Brexit end game?

As we listen to the ticking clock we are assured by the PM the UK will leave the EU on 29 March this year. The question remains how.

It sounds from the government line and the line of Mrs May’s helpers that they want to get Parliament to reconsider the Withdrawal Agreement which Remainers and Leavers united to defeat. They seem to think they can pose Remain MPs with the choice of no deal versus the Agreement where they might prefer the Agreement, whilst saying to Leave MPs it is Withdrawal Agreement versus No Brexit. The problem with this approach, as tried last time, is it is contradictory. The threat of No Deal issued to Remain supporters is exactly what many Leave voters now want.

It is not credible to say to Leave MPs Brexit will be cancelled if the Withdrawal Agreement is rejected again. The government would have to propose rescinding the Article 50 letter and embark on the repeal of the EU Withdrawal Act. Many MPs would realise this would destroy the trust of electors. It would lead to the loss of many seats as Labour and Conservative MPs who had won in 2017 on a clear promise to implement Brexit faced retribution from angry voters at the following election. It is difficult to see how Mrs May’s leadership would survive any such attempted U turn on such an important issue, and questionable whether DUP support for the government could last either.There is every reason for MPs to stay loyal to the Conservative or Labour Manifesto and refuse to repeal the legislation.

I suppose there is just a chance that Mr Corbyn might help Mrs May put through delay if he thought it would damage her more than him, but it would be volunteering to open up worse divisions within Labour as well. Both leaders would have to reaffirm commitment to Brexit and would need to persuade the EU that there was some point to a delay. The EU so far has said the negotiations are over on the Withdrawal Agreement, and not offered talks on the future partnership until the Withdrawal Treaty is in force. What would the basis of delay be, as the EU would presumably want all sorts of things in return for a longer time period in the EU?

To a Leave MP the Withdrawal Agreement was easy to vote against because it is not leaving. It is a further 21 to 45 months in the EU, accepting their new laws without any say on them, under their court, and paying large unspecified sums to their budget.With the backstop it might keep the UK in a customs union permanently. The Conservative Manifesto very clearly promised the UK would leave the EU, single market and Customs Union. The Labour Manifesto promised to leave the EU and set out a detailed trade policy that would be incompatible with Customs Union membership.

Mrs May might late in the day get some legal text offering reassurances about the backstop. It is unlikely to be a full rewrite of the Agreement taking the backstop out in the way Parliament requested through the Brady amendment. This should not be enough to lead to the successful passing of a motion in favour of the Agreement after all, and certainly not enough to give the government a majority for the complex legislation it will take to put the 585 page agreement into UK law. It is difficult to see a way of avoiding a full debate on the complete agreement, whatever the draft Withdrawal Agreement Bill might say, allowing plenty of opportunity for doubts to be expressed about many features of this comprehensive lock up of UK sovereignty under a new and damaging EU Treaty.

Given this Remain may well seek delay instead. The issues this poses are two fold. Why would the EU consent to 3 to 9 nonths delay, given their view that the negotiations are over and the Agreement cannot be re opened? How would this fit in with their timetable for European elections and a new Commission? Why would they want to prolong the exit of a country that is clearly going to leave and is refusing their expensive terms for an extension of membership?

At home lies the seconds issue. Many voters will ask why would the UK want delay? It prolongs business uncertainty. It makes the UK look feeble and indecisive. It delays new trade deals and stops us spending the money saved on exit. It fails to take back control of our laws, our money and our borders.

What are the things we can get the EU to agree in April and May that we cannot get them to agree in February and March against the pressure of the deadline of departure? The public want government and Parliament to just get on with it. That is also the best negotiating strategy.I still want a managed WTO exit with a UK offer of a free trade agreement which could avoid tariffs and other new barriers to our EU trade.


  1. Tory in Cumbria
    February 11, 2019

    The way forward is now clear. Mrs May will commit to a permanent customs union with the EU, with full alignment on tax, workers rights, green laws, and so on, and Mr Corbyn will back it. Deal! And the 70 or so angry ERGs will be left ranting on the sidelines. You have been outflanked, Mr John Redwood

    1. Roy Grainger
      February 11, 2019

      The permanent CU strategy could only be put in the non-binding political declaration associated with the WA which could be ignored by the PM who would succeed May.

    2. Paul H
      February 11, 2019

      You are ignoring 17.4m very angry people – not to mention many Remainers unhappy with the way things have been handled.

      1. Julian Flood
        February 11, 2019

        We held a street stall in Bury St Edmunds with one of those ball in a transparent box polling things. Most surprising was the number of young peoole who voted Leave. Most gratifying was the occasional Remain voter who said that the democratic vote was to leave and that decision should be honoured.

        Leave with no deal beat the Remain box by about 60:40.


    3. tony
      February 11, 2019

      In which case the Conservative party may well get outflanked by the electorate come the next GE.

      1. common man
        February 13, 2019

        the three main parties may well regret the decision to not carry out the wishes of the electorate if social media comment is anything to go by

    4. Merlin
      February 11, 2019

      Good analysis there – and I say that as a Remainer.

      I would advise being careful of that dreaded word ‘will of the people’. Many MPs and voters keep talking about the ‘will of the people’ and saying very contradictory things.

      For example, I think some Brexit voters want to see immigration drop to the tens of thousands.

      Whereas for others, it’s simply about stopping immigration from the EU. So they have no problem with, say, Polish immigrants being replaced by immigrants from India (which a been a primary consequence of Brexit and one I greatly welcome).

      1. A.Sedgwick
        February 11, 2019

        One word sums up the “will of the people” – freedom.

      2. Merlin
        February 12, 2019

        You’re wrong here. I’m a solid Ken Clarke One Nation Tory.

        Though I voted for Tony Blair – and generally vote for centrist moderates.

        I’ve got no time for ideology.

    5. Tad Davison
      February 11, 2019

      Then bring on the revolution and let the people take back control. Not forgetting there’s a new party that could clean up at the tired old disreputable untrustworthy Westminster parties’ expense.

    6. Peter
      February 11, 2019

      “And the 70 or so angry ERGs will be left ranting on the sidelines. You have been outflanked, Mr John Redwood”

      Not necessarily. It is spanner in the works time. DUP and Leave-minded Labour MPs are also resolute in opposition.

      If she cannot get WA through then there is still everything to fight for. Even if she negotiated another delay time will eventually catch up with her.

      An election will have to be held eventually and recalcitrant politicians will be removed. Yes, it is a long game – but in the meantime we can still make the European Commission’s work a nightmare.

    7. Alvan Beaton
      February 11, 2019

      John, your last sentence I feel was the most important. BUT, now it will take true men and women of valour to stand in the commons in the coming days to seriously spell to that LEAVE was won not on any deal but two clear questions that were posed. Remain in a EU Customs Union or Leave the EU Customs union. We voted LEAVE. If we do not LEAVE the EU and its ties no matter how few these ties may be, it means democracy has failed in the United Kingdom. My fear is there will be repercussions and I pray that MPs will rise and show clear determination in the chamber in the coming days and speak out against what is seen as a complete fudge of the 2016 Vote. God help our leaders and our Nation.

    8. Andrew
      February 11, 2019

      The 70 or so ERG members will be insignificant in comparison to the 17.4 Million that have just been swindled out of a clean Brexit. I don’t say it won’t happen, it’s politics and May is banking on Tories having forgotten about it come the next GE and staying loyal to the party to avoid a Corbyn government. But personally I’d buy shares in Hi-Vis jacket manufacturers as I suspect they will be in short supply come April…

      1. Anonymous
        February 11, 2019

        Especially the proliferation of speed cameras and the contrast between Mayist zero tolerance of people making mistakes whilst trying to get to work over her utter UTTER weakness against gangstas.

    9. Peter Telford
      February 11, 2019

      And you let Mr. Corbyn in with just that move of betrayal. There are now enough Brexiters to take out more than enough Tory Remain MPs.

    10. Richard Elsy
      February 11, 2019

      The outcome is now clear and the mandates voted for in the referendum and the General Election look achievable. The peculiarly large settlement of £39.0 billion should never have passed through any part of UK Government. The EU cycle we are in is finished at the end of 2020 and our commitments technically cease on 29th March this year. There has never been any attempt to justify this sum, to the taxpayer, neither has there ever been any presentation of UK assets in the EU, not least those held in the EIB. It’s been a farce and was, sadly, always likely to be so. We leave. We should attempt to get GATT Article 24 accepted pending agreement on a FTA. The Irish border is a confected chimera – ask the WTO and the World Customs Union. Life will go on from 30th March. That’s it. Adios! Ciao! Adieu!

  2. Dougal Hamer
    February 11, 2019

    You can offer as many free trade agreements as you like, it gets nowhere without an Irish backstop. Have you simply not been listening? Any Irish backstop is a red line of both the Uk and the EU

    1. John Hatfield
      February 11, 2019

      “Still no Irish solution”.
      Still no Irish problem.

  3. Mark B
    February 11, 2019

    Good morning.

    As we listen to the ticking clock we are assured by the PM we will leave on 29 March this year. The question remains how.

    This is my guess given that the government is stalling right up to the end date.

    The PM will put before the HoC her so called ‘deal’ (WA) unamended but with a few added extra words of comfort but no more. It will be a vote of Confidence in the government. If the government loses the PM has to seek the dissolvement of Parliament and, an extension to Art.50 process with the EU. The EU will grant this but on condition. The extension will be for say, 2-3 months, this will allow the PM to kick the can further down the road. After that, who knows. But as I kind host mentions, business needs certainty as to what we are doing, and it is this that is damaging things and putting jobs at risk.

    1. Mark B
      February 11, 2019

      Nail, head, hit !


  4. Lifelogic
    February 11, 2019

    Exactly right.

    As you say:- “ The public want government and Parliament to just get on with it. That is also the best negotiating strategy. I still want a managed WTO exit with a UK offer of a free trade agreement which could avoid tariffs and other new barriers to our EU trade.”

    This is also the best (probably the only) only way to avoid burying the Conservative party and giving us a Corbyn/SNP disaster. We must ensure parliament is truly sovereign in March this year and any new government can do as it wishes to serve the needs of the people. Surely everyone can see that the NI border is totally trumped up nonsense? Once we have finally left we need to turn the Tory party into one that actually delivers lower simpler taxes, far less bonkers red tape, simpler employment law and smaller more efficient government. Hammond keeps going on about low productivity but he and this government are the main cause of it.

