A managed exit without signing the Withdrawal Agreement – you will still be able to travel to the continent

One of the sillier Project Fear scares has been that if we just leave the EU there will be no agreements in place to allow planes to fly to and from the EU  and the UK.

The Transport Secretary has recently reported that  the UK has now concluded all of the third country aviation agreements needed with non EU countries, save four small countries still to  be completed.  Those agreed include the USA, Canada, Switzerland and Israel.

Within the EU the Commission has made clear that in all circumstances including a so called No deal exit there will be an agreement between the UK and EU after Brexit allowing routine aviation to continue as before between the UK and EU.

Individual member states have also expressed a willingness to  put in place any arrangements needed to ensure continuation of air services.

As I have pointed out, leading UK and continental airlines are busy selling tickets for after March29 2019, and have every reason to suppose they will  be able to honour those contracts. People can book their business trips and holidays as normal, and expect the planes to fly subject only to the usual things that might delay or lead to flight cancellations which have nothing to do with Brexit.

Some Remain supporters have been worried that somehow it will be more difficult to travel, to visit the continent, to share cultural events or enjoy each other’s facilities and places of interest. There are no grounds to suppose there will be new restrictions. There were no visas required before we joined the EU, and none are likely to be imposed once we leave. Were the continent to refuse to recognise UK driving licences the Post Office will be able to issue acceptable international permits for £10.


  1. Lifelogic
    December 13, 2018

    Indeed there is no cliff edge. Other than the next general election that is that May will surely lose and this bury the Conservative with her war against Tory members and voters. Amazingly 200 Tory MP want to stick with this disingenuous, robotic, Brexit in name only, PC Socialist PM and so bury the Tory Party for many terms and give us the appalling Corbyn.

    There is surely no way her dreadful deal can ever pass through Parliament with about 111 sensible MPs plus the DUP. May is mortally wounded, wrong on everything and should go now.

    1. Jagman84
      December 13, 2018

      The Socialist cancer is deep within the party. It will not survive the traitors inside. It’s the only party where you can become an extremist by holding true to party values. We will have to trust Corbyn, when he says that Labour will honour the result of the 2016 referendum. I think that he will be as successful as May and her surrender.

    2. Lifelogic
      December 13, 2018


      1. Hope
        December 13, 2018

        JR, your party is done.

        Those dullards who voted for May do not realise the untold damage to public trust. Moreover, when 80 percent of Tory activists want her gone it shows contempt of your own supporters and specially as Hammond views them and the 117 MPs as “extremists”! From a person who has produced fake reports and discredit d the Treasury and BoE in the eyes of the world as well s being responsible for the highest taxation in 50 years, higher than the two previous Labour govts.

        The whips cannot control or threaten 117 MPs.

        May proved by withdrawing her main policy from parliament, not to lose the vote, that she should resign. She did not have the honour to do so. She has no honour. She is a one head. The vote of confidence should have gave her another opportunity.

        It is now a matter of when not if our party is in the worldiness. Barclay and his ilk do not even realise how stupid they sound when repeating strap lines ad finitum. Public trust is gone. 17.4 million worth. Plus 13 million who voted Tory to make it happen.

        1. Mark B
          December 13, 2018


          It is not as bad as you might think. Most of those MP’s have government jobs and, if there was a change in PM they most certainly would lose them. Ergo, they voted more out of self interest than for the PM.

    3. Gary C
      December 13, 2018

      “May is mortally wounded, wrong on everything and should go now.”

      Indeed she should.

      TM has tunnel vision blinkered from the world outside of her shameful view of what the electorate want, wake up Mrs May there’s 17.4 million out there who do not agree with you and in the not too distant future you (or more likely your party) will be asking for our votes.

      Many of those 17.4 million will be turning their backs on the Conservative party just as you have already done to them, you may think you done well getting 200 MP’s patting you on the back but many of the electorate see that as just another 200 nails in the Conservative coffin lid.

      1. L Jones
        December 13, 2018

        I don’t think she has ”tunnel vision”. On the contrary, I think she knows exactly what she is doing, what it means to the UK, what it means to the Tory Party and what it means to our future.

        Her disgrace is that she knows all this, but is still hell-bent on selling us out. Us – the people who voted ‘out’. She must know that it begs the questions: is she in the pocket of her EU masters? Is she selling the UK to them for some benefit to herself? Has she and her puppet-masters (Oli and HIS own EU masters) found ways to coerce our MPs? People are suspicious and angry about the EU. We know very well they want our money and that they’ll do anything to get their sticky paws on it.
        And all this because she is weak. Perhaps weak AND greedy. A terrible combination. How can she sleep at night? I thought that was dependent upon an easy conscience.

    4. Peter Wood
      December 13, 2018

      LL, we’re being setup; the ‘Backstop’ is being cast as the road-block It will be magic’d away with a ‘breakthrough understanding’; when in fact its the rest of the deal, particularly the money, that holds the value to the EU. May will come back waving a deal and the gullible minds in the HoC will wave it through. Can we really be so foolish?

      1. Hope
        December 13, 2018

        The public is not foolish. Read social media they exactly what is going on. Parliament is doing its best to betray the public. Nothing has been learned from around the world. Short sighted Tory dullards.

        Read Brendan O’Neil in Spectator, read Owen Patterson’s No confidence letter. There are numerous examples inside and out of parliament highlighting how underhand and dishonest May is.

        Note to Tory MPs: a mortgage is for 30 years on average not two! Look for another job ASAP.

        1. hefner
          December 13, 2018

          Do not worry for Tory MPs, most of them already have a second sometimes a third and fourth job, plus going onto paid exploratory trips to check how things are done elsewhere.
          Look at the House’s Register of Interests, and one can see how being a MP attracts people who need some Chairman of the Board or some columnist like “honey” attract flies.

          1. Hope
            December 15, 2018

            Yeah, you are probably correct. But MPs have always represented interest groups of one kind or the other.

      2. Bob
        December 13, 2018

        @Peter Wood

        “Can we really be so foolish?”

        The evidence is irrefutable.

      3. Denis Cooper
        December 13, 2018

        While Theresa May is in Brussels today she hopes to have an audience with the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar, after the cancellation of the Dublin trip she had planned for yesterday:


        “The bilateral meeting is expected to take place on the outskirts of the EU summit and will be crucial to finding any potential breakthrough in the Brexit stand-off.”

        “However, while Ms May is seeking fresh reassurances on the temporary nature of the backstop, Mr Varadkar will tell her there is no possibility of the deal changing.”

        But he could draw upon Irish experience to give her some useful advice on how best to pull the wool over the eyes of the British public and their elected representatives in Parliament: for example, she should make a great show of insisting on “copper-fastened legal guarantees”.

        From June 16th 2009:


        “The Government has finally unveiled a full list of guarantees it wants from the EU.”

        “Foreign Affairs Minister Micheál Martin, at a meeting in Luxembourg yesterday, said: “We are now putting beyond doubt the issues that surfaced as being important to Irish people in the last Lisbon treaty campaign.””

