The ERG and Mrs May

There is considerable misunderstanding in the media about the ERG. The ERG is the European Research Group. There are paying MP members who contribute jointly to research staff to help them. Non paying members like myself contribute our own research and also attend some of its meetings. As the name implies all the research is geared to understanding the impact of the EU on public policy and in the last two years to detailed consideration of leaving the EU and establishing a new relationship. Those who subscribe are running a research group that is not party political. A wider group of MPs including myself have meetings with the MPs that run the research club to discuss EU issues.

There are many MP members of this wider group. We all agree that the draft Withdrawal Agreement is unacceptable and as far as I know all will vote against it if it reaches the Commons as draft legislation. The ERG as a Group does not have a view on the future of the PM. Jacob Rees-Mogg (Chairman) has announced in public that he has submitted a letter, and Steve Baker is very active in promoting a vote. There are some other ERG members who have stated they have sent letters. There are some members who have sent letters but do not wish to make a public statement. There are members consulting their Constituency Associations about it. There are some members who do not wish to send letters for a variety of reasons.

The MP Group has only had one formal discussion of this matter when Jacob advised us of his intentions, because the future of Mrs May is not within the normal remit. Our aim as an MP Group is to concentrate on the issues around withdrawal and to set out a clear path on the ones where the Group has something important to say, as on the Irish backstop. Members of the ERG MP Group have over the last two and a half years set out a comprehensive approach to Brexit and urged the government to take it up. We have written and spoken as individuals or with other organisations on the legislation needed, on the legal and constitutional issues, on food and fishing, borders and immigration, trade and tariffs, the economy and taxation, transport security.

The campaign to have a confidence vote is now effectively led by Jacob Rees Mogg and Steve Baker. As Steve has stated on tv he thinks 48 letters should now have gone in. Clearly more letters have gone in than the number of public declarations. I do not believe Sir Graham Brady will fail in his duty. When he has received and opened 48 such letters he has to tell the PM immediately, and organise a vote promptly.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Isn’t it interesting how German MP’s so quickly respond to the UK’s wish to continue negotiations with the EU. Nothing suspicious there…., is there?

    • Peter
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      To send in a letter or not? Michael Howard on radio4 says a leadership contest is a distraction.

      I am sure MPs can multitask. Maybe letter senders want to pile on the pressure when there are so many cabinet resignations? May has proved completely shameless though.

      Rejecting the Withdrawal Bill in Parliament is the main task for MPs. We shall see how that goes and take it from there.

      • Steve
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink


        “Michael Howard on radio4 says a leadership contest is a distraction.”

        Yes well he would say that, he’s notoriously pro immigration, pro EU.

      • NickC
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Peter, We keep being told to wait for some mythical later date when the “real” opposition to Theresa May and her Rasputin will begin. The time has run out, and we’re still being told to wait.

        The DWA is Chequers writ large – a dreadful deal, worse than remaining in. We have been cheated, betrayed, and lied to. I have never known a crisis so dire for this country, and still most Tory MPs stick their heads in the sand, wait, and hope for something to turn up.

      • Hope
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        JR, Spectator published 40 horrors about May’s punishment extension. Articles 143 and 154- It is clear the UK is going to continue to pay into the EDF, EUs overseas aid AND the UK will continue to pay for EU immigration and refugee Trust! This is UK taxpayers’ money, by the billion, being given away without any say whatsoever. Our taxes! This is not taking back control of our money nor is there an end date to it. The UK leaves the EU on 29/03/2019 and it is agreed by May’s plan to pay these vast amounts of money without any say how it is spent after this date! In stark contrast May lies to say after the UK leaves it will take control of its money! How many times has she said this.? Hammond is responsible for the highest taxation in fifty years, doubled the debt and has agreed with the EU this will continue forever!

        All the Tory MP dullards who continue to support May and her punishment extension need to support tart reading.

        31. Any powers the UK parliament might have had to mitigate EU law are officially removed. (Article 128)

        Downing Street: This is solely about the implementation period which is a standstill arrangement during which EU law will apply to the UK as if it were a Member State.

        Steerpike: You said it. So why pretend that the UK is “leaving the EU” on March 29 2019? Is this not the textbook definition of what some MPs call “Brexit in name only?”

        What is a Fox thinking! In his latest comments about May and her agreement! Does he have any values or conviction? He has no job. He enjoys the trimmings of office without any real job.

        • Hope
          Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          Please note Downing Street reply “Stand still arrangement”. No transition or implementation. Stand still without an ending! No voice veto and ECJ still applying years after we leave and in some instances on the last EU living person!

          I am not sure who is more demented, May or those fools supporting her!

    • margaret howard
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      And what would you suspect them of plotting if they had ignored the wish to negotiate? Teutonic chicanery?

      • Steve
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink


        Or maybe napoleonic back stabbery from Macron ?

        There’s not many european countries you could trust, but if I had to choose between the French and Germans I’d, pick Germany. (provided of course Rosa Klebb wasn’t involved.)

      • L Jones
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        And what would YOU suspect them of plotting if they ignore the will of the people to leave the EU?

      • Peter Wood
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps when another German takes over from Junker it will be clearer for you… but maybe not..

    • Peter
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Another theory doing the rounds is that the Withdrawal Bill fails to get through Parliament.

      The value of sterling goes down sharply as does the stock market index (with a little help from Remain-minded elites?). George Soros September 1992 run on sterling mark2

      There is a second attempt to get the Withdrawal Bill passed and this time it does on the back of fear for the economy.

  2. Cheshire Girl
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    What gets me, is that some newspapers keep crowing that not enough letters have gone in. Don’t they realise that not everyone goes to the Papers to tell them everything! They will have to wait and see.

    • Peter
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      In other news, SW railways meltdown. No train service today into Britain’s busiest stations – London Waterloo and Clapham Junction.

      This is now par for the course in a fractured system. Various operations will seek to lay the blame elsewhere. ‘Failing’ Grayling is not offering any solution.

      A properly integrated rail system is long overdue. Heads need to roll when there are continued problems

      Reply How does a fully integrated system stop strikes?

      • Peter
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        ‘How does a fully integrated system stop strikes?’

        I should point out firstly that today’s disruption was because of an overrun on engineering works – not a strike. An integrated system stops people passing the buck. The operator cannot say it is not our fault. The operator is responsible for the whole shooting match.

        Secondly, a fragmented system has not stopped the recent strikes on Southern region or whatever it is called these days.

        A fragmented system with a change of operators at the end of a franchise encourages short term outlook and maximising profit at the expense of a good service. The notion of a railway employee who worked in the industry for a lifetime has disappeared.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Network rail staff at Milton Keynes HQ should be sacked over this, but it will never happen, like the NHS they are immune from failing.

      • Ken Moore
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

        It’s very simple Network Rail is another incompetent and inefficient publicly run body,overseen by incompetent politicians and civil servants that exists to service the needs of it’s employers first and the paying public second.

      • Addanc Monster
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Instead of HS2 how about investment in a fully automated railway, remove the troublesome human element.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Reported in the Daily Express is that 48 letters have not yet been received.
      Graham Brady could not be lying – could he? Just pondering.

      reply No, Sir Graham will not lie. Why would he? He serves the 1922 Committee, not Mrs May

      • old salt
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Another example of what happens when confidence of those in authority is in question.

    • Bob
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      This kind of detail is overlooked by the likes of the BBC. They’re there to indoctrinate, misinform and distract their Licence Fee customers.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      Exactly 47 letters should be sent in …… then leave her sweating

      • NickC
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Stephen Priest, I am not interested in revenge or making her sweat. This is a crisis for the UK. Denis Healey never actually said “Crisis, what crisis?” but that was a walk in the park compared to the monumental and treacherous bungling by the delusional Theresa May. The country comes first – she must go.

