The Conservative Manifesto got it right in 2017, so the government should stick to it

I supported the Manifesto of 2017, as amended by the Prime Minister during the campaign. She rightly dropped the social care measures but kept the rest.
On the EU the Manifesto made a lot of sense. It said

“As we leave the EU we will no longer be members of the single market or customs union
“We believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside our withdrawal, reaching agreement on both within the 2 years allowed by Article 50 of the Treaty of European Union.
“We will not bring the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into UK law.
“We continue to believe that No deal is better than a bad deal for the UK.”

It also confirmed that we will take back “control of our laws” and “We will control immigration”. “We will pursue free trade with European markets, and secure new free trade agreements with other countries”

It is difficult to see how an MP who supported this Manifesto can support the current Withdrawal Agreement. All MPs should remember the words of the government leaflet to all households before the referendum:

“This is your decision. We will implement what you decide”

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  1. Peter
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Such a long time since the government has repeated any of these manifesto statements. So Remain MPs can hide behind the government’s Brexit in Name Only.

    Then they have the cheek to call those who stick to the manifesto “extremists”.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed and yet T May is now allowing (probably encouraging) three of her ministers to openly defy her official line. Her deal, even with some backstop fudge, is totally unacceptable. It is not Brexit or even close. No sensible real Conservative should accept it.

      In a speech to the National Conservative Convention in Oxford yesterday, Theresa May told supporters the Government’s focus on delivering Brexit must be “absolute”. She vowed that she will not allow the referendum vote to leave the EU to be frustrated.

      Well her deal is certainly an “absolute” betrayal of the voter and her manifesto. May whole totally dishonest approach is to have a fake Brexit. A Brexit in name only with almost non of the very many advantages of leaving.

      Voters and conservative party members are fairly united behind a real Brexit just 200 totally misguided “Conservative” MPs who think they know better.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Excellent performance on Farage (LBC today). Yet so many “Conservative” MPs seem to be totally unable to see the sense of what you consistently outline. Why?

        Perhaps you were a little too soft on May, Rudd, Greg Clarke, Gauke and the Monster Raving Soubry Three. Let us hope May can be prevented from the appalling sell out that she will soon attempt (after a last minute non binding & meaningless EU backstop fudge).

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        You seem to be under the illusion that being a Conservative means you must, by definition, support Brexit. I wonder how you make that leap.

    • oldtimer
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      The Manifesto commitments were abandoned by Mrs May a long time ago to be replaced by the elephant trap known as the WA. She lacks integrity as do all those ministers who seek to delay, reverse or otherwise frustrate Brexit.

      It is difficult to predict what will happen if they or MPs vote to delay or push the UK into the WA trap. It could turn ugly.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Oldtimer, Very true. The 200 or so Tory Remain MPs and Theresa May supporters don’t seem to have thought beyond next week. If the WA gets through Parliament substantially unchanged then every instance of the EU controlling us in the future will become a flash point.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          Here is a thought….

          The EU has said that article 50 can be withdrawn. Let us withdraw it and immediately trigger it again.

          Then negotiations start afresh and we know how to play it this time. Uncompromisingly while fully preparing for no deal

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Didn’t Greg Clark used to be a member of the SDP like Ms Soubry? Perhaps he should be encouraged to join up with his fellow entryist?

    • Hope
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      JR, you govt has never had any intention of leaving. May has been thoroughly dishonest to force our country to remain in the EU by another treaty with a different name with key elements under different badges. Hammond always claimed there would only be modest changes.

      It was clear in December 2017 she was using the Irish backstop as a ploy. Sammi Wilson makes that clear this week when speaking about ROI legislation being brought in for no deal. He is spot on.

      July 2018 saw her underhand dishonest behaviour at a Chequers. Her behaviour alone should have saw her ousted. Her servitude plan in November withdrawn for legal changes brought back without any changes and lost historic vote.

      May’s government found in contempt when trying to hide legal opinion about the backstop that would Lock UK in the EU forever! This was her plan that she was trying to get through.

      Single market and customs union had name changes but still apply! May was going to give away N.Ireland when she claimed no PM would ever do it! Even though May lost the vote, your MP still voted for it!

      May always slapped down ministers for promoting leaving the EU which was govt policy, but never uttered a word for inappropriate remain claims and comments,against govts policy. Including Hammond calling seventeen and half million people extremist! Not a coincidence after nearly three years.

      Why has Rudd, Greg Clarke and Gauke not been sacked? All have appalling records. Rudd the worst. She only has a majority of a few hundred. Their associations need to oust them and other fanatic EU remainers who will not accept representative democracy.

      The fact you are writing this blog shows that you know May is using her remain ministers for cover to delay or stop Brexit. They will try it this week. You also know she does not care because she has already told your party she is leaving. Therefore there is no reason not continue with her dishonest treachery of the nation.

      No right minded person would delay leaving or take no deal off the table because there would be no mason for the EU to make a deal. It would show categoriaclly there is not a will to leave the EU. It would carry on ad finitum.

      People on this site warned your party members time and again about her treachery and why she should have been ousted. It came too late and here we are.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        It will be interesting to see if the three ministers do indeed resign this week.

        There is no vote until 12 March they either go or have no credibility.

    • Merlin
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      I’m always impressed by the certainty and conviction shown by Sir John and members of this site. However, as far as I can see, we now have three alternatives, all of which have pros and cons.

      Remaining in the EU appears the best deal on offer, but could risk popular unrest and make the current problem of populist demagoguery even worse.

      May’s deal averts the economic risks of No Deal, but will not end the division between leavers and remainers, as both sides hate it. Remainers will claim it’s not working and we should remain. Leavers will say it doesn’t go far enough.

      No Deal should provide a fairly conclusive answer on whether leaving the E.U was a good idea, but risks hitting the economy very hard which may also lead to popular unrest. (The fact that even Donald Trump has kept NAFTA is a hint of the economic importance of having trade deals with your geographic neighbours.)

      Personally I find none of these choices appetising at all, and again find myself wishing we had never had this referendum and got ourselves into this position in the first place. But, hey ho, it is what it is. No going back now and on with the show.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        Remaining in the EU appears the best deal on offer . . .

        Someone else who does not know what “EVER CLOSER UNION” means, and who thinks the EU is just one big trading block. Such ignorance.

        • Ian wragg
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

          Correct. Mays deal will give the EU an open goal to destroy Britain via vexatious legislation which we will have to Implement regardless.
          It also means for example an FTA can be concluded with another country giving duty free access for their goods but excluding our exports to them as it can be worded for EU countries only.

        • L Jones
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

          Right, Mark B. And another who voted for some sort of status quo, which is something that doesn’t exist where the EU is concerned.

          It does make one wonder where they think the EU is going – or do they really believe it IS just about trade? And are willing to put their fingers in their ears when they hear the sabres rattle.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

          Ignorance which was intentionally spread first by the Tory party from Heath onwards and then later also by the Labour party.

        • Merlin
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Again, I can only repeat that your confidence never ceases to impress me.

          Could I ask, what would it take for you to change your mind?

          • Know-Dice
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


            Maybe read this [cover to cover] – The good old “Five Presidents Report”


            Then tell us what is so good for the UK in where the EU will be in 5 years time :->

            ps. Don’t forget the “enlargement” to 34 countries?

          • NickC
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

            Merlin said: “Could I ask, what would it take for you to change your mind?” Since I, and you I expect, know full well that any country can be independent of the EU, no external change in circumstances could change my mind.

            If the EU dissolved the Euro, ceased being a dirigiste oligarchy, and became merely a regional trade agreement based on mutual recognition, with no pretensions to ever closer union or aping the USA whilst pretending not to, then I may change my mind. But that would not be the EU you want to be subservient to.

          • Mark B
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

            That is a good question. To be honest, knowing what I know and believing that the EU is both a very old and bad idea – Nothing !

          • Merlin
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink


            Know-dice. I looked at the report. It’s written by the European Commission. They write a lot of this stuff. I agree they are trying to grab power and create a superstate. However, I would argue every authority tries to grab money and power for itself.

            However, the E.U has no tax-raising powers, which I why I regard it as a toothless organisation. I think they can issue reports all day long, but as long as the nation state keep hold of their taxes, the E.U will remain toothless.

            In short I am a remainer, but I oppose joining the Euro and I oppose giving the E.U tax-raising powers. I believe this strikes the right balance.

            Reply VAT is an EU tax and they have wide ranging tax powers.

          • margaret howard
            Posted February 26, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply ‘VAT is an EU tax’:

            When we joined the EU, VAT replaced our own Purchase Tax which was levied between 1940 and 1973 at different rates depending on goods’ luxuriousness and applied to the wholesale price and varied between 33 and 100%!!

            Those were the days!

            “Between October 1940 and 1973 the UK had a consumption tax called Purchase Tax, which was levied at different rates depending on goods’ luxuriousness.

            Purchase Tax was applied to the wholesale price, initially at a rate of 331⁄3%. This was doubled in April 1942 to 662⁄3%, and further increased in April 1943 to a rate of 100%, before reverting in April 1946 to 331⁄3% again.