    Start by cancelling the absurdly damaging and pointless HS2 and going for cheap, on demand energy rather than endless idiotic green crap subsidies. Let renewable compete on a level playing field.

    Project fear continues with Carney and the Chief Medical Officer the other day and lack of access to EU criminal databases this morning on BBC1 from the deputy chief constable of the PSNI. Who would want to remain in a club with members who behave like this? France has even withdrawn their ambassador to Italy so well are they getting on!

    Cooperation and trade yes rule by no thanks.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 11, 2019

      Plus we get Hammond today with his “despite Brexit” the economy not doing that badly.

      More like:- despite the highest and most idiotic taxes for 40 years, the endless red tape, an economic illiterate chancellor, expensive greencrap energy and a PM who is doing her very best to bury the Tories and give us an appalling ( and absurdly expensive WA deal and thus hand power to Corbyn/SNP.

      Still some good news though – Cabinet to revolt on HS2 – let us hope they do. Countless properties and businesses blighted and vast sums wasted on it already.

  5. Dominic
    February 11, 2019

    I have always said this is a party versus country issue.

    As a Tory MP you have two stark choices.

    You can either choose to act politically, remain loyal to your party and support this wretched PM affording her the opportunity to confront, challenge and ignore the democratic will of the people which would lead to the loss of total sovereignty and independence of the UK

    Or you can choose to act morally, reject her threats and intimidation, coalesce around a Brexit leader and threaten to bring down the government

    The future sovereignty, independence and dignity of the UK and its people are of far greater importance than the political fortunes of the two main political parties that have been betraying their core supporters for decades and taking our support for granted as though it was divinely ordained

    The British people were given the decision to shape our nation’s destiny and future. We did decide and chose sovereignty and democratic control. Certain politicians resent the people’s involvement in the way our nation is run and have chosen to undermine the referenda decision and turn it on its head

    Well, I’m sorry Mr Redwood. May will betray you and your nation. She will betray you and democracy. She cares not one jot for your views, your loyalty or your value as a MP. She cares not one jot for the UK. Her only concern is protecting the interests of the EU

    You must bring her down. You must bring down this government. You must elect a Eurosceptic as Tory leader and go to the country on a Leave platform

    May is an offence to our nation, our democracy and our people

    1. fedupsoutherner
      February 11, 2019

      Right again Dominic. Always so well put.

  6. Mike Wilson
    February 11, 2019

    If she manages to squeeze her Withdrawal Agreement through by getting cross party support, will any Tory MPs resign the whip, start voting against the government and bring the government down? The DUP presumably will withdraw support.

    1. Rien Huizer
      February 11, 2019

      @ Mike Wilson

      In that scenario the DUP would become irrelevant and they know it.

      1. Mike Wilson
        February 11, 2019

        If the DUP withdraw support the government falls. That simple. Tory Party will tear itself asunder. New Brexit Party will get 10 million votes in ensuing election.

    2. Chris
      February 11, 2019

      This is a key question, MW, and I fear they won’t.

      1. stred
        February 11, 2019

        Many Conservative MPs will be hoping that most voters will not understand that May’s withdrawl agreement is not a deal, that getting a deal will takes years and that during this time we will not have the things that they voted for. By repeatedly lying that it allows for trade deals elsewhere and frees us from the EU and freedom of movement, voters will not realize until after the next election.

        The lack of knowledge about the pitfalls of the May/Robbins ‘deal’ have been found in the latest survey by Lord Ashcroft. They can hardly be blamed, given the repeated propaganda in favour from the BBC and continual claims about disaster if they are given what they voted for. Few will accept that the Prime Minister, the Treasury and civil service have deliberately not prepared for WTO in order to scupper their decision.

        Many Conservative members realize the truth but the dimmer ones do not and the general population is just sick of hearing about it and are content to accept anything in order to hear the end of it. They will have found out after a few more years of dealing with Herr Selmayer.

  7. agricola
    February 11, 2019

    Any of the above will destroy the conservative party. When the Conservative and Unionist party is divided on the sovereignty of the UK to the extent that 2/3s of it is prepared to continue with the emasculation and subjugation of it to a foreign undemocratic power, it is the end of it within UK politics.

    I look upon it as the end game. Both you and I need to look for a suitable vehicle to represent our views and those of 17.4 million of the electorate. A vehicle that is not tainted by the corruption of vested establishment interests.

    1. JoolsB
      February 11, 2019

      Enter Nigel Farage.

      1. Martin R
        February 11, 2019

        The only thing Farage is interested in is shafting UKIP. He knows perfectly well that taking votes from UKIP will only benefit the legacy parties and still goes ahead regardless. It all comes down to being piqued at not being able to shove Gerard Batten aside. A total disaster for the Leave movement, which he knows perfectly well.

        1. Chris
          February 11, 2019

          I am sorry for being so blunt, but that is rubbish, Martin R.

        2. Iago
          February 11, 2019

          Completely agree, thank you for saying this, and of course his new party has been recognised with alacrity by our traitor elite.

      2. Dennis Zoff
        February 11, 2019


        “Enter Nigel Farage.”

        Registered interest is already up to the 50,000. Additionally, there are certain individuals and pro-Brexit companies out there, with the required financial resources, taking the New Pro-Brexit Party very seriously indeed. Tories and Labour should take note!

        1. Chris
          February 11, 2019

          DZ, I think the new Party will take them all by surprise. The arrogance and duplicity of the current political parties, with the prime minister at the fore, have been beyond belief, and so many of us in the electorate are determined to let them know how utterly disgusted we are with them. We now have an outlet and we will use it.

    2. Tad Davison
      February 11, 2019

      If anything is likely to destroy the Conservative party, it’s the Conservative party. They have alienated their voters and marginalised their membership. They keep foisting duds like May and Major upon us. People who have no resonance with the wider public. We grow weary of inadequate contemptible goody-goodys. We need leadership from people who can actually lead!

      1. Lifelogic
        February 11, 2019

        Also duds like Ted Heath creator of the EU problem and (I am a cast iron, low tax at heart and EUsceptic sure mate) abandon ship Cameron.

        Even Lady Thatcher mad very basic errors and failed to cut taxes and the state sector sufficiently. Perhaps appointing Major as the ERM Chancellor being the main one.

    3. Prigger
      February 11, 2019

      @Tad Davison
      Much depends on whether the regular voter has had a political update recently, taken a detailed interest, for they have to work earning money and shut down thinking processes , get into their stride where external thinking is blocked out so time flies.
      Ones I have spoken with seem more informed than at any time I have witnessed. They do just nutshell their conclusions dispensing with polite cumbersome unproductive speech. They swear Leave

  8. Excalibur
    February 11, 2019

    Another accomplished summation, JR. I am one of the many who now favours a No-deal exit. I expect Remainers to use subterfuge and trickery to get their way. We are reliant on the ERG holding their nerve.

    1. Peter
      February 11, 2019

      Agreed. I don’t think May cares about anything apart from her survival and getting her way. So she will try to pull some stroke to get her Withdrawal Agreement across the line. Leavers need to respond in kind by doing whatever it takes to defeat her. No need to tell May what the plans are. String her along and then spring a surprise,

      1. John Hatfield
        February 11, 2019

        May cares about nothing but following the instructions of her corporate lobbyists.

        1. Denis Cooper
          February 11, 2019

          I think that is close to the truth. She also has a husband who is a bit of a eurofanatic, I have been told by some local ex-Tories.

        2. Chris
          February 11, 2019

          her corporate lobbyists aka globalists, deep state cabal. They have a global network, operate in key countries, and have a common agenda. Fortunately President Trump has them in his sights and hopefully will provide the courage to others, such as the UK, to stand firm and fight for sovereignty.

    2. Chris
      February 11, 2019

      The ERG have already given way and in a manner that betrays that they are more interested in keeping the Cons Party in power and saving May, rather than fighting in a straightforward and wholehearted way for Brexit. They seem to have sacrificed some principles just for what they thought was short term gain. An unwise tactic as once you ditch your principles people can see you are not worth supporting as you don’t keep your word.

      1. Iago
        February 11, 2019

        ERG, European Research Group, an anodyne name and a pointer to a lack of guts.

  9. Dylan
    February 11, 2019

    Is surprising that John Redwood manages to be an MP yet remain so unaware of what goes on around him in Parliament or in the public minds

    The House of Commons has a large majority against leaving without a Deal and has even VOTED against leaving without a Deal.

    It has also voted in favour of accepting the existing Withdrawal Agreement subject to changes in the ‘backstop’ implementation. John Redwood himself abstained on the vote.

    Negotiations have now started, and the final outcome won’t be known until the EU summit on March 22nd.

    Public Opinion Polls also show substantial majorities against leaving without a Deal although support for the existing one is about 50:50. A majority of Conservative voters also support the Deal.

    And a substantial majority of the public supports postponing the leaving date if no Deal is in place by March 29th. Which if there isn’t is what WILL happen.

    1. JoolsB
      February 11, 2019

      That’s funny because all the polls I’ve seen, they show the majority are in favour of leaving with no deal.

    2. L Jones
      February 11, 2019

      ”…Public Opinion Polls also show substantial majorities against leaving without a Deal although support for the existing one is about 50:50. A majority of Conservative voters also support the Deal….”

      I wonder what you’re reading that the rest of us are not?

      (By the way – you give away the fact that you’re a remainer as you begin your comment with an insult – you weaken your own ‘argument’. So you WOULD say all this, wouldn’t you?)

    3. Denis Cooper
      February 11, 2019

      The Brady amendment did not call for “changes to the ‘backstop’ implementation” but for it to be “replaced”:

      “At end, add “and requires the Northern Ireland backstop to be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border; supports leaving the European Union with a deal and would therefore support the Withdrawal Agreement subject to this change.””

      My question, now as then, is what kind of “alternative arrangements” they could be, given that the Irish government has ruled out the use of technology or indeed anything that would even “imply a border on the island of Ireland”.

    4. Al
      February 11, 2019

      Public opinion polls also showed a substantial lead for Remain in the run up to the Referendum. Unless they can prove they have changed their sampling and analysis methods to be more accurate, I would be wary of those results.

    5. Chris Dark
      February 11, 2019

      Public opinion polls aren’t worth the toilet paper they’re written on. They’re only designed to manipulate opinions, not faithfully record them.

