

        The huge BILL attached to this phenomenally duplicitous “so-called” deal and the E.U.’s love affair with big business is the real threat to the finances of families long term. The EU do not appear to care about families when there is any sort of threat to its gravy train. (Just ask the families forced into penury in Greece.)

        The foul, anti-democratic E.U. has poisoned politics throughout our beloved Europe with its bribes and twisted political manoeuvring. Any so-called relief from a No Deal Brexit that Theresa May’s negotiation has brokered will be an extraordinary high price to pay for the generations of children in the U.K. that could be locked into a deeply flawed E.U. for centuries. The true colours of the E.U. are very likely to be seen by all as they become more confident in their treachery and power base.

    • Hope
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      JR, Hammond let slip last year there would only be modest changes when the UK left. The current withdrawal agreement provides this so the UK can slip back in without much fuss. TheEU announces and repeats today there is more chance of the UK remaining than leaving without agreement.

      JR, you and colleagues were played and strung along by a dishonest liar who intended to remain. All clues were there, May’s agreement last December made that absolute clear.

      Your part keeps fawning praise on this odious underhand liar. You should have acted long ago. Do you think the likes of Ken Clarke and Heseltine had not learnt from the past to help May?

      May sought the support of Corbyn two days ago, putting him above your own MPs! That is disloyal and treachery in the extreme. While still using him as a threat to the timid if they do not go along with her remain plan! Are all Tory MPs that dull and stupid?

      • Hope
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        JR cut to the chase May’s withdrawal agreement is a misnomer it is actually keeping the UK in the EU under worse terms by another treaty. That is what it actually is.

        • ian wragg
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

          and today we various heads of EU governments warning us of plague and famine if we don’t accept Mays surrender document.
          We can see what the trade agreement will look like if they should ever offer us one (why would they when they would have us bound to them in perpetuity.
          Free trade as long as we stay in SM and CU and follow all Acquis Communautaire regulation. Or staying as we ar4e now for a large annual contribution.
          Any MP who signs up for this travesty better have personal protection because there will be an awful lot of very angry people out there.

        • Lorna
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          So true ! It is a disgraceful Agreement.That no self respecting country could ever support
          My particular anger is towards Brexit Ministers ,Gove ,Mordaunt ,Leadsom ,Fox who have continued to prop May up and her anti Brexit stance ! Had they not supported Chequers this Agreement would have been different
          They are dishonest and anti democratic

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        Martin Selmayr, Secretary-General of the European Commission:”The UK must pay a price for Brexit – and that price is Northern Ireland.”

        Yet we have a Conservative Prime Minister and Cabinet willing to go along with this

        • cornishstu
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

          Its not just NI, it looks Like Gibraltar will be sold out too

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Yes. Let’s just leave. That’s what we voted for.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Well, JR, unfortunately the waters have been irreversibly muddied by a chronic failure to distinguish between two scenarios: the first being that we “crash out” of the EU with no agreement at all on anything at all, the second being that we leave with an agreement covering all kinds of matters including the technical and practical details of trading on the terms of the WTO treaties, and correspondingly not including any special or preferential trade deal, which could be a matter for future negotiation over however long it took.

      It is now nearly a year since it became obvious that the Irish government had moved to an absurd extreme and intransigent position over the land border, and that was the point at which the UK government should have responded with a unilateral declaration:

      ending with:

      “4. The UK government to inform the EU that for the time being it intends to default to the terms of the existing WTO trade treaties, including the Trade Facilitation Agreement, to which the UK on the one hand, and the EU and all its other member states on the other hand, are already contracting parties, and it only wishes to discuss technical and practical arrangements for continuing our two way trade with minimum disruption.”

    • Peter Wood
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply,
      Dr. Redwood, if that’s your best plan then we’ve lost; leaving with on WTO terms has been branded as ‘crashing-out’ or ‘over-the-cliff’, nobody accepts it because you’ve not presented it as viable.
      Grove: what a slimeball! He’s playing ‘last man standing’.

    • Chris
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Gove has given that as one of the reasons that he is staying in Cabinet i.e. that there is no alternative plan being offered so he and colleagues are staying to try to improve the current one. Where is the rebuttal? Why are Johnson and Davis lying low just when they should be available to promote the Plan that Davis said he had produced in DExEU? They obviously do not want to be seen as being the villains who deliver the killer blow but being off the radar helps no one and allows the Press and DS to marginalise Rees-Mogg and his “few” followers.

      I hope the Leavers have got things organised but to the outsider it looks rather shambolic at the moment and the momentum is with May and the Remainers (especially as now Gove, Leadsom, Mordaunt and Grayling are still supporting the betrayal of our country). Quite unbelievable, but in some ways not unexpected. Leavers should have acted very much earlier. All they have done is allowed the Remainers (who are backed by the globalists/EU/deep state/NWO and all their money – think EU funding and Soros) to get entrenched, and step by step gaining control of all the levers of power that matter).

      Tory Brexiter MPs completely underestimated the forces that they are up against, and also perhaps underestimated the duplicity of many Tory MPs, including the so called Brexiter colleagues. Voters have seen quite clearly what has gone on and we will be in a position at the election to deliver our killer blow, when I suspect the Cons Party will be forced to retreat to the wilderness.

    • Philip
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Wto rules do nothing for services. Crazy idea

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      After much scaremongering talk of “chaos” if there is no deal, even this absurdity was surpassed on WATO today when one over-excited business lady claimed it would result in “oblivion”. Curiously the BBC host missed the opportunity to explore just what this forecast of “oblivion” actually meant or amounted to. This was a great disappointment to me. After all if we face “oblivion” surely we should be told more!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 5:17 am | Permalink

      Plus cut taxes, have a bonfire of red tape, have sensible employment laws, move to a sensible energy policy and reduce the size of he largely parasitic and damaging government by about 50%. Start perhaps by making Ollie Robbins redundant he and thousands like him are not needed. They do far, far more harm than good. They would surely be far happier doing a real and productive job – rather than burying the country for ever in an anti-democratic federal EU.

  2. GilesB
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    The EU and this Conservative government have failed to achieve Brexit.

    We need to start again:
    – extend art.50 by two years
    – pay nothing now
    – Gerneral Election

    • Jagman84
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      An extension to Article 50 is not required. We are leaving on 29th March 2019 @11pm, UK time. If big business cannot understand what leaving means then no amount of extra time will ever suffice. They are the impetus behind this abortion of an ‘agreement’.

    • Hope
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Carl Baudenacher, former EFTA Court president on the so-called arbitration panel in May’s deal:

      “This is not a real arbitration tribunal — behind it the ECJ decides everything,” said Carl Baudenbacher, the former president of the European Free Trade Association court, which oversees the EEA agreement. “This is taken from the Ukraine agreement. It is absolutely unbelievable that a country like the UK, which was the first country to accept independent courts, would subject itself to this.”

      Cabinet, particularly Fox, Leadsom, Grayling and Maurdant have made sure the UK has deuces it sovereignty by this withdrawal agreement and the arbitration panel is nothing of the sort!

      I still note May talks about certainty for,business. How does the punishment extension being used to discuss trade provide certainty? Quite the opposite is nev ending with the EU to change the environment in which business is conducted without the UK having a voice or veto! Barnier made clear fisheries will be the same as now and the new proposal by Gove mirrors the CFP. Changing labels does not change the substance. Same with the CAP and products.

      Hammond and his dept negotiated the principles for services not Dexu! Wake up JR.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        Indeed an outrage even to contemplate such an arangement.

    • Rod Pudney
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      You are by no means alone in suggesting a general election, but I don’t see how that will help with Brexit for two reasons:
      1. At the last general election, Labour, Conservative and obviously UKIP had manifesto promises that they would leave the EU and between them got the vast majority of the vote. The Lib Dems who campaigned on staying in the EU did not do well.
      Given that both Labour and Conservative have backpedaled on leaving post-election, why should a voter trust what either say about leaving in a future election?
      2. A referendum asks one question so shows the voters’ opinion on that one topic. At a general election people are voting on manifestos so would be voting on more than Brexit. Imagine Labour campaigned on leaving the EU (and you trusted them to actually do it) but you felt their economic policies were disastrous. Suppose the Conservative manifesto said they would remain in the EU but promised sensible handling of the economy. A vote for the Conservatives does not necessarily equate to a desire to remain.
      Also, what if every party’s manifesto committed to remaining in the EU?

    • Please sir
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      GilesB..if you think the 27 countries of the EU have nothing else to do but sit around and wait while the tory party gets it house in order then you are truely delusional

  3. oldtimer
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Thank you for that analysis. It confirms comments attributed to Sabine Weyand, the EU opposite number to Olly Robbins, that the EU would be in control. It is a trap. A trap from which there would be no escape unless the EU decided to release the UK from it. It is difficult to avoid the conclusion either that the PM and Mr Robbins were willing participants in laying this trap or that they unwittingly have fallen into it. Neither conclusion reflects well on either their integrity or their competence. They are unfit for the offices and roles they occupy.

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      It is indeed very difficult to avoid this conclusion they are both being paid by the tax payer to actively act against these tax payer’s interests. They are indeed unfit for the offices and roles they occupy. Particularly May as she is dishonestly pretending otherwise. Robbins is one assume acting under her orders.

    • Hope
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Robbins is doing what May asks of him. The blame squarely rests with her.

      The most poignant question is what was Robbins negotiating when Davis was in place? Was it Zdavis’ plan or an alternative? If it was found he was acting differently for both and pretending to negotiate Davis line then he should be disciplined and or sacked. Why no calls for an investigation for both the dishonest Kitkat policy to hide costs and ties to EU as that civil servant leads on security and defence for Robbins. The obvious question is why Robbins has not taken action against his staff for dishonest behaviour against govt policy?

      Reply I assume Mr Robbins was acting for the PM with her full support

      • Hope
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        If not she should have sacked him. What other explanation are you offering?

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

        But without being fully frank about this to David Davis one assumes?

        How can you reasonably demand a Cabinet Vote on a matter as vital as this, while giving them only a few hours to read the 580+ page document? That alone is surely a total outrage. One clearly designed to side line and rail road parts of the Cabinet. How can this be remotely democratic?

      • Iain Moore
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        Steve Baker was pretty scathing about what the Civil Service was getting upto while he was in DExEU on Politics Live . Unfortunately Jo Coburn rather than trying to find out more, decided to attack him on it. From what I can see we seem to have a serious problem with the Civil Service, especially over the EU. Unfortunately they are able to use their constitutional position to hide from any sort of scrutiny.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        I have been watching this situation unfold with wall-to-wall radio and TV coverage. It was suggested in one interview that Robbins wasn’t so much the UK man in Brussells, more, the Brussels man in the UK. I absolutely concur.

        I can’t see how he could get away with agreeing to the terms of this mess without the authority of his boss. If she did sanction it, then she has tried to con everybody including the DUP who supported her in good faith. In which case she deserves to get kicked out. If she didn’t sanction it, then she is incompetent and again deserves to be kicked out. Either way, May brings the entire political process into disrepute.

        This wasn’t the first time Theresa May has given us all a lesson in duplicity. What she said in her Lancaster House speech sits ill with what she agreed to when bending over backwards for the EU. Just imagine if she had got a big majority at the last election, we would never have a chance in hell of ever getting out of the EU at all!!!

        We want no more of her kind, yet we now see that arch remainer-in-chief, Amber Rudd is making a comeback as Work and Pensions Secretary. When May goes, we sure as hell don’t want Rudd as her replacement. The new broom needs to sweep away rubbish as a prerequisite.

        Tad Davison


        Reply Mrs May made Mr Robbins the main negotiator and backs him

      • Timaction
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        So do we Mr Redwood which means she is a lying, duplicitous person not fit to hold her office and must go!
        Going behind her other Ministers back in secret to come up with the rotten deal.

  4. Newmania
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    It is just staggering, even to me , how large the majority now is for staying in the EU when set against the real world alternatives
    Stay in

    Let the people choose , the people , as we know are pretty ill informed but now it is real they can hardly miss it ..oh and if they wish to vote for “imaginary thing in John Redwood`s head” out that on the list as well, see how it does…….

