What should the Prime Minister do now?

The Prime Minister needs to understand that her Agreement cannot pass the Commons. All the Opposition parties oppose it. The DUP hate it. Around 100 Conservative MPs have stated in public they do not agree with it.

A substantial number of those MPs might change their vote on the Agreement if the Northern Ireland backstop were removed completely, or if there was an unambiguous and straightforward way for the UK to end it unilaterally once imposed. Whilst the vote on  the Agreement would then be narrower, there would still be a substantial group of Conservative MPs who would oppose the Agreement for wider reasons often set out here.  The Prime Minister ignores these other problems – the large sum of money committed for nothing, the indeterminate period left in the customs union, the vulnerability of our economy to new laws and regulations that could hurt us – all summed up as the opposite of the Leave we voted for.  She assumes she could get practically every DUP and Conservative MP to change their minds.

She also assumed in the Confidence Vote meeting that  the EU will offer some legally binding text which does scupper the Backstop. That looks extremely unlikely, given the stance of the EU so far. If we assume they are not bluffing when they say they will not re open the Withdrawal Agreement text it is difficult to see any reassurance or political declaration about the Backstop persuading the DUP and other critics, as what matters is the law as written rather than statements of how a future EU might behave. One of the problems with that is the imminent European Parliament elections and a new Commission, so what is the value of any promises by the current set up?

I have the following questions for the PM

What legal text have you tabled to remove the Backstop? Will you share it with us as we might agree with it?

What indications if any are there that the EU will moderate its stance and resume talks about legal change to the Backstop part of the Agreement?

If there is no new text and no prospect of talks to change this draft law, how do you envisage getting the DUP back on board to support the government?

If the DUP remain largely detached, how can the government proceed with its wider programme of work?

What action if any are you taking to deal with the other large  problems with the Agreement as around 400 MPs see it?

If there are  no good answers to these questions, then the PM should come to the Commons and announce that unf0rtunately the Agreement cannot be fixed so she is withdrawing it. She should then return to the EU and discuss the best way to proceed to exit, with accelerated work on the various agreements it would be nice to have to make it easier for both sides.  She should finally get round to tabling a Canada style free trade agreement and set out again how the Northern Ireland/Republic of Ireland border can be handled much as now. This present currency, Excise, VAT and anti terrorist border could also be a customs and regulatory border, with most of the checks done well away from the border and the information shared electronically in advance of the border crossing. Managed exit without a Withdrawal Agreement is what most Leave voters want, given the penal and one sided nature of the Withdrawal Agreement.



  1. Anthony
    December 15, 2018

    I’ll ask again as I get more nervous each day!

    What can be done to prevent the PM going for a second referendum now the confidence vote has been held?

    No deal may be better than a bad deal, but any brexit is better than no brexit. I’m increasingly worried about the latter…

    1. oldtimer
      December 15, 2018

      A second referendum would require legislation. Legislation would require a Bill to be voted on. A Bill would require agreement in Parliament on the question(s) to ask. That would be be extremely contentious and would consume more time than is available before 29th March. Indeed time to complete the legislative stages of the 511 page WA (if approved by parliament) is said to be extremely tight. I expect there will be parliamentary guerilla action to be much in evidence over the next three months – from all sides.

      1. Captain Peacock
        December 15, 2018

        A second referendum is not on it would just start the whole madness all over again if the elite fail to rig it and Brexit is voted on again.

        1. Paul H
          December 15, 2018

          And the madness would continue if (and they woukd most certainly try strenuously) the elite managed to rig a Remain result. Both options make things worse.

    2. jerry
      December 15, 2018

      @Anthony; Nothing! After all she has said that she will not be the party leader come the next (I assume, scheduled) election, so breaking her word on not holding another referendum is irrelevant. 🙁

      Such was the danger in playing the woman and not the ball…

      1. Richard
        December 15, 2018

        Richard Tuck (British Academy Fellow) and Frank G. Thomson (Harvard Professor): “Suppose that it had been proposed beforehand that there should be two referendums on EU membership, one in June 2016 and the other in June 2019, and that the second one would be binding for twenty-five years or so, the usual breathing-space between major constitutional decisions. Such a suggestion would surely have been laughed out of court.” https://briefingsforbrexit.com/a-second-referendum-just-what-the-wreckers-want/

      2. NickC
        December 15, 2018

        Jerry, The ball was played over and over, until it became apparent that the ref (Mrs May) was bent.

        1. jerry
          December 16, 2018

          @NickC; Perhaps, but all that has happened now is that many of the best within Team Leave have either retired hurt of been sent off and now the game might be lost by default.

          1. libertarian
            December 16, 2018

            Jerry / NickC

            Anyone with any common sense, self respect or a view to their own well being would have resigned .

            More than 100 of her own party no longer support her

            The party propping up her government no longer support her

            The Deal she’s worked out won’t get through parliament

            The EU aren’t supporting her

            The Leave camp aren’t supporting her

            The Remain camp aren’t supporting her

            One third of the cabinet are already on manoeuvres to replace her.

            Why on earth she’s hanging on and for what who knows

    3. Caterpillar
      December 15, 2018


      Any Brexit is not better than no Brexit. Revoking article 50 allows us to vote for MEPs, not vote for the current parties at the next GE and vote for any new party with a policy of actually leaving the EU. This saves democracy and leaves a self determined route to leave in the future. Another referendum or May’s WA both destroy democracy, these cannot happen.

      1. Butties
        December 15, 2018

        You need an Act of Parliament to revoke Art50. That would be fun and couldn’t possibly happen before 29/3/19. There is no compunction to have a Withdrawl Agreement in the Treaty. It can be demonstrated that we tried but could not in th end Agree the EU terms handed down to us. Leave on WTO is the legal default position. Most people I speak with are quite happy with that WayTo Go.

        1. Caterpillar
          December 15, 2018


          I agree that no deal is the way to go and that is compatible with democracy, my point is that any Brexit is not better than no Brexit. We have reached a point where (faith in / participation in) democracy is going to be lost, this would take decades to recover from,
          would probably be violent and may be worse. A few percent in gdp either way is nothing compared to the seriousness of this. Of course a Remain dominated parliament would revoke Article 50, the only thing stopping it would be fear of the democratic process that this would allow. The options that save democracy are

          1) so called Leave with no deal
          2) revoke Article 50 and elect MEPs in the European elections, then have GE when we see the result, or possibly
          3) have a Davis-Raab-Foster WA.

          We know (3) is out of the question, so it is (1) or (2), the Govt must stop its timewasting.

          1. Butties
            December 15, 2018

            Dear Caterpillar,
            viz, “my point is that any Brexit is not better than no Brexit.”

            You need to do some more research. For these fair isles the EU record is not good.

            On a geopolitical basis the EU record is not good (admittedly the UK participated in the wrong doings but by extricating ourselves we the people can hopefully exercise a tad more control on our so called ‘government’ although Bliar suggests we cannot!).

            Remember the coup in the Ukraine against the elected government? One of the first EU reps to attend offering ‘loads a money’ was non other than Baroness Ashton, a person never elected to a position in the UK.

            Just some of the issues that can be raised :- Bring on the fishes, agriculture, decimation of industry,… the list is nearly endless.

            Pray tell give me some examples of what remain offers?

            It will take an Act of Parliament to revoke the Art 50 notification. Thanks to JR and others this will not be easy.

            There is only one option that saves Democracy and that is simply LEAVE.

        2. John Hatfield
          December 15, 2018

          Most people, sadly are not the Prime Ministers controllers.

        3. NickC
          December 15, 2018

          Butties, Unfortunately there’s nothing set in stone about 29-03-2019. That date can be changed by Ministerial regulation (EU Withdrawal Act 2018 Section 20/4). It is a sham date if Mrs May’s DWA gets passed by Parliament in January 2019. Alternatively it means there’s plenty of time for revocation or a second referendum. Otherwise I agree with you.

          1. Butties
            December 16, 2018

            Sorry Nick but that is not how I see it. Section 20/4 is meaningless as it would take the 27 to agree. Is that plausible?

            Taking into account the recent (laughable) ECJ judgement it would take an ACT of Parliament to scupper the Art 50.

    4. eeyore
      December 15, 2018

      A second referendum can only be called by Act of Parliament. Timeframe: six months or more. Brexit takes place by law on March 29. Delay is possible only by Act of Parliament or agreement of both Houses to a statutory instrument presented by a Minister.

      So yes, a second referendum can be called, but only if government (which has no majority and 117 declared malcontents on the back benches) is up for not one but two almighty Parliamentary battles over fundamental constitutional principles.

      1. NickC
        December 15, 2018

        Eeyore, Actually the date of “leaving” – 29-03-2019 – can be amended by Ministerial regulation. The real question is whether Theresa May will hustle enough Tory and Labour MPs on her side to get her DWA (transition Chequers) through the HoC. Unfortunately I think she will. There is no appetite for a “no deal” (ie Leave) in the HoC, so we won’t get it. We are about to be betrayed by Remain MPs.

    5. Dave Andrews
      December 15, 2018

      A second referendum would be a betrayal too far, even for Theresa May. She has staked her credibility on delivering Brexit. She would absolutely have to resign first, and she’s not going to do that.
      On the second referendum question, not only is the Tory front bench opposed, so is the labour front bench. Jeremy Corbyn wants nothing less than a general election, which he can’t get because of the parliamentary numbers. The only way labour will support a second referendum is in the event that Jeremy Corbyn is PM, even then he prefers the Brexit negotiation route. The disciple of Benn has no affection for the EU.

      1. Zerren Yeoville
        December 15, 2018

        “A second referendum would be a betrayal too far, even for Theresa May. She has staked her credibility on delivering Brexit.”

        I’m afraid I can’t agree.

        May said ‘no general election’ – until she called one.

        May said Parliament would vote on the deal on December 10th – until she postponed it.

        She’s like that character from the Vicar of Dibley: ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no … yes!!’

        Given her track record, nothing is more certain now than that she will surrender to the demands of the noisy face-painted fools who give every impression that they would gladly crawl naked on their bellies across broken glass for the chance to kiss Juncker’s or Verhofstadt’s shoes.

      2. Lifelogic
        December 16, 2018

        Tony Benn that is and not his inferior son Hillary, who in contract to his father seems to be against any real democracy and for anything EU.

    6. Hope
      December 15, 2018

      Robins gave May advice it would place the UK in bad place, May had legal advice to say it would endure indefinitely. She knew it breached her agreement with the DUP. She disloyalty appealed to Labour MPs. A legally binding treaty lasting forever. That was acceptable to her and she was going to force it the nation.

      May has acted behind the backs of cabinet and parliament. Acting against the will of the people while brazenly lying to say she has complied with referendum, manifesto etc. Repeated lies. She knows regulatory alignment is single market, she knows facilitated customs union is the customs union and she knows the ECJ will apply in this country. A brazen liar. Not short of being a tyrant. What is wrong is that 200 Tory MPs voted to keep her despite all the evidence!

    7. Timaction
      December 15, 2018

      That is being reported in Brietbart. This is choreographed to lead us to a second referendum, a stitch up question and loaded in favour of remain. The usual project fear and all the usual suspects lined up to persuade us to stay. The only problem these clever quislings forget is that is the day our democracy dies. They, the legacy parties and the supposed great and good will loose all cooperation and support of the people, forever and all bets are off.

    8. Lynn Atkinson
      December 15, 2018

      Relax! Love would win a second and a third referendum (unless Farage/Hannon manage to give Remain a walkover by demanding Leave voters abstain) – and nr 10 know this. If Remainer May could have called a second referendum and reversed the decision, she would have done so!
      May’s Deal is NOT leaving, its Remaining permanently.

      1. Davies
        December 15, 2018


        It depends on the question.

        WhAt if they said WA or remain?

        1. Alan Jutson
          December 15, 2018


          Your suggested question.

          Neither is leaving

          Far better to have WA or Simply walk away if we have to have another referendum..

          We have already decided to leave, so the second referendum then decides which type of leave, any question about remaining just confuses the issue and wipes out democracy leaving it open to yet another challenge.
          What type of remain, as it is, or as it will be !

      2. fedupsoutherner
        December 15, 2018

        Lynn. What right has any PM of any party got to sign the UK up to a permanent membership of the EU? How undemocratic is it that she should remove that right from any future government? It stinks and for this reason alone May’s deal cannot go ahead.

        1. John Hatfield
          December 15, 2018

          Correct fus.

    9. Tom
      December 15, 2018

      Were can we get advice on how to help prevent massive electoral fraud when second referendum announced?

    10. Tony Sharp
      December 15, 2018

      No Parliamentary time to allow it – anyway, what would be the Question?

    11. Richard Evans
      December 15, 2018

      Anthony, with regard to Brexit, the number one priority of the majority of the population was the vote for national sovereignty, where WE take back control our country, borders and judicial system. NO second referendum.
      We leave with NO DEAL. Trade WILL come, regardless. There will be some difficult periods but we will survive. So let us just leave. The EU needs the UK more than we need them. Wake up people, the EU is falling apart before our eyes.
      However if you are following the MSM you would never know.

      If MAY does not take the moral decision and resign, then maybe she will be forced out when Donald Trump releases the classified FISA documents. These implicate the UK Government’s (Establishment) involvement with providing false information to the “US Deep State” in a bid to remove him from office. She, in her positions as Home Secretary/Prime Minister must have been fully aware of the UK’s and the USA’s “deep state” activities???

    12. Merlin
      December 15, 2018

      Also, on a different note.

      Let’s also try to put a bit of this Remoaner/Brexiteer stuff aside a moment, and remember that we all love our country and are sincerely trying to do what we think is best.

      We all want the same thing. It’s just we have different views of how to get there. If we end up Brexiting, I really want it to work and will get behind it. And I’m sure if we remain, I’m sure all the Brexiteers will get behind it in the interests of the country.

