My speech during the debate on the European Union (Withdrawal) Act, 5 December 2018 (edited)

Almost two and a half years have now passed since the people spoke in the referendum. It was the largest democratic vote in our history. The people voted in very large numbers to take back control of our laws, our money and our borders, and to reclaim the lost sovereignty of the United Kingdom electorate. They did so in the teeth of enormous hostility and propaganda from many elements of the political and big business establishment.

The people were told they were too stupid to understand the arguments and that there were huge dangers if they dared to vote to leave the EU. They were told by both campaigns, and by the Government in a formal leaflet, that we would be leaving the single market and the customs union. Rightly we were told that the EU would not allow us to cherry-pick bits of the single market and customs union and that those were an integral part of the whole. Voters were given a set of entirely bogus and dishonest forecasts about what would happen in the short term after the vote. Practically every one of those forecasts was wildly too pessimistic, which has led to the distrust between the vote leave majority and the establishment that pushed out those predictions.

I urge the House to move on from “Project Fear”, to move on from gloom and doom, and to understand that many millions of decent, honest voters made a careful and considered decision. They do not believe those who tell them it will all go wrong, that it must be reversed or that they must be told to think again and vote again because they did not do their homework. It is deeply insulting to the electors, and I am sure that this Parliament is worthy of something better than that.

The people were saying something wonderful for this Parliament. They were saying, “We believe in you, Parliament. We believe you can make wise laws. We believe you can make even wiser laws than the EU. We believe you can make better judgments about how to spend the taxes we send you than the EU, which spends so much of the money on our behalf in ways of which we do not approve. We believe, O Parliament, that if you help us to take back control of our laws and democracy, we will get better answers. Or, of course, Parliament, if you do not give us a better answer, we the people will have our sovereignty back, and we will dismiss you.”

One of the things that most annoys people about the EU among the leave-voting majority is that we cannot sack them. Whatever they do, however bad they are, however much money they waste, however irritating their laws, we have to put up with them. We cannot sack them; we cannot have a general election. [Interruption.]

Scottish National party Members say that they feel the same about the Union of the United Kingdom, but we gave them the democratic opportunity, and their people said that they like our system of government, because this is their democracy too. [Interruption.] The hon. and learned Member for Edinburgh South West (Joanna Cherry) should understand that her colleagues in Scotland, and her voters in Scotland, believe in UK democracy, and they have exactly the same rights of voice and vote and redress as all the rest of us.

Sir Desmond Swayne (New Forest West) I entirely agree with my right hon. Friend. Ever since the referendum, the narrative has been to find explanations for why the people voted as they did—any explanation other than the fact that they wanted to leave the European Union. Does he consider that the majority in favour of the amendment in the name of our right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve) shows that the game is up, and that there is now a majority in the House against leaving the European Union? The game for us must be to find some orderly way around that, irrespective of the majority who are now against us.

John Redwood: I do not prejudge the evil intents of other Members. I hope that all Members will agree that we must implement the referendum result. We had a general election in the summer of last year. I remember that in that general election Labour and the Conservatives got rather more than 80% of the vote in Great Britain, the Democratic Unionist party did extremely well in Northern Ireland, and all three parties said that they would faithfully implement the referendum decision of United Kingdom voters on leaving the European Union. I trust that they will want to operate in good faith in the votes that may be to come.

My advice to Ministers, as well as to the rest of the House, is that what we should now be doing is celebrating the opportunities and the advantages that we will gain after March, when we have left the European Union. We should be having debates about how we will spend all the extra money on improving our public services instead of giving it to the EU. We should be having a debate about all the tax cuts that we need to boost our economy, so that instead of growth slowing after we leave, we speed it up by deliberate acts of policy. We will be empowered in this place to take these good decisions if only Members would lift their gloom and their obstinate denial of opportunity, and see that if we spent some more money and had some tax cuts, it would provide a very welcome boost to our economy in its current situation.

I want to see us publish a schedule of tariffs for trading with the whole world that are lower than the tariffs that the EU currently makes us impose on perfectly good exporters, particularly of food products, from elsewhere in the world. Why do we have to impose high tariffs on food that we cannot grow for ourselves? I want us to have a debate on urgently taking back control of our fishing industry so that we can land perhaps twice as many fish in the UK and not let them all be landed somewhere else, and build a much bigger fish processing industry on the back of domestic landings from our very rich fishing grounds.

I wish to see us get rid of VAT on, for instance, green products and domestic fuel. We are not allowed to do this because we are an impotent puppet Parliament that does not even control its own tax system for as long as we remain in the European Union. I wish to see us take back control of our borders, so that we can have a migration policy that is right for our economic needs and fair to people from wherever they may come all around the world, rather than having an inbuilt European Union preference. I wish us to be a global leader for world trade. Now that the United States of America has a President who says that he rather likes tariffs, there is a role for a leading great power and economic force in the world like the United Kingdom to provide global leadership for free trade.

We will do none of that if we sign this miserable agreement with which the Government have presented us, because we will be locked into their customs arrangements for many months or years. We will not be free to negotiate those free trade deals, let alone provide the international leadership which I yearn for us to provide. I want us to have our seat back at the high tables of the world in the big institutions like the World Trade Organisation, so that with vote and voice and purpose, we can offer something positive, and have a more liberal free-trading democratic world than the one that we currently have. That is something that we are not allowed to do for as long as we remain members of the European Union.

I say this to Members. Lift the gloom. Stop “Project Fear”. Stop selling the electors short. Stop treating the electors as if they were unable to make an adult decision. Understand that they made a great decision—a decision I am mightily proud of—to take back sovereign control to the people, to take back the delegated sovereign control to this Parliament. It is high time that this Parliament rose to the challenge, instead of falling at every opportunity. It is high time we did something positive for our constituents, instead of moaning and grumbling and spending every day—groundhog day—complaining about the vote of the British people.

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  1. JohnRG
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, you speak with much courage, clarity, and purpose. Will you be considering putting your name forward when the inevitable leadership contest takes place?

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Regarding an potential leadership contest Leave MPs must make sure at least one of them is in the final ballot. The last thing we want is another “reluctant” remainer who turns out to be anything but.

      • Richard Evans
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

        Remember, MAY was not voted into the office of PM. She achieved the position by default due to Andrea Leadsom pulling out of the running. This, due to “Establishment” pressure. MAY is the “Establishment” puppet and follows their remit. The “Establishment” do not want BREXIT. Strange how conservative MPs had no trouble removing one of their best leaders, Margaret Thatcher, yet struggle to find 48 or more MPs with any substance to remove MAY. She was totally incompetent as Home Sec and even more so now.
        Will the “Establishment” allow a BREXITEER as PM, I doubt it. The election process is so convoluted THEY will get their man.? However remember there is a person in high office in the present govt.who is a sleeper cell. Wake up people. Donald Trump is hopefully waking people worldwide.

        • Richard1
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 12:28 am | Permalink

          Mrs Leadsom’s candidature was preposterous. The Brexiteers need to be better coordinated next time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Tory MPs last time were so daft they even re-elected John Major after his ERM fiasco in preference. Being consistently wrong in politics seems to be the way to the top.

      Hopefully this time they will not let the appalling May take them over the cliff again for many terms.

      On “climate change” Shami Chakrabarti (on Question Time) suggests a people vote between and Charles Moore and wildlife narrator David Attenborough to decided the issue. The reality is Charles Moore is right and Attenborough need to educate himself on the real physics from someone like Richard Linzden rather than the green priests and Prince Charles types.

      I assume (do as I say not as I do) Prince Charles flew economy to the Bush funeral so as to save CO2? He could have done it on Skype though I suppose.

    • Hope
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I previously wrote it was excellent. But May has included her backstop not by accident nor by negotiation. It was her choice to keep the UK in the EU. There were and are alternatives she was not interested. She knew she was betraying the DUP, that was not an accident and she thought she could get enough Labour votes to ambush it through. It is her MO.

      It must be clear to all in your party that every day she remains the more damage to your party and nation. No point waiting. May has eroded all trust. 80% of party activists want her gone, over 70% of activists do not want her capitulation remain deal. This is planned to stop Brexit altogether. This is not an accident. Nor is it an accident May has failed to prepare to leave without a deal. She made that point during her Mansion House speech and you all let hermit away with it. How many times have you all let her off the hook? How many times have you failed to oust her?

      The EU must be laughing. They will rightly refuse any negotiation while traitors and dim-wits call for second referendum or remain.

      • Hope
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Very good interview of Johnson at Con Home. HE is clear May and Barwell misled him in bad faith last December.

        Time for an inquiry and investigation of May’s betrayal of the nation.

        • Peter
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Yes. I have just read it. Calls for a Chilcot type enquiry ( by the website not Johnson himself)
          “Shouldn’t there be a Chilcot-type inquiry into the Government sabotaging its own policy and spending a massive amount…”

          There are more pressing matters in my opinion, but when the dust settles we shall see.

          He does have a bit of ‘gumption’ and a more positive approach. Seems to have a lot of rivals/enemies though.

          • Timaction
            Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            Its coming to a head. May has deliberately conspired with the EU, foreign leaders and the Civil Serpents to arrive at the Withdrawal Agreement that has NO benefits for the UK and is intended to keep us in the EU with no say for £39 billion. Never have we had such a devious, lying, despicable Prime Minister. History will judge the Tory Party and its MP’s on its actions in the next few days. Parliament just doesn’t represent the people of this Country and our instruction to get us out of the EU in whole, not parts in and alignment with no say. That’s slavery.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          Yes an inquiry is needed. Project Fear is actually project incompetence, the only thing to fear seems to be govt and civil service incompetence. First need to stop withdrawal agreement, apparently the result of incompetence, then replace the incompetence with competence, then an inquiry into incompetence.

          • Hope
            Posted December 8, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

            It is not incompetence. It is a deliberate deceit undertaken by May. Legal advice now shows N.Ireland would in effect be ruled by another county. May stated repeatedly no PM could countenance this. She repeatedly lied as she knew her plan would do exactly this but the detail disguised and hidden from the untrained legal eye. Farage is correct May is the most dishonest PM in living memory.

    • Bob
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink


      “Will you be considering putting your name forward”

      The Brexit wing of the party will need to avoid competing with each other or they will split the vote which could result in getting another Quisling Remainer in charge.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Seconded, you must.