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      We should have jumped off the cliff when we were too big to fail.

      We can’t do that now. It is clear that Parliament will not do that now. It is clear that there is no leaders on the Leave side BIG enough to do this thing. Theresa May is still in place. There’s your answer.

      A second referendum please, with Remain on it. With Remain *as we were* on it. Put that to the EU and we’d probably all vote to stay.

      I really wish this had never happened.

      I had not accounted for the fact that we did not have the leadership. I agree with the arguments for leaving but we do not have the leadership to do it.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink


      • percy openshaw
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        This is openly defeatist nonsense. Instead of capitulating to our appalling masters we should throw them over – by voting consistently for what we want and never giving in. Clearly, a good many Tory MPs have sacrificed all further right to our support. If a good party of Brexit – credible, well funded and moderate – should stand against the careerists and the stuffed shirts it would have my vote.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Voting to remain (after the appalling way they have treated the UK in this negotiation) would be very odd indeed. I would expect the leave vote to be even higher. Plus the EU would not take the UK back on the same terms even if we were foolish enough to try. They would want us to sign up to an EU army, perhaps with us joining the EURO, with no rebate and the likes …… no… no…. no….. as Lady Thatcher might have put it.

        Just go Theresa May and get a job as a primary school teacher perhaps. It would suit you much better.

        • rose
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Would you want this person teaching your children in their most impressionable years?

      • dennisambler
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        What a wimpy cop out. Let them win as they have on all the other issues, like Maastrich, Lisbon et al?

        We would go back like whipped puppies, no thanks.

      • mancunius
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Your comment does not have the ring of truth.

        What you are saying is that the EU is such a malevolent and malign organisation that it has made leaving impossible, and you have decided to be a slave instead and kowtow to their will.

        If so, you need therapy, not a political discussion forum.

        I don’t know anyone who voted to Leave and now wants to stay in the EU simply because ‘it’s too difficult’. No deal is a perfectly viable and respectable option.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      No need for what Ken Clarke would call another glorified opinion poll. By triggering A50 with a massive Commons majority parliament has already decided for WTO as the default option.

    • Jagman84
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      More lies and insults…. should we ever expect anything else from you?

    • Hoof Hearted
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      You are being dishonest if you encourage people to think that we can return to the status quo of an EU prior to June 2016. Things have moved on, the dangerous fantasy of a EU army is now a reality. We will soon lose what is left of our rebate and the EU budget is predicted to increase rapidly so the UK will be contributing much more. Furthermore, after revealing that we are lukewarm supporters of the Projekt they will continue to use EU funds to relocate UK industries to other parts of the EU and no doubt find other novel ways to punish us. The jinni is out of the bottle, we must leave.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink


      It MUST be staggering. As todays polls show that just 36% wish to stay in and 9% are for a third referendum

  5. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    The UK has negotiated a withdrawal agreement with the EU27.
    Hopefully the 27 countries will all agree, as they have been informed throughout the process.Internal division in the UK first has to be tested, in your H.o.C. Will the Tories still be divided? Was the whole referendum originally called to heal Tory divisions?

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      What has been negotiated is a “draft agreement” at the “technical level”, that is between officials. May has attempted, both at Chequers and in cabinet this week, to bounce its members into accepting it before they have had the opportunity to study its contents at length. It appears at variance, in significant and fundamental respects, to her previously made public comments. That is why it was widely opposed in the House of Commons yesterday and is judged unlikely to be agreed by the HoC. Indeed it was remarked that not one MP actually stood up and supported the draft agreement, and certainly not in the two hours plus that I watched live from the start of her statement to the House. That is why several ministers have resigned from her government. That is why some Conservative MPs have now openly stated they no longer have confidence in her leadership. May will continue to spin her line that it delivers Brexit. As the days pass we will, no doubt get more informed, legal opinions on this very long document and more commentary on the accuracy, or otherwise, of May`s portrayal of its meaning and implications. I doubt these will be helpful to her cause.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        @oldtimer: You are correct, with the addition that HM government has accepted this agreement (in spite of later resignations) and that would be the official UK position the EU27 are faced with on 25 November, when, most likely the 27 national governments have declared themselves in agreement as well. I don’t see the Tories unifying before, or even after this document gets its “meaningful vote”. How could you go on as one party after that, whatever happens on 29-3 2019 in terms of hard, soft, no-deal, etc.

        • oldtimer
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          May has no chance of getting this draft agreement through the HoC. The votes are not there. Some (who have not yet resigned from her cabinet) are trying to get her to change her mind and seek renegotiation of the agreement. Others outside it are seeking to challenge her position with a no confidence vote. It is unknown if they will get enough letters of support (48) to mount the challenge and if so whether they can defeat her in that vote. Time will tell. If they are successful the Conservative party will have to choose a new leader; if not they will mount a sustained parliamentary campaign to frustrate those aspects of the draft agreement they find unacceptable. FWIW YouGov polls reveal disapproval of the draft agreement.

    • rose
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter

      Whatever reason Mr Cameron had for granting us the Referendum, it was the very best thing he ever did. The result shows how badly it was needed.

      It was a David and Goliath contest, with massive and powerful propaganda in favour of the EU, so it was almost certainly the case that if it had been a fair contest, many more people would have voted to leave.

      We are once again being subjected to overwhelming anti Brexit propaganda, mainly through the use of fear, particularly threatening old people with not getting their pills.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        @rose: I could wish for a different Britain but that would be fantasy. I still hold hope for a different Britain in 10 or 20 years. I’ve seen enough graveyards not to subscribe to the nineteen century idea of national identity with its huge danger for nationalism. Neither am I an European nationalist and I hope that with future, young UK generations we’ll work out a solution as Europe.

        • rose
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          As we humble nationalists see it, it is the big bloc idea which is dangerous: building a huge pan European Empire, possibly sprawling into the Near East and North Africa as well, bumping up against Russia, antagonising China and America, breaking up NATO and the nations of Europe. One bureaucracy, one finance minister, one foreign policy, one army – can’t you see how terrifying this is? Have the continentals learned nothing from our shared history?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted November 17, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            You humble nationalists didn’t have to up weapons and fight a Mau-Mau independence war. The term “empire” is mistaken. The EU is a 100% voluntary club as you know well. A Nobel peace prize winning club actually, something not yet bestowed on Britain.
            As this website has mistakenly holds the view that it was Nato keeping the peace within the EU (i.e. between Spain and France, Italy and Austria???), will it also expect Nato to keep the peace between the two Irelands? One thing I have learned from our shared history is that indeed referendums are tools of demagogues and dictators.

            I wish you well as a non-EU country, but beware of demagogues rose! This shared history has already shown how demagogues can turn into dictators!

        • Stred
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          You are deluded Peter. However, congratulations to your Dutchman who applied to change his age, following the new law to change sex. I am going to knock 20 years off mine for a start.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      In answer to your last question, yes, or at least to end the internal argunents for a while.

      As a slightly longer answer, I’ve seen it suggested that Cameron didn’t expect to win the GE in 2015, so put certain things in the Conservative manifesto which he knew would help him keep his party together, but which he didn’t really believe in and expected to be able to give away in a coalition negotiation. The referendum was one such policu, the level of welfare cuts was another.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        @Peter Parsons: Thank you, I didn’t know about such internal party considerations.

    • outsider
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Dear PvL , It would be difficult to hold a second UK referendum before April 2019, although anything is possible for the desperate. So do you think that UK remaining in the EU is a realistic option, as Mrs May suggested ? My own feeling is that this would only be permitted at a price, namely joining the single currency, losing the UK’s remaining CAP rebate and abandoning any other UK exceptions. Does not the Draft Agreement actually suit the EU hierarchy much better than continued UK membership on current terms ?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        @outsider: I imagine that the UK will indeed leave the EU, probably just on 29-3-2019 (also the EU27 “want to get on with it” ).
        I hold some hope the UK may rejoin (as a normal country) in 10 or 20 years from now.

    • Adam
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      Peter VAN LEEUWEN:

      If someone attempts to sell you a 585-page instruction manual @ £39 billion as the only way to get rid of their dogmatic nuisance, would you buy it?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        @Adam: It is only what your UK government and the EU27 will likely agree upon on 25-11-2018. 🙂
        If and when the H.o.C. votes down this agreement, there will be a new situation.

  6. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    For the outside world, the UK democratic process looks like series of debates among deaf people. When will consensus be sought?

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      The problem all along has been two parties rolled into one in the Tory party. It has been the bane of British politics for 30 years.

      No alternative to the Blairist middle.

      Any deviation from that is called a failure of consensus.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        We have had decades of lies in Britain. The first to get us into the EU (just a common market) and then treaty after treaty tying us further in.

        “No EU army” Well. We all know that to be false too, now.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

          @Anonymous: Don’t march too much ahead of the music please. Enhanced military purchases, cooperation and some integration, some now that Trump makes it necessary, is all that will happen in the coming years. This will be a slow, longterm process.
          And all within Nato.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          we work within NATO with a European army as well so hold your horses

        • Tabulazero
          Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          Unhappy to be in an EU army but happy to be in NATO , why ?

          Don’t you see that a so-called EU army had all the chances to be led by a British general ?

          Who else had the competence ?

          • Edward2
            Posted November 17, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

            Because NATO doesn’t make laws and hasn’t got supranational and expansionist ambitions.

    • Newmania
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      There is no possible consensus when most of the country are now spectators watching while their children are given a mess they will spend their lives clearing up .
      Brexit voters are finally frankly admitting the had no idea what they were voting for but no Party is offering the majority what they want because both are lead by bizarre extremists either form the front or the back .

      • Edward2
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Yet another extremist remainer myth….” they (leave voters) had no idea what they were voting for”
        Leaving the EU is easy.
        The process has been hijacked by remain supporters.

      • dennisambler
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        British voters voted to Leave the EU. David Cameron’s advice to householders told them they would leave the customs union and the single market. Remain spent more than Leave, add in the £8 million for the doorstep drop.

        How can people now say they didn’t know what they were voting for. This has become the new mantra of those wishing to tie us into the EU for ever.

        Why are Remainers attacking this “deal”? It gives them what they want, not leaving the EU.

      • John C.
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        I must admit that, as a Leaver, I had no idea that we would be saddled with a “negotiator” who was one of the chief Remainers, and who would negotiate so badly that there is a general suspicion that she has manipulated a sort of Remain masquerading as Leave.
        Who’d a thunk it?

      • The future politic
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:58 am | Permalink

        Brexit voters are finally frankly admitting the had no idea what they were voting for

        total rubbish

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Agreed PVL but I suppose at least you can say we are having a debate.

      The problem is this.

      The majority of the people want to leave the EU.

      The majority of the Politicians want to stay in the EU.

      The Politician asked to oversee us leave really wants to remain, and got the job by default.

      The EU refuse to compromise on anything, and indeed actually want more control/integration over all Countries who are members, and still want control over the UK.

      Thus we are where we are.

      The only real solution is for us to take control of our own destiny, walk away on 29th March 2019 having set all of the WTO tariffs in advance, and start trading on on those terms.

      The only real decision to be made by us is to fix the tariff rates to suit us best, that may be similar rates which are currently being used by the EU or they may be more or less.

      Any pan EU projects can be decided or not on a co-operation basis, project by project.

      If the EU want to talk about something else, then they can approach us for talks after 29th March 2019.

      Ps good luck with the EU armed forces project, most of us I am sure would prefer to stay with NATO.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        @Alan Jutson: These debates among deaf people have only driven people further apart. Good luck with that.

        I make no apologies for the EU, it only protects the interest of the EU27 and the integrity of it systems and values. The EU had offered a Canada-style FTA way back in March but the UK still fantasized about cherry-picking.

        Who is leaving NATO? The UK???? Germany, France, The Netherlands and all other EU27 nations currently in NATO are not! Why do you suggest leaving NATO????