      1. NickC
        December 15, 2018

        Merlin, Unfortunately the Remains have tried to thwart Leave from 24 June 2016. So don’t expect Leaves to co-operate. What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. I did warn Remains they were playing with fire but they would not listen and it is now too late.

      2. Merlin
        December 16, 2018

        I agree the Remainers have not always been respectful of the referendum.

        But Remainers could equally make arguments about the British people being thwarted – as it seems we’re in the dreadful position where Remain is the most popular of the alternatives we now face, but it has already been knocked out by referendum.

        Whatever happens I fear a lot of people will be up in arms. I will try not to be one of them.

    13. Richard
      December 15, 2018

      Sign the fastest growing UK petition?
      https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/229963 “We are wasting Billions of pounds of taxpayers money trying to negotiate in a short space of time. Leaving the EU in March 2019 will allow the UK good time to negotiate more efficiently. The EU will be more eager to accept a deal on our terms having lost a major partner.”

      1. oldtimer
        December 15, 2018

        I have tried five tines to sign this petition and each time it was blocked. Why would that be? Who is blocking further signatures and why?

        The petition currently stands at between 99344 signatures. At 100,000 it requires a HoC debate. The web site the government responded on 14 December. Does that give them carte blanche to block further signatures?

        Would JR please raise the issue with the appropriate authority?

        1. oldtimer
          December 16, 2018

          I have now successfully added my name to this petition, now standing at over 139,000 names, up from over 99,000 since 6pm yesterday.

          It appears that the government website will accept my name if entered via my Windows PC but not via my android tablet. The programme developers need to update the software.

        2. Richard
          December 16, 2018

          Try using an alternative email address, if you have it.

      2. Caterpillar
        December 15, 2018


        Title of petition is fine and it is growing quickly, but why does it include a spurious comment about legal tender in the further detail?

      3. Caterpillar
        December 16, 2018

        It is very interesting to look at the map of signatures as percentage of constituents and see which constituencies are relatively low in signing the petition…intriguing.

  2. Mark B
    December 15, 2018

    Good morning

    She should just walk away. But we all know she won’t.

    I watched the press conference between Presidents Tusk and Juncker. They were both adamant that there will be NO reopening of negotiations. End of !

    The question that I would like to ask the PM and all MP’s is, do you wish to govern or not ?

    I suggest that instead of a second referendum that we instead have a second GE. Only this time those MP’s that actually want to govern this country can stand on a leave manifesto whereas those that do not can stand on a Remain one.

    1. Hope
      December 15, 2018

      Reported Blaire had secret talks with them. MPs make their job easy. Just sit back and wait. If MP keep saying they will not entertain no deal ten there is no lever for them to move at all.

      May is a proven liar why would anyone beleive her after her actions to date!

      Parliament versus the people. Good to see and watch the speakers at leave means leave last night. Watch on YouTube.

      1. Mark B
        December 15, 2018

        Yes. Sammy Wilson MP was especially good, and funny. He highlighted one clause which made me laugh. Apparently, after Leaving, we are legally bound not to say anything nasty about them.

        The EU is beyond pathetic !

        1. NickC
          December 15, 2018

          Mark B, It will become a hate crime to say anything nasty about the EU, even that they are pathetic. Jail for you my lad.

          1. Mark B
            December 16, 2018

            Fair cop. I’ll come quietly 🙂

    2. Tad Davison
      December 15, 2018


      She should grow a backbone, rely a lot less on biased civil servants who are not elected, and be more honest with parliament and the people. She should also stop lying and going back on previous assurances – but we all know she won’t.

      I don’t know how much more evidence we need that she is a remainer who was always going to deceive us. And this from a vicar’s daughter. Some good that tutelage did her!

      She says the most wicked thing she ever did was to run through a corn field. I beg to differ. It was the wholesale and wanton betrayal of her nation!

      In all, we have just about the most duplicitous and useless Prime Minister in living memory, and mine goes all the way back to Harold MacMillan. She truly is in the same category as Heath and Major, and that is one accolade no British Prime Minister should ever aspire to.

      May has drastically diminished the faith the British people have in their politicians and the political system. The damage is great if not irreparable. Only with her urgent removal from office will we even have the remotest chance to restore the broken relationship between the people and their elected representatives.

      May thinks she can be as dishonest as she likes with abandon. Only if the rest of the motley crew let her get away with it – but we all know they will…….!


    3. Richard
      December 15, 2018

      Our host on WTO Global Trading deal: “There is a clear choice. The UK can submit to the damaging Withdrawal Agreement and spend another 21 months wrangling with the uncertainty about trade and the future economy that would bring. Or it can just leave in March 2019 with certainty about trade, the economy and the boost from leaving.” http://www.politeia.co.uk/how-to-take-back-control-trading-globally-through-the-wto-by-john-redwood/

      Summary: http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/12/10/the-economics-of-leaving-on-march-29-2019-with-no-withdrawal-agreement/

    4. Richard
      December 15, 2018

      Another readable report on WTO Global Trading deal: https://briefingsforbrexit.com/no-deal-is-no-nightmare-facts-about-eu-trade-after-brexit/
      Executive summary
      Virtually frictionless trade under WTO rules
      Intra-EU trade not without frictions
      Imports from the EU under WTO rules
      UK exports to the EU under WTO rules
      No ‘hard border’ in Northern Ireland
      No long queues at Dover
      EU tariffs and potential regulatory checks not significant
      Transportation and travel will not be disrupted
      Annex: Solutions being implemented by HMRC to minimise trade frictions as part of no-deal Brexit customs planning

    5. Bob
      December 15, 2018

      I trust you will attend this debate Mr Redwood, the petition already exceeded the 100,000 trigger point.

      Provided Parliament doesn’t decide to ignore it.

  3. oldtimer
    December 15, 2018

    Your questions reveal that May’s position remains entirely “nebulous”, to borrow a word.

    1. Stephen Priest
      December 15, 2018

      She gets angry about “nebulous” but not angry about the EU annexing Northern Ireland. That, she said, is the only deal on offer after months of negotiation

      1. fedupsoutherner
        December 15, 2018

        Stephen. My thoughts exactly.

  4. Peter D Gardner
    December 15, 2018

    Dr Redwood. Mrs May will not adopt any of your suggestions for three reasons. First she and her Remainer colleagues in government and in the Party sincerely want UK to remain tied to the EU. Second, as technocratic supra-nationalists, the fee little value in independence and therefore little value in national democracy. Third, they believe that Project Fear combined with No Deal preparations designed to look like a state of emergency instead of sensible arrangements on sir safety etc will scare Parliament into accepting any deal.
    The unspoken and real reason for accepting a customs union with the EU is that it is the intended foundation of the future relationship. It will be expanded on during the development of the treaty changes to complete economic and monetary union. Only then can the form of the future relationship be determined. This suits both Mrs May’s Remainers and the EU. The treaty changes for this purpose ate the main thrust of the next five year plan to be introduced following the EU elections in May 2019. The aim of Mrs May’s deal is to ensure UK is well placed to be a part of this new EU structure.

    1. NickC
      December 15, 2018

      Peter D G, True, and frightening.

  5. Peter Wood
    December 15, 2018

    Dr. Redwood,
    We will never get a ‘good deal’ by continuing a failed strategy, viz going to the EU and asking for something. Any deal must mean BOTH parties want an arrangement, not an applicant asking from the other. Our only choice now is to walk away and then deal with the issues as they arise. If, as I argued 2 years ago that we should have got on with preparations, we’d have these ‘must have’ minor facilitations in place by now.

    1. Alan Jutson
      December 15, 2018


      Agree, we have been going backwards and forwards to the EU for over 40 years now thinking we can change things, that strategy has failed time and time again.

      Cameron and May have even begged and prostituted themselves and our Country in front of them to try and get something sensible, and both have failed miserably.

      May if she does not resign, should make a patriotic State of the Nation speech to the people, informing us why we now have to take control of our own destiny, and show us she believes what she says.
      The only solution left is to take control, rapid preparation for leaving with no deal should have already been happening, but must now be given top priority.
      Our WTO tariffs intelligently set, should be agreed and published, so everyone knows in advance what the future situation will be.

      If the Eu want to then come to us for talks then fine, but we continue to plough our own field unless we get something better.

    2. bigneil
      December 15, 2018

      Both parties DO want an arrangement. The EU want our country ruled by them, our money and to flood our island with the 3rd world migrants. Mrs May wants the same while trying not to show she does, to collect her EU Top Table reward seat.

    3. Davies
      December 15, 2018

      There is evidence on camera from the Dutch customs expert who has been working with hmrc and the erg group that hmrc were instructed not to sort the ni border out in March this year.

      I hope the likes of our host are looking at these allegations.

      Are we being played?

      1. Alan Jutson
        December 15, 2018


        No need to rely upon the Dutch.

        Members of HMRC were before the Select committee in our Parliament last week, and openly said they had been told not to plan for a no deal, so no work has been completed or I guess even started.

        View Guido Fawkes website to view the video of the statement made.

    4. Tom
      December 15, 2018

      Let’s get on with “no deal/clean brexit” call it what you want.
      May is beyond incompetent and in a real job would have been fired long ago.
      I find her abilities and behaviour embarrassing. Surely I am not the only one. Say the same for Corbyn too! No surprise there though!

      Come on John, we are relying on you to stay strong and true and keep Brexiteers sensible but persistent.

  6. Excalibur
    December 15, 2018

    A thorough grasp and explanation of the issues, once again, JR. Thank you. Your sensible and restrained analyses should be given wider coverage. There is not much hope of that though.

  7. Fedupsoutherner
    December 15, 2018

    All sensible and workable options John so why isn’t she listening? The woman is pig headed and bloody difficult when things could be so much easier. The sooner she realises this or resigns the better. Keep up the great work John. Your common sense is needed. It seems to me she needs to either change her cabinet and/or her advisors.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      December 15, 2018

      Dear Fedup–I repeat she is at best delusional or perhaps simply in debial–either that or she has plain run mad. Her just repeating the same old twaddle is ridiculous. Does she hope to bore them in to changing their mind?

    2. jerry
      December 15, 2018

      @Fedupsoutherner; Ken Clarke did warn us in his ‘hot mic’ indiscretion back in 2016 – only trouble being, Brexiteers were not listening due to fighting between themselves…

    3. John Hatfield
      December 15, 2018

      Fus. Theresa May is neither pig headed nor bloody difficult. It is the people she is working for, aka the elites, who are pig headed and bloody difficult.
      Many people in the higher echelons of society and business are able to lobby the EU Commission, and also benefit from Single Market membership where the taxpayer is effectively paying their business tariffs. They also benefit from immigration.
      Why would they want to leave?
      Why May is subservient to them instead of honouring the referendum result as she once declared she would do, is strange.

  8. Nig l
    December 15, 2018

    She should resign.

    1. Adam
      December 15, 2018

      Nig 1:

      It is widely agreed that she should leave office, yet what can now cause it?

      She remains unaware that her continual quest to push water uphill is worthless. Cabinet Ministers supporting her in such pointless quest become tainted by being seen as idiotic themselves. The force of circumstances is likely to cause one or more cabinet ministers to flake away. That plus sustained resistance from the 117 Conservatives voting against her leads to a tipping point.

      She should take your tip first Nig 1 & resign.

      1. Peter D Gardner
        December 15, 2018

        The question really should be why so many are willing to serve in her government. Those who resign are replaced in minutes. The Tory Party is predominantly Remain. The new ‘establishment’ is the supranational technocracy. The majority in Parliament constitute the British branch of this EU elite. Ousting May would likely result in another Remainer government. The Tories are now incapable of forming a patriotic government that believes in an independent sovereign democratic UK.
        Sadly the only alternative to Remainer May is a general election. But she would probably win that too because nobody wants Corbyn.
        The option of some heavyweight members of the cabinet telling her to go is no longer available because as the carefully stage managed confidence vote showed, there are no longer any heavyweights in cabinet. She is a virtual dictator.

  9. eeyore
    December 15, 2018

    Another three questions for Mrs May: 1. what are the remaining problems associated with leaving without a deal, 2. what urgent steps is the government taking to deal with them, and 3. will you give regular weekly performance updates to Parliament on progress in this regard?

    And a question for our host: will you and your colleagues do all you can to frustrate attempts to delay or revoke the leaving date of March 29?

    Reply Yes

    1. eeyore
      December 15, 2018

      Thank you. I hope we all appreciate the courage needed to give this unequivocal answer.

      1. The PrangWizard
        December 15, 2018

        Me too. I suspect we can all sense that Mr Redwood is extremely angry, and rightly so.

    2. Bob
      December 15, 2018

      Good reply Mr Redwood.
      Like ✔

  10. Steve
    December 15, 2018

    Right as usual Mr Redwood

    Indeed stuff the EU let’s just leave. Though I suspect the second referendum whiners will just keep on and on and on. You can see where it’s going if that lot aren’t made to shut up and put up.

    Amber Rudd is now poking her unwanted nose into matters, suggesting parliament dupes the electorate. By the way; her voting record is highly offensive to me. The woman is a subversive left winger in tory clothing.

    I am now starting to think we should in effect get behind the PM and hold her to her promise of no deal is better than a bad deal. The ungrateful EU fear that scenario, so time we up the ante.

    1. Turboterrier.
      December 15, 2018

      @ Steve

      Amber Rudd is now poking her unwanted nose into matters, suggesting parliament dupes the electorate. By the way; her voting record is highly offensive to me. The woman is a subversive left winger in tory clothing.

      Totally correct Steve well said and highlighted

    2. Iain Moore
      December 15, 2018

      Rudd suggesting the idea of reaching out to other parties is a barely disguised attempt to stop Brexit, for the only people she is seeking to join up with are those opposed to Brexit.

