2019. A year of opportunity

2019 should be a great year for all who believe in UK democracy. It is the year when Parliament should implement the decision of the People’s vote in 2016.

March 30 th should be Independence Day. From that day onwards we need to be in control of our money, our laws and our borders.
I have set out in a recent post how we can take advantage of the money we save and the freedoms we gain to give a boost to our economy and an improvement to our society.

That day should also be the day government strives harder to unite us in the belief that we can both make our own decisions and be good friends, trading partners and neighbours with the continent. Most Leave voters are not anti Europeans but people who want the UK to be a self governing good friend of our continental allies and trading partners.

Thea EU has always said it is only willing to discuss a Free Trade deal after we have left, so the sooner we leave the sooner we can discuss that. It is clear from recent No Deal planning on the continent that they do not wish to lose their export trade to us and recognise the need to ensure smooth functioning of borders after we have left.

The article by an anonymous civil servant in the Telegraph on Saturday was an important statement. She made it clear, as I have done, that much planning for just leaving has gone on in Whitehall over the two and a half years since the decision in the People’s vote. The UK has plans to keep its borders open for trade, to continue to import the food and medicines it needs, and to grant continuing rights to EU citizens living in the UK currently. Project Fear sounds increasingly desperate, repeating the same old stories with more lurid language.

As she pointed out, the Remain politicians with their civil service and business allies had failed to make a positive case for EU membership over the 45 years they had their way and we were members. Worse still, throughout our period in it and during the referendum itself most of them denied there was significant power passing to the EU. They agreed to keep us out of several important parts of the journey to full economic, monetary and political union. It led many people to think we have been holding up the progress the continent wishes to make to a full union. There were an increasing number of occasions when the UK had to be excluded from deliberations in the EU because we were not part of the Euro and not wanting to enhance and develop the wider budget a currency union needs. We will be good Europeans by freeing the continent to speed on to its goal of deeper integration, and will end those rows that were all too common about just how much power the EU would have over us.


  1. Javelin
    December 31, 2018

    I will be sending the final text of the Withdrawl Agreement regarding the backstop to the UN court of human rights asking whether it is legal.

    I have an friend who works at the UN as a senior lawyer who will assist me in writing the letter.

    I expect the response to be that it is illegal and and I will then send a list of MPs who voted for the agreement to the UN prosecutors office.

    1. oldtimer
      December 31, 2018

      Interesting. I wonder what the unpublished part of the AGs advice had to say about that? If nothing then I expect your initiative will send some of the gutless MPs who say they support the WA scurrying to him to get an opinion on it now.

      1. Hope
        December 31, 2018

        I just read the top 40 horrors of May’s servitude plan. Each time you read it you cannot stop and wonder why any right minded person would agree to this. It is spectactularly bad! Horrifyingly bad. So why would she do it if not to use as a reason to remain in.

        Has Fox taken a mind changing substance? I suggest he read this article and both rebuttals by Noten and the spectator. Article 184 demonstrates the EU knows it has broken article 50 by not agreeing a future relationship deal with the U.K. before leaving!

        This is not just horrifying about the Irish backstop it is riddled with disasterous consequences for the UK as a vassal state. Including not criticising the EU, paying money to promote this servitude plan and handing over money at every turn. Give the EU control of intellectual property, follow its VAT, follow its foreign policy, not tax EU employees, not prosecute EU employees, ECJ still being the Supreme Court and for at least eight years after any potential transition period! The U.K. Gives away its rights under international law and submits to EU law interpreted by the ECJ. The EU gets to decide if the U.K. has been compliant and whether it should be punished!

    2. Len Grinds
      December 31, 2018

      Excellent plan. A small problem is that there is no such thing as “the UN court of human rights”. But I’m sure that won’t put you off. Brexiters are good at believing in things that don’t exist.

      1. Edward2
        December 31, 2018

        Do a Google search on The UK international courts of human rights. Les and have a good read.

        1. Edward2
          December 31, 2018

          should say UN
          not UK

        1. Paul Gotbill
          December 31, 2018

          I did. It seems you are wrong and Len is right.

          1. Edward2
            December 31, 2018

            The UK is a member of the UN
            We agree to follow certain agreed processes.
            The UN has powers over those who break those rules.
            The UN organises and runs the International Court of Justice
            It is all available for you to read about on the internet

      2. Dennis Zoff
        December 31, 2018

        Len Grinds

        You silly little man…check out “UN’s Corpus International Human Rights Law” it is all there for all to see how the UN operates to ensure all countries’ Human Legal Rights are protected.

        Good Lord, you Leavers are so utterly devoid of commonsense or basic erudite research. You prefer to insidiously muddy the waters with puerile nefarious sophistry. Shame on you!

      3. John Hatfield
        December 31, 2018

        He meant the International Court of Justice of course.

    3. Everhopeful
      December 31, 2018

      Wow! Straight and swift…like a javelin really! Good luck!

    4. acorn
      December 31, 2018

      The UN will be surprised to find it has a “UN court of human rights”.

      1. Edward2
        December 31, 2018

        Google search acorn and have a read.

        1. acorn
          December 31, 2018

          There is no UN court of human rights, there are nine UN committees, none have judicial rights over any sovereign state.

          1. Edward2
            December 31, 2018

            The International Court of Human Rights

          2. acorn
            January 1, 2019

            There’s no such thing as the international court of human rights. The principle court of the UN is the ICJ

          3. Edward2
            January 1, 2019

            It is pedantic to argue that the International Court of Justice which exists and deals with human rights does not exist.

    5. Peter
      December 31, 2018

      Year of opportunity? Should be – but probably will not be.

      The huge number of Remain MPs will do all in their power to thwart a genuine Brexit. They have stopped pretending that they are listening to the electorate. The WA should get voted down – I hope. What happens then is anybody’s guess.

      Bercow is still in place and will doubtless do all he can to help Remain.

  2. Mark B
    December 31, 2018

    Good morning, on the last day of 2018.

    . . . Remain politicians with their civil service and business allies had failed to make a positive case for EU membership over the 45 years . . .

    And that is because our membership of the EEC/EC/EU was flawed right from the very beginning. And that flaw was this: It was all based on a LIE. The lie being, that it was all just a trading arrangement and nothing to do with a political project leading to a Federal European Superstate. And Remainers have the gaul to moan about something that was said on the side of a bus !

    I have asked this question here before but never received a satisfactory answer.

    Name one thing that the EU can do that no other non-EU country cannot do for itself ?

    I ask the above question knowing that there is no answer to it. Why ? To show to all those that support the EU just how absurd and irrelevant it is. Simple !

    We will be good Europeans by freeing the continent to speed on to its goal of deeper integration . . .

    Which is my sincere hope also 😉 Because I, like our kind host knows, that this is only going to turn out in one of two ways. Either of which I am not bothered 😉

    . . . and will end those rows that were all too common about just how much power the EU would have over us.

    Somehow I doubt it 😉 Membership has been very good for the rEU27 and I think once the UK has left and one of the principle Ca$hcows is no longer paying in a lot is going to dawn on a few and they will all come to wish that they offered CMD more than the thin gruel they did. Hee, hee, hee 🙂

    1. Lifelogic
      December 31, 2018

      The Bus anyway only said “let’s fund our NHS instead”.

      What was wrong with the bus message was that the NHS can never work well as currently funded and run. More money alone will disappear and do little for the public. It needs to charge people who can pay and we need freedom of choice in health care, not an appalling and dire, take it or leave it, state monopoly.

      1. Mark B
        December 31, 2018


        True. But when one listens to some Remainers about it, it is almost as if that was the sole reason they lost. They are, obviously, clutching at straws.

        Remain had a platform to promote the EU, they fluffed it ! Instead they used fear. So much fear it descended into absurdity.

        1. L Jones
          December 31, 2018

          Perhaps we should have counted how many times we have asked any remainder here to describe to us the Great and Glorious Future we have forfeited by voting ‘leave’. We’ve asked them to list a few positive things about being clutched remorselessly and for all time to the EU’s bosom.

        2. Lifelogic
          December 31, 2018

          Still they continue with Project Fear – with May and Hammond conducting it all. Thus running down of confidence in the economy of the UK. Further damaging it with the highest taxes for 40 years, endless government waste, expensive energy, a total lack of positive vision and thus making a Corbyn government really rather likely.