            Unlike VAT, Purchase Tax was applied at the point of manufacture and distribution, not at the point of sale. The rate of Purchase Tax at the start of 1973, when it gave way to VAT, was 25%

            Is that what you want to go back to?

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        Merlin, The certainty comes from the fact that all the rest of the world (165 states out of 196) are not in the EU, and do not collapse because of it (they may collapse for other reasons of course).

        Unless you Remains can come up with a cogent reason why the UK cannot be as independent as New Zealand or India (for example), then with some adjustment it is absolutely clear that we can succeed as an independent state.

      • forthurst
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        I read that a ‘no deal’ risks a shortage of cheddar cheese; the only possible explanation for that is that cheddar cheese production is dependent on imported milk and the only possible explanation for that is that the French CAP racket has constrained the size of dairy herds in this country to create an artificial shortage of milk. The very idea that we should remain in the EU because we have been screwed by the French is abhorrent. Under WTO we would be able to import Cheddar cheese from Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand at zero tariffs if we choose to make up any short term shortfall until our farmers have rebuilt their herds without interference from the French and the same applies to beef production.

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          Yes it’s sounds like Michael Gove is planning some sort or self imposed trade embargo on The United Kingdom.

          Brexit will cause a shortage of Cornish Pasties, (Northern) Irish Linen, Scotch Whisky, English Cheddar, Newcastle Brown Ale, London Pride, Yorkshire Tea, Cumberland sausages, haggis, Banbury cake, Eccles cakes, Devonshire Cream Teas

          • Caterpillar
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            Stephen Priest,

            Yes Gove wanting tariffs on top of Fox not believing in unilateral trade liberalisation is worrying. There is poverty in the UK and cheaper food will help, it is surprising that there is not cross party support for this.

        • Stred
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          WTO may mean a shortage of Irish Cheddar. We may have to step up production of English cheese by offering to take Irish milk at low tariffs but in exchange for full powered Dysons and Henrys.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        WTO leave on 29th is by far the best way to go. Negotiate deals as needed after leaving. This will clearly be in the interest of both the UK and EU. There is no cliff edge (other than either a Corbyn government and May’s appalling deal with the back stop perpetual trap that is).

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    The Withdrawal Agreement has been concocted by the PM who WISHES TO REMAIN in the EU and her plan is to remain in, in all but name. It was made clear by the EU negotiating team:

    According to The Times, Ms. Sabine Weyand (principal assistant to Barnier) told EU ambassadors:
    “We should be in the best negotiation position for the future relationship. This requires the customs union as the basis of the future relationship… They must align their rules but the EU will retain all the controls. They apply the same rules. UK wants a lot more from future relationship, so EU retains its leverage.”

    Weyand also said that the UK would be forced to concede on fisheries, one of the last remaining red lines May is attempting to cling to, saying that the UK “would have to swallow a link between access to products and fisheries in future agreements”.

    Mrs. May has made no attempt to ‘leave the EU’, this has been clear for many months and yet you Tory MP’s keep her in No. 10. The blame lies with the Parliamentary Conservative Party.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      Thanks for that quotation. As I said in my recent letter:

      even if we were quite sure the ‘backstop’ would be temporary that still begs the question of what would supersede it, and:

      “… once the Irish government had succeeded in placing EU economic shackles on the UK through the presently proposed ‘backstop’ then it would never, repeat never, willingly agree to our release through any superseding agreement.”

      • Michael O'Sullivan
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Denis..the thing that is shackling UK into the Irish sphere is UK’s past insistence on involvement in Irish affairs- things like creating the border.

        Thing is the border itself is only will not last another ten or twenty years and that’s for sure..demographics and time itself will take care of whats the point is going on about a backstop

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          “… and that’s for sure … ”

          You have no grounds for that assertion.

          What we do know, for sure, is that the Irish government has cleverly built an apparently insurmountable mountain out of a molehill on the border, and that Theresa May is happy to go along with that as a useful pretext to keep us under EU laws as demanded by the likes of the CBI; we do not know, for sure, that she and Leo Varadkar have been actively colluding to achieve their shared objective, but we can strongly suspect that is the case.

        • NickC
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Michael O’Sullivan, That was then, this is now. Now Eire is independent of the UK. And the UK is independent of Eire. I am quite happy for you to sell your souls to the EU ideology and continue as a province of the EU empire. You’ve made your bed, now lie on it.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 25, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

          In any case for the shared requirements of the Irish government and Theresa May it wouldn’t matter in the least if the border did disappear in the future, once it had served their purpose of getting the UK stuck under swathes of EU laws in perpetuity. The Irish government would still have a veto over any later treaty change which would free us from those EU laws and so potentially damage the Irish economy, and the presence or absence of the border would be irrelevant.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Exactly. May is clearly batting for the other side.

  3. P Moore
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Those who resile upon so clear a manifesto commitment defraud their constituents & the general public. They have no integrity, their excuses are facile. They should be excluded as candidates in future elections. They, like the IG people, in breach of the manifesto, should submit to by election or be named as the cheats they are. No chance. There are not enough honest Conservative MPs, of whom our host is one of the more direct, to make it so.

    • eeyore
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      Manifesto commitment are not legally enforceable (Wheeler v Office of the PM 2008).

      • cornishstu
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        No, but there should be a least an honest attemp to fufill it. From what we have seen to date there is anything but that with government and remain politicians trying to thwart what was promised. As I have said many times before if there was the will to leave we would be out already and as for the we can’t leave without a deal brigade, the EU has said we can’t have one till we have left so why have we not left already then we can get our deal.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Eeyore, It is true that manifesto commitments are not legally enforceable. They could not be because circumstances change even if there was good will and good faith on the government’s side. But there is more at stake here than legalities: trust is fundamental.

        There is nothing standing in the way of carrying out the Tory manifesto Brexit promises. And it is not just the 2017 manifesto, it was the Referendum too. If the dWA gets passed substantially unaltered, then every instance of remaining EU control in future months will become a flash point; and trust will vanish.

  4. Mark B
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    “We continue to believe that No deal is better than a bad deal for the UK.”

    Depends on what you regard as a bad deal ? A bad deal for pro-EU is to Leave the EU and all its institutions. A bad deal for pro-UK independence is the Withdrawal Agreement. All of it !

    What concerns me is that the Backstop will be removed or diluted somehow and MP’s will cheer to the rafters that they have removed barriers to BREXIT. Well they haven’t ! All they have done is dodge a bullet. The bullet being that BREXIT means that they would have to finally take responsibility for us. Taking responsibility means no longer passing the buck. So when things go wrong those responsible can be held to account. There are going to be a lot of MP’s and Civil Serpents looking for other jobs post BREXIT proper as they will not be able to handle it. It being the job we pay them to do and not Johnny Foreigner.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Yes that would appear to be a viable possibility: “ Backstop will be removed or diluted somehow and MP’s will cheer to the rafters that they have removed barriers to BREXIT. ” and vote to be entrenched in the EU with no voice…

      Unless of course Parliament can shake off the apathy, do their job properly and ensure we get a clean Brexit

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Bryan Harris, What such MPs don’t seem to be thinking of is what happens when the public finds out how much the EU still controls us afterwards. Stupid MPs and a rush of propaganda may enable the dWA to get through Parliament. But the fury of the public on finding they have been so comprehensively cheated will finally destroy the Tory party.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      The buck stopped (quite unfairly) with the EU.

      So we called their bluff. I can understand why the likes of Peter van Leeuwen (contributor here) might not get into the Brexiter mindset.

      Allow all manner of morally repugnant issues to stand then abrogate responsibility to the EU. On top of which call anyone who dares question such things racist.

      This is what caused Brexit.

      • Mark B
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

        No ! What caused BREXIT was joining the then EEC. An act that went against the national will at the time, hence no referendum on joining. Plus, it was all based on lies and deceit. It was, and is not, a Common Market, it is a political project with the intended aim of creating a Federal Europe.

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          Mark B

          It never was just a common market and there was NO subterfuge:

          Extract from the official 1975 referendum leaflet:

          The aims of the Common Market are:

          Bring together the peoples of Europe

          Raise living standards and improve working conditions

          Promote growth and boost world trade

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

          Help maintain peace and freedom

          And just for good measure:

          “1975 Thatcher referendum speech :

          * The Community gives us peace and security in a free society denied to the past two generations

          * gives us access to secure sources of food supplies. This is vital to us, a country which has to import half of what we need

          * does more trade and gives more aid than any group in the world

          * The Community gives us the opportunity to represent the Commonwealth in Europe. The Commonwealth want us to stay in and has said so. The Community wants us.”

          We knew exactly what we were voting for and the result was 67.23%
          in favour against 32.77% against. A proper result not the wishy washy 17+ leave against 16m + remain – a travesty of democracy.

          Reply We were asked to vote on staying in the Common market, not on joining an evolving economic, social and political union. We were told we would not sacrifice any sovereignty and would always have a veto on things we did not like. How did that work out?

          • NickC
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, Errr, your quote says the aims of the Common Market – and most of the aims are commensurate with a common market. But we both know that the EU has far more power, far more centralism, and far more ambition than as a mere regional trade agreement. The ratchet has worked. Even though you want to cover it up.