        • Stred
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          Napoleon’s cock up looks like it’s going to cost you a fortune.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      It is a binary choice, Leave or Remain, any “consensus” is a version of Remain. If Corbyn wins the next election with a majority will he seek “consensus” with the defeated Conservatives ?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger: That is why I think that the root of the problem may be the overly adversarial “winner takes all” political culture and system in the UK.
        Could you imagine a “grand coalition” between Conservatives and Labour, in the national interest? I can’t.
        But in Germany and in the Netherlands such coalitions have proved effective more than once.

      • Andy
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        It was a binary choice on an issue which does not have a binary answer! That is why you Brexiteers are in such a pickle.

        We have to have a relationship with the EU – they live next door. Our countries are intertwined in so many ways – not just economically but legally, socially, historically, geographically. We can not not have a relationship with them – and those of you who think otherwise are either obtuse or stupid or both.

        So the question then becomes what sort of relationship do we want with the EU? And – again – the answer is not black or white. We do not have the same relationship with Canada as we do with North Korea. Our relations with India are different from our relations with Peru.

        All of these relationships require negotiation, compromise and – yes – some pooling of sovereignty.

        I’m afraid the splendid and isolated little England you all dream of is nothing but an illusion. Reality is a bit grim for you all.

      • Sam Duncan
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        Precisely. This is the problem that advocates of “consensus politics” always run up against: you can’t find a consensus between two mutually-exclusive positions. It’s one or the other: in or out, war or peace, yes or no. In this case, if we remain partially “in”, we’re still “in”; we haven’t left.

        I would suggest that this is why May has been such a failure. She is a consensus-seeker. Which, in other circumstances, could be an admirable trait. But she has sought to find consensus between two positions which cannot ever agree, and the result is what we see now: a proposal that neither side can accept.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          Sam, you have analysed it perfectly.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          @Sam Duncan: It is very well possible to reach consensus and decide between mutually exclusive positions. It happens all the time in my country, when positions appear as of such a in/out nature.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 17, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

            So what is the consensus position between a binary choice?
            Taking the middle point all the time just results in neiher side being satisfied.
            Sometimes a choice has to be made.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted November 17, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: It is not THAT difficult: First you reach consensus on the pro’s and con’s of this binary choice. Then, TOGETHER you make this choice.

            It is extremely telling to me that you hadn’t come up with this yourself.

          • Stred
            Posted November 17, 2018 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

            No it isn’t.

          • Sam Duncan
            Posted November 18, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

            No, you think it does. I chose my words carefully: “mutually exclusive”. Consider what that means.

          • Edward2
            Posted November 18, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            It might be telling to you Peter but as I said, sometimes where there is a binary choice a decision has to be made between one option or the other.
            I am all for consensus, every non unanimous vote is an example of that.

    • DaveM
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Not just the outside world, PvL.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      deaf people can debate Peter, many deaf people learn to lip read or have advanced hearing aids (often provided by our National Health Service). I’m a bit insulted that you would consider deaf people being unable to comprehend and work to reach a consensus. In fact, I’d hazard to say they would probably be a damn site better than Theresa May who has lied all along and is now changing her story.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        @a-tracy: no insult meant whatsoever, I only used the “deaf” metaphore as shorthand for “not listening to one another”.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Deaf people do comprehend by listening in every way possible available to them, it is a poor metaphor and one that in this day and age I’m surprised you’re still using.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

            @a-tracy: Do you nevertheless see my point that people in these Brexit debates (politicians, or audiences in political meda broadcasts) aren’t listening to one another, and not trying to understand what the other means.
            Let alone trying to explore some potential for common ground.

          • a-tracy
            Posted November 17, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            As a member of the ‘audience’ class I listened very careful, debated with my children, family, friends, colleagues, I always make an effort to understand everyone’s self-interest in a choice especially a big choice such as the referendum, I have a lot of family with hearing problems and I find they watch the news with subtitles, take more care to make sure they’ve understood things correctly, read more than full hearing folks I know.

            There is much common ground, my husband calls me a fence sitter because I’m never as sure in my decisions as he is – so no I don’t see your point sorry.

            Europe wants to control the UKs competitiveness, our markets, our taxes, our imports, they have openly revealed they fear Brexit would make us more competitive well why would that be? We have enough problems paying our own social welfare bills without taking on Eastern Europes welfare costs to enable them to build up as a big competitor to us. I don’t mind immigration at all in fact I welcome full time contributing working migrants what I don’t accept is giving them priorities over social housing, paying their housing top up benefits shortly after they arrive, welfare, child benefits going out of the U.K. C4 complain about Farage when it was C4 that told us the most about these problems for the UK.
            Ps it’s The EU that wasn’t listening when they were told the public were having problems with this by Cameron. They don’t care and should have been paying more attention because this is going to go rumbling on and your dream of a 10-20 year reintegration with the U.K. on its knees is a pipe dream because things are going to get worse with this stupid agreement.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted November 18, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

            @a-tracy: I have read your long post and can agree/ sympathise with most of it. But not that the EU wanted to control Britains competitiveness. If Britain had been more competitive, it would have become richer and as such a better trading partner.
            The rules that Cameron faced (4 freedoms) are part of the single market that was co-designed by the UK, starting under Margaret Thatcher. It actually was very much British driven.

          • a-tracy
            Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

            I’ll try to be more succinct: It is possible to restrict competitiveness, you can create legislation that favours one nation over another. You can influence the redistribution of corporate assets as happened with the movement of manufacturing facilities from the UK to EU countries fuelled by the huge disparity in wages, taxation, and welfare commitments.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Plus PVL consensus was asked for in June 2016, the decision was debated at length we all got a leaflet that cost £9m explaining, we were bombarded with one sided preference new reports and still the UK people chose to leave, the UK doesn’t want a hard border in Ireland so if the EU do you put one in and the UK will deal with that.

        This deal is a sell out, you know it, we know it, we’re Europe’s puppy on a leash with no veto to Europe’s (mainly German and Frances) crazy desires as we can see from their politicians gloating and threats and if May and the EU think that is going to go down smoothly in the UK whatever the duplicitous politicians say and think you’re going to see years of troubles and if I hear and can see that then you should too. You can ignore a volcano for years as it rumbles along but I don’t want to live at the base of one!

        • Edward2
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          a-tracey, two excellent posts.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Peter, UK politics doesn’t do consensus, it’s set up to be adversarial. That’s, IMO, one of the contributing factors to why the UK is where it is at the monent.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        @Peter Parsons:
        So do I, see my reaction to Roy Grainger above

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Peter, they asked for consensus, we had a referendum, the biggest numbers ever voted but unfortunately for us the politicians won’t apply the result.

        We want a change in the system, we would like primaries where we choose who represents us and not just take what we’re given. That was the biggest problem with the MEP elections.

        This waiting game they’re playing is harming in UK residents health and mental states, this by people who aren’t doing what they were elected to do and we have no mechanism to remove them. Our MP lied to us to get elected but we had no choice in her, she won’t get elected here next time.

    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    There’s only question to answer. How do we depose this EU autocrat that’s infected our political system, damaged our democracy, undermined our country and compromised that most sacred trust between those who govern and those who are governed

    You cannot fail us John, not now

    • Hope
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Has JR sent in his letter? Why has it taken so long?

      • outsider
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Mr Redwood was rather braver than sending a letter in 1995. As a result he was demonized by the hierarchy of the nasty party; so one of the Conservatives’ most competent ministers has been excluded from office for 23 years. Note the more recent character assassination of Boris Johnson, Andrea Leadsom and, incipiently this week, the “hysterical” Esther McVey. Timing is all and I cannot see a challenge to Mrs May succeeding unless and until the surrender terms are defeated in the House of Commons.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

          I agree with outsider.
          If I were John I would only put in a letter when I knew what the alternative is.
          Those names you mention, previously highly respected Ministers, one the Tories were happy to have represent them to run London, completely set upon by the Higher Ups, their lives, career options stalled unless they stopped bucking against the system like Leadsom and Gove falling back into line just like Owen Jones had to do with Corbyn (the sucking up and resulting fawning is nauseating). These people represent their own good not the good of the public. We are just the means to an end every five years.

          The people weren’t asked how deep into the Europe superstate (United States of Europe) we wanted to go, in fact we were lied to and told it didn’t exist! Brits were taken along in secret backroom treaty signings and sold out and that was one of the big problems.

          We were made uncompetitive as an exporter and self-producer you only have to read now how people are saying we can’t be allowed to be competitive to the EU to see that clearly.

      • acorn
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        You should ask his Conservative Party Constituency Chairman.

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          Good idea, I must ask our local conservative chairperson if they support fully our duplicitous MP.

  8. margaret
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Some people simply do not believe that their self worth is just as important as the EU’s. Look at our hospitals , look at our general practices all run by those who have come to our Country. The lies put around is that we needed these others: the reality is that some people somewhere would not let the British get jobs. Everywhere we all tried to get jobs, at any level and were stopped as non nationals stepped in , some hardly being able to speak the language. This continues.The mindless pratts out there are bent on ruining anything we have ever achieved. After all this they then claim that we are totally dependent on them. Do you know I am sick of this war against our own and the stupid vacuous perspective that all can do better than us.On the news I heard a young women state that there is a lot of work ahead for some ” There are 60,000 words!” OMG where do they get these people from? Universities?

  9. Peter
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    A clown on radio 4 is currently telling us ‘any deal is better than no deal’. Chief executive of Rolls Royce.

    Mainstream media desperately trying to prop up May.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Daily Mail (under new ownership) against us too now.

      It’s over.

      • percy openshaw
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        No, no, NO! Don’t give in. And even if you do, don’t spread your defeatism.

      • John C.
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Bought out a month or two ago. The media is even more overwhelmingly part of the swampish Establishment. And yet polls still affirm that people want out and that they think May’s plan is a sell-out, so who cares what the media think?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink


      Perhaps someone should ask him what he thinks no deal means !

      Just to clarify.

      Them perhaps someone should remind him that WTO terms exist, and are used by 164 Countries for 94% of the Worlds trade.

  10. Nig l
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Why and who advised her to give away £39 billion up front fuelling people’s perceptions that she was pro E.U. and our negotiating team were out of their depth, that have dogged her campaign ever since and now proved to be true.

    I am sure that historians will look back on it as a classic strategic mistake.

  11. Bryan Harris
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Nobody in their right mind would consider this deal a deal – not even remoaners ………..


    • Anonymous
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink


      They’re gearing us up for that second referendum.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        anon Yes, and then watch the scaremongering escalate. We haven’t seen anything yet. It will even come from within the EU big time. They will threaten our very way of life and make everything so hard for us we will have no choice. How the hell did we ever get into this mess? I hope with all my heart that the EU collapses very soon and Germany get their just deserts.

      • John C.
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        I really don’t mind a second referendum, so long as it is fairly framed (and counted).
        If people decide they would prefer to be under the thumb of an unelected bureaucracy, most of whom are foreigners, and not awfully friendly ones, well then they deserve it.
        A spirited people would not even contemplate it for a moment. We would deserve to be vassals.

  12. Adam
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Seizing back control is essential. Our value to the EU is equivalent to 19 other of their members combined. Our £39bn is a valuable lever we must use to our advantage, not give to those who wish to exert power to stifle our freedom.

    The sensible group of Conservative MPs should use their intelligence, creativity & planning skills to do whatever is effective to secure our countries’ best interests.

  13. hans christian ivers
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink


    We can all have our views about this potential deal and our disagreements as well.

    But leaving without a deal, along your proposed WTO lines, is not really and option either as we are not prepared for any of that sort of change as a country and neither are the businesses in the UK.

    We have had a lot of debate on the economic consequences of no del and the majority of the forecasters are pretty clear on the negative consequences of no deal.

    So, what are you proposing we do ?

    • eeyore
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Anyone who has bought a used car knows you never get a better deal than when the garage believes you will walk away. Not one MP yesterday asked about the state of our preparations for No Deal, though several asserted (without offering any evidence) it would be a disaster.

      This morning one claimed 500-plus would vote against No Deal. He admitted he did not know how this could happen or what it would mean. Will JR confirm that in the absence of an accepted deal, or an Act of Parliament postponing or cancelling Brexit, No Deal is the inevitable and inexorable default?

