A majority of Conservative members oppose the Withdrawal Agreement

The only surprise in the latest poll is that 23% support the Withdrawal Agreement. Why on earth would anyone support it? If you want to leave it is the opposite of Brexit, locking us into the EU for an indeterminate period on bad terms with no guarantee of a future deal . If you want to remain you would think it better to stay in on current terms. The People’s vote in 2016 decided to leave,confirmed by the results of the 2017 General Election, so we should do just that.

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  1. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Now that the only way out of the mess has been trashed: Efta/EEA, there remain three possibilities – each will lead to an economic disaster.
    The Diktat, the “clean break” and recalling Article 50.
    Luckily my final holiday abroad will take place before the end of March.
    Beware the Ides of March!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      The only reason there would be problems is because the EU has caused it to be so in concert with the Conservative government.
      Perhaps we are better off with neither?

      • Hope
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Thankfully this time around social media allows people to find out for themselves, not just rely on lying politicians. May is acting against her own party membership and supporters, as Lord Tebbit writes is there a unit in No.10 determined to prevent the Tories being elected again?

        No right minded person acting in the national interest and of its people could agree to this servitude plan. Give away the UK right to international law for EU law, follow EU foreign policy, allow EU to decide UK trade policy, follow EU VAT, agree not to be more competitive in a host of areas like energy, employment, social, environment. Not allowed to decide if state aid can be given, procuremnt rules determined by the EU so the govt cannot give contracts to build navy ships to our own country! To give billions in specified areas for undetermined periods of time i.e. European Development Fund, allowing the EU to decide if the UK is complaint with its servitude plan and to exact punishment if not! This is not taking back control! The point of voting leave is to give our parliament the right to decide and be more competitive if it chooses! It is horrifyingly bad.

        Marcus Fysh MP gave an excellent contribution to the debate about defence, read Hansard. Dearlove and army commander state it is the first time in history the U.K. has contracted out its military ability to a foreign power.

        All those concerned need to be investigated, including civil service. It is a collusion not a negotiation that is now clear. May’s underhand parallel plan was discussed in concert with the EU behind Davis’s back.

        All those Tory MPs who voted for May knew her behaviour, irrespective of issue, was a complete disgrace and against all forms of socially acceptable behaviour. They should be ashamed of themselves.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. I often think it would better if the government just packed up and went on sabbatical for a few years.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      I’ve paid for a ferry crossing to Amsterdam and back in July with the complete confidence, as in other years, that I will pass through Dutch passport control far quicker than I will with the unnecessary delays caused by the UKBA on my return.

      Most of the newsprint used in the UK comes from Scandinavia. If all the scare stories you read in the remoaner press had any substance to them, the publishers would be hoarding newsprint like mad. You can bet a fair amount of money that they are not pressing their suppliers for extra stock between now and March. If I am wrong one thing you can look forward to is the “The New European” no longer being for sale because Campbell has not got enough paper to print it on.

      • L Jones
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        The BBC has seen fit to tell us all that foodstuffs, etc, are being stockpiled by ”some companies”. That our national broadcaster should attempt to cause gloom and despondency like this (not to mention panic among those of a gullible disposition) is outrageous.
        Mischief-making in the extreme, courtesy of our very own BBC.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

          Indeed and of course they are very likely to create the shortages by encouraging such panic buying. Is this an establishment plan to assist Appeaser May in pushing her dreadful deal through?

          • Sir Joe Soap
            Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

            There are lots of nasty plans like training police to deal with “trouble” which will be confected in NI

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          L Jones

          This BBC bashing is getting rather monotonous
          You people like to blame everybody else when things go wrong. Now that it should finally dawn on you Brexiteers what mess you have made for all of us, you attack and blame everybody else.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 5, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

            But things haven’t “gone wrong” Margaret.
            They are just Project Fear 2.0 predictions.

            Do you recall all the Project Fear 1.0 ones for immediately after the vote which never came true?

          • rose
            Posted January 5, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

            What has gone wrong is that we have a Remain PM with a remain Chancellor, a Remain Cabinet, and a Remain Parliament, a Remain Civil Service, and Remain Media. They have made sure things aren’t going according to plan.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Yes “the remoaner press”. That includes the Daily Telegraph. Even the slightest piece of negative economic data is due to “Brexit Uncertainty” according to the Daily Telegraph.

        House price increases are always slowing due do “Brexit Uncertainty” according to the Telegraph. Not the fact that paying over half a million pounds for a 3 bedroom semi in Wokingham is more than crazy.

        • Simon Coleman
          Posted January 5, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Well, there you have it. If the Daily Telegraph is no longer confident about Brexit, then you really have lost the arguments.