            Warnings in 1975 by the likes of Peter Shore, Enoch Powell and Tony Benn were dismissed as the ravings of extremists. “Brexit extremists”? We were hoodwinked by false assurances; as well as by tricks like faked letters to the paper. There was little coverage of the opposition to the EEC, unlike nowadays where we have the internet and can see through Remain lies.

            What part of not wanting to be ruled by your EU empire don’t you get?.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

            It is tragedy the original aims have been hijacked over the years.
            The Common Market has moved from a beneficial common trading bloc to a centralised law making authority with powers over nation states.
            Read the Five Presidents Report and see where the EU is heading.
            There is no staus quo.
            The EU is on an ambitious programme of expansion in all areas.

          • Anonymous
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            I wish that had been so eloquently put at the time of the original referendum.

            As it is was I was too young to vote then.

            As it is I am too old to count now.

            I remember the old country. That is my crime.

          • hefner
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            John, that’s not the point: MarkB is saying “no referendum on joining”, he is right as there had not been a referendum pre 01/01/1973. But there was one on 07/06/1975, to stay in the EEC. Thereafter were politicians sleeping in the HoC while the EEC transformed into the EU? And if so, is that really the public’s or the politicians’ fault?
            It is a bit cheap to always push the responsibility onto the public. You are paid to be our representatives.

        • Mitchel
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          A federal Europe under American control.You can blame Churchill and his sentimental self-delusion about the USA for the genesis of this and Blair for supercharging it.

          • margaret howard
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


            “I remember the old country. That is my crime.”

            “The ‘Sick man of Europe’ was on the verge of collapse before it joined the European community. Industry was collapsing, interest rates were spiralling and inflation was rampant. You
            obviously can’t remember the food, fuel and power shortages of the Heath government or the steadily growing balance of payments deficit. The common market had to pump in 25% of its regional development funds to stabilise the nation, the highest ever figure, but senior army officers twice approached Lord Mountbatten to request that he depose the Queen and become the figurehead of a military dictatorship.”

            Comment Daily Mail 15/5/2016

            Oh yes, the good old days!

            Reply Not so. We joined in 1972 when the economy was strong. Within 4 years of joining we were into our first EEC/ EU economic crisis thanks to the rigged tradin* scheme and other policy mistakes

          • margaret howard
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink


            “You can blame Churchill and his sentimental self-delusion about the USA for the genesis of this”

            Not forgetting that he was half American himself.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Anon, You need to re-write your comment because it is mostly incomprehensible. Whose “bluff”, and who called it? And where is the evidence of any bluff? Also you need to look up what the word “abrogate” means. And what “things” are called “racist”? Then you say “This … caused Brexit” – what is “this”?

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted February 25, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Without repeating all the olde arguments – Yes we were lied to about the true path of the EU, while most Europeans knew what was going on, our media and all parties in Westminster diluted the ‘truth’ and gave us vague assurances…. Parliament can never make up for the deception, but they can start acting with dignity and show some character, by making sure a WTO exit happens and works well…..

      As NickC points out, if we do not leave as expected, then the wrath of voters will show no mercy for our betrayers – It is time Parliament awoke from it’s slumber and reasserted itself as the voice of the British people.

  5. Adam
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    A Govt that does not stick to its manifesto is stuck in the wilderness of worthlessness.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Exactly. The Manifesto got it right and was very clear indeed as you illustrate. Alas Mr Gove knifed Boris Johnson and so we ended up with Brexit Means Sweet FA May and with the Party Members having no say.

    May is clearly a disingenuous, tax & regulate to death, robotic, socialist. A remainer and an electoral liability. She is doing huge damage to the country and the party. Yet there is an open goal for them, but for the her broken compass.

  7. Dominic
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Most of those who despise this PM will not be surprised by the betrayal that is about to be unleashed upon the British people. May’s an offence on many levels. Her liberal left enthusiasm knows no bounds. Her capacity for mendacious and sinister politics is unlimited.

    Since she became PM I noted a few what may seem minor changes since my party idiotically elected this person as our leader. Her statement about how we will be judged by how we treat so called minorities sounded ominously like a threat. Victim based politics is the politics of social control and a hatred for freedom of expression.

    Secondly, the removal and replacement of Eurosceptic editors at the Mail and the Express. And in an instant both newspapers that had been Eurosceptic for decades are now miraculously Europhile. I find this development as disturbing as any I have seen. It suggests direct political interference in how the media is composed. Erdogan and Putin would be proud of May’s direct approach

    The stupidity of the political class that they think we would not notice these changes

    This country is dead. It’s moral base has been deliberately undermined and replaced by a political construct.

    • L Jones
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      No, it’s not dead. We people who love our country are the same. It is honour and integrity among politicians that is dead. It was never very robust, but now it has ceased to be (present company excepted).

      • Caterpillar
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        L Jones,

        Proud Venezuelans have fled the political chaos of their country. In the UK a history of democracy has been thrown in the trash heap, a mutual trust between elected and electorate has been destroyed, a critical media has been replaced by cheap trick reporters. The country may not be dead yet but it is on life support and there is no route out, there is no competent leader and no positive narrative. Not dead yet, but at best in intensive care for a long time. The PM is running down the clock, the country is flatlining.

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      “It suggests direct political interference in how the media is composed”

      Integrity Initiative-you won’t find much about it in the msm but it’s operations have been exposed and revealed on alt news sites.Let google be friend!

  8. Len Botham
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    That was the manifesto. And the British people refused to accept it at the General Election. Any MP supporting that failed manifesto pledge is thwarting the will of the people. Support Mrs May’s deal!

    • NickC
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Len Botham, The will of the people was clearly expressed in the single issue Referendum. We chose Leave, not a deal, and not to Remain. Mrs May hasn’t produced a “deal” she has produced a draft Withdrawal Agreement. And her dWA keeps us locked into the EU’s customs union, single market, CAP, and CFP; with the EU controlling our trade, military, security, legal and diplomatic policies.

  9. Mick
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Unlike the jackanory manifesto of the Labour Party who completely mislead the gullible public into voting for them with there fantasy land of milk and honey which they would create only to be pick to pieces as a complete book of fiction just to con them into power

  10. Nigl
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    The foundation of freedom against the arbitrary decisions of a despot. Thus Lord Denning described the Magna Carta, the basis for the foundation of the so called mother of all parliaments.

    We need ‘25 Barons’ to remind people what it stood for and how far the current place has fallen from those ideals.

    • Michael O'Sullivan
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

      Lord Denning also talked about ‘an appalling vista’- Irish will not forget

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink


      “Magna Carta, the basis for the foundation of the so called mother of all parliaments.”

      All but 3 (out of 61) clauses of Magna Carta have been repealed. It was never part of Scots Law & any remaining influence in English law is symbolic rather than practical.

      Only three clauses are still valid –

      the one guaranteeing the liberties of the English Church;

      the clause confirming the privileges of the City of London and other towns;

      and the clause that states that no free man shall be imprisoned without the lawful
      judgement of his equals

      So which one are you referring to?

      • Edward2
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

        All three.

  11. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    It appears that the manifesto was not quite convincing voters to elect Conservatives (I would hesitate to use the small c here) in sufficient numbers. Requiring the support of fringe NI reps with rather illiberal preferences is a sign of failure.

    Incidentally, looking at the antics within the Labour Party, the expression “useful idiots” of Socialist folklore comes to mind, this time applicable to Mr Corbyn and his handlers. It looks like they operate as subcontractors to the ERG by blocking an economically less harmful outcome of the brexit process. I hope the ERG are not going to be operating in the same capacity wrt Corbyn’s tribe once a now unexpected fresh general election comes around. Extremist wings or parties of opposite sides tend to help each other in making it hard for the mainsteram to achieve a moderate, sensible result. I am sure someone with your bachground and experience understands this and I hope you will rein in some of your overenthusiastic colleagues. After Mrs May succession and assuming a transition period, the next stage of the EU/UK conflict will start and some form of credible, strong majority based government must be available to prevent a repetition of what is going on now, ie a confrontation between an EU that has no reason to believe that UK negotiators have the capacity to commit and UK negotiators have no reason to believe that any outcome other that an extreme is likely, all in the name of the Will of the People (another anachronistic expression that rings familiar somewhere). Idfeology is interesting but it should not escape people’s studies.

    Reply There is nothing extreme about wishing to implement the clear wish of UK voters to leave the EU, single market and customs union.

    • NickC
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Dear Rien, I didn’t know you cared so much about us? But never mind, you trot off and keep your country a province of the EU empire whilst we free ours.

  12. agricola
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The weaknesses in the process of leaving the EU have been manifest.
    A PM hobbled by her preference for remain and a civil service who desire remain being allowed to control the process with their counterparts in the EU. Those leavers who have thought deeply about the details of leaving have been kept well clear of any involvement. This in turn has given oxygen to all those MPs who have no respect for manifestos, the democratic decision of 17.4 million people, and in many cases are direct beneficiaries through tax free pensions and other involvements with this spiders web of of EU payola. It adds up to classic weak leadership.
    Has the PM shifted her position and increased her resolve following a meeting with party activists. I have my doubts, she has spent just short of three years in a chamelian like performance saying what was required to whoever at any given moment.
    The evidence suggests that the EU has led the whole process mitivated by Barnier’s declaration ” I will have done my job when the UK decides to remain in the EU”. Nothing could have been clearer and it came early enough in the process. That a bunch of traiterous MPs are now attempting to block a no deal Brexit says much for their integrity. I hope their constituencies know how to deal with them come the next GE.