        “Mr Martin pointed out that this means they are legally binding, but added that the Government would like them to be copper-fastened by attaching them to a treaty in the future.”

        After all of which the Irish people were made to vote again on exactly the same treaty, as soon pointed out – oddly enough – by Sinn Fein:


        “Brush aside all the meaningless rhetoric about legally binding guarantees – the decision of the heads of state, agreed last Friday, is nothing more than a series of clarifications of some aspects of the Lisbon Treaty.

        It does not alter the text of the treaty in any way. Nor does it change the impact that the treaty will have on Ireland.

        So when we come to vote on the Lisbon Treaty in October we will be voting on exactly the same treaty, with exactly the same consequences for Ireland and the EU, as we did on June 12th, 2008.”

        1. cosmic
          December 13, 2018

          “copper-fastened” has a ring to it. It might play well.

          How about “cast iron”?

    5. zorro
      December 13, 2018

      There were signs of serious malfunctioning in the Maybot at the Downing St statement after the vote. The same messages as earlier in the day and every other day were occasionally incoherent. I would be surprised if she can actually carry on over the next few days…..


      1. Mitchel
        December 13, 2018

        I was disappointed she didn’t boogie on down to the lecturn outside n010 to a medley of ABBA hits…..One of us is lying…..Winner takes it all…..I had a dream…SOS!

    6. Dennisa
      December 13, 2018

      There is an excellent article at Conservative Woman, (which Mrs May is not)


    7. David Magauran
      December 13, 2018

      I think the whole exercise was stage managed. May had a pretty good idea she would win and the 48 MPs had a pretty good idea they would lose. So why have a confidence vote? May will try to get better terms in the WA and she now has another 117+ votes lined up with most labour MPs to indicate that with the present terms there is no way the WA can fly. The ball is in the EUs court. WTO rules here we come. Bring it on.

      1. David Magauran
        December 13, 2018

        Another thought. The Eu won’t offer anything until the WA is rejected by parliament. What is her game plan?

  2. oldtimer
    December 13, 2018

    …meanwhile the parliamentary arithmic suggests stalemate on the way ahead. Not Invented Here seems to be the majority opinion of the no deal break and May’s opinion of the Brexiteers FTA ideas. What is evident is that May does not command the support of a significant block of Conservative backbenchers. Will she suffer Thatcher’s fate, winning a confidence vote but losing power and office shortly afterwards?

    1. Lifelogic
      December 13, 2018

      Over 50% of back benchers are against her and 37% of Tory MPs overall, the rest are surely totally deluded. She should go now she is far too much of a electoral liability. A new PM need time before any election to bed in.

      1. Turboterrier.
        December 13, 2018

        @ L/L

        She should go now she is far too much of a electoral liability.

        And give notice to all the constituency chairman that it is expected all the 200 who voted for her to be joining her on the road to nowhere.

        This pro remain EU cancer in the party has got to be aggressively removed and discarded or it will be a repeat of the last 40 years of all the pro remain members trying their best to derail the party to drag it back to another referendum. The party has got to be very strong on this point as there can be no place for the fainthearted.

    2. jerry
      December 13, 2018

      @oldtimer; As I pointed pout when you pleaded for more letters to be sent to the 1922 committee last week, TM doesn’t (now) need the support from her own party, and I doubt she will suffer the same fate as MT because the party rules are very different. Mrs May can not now be unseated for another 12 months, the only way she can be evicted from No. 10 is via a GE, how many Brexiteers are willing to vote their own government down?

      I fear Brexit was lost last night, the EU might well now move just enough to allow the WA to be passed, if not there are plenty of Labour, LibDem & SNP MPs who will vote for our A50 letter to be withdrawn – if only some of those long standing no confidence letters had been withdrawn instead. When will some learn to play the ball, not the (wo)man?!..

      1. oldtimer
        December 13, 2018

        Thatcher won her confidence vote but tesigned within a week after cabinet members advised her that her time was up. That could happen again. Whether it will is another matter as the cabinet appears as divided over the way ahead as the MPs.

        1. jerry
          December 13, 2018

          @oldtimer; How many times, the rules were different back in 1990.

      2. Mark B
        December 13, 2018

        If the DUP pull the plug on this government then we go to a GE. I really do not fancy the Tories chances.

    3. Adam
      December 13, 2018

      Having over 30% of her party opposing her is increasingly corrosive.

      1. James
        December 13, 2018

        Actually 36.9%. Thought I might mention that before we hear any figures on the subject from Diane Abbot

        1. Lifelogic
          December 13, 2018

          Well over 50% of back benchers who are not on the pay roll.

          The Maybot now seems stuck on the phrase “to get the deal over the line” saying it countless times today and yesterday. Her ‘deal’ seems more likely to be voted down by about 220 votes, given the parliamentary maths and lack of Conservative/Labour/DUP support she has. Why on earth did 200 support her Yesterday. What can she achieve from here, she is in a narrow dead end street and has no reverse gear.

    4. Mark B
      December 13, 2018

      I am happy with deadlock. The clock is running down and we will be out on WTO.

  3. Stred
    December 13, 2018

    It is understandable that the EU would like an agreement on air travel. A look at the air radar shows a swarm of planes flying in British airspace to America every day. The French own Eurotunnel and Brittany ferries. British tourism is a big earner for all EU countries, except Belgium, which is best avoided.

    One thing that is undeniable about our continental friends is that they never turn down cash. It’s what May calls a deep and meaningful relationship and why she knows that an offer to give them £2000 for every family in our land will be gratefully accepted, while kicking us in the shins.

    1. Stred
      December 13, 2018

      It is understandable that the EU would like an agreement on air travel. A look at the air radar shows a swarm of planes flying in British airspace to America every day. The French own Eurotunnel and Brittany ferries. British tourism is a big earner for all EU countries, except Belgium, which is best avoided.

      One thing that is undeniable about our continental friends is that they never turn down cash. It’s what May calls a deep and meaningful relationship and why she knows that an offer to give them £2000 for every family in our land will be gratefully accepted, while kicking us in the shins.

      By the way, they are planning to require visas from all countries outside of the EU from 2020 and were going to charge 7 euros for 3 months. I am selling my house there, following a large tax rise, and don’t think I’ll bother to go on holiday there any more, if I can avoid it.

    2. jerry
      December 13, 2018

      @Stred; Are you not conflating two issues, airspace (international agreements to over fly) with landing rights?

      1. Mark
        December 13, 2018

        The British own very few aircraft. Remember that BA is a Spanish company. Heathrow is also Spanish owned. Aircraft that weren’t allowed to fly on routes into the UK would be idle. The loser would be the EU countries concerned.

    3. margaret howard
      December 13, 2018


      “an offer to give them £2000 for every family in our land will be gratefully accepted, while kicking us in the shins.”

      Cost of UK EU membership per person per day – 37p.

      Benefit of UK EU membership per person per day – £3.35.