  3. Mrs Alison Houston
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Why do you think Brady won’t fail in his duty?

    Why should we believe it is your fellow members of the ERG who are telling lies about submitting letters and not him?

    There is every reason to suspect it is him who has been bought off and none to suspect others. No Leave voting Tory MP has anything to lose with the public if they hand in their letters. Graham Brady is looking for a position in cabinet and has everything to lose.

    I don’t like the big, thick cut of his gibb. Don’t trust him.

    • Steve
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Mrs Houston

      My sentiments exactly.

      Another interesting fact about Brady i.e chairman 1922 committee, is that despite sufficient letters he is the one who decides when the vote is called.

      Thus; he might have been sitting on 48+ for all we know, therefore giving May time to swindle the nation.

      Stinks doesn’t it !

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I think we can trust Brady even if he is was lawyer, he seems sound enough to me. He would be found out anyway should he fail in his duty. Perhaps some are waiting for the rest of the leavers in Cabinet to leave too, now that May has refused to even to allow them to go back and try to get a more sensible deal from the EU.

      The Prime Minister threatens to neutralise Brexit, disable our sovereignty and obliterate the Conservative Party – as QUENTIN LETTS puts it this am. Get rid of this appalling PM now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        Theresa May today:- “We have in view a deal that will work for the UK, let no one be in any doubt…… I am determined to deliver it.”

        She clearly must be removed from office as soon as possible, there is surely no longer any debate on this?

        • L Jones
          Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

          Sadly, Mrs May doesn’t even SOUND sincere. Never did. Though some of us were prepared to give her the benefit of the doubt. She’s let us down, good and proper.
          If she were a good actor, then perhaps some of us would have been duped. That she is so bad at delivering what are quite obviously lies and obfuscations suggests that we really are being taken for fools, if we are expected to believe them.

          What next? The streets?

        • Gary C
          Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

          @ Lifelogic

          Re: “She clearly must be removed from office as soon as possible, there is surely no longer any debate on this?”

          I and many many others are in complete agreement with you.

        • Ken Moore
          Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

          Mrs May is a typical only child, unwilling to back down or listen, poor at forming alliances and team building, awkward in social situations, unwilling to share and open up to criticism. Like Brown her character isn’t suitable for the office of PM.

          • Lifelogic.
            Posted November 20, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

            No children either, also no experience of running any sort of business or working in the private sector and an oxford geography graduate to boot. What hope was there of her every having much common sense or grasp of logic, science, economics, negotiation, game theory, efficiency or reason! No understanding of how to win elections either.

            Oxbow lakes can only take you so far!

            Also a blatant liar (as we saw even before she became PM when she assured us during the referendum) that the UK had control of its borders while in the EU by virtue of being out of Schengen. Far more deceptions since of course. Get rid of her before she gives us the appalling Corbyn.

            A rather nasty one two as we saw from her go home illegal immigrants van adverts election stunt!

    • Adam
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Assuming someone is untrustworthy without evidence lacks logic.

      Your spelling of jib is more like starting gibberish. Events within the next few days should reveal what is true.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      And I thought it was just me, Alison.

    • rose
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      But he has at least indicated he does not support the WA.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Whilst I take your point it would be a very dangerous path for him to take as MPs who had submitted letters could tot up the number and publicly out him.

    • Fuddy Duddy
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      ‘gibb’? What craft uses that?

  4. James Wallace-Dunlop
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Mrs May claims that the choice is between her deal, no deal, and no Brexit. Even if one accepts her claim, her deal is the worst of the three options.
    It seems that Mrs May engaged in a charade, with her bold Lancaster House speech, and appointing Brexit secretaries with Leave credentials, while having the negotiations conducted by Remain civil servant Ollie Robbins. The Irish border is a non-issue, which should be a matter for the people of Northern Ireland, but has been used as an excuse by Mrs May to turn Brexit into an optimism-less surrender on everything other than Freedom of Movement.
    I do hope that the ERG members, and other democrats, will stand firm. Even if it means another General Election, or delaying Brexit (or, rather, Mrs May’s non-Brexit).
    Mr Corbyn could not do a worse job of respecting the referendum (despite his aversion to the union, and his belated enthusiasm for a customs union)

  5. eeyore
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    There are 330 Conservative MPs so 166 are needed to win a confidence vote. But the vote need not be won. A substantial minority would show that Mrs May has effectively lost her majority and her mandate. How many? Who knows?

    She would need to be replaced. Most MPs are Remainers terrified of No Deal. Will they accept a Leaver? A political vacuum would leave power with the Civil Service at exactly the moment when it must be in the hands of politicians.

    Like the party, the nation is split. The clock ticks on. Interesting times.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Eeyore, Theresa May will call a “second” referendum. Think about it from her point of view: she gets to stay as PM and avoids an election; she heads off all her Leave and Labour enemies; and she gets her deal accepted by the electorate. Of course the EU will extend the Art50 process because they know the question will be: Mrs May’s Deal, or Remain? The EU are winners either way and we shall be slaves of the EU. Unless she’s stopped of course.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      All indications to date are that if May wins a confidence vote by a single vote then she’ll stay – remember that even losing her majority in a General Election wasn’t enough for her to think she wasn’t doing a splendid job and should continue.

    • rose
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      I thought it was 159? If they do get a vote of no confidence then each MP will have to consider: do we want to go into another election with this leader? Each MP should know by now they would lose the DUP’s assistance if they confirmed the same leader. Each MP must fear a general election. Each MP will know This Leader = This Withdrawal Agreement.

      Surely none of them can want a reinvigorated, emboldened Mrs May? For a whole year?

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Indeed no one wants another election with the electoral liability, disingenuous traitor and tax borrow and waste, robotic, daft, socialist Theresa at the helm do they?

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      If Mrs May wins by one vote I think she will not resign. The no-confidence vote stands little or no chance of deposing her
      Unfortunately, she is a very tenacious woman who is purposely blind to what is happening around her.
      In this regard, I believe she has also reported that she no longer reads the newspapers.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      And yet they seem to be struggling to get even up to 48. It amazes me that appeaser, dishonest, socialist and electoral liability T May has any support at all, beyond perhaps Hammond, Rudd, Greg Clark, Ken Clark and a couple more pro EU socialists. She is pushing a hugely damaging and totally idiotic deal. One that is surely dead already?

      I can see that the sound wing perhaps do not want to trigger an election, lose it and then get stuck with the appalling T May for another year. But surely this appalling woman must now go now before she inflicts even more huge damage on the UK. With Corbyn’s version of Venezuella to follow.

  6. hans christian ivers
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:44 am | Permalink


    The quality of the research delivered by ERG and their so -called forecasts, have been so low, that the input cannot be taken seriously.

    This is really low quality on what has been delivered

    • sm
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Hans, I assume that what you mean is that you don’t agree with the ERG?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink


        I actually think there research and forecasts are of such bad quality, that they are close to fake news. For example they presented a 15 year forecast for the prosperity of the economy with a “NO deal” and Mogg presented it as serious research.

        Not very credible

        • NickC
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          Hans, It’s a forecast! So you cannot claim it is fake news until two things happen: we implement the WTO deal; 15 years have passed. You may not like it; it may indeed be flawed. But you have to show why and not just vent, for you to be taken seriously. Hence, why you’re not.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Yet you think another 15 year study is just perfect.
          It is just your opinion.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

            Edward 2

            this is your claim no mine

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Not at all, the work the ERG has done has been excellent.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Absolute nonsense, I have now also given examples

        • NickC
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          Hans, No you haven’t.