    6. Helen Smith
      February 11, 2019

      I don’t know where you get your polls from, the New European or Indy perhaps.

      Almost no one likes May’s surrender policy, No Deal is popular and growing more popular by the day.

      We know 70% of Parliament voted Remain so it is hardly surprising that it is against leaving with no deal. However, they gave the decision to us and we voted to Leave so Leave we must.

    7. mancunius
      February 11, 2019

      “The House of Commons has a large majority against leaving without a Deal and has even VOTED against leaving without a Deal.”

      So far the only HoC vote against leaving without a deal was the Spelman amendment – which is non-binding, and can and will be ignored by the government: it has no executable validity.

      It was voted on by 318 votes to 310, which is a majority of only 7 votes. To call that a ‘large majority’ is laughable.

  10. Anonymous
    February 11, 2019

    Andy said we’re mad for saying we’ll grow our own veg and ‘Dunkirk spirit’ and yes we are. Hopping mad.

    All who took part in the referendum said they’d get behind the result. They threw away all the cards and didn’t even prepare for what was on the ballot paper.

    1. Anonymous
      February 11, 2019

      The legacy of May’s last job is an explosion of knife hooliganism and speed cameras.

      Zero tolerance for hard workers with ultra tolerance for yobs.

      1. JoolsB
        February 11, 2019

        Exactly, the explosion in knife crime is totally down to May when she was Home Secretary and stopped stop and search because her lefty mindset was more concerned about political correctness than stopping young lives being wasted and now no doubt Javid is not allowed to reinstate it because his stupid useless boss won’t let him.

        1. Lifelogic
          February 11, 2019

          She was indeed a dreadful Home Secretary. But then she clearly is a fairly daft socialist and one with very little understanding of the real world of the average Joe or Jane.

          1. Chris
            February 11, 2019

            Unfortunately she (or one of her team) was successful in pulling the expose of her record at the Home Office from a major newspaper prior to the leadership election. The public had a right to know those “home truths” and that article made it clear that she was apparently a failure.

      2. Tad Davison
        February 11, 2019

        It’s the way of the do-gooder I’m afraid. Their solution is to give a scumbag criminal a really good talking to rather than providing society with a remedy that actually works.

        We expect softy drivel from Labour and the Lib Dems, but the Tories have allowed themselves to be tarred with the same brush to the extent that we can no longer tell the difference. Westminster really has let this country down – in a word, they’re pathetic!

      3. bigneil
        February 11, 2019

        And even more tolerance for importing work-shy people who just want a free life on the UK taxpayer with healthcare thrown in. WE pay – THEY stay.

      4. Timaction
        February 11, 2019

        ……….the legacy of Mays last job was alienating all the public services with huge cuts and no pay rises for 10 years and decimating their pensions, whilst MP’s are richly rewarded with annual increases and safeguarding their own pensions. 20,000 cuts in Police numbers and they wonder why their is an explosion in crime and disorder. Increasing political correctness so serious crimes of grooming go unnoticed for decades……..etc
        There is no trust left in Mrs May. No one believes a word she says and Sir Nigel’s new party will sweep the board at the next elections whatever they are.

  11. Lifelogic
    February 11, 2019

    Rory Stuart, on BB1 just now about reaching across the house over protecting workers rights and environment protections. In other words leaving these matters under EU control and not restoring Westminster based democracy. Plus more project fear over security and the European Arrest Warant system.

    Boris is surely right in the Telegraph:- The police are wasting time on Twitter transphobes, not tackling knife crime. The Met need to get knifes off the street, rather than sending officers to tackle mothers who rant online.

    Why such idiotic priorities who is setting them?

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      February 11, 2019

      Too many MPs seem to have no confidence in their own abilities to set our laws and regulations but somehow think the EU would do a better job. They should step aside and make way for those who can fulfil that role and have confidence in this country and its people.

      1. A.Sedgwick
        February 11, 2019

        Good article by Roger Bootle today of how important de-regulating is and its significance has been largely ignored in the benefits of our getting out of the EU’s clutches.

    2. Denis Cooper
      February 11, 2019

      He, and the police, and Theresa May, all like the EU Arrest Warrant because there is no need for UK police to get a magistrate to hear the case and authorise the arbitrary arrest and summary deportation of anybody who has been named as a suspect in such a warrant. Unlike warrants from outside of the EU, such as from the USA.

    3. agricola
      February 11, 2019

      The line of responsibility is the Home Office, Bramshill college for senior policemen looking for further promotion, and those Assistant and Chief Constables who actually believe the mantra of modern policing that goes all the way back to one Roy Jenkins. Tbe results of their collective contribution is what you experience on the streets of the UK today. Look no further.

    4. bigneil
      February 11, 2019

      And on our local radio – a request for more officers for the local police was turned down – -yet we ALWAYS have money to reward more illegal immigrants to come here and do nothing.

    5. Tad Davison
      February 11, 2019

      You might well ask LL.

      I want our own parliament to be sovereign once more, but MPs really do need to be of a higher calibre than the ones we presently have. I want people of whom I can say, ‘yes, I agree with that, you can have my vote’ not ones who make me cringe and feel ashamed every time they open their mouths. Rory Stewart is well up on my list of do-gooders I want to see the back of!

      1. Lifelogic
        February 11, 2019


      2. A.Sedgwick
        February 11, 2019

        Unless we remove FPTP career politicians will continue to dominate the Commons.

  12. oldtimer
    February 11, 2019

    I congratulate you on your ability to write calm, considered comments on Mrs May’s bungled, duplicitous attempts to lock this country into a customs union with no means of escape. I only hope that there are enough MPs, who are as angry as I am, to vote down the next edition of her WA in whatever form it takes. As a Leave voter I would not accept the betrayal of the referendum result that a HoC vote in favour of her WA would represent.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 11, 2019

      Exactly. Get rid of her as soon as possible.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      February 11, 2019

      Oldtimer. I couldn’t have put it better myself. We are all angry in the knowledge we have few options at the ballot box but I am hoping Farage gets organised and wipes the board. We need another alternative to the poor excuses we have for parties now.

  13. Richard1
    February 11, 2019

    It seems likely that the constant drumbeat of how damaging a ‘disorderly’ brexit will be will mean MPs in sufficient numbers vote for the WA once there are a few vague words of clarification etc. If this means the UK is locked into the customs union permanently – and let’s remember we will not be let out unless a new agreement keeps us even more ‘aligned’ with the EU – then an independent trade policy is impossible. This is one of the main potential benefits of brexit. So the WA would put us in a worse position than remain. Perhaps we will than have new calls for a second referendum, with the EU agreeing to let us back in. In such circs remain / return would be the logical choice. Clever.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      February 11, 2019

      richard1 A second referendum is unacceptable to most of us. The electorate would be furious.

  14. eeyore
    February 11, 2019

    Out of the impenetrable smoke of battle our host magicks these little masterpieces of lucidity. At the last count 432 MPs didn’t want WA and 318 didn’t want ND. The House likes neither but clearly thinks ND is much better than a bad deal.

    As well as moves to extend A50 there are desperate plots afoot to wrest control from the government. Since the Commons is not able to compel government, nor legally competent to negotiate on our behalf, it’s not easy to see how that helps (except to make ND more likely). What a picture we must make to foreigners.

  15. Denis Cooper
    February 11, 2019

    Unfortunately leading Leave politicians allowed “Leave the EU without any special trade deal” to be confounded with “Leave the EU without any agreement at all on anything at all”, the latter then being easily depicted as a recipe for chaos. It is rather late to be trying to undo that earlier strategic error by now talking about a “managed WTO exit”, that kind of proposal should have been pushed in late 2017 or early 2018:

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

  16. Caterpillar
    February 11, 2019

    Reasons for delay:
    1) To reset and stick to, a date for managed WTO exit…And prepare (actual prep, positive narrative, fiscal response)
    2) To field candidates in May’s European elections (the message will be clear)
    3) To avoid being railroaded into WA

  17. Ian Murray
    February 11, 2019

    Mrs. May has painted herself into a corner with non-drying paint.

    1. Adam
      February 11, 2019

      We should leave Mrs May in her corner, & Leave the EU well away from her untouchable sticky deal with clean hands.

      We’ll be freer in independence; better than being tarred & feathered with worthless EU constraints.

    2. Chris
      February 11, 2019

      Make no mistake, she wanted to get where she is. May believes that by playing things right up to the last minute she can get her WA through. After all, the Brady amendment support from Tory Brexiter MPs meant she is virtually there. Smart move, not, Brexiter MPs.

      1. rose
        February 11, 2019

        We were assured that they would all come to their senses over Christmas and vote it through. Let us hope this strategy is equally fruitless. 430 votes against wasn’t at all what had been briefed from “No 10”.

  18. Andy
    February 11, 2019

    It is true that many Leavers now want a no deal.

    But there is no mandate for this. It was not promised at the referendum. It was not promised in the 2017 election which the Tories lost either.

    And opinion polls show the overall number who back no-deal is below 30%. You have no mandate. It is the will of a bunch of Tory extremists, it is not the will of the people.

    Despite this, I expect the extremists to try for no deal and I hope they succeed. These inept goons – who can not count to 48 and who award shipping contracts to companies without ships – have precisely no chance of success.

    A no deal outcome is now the best scenario. You all get to prove that you are right. When you fail – and you will – Brexit will be swiftly and permanently undone and the retribution you will all face will be brutal. Our prisons will be rammed full of Conservative MPs. What’s not to like?

    1. libertarian
      February 11, 2019

      Dear ………. Andy

      Lets face it you’re just not very bright are you ?

      The organisation you adore , the EU made it perfectly clear that on triggering Art 50 then we would leave, and THEN we could negotiate with them. So we leave on WTO and then we decide if we would like to negotiate a deal with the EU or maybe even bilateral agreements with Italy etc

      Oh and also

      The ONS has released its first estimate of GDP growth for 2018 Q4 at 0.2%, giving an initial figure of 1.3% growth for the year. A far cry from the recession that the Treasury, Bank of England and IMF were all predicting before the referendum…

      1. Mitchel
        February 11, 2019

        Andrew Neil,on his twitter feed,gave prelim 2018 GDP figures for the G7 members this morning:-

        US 3.0%
        Canada 2.1%
        UK 1.4%
        Germany 1.1%
        France 0.9%
        Italy 0.1%
        Japan 0.0%

        1. Stred
          February 11, 2019

          BBC politics chat show had a nearly all women panel and argued that the figure was disastrous because of uncertainty.

