3 line whips and loyalties

I rarely vote against 3 line whips imposed by the Conservative party. Indeed, I have voted with Mrs May and the 3 line whips she has imposed on every occasion so far this Parliament. We have had many votes to win against a group of Conservative MPs seeking to defeat the government over every step it takes to implement the Manifesto pledge to leave the EU. We have won most of them and passed the EU Withdrawal Act as a result.

I am conscious that I was elected as an official Conservative candidate. My electors would normally expect me to vote with the Conservative government a majority of the voters in Wokingham voted for. As an MP I always try to ensure I vote for the interests of my constituents first, for the interests of the nation second and for the party I represent third. I also seek to make sure I vote to keep the promsies I made at the last General Election, and where possible to keep the promises my party made. This means that I would only vote against a three line whip in a few circumstances.

1. Where the nationally agreed policy proposed by the Conservatives has a damaging side effect on Wokingham which means I need to put Wokingham’s interest before the national and party interest. So if for example a generally approved piece of infrastructure meant the construction of an inappropriate neighbouring investment in my crowded area, I would be the voice of opposition to that particular project.
2. Where the government I usually support asks me to vote for a policy or law which violates or reverses pledges made in the Election Manifesto. Mr Cameron, for example, promised in the 2010 and 2015 Manifesto not to transfer more power to the EU, yet in government regularly did. I needed to oppose that breach of promise.
3. Where I have made an express pledge in the election that was different to the national party Manifesto. In 2017, for example, I expressed disagreement with the national Manifesto approach of making people pay more for care for the elderly . Mrs May herself then fortunately changed the pledge.

On Tuesday I may be asked to vote for the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by the Prime Minister. I say may, as last time the government wisely withdrew the proposal when they saw they would lose by a large margin. I also say may, because if a rebel or opposition amendment was carried to the government’s original proposal then Parliament will only vote on the motion as amended. I will vote with the government and in agreement with the three line whip to vote down all Opposition and rebel amendments to the motion, and would vote with the government to vote down the motion as amended should that circumstance arise.

If, as Mr Corbyn hopes, the unamended proposal is put to the Commons, I will vote against. I will do so primarily because it breaks the Manifesto pledge of the national party, and my own personal pledge to my voters that I will do my best to see through Brexit. It also breaks the national Manifesto promise to negotiate the Withdrawal Agreement in parallel with negotiating the Future Partnership Agreement, for the obvious sensible reason that compromises offered on the one could then have levered gains on the other. The Withdrawal Agreement seeks to undermine the UK bargaining position and lock us into many more months of effective EU membership and uncertainty about the future relationship.

My decision to vote against is reinforced by the weight of opinion in my constituency and in the wider nation according to opinion polls. A majority of those talking or writing to me want me to vote it down. The national polls show much stronger support for leaving than for accepting the 21-45 month delay and further uncertainties of the Mrs May Agreement.

In the end each MP has to exercise his or her judgement. My judgement is that this is wrong. My main reason to vote against is the Agreement violates Manifesto pledges made to secure election, and fails to implement the wishes of voters as determined in the People’s Vote. Latest polls endorse the view that this is neither a good deal, nor a popular one.

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  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    A man of integrity is very hard to find in parliament today but I’m pleased to see they are not extinct yet. Well done John. There should be more like you.

    • oldtimer
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Agreed. This is both a principled and practical position to take. The aftermath will be significant. Parliament has already enacted the default position on leaving on a clean break, with no agreement. There are reports there will be attempts to hijack the process, aided and abetted by the Speaker, to prevent this happening. If true this would indeed be an attempted coup to frustrate Brexit. That attempt, if it occurs, should be fiercely resisted.

      • Merlin
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        As somebody who voted remain, I do find it bizarre to see the Brexiteers shooting down Brexit.

        And while it does give me some pleasure, I am concerned that it will lead this country either to staying the E.U or leaving without a deal. I fear in either case, many on both sides of the debate will be livid and perceive this as politicians not taking their responsibilities seriously.

        I also appreciate that leaving without a deal will delight many who comment on this site. But that is a different matter entirely. Also, on a personal level, I am a firm believer in parliamentary democracy and will respect whatever parliament decides – even if it is No Deal (uttered through gritted teeth).

      • JoolsB
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        May is a blatant liar and is not fit for office. Time and time again she spouted her mantra ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ but now it seems the choice she is giving us is her attrocious surrender deal or no Brexit.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Dear Fedup–Integrity butters no parsnips–Personally I can never forgive and certainly can never forget that if Sir John had joined UKIP at their flood everything would be OK now

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton,

        Maybe Mr Redwood did not want to associate himself with a political entrepreneur like MEP Farage?

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Dear Nothing–You have something against political entrepreneurs?

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

            They tend to be charlatans.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Allow me to agree thoroughly with this point of view.

      • Dennis
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        Which point of view? Singleton’s or Huizer’s or JR’s?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Not much common sense either in Parliament. Nor much understanding of science, engineering, economics, sound money, sensible taxations levels, energy systems, how to run healthcare, defence or indeed run anything else efficiently. Perhaps 10% to 20% of MPs at best are sensible.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 15, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–Which is why I keep asking why we should pay attention to what MP’s say just because they have been elected

    • NickC
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      To be fair dozens of other MPs of integrity have also assured us of their vote for Leave, including most recently Gareth Johnson who has resigned as a Whip.

    • delboy acourt
      Posted January 15, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      If only all mps on both sides took this very honest person JOHN REDWOODS views,our polititions would be that much more RESPECTED.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Your judgement on his is entirely right.

    It is sad that four Brexit supporterscincluding Geoffrey Clifton-Brown and Edward Leigh seem to have now agreed to support May’s pay, surrender and go to prison trap. As you say:- The Withdrawal Agreement seeks to undermine the UK bargaining position and lock us into many more months of effective EU membership and uncertainty about the future relationship. It offers almost non of the advantages of leaving. May even want to lock us in to absurd employment, environmental and job destroying red tape now.

    There is no reason to fear a WTO exit with various mutual interest agreements being made after leaving as may be needed.

    • George Dunnett
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Our Mr Edward Leigh, another Legion d’dHonneur recipient.

      Citation…(Edward Leigh) “a bridge between our parliament our govenment and our society. “

      I think MPs need to think long and hard about receiving gongs from foreign powers. Split loyalty is not a good look amongst the voters who are already extremely disappointed and angry with politicians.

      Politics is not a game!!

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        “Foreign powers” That sounds very ominous!

        • margaret howard
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Ridiculous more accurately. By that criteria Ireland would be a foreign power seeing that a bit of a stretch of water divides us. And the Channel islands would qualify as well. -:)

        • NickC
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Rein, Yes it is. Because foreign powers tend to put foreign powers first, not us – for fairly obvious reasons.

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

            Maybe they will treat you better than your own government…

          • NickC
            Posted January 15, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

            Rein, Yours is the call of the safe and the secure over the free throughout the ages.

        • David Price
          Posted January 15, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          Viewing a foreign government as a foreign power is not ominous but realistic as they put their interests first. From our perspective the question must be whether they are neutral, a friendly power or otherwise.

          Where any politician or official consorts so closely with a foreign power we must question very closely in whose best interest the have been acting.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers. Nikita Khrushchev –

    • Richard1
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      We are seeing what a terrible error it was by Conservative MPs to choose Mrs May as leader & PM and then retain her when they had a chance to make a change.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Dear Richard–Agreed unequivocally–Some of us never got close to understanding how we could possibly have started off in the first place with remainers at 1 and 2. As was said by Jacob Rees-Mogg at the time, this was absurd–and of course we are now reaping the whirlwind–if only it were just Tory MP’s (Half-wits most of them) who were suffering instead of all of us

        • Dennis
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          That T May has at this last minute having to get ‘clarifications’ from Brussels after announcing and then cancelling the first vote on the bill shows she and her advisors were totally incompetent in not seeing that this was necessary weeks/months before.
          No media has pointed this out – too polite?

      • Len Grinds
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

        Nonsense. The problem isn’t the leader, the problem is the project. You were promised a pain-free sunny-uplands cash-rich happy happy Brexit. It was always a fantasy. As you are now finding out. Don’t blame Mrs May. Blame the people who sold you the fantasy

        • Edward2
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          Leaving the EU has been hijacked by remainers.
          It is a simple project.
          But it has been deliberately wrecked.

