The economic benefits of leaving with no Withdrawal Agreement

The Eu’s refusal to discuss the future partnership and trade arrangements before we leave means we now have a simple choice. Sign an expensive and damaging deal and try another 21 months or more of talks, or leave and trade under WTO rules on terms we set out. Its obvious we must just leave. Doing so produces many economic advantages

1 An immediate substantial improvement in our balance of payments as we cease sending money to the EU
2 An end to all the uncertainties about our trade relationship with the EU, which will become much like our trade relationship with the USA and China.
3 The ability to increase spending on public service, providing a welcome boost to schools, social care, defence and others, out of the savings.
4 Tax cuts to raise take home pay and boost the economy
5 If we spent an extra £39 bn on ourselves instead of paying to stay in the EU for longer over the couple of years, that would be a 2% boost to GDP
6 Remove VAT from green products and domestic heating fuels, which we are not allowed to do in the EU
7 Announce zero tariffs on all components coming in to the UK for industrial assembly, making components from non EU sources cheaper and boosting manufacturers
8 Announce cuts in tariffs on food from non EU places, which are currently very high. The new lower tariffs will also of course apply to EU product. Set them to boost domestic agricultural output of things we can grow well.
9 Take control of our fish and rebuild our fishing industry.
10 Limit unskilled and low paid work permits and go for a higher wage more productive economy. Have a migration policy that is fair to all parts of the world and based on our economic needs.


  1. Peter
    November 17, 2018

    Sadly WTO terms are never fully explored in the mainstream media.

    Remainers have successfully marginalised discussion so that ‘No Deal is worse than Any Deal’ might be May’s new slogan.

    1. Peter Wood
      November 17, 2018

      Brexiteers appear to be a bunch of paper tigers; even our host seems to admit that there is no alternative plan that leavers can coalesce about and support. The Conservative and Unionist Party, to be exact, is NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE. The UK is finished as a sovereign state if May’s plan goes through. We will be subsumed into the German/EU super-state. Farewell …

      Reply Yes we do – we want to leave with no Withdrawal Agreement, whilst offering them a free trade agreement!

      1. Walkabout
        November 17, 2018

        Reply to other words we want to cherry pick..have our cake and eat it..but the EU crowd are onto us and that is not going to fly

        1. libertarian
          November 17, 2018


          No, thats not it at all. I’m only going to tell you this one more time

          We dont want any part of the pretend “benefits” of the EU. We just want to leave

        2. Hope
          November 17, 2018

          JR, May’s capitulation to remain in the EU agreement has no ending. It is either an unlimited backstop or an unlimited transition as,a vassal state paying billions without a voice or veto. May is lying again to say it creates certainty for business! It certainly does not. Or is it known when this vassal state ends! How does taking rules, laws unable to make trade deals, accepting not to be more competitive in employment, energy, tax etc. How does this help at all! May cannot stop lying.

          Read conservative home Richard Trice? He demonstrates graphically how historically bad this agreement is. My wants to call it a deal so people think itmismatrade deal, the discussion has nottaken place and it starts from a subservient position!

          Those who support May are finished. Corbyn is a dead cert. she could not beat him with a 20 point lead last year! Her duputy Liddington sounds a moron.

          1. Hope
            November 17, 2018

            JR May’s agreement is accession to the EU in ten years time !

        3. John Hatfield
          November 17, 2018

          Pay attention Walkabout. Telling the EU we are open for business is not cherry picking.
          Unless it is the EU that decides it wants to cherry-pick.

        4. A.Sedgwick
          November 17, 2018

          The Government were fantasists thinking the EU would let us pick and choose. It was never an option. We voted to Leave a club, which mean’t we are not liable for any future liabilities or withdrawal fees; equally we had to make a new life. From the start No Deal/WTO should have been the priorities.
          The EU though are desperate to stop us hence the false problem with Eire “pour encourager les autres” not to dare exit.
          There are, however, bilateral, trade, scientific, defence, intelligence,cultural etc matters which could have been discussed to mutual advantage. I would have put out membership of NATO on the table from the start to get the message across that we mean’t business.

    2. Denis Cooper
      November 17, 2018

      Well, here is a chart that Ed Conway was using on Sky earlier this week:

      with the comment that the 7.8% loss of GDP now predicted by the IMF was in the middle of the range of predictions from various sources for the long term percent deviation of UK GDP in a WTO scenario from that in a no-Brexit scenario.

      However that is clearly not true, as the chart does not include the smaller losses of GDP estimated by the 2017 study commissioned by the German government and by the most recent analysis from Open Europe:

      let alone the forecasts of significant gains from some other sources, and nor does any of this take into account the potential gains from cutting the costs that come with EU membership and from improving our trade outside the EU.

      And I see here:

      that a French politician is accusing Brexit supporters of lying because:

      “… the economic cost of leaving the single market is simply exorbitant … ”

      even though another French politician, Michel Barnier, had previously gone into print as an EU Commissioner with the official EU claim that the Single Market had boosted the collective GDP of the EU member states by a little over 2%; plus an independent German study then agreed with that average for all EU member states but said the gross benefit for the UK was below that, at about 1% of GDP:

      “The collective GDP of the EU member states in 2008 was 2.13% higher than it would have been if the Single Market had not been launched in 1992.

      Over the same period, the Single Market helped to create 2.77 million new jobs, a 1.3% increase in employment across the EU.”

      “… this other source … suggested that for the UK the gain had been below the average, more like 1%.”

      1. Richard
        November 17, 2018

        The 1% benefit of the single market that Brussels claims for the UK didn’t seem to take account of the costs of EU over-regulation:

        1. Denis Cooper
          November 19, 2018

          Correct, even that 1% is only the “gross” gain, which does not take account the added costs which may be several times greater.

    3. Lorna
      November 17, 2018

      Agree .Time to start more discussion on WTO and to combat the Project
      The contingency plans published by the EU will cover all important areas and answer all Project Fear points if we reciprocate their document

      1. John Hatfield
        November 17, 2018

        First of all Lorna, Theresa May must be prevented from signing any agreement which puts Britain up sh*t creek without a paddle.
        She has to be controlled or got rid of. Preferably the latter.

    4. Richard
      November 17, 2018

      And the UK is TODAY legally entitled to negotiate RoW FTAs and Interim FTAs before Brexit, so long as they are only intended to come into force after the date of exit.

  2. Lifelogic
    November 17, 2018

    Exactly on all point. But also it is a clear policy that mean business know the position and can rapidly adjust as is needed to the new highly attractive, far preferable but different playing field. Otherwise the Brexit dithering with continue for ever. But we need May and Hammond to go as their economic polices, non Brexit policies, tax, green crap and regulation policies are all totally idiotic. They are both huge electoral liabilities anyway.

    Stephen Barclay seems a sound enough Lancashire Lad, but why would anyone take a job as a mere ‘leaver’ fig leaf and turd polisher for the appalling, socialist dissembler that is Theresa May? Is he really that desperate for a pay rise?

    Few people are prepared to defend May and her deal at all. William Haigue and Rory Stuart are the only ones I have heard. They both sounded absurd as they have nothing sensible to sell.

    Charles Moore today:- Mrs May uses her lack of preparation for crashing out as her ace card. In fact, it is her real disgrace.

    Indeed, it is. Her other good card is the appalling prospect of Corbyn/SNP disaster, but actually she is making that prospect more and more likely every day she remains in office. Let us hope Tory MP are not as stupid as they were in retaining the appalling John ERM Major last time and thus burying the party for very many years.

    We cannot afford to be stuck with the dissembling, socialist duffer May for another 12 months.

  3. Peter D Gardner
    November 17, 2018

    These advantages may be obvious, not only to Dr Redwood but also to tens of millions of voters in UK but that does not mean Mrs May will take any notice. She said on entering No 10 she wants a deep and comprehensive special partnership with the EU and now she defends her deal because that is what it is and no other country’s deal come, she has never shown much interest in withdrawal arrangements and has actively, with Philip Hammond, blocked any preparations for independence This agreement is an accession agreement to the New EU that is to be in place by 2025. Mrs May is passionate about supra-national government and believes it to be far superior to UK’s sovereign national parliamentary democracy.

