The endless pessimism of Remain MPs

I have never known so many MPs be so pessimistic and so lacking in enthusiasm for anything about our country, our people, our ambitions and our opportunities. It is as if they are in some kind of trance, trotting out EU propaganda and Project Fear scare stories as if no-one had heard them all before, and as if they were about to change Leave voters minds. We did not  believe them the first time we heard them, and we still do not  believe them.

It is also disappointing that Remain  MPs elected to improve the living standards and lives of UK voters have so little confidence in the abilities of the UK to govern ourselves and to raise living standards by our own efforts and by good policies. Opposition MPs seem to think all good standards require an EU law to set them out, as if we cannot pass laws we are proud of for ourselves. They are desperate to give away as much of our money as possible to the EU and refuse to examine the outrageous vague overinflated and long lasting financial pledges in the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

They  make endless repetitious speeches around a few tired soundbites.

They tell us  leaving without a deal would  be “catastrophic”. When you ask why and how, there is no solid response as it would not  be a catastrophe. The  best they can do is to say we will be starved of food and medicines, as if the UK was about to mount a blockade of our own imports to deny our shops and customers access to the products the rest of the world still wants to sell us. No main EU supplier has said they want to terminate their contract, and  no-one has explained what blocks we will create at our ports to stop the goods coming in.

They tell us we will be leaping off a cliff if we leave without a deal. If you ask how and why again there is no factual or sensible response. They sometimes say Just in time supply chains would be disrupted. If you ask how and why there is no sensible response because they will not be disrupted. They seem to think EU trade is friction free, which it is not, and that non EU trade is impossible. In practice there are mixed supply chains for manufacturing in the UK, with materials and components coming in from EU and non EU. If they are all under rest of the world terms after Brexit  it will work fine. They seem ignorant of Intrastat declarations, of food and animal inspections and the other features of current EU trade. They ignore the old fashioned and worrying paper and wet stamp system written into the Withdrawal Agreement which would slow things down badly and is worse than the WTO  system we use for non EU trade today.

They tell us there is a genuine Irish/Northern Irish border issue. They seem unaware of the fact that it is today a complex international border. It requires changes of VAT, Excise, and currency. It has collaborative systems both sides of the border to combat terrorism and smuggling. If there have to be customs paid they will paid electronically away from the border as VAT is today. If there need to  be other checks on goods they too can be done away from the border. Most will  be done as today at factories and farms before shipping product, with electronic manifests providing the necessary detail, and or at arrival at the warehouse or store taking delivery.

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  1. Ian wragg
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    They are traitors. The swamp must be drained.

    • jerry
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg, So all those who opposed our EEC/EU membership until June 2016 must also have been “traitors” too, after all there had been a democratic referendum in 1975, with several general election between then and 2016 when opponents of our EEC/EU membership could have cast their votes for parties that would have cancelled our membership, had enough voters agreed of course – how did you vote, as a confirmed Europhobe, in 1983 for example?

      The only “traitors” I see are those who despise democracy, those who appear to believe holding differing political views from your own is or should be a crime…

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Yes Jerry, fools or traitors, it doesn’t matter which, they cannot be trusted with our sovereignty and well being.

        • Peter
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          Remain MPs are unlikely to change their outlook or speeches in the near future.

          There is merit in not letting them get away with the usual guff, though it is largely preaching to the converted on here.

          Realpolitik is what matters at this stage. This may require secrecy for plots to bear fruition.

          Probably a good time to address issues other than Brexit until further developments.

      • Hope
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        JR, you have 110 MPs to bring down this dishonest Blaire tribute government.

        There is no trade deal May failed to get one as promised by your maifesto. Hermservitude plan is not a deal was never the trade deal talked about under the nothing agreed until everything agreed. That lie was to con you to pass the first two phases of her collusion with the EU.

        Tory associations need to withdraw all support with immediate effect. Exercise their right not campaign or raise funds for a party that does not beleive in its maifesto or repeated promises to get elected. May has repeatedly lied thinking her supporters would not notice. First legal changes to the backstop she never got, then Brady amendment to Replace the backstop with legal certainty- she now claims small changes and now to extend or take no deal off the table which she said up to a week ago she would not do! She is a compulsive liar. This is before her dishonest Kitkat policy to hide true costs and ties to the EU after we left and after she stated not half in or half out nor remain in part.

        The Tory three traitors who betrayed their voters and associations by moving across to join Labour should know their actions will not be tolerated by any Tory association. After all why would they canvass for local elections for these three or your party after it was stated by Hammond they would welcome them back even though Allen said she wanted to destroy it!

        JR, we know all the remain scare stories and apocalyptic endings. What are you going to do? I suggest you bring down this government or force it to be perogued to allow to leave on WTO terms. That is what we voted for.

        March leave begins on 16th March go to their website.

      • tony
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        A poor comparison because the Common Market we voted for in 1975 is a completely different animal now.
        Moreover, the EU is not some static ‘status quo’ system but is moving inexorably towards a federalist outcome, with centralised taxation, economic policy-making, and a nascent EU army and foreign policy.

      • Cerberus
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        The British people didn’t know what they for voting for in 1975. It certainly was not a Common Market.

        • Timaction
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. Heath and the Tory Party lied to the people. FCO 1048 /1971 tells the secret story. Hidden from the public and the legacies have lied ever since. The Westminster swamp needs clearing.

        • jerry
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          @Cerberus; What ever, much the same sort of rant is made by Remain, except they have a point, with 28 days till we are due to leave no one yet knows what Brexit will mean…

          Back in 1975 of course we knew what the TFEU end game was, assuming one was interested enough to know, how else did people such as Benn, Castle Foot, Powell, & Shore etc. all understand [1] – what you seem to be smarting about is you were fooled by those politicos you worshipped at the time, as I was, the difference is I blame no one bar myself!

          [1] if you doubt me, go and search out some of their TV interviews and speeches regarding the EEC between 1971 and ’75, listen to them today is like a modern history lesson from beyond the grave…

          • Chris S
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

            The fact is that in the 1970s, there was no internet and we had to rely on the BBC and newspaper journalists for information as to what was going on. Of course we now know that the BBC were never going to tell us the truth about the future direction and few if any newspaper reporters looked beyond press releases and politicians for their material.

            How were we to know ?

            These days it’s completely different, of course the Europhiles at the BBC are still doing the Commission’s job for it but we are now fortunate enough have our good friend Denis Cooper and our host to tell us the truth.

            Unfortunately too many voters just rely on The BBC and Sky News for information, if they had been even handed I’m sure Leave would have won by a much bigger margin.

          • jerry
            Posted March 2, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

            @Chris S; “The fact is that in the 1970s, there was no internet and we had to rely on the [MSM]”

            But some did all the things you claim were not done or couldn’t be done, and as I’ve said to others, between 1971 and ’75 the BBC was quite willing to broadcast both sides of opinion as to what the future would be as members of the EEC, as were ITV’s political programmes – rather than waste your time inventing yet another scapegoat theory about what the broadcast media did (not do) why not spend some time searching on the internet for the audio-video content from that era.

            “if they had been even handed I’m sure Leave would have won by a much bigger margin.”

            If you are suggesting that you have evidence that a broadcaster broke election/referendum laws in 2016 would it not be best to take that evidence to the police?…

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:19 pm | Permalink


          “The British people didn’t know what they for voting for in 1975. It certainly was not a Common Market.”

          Extract from the official 1975 referendum leaflet:

          The aims of the Common Market are:

          Bring together the peoples of Europe

          Raise living standards and improve working conditions

          Promote growth and boost world trade

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

          Help maintain peace and freedom

          That’s what we voted for and that is what we got. All things have to grow to keep up with modern times.
          We were the envy of the world.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 2, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

            The EU has failed on each and every one of those aims.

            No mention back then of having 30 plus members nor wanting everyone to have the Euro as their currency nor ambitions for an armed force nor having EU embassies nor an EU anthem, nor a common foreign policy nor power over taxes or power over national budgets.
            No mention of having a court with supreme powers over member nations.
            And certainly no mention of the ambition for a United States of Europe.

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        All those of the 490 MPs who signed to trigger article 50 which clearly stated we leave on the 29th March with or without a deal and are now opposed to going out on WTO terms because they thought by now they could have thwarted Brexit are TRAITORS 100%. Ian is right.

        • jerry
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          @JoolsB; No one is being criminally disloyal to the crown, or even the state, stop sounding like 1930s Germany or the USSR were political decent was simply not acceptable.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink


        Eurosceptics did not collude with foreign powers to subvert the democratic vote of 1975.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

          The vote in 1975 was to join a common trading area, not a political super state.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

            I’m not old enough to know…

            But, don’t the history books show, 1975 was Leave or Remain after Harold Wilson took the UK in to the “Common Market” without any referral to the population in 1973?

          • jerry
            Posted March 2, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            @Know-Dice; No, it was Edward Heath, as PM in 1972 who signed the agreement with the EEC, with the UK joining on 1st Jan 1973.

            Harold Wilson was not Prime Minister in between 17th June 1970 and 1st March 1974, many on the right try to be ambiguous about this fact though as they like to try and blame the strikes that lead up to the Three Day Week in early ’74 on Labour!

        • James
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          We want to have a good relationship with the EU. However, M Barnier said again today that there can be no unilateral exit from the draft WA and no backstop time limit. It really is time that Mrs May and her misguided entourage and supporters stopped messing about. Just back a WTO Brexit on 29 March. Leave with a clean break, and offer to talk about a trade deal after that. The majority of the electorate will get behind the government, as they can see through the project fear cliff edge catastrophe rubbish. Yes, there will be disruption, but we have survived infinitely worse. How dare they try to drive a wedge between us and NI, and even think we could be a dishonourable vassal state We learned in the 1930’s not to appease dictators and bullies.

      • agricola
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Well Heath could be so described for deliberately hiding what we were really getting into. Everyone was led to believe it was a trade agreement, not the start of the USE.

        Nor would I consider the signing of a string of treaties without full democratic disclosure as democratic. These all led to us finding ourselves where we are today. The referendum was calling the establishment to account. The establishment is now morally bancrupt and talking itself into it’s own demise.

        • jerry
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          @agricola; “Well Heath could be so described for deliberately hiding what we were really getting into.”

          Except he did no such thing, he spoke openly whilst being interviewed during a BBC Panorama, broadcast in Feb 1972.

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Pot, kettle, black, Jerry. You are quick enough to sneer at those you claim do not know how the EU works, simply because you disagree. You sneer at UKIP, blindly retelling MSM smears without facts or logic as though they were wisdom.

        As for most Remain voters who, being mostly ignorant, exercised their choice in good faith, I have no problem. But those on the Remain side, like (those ed) who deliberately conflates an imaginary forecast with reality, then yes they are Quislings or traitors.

        • jerry
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; Nice, fact-less rant! Your entire second paragraph, bar what ever our host had to excise, could have been written by those on the Remain side about those who support Leave. One persons “quisling or traitor” is another’s prophet. Be very careful throwing stones when living in a glass house yourself…

          • NickC
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Remain’s view about how “impoverished” we supposedly are because of Brexit has a basis in the comparison of the UK’s actual real growth over the last 3 years with the projections of growth guessed at by the Treasury and the BoE in 2016. Even Mark Carney has now acknowledged that is misleading. As I said above, it is conflating reality with imaginary forecasts.

            I am normally the first to opt for the theory of cock-up over conspiracy. But this sort of thing happens too often and too often only the Remain way, for it to be anything other than deliberate in some cases. So in my view it is realistic to call “Kit-Kat Brexit” civil servants Quislings. And what is Theresa May as she gives the EU her Chequers White paper, before she even let her own Ministers see it?

          • jerry
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

            @NickC; But what about all the wild assertions made by Brexiteers?…

            All you are doing is mud slinging in an attempt to deflect from a factually incorrect statement made by Mr Wragg – people might not like what some MPs or civil servants have said and done but none have committed “Treason”, a very specific crime, nor can they be “Quislings” either.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        You must remember Jerry, that the true intention of EEC was hidden from the public in 1975.
        “There are some in this country who fear that going into Europe we shall in some way sacrifice independence and sovereignty. These fears, I need hardly say, are completely unjustified.”
        Thus Heath deceived the UK into joining the EU. He was lying and he knew perfectly well at the time he was lying.

        • jerry
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

          @John Hatfield; See my earlier replies, if the true intentions were hidden, how come Heath spoke openly about them in 1972, how did likes of Powell and Benn et al speak about them too?

      • Neil Holmes
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Yes there was a vote in 75 a democratic vote we voted remain and the government ood the day along with parliament abided by it .We had a democratic vote in 16 but the government alongwith the MPS in parliament have decided to ignore this massive democratic vote that is a huge difference

      • Robert
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        The eec & Eu are 2 completely different entities. NOBODY voted to join the Eu.

      • Frances Truscott
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        When we joined there were 8 broadly similar countries in a trading group.
        Ever closer union with 27 dissimilar countries is just not the same.

      • Alan Evans
        Posted March 2, 2019 at 12:45 am | Permalink

        What vote did we ever have to accept being in the EU?
        In 1975 I personally voted to remain in the EEC but not to join a politically corrupt, semi-fascist dictatorship called the EU.
        Please check your facts!!!!!

    • Merlin
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      From what I hear, the problem with the Irish border is not legal traffic. I think the problem is that if some lorry crosses the border and it hasn’t been certified, what do you do?

      You need infrastructure or checkpoints to track and stop uncertified traffic, but if you do that then the infrastructure or checkpoint risks becoming a terrorist target.

      Equally if you do not put infrastructure there, it means there is no border and creates a gaping hole in the E.U’s single market and a smuggler’s paradise.

      Simple it is not.

      • agricola
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Illegality sets patterns. Loose talk triggers action. Our security services and police are quite capable of acting, they do not have to do so at the border.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          They can’t stop something if they haven’t seen it. If you have nothing at the border, well … you appear to be saying we shouldn’t have any form of oversight on our border. That would be a security nightmare.

          • agricola
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

            Have you not heard of HMRC investigations into unaccounted wealth, VAT, ETC. Then we have electronic survellance of telephone conversations, pub chatter, asset unaccountability. Thats before we get down to monitoring the potential felons. Your fears do not hold water.

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

        Merlin, Oh yes? Do the PIRA smugglers, or those just after a quick buck as normal criminals, check their goods through HMRC or Irish Tax and Customs now just because we’re in the EU? What is it with the EU/Remain mindset that thinks just making regulations does the job? The fact is smuggling goes on because of tax differences across borders. The reality is that difference already exists. As JR explained.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          Your argument appears to be the border is the E.U’s problem, not ours.