        • Edward2
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          where are all your examples?

    • Henry Rogers
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Mr Ivers,
      Some concrete examples would be useful. I’m sure our kind host would give you space. Without reasoned argument, changing minds is a bit difficult! Mere statements of opinion achieves nothing, except to irritate those whose minds you wish to change.

      • Henry Rogers
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        achieve, not achieves. Apologies all!

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Henry Rogers

        I have given concrete examples as you asked for

        • NickC
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

          Hans, You have not.

        • Henry Rogers
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Mr Ivers,
          If you refer to your new post just above, it may well contain an example of something you disagree with but it is not an argument supported by by proper analysis, whether or not you are correct in your assessment. For that you need more than three sentences. I’m sure you believe passionately in the things you post but, if you really want to convince people, as opposed to irritating them, you need to go into much more detail supported by undisputed facts.

          There are some political sites where ‘Wind-ups’ are all part of the fun and people enjoy eloquent posts even if they disagree with them. I’m not sure that’s the case here

    • libertarian
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink


      As opposed to the treasury forecasts and “professional economists” that have proved to be complete fantasy if not outright manipulation

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

        Libertarian, Indeed, the Britain Stronger In Remain “forecasts” were a joke in their own life time. The europhiles’ guesses have failed every time.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink


        I would agree some of the ERG forecasts over 15 years fall in the same category.

        • NickC
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

          Hans, Some of the Remain forecasts (like WW3) were not credible even before the Referendum. Some failed after the vote (recession due to the Leave vote did not occur). You have to show why the ERG 15 year forecast is flawed (you haven’t) or wait for 15 years.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

            a 15 year forecast, is not serious research in economics and it does not matter which side presents the argument

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink


        I agree with you

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Who are you hans?
      How does a normal member of the public know what you claim to know?

    • stred
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      that the UK has as PM a proven liar…

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      hans christian ivers
      Have you any facts to back up your biased “opinion” ?
      I believe our post to be wind-up and is “really low quality”.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Hans, The quality of research delivered by the ERG is a whole lot better than the so-called forecasts of Remains like yourself.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink


        They are actually wrong on most accounts but your input on some of the Rmains is not good. I am actually not remain, but that dos not matter here NickC

        • NickC
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          Hans, You promote the EU and slag off the UK. Typical Remain.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink


            We are back to your unsubstantiated generalisations now

    • Ken Moore
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      The ‘research’ must have been done by a bunch of college kids. It’s taken until the 59th minute of the 11th hour for reality to dawn that no deal would be very disruptive leaving them with nothing else in the cupboard. They need to UP their game and fast!

      For the love of god please look again at the EEA/EFTA option it’s the best show in town..

      • David Price
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        We must have a clean break with no trade agreement because events have shown the government and establishment simply cannot be trusted to act honestly in our interests. EEA/EFTA would merely give them a safe space to screw us over yet again.

        Do not sign a withdrawal agreement or any agreement that binds future parliaments and governments irrevocably, any that do won’t be in my name.

    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The last thing Tory democrats need is a failed leadership contest for this will only embolden this person who presently leads the Tory party. That would be disastrous for the future of British democracy and will almost certainly guarantee the UK’s future would be a vassal one with the British taxpayer financing an agreement that effectively imprisons the country in a web of restriction

    Yes, this is what some seditious, treacherous Tory MPs have done to the UK. They are to all intents and purposes telling us we must finance our own imprisonment

    Tory democrats must find another way of bringing this government down if they cannot muster enough support to topple the EU’s man on the inside.

    For me, it is simple. I will never vote Tory again until this offence to truth, democracy and morality has been removed as our party’s leader

  8. oldtimer
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Thank you for that helpful description of the ERG. It explains J R-Ms past comments that his focus was on policy not on the PM. That changed when her current deeds diverged from her past words. It is very clear she has deceived her Cabinet, MPs and the public in the development and execution of her Brexit policy. In my opinion the most likely explanation of her behaviour is that she is in the pocket of big business who have persuaded her of the “chaos” of a so-called hard Brexit. That accounts for her inflexible attitude and claims of serving the “national interest”. The claims of “chaos” are wildly overblown as you have pointed out many times.

    I can see the reasons for the arguments for and against mounting a no confidence challenge now versus a later date. J R-M has taken a principled position throughout this saga with his focus on policy and the word of the PM. I wish him and all others who mount this challenge every success. It is principled and deserves to succeed. Whether it will topple the PM is another matter. If it does not it will provide a good guide to the strength of the opposition to her policies and it’s ability to frustrate the legislative process.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      If the Tory MPs do not evict the appalling, duplicitous, dim, robotic, sell the country down the river, big state, high taxing, interventionist and total electoral liability Mrs Appeaser May then who would they ever evict?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        She will bury the party even more deeply than John Major did if she is allowed to continue. Even against the appalling Corbyn. She will revive UKIP as we see already and spit the Tory vote. She must be buried now, it is richly deserved. We already know she is an electoral disaster, a high taxing interventionist, a socialist dope who would sell the UK and NI down the river for ever with this outrageous deal.

        What more evidence do they need before they evict her.

        • Ken Moore
          Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

          Crashing out of the ERM was bad for the Conservatives but they ain’t seen nothing yet if Mrs May is allowed to drive the Tory bus over a cliff. I do hope our kind host has sent a letter to Mr Brady.

          • Lifelogic.
            Posted November 20, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

            Indeed May is even worse than the appalling John Major and with slightly less excuse of vacuity.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      It is not that she is in the pay of big business. She is a technocrat by nature and has come to believe in supra-nationalism. She wants the deal as it is : vassalage under the EU.

      • Mitchel
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        The Soviet GOSPLAN of 1921 divided the former Russian Empire into 13 European and 8 Asian economic regions based on “rational economic planning” rather than any historical pattern or the “vestiges of lost sovereign rights”.

        Lenin’s great speech of 22/12/1920:”Communism is Soviet Power + Electrification of the Whole Country” was the original technocratic manifesto and,apart from the odd word,doesn’t seem at all dated!

    • Peter
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Letters as a further sign of unhappiness, rather than in realistic expectation of unseating the Prime Minister? She has shown herself to be shameless – but if enough discontent stacks up against her it might gather its own momentum.

      Not agreeing the Withdrawal Bill is still the main task.

      Establishment voices now frantically try to argue that her proposed agreement is not so bad and could get better. Most of us are still just as unconvinced as before.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Oldtimer, It is likely she thinks she is serving the interests of the trans-national corporatists as you say. She obviously hasn’t thought about the damage to the other 88% of our economy, and our freedom, and our nation, as a result of us remaining slaves to the EU empire.

      The establishment Remain cabal conspiring with the EU have completely outmanoeuvred Leave. Face it, we have lost this battle. We can only begin to recover if Mrs May is toppled – or at least a credible attempt is made. But no sign of that yet. The Tory party obviously has a death wish.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      The CBI is a nasty surprise coming when the EU has total control over our trade policy and can hamper us and help its members to destroy our trade, as they surely will.

      • Oxiana321
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        Big business is international. They will just move elsewhere if things get nasty.

    • Timaction
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May needs to go. Her actions from the December last, indicate underhanded and deceitful behaviour where she has colluded with the EU and foreign leaders to create the Northern Ireland nonsense. Then worked with Oily on a tandem White paper and not keeping David Davis informed. Then she sprung this on the Cabinet at the last minute at Chequers with lots of threats, “my way or the highway”.
      Now she has ignored the Country when every indicator showed her Chequers plan did not deliver the referendum or manifesto promises.
      Her latest last minute “Withdrawal agreement” yet again sprung on the people and Parliament at the last minute so she can claim no time to change.
      The worst and most dishonest Prime Minister in our history has sold us out and needs to go!