    • Al
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      **But leaving without a deal, along your proposed WTO lines, is not really and option either as we are not prepared for any of that sort of change as a country and neither are the businesses in the UK.**

      Business already trade under WTO terms with countries outside the EU, and those with no EU deal, for example, until very recently, Canada.

      Smaller firms had no choice but to make this change in 2016 after the creation of EU VAT, and Junkers’ statement that firms which could not handle 81 different VAT rates and be able to geolocate all customers should not trade with the EU. (Instead he advised the use of third party platforms, e.g. (one ed)with a 69% fee for trading digital goods, which devastated many). If small companies with no resources can handle WTO terms, so can truly global businesses.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Leaving the EU and reverting to third country status most certainly is an option and will not be a problem for many companies. I happen to be an investor in several smaller companies quoted on AIM (the Alternative Investment Market) and make a point of looking closely at their annual accounts and other published statements. Events in the wider world, like Brexit, can have profound consequences for such businesses. Of all of those I have studied, only one has decided to take the precautionary measure of taking on additional stocks against the potential risk of supply interruptions. Most say that, after review, Brexit is unlikely to be a material issue.

      Indeed the most common complaint I read is by big businesses of the risk of adding “friction” to the current “frictionless trade” – itself a misnomer because no trade is “frictionless”, it merely means that systems have been adapted to the prevailing operational requirements.

      Reversion to third country status will require adaptation to the new reality by businesses trading with the EU. There will be a cost to that. But it is something that any business that trades internationally has to do all the time. The claims of “chaos” by some, including uninformed MPs, is wildly overblown.

      PS I also have had the practical experience of running a group of businesses that traded globally. My opinion is not a theoretical opinion.

    • Dominic Johnson
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      “But leaving without a deal, along your proposed WTO lines, is not really and option either as we are not prepared for any of that sort of change as a country and neither are the businesses in the UK.”

      Convenient that isn’t it, almost like the government planned to offer a bad deal with no option but to capitulate or face a “cliff edge” unprepared

    • libertarian
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:12 pm | Permalink


      Thats odd as I manage to trade under WTO terms pretty well with the USA

  14. Tabulazero
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    And why shouldn’t it ?

    The transition period allows things to stay pretty much as they are while the UK tries to make sense of what it wants. You follows the club rules when your are on the club facilities.

    Why should the UK be entitled to yet again another special treatment as it seek to leave the European Union and establish itself as a competitor ?

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Is the UK not a competitor in trade now Tabulazero? Or is this the truth that we have just given up competition with companies, milk production and quotas on fishing and farming and all else to the EU on everything they have asked for in order to strengthen certain other Countries?

  15. Andy
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    It is a terrible, terrible deal.

    But it is what Brexit was always going to be.

    It is what you voted for in the referendum – even if you have still not figured this out.

    I am sorry all of you continue to believe your purple unicorn fantasies about Brexit.

    None of you has, at any stage, bothered to engage with reality.

    The problem with Brexit is Brexit.

    An incoherent sack of dung. But, crucially, YOUR incoherent sack of dung – for which you Tories will ultimately be blamed.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      May’s deal is almost exactly the same as Corbyn’s Brexit policy, I can’t see a single difference actually – not sure why he’s not supporting it ?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        No, Corbyn says we stay in a CU permanently so that we would never negotiate trade deals alone.

    • acorn
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      The first rule of Party Politics is THE PARTY MUST SURVIVE. Mrs May can take this to the wire. To the point where the ERG / Brexiteers in her party, will run out of toilet rolls and follow a three line whip.

      If Mrs May survives as party leader, she will be forced to purge the ERG from the party and build a new improved Conservative Party. Also, it will be a brave private sector organisation that puts a post-politics ERG member on its Board of Directors.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        You know I’m not sure this time acorn, there are a lot of very principled conservatives, who are of an age that retirement doesn’t seem too bad an option after years spent in public service. Who knows if it all falls there may be positions for senior executives to train new MPs in a new party that we need so much in the UK because too many of our current MPs are just drawing salaries and have no substance.

      • percy openshaw
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Sneers, threats, insults and puerile braggadocio; stock in trade for the remain side of this debate.

      • John C.
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        In a few years’ time, it will be a brave person who dares to speak his own mind without checking that it is official authorised correct policy. We are quite quickly slipping out of the age of enlightenment and democracy.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink



        Why even bother writing such nonsense

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      – You’re only joining a common market

      – Your citizenship won’t be devalued and all comers welcomed, even welfare abusing criminals !

      – There won’t be an EU army

      – There won’t be a central government

      – There won’t be a single currency…

      The problem is the lies that federalists tell us.

      The problem with Europe is the EU. Nor is the threat that a no deal Brexit has on the EU ever been used as leverage to our benefit.

      “From what we know, the Barnier (EU) plan is self-evidently at odds with democratic self-government. No nation would normally accept such terms unless very small, or bankrupt, or first defeated in war…

      The eurozone economy is already close to stall speed as global borrowing costs ratchet higher…

      My view is that the financial shock of a no-deal Brexit would crystallize mounting risks and hurl the eurozone into an existential crisis. Academic trade models do not capture the multiple channels of contagion, obvious to any Mayfair hedge fund dealing with capital flows. Some 80pc of Europe’s capital markets are in London.

      Confidence would be shattered. The derivatives markets would seize up. The wealth effect of a stock market crash would cause eurozone consumption to buckle. Unless the EU backed off very quickly, the cross-Channel supply chains of European multinationals would break down. Airbus would have to suspend its European operations. Germany’s 750,000 annual car sales in the UK would collapse.

      Britons have been told for two years that a no-deal Brexit would bring the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse – as well it might – but the European public has not been alerted to the big risks they face in any comparable way. The insouciance has been astonishing. This asymmetry has psychological implications.

      It is a fair bet that stunned electorates would turn on their elites with condign fury, ushering in a ‘Salvini Europe’ and the ascendancy of AfD in Germany. How this would play out within the UK’s internal union is anybody’s guess.

      This ‘euro-dämmerung’ is what the EU unwittingly risks by presenting Britain with what looks like the peacetime equivalent of Austria’s ultimatum to Serbia in July 1914.”

    • Barrybus
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      So when was this vote for ‘a deal’? We voted to LEAVE not for this ‘Brexit Means Whatever Remoan say’s it Means’!

  16. oldwulf
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The intransigence of the EU ended the political career of Mr Cameron. Sadly, Mrs May does not seem to have learned the lessons.

  17. Richard1
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Mrs May has to go now of course. Presumably the govt can’t allow this bill to be taken to the Commons and suffer a heavy defeat or there may have to be an election before we have had the chance to get a new Tory leader in place. The cabinet should be lining up to see Mrs one by one to tell her to go rather than wait for a confidence vote. That means it’s WTO brexit as there’s no time for anything else. Agreements to make it work should focus solely on money in exchange for cooperation – with the money being handed over following the cooperation. There will be some temporary dislocation but a positive for the new PM will be this can rightly be blamed on May and Hammond for making no preparations for WTO.

    The EU has most certainly won this negotiation and humiliated the govt – though not yet the Country as it hasn’t gone through Parliament. My feeling though is the EU has overplayed it’s hand.

    I suggest supporting Michael Gove as the new PM.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      No, he has much responsibility for May. His current prevarication over resigning is revealing.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        Richard1. Gove? You have to be joking. He is the biggest back stabber in the party. He’s supposed to be a staunch Leaver and yet here he is sucking up to the PM. What’s in it for him? Got to be something as he’s the type that would never do anything unless he gained out of it.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Richard1: If the EU prove such better and more experienced negotiators, why not let them negotiate your worldwide FTA’s on your behalf . . . as they have been doing up to today? 🙂

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        If T May was there in perpetuity you would have a good case there.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        I think the EU have negotiated well against the UK govt, but they have been faced with very weak opposition. The sequencing of negotiations and the weaponisation of the Irish border issue have been played skilfully – but we’re widely seen and commentated on. A more competent and robust UK PM wouldn’t have fallen for it.

        You make an argument for EU membership. But we’ve had a vote on that and of course the reason the vote went the way it did was because of all the other political requirements of EU membership which are anathema to many.

      • miami.mode
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        PvL, they are too expensive.

      • formula57
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        @ Peter VAN LEEUWEN – because they also negotiated Greece’s future with the Syriza government (so called) and look to do the same for Italy, despite stiffer local resistance.

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

        Peter vL

        Fair question. The reason is that the EU negotiators would be dealing with people who aren’t in their club, dont want to be in their club and couldn’t care less if the right deal isn’t on the table. Also on average the EU takes between 10-12 years to negotiate a deal , rather than the 14 months of the rest of the world

        When do you think the EU will START negotiations with their biggest single export market?

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian: Also a fair question. For the withdrawal the EU27 was not a body to negotiate with, all it could do is show you the EU legal order (the rule book), and as such proof as flexible as concrete (Dutch media called it “negotiations between a rock(EU) and a sponge(UK).
          For the Canada-style FTA, this will be different. Those WILL be negotiations Let’s start on 30-3-2019!

    • roger
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      No way do we want that self important preposterous posturing perfidious popinjay post May.

    • David Price
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Events have certainly flushed out true intentions and those who care less about the people of the UK than themselves or the EU. It was inevitable that the remainers would start to panic as we got nearer the leaving date.

      I don’t agree about Gove though, he is no leader and I simply do not trust him.

  18. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Verily beyond belief. Dunno whether to laugh or cry with May’s telling us of her judgement of what is in the national inteest. She has been proven to have very bad judgement, not to mention duplicitous, and the bulk of the Tory party (250 I read) must be soft in the head to let her stay. As somebody who used to sign himself Truebluechap I have amazed myself by reaching the stage where Corbin is looking good, even if he were a certainty to get in which I do not believe to be the case. After all, he would only last 5 years whereas what May would get us in to could last forever. Totally unbelievable. I’d man the barricades and go to war rather than accept this.

  19. BCL
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I’d be grateful if the erudite readers of this blog would help me.
    A major stumbling block is the Irish border.
    We’ve said we won’t erect a hard border.
    The EU rules say they have to have a border because NI will be a third country.
    Why is that a UK problem? Isn’t it up to the EU to solve the problem their rules create?
    Can’t they just ignore those rules like the ones that should have prevented Italy joining the euro when it didn’t qualify (per JRM question to Verhofstadt in the select committee)

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      @BCL: ALthough not erudite, here’s my view:
      Thanks to the EU single market the Good Friday Agreement became first possible.
      Remove the single market (a UK brexiteer aspiration) and you have a problem, a hard border nobody wants.
      Clever UK will have known this before the referendum. It’s up to the UK to solve the problem. Apparently it will take time (years) to develop and erect this “invisible” border.

      In the UK’s case I would have bought time by a longer “implementation period” or a “Norway for Now” kind of temporary solution. That is still a possibility if and when the H.o.C. rejects the current agreement.

      The proud argument “we won’t put up a border and challenge the EU to do it won’t fly in the real world”

      • Barrybus
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Not in Remoanerland it won’t!

      • Ken Moore
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

        Some of us have been saying that EEA/EFTA is the best option but Mr Redwood refuses to consider this. We would have a veto and some control over immigration and it would allow us to transition to something better. Maybe now at the 11th hour he will reflect…

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        UK doesn’t have to put up a hard border in NI once it is outside the EU. However the EU DOES because it has to maintain the same customs procedures etc. at ALL it’s external borders according to WTO rules. So it’s the EU’s problem. That’s the real world.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

          @Roy Grainger: All the UK borders with WTO countries are hard borders. Otherwise migrants or entrepeneurial exporters could just take a boat and land it somewhere on your coast and be free to off-load their stuff.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        You omit the simple fact that it is the EU single market causing your problem, not the UK one. It’s also your attitude to a border between two sovereign territories, and not ours. Why not leave those two sovereign territories to sort this out between them instead of interfering?
        That facet of the EU is precisely why we’re leaving. You can push little Ireland around, but don’t try it with us.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

          @Sir Joe Soap: Mistaken. The UK has hard borders with all non-EU countries. Ask any Chinese entrepeneur exporting to the UK.