    3. Andy
      December 15, 2018

      ‘Stuff the EU and leave’ – is the sort of comment which sums up Brexit stupidity for what it is.

      The UK and EU are intertwined in so many ways. History, geography, politics, economics, trade and people.

      Disentangling that – if it can be done – can not be done as easily as a brutally as the Leave liars claimed. If it can be done at all. Any attempt to do so would be like a self inflicted amputation.

      Millions of ‘them’ live here. A million of us live there. They all have families, friends, careers – lives thrown into turmoil by people like you.

      I wish, for a while, we could reciprocate and inflict the sort of turmoil on the lives of Brexit voters that they have inflicted on the lives of millions others.

      As for ‘stuff the EU and leave’ you really need to grow up and stop behaving like a petulant toddler. This is our children’s country that you economically illiterate ideologues are screwing up.

      1. Edward2
        December 15, 2018

        As usual you confuse Europe with the EU andy.
        Two very different things.

      2. acorn
        December 15, 2018

        Mrs May and her top 200 Civil Servants in the First Division Association (FDA) know that the UK leaving the EU with no deal will be socio-economic suicide.

        The Withdrawal Agreement the FDA has prepared for Mrs May attempts to mitigate the damage of such an action, as far as the EU will allow, for a less than enthusiastic member, that has been conned into voluntarily leaving the EU Club.

        As long as you are in the top quintile of UK income distribution, you will be able to survive a no deal Brexit. Naturally, that includes MPs of all flavours.

        1. Edward2
          December 15, 2018

          They dont “know” acorn
          It is just a prediction.
          Formed by their bias, formed over decades of self interests.
          If their dire predictions during the referendum campaign had not turned out completely wrong I would have more respect for them.

      3. NickC
        December 15, 2018

        Andy, We should indeed say stuff the EU and Leave. It’s only people like you that cannot imagine us being as independent as New Zealand. Our children deserve the prize of independence. And as for inflicting turmoil you lot have been doing that to us for the last 47 years. For goodness sake, man up and put up with it for the next 47 years like we’ve had to.

      4. Original Richard
        December 15, 2018

        The EU have been “stuffing us” for years.

        – We lost our fishing grounds.

        – We pay £20bn/year gross (£15bn/year loss of control, £10bn/year net) membership fee to finance the EU to subsidise other countries infrastructure and the movement of our factories to other countries including Turkey which is not even a member of the EU.

        – Through the SM/CU rules we have a trading deficit of £100bn/year with the EU.

        – We pay to subsidise EU farmers and then still pay more than World prices for food with high tariffs to protect these farmers.

        – We were conned by the massive German diesel emissions testing fraud because we do not test EU vehicles.

        – We have accepted very large numbers of economic EU migrants putting intolerable pressure on housing, schools, hospitals, welfare, infrastructure, police and prisons, many of whom are subsidised by the UK tax payer through working credit and child benefits etc..

      5. libertarian
        December 16, 2018


        Million live here and 900,000 live there

        1.1 million Brits live in the USA, 1.4 million Brits live in Australia 600,000 live in Canada There are 13.1 million Brits living outside the UK. The EU means nothing from that point of view, oh and by the way 700k of the 900k living in the EU are your hated pensioners

        Stop dummy spitting and learn something about the world

        ps Your childrens future & prosperity is safe in the UK

        800,000 unfilled jobs , lowest ever unemployment

        wages rising at highest level for a decade

        No conscription to the military

        No riots every weekend

        1. hans christian ivers
          December 16, 2018


          Actually the figure is 1.2 million on a permanent basis of Brits living in the Eu and many more on temporary on and off

    4. Denis Cooper
      December 15, 2018

      She needs to look at Article 3 of the EFTA Convention, which makes her ‘Norway plus’ idea a legal impossibility. The UK could not guarantee tariff free trade with the four EFTA countries while its import tariffs were still being dictated by the EU.


    5. fedupsoutherner
      December 15, 2018


      Amber is hoping to be the next PM. God forbid.

  11. BCL
    December 15, 2018

    The behaviour of the EU over the last week or two (or if you prefer, since the referendum) is exactly why we should leave. It may be that a second referendum would result in a larger leave vote and if so, the EU would be largely responsible, as they were when they humiliated Mr Cameron before the first.

    1. NickC
      December 15, 2018

      BCL, A Leave vote is most likely in a second referendum – provided the question is not rigged to offer only Remain alternatives.

  12. Roger Hobbs
    December 15, 2018

    Dear Mr Redwood
    What is your opinion on Penny Mordant’s suggestion of a maximum facilitation plan? I would be interested in your view on this idea.

  13. Mick
    December 15, 2018

    This is just the beginning, Been saying this for months it will start in London and then I’m sure it will extend to other cities across GB, i might be old but I will put my country first before any political party, I’ve said it before the only way out of this happening is to forget Northern Ireland 1.8 million and put England first and if that means the DUP vote against you so what once were out of the dreaded Eu with no ties call a GE and I’m sure the Tory’s would win a landslide victory

    1. Maybot
      December 15, 2018

      Disquiet isn’t just here. I have friends in Dresden and Bordeaux and both report that serious revolt is brewing. One is a teacher and her school was closed down because of the threat of riot nearby.

    2. Steve
      December 15, 2018


      ” forget Northern Ireland 1.8 million and put England first”

      This is not our way, Mick.

      There is only one solution; leave without a deal.

  14. Lifelogic
    December 15, 2018

    That is indeed exactly what she should do and I am quite sure she has no good answers to your questions. She has no good answers to anything afterall. Unfortunately she will do no such thing. She is a deluded, socialist, big government remainer who has proved to be wrong on almost every single issue so far.

    But do not worry it seems that sexist adverts are to be banned by government so that is OK then. So only adds with women working on oil rigs, as dustbin men, RAF pilots, nuclear physicists, grand master chess champions and car mechanics and only men working as midwifes, washing the dishes, choosing their makeup or modelling under garments. Should be fun.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      December 15, 2018

      Yes, while our eyes are off the ball, all this type of nanny state behaviour continues. We all end up doing things which don’t suit us, just so we show we aren’t being sexist. Totally daft, confusing and frankly an open goal to be beaten to shreds by any future military who wanted to walk over our gender neutral, health and safety, JSO certified armed forces.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 15, 2018

        Of course portraying engineers, chess champions, oil rig workers, refuse collectors, fighter jet pilots and physicists as being nearly all female is rather a long way from the reality and therefore very anti-male sexist.

        But this sexism will doubtless be just fine and called “positive gender image discrimination” or something idiotic like that.

    2. Maybot
      December 15, 2018

      Lifelogic – The idea is to stop the portrayal of men being stupid, which I am heartily sick of. In particular it is white men who are portrayed as stupid – no others.

      I welcome it.

      All the recruitment drives I see these days feature women in them, white males rarely to be seen. Positive discrimination feels like racism to a white boy – having two young sons I know.

      There is a crisis in young white male aspiration these days. In order to kill off the stale pale male they have to hobble the young pale males.

    3. fedupsoutherner
      December 15, 2018

      L/L Yes, isn’t it pathetic. We are being told more and more what we can and can’t do by government while real issues go unchecked.

  15. Lifelogic
    December 15, 2018

    What is far more likely given her record is that she will call for a postponed exit date and then attempt to force a new referendum with some stitched up choice between Remain or May’s appalling and her even worse “Brexit in name only” deal. The LibDim/Vince Cable we know best option. Libdims being neither Liberal nor remotely Democratic.

    Thus giving the 17.4 million no leave option to vote for. This plan would certainly and rightly put the Tory party in the wilderness for many moons to come.

    1. matthu
      December 15, 2018

      On the subject of a second referendum, we have Nigel Farage saying that Leavers would win it by a much bigger margin, while simultaneously we have Daniel Hannan saying that any second referendum would inevitably be rigged and urging Leavers therefore to organise a widespread boycott.

      Can Leavers actually agree for once on an appropriate course of action?

      1. Mark B
        December 15, 2018

        Wait until it happens and see what the question is along with the choices provided.

        If it is a straight IN or OUT then that is OK by me. If it is Remain or Soft Remain, ie Vassel Status – Boycott !

        1. Oxiana321
          December 15, 2018

          And what good would boycotting do? We would be fools to cut off our noses !

          1. NickC
            December 15, 2018

            Oxiana, Because being offered Mrs Mays Chequers Remain, or the rehashed David Cameron Remain is useless to me, and I suspect most Leave voters. I would go to the polling station and write “Leave” on the ballot paper.

        2. Lifelogic
          December 15, 2018

          Indeed May’s Vassel state or Remain would be a total outrage.

      2. Sir Joe Soap
        December 15, 2018

        I’d boycott on the grounds that a Leave result would be ignored again. Remain would mean that a decider would be needed so I’d wait for that. However everyone has to agree for this to work. 18 million fewer votes would invalidate the result in the eyes of the world.

        But yes this has to be a coordinated effort.

      3. Alison
        December 15, 2018

        Mutterings in the arras (ie Twitter) suggest that quite a lot of the 200 MPs who voted for Mrs May are regretting their decision.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 15, 2018

          They damn well should be ashamed of voting to prop up the lame duck dope, even people like Iain Duncan-Smith it seems. May has no where to go and a massive electoral liability too.

          The Tories are in a win, win position. This with the public, the party members, 37% + of the MPs all being on side. Just a few socialist, remainer, tax borrow and waste, career MP idiots in the Tory Party ( mainly at the top and in the government) that are the problem. They need to be removed starting with the tax to death, economic illiterate Hammond.

        2. NickC
          December 15, 2018

          Alison, It did seem to me that some of the votes for Mrs May were fired by sentimentality rather than rationality or patriotism.

      4. Maybot
        December 15, 2018

        Matthu – if it’s a rigged question referendum then boycott it .

        Having seen what I have in the last two years I no longer trust the authorities not to fiddle the count.

        1. Lifelogic
          December 15, 2018

          Well even Cameron’s referendum what rigged with the leaflet of lies paid for by tax payers and the project fear from the Treasury, BoE and many of the other arms of government.

      5. Roy Grainger
        December 15, 2018

        To be fair to them they might both be right, it depends on the referendum question. If, as the Remainiacs want, the question is only Remain or May’s deal then abstention is the only option. If, as ERG want, it is between May’s deal and WTO then WTO wins.

        1. Steve
          December 15, 2018

          Roy Grainger

          Indeed the minority who lost the referendum want another because their intent is to rig the choice in their favour, and as you say abstention would be likely under such circumstances.

          However the gutless remain whiners fail to see that would be the tipping point for mass civil unrest. Our chains will be off.

      6. agricola
        December 15, 2018

        A second referendum based on politician talk I have heard will be rigged in the question asked. BIt will not be leave or remain. Left to some it would be, do you accept Mays deal ( remain with no visible exit), or remain, or leave( described by ignorant politicians as crashing out).
        The one thing I can guarantee is that politicians will emerge from the brexit process with the lowest of esteem.i77

      7. eeyore
        December 15, 2018

        Every referendum needs its own individual Act of Parliament and the process of calling one is very tightly controlled by the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000.

        Extensive debate and consultation are required by law. The whole is overseen by the Electoral Commission. See


        Mr Hannan is entitled to his point of view but I do not agree that another vote could be rigged. This is not to say that it would not be a constitutional outrage in itself.

        1. matthu
          December 15, 2018

          It could be rigged by e.g.
          a) announcing the date and finalising the questions at very short notice
          b) having the “government deal” as one of the options, but not allowing sufficient time for anyone to analyse the implications
          c) allowing the EU to flood the process with pro-EU propaganda, but limiting the amount of expenditure within the UK
          d) not allowing government ministers to engage in proper debate
          e) flooding the process with ever more project fear
          f) making baseless allegations in the MSM to discredit opposition politicians (a la Kavanaugh in the US)
          h) severely limiting the amount of TV coverage afforded to pro-Brexit opinion-makers
          i) allowing prominent pro-EU politicians to make unchallenged claims of what might be about to change in the future
          j) forcing pro-Brexit side to appoint an “official” team (possibly headed by Gove – who would conveniently resign his cabinet position to facilitate this)
          k) distributing another leaflet to every household

          There are innumerable other ways in which May can tip the scales to rig a second referendum.

      8. Iain Moore
        December 15, 2018

        Farage should have kept his mouth shut on the issue of a losers referendum, any admittance of the possibility of it will be jumped on by the Remainers, as we see with the BBC this morning, and so make more likely it will happen.

      9. fedupsoutherner
        December 15, 2018

        Matthu. Widespread boycott? What to ensure Leavers lose the vote?

        1. matthu
          December 15, 2018

          If the questions are posed so that neither answer is acceptable to Leavers, what would you propose?

    2. Mark B
      December 15, 2018

      And she will be long gone before then allowing a new ‘leader’ to pick up the pieces and salvage the Tories. That is why she stated she will not fight another GE, her MP’s know that they will be toast after that and if she Remains in post.

      1. Original Richard
        December 15, 2018

        Mrs. May does not have any intention of being in charge of the “protracted and repeating” (according to the Attorney General) trade negotations which will take place if she manages to get her dire Withdrawal Agreement through Parliament.

        The position of PM will be the biggest poison chalice in history because either there will be no trade agreement ever or the UK will need to cave in to every single demand from every single EU country.

        We will be a vassal state of the EU whatever happens in these negotiations.

    3. cosmic
      December 15, 2018

      That makes sense, an advanced exercise in can kicking by extending Art50. This would avoid delivering actual Brexit, which would put remaining out of reach.

      In the mean time there would be the hope that something would turn up to kill Brexit dead, such as Project Fear MKII delivering, a second referendum along the lines of remain/stay, or circumstances arising in which Art50 could be revoked. The mechanics and timing of these things is for debate.