    Mrs May must be challenged to deny that is her aim.

    1. Lifelogic.
      November 17, 2018

      “Mrs May is passionate about supra-national government and believes it to be far superior to UK’s sovereign national parliamentary democracy.

      Indeed. Wiki says that at Oxford, (PPE of course) Oliver Robbins was president of the Oxford Reform Club, a group promoting a federal European Union.

      So they both seem keen to destroy any residual UK democracy.

      Are they are struggling to get 48 letters? What a pathetic lot dopes most Tory MPs are.

    2. forthurst
      November 17, 2018

      Obviously the UK’s sovereign national parliamentary democracy, so-called, is crap otherwise it wouldn’t have put Mrs May in the top job with the alternative of Mr Corbyn for something really different. However, there are fundamental flaws with our FPTP electoral system, namely that two thirds of voters are effectively disenfranchised and that globalists are permitted to buy political parties and foist their visceral hatreds of us onto the statute book.

    3. Oxiana321
      November 17, 2018

      Very well and succinctly put ! Indeed, one of the inconvenient truths of supra-national governance is that it has had to be thrust upon us all without a proper mandate from the electorate. The European project is just one manifestation of this. Unless you can bring the people with you, all ‘grands projets’ ultimately fail, sometimes with violent consequences. It does seem to me to be one of the great ironies of the EU project that instead of ending discord and extremism, it is now showing every sign of fostering it and surely this is the product of a supra-nationalist mind-set that believes elections and referendums are troublesome and better to be avoided.

      1. a-tracy
        November 17, 2018

        Very true Oxiana321.
        Just fixing things for a few doesn’t help the many and to have them branching off from the two main parties that have managed to keep their wings aligned is very dangerous.

    4. Lifelogic
      November 17, 2018

      She want to build on EU worker rights (thus rendering the UK uncompetitive and killing jobs). She is a dangerous, wrong headed, disingenuous, foolish EUphile, anti democratic socialist just get rid of her.

  4. Lifelogic
    November 17, 2018

    “The biggest danger in the deal is that the Withdrawal Agreement provisions, presented as temporary, but designed for eternity. The EU invented the backstop to prevent us leaving. It can permanently dictate trade rules, even VAT, for the whole United Kingdom and exercise yet more powerful control over Northern Ireland, separating it from the rest of the nation. We are being regulated and partitioned like a country that has just lost a war. We are even meekly agreeing to pay reparations.”

    As Charles Moore rightly put it today.

    We have had more than enough of this appalling PM surely Tory MP can now see this. Retaining their seats means respecting a real Brexit and thus preventing a UKIP revival. Also being a low tax at heart EUskeptic party. Just as Cast Iron Cameron (totally falsely) claimed that he was years ago. This time we need someone who means it.

    1. am
      November 17, 2018

      Yes and the failure of the media to expose this deal shows the decline of journalism. The spin by May and her dishonest supporters is an easy target for an ambitious and honest journalist.

    2. jerry
      November 17, 2018

      I had intended not to trouble our host again, Mrs May forces my hand…

      @LL; Probably the first time I have agreed fully with one of your comments (and citations) Mr LL, although I might well still disagree on what taxes should be cut post (a proper) Brexit…

      What is even more worrying about the ‘deal’ that TM/OR came back with is there doesn’t appear to be anything to stop the EC/EU27 later doing some legislative housekeeping, transferring all sorts of requirements from one directives to another etc. and thus into the core customs and trade rules which will by then be the legal foundation to the (so called) backstop. In other words the EC might not just be dictating trade rules or VAT levels but (re)imposing such things as freedom of movement or fishing rights via the backdoor — sorry, backstop.

      Mrs May, yours is not a Brexit, it is not even Brino, it is not even cancelling Brexit, yours is the surrender of our democracy – the ‘Norway option’ has often been mentioned, indeed Norway should; “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go”.

      1. libertarian
        November 17, 2018


        Welcome back

        Great post, totally agree

        1. Edward2
          November 17, 2018

          Me too.

        2. Know-Dice
          November 19, 2018

          And here 🙂

      2. zorro
        November 18, 2018

        ‘ye are a pack of mercenary wretches, and would like Esau sell your country for a mess of pottage…

        So true T May so true……


    3. Geoff
      November 17, 2018

      Brilliant piece. We’re being Partitioned, Punished and Penalised. The 3 “P’s”. We need to spread this message to the country, URGENTLY!!

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 17, 2018

        Yes, punished by our own Prime Minister acting on behalf of the EU.

        “King Richard with a large army began visiting the villages that had taken part in the rebellion. At each village, the people were told that no harm would come to them if they named the people in the village who had encouraged them to join the rebellion. Those people named as ringleaders were then executed. Apparently the king stated: “Serfs you are and serfs you will remain.” A. L. Morton, the author of A People’s History of England (1938) has pointed out: “The promises made by the king were repudiated and the common people of England learnt, not for the last time, how unwise it was to trust to the good faith of their rulers.””

    4. Iain Moore
      November 17, 2018

      How can our politicians sign us up to something where the date is listed 20xx… there is a range of 79 years there? And I also wonder how can they sign us up to something that goes directly against our Bill of Rights. For if we leave, and that means our EU commissioners and MEPs are gone, so we no longer have any legislative oversight of EU laws, which makes the ECJ a foreign court, and that contravenes the Bill of Rights, where it states ‘no prince , prelate, potentate , hath or ought to have preeminence here..’

      I am also surprised all Conservative MPs haven’t had enough of Mrs May, when she took them into a disastrous election that she lost, she said she would come out of her bunker and consult more. Then David Davis finds she has gone behind his back, and Dominic Raab finds he was cut out of the loop, with all Brexit policy decided in Mrs May’s No10 bunker. For Gove, Grayling, Leadsom and Mordaunt to think they can get Mrs May to consult them on policy that isn’t anything to do with their department , when she treated Davis and Raab so badly , they have to be either suckers for punishment or barking mad.

    5. Student
      November 17, 2018

      I think that one thing that has been made clear in these past few days is how much of a slimey politician May really is. She will stand in front of the media and say she is delivering on the vote by taking us out of the customs union, single market, freedom of movement, ECJ duristiction etc and yet know that her white document and “deal” are the opposite. My understanding is that lawyers have already read through her document and have said it is the opposite of much of what she claims it to be.

      I think the PM gets far too much sympathy from people. MPs need to start looking at this in an objective way. Her tenure as PM has been a complete failure and she needs to be removed.

      1. Anonymous
        November 17, 2018

        My belief is that – far from being stoic – she has the full personal support of senior Remainers. “Keep messing it up, girl. That’s all you have to do.”

        Easy to do a jig with a smile on your face.

  5. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    November 17, 2018

    With these irreconcilable differences within the Conservative party, would it not be better to split off as a separate, say ERG party?

    1. Steve
      November 17, 2018


      I’ve sometimes wondered that too. But at the moment you’d think their priority would be getting May out and throwing the agreement in the bin.

    2. Adam
      November 17, 2018

      It will be better to split off the EU like a cold turkey hangover. Our independence is healthier & happier without their bad taste.

    3. libertarian
      November 17, 2018

      Peter v L

      Yes it would . The country is crying out for a new free market, low tax, aspirational political party who are prepared to take the opportunity of making our country fit for the 21st century and who will grasp the nettle of major democratic reform, starting with scrapping the House of Lords and replacing with an English parliament

    4. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      It’s not just the ERG. Perhaps just split off those who hold true Conservative values from those who are Conservative in name, but Liberal leaning federalists in practice.
      Currently, there are definitely two parties under one Conservative banner.
      Trouble is, neither would hold enough of the electorate to defeat Labour.

    5. ian wragg
      November 17, 2018

      Wouldn’t it be better if you slung your hook and worried about what was happening in the rest of the EU?

    6. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      In addition, splitting the party wouldn’t resolve anything on the current debate.
      The House would still be split in the same proportions.

    7. Anonymous
      November 17, 2018

      Yes. It would result in a Marxist government though.

