Questions for Remain

I am bored to tears with much of the conventional media, which simply recycle endless old Project Fear stories as if they were true, parades so called experts who always back Remain, and fail to ask any of these people the questions pro Leave would ask. The media interrupts and cross examines Leave supporters aggressively but rarely asks a difficult question of a Remain “expert” or supporter. So here’s the sort of questions they should be asked, in the interests of balance.


  1. Why do you want to give £39bn away to rich countries on the continent in return for 21 more months of talks with the EU?
  2. Why do you think the EU will give us a good deal on a future relationship in 21 months of talks after March, when they have failed to offer anything in the 2 years 9 months before March?
  3. Why will it be easier to get a good deal once we have given away the money than it is before we do so?
  4. Why did Remain tell us that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and customs union if you now say we could negotiate our way back in?
  5. If you want to stay in either the single market or customs union what do you expect the EU to demand on freedom of movement, budget contributions and adherence to EU laws?
  6. Why should there be any delays at UK ports where we import food and drugs, when the UK will be controlling the borders there and when Customs and Excise have already said they can ensure a smooth incoming border?
  7. Why didn’t the UK economy collapse into recession and massive job losses as Remain and the government predicted for the first year after a Leave vote?
  8. How would you afford the tax cuts and spending increases which Brexiteers plan from the big savings on the EU budget? Do you accept a Brexit bonus budget will boost the economy?
  9. Would you like to see lower tariffs or no tariffs on tropical produce from emerging market poorer countries, as the UK can do that once out? Wouldn’t removing all tariffs on imported comp0nents for manufacture be a great idea as well?
  10. Wouldn’t another 21 to 45 months of talks prolong the very  business uncertainty you dislike and worry about?
  11. What would you have said if Leave had refused to accept the 1975 referendum result and demanded a second referendum on the basis that Remain then lied by saying there would be  no loss of sovereignty by joining the EEC/EU?
  12. Why do you have such a low view of our country that you think we cannot govern ourselves?
  13. Is there anything the EU has done that you think is wrong or damaging? If so  why didnt you oppose or try to change it?




  1. Peter Wood
    January 27, 2019

    Sir John,

    Excellent questions all; perhaps start by asking Mrs. May….

    1. oldtimer
      January 27, 2019

      Could it be that those Remainers programmed to interrupt and not ask obvious questions belong to that group who find it intellectually challenging to distinguish one part of their anatomy from another?

      1. Hope
        January 27, 2019

        JR, Lords,Lawson and Mervin King made it clear at the outset, the U.K. Would not get a good deal from the EU. If it did the others would leave and there would be no purpose to the EU. The UK could not be seen to do well from leaving.

        The key here is that May has not after nearly three years got to the trade deal yet! She has created a servitude plan with its footings to give the UK anger bearing in round two! May has tried to create the position that it is so bad the UK would want to remain, but even now we still want to leave!

        You all failed to oust her. It was obvious over a year ago how underhand she was.

        1. Chris
          January 27, 2019

          You write your comment as if the EU is behaving unreasonably. Every organisation that you SUPPORT behaves in exactly the same way.

          All organisations give benefits to members. If a member leaves, they lose those benefits. None will offer a ‘good deal’ if by a ‘good deal’ you mean offering benefits even after leaving.

          Why do you think such behaviour is any other than normal?

          1. Chris
            January 27, 2019

            IMPORTANT FOR COMMENTER IDENTITY AND INTEGRITY: The above comment is written by a “new” Chris, and not me, who regularly posts here. Please, Mr Redwood, can you urgently install a system that protects commenters’ identity? I do not want to have comments attributed to me which I did not make. Other respectable website have this precaution i.e. you cannot register under a name already taken. It is a basic matter of security and integrity and is doubly important now that the internet is being monitored and individuals being banned by organisations/particular websites for particular comments.

            Reply No I cannot stop people using a common name like Chris. Individuals need to have clear identifiers if they are concerned about two using the same name.

          2. Hope
            January 27, 2019

            We voted for a clean break leave no strings attached with the hope of agreeing a trade deal. May as not even discussed or agreed the trade deal after 3 years! Why would anyone have any confidence she would even try after another three?

            Leave with no strings attached and then discuss a trade deal. Her servitude plan is to tie the UK into talks for years without any likelihood of ever agreeing a trade deal. In this period vast sums of money and servitude apply.

            I do not blame the EU, I blame May principally and then the likes of Hammond and Robbins. Who in their right mind could agree a ludicrous servitude plan and think it is good.

          3. M Davis
            January 27, 2019

            I think Hope is getting at our Government rather than at the EU!

          4. jerry
            January 27, 2019

            @JR reply; Can’t or don’t want to?

            Without secure contributor login of some sort it is impossible for anyone to use “clear identifiers” in such circumstances.

            Having done a quick search of the WordPress site there does appear to be plugins available that would allow commenters to leave authenticated comments.

          5. Ian
            January 28, 2019

            We could have Had
            Acording to Tusk, this was on right from the beginning ?

            May and the majority in The House have been deceitful from the very start.

            No one can be this incompetent. I would really like to know just what Reward the Remainers are due to get for the Betrayal of our people ?

          6. paul
            January 28, 2019

            They do.. it not all organisations have an Article 8 of their own constitution.. sorry treaty

      2. Peter Wood
        January 27, 2019

        The government’s ‘deal approval’ plan is progressing as intended; vis, we’re all focusing on the ‘Irish Backstop’, which already has a solution. When that’s miraculously resolved next week we’ll all be happy to sign up to Mrs. May’s terrible deal. How stupid we are.
        The EU bureaucracy are ONLY interested in the money, without it the political union of Europe will probably fail, because Germany doesn’t want to pay even more and France is already broke. Mrs May really is being taken for a fool.

        1. L Jones
          January 27, 2019

          I disagree. Mrs May isn’t being taken for a fool. She knows exactly what’s what and is doing their work for them. It is literally a case of the EU saying ”jump” and Mrs May replying ”How high shall I jump, where shall I jump, when shall I jump, should anyone jump with me – O Masters?”
          Surely she must know that she has offended and distressed the majority of Conservative voters – and many others. Doesn’t she care? She certainly hasn’t attempted to win hearts and minds, has she, even with weasel words?

          1. Margam
            January 27, 2019

            Brexit is a disaster. But the people you should be blaming are David well Get the exact same benefits we have now Davis, liam do a deal over a cup if coffee Fox, Ian Duncan german cararmakers will look after us Smith and John we hold most of the cards Redwood. Not one word of truth

          2. John Hatfield
            January 27, 2019

            There is an article in the Express today about interference by her husband. A remainer of course.

          3. M Davis
            January 27, 2019

            This as a reply to Margam (presumably from Wales), from where, they mainly voted to Leave the EU.

            Brexit needn’t be a disaster but if it is, the people you should be blaming are the Remainers, presumably you are one of them yourself!

          4. Den
            January 27, 2019

            I feel I must agree with the fact that the negotiations have certainly been a disaster but as we have not left the EU it is premature to suggest “Brexit has been a disaster”.
            If blame must be levied upon any, for the disgraceful and amateurish way the negotiations have been conducted, it is to Mrs May and her selected Remainer Cabinet that has taken it upon themselves to devalue British democracy down to the lowly status of “Hasbeen”.
            What they all underestimate is the wrath of the majority who voted to leave the EU but still await that result. Why such ‘remainer’ persons would want their country to be permanently governed by unelected Foreigners. defies our very British culture. In one way it is a pity we are not going to actual war with the EU when such traitors would be dealt with accordingly. However, I trust their Constituents will do the next best thing.

          5. paul
            January 28, 2019

            Brexit is a disaster, Margram, because the losers won’t accept the result.. the losers being the eu, Westminster and the remain voting sheeple

    2. Sir Joe Soap
      January 27, 2019

      My thoughts precisely.
      No point in blaming remainers generally when this specific remainer-in-chief could blow this away with one sentence.

      1. Hope
        January 27, 2019

        The whole of May’s servitude plan needs to be voted down again and scrapped, as first voted down. Not one jot of it is any good. May is still trying to keep the UK in the EU or as close as possible. Not half in half for out, not remaining in part. Her words. We want out out as we voted. May must stop lying she complied with the referendum. It does not wash no matter how many times she repeats it.

    3. Adam
      January 27, 2019

      Yes, a fine armoury of 13 penetrating questions. They are useful ammunition for nullifying reckless Remainer attacks. Faithful Brexiteers can use them effectively when phoning radio stations, or responding to achieve truth via facebook, Twitter & other means.

    4. Merlin
      January 27, 2019

      7. I can answer, and it remains my fear. We still haven’t left the European Union and I remain worried about the consequences for the economy. I think pontificating about Project Fear is premature.

      This ties in with all the other questions. It all comes down to the money. If you think the country is better economically by leaving, then you will think Remaining is mad. I happen to take the other point of view. I hope you are right because of point 12, I do, in fact, care about our country a great deal.

      1. Denis Cooper
        January 27, 2019

        According to George Osborne just before the referendum merely voting to leave would be enough to immediately tip us into a deep recession. He had all the resources of the Treasury at his disposal and yet he was wildly out with his forecast, wrong by about 10% of GDP after two years, so I find hard to see how anybody can now give any credence to Hammond’s similarly dire forecasts. Overall the evidence is that the government’s predictions of economic losses from leaving the EU are at best vastly exaggerated, just as their previous claims for the economic benefits of being in the EU have been vastly exaggerated, and in fact taking into account the costs they have more likely been negative.

        1. acorn
          January 27, 2019

          Alas Denis, on the 1st of April 2019 (Brexit Fools Day), you will be able to join in the chorus of Joni Mitchell’s lyric “Don’t it always seem to go
          that you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”.

          PS. Any sign of the ERG 62 Free Trade Agreement yet?

          1. Denis Cooper
            January 28, 2019

            I’ll remember your prediction, acorn, in the same way that I remember George Osborne’s false prediction.

      2. John Hatfield
        January 27, 2019

        Research carried out by eminent former Harvard economist Michael Burrage, reveals that countries which do not have a trade deal with the EU and rely on WTO rules, known as the World Trade Deal option, strongly outperform their rivals.
        Since we joined the Single Market the British economy has performed less well than it did before we joined. The EU is a parasitical organisation.

  2. Gordon Nottingham
    January 27, 2019

    Good morning John,
    I just love the way you put things, I just wish I could bang a few heads together.
    I’ve said it before but your posts should be required reading, keep up the good work.

    1. eeyore
      January 27, 2019

      Sir John has the clearest mind in politics. I’d like interviewers to ask Remainers whether they have a material interest in the EU, whether in property, business links, pension or any other form, at the start of the usually deeply respectful solicitation of their very important views.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      January 27, 2019

      Dear Gordon–Was told here the other day that letters from Sir J to the Telegraph would be useless because preaching to the converted. Don’t agree but for sake of argument assuming that is correct why doesn’t he write to the Guardian etc? Cannot believe they wouldn’t publish.

  3. Stephen Priest
    January 27, 2019

    Thank you for keeping up the pressure.

    The BBC will rarely ask these question.

    If MPs vote to extend Article 50 they will be exposed as overturning democracy.

    1. JoolsB
      January 27, 2019

      Sky is no better, I cannot bear to watch the ever smug Adam Boulton who constantly and persistently interrupts interviewees that support leave.

      1. Stephen Priest
        January 27, 2019

        Sky is worse. I stopped watching Sky News in May 2016. I did briefly watch it when the Conservative MPs were holding their conficence vote in Theresa May.