        • Original Richard
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

          The Robbins/Selmayr deal was deliberately designed to be so bad for the UK so that it could give Mrs. May and Parliament an excuse to overide the referendum result and the manifestos of the two main parties at the 2017 GE and cancel Brexit.

          Failing that the asymmetric WA is designed to keep us permanently in the EU’s institutions with no represenation and following damaging laws and restrictions which may not even be applied to EU businesses.

        • Richard1
          Posted January 15, 2019 at 12:22 am | Permalink

          The arguments on both sides were quite clear. Leaves arguments were for an independent trade policy, control over immigration, saving £10bn pa and regulatory independence. Remains were that the EU is what it is but if we vote to leave there will be an immediate recession and an 800k increase in unemployment. Also that anyone voting to leave is a racist idiot and / or a nostalgic for the empire.

          Because we got a leave vote – but only because – we have seen the remain fear stories were nonsense. But the may deal does not offer the benefits of brexit as set out by leave.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        Thanks to Gove’s stabbing of Boris.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      I see that the EU letter of clarity that Mrs May wanted has now arrived (see Guido Fawkes web site)

      And it states that the EU will set out the terms for discussion, of the next series of talks “the Political agreement”, if the withdrawal agreement is voted through.


      An absolute sister for Mrs May or at least should be !

      Does anybody still think we will have any control left at all, if they vote for Mays surrender document.l

      • Gobshitery
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        Alan jutson..yes..well what do you expect..the EU is a bloc of 500 million..you don’t expect they are going to play second fiddle to UK 50 million. You see this is the problem..there were those here who thought we were always going to be able to get a partnership of equals with them – but that was not going to happen. We are shortly to be the third party outside the door looking for a new deal that will have to be negotiated, but for the moment we will have to pass by the tradesman entrance

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:35 pm | Permalink


          No reason to act as a third party no matter what the population sizes are, sorry I simply do not agree.
          No other Nation outside the EU is paying what the Eu demand of us, and also accept EU rules in their own Country, and many are far far smaller than us.

          The problem is our negotiators do not believe in our Country as much as other nations do theirs.

        • NickC
          Posted January 15, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          Gobshite, No I never thought it would be a partnership of equals, which is why I always said (from 2003) we had to just walk away and actually leave the EU treaties first.

          It’s as simple as day – in any negotiation, if you want something from the other side you will have to give something in return. What the EU wants in return is our subjugation. That is a price not worth paying. So we must walk.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        “sister” should read disaster

        predictive text which alters after you have typed in, strikes again !

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        Dear Alan–I say stay in the EU if we must, temporarily of course–absolutely anything rather than that atrocious humiliating agreement–the minds of my friends in America simply boggle at what is being proposed–total insanity

        • Original Richard
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          We don’t have to sign this “atrocious” and treacherous Withdrawal Agreement.

          We can leave with “no deal”.

          Nothing will happen the following day. The sun will rise and everything will go on as before.


          Because we are fully compliant with all EU regulations and neither the EU nor the UK will want chaos.

          Both sides will want planes to fly, borders to be open and trade to continue and all changes will happen gradually.

          It’s just too difficult to do anything else and insufficient preparations have been made by either the UK or the EU.

          Both Mr. Varadkar and Mr. Juncker have said there will be no “hard” border even in the event of a “no deal”.

  3. Mark B
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    No mention of the fact that BREXIT was not a party political political decision but, a national one by the people. The Withdrawal Agreement, or so called ‘deal’, does not deliver BREXIT. Ergo all MP’s must vote against.

    On point two I would like to say, that CMD could make that promise because :

    a) It was one that he knew he could not keep since, EVER CLOSER UNION is enshrined in the Treaty of Rome and all subsequent treaties and therefore, takes precedence.

    b) EU Laws are passed by Statutory Instruments and therefore do not pass through parliament. They are just waved through unchanged and no one ever sees them let alone changes them. Not that they can change them that is.

    c) Once in power, as we has seen both past and present, governments can abandon their manifesto pledges as they are not legally binding. Pitty therefore that we the people who give them power have no Three Line Whip of our own. And I would just settle for just one whip to beat the buggers into submission (joke).

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Mark B,

      In essence if the Withdrawal Agreement is voted though, I would suggest that The House of Commons and The House of Lords are disbanded as they are clear irrelevant to democracy in England.

      • hefner
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        And do you really think that the group of happy campers commenting every day on this site should be the ones taking political decisions?

        • Edward2
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

          Couldn’t do any worse.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted January 15, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

          With May’s “deal” may as well just have direct rule from Brussels (& Berlin)

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      @Mark B

      Your point (b). It does not have to be that way. For instance in Germany the Supreme Court scrutinizes EU regulations and if they decide against, Germany cannot accept that regulation, including treaty changes. The UK’s internal narrangements are to blame here.

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        You will find that facility is unique to Germany. The EU and it’s ECJ puppet would not dare bring them to heel. Europe, dominated by the Germans, has been a recurring ambition and at an enormous cost.

      • Dennis
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

        ‘Your point (b). It does not have to be that way. For instance in Germany the Supreme Court scrutinizes EU regulations and if they decide against, Germany cannot accept that regulation, including treaty changes. The UK’s internal arrangements are to blame here.’

        If this is correct then it is a bombshell, no? Who has ever heard of it as it seems never to have been aired on the media etc. And there is no comment here from anyone including JR!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink


        “In Solange II[10] the German Constitutional Court held that so long as (German: solange) EU law had a level of protection of fundamental rights substantially in concurrence with the protections afforded by the German constitution they would no longer review specific Union acts in light of their own constitution.”

      • NickC
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Rien, That means Germany is able to pick and choose EU laws via its Supreme Court. If so, either every EU law rejected by Germany must be scrapped for the entire EU, or every other state has to obey that EU law but Germany has an opt out. So how many opt-outs has Germany accumulated by now – hundreds? Or perhaps you are just waffling.

      • mancunius
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        No, you’re wrong: the Verfassungsgericht does not actively examine EU directives. That is not its remit and never has been.
        It does not scrutinise any EU law, unless a complaint has been brought before it that an EU or ECB measure (or a new treaty clause) is incompatible with the Grundgesetz (German Constitution) – e.g. in 2011 the further aid package for Greece, 2012 the Stability Mechanism, 2018 the Banking Union.
        It works slowly, taking months, sometimes years after the complaint is raised to reach a decision, and has interest in a general scrutiny of the EU’s decisions and directives.

        • mancunius
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

          “has no interest in a general scrutiny” etc

      • Dennis
        Posted January 15, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Germany has backed down on their complaints so nothing to see here. Check out also Solange I,II,III.

  4. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    On the subject of project fear. My friend is finding it hard to obtain a certain prescription drug and blamed it on ‘this thing with the EU’. I said not to be silly as we hadn’t even left and that would not be the reason. I did a bit of research and found an article in the Telegraph written in 2014 reporting on the drug she used and others which were in short supply because the company who were supposed to be selling them to the NHS were selling them to a higher bidder elsewhere in the world. I can see the shortage of medicines will be a scenario easily manipulated to look like a Brexit problem when wanted to. In 2014 the referendum had t even been thought of and yet people automatically blame Brexit.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Have personally had massive trouble over last ten years or so with meds being changed or withdrawn completely because EU altered licensing rules. EU regs put paid to a lot of OTC remedies (probably because pharma want to TM certain natural ingredients ) so the whole med has been banned until reformulated leaving out the ingredient in question. Very popular OTC migraine tab rendered much less effective in this way.So it is not Brexit’s fault!! Not even happened yet and May’s “Deal” certainly isn’t Brexit!

      • David in Kent
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        If anything, Brexit should help with this problem. Current EU regulations make it very expensive to gain approval for an ingredient, whether it is OTC or Rx, whether it has been used untested for years or is brand new. When we leave we will need to re-establish our own regulatory agency with its own set of rules. Of course we couldn’t stray too far from the FDA or EMA rule book but we could certainly make it easier in some areas, for example by allowing molecules which have been used for years to be grandfathered.

        • Everhopeful
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Sounds much better. Taking back control. Lovely!

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      BBC at it again with *despite Brexit* news. This time over restaurant business being up.

      “Ah. This will be because families suffering hardship will not forgo small luxuries.”

      Well having experienced bailiff type hardship with a young family I can confirm that:

      A) A restaurant meal is not a *small* luxury (at well over £100 for four.)

      B) Hard up people DO forgo restaurant meals – one of the first things to ditch in fact.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

        Huge snowfalls in Austria despite snow being a thing of the past.

