Leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement remains the default position

The Commons motion last night to reject a so called no deal or WTO exit does not change the law. That says we leave on 29 March.

Those who wish to delay Brexit need to persuade the government to go to the EU to negotiate a delay, and then to legislate for a delay. The EU so far is rightly asking what would the delay be for and how long would it be. They point out they are not willing to renegotiate the Withdrawal Agreement. They had indicated they might give a short delay to implement  the Agreement if passed, or a bit longer delay to hold a second referendum. The government and a good number of Labour MPs remain rightly against any such second Peoples vote.

The forces of delay have not  coalesced around a period of delay with a purpose the EU would accept. Mrs May still wishes to give her deal another airing in the Commons. This story has no definitive ending before the 29 March.

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  1. Ian wragg
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    May will present her lousy WA again next week. Surely there is something in Parliamentry procedure to stop this.
    When is that despicable woman going to be removed. She is an embarrassing lier.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      I watched some of the so called debate. There were some good, even informed, contributions. But many were simply third rate. And it all ended in the utter chaos of the votes. After a lifetime of being served lies and deceptions about the EU I was treated to more of the same about the implications of the UKs exit from it. The UK needs to exit on 29 March without an agreement to put an end to the poison running through politics. The alternatives on offer, May’s WA and PD or revolution of Article 50 will be one hundred times worse because they will run and run year after year after year.

      • oldtimer
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

        Revokation not revolution.

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

          The WA should be named the Cat. It seems to have nine lives.

          You couldn’t rule out her having a another vote on Friday, 29 March 2019.

          • Richard
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

            ‘The Cat’ was a C17-18th implement for severe punishment beatings – whereas the May-Robbins WA is a totally modern implement for severe punishment beatings.

        • Hope
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          General election now. No longer can we suffer these snooty bastards looking down their noses at us and our democracy.

          ERG and DUP should stop any legislation trying to change WTO on 29/03/2019. Bring down the govt.

          Hammond, Rudd, Clarke, Grieve, Soubry, Allen, Woolaston, Harrington Gyimah, Ford etc all looking down their noses at us. Tory associations need to take immediate action. Their names clearly showing their intention and contempt for democracy putting a foreign power before our country, their supporters, manifesto, party and govt. Traitors who should never be in public office.

          Ken Clarke made a clear snooty patronising mysoginsic comment about the Women’s Institute. Why no apology? Diane Abbot said silly man the other day, how is this different from stupid woman?

          • Hope
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            Who in their right mind would go out campaigning, leaflet dropping or raising funds for the Tory govt shower who look down their noses at their activists, supporterss and voters, call them extremists, racists and turnip taliban and renege on everything they said to get in office? Tory associations national and local need to make an urgent motion and stop all activities immediately.

      • Merlin
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Parliament will never go for no deal.

        Can you change the record please?

        • BR
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          Learn to read? It is the default (as a matter of law) until and unless they agree on something else.

        • Mr C
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          Parliament have already voted for no deal when they overwhelmingly voted into UK statute law the means to activate Article 50 and leave the EU. Article 50 itself falls under the Lisbon treaty which is international law.

          Suffice to say ‘no deal’ merely the position that exists in the absence of an agreed withdrawal agreement being concluded with the EU by the legal deadline. In this circumstance the UK leaves the EU by default under UK and international law, and will trade with the EU on WTO rules until such time as other arrangements are agreed.

          It’s all there in black and white in the Withdrawal Act, the Lisbon Treaty and the formal notification of leaving sent to the EU by PM May in March 2017.

          ‘No no dealers’ in Westminster and elsewhere would do well to do their homework.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          I see the penny hasn’t yet dropped that there’s a constitutional and democratic disparity between what the people voted for, and what parliament will let them have. Whilst that continues, we have a duty to keep pointing it out.

          The people’s will MUST in all cases prevail. Not since the 1830s have the British people been so disenfranchised by an elite that seeks to deny them.

          • L Jones
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

            You don’t STILL believe they are ”elite”, do you, Tad?
            Any bunch that is less like the ”elite” of anything, we’ve never seen.

          • Merlin
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

            I believe the question was ‘Should the U.K remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?’

            It never had a date. Nor did it define what that meant. Facts are facts.

          • Merlin
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            And the lesson we have learned is ‘Do not base a referendum on an undefined alternative.’

            Big mistake.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

            Dear oh dear Merlin. Okay, just for you.

            David Cameron promised if leave won the referendum, he would trigger article 50 the next day. Had he done so, we would have already been out, more likely than not, on WTO terms.

            Your ‘Un-defined alternative’ is quite easy to counter. At great cost to the tax-payer, a booklet was delivered to every house in the country spelling out the alternatives, and leave campaigner after leave campaigner told the population of these islands that we would be out of the Single Market, and the Customs Union. It could not have been clearer.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

          The economist has it spot on this week. Basically, we’ve now reached the point where every faction claims to be speaking for the people. It’s a farce. The last referendum has been rendered utterly meaningless.

          The only way forward now is to consult Parliament, in a series of indicative votes that will reveal what form of Brexit can command a majority. The second is to call a referendum to make that choice legitimate. Today every faction sticks to its red lines, claiming to be speaking for the people. Only this combination can put those arguments to rest.

          • L Jones
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps you should revisit the referendum options on the ballot paper:
            Remain in the EU
            Leave the EU

            Which part of that is difficult to understand? We don’t need people to ”speak for us”. We have already spoken for ourselves. Whatever these so-called ”factions” say is irrelevant, and we most certainly don’t need another vote on what THEY are saying.

        • rose
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

          Parliament voted for it and it passed into law, which, as Sir John points out, still stands.

          • Chris
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            Yes, but what can MPs do to stop a dishonest government achieving that by quietly getting a Statutory Instrument through, which, I understand, they can do?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          Correct, largely because both before and after the referendum, under Theresa May just as much as David Cameron, the government has been running a constant propaganda campaign about the perils of leaving the EU, even with a deal but most especially without a deal.

        • Jagman84
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          MPs were not meant to have an opinion on it, just carry out the wishes of the winning side, according to David Cameron, but it’s amazing what bad losers can get up to. No deal is the default, unless Merkel’s surrender document is passed.

        • mancunius
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          ‘Parliament’ is just a collection of MPs, not a unified will. MPs huff and puff, but they have no majority for any single proposal to put to the EU on what they would do with an extension. The EU will not be much impressed. Parliaments cannot in law negotiate with foreign powers. That is for governments to do.

          Parliament has already oted through and ratified an Act for us to leave on 29 March. I see nothing that even the most rebellious MPs bending parliamentary rules to the utmost can do to avoid that.

          No-deal’ is just a phrase. It simply means leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement: something that is expressly provided for in Art. 50.

          A General Election would solve nothing. And Leavers have seen through the ludicrous idea of a second referendum between the EU shackles of the disgusting WA and ‘Remaining’. in the EU.

      • oldtimer
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink


        sets out the full text of the conclusions of the lawyer MPs who have scrutinised the documents secured by Mrs May in her attempt to persuade MPs to vote for her WA and PD. It is both long and thorough.

        After reading this document, how any MP could vote for her “deal” beggars belief. It is the one issue on which I can agree with my MP, Mr Dominic Grieve. If, as seems likely, it is brought back to the HoC for a third time it needs to be defeated again – and again and again if necessary however many times it is tabled.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink


        • Richard
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          The detailed verdict of the 8 lawyer ‘Star Chamber’ is absolutely damning.

      • Peter
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        The Chris Bryant amendment, which Bercow has now accepted, would prevent May having a third go at the Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement.

        Contrary to newspaper comment, this would be great for Leave. It means one less thing to worry about. A long delay will simply allow the fight to continue and we can concentrate on removing intransigent politicians who refuse to deliver on the referendum result.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      A liar, a socialist, electoral liability and a very dangerous traitor who want to pay billions of other people’s money to put the UK in her straight jacket and give the EU the key. One who chooses to employ and indeed retain a green crap pushing, tax to death, endlessly wasteful, economic illiterate and project fear pushing Chancellor. One who will destroy her party unless she goes very soon.

      Also it seems she cannot even get the members of her own government to support her, but does not even dare to fire them. Or perhaps she actually encouraged them to put more pressure on the Brexit supporters.

      • Merlin
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Er … no. The Prime Minister is attempting to deliver Brexit in spite of the ERG attempting to shoot it down. I have no idea why.

        Also, climate change happens a huge threat for our entire way of life. So using lines like ‘green crap’ does you no credit. Or perhaps I should dismiss the referendum as ‘Brexit crap’?

        • Hope
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          Quentin Letts sums her up quite well in the Sun. I think he is too kind. May is a lair, underhand and now she whipped her govt to vote against her motion which was against her manifesto and 80 claims not to extend beyond 29/03/2019. Dishonest. Brown was levered out of office but goodness he looks an honest Herculean compared to her!

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          ‘Er … no. The Prime Minister is attempting to deliver Brexit’

          Could that be the deal that wouldn’t even allow us to get out without the EU’s permission? You know, the abomination that doesn’t even give the assurances contained in article 50?

          And ‘Also, climate change happens (to be) a huge threat for our entire way of life’.

          That could be true. Climate change has been going on for 4.5 billion years and life has needed to constantly adapt along the way. The solar cycle which we can do absolutely nothing to control, has much more to do with it than self-interested ‘experts’ let on. Indeed, the financially independent climatologist brother of one leading opposition politician would make money on betting on the weather based on solar activity, and got his forecasts right more times than the Met Centre!

          The mantra of the left appears to be, if in doubt, tax it.

          • PeterM
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

            Can you provide any proof that Piers Corbin forecasts beat the MetOffice ones, for the UK, regionally and globally?

        • Alison
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          Merlin, could you confirm that you have read the proposed withdrawal agreement?

        • Jagman84
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

          Or, indeed, the majority of your offerings…..

        • R.S.Goodley
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

          No, she isn’t, plainly she isn’t and it makes no difference how often you tell that little untruth its lack of veracity remains very, very, plain.

        • Kevin Lohse
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          Climate Change, as in man-made Armageddon, is a hoax, as is the apocalyptic Remainer vision of life after a WTO Brexit. It comes as no surprise to find that you have swallowed both scams whole.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, just like all those lefty art graduates at the BBC.

        • Syd
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

          On the contrary, Lifelogic’s frequent mention of “Green Crap” shows us he is a person with some engineering or scientific knowledge, who sees through the vested interests involved in pushing the climate change agenda.
          I have 35 years involvement in the energy business and there is no doubt in my mind that the Government’s actions, which penalise our industry in order to reduce our already insignificant effect on global warming, fall into the classification of “Green Crap”.

        • James
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

          The self-serving eco-nuts changed the term ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ to disguise the inconvenient fact that the former wasn’t happening, or at least wasn’t happening to the degree forecast by their absurd and fraudulent modelling. For any climatologist who could be produced to say that the issue is in any way a problem, two professors could be produced to say the reverse. Doubtless before the next decade is out we will be assailed by another group claiming there is a problem brewing up with ‘global cooling’.

          • Craig
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

            When I was growing up in the 70s, the newspapers regularly ran articles about ‘The Coming Ice Age’ due to the general cooling of the planet.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Climate always have and always will change. There is no scientific reason to believe in catastrophic, runaway deadly global warming at all. All the predictions by alarmists have already proved wrong. In about four billion years we will perhaps have a problem it is true but there is not much we can do about that.

          Most sensible physicists (which I read at Cambridge & Manchester) and other scientists know that you cannot predict the climate for next month – let alone for 100 year hence. C02 is one of thousands of factors most not even know. To think of C02 concentrations as a world temperature thermostat is moronic.

          Listen to Ivar Giaever or some other sensible scientists who are not on the make.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            Or Richard Lindzen or the many other honest and sensible scientists without vested interests in the “climate alarmist” industry.

        • Steve
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink


          “So using lines like ‘green crap’ ”

          Why not ? that’s exactly what it is.

          “Or perhaps I should dismiss the referendum as ‘Brexit crap’?”

          Then like parliament you’d be dismissing democracy as crap. A big mistake, which will be realised by traitors in parliament when they find themselves running for their lives.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Don’t get the result you want? Make them vote again.
      Darth Juncker has taught her well.

      • Merlin
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink


        The prime minister is attempting to deliver the will of the people.

        Get on board … or remain.

        Your choice.

        • Hope
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

          Leave March starts on Monday 16th March. Join or donate.

        • BR
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

          Your ill-informed, unsubstantiated and incorrect assertions on everyone else’s posts are rather tiresome.

        • Timaction
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          The Withdrawal agreement is remain on worse terms, with no say as a punishment to prevent other Countries leaving. Only May could advocate such an awful “turd” of a deal. Trade and friendship is all we need with Europeans. Nothing more.

        • Jagman84
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

          The WA is not a deal. It’s a plan for future negotiations with the EU commission. Either way, we leave without a trade deal as the EU will not discuss one with a current member.

          • cornishstu
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

            This is the irony of it the May does not have a deal, just promises of negotiating one, for which we have essentialy to submit to the EU’s demands until they get what they want. At least on WTO terms everyone will know where they stand and can get on with their lives.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          The will of the people was to leave and become democratic and independent (not to purchase some handcuffs for £39 billion, put them on and give the EU the key!)

        • Steve
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink


          “The prime minister is attempting to deliver the will of the people.”

          Not so. She is attempting to get a capitulation agreement over the line.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      I am still very angry at the E.R.G for voting down Brexit and defying the will of the British people.

      Vote for May’s deal and stop putting your own selfish interests before those of the country please.

      The British people voted for the government to bring back a deal. They have done so. You promised to deliver Brexit. Live up to that promise.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        What were you reading, Merlin, that we weren’t?

        When did the British people vote for the government to ”bring back a deal”? I certainly didn’t vote for the government to faff around with a trade deal in order to delay our leaving. I voted to leave the EU – that’s what the ballot paper said I was voting for.

        The will of people said ‘leave’. Those who have read Mrs May’s WA know well that it doesn’t allow what we voted for.

        • Hope
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          May as failed to get a trade deal which was always referred to as the deal. She conflated her servitude plan as the deal in its place. Underhand, deceitful and a liar.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

          But the referendum did not stipulate what form ‘leaving the E.U’ was going to take.

          That’s the problem. Saying ‘I voted to leave on 29th March’ gets us nowhere. Everyone is claiming it means different things (including yourself).

          We need the British people to back a specific proposal through a referendum to end this mess. And, no this isn’t some secret remain agenda. We’ve just run out of road and the country appears to be reduced to a bunch of cats fighting in a bag. I can’t bear the thought of another referendum but this has to end somehow.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

            It didn’t stipulate what form remaining in the EU was going to take either.

            It can end easily by us leaving the EU on March 29th and then the UK and EU can start to negotiate a deal.

            Which is essentially what would happen even if the WA was to be voted for by our MPs.

          • L Jones
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

            And it certainly didn’t stipulate what form ”remaining in the EU” would take.

            If remain HAD won, and you didn’t like the idea, for example, of your children being dragged into their military squabbles, what would you have said? Oh yes – I know: ”It didn’t say THAT on the ballot paper. I want another referendum.”

            Most of us did our research before voting, Merlin. We knew EXACTLY what simply leaving or simply remaining would involve. In fact, a Remain win would have brought many more sinister and unpleasant surprises out of the EU woodwork. Whereas voting Leave was giving us back our own choices on our own terms.