      Mrs May does look rather like a turkey with its neck stuck in the wire netting. It’s tempting to believe she never wanted Brexit and has done her best to run it into soft sand. She certainly seems to have surrounded herself with people of that persuasion.

    4. cornishstu
      December 15, 2018

      Anything other than leave on WTO terms or accept a deal would be out of order we have already voted to leave so remain does not come into the equation despite what the re-moaners would wish for. We are watching and waiting for government and parliament to do the honorable thing and uphold the democratic wish of the people and that is to leave with full sovereignty not some half way house, however much they disagree with our choice.

  16. Peter
    December 15, 2018

    I am not sure when will publicly accept the Withdrawal Agreement is dead.

    If/when that happens anything could happen. WTO exit is preferable but will face opposition. It is also too close to the leaving date to get anything else through without an extension.

    Like others, I think she should resign but that is not in her nature. If things get worse Labour might have a good chance of launching a successful No Confidence vote.

  17. Turboterrier.
    December 15, 2018

    Its started .

    Rudd doing her bit to try and prove she is capable of unifying Westminster politician proving she is real PM material. Who else is going to climb on the replace May Bus?

    Another politician like May who has failed in every department she has every headed up.
    Wouldn’t trust her as far as I can spit. Another reformed remainer. NOT

    1. William
      December 15, 2018

      Rudd would be disastrous as well. Raab, Davis or Johnson are probably the best options. But Brexiteers such as JR, JRM, Gove etc need to all compromise and get behind ONE.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    December 15, 2018

    This week we witnessed the bizarre spectacle of Mrs May offering not to lead the Conservatives in the next election as her USP to win the vote of confidence. Why would anyone want someone so inept to “negotiate” a deal and the rear and leave it for someone else to pick up the resultant shambles? At least 200 Conservative MPs have taken leave of their senses.
    Do you ever wonder why Mrs May doesn’t look seriously stressed when speaking publicly in UK despite all the chaos surrounding her – criticism from MPs on all sides, being held in contempt of Parliament, vote of no confidence held by her own party MPs? Is it because far from failing she is carrying out her instructions from EU to the letter? Is it all just a huge charade to demoralise us and keep us in the EU? Leaving on WTO terms and keeping our £39bn to spend on people in the UK instead of squandering it on the EU is perfectly acceptable and should have been the starting point. However, Mrs May and the majority of MPs, who were and still are Remainers, put their loyalty to the EU above all else and rule out the one option which had any chance of getting the EU to negotiate seriously. Ask yourself why and the answer stares you in the face – because they don’t want a deal – they intend to keep us in the EU. Parliament has become the enemy of the people by treating us with contempt by doing all it can to overturn the referendum that it itself legislated. Do we live in a democracy? It certainly doesn’t feel like it.

    1. Stred
      December 16, 2018

      Daniel Hamnan has written on Con Home that Major, Clegg and Heseltine wrote in a German newspaper suggesting that the EU should offer their country a deal worse than remaining. Blair follows up with demands for the second referendum with an option of the worse deal. They’re all in it …….

  19. Bryan Harris
    December 15, 2018

    OK – Agree – She should admit her deal is unworkable and go back to the EU – but would the EU offer a Canadian style deal, because that is the only real option to a clean Brexit? The EU are still intent on punishing us in some way, and they still plan to take Northern Ireland from us, in one way or another.
    There has to be a cut-off date when negotiations cease, surely?
    ….. and when that date is reached, what happens then? Preparations for a No-Deal must be increased.
    In the meantime, we all have to hammer the scare stories about a ‘cliff edge no deal Brexit’ OUT OF EXISTENCE.

    1. Denis Cooper
      December 15, 2018

      It is a longstanding Tory delusion that free trade deals are hugely beneficial. Not just with CETA, I recall David Cameron talking up TTIP when the official figures suggested the overall economic benefits would be marginal.


      “… David Cameron in June 2013:


      “PM seeks launch of trade deal to turbo-charge the transatlantic economy”

      For the UK economy his “turbo-charge” actually meant a marginal one-off GDP boost of between 0.14% and 0.35%, spread over a number of years”

      And of course that Tory free trade delusion has found its highest expression over many years in their vast overstatements of the importance of the Common Market and then the EU Single Market, which the Remoaners still maintain while talking down the new trade deals the UK might make outside the EU.

  20. Steve Pitts
    December 15, 2018

    These are very good questions and solutions. Instead as usual they the remaners are thinking of something different. They are talking about talks with Labour to agree a way forward. Can anyone see Corbyn agreeing to that? They talk about a new referendum, or a soft Norway style deal. They have not go a clue really. They will not follow this solution as they disagree with the people, have no faith in this country to be independent. They want to stay in , or effectively stay in the EU. They have no interest in letting us really leave. A referendum would be between remain and a stitched up deal worse than remain. Otherwise If you have a new election with May in charge could that split the party?

  21. Andy
    December 15, 2018

    ‘A managed with no withdrawal agreeement is what most Leavers want.’

    You have absolutely no way of knowing this. It might be what you and the small band of Tory irreconcilables want but you have precisely no evidence that most Leavers want it at all.

    And this is the problem. Brexit reality is so very far different from the Brexit fantasy promised by the Vote Leave cheats that there is no possible way to claim it represents the will of the people.

    Indeed the last time ‘the people’ were questioned – at the June 2017 general election – ‘the people’ overwhelmingly voted against the hard Brexit you claim to have a mandate for.

    Lots of the ‘the people’ have already figured out that they were lied to. Those that haven’t will mostly get there in the end.

    Fantasy Brexit was easy to selll to people who don’t much follow things. Reality Brexit will not be – and if people are given it anyway then the electoral wipe out of the Tory Europhobes will be swift and brutal.

    1. Edward2
      December 15, 2018

      At the 2017 election both main parties promised to leave the EU
      The current WA is not leaving the EU
      Read the leaflet see what was promised.

    2. NickC
      December 15, 2018

      Andy, Quite clearly we voted Leave based on (in spite of?) what we were told – by both campaigns – Leave meant. We were promised (threatened, in the case of Remain) that we would leave the EU treaties. Something that’s perfectly possible, therefore not a lie. It is you who have absolutely no way of knowing why we voted. Not least because we keep telling you but you won’t listen. That’s your problem.

      1. hans christian ivers
        December 16, 2018


        This eternal and continuous pursuit on what Andy comes up with. I agree some of it does not make sense but you are really beginning, when it comes to Andy like a real old broken record

        1. Edward2
          December 16, 2018

          His extreme remainer nonsense needs challenging.
          Especially when he keeps abusing everyone who voted to leave the EU

        2. NickC
          December 16, 2018

          Hans, Gosh I knew you were a sensitive little flower but not that sensitive! If Andy isn’t capable of taking what he dishes out then that is his problem. And his majoring on what he thinks Leaves want will always fail because he is a hidebound Remain, and hasn’t the humility to ask.

  22. Richard1
    December 15, 2018

    What this all shows is how taking what you think is a friendly and accommodating position in a negotiation and just agreeing with the other side – agreeing the money, the backstop and the sequencing etc – doesn’t make it easier to get a deal it makes it harder. Because the other side, perceiving weakness, will just go on pushing as the EU has done. It would of course have been better to propose a comprehensive Canada style FTA and been clear about walking away to a WTO arrangement a year ago. The EU would probably by now have come up with a sensible Switzerland style compromise.

    In this context it is odd the Conservative Party thinks David Davis should be a candidate for leader. He may well have been undermined by Mrs May and the civil service, but he was perfectly happy to agree the sequencing which was the original weak negotiating concession.

    All the withdrawal agreement is doing is postponing the ‘cliff edge’ (which is no more than a few feet high) until end 2020. And handing over the money, our best card, in the meantime.

  23. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    December 15, 2018

    Dr Redwood, may we draw your readers’ attention to an article we researched and published on the Brexit Facts4EU.Org site overnight?

    We think it delivers one single fact which destroys the credibility of the EU and Theresa May. Not only that but it puts the entire Brexit negotiations fiasco into sharp focus.

    The fact is simple – just how tiny is the “threat to the integrity of the Single Market” caused by the N.I. border?

    On this issue the whole Withdrawal Agreement has been predicated. It has defined things. It has been the excuse for us to lose the little sovereignty we still had and to remain in EU structures ad infinitum.

    Here is the link to the article. The research will be shocking to many people, we believe.

    Finally, we continue to support your efforts to promote the positive message about a managed exit on WTO terms. We refer to this as “WTO – The Way To Go”. Indeed we end our morning edition with exactly this positive message.

    1. Denis Cooper
      December 15, 2018

      And it’s a similar very low percentage of UK GDP that gets exported across the Irish land border, in fact if the EU decided to completely shut the border the effect on UK GDP would be imperceptible … it’s perfectly obvious that the Irish government has made a huge mountain out of a tiny molehill on the border, so why has Theresa May been taken in? Because it’s a convenient pretext to help keep us under the economic thumb of the EU, that’s why, and it’s also why the CBI supports her plan.

      1. Know-Dice
        December 15, 2018

        Might be worth Mr Varadkar checking on how much of his country’s exports end up for UK consumption…

        They are in a very exposed situation if the UK puts trade barriers in place, let alone customers boycotting ROI goods.

        The same goes for Ryan Air if Barnier as he suggests doesn’t grant UK flights landing rights in EU land.

      2. John Hatfield
        December 15, 2018

        The EU, the CBI and the Prime Minister, all in it together

  24. Sir Joe Soap
    December 15, 2018

    You need to tactically pull across 60 or so of your non payroll colleagues who still cling to May. She’s clearly totally useless. The EU have twigged it, the country has twigged it, but these 60 haven’t. Mr Chalk from Cheltenham is a prime example. Young and thinks he’s keeping in with his trendy young friends by sticking with Remain.

  25. DUNCAN
    December 15, 2018

    The issue as I see it is not the UK-EU relationship but the future leader of the Tory party as it is this leader will determine the future relationship between the UK and the EU

    Our party cannot suffer the indignity of another Europhile leader. That cannot be allowed to happen.

    May’s time as the leader of our party must end. People like Rudd banished into absolute obscurity. And the Tory party to embrace the UK once more and then the process of depoliticisation of our country can begin

  26. jerry
    December 15, 2018

    It is now beyond what Mrs May does next, Brexit is out of her control and she knows it, all she can do now is delay the Meaningful Vote, and the longer she does that the more likely the govt will face a motion of No Confidence – who knows what might then happen, what the DUP might do…

    The EC say that they will not reopen negotiations. Is that any or just in relation to the current WA, could it be to late for a Norway ++ or Canada ++ even if the UK parliament wanted such a deal, I suspect it is as the EC also say they are stepping up preparations for a WTO Brexit.

    Amber Rudd appears to be calling for some sort of national government, if what the BBC said was an actuate appraisal of her piece in the Daily Mail this morning. Good luck flying that one Amber!

  27. George Brooks
    December 15, 2018

    You are so right JR, your questions must be put to the PM and then we can start to move forward as per your last paragraph.

    The PM has completely lost sight of the fact that when negotiating you have to put yourself in the position of the other party.

    The EU does not want us to leave and cannot afford us leaving and will do everything possible to prevent it. They also don’t care under what conditions we may remain ranging from our current position (opt outs, rebates and all) down to a complete vassal state hence the wording of the WA and Back Stop. This view is further supported when the ECJ stated that Article 50 could be cancelled without penalty.

    Her visit to Brussels this week was a total fiasco as she completely misread the situation, thinking that all she had to do was vaguely ask for some warm words and a unilateral exit clause from the BS. No wonder Junker said she was nebulous.

    When she brought the WA back to the HoC she banged the drum saying it protected jobs and the economy. Now by hanging on to it, she is doing the complete opposite, severely damaging the economy and putting jobs in jeopardy. Her stubbornness is not a virtue and will bring her down and if she doesn’t move to one side shortly it will bring the country down.

    We need to stop encouraging the EU by suggesting a second referendum, bin the WA and plan to come out as quickly as we can. (Miss Rudd can wind her neck in, as she would be worse than TM if that is possible. See Daily Mail today)

    We need to appeal to Mrs May’s husband to do a ‘Dennis Thatcher’ and persuade her to step aside

    1. Mark B
      December 15, 2018

      Her time in office so far has seen her stumble from one catastrophe to another. She is truly appalling and everybody knows it. She has alienated so many it is surprising she has anyone left to talk to. It’s going to be a lonely Christmas at Chequers for her this year.

    2. John Hatfield
      December 15, 2018

      “saying it protected jobs and the economy. ”
      But who’s jobs and which economy does she mean?
      Because EU membership has done nothing for most of the British population nor for the British economy.

      1. Stred
        December 16, 2018

        Mr Robbins was smirking while she floundered around like a loser, worried about being called nebulous. It’s like a black comedy. She really appears not to realise what she has done, rather like the Colonel in Bridge over the River Kwai. Jane Hacker perhaps.

  28. SJHartwell
    December 15, 2018

    Given May’s fervent belief in her deal as the one that truly respects the result of the referendum – that is, a 52-48 per cent leave/remain split – and given the soon – to – be impossibility of negotiating a new deal with the EU without extending Article 50 (rightly or wrongly they have dismissed all presently expressed solutions to the Irish border problem), it seems that May will indeed go over the head of Parliament and ask the people to endorse her deal, rather than remain.

    Such a proposed referendum would easily gain Parliament’s approval, as, even if no-deal weren’t a real possibility, a referendum that consults the people, yet delivers exactly what the vast majority of MPs, who of course are Remainers, is the perfect plan. That this would amount to a colossal stitch up and betrayal of Brexit would not deter them.

    Therefore, it seems to me that Leavers only hope is for Labour to call no confidence in the government, win that vote, and for the Tories to replace May with a Brexiter. However, this new PM would continue to face Parliamentary deadlock that persists despite the various arguments from all sides having been advanced. So the new PM would either have to call a GE, or a referendum on either a managed no deal or remain. Given that Parliament would struggle to endorse such a referendum, a GE would seem far more likely.