  13. Richard
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    We already do make our own laws and fully control non-EU immigration and have the right to control EU immigration to those who get jobs. It’s the government’s fault for failing to execute those rights where EU immigrants have no job and have exceeded 3 months stay.
    You seek to lower our countries international standing and respect by not supporting the ECHR. Leaving this would encourage abuse of human rights elsewhere.
    It’s mystifying how you could have supported the government in the January no confidence vote given the level of incompetence in executing a task that was going to be, in your words, so ‘quick and easy, because we hold most of the cards.’
    The sort of absurd Brexit quote we are now being reminded of by the Led by Donkeys billboards across the country.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      I agree with your first paragraph but I am somewhat confused as to your second.

      Your first paragraph supports what I say above. Our most of our MP’s and Civil Serpents are bloody useless. BREXIT will sort the wheat from the chaff.

      No one is suggesting leaving the ECHR which has nothing to do with the EU, although membership of the EU demands that you adopt the ECHR into your law. Please provide details that BREXIT will mean leaving the ECHR ?

      • hefner
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

        Some Home Secretary, some Theresa May, was reported on 25 April 2016 to be wanting to leave the ECHR. So strictly speaking MarkB is right Brexit is not suggesting leaving the ECHR, but what is the PM Theresa May actually thinking? That is the question.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    We have backbench MPs who believe they should form a new, unofficial, cabinet to usurp the role and powers of the official cabinet assembled by the person who has been appointed by Her Majesty as Prime Minister, who still enjoys the confidence of the House of Commons, and we have several members of the present official cabinet who have publicly rejected the doctrine of collective cabinet responsibility but are still being allowed to remain in post, and the root cause of these constitutional monstrosities is that in the 2017 general election we the voters once again mistakenly chose a great majority of parliamentary representatives whose true primary loyalty is to the EU and not to our own country.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Oh look, at last a minister explains the obvious in the Sunday Telegraph:

      “Because if we say we will never, ever leave without a deal, the EU would know, for certain, that they can stop Brexit in its tracks simply by refusing to agree a deal with us. Or, if they’re feeling subtle, by offering a bad deal they know Parliament will turn down. Either way, they’d know we’d blink. Faced with those options, we couldn’t take either of them. We would have no choice. We’d have to go cap in hand and beg the EU to delay the day we leave.”

      Which is, of course, precisely what a majority of MPs really want, they want to give the EU the power to hold us prisoner forever.

      Why has it taken five weeks for this to become clear?

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

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

      in response to their report today:

      “Cabinet ministers warn Theresa May she will face mass resignations unless she allows MPs to stop no-deal Brexit””

      That was on January 18th.

  15. The PrangWizard
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    All fine and dandy, but you have a leader, and we have a Prime Minister, about whom we have warm words yet a ‘remainer’, and a cabinet dominated by ‘remainers’ who wish us to be tied to the EU without end. The PM plays with words to trick people, who only look at these things superficially, into thinking we are leaving the power of the EU when we are clearly not. She repeats the mantra endlessly and robotically. Her plan was defeated in the HoC and she carried on as if nothing had happened. The Brady amendment was for replacement of the ‘backstop’ yet she is only seeking amendments. In her other words ‘nothing has changed’.

    And what of the three cabinet members who threaten to resign unless they get their way? We don’t know what Sir John thinks, always keeping his head just below the parapet, always keeps an escape route open. Others are left to fire the bullets.

    Reply I set out exactly what I think and am out to ensure we leave the EU without the Withdrawal Agreeement

  16. Tabulazero
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    “One of the most deceitful arguments some Remain advocates use is that the car industry depends on the EU for its success and would be adversely affected if we leave. They need to explain the damage membership of the EEC/EU did to it.”

    John Redwood MP, Member of the European Research Group, 14 July 2018

    What kind of credibility do you think you have, your Lordship ?

    Reply I am not a Lord
    I have plenty of credibility becaue I study the facts and set out the true position. The EU car industry is in a bad way in part owng to EU regs,

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      “The EU car industry is in a bad way in part owng to EU regs,”

      No it isn’t. The diesel scandal was a contributing factor but the main reason is a move towards electric vehicles which the European car industry is now busy addressing.

      As for the ‘Lord’ remark, I should just like to mention that the ‘honour’ received by you does lend itself to the question – why now?

      • formula57
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        Sir John, this is the second occasion I have noticed where you have permitted a mean-spirited, bitter-sounding, ridiculous, snide comment without merit from the above commenter about your knighthood. It does you great credit that your moderating of this diary permits such to be published although there can be few surely who do not view its author in very diminished terms.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, The diesel “scandal” was due to crony capitalist lobbying in Brussels with the connivance of the EU. To replace all ice cars in the UK with electric will require approximately doubling the energy production from the UK’s suit of electricity generators – something that won’t happen by 2040. So the “move” will be very limited, and hardly enough to save the EU car industry. Hopefully because we’ll buy fewer cars from the EU.

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        It is not the move towards electric vehicles that has caused the uncertainty. It is the mandatory nature of the switch and subsequent threats to ban internal combustion engines that has been the tipping point. All in the name of a bogus Climate Change problem, designed to mask a naked tax grab.

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    More complete and utter drivel and project fear from our idiotic Archbishop of Canterbury today.

    Then we have the Mayor of London crowing about getting closer to police “diversity” targets. What about some target for deterring crimes and catching criminals? They have given up on most crimes. One images their obsession with diversity is distracting them from their real jobs and also ensuring that they cannot recruit the “best of the best” as Ms Dick puts it.

    I am always amused by the laws that allow discrimination against a person (usually white, heterosexual men) in favour of another person – if the two candidate are equally qualified for the job but not otherwise. When (if ever) are two candidates exactly equally qualified for a job? It would be an absolutely amazing coincidence 1 in 100 million perhaps?

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    We have MPs who delegated decision on EU membership to electorate now trying to reverse it. MPs disowning the manifestos on which they were elected. MPs elected for political parties now sitting as “independents” but refusing by-elections. Cabinet ministers refusing to accept government policy on EU but refusing to resign. This is the abysmal state of Parliamentary democracy today in the UK!

    • Mark B
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Good post, Brian.

  19. Andy
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    The problem for you Mr Redwood is that it is not clear what the people decided.

    They voted to Leave – according to the definition of Brexit put forward by Vote Leave.

    This included all of the benefits of EU membership with none of the costs.

    It included taking back control of a non-existant hard / soft border.

    It included frictionless trade while scrapping all the rules which allow frictionless trade.

    It included less red tape – while even you now call for more red tape for exporters. You justify this by saying it is not much more red tape. Fabulous.

    The government can not implement what the people voted for, because what the people voted for does not exist.

    As I have said, I loathe Brexit but I could live with the version of it put forward by Vote Levae. But in nearly three years since the referendum none of you have been able to come up with a plan for making it happen. Not one of you. Ever.

    It’s Mrs May’s fault you all moan – while again all failing to come up with a plan. Or it’s the EU’s fault or the BBCs or Remaoners. Still no plan. Everyone is trying to thwart your Brexit you moan. But there is still never a plan from you. Professional whingers the lot of you.

    Just Leave is what you now say. Just leave. WTO. WTO is what we voted for. No it isn’t. Most of you had not even heard of the WTO in 2016. You voted for Vote Leave’s deal – you did not vote for jondeal. You have no mandate for it. Some of you are bonkers but plenty of the 17.4m are not. Plus – a no deal would be most unwise as it would ultimately end up with those politicians advocating it in prison. That is guaranteed.

    So it turns out Brexit fantasy is easy and Brexit reality is hard. Who knew? Well me for a start. As all of you would have done if you were not such economically illiterate ideologues.

    Mrs May’s deal is Brexit. It takes us out of the EU, single market and customs union. It is what you all voted for. Yes, it is rubbish. But we told you in 2016 that Brexit would be rubbish. You knew best. Only it turns out you didn’t.

    And, despite what they say, virtually every Tory MP will ultimately vote for May’s deal. It is Brexit. Hard luck guys. Still at least you have something to moan about for the next 40+ years.

    Reply We voted to leave the EU and the customs union and single market, to take back controls of our laws, our money and our laws. That is what we must now do.

    • Matt
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Reply to you didn’ guys voted to leave..whatever that means? or was meant to mean is anybody’s guess? Andy above says it addition some politicos still go on about the backstop which is part of the WA. But the WA is not going to be renegotiated, despite what the ERG think, despite what A Bridgen is putting about, despite what T Villiers thinks that the 39B can be talked is just not going to happen. So the sooner you guys get real about the dangerous place you’re in the better for us all. Here I refer you to what our deputy PM of Ireland Simon Coveney said on Sophie Ridge this morning. So what you have to do now is leave in an orderly way and then to negotiate a new deal better suited to your own way of thinking and the basis is all provided for in the WA. The WA is just that it is about tidying up the past it is not in any way a treaty for the future, so time to get real and not scupper us all.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Matt, Of course you know what Leave means – don’t be so precious. The options in our Referendum were to Remain in, or Leave, the EU. The UK is “in” the EU currently because we signed up to the EU treaties (that applies to Eire too). So we can only leave the EU by abrogating (leaving) the EU treaties. And not re-joining.