          That’s not an answer. We need to control our own borders. That is the point of Brexit.

          • NickC
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

            Merlin, The main point of Brexit is to restore sovereignty so that the UK is independent of the EU. So that all our laws are made in our own country and not some in Brussels. Border control is only part of that; and means that the UK decides our border policies without having to kow-tow to Brussels.

            Smugglers will by-pass borders, border rules, and national taxes even if the EU put up a Berlin Wall. Neither the EU nor the UK can make borders inviolable. You have confirmed my thumbnail caricature of the EU mindset which thinks regulation can control everything and everybody.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Merlin, WTO borders are “risk based”, so what is the risk to the UK in leaving the Irish border open?

            Not much I would suggest, other than smuggling that I’m sure already exists there.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Ever heard of ANPR – (Automatic Number Plate Recognition)?

        These small, insignificant cameras are all around us and can tell in an instant if a commercial vehicle (or any other vehicle for that matter) has the proper documentation logged. Any suspicious activity can be checked well away from the border and penalties issued or goods seized. ANPR cameras are but a part of a network of available safeguards.

        When I worked in the motor transport industry some thirty-five years ago, we also had something called TIR (Transports Internationaux Routiers) where the operators of goods vehicles made a customs declaration as to its contents, destination etc, and the vehicle or container was sealed. It worked fine then, and could be enhanced in the digital age to good effect, so all this talk of hard borders is a bit of a red herring.

        It surely isn’t beyond the wit of man to overcome this confected problem, but alas, the scaremongers would have nothing left to frighten people with and to cause them doubt.


        • Merlin
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

          You are actually arguing my point. Cameras are infrastructure. They will be attacked and destroyed. So what do you do then?

          • NickC
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            Merlin, So you think we should give up 1600 years of independence (apart from the Norman interregnum) because criminals will attack and destroy a few ANPR cameras? I presume you never travel on motorways then?

          • John Hatfield
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            Mend them?

          • Tad Davison
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

            I despair, I really do.

            We in the UK are the most surveilled people on earth. There are cameras everywhere. The ones operated by or on behalf of the state can be made discrete and almost invulnerable to acts of vandalism. Should anyone be stupid enough to try, then the law can punish as it sees fit. The act of destroying a camera should, and no doubt would, carry a heavy penalty.

            Their situation at key locations away from the border will work well as they already do throughout the entire road network.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        What you are worrying about Merlin is criminal activity across the border eg smuggling of counterfeit goods, evasion of VAT, evasion of duty on alcohol, tobacco and fuels.
        But this problem is going on all over and customs officers run checks at ports airports and at warehouses every hour of every day to stop these things happening.
        The penalties for such behaviour are severe including being sent to prison, huge fines, vehicle confiscation and being disqualified from being a director of a business.
        I’m not clear what you mean by “uncertified goods”
        If you were in N Ireland and I was in the Republic and we decided to trade then the goods we buy and sell between each other have to be of safe merchantable quality.
        If they are not Trading Standards will get involved or more likely you will send the goods back and refuse to pay me for them.
        Leaving the EU makes little practical difference to what happens currently with goods moving across the existing border in Ireland.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          I mean an unmarked lorry, tractor, person crossing the border. Happens all the time.

          • NickC
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            Merlin, Yes it happens all the time – even now when we’re in the EU.

            I have heard some feeble excuses from Remains for why we should prostrate ourselves as Vichy-UK, but that is the most inconsequential yet.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            Hmm they can do that now.
            Those vehicles CSN be watched by ANPR cameras at most major roads and they have registration numbers.
            They carry goods from a to b and can easily be traced.
            You assume they are all indulging in criminal activity or smuggling.
            I dont.

      • Merlin
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        I have to say I would prefer one of you at least admit the Irish border is a very complicated issue. It really is. I’m not even offering answers one way or the other. Doubtless you will keep shooting me down with magic bullets.

        • NickC
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          Merlin, And I would prefer you to say what is so magic about the border between the UK and Eire post our exit from the EU (if we succeed in escaping of course). Because in my view that border is no more complicated than it was prior to us joining the EU. It really isn’t.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

          You could be right, you could be wrong…

          Have you actually read The Belfast Agreement?

          Doesn’t have much to say about hard or soft or non-existent borders.

          • Merlin
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

            No I have not read the Belfast agreement. I did watch a programme where they followed the border, across fields, between factories, communities and everything you would expect down a line running along the middle of Ireland. It looked mighty complicated to me. Perhaps no surprise. I would say Ireland has form in the complicated department.

      • Frances Truscott
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        The EUs own expert says a hard border isn’t necessary. The WTO exempts countries where there is a security risk.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink


      Grow up and use proper and realistic words

      • ian wragg
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

        Here speaketh the Brussels troll.

      • Glenn Vaughan
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

        hans christian

        Continue producing fairy tales which are much loved by remain voters.

      • Richard
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

        As requested:
        “Mrs May’s deal is so bad that it locks us forever into the EU with no say on its decision-making in so many areas (taxation, financial regulation, foreign policy, tariffs, defence, security). How any of our MPs can support this and then proclaim they are being democratic is mind-boggling.

        The Conservatives will be destroyed long before they can turn their guns on Labour unless there is reconnection of the Parliamentary Conservative Party, the leadership, the members and the voters.”

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        Hans, Grow up, and start constructing a realistic case for us to become Vichy-UK. If you can.

        • L Jones
          Posted March 2, 2019 at 12:15 am | Permalink

          People like Hans can’t construct such a case because remainers don’t seen to know why we should remain shackled to the EU. They never give us a clue as to why they think it might be a good thing. If they believed a golden future awaits us all as part of this ‘organisation’ and its move towards ”ever closer union” then why don’t they describe it and attempt to win us over?

          Do they think the EU desperately wants us to remain because it really really cares about our country? Nothing to do with our money, then?

    • Richard
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure Satrap May believes that she is being loyal to her lovely anti-democratic EU Empire.
      A recent European Foundation paper ‘Behind Closed Doors’ shows how, in Brussels, the last vestiges of democracy are being stamped out:
      “How Coreper (Member States’ ambassadors) reaches agreement is also hidden, but 70-90% of decisions are now made this way, then adopted by the Council without further discussion. The European Parliament meanwhile cannot propose law, often is not consulted, and typically can be ignored. …

      At the heart of this is the growing use of “Trilogues”, small and little-known negotiating groups that operate on behalf of the Commission and Coreper. Designed to be subject to even less oversight, they are “a legislative body in [their] own right” and “possibly the most powerful, [governing] the overwhelming majority of legislative procedures”. These Trilogues include a small number of Commission representatives, MEPs, and civil servants. They aim to secure legislative agreement before any transparent process occurs …”

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 3, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      @ Ian Wragg

      I am sure you have no idea of what a traitor is.

  2. Nigl
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    The title is wrong. It should read ‘The endless pessimism of the Prime Minister, her cabinet and the Civil Service’.

    In the coming days the ERG needs to blitz the media with this message. I fear your blog, though important, is too tiny a voice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Plus the wrong on almost everything (EU funded) BBC, Channel 4 and their tame “experts” with absurdly unbalanced propaganda.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        “No deal no problem” says Tony Abbott in the Spectator. He is right, this despite being an Oxford PPE chap. The exception that proves the rule as they say.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink


        “Plus the wrong on almost everything (EU funded) BBC”

        Can you give us an example of the so-called EU funds?

        My own figures show that the BBC received £2m EU money in the last 3 years. It was given under the European Union framework programme, to fund its research and development arm which is working on projects such as 3D broadcasting and ultra-high definition filming.

        • NickC
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, You’ve answered your own question. That £2m is money that the BBC does not have to divert from its other sources, so is an EU subsidy whatever the money is spent on.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

          Imagine if Trump or Leave had taken such a sum.

        • mancunius
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          You’re not counting the loans from EU to BBC Worldwide – among them the sum of £141 million in 2008 alone, revealed by the Times in 2008. When replying to such a FOI request in 2010, the BBC denied that it had received any EU loans. Then it admitted to the enquirer that BBC Worldwide had received loans, but that it would not reveal these amounts, as “the finances of BBC Worldwide are not subject to the FOI Act.”
          And yet, as any BBC insider knows, despite its pretended commercial independence BBC Worldwide actually funds the BBC.
          In 2017 the BBC itself reported proudly that BBC Worldwide had ‘delivered it £200m for the third year running’.

          This is done with the aid of large, undisclosed annual 9-figure loans from the EU that it avoids reporting.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, so just as I said it is EU funded. Also funded by a grossly anti- competitive television tax. Due Pregardless of whether you use the BBC servives jor not.

          The main bias comes from the fact that they only seem to employ lefty, pro EU, climate alarmist, innumerate art graduates with Zero grasp of economics or business.

        • Original Richard
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

          Another EU funded organisation is the CBI.

          The CBI do not publish a list of members or from where they receive their funding, although they do admit they receive some funding from the EU.

          So they may even be representing businesses or persons who have no manufacturing or warehousing or even offices in the UK.

        • L Jones
          Posted March 2, 2019 at 12:18 am | Permalink

          So that’s all right, then.

    • jerry
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      @Nigl; One might as well shout into a vacuum as expect the UK MSM to echo the calls of the ERG!

      The tiger has turned on those who feed and nurtured him back in the 1980s and early ’90s…

  3. Mark B
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    They tell us leaving without a deal would be “catastrophic”.

    The problem is, the word ‘deal’. It conjures up in some people’s minds that a business arrangement, and nothing more, has somehow been negotiated and, if said ‘deal’ is not signed we will be harmed in some way. This is a naked deceit, as anyone who has read, either in part or all of the Withdrawal Agreement, and I have read some of it along with summaries knows. So how is it, a non-parliamentarian like myself, and even the CBI, can see what a bad document this is and those that get to vote on our future do not. Cleary these MP’s do not know what they are voting for !

    The Withdrawal Agreement is a trap. It is a trap to keep the UK as closely aligned to the EU as possible. It is an agreement that suits the Civil Service as it maintains their power without responsibility and accountability. It suits useless and feckless MP’s and PM’s who would be shown for what they are without the cover of the EU.

    There is a Cliff-edge, but it is not economic, it’s political and administrative and quite a few of the aforementioned know they will be made to stand on its edge.

    • Hope
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      May’s servitude plan is a triple lock to keep the UK shackled to the EU without it being able to be more competitive or drift away from customs union or single market alignment.

    • Clive Sinclair
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Mark, you are absolutely 100% correct indeed, I have read the WD eight times now and a third I don’t quite understand due to legal speak… Yes, when the WD is talking about the Immigrants or migrants or EU citizens it is so helpful, but when anything is spoken around Brexit the jargon tightens up obviously to the untrained eye… It will be interesting to see what the “Deal” or “codpiece” revised version is and what the decision made by the DUP and the legal team set to advise… Then we will see if it passes parliament… All the withdrawal deal is/is an elaborate Norway model with so many preliminary traps on fishing, immigration, armed forces and keeping us hamstrung till we are taken out to dry by the five-man committee and the ECJ….

    • Richard
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      As Sir Mervyn King put it: “It simply beggars belief that a government could be hellbent on a deal that hands over £39 billion while giving the EU both the right to impose laws on the UK indefinitely and a veto on ending this state of fiefdom.”…

      “If this deal is not abandoned, I believe that the U.K. will end up abrogating it unilaterally — regardless of the grave damage that would do to Britain’s reputation and standing. Vassal states do not go gently into that good night. They rage. If this parliament bequeaths to its successors the choice between a humiliating submission and the abrogation of a binding international treaty, it will not be forgiven”

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Richard, An excellent and sensible quote, thank you.

  4. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Apart from saying that it would be a disaster to leave they never have a positive reason for staying in the EU.

    • bigneil
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Exactly. We constantly hear “people didn’t know what they were voting Leave for” – -but Remainers have never told us what they were voting Remain for either – Higher daily contributions? Absolutely NO control over ANY immigration ( all invited by Brussels to come to the UK ).

      • L Jones
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        I’m sure Andy (or similar) could enlighten us. He/she thinks he/she knows everything about everything else and the way people think, and why, and how we’ll all be doomed if we manage to escape into what he/she sees as the outer darkness.
        It’d be interesting to be instructed by him/her.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Exactly. They rely on ever repeating the catalogue of negative epithets, e.g.: catastrophe, cliff edge, disaster and so on on the basis that if you repeat a lie often enough people will believe it.

      When challenged, they will mutter about the agricultural industry, supply chains, just-in-time etc. just as Sir John says. They imply that all the consequences are negative for the UK and of little account for the EU, conveniently forgetting that we import far more from them than they do from us.

      I say, let’s take a leap over the ‘cliff edge’ and see what happens. My bet is that it’ll be interesting, fun and, ultimately, highly beneficial.

  5. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    They are frightened because they know the referendum result was the death rattle of their failing neo-liberal economic experiment. They were so confident that the proles were too thick to realise what was causing them to compete against foreigners for their jobs, assuming that their factory had not been closed down and relocated to Eastern Europe in the first place. When the next great financial crisis comes along, I look forward to seeing a lot of poncey middle class remoaners immiserated down to the level of the people they currently hold in contempt.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      I hear them at their recent discovery of Lidls. “Oh . Look how clever we are finding all this cheap stuff.”

  6. Turboterrier
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    Sir John brilliant entry but nobody in powers reading let alone listening..
    By your numbers about 110 are on side and can understand the real situation. The rest are just dead wood neither use or ornament. All career politicians with little or no experience of life all keeping their heads down hoping they can survive until the next GE and then surface and be seen to wslk the talk in the hope they can keep yheir pension pot accumalatimg for another five years.
    The behaviour of the the rogue five hundred highlights just how poor the standard is of our elected MPs. This is a big wake up call to the main parties to change your selection criteria drastically or die. If you asked them what was in the last manifesto they stood on they would struggle.
    I was bought up to believe you have to vote partly to honour those who gave everything to enable us to be given that privalidge to determine our future and destiny. I can now see 520 very good reasons to break yje habit of a lifetime. It is not just brexit it is everything else that your visitors highlight on a daily basis. Westminster as we know it is finished unless it drags itself lout of thee time warp it is in and changes to be fit to serve the people in the 21st century.

    • Hope
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      MPs gave themselves another whopping 2.7 percent pay rise for a part time job that needs no qualifications plus expenses and exemptions to normal,every day citizens. May promised the UK to be a world leading meritocracy plus her claims for social justice, another lie!