      2. Richard
        February 11, 2019

        Libertarian lets face its not very bright to accuse anyone of adoring the EU.
        Most remainers certainly dont, they just realise we are actually better off in than out, and need to change from within rather than sniping from the outside.

        What wasnt very bright was setting a date for leaving mid-term, with no plan.

        It is very clear that whatever plan anyone can come up with, none are better than actually staying in.

        Article 50 requires withdrawing.

        “The will of the people” is a meaningless soundbite used by an increasingly desperate minority.

        If a democracy cannot change its mind, it ceases to become a democracy.

        1. Edward2
          February 12, 2019

          So Richard what is your vision for remaining in the EU?
          It won’t stay the same as it is now.
          Fancy the United States of Europe?
          The UK having the Euro.
          An EU armed force with our armed forces managed by the EU
          Common taxation and budgets both controlled by the EU
          Many more nations joining and open borders with them.
          Qualified majority voting on many more key policy areas and reduced option to veto.

          It is all in the 5 Presidents Report

        2. a-tracy
          February 12, 2019

          Richard, that is a bit hard-faced, leavers, have constantly for the past two years been told they have inferior intelligence (and that is the most polite way that I could phrase it, they’ve had much worse). They have been told they didn’t understand what they voted for, they deserve pity. I know as many intelligent men and women that voted leave as I know dole scroungers and pensioners who voted remain so nothing affected their benefits as they believed remain scare stories (that aren’t the same as leave lies, oh no they are superior remain lies).

          The leave voters on mass have been labelled xenophobic, ignorant, racist and you’re getting upset about ‘not very bright’.

          In history we have seen the work of scholars giving up on the United Kingdom, breaking us down, giving away great chunks of our hard earned taxes whilst telling us they can’t afford to even collect bins each week now. We are told we have to have austerity because the EU demands it to meet their debt and deficit targets but now people claim it wasn’t the EU that demanded that – really Richard? There is no change from inside we tried to remember, we seem to have less say than Countries that just take out.

          The EU and Juncker, in particular, could have ended all this in my strong belief had small concessions been granted to Cameron but NO! A man the UK, one of the largest five contributers (worth 16 smaller countries to the EU I read), was told our vote counted for nothing when electing the President. This powerful man is very divisive, people criticise Trump every day the campaigning against him is like nothing I have ever witnessed before but Junker (I don’t want to go into all of his flaws) is simply unreproachable.

        3. libertarian
          February 12, 2019


          Oh dear, try applying some thinking before posting

          1) Andy and crew have never once given a positive reason for staying in the EU, this is typical cult behaviour

          2) We’ve always had a plan, do keep up. Its just not been implemented by ultra remain adorers

          3) Its clear that the very best plan is leaving and trading on WTO terms until FTAs with the largest world markets have been achieved , we can then talk to the EU

          4) Ive never used the term “will of the people” so stop putting words in my mouth to try to create a debate

          5) First a democracy has to IMPLEMENT the democratic decision , then you might want to change it democratically

          In your adoration for all things EU you, like your other conspirators here still fail to cite any reason to stay in the EU

          That doesn’t look very bright Richard

          1. Richard
            February 12, 2019

            Leaving on WTO terms is a meaningless slogan, not a plan. Still waiting for the ERG plan.

            JR used the tiresome ‘will of..’ drivel.

            Why is it wrong for democracies to not have the capability to change their minds when consequences of non-legally binding referendums are better understood ? It’s plain common sense.

            Remain voters don’t have to defend the EU, it is the status quo. You have to demonstrably prove we (as in Joe Public and not just big business tax dodgers and disaster capitalists) will be better off (financially, culturally, safety… etc) out of it.

            Do stop using the EU adoration stuff. It’s as generalistic as all Brexiters being accused of adoring Trump.

            A-tracy Leave voters were not stupid, they were simply taken in by those using Trump-style nationalist populism lies.

            Many of those lies paid for by very dubious means.

          2. Edward2
            February 13, 2019

            Read the Leaflet.
            This is your decision, we will implement what you decide.

            You say, “the EU is the status quo”
            Read the 5 Presidents Report.
            They have radical plans.

            17.2 million people “taken in by lies”
            Yet every remain voter you think was perfectly informed.
            Ridiculous insulting nonsense.

        4. David Price
          February 12, 2019

          Where was and is the Remainer strategic plan for the UK benefiting from EU membership, or are you all as surprised and disgusted as the rest of us with the creeping ratchet of EU dominance?

          The chaos and misery caused by uncontrolled migrants is down to two people alone, Merkel and Juncker, who decided to impose mandatory quotas on everyone else when disaster struck home in Germany. Tell me, where was the planning behind that?

          Considering the vindictive and spiteful behaviour of the EU in the Article 50 process why would we ever want to join such a group in the first place let alone remain.

          The best course now is to leave with no WA or backstop or constrained entanglements with the EU, instead we should support our own people across the UK and work on agreements with those countries who wish friendly and mutually productive arrangements. By all means offer the EU an FTA based relationship but with the current crop of administrators and leadership I wouldn’t make them a top priority.

    2. Yorkie
      February 11, 2019

      There was a mandate to Leave, full stop. No hard or soft, no deal or deal. Just Leave.
      It is simply TOLD. OUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. Denis Cooper
    February 11, 2019

    By Martin Howe QC:

    “Why seeking an extension to Article 50 would be a terrible idea”

    1. tony
      February 11, 2019

      That is an excellent piece; should be obligatory reading for MPs on both sides.

    2. formula57
      February 11, 2019

      Thank you for this Martin Howe link. I see he says: –

      “By asking for a favour [Article 50 extension] when up against the clock, the UK would once again put itself in a very weak negotiating position, where it would be subject to being blackmailed for further concessions.”

      The quislings will love that – and we can thus expect Mrs. Weak and Vacillating to take their advice.

  20. Andy
    February 11, 2019

    I note that the Fantastic Mr Fox has done a deal with Switzerland. It is marginally less good than the deal we have now – but is very similar. So we have gained nothing.

    I thought our new trade deals would be better than what we have now. And the Swiss one is marginally worse.

    Also – Mr Fox says the Swiss deal is significantly better than trade with Switzerland on WTO terms. Protecting more British jobs and benefiting the economy.

    So surely this applies everywhere. Trade deals better than the WTO rules you push for Mr Redwood.

    Why do you want fewer Britons to have jobs and for our country to be poorer?

    Reply I thought you said none of the EU trade deals could be novated to us!

    1. Roy Grainger
      February 11, 2019

      Everyone who votes Labour at the next election will be voting to makes the country poorer. It’s not all about money Andy.

      1. James
        February 11, 2019

        Such a shame that so many Remainers just still don’t get it. It’s not difficult to grasp. It’s not all about trade and the absurd backstop nonsense. It’s about sovereignty. Sovereignty is the most precious flower. Sovereignty can’t be “shared”. We either have sovereignty or we don’t. Millions died to preserve our sovereignty. Millions voted in the referendum to reclaim our sovereignty. Millions will vote in the next election to ensure that the despicable politicians who besmirched our sovereignty are consigned to a place where they can do no further harm.

        1. Edward2
          February 11, 2019

          Well said James.

        2. Richard
          February 11, 2019

          Remainers really do get it. It’s really not that important, it’s just a meaningless soundings these days, like “will of the people” nonsense, but Parliament already has Sovereignty. You brexiter extremists just don’t like it when Parliament asserts it.

          1. Edward2
            February 12, 2019

            You need to read the various treaties we have signed with the EU Richard.
            Sovereignty rests with the EU.
            Their courts are supreme.
            Pariament is trying to continue that situation where it surrenders us to be controlled by the EU.
            First Parliament has to become free and independent before it can reassert itself.
            calling over 17 million people extremists is ridiclulous.

          2. Richard
            February 13, 2019

            The European Court of Justice does not have any power to strike down UK national law.
            17 million voters obviously are not extreme. That’s a stupid as those misquoting Tusk.

          3. Edward2
            February 13, 2019

            Very careful with your words richard.
            But the ECJ court has supremacy.
            Read the Lisbon Treaty

    2. Tory in Cumbria
      February 11, 2019

      What is this word “novate”? Did you just invent it?

      1. libertarian
        February 11, 2019

        Tory in Cumbria

        Try using a dictionary

      2. Leslie Singleton
        February 11, 2019

        Dear Cumbria–Talk about displying your ignorance

      3. Yorkie
        February 11, 2019

        It is of interest that how one writes and even spells has become on social media somewhat of an obsession by Remainers. It is as if they are seeing language which does not compute with them, really. Just normal writing and they do not understand it and say so on social media when non-politcos and Brexiteers understand first take.
        This phenomenon is a goldmine for psycho-socio-linguists. Does it always happen in times of great change that the vanquished lose their language? Is it so they are getting ready for new thought patterns? Truth in this case.

    3. Denis Cooper
      February 11, 2019

      If you gave us some numbers, Andy, we could see how much difference any of it would actually make and also assess how much value you place on democracy.

    4. Richard1
      February 11, 2019

      Good sense from distinguished economist Roger Bootle:-

      Free of the EU’s over-wrought regulations, our country can thrive

      1. formula57
        February 11, 2019

        “can” thrive indeed – but we will not have a Ludwig Erhard to deliver a Wirtschaftswunder, rather the likes of Hammond and Clark, in thrall to the Evil Empire and unwilling to free us to compete.

        1. Richard1
          February 11, 2019

          Indeed that is a valid point. Brexit on its own won’t do anything, we need the right policies afterwards.

      2. Andy
        February 11, 2019

        Which regulations do you and Mr Bootle want to free us from?

        The ones which protect the rights of workers? The ones which protect the rights of consumers? The ones which keep our products safe? The ones which protect the environment?

        These all cost businesses money – on that you are right. So which ones do you want to scrap? Because there are consequences of scrapping them too you know.

        For example you could marginally reduce the cost of children’s toys – perhaps by a few pence each – by scrapping some burdensome safety regulations. Perhaps the one that means battery compartments of toys for toddlers need screwing down? Scrapping this may work out pretty well for 99.99% of mums and dads. But it will not work out so well for the parents of the kid who ends up swallowing the batteries and dying. These are the sort of regulations you want to scrap so give us so specifics and we can decide if the risk is worth it.