  2. Nig l
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Wonderful yet we seem to be continuing in the same old turgid way. This whole debate has certainly highlighted the paucity of laterally thinking visionary talent on both sides of the House, certainly on the Remain side filled with establishment stooges, on the Government side, sucking up to the Whips hoping to be spotted for. Project Fear exists because individually they are all frightened and risk averse.

    Hammond is the latest to tell us there is no better deal available. If anyone senior on the Remain side is reading this, please explain why in detail. Until you do, I and I suspect many others, will view it as defeatist bollocks.

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Ah yes, Philip Hammond. The hon. member for Brussels Central. Minister for Project Fear.

      • eeyore
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Project Fear warns today that Kent will be full of parked lorries and the streets with unburied dead. In these febrile times a good laugh is priceless. We can all look forward to more such gems from Project Fear.

        As to Project Hope, 16 weeks today (Friday) we cross the line. Whether we fly over, tunnel under or stumble desperately through lines of lorries and over mounds of bodies, that is all that matters. Sixteen weeks. Fingers crossed.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. Why is Carney (Hammond/Mays stool pigeon) still in post as well? His behaviour totally unfitting and openly batting for the EU. Hammond knows he represents the EU, Carney is but just a Canadian politician.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      There is no better ‘deal’ available because we should not be negotiating a ‘better deal’ in the first place. The time to negotiate a ‘deal’ is after we have left. What should be being discussed are the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement which should only cover the settling of our affairs and nothing more. If the settling of our affairs is too onerous we should simply not sign it and walk away on the 29th March 2019. Simple.

      • Adam
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes; simple & intelligent.

        • Timaction
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Exactly right. Nail on the head. We don’t need 585 pages of Bull **it!

        • Hope
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          May has conflated her withdrawal agreement as ‘the deal’ instead of ‘the trade deal’. Everyone needs to point out May has failed to obtain a trade deal and the static punishment extension is to discuss a possible trade deal over many years.

          Therefor leave on WTO and talk about trade thereafter.

          Let us not forget the EU offered a Canada plus plus deal. May rejected it. May wanted a customs union, May wanted the extension and an extension to an extension. This is her idea and plan. May has signed the UK up to EU military plans even though the UK leaving.

          • Hope
            Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            We also read Hammond and Clark will not sign up to leaving on WTO terms! Both useless both should go.

      • Steve
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        Mark B

        Agree entirely.

        Though I add that we did not vote for deals or negotiations. I find it quite disgusting that Britain – the country which liberated the french and much of Europe from tyranny, has to ‘negotiate’ with those who’s very existence is owed to us.

        Utterly abhorrent, and next time France, Belgium, which ever gets itself in a spot of bother the answer will be non.

    • Adam
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Nig l:

      Both JR’s speech content & delivery were excellent & in accord with the feelings of Leave voters & their determined intent. The most negative aspect of the Withdrawal Agreement is that it risks keeping us within the EU, & in a worse way than even now, starkly in contrast to what the PM claims.

      The penultimate paragraph of the speech, referring to ‘the miserable agreement’, focused more sharply on why that agreement specifically should be voted down. Such reasons support the heavy rationale against it, & expansion of those details, revealing why the agreement would not fulfil Brexit, may have added weight to the many other valuable points made so persuasively.

      The quality of JR’s performance put those of most others into shade, & since many Brexit-supporting members will have covered individual details against the Withdrawal Agreement in their own ways, in context his own resulting speech may well have been nearest perfect.

    • Martin R
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      Not defeatist bollocks but the old tried and trusted Goebbels (and BBC) principle that if you tell the same lies long enough, persistently enough, and loud enough eventually the people will come to believe them, i.e. the principle that May works on.

      • Peter
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. … But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself.

        (Fuller version of today’s Guido Fawkes comments reference)

        • Peter
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

          “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

          Even fuller version

  3. Newmania
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    “We believe in you, Parliament. We believe you can make wise laws.” … they said that ? Wow, and you claim I insult their intelligence.
    Its just weird hearing a dry stick like Redwood doing do this ” get down and testify” stuff but he is onto something .Brexit seems to have taken the place of religion, its a matter of faith and people of faith cannot be argued with.
    When you come to think of it politics and religion have been inextricable for most of our history, its only a return to normality.

    • Nig l
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

      Faith. An excellent way of describing it.

      • Newmania
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Yes quite seriously, I wonder if politics is moving into the areas that were previously inhabited emotionally by religion .
        The country is full of people who look at the 20th century and see the victory of the planned economy …. the only possible explanation of such a belief is that its very implausibility makes it an excellent subject for faith. Same with Brexit.

        • L Jones
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Since you, Newmania, have never displayed faith in our country, then perhaps you’re not the person to discuss it – or to understand the importance of it.

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


            Exactly what I was thinking!!

        • Andy
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          The deepest irony is that those who rage against ‘globalisation’ have no problem buying cheap tat from China, on Amazon, ordered on their South Korean made smartphones.

          • Edward2
            Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Yet you expect to be able to trade all over the world your self andy.
            Globilisation is a two way deal.
            Free world trade will make is all better off.

          • Steve
            Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

            I don’t like globalisation. I don’t buy chinese products, I only buy American British or Japanese, and I don’t have a South Korean Smartphone.

            You were saying ?

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


            No the irony is that you dont know what globalisation actually means in a political context . Oh dear oh dear

          • Maybot
            Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            It’s the cheap tat from China which is masking the wage depression from mass immigration.

            Globalisation has nothing to do with trade – it has been hijacked by the John Lennonist’s Imagining of no countries. Let’s not conflate the two.

            We’ve been buying cheap tat from China since the Silk Road. Millennia without destroying national identity.

    • Al
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      A good speech, but I believe the problem is simply that you cannot reason someone out of a position they did not reach through reason.

      Many on the Remain side take it as an article of faith that the EU is good, and therefore refuse to listen to evidence to the contrary. As we saw with the laughter through the speech following, they do not even do the courtesy of listening as their minds are already made up, and prefer to offer insults rather than evidence.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        “Many on the Remain side take it as an article of faith that the EU is good”. Indeed, The sorts of people who are pro remain are actually quite east to spot before you even ask them their views. They tend to work in the state sector, universities, charities, are students or multinationals, they think the NHS is the envy of the World, tend to belief hook line and sinker in climate alarmism, tend to think government knows best and should be even larger.

        Question Time last night again five remainers to one. The one very sound person was Charles Moore. But when it is five to one you struggle to say much without constant interruptions from the other five.

        An excellent speech JR keep it up. But May really must be replaced while avoiding Corbyn.

        • John C.
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

          Replacing May would help avoiding Corbyn, unless a May clone is crowned.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink


        • margaret howard
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Permalink


          ” The sorts of people who are pro remain are actually quite east to spot before you even ask them their views. They tend to work in the state sector, universities, charities, are students or multinationals,”

          In other words, the people at the top, the movers and shakers, thinkers and initiators who run countries and institutions rather than the rest who are employed by or live off them.

          • Al
            Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:12 am | Permalink

            **state sector, universities, charities,** these sectors are all paid for by the private sector and the people who work in it, through tax payers’ money, grants and commissions, and donations. They are not contributors.

            The private sector (the majority of the country) contains the workers, company founders, innovators, and others who allow a country to exist and are largely Leave, but who are being ignored. It is also where innovation actually comes from.

            However the best thing a democratic system is that when people hit the ballot box, their votes are equal.

        • M Davis
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          “The sorts of people who are pro remain are actually quite east to spot before you even ask them their views.”

          Yes, they read, “The Guardian”!

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        The EU the Remain side loves doesn’t exist.

        Economic growth in most EU countries, ranges from negative to modest at best.

        It does not bring countries together in peace an harmony. It seems to build old resentments.

        • L Jones
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

          And if it can’t build on old resentments, then it engineers a few others. Divide and rule.

          What an ‘organisation’ to be shackled to.

        • Steve
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          The EU is founded on resentment. It’s ultimate lunacy is to get it’s borders well into the east, then have a crack at Federal Russia.

          All the more reason to get out.

          • margaret howard
            Posted December 8, 2018 at 12:50 am | Permalink


            After the collapse of the Soviet Union it was the US that opened military bases in former Russian territory, not the EU.

          • Steve
            Posted December 8, 2018 at 6:07 am | Permalink


            Maybe so, but I cite EU eastern expansion.

          • Stred
            Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            The EU did receive the Nobel peace prize fir starting the civil war in Ukraine, along with Obama and the neocons.

      • NigelE
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Reason has appeared to have evaporated, along with logic.

        But perhaps we can build on the ‘Puppet Parliament’ theme: we could ask our MPs to wear appropriate badges, e.g. a ring of yellow stars on a blue background with the words “Puppet Parliamentarian” in the middle.

        Once out of the EU (I keep hoping) the badges can be replaced with ones showing a background of quartered flags of the four nations with the words “UK Parliamentarian” in the middle.

        Many thanks for publishing this excellent speech, John.

    • Norman
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

      “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he” (Proverbs 29:18).
      The encouraging thing about the Referendum is that it gave voice to something innate in a great body of our people who are not normally listened to. The ‘smart’ of this age are oblivious to the ingrained wisdom of the ancients. Whatever happens, it will be proved true in the end, and the humble shall be vindicated.

    • Student
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      I think it’s the opposite. Many brexiteers were floating votes right up to the referendum. They had to consider the arguments on each side carefully. It was people on the remain side whi went straight for arguments like bigotry and racism. Remainers who did this likely never gave the Brexit debate much critical thought, and dogmatically stuck with the EU.

      This has become even worse from Remain since the referendum didn’t go their way.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:09 pm | Permalink


        So you claim to know what over 16m of your countrymen thought and felt?

        And you have reached the conclusion that these millions are just dogmatic EU stooges?

        • Edward2
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          That is not what Student said nor even implied.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Joy great sparks of divinity
      Daughter of Elysium

      Sing up !!!

    • Maybot
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Newmania – Are you a Brexit denier ?

      You deny that 17.5 million want to leave the EU ???

  4. Henry Spark
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    I am not surpised you were interrupted when you sa id that one of the things that most annoys people about the EU among the leave-voting majority is that we cannot sack them. That is an outright falsehood. Every single member of the Council of Ministers and every single member of the European Parliament is an elected politician. Of course we can sack them, and we regularly do. Leave’s lies just seem to get even more blatant, as you try to hide the truth about Brexit

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Henry who are the commissioners elected by, as that is where the EU laws and regulations start.

