Why the Withdrawal Agreement is bad for the UK

I have been asked to spell out more details on the features of the WA other than the Irish backstop which make it a bad deal.

The first point is it contradicts the Conservative Manifesto and 2017 government policy of negotiating the Withdrawal issues and the future partnership together. You must stick to this to get leverage from concessions made on Withdrawal to benefits in the future partnership. Nothing should be agreed until everything is agreed. It is why we have got a bad Withdrawal Agreement, and are being set up to get a bad future partnership as well.

The second is the provision to pay them very large sums of money, stretching for many years into the future. No sensible person would sign an agreement which allows one side to send bill after bill for years after we have left, claiming we owe them money under many general heads set out in the Withdrawal Agreement. The Treasury estimate of £39bn is likely to be far too low. Some of the future liabilities stretch forward a hundred years, relating to payments to people not yet born who might come here before the end of the transition period. Paying to belong until 2020 opens up more future commitments under the 2019-20 budget, with liabilities until 2028. The settlement on the European Investment Bank is mean to the UK. Every conceivable future liability for the EU is recorded with as much liability as possible attaching to the UK under various clauses.

The third is the institutional architecture for the Agreement. Until we do leave the UK faces the full panoply of existing and additional EU law enforced by the EU’s own court. The UK in transition will have no veto over big new advances in EU controls, and no ability to form qualified minority blocking groups to stop an unfavourable law passing under qualified majority provisions. The EU would be at liberty to legislate in ways that harmed our economic interests and helped theirs and we would have to comply. We would even not be able to prevent the imposition of new taxes on us.

Disputes over the money or over the laws fall to be resolved by a joint committee. In the event of there being no resolution, an independent Arbitration panel decides the matter. However, if at issue is the interpretation of EU law – which is likely in most cases – that is settled by the European Court of Justice who instruct the Arbitration Panel what to say! Who ever thought the UK should accept such a one sided arrangement?

The fourth is the State Aids provisions and applicability of Competition law. This will give the EU the right to authorise state aids to attract business away from the UK, with the right to block us doing the same back.

The fifth is the continuing influence the EU will have over our welfare and benefits system.

There are many other features of this Agreement which are one sided, as it is a thorough piece of work by the EU determined to take as much of our money as possible for as long as possible, and keen to keep as much legal control over us as possible.

The Agreement does not even live up to its name and billing. It is meant to just be about the past and so called withdrawal costs and issues, yet a big chunk of it including the Irish backstop, protected trade names and other issues is about the future trading arrangements and partnership. The UK negotiators should have pointed this out and insisted on dealing with all the future issues at the same time, as the government promised to do in 2016-17.


  1. formula57
    February 25, 2019

    Indeed the May Withdrawal Agreement is very bad and considered in conjunction with the accompanying proposed Political Declaration (in reality another agreement) (found at https://brexitcentral.com/political-declaration-not-vague-wish-list-attempt-bind-uk-eu-policies/ with a PDF link to a clause by clause interpretation) it can be viewed as hazardous for the UK.

    I do not understand either how the Withdrawal Agreement nor such Declaration are at all consistent with the referendum decision nor how anyone (not intent upon Brexit in name only and as a likely prelude to rejoining the EU) could contemplate entering into the arrangements they set out.

    Mrs. May will surely have the judgement of history she seeks although how she will live with the shame I know not.

    1. oldtimer
      February 25, 2019

      The WA is an extraordinary betrayal of the referendum result and the national interest. Whatever MPs may decide I cannot see the people at large accepting it.

      1. Hope
        February 25, 2019

        Everybody should read the article on Lawyers for Britain : ‘Extending Article 50: What will be the price?’ Martin Howe QC concludes:
        “By asking for a favour when up against the clock, the UK would once again put itself in a very weak negotiating position, where it would be subject to being blackmailed for further concessions. It would also let the EU off the hook and remove the negotiation pressure on the EU to revise the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. Asking for an Article 50 extension would be a terrible, terrible idea.”
        He points out that since the extension needs the individual assent of all 27, Spain would demand concessions over Gibraltar as a price, and Germany might well require “as a precondition of agreeing to any Article 50 extension, that the UK should agree unconditionally to abide by the obligations to pay money into the EU budget which are set out in Part Five of the Withdrawal Agreement, and to submitting to the jurisdiction of the ECJ to set the amount of these payments, regardless of whether or not a withdrawal agreement was subsequently ratified.”

      2. Adam
        February 25, 2019

        Theresa May is the main blockage, adding complication & only repellant options. Whereas Conservative MPs cannot re-vote her out of party leadership within time, they can immediately exert strong collective power via non-cooperation all she tries. A leader lacking enough followers, & with a substantive force causing inertia on each of her actions would sap her inclination to stay in office achieving nothing. A new & proper leader would get down to brass tacks, & rapidly take the shortest path to better outside the EU.

        1. Hope
          February 26, 2019

          Oh, they can get rid of her. ERG MP walk across the floor to join DUP. Alternatively become MPs for Farages Brexit party.

          Who could remain sitting in allegiance with May and her cohorts of traitors. Letwin already tweeting about his traitorous behaviour. Same for Boles. What are their associations doing? Still collecting money for them, handing out leaflets to get them elected for them to say they do not believe what they were elected on! They betrayed you, wake up.

      3. Lifelogic
        March 1, 2019

        Exactly an appalling betrayal – just leave you silly, dishonest, socialist traitor.

        JR missed out “chlorinated chicken” the project fear merchants usually get that one in. My daughter is going swimming this weekend so she will be chlorinated I suppose too.

        An excellent piece by Matt Ridley in the Spectator today on Pseudo Science and the endless bogus government scares:-

        ‘The whole aim of practical politics.’ wrote H L Mencken, ‘is to keep the populous alarmed (and hence clamorous to be let to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of then imaginary.’

        This to justify to endless taxation and regulations, just so the government can ‘save’ the public from these imagined disasters.

      4. Patricia Hughes
        March 1, 2019

        What are we going to do? At last there is a March from Sunderland to London which people can march either part of the way or the full distance. It is a cross party march. It will be too late to halt decisions but if the WA is accept could harden negotiations.

    2. Helena
      February 25, 2019

      What you don’t seem to grasp is that a very bad deal is the best the UK is going to get. The people of Britain voted in 2016 to leave the EU and to retain all the benefits. Guess what? EU says no. It’s time for you to live in the real world and stop behaving like a toddler who doesn’t get all his own way

      1. Andy
        February 25, 2019

        You spout this rubbish and yet you never seem to tell us all what all these wonderful benefits of EU Memebership are. As to the substance of the article I assume you have read the Withdrawal Agreement ? I have. How any Prime Minister could have agreed to such a document – leaving aside how someone who had been to Oxford (mind it was PPE) could think he was clever negotiating such mindless drivel is beyond me.

        1. R. E. Pay
          February 26, 2019

          Geography – not PPE…1.01 of negotiating is you need to be able walk away…(MA Oxon – History & Mod Lang, MBA London)…

          1. Andy
            February 26, 2019

            Per Wicki (ref to Who’s Who) it was ‘Philosophy, Politics and Economics’ at Hertford and he graduated in 1996.

      2. Edward2
        February 25, 2019

        Firstly, the WA is not a deal, it is just a document setting out some vague path to a deal some day in the future.
        But as written it is remaining in the EU.

        Secondly we didn’t expect to “retain all the benefits” of membership.
        Read the leaflet Helena it said leaving the EU meant leaving the CU SM and ECJ.
        “This is your decision, we will implement what you decide.

      3. John Campbell
        February 25, 2019

        No they didn’t ! What utter unadulterated garbage you write. Where on the ballot did it add that we wanted to keep all the benefits? It didn’t of course except in your befuddled imagination.

        1. Lifelogic
          February 26, 2019

          There are no net benefits. Any slight benefits hugely outweighed many times over by the total loss of any real UK democracy, idiotic over regulation of everything. Plus the huge fees and the EU’s totally misguided direction of travel towards an anti democratic, socialist EUSSR.

      4. agricola
        February 25, 2019

        So we leave and get on with life in the real world. That is what we voted for so let it be. We are leaving a totally undemocratic totalitarian organisation that will implode.

      5. L Jones
        February 25, 2019

        No, we did NOT vote to leave the EU and ”to retain all the benefits”. Did you read nothing before the referendum? Not even the remain propaganda leaflet that cost all of us £9 million?
        Do you think you remember the ballot paper saying:

        Remain in the EU
        Leave the EU but only if we can retain all the benefits.

        Do YOU live in the real world, Helena? You are obviously a remainer – never a comment without an insult.

      6. Know-Dice
        February 25, 2019

        Helena, What you can’t get your head around is that some people voted to just leave.

        We don’t want cake, we don’t want cherries we just want to trade with the rest of the world without paying 80% of CET to the EU, without any interference from Brussels whatsoever…

      7. sm
        February 25, 2019

        “The people of Britain voted to leave the EU and to retain all the benefits”….

        no I didn’t, I just voted to leave, exit, walk out, say ‘ta-ta’, etc, just as the Government offered – no single market, no customs union membership.

        “Now is the time to say goodbye…”, exactly, Dud and Pete.

      8. John Hatfield
        February 25, 2019

        Helena tripe.

      9. Richard1
        February 25, 2019

        That does seem to be the case but there is no reason it has to be so. The govt could and should have proposed a comprehensive FTA, possibly accompanied with a bung as a sweetener, and then said the alternative is thanks but no thanks we go to WTO Brexit. Nothing should have been agreed until everything is agreed. We’d have had a good deal by now to the benefit of both the UK and the EU. The reason we are where we are now is the pusillanimous incompetence of Mrs May and the negotiating civil servants, which has encouraged the EU to overplay it’s hand.

      10. Ian Walker
        February 25, 2019

        No, we voted to LEAVE. Nothing more.

      11. J Bush
        February 25, 2019

        The majority of the country are quite happy to leave without a deal. It was even in the pamphlet sent out to everyone homes prior to the referendum. It has even been voted on in parliament by a huge majority and is now on the statute.

        The UK can leave the EU without a deal, be outward looking and trade with with the rest of the World and leave the europhiles to continue in their own little ‘real world’.

      12. Sheila McCracken
        February 25, 2019

        Oh dear, someone else who doesn’t like their own Country! Or maybe I do you a disservice, maybe you are not British? The point is that we the people that Votec Leave, NOT THE POLITICIANS, DO NOT WANT ANYTHING MORE FROM THE EU THAN A TRADE DEAL WITH THE TOXIC EU, NOTHING ELSE AND CERTAINLY NOT THE POLITICAL DIRECTION THAT BRUSSELS WOULD LOVE TO STEER US TOWARDS!!

      13. Adam
        February 25, 2019

        Being out of the EU will be a great deal of freedom.