    8. sm
      November 17, 2018

      Peter, if there were an ERG Party that included our host, JRM, Steve Baker, IDS and various others, I would most definitely become a member, and might even apply for an overseas vote.

    9. Mark B
      November 17, 2018

      Let’s leave the EU first then worry about ALL the political parties that have both Europhiles and Eurosceptics in their ranks.

  6. oldtimer
    November 17, 2018

    This is the best course to follow. The best chance of doing rests on the replacement of May and the other two members of the triumvirate responsible for draft agreement (Hammond and Robbins) with someone with the guts and conviction to do it. Failing that it must be a parliamentary war of attrition. The choice between these alternative routes, it seems, will now rest on the outcome of the no confidence challenge to May. If she remains but in a wounded state then it will get very messy.

  7. Gordon Nottingham
    November 17, 2018

    This should be reposted on Facebook, by everyone who reads it

    1. alan juston
      November 17, 2018


      It should also be picked up by the usual media sources, and should be fully explained in any interview, but only by people who have the depth of knowledge to explain it properly like our host.

      It should also be explained that the EU already is a member of the WTO so they could hardly complain.

      94% of the Worlds trade is conducted under WTO rules by its 164 members so its nothing new its a proven system.

      Reply I launched this economic argument on BBC Any Questions yesterday

      1. Bob
        November 17, 2018

        “Reply I launched this economic argument on BBC Any Questions yesterday”

        I’ll listen to the repeat this afternoon.

        This morning the BBC has been in endless loop mode, they even had EU spokesman Ken Clarke and Mail columnist Tim Montgomery (newly converted Remainer) praising Theresa May’s resilience and defending the Agreement.

        The fact that Ken Clarke and the BBC are so positive about the withdrawal agreement speaks volumes to me.

        1. Bob
          November 17, 2018

          Having now listened to the program I got the impression that the audience was made up largely from the Andrew Adonis fan club. They seem very happy with the Adonis suggestion that the Chief Executive of Siemens Jürgen Wolfgang Maier should take over running the UK. They almost exploded when our host mentioned the word “language” in a response to a comment from said Chief Exec. Clearly a knee jerk response based on years of conditioning.

          The follow up program “Any Answers” was equally contrived with the obvious call filtering to ensure the required bias. In one case a Remain caller supporting the Withdrawal Agreement was asked to hold on the line while a second caller was brought into the conversation, and it turned out to be a leave supporter who also supported said Agreement. Pathetic.

          I see that Tim Montgomery has now been invited to be part of next weeks AQ panel. I expect we’ll be hearing much more from him on BBC subsequent to his rehabilitation.

      2. alan juston
        November 17, 2018

        reply – reply

        Good news, was out and about so missed it.

        It needs to be repeated over and over and over again.

        We need to get a positive view that there is a better way, and its staring us all in the face.
        The majority of the World trades by another means which the Eu is also signed up to.

        Remainers idiotic scare tactics in operation again today,
        It Appears we are going to run out of Mars Bars with 2 months if we leave without a deal !!!!.
        Perhaps if that was the case we will not need the medicines that will also so called be impossible to purchase, to treat obesity !

  8. Excalibur
    November 17, 2018

    With all the passion and babble about Brexit this week, I thought the most apposite quote came from Nigel Farage. He said we were behaving “like a nation defeated”. And so we are.

    Your outline above of the benefits of leaving without an agreement reverses that, JR, and puts us on the front foot. Who now is going to grasp the nettle and lead us out of this Brexit morass ?

  9. Bob Dixon
    November 17, 2018

    Let’s do it

  10. Andy
    November 17, 2018

    The real economic benefits of leaving with no deal (as agreed by the vast majority of economists and business leaders).

    1. Erm
    2. Um
    3. Oh dear.
    4. See above.

    1. Roy Grainger
      November 17, 2018

      If we’re going to be governed by what business leaders say then the Labour Party might as well disband, it’s permanent Conservative government from now on.

    2. A.Sedgwick
      November 17, 2018

      List them

    3. Richard1
      November 17, 2018

      The vast majority of economists and many business leaders urged us to join the ERM, which we did, disasterously, and the euro, which fortunately we didn’t.

      1. Lifelogic
        November 17, 2018

        Ken (ERM and EU fanatic ) Clark yet again on the BBC just now – as some wise elder statesman (on the week in Westminster). Wrong wrong wrong. She may be “resilient” but she is heading down totally the wrong path!

        So that is not really a virtue better if she were less resilient but had a working compass!

        1. miami.mode
          November 17, 2018

          Agree there LL. It’s pointless being hard working, resilient or indeed any other description if the individual concerned is basically incompetent.

    4. libertarian
      November 17, 2018


      Once again you are of course totally wrong

      This is a story in your propaganda newspaper The Guardian from yesterday

      A letter signed by more than 200 business owners has urged May to drop entirely her plan and go for the WTO option

      63% of business owners voted to leave

      Who cares what economists think , they are charlatans , I’d prefer to go by the word of astrologers . Who cares what a handful of banks and multinational tax avoiding corporations think ? Its the small business area that has created the 3 million new jobs, new innovations, challenger banks and disruptive fin tech products , this despite Hammond trying as hard as possible to stop us.

      You are on the wrong side of history old boy

      1. Lifelogic
        November 17, 2018

        Indeed. Of course a company with branches in lots of bits of the EU might want to keep on side with EU bureaucrats! Especially an airline for example. It does not make it in the interest of the UK though.

    5. L Jones
      November 17, 2018

      So they all listen to you, do they, Andy?

      And is this what Facebook tells you too?

    6. Anonymous
      November 17, 2018

      We are going to be bled dry under May’s deal.

    7. Jiminyjim
      November 17, 2018

      Oh Andy, you’re showing how immature you are…….again. Give it up,until you have something new to say

    8. Student
      November 17, 2018

      As eloquent and intelligent as ever Andy

  11. Fedupsoutherner
    November 17, 2018

    Some very obvious suggestions here John which won’t be taken up by May. She has to go first and unless you get your letter in with others and actually stick to your principles then we are doomed. Already the EU are interfering with our energy markets. What next? I haven’t seen your name on the list yet and its a disappointment.

    1. Chris
      November 17, 2018

      MPs are not obliged to make public their names, Fedups.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        November 17, 2018

        Sorry John I was unaware of what Chris has said.

    2. Dave Andrews
      November 17, 2018

      No, leave her in office. There’s not enough time left to negotiate a proper FTA, even if the EU were open to the idea. A leadership challenge would just be a distraction. At least she is adamant about no second vote.
      Her withdrawal (kick the can down the road) agreement will be voted down in Parliament and a new one won’t pass either – labour won’t vote for it and neither will brexiteer tories.
      We leave on the 29th March and nothing will stop it. No agreement, no £39bn paid.

      1. Billy Elliot
        November 17, 2018

        Proper FTA ?
        Indeed there is no time for that. It will be negotiated in future – takes years maybe a decade. The deal Ms May has managed get to us is a withdrawal agreement. While it is on that FTA can be negotiated.
        Not perfect – but is crashing out really a good idea?
        The Financial Settelment of around 39bn unfortunately needs to be paid – within ca 50 years.

        We really can’t afford to pay that as a lump sum

        1. John Hatfield
          November 17, 2018

          Billy, “crashing out” is a remainer propagandist term for leaving the EU without an agreement. Is it really a good idea? Yes, because the ‘Deal’ that May is trying to impose upon us is intended to keep Britain in the Customs Union and the Single Market aka the EU into eternity.
          Mrs May’ ‘deal’ does not satisfy the Referendum result which was LEAVE. Trading under WTO rules will be much less expensive and much less restrictive.

    3. matthu
      November 17, 2018

      Perhaps because a premature vote of no confidence would be worse than no vote?

    4. rose
      November 17, 2018

      Last night Mr R was in the Lions’ Den, 5-1. The ArchShouterdown of Remainia, Lord Adonis, sneered and scoffed at Mr R’s wish first to consult with his constituents before announcing anything. That encapsulated everything which is odious about remainiacs in their complete and utter contempt for democracy.