      Labour MP released from prison this week after 28 days for a three month sentence. Determined to be not too lenient by Office of Attorney General Cox MP- what a surprise. Gauke wants to abolish such sentences! Now she is free to return to parliament as a convicted liar after serving a sentence for dishonesty. She was paid while in prison. Right to recall was promised in 2009 by all main parties and never delivered by shyster Cameron. It was another gimmick to get elected. It truly is a dishonest, dishonourable swamp.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

        Rather a lot of truth in that. About 150 MPs do richly deserve their pay and more they could earn far more elsewhere and are making a sacrifice – but about 500 would struggle to hold down a job on more than about £25K in the real world.

  7. Tory in Cumbria
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    No one has said we will block imports. The point is our exports. If we leave with no deal, the UK becomes a third country to the EU. All our goods need to be checked to ensure they comply with EU rules. Kent will be a lorry park. It will be catastrophe. Why do you find this so hard to understand? You have been told often enough, by sensible MPs and by trade experts and by business people

    • Richard1
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      You are wrong. There have been frequent assertions by Continuity Remain that there will for some unexplained reason be a shortage of food and medicines, also that supply chains will be disrupted. All these fears imply some kind of blockade on imports.

      99% of goods arriving in the UK & other EU countries are not inspected at the border, why would all UK goods suddenly be subject to such inspections? You make Sir John’s case – just repeating these groundless fears without evidence.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        You’ve had enough comments from others pointing out you are talking nonsense. Will you admit you are wrong?

        • Richard1
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          sorry – what is wrong?

          • Mike Wilson
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

            Sorry. I thought I was replying to Tory in Cumbria.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      There are plenty of other third countries to the EU. Japan, Canada, for example don’t seem to have the problem you mention. No doubt you;d say “yes but Japan and Canada aren’t in line for a punishment beating”.

      I don’t want to be part of an organisation which gives discriminatory punishment beatings to those who wish to leave it. That’s the difference.

    • Adam
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      All products are checked to meet customer requirements or they do not meet demand & don’t sell.

      The EU currently hampers the majority of UK businesses that do not export, by applying EU rules to products that sell only within the UK.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        They also hamper them with endless daft red tape, vast over taxation, fairly appalling public services, bonkers employment laws, expensive energy, poor education and health care, restrictive planning, green crap building regs …..

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          Absurdly complex taxation that wastes even more money in tax planning and compliance costs.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Please explain why Kent wasn’t a “Lorry Park” before 1st January 1973.

      • Andy
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Because there wasn’t nearly so much trade in 1973.

        Image a plug hole. That’s the English Channel.

        In 1973 trade was a small marble. It fits down.

        Now trade is a golf ball.

        The pie has grown bigger because we are all richer.

        Expect a blockage.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          There no delays with goods currently being imported into the UK and Europe from non EU nations.
          UK exports clear ports of entry quickly in non EU countries too.

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          In 1973 there was far less technology and trade was hardly small marble.

          “Expect a blockage.” – I’m sure a large plunger could sort that out.

        • NickC
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Andy, The long term trend for UK exports to the EU27 is downwards, not up as you claim. The ONS said that the proportion of UK exports destined for the EU has dropped from 54.8pc in 1999 to 44.6pc in 2014. It is now about 41%. And that is even as the EU has increased in size.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Drivel, do you think all the container goods arriving in Rotterdam (or Harwich) from say China are individually checked at the port?

      • Know-Dice
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        What are you saying LL that all those container loads of Chinese “CE” marked goods that meet no specification whatsoever, are not individually inspected – surely not !!! 🙁

        And to “Tory in Cumbria” there will only be queues in Kent if ferries don’t run, any inspection of UK exported goods would be done at the first port of entry into the EU. In any-case in general terms it is up to the importer to show that imported goods meet any required specification.

        Why would there be more inspection in the UK of livestock being exported than there is now?

        • rose
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          We hope to outlaw the cruel practice of live export of animals when we leave, which the EU has forbidden us to do up until now. Theresa Villiers has a bill ready.

          • A.Sedgwick
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

            One of the biggest human hypocrisies is the eating of meat, which the individual in most cases could not slaughter – out of sight, out of mind.

            Overpopulation of humans and farmed animals does not excite the environment experts and scientists as much as the weather forecast.

          • Know-Dice
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

            Thanks Rose – agreed…

      • Helena
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        If they contain fruit or vegetables or live animals, then yes, they certainly are

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 3, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        @ Lifelogic,

        Of course they are not. But they could be..

    • Edward2
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      There are no queues of goods coming into UK or into Europe currently from non EU nations.
      Why should that suddenly change?

      Goods are not checked at borders, that is done before the goods travel.
      Only a tiny percentage get pulled aside for checks by customs.
      Felixstowe is one of the biggest container ports in the UK and goods arrive and are unloaded and checked in seconds.

      • Andy
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Not true. There are queues coming into the EU from all non-EU nations. And they are so customs checks can be carried out.

        There are queues at the Turkey border, the Swiss border and the Norwegian border.

        Some of these borders are relatively smooth – Norway and Switerland for example. But they are not frictionless for trade – like ours is with the EU now. And because Brexit means trade frictions it means delay and additional expense for business and consumers. The question is not whether things will cost more – it is how much more they will cost.

        This is what your Brexit means.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          You are being pedantic Andy.
          Delays are minimal as goods pass through ports of entry all over the world.
          Go to Felixstowe and see millions of containers arrive and leave. They get checked loaded and delivered to their destinations every year from all over the world.

          You need to define checks and queues.
          A tiny percentage of goods are chosen for checks and that happens for both EU and non EU goods.
          The main checks are almost 100% electronically done.
          At a road border there can be queues at peak times but this is nothing to do with EU non EU it is customs officers doing their job.

          You focus like most remainers on Dover Calais which is just one minor port of many alternatives.

          Unlike you I have spent decades involved in importing and exporting.
          I can tell you there is only a marginal difference in the processes of dealing with EU and non EU nations.

          • acorn
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            More Brexiter bullshit. “Dover Calais which is just one minor port of many alternatives.” It is the largest RoRo port in the country. It averages 8,000 units a day on average. Portsmouth, as one example, handles 500 units a day.

            Felixstowe, the UK’s largest port by volume, could increase its 10% RoRo trafic; but, Felixstowe to Rotterdam is a seven hour trip; Dover to Calais is 90 minutes.

            “At the moment there are no [Veterinary] Border Inspection Posts at Calais,” Mr Gove told the Oxford Farming Conference on Thursday. “While we do hope the French take steps to build capacity there, that capacity is unlikely by the end of March to be generous.

            “It’s a grim but inescapable fact that in the event of a no-deal Brexit, the effective tariffs on beef and sheep meat would be above 40%,” he added. “In both cases about 90% of that export trade goes to the EU.” And much of it is transported via the Channel Tunnel or from Dover to Calais by sea.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

            Why are remainers so rude?
            I note you restrict your argument to ROLO traffic which is a small amount of traffic compared to container traffic on ships.
            And then you talk about tariffs which I never mentioned.

            Your usual trolling nonsenses acorn

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

          I cross that Swiss/Italian border many times a year there are no queues.

          When you cross from France into Switzerland at Basle all the Swiss customs are interested in is selling you a motorway vignette.

          Please explain what economic catastrophe is being suffer by Switzerland for not being in the EU (and not in the Customs Union or Single Market).

          • acorn
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            Switzerland has over a hundred bilateral agreements with the EU. As a consequence of its partial integration in the EU’s single market, Switzerland pays a financial contribution to economic and social cohesion in the new EU Member States.

            The Bilaterals require Switzerland to adopt the EU law in each of the sectors. And, free movement of persons. That is why you don’t notice any difference driving into Switzerland than any other EU member state. They had a referendum and declined to join the EU. So they 99% joined the EU instead.

          • Andy
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

            How many times have you taken a lorry into or out of Switzerland?

            Yes, I know. It’s none.

            Switzerland does not check people because it is in Schengen. The UK DOES check people because it is not.

            But goods going to and from Switzerland are checked. There are borders. There is bureaucracy and there is delay.

            Now, as borders go the Swiss one is very efficient. But please do not lie and claim there are no queues for lorries because it is just not true.

            The Swiss model is interesting. It participates in large parts of the single market through a huge number of bilateral deals with the EU. It gets no say in the rules it has to follow and it pays into the EU budget. It has to follow EU laws. I have yet to find anywhere in Switzerland which does not accept Euros as payment. If you want a Swiss model – fine. Say so. But recognise that it goes against a whole host of leave promises and that you have no mandate for it.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

            There are queues all over the EU as hundreds of lorries arrive at borders and crossings.
            You have never imported nor ecported andy
            You are just guessing.

        • L Jones
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          And what does your ”remain” mean, Andy? That everything will be cheaper for you and yours and a golden future will beckon in the ever-growing EU empire? To most of us Brexit means very little to worry about where trade is concerned. Don’t you think there are other important things?

          But you never try to justify why the EU is so desperate for us to remain a part of your much-admired ‘organisation’.
          Do you remainers REALLY think it has anything to do with altruism? That your EU masters worry that we won’t make it on our own and want to save us from ourselves? That they don’t want to see the UK suffer as they predict?

          Pity no remainer ever takes the time to tell us about the mindset of their EU, Andy. We know what Brexit means – and it’s not the picture YOU paint.

          • Andy
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            Actually I do. And my posts are always deleted.

        • Maggie May
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          To Andy
          Whether you’re right or wrong is staying in the EU – with all we’ve heard/seen/ read and know about its corrupt ways, its bullying, dictatorial ways and that’s without even mentioning the Lisbon Treaty and what direction that’s leading US ALL – is staying in the EU worth all that and more just because some of you are quivering over some lorries building up in Kent? You need to get real, you need to read the Lisbon Treaty.

    • sm
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Do you seriously imagine, TiC, that every individual piece of meat or machinery exported to the EU is going to be physically unwrapped by inspectors in Calais, Rotterdam or Bremerhaven?

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      TiC please can you go off and join the TIG so the Conservative party can be reclaimed and take former members of the SDP like Greg Clarke with you.

    • Woody
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      What utter rubbish. “Our goods will need to be checked to see if they comply with eu rules” .. where did you get that stone age approach to trade. Of course goods are to comply with the buyers standards .. that currently applies with eu trade and with world trade .. and it is not done at the border and never will be.

      • Andy
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Except that some of it is. Particularly livestock.

        You want to diverge from EU rules which allow free and frictionless trade.

        That is your right.

        But as an outcome of your decision to reject frictionless trade, do not expect to continue to enjoy frictionless trade.

        • graham1946
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          If the EU does decide to check every item on every lorry, it won’t last long.

          The other morning there was a discussion on our local radio and one of our international hauliers said that 3 of 4 lorries carrying goods into and out of the EU are EU companies. Apparently only 1 in 4 lorries going to and from the EU are British. I can’t see EU hauliers putting up with delays like you suggest for long. Yesterday I was on the M25 and can confirm that the number of foreign vehicles going to and from Dover was very high.

        • rose
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          Live Export of animals is going to be outlawed when we are independent. It can’t be while we are run by the cruel Commission.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          A small caveat with “free and frictionless trade”

          We must accept that the EU’s government and the EU’s court reigns supreme over our own.

    • Noneoftheabove
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Checking imported goods which were previously acceptable just because of a change of political relationship is illegal under international law (WTO Rules).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Even if it was not illegal it would be damn stupid, but when did you last hear any member of Theresa May’s government make even a mild criticism of the EU and its way of proceeding?

        Do you hear her saying that since the EU decided to enshrine in its treaties the principle that any member state had the unilateral right to withdraw, which withdrawal would itself inevitably require changes to its treaties, then it should be prepared to make other treaty changes to accommodate the legal and practical complexities of withdrawal?

        No, what we get is our own Prime Minister not only submitting to the EU’s one-sided approach but then offering excuses on its behalf:

        “One of the key issues raised by the European Union around the alternative arrangements actually relates to the significant number of derogations from European Union law that will be necessary to put the alternative arrangements in place.”

        “… he gives a long list of various issues in relation to the alternative arrangements at the border, some of which are precisely the issues that the European Union has raised a question over in relation to the derogations from EU law that would be required.”

      • Len Grinds
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        So you imagine the UK can just leave the EU – and then demand that nothing changes? The day the UK leaves the EU is the day that WTO law requires the EU to treat the UK no better than any other country. That means checks

        • Edward2
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

          If they use the same methods currently used for non EU nation’s imports there will be little change.

    • jerry
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      @Tory in Cumbria; So how does China cope, how does the USA, both export into the EU. Yes a sample of the goods might be inspected (most likely in advance) to confirm that the product meets the CE regulations and carries such a mark legitimately.

      The idea that a 70ft long container will be emptied of 1cm square widgets, all of which will be individually inspected, on their arrival in Rotterdam is laughable.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      “If we leave with no deal, the UK becomes a third country to the EU.”

      We become a “third country” with or without a withdrawal agreement.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      No. I’m definitely hearing from the BBC that stuff coming in won’t get here – medicine, food, etc.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        And no-one ever asks them ‘WHY?’

    • acorn
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Tory, it is worth having a read of They show how process aurientated the EU machine is. Particularly the one on “Customs, taxation, SPS, Import/Export licences, TRQs”.

      The guys at Animal and Plant Health Agency will be having fun. Google: “Guidance Exporting animals, animal products, fish and fishery products to the EU after EU Exit”.

    • Andy
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      I export and none of this is a problem. Grow up.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

      Whatever damage the EU can do to the UK when it is outside of the EU it is nothing compared to the damage the EU can do the UK when inside the EU and thus subject to all the directives, rules and regulations covering taxation, trade, budgetary contributions, immigration, welfare, energy, fishing, agricultural, environmental and foreign policies etc. all decided by persons we do not know, who do not care for the wellbeing of the UK and its peoples, and whom we did not elect and cannot remove.

      Evidence : Our £100bn/year trading deficit with the EU.

  8. formula57
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Well said, although it is a disgrace that your words ring true.

    Those M.P.s have surely sat in Parliament too long for any good they may do.

  9. eeyore
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Pessimistic but powerful. The best answer to their pessimism is reminders from their constituents that if they vote to delay or defy Brexit, come the election they’ll have something to be really pessimistic about. Get those emails in.

    In passing, may I pay tribute to the courage of our host and other Brexit MPs. Their confidence in the face of the hysterical chorus of despair is inspirational. Their necks are on the block, and they know it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      The pessimism is a strategy. To wear us down. It is deliberate.

      Remain have (and always have had) control of the narrative. This is why we have lost Brexit.

  10. Dominic
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    It is pro-EU MPs that are pessimistic but Leave voters.