        1. Edward2
          February 11, 2019

          You keep asking this question andy.

          Many including myself have given you long lists which you have ignored every time.

          I cannot be bothered to keep repeating myself to no effect.

        2. Richard1
          February 11, 2019

          Mr Bootle identifies a few above. I’d add: the CFP; the CAP; the silly lightbulb reg made redundant by LED; the regs over remuneration in the financial sector which have made banks more risky and uncompetitive; the producer driven regs to advantage eg German vacuum cleaner manufacturers vs challengers such as `Dyson; the ban on GM foods which has led to disasterous over-use of pesticides; the regs promoting diesel to 50% of passenger vehicles in the EU vs 5% in the US, killing tens of thousands; the foolish protectionist bans on foods from eg the US which are clearly safe. I’m sure there are thousands of others.

          The point is not that all EU regs are bad, of course many are good. The point is the way they are scrutinised and enacted is unsatisfactory in a democracy. It also leads to vested interest driven legislation which often (eg for diesel) needs to get reversed.

          1. Andy
            February 12, 2019

            So you want to scrap regulations which have made our lightbulbs and vacuum cleaners better and more efficient. And also ones which allow us to keep out Frankenstein foods.

            Any more?

            This stuff matters it is what you all claim Brexit is about and, with respect, the examples you come up with demonstrate just how daft Brexit is.

            Fishing is one of my favourite. Have you told the fishermen that Brexit does not mean an end to quotas? No? Bless.

    5. libertarian
      February 11, 2019


      Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Your post shows just how little knowledge you have of the world of trade

      Why on Earth would one deal suit every country and every circumstance? This is entirely one of the biggest failings of the EU trying to have one size fits all trade deals

      1. Andy
        February 11, 2019

        And yet – despite the failings of the EU you talk about – the Fantastic Mr Fox has essentially only managed to negotiate the same deal, except it is a little bit worse. If Brexit was so amazing how is this so?

        Economies of scale is a wonderful thing. The huge EU will nearly always get a better deal that Little Britain. In the same way that Tesco gets a better deal than your local corner shop. It doesn’t mean you won’t get the odd good deal at the local shop – but in the long run you’ll be poorer.

        1. Edward2
          February 11, 2019

          Economies of scale in relation to trade deals isnt a good argument.
          When all 28 parties have to agree it takes years.
          As EU history shows.

          One versus one is much easier.

        2. a-tracy
          February 12, 2019

          Other Countries won’t strike deals with us Andy because we are told we have to wait, why do we?

          They are also concerned the Brexit might not happen because of powerful forces overriding the referendum and Mrs May, so why bother wasting time writing out complex individual deals when they can just novate the current EU agreements to the UK then work on amending them over time.

    6. acorn
      February 11, 2019

      The deal has been extended to the Swiss – Liechtenstein customs union. Quite a few Swiss – EU mutual recognition and harmonised/equivalence agreements can’t “novate” yet; hence, the provisional deal is inferior to what the UK has now with Switzerland, as an EU member. Most of these deals will require the UK to yield some ground on quotas particularly. The UK, on its own, is more import dependent than the much bigger EU.

      1. acorn
        February 11, 2019

        I should add that all these EU deals – so far the few – advertised by L Fox as “novating” to the UK; will have a clause in them that says they are subject to the content of the final Brexit deal between the UK and the EU.

  21. John Sheridan
    February 11, 2019

    Even if the backstop was removed (unlikely to happen) the WA is still flawed. No government should sign up to such a one-sided agreement. It reflects badly on Mrs May and her supporters that they think it is a price worth paying to begin talks on our future relationship.

    1. agricola
      February 11, 2019

      She and her cohorts in the civil service were instrumental in creating it under the guidance of Barnier.
      Because the EU only play lip service to democracy they assumed that everything was done and dusted when the 580 page document was published. The 27 members accepted the document minus any discussion. I cannot recall any of them consulting their electorates. The tablets had descended from the mountain so that was an end to it.
      What their arrogance and contempt for democracy overlooked is that democracy is the cornerstone of the way the UK works, even if said stones are suffering a lot of erosion. The elements of this erosion come from the EU and our own establishment. The WA is in fact worthless without the agreement of member number 28. Agreeing to it would destroy political parties in the UK. What might arise from the ashes of such a betrayal would see off any relationship with the EU for good.

      1. James
        February 11, 2019

        Thoroughly agree with you Agricola. To paraphrase Churchill, a rock remains a rock even if it is submerged for a time in a tidal wave. The political manoeuvrings are being watched very closely by enough of the electorate to ensure seismic changes can be made at the next election if necessary.

  22. Kevin
    February 11, 2019

    “The threat of No Deal…is exactly what many Leave voters now want.”

    Actually, No Deal is what all Leavers voted for. We were told, on the eve of the referendum, that the UK would not be able to return to the negotiating table if it voted to leave the EU. We were told that the outcome would be final, and that “out is out”. We were told that the UK would not get a better deal than the one already negotiated by David Cameron. We were told all of this – and still we voted Leave.

    Now is not the time for us to “go wobbly” with the facts.

    1. Rien Huizer
      February 11, 2019

      @ Kevin

      You must know a lot more than most experts: “No Deal is what ALL Leavers voted for.”

      1. libertarian
        February 11, 2019


        Well obviously he does and as a fan boy of the EU i would have thought you would at least know their rules too.

        The EU have been explicit since turning down the opportunity to negotiate concessions with Cameron and triggering the referendum in the first place they have been totally up front that NO DEAL WILL BE AGREED until after we have left. So we leave , trade on WTO terms and THEN decide if we want to negotiate a new deal

        You need far better experts , i.e. ones who actually know what they are talking about as these experts are the same ones that predicted dire financial consequences for us when in fact

        The ONS has released its first estimate of GDP growth for 2018 Q4 at 0.2%, giving an initial figure of 1.3% growth for the year. A far cry from the recession that the Treasury, Bank of England and IMF and all your “experts” and “economists” were all predicting before the referendum…

        Reply They forecast a recession 2016-17 when growth was robust before the Bank and Treasury started to slow it by their policies.

    2. Chris
      February 11, 2019

      Leave voters were far better informed than Remainers, by the look of it. Many Remainers (who are complaining that they did not know about X and Y) seem to have been lazy and complacent, liking things as they are, apparently totally unaware of the hardships and restrictions of freedom that the EU was causing, and not for a moment thinking that they would not win. They apparently just did not bother to acquaint themselves with the facts. However, Leavers seem to have made it their business to acquaint themselves with the facts, and many seem to have been acutely aware of the hardship inflicted by the globalist model through job destruction, fracturing of society, unsustainable pressure on our resources and infrastructure, and the surrendering of sovereignty.

    3. bigneil
      February 11, 2019

      ” UK would not get a better deal than the one already negotiated by David Cameron. ” I remember one of the EU leaders saying “Mr Cameron can ask for whatever he wants – then we will just change it back the following day “. This shows the contempt they have for us, they want our money and control ( destruction ) of our borders. Their control of both ensures this nation dies, VERY quickly.

  23. GilesB
    February 11, 2019

    I fear that May believes that given a vote on March 26th or thereabouts for her Withdrawal Agreement or leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement and transition period, a majority of the house will vote in favour because of their (misplaced) concerns about ‘No Deal’. She would have in place an agreement from the EU that they will agree an extension to Art. 50 ONLY if her deal has been approved (or possibly if Parliament commits to a referendum with the only choices of May’s Deal or Remain).

    This is a dangerous ploy. If the vote loses, we should leave on March 29th haven lost valuable time on preparations for smoothing the Great Escape.

    If the vote wins, Art 50 is extended until say the end of June, potentially giving time to complete enactment of the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. But would enactment be plain sailing? Wouldn’t there be legal challenges and as a minimum stalling measures in the House.

    There is also a likelihood that the DUP would join Labour and carry a Vote of No Confidence in the Government. Could May then really advise the Queen to delay calling the General Election and proroguing Parliament for months while the legislation is passed? Surely that would be totally unacceptable?

    I would much prefer the Great Escape to a General Election. But completely destroying any meaningful Parliamentary involvement is much, much worse. It would be the action of an authoritarian etc ed and cast a dark shadow over the future of democracy.

  24. Rien Huizer
    February 11, 2019

    Mr Redwood,

    “I still want a managed WTO exit with a UK offer of a free trade agreement which could avoid tariffs and other new barriers to our EU trade.”

    You may want that but it is not on offer and unlikely to become available soon. So what is your plan B? An “unmanaged” exit followed by attempts to agree on some form of FTA? That will only inflame the tensions in Ireland.

    Would the US be in a position to make a better offer than the the package under consideration? Highly unlikely. The Democrats under pressure from their Irish lobby will delay ratification of any package that would (a) not contain agriculture and (b) harm the GFA.

    So, indeed this is the last chance for a group of septuagenarians to do what they wanted to do since 1992. But it is not the full end game for the troublesome EU-UK relationship. That will be at the very end of the transition period (plus overtime), somewhere in the early 2020s. By that time many people will have left the scene, the EU will have reformed and imo, those countries not yet part of the eurogroup (especially Sweden and Poland, both committed, Poland on the threshold of eligibility and Sweden running out of excuses) will have had the choice between following the UK via art 50 into whatever future relationship type emerges there or adopting the EUR after all. Factor mobility will have been stripped of Anglo influences (meaning restrictions on labour mobility, more room for state support and maybe media type regulation of some internet industries (mostly non-EU controlled anyway). A still highly competitive but outwardly protectionist EU. The EU has few alternatives. It cannot copy the USA, for socio-political reasons, so it must learn from how the Asians have dealt with the zero sum modern world.

  25. Paul Cohen
    February 11, 2019

    Mrs May’s clear intention is to duck and dive for as long as she can until stopped for a reality check or led away by people in white coats.

    Matters are not helped by the staggering incompetence of some of her appointees and the unabated drip of poison aimed at thwarting the resolve of the electorate.

  26. Ian wragg
    February 11, 2019

    A 6 to 9 months delay would give the Remainiacs time to organise a second Soros referendum.
    May is reportedly willing to agree with Labour and stay in a permanently Customs Union as well as enshrining workers rights environmental policy and a host of other EU policies.
    She is desperate to get it signed so as to lock us in the EU by irrevocable treaty.
    The womans a charlatan.