  9. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    There is not misunderstanding in the media, they understand it perfectly well but only present it in a way to suit their own particular agenda (witness The Daily Mail who are now a cheerleader for May).

    Dominic Raab is odd. He says he was deliberately hoodwinked by May/Robbins who put a sentence in the agreement without showing it to him, he resigned as a result, yet now he says he continues to support May. Bizarre.

    I imagine enough Labour MPs will abstain so that the withdrawl agreement is passed – to have May still in place personally handling the future relationship negotiations in her usual incompetent way would simply compound the problem. Time to get rid.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Well Rabb surely wants to be appear to be loyal, so as to win votes from all sided in any leadership contest that follows. He who wealds the knife shall not wear the crown.

      Though is this case May has behaved so appallingly and treacherously that one might think anyone still speaking well of her is deluded and rather suspect.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Do you think labour MPs will abstain?
      The front bench (which has no affection for the EU) just want a general election – they are not going to help Theresa May out. Even avid remainers like Chuka Amuna say they will vote it down.
      Not time to get rid yet. Wait until March29th when the humiliation of the “stay close to the EU” policy is complete. If a leadership challenge fails, we will be stuck with May for another year.
      However, if you are right and enough labour MPs abstain to allow the withdrawal agreement (including whatever further amendments the EU require) to pass, then to my mind Brexit is betrayed. Civil unrest? Who knows.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Roy Grainger, Most Conservative MPs are in complete denial. Have they read Theresa May’s deal to make us the slaves of the EU empire? Their heads are in the sand – the Tories will not be forgiven by Leaves, and of what use is the Judas sheep? With the EU having an unfettered lock on the UK during the extendible “transition”, the EU will never accept anything less in the future. There will be then no need for national politicians or Westminster at all.

      • miami.mode
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        Nick, we only have to cast our minds back to when Mrs May became leader. It was unalloyed joy among most Conservative MPs because they surely must have realised that if it had gone to the membership it was probable that a Brexiteer would have succeeded.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Roy, I’ve stopped buying the Daily Mail on principle.

      Rumours abound about Farage coming back into politics. I hope so. At least when he is interviewed he tells it as it is. He lets people know exactly what the EU are up to. I don’t think most of the general public realise what the EU are planning. When it comes it will be a big shock to most. Too late then. Politicians who are backing May’s plan are traitors to their country. Mrs May will go down at the PM who brought the Tory party to its knees. Something to be proud of – not.

      • Gary C
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        @ fedupsoutherner

        Re: “Mrs May will go down at the PM who brought the Tory party to its knees. Something to be proud of – not.”

        I am astonished at the amount of business leaders backing TM, they obviously have not got the foresight to see what will happen if the referendum is not honoured . . . . . . . It seem’s they would be happy with Corbyn as PM.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Gary C.

        YEs with lots of fake news in between

    • outsider
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Dear Roy Grainger, Yes, far from the Withdrawal Agreement being dead in the water, it may well be passed thanks to “Blairite” Labour MPs and the SNP. Would the efforts of ERG members not be better spent approaching the Shadow Cabinet and taking them through the document to show them that it would permanently rule out most of the Socialist elements of their agenda ? After all, restoring UK democracy does also mean restoring the ability to take a Socialist path if voters chose to. Analogous arguments apply to SNP aspirations, not just over fishing.

  10. javelin
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    What I don’t understand is how Parliament can ignore the democratic rights of hard workers then invite said hardworkers into Parliament to switch off the power and water and give them accelerants and flames and not expect said redundant building to not burn down.

    I am of course talking about Parliamentary refurbishment.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Parliament and the refurbishment are pointless if we Remain.

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Javelin, Nice. The problem is the young to middle-aged have been indoctrinated to love their EU masters, as Andy keeps pointing out. By the time they’ve understood that the EU is a totalitarian ideology, using the UK as a cash cow, conscripting their children into the EU army, we will be locked in until the EU collapses. Which it will, as all empires do, but not just yet.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted November 21, 2018 at 10:56 am | Permalink


        You are now agitating with no substantiation about an ideology that does not exist

    • bigneil
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      Parliament has always ignored the democratic rights of hard workers, ( unless they voted the “right” way ). The hard workers are there to be taxed at source, unlike a lot of people further up the ladder who can apparently bend rules to suit themselves, then feel an apology is enough to see them right, whereas the hard worker would be jailed for the same offence.

  11. Mark B
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Getting rid of the PM is a non-starter. The problem is elsewhere. Ministers decide, Civil Sevants advise. And who has been at the forefront of this advice ?

    She will win a confidence vote and will therefore remain in post for at least 12 months. Far better I would have thought to keep ones powder dry and vote down the Widrawal Surrender.

    The EU meet later this month to discuss and agree. If they do, then it goes before our parliament in early December. It is there where she must lose. She called for, and got, a GE and stood on a platform manifesto on leaving the SM and the CU. Clearly she has broken her promise. She now stands on getting through this so called agreement. If she fails and it is shown that she has not prepared for a ‘No deal’ scenario, then I am affraid she must then go. And if she will not resign, then she must be pushed. Trouble is, if the Tories, as seems the case, push too soon, she can just tough it out for another 8 months. 😉 So to repeat. It is better not to challenger her now, but when all around her everything is in ruin and she has little or no support.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      You really do not like it when someone hits the nail on the head, do you? 😉

      So that’s the plan. You need an excuse to keep pretending you are a Eurosceptic party. Will there be a run on the pound to give you a get out excuse to vote the deal in and claim the national interest ?

  12. Helena
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Nicola Sturgeon has it right – pity Mrs May, surrounded by shouty men. You stamp your foot a lot, Mr Redwood. You never propose a constructive alternative.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      Sure he has repeatedly proposed the Super Canada deal, with any new checks on the Irish border to work as current ones do, without the need for a fence.

    • Edward2
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      Virtually every day alternative policies are put forward by our host.
      Would you consider any on the remain side to be “shouty”?

  13. acorn
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    There is something very wrong with a so-called democracy, when a bunch of fifth columnists, can change a Prime Minister,in the middle of a parliament, without a general election. Circa 46 million other citizens would like a say in changing their leader.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink


      Oh you mean like making Gordon Brown PM ?

      • acorn
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Exactly so.

        • libertarian
          Posted November 20, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Well that is one thing we agree on… Our democracy is nothing of the sort

  14. Tabulazero
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Corbyn as PM…. What an utter catastrophy

  15. Sakara gold
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Graham Brady denied yesterday on the BBC that he had received enough letters. He also denied that on previous occasions he had received enough letters to trigger a challenge. Will the two sets of letters be added together?

  16. Iain Gill
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Mrs May and her latest missive that her so called brexit will allow more software developers (who are already in oversupply) in from “Delhi” is exactly what we don’t want to hear.

    The migration advisory committee has been saying correctly for a long time that software staff are not in short supply, and here she is as an ex home secretary making clear she has been listening to big business who just want cheaper workers.

    Absolute disgrace. No idea of reality.

  17. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    JR, I think it is a pity that you have vaporised two of my recent submissions in particular, both pointing out that there is no reason to expect the Irish government to ever depart from the absurd extreme and intransigent attitude on the land border that it adopted a year ago, and even if Theresa May had any intention of delivering on her promise of “jam tomorrow” the Irish would prevent that happening.