    So, either way, Corbyn gets his GE. But if I were him, I would much prefer a GE in the first set of circumstances, after a travesty of a Tory-called referendum that would utterly divide Corbyn’s opponents, and gift him a decisive victory. If Labour are smart, they will indulge May’s vain delusions, and give her the chance to pitch the people.

  29. Maybot
    December 15, 2018

    It seems pretty obvious that a second referendum is in the offing. Blair knows something we don’t.

    All we can really do is boycott it as the referendum question will be rigged.

    Our duty now is to leave a marker in history that – yet again – the EU has overturned/ignored a referendum.

    If Leave was won with the biggest turnout in voter history then let Remain win with the smallest.

    For me to take part in a referendum means that I am duty bound to honour the result and offer it no resistance, however much I dislike it. And that’s the difference between me and Andy and Newmania.

  30. acorn
    December 15, 2018

    JR, what is this “managed exit” that has suddenly turned up? Does it start before Brexit Day or after it? What is being managed and by whom?

    I have this image of Civil Servants (the ones you have slagged off for the last two years); sitting on EU27 doorsteps waving bits of paper saying ” spare us a few bilateral deals gov”.

    1. Mark B
      December 15, 2018

      It’s the same as a ‘managed democracy’. Something that is in name only.

  31. Adam
    December 15, 2018

    A Twitter poster reflecting with a #TheresaMay tag commented with an Einstein picture & quote:

    “Insanity is doing the same thing over & over again & expecting different results”.

    A prognosis might be overstated, yet there is a glimmer of similarity. TM should try something different that is effective, or stop trying.

  32. Paul Cohen
    December 15, 2018

    Well, if the word nebulous offends then so be it – even if delivered by that person Juncker in his favourite role as avuncular uncle – still prone to inappropriate touching I see.

    Even Mrs May must see that her style of “I’m in charge” government has failed miserably.
    Her cynical undermining of fellow Cabinet members was bizarre and caused a lot of resentment culminating in two resignations and dismay of Brexiteers and public. Still no explanation to this?

    We now need urgently some grown ups in the room with (say) level headed Duncan Smith as deputy PM followed swiftly by others of similar talents – who to nominate?

    We should advise the EU of our intention to follow a WTO route and pursue this with vigour!

    No, a visit to a carpet factory in Burnley will not do.

    1. Alan Jutson
      December 15, 2018


      She needs a Magic Carpet to get back on track and into the real World.

  33. SJHartwell
    December 15, 2018

    The situation is parlous, and May, and the whole of the Tory party who have enabled her, are to blame. I’m afraid this includes even the ERG, who have failed to prevent the May-hem. The prognosis is dire. No Brexit, which amounts to a profound failure of UK democracy, and a Corbyn government that will be as radical as it can be within the confines of EU membership.

    There is, in my view, only one way out. The Irish border is the one obstacle to a withdrawal agreement with the EU. Thus far, it has proved to be an intractable problem, despite JR’s proposed solutions. But this problem can be finessed in the following way: a Northern Irish referendum. Let the people of Ulster decide whether they want to risk a hard border with the South that may potentially arise in the event of a clean and proper Brexit, or maintain the present border, and risk becoming detached from the Union.

    This proposal has the advantages of being, first, democratic in that it recognises that the reality of Brexit amounts to an apparently profound change in their relationship with the UK and/or the EU (according to the political al reality, rather than the absolute reality, which is different if technology truly can resolve all border issues). Second, it breaks the Parliamentary deadlock, and opens the door to the UK and EU agreeing on a trade relationship that is mutually beneficial, given the reality of Brexit. The DUP could not be expected to be happy, but would surely accept whatever view their countrymen expressed. And in the event that the GFA was threatened, it would be at the behest of the people of Ulster. Of course, there would be ways of ensuring that the GFA was amended to reflect the new reality, so it would persist. And the new reality might not be so bad after all, if indeed technological solutions are available.

  34. Roy Grainger
    December 15, 2018

    As both sides said “Nothing is agreed till everything is agreed” and that included the future trade agreement we should pay the 40bn into escrow to be released only when that trade deal is ratified. This is a common practice in the commercial sector where I work but I imagine most MPs will never have heard of it. If we do that I’d accept May’s deal (but keep her away from negotiating the trade deal).

    1. NickC
      December 15, 2018

      Roy, Once we accept Mrs May’s draft Withdrawal Ageement and it becomes a UK-EU treaty, the EU will no incentive whatsoever to offer us a better trade deal later on. Accept the DWA and we are trapped in the EU until it collapses.

      1. hans christian ivers
        December 16, 2018


        What is your proof of any potential collapse of the EU?

        Please, share your deep knowledge with us?

        1. Adam
          December 16, 2018

          hans christian ivers:

          The EU is creaking under the strain of opposition to its crazy ways. A major net contributor, equivalent to 19 other members is leaving it. EU unemployment is high. Its borders are porous. It wastes & mismanages money. It reduces the freedom of member nations to do as they choose. Its potential to collapse extends beyond even that which so incomplete a list of faults has space to reach.

        2. NickC
          December 16, 2018

          Hans, Your English is very good. I wish I could write/speak another language as well as you. Yet you frequently fail to understand what is written here. For your benefit my statement “Accept the DWA and we are trapped in the EU until it collapses” is not a prediction of the collapse of the EU. In fact it indicates longevity, regretfully. Though as a matter of historical interest, every man-made empire has collapsed – so the EU empire will also collapse. And that’s called inductive reasoning.

          1. hans christian ivers
            December 16, 2018


            We are having problems with definitions again

            Rome was an empire, Britain had ad empire once but a close collaboration between independent countries doe not amount to and empire

          2. Stred
            December 17, 2018

            Denmark had an empire until the UK messed it up. Congrats on
            the decision to impose passports on the bridge and tell DBC to uphold Danish cultural values. We know that if you u are not Danish, it is difficult to get to the top. The best way is to marry a Danish PM.

  35. agricola
    December 15, 2018

    Sad to say, but it is our myopic PM who is a principal opponent to any thinking other than her own. Whether it be Canada plus, walking away completely, it was the order of business in these negotiations that scuppered them from the outset.
    If we had agreed our ongoing trade arrangements first all the rest including the Irish border would have fallen into place. The WA was a means of creating an obstacle course. This is what happens when you leave it in the hands of amateur politicians who are being asked to do something way beyond their pay grade. They are better left to screw up town hall business.
    I see no point in a second referendum or even an election because when the dust settles the same set of deadbeats are back on the green benches scratching their navels or plotting vested interest mayhem.

  36. Edwardm
    December 15, 2018

    What should Mrs “nebulous” May do ?
    Read this article and act upon it.
    Also publish the legal advice and detail the treaty provisions that she claims oblige us to pay money to the EU, and explain why she thinks it is superior to the HoL legal advice.
    And publish the legal advice on the WA (we’ve only had the backstop advice) for historical purposes.

    Else resign.

  37. Atlas
    December 15, 2018

    John two questions for you:

    1) Just exactly how is the EU intending to enforce its proposed travel permit scheme on the border with Northern Ireland? All the border issues so far have been framed in terms of ‘goods’, but not addressed ‘people’. C.F pre-reunification Berlin for a related movement tangle.

    2) Can the Cabinet oust the PM ?


    1. With a “hard border” no doubt!
    2.Yes if they all tell her they will not continue under her leadership – very unlikely to happen

    1. Stred
      December 16, 2018

      People can cross the 300 mile border away from customs posts. EU citizens can enter as tourists. It is picking up overstayers and illegals that is the problem, when the Home Office is useless and rights lawyers prevent deportation. The same goes for North to South. It’s the EU’s problem. They could put their customs posts on the Irish porrts, as they are not in Schengen. It’s all a con.

  38. Tweeter_L
    December 15, 2018

    What should the Prime Minister do now?
    -sack Hammond
    -move Robbins to a job where he can do no harm
    -stop blocking preparations for a “managed exit” on March 29th
    -hold a vote before Christmas
    (Unfortunately I know she’ll do none of these things.)

    Dr Redwood your daily posts are nothing short of a beacon of light and reasonableness: thank you, and I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas.

  39. The PrangWizard
    December 15, 2018

    Indeed so but she will have no answers or solutions. She is so fixated on saving her plan which she has tied up with herself personally that she is incapable of seeing beyond it and accepting that is it flawed.

    The time has come when the problem at the heart of all this must come out into the open, which I, along with some others would say is the state of the PM’s mind and her ability to function reasonably and rationally.

    It is embarrassing to say the least to see her hanging on in Brussels well beyond the time she should have come home, desperately hoping and begging for some crumb of an assurance which we know will make no difference to the points at issue.

  40. Chris S
    December 15, 2018

    Most of us here agree entirely with your proposed course of action. Indeed, it has been obvious since Mrs May’s despicable Chequers ambush that this would be the only way for us to leave with any dignity and take back control of our own destiny.

    Unfortunately your spineless Remainer colleagues are scheming to stop Brexit by any means, fair or foul, and won’t support WTO terms as any kind of way forward and certainly won’t vote for it. Meanwhile Labour, who are desperate for there to be a general election held before Mrs May is replaced, will vote against any deal of any kind.

    If this is the case, where do we go from here ?

  41. Original Richard
    December 15, 2018

    I expect Mrs. May is now working on Labour MPs who are so pro-EU that they are prepared for the UK to accept permanent vassal status and never-ending business uncertainty as the trade negotiations go on and on, to support her Withdrawal Agreement.

    Just as Mr. Heath in 1972 employed the help of 69 rebel Labour MPs, led by Mr. Roy Jenkins, to support his government’s motion to take Britain into the EEC.

    This is why she keep repeating that her deal satisfies Labour’s six tests.

    1. Chris
      December 15, 2018

      Read James Delingpole’s article on Breitbart about what is going on behind the scenes -hugely worrying. Senior Remainers are on manoeuvres, and are determined. That is only one of the issues that Delingpole highlights, but I really think that the Brexiter MPs had no idea initially of what they were up against. It is a political cabal determined to implement the globalists’ agenda, of which the EU is a key part. They are hugely powerful, utterly committed, to the point of being fanatical, and they have very large amounts of funding at their disposal.

      There are still too many factions amongst the Brexiter Tory MPs, and unless they bury their petty jealousies they really are toast.

    2. Original Richard
      December 15, 2018

      Failing this Mrs. May will call for a referendum hoping that Parliament, who oppose a WTO (“no deal”) option, will make the question between her deal or remain, which would explain why she has made her deal so abominably bad.

      The question should of course be between her deal or WTO terms – with no remain option – as the country has already clearly decided to leave via the referendum, the last GE and finally through Parliament triggering Article 50.

      This explains why Mrs. May and her elite Parliamentary colleagues have falsely described the WTO deal as “catastrophic” despite Mrs. May saying initially that a “no deal is better than a bad deal”.

      1. Al
        December 15, 2018

        I suspect Mrs May’s “no deal is better than a bad deal statement” may be corrected to read “nothing is better than a bad deal”, particularly if the aim is to force the UK to accept Remain.

        Whoever is pushing this hasn’t learned from history: when mainstream parties fail to represent their interests, the disgruntled electorate swings to the fringes (as we’re seeing in France), and that never works well for those who were in power.

        1. Original Richard
          December 16, 2018

          History shows us that an unfair deal never lasts.

          It is because we initially got such a rotten deal negotiated by Mr. Heath that we have never been happy with our membership, even after Mrs. Thatcher managed to get a rebate, which Mr. Blair then gave part away for nothing in return.

          The result of this rotten deal 4 decades ago, together with no further referendums each time our Parliament illegally gave away sovereignty at each new treaty meant that there was popular support for an EU referendum in 2016 and leave won (justifying the call for the referendum).

          If Parliament cancels or delays Brexit against the referendum result and a GE, or pushes through a false Brexit, or one where the terms are so bad, as Mrs. May is currently trying to do with her Withdrawal Agreement, where we are a permanent vassal state of the EU with no exit, where we have no idea of what our future trading relationship will be, where we still do not have control of our laws, borders, money and assets (fishing grounds) then such a bad and unfair deal will not last.

          There will be constant disunity, discord and conflict.

  42. Rien Huizer
    December 15, 2018

    Mr Redwood,

    “Managed exit without a Withdrawal Agreement is what most Leave voters want, given the penal and one sided nature of the Withdrawal Agreement.” Are you sure that that is also what most UK citizens want?

    1. Nicky Roberts
      December 15, 2018

      I personally believe that we are in much more troubled waters. Essentially our PM is denying democracy. Everyone knows that the WA is a denial of the vote , but bizarrely TM thinks she can blag it. Mr Redwood, I feel that someone, anyone should find air time to denounce this deal in its entirety. The backstop hold up is a very small part of this. We are besieged daily with peo EU propaganda, we need someone to speak out and to speak out with authority.

    2. matthu
      December 15, 2018

      We voted to leave.

      That is an exit that is as quick, transparent and smooth as possible, without committing the UK to further massive payments or loss of sovereignty. This seems to rule out May proposed withdrawal agreement, no?

    3. Edward2
      December 15, 2018

      Several recent polls show very low approval figures for the WA.
      Other polls show higher figures for a managed withdrawal.
      So it seems that our host’s statement is correct.

    4. Man of Kent
      December 15, 2018

      Please accept the Referendum result .
      It was conclusive. Some 400 out of 600 constituencies voted Leave and there was a One Million vote majority .
      In American presidential terms Leave won both the popular vote and the electoral college .
      Leavers were told Government will deliver your decision.
      We have been lied to and now the only way left to honour the decision is to leave in 100 days time on WTO terms ..
      We have had the Referendum in which all UK citizens had their say and said quite clearly ‘ We want Out ‘
      What do you not understand ? The latest opinion polls ? Your own nebulous prejudices ?
      Get over it – Remain lost big time !