  27. Tabulazero
    February 11, 2019

    The end is indeed very near… but for the Tory party.

    The EU will not budge. The hard Brexit you so much crave will happen… and then reality will hit and the voters will be angry to discover that the painless and riskless Brexit they were promised is nowhere near as painless and riskless as promised… and they will remember who to thank for all the jobs lost, the broken promises and the additional years of austerity.

    The average age of the Tory party member is 72. There is no coming back from that.

    1. libertarian
      February 11, 2019


      I’ve kept this post and I’m going to repost it in April, May, June etc and every time I will ask you to explain why you have been so wrong about everything

      Of course by then you will have slunk away and be claiming to have been in favour of Brexit all along

      1. hans christian ivers
        February 11, 2019


        It sounds just like you about
        1) Merkel
        2) Ford not cutting back staff in the UK
        3) Companies not building up stock in preparation for Brexit,

        So,I suppose you are in the same boat at Tabulazero

  28. Adam
    February 11, 2019

    ‘The line of Mrs May’s helpers’ evokes the image of her working with Snow White elves, whistling while they work.

    They’re busily dedicated to tiny details, yet May following Dopey doesn’t make sense.

  29. a-tracy
    February 11, 2019

    “It is a further 21 to 45 months in the EU, accepting their new laws without any say on them,”

    Why did we have no say up till now because your Conservative government capitulated and decided not to take their seat or replace the commissioner when he spat his dummy out and resigned, pathetic lack of representation for the UK public?

  30. Bryan Harris
    February 11, 2019

    Yes – This has to be END GAME – Everyone is so tired of the machinations of those that want this country as a vassal EU state…

    The only way that the Tory party will not lose massive support from voters is if we leave on WTO terms, and May persuades us that this was her intention all along, but that she had to do it this way to string the EU along…

  31. A.Sedgwick
    February 11, 2019

    If any of us came across the likes of Mrs May in our working lives I suspect a country mile rather than a barge pole would be the appropriate distance.

  32. Shieldsman
    February 11, 2019

    You quite rightly sum up the Withdrawal Agreement a further 21 to 45 months in the EU, accepting their new laws without any say on them, under their court, and paying large unspecified sums to their budget.With the backstop it might keep us in a customs union permanently.
    This is a further state of Limbo with an unknown outcome. Currently Parliament is bedeviled because a majority of MP’s voted to remain and they still cannot reconcile their own views with the democratic vote. This is very obvious in Mrs May’s Cabinet.
    There has been millions of words written and spoken in the media by the press corps, current and past Politicos. All expressing opinions on what they want and the negotiations that should take place.
    If the Withdrawal Agreement is signed then real negotiations can take place, inhibited by its terms. I repeat, in writing the Withdrawal Agreement the EU Commission has in bridge terms dealt themselves a grand slam, they take all the tricks.
    The straightforward plan of leaving the EU has been lost in a myriad of half -in, half -out shake it all about plans.
    So what will the Government and Parliaments real plan be that they wish to negotiate with the Commission in the timescale. Will we actually leave on 29th March as the Article 50 and the EU Withdrawal Act require..

  33. teaboy
    February 11, 2019

    ‘Exactly’.. the whole of British politics is in a state of crisis, we will have to hit the pause and rewind button and the only way to do this is to leave 29th March- just leave, no need to slam the door.

    Later on when we have more time, when we reorganise in a sensible way with one voice we can come back at it again from outside. Only one thing I differ with in the diary today is – the WA or most of it will still be there waiting for us when and if we want a FTA..and that’s for sure

  34. They Work for Us?
    February 11, 2019

    Thank you once again for a clear exposition of where we are now and also for standing firm for real Conservatism. Our main problem is that it is based on logic and commonsense and if this was prevalent we would have left already and would have sensible Conservative policies.

    We very much “fear” that the fix is in and that Mrs May and elements of the Labour party, Grieve, Bercow and Clarke plus the “Remainers” have a cunning plan(s) to thwart Brexit at the last moment. We hope they can’t but fear they will and that this has been the aim all along.

  35. Everhopeful
    February 11, 2019

    “When the British people speak everyone, including members of Parliament, should tremble before their decision and that’s certainly the spirit with which I accept the result of the referendum.”

    Tony Benn accepting the results of the 1975 Referendum.

    No such statesman-like grace in defeat now.

    If the anti EUers in 1975 had behaved like the Remainers are behaving now, wouldwe have insisted on better membership terms I wonder?

  36. Original Richard
    February 11, 2019

    A very logical and rational summary of the position.

    But not necessarily a guide to the future as the PM leading our negotiations with the EU is neither logical, rational or trustworthy.

    At the best I would describe Mrs. May as the lady with the reverse Midas touch as we have seen with the results of her tenure at the Home Office (police numbers cut, rising serious crime), her handling of the 2017 GE and her management of energy (nuclear) and the railways (HS2).

    The pro-EU Conservative Party Parliamentarians know this which is why they have ensured she will not lead them in the next GE.

    But a majority are happy for her to lead the EU negotiations because they are wishing for it to be a resounding failure for the UK with the added bonus of them being able to approve a close alignment treaty with the EU which is damaging to the UK’s interests (no veto or say in the formation of laws, taxes and policies) and from which there is no exit clause.

    These are the Conservative MPs who have lied to their constituents by pretending to be Eurosceptic in order to be elected but are now planning to ditch the referendum result and their Party’s GE 2017 manifesto.

  37. Al
    February 11, 2019

    “It delays new trade deals and stops us spending the money saved on exit.”

    I suspect for certain Remainers this is a feature, not a bug. Given the utter horror with which a highstreet stand Remain representative informed me yesterday that China, the US, and Russia are only in favour of Brexit because we’d do more trade with them…to my stunned response of well, er, yes. Opening global marketplaces does mean doing global trade. That is the idea.

    1. Mitchel
      February 11, 2019

      I suspect with China and(certainly)Russia it’s much more about geopolitics- lifting the USA’s European anchor(ie the UK),allows the EU to be more easily assimilated (whole or in pieces) from the east.

      As the UK establishment appears to have finally recognised -disapprovingly -the reality of the China-Russia axis and Gav has sort-of declared war on China today,I think we can expect the same treatment as meted out to the USA’s other vassals recently :-

      This op-ed from a week or so ago from the Global Times(the longstanding English language mouthpiece of the Chinese government,it’s Leninist polemic only slightly toned down these days!) aimed at Canada and Poland:

      “You cannot live the life of a whore and expect a monument to your chastity”

      This from First Deputy Russian Foreign Minister Titov(we are obviously not considered worth the time of his boss,Mr Lavrov’s,these days!) on 9/2/19:-

      Re UK-Russian relations:”sooner or later the normalisation will happen.Naturally we expect more responsible and less hostile behaviour from London as a prerequisite.”Re sanctions:”The idea was counterproductive and damaging for the interests of these countries who supported it.Yet the decision was made and it is up to our partners alone to repair the damage.They cannot expect us to make any concessions.”

      ie when we are ready to bow and kiss the tsar’s boot,we may get something.Remember both China and Russia subscribe to the old Sino-Mongol mindset of “trade-as-tribute.”

      I note that following visits by a number of ministers from the new Italian government to Moscow-and Rome’s alignment with Russian foreign policy-Italian engineering companies have been awarded preferred supplier status to Russia’s oil and gas industry and have just landed several billion $ worth of orders in connection with their next Arctic project.

  38. Original Richard
    February 11, 2019

    The existing WA is so damaging to the UK’s national interests and without an exit clause that it will not last politically in the UK and may even be illegal under international treaty law.

    The WA simply cannot be signed.
    It would be acting against the national interest to do so.

    The Irish and the EU have nailed their colours so firmly to the backstop mask that the EC cannot back down over this.

    So the only logical way forward is to leave with “no-deal” (that is WTO terms and working agreements wherever possible) and then continue negotiations for the “future arrangement”, with the added bonus of this being very shortly with a new EU Commission and Parliament.

    The next Irish elections are in 2021.

  39. JM
    February 11, 2019

    It seems to me that we are coming down to a choice between leaving without a deal or not leaving. Given the terms of the deal, there is no point in leaving.

  40. Bob
    February 11, 2019

    The EU are playing hard to get because they can see all the whimpering Quisling British Remoaners having a collective meltdown.

    If we’d had people like that running the country in 1940, Europe would now be Greater Germany.

    If our politicians had any backbone and showed some resolve, Brussels would be the ones in meltdown. If you want a deal, prepare for no deal.

    1. formula57
      February 11, 2019

      @ Bob “If we’d had people like that running the country in 1940, Europe would now be Greater Germany.”

      Erm, but, er – isn’t that, sort of, you know, like how things sort of are now?

  41. Denis Cooper
    February 11, 2019

    Just a little off-topic, I think it would be a good idea if the UK government formally and publicly posed these two questions to the Irish government:

    1. Is it the intention of the Irish Republic to continue to observe EU law after the UK has left the EU, or will the Irish government be permitting goods which do not comply with EU standards to be carried across the land border into Northern Ireland?

    2. If the Irish government succumbed to the paranoia of the EU and agreed that its side of the land border must be permanently manned so that goods coming from the north could be intercepted and checked, what would the checkers be checking for?

    1. Know-Dice
      February 11, 2019

      Or maybe use a ready made solution:

      Authorised Economic Operator (AEO)

      The AEO concept is based on the Customs-to-Business partnership introduced by the World Customs Organisation (WCO). Traders who voluntarily meet a wide range of criteria work in close cooperation with customs authorities to assure the common objective of supply chain security and are entitled to enjoy benefits throughout the EU.

    2. Bob
      February 11, 2019

      @Denis Cooper

      Less than 3% of imports from outside of the EU are inspected at the border, and that’s mainly for contraband or illegal immigrants hiding in the back of trucks or in containers.

      Product compliance is usually checked & certified prior to shipment.

    3. a-tracy
      February 11, 2019

      Exactly, Denis, I’ve been wondering this, they are an Island at the end of the day – are illegal goods parachuted in? If they can’t trust the UK because the UK voted to be independent of the EU then how can they expect the common travel area and votes in the UK after they asked to be independent from the United Kingdom? The bad feeling Leo Varakar is creating is amazing for people who claim they want to maintain peace, it seems peace is only one way and I’ve read of nationalists celebrating and saying the Irish have us on our knees, is this really any way to proceed, I consider myself quite moderate and its winding me up.