    While Leave won a democratic vote, Remain political forces have conspired to destroy that mandate while Leave politicians have quietly capitulated thinking we hadn’t noticed their sly, surreptitious body-swerves

    It’s very simple. Leave voters in the real world outside the world of grubby, seditious British politics know that both sets of politicians (Remain and Leave) will betray the vote of 2016. We know this to be true

    The DUP were known as the king-makers. Well, the ERG could’ve been the king-makers and threatened to crush this government but they chose to place their career and party over democracy and country

    Leave voters are tired of your talk. We wanted action, we’ve got verbosity.

    May remains as PM which tells me all I need to know about the commitment of Tory Leave MPs to our democracy and our sovereignty

    This PM will betray democracy and she will betray the UK and you Sir and your so called Leave colleagues are complicit in that process

    Reply Mr Rees Mogg led an attempt to replace the PM but 110 Conservative Pro Leave MPs do not have a majority to displace her

    • Dominic
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      It isn’t pro-EU MPs that are pessimistic but Leave voters.

      • Woody
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        There is a truth in there somewhere .. we are pessimistic that the establishment will even try to implement the democratic decision of the people made in 2016 to leave.

        • Hope
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          JR, that is like asking for the captain of the Titanic to be sacked as the boat sinks, too little too late. You knew her destination before sailing, you knew her appalling record, you knew she should have been relieve of command shortly after sailing when it was clear she was going to betray the nation i.e. 08/12/2017 N. Ireland non issue and underhand dishonest Chequers.

    • Helena
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Leave voters were told they’d get a quick and easy deal with the EU, lots of lovely trade deals with the rest of the world, to pick and choose immigration policy and cash for the NHS. In the real world, where countries have to cut deals and make compromsies, this was never ever possible. Don’t get angry with “Remainers”. Get angry with the Leavers who told you fairy stories about life after Brexit

      Reply Leavers have not been handling the negotiations

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        No, I’ll get angry with Remainers, thanks. If you’d all just shut up after the referendum and accepted the result gracefully, the EU would have realised we were serious and it would have been easy to negotiate our future. But, no, like spoiled brats you have been stamping your feet ever since and the EU thought ‘we can play one side off against the other and stop them leaving’. Well done. This mess is down to you.

        • Oliver
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          100% right.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        They put a person in charge of it all who had a record of:

        A) Striking a catastrophic deal over Hinkley Point

        B) Lost control of immigration

        C) Lost control of crime – particularly knife crime

        D) Paralysed the Tory party with a silly and inaccurate speech

        • rose
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          E) Further demoralised the Police when she should have been lifting them up after Macpherson.

      • Andy
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Except David Davis, Dominic Raab and Stephen Barclay.

        Michael Gove, Chris Grayling, Andrea Leadsom have been in Cabinet throughout. Boris Johnson was for most of it too. Priti Patel also. Brexiteers were given their own department – the Brexit department – to handle it all. Steve Baker, David Jones, Suella Braverman among the incompetents to serve in it.

        At no point did any of these Leavers in government come up with a plan to deliver Brexit on the terms Vote Leave promised. You have not come up with such a plan. Nor has any Eurosceptic in the Tory party or even the country.

        Why is this? Some of us have concluded it is because you can’t.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          These people have been sidelined and removed from the main negotiations.
          Remainers like you Andy have been involved.
          That is why we have the dreadful Withdrawal Agreement instead of a straightforward leaving of the EU

        • Richard1
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          the negotiations have been controlled by mrs may and the remainer civil servants. there has always been an alternative plan for a comprehensive FTA, Canada+ style. But Mrs May has foolishly fallen into the trap of the bogus Irish border issue to avoid it. thats why we are where we are.

        • NickC
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Theresa May sidelined her own DExEU department! DExEU had a Canada deal style White Paper which was trashed at Chequers, after Mrs May had lied to her own Ministers by secretly authorising her No.10 Unit to produce the rival Chequers WP. She even gave her WP to the EU before imposing it on her Cabinet. And lied about that too.

      • Helena
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Raab. Davis ….

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

          Who were ignored and overridden by some chap called Ollie Robbins.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      What a silly and rude post. We live in a Parliamentary democracy. Laws therefore require Acts of Parliament. Sir John and others who want a sensible result have to focus on bringing this about.

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: If three arch remainers can force our fickle PM to break her word on leaving on the 29th then why don’t the ERG threaten to walk out if she doesn’t deliver on her promise? I hope they stick to their guns and do not vote for her humiliating Brino document but fear they are weakening on this as only 20 Tory MPs voted against Evette Cooper’s amendment the other evening.
      I am now beginning to think this would be the best option as the Tory party are finished anyway thanks to May’s diabolical leadership and subsequent betrayal over Brexit. I am now of the opinion that we need a General Election to get rid of all the traitors. If the ERG join forces with Nigel Farage’s new Brexit party, they would wipe the floor with all those EU loving remain MPs. Either that or a second referendum but with only two choices on the ballot – May’s pathetic deal or no deal. Remain should not be an option.

      • rose
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        24 Brexiteers have left the government and it has only strengthened the Remainiacs. The Remainiacs have been appeased all along. Mrs May wasn’t forced by them to break her word: she already wanted to.

        • JoolsB
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Yes you’re right of course. The remainers have been strengthened because May is a remainer herself as are the majority of 650 MPs. The Tory party isn’t really Tory any more, hasn’t been for a long time, and it’s finished anyway or will be post Breixt thanks to duplicitous lying May’s betrayal. What I meant was if ERG can’t force her hand by threatening to resign then better to leave than sign her disastrous and humiliating WA and force a General Election. They alongside Nigel Farage will be the true patriots and certainly the true Conservatives and hopefully will force a purge of all those leftie Liberal EU loving MPs currently calling themselves Conservative, May included, and then a true Conservative party once more can be formed which we can vote for.

  11. Cheshire Girl
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    The saddest thing to me, is that although we ran the British Empire, and apparently with fewer civil servants than we need to run the UK now (feel free to correct me) we are not deemed to be able to run our own country.

    We seem to have lost our confidence. Probably because, for many years, we have been told that we are not competent to manage our affairs without the help of the EU.

    I know times have changed, but it seems that this country has changed beyond recognition, and not always for the better,

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      The British ran India with a smaller workforce than the New York City Dept of Sanitation currently employs. Let that sink in

      • eeyore
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        The India Office may have had a small staff – as did all government offices then – but the Raj employed many thousands. Indians themselves, from rajahs to punkah-wallahs, worked for His Imperial Majesty in countless multitudes.

        Remarkable to think that the Queen is the daughter of an Emperor of India!

        None of which has anything to do with Brexit – but our host is often indulgent with these engaging trivialities.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink


          “Remarkable to think that the Queen is the daughter of an Emperor of India!”

          Self styled. Disraeli arranged the title for Queen Victoria. Apparently she was jealous that her own daughter had become an empress after her marriage to the German Kaiser rather than herself just being a queen.

          • Mitchel
            Posted March 2, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

            Apparently also Disraeli was mindful of the superior titulature of the Tsar-Emperor of Russia and the effect it might have on Indian opinion as Russian forces advanced relentlessly across central asia and closer to the Himalayas.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Dame Rita

        “The British ran India…”

        That no doubt explains why at the beginning of the 18th Century, India’s share of the world economy was 23%, as large as all of Europe put together. By the time the British departed India, it had dropped to less than 4%.

      • Fuddy Duddy
        Posted March 2, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Byt 500 million Indians did not produce as much rubbish as the present inhabitants of NYC.

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Exactly, why do we need 650 MPs if they are so happy to have the EU to do most of their workload for them? More so for the 117 MPs who already see a huge chunk of their workload done for them by their own Governments in Holyrod and Cardiff. Apparently our self serving MPs have snuck through an above inflation £2,000 pay rise for themselves this week, this on top of their 21015 £11,000 pay rise.

      Was there ever a better example of how out of touch our self serving politicians are? Pigs snouts & trough come to mind.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Have their pensions been reformed yet like every other public servant? Have their contributions increased for much longer period? Are their rises in pensions CPI NOT RPI yet……………………we know the answers………..self, Party before National Interest!

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Thucydides:”The tyranny that the Athenian Empire imposed on others,it finally imposed on itself.”

      We lost our empire but failed to divest ourselves of our imperial classes -indeed,it has multiplied in inverse proportion to our declining influence in the world.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      No, Cheshire Girl, WE haven’t lost our confidence.
      WE haven’t lost confidence in ourselves or in our country. It is the many pusillanimous politicians and their civil servants who display no confidence in our country – or is it just that they want to keep their heads down and their noses clean* so they can carry on in their sinecures?

      * (though how they keep them clean I can’t imagine, being in thrall to the EU)

    • Old person
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      The reference you need is in the ‘1900’s CENTRAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT (Hansard, 7 May 1980) – reference marker 1657’

      in 1900, 50,000 civil servants ran central and local government, when the UK population was around 20 million.

      Less than 1% of our current civil servants could have passed the civil service entrance examinations set in the 1900’s.

    • rose
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      As for the Kitchen Cabinet, it is now about three or four times the size of Disraeli’s real cabinet at the height of the Empire. And look at the damage it does.

  12. Stred
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    But The RH Grieve Legion d’Honour is worried that the Irish may buy a full powered Henry in Northern Ireland and hoover their carpets too quickly.

  13. GilesB
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Aspiration trumps fear.

    The Remainers will not be persuaded from Project Fear. The Leavers don’t believe a word of it.

    Rather than wasting thecmedia’s attention on arguing against Project Fear, we need to proclaim the benefits and opportunities of leaving even more loudly.

    • jerry
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      @GilesB; “Aspiration trumps fear.”

      Indeed, except I have not seem much Aspiration from Brexiteers, apart from wanting tax cuts, nothing like what we saw in the USA from Trump, were is the Brexiteers equivalent to MEGA.

      Where is the talk about using the Brexit dividend on capital projects, why not finance our own Nuclear power stations, rather than mortgaging them to other countries, our competitors.

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        But Trump promised and delivered tax cuts-resulting in a trillion $ deficit.And the country’s infrastructure is still falling apart.

        A better example would be what Mr Putin is doing in Russia,squeezing consumption in favour of investment and running twin surpluses,maintaining high real interest rates to minimize malinvestment and leaving the country in a very strong position for the forthcoming international downturn.

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, It’s MAGA. And Trump is running a Trump administration. In contrast we have a Remain running a Remain administration. That’s why we’re not getting Leave.

        • jerry
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; You completely missed my point! Many ardent Brexiteers do not have any greater vision either, other than calling for yet more tax cuts.

          UK industrial strategy today is being made in Tokyo, Beijing, New Delhi, Berlin, Paris, Washington DC, anywhere bar London it would seem. Far to many people in other countries are make decisions that affects the economic well being of the UK.

          Brexit is an irrelevant unless that post Brexit sovereign govt does more than just manages the latest industrial crisis announced to the LSE at 7am, with a Minister (if not the PM or Chancellor) later having to scuttle off to the HoC to answer yet another Urgent Question with regards how the latest decision made outside of the UK will effect UK industrial strategy, our GDP, job losses, factory closures or cost increases to the consumer etc.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink


      ” Project Fear, we need to proclaim the benefits and opportunities of leaving even more loudly.”

      Before we can do this it would we well to remember why we begged to join the EU in first place.

      We were known as the ‘Sick man of Europe’. Industry was collapsing, interest rates were spiralling and inflation was rampant.

      You obviously can’t remember the food, fuel and power shortages of the Heath government or the steadily growing balance of payments deficit. The common market had to pump in 25% of its regional development funds to stabilise the nation, the highest ever figure

      EU membership turned us into the world’s 5th biggest economy, since Brexit alas already dropped into 7th place.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        Three great reformist Conservative governments did that not the EU

        • jerry
          Posted March 2, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; Indeed but they relied on the EEC/EU to do it, ask yourself why Mrs T was so enthusiastic about the Single European Act, even if some of her advisers were not!

          • Edward2
            Posted March 2, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

            I don’t see how that is connected to margaret’s view that it was only the EU which improved the UK.
            It seems tp me that EU fans claim all good things are because of the EU but anything bad is the individual nations fault.

  14. oldtimer
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    All very true. All they offer is a litany of despair. To counter this I will make my own small but tangible contribution to the March to Leave that is being organised towards the end of this month leading up to 29 March. I thought it a nice touch that the penultimate stage will finish in Beaconsfield, the Leave voting constituency of Mr Grieve MP. I will make sure I will be there to support the marchers.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      So will I.

    • hefner
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

      283 miles in 14 days, I hope you have made provision for possible blisters.

  15. George Dunnett
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    On a similar theme, we had Layla Moran on Question Time last night, who quite rightly supports a Palestinian self-governing state (which I think is a righteous cause) but on the other hand wants the UK to be a non-self governing region of Europe where our laws are made by a foreign organisation. Sorry, but I don’t understand these two positions. The Palestinians are being horribly oppressed, but once Europe have their army, it’s only a matter of time before we are too!!

    She has the same logic as Nicola Sturgeon who wants Scotland to be an Independent Country but yet wants to be a full member of the European Union. Sorry, again I don’t understand how you can have these two positions. Sir John, I share your frustration and confusions. May be for some the EU is a cult of some kind and the unthinking believers of the cult are blind to its dark intensions.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      Anything so long as it’s not English – don’t you see the theme that runs through all of this ? And that includes home rule for the English. “Speaking for England” is the strapline for this blog.

      Germany is allowed to say that the Nazis did it.

      Why aren’t we allowed to say that the Empire did it ? At least (unlike the Germans and Nazism) we did not vote for Empire as we weren’t enfranchised until the very end of it.

    • Norman
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      GD – sorry to say, you gave swallowed a lie there – and one which is of the same pernicious pedigree as the relentless Remain propaganda.
      Israel is the only democracy in the ME, and despite the great political divide and smouldering conflict, the non-Jewish population is treated far better than in any Arab country.
      It’s not possible to give extensive sources here, but you could try Melanie Phillips’ ‘The World Turned upside Down’ (2010), and her other writings on this subject.

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        A hugely corrupt one;bearing many similarities with USA in recent times.

  16. Christine
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Pity you can’t do a proper TV debate to show the public what nonsense the remain argument is. Unfortunately the majority of the media is totally biased against Brexit and they control the narrative.

  17. Anthony
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    The trouble is that they do believe this stuff. And they’re not going to change their minds, just as we Leavers won’t. But those MPs have voted and they’re in the majority. That’s the hard fact of the matter. May has shown she will cave in to these MPs around no deal, so whatever the legal default, the politics has no taken over.

    The sad fact is it’s this deal or softer. It should never have turned out this way. But it has and we have to grab the best brexit we can from where we are.