            What is it about remaining in thrall to a foreign power with all its future imponderables that so excites remainers?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink



        • hefner
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

          The Times, 07/03 Out of 93 UK billionaires, 28 have now a fiscal exit (what a nice group of proud patriots): the latest appearing in newspapers: Jim Ratcliffe (INEOS), Simon Nixon (MoneySuperMarket).
          According to Le Canard Enchaine 6800 British people controlling 12,000 “British” companies are now based outside the UK, obviously including Lord Ashcroft who financially based in Belize provided half a million pounds to the Conservative Party in 2017.
          7000 Britons, only in the Dordogne area, are applying for a French residency (Le Monde, 02/03).

          So Brexit for ever, but specially for the poor and other downtrodden who do not have a second home on the Continent and are stuck on this island. As for the others, as the Beatles were saying more than 50 years ago “Good day sunshine, I need to laugh, I’ve got something I can laugh about, The sun is shining down, …”

          • Edward2
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

            Have you considered the hundreds of thousands of “ordinary people” who own second homes abroad hefner?

            Does it really surprise you that billionaires have homes and business interests outside the UK?

            “Stuck on this Island”…. a quite ridiculous comment.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        I could have a Wizard reply to this but it’s not worth the effort.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Good one. I get a lot of magic wands gags too.

          • M Davis
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

            How about Welsh Windbag!

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

            I’m not Welsh. And I make no apologies for correcting people on this site. At least I’m making an effort to listen to the opposition.

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        Merlin, the problem is May’s ‘deal’ as you kindly call it, (I can think of other things, less kind, to call it), is not offering Brexit. Thank God for the ERG, the only ones in a remain parliament trying to honour what we voted for. Shame on the rest of them. Time now for a General Election to get rid of the traitors.

        • DaveM
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          IMHO the ERG should have voted for May’s supplication on condition that she stood down in April so a proper PM could steer the negotiations from then on.

          I can’t see what a GE would achieve – May won’t let go of her Head Girl position, and would retain the same candidates. Con would probably win again and we’d be in the same position as now.

        • Merlin
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          Er … every faction claims to be offering Brexit.

          And please don’t talk about the will of the British People, as it is becoming clear nobody knows what that actually means.

          • L Jones
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            Again, Merlin, please do refer to the wording of the ballot paper:
            Remain in the EU
            Leave the EU

            What are you finding so difficult to get to grips with here?

        • 'None of the above'.
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Drain the swamp!!!!!!!

          • Steve
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

            ‘None of the above’

            It’s gone beyond simply draining the swamp.

            Being an MP will soon become a very dangerous occupation for the ones who betrayed this country.

            The people will punish the traitors, first at the ballot box, then it’ll hit the streets.

            I certainly won’t be voting at the next general election, unless some form of nationalist party comes about.

            Tories have been overwhelmingly infiltrated by traitors. Labour still reeks of Blair, Corbyn is no good at anything except hating all things English. He also does what Blair tells him.

            So, unless some truly patriotic party comes along it isn’t worth the journey to the polling station. Besides after this I don’t see many MP’s having the guts to show their faces at one.

          • PeterM
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

            NofA, Have you ever considered where this saying came from?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          I’d go along with that Jools, and nobody wants to see the back of these pro-EU remainers more than I do, but selection processes being what they are, we could end up with yet another load of smooth-talking charlatans and career politicians.

          There is an urgent need to overhaul the lot. That includes a meaningful oath of allegiance to this nation first and foremost, not some alien political construct, before even being accepted as a candidate.


      • BR
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        The British people voted to leave the EU. Period.

        The ballot paper question is still on record – Google it.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        “The British people voted for the government to bring back a deal.”


        Please detail where this was documented in the leaflet that was sent to every UK home prior to the Referendum?

        This is the ONLY official document that we voted against.

        Link to leaflet below:


      • percy openshaw
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        This is disingenuous nonsense – that or the result of wilful ignorance. Mrs May’s “deal” is not Brexit; it is Remain without voting or leaving rights. Try to understand. Then perhaps your comments will be worth greater consideration

        • Rhoddas
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

          Agreed, May’s deal would result in taxation without representation. More large regular payments to the EU for many years and we would be obliged to keep implementing their laws without MEPs. This isn’t Leave this is subjugation.

          I believe the majority of voters understand this

      • Steve
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink


        “The British people voted for the government to bring back a deal.”

        Perhaps your ballot paper was a forgery Merlin ?

        We did not vote for any deal with the EU. We voted to leave it. A ‘deal’ was not an option.

    • eeyore
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      Two weeks to go. As Ian says, Mrs May will present her WA again. It may pass. She will also go to the EU to ask for an A50 extension. They may give one, or sell one for a price. She will then have to get an SI through both Houses, or if the only extension on offer is a long one, primary legislation.

      A week ago our host admitted that with a majority against ND “tactics are difficult”. That’s an understatement. But Brexit MPs have had a long time to prepare, and there’s only two weeks to waste.

      Failure will come at a terrible cost: the City, fishing, probably Gibraltar, possibly Northern Ireland, plus cash without limit. Vae victis.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      People v Parliament. We will win. You lot just haven’t caught up yet!

    • mary
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      This whole thing was a horribly cruel hoax, choreographed several years ago in full detail by Brussels with the full collaboration of their British deep state civil serpents, politician and MSM. So the whole choreographed performance has gone totally to plan.
      Brussels were always our enemies so I wouldn’t expect anything else from them, but for British politicians etc to collaborate against their own people; disgust goes beyond words now.
      So the horrendous WA is back on the table, laughably called Brexit by the press-titute;
      I suppose the Act 3 finale, all decided and rehearsed long ago, is that it gets voted for 3rd time round and everyone lives happily ever after….. People just might wake up when they’re bled white by EU taxes without representation, and Brussels forces us to take and accommodate god knows how many million economic migrants which they invited to Europe.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        A billion pounds per month of our tax-payer’s money to the EU to fritter away, for however long we might have to stay in the EU after 29th March. Surely that is such a gleaming ripe carrot for any spendthrift left-winger to make them think again?

        Were we out of the EU, they could use that on their pet projects right here at home.


      • hefner
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

        Not at all. Do you think the EU would have choreographed such a thing when the UK was a second/third main contributor to the EU budget. They might be daft but as an organization they know where their interest is. To me there have been a few British people, Sir John among them, who have always been very opposed to what the EU was becoming. So after many years they managed to have the referendum endorsed by D.Cameron, and the rest is history in the making.
        No need to say the responsibility is on the EU. The responsibility is ours. From the beginning the EU27 side has been rather clear, the UK side much less so.
        “How to explain that London did not see the Irish Gordian Knot coming? Well a mix of post-colonial condescension and of misunderstanding of the nature of the EU” (Le Monde, editorial, 14/03). This was not helped by the %#@£& calibre of MEPs like Nigel Farage or Daniel Hannan (two of my MEPs btw).
        Unfortunately for most of the people on this blog, Sir John, N.Farage and D.Hannan are demi-gods.

      • Andrea Wood
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Well said! I feel sick to my stomach with the treachery and deceit on display yesterday.

        Thank you Mr Redwood for fighting on. You are a credit to us real conservatives and I’m just glad there are some of you left in the HofC.

      • Steve
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


        “…..for British politicians etc to collaborate against their own people; disgust goes beyond words now.”

        They’ll get what’s coming.

        They were warned enough.

    • Peter
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      “May will present her lousy WA again next week. Surely there is something in Parliamentry procedure to stop this.“

      The parliamentary procedure handbook, Erskine May, apparently forbids presenting the same motion again in the same session of Parliament. Bercow gets the final say on it. If nothing changes it would appear it is the same motion, yet again.

    • rose
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      And now she has established a Potemkin Whips Department!

    • James Barnes
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Very well said …… The PM is Not listening to the people …. we do not want her deal, it is TERRIBLE!

      How do we get rid of the PM?

    • AnneQuigley
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      She is a betrayer of Britain. The tower for her. Seriously someone must oppose her in parliament. Can’t that be done.

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    “Mrs May still wishes to give her deal” – let’s remember her non Brexit, worse than Remain deal. Please remind the ERG.

    Stand firm. Would the political classes really want to be seen overturning democracy?

    We’ll sooon find out.

    • Nigl
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Well said. Stay strong ERG you are the only people preventing a sell out. Theresa May said she was giving a free vote because she was listening to people, selectively of course, completely deaf when it comes to what we voted for and the majority who think it is a bad deal

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        I would be an honour to think that Boris and Jacob’s eyes pass over our pearls of wisdom

  3. Peter
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    May could have just gone for leaving on No Deal / WTO terms as she used to say she would. No deal is better than a bad deal.

    She has now gone back on that promise. She will now try to blame this switch on Parliamentary preference.Apparently she will persist with her Withdrawal / Surrender Agreement.

    Time for Leave to do whatever it takes to stop her. Country before party.

    A General election seems the best option at this stage.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      Ref your last suggestion; I agree, a GE will rid us of the May government and time will deliver Brexit. Time for the ERG to side with the opposition on a motion of no confidence in the government. The ERG seats will be safe, all others perhaps not so.

      • JeremyG
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        Agreed – a vote of no confidence is the way to go. Otherwise the remainers in parliament are going to frustrate Brexit. We need to get rid of them & the only way is a general election.

        Perhaps Corbyn will win but I wouldn’t be sure given the state Labour are in. Even if they do then the electorate will be able to vote them out in 5 years if not sooner. The alternative is being tied to the EU indefinitely.

        Can someone in the ERG stand up and be a true leader in the spirit of Churchill. That’s what we need at this difficult time.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      Agreed. We need to clean the swamp.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink


        I’m right with you!


    • Chris
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Peter, with a honourable, bold and utterly committed Brexiteer at the helm.

    • Nigl
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      April 1st would seem an appropriate day to trigger one.

    • Ignoramus
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Keep your fingers crossed. The EU may well not agree to an article 50 extension. With the forthcoming EU elections everyone will be concentrating on them and trying to reduce the “populist” influence. They do not want an extension of article 50 that would allow the UK to have candidates for the Parliament as they know well that there would be a huge “new UKIP” vote. Even if they do offer an extension they need all 27 countries to agree and Nigel Farage has openly said he is trying to get one country to do so.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Agreed, the EU elections are our best hope. The EU hate Farage and his friends and want rid of him. If we put up candidates, there is every likelihood that the exasperated populace will give the parties a big kicking and vote for UKIP etc.

        At least, if it does happen, we can have a laugh from the sidelines and Verhofstadt will have apoplexy.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      No , we can’t have an election with all the same MP’s standing. May needs to go, and many of these remainer MPs who stood on a manifesto to take us out of the EU, but are reneging on the promise they made to the electorate , need to be deselected, then call an election.

  4. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Can we not just have an election instead? Six months of a Corbyn government should be long enough to bring the voters to their senses for the necessary swamp draining to begin. This is the worst ‘government’ since Ted Heath, though to be fair to Ted, my children have not been reduced to doing their homework by candlelight yet.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      The 3-day week, or its modern equivalent – the planned outages using smart meters, will sooner or later be upon us unless our governments reject the EU’s green agenda.

      I predict when people are no longer able to heat their homes, watch their TVs, use their internet, re-charge their ‘phones (or even cars), or cook their meals or wash their clothes when they wish they will be quickly demanding an end to these “green” policies.

      Generators will be purchased in ever increasing quantities until the government bans their use.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        2025 no houses to be built with gas heating or cooking. My gas costs 2.4pence per killowat, my electric costs 14pence per kilowatt. Who will buy these houses with windows you can’t open and heating subject to power cuts because the grid can’t cope.
        Our traditional houses will be worth a fortune.

  5. Everhopeful
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I just can’t work out the point of these votes on advisory amendments ( if that is correct terminology).
    Is it simply so MPs can air their opinions?
    Reamainers were so annoyingly cock a hoop last night…as if they had achieved something.
    Commentators also annoyingly made little mention of the true facts regarding No Deal still being legal default.
    MSM do not seem to report fact they just make up their own narrative.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Listening to all the remaoners last night made me feel both nauseous and angry. Ken Clark and Dominic Grieve in particular. Perhaps the special place in hell should be for those who have totally undermined the UK’s negotiations.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        History is littered with politicians and others who presumed to deny the people their democratic right, so their smugness is premature. They always get theirs in the end.


        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

          I hope you are right. History is not my strong point!

          • Tad Davison
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

            You sell yourself short LL, you’re on safe ground! And most us must have felt the same way. It makes us even more determined to get what we voted for.


    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      These MPs expecting advisory amendments to be acted upon are still saying the referendum was only advisory.

      Hypocrites all. They all love democracy so long as it is their version.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      They have only achieved something if Theresa May allows it, and they’re playing right into her hands “oh, I didn’t want an extension/second referendum/revokation of A50, but what can I do – it is the will of the house.”

      Well, you could just implement the decision of the people.

    • MickN
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Seems to me that the winning margin last night was less than the winning margin in the referendum. As a proportion of them surely didn’t know what they were voting for I think they should have to vote again.

  6. Pominoz
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Surely May cannot be brazen enough to try for a third time to get her deal approved. Two of the four largest defeats in Parliamentary history and she still does not get the message that she and those she gathered around her have completely wasted two years and more in their attempts to destroy our sovereignty..

    I still remain concerned, however, that, if a third vote is held, the holders of the different views as to why the deal is so rotten may yet combine to vote it through, simply because each group is so concerned about an alternative outcome – be it WTO deal (It is so wrong to call it ‘no deal’), extension of Article 50, cancellation of Article 50 or possibility of a second referendum.

    Today’s vote on extending will, in my opinion, almost certainly be approved, so all we can then do is hope that one of the remaining EU 27 countries decides that it has had enough of all the uncertainty and vetoes any extension. Good to see Nigel Farage working on this aspect.

    At least we can rely on you, Sir John, to do your bit for democracy. Thanks so much.

    • Pominoz
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      So, the die is cast!

      May intends to go for a third shot at her deal next week and Donald Tusk has leapt to her aid by announcing that all 27 member states should support a lengthy extension of Article 50.

      How contrived this is – clearly demonstrating the absolute collusion between the May negotiating team and the EU hierarchy during the whole process.

      We must not be taken in by this threat to our sovereignty. Democracy within the UK must prevail. Brexit must be delivered. Anything less will undoubtedly open Pandora’s box and who knows what the result will be.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink


      • Original Richard
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        If Mr. Tusk is supporting a lengthy extension of Article 50 does this mean the UK will take part in the forthcoming MEP elections or can the EU prevent this?

        I cannot imagine the EU would like us to do so.

        • Ian wragg
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

          Leave means Leave, I.e. Farage have already Informed the government that they will take legal action if we extend to ensure we get a vote.
          The EU certainly won’t want that. Rumour is that May wants to apoint civil servants and Lords to stand in for MEPs

          • miami.mode
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:32 am | Permalink

            Interesting rumour there, Ian, about appointees to the EU parliament. The last thing they want are 50 or so Farages to deal with.

            As a rumour, it may well suggest that this has already been agreed for a long extension. Reminiscent of the Olly Robbins pub talk.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        If you think there is collusion then you might like to look at Article 50 in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties:



        “If the expression of a State’s consent to be bound by a treaty has been procured through the corruption of its representative directly or indirectly by another negotiating State, the State may invoke such corruption as invalidating its consent to be bound by the treaty.”

        It is my belief that Theresa May has been colluding with Leo Varadkar:


        and that belief has been reinforced by the decision that in the event of no deal the UK would allow all Irish exports to Northern Ireland to continue tariff free, in fact without any customs declarations.