      14. Anonymous
        February 25, 2019


      15. oldtimer
        February 25, 2019

        There is a choice between Mrs May’s WA which certainly is a bad deal (for the reasons JR has listed) and between just leaving without the negotiated WA and reverting to WTO terms. For the latter choice the UK has at least three options. 1 It can default to sticking with the EU’s external tariffs (not very sensible). 2 It can set its own bespoke range of external tariffs to suit UK needs (JR has been pressing the government to publish such tariffs) 3 re the EU it could offer an article 24 arrangement (allowed under WTO rules) under which the UK and EU would continue to trade as now while a FTA was negotiated.

        These are grown up, real world choices – not toddler thinking or behaviour as you so rudely suggested. I belong to the generation that was comprehensively and knowingly lied to when the UK originally joined the Common Market and when the first referendum was held. I am not prepared to let such lies pass again without protest in every way open to me.

      16. Lifelogic
        March 1, 2019

        Just leave, that is by far the best deal available. Negotiation after leaving (as is mutually beneficial) is the way to go. The reason that only such a dire deal is being offered is because May has never been serious about just leaving also the other remoaner MPs have undercut her. Cameron/May and the civil service have failed to prepare for it – this despite having had some three years to do so.

        1. Lifelogic
          March 1, 2019

          Another advantage of leaving is that May and Hammond would have to go. That alone would be a massive boost to confidence. The new PM should cancel HS2, Hinkley, burning biofuels at Drax all the renewable subsides and cut taxes and reduce the burden of government on day one. Then cut red tape hugely on day two.

      17. mary
        March 4, 2019

        Helena What a ignorant insulting remark. The WA allows EU law to continue to dominate us. Nobody mentions the enormous threat this poses to civil liberties. Your remark will come back to haunt you when we are being taxed to the hilt without representation and generally kicked around by the EU. But unable to protest as the lethally armed diplomatically immune EU paramilitary and possibly EU army will stop that. We will be in a full blown totalitarian state, skint and with our culture completely gone ,and our descendents cursing us for letting it happen.

    3. Stephen Priest
      February 25, 2019

      Brexit Delayed = Brexit Betrayed

      1. Peter
        February 25, 2019

        Yes – though delay looks likely.

        WA must still be voted down.

        It is clear the current politicians in Westminster are the main problem. They need to be removed as soon as possible.

        1. Lifelogic
          March 1, 2019

          Indeed. We now know who all the traitors (those who stood for election on one basis and then totally betrayed their voters) are.

      2. jane4brexit
        February 25, 2019

        and…No deal is Ideal!

    4. Timaction
      February 25, 2019

      …………….Who ever thought the UK should accept such a one sided arrangement?………………. Your leader Mrs May, Olly and the Tory Party. That’s who. She should have been forced out of office last July after Chequers betrayal and treason but history will show what a monster of a leader she is!!

    5. Hope
      February 25, 2019

      JR, your party is done. Nothing can change it. Who would vote for your party when it is incapable of keeping its word on anything and failed to deliver on everything?

      It has no vision, values or strategic direction, none that could be believed. Your MPs joining a group with Labour MPs and siding to vote for backbench Labour amendments in defiance to the govt they are in ie Rudd, Clarke and Gauke! All policy failings clear to see: Brexit ,economic plank of balancing structural deficit, immigration, education, health, transport. You name it it has failed. Worse it is clear we were told lies about key policies like Brexit, economy and immigration.

      May is the most dishonest PM in living memory and her servitude plan is the worse deal in history. It must be voted down. No right minded person would consider this let alone agree or it, just walk away.

      May pulled it in November promising legal changes, she had the Gaul to bring it back in January without any, it was voted down in historic numbers, she is trying to deceive and lie what the Brady amendment required and is bringing it back again for the third time without replacing the backstop as required!

      You forgot the non regression clauses, i.e. Not to be more competitive than the EU! There are a host of other failings highlighted by Mr Howe QC no others. The £39 billion is for the birds it is much higher and, as caught on camera, we have the dishonest civil servants Kitkat policy to hide true costs and ties. You forgot the EU under article 184 accepts it has not complied with article 50 to agree a future relationship! This was her nothing agreed until aeverything agreed to get the first two stages of her sell out through. Idiotic Tory MP believed her!

      Tory MPs stating the three (defectors ed)welcome to come back to the Tory party! Brandon Lewis saying no MP will be deselected. Suggest associationsmwithdraw theirmservices and support ASAP.

      Today we have Hinds on national television at best deceiving at worse blatantly lying to say it is a good deal, to say the Brady amendment required changes to the back stop- blatant lie it required replacement. Why would he say such misleading statements and lies?

      Under the radar Hinds has decided and announced quietly primary children to be taught about trans relationships. No thank you. etc ed Far too young to be discussing such issues by strangers who are unlikely to have a clue what they are on about. Look at the disasters in Brighton at the moment with school children. It has had a disasterous effect on their lives.

    6. Merlin
      February 25, 2019

      Slightly carrying on from the last post.

      The question ‘what would it take to change your mind’ was an interesting one?

      I’ll answer it myself. If we leave the E.U customs union and a year later G.D.P is higher than before we left, I will admit I was wrong and No Deal was not the calamity I thought it would be.

      Would anyone be willing to say if we leave the customs union and a year later G.D.P is lower than before we left, they would admit they are wrong?

      I ask this question, only because I think its important for me and others to think what our beliefs are based on and what it would take to change our minds as there seems to be very little movement on either side.

      1. rose
        February 25, 2019

        If GDP is all you care about then just import an extra million people on top of the ones already coming in. GDP will go up.

        GDP per capita and overall prosperity will not.

      2. matthu
        February 25, 2019

        Even Project Fear never claimed that GDP would fall. They claimed that GDP would be lower than the level projected in the absence of Brexit.

        But even if GDP does fall (and who knows what worldwide events may happen over the next 12 months) a one year outlook is simply irrelevant to whether Brexit will be beneficial for the UK. There will doubtless be some disruption in the short term and benefits further out so anyone who changes their mind as a result of a single snapshot of GDP twelve months out is very short-sighted.

        1. Lifelogic
          March 1, 2019

          Giant Norwegian wealth fund plans to increase UK investment. They have confidence even if the dire May & Hammond cannot find any.

      3. Know-Dice
        February 25, 2019


        Let’s see, if the UK is not successful in the medium term (say 3 to 5 years) then it will be our fault, nobody else’s… 🙂

        But also look at the EU and see where they are in the same time frame…

        1. Know-Dice
          February 25, 2019

          And from yesterday…

          “However, the E.U has no tax-raising powers”

          80% of Common External Tariff gets paid to the EU, and I’m sure that interference with national tax regimes are going to happen in the near future.

          EU Corporation tax harmonisation


          Oh, did I mention loss of rebate and more diluting of voting rights..

      4. Peter Martin
        February 25, 2019

        @ Merlin,

        A couple of points:

        1) One year isn’t long enough to decide.

        2) It isn’t all about GDP.

      5. Caterpillar
        February 25, 2019

        Merlin, the differences in the modelling are small. They are smaller than the economic effects of narrative. They are smaller, by far, than the effects of e.g. renationalisation policies. I think two relevant measures are (i) (a bit Cameron but) happiness – this will better capture the effect of sovereignty, one nation unity etc – unfortunately people have been working against this and although limiting immigration would e.g. allow moves to UBI, I doubt such will happen (ii) breadth/range of exports after 5 or 10 years, this captures flexibility for growth and might be a little more robust against narrative though not nationalisation or limited trade liberalisation.

        Overall Brexit will be a success if politicians utilise the opportunities they will have, it will be a failure if they don’t, in which case rule taking and technocracy would have been better.

      6. Kevin Lohse
        February 25, 2019

        A Year is too short a period as various aspects of GDP take longer to manifest themselves. 3 years would be more reasonable.

      7. Cerberus
        February 25, 2019

        Th referendum vote was not about money so why would leavers be wrong if the GDP dropped a bit?

      8. Richard
        February 25, 2019
      9. Fairweather
        February 25, 2019

        Sorry, merlin
        It’s got nothing to do with money or GDP
        The only issue is WHO GOVERNS US?
        We will recover just as we did after the war

        1. Mitchel
          February 26, 2019

          The US deep state governs us-and the US deep state wants us to remain rolled into Europe.

          If the EU was merely a “German racket”,as someone once called it,it would be relatively easy to leave but it’s not,its an American construct,albeit one showing faint signs of wanting to be free-EU army,Russian energy,Iran policy,etc.

    7. Peter Hinton
      March 1, 2019

      The mess is caused by poor leadership. By saying one thing to the public to get their re assurance and saying another behind closed doors.
      I cannot understand why Conservative MP’s did not vote her out when they had the opportunity of a no confidence vote. Was it again something she said that has now been contradicted?
      It could be that our Conservative MP’s are gullible. Or could it be that no one wanted the job?
      What it does prove there is no real and honest leader in the Conservative party.
      This in itself causes a dilemma for the voters.

  2. NickC
    February 25, 2019

    It is clear to anyone who reads the draft Withdrawal Agreement that it is not only a bad Remain for the UK, it is bad law, with bad consequences for decades to come. So, why are our civil service negotiators so useless? And why won’t they accept the advice of experts in other fields who are not EU groupies?

    It has been observed before now that if the UK civil service had been better at its job over the last 48 years – less transfixed by the EU ideology – then the UK would have got a better deal, and the EU might not be so corrupt, dirigiste and powerful. It is ironic that Remains might have achieved their wish to stay in the EU if only they had been less obsequious.

    The “Kit-Kat” Brexit civil servants must be cleared out. Our nation cannot survive these traitors within.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 25, 2019

      Largely the same types and “experts” who wanted to join the ERM and EURO.

    2. agricola
      February 25, 2019

      It is not that they are bad they are quislings fighting for the other side. Our senior civil service has it’s own agenda that pays no heed to democracy or the result of the referendum. They arrogantly know best. A weak and similarly arrogant government and most of the HoC allow them too much leverage. The British people will not bend to this totally dishonest rabble who would presume to shape our lives.

    3. Rien Huizer
      February 25, 2019

      @ NickC,

      Does it occur to you that several EU states are unhappy about this too? Making deals is a matter of give and take.

      1. NickC
        February 26, 2019

        Rien said: “… several EU states are unhappy about this too”. Unhappy about what? – that UK civil servants are poor at negotiating with the EU because they’ve gone native? – or because we voted to Leave?

        A trade deal must not involve the EU governing us. We could give and take on trade (only). Except the EU doesn’t. The EU is all take. So the mis-named “No deal” is fine by me. And if the government won’t go for No deal, I will. You’ve just lost a customer.

    4. acorn
      February 25, 2019

      Sadly NickC, like most “leavers”, you have failed to comprehend what is written between the lines in the Withdrawal Agreement. It has been written in a format that makes it convertible into a post-brexit agreement between the UK and the EU.