        Theresa May’s (actually the Robbins/Selmayr) draft Withdrawal Agreement takes us out of the existing EU treaties but, as a treaty, signs us back up to the EU. That is Remain. It is literally impossible to also offer the dWA to the USA – the EU and the USA cannot both have the same overall control of UK commercial policy at the same time. So why should we give it to either of them?

        • Richard
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Andy is correct as usual.: ” Just Leave is what you now say. Just leave. WTO. WTO is what we voted for. No it isn’t. Most of you had not even heard of the WTO in 2016. You voted for Vote Leave’s deal – you did not vote for jondeal.”

          The only way to resolve this is for a new referendum. Remain versus whatever you can agree on what you think your “WTO” deal actually means.

        • Matt
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          NickC .. No! not exactly.. you leave by WA or some other version of WA and then rejoin by negotiation in some other way- if you want- has to be done in an orderly manner. Also you cannot ignore the fact that the European continent is only 20 miles away and will always be so- so sorry for you English guys, not happy, you want to tear the whole house down, but I know the English psyche and knew this was coming forty years ago? so what’s the word for fear of foreigners? yes! that’s it

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        David Cameron (and senior ministers in his cabinet) detailed what a vote the exit the EU would mean. 17.42 million said that’s OK and voted for it. Not too difficult to understand, was it?

    • Andy
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      And Mrs May’s deal does all those things and you still will not vote for it. Odd. (Except we all know that you will vote for it in the end).

      • Richard1
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May’s deal, if it includes the backstop, keeps us indefinitely in the customs union. It also cedes northern Ireland as a kind of EU colony without a vote of its people. Even Without the backstop it simply involves handing over £39bn in exchange for 21 months of EU limbo at the end of which there may or may not be a sensible FTA.

        Sir John and others have been right all along – had we proposed a comprehensive FTA to start with we would most likely now be leaving with such an arrangement in place and everyone could calm down.

        • William
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

          I long for that last part – everyone calming down.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        You are very mistaken andy.
        A) Read the leaflet
        B) Read the Withdrawal Agreement
        (Please stop referring to it as a deal. It is just the heads of terms to start negotiations towards a deal sometime in the future)

      • David Price
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement does not do what you say.

        From the ERG report of 18 November 2018 – “under the proposals the UK would continue to be bound by EU laws in a number of critical areas, such as social policy, environmental policy, employment policy and customs. We will thus become a ‘rule taker’, which means we would have to continue to obey EU laws in these areas but having surrendered any influence over how they are drafted. Furthermore, under the agreement the European Court of Justice will be the final arbiter of EU laws in power in the UK, putting our Courts, even our Supreme Court, in a junior position.”

        So, under the WA we would not take back control of our laws.

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:48 pm | Permalink


      Brilliant resume.

      • Stred
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        These Remainers are so confused that if we really left the EU and they were still in charge of the country, they would still need someone else to run it for them. They are so dim and lacking in brilliance.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Only if you haven’t read the dWA. And lie.

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

        Wrong, as per usual, so up to his normal standard. Are you related?

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Well I’d like to ask Andy if Jihadi Brides may have the vote in Britain.

        He says over 85s (who may have well fought for THIS country and not ISIS) should not. Does this include Michael Heseltine and many of the Lords ?

        How is it that I get moderated and Andy does not ???

  20. Dominic
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    What’s it like to be deceived Sir John?

    What’s it like to have PM May look at you in the eye and promise that she will implement the result of the EU referendum while all the while knowing she’s no intention of doing so? You must feel as though you’ve been used and treated with contempt? Welcome to our world

    The Tory party is no longer FIT FOR PURPOSE. It now serves no purpose except to secure Parliamentary seats for the careers of grasping politicians concerned with enhancing their incomes and personal opportunities

    And what about the sanctity of British democracy and the protection of the UK and its constitutional sovereignty? Like all else in this dump of a once great nation, it’s dispensable and of no worth

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, I was going to write my own post but see you have done it for me. I think many of us feel the same. We have been lied to and what MPs of all persuasions have done is despicable. All agreed we would leave the EU. Not the fudge that is being put before us. The minute our MPs started to argue about how we ate going to leave the writing was on the wall for both the public and the EU negotiators who knew they had us over a barrel and could manipulate the outcome into the farce it now is. Every other country in the free world must be looking on in amazement. This so called democracy is being trashed and the people who look to governments to carry out their manifesto promises are totally baffled as to how our team could have screwed up so badly. I have always been a Tory voter but no more. I hope Farage gets his act together because I can’t bring myself to vote for any of the sniveling liars in Parliament now.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      I should imagine that it is not very nice. Not for him and certainly not for all those, no matter how they voted, on the referendum.

    • L Jones
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Ours is STILL a ”great nation” in the eyes of most of us who call it home. It is simply those arrogant and self-serving politicians that are the problem, who are letting down our great nation in the most despicable manner that could ever have been imagined. We are being dishonourably cheated by our own government, and THAT may make Parliament a ”dump” – but not our country.

      This great nation is NOT a dump.

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    What about our army? Will we take back control of that?

    Or are we too embroiled in preparations for the EU army?

    BRINO with EU army membership?

    • Matt
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      You know what Boris once famously said about ‘business’ ..well ditto to the army. Your army, my army and the EU army..if that is all you have to talk about

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Matt, Is that the EU army that Remains like Nick Clegg said was a figment of Nigel Farage’s imagination? That army?

    • margaret howard
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:53 pm | Permalink


      “What about our army? Will we take back control of that?”

      No, we will continue doing what we are doing now – follow the US army into yet more illegal wars a la Iraq like the obedient poodles we have become.

      Trump will be pleased – no one else in the world will be so amenable.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        We have a choice over joining with America in future wars.
        But no choice if we agree to an EU army.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Margaret Howard, Both Spanish and French troops are currently stationed in Iraq. Can you not be accurate in at least some of the things you claim?

        • margaret howard
          Posted February 25, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

          How many troops compared to ours? And did they actually take part in the attack on Iraq? Or was it just window dressing? I can’t remember their leaders standing side by side with Bush like Blair did before the illegal war.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            Any PM can take our nation to war.
            Nothing illegal about it.
            If you have evidence it was illegal then the tell the CPS

      • Jagman84
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        Trump has withdrawn US troops where he can. You must be thinking of the previous incumbent. However, you’d be happy for us to be obedient poodles to Juncker and Co? Yes to NATO but no to the EU army.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Well Trump has never started a war ! Unlike O’Bama, Blair(Campbell), Cameron, Bush Jnr.

        Suck up the fake news, Margaret.

        PS, They said Armageddon would have befallen us by the first Christmas. I predict a second Trump term.

  22. A.Sedgwick
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Brexit has released the extreme weaknesses in our political and electoral system. It was obvious very soon after May’s bewildering appointment that she was as useless as many of us thought. She will complete the selling of UK down the Rhine/Danube/Seine and with her cohorts spout the mantra of the Withdrawal Agreement ticking all the boxes (Claire Perry).

    Manifestos are not worth the paper they are written on because they are not legally binding. The WA follows the same path and mindset of most of the people who end up as MPs, because they are not really accountable to the general electorate and they know this.

    This whole Brexit debacle and the denying of the Referendum result by so many makes me wonder does it make any difference if we are under the Westminster or Brussels thumb.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Yes it does make a difference. We can remove our legislators and government. Not so the EU Commission.

      • L Jones
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Mark B. And what have remainers like Andy to say to that fact? Something about somebody sometimes being elected somewhere for something somehow in Brussels, or something?

      • Andy
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Not true. The Commission can be removed by MEPs.

        • Jiminyjim
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

          Wron again, Andy. Either you lie deliberately or you are the most uninformed person on this website

          • Richard
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            A new Commission is appointed every five years, within six months of the elections to the European Parliament.

            The procedure for appointing a Commissioner is as follows:

            The member state governments agree together on who to designate as the new Commission President.

            The Commission President-designate, in discussion with the member state governments, chooses the other 29 Members of the Commission.

            The new Parliament then interviews all 30 members and gives its opinion on the entire “college”.

            If approved, the new Commission can officially start work in the the January following the European Parliamentary elections

            Seems a more robust process than our method of forming a government going by some of the clowns we currently have in the cabinet.

          • hefner
            Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

            Wrong Jiminyjim.
            The EU Parliament has the right to approve and dismiss the European Commission. See “Supervisory powers” on

          • Edward2
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            Virtually the same method of “election” used by the USSR when they appointed the members of their Politburo.

          • margaret howard
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink


            “Wron again, Andy. Either you lie deliberately or you are the most uninformed person on this website”

            The European Parliament has the right to approve and dismiss the European Commission. Since 1994, commissionersdesignate have been required to appear before an EP hearing. Under the Lisbon Treaty, EU heads of state propose a candidate for Commission President, taking into account the results of European elections. The candidate is elected by the EP.