      • bigneil
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

        On returning, don’t bother with heading for our passport control, just turn up on the beach, it clearly works for a lot of other people. You’ll even get a free check-up from the ambulance crews.

      • Hope
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        JR, May made much of her immigration white paper when linking it to her servitude plan. It is a disaster and another deceit. Read Lord Green’s assessment of it in con home today.

        Lord Green thinks allowing immigrants to declare their to stay for a year is a fiddle.

        …”How so? Because migrants are asked on arrival how long they expect to stay in the UK. If they say more than a year, they count as immigrants. But these people will say less than a year and will therefore not be included in the immigration statistics. It is, frankly, shocking that a Conservative Government should behave in such an underhand way on an issue of such importance to its own supporters and, of course, to many others. Nearly two thirds of the public and, indeed, 85 per cent of Conservative voters consider that immigration has been too high over the past decade.”

        Of course hundreds of thousands lost to the Home Office system is the norm under the May Tory govt.

        I am surprised he says it is shocking the govt behaves in such a underhand way. Think this is now the norm under May.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

          Another way to deceive the public. May is complicit.

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          Well stop voting for it then !!!

          • Hope
            Posted January 5, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

            I stopped voting and canvassing for Tory party years ago. I voted UKIP. Cameron was the last straw for me, a total shyster.

            I would suggest all Tory associations protest and force change to selection procedures for MPs and leader. Both are rigged to get pseudo lib dems in place with a left wing new labour socialist EU agenda wrongly named modernisation.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Mike, mines not til September and I’m not worried. Holiday ads still boring the pants off me on TV. Ryan air confirms they will still fly after Brexit. Tell us something we didn’t know.

    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      Your final holiday abroad ???
      There are over 190 countries in the world.
      You don’t have to go to Benidorm. Try Butlins in Skegness.

    • jerry
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      @Mike Stallard; “Luckily my final holiday abroad will take place before the end of March.”

      Sorry to hear about your ill-health, or have I miss understood you?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      If EFTA/EEA was ever a realistic option it ceased to be so over a year ago, when the Irish government flatly rejected even the kind of “light touch” customs border that operates between Sweden (EU/EEA) and Norway (EFTA/EEA).


      “Is the Norway-Sweden border an answer for Ireland?”

      In that video the response from Irish ministers was a categorical “No”.

      From 30 seconds in, Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar robotically intoning:

      “No hard border, no physical infrastructure on the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.”

      From 3 minutes 3 seconds in, their Europe Minister Helen McEntee propounding their absurd, extreme and intransigent doctrine:

      “We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.

      I’ve mentioned this many times since then, I’m surprised you haven’t noticed.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink


      I agree that this has been badly handled but, I also think things will work out in the end and it will not be economic armageddon. There is too much to lose for a lot of people and in the end, if the UK economy tanks, as you suggest, who is going to buy all those nice things from our oh so friendly EU ? Germany is waning economically and the others are more or less dependent on handouts. Just look at the ROI. You think the EU can sustain long term damage and decline and grow the Project ?

    • Peter
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      I hope the majority of MPs stay strong and vote down the Withdrawal Agreement in due course.

      I still expect the Remain establishment to pull a stroke before the end of March and thwart Brexit though. I am just not sure which method they will use.

      • Peter
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        According to ‘The Sun’ she will keep holding the WA vote again and again with minor changes until she wins. ‘Operation Figleaf’ is what this ploy has been called.

        Sounds like bravado to me. If she keeps getting defeated she runs out of time and we go on WTO terms.

  2. Helena
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    A majority of the British people in 2019 wish the UK to remain a member of the EU. It is time for democracy to prevail over the psychotic ramblings of the Conservative Party.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      What are you talking about? Even if this were true, it would be on the back of tactics to frighten people. What sort of a country do you want to live in? Next you will be frightened into accepting your house and property being requisitioned by the government, because the majority purport to want it.
      When will you stand up for democracy?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Helena. Stop talking tosh and for your own ends. That wasn’t the result of the referendum. You’re just another one that cannot accept the vote. I ask again, would you have accepted it if the vote had been for remain? Of course you would. Just go away and think about it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      They majority certainly do not, if the voters are (outrageously) forced to vote again the majority will be even larger for leave and rightly so. Do we really want to be become undemocratic regions of the dire, failed, anti-democratic, EU socialist superstate?

      If you love Europe (as I do) you should hate what the EU is doing to it and worse still is going to do further to it.

    • CR
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      We had a decisive democratic vote in 2016. You making up silly facts doesn’t help.

      • Bob
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        “making up silly facts”

        Not facts, just propaganda that results from watching fake news channels like the BBC, Channel 4 and Sky.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink


      Please explain your so called logic !

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      What rubbish.

