I see no reason for a delay in Brexit

The Prime Minister gave her word many times that we would leave the EU on 29 March. The Conservative Manifesto said we would either leave with a good deal or with no deal. The government has had 2 years eight months to negotiate a deal, and to put in place everything needed to leave with a series of mini deals without a Withdrawal Agreement. I do not see why we should now change this approach and ask for a delay. The Withdrawal Agreement itself is a massive delay as well, so the government is offering two kinds of delay.

The EU has said it will not re open negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement. Unless the UK can take the money back off the table and insist on leaving free to make its own trade deals and settle its own laws and borders as part of a new negotiation there is no point at all in a delay. Such a delay proposal would never be accepted in the EU.

Some people argue that the UK needs a longer time for Parliament to hammer out a  consensus. There is no sign that Parliament will be able to do that. It could have done it at any time over the last couple of years but chose not too. The  minor parties oppose Brexit outright and Labour has moved to a position of effective hostility to a proper Brexit. Labour has always seen Brexit more as an opportunity to  damage the Conservatives and press for an election by playing up differences rather than looking for a national consensus, which is the normal attitude of an opposition in the UK.  There is no reason this is about to change so the main opposition parties will suddenly want to work co-operatively to find the elusive compromise most people can accept.

The EU has always said we cannot negotiate a trade deal with them until we have left. That is why the best course of action for both sides from here is for the UK to leave on 29 March, but both sides to immediately enter serious talks about a free trade deal. This would allow both sides to carry on without imposing tariffs and new barriers to trade whilst we negotiated the details of the Free Trade Agreement.  A long delay with us still in the EU would put off any negotiation of our future trading relationship, adding to business uncertainty and putting off investment.

The government and the private sector have prepared for a March 29 exit, and have spent money on stocks and other arrangements. There would be understandable anger by many if all that has been wasted.

The “long delay” idea needs whole hearted Labour support, EU consent, and is still in search of a sensible purpose for it. With 188 Conservative MPs voting against any delay Mrs May has no government majority for delay! Those who threaten us with a delay have to explain how and why.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    This whole process, to those not on the ‘inside’ of Parliament, is a living hell of uncertainty and fear of the permanent loss of the sovereignty we love.

    The title of your article today no doubt provides reassurance to the many contributors who do not doubt your insight. Regrettably, and very sadly, the opening sentence of your first paragraph referring to the word of the Prime Minister perhaps diminishes that reassurance.

    I hope, so very much, that your optimism is proven accurate, come the day. Please continue your great efforts to achieve the absolutely essential delivery of the verdict of the people who want nothing to do with May’s putrid WA. WTO exit is a must. Please keep all ERG and DUP members focussed.

    • Nick
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      I too feel exactly the same way as you Pominoz.

      I also believe someone must have some very good dirt on Mrs May to make her do what she is doing. How else can one explain the electoral suicide she is driving her party towards as well as the damage she and her band of traitors are doing to the Parliamentary process in the eyes of the people.

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        Nick, I feel the same too. Good article in Sunday Mail today by David Starkey telling how we have lost democracy and its down to smug politicians who think they can do what they like. Blair and Cameron are compared and there is nothing between them. They are like twins. Please continue to fight John. Our democracy is too precious to lose.

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Just read that – very good.

          Blair – Brown – Cameron – May

          The UnFab Four of British Prime Ministers

          • Tad Davison
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

            Wot, no Major?


      • Dominic Johnson
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

        The willingness if European Politicians to destroy their parties for the EU is well documented and consistent.

        • Hope
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          Is there any doubt in anyones mind May has not been colluding with the EU while lying with her strap lines at home?

          No one could willingly agree to her servitude plan. There is absolutely nothing in it for the UK. What does we get for the £100 billion with an unlimited timeframe for supplementary payments with ECJ deciding any dispute about money!

      • Stred
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        She is a deranged Liberal cultural Marxist who entered what she thought was the Nasty Party to subvert it and her country.
        Part 3 of the plot is to deliberately not prepare thoroughly, such as not communicating with small businesses and farmers or planning replacement grants, Then use repeat Fear on the civil service State Pravda to repeat phrases like cliff edge. The public and dim MPs are now conditioned.

        • Peter
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          The current big lie is that the Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement is the least bad of three possibilities. The BBC pushes this idea.

          It is no such thing. If we are signed up to the Surrender Agreement then we are finished. Better to reject it yet again and live to fight another day.

        • Bobs your uncle
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

          Stred, the extent our MPs are Media led and controlled by propaganda narrative set mainly by the BBC is a national emergency.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        It’s most likely simpler than that. Just an innate contempt for ‘gammon’ is all that is needed.

      • Merlin
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        I agree whole-hearted.

        There cannot be a delay to Brexit.

        So why not stop waiting for Scarlett Johannson to turn up and vote for May’s deal?

        • Bob
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

          This is your wake-up call.
          “May’s deal” is actually Merkel’s deal.
          It’s not Brexit, it’s BRINO.
          It hands control of our future status to Brussels, and in case you hadn’t already worked it out, they don’t want the UK to become independent.

          • Merlin
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

            The U.K is already independent.

            We control our own tax and borders already.

      • Hope
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        It is clear from the Star Chamber solicitors (ERG) that May’s servitude plan has minimal changes and some clearly written to spin/deceive the reader of changes that do not exist.

        Now May dares to threaten the nation and MPs Brexit will be delayed or not happen unless her servitude plan is voted for. How dare she. Democracy does not belong to her, nor a cabal of MPs who do not accept the result.

        Esther McVey, shame on you. Do you think people will tolerate this? Day outthink people will vote Tory ever again? Who do you think will capitulate in the next phase of trade talks-May!

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          Esther “I’m Made of Sterner Stuff” McVey still thinks she can be Prime Minister

          • Hope
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

            If Davis or McVey have changed because of illusory vanity egos of PM they are deluded.

            What do they think May will do in the next phase if allowed to get away with this servitude plan? Do they think she will happily stand down? Idiots.

            A huge question mark still hangs over Davis for not knowing what May and Robbins were up to. Clearly not in full charge of his brief or aware of what was going on around him.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:01 am | Permalink

            Indeed a big mistake by Mc Vey and David Davis. Hopefully they will both reflect and think again. Signing May dire handcuff treaty would be a disaster. One far, far worse than even that Major taking us into the ERM disaster which buried the Conservative Party for many terms.

            I do not suppose (if he she does get her wretched treaty though) she will ever aplogise for it. We are still waiting for Major to do so.

      • Oldwulf
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        Hopefully the Brexit Party will provide an outlet for the disenfranchised majority. The alternative doesn’t bear thinking about.

      • John Hatfield
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        “Tories in the pockets of big-business.”

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Is it not significant that the CBI and other business lobby groups support her deal, not as an ideal outcome but as the best that they could hope for short of the UK staying in the EU? And is it not significant that the Irish government pretty much agrees with the CBI, and so is very willing to provide her with a pretext for doing what the CBI wanted her to do? For the Irish Prime Minister the issue of the open Irish land border is a ruse, while for our Prime Minister it is a pretext, and both are happy to collude on that.

        • Al
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          “Is it not significant that the CBI and other business lobby groups support her deal, not as an ideal outcome but as the best that they could hope for short of the UK staying in the EU?”

          Dennis, the CBI may, but the small and micro-firm associations generally do not, in many cases because they are the companies that have lost out or been rendered unable to compete by the EU.

          Also notably, while those associations would welcome a good deal, the members surveyed in those I belong to have said May’s deal presents no advantages over leaving with ‘no deal’.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            As I have said before until I myself am sick of saying it, Theresa May has been doing what what first Tory and then also Labour governments have been doing for more than half a century: giving priority to the interests and convenience of the 6% or thereabouts of UK businesses which export about 12% of GDP to the rest of the EU, and especially to the larger and more vocal businesses. It was noticeable and significant that she even went to talk to the CBI about her deal before she told the House of Commons:


            “PM speech to CBI: 19 November 2018”

            “Last week the Cabinet agreed the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union … We now have an intense week of negotiations ahead of us in the run-up to the special European Council on Sunday. During that time I expect us to hammer out the full and final details of the framework that will underpin our future relationship and I am confident that we can strike a deal at the council that I can take back to the House of Commons.”

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Hear hear Pominoz but I fear the Brexiteers will now cave in mistakenly to this deluded woman’s threats. We can’t believe a word that comes out of May’s mouth. Brexit means Brexit, No deal is better than a bad deal, we are leaving on the 29th – she obviously was lying through her teeth and now she brazenly threatens that Brexit might not happen at all unless her pathetic humiliating surrender document is passed. Let’s hope the ERG and DUP stand firm and vote it down.

    • Anthony Bright-Paul
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      As I understand it No Deal is still on the table, in spite of MPs voting against it. the Law has not changed. So the Brexiteers need to stand firm and not be bluffed by Theresa May.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        If necessary MPs, and Lords, will vote to change that law.

        • Mark B
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

          I would sooner call their bluff than run to the arms of the Withdrawal Agreement. Let them repeal it. Let them extend it. It will be to their ruin. But to give in by signing the WA will be ours.

    • Peter
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Agreed. As others point out, May is a snake and her word counts for nothing.

      I do hope the parliamentary arithmetic still means the Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement will fail a third time.

      Stand firm Leavers. ‘No Surrender’ DUP!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink


      Fear of loss of (rather than return of) sovereignty.
      Fear of loss of (if not already actual loss of) democracy.
      Irrecoverable loss of trust in MPs.
      Total destruction of the viability of an impartial speaker (new rules are needed immediately).
      Confirmation of the utter disdain with which the political and civil service class view the electorate.
      Total destruction of integrity (leaving local association but not standing for reelection, not following a 3 line whip but staying in cabinet, being prepared to close a debate then vote against the motion, offering bribes for backing the WA, not releasing all relevant attorney general advice … the list of behaviours of our MPs can go on, and this is just the visible list, not including gossiping civil servants)
      Victory to the misplaced view that economic (specifically GDP) outcomes dominate all other things that a nation may value.

      It is time to demolish the Palace of Westminster not renovate it. It is an embarrasment, can no longer serve as a symbol of democracy, simply reminding the world where democracy was thrown away and the electorate’s view was discounted to worthless.