      Alas, such sophistication is way over the heads of the UK proletariat; and hence, impossible for any UK Prime Minister to even attempt to explain such sophistication to a citizenry, whose schooling in socio-economic matters is the poorest in Europe.

      Even next doors new Boxer puppy knows that leaving the EU is the dumbest thing the UK could do. The UK has no chance outside of the EU with its 19th century Muppet populated management system centered on its Punch & Judy parliament.

      1. Edward2
        February 25, 2019

        More snobby superior remainer speak…”way over the heads of the proletariat” and more.
        You exhibit a disdain for those people who hold different views to you Hefner.
        Bit like the unelected EU leaders.

        1. Rien Huizer
          February 26, 2019


          I disagree, Acorn is making sense, whether or not he is snobbish. Proletarian pride must be more satisfying, so you keep yours and Acorn keeps his/hers. See where you both end up.

          1. Edward2
            February 26, 2019

            We must all know our place eh Rien.
            We must let you very intelligent UK and EU elite tell us what to do and how to vote.

            It has nothing to do with “proletarian pride”
            The pride is all with our elite establishment who think they know what’s best.
            Remember, pride comes before a fall.

      2. NickC
        February 26, 2019

        Acorn, One of the worst aspects of the dWA is that it gives the EU no incentive to agree a better final deal. I have been telling you that here for 3 months. As have others. I’m glad you’ve finally cottoned on to it.

        There is nothing “dumb” about being as independent as New Zealand. You exhibit all the typical traits of a Remain: lack of innovation; inability to make things happen; lack of imagination; lack of courage; a not-invented-here syndrome; fear of change; an extreme addiction to the EU ideology.

    5. Richard
      February 25, 2019

      “The Treasury estimate of £39bn is likely to be far too low. Some of the future liabilities stretch forward a hundred years” Copious evidence already for Sir John’s statement: http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/11/04/bad-deals/#comment-970997 http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/11/04/bad-deals/#comment-970976

      Just one more in the long pattern of Treasury ‘under estimates’.

  3. Fedupsoutherner
    February 25, 2019

    You couldn’t make up a worse scenario if you tried. Its truly terrifying that the government and MPs can’t see what a terrible deal this is. If you are trying to depress me John, you’re doing a great job. Please God, we don’t sign up to this.

    1. eeyore
      February 25, 2019

      Downing Street is flying kites all over the papers this morning about extension. This can only be with the connivance of the EU. Encouraging statements from EU leaders confirm it. At least we know what they were really discussing at Sharm el Sheikh.

      In the face of such shameless conspiracy against the British people, would it really be so bad for Conservative Brexiteers to co-operate with Labour over a confidence vote?

    2. Lifelogic
      February 25, 2019

      A worse still scenario T May ger her appalling straight jacket deal through at a cost of £1500 per household of tax payers money, buries the Tories for years and gives us rule by Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP and similar for years to come. All will be blamed by Labour on the dire Tory/May Brexit for year to come.

      Yet this seems to be her moronic agenda.

      Best case she leaves on WTO and unites the party and the country behind a real pro Brexit Conservative Party. One that believes in and actually delivers, far lower taxes. far less regulation, far cheaper non green crap energy, quality immigration only and becomes competitive in the world. There is not reason we cannot double GDP per cap in PPP outside the EU with this route.

      Why do the BBC keep using the phrase “Business Leaders say” we must have a delay or we must not leave without a deal, or leaving with no deal would be jumping of a cliff ……. some business leaders perhaps but certainly not most. Rather like them saying “scientists say ….. ” on climate alarmism. Most sensible & impartial scientists (certainly the ones who understand the physics and complex chaotic systems) say no such thing. Professor Ivar Giaever for example, but very many more.

      1. Lifelogic
        February 25, 2019

        It seems T May has now fully moved over to the “my appalling deal” or Brexit is delayed position (as we all expected of her) following her meeting with Merkel. Doubtless to be followed by – Brexit is yet further delayed, Brexit is cancelled or perhaps a second (unfair question) referendum.

        What an appalling, stupid and dishonest PM she is – even relative to the dire Ted Heath who instigated all these problems and Blair, Brown, Major and Cameron who continued digging the hole.

        For goodness sake stop lying and dissembling – just leave the EU on the 29th and then resign woman.

        If only the ERG had taken over the Conservative Party – as Soubry suggests they have. Very far from it alas.

      2. rose
        February 25, 2019

        The BBC never mention the City now. The City isn’t whingeing. The City is fully prepared. Big Business could have done the same.

    3. Lifelogic
      February 25, 2019

      Indeed and yet 200 Tory MP (who stood on a very clear, clean Brexit Manifesto) apparently still have confidence in Theresa May, who is trying to force the Commons to agree to this abomination. Why are MPs so out of touch with the County and the party.

      Not only that but May and Hammond have duff economic, regulatory, taxation and green crap energy policies too. Wrong on everything pretty much.

    4. George
      February 25, 2019

      Of course they can see it is a terrible deal. They want it to be terrible.

    5. Andy
      February 25, 2019

      They can see it is a terrible deal. They can all see it. They also know that it is the best available Brexit. So they have to pretend that is is not terrible to try to appease the 17.4m people who keep remind us that they voted for it.

      Of course – it would be easier if you lot all realised that you’d been had. You have fallen for the dodgy double glazing salesmen. If I was looking to flog duff products I’d know exactly which 52% of voters to target.

      PS: you want good ferry service? I run company without ships Mr Grayling Chris Sir.

      1. NickC
        February 26, 2019

        Andy, Your EU won’t do a deal until after we have left. Haven’t you even learnt that much yet?

        The best deal is to walk away. Something I said in a letter to the STel in 2003 it was so obvious. Indeed it’s the only deal, because all the rest (like the dWA) are shades of Remain.

  4. Ian wragg
    February 25, 2019

    May has kicked the can again so Brexit will probably be delayed at a cost of at least £80billion.
    We are doomed.

    1. Timaction
      February 25, 2019

      Yes. The worst leader and party in our history!

    2. Lifelogic
      February 25, 2019

      May has even overtaken ERM Major with her total incompetence and abject stupidity. Perhaps Geography graduates are even worse than people who leave school with just three arts O levels and indeed PPE graduates. What was needed was someone numerate, rational, logical, with an understanding of economics (and human nature), winning elections and with an understanding of negotiation and game theory. May has none of these. She is also undermined at every turn by her remoaner wing, but she encourages this.

  5. Dominic
    February 25, 2019

    This seditious and destructive agreement has been constructed between two parties that are working together to undermine the interests of the United Kingdom. Those two parties consist of the EU (and their backers in Berlin and France) and the British State (May, Hammond, British civil servants and all the other pockmarked grotesques who’ve worked hard on this act of constitutional destruction)

    The ERG need to do one thing. Bring down this government or else we can wave goodbye to our nation and our democracy

    1. Lifelogic
      February 25, 2019

      Indeed a total outrage that May, Hammond and the rest have orchestrated.

  6. Nigl
    February 25, 2019

    Yes. Just the State Aid rule shows how much Ollie and co are in the pocket of the EU. Maybe Greg (it is all about protecting U.K. business) Clark would explain how they support that.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      February 25, 2019

      I should like to hear Greg Clark and Phillip Hammond together explaining this part of the agreement. Possibly with a follow up from Ms Soubry who thinks business can only function within the EU.

  7. Pominoz
    February 25, 2019

    Sir John,

    Thanks so much for your valuable summary of the situation. It really is as bad as I thought.

    Quite clearly those involved in drawing up the WA never had any intention of allowing us to actually, properly, leave. I am an avid leaver – but if accepting this WA at this time removes the option for subsequent governments to achieve a FULL departure in the future, then, unless it is defeated in the HoC and we leave on WTO terms, I would rather remain in the EU. At least, that way, we would have the opportunity to control our own destiny by re-triggering Article 50 when sufficient ‘non-treasonous’ MPs are elected.

    I have said before, the EU is an absolute ‘house of cards’ and we really must be as far away from it as possible when the inevitable disintegration comes. Why this catastrophe cannot be seen by sufficient of today’s MPs, I fail to understand.

    Please continue to do what you can to recover our sovereignty by achieving a full exit on 29th March, with no delay whatsoever. The whole country is relying on you and like-minded colleagues.

    1. Rien Huizer
      February 25, 2019

      @ Pominoz

      For a Pom living very far away, you are quite perceptive. Apart from the assumption that it will be hard to achieve full “independence” once that WA is signed (of course the UK can choose a no-deal equivalent as the template for the future relationship and leave without an FTA or whatever after the transition period, or even unilaterally terminate the transitionperiod as long as the GFA is adhered to by all parties to it.

      Incidentally, do not believe the EU is a “house of cards” anymore than the current UK is.

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        February 25, 2019

        @Rien, you mention the Good Friday Agreement in your reply without acknowledging that we can not terminate the withdrawal agreement without annexing Northern Island.

        Ergo we can not terminate it with no deal.

      2. Pominoz
        February 25, 2019


        My assumption that full ‘independence’ will never be achieved if the WA is signed remains somewhat – but thanks for your thoughts.

        One of the reasons I am here in Oz is because of my concerns about where the EU was heading many years ago – a direction that I still believe is entirely unsustainable.

  8. Mark B
    February 25, 2019

    Good morning, and thank you Sir John.

    We also have to highlight that the WA is also an affront to British Law. Under the eyes of the Law, all are considered equal. Now one may argue about this but, for ease, that can be for another day. Under the WA all EU officials, including, for example, past Commissioners, are exempt from any criminal prosecutions including fraud up to a value of one billion pounds. How is this right ? What has this got to do with future relations between the UK and the EU ?

    The above and much more besides needs to be highlighted. Those that have cheated the British and EU taxpayer must be held to account. How can we have respect for the law and for parliament when parliament agrees to legalise criminality ?

  9. Len Botham
    February 25, 2019

    Typical Brexiter, typical Redwood. A long rant about what you don’t want, and not a shred of realistic suggestions about what you do want.

    Reply. want to leave without signing the Withdrawal Agreement!

    1. Richard1
      February 25, 2019

      I think the arguments for clean Brexit have been quite clear: sign a comprehensive FTA covering goods and services; if the EU won’t do so then leave on WTO terms. What’s unclear about that?

    2. Narrow Shoulders
      February 25, 2019

      I thought Sir John was quite clear about what he wants. “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” therefore there can be no withdrawal agreement without a future trade relationship mapped out and agreed.

      He then said we would pay into the existing budget but not beyond.

      He want UK law to have precedence for all citizens operating in the UK rather than EU law.

      Clear enough?

    3. Lifelogic
      February 25, 2019

      Just leave unless a better deal is offered. May’s WA is not even close to being better.