      • HenryS
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson.. the EU commissioners are appointed by their respective heads of government who are elected and approved by the elected members of the EU parliament. The Commission is the EU civil service, just like we have a civil service. Some of the EU Commmissioners were already elected to their own countries parliaments and are then co-opted out to serve on the Commission. They serve for five years only. Don’t see what the problem is?

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 12:10 am | Permalink


          The problem is they were not elected by the people and so have no allegiance to the people just the commission.

          Our Civil service work for elected Mp’s/Ministers not the other way round as in Brussels.
          It is ministers who propose legislation not the civil service if thats what you want to call the commission.

        • Al
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:17 am | Permalink

          Except that as Proportional Representation is used, it is nearly impossible to vote out a specific individual if the party keeps putting them at the top of the list without removing those lower down who we might like to keep.

          While many EU countries use this for their own elections, the British constituency system does mean that people can vote against a specific candidate, regardless of their views on the whole party.

          • Al
            Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:24 am | Permalink

            Obviously the above applies to MEPs, not the commissioners who are appointed.

    • David in Kent
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      But you can’t sack the Commission and it is they who have the sole right to initiate legislation. It is the Commission who provide leadership to the whole EU project. The EU was specifically designed to ensure that the ‘wise’ technocrats in charge were not obliged to pay attention to the ordinary people who would be so easily led to vote the wrong way.
      We see the result of this in France, which has the same arrangement. The people vote, parliament talks and there is no impact, the technocrats take their decisions. The only way the people can force the politicians to listen to them is by rioting, blocking roads and burning cars.

      • L Jones
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        But I think Mr Spark is regurgitating the same old EU chestnut. He doesn’t try to educate us by explaining who, exactly, elects these people. Perhaps he will elucidate.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

        Talking of France,I see Francois Fillon has been in Moscow this week meeting Mr Putin for a “private”(though,given the publicity photos,hardly secret!)meeting.

        Those Russians love a coup de theatre…and nobody does it better!

    • gordon blear
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Thank you Mr. Redwood I am proud and grateful to say that you are my MP

    • eeyore
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      I am not aware of a mechanism, direct or indirect, by which I can sack Mr Juncker. Soon, perhaps, I won’t even be able to leave any more. Perhaps Henry could explain?

      He in turn may not be aware that EU’s ancestral organisations were set up after the war with the specific and avowed goal of minimising democratic input and control. The founders, elite bureaucrats almost to a man, blamed democracy for the rise of Hitler and were determined their continent should never again suffer such a fate.

      I remember having this explained to me over lunch by one of them 40-odd years ago. I thought it sinister then, but he didn’t. It remains true to this day.

    • Mike wilson
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Sorry? If we in this country do not like Juncker, we can vote him out? Do explain how.

    • Edward2
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Plainly that is nonsense Henry.
      The Council of Ministers (one per member nation) are appointed not elected.
      We the people of Europe have no election to appoint them.
      And the Commission, also unelected by us the people, appoints the President of the Council.
      And the real power lies in these two unelected bodies.

      • Andy
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        False. The Council is made up of representatives ELECTED governments. And the Commission president is elected firstly by the Council – made up of people you elected – and secondly by MEPs, who you elect. The Commisison president can also be removed by elected MEPs.

        Is there an argument that the Commission President should face a populate election – with actual voters voting directly for him or her? Absolutely. But then it is not unusual for leaders not to face direct election. The British Prime Minister doesn’t and nor does the American president. And I bet you do not question their democratic legitimacy.

        • A.Sedgwick
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          Most dictatorships have sham elections.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          Did you vote for them andy?
          No you didnt
          I said they were appointees.
          And they are.

        • Maybot
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          I think you’ve just been ripped a new one by commenters here, Andy.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

        Not dissimilar to the 1871 constitution that brought the German Empire into being.Plenty of representation from all the constituent parts(including non-ethnic German provinces) but all the power resided in the Prussian elite.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      The European Council set’s the EU’s political direction and includes Tusk and Juncker who we can’t sack. Oh, but you’re going to introduce a semantic quibble “But I said the Council of Ministers” aren’t you ? Pathetic.

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      How is Poland getting on, trying to recall Donald Tusk? If his own country’s Parliament cannot dislodge him, what chance do the voters have? Be in no doubt, his allegiance is only to the criminal cartel that is the EU. I will rejoice it’s impending collapse.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      I was never asked if I wanted, Jean-Claude Junker to be one of the FIVE Presidents of the EU, were you ?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        MarkB. Just like all the others, I didn’t even know who he was!! I know him as that bloke that’s always got a drink in his hand.

    • Fed up
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Those in glass houses should not throw stones.

      You do not know what you are talking about. The Council of Ministers, ie the European Council, are all appointed. “We”, ie the electorate, can not sack them any more than we can elect them.

      MEPs are elected on a party list, every five years. They can not initiate legislation, merely comment on it. They can only be sacked for a criminal offence and would, without an election, merely be replaced by the next on the list of their party who did not get elected in the first place.

      EU regulations/laws are created by the UNELECTED Commission.

      I do not accuse you of lying, only of blatant ignorance, rather common among remainers.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Also it can never be democratic as the 28 countries are not a real Demos on which a democracy can sit they do not have the same history, legal system or even a common language. One group of countries (with similar interests) can easily gang up to exploit others countries.

      Not a falsehood at all and certainly now an outright falsehood. Even If all the UK MEPs voted against something detrimental to the UK it would invariably make absolutely no difference anyway.

    • Dominic Johnson
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      How do “we” sack people appointed by “Poland”?

    • rose
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      The EU Parliament is a sham parliament which cannot manage legislation in the normal way. Above it is the unelected Commission which rules unaccountably. Even in the last few days we have seen the Commission looking as if it is to grab yet more power from the Council of Ministers in the mooted ruling of the ECJ over article 50 now being able to be revoked without consulting the Nation States. The Council were not consulted in this ruling either.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


        Prime Minister

        Theresa May

        No one has ever voted for her to be PM, only to be MP!

        Leader of the house of Lords
        Baroness Evans

        Head of Home Civil Service
        Sir Jeremy Heywood

        Chief Executive UK Supreme Court
        Mark Ormerod

        President of The Supreme Court
        Baroness Hale

        Not a single one voted in by the British public.

        • Edward2
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          All laws are passed by our elected Parliament and its MPs who can be rejected by us the people if we wish.
          Very different in the EU

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

          Yes there is no direct election however, Theresa May gave the public the chance to get rid of her Margaret just last year and after she was appointed by the Conservatives, so the public did have a say.

          I don’t agree with the public not having a complete vote for the Prime Minister from a list of 5 put up by their party, that is how the PM should be chosen.

    • Martin R
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      A right of recall would be much more effective.

    • Bob
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      @Henry Spark,
      We could only sack 1/28th of the Council of Ministers, we do not have any sanction over the other 27. The structure removes any real accountability of the legislature.

      MEPs are practically powerless, and mostly there to act as a rather expensive fig leaf to fool people into believing they have a voice.

      You certainly couldn’t remove any of the five presidents.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Henry, I thought the European Commision where EU legislation is created has 28 equal seats one for each member irrespective of the size of the member, the UK’s commissioner in 2016 was Lord Jonathan Hill, who voted for him? Who elected him I hadn’t even heard of him. He was appointed. He just quit and wasn’t replaced by a UK representative which was ridiculous!
      Good job they didn’t or Boris or Nigel would have probably been chosen.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      Then our MEPs, they’re so sidelined in the European Parliament that only 35% of the UK public bothered to come out to elect them, I think if less than 50% come out they should have had to put up a different body of MEPs. We had less than 10% of the seats and because we elected Independence MPs and people not aligned to the biggest voting blocks we never seemed to have any say, in fact, the views of our elected representatives were often jeered at and brushed aside as we saw regularly on all the news programs.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      So Henry, how does a voter go about sacking a member of the Council of Ministers ?

      • Andy
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        How does a voter go about sacking an incompetent Cabinet minister – say Chris Grayling?

        Reply Leave aside a particular name which we will not agree about. Public opinion and media pressure inform MPs. If enough MPs want a Minister out he or she goes. I have seen many UK Cabinet Ministers fired by PMs following public and MP pressure.

        • Maybot
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

          A bad afternoon’s work by Andy.

          He’s just proven to us that he knows NOTHING.

        • Andy
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

          Mr Grayling should not have his job. It is hard to argue that he has been a competent transport secretary. Indeed, this week he has been blamed for very serious failings.

          How do I – or any of the hundred of thousands of passengers he has inconvenienced – get rid of him? This is an important point. One of the Europhobes main objections to the EU is the ‘we can’t get rid of them’. We also can not get rid of failing Cabinet ministers here. It is entirely in the gift of the PM – who we also do not elect and who we can also not get rid of. How do your objections apply to Brussels but not to Westminster?

          • Edward2
            Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

            If the Minister is so poor then it will make the government very unpopular.
            With regular elections the pressure on the PM to replace that Minister grows.
            There are regular re shuffles where Ministers are moved or sacked.
            The lifespan of a poorly performing Minister can be very short.
            Unlike the EU.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      One last group.
      The Council of Ministers – we had 18 members, I don’t remember the public electing them.
      Who had even heard of Sir Roger Gale when was he ‘elected’?, they were the main decision-making and legislative body that debated and passed European laws.
      Can you name the 18 that we elected now Henry?

    • Sam Duncan
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      The Commission has the sole power to propose and initiate legislation. It is also the executive. In every meaningful sense, it, not the Parliament or the Council, is the “government of Europe”. So how do we, the people, remove it?

    • percy openshaw
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      More sophistry from anti-democratic Remain: the European parliament doesn’t run the show – the commission does; and no, we can’t sack them. Second, the EU parliament is pan-European and even if it were in charge, Britain would not be able to prevent it from imposing policy against our own majority view – as though we were no more than a province. I suppose the cleverest ruse of the inveterately deceitful denizens of “Remain” is to accuse others of their own despicable vices.

    • Captain Peacock
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      You ignore the most important fact that the EU Commissioners who are unelected can overrule EU Parliament.
      Form 2015..
      Next week the EU Commission intends to announce the official withdrawal of the previously proposed rules on waste management. The decision could be backed up by the Council of General Affairs on Tuesday, despite strong opposition expressed from the European Parliament and the EU environmental ministers. These voices were heard, said Commissioner Karmenu Vella in an interview with Euranet Plus. The Commission, however, took the choice to come back “with a more ambitious proposal”. It will do so this year, Vella underlined.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      Henry Spark

      Martin Selmyr ? Whoops

    Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    I applaud John’s efforts and his commitment to the UK and the protection of its democracy from pernicious forces but polite speeches in Parliament will not facilitate our passage out of the EU.