    • TooleyStu
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Yes, the huge chasm that has now been revealed between the population and the political classes. Brexit has shown this in stark relief.
      Parliament has, except for a few notable exceptions (SJR and JMG being among the few), failed to deliver.
      Parlmnt voted to have the ballot.
      Parlmnt didn’t get the answer they wanted.
      Parlmnt seems to now be hell bent on reversing the orders from its employers.
      (Or is it? Who are the employers? The civil service? The EU? The banking elite?)

    • Richard
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      As Sir John says there is no reason delay to leaving. Recently resigned ministers told us that the UK has made reasonable WTO preparations:
      George Eustice http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/03/12/ask-the-same-question-and-you-get-the-same-answer/#comment-1002725 ,
      Suella Braverman http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2018/12/08/i-have-more-confidence-in-the-government-than-ministers-do/#comment-979430

      The threat of punitive extension terms are similarly bogus. The UK has a unilateral right to revoke Art 50; which could then be immediately invoked again. (ECJ denying reinvocation would bring EU law into disrepute & immediately bring Vienna Convention into play.) Not that the UK should do that. It is just that ALL options are better than serfdom under the watertight WA.

      Paul Goodman & Martin Howe were spot on 2 weeks ago: http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2019/03/11/the-whipping-for-this-week/#comment-1002108

      • Richard
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        I meant: ‘no reason to delay leaving’ & ‘6 days ago’

    • Richard
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Christopher Howarth: “These are dark arts, practised by a particularly hapless novice wizard. Downing Street’s last weapon is fear – fear they may do something even worse to themselves than they were already planning! And MPs are not fearful of a weak unimaginative Government desperate to push through a failed deal.” https://brexitcentral.com/ignore-nay-sayers-heres-still-course-clean-brexit-29th-march/

      Simon Clarke: “The only people who would be responsible for ‘no Brexit’ would be those who vote to take no deal off the table, or to extend – for no good reason – Article 50. https://brexitcentral.com/brexiteers-right-tuesday-reject-deal-leave-brussels-control/

      Owen Patterson: “In any case, can either main party seriously contemplate the political damage which a delay would cause? … Seventy-five per cent of Conservative seats at the last election voted Leave. … Can Labour seek to form a Government if it pushes for an extension? Of the 100 Conservative seats with the smallest majority in which Labour came second, 78 voted Leave. What chance will a Labour candidate have in any of those?” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/16/still-wont-back-mrs-mays-deal-not-brexit/

      There are many good points in these articles besides the choice quotes above.

  2. Mark B
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    The Prime Minister gave her word many times . . . [insert numerous examples here], and then promptly went and did the opposite.

    Fool me once, and all that 😉

    . . . both sides to immediately enter serious talks about a free trade deal.

    On this I disagree. I would much prefer to have discussions with the USA and all the Commonwealth Nations first. Making the rEU27 wait would strengthen our hand as we will be signalling that we do not need them as much as they may thinks we do.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      Ooops !

      Good morning.

      • Richard
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        The DIT were reported as having working groups with 21 priority countries outside EU27. Australia, NZ, the USA & others have expressed interest in agreeing quick interim FTAs with the UK following a WTO Brexit.

        Shanker Singham & Lord Lilley:
        “Continuity agreements are in place with Switzerland, Chile and Israel and mutual recognition agreements with the US, NZ & Australia. Meanwhile, 111 bilateral agreements will continue unchanged. Of the 17 negotiated via the EU, virtually all have been successfully renegotiated.
        The EU would be likely to agree a nine-month [WTO] mini-transition period where a broader range of rules and regulations would remain in force, pending permanent solutions.” https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/03/13/no-deal-nothing-scared-just-brexit-many-mini-deals/

        • Simon
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          This is nonsense. Absent the WA the EU have persistently stated there will be no transition. Brexit means Brexit. Offering unicorns is not grown up policy making.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink
    • Pominoz
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      I like your thoughts about putting the US and Commonwealth first!

      Here in Australia they are dead keen to get things moving. A two year wait would be a disaster

      • Know-Dice
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Agreed Pominoz,

        Companies have held off making financial and investment decisions until 29th March this year, to delay means that they WILL make their plans WITHOUT the UK.

        Is this Government so out of touch with the way companies work?

    • agricola
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      While I sympathise with the sentiments of your idea I think I can improve it.

      Leave on 29th March. Submitt a free trade proposal on trade and services on 30th March. Invoke Art 24 of GATT on the 1st April,after midday so they know we are serious, then go down the route you suggest. Art 24 of GATT as you know enables trade as it is now to continue until a new FTA is agreed.

      The problems as I see.them are:-
      1. A PM that wishes to remain in the EU.
      2. A PM with inflexible thought processes.
      3. A civil service that wishes to remain.
      4. A party of opposition that does not know what it wants beyond the power to rule the UK on Marxist principals despite the lessons of history.
      5. A tory party divided, that has little understanding of trade or how to negotiate.
      6. A tory party incapable of electing a strong leader to carry it through because 2/3 rds of them prefer to remain in the EU. They like the chaos of May.

      So there you have it. All we can do is give our opinion and sit back and watch it all self destruct.Our moment of power arrives at the next GE, assuming they are not banned, then we can tear this tower of babel to pieces.

      • agricola
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        As an adendum, David Starkey in the Mail on Sunday,puts it all into historical context. It is in fact now a case of the people versus Parliament. If parliament do not back down they will get their cumuppance at the next GE.

        • Mark B
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

          Yes I read it. Thank you.

    • NickC
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Mark B, Exactly. I, too, was amazed at the concept of anyone possibly trusting Theresa May’s word. The Telegraph’s headline of Mrs May claiming that voting for her draft “Withdrawal” Agreement is the patriotic thing to do, sums up the state of her delusions and desperation.

      I was equally amazed earlier this week to see that the Attorney General, Geoffrey Cox, has suddenly discovered the Vienna Convention as a way out of Mrs May’s dWA, if we were so foolish as to sign up to it. I have been advocating leaving the EU using Vienna since 2013, here and elsewhere.

    • BR
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      I think you missed the point of immediately entering into talks with the EU. GATT XXIV allows you to set tariffs as you wish (ignoring MFN rules) if you are in negotiation. So even if those negotiations proceed at a glacial pace, we can set tariffs as we want.

      And… there is no either or. We don;t negotiate with countries one at a time; we can talk to the USA, EU and every other country simultaneously. Furthermore, we already have negotiations at an advanced state with many countries, ready to press the GO button after Brexit happens.

      • Helena
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

        The EU will not enter talks if the UK refuses to conclude the Withdrawal Agreement. So Art 24 is irrelevant, since it requires both parties to agree to talks. There is no route to things staying as they are now

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      ” I would much prefer to have discussions with the USA and all the Commonwealth Nations first”

      “Ah, yes, the Commonwealth! Which ones?

      Lovely countries like Bangladesh, Cameroon, Nigeria, Tonga, Ghana, Cameroon, Swaziland and many of the world’s poorest with unstable democracies.
      GDP for all $10 trillion, 50% of 3 – which is by just the UK, India and Canada

      That’s why we ditched them when we joined the EU

      • David Price
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        Which ones? All of them.

        Interesting you mention Cameroon. It was reported in a Die Welt programme last year that they signed a trade agreement with the EU and the next thing they knew Dutch onions were undercutting local farmers in the small town markets.

        The EU does not bring prosperity to the developing world, it is not a generous partner or trustworthy ally. The EU brings deprivation to the poorest and strives to keep developing countries poor. It is no accident that Germany benefits the most from the EU and is a major exporter of roasted coffee beans and soon chocolate.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          David Price

          “Interesting you mention Cameroon.
          The EU does not bring prosperity to the developing world, it is not a generous partner or trustworthy ally.”

          Seeing that you picked out Cameroon I did a quick check with the following result:

          “The top export destinations of Cameroon are France ($559M), China ($488M), Italy ($392M), Belgium-Luxembourg ($359M) and the Netherlands ($356M). The top import origins are China ($1.06B), France ($548M)”

          Seems to be doing quite well out of EU countries.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

            Without being a member
            Without paying billions each year to the EU
            Without open borders with the EU
            Without having the same currency
            Without allowing any country they trade with to force laws onto them.
            Seems Cameroon have a better deal than the UK Margaret

          • David Price
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

            The MIT OEC shows Cameroon having a trade deficit of 1.5 to 2b USD, that is equivalent to 50% of their exports. Their principle exports are crude petroleum (EU), sawn wood (EU, China) and cocoa beans (Netherlands).

            The EU has a 0% tariff for cocoa beans but a 7.7 to 15% tariff on processed cocoa which effectively prevents Cameroon moving up the value chain and reducing it’s debt.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          David Price,

          Please, kindly show us some statistical evidence for your claim about Germany, thank you

          • David Price
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            You first.

            Though you could start with this 2018 Wall Street article in Forbes – “The German Swindle Built Into The Euro!

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        margaret howard

        “we” the people did not ditch them, a certain lying Politician decided to do so!

        In 1975 I was living in New Zealand and although rather young, I saw first hand the disaster that befell the sheep industry when the UK Government decided to ditch the Commonwealth….its long-standing and loyal friend.

        NZs large processing factories became empty and unemployment at its highest. It was a very unpleasant situation for the NZ population, thanks to the lack of loyalty from the British government. The NZ farming industry was dependent on the UK, but this did not matter to certain individuals within the UK Government at the time…the Commonwealth was expedient for Political gain! A shocking example of Political self-interest!

        ANZAC day has never been quite the same since!

        • Pominoz
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink


          You are absolutely right. Australia and NZ suffered dreadfully after Heath stupidly chose the fledgling EU as our closest trading partner, the rules of which enforced the casting aside the Commonwealth countries which then made up one of the best trading blocs in the world. What utter stupidity which we are suffering from to this day.

          Down under, they have learned how to trade very effectively on WTO terms without the need to pay vast sums to access an undemocratic (corrupt?) regime. They are ready to re-embrace trade with the UK as soon as they have the chance.

          With world class wine and meat exported from this part of the world, without the imposition of tariffs, the British can enjoy a most beneficial cut to their cost of living.

    • David Price
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      I agree the EU should not be a priority. Better to focus on those countries who wish to trade and have friendly relations.