        3. CR
          December 31, 2018

          If the message on the coach was so effective I’m surprised that the remain campaign didn’t copy it. We are always told how much smarter they are…

        4. acorn
          December 31, 2018

          Don’t it always seem to go
          That you don’t know what you’ve got
          Till it’s gone (Joni Mitchell, Big Yellow Taxi).

          Your enthusiasm for a no-deal Brexit tells me you must be in, circa the top 10 – 15% of UK household income distribution. If you are not, then a “no-deal” Brexit is the last thing you would want. Particularly if you are dependent on the Dept of Work and Pensions for a large part of your income.

          Life will go on post a “no-deal” Brexit, it will be just slower and more expensive for a half a decade or more. Some imported goods and services will be less available, hence prices will rise in the shops.

          Exports that are not dependant on imported components will do well. Eventually, our currency exchange rate will bring the post-Brexit economy, back into balance by reducing the level of imports such as foreign cars and holidays.

          While the other 190+ countries are desperately trying to join trading blocs to get some protection from the Trump US Dollar, the UK is the only one trying to leave the most comprehensive trading bloc on the planet.

          1. Edward2
            December 31, 2018

            1 why will life be slower and more expensive
            2 why will some imported goods be less available
            3 give us some examples of the 190 plus nations you claim are desperately trying to join trading blocs
            All sounds like more of your vauge project fear ramblings to me acorn

      2. jerry
        December 31, 2018

        @LL; We already pay (for the NHS), via something called taxation…

        All you propose is switching from which of our personal accounts health care is paid, the one marked ‘HMRC Tax Bill’ or the one marked ‘(non [1]) Discretionary Purchases’. You even accept that some people do not have the means to pay, so would still have to receive subsided health care funded by either taxes as now or a surcharge on commercial health insurance policies.

        The real problem with the NHS is the overly large top-down bureaucracy that runs the service, that is what needs radical reforms, not its funding method.

        [1] it would be non discretionary if the law is used to make people buy a minimum level of health insurance

        1. Lifelogic
          January 1, 2019

          I agree it is top down bureaucracy that is the main problem. Charging, some competition and cutting taxes is the solution.

          1. jerry
            January 1, 2019

            @LL; There is already completion, anyone can take out private health insurance, assuming that the insurer will accept the risk. You are obsessed with tax cuts!

      3. Billy Marlene
        December 31, 2018

        Indeed, and the bus did not say ‘let’s give every single penny, every single month, to the NHS’.

        Yesterday we have fools like Caroline (five homes) Lucas ranting ‘where’s the money for the NHS!!??’

        Erm, we have not yet left, dear.

        1. Alan Jutson
          December 31, 2018

          Mark B

          I think the money has already been set in stone to be given, hasn’t the Government recently pledged £20 Billion extra to the NHS in advance of us leaving.

        2. Lifelogic
          December 31, 2018

          Is having five homes very “green” I wonder? Are any very close to the sea that she thinks will rise so much?

          Caroline Lucas seems to be an Exeter English Graduate, who clearly knows about as much about science, energy engineering, what is green and what is not, energy economics, common sense & logic as I do on the finer points of Beowulf. I on the other hand would mug up on it if I had to talk about it. Something she has not bothered to do on the above subjects.

          Yet she pontificates on what the UK’s energy agenda should be. What next? Perhaps she will advise on jet aircraft engines or aircraft wing design or something.

    2. Denis Cooper
      December 31, 2018

      There was more than one lie! Another lie being that the new trading arrangements were hugely beneficial for the UK when the overall economic effects have always been marginal, and more likely slightly negative rather than positive.

      And when you think about it, with exports to the EEC/EC/EU having always made up only a small part of the UK economy – about 12% at present – it is obvious that any benefits from easier trading arrangements would be heavily diluted.

      For example, boosting the value of exports to the EU by 10% could correspond to an effect on the overall economy at about the 1% level, and in fact according to the table on the front page of this German study:


      just 1% of per capita GDP was indeed about the gross – not net – benefit to the UK economy from the creation of the EU Single Market.

      As for the net benefit, well, the EU itself has admitted that the costs of its Single Market are high, and maybe three times the gross benefit.

    3. sm
      December 31, 2018

      Mark, you say membership has been very good for EU countries – I’m not so sure, given the amount of unemployment across Southern Europe, and the considerable financial problems (some of them global, but others directly related to the inefficiency of the current administration of the Euro) in Spain, France, Greece and Italy.

      However, you are of course correct to underline the gigantic lie about the whole concept being about trade.

      1. Mark B
        December 31, 2018


        Spain had vast amounts of EU (German and UK) money spent on it. It built airports that, to this day, are not used. Ireland had roads and bridges built. Italy, Greece and all the other PIIGS had loans which were at interest rates set so low it was unbelievable given their history of defaulting. Clearly a German led Euro had a lot to do with it.

        Only now is it going sour and they are beginning to complain. Wait until we have left proper and the EU demands evermore money they, rEU27, do not have.

    4. jerry
      December 31, 2018

      @Mark B; Not listening, not bothering to read documents, does not make for a lie…

      Heath was very clear in interviews he gave to BBC Panorama, especially in January 1972 shortly after Heath signed the Treaty with the EEC that paved the way to our accession a year later, in that interview [1] he talks freely about not only economic but monetary, political and even defence issues and how he believe UK membership (yet to be ratified by the UK parliament) of the EEC would change them for the UK, the other EEC members and indeed NATO.

      How come some MPs, and indeed trade union leaders, understood the realities of membership but others didn’t, if you are correct that Govt and by extension Whitehall kept the truth from people and lied!

      Also I suspect far from not receiving “a satisfactory answer” to your question [2] you have simply not received an answer you have been prepared to accept, not quite the same thing! Size does matter, hence why even the most arch europhobe talks about trade deals, post Brexit, with both the EU and the RotW.

      [1] broadcast date 24.01.1972

      [2] and why does no one ever ask the same question of the 50 states that make up the USA

      1. David Price
        January 1, 2019

        One Panorama programme? If the evisceration of our sovereignty was so significant you would have expected extensive debate and coverage of the pros and cons, the details of how the intended relationship would evolve. Funnily enough the Remainders have been equally silent this time about the true course of EU evolution and consequences.

        [2] What has the situation of the states in the USA got to do with the UK’s position with regards to the EU, It has no bearing whatsoever.

        1. jerry
          January 1, 2019

          @David Price; Are you seriously suggesting that such debate did not occur in the UK parliament, as was the norm back then?!

          I used one episode of Panorama as an example I could have picked other episodes or other programmes, other channels, for example Thames TV’s People & Politics programme from 1975 and that “people vote” regarding our membership of the EEC.

          As for the USA, if you do not understand such a comparison you do not actually understand the whys and wherefores of either the USA or EU.

          1. David Price
            January 1, 2019

            The referendum was for the general public not the political anoraks, there was no attempt at general education or debate. The whole point was avoid sparking concerns in the general electorate, otherwise they might do something silly like stampede or vote no.

            The desire of individuals or states to remain or leave the USA federal union has no bearing on the situation at all. It is yet another spurious comparison that reflects nothing on the situation with the EU.

          2. jerry
            January 1, 2019

            @David Price; “The referendum was for the general public not the political anoraks”

            Are you referring to 1975 or 2016?…

            In 2016 the general public heard and saw very little bar the crafted sound-bites and slogans, be that on social media or posters on the side of buses etc – one had to become a political anorak to cut through to the real issues, the real facts, find sites such as this one.

            You forget that with only three TV channels, & many could still only pick up two, with the VCR in its infancy, 1970s programmes such as, Panorama; World in Action; Weekend World and People and Politics etc. had audience ratings that TV executives can only dream of today.

            Yes much of the content back then could be described, by the standards of today, as for anoraks but back then it was run of the mill content, such is the dumbed down state of the MSM today. The only time these days you see politicos on TV, away from the floors of the two houses, being allowed to develop their arguments is on the BBC-P channel, in the “Briefings” type of programming. Even QT & AQ are shadows of their former selves.