    We need a Eurosceptic in No.10 otherwise all is lost and those that openly despise British democracy and openly despise Leave voters will triumph

    • Timaction
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      If May’s Withdrawal deal gets voted through all bets are off with the politicos having no longer any mandate to make laws or taxes over us!

  6. Tory Western
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Mr Swayne is realistic. Vote for Mrs May’s deal, and we get Brexit, and we can improve it later. Mr Redwood, if you vote down Mrs May’s deal, we will get a 2nd referendum and no Brexit. You are being very foolish

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

      “We can improve it later”….the more mature cynics among us will recall this mantra being repeated time and again over the past 40 years. You may recall Mr Cameron’s pathetic and unrewarded jaunt around the EU prior to the Referendum.

      The UK chattering class keeps believing (apparently) that the EU is formed to benefit international trade. Many of us recognise that it is a political project that we happen to disagree with, very strongly. It’s like believing you can turn cabbage soup into fruit cake by simply dropping in bits of orange and apple.

      • Mitchel
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

        Like the crocodile inviting the rabbit to hitch a ride over the river,promising not to eat him.

        “So…I lied!”

        • Adam
          Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement is equivalent to a pigs’ breakfast. We do not want to chew it over, let alone swallow such a toxic mixture. We need a clean break with the EU, enabling carte blanche. Starting afresh with a clean plate allows us the capacity & freedom of choice to proceed on the right course.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      Tory Western

      “We can improve it later” really please explain how we can do that when we have signed an international treaty.

      Given your scenario the only way out is when the EU eventually collapses, when many other countries populations start to wake up what is really happening in their name.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:40 am | Permalink


      Jam tomorrow and you cannot choose when to open the jar.

    • Stred
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Yes. We can improve it by tearing it up but only when May and Robbins are taken away in a police van pending reinstating the treason act.

    • BOF
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      ‘we can improve it later’. With some certainty, I would say that the whole intention of this rotted deal is that thereafter we will be dragged further and further back into the EU.

      • BOF
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Rotten, not rotted! But close enough.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      May’s deal is worse that remain, one assumes that was her intention. It cannot be improved easily later. It would be a disaster to sign in. It gives away all our cards and our money for nothing. May need education on negotiation and game theory but I suspect the maths/logic side of her brain is not up to it. Hence her idioticly big government know best agenda for the economy and her greencrap agenda.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Vote for Mrs May’s deal, and we get Brexit, and we can improve it later.

      That comes straight out of the Remainers / Europhiles playbook. You know, the one that goes like; “We can only change the EU from the inside.” Whilst totally ignoring the fact that the Treaty of Rome expressly commits member countries to. EVER CLOSER UNION. ie the surrender of more sovereignty.

      It’s a nasty little trick that no matter how it is cover still stinks !

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Mr. Tory Western,

      You have fallen right into Mrs. May’s/the EU’s trap!

      You have failed to grasp that if Parliament agrees to Mrs. May’s/the EU’s Withdrawal Agreement there will be no “later improvements”.

      We will be permanently locked into the terms of an asymmetric Agreement until released by the EU and thus accepting directives, rules and regulations without representation whether they be beneficial to the UK or not. In fact rules can be made by the EU which are applicable only to the UK.

      The Attorney General said in his conclusion :

      “In the absence of a right of termination, there is a legal risk that the United Kingdom might become subject to protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations”.

      This is a euphemism for “later improvements” to never happen.

    • yossarion
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Improve it later, where have you been for the last forty five years, the EU takes power it does not give it back.

    • rose
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Read the WA carefully, and then read the Attorney General’s advice. Read Martin Howe’s assessment and various economists’ assessments on Brexit Central. Read the ex Governor of the Bank of England’s assessment. Read the ex head of MI6. You may then feel slightly less ignorant about what is proposed.

    • Al
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      In the forty years we have been members can you show me one case where something we objected to with the EU was either improved before it had done damage, or where the victims have been compensated by the EU afterwards?

      Cameron failed to negotiate on all fronts, May is now doing the same. If they will not change when we have one foot out of the door, why would they if we came back?

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:02 am | Permalink


        Can you give a few examples of the cases we objected to and which the EU ignored?

        I think what you mean is the EU ignoring the constant whining by various of our ministers for special concessions and opt outs to give us advantages above the other members.

        They were all sick and tired of it and pleased about Brexit.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          1. Charging us for prostitution and drug taxes we as a Country don’t collect, so this punishes the none users of those illegal substances, punishing the good for the naughty actions of a minority.
          2. All bills estimated by people who can’t audit their own accounts and move their entire operation twice per year at huge cost because they can’t politically reach a sensible compromise!
          3. The ‘whinging’ you write of are legitimate concerns about an unfair burden being placed on the UK often by Countries who don’t pay their fair share. It’s now time for Spain to pay more in after years of taking out, let’s see if their ‘whinging’ increases. We have regions and big problems in the UK with displaced people creating more homelessness than our social security systems can pay for, yet still we are expected to take half to a million more every year, with benefits for the whole family after a very short time. The EU didn’t want to listen to a reasonable request to extend that term, yet we read all the time of EU countries putting restrictions on ex-pat Brits.

  7. Mark B
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Great speech ! And thank you.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      plus 1.

    • James
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Rest assured, that if our parliamentary representatives do not carry out the referendum decision, the Leave voters will not forgive and forget. There will be a massive targeting of the the Remain Members of Parliament and others who have been seen to obstruct or frustrate the democratic result, and their dishonourable political tenures will be brought to an end at the next general election.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. I would happily travel and pay lots of money to remove Soubrey, Grieve and Woolaston from office!

  8. Andy
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    The people were not too stupid.

    They were lied to by a small group of self-interested, xenophobic, economically illiterate, public school educated, millionaire, members of the Brexit elite.

    The people are not to blame. Farage, Banks and the Tory Europhobes are. 17.4m people will not end up in prison. Some of the Europhobes probably will.

    • Jagman84
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Replace Brexit with Remain, in your rant, and your statement is spot on. It has the tone of a defeated child.
      ps: Thanks again for this weeks pension. I was brought up to have good manners. A great pity that your parents did not appear to feel the same.

    • L Jones
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      You sound angry, Andy. Is it because you think our country might actually escape your EU masters’ clutches? Don’t you worry yourself about us Leavers, especially the younger ones among us – we can recognise lies when we hear them. And we can see where they are coming from. We’re actually not all poorly educated, self-absorbed, greedy, narrow-minded, ill-informed devotees of Facebook and Twitter, like some we might mention were we discourteous enough to do so.

      If you’d like to make yourself feel better, spend a little time on a short post here, telling us what is so to be admired about the EU. (You know – not Europe, but the EU.) For our instruction, list the grand and glorious things about it – it’ll only be a little post of course, so Dr Redwood will no doubt let it pass.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Condescending twerp.

      Everyone knows ALL politicians lie.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink



      I never knew that ! I didn’t know that the remain campaign was entirely run and financed by an uninterested, comprehensive school educated, penniless, bunch of school boys. No wonder you lost

      Andy what a …… you are

  9. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    A really rousing speech John. You show real confidence in the British people’s abilities to move forward and be successful. This is something sadly missing in Parliament today. Its the kind of spirit and faith that got us through two world wars and when asked of us, will be there again. Nobody is saying it will be easy to begin with but it is achievable. Well dine John. It shows many MPs in a bad light. I find it disgusting that some should laugh at you.

  10. oldtimer
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    A fine speech that needed to be delivered. The next few days leading to the vote and what then follows with be critical to all our futures. For once parliament and it’s MPs have real relevance. I hope and expect it and them to live up to their promises to the electorate – to be fit for purpose unlike the PM we seemingly must endure for the moment.

  11. Nig l
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I see the DT is saying that the Cabinet is demanding answers. If this insipid supine lot had demanded answers months ago when they should have, maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess.

  12. Bryan Harris
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The word on the street is that the establishment is now committed to openly betraying Brexit. The political establishment intends to reverse the decision of the Referendum and betray Brexit at any cost.

    They now wish to cancel Article 50 and remain in the EU. The entire strategy of Mrs May and the political class over the last two years has been to arrive at a ‘deal’ that was so bad neither Leavers or Remainers would accept it. The narrative they are pushing is that leaving the EU is impossible and therefore Britain has no option but to stay.

    • Renton
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Bryan, I am quite everyone who supported Remain will happily accept we are leaving just as soon as you produce a deal with the exact same benefits of membership and no downsides, as Davis, Redwood, Gove, Fox, Johnson etc promised during the referendum campaign. We are waiting ……

      Reply I offered no such thing and said prepare for No Deal!

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Renton – You mean a deal better than being forced to take unlimited number of migrants, and financing other states infrastructure while our streets and railways crumble?
        JR has laid out a very valid picture of what a real deal looks like, IE one without strings and one that gives us greater opportunities than the EU ever could – We call it the clean Brexit.
        There are no benefits to us, within the EU, or in May’s deal, that cannot work better for us outside the EU.
        Why are some remainers so blind to the future they are so keen to throw away?

      • Jagman84
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        We need neither a ‘deal’ nor their permission to leave. We could have revoked the 1972 European Communities act and left immediately. However, we did them the courtesy of abiding by the 2 years notice, detailed in Article 50. They have responded with extreme malice. Walking away is totally justified. Only then will a sensible trading relationship be forthcoming. The EU negotiators said as much at the outset.

      • Dennis
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        ….’a deal with the exact same benefits of membership and no downsides, as Davis, Redwood, Gove, Fox, Johnson etc promised during the referendum campaign.’
        I keep hearing this ‘accusation’ but is it really true? I cannot believe anyone would say such a ridiculous thing, except for Boris maybe.

      • Dave Andrews
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Here’s a deal.

        Leave on the 29th March, and offer the EU frictionless trade in the interim to securing a proper free trade agreement. No Irish border problem, leave voters happy, remain voters worried about the economy happy and businesses both sides happy.