  3. oldtimer
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I agree with every word. May has run out of road and time. If reports are correct, it seems influential voices in the EU think the same way and are looking at the implications of a different PM. The WA is a May/Robbins construct. It is a bad deal. The HoC is right to keep voting it down. Tory MPs would be committing political suicide to turn and support it now if they have opposed it previously. With luck the EU will put May out of her misery and reject any request for an extension of Article 50. And the Tory party needs a new leader fast – one who actually believes in Brexit.

    • Nick
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Hear hear Oldtimer

    • eeyore
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      Britain’s freedom and future is now in the hands of the nations of Europe, who will do as they are told by unelected functionaries in Brussels, themselves just the tool of the German Chancellor.

      In all our long history has there ever been such a failure of statesmanship?

      • NickC
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Eeyore said: “… has there ever been such a failure of statesmanship?” Probably not. The British have been conquered twice by military machines – the Romans, and then the Franco-Normans. Resistance and revolts were crushed by ruthless conquerors. Now it is subjugation by ideology and bureaucracy. But our establishment is more dishonourable and unpatriotic this time.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

          Aren’t you forgetting the Anglo Saxons? They invaded en mass in the 5/6th centuries and crushed the local British population.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

            You will be going back to Adam and Eve next, Margaret.

          • PeterM
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            And here comes
            Edward2 never wanting to miss an opportunity to sound ridiculous … what a guy, bull’s eye every time.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            And here comes pro EU remainer PeterM following their usual trend of never a comment without an insult.

            Nick C spoke about the resilience and desire for freedom and independence of the British people against those who seek to subjugate us.
            Margaret who does not like this nation made her usual sarcastic reply.
            If you have something useful to add join in.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink


          You forgot the Vikings

          • Cis
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

            And the Dutch.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink


        Interesting perspective but totally wrong interpretation of the importance of the 27 heads of the Eu nations and how they operate

    • Steve
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink


      I share your sentiments sir.

      God willing the best scenario would be rejection of the trap WA by HoC, and the EU refusing an extension. That would run us to the 29th on default.

      • agricola
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        Agree, but the HoC bless them have rejected it twice. As I said yesterday, do we have to wait for this malevalent U Boat WA to surface again this week at the hands of Kapitan May for it to be depth charged yet again.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Replace with one who also believes in Brexit and is a Conservative not a tax borrow and piss down the drain, regulate to death and pusher of PC drivel and expensive energy greencrap. One who cancels HS2 and all renewable subsidies. May is absolutely appalling, dishonest fool. She has decided to go to war with her the sensible wing of her party, the party members and the electorate. She basically wants to ram the UK into a new EU treaty that is just as bad as being a member of the EU and one you cannot even leave. A £39 billion straight jacket. She want to do this directly against the expessed will of the voters.

      All because Gove (serial traitor to the Brexit cause) foolishly knived Boris and gave us this appalling, dishonest, remainer & socialist.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink



      Lets hope the EU refuse an extension, and our own Mp’s hold their nerve and vote down May’s surrender.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      “If reports are correct, it seems influential voices in the EU think the same way and are looking at the implications of a different PM.”

      Maybe they were behind the appointment of Mrs May as PM in the first instance? It would certainly explain her acceptance of their Withdrawal agreement and her intransigence in promoting it. How Olly Robbins stands in the scheme of things becomes highly debatable. Master or Civil Servant?

  4. Everhopeful
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    So transparent …why appease and please all when a known majority has stated most clearly what it wants? The vote to leave was amazingly clear. No need to please Remainers.
    And how dare May start banging on about patriotism? How dare she? What patriotism has she ever shown?
    I do hope no MPs fall for that one!!
    Defeat the Deal!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      How dare she indeed! What a dishonest, deluded and dangerous plonker she is.
      Plus we also have Philip Hammond, giving us the highest taxes for 40 years, running the country down with his project fear, trying to kill Brexit and giving us a totally idiotic tax system. This while lying that he is cutting taxes and repaying the debt!

    • Steve Pitts
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      According to Dr Johnson, patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

      • Steve Pitts
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        When he said that he meant false petriotism not patriotism in general.

      • NickW
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        People can achieve far more and enjoy peace and security when they work together, and with the same objectives. It’s true of both families and nations.

        Patriotism is misused by politicians who invoke it in order to persuade their subjects to act in ways profoundly inimical to their interests, e.g. the false flag attack followed by the invocation of patriotism to start a war on false pretences. That was what Dr Johnson had in mind.

      • Richard
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        “Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.” – Mark Twain
        That does sound like a robust policy for the ERG to follow.

    • old salt
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink


      My sentiments precisely.

      The majority was almost 2 leave to 1 remain by constituency. A clear majority in anyone’s book. There are MP’s who should respect the outcome or we do not have a representative democracy anymore.

      The ‘Deal’ has to be defeated ‘by hook or by crook’ and a clean Brexit effected on the due date, possibly with GATT 24, otherwise we can only look forward to that contained in the “5 Presidents Report”. We didn’t vote for a Deal we voted to Leave.


      The Five President’s Report: Completing Europe’s Economic and Monetary Union
      English (722.4 KB – PDF)

      • acorn
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        You can’t instigate GATT 24 unless you have “a deal” with the EU or any other WTO member you wish to establish a Trade Agreement with. GATT 24 allows the “Most Favoured Nation” rules (MFN) to be set aside for a period of time, to implement a WTO “Interim Agreement”, between the parties to such an Agreement.

        The “Interim Agreement” is registered with the WTO and must be specific in what it is meant to achieve and by when. All other WTO members have the right to question the agreement under the WTO “Transparency Mechanism for RTAs” and object if it unduly discriminates against other WTO members.

        You can’t claim GATT 24 at the WTO unless you have a written down plan for “a deal” (Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement actually qualifies I am advised) to present to the “Committee on Regional Trade Agreements (CRTA)”. Keep in mind what Peter Ungphakorn said recently, “the last Interim Agreement the EU filed with the WTO had eleven hundred pages”.

        What chance of a GATT 24 “Interim Agreement” between the UK and the EU on the 30th March? Realise that GATT 24 was designed for building brand new trade agreements. WTO will not allow it to be used for rescuing a deliberately broken down trade agreements like Brexit.

        Reply You sound rattled by a good idea. The WTO acts to promote free trade so is very likely ro allow ralks to keep no tariff trade UK/EU

      • Helena
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

        The 5 Presidents Report concerns the Eurozone. It is irrelevant to the UK

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Apparently Barnier calls May’s Deal …a TREATY!
      If true that is a whole different kettle of fish surely?

    • L Jones
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      Yes, Everhopeful, the words of Mrs May in the DT were patronising in the extreme, and offensive to all of us who have followed all the twists and turns and been on a roller-coaster of hope and despair. That she seems blithely unaware that we, the little people, could actually have read her surrender document and know it for what it is, is insulting.

      If MPs fall for this ”vote for my deal or there’s no Brexit” threat then we know where their hearts lie, and it isn’t with our precious country. Denying Brexit is not in Mrs May’s gift (or it shouldn’t be) and her words ”MY deal” sound like T Blair’s self-important ”presidential” posturings at their most contemptible.

      I really don’t know how she can sleep at night – unless someone just unplugs her before programming her for the next day’s betrayals.

    • NickC
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Everhopeful, Theresa May is a scoundrel – “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”. When all her deceit, bribes, threats and coercion have failed she reaches for what other, more honourable, people respect: patriotism. She is disgusting.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Yes, May’s words on patriotism gets my back up too!

      Excluding die hard Brexiteers who have fought every inch of the way, what patriotism has the Tory party shown in the past forty years on the European Union issue – selling us out at every turn?

      This is yet more cynicism on May’s part, but she is following a long tradition of saying one thing to get elected, then showing a coat of a different hue once in office. We cannot let her get away with it any longer.

      Should anyone wish to see the marked difference in May’s tone, one only has to listen to her Lancaster House speech, and compare it with what she would like to deliver now. It is hardly believable that it’s the same person.

      These are the people we need to get rid of ASAP, but Labour can take no comfort from the Tories woes, the are equally duplicitous. There is therefore a massive opportunity for a new party to make big inroads into the traditional Labour and Tory vote. I wonder if it will happen?


  5. Mick
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    This as to happen if we don’t leave on March 29th as promised and I can see the March that is headed by Mr Brexit that started in Sunderland to grow in numbers by the time it hits the Westminster bubble not that the public will be kept informed about it because its a leavers March but had it been a remoaners March it would be getting top media wall to wall coverage

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      No the BBC are giving it no coverage at all really. The same BBC that is largely responsible for indoctrinating our children in the Climate Alarmist religion and encouraging them to bunk of school to protest in their almost total ignorance of the science.

      Perhaps we should also our scientifically illiterate & absurdly indoctrinated children to design our next jet aircraft and nuclear power stations.

      Perhaps even a Nobel Peace Prize it seem for this misguided religious lunacy!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      At the Quay in Newcastle our fishermen and their supporters were taunted by Germans waving their flag – the bloody stars. The coverage was distorted and film cleverly cut to depict the opposite of what happened.
      At least Rodney was able to demonstrate that they were Germans – by speaking to them in fluent German – they were purporting to be British pro-EU.
      Everybody British at the Newcastle Quay was a Brexiteer.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      “…not that the public will be kept informed about it because its a leavers March…”

      How very true. A case in point: on the BBC News website, March to Leave is covered only in a subsection (i.e. “local news” for Tyne & Wear region) and as a footnote on the Nick Boles story (huh? How does that even vaguely relate?).

      I suspect the March campaign was included in the latter story purely so the BBC could comment, “They were joined by counter-protesters, including those from anti-Brexit campaign Led by Donkeys.”

      The sinister bias of pro-Remain BBC never fails to sicken and disgust.

      • Andy
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        March to Leave has been extensively covered by the media.

        Though, to be fair, mainly to laugh at the 6 participants.

        • Roy Grainger
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

          There were more than 6 – another Remain lie from Andy !

          • margaret howard
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


            “There were more than 6”


          • Tad Davison
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

            One of the more prominent marchers sent me a text and told of the anger they had witnessed from people along the way who felt they were being betrayed by this remain Prime Minister.