      1. Alan Jutson
        December 13, 2018


        Please supply your workings in order to get to these figures.

        Many thanks.

        1. Jagman84
          December 13, 2018

          Maybe she has a hotline to Ms Abbott? We pay in far more each day than the Government would like to admit. It is all detailed on the EU website. The membership fee is only 2/3 of the total. Tariffs and VAT add ~50% more. Some estimates are as high as £120bn a year, in costs to the UK. With a 60million + population, that’s verging on £2k per person, per year.

      2. Maybot
        December 13, 2018

        Have you costed everything in that ? Are you sure ?

        The trouble that comes via the EU. The police, the courts, the security the welfare, the NHS costs… the change in our liberties…

        Why is our country in such debt ?

      3. Edward2
        December 13, 2018

        We pay far more into the EU than we get back and that has been the case for decades.

      4. Denis Cooper
        December 13, 2018

        UK per capita GDP is about £30,000, or £82 a day:


        As reported by Michel Barnier the EU Single Market has added about 2% to the collective GDP of the EU member states; taking that as the gross benefit of the Single Market it would be about £1.64 a day per person.

        But while this German study:


        agrees with the 2% figure as the average across the EU it finds that some country have done better out of it than others; for the UK the gross benefit has been more like 1%, which would be about 82p a day.

        And that would be the gross benefit, from which must be deducted the cost of the EU budget , which you quote as 37p, now leaving only 45p benefit, and a large sum for the costs of EU over-regulation which on the estimates of the EU Commission itself could be three times the gross benefit of the EU Single Market or about £5 a day.

        See, for example:


        “The Single Market’s regulations do not come cheap. Günter Verheugen, EU commissioner for enterprise and industry, recently announced that EU regulations were costing the European economy some €600bn a year (this was almost twice as high as previous estimates). €600bn is some 5.5pc of total EU GDP, equivalent to the size of the Dutch economy.”

        “Comparing the Single Market’s costs with its benefits makes for painful reading. In 2003 the Commission published its assessment that EU GDP in 2002 was around €165bn higher than it would have been without the Single Market. Even after allowing for the extra GDP growth since 2002, this means that the benefits are less than a third of the costs.”

        So rather than EU membership producing a net BENEFIT to each average UK citizen of £3 a day it could be a net COST of up to £4.50 a day.

        However as I have repeatedly pointed out it is all very marginal one way or the other, given that since 1956, in fact more or less since the end of WW2, the trend growth rate of the UK economy has been 2.5% a year.

      5. Adam
        December 13, 2018

        Margaret Howard:

        Freedom from the EU has a value higher than £3.35 a day. Many of us would happily pay a lifelong fee of £2k a year, solely to dump their nuisance if such a service existed.

  4. Tabulazero
    December 13, 2018

    You lost. Please now unite behind Theresa May.

    1. Jagman84
      December 13, 2018

      It’s a skirmish, not the end of the war. We are no further on than before the vote. The deal is still a non-runner. The only cliff edge in view is the one May is driving us over, on the way to the destruction of the UK. The ultimate aim of the EU.

    2. Lifelogic
      December 13, 2018

      Why so we can all jump off the cliff and bury the party again as John Major did? What would be achieved by that? Corbyn’s let’s make the UK a new socialist basket case Venezuella one assumes.

  5. Newmania
    December 13, 2018

    Driving licenses will be meaningless within the EU . Going to the Post Office is no great hardship but your insurance will also be off shore outside the UK and considerably more expensive . You will need to contact your “Internet thing”( which will be fun) to sort out the AP. On flying , there are endless problems, for example the qualifications of the people fuelling the planes will not be recognised.
    Within a year or two( you would think) we may have many of the rights we had already
    Shall I put out the bunting ? ..

    1. Richard1
      December 13, 2018

      you’ll have to come up with better arguments than this. both driving licenses and insurance work in non-EU as in EU countries. Planes get fuelled in all of the countries around the world, inc the 166 which aren’t in the EU.

      1. Newmania
        December 13, 2018

        This is due to the web of International treaties the EU has with all countries of the world that deal with this sort of basic thing .
        I did say that I imagine it will all be out back into place but as we stand no-one is doing it .
        We start from a position of having no international recognition of anything a plight we will share with only one country in the world ../.errm somewhere in Africa

        1. Edward2
          December 14, 2018

          Wrong again
          Already nations have said they will be transferring these agreements as soon as we leave the EU

    2. libertarian
      December 13, 2018


      Just back from a trip to USA , my UK driving licence was fine and insurance included in the hire cost

      Just taken out a new insurance on my car travelling to France on a regular basis , my annual premiums went down . For someone who works in the insurance industry you are totally clueless

      You need to read the CAA website to find out how much drivel you’re talking about European flights

      What makes me laugh about Remainers is how gleeful they are that they voted to be in an organisation that would even think about doing the things that the remainers claim. Whilst the rest of the world is opening its self to frictionless activity via digital technology , remainers gloat that the EU is shutting everyone not a member out . Talk about isolationist

      1. Newmania
        December 14, 2018

        soz reffering back to Fishing and its relative irrelevance .Rushed

    3. Edward2
      December 13, 2018

      More project fear nonsense from you.
      European planes refuel in non EU countries now today.
      The “qualifications” of their staff are accepted and so will the qualifications of UK staff.

      Car insurance cover for Europe is arranged in the UK quite simply now today (my company gives free cover in Europe for up to 90 days pa)
      There is no reason why this would alter when we are not EU members.

    4. John Hatfield
      December 13, 2018

      Cornwall it is then, Newmania. Or Bridlington.

  6. Jeannie
    December 13, 2018

    Hurray! I can still visit my family spread throughout Europe. That’s a relief! Wish the Brexit folk had made this clear up front, as I’ve been researching it since 2016 and found it impossible to get clarity.

    My brother has recently become a German citizen, as he was out of time… all this uncertainty about rights of habitation and travel has forced his hand to make a choice he would never otherwise have made. Ironically my family is now more European than it was before!

    1. libertarian
      December 13, 2018


      What an odd post, why would you think you can’t travel to 27 countries in Europe when you can travel to every other country in the world apart from North Korea and Venezuela . No idea what you think you’ve been “researching”

      If you mean settling to live and work then thats a different issue but still as always was the case before the EU it can be done

    2. Jagman84
      December 13, 2018

      You could have done so before our EU membership. As I did frequently, in my youth. The EU does not give you rights, it takes them away in exchange for worthless baubles. Freedom is priceless. A great pity that you cannot see it.

  7. Peter
    December 13, 2018

    You mention a managed exit without signing the Withdrawal Agreement. The post then concentrates on air travel without developing the managed exit suggestion.

    After the Pyrrhic victory yesterday it is hard to know what will happen. The Withdrawal Agreement still does not have a chance of getting through without removing the backstop which will not happen. Then it may be a question of what way she ‘pivots’. That is Labour does not go ahead with a No Confidence vote.