        Adam Boulton was Owen Paterson and never let him answer a single question. Boulton even said “Yes people vote to leave the EU but they never voted to the the Customs Union, the Single Market or the European Courts of Justice.”

    2. Lifelogic
      January 27, 2019

      It will destroy the Conservative party too. If only the party can be taken over by the sound wing.

      I see that Nick Bowles is yet another PPE chap, what is it about that course that draws such misguided people to it like moths to a flame. Then pumps out endless pro remain, green crap pushing, big government socialists who seem to think they are Tories!

      1. A.F.Fanculo
        January 27, 2019

        One is getting the impression that PPE at Oxbridge is the equivalent of media studies at the newer ‘universities’; fits them for nothing useful.

        1. Lifelogic
          January 27, 2019

          I suspect it is the sorts of people drawn to the course that is the main problem then they all reinforce each other idiotic, lefty, PC, greencrap group think.

          Almost none seem to come out with any grasp of economics -look at Hammond for example. Nor any game theory, logic or negotiation skills it seems.

          1. M Davis
            January 27, 2019

            Common Purpose?

        2. Mitchel
          January 28, 2019

          Worse than that,it is a modern variation on the International Lenin School.

    3. Kenneth
      January 27, 2019

      Exposed by who and on what platform?

      The BBC has had ample time to ask John’s questions but instead has provided a platform for plotters to openly discuss overturning democracy.

      Any exposing of these plotters will not come from the BBC as it has been their main cheerleader.

      Look at the way each political “panel” is outnumbered by Remainers and how the sole Brexit representative is nearly always introduced as an “ardent Brexiteer”.

      1. jerry
        January 27, 2019

        @Kenneth; The only “plotters” trying to “overturning democracy” are those who deign that the people have never been asked the How or When questions.

        There has been no ‘instruction’ from the people to parliament on the technicalities of actually leaving, thus it hast to be and must be for parliament to decide – otherwise there has to (now) be an extension to A50 so that the people can be asked those How and When questions via a referendum.

        1. Steve
          January 27, 2019


          “There has been no ‘instruction’ from the people to parliament on the technicalities of actually leaving”

          Rubbish. The referendum result IS the instruction, and we voted to leave. We did not vote for any deals, negotiations, or capitulations.

          Accordingly parliament is not there to ‘decide’ what is best for them. They are there to serve the electorate.

          1. jerry
            January 27, 2019

            @Steve; Try actually reading what I said, no the people have not been asked the HOW or WHEN questions, that is why parliament now has that decision to make.

            If I am wrong you will have no problem citing the referendum question approved by the electoral commission, the date of the referendum and the result, clue it will be after June 24th 2016 – good luck with your search!

        2. Butties
          January 27, 2019

          @ Jerry, you remind me of the Lib Dem chap who got on the train and then started asking what the destination was. Read the leaflet that was sent to your home.

          1. jerry
            January 27, 2019

            @Butties; Unlike you I did read the leaflet, unlike you obviously. 🙁

        3. libertarian
          January 27, 2019


          You are still wrong I’m afraid

          The referendum was clear, we leave. The future direction, agreements and any other activities that take place in the years after we leave will be handled as they come up

          Both the EU and UK government made this very clear. Trigger A50, leave AND then negotiate if you want to.

          1. jerry
            January 28, 2019

            @libertarian; The debate is about how we achieve Brexit, not what happens in the weeks, months and years after actually leaving.

            The question asked of the people was this;

            Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?

            Norway is not in the “European Union”, but it is in the Customs Union, and the EEA, thus the UK could be too. We could also wait until 2099 for full Brexit, no dates were given in the referendum question above, nor does paragraph 3 of Article 50 give a definitive date, other than should no agreement be made.

            Both exit strategies would still deliver on the very restrictive question the people give an answer to, unless the people are invited to give further instruction.

            It might not be what you or I want but both outcomes above would still a democratic outcome of the referendum result and of the question actually asked, not the ones many would have preferred to have been asked!

    4. Leslie Singleton
      January 27, 2019

      Dear Stephen–Ah but we are talking the magic bunk of representative democracy so what they say cannot be wrong. Be even funnier if it weren’t true.

  4. Wilfrid Whattam
    January 27, 2019

    Quite right, but leaving out some left of centre questions.

    •. How would the stability and growth pact affect the ability to pursue fiscal measures to expand the UK economy?
    •. How would the four freedoms inhibit the Labour Party Manifesto – particularly wrt contestability?
    • In what ways do you believe the EU is democratic?
    •. If you agree with the explanation that the EU is in its very existence (ie through Treaties), politically technocratic and undemocratic, and economically neoliberal, then how would you suggest that remaining would enable you to reform these characteristics.
    I could go on, but Bill Mitchell, Ashok Modi, Wolfgang Streek, Heiner Flassbeck and many others (including contributors to BfB), say it all, and much better than I.

    1. Stephen Priest
      January 27, 2019

      Would a German Chancellor agree to a “Bavarian Backstop”?

      Would a French President agree to an “Alsace Backstop”

      Would a Italian Prime Minister agree to an “Trentino-Alto Adige/South Tyrol Backstop”

      Would a Spanish Chancellor agree to a “Catalan or Basque Backstop”?

      1. Stephen Priest
        January 27, 2019

        Would Donald Tusk agree to a “Gdańsk/Danzig Backstop”?

      2. Margam
        January 27, 2019

        Of course not. But they have not voted to leave the European Union without working out what to do next. That is what the UK has done

        1. Butties
          January 27, 2019

          Simply wrong. That is what remainer Mp’s wish you to think.

        2. libertarian
          January 27, 2019


          Hmm, think you’re wrong. We know what we are doing once we leave, trading like we always have done, selling things to people who want to buy them.

          1. margaret howard
            January 28, 2019

            So why did we beg to join the EU in the first place? Because our own trading blocs like EFTA and the commonwealth had been left far behind by the success of the EU and we had become the ‘sick man of Europe’.

            How quickly people forget.

          2. Edward2
            January 28, 2019

            Repeating cut and pastes from the Guardian doesn’t fool anyone.j

    2. Stred
      January 27, 2019

      From the £9 m leaflet sent to everyone,
      No other country has managed to secure significant access to the single market, without having to follow EU rules over which they have no say, pay into the EU, and accept EU citizens living and working in their country.

      Canada, Korea, Japan?

      1. Stred
        January 27, 2019

        We will keep our own border controls.
        Will we be able to stop any EU citizens from walking through them.

        The UK will not be part of further European political integration.
        Why have we already signed to support the EU army, controlled by our unelected High Representative and why does the government want to keep us in all EU regulations and law, including central taxation?

    3. James
      January 27, 2019

      All excellent questions. It would be so good to hear them being asked let alone answered.

  5. Mark B
    January 27, 2019

    Good morning.

    12. What do you think the words, EVER CLOSER UNION mean and what do you expect the EU to look like in 10 years time ?

    1. Mark B
      January 27, 2019

      Sorry, that should be 14. I think our kind host added to on the sly 😉

  6. Henry Carter
    January 27, 2019

    1. Complete misrepresentation. The £39bn covers our existing liabilities. It is not a price for more talks.
    2. The EU has offered the UK a deal – could be Norway, could be Canada, must include protection for Ireland. It is the UK’s inflexibility that is the problem – you need to grasp that the UK cannot leave yet still expect to be treated as well as a member.
    3. As above,the money is not being given away. We are paying our bill, as all decent people do.
    4. Remain lost. What Remain said is irrelevant. But it is relevant that Leavers like Mr Gove, Mr Paterson and Mr Hannan said leaving the EU did NOT mean leaving the single market and customs union.
    5. As above, if you want to be in the club, you follow the club’s rules. Stop expecting the club to waive the rules for you.
    6. The problem is not at UK ports, it is at EU ports, where our goods will be treated as products of 3rd countries. Again, get out of your Oxford ivory tower, take responsibility, and face up to what leaving really means. Our horrified exporters are having to.
    7. Because of the excellent firefighting done by the Bank of England, and because we haven’t left yet.
    8. No serious economist agrees there is a Brexit bonus. The question is only how much harm will be done to our economy by trashing our trade links with the EU while having nothing to replace it with.
    9. You don’t understand trade policy. Tariffs were long ago abolished on most imports from developing countries.
    10. Yes. Staying in the EU would be a better way to stop that uncertainity, however.
    11. There was no loss of sovereignty by joining the EEC/EU. Signing Treaties is what sovereign nations do all the time.
    12. Why do you have such a low view of our country that you think we cannot govern ourselves in co-operation withour European friends?
    13. Has the EU ever done anything as stupid as invading Iraq, which you voted in favour of?

    1. Dennis
      January 27, 2019

      Henry Carter -“The £39bn covers our existing liabilities” This cannot be true as it would never have been questioned. Some of it may do so but not all.

      Reply Around half of it is the -price of staying in for another 21 months which many of us do not want to do.

  7. Dougal Hamer
    January 27, 2019

    Self-pitying nonsense. John Humphrys makes sure the voice of the ignorant, blustering, shouty Leave voter is heard on radio 4 every single day

    1. L Jones
      January 27, 2019

      And here we are again, everyone – typical remainder post: never a comment without an insult or three.
      Ever thought, Dougal, of arguing your case (whatever it is) clearly and plainly (because we’re rather stupid) and attempting to persuade by logic and what you perceive as common sense, instead of name-calling?

      Shall we take your probable silence as a ”no”?

  8. eeyore
    January 27, 2019

    An excellent list of questions. Any chance of their being published in The House magazine, with space left for answers?

    If they are not accepted as editorial can they go in as advertising?

  9. Peter R
    January 27, 2019

    Given that no preparations were made for an out vote before the referendum was held why was the article 50 letter not held back until adequate preparations had been made? After all we have been in the EU for more than four decades so it only required a moments thought to realise that there were going to be a lot of arrangements and regulations to unravel. In fact holding back on the letter would have given the EU an enormous incentive to make changes to accommodate our dissatisfactions in the hope that we might have second thoughts.

  10. Tabulazero
    January 27, 2019

    1. Because it is not money for access. It is as you know very wellmoney that the UK has willingly accepted when it was a member for 40 years in the EU. Paying its debt is something important if you want to be taken as a serious country. Argentina thought the opposite. Look how well if fared for them.

    2. There is no better deal than membership. That was made very clear by the EU. All flavor of Brexit will lead to a worse deal. That is why leaving was stupid in the first place.

    3. See #1. You are not buying a used car. You are in a political negotiation with a trade block 5 times your size.

    4. That’s actually Daniel Hannan who said that « no one is talking about leaving the single-market here » during the referendum. Do not rewrite history.

    5. Full compliance with EU rules…. exactly like the other 27 members. Why should the UK be treated differently.

    6. Because trucks that Leave the UK carrying goods must also return and cross the border at Calais. Macron will basically decide how long the queue will be and how bad things will get. Fancy your chances with a pro-EU French president on the eve of an European election ?

    7. The UK has managed to fall from the top tier in the growth league table to the bottom. The UK economy did not collapse luckily because the world economy and especially it’s biggest market (the Eurozone) were doing very well. With growth now declining globally, let’s see how it will fare.

    8. The Brexiters also promised us that “the UK holds all the cards” and that Brexit would be painless and easy. How is it looking with hindsight ? It will simply join the long list of broken promises and outright lies made by the Leave camp.