        I must emphasise that my objection to this unjustifiable preferential tariff policy is nothing to do with the connected decision that after a quarter of a century of goods flowing freely across the land border into Northern Ireland we will not start unnecessarily checking them at the border, and similarly I must emphasise that because of the practical complexities on the ground I am in favour of generous “de minimus” exemptions, but I see no reason why large scale and often regular importers of goods into Northern Ireland from the Republic should be included in a complete customs exemption when the EU will not permit the Republic to reciprocate.

        Reply There is nothing corrupt about the UK PM accepting the position of the Irish government just because you and I disagree with it

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

          She is well into traditional impeachment territory.

  7. Mark B
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    What an utter shambles. Three years the government have had, three years. If you add another year the time it has taken the UK government to implement a simple answer to even simpler question would amount to the same time to win the First World War. And you don’t have even the excuse to say you were busy as the EU does most of what we pay you lot for.

    We are an international laughing stock. No longer can we ever criticise other countries over democracy.

    Why don’t you all just jump off that cliff edge. Our kind host excluded of course. 😉

    • APL
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      MarkB: “What an utter shambles. Three years the government have had, three years. ”

      Yes. It illustrates the corrosive effects of the European Union on our politicians, they have been reduced to a shambling rabble of incoherent fools. Just goes to show if you take responsibility away from a body, you get irresponsible behaviour.

      Last night all those that voted against a ‘no deal’ were voting in the hope that they could say to their constituents, ‘it wasn’t me’. Utterly shameful.

      The mother of Parliaments, behaving like a collection of kindergarten children.

      Please, the lot of you, just go to your second home where ever it is in the EU, and stay there!

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      I am comforted in the notion that people the world over despair over their own politicians. I expect they confine the laughingstock nomination to our leaders and not to the British people as a whole.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        You’re right, Dave. But far more worrying are the sinister unelected EU ones that hold such sway. We can laugh and mock our own, as people do in other countries, but the EU bunch are no laughing matter.

        I’m sure other countries (outside the EU) can picture their own scenario of being ruled by a foreign entity. They wouldn’t tolerate it – neither should we any longer, now that we know it for what it is – and it’s no longer that warm and user-friendly ‘trading bloc’. If it ever was.

    • jerry
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; A “simple answer” in your mind, many of those who post to this site, but what about the Smith family of AnyTown, all voted Leave, trouble is Mr Smith read the UKIP manifesto, Mrs Smith read the Vote Leave manifesto, their son read the No2EU manifesto whilst their daughter read all about Flexcit – as I said, whilst all agreed they want to Leave the EU, and are part of the 17m plus majority demanding like you that Leave means Leave, beyond that they likely do not agree on even one detail of Brexit!

      • matthu
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        Some people voted Remain because they dearly want an EU army, others voted Remain with confidence because they believe an EU army is no more than a dangerous fantasy, some voted Remain because they expect us ultimately to join the Euro and that this would be a Good Thing, others voted Remain because they believe there are safeguards which will ensure that we will never join the Euro, some voted Remain because they believe we will always retain our rebate, others because they believe we will ultimately give up our rebate, some voted Remain because they want us to be part of a unified EU tax structure, some voted Remain because they believe we can still bring about change provided we are sitting at the table, others voted Remain because they believe that the EU will devolve important powers back to individual countries, some voted Remain because they do not believe in the Monarchy, others because they believe this is what Her Majesty would have wanted for the country anyway … it goes on and on.

        No one knows what the EU will look like in five years time, let alone in a generation.

        The question is: can you trust them?
        And can you get rid of them if you don’t?

        • jerry
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

          @matthu; “The question is: can you trust them [the EU and MEPs]? And can you get rid of them if you don’t?”

          But no one knows what the UK will look like in 5 years time either, do we know who will be the PM in 12 months time, with or without a general election, and can we seriously get rid of our own two party system, can us mere plebs get rid of a failing PM mid term if the political establishment doesn’t want to. We can’t rid ourselves of a failing MP either, despite so called recall (and other rules), the establishment having set the bar to high.

          But you do raise an issue about further choices had Remain won, I wonder how many on the Leave side would be joining me -not criticising me- calling for a second referendum asking the How question as to our future, objecting to Euro-federalists trying to claim an undemocratic mandate for joining the Schengen Area and Euro etc?

      • cornishstu
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:40 am | Permalink

        You know full well government told us what the vote would mean they even sent every household a leaflet to explain.

        • jerry
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          @cornishstu; Nonsense. Stop trying to twist the historical facts, there were 28 Leave and 18 Remain groups all with their own campaign manifestos, any one of which could have been the main or perhaps sole reason why a person voted the way they did.

          The Govts Commons statement and mailshot document was not a referendum group manifesto, otherwise there would have been no need for the official ‘Remain’ group as the govt would have fulfilled that function, and that would have mean eurosceptic govt Ministers would not have been free to campaign for a Leave result!

          • cornishstu
            Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

            Not trying to twist anything, there may have numerous groups on both sides who pushed their particular agendas but none had power to have their version to be enacted. That was defined by government and the question on the ballot paper, leave or remain and and neither means half in and half out.

          • jerry
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

            @cornishstu; You are twisting the facts again.

            Leave won, a Remain lead govt all but resigned, the only reason we do not have a Leave lead govt now is because Brexiteers in the Tory party bulked when it came to the leadership elections, not one left standing to be counted.

      • APL
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        jerry:”Smith family of AnyTown, all voted Leave, trouble is Mr Smith read the UKIP manifesto, Mrs Smith read the Vote Leave manifesto, their son read the No2EU manifesto whilst their daughter read all about Flexcit ”

        After all that reading, this literate bunch couldn’t read and understand the question on the ballot?

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

        with the responses to the question to be (to be marked with a single (X)):

        Remain a member of the European Union
        Leave the European Union X

        • jerry
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

          @APL; Except Norway is NOT in the European Union, nor is Switzerland, nor is Monaco, nor is Andorra, but all are either the EEA and EFTA or both though -what is more Monaco, a sovereign principality also used the Euro as its currency. So other than those inconvenient facts, well at least for some, your point was what exactly?…

          Perhaps @APL had you done as much reading as the “literate” Smith family did maybe you would now actually understand the issues and why Brexiteers are in real danger of loosing Brexit altogether, either at the hands of our PM via her awful WA [1] or by the hands of the europhiles should they manage to snatch control of the parliamentary timetables from the Govt.

          [1] the WA being so awful surely its only function is to make an utterly politically and economically trapped, never mind humiliated, UK wish to rejoin the EU, and we all know what (re)joining members of the EU have to accept…

          • APL
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

            Jerry: “So other than those inconvenient facts, well at least for some, your point was what exactly?…”

            My point exactly, was they while everyone may have had a constellation of reasons for voting to leave. The question didn’t stipulate different flavors of leave, everyone who voted read the ballot paper question, and a majority voted to leave the EU.

            Not leave, but stay in the European Space program.
            Not leave, but maintain freedom of movement across the European continent.

            Not leave but keep observers in the European parliament.
            No other variety of leave, but …

            Just Leave!

          • jerry
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

            @APL; “Just Leave!” you cry, care to cite the official results as published by the electoral commission for that Leave option, otherwise how do we know that it got it 51% of the 17.4m who voted leave?…

            Try to understand issues, don’t just keep repeating party political sound-bites all the time, “Leave means Leave” is as meaningless as a euro-federalist chanting ‘Remain means Remain’ whilst trying to insist a Remain result (would have) meant joining the Euro!

          • APL
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            jerry:”care to cite the official results as published by the electoral commission for that Leave option, ”

            a) What leave option are you babbling about now?

            b) No, I don’t because it’s irrelevant.

            You’ve tired to make the case that people voted leave for a lot of different reasons, and that may be true. But in the ballot box they were asked one simple question, with two possible answers. And on balance, the majority decided to vote for leave.

            It’s not me ‘crying leave’, it’s the majority of people who could be bothered to turn out on the day, they said leave.

            jerry: “Try to understand issues …”

            more irrelevant drivel unrelated to the topic which I will give the attention it deserves.

          • jerry
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

            APL “What leave option are you babbling about now?”

            That’s what I asked you!

            You claimed a majority for “Just Leave!” [1], I asked you to prove your assertion by citing the official results, you have not done so (choosing instead to post yet more personal abuse towards me) because you can not as such figures do not exist. The people have never been asked How they wish to leave.

            Your assertions are no more valid than those from a supporter of Flexcit claiming the Leave majority means we should join the EEA, or for that mater a supporter of Mrs May claiming an automatic mandate for her awful WA…

            [1] what ever “Just Leave!” means, presumably not using the A50 process, thus breaking international treaty laws! Not one Leave campaign group manifesto ever suggested “Just Leave”, that is what I mean when I suggest you try and actually understand the issues

          • APL
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

            jerry: “choosing instead to post yet more personal abuse towards me”

            Not personal abuse toward you, just what you write. Which is largely nonsense.

            jerry: “You claimed a majority for “Just Leave!””

            I don’t have to claim anything. I just read the question on the ballot paper and cast my vote in the appropriate manner.

            If you would stop concocting fantastic scenarios that exist only in your fevered imagination, then we could perhaps have a reasoned discussion, but since you either won’t or can’t , further exchange on the topic with you is, I agree, pointless.

          • jerry
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            @APL; “If you would stop concocting fantastic scenarios that exist only in your fevered imagination”

            Talk about the filthy pot trying to call a new kettle a little dusty! The only person concocting fantastic scenarios is you @APL, trying to tell 17.4m people why they voted.

            What you call “fevered imagination” is simply debating the issues, nothing more. What do you not understands, I want a WTO exit and ideally I want it in 12 days time! But I’m just one of about 40m on the electoral role…

            “I just read the question on the ballot paper and cast my vote in the appropriate manner.”

            Yes, you read the question, but you obviously did not understand what you were being asked. So in your own words, “Just Leave” and then what, join the EEA, after all is that not what you voted for, Norway not being a member of the European Union and all that! Such a simplistic question (as was asked) should never have been put to a referendum, even less accepted by the likes of the ERG & UKIP etc. A better question would have been about the EU’s Four freedoms, leaving those would have meant a de facto Brexit and also take the EEA off the table too.

            So much for old battles though, the real nub now, and why so many are so against the very direct-democracy they once called for, is fear that the majority do not actually want what they do. We have Remain MPs scared that Brexit will be confirmed, whilst Brexiteers are scared BRINO will gain the majority. Meanwhile coming from 20 lengths back jockey May, riding a lame horse called “Vessel State”, in the colours of the EU, slips through down the middle to win the Derby – meaning we have all lost our bets…

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Agree with your post.

      What a complete and utter shambles, who would have thought we were the 5th largest trading Nation on earth, oh wait a minute, politicians do not sell or trade anything at all, that’s down to others, despite politicians.

      This is more than embarrassing, this is a complete humiliation of our governing system, which shows many Mp’s are not fit for purpose.

      Thank you for trying JR, I guess you must be more frustrated than some of us out here.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        Alan Jutson

        ” who would have thought we were the 5th largest trading Nation on earth,”

        All thanks to our EU membership which rescued us from being the ‘sick man of Europe’.

        How quickly people forget.

        However since Brexit we have already dropped into 7th place and the pound has been devalued by 12%.

        A sign of things to come?

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink


          Yes the sick man of Europe because we got into massive debt to save the freedom of the European People from German domination.

          Does that ring a bell !

          Good grief some people have short memories.

  8. Andy
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Correction. This story has no definitive ending.

  9. Steve
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink


    I Agree with you.

    However, last night’s disgrace will come back and bite hard.

    It is a fact that a significant number of conservatives abstained, they should be publicly shamed, and sacked.

    So too should Bercow be sacked. Too much power, and weighted brexit ideology when he is supposed to be neutral.

    You say that the default position by law is to leave on 29th deal or not. You would surely know that all it takes is for a statutory instrument to scupper that. This entire farce has shown that when the law gets in the way, they simply change it.

    Serious trouble is on the way in this country, some say anarchy. It will emerge at the next general election with mass boycott, then it’ll hit the streets.

    • jerry
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      @Steve; No, the Govt needs to be the ones publicly shamed, and many I suspect would like to see them sacked too..

      TM stood at the dispatch box on Tuesday telling the world that last nights main motion would be a Free Vote, knowing full well that amendments could be tabled and thus passed, then having [1] had the main motion amended against the Govt. wishes they suddenly changed the whip from a Free Vote to that of a three-lines.

      [1] first tried to get the MP tabling the amendment to withdraw it, unfortunately procedure allows a co-signatory to move it instead

    • Trees
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Your last para is very much my dilemma.
      Not ignoring the privilege of the Vote has been paramount to me. Now, I’m in a place where I see it means nothing – we are not a democratic country/nation at all!
      Since this current behaviour keeps being fed instead of stopped.

      I want our PM to say enough is enough. It’s impossible to please everyone (which I beleive Mrs May has been trying to do – we all know you can’t go down that route).
      The Referendum vote stands. That’s it. Keep it Simple!

  10. William Simpson
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Your diary entry today has lifted my spirits. Trying to wade through the permutations of last nights voting, as detailed in the media, had initially left me with a massive headache, and a large dose of depression. That said, the situation seems very fluid. The PM might try and engineer a General Election, although that too would presumably occur after the 29th March, and UK having left the EU.

    As a leaver, I am so angry the way this shambles has played out. If we are stuck with Mrs May’s WA, it would be better to remain in the EU, and have another crack at it, knowing the likely pitfalls, and against a very different background, both economically and politically within the EU.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      I agree with that. Either WTO Brexit or Remain are both superior to the May Brino, which may be impossible to get out of.

      I do wonder why Humbug Corbyn and Labour didn’t support the WA though? As Ken Clarke pointed out its almost exactly what they want – the UK is locked in the customs union. It doesn’t expressly promise regulatory alignment & virtual single market membership also, but everyone knows that’s where it will end up – the EU will require it to release the UK from the backstop.

    • Bob
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      “remain in the EU, and have another crack at it, “

      Brussels will be removing Article 50 from the Lisbon Treaty “menu” once Brexit has been dealt with. So this is our last chance to leave.

      I always said that Mrs May would scupper Brexit, she represents Brussels, not Britain. In typical EU style she will keep MPs voting on the WA until they give her the result that Brussels wants.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Dear William–Having another crack at it, as you put, would require another referendum–cannot imagine retriggering Article 50 without

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    May it seems will have yet another attempt to ram her truly appalling, traitorous deal down the throats of the sensible wing of her party. She must be stopped from doing this and parliament (and May) must also be stopped from doing anything to prevent us leaving on March 29th.

    An appalling Spring Statement from Hammond a mixture of project fear, endless green crap lunacy and spending promises. The man is clearly an economic illiterate. The proposal to ban gas heating from 2014 in new houses is totally insane. Yet more economic and scientific green crap lunacy from government to push up housing costs further.
    Hammond also lied yet again that he would be “Shrinking debt – The first sustained fall in debt in 17 years”. Rubbish he is increasing debt significantly by endless government waste (perhaps it might decline as a proportion of GDP but not what he said). Nothing to correct his mad over complex and idiotic tax to death fiscal regime at all.

    Two excellent pieces in the Telegraph today from Allister Heath and Nigel Farage.

    ERG to support May’s appalling deal if she resigns is reported today. Surely not? Her deal is far worse even than remain, delay or a second referendum!

  12. Bob Dixon
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    The UK has had plenty of time to plan for a No Deal Brexit. To many of our MP’s it’s come as a surprise.There is no point in asking Brussels for more time. I have the Champage ready for 11pm 29th of March 2019.

    • Andy
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Celebrating leaving the EU with a product from the EU. Ironic.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

        Andy doesn’t understand the difference between the EU and Europe.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        You still cannot understand the difference between the EU and Europe can you Andy?