      The EU will collapse, history shows all empires do e.g. Ottoman, Holy Roman, Roman, Soviet, British. Human and animal instinct is tribal and Europe is not a tribe.

      My guess is many ordinary, as opposed to vested interest, Remainers are re-thinking as the flaws in the EU become more visible almost daily.

      If the UK was a large recipient of funds we would be kicked out without demur.

      The liabilities of our staying in are enormous.

      By the way the Earth is not flat.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:21 pm | Permalink


        “By the way the Earth is not flat”

        Nor is the EU an empire. Unlike the British empire nobody will be killed in colonial wars if they want to leave.

        They haven’t kicked us out but I do know that other EU members will breathe a sigh a relief when we have gone. They had become sick and tired of our constant demands for special treatment and opt outs.

        Nevertheless, they think we are nuts.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted January 5, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          Margaret Howard

          Another kick in the teeth for the UK from you. You just can’t help yourself can you?

      • Mitchel
        Posted January 5, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        “…history shows all empires do…”

        “It is extremely rare in history for empires of any sort,once they have collapsed,to be reconstituted under any conceivable terms.No European empire ever managed this,nor did the Holy Roman Empire,Persian Empire or Alexandrian Empire.In modern times the sole exceptions were the reconstitution of former Tsarist territories under Soviet rule after 1920 and the reassembling of most of the territories of the Great Qing(Manchu China) under Mao in 1949.”(S F Starr & S E Cornell -Putin’s Grand Strategy:The Eurasian Union).

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Yes, I see from the polls listed here:


      that on December 20th it was 45% Remain 38% Leave,
      while on January 10th it was 44% Remain 38% Leave.

      Oh, no, hang on, that was two years ago, before you lost the actual referendum.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        Change that to three years, how time flies …

    • jerry
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      @Helena; At the last two tests, based on real polling data and not polling samples, suggests you could not be more wrong, a substantive majority in 2016 to Leave and little support for europhile parties in the 2017 GE.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      The only psychotic ramblings would appear to be yours.

    • TL
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink


      We kept hearing similar before the vote in 2016. They were wrong then and probably wrong now.

    • davies
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Have you been poling or do you have a crystal ball?

    • Chris
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      You obviously were not around for the Referendum, H, and the actions promised by the government. Can’t just change the rules because you lost.

    • Steve
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink


      “A majority of the British people in 2019 wish the UK to remain a member of the EU.”

      Aside from being totally untrue, it’s also impossible. we’re still in the first week of January.

      Who has conducted a poll to provide you with that rubbish info ?

  3. Richard1
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    remain would be better than mrs mays deal as far as I can see. I can’t understand how Liam Fox thinks an independent trade policy is possible either under the transition period or under the backstop – or does he know something about an out from these he isn’t letting on? The US ambassador has made this clear also.

    It’s a pity Conservative Brexiteers, ministers and backbenchers, haven’t been better coordinated. Even mr Rees-Mogg now says he might vote for the withdrawal agreement if the backstop goes.

    It is clear that in practice, a country can’t leave the EU unless it’s prepared to go to WTO terms on exit and negotiate a trade deal later. Perhaps it’s been valuable to establish that as clearly as we now have.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Last para – precisely, it was always going to be like this – but aren’t people like May a bit thick for not realising this in 2016?

      • jerry
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        @SJS; Careful with your insults! There were plenary of Brexiteers on the stump, even on here, who were telling us a post Brexit trade deal would be “the easiest trade deal in history” – were they ‘thick’ too?

        Most are simply guilty of believing that the EC, like the UK, would behave with Honour…

        • John Hatfield
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          Except when the negotiator wants a deep and special relationship.
          In other words wants to remain in the EU.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

            @John Hatfield; Such a notion is nonsense, if that was the goal why would the PM have sent the A50 letter, she would have carried on delaying the event, use ever Whitehall/Parliamentary trick in the book to do so. Once our A50 was submitted, as was the legal understanding at the time [1], that was it, the UK was leaving 2 years later to the day, deal or no deal, QED…

            [1] since when, the ECJ has clarified A50 Reversibility

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Should be not would be
          The way to do this was for Cameron to declare WTO deal, publish tariffs on June 24 2016 and say we were leaving on 31 December 2016. If the EU wanted to talk, they could be given a freefone number.
          All would be settled now.

          Instead the correct strategy was turned on its head.

          • jerry
            Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            @SJS; “Should be not would be”

            That’s a prime example of dancing on a pin-head in an attempt to deflect the argument!

            Should or Would, neither was ever going to happen, nor was it just Remain supporters saying so. The EC has shown, since the eurozone crisis of 2009, it is quite prepaid to sacrifice the well being of EU27 member states if that is what it takes to protect their beloved political project.