    9. The idea that the UK can only lower the tariffs on the sector it wants does not take into account that these talks are held in the context of wider negotiation. It will be a game of give and take and some sectors (fishing) will be sacrificed for the benefit of other sectors (banking).

    10. As opposed to implanting the no-deal contingency plan immediately. You are however right that we would then contemplate 12 to 24 more month of busted coups and veiled threats by the ERG. How is the toppling of the current government doing ? You all voted the confidence didn’t you ?

    11. That is exactly what Leave did culminating in the 2016 referendum. If Boris Johnson can change his mind by June on the very own agreement he accepted in the previous December, why can’t the public change its mind ? Just ask the public if you dare.

    12. Because we have witnessed the like of you use outright lies and gross simplification time and time again without being called upon it. Boris Johnson never said anything about Turkey apparently.

    13. The way it treated Greece. The solution would be to finally complete the banking union and create the tools required to deal with such a situation.

  11. Nigl
    January 27, 2019

    It is quite apparent that Remainers who talk about uncertainty have never run a business.

    Sudden loss of key staff, maternity and paternity leave, failure of main suppliers and debtors, a remorseless stream of government diktats on the environment, employee legislation, tax changes, sudden increases in staffing costs through minimum wage increases, costs of energy etc are all dealt with on almost a daily basis.

    That somehow Brexit is the only cause is risible. Anna Soubry is a lawyer. That sums her up.

    1. sm
      January 27, 2019

      Nigl, very good points, and add in coping with recessions, illness of vital staff, necessary changes of business direction, HMRC demands in error only provable after many costly months….gosh, how easy we baby-boomer owners of small companies had/have it (sarc)!

  12. Andrea Wood
    January 27, 2019

    And finally any journalist worth his salt should ask whether the Remain spokesperson has a vested interest in the UK staying in the EC for example a EU funded sinecure or a pied a terror in Europe or a family relation employed by the EC. I always find a vested interest is at the heart of most people’s ardent support for Remain (usually a property in France or Spain!)

    1. hefner
      January 27, 2019

      Is it so simple? Both Lord Lawson of Blaby and Baron Lilley have more or less permanent pied-a-terre in France and are not ardent Remainers. So why should it be different for Remainers? Or is that reductio ad absurdum?

  13. Kenneth
    January 27, 2019

    These are the kinds of questions I am itching to hear interviewers ask – but I am always disappointed.

    Just as bad is the attempt to wrap up those want a clean Brexit into an appendix of “extremists”, “rebels” and “hard Brexiteers” when they in fact stand up for their manifestos and the People’s Vote of 2016.

    The BBC in particular is doing itself great damage as the bias is being noticed by a much wider range of people than before.

    The journalists may feel safe with the public money they enjoy but, if and when the BBC is reformed or has to live only from subscription funds, how could they ever hope to get a job in the real world with this dismal performance ?

  14. agricola
    January 27, 2019

    Spot on John. The Establishment control the media. We choose whether we buy the printed word, but the BBC is a public funded entity. It is controlled by the Establishment not those who pay for it. Sooner or later, preferably the former, it’s management must suffer a cull. If they are in place to disseminate partial information they should leave and join the Guardian. They have no place at the BBC. Joe public only has the choice of switching it off, but he still has to pay the fat salaries of these partial propagandists.

  15. Dominic
    January 27, 2019

    The Remain cabal own the narrative through their control of the State, the media, the BBC and the political class and therefore all discussion starts with one simple premise, that leaving the EU is bad, dangerous and destructive. Even before a work is spoken or a word is typed Leave is on the back foot and therefore we come across as embittered, defensive and unreasonable

    Of course the nation voted to leave the EU which does beg the question, why does the political class knowing Leave secured a majority continue to prevent the UK from leaving the EU? Quite simply, Remain hold all the cards and they can.

    Pivotally, Remain govern the country in the guise of May and Hammond. And these preposterous faux Tories will guarantee that the wishes of the democratic majority will not be enacted into law.

    The debate swirling around our membership of the EU is now mere noise and little more than a conduit to express our frustrations.

    We know Leave will be betrayed. Marxist Labour have tried to play ‘up north, Leave’ – ‘down south, Remain’ narrative and treating their natural constituency like total imbeciles and the Tories and this PM use the threat of Corbyn to keep their natural constituency on side. All in all Leave is skewered

    Of course, the solution is blindingly obvious but difficult. Bring down this government. Change the leader and elect a Eurosceptic. Call a GE and campaign on a patriotic platform of leaving the EU. If Labour can install a Marxist as both leader and Shadow Chancellor then replacing May and Hammond is hardly a step into the unknown

    Tory Eurosceptic MPs can whinge all they like but with May as leader the UK and Brexit will never be saved. It’s an uncomfortable choice and one many have made in the past. It’s either party or country. Your choice. I suspect most will choose party and reject democracy.

    To see Grieve, Cooper and all the other Remain anti-democrats parading their virtue and displaying their intent to crush democracy’s choices is beyond anger for me. I simply have to turn off my tv and take the dog for a walk. The arrogance, temerity and contempt shown for a democratic event costing nearly £1bn to hold displays a disturbing trend in British politics, a hatred for the people’s will. Down that path lies dark times

    I believe in this unique state of affairs preventing the UK from becoming a region of the EU and guaranteeing UK sovereignty takes infinite precedence before party loyalty.

  16. Alex
    January 27, 2019

    We are also ‘bored to tears’ with John Redwood obsessively re-running these pointless arguments and telling us what other people ‘should’ be doing.

    Asking Remainers questions is not going to alter the fact that we won’t be Leaving the EU on March 29th, and quite likely never Leaving at all, unless he and the rest of the House of Commons agrees a deal.

    We don’t need to pay someone a salary of nearly £80,000 year to ask the same rhetorical questions over and over again. We can do that ourselves for nothing.

    John Redwood needs to grow up, and for once, actually deliver something rather than, like Corbyn, endlessly ‘campaigning’ for things and letting the other side walk away with the prizes.

    1. Steve
      January 27, 2019


      “We are also ‘bored to tears”

      You have the option to go and cry somewhere else.

  17. steaddyeddie
    January 27, 2019

    1. A large proportion of this is already agreed from the 2014 budget. The rest is for our commitment to ongoing costs such as future pensions. The UK meets its contractual and treaty commitments but see 2.
    2. As has been said-“nothing is agreed to all is agreed”.
    3. See 2.
    4. That is Leave interprétation. Remain argument was always stay in to change from within, in particular challenge Germany / France if we think they are wrong.
    5. It is not about making demands. It is about co ordinating the interests of EU members to advantage them all.
    6. Opinion not fact.
    7. We have not left yet.
    8. A far greater concern is the loss of trade and investment.
    9. A view not shared by the IMF, WTO and many MPs. Most tropical foodstuffs are zero rated. The fruit and vegetables I bought yesterday came from Thailand, Morocco and Kenya.
    10. I could not agree more. Uncertainty was one of the reasons I voted Remain. Most countries see the advantage of unions- NAFTA, ASEAN etc many based on the EU modal.
    11. If was the likes of UKIP etc who wanted a referendum. It has never been part of our national constitution and the mess we have now, is why. If the government decided to leave I would have readily accepted it and made a judgement at the next general election.
    12. That is an offensive view and not worthy of you sir.
    13. I want to stay to see change, which is in fact happening. See the EU assessment of the CAP after 2020. for example. A part of funding the EU is that it is an investment in co ordinated growth and development. The Eastern Europe countries were invited to join rather than see them as Russian satellites.
    I enjoy the debate but unfortunately it has become a bitter dispute based on too much emotion and not enough fact.

  18. Alan Jutson
    January 27, 2019

    Never yet heard a positive message from a Remainer

    Only ever hear of fear stories if we leave, or denials about the future direction if we stay in.

    The Five Presidents report which outlines the future direction of the EU never gets a mention, why not if it is so good !

    1. Ian wragg
      January 27, 2019

      There are no positives in staying in. Europe is in turmoil from Finand to Greece mainly due to Brussels federalising agenda.
      They have demonstrated since the referendum just how much they loathe us. I really am at a loss as to why anyone would want to be a member of such an autocratic and undemocratic institution.
      The Tory and Labour parties are surely finished if they betray Brexit.

      1. L Jones
        January 27, 2019

        Perhaps Dougal here (above) might enlighten us as to why we should remain in the EU and why it is such an admirable ‘organisation’.
        Remainers are quick to insult but never to explain their stance.

  19. Prigger
    January 27, 2019

    Remainers generally use the Straw Man fallacy and the Proof by Assertion( Repetition) fallacy in their replies but also use the full lexicon of deceit.
    In pre-history such Ugs and Ogs were simply hit on the head with a club as even sign language was useless on them.
    In Greek mythology Alexander the Great cut through their tangled knot with a down sweep of his sword.
    We’ve advanced since then and whenever they appear on our TV box we simply switch channels and watch the mating of frogs in close-up

    1. jerry
      January 27, 2019

      @Prigger; “Remainers generally use the Straw Man fallacy”

      COUGH…and (illegal) immigration stealing housing, jobs and stagnant wage growth is not a fallacy!

  20. Richard
    January 27, 2019

    Remainers know we already have the best deal. Nearly 60% of the electorate now recognise this. Do the honest thing and support democracy with another referendum putting remain against whatever flavour you brexiters agree on. Except you can’t agree.

    1. Jagman84
      January 27, 2019

      Thanks for posting something that validates the views of Prigger. Surveys and percentages, plucked from thin air and repeated, ad nauseum. Democracy would be carrying out the instruction from June 2016, confirmed by GE party manifestos in 2017.

    2. Ian wragg
      January 27, 2019

      What arrant nonesense. Paying £10billion net to support a £90billion deficit is a rubbish deal.
      Providing security and intelligence when the likes of Germany refuse to pay their share is not a good deal. No doubt you work for Brussels.

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      January 27, 2019

      How is paying £18billion per year (to get less than half back) and accepting all peoples who wish to come from the continent, regardless of ability and motivation, the best deal?

      A free trade agreement and other cooperation would surely be a better deal.

  21. JoolsB
    January 27, 2019

    How about:

    1) Why do you have no faith in our country to govern itself?

    2) Those MPs who are determined that Brussels should do much of their workload, why on earth do we need 650 UK MPs? Do you support a smaller UK Government in return for being governed by your beloved Brussels?

    1. forthurst
      January 27, 2019

      The inability to govern ourselves has been perfectly manifested over the previous two and half years. The reason for this is that the majority of MPs are useless eaters parachuted into safe seats for a variety of reasons including affiliation to trade unions and hatred of the English. Until such times as safe seats have been abolished by the introduction of proportional representation so that the better can drive out the dire, we will continue to see our seat of government infested with incompetent self-regarding windbags and traitors, as imported violent crime flourishes on our streets and we transmute from an erstwhile green and pleasant land into a globalist’s dystopian nightmare that would make our English ancestors shudder with horror.

  22. HK1
    January 27, 2019

    Is taking “no-deal Brexit” off the table equivalent to giving the EU a veto over Brexit?

    Should the EU be able to veto Brexit?

    The EU has fallen from about 55% of the UK’s total exports in 2006 to 44% by 2017. If that 44% makes it essential to be part of the customs union, at what proportion of exports would that cease to be the case? 35%? 25%? 15%?

    Does it make sense to lock the UK’s trading agreements into the EU in perpetuity, when it is a falling share of trade over the long term?