            You people have got one hell of a re-awakening coming if we don’t get our way!

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

          Most leave voters are at work and that includes pensioners.

  6. Nigl
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    You know a Prime Minister is in trouble when they play the patriotism card as she has done in the DT this morning and repeats the ‘lie’ about legally binding, to me meaning guarantees that even the Attorney General could not bring himself to confirm.

    In event, to me legal guarantees and the EU supported by the ECJ is an oxymoron.

    If she had wanted to be patriotic she would not have put an EU cypher in charge of negotiations and continue to spin that it meets all her previous utterances and her party manifesto.

    If it did why would senior, loyal and knowledgeable MPs like JR vote against it and , in some cases, resign from cabinet positions?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.

      Samuel Johnson.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      And why try and bounce both cabinet and parliament to accept her / EU’s Withdrawal Agreement ?

    • NickC
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Nig1, My sentiments exactly – well said.

    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    According to a news headline this morning Mrs May is saying that it is patriotic to vote for
    her deal.Aside therefore with her difficulty over truth and lies she seems to have a problem
    with the simple meaning of words.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      She is a Citizen of the EU, so it is entirely patriotic in her eyes. It’s a view that is likely shared by many of the Remoaner MPs.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Polls recently showed the public now think that most MP,s put the EU ahead of the UK and the vote last week confirmed that view as correct. Therefore we will need a new Party to vote for!

  8. Steve
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    “I am convinced that the time to define ourselves by how we voted in 2016 must now end.”

    “We can only put those old labels aside if we stand together as democrats and patriots”

    Source: Theresa May.

    When she says ‘we’ voted in 2016, who does she refer to ? And now she has the bare faced cheek to talk of standing firm with patriotism and democracy !

    No doubt about it, she’s resorted to taking the piss. What a disgusting hypocrite, jeez !

    JR; may I strongly suggest the woman is discharged NOW, and matters be run out to the 29th to get default exit.

    • Andy
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      I will always define myself by how I voted in 2016.

      Leavers will be hard to find within 10 years.

      They’ll all be blaming everyone else.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        The young will define you as an old, boomer Brexiteer however much you protest.

        You have (or will have soon) an old and ruddy face and that will be your crime.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        ‘Leavers will be hard to find within 10 years’

        Funny, I recall pro-EU people saying something similar back in 1975. Instead, the disaffection with the undemocratic overly bossy EU grew to the point where they voted to leave it.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Yes that sentence says it all. Had she said this in July 2016, and meant it, we’d be in a different place now. To say this now is hypocritical in the extreme.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      She voted to remain and is clearly still determined to effectively remain (in name only) and put the UK in expensive handcuffs. She is totally beneath contempt.

      A tax and regulate to death, dishonest, socialist, green crap touting PC idiot to boot.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Steve – there are many of us who would echo your words. It’s a terrible thing to feel so betrayed by one who we should look to for reassurance and constancy.
      That so late in the day she writes publicly to attempt to justify her position says a lot about her patronising ‘style’. How many times has she actually tried to explain the difficulties as the scenario unfolded to in an attempt to keep us on side? How many MPs have tried to do this? (Apart from our host, there aren’t many, I think.) Our own MP has certainly never tried – just spouts the ‘party line’ which rings hollow.) She couldn’t be unaware of the growing unease and resentment long before this.

      I guess it’s because all along she knew at each step the betrayal that was unfolding – and this pathetic ”stay with me on this” is just posturing.

    • NickC
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Steve, Like you, many of us on here are astounded by Mrs May’s capacity for deceit. She now tops even Tony Blair. There is no doubt liars gain initially by deceiving the rest of us. But not only have people now found her out, but habitual liars become detached from reality. Her downfall is now inevitable. It’s just quite how it will happen that’s in doubt.

    • Hope
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      May is a pathological liar. No one could make that many mistakes accidentally. What patriot or democrat cold accept her servitude plan written in treaty forever placing the country on the back foot for any further trade deal talks? Traitor is the word she is looking for. Traitor to her personal manifesto, strap lines, Lancaster speech, referendum, supporters, voters, party, and nation.

    • James
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May is reported to be telling MPs to be ‘honourable and patriotic’ by backing her deal. Like a number of her utterances the truth is the exact opposite. The honourable and patriotic thing to do would be to oppose her deal with everything they’ve got. The electorate is not stupid, we can see through disgraceful manoeuvrings.

    • MickN
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      She could be using the Royal “we”. More likely though that she has a tapeworm.

  9. Adam
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Virtually everyone adapts rapidly to changed circumstances.
    We all take the shortest path to better every day.

    We’ve had years to prepare.
    Just Leave the minor details to sort themselves out.
    Let’s Go: WTO.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Indeed leave and negotiation without putting on May’s expensive hand cuffs.

    • Andy
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Minor details! Delusional.

  10. sm
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s word is worthless: she has demeaned her rank, our Government, our country and her Party.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink


      She will destroy her party even more than John ERM Major managed. Communist Corbyn awaits. May’s appalling surrender deal will be rightly blamed on the Tories for evermore.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        Corbyn is a Leaver. Communism for 5 years a cheap price to pay to rid ourselves of May. I support his demand for a referendum on her deal if it gets through the House – God Forbid!

        • robert lewy
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          With the WA as the UnAppetizer. remember we have the Political Declaration as the Main Curse.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

          What make you think we will be about to get Corbyn out after just 5 years? He could not be trusted, he will be confiscating assets of anyone he can find with them and using them to buy votes (or perhaps he will just “modify” UK democracy, such as still exists, to meet his needs). He will certainly destroy the economy and confidence in it – in no time at all.

          • PeterM
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            BTW that’s the type of things that were said when Mitterrand was elected French President, and funnily enough there were right-wing Prime Ministers and Presidents after him. Do you wake up at night to check whether a Commie has not subrepticiously crawled under your bed?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

            Lifelogic doesn’t need check under his bed PeterM.
            He just needs to read the current Labour manifesto and listen to what their front bench say.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink


      Yes voting for May ‘s WA not only delays, potentially forever, a true Brexit, it validates May effectively saying that she was right all along. MPs who switch sides on a promise of jam tomorrow are a disgrace.

      Leave means leave
      29th means 29th.

      Leave now, no WA, or revoke A50 and fight the European elections – no super soft exit, no fudged extension.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      SM, also at times she speaks Orwell’s newspeak, “honourable compromise” being her latest euphemism for backing her BRINO forever plan, having described a bad deal as “the best possible … the only possible deal”.

      Her words are definitely worthless and cannot be trusted, it is unbelievable that some MPs might switch votes at a third attempt.

  11. Alexsandr
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The commons isnt supposed to discuss the same topic twice. May has had 2 goes with her WA. The squeaker should not allow a third.

  12. javelin
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    A reminder of why we want to leave.

    Why these two statistics? I use youth unemployment to measure long term growth and large banking loans to measure long term stability.

    Youth unemployment 2019 (statistica)

    Greece 39.1%
    Italy 33%
    Spain 32.6%
    Croatia 23%
    Cyprus 20.4%
    France 20.1%

    United Kingdom** 11.5%

    Largest loans by Banks (statistica)

    BBVA 58.1
    Unicredit 50
    Banco Santander 45.8
    BNP Paribas 35
    Commerz-bank 17.3

    RBS 6.5
    HSBC 5.7

    • javelin
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      ** Banking loans to distressed EU countries

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink


      I use a different evaluations:

      Covering 7.3% of the world population, the EU in 2017 generated a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of 19.670 trillion US dollars, constituting approximately 24.6% of global nominal GDP

      Additionally, all 28 EU countries have a very high Human Development Index, according to the United Nations Development Programme.

      In 2012, the EU was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.Through the Common Foreign and Security Policy, the EU has developed a role in external relations and defence.

      The union maintains permanent diplomatic missions throughout the world and represents itself at the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G7 and the G20.

      Because of its global influence, the European Union has been described as an emerging superpower”

      That’s good enough for me.

      • Cis
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        All very fine, but where’s the democracy? The so-called ‘European Parliament’ is a figleaf. The Commission and the multiple presidents are unelected and unelectable. It is truly the EUSSR.

        • Cis
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          Should have read ‘unelected and unejectable’ – wretched auto-correct strikes again!

          • PeterM
            Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

            but, funnily enough, likely to be replaced if the May EU elections change the balance of power in the EU Parliament.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          The UKIP win in 2014 made not a jot of difference to the EU Parliament. So much for us having meaning representation.

          The EU works by suffocating everyone in democracy. No consensus possible.

          • PeterM
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

            UKIP had a major win for the UK in 2014 but their affiliated EU party EFDD represented only 6.39% of the total EU vote. UKIP had 24 seats among the 48 EFDD seats. In comparison EPP had 221 seats on 29.43% and S&D 191 seats on 25.43% out of a total of 751 seats on the EU Parliament.
            But I don’t expect this to be common knowledge on this site. A shame as it might prevent some of the OTT statements from being written. I will not give names but I am not even sure you would recognize yourselves.

      • Richard
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        You Forgot to exclude the UK from the EU27 GDP. http://facts4eu.org/news_janc_2018.shtml#lie

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        You may choose to ignore youth unemployment Margaret but that’s only because you’re not young. Just because the EU works for you personally is no reason to ignore the majority of referendum voters for who it does not work – it is your entitled attitude that is part of the problem.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:32 pm | Permalink


          The young obviously don’t agree with you as they voted Remain in large numbers. It is the oldies who were bitten by that most common of nostalgia bugs starting with: “When I were a lad….”

          I haven’t got any figures for youth unemployment in my youth but then the young were shoved, at the age of 14, either into big factories, down the mines or conscripted into the army until the early 1960’s.

          Do you want us to go back to that?

          • Edward2
            Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

            The youth unemployment is not here in the UK but in Euro zone nations.

            But you dont care about it Margaret as your blinding love of the EU allows you to put it out of your mind.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      Those unemployment figures would be far, far worse if it was not for the Freedom of Movement and many of those above coming here to live and work.