        However a winter’s day in Southern England where the temperature goes a couple of degrees above normal (10 degree C – double figures!) is above “where they should be at this time year” – due to Global Warming.

      • rose
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        We didn’t go out to restaurants in the past but didn’t consider ourselves hard up. If we had, we might have been!

  5. Peter
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    Lets hope the Withdrawal Agreement is – as expected – defeated. It is not Brexit.

    After that there will be new battles to fight.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

      If it does go through we will surely get Corbyn rather soon. This as May and (highest taxes for 40 years) P Hammond will have destroyed the Tory party in the John Major style once again. Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP will then blame all the let’s be Venezuela problems created by their insane economic policies on Theresa’s appalling EU deal and legacy.

      The Tory party need to become a party with a positive uplifting vision. A Real Brexit, low taxation, bonfire of red tape, pro jobs, law and order & a much smaller government party. The complete opposite of the socialist May and Hammond agenda. The Conservatives would then win the next election very easily indeed.

      The choice at the next election should be:- Do you want the UK to be more like Singapore (GDP per cap approaching $100K) or Venezuela circa $6K and declining (with inflation approaching one million % and many other appalling problems).

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        @ fedupsoutherner

        Another thought: maybe UK emergency stockpiling (no deal preparations) is causing shortages in other parts of the EU..

        • eeyore
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

          A pertinent comment. We in Britain are fixated on our own difficulties with Brexit and forget it causes grave problems elsewhere too.

          Indeed, one might even wonder if the best reason of all for leaving is this profound incapacity of each side to understand where on earth the other is coming from, and what on earth they think they are up to.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

          Rien. That is not my concern. You fret too much over the EU. I’m only interested in the UK. I don’t see the EU being too bothered about us.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        @ Lifelogic

        The UK is already more like Singapore than like Venezuela. Few countries can emulate Venezuela. Of course it is nosensical to suggest that the UK could emulates Singapore. The UK dos not have the institutions or the financial capacity. Not hard to turn the UK in a low wage country but that does not make it a Singapore..

      • MB
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Unfortunately, I’m not at all sure that the Tory party would win a GE with that sort of manifetso.
        There are now too many people in UK who have a vested interest in more government, higher taxes, more immigration and so on. These people would vote Labour or for some other socialst type of party such as the current so called Conservatives.

      • Martin R
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        If the Tory Party said they had become the party of uplifting vision how many people do you suppose would believe them after years of cynical betrayals?

    • JoolsB
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The only worry then is that deluded, pathetic, tin eared May will just keep tweaking her surrender document until the majority of equally pathetic Euro loving MPs eventually vote for it in enough numbers for it to go through. After all, they are terrified of the so called ‘no deal’ option because they have no faith in our country or belief in themselves to be able to run the country without the EU telling them what to do.

      • NickC
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        JoolsB, Those Tory MPs who vote for Theresa May’s “deal” because they do not believe themselves able to run the country, are probably right.

  6. James
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Opposing a measure that violates Manifesto pledges that were made to gain election is an honourable course of action. You should be commended for this. Hopefully the measure in question will be defeated. If it is not defeated it would seem to beg the question as to whether there would be any honourable recourse other than giving up the party whip.

  7. Bertram
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I wish you success in persuading other MPs to vote down Mrs May’s deal – becuase it is NOT a deal. It is an agreement that we will be subject to the EU’s laws for a long time into the future, potentially for ever in the case of the Irish backstop, with no say in the matter and an obligation to pay for the privilege. I struggle to see how anyone could vote in favour!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Bertram, Agreed.

      Clearly any MP that votes for Mrs May’s deal has not read it cover to cover and if they have certainly don’t understand the implications contained within.

      Not to mention the Political Declaration, a never to be delivered “wish list”.

  8. Bob Dixon
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    I wish my MP Jonathan Djogney was as principled as your self. I have written to him several
    times over the last few days.He tells me he will vote for the Withdrawl bill. Shame on him.

    • Cerberus
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      I’ve had no reply from Lucy Frazer but it is rumoured she will support the WA as she has a government post. She represents a leave constituency.

  9. Dominic
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    At the heart of this most existential and fundamental issue is the future of our nation, its sovereignty and its independence. The British nation and our identity is under attack by a political clique determined to crush its unique status and turn it into a mere economic region of a greater supranational entity

    May is simply another member of a long line of Europhile politicians that have entered into our Parliament and our politics, infected it with their pro-EU creed and then disappeared into obscurity after they had deliberately caused considerable damage to the constitution and our system of government

    At the heart of today’s impasse is that most offensive of all British PM’s, Theresa May. Her connivances. Her lies. Her shameless demeanour knowing full well that when she says she’s delivering Brexit she knows full that she isn’t.

    Her WA must be defeated or this country is finished. Her WA must be defeated or British democracy will splinter and crack.

    And when this shameful piece of legislation is defeated May must be brought to heel and then booted into political obscurity along with the offensive Grieve, Clarke, Bercow and all the other grotesque Tory MPs who sit in this most hallowed of places while doing the bidding of a political entity based in another country

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Dominic. Hear, hear a thousand times

    • James bertram
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      I just emailed your words to my MP Anne Milton (A Remainer – she keeps suggesting a second referendum is the way to go). Thanks for expressing my thoughts so well.

    • Timaction
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink


  10. eeyore
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Those who have read the 585-page WA will have noted there is no contents page and no index. These omissions make it effectively impossible to read carefully or to check one provision against another. They can only be deliberate.

    This document was drafted by the EU. I don’t believe any MP without legal training can hope to understand it. Tomorrow they will be asked to sign off on something they cannot have read or understood. Our future hangs on their decision.


    • Stred
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Others have published an index and there have been three legal analyses, all of which show that the WA is toxic. If MPs like Djangogly, who are lawyers, vote for this capitulation, they are finished. They will be known as surrender monkeys, quislings, spineless jellyfish, duplicitous liars and welchers.

      If the politicians do as Brussels plots and fix a second referendum, doubtless rigged, it will be fought bitterly and a new conservative party will emerge from the ashes of the corrupted corpse.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        @ Stred

        You left out backstabbing and kippers

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink


    • Christine
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      It wouldn’t be the first time MPs cast a crucial vote without having any idea what it is they are voting on. However, as Sir John has said on the floor, the HoC is on trial right now and I fear very much for the future of democracy. All those to whom I speak about this are deeply concerned about this situation. Any of the possible scenarios that TM has floated would be a complete disaster for this country. The only acceptable solution is to leave without a deal. No delay, no renegotiation, no months and years in limbo. The people of this country will simply not accept anything else.

      • margaret howard
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink


        ” The people of this country will simply not accept anything else.”

        Nearly half of us voted Remain. Over 30m citizens had no vote and seeing that they were the young and future workers and wealth providers of this country they will soon outnumber the mostly old and retirees who will have gone having helped to push us towards the abyss.

        EXIT BREXIT!!!!!!

        • Edward2
          Posted January 15, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

          You assume those who did not vote in the referendum are all like you Margaret.
          For all you know they might all be remain voters.

    • bigneil
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      With people able to jump out of lorries or just roll up onto the beach and get rewarded with a free life – -there is no future for England.

      • Anonymous
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        It’s what most in the Tory party want otherwise it wouldn’t be happening. Stop voting for it.

        Cameron uncorked the bottle at Libya.

        • Mitchel
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

          With his good friend Sarkozy- “Vive la liberte,vive la Libie”

          I wonder if either of them have been back for a long weekend since-I’m sure Carla and SamCam would love it there now it’s been re-modelled to give it the distressed look !

    • Alison
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Eeyore, quite. (1) Facts4EU have done an index (really a contents page), article “Who produces a 585 page document with no index ..? at
      You may have to scroll down.
      (2) Well, legal agreements can be dense. But this one seems deliberately opaque and worse, with so many cross-references and also references to external agreements.
      My most hated example is re fishing/our waters. The NI protocol’s Art. 6(1), on p311 btm para 3 states effectively that the UK must conclude & ratify an agreement on access to our waters and ‘fishing opportunities’ before 1 July 2020. But Art 185 of the main agreement, on application of the agreement, states that that ‘last sentence of art.6(1) of the NI protocol shall apply from entry into force of the full agreement.
      Why isn’t there an article in the main agreement saying that the UK must ratify a fishing/waters agreement by 1-7-2020?? obfuscation surely ..