      1. MarkW
        February 11, 2019

        A-tracy..there are 100,000 uk citizens living in Southern Ireland that is why we need to maintain a common travel area. UK citizens have voting rights in the Irish Republic and are treated exactly the same as the Irish with equal rights. Over 1000 British took up Irish citizenship last year..they can still hold their british citizenship as well.

        1. a-tracy
          February 12, 2019

          Thanks Mark. It won’t be a common area though will it, isn’t that the problem for the future. Past allowances will terminate on EU insistence when the UK leaves and Ireland remains. There will always be migration, agreed levels of immigration as there are in America, Australia etc. but I feel the EU are saying there is no common areas between Ireland and the UK in the future.

  42. Norman
    February 11, 2019

    Thank you for your customary clarity and composure, JR.
    The shenanigans of the past few months have been a revelation, and a confirmation of what I’ve always known about the ideological, and (in Reformation terms) spiritual nature of this conflict. Hence the sense of disbelief among spectators, who are no doubt saying, “You really couldn’t make it up!” This battle is reflected all the way down to this comments thread – where the verbal weaponry is often devious or downright nasty (I guess just like the House of Commons), which I have to say sometimes makes me angry.
    I fully support your conclusion: “a managed WTO exit with a UK offer of a free trade agreement which could avoid tariffs and other new barriers to our EU trade”. Whilst this is anathema to the ‘fortress’ mentality of the EU, which is basically, ‘Submit, or Go!’ Well, I know what I would do…

  43. ukretired123
    February 11, 2019

    At the back of many people’s mind there is one possible reason for TM’s insistence of her Withdrawal Agreement and not decisively actually leaving is that the Conservative Party may be being blackmailed by its donors and big business not to provide respectively funding and new investment unless they remain in the EU.
    I can think of no other reason besides winding the clock down to get Sir John’s ideal solution of a Free Trade Agreement with the EU.
    The power is shifting more to the UK as every day that passes and the EU knows this with EU business demanding a deal of any kind.
    As the saying goes ‘The only thing to fear is fear itself’.
    ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ seems recommended reading plus ‘Face the fear and enjoy the ride’. Even the NHS has a website on fear as it has become a growth industry.

  44. Alan Joyce
    February 11, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I just do not think that the Party Leadership and Conservative MP’s understand how badly their membership and voters will take a sell out. Whether that be a delay in leaving the EU and / or a sly agreement with Labour to get her Withdrawal Agreement through on the back of Labour votes.

    The Conservative Party will likely be punished very severely. Imagine standing on a platform asking for voters to vote for a party they have traditionally supported but one that has just signed the country up to a treaty that ‘enslaves’ the UK and does not contain a unilateral exit clause.

    It will be the finish of the Conservatives and it will be richly deserved.

  45. Nig l
    February 11, 2019

    May is determined to keep us in the customs union and I do not think you can do anything about it.

  46. Chris
    February 11, 2019

    I see Boris is now giving way, if the D Tel report is accurate:
    Brexit latest news – Boris Johnson says he could back Theresa May’s deal if she secures a time limit or exit mechanism on Irish backstop

    Roll on The Brexit Party – all strength to your arm.

    1. margaret howard
      February 11, 2019


      “I see Boris is now giving way, if the D Tel report is accurate”

      Has he been offered a knighthood as well?

      1. Edward2
        February 11, 2019

        The EU will not move so it is all paper talk

        1. hefner
          February 12, 2019

          Couldn’t one say the same thing of Sir JR and his aficionados: The EU will not move so this blog might just be producing full blasts of hot air on a daily basis.

          1. Edward2
            February 12, 2019

            No they are supporting the result of the referendum, to leave the EU.
            If you remain in the SM, CU and thus remain under the power of the ECJ then you plainly have not left.
            The EU have blocked any attempt by the PM to secure a deal good for both sides.
            Our negotiating has been poor but with no movement from the EU all this domestic talk of ehat we want is a complete waste of time.

      2. BenD
        February 12, 2019

        J R-M as well, destined for the other House.. only leaves DD, IDS and some others who will have to be sorted later

  47. hans christian ivers
    February 11, 2019

    Sir JR,

    So what happens if Mrs. May now according to the press no longer excludes staying in the Customs Union?

    What is the extra money we will be able to spend?

    1. mancunius
      February 11, 2019

      FT today:”in her response to Mr Corbyn, Mrs May resisted calls of a full customs union, writing that it would imperil British ambitions for an independent trade policy.”
      Editorial comment: “Mrs May doesn’t want a customs union. She views Brexit in almost legalistic terms, and an “independent trade policy” is part of her definition. Politically, she seems persuaded that accepting a customs union would split the Tory party. “

  48. Captain Peacock
    February 11, 2019

    Well hate been right I knew from day one with May a remainder in charge that we will never be free of the EU. The Tory party will pay a heavy price for her betrayal if fact we will be in a worst position than we are in now.
    The Boris is spot on todays DM ….Boris Johnson today warned soft Brexit would leave the UK a ‘colony’ after Theresa May appeared to open the door to a grand bargain with Labour.

  49. A.Sedgwick
    February 11, 2019

    Matthew Syed as usual is excellent in The Times today. So reminiscent of Project Fear – being fixated on the parts and not seeing the whole leads to disaster – “what psychologists call the Gelstalt”.

  50. formula57
    February 11, 2019

    Your cogent posting today I have copied to my Conservative M.P..

    A May supporter, he recently wrote about progress on Brexit, stating that as there is no majority in Parliament for a “no deal” exit the way forward was the May Withdrawal Agreement, modified over the Irish backstop as he expected by the EU all too typically at the last minute conceding. I was able to state numerous objections to his views.

  51. John Smith
    February 11, 2019

    Corbyn would be a complete idiot if he has Labour MPs vote through May’s deal.

    The sellout of leave voters will then be credited to both the Labour and Conservative parties. I don’t think people should underestimate the amount of anger in general with the political class – this action would be the perfect trigger to coalesce support around a new anti-establishment Brexit party.

    Having said the above, whatever you think of Corbyn, he is not intellectually stupid; I don’t see him backing the government deal.

  52. Den
    February 11, 2019

    “I still want a managed WTO exit with a UK offer of a free trade agreement which could avoid tariffs and other new barriers to our EU trade”.

    You and me, both along with 17.3 million others. So why does the Government dither?

  53. ian
    February 11, 2019

    Good question Sir John Redwood. Only one person has the answer to your question. Mrs T May.
    As the whole of parliament with gov ministers and establishment are fighting like rats in a sack, while the leader carries on her merry way.

    They say that the peoples’ ref was only advisory, but also are the votes in parliament, at the moment MPs in parliament are thinking about the advisory vote for the extra time to negotiate after 29 of March and not leave on the said date.

    If I was the leader I would pick the advisory vote of renegotiation and the peoples advisory vote, deal or no deal by the said date, in other words, I would leave on the said date and carry on with the negotiations to get country and the people the best deal I can, Nothing would get in the way of leaving on the said date, by the time the rats have another couple of vote in parliament on Brexit, I would have at least 6 advisory votes to pick from including the people advisory vote.

    Leaders are there to lead but given the situation, this leader finds themselves in, the decision on Brexit will only be known at the last moment of which advisories will be taken on board for BREXIT or no BREXIT.

  54. John Hatfield
    February 11, 2019

    Brilliant analysis, John.

  55. agricola
    February 11, 2019

    A point that to my knowledge has never been highlighted in your diary.

    The EU has it’s own external tariff on imports from none EU countries. The duty on such goods that the UK imports is sent to the coffers of the EU minus a 20% handling charge which the UK retains. Perhaps you know the total annual figure which the UK remits.

    Assuming we charged no duty on these items in the future there would be a gain to the UK economy that would reduce food and other prices. We’re we to charge lesser levels of import duty both the consumer and the exchequer would benefit. We’re duties to remain the same then the exchequer would gain the 80% we emit.

    Is it not long overdue that we the UK published a schedule of the duty levels that would apply after 29th March 2019. It might reduce the politically motivated bleating we constantly get from the likes of the CBI.#
    Reply Yes I have highlighted the revenue we could collect from tariffs.

  56. lojolondon
    February 11, 2019

    I totally agree with everything you say above, John, but one additional point – if the EU agrees to delay Brexit, then the UK will have to elect 50 MEP’s during the EU elections between 23-26 May. This raises three challenges :
    1. The EU has already started re-allocating UK seats to other countries in anticipation of Brexit.
    2. Does the EU really want 73 deeply Eurosceptic MEP’s walking around Brussels for the next 5 years, until the next EU election?
    3. The EU has a proud tradition of doing the opposite of whatever the British PM asks.

    Result, I expect that any request from our supine PM to extend deadline will only result in humiliation, and rejection, with the possible caveat that they may force her to pay the £39B and then accept another month’s grace, which will put her firmly at the bottom of the table as far as PM reputations go for ever.

    The best possible result at this stage is that Britain will ‘Crash out’ as the BBC calls it, and sail into the sunset and a future of freedom and democracy.

  57. Jiminyjim
    February 11, 2019

    It is disconcerting reading so many contributors to this site referring to ‘Deal’, ‘No deal’ etc. What is on offer is NOT and never has been a ‘Deal’ – we’ve all beenbrainwashed by Mrs May into believing this. The WA is a ‘precondition’ to STARTING talks on a ‘Deal’. This absoutely ridculous and outrageous and illegal demand by the EU, that we should agree the financial payment etc before even starting talks, is why we’re in the mess we’re in now. Many contributors to this site said so very clearly when the preconditions to talks were first mooted by the EU. Its is precisely for this reason that we should now reject the WA in its entirety and propose starting talks on a FTA agreement immediately, and in the meantime manage on WTO, which will be more painful to our trading partners than to us, by definition. I also despair at the tone from some contributors that governments through regulation make trade happen. It is total nonsense. Trade happens, and will continue to happen, whether governments make it easy, or difficult. I just wish more people on this site and elsewhere had actually traded globally and negotiated deals as I have. It would have saved us a great deal of totally unnecessary worry. The sky is not going to fall on our heads – there are too many business people whose livelihood depends on international trade, for that to happen. Ways will be found. Those of you like Andy who believe the opposite have no experience and etc ed.