    John, rather than implacably opposing this deal, if you promised to abstain in return for May’s resignation, there would at least be some hope of the next PM fixing this mess. As it stands, MPs simply won’t allow this brexit or no deal. So where does that leave us?

  18. Newmania
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I don`t know how much visible chaos there will be, with the length of time we have all had there is no excuse for being unprepared but that is only a politicians point , ie a lie .
    You can run with weight on your back; you can get pretty good at it, you are highly unlikely to come first however and, over time, Brexit will make us all lose.
    We have competitors in countries who are not governed by the stupidest people in them and they will beat us again and again and again.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      The evidence suggest otherwise. None of the fastest growing countries, nor even these days the most prosperous, are in the EU. Many non-EU countries have dynamic fast growing economies. If we follow the right policies – admittedly an important caveat – there is no reason the UK cannot be like them.

      • Newmania
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Three quarters if the world’s economy is contained in the EU, the US China and Japan. In terms of exporting sophisticated products and services it is, in practice pretty much all in these economic blocks. The most important is the EU and by far the most important to us is the EU because the US has considerable non-tariff trade barriers as does China , in both these cases we have made progress much harder.
        It is , of course exciting that Africa, and what was once called the third world has moved form riding a goat to a moped, but it does not pay my mortgage, require my skills, or figure in any serious conversation starting with “Well how do we replace the customers and supplier we have lost “.Can you imagine how this sounds in a real commercial situation with real customers at risk ?

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          Riding a goat to riding a moped.

          The world does not have the resources so our next generations will be having to share a lot more.

          Are you sure that you’re preparing your kids for the level of competition that they are going to face ?

          And why do Remainers such as Andy argue that we should be going green while (effectively) banging on about how important it is for us to be buying new cars and fridges every three years ?

          I live in a poor post code (I sacrificed for my kid’s – now grown up – education, thank God !) Here we see migrants as equals and competitors, not customers or servants.

          Get that in your head and you can’t go far wrong about why Brexit happened.

          You, of all people, called us xenophobes to nullify our vote yet a recent scientific study shows us to be of the least racist of the EU nations.


          • Anonymous
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            “Are you sure that you’re preparing your kids for the level of competition that they are going to face ?”

            Arts degrees are no longer going to cut it. STEM degrees or technical apprenticeships are the way to go.

            I note the Today paper lists marketing trainees as apprentices… unbelievable. I know. I’ll flick through Yellow Pages and get a block around to sort out my marketing.

            An insult to people trained and examined over three to four years in fixing potentially dangerous things and signing them off fit for public use.

        • Richard1
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

          The discussion goes round in circles. no-one on the brexit side that i’ve heard is arguing for replacing customers and suppliers (unless of course by doing so businesses can get better terms of trade). The more free trade the merrier, inc with the EU.

          The Brexit question is whether in order to have free trade and friendly, co-operative, relations in all sorts of other areas like research and student exchanges, you need supra-national govt. No-one has yet been able to put forward a calm and reasoned argument for why that might be. which i suppose is why the Remain / Continuity Remain focus has always been on saying 1) Brexit will be an economic catastrophe (for reasons always unexplained) and 2) anyone who voted for brexit is a racist / fascist/ old / dead.

          It really just doesn’t cut it does t?!

        • NickC
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

          Newmania, You’re another one who sees our country as Vichy-UK, and wants our young people to experience the up to 50% levels of youth unemployment common in southern EU.

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        “there is no reason the UK cannot be like them”-I think there may well be civilisational reasons why we-and other European countries-will not be like them any time soon.The whole of the west looks tired.Perhaps a good,hard shock is required to turn things around.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


        “. None of the fastest growing countries, nor even these days the most prosperous, are in the EU”

        North European EU countries consistently top the world development index. The best places on earth in terms of governance, for women and children, caring states.

        You can hardly claim that about the ‘fastest growing countries’ by which I suppose you mean China, India etc. Not exactly known for their outstanding human rights records either are they?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          But is that due to the EU or simply because these European countries have a particular democratic freedom loving people who want to live peacefully.

          Red herring alert in your final paragraph.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      I think if you look around the world, you will find the stupidest people are running countries everywhere. If they are not stupid, they are corrupt. More likely both.

  19. Matthew McKenzie
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    What you call ‘pessimism’ most observers – including those outside the UK, not just Remainers – call ‘realism’.

    Leave told us (you told us) the German car industry would lobby hard to sell their vehicles to the UK, even at the expense of Single Market rules. I’m still waiting.

    Leave told us the UK car manufacturing industry would not be damaged. It already is.

    And we haven’t even left yet.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      The car industry is in trouble everywhere.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink


      I do not think it is realism, it is pessimism. In the recent appraisal of whether the UK was prepared for no deal two things stood out (1) the majority of companies had not prepared (2) the 15 year forecast.

      (1) has occurred because the government did not set out to prepare for no deal, did not show optimistic leadership but has put almost all effort into a WA by a run down clock or thereafter. Realistic focus and less pessimistic waffle would get this done. (2) economy being 6 to 9% smaller than it otherwise would be in 15 years – this has been presented as a catastrophe but it represents slowing growth by 0.5% per year, some of which is due to lower population growth. To be clear this is noise compared with policy, e.g. increasing house build by 50000 a year produces this, on the supply side speeding up the rollout of HS2, earlier connection of Manchester and Leeds, the effect of the Corporate tax decrease – all of these would have sizeable effects. Even if one ignores the opportunities identified by Dr Redwood, the catastrophic economic effect isn’t one, and fiscal policy with supply side focus can readily cope. It is extreme pessimism to present a catastrophic picture, it is not realism. The catastrophe can only occur through not having prepared (why would firms prepare for no deal if the PM isn’t positive about it / rules it out – this is govt failure) and/or through economic narratives changing expectations (BoE, Treasury).

      • Andy
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        You can not prepare when you do not know what your are preparing for.

        I could be told to prepare to go on holiday on Saturday but without knowing roughly where I am going it would not be much helpful.

        I could pack nothing but Speedos which would I be great if we end up in Dubai – but not much use if we go to Val d’Isere.

        Similarly I could pack skiing gear which would be no use in a jungle.

        Tell business what to prepare for and they’ll prepare.

        • agricola
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          Think positive lad, sun bathing at the top of an alp or sand dune skiing. Don’t overdo it though there is much other diversion in either location.

        • Mitchel
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Oliver Cromwell once said that the man who did not know where he is going goes furthest.Time for a big adventure!

        • Caterpillar
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Andy, shockingly we agree! If the Govt had been optimistically committed to leave (mitigate, leave, trade, negotiate) then businesses would prepare. The risk, hazard and uncertainty have been created by the Govt.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          You are asking others to predict the future andy.
          It is difficult to do this in or out of the EU.
          Looking back we see standards of living improving in Europe since 1945 by huge amounts.
          There is no reason why this cannot continue if we remain peaceful and are governed by decent democrats who encourage freedom and enterprise.

          • Andy
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            Wait – you admit that standards of living have vastly improved over the last 75 years? The majority of which we have been in the EU and its predecessors. How can this be when the evil empire thwarts all of your attempts to make us richer?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

            Standards of living have improved all over the world where wars have not ruined that process.
            Only a handful of nations out of 160 are in the EU
            And the EU began in 1993

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      Matthew McKenzie, I told you that the EU would be so intransigent and nasty we should just walk away. I told you that Art50 was a trap. And I have been telling you this since 2003, and more pointedly since about 2013.

      And all the sensible Leave politicians I have read (some of whom agree with me) have indicated that the rational result would be a balanced RTA (with no EU control over us) provided the EU was not in self-harm mode. You have witnessed how hostile the EU is, so it’s no surprise I was right.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 2, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      You think the leaders of Volkswagen, Audi, Mercedes and BMW have not had a word with Merkel about one of their biggest export markets! They are hardly going to do it publicly.

  20. Mick
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink
    These champagne socialist will be toast at the next GE especially up north, all these bloody nose in troughs care about is themselves, they might think they’ve got the support of the country but they are seriously delusional the only following they have is the gullible snowflake society of the London bubble, so come on Mrs May call a GE after we leave the Eu hopefully in March 29th so that the public can consign these and other Eu loving muppets to the dustbin and fill Westminster with true British patriots

  21. sm
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    The whole EEC/EU concept is, I believe, a comfort blanket to ardent Remainers. Gradually handing over responsibility for our lives, first to national government, then to a higher authority, is a kind of regression to childhood.

    When one works in the political world, whether as an elected representative or an active supporter, how often does one hear the phrase from members of the public: “someone should do something about it…”

    Perhaps Leavers tend to be the kind of people who believe in their own ability to “do something about it”, as far as possible?

    • JimS
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      “ask not what your country can do for you–ask what you can do for your country” – JFK

  22. Everhopeful
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Brainwashing probably.

    How long have schools been teaching distorted left-wing “history” in schools? “Teachers” pushing the mythology of European unity being inevitable.

    I meet people like the Remain MPs. For them politics has taken on a sort of religious morality. They repeat the mantra of “ Brexit uncertainty” and “ Falling off a cliff” like a well-learned prayer and their beliefs brook no argument.

    This is why it is so dangerous for govts to undermine religion and then to destroy freedom of speech.

    New intolerant “religions” take the place of the old and “dissenters” are villified. We know from real history where that can lead.

    And none of it is about morality or fairness or fluffy pink bunnies.

    It is all about power and money.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      * how long have they been teaching distorted left-wing “history” in schools?

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      “This is why it is dangerous for governments to undermine religion…”I believe you are right;although one of the reasons given for the rise of the West has been the separation(and,therefore,undermining) of religion from state,the state has since been fetishized and a creeping totalitarianism has set in-right or left,not much difference.

      The fusion of state and religion/spirituality/ideology has always appeared to be a fact of life in the East with (inherently political) Islam and the Caesaropapism of Eastern Orthodox Christianity(in the Byzantine and Russian Empires) and,even, the Soviet Union where the godless scientific socialism of Marxism-Leninism soon,in practice,became an act of unquestioning faith replete with icons,mantras and sacred relics.).Probably China,too,with the notion of a celestial mandate conferring the right to rule all under heaven.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Great reply.
        Many thanks!

  23. RichardM
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Its got nothing to do with pessimism. Remainers listen to the evidence, and do not believe those who have previously lied to us by saying how easy brexit would be because we hold most of the cards.
    The problem is no leaver can prove with fact based evidence that it wont be catastrophic.
    You just say it wont, but are unable to present a clear solution as to how it wont. Which it wont be of course for the super rich who have paid for it and will profit from the turmoil.
    The rest of us are expected to just believe and ignore the evidence.

    It’s the same with climate change. There is a definite correlation with those who deny the impact of leaving with no deal and those who deny climate change is nothing to do with mankind doubling the level of CO2 in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution.

    • JimS
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      What kind of ‘remain’ did the ‘remainers’ vote for? Ever closer union? Loss of our armed forces? Loss of our seat on the UN security council? Replacement of the pound and locked into EU fiscal policy? Driving on the right?

      Perhaps remainers didn’t know all the ‘facts’ or were ‘too stupid’ to make the decision?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Yet our EU membership is all about being able to change up your car every three years !

      You cannot argue for greenism and never ending economic growth at the same time.

      Greenists should be excited about Brexit austerity !

    • Martyn G
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      I have long wondered whether or not someone would eventually associate climate change/global warming as a factor in the leave vote. It seems it is you, RichardM.
      Do please provide us with the proof of your statement “There is a definite correlation with those who deny the impact of leaving with no deal and those who deny climate change is nothing to do with mankind doubling the level of CO2 in the atmosphere since the industrial revolution”.

      • RichardM
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        I didn’t say it was any sort of factor in the leave vote. The schoolchildren march was scorned by many of you extreme right wingers who post here, any many right wing Tory politicians. The right wing press was positively raging about it. All people demanding we leave brexit to honour a non legally binding referendum.
        One of the biggest factors in Leave winning was targetted advertising on social media platforms.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Richard M, The reason is so simple even you can understand it. Leave (leaving the EU treaties) results in us being independent of the EU. Just like the other 165 nations in the rest of the world. How we do in comparison to them is then up to us. But that’s no different to being in the EU – unless you are contending the EU would endlessly subsidise the UK if we Remain in.

  24. Adam
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    All products are checked to meet customer requirements or they do not meet demand & don’t sell.

    The EU currently hampers the majority of UK businesses that do not export, by applying EU rules to products that sell only within the UK.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Adam, are you saying then that these firms should be allowed to sell us inferior goods not fit for export?

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        No, Margaret, he is saying “All products are checked to meet customer requirements or they do not meet demand & don’t sell.” Can’t you read?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Sales of Goods Act has been law since 1893.
        And laws on commercial contracts and more recent laws on health and safety.
        Then there are the Trading Standards departments of all Local Authorities.
        Try selling poor quality or unsafe goods and see what happens.

  25. Richard1
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Good summary. It is quite extraordinary how assertions that WTO Brexit will be “a catastrophe” are never followed with so much as a single follow up question as to why.

  26. Captain Peacock
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    I trust very few MPs wouldn’t it be great it they could only serve 2 terms after that get a job in the real world. Corbyn 45 years in politics hasn’t a clue of life in the real world.

  27. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    So just as blair infiltrated our schools and places of learning to indoctrinate everyone as snowflakes, so that has also happened to those that sit in the one place we expect better values of – Those we imagined could think for themselves.
    We have Propaganda to blame, and unless we find a way to counteract the poison from the establishment controlled media, then we will not get through to the MP’s who are just too brainwashed to understand the truth. How do you wake up the affected?
    How about a billboard campaign to tell MP’s that their jobs and cushy lifestyle hang in the balance…..!

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      @ Bryan Harris

      Breitbart is not propaganda, I guess?

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        @ Rien Huizer

        From what I have seen of Breitbart, it is neither biased nor misleading…

        You should check out the difference between Truth and propaganda…. but you miss the point and muddy the water – There is an overwhelming amount of anti-WTO-Brexit scare stories in all media, and you pull out one small example of an outlet trying to give a balanced view… I’d say that puts you in the biased remoaner club

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          @Bryan Harris,

          If anyone believing Breitbart to be neither biased nor misleading is a member of the ” biased remoaner club” I must have a lot of respectable friends.. However, you may have noticed that I am one of those continentals who believes (and has done so for a very long time) that the UK does not belong in the EU club. So despite the fact that I think that Britishers who want to leave the EU are not quite familiar with the consequences, I am not a remainer* and would not be one if I were British.