    • NickC
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      Eeyore, An Table of Contents (ToC or index) for the DWA (vs 0) was prepared in November last year by my wife. It is on facts4eu.org at:


  11. Alan Jutson
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Thank you, I hope many More Mp’s do likewise and vote against the Withdrawal Agreement.

    It is the only option unless you want continuing chaos n for years and to be governed by a foreign power block which does not have our real interests at heart.

    • margaret howard
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink


      “to be governed by a foreign power block”

      What a ridiculous claim. We are NOT run by a ‘foreign power bloc’ but over 40 years ago joined the world’s wealthiest trading bloc which took us from being known as ‘the sick man of Europe’ into the 5th biggest economy, now alas already dropped into 7th place.

      • Steve
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard

        “to be governed by a foreign power block”
        “What a ridiculous claim.”

        We are, haven’t you noticed?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink


        “ridiculous claim”

        Really ?

        Given many of our laws, rules and regulations are sent over from Brussels which we cannot alter and we have to pay each year whatever they ask as a fee, what would you call that, if it is not being governed by others.
        Wait until budgets, tax rates, and a whole host of other constraints are set by them, and perhaps you may feel different.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        You keep cutting and pasting the same nonsense.
        Whilst in the EU we have had recessions crashes years if low growth.
        In your eyes, any good events are because of the EU and any bad events are our own fault.
        The EU has legal supremacy over the UK
        That is a fact.
        Don’t keep denying it.

      • NickC
        Posted January 15, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Declaration 17 of the Lisbon treaty (TEU and TFEU) states that EU law has primacy over the law of member states. So we are run by a foreign power bloc.

        Moreover we were the world’s fifth biggest economy when we joined the EEC. Now after 46 years in the EU we are 7th and dropping as you say.

  12. jerry
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Not for me to comment Sir John, not being a constituent, but I’m sure those who are fully understood your long standing position and made their decision accordingly.

    As for me, the problem is the WA, and yes by extension TM her self;
    No Brexit is far better than the WA, we keep our vote and A50 is still available.
    A WTO ‘No Deal’ exit is far better than No Brexit.

    • James
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      It is more than a little worrying to hear “assurances” from the EU and Mrs May to the effect that the Backstop (if entered into) is intended as only a “temporary measure”. Income tax was introduced in 1799 by the then Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, as only a “temporary measure” to cover the cost of the Napoleonic Wars.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        James. If the eu are serious about the back stop not being needed then why don’t they take it out of the WA?

    • Edward2
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      Correct Jerry.
      Your last paragraph sums it up really well.

  13. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    One of the most militant remoaners is Mr Vince Cable. He proposes that there should be a second referendum, with a choice between Mrs May’s deal and Remain. I have news for Mr Cable. No Deal would have to be on the ballot paper, otherwise there will be people wh0 (would get very angry ed). If a second referendum were to offer a three or four way choice, how would the result be interpreted? For example, 34% for Remain, 33% for No Deal and 33% for Mrs May’s deal would (should) present Mr Cable and his ilk with a problem.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      There’s a simple solution. It’s called preference voting. You rank the options in order of preference (first choice, second choice etc.).

      • Dennis
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        What second choice if that or those are unacceptable? Having that proposal is Ok if the choice is between having a vanilla or a chocolate ice cream or other trivial choices.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted January 15, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

          If only one of the choices is acceptable to you, then you simply vote for that one only.

          Preference voting doesn’t require you to rank every options, just the ones you want to.

  14. Caterpillar
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    You are correct to vote against.
    The PM is reported to be earning that if her AS is voted down then Parliament is likely to stop Brexit – is this tittle tattle or are there routes for MPs to actually stop the WTO/clean/no-deal alternative? if MPs will be able to block and delay Brexit is a strategy ready to prevent this?

    • Jagman84
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I am just curious how they think that they can stop Brexit. It was passed into law by a big majority of both Labour and Tory MPs. We were always going to leave with no trade deal with the EU as they cannot negotiate with a current member. Political and economic isssues are so intrrlinked that the WA is pointless (for the UK) in isolation. WTO is a stepping stone to a trade deal with the EU, not the final destination.

  15. Dave Andrews
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Voting for your constituents first, the country second and party third is a rare policy from MPs it seems.
    My observation is that they will vote for self first (save their seat and secure their political career), party second and people third, whilst patronising us they are doing what is best.
    Some also display virtually religious adoration of the EU, which may even trump their self-interest. I just can’t understand it, it’s as if they’ve been bewitched.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    A very fair and logical approach. If only they were all like you!
    This feels like our one and only opportunity to make a clean break from the EU so I hope all goes well for the vote.
    Fingers crossed.

  17. Kevin
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    BBC reports that Theresa May will say today that Parliament is more likely to “block Brexit” than “let the UK leave without a deal”, which, of course, is Brexit. (The UK voted to leave in spite of Mr. Juncker’s warning, the day before, that “out is out”, and that the UK would not get a better deal than the one negotiated by David Cameron.)

    This is surely an admission that Mrs. May cannot govern and should therefore resign.

  18. Richard
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Pleased to here brexiters recognise leaving with Mays deal is worse than staying with the deal we already have. Just one small step to then finally recognising leaving with no deal is even worse, and stop blathering on about the referendum being ‘the will of the people’. You were sold a lie.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      You really need to catch up – it is enshrined in our statute law that we will leave the EU at 11 pm on March 29th 2019, with or without a withdrawal agreement makes no difference to that, and that cannot now be prevented except at the instigation of the same person who is trying so hard to stir up worries that it may somehow be prevented unless MPs accept her rubbish withdrawal agreement. This is in the same way that she has tried to stir up worries that a hard border may in some unspecified way spontaneously re-emerge on the island of Ireland even though both the UK and Irish governments have said that they have no intention of doing anything to create a hard border, and in the case of the UK that commitment has even been enshrined in statute law. You are the one being sold lies.

      • acorn
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        The EU has forty land frontiers with “third countries” if you disregard two de-facto frontiers in Cyprus. Ireland-Northern Ireland will be number forty-one.

        Exactly the same risk assessments will be carried out on that border just like all the other EU borders. Don’t be surprised if it ends up with the standard EU border installation, plus or minus a bit, as the other forty. Varadkar won’t get much of a say in it.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted January 15, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

          If that is the stupid decision of the EU, in clear breach of its obligations under Article 7.4 of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, then that will be its stupid decision – not ours – and should be exposed as stupid, not just accepted as if whatever the EU decides must be right in the way that Theresa May still persists in doing.

          • acorn
            Posted January 15, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

            Article 7.7 TFA is the one that matters for the NI border.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted January 18, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

            Do you mean this?

            “Trade Facilitation Measures for Authorized Operators”

            If so then I would agree that is also important, and like 7.4 it is also an important provision to which the EU and all its member states have committed themselves.

    • I Turner
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      No one sold me anything Richard – I and many like me had already seen the EU (and Euro) for the fatally flawed political projects they are. This is becoming more apparent as time passes and pressures across Europe continue to grow. We can leave this particular ‘Titanic’ now with some form of order – or stay on board and go down mid-ocean. Then we will see what a “cliff edge” really looks like!

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Once the referendum was set the ‘deal that we already have’ was over.

      The EU is a ratchet.

      A Remain result would have been a mandate for full integration, Euro, Schengen the lot.

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

        Absolutely correct on all points.

    • roger
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

      The lie was sold by Edward Heath, continued by each and every one of his successors, and then for over forty years of further duplicitous dealings that gave away our birth rights, we were bound willy nilly to a bunch of continental nations that wherever and whenever they could, did whatever they could to do us down.
      The mask has slipped and over the past three years the true face of Europe has been revealed, first the contempt in their treatment of Cameron and then their smirking humiliation of May.
      I feel no compassion for Cameron, the wee timorous beastie, nor for May, the great procrastinator, neither of whom had the wit or belly for the fight, but I do object to the greater national insult that the EU has persistently and gratuitously thrown at my ambassadors and by association at me.
      I for one will never, never, never accept the yoke of a European Union of countries that have learnt nothing from the past two hundred years.

  19. George Brooks
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Very clearly explained Sir John and thank you.

    The WA is a National suicide note and it would cripple the UK until the EU falls apart, which I believe it will do, in the next 10 to 20 years.