  13. RichardM
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    No reason to extend except Parliament has voted 413 to 202 not to. Yet you moan about remain not liking democracy.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      I am heartily sick of people misusing the word democracy and manipulating it’s meaning!
      Ancient Greek ‘Demos’ (The People), ‘Kratos’ (Power); hence People Power.
      Not Parliament power but PEOPLE Power.
      Parliament has taken the votes of the people and used democracy as an excuse to twist the result of the referendum and the election. It has abused its powers and no longer deserves respect.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

        ‘None of the above’

        The votes of the people were 17 million leave and 16 million remain.
        Over 30 million had no voice for various reasons.

        And you call that democracy?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          Your silly statistics carry on Margaret.
          Your latest one where you moan about the numbers who are not eligible to vote would apply to every general election held in the UK and elsewhere in the world.

          You presumably would make voting compulsory and every living breathing person who happens in the UK on voting day would vote.
          Very odd.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      What you fail to understand is that parliament voted for Art.50 and, thereby, chose to Leave the EU either by signing a Withdrawal Agreement or, after two years. See section 3.

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

      We have rejected the Withdrawal Agreement – TWICE !!! Therefore the default position, which currently stands, is we Leave after TWO YEARS !!!

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Firstly I agree that we should leave the EU on March 29th as repeatedly pledged.

    However it is now clear that MPs will not allow that to happen without a deal:


    Division 359, 13 March 2019

    Ayes: 321 Noes: 278


    “That this House rejects the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship.”

    That overall balance of opinion may change, but not in the direction you want.

    And it is also now clear that the EU is not prepared to change as much as a comma in either the Withdrawal Agreement or the Framework for the Future Relationship that Theresa May has negotiated; the most that the EU will agree to is the addition of some separate supplementary or explanatory texts.

    In which latter context, I would like Theresa May, and the EU, and most especially the veto-wielding Irish government, to explain how we will be able to have the independent trade policy adumbrated in the Political Declaration if we are still bound by the rules of the EU Customs Union as the Irish government would like:


    Why will nobody ask her? If she can explain how we can be sure of having an independent trade policy at some future point – I am prepared to wait a little for that – then that would be very close to explaining how we can be sure of getting out of the ‘backstop’.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      The question is, why ? Why will they not honour their commitment to Leave the EU ? They have had ample time to both prepare and make their objections know. Why no we are less than 2 weeks away do they suddenly get cold feet ?

      The only answer to the above is, because they know they are not up to the job. It is the only logical conclusion.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        The EU negotiators can break their promises with impunity – because they are unelected they are impossible to remove.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        Most MPs are not committed to leaving the EU, and an increasing number are prepared to actively resist it.

    • robert lewy
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Please correct me if I am wrong but I have difficulty in understanding how the EU can agree to grant an extension to Article 50:

      1. The EU maintains that they will not alter a word of the WA
      2. The EU require May to provide grounds for such an extension
      3. If May’s deal is again rejected by Parliament there would need to be a new deal
      proposed to put to EU for consideration.

      It seems to follow from the above that

      a) Per (1) above this would not meet with EU requirement of the number of words that may be altered.


      b) The EU will contrary to their claims actually be prepared to alter what the will accept in WA.

      If May’s request for an extension refers to a new or revised WA the EU could only accept this request by demonstrating that their refusal to consider alteration of the WA as being mendacious.

      Therefore, if the EU grants an extension we should expect EU to be much more flexible that they are prepared to admit. The only other interpretation would be that they think that May’s deal could still pass on fourth attempt.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

      I would like Mrs. May and her EU colleagues to explain how they can say the backstop is necessary because they have no solution to the Irish border question and at the same time say it will only be temporary.

  15. Kenneth
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    I still cannot understand why Mrs May and her fellow rebels were not kicked out of the Conservative Party a long time ago.

    Sir John, you and your colleagues have allowed these entryist rebels to embed themselves. You will have no party left – and the UK will never be free – until you cut out this rot.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Kenneth, It is estimated that about 75% of constituencies where the Conservatives won at the last HE voted to leave. It is surprising that there is not a Conservative march to support that led by Mr Farage.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        They are Conservatives on the Farage March – and Labour!

  16. Dougal Hamer
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    So you want the UK to walk away from the commitments it has made in the negotiations that have lasted two years – you want to tear up the Irish backstop, you want to refuse to pay the sums due that have been agreed – and then you imagine that the EU will put a smile on its face and start “serious talks” about a trade deal. You live in fairyland. What you propose will ensure the UK is regarded as utterly untrustworthy across the whole world, and destroy our reputation for fair play for evermore

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

      Oh but Dougal, Barnier has told us that nothing is agreed till everything is agreed. So nothing is agreed. According to the EU.

  17. GilesB
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    1. Art 5o recognises the right of a member to leave. Without this right, the EU is an autocratic empire not a democratic union of sovereign states.
    2. Art 50 recognises that a Withdrawal Agreement should be negotiated. Without some technical Agreements, not May’s portmanteau surrender, there will be some confusion unnecessary lose ends.
    3. Art 50 recognised that Withdrawal Agreements need to take into account the future relationship. Without details of the future relationship it is not possible to plan a smooth transition.
    4. The EU refuse to discuss the details of the future relationship until the UK has left. Without discussions, and indeed negotiations, the future relationship cannot be agreed.

    These four black lines are inconsistent. One or more has to go.

    The EU wants to maintain, until the next treaty, the fiction that it is a union of sovereign states, so point 1) has to stay.

    Leaving without a monolithic agreement is a good idea. A few more sector specific deals would be good, but is not critical. So point 2) can be dropped.

    Point 3) is essentially a question of logic. One of the reasons we are in such a mess is that the EU and Olly Robbins think that their machinations can defeat logic. But they can’t. So point 3) has to stay too.

    Point 4) arises from the EU trying to be clever to improve their negotiating position. The UK should never have accepted it. It’s too late to change in the current round. BUT if there is a long extension, we should definitely reverse the approach. Insist that we agree first on the future relationship, and then and only then, start discussions on the withdrawal arrangements

    • Cis
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Art 50 is a Catch 22. And deliberately so.

      • Stred
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

        Lord Lawson in his letter to the Spectator recalled that when Lord Kerr, who wrote article 50, worked for him he said that it was written in order to make leaving difficult. It certainly has.

  18. Ian wragg
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    So Mxys latest ploy is vote for her deal or Brexit is cancelled.
    She really is prepared to destroy this country and trash democraticy.
    I find the woman repugnant and devoid of any common sense

  19. Dave Andrews
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I took a look at the WA. It seemed to me that it allows the EU to invoice what it likes, for however much it likes, and the UK Treasury has to cough up. No £39bn cap.
    Has anyone else come to this conclusion?

  20. Gennady
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    And now we learn Mr Kaczynski will vote for Mrs May’s deal. What are you doing Mr Redwood, where is the ERG? Parliament is going to lock us into vassal status indefinitely

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Secondly I do not accept the argument that there is no longer enough time to pass all the legislation needed for us to leave on March 29th.

    It was actually somebody in the EU apparatus who recently commented:

    “Where there is a political will there is always a legal way”

    and of course that is how they operate, and almost always with the silent acquiescence of our own government even to the point of a prima facie breaches of EU law.

    I expect that our ingenious parliamentary lawyers could draft a Bill for a time-limited enabling Act which could still be rushed through both Houses in time, even allowing for some of the changes to have retroactive effect.

    After all their predecessors in 1972 managed to do that, as the European Communities Act 1972 which was passed to allow us to join the EEC was in some respects an enabling Act, and that was one without any time limit.


    “2.-(1) All such rights, powers, liabilities, obligations and restrictions from time to time created or arising by or under the Treaties, and all such remedies and procedures from time to time provided for by or under the Treaties, as in accordance with the Treaties are without further enactment to be given legal effect or used in the United Kingdom shall be recognised and available in law, and be enforced, allowed and followed accordingly ; and the expression “enforceable Community right ” and similar expressions shall be read as referring to one to which this subsection applies.

    (2) Subject to Schedule 2 to this Act, at any time after its passing Her Majesty may by Order in Council, and any designated Minister or department may by regulations, make

    (a) for the purpose of implementing any Community obligation of the United Kingdom, or enabling any such obligation to be implemented, or of enabling any rights enjoyed or to be enjoyed by the United Kingdom under or by virtue of the Treaties to be exercised ; or

    (b) for the purpose of dealing with matters arising out of PART I or related to any such obligation or rights or the coming into force, or the operation from time to time, of subsection (1) above … ”

    And so forth.

  22. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Thirdly, JR, I would like to have another go at pointing out that in 1975 we had a referendum on whether to leave the EEC, even though the Treaty of Rome 1957 to which we had signed up in 1973 had no exit clause and on the contrary expressly stated that it was “concluded for an unlimited period”. I don’t recall anybody saying then that it was all a deceitful waste of time and money because we could not unilaterally decide to leave the EEC. Later on some people did start to push the line that our membership was irreversible, but not at the time when we were voting on whether to stay in or leave.

    Reply The lack of an exit clause was one of the many reasons I voted to leave then

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      But nobody said the vote was pointless because we could not leave anyway, and what applied then to the Treaty of Rome could equally well apply to a new treaty.

  23. O'Connor
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    The majority of the British people who voted in the referendum did not vote for a ‘deal’- they voted to leave.

  24. ukretired123
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    It seems the Letter and Spirit of the law of Contract does not apply in the HoC whereby a referendum was held and a decision was made by the people’court then hijacked by objectors.
    Brexit was promised and Delivery is now Expected.
    Theresa May couldn’t deliver a pizza never mind a simple Brexit.

    Embarrassing to see the first woman PM after Mrs Thatcher so incompetent so long!

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    No doubt you have seen Mrs May’s article in today’s Sunday Telegraph, threatening a Hotel California Brexit. So pull the plug on her:
    – Ensure publication of a Brexiteers’ Manifesto, with appeal to ALL Brexiteers, by mid-April
    – Support a Labour No Confidence motion

    You have nothing to lose but your chains.

    Some good news – Nick Boles has deselected himself. Any more?

  26. Shieldsman
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    The real danger is if the meaningful vote returns to the Commons on Tuesday it may squeeze through as a result of bribery and coercion.
    Pressure is being exerted on MP’s from big business and Political has-been’s to pervert the vote.
    Lord Howard despite a little bit of honesty was at in the Telegraph yesterday.
    I note that you Sir are listed amongst the incorruptible’s and will really be patriotic.
    A referendum on the Withdrawal Agreement assisted over the line by Labour is now in the offing – whatever next?