          * the UK has too many opt outs and an undermining attitude to be considered a loyal and constructive member of this club. So being in favour of remaining would continue this unsatisfactory situation. I would of course be in favour of the UK being a full member participating in Schengen, Euro and without discounts, rather than being a partial free rider. And of course I have nothing against the British as a people, on the contrary.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

            Yet one of the top EU nations in terms of money paid in over the years since we joined.
            Interesting to see your dislike of the UK revealed and your total lack of gratitude towards the contributions made by the UK.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted March 2, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

            @Rien Huizer … You clearly are on the remain side …. as Edward suggests you would be worse off, personally, financially when we leave – Why do you europhiles hate the UK so much when we have given so much in so many ways? Perhaps it is because we have been gullible and stupid.
            Do you really understand the EU – I doubt it – You have no idea what it is you are supporting, and what your future will be like.
            British people are totally aware of the consequencies of leaving – We know the EU will make it hard – we know the EU will insist on punishing us in a variety of ways for daring to want to leave and upsetting their grand plans.
            As for the UK being a free rider – We have paid far more into this project than we ever got out, so do not insult us with such comments.
            etc ed
            Do you work for the EU?
            You should declare your interests before you argue on a British topic…

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    None of this is good enough, JR. I must now seriously consider whether there is anything more I could possibly ever do to make even the slightest contribution to freeing us from our present domination by the EU. In fact looking at this vote on Wednesday:

    when 288 MPs in effect expressed their willingness for the UK to be held prisoner by the EU at its pleasure, forever, contrary to the safeguard deliberately inserted into Article 50 TEU*, and only 36 more, 324, voted against that, then I can’t help feeling that we are now very close to the end game when a majority of MPs will finally come out and openly vote to ignore the referendum result.

    “Amendment proposed: (k), in line 1, leave out from “House” to end and add—

    “is determined not to leave the European Union without a withdrawal agreement and future framework under any circumstances, and regardless of any exit date.”—(Ian Blackford.)

    Question put, That the amendment be made.”

    “Ayes: 288 Noes: 324”


    “3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2 … ”

    These 288 MPs would prefer the first paragraph of Article 50 to be changed from:

    “Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.”


    “No Member State may withdraw from the Union without the agreement of the Union.”

    That is the position we have now reached, thanks to the treachery of Theresa May and her ilk in government and the folly of Tory Brexiteers who keep proposing patently unrealistic solutions to the legal and practical problems of withdrawal.

    • Hope
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Dennis, March leave starts on 16 th March read their website. Perhaps we could all meet up on the way?

    • rose
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      Denis, have you read today’s article by an anonymous civil servant over on Brexit Central on the Political Declaration? You better had if you haven’t already. I am guilty of not having bothered with the Political Declaration till now, thinking it was of no importance as it wasn’t a treaty in the making. But it seems it is like the December Joint Report – an absolute stinker of a treaty in the making.

      Here is an example:

      Fishing is surrendered as a shared resource, with an agreement on quotas, management of stocks and continued EU free access to UK waters to be ratified by 1st July 2020. And should we enter the backstop, we will not be allowed to leave it unless we sign a fisheries agreement with the EU as set out in this linked Political Declaration.”

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 2, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        Dear rose, what would be the point of reading it? The best we can hope for is that we leave on March 29th and afterwards the lies being told by Theresa May and her friends and allies will gradually come home to roost for her Tory successor, and we somehow manage to wrest ourselves free from the continuing EU control to which she is so determined to condemn us. If that did happen it would be against the equally determined opposition of the new Tory leader, whoever he or she might be, as the Tory MPs will only offer the Tory members a choice of two europhiles as per usual, and the CBI, and the EU, and of course the Irish government which will have a national veto on any new treaty between the UK and the EU proposed in place of the backstop. Personally I cannot see myself devoting as much time to that over the next twenty years as I have over the past twenty years, only to see the Tory party betray us.

    • Bernard Gallivan
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Reply to DC

      I agree with your analysis. But, surely, not all of these 288 MPs want to see the U.K. in E.U. shackles? Are they really too stupid to see the light or too timid to do the honorable thing ? (no, not resigning as other Leave supporting MPs have done, thus making the arithmetic favour the remainers yet more since remainer MPs flaunt Gov policy with equanimity). They must stand up and be counted.

  29. Kevin
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    “They tell us leaving without a deal would be ‘catastrophic'” /i>

    But they had two years and going on nine months to manage the risk. What specifically have they done in that area?

  30. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    We NEED a referendum between Mrs May’s Surrender or WTO Deal.

  31. Andy
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    They’re pessimistic because they can listen to experts and read evidence – virtually all of which says Brexit will make most things worse for YOUR constituents.

    The question is not why do they believe people who know what they are talking about. The question is why you don’t?

    It is not credible to claim that you know more about the car industry than the people who run it. But you do. Mark Francois, who ripped up a letter from Airbus on live TV, does not know more about Airbus than the boss of Airbus. But he thinks he does.

    The heads of pharmaceutical companies and Royal College know more about medicines than any of you. Yet Brexiteers claim otherwise. People who live along the Irish border know more about the Irish border than Iain Duncan Smith. But not according to him.

    This is why I believe Tory Brexiteers will end up in prison. It is not about disagreeing – it is about negligence. You have been presented with overwhelming evidence about the damaging negative impact of all forms of Brexit – but particularly no deal. You have chosen – and it is a choice – to dismiss all of this. If you subsequently turn out to be wrong you have a lot of explaining to do. Brexiteers need to understand they will own the blame if Brexit goes wrong. You are prepared to risk our country so, no doubt, you are prepared to risk your freedom too.

    Reply So far we have been right. How about punishment for those who forecast massive jobs losses, house prices falls and a recession for the first year after a Leave vote?

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      Ritght about what? Job losses? house price falls? Is that the best you can do? Nothing at all to do with EU membership.
      You don’t mention the important things that affect all of us like the fact that the £ has fallen by 12% since Brexit.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        Unemployment is at its lowest for decades.
        Much lower than the Eurozone average.
        House prices are still rising although I assumed you would be happier with lower prices.
        The pound v euro has gone from parity to above 1.50 over the years before the referendum vote, why did that happen?

    • Alan Joyce
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mr. Redwood,

      Well Andy, we are waiting for your reply. Nothing to say?

      If Mr. Redwood had not made clear his article was about Remain MP’s, I’d swear he was talking about you.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Andy, We are perfectly capable of being as independent as New Zealand, as you well know. There is nothing magic about the EU and most of the world is not in it. We don’t have to be in either.

      Being independent is certainly preferable to being in Vichy-UK with up to 50% youth unemployment as you want.

  32. Dominic
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Tuesday, 12 March 2019

    The death of British democracy

    The rise of authoritarianism

    The death of popular representation

    Mandelson’s dream of a ‘post-democratic age’ will become a reality

    Thanks to all Tory Brexiteers. Your loyalty to May’s government and her plan to crush a popular democratic revolt will stand you in good stead

    I hope the EU subjugate the nation and our Parliament with a blizzard of new regulations

    If we can’t secure our independence and our sovereignty then we may as well exist as a vassal region of the German economic construct

    The Parliamentary Tory party is now little more than an extension of the EU’s client State

    I can only hope that at the next GE we see a massive surge against two main parties

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Yup. Turn Westminster into a museum.

      We only need local councillors, not TWO governments.

      • RichardM
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        It certainly needs drastically reducing in size. The 2016 Tory policy to reduce from 650 to 600 MPs is not enough. No doubt this will get quietly dropped.

      • NickC
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Anon, That is correct, we don’t need two governments. If MPs go for Theresa May’s dWA or we end up with hard Remain, there is no point to Westminster at all. An English toy parliament in Birmingham to go with the toy parliaments in Edinburgh, Cardiff and Dublin, with the EU in control is the obvious end result. The HoL needs scrapping now even if we get some form of Leave.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Mandelson’s “dream” was already a reality at the time he said that.If it had still been a mere aspiration he wouldn’t have let the cat out of the bag so provocatively.

      Tony Blair’s government merely completed the process begun in 1941/2 when Churchill sold our empire and future independence to the Americans and Roosevelt’s American-led internationalist dream which,under his successors, required our participation in the European project.

      • Bernard Gallivan
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Churchill was forced by USA to give part of our Empire away in exchange for a few measly destroyers to fight the Germans. He had no choice because, yet again, we were unprepared for the storm as we are at present.

        • Mitchel
          Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Churchill was also a deluded fantasist where America was concerned with his reverie about a union of the English-speaking peoples and the Brits being the Greeks of a new Roman American empire.”He forgot who won the American War of Independence” as one historian put it.

          I think a number of people on here are similarly deluded about the friendship of America-the state-and I say that as a Brexit supporter.

          John Charmley’s 1995 “Churchill’s Grand Alliance-the Anglo-American Special Relationship 1940-57” is a devastating critique of that delusion and I can thoroughly recommend it as an antidote to the haggiography that frequently passes for biography where Churchill is concerned.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      If the EU’s ”consent” for a GE is given, of course.

    • Maggie May
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      To Dominic. So Germany did win WW11 then, it’s just taken us seven odd decades to realise it. Strange what takes place while you’re sleeping!

  33. rick hamilton
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Obviously big business doesn’t want any change to the current trading arrangements because any change – anything – is going to cost them some extra time and money. But that is what business does all the time, adjust to changing terms of trade, in order to survive. The main ones being foreign exchange and interest rates which are outside their control.

    So really with the CBI and others, it is a case of ‘They would say that wouldn’t they’. But Remainer MPs (and media) appear too stupid, or lacking in real-world experience, to see that.

  34. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Let’s assume we ‘leave’ with May’s deal and we are stuck in the backstop.

    In the 2022 election the new Brexit Party ‘s manifesto promises we will totally and actually leave the EU. 17.4 million vote for them and, at last, toe stranglehold on power the Tory and Labour Parties have is broken. What will stop the new Brexit Party government from leaving properly and ignoring May’s deal and the backstop?

    • L Jones
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      ”What will stop the new Brexit Party”? The EU, of course. Would they really allow us to carry on organising ourselves by our own rules? Especially if it means they would be deprived of their cash cow.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        How would they stop us? Not the old invasion again?

  35. Dominic
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    By your backing of this government you yourself have become a Tory Remain MP

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Dominic, Harsh and unfair. But we are looking at the survival of our nation so I understand your frustration.

  36. Know-Dice
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    EU rejects no deal citizens rights call

    “Responding to Mr Costa’s amendment, European Commission spokesperson, Mina Andreeva, said “the best way to protect the rights of these 4.5 million people concerned is through the withdrawal agreement.

    “We will not negotiate mini deals, because negotiating such mini deals outside the withdrawal agreement would imply that the negotiations have failed.”

    I know this is the BBC whose reporting standards need to be questioned nowadays, but…

    I say well done Mr Costa for having moral integrity..

  37. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Well said, Sir John. But let’s see just what kind of candidates are selected by the Conservative Party to replace the three departing Tiggers, something that should be progressed as a matter of urgency. It would be nice to see that the three PPCs are all men and women of proven ability – and that none have gone through the well-trodden PPE/CHQ/Spad route to lord it over us.

  38. Iain Moore
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    It’s not just an issue that has occured with Remain MP’s for this pessimism has been endemic in our establishment for a long time. It was around when we joined the EEC when they ‘wanted to manage our decline’, and all bar a little bit of relief from it when Mrs Thatcher handbagged some self confidence into them, it has been around pretty much continuously ever since. I don’t believe our establishment ever got over the loss of empire, and I always thought the Civil Service believed it was beneath their skills to run a ‘small’ country so sought to sell our country out so that they could be part of the EU project.

  39. oldwulf
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Why does any MP believe that their opinion (above any differing opinion) is sufficiently important so that they feel justified in seeking to block or delay “Brexit”, contrary to the will of the majority in a UK democratic vote?

    These people are obnoxiously arrogant.

    Perhaps the only valid reason is that their constituency voted “Remain”.

    It seems to me that:
    – They have little or no confidence in their ability to govern us and/or
    – They are looking for an easy ride where many of the laws and decisions are made elsewhere and/or
    – They are taking action which they think will preserve their position as an MP and which they think may preserve their party and/or
    – They directly or indirectly benefit from the EU gravy train and/or
    – At some point in the future they hope to benefit directly or indirectly from the EU gravy train and/or
    …… etc

  40. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    You wonder why the “remain” people are so negative. From what I see there is not much of remain left: who is advocating continued membership? Because the only way to “remain” is to continue membership. No future relationship except membership can be called “remain”.

    Bu I presume you consider (sincerely or politically I am not sure) “remain” anyone who does not want an uncooperative end to the art 50 period and even the PM’s proposal in essence a form of remain, while it is very from from that (except during the transition period).

    Anyway, it is not hard for people who understand economics to be pessimistic about the short term to medium term effects of a no deal outcome. It is even trivial. EU members do not have to anticipate the inevitably costly adaptation to third country status and their populations show overwehelming support for avoiding that type of adaptation. No one takes seriously that economically the UK would be booming in a “no deal” scenario. The jobs that will replace the automotive and civil aerospace ones that will disappear are not with Google or Amazon. Your own political friends now admit that there may be some short term pain.

    As to the longer term, it is nonsensical to be pessimistic or optimistic about a world that is , say 15 years away. No one knows what that world will look like in sufficient detail to make policy, except for long term projects (good example: assuming that the sea level will rise X, the governments of The Netherlands or Bangla Desh must prepare their water defenses now, because that sort of thing has a very long lead time).

    But optimism is fine, psychologically more pleasant than pessimism. And who knows, there is an outside chance that the UK will come to its senses before it is too late..

    • Edward2
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      “not much remain left”
      Are you joking !
      Remain has a majority in Parliament and in the media.
      It is all we hear from the new rich elite.
      Remain are trying hard to stop us leaving on March 29th
      Delay attempts, Second Referendum campaigns and the dreadful Withdrawal Agreement are all current examples.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 3, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        @ Edward2

        Remain means continuing EU membership. Leave means (at least) terminating that membership. As far as I can see there is a law that says the membership will be terminated on 29March 2019. That is what the government is trying to do and there is very little actual discussion of repealing that law. Only repealing that law would be a “remain” act and anything else is brexit. Simple.

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      Rien, You post some pretty peculiar stuff, but this caps the lot. Around 500 MPs out of 650 want to Remain. Read Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement – 585 pages of verbiage hiding a single customs territory, alignment with the SM, effectively subject to CFP, CAP, CCP, EU military, security and diplomatic control, paying vast sums of our money, subject to the ECJ, and on, and on. It is a travesty of Leave. With the backstop and no exit clause it is an outrage. You do not get to call black, white.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 3, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        @ Nick C

        Those MPs may want to “remain” but they are not working towards that end. The WA is simply a way to deal with financials, the modalities of the transition and assurances such as the backstop. The political declaration is the part you should be focusing on if you like to be rid of the EU.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 3, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      They cannot openly go against the referendum so, they are trying to frustrate it and deliver BRINO.