    Can you imagine a statement like this ever emanating from Dublin?

    “We’ve changed our minds, it would be fine with us if it was decided that Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK would no longer be under the rules of the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market in perpetuity.”

  18. Mark
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink


    Thank you for standing up for democracy.

    The PM keeps saying that we legally owe money to the EU, even after the Lords said otherwise.

    It would surely be a very powerful tactic to illustrate both the dissembling from No. 10 and the flaws in the withdrawal agreement if you and others would keep pressing for legal evidence and calculations / the formula used for the £39bn* in the Commons.

    Thanks again for your ongoing efforts,


    *Let’s be honest, it’s going to be a lot more than £39bn in the end

  19. Andy
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I particularly like the word ‘research’ in the EEG’s group. I wonder if it is supposed to be ironic?

    • NickC
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      Andy, “Research” must be a novel word for you? It means you would have to state facts with sources, instead of just your usual hysterical (in both senses of the word) Euro-worshiping.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Andy, what, like your posts?

    • JustGetOnWithBrexit
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink


      Is that the Eastern European Group…have they now renamed the EU?…

      The same as a Windscale to Sellafield, detoxification?

      …The EU.
      The determination of Western European leaders to re-create the Soviet Union in Western Europe.

  20. mickc
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    In plain words…Tory MPs don’t have the guts for a leadership challenge.

    • Gary C
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      mickc, Yes it is looking that way.

    • Chris
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

      Exactly, micke.

  21. Richard1
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Dominic Raab performed well on Marr’s programme, but even he continues this line that he’s supporting the PM but wants the policy to change. Is there something which MPs can see or understand about the workings of the government which isn’t clear to the rest of us? To me this feels like sophistry. It is clear that mrs may is wedded to her terrible deal which, most likely, forever rules the UK out of having an independent trade policy. Remain would be better. We need a PM and lead negotiatior to make a last ditch effort at a sensible deal with the EU, and failing that preparing for WTO Brexit in March. It must be clear whether or not Mrs may will do that and if she won’t she needs to go.

    On the positive side, the inevitable disruption of WTO Brexit next spring will rightly be blamed on may and Hammond as it’s clear it’s they who have blocked preparations. This should limit the political damage to the new PM.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      The other thing which should make this decision easier is we know Mrs may has to go well before the next election, and the risk now is a snap election with mrs may as leader by default.

  22. Qubus
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    My soluttion:
    Have a referendum: choice accept the present deal or WTO. If accept, abolish the Houes of Lords, halve the size of the House of Commons and make politicians apply for membership of the European Pariament. That should concentrate their minds.

  23. billR
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Reading between the lines we can presume JR has already sent in his letter. So Ok and then let’s presume then that Mrs May will become unseated and J R-M or DD or Senor Raab takes over- do you seriously think it is going to make a blind bit of difference in our negotiations with the EU crowd? In the face of this they will disown us. They are not going to negotiate with the ERG acting on behalf of the UK as they will see it.

    Barnier and Junker, also Verhofstadt and Tusk will just pull the plug- absolutely no doubt

    We will leave as planned 29 March, with nothing in the pipeline, not with Europe and not with any other worthwhile trading economy worldwide? out to WTO rules to pick up the pieces- for years- and no need for me here to spell out what the ‘pieces’ might be?

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Given the widely publicised and ongoing PPI scandal it may seem strange that Theresa May has chosen to sell her Irish ‘backstop’ scheme as a form of insurance …

    But it could be that she has correctly judged the calibre of journalists and commentators, as I have yet to see any one of them ask some obvious questions such as:

    1. Who is providing the insurance?
    2. Who is being insured?
    3. Against what risks?
    4. And who is paying the premiums?

    I think the last question is the easiest to answer, as clearly it is the citizens of the UK who will bear the cost of the insurance through the diminished economic prospects that will result from its terms, and I don’t expect that we would ever be able to reclaim the cost or secure compensation for our losses.

    As for the other questions, is the UK government insuring Irish citizens against the risk that their government will erect fortifications on its side of the border, or what?

  25. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    It is clear and has been for over a year that Mrs May will not deliver Brexit. I don’t think she ever intended to. She should have been replaced after her catastrophic election campaign in 2017. As time passes people’s memories fade a phenomenon that is well understood by MrsMay and the civil service. Remember how we were told that we needed an implementation/transition period so that business es only needs to make one change? That period is due to start at the end of March next year but has become the negotiation period for future trading arrangements. No doubt these will be stretched out until the latest date as is the way of the EU. Indeed the EU has already said we can extend until 2022 at a cost of another £20bn! No doubt another implemntation period will be said to be essential for all the reasons previously given. Isn’t it obvious that this whole process has been ond great charade designed to keep the UK in the EU by one route or another. This bertayal of the British people will seriuosly damage our democracy – another plus for the EU for whom democracy is anathema.

  26. Pete Else
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    How can any MP that really believes we should leave not send in a letter of no confidence in a Prime Minister that is so obviously working to frustrate the will of the people? Only one reason I can see, they are not telling the truth and they don’t support leaving.

    • Chris
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      They have revealed exactly what they are like: their lack of principles, honesty and integrity. A disgrace, the lot of them, in my view.

  27. Lifelogic.
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    It seems the NHS is so grossly incompetent that “doctors” can work for the NHS for 22 years without being even remotely qualified (first years drop out for example). It must do wonders for patient outcomes. How much does it cost to fully check their qualifications with the university concerned £2 or something perhaps? The legal and other claims statistics against overseas qualified doctors are apparently very significantly higher than those against UK qualified doctors. Perhaps given this it is hardly that surprising.

  28. Lifelogic
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    As Littlejohn put it the other day.

    The only way forward is for (May) to fall off her kitten heels, sooner rather than later. After two wasted years of dissembling, betrayal, incompetence and downright surrender to Brussels, Mother Theresa deserves nothing less than an ignominious departure.

    Let’s get this over with please. Enough is enough and take Hammond, Greg Clark and the other lefty, tax to death, dopes with her.

  29. libertarian
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I never thought I would live to see the ending of UK democracy , but I have.

    The Conservative Party are totally incompetent , not just Brexit but almost everything else they touch too

    Its a laughable state where a party elected on a manifesto to remove us from the EU, CU and SM are all actually doing everything to keep us in it

    Whilst the leader of the opposition who for 40 years has wanted to leave those institutions is voting to stay in

    Politicians, the lying class , will live to regret their behaviour . I’ve never experienced such anger from so many people in this country before.

  30. ChrisS
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Things seem to be going from bad to worse :

    If the Express is right, the 27 are busy making changes to the trade declaration that accompanies the withdrawal agreement in order to make our future relationship even less attractive and making new demands on fishing rights.

    May says that the withdrawal agreement is signed and sealed and can’t be changed, yet Von Rumpoy was on the Today programme this morning and said that it could be tweeked!

    Now Barnier is offering transition past the next election. Of course he would : they will want to charge us an extra £10bn pa or £833m a month which will help them over their very serious budget disagreements and taking transition past the next election clearly opens the possibility that Brexit could then be reversed.

    If UK businesses wants a longer transition, they can pay for it, not our taxpayers.
    They will soon sort themselves out if the alternative is paying £833m a month !

  31. Alan Jutson
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The simple answer is that it would appear Mrs May is not taking advice from anyone but Oily Robbins.

    She appears to have a completely closed mind and closed ears to anyone else, even those who are in the Cabinet, hence the chequers minus minus fiasco.