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 27, 2019

      Your first question is one that people keep missing. From January 18th:

      “I have just sent the Daily Telegraph a short letter headed:

      “Letter to the Editor – Giving the EU the power to hold us prisoner forever”

      in response to their report today … ”

      Which letter did not get printed, and nor have I heard any MP making this point and questioning whether this veto power should be passed to the EU without the people first being consulted in a referendum.

      I recall here that the final trigger for the First World War was an ultimatum that the Austrians sent to the Serbs with its terms deliberately made so harsh that they could not possibly be accepted.

      “As the German ambassador to Vienna reported to his government on July 14, the [note] to Serbia is being composed so that the possibility of its being accepted is practically excluded.”

      If the withdrawal of a member state from the EU was made conditional upon the conclusion of a withdrawal agreement then the EU could simply make demands that the state could not possibly accept, effectively vetoing its withdrawal.

  23. Javelin
    January 27, 2019

    Project fear by the elitists cranks up a gear. We have threats of nuclear armageddon once more. The higher the gear the higher the sound of whining the cogs make.

    1. The Core
      January 27, 2019

      It may be studio lighting but Remainer MPs, even filmed in broad daylight, appear to have bags under their eyes. They are their own sleeplessness. Obsessional, ideological, at odds with their electorates. Loss of job and reputation is their know.

  24. Julie
    January 27, 2019

    14. Are you read for your kin to be signed up as conscripts in the EU Army?
    15. Would you rather your country be a rule taker or be a rule maker?

    1. Richard
      January 27, 2019

      This is the real project fear nonsense. I expect you believed the project fear 70 million Muslim hoards streaming in from Turkey advertised in Leave posters back in 2016.

      1. Fairweather
        January 27, 2019

        You didn’t read the poster properly. It said “ the EU isn’t working”
        Is it…….?

      2. Dennis
        January 27, 2019

        Can you give a link to that advertisement? Probably not as you didn’t so is it a fact?

        1. TRP
          January 28, 2019

          18/04/2016 Express, “EU loophole could see miilions of Turks head to Britain, warn Farage and Johnson”.
          12/06/2016 DailyMail, “Revealed: Secret plan to open our borders to 1.5m Turks”.
          12/06/2016, TheSun, “More than 700,000 Turks will flock to live in the UK”.
          Still available on the relevant websites.

    2. Excalibur
      January 27, 2019

      16. Why are meetings of the EAD held behind closed doors ?

    3. Andy
      January 27, 2019

      14. This is fairy think. It won’t happen. Saying it lots of times does not
      make it true.
      15. I would rather be a rule maker. Which is why I want to remain in the EU. Brexit means we will have to effectively follow the economic rules of either the EU or US but with no say in how those rules are made.

      1. Little Englander
        January 27, 2019

        Andy: you have to be a full member of the EU to be a rule maker! That being the case don’t waste your time and ours waffling on here – get behind a movement to push Remainers and the ‘softies’ to go FULL ON for full membership of the EU where, once done, you ‘planks’ can actually become ‘rule makers’. Do the job quickly and properly thereby safeguarding your and your children’s future. ACTION is required Andy not ‘irrelevance’ such as two houses in France and one in the UK.

      2. Fairweather
        January 27, 2019

        Sorry, we don’t have the veto in the Council of Ministers. Decisions are made by QMV
        Rules are made by the unelected Commissioners behind closed doors and just debated and voted on by the Council.
        The point is there are at least 40,000 lobbyists influencing the commission and these are paid for by big banks and big corporations. Out little government represented by one Minister does not have much influence in this scenario . Conclusion we have to PAY and OBEY

      3. Jagman84
        January 27, 2019

        Andy, if you wish to be a rule maker, you will need to be appointed (not elected) as an EU commissioner for the UK. Nobody else can carry out that function. Even then, you will still be outvoted by the remaining EU27. As we have been, repeatedly, since 1992.

  25. FranzB
    January 27, 2019

    The 39B is part of the WA and nothing to do with the future- the WA account will have to be settled sooner or later- but it is no guarantee that we are going to get a good deal.

    By a ‘good deal’ presumably you mean a cherry picking deal, one made to order like bespoke, maybe, but very unlikely. The EU has said that whatever happens we are never going to be as well off, or better off, in out trading relationship than we are right now- this makes sense otherwise from their point Italy Poland and others would play the Devil.

    The UK will have borders, Yes, but also the French, Belgians, Dutch etc and if there is no harmonisation in how all of this is going to work, it might be the biggest headache yet. But it probably won’t concern politicians too much, only business and the travelling public

  26. Lifelogic
    January 27, 2019

    You are, as usual, exactly right on all of the above. Any Questions again just one leave supporter (Rocco Forte) with all the other including the chair all seeming to be heavily pro remain. Gauke sounded particularly dire. The BBC is staffed almost entirely by lefty, remainer, green crap, PC arts graduates who seem to be incapable of actually thinking. They just ‘believe’ in the ‘BBC group think’ religion.

    Excellent pieces in the Telegraph today from Daniel Hannan on Singapore and Venezuela that seems to the choice the UK now has. With a real Conservative party or Corbyn/SNP.

    Singapore is now twice as wealthy per head (as the UK) from half as wealthy back in the fifties. But the UK apparently is doomed if we leave the EU according to most of our largely idiotic MPs!

    1. The Core
      January 27, 2019

      There have been no relocation of MPs Remainer families to EU nations.
      So they believe in starvation of their families or they do not believe their own hate-speech

    2. acorn
      January 27, 2019

      A third of Singapore’s circa 5.6 million population are foreign nationals. Most of its land is nationalised. 80% of the population is housed in government built housing that is allocated on a strict ethnic basis. It is a de-facto one party state where the government intervenes heavily in all sectors of the economy. And, it doesn’t pay to criticize in public the Executive or the Judiciary.

      Singapore’s government spends 17% of its GDP against the UK’s 40%. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said recently concerning Brexit, “Britain has developed a system of state welfare, of government role in the system where the government accounts for 40 to 45 percent of the GDP. The Singapore government accounts for 16% of the GDP, maybe 17%. So to say that you’re going to be like Singapore, are you going to give up two-thirds of your government spending, state pensions and national health?”

  27. StefanCorbynistaless
    January 27, 2019

    Mr Corbyn’s general and simply understood repeat performance is to assert the EU are reasonable and we are reasonable and we have a joint interest in coming quickly and reasonably to a mutually beneficial conclusion. That is how the negotiations will proceed and a recognition for our own part alone that the EU must have its red lines respected and accepted in full. We in contrast are even more reasonable and it is our enhanced reasonableness which will gain their respect and agreement.
    He has never sold a car.
    But he has been in heated negotiations with employers in his trades union representative past and knows full well he is speaking a load of tosh albeit with straight face.

  28. Richard
    January 27, 2019

    Suggesting that remainders have a low view of our country is deeply insulting.
    We already do govern ourselves. Government governs with the permission and authority of Parliament. Not the other way round. You of all people should know this.

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 27, 2019

      Would that be as “deeply insulting” as the torrent of foul-mouthed abuse that I got from a local Remoaner because I gave the wrong answer to the question –

      “Brexit – Is it worth it?”

      – on the banner that he had just tied to some railings?

      By the way, have you wondered who is paying for all these anti-Brexit campaign materials, plus the costs of the rentamob outside Parliament?

      1. Iain Moore
        January 27, 2019

        A question that doesn’t get asked, and particularly odd considering their obsession with everybit of the Brexiteers expenditure.

    2. Iain Moore
      January 27, 2019

      But they do, they said at the time of our entry to the EEC they wanted to ‘manage our decline’ , and everything they have said since has been a load of defeatist guff. They would have us believe we are so feeble that if we leave the EU we have to hide behind little Lichtenstein , pop 37k, in EFTA rather than go our way as one top economies of the world. You never hear them speak positively of our country or its people.

    3. Martyn G
      January 27, 2019

      We (and all other EU national governments) are self governing only to the extent allowed for under EU Law. EU Law, directives and regulations have to pass through Parliament without change (other than in our case usually being made more complex by the civil service). Bills passed through Parliament – often without any serious discussion – all start at the beginning by the minister responsible stating that ‘this Bill complies with EU Directive ##. Parliament cannot reject or amend EU Directives and is thus not self governing in all respects.
      The drive towards ‘ever closer union’, a EU Army, new directives being considered to replace national tax legislation and rights by a unified, imposed EU tax framework are very disturbing and the sooner we separate ourselves from Law imposed from above Parliament by the EU Commissioners, the better.

    4. Jagman84
      January 27, 2019

      Again, you know that is not true. Most of the rule changes are statutory instruments direct from the EU and are mandatory. Our host’s description of Westminster being a Puppet Parliament is entirely correct. Many remain MPs are puppets of the EU. Unfortunately, they all seem to answer to the name Pinocchio!

    5. The Core
      January 27, 2019

      There can be no insult to Remainer MPs, merely plain matter of fact.

    6. Ian wragg
      January 27, 2019

      Government governs according to how the EU instructs it. This has become blindingly obvious since the referendum.

  29. They Work for Us?
    January 27, 2019

    Excellent points, would that they were more widely promulgated. A problem that we face is that many “Remainers” have an anti capitalist- socialist – brotherhood of man – we are all European – leanings in a tree hugging sort of way. These are partly due to the Educational system, the BBC and media preaching “Fairness” as fairness of outcome rather than that o opportunity.
    We urgently need reform of the Conservative Party to become something owned more by its members, selecting accountable local candidates and pursuing actual Conservative policies rather than continuing as Blairite Labour light.

    1. Crispy on the edges
      January 27, 2019

      True of South Yorkshire and parts of West Yorkshire. The MPs were just parachuted in by Labour HQ in London and rubber stamped at regional Labour Party.
      They may as well have pin-striped suits and bowler hats. The only Yorkshire they have in them is Sunday pudding and even that is London-Remainer-modified Toad-in-the-Hole

  30. Bryan Harris
    January 27, 2019

    We are all excessively bored with the way Brexit is discussed, everywhere – and they always rely on some alleged expert – A term much abused.
    I received a monthly set of articles from the RAC – normally good stuff on motering, but they included one on Brexit, which spoke of ‘a cliff edge’ – This I objected to, and to their credit the RAC revised the article, but it was still full of ‘expert’ opinion and it was mostly nonsense.
    I’m waiting to see if they have taken my updates and suggestions into consideration, or whether they will continue to pass on false scare stories.
    I suspect much of this is done in ignorance, and a lemming attitude.

    1. jerry
      January 27, 2019

      @Bryan Harris; I seem to remember Brexiteers not wanting to accept the “expert” opinion of Lord Kerr of Kinlochard on the matter of being able to revoke our A50 letter [1], even though he was the person who drafted the A50 clause!

      [1] an opinion subsequently backed up by the ECJ

      1. cornishstu
        January 27, 2019

        Jerry, the the ECJ ruling is akin to foxes declaring they should be in charge of the hen house security.

        1. jerry
          January 27, 2019

          @cornishstu; Thanks for making my point! Just because you dislike what the expert said doesn’t (necessarily) make the expert wrong.

      2. Jagman84
        January 27, 2019

        Lord Kerr, albeit prompted by Gisela Stuart, who insisted that a expulsion clause was inserted into the EU constitution, requesting the exit of member nations who failed to ratify it within 2 years. After the French rejected it in a referendum, it was repackaged as the Lisbon treaty and this clause was carried forward as Article 50. However, the wording of it unintentionally gave EU members the chance to exit by choice. Which is where we are now… almost!
        It’s ironic that we have a ‘foreigner’ (who is more patriotic than the majority of our Mps) to thank for our soon-to-be escape.