        Can’t offer no downsides I’m afraid, but the deal will only upset EU sycophants and EU commissioners worried about their funding. Can’t win them all but this seems a price worth paying.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink


        When WILL you people finally wake up and understand there are NO BENEFITS to being in the EU. Its a mercantile, protectionist, regressive cartel . Only the gullible, naive and tax avoiding multinationals think its a good idea.

        Come on Renton name me a benefit that we can’t get outside of the EU

      • Original Richard
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink


        You may be right that we will not be able to keep all the “benefits” of EU membership but in return there are much, much bigger advantages of non-membership :

        To be able in the future to know, elect and remove those who make our laws, trade and foreign policies and decide how money is raised and how it is spent.

        No longer exposed to high, uncontrolled and regular inward migration to the UK putting pressure on housing, schooling, health and welfare provision, infrastructure and the environment.

        No longer paying a £20bn/year membership fee (£15bn/year loss of control, £10bn/year net) used to build infrastructure in the EU and to subsidise the corporates moving factories from the UK to other EU member states and even to countries not yet in the EU.

        No longer members of a single market/customs union structured so that we have an £90bn/year trading deficit.

        No longer accepting the loss of our fishing grounds.

        Not losing of control of our military.


  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Excellent speech, well said

  14. ian
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Apeasment and surrender are the words of the leader and parliament, climate change is their god and religion and refuges migration is now their legal duty.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink


  16. Walt
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    A good speech, sir. Are there enough hon. members with the courage and moral fortitude to abide by their parties’ promises to implement the decision of the referendum to leave the EU?

  17. Original Richard
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    For those MPs who believe that the convenience of a few multinational corporations is worth sacrificing the freedom, democracy and sovereignty of the UK, they should heed the advice of the Attorney General when he says in his conclusion on Mrs. May’s proposed Withdrawal Agreement :

    “In the absence of a right of termination, there is a legal risk that the United Kingdom might become subject to protracted and repeating rounds of negotiations”.

    This would not provide political and economic stability and hence certainty that business desires.

    Certainty can only be provided by leaving on WTO terms in a managed “no deal” agreement.

  18. Original Richard
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Mrs. May is asking Parliament to sign a one-sided asymmetric Withdrawal Agreement to the detriment of the UK by allowing the EU to set rules and regulations for the UK which do not apply to the EU itself.

    For instance, the EU can set the limits of state aid that can be authorised by the UK for agriculture. So the UK would not be free to set levels of subsidy for UK agriculture, but the EU would remain free to adjust its Common Agricultural Policy however it liked thus giving its farmers an unfair price advantage over the UK’s farmers.

    Withdrawal Agreement Article 129, paragraph 3 states :

    “The UK ‘shall refrain, during the transition period, from any action or initiative which is likely to be prejudicial to the European Union’s interests, in particular in the framework of any international organisation, agency, conference or forum of which the UK is a party in its own right’.

    This implies that we could not set our own tax rates, regulate businesses, or pursue an independent foreign policy at the UN Security Council.

    “Prejudicial to the EU’s interests” covers everything!

    Yet the Agreement specifies no reciprocal obligation on the EU to refrain from prejudicing the UK’s interests!

    • Dennis
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      It’s annoying that these points and others made here in this blog are never mentioned in BBC/TV discussions. ‘Politics Live’ could be so much better – JoCo could bring them up but never does.

  19. alexP
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    “Project fear” exists because we cannot see “project hope” or “project horizon” and worry about what’s over the horizon. With Liam Fox gone back into his shell and nobody else shining the light the people are befuddled, politicians are befuddled, Only Mrs May seems to have an idea where she is headed- The Cliff, and she has not got too many followers by the looks of it. In the meantime nobody knows where Corbyn and the government in waiting stand’s on all of this? So nobody knows? and that is why “project fear” has not gone away. People who have “project fear” on their minds are guided in the main by what’s best for the economic well being of the country, they are mindful of their families and their families prospects, they are not people too concerned about who is making the laws, or who is in parliament. Chances are they never ever met a politician close up in their lives, so then what’s the big difference between Brussels or Westminster?

  20. majorfrustration
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    The only way to get what the people voted for is to leave and no fudge deal will every be allowed to be improved upon – that’s the EU way. The continued resistance to WTO makes me wonder whether our political class have after forty years lost the ability to govern and take responsibility

  21. John S
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I saw the speech. Magnificent.

  22. Ron Olden
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    The ‘electorate’ in the UK is not and never has been ‘sovereign’.

    We are a ‘Representative Democracy’ not a commune.

    ‘Sovereignty’ rests with ‘The Crown in Parliament’. It did so even when we were/are in the EU. EU laws always applied here on sufferance of Parliament.

    I’m not sure the public were saying in the Referendum that they ‘Believe in Parliament’ either.

    It’s not much of Parliament that needs to come to us to ask us to ‘advise’ it as to whether it should reassert its own ‘Sovereignty’. It would be even less of one if it has to come back to us to ‘advise’ it a Second Time.

    It was, in fact, Parliament that voted away all these powers and many tens of billions of Pounds to the EU in the first place, leaving 17.4 Million of us to have to go to the inconvenience of having to go and vote to get the powers back.

    I myself voted Leave, but I have no belief whatsoever in Parliament’s capacity to make ‘wise laws’. We’re usually best off when there’s no majority in Parliament to make any controversial new laws at all.

    I entirely agree with Desmond Swayne. The only thing we can discern from the Referendum result is that a majority want to Leave the EU. We have no idea what they, and those who voted Remain, but accept we now have to Leave, want to replace Membership with.

    There are likely several hundred different views on the subject.

    For my part, any ‘Schedule of Tariffs’ should be very short one. It should simply read ‘ZERO’.

    I very much doubt if many of these 17.4 Million people, and certainly not me, thought they were voting to pay more Trade Tax on the things we choose to buy.

  23. oldwulf
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Maybe the BBC will get on board with this ….. but then again ….. maybe it won’t.

  24. Mick
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Great speech said with conviction, it’s a pity more mps don’t put the country first like yourself instead of there own or party interest, I notice that Benn as tabled a amendment stating with cannot leave with no deal what a bloody muppet if this amendment is passed the Eu will be jumping with joy to give us there preferred deal and we will have to take it which you can be sure Would keep us in the Eu, I’ve said it before we should not be held to ransom by the DUP or the 1.8 million Northern Ireland people get rid of the backstop get us out of the Eu then if need be call a GE because I’m sure the people are fully aware now which mps and parties are true patriots to GB and it won’t be labour/some Tory’s/green/Plaid Cymru /snp/Lib Dem’s , this is the only solution

  25. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Brilliant, worryingly dark forces have been successfully at work since June 2016.

    This is another Magna Carta moment, perhaps even the end of our meaningful history.

    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    David Davis also made a speech in which he gave specific details of the of the Canada plus plus plan.

    Now, I’ve paid pretty close attention to the Brexit debate and have even watched several Select Committee meetings but this is the first time I fully understood the ‘plus plus’ significance. I followed the logic of taking bits from existing EU agreements but was lost on the detail.

    Davis used the example of a

    Canada trade deal
    PLUS mutual recognition from the South Korea deal
    PLUS Sanitary/Phytosanitary (SPS) agreement from the NZ deal.

    The question is will the SPS agreement be enough to satisfy Ireland/EU that border checks would be eliminated. Also how is Ireland’s energy market managed?

    • Timaction
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      May has made up the Irish border problem to pretend its a major issue to keep us in the EU with no say and all for £39 billion plus £60 billion of assets.

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    I saw you speaking, JR, one of the few MPs who can deliver such a speech … it’s a pity that some others are poor speakers even when they have something valuable to say.

  28. acorn
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    This site has raised the WTO to some sort of religion. It and Peter Lilley have it as some omnipotent entity, that will pave our way to the promised land; the “no deal” Brexit. Sadly half the things Lilley thinks the WTO can do; it actually can’t.

    Worth having a read of “What would ‘trading on WTO terms’ mean for the UK?” at the UK in a Changing Europe website.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      It’s more worth reading what the German government thinks would be the overall effect on the UK economy if we defaulted to WTO terms:

      “Oddly enough back in 2017 when the German government commissioned a study of the likely economic effects of various Brexit scenarios the long term outcome for the UK of defaulting to the terms of the WTO treaties was much less damaging than has been claimed by the UK government and its various friends and allies.”

      “If you asked me to explain why a German government study should predict only a minor erosion of the UK’s long term economic growth, less than 2%, if we were to default to the WTO treaties for our trade with the EU, while the UK government keeps insisting that it would a disastrous 8% loss of GDP, then I would have to repeat my view that the UK government is dominated by liars who have no scruples about pulling the wool over the eyes of the people they are supposed to be serving and who are paying for their maintenance.”

      • acorn
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        The CEPR deviation from a doppelganger method does not predict GDP a decade hence, nobody can; it tells you how far you have deviated from your historical trend, taking account of global events. The algorithm proved itself in the 2008 GFC.

        Have a read of the latest version at

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

          “The algorithm proved itself in the 2008 GFC.”

          Oh, so when the Queen asked why nobody saw it coming the correct answer would have been that this algorithm predicted it …

          So is this the same lot who declined to publish my critical comment on their blog? Oh, no, that lot were at Sussex University:

          You claim that this study “… tells you how far you have deviated from your historical trend, taking account of global events”, but as I have pointed out more than once there is as yet no empirical evidence of any significant deviation from the pre-existing growth trend.

          For example, on October 29th, here:

          “… Ed Conway … stood in front of a large chart showing the declining trend in UK economic growth rate since Q1 2015 and attributed it to the EU referendum which was held in Q2 2016 … ”

          “And bringing up the chart for the maximum period back to 1956 and looking at the right hand end it is clear that nothing in particular has happened since the referendum.”

          So there is nothing in particular for theoreticians to try to explain about what economic changes started with the referendum result, only about what changes started some two years or more before the referendum and are still going on now.

          I will add that in my past professional career I had enough to do with the computer modelling of complex systems to start from a position of deep scepticism about the reliability of any such models.

          Given that UK GDP is now about 10% higher than the Treasury predicted before the referendum only a self-deceiving fool would seriously think that they could accurately work out how the UK economy would have evolved if instead we had voted to stay in the EU, and especially by treating the UK as a composite of Canada, the US, Japan and Hungary plus other odds and ends.

    • Andy
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Question: Who voted for members of the WTO and how can I remove them?

      How can Brexiteers – who object to what they call ‘unelected bureaucrats in Brussels’ – seriously argue that we entrust our country’s prosperity to unelected bureaucrats in Geneva?