            “It is yet another spurious comparison that reflects nothing on the situation with the EU.”

            More likely a comparison some have no wish to accept. But I’m always willing to listen, so just why are there no parallels between the whys and wherefores of the EU and USA, expand your argument.

    5. Andy
      December 31, 2018

      A predictably simplistic argument. By your logic there is nothing Amazon or Tesco do that the local corner shop can’t do. Except, of course, we know the reality is very different because you are dealing with huge economies of scale.

      Obviously the Leave lie on the side of a bus was just a wider part of the 2016 deception campaign. But, you are right, Europeans did not spend 40 years talking up the EU. We did not put forward the positive case for membership – and, crucially, we did not counter the massive and prolonged Eurosceptic campaign of untruth. Brexit has already demonstrated that they are frauds. The extent to which this is the case will become painfully obvious over the coming years.

      By the mid 2020s nobody will admit ever having supported Brexit.

      1. Edward2
        December 31, 2018

        My corner shop is as cheap as big supermarket and gives better service.
        Sooner we leave the better.
        Free and independent once more.
        In control of our laws taxes borders and trading agreements.

        1. jerry
          January 1, 2019

          @Edward2; “My corner shop is as cheap as big supermarket”

          For all we know, and perhaps you know, your local shop might be partnered to a much larger buying franchise, or at the very least the shop-keeper buys from large multi-locationed trade only cash’n’carry warehouses, rather than by “the case” direct from the manufacture -as used to be the way 40 and 50 plus years ago.

          But there lies the many problems, the same sort of buying/selling problem that affects individuals and companies in the EU28, if the centralised buying method ‘de-lists’ your favoured product for what ever reason you stand very little chance of buying it locally and perhaps nationally – what is more you are prevented from buying it on the international market, at least not without having to pay a substantial fine… sorry, tariff.

          1. Edward2
            January 1, 2019

            It might be Jerry
            But it isn’t.

          2. jerry
            January 1, 2019

            @Edward2; Oh dear… You didn’t read my comment did you, or is your local corner shop both retail outlet and manufacture, a ‘farm shop’ perhaps, selling only their own produced products?

          3. Edward2
            January 1, 2019

            I did Jerry
            You seem to have not read the original post from our resident EU fanatic Andy.
            He was trying to argue with reference to the EU and brexit that big is best and bigger is even better.
            Using the metaphor that Tesco and Amazon are good because they are big.
            Which is nonsense.
            I used the analogy that in my experience my corner shop gives me good service and prices.
            In other words being independent can be a good thing.

          4. jerry
            January 1, 2019

            @Edward2; Well if you did read my comment you most certainly failed to understand it, and on reflection you might not have even understood what @Andy was saying either!

            Your corner shop almost certainly buys from a wholesaler or cash’n’carry who themselves have much the same buying powers that the big supermarkets (but with far less overheads), that is why your local shop-keeper is able to compete with companies who might purchase entire production run quantities, not just by the container/lorry load or pallet, never mind by the single case.

            But as I also said, whilst there are advantages to such buying power for the consumer there are distinct disadvantages too, often far more of the latter. I was not agreeing with @Andy, I was pointing out the errors of such an argument.

          5. Edward2
            January 2, 2019

            On your return to this site I liked and agreed with virtually everything you wrote.
            Now you are getting all grumpy and pedantic again.

          6. jerry
            January 3, 2019

            @Edward2; Being pedantic or showing your ignorance up Eddie, I note that you never accuse me of being “pedantic” when I reply to @Andy or @Newmainia et al…

            On the other hand you have returned to your old ways of the Pot calling the Kettle filthy, in your fits of angry peak – as anyone who understands retail industry knows. I’m not suggesting you are wrong, I’m telling you; my extended family have, in various capacities, several working lifetimes experience in the food/retail business since before WW2, from humble small-town shop managers to Listed company directorships.

          7. Edward2
            January 4, 2019

            And again you totally miss the point I originally made.
            But I will let you have the last word Jerry.

    6. margaret howard
      December 31, 2018

      Mark B

      “. And that flaw was this: It was all based on a LIE. The lie being, that it was all just a trading arrangement and nothing to do with a political project leading to a Federal European Superstate.”

      Extract from the official 1975 referendum leaflet:

      The aims of the Common Market are:

      Bring together the peoples of Europe

      Raise living standards and improve working conditions

      Promote growth and boost world trade

      Help the poorest regions of Europe and the rest of the world

      Help maintain peace and freedom”

      So you see it was NEVER just a trading arrangement and you should desist from calling people liars because they don’t share your views, which as the above proves, are based on yet more falsehoods invented by mischief makers for reasons that can only be guessed at.

      1. Edward2
        January 1, 2019

        Shame the EU failed to achieve all its main aims.

      2. David Price
        January 1, 2019

        The snippet you offer says nothing about giving up sovereignty over any of our affairs so proves nothing.

        EG, HMG material at the time made clear “No important new policy can be decided in Brussels or anywhere else without the consent of a British Minister” and “The Minister representing Britain can veto any proposal”. Those backstops disappeared with the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.

  3. Lifelogic
    December 31, 2018

    I agree fully, except but we really need an Independence Day Bank Holiday on 23rd or 24th June. Two of the longest and often nicest days of the year. The time we should have left, had Cameron and the government suitably prepared (as they had a clear duty to do) and had he issued notice the next day as the Cast Iron liar promised. Rather than just abandoned ship like a pathetic petulant child. A military leader would surely have rightly been court martialed for such gross negligence and contempt.

    That after all was the day the people spoke after 41 years of being prevented from speaking while having the anti-democratic EU rammed down their throats by both the Conservatives and Labour.

    The choice now is clear stick with the appalling disingenuous Appeaser May and her dreadful non Brexit deal and thus destroy the Tory party (perhaps for ever) and then get a Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP disaster. Or become a proper, low tax, cheap energy, bonfire of red tape, real Brexit Tory Party and win hands down.

    But visionless May does not see this. More interested in calorie counts on menus, ordering people to take their elderly relatives on holiday with them, plastic bags, the sick joke of HS2 or gender and ethnic pay gap reporting. Just go woman you have never been a Conservative.

    1. Mark B
      December 31, 2018

      I want St.Georges Day to be a national English holiday and no other.

      1. JoolsB
        December 31, 2018

        We can’t say the word English Mark. Our anti-English politicians won’t allow it.

      2. margaret howard
        December 31, 2018

        Mark B

        “I want St.Georges Day to be a national English holiday and no other.”

        You’ll have to share him:

        St. George is patron saint of many countries such as Aragon, Bulgaria, Catalonia, England, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Romania and Russia.

        1. Edward2
          January 1, 2019

          Happy to share our patron saint.

  4. Lifelogic
    December 31, 2018

    I understand the government has still not published the full legal advice from the Atourney General on May’s surrender document, just the specific advice relating to the backstop. Surely they are therefore still in contempt of parliament. Is this true?

    1. L Jones
      December 31, 2018

      Petition number 234014 (”HM Government must publish the legal advice on Brexit immediately”) is growing – though it needs a bit more support. It’s open till June – I wonder how the world will look by then.

  5. formula57
    December 31, 2018

    The opportunities that flow from Brexit will go begging mostly as the Government is not itself prepared and has failed to prepare the country at large.

    (Also, your use of “should” rather than “will” is discomforting but doubtless is prudent.)

  6. Lifelogic
    December 31, 2018

    A very silly letter in the Telegraph from various ‘green’ charities and organisations, many doubtless encouraged to join project fear and perhaps in receipt of EU or government funding or tax breaks.

    “We can expect traffic chaos, with the garden of England turning into the lorry park of England. Dangerous chemicals will go unmonitored. Farmers will face huge uncertainty, with high tariffs on exports and livestock stuck at borders. And we will immediately lose the institutions that have ensured cleaner rivers and beaches, and safeguarded important habitats for wildlife.”

    What complete and utter tosh. We can deal with this as needed far more efficiently ourselves. We should perhaps look at Charity Laws more closely many are more pressure groups or arms of government than charities.