            The EP can censure the Commission and ultimately dismiss it. So far, none of the eight motions of censure brought before Parliament has been adopted. In 1999, the Santer Commission stepped down before Parliament forced its resignation. The EP ensures democratic control over the Commission, which regularly submits reports to Parliament including an annual report on EU activities and on the implementation of the budget. Once a year, the Commission President gives a State of the Union address to plenary. Parliament regularly invites the Commission to initiate new policies and the Commission is required to reply to oral and written questions from MEPs.”

        • NickC
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          Andy, The Commission cannot be removed by the demos – we, the people. Which was the original point made by Mark B.

          • hefner
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            How ridiculous can one be? Tell me, how many UK MPs have ever been removed by their constituency people (or “demos”, a big word to look like a kind of an intellectual, isn’t it).
            You should read a bit more outside this blog, for example the exact conditions to recall a MP.

          • Edward2
            Posted February 25, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

            There is no vote by any citizen of any Eurooean country towards the appointment of the members of the Commission of the EU.
            The real power in the EU
            Yet you EU fans are happy with that.
            Amazing and depressing at the same time.

          • hefner
            Posted February 26, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

            Edward2, Please enlighten me. How much clout do you have as one of HM’s subjects to choose who the heads of Parliamentary Committees are? How much clout do you have on your own MP to make them, say, sign an EDM?

          • Edward2
            Posted February 26, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

            I get to vote for my MP
            I can join my local constituency party and help chose my prospective MP

            Far more than I do with tje 5 Presidents of the EU the Commission or the Council
            My MEP has little real power over them.
            We are one voice in 28 with increasingly limited veto powers.
            One more distant less democratic layer of government

        • Jagman84
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Even the Polish Government couldn’t recall Donald Tusk. That how bad that it is.

        • Anonymous
          Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

          So why was UKIP winning the 2014 MEP elections not a crisis ?

  23. Alison
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Surely there would be more discipline among Conservative MPs if there was a Cabinet composed of pro-Leave MPs, true Brexiteers who understand that leaving the EU is the best thing for our country, constitutionally in economic terms and therefore also in social terms?

    So Mrs May’s best immediate move would be to remove 75% of the Cabinet, from Lidington, Hammond and Rudd to Clark, Gauke etc.
    Otherwise we are clearly facing imminent constitutional anarchy, with an executive which is amorphous and unaccountable. (A bit like the EU, in its way)

    • L Jones
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps she doesn’t care, Alison. That would explain a lot.

    • NickC
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Alison, “Mrs May’s best immediate move”?? That assumes she wants the UK to actually Leave the EU. Her dWA shows she doesn’t. Her Remain Cabinet shows she doesn’t. Her giving the Chequers WP to the EU first shows she doesn’t. Giving free rein to the Remains in the civil service shows she doesn’t. How much more evidence do you need? Mrs May is right where she wants to be – with the UK almost back in the EU.

  24. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    It is difficult to see how an MP who supported this Manifesto can support the current Withdrawal Agreement
    Apart from being apathetic, and just wanting this to be all over, with the least personal harm – never mind harm to the country, there are a limited number of reasons:
    – total lack of belief in Britain;
    – vested interests;
    – cowards, lacking morals and vision;
    – europhiles – so wedded to the EU nightmare they can see no future for the UK;
    – inability to differentiate good survival potential against retarded survival – they simply do not understand how dangerous the EU is.

    • Andy
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      You forget one:
      – They genuinely believe your pathetic Brexit will be immensely harmful to the country and to future generations, and they are better informed than you.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        Come off it, on both counts.

      • Al
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        “– They genuinely believe your pathetic Brexit will be immensely harmful to the country and to future generations, and they are better informed than you.”

        The problem with your view Andy is that they are not better informed: e.g. the implementation of EUVAT claimed that only a small percentage of microfirms would be affected. It affected 96%. My MP was not even aware it existed.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Your belief that the UK cannot be independent is pathetic. And harmful to the country and future generations.

        Good job you weren’t around when the colonies were escaping from the British Empire. I can just see you wailing and gnashing your teeth at how impossible it would be for New Zealand or India to be independent.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

        A referendum was set and a vote was won.

        Are you saying this should be ignored ?


        Let’s ignore all votes then.

  25. Norman
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The EU is doing only what what we might expect. It would appear that the UK Government under Mrs May cannot contemplate the unthinkable, because of the strategic ramifications. The PM is therefore right to try for an amicable exit, but wrong if we are to avoid a sell-out. (Have we not been here before, in the 1930’s?) A true Brexit does have a price (at least in terms of potential ongoing conflict – e.g. Ireland, and control of the seas). BUT, if we are to remain a sovereign nation, it is a price we must pay. The simple message to all conservative MPs at this pivotal hour is: YOU MUST HONOUR YOUR MANIFESTO, OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR PARLIAMENTARY LEGITIMACY!

  26. ChrisS
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    In respect of Brexit, Remainers, and we all know who they are, are acting in a profoundly undemocratic manner.

    I suppose one could have a small degree of grudging respect for the three women who at long last have chosen to leave the Conservative party at the eleventh hour. After all, they had stood on the same very clear Leave manifesto as every other Conservative candidate.
    I say a small degree of respect, because it was becoming increasingly obvious that they jumped before they were pushed – Soubry and Wollaston and possibly Allen as well, were facing deselection.

    Others like Grieve should be ashamed of themselves for breaking what is essentially a contract with voters. He deserves to be de-selected for that alone.

  27. formula57
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Having read the Political Declaration and the interpretation thereof offered by the anonymous civil servant, I consider that this Government is not even delivering a Remoaners’ Brexit, rather a Quislings’ Brexit.

    Leavers ought to begin distancing themselves from any responsibility for Brexit since what we will get will not deliver the benefits and opportunities we should have had whilst at the same time our revised links to the Evil Empire will often place in a worse position than full membership.

  28. Alan Joyce
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I still do not think that those holding positions of power and responsibility in the Conservative Party, including its weak and fearful MP’s, have quite grasped how angry and vengeful conservative voters will be if Brexit turns out to be Brino.

    It is self-evident that No Deal is better than a Bad Deal in any negotiation let alone one as important as this. And yet the Party continues to pursue what voters can see is a bad deal.

    The reward for this betrayal, because that is what it is, will be a quite severe hammering for the Conservatives starting with the local elections in May which will be a proxy on the Brexit deal. That is if we have even left by then.

  29. Dennis
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    Enjoyed your LBC Interview with Nigel 10:00 on 24th February. Very cool calm and collected. Well done. 🙂

  30. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    But a bad deal is not defined.

    As with so much with our leaving the EU it has been left open to interpretation.

    This has weakened our negotiating position.

    I am saddened by the weakness of our position. It should have been so much better.

  31. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    We knew EXACTLY what we were voting for: we will do it again if necessary this time in greater numbers. We DEMAND our servants in Parliament implement our decision.
    Let’s take Mrs May’s Surrender off the table to alleviate the massive stress it is causing in the country!
    We WANT WTO leave. What words does any MP not understand?

    • Andy
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      You clearly did not know what you were voting for. Because Mrs May’s deal is Brexit and you do not like.

      And you claim to have voted for Brexit.

      It really is nobody’s fault but your own if you voted for an undeliverable fantasy. You should have done your homework better.

      • NickC
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Andy, No, that shows you do not know what we were voting for. Not the same thing. Mrs May’s dWA (it is not the trade deal) keeps us locked into all the EU policies and institutions that we are currently in. If you’d bother to read it you would see.

        There is no “undeliverable fantasy” as you well know – you just make yourself look even sillier than normal by saying so. You certainly don’t persuade. It is a fact that most of the world is independent of the EU. You have failed to show why the UK cannot join them.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        I get moderated and you do not Andy.


        You are one privileged person.

        We even get your policy in cabinet.

  32. Den
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    Rather amazing that Mr Trump was also elected on his manifesto promises but he is following the plans he set out then. And he is now attacked for it but only by the Establishment disciples who want him removed because he is not under their control. Over this side of the pond however, a different story. Mrs May is reneging on her manifesto promises and creating a dangerous precedent to British democracy. What is the point of telling the people what they want to hear just to gain their votes only to ignore those promises made only to seduce them? It is known outside of Parliament, as a Confidence Trick and the perpetrators as ‘con artists’ who when caught, are jailed for their crimes. Not so in General Elections of course, where anything goes.
    If we are, in future, to believe Party Manifestos, the electorate must first be protected from false claims or duplicity in the manifestos as a matter of urgency since democracy is at stake again.
    I am sure the ERG and its supporters are capable of introducing such a bill which would certainly shake out the liars and the self-serving cheats from Parliament. It is time for Government to be honest and more transparent. Let’s get our Country back along with real British democracy.

  33. Anonymous
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I wish to ask Andy a question with a yes or no answer.

    Should the Jihadi Bride be allowed to vote when she returns to Britain if found not guilty or if a sentence is served ?

    • Andy
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Of course she should.

      Even bad people get the vote.

      • Anonymous
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        But over 85s (who may have fought for this country and not ISIS) don’t.

        (thank you for falling into my trap)

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted February 25, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        you are fond of saying brexit supporters should be imprisoned. Should returning jihadis be imprisoned? Or should they be free to plan and carry out atrocities here?