      Reply We already accept the WTO, as the WTO rules the EU as well as the UK in the narrow areas of trade rules and tariff setting.

      • acorn
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        You won’t have to Andy, Trump is doing it for you. Trump’s team has blocked three, possibly four new appointments to the world’s top trade court, the WTO’s Appellate Body which is now rapidly running out of judges. There are seven judges and three left (minimum to be quorate).

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear Andy, you really are scraping the barrel now.

      • Maybot
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Yet more ignorance from Andy.

        The members of the WTO have no executive powers over countries.

        They do not pass laws and issue directives.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink


        Oh Andy you are so lacking in awareness . The WTO isn’t a government , its a committee . The EU are members of it too and they trade with 24 countries under WTO frameworks .

        I can see why you want to remain, you just aren’t capable of thinking for yourself . You need to be told what to do, when to do it, how to do it .

        • acorn
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          “Of the top 20 [EU Trading Partners], there are no countries that trade on WTO rules alone; with no bilateral agreements and no free trade deals.

          If the UK left the EU with no agreements of any kind, then technically its relationship with the EU would be weaker than any of the EU’s main trading partners.” (IfG)

          PS. libby, did you mean the UK trades with “24” countries on WTO rules? For instance, you could say the UK-EU trades with the USA on WTO rules; if you leave out a hundred or more Bilateral Agreements that have nothing to do with the WTO.

          “It is perfectly fine for the UK to leave and trade with [the EU] as we trade with the rest of the world at the moment, under world trade rules,” said MP John Redwood on 19 October.

          In that case, the UK would need about 20 primary life support, Bilateral Agreements with the EU, that kick in automatically on the 30th March 2019.

          • libertarian
            Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:03 pm | Permalink


            Making up what i said is pointless. I said that the EU trades with 24 countries under WTO frameworks. You yourself pointed someone else at the published list earlier .

            You might want to read what the WTO has said this week about the UK’s position too.

            Now go away and brush up on your geography

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I felt sure that I had already heard Kent County Council predicting catastrophe if we left the EU without a deal, contrary to the wishes of the leader of the political party which has a majority on the council, namely Theresa May:

    And sure enough it turns out that at this crucial point the media have been very helpfully fed a December 13th update of a report it previously issued back in July:

    “Since the July 2018 County Council Brexit paper … ”

    Meanwhile, elsewhere:

    “Tory Association Chairmen protest against the “misuse of Party funds” on “propaganda campaign” backing the deal”

    But in my view the Tories on Kent County Council are misusing PUBLIC funds.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper

      They are indeed misusing public funds.

      Strangely before the referendum in the 20 years of Operation Stack, KCC did bugger all to worry about delays and congestion at the port of Dover. In 2015 we had the worst case of Operation Stack ever, when traffic was at a standstill for 35 days. Carter the leader of KCC was nowhere to be seen . After the furore over it KCC came up with plan to build one huge giant lorry part for 300 lorries . That was quickly scrapped. Then nothing. Fast forward to a referendum and suddenly unlimited funds, scare stores and actions need to be taken. Thats Tories for you. Totally and utterly useless

  30. TedC
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    What is all this nonsense that the EU leaders are unsackable- more lies

    Here to be clear, MEP’s are elected. The Commission is the civil service, it’s leaders like Junker are appointed by the Council for a limited period. The Council consists of elected heads of state- all elected. In fact all above are much more sackable than our bunch of civil servants and hangers on in the Lords. Such nonsense you put about

    • Fed up
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      Pray explain how any of them can be sacked. Also explain the difference between The European Council, The Council of the EU and the Council of Europe. How does the electorate of the EU go about doing it.

      • TedC
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Fed up- see regulation 31 (EEC), reg 11 (EAEC) and then M notices, hundreds of them, followed by C correction notices all about EU staff behavour and competance, This then is followed by ‘Sole article’s’ and Staff Regs , chapters, titles and annexes. A lot of it not even translated into English..but it’s there..EU people can be sacked and for any amount of reasons- probably hundreds. It’s in the power of the EU Council heads to sack the EU Commissioner if they so wish. Nobody is above the wholly elected Council heads it seems except maybe the elected MEP’S in the EU parliament

    • L Jones
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      TedC – See Henry Spark’s comment above, and the very informative answers. You may find yourself better informed if you do!

  31. Kenneth
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Great speech Mr Redwood.

    Meanwhile, the BBC is labelling the likes of you and other Brexiteers as “rebels” despite the fact that you merely wish to implement the result of the referendum and the Conservative manifesto.

    Quite the contrary, Mrs May’s deal is a rebellious – and some may say treacherous – proposal.

    • Maybot
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink


      Add that to the previous BBC propaganda “in spite of Brexit…” , “Cliff edge…” , “Crash out…”

      It’s not the first time the EU news agencies have described those with the democratic majority as ‘rebels’.

      There is also the rewriting of Germany’s past. The Nazis caused WW2 and the atrocities. It’s worth watching the 1970s series World at War in which veterans of that war take part – rarely (if ever) is mentioned the word Nazi.

      How is a reunified Germany to remember its lesson if it is expunged from memory ? It wouldn’t be so bad if the English weren’t bashed continuously for their misdeeds – no wonder it’s Germany that reunifies and Great Britain that disintegrates with hatred being stirred up in one direction and whitewashing in the other.

  32. Iain Gill
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    News coming through that the minister for Stalinist healthcare Matt Hancock is still determined to increase the tax rate for “over 40’s” by between 2.5 and 4.5 percent.

    If ever there was a political party signing its own death warrants this is it.

    Many over 40’s have young kids and/or elderly relatives to fund.

    Who on earth do the Conservatives expect to vote for them? What is the target demographics you are aiming for? because the party is going out of its way to cheese everyone off.

    If the country needs money I suggest it doesnt give 39 billion quid to the EU for a start.

    • Andy
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      As an over 40 something with both kids and parents to fund I am happy to pay watt for my own social care.

      This is because I have seen what your generation has done. Raped our country, taken everything for yourselves, blamed everyone else and demanded that we fund YOUR lifestyles when you have failed to save sufficiently for your own needs.

      My generation is significantly less selfish than yours.

      • Edward2
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        You remain extremists are getting silly.
        Calm down.
        You are so angry all the time.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        My generation? You have no idea how old I am…

      • L Jones
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        Andy, you are insultingly narrow-minded. I can only imagine that you are ‘funding’ baby boomers who should be funding themselves. If not, you should educate yourself about the hard working people of the 50s and 60s who are funding their own modest lifestyles now.

        And what is this ‘raped our country’? You truly ARE an ignoramous – breathtakingly ungrateful and very very narrow-minded. I pity your children and your parents having to accept YOUR support – you sound as though you’d be happier spending on yourself.

      • a-tracy
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        Andy, do you know what generation Iain is in? The people can’t be held responsible for taxation decisions made by governments.

        My generations retirement age was moved up from 60 to 67 (at this time I will have been paying NI for 50 years). My husbands from 65 to 67. We had minimal maternity payments for just 18 weeks compared to today’s much more generous terms and no maternity holiday pay. There were no baby bonds. Child tax credits or working tax credits. We didn’t get educated until 18, we didn’t get grants or a free university education like the 90% majority because it wasn’t accessible or affordable in the same way.

        If the Labour government introduced an improperly costed national insurance scheme, that they were cautioned against at the time, how are the people to be held as ‘raping the Country’. They thought they were paying enough in with their national insurance stamp and tax and vat and other indirect taxes.

        Can you explain to me exactly how my generation ‘raped our country’ and have been selfish?

        Now generations younger than you, who didn’t get their grants and university education for free – now yes they are paying over the taxation odds compared to their university-educated predecessors.

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        “My generation is significantly less selfish than yours.” Andy

        Your repeated hate mails targeting those a generation older than you indicate clearly to me you suffered a most unhappy childhood and continue to feel deep resentment against those responsible for it.

      • Maybot
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Actually Gordon Brown did that to our country (and pensions) – and the London Banksters…

        Nearly all of them Remainers.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:49 pm | Permalink


        Your generation lives on benefits , 44% of your generation pay no income tax at all. Meanwhile boomers are funding both their kids and their elderly parents whilst having their pensions stolen by your generation. More than 1.2 million over 65’s are still in full time work, because you stole their pensions, made it impossible to heat their homes ( via massive EU taxes) and eat on the meagre pension they get.

        Your constant crying, grizzling and temper tantrums go to show who the me me me one is….. its not us.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:18 am | Permalink


        I am of that generation and agree with everything you say about us.

        Dinner party conversation taken over by boasts about how much their houses were worth, new cars every couple of years apart from the right to demand a company car as well. Silly boasting about foreign holidays taken that year and having got yet another au pair for their spoilt kiddies.

        And don’t me get started about the wasteful habits of our generation whether in throwaway clothing or food.

        And now they have topped it all by ruining the future of our children’s children. Their sense of entitlement is sick making.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Margaret, I seem to remember that Andy brags about his holiday home in France and private education for his kiddies. He’s always telling us “I’m alright Jack”.

        • Anonymous
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

          Like I shop in Primark ????

          You must be in the Sth East if you attend parties like that Margaret.

        • a-tracy
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          I think that says more about you Margaret than your generation!
          You’re obviously not a Northerner because properties don’t have the same boom up here, in fact over the dinner tables I hear people of your generation worrying they will have to sell their <£150,000 homes to go into rentals to fund themselves in retirement and pay their ever rising Council tax or pay for their care.
          With the interest payments on their mortgages being so high in relation to their limited income, many working over their state retirement age now , with replacement roofs, windows, bathrooms, and kitchens coming up they’re not likely to be wasting food or clothes, in fact many still have clothes they’re using from ten years ago, they pride themselves on how many meals they can get from just one chicken, and run a car for ten years and more, don’t put your middle to upper class views from your dinner table guests on the rest of ‘your generation’. It is just so patronising.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

          margaret howard

          How funny . Boasting about foreign holidays and their exotic European cars, cheap au pairs from Eastern Europe etc , I guess we’ve finally found out what you and your remain friends see in being in the EU

          ( ps this is an EXACT description of ALL the things Andy has said on here )

  33. Iain Gill
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    I notice the Conservative associations are refusing to deliver Mrs May’s leaflets.

    Says it all really.