  41. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    Can we now please have a real debate on some of the fundamental problems in this country of ours.
    -Low educational standards
    -Lack of infra -structure investments
    -Obesity among young people
    -Lack of vision for the future

    • NickC
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Hans, No, let’s look at your favourite ideology. An ideology for the benefit of unelected apparatchiks like Selmayr and Juncker as they take down Greece and now try the same tricks on Italy. The EU is rotten from top to bottom.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 2, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink


        You still have not told me what your definition of an ideology is?

        • hefner
          Posted March 2, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

          HCI, don’t you know, right wingers are never ideologues, only full of common sense. Only left-wingers are ideologues. That’s the premice of any discussion on this blog, because that’s what most of the contributors here have been spoon-fed since their tender age.
          I would think better to let them enjoy the coming full Brexit, with the all the add-ons provided by all the ERG and assimilated luminaries.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 3, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      1) NHS – Allow people to opt-out and have their own private health insurance. ie Competition.

      2) Privatize education. Make Teachers pay directly proportional to results of the school as a whole. Bad teachers get bad pay.

      3) Let the market provide. It has worked well in the past.

      4) Their lives, their problem. But at least they are not starving like some children are in the world.

      5) Define poverty ?

      6) Easy. Put the International Development fund money into providing more shelters for these people.

      7) Better politicians. We will get that once we are out of the EU and we can start separating the wheat from the chaff.

  42. agricola
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Para 1 Yes peddlers of doom. The first to be fed to the fishes as they are bad for morale.

    Para2 No they are not fit to lead. After leave we need a whole new class of leadership epitomised by competence in any useful skill apart from telling the rest how to conduct their lives or selling some atrophied political philosophy. Dependence on the EU for law and guidance is for the intellectually challenged and congenitally lazy.

    Para 3 4 5 It is long overdue that we get vocal and repeticious about the positive side of trade under WTO rules
    1. 60% of our trade is conducted this way and it is in surplus.
    2. It opens the rest of the World to us.
    3. Economies in the rest of the World are growing , the EU is declining. We are also in defecit to the EU.
    4. Signing the WA will cost us £39 billion that government is admitting to. The real end cost could be much more.
    5. We regain our democracy and sovereignty.

    Para 6 The Irish border is a manufactured issue to ensure that leave does not happen. I suspect concocted by Barnier Robbins and a May blinded by a piece of ” Yes Minister” scripting. It lost her two Brexit ministers. This whole farce requires us to call the EUs bluff. Barnier declared in 2016 that “I will have done my job when the UK decides to remain in the EU.”

    Better to just leave because the Backstop is only one disadvantage to us of the WA. When the EU realise they have no money they will wake up. Leaving on WTO terms and invoking Art 24 of GATT would give continuity of trade until a new agreement was signed. A win win situation. Rather than responding to the cliff edge rhetoric we should be very vocal in selling the full panoply of advantage of WTO terms. The nay sayers should be made to face up to the ill informed idiots they are. They were wrong about ERM, the Euro, the millenium bug, our economy after the referendum, employment. How many times are remainers allowed to screw up before they are called to account.

  43. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Perhaps it is because they are frightened of change.

    The changes forced upon them when the UK becomes a sovereign and independent country once more. Scared that they will be have vitally important work to do. Terrified that they will have to make decisions for themselves. And most importantly, petrified that they will be held to account for those decisions if they turn out to be wrong.

    At the moment it is said about two-thirds of UK law is influenced by or emanates from the EU. MP’s have power without responsibility. It is easy for them to take the credit when things go well and blame the EU when it goes badly.

    The Civil Service with its inbuilt pro-European bias is similarly afflicted.

    Too many MP’s have little experience of industry and commerce. As others on this blog have pointed out, Lifelogic in particular, the path to Parliament is too well trodden. PPE degree, join a major party, head of party research into this or that, get official MP candidature, become a PPS, rise up the greasy pole, etc.

    In the HofC just the other day, I listened to Hilary Benn excoriating those for daring to talk about trading across borders and continents without having any practical experience or qualification for doing so. Yet, it does not seem to prevent him from pontificating on matters all and sundry having spent most of his life mostly talking – about matters all and sundry. I do not single Mr. Benn out for criticism; he was merely the latest example I could think of.

    Most people are reluctant when faced with change. Many prefer the status quo to the unknown. I guess MP’s are no exception. But in future if all goes well, those who would be our leaders should consider whether they are made of the ‘right stuff’.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 3, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      And most importantly, petrified that they will be held to account for those decisions if they turn out to be wrong.

      BINGO !!!!


  44. a-tracy
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    “THE UK Government has paid Eurotunnel £33million over ferry contracts it handed out to shipping companies as part of no deal Brexit plans.” Who is responsible for this?

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Chris Grayling?

    • hefner
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      The very same Chris Grayling who made a mess of the prison reform, cannot keep the private prisons to follow their brief, and who as Minister for Transport has been responsible for a mess on the revision of the train schedules, presided every year of his tenure over train tariff hikes for commuters in excess of the inflation rate (whatever one is chosen), the handling of the Gatwick airport drone scare, the Kent Lorry “rehearsal”, the Ramsgate “ghost” ferries and now the £33m to Eurotunnel.

      Theresa May still has full confidence in this sad clown, and there will always be a MP dumber than Grayling (funnily generally a Brexiter) to defend him.

      • hefner
        Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        Or, or, or … different reading: Chris Grayling is supremely efficient as the dismantler-in-chief of the State. In which case to please a non-negligible number of contributors on this blog, he should be the next Prime Minister.

    • hefner
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      And if you are worried about the Eurotunnel’s £33m, wait till the ISDS clauses on future trade deals between the UK and other countries apply. You haven’t seen anything yet.

  45. Oliver
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    I have just been reading an excellent book, “Churchill and Attlee”. It quotes Leo Amery’s “In the name of God, Go!” speech.

    The text is here:

    but if you will permit here are a few less well known excepts, perhaps the first at least worth noting (please feel free to edit the rest away, if you chose):

    The whole of Parliament has a grave responsibility at this moment; for, after all, it is Parliament itself that is on trial in this war. If we lose this war, it is not this or that ephemeral Government but Parliament as an institution that will be condemned, for good and all…

    This afternoon, as a few days ago, the Prime Minister gave us a reasoned, argumentative case for our failure. It is always possible to do that after every failure. Making a case and. winning a war are not the same thing. Wars are won, not by explanations after the event but by foresight, by clear decision and by swift action. I confess that I did not feel there was one sentence in the Prime Minister’s speech this afternoon which suggested that the Government either foresaw what Germany meant to do, or came to a clear decision when it knew what Germany had done, or acted swiftly or consistently throughout the whole of this lamentable affair. ..

    We cannot go on as we are. There must be a change. First and foremost, it must be a change in the system and structure of our governmental machine. This is war, not peace. The essence of peace-time democratic government is discussion, conference and agreement; the Cabinet is in a sense a miniature Parliament. The main aim is agreement, the widest possible measure of agreement. To secure that it is necessary to compromise, to postpone, to rediscuss. Under those conditions there are no far-reaching plans for sudden action. It is a good thing to let policies develop as you go along and get people educated by circumstances. That may or may not be ideal in peace. It is impossible in war. In war the first essential is planning ahead. The next essential is swift, decisive action…

    Just as our peace-time system is unsuitable for war conditions, so does it tend to breed peace-time statesmen who are not too well fitted for the conduct of war. Facility in debate, ability to state a case, caution in advancing an unpopular view, compromise and procrastination are the natural qualities—I might almost say, virtues—of a political leader in time of peace. They are fatal qualities in war. Vision, daring, swiftness and consistency of
    decision are the very essence of victory. ..

  46. KZB
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    On the border question: what about phytosanitary checks?
    The EU has Border Posts and one of their tasks is physical checking of meat products and livestock.
    Currently this does not happen at the NI/ROI border. But it will after Brexit unless some deal is done.
    So what is the plan for this? We never get to hear.

  47. Malcolm White
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Sadly, I agree with everything you’ve said, Sir John.

    As George Eustice indicates, it’s humiliating to see what these individuals are doing to our country.

    It’s staggering that so many – presumably semi-intelligent – MPs simply do not understand the implications of the Withdrawal Agreement and the Political Declaration or indeed of being/remaining in the EU in the first place.

  48. rose
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    This pessimism stems, I think, from the MPs having grown up in a world where the National Interest is a dirty phrase and where Independence and Freedom are not valued. A world where peace and prosperity are taken for granted because they have not been recently fought for. We have had a cultural revolution and they really are citizens of nowhere, with loyalty only to fashionable causes, one of which is the EU project. they can’t conceive of 1939-45 or how business just joined in with the rest of the country in winning the war. They didn’t say, oh our supplies will be interrupted or we might have to adapt in some way.

  49. John Payne
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    John, you make some good points about remainer’s but Prime Minster is not helping by allowing this division in Parliament by her dithering and refusing to accept all less complicated alternatives to her disgustingly corrupt withdrawal agreement.
    She ignored her Brexit Minister suggestions by joining forces with a pro EU civil servant to conduct her own secret pro-EU deal. Totally ignored well broadcasted disgust with her Chequers proposal, the list of complaints could go on much longer.
    She has deliberately delayed negotiations to leave no time for alternatives. I get no pleasure in saying if we do not leave the EU on 29 March I suggest you look for another party, if you want to remain an MP because Conservative party will go the way of Lib Dems.

  50. BR
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Once again, I agree wholeheartedly. The remain ‘argument’ is non-existent, consisting entirely of assertions with no substance to back it up.

    My question, as ever, is: do you have a plan to get a ‘real Brexit’ over the line in 4 weeks’ time? I.e. one that leaves all major EU institutions (SM, CU, ECJ, and associated FoM).

  51. VotedOut
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink


    ‭(‬a‭) ‬Extension of Article-50‭ = ‬Tory annihilation at the polls
    (b‭) ‬Accept withdrawal agreement modification‭ = ‬Tory annihilation at the polls
    (c‭) ‬No Deal‭ = ‬negotiate FTA within the year‭ (‬nothing to argue about‭)

    What WILL happen:

    Extension of Article-50‭ ‬for‭ ‬2‭ ‬years‭ (‬only option given by EU to UK‭)


    ‭(‬1‭) ‬PM will resign.
    ‭(‬2‭) ‬Tory voters stay at home
    ‭(‬2‭) “‬purple momentum‭” ‬gathers strength increasing centrifugal forces inside‭ ‬Tory party
    ‭(‬3‭) ‬New anti-EU party strips‭ ‬Tory vote share‭ ‬and funding
    ‭(‬4‭) ‬Labour,‭ ‬split into hard left anti-EU party and‭ “‬centrist‭” ‬pro-EU‭ ‬London focused‭ ‬party
    ‭(‬5‭) ‬Second Scottish referendum
    ‭(‬6‭) ‬Northern Ireland will be surrendered to the Republic‭ = ‬mainland UK north west‭ ‬political destabilisation.
    (7) Austerity continues, needed to fund the EU’s demands


    • mancunius
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      No, none of that follows at all – it’s entirely speculative.
      Firstly, there will be no such extension. German legal experts have advised the Bundestag that any Brexit delay beyond the European elections on 23-26 May would be in breach of EU law, as no UK MEP elections have been scheduled.
      To your points…
      1) Even if she were to apply for an extension, May would not need to resign, and it would be against her character to do so. She would just have done yet another U-turn. Her remainer colleagues who are in the majority have got very used to that.
      2) So no ensuing elections. (If she were to be replaced by a ‘Real Actual Brexit’ Tory PM who calls a Brexit GE, he or she would win. A split is not necessary – merely that Clark, Gauke, Rudd and the others are replaced by leaver candidates. Otherwise, it’s an equally pro-Leave Tory-Farage-UKIP-DUP coalition).
      3) Follow the money: party funders like parties that govern. And the party funding system is badly in need of reforming to sideline the CBI: this is the ideal time to do it.
      4) A Labour split means they are more likely to lose.
      5) Sturgeon will lose another IndyRef. She’s a useful stooge, but Scotland does not want her hand on the tiller of the Scottish economy.
      6) Northern Ireland’s status is governed by international treaties that do not allow it to be ‘surrendered’ to Dublin, as your friend Selmayr desires.
      So 7) does not follow at all.

      What I’m ‘enjoying’ is the prospect of the EU elections that will be necessary for even the briefest extension beyond 26 May. A chance for us to turn the EU-Parliament into a permanent protest demonstration.

  52. agricola
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    The whinging Brit is endemic. Well beloved by our Aussie cousins, well recognised within the British military, certainly from my NS days. I think he is less evident these days, but if you oppress him or threaten him, much as the EU has currently attempted then he tends to stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood.
    A force not to be messed with even when led by donkeys.

    What pessimism there is originates and is caused by the cynical membership of the HoC. I am not surprised when it spreads. However I suspect this membership is on a warning. I cannot see the electorate putting up with it much longer.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      @ agricola

      Your Aussie cousins are not quite the Aussies you may remember. Pom is a word that my generation (and yours) still uses and without admiration, but Australia has moved on from Anglopilia. The UYK is one of many countries of origin eand except WA, where a considerable number of people were born in the UK or Ireland, there are not too many first generation Britishers around (and many are Scots and Irish without too much attachment to the Pommy stereotype). Ask an Australian relative to visit the newsagent and ask how many under 45s buy one of the English papers available there.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 11:42 pm | Permalink


      “I think he is less evident these days, but if you oppress him or threaten him, much as the EU has currently attempted then he tends to stiffen the sinews and summon up the blood.”

      What has the EU threatened us with? You forget WE voted Brexit, they didn’t kick us out.

      The EU owes it to its 27 members to see they are not out of pocket when a member leaves, the same way we would be if it were the other way around.

      I think they have shown great restraint and generosity the latest being the Spanish offer towards British residents. (oh and don’t bother to claim self interest on their behalf)

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 2, 2019 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        Spain have done a tremendous amount of damage to their relationship with British people margaret, I don’t care whether you believe me or not. I listen to people’s reactions to their banners telling British tourists they are no longer welcome. Spain jostling over Gibralta and them wanting to charge high Visa visitors taxes and charges to Brits. The only way they’ll fill their hotels will be to take a big profit hit and it is their hotel owners, cafe, bar, tourist related businesses that will pay the cost for their offensive political spokespeople.