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Love Europe (and it’s peoples) but hate the EU organisation. It’s ironic that you cannot differentiate between the two.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        No, Andy. Silly Andy.
        You are confusing the EU with Europe AGAIN. Champagne comes from France – ie a country. We trade with countries. We buy their products when they appeal to us. Thus we buy champagne, if we like it, and use it to celebrate those things worth celebrating – such as our escape from your much-admired EU. Not our escape from Europe. Get it?

        What part of that is difficult to understand?

        • Andy
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

          I am not confusing the two at all. After Brexit we will not be doing a trade deal with France. If we want a trade deal with France we have to do it with the whole EU.

          Incidentally Champagne is only special because it is protected by the EU. Anyone anywhere could make fizzy wine and call it Champagne without this.

          The problem with you petty nationalists is that you fail to understand that a country but can not only survive but thrive and maintain its own identity as part of a wider group of friendly trading nations.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

            Obsessed with trade again andy.
            Yes we know we do a group trade negotiations with the EU.
            They take much longer because 28 find it difficult to agree.
            What was it 10 years for Canada?
            If the UK and France did a trade negotiation it could be decided in a fraction of that time scale.
            After decades the EU has still to manage a trade deal with many nations.
            Not that stops trade carrying on of course.

            Fizzy wine would be taken to court in the country that was in breach of the trade mark.

            Plainly your claim that nations cannot thrive without being in an EU type supranational body is wrong as all the world’s major trading nations who are not in the EU manage OK.
            If only the EU were just a group of friendly trading nations.
            That is where we came in.
            I think it was called the Common Market.

  13. Mick
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Now is the time to fall into line bite the bullet and vote for the deal, if leaving the Eu is kicked into the long grass leaving will not happen and the people will not get another chance to be independent ever again you know that as well as we do, if you don’t like the deal then do what other countries have done in the past and rip it up , but just get us out on March 29th democracy is at stake here as well as our freedom

    • Frances Truscott
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      No ,I was chatting to a few people yesterday of varying ages complete strangers. Everyone wanted out, were disgusted by the EU and remainer media. How do we all use our voices and votes? I already wrote to my mp who is reluctantly obeying the constituency opinion. We cannot agree to have disputes dealt with by the ECJ. Thats frightful. Mind you Russia has annexed territory. If the eu does something like tax financial transactions surely we can just say no. We need to do this before they do have an Army. We are an island. Surely **** off to the eu is possible. They already have riots.
      Sir John at some point make it law that media must be neutral and owned by onshore people .

      . In the meantime I am just buying British wherever possible.
      If we don’t get out we don’t have to buy their goods. Consumer civil disobedience.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      It’s a false choice. Choosing Brino will prevent the potential upsides of Brexit being realised. As Mervyn King has set out clearly there were good arguments for remain and good arguments for leave. But no arguments for leaving but keeping all the bad things about the EU & not being able to do any of the good things from leaving.

    • jerry
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      @Mick; You and the Daily Maul can not be more wrong. 🙁

      If the UK revokes A50 we retain the right to invoke A50 at a later date, if we agree to the WA the UK becomes a vessel state of the EU for how ever long the EU wish, the EU can impose their law upon us, even though we will have no representation at either the EC or EP level.

      The Daily Mail is now a very pro EU and TM newspaper (I use that word advisedly…), since its change of editor.

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        The new editor has impeccible deep Establishment credentials-I believe I saw him referred to as the best connected man in England some years ago.

        • jerry
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

          @Mitchel; I don’t care how well connected the editor of the DM is or isn’t, that is his business, not ours and he can also push what ever editorial lines he likes. What annoys me is how so many unthinking people simply accept what their chosen MSM outlet says without question or further thought, nor is @Mick alone in such ways.

      • graham1946
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        ‘We retain the right to invoke article 50’

        ‘We’ do not – the politicians do and they will never again allow it. The referendum was a misjudgement which will not be repeated. The only safe way is to vote May’s mess down, let the clock run down and get out with no deal. The vote against ‘No deal’ in the HoC has no actual power – the law already on the books does. May need do nothing. She probably will though, as she never intended us to leave.

        If the law is changed there will be mayhem and many P45’s handed out at the next election. Those living in leaver constituencies (63 percent of the country) will not forget the treachery.

        • jerry
          Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:56 pm | Permalink

          @graham1946; If our A50 letter is revoked that does not change the referendum mandate, only a future referendum or future GE manifesto pledge would do so. Well that is what many eurosceptics keep implying, thus surely any future eurosceptic majority government could re invoke the mandate again, sending a fresh A50 letter to the EC? You imply UK politicians hold all the cards, but who elects our politicians, they do not elect themselves, it is not actually in their gift to ‘refuse’ unless a majority of the electorate agree that those politicians are the best people to vote for.

          As for voting TM’s awful WA down once again, I hope you are correct and that is what’s done, trouble is those MPs who want ‘no deal’ taken off the table might just now vote for any deal, including May’s WA, that they had previously rejected – and that is what TM is gambling on, if not in Meaningful vote III then in Meaningful vote IV…

          The only people advocating ‘treachery’ are those who wish to dispense with due parliamentary process simply because they fear the democratic process will not deliver what they want.

          • graham1946
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink


            All well and good in theory, but live in actuality, not theory and the point is that the MP’s (as parties, not individuals) will not allow another go at leaving and will certainly never send another letter about Article 50.

            Our system is run by major parties and they are ALL EU fans, so you see, if we want to vote there is no alternative. There are no Eurosceptic parties with any chance of winning with FPTP.
            Parties put up their candidates, we have no say in it and they put up people in their own image. It’s why there has never been any offer to leave the EU in 44 years.

          • jerry
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

            @graham1946; “All well and good in theory, but live in actuality, not theory”

            I wish you, and many others, would! It’s all well and good wishing upon a star for our ideal exit but the fact is we are currently heading towards Mrs May steamrollering her awful WA through parliament because some have been brainwashed into believing ‘no deal’ will trash the economy etc, just like they have been brainwashed into believing the NI Backstop is necessary. No Brexit is (apparent,ly) off the table, ‘no deal’ is now all but off the table, the EU say there will be no further changes to the WA, if MPs really do not want either No Brexit nor ‘no deal’ that only leaves the current WA.

            May’s WA is something far worse than simply remaining in the EU on our current terms, having cancelled our A50 request, and for once we have the ECJ on our side should the EU try and be funny about it. But stick to your ideals, just don’t bleat when the UK becomes a vessel state, save your breath, you’ll need it in the democratic vacuum May’s WA deal takes us.

            We get the MPs and govt we elect, stop blaming politicians for the failings of the electorate! You want out of the EU, did you want out of the EEC as it was in the early 1980s, if so did you vote Labour or Tory in 1983, or did you take a more measured view of your political priorities?…

    • JeremyG
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink
    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink


      From my point of view, Mrs May’s “deal” is worse than leaving on WTO terms and must never be voted through.

      I would prefer to stay in the EU than allow her deal to effectively make the UK a “vassal” state.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        “I would prefer to stay in the EU than allow her deal to effectively make the UK a “vassal” state”.
        I think that is exactly what they have been aiming to get us to believe all along.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        ”I would prefer to stay in the EU….”
        And THAT is exactly what all this has been about. It seems as if the EU has been orchestrating the whole performance from the word ‘go’ so that it would scare other countries into obedience. It has been meant to wear us down to the point of thinking that remaining would be better than a fake ‘deal’ they’ve all concocted and devised between them – our own civil servants and the EU’s manipulating our blinkered, self-important and self-serving MPs. (Present company excepted.)
        I don’t ”prefer to stay in the EU” under any circumstances – this has shown us beyond doubt why we should wish to escape its poisonous tentacles.

        • Captain Peacock
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:17 am | Permalink

          You high the nail right on the head this is more about making sure no other EU protectorate state tries to leave the EU. They took full advantage of our weak useless leader and the traitors in the parliament.
          Leave I will believe it only when it happens but we need our country back.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

          L Jones,

          We are where we are, certainly it could all be the EU’s intention orchestrate this eventuality.

          I don’t see any problem with a WTO exit, but how can that be achieved now?

          Where do we go from here in your opinion?

    • Bob
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      @Mick, the Withdrawal Agreement doesn’t deliver Brexit, quite the reverse in fact. Only the most naïve would believe that the EU would negotiate after they’ve already got their £39 billion and all the trump cards. The WA is far worse than remain, the UK would be under EU jurisdiction without a voice and without the ability to negotiate trade deals or compete with the EU, no authority over its borders or fishing grounds.
      It’s Hotel California writ large.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Do you want to be governed by GuyVerhofstadt? Or M. Barnier?

      • PeterM
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Well now that you are asking they both seem to make more sense than our own PM, don’t you think?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      You can’t rip it up! It’s fooling us. They left HM but she has not been a Monarch since 1972. They left Westminster but it has not exercised Sovereignty since 1972. We are in phases 1 and 2 of the Euro – opted out of phase 3 only which is the actual currency. All this fools us into thinking that we have a Monarch, a Parliament, a currency – but we have not! That is why the E.U. are saying openly that ‘the English are stupid’ and telling us ‘to go to hell’ – but the more they abuse us the more we crawl back for more kicking.

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        The UK hasn’t been a properly sovereign state since 1941/2-we have been subject to the machinations of another state’s financial system ever since.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink


      Apart from Article 50 in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, see above:


      which has not yet been discussed, there is Article 62 which has been mentioned in Commons debates, for example:


      “… the UK has no unilateral exit right to leave, unless there were a fundamental change of circumstance under article 62 of the Vienna convention on the law of treaties … ”



      “… I understand that the Attorney General has been able to extend his advice on how article 62 of the Vienna convention could be used … ”

      This is how it starts:


      “1. A fundamental change of circumstances which has occurred with regard to
      those existing at the time of the conclusion of a treaty, and which was not foreseen by the parties, may not be invoked as a ground for terminating or withdrawing from the treaty unless:

      (a) The existence of those circumstances constituted an essential basis of the consent of the parties to be bound by the treaty; and

      (b) The effect of the change is radically to transform the extent of obligations still
      to be performed under the treaty … ”

      It seems to me that getting permanently stuck in a customs union with the EU, and thereby being prevented from operating our own independent trade policy as we are being promised, should meet those criteria.


      “4. The future relationship … must also ensure the sovereignty of the United Kingdom … while respecting the result of the 2016 referendum including with regard to the development of its independent trade policy … ”

      Reply Little hope of that working. Being stuck in the backstop is what many foresee and would not therefore be a change of circumstance. The EU has been clear the backstop cannot have an end without their agreement

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        But the EU has been clear that the backstop is intended to be temporary, and it has also recognised that we want to have an independent trade policy.

  14. J Bush
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Last night 312 ‘politicians’ well and truly opened Pandora’s box!

    And suspect whilst these ‘politicians’ are feeling ‘cock a hoop’ now, some may well live to regret their decision to go against democracy, and I include May in this.

  15. Dominic
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    What we are witnessing is nothing less than an attack on popular democracy by a political class that find the intervention of the voter an unacceptable irritation

    They play their stupid games in the Commons. Puffed up and preening. They are pathetic to watch, almost idiotic. Taking pride in crushing the result of a referenda that they themselves legislated for is beyond parody and beyond hubris. It is beyond democracy and represents a direct threat to our democratic system of governance

    There are forces at work that politicians and governments can never control no matter how many laws they pass

    I honestly believe that if this political class could suspend democratic participation without a backlash then they would. I am also of the belief that there are British politicians who find democracy objectionable and unnecessary

    A truly shameful period in British political history presided over by a PM that is without question a most offensive individual

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      “I honestly believe that if this political class could suspend democratic participation without a backlash then they would.” Me too many clearly would do. Corbyn’s Labour would also rig the system I suspect should he ever gets in.

      Suggesting a new referendum with a vote between May’s Brexit in name only or Remain as the Libdims and some “Conservatives” suggest is clearly rigging democracy and would be a total outrage.

    • Bob
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Hear hear!

    • bigneil
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      ” if this political class could suspend democratic participation ” IF? It clearly already is doing it. They have absolutely NO intention of looking after the country or it’s people who they like taxing so much to then throw it away in a show of “Look at us, aren’t we wonderful ” to the rest of the world. While billions are handed out in so-called Foreign Aid, we have English people homeless and thousands upon thousands of non-contributing new “arrivals” getting more than many pensioners who have worked all their lives. Who in this country voted for that to happen?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      ‘I honestly believe that if this political class could suspend democratic participation without a backlash then they would. ‘

      Add my name to that!


    • Peter Parsons
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

      “I honestly believe that if this political class could suspend democratic participation without a backlash then they would.”

      They already do for most of us. It’s called the First Past The Post electoral system.

  16. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    If May brings her WA back again the DUP will reject it again, without their support she doesn’t have the votes and it fails. The DUP stick to their principles.

  17. am
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Deselection will be the time of revenge on the Tory remainers by the Tory rank and file.

  18. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    As the friend of business and with the great business experience you have (although not recent) you must be satisfied that Parliament does not wish to leave without a deal as business in general terms have supported as wel.

  19. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    I am sick to the pit of my stomach over the behaviour of Parliament in particular those Tory MPs who abstained at this critical time. There has been no leadership from May. What did we expect from a remainer? Farage is right to say that democracy has been trashed. What on earth must the rest of the world be thinking? The so called mother of democracy. We are a joke. All votes were pointless and any subsequent vote in an early election will be pointless for me unless a true Brexit party run by Farage emerges. Politicians, except for those of your ilk John are manipulating the system to get the results THEY want. That is not what we voted for. They can all go to hell in a hand cart. I said we would never leave and this is how it’s looking. Disgraceful. You wouldn’t print what I’m really thinking.

    • Mick
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      My sentiments exactly fedupsoutherner, it’s is quite obvious to anyone that the current bunch of so-called people’s mps are not up to making whos side they are on but it’s clearly the side of the Eu they are totally against the U.K. so the only way out of this is for a General Election to be called so the people can put into Parliament true patriots of GB , but we know that won’t happen because Mrs May would need 2/3 rds of mps to vote for one and the Eu loving mps know that there political careers will come to a crashing end as they are replaced with true patriots of GB

  20. Edwardm
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    I hope you are right and Mrs May just plays for time in the next two weeks – but that’s hoping for a lot.
    I and others are incandescent with rage at MPs who are undermining Brexit especially those in the cabinet. If they accepted Brexit but wanted a deal they could have supported the Malthouse compromise, instead they are clearly acting against the referendum result.
    Why are these remainer traitors still in the cabinet?

    Something has to happen to remove these unsuitable MPs in leave constituencies – either local associations deselect and choose Brexit candidates (ignoring central office) or we need an effective Brexit party on a parliament for the people platform. Otherwise …

  21. RichardM
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Amazing scenes in parliament . May 3 line whips party AGAINST her own motion and
    Government ministers ignore it and get to stay in their jobs. Tory party is a shambles. Whips have no power. We have a zombie Gevernment.

    Meanwhile Farage and other Brexiters go on a Euro tour to lobby Foreign governments to act against the British Government by opposing an A50 extension.

    Withdrawing A50 and try again in X years time is now the only way out of this mess.

    Only next time get the pre-requisites like International Peace Agreements sorted out FIRST rather than pretending either it is not a problem or you have a solution that is in fact fantasy.

    Reply She rightly whipped against the motion because it had been materially amended so it no longer stated government policy

    • L Jones
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      ”Try again in X years time…” Do you REALLY believe that the EU would actually ALLOW us another chance to express a choice? Do you really believe they would allow us again to make a decision to leave their sclerotic ‘organisation’? No country will ever be allowed the choice of leaving again – of that I am certain.