    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Is it normal government for a PM in a non-election period when so much work needs doing that he sends top Ministers as the BBC says “All over the country to schools, hospitals and businesses to gather last minute support for a trade deal”?
    What is the Head of the Casuality Dept or Headmaster or busy people in business going to do with a politician wishing some kind of walk-about disturbing work and taking up the time of key staff?
    What on Earth is Mrs May thinking about? This is weird!!!!!

    • Mark B
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      I agree. But it is not a trade deal, it is an Withdrawal Agreement and a bad one too boot !

      I think they are campaigning for the ‘deal’ (sic) so that they can come back and say;

      “We have travelled the country far and wide and spoken to (carefully selected) people, and they all support the ‘deal’.”

      This ruse gives them a thin veneer of legitimacy for their act of betrayal.

      • Timaction
        Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        The news is very strange at the moment talking cliff edge and crashing out. FFS its a withdrawal agreement NOT a trade deal with all our leverage given up by those top Tory negotiators all for £39 billion plus substantial assets. Law taker with no voice. There has to be something else going on like this deal or we stay in!
        Can you please let me know when your leader is selling her house or car please Mr Redwood!

  35. Edward
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    Watched your speech live. Awesome barnstorming speech.

    Hopefully someone will upload it to Youtube (or similar) for posterity.

  36. AndyC
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Good speech, thankyou! I look forward to a change of government next week.

  37. rose
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood’s speech took me back to that night in June 2016 when I gradually realized what was happening. In spite of all the propaganda and bullying, despite the opinion polls and punditry, the British people were reasserting themselves and claiming back their independence and freedom. I have never before felt such a wave of love, admiration, and gratitude for millions of people I didn’t and would never know.

  38. margaret howard
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink


    “to take back sovereign control to the people, to take back the delegated sovereign control to this Parliament.”

    I keep asking what this sovereign control is supposed to be and when was it taken away from us? Nobody has so far been willing to enlighten me.

    When was Parliament forced to relinquish that control? How was it done? And why did nobody stop it at the time when it was supposed to have happened.

    And supposing we get IT back, what are we going to do with it? Or are they just the usual Murdoch press slogans blindly aped by Brexiteers?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      You don’t deserve a reply, but you will find answers here:

    • L Jones
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      You won’t find the answers on Facebook, Margaret. Perhaps you should do a bit more research – starting with Mr Cooper’s link.

    • Glenn Vaughan
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard

      I have read several of your contributions to this website and have concluded that the quality of your political analyses has the profundity of an average Miss World contestant.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink


        Wrong comparison. The sort of people you mention are usually Brexit voters.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 8, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Miss World is now held in China but was being broadcast on London Live and I sampled it while lunch was cooking, and some of the contestants I saw being interviewed obviously combined beauty and brains … over time it will become increasingly difficult for mere males to compete with this.

    • libertarian
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard

      Oh dear lord…. Murdoch is a Remainer you fool so why he would have Brexit slogans god knows.

      • margaret howard
        Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink



        “Rupert Murdoch has declared the Brexit result of the EU referendum “wonderful” and compared the decision to withdraw from the European Union as like “a prison break….we’re out”

        Independent June 2016

        • rose
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          You should be eternally grateful to him as he persuaded Brown to keep us out of the single currency.

        • libertarian
          Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:17 pm | Permalink


          I think you’ll find that The Times and SKY News ( his organisations) are both very much pro Remain. When asked how he would have voted personally in a TV interview, he said Remain

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    Looking in my files for something else I just happened across this article from November 19th 2017, which it seems I have never mentioned on here before:

    “The Brexit Veto: How and why Ireland raised the stakes”

    This RTE chap Tony Connelly is usually well-informed and it is a pity that the contents of this article did not get wider attention in this country at the time, when it might still have been possible to push the UK government into doing something about it, and with only minimal economic damage to all concerned.

    Even now I keep hearing from politicians that “the EU” would want this or would not want that, without any recognition that the Irish government would have the power to veto any agreement to either avoid the so-called ‘Irish backstop’ or supersede it.

  40. Sam Duncan
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Great speech. And you’re absolutely right about Scotland. The difference between the nationalists’ beef with Westminster and ours with Brussels is that not only did Westminster devolve power while Brussels accumulates it – I still believe that by far the most powerful influence on the referendum was David Cameron being sent home with his tail between his legs for daring to request some very modest devolution from the EU – but also that nobody can remove the Commission.

    This isn’t a debate about where our government is. You can all vote to move it to the Falkland Islands for all I care. It’s about whether we have a meaningful say in it at all. Who governs Britain? Us, the people, or “Them”, the faceless, unelected civil servants, wherever they lurk? The SNP – knowingly or unknowingly – have already conceded that argument. They’re quite happy for Scotland to be governed by Them rather than Us. They openly advocate it. Their entire current argument for dismantling the Kingdom of Great Britain hinges on a desire to hand “their” part of it over to Them, lock stock and barrel, even more completely than has hitherto been the case.

    They like to think of themselves as anti-establishment, embracing that line from a non-canonical verse once sung to the tune of the National Anthem and revelling in the epithet of “rebellious Scots”. But, as you said in your speech, the government spent our money sending a very serious-looking booklet to every household in Britain telling us that we should vote to stay in the EU. It had “HM Government” printed on the front, next to the Royal Arms. I voted against it. What did they do?

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Another reader, acorn, has helpfully provided this link:

    which gives a rather more accurate version of the current situation than the brazen lies being spread by our own government.

    For example while UK ministers constantly use the present tense, as in:

    “This delivers on the referendum result …”

    or the future tense, as in:

    “The UK will have an independent trade policy …”

    the following paragraph from the EU account makes it clear that a variety of conditional tenses would be far more accurate:

    “The Political Declaration approved by the EU27 leaders along with the Withdrawal Agreement details the framework for the future relationship between the EU and the UK.
    The document is an outline of what both sides will be working towards during negotiations to conclude a new EU-UK agreement.”

    So according to the EU it is only “… an outline of what both sides will be working towards during negotiations … “, rather than a summary of what the UK government has already secured as accomplished facts, as the liars in our own government keep pretending.

  42. Peter Martin
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    This story wouldn’t have cut much ice with diehard Remainers if it had been in the Express or Telegraph, but its from the Independent.

    “All official agencies, trapped in an echo chamber, are competing to paint the grimmest picture of economic consequences of a British exit from the European Union. They are straining so hard because their projected costs of exit have no basis in economic theory or empirical findings”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      I thought to dip into the Irish press, which is often more truthful about the EU than UK sources, and the Irish government is dismissing as “propaganda” the same kind of reports of no deal disaster but as applied to Ireland.

      “REPORTS that Ireland faces food shortages and a drop in GDP of 7pc in the event of a no-deal Brexit have been dismissed as “propaganda”.

      Senior Government sources have roundly rejected leaked UK documents which show Ireland faces the risk of food shortages and a drop in GDP of 7pc in the event of a no deal Brexit.

      A report in the Times UK has sparked a furious backlash, with critics accusing Brexiteers of using the threat of food shortages as ‘morally repugnant’.

      A senior source described the material, which is described as a government document, as “propaganda” and suggested it emanated from the hardline Brexiteer ERG group*.”

      “Some Brexiteers, including Priti Patel have called for the analysis to be used to pressure Ireland to drop the backstop but this has been rejected in Dublin.

      Both the Taoiseach and senior EU figures including Jean Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier have been “absolutely clear the deal on the table is the deal and it’s not up for renegotiation”, the source said.”

      Which led me on to this on the UK Independent website:

      “Her comments sparked a furious backlash, with other MPs claiming that using food shortages as a bargaining chip was deeply inappropriate, especially given Ireland’s history of famine.”

      So it’s perfectly fine for the UK government to threaten its own people in the UK with food shortages to get them to accept Theresa May’s rubbish ‘deal’, but it is “deeply inappropriate” for anybody to suggest that the Irish government should consider the possible knock on effects for people in Ireland.

      Yet that same UK article goes on:

      “According to papers seen by The Times, Britain leaving the EU without an agreement would see Ireland hit with a 7 per cent drop in GDP, compared to 5 per cent for the UK.”

      Which agrees with what I have said here in the past, that according to a number of assessments Ireland is actually the country which would suffer most from a badly managed Brexit.

      Although without accepting such high percentage GDP losses as those being quoted above for either the UK or Ireland; for example here in 2015:

      Open Europe estimated that if the UK left the EU without a free trade agreement and fell back on WTO rules, in 2030 Ireland could have seen a permanent loss to GDP of 3.1% in 2030 compared to 2.2% for the UK.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

        I’m always sceptical of these kinds of forecasts but I think they are probably right in Ireland’s case. Ireland only ended up in the EEC because we were joining. If we hadn’t joined , neither would they. They have always relied on their historic ties with the UK to keep their economy afloat.

        So now that we are leaving they’ve been put into a difficult position and I think we have to sympathise with that. I suppose we could say it was their choice to become independent 100 years ago and they can choose to leave the EU too if they wish. But that’s unlikely to happen, even if they wanted to, because they are stuck in the eurozone. It’s virtually impossible to leave. They effectively gave up their independence when they gave up their Irish pound or punt.

  43. Den
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    A fine, rousing speech that came from a true Brit. JR you are wasted on the back benches, you should be in Cabinet but you most certainly will never get into the one chaired my our current PM.
    You were never a Remainer nor can you be corrupted into changing our mind as now appears to be the case for some and I am sure you won’t worry about your exclusion herre.
    However I and probably a lot of others, worry about Parliament not doing as we decided. That is to Leave the EU.
    What are the legal implications if, horror of horrors, Parliament actually votes for some extended stay under the rule and rules of the EU, when the electorate had already decided to leave and The Withdrawal Act 2018 states we will leave March 29th next year?

  44. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I see RBS has now moved £30 bn offshore to Amsterdam having bagged billions from the UK taxpayer. Perhaps we should have pushed them there in 2008. I assume the NL can cope with them going bust again?

  45. Dioclese
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    It matters not a jot that there is a majority in the house to remain in the EU. It was ever so. What matters is that the people have spoken in a clear democratic way to leave the EU. It is the responsibility of Members and (dis?)Honourable Members to obey that instruction.

    MPs are the servants not the masters.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Dioclese. They obviously thing differently. They laugh in parliament but what they are really doing is laughing at the electorate. We don’t mean anything to them. We just pay their wages. How long before the British public wake up and see what is going on?