  34. forthurst
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    The clear objective of the 2017 Tory Manifesto was to kill off UKIP and in that they almost succeeded as very few seats were challenged and advice was given to their membership to support the Tories to ensure that they formed a majority and took us out of the EU as per their clear manifesto commitment. Some people never learn, do they? Never ever trust a Tory. Ever since they took us into the EU they have hidden their pathological EUphilia in order to get themselves elected. Unpatriotic people with a contempt for the electorate.

  35. Dominic
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    I believe members of the ERG will be targeted for deselection by May and her filthy Europhile lackeys that have taken over our party in the same way the Marxists have subsumed Labour

    Both main parties are now DEAD and have ceased to be representative of their core vote

    we desperately need a party that represents the decent, moral majority. A party that dispenses with social class, embraces the private, elevates freedom and liberty above liberal left fascism and protects the individual

    I believe the UK is slowly morphing into an authoritarian State with the State deciding that democracy’s outlived its usefulness

    Reply No evidence for de selection. Wokingham constituency Conservative Association has selected me to fight the next election.

    • Andy
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Memebrs of the ERG – particularly those in remainy seats – will be specifically targeted by Remainers at the next election.

      We will campaign hard in their constituencies to ensure as many as possible are removed from Parliament.

      • Edward2
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Good job we all get a vote Andy.
        Watch as remain MPs in many leave majority seats get voted out too.

    • MickN
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      You see John that is where I would have a problem if I lived in your constituency. I would vote for you all day long, but I can no longer vote Conservative. Living in Surrey Heath I don’t have that problem now that Mr Gove has shown his true colours.

  36. Kenneth
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    For the Conservative Party in particular, this post is the heart of the issue.

    Those, including the PM and Chancellor, who are working against the manifesto are rebels and it’s about time they were disciplined accordingly.

  37. bigneil
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Manifestos are there to get votes. As the polling station doors close, the manifestos get ripped up.

  38. agricola
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Today on Marr (BBC) we are told that if we leave the EU without a deal the price of Cheddar Cheese will increase vastly.
    Correct me if I am wrong but I had the impression that this cheese was home grown mostly in Cheddar. Have the good burghers of the gorge decided unilaterally to impose a duty on tbe product.They said the same about tomatoes, but any duty element on the price of tomatoes is in the hands of the UK government. I am sure tomatoes are grown in places other than the EU which might concentrate the minds of EU tomato exporters. Why do we have to put up with so much drivel. Were I an Israeli I would be looking to sell a vast range of fresh produce to a no deal UK for no other reason but to upset Corbyn.

  39. jane4brexit
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Please could you do an article showing problems other than the backstop in the WA Sir John? I have seen few articles doing this, although I may have missed you doing one and I realise explaining nearly 600 pages briefly would be a large task.

    I give links to two which have attempted it below which might interest some on here, if they haven’t read them already “The top 40 horrors lurking in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit deal” and “The Political Declaration is not a vague wish list, but an attempt to bind the UK to EU policies” the second links to an anonymous civil servant’s detailed analysis of it. It was good hearing you talking sense and being informative as always on LBC this morning:

    Also talking of the Nigel Farage show, he and listeners are now discussing the MPs who have forgotten that they were told ie: that we would leave and then arrange a trade deal, how can they have forgotten? Here is what was said by the PM, at the last PMQs before the referendum on 15th June 2016 in answer to Nigel Adams MP question number 14:

    “I am very happy to agree with my hon. Friend. “In” means we remain in a reformed EU; “out” means we come out. As the leave campaigners and others have said, “out” means out of the EU, out of the European single market, out of the Council of Ministers—out of all those things—and will then mean a process of delivering on it, which will take at least two years, and then delivering a trade deal, which could take as many as seven years. To anyone still in doubt—there are even Members in the House still thinking about how to vote—I would say: if you have not made up your mind yet, if you are still uncertain, just think about that decade…”

    • Mark B
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      Please could you do an article showing problems other than the backstop in the WA Sir John?

      I agree.

      The FTA should not take that long. But personally I would be inclined to make the EU wait until we have ALL our most important trading partners and the Commonwealth sorted.

      Leaving the EU is not just about trade. It is about regaining our own seat and voice at the very top international tables. There we can speak for ourselves and act in our own national interest.

    • NickC
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Jane4brexit, It seems you need to educate Andy especially – he doesn’t know what Leave means.

  40. Timaction
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Indeed. That’s why no one will ever trust the Tory Party or the other politicos again. They are finished.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted February 25, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Nah. In the next election most people will troop into the voting stations and vote the same way as they always have. Our first past the post voting system guarantees that.

      • BR
        Posted February 25, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I don’t think so. If Brexit is not delivered such that we leave all the major EU institutions (CU, SM, ECJ, end FoM) I won’t be voting (or I’ll be voting for the Brexit party if there’s a candidate here).

        This is a game changer.

  41. Richard1
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    David Gauke (whom I’ve always thought quite sensible and articulate) + Amber Rudd and Greg Clark (neither of whom have ever impressed me) have written an article today saying that if there is no Deal agreed with the EU this week brexit must be delayed. Let’s hope the EU negotiators don’t see it otherwise they will obviously agree nothing in the hope of an extension (and presumably subsequent extensions continuing indefinitely), keeping the UK in the EU. This is probably ideal from an EU perspective as the UK being in principle(but never actually) in the exit lane, the UK can be ignored for future laws rules and taxes!

  42. ferdinand
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    All so clear. But those politicians who desire to destroy the wishes of the population have the power to do so.

  43. Richard1
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    We read that Brexit is at risk if MPs don’t approve Mrs May’s terrible deal, under which we pay £39bn for vague promises about a future trade arrangement, retain non-voting membership of the EU for nearly two years, and most likely leave the UK and particularly the new territory of UK(NI), an economic colony of the EU under the backstop.

    I urge MPs to vote this down. A bad deal is a bad deal there is no reason to be cajoled into voting for one. If that means Parliament turns round and says ‘yes we know you voted for brexit but sorry it’s all too difficult so just forget it” then so be it. Let’s see what the consequences are. Reluctant Remain would after all be better than Brino.

  44. Peter Miller
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Everyone I know who voted to leave assumed “leave meant leave” and that once we left we would invite the EU to negotiate a free trade deal. In the meantime, the UK would maintain the status quo of the Irish border. Thus, if the border was going to be a ‘problem’, it would be wholly one of the EU’s making.

    However, so many of our elected officials, as always, treated the people who voted them into power with utter contempt.

    I suppose the BREXIT cause was doomed fro the start to failure with such a large majority of MPs, the cabinet and the PM herself being Remainers. It looks like it will be a BRINO outcome, which nodody will be happy with.

    When I think of the antics and stunts of the Remainer MPs in Parliament, I despair for our political system.

  45. Captain Peacock
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    The truth is the public cant believe anything a politician says.

  46. Sue Doughty
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Good, stick with it. This country is 80% in support of just getting on with it.

  47. Sue Doughty
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    The Irish border is no longer a problem for us mere mortals, Juncker said it is the hands of the all seeing all knowing God now. No technology can beat that – we just have hope He keeps good records.

    • formula57
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

      I was, unusually and exceptionally, greatly encouraged by Mr. Junckers’s words for at least it means someone English will be making the decisions.

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    On Sky News this morning Sophy Ridge interviewed a distinctly nervous Simon Coveney, Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister of the Irish Republic, but without thinking to suggest to him that when he talked about his government’s hope for “the closest possible relationship between Britain and the EU” in the future he actually meant a relationship in which the UK would remain perpetually subject to swathes of EU laws, which according to eurofederalist dogma would be the only way to prevent the “re-emergence” of physical infrastructure at the Irish land border. Who would be erecting that infrastructure and permanently manning and patrolling that “hard border” is of course a mystery; as the Irish government has just published what is being called an “omnibus” Bill of measures to be taken in the event that the UK leaves the EU without any deal, and those proposals do not include anything to do with any fortification on their side of the border, presumably their fear is that the leprechauns will take matters into their own hands. However even if the Irish government suddenly had a change of heart and decided that there were other ways to keep the border just as open as now while still controlling what passed across it and collecting any customs duties remotely, as there would be, and even if Theresa May suddenly had a change of heart and decided that after all it was not such a good idea to try to use the largely fabricated problem of the Irish border as a pretext for keeping the UK under swathes of EU laws in order to placate the likes of the CBI, it is too late now because the EU will not re-open the withdrawal agreement which she negotiated.

    • Captain Peacock
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      I stopped watching Sky, BBC , ITV , Channel 4, CNN ect years ago Trump was 100% correct all are fake news.

    • Matt
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Denis .. as remarked in an earlier piece..the border won’t be there in another ten years or so, so what does it matter about ‘backstops’. Backstops is part of the WA all about settling the past not about the future. There is no way in this God’s earth that UK or any country could forever more be tied to something that could be so disagreeable to people?.have you never heard of UDI? give us a break

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        You could try giving us a break from your delusions.

  49. Tad Davison
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Anything that moves away from promises laid out in an election manifesto sets back the trust people have in the democratic process. A lot of people had grown weary of political parties saying one thing and doing another, and had stopped voting altogether because they saw all parties being pretty much the same and untrustworthy.