            “leaving on 31 December 2016”

            As for your suggested exit date, why wait that long, if we were going to trash our legal duties under international law (with regards the Lisbon Treaty) we could have left at say 23:00hrs BST June 30th 2016.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe Soap

        ….thick or designed, or perhaps both?

      • CR
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        It’s what we voted for. The Tories have had 2 years to deliver it.
        All May has done is re-negotiate Cameron’s unacceptable ‘deal’ that precipitated the referendum. Plus she has made it worse. The anger is simmering nicely out in the Shires.

    • Henry Spark
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Richard, I fully agree with you – it is either stay in the EU or leave on WTO terms. So I hope you now accept that the 2016 referendum, in which we were promised that we would leave the EU but keep the exact same benefits (D Davis), see only sunny uplands (B Johnson) and hold most of the cards (J Redwood, M Gove) , was conducted on the basis of false promises. What we now need is a truthful referendum – remain or leave on WTO terms

      Reply We do hold most of the cards but the government decided not to play them

      • Gary Rollo
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Good answer John! It’s never your fault things have gone so badly. Always someone else,s fault. Classic Brexiteer

        • Edward2
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          But only remainers have been in charge of negotiations.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        And David Davis’s rather foolish comment was not made in the referendum, he said it in the Commons on January 27th 2017:


        “What we have come up with — I hope to persuade her that this is a very worthwhile aim — is the idea of a comprehensive free trade agreement and a comprehensive customs agreement that will deliver the exact same benefits as we have, but also enable my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Trade to go and form trade deals with the rest of the world, which is the real upside of leaving the European Union.”

        So that’s the first of your claims shown up to be a lie … not that you’ll be bothered by that, you’ll just carry on repeating it anyway.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        “Reply We do hold most of the cards but the government decided not to play them”

        Even you must know this is absolute rubbish. Just what cards do we hold?

        Reply Large payments to them, big trade deficit with them, big contribution to their defence and security etc

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted January 5, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          Margaret Howard

          You don’t understand much if you have to get John to explain this to you.

          • margaret howard
            Posted January 5, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink


            Are you implying that John doesn’t know much either and it is the blind leading the blind?

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but why would anyone support it? Why even 23%? One assumes they have not read much about it and just trust the government when they lie to the public that “it is a good deal, the only deal and respects the Brexit vote”, it is not and does not.

    It seems we also have 200 mad Tory MPs who still have confidence in T May. Why? She is about to bury the country and the party. Even more than John Major did if she is not stopped.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      23% are sheep.

      • Gobshitery
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe, majorities mean very little in UK, in NI the majority voted to remain and yet the DUP majority party leaders are campaigning against the majority of their own people, just like they did at the time of the Belfast Agreement vote? Problem is the british people were never accustomed to voting in referendums, they are not used to thinking for themselves in these matters of state, preferring to defer to their betters. But if their betters fill them up with spin and lies..then who knows who the sheep really are?

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Can’t see your argument. Majorities win elections and get MPs elected. DUP MPs are elected to do what they’re doing. If they weren’t, they’d be replaced.

          No point in me saying oh but the majority of Devon want to leave but they have a Totnes MP vocal in remaining and she isn’t representing them.
          That’s the system

    • CR
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Supporting the WA in a leave constituency is brave or extremely stupid. We’ll find out at the next election.

      • L Jones
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        It’s not ”brave”. This isn’t about THEIR conscience. It’s about carrying out the wishes of the majority.

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 5, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          L Jones

          “It’s about carrying out the wishes of the majority”

          17m people deciding the future of over 66m?

          That system stinks and will have to change. We do not live in a democracy but allow the few to dictate to the rest of us.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 5, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            Every election in democracies have rules for who is eligible to vote.

            If you are eligible and yet fail to vote thats your own fault.
            Would you have tourists, non UK citizens and under 18 year olds voting?
            Babies? toddlers?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink



    • Arthur Wrightiss
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      It’s because you can fool some of the people all of the time.

    • James
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

      Why does Mrs May and so many government ministers and MPs continue to insist that the WA respects the referendum result? Clearly it does no such thing. Surely they are not stupid. Could it be that they are in fact just simply stupid? Apologies for using the word ‘stupid’ but I can’t think of another word that covers it. Could it be the case that they are in fact stupid, or don’t care or is there some other reason?

      • rose
        Posted January 6, 2019 at 12:20 am | Permalink

        Perhaps they haven’t read it. Hurd and Clarke boasted they hadn’t read Maastricht.

        Maybe the Cabinet Secretary gives them a carefully composed digest, similar to the lists of supposed benefits the PM reads out in Parliament and on the air.