      I even fear for our freedom to hold our own elections on our own terms should we be tied to the EU for ever. Enoch Powell feared ”….the betrayal of (our) birthright of parliamentary freedom either to a European state or to a Marxist bureaucracy”. He was prescient.

  22. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    As a Dutchman with a large British family I get asked at birthdays and visits, what I think of Brexit.
    My answer remains that many of your problems are rooted in your out-of-date democratic system. Even the north-south inequalities.
    Once out of the EU, which I expect will happen, the change-averse British will need to make it fit for purpose for this day and age. I usually add that I don’t think many British are aware of this need.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink


      One small step at a time…

      First out of the EU, then call our elected representatives to task from the House of Commons to the local Parish Councils, none of which are truly democratic and accountable to anybody except themselves… it must change.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      PvR I have long argued here for change. Perhaps now people will start to listen.

  23. APL
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    JR: “Mrs May still wishes to give her deal another airing in the Commons.”

    Surely, if there ever was an instance of ‘contempt of the house’ this is it?

    Twice already her plan has been rejected, any normal Prime minister would have resigned after such a defeat, but somehow, this one is allowed to stagger on by the Tory party.

    • Old person
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Theresa May has been roundly defeated on a major government policy twice.

      What would she have done, if she had lost that Vote of No Confidence by a single vote?

      In 1979, Jim Callaghan called an immediate General Election to be held five weeks later fully in the knowledge that he was likely to lose against Margaret Thatcher.

  24. Simeon
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    In your view, if no WA is passed by the house by the 29th, would the government accept an accidental ‘no deal’, or would they instead revoke Article 50?

    If it were the latter, what is your best guess as to what happens next?

    Reply The government has always rightly ruled out revocation.

    • R.S.Goodley
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      JR:- The government has always rightly ruled out revocation.

      Would that I could take comfort in that, but I know what I am seeing in parliament, and thus I am not confident.

  25. SecretPeople
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    The situation we find ourselves in has been in the planning for a long time. Brino and complete EU control vs Remain/reversal.

    Last year we heard money had been set aside for the MEP elections. A couple of weeks ago The Times wrote that the UK’s MEP seats, supposedly having been redistributed, were to be kept in ‘cold storage’ until Brexit was over (i.e. they were being kept warm for UK MEPs).

    Then a couple of days ago The Times reported the UK’s MEP elections may be delayed until the summer. Why? So that we could extend to a date just prior to the EU parliament reconvening, then agree a further extension, having – oops! – missed out on the elections. Can’t have the Brexit Party expressing the will of the people.

  26. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    It has been an experience to watch the ERG group drive themselves into a corner, where they are now asking for further assurances from Mr. Cox to potentially enable them to vote for Mrs. May WA.

    This just shows the political incompetence of the Group at this late stage in the process

    Reply The ERG commissioned its own legal advice which is not being changed

    • L Jones
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Remainer = no comment without insult.
      Can’t you make your point without sneering?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        It is a feature of the EU.
        Just look at the way the Commissione talk.
        A superiority built on the fact they do not have to answer to an electorate.
        They are the new modern day aristocracy.
        That is why like hans they talk down to us with a sneering superior air.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        L. Jones

        Pathetic comparison

  27. Iain Gill
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    May must go

    • jerry
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      @Iain Gill; “May must go”

      I agree but don’t hold your berth Iain. Short of loosing a GE, or at least Turkeys threatening to vote for Christmas, thus forcing TM to resign (in the same way as MT was), there is otherwise no means for the Tory party to vote her out of office until November at the earliest.

  28. jerry
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    But Sir John, ‘no deal’ is effectively off the table, unless the govt wants to trash our parliamentary system & democracy even further.

    Brexiteers won a battle (read, referendum) but then lost the war because they refused to fight any further battles. “Leave” means whatever the person at the voting booth thinks it meant, nothing more, anyone claiming to know why the electorate voted Leave are either readers or liars!

    I do not agree with what parliament voted for last night but that’s the price of living in a parliamentary democracy, whose mandate has (unwisely) been renewed since the 2016 referendum.

    Tonight, MPs, will vote on asking for a delay to the A50 process. Might I suggest that Brexiteers now accept the need to ask the people HOW they wish to leave, failing that (or if the EU conditions for any extension are at to higher monitory or political price) we should simply revoke our A50 letter, retaining our opt-outs, rebates and more importantly the option to invoke A50 again in the future [1] – something the WA locks us out of, making the UK a vessel state of the EU for how ever long the EU wishes.

    I will reiterate;
    No deal is better than the WA.
    No Brexit is better than the WA.

    [1] and the next time actually ask us mere plebs both the IF and HOW questions

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink


      “HOW they wish to leave”

      The true options should be:
      1. May’s Deal
      2. Leave on WTO

      But ask Vince Cable and he would say:
      1. May’s Deal
      2. Remain

      Your option of “Withdraw Article 50 notification” is interesting if just to “live to fight another day”…

  29. Richard1
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    interesting brief interview with Sir Christopher Meyr, former ambassador on yesterday’s Today programme. Asked how other PMs he had worked for would behave he said: they would say to the EU I’ve tried twice to get a deal through and failed, now it’s your turn. The UK will prepare in earnest for No Deal on 29 March. If you have anything else to say feel free. The EU council meeting on 21 March would be a good moment.

    May must be getting terrible advice from our current civil service, though must of course take responsibility for her failure herself.

    Interesting to see even Nick Timothy turn on her this morning in the Telegraph.

    She really needs to go. It’s up to Tory MPs.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Richard 1

      ” they would say to the EU I’ve tried twice to get a deal through and failed, now it’s your turn.”

      Did Sir Christopher say why they should do that?

      We voted Leave – the EU had nothing to do with that.

      Seeing we were ‘johnny come latelies’ in the first place begging to be allowed to join what has become the world’s most successful trading bloc after our own attempts at EFTA or the commonwealth, failed we shan’t be missed.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

        Odd therefore that the EU seem keen to keep us in and paying.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        The UK equates to 6 medium size EU countries quitting in terms of the size of economy.

        If we tank then so does the whole of the EU.

  30. Nigl
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Johnson, Davis, Raab and McVey resigned on principle because they were honest enough to say could not support the agreement because it did not meet the aim of the referendum or their party manifesto and thereby put their political careers on the line.

    Then we have the supine Leadsom, Mordaunt, Gove, Javed all knowing it was bad and against it but not having any courage, Hunt and Truss who face both ways in the pursuit of their own ambition and Grayling kept in a job because he ran Mays leadership campaign.

    Finally Hammond, Rudd, Gauke, Clarke contemptuous of the referendum decision and obviously the manifesto they were elected upon.

    When the inevitable leadership contest happens we must not forget, only one group has shown themselves to be worthy.

    • piglet
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      My views exactly.

  31. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    People mention the possibility of ‘May calling a General Election’. Under the Fixed Term Parliament Act, two thirds of MPs have to vote for an early election. Given that the new Brexit Party will contest every seat, for a Tory MP an election may mean the end of their career. It would be yet another farce if May called for an early election but could not get the votes of two thirds of MPs to have one. Plenty of Remainer MPs, Tory and Labour, face losing their seats.

    • Andy
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      I think we can confidently predict that a new Brexit party could – at best – treble or quadruple UKIPs success in Westminster elections.

      What will you do with your 3 or 4 seats?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Add them to the DUP seats and create a majority coalition government?

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

        Proportionately there should be 80 UKIP MPs but we understand the mechanisms and have been patient and compromised on that.

        We have won the Referendum and yet you support the subversion of it and have the cheek to blame us for May’s disaster.

        Your smarminess in direct contrast to the patience of Leave voters still in the EU three years after the referendum.

        I can only assume Sir John has you here to prove how AWFUL a Remain voter can be. I was prepared to believe rudeness and arrogance were fictional traits but you’ve provided evidence in abundance.

  32. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    Collective responsibility?

    Why are cabinet ministers who voted against or abstained from voting still part of government?

    Weak and beginning to smell of decay

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      Some MP on TV last night said that “Collective responsibility” was suspended in 2016 but the interviewer failed to find out why that was being claimed… Such is the quality of journalist nowadays

  33. hefner
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    It would be rather funny if the no-deal/WTO exit were to be obtained not thanks to the hopeless ERG/DUP/JR (unable to put together a proper strategy/tactics) but to the EU27 steadiness or the Banks/Wigmore deals with Poland and the Duncan-Smith-Paterson deals with the Italian Liga. What a laugh.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      Bring it on.
      As long as we actually leave without the dreadful WA.

  34. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The people are apoplectic at the breakdown and disregard for them and our tried and tested parliamentary procedure. This woman May is incapable of learning. The next election is going to be carnage! Remain voting MPs who defy their mandate will be slaughtered in the polling booths if not the streets. The next Parliament is going to be Leave! Even I am forced to vote Farage to get rid of my obdurate anti-conservative Conservative MP.
    We can recover from anything but May’s ‘Deal’.
    Tell the stupid woman for te 3rd time if you have to!

    • Rhoddas
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more Lynn, the deselection of treacherous remainer Tory MPs is underway at the AGMs this month .. we hope!! Any EU and/or GE elections will be be a complete slaughter and involve a wholesale removal of those candidates whom defy their voters and their own manifesto’s. Everyone needs to become activists, join political parties, vote for new leaders and vote tactically to ensure we Leave. The Elite are doomed, they just don’t know it yet.

  35. Stred
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    It’s the motivation behind the WA which is particularly insulting. Along with other Remainers, as witnessed yesterday when our previous Mr Slippery spoke, they think that the capitulation gives Leavers what they want because they think that they only voted for an end to immigration from Europe. This is offered as a bone to xenophobic racist swivel eyed dogs of low intelligence, as they see the situation, interfering as it does with their metropolitan life and the ability to hire lowly paid nannies and cleaners.

  36. Caterpillar
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Last night MPs showed they will subjugate their own people to serve their EU masters. Voting down Malthouse meant no deal was the only way to avoid this subjugation, the Spellman amendment stopped no deal – we know there will be a law change. May’s WA, when forced through at a third attempt, will confirm subjugation. Last night she warned the opposition against a situation meaning the electorate could vote for MEPs – no power to the people.

    The only acceptable outcomes are now (1) ignore the vote and leave on 29th, (2) civil war and revolution, (3) revocation and let us have MEPs – if the people show their continued support for Brexit at this stage then start again/GE.

    I think (1) is lost and by their actions politicians are choosing (2), it is sadly going to get very bad.

  37. Simon
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    This is thoroughly misleading. Delay does not require primary legislation. A Statutory Instrument to alter the exit date will suffice.

  38. NickC
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Not one of the 321 MPs who voted to prevent the UK walking away from a bad deal, would do the same in their private life. Whether for a car or a house, each of those MPs would be outraged if they were prevented from rejecting a lousy deal. Retaining that power is vastly more important for the nation.

    It is clear that these Remain MPs will always put the EU before their own country. And I am sick of it. Even I am shocked by their attempt to by-pass democracy. I am astounded by their selfishness; sick and tired of their complaints against us; amazed at their blatant subservience to the EU; appalled by their incompetence; and sick of their deceit. This cannot go on. So it won’t.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Nick C.

      Mind the blood pressure it is not healthy for you

    • L Jones
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      Nick, you are absolutely spot on.
      Ignore the habitual and very predictable sneering from the remainer.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        L. Jones

        Get your facts right as I am not a remainer, but I do believe in a very good deal with the EU

        • Edward2
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          Sadly the EU refuses to give the UK one.

  39. Owen
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Re 29th March, “The Law” will just be ignored in this chaos. EU will go along with that. We will remain. You and your friends could have voted for the WA and then fought hard to change things afterwards. But anyway even if we remain your fight can still continue.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Provided the Speaker allows it Theresa May is going to give them a third chance, and I would implore them to take that chance and at least get us out of the EU.

      • L Jones
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        It’s not so much ”getting out” with this so-called agreement, as having the shackles replaced by good solid rope until some even better and more enduring shackles can be forged. It would give them time to think up ways to bind us more tightly.
        Do you really think that the EU would honour any agreement if they can possibly pervert it to keep us bound? The word ”honour” is not a word in their vocabulary, I believe.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

          You would certainly be right not to trust the EU. However you should trust our pro-EU politicians even less than the EU. How many times have we seen our government deliberately choose to keep stum and turn a blind eye to breaches of the EU treaties?

      • Mark B
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

        So you support the WA ?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

          I support getting out of the EU, as I have done for the past two decades and more. I do not support staying in the EU just because the liar cheat hypocrite and traitor that the Tory party provided to take us out of the EU has been allowed by the MPs of that same party to go off and make a rubbish withdrawal agreement.

  40. Brian Cowling
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    I wish we had more such as you Sir John.

    I feel nothing but contempt for so many of our members of parliament who have the gall to refer to each other as honourable gentleman or honourable lady.

  41. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Philip you cannot have an unfettered part of a fettered whole. So there is no ‘partly Leave option’ you are voting to Remain with no representation (castrating our Parliament) and no exit!

    This is unforgivable.


    On 14 Mar 2019, at 07:55, DAVIES, Philip wrote:


    I am sorry but the game is up. The PM colluding with Parliament will simply not allow my desired outcome of leaving without a deal.

    So it is in effect her deal or not leaving at all. I appreciate you are a purist but I would sooner partly leave than not leave at all. That is now the option before us.

    Best wishes


    Philip Davies MP
    Member of Parliament for Shipley

    From: Lynn Atkinson
    Sent: Thursday, March 14, 2019 07:28
    To: DAVIES, Philip
    Subject: 3rd time …

    Philip please vote AGAINST the May deal if she trashes Parliamentary convention as well as everything else and brings it back again!
    It’s NOT Brexit. The people are so angry, the next Parliament will be a Leave Parliament, but if you have signed up to penal servitude forever under the EU, there will be NOTHING they can do!
    Then there will be civil war.
    Please don’t do that to us!


    • Den
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      It looks like your Phil wears rose tinted specs. He believes that May’s agreement means we partly leave? Does he not heed the advice of the Attorney General? He summed it up by stating we could remain in the EU INDEFINITELY. Or does Phil kmow a lot more about Law than a QC?

    • L Jones
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      You speak for many of us, Lynn. The next Parliament may indeed be a Leave one, but if we have been bound to the EU irrevocably, then they won’t allow our government to do anything but their will.
      And if there is civil war then our own soldiers will be expected to subdue us. And considering probably a majority of those soldiers are ‘leavers’ themselves the situation will be horrendous.
      What on earth is our government thinking of? Does anyone actually think things through?

    • Timaction
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Lynn. They need to know the anger about to be visited on them.
      The march starts on Monday and finishes in Parliament Square on 29th March. Everyone should attend the “Leave means Leave” event!
      The Brexit Party will win the next election. Who could ever trust the Tory’s again?
      The WD is NOT leaving but vassal state with no say forever!

  42. sm
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I believe a very significant number of the electorate will never, ever, trust the word of any UK politician again, no matter which Party, no matter how honest their record.

    I fear that as a consequence, many will no longer bother to vote, opening the doors to extremists of all hues.

    I am convinced that certain Ministers, including Mrs May, have utterly lost their minds.

  43. agricola
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Is there a concensus in the HoC for putting an absolute end to the Jack in a Box WA. The HoC has made it abundently clear twice. Apart from the loss of voice can we put an end to this serial vomiting of a toxic WA.