    Reply The air travel is part of the managed exit. I will do several posts on different aspects of managed exit

  8. Richard1
    December 13, 2018

    Yes I’m sure this is right. “The planes wont fly” is a continuity remain favourite – i heard Domininc Grieve (normally a man of careful Speech) say it the other day.

    But it’s academic. Mrs May is there for as long as she likes up to a year, the EU knows she will cave in and assumes, almost certainly rightly, that the UK Parliament will help them. After all, if we really do get to end of March with no Deal and the EU are worried they will just suggest an extension. Enough Labour MPs will then support it.

    So we will go into the horrible transition + backstop. Next question is how do we work around it to get on with an independent trade policy and other positives of Brexit?

  9. sm
    December 13, 2018

    1. If you have a valid UK licence, you can easily get an International Driving Licence.

    2. Re air travel, perhaps the fear mongers believe the wings will drop off any planes in British airspace in the event of No Deal? (sarc).

    3. Re the confidence vote result last night…..no, words fail me, or at least any that would be printable.

  10. Bob Dixon
    December 13, 2018

    Teresa May goes to Brussels today and has been granted 10 minutes. She should accept that she has no chance of reaching any kind of agreement. It’s time that all MP’s realise we will not get an agreement. We are leaving on the 29th March 2019 so let’s get ready for life after this date.

  11. Bryan Harris
    December 13, 2018

    No comments on the astonishing level of support for May last night? – How easily it is for those that have moved to the dark side to be manipulated.

    The left wing of the Tory party is a disgrace, and I wonder how the 117 can stand to sit on the same benches as them – Surely it is time for a new party to be formed, because there is too much incompatibility within the Tory party. This is especially relevant when one considers how May has dragged the willing much further to the left than is natural – The Tories by that vote have defined themselves as socialists (Deceitful, no backbone).

    1. Mitchel
      December 13, 2018

      The payroll vote!

    2. Mark B
      December 13, 2018

      Some 100 of those rely on the PM staying in place to keep their Ministerial jobs and perks. That is why I keep saying, we need to separate the executive from the legislature. That way we can hold the to account better.

  12. David in Kent
    December 13, 2018

    My grandfather, in the 1950s, used to spend his winters in Nice and summers in the Vosges.He preferred the food and wine available there. The only problem was the very limited amount of money he was allowed to take, there was never a need for a visa.
    As the French love our tourist money I see no reason to suppose simple travel will not also be available after a WTO Brexit.

    1. Bob
      December 13, 2018

      If there’s any problem with Visas, just go to Libya and hop onto a NGO ferry without a passport and you be given a warm welcome by the EU.

  13. Kevin
    December 13, 2018

    Thank you to the 117 Conservative MPs who voted “No” last night. What’s the next step?

    1. Andy
      December 13, 2018

      The next step is to leave and join UKIP – where they have always belonged.

      1. Edward2
        December 13, 2018

        Presumably you also think about 100 Labour MP’s would be happier in the SWP

      2. TRP
        December 13, 2018

        Yeah, please go on and join UKIP.
        Given the present state of that party, which even Nigel Farage says he is unhappy with, and the FPTP voting system, there will be a grand total of … 0, or 1 or 2 MPs following the next GE.
        UKIP got a large number of MEPs in Brussels/Strasbourg thanks to a reasonably democratic voting system.
        Can’t you see that as long as there is not in the UK a voting system more proportional than the present one, the chances of UKIP are ridiculously small.

        Now it is not that I would personally complain about that …

        1. Andy
          December 14, 2018

          I have long argued for a proportional system. I believe even the stupid and nasty voices need to be heard. The Tories – who have become increasingly stupid and nasty – are the ones who argue otherwise.

        2. libertarian
          December 14, 2018

          TRP & Andy

          How long are you folks going to keep making the same mistake? You fought the referendum believing the opposition to the EU was UKIP. You have carried on whinging , crying and name calling as if all Brexit voters are UKIP supporters . ITS WHY YOU LOST and continue to lose.

          The Vote Leave campaign were the official team and they DID NOT include the (peopke ed) at UKIP. Vote Leave won the campaign, not Arron Banks and his (supporters ed)at UKIP ( ps Banks and UKIP haven’t got a clue about digital campaigning) .

          Listening to the rhetoric of UKIP you fought on the wrong terms

          The vast majority of Leave voters voted

          1) Because they do not want to be governed by an unelected oligarchy in Brussels

          2) Do not want to be part of a federal superstate

          3) Do not want to be part of a customs union and expensive single market in goods only


          Campaigned on sovereignty and immigration


          Fought the campaign virtue signalling about immigration and Farage


          You continue to lose because you carry on believing that only racist pensioners voted to leave…… Wrong

  14. Alan Jutson
    December 13, 2018

    Was never even considered a problem by those of us who have been travelling abroad for decades.

    Just like so many fear stories put out, it is and was fantasy, but it worried some for a few months, so I guess it was successful for a limited period.

  15. agricola
    December 13, 2018

    The magnitude of the vote against May’s leadership is highly significant. All because she and her civil service are less than useless negotiators. To allow themselves to be backed into a cul de sac of a back stop is pathetic. It is terrible that she is still in place to go back to Brusells and make a further inconclusive
    hash of this WA. Pathetic when she has the leverage of £39 billion and trade on WTO terms. God help us from politicians that have found themselves promoted way beyond their pay grade.

    1. Mark B
      December 13, 2018

      What makes you think that she was negotiating from the opposite side of the table from the EU ?


      1. John Hatfield
        December 13, 2018

        Indeed, I’m sure that the backstop was as much an Ollie Robbins invention as an EU one.

      2. Timaction
        December 13, 2018

        Indeed. We,re now fairly confident they were all in it together from the start. She even kept her own Cabinet in the dark before her infamous ambush!!

  16. George Brooks
    December 13, 2018

    I travelled a lot across central Europe in the first half of the 60s both by car and plane and on both business and holiday and never had any difficult whatsoever. All that was needed was an International driving licence which cost pennies at the Post Office and lasted a year and a Green card from ones car insurer which took a phone call and cost nothing. Plus your passport which has always been needed.

    I was never asked to show the International licence or the Green card and getting on and off a plane was no different as it is today

    All this scare mongering about post Brexit EU travel is complete and utter rubbish

  17. Alan Jutson
    December 13, 2018

    So after last night at least we now know that 117 Conservative Mp’s have some common sense, but the majority of the Party have little vision and want to be tied in some way to EU control, with a leader to help them who is prepared to tell porkie pies to parliament and the population.

    What a shame the majority of the so called honourable members did not pass the “UK first” test !

    Thanks for your efforts JR, looks like many more battles still to come.

    The withdrawal agreement still stinks, even if the backstop is eventually removed.

  18. Lifelogic
    December 13, 2018

    37% of Tory MPs have no confidence in Theresa May and well over 50% of back benchers. How anyone can have confidence in such a robotic, misguided, disingenuous dope and patent electoral liability is totally beyond me.