  5. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    After Cameron and May gutted the ‘nasty’ party, with the remaining membership that you have left (and around a fifth of the size of the Labour party’s) I am surprised the results are not the other way around. Nice to know that despite the potholes caused by last Winter on the roads around me still not being fixed. Mrs May still has billions for upgrading the road networks of the poorer parts of the EU.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      “…billions for upgrading the road networks of the poorer parts of the EU”.So that all those lovely German-manufactured goods can be transported that much more efficiently!

    • Nigl
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. One of the reasons I voted to leave. Being lucky to holiday around Europe a fair bit (aside to Remainers, that nails the lie I voted to leave because I don’t like Europe) I got fed up seeing vast amounts spent on roads, ancient building renovation et al, trumpeted as coming from the EU, when I knew we had plenty to spend it on in the U.K.

  6. Mr Ison
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Aye,it’d be lunacy to entertain ourselves with the May deal when work needs to be done securing the British future.

  7. javelin
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    On the plus side Gove, Hunt, Javid, Leadsome and Fox have signed away their political futures along with Hammond and the other Europhiles.

    In my opinion the WA won’t pass a judicial review and is illegal under the wisdom of international law because it will create civil conflict between the UK and EU and within the UK population.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      It will certainly be a disaster and create conflict. Surely even May will eventually be made to face this reality.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink


      Interesting how you keep pushing principles of International Law that have little support in actual, enforceable legislation or jurisprudence. The WA may be flawed but the theoretical ones you mention will not inspire any relevant court to change or nullify it. In my humble opinion of course. A bet perhaps?

      • CR
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think there is anything humble about Eurotrolls. Would like to bet that we don’t see you here after a WTO terms Brexit.

    • Dennis
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      javelin – you haven’t yet responded to the ‘there is no UN Human Rights’ set up. What did you actually mean?

  8. John Downes
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The 23% in support of the Maybot deal are those who automatically and reflexively support the leadership through thick and thin. The Toady faction. Every party has them, but the Conservatives probably more than any other party. Hell, they were even evident when Heath was running the party.

    Remember the expression “Loyalty is the secret weapon of the Tories”. There’s truth in it, and it’s not a strength, it’s a weakness.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Loyalty to totally idiotic policies (such as John Major’s absurdly foolish ERM, economic, greencrap loving, Maastricht ones) is not sensible. It meant the party has not had a decent majority ever since. The only small majority (Cameron’s in 2015) came when he promised a referendum and the UKIP vote fell away. Had he proposed a pro Brexit, low tax, real Conservative government then he would have won rather more easily. But he was never the Cast Iron, low tax at heart Tory he claimed he was.

      The only way the Tories can win the next election is to become a real pro Brexit low tax Conservative Party. They must ditch the current dire, visionless, highest taxes for 40 years, socialist, remainers in charge.

  9. Christine
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Obviously more work is needed to explain why this deal is so bad. It’s not just the backstop. We have to be careful that consessions on the backstop don’t allow this terrible deal to get voted through.

  10. GilesB
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Wildly exaggerated horror stories about the consequences of leaving without a withdrawal agreement have scared the 23%.

    In fairness some remainers are ignorant and genuinely believe that the planes won’t fly and they’ll never get a visa to visit Europe in the future. Other remainers havn’t thought about it much and trustingly believe, and repeat, the false forecasts.

    The real rogues are those remainers who know that they are misrepresenting and deceitful and making up false forecasts, but believe that the end justifies the means and will stop at nothing to keep the UK in the EU. They are dishonest. Their behaviour is immoral, and indeed criminal as what they are selling to the public is not what they describe. Their actions meet the intent to deceive requirement for services of the Trade Description Act. They should have no part in public life. Top of the list is Philip Hammond ….

  11. Andy
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    No discussion of Failing Grayling and pizzagate?

    This is where you take back control by awarding a £14m shipping contract to a company with no ships, which nicks its terms and conditions from the local pizza delivery place.

    The investigative journalists are sniffing around and the link to Leave will be exposed before long. Who is it, I wonder?

    In the meantime why does Chris Grayling still have his job? Has there ever been a less competent Cabinet minister?

  12. agrictola
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    That T May is living in a fantasy world is no longer in doubt. She is however a dangerous fantasist and supported by a small number of ministers who are now feeling the cold reality of not thinking the situation through. Dangerous because she has too much personal power. We look to Parliament to stop her.

  13. Mark B
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning – Again.

    Why on earth would anyone support it?

    Ignorance and fear. Stock and trade of Remain.

    As someone once said; “Knowledge dispels fear.” Alas those that get most get their information from Remain sources. So one should not be too surprised.

  14. BOF
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    A classic demonstration of how completely out of touch Parliament is with the electorate.