      But Mr R unusually had the last word: he assured the young woman asking the usual remainiac question about young people needing to take precedence in this decision, that his generation were trying to hand on to her generation a fully functioning democracy which the previous generation had handed away.

    5. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      Sadly, I honestly don’t see a no-confidence vote succeeding. It will show her the numbers who no longer support her within her own party which is useful in itself.
      The true no-confidence test will be the vote on her disgraceful Withdrawal proposal across the whole house.
      Watching the debate in HoC this week I believe she has absolutely no chance of uniting enough of the house behind her proposal.
      She’s already told us there are no other acceptable options. At that point, her position is untenable.

  12. Mark B
    November 17, 2018

    Good morning

    Can we get some things straight.

    1. The EU cannot negotiate a trade deal with the UK whilst we are still members. This use of the word, ‘deal’ by all sides is deeply misleading and damaging.

    2. We were obliged to discuss the Withdrawal Agreement but are not obliged to sign it. The Withdrawal Agreement is the trap in the Art.50 Notice and it has been sprung.

    3. It is very clear that the EU, Civil Service and Big business have been colluding, along with our government, on the Withdrawal Agreement in order to look after not only their interests but to silence us once and for all.

    4. The aforementioned groups have no say in this. We chose to leave and become a self governing country once more. This was a political decision based on that and not trade or money.

    If we should indeed leave the EU then I think we should seek to get FTA with as many countries as possible. Starting with the USA, China, Japan, South Korea and the Commonwealth Countries. I would not be in a hurry to do one with the EU.

    But we are getting ahead of ourselves. First the ‘negotiated’ (sic) Withdrawal Agreement needs to be voted down if it comes before parliament. Only after that cab we then look forward to the 29th March 2019.

    Personally I think a lot of people on all sides have been both disingenuous and very closed minded. They have not bothered to take into account how the ‘otherside’ might react. But when the history of what was once the United Kingdom is written, the paragraph on our membership of the EU will be one of treachery, lies, and missed oppotunities. That and piss poor governance.

    1. Steve
      November 17, 2018

      Mark B

      I agree, well written post.

      Now watch…..Brady will say there’s not enough letters. More two-faced MP’s will be bought off. They will vote to endorse May’s treachery.

      The best thing now I believe, would be to see what happens next week, and if May is still in office then Corbyn should demand a general election.

      1. Chris Maughan
        November 17, 2018

        How would Corbyn get enough support for calling a general election ?
        Doesn’t he need 2/3rds of the House to vote that way ?

        1. Steve
          November 17, 2018


          Well apparently two thirds of tories don’t like May’s shenanigans, yet she is still in office.

          Something has to happen.

    2. stred
      November 17, 2018

      The lies coming from the Treasury have been exposed in the article by Prof Minford, currently in the DT and Conservative Woman.

    3. Denis Cooper
      November 17, 2018

      “1. The EU cannot negotiate a trade deal with the UK whilst we are still members. This use of the word, ‘deal’ by all sides is deeply misleading and damaging.”

      So they said, and Theresa May readily agreed; paradoxically they can negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the UK while it is still a member state, and moreover it has been intimated to the media that they have obliged us by bending the rules when doing that, so why could they not negotiate a trade deal as well?

      1. Mark B
        November 17, 2018

        As you have said yourself. Bend, not break.

        1. Denis Cooper
          November 17, 2018

          I’ve seen the EU both bend and break its own rules repeatedly over the past twenty years that I’ve been taking an active interest.

      2. Know-Dice
        November 17, 2018

        All true Denis, might be worth looking at Article 50 again and ask why Mrs May allowed the EU get away with splitting the “Withdrawal Agreement” away from the “Future Relationship” which certainly is not in the sprit or letter of Article 50.

        2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

        Certainly Article 50 “trumps” any previous treaty obligations.

        But may be quick look back at Mrs May’s Lancaster House & Florence speeches show her intent. And ask how many if any of these objectives have been achieved?

        1. Denis Cooper
          November 17, 2018

          Indeed, clearly on a literal reading of Article 50 the framework for the future relationship should have been agreed BEFORE the withdrawal agreement, for how else can the latter take account of the former if the former does not yet exist? Yet Theresa May did not even attempt to argue that not only would that have been a more sensible order it would also be more consistent with the treaty, she just gave in.

    4. Oggy
      November 17, 2018

      ‘4. The aforementioned groups have no say in this. We chose to leave and become a self governing country once more. This was a political decision based on that and not trade or money.’

      This the most important point and has been purposely sidelined by Remain in the whole debate, putting emphasis on possible loss of trade, jobs and shortages using project fear Mk 1,2 and 3. I mean even Matt Hancock said recently he couldn’t guarantee no one will die in the event of a no deal Brexit, – what utter drivel.

      After Mays appalling surrender deal is binned or rejected, then what next ? Whilst we here are happy to just leave on 29 March next, unfortunately about 570 out of 650 MP’s are not.

      The EU have said no renegotiation is possible but an extension to A50 is – to have a second referendum – this will be Mays next move unless she is removed.

      We are being manoeuvred into either Mays remain, or fully remain because those 570 MP’s don’t have the guts to leave without a deal, and let’s face it they don’t really want to leave at all.

      I have written to my MP to ask her to vote against Mays surrender document, I have also dropped number 10 a copy of it.

      MAY MUST GO.

    5. DominicJ
      November 17, 2018

      “1. The EU cannot negotiate a trade deal with the UK whilst we are still members. This use of the word, ‘deal’ by all sides is deeply misleading and damaging.”

    6. Anonymous
      November 17, 2018

      ” But when the history of what was once the United Kingdom is written,”

      It won’t be written with any neutrality. When you have BBC historians as eminent as Dan Snow telling his daughters that there were female Spitfire pilots dog fighting with the Luftwaffe “because it’s for the best” then you know you have a problem.

      We have the superstate mechanisms being put in place whilst cultural marxism is rising in universities, and broadcasting. Truth is whatever they want it to be. They’ll be the ones writing history.

      A second referendum is coming. The last result simply cannot be allowed to stand and it is clear now that the PM will not be opposed .

      1. Denis Cooper
        November 17, 2018

        He’s supposed to be a historian and so he should have no difficulty explaining even to a six year old that some things were different in the past!

      2. Bob
        November 17, 2018

        “BBC historians as eminent as Dan Snow”

        Historian? Obviously not.
        More of a Storyteller really.

      3. Mitchel
        November 17, 2018

        Dan Snow might be prominent but he’s certainly not eminent!

      4. Dave Andrews
        November 17, 2018

        Second referendum?
        There might be a majority of MPs who will plump for that, but labour front bench will oppose without a general election first. Then the parties will have to rewrite their manifestos.
        Tories absolutely don’t want a general election – they would be hammered! DUP have nothing to gain from one either.

      5. forthurst
        November 17, 2018

        The most important thing about the war to was that it demonstrated the superiority of British diversity over monocultural supremacism. The Germans have now learned their lesson, thank goodness, and are flooding their country with highly qualified third worlders but the Japanese are sticking doggedly to their losing strategy: diversity makes us stronger; if you don’t believe it you haven’t been watching the BBC and CH4 enough.

        1. Bob
          November 19, 2018

          “diversity makes us stronger; if you don’t believe it you haven’t been watching the BBC and CH4 enough.”


    7. Billy Elliot
      November 17, 2018

      I agree we need to start with the countries you mentioned. I would add EU to list as well.
      Challenge is it will take time. Years or a decade – maybe even more.
      And the deals will be worse than those we have under the EU umbrella.
      But that’s what we voted for.

      1. libertarian
        November 17, 2018

        Billy E

        The average time OUTSIDE the EU to negotiate free trade agreements is 14 months ( the EU its 12 years)

        The EU is a customs union , its a protectionist system that ring fences certain products/industries. Its light years worse than a FTA

        We dont need an FTA with the EU in order to carry on trading successfully.

      2. Mark B
        November 17, 2018

        Neither you or I know that. And if any so called deal with say, Japan did not suit us, why would we want to sign it ? Your position makes no sense.