    1. Richard1
      December 31, 2018

      Charities which enter the political fray in a way which is outside atheir scope should immediately be given the choice of either going 100% to govt finding and becoming part of the civil service – and making that clear to donors – or receiving no govt money at all. We cannot have political pressure groups receiving taxpayers’ money masquerading as charities.

    2. Martyn G
      December 31, 2018

      I read the letter and on seeing “And we will immediately lose the institutions that have ensured cleaner rivers and beaches, and safeguarded important habitats for wildlife,” I thought ‘utter rubbish!’ Do the authors seriously think that the various national, local and voluntary bodies currently managing and maintaining our waterways are going to be disbanded and have to hang up their boots just because of Brexit? What next, one wonders? It reminds me of chicken little and the sky is going to fall….

      1. margaret howard
        December 31, 2018

        Once they are not obliged by EU law to keep up the standards put in place, the local authorities might well be returning to the bad old days when our beeches were dirty with effluent pumped straight into the sea.

        If it was all so good before why was it necessary to impose those rules?

        1. Frances Truscott
          December 31, 2018

          Because the technology is new

        2. NickC
          December 31, 2018

          Margaret Howard, False. Many of the EU rules on the environment are at best counterproductive and at at worst downright dangerous. Examples include: the LCP Directive; treating river dredge as toxic; forcing burning of waste rather than landfill; etc.

          The UK has centuries of tradition in improving the environment – as far back as St Cuthbert. We led the way in developed countries, and we needed to because of the problems of industrialisation. Outside the EU we would have put in place many of the same measures as the EU has done – not least because some of the standards originate with the UN, not the EU.

          1. margaret howard
            December 31, 2018


            “We led the way in developed countries”

            “When the UK joined the EU in 1973, it was dubbed the ‘dirty man of Europe’ thanks to its out of control pollution, writes Craig Bennett. Since then EU laws have forced us to clean up our act. But if we leave, all that may go into the reverse, with terrible impacts on our air, water, health, and wildlife.


            Reply And why would we do that? Which party or politician is proposing that? Another stupid lie

        3. rose
          December 31, 2018

          At present, the EU does not allow us to outlaw the disgusting practice of live export of animals, alluded to in the letter. The day after we leave, Theresa Villiers’s private member’s bill against live export will be ready to go.

          Do you really think driving animals over the border into Southern Ireland, then across the sea to Northern France, then down through France and Spain in ever increasing temperatures, then on to North Africa, or alternatively, Eastwards through Europe to the Near East, is a standard we should be upholding? If they are lucky, animals get slaughtered in a cruel abattoir in Spain, before facing the rest of the journey.

          1. Fedupsoutherner
            January 1, 2019

            Rose. Agree. Seen the way animals are driven across Spain in the cruellest conditions. I wept for them. Animal abuse in France and Spain is rife across the board. It was one of the reasons I gave up living there. What goes on is horrific. Don’t talk to me about health of animals or humans in Spain. They don’t give a toss.

        4. Edward2
          December 31, 2018

          Who will vote for a political party that does that?
          Locally or nationally policies like that would never get anyone elected.

    3. Butties
      December 31, 2018

      Starting with Integrity Initiative! How on earth did this lot get charitable status?

      1. Mitchel
        December 31, 2018

        The degree of complicity by the mass media is demonstrated by their lack of coverage of what has been,for the Establishment, a devastating hack/leak of the names,payments,expenses,publication schedules,etc of all the “journalists” and “academics” signed up for propaganda duty-all discredited now!

      2. Lifelogic
        December 31, 2018

        It is very easy to obtain the tax benefits and charitable status for almost anything “educative”. You can even get it for educating people in total mumbo jumbo like so much green crap, most religions and endless other lefty lunacies.

        Is educating people in total nonsense “educative” I wonder I would have though it rather the opposite of educative. But it seems to qualify for tax breaks.

    4. Stred
      December 31, 2018

      University staff were complaining about Brexit yesterday. I said that May’s deal would mean paying the money over without a promise of getting some back for research. They became suspicions that they may be talking to a Leaver and told me that we get back twice as much as we pay in. I pointed out that outside countries such as Switzerland and Israel carried out research projects with the EU, meaning that we could too. They told me that no one would work with Israel and that Switzerland only got its money for research from dodgy banking. After this I began not to care whether May had forgotten to provide the missing money or not.

    5. Al
      December 31, 2018

      Lifelogic, if you believe that is silly, you have missed the Guardian’s article from September, which boils down to “more likely to be hit by meteors” if we Brexit as we won’t be part of the EUs early space debris warning system.

      (The small print indicates that we get most of our data from the US, and that the UK already has its own set-up which would simply become independent.)

      1. Lifelogic
        January 1, 2019

        Indeed I missed that one!

    6. Dennis Zoff
      December 31, 2018


      All one has to do is visit Companies House for a lowdown on each Charity. One will very quickly realise what gravy trains many large Charities are, inaddition to being significant lobby organisations; with fat salaries, substantial benefits to the senior members and nice office accommodation with its “Corporate style” self indulgent services. (Many Universities are run along similar lines)

      Their are many small “genuine” Charities out there operating on a shoestring, mostly run on a volunteer basis “good will” deserving the title of a Charitable status…..however, many do not?

    7. Bazman
      December 31, 2018

      Still the same silly childish right wing views that are far from logical.
      You need to change your moniker as you are by no means logical. Just black and white simplistic.
      Have you read the very informative blog EUreferendum.com By Dr Peter North?
      Scaremongering? Put some of your comments on his site and see how far you get with your ‘logic’. You will make one post and then hide.
      Stop lying and fantasising even if it is just for yourself.

    December 31, 2018

    I stumbled upon an interview with Liam Fox in yesterday’s ST. I read it. I wish I hadn’t. It left me fuming and spoilt, what was up until then, a pleasant Sunday.

    To make reference to Brexit as though it were a fait accompli is a pure, outright lie and to continue using the term Brexit in that context represents an arrogance that I find deeply offensive

    If the WA is voted through then Brexit is dead. If the WA is voted down then Brexit is dead. The only way the UK will be able to leave the EU in any meaningful sense is if May falls on her sword. With May as PM, Brexit is dead.

    May’s use of the NYHL to shore up and protect her position as leader is enough evidence I need to conclude that Brexit as we know it to be true is dead

    1. Denis Cooper
      December 31, 2018

      I haven’t read that article by the turncoat Liam Fox and so I don’t know whether he provides any convincing reason why a refusal to approve Theresa May’s ‘deal’ could mean that we would not leave the EU on March 29th 2019, as laid down by Act of Parliament. It is true that could be amended by secondary legislation, but that would require the government to put forward a resolution and get it passed by both Houses of Parliament. Would she dare to do that? Would MPs dare to pass it? She has just survived a leadership challenge, is she now going to try to call a general election and get Jeremy Corbyn installed as Prime Minister? Does this have the same level of credibility as the idea that she would deliberately create shortages of food and medicine, including the insulin upon which she herself is dependent, by ordering customs officers to carry out unnecessary checks on imports from the EU and so hold them up, as well as imposing import taxes to increase the prices of food and other commodities for her own people? If she is not bluffing on all this then she must be mad; either way she is unfit for her public office.

    2. Brian Tomkinson
      December 31, 2018

      For some time I have concluded that Mrs May’s brief is to make sure the UK stays in the EU. More recently the total lack of strain in her public appearances when so much would appear to be going wrong under her leadership re-inforces my view that as far as she is concerned, far from chaos, all is actually going to plan. By giving her a vote of confidence Conservative MPs have colluded in this bertrayal for which they will never be forgiven.

    3. Dave Andrews
      December 31, 2018

      The WA will be voted down, if it’s held. Will the PM pull the vote again if the numbers stack up against her? Surely not twice? What options are there after that? The clock is ticking to 29th March.
      It looks to me like a no deal exit. Nothing else has the legs to make the running in the time available.

    4. Sakara Gold
      December 31, 2018

      Foxy has never impressed me as a minister. I remember him for being sacked by Cameron when Minister for Defence in a scandal, for organising the malign 2010 SDSR involving scrapping the Harriers – which were immediately snapped up cheaply by the US Marine Corps – also scrapping the excellent Tornado F3 ADV, the last warplane we had that could intercept Russian Tupolev Tu-160 bombers over the Baltic, for cutting the number of armoured regiments in the Army in half, destroying the Army’s heavy artilliery etc etc

      He has spent millions taking an enormous entourage around the world in search of mythical trade deals and has failed to deliver a single one. Words fail me at times when I consider the abilities of some of the PM’s cabinet appointments

    5. Iago
      December 31, 2018

      Duncan, what is the NYHL?