  27. javelin
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    The Brexit “long delay” is like an IOU without a payment date.

    Or legally speaking a “Promisory Note”

    A promissory note is a financial instrument that contains a written promise by one party (the note’s issuer or maker) to pay another party (the note’s payee) a definite sum of money, either on demand or at a specified future date.

    The long delay is therefore not a promise, it’s a confidence trick. The confidence being, confidence that the Government are trustworthy. The trick being they are not.

  28. MPC
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    If a Minister (David Liddington?) were to propose a Statutory Instrument on say Friday 22 March to delay the Brexit date then that would be approved by a majority of MPs wouldn’t it? The Government could in tandem surely persuade the EU to quickly grant at least a short extension. Then there’d be still more votes on the WA after 29 March given the majority against the WA reduces at each vote with an increasing number of ‘Brexiteers’ in Parliament losing their nerve.

    • eeyore
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      An SI must be approved by both Houses. It may be that the Lords will wish to give it more considered scrutiny than it receives from the Commons, as is apparently permitted by their rules.

      My understanding is that should their Lordships’ deliberations run on beyond March 29 that would indeed be unfortunate, but it is not clear what the Commons could do about it.

      However, it would be a constitutional outrage were unelected Peers shamelessly to save democracy when the lower House had already voted to jettison it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      Yes, approved by a majority of MPs, and by a very large majority of Lords.

  29. James
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Looks like we are going to have to replace at the next election an unusually large number of MPs.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      James, this is true but it will be too late, sovereignty and democracy will already have been lost.

  30. Andy
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    I agree we should leave with no deal on March 29.

    It is the best way to guarantee that Brexit is undone quickly.

    No deal will permanently destroy the Tory party.

    And it will guarantee that we can lock up the perpetrators.

    You can not commit criminal gross negligence against your country and get away with it.

    • Steve
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      I thought about dignifying each your comments with a response, but decided they and their author are just not worth the effort. The latter being FoS.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Well Said!

    • Edward2
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      There is no such charge.
      Stop being silly.

  31. Bruce knight
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood

    I know you have been pushing for the government to publish it’s no deal tariffs. Now that it has, I would be interested in your thoughts on those tariffs – do you think the governments approach makes sense?


    • Andy
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      The question about the tariff schedules is simple.

      Who needs to sign a free trade agreement with the UK when we are planning to unilaterally scrap 90% of tariffs?

      When China or the US or India have a huge competitive advantage by being able to access 90% of our market for free – while offering British exporters precisely nothing in return – what incentive do they have to do a deal with us? A deal which will see them lose and us gain.

      Also, as the EU has pointes out, Dr Fox’s tariff plans are almost certainly illegal under WTO rules. If they are he should be fired.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        You are still obsessed with deals Andy.
        Trade carries on between nations without deals.
        Only recently has Japan completed a deal with the EU.
        Noticed any shortages of Japanese products in the UK in your lifetime?

  32. Duyfken
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    JR writes a blog post daily and receives many responses which are read and sometimes replied to by JR. Courteous and considerate.

    Mrs May has written an article published in the DT today. Its content is extraordinary and it has caused a torrent or tsunami of on-line responses, as most web readers will surely have seen. At the time of my writing, they number over 3,300 with no sign of let-up.

    Since all of these comments are a direct response to Mrs May, it is to be expected by normal standards that each of such would be read by the woman, simply as a common courtesy if nothing more. Of course I fantasise.

    Nevertheless, the weight of numbers and the almost unanimous vilification stridently expressed cannot be ignored, and it is hoped the likes of McVey, Davis, Dorries, Lord Howard and other vacillating faux Brexiteers will reassess their wavering standpoint.

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:41 pm | Permalink


      “Nevertheless, the weight of numbers and the almost unanimous vilification stridently expressed cannot be ignored”

      In the DT? What else could you expect?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps, but the Telegraph’s readers are generally quute loyal Conservative party supporters and so the outpouring of almost unanimous opposition is something unusual if not unique in the last few decades.

  33. Edwardm
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    What you say seems right and should be the case.
    However if reports are true that Mrs May will seek a long extension if her WA is rejected, then she will have sunk even lower.

    O/T The government are bringing forward a statutory instrument on Wed 20th aimed with further pushing sex education (which includes same sex and transgenderism) by making head teachers the arbiters over whether parents can withdraw their children from such classes. The whole policy is rank and rotten, children should be allowed their innocence, and deviant practices should not be taught nor normalised nor promoted in any case.
    Mrs May and her government are the most rotten foul bunch of bad people ever to occupy such positions in so many wrong things that they do. I condemn them.

    • M Davis
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:44 pm | Permalink


      O/T etc.

      I totally agree!

  34. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Quite, if a delay is engineered a GE must be forced by the non brain dead rump of the CP. The integrity of Parliament is close to zero and a delay without an election approving it will show our system as the sham democracy it has been displaying over the past two years. Basically treating the voters like children with May as the chief culprit trying to hoodwink us with this very dangerous WA.

  35. Shieldsman
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The latest news is that Labour plan to hijack what Theresa May calls her deal.
    Labour will this week back a cross-party amendment which would set Britain on course for a referendum on Theresa May’s deal.

    The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the final text of the amendment by backbenchers Peter Kyle and Phil Wilson, which has been revised following input from Sir Keir Starmer, the shadow Brexit secretary.

    Labour plans to whip its MPs to vote for the amendment, which the two backbenchers will table on this week’s Meaningful Vote.

    The plan would see Parliament get Mrs May’s deal over the line on the condition it is then put to a second referendum.

    It will add the following text to the government motion, explaining that MP will vote for her deal “but will not allow the implementation and ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement unless and until both it and the Framework for the Future Relationship have been approved by the people of the United Kingdom in a confirmation ballot.”

    Theresa May either plays ball or she drops her third attempt.

    • Stred
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      She will agree. It’s the end game, pre-planned in Berlin, Brussels and Whitehall.

  36. Christine
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    Your party will be blamed if a proper Brexit is not delivered. Labour will just sit back and let you hang yourselves. Now is the time to go on the offensive and leave on WTO rules at the end of this month. It’s now the only course of action to save the country and your party. Stay strong and vote down this appalling Withdrawal Agreement.

    • Andy
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Your party will also be blamed if a proper Brexit is delivered. Pensioners voting against you now bs younger generations permanently voting against you in the future.

      The ERG will cave and will back Mrs May.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

        The younger generation will vote Labour when they are young and Conservative when they get older and have more sense, just as they always have.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Indoctrination camps (schools, universities) and imprisonment for anti EU campaigners (gulags.)

        The wonderful world of Andy.

        Do you really think I voted because I hate my children ? The people I have made myself poor to raise properly ?

  37. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    “The patriotic thing for MPs to do is vote for my Brexit deal” says the Prime Minister in the Daily Telegraph.

    I nearly choked on my cornflakes.

  38. Dominic
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    The aftermath of the vote designed to settle the issue that is the UK leaving the EU has flushed out from the political undergrowth two types of people. Those who believe in truth, honesty and democracy. And those who don’t.

    You’re either a democrat or you’re not. To argue we should remain in the EU following victory for Leave has brutally exposed those who see democracy as a mere tool rather than one of the fundamental building blocks of our nation

    Do these Remain types not understand that democracy is the people’s insurance policy against political authoritarianism without which violence is our only recourse to overturn an oppressive regime?

    And don’t think authoritarianism cannot happen in the UK. It can and it will. This PM is dangerous in her inclinations and instincts. Even more than Marxist Labour. She’s an accomplished political animal who uses deceit for maximum effect.

    I predict that the UK will on its current trajectory become a quasi-authoritarian state in under 20 years. I can see the signs.

    Freedom of expression as become a dirty expression and expressing our views is now a dangerous activity. Self censorship is the beginning of the process which will end with State imposition

    • Mark B
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      This all started under New Labour and has just continued under Blue Labour.

  39. nhsgp
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Accept the deal and get a small extension for negotiation?
    Hmm, if the deal is accepted there is no need for negotiation.
    May is treating the voters as stupid and lots of Tory MPs are doing the same.
    May as told us repeatedly we are leaving on the 29th. If we don’t she has lied. I can’t put it any other way.

  40. Jane
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Please call an election and dissolve this hung Parliament.
    It is embarrassing to see this play out on a world stage. Our democracy is being destroyed with the return votes on the WA.
    The EU’s terms and conditions that will be imposed on us with this impending extension will be onerous.
    The Remainer MPs need to have their reckoning now not later.
    We need a shake out of Brexit dissenters by calling a General Election now, not after the rotten deal has gotten through on a fear vote and a buying off of the DUP!
    The EU are waiting for us to tear ourselves apart, rout the dissenters by calling a General Election.
    Brave times need brave actions! My remainer friends want out now, so be brave for Brexit.

  41. villaking
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I take issue with some of your points. Parliament has not had the real opportunity to hammer out a consensus on what form of leave it prefers. I think your colleague Sir Oliver Letwin in conjunction with many on the Labour bench may well be able to arrive at a sensible form of leaving that gains a small majority if they were given a free hand. The private sector including the small business I head has indeed tried to prepare for an abrupt exit on March 29th but we would be relieved and not angry if this did not happen. And the fact that 188 Conservative MPs objected to the delay is not relevant. We are a parliamentary democracy and it is the view of all our elected representatives that is important, not just those on your side.
    Judging from the papers today, there is a good chance that Mrs May’s deal may pass on the third attempt as Mr Davis & Co. seem to have accepted it. I foresee us leaving the EU with a WA that the vast majority of people will not like. Well done to the forces of Leave. Another fine mess.

    Reply Parliament has talked about little else than how to do Brexit for 2 years 8 months. There have been endless groups and attempts at cross party working, but none of them have delivered a majority for a different approach.

    • rose
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:05 am | Permalink

      Those who know Sir Oliver well, agree he is too clever and complicated in his thinking to come up with anything sensible, charming man though he is.