        Currently, before the Commission can undertake a negotiating position, it has to consult and get agreement from ALL 28 members of the EU. Look at what happened with Canada ? The EU and Canada deal was stalled because of one small little Belguim region wanted to make a name for itself. Hardly inspiring.

        I think it best we leave.

  13. Bryan Harris
    November 17, 2018

    Most people that read this blog understand the benefits of leaving the EU ‘cleanly’ – What is not clear is the rationality behind ‘THIS’ deal, and why any cabinet members would support it.
    I have been hoping that May’s actions were all intended to ensure we leave on WTO terms – She knew the EU and the remoaners would be difficult, but by pushing this rubbish deal, she keeps both of them quiet…. She must know that Parliament will reject this deal, which should in theory lead us directly to a no-deal …. (One can but hope)
    If this is not her intention, then one is only left with questioning her sanity.

    1. Dave Andrews
      November 17, 2018

      I cannot believe May wanted a leave on WTO terms. Her entire policy with the EU has been one of appeasement, in the false hope the EU commission still really wanted to be friends.
      Now she is stuck in the “I know best” mode.
      Let her carry on till we get past the 29th March, then have a leadership challenge.
      Who knows, perhaps someone will put themselves forward as pro-UK and inject some direction and belief in the country.

    2. Mark B
      November 17, 2018

      When in a hole, it is usually wise to stop digging. Alas the PM did not see the memo.

  14. Kenneth
    November 17, 2018

    I agree with your post Mr Redwood, but the PM should be saying these things in order for them to get into the media.

    That is why we need a new pm.

    I would urge you and your colleagues to concentrate on replacing the pm. This is the highest priority and only once this has been done can we move forward towards a better solution.

    Reply I launched this on Any Questions last night, repeat at 1.05 today Radio 4

    1. Kenneth
      November 17, 2018

      Great news. I didn’t know about your Any Questions appearance.

    2. Al
      November 18, 2018

      **I agree with your post Mr Redwood, but the PM should be saying these things in order for them to get into the media.**

      Isn’t part of the problem that of the mainstream media, the anti-Brexit groups are publicly available (e.g. the BBC and Guardian), while those that report otherwise or anything negative about the EU are generally behind a paywall or otherwise less accessible? It makes it very difficult for a balanced view or debate to reach the mainstream.

  15. A.F.Fanculo
    November 17, 2018

    Mrs May is starring in the pantomime as Humpty Dumpty, who said ‘a word means what I want it to mean’. Hence ‘Brexit means Brexit’ is not what the rest of the population expects Brexit to be. Also ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ actually means ‘there can be no deal that would be better than this bad deal’ as far as she is concerned.

  16. Bryan Davies
    November 17, 2018

    We know all that so please get out there and tell the MSM again and again.

  17. Steven Smith
    November 17, 2018

    Mr. Redwood,

    It is all good and well writing the above. However, that is not the course currently being undertaken.

    Changing the Prime Minister is the only way this can be a possibility. That has been obvious for many months now.

    Have you written to Graham Brady?

  18. hans christian ivers
    November 17, 2018


    And what about the costs to businesses for converting to the WTO rules only,?(which are part of EU rules , but not only).

    Can we have those costs as well?

    Reply Business is already WTO compliant because WTO governs our EU and non EU trade! Intrastat compliance is virtually identical to customs requirements.

    1. libertarian
      November 17, 2018


      Oh my word hans , you can’t seriously believe what you wrote surely. You’re supposed to be a senior experienced businessman and consultant. How the hell can you not know we are already compliant ?

  19. Steve
    November 17, 2018

    Gove also needs to be removed, two-faced little (etc).

    Along with Fox, Leadsom, Grayling and Maudant.

    This lot while claiming to be brexiteers are in fact in May’s top team, and say they are hoping to persuade May to make changes to her draft Brexit deal.

    See the problem here? Complete BS is what it is. What they’re really doing is closing ranks to protect May.

    They must think we’re bloody stupid.

    1. libertarian
      November 17, 2018

      I would agree except theres a case for Fox staying based on some assumptions

      The 48 letters materialise and Brady submits them

      May loses the vote of no confidence

      A replacement PM is appointed

      We then leave on WTO terms

      Having Fox in place provides continuity with the work already done to move quickly to FTA’s

      Gove is a weasel and his career as a top line politician is finished

      Leadsom and Grayling have proved themselves to be incompetent & Maudant will be next to resign

    2. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      I’m not sure I agree with you here.
      Resigning has an impact, but it is short lived and then you add to the numbers on the back benches.
      Resigning on-mass would have been a much bigger impact.
      But given that this didn’t happen, collectively they can be much more of a problem to May inside the cabinet. They can argue and disagree with her, leak information, inform parties outside the cabinet, and threaten to resign on-mass. She would look very weak and controlling if she sacked them.

  20. Dave
    November 17, 2018

    May’s deal is so bad the only possible explanation is she is actually working for the EU not the UK.
    Without the Uk cash the EU is bankrupt and the project starts unravelling so you can imagine the scheming and “incentives” to various people to support the cause.

    May is not stupid, so to “negotiate” a deal so one sided and not in the interest of the Uk has to be a deliberate act.

    As a now very disgruntled voter I’m not alone. I think the Conservative party has shot itself in the foot. The next Ge will be an disaster.

    1. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      I don’t subscribe to the “May is working for Brussels” theory.
      Naively, May has tried to create a relationship with the EU which they have never seen before. Whilst there were well understood off the shelf engagement models available, she chose to create a model to appeal to the disparate groups in Westminster. She has utterly failed.
      As said elsewhere, if one group likes savoury and the other likes sweet, giving them a bacon trifle will disgust both groups !
      In her failure, I prey this doesn’t end in Remaining in the ever changing EU where the future is so uncertain.

  21. Adam
    November 17, 2018

    The EU want to continue demanding our money & commanding our behaviour. We have decided to shrug off the shackles of their expensive restrictive worthlessness & Leave.

    Freedom enables us to do what we know best going forward. Our interest in EU backwardness reduces to a rapidly-fading glimpse in our rear view mirror.

  22. oldwulf
    November 17, 2018

    You have outlined the “Leave” for which I voted.

  23. Steve
    November 17, 2018

    I wonder how many letters Graham Brady has really received ?


  24. NigL
    November 17, 2018

    Agree about the benefits to us but the problem is that they are totally the opposite to the E.U. potentially putting its very existence in peril, certainly as currently set up.

    These threats are an anathema to everyone on the Remain side from Theresa May via the Civil Service to the rest who are wedded to the European Project, hence their choosing it over their own country.

  25. Stephen Almond
    November 17, 2018

    I think the £39B is an outrageous sum, but do you think we owe NOTHING for commitments made, our share of ongoing projects, our wish to remain part of various EU bodies and institutions?

    Reply We owe nothing after March unless we agree to stay in certain bodies with a specified ongoing membership fee for those.

  26. George Dunnett
    November 17, 2018

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Thank you so much for helping us get out of this EU quagmire! Never in the field of politics has so much been owed by some many to so few, outside war time.

    I’m so exciting about the prospect of being part of a proud independent nation with its chin up and honour intacked, I’m ticking the days off already.

    I knew (since 1989 in fact) that Britain would eventually see the light and just walk. It will be 30 years since I came to this view and to be proved correct.

    Please pass on my thanks to all your brave colleagues for standing up to the bullies of Europe.

    Best wishes


  27. Fedupsoutherner
    November 17, 2018

    Let’s face it, we’re staying in. Its what we’ve all known would happen for a long time now. The establishment always get their way. Even if another Tory leader suggested leaving on WTO terms it would get voted down by Parliament. Our politicians are a bunch of uni brain washed numpties who don’t know how to run a country without guidance from a foreign power and are only interested in their careers. Parliament agreed we should leave the customs union and the single market and none are true to their word except a few like our host. Say good bye to a once powerful nation in charge of its own destiny.

    1. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      How would a No-Deal get voted down in Westminster ? It doesn’t form part of the meaningful vote.
      By definition, it’s the default option which automatically falls into place unless a deal is agreed ?
      Alternative actions may be proposed and debated, but there is no vote on No-Deal.