      • Sam Duncan
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

        Except that there hasn’t been a “hard border” between the UK and Ireland for nearly a century. Almost immediately on Ireland leaving the UK, in 1923, the the Common Travel Area was negotiated, bilaterally, between London and Dublin. I make that almost 70 years before the “single market” came into effect.

        The agreement was last updated in 2011, committing London and Dublin to continue their co-operation through the CTA. Note: through the CTA, not via any EU arrangements. The problem exists only and entirely because the EU wants a “hard” border (presumably pour encourager les autres). Nobody in Dublin does, but they don’t get to decide.

        “The proud argument ‘we won’t put up a border and challenge the EU to do it’ won’t fly in the real world”

        Perhaps you’re right. And perhaps that will wake others up to what the “real world” of the EU actually is. The Irish republic, whose forefathers fought and died for its independence, can no longer negotiate its own border arrangements. Some freedom, that.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

          @Sam Duncan: There was no hard border until 1923, but after that there was, including a customs barrier and custom patrol, custom stations, known was ‘frontier posts’, ‘frontier stations’ or locally as ‘custom huts’. There were ‘Approved Frontier Crossing Points’ and nice penalties if you’d not use them. I believe you can still see the remains of some of that.

      • rose
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:41 pm | Permalink


        “Thanks to the EU single market the Good Friday Agreement became first possible.”

        Have you ever heard of the CTA? Or the British Army? Or the Royal Ulster Constabulary?

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          @rose: I don’t see the relation. Even though Switzerland is in the continental CTA (Schengen) that doesn’t mean that there are no hard borders there.

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

        When and who in the UK did you poll to reach this conclusion ‘a hard border nobody wants.’ I think you’d be surprised if you did actually pose this question to the British public.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted November 18, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          @a-tracy: I mean none of the politicians want. Why poll the people in SouthEast Britian about that, don’t they have a government to represent them internationally?

          • a-tracy
            Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

            Sorry, I didn’t know our MPs had been polled about this, when did that happen, I didn’t read about it, nor were the public consulted about it locally?

    • Andy
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Your problem is twofold. Firstly we could – and would – be taken to the WTO for breaching world trade rules and would lose.

      Secondly you backed the Brexiteers who promised to ‘take back control of our borders.’ None of these bright sparks have yet explained how you take back control of something which does not exist.

      Oh look, a fairy.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        If the Republic of Ireland want a hard border then they should get moving and build a trumpian wall.
        The UK has repeatedly said it does not want a hard border.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Not for the first time, Andy, tell us the chapter and verse of the WTO rules which would compel either the UK or the EU or both to reinstate routine border controls after a quarter of a century without such controls.

      • BCL
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        I’m afraid your assertion regarding the WTO does not accord with my understanding of the matter. I may be wrong but I do not believe so.

        Secondly, wishing to take back control of a border is not synonymous with putting up a hard border.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. You might enjoy reading ‘The One Minute Manager meets the Monkey’ by Ken Blanchard. The NI border issue is the EU’s monkey but May has let it get onto her shoulder.

  20. Philip
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The problem is not the deal, the problem is Brexit. You said we hold all the cards. Utterly false

    • Jagman84
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Remainers are running the show. That’s the problem!

      • Ken Moore
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

        The problem is that the brexiteers don’t understand the common market/customs union and the complexities of unravelling 40 years of integration. They have been pushing a no deal plan without thinking through the consequences. Had they backed the EFTA/EEA option earlier things would have looked much better.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 4:36 am | Permalink

      The problem is the cards are being held by an appalling, dim, EUloving, interventionist, clime alarming pushing, lying socialist. One who has failed to prepare for a Clean WTO Brexit and has given us the highest and most absurdly complex taxes for 40 years. Get rid.

  21. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Not really a surprise given May has bounced both Chequers and this on them, given them no time to read it properly, and demanded support.

    Only someone who has something to hide would behave as she has done.

    Just like any Budget the devil is always in the detail !

  22. AndyC71
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Have you sent your letter in yet?

  23. James Morrison
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    I am still reading through the 585 pages of deliberately obscure, confusing and difficult to follow agreement, but the main thing which stood out during my first skim read was in Article 132:

    “Notwithstanding Article 126, the Joint Committee may, before 1 July 2020, adopt a single decision extending the transition period up to [31 December 20XX].”

    That is truly terrifying, and means they could foresee a situation where we remain “in transition” until 2099! They didn’t even risk putting in “202X”, which could tie us in for just another 11 years, it was a plain “20XX”!

    I have said since I voted to leave, that we would never be allowed to leave, this just sets it down in official documentation.

    • Andy
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      You are allowed to leave. Nobody is stopping you.

      What you can not do is leave on the terms which the Brexiteers promised you.

      And you also can not leave without massively harming our country and our economy.

      But if you’re happy to stuff up your children’s future and to screw over our country you can leave whenever you like.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        So can you Andy if you don’t like democracy.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        This the extreme Remainer “abyss” argument that just “crashing out” is impossible and will cause huge problems.
        It is a myth.
        Trade will continue just as it does in all the nations not in the EU today.
        Trade is now worldwide, done electronically by willing buyers and sellers.

      • James Morrison
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        OK, I think will have to agree to differ on your “And you also can not leave without massively harming our country and our economy.” and “But if you’re happy to stuff up your children’s future and to screw over our country you can leave whenever you like.”

        I would say we both feel pretty strongly on this, you think it is a dead cert, I think the opposite. This is not something either one of us can actually prove, until it happens.

        So rather than being so aggressive about all this, perhaps we could have a more reasonable conversation about this? Can you give me 5 good reasons why we should stay in the EU. I don’t want to hear the fear stuff – the economy will tank, aircraft won’t fly, M20 lorry park etc etc. IF (and I mean IF), any of that stuff happens, and I accept that it might, whilst things get straightened out after leaving, I would also expect things to settle down pretty quickly. There are many countries in the world which are not in the EU, for which these things do not happen.

        I would genuinely be interested to hear 5 specific things we can only DO, or GET, by being in the EU, or 5 things which we will NEVER be able to do or get when we leave – which make remaining in the EU a better option than leaving.

        I work for a top 5 global “Big Pharma” company. In conversations around Brexit with our head of government liason, he ranked Brexit as probably 6th or 7th in global importance in relation to issues in other countries. We would prefer a deal of some sort, as it would be easier, but we are ready either way. There are certainly contingencies in place which ensures all the fantasies about medicine supplies running out are not going to happen. He says the threats of it coming out in the media are “the stuff of true Disney fantasies.”

        I don’t expect to hear back from you. You tend to troll these comments with spite and invective, but without any actual fact-based arguments.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Leaving on WTO terms is what the Brexiters promised us. However, what the Remainers promised us (in addition to 500,000 job losses and a recession in the year immediately following a vote) was that the whole idea of a European army was absurd. So if you now want us to Remain you’d better tell us exactly what Remain means ? You can’t ? Oh …. that’s a problem then … in your second referendum no-one will know what they’re voting for.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink


        You are quite happy to stuff up your staffs future though

        Happy for your kids to be conscripted into the EU army ?

    • Vicky
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Yes and thank goodness for that. Brexit is not deliverable without severe damage to this country for decades to come just so the leavers could have blue bloody passports!

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        Don’t be silly Vicky, I was ok with staying in the EU or leaving the EU, I read and listened carefully to what lay ahead in the EU with more alignment, the EU army, national service for our children, problems with the Euro and the need for the UK to pay EU taxes to prop everyone up, become uncompetitive to give other EU members a chance to become more competitive but in no way did blue passports enter anyone I know’s Decision.

  24. James
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    It is fundamentally simple. We want to take back control of our country. We are British, and we will be damned if we allow a bunch of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels to tell us, and our children and our grandchildren what we can and cannot do. We want our laws to be decided by people that we elect, and people that we are able to get rid of. We are part of and love Europe, but from the beginning the EU was based on the lie that we were only joining a common market. It is unfortunate that it has taken so many of us 40 years to realise it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      A bunch of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels will NOT tell us what to do.

      Our own parliament will vote in this deal.

    • Andy
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      What have the ‘unelected bureaucrats in Brussels’ told you and your children and your grandchildren that you can not do, that actually want to do?

      Which laws have they imposed that you do not like?

      Unfortunately your rant is based on a compete lack of understanding of how the EU actually works. That is your fault, not theirs.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        A few
        European Arrest Warrant
        Internet restrictions

        • David Price
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          Glad you pointed out the EAW, the case of Andrew Symeou has always highlighted the loss our rights and protections under law engineered by the EU and euphilics in the UK establishment.

          To my mind VATMOSS and GDPR are the biggest negatives of the EU corporate steamroller and with EU regaultory standards are solely for the benefit of the big EU corporates.

      • Steve
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink


        “What have the ‘unelected bureaucrats in Brussels’ told you and your children and your grandchildren that you can not do, that actually want to do?”

        Have you –

        Tried to creosote your fence lately?

        Bought any hammer finish paint which is in fact not hammer finish because the xylene is missing ?

        Had to deal with stupid EU wiring colour codes ?

        Spent your money on anything which turned out to be weak substandard crap because of EU regs ?

        Even a bag of chips has been got at by the EU.

        Cant answer for you Andy, but I and millions of Brits like me are sick to the back teeth of Europeans interfering with virtually every aspect of our daily lives not to mention our sovereignty.

        By stealth aided by successive quisling governments it is no longer possible to exit by one’s front door in the morning and expect to go about one’s business in a British way and as an Englishman, in accordance with our enshrined rights to do so in our own country. Retrospective rights also exist for the people of Scotland, Wales and NI. They have their identity and pride in who they are – rightly so.

        Being forced to be European is not acceptable to us and the rest of the UK, as the government is now coming to realise.

        • rose
          Posted November 17, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          I even had a letter from my bank today telling me the EU is making them change their language so that everyone uses the same words. How much is that costing our banks? And what is the point? “Sterling” has got to change to “pounds” for example. How dare they! And why haven’t they got anything better to do?

      • Rod Pudney
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        Why should Brussels be able to dictate to the UK Parliament? One of my reasons for wanting to leave the EU (for many years prior to the referendum) was that I believe the laws we are subject to should be made by UK politicians that we vote for. I’m not suggesting our politicians are in any way superior to those from other countries, but we can vote them in and out.

      • Al
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        **Which laws have they imposed that you do not like?**

        The cookie law, GDPR, CAP, CFP, to name a few.

        And as of yesterday:

        A judgement, contraying to the EU’s initial ruling, that means our older folk will have further problems affording fuel over winter as peak time costs go up. Greg Clark says “power supplies are not at risk”, but then he also says Theresa May’s plan is a good deal.

      • libertarian
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:21 pm | Permalink


        Ive already given you two lists of rules that should be stopped

        You however have still not answered our question

        What does the EU give you that we can’t get as an independent country

  25. Steve
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t think I’ve ever witnessed such a crisis in government of this country.

    In my view what this boils down to is appeasement, arrogance, self interest, ignorance, lack of balls, cowardice, and good old fashioned treason.

    There’s also the fact that seemingly no one in government believes in themselves and in what we are capable of because we are British.

    However this country’s own goal was failing to put a Bulldog in number ten, if it had done the EU’s bluff would have been called two years ago.

    The fact of the matter is that European psyche is to treat Britain with contempt, as historically we’ve always knocked the crap out of them when they’ve tried it on with us, and the British stood against Hitler, then liberated western Europe.

    The ungrateful can’t abide a winner.

  26. Old Albion
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Get your letter in JR.

    • Stred
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      The problem for the paliamentary party at the next election is that two thirds of the Conservative MPs have been shown to be a treacherous lying shower. They will back May and lie all the way unless the minority get a leave PM into power. But the shower will still be there unless the grass root Cons can deselect them. Central Office is packed with pro EU shower supporters and they will block the branches having any say. It will be necessary to split away from the stench of Remain plotters and stand as Conservative Independence candidates. The grass routes would tranfer support.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion,

      your full of nonsense as if the letter will make any difference

      • Edward2
        Posted November 17, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        If more than 48 letters go in it will make a difference.