      1. Iago
        December 31, 2018

        Don’t worry, I’ve worked it out.

  8. Mike Stallard
    December 31, 2018

    What the British people have always wanted was – is – to trade and do business with the Continent. What we have always wanted, too, is to make our own laws, to control our borders and to set our own budgets.
    What the EU has always set out to do was – is – to prevent further European wars by complete political union through economic union. The example of the Zollverein leading to the Second Reich is instructive here.

    Now we look like losing our membership of the Common Market on 30/3/19. That is going to be very serious indeed if it happens. Fourty years of integrated trading will leave a huge hole, as the EU has tried to point out in great detail (Advice to Stakeholders).

  9. GilesB
    December 31, 2018

    The European Commission with its present ideology and culture will never accept the need for a multi layer EU. And so the EU will tear itself apart. The hub – essentially the six original members – genuinely want ever closer union. Some members are not sure at present. Most of the other members believe integration has gone too far and want it reversed.

    At some point the European Council will have to accept reality and institute a structure of a United Europe living alongside, not above, an Association of European States. The UK might happily and constructively join the Association

  10. Richard1
    December 31, 2018

    Today the FT reports – as part of its contribution to Project Fear – that major bank are telling senior staff they will have to move to EU countries and won’t be able to commute, to comply with the EU regulation that senior financial services people should live in the EU. It’s only a few hundred people but it’s an insight into the petty protectionist mindset of the EU. Should all govts do the same and say financial services can only be provided by residents and international trade in financial services is banned? Will this be applied to New York and US West coast bankers also?

    It seems there will be some damage and losses after brexit, but all are caused by deliberate petty protectionist actions by the EU and bolster the case for Leave.

    A post-WTO brexit should cut stamp duty, the non Dom levy top income tax etc to ensure people have a strong incentive not to move.

  11. agrictola
    December 31, 2018

    Fine John, but I do not trust T May to leave on .30th March. She will begin further can kicking. Frankly I am very cynical of the outcome.

    1. ian wragg
      December 31, 2018

      Guido is reporting that the Squeaker colluding with Labour, SNP and Limp Dumbs will use the humble address or some such ruse to extend article 50.
      The BBC today is in overdrive showing clips of Corbyn, SNP and Cable all telling us that Brexit must be thwarted because they know best.
      If only they could see what effect their brazen arrogance has on Joe public.
      Then we have Juncker throwing in his two penneth and we know we are doing the right thing leaving.
      Happy New Year all and lets hope 2019 is indeed freedom (not vassalage) year.

  12. mickc
    December 31, 2018

    The WA will be passed by Parliament. The Brexiteer MPS will lose their nerve, as Fox has.

    1. Steve
      December 31, 2018


      Then those who vote in favour of it will find themselves on a list, enemies of England, traitors to every drop of blood that was shed in the name of democracy and freedom from foreign domination, out of a job and fit for nothing but targets for rotten eggs and spit wherever they go.

      They really need to vote it down for their own safety, and that’s no exaggeration – it will turn very serious and it will hit the streets.

      If they pass the WA do you really think any of them would have the stupidity or arrogance to show their faces at polling stations come next election ? No. The country is absolutely not going to let them get away with it.

      Besides, no one can forced to vote and very few will want to…..potentially there could be no government. Conservatives would have to disband, Labour would be a dead duck, and UKIP even more despised than already is.

      Leaving without the WA is the only thing they can do now, unless they want total anarchy.

  13. Bunter
    December 31, 2018

    We have a free trade agreement with the EU now. What will be discussed after Brexit is an agreement which will give us much less free trade with our European partners. Brexit means huge job losses – it already means that, as firms invest elsewhere than the UK. This is happening every day. Mrs May’s agreement goes a long way to mitigate that harm – all credit to her – but staying in the EU would be even better, because it would give us guaranteed free trade plus a voice in decisionmaking (which Mrs May’s otherwise very good agreement does not give us)

    1. Zorro
      December 31, 2018

      It is not very good at all as we have already explained on this blogsite!

      We do not have a free trade agreement within the EU. WE are members of a protectionist customs union which allows the circulation of goods within that area subject to a myriad of ‘regulations’ and ‘freedoms’. It costs us more than 10 billion pounds per annum and we collect 3-4 billion in taxes from the CET which largely goes to Brussels…. No more! Our money needs to stay here invested in this country where appropriate!


    2. Jagman84
      December 31, 2018

      Free trade that costs £19 billion a year? And they want another 2 years extra after we leave! We pay zero to non-EU nations. Some benefit!

    3. CR
      December 31, 2018

      Yawn. We’ve heard all these lies before and don’t believe them. No facts, just your opinion.

    4. Steve
      December 31, 2018


      “…. it already means that, as firms invest elsewhere than the UK.”

      so ?

  14. Adam
    December 31, 2018

    Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement is her load of Miliband’s Ed Stone: Weighty wordy worthlessness.

    2019 beckons freedom when such wasteful rubbish is dumped.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 31, 2018

      Let us hope it falls on top of her then.

  15. Kenneth
    December 31, 2018

    The BBC is STILL calling WTO “crashing out” and STILL calling a losers’ vote a “peoples’ vote”.

    Also, the BBC is STILL putting out project fear stories.

    Of course, the BBC dare not put any detail into the scare stores (they are always presented in the abstract) as they will not stack up.

    1. PeterM
      December 31, 2018

      K, then have you bought shares in Seaborne Freights yet?

    2. John C.
      December 31, 2018

      It’s rather like the old BBC newsline “Calls are growing for …[enter any favoured BBC policy]”. They are a despicable bunch of propagandists.

  16. DaveM
    December 31, 2018

    You often talk about being good Europeans and leaving them to get on with their project. I have to disagree – being a good European and neighbour would involve doing everything possible to help the peoples of Europe escape the chains of the EU to which their federalist governments keep them shackled.

    1. Mitchel
      December 31, 2018

      Or as Nietzsche wrote:”That which is falling should also be pushed.”

    2. Iago
      December 31, 2018

      Yes, and the young of Southern Europe, being unemployed for years now, are not having children. The effect of being in the EU could not be worse.

    3. Mark B
      December 31, 2018


      You are not wrong but, if you attack ‘something’ those that have a stake in it, will rally round to defend it, even though it is doing them harm. Think of it as you being an outsider and intervening in an abusive relationship between two people. It will be you that comes out worse in the end.

      Union will involve bank transfers between member countries. The richest of course being Germany. When the Germans find out that they are being bled dry by all the others, they will pull the plug- trust me 😉

  17. JoolsB
    December 31, 2018

    “2019 should be a great year for all who believe in UK democracy. It is the year when Parliament should implement the decision of the People’s vote in 2016.

    March 30 th should be Independence Day. ”

    The key word there John is should. Yes March 30th SHOULD be Independence Day and yes Parliament SHOULD implement the decision of the People’s vote but it’s obvious the majority of our treacherous MPs are determined to find ways to prevent either. The majority of them also stood on a manifesto to leave the customs union, the single market and the ECJ but many of them are now determined that we will stay in one or the other or all as Labour and May’s pathetic deal now propose. The public have now voted twice to get out of the rotten corrupt EU and still the politicians are ignoring us. They do so at their peril. If May’s surrender deal goes through or we get a second referendum or if article 50 is revoked, then the Tory party and Labour party will be finished and good riddance to them. Maybe then, the true Conservatives in the party, a rare breed I know, will form a true Conservative party, one that believes in the great things this country can achieve free of the shackles of the bullying EU.

  18. Newmania
    December 31, 2018

    By the 70s, after years of glorious post war “independence “every major industry had failed. Our growth lagged our neighbours and the country was bitterly divided .The unions pulled down a government and the economy was tipped into debt and stagflation. The post war governments who designed these disasters, however, are revered.
    For the majority Spanish holidays Arabs Osmond’s and Colour TV were the diet . Life was ok( other than in N Ireland ) . In this sense for most, life will be ok?