  28. James K-L
    November 17, 2018

    Other advantages include:

    * Increased VAT receipts from removing the opportunity for ‘carousel fraud’
    * Reduction in corporation tax dodging, from companies booking their profits in other low tax EU countries

    Use the money raised to reduce UK business taxes, targeted at manufacturers and farmers.

  29. DUNCAN
    November 17, 2018

    Words don’t cut it any-more. We want action. We want our country back and we want British democracy restored to its original and rightful place.

    We want the demands of the 52% implemented in full. Democracy dictates that this should be the case.

    We want this EU cuckoo in the UK nest toppled and toppled with anger.

    She, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, has conspired with the EU to deliberately weaken our nation’s own bargaining position. An agreement must have two or more parties to it. There’s only one party to this concoction and that’s the EU.

    May is bidding for the EU against the very people she was elected to serve, the British people.

    We need brutal language from moral Tory MPs and indeed Labour MPs who recognise that British democracy is under threat from a political clique that despises it, despises us, the voter.

    Please, no more politeness. It is time for the granite truth. We need a political enema to flush away the detritus from the political system

    May won’t always be the PM.

    1. Timaction
      November 17, 2018

      Good stuff and agreed that words no longer cut it. We want action to remove remainers from power permanently!

  30. A.Sedgwick
    November 17, 2018

    May is behaving similarly to Blair on Iraq, totally blind to reality and the havoc she is perpetrating.

    The so called Leavers in the Cabinet are deluded in staying.

    The Leavers should write letters of no confidence, flushing out the true number.

    If that fails to get rid of her, these Leavers should continually defeat the Government, thus forcing a GE or her departure.

  31. GilesB
    November 17, 2018

    Excellent list

    We can also follow an industrial policy fit for the 21st Century

  32. Syd
    November 17, 2018

    The PM is apparently contacting Local Tory Party Chairmen to canvass support.
    I suggest she also asks them two questions.
    1 How many non Conservatives have contacted the local party to say they will join up and vote Tory in the future if she continues with her Agreement?
    2 How many Local Tory Party Members have been in contact to say they will resign their membership and never vote Tory again if she continues with her Agreement?

    I believe the answers will mean she won’t be able to say she wasn’t warned!

  33. Chris Maughan
    November 17, 2018

    Logically, when Mrs May’s proposal is voted down in the House of Commons, her position in untenable.
    She’s already dug her grave by essentially saying “there is no other way”. She claims her consultations with business have persuaded her that no-deal would be disastrous for our economy, without explaining why.
    The vote on her proposal is the true “no confidence” vote.

    1. Denis Cooper
      November 17, 2018

      She has threatened to stop Brexit, and that should have sealed her fate.

      1. Chris Maughan
        November 17, 2018

        Watching her say this outside 10 Downing Street and replayed it a couple of times. She stuttered as she came to these words and appeared muddled and nervous. She’s a poor communicator especially when she has to keep to a pre-prepared script. I think it was a thinly veiled threat which she was nervous in delivering. I think her true meaning was probably …”if you don’t support me and have me in charge, someone else may not support Brexit and will call for a 2nd referendum”.
        She is poor at so many things it’s embarrassing.

  34. notsosimple
    November 17, 2018

    Your opening sentence say’s it all- “we now have a simple choice”- not the way I see it

    Question? did you put your letter in yet? if not? why not?

    1/There will be nothing immediate about it- it could be the death by a thousand cuts
    2/You say- an end to all uncertainties- absolute bunkum
    3/What savings- the country is up to it’s neck in debt- we already owe billions, maybe trillions
    4/Tax cuts- the usual old guff from politicians
    5/Where is this 39Billion – is it in some escrow account somewhere or are we going to have to borrow more in order to reward ourselves- balderdash
    6/VAT, can be reduced, but what government is going to do that- I don’t believe
    7/Zero tariffs- more the same- I’ll believe it when I see it
    9/Ah yes! the old fisheries argument- but so far only a lot of hot air- the usual-
    10/EU labour is already dwindling away- so yes let’s bring in more from other places

  35. ian wragg
    November 17, 2018

    So John, not enough MP’s with the spine to oppose May. Despite her treachery and bare faced lies, there is not enough of you to oust her.
    The Tory Party is surely finished and it looks like we will have to endure a Marxist government as the price worth paying by your party to keep us enmeshed with a hostile power.
    My opinion of the ruling class has never been lower and I’m sure I speak for millions of Brits.

    Reply I see a lot of Conservative MPs with principles and backbone who have pledged to oppose this Agreement. Watch this space.

    1. Mark B
      November 17, 2018

      Reply to reply.

      I agree with you Mr. Redwood MP sir. Destroy this bastard of an Agreement first. Then let us see what happens then ?

    2. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      Agreed John.
      The numbers may not be there to win a no confident vote, but the numbers are definitely there to block the Withdrawal Agreement which is the biggest iceberg in our way. That in itself should be enough to see a change of direction.
      As the saying goes … Slowly slowly catchy monkey.

  36. libertarian
    November 17, 2018


    It seems that Andy and Newmainias hatred of older people is in fact orders from above !

    UK Government scheme designed to ensure energy suppliers have enough capacity to keep homes warm in winter is suspended by the European Court of Justice for breaching EU state aid rules.

    Perhaps they are hoping older voters will freeze to death.

    1. TRP
      November 17, 2018

      – Perhaps they are hoping older voters will freeze to death –
      Express 5/12/2010, Daily Mail 30/11/2012, Telegraph 28/03/2013, 01/02/2015, Guardian 20/01/2016, all major newspapers have reported increased death rate of older people during the winter months for a number of years now.
      Interestingly enough, the subtitle of one of these articles was ‘Nordic countries have much harsher conditions in the cold months, yet mortality rates are lower than in the UK’.
      Isn’t it worth wondering why? Is it only a EU problem?

      1. libertarian
        November 17, 2018


        Theres nothing to wonder, its the cost of energy that is the killer

  37. JustGetOnWithBrexit
    November 17, 2018

    The fatal flaw in your argument Mr Redwood, is that it represents Leaving the EU…something the Country voted for…but will never be tolerated.

  38. Chris Maughan
    November 17, 2018

    The electorate need to understand more about the advantages and disadvantages of no-deal, but few are willing to bring it to the attention of the public.
    I’ve got to say that I think the vast majority of the Main Stream Media have been appalling during the whole Brexit debate, but even worse during the last couple of days.
    They are far more interested in the soap opera of resignations and group alliances than explaining to the electorate the detail of May’s proposal and the no deal alternative.
    Call me an old fashioned pedant but surely the Main Stream Media should be doing what John is here. Tell them what the advantages and disadvantages of the options.
    I understand it would take journalists some time and effort.
    I’m grateful to John for outlining advantages of no deal on here.

  39. Madge
    November 17, 2018

    The Remainers and the waverers seem unconcerned with the payment of the £39 bn exit fee which will come from somewhere (more borrowing/debt?). Do they not realise that this is taxpayers’ money now or in the future and works out at nearly £600 for every man, woman and child in the UK? Perhaps publishing the figure in this form would concerntrate minds, bring more impact to people and aid the push for No Deal?
    (Based on UK Population 2018: 66.57million (UN Estimate for 2018) – actually £586 per head.))

  40. L Jones
    November 17, 2018

    Surely it is still true today that:
    ”… There is a name for appealing over the head of the Crown to an authority outside the realm, and that name is treason”.

    1. GRJ
      November 18, 2018

      Exactly. Not betrayal, but treason.

  41. Tabulazero
    November 17, 2018

    It is quite fantastic to see the Conservative Party self-destruct in such a fashion.

    Just a few more letters (including yours Mr Redwood) and there is a leadership challenge. Even if she wins it, the PM’s authority will be so diminished that she will be forced to resign.

    It’s going to be a general election and Corbyn as PM.

    1. libertarian
      November 17, 2018


      So not only dont you understand how the EU works and what it is , you also dont understand the processes here either

      Remind us why we should care what you have to say?

    2. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      Wow. So much wrong in so few words !