      1. Edward2
        December 15, 2018

        Great post Man of Kent
        Sadly the political establishment and the new rich elite are trying to thwart our decision to actually leave.
        It started within hours of the result being declared with Cameron resigning and Gina Miller coming forward.
        There has been a determined campaign, aided by London based media to stop us leaving.
        Project Fear 2.0 is only now starting to develop into full power.
        The next few months will see a tidal wave of anti leave propaganda.

      2. libertarian
        December 16, 2018

        Man of Kent

        Great post , of course its worse than that for Remainers they’ve lost 3 in a row

        2014 MEP elections won hands down by UKIP

        2016 Leave won referendum by more than million votes

        2017 80% voted for “hard” Brexit parties

    5. DUNCAN
      December 15, 2018

      Yes, I also read that loaded sentence with despair. The term ‘managed exit’ reeks of obfuscation. Considering it comes from a staunch Eurosceptic suggests someone’s been leant on

      Leave voters want a clean, swift and absolute break. This tosh about a ‘managed exit’ is just another attempt to play with voters perceptions and expectations

      I am becoming suspicion of Tory Eurosceptics and their intentions

      1. acorn
        December 15, 2018

        Paranoid schizophrenia is the most common type of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is defined as “a chronic mental disorder in which a person loses touch with reality (psychosis)”.

        1. Edward2
          December 15, 2018

          Who says your reality is real?

          1. hefner
            December 15, 2018

            Can’t you see that your comment above about Gina Miller is wrong? Without her the matter might not have come to be handled by Parliament. More than two years after you are still at it repeating an attack on something which with time has clearly been to the benefit of Parliament. Isn’t that a bit paranoid?

          2. Edward2
            December 16, 2018

            It is a totally unintended consequence of Gina Miller’s court case.
            Her real intention, in my opinion, was to stop us leaving.

            It is a simple observation not an attack on her personally.

          3. TRP
            December 16, 2018

            How do you know that? Who says your reality is real?

        2. NickC
          December 15, 2018

          Acorn, Since the majority of the world’s nations are outside the EU, I suggest it is you that has lost touch with reality.

    6. Bob
      December 15, 2018

      It’s what I want. The EU is behaving like an extortion racket threatening retribution if the British don’t pay protection money.

      I want no part of this organisation and I suspect that others in Europe feel the same way, I’m just sad that many British politicians and the MSM are so spineless and biddable.

      I’m very happy for people to come to the UK to study, work , marry etc. and even apply for citizenship (terms & conditions apply, including no criminals or welfare seekers – the quota for them has already been filled many times over).

  43. Javelin
    December 15, 2018

    I have thought a lot about this and I’ve been asked my personal opinion on the trading floor as my predictions have been proven correct

    It is my opinion that as you need a General Election manifesto to have a constitutional referendum to leave the EU then you also need another GE manifesto to have a second referendum. BUT more importantly you also need a GE manifesto to stop Art50 because it effectively reverses the referendum. A PM is very limited in her powers on this matter.

    The PM cannot call a GE for 2 years because there is no national emergency. The UK trades WTO with other countries so could not argue it was an emergency in a judical review.

    I do not think any of the above options would pass a judical review. And the important point here is to have the means and be prepared to undertake a judical reviewable make it public that you hold that ace up your sleeve.

    So Mrs May’s options are limited to either leaving in a WTO or resigning and hoping her successsor can negotiate a Canada++ style deal.

  44. Kenneth
    December 15, 2018

    As another poster pointed out the other day (can’t remember which one, sorry), the backstop could be like an Aunt Sally.

    It’s an age-old negotiating trick to build up a dummy obstacle, obsess over it, and then miraculously solve it allowing the other party to save face, whilst the original plan stays intact.

    Beware also, that the BBC is almost exclusively devoted to non-clean Brexit contributors, so the majority view is not being represented at all. Instead we have different versions of how to thwart the democratic will of the People. These extremists and weirdos now have control of the airwaves.

    1. Denis Cooper
      December 15, 2018

      Wrong; the Irish government are completely serious about it, and they will use their veto to keep the backstop, or some equivalent or very near equivalent to it. For some reason I am not allowed to post a video of Leo Varadkar talking about it.

  45. Everhopeful
    December 15, 2018

    I just wonder if party politics has been superseded by Brexit or Remain. Forty odd years under the EU yoke has really made Westminster , MPs and therefore parties, redundant ( except to implement instructions from Brussels). Soooo ..are the loyalties in Parliament now only along Leave/Remain lines? And the PM and other Remainers wouldn’t mind much if Labour got in?

    1. cosmic
      December 15, 2018

      I believe there are forces wanting to keep us in, apart from at Westminster.

      In their eyes, UK party politics would sort itself out after a serious shock, but Brexit would spoil the game for them for ever. I’d say that as far as senior Tory Remainers (by no means all in the Parliamentary Conservative Party) are concerned, Labour getting in on a 1997 scale victory, with the Tory party correspondingly reduced, would be a price worth paying.

      If Brexit is thwarted, British politics will be dominated by Brexit and Remain. I can’t see it would be possible to overturn a referendum result without far reaching consequences.

      May’s deal looks like a good way of dealing with Brexit so as not to be an issue in UK politics, without spoiling the game, but it doesn’t look likely to succeed.

  46. formula57
    December 15, 2018

    How can any of us have confidence that T. May should be allowed to do anything?

    She has annoyed and disappointed just about everyone (A. Rudd excepted) and manoeuvred herself into a position from which she can neither advance nor retreat, at least not with honour and not without doing grave harm to the UK.

    Let us hope there is very soon the last charge of the May Brigade – “…into the valley of death rode the 200”.

    1. Bob
      December 15, 2018


      “She has annoyed and disappointed just about everyone “

      Ken Clarke, Nicky Morgan, Anna Soubry, Mikes Gove & Heseltine and Damien Green all very supportive of TM’s efforts to fudge it up.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        December 15, 2018

        Lets face it Bob, Gove tried to fudge it up from the very beginning.

  47. Ron Olden
    December 15, 2018

    Owing to the operation of the legislation for which John Redwood voted in its’ final form, the Prime Minister doesn’t have to do anything until January 21st.

    The law Mr Redwood voted for, then requires her either to offer the agreement to the House for a ‘Meaningful Vote’.

    Three weeks later, if she loses the ‘Meaningful Vote’ or hasn’t offered an agreement at all, she has to tell us what she intends to do.

    The time for the debate will be then. In the meantime however, she should be planning intently for a No Deal Brexit.

    I very much doubt if she’s assuming that this Deal will pass solely with Tory and DUP votes. It quite clearly won’t.

    But if the backstop is neutralised/clarified (or whatever they call it), to their satisfaction it IS possible that enough opposition MPs will be panicked into supporting it, or abstaining, in order to get the Withdrawal Agreement passed.

    Mrs May certainly isn’t going to tell John Redwood what proposals she’s offered to alter the text.

    Conducting negotiations in public like on any subject would be a total disaster.

    For the same reason she won’t be answering any of the other questions Mr Redwood poses.

    Parliament will have the chance to decide whether it accepts the Deal when the time comes and in accordance with timetable Parliament itself has set.

    There’s no point in telling Mrs May to go back to the EU and start discussing what’s going to happen in the event of a No Deal Brexit until we know whether there IS going to to be a No Deal Brexit.

    We don’t yet know the content of the final text, nor whether the House of Commons will, in the end, reject it. And for all we know, in rejecting it, the Commons will find some way of keeping us in the EU indefinitely

    Whether a ”’Managed exit without a Withdrawal Agreement’ is what most Leave voters want, given the penal and one sided nature of the Withdrawal Agreement” I don’t know.

    There’s never been public debate and vote amongst them on the subject. In any case we are not ruled by what ‘a majority of Leave voters want’.

    ”Managed exit without a Withdrawal Agreement is what I want, but I’d astonished if it’s what the majority of the British people want. The impression I get is that people want to carry on trying until the last moment. Then, if there’s No Deal Leave without one.

    In an case the House of Commons is there to do what it thinks is best, not what the public ‘wants’.

    On Wednesday a YOUGOV Poll discovered that by a majority of 58% to 28% Tory Party voters wanted Mrs May to win her Confidence Vote. But that didn’t stop 117 Tory MPs voting to get rid of her.

    Most polls I read, say that the public ‘wants’ a Referendum on the Deal (but not on continued Membership).

    That’s a terrible idea as well and I doubt if John Redwood is so keen on granting it.

    One of things I noticed during the course of this week is how timid some of these ERG Members and so called ‘Hard Brexiters’ appear to be about leaving with No Deal.

    All the argument seemed to be that we needed a new leader to go and negotiate a Deal.

    No we don’t. The public is more robust .

    We voted to Leave the EU with no promise of any Deal at all. Mrs May is the best bet we have for a Deal, but if she doesn’t get an acceptable one we Leave without a Deal.

  48. Mike of Wokingham
    December 15, 2018

    It is this Brexit or no Brexit. If those in favour of Brexit cannot unite, they will have betrayed the cause they profess to believe in.

    1. Edward2
      December 16, 2018

      The Withdrawal Agreement ties us to the EU for years to come.
      Potentially for ever because the finsl decision on leaving is under the control of the EU
      It cannot be supported.

  49. Den
    December 15, 2018

    The opinions provided by members of the ERG after meeting with M Barnier suggest the he and the EU would agree to a Canadian style Agreement. It would need some
    adjustments but nothing insurmountable.
    So why has this subject never been discussed with them by Mrs May? Is it because it was not her idea? Instead , she has made umpteen fruitless trips over to Brussels without result.
    Surely anyone who values the Country would pursue this new line of approach? It seems to me that Mrs May has single mindedly taken on the EU with her own ideals without any consultations with her own Party let alone Parliament.
    Where does she find the arrogance to think that her way is the only way?

    1. rose
      December 16, 2018

      She has fallen for the EU line that it can only apply to GB, not Northern Ireland.

  50. agricola
    December 15, 2018

    A lateral thinking suggestion as an alternative to leaving minus any agreement in March 2019.
    Put the WA on ice. Leave trading and all other EU/UK relationships in situ. Then agree to negotiate our future trading relationship on goods and services. If both sides want a good ongoing relationship it should
    not take long because we are starting from what many consider an almost perfect arrangement already.
    Once achieved, the Irish border fantasy problem disappears.
    We can then address the WA minus the border question, at which point it becomes a modus operandi, unless those who have read it know of further problems.
    Give it some thought. I think the EU might open their minds to it knowing that the WA will not get throughParliament and that the UK leaving to return to WTO rules is undesirable.
    If it works the EU can have the £39 billion. They are in dire need of it.

  51. Bob
    December 15, 2018

    To paraphrase an old adage,

    “if you want a deal, prepare for no deal”

    Nothing would bring the EU to heel better than the prospect WTO terms.

  52. DUNCAN
    December 15, 2018

    If this pathetic PM tries to force through a second referendum then I believe we will see upheaval in the UK

    It will be incumbent on Eurosceptic Tories to bring down a Tory PM and her government that would have decided to embrace a subtle form of totalitarian politics

    This country is entering very dangerous territory indeed. We have an intolerant and authoritarian minded political class that is determined to confront the democratic will of the people and challenge democracy itself. THAT IS VERY, VERY DANGEROUS INDEED

    Rudd, Blair and all the other grubby Remain fascists should think very carefully before they choose to go down that authoritarian path that could well plunge this country into strife

    1. NickC
      December 15, 2018

      Duncan, You are right. Moreover Remains do not seem to have thought through their attempts to reverse Leave, and to have a second referendum. They cannot expect future cooperation and acquiescence from Leaves.

  53. James bertram
    December 15, 2018

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    I have just received this email from my MP Anne Milton. I think you should be aware of it, even if you don’t put it on this site. Clearly the Brexit Betrayal gathers pace.
    Email as follows:

    ‘Thank you so much for getting in touch with me about the vote of confidence in Theresa May as Prime Minister, and I do appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me.

    In my view, this was not the time to change the Prime Minister and I think the Conservative Party would be seen as self-indulgent to do so. Therefore, I voted for the Prime Minister to remain in place.

    I know many people feel that Theresa May is not pursuing the ‘type of Brexit’ that they would like, but in the end, it will be Parliament, not the Prime Minister, who will decide. And if Parliament is unable to make that decision, then despite my very grave reservations, then another vote might be the only way forward – not on whether to leave or remain, but on possibly 3 options (rescinding Article 50, taking whatever deal has been negotiated and agreed with the other 27 member states, or leaving on WTO rules). I sincerely hope we do not reach this stage.

    There was a debate in the House of Commons on 11 December on these issues, and I would encourage you to read what was said via this link: https://tinyurl.com/ydfosg8j

    Parliament is on the brink of making the second most important decision of my lifetime. The first was to join the European Economic Community (EEC) in January 1973 and the decision was controversial at the time.

    We now need to wait and see if Parliament can coalesce around the decision that needs to be made for our future.

    My grateful thanks to you again for contacting me about this and please do let me know if there is ever anything I can do to help.

    My best wishes,

    The Rt Hon Anne Milton MP

    1. Edward2
      December 15, 2018

      I would reply and tell her that the people have voted, they made their decision and the instruction is to leave the EU.
      Tell her to re-read the leaflet her leader sent to all of us.
      Tell her that her government promised that they would implement our decision.

    2. Chris
      December 16, 2018

      …and that reply from Milton epitomises why so many Tory MPs are despised and not trusted by a very significant amount of the electorate.

  54. am
    December 15, 2018

    TM still speaking after her latest rejection by the EU as if a legal deal was still possible. Her unwillingness or inability to accept plain facts defies belief. What world does she live in.