    Philip Hammond refers to these 117 sensible Tory MPs as “extremists”. What can be more extreme than wanting the UK to be an undemocratic, vassal state of the EU, giving us the highest and most complex taxes for 40 years and even taxing Landlords (and thus tenants) on ‘profits’ that are not even being made (all very ‘sustainable’ Hammond). He is clearly even more dangerous and foolish than the appalling lefty no nation “Conservative” Theresa.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 13, 2018

      Plus his hugely damaging up to 15% stamp duty land tax and private pension pot muggings. Can we have a no confidence vote in tax to death Hammond now?

  19. Richard1
    December 13, 2018

    JR, I think you were one of the “bastards” referred to by John Major? Clearly you are also one of (at least) 117 “extremists” identified by Philip Hammond. Given the other bastards have now retired, I think you have the distinction of being the only Extreme Bastard on the Tory benches? Surely an epithet which should be made use of in your media profile.

  20. Mark B
    December 13, 2018

    Good morning

    I want this Withdrawal Agreement killed stone dead. End of.

    1. Mark B
      December 13, 2018

      Oh what this time ? Held in moderation again !?One sentence. No names. No links etc.

      Come on man, stop brooding ! You lost the vote and now have to turn your attention to the WA.

      1. sm
        December 13, 2018

        What an astonishingly rude and arrogant comment, MarkB. Do you really think that any of our postings should take precedent over John’s work, and dare I suggest a modicum of his private life?

    2. Nigel Seymour
      December 13, 2018

      Me too. It’s not an agreement more a complete capitulation to the EU. I have to stick to my guns and say May will continue her remainer rhetoric well into January and possibly beyond. Art50 will never happen on 29 March…

  21. The PrangWizard
    December 13, 2018

    117 voted against May. It is reported that there were others who voted for her because she said she would stand down before the next election. They, by such admission, don’t have confidence in her either, but are too cowardly to vote against her, and use such a concoction. Is this the true reason? Who are these weasels?

    Where are we now? No change. She will not resign, she has no honour and no understanding of the feelings of others, just personal ambition. She has now picked up the word ‘listened’. She doesn’t know what it means, she just says it.

    Power will go further to her head, possibly with a purge of opponents from positions of influence and power, and we will see even more of her tyrannical mendacious and malicious character come to the fore.

    She will dig in to get her traitorous plan through and betray the people’s wishes, aided and abetted, but it must be voted down.

  22. Mike Stallard
    December 13, 2018

    If the EU says we have no rights within a particular market then that does have quantifiable implications for our services and exports. If airline repair organisations are no longer certified then aircraft repaired by them are uninsurable to fly. If safety equipment is no longer certified work can not go ahead. Without visa arrangements technicians cannot be dispatched to perform repairs.

    1. David Price
      December 13, 2018

      The knife cuts both ways

    2. Al
      December 13, 2018

      Due to the international nature of air travel, it would be very difficult for the EU to de-certify CAA managed qualifications: not only are these based on manufacturer’s standards, but then you wind up with issues like pilot’s hours – do they claim hours spent in the cockpits of British airline’s craft don’t count? – and the issue that most airlines train staff in many countries.

      Visa arrangements are surprisingly easy under the standard international working ones, e.g. there are no problems sending staff to countries in the American, Australian, and African continents, none of which are in the EU.

    3. Mark
      December 13, 2018

      It should be a trivial matter to persuade some other state (e.g. USA, Canada) to offer certification services while we establish our own. We could of course poach large numbers of EASA staff to establish our own organisation (a significant proportion of whom are in any case British), which might make their certification rather more dubious.

  23. Adam
    December 13, 2018

    During the 1960s, well before Common Market entry, the blue British Passport enabled immense freedom of travel. The high quality of the document itself reflected that, whereas many other countries’ documents resembled shopping discount vouchers. Access to countries behind the Iron Curtain, & even Iran & Iraq involved only purchasing a visa. We were regarded as a friendly nation without hostile intent, & welcome. Syria, in contrast did not allow access, owing to their regarding us as allies of enmity after their 6-day war with Israel.

    Working & permanently living in another country involved higher restrictions, as it should, and did once in the UK. Now it appears that merely crossing our border enables many new entrants enduring rights to stay, plus accommodation & other beneficial resources beyond even the reach of our own loyal citizens whose heritage here spans centuries.

  24. heavenSent
    December 13, 2018

    Of course we’ll still be able to travel to the continent. Back in the 1950’s the usual way of travel was as foot passenger on the ferry boats and worked very well.

    1. Man of Kent
      December 13, 2018

      Back in the 50s I flew with my car from Lympne to Le Touquet [ Bristol Freighter ]before driving through France and Spain to Lisbon and back .

      The only problem was that We had little money to spend !

  25. A.Sedgwick
    December 13, 2018

    Repeating a JRM story – a cab driver told him I didn’t vote for deal or no deal, I voted LEAVE.

    When the CP crashes over the cliff edge the 200 deluded MPs keeping the appalling May in office might rue the day or perhaps not, they will probably pontificate more.

    Congratulations to Owen Patterson, his letter was a breath of fresh air.

    1. Maybot
      December 13, 2018

      The taxi driver actually said “I didn’t vote for a deal, I voted to LEAVE.”

      And that’s perfectly correct.

      What we definitely did NOT vote for was our PM to go back to the EU and prostrate themselves like May has.

      Gina Miller (who has never given us any credit for using proper democratic process – peaceful to this day) has just called us all ‘arrogant’. No. We have seen dramatic changes in England and we are scared.

  26. Alison
    December 13, 2018

    It’s good that air travel has been addressed, but I think there hasn’t been enough preparation for a lot else.
    Evidence in select committee yesterday told us that HMRC was given political instruction after the Chequers deal was presented, that prohibited them from considering alternative customs arrangements.
    There seems to me to be a very lot of wilful, criminal irresponsibility being exercised at the top of government.
    Can’t Mrs May be impeached? now?

  27. libertarian
    December 13, 2018


    We now no longer have a functioning democracy. This government, already held in contempt of Parliament now also refuses to account for taxpayers money spent on social media adverts pushing her stupid WA. It was always a minority government and is even further diminished by 117 of its own backbenchers no longer supporting it. Meanwhile 200 mostly but not entirely payroll MP’s vote to keep their money.

    I now expect a general election and a Corbyn government

  28. Edwardm
    December 13, 2018

    Travel to the EU is possible from most countries in the world, and travel from the UK to the then EEC was easy before 1973. The EU otherwise would be damaging its tourist industry. The cliff edge is in the mind of remoaners who have no confidence in their EU, or who just like being sad.
    The confidence vote yesterday yielded a worrying result for the Conservative Party – it showed that 200 MPs are fools or worse.