    4. Jagman84
      February 25, 2019

      Typical Remainer. Cannot make a comment without adding a snide remark. Our host’s wishes are well recorded. If you wish for EU servitude, go and live there while you still have freedom of movement.

    5. stred
      February 25, 2019

      SJR has also said and written, along with other politicians that do not wish to obstruct Brexit, that we should publish the level of tariffs and ask for similar from the EU. If they wish to have high tariffs on their products, we could offer to match theirs. With the Irish, French, German, Dutch, Danish, Polish, Spanish, Italian and other producers of food and cars etc facing 40%- 10% increased costs to UK consumers, how long do these Remain dopes, repeating the same nonsense over and over again, think the Commission would stick to their brilliant idea of not negotiating until after we have left. They really can’t be that thick, can they?

    6. sm
      February 25, 2019

      LB, one can only assume you get much mental masochistic pleasure from posting such stupidity.

      Just try reading through our host’s articles about Brexit over the past 3 years in order to grasp just what should (and could) have been done.

    7. John C.
      February 25, 2019

      Typical Remainer. Rude, inaccurate and totally negative.

    8. Mockbeggar
      February 25, 2019

      We constantly hear the words ‘Catastrophe’ and ‘disaster’ and ‘cliff edge’ applied to leaving on WTO terms, but no-one has clearly explained what the catastrophe or disaster will entail. It’s the old business of telling a lie so often that people begin to believe you.

      Perhaps, Len, you could start by telling us the disaster will consist of before complaining about Sir John who has repeated explained what he wants and why.

    9. L Jones
      February 25, 2019

      Typical remainer. No comment without insult.

    10. margaret howard
      February 25, 2019

      Reply to reply

      “Reply. want to leave without signing the Withdrawal Agreement!”

      So what exactly were the agreements we signed up to when we begged to join the EU in 1973?

      And what did we agree to in case we were to leave in the future?
      No club allows you to leave it without honouring your contracts.

      1. Edward2
        February 25, 2019

        Have you ever joined a club and then left one Margaret?

      2. Pud
        February 25, 2019

        The House of Lords, not exactly a bastion of Brexit supporters, concluded that the UK doesn’t have any legal obligation to pay anything once we have left.

    11. Peter Martin
      February 25, 2019

      It is slightly unnerving to be on the same side as John Redwood for the first time in my political life. I’m a Bennite socialist and John’s, as we all know, a right wing Tory! Incidentally there are more of us in the Labour Party than is popularly supposed.

      If we don’t get a timely clear Brexit, we should all join forces and campaign to make that happen. Then we can get back to arguing, in a democratic manner, just how our country should be run without having to look over our shoulders at what the EU rules and directives say about it all.

  10. Excalibur
    February 25, 2019

    Thank you for this detailed and clear explanation of the thoroughly one-sided Withdrawal Agreement, JR. Why are Amber Rudd, Gregg Clark and David Gauke not cognisant of these implications, and the efforts of the ERG to avoid such a catastrophe ? Why is Theresa May even considering an agreement on these terms ?

    Is it not possible, even at this late hour, to sway more of our M.P’s and patriotic Labour members to vote down this legislation ? Otherwise, we should walk away with No- deal. It has become the only practicable option.

    1. Dominic
      February 25, 2019

      They are not cognisant of the implications. Why can’t you see that?

      There are MPs in the Commons hell bent on destroying the UK and all that it is

      The offence that is Ken Clarke did once state that ‘he would not be happy until the British parliament had become a debating chamber of the EU’.

      The Commons and the British state contain many hundreds of people similar to Ken Clarke. May is one of them

      If only Labour leave voters had voted UKIP in the 2017 GE. We’d be out of the EU by now

      1. Dominic
        February 25, 2019

        They are cognisant of the negative implications!

      2. Everhopeful
        February 25, 2019

        I seem to recall that people were asked to “ vote for the good of the country” or somesuch. To “ lend their votes to the Tories” to get Brexit through. Meaning I guess to vote for the Brexi delivering Tories rather than for one’s usual/ favoured party?
        That worked well then………..UKIP destroyed and no Brexit!

    2. Zorro
      February 25, 2019

      It is monstrous that those three are still in a job when they are clearly trying to frustrate manifesto commitments!


    3. Brian Tomkinson
      February 25, 2019

      The problem is that the majority of MPs don’t want the UK to leave the EU (including Mrs May) and have brought us to this sorry state. It is outrageous that they behave in such a contemptuous way towards the electorate.

    4. Mark B
      February 25, 2019

      It concerns me that too many of our MP’s, along with those in the Legacy Media, have developed a sort of tunnel vision regarding the WA. They have also allowed themselves to be subverted into using the language of Remain by calling the WA, ‘the deal’. Such a careful use of language creates a Chalice into which the poison can be poured and then taken by the unwarey.

    5. Tad Davison
      February 25, 2019

      I’m convinced that most MPs simply do not know how bad the Withdrawal Agreement is, but that is being charitable. If they do know, and would sign us up to it, then they are not suitable people to represent us. But the opposite is also true. If they don’t have the intelligence to see how bad it is, we deserve to have different people in parliament who are prepared to do some research.

      Thus we may look upon the bulk of MPs as either thick, can’t be bothered to enlighten themselves, or downright bloody dangerous EU stooges!

      1. Brian Tomkinson
        February 25, 2019

        Well said.

  11. Bob Dixon
    February 25, 2019

    The Withdrawl Agreement is still lying on the canvass having been previously knockout.

  12. Lifelogic
    February 25, 2019

    Indeed, only complete and utter fools would accept it May’s WA, let alone pay for it. Alas we have so many of these in Parliament and in the Cabinet. People happy to win their seats on very clear pro Brexit manifestos and yet attempt to frustrate it at every turn (or to ensure only an appalling no Brexit deal is offered).

    May should not underestimate the anger and voter backlash that will follow her appalling incompetence and betrayal. The best thing for the Country and the Conservative Party is just to leave on WTO on 29th. That is what the voters and Tory members clearly want. Just the idiotic wets in the way once again. Then we need a Conservative Party led by a real Conservatives rather than a tax and regulate to death pro EU idiots.

    Will T May bury the party again just as the daft ERM Major did? She certainly seems to want to. If only Gove had not stabbed Boris. For here we need to go for a WTO Brexit not pay anything and negotiate from that position post Brexit. The only cliff edges are Corbyn/Mc Donnall or Mrs May straight jacket not Brexit deal.

  13. rick hamilton
    February 25, 2019

    It sounds like a deal dictated by Brussels and swallowed wholesale by British civil servants who have spent their entire careers following EU directives and can imagine nothing else. If they had any imagination they wouldn’t be bureaucrats to start with, so it is utterly hopeless to put them in charge of independence negotiations. As for May, the word ‘leader’ should not appear in the same sentence. The woman is a detail-obsessed bureaucrat who cannot see the wood for the trees and has zero confidence in the ability of the British people to run their own country.

    What I cannot understand is why Brexiters like Boris Johnson appear willing to accept the entire surrender document as long as the backstop is removed. Does this mean they believe it won’t be removed and they will never have to vote for the WA, or does it mean 585 pages of verbiage is all too difficult and they will vote for anything as long as it gets us out – even if it doesn’t ?

    Either we on this site are all mad or they are, but they are paid to get it right and we are just the suckers who retain them.

  14. Iain Gill
    February 25, 2019

    Impressed to see trump list intellectual property as top of his list of things he is talking to China about. Shame we don’t see any British politicians with the same insight.

  15. GilesB
    February 25, 2019

    Why should EU employees in the UK be immune from prosecution in UK courts?

    It’s a criminals charter

  16. agricola
    February 25, 2019

    I did not think I would ever have to accuse a British PM of traiterous behaviour or for that matter our civil service designing aiding and abetting such trechery. The next opportunity you have in the HoC please take it to lay out this treachery in all it’s duplicitous detail.

    1. agricola
      February 25, 2019

      As an adendum I would suggest that May and her team of remainers were unbelievably stupid to even contemplate acceptance of the WA. This does not hold water because key Brexit negotiators resigned when faced with the consequences of this WA. The more plausible conclusion is that May , her civil service and the EU all colluded to ensure that we never in fact left the EU. Despicable people who have no place in public life.

    2. Tad Davison
      February 25, 2019

      May is not the first. I recall shaking hands with both Heath and Heseltine back in 1979 – something I have bitterly regretted ever since. I also met Blair twice before he became Prime Minister. I never could stomach Major and never found myself in his presence. And we all remember Brown and the Lisbon Treaty. Then we had Cameron and his side-kick, Osborne. May is just the latest in a long line of treacherous EU lovers who put the interests of a foreign entity before the interests of our own people.

      As for the civil service, they compliment each and every pro-EU government so they’re just as guilty, but as the old saying goes, you put garbage in, you get garbage out!


  17. Richard
    February 25, 2019

    Looks like we’re best off staying in then as the ERG has no plan, and all the ideas they have backed have been trashed have been shown to be unworkable. (Malthouse doesn’t deliver an open border, and GATT 24 is based on misrepresentation).
    Time to revoke article 50.

  18. Richard1
    February 25, 2019

    It is incredible the Govt have agreed to This. Mrs May Mr Robbins et al have done a terrible job. Of course MPs must not approve it.

  19. Kevin
    February 25, 2019

    “The EU would be at liberty to legislate in ways that harmed our economic interests and helped theirs and we would have to comply.”

    I do not see why that is true. The Government promised UK voters that it would implement what we decided, but it has yet to comply. If the Government does not consider itself to be be bound by its promise to the UK, why should it be bound by a promise to the EU?

    1. Mark B
      February 25, 2019

      A promise has no legal basis in law. A legally binding Agreement, Mrs. May’s ‘Deal’ does.

  20. John Sheridan
    February 25, 2019

    This is why it is dangerous to focus only on the backstop element of the WA. Even without the backstop the WA should be unacceptable to MPs.

    The worry is that MPs will vote through the WA as the fear of a no-deal exit draws closer.

    1. Jagman84
      February 25, 2019

      If the House of Commons are mad or mendacious enough to vote through the dWA, it’ll be shot down in flames, come the next General Election. The upcoming local elections in May could be rather interesting.

  21. Walt
    February 25, 2019

    Sir John,
    Please get your article today into country-wide circulation.
    The EU’s current terms for the Brexit WA will if accepted create similar seething resentment in our country to the punitive terms that France argued for and largely got in the Versailles treaty and which led to war.

  22. Zorro
    February 25, 2019

    Indeed – the Spectator article with the 40 points about the WA, No 10’s rebuttal and Spectator response show the naive disingenuous mindset of our negotiators – lambs to the slaughter…. I’ve read it again – classic EU nebulous text set up for ECJ to rule in whatever is in the EU’s interest. Our politicians must be so comptomised to allow this through – what have they got on them….?