  20. agrictola
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Good Morning Britain this morning. Lord Mandleson, recipient of a fat EU pension reiterating all the old arguments that we did not know what we were voting for but we would if we did it again. This over sauced with apocalyptic predictions should we be foolish enough to just leave on WTO terms. I love the way he strains to be afable.
    Followed by Esther McVey who talked a lot of sense.I just hope the great british public appreciated what they were hearing.
    I would like it all to have been followed with an Anthony Bamford interview because he is typical of those who might have to trade with the EU on WTO terms. Most important he knows what he is talking about and is basically only interested in selling diggers.

    • Old person
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      I trust you have seen the Spectator USA 40 Horrors analysis of the Withdrawal Agreement.

      10. The Mandelson Pension Clause: The UK must promise never to tax former EU officials based here – such as Peter Mandelson or Neil Kinnock – on their E.U. pensions, or tax any current Brussels bureaucrats on their salaries. The EU and its employees are to be immune to our tax laws. (Article 104)

      Read and weep.

      • Chris
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes, you have to look overseas for some common sense and integrity and wisdom. President Trump knows far more about the EU political project and the huge damage it has done the UK and its people, resulting in us giving up our sovereignty and being restricted in our trade, and swamped with bureaucracy and regulations. The customs union on which it is based is an out of date concept for the 21st century.

        P Trump is far wiser, far more principled and far more courageous than our own PM who seems to have signed herself up to the EU project aka the deep state project. Interesting to note that Boris seems to be the first UK politician to actually acknowledge today the presence of the deep state and its role in our current disastrous situation. Make no mistake, the deep state agenda encompasses/requires that sovereignty is ceded to the political elite. That is what Theresa May is enabling. It is a disgrace, and all those Tory MPs supporting her should hang their heads in shame.

  21. agrictola
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Integrity is all. You clearly set out the modus operandi for all MPs. Sad that so few of them understand their responsibilities.

  22. Shieldsman
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Parliament in a Pickle.
    Article 50 as drafted by the ex diplomat Lord Kerr was a shoddy piece of work inserted into the Lisbon Treaty to allow a State to withdraw on the terms set by the Commission.
    The Cameron and May Governments should have paid more attention to paragraph 2 in Article 50. “In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union”. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3)[10] of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
    This is exactly what has happened. It gave the upper hand to the Commission negotiators enabling them to write the withdrawal terms. All the PM’s red lines disappeared and left her with the agreement she rightly cannot get through Parliament.
    The two year period did not stipulate that the future relationship (political declaration) should be concluded, only the withdrawal terms.

    • rose
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      This is why we should not have used article 50. We should just have repealed the 1972 Act and sent a letter. The Treaty says a country can withdraw in accordance with its own constitutional arrangements and that is what PM Redwood would have done.

  23. Adam
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement is equivalent to the Miliband Ed Stone: a symbol of failure.

  24. ferdinand
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The public’s view of manifestos has deteriorated to a “suggestion list” rather than a promise, and that accounts for why so many now distrust MPs.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      @ ferdinand

      It has never been different.

  25. David Webb
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement is just an expensive and humiliating form of Remain. There is no realistic means of escape from it other than through rejoining the EU entirely on Brussels’ terms.

    In the meantime it will surely lead to the dissolution of the Union.

    Thank you, Sir John. I hope a large number of your colleagues take the same view.

  26. Turboterrier.
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Well Sir John I think we are experiencing what I for one thought impossible.

    The dying throes of a once great party totally destroyed from within by elected members all two faced and gutless to admit that they never had any intention of honouring the referendum and the party manifesto at the last election working within their own private little cells like the fifth columnists they truly are.

    You were so right the other day at the beginning of that great speech the other day when you reminded the house that they were on trial and that the electorate are losing rapidly faith in our electoral system.

    All parties have got to really rethink the way they behave and operate within parliament that is always assuming the damage being done by the present elected members does not ultimately destroy parliament itself as the population just become apathetic to the whole electoral process and refuse to vote on the premise that collectively parliament is not working for the best outcomes for the people and our one great nation.

    When this great mess is finally resolved very few members will be able to hold their head up high and be proud of their actions.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      They have in the main shown just how wholly unfit they are to represent us. The selection process is clearly at fault. It excludes good people of strength and integrity, and puts in place weakling easily manipulated sock puppets.

      I listened to Rory Stewart on short prison sentences and he could have been straight from NACRO or the Prison Reform Trust.

      The Tory party stopped being the natural party of government many years ago as it drifted towards liberalism. I doubt if it will have much resonance with the wider public in the years ahead. It’s not something that commands my respect, save for one or two notable exceptions.

  27. William Long
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    As ever, a clear and logical explanation. All MPs should see it and reflect on it. I must say that I think a General Election is a very likely outcome. Much as I hate to say it, I do not think Mr Corbin could make as great a mess of Brexit as Mrs May has done, and he has to get out before he can do many of the things he wants to. I would now actually regard her winning a General Election as a disaster.

  28. Shieldsman
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Planes will not Fly
    Strangely, this is currently a likelihood.
    On 1st April under EU teminology the UK becomes a third Country, ceasing to be a Community member or part of the ECAA.
    The Commission is proposing a Regulation to ensure temporarily, for 12 months, the provision of certain air services between the United Kingdom and the EU27 Member States.
    The UK as an ICAO  Council Member cannot legally accept this, and must insist on a new ICAO bilateral ASA which will be permanent. 
    The EU Commissioner for Mobility and Transport, Violeta Bulc has yet to
    sign a new ICAO bilateral Air Service Agreement.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Sounds Ok to me:

      So no EU airline will be able to land in the UK, poor old ROI and Ryan Air

    • L Jones
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      It seems Project Fear Mark I/II/III/IV/V/VI (delete as appropriate) has you in thrall! Perhaps someone should tell the travel companies who are still busily selling flights and holidays through 2019 and 2020.

      Tell them. They obviously don’t know – they might appreciate your input.

  29. Ban MPs
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Gove is never going to PM is that why he is punishing us all with his nanny state tyranny of banning wood burning. Something humans have been doing for millions of years?

    • James bertram
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Globally, more than three billion people still depend on food cooked over polluting open fires and inefficient stoves, using fuels such as wood, charcoal, coal, and kerosene. The toxic emissions from these cooking fires cause dramatic health, climate, economic, and environmental impacts, including some four million deaths each year. Women and girls, who are disproportionately affected, often spend hours each day cooking, inhaling toxic smoke, and gathering fuel. Cooking is also a leading cause of air pollution, responsible for up to 25 percent of outdoor air pollution in some countries.

      “It’s no secret – progress on clean cooking remains painfully slow. It’s long past time for this to change,” said Dymphna van der Lans, CEO of the Clean Cooking Alliance. “No one’s life should be limited by how they cook. Addressing this global crisis will require billions of dollars in added investment, as well as a renewed sense of urgency. The Clean Cooking Alliance is focused on fulfilling both of these needs in collaboration with partners, as we work together toward achieving universal access to clean cooking by 2030.”

      • Stred
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Exactly. The WTO should be concentrating on putting flues and clean fuel for cooking and heating for to poor in heavily polluted countries. The levels of air pollution in China, India, Nigeria and Mexico are often st levels over 1000, whereas in the US and Europe they are usually around 30 and rise to 100 on the few days when there is no wind.

        In Central London, all of the measures to ban cars, gas boilers, woodburners, and other combustion are estimated to increase lifespans by months for persons living 80 years in the ULEZ zone, which is to be extended to the ring road. This will hugely increase costs for business. We have much cleaner air than in the past. PMs, NO2 and SO2 have reduced.

      • Dennis
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        ‘Gove is never going to PM is that why he is punishing us all with his nanny state tyranny of banning wood burning. Something humans have been doing for millions of years?’

        Yes although bad for the cook and near bystanders but not for non cooks if the population was drastically reduced – over consumption and pollution would not be a problem and have natural resources lasting for millenia more if not for ever.

      • Russ
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Globally, more than three billion people still depend on food cooked over polluting open fires and inefficient stoves

        this is England, no one is forcing women and girls to cook on open fires in the street.

    • matthu
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      Gove is also talking of banning scented candles … How much damage do scented candles do to the environment when compared e.g. to fireworks?

      • L Jones
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Or compared with, eg, burning coal? (Germany take note.)

    • Chris
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Gove has moved on to the perils of scented candles. Quite beyond belief on the eve of the Brexit vote. Perhaps he really is on a different planet.