        1. jerry
          January 28, 2019

          @Jagman84; They already had that right under UN law, what A50 actually intends is to provide a method for an orderly exit – assuming both sides can agree…

  31. Bryan Harris
    January 27, 2019

    JR – Excellent questions, but please do not expect a rational answer from any remainers – their ability to read and understand has been switched off – they can no longer respond in a normal way because they don’t want any logic to change their fixated minds.

  32. Bad money
    January 27, 2019

    There is tacit agreement between Remainers and the media that the media does not push a point when the Remainer is in a state of difficulty in answering a counterpoint. They let them off the hook. It is blatant and is evidenced in the body language of the participants for all to see.
    The scrapping of the notion of “No Deal” is ridiculous in even a child’s selling of a treasured old toy to his classmate. It is beyond adult conversation.
    The media humours the absurd notion and automatically discredits itself as a national vehicle to which we should pay a licence fee.

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 27, 2019

      If you look at the penultimate page of the transcript of Andrew Marr’s interview with the Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney this morning:

      you will see:

      “AM: A few moments ago you mentioned, quite rightly, the question of the hard Irish border. We are now all heading towards a no deal exit, it seems. In those circumstances your own prime minister said that if things go wrong with the deal thing, ‘the border could look like it did 20 years ago, involving customs posts, people in uniforms, cameras, possibly a police presence, or an army presence to back it up.’ Can I ask you what uniform that army would be wearing?”

      But you will not see any answer to that straightforward question, instead Simon Coveney was allowed to waffle his way to the end of the available time.

  33. DaveK
    January 27, 2019

    Sir John,

    Do you think a possible answer to 1 is that when the negotiations started, Mrs May and the negotiators discussed the fact that we were leaving a huge black hole in the EU finances (£39 billion appears to be the value of our normal contribution) for the current budget period they decided to play nice and came up with a work around and hence the 21 month “transition period” was born. If the whole process is seen under the Mrs May not being a member of the “nasty party” it makes some sense i.e. numbers of remain members of cabinet and trying to appease the losing side.

    1. Richard
      January 27, 2019

      No it isn’t. It’s money we agreed to pay for the 7 year membership up to 2021. It’s approximately 0.7% of the nation’s approx 800billion GDP, as it is for every other member. We don’t give money to rich countries, it’s shared out, poorer countries are net beneficiaries.

      1. Dennis
        January 27, 2019

        The 0.7% is actual money – the 800 billion GDP is not money out of which the 0,7% can be extracted – it could be in fact lost money in failed projects or just losses caused by disasters etc. to be paid for which makes no profit at all.

        I admit I am not n economist so is this right or not?

      2. Stred
        January 28, 2019

        When they were informed that the UK was leaving in 2016, why did the EU assume that it didn’t need to cut its budget to suit it’s reduced size and the second largest contributor leaving? If a club member leaves, the budget has to be cut, not increased for the next 5 years while the member is no longer receiving benefits.

  34. Everhopeful
    January 27, 2019

    Yes..bored to tears is exactly right! Day after day ..the same old rubbish. Twisting facts and stringing out bizarre, weird “arguments” some of which have only one answer..” Don’t talk such rubbish!” ( Like the one about how post Brexit we will be eating rats…as if their lovely EU would cut off our food supply!!).

  35. Everhopeful
    January 27, 2019

    I always read JR’s diary last..after all the papers because it is so soothing..a little island of sanity and calm.

  36. BOF
    January 27, 2019

    Well said, Sir John. I hope the likes of John Humphries and Fiona Bruce take note. They have their fair share of remainers on their show!

    Some useful additions from Wilfrid Whattam.

    1. BOF
      January 27, 2019

      Shows (plural).

  37. jerry
    January 27, 2019

    Many of those questions are not for “Remain” (or the media) to answer but those who want Brexit-lite, such as the PM, her cabinet and much of the rest of your own party Sir John, it is they who want May’s WA!

    Question #8; That assumes the majority of those who voted to leave think our saved EU contributions will be better spent giving tax cuts rather than improving our manufacturing base, communications & transport links etc. which in turn will allow greater wealth from higher productivity, exports and other earnings. I think some need to remember the areas were Leave was won…

    Question #9; Those who want a WTO exit, because they want a strong UK economy, will find little cheer in your question, or at least the second part, why would we want zero tariffs on imported components that could otherwise be made here?

    Question #11; Those who wanted out in 1975 never -truly- did accept the result, hence why even Mrs T had her difficulties when it came to the EEC.

    Question #12; The same question the SNP asks of Westminster!

  38. Iain Moore
    January 27, 2019

    14/ When Remainers go on about crashing our economy if we leave the EU, no one in the media points out that the only time our economy has crashed was when in pursuit of the EU project, when we joined the ERM, that put us into a recession, a property price collapse, the Bank of England burned through £20 billion of foreign currency reserves , racked up a £3 billion loss, and our economy only turned around when we got shot of that particular EU policy.

    1. margaret howard
      January 27, 2019


      ” the only time our economy has crashed was when in pursuit of the EU project”

      The eurozone consists of Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.

      So why didn’t their economies crash on joining the club? Could it have been mismanagement by our own government?

      Meanwhile the euro has replaced the £ as the world’s largest reserve currency after the US$.

  39. Soc Med
    January 27, 2019

    I had a Social Media exchange with a SNP-er. It turns out looking at their Constituency, the SNP Member’s election result, that their turn-out was less than 70%. Their number of votes just 6,000 or so with a majority of only two thousand and their opponents more collective votes than the SNP winner. The total number of all votes is less than the population , 50 years ago, of my English village.
    My village does not have MP. The next village does not have MP, nor the next village to it, nor the next village.
    Each Ward of my nearest town can produce more votes than the MP of the SNPer’s Constituency.

    Why is the SNP so overly represented in the UK Parliament and also in Holy Rood?

    1. Mark B
      January 27, 2019

      Your question will, sadly, go unanswered.

      The Scots have a devolved government as do the other nations of the UK. Only one does not. If you think that is unfair then, well, it is ! The thing is, what to do about it ?

    2. Andy
      January 27, 2019

      I repeatedly point out how successive Governments have gerrymandered the constituency boundaries. Take the Isle of Wight which has one MP (a Tory) and 111000 electors. If you take Rhondda with 52000 electors and block it together with any neighbouring seat and you only just get the same number of electors as IofW. So a vote in IofW is only worth half that of these other seats. The solution is quite simple – make all seats the same size as IofW.

      1. Jagman84
        January 27, 2019

        Maybe a pound per registered voter per year, for each MPs wages? So, £111,000 for the Isle of Wight MP and £52,000 for the Rhondda MP. Who’s for 250,000 voter constituencies? I’d imagine quite a few!

  40. formula57
    January 27, 2019

    These type of questions, sound and proper as they are, are unasked by the media I assume as they do not wish for answers lest those might sway opinion in ways they would not wish.

    The lesson must be learned that the quislings will never cease to manipulate the remoaners and also if they can the rest of us. Their antics go as far as treason, as we have seen.

  41. Sir Joe Soap
    January 27, 2019

    You need to ask yourself whether, had you and other like-minded Tories been part of a sensibly-led UKIP way back in 2010, the need to ask these questions would ever have arisen. UKIP forced Cameron into his referendum but then you and they stuck with the Tory-lite-May formula which has given rise to the dilemma which precipitates your questions.

    This is all a confected impasse, manufactured solely by your party. Europhiles were always Europhiles, but your party has a policy of leaving the EU, and it’s probably time for you and many others to decide again whether to remain stuck in its mud.

  42. Iain Gill
    January 27, 2019

    Health minister wanting to control the internet, shows how thick our political class have become, almost as bad as Dianne Abbott.

    We are all bored to tears by the whole political bubble.

  43. Sir Joe Soap
    January 27, 2019

    May has even stupidly allowed the Irish to claim that Brexit is all the UK’s fault, when the creeping hollowing out and imposition of laws onto the UK by the EU has been happening for over 20 years.

    May has allowed the Irish to claim that “we” agreed to this backstop in December. NO. It was her misjudged stupid original agreement to it which precipitated this.

    These are more irritating than any old remainer statements.

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 27, 2019

      We were told at the time that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. That is the standard EU dictum, which the Irish government is now choosing to ignore without any challenge from our government, which frequently behaves as though it is on the other side not ours.

  44. Billy Elliot
    January 27, 2019

    Sir, just putting my thoughts as answers to your questions.
    1.Nobody wants to give that money. Is it cheaper to pay that during was it 40 or 50 years – or freeze future FTA negotiations?
    2. They won’t. Not at least as good as the present deal.
    3. It is not. From their perspective it is their money. Reality is that no money – no deal. But we are able to get a deal after this issue has been settled. Not as good deal as present. But a deal. Acceptable.Canada maybe Canada +?
    4. Clearly we can’t negotiate our way back to Singl M or CU.
    5. They will ask for free movement (can’t be part of singl M without it) adherence to EU laws – and yes money.
    6. Imports maybe run smoothly. Export is a different thing. Papers papers papers. And that might spill over to imports. But for 100 per cent nobody knows what will happen.
    7. Obviously wrong prediction. Lets hope predictions of this kind are false after Brexit as well. But Brexit hasen’t really stated yet. Within few months/years we will see.
    8. If there is a Brexit bonus – good. But nobody knows what will happen. Guess there has not been any roll over of trad deals? Well our economy is 80 per cent services anyway. Brexit bonus and economical turn down might equal out each others?
    9. Tropical fruit and their tax are irrelevant in grand scheme of thing – tragically that is the case with fishing industry as well. But yeah zero tariffs sounds great. Get China,USA and EU on board and it will be superior.
    10. If trade deal can be negotiate during that time span so it is great news to businesses. No uncertainty and during the transition period the becoming trade deal could be revealed. Of course that deal might take more time to negotiate than 45 months….
    11. Having a second referendum is bonkers. IMO whole referendum was a mistake but having a second one is even bigger. Apparently no one lied 40 years ago. Brexit campaign two years ago is quite another story.
    12. We don’t. But world has changed since 1950. More polarised. We are realistic. If Germany or France would suddenly leave EU would you really believe either of them would truly become more influential globally? More prosperous? Being invited to “high tables”?
    13. Silly rules. And many other things. Guess UK has stopped quite a few of them? We have shaped many things in EU.

    A question for you Sir. Which one of the following scenarios is more acceptable to you: NI being treated differently than rest of the UK if backstops will be activated or NI having a referendum and becoming part of the Republic of Ireland?

    In essence humiliation in form of backstop or loss of our territory.

  45. Mr Ison
    January 27, 2019

    It’s because the BBC is an affluent company, theirs is to promote relative wealth and lampoon the poor, the philanthropic affluent and to demand a greater share of wealth.

    Prosperity is thus not a value that such organisations condone.

  46. DaveM
    January 27, 2019

    Talking of the MSM, how much longer can they ignore what’s happening in France?

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    January 27, 2019

    Set your questions as an exam paper for Anna Soubrey, Kenneth Clarke, Yvette Cooper et al. Lock them in a cold room until they have answered all of the questions in full.

  48. Bob
    January 27, 2019

    The BBC are beyond redemption.
    Scapping the BBC Licence Fee is a UKIP policy.

  49. Original Richard
    January 27, 2019

    How does an EU citizen decide who governs them ?