  53. mancunius
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Isn’t a lot of this ‘pessimism’ just sheer complacent laziness? Many among the postwar generations have grown up with the idea (often assisted by state education and/or indulgent parents) that somebody must be there to do everything for them: MPs are no exception. Many of your colleagues still cannot get it into their heads that they are there to do an actual job of legislating and governing the country, not to lease it out to an unfriendly foreign power ‘like to a tenement or a pelting farm…’

    As you say, what is lacking is energetic, forward-looking anticipatory vision. One can see it on the backbenches among the Leave MPs as they eloquently advocate the people’s decision, many of them young enough for one to feel there is at least a glimmer of hope for the country.

    May’s challenge must first be faced down: ‘her WA’ (in reality the EU’s WA) should be crushed without mercy, with or without the NI backstop. If your colleagues in Parliament then try to force us to remain, we shall subvert and undermine them – and the EU – through acts of civil disobedience and targeted boycotts – until Brussels will be pleading desperately with the UK to leave.

    • Maggie May
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      To Mancunius, well said and on top of that we should all stop paying our council tax, that should send them the message ’cause they can’t put us all in prison can they; they finally had to bend to the poll tax rejecters. Always hit them where the money is ’cause that seems to be the only way they understand.

  54. Chris
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Nail hit on head by audience member at QT last night:
    BBC Question Time audience member DESTROYS MPs – ‘you’ve BETRAYED every single one of us’
    A BBC Question Time audience member ripped into the panel of MPs accusing the Conservatives, Labour Party, and Liberal Democrats of “betraying” Brits over Brexit…
    “Theresa May, 52 times, said we will leave on March 29, she is now extending. Well probably will.
    “Corbyn said we won’t have a second referendum, now he is going to entertain that.
    “Liberals, Nick Clegg said there won’t be a European army.

    “You have betrayed every single one of us. You have lied all the way down.”…….

    • RichardM
      Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      The BBC question time audience selection is ludicrously biased toward Tory no-deal leavers and UKIP supporters. A failed UKIP candidate has appeared 4 times on the show and had his obnoxious opinions heard. He claims to have been invited. The show has become a joke.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 2, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Even better was when Fiona Bruce asked the audience ‘who generally agrees with what Barry Gardiner is saying?’

      I think one hand went up. For a fleeting moment Gardiner looked horrified. Then he tried to make light of it. But, when Question Time is in London, the audience is usually pro Labour. On Thursday night’s show Labour had no support at all. They seem to have managed to alienate all their supporters. As have the Tories. Interesting times.

  55. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

    All other things being equal, we have grandstand seats watching the end of the Tory and Labour Parties and their stranglehold on power. The incompetence of their Brexit is, admittedly, a clould. But, every cloud has a silver lining. For the first time in generations, finally, they are going to have to LISTEN.

  56. a-tracy
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Are we leaving or not? Every single MP needs to answer this question.

    If we are to leave then the only choice is to ‘leave with May and the EU’s withdrawal agreement’ or ‘leave without any withdrawal agreement’ then fight over a deal with the whole of the UK behind you, as by that point remainers should have to back the UK and stop fighting internally.

    What is the point of an A50 extension when they can’t decide these things in 2 years what will an extra 2 months do. If it is to delay to overturn the referendum then come clean about it and stop messing everyone around.

  57. Dominic
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    The endless deception of Tory Brexiteers

    Any MP backing May on any deal related to Brexit is a Remain supporter for any Brexit deal cannot by definition by termed Brexit.

    We leave the EU without any agreement. That is Brexit

    I am afraid there’s now a handful of moral Tory MPs who will never align with the seditious May and these are to be praised. All the rest are……a disgrace to our nation, its people and our democracy

    And the actions of the ERG have been an utter disgrace. This organisation’s pulled the wool over our eyes. We have been skewered

    Honour and respect are no longer evident

  58. Pieter
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Stupid comment – that we won’t have disruption for imports and delay at our own ports..yes yes! But what about delay and disruption in exports from continental talk as if we will have some kind of complete control over EU officials and foreign port managements as well and so that cargo and people will move in a frictionless way as at present..all of this is nonsense of course as smooth frictionless trade movement like we currently have will be certainly disrupted, delayed, held up..held up by unthinking stupid officials all applying their own logic to the new situation in their own way leading to mass confusion accross the certainly will not continue to be JIT ..why do you continue in going on in this vein with these stupid suppositions..all in your own head and despite all the evidence to the contrary

  59. Ian Pennell
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    I echo your sentiments entirely: There is in fact a huge amount a British Government- particularly a Conservative one- could do if we truly were to become free from the European Union. Sadly, thanks to the efforts of the Remainer Majority is is almost certain that Theresa May will not be able to simply walk away from negotiations and propose Britain leave on the WTO terms that could enable the UK to spend £39 billion plus £12 billion net annual contributions to the EU.

    However, if we could really break free we would save all this money, would not have to pay benefits to EU nationals living in Britain for them to send money back home, could demand EU and other foreign nationals pay for treatment on the NHS- saving similar sums of money again. We could, if the EU were really unpleasant about it all, decide to put tariffs on certain imports from them (like German cars).

    In addition, we can (and should) slash Foreign Aid, so much of which is wasted on inappropriate stuff and pull the plug on HS2. Altogether, these measures could raise up to £50 billion annually to spend over the next five years. A conservative Government could do the following with all this money:

    1) Slash Income Tax and Business Rates.
    2) Double the Police Budget, directing more of this to front- line policing and build more prisons (thereby reclaiming a Conservative Party reputation on law and order).
    3) A massive house- building boom with cheap high- quality homes for first- time buyers.
    4) Major investment in up-grading infrastructure- roads, rail and broadband.

    All this could be done without borrowing more money; these policies would help the economy grow despite problems with the EU vís- a- vís a WTO “No Deal” Brexit; the policies would also be popular with voters (helping to keep Jeremy Corbyn’s party a long way from power)!

    Ian Pennell

  60. Howdee dow
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    The PM continues to keep faith with Chris Grayling the disaster after disaster minister..says a lot about what is going on at government must be a generational thing..only the people are paying dearly and money is being wasted..keep going like this and we’ll very soon exhaust the 39B..i have also lost all belief that TM can dig us out of this brexit tory mess

  61. Jane
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    The government is manipulating the definition of Brexit and is narrowing options cleverly.
    I would even say that the Government are using some of those amendments to their advantage with no blame being attached. I listen carefully to what PM May says and she slips all sorts into her statements.
    No remain Ministers are resigning because it is going their way and they are unbelievably not being sacked for speaking to the press. We are being steered I fear into the backstop trap that will be never ending. Job done.
    No codicils will come out of the EU ever!
    WTO is the only way to stop this and put an end to future wrangling with the EU Commission. We are being manipulated by a parliament of Remainers! The results of the next General Election will be very interesting indeed.

  62. Chris
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    MPs pessimistic. What do you think the voters for Leave feel? Juliet Samuel sums up in stark terms what those MPs themselves are doing when referring to the:

    “…remarkable convergence of governmental ineptitude, parliamentary cowardice and anti-democratic skulduggery….”.

    It is quite disgraceful, and Jacob R-M may think he is being gentlemanly and mature in his approach of ditching earlier red lines/principles in order to save the Party (but not the country), but there are many who are not going to accept this attempted veneer of respectability employed to hide the stark truth of what is really going on: “ineptitude, cowardice and skulduggery”. Do the Tory MPs not see this, Sir John? It is quite dreadful what you are all doing by supporting May and the vassal state WA.

  63. Edwardm
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    You talk utter sense.

    Like many others I have had it with the majority of our MPs (excluding leavers and those remainers who are being constructive). The Remoaners are actively undermining the expressed wishes of the British people, they are engaging in skulduggery to turn a straightforward process of Brexit into a muddle and mess with the aim of scuppering it, even willing to extract £39B (or more) from us and make us a vassal state. They are corrupting our political system and are making us foolish on the world stage.

    If they want a referendum, let’s have one on whether or not to pay £39B to the EU.

    These parliamentarians have created this situation that is parliament against the people.
    I don’t know the best way forward from here, but what I do know there need to be big changes and soon. People with the dishonourable traits of Remoaners should have no place in our parliament. They need removing soon.

    The EU and the world need to know, when we finally get a majority of leavers in parliament, anything agreed between our current traitors and the EU may be void, and henceforth we will control our own destiny and will deal fairly with the rest of the world without preference or subservience to the EU.

  64. rose
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    Can we please have an examination by you of the alarming Political Declaration? Like the DWA, it may be desirable to have more than one go at it to drive home how dangerous it is.

  65. Original Richard
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    How is it possible that we have a PM and 196 Conservative MPs who are not only prepared to give the EU £39bn+ for nothing in return but are happy to allow the EU to be able to impose damaging laws and taxes on the UK without representation and leaving the UK with no unilateral means of exiting this vassal status ?

    Does not such a one-sided treaty where one side has no exit clause violate international treaty laws on the basis that it leads inevitably to conflict ?

    How does this tally with any Parliament not having the ability to bind future Parliaments?

    Is this not why the Lisbon Treaty contained Article 50 ?

    How on earth can anyone believe that Mrs. May and the 196 WA supporting Conservative MPs are looking after the interests of the UK ?

  66. Simon Coleman
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    You’d do better if you answered some simple questions. Fox’s 40 trade deals which were going to be ready by this month. Only 6 signed covering 2% of our exports. What’s going to happen? The fact you’re still ranting about remainers and the media proves you’ve lost the argument. You’ve totally underestimated the UK’s need to be in the Single Market. Pompous, complacent pontification…that’s all you’ve contributed. John Redwood…knighted for services to crank economics and waffle from the political fringe.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 2, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      And you have the nerve to accuse others of ranting Simon.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 2, 2019 at 1:26 pm | Permalink


      The honours system is totally discredited. Personally I believe all politicians should be debarred from getting them. There is always the thought in the back of the head: what did he/she do to get them? It’s corrupt.

      Honours should be reserved for those people who achieve things to benefit mankind in the myriad ways so many dedicate themselves to a particular subject – in medicine, education, science, general commitments.

      Politicians don’t fit into any of those categories. Like now with Brexit, they just mess things up with their giant egos and lead us to the abyss.

  67. Javelin
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

    My only surprise is that a group of people haven’t snapped yet.

    I hope you all are standing well clear when it happens.

  68. mary
    Posted March 1, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Dear John Redwood. I don’t know whether you speak to Jacob Rees-Mogg, but I would really like someone to ask him this: I think he and ERG have the power to make or break the mis-named “Withdrawal” Agreement. Voters know that this is not Brexit, that it is much worse than no brexit at all; and that merely sorting out the Backstop will no way make the WA acceptable. The WA remains a colossal threat to our civil liberties, making us subject to alien law whereby we can be arbitrarily arrested and imprisoned long term without evidence, and killed/robbed/raped by lethally armed diplomatically immune EU paramilitaries. We are handimg our destiny over to alien powers who want to punish us.
    Further, we will still be subject to the ECJ and Brussels diktats which will make binding the UN Global Compact for Migration which TMay has just signed. . We will have humungeous immigration , taxation without representation and no less than the collapse of our civilisation; and fiscal downturn will probably be added to the mix. Unless we get totally free of the EU, we face an appalling future. Any worries Remainers have pale into insignificance by comparison. So to come back to Rees-Mogg, does he know this? Does he care? Does he worry that he may go down in history as a politician who threw his nation to the wolves?

    • hefner
      Posted March 2, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      What do you prefer, a cold compress or an ice bag? One or the other would do you good.

    • Chris
      Posted March 2, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      You make very significant points, mary, and I suspect you may find the answer for J R-M’s dropping of his red lines and embracing May’s WA (with just perhaps a codicil for the backstop) in the FT article a couple of days ago.
      He was quoted as saying that May is proving very dogged, and that you can’t just stand up and “take pot shots at her”. He also is reported as saying that he thinks that this is the only way we will leave by supporting May’s WA, due to the parliamentary arithmetic.

      I am singularly unimpressed by J R-M’s arguments, if the FT reports of his comments are true. It did not take him very long to fold. He is another of these individuals who seem to be all talk but not prepared to take radical and bold action. I don’t feel that one really cannot count the feeble, ineffectual and naively executed challenge to May as convincing and meaningful action. He may be gentlemanly and courteous, but he does seem surprisingly naïve in both his belief in May and his understanding of the depth and extent of anger that there is in the country about the Tory government betrayal.

      You also ask whether J R-Mogg knows or cares. I believe that his softening to the WA indicates that he thinks that these things are not worth defending. That tells me all I need to know.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 2, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink


      You should stop watching too many sci fi horror movies. It’s bad for your mental health. Come back and join us in the REAL world.

  69. Den
    Posted March 2, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Some remoaners have what can be politely termed, “Vested Interests” but too many others I believe are suffering from METATHESIOPHOBIA – Fear of Change. Such persons have known nothing but Britain being controlled by and having to answer to, Brussels and therefore do not really know what we, the British, are capable of. They should read up British history and learn to accept that we are Great when we run our own affairs..

  70. Stephen Reay
    Posted March 2, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I recently asked my MP Julie Elliot to anwser the 13 questions regarding Brexit that John Redwood had put on this site. She was unable to answer these questions due to unprecedented volume of correspondance although she managed to write what she did, a little bit more time and the reply would have been done.

    What she did say which I believe was truely shocking was “I will bear in mind the points you have raised, and please rest assured I will at all times act in what I believe is with the best interests of my constituents”. In others words I do what I think is best for you regardless of your Brexit vote. Her constituents overwhelmingly voted for Brexit and she has constently voted to remain. They work for us!

  71. Ken Moore
    Posted March 2, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    ‘no sensible response’

    Or just read Dr North’s blog and read about how our ports will be choked by traffic as there is neither the physical space or trained staff needed to handle the volume of work created by ‘no deal’. Time for Dr Redwood to engage with the (boring) details…

    The media coverage has been woeful and babyish but that is no excuse

    • Mark B
      Posted March 3, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

      And the same will be at the RoI and other ports coming into the UK. I was an avid reader of Dr. North’s blog but like our MSM there is a similarity that is glaring. They ALL highlight the problems the UK will have with a so called ‘No Deal’, but never the other way round. Funny that 😉

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 3, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        @ Mark B

        That is not funny. You have been sold something you will not like once delivered.

  72. Dave Ward
    Posted March 3, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    “As if we cannot pass laws we are proud of for ourselves”

    If you look at the Climate Change Act 2008 then their pessimism has a point. This is the single most stupid, pointless & economically destructive piece of legislation ever. Is there the remotest possibility it will be scrapped if Brexit actually takes place?

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  • About John Redwood

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

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