    Logically we have a clean sheet of paper. You research the possible , no doubt very carefully, so I was pleased to hear you yesterday promoting the WTO Art 24 of GATT route to departure. To achieve it you suggest we need to have tabled a trade agreement proposal. If it has legs I for one would get behind it. I recognise that just at the moment a large part of the HoC is in a lamped rabbit state of indecision. There is a leadership deficit. So I would suggest that the ERG ignore all the irrelevance and party politics flying round the chamber and in a concerted manner put the case.

    I also think that were the free movement aspect of the EFTA arrangement clarified and discussed with EFTA, the rest of the EFTA relationship with the EU might prove acceptable to a majority in the HoC. It is another channel worth exploring. There is also a certain affinity between the nations of EFTA and the UK . Two sea going outward looking nations and one small one that has found a way of being a success. I see it as a natural fit. I admitt to not being sure of the position of switzerland in the EFTA club. More research required on my part.

    Well above you have two possible solutions. What we do not have is endless time. There is a military adage that even a decision made and carried through that lacks perfection is infinitely better than dither. Dither gets you killed. Who dares wins.

  44. robert valence
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John:
    1. Please don’t vote for “May’s so-called deal” when it gets re-presented for the nth time.
    2. “”As a matter of practice, unless the law is changed, we leave on March 29,” he said. (Steve Baker)
    “There are some things that we could do to prevent the law going through in the time that is available.”
    Please do whatever you can to allow us to leave on the 29th.

    3. If this fails, then there has to be a G.E. – that’s what a postponement must be used for. As I’ve proposed before, the ERG has to force a G.E. via a confidence vote in Parliament by with-holding the whip & voting against “the government (so-called) at every suitable opportunity. You’ve been called rebels – by following the manifesto – so rebel !!!!!!!!

    • Helen Smith
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, a Ge now, and deselect Rudd, Grieve etc.

  45. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you may not wish to publish my last 2 posts. My exchange with Philip Davies. I have put them as they were written – read bottom up.
    David Davies will also vote fromthis Deal for the 3rd time! In spite of being a Leaver!

  46. Sakara Gold
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Obviously, having had to sit through a hectoring speech by the odious Liam Fox – who has still not delivered a meaningful trade deal with anybody – Parliament voted against again, loosing by four abstaining cabinet minister’s votes.

    The PM has lost this decisively, twice. If she can’t now sack these cabinet ministers, the honourable thing to do is for her to resign. What is the point of a third vote? It just shows what would happen if there was another referendum.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Where does the word ‘honourable’ appear in May’s vocabulary?

      A vicar’s daughter she may be, a person of honour and saintly virtue she most definitely is not!


  47. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s alterrnatives:

    Withdrawal agreement. Close co-operation guarantees that things will stay as they are. Close cooperation at all levels. But disputes are settled by the Joint Committee. Who will sit on that? How many people will there be there? Who will choose them? What exactly will their powers be?
    This really matters. Martin Selmayr, Sabine Weyand, Guy Verhofstadt, M. Barnier are not friends of the UK. They are officials of the Union. And Mr Verhofstadt has recently shown his passion for the Union – even outside his signature at the bottom of the Spinelli-Bertelsmann document.
    Final decisions will be referred to? Guess? Ah yes – CJEU.

    Without the Withdrawal agreement, planes will not fly. Roads will not work. Trains will not travel. Presumably, although this is not said, the Advice to Stakeholders will come to pass and relations will simply stop, not only in Europe but sometimes throughout the world as Union arrangements come to an abrupt end. At all levels, common electricity, defence, space exploration and satellites, data will stop.

    Third alternative is to beg to stay in. That would cause a lot of anger and also put us on the path to consummation of the complete Union. Even in the WA there are strong hints of an EU Army and Police force.

    Which one are we going to get on 29th at 11 p.m.?

  48. Jazz
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Brussels will give an extension – only a long one.

    Their reason £1-2 billion/ month.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      ………..and this government and its opposition are stupid enough to give it to them!


    • margaret howard
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


      Chickenfeed for the EU.

      But for us:

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

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

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        You moan about austerity on here regularly Margaret.

        But when it is extra billions paid to the EU instead of our UK spending priorities you become all calm and happy.
        Very strange.
        And your statistics have been demolished several times yet you still post them.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          Edward 2

          that puts you in the same boat as margaret

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

            Unlikely hans.
            I belive in national democracy.

        • hefner
          Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

          Following the EU elections in May it is very likely that a new EU Commission will be chosen by the parties having won the most seats. So that will be, although indirectly, the result of the voters’ choice (a bit like the choice of the UK PM) contrary to what people like Edward2 have been telling us for yeeeaaarrrs. How wrong one who does not know how the EU works can be.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

            The power resides in the Presidents the Council and the Commission
            Are you voting Hefner ?

          • PeterM
            Posted March 16, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

            Sorry to interfere, but who choose those if not the parties voted in by the voters! Can you really not see how little different it is from the English system, in fact much better because the vote is mainly follows a proportional representation.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

        Cost of EU membership:

        Subordination to the Commission (our one voice in 28) and ECJ (our highest court of appeal)

        Mass immigration – perhaps from the whole of Africa if it so pleases Frau Merkel.

        Why are crimes perpetrated by immigrants never factored into your costs ? Why are social and welfare costs never included ? Why are the costs of open borders on our security services never counted ?

        Why have the contingencies for the literal meaning of what was on the ballot slip “Leave the EU” NOT been implemented by this government ?

      • APL
        Posted March 16, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

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

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

        You were challenged on your assertion the last time you posted it. Please substantiate your figures.

        We, the UK are a net contributor to the European Union, if that is correct, how do we get more back than we pay in?

        It’s impossible.

  49. Noneoftheabove
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I agree with most comments today but I must mention some matters which have payed their part. I do not defend Mrs May, she has made two major errors; negotiated badly and foolishly erroded her parliamentary majority.
    She had to use tactics to deliver ‘leave’ in a remain Parliament and she has been aided in this the ERG’s insistence that the Exit Day is included in the EWA.
    Yes, HoC is behaving with contempt for the Electorate (witness the jeering in response to the possibity of withdawing Art.50) but they are constrained by the Law and by time.

    Who knows, an application might be made to the Courts to prevent an application of Art.50 without Primary legislation.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Sorry! That should say “prevent an application to extend Art.50”.

      The European (Notification of Withdrawal) Act makes no mention of powers to extend or withdraw notice given under Art.50.
      The Supreme Court ruled that the Government must seek the approval of both Houses of Parliament to submit notice under Art.50 and I think it is logical to assume that the same applies to a request to ‘extend’ or ‘withdraw’.

  50. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I wonder just what the Prime Minister has to wreck, ruin, demolish or destroy next in order for the men in grey suits to pay her a visit or even the men in white coats to carry her off?

  51. Addanc Monster
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    I think the Tory party is finished; there is a significant number who are determined to go against the will of the people with respect to Brexit; you have the worst chancellor of all time (including Labour chancellors) in Hammond, e.g. going after the self-employed for an estimate £1.3 billion by 20-whatever when various studies suggest the sector is worth £125 billion plus to the economy; I cannot think of any reason to vote Tory again.

    What do think John.

  52. villaking
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Faced with this WA or a long delay to Brexit, which way will you vote? Do you believe the Speaker will allow a third vote on this WA as I believe this contravenes normal convention?

    Reply The second vote was on extra documents comoared to the first one. Doubtless there will be further tweaks. Why would we ask for and they grant a long delay

    • villaking
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Because Parliament would need significant time to decide what form of leaving it can agree on and because the EU has other business apart from Brexit that it needs to devote time to. There is every indication from Mrs May and from the EU that any delay, other than to pass legislation on an approved WA, will be lengthy.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        The best con-artists are the ones who confuse their victim so utterly comprehensively, they don’t see what is really going on, and thus the perpetrator never gets discovered.

        I thought long ago that the delay, dithering, procrastination, and obfuscation of the May government had an unseen purpose, because nobody could really be so utterly incompetent. The can has well and truly been kicked down the road for long enough whilst they manufacture and concoct an excuse or a circumstance to remain.

        Maybe it was the intention of the political class all along to hand our money away in perpetuity because the dirty deal had already been done behind closed doors many years ago, well away from the notice of the electorate.

        Our nationhood was really just a sham until such time the EU and its supporters felt it safe to reveal the true depth of the deception. Yet their excuses and their ability to prevaricate are becoming ever-more desperate because they hadn’t bargained for the will of the British people and their ability to resist.

        And so this bunch of con-artists have been found out. Oh what a tangled web they weave, those who practise to deceive!

        Please Mrs. May, prove me wrong!


  53. BOF
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    I believe Mrs May will stop at nothing to prevent us properly leaving the EU. Either with her leave in name only ‘deal’ and if that cannot be done then with Labours remain in the CU and SM. At the same time she will absolve herself of all blame. It will be the fault of the ERG, the DUP and Parliament for not backing her version of Brino.

    Please Sir John, stand firm. The electorate will support those who stand up for what is right.

  54. ukretired123
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    The Spirit and the Letter of Article 50 Leaving based on the 2016 Mandate is not understood by MPs let alone the Speaker, the PM nor the LOO that is JC.
    British law enshrined this to remove ambiguous interpretation as MPs have lost the plot and corrective action needed urgently. The sqweeker is incompetent and not impartial and is enjoying his TV appearances across the world’s MAN as it’s good TV drama but gutter politics. Trust in politics just hit bottom.

  55. ukretired123
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Errata : digital software changed MSM to MAN !

  56. Ann Howard
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Still hoping against hope we will leave on 29 March on WTO terms.

    Further to that I would be very interested to hear your views on the new tariff regime announced yesterday – in particular with regard to Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It seems strange there will be no tariffs applied by the UK at that border yet presumably there would directly between Dublin and GB. I am confused.

  57. Mark
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The stupidity of Parliament in pressing for a deal to exit will shortly be revealed, as Spain demands Gibraltar as the price for an extension of Article 50, while Macron demands that the French are guaranteed our fisheries and so forth.

    No deal and a reset of negotiations with a new Parliament and new EU Commission without Juncker’s baggage are essential.

  58. Chris
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Message to ERG (if reports that they will support May’s deal if she says she will stand down):
    Please do not support the WA. Stand by your principles. The basic arguments still stand against the deal. If you are enticed into a game of “we will do this, if you do that” you will be playing her game with her rules of deceit and scheming. Do not stoop to that level. Act like “honourable” MPs. If you are enticed into thinking that you can bargain with her I believe that you will suffer defeat and humiliation through her duplicity. You will be like lambs to the slaughter.

  59. They Work for Us?
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Thank you once again for standing firm and for your clear exposition.
    Now that the precedent for rebelling against the Govt has been established by Cabinet ministers can the ERG not do the same by voting against all and any measures or business.

    It would remind the Govt that the Brexiteers had not been defeated and would bog down and tie up all business so that the 29th March quietly comes and goes and we leave anyway.
    If there is to be a delay the Brexiteers should support a delay long enough to introduce the spectre of taking part in the MEP elections. The Govt and EU would not want this because UKIP or Brexit Party candidates would sweep the board. Finally the ERG could support any motion of no confidence in Theresa Mays Govt and give us a general election so we can de-elect vulnerable Remainers.

    Reply What other business?

    • Helen Smith
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Any other business!

  60. Ian Kaye
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John
    I posted a comment yesterday which is the last one because it was waiting to be moderated.I would be interested to have your comments on the new tariff regime.What is to stop Mini for example importing car parts tariff free from China for example assembling the vehicle in the UK and taking advantage of the made in GB kudos.There is no duty to disclose the country of origin of vehicle parts as there is for example in California, and labour costs are reduced because vehicle assembly is largely automated.

  61. noname
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    It’s too much drama..I have to confess I’m not able for it anymore..so toodleoo!

    Let me know when it’s all fixed up

  62. Chewy
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    “The forces of delay”, I like that one. But I expect there will be a delay just as I expect the EU will agree a timescale and we will accept their terms. This Parliament isn’t going to turn round and leave on WTO on 29th come what may, and the current shambles of a government won’t countenance it either. Whatever legislation that needs to be rushed through will be, this is a Remain Parliament; a perfect term for it.
    My advise is that this is no time to go wobbly. I know our host won’t and I’m hoping a significant number of the ERG won’t. I liked the attitude of Mark Francois last night when being interviewed by SKY News. If there is to be a delay let it be a long one. What message will it send out to the electorate? Precisely. We need those EU Parliament elections, always been an opportunity to give the establishment a kicking and express displeasure with the EU, now with knobs on. Then a change of leader with no cock ups or backstabbing, Mr Gove! Next step the inevitable general election which is likely coming sooner rather than later like it or not.
    Brexit needs to pass another electoral test. I know we had a once in a generation referendum and 80% of the public voted for MPs who stood on manifestos respecting the refendum. But unfortunately MPs and Party’s lie. There’s risks ahead but also huge opportunities.

  63. bigneil
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Off Topic

    John, could we have another referendum please. Not for brexit – let the country decide if the BBC Licence fee should be scrapped. Radio Sheffield’s Toby Foster did a shameful interview (polite version of reality) with NE Derbyshire’s Lee Rowley MP this morning. He repeatedly talked over Lee ( Toby’s usual interview manner for any Brexit person) then slagged off JRM followed by slagging off every Leave voter in the station’s listening area. Why oh why do we have to pay this BBC tax for what is now a blatantly ANTI-British Pro-EU propaganda machine?

  64. oldwulf
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Can any MP really, really believe that Mrs May’s agreement is preferable to a clean break on WTO terms ?

    One good thing which will come out of all this is that UK politics will never be the same again.

  65. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    We hear that Geoffrey Cox MP may be about to revise his legal opinion on the WA. If so then is he about to become the Groucho Marx, Attorney General? ‘Here is my legal opinion and if you don’t like it I have others’

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      He might well find some way to claim it might not be enforceable. Not good enough at all. The deal must be thrown out. We must negotiate after leaving on 29th not while locked into May’s absurdly expensive straight jacket.

      • rose
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        This must surely be “no 10” doing the briefing, not Mr Cox. The same outfit which marginalised him [sound familiar?] to the extent that he came back and told the truth.

    • robert valence
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      I love it.
      Actually, the Marx Brothers would have done a very impressive version of the recent Parliament shenanigans.

  66. LondonBob
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I favour a managed WTO clean Brexit I but hope your good self and the ERG go for what is politically achievable, that the end point we seek can still achieved even if the lousy WA is a necessary step to get there. I realise the Remainers and EU are trying to intimidate us in to accept the WA by threatening to cancel Brexit but let’s not play chicken if there is a good chance we lose. The Remainers, in my experience of interacting with them, are crazy enough to cancel Brexit, perhaps even without the figleaf of another referendum.

  67. William Long
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    But I see Mr Tusk is talking about ‘appealing to the 27’ that they allow a ‘long’ delay to Brexit to enable the UK Government to rethink its strategy. I wonder what is behind that? Has he been talking to Tony Blair too?
    Our best hope seems to be that the ERG find a way to hold up changes to the existing legislation so nothing is resolved by 29 March and we Leave by default.

    • matthu
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      The assumption being that “enabling the UK Government to rethink its strategy” would be suitable justification for a long delay? Oh dear!

  68. Simeon
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Thank you for replying to my earlier question as to whether the government would either accept an accidental no deal or revoke Article 50. However, simply stating that the government’s position has always been not to revoke Article 50 is insufficient. As we are all aware, there is a too – large gap between what this government says and what it then does.