  23. Adam
    February 25, 2019

    We voted to Leave the EU & their disagreeable way of operating.
    We should Take Back Control now, without signing a dodgy document to restrict our freedom to act.

  24. Mike Wilson
    February 25, 2019

    One presumes Tory Remainer MPs are aware of the many appalling elements of the Withdrawal and Surrender Agreement. It really illustrates how determined they are that we should not be an independent and sovereign nation. The question is ‘why are they so subservient to the EU?’

    1. agricola
      February 25, 2019

      In some cases the payola.

  25. ukretired123
    February 25, 2019

    The Withdrawal Agreement betrays Brexit in both the letter and spirit of good faith on both sides. It is one-sided 500 pages to one page of A4 that could sum up what we voted for.
    The majority of MP’s are out-of-touch with that.
    The UK will be looking silly if we sign up to this ‘posh-tosh’ uber-expensive document which is deliberately designed to bamboozle and divide and rule us (opening up many infinite interpretations) but many cannot see that.
    It is a famous trick in selling to ask a confused customer what colour would they like the item in, beige, cream etc.
    The answer is we don’t want it whatever it is dressed up to be.
    This WA is putting the cart before the horse going into detail before we have even left.
    The only good thing the House of Lords said was there is no legal obligation to pay the EU anything. MP’s need to get their heads straight as we voters will be asking on the doorstep their voting track record and why you sold out to our competitors – the EU – without a wimper.
    Also after Brexit we need a new Speaker to sweep out and challenge MP’s who go against their manifesto. In fact I can see a raft of new electorate demands because Westminster has been serious drag on moving the country forward. Many are not fit for purpose and should now vote as we asked 3 years ago….

    1. Mark B
      February 25, 2019

      Many are not fit for purpose . . .

      More and more people are coming round to the fact that, the real reason both MP’s and Civil Serpents do not want to Leave the EU, is because they are simply not up to scratch.

  26. hans christian ivers
    February 25, 2019

    Sir JR,

    It is nice to know where you stand on the WA.

    My problem is I do not see any sustainability in your WTO, free trade proposal either as it is not practically implementable.

    1. Edward2
      February 25, 2019

      Odd how 90% of world trade carries on successfully using WTO rules as a basis.
      Yet the UK will find it impossible you think.

  27. Bryan Harris
    February 25, 2019

    Agreed JR – Your summary matches what most people believe.

    There are more detailed explanations around, for those interested, for why May’s deal is so bad for us, but it seems some people choose to read only those things that make out the WA to be something decent.

    Here is one more honest response to the WA:

  28. Bob
    February 25, 2019

    The BBC R4 Toady program started the day with three Remoaning politicians in a row suggesting that “no deal” needs to be “taken off of the table”. Not once did the host point out the absurdity of this suggestion.

    The thrust of BBC’s propaganda now is to normalise the concept of a delay to leaving in the minds of it’s listeners.

    As expected, no mention etc

  29. majorfrustration
    February 25, 2019

    Then of course there is the clause dealing with the establishment in London of an office for the EU to monitor that the UK conforms to the WA. Also an EU who has commit a criminal act within the UK is not subject to UK law. Added to the comments by JR one can only think that the WA is a vehicle to prompt the UK to withdraw A50. The WA is far worse than just staying in the EU – how Parliament cant see that is beyond me. Lets hope we walk and gain our freedom come end of March.

  30. Noneoftheabove
    February 25, 2019

    Thanks for the summary Sir John.
    As I have said before, ‘Articles of Surrender’.

    I urge the House to vote down the WA. Whatever the PM brings back will not be good enough, the EU will see to that.
    If we leave without a deal and set a sensible Schedule of tariffs, the EU will propose negotiations for a FT deal by the Summer.

  31. Shieldsman
    February 25, 2019

    The Withdrawal Agreement is diabolical and it is not leaving the shackles of the Bureaucratic European Commission, with the strings of the Council being pulled by Merkel and Macron.
    The forthcoming reshuffle and European Parliament elections provide all the reasons why we must leave.
    Read (non working link ed)
    The Brussels bureaucrats are running scared, they are losing control to the Nationalists/Populists. The Empire is breaking up.
    With anti-Europeans on their way to winning more than one-third of seats in the next European Parliament, the stakes in the May 2019 election are unusually high.
    It states: The EP is, after all, only one of the European Union’s governing bodies and,
    in many ways, the least powerful of them. In its legislative role, the institution cooperates with the Council of the EU (comprising national ministers from EU member states) and
    bases its work on proposals from the European Commission. And, despite having the ability to pass resolutions on a wide range of subjects, the EP has no formal role in foreign policy. Run by Federica Mogerini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission

    The vote could see a group of nationalist anti-European political parties that advocate a
    return to a “Europe of the nations” win a controlling share of seats in the EP.

    What they are saying is if a Country is not for a pr0- FEDERALIST EU they are not good Europeans.

  32. A.Sedgwick
    February 25, 2019

    It is quite simply horrendous.

    As to this not provided account of our supposed debt, what about the real estate of vast buildings in Brussels and Strasbourg to which we have contributed – are they all worthless?

  33. ukretired123
    February 25, 2019

    The Withdrawal (Entrapment) Agreement is an Elephant Trap!

  34. Rien Huizer
    February 25, 2019

    Mr Redwood,

    So if you had a strict binary choice between the WA and an extension for approval 2 years, you would prefer the extension. By extension I mean full voting membership, ending either with some “deal” or “no deal”. Of course this is not the choice you want, but, hypothetically if given the choice.

    Reply I want to leave on 29 March 2019 as the law currently requires.

    1. Richard1
      February 25, 2019

      An extension of 2 years would be better than the WA. The WA has no advantages over membership. (Even the theoretical right to negotiate trade deals is worthless as they can’t in practice be agreed whilst the UK might potentially remained shackled to the customs union.) We should then do what should always have been done: table a comprehensive FTA covering goods and services, with nothing agreed until everything is agreed. If the EU won’t agree to that, leave on WTO terms in 2021.

  35. Martin
    February 25, 2019

    From Professor David Blake:
    The Withdrawl Agreement

    ‘In terms of defence, the UK would be required to collaborate on future projects of the European Defence Agency, under conditions of EU law, with a European Army as the ultimate objective. Indeed, it is much more serious than this. The Prime Minister has secretly given away control of significant aspects of UK defence policy to the EU in a way that undermines NATO and our Five Eyes intelligence and security alliance with the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The clear intention by the EU is to destroy the UK’s relationship with the US and the Commonwealth.’

    [28-11-2-18 Brexit Central. Professor Blake is a member of Economists for Free Trade and is a Professor of Economics at the Cass Business School]

  36. nhsgp
    February 25, 2019

    You are missing the massive subsidy to low paid EU migrants in the UK.

    A min wage earner pays £13.11 a week in tax.

    They get £14,500 a year in state services. Higher than average because of redistribution.

    You and fellow MPs including May have already said you are going to force people to pay that. Tax people, cut their services to pay for cheap servants for the rich.

    Why not implement that EU rule about no recourse to public funds?

    Why not give us a vote on deal or no deal? You lay out how much of our money you want to give away?

    Or even better, offer up consent. Remainers can vote for the deal, but they put their wealth on the line to pay for it all.

    I bet they won’t. They want to screw others for their wants.

  37. 'None of the above'.
    February 25, 2019

    Off topic, I know.

    I’m just listening to Adam Boulton interviewing Sir Micheal Heseltine and his responses sum up the desperation of remoaners.
    He has just just asserted that the Honda decision was down to Brexit. When challenged by Boulton with what Honda management had stated, he responded by saying that he thought that the Japanese were being polite. You couldn’t make it ip!
    He has pretty much accused Honda of being liars!
    Thank Goodness that this stupid old man is no longer a strong force in Parliament.
    He should be ashamed of himself.

    I despair!

    1. Mark B
      February 25, 2019

      He is a Lord and has a permanent seat in the unelected and unaccountable HOL. Something else I would like to change.

      1. NickC
        February 26, 2019

        Mark B, Yes. It is very clear we now need an elected upper house (for revisions only). For continuity I would be happy for the existing Lords to work there (without any pay) if they want, but not vote. The mainstay would be a couple of hundred paid Ealdormen elected by proportional representation.

        There should also be a reduced number of MPs, say 500, but still elected by FPTP (not too many changes all at once, so we can see what works). I would force the PM to use the ministries to govern, rather than setting up a mini government within a government at Downing St, to restore Cabinet responsibility.

    2. margaret howard
      February 25, 2019

      ” he responded by saying that he thought that the Japanese were being polite. You couldn’t make it ip!
      He has pretty much accused Honda of being liars!”

      No he hasn’t. I heard others say exactly the same thing.


      1. Edward2
        February 25, 2019

        You are quoting the pro EU Times opinion and then spinning it as Honda’s opinion.
        Far fetched margaret.

        1. hefner
          February 26, 2019

          Edward2, Please provide a list of the authorized sacred texts that can be quoted on this blog. Thanks in advance.

          1. Edward2
            February 26, 2019

            The Times gives an opinion piece spun to their, everything is due to Brexit, attitude.
            Like you do Hefner.
            But Honda have said it is not and so have automotive and industry journalists.

            Feel free to quote what you like.

  38. glen cullen
    February 25, 2019

    At the end of the day there is still only one universal political truth and that is the majority of the electorate voted to leave the EU and all its institutions. They gave an instruction to parliament via a referendum to enact its view.

    The majority expected the 2 years timeframe of article 50 to ready the UK for future trading under WTO arrangements.

    Anything else including the W A is smoke and mirrors to remain in the EU

  39. Excalibur
    February 25, 2019

    The Telegraph reports Theresa May is considering delaying Brexit by two months. This must not be allowed to happen, JR. She has said repeatedly we will leave on March 29th, and leave we must. Prevarication will only blight a satisfactory exodus.

    1. miami.mode
      February 25, 2019

      Excalibur. Possibly Mrs May is hoping that the amendment for the HoC to take control of the process will succeed so that she can be absolved of any blame i.e. “not me guv”.

      She seems to have been extremely lenient with the three cabinet ministers who penned the article in the Daily Mail.

  40. Wessexboy
    February 25, 2019

    Can we nail this lie that the UK hasn’t said or doesn’t know what it wants please? Free trade and a friendly relationship with our neighbours; cooperation on issues like International law. It was dismissed as ‘cherry picking’. What is undesirable about anything which benefits both parties?

    1. rose
      February 25, 2019

      I think the cherry picking referred to what the PM was trying to do: opt back in to a whole lot of EU institutions, not what we the public wanted, which was as you say to leave on friendly terms and stay friendly and co-operative, including on trade.

    2. Khaki
      February 25, 2019

      Free trade is what the EU gives us. You voted to scrap that. Didnt you know what you were voting for?