  55. Denis Cooper
    December 15, 2018

    Before I make any suggestions about what Theresa May should do I think it is important to say what I think Tory MPs who support Brexit should do.

    1. Fully recognise that so far the negotiation process has been steered by the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Obviously the Irish government has not been driving the whole process, but he has a veto and he is not afraid to use it and this has enabled him to control the outcome as it affects Ireland.

    2. Understand that he has now got something pretty much as close as possible to what he wanted, short of the UK actually staying in the EU, and he has absolutely no intention of ever agreeing to any significant reversal. I strongly recommend this comment:


    about an article in the Irish Times a month ago with the headline:

    “Varadkar treads fine line between overreach and triumph on Brexit deal”

    3. Realise that even if the backstop as such was removed from the present deal it would have to be replaced by something with the same or very similar legal and practical effect, or the Irish government would veto that change.

    4. Anticipate that any new arrangement would also have to include provisions with equivalent, or very nearly equivalent, effects to the backstop, and whether that was the much-vaunted new trading relationship intended to come into force before the backstop actually became operative, or it was a new agreement to supersede the backstop once it had become operative.

    5. Come to this conclusion, which should have been obvious long ago:


    “So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.”

    6. Start an intensive fact-based campaign to expose and discredit the lies which Theresa May has allowed Philip Hammond to spread about the WTO option – which really is an option, our default option, because the WTO treaties have already been negotiated and agreed and are already in force, binding the EU and all its member states.

    1. Denis Cooper
      December 15, 2018

      A book by Tony Connelly is discussed here:


      “How Dublin ran rings round May on the Northern Ireland border”

      “The Irish had done their homework, and knew what they wanted. The British had not done their homework, appeared to want to have their cake and eat it, and found themselves steered towards the major problem which emerged in November 2017, when they were told that in order to avoid a hard border, Northern Ireland will have to remain de facto inside the single market and the customs union.”

      Or, preferably, the whole of the UK should remain under EU economic rule.

      1. NickC
        December 15, 2018

        Denis, Well summed up. And, yes, I want us to leave on WTO trade terms.

        1. Chris
          December 16, 2018

          Quite right, Denis. It is not simply a question of the backstop either. The whole WA should be ditched. There is absolutely no need to accept the vassal state conditions that the complete agreement (which Macron already thinks is legally binding apparently) involves, and certainly there was never the mandate for that. The instruction was to Leave, no ifs, no buts, no Remainer modifications/complete reinterpretations of the result.

  56. Colin Hart
    December 15, 2018

    Good questions but you know you won’t get direct, honest or bankable answers.
    Best thing now would be for her to spend the next three months doing nothing except asking departmental ministers what preparations their civil servants have made/are making for a planned, managed departure and trading under WTO rules.
    She won’t dare bring WA back to parliament, she can’t be deposed and she won’t resign. We will leave by default on March 29, 2019. It doesn’t require a vote. Labour won’t win a confidence vote before then unless a significant number of conservatives vote with them or abstain with or without resigning the whip.
    Anything here I have got wrong?

  57. Dennis
    December 15, 2018

    Last night on Ch 4 news at 7pm Elia Ibrahim ‘found out’ that leaving on WTO terms would mean for UK exporters tariffs of 90% for beef, 10% for cars, and just 3000 lorries allowed to enter the EU (per what period I couldn’t catch).

    Another ‘expert’ said that for lamb exports the tariff would be 67% and if 0% tariffs for the EU would have to be for the whole world.

    Any truth to these claims?

    1. anon
      December 15, 2018

      This is not about trade or economics. We voted leave- the single market, the customs union and the ECJ.

      The main parties all ran manifestos to leave.

      Who cares about C4 propaganda? If you think it was not so then i suggest you.

      Reverse the scenario and ask the same question?

      Is that a likely outcome? Probably not.

      Even if it were we are massive net importers from the EU.
      It would lead to massive import substitution from the EU to ROW at cheaper prices not via other UK Ports.

      UK exports to the EU, may suffer EU tarrif’s to sell into EU .
      But again the world and home market would be available on WTO terms, which would allow reciprocal tarrifs on EU produce.

      We would adjust , with the added benefit of a floating currency and independent fiscal policy. Net tariff income from the EU. No annual payments. NO rule taking.

      We can re-energise our industry , fishing,shipping, energy, tech ,aero, space industries to friendly trading nations and sell to the world.

      We will have independence to change laws to spur science reducing VAT on new energy saving tech etc. Public procurement must by default be UK unless other major considerations apply.

  58. GreesT
    December 15, 2018

    You ask what should the PM do now? She should throw the WA to the Commons next for the vote and when it is defeated decamp for Christmas. After the break, if Corbyn has not called for a vote of no confidence she has some choices, do nothing and let the click run out..or go back to the EU to look for a Norway style deal, but that will mean removing some of the red lines. Alternatively she can throw it back to the people for a vote: leave without a deal or stay where we are?

    You know it is not written in stone that we have to leave in this generation

  59. Steve
    December 15, 2018

    Notice how the BBC covers the French yellow vest protests, but gives zero coverage of the London one.

    Clearly they’re playing nudge politics i.e attempting to alter political outcomes. That is a serious breach of their broadcast charter. Meaning that their acquisition of licence fee money is fraudulent.

    The BBC director, and the news editorial staff should be exposed as the left wing propagandists they are, and dishonourably removed from the corporation with confiscation of pensions.

    1. Iain Moore
      December 15, 2018

      I am always taken aback by the media who report on the French riots, explaining them to be a reaction to the metropolitan classes not listening to the people, then go on to report , support and give a platform to the Remainers here who want to block Brexit, and then not wondering if perhaps the metropolitains classes here, of which they are fully paid up members, are not just as deaf to the people as the French metropolitan classes are.

      1. Chris
        December 16, 2018

        Typo. Should read Mockingbird in my comment above.

  60. Captain Peacock
    December 15, 2018

    Sorry this is a bit long but its worth reading when you hear May talking about British jobs.
    This is what the EU is doing for Britain.

    Cadbury moved factory to Poland 2011 with EU grant.
    Ford Transit moved to Turkey 2013 with EU grant.
    Jaguar Land Rover has recently agreed to build a new plant in Slovakia with EU grant, owned by Tata, the same company etc ed
    Peugeot closed its Ryton (was Rootes Group) plant and moved production to Slovakia with EU grant.
    British Army’s new Ajax fighting vehicles to be built in SPAIN using SWEDISH steel at the request of the EU to support jobs in Spain with EU grant, rather than Wales.
    Dyson gone to Malaysia, with an EU loan.
    Crown Closures, Bournemouth (Was METAL BOX), gone to Poland with EU grant, once employed 1,200.
    M&S manufacturing gone to far east with EU loan.
    Hornby models gone. In fact all toys and models now gone from UK along with the patents all with with EU grants.
    Gillette gone to eastern Europe with EU grant.
    Texas Instruments Greenock gone to Germany with EU grant.
    Indesit at Bodelwyddan Wales gone with EU grant.
    Sekisui Alveo said production at its Merthyr Tydfil Industrial Park foam plant will relocate production to Roermond in the Netherlands, with EU funding.
    Hoover Merthyr factory moved out of UK to Czech Republic and the Far East by Italian company Candy with EU backing.
    ICI integration into Holland’s AkzoNobel with EU bank loan and within days of the merger, several factories in the UK, were closed, eliminating 3,500 jobs
    Boots sold to Italians Stefano Pessina who have based their HQ in Switzerland etc ed , using an EU loan for the purchase.
    JDS Uniphase run by two Dutch men, bought up companies in the UK with £20 million in EU ‘regeneration’ grants, ( with job losses and closure ed)
    UK airports are owned by a Spanish company.
    Scottish Power is owned by a Spanish company.
    Most London buses are run by Spanish and German companies.
    The Hinkley Point C nuclear power station to be built by French company EDF, part owned by the French government, using cheap Chinese steel that has catastrophically failed in other nuclear installations. Now EDF say the costs will be double or more and it will be very late even if it does come online.
    Swindon was once our producer of rail locomotives and rolling stock. Not any more, it’s Bombardier in Derby and due to their losses in the aviation market, that could see the end of the British railways manufacturing altogether even though Bombardier had EU grants to keep Derby going which they diverted to their loss-making aviation side in Canada.
    39% of British invention patents have been passed to foreign companies, many of them in the EU
    The Mini cars that Cameron stood in front of as an example of British engineering, are built by BMW mostly in Holland and Austria. His campaign bus was made in Germany even though we have Plaxton, Optare, Bluebird, Dennis etc., in the UK. The bicycle for the Greens was made in the far east, not by Raleigh UK but then they are probably going to move to the Netherlands too as they have said recently.
    Anyone who thinks the EU is good for British industry or any other business simply hasn’t paid attention to what has been systematically asset-stripped from the UK. Name me one major technology company still running in the UK, I used to contract out to many, then the work just dried up as they were sold off to companies from France, Germany, Holland, Belgium, etc., and now we don’t even teach electronic technology for technicians any more, due to EU regulations.
    I haven’t detailed our non-existent fishing industry the EU paid to destroy, nor the farmers being paid NOT to produce food they could sell for more than they get paid to do nothing, don’t even go there.
    I haven’t mentioned what it costs us to be asset-stripped like this, nor have I mentioned immigration, nor the risk to our security if control of our armed forces is passed to Brussels or Germany.
    Find something that’s gone the other way, I’ve looked and I just can’t. If you think the EU is a good idea,

    1. Den
      December 15, 2018

      Thank you for reinforcing the reasons why WE MUST LEAVE the EU.
      We merely voted to get our Country back. NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THAT.

    2. Steve
      December 15, 2018

      Captain Peacock

      Absolutely bang on !

      Who the hell do these bstds think they are to decide who makes what.

      And why should we have industries which we have worked bloody hard for taken away just to support the EU’s grape growers and snail eaters. Talk about free ride off our backs, your list demonstrates the piss take.

      Never the less it does show what can be rebuilt in this country if we just leave without a deal. I also think those of government who are responsible for allowing our country to be asset stripped to that degree need to be tracked down and held to account, they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with it.

    3. A.Sedgwick
      December 15, 2018

      Not particularly surprising but your analysis is frightening, many of us knew some of this but it makes the hypocrisy/ignorance of many MPs even clearer.

    4. Edwardm
      December 15, 2018

      CP, this is a useful reminder of the economic disadvantages of being in the EU, and aided by our government.
      Why does our government permit foreign government owned organisations buy our companies and utilities – but we can’t the other way around?
      Why did our government sanction the over-expensive Hinkley nuclear power station? Why couldn’t existing proven and affordable existing British reactor designs have been re-utilised ?

    5. Iain Moore
      December 15, 2018

      I was aware of many of these and picked up on them at various times, but seeing them all listed like this makes your blood boil . Thank you for listing them out , it should be sent to all the politicians who prattle on about losing jobs if we leave the EU.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        December 15, 2018

        Iain Moore. I’ve sent this list to my MP and asked for his opinions. I wonder how long I’ll have to wait? I’m moving soon where I will have a Brexiteer as my MP. Hurray.

    6. Kenneth
      December 15, 2018

      I hope there are no copyright rules on this site as I recommend we all reproduce this post elsewhere to highlight the damage that has been done by our eu membership.

      Thank you Captain Peacock

      Reply I am happy for anything I write to be reproduced with credit to my site. I have no problems with comments being repeated and have no way of stopping them being re used.

    7. Al
      December 15, 2018

      You’ve missed a few of the others: a number of the digital companies I have worked with have sold out to US firms, due to the EU’s laws affecting digital and media industries. US laws protect their new owners (Shield laws and freedom of information), but the company could not have continued under the EU ones. Red tape is strangling the start-ups.

      1. libertarian
        December 16, 2018


        Absolutely of the top 200 digital tech firms in the world just 8 are in the EU

        Oh and the biggest and best of those Spotify has moved its HQ from Sweden to New York

        “Spotify expands headquarters and relocates to 4 World Trade Center and creates 1,000 new jobs”

    8. hefner
      December 15, 2018

      A very depressing list for sure. The only problem is to disentangle what came because of the EU and what came because of some ‘neoliberal’ politics introduced by M.Thatcher and accompanied by the people around her including a certain young John Redwood.

      Reply I seem to remember working hard to attract substantial new investors in UK manufacturing and helping rebuild the car industry after its halving thanks to our first ten years in the EEC

      1. hefner
        December 16, 2018

        It might be, but the UK desindustrialization accelerated in the 80-90s, and this albatross will keep hanging around your and some others’ necks.

        1. libertarian
          December 16, 2018


          Were we not EU members in the 1980-90’s then?

          1. hefner
            December 17, 2018

            You are obviously right. But subsidiary question: how comes that countries like NL, DK, Germany and even France were far less affected by such Deindustrialisation than the UK was? Weren’t there some effects of the policies pursued in those days by successive governments starting with the one having Prof. Minford as an adviser?

    9. margaret howard
      December 16, 2018

      Captain Peacock

      None of this has anything to do with our EU membership otherwise the other EU states would be similarly affected.

      It was greed by companies, or in the fishing industry where our fishermen chose to sell their fishing quotas to other nations like Spain who had the foresight to buy them.

      Incompetence and top heavy management were to blame for the decline of our industry and our decision to turn our economy to finance and service rather than producing goods people want to sell added to it.
      Our car industry died because they were making awful cars that couln’t compete with the likes of Germany etc

      Leaving the EU will take this country back to pre EU days when we were called the ‘sick man of Europe’ and begged to be admitted to what has become the biggest, wealthiest trading bloc in the world.

      1. Edward2
        December 16, 2018

        Other EU states were similarly affected.
        Just look at the unemployment rates in the EU
        And growth rates
        And falling share of world trade
        And debt levels.