    If the government ‘loses control of the process’, and the Commons assumes control, which seems to be the direction of travel, do you think the Commons would revoke Article 50 if the EU refused to grant an extension? Of course, this question might still be valid come the end of May or June in the event that all sides agreed to more can – kicking.

    Given the worrying noises coming from some in the ERG – not least Rees Mogg himself – the danger of May’s WA being passed seems real. The only way to avoid May’s WA may be to vote it down in a second referendum, though this would mean voting to remain, which is obviously perverse. The only saving grace of a reconsidered decision to remain is that, at some later date, the decision might be taken to leave, though this time implemented by honest people with a plan. It does all seem a bit unlikely though…

  69. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Like most people not in poseesion of the sort of insider knowledge you and your colleagues have, I am somewhat puzzled by this. My sort tell me that there is no way the EU is going to agree anything substantial about the future relationship with a government without a credible political mandate. And in that respect either a long extension or no deal are in fact preferable than the current WA plus very vague politcal declaration because the payments (apart from membership contributions, which would cease on 29 in case of no deal) will be made no matter what happens in Parliament wrt the WA. An extension for a longer period would of course require an election in the UK. Such an election would give a fresh perspective (in fact a rerun of the referendum) and show if mr Farage is still a threat to the Duopoly. For Europe the downside would be to have another go at hosting a bunch of troublemakers who only show up when cameras are around and of course will continue to draw generous benefits.

    So it is not the EU urging the UK to stay (do not mistake politeness for hospitality) it is the UK that cannot make up its mind and worse, is unlikely to do so for quite a while.

  70. Dominic
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    I see there’s now the idea being floated by the centre of the party that should the ERG support May’s WA surrender document and sacrifice Brexit and British democracy then she’ll step down following its passage through the commons. I’m speechless at such arrogance

    It’s so evidently a trap. Obviously, once the WA is given legal status May will then backtrack on standing down

    It is very simple. There is no managed Brexit. There is no UK-EU deal on Brexit. Brexit is Brexit and that means leaving the EU without a deal or any form of compromise

    Again, the decision to leave is a decision for the electorate not for the UK government, May, Parliament, the EU or Merkel

    If the ERG back this PM’s WA then it’s a total betrayal of everything we stand for. You will be condemned at every turn both in public and at the ballot box. Your reputations will be in tatters

    May’s lied all the way to this point. I hope the ERG doin’t follow suit

  71. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    For God’s sake, JR, I’ve been saying for at least eight months now that it would only take a vote in each of the two Houses to pass a statutory instrument laid by a minister to change the definition of exit day, perhaps deferring it sine die.

    And of course there has never been a shadow of doubt about how the Lords would vote on such a resolution, it would go through without touching the sides.

    From last July:


    “Paragraph 14 of Schedule 7 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018


    Power to amend the definition of “exit day”

    14 A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 20(4) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

    So, yes, as stated by Owen Paterson on TV this morning it is indeed the “law of the land” that we leave the EU on March 29th, but it is also part of the same “law of the land” that the exit day can be changed just by a regulation approved by both Houses, it would not need a Bill to go through all stages in both Houses and then receive Royal Assent.

    In fact listening to Owen Paterson he seems to have learned nothing at all from recent events, not even from yesterday’s shocking revelation that a majority of MPs would now actually prefer the EU to become a prison and would be so overjoyed for us to be locked up in it that they would fit the lock themselves and then hand the key to the EU.

    Did you hear Hilary Benn, at Column 422 in the record of yesterday’s debate?


    “… Ministers need to recognise, be aware of and acknowledge that this House will never vote to leave the European Union without a deal, whether at the end of March, the end of June or the end of October. We are not prepared to take that risk with our economy, our jobs and the livelihoods of the people we represent – not today and not ever.”

    Wake up, JR, at this rate the ERG will be snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.

    Reply Yes I am well aware of how the date can be changed to a later one by Parliament. That would require the government to have negotiated delay with the EU. Depending on the terms of delay it might also need primary legislation to meet the new terms. None of this is relevant to assessing the Withdrawal Agreement which is Brexit in name only, locking us firmly into the EU on disadvantageous terms.We should not be choosing between two unacceptable alternatives but holding out for Brexit

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      You will not get what you want, and you will deprive me of what I want.

  72. BR
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    The problem is that they seem about to coalesce around an extension today. With such a vote in her pocket May’s deal will come back next week with that threat also looming over it ‘My deal or an extension so long that it will leave Brexit under threat.

    The answer, hopefully, is the longer the extension, the more time there is for a change of leader.

    JR: when are the men in grey suits ringing May’s doorbell? It’s long past time.

  73. John Probert
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    They will now negotiate a long delay which suits the EU just fine for many reasons
    We need to leave without a deal and that is what many of us voted for
    The House has no vision

  74. Ian Pennell
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    I watched the Parliamentary votes last night, saw how the Speaker insisted on the Spelman Amendment after the Right Hon Caroline Spelman tried to move her amendment. The Right Hon Yvette Cooper (whose Constituency voted 69% for Leave in 2016) objected and the Speaker insisted the vote go ahead. It did and Parliament voted 312 to 308 to rule out a WTO “No Deal” Brexit for all time and under any circumstances. Then, half an hour later the main motion ruling out “No Deal” was approved by a majority of 43. Technically, none of these votes are binding on the Government, but Theresa May (who does not have a Majority and who was again heavily defeated on her flagship Withdrawal Agreement) is not going to stand against the expressed will of Parliament.

    The one motion- for a sensible Brexit (the Malthouse Compromise) was obliterated by a massive defeat with a majority of 210 MPs by the Remainer House of Commons!

    Theresa May once said “No Deal is better than a bad Deal” and insisted “We leave the EU on 29th March 2019”. But Theresa May cannot get her Deal through, cannot go for “No Deal” and today looks set to be instructed- by Parliament- to extend the date Britain leaves the EU to some point in the future.

    As I said yesterday, Theresa May has no Majority: She is weak and she does not really believe in severing ties with Brussels. She has lost authority over her Party and she has lost control over her Government. Last night was Pandemonium in the House of Commons!

    You, Sir should get together with your colleagues to tell the Prime Minister that we need a Strong Leader at this time- and someone who commands respect from the Conservative Party and the DUP. As many of you as possible must tell her (including Cabinet Ministers) – in no uncertain terms -that we Cannot Go On Like This; Theresa May MUST GO NOW.

    Ian Pennell

  75. Paul Ralph
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    As a last resort, the ERG must give a nudge and a wink to the opposition and bring down this rotting corpse of a government. All they need to do is abstain in a vote of ‘no confidence’. The way then is clear for May to be replaced by someone who is has not been infected by the Eu brain-disease / quasi religion. It’s a long shot but I just cannot think of any other way of getting a government that understands the simple phrase ‘Leave means Leans’. Pull the pin out, and soon please.

  76. NickW
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    What we now have is a Parliament and a Government without organisation or leadership, incapable of reaching consensus or agreement on anything.

    But Parliament won’t vote for a General Election because many incumbents would lose their seats, their salaries, and their privileges, while we continue to pay them. This state of affairs will continue for years if we allow it.

    The only way to bring an end to this nonsense is to prorogue (Suspend) Parliament.

    There is a Government petition to do just that, which now has around 65000 signatures; it was supposed to receive a Government response at 10,000, but unsurprisingly; that hasn’t happened.

    Compare for a moment, those numbers. 650 MPs and 65000 signatures to end this farce.

    The petition can be found at; https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/237487

  77. Paul Ralph
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Sorry for typo: ‘Leave means Leave’.

  78. Ian Pennell
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    Just to add to the point I have made about Theresa May and the need for a Brexiteer Leader to take over- the aim of you and your ERG colleagues must surely be to engineer a situation whereby Brexit is RESCUED from the Remainer Deep State: Both Houses of Parliament are against a true Brexit, the Speaker is, most of Whitehall is and (I would wager) that the Judiciary and the Police are too!

    I would suggest a five-point Plan:

    1) Do everything you can to get Theresa May to resign- quickly.
    2) Coalesce around a strong Brexit Leader through a show of hands in the Parliamentary Conservative Party. I would suggest the Right Hon. Boris Johnson or Dominic Raab. This must be done in a week: You won’t have time for a full-on Conservative leadership election as plotting Remainer MPs will- by this time- be trying to make a “No Deal” Brexit illegal! You could have the full on Conservative Leadership Election over the summer to get the proper democratic mandate for the Brexit Leader.
    3) The new Brexit Conservative Leader has Parliament Prorogued, finding Brexit- supporting advisers who know Erskine May to “heavily prevail” upon John Bercow to make this happen!
    4) A new General Election is called and fought by the Conservatives on a WTO “No Deal” platform with some popular pro- growth policies like tax-cuts and millions of new homes for first- time buyers. Remainer Conservative MPs should be deselected and Brexit- supporters should stand in their place. A Brexiteer Conservative should also stand in Buckingham against John Bercow (against convention- giving him a final taste of his own medicine!).
    5) A new Brexit- supporting Conservative Majority Parliament has a mandate to see Brexit to a successful conclusion- using the Parliament Act (as necessary) to face down the House of Lords.

    It’s time for an organised Brexit fight-back!

  79. Original Richard
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    The EU’s WA is such an appallingly bad treaty that no MP who either believes in democracy or the sovereignty of the UK should ever sign it whatever happens next.

    Freedom and democracy is more important than our Chancellor’s promises for more bread and circuses.

    If our current Parliament were to give in to signing this surrender document then this would not be the “end of the matter” but the very beginning as the country starts to suffer from never-ending EU laws, taxes and policies, with clauses particularly disadvantageous to the UK, over which we have no say or veto.

    This of course is largely the case even if we were to remain in the EU as the amount of influence we have in the EU, particularly as QMV is being extended to all areas including taxation, is negligible and the reason why a majority of the UK voted to leave.

    At the very least there will be both political and social instability and economic uncertainty as we will not be able to elect or remove those who govern us.

    There will be a complete breakdown of the contract between government and citizens.

    Is a majority of the Conservative Party so anti-democracy and supportive of remaining in the EU that they are prepared to take all the responsibility for not implementing the result of the referendum, despite their GE 2017 manifesto promises, and for the consequences ?

  80. Mr C
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    “Our door is always open to hearing from our EU friends and partners about the negotiations.” Or some such.

    Rinse and repeat until 29 March. See how easy it is not to take no deal off the table if the government genuinely wants us to leave?

    Many MP’s simply didn’t know what they are voting for in pushing for ‘no no deal’, or else are persons who really want to remain in the EU but don’t want to risk parading this openly to the public. Such remainers see the advisory vote a stepping stone along that path.

    I am also increasingly concerned that many MSM commentators and politicians, particularly remainers and Labourites, are being disinguenous, at best, when they speak of the Parliament’s actions as rejecting PM May’s deal. More correctly, Parliament has rejected the EU’s proposed deal – a draft treaty- as put to PM May as the EU’s final offer. That’s how the EU sees it. This is why the EU refuse to change it. Even if PM May goes the EU’s proposal deal will remain as it is their position. The EU has not taken no deal off the table. It’s the only deal they’re going to offer.

    Suffice to say, looking at the antics in the Euro Parliament the other day, the EU is pretty hacked off that the UK Parliament has rejected their proposals. The EU has pressing issues of time., and certainly don’t want the likes of Farage, Batten and co turning up as newly reelected MEPs this summer. The EU does not want the upcoming Euro elections to be dominated by Brexit either.

    In the circumstances good luck to the remainers and others in government with getting an extension at all, or beyond early May, in any event.

    I do not believe the EU does not want the UK to stay. Sorry remainers. The EU is only interested in access to the UK’s money and market. The EU would like our money but want us gone. The vassal state deal rejected by the UK was perfect in this connection.

    Leaving on WTO terms are far better that the EU’s proposed deal and restores our independence. It is the only timely and practical solution that is currently available.

  81. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    The dangerous woman we have a PM ignores and shows contempt for all votes that go against her but accepts all that suit he maniacal views.

    She’s long ago adopted the EU view of democracy and is determined to destroy ours.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


      “She’s long ago adopted the EU view of democracy and is determined to destroy ours.”

      Can’t happen too soon. A proper democracy of PR where all votes count rather than our virtual 2-party state with an unelected house of lords, head of state, mighty civil service that makes the EU bureaucrats look democratic, judiciary etc.

      The whole rotten system should have been ditched years ago.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Even a mild form of voting reform was rejected by the people.
        You do agree with that result being a keen democrat Margaret or will you be asking for a second vote?

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

        Well. If we remain then no point in any UK parliament.

        You’re about to find out what this country looks like when much of the country stops voting and leaves it to the students, as we’re obviously too stupid and racist to count.

        Soft on knife crime/zero tolerance on 32 in a 30 zone really says it all

        Join the army ? Get crap food, crap pay, crap accommodation and prosecuted.

        We’re just the establishment’s tax cow and whipping boys – otherwise to be ignored.

  82. Atlas
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    It just takes the ERG and DUP to hold to their principles (which are just their Manifesto Pledges) and vote down May’s deal for the nightmare for May and the EU to happen; With a long A50 delay, UK voters massively supporting the Brexit Party in the EU Parliamentary elections. That prospect might focus a few minds…

  83. Sue Doughty
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Bercow allowing MPs a vote on holding another referendum, doesn’t choose to allow a vote on ruling one out.

  84. agricola
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Rumour has it May is planning to bring back the WA to the HoC next week. Is she currently knealt on the floor of No 10 trying to administer CPR to her dead parrot. No doubt members of the cabinet are running around with hot towels and bowls of chicken soup. Are these for the parrot or Mrs May.

    Meanwhile assorted MPs are wandering onto the box mouthing irrelevances as they go. They can be excused in this vacuum of clarity that some have the affront to call government. Brian Rix would have loved it. It would have kept the Whitehall Theater alive for years.

  85. Den
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    SJ I have read an article from the DT which reveals the Government has at last revealed their list of No-Deal tariffs. One you has asked for sometime ago but even then they decided to not release it until 11:57 PM yesterday night – way after the vote. Why was it withheld until AFTER the vote of No Deal?
    This is a blatant act to, again, defy the people and their representatives in Parliament. The figures could have swayed the opinions of those who elected to go against the “NoDeal” option but in true May form, it was withheld. Why?
    Now just who is in charge in Downing Street? The PM or one of her ‘underlings’?

  86. mancunius
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    “The government and a good number of Labour MPs remain rightly against any such second Peoples vote.”

    Does the government still exist in any substantial form? The Chancellor, Business Secretary and several other ministers are openly defying the PM and the whips, actively working against brexit, and are attempting to force the UK to remain in the EU by subverting government business.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink


      You are right there is no Govt. The ERG should leave the Tory party and put forward a motion of no confidence in the Govt.

  87. BJN
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John. I don’t know a lot about parliament procedure but I think if someone had a discreet word with Mr. Bercow, he could turn from villain to hero by refusing to allow the PMs W.A. to be put again before parliament. He might even get a knighthood, a seat in the House of lords and pot of money for sleeping all day. He’d be a fool to let that chance pass. Mind, he’s a remainer!!! Say no more.

    • James
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      It is surely time to bring Mrs May’s whole sorry shambles to an end. Link in with the Labour Party to pass a no confidence motion and force a general election. We know who impeded Brexit, and will mete out to them the appropriate measures to consign to them the obscurity they so well deserve.

  88. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    JR, I would like to draw attention to this exchange yesterday:


    Mr Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury) (Con):

    “The Secretary of State will be aware of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland’s written statement today, which affords frictionless trade to the Republic of Ireland in terms of tariffs and there being no checks. If that can be the basis of no deal, why can it not be the basis of a deal?”