      1. rose
        February 25, 2019

        The internal Market is not Free Trade. It is a Franco-German Protection racket, rigged in favour of French agriculture and German manufacturing. They also charge us billions a year to be in it. And all the bits of our country and economy which are not involved with the Protection Racket still have to abide by its rules and regulations and be under its Court. We aren’t allowed to make FTAs with other countries and anything we buy from them we have to pay tariffs on with 80% of the money going to the Commission. No wonder they don’t want us to leave. A very odd concept of free trade.

  41. James
    February 25, 2019

    The so-called Withdrawal Agreement might more accurately be described as a surrender document. It is perplexing to say the least, that so many MPs are willing to vote for it. Hopefully we still have enough representatives in Parliament willing to stand up for their country and redress the balance. Irrespective, there is going to have to be a major clear out of MPs at the next election, and the ones responsible for impeding Brexit will be given short shrift. There will also need to be a serious accounting with the Blatantly Biased Corporation as to their coverage.

  42. Steve
    February 25, 2019

    Theresa May is reported to have said the conservatives are not a party of retribution.

    She forgets, or arrogantly dismisses, one simple fact: the public ARE.

    The mother of all reckonings is on the way, and we will show no mercy, be it on the streets or at the ballot box.

    No WA, no deal, no delay, no compromises.

  43. Anonymous
    February 25, 2019

    A slight digression here.

    Remainers want the age of majority reduced to 16 yet we are told Jihadi Brides were too young to realise what they were doing around that age.

    Some Remainers even want over 85s dehumanised in terms of voting rights. That is to say that a returning Jihadi who joined ISIS may have the right to vote whereas a veteran of the British armed forces may not.

    1. Andy
      February 25, 2019

      I’d like to see the voting age capped at 70.

      Why should you get a vote in a future which will likely not affect you?

      1. Edward2
        February 25, 2019

        Because you are a person with wisdom and long term vision and you are as valuable and important a part of society as anyone else.

        It surprises me you have such a poor understanding of the concept of society or community Andy
        You know the bit where we treat everybody equally, regardless of their age,disabilities, religion, colour, race and sexuality.
        We refer to people who don’t as racists and bigots.
        It’s the law.

      2. Steve
        February 25, 2019


        “Why should you get a vote in a future which will likely not affect you?”

        And why should you have a vote while you’re still wet behind the ears and evidently despise our country.

        “I’d like to see the voting age capped at 70.”

        I’d like to see the right to vote removed for those who are not loyal to the nation’s sovereignty.

      3. Anonymous
        February 26, 2019

        “Why should you get a vote in a future which will likely not affect you?”

        Why should you get a vote if you’ve been to prison ?

        Why should you get a vote if you’ve returned from supporting a foreign state (in conflict with ours) ?

        Well I think it’s important to treat a person who has a right to be here as a human.

        Vote the *wrong* way (or be at risk of voting the *wrong* way) and Andy wants you dehumanised and disenfranchised.

  44. BOF
    February 25, 2019

    If there really are a sufficient number of MP’s who are prepared to support this deal (that includes our own), then I really feel that there is no future at all for the United Kingdom as we will be destroyed as a sovereign, self governing country.

    In her collusion with the EU, Mrs May will be able to take full responsibility for the destruction of our country and our democracy. History will not be kind.

    1. Steve
      February 25, 2019


      “In her collusion with the EU, Mrs May will be able to take full responsibility for the destruction of our country and our democracy. History will not be kind.”

      I don’t see the people being kind either.

      In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if after this, certain parliamentary traitors and some remain voters who refuse to shut up and accept the will of the people, will find themselves in fear for their lives.

      History repeats, and it’ll serve ’em right as far as I’m concerned.

  45. Anonymous
    February 25, 2019

    Amber Rudd was returned to cabinet to throw a timely and tactical spanner in the works and force the WA on us.

    This government cannot even shake off (Mr Corbyn? ed). You should have a stonking majority under the circumstances but don’t.

  46. Benood
    February 25, 2019

    Thank you for this extra analysis that many media commentators seem to have glossed over.

    My question is this – should ultimately Mrs May be forced to remove no-deal as an option and assuming only two choices are left – (i) accept the WA, or (ii) revoke/extend article 50. Which one is least worst? Or perhaps there will be other choices?

    Interesting times!

  47. bigneil
    February 25, 2019

    I see she is planning on “staying on after brexit” – – seeing as she has NO plans to actually go through with Brexit then her comment is worthless.

  48. Den
    February 25, 2019

    Remember May’s rallying cry, “Brexit means Brexit”? Well her “Brexit” has suffered a corruption so that it no longer means Britain’s Exit from the EU.
    It is a fact that “Brexit” was never on the ballot paper, “Leave” was and we voted to ‘Leave the EU’. Leave means “To depart permanently” so the the majority of us voted ‘to depart, permanently, from the EU’. Permanently and with no chronical ties!
    Any future agreement with the EU that does not provide that specific requirement will fail to meet the obligations of the of the democratically held National Referendum and MUST be rejected. ALWAYS.

  49. Robert Valence
    February 25, 2019

    “It’s my deal or no deal”.
    With no-deal, we know what we’re getting – presumably WTO.
    But her deal is equivalent to the WA- which is no deal at all. After we would have splurged the £39B and the rest, then in years to come we would be or might be negotiating “the deal”. So it’s a complete fraud and misnomer.
    How she had the gall to resubmit this “deal” and to be “still working on it”astonishes me. How the Tory MPs could have allowed her to continue spouting such rubbish is also beyond our ken.
    Then she could have another 2 months or is it 2 years to refine it and repeatedly bring it back to the Commons until out of sheer exhaustion they agree to it.
    Pure and utter madness, certifiable!

  50. Andy
    February 25, 2019

    The Withdrawl Agreement is bad for the UK because it is Brexit – and Brexit is bad for the UK.

    You can try to polish this dung as much as you like. It is still polished dung.

    But you all voted for it in June 2016 and I did not. And, of course, you all knew what you were voting for.

    Except what you were actually voting for was the WA and most of you did not realise this.

    It is highly amusing that the most vocal Brexiteers hate Brexit the most.

    1. jane4brexit
      February 25, 2019

      This is what I and many others voted for and anyone unsure how to vote would sensibly have watched the last PMQs before the referendum, it is just a pity most MPs appear not to have listened or to have conveniently forgotten being told.
      Answer to Q14 PMQs 15th June 2016 (the “I am very happy to agree” refers to there being no 2nd referendum):

      “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…”

      1. Andy
        February 25, 2019

        That does not say customs union. I thought you votes to leave the customs union – even though you did not know what the customs union was.

        Incidentally, I notice that you voted to leave all these things but to retain all the benefits of them – which is what vote leave promised you.

        And you believed them. Bless.

        1. Edward2
          February 25, 2019

          No we didn’t.
          Read the leaflet.

        2. NickC
          February 26, 2019

          Andy, The UK is only “in” the EU because the government has signed up to the EU treaties; so to get out, the UK has to abrogate (leave) the treaties. It’s even in TEU Art50(3) for you to read yourself. The customs union is specified in the TFEU. So leaving the EU treaties means leaving the customs union. It’s not too difficult to understand even for you.

        3. jane4brexit
          February 26, 2019

          I cannot see any benefits of being in the EU. We were told when we Leave we will arrange our own trade deals with thw World, so I cannot see how that can include sharing import rules and tariffs with EU countries v the rest of the World.
          Leave the EU and “then” negotiate a trade deal is what we were told in that PMQs and it referred to other explanations given too. One of which was the Sky interview and Q&A programme where Cameron said leaving the single market meant WTO tariffs (1.2 minutes in) there are other examples too:

    2. Alan Joyce
      February 25, 2019

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      Poor old Andy.

      Still sat at home on his own. Still frustrated by all and everything around him. Still sending in his pathetic little posts attempting to wind up Brexiters.

      Sometimes he even succeeds and gets a response which, no doubt, pleases him. But it is a miserable, sad way to spend one’s days eh Andy?

      Have you considered philanthropy? Paying all that tax must, of course, leave you with plenty left over. It might make you feel so much better.

    3. Anonymous
      February 25, 2019

      The bad news is that it is indeed a dung sandwich and we are all going to have to eat it.

      Even worse, there is plenty of it to go around.

      I did not vote for this.

      One thing which was not said in the referendum was “We will not leave the EU completely if you vote Leave.”

      Had I known I would not have taken part so please don’t blame me.

  51. iain
    February 25, 2019

    The PM has said that no deal is better than a bad deal. The points you raise today need to be shouted out in the House of Commons every day and on every TV channel and MSM as often as possible. It seems that the general public are being brainwashed to the point of exhaustion that the only problem with the proposed deal is the Backstop . I have been a lifelong Tory voter but if you and your likeminded colleagues allow “the deal” to be passed then it’s goodbye from me.

    1. Andy
      February 25, 2019

      Why? It is Brexit. You wanted Brexit.

      The deal is rubbish BECAUSE it is Brexit and all forms of Brexit are worse than the status quo.

      Perhaps if they had written this brutal truth on the side of a bus you would have believed it?

      1. Edward2
        February 25, 2019

        Brexit has been hijacked by remainers like you Andy.
        That’s why it’s a mess.
        Leaving is easy.

      2. L Jones
        February 25, 2019

        Perhaps you’d like to describe the ”status quo” of the EU as you see it, Andy. Is it the same ”status quo” that it was in 2016? Or has the ”status quo” changed a bit since then? What sort of ”status quo” do you see continuing with the EU’s ”ever closer union”? Does that movement suggest a ”status quo”?

        Do you understand the meaning of ”status quo”?

  52. jane4brexit
    February 25, 2019

    Thank you Sir John and in case anyone hasn’t read it yet this is worth a read too…but I warn you very worrying “The top 40 horrors lurking in the small print of Theresa May’s Brexit deal”:


  53. Alex Ferris
    February 25, 2019

    Agreed, and with the WA there would be nothing to stop the EU raising taxes in order to bail out failing EU members in the eurozone. Effectively the WA hands the EU a blank UK cheque book. It must be totally scrapped at this late stage and we should leave gracefully on an article 24 WTO BREXIT so we can sensibly and carefully work out a long term agreement with the EU, like we have already with others including Commonwealth countries who would also benefit from increased trade directly with us without an EU tariff system.

  54. ian
    February 25, 2019

    Everybody knows that WA is a bad agreement even Mrs T. May, but there was no ch oice with parliament insisting on taking over the process, so any agreement had to be found and made with the EU to stop parliament taking over leaving the EU and voting for a second ref or staying in the EU, the best MPs in parliament can now hope for is an extension to article 50 to try again to get their way.