  27. Lifelogic
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Yet May still claims it delivers:- full control of our borders, our money, ends ECJ control over the UK, gets us out of CAP and CFP and leaves the UK as one United Kingdom.

    Has she read the document, is she too daft to actually understand it perhaps? She even has the temerity to threaten the UK with my deal or no Brexit at all! Just go woman.

    We should leave, cut taxes, cut red tape and be competitive in world markets again. Not remain tied up in a prison of EU red tape and level playing field drivel. How on earth could she and Robbins have she would get away with this mad surender document for a vassal state?

    As usual there was only one sound voice to on Question Time this time from Tim Stanley. So five remainers to one. The Right Honourable Claire Perry, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy talked complete and utter drivel. Another geography graduate who seemed to have no grasp of this appalling Brexit deal, logic, reason, energy, negotiation, game theory or business. Does she know the first thing about the engineering and economics of energy production and its distribution? I rather doubt it.

  28. Bob
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Now that a Pro EU Editor has taken over at the Daily Mail the BBC are no longer dismissing it as populist tabloid trash.

    Who’d a thunk it?

    • DUNCAN
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Yes, very noticeable. It seems May’s drive to impose her liberal left vision on all things is paying dividends

      Her plan (with EU assistance) is to nobble all right wing influences across the media, television and sport.

      She is OBSESSED with race and gender. You can see it all around us today

      And the Mail’s infection by a politically imposed plot is simply another strand of May’s agenda

      This PM is without question the most authoritarian PM the UK’s ever seen

      Her hate-crime agenda is a cancer in civil society and a shameless attack on freedom of expression

      To the shame of all Tory MPs they have conspired and assisted her by their silence

      The Tory party is today a moral offence on so many levels

      The British people are now being subject to a full-on process of liberal left politicisation and propaganda using print, television and radio

      It is my belief that in 20 years time the UK will be bordering on a totalitarian state

      • zorro
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        less than 10 years maybe even less…


      • Bob
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink


        ” in 20 years time the UK will be bordering on a totalitarian state”

        Unless people change their binary voting habit.

      • forthurst
        Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

        Only if you keep voting for this globalist controlled trash.

    • Captain Peacock
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:42 am | Permalink

      Iv noticed it in the last few days the Daily Mail ran an item that they had a poll and the majority now want to remain in the EU. The poll asked just over a thousands and if you send a comment that 17.4 million voted to leave your comment wont be printed. The Daily Express done the same pretended to be for Brexit but gave a platform to the anti Brexit Miller and never allowed any comments.

  29. Lifelogic
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    What had been the cost of preparing this, dead on arrival, 585 page document? Is there not an offence of wasting bureaucrats time and millions of pounds of public money? Is it not gross negligence not to have prepared properly for no deal?

    How could anyone sensible ever have thought this would be remotely acceptable and that it delivered a real Brexit? How could May have though it would do anything but bury the Tories a resurgence of UKIP and to deliver a Corbyn/SNP disaster?

    • Newmania
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      £350 million per week ?

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      T May seems to admire Geoffrey Boycott’s determination. He though, unlike her, is sound on Brexit, honest and calls a spade a spade.

      Theresa, there is no virtue in “determination” if you are following a broken compass over the cliff and taking the UK into a new prison with no escape.

  30. MPC
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood as you know, predictably the media is now interviewing all sorts of people who talk about how ‘catastrophic’ a no deal Brexit would be. I wonder if a draft WTO tariff schedule can be produced – and publicised – by yourself and your colleagues in short order in order to force the government into calm and rational WTO planning even at this late stage.

    • Newmania
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      You cannot make up your own WTO schedule !!!

      Reply Yes you do!

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Indeed the BBC has gone overtime on this 5 to 1 remainers on Question Time and lots of (doubtless carefully selected) interviews with people who have voted leave, but have now changed their minds for remain.

      Given the appalling behavior of the EU negotiators (who are clearly not acting in the interest of even the 27 and just want to show what damage they can inflict should anyone dare to try to leave), it is hard to see why anyone would now want to remain in a club run by such people. Especially as they are now headed, full steam ahead, to a socialist anti-democratic super state with its own army etc.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      If nothing is published tariffs become uncollectible by HMRC on 30 March

  31. Mark B
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    This is pretty bad stuff. It is almost as if the government have deliberately negotiated a bad deal just so it can be rightly rejected. That, or the PM is trying to purge Cabinet of Leavers, no pun intended. Or it could be just like the EU wrote much of the PM’s speeches on this, they were allowed to negotiate with themselves to acheieve the result they wanted ?

    But it is the style of the government and a comment from Her Majesty the Queen that sticks in my mind. The Queen, it is said, did not know what the PM plans were regarding BREXIT. The PM keeping it all to herself. This plus the unnessisary snap election and the manifesto that even our kind host admitted here that he and others did not see. The appointing and stabbing in the back of BREXIT Secretary, David Davis MP, the Chequers debacle, the skulking off in the middle of the night to sell us out to the EU, and now the resignations.

    Unlike others here, I have refrained from calling for the PM to either resign or be removed. I, unlike our kind host, cannot send a letter to the 1922 Committee, but surely now it must be clear that Teresa May MP is not fit for office.

    What a nasty woman she is.

  32. Sakara Gold
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    On the face of it this “Agreement” would appear to be the worst of both worlds. I haven’t had time to read it properly, but for so many cabinet ministers to resign, it must be bad. One only has to look at the smirk on the faces of Barnier and Tusk to see which side won in the negotiations.

    It would appear that to preserve the union this “Agreement” must be rejected and we should just leave in March next year.

  33. formula57
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Yesterday I told my M.P. (a Conservative) the May deal is unacceptable and so is May.

    He is a decent chap and I forbore from telling him I would, absent others, stand as an anti-May Conservative if she or her policies are around for the next general election.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      formula57. Yes, I too wrote to my MP telling him I would not vote for him or the party again. I previously wrote to him asking what his opinion was regarding Brexit and he told me he supported Mrs May so that was the start of the rot for me. He has written back to me today and this is a line from his response.

      ‘It may yet prove to be the case that the PM is ousted.’
      What he doesn’t understand is that I wanted to hear from him that he didn’t support May in the first place. Will a change of leader actually change his mind? I doubt it. He’s another one that doesn’t and will not respect the result of the referendum and this is what the Tory party seem unable to understand.

  34. Chris
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Of course the detail is worse. That is how those who wish to deceive operate.

    For some antidote to the appalling actions and words of Theresa May, the letters in the D Tel online today are splendid. I suggest that any MPs wanting to save the country, and to save and then recreate a true Conservative Party, should read these letters and take action. It is abundantly clear that voters are not fooled one bit by May. I suggest also that the videoclips from yesterday displaying the apparently embedded arrogance and condescension of Alan Duncan and Claire Perry do not help the image of the current Cons Party.

  35. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    May has created the unthinkable – a three way option:

    no deal Leave

    no Brexit (her words) i.e. U turn and Remain

    deal worse than Remain

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink


      No deal Leave is what we voted for. We never asked for a deal. We weren’t promised a deal. We were told we would leave and leave the customs union and single market. Why has there been so much negotiating when we should have just left and negotiated if the EU wanted to? There would not have been this mess if we had just gone and traded as an independent country. The EU would not want to cease trading with us. Most of their businesses would go bankrupt if that was the case.

  36. Student
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    EU has massively overplayed this and I think they’ll suffer the consequences. I think that right now it is important that May goes and is replaced by anyone – preferably a Brexiteer like David Davis, Raab, Gove etc who are not necessarily seen as ‘hardliners’ and can therefore breach the gap between the remain and leave sides in the conservative party. I also have faith that these kind of Brexiteers will properly delegate tasks in the cabinet, as May should have done rather than micro-managing everything.

    I still think that a government with a strategy being led by a Brexiteer who actually believed in the strategy and could properly argue for its benefits would have a higher chance of getting their plan through the commons.

    I am surprised that the 48 letters have not already been reached. Perhaps people are hoping that enough pressure can be put on May to resign so there’s no risk of her being gifted 1 year tenure should MPs allow her to win a vote of new confidence? Risky strategy as she has shown no sign of buckling away from her position or her precious deal.

    • Student
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      I also see strong similarities between this and the Cameron negotiation a few years ago. The EU continuously overplays its hand and the British voters don’t accept it. Overplaying Brexit (assuming the Tory party manage to sort themselves out and discard this ridiculous deal negotiated by May & Hammond) is a severe mistake by the EU. The chances of no deal and no money for the commission have now increased substantially in my view, simply because we now have a deal that simply cannot be accepted and there is now no time to negotiate a new one before 29 March.

      Perhaps the intention of the EU has always been that we will reject the deal and simply cancel Brexit. Tusk seems to mention this in many of his media appearances. Again I believe this to be a miscalculation; there will be uproar if it is called off due to government incompetence to organise a suitable deal or a leave on WTO terms, and I think MPs know this and will not allow it to be cancelled.

  37. Bob Dixon
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Neville Chamberlain,Munich,1939, a piece of white paper.Second World War

    Teresa May,Brussels,2018,draft withdrawl agreement,????

    • michael mcgrath
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      If Mrs May had been there in place of Chamberlain, we would now all be speaking german

  38. Pete Else
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Get the Remainers out of government, they are the problem. They are the ones that have wrecked our extremely strong bargaining position not the EU. If left to continue their sabotage we will have no country left.

  39. formula57
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    I consider Mr. Rees-Mogg was too generous in stating T. May is undoubtedly honourable.

    The Roll Call of honour (lifted from the New Statesman*), lest we forget:-

    Steve Baker
    Guto Bebb
    Ben Bradley
    Suella Braverman
    Conor Burns
    Maria Caulfield
    Rehman Chishti
    Robert Courts
    David Davis
    Chris Green
    Ranil Jayawardena
    Andrea Jenkyns
    Boris Johnson
    Jo Johnson
    Phillip Lee
    Scott Mann
    Esther McVey
    Dominic Raab
    Anne-Marie Trevelyan
    Shailesh Vara

    Why are there names still missing?


    • rose
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Jacob was alluding to Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. It was a dark and threatening allusion, made in a dark and threatening way, but the reptiles missed it.

  40. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    If the EU had offered Cameron a little bit more in his “renegotiation” then we would not be in this position. But they overplayed their hand. It seems they have done the same thing again, just a few changes to May’s deal would have seen it passed by the Commons (Raab has said this). Just as they assumed with Cameron the referendum would return a Remain result despite their intransigence now they assume UK will not leave on WTO terms. They were wrong on the first of these. Let’s see on the second.

  41. nobonus
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    When President Assad of Syria gets the chance to have a good look at his country then I’m sure he can have only one thing to say- president of what”?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Which was Plan B.

  42. Steve
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    Makes you wonder what must be going on in some people’s minds if they really believe this daft agreement was going to be accepted.

    But, maybe by end of today 48 letters will have triggered. Still not enough, though, to return the conservatives to power at the next general election. We need to see the conservatives select a Eurosceptic Rottweiler as PM, and for said Rottweiler to be let loose on Barnier, Tusk, and Juncker. Anything less will ensure the conservatives never see power again.

    Someone should have explained to May, that if you let these ungrateful Europeans take the piss, surely they will.

    Our membership of this highly corrupt Franco-Walloon mafia has shown many times it is something that cannot be dignifiedly negotiated with. They don’t do negotiation, only blackmail, intimidation and daylight robbery. You need to go there and threaten them and not be bluffing about it either. It’s the only language the crooks understand. History has proven as much beyond any doubt.

    Always – ‘negotiate’ from a position of overwhelming strength and without the slightest hint of bluff. Never negotiate from one of subservience and appeasement, which in the end only delivers betrayal.

    Ask yourselves why Ireland is mouthing off; ‘Victory in Dublin chaos in London’ and why officials in Brussels are joyously claiming they have broken the UK. Because to me that doesn’t sound like respect, but more like the result of sending a liberal – minded pacifist sissy into the arena.

    This is what happens !