  29. MickN
    December 13, 2018

    My take on the Brexit debacle:
    1. Mrs May is telling us that the Irish backstop is the only obstacle to her deal. Rather like when a chancellor announces a tax hike of 10% and after all the furore it comes down to 3%. The gullible think that they have got a result. There will I predict be a huge concession on the backstop at the last minute. This will then be sold as a strong PM getting a huge deal.
    2. It would be better for the remain camp (not that I want to offer them advice) if they didn’t look like children on Christmas morning when the PM won the confidence vote. All those that have been the biggest remoaners are backing the PM because they know they are getting their way. The swamp still needs draining. Thank you Sir for all you are doing to get our Country out of the EU in line with the referendum result AND the manifesto on which you fought the last General Election.

  30. bigneil
    December 13, 2018

    Still be able to travel to the continent? – the continent can clearly still travel here no matter what supposed borders we have. Set off from Calais in a dinghy in the middle of the night and the taxpayer funded Coastguard will come and ferry you to the UK for a free life. Families can then follow to be a massive burden. No use having borders when they are ignored by the very people who are supposed to implement them.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      December 13, 2018

      Bigneil. Agree. And did you notice that hardly anyone in the dinghy could speak a word of English. Where are they going to find jobs to pay their way? How can they be real refugees when they can afford to pay £4000 a piece to get over here? We don’t even know who they are and are they going to add to the security forces jobs when it turns out they don’t really like the UK?

  31. Maybot
    December 13, 2018

    I don’t recall ever having a problem travelling in Europe. I rather miss having stamps in my passport.

  32. acorn
    December 13, 2018

    As I said t’other day, a “no-deal” Brexit has to have at least a couple of dozen basic bilateral mini-deals with the EU and others, else the UK will become a closed economy overnight. Just like my laptop, it has to have a BIOS (Basic Input Output System) that allows the operating system (Windows 10) to function.

    Do you remember “I want to create a ‘Britzerland’,” said Boris Johnson back in 2012. Switzerland has more bilateral mini-deals with the EU than you can shake a stick at. BUT, it had to take “freedom of movement” to get a lot of them. The EU said it would never do another deal like the Swiss version. The Swiss do not have a “passport” for EU financial services and don’t look like ever getting one, they do investment banking mostly through London.

    Anyone for Britzerland minus free movement?

    1. libertarian
      December 13, 2018


      Why not follow the WTO where they address all these worries you have. Most of the bi lateral mini deals that the EU has ( which the UK has rolled over with the WTO) are trivial things like the language used on wine labels being imported into Europe etc

      The EU is the one with the problem on passporting. EVERY bank and investment house that I know of already has at least a brass plate in an EU state. Job done. By the way the international body for setting global financial rules is in Switzerland ( BIS in Basle ) NOT the EU, the EU are a minor player on the outside looking in.

      Every one does banking through London, we are the global number one market place

      1. acorn
        December 14, 2018

        1 Bilateral deals have nothing to do with the WTO.
        2 The UK has rolled over Free Trade Agreement quotas, not bilaterals.
        3 Mini deals get things like aircraft landing (not flyover) rights in EU states
        4 A Brass Plate in the EU doesn’t get you an operating licence in the EU.
        5 The BIS has no say in EU “passporting” rights, it basically acts as a counterparty for smaller Central Banks.
        6 The ECB Balance Sheet is 15 times larger than the BIS Balance Sheet, who do you think calls the shots?

        1. libertarian
          December 14, 2018


          1) Most bi lateral deals are small beer

          2 Agree, thats the important bit

          3 See CAA website to demolish the scare stories

          4 WRONG . All major existing banks, and financial services companies have European subs in each EU country

          5 BIS handle banking regulations on a global basis in support of central banks ( I agree it doesn’t have any interest in passporting which is a wholly EU thing) US and Chinese banks dont have passporting into EU either but do business there

          6 BIS ( banking is global ) Laws governing bank capital requirements stem from the international Basel Accords, a set of recommendations from the Basel Committee on Bank Supervision.

    2. Mark B
      December 13, 2018

      Switzerland sells more into the EU and is a landlocked country requiring it to pass through EU territory. For its position it has done really rather well.

      The UK is an island and we sell more to non-EU countries than the EU ones. I think we can do better. And if not, I am sure there are plenty of non-EU countries happy to take EU business.

  33. Lorna
    December 13, 2018

    There is much more certainty needed about plans for NO DEAL other than aviation
    Businesses need this certainty
    We need to have confirmed assistance to be given to businesses to help with tariffs ,and previous subsidy using funds we save from EU budget payments
    Clear guidelines on visas by Home Office
    Working groups set up to assist SMEs with documentation and attracting new business !
    These measures will ensure that Project Fear will not work
    Get the Health Sec to stop making ridiculous comments about patients dying from lack of medicines and especially isotopes for cancer treatment .
    If Hancock can not do the job appoint a competent leader for the N.HS

  34. fedupsoutherner
    December 13, 2018

    So 117 MP’s don’t support Mrs May. How on earth are they all going to work alongside each other after this? I think a new party is needed. My hope other than that is that Brexit either doesn’t happen or that we leave without a deal. Either of those is preferable to Mrs May’s deal which keeps us locked into the EU when other countries have the option of leaving when it falls apart. We will be stuffed. Stuffed for Christmas.

  35. NigelE
    December 13, 2018

    “The Transport Secretary has recently reported that the UK has now concluded all of the third country aviation agreements needed with non EU countries, save four small countries still to be completed.”

    Has this been reported anywhere in the MSM? I’ve not seen anything. Would not expect the BBC to mention it, of course!

  36. Malcolm White
    December 13, 2018

    What I find so mind boggling is that Mrs May stands there and assures us that she’s listening to her MPs, when for months since Chequers those same MPs have encouraged her to change direction on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement.

    So now she’s listening! When it’s absolutely too late to amend what she’s already agreed with the EU. Even Lord Heseltine agrees that it’s a bad deal.

  37. Bob
    December 13, 2018

    I’ve travelled to countries all over the world, within and without the EU and never had a problem with visas. Also never had a problem, hiring cars or buying cheese come to that.

  38. Peter Parsons
    December 13, 2018

    “There are no grounds to suppose there will be new restrictions.”

    You mean apart from things like having to pay for ETIAS, being required to have a minimum unexpired period on your passport (unlike now), and having to have a passport issued within the last 10 years meaning that unexpired time on old passports is no longer credited on a new one (meaning we all have to pay twice for that time).

    1. libertarian
      December 13, 2018

      Peter Parsons

      As most of us have more engagement with the world than you, you probably can’t understand that we travel outside the EU so we have to do this anyway

      1. Peter Parsons
        December 13, 2018

        The original article claims there are no grounds to suppose there will be new restrictions, yet there will be. I note that you don’t deny this fact, you just choose to try and insult me despite the fact that you have no clue how much engagement I have with the world, nor where. Pathetic.

        1. libertarian
          December 14, 2018

          Peter Parsons

          If you have experience of the world I suggest you apply it then if you dont want to look silly

          There may be new restrictions but your nonsense about unexpired periods just doesn’t work unless you only ever travel to EU countries.

          Do try and keep up with reality

    2. Edward2
      December 13, 2018

      A cheap price to pay to be a free and independent nation once again.
      A few pounds a year.
      A bargain.