  42. Jacey
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Theresa May is cited in the weekend press as saying that ” The patriotic thing for MPs to do is vote for my deal ” I am reminded of Dr. Johnson’s remark cited by Boswell that ” Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel ” Boswell expands on this a little by stating that Johnson was only referring to a false patriotism. I take him to mean by this that Johnson was referring to an expedient patriotism, a patriotism of convenience if you like .

  43. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The PM has it in her power to leave on WTO terms – Perhaps we should be asking her why she is fighting so hard against it…
    The PM has been the problem all along – If she had entered into talks honestly instead of just surrendering everything for no gain, then we might have confidence in her now, but her deception and tactics demonstrate someone who is actively working against us and willing to simply hand us over to the EU dictatorship – You might ask her one thing, JR, for which nobody has ever supplied a reasonable answer: Just what is it about the EU that you would surrender everything to it – Why are you so willing to be a traitor to the UK?

    • Norman
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      Answer: the EU is tantamount to a religion – it has an ideological and spiritual power of its own.

  44. Callum Gregson
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    If the May deal is approved, it follows that everything that justifies Brexit has been lost. Under May’s deal, we don’t get sovereignty back, we don’t get control of our money or our laws [we always had control of our borders] and we are locked into the EU’s orbit for ever, but with no say. So EITHER May’s deal must be defeated OR Brexit must be stopped (for now). The one thing that must not happen is the approval of May’s deal.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

      Worse. It’s WA AND Corbyn.

      The economists never factor that one in.

  45. Dominic
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    McVey capitulates. Why? She’s challenging the legitimacy of the EU referendum result and admitting that the result and the voters that expressed their view is and are worthless, meaningless and of zero significance in relation to saving the future of this PM

    Party and career before democracy.

    Tory Brexiteers have two options. They can either try and bring down May in a Commons vote or split the party wide open. If neither happen the UK and Brexit is lost forever

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Tatton has been lost before – you have to try very hard but it transpires that Esther is trying – very trying!

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    This morning Sophy Ridge interviewed the turncoat Liam Fox, who has the nominal role of International Trade Secretary, but as she did not ask him how much of a job he could have while we were still stuck under the rules of the EU customs union he was not called upon to answer that crucial question. I recall the EU position:


    “The creation of a common commercial policy followed as a logical consequence of the formation of a customs union among its Member States.”

    She then interviewed Jeremy Corbyn, who said, and this is verbatim:

    “That’s why I’ve put forward all along the whole concept of a customs union with the European Union which would give us a say in our relationship in the future.”

    But that could not be the standard kind of customs union envisaged by advocates of the “Norway plus” or “Common Market 2.0” proposals, because that would leave us taking rules from the EU without any say in their formation, it would have to be a “dedicated” or “bespoke” customs union of a kind which the EU has so far never agreed with any third country and is extremely unlikely to even contemplate in the future.

    For a long time the question in my mind was why Theresa May was allowing this kind of nonsense to go unchallenged when the government could very easily have shown it up to be the utter nonsense that it is and turned Jeremy Corbyn into a laughing stock, but then around last August it dawned on me that she is content to go along with any rubbish that provides her with a plausible pretext to give the likes of the CBI what they want.

    • Andy
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Gosh – even Liam Fox is a how a turncoat to you.

      How many traitors are there left out there before you realise the problem is you?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        You obviously haven’t noticed the previous occasions over many months when I have applied that description to him, it is nothing new.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        Anyone who can cross our border can call themselves British, which means in any real sense that Britain is abolished.

        The problem is the Remain establishment (of which you articulate their hatred of us.)

        The problem is THEM. And YOU.

        The biggest lie in the referendum was that “Leave the EU” was really on offer. And that’s why we’re now in the shit.

  47. JoolsB
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    You are preaching to the converted here but it is now obvious that the majority of MPs want a delay for no other reason than to give them time to stop Brexit. We are given a choice from pathetic useless deluded May that it’s her rotten deal or no Brexit- this is outrageous. She repeated a hundred times “we are leaving on the 29th March” and then voted for an extension, we have a cabinet not taking collective responsibility and refusing to resign, we have a Chancellor threatening financial consequences if we don’t vote for May’s surrender document, we have Nick Boles going back on his manifesto pledge and resigning from his local association yet the party whips have wholeheartedly said he can still keep the Conservative whip, same with Soubry, Wollaston & Allen and we have an MP in parliament with a tag on her leg being allowed to keep her job and having a vote to thwart Brexit. We have a partisan speaker who picks and chooses which amendments suit him and is allowing our deluded PM to bringing back her rotten deal to be voted on again when it has already been voted on twice and lost by the biggest and then second biggest majority in history.

    It is now blatantly obvious that this parliament is a shambles and not fit for purpose. It is time for a general election to give the electorate a change to get rid of all the mediocre career politicians who arrogantly think they know better than the electorate.

  48. Oh well
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    EstherMcVey MP for Tatton was tweeting massively only a few hours ago that we should reject Mrs May’s deal. She has changed her mind NOT OVERNIGHT but in HOURS nothing happening, no new event, no new statement from Mrs May.
    Ms McVey’s one o’clock-two-o’clock brain swap is destabilising

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps she playing Mrs. May’s and the cabinet’s game – saying she will support the EU’s WA in order that it is brought back for a third vote only to vote against it when it does.

  49. BR
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Please find a way to get rid of May asap. AND, critically, replace her with a genuine Brexiteer (NOT Gove – he seems to have been a remainer in Leave clothing judging by his actions since the referendum).

    By the way, it would be interesting to see you take on what happened in the leadership election which May ‘won’ after other others then Leadsom mysteriously dropped out after some convenient minor gaffe (then becomes leader of the HoC).

    It’s not clear to me why Boris didn’t just tell Gove to shove it and get to a vote of the membership.

    Note: NO MORE CORONATIONS please. If you want a party membership you cannot emasculate them as CCHQ and MPs have done recently (see John Strafford’s piece on ConHome of about a month ago).

  50. BR
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    P.S. I see Labour have said that they will bring a VoNC if May’s deal fails again.

    This will no doubt trigger some horse trading, but if Conservative MPs abstain (e.g. the ERG) then there is a period of searching for ‘who can command the confidence of the House’ which is likely to be another Conservative leader (if anyone). If you believe this would be a Brexiteer (and presumably the ERG would support no other, since the last remainer to pretend she would deliver Brexit clearly lied through her teeth) then it seems a great opporttunity to force a change of leadership.

    Just telling May that would see her leave before a VoNC (even she cannot be that dense) so you could avoid the VoNC and have a leadership election instead. I’m sure you know all this, but I’m not sure why it didn’t happen last time labour tabled a VoNC.

  51. They Work for Us?
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you for standing fast and please continue to persuade others to do so.
    The Media seem to think that there is a good chance that MPs will hold their noses and support the withdrawal agreement, let us hope they are proved wrong again.

    I was astonished to hear an ex MP BBC Broadcaster yesterday (also initials MP) express outrage that local constituency parties had the temerity to think of querying the stance of remainer MPs warning them that the central office could suspend local associations. However he should remember that it is the locals who campaign, leasflet and support the candidates and not central office.

  52. Trumpeteer-Brexiteer
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    “President Donald Trump is coming to Michigan for a March 28 rally in Grand Rapids”
    It took three or four tries via Google to find this out.
    Fox news was unavailable ….now.
    “Sorry, this content is not available in your region.”~~~The whole of Fox News, suddenly
    “This site is currently unavailable to visitors from the European Economic Area while we work to ensure your data is protected in accordance with applicable EU laws.”~~WoodTV.com

    Is King Juncker, Emperor of the United Kingdom and, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, and all former nations of the Commonwealth, responsible for this?

    I shall listen and view LIVE to his massive rally, somehow

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

      Thank god for social media. The Brexit march is getting little coverage MSM.

  53. oldtimer
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    M Barnier gave a speech in Bucharest on Thursday 14 March setting out the background to and the current uncertain status of the negotiations following the second rejection of May’s WA by the HoC. From his perspective it must be extremely frustrating to have spent two years negotiating something only for it all to fall at the final fence. The EU has managed to maintain a remarkably solid front on its negotiating objectives, which he claimed was and is based on openness between himself and the 27 governments about them and the progress achieved. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for Mrs May as has been apparent since the Chequers debacle. She cannot be trusted. This is evident from the contradictory statements she has made about Brexit, her crude attempts to bully MPs to back her WA and now, I read, with equating it to patriotism (the last refuge of the scoundrel), not to mention the numerous resignations from her government. She needs to be replaced urgently before she does more damage to the national interest and the UK’s reputation. You and your colleagues have set out a way forward which should followed forthwith but with someone else in charge.

    • rose
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

      Not very hard of the EU to be united in subjecting us to the nonsense over the border, taking us to the cleaners, and stitching us up constitutionally. The test of their unity will be if we were ever to get down to discussing trade.

      • rose
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, for the EU not of the EU.

  54. GregH
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    No need for a delay, we are agreed, but what are we to do with this PM who is hellbent on getting her own version of WA passed, despite everything –

    only one thing to do it seems is for parliament to take control from the executive and let the clock run out to the 29th, for afterall she can’t hardly complain..she herself has been running the clock down for the past two years.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      A large majority of MPs still oppose Brexit in their hearts and if MPs did take control of proceedings in the Commons – they came within 2 votes of that on Thursday night – then first of all they would stop the Brexit clock – like stopping the time fuse on a bomb – and secondly they would try to stop Brexit altogether – like dismantling the bomb and removing the explosive charge.

  55. Dominic
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    Hammond: “Physically Impossible” to Leave on March 29th.

    Come on John, let’s see the ERG cause some chaos here. Your loyalty to the Tory party is allowing people like Hammond to openly challenge the constitutional law as per A-50.

    It is not acceptable for the ERG to proclaim their loyalty to Leave and at the same time prop up this non-Tory, liberal left, pro-EU government

    Show some courage and bring it to its knees

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      “Physically impossible”, Hammond’s choice of words (alongside his behaviour) really do demonstrate a Chancellor past his use by date. The only physical.impossibility seems to be May’s inability to sack him. What can he mean by physical impossibility, is some geological event required?

      • Steve
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink


        It means he’s terrified of having to some work, as without the EU he’ll be instantly exposed as not fit for office.

        • Mark B
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

          BINGO !!!!