  42. HenryS
    November 17, 2018

    Am reading in the Daily Telegraph today where, headlines by Rayner and Tominey, brexiteers to deliver ultimatum. But let us be clear about one thing, and despite what some might think, there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that the EU side is going to bend to the pizza club or the ERG ways, let me repeat, no chance. If anyone thinks that JRM is going to dictate to the EU or that the terms of the agreement already tabled can be changed or fiddled with then they are totally delusional. You reap what you sew- choice now is the withdrawal agreement as already signed by cabinet and which will lead to a transition period and then to a possible future trade agreement or else nothing and nothing means exactly that, nothing

    Reply I am arguing that in the absence of a good deal we just leave. That is a great option which even the EU cannot prevent.

    1. eeyore
      November 17, 2018

      Reply to reply: But can MPs prevent it? I asked the question two days ago and received no answer (not a complaint, by the way). One MP claimed 500+ would vote down No Deal but, as our host has already explained, a motion of the House cannot overturn the Act of Parliament under which we leave on March 29.

      If both the WA and No Deal are voted down, where exactly will we be (except in an unholy mess)?

      I am reluctant to post comments while our host is in the thick of battle, but do so now for avoidance of doubt on a question of high importance.

    2. libertarian
      November 17, 2018


      Of for God’s sake. How many times do you Remainers have to be told the same thing?

      We DO NOT want to stay in their “club”

      We DO NOT want any of their pretend benefits

      We just want to leave, totally and in full and trade under WTO terms

      In time if the EU would like more of our business they can talk to us about an FTA

      Its astonishingly simple.

    3. Denis Cooper
      November 17, 2018

      Well, apparently the weasel David Lidington has argued that if we get fed up with a new treaty we have agreed with the EU then we could just break it …

      “THERESA May’s de facto deputy David Lidington has told Cabinet the Government could escape the controversial backstop by simply breaking the treaty and walking away.”

      So on the one hand you have people like me who want to leave the EU but would rather do that in an orderly fashion rather than just walking away, and on the other hand you have somebody who really wants to stay in the EU trying to justify the rubbish withdrawal agreement his boss has negotiated by saying that if necessary we could just break that new treaty with the EU and walk away, presumably with the same dreaded consequences as if we just left now with “no deal”.

    4. Mark B
      November 17, 2018

      What I think is happening is that a small but powerful business voice who see their profits disappearing have campaigned, very successfully, for this so called ‘deal’. The EU of course cannot give the UK special treatment that the UK government and business are asking. But please note, it is the UK government and business, not we the people. We just want to Leave.

  43. Denis Cooper
    November 17, 2018

    This morning Sky News highlighted this passage in Theresa May’s interview with the Daily Mail, which has done a handbrake turn on the EU since a new editor was installed:

    “People say: “If you could only just do something slightly different, have a Norway model or a Canada model, this backstop issue would go away”. It would not. That issue is still going to be there.”

    Firstly, for myself I have not been advocating either a Norway model or a Canada model; the exact opposite, for nearly a year now I have repeatedly, and tediously, pointed out here and elsewhere that neither of those countries is in any customs union with the EU and that the Irish government has categorically rejected even the kind of supposedly “light touch” customs border which operates between Norway and Sweden, as mentioned in my most recent offering to the Maidenhead Advertiser reproduced below.

    Secondly, what I have been repeatedly advocating since last December:

    could be termed the “Liechtenstein” option, as publicised in the FT back in May:

    and clearly described in a succession of letters to Theresa May’s local newspaper starting in February:

    “Easy solution to EU border conundrum”

    including letters copied to her as my constituency MP and acknowledged by her assistant, and mentioned again in my latest offering.

    Thirdly when she said to the Daily Mail

    “That issue is still going to be there”

    she could have added

    “… when we come to the end of my oxymoronic transition period during which nothing will actually change; indeed unless it is solved in some other way it will still be there for decades to come, and the Irish government will still have a veto on any new arrangements in perpetuity; so why should you expect to ever escape from the rules of the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market?”

    Anyway here is my latest offering to the Maidenhead Advertiser, which the editor may decide to publish if he has not completely lost patience with me:

    “A former Irish ambassador was on Sky News telling the reporter that his government had remained “calm and rational” throughout the Brexit negotiations.

    Well, I would not dispute the “calm”, but can the following statement be described as “rational”?

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

    That was from the Irish Republic’s Europe Minister Helen McEntee, also addressed to a Sky News reporter but nearly a year ago on November 24 2017, in a news segment headlined:

    “Is the Norway-Sweden border a solution for Ireland?”

    which is still available on the Sky News website.

    That was just one of a number of comments from an Irish government trying to convey the false impression that at present there is no border on the island of Ireland, and if one should somehow “re-emerge” then that could lead to a return to terrorist violence.

    The UK government could have responded that it would make no changes at all on its side of the Irish border, and offered to pass a UK law to control the carriage of goods into the Republic so it would still be unnecessary for there to be any checks on the other side.

    Instead, Prime Minister Theresa May has deliberately used the absurd, extreme and intransigent attitude of the Irish government as a pretext for keeping us under EU law to the greatest possible extent that she could manage.”

    With this note:

    “Is the Norway-Sweden border a solution for Ireland?”

    “Sky’s Lewis Goodall takes a look at the border of Sweden and non-EU Norway and whether it could work as a model for Ireland post-Brexit”

    Ms McEntee’s comment starts at 3 minutes 3 seconds into the video.”

    1. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      Wonderful analysis Denis, as always.
      “ We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us ”.
      In blurting this out, basically, she is telling the UK that they will never find a solution to the Irish Border “problem” the Irish/EU have “found”.
      It amazes me how this issue has been allowed to dominate the text for so long. I understand why the Ireland/EU and May want to keep it alive, but they should have been publicly torn to shreds by now. Understandably, it is a very sensitive subject for those in public office.

  44. David Williams
    November 17, 2018

    Sounds good. Plus we will have visa free travel to the Schengen area for up to 90 days. Works for me.

  45. Roger Hobbs
    November 17, 2018

    Absolutely correct Mr Redwood, unfortunately no one seems to be listening to you.

  46. Richard Lark
    November 17, 2018

    I have come to the conclusion that the Withdrawal Agreement is so dreadful that the only possible explanation for May’s promotion of it is that it is part of a deliberate and well crafted plan to keep us tied to the EU. I do not know whether May is master of the plan or a mere servant. Why else would she secretly negotiate behind the back of the then Brexit Secretary and why else would she fail to prepare for a WTO option? The Agreement as it stands would make it very easy for us to slip, or be pushed, back into the EU.
    I believe that it is unlikely that the EU will give any ground, even if there are further negotiations. The choice for our Nation is either to go for the WTO option or to surrender.
    I have faith that eventually the British people will discover, just as our ancestors did in 1940 that surrender is not in our DNA.

    1. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      This from May’s Conservative manifesto …
      ” We will ensure IMMEDIATE stability by lodging new UK schedules with the World Trade Organization, in alignment with EU schedules to which we are bound whilst still a member of the European Union ”
      So what happened ?

  47. Dennis
    November 17, 2018

    JR -pity you didn’t say all this on Any Questions this week – you should have prepared.

    Also you let Adonis get away with mentioning the £350m bus poster without correcting him on what it really said so informing the rest of the UK including Dimbleby or perhaps you yourself don’t understand it – true?

    Reply I did say all this about economic benefits. I deliberately left Adonis who was shrill and concentrated on countering the Siemens issues. It was 1 v 4 on the benefits of no deal and I was only given limited response time.

    1. Chris Maughan
      November 17, 2018

      The Media are on a propaganda war at the moment, as is May, in case public opinion is required via a second referendum. That tells you something in itself !
      John did what he could, but Adonis is an intolerable big mouth and Dimbleby a weak (or bent) chair.
      There is a media war to be fought and won !

  48. Claudia Norman
    November 17, 2018

    There is a list of MPs who’ve submitted letters of no-confidence to the 1922 Committee in the Telegraph. My question is if Mr. Redwood intends to submit one because his name wasn’t there. Also, I have another question: can Graham Brady be trusted to acknowledge the existence of 48 letters? It may seem an odd question but in January this year, The Sun published an article saying that Graham Brady was asking MPs not to submit any more letters as the number was getting perilously close to 48 and he thought it would be chaotic to have a leadership contest. This makes me wonder on which side is Graham Brady on, as he has been knighted by Mrs May as has Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, my own MP and Treasurer of the 1922. I haste to add that when Chequers came out, my MP responded to me via email that he had approved Chequers and at the time, the full text of it had not been published. I was very surprised by this and said so of course.