      2. libertarian
        December 16, 2018


        1) Read the thread. THE EU PAID THEM TO MOVE

        2) So its greed if you’re British and financial foresight if you’re Spanish …ok

        3) How many more times are you going to ignore the truth and post this crap?

    10. Chris
      December 16, 2018

      This represents the most glaring example of the results of globalisation. President Trump is fighting against the globalists/deep state in the USA who are determined to destroy the USA as a country in its own right, and to convert it into another massive political bloc with Mexico and Canada.

      P Trump has now prevented that by asserting “sovereign” rights of the USA and bringing back industry and jobs to the USA and pushing through a completely new trade deal with Canada and Mexico, to replace NAFTA.

      He has been hugely successful and the economy is booming, but you would never know it from the MSM, which had been corrupted by the globalists and “weaponised”/made an arm of the political machine of the Obama administration. All I can add, is Thank God for President Trump, and may he somehow exert huge influence over the UK to save our country too.

    11. TRP
      December 16, 2018

      Cptn Peacock, And yet and yet there is another way to consider your comments: for 40+ years CEOs and Chairpersons of the Board were happy to take these EU grants and let their companies move abroad with hardly a murmur from successive Conservative or Labour Governments. So wouldn’t you at least recognize that it is not a 100% EU problembut in a non-negligible part of problem also anchored here in the UK?

    12. Stred
      December 17, 2018

      We did not have a design complying with the new regs to withstand aircraft crashes on to reactors.

      It was a UK bank which financed the EDF takeover.

  61. BOF
    December 15, 2018

    What should the PM do now?

    So far, she has not done those things which she ought to have done, and she has done those things which she ought not to have done.

  62. Tony Sharp
    December 15, 2018

    As usual John you hit the nail on the head! What is the draft ‘Legally Binding Words’ May wants to see? Has AG Cox drafted these? Or is it that she went to the Council hoping that the Commission would provide these?
    I was concerend as to how a 500 plus page document could be produced so quickly to present to the Cabinet at Chequers and then to Parliament. Some 60 plus pages are cross references to existing EU regualtions and protocols, ie not ‘agrements’ at all, certainly non-negotiable. Furthermore the phraseology and gernal details are very similar to the EU Proposal for Entry to Associate Membership to the Ukraine; clearly this is in fact a wholly EU written document.

  63. Enrico
    December 15, 2018

    You ask what should the PM do now.I have the answer in one word “RESIGN”

  64. Denis Cooper
    December 15, 2018

    On the question of what Theresa May should do now:

    1. Stop faffing around and embarrassing us all by pleading with the EU and abandon the deal she has agreed with them, as a whole, but offering to transfer any practically useful and still acceptable detailed provisions into other agreements.

    2. Break the ingrained habit of her political lifetime and start thinking outside the EU box to find practical solutions to the largely fictitious problem of the Irish land border:

    a) Make a formal declaration that the UK plans to make no changes at all on its side of the border for the foreseeable future, and as goods have been allowed to flow freely across that border into Northern Ireland from the Irish Republic for a quarter of a century while we were in the EU that will still be permitted without any change after we – but not the Irish Republic – have left the EU, and any new procedures which become necessary, such as the collection of any customs duties, will all be carried out away from the border.

    b) In a spirit of helpfulness and good neighbourliness, pass a new UK law to control what goods may be exported across the border, prohibiting the carriage of any goods which the EU would consider illicit, as not conforming with its standards, so eliminating the need for any inspections of incoming goods on the Republic’s side of the border.

    3. Given that under these circumstances the EU will be unlikely to want to embark on negotiations for any new special trade treaty for some years, maybe decades, announce that upon exit the UK will be defaulting to the existing WTO treaties, and she only wishes to discuss technical and practical arrangements for trading on that new basis.

    4. Call in Philip Hammond and tell him in the clearest terms that he is to immediately stop inventing and spreading lies about the economic effects of defaulting to WTO terms for trade with the EU and start undoing some of the harm he has done, or otherwise she will expect his resignation.

  65. Shieldsman
    December 15, 2018

    @ Rien Huizer
    Interesting that that should admit it is a penal and one sided Withdrawal Agreement, that no person with any pride in their Country could accept.
    The United Kingdom is a long standing independent Country with a history of being a major world power. I know remainers have no pride and like to call brexiteers ‘little Englanders’ but where would Europe be without our past battles for Freedom and Democracy.
    The European Union is actually in turmoil, if the professed advocates looked around them. The Federalists call Nationlists – Populists. Surely a Government which the majority of the Public support will in the end be more successful than one that does not have their support.
    The EU is a mixture of economic trade and political rule, oil and water.
    The Brussels regime of one size fits all as dictated by the bureaucrats is not universally popular and definitely not to an Englishman who grew up during WWII and then served in the Royal Air Force.

  66. margaret
    December 15, 2018

    Dancing on the stage, carrying on with a party speech when suffering with a bad cold are human and to be admired but the prospect of losing face , well could she bow down to that; that really would be an ego stinger?

  67. Everhopeful
    December 15, 2018

    Written earlier this year. Very prescient.


    Still don’t understand why Brexiteer Ministers were not more wary/alert.

    1. Steve
      December 15, 2018


      Link doesn’t go to Chukka Umunna, no matter though he’s a nobody and has no say.

    2. Chris
      December 16, 2018

      They were extremely naïve, and apparently ignorant, in my view, Everhopeful.

  68. hefner
    December 15, 2018

    “What should the Prime Minister do now?”: Read Etienne Chouard and let people call a RIC if they so wish. (RIC=Referendum Initiated by Citizens).

    1. Enrico
      December 15, 2018

      Don’t need to read Hefner,just resign,

  69. Julian Allder
    December 15, 2018

    Tusk and Junckers are simply doing their jobs. They are paid to try and keep the UK in the EU.
    My grouse is not with them but with our Prime Minister.
    Please don’t scrape the barrel by making scathing and personal attacks on Tusk and Junckers. It belittles rational arguments and makes us look petty and stupid.
    It suits our cause for the EU to dig their heels in and give us an unacceptable “agreement”. In fact, the more unpalatable it is, the less chance there is of us being tied to a Brexit in name only. Leaving without an agreement is the best way forward.

    1. Chris
      December 16, 2018

      You can’t really separate our PM from Tusk and Junckers as they are all in it together. This was a stitch up, in my view, and it all was carefully choreographed. May had no intention of us effectively leaving the EU and she received her orders/guidance from the EU/Merkel, and kept going back for approval. All aided and abetted by her civil servants/advisers.

      As soon as DExEu had put together anything resembling a successful exit from the EU, what she and Robbins do? They mounted Operation Sabotage and successfully undermined both Davis and Raab . It was a disgrace.

  70. George Brooks
    December 15, 2018

    Captain Peacock’s list of EU asset stripping out of our country is terrifying and may well be just the tip of the iceberg. We need to get out and get free a s a p

    1. margaret
      December 15, 2018

      Why can’t everyone see this? We are being threatened to give up everything we have fought for. I have been in this position personally and it has taken me nearly 40 years to even be comfortable,.God knows what the UK will do and the time it will take to recover from those who take from the top and deal crumbs to all others!

  71. A different Simon
    December 15, 2018

    Has the penny finally dropped for Mrs May ?

    Does she now realise that the EU appointees really don’t like the UK and have been stringing her along ?

    Looking at Mrs May’s face as she is being publicly humiliated by Junker , I hold out some home that it has all finally come home to her .

    A woman scorned ….

    1. Chris
      December 16, 2018

      In my view, May is part of the political cabal, and not a victim, Simon.

  72. Dennis Zoff
    December 15, 2018

    May should resign….no ifs, no buts..

  73. Roy Grainger
    December 15, 2018

    The BoE’s analysis of the effect of No Deal on the Republic of Ireland’s economy should be publicised more widely

  74. Twist and shout
    December 15, 2018

    Declare a General Election
    General Election Hastings and Rye 2017
    ConservativeAmber Rudd 25,668
    LabourPeter Chowney 25,322

    The remainer wins but wishes anything but a vote

  75. Steve
    December 15, 2018

    Julian Allder

    “Please don’t scrape the barrel by making scathing and personal attacks on Tusk and Junckers.”

    Why not? they don’t have any respect for us and seem to have forgotten what this country has done for theirs.

  76. Original Richard
    December 15, 2018

    It does seem truly ridiculous that the CPP have allowed two hardened Remainers, May and Rudd, to be in charge of Brexit.

    But I suppose it shows how deeply pro-EU and unrepresentative of the Conservative Party membership are the elites at the top of the Conservative Party and the CPP and hence how the “negotiations” (if any have actually taken place) are in such an apparent mess.

    This can only be changed by leave voters refusing to vote for these pro-EU elitist candidates parachuted into their constituences from CCHQ.

  77. JasonW
    December 15, 2018

    Hard to know what we want to hang on to NI for, it’s costing a fortune and is really of no strategic importance anymore, I read total costing to the Treasury and other departments 20Billion per annum and all of this for 1.8million people?

    1. Al
      December 15, 2018

      Because people have a right to self-determination, whether that is Britain choosing to leave the European Union, or Northern Ireland choosing to be part of the United Kingdom.

      Setting a precedent of ignoring the wishes of the populace and horse-trading people for convenience in the modern era is a very bad idea for governments that want to be re-elected. (I suspect a lesson that may be re-learned at the next General Election.)

  78. stephen richards
    December 15, 2018

    I wonder could anybody clarify this point for me: we know that Art. 50 can’t be revoked without an Act of Parliament, which will never get enacted before 29 March. Likewise, there’s no hope of a second referendum before that date. And, the WA will never pass the House of Commons. I’m very happy about all of that, but is it possible for the Cabinet (or, seeing we don’t have a Cabinet worth the name) Theresa May to stop the clock on Art. 50, or delay it by three months, or whatever, just by government fiat? If so, then we know what will happen: another referendum, but this time the establishment will take no chances. Thanks.

  79. Steve
    December 15, 2018

    Dr Redwood

    May I ask?

    Do you ever consider passing our sentiments as expressed on here to the relevant
    politicians ?

    You know, kind of like saying ‘look, this is what people think of you’

    I ask because it strikes me the electorate’s comments on your site would surely be useful in gauging public opinion, assuming those in Parliament haven’t got a bloody clue about what we will not tolerate.

    Reply Comments here do influence what I say to Ministers and they can read comments for themselves. Sometimes I suggest Ministers read them. All MPs will be getting plenty of emails along similar lines.

  80. rose
    December 16, 2018

    These questions should be asked as much of the 200 as the PM.

  81. Updated Roundhead
    December 16, 2018

    She should proceed but honouring in full the Referendum result. It has nothing to do with her head or heart or both which she uses as illustrations of her conduct.
    In that her conduct does not meet with what we were promised by Cameron in the event of a Leave vote then she should bow out, and if she still feels , as she says ” I cannot subject the British people to that” meaning FULL HARD BREXIT then Thanks Mrs May for your concern and no thanks. We certainly did not vote for your head , nor your heart, or it would now be settled Cromwellian-style and it would leave you amiss of your faculties. We would not and should not subject you to that.

    So behave and glory in our modern day tolerance of what would have been termed High Treason but now called Leftie-Liberalist- silliness. We have moved on culturally but it appears Mrs May is still in the days of Cromwell or Henry VIII. We are so much better than that. We are so tolerant of abuse from our “betters” it doth hurt.

  82. Prigger
    December 16, 2018

    In that, given the problems for our lawmakers as we can all see and hear for 3 years past
    Given also, we shall never get another referendum
    It would be nice if this one referendum X be remembered as having validity
    It is the only X that actually meant a whole lot since civilisation began
    Remainer MPs have written their names into history and throwaway family albums

  83. David Price
    December 16, 2018

    So how much is any individual worth? Or, perhaps you should consider the true costs of abandoning people you are responsible to for their well being.

    As long as they choose to be, those living in NI are part of us and as deserving of rights, support and protection as citizens anywhere in the UK. Adopting your “citizen of nowhere” attitude would make us no better than the EU elites.

    1. David Price
      December 16, 2018

      above was reply to JasonW comment at December 15, 2018 at 8:18 pm

  84. Lindsay McDougall
    December 16, 2018

    Amen to all of that. Removing the Northern Ireland backstop will not make the draft Withdrawal Agreement acceptable. Anything based on the Chequers White Paper, with its advocacy of a common rule book, is unacceptable.

    Nevertheless, we are stuck with this Prime Minister for another year and, more worryingly, with this parliament for another four years (theoretically). I don’t think that they would dare to extend article 50 or initiate a second referendum. If (when) Mrs May’s deal is voted down, this parliament is quite capable of passing a motion stating that we should join the EEA and apply an emergency break to immigration. Brexiteers need to decide now how they will respond.

    What is known as No Deal is very much the best deal. There is no need for a Withdrawal Agreement, for Backstop Agreements, or for an Implementation Period. Two things need to be done urgently:

    (1) The EU and the UK to agree on the tariffs that will apply after 29th March. There is no need for us to accept a lopsided bargain.

    (2) The EU to be told that they will receive none of the £39 billion bung unless we are treated nicely. It is our right to define in detail what being treated nicely means. We’ve got the money and they haven’t. In particular, it will include no non-tariff barriers to UK exports (France, take note) and the return of our contributions to the Galileo Project plus interest.

    Negotiations on everything else can proceed after 29th March.

  85. Anthony N.
    December 19, 2018

    Surely I can’t be the only one who thinks that Theresa’s apparently pointless plan of running the clock down is quite as likely to result in a no-deal Brexit as any other solution?
    The longer we delay, the more preparations both we and the EU have to make to cater for that eventuality, the more it becomes clear it isn’t a nightmare, and the more clearly we can all see the scare stories we were told for the lies they are.

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