    Quite why Oily Robbins has been chosen as the fountain of all knowledge I have not a clue, but clearly she appears to trust his judgement above all others.
    Its a very strange way of organising procedures given the huge range, talent and Commercial experience within Parliament, but perhaps Mrs May is embarrassed by her own lack of business and commercial knowledge, and does not want that to be seen in front of her more experienced colleagues.

    It would not be the first time a Leader or CEO has less knowledge that their other Cabinet/boardroom members about the Government/business they run.

    Hence we are where we are with a complicated fudge of a surrender document.

  32. BOF
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Hmm. Without evicting May from No 10 there will be no Brexit. Many Conservative MP’s fail to see that the very survival of their Party hangs in the balance.

  33. Chris
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    I read that Boris has not yet submitted a letter to Sir Graham , and The Sun reports there are in fact 42 letters submitted. There is also much in the Press about the disunity of the Brexiter MPs and some totally unconvincing justifications for not acting. Adam Afriyie is quoted as saying that he thinks May should be beatified (and he professed himself to be a Brexiter in the early days):

    “Support for May, the vicar’s daughter, arrives from neighbouring Tory MP for Windsor Adam Afriyie: ‘With so many against her, our PM must be beatified if she succeeds in getting a deal through the Commons under these conditions”.

    It is also reported in the Press that Amber Rudd is now in prime position to be the next PM. Perhaps that is what May had in mind just in case she lost any challenge to her leadership?

    Each day the Tory Party gives more and more reasons not to vote for them. My own view is that the position is so serious that the only way for Conservatives to have a true Conservative Party to vote for is for Brexiter MPs to resign and be Independents, until a new Party is formed.

    I believe that the current Cons party is not fit for purpose in my mind, and is a sham, constituted of many people who have nothing but contempt for democracy and who are prepared to overturn the referendum result, thereby destroying democracy, and also completely destroying any trust in politicians. I include the PM in that description.

    It is a complete disgrace and it is vital for this country that any honourable MPs act immediately to save our country.

    • rose
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Boris has publicly declared and Mrs Rudd has such a tiny majority she shouldn’t be chosen.

  34. JoolsB
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    John, will you tell us if you have submitted a letter? This deluded woman has to be stopped and replaced by someone who truly believes in democracy and delivering on what we voted for which she obviously doesn’t. She has to go

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      JoolsB, my guess is Labour will vote with her and push this agreement through. Then as they know the resulting 💩 will hit the fan and as with the ERM fallout they manage to sweep back into power.

      I prefer to listen to the Enterpreneur on C4 news who answered the question as he’d read the entire withdrawal agreement himself -v- the cbi chap who didn’t bother reading it and is relying on other people to interpret it for him and didn’t answer the question because he couldn’t and the news anchor just let it go.

      John, and other people in power must put the questions in writing to the PM of the key sticking points in this agreement, blog them one by one. Let people 👀 in bite size chunks they are being misled, we will not be free and will have to trade under EU terms.

  35. David Magauran
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Even if the no confidence letters reach 48 and there is a vote on May’s leadership and she wins, there cannot be another no confidence vote for 12 months. So if there are not enough votes to topple her, her position will be stronger. So what’s the point of a vote?

    • percy openshaw
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      It should precipitate a split. We need to break away from the europhil fanatics once and for all.

      • David Magauran
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Percy. I don’t believe the 48+ would have the guts to split the party.

    • JoolsB
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      If she wasn’t so deluded and if she had any principles, 48 against you would be enough for most people to stand down.

  36. Duyfken
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Well full marks to Sir Bill Cash, and null marks to others of the old eurosceptic group of Tory MPs.

    Noble knights Leigh and Jenkin, along with other MPs such as Fabricant, Raab et al, all seem to find righteous (?) excuses for providing continued support to May. Brexit is being lost, not just by the devious machinations of the PM, Hammond, and her clique of civil servants but also by these cheer-leaders of the Brexit MPs, who seem to be all mouth and no trousers. Mogg must really despair by his fair-weather friends.

    JR, if you care please tell me I am wrong (and why).

    • Chris
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      I think you are right, Duyfken. Apparently even Boris and David Davis have not submitted letters. It seems that various factions within the Leavers are surfacing and that this infighting is distracting from the real goal, which is to stop this abomination of a Plan by May. Tory Brexiter MPs are beyond the pale, in my view. They have completely lost the plot as they are apparently unwilling to fight for this country and for democracy. Tragically for the country, we are stuck with these apparently impotent, and in some cases treacherous, wimps until the next election, when we will, I believe, let Corbyn in, to teach said MPs a lesson. That seems to be the message from the blogosphere.

    • Stred
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s because they know that May is a class one liberal lefty pro EU globalist nutter who will call an election or a biased second referendum rather than let us get one over the EU. And also that most of the HoC is a similar sort of swine. So we are basically up the creek and democracy has been quietly killed off .

  37. libertarian
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Hey Andy, Newmania, Margaret howard, Tabularosa etc

    Remember a couple of months back you were telling us all that this blokes scare stories on Brexit should be listened too because he’s a credible expert

    Whoops, there goes another one

    Carmaker Nissan says its chairman Carlos Ghosn will be dismissed after an internal investigation (alleges ed)he had under-reported his income

    • libertarian
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink


      European companies Eutelsat Communications and Airbus Defence and Space have signed a deal worth hundreds of millions of pounds to construct key parts of new communications satellites in Stevenage and Portsmouth. Now six out of seven of Eutelsat’s new generation of satellites will be partially built in Britain

      I blame Brexit

  38. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Actions speak louder than words.

    A very confused local CP chairman of a heavy Leave constituency said on the radio yesterday
    that he thought the proposed agreement disastrous but didn’t agree with removing May – I am getting too old for all this non sense.

  39. Colin Hart
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Much as I would like to see May replaced, I have no confidence that she would lose a no confidence vote among Conservative MPs now. The best way forward would be for Parliament to vote down the deal she has ‘negotiated’ with the EU. Then see how the EU reacts.

    • TRP
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      I would think from where I stand that the EU could not care less: they are keen to see the UK go its own way, they have a lot more pressing problems to consider. Take a look at some of the leading continental newspapers, UK, Brexit and May’s problems, if at all mentioned only appear in the very last pages of their editions. For example, no mention of Brexit et al. in « Le Monde, selection hebdomadaire » of 13/10, 20/10, 27/10, 3/11, 10/11. Only 5 lines in Liberation today 19/11.
      I would guess that Brexit, TM’s deal or no-(WTO) deal is not of much interest. The « gilets jaunes » (yellow jackets) are in comparison the main news in France.
      Will we see an equivalent in the UK?

  40. Mockbeggar
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    ‘The EU proposals for Northern Ireland violate the rights of citizens in that province, as defined in the European Convention on Human Rights: namely the right to vote. In democracies, where there is a power to legislate for the population , that population must have the right to vote. This is not only a basic democratic right specifically guaranteed by the Convention, of which the United Kingdom is a signatory. Legislation giving effect to such a denial would be open to successful challenge in the courts.’

    I quote the words of Professor Robert Tombs which have been read and fully endorsed by The Rt. Hon. Sir Richard Aikens, former member of the Court of Appeal and former Vice President of the Consultative Council of European Judges.

  41. ian
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Everything is going great, there should be two votes on the withdrawal bill before Christmas with most MPs either wanting a renegotiation or a second vote, then in the new year it’s up to the EU to either to take a couple of hundred pages out of their bill to get it pasted or hope that there is a second vote which they could lose and will take another year and an extension to article 50 with new MEP election in May 2019.