    The question now is, will Parliament and the Government support the people and the UK or will they support Mrs May and her EU friendly ‘deal’?

  15. Newmania
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I wonder what else a poll of Conservative members might decide was good for us. The death penalty, National Service ,flogging , a woman knowing her place…
    Just the sort of people one wants to decide the fate of the country

    • Penny
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      The first two – fine. Not so keen on no.s 3 & 4.

    • Andy
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

      So true. A poll of Conservative party members found that ‘back in my day’!!!

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

        Which was 1986.

        Britain was pretty progressive by then.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 5, 2019 at 3:30 am | Permalink

        Quite the opposite Andy
        It is remainers who fear change.
        Away from your comfort blanket.

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Another day, another slur….. It’s diversity of thought, I suppose.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      @ Newmania.

      I love how your version of the UK (particularly London) is going.

      … not.

      You call Brexit voters barbarians ???

    • sm
      Posted January 5, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      France has re-introduced National Service recently, possibly something to do with the 25% of youth who are unemployed – although obviously one finds that so hard to believe happening in the EU paradise!

      The UK was one of the first Western European countries to stop conscription, starting in 1960, when I would guess some of the more ‘traditional’ posters on here – such as me – were still in school.

  16. Gobshitery
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Since when did any british government pay heed to the peoples wishes? Did the government stop to consider the peoples wishes before committing to world wars? Ever? Did we have a referendum at any time? When one million marched to protest Tony Blairs decision to back Bush in the Middle East war..he ignored them and just did as he wanted..and so now with Brexit mrs May will just do as she wishes and any way she can regardless of the peoples wishes..so don’t tell us about british democracy

  17. ian wragg
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    The 23% must be the ones who haven’t read the WA or have a vested interest in staying shackled to the rotting corpse of Brussels.
    The Mail banner piece says ” Majority of Tories support Mays deal ” and when you read the article it says just the opposite. The MSM must think we are a bunch of idiots.
    The BBC is doing a daily project fear article in an effort to sway the vote. Do they think anyone is taking a blind bit of notice.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Why on earth did Conservative MPs give Mrs May a vote of confidence (albeit a qualified one)? One explanation is that, like most MPs, the majority of Conservative MPs don’t want the UK to leave the EU and see Mrs May as securing their aims. They care nothing for the views of the 17.4 million who voted to leave the EU. Parliament is treating the people with contempt.

  19. Atlas
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I cannot see how any non-binding ‘figleaf’ assurances are worth the paper they are written upon. WTO Brexit is, in my firm opinion, the only way forward – and “the devil take the latest resurrection of Project Fear”.

    May’s deal is not bad, it is terrible.

  20. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, the Conservative Party membership (124K, 1 K less than the SNP’s) is of course a tiny fraction of the Party’s share of the vote in general elections. (11-14 million) That they are far more anti-EU than the general public was already well known, or at least, suspected. Likewise, the far larger Labour Party membership is more “leftist (simplification)” than the membership, especially since the recent additions.

    Of course this has consequences for MPs. In marginal seats with little support for Brexit the MP can choose between disappointing the members and voting in a way that -should he nevertheless be selected for the next general election- ensures him retaining his seat, or follow the membership and deliver the seat to another, more mainstream politician from a different party, if the issue is considered relevant by that electorate.

    I have always believed that the membership would one day enter the brexit discussion (from the side that wants to engineer a “no deal”) and maybe this is one of the first signs. As an observer with little interest in nationalism but lots in economics and the political effects of specific economic policies on democratic political power formation, I find thsi one of the more interesting stages of the Conservatives’ struggle with the Brexit (capital deserved this time) phenomenon. Unfortunately for the observation, the common alternative for the Party (Labour) is unlikjely to present candidates and general policy that would overcome the “membership bias” described above, so MPs would follow their Party membership and retain their seats (but not everywhere) nevertheless.Possibly against what they may consider their better judgment.

  21. Iago
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    The 23%. This is the problem with proportional representation, whereby the dopes and the daft can send representatives to a parliament, who then ally themselves with the party that came second. Thus the daft can control a country.

    I imagine, also, that many sensible members of the Conservative Party have left in the last few years, so increasing the proportion of fools.

  22. Iain Moore
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    It was a strange strategy for May to hope that MPs going back to their constituencies over Christmas would influence them to vote for her rubbish deal. It shows a comprehensive lack of understanding as to the sentiment in the Tory party.

    • Steve
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Iain Moore

      The thing is Theresa May seems to have dispensation to swan off wherever she likes behind our backs, and no one in government has the guts to make her explain herself.

      For all we know she could have spent Christmas working on key conservative MP’s. She certainly galavanted off to Merkel and Macron just before Chequers. We know she went unannounced to see the Irish PM.