      1. Peter Parsons
        December 13, 2018

        In that case, how about you pay it for those who would rather not have to.

        1. Edward2
          December 14, 2018

          Paying a few euros is still only a prediction of project fear 2.0.
          It might never happen.

          However, compared what we will give to the EU to remain a member it is a bargain per person.

  39. percy openshaw
    December 13, 2018

    Last night a taxi driver risked mentioning to me that our abysmal PM had won her confidence vote. I say risked, because other such persons have, over the years, confided to me that Remain voting customers abuse and sneer at them if they say anything pro-Leave. I asked him whether fear of Corbyn would maintain his Tory vote; he doubted it, despite expressing righteous hatred for all that the current Labour leader stands for. It is perhaps a straw in the wind, but I believe it is the first stirring of a whirlwind which risks uprooting and sweeping the Tory party away if its obnoxious leader remains in office a moment longer. The larger problem, that of Remain supporting Conservative MPs, will have to be solved somehow, but I am coming to the conclusion that it can only be done by leaving them flat and forming a new centre right party. What do you say to that?

    1. Chris
      December 13, 2018

      I would agree, p o. I think many of the Tory MPs refuse to acknowledge that former Cons voters will vote for Corbyn. Frightening if they do vote for him, but likely, in my view, if the blogosphere/comments sections are anything to go by. I too think a revamped Conservative Party is needed, with the liberal “progressives” moving elsewhere. Energy, enthusiasm and absolute commitment and conviction are needed to free this country and to effect Brexit. The current Cons Party with May as leader and PM simply does not meet the requirements and will fail.

      Additionally, I think many Tory MPs simply cannot understand that the former loyalty of voters to the Cons will not kick in again. I suspect that loyalty has been shattered, simply through watching Tory MPs mocking and being contemptuous of the Conservative grassroots and thinking that they know better. Sorry, Tory MPs, but you are in for a shock and the grassroots have now been awakened and will not be taken for fools again.

  40. Kenneth
    December 13, 2018

    At last there appears to be some realistic planning from the UK and eu states for Brexit with no trade agreement.

    It will become increasingly harder, therefore, for the scare stories to gain traction as the reality of the actual plans will be far less dramatic than the fantasies.

  41. Denis Cooper
    December 13, 2018

    I’m sorry to differ with you on this, JR, but how can we possibly “manage” our exit from the EU without agreeing any new arrangements with the EU and the other EU member states to cover those many cases where existing arrangements have become contingent upon our EU membership?

    It would not be possible, some of the present legal agreements would fall at the instant of our withdrawal unless a new agreement had been made to ensure continuity.

    We can unilaterally ensure continuity in our own domestic law and in our own technical and practical arrangements but we cannot force the other side to do the same, it would have to be negotiated and agreed.

    In most cases that might not be particularly difficult and much of it would not need any new full blown treaty rather than just exchanges of diplomatic letters and memoranda of understanding*.

    But it would still have to be done or a lot of people and businesses would be puzzled how to proceed on the morning after we have left the EU.


    “An MoU records international “commitments”, but in a form and with wording which expresses an intention that it is not to be binding as a matter of international law. An MoU is used where it is considered preferable to avoid the formalities of a treaty – for example, where there are detailed provisions which change frequently or the matters dealt with are essentially of a technical or administrative character; in matters of defence or technology where there is a need for such documents to be classified; or where a treaty requires subsidiary documents to fill out the details. Like a treaty, an MoU can have a variety of names and can also be either in the form of an exchange of notes or a single document. However, the formalities which surround treatymaking do not apply to it and it is not usually published. Confusingly some treaties are called memoranda of understanding.”

  42. formula57
    December 13, 2018

    Surely no encouragement should be given to Remain supporters to travel abroad in future, lest foreigners who then encounter them suppose we are all timid, myopic little Euro-ites lacking a world view, living in the past by supposing the Evil Empire is still relevant. Let them go on imagining that travel is beyond them.

  43. NickW
    December 13, 2018

    On this occasion the eloquence and import of your post is conveyed by what was left out, not what was included.

    Please keep up the good work and know that we are right behind you; all the way.

  44. Waytogo
    December 13, 2018

    No I don’t think so- without a Withdrawal agreement there will be chaos for a while. Very likely visas will be required for travel to some EU countries until the travel situation is regulated..I say some countries because some other countries Customs officers will take a more benign approach..but not the French. Therefore there will be great confusion and it will not be the politicians with diplomatic passports that will feel the brunt but the suffering travellers queuing in the passport lines

    1. Edward2
      December 13, 2018

      Tourism is a very competitive and important market.
      I predict a rush to encourage UK visitors by many nations.
      If EU member nations do play us up , then just watch as the people of the UK go to the many alternative places and spend their leisure time and money elsewhere.

    2. mancunius
      December 13, 2018

      You should have stopped after your fourth word. :-))

      Don’t you get tired of posting under a different ID every day? Or is it a subterfuge demanded by your principals?

  45. Simon Blanchard
    December 13, 2018

    Only looked 2 days ago and Gov website said International Driving licence lasting 12 months cost 5.50 at the Post Office with a passport sized photo. You still need to take your UK driving licence with you and produce both licences together when you travel If you taking your vehicle, you will need a Green card requested from the insurance company that insures your vehicle . That used to cost about 10 quid about 10 years ago.
    Where there’s a will there’s always a way.

  46. Shieldsman
    December 13, 2018

    The Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has today (28 November 2018) announced the conclusion of a new ‘open skies’ air services arrangement with the United States, ensuring the UK remains one of the world’s leading aviation hubs after Brexit for both travellers and businesses.

    The arrangement will replace the existing EU aviation agreement with the United States, as the UK continues to cement global ties as we prepare for a future outside of the EU.

    It will guarantee the continuation of the vital transatlantic routes used by tens of millions of passengers a year, ensuring people can continue to travel easily between the UK and US and maintaining choice and good value travel. It also protects our £50 billion trading relationship between our 2 countries that is supported by air travel.

    I cannot find a similar agreement with the EU. Regardless of whether we leave the EU with or without a deal, the airlines of the EU member States must have a new Air Service Agreement with the UK on 1st April 2019. Without it they are not party to the International Air Services Transit Agreement, It grants the privilege to fly into and over over the territory of a treaty country without landing.
    Many of the Brexit aspects on aviation are discussed in CBP-7633, by Louise Butcher.

  47. Alan Joyce
    December 13, 2018

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    The Conservative Party is badly mistaken if it thinks that, by accepting Theresa May’s offer of resignation before the next general election, we will all be pacified and vote for them – especially if this awful deal of hers is passed into law.

    Having witnessed the mess she has made of the withdrawal deal, what delights are in store for us when the future trade agreement is negotiated perhaps by the very same people who managed to turn a strong negotiating hand into abject surrender?

    The backstop is not the only thing that is wrong with this deal and conservative backbenchers should reject any meaningless platitudes from Brussels when or, indeed, if the meaningful vote takes place.