    1. Andy
      February 11, 2019

      I have never said trade will not happen. It will. But your Brexit erects trade barriers and trade barriers make trade harder and more costly. And that makes us all poorer. Sure we will still trade – it will just be on worst terms.

      None of you have either the sense or the balls to admit it.

      1. Edward2
        February 11, 2019

        What trade barriers?
        Trade carries on throughout the world.
        No delays or queues in non EU countries.

        It is the EU that has protectionist trade barriers.

        1. hans christian ivers
          February 14, 2019


          The whole world has protectionist trade barriers in particular China

  58. Mr Ison
    February 11, 2019

    If the leader of the house is merely a shallow money-grabber on the EU’s useful idiot books then what does that say about parliament?

  59. Ian
    February 11, 2019

    As has been said , this is time to get rid of the way both Houses Lord it over the very people who put them there.
    There is clearly not many soles who play with a straight bat.
    High time to route out all those responsible for going against Democricy, it is no less than a crime against this. Nation.
    As such a suitable. Penalty should be dealt to these Treacherous dissgracefull p eople
    Bring on the next GE let’s have Leave means Leave .

    We know we are going to get common sence and Loyalty from this group of decent people

  60. simple soul
    February 11, 2019

    Thank you very much for applying yourself seriously to the many issues facing the country. Your patience is as inexhaustible as it is admirable. I am sorry to say I cannot quite live up to the high moral tone you set. I feel that the discussions and quibbles may go on almost without end, even after we leave, and that for many or most involved, this dithering has become addictive. A better approach would be that of a bull in a china shop, with a decided willingness to behave badly towards our adversaries, regardless of conventions. Negotiations are not likely to be any more fruitful in future than in the past two years, so we should not waste time on negotiating, with the fake media excitement that involves. We should reduce relations with the EU to bilaterals and routine diplomatic courtesies, such as we enjoy with most other countries. We should tear up the DWA, tear up the (largely non existent) political declaration, maintain normal every day life on our own soil in Northern Ireland and let the Republic do the same on its soil, and settle down to a peaceful summer without headlines.

  61. a-tracy
    February 11, 2019

    Guido “Labour’s Lisa Nandy revealed to BBC Politics Live that there are “40 to 60” Labour MPs who are actively looking for ways to support May’s deal. Their condition would be guaranteeing more rule taking from Brussels on red tape for businesses…”

    What is this about, are the Labour party actually admitting that they and their union fundraisers have nothing to do at all with British employment law! Really, we have one of the highest NLW, NMW, Holidays 28 instead of 20 paid hols in the whole of the EU just to name one, how does our maternity leave/paternity leave plus holiday pay compare with Spain or Italy or Portugal? I think the sight of Labour panicking about being in charge themselves and wanting to pass responsibility to the EU is amazing, why does anyone need their unions then?

    1. hefner
      February 11, 2019

      You can check the “list of minimum annual leave by country” on wikipedia and might realize you are not really right.

      1. a-tracy
        February 12, 2019

        I was talking about paid leave hefner

        1. hefner
          February 12, 2019

          Well, according to the ref.
          UK 20+8,
          whereas Austria 25+13, Denmark 25+11, Finland 25+11, France 25+11, Luxembourg 25+10, Malta 25+14, Norway 25+10, Romania 21+13, Spain 22+14, Sweden 25+9.
          All other EU countries have 20 days plus a few other celebratory days of some kinds. So it is not true that the majority of people working in the UK have 28 days of paid leave.

      2. a-tracy
        February 12, 2019

        eg In Germany your wiki page gives higher figures, as many companies give higher allowances than the minimum but the minimum “In Germany the minimum holiday/vacation entitlement is 24 working days a year. This is based on a working week of six working days (excluding Sundays). The German system distinguishes between working days (Werktage) and office days (Arbeitstage). Since office days are generally only from Monday to Friday, the four-week minimum vacation amounts to 20 office days. Employers regularly grant more than the minimum vacation. Between 25 and 30 days per year is common practice. The full vacation entitlement starts after an employee has been on the job for six months.

        In France the minimum = 25 days, as with any minimum stipulations hefnet other agreements between Employer and Employee can take place just as in the UK. For example, in the UK the public sector holiday allowances are much more generous with duvet days and work from home days and 33 to 40 days holiday.

        1. hefner
          February 12, 2019

          Do not try to muddle the waters. What a company does for its employees is its responsability. When one wants meaningful comparisons, one has to rely on what is statutory. If I were to work for a company generous enough to give me 110 days (as MPs get), I would not dare compare that with what most of the working UK population gets, which is more or less what you were doing in your original post.

          1. a-tracy
            February 16, 2019

            I am working from statutory minimums after investigating, not averages, statutory minimums, check it out instead of just wiki.

  62. Iain Gill
    February 11, 2019

    Even if we get a proper WTO Brexit this political class will quickly sacrifice our independence in subsequent agreements.

  63. oldwulf
    February 11, 2019

    I will be very happy to vote for a new Party which promises to drain the swamp.

  64. DragonD
    February 11, 2019

    It seems there are a log of ‘wants’ about, what Mrs May wants, what JR wants, what the Leavers want and even what the Remainers want? But ‘wants’ are not going to do it and anyway as far as the EU is concerned it’s too late in the day. Too late even for Jeremy Corbyn rowing in at this late stage with his ‘wants’. Truth is nobody knows what Mrs May ‘wants’- seems to me to be completely illogical with all of the red lines in place- but we know what the ERG want, they thought they were going to bully the EU into giving us a deal on equal terms with them as equal partners, a cherry picking, have your cake and eat it deal, but no chance of that, nice try but no what is the point then in talking anymore with the EU, just might as well sit back now and wait for 29 march because I suspect the EU side have had enough and are not going to budge on the WA and they know anyway that the WA terms will have to be settled eventually someday

  65. ian
    February 11, 2019

    Everything going along nicely for Brexit with another trade deal on deck with the Swiss, I would expect to see more to come from Italy and eastern Europe like Hungary, Finland, Norway, Holand and so on and the USA, AUS, and New Zealand, Canada, Mexico and cos the whole South America, Caribbean islands, Central America, Japan, China, India, the Middle East, North Africa, South Africa, in fact I can only see 20 countries in Europe that won’t be up for a deal of some kind and of cos if EU gives any trouble to Poland and other Eastern European countries with 6 billion a year, they will want a deal to.

    Everybody is still in the dark of what is going to happen as the leader tells no one, not even a hint as the deals come in of wanting to do trade with the UK, I am not worried about carmakers if they go or stay, there always companies and people looking for a new opportunity like Mr Dyson and lots of new car companies waiting for funding and cheap empty factories with workforce nearby.

    1. Caterpillar
      February 11, 2019


      This is fine except that PM May’s team are still out talking with Barnier et al, even though the WA is not open for negotiation. Mrs May will do anything to put through the WA so will give way to both EU and Corbyn. It is a dreadful situation that the UK finds itself in with this PM and HoC.

  66. mancunius
    February 12, 2019

    JR – are you aware of the Private Members’ “Overseas Electors Bill”, which has its Report Stage in the HoC on 22nd March? Currently the voting rights of expats elapse after 15 years. This Private Members’ Bill would give every UK citizen living abroad – regardless of how long they have done so – the time-unlimited right to vote in any UK parliamentary election in the constituency he/she last lived in – regardless of how long ago that was.
    The Bill was urged on by organised pro-EU expat groups in the EU who openly intend to use it as a way of reversing Brexit at the next opportunity, and more than one MP at its First Reading looked forward to seeing ‘a million more voters’ added to the Register and voting in a second referendum for remain, i.e. so that Britain, a country where they do not reside or pay taxes – would remain in the EU, in order that UK resident citizens would pay billions annually to Brussels, for non-UK taxpayers residing in the EU to have the convenience of permanent rights of residence throughout the whole EU, without the inconvenience of having to apply for citizenship of their chosen domicile.
    There are an estimated 1.3 million UK citizens living abroad, of whom 900,000 live in the EU 27.
    I find it extraordinary that nobody has spoken forcefully to put the case for the status quo.

  67. Lindsay McDougall
    February 12, 2019

    Labour’s love of a Customs Union isn’t doing them any good in the polls. That’s something you can work on, e.g. by reminding Mr Corbyn of the consequences.

  68. margaret
    February 13, 2019

    I hear that Councils want more money. !
    My council mishandles everything , the staff are rude and they are all on micro power trips.
    The bin men were rough with my grey dustbin , the very hard wheel split and came of . Photographs taken . I was told that they did ‘t believe me and it was wear and tear and I would need to send a photography with a covering letter/ ‘e’ mail for evidence. I told them I had a new phone and couldn’t up load the photograph and asked if I could take photographs to the town hall with a covering letter. They agreed.
    I went to the town hall after difficulties and fees in parking and staff again were rude and unhelpful , one women practically jumped over the counter with anger when I asked for help . I spent much time , but they could not take a screen shot of my photograph and scanned the letter in .
    In the meantime I manged to take a screen shot of the damage by the computer and attach it to and ‘ e mail . I informed customer contracts that I had done this attempting to tell the story. The call handler would not let me speak and said it isn’t our fault if you cannot upload a photograph ( remember it was their fault the dustbin had been broken )
    I had also asked for a smaller bin as I am on my own they said I will have to pay .
    Yesterday I wanted to know what was happening . I phoned in and had the ‘e’ mails I had sent with the photographs in front of me at work .They denied ever receiving them. I then told them that a letter had been scanned in at the Town Hall and the attitude changed a little .
    They then said that I would have to pay for their mistake. The phone call was 18 mins long . They went off the phone then came back and told me that someone would exchange the dustbin that morning . I explained that I was at work and my dustbin was behind locked doors. So they went off the phone and then told me that they had cancelled the collection . I asked for another date when I could expect an exchange which I had paid for , they couldn’t give me a time or date but asked me to leave it at the end of the drive .
    Following their rudeness , inefficiency , passing the blame , having to pay for their mistakes and the money it has cost me , the hours they have spent trying to solve a problem caused by themselves . I would not give them any more money . They don’t deserve it . I am still waiting and will collect the evidence and take it to my MP.

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