  42. Jacqui
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Thank you for 5he explanation of the ERG. I presume they are also aware of the article on Brexit Central that the so called ‘back-stop, is illegal according to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. I.e.binding a sovereign nation or break up of. Along with several other issues. Should parliament not discuss this?

  43. ian wragg
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    John, reading some of the comments and various extracts from the WA I get the impression that the FTA we will be offered will be based on the “Backstop” position. That means we will have to remain in the SM and CU all be it under a different name.
    We are now being told that the “Transition Period” when we don’t actually transit to anywhere is to last for another 2 years so a total of 3 years 9 months at the end of which we will sign a Chequers style agreement binding us to the EU permanently.
    They will control Social, Environmental, Fiscal and Energy policy in the name of a level playing field and we will pay the thick end of £100 billion for the privilege.

    Are we really going to sign up to such a one sided arrangement?

    Reply I oppose this!

    • stred
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      The WA has to be really appalling so that the ‘People’s Vote will take us back in. The europhile 2/3rd of the Con party are in on the Cameron May /Blair/Clegg/ Mandelson/civil service/ Lords/CBI and all the rest.. plot.

  44. Newmania
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    John , why do you think it is s that we are not allowed to see an economic analysis of the proposed May Deal ? My guess is that it would be barely any better than NO Deal based on previous assessments ?
    Anyway the legal and economic assessment are both being kept secret
    Isn`t this a quite extraordinary way to force the country into an endless ghost train of half lit horrors ? Do you not think that qt such a time some candor is owed to the people , how can any one ever claim there was any mandate for this when , in addition to a fake news referendum we have an outright refusal to tell anyone the facts

    Reply The government has published some wild 15 year forecasts, and Parliament has demanded to see the legal advice

    • Richard1
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      I find it bizarre and unacceptable that we have not seen any detail behind the different government analyses so they can be properly scrutinised and debated. All these people are in the public pay!

    • Newmania
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      I am aware of the treasury figures ( endorsing main stream economic opinion as a matter of fact), they relate to general alternatives .
      Now we have a real life plan and the situation , as far as I am aware is this :
      “Eleven Conservatives – including Jo Johnson, who resigned as a minister last week – have publicly signed up to the cross-party push, with the rebellion set to grow if it comes to a vote on Monday.

      The prime minister has so far refused to commit to releasing the analysis”

      That was the day before yesterday

  45. Robert Cale
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    Sad to see the Conservative party, and the will of the voter, being usurped by a non-entity like Theresa May. How could this happen? Hopefully the whole procedure for electing and de-selecting a party leader will be revised.

    • Shire tory
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May entered the final round in 2016 against the ERG favourite Mrs Leadsome. So disastroys was Leadsome that May was elected withoyt even a vote. Redwood? Too scared to stand. Cash the same, also Lilkey, Bone, Johnson etc. Gove was thrown out very early on. The ERG are very noisy. They are a tiny minority of proven losers. The Conservative party of Macmillan, heathh and thatcher will see off these far right blowhards

      Reply I did not stand last time because MPs wanted other people and had pledged their support to them, not because I was scared.

  46. Fed up
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    Surely the best time to vote against Mrs May is after her/the “agreement” is voted down in the Commons? Or is there a hope that if she has to resign the agreement will not be considered?

  47. ian
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    How will thing look politically if this withdrawal bill goes through parliament? Not good, MPs will find out that they are not law makes anymore, just governors of areas as the years past by with no real political role, an election on a national level will be downgraded with fewer people coming out to vote, maybe only 40% or less, with the local election being seen as more important, as for the lords, their role of reading bill from parliament will come to an end over time and businesses will have nowhere to lobby for changes and their ideals.

    The BBC will have to downgrade its political news arm and take a lot of its political programs off the air the same with other channels and newspapers will have the same problem.
    As for NI, there no need to take EU laws through Westminster to their parliament they can receive them from the EU direct with only payment coming from England treasury and will nearly be the same in Scotland.
    It will be a relief to get all those talking heads off the TV and reading their crap in papers and on blogs, course MPs in years to come will be known as governors, not lawmakers, like in the USA with hardly any power left worth talking about.

  48. PaulDirac
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    I yeld to JR and JRM in their superior understanding of the procedues and the situation around the desirable (my feeling) defenestration of TM.
    It does seem not to be a serious threat before parliament actually votes on the “surrender agreement”, TM has, it seems, a certain majority, if we wail now, she will have a full year in which challenges will not be allowed.
    Why challenge now?

  49. Chris
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    Peter Bone has just retweeted this by Lewis Feilder:

    “It’s worth remembering:
    92% of British companies do not trade with the EU at all
    This 92% account for 87% of the UK economy

    That’s why it’s we must be able to strike our own trade deals with the rest of the world from March. Sadly, this deal does not allow this”.

    • Fuddy Duddy
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      “It’s worth remembering:
      92% of British companies do not trade with the EU at all
      This 92% account for 87% of the UK economy

      Yes this point was raided today on Politics Live but a panel member said (roughly), ‘oh but those 8% who do will affect badly all the others’.

      This assertion was not contradicted or commented on by any of the others including JoCo.

      • Fuddy Duddy
        Posted November 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

        ‘….raised today’ of course. Pity there is no editing facility on this blog.

    • Andy
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink


      And the number of British companies which rely on suppliers or customers who do business with the EU is 100%.

      Splendid isolation sounds great – except it makes us all poorer.

      • Chris Maughan
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        Dear, oh dear !
        More false propaganda from you again. You just make anything up to suit your argument.
        My company does not “rely on suppliers or customers who do business with the EU”, therefore, your 100% guess is impossible. I would imagine many more are in a similar position to my company.

      • NickC
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Andy, That’s a strawman; no one said we should, or will, give up trading with European nations.

    • margaret howard
      Posted November 21, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink


      ““It’s worth remembering:
      92% of British companies do not trade with the EU at all
      This 92% account for 87% of the UK economy”

      That’s because the service sector dominates the UK economy, contributing around 80% of GDP;

      Much of the rest is the financial services industry which has a rather limited outlet.

  50. fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    For goodness sake, let’s just get a move on with it all. It’s a bit like selling my house – slow as a snail.

    • Andy
      Posted November 19, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Except when you sell your house you have an idea of where you are moving to.

      And if you appoint a surveyor and they find a problem you do not dismiss them as a traitor.

      And your solicitor is not considered an enemy of the people.

      And if your moving day slips due to unforeseen circumstances you don’t move out anyway.

      In other words, you would not be a reckless moving house as you are being with the future of our country.

      • Edward2
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        You know where you are moving to.
        Just look at the people in the 150 plus nations carrying on without EU membership.

        Then look at where the EU is heading with an army, imposing common tax and budgets, the euro and a United States of Europe.

      • Chris Maughan
        Posted November 20, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        ….and if I agreed on a new house, I wouldn’t be pushed into a completely different house because the estate agent thought he knew better than me.

  51. Turboterrier.
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I really do wonder about the majority of the House of Westminster and their basic understanding about the advantages of being shackled to the EU. Just further proof you might hold a degree but begs the question about what it really means regarding common sense and principles.

    When you read the following link it is impossible to understand why ant sane person would want to be on the same planet let alone bed as these people?

    This will destroy industries and jobs across the whole country. As the USA has proved cheap energy is the catalyst for real sustainable growth. Then the thousands already in fuel debt and poverty it will only get worse.