    There no need to use the WA to leave the EU, there are other ways to do it as laid out in documents from the EU, any country wanting to leave the EU has a choice, It looks like this way of using WA has not worked out and that maybe because of the interference of the high court of London and MPs in parliament and the Lords, switching to plan B and leaving on the 29th of March and opening up trade talks would be a better option at this stage as laid out in documents from the EU, if by doing this parliament can be shut out of the new trade talks and get on with business of running the country, if an agreement can be reached with the EU on trade by the time allotted on plan B then the EU can be paid up to the end of Dec 2020 if not they won’t get paid.

    1. Rien Huizer
      February 25, 2019

      @ ian

      You do not get it, Ian. “getting paid” is not the EU’s primary concern. We are not talking about hundreds of billions. Even for a relatively small part (15%) of the EU, like the UK 40 bn over a number of years is 2% of annual gvt spending max.

      The point is that business on both sides doesa not like brexit, especially those foreign owned businesses tha chose the UK as a locations, not for Union Jack romantics or that sort of thing. And, given that business pays the bills and wages, that is a voice to be listened to rather than a few frustrated eurosceptics. Thje EU will survive a no-deal relatively easily. The UK is far more vulnerable. Been reading too much UKIP propaganda, I guess. Or writing from a place where they say “spasibo” to you once the work is done. Leaving without a deal means giving up the opportunity to do a deal later on, especially after this charade.

      1. Edward2
        February 25, 2019

        So you think the EU will not want to do a free trade deal Rien.
        Considering the 9pbn pa trade profit for mainly France Holland and Germany I find that very unlikely.
        But if you want high tariffs on the goods they currently sell us then carry on.
        Plenty of alternatives.
        Cars from Korea Wines from Chile

      2. L Jones
        February 25, 2019

        Rien – could you explain to us why the EU is so keen that we should remain clasped to its bosom? Why is it so reluctant to wave us on our chosen way, with good wishes for the future? Is it because it fears for our well being if we strike out alone? Is it because it wishes to save us from ourselves? Altruism, maybe?

        But – it couldn’t be anything to do with our money, could it?

      3. NickC
        February 26, 2019

        Rien, If £39bn is so little in your estimation, then the EU can pay that to us instead. And since the EU is 7 times bigger, you can pay us £270bn. Since, that is, you’ve given no reason for us paying you.

        More than 87% of UK GDP is not derived from exporting to the EU, so clearly most businesses will not be affected. As for the businesses you describe, they come for the customers, not out of philanthropy. It’s typical EU arrogance to claim they are here out of charity.

    2. Steve
      February 25, 2019


      Spot on.

      Though I would add that we don’t owe the EU countries anything at all – they owe us.

      The best way to leave is simply give ’em two fingers and come out on WTO.

  55. Richard
    February 25, 2019

    Paul Collier in the Spectator writing a lot of common sense. A sensible leaver.


  56. Iain Gill
    February 25, 2019

    Any delay to Brexit and what little confidence remains in the political class will disappear.

  57. CheshireRed
    February 25, 2019

    Utterly staggering that ANY sane MP could be in favour of this EU stitch-up that sees the UK done up like a kipper, and this is supposed to be ‘leaving’?

    May has lied and lied about leaving, and here in black and white is the proof.

    If this document isn’t treasonous then what is it?

  58. Beecee
    February 25, 2019

    The problem with the EU is that it is run by clones of Andy – totally intolerant and nasty towards people who disagree with them.

  59. mancunius
    February 25, 2019

    “The Treasury estimate of £39bn is likely to be far too low.”
    In fact, as Martin Howe points out, the final sum “is likely to end up considerably higher, particularly since Theresa May caved in to the EU’s demand that the ECJ should be given jurisdiction to decide the amount instead of a neutral international tribunal.”

    Howe also shows how, as the price of agreeing to extend Art. 50, which must be individually sanctioned by each individual nation of the 27, German experts at the Bundestage have proposed that “Germany should require, as a precondition of agreeing to any Article 50 extension, that the UK should agree unconditionally to abide by the obligations to pay money into the EU budget which are set out in Part Five of the Withdrawal Agreement, and to submitting to the jurisdiction of the ECJ to set the amount of these payments, regardless of whether or not a withdrawal agreement was subsequently ratified.”

  60. Jane
    February 25, 2019

    I cannot see the EU ever giving us what we need in the Withdrawal Agreement in order for Parliament to pass it. Part of the EU game plan?
    The EU don’t want us to leave so this extension to article 50 repealing the law that says we leave on the 29th next month will be warmly received (rubbing their hands with glee).
    I sincerely hope PM May is not stage managing this whole thing to woodwink the electorate while sipping tea with her feet up with Juncker et al watching the clock ticking.
    I dismay that this may be all smoke and mirrors. We must not be trapped in this project, the manifestos that were voted on in the General Election seem to have been brushed aside by some MPs.

  61. Know-Dice
    February 25, 2019

    The only concern that I would have leaving without a withdrawal agreement is that because the EU negotiation strategy was “nothing is agreed until everything is agreed” this leaves UK citizens in EU land and EU citizens in the UK pretty much “high and dry”.

    Maybe a unilateral declaration by the UK Government would be helpful at this time.

    And this is how the WA was negotiated?

    “Throughout these negotiations the Union will maintain its unity and act as one with the aim of reaching a result that is fair and equitable for all Member States and in the interest of its citizens. It will be constructive and strive to find an agreement. This is in the best interest of both sides. The Union will work hard to achieve that outcome, but it will prepare itself to be able to handle the situation also if the negotiations were to fail.”

    Well that’s not exactly how the WA reads from this side of the English Channel…

    “Negotiations under Article 50 TEU will be conducted in transparency and as a single package. In accordance with the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, individual items cannot be settled separately.”



  62. ian russell
    February 25, 2019

    Has anyone made an estimate of the cost of ‘the provision to pay them very large sums of money, stretching for many years into the future’?

  63. miami.mode
    February 25, 2019

    Cannot recollect any of these details coming up on the BBC “reality check”. Perhaps it should be renamed “surreality check”.

  64. ChrisS
    February 25, 2019

    I fear that whatever modest changes May delivers, if you and your friends in the ERG vote against the deal, we will never leave at all.

    The forces ranged against us are so powerful and determined that I’m not even sure May can get her deeply flawed deal through Parliament if she gets the full support from the ERG.

    I think we must take the deal as amended and get out on time.

    Whatever happens, we must be able to escape the clutches of Brussels eventually, even if we have to invoke some kind of arbitration or make life very difficult for the 27. After all, the ECJ can’t take us to court because they can only make judgements against members, and we won’t or certainly shouldn’t be in less than a month.

    1. mancunius
      February 26, 2019

      “we must be able to escape the clutches of Brussels eventually”
      As under the WA we shall be entirely subject to the clutches of Brussels, how are you planning to invoke ‘some kind of arbitration’? The arbitration section of the WA refers any dispute on Union law or whether the United Kingdom has complied with its obligations under Article 89(2), “to the Court of Justice of the European Union to give a ruling on the question. The Court of Justice of the European Union shall have jurisdiction to give such a ruling which shall be binding on the arbitration panel.”

      The ECJ does not need to take us to court. It will simply interpret EU Law itself and order the arbitration panel to rule against the UK, without any function of appeal to international law.

      You really should read the Withdrawal Agreement – it would make you less casually complacent. It is a carefully forged pair of handcuffs and manacles.

      1. ChrisS
        February 26, 2019

        I don’t disagree with what you are saying but I feel sure that in extremis we could cause enough trouble that the 27 would end up “allowing” us to leave.

        The problem, as ever, is that May allowed Robbins to “negotiate” such a disadvantageous arrangement. Even if the cabinet has been allowed to examine it before May signed up to it, they would have rejected it.

        She alone is responsible for this catastrophic and total shambles. The sooner she’s gone the better.

  65. John Hatfield
    February 25, 2019

    ‘Who ever thought the UK should accept such a one sided arrangement?’
    It is not the UK though is it, John? It is a bunch of prejudiced individuals who are trying to deliver what their establishment lobbyists demand.
    These undemocratic self-serving people do not consider the popular vote and do not deserve to be in government.

  66. Javelin
    February 25, 2019

    Put simply the British will lose respect and faith in the Conservatives if we do not leave on March 29th.

    How can May survive a coup after that date ?

    How can a new leader not withdraw before the next election ?

    With Corbyn gone and the media supporting the new Labour leader the Conservatives will be a spent force.

  67. Robert
    February 25, 2019

    Sir John,
    Appreciate your views on the WA which confirms what I read before that it’s a bad deal regardless of if they get a change to the backstop.
    Could you give us your views on what happens if we do stay in the EU, I have some heard that more provisions of the Lisbon treaty come into effect from 2020/21 which would take away more control from member states. If true why are the remainers not telling the public this. I think I know why but your views would be helpful

  68. stephen Reay
    February 25, 2019

    Mr Redwood as a Brexiteer I always agree with what you say, but unfortunately with Mrs May at the helm of the sinking ship there’s no sign of rescue. She’s going to sell this country down the river and I’m afraid for the first time that we will not leave or leave with the worse deal in history and if we do we’ll be begging to go back in the E.U within 5 years.

    We need to get remain ministers out of the cabinet and get more brexiteers in there otherwise leaving ain’t leaving. The prime minister is a embarassment to this country and herself. If you don’t act quickly she’ll have the rug from underneath you and we’ll all be paying the E.U for many years yet.

    February 25, 2019

    Please continue to pursue Brexit. I have been saddened by the corruption and betrayal over the last two years. I fear Brexit is being railroaded. Was I naive to believe in democracy? Thank you for what you have done for me so far. From one of the 17.4.

  70. ukretired123
    February 25, 2019

    “Government was found in contempt of Parliament on December 4 for the first time in history, after it denied MPs to have the full text of the legal advice on the Withdrawal Agreement given by the Attorney General”
    Can we see this legal advice now especially when the TIGs are demanding Cabinet papers on the effects of a no deal be published?

  71. agricola
    February 25, 2019

    I am playing devils advocate. Suppose May is conning everyone. She has a date in law on which to leave the EU. She knows her own party in the commons will not give her support apart from 100 members plus the DUP and a small number from Labour. All the rest really prefer remain. She knows that the civil service are duplicitous and in cahoots with the EU. She ignores the blathering of the CBI knowing their interest is purely selfish. So what to do, make all the right noises, be sympathetic to everyone, run around the EU pleading for changes to the WA knowing it is too malicious to be acceptable. Hang in there till 29th March and just leave. This way you gain 17.4 million supporters and call an election when all the lies of remain are proved false. I would like to believe it, but can I hold my breath.

  72. Lorna
    February 25, 2019

    Once again I find myself wondering how Civil,servants and MPs especially Gove and Fox could have even contemplating imposing this Agreement on the British people
    It is a financial and constitutional outrage .We will be paying the E.U. billions for years to come and be under the jurisdiction of the ECJ for a minimum of eight years
    I am not given to conspiracy theories but this does spring to mind
    We must not under any circumstances sign off this Agreement .
    No member of the current Cabinet why agreed it should ever be given a position of respinsibilty in this land .They are incompetent !
    The Conservative Conference made their views known by a large majority .Yet within hours
    MPs were discussing doing the opposite .
    The views of voters and their country are of no concern to these arrogant individuals
    How did we get here ?