  19. Everhopeful
    December 31, 2018

    Schism in Tory party since at least Heath with the big secret being The Federal Dream. If only more Tories had put country before party and broken away ( Oh…was that UKIP?).
    The thing is..the lying/ big secret was a constant, as was the ceaseless signing up to EU stuff…getting us more and more embroiled.
    We can see it all clearly now though, yet they act as if we can’t. They have never heard of two way mirrors? How will they cope when the final betrayal is enacted?
    Maybe this is the plan? We reject democracy..Westminster is abandoned ( which it is anyway) and the EU sails triumphantly in.
    Many rewards handed out to the liars. ( Though they do say that “useful idiots” are the first to be disposed of post revolution).
    The people ( ex voters) get poorer and poorer. The country stripped to its bare bones.
    Happy New Year!

  20. Steve
    December 31, 2018


    “…..conclude that Brexit as we know it to be true is dead”

    Then so too are those who betrayed it.

    Duncan you seem to be struck with severe dismal just lately, I worry for you.
    Let me put your mind at rest; Government has a choice – they either have the UK leave on 29th March and without May’s Withdrawal Agreement, or they do not.

    The WA is an attempt by the french led EU to bugger the English up for good, deep down everyone knows this.

    Theresa May said leaving without a deal is better than leaving with a bad deal.

    She also said “we will be leaving on March 29th”.

    Everyone in government knows all hell will break loose at the ballot box and on the streets if they dare swindle us. We will absolutely not be letting them get away with it.

    So the choice is simple; either leave on 29th March without capitulation, or end up running for their lives.

    Fret not Duncan, a reckoning is on the way.

  21. BOF
    December 31, 2018

    I notice that our kind host says, ‘March 30 th should be Independence Day’. The use of ‘should’ I find a little concerning. Duncan may be close to the mark today that Brexit is dead under May!

    Regarding the article by an anonymous civil servant, I note Mr Redwood refers to ‘she’. Does he know somewhat more than the rest of us?

    1. Zorro
      December 31, 2018

      It’s not Dame Lucy 😉


  22. Andy
    December 31, 2018

    It turns out it is a year of opportunity.

    Because the incompetent Tories are handing out cash without due diligence to anyone they think may help mitigate the Brexit catastrophe.

    It turns out you can get £13m out of them simply by claiming you can run a ship – even if you don’t actually run ships or even have a ship to run. Who knew?

    Brexit is the most complicated thing this country has done in peacetime. And it is being done by the most incompetent government we have ever had.

    When you all ‘celebrate’ your Independence Day in March remember the rest of the world – and now the majority in this country too – will look on bemused at how independent people in an already independent country have been so completely and utterly duped by a handful of rich public schoolboys who want to make themselves richer at everyone else’s expense.

    1. Chewy
      December 31, 2018

      Remainer bingo. Just a shame us thicko Leavers lack the intelligence and can so easily be bewildered. Surely we should just be banned from voting or let our betters make the big decisions.
      That’s about the crux of the Remainer arguement.

    2. Edward2
      December 31, 2018

      No money has been paid yet.
      It is a contract to provide a service.

      As usual you are completely wrong.
      The rich all love the EU

  23. Peter Wood
    December 31, 2018

    Good morning,

    Here’s my horror prediction for 2019; Mrs. Merkel runs for and is ‘selected’ the new President of the EU Commission. Or, as I like to call it, Empress of Europe.

    Then we’ll see who is really prepared to be a part of the United States of Europe, under German control….

  24. Alan Jutson
    December 31, 2018

    Aware we have to plan for any potential Brexit problems John, but why is the Government funding a private company to transport goods.

    Or are recent Media reports either exaggerated or wrong.

    Surely the cost of shipping is down to business and is part of the normal cost of trade.

    I am all for opening up old transport routes to spread the load, and Ramsgate seems a sensible and additional alternative, as well as perhaps others, but why at the taxpayers expense, other than for the funding Customs, Excise, Immigration checking arrangements.

  25. Alan Jutson
    December 31, 2018

    Yes a happy new year to all.

    If the Government and also importantly the Chancellor plays the cards right, we should be able to look forward to prosperity in 2019 and beyond.

    Freedom lies ahead, what’s not to like, why are so many MP’s against it ?

    Perhaps many are frightened of their own incompetance being found out !.

  26. margaret howard
    December 31, 2018


    “The article by an anonymous civil servant in the Telegraph on Saturday was an important statement. She made it clear, as I have done, that much planning for just leaving has gone on in Whitehall over the two and a half years since the decision in the People’s vote”

    Any reason why she had to stay anonymous?

    1. Zorro
      December 31, 2018

      I can think of several…..


    2. Dennis Zoff
      December 31, 2018


      She is a closet Brexiteer (willing to shed some useful insider clarity (not usually allowed) in comparison to the usual Civil Service senior management’s nefarious blindsiding shenanigans) in fear of losing her job!

    3. Richard1
      December 31, 2018

      Yes she would have been fired had she made a statement like that under her own name. Of course had she wished to predict eg a plague of frogs following WTO Brexit no doubt she could have got authorisation for it.

    4. CR
      December 31, 2018

      The civil service is run by remainers, perhaps he or she wants to ensure they are not discriminated against?

    5. fedupsoutherner
      December 31, 2018

      Margaret. Might be that she could lose her job for telling the truth about Brexit. There is no cliff edge and plans for leaving without a deal are going well. Don’t let the public know though. Much more fun to tell them we’re all doomed.

    6. rose
      December 31, 2018

      Yes, the remainiacs are a vindictive lot. Didn’t you see them outside Boris’s house the morning after the referendum?

  27. ferdinand
    December 31, 2018

    My apologies for this belated congratulation on your knighthood. Truly well deserved. Indeed this is a year of opportunity and thanks for all your efforts to try to keep people thinking straight. Friends who were Remainers ( I do not really know whether they still are) have completely failed to present any sensible reasons for remaining in the EU.Their universal response is that we are setting forth into the unknown.

  28. TedC
    December 31, 2018

    It’s up to you now John, it’s up to parliament, there’s nothing much more the people can do, certainly writing comments here is a complete waste of time. Cabinet is meeting 2nd Jan, The vote will take place mid Jan- or it won’t especially if it looks like the numbers don’t add up. Very likely then Parliament will have to take back control from government- May Fox, Gove, et al cannot be trusted and the ERG have gone noticeably quiet. it’s not looking good!

    1. Lorna
      December 31, 2018

      Happy New Year and much thanks to you John

    2. a-tracy
      December 31, 2018

      I’d guess Parliament will vote to kick the A50 leave date down the road using some made up reason for the delay (such as the Conservatives didn’t prepare for no deal properly) and hope it all disappears.

    3. Maybot
      December 31, 2018

      I’ve switched from abstaining in the next general election to actively voting for Corbyn.

      I want Andy and Newmania’s wealth redistributed.

    4. Mark B
      December 31, 2018


      Yep, we’ve done our bit. We even voted them another 5 years in power on the promise from them that; “BREXIT means BREXIT” and out of the CU, SM and ECJ we will come.

    5. James bertram
      January 1, 2019

      Ted – regards ‘there’s nothing much more the people can do,’ my more radical suggestions were censored.
      However, if 17.4 million people acted as one in non-cooperation, imagine the chaos. Theresa May would have to resign.
      Just take one example of many: Throughout April 17.4 million people decide to take their cars out every day at rush hour and join their nearest traffic jam.
      There is a pact between people and parliament – Thwarting Brexit breaks that pact, and the people will not stand for it; they will organise.

  29. Bryan Harris
    December 31, 2018

    YES, we should start out on a positive note for 2019 – even if not all the signs are good we have to keep pushing the vision of a real Brexit.
    If the WA is voted for by the Commons then we are clearly doomed – In every possible way. (EU rules without representation – Extended never ending negotiations until we all get so tired of it all we beg to be submerged back into the EU. The EU would demand major concessions, and we would die as a nation)

    But now is not the time to sit still – Now is the time to rally behind the Brexit Knights as we make our dash for freedom.