  30. The PrangWizard
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    May is up to her dirty tricks again with the planned statement to parliament. In my view her criminal mind will continue with the threats and intimidation and she will no doubt claim she has got some significant concession. She remains a major danger to our democracy and our sovereignty; she is the danger, not others as she claims. It cannot be doubted surely that she has been working all along to keep us shackled to the EU in one way or another. Her devious distortions know no limit.

    In days long ago she would no longer be around to do this sort of thing, she would have fallen, never to rise again. I wonder how many MPs will weak enough and sell out to add to the four Tories who have already done so. She will have been much emboldened by them.

    This agreement must be voted down or our nation and self respect is lost forever.

  31. Dominic
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    It is time to bring down this government, this PM and their pro-EU conspirators who intend to push ahead in their plan to destroy Brexit

    The EU’s now said they intend to delay Brexit. Well, it is NOT A DECISION FOR THE EU. The decision to leave was made by the British people in 2016.

    Brexit MPs need to confront this vile PM, to confront her lies and depose her otherwise this sacred nation will never be free of direct interference in our affairs by a foreign body

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Bring it down and have a fresh general election, is that what you want?

      • rose
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        The government can be brought down without an election.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

          It can but will it?

        • NickC
          Posted January 15, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

          Actually, Theresa May can be brought down without a general election.

          • rose
            Posted January 15, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

            And the Cabinet should resign with her because they are complicit.

    • James bertram
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Vote down May’s shameful WA overwhelmingly.
      Tories to kick May out before the end of the week.
      Have a quick leadership contest with one Remain and one Leave candidate (Geoffrey Cox).
      Vote in Geoffrey Cox.
      Leave on 29th March with managed WTO deal. No payment of £39 Billion
      Negotiate Free Trade Agreement with EU from there.

      Very simple really.
      MPs who don’t get this clearly have no intention of implementing Brexit.

      • Cerberus
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        Thought Cox’s credibility had gone following his explanation of the legal aspects of the WA.

  32. A.Sedgwick
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Blindingly obvious should be a free vote, if my memory is correct Blair gave one on Iraq.

    A second referendum looking plausible and this disastrous agreement should not be an option, it should simply be WTO Leave or Remain.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      @ A.Sedgwick.

      That is right: a clear choicebetween the status quo and pure “no deal”. I wonder what the result would be. But there is no time and insufficient support. Besides, anything that could lead to the UK selecting “remain” after all after the two year period past the art 50 notice would have elapsed is simply too complicated to consider. Most likely the UK would have to reapply as indicated previously by the EU Commission President.

      • Cerberus
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        The result was 52% for WTO-terms and 48% for remain. Try your sophistry somewhere else.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


          Not sure what you mean by sophistry (= subly deceptive reasoning). This is not contested and certainly not (meant to be) deceptiv. Beauty is in the eyes of…?

          Incidentally, WTO was not on the ballot. Leave was. You can leave and join the Norwegians. Then you still will have left the club.

          • Edward2
            Posted January 15, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

            The EU say the WA sets out the only option.
            A Norway type arrangement is rejected by the EU.

          • Steve
            Posted January 15, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            Rien Huizer

            “Not sure what you mean by sophistry”

            Rien, it’s what is practiced by people who pretend to be sophisticated.

  33. Peter Martin
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    I think the only way we can leave is with a no-deal Brexit. Yet the Remainers are repeatedly saying:

    “no deal is just not a viable, acceptable option under any circumstances.”

    If this is the case why did nearly all Remainer MPs vote for the referendum to take place in early 2016?

    There was always a strong possibility that Leave would win and we’d end up negotiating some sort of leaving deal with the EU. It’s just game theory 101 that there has to be the option of ‘no-deal’. If you don’t believe that try it out for yourself next time you are negotiating a pay level, or a house or car sale. If you say in advance that you won’t accept no-deal you’ll definitely get a bad deal. Why wouldn’t you?

    The honest thing Remainers should have said at the time, if they really thought this, was that Britain was stuck in its arrangements with the EU and there wasn’t anything that could be done to change that. Therefore there was no point having the referendum. But they didn’t want to admit the truth about our supposed ‘voluntary membership’ of the EU.

    I don’t believe they are right. No-deal has to be an option. Its not an easy option but if we crawl back into the EU now with our tail between our legs the future will be far worse. We won’t be easily forgiven for the trouble we’ve caused!

  34. Bryan Harris
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    A great justification – but I suspect it’s more about qualms because of plans to vote against Conservative policy than anything else….

    Yes, we expect MP’s to keep allegiance with their group in Westminster, but not at the cost to the lifeblood of the United Kingdom…

    If MP’s allow this surrender to go through or impose something worse, then they are clearly not fit to be MP’s and deserve no respect.

    • Steve
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      “If MP’s allow this surrender to go through or impose something worse, then they are clearly not fit to be MP’s and deserve no respect.”

      They haven’t had any for the last two years. The amount of death threats they’re getting shows what people think of them.

      And the Cons & Labour think they’ll win a general election ? You can only laugh.

  35. Shieldsman
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    A strange argument by MP Edward Leigh.
    “I will support the Government on Tuesday in the meaningful vote. I think it is now inconceivable that this Parliament, and this Speaker, will allow the UK to leave on WTO (World Trade Organisation) terms on 29 March.

    The political impartiality of the Speaker is one of the office’s most important features – and most emulated or aspired to outside the UK. Once elected, the Speaker severs all ties with his or her former party and is in all aspects of the job a completely non-partisan figure.

    • Cerberus
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      His elevation to membership of the Privy Council apparently had nothing to do with his change of heart.

  36. Robert Eve
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Well said John – May’s deal is Brexit in name only.

  37. Alison
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Sir John, thank you.

  38. Anthony
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    But what will you do if it’s this deal or a General Election? Or this deal vs a referendum? Or this deal vs the “liaison committee” which apparently Oliver Letwin will contrive to put together.

    If we can get to no deal, fine. But what if that is taken off the table? Surely this deal is then better from the perspective of a Leaver than the other alternatives above?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      It is embedded in statute law as the default position and there is nobody who can take it off the table except at the instigation of the Prime Minister.

      If you can see that existing legal reality clearly, rather than as reflected in the distorting mirrors of the mainly pro-EU mass media, then you will also be able to see that in fact it is the liar, cheat, hypocrite and traitor that we unfortunately have as our “Brexit means Brexit” Prime Minister who is threatening to stop Brexit unless MPs accept her rubbish deal.

      Others may make noises and they may even force through Commons motions but only she has the right of initiative to propose changing the definition of “exit day” in the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, or repealing that Act:



  39. Tim Almond
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    I think it’s very disagreeable for a Conservative MP to be against Brexit or to do what is clearly thwarting it, when this was a primary manifesto commitment. Disagreements on smaller points I can see as acceptable.

    To be blunt, most voters have to deliver what they promise people. Whether they’re a chef, a mechanic or a hairdresser. They might think a client looks better with dyed hair, but they have to do what the client pays for. And they reasonably expect their mobile phone company or pizza delivery company to do what they were told.

    MPs need to fully understand this. Thinking they know better than the voters after asking those voters to give an instruction looks terrible. They fully deserve the deselections that are coming.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      @ Tim Almond

      They fully deserve the deselections that are coming.

      Will the party be confident and strong enough to enforce it?

      Don’t hold your breath. It will be same old same old.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      That is well put, Tim. It is sickening in the extreme to listen to these people telling us that they know best. That they style themselves ”remain” when the country has told them time and again that they are to support its efforts to become independent of the execrable EU, is infuriating. Would they were all as honourable as our host.

      And yes, they do fully deserve what is coming to them. I have written to my MP to tell him how I feel about his disloyalty to us – I understand he has heard the same from many other people. But he is a young career politician and has his eye on what he thinks is the main chance. He will have a rude awakening, along with many others.

    • mancunius
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Tim, There are some hairdressers out there who, when they disapprove of what the client has asked them to do, make a deliberate and painstakingly unremediable hash of it, just to have their own way.
      In the same way that May worked tirelessly for nearly three years to keep us in the EU, despite the expressed will of the majority.
      And now she flashes the mirror swiftly in front of us, so we can glimpse the horrendous and clearly deliberated mess she has made of her job.

  40. Alan Joyce
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I think it was Kenneth Clarke who, responding to a point of order by Mark Francois after the Speaker allowed Grieve’s amendment to a motion, said something like ‘some of my more excitable colleagues should calm down or think about donning a yellow vest and go outside’.

    Prophetic words perhaps.