    Finally, on the plus side, I think that the weakness of our negotiating team has encouraged a rapacious Brussels to overplay its hand which has resulted in this one-sided agreement and it is very unlikely to ever get through the Commons.

    What a pity that our petrified politicians (with notable exceptions) cannot summon the
    courage that the British people showed when they voted in huge numbers for a sovereign and independent Great Britain.

  48. Jiminyjim
    December 13, 2018

    Listening to your colleagues speaking about Mrs May’s leadership has left me open-mouthed, Mr Redwood. Things are much worse than I thought, if the majority of the Conservative Party thinks she is providing any ‘leadership’ at all. I think actually her ‘leadership’ would make an excellent film about how NOT to lead people

  49. Nigel Seymour
    December 13, 2018

    You better get used to it all you leavers. May has nearly used up all the lies in her EU lies-bag. All that remains now is for her to call a 2nd referendum and/or stop art50 indefinitely. She will have then completed the biggest U turn in any form of political history. Nothing has changed since yesterday and 117 MP’s said thanks but no thanks. Parliament is stuffed full of remainers and they will now be doing whatever they possibly can to stop Brexit in it’s entirety…

  50. mancunius
    December 13, 2018

    Is it not obvious that with a large government payroll (169 MPs, can that really be the correct figure?) occupying the majority of the party MPs, that a challenge to the PM under the current parliamentary party rules can never succeed.
    The rules for challenging a PM either need to exclude the payroll vote – those MPs dependent on the PM for their greatly enhanced ministerial and government salaries –

    The Conservative Party has now enabled May to deliberately postpone the Commons vote while refusing to prepare properly for a non-deal withdrawal, that she scares MPs into supporting her deal. I realize JR will not fall for these scare-tactics, but many of his less reflective colleagues will.

    What she has also done is to guarantee the destruction of the Conservative Party at the forthcoming election, whose timing Corbyn will now choose.

    1. mancunius
      December 13, 2018

      “The rules for challenging a PM either need to exclude the payroll vote – those MPs dependent on the PM for their greatly enhanced ministerial and government salaries – or have a far lower benchmark for a challenge to succeed. For a PM to have lost the confidence of a third of MPs is, in the eyes of most, to have been heavily defeated.”

      As JRM points out, a clinching reason for her to resign is that she cannot now get her legislation through the House.

  51. a-tracy
    December 13, 2018

    Perhaps John, the people who organised the alternative to the Irish backstop should publish it with a link on your site then send it to the EU and especially the Swedish PM because he just doesn’t know what the UK wants, seems Mrs May hasn’t expressed herself well at all to the heads of other EU States if they don’t know what the UK delegation was looking for!

    If Scotland had voted for their independence what were we going to do about backstops and trade over borders and free movement of people, were we to give them full freedom and no changes or conditions as we seem to have done with Ireland with their independence?

  52. Shieldsman
    December 13, 2018

    I am not aware that the EU Commission has held talks with the USA regarding the ‘open skies’ agreement they signed on behalf of the member States which included the UK.
    With the conclusion of a new USA/UK Air service Agreement, the EU no longer act on our behalf. The EU no longer wield the total bargaining power they once held. The USA could insist the EU renegotiate the ‘open skies’ agreement. When Open Skies was agreed back in 2007 the UK market was one of the key attractions for the US – at the time the UK accounted for a 40% share of the EU-US market.

  53. margaret howard
    December 13, 2018

    The Germans are horrible bullies for not giving us what we want so there.

    And they should be very worried that the 7% of their exports to UK will be jepoardised because we can buy Indian Jaguars.

    And we can soon replace the 44% of exports that go to EU – we can get cheap lamb from New Zealand instead of paying through the nose for that fresh welsh stuff.

    1. Edward2
      December 14, 2018

      You keep suggesting all trade between the UK and EU will cease on 30th March 2019.

    2. libertarian
      December 14, 2018

      Margaret Howard

      The UK is Germanys 3rd largest export market behind USA and China

      Germany sells 14% of ALL cars it makes to the UK and that is 18% of car exports ( details BBC full facts )

      Why do you think that Europeans will stop buying our Cancer scanners, airplane engines, drugs, popular music, mobile phone technology etc etc

      Really remainers have so little grasp of trade

  54. ian
    December 13, 2018

    Unless Mrs May can have legal assurances from the EU on the backstop deal, it is unlikely that the deal will ever be put before parliament to be voted down, without a deal to vote down, parliament and the MPs in it will be left without a say or voice on the matter of leaving the EU.
    If that is the case, UK will leave on 29th of March 2019 without a deal, EU member states are now stepping up no deal preparation for the UK to leave in an orderly way with citizen rights, pension payments, driving licences with other things so it is the same as it is today when the UK leaves the EU.

  55. Simon
    December 13, 2018

    So Mr Redwood. These driving licences for a tenner ? Presumably they do not include drivers of heavy goods vehicles. So what are the arrangements for them ?

  56. VotedOut
    December 13, 2018

    This is a farce and an embarrassment on an international stage.

    The whole world is laughing at us

    We now must rely on members of the cabinet to act and save the nation – based on track record, we can have little hope.

    As the problems get bigger, the politicians get smaller.

  57. TR7
    December 14, 2018

    It is appalling that an unelected foreign leader thinks he can put his hand around the back of the British Priministers head and drag her down to whisper in her ear. If a man tried to do that to me he would be risking a black eye. Is no one else appalled at this?

  58. TR7
    December 14, 2018

    Isn’t Theresa May husband going to have a word with Juncker for constantly man handling her?

  59. Ron Olden
    December 14, 2018


    It turned out that Remainers were churning out another pack of lies (again) when they said we’d all need visas to go on trips into EU countries when we Leave the EU!!

    The European Commission also has egg on its face having previously said that the EU’s offer of visa-free travel to the UK was:-

    “entirely conditional upon the UK also granting reciprocal and non-discriminatory visa-free travel for all EU member states”.

    It now turns out that all we’ll have to pay is £2.10 a year for unlimited access which is less than a quarter of the annual cost of a UK Passport.

    Under 18s and over 70s go free!!

    It’s also still possible the EU will end up agreeing to waive the charge if we do the same for its’ tourists, or that as a marketing gimmick, many tourism firms, will offer to pay for the document for anyone who doesn’t already have one.

    It’s a terrible idea for the EU to charge this tax on it’s own foreign tourist industry as it is.

    Tourism into the EU from the UK is an ‘invisible export’ from the EU to the UK, and they have a tourism trade surplus with us.

    This scheme is a tax and administrative burden on the EU’s own exports to us!!

    It will also likely cost more to operate this scheme than they’ll receive in revenue from it and it might dissuade a few UK tourists from going to the EU on one off trips.

    Bad for the EU. Good for tourism in the UK.

    This outcome, however. is a template for everything else.

    The EU WAS NEVER going to obstruct trade in things with us upon which it has a trade surplus with us!!

    We had, and still have, all the cards in these trade negotiations.


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