  30. Rien Huizer
    December 31, 2018

    Mr Redwood,

    The EU is completely open to a UKEUFTA. There is only one problem in the bilateral relationship between Ireland and the UK over the issue of borders on the island of Ireland. The EU cannot afford a different international border than it has elsewhere (in principle, a very technical subject) and Ireland and the UK are committed to have such a different border. Imagine the EU had an Ireland-style (as proposed by some who are not in favour of the famous backstop but feel a Canada type deal would be desirable).

    However, Ireland has a veto over EU FTA proposals and as far as I know they have signaled a long time ago that they would use it in thies case. So the thing boild down to either changing the GFA towards a mutually (NI and the Republic) acceptable solution for the border that satisfies general EU needs, or the UK unilaterally leaving the GFA (wholly or selectively).

    Another solution could be, of course that Irel;and and the UK form some kind of customs union and together have a Norway style relationship with the EU. Admitting the Irish to the UK would probably be a step too far.

  31. Alan Joyce
    December 31, 2018

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I hope that you are right and that our MP’s, who have the power to implement the decision of the People’s vote in 2016, do so, starting with a rejection of May’s disastrously one-sided withdrawal agreement / political declaration and an acceptance of a clean WTO break as the best way forward. To be followed closely by a FTA.

    MP’s would, no doubt, profess to believe in democracy but many are engaged in a concerted campaign to frustrate the referendum result.

    I hear them stand up in the House and say I represent a Leave constituency but that I voted Remain. I read that they intend to pass amendments to other Bills so as to block Brexit. It is reported that some MP’s and even former PM’s have been in touch with Barnier, Juncker et al to see if they can stir the pot. It is rumoured that the Speaker will attempt to abuse his constitutionally-independent position to try to tip the scales. Finally, the Chancellor no less, is allegedly, withholding funds earmarked for departmental Brexit preparations.

    These are not the actions of democratically-minded elected representatives of the people; they are the irresponsible meddlings of people who think they know best. They have little comprehension of the damage that could be caused by their undermining of our democracy and they seem to care even less.

  32. TRP
    December 31, 2018

    Working on this year’s tax return I am again surprised that an individual’s donation to a UK political party is not tax-deductible (like it is in the USA, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France, ,,,) whereas if done through one’s company it is. Is it not something to be considered or at least discussed by our MPs? Because funnily enough … most of these donations from companies go to the CUP (14% of £205m for CUP, 2% of £170m for Labour, 12% of £40m for LibDem, 36% of £10m for UKIP, according to the Electoral Commission, figures for 2005-2014).

  33. Old person
    December 31, 2018

    The anonymous civil servant stated that much planning has been done for a no deal Brexit.

    If the planning is on the lines of the £13.8m contract with Seaborne Freight Ltd (No. 10709921 England and Wales) for extra ferries, the Department of Transport has a lot of questions to answer.

    A brief inspection of this Company’s abbreviated accounts should have raised warning flags. The Company is under 2 years old, and has never made a profit. The proposal to run ferry services from Ramsgate to Ostend is a non-starter (the last company could not make it profitable – Ramsgate cannot take the size of ferries currently crossing the Channel).

    From these abbreviated accounts, we see 5,300 ordinary shares at £0.01 each. We then see a further 1,325 ordinary shares issued on 7 September 2018 at £452.82 each valuing the Company at £600,000 before showing any profit.

    Many people, like myself, must be confused on why we need extra ferry capacity. The whole point of ro-ro ferries is to take the vehicles on and off the ferries as quickly as possible. If there is a bottleneck it will be onshore – its the onshore processing that needs to be efficient.

    Any delays at Dover or Calais will be projected onto the Irish border (nothing to do with being hard or soft).

    I trust JR, you will question this in Parliament.

    1. Stred
      January 1, 2019

      It must be Remain civil servants deliberately bungling in order to rubbish WTO Brexit.

  34. Sam Duncan
    December 31, 2018

    “Should”. The mot juste.

    I find it disturbing that so many parliamentarians are openly talking about flouting (or, indeed, even legally repealing) a law which they themselves passed barely six months ago, for no other reason than that they apparently thought it would never actually be applied. They had the opportunity to put a second referendum in the Act, and refused. They also had the opportunity to put a second parliamentary vote in it, and refused. What has changed? Simply that an outcome which they explicitly provided for is likely to come to pass, and they don’t like it.

    The only conclusion can be that they tried to deceive us, their electors and employers, through the medium of a solemn Act of Parliament.

    We voted for a referendum. We voted to leave the EU in that referendum. We voted for a government that promised to implement our wishes. It passed a law declaring our independence will return on the 29th of March. If Parliament goes back on that now, even – no, especially – with a weaselly “people’s vote”, why should we ever trust it again?

    I wish you and the rest of the commenters a happy and Brexit-ful New Year.

  35. The PrangWizard
    December 31, 2018

    Let’s take down the big ‘Everything is For Sale’ sign which was hoisted over our country some years ago since when, desperate to get foreign money at all costs we have prostituted ourselves; government with the salivating City in cahoots have ensured that vast swathes of our country have been sold.

    The justification is that it helps our balance of payments until we can recover our economy but that is just an excuse – kicking the can down the road – when we should have been building our home owned economy, not selling it off.

    The policy should be critically re-appraised and attention given instead to protecting and retaining assets encouraging and assisting them to grow and prosper. We must take a longer view. That way we can eventually reduce the vast remittance overseas of billions of pounds of dividends and surplus cash to foreign owners, which drains our wealth year after year.

  36. norman
    December 31, 2018

    JR – could you settle something for us please.
    There’s much hyperbole about how atrocious the WA is, despite the PM giving categorical assurances to the contrary, that it delivers on the Referendum to the letter.
    The fact that many Conservative MPS appear to accept her assurances – even several notable Brexiteers – raises the possibility that we are dealing with doctrinal nuances, semantics, etc. For example, some regard ‘regulatory alignment’ (RA) as a ready-made, necessary, common-sense trading assurance for both parties, given the fact that trade agreements do usually take years to set up. Others regard RA as a means of shackling us to Brussels indefinitely – albeit, of course, such terms work both ways.
    I know there are many other issues, paramount among them being national security, that ex MI6 boss ‘C” has warned about. For me, the issue is, how do we keep NATO in good order, without allowing the Russians an open goal (not that I am a Russophobe, but we have to be realistic). Again, are we talking about differences in the degree of separation – the WA advocates taking a more ‘positive’, trusting approach, whilst being still committed to leaving the EU? I feel it must be the case that these negotiations are, by any standard, complex.
    I know these questions will infuriate some, but I feel it will be helpful to ‘nail’ them, ahead of the forthcoming debate (if it’s possible to do so) in clear, unequivocal FACTUAL terms. I suspect we are up against the spirit, not the letter here – and this of course means the WA will mean different things to different people. If I am correct, this is where the arguments will be won or lost, and it would not surprise me that more than a few MPs are asking themselves similar questions.
    Finally, may I add that the statement by the US Ambassador, Woody Johnson about future trade potential for the UK outside of the WA is a welcome reassurance. However the visceral hatred of Trump by some in our country is revealing, and once again, displays for all to see where the real battle lines are, and the nature of what is becoming almost a civil war for what remains of our freedom.

    Repky I recently set out again why the WA is unacceptable and is not Brexit

  37. Denis Cooper
    December 31, 2018

    Off-topic, I saw that the new, much vaunted, Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership has just come into force for some of the signatories, and I wondered how much it would actually add to the prosperity of the 500 million people living in the eleven countries. As far as Canadians are concerned it seems the answer is actually “Not much”, according to the Office of the Chief Economist:


    “Joining the CPTPP is expected to provide a net advantage to Canada resulting from increased market access and greater regional economic integration with Asia-Pacific countries. The CPTPP is projected to boost Canada’s GDP by $4.2 billion in the longer term (i.e. by 2040).”

    Well, at present the GDP of Canada is about 1.7 trillion US dollars:


    which converts to about 2.4 trillion Canadian dollars; so that boost of 4.2 billion Canadian dollars would be less than 0.2% of the present GDP; by 2040 it would be closer to 0.1% of GDP, after 22 years of growth at 2% a year.