    How does an EU citizen influence the laws, policies and taxes decided by the EU, especially those which may particularly adversely affect themselves or their country ?

    How does an EU citizen influence the removal of corrupt, incompetent, criminal, or malicious law and policy makers ?

    1. Bob
      January 28, 2019

      They go onto the streets wearing yellow jackets and bring the traffic to a standstill.

  50. Shieldsman
    January 27, 2019

    Christopher Booker refers to the lecture Sir Ivan Rogers delivered at UCL European Institute.
    Booker: The first fatal mistake, as he sees it, was the deliberate decision of the official Leave campaign in 2016 not to suggest any specific plan for how best to leave; this subsequently allowed all the different competing factions to claim that their own delusional strategy was what the country had voted for. (I could not find it).
    Once the referendum result was known the official Leave Campaign ceased to exist and
    the result could take no part in implementing. The Government made quite clear the result of the simple choice would implemented. How many times does this have to be repeated.
    The official way of leaving as a signatory of the Lisbon Treaty is through Article 50.
    When he resigned did Sir Ivan have the clear foresight of the future which he now claims.
    Anyone having read Article 50 and with a full understanding of its wording must have known the outcome was preordained. Sir Ivan must have known Article 50 gave authority to Barnier’s team to write the Withdrawal Agreement (which is not a DEAL) and present it to UK Government for signature. Only by doing so would the Commission proceed to negotiate the DEAL our terms of trade and future relation ship into the unknown of the warm worded Political Declaration.
    Sir Ivan says: From the PM’s point of view, the deal struck on November 25th with the EU is in the ZOPA (a Zone of Possible Agreement). Indeed, it’s the only deal acceptable to her which could be. As it was indeed within the ZOPA for the EU too – it’s a good deal for them – which meant it was not hard at all to line up Michel Barnier and Heads of State and Government to say that this was the only deal they would do.
    Let us go back and restate it is not a deal and the Irish backstop removed it from ZOPA. It is said the backstop was inserted at the insistence of the PM, then more fool her. Why is she now scrabbling around trying to it removed.
    If the Withdrawal Agreement with backstop prevents the UK from leaving, how do we do it? The Citizens of the United Kingdom made a choice and the Government a unilateral decision to leave. If this means trading on WTO terms so be it.

  51. Dominic
    January 27, 2019

    Leave played by the rules and we’ve been royally shafted by a political, legal and administrative establishment that is zealously pro-EU.

    Leave were far too trusting and far too decent in how treated those who were in charge of the entire process of the referenda and of the implementation of the result of that referenda

    All that is now history

    Now is the time for Leave to play dirty, play vicious and play to save British democracy and the very nature of the United Kingdom

    The interests of the Tory party and of Marxist Labour are not worth a carrot when compared to the importance of our country and our democracy

    You either choose your party or you choose to save your nation and its democracy.

    The time for vacillation is over

  52. Mr Ison
    January 27, 2019

    Aye,the undertakers are there for you once the CBI, BBC and HMRC and EU have allowed ye to Leave.

    It’s only natural for Conservatives desirous of simplification to whittle away the reiterations of the same.

    May’s deal favours the EU over Great Britain and the Commonwealth, paucity of intelligence created what is essentially an existential threat to British nationality with a monetary settlement for acceptance vaguely promised to MP’s, but they’ll never see a penny of the money extorted from their constituents by parliamentary decree, indeed, they’ll see the continuation of the bribing of business to the continent, the EU.

  53. Anonymous
    January 27, 2019

    14. What do you mean by Remain ? What version of it do you want ?

    Peter Hitchens hits the nail on the head today. Had the Conservatives been truly conservative and not kept blaming the EU when they weren’t then we wouldn’t be in this fix now.

  54. Little Englander
    January 27, 2019

    Only two options for this Country:
    1) Join the EU as a FULL member embracing the Euro and all that goes with it thereby ensuring that we have the right and power to guide and influence ALL decision making therein.
    2) Leave the EU completely unequivocably and go our own way.
    Remainers and those of the ” soft” persuasion if you want a 2nd Referendum ( aka “Peoples Vote”) THOSE should be the two agenda on the ballet paper and NOTHING ELSE.

  55. margaret howard
    January 27, 2019

    How dispiriting to see an intelligent man compose such spurious drivel.

    But I will address 1 and 13:

    We don’t give away the ‘imaginary’ sum of £39m:

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

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

    Peston 26/10/14

    As to 13
    Is there anything the EU has done that you think is wrong or damaging? If so why didnt you oppose or try to change it?

    There are countless wrongs our governments have been responsible for, the most damaging in recent years being the illegal invasion and war against Iraq which has led to the destabilisation of the Middle East flooding Europe with millions of refugees.
    Unforgivably being the poodle of the US.

    1. APL
      January 27, 2019

      Margaret Howard: “Cost of UK EU membership per person per day – 37p. Benefit of UK EU membership per person per day – £3.35.”

      It’s accepted the UK is a net contributor to the European Union. Given that fact, how is it possible for each individual to get more back in ‘benefit’ than each person has paid in?

      Margaret Howard: “the most damaging in recent years being the illegal invasion and war against Iraq ”

      Yes, let’s hold Tony Blair and Alasdair Campbell et al, responsible.

      1. margaret howard
        January 27, 2019


        “Yes, let’s hold Tony Blair and Alasdair Campbell et al, responsible.”

        No, it was the 412/149 who voted for the war who were responsible (incl JR)

        1. APL
          January 27, 2019

          “No, it was the 412/149 who voted for the war ”

          Parliament is full of sheep. Let’s just agree to disagree on that score.

          What I’d like to understand is how we each pay 37 pence per day to run the European Union, and get back £3.35.

          Bearing in mind that the EU has its own running costs. Even with the asset stripping of a relatively small economy like Greece, I still can’t see where the other £2.98 is coming from?

          Please help me understand.

    2. Beecee
      January 27, 2019

      Cost per person per day of the UK trading deficit with the EU – £3.80

    3. Fairweather
      January 27, 2019

      Brexit was and IS nothing to do with money,GDP or trade?
      It’s that we don’t want to be ruled by a foreign power. SIMPLES.
      Retainers don’t seem to understand this

    4. Denis Cooper
      January 27, 2019

      As usual just more of the same old Remoaner nonsense repeated parrotwise, and in this case previously dealt with in some detail and at some length:

      With the conclusion:

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

    5. zorro
      January 27, 2019

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

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

      LOL – illuminate us please Margaret. Wow, we benefit 10 times more than we put in each and every year. So how are we in effect that much better off because of EU membership?


  56. Billy Elliot
    January 27, 2019

    Just one more additional thought if you allow Sir.

    2. We were the once who left. We need too tell them specifically what we want. Worlds largest trade pact doesn’t just simply give offers to a member soon to be a third country. By it’s own choice. These 2 years and 9 months have been wasted government and parliament arguing what we really want. And is it clear even now as we speak? Don’t blame EU on that. Rather Sir take a closer look to government, parliament and your own party.

  57. Matt
    January 27, 2019

    Pathetic, pointless, post.
    And I’m a ‘Leaver’!!
    Hasn’t John Redwood go something better than this to offer?
    No wonder the Remainers are winning.

  58. ian
    January 27, 2019

    It a love affair born out of education, education, education and groupthink, if you’re not in it you can never understand it, they all follow the same doctrine and think and work the same way, they going to save you from yourself and save the world at the same time.

    Gov has set up offices full of them over the years along with quangos, they report to the gov make plans for the gov and recommendation, MPs in parliament are just their mouthpieces for what they want, they are everywhere, boardrooms, media, councils, science, finance, you name it and you find them, they have all the top jobs with the highest pay and them being always in contracts with there counterparts in Europe and the EU with new plans and ideas.
    They have millions of troops behind them from uni and they control the majority of the modem day thinking in all warps of life including the banking system of boom and bust down to soup kitchens and food banks.

    Even if you win, you will have all these groups and people all writing and speaking against you and they all high-level people from unis. They control the whole of the western world from North America to Europe and beyond, where their group does not work they prefer conflict and war.

  59. Jules
    January 27, 2019

    Excellent Questions.
    Here are two more (which I’d suggest could be near the top….)

    1) Do you support the imposition by foreign bureaucrats and politicians of 15,000 EU, “Single Market” laws that impact countries domestically, i.e. not cross border trade ….
    … laws that affect:
    – flood defences
    – local councils
    – local shops
    – your house extension ?

    2) Do you support locking the UK into a Trade Deficit with the EU of £96 billion p.a. – instead of the freedom to increase the Trade Surplus of £47 billion the UK has with leading WTO countries ?

  60. Christine
    January 27, 2019

    Take the EU press release from 16th Jan:

    “An investigation has confirmed a significant increase of imports of Indica rice from Cambodia and Myanmar into the European Union that has caused economic damage to European producers.”

    “This surge in low-price imports has caused serious difficulties for EU rice producers to the extent that their market share in the EU dropped substantially from 61% to 29%.”
    ”as of 18 January the European Union will reinstate the normal customs duty.”

    This just shows how the EU increases food prices and how they damage third world countries. The UK doesn’t produce rice yet we will have to pay extra to support Italian producers.

    As you state out of the EU we could reduce tariffs on goods we don’t produce.

    Many politicians and the media in this country don’t want people to know about the benefits of leaving the EU.

    1. margaret howard
      January 27, 2019

      EU rice production shows the benefits of leaving the union? As an average UK consumer of rice I don’t think that would save me more than a few pounds per annum.
      It really is desperation time for ardent Brexiteers.

      And to think nobody warned us about that -:)

      PS Does the EU forbid me to buy rice from Cambodia/Myanmar?

      1. rose
        January 27, 2019

        You can buy Thai fragrant rice or any rice you like, but you are paying more for it, and 80% of that tariff – plus all those other tariffs like it – is going to the Commission. Why should poor people here send billions in tariffs to the Commission? This is why they want to trap us in the Customs Union. It is a nice little earner for them.

    2. Andy
      January 27, 2019

      Exactly. And the EU imposes 13000+ tariffs. We have no need to impose a tariff on rice nor on citrus neither of which grow in the UK. Some cuts of beef have a tariff of 40+%, so if a tariff were imposed on Irish beef you can imagine the effect this will have on Irish agriculture.

  61. Shieldsman
    January 27, 2019

    ‘The Cliff Edge’ a constant theme so beloved of the remainder media and people can be avoided by business and Governments behaving sensibly.
    Remainers say we have to remain in, or have a DEAL with the EU to avoid it. Remaining is clearly against the peoples democratic vote.
    One way to a DEAL is through the stymied Withdrawal Agreement. The Withdrawal Agreement provides for the 21 month transition period which may only put off the Cliff Edge of a no deal to another day. The backstop could put it off for ever.

    1. Jules
      January 27, 2019

      But there is no “cliff edge”.

      WTO terms are familiar to HMRC and many businesses … NOW !
      …. and not just Big Business.

      A small laboratory I know exports medicines to places as diverse as South Korea, Afghanistan and U.S.A.
      The latter certainly would not allow in medicines except from a “trusted trader” … complying with US safety rules.
      As the CEO said … “We have the Customs forms on our computer – fill them in …done” !