  43. Stred
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    May was on LBC this morning and produced one of her best lies yet. She said that the EU had given way to our demands for the whole UK to stay under EU customs rules and not just NI. This was a concession!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Here is my letter in the Maidenhead Advertiser from a month ago, including:

      “And strangely we are to take it as a negotiating triumph for the UK government that the EU may reluctantly agree to keep the whole of the UK under its customs thumb, rather than just Northern Ireland as it would prefer.”

      “Dear Sir

      I expect the Duchess of Sussex was pleased to be shown the rare copy of the American Declaration of Independence preserved in the county records office in Chichester.

      For my part, it triggered a train of thought on how Theresa May might have proceeded, if she and not George Washington had been charged with putting the declaration into effect.

      No doubt she would have repeatedly and vacuously told the American troops “Independence means Independence”, while quietly looking for every opportunity to surrender.

      And surreptitiously seeking to replace almost all of the existing “political bands” connecting the thirteen colonies with Great Britain with new bands under a different name – a form of dominion status, maybe, rather than full independence.

      Internet search engines throw up countless instances of Theresa May unequivocally stating:

      “We have been very clear that we will be leaving the customs union and in future outside of that customs union be able to develop our own independent trade policy”,

      but now it seems increasingly likely that will not be the case.

      And strangely we are to take it as a negotiating triumph for the UK government that the EU may reluctantly agree to keep the whole of the UK under its customs thumb, rather than just Northern Ireland as it would prefer.

      Allegedly this would only be a “temporary” measure, until of course it became clear that the Irish government would veto any change in the future.

      If Tory MPs fail to get their leader back under control now this could be the end of their party.

      Yours etc”

    • Know-Dice
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Agreed Stred, somebody probably forgot to mention that as the EU would get 80% of any external tariff this was a Win Win for the EU… how much is that worth £3-4Billion?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes that was great. Barnier is a genius negotiator – forcing your counterpart to present something that was a goal of the EU in the negotiations all along as a concession !

    • Mark B
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      A lesson on how to sell a turd !

    • Lifelogic.
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      May is unbelievable in her duplicity & her stupidity. She really must think the public are even stupider than she is.

      You have lied and cheated quite enough dear, please just go.

    • rose
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      Her worst boast was in the Commons when she said she had won us the right to trade with Northern Ireland!

    • Captain Peacock
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

      Correct the EU have agreed to no demands but she continues to lie this is unconditional surrender . I notice under the new Remainder editor the Daily Mail is running a May publicly campaign they think their readers mostly Brexit are idiots.

  44. Mick
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I thought it was a withdrawal agreement the negotiations for deals come after we leave, and as for a hard border in Ireland well if the Eu wants one put up or shut up we’re not going to put any in, have also caught some interviews with labour mps they haven’t a clue they would just bend over backwards and give whatever the Eu wants, some of the labour mps spouting that the tories lost there majority in last years GE because the people didn’t want a cliff edge Brexit, it’s a fact that the jackanory manifesto of the Labour Party said they would implement the 2016 referendum result to gain votes which would I’m sure had gone to the Tory’s , lies and deceit just to get the keys to number 10 that’s the Labour Party so I sure as hell wouldn’t trust the Labour Party to negotiate my country’s future

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      One interesting thing is that May’s deal is almost exactly the same as Labour’s Brexit policy – permanent membership of the CU, accepting all EU environmental and labour and product rules and regulations, no trade agreements with 3rd-parties and so on. In fact I can’t see any difference between them.

  45. bigneil
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I believe the term is ” Sold down the River”. When will we see the EU reward TM for her treachery?

  46. Ben Ash
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    This is hilarious. You all oppose the deal, yet come up with no credible alternative other than ‘leave’.

    It doesn’t appear to be that easy does it? All MPs and cabinet members in favour of Brexit seem to walk away from the problem. So again, it doesn’t appear that easy?

    Time to abandon Brexit, and focus on more important things like reforming the tax system and fixing the NHS.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Just leave is more credible than this offer Ben.

  47. Turboterrier.
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    So Gove is not resigning. No surprise there then.

    The man is now seen in the eyes of the nation as a back stabber.

    Where have the days gone when politicians were perceived to have integrity and principles?

    The voters to leave the EU have been well and truly been let down.

    The BBC at the moment interviewing two Tory MPs for their thoughts and yes they are staunch May supporters. The underlying theme is a second vote. They are selling it by drip feeding it through every remainer and his dog supported by the industrial leaders. The very people who thought up the cliff edge scenario to just leave and adopt WTO rules

  48. LondonBob
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    A friend of my brother is very high up in the civil service. This has been the plan by Hammond, Robbins bet al. from the get go

  49. Mr Hegel
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    The agreement is a joke, staged managed between Tm and the eu leaders intended to make us believe we may as well just rejoin. TM has been working 100% for them all along.

  50. Mr Hegel
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink


  51. Know-Dice
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Somebody should take all those MPs that say we should stay in The Customs Union & Single Market to one side and whisper in their ears –

    “If you want to do that then you HAVE to honour the EU’s four freedoms, you can’t separate them”. Anybody who thinks that was possible in any way is fooling themselves…

  52. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove might still save Mrs May, in the following scenario:
    1) Mrs May survices a possible no-confidence within the Tories
    2) The agreement is voted down in the H.o.C. when it comes back after November 25
    3) She then appoint Michael Gove for a new approach i.e. “Norway for Now” approach.

    Even the EU has been careful to push any fishy negotiations towards the “implementation period”, not to upset mr Gove.

  53. Fed Up
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    You won’t change the policy unless you change the leader. If you don’t change the leader, then I suspect the DUP are going to withdraw support and you’ll shortly be looking at a general election with May as PM.

    It seems to me that MPs must now act for the good of the country and replace this leader and policy with something that better reflects the result of the referendum vote.

  54. Mark
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    I note that yesterday the ECJ ruled that the UK’s system of capacity payments to generators to keep the lights on when the wind doesn’t blow was ruled illegal. Now in order to keep the lights on, the industry tell us that prices must rise sharply. This is exactly the kind of economic wrecking ball that I warned of yesterday that we can expect from the ECJ and Brussels if we adopt May’s terms. They seek to disadvantage the UK at ever twist and turn.

  55. DUNCAN
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    I’ve stated it many, many times but if the Tories elect a Eurosceptic leader and campaign at the next GE to take the UK fully out of the EU then they will smash Labour in its heartlands

    I understand Labour’s traditional vote in the north of England and I am telling you that someone like BJ would clean up

    WWP want a sovereign UK. They want morality returned to British life. They want politicisation crushed. They want identity politics thrown into the litter bin. They want border controls and they want Labour exposed for what they are and the damage they have inflicted upon the UK since 1997 with their policies of mass immigration (tweaking the laws on chain migration) with the aim of creating another bloc vote using imported voters

    Crush Labour’s class politics and we can sweep the North. We need to open, honest and radical..none of this pandering to the sensitivities of left wing activism because WWP’s are not left wing nor are they political..

  56. Paul Cohen
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    When Mrs May was appointed she was considered to have the attributes to do a good job with Brexit. We all knew of her stubborn and uncompromising style and thought this trait would be helpful.

    Since then things have gone downhill with a vengeance, she has shown her liking for secrecy, undermined her ministers, and her speeches are followed by contradictory actions without explanation.

    At the outset it was clear that the EU would be going for game, set and match – compare this with our own pathetic responses. We gave away and squandered without needing to a large sum in order to sweeten the talks – some hopes because it just encouraged them to ask for more. We seem to have been wrong footed on most of the contentious areas and left with a Draft Agreement that is unacceptable – who thought that overnight was enough time for commentators to come to any conclusions?

    One item that caught my eye was that despite the UK being the largest contributor to EU security operations we are expected to pay on leaving for inclusion.

    Well something significant will have to happen and soon before we sleep walk into a disaster. Our one trump card that “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” does this still hold good?

  57. Edwardm
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Mrs Mays proposals are the result of deliberate actions and duplicity, not of gullibility or cognitive dissonance.
    The problems with her proposals are detailed in JR’s blog here, and elsewhere, the worst being the possible path that leads to our country becoming a vassal state with no legal escape from EU control (sure, a revolution could correct it, but I don’t want revolution).
    Mrs May tries to spin a positive yarn on her proposals, yet it only goes to show that she is someone who has no shame and is utterly untrustworthy.
    All she is doing is condemning herself to a dark page of history.
    In the past, people have seen the inside of the Tower for less.

    Slowly it seems that there is some stirring amongst enough Conservative MPs to finally act. Let’s be thankful for that, and let’s hope it leads to having a pro-Brexit can-do inspirational PM who has confidence in life outside the EU, and who can focus on dealing with the rest of the world with enthusiasm before we totally lose the world’s confidence and interest.

  58. John Probert
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    The PM is entrenched in heading in the wrong direction
    Even though it is high risk I think someone needs to challenge her

  59. Peter D Gardner
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    It is very hard to make sense of Mrs May’s statement.I spent 40 minutes going through the draft withdrawal agreement and could not find anything that supported Mrs May’s claims on regaining control of laws, money or bordersIt seem tome that apart from the section on mutual treatment of Uk and EU citizens it was nothing more that a long list of Lisbon treaty Provisions that UK could opt out of in cert in circumstances after the transition period, four years after the transition period or sometime after 2030.
    The 4 year period struck a chord as it works out at 2025. Lo and behold that is the date by which the EU’s new treaties should be in effect. These will complete economic and monetary union and constitute the foundations of The Federal State of Europe, which the EU intends to be in place around 2028-30..
    I believe Mrs May’s intention with her deal is to keep UK well enough aligned with the EU that it will be able to slip effortlessly into this new entity around 2022-25.
    Mrs May should be challenged to deny his is not her intention.

  60. Beecee
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I read that Mr Gove is following his principles again – do nothing which you believe in unless it also keeps you close to the seat of power!

    The fishermen must be grateful that he is happy to continue to give the EU trawlers
    full access to our waters

  61. Ken Moore
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May this deal ‘”brings back control of our money, laws and borders; ends free movement; protects jobs, security and our union”.

    She is a liar..she is taking us all for fools it’s time to do something about it and elect a new leader.

  62. Bill
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Have you put your letter in to Brady, and if not, what would it take?

  63. Colin Hart
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    I am beginning to suspect that Mrs May never knows whether she is telling the truth or not. She simply spouts what her advisers tells her to say. Anyway, yesterday she repeatedly said there will not be a second referendum. So now we know there will be one.

  64. Nigel Seymour
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    J, I have been predicting for months that art50 will be extended to 20xx or may indeed never happen. We have reached a situation where all prominent leave minded MP’s must finally nail their colours to the/their mast and make a concerted effort to try and save Brexit.

  65. percy openshaw
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Dear Dr Redwood; clearly there is a problem with the current Tory party – legacy of Cameron, Osborne et al. Too many candidates are out of sympathy with what used to be the grass roots. I speak as a grass root who has recently re-joined in the forlorn hope of voting for Boris as leader – or Raab. I am currently studying the voting record of my own MP to see whether I shall support him or turn to UKIP at the next election – something I have never, never done before. But I feel so deceived, insulted, fed up and betrayed – by May, her oily civil servants, the grinning etc Blair, the failed, fake-statesman Major and the whole crowd of sell-outs and quislings in our establishment that I see no other course. Nobody should underestimate the toxic mix of fury, discontent, cynicism and depression that this treacherous PM will unleash upon our country if her “plans” go ahead.

  66. John Probert
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

    I think the PM has negotiated us into such a weak position that realistically with the time remaining No Deal looks like a Good Deal

    All key areas have been given up

  67. JustGetOnWithBrexit
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    If we are blessed with a replacement for Brexit Roadblock May, we need to set in motion, the work that should have been done already.

    Stop preaching Project Fear and start Brexit Continuity Planning and start the Mitigation planning, for any possible No Deal problems.

    It is a standard business practice…but obviously a practice shunned by Our Remain Obsessed Great Leader.

    Identify and prepare all necessary Special Agreements. Barnier already said he will do that for air traffic if there is No Deal, for example.

    May’s Continuity Planning, so far, consists of making up a new ‘Project Fear word,’ for No Deal, every day.

    Mr Cliff Edge must feel very persecuted indeed!