      You’d think that where the country’s future and sovereignty is concerned the public would be kept informed of every action she takes.

      She’s pro-EU, and likes to harbour secrets. Too damn sneaky for my liking, especially given the fact that deep down she’s not on our side.

  23. Harry
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    “If you want to remain you would think it better to stay in on current terms”.
    This strikes me as disingenuous.

    Those of us who still hope to Remain (via whatever strategy) should be honest and logical: while legally the UK might initially be able to ‘Remain’ on the status quo ante, after all that has happened such a national ‘pivot’ would remove any UK negotiating credibility in the EU; the UK would be unable over the mid-term to maintain the special circumstances/’optouts’ that have been established over the years. ‘Remain’ would now lead to full UK involvement in the federal project (incl. loss of rebate, €, Schengen, EU Army etc.).
    While this vision for Europe is well-argued/-supported elsewhere in the EU, it is rarely heard in UK politics.


  24. Sue Doughty
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    The only explanation is that those who support it haven’t read it and thought of the consequences

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Well, the Irish government is happy with Theresa May’s ‘deal’; indeed on November 15th the Irish Examiner ran a front page headline:

    “Brexit – Victory in Dublin, chaos in London after draft Brexit deal reached”


    “Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has claimed Brexit victory for Ireland after a day of drama saw a deal guaranteeing no hard border and all other Irish demands formally backed by the EU and Britain.”

    I mentioned that at the time:


    and went on to reproduce the last paragraph from a letter I had just had printed in the Maidenhead Advertiser:

    “For sure we would have to be stupid to think that the Irish government would ever willingly allow us to free ourselves from the rules of the EU Customs Union and the EU Single Market once we had agreed to remain bound by them on a “temporary” basis, as Theresa May now wants us to do.”

    And then pointed out that the Irish Times agreed with my analysis, saying:

    “British prime minister Theresa May has also reportedly agreed to “level playing field” measures tying Britain to EU rules in areas such as state aid and environmental and workers’ rights protections during the backstop. What has become clear is that UK negotiators accept the logic that any future relationship deal will also have to be based on a customs union agreement, supplemented by many of the regulatory requirements of the single market.”

    “Briefing EU ambassadors on the proposed deal on Monday, EU deputy chief negotiator Sabine Weyand is reported to have admitted as much … ”

    “The implication is the backstop is permanent and the UK will stay in the customs union forever.”

    And as we know in the UK the CBI is also reasonably happy with her ‘deal’:


    And the eurofederalists at the top of the Tory party are also reasonably happy with it, as a means to keep us under the thumb of the EU to the maximum extent which is presently feasible in view of the shocking fact that they lost the referendum, while also offering the prospect of more easily getting us back into the EU, and perhaps even into the euro, at some point in the future when they can wangle it; but as we see the majority of ordinary Tory party members have more patriotism and are not happy with it.

  26. Shieldsman
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Mike Stallard, what is the point of your commenting on your final holiday abroad, wherever it may be. Who cares?
    Are you suggesting that you will not be able to travel to Europe from 1st April for some undefined reason? You have been reading the doom and gloom from you know who.
    Is it because the EU airlines no longer want to fly to the UK or though its airspace under ICAO rules?
    Are the European holiday destinations going to say No Brits allowed?

    • Mark B
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      I await 30th March 2019, as we shall all do, to see who is right or not. This assuming that the WA is not voted through. Because if it isn’t and there is no cliff edge, there is going to be a lot of explaining to do. Similarly, if indeed there is, I expect a certain Knight of the Realm to fall on his sword. Eh, Sir Redwood MP, sir ?


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Can’t see your argument. Majorities win elections and get MPs elected. DUP MPs are elected to do what they’re doing. If they weren’t, they’d be replaced.

      No point in me saying oh but the majority of Devon want to leave but they have a Totnes MP vocal in remaining and she isn’t representing them.
      That’s the system

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      It was sardonic

  27. majorfrustration
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Sir John – have you picked up on todays “Telegraph View” and especially the comment of David James 4.11pm. The May deal becomes more and more of a horror story

  28. agrictola
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    The British Army have invoked Kitchenor to recruit , for want of a better word, geeks. I don’t doubt they need their talents but question whether they have thought it through. Have they decided exactly what they want them to do or where they need to be located to achieve their purpose.
    Think back to 1939 and the creation of Bletchley Park.
    A collection highly capable geeks supported by many young men and women in the services but removed from the control of the services. In fact 99%of the services did not know they existed.
    Are they to be employed to inform the military or get involved in warfare frontline or from a bunker on the Yorkshire Moors as the RAF already conduct warfare.
    Putting them in uniform is not likely to achieve much apart from control and I doubt if this will produce the best results. Military discipline at BP would have been
    counter productive. If it comes up for discussion give it some serious thought based on precedent.