      Last November, a Dutch Customs Broker told MPs that his profession helps exporters with more complex imports – charging from €50 to €100 per container.
      But he added that exporters with simple or repeat shipments did NOT need to use a Customs Broker.
      (… and he added that he was surprised that UK MPs had not invited a Customs Broker 18 months earlier …… to explain how import/export ACTUALLY works in practice !!! )

  62. Dominic
    January 27, 2019

    Cooper and Grieves are determined to destroy direct democracy in the UK and if Brexiteers in the Commons allow them to do so then you may as well pack up and trot off back to your constituencies as you’ll be as complicit in this appalling treachery and moral crime than they are

    Her arrogance is off the political and social Richter scale. She’s an anti-libertarian, anti-democratic bigot masquerading as a democrat

  63. Little Englander
    January 27, 2019

    Next question:
    Remainers and ditherers:
    WHY do you not want to join the EU as full members? WHAT do you fear in doing so?

  64. John Dodds
    January 27, 2019

    Sir John…many thanks for your,as usual,helpful and useful articles.does the M.S,Media have access to these articles or do they conveniently ignore them?

    Reply They have access!

    1. rose
      January 27, 2019

      The media only draw attention to this blog if they think they are able to misrepresent something in it to embarrass the author. So they do read it!

  65. Graham Wood
    January 27, 2019

    Excellent questions Sir John. I hope you sent them to the loss making Guardian to tax their lefty brain power. Also, perhaps a couple could be forwarded to the BBC Question Time team for the audience to ask – but then that would be asking for the moon!

  66. David J
    January 27, 2019

    Dear John, Thanks for your excellent and tireless work to both explain and promote the need that government needs to press on and deliver the mandate to leave the EU. Keep up that good work.
    The mainstream media is remain biased, and fully paid up members of the Project Fear brigade. Writing to my MP Nadhim Zahawi didn’t warrant a reply. It is so hard to see a WTO Brexit being delivered. As a nation we are not prone to starting a revolution. What next?

  67. Paul Gompes
    January 27, 2019

    1. Because it the the price you pay for breaking a contract and opting out of longstanding obligations.
    2. Because it is beneficial to both parties to trade without restrictions
    3. See answer nr. 1
    4. You can, but you have red lines. We do as well.
    5. The same we ask any other country with a similar arrangement
    6. Because you don’t want to be in the Customs Union
    7. Because we have packed wharehouses here in The Netherlands with British goods
    that were purchased the last 2 years. After a hard Brexit that will change.
    8. Actually, a Brexit on WTO terms looks great for our economy with many British companies already locating to the continent. Airbus is thinking about moving 14.000 jobs here and in Amsterdam there are many British companies that have already relocated
    with possibly 250 more to follow.
    9. Of course that would be great. But in the meantime the UK will be forfeiting on 40 trade deals with 70 countries when it crashes out of the EU.
    10. From our point of view it’s all the same. British companies will move their business to the continent because there is more money to be made here than in an isolated UK.
    11. Aha, The ‘if what’ question ! Doesn’t work.
    12. The UK is a great country, no matter what or how.
    13. Here in Holland we are. But we used to work together with the Brits against too much regulations from Brussels.

  68. Mr Ison
    January 27, 2019

    Aye, cheaper food and footware is notionally a good thing for countering the reduction of benefits that the Conservative always peddle but if nothing else changes then this benefit will inexorably be gobbled up by mortgage lenders and private landlords, indeed, there will be a scrum among the affluent chattering classes to deprive those not not so endowed of socio-economic status.

    Typically these will be Remainers capitalising on their moribund influence on our nation.

  69. Alan
    January 27, 2019

    Sir John, thank you for your excellent and comprehensive posts and all your efforts with regard to us leaving the EU and honouring the referendum result. Are you able to clarify the effect of a no-deal /WTO arrangement on tariffs, particularly relating to the British automative and manufacturing sector. I have heard briefings of 25% tariffs to hit British manufacturers in the event of no -deal. Are you able to clarify this concern and provide a link to a reputable source on these matters. Many thanks for your help.

    Reply The EU will not be changing its tariffs and has to set the same for us as the rest of the world. The average EU tariff is around 3%

  70. Den
    January 27, 2019

    Question 14. Why would you prefer to be governed by an unelected and unaccountable foreign cabal, based in a foreign country, rather than by your own elected Members of Parliament that have their Seat in Westminster and who you can fire if they do not perform well enough?

    1. Halfway
      January 27, 2019

      Den..Because, as we can plainly see the UK parliamentary system of first past the post has dismally failed us, it badly needs to be overhauled. Probably a move to voting by direct proportional representation might be a start. In the meantime we may need unaccountable unelected foreigners like the EU, the IMF, or some other international body to guide us. We have far too much representation as it is, and then 800 in the Lords- we need quality not quantity, this with critical mass for decision making should be enough.

      1. Den
        January 27, 2019

        Yet it never used to fail us. However, a recent example was highlighted when UKIP, with more votes than the LibDems and SNP put together, failed to produce even one new MP. Our system is biased too well for the Socialists!
        A problem with PR is that there could be so many conflicting Parties within a new Parliament it would make proper Government very difficult. Also, I have no doubt there would be a preponderance of Liberal Lefties funded and ready. Always there to disrupt proceedings and to deny responsible essential government.
        FPTP would work better if a prospective MP first had to pass a standard acceptance test before being considered for the position. A set term earning a wage outside of Politics and away from Whitehall and Westminster would be a start. We have far too many “Professional Politicians” these days, who have affinity with neither the taxpaying workforce, taxpaying businesses nor the ‘taxed’ Armed Services.
        Many members of our current Parliament are there, seemingly by heiredity fashion. Such people give rise to the oft quoted line, “Out of Touch”. And is it any wonder?

  71. Mr Ison
    January 27, 2019

    UC rollout for example, used by the Conservative to punish specific constituencies and MP’s, mostly to punish Leave.

  72. Robert mcdonald
    January 27, 2019

    Yet again, the remain response is words with no substantiation. Leaving the eu will allow us to trade flexibly with the world where 90% of future world demand will come from … now how will remaining in the protectionist over regulated and sclerotic eurcracy help us face the more dynamic and innovative competitive world outside .. please, nothing about being bigger etc, big is not the way to achieve change and innovation.

  73. Mr Ison
    January 27, 2019

    Aye, the desire among EU firsters to assuage their chagrin at being caught in flagrante delicto with their grabbing and bloody hands in the cookie jar at referendum by punishing the electorate extends to the Westminster estate where the remainer government seized the opportunity to punish the electorate by way of MP’s.

    The punishment agreement of EU firster May is just that.

  74. ian
    January 27, 2019

    People are not talking a lot about Brexit, they seem to not want to discuss it, but what I am hearing from them is, I will never vote again, whether they mean it or not remains to be seen.

    1. Anonymous
      January 27, 2019
    2. Dioclese
      January 27, 2019

      I have always maintained that of you do not vote you are not entitled to criticise what you are given afterwards.

      People have died to give you the right to vote. There should in my view be a ‘no suitable candidate’ option on a ballot paper and voting should be compulsory. Until then, just write ‘none of the above’ at the bottom to spoil the ballot. Otherwise just shut up. You gave up your right to an opinion by abstaining…

  75. Ronald Olden
    January 27, 2019

    I’m not interested in hearing answers from Remainers. This isn’t a university debating society If it were, I’d read Anna Soubry’s, Ken Clarke’s or one of the the several hundred other Remainer MPs’ blogs. Or I can email them myself.

    Now that the Withdrawal Agreement has been voted down by the House of Commons we will not be leaving the EU on March 29th.

    So what does John Redwood intend to do about getting us out at a later date, and when does he expect that to be (if ever).

    Could we have an answer please?

    And just to clarify. I’m not interested in what he thinks ‘should’ happen. I know that already. Nor do I want to hear him say that he intends to keep saying the same things over and over.

    If John Redwood saying things were going to get us out we’d already be out.
    I want to know what he intends to actually do to make it happen.

    I didn’t expect Remainers to get us out of the EU, I expected Leave MPs to do it, and so far all they’ve done is lost us the Leaving date we already had.

    Reply I will continue to speak and vote to leave on March 29 in accordsnce with the law I helped pass

  76. Denis Cooper
    January 27, 2019

    This morning Sophy Ridge interviewed the Irish Europe Minister Helen McEntee, who it seems is still in a bit of a muddle about whether or not there is already a border on the island of Ireland. About half the time she was tacitly accepting that there is a border, and just saying that it must not go back to being a “hard” border, but in parallel with that she also repeatedly tried to pretend that there is no border at present:

    “… any kind of a return to a border on this island …”

    “… ensuring that we don’t have a border … ”

    “… ensure that we do not have a border on this island … ”

    This takes me back to her ludicrous pronouncement on November 24th 2017:

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

    Which I suggested then was enough to call into question whether it was even worth trying to negotiate with the Irish government.

    1. HenryS
      January 27, 2019 Ireland there are two jurisdictions but no visible border..that’s how it is at the present time, that’s how most people would like it to stay. Twenty years ago there was a real hard border with customs both sides, watch towers and army both sides- some DUP types would like to go back to that state but not too many of them are politicians who actually live on the border. FYI There are total 32 counties in Ireland, all with their own County Council or Borough mix, but no visible borders between them..just like in England. The Irish have had enough of this English rant, they are hanging tough, and who could blame them

      1. Denis Cooper
        January 28, 2019

        Nothing new in this reply.

      2. Edward2
        January 28, 2019

        The rant seems to come Varadkar and a few of his pals.
        Very little from elsewhere.

  77. Edwardm
    January 27, 2019

    Quite so.
    Mrs May and the Remoaners need reminding that they are meant to represent the British people and not the EU.

    Also concerned that WA even without the backstop contains unpalatable clauses such as on defence and defence procurement, and we may have to accept EU law and restrictions on agreements with other countries.

    And we need Mrs May to show us her legal advice on the £39B.
    If it is about pensions, we could pay them directly to British pensioners, other countries can look after their own, no need to cycle money via the EU.

  78. BR
    January 27, 2019

    I’m also sick of media bias, yet a recent petition got a dismissive response from the govt saying that this was looked after by a separate body (Ofcom?).

    Did it occur to them that they should be looking at the issue from the angle of:

    1. Is there a problem?
    2. What is the root cause?

    If it is Ofcom then the government needs to do something about that. Basically, government watches the watchdog (and decides how it works).

    Please do something about this in Parliament.

  79. rose
    January 27, 2019

    I think you have got it all in. As a supplementary, I would ask them why they are happy for poor people here to send billions in tariff payments on food, clothes, and shoes, to the corrupt and bloated Commission. Why are they happy for VAT to be set by the EU rather than us, so that sanitary products are classified as luxuries?

  80. zorro
    January 27, 2019

    JR – be prepared to be even more bored!…

    Look what you’ve done now…..

    Civil Service to introduce martial law amid fears that people will die because of food/medical shortages!

    “Government staff are looking at introducing legislation under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 which would allow ministers to impose curfews, travel bans, confiscate property and deploy the armed forces to stop rioting. They can also amend any act of parliament, except the Human Rights Act, for a maximum of 21 days.”

    And…. A Whitehall Source told the Sunday Times the only thing that could be compared to a no-deal Brexit would be a major Europe-wide war.

    The source said: “Although there is nothing that can replicate the scale of the chaos threatened by a no-deal Brexit, which will be about a thousand times worse than the volcanic-ash-cloud crisis, this is about the closest example we have in modern British history.”

    So, I’m taking bets on Emperor Ming the Merciless turning up with his hot hail threatening to knock the world off its axis. Any takers?