    Having been asked to vote in the referendum and been promised by the government that it would implement their decision people may soon be rummaging around in their car boots.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      @ Alan Joyce

      people may soon be rummaging around in their car boots.

      Alan a lot of us have, mainly because all trust in the outcome being implemented has long gone. Thanks to weak leadership and incompetence driven by ignorance with a touch of arrogance from the majority of the members who see themselves above listening to the voices of the people.

  41. Atlas
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Good on you sir John !

  42. Edwardm
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    We can rely on your judgement to do the right thing by the British people.

    Mrs May is Orwellian in her doublespeak, her values and her logic are upside-down.
    Worryingly it seems that about 200 MPs support her.
    And we have Remain MPs who are brazenly frustrating the move to independence we voted for (in contravention of election manifestos) and so are behaving more like demagogues.
    What a bunch of wrong-uns.

  43. Chewy
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Noble words Sir. Just hope some of your colleagues aren’t getting a little wobbly with the last minute threats of Brexit being cancelled as more likely than a WTO exit. The sheer arrogance of it. Speaking of arrogance I’m hoping to see much more of Mr Grieve on our screens and in our media. These Remain at all costs merchants are so blinded by their objective that they aren’t thinking about the bigger picture. Currently their poisoning their cause.
    When, hopefully we get a Brexit supporting Leader and if the countries future hasn’t been stitched up, I think come the next election all prospective Conservative candidates need to be made to sign up to leaving to prevent this type of fiasco from happening again. If I recall Labour did something similar in the 80s regarding candidates signing up to the manifesto

    • mancunius
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      It seems safe to aver that Grieve does not care how arrogant he appears.

  44. Den
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    “As an MP I always try to ensure I vote for the interests of my constituents first, for the interests of the nation second and for the party I represent third”.

    If only John’s admirable principles were written into British Law to cover the duties of an MP, OUR country could claim to be a real democracy.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      @ Den

      Yes Den if only. Sadly it will never happen.

  45. Chewy
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Currently “they’re”. Crap grammar and small smart phone keyboard and GOOD LUCK!!!

  46. Andy
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    It is Mrs May’s deal or no-Brexit.

    Who’d have thought that the most vehement Tory Brexiteers would effectively opt to remain in the EU – accepting, as they all do, that the Tory pensioner Brexit deal is worse.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Only if she could get a majority of MPs to support her betrayal.


      Section 20(1):

      ““exit day” means 29 March 2019 at 11.00 p.m. (and see subsections (2) to (5))”

    • jerry
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      @Andy; Wrong again. The default exit is on WTO rules, try actually reading the legal text of Article 50 paragraph 3 of the Lisbon Treaty (see below) for goodness sake before trying to argue the toss! If no withdrawal agreement can be agreed within two years of the A50 letter being received the exiting member leaves without an agreement – in other words, on WTO rules.


      [My emphasis]
      Article 50.3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

  47. Blackie
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    What’s she talking about now- we didn’t vote to have a new deal with them we voted to leave

    • Len Grinds
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Leaving with a deal is still leaving. It is what you voted for.

      • Edward2
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        There is no deal
        It us just a withdrawal agreement.
        We voted to leave.
        This agreement is not leaving the EU

    • Iain Moore
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Indeed we did vote to leave, Parliament thought they could cut a deal with the EU, if they can’t it goes back to the default position of leave,

  48. javelin
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    A legal point.

    A legally binding Backstop will require a treaty change which will require a referendum in some EU countries. Which won’t happen before the 29th of March.

    • javelin
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      A negotiation point.

      Art 50 intended the EU to want the country to exit and therefore negotiate favourably The EU does not wish the UK to leave and therefore is not negotiating favourably.

    • javelin
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      A procedural point.

      The only 2 options open to the PM – and only the PM – is to either pull Art 50 or pull the UK out the EU before Art 50 expires. Any country can end any treaty at any time.

      So you need a new PM to stop Art 50.

    • javelin
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Legal point.

      The EU is saying it “does not want the Backstop to come into affect”. The reason they are saying this is that it is against (jus cogens) strong international law enforceable by the UN. As such the Withdrawal Agreement will fail a judicial review because any judge will not want their judgement to be overturned at the UN.

      Brexiteers need a judicial review card up their sleeve.

      • javelin
        Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

        Interesting to note that while the Speaker was given control of Parliament in 1965 the Queen retained ownership and that means the House is still registered under the Crown in the Land Registry.

        Presumably if Bercow continues to act like a thief he can be stopped from entering the commons by the law of Trespass.

        • javelin
          Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

          Just to add if the Queen stops the speaker from seizing control of Parliament then we may see the Queen asserting popular sovereigntity over Parliamentary sovereignty by banning the speaker from her property. In otherwords asserting her subjects power over Parliament.

          We may well see a ceremony paralleling the black rod whereby the speaker is refused entry to the palace.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      There is no hurry and your point is contested. The WA as a whole needs to be ratified (but probably not unanimously, although EU lawyers are aiming at that just to be sure. The ECJ will probably argue that the backstop is materially akin to a guarantee clause in an FTA (hence not a constirurional agreement). Anyway the term “Constitution” is not appropriate here.

      • NickC
        Posted January 15, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Rein, All EU law is constitutional law in the UK, see the Metric Martyrs Appeal court judgement.

  49. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Sounds like you are consistent as ever. I do not doubt that you will vote against the WA in its current form (but no surprises expected). The alternatives seem rather limited.

  50. Iain Gill
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Good to hear Boris on the radio ridiculing the government for its nanny state approach, this time to stoves and the announced ban on many types.

  51. Dominic
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    “That is something which I am not going to allow”…Dominic Grieve, today, with reference to Brexit

    A …… and a danger to our nation and our democracy.

    I though Corbyn and McDonnell were a true danger but May, Grieve and other Tory anti-Brexit plotters are even more dangerous to our country and its constitution

    You must topple this PM or else Brexit will be a mere footnote in the annals of British political history

  52. Colin
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Firstly belated congratulations Sir John, a well deserved title and honour.
    Secondly my sincere thanks for your unwavering stance against this preposterous deal that Mrs High and Mighty wants with the EU. I fail to fully understand her reasoning on this matter though several ideas come to mind, none of which justifies the treasonous outcome if she gets her way.

  53. Tom Shorrock
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Well said Sir John. The Agreement is the epitome of a “Bad Deal” and should not be allowed to stand. Local party associations, of all parties, should move to deselect those current MPs who have conspired to thwart the democratic decision delivered by the referendum.

  54. Pigment
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    The noticeable thing for psychologists is that the Labour Party went from having a RED flag when they were in spirit ANTI-EU and now have gone for a BLUE flag with delicate YELLOW stars upon it and that Tory Remainers have gone from a red, white and blue flag to a full blown blue flag with dainty yellow stars upon it.
    I’m not a psychologist but the Greens have also come out for the self-same colouring and their leadership has split in two.
    Probably nothing in it. But our flag is red white and blue. We are normal.

  55. Stred
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    Casually listening to the radio and tele while working to pay taxes for the EU bribe, HS2, families with as many children as they have, overseas aid for corrupt countries etc, two statements from ministers were surprising. Dr Fox said that British farmers would be unable to sell their beef because of the high tariffs after a no deal. Er, as Irish farmers sell a lot of beef to us and would have the tariff stop their exports cut, couldn’t we eat our beef instead? And a Richard Harrington said on Sky, after the second deal to build a desperately needed nuke failed, that fortunately we had started to build the ” brilliant” Hinckley Point nuke and it wouldn’t cost taxpayers anything. The problem is that it is much more expensive, likely to be delayed and will cost all of us as customers more. Where do they come up with this stuff?

  56. Nigel Seymour
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Sir J, We all know you will vote down the WA. However, should it go through and we begin FTA negotiations, am I correct in thinking the EU could demand another £50bn to get any deal through? This being the case then we have no unilateral legal recourse? The backstop will then be triggered by the EU after 2020 negotiations fail and will last for several years until the EU say “Okay UK, we now give you permission to leave the EU”

  57. Turboterrier.
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    At a recent press conference, Mr Salvini is reported as saying:

    “Today begins a journey that will continue in the coming months for a different Europe, for a change of the European Commission, of European policies, which puts at the centre the right to life, work, health, safety, all that the European elites, financed by [billionaire Hungarian philanthropist George] Soros and represented by Macron, deny.