  52. den
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    “When he has received and opened 48 letters”. That appears to be he get-out-of jail- free card for Mr Brady. Yesterday he said that some MPs were in effect, liars because they have said they had put in their no-con letter but had not actually done so. In that case perhaps he has been uneconomical with the truth because he has received more than 48 letters but not opened them all. It is difficult to accept, given the general mistrust of Politicians these days and the huge outcry from Tory MPs that the trigger number, 48, has not yet been reached.
    Why doesn’t the ERG carry out their own poll to assess their numbers? Assuming the ERG members with tell the truth of course.

    reply Try re reading my piece on the ERG!

    • den
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      I did read it but you have not mentioned anything in it about a Poll of yourselves. You may trust Brady but as he openly supports the PM, doubts creep in. Such is the distrust of this Government. In any case it is hardly democratic to maintain this secrecy over a subject so important to this country. Keeping the public in the dark is not in the public’s interest, is it? On current form, things do not bode well for the Conservatives in the next General Election and that should concern us all. So why is there more PM-style procrastination?

  53. Rien Huizer
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Assuming that a motion of no confidence in the PM will be defeated (for several reasons, one being a shortage of candidates who would be more successful in negotiating with the EU) the this whoe exercise is in vain and may actually backfire. I do not mind either way, since i have no interests (any more) and expect no brexit damage to myself or friends outside the UK , whatever flavour ends up being the winner. Nevertheless to me it is another example of pointless self destruction in UK politics. As always we should ask the old Leninnist quotation: who benefits. Not thje British people, not the Conervative party, not the poor soul who (whoever) will be PM for the next couple of months.

    It looks as if Mr Redwood does not want to reveal his personal preference, or even say that such a motion is in the Party’s or national interest. One word of advice: you will find no honey in a hornets’ nest.

    • Chris Maughan
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Rien Huizer
      Quote ” since i have no interests (any more) and expect no brexit damage to myself or friends outside the UK “.
      Then why are you on here constantly posting and snipping at the UK ?
      What is your purpose ?
      I presume it’s because you want to try to humiliate those who do not believe is your precious project. I have nothing against your project, I just don’t want to be part of it.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        Your presumption is wrong. Every comment is based on mainstream economics or politics, plus some views from associates who do not post themselves.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink



      Dutch government has proposed a “Great No Deal bill” which gives the government powers to take emergency measures related to social security, recognition of UK drivers licenses & professional qualifications. Bill also includes provisions to guarantee continued functioning of energy links with UK.

      And a measure to ensure UK remains part of an agreement on chips & semi-conductors.

      Plus, Dutch citizens residing in the UK will still be covered by Dutch healthcare regulations.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted November 22, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Partially right, Libertarian. Dutch residents are only covered by (private but regulated) health care insurance if resident in The Netherlands; when traveling or residing for less than a year, Dutch cover applies too. But long term foreign residence requires local cover (and for EU countries there are arrangements where necessary). So a Dutchman residing in the UK (like one of my relatives) would be under NHS cover, even when visiting his home country. Once the UK ceases to (effectively) be an EU country (next year or after the transition), arrangements are yet to be made. Hence the Dutch contingency plan contains provisions for Dutchmen residing (but not visiting in the UK, which would be an exception to the rule that in third countries people are on their own.

  54. DUNCAN
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    What I find deeply, deeply sinister is the stance of the Daily Mail. How is it that a newspaper that’s been vehemently Eurosceptic and Thatcherite for many years suddenly turn 360 degrees to become a liberal left panderer and Remain supporter?

    I believe the DM’s been nobbled by May and her pro-EU allies. In fact you can see and sense her liberal left social engineering across all areas of British life. On TV, sport, politics and the media.

    I believe May, other than the 3 (4) Horsemen of the apocalypse (Corbyn, McDonn and McClusk) represents a danger to who we are, our freedoms and our nation.

    May’s embraced Gramsci entryism in the way the left’s been using such tactics for decades now to infect Labour and then help to construct a liberal left client state

    It is unacceptable for Tory MPs to sit back, sip their nightly glass of whiskey and allow this person to continue as our PM and a Tory leader

    • den
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      Because the owner has appointed a Remainer as new Editor to replace the Brexiteer Dacre. So now MSM is moving against Brexit.

  55. Iain Gill
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

    DUP hinting they are not going to prop up the government much longer…

    funny old world eh

  56. Steve
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink


    “Sir Graham will not lie. Why would he? He serves the 1922 Committee, not Mrs May”

    But, JR, Sir Graham has already said he doesn’t think there should be a vote of no confidence in Theresa May. Source; telegraph online.

    So you can understand why people are suspicious. Besides, an MP who has public ‘s trust right now is a very rare individual.

  57. Chris
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    As neither Boris nor Davis (according to Press reports of their comments) have submitted votes of no confidence to Sir Graham. That would indicate to me they are playing a longer game, which of course they have been doing since before Dublin. Very unwise, in my view, as Remainers have been allowed to get entrenched and call all the shots. Tory Brexiter MPs are looking very weak and unprincipled as it seems that when it really comes to it they are not willing to stand up for their country and the people of this country. I may be proved wrong and I hope I am.

  58. Chris
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

    The D Tel seems to hit the nail on the head with the reference to the infighting amongst the Brexiter MPs:
    “Brexit rebels admit their attempt to unseat Theresa May has stalled as Eurosceptic MPs turn on each other…”

    I really feel there should be a new Party where the leader sets out the stall of effecting Brexit and MPs and others choose to follow. The current Cons Party are like ferrets in a sack, and even the so called good guys are at each other’s throats. They couldn’t even manage the proverbial event in a brewery, it seems, let alone Brexit.

    They simply do not deserve to be in power: the leader and her Remainer team because they have betrayed Brexit and the electorate and been disingenuous on countless occasions; the Brexiter MPs because they too are apparently not all principled and honest and spend their time vying with each other and scheming and seem incapable of organising anything.

    • NickC
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Chris, New party = UKIP.

  59. Ken Moore
    Posted November 19, 2018 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

    Well this is another fine mess we are in. As with Maastricht , the sceptics have shown they don’t have the bottle to do the right thing and reject a piece of damaging legislation. When it comes to the crunch they will yield to the whips and surrender. Where are the 48 letters ?

    There would be no need for the ERG of Dominic Cummings had embraced Dr Richard Norths Superbly researched proposal.

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

      I agree on your point about Dr Richard North. He has a vast and deep knowledge of the EU. Way back in 2014 he came up with a detailed plan and flow chart of how the process could have been achieved without creating the mess Mrs May has secretly corralled us into against the will of the majority.
      His blog has remained a daily read for me.
      He said recently that Mrs May proposal, if implemented, will ensure that the raging argument will continue to grow. Millions who have been blind to what being a member of the EU meant have now been woken up to the true horror. They will oppose her undemocratic manipulation for decades. It’s far from over. I many ways, it’s just begun.

    • David Price
      Posted November 20, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      The EEA/EFTA would be a permanent purgatory

  60. MikeP
    Posted November 20, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    Given the rule that a no confidence vote, if successfully defended, cannot be rerun for 12 months, it makes more sense to wait for the deal to be voted down in Parliament to see the PM’s next move and/or for other MPs to write to Graham Brady.

    Meanwhile we, the long-suffering British public, await the next few stages of the leaked Comms plan. We’ve had the not entirely successful CBI speech, a few big business leaders have dutifully spoken out in favour of the “Deal”, knighthoods in the New Year no doubt, although 200 *small* business leaders have roundly criticised it so we just need the promised “breakthrough” moment in the talks. Expect this to be over Max Fac, NI border customs technology, trusted traders & travellers, and removing the fabled backstop.

  61. Addanc Monster
    Posted November 20, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    No Brexit, an attack on the self employed coming in April 2020, cannot think of any reason to vote Tory! The agent Cob card holds no fear.

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    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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