  29. Mr Ison
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Will ye walk the plank with them John?

  30. margaret
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Am I going mad or was there a referendum in 2016 where the majority spoke through their vote to leave the EU conglomerate? Why do some people think the opposite is true? Is it because they do not understand the meaning of majority or are they just simply empty headed?
    We need to leave without an agreement. The UK is full of resourceful people who will make it work.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree Margaret.
      From the first few hours after the result was announced the pro EU elite establishment have conspired to overturn that decision.
      Remember the leaflet…This is your decision, we will implement what you decide.
      We voted to Leave.

  31. ChrisS
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Why have we not been joining Jean-Claude in celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Euro this week ?

    He said on Monday that “It has become a symbol of unity, sovereignty and stability, and we must ensure it continues”

    He must have been speaking after a particularly long Brussels lunch because everyone knows that the single currency has caused nothing but disunity and instability and resulted in the toppling of governments in Greece and Italy and their replacement with EU technocrats. But then Jean-Claude is no lover of democracy, is he ?

    The LSE, an organisation that is surely packed with Europhile Remainers, has published a series of papers this week all of which predict the end of the Euro.

    This article by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard is a devastating critique :


    Jeremy Warner also has a dig at the Euro here :


    A reminder, if any were needed, that we need to be as far outside the EU as possible when the inevitable happens.

    • ChrisS
      Posted January 4, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      PS : This time I hope we won’t be offering to bail out the Irish Republic and we leave Varadka to sort out the mess all by himself. That would be poetic justice.

  32. BR
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Yes. When I first saw those figures that was the statistic that leapt off the page at me as well.

    Almost one quarter of those polled preferred May’s deal. How? For all the reasons in the original post, it is difficult to understand.

    The only possibility I can see is that some are rather lightly-engaged with politics, perhaps the ‘tribal blues’ who just go along with whatever the Great Leader says is right.

    So perhaps Monsieur Redwood had better get himself elected leader to add The Faithful 23% to the fold? He’d get my vote in a membership contest.

  33. Chewy
    Posted January 4, 2019 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    I think this recent survey is welcome news. I mentioned previously I believe the WA neeeds to be defeated by a thumping majority to reduce the chances of it being re-served with minor tweaks. Then all kinds of fun sand games will begin. I think a good football analogy is being 1-0 up away from home (which considering the Remain domination of both houses is fair) knowing the pressure will be relentless and having a liability of a manger who could make a decision to undermine the team at any moment.
    Politics is at least interesting I guess.

  34. Adam
    Posted January 5, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    The probability of 23% responding in a poll to support the Withdrawal Agreement is likely to be that at face value to many of them it is assumed to be in favour of Brexit. Whereas there is considerable debate, publicity & detail of what the Withdrawal Agreement entails, large numbers of people grasp only fragments during occasions of passing interest. They may wrongly assume that a ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ from the EU delivers Brexit.

    • rose
      Posted January 6, 2019 at 12:24 am | Permalink

      They may also be taken in by the PM’s quick lists of supposed benefits. After all, they do sound convincing and as if they “tick all the boxes” as they say. We really need someone beside her saying “when?” after each item.

  35. APL
    Posted January 5, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    JR: ” Why on earth would anyone support it? ”

    Because they are in the employ of Theresa May and hoping for a bigger role in the Cabinet.

  36. Tabulazero
    Posted January 5, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    « A majority of Conservative members oppose the Withdrawal Agreement »

    Yes. A majority of Conservative members also enjoy the benefit of a tripled locked pension.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 5, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Which all pensioners benefit from.
      However they vote.

      • rose
        Posted January 6, 2019 at 12:16 am | Permalink

        And which was saved for them by the DUP. Mrs May was going to jettison it.

  37. Simon Coleman
    Posted January 5, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    It is a surprise. Over a fifth of CP members prefer a completely hopeless withdrawal agreement to the utopia of No Deal. And one-time arch-Brexiteer Michael Gove is now looking at the Norway option…while Dr Fox supports May’s deal. You ought to be quite worried about all this.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 6, 2019 at 12:26 am | Permalink

      Which means a large number want to just leave the EU.
      Utopia please.

  38. robert lewy
    Posted January 6, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    On Marr , May promised today:

    “A greater role for Parliament in negotiations on the next stage of future UK-EU relations”

    If you combine this with the phrase in the political declaration:

    “build and improve on the single customs territory provided for in the Withdrawal Agreement”

    Taken together, this is a definite trap!

    If this persuades MP’s to vote for WA, we are sunk!

  • About John Redwood

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

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