  46. Martin R
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for keeping faith with the voters and with our Constitution.
    I often read your blog as an antidote to the relentless Project Fear (we will run out of food, diabetics will die as the EU applies an insulin embargo etc).
    Remainers seem to have changed from the EU is a lovely place of progressive enlightenment, to it’s such an oppressive dictatorship that it wants diabetics to all die. Well if it really is that bad I still want to Leave and then presumably we can import the insulin from countries that do not treat us as a worse pariah than Saddam’s Iraq. Or can’t Astra-Zeneca make some here?

    MPs should also remember that although Parliament has legislative supremacy, political supremacy resides in the British people as a whole (cp Bill of Rights 1688), for some purposes this is personified in the monarch. MPs are meant to be our servants not our masters; we are not meant to live in a Parliamentary dictatorship. The whole “deal” is unconstitutional. If Parliament does not reject it, then the rogue Parliament should be dissolved by the Queen in accordance with her coronation oaths.

    Martin R

  47. Francesca Dixon
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for so eloquently setting out why I voted to leave. It was not a decision lightly taken, but you covered all the points clearly and fairly. Your voice needs to be heard more widely and your enthusiasm for our Parliament to rise to the challenge is inspiring.

  48. agricola
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    All very good but a bit too general. By all accounts Parliament will vote down the T May WA. It seems to me that it will happen because members do not like it, but this dislike is for many varied and conflicting reasons. Labour dislike it because they want something that is incompatible with leaving the EU, while espousing a belief in the sanctity of the leave vote. A total hypocracy in my view.

    Maybe 100 Conservatives will vote against. The rest are presumably balancing the wishes of the people
    against their career opportunities.
    , putting politics into further disrepute.

    What I would really like from you is a cogent path out of the impasse we will find ourselves in next Wednesday morning. I have suggested Article 24 of the WTO’s rules on trade and tariffs. Owen Paterson has also advocated it. Has anyone asked the WTO what their response would be to such a request. It is important to know before Parliament screws things up further.

  49. Owen Francis
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    The EU is making it almost impossible to leave. We cannot have another referendum. With enabling legislation MPs need to vote

    1. Leave without a deal
    2. Remain

    They are our representatives. If it is Remain they will have to take the flak in the country and constituencies.

    The Brexit movement will continue. Better more attention given to improving the EU and defeating it from within.

  50. Bitterend
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Just been listening to Andrew Bridgen on Sky still talking tough about how they need us more than we need them..well we’ll see very soon..perhaps next Wednesday or Thursday

  51. a-tracy
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    John, have you been told what is going to cause the massive problems at the ports in Dover without this EU withdrawal deal reported in the newspapers today? Is it France not allowing returning EU empty HGV vans after they have delivered our big imports from the continent, or is it just on British vehicles trying to go to the continent for business exported goods and pleasure reasons? Is this the whole of the EU or just France that have warned about this? I thought we were told there were worldwide rules against this sort of barrier to trade? How long have the EU said the delays will be for each journey that is requested to be made? Business needs to know so they can order with that delay in mind. Who has made this a problem and what exactly will cause the delay? Your Ministers aren’t exactly behaving in a calm manner releasing that there will be six months of delays through the ports and everything is going to stop. It just seems bizarre.

    • a-tracy
      Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Under the circumstances if the French cause unnecessary delays at Dover and limit the number of vehicles allowed in, we should create two transport channels into Dover, one along the M20 and one along the M2. Have the M2 for UK registered vehicles with goods for the EU and put all EU based vehicles on the M20 and don’t let any of these vehicles on the boats until the UK vehicles have received passage. If these threats are from tyre burning blockading France then you can’t play fair and hope you don’t get burned, because the UK will get burned and France only listens to direct action. In the meantime we must start looking for alternative goods providers if the EU want to cut us off. When does Australia, Canada, America etc get their drugs from if the EU want to not provide our essential needs?

  52. Helen Smith
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful speech, I can see why it went viral.

  53. Steve
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I see project fear has ratcheted it up a notch. This tine there will be lengthy delays at the ports, and dead bodies will not be repatriated.

  54. Turboterrier.
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    John, Really impressive. A real case of the story of the old and young bulls!!!!

    We have got what all the political parties are totally guilty off. As the world moved on the “stereotype candidate” was selected many without any idea how the real world works let alone survives. All blinded by all the old political dogma that has held this country back for decades. Many politicians over the years have provided an atoll within the house built upon their experience at the coal face, industry and military background to try and calm the raging dogma riddled idealists.

    This country has been mortally hit below the water line and it will have to be the likes of you and your like minded colleagues that will get us back to the shipyard to undergo extensive repairs and refit. We as a country cannot go on with the calibre and class of politician that the majority of the electorate vote for. But will the main parties listen let alone understand the real feelings and concerns of the electorate of this country? I think not.

    Parliament never ever addressed the damaged that joining the Common Market, hence we find ourselves where we are today. Mrs May will go out and sign us into the latest UN directive regarding immigration this week end with no understanding let alone concern of joining it and the impact on the UK . It will be the debacle of the the Climate Change Act all over again.

    Politicians across the house have got to wake up and smell the coffee. The world has changed and so has the United Kingdom. The politicians ignore the feelings of the 17.4 million voters at their peril. I used to laugh when activists called for riots on the streets and civil disobedience as a young man. Without really trying the country could well be heading in that direction.

  55. Ian Pennell
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    You made an impassioned case for leaving the EU completely, which is what the Government should be doing. There is indeed so much that Britain COULD do if we were out of both the Single Market and the Customs Union, un-encumbered by any EU legislation at all. Your impassioned speech to MPs in the House of Commons extolled the virtues of being able to cut VAT, cut import tariffs and spend more on Public Services (because we would no longer be sending the EU vast sums of money) gives hope for a bright future. Even if there were a short- term hit to the British economy from leaving the EU with No Deal the Exchequer is able to mitigate this effect through a programme of tax cuts which- as you pointed out in your speech today- would help to boost the economy.

    Alas, the majority of MPs in the House of Commons are firmly set against any True Brexit that delivers in the spirit of the 2016 Referendum Result as well as technically: The Amendment Section 13:1 of the EU Withdrawal Act tabled by the Right Hon Member for Beaconsfield and ratified by a majority of MPs on Tuesday evening, effectively prevents a No Deal Brexit. This clearly exemplifies the lengths to which the Remainer MPs will go to thwart Brexit. Sadly, the coherent and eloquent speech you made- making the case for properly leaving the European Union is most unlikely to shift the Majority from their stubborn determination to thwart Brexit and bring down a Conservative Government.

    It has to be said that you could make the positive economic case for Britain to leave the EU properly ten, twenty times- including hard facts and figures showing how much the country could still thrive in the face of a No Deal Brexit with the right policies and it would make not a jot of difference to the intentions of the Majority. It would be like trying to get Jeremy Corbyn and John Mc Donnell appreciate the significance of the Laffer Curve in relation to taxing the Rich a large proportion of their income- you would get precisely nowhere because the Left’s Raison d étre is partly based on hatred of the rich!

    Most MPs in the House of Commons at present hate the idea of leaving the EU completely, for ideological reasons. If they could stop Brexit in all but name they will and no amount of reasoning is going to dissuade them. Labour, in particular, sense a chance to embarrass the Conservatives (causing them to be seen by the Public of screwing up Brexit) and to cause the collapse of the Government to bring about a General Election they think they will win.

    The only sensible strategy to safeguard Brexit involves removing Theresa May and confronting the Left/ Remainers’ insiduous medium-term anti- Brexit tactics head on: This needs a Brexiteer in charge who is not afraid of a General Election and campaigning on a platform of a managed transition to WTO along with some of the policies that you outlined in your speech. Now that the Right Hon. Member for Beaconsfield has had his way only a full clear-out of the Augean Stables in Parliament (including the House of Lords) is going to get the sort of result that the Majority of the electorate voted for in the 2016 EU Referendum. Maybe, Sir you could do your bit to precipitate that happening.

    Ian Pennell

    • margaret howard
      Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Ian Pennel

      “Your impassioned speech to MPs in the House of Commons extolled the virtues of being able to cut VAT”

      When we joined the EU, VAT replaced our own Purchase Tax which was levied between 1940 and 1973 at different rates depending on goods’ luxuriousness and applied to the wholesale price and varied between 33 and 100%!!

      “Between October 1940 and 1973 the UK had a consumption tax called Purchase Tax, which was levied at different rates depending on goods’ luxuriousness.

      Purchase Tax was applied to the wholesale price, initially at a rate of 331⁄3%. This was doubled in April 1942 to 662⁄3%, and further increased in April 1943 to a rate of 100%, before reverting in April 1946 to 331⁄3% again.

      Unlike VAT, Purchase Tax was applied at the point of manufacture and distribution, not at the point of sale. The rate of Purchase Tax at the start of 1973, when it gave way to VAT, was 25%

      Those were the days!

      Reply I am not suggesting going back to that! Nor did Purchase tax go on such a die range of items as VAT I think you will find.

      • libertarian
        Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink


        I’m one of the few business people I find that doesn’t have a beef with the process of VAT over Purchase tax

        two points though

        The rate and scope of VAT needs to be reduced and of course the UK treasury got 100% of revenue from purchase tax, it currently doesn’t from VAT

  56. blearyeyed
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Although I am a remainer, I think the only way to sort this business is for the country to just go and Leave on the 29th March, ‘crash out’, without any kind of a Withdrawal deal.
    This is necessary now because as a country we will never be united again unless this process is completely played through in full until we see the consequences, if any.

    We need a period of five or ten years with a clean break away from the EU, because only in this way will we know if we were right or wrong to leave. Only in this way can the whole country and people be reconciled in their own minds as to the true path to follow for the future- as it is there is too much bad feeling tearing us apart- we need to have everything demonstrated and shown to us clearly, one way or the other.

    • sm
      Posted December 8, 2018 at 5:13 am | Permalink

      I’m a Leaver, and I think you have made very rational and sensible comments, thank you.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      There are consequences to all actions taken, or not. For example, no one has explained the consequences of remaining in the EU. No one has explained the ‘cliff edge’ that would face our democracy. Staying in the EU is not an easy option. It is to give more and more powers to the EU until there is nothing left. Think about that ? It is this that is causing the problems, the lack of honesty and proper debate.

  57. TQ
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 12:38 am | Permalink

    A stunning speech JR.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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