  68. Den
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Her continued arrogance that she knows better than anyone else in Parliament and better than anyone in the country is a damnation of our democracy. It is the way of the brussels mafia so we should not be surprised as to why she prefers them rather than us, the British citizens. If this deal, to be presented to Parliament, fails (PLEASE) what will she do then? Remain as PM? Or have the dignity to step down before she is thrown out?
    What have we done in the country to elect such a shambles of British leaders since “THE EUROPHILES ” got rid our our last true leader , Mrs Thatcher? Every single one of them was a Europhile.

  69. ian
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Like I said the other week, it should be the UK voters decision when to leave a CU and not anybody else’s, that if they are to be put into one, or when to leave the EU, then its up to the UK voters to do something about all the parties in the UK and leaders of parties wanting to stay in a CU with the EU, decision making should never be taken away from the voters, this is in case a new party leader come in at any time to a party to fight election on leaving CU or coming out of the EU a new party come along to fight for getting the country out of the CU or the EU, it should be voters choose to have that choice at all times and not have that choice taken away from them by any government for all time by way of signing treaties.

  70. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    The EU has said that negotiations on the draft Withdrawal Agreement have been completed and will not be reopened. So what do certain ministers think they can achieve by staying in the government and working to improve the deal, even if they could persuade Theresa May that it should be amended? And why do they suppose that flaws in this deal could be rectified in the future partnership agreement, when the same kind of constraints will still be operating in two years’ time, probably in twenty years’ time? In late 2017 the new Irish government adopted an absurd extreme and intransigent position over the land border, and instead of reacting properly to that challenge Theresa May chose to use it as a pretext to do what she had always really wanted to do, keep us under the thumb of the EU; so when the Irish strategy has been so brilliantly successful why should this or any future Irish government ever change their position, and agree to release us from the rules of the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market? And it is truly sickening to hear Liam Fox, whose role as trade minister will continue to be greatly circumscribed both under this deal and under any likely future deal which follows it, repeating Theresa May’s threat that if we don’t swallow her brazen treachery then we might not leave the EU at all.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted November 18, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      You simply cannot square “no border in Northern Ireland” and “we want to regulatory diverge to our heart content”.

      The Irish have realized it and rejected the UK’s plan to kick the thorny question down the line.

      Northern Ireland voted to Remain, by the way.

  71. Mike Wilson
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    I have been saying, on here, for many months that we would not be leaving the EU. We have had two Brexit secretaries acting as front-men while the real negotiation was going on behind their backs. Party loyalty is very much a curse.

    Well, I have lost complete interest in our political system. If I bother to vote in future it will be vote Green just to try to keep environmental issues on the agenda. Other than that I am now past caring.

  72. Alan Joyce
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Remainers have become more confident that they will succeed in keeping the UK in the EU by holding and winning a second referendum.

    The PM has ruled out a second plebiscite under any circumstances. However, her word has been said not to be related to her actions.

    Politically, I do not know how it could come about but I predict that if the result was say 52 – 48 in favour of staying in the EU, Remainers would immediately declare that it was a clear result in favour of staying in the EU – lock, stock and barrel.

    They would laugh heartily if the 48% of Leavers demanded that their vote and views be respected in any subsequent agreement with the EU – as did they when they lost the first referendum.

    This goes to the heart of the problem. It was to be a once in a lifetime event and the government would implement the result. I venture that the British people knew and understood what the ballot paper said and meant. It was Remain or Leave. Remain in on current terms or Leave. Leave completely.

    Except that MP’s intervened and conspired and encouraged those who did not like the result to claim falsely that the result said that we should leave but not how we should leave. If they had concerns about how we should leave, why did they not say so before the referendum? They did not because they were all so cocksure of a Remain outcome. Then it became a good wheeze so as to ‘bugger up’ the works.

    Remainers talk about a second referendum as the only way to break the political logjam and to bring people back together but I promise them this. If they do win a ‘People’s Vote’, should it come about, it will only serve to exacerbate the divisions in the Country.

    Leave mp’s might even say that we must remain in the EU in a leaving fashion.

  73. ian
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May and Tory party PMs are taking away the voters choice of how their country is governed forever and all the other parties are no better.

  74. Vicky Goncalves
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure why anyone who voted to leave is surprised or disappointed by this deal. IT IS WHAT YOU VOTED FOR!!! WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO REALISE THIS? I am staggered by your naivety. Brexiteers like Davis, Fox and Raab tried their best but even they realised you cannot polish a turd and so resigned. May got a deal, the best one she could have got and it is better, way better to accept this now, rather than have us jump off a cliff like lemmings. May must remain PM and people like Rees-Mogg and Johnson should be kept as far away from power as possible. Brexit is happening, we will leave the EU. May has done what it said on the tin, it is just a shame that when voting leave, none of you read the small print and saw the disclaimer that said product may differ from image.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 17, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Here we see another extremist remainder claim….”This is what you voted for”
      Leaving is easy.
      We voted to leave the EU
      But people like you,Vicky, have hijacked the process.
      Read the leaflet
      Read TMs mansion house speech.

  75. Atlas
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink


    May’s “Project fear on steroids” gets into gear. I think the ERG have done us a good service by muddying the waters of the fear project. I hope they succeed in their goal.

    What May says and does are indeed highly different. We had this with Ted Heath as well. It is fascinating how the EU or its earlier incarnations seems to invoke deceit in our leaders. I suppose they all wanted to be “President of Europe” – the only problem is their vehicle for doing this (the structure and institutions of the EU) will not produce the economic prosperity to finance their grandiose schemes.

    Leave on WTO terms and let them stagnate – it is their (the EU’s) choice.

  76. no cigar
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Idiots- and the whole world is looking on- couldn’t organise a drink session in a brewery

  77. Shieldsman
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    This is only the withdrawal agreement. Not a trade agreement, which could still end up as a NO DEAL WTO arrangement.
    Big business hailing it a success have little understanding of the Protocol and its Annexes. It is in effect BRINO. Will it ever get through Parliament?

    The BBC in going around and spreading the uncertainty story ignores the fact business both sides of the Channel need to trade to stay in business. The CEO of Rolls Royce is knocking the shares by suggesting Airbus will stop shipping their aero engines to Toulouse.
    Dutch market Gardners will stop selling flowers and produce to UK.[
    The will all be happy to go out of business in obeying the Commissions diktat.

  78. isp001
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    If you run a leadership contest to the full duration it will be horribly self absorbed and consume 2 of the 4 months left.

    You need the people who want to leave to organise, figure out who is going to run – so you don’t split the vote again – and announce that the focus is moving to no-deal as this is unacceptable. You will continue to try to negotiate but the governments working assumption is that there will be no withdrawal agreement.

    Then use the 4 months to help companies figure out what they can do via adaptation; and what unilateral UK legislative fixes can be made. The residual problems should be small.

  79. Shieldsman
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    Aviation – what will happen with a NO DEAL. The EU and the UK will sign NEW Air Service Agreements. No European Airline can afford NOT to fly into the UK and through its Airspace to access the North Atlantic Track Structure on their way to the USA.
    The pre 2008 ICAO normality will return (pre ECAA).

  80. Hardlyever
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    There are those who complain that Mrs May doesn’t listen to them..unfortunately Mrs May has been listening to them for thirty years or more, whinging on about the EU, so now when she hears something coming from that quarter- well, to her it’s really only
    background noise- static if you like

  81. Edward2
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ve listened to Steve Baker over the last day or two on TV and he is a fine speaker with excellent views.
    He sounds like he is a good Conservative MP.
    I’ve not really been aware of him before so a very pleasant surprise.

  82. Melvin Cornwell
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    And now we have Steve Barclay (my local MP) taking on the poison chalice of Brexit Secretary, which suggests he was likely the only one, in a long line of refusals, to take the job of backing this disgraceful deal as it stands. Unbelieveable. A foolish mistake, Mr Barclay. You have betrayed the many thousands of Leave voters in your constituency, for what appears to be naked ambition.
    My suggestion is enjoy it while it lasts, because we do not tolerate traitors, and we WILL have you out of office at the first opportunity.

  83. Dennis
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    JR, your question to May in Question Time was poorly made and a waste of time. Did you really think by just mentioning the £39bn without asking what the financial obligations actually are she would not just say they are obligations?

    A wasted chance.

    When she says we will leave this and that and reels off the whole list no one asks ‘When?’

  84. ian
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    Mr redwood sir, you should look to the future and not the now, by 2024 the depression will start to take hold again big time and by 2029 you will be right in the middle of it and the old political party with the EU will be totally trashed by it, now the time to think about starting a new party to get ready for coming out of that depression the biggest one in living memory, people will be looking around salvation and new hope, that will be the time to be politically leading the way. It takes to build a party as UKIP and others have found out.

  85. MikeP
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    All those who said that showing any weakness, or lack of resolve to leave without a deal have been proved right, we’ve ended up with a bad deal.

    The inept and shambolic negotiation has delivered exactly this, a very very bad deal indeed. What else could we possibly have expected? My question John though is how bad a deal does the PM imagine could have been offered that is worse than the one being tabled for No DEal to be triggered? This isn’t going to get through Parliament so what is the point of clinging onto it. There can be only one possible answer, that everyone will be cajoled into reverting to EU membership but on what terms ?

  86. Steve
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Well after today’s events i.e the MP who took the rap for May over the windrush disgrace returning to the cabinet, and two-faced reptilian Gove giving his full support to May less than 24 hours after refusing the brexit secretary role because she wouldn’t let him change anything, I can only surmise that since It can’t be threats it must be promises of career enhancement. So that’s how she’s doing it then.

    This really does STINK !

    Sooner we get a general election the better, then we can define for these shysters the true meaning of end game. They deserve to be sacked immediately and stripped of their pensions and wealth under the proceeds of crime act.

  87. Chris
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, and commenters here, if you want to be really depressed read the Rod Liddle article in The Spectator, “Mays deal proves one thing: the establishment always wins”. If the apparently inevitability of this all doesn’t enrage Tory Brexiter MPs, nothing will.

  88. Alan Joyce
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Who now trusts Theresa May and her Brexit Secretary (Barclay / Robbins?) to negotiate the future UK – EU trade agreement?

  89. Alan Joyce
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It seems that the Prime Minister is not the only one whose word cannot be trusted.

    I recall that one cabinet minister, only a few days before deciding to remain in the cabinet, said the following:-

    ‘The decision as to whether to end the Brexit backstop has to be for the UK alone.’

    ‘That decision can’t be subcontracted to somebody else. That needs to be an issue for a sovereign British government to be able to determine.’

    A week is certainly a long time in politics. Long enough perhaps to change one’s entire political view.

  90. Julian
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    is this agreement that the government is proposing to parliament a final agreement on the relationship ad infinitum or is it a transitional arrangement?

  91. G
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

    The art of a headlock is to apply it before your opponent realises. It is only when you realise, and try to break it, that you understand the extent of its effectiveness.

    The art of breaking a headlock is a greater skill….

  92. The future politic
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately I do not believe even the “Brexiteers” in parliament actually want us to leave. Time and again we have this theatre and time and again Brexiteers fail to act. I accuse all MP’s of collusion and treason.

  93. rick hamilton
    Posted November 16, 2018 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    This agreement is designed to please the CBI, IOD and SMMT – all Remainers and mostly foreign-owned major corporations especially motor manufacturers. Much scaremongering about Just in Time systems by people who know nothing about it.
    Somebody should demand through the courts that May releases details of the undertakings given to Nissan and others and we will see the extent of the duplicity.

    Perhaps politicians might perceive dimly that allowing most of our major manufacturers to be sold off to foreign ownership wasn’t clever at all.

    Obviously no commercial company wants any change that might cost them money, but international business adjusts to national priorities not the other way round. I don’t recall the likes of Toyota or BMW having a vote in the referendum.

  94. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted November 17, 2018 at 3:40 am | Permalink

    Just to emphasise, there is no way that I will vote for a political party that promotes such an agreement. And I’m not the only one. Therefore, I hope that your letter will soon be with the chairman of the 1922 committee, so that Mrs May will be out of office by January.

  • 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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