  81. HenryS
    January 27, 2019 Ireland there are two jurisdictions but no visible border..that’s how it is at the present time, that’s how most people would like it to stay. Twenty years ago there was a real hard border with customs both sides, watch towers and army both sides- some DUP types would like to go back to that state but not too many of them are politicians who actually live on the border. FYI There are total 32 counties in Ireland, all with their own County Council or Borough mix, but no visible borders between them..just like in England. The Irish have had enough of this English rant, they are hanging tough, and who could blame them

    1. Denis Cooper
      January 28, 2019

      Nothing new here, it’s just a wasted comment.

  82. Lynn Atkinson
    January 27, 2019

    36 years of fighting for Brexit – it was not called that when I started. I’m bored blue arguing in favour of democracy and capitalism.
    Please God the Commons put this May ‘deal’ to bed (again) and end the never ending bullying, threatening and trauma that our people have had to endure.
    What the bloody E.U. has cost Britain I cannot think! Our people are depressed, stressed, poor, insecure, hopeless. Everything is black, self mutilation is rife, nobody smiles as a reflex, staring at the floor, hunched, mass prescription of anti-depressants – look at them!
    How many generations it will take for us to find our confidence, zest for life, energy again I know not, but we need to begin that journey ASAP!

  83. MikeP
    January 27, 2019

    An excellent list. I’m not holding my breath for the day any of them are put to Remainers by the MSM

  84. Dioclese
    January 27, 2019

    And today I read in the press that if there is no deal then martial law will be declared complete with a curfew enforced by the army.

    What utter utter piffle!!!!

  85. tony
    January 28, 2019

    One issue which never seems to be raised now is: immediately after May was appointed leader, what exactly was the deal she agreed after talks with Nissan?

    We have never been privy to this exchange of letters, and it leads one to suspect that this has been the pivotal issue that has led May to produce a WA which keeps us in very close alignment with the EU and so does not deliver on the referendum.

  86. tony
    January 28, 2019

    May failed all the basic techniques of negotiation from day one. She fell into the trap of assuming that if she was reasonable and conciliatory with Brussels, they would reply in kind, which rarely works – they took it as a sign of weakness.

    Secondly, she agreed to let the EU fix the agenda of the talks without any discussion first,
    principally on EU citizens’ right, the divorce settlement, and the spurious backstop. The logical step here would have been to activate A50 and then sit back and wait, and wait…..and wait. She should not have allowed herself to have been rushed.

    In years to come, Mays’ conduct of the negotiations will become a text-book exercise in business schools on how NOT to negotiate – just as the both the ill-fated Ford Edsel and Kodak cameras are used as examples of poor decisions today.

  87. A R Drenth
    January 28, 2019

    Mr Redwood, the boredom is a deliberate ploy, which seems to be working. Your questions are very apposite, but why are they not being asked in public, and in the House? Is House business so locked up and undemocratic that it can’t be done? If yes, why are Brexit Mos not protesting long and loud. The people are relying on you to act.

  88. Simon
    January 28, 2019

    A bit of logistics instruction for you Mr Redwood. Point #6.

    (a). Under the oft quoted WTO rules we can not maintain stringent tariff or non tariff barriers with non EU nations and simply wave through EU goods. This is a non starter. So we may try it but right away we are going to be in breach of our trade obligations. Not clever.

    (b). You know this very well. The EU will definitely impose the EU customs Code on our exports hence they will slow / reduce. Particularly for food which will be impacted severely by BIPs. That will tie up our transport fleets and our cash flow and then in turn impact on our imports travelling the other way on the same routes.

    I am sure a man of your education and business experience knows all this but you prefer exciting sound bites for your largely uninformed adoring fans.

  89. davies
    January 28, 2019

    To add to question 11 I would ask why did the 1975 Referendum campaign make no mention of the Euro currency plans in 1980?

    In the second episode of the BBCs Poisoned Chalice Edward Heath stated that had there not been the economic turbulence in the 70s that would have happened.

  90. Stephen Reay
    January 28, 2019

    I have just sent Julie Elliot, my local MP who voted against Brexit whilst her constituents and the majority of Sundeland voted for Brexit these very questions. Lets wait and see if I get a reply.
    Will my wait be in vane. I shall post any reply here.

  91. Stephen
    January 30, 2019

    As a remain-supporting constituent of yours, I thought I’d answer your questions:

    Why do you want to give £39bn away to rich countries on the continent in return for 21 more months of talks with the EU?

    The £39bn is part of the negotiated deal to exit the EU. Any trade deal negotiations will follow this. The exit deal provides, among other things, further access to the single market for a period of time whilst a trade deal can be negotiated. The EU has always maintained a consistent stance that agreeing the exit deal – including the ‘divorce bill’ – was a pre-requisite ahead of agreeing any future trade deal.

    Therefore, I do not think it is accurate to characterise it as 21 more months of talks as the talks will be discussing a different aspect (i.e. the trade deal rather than the exit deal).

    Why do you think the EU will give us a good deal on a future relationship in 21 months of talks after March, when they have failed to offer anything in the 2 years 9 months before March?

    The EU was happy for us to remain a member, it is Britain who chose to leave. The delays in the process have primarily been caused by the UK position. It is still the case today that 27 countries have remained united in agreeing to the exit deal whilst our country remains divided on the exit deal.

    Discussions around the future relationship haven’t started yet – the exit deal needed to be agreed first.

    Why will it be easier to get a good deal once we have given away the money than it is before we do so?

    The money was ‘given away’ as part of an exit deal. The EU maintained (and our negotiators were not good enough to convince them otherwise) that the exit deal need to be agreed before any trade deal. Therefore, you cannot use elements in the exit deal to negotiate in the trade deal.

    Why did Remain tell us that leaving the EU meant leaving the single market and customs union if you now say we could negotiate our way back in?

    Of course we could negotiate our way back in, if we also agreed to freedom of movement and other conditions (i.e. a ‘soft’ Brexit). However I suspect you would object to this. The path we seem to be on suggests we will be leaving the single market.

    If you want to stay in either the single market or customs union what do you expect the EU to demand on freedom of movement, budget contributions and adherence to EU laws?

    I’d expect the EU to demand freedom of movement, contributions to the EU budget and adherence to EU laws. Personally, I’d be happy with this deal as I think it makes the country a better place.

    Why should there be any delays at UK ports where we import food and drugs, when the UK will be controlling the borders there and when Customs and Excise have already said they can ensure a smooth incoming border?

    I agree that some of the warnings are probably overblown (and then further exacerbated by the media reporting). However, if we need new border systems in place with less than two months to prepare I think some issues are likely. You suggest that if Customs & Excise say they can handle it, this makes it so. There are other organisations who are predicting problems, yet you choose to trust one whilst disregarding others.

    Why didn’t the UK economy collapse into recession and massive job losses as Remain and the government predicted for the first year after a Leave vote?

    Firstly, the UK hasn’t left the EU yet, so the trading situation in terms of tariffs, legislation etc. is exactly the same today as it was the day before the referendum. Secondly, in spite of this, the UK economy has performed worse than almost every other developed economy over the last 2-3 years. There has not been a recession but this is largely due to a buoyant global economy.

    How would you afford the tax cuts and spending increases which Brexiteers plan from the big savings on the EU budget? Do you accept a Brexit bonus budget will boost the economy?

    No. I think any short term benefit from savings on EU contributions will be offset, initially by short term costs of leaving and longer term from damage to the economy through worse access to international trade (both with the EU and globally) and hence lower tax revenue and also through our economy suffering due to lower levels of immigration.

    Would you like to see lower tariffs or no tariffs on tropical produce from emerging market poorer countries, as the UK can do that once out? Wouldn’t removing all tariffs on imported comp0nents for manufacture be a great idea as well?

    There will be specific products where we probably can find better trade deals outside the EU (sugar for example). Obviously, we should seek to maximise these opportunities. However, I believe overall the impact will be net negative for the UK economy as outlined above.

    Wouldn’t another 21 to 45 months of talks prolong the very business uncertainty you dislike and worry about?

    At this stage, there seem to be 2 options:
    1) Leave with no deal – seek to negotiate a trade deal
    2) Agree the exit deal – seek to negotiate a trade deal

    Under option 2, we remain within the single market during the negotiations. However, I don’t think either provide more or less certainty on the long term position. Again, I feel you are trying to equate the exit deal with a future trade deal.

    What would you have said if Leave had refused to accept the 1975 referendum result and demanded a second referendum on the basis that Remain then lied by saying there would be no loss of sovereignty by joining the EEC/EU?

    I don’t know the details to which you refer, but in general this seems to be a flawed argument along the lines that two wrongs (spread over 40+ years) make a right.

    Rather than go back 40+ years, I’ll give my views on a second referendum today. I do find this a difficult one to judge. On the one hand, the first referendum did decide to leave and I don’t feel the illegal activity by the Leave campaign invalidates the entire result.

    However, I do think there is an argument that the country as a whole knows more about what leaving the EU now entails than it did at the time of the first referendum. It is reasonable for the views to have changed in light of this information and, if it was felt views had changed significantly, then I don’t feel a second referendum is undemocratic.

    However, I also don’t see evidence that views have changed significantly and a second referendum would probably still be split broadly 50:50. If it happened this time to just favour remain, I don’t think this would resolve the issue. Therefore, whilst I instinctively want to support a second referendum as I wish the outcome of the first have been different, I don’t think it is a fair idea at this stage.

    What I do object to is the characterisation of the first result as a definitive decision to leave and as such for clear support for a ‘hard’ Brexit. It was a narrow victory for leave and I think part of the clamour/fear of a second referendum is that it could easily have fallen the other way (indeed, Nigel Farage on the night commented along the lines of he expected remain to sneak it something like 52:48). Therefore, whilst I accept the result means our membership of the EU should end I think it is being misrepresented by some as majority support for a particularly hard-line view.

    Why do you have such a low view of our country that you think we cannot govern ourselves?

    Short answer – because we elected this current Government and keep electing MPs like yourself!!

    Longer answer – we always did govern ourselves but were part of a larger group that was primarily a trade deal but also involved some supra-national cooperation. There are degrees of government at all levels (starting with local government up to the UN).

    Is there anything the EU has done that you think is wrong or damaging? If so why didnt you oppose or try to change it?

    The EU is far from perfect, nothing is. However, I still feel the UK is better off being part of the EU than not being part of it. I think leaving is a backward step both economically and socially. As a member of the public, I try to oppose things I disagree with where possible, be it the EU or the views of my constituency MP!!

  92. Bob Q
    February 3, 2019

    I agree mostly with Stephen. It seems those questions are easy to answer, even by a lay person like myself.

    As a lay person, I am still entirely puzzled by the various assertions, and I’d very grateful for some explanations:

    1) What do you think would be the consequences of a disintegration of the EU for European and UK safety, peace and prosperity? Do you think the UK should contribute and if so how?

    2) 48% voted to remain, mostly the young who will outlive the old brexiters. What do you think the consequences would be for the functioning of our democracy and indeed for peace in the UK if they felt drastically disregarded?

    3) What exactly are the trade deals which we will be able to improve on, taking into account our own particular needs for protection (e.g. GM foods etc.), and what evidence is there that as a small market we will be able to get better deals?

    4) Why is it better to have close relationships with bits of the world that are far away close ones?

    5) What will be the consequence of the UK not honouring its commitments (financial, in Ireland, etc.) in terms of it being able to strike deals in the future? Please explain if you say none.

    6) Why should 27 states agree to make it nicer for the UK outside than inside the club? How about other clubs we’ll have to deal with once alone?

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