    The 2016 EU membership referendum brought many disaffected and disenfranchised people out to vote for the first time in a long time. For Westminster politicians to now try to stop the democratic will of the people is utterly cynical and deplorable.

    All Theresa May has to do is hold fast and stick to her manifesto and her Lancaster House speech. She should then, even at this late stage send in the right people to negotiate on those terms and from that position, whilst reminding MPs of every stripe they are honour-bound to do the same. But there’s the key word – honour – and many MPs need to be reminded of what it means, and their obligations.

    Should there be a subsequent General Election, it is the duty of all of us to remind everyone else by whatever means, which way certain MPs like Dominic Grieve voted.

    As a foot note, I wonder if speaker Bercow will be so quick to call Soubry now she’s left the fold? She did seem to be his favourite.

    Tad Davison


  50. ian
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    As you enter the last month of Brexit this week Mrs T. May is still in full control of proceedings despite everything that went on. As for the meaningful vote, it like a script out Tony Handcock half hour.

    Mrs T.May is the leader of the UK and as such will make the final decision on Brexit.

    There is no such thing as no deal, all leaving on the 29th of March means is that negotiation will open up between the UK and the EU on trade as status quo stay in place, tariffs will be shown on both sides with other things as a starting point.

    Brexit so far has benefited the country well by showing the people of the this-this country people how politics really works and who is who, a lesson they will not forget for a long time and are better informed for it, what it may show them is that it the person you vote for and not the party that matters, even within a party the association has a duty to pick the right person for there area that best suits their views and fellow people in their area, I think the days of party HQ picking candidates is coming to an end.

    Mrs Rudd turn out to be the top rebel in the Tory party and views her self as leader of the country on the back of the second ref vote, that why Mrs T. May brought her back into the cabinet where she could keep an eye on her.

    • ChrisS
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Rudd will be extremely unlikely to survive the next election.

      She has a wafer-thin majority of 346 in a Constituency that voted decisively to Leave the EU by 56% to 44%

      Leave voters have long memories !

  51. ian
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Everything is going along nicely with just over four weeks to go, sometimes I think that I am the only one winning as was foretold by the stars.

  52. Original Richard
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    It is heart breaking to see our PM and Parliament so corrupted by years of EU membership that we see them slyly overturning the referendum result and no longer following their manifesto commitments and previous policies whilst pretending otherwise.

    The latest intended action being their attempt to make it law that we cannot leave without a deal, which would mean either not leaving at all or accepting a WA so bad that it is akin to a unconditional surrender treaty where we do not leave the EU’s institutions and leaves us totally exposed to damaging EU legislation with no say or veto.

    We are threatened with a return to terrorism in N.I. if we do not accept the EU’s terms.

    The only course of action I can take, in addition to voting whenever possible for Brexit supporting candidates, is to reduce wherever possible the buying of EU goods.

    I have not bought any French agricultural products since 1990 when French farmers set fire to one truckload of live British sheep, killing 219 of them as well as poisoning, slitting throats and dousing others with insecticide.

    I intend to extend this policy.

  53. Backofanenvelope
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    I would like someone to organise another referendum where one option was “Tell the EU to get stuffed!”

  54. hefner
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    I sincerely hope the UK is out of the EU on 29 March 23:00 with “no-deal”/WTO rules and can pursue without EU27 interference whatever the various components of the Leave campaigns have been organizing these last 30+ months for the future of the country.
    “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple and wrong”. “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard”. (H.L.Mencken)

    I am looking forward to it. It is time that all the brilliant competent Real (be)Leavers show us what they can do.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      “Common people” the smug superiority hefner.
      You posh elite are so sure you know best.
      Thank goodness we common people still have a secret vote every now again.

      • hefner
        Posted February 25, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        That was in Mencken’s original quote. Are you keen on “demos”?

        • Edward2
          Posted February 25, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

          I’m unimpressed by the lack of respect shown for voters who have a different opinion to the elite.
          And your apparent agreement with that.

  55. Ian Pennell
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John redwood,

    The very ability to deliver on the Conservative Manifesto will become impossible if Parliament votes through the Cooper- Letwin Bill on the 27th February. Why would the EU then give Britain anything even remotely palatable? The EU could “decide” the “EU Divorce Bill” was not actually £39 billion, but that it needs to be £300 billion. They could decide the ECJ must have control over Britain’s laws for another ten years. This would make a mockery of taking back control of our laws, borders and money!

    And if Yvette Cooper and Sir. Oliver Letwin have their way, there really would be nothing Britain could do about it. Time for you and the ERG to pressurise Theresa May to get Her Majesty The Queen to prorogue Parliament until after 29th March to safeguard a Meaningful Brexit. And do get as many of your colleagues and friends to sign this petition to get Parliament prorogued:

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Why do you refer to the Cooper-Letwin “Bill”?

      • Ian Pennell
        Posted February 24, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        @ Denis Cooper

        Yvette Cooper’s bill is just that. See here:

        If the proposed Bill passes it will be legally binding on the Government to get a deal in place by 13th March or allow MPs to vote to approve either a WTO “No Deal” Brexit (THEY WON’T) or for a delay to Britain leaving the European Union.

        I hope that our excellent host will, with his ERG colleagues, put pressure on Theresa May to request HM The Queen to prorogue Parliament until after 29th March to stop the Remainer treachery succeeding (with the threat that they will join Nigel Farage’s new Brexit Party if she does not).

        We shall see!

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 26, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          But any such “Bill” would be the next step after MPs had passed the “amendment” to the “motion” tomorrow. I agree that Theresa May should then ask the Queen to prevent that next step in defiance of Her Majesty’s Government, one way or another.

  56. Everhopeful
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Lovely, lovely interview with N.F.on LBC.

    JR so calm and reassuring. Cheered me up no end!


    • Richard
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

      Shame he still doesnt have a plan or any sort of deal tabled that’s better than the Germany++ one we already have.

  57. hans christian ivers
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative Party can drop this part of the Manifesto as well, they have dropped a number of subjects from the Manifesto already, so what is new.

  58. Chris Lewis
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    The 2017 manifesto did not result in an overall Conservative majority. It is, therefore, necessary to compromise. The real long term danger for the country is a Corbyn/McDonald government. The current squabbling in the Conservative makes this increasingly likely. For what is it is worth I do not that a Johnson/Reece-Mogg led party has any chance of winning a general election.

    • NickC
      Posted February 24, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Chris Lewis, The 2016 Referendum supersedes MPs personal beliefs. A Corbyn/McDonnell government is irrelevant if our real government is the EU.

  59. rose
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    It was encouraging and uplifting hearing what you said on LBC this morning.

  60. Chris
    Posted February 24, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    It would appear that the ERG and those Tory Brexiter MPs who are determined to stay on, and in so doing support May, have as their first priority saving the Conservative Party. It is as simple as that. I suspect that most of the Leaver voters are not at all impressed with that, and are in fact downright furious with you all. We have a course of action, eventually – the ballot box, but that really is not good enough as the future of the country is at stake right now.

  61. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted February 25, 2019 at 1:04 am | Permalink

    Conservatives should stick to their policy. It’s doing them no harm in the polls.

    Labour by contrast is scoring lower in the polls the more they lean away from Brexit.

    Theoretically, Labour would do better under an alternative leader. But there is no generic alternative leader. They would have to pick a particular one – who may be less popular than Corbyn.

  62. Mike Wilson
    Posted February 25, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    At last! Yesterday, in a newspaper, an article stating ‘what will actually happen after March 29th’. It appears;
    We will need green cards to drive our car in the EU and they will only last 90 days
    We will need an international driving permit – and separate permits for France and Spain.
    We will need medical insurance as reciprocal health care will cease
    Pet passports will no longer be accepted and we will have to quarantine our pets.

    It all seems rather tedious and retrograde.

    But, that seemed to be all they could come up with. I foresee holidays to stable North African countries massively increasing.

  63. BR
    Posted February 25, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes it’s difficult to see how the WA can be passed as it stands. I was going to mention the article about the anonymous civil servant and their 147 concerns over the WA, but I see it’s already been linked by Jane4Brexit above.

    I agree, it is difficult to see how this can be passed as being the Brexit we voted for.

    However, the Goves of this world concern me. He seems to believe that getting out while we have a mandate and adjusting later is the best plan. I’m not sure how you adjust a treaty – my understanding is that you either withdraw from all of it or adhere to all of it – but I have to wonder why he believes that we need to get the WA over the line now (in almost any form).

    Of course, his history is not exactly covered in glory as someone who stands by a set of principles so I have to wonder if he’s simply changed sides (or his true beliefs are now being seen as a remainer).

    But if you believe that the Brexit battle will go on and can be won if the WA is voted down then I’d be happy to see it killed off.

    I’d actually like to see a GE now, with 25 min. working days required under the FTPA you could leave the clock ticking down to zero and hold an election where the campaign is about next steps – but would May actually do that or would she seek an extension? I’m sure any such election won’t be won by the Tories if Brexit is still in the ‘undelivered’ column. It would also need the candidates to be pro-Brexit for real this time.

  • About John Redwood

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

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