    Reply It is a list of those who have declared they have sent a letter. You do not have to declare, and the crucial vote if one is called is meant to be a secret ballot.

    1. Student
      November 17, 2018

      Dr. Redwood, out of curiosity, why might one not declare publicly that they had submitted a letter of no confidence? Wouldn’t you not want to say you had in order to encourage others to do the same?

      1. rose
        November 17, 2018

        Some might feel worried about antagonising the PM and her cronies in case the NCV failed. That, after all, is why we have a secret ballot in the first place.

        She has shown herself to be a vindictive woman.

    2. Claudia Norman
      November 17, 2018

      Thank you.

    3. libertarian
      November 17, 2018

      Reply to JR reply

      I understand that you do not have to declare that a letter has been sent . My question is How do we know if 48 plus have been sent but Brady hasn’t declared? What checks and balances are there on this procedure ?

      ps I’m let to believe that there are approx 80 members of ERG , I’m assuming Rees-Mogg and Baker know exactly how many of their members are sending letters and knew before they publicly launched this

      1. rose
        November 17, 2018

        Baker said he didn’t how many were withdrawing their letters, or saying they had put them in when they hadn’t.

        1. libertarian
          November 17, 2018


          Thats what worries me, theres no way of knowing the true picture

          We all have to rely on Brady being honest

  49. Dennis
    November 17, 2018

    I hear a lot that in negotiations there is give and take and either side does not get all they want. What has the EU given and has not got what it wants? As far as I know no one has revealed this – can JR do me that favour, please?

  50. Alison
    November 17, 2018

    Completely agree with our host.
    Re wages and productivity, these are already going up, with the shr inking numbers coming from the EU into the labour force. So the people are already benefiting. Housing costs will ease/are easing.
    The proposed deal locks the UK into lost control over a large swathe of our laws. It locks us into continuation of the withdrawal agreement terms as basis for the trade deal. It hands a lump sum over – €39bn? The EU has NO incentive to sign a trade deal with us, so it will not hurry. The result will be extension of the transition into the next multi-annual framework, for which we will have to pay .. €10 billion p.a.? Why would the EU want to stop getting all that money?
    It beggars belief that any British person could have gone along with this appalling thing.

  51. John Sheridan
    November 17, 2018

    You and your like-minded colleagues have your work cut out to try and prevent this awful deal being passed in the HoC.

    I hope that you are successful

  52. Dennis
    November 17, 2018

    There are many excellent posts on your blog with very pertinent points on why the EU is ‘bad’ and brexit is good for the UK but JR, you never use any of these when I hear you on TV/radio; it seems you are never prepared to use any of these points.

    If I was in front of any microphone I wouldn’t remember anything of value to say so I would have my own script/memorandum to refer to. I advise the same to you.

    Reply Today;s blog is based on my main statement on Any Questions last night!

    1. rose
      November 17, 2018

      Reply to Reply And very good it was too.

  53. ian
    November 17, 2018

    I see more threats come out of the EU already and the ink isn’t even dry yet on the document, I don’t think this is right, then the EU is intimidating or trying to intimidate our parliament before the vote on the document is signed in public, nobody knows what happens to our PM while she been negotiating behind closed doors with the EU, we do not know how our PM has been treated by them, whether our PM has been threatened by them or intimidated by them, but what we do know is, that PM wrote her own manifesto and made public speeches to her MPs and people which do not match up to the document she has bought back from the EU and is now trying to sell to MPs in parliament and to the people of the UK.

    I think the EU should be taken to international court over their behaviour and methods of how they negotiated in wanting sign country and it people into a agreement for life with no way out.

    I also so think there should a court investigation in the UK before this document is voted on or signed into how it comes to be that the people sent their representatives tto the EU to negotiate to leave the EU and came back with a document that signs them to it for life.

  54. Barbara Pexton
    November 17, 2018

    Get your letter in John. It’s no good pontificating from the sidelines. Something has to be done and done urgently.

    1. Nigel Seymour
      November 17, 2018

      My thoughts exactly. Unfortunately John is always a bit secretive when the crunch decisions come about. So, here goes anyway –

      John, will you be sending a letter to GB?

    2. Bryan Davies
      November 17, 2018

      right on – lets have no more political rhetoric and see some action not just posturing. If the confirmed political brexiteers do nothing then they and the Tory party are finished for the next twenty years – and what’s more I doubt if Parliamentary democracy will last given the failure of the political parties to do what they promise.

  55. Den
    November 17, 2018

    All points form logical argument. I would now like to hear from the New, true Brexit Secretary, Mr Oily Robbins, the reasons why we should continue with the deal as laid down in his written unconditional surrender to the Empire of Brussels. A paper that has been adopted by our arrogant Prime Minister having shunned or ignored those ideas from her more experienced Back Bench veterans, as well as the advice of eminent EU Barristers and Chief economists.
    It beggars belief that The Leader of Britain would so easily capitulate to a foreign power and I do wonder if we can call upon Her Majesty to intervene in this process much as happened when Australian PM Gough Whitlam, who, in 1975, was removed from office by the Governor General of Australia, a Royal Appointment.
    For the sake of democracy in this country, she and her calamitous offering MUST BE STOPPED and by all means available.

  56. nhsgp
    November 17, 2018

    1 bn is 20,000 nurses for a year.

    Why should we cut nurses to pay for the EU’s pension incompetence?

  57. Edwardm
    November 17, 2018

    Admirably stated.
    Unfortunately our PM and many MPs do not want these benefits for us and in defiance of the referendum result. I do not understand their mentality. There are no excuses.

  58. Bryan Davies
    November 17, 2018

    The time for words has long gone its time for action – put up or shut up

  59. Robert Afia
    November 17, 2018

    It’s all very well detailing the advantages of an immediate WTO Brexit (with which I am totally in agreement), but not to mention the short-term upsets (and a few long term major “adjustments”) needed to our economy is to play into the hands of those who say we are extreme Brexiteers.

    John, can you include this in your next polemic?

  60. ian
    November 17, 2018

    I calculate this deal will cost the UK 280 billion pounds over a 12-year period in payment to the EU and new regulations.

  61. George Brooks
    November 17, 2018

    Heaven forbid how stupid can our politicians and negotiators be?

    We have been here before.

    Ah you want to negotiate a trade deal? Well sign this and we’ll think about it.
    Now we just have to sign the Withdrawal agreement pay a ridiculous amount of money and if anyone thinks they will then discuss trade, they must be out of their minds.

    The EU has one objective and that is to drive us into the Back Stop, and that will be end of the UK as we know it today.

    JR please get out their on to the airwaves, don’t be polite, just tell them how damaging the PM’s deal is. Counter everyone of their stupid statements. For example they are trying to tell us ”just-in-time” is an EU invention. Absolute rubbish. The seeds were sown in the 60s and as computing power increased it developed. The multi-nationals embraced it and whilst they might have a few weeks of difficulty they will be back to normal very quickly after we leave the EU

    We must get out of this snake pit.

  62. Nigel Seymour
    November 18, 2018

    Just heard that EU will be asking for another £10bn! Why don’t they just push their boat out and call it £100bn divorce bill all in…if voters in this Great Britain now can’t see the nature of who these people are and their desperate attempts to keep us shackled to the club then they never will.

  63. nigel
    November 19, 2018

    JR: Great stuff.
    We need more of this type of positive view to be publicised. There is a need to publicise a positive view of the outcome if we leave without an agreement with the EU. In any commentary, be it on radio, TV or in the press, there seems to be an accepted view that “crashing out with no deal” would be a disaster, and needs to be avoided at almost any cost. People state this view and are rarely questioned on it.
    I have forwarded a copy of your post to the ERG and asked them to promote more positive suggestions on possible “no deal” perspectives.

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