    1. Chris
      February 25, 2019

      The power of the deep state, Lorna.

  73. J Bush
    February 25, 2019

    No politician at any time up to and during the referendum said or wrote, but if you vote to leave we will throw our toys out of the pram, ignore democracy and force a dictatorship on you. And should the vote in parliament go in favour of this garbage, that is what it will be.

    The rest of the World will also witness self-serving politicians destroying the reputation of the UK of being a democracy. Nice one

  74. Dominic
    February 25, 2019

    And there we have it. Marxist Corbyn backs a second referendum. Labour is a moral stain on all our lives and May and her supporters are not too far behind

    A Labour-Tory Commons stitch-up is on the cards and the political class as succeeded in destroying the very foundation of our democracy, consent

    A total betrayal of all that we are and all that we stand for

    I can’t find the words to express my hate and contempt for what we are seeing. The arrogance to confront our will and then ignore it.

    if the ERG choose to back this government and keep it in power you are all as much to blame for this betrayal as the fascist Remain sect

  75. Dominic
    February 25, 2019

    Now that Corbyn and Marxist Labour intend to betray their core vote in the north the Tories need to

    Depose the offence that is May
    Elect an ardent Eurosceptic
    Go north and campaign on a platform of leaving the EU

    We will destroy Marxist Labour in the north

    This is the Tories once in a lifetime opportunity to expose Marxist Labour’s betrayal of their traditional voter base

    Labour’s core vote is predominantly conservative in nature, decent , moral and law abiding…and this vile presence in politics namely Labour is abusing their loyalty

  76. Norman
    February 25, 2019

    Hezbollah to be banned. Well done, Mr Javid – about time too!

    1. Chris
      February 25, 2019

      It is beyond belief it took the government so long to do this.

  77. miami.mode
    February 25, 2019

    According to TV, Labour now want a second referendum. Tories only have to stand up in the HoC and suggest that Jeremy Corbyn is now succumbing to what Tony Blair is demanding to complete his embarrassment.

    1. Steve
      February 25, 2019

      miami mode

      “….Jeremy Corbyn is now succumbing to what Tony Blair is demanding to complete his embarrassment.”

      Yep, you can see the strings.

  78. Shieldsman
    February 25, 2019



    With anti-Europeans on their way to winning more than one-third of seats in the next European Parliament, the stakes in the May 2019 election are unusually high.

    Who are the anti-Europeans, non other than the Visegard Group and Italy. Countries that are Nationalistic with Populist parties. The EU member States that Brussels wants to bring to heel.

    1. Mark B
      February 26, 2019

      The EU Parliament is nothing but a side show.

  79. An appeal to JR
    February 25, 2019

    Corbyns chose to make Labour unelectable with his alleged betrayal today.

  80. Original Richard
    February 25, 2019

    The EU’s/Remainer Mrs. May’s WA is designed to be a surrender deal either to use as the “leave” choice in a second referendum against “remain” or to ensure the EU has permanently the upper hand should our existing Parliament sign up to this WA.

    Should it be the latter then we would see political turmoil in the UK and increasing tension between the EU and the UK as new EU laws, directives, taxes and migrants roll in whilst we are left defenceless without representation or veto.

  81. Alan Joyce
    February 25, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Following the 2016 Referendum many writers attributed the leave result to people who had turned against a political class they saw as dominated by socially liberal university graduate types with values fundamentally opposed to theirs, on identity, immigration and Europe.

    How ironic is it that Conservative local associations across the country are having to resort to deselecting their own MP’s in order to guarantee that the referendum result is honoured? These MP’s have turned out to be some of the very same liberal elite politicians that voters had identified as being so out of touch that made them vote Leave in the first place.

  82. Monza 71
    February 25, 2019

    Remainers in Labour have now forced Corbyn to back a second referendum, clearly against his wishes and that of millions of Labour voters.

    That might cost Corbyn the slim chance he had of ever getting into Downing Street but before that happens, it is likely to cost us Brexit. Even if every member of the ERG lined up behind May’s deal, Conservative Remainers are going to support Labour’s call for another referendum.

    I’m not sure we can win another vote because the Remain majority will ensure that the choice will be Remain or May’s deal. Can the ERG and our host campaign for the deal given how much we have all criticised it ?

    Equally, May can’t just call another General Election – we surely can’t go into another without a change of leader ? After the last election, May is damaged goods and would again be as hopeless a candidate as she has proved to be as Prime Minister.

    It would be unprecedented for there to be a second General Election with two such unpopular and incompetent candidates competing to be PM.

    What a mess she has got us into.

  83. Chris
    February 25, 2019

    The Mail online tonight is reporting that May is going to rule out No Deal after “secret” meeting and 15 Ministers threatening to resign if No Deal option on table.

    Is there any truth in this, Sir John? The fact that this sort of charade can continue with May says this, or she says that, or someone else is going to resign, is quite ridiculous, and indicates a PM who is totally incompetent. We know from past experience she is dishonest and disingenuous, so why do Tory Brexiter MPs continue to support such a disastrous and dangerous (to the future of the UK) PM?

  84. Paul H
    February 25, 2019

    I see that, even in the event of no-deal, the government is still planning to send billions to Brussels – despite multiple promises to the contrary. We do not have a government that operates for the UK; we do not have a democracy. What is the hold that the EU has over UK MPs, ministers and mandarins? Blackmail? Bribery?

    You assured us that we would get a referendum if we voted for your party. You were correct. Farage assured us that your party would betray Brexit. He was correct.

    I am beyond disgusted.

  85. Chris S
    February 25, 2019

    If there were a General Election following the cancellation of Article 50, very few of the 17.4m people who voted Leave will support the Labour or Conservative Parties.

    We will return the few MPs who are determined Brexiteers like our host, JRM and IDS. My MP is Christopher Chope so I guess I will vote for him to be returned. The vast majority of us will support Nigel Farage’s new party. I will certainly be campaigning for Nigel’s party in Constituencies whose Conservative candidates supported Remain.

    Labour representation in the North will be decimated and the leader of the much-diminished Conservative Party will have to do a deal with Nigel to remain in power. That will be easy if he or she is a Brexiteer

    Only then will we actually be able to leave. Even if there is first another referendum which is narrowly lost, a decisively Leave general election outcome will enable the Government to Implement Brexit, given that the outcome of the two referendums was even.

  86. a-tracy
    February 26, 2019

    Parliamentarians are confusing matters so much they are spinning and missing everything that matters. Honour, dedication, duty and truth, words from my favourite film.

    Brexit supporting politicians that have left negotiations with the EU to May have to take the weight for their choices and feelings. The poison operating behind the scenes which results in Corbyn now wanting to offer a second referendum. This impasse is suffocating us, stifling decisions, you are all messing around with false hopes to both sides. Make a decision.

    This EU proposed Withdrawal Agreement or no Withdrawal Agreement. That is all you should be deciding. The EU have made very clear this withdrawal agreement is the only one on the table.

  87. Bernard Gallivan
    February 26, 2019

    With a few exceptions, those using JR’s blog site are of the same mind. We all despise the WA and simply want to leave the EU. and once more to take control of our lives and our country. My concern is that we are talking to the converted, when we need to make our views much more widely known. The BBC is a washout, and I am determined not to pay my licence fee when it becomes due in June, so trying to get air time to voice a leave view is impossible. The Telegraph, Sun and Express, generally seem supportive of leave views, so one might get an article or letter published, but again, one is not reaching the wider spectrum of U.K. citizens when we can explain the absurdity of the WA since these readers will not even have heard of Martin Howe let alone read what he has to say. But Mrs May and most politicians have heard of him and will have read and studied his learned views. So why are they determined to sell Britain down the river? What on earth motivates them? How on earth can we reverse such irrational behaviour?

  88. rose
    February 26, 2019

    So it is official: the Opposition is to give us an in/in losers’ referendum which one dreads to think how many “Conservatives” will support.

    You have been understating the full horror of the DWA, no doubt to concentrate our minds on the big picture, and not get too bogged down in the dastardly detail.

  89. Simon
    February 26, 2019

    How is your quick and simple Brexit going now Sir John ? lol

    The hubristic over confidence not to mention the shocking lies of the ultra extremists have ultimately caused Brexit to fail altogether.

    How is the novating going ? And Liam Fox’s trade deals ? And your simple and “friendly” offer to the EU ? Have you tabled anything new today ? What is happening ? I thought Owen Patterson was going back “to see Barnier” at eight o clock in the morning a few days ago ?

    Anyway you must excuse me. I am unwinding my investments and investing in EU spec pallets.

    1. a-tracy
      February 26, 2019

      I wouldn’t Simon we import more than we export – we can turn pallets around that are EU compliant that they send to us. If they don’t send us compliant pallets then they can’t continue to trade, can they? Reciprocal agreements.

    2. Edward2
      February 26, 2019

      Moving up to “ultra extremists” now eh Simon.
      You will run out of hyperbole adjectives by 29th March.
      You forget to mention you remainers are in charge of Brexit.

  90. Jennifer Lamont
    February 28, 2019

    Sadly I think the Conservatives have lost their way under duplicitous May and her Remainer cabinet
    They believe the EU are their friends and colleagues – they are not but they will learn
    The horrors of the Eu Withdrawal Agreement will follow the Torys and poison their chances at any future place in Government – they will never be forgiven by the Public and the Public have long memories
    They had the opportunity to be great – they chose to be weak
    The EU Withdrawal Agreement is appalling and the weak Tory’s will only find out when it is too late – the businesses screaming for a transition will be screaming when during that transition the EU open their market up under their future trade deals and our Govt can do nothing to prevent it – think the NHS is safe in the 21 month period – think again – the EU no longer have to worry about the NHS during any TTIP trade negotiation
    Thik Chlroianted chicken wont happen again the EU can offer the uS the UK Market for food imports – and our UK GOvt could do nothing –
    But hey the Tory remainers are okay with this..

  91. mary
    March 4, 2019

    A little matter being kept very quiet, is the horrendous UN Global compact for Migration which May sneakily signed last December. I very strongly recommend this link https://independencedaily.co.uk/part-ii-marrakesh-what-is-it-all-about
    TPTB claim that this is not binding, but for so long as we are subject to the EU, the ECJ and the EU criminal injustice (sic) system, it certainly is binding. TPTB claim that the compact gives sovereign states the power to decide how far they are going to comply eg the number of migrants and their families, they will take, house and give full rights to per year. But the sovereign state deciding this will not be UK but the EU. Think about it !!!

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