    This is not to say that Canada should not have bothered with this special trade deal, just that overall its benefits are slight and should not be overstated.

  38. Lucas
    December 31, 2018

    So now Junker is putting the boot in saying that the EU cannot be held responsible for the UK not getting its act together. Can’t say that I blame him- ten weeks to go and nobody knows where we are headed. Somebody had better take this by the scruff and very soon.

  39. margaret howard
    December 31, 2018


    “March 30 th should be Independence Day. From that day onwards we need to be in control of our money, our laws and our borders.”

    Being an intelligent man you must know this is rubbish. We have kept the pound, our laws, like all those of other member countries, are made by ourselves and we don’t belong to Schengen so have control over our borders.

    So what is your goal?

    Repky To take back control of money, laws and borders as often explained here

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      December 31, 2018

      Margaret are you for real?

  40. Turboterrier.
    December 31, 2018

    One must really despair when even now we have a perceived majority of politicians still wanting to stay tied to the EU and all it encompasses, not one even comment let alone response to the following:-


    We want to still be under the influence of these people? You cannot make it up. What will they be saying when the full impact falls upon our energy industries and end users. The lights will be definitely going out as sure as the sun rises in the east. What will they say then? Oh dear it must be Climate change!!!!!!

  41. Den
    December 31, 2018

    There can be no doubt any more. Die-Hard Remainers are a dark stain on British democracy. Those that refuse to accept the decision of the people belong more to a Communist State rather than in OUR Western Nation.
    After much debate and deliberation, the wording on the National Referendum ballot paper was agreed by ALL Parliament. and Article 50 et all, accepted by a 80% majority into British Law.
    Despite this we are constantly served up lies and scares and those constant attempts to overturn The People’s Referendum decision! To overturn that is to over turn democracy itself. In the Mother of all Parliaments? NO, NO, NO!
    I trust the righteous amongst the Leavers and those democratic Remainers WILL make 2019 a VERY Happy Year for ALL BRITS. And may we all prosper too. But that will be down, solely, to us Brits and our Internationally famed, British ingenuity. At last!

  42. Helen Taylor
    December 31, 2018

    John I don’t like that you have kept using the word should. That sounds ominous, hope that doesn’t mean that the whips have found a way to make you all accept her deal. That would be the biggest betrayal of 17.4 million who voted to leave. We voted to leave most believed that we were told it would be a clean break. Please say something more positive

    Reply Don’t be silly. Of course I am voting against the Withdrawal Agreement but I cannot speak for what Parliament may try and do if Labour for example decide to try to delay Brexit or at the last minute change their mind on the WA.

  43. Andy
    December 31, 2018

    Why the reluctance to talk ships?

    Brexit is supposed to be about opportunity – so surely you want us all to know about the opportunity to sell our shipping services to the Tory Brexit government?

    We don’t know to run ships or even own a ship to secure a post Brexit shipping deal from the Tories.

    Surely this is to be celebrated with your supporters Mr Redwood – a Brexit get rich quick scheme.

    1. Edward2
      December 31, 2018

      First you complain we are not planning for life outside the EU then now you are complaining when we do as it creates a profit for someone.

  44. Lynn Atkinson
    December 31, 2018

    I had a very bad hour when the Cabinet saw May’s Agreement. I was terrified that she had won some eye catching concessions and that we would have a fight on our hands. Thank God I need not have had papletations and fainting fits. May and the EU are consistent. The WA is a total disaster. Easy to reject. God speed the hour and the day – 11.00pm 29th March 2019. I am ‘stockpiling’ British champagne beating sparkling wines. All our friends and long-standing Brexiteer colleagues have ‘saved the Day’. We are the only generation to have lost and regained the Country! Like the Nazi’s after the war, soon nobody will confess to having been a Remainer and we will be united, successful and peaceable as before. Thank God and all those great men and women who have spent lifetimes battling for this great day.

  45. Nigel Seymour
    December 31, 2018

    Today action said How will this protect our borders
    Sajid Javid said the operation would protect human life, as well as borders.

    How will this protect our borders then??

    Can someone please tell me how Sajid Javid will protect our borders?

    1. Gareth
      December 31, 2018

      Isnt it amazing how Javid is in the heAdlines just as the question of who willl replace May bubbles up. Amazing

    2. HeLyH
      December 31, 2018

      Nigel..someone else said before the answer is to not let any of these illegal immigrants live where they want. If they want to be clustered all together in some village town or region and they have acquired some rights to stay here then break them up send some to Scotland others to Wales..where they live should depend on having adequate social services school places etc etc and emergency services, enough police fire brigade etc. The solution is in our own hands but nobody is paying attention..we have to think outside the box as well.
      It won’t be long before word gets out

      1. fedupsoutherner
        January 1, 2019


        You are joking? Send them to Scotland? Ha,ha. Nicola Sturgeon can stand there and tell them they are all welcome but she’s not paying the bill!! Taxes in Scotland have already risen high than those in England even though she gets hand outs galore from the English taxpayers. We had 138 immigrants housed locally here (Scotland) in a town close to us and in about 3 months over a hundred had disappeared probably down to England as they were all saying there was nothing in Scotland to stay for. They’re right there. The area they were put into has high unemployment now so God knows where they were supposed to get work. People need to think this through before being so generous and without understanding the implications of what they are doing.

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      December 31, 2018

      Nigel. He wont. They all promise to get immigration under control and then do nothing. Virtue signalling again. I wonder how many have been sent back so far?

  46. rose
    December 31, 2018

    The Home Secretary is trying to be all things to all men – like his mistress. You cannot have an immigration policy which works for everyone, any more than you can have a Brexit which works for everyone. He should have noticed by now what people think of that.

  47. Simon Coleman
    December 31, 2018

    If the UK is not an independent nation while it is in the EU, then how did it manage to hold a referendum and decide unilaterally to leave the bloc? At the end of the day, all you Brexit MPs need to do is peddle some piffling nationalistic ideas, knowing that the permanently enraged 17.4 million will lap it up. What’s become apparent to me from studying this website is that so many of your supporters don’t care about the likely negative implications of Brexit. They are driven by hatreds and fantasies that Remainers will never ever share. This Brexit thing is not the re-birth of a nation – it’s a political project that has harnessed the hatred and fantasy. And it doesn’t know where it’s going. Johnson, Gove, Fox, Davis, Leadsom, Mogg, yourself, Farage…no two of them have the same objectives. Ask yourself – have you Brexit ‘leaders’ really won the argument (not the referendum) that we’re better of out of the EU?

    1. Edward2
      December 31, 2018

      You need to read the treaties of Rome Lisbon and Mastricht to realise how much power the EU has over the UKs major areas eg trade tariffs law making adoption of regulations directives borders taxation and more.
      I’m amazed how you realise so little about the EU and yet you areca big supporter of it.

  48. Chewy
    December 31, 2018

    Do I sense a plan? I like the use of People’s Vote multiple times in regard to the 2016 referendum. Keep it going ad nauseum give these Remainer bores a taste of their own medicine and expose the great con that is being perpetrated by those who are only calling for a second referendum because they lost the first despite doing just about everything that could be humanely done to rig it.
    Happy New Year

  49. Ronald Olden
    January 1, 2019

    It’s not clear to me whether the UK Government needs to make ANY plans for the eventuality of us leaving with ‘No Deal’.

    What, exactly, as we supposed to be ‘planning’ for? Every logistic disadvantage to which panic mongering Remainiacs keep referring, seems to to assume that we will immediately deliberately disrupt our own import trade.

    All we have to do is to say that customs arrangements on our side will remain exactly the same as they are now, unless and until we decide to change them, and that there will be no new tariffs on any imports, (again unless and until we decide we want them).

    Businesses and public services should ALWAYS have plans in place for failure of suppliers to deliver. But why wouldn’t these suppliers deliver? Don’t they want our money and our future business.

    If they don’t plenty of others will.

    Incidentally, has anyone noticed that Remainiacs have recently started condemning the UK for making any plans at all? A year or two ago however, they were condemning the Government for ‘not having a plan’.

    Apparently everyone is the world is entitled to ‘plan’ for Brexit, apart from the UK itself.

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