    A very good question, which deserved a better answer than this waffle:

    Michael Gove:

    “… it is the case that those provisions seek to minimise the consequences of no deal, but that is a temporary arrangement that could be open to legal challenge … it is a sub-optimal arrangement … it is emphatically not an arrangement that any of us can regard as genuinely sustainable or ideal.”

    Why not? Which parts are sub-optimal, and why, and by what degree? Which parts could be open to legal challenge, and on what grounds, and by whom?

    Does he really think it better to have the whole of the UK subject to swathes of EU laws in perpetuity, for the sake of the trickle of trade across that border?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink


      I watched those proceedings and I was reminded of that favourite expression of Big Daddy Pollitt (Burl Ives) from that marvellous film ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’.

      To the uninitiated, he used to say…..BULL!!!

      And that just about summed Gove up.


    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      The WTO rules prohibit offering different tariffs to different Countries (for the same goods) unless you have entered an agreed temporary transition period with that Country prior to facilitate negotiations of a FTA under Art.24 of GATT.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        Certainly any other country with a similar land border with the UK could lodge a complaint with the WTO and demand that its exports going across that other land border with the UK be treated in the same way as goods going across the Republic’s land border with the UK, and a panel might agree with their point of view … however as far as tariffs are concerned, as I have written elsewhere I do not agree that Irish exports across the land border should all be exempt, and in fact that has nothing to do with avoiding checks at the border.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      The Govt and HoC on aggregate can only be described as pathetic. Even as a leave supporter I am now tending towards remain, the WA is unthinkable and if we could just leave and have a sovereign govt with civil servant support we know what we get, as exemplified by Gove’s waffle … incompetence and no integrity.

  89. VotedOut
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    There will be a great reckoning over this.

    Those who have blatantly stood against the people will be made to account for themselves.

    The PM is without doubt, the worst person to hold that office in our counties entire history

    This will sour relations with Europe for a generation and both political parties will be finished because they are now against the people.

    We truly live in the darkest of days.

  90. Iain Gill
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    nice of Mr Trump to tweet supporting the UK, more than our own political class have bothered.

  91. Chewy
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a thought. We keep hearing the EU say we need to say what any extension is for. We know the answer they’d like is for a second referendum. They could give Theresa May the perfect opportunity to blackmail her deal through. In the event of rejection Parliament would have to decide if it wanted No Deal or to hold a second referendum. Naturally Conservatives would get a free vote, and we can guess it would be constructed to give Remain a big inbuilt advantage.

  92. Simeon
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    Assuming that this current Parliament is overwhelmingly ‘Remain’, and that the government itself is, if not entirely in favour of remaining, at least so keen to mitigate the catastrophe of leaving the EU that it wishes to ‘leave’ the EU as minimally as possible, a suggestion; accept that this Parliament has the power to subvert the democratically expressed will of the people, and let them do it.

    Let them legislate for a second referendum that offers the choice of either remaining forever in servitude to the EU, or remaining as a full member of the EU (with all the associated rights, including the right to leave later). Let them hold a referendum that is an obvious affront, not only to the democratically expressed will of the country, but also democracy itself. A referendum, whose result could never achieve even a semblance of democratic legitimacy. Let the Remainers win their bogus referendum. And then organise, mobilise, and harness the anger of the people at being ignored and infantilised. Come up with a coherent plan for exiting the EU (it doesn’t have to be overly complicated, but does require an element of planning for a future free of the EU), and then work out how to sell it to the country, and then implement it (i.e. have MPs elected on such a platform).

    The point is that the political elite may want one thing, but if the ‘will of the people’ is for something else, then we, at least for the moment, live I a country where the people can make themselves heard. It might take time, effort and ingenuity, but it is possible. The manner in which Brexit has been prosecuted seemingly betrays a distinct lack of ingenuity, and perhaps it is the case that insufficient time and effort has been devoted to the enterprise. I understand that the winning of the 2016 referendum came as a surprise to proto – Brexiters, but what was the point of winning the war when there was no plan to win the peace? The Remainers can win their war, but they have no plan to win a peace either. I would suggest that He who plans wins. What’s the plan?

  93. Monza 71
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Remainers will do anything and everything to stop a WTO exit and they will almost certainly succeed over the next few days.

    Given Bercow’s highly partisan selection of amendments today, there is also a real risk that he will also prevent the government bringing May’s deal back for another vote. Where does this leave us ?

    There now has to be a real danger of a second referendum being called thanks to Bercow and other Remain conspirators. His choice of Wollaston’s amendment and the rejection of the much better supported one attempting to rule out a second vote, could be crucial.

    May’s deal may be deeply flawed but whatever those flaws, it does at least mean we will be legally OUT. A new Brexiteer government will, I am sure, be able to wriggle out of the deal if the EU are as difficult to deal with as they have been up to now.

    A “Change of Circumstances” defense may well be the key to escaping from the Withdrawal Agreement.

  94. JonR
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood

    Do you not think it is time you put your country first, rather than your remain dominated anti democratic party, and brought down the government allowing real leave candidates to be elected, yourself included.

    From what I can see the orchestrated drama is following the prescribed path to remaining in the EUSSR in perpetuity.

  95. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I like the optimism JR… But I fear May will be off to our masters just before the 29th to beg for an extra 2 years…. OF COURSE THE EU WOULD PERMIT THAT – They have no intention of letting us off the hook easily.
    In 2020 the Lisbon Treaty will come into effect, meaning what power, what voice, we had in the EU will be reduced dramatically, leaving us virtually powerless to make any decisions for ourselves…Isn’t this what May is working towards, to stall our exit until we no longer have a say in our future?

  96. georgeP
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Leaving without a WA remains the default position..yes..but not the whole story because if we leave without a WA then at some time into the future the issue of WA will have to be addressed again and probably this time with interest owing. We are not going to get a FTA with them without first signing off on a WA and neither are they going to allow the terms of the WA already agreed to be pulled apart..it’s just not going to happen..Steve Baker, Bridgen, Villiers and others will have to get real about all of this..am afraid theres too much cloud cuckoo land thinking about

  97. Steve
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Look why don’t we revoke this A50..it is just not working out as we thought it would and there is no silver lining. The devil we know

  98. Oh well
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    So the Benn and Cooper coup d’état in overthrowing our Government and installing themselves as King and Queen has failed. Good o.

  99. margaret
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    The WTO can be vastly improved upon and worked witb.

  100. Steve
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

    Well I think the vote was too close.

    Perhaps we should now utilise a policy of whingeing, whining, moaning and sabotage through malicious amendments.

  101. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    JR, two weeks ago the Commons came within 36 votes of ruling out leaving the EU without a deal under any circumstances, at any time, but yesterday that was turned round and MPs actually voted for it by a majority of 14. Today the Commons came within 2 votes of giving Hilary Benn control of business for a day, so what do you think is likely to happen if that vote is repeated next week? Can’t you see that the tide of opinion in the House is now running increasingly strongly against you, and if you persist in rejecting Theresa May’s deal for a third time then we really do stand a very high chance of losing Brexit altogether?

    Reply the WA is a lock up at great cost with no guarantee of an eventual exit but every likelihood of more sacrifices during long and difficult negotiations.It is not Brexit

    • Chris S
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:40 am | Permalink

      Denis has been saying the same thing for some weeks and he is right.

      We cannot allow control of parliament to revert to the Remainer majority in the House. They would undoubtedly use it to finish off Brexit either through a second referendum or signing us up to SM and CU membership which would leave us as a permanent rule taker and supplicant with FOM with ultimate control resting with the ECJ.

      We need to accept that May and Robbins have blown any chance of the U.K. having a fully independent future outside the EU. We have to salvage something from her mess, leave, and hope a proper Brexiteer government can make the best of the future relationship negotiations.

      There is no other route out available now.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      I am with JR on this all the way. The WA is a trap from which we will never escape. Better they mess up BREXIT and anger the electorate than be a slave for life.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        I well remember when some were saying that the EU was a trap from which we would never escape. It doesn’t show much confidence in our future to say that we would be unable to deal with the new situation.

  102. Den
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    MPs have just voted 412 to 202 to EXTEND our proposed Leave date. Who do these people represent these days? I am sick because the Country is now sick because 412 of our elected MPs have ignored the very people that put them there.
    We are not zombies we are the electorate and we shall remember your treachery.
    If this now prevents our leaving the EU in accordance with British Law on March 29th then I pray a cataclysmic event will do it instead.
    To deny the people their democracy is to destroy the Nation and to turn the citizens into zombies. Dangerous zombies.

  103. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    Just a short off-topic, before I again try and stay away from this site for some weeks.
    I hear on your news, that cancer patiens may face delays in their treatment, due to NHS shortages.
    Whike there is nothing perfect about Dutch healthcare, it does provide 50% more doctors than the UK (relative to the size of our population).
    Just another reason to live (or come and live) in the Netherlands. 🙂

    • Edward2
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      There are some delays for treatments and operations in the NHS
      There have been for decades.
      I did an internet search on “problems with the Netherlands health care system”
      You should try one Peter.
      Articles like, healthcare needs a shakeup, why healthcare in the Netherlands is so poor and many others.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

      Too flat and boring.

    • a-tracy
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Why are you just trying to get a rise out of people Peter. I do find articles about this most annoying, as well as our National Insurance contributions our Employers make National Insurance contributions towards our healthcare we have no say over selecting which hospital, doctor or consultant will treat us in the main, unless we are wealthy then people pay top-up medical insurance premiums, private doctors, hospital, dentistry, opticians etc. We also contribute lots and lots of money to cancer charities and cancer organisations and yet we still read cancer patients are treated appallingly in the UK. We definitely need to start asking more questions.

      “Dutch healthcare, it does provide 50% more doctors than the UK (relative to the size of our population).” Where did you get these figures from, do UK doctors include all of the private doctors, do hours compare or do yours work less hours, therefore, there are 2 for every 1 ft equivalent, statistics can be manipulated to show all sorts of things to suit a person’s argument.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Various sources on internet. e.g. search on
        Netherlands and United Kingdom Compared: NationMaster.com.

  104. Anonymous
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    When may we abolish the UK parliament ?

    We couldn’t possibly be worse off and here is one reason that could not be more exquisite:

    A knife crime epidemic “because we need a softly softly approach on crime”

    Zero tolerance on drivers trying to get to work “because 32 in a 30 KILLS PEOPLE”

    I never thought I’d see our country headed towards civil war.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 14, 2019 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      The prosecution of an aged para after the surrender to the IRA is about ten nails in the government’s coffin.

      • agricola
        Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Nail can be bought by the gross.

  105. Les Hodgett
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Lawyer Martin Howe QC told the Evening Standard:

    “The leading case in the International Court of Justice (the Gabcikovo-Nagymaros case between Hungary and Slovakia) shows this requires radical change of circumstances. The fall of the Soviet Union, disappearance of the Warsaw Pact, and dissolution of Czechoslovakia, were not sufficient to satisfy this ground.

    “The other issue is, under Article 62, the change of circumstances has to be unforeseeable. As we are talking about this ‘change of circumstances’ now, it cannot be unforeseeable.”

    • mancunius
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:13 am | Permalink

      Exactly. ERG MPs should not even be discussing this – it is a negligible point. The idea that a change of UK government provides ‘a change of circumstances’ in international treaty law is cuckoo.
      Sir Bill Cash today eloquently set out the legal traps contained in the WA. And we know they will be used and manipulated so as to force the UK to accept the customs union as the bare minimum of a price for any deal, under the WA, as Sabine Weyand was kind enough to announce it in Brussels to the assembled Commission.

      The British always think no treaty will ever be unfairly exploited against them, and that foreign powers cannot possibly have malicious prejudice against us.
      And yet both assumptions naively and arrogantly made by naive English politicians (Heath, May, for example) are invariably wrong, and their naivety and arrogance harms us immensely.

  106. Wokingham Mum
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    You should all be ashamed of yourselves. And the PM should go. Shame on the lot of you. The peoples vote as been badly let down. Now nearly 3 years later let’s have another vote. Let the young who future it will effect decide. I was a leave, this is not leave. A new vote is needed the young might just surprise you and Leave will be stronger if not so be it.

  107. J Bush
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I have just read that May voted to delay leaving the EU!

    My opinion of her is not fit for publication.

  108. ian
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    You are right, Ian Wragg, They are and have been working on a total bailout of the EU commission, not only in money terms from the UK but also in voting members to the parliament in Brussels. Merkel has seen it coming for a long time and even come up with the idea of the ref with Cameron to facilitate the bailout.

    Under the German constitution, they do not have to follow EU rules as seen with them going back to the coal fire station, but in the UK you do not have a constitution so you follow the EU rules to the letter.

    With the parties changing and the new one coming along in Europe, they could find themselves outvoted and losing control of the EU parliament vote, so along comes your parliament to the rescue. Mrs T May know the result of every vote before it takes place.

    Its Merkel deal to which you know nothing about yet or a long extension to put remain in a winning position with MEP being made up by the lords and when that happens, you won’t get to vote MEP ever again.

  109. ian
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    The only problem the EU and Merkel have, It takes all 27 members to approve an extension and they have upset a few members over the last few years and I dare say, there are some members who are looking at ending the commission rule over them over the long term.

  110. Simon Coleman
    Posted March 14, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    May hasn’t given MPs a chance to say what they might support! So, do you think that they should have that chance? It’s a simple question.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      It isn’t their choice.
      We had a referendum to leave.
      “This is your decision. We will implement what you decide ”
      Article 50 was made law. We must leave on March 29th.
      If the WA cannot be accepted by Parliament then the default is to leave.
      In both cases we begin negotiations towards a deal after that date.

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        If a majority of MPs reject the No Deal option, then the law can be changed – if the EU offer an extension to Art. 50 of course. Whatever people thought they were promised during the referendum, the government has a duty to protect the interests of all the businesses and jobs that depend on the single market. Nobody owns Brexit. If you vote a party into government in a general election, you don’t own it or its manifesto commitments. Some things in the manifesto will never get on the statute book. The same with Brexit. You don’t own it. If you vote for a process so unbelievably complicated, then you just have to accept that it might end up not quite as you expected. It’s the nature of political systems and processes…it’s the nature of life.

    • hefner
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      No, Hillary Benn’s amendment to hold an indicative vote on what type of Brexit MPs could gather around was defeated 314 to 312, not really (only) the PM’s fault but (also) the incredible shallowness of the bunch of losers that pass for MPs.

      • hefner
        Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

        BTW, isn’t that an another example of “Take back control”, yet another after the beauty of what happened in January 2017.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 15, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      That would have been the sensible course of action had she done so right from the beginning. But it is now too late.

  111. am
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Mrs May or rather LINO, Leader in name only, now uses Labour against her own party, manifesto and promises, to get her remain deal delay through. I thought her deceitful but am still shocked at this.

  112. ian
    Posted March 15, 2019 at 2:50 am | Permalink

    Let me remind people that revoking Article 50 is not the same as revoking Brexit, they are two different things.

    To Revoke Brexit you need GE with a party with that stated in their manifesto or a second ref, only the people can revoke Brexit. Also, you can leave the EU at any in the future as long as you have elected MPs who believe in Brexit and hold a majority in parliament to do so.

    Of course, that is your job and not an MPs job, failure to be ready for a snap GE at any time will be your fault, so instead of worrying and reading BS in the papers and on the TV, you should be readying yourselves and picking out your own persons in your area for battle ahead because even by a miracle Brexit get through in the next two weeks, you still need the right people in place in parliament for it to be a success,

    This is your Neville Chamberlain moment as the gov is trying to get the surrender documents voted through parliament.

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    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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