    It is in the press and on the net so it must be true!! What the hell does May think she is doing when it appears the wheels are going to come off the EU train? This country needs to be well clear of this impending train smash

  58. Yorkie
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

    A strong case could be made for London and Westminster to go it alone. A kind of Independence from the UK on the lines of Scotland. You have your own Sturgeon.
    Anything else would be a distortion of what the UK thinks as a whole.

    • Yorkie
      Posted January 14, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

      You can keep your BBC and Sky News. RT doesn’t say a word of truth about Russia but we don’t live there. Apart from perfume bottles, it’s in keeping.

  59. Nigel
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    Project Fear has launched its ultimate weapon: the BBC is now saying there could be a “loo roll logjam” if we leave with no deal!

  60. BR
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Good to hear your position is as expected.

    It would be interesting to hear how you propose to deal with the intervention of Bercow and co.

    Is a government bound by a ruling that is contrary to established procedure?

  61. L Jones
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    The overwhelmingly galling thing about all this is that when we voted LEAVE it wasn’t suggested that we would leave ONLY IF we could arrange a trade deal.

    Now our much derided Prime Minister and her cohort is presenting this as if leaving were only ever dependent upon that one consideration – trade.

    To threaten the majority of voters that their decision UNEQUIVOCALLY to leave the EU would be disregarded if one bad version of a trade deal is not considered good enough – well…. the word ‘outrageous’ doesn’t even cut it.

  62. Ian
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Sir John very well said,
    What we voted for was The Manifesto, that is what we voted for , then came the Red Lines , sadly they were washed away very quickly. We are where we area ,I like millions of others would like some decent True Brexiteer like Sir John to take control of the wheel, and throw out this dissgracefull business , atleastgive us the Manifesto we voted for, but preferably.
    Get us out with No Deal on 29/3/19. And right away into WTO, we are a founding member , and we are already useing WTO for trade, it just means we know what we are doing , we are already doing it, and so is the EU .

    For Gods sake someone Grab the wheel

  63. Steve
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood

    “My main reason to vote against is the Agreement violates Manifesto pledges made to secure election”

    I agree with you Mr Redwood, it’s a fine example of dishonesty.

    Then again, was there ever an election winning political party that didn’t drop us flat on our faces as soon as they got the whiff of green leather and oak? No, there wasn’t. Every general election winner I can remember did the dirty on us.

    Did the conservatives get rid of Blair’s anti – English laws ? No. They should have, and maybe we wouldn’t be in quite such a mess now if they had.

    Regarding your good self, I know that you will vote according to your principles and that’s good enough for me.

  64. Stred
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    Did I hear Mrs May correctly, saying to Owen Patterson that his remote customs for the Irish border wouldn’t work because the EU would insist that they had to carry out sanitary inspection on plants and animals? She actually thinks that the whole UK has to accept EU law and everything else because Northern Irish cows and milk must be checked out when crossing the non existent border line. Why not say “It’s your problem if you want play silly Bs”. And did she really call Junker “his excellency” while trying to convince us that someone who said “sometimes you have to lie” has written a letter worth the paper it is written on. She may really have something missing.

  65. Bob
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    How di Britain end up with a supposedly Brexit govt crammed with EU shills?

  66. Katy Hibbert
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    Very well argued, as always. It’s good to know there are MPs who have integrity.

  67. Andy
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    I admit to being vaguely amused by the Brexiteers’ quandary.

    There remains a basic incoherence at the centre of your Brexit dream. The EU rules you hate facilitate the free and – crucially – frictionless trade you claim to love.

    Ditching the rules means adding frictions into trade. Whatever the extreme Brexiteers tell you. And adding frictions into trade makes you poorer.

    Mrs May’s deal is lousy. You all know it. But there is no better ‘Brexit’ deal because Brexit isn’t a policy – it’s a poorly defined grievance.

    So there you have it. All ‘Brexit’ solutions are worse than the status quo of EU membership. And faced with this blindingly obviously reality you have mostly turned into raging zealots.

    The sensible course is to stop and work out how to achieve what you promised considering the incoherence at Brexit’s core.

    But if you have collectively proved anything since 2016 the inability to be sensible would be it. History will be throughly damning. And rightly so.

    • Edward2
      Posted January 15, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      More nonsense from you.
      Who is “ditching rules”?
      Your whole argument is based on a false premise.

    • NickC
      Posted January 15, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Andy, You previously tried to maintain that Margaret Thatcher originated the (existing) EU single market. When that was exposed as fallacious (see her Bruges speech), you’ve come back with your current view that only EU rules facilitate free and “frictionless” trade. No, it’s perfectly possible to have free and frictionless trade without EU centralised dirigisme, see Thatcher and the WTO.

  68. Steve P
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    If they somehow managed to get a new referendum with just Remain or Mrs May deal with real leave not on the ballot paper and Article 50 postponed to give it time and with us taking part in the May European elections what should we do, boycott the poll? Remain might win on a small turnout

  69. Keith
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Brave decision John,
    Thy have looked into the Scottish mist and know our nations path?

  70. Norman
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    I was born into a nation led by Churchill, and ruled by a king, who, faced with Dunkirk, the blitz and the battle of the Atlantic, was not ashamed to call his people to prayer. The outcome is reported as ‘the Miracle of Dunkirk’.
    If we had such a nation today, a ‘No Deal’ Brexit would be, by comparison, a mere walk in the park. No-one would complain, for it would be understood that any small inconveniences were all worth it.
    What has happened to this beloved nation of our fathers – a people that is now afraid of its own shadow?
    ‘For they are a nation void of counsel, neither is there any understanding in them.’ (Deuteronomy 32.28).

  71. Baz Lloyd
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

    Not nearly enough has been made in the media about the effect of these proposed amendments to the final Brexit Motion to be voted on in the House of Commons on Tuesday night.

    One of them in particular, which has been put in by Tory Hugo Swire, and which the Government has ACCEPTED, into the main motion is (assuming the EU will still sign the agreement in the light of it), potentially, absolutely game changing.

    Given the effect it has on the implementation of the ‘backstop’ which is allegedly the reason Tory MPs are giving for voting against this, there remains no excuse for Tories voting the motion down.

    It should, arguably, be enough to satisfy even the DUP. But to be fair to them, they can quite reasonably still say it offends them politically.

    Even then however, they would be making a pretty arcane point of principle

    If they are passed, the potential effect of some other proposed amendments range from the incendiary to the miraculous.

    If certain amongst them are passed, the motion itself might no longer be left intact.

    The motion is of no legal effect anyway, but if certain of the amendments are incorporated into it, the final motion will be completely useless and might be liable to legal challenge by Hard Brexiters, or even by the Government.

    They will legitimately be able to say the procedure violates that required by the Brexit Act itself, or amounts to abuse of procedure by a public authority, i.e. Bercow (for allowing the amendments to be tabled in the first place) and by the House for voting on them without debate.

    The events of tomorrow night could be seismic but not as conclusive as we assume.

    Perhaps now this is ”not the end. It might not even be the beginning of the end. It is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”.

    • NickC
      Posted January 15, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Baz Lloyd said: “Given the effect it has on the implementation of the ‘backstop’ which is allegedly the reason Tory MPs are giving for voting against this …”.

      I hope not. Even if the “backstop” is sorted, the draft Withdrawal Agreement locks us back into the EU for its duration, without an exit clause, deprives the UK from recourse to international law, and gives no incentive to the EU to offer us a better final deal.

  72. Original Richard
    Posted January 14, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I cannot understand how over 100 Conservative MPs can be voting for this appalling, treacherous deal against the result of the referendum and their party’s GE 2017 manifesto promise.

    Many will have lied to their constituents about their support for the EU.

    No leave voter should ever vote for these MPs ever again because to do so, expecting them to act differently in the future, would be insanity.

  73. mancunius
    Posted January 15, 2019 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    I was surprised to hear Sir Desmond Swayne say in the debate today that he wanted to leave the EU, but would be thinking very carefully about whether to vote against the EU’s WA as he would find himself in the same lobby as those who opposed it because they wanted to defeat Brexit and remain.
    Of course such MPs will be voting against it. The point is to be savvy, vote the more immediate evil down, and defeat the attempted conspiracy if and when it arrives. One battle at a time. In any binary vote, motives for taking one side or the other will always be mixed, often contradictory. That does not make an evil less worthy of destruction. The EU WA itself defeats Brexit: and it simply must be defeated.
    I would urge Sir Desmond and any others who may be wavering to ‘screw their courage to the sticking-place.’

  • 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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