      • The Prangwizard
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        May does not wish to sack him, May and Hammond are ploughing the same furrow. She is not an honourable PM. Hammond can say these things as he has nothing to fear from her.

  56. Cloud
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Anything is better than signing that trap of a document, but then again, that is their plan so we better be careful. They are after a Second Referendum but not for a while yet, give the BBC more time to brainwash everyone is their plan.

  57. Know-Dice
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    “The government and the private sector have prepared for a March 29 exit, and have spent money on stocks and other arrangements. There would be understandable anger by many if all that has been wasted.”

    It’s worse than that, to delay will be an economic disaster, investment will just go elsewhere. Companies have already put off making investment decisions, to delay means their money will go elsewhere.

  58. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    But John, The government HAVEN’T prepared for a March 29 exit, Hammond has just confirmed that saying it’s physically impossible to leave on that day. Of course his smug manner shows that this was exactly as he planned, rather than due to his woeful incompetence which is the only other explanation.

    Reply We will be fine if we just leave

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      Roy Grainger,

      so if we just leave we shall see if it is against the laws of physics … earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, classical gods, what can he be imagining for such a desperate comment.

      BTW Dr Redwood is correct we will be fine. Whether you look at the Japanese earthquake and tsunami (tragically 20000 dead in 2011, supply chains disrupted, power stations off line) or the UK’s 3 day week in the 70s the GDP effects turn out to be remarkably small – we are not talking about anything as shocking as these two cases.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

      If what the Chancellor is saying is true after 2 years and 8 months, then both he and the PM should resign.

      Bloody hell, pigs really can fly 😉

  59. Den
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Standing by “Our Word” has been a British constitution for centuries. That is, until we check the batch of recent Prime Ministers. Mrs May has continued their duplicity with her own versions. We, in the past, have been denied any say on the Maastricht Treaty and on the Lisbon Treaty, despite promises to the contrary. Mrs May now tops the list of despicable ‘porkie’ telling with the declarations made in her Manifesto that kept her in power and the subsequent speech from Lancaster House and her repeated assertion that will would leave the EU on March 29th 2019. Her own WA means the opposite.
    What is British democracy when we are unable to believe the words of our elected Political leader? More a case of where? Rather than what! What has happened to us here? People Domination?
    So, it is time for our Head of State, HM The Queen, to intervene to save the British people from a growing anarchy within Parliament. It is not without precedent. To delay our leaving is to defy British Law and Her Majesty with it for The Queen signed the Act into Statute.
    Perhaps Oliver Cromwell’s words could change Parliament?
    “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately. Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go”!

    • Steve
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink


      “So, it is time for our Head of State, HM The Queen, to intervene to save the British people from a growing anarchy within Parliament”

      Unfortunately, Her Majesty doesn’t give a stuff. If she did, those who hijacked Parliament would have been banged to rights.

      ‘Her Majesty’s’ Government, not mine, not yours, and yet: One does not intervene, even when there’s been a coup and the PM is a threat to national security.
      Good cop out eh.

      • Andy
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        Den & Steve,
        Don’t denigrate Her Majesty – that is grossly unfair. Her Majesty acts on the advice of her ministers. That is the Constitution, and under it she retains ‘the right to be consulted, the right to encourage and the right to warn’. What advice Her Majesty has given Mrs May we will never know, but I think you can be sure it will have been wise. We are fortunate to have a Sovereign of great sagacity and we should honour her and not seek to drag her into this bitter fight.

      • Pominoz
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:01 am | Permalink

        Don’t you dare knock Her Majesty.

        This is a most difficult time – but you surely cannot think the Queen is not being fully informed on the constitutional issues here.

        Her intervention would be an action of last resort, but as much of what is being proposed in May’s WA is contrary to constitutional law, it is not impossible.

        • rose
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

          The Queen will know the Constitution better than anyone.

      • Den
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Steve? I did not know you were privy to Her Majesty’s thoughts and discussions amongst her advisers. How come you are never interviewed on the subject?
        Remember, the people are party to electing a Government, therefore those elected become the people’s Government? You might consider that the Constituents of Maidenhead were the people that actually put Mrs May in Number 10 and not another. They can also remove her, should the occasion arise.
        HM The Queen was party to the removal of Australian PM, Gough Whitlam, in 1975, in favour of the then Opposition Leader, Malcolm Fraser. So it is not unprecedented.

  60. BrianW
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    What do you mean for both sides to enter talks talks for a FTA after we leave 29th march..we did not vote for a FTA with them so why go on about this. Too many people talking nonsense now..by the end of the week 29th will be much nearer

    • Harriet
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      I fully agree! We did NOT vote for an FTA, and we certainly did NOT vote for this WTO nonsense. We must make our own rules

      • Mark B
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

        We are already part of the WTO.

        • rose
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

          And we founded it.

        • Garth Smith
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

          Then we must leave it, as a matter of urgency. How can it be right to leave the EU, but stay bound to the rules of the unelected WTO?

  61. Original Richard
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Mrs. May’s call today “be patriotic and vote for the EU’s WA” is another of her pure 1984 doublespeaks.

    The WA is so bad a deal for the UK – accepting EU laws and taxes without representation or veto indefinitely until released by the EU – that it should not be signed under any circumstances, whatever happens next.

    The best option is vote against the WA and leave the EU on WTO terms on 29/03/2019.

    Even a long delay, if allowed by all rEU27 countries of course, is preferable to this WA because we would at least then be able in the meantime to vote in the Council of Ministers, veto legislation or policies considered damaging to the UK interest and vote for MEPs in the forthcoming EU elections.

    None of these would be possible after signing the WA and leaving our country totally exposed to an entity over which we have no control via the ballot box and which has no obligation to look after our interests. In fact quite the reverse.

    During the delay we could continue to negotiate the WA (in tandem with the Future Relationship as it should have been) hopefully led by new negotiating teams on both sides.

  62. Peter Thompson
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    Ok so Theresa is voted down again and the E.U agrees to a 2 year extension . That is how it will go . Probably another referendum in 2 years or the Norway option. I really don’t understand how you can be so stubborn. Parliament voted NO to no deal last week ; it isn’t going to happen.

    Reply The Withdrawal Agreement means no Brexit for 21 to 45 months with negotiation to get out from a very weak position.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      Excellent take by Dan Hannan. He is right – even a 21 month extension would be better than May’s permanent Brino

      This is the Tories’ last chance to reject May’s deal, press reset and undo her appalling mistakes

    • Jacob
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Are you stupid, Redwood? NO DEAL IS NOT EVER GOING TO HAPPEN. If you want Brexit, you have ONE chance. Vote for may,s deal

      • Richard1
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        No need to be rude. Brino is not brexit. Read Dan Hannan’s article

        • rose
          Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          And Peter Bone’s and several of Sir John’s.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      It is commonplace for international treaties to include transitional provisions and I would not have been concerned if the Withdrawal Agreement had laid down periods of months and years for different changes to come into full effect. But what we will have is what Labour first suggested and Theresa May then took up, an oxymoronic “standstill” or “status quo” transitional period during which nothing will change … why did she not knock that absurd idea on the head straight away? Well, I think we all know why, because she was clinging to the EU for as long as possible and hoping that it might turn out to be forever. However that is where we are, where she has put us with barely any objections from her party’s MPs during the process when there might have been a chance of getting it changed, and I see it as the lesser of two evils to wait those 21 or even 45 months rather than not leave at all which is her threat which I have no doubt she would carry out.

  63. DICK R
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    If we leave the stinking corrupt edifice through ‘consensus’ why bother with a referendum in the first place, we won, it is our RIGHT to claim the spoils of victory and gloat in the faces of the traitors and collaborators who would have kept the UK permanently as a vassal province of the Brussels empire.

  64. Graham Pratt
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I remember talking to you Mr Redwood many years ago when the poll tax was implimented and your information was the law was unable to be changed as there was no time to rescind it. Surely if there is no deal on a brexit by the 29th March then the default option to leave is written in law WE LEAVE.

  65. 'None of the above'.
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    What is it about Sunday that causes some politicians to wobble?
    Sir Graham Brady, James Grey and others, all trying to persuade themselves and their readers that supporting Mrs May’s WA is now the only means of leaving the EU. Even the PM is saying that the only alternative to supporting her ‘Articles of Surrender’ is to remain in the EU. This is, of course, a blatant lie. The HoC refusal to accept leaving without the WA is not binding on the Government, and she knows it!
    The ERG and their like-minded colleagues must vote down the WA if she has the temerity to try and bring it back from the dead.

  66. ian
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    Mr Nick Boles has left his area with no say in the house commons and join the national con party, therefore I see no reason why a petition for a by-election by all local people and parties be sort and sent to the electoral commission, so they can be represented in the house commons by way of a by-election. I have heard of an area being left without an MP before.

    It is there right to be represented in parliament by a candidate of their own choosing by way of a local election.

    The question is, how low will the con party stoop to get this bad deal for remain voters and leave voters over the line.
    Remain and leave voters will only see pain and misery form this WA for years to come with parliament.

    • rose
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      Boles is staying in the national party to influence the next leadership election. He is leaving the local party to avoid being deselected.

  67. jane4brexit
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Which is exactly what MPs (and the Lords and us) were told would happen on the 15th June 2016, at the last PMQs prior to the referendum. Were most of them asleep? The agreement at the beginning, is confirming that there will not be a second referendum! Also available filmed online Q14 36 minutes in:

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

  68. Pat
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Has it occurred to wonder whether the commission has decided that we’re more trouble than we’re worth to them, and simply want to screw as much as possible out of us prior to our actual departure?
    They clearly aren’t keen for British representation after July and could doubtless find some excuse in their arcane rules to expel us when it suits them, especially as the ECJ would be sure to back them.
    As to a free trade deal after we’ve signed up to the withdrawal agreement forget it. It’ll take longer to sort out than the reform of the CAP they promised Blair in return for increased payments.
    In short I wonder whether they are lying to remainers.

  69. Rhoddas
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, I’ve just sent this to the PM.
    Dear PM,

    Resign now, it is now clear you are delusional, your Agreement is actually a fake Brexit. For example we are obliged to continue implementing EU laws, regulations and making massive EU payments and far beyond 2021, with no ability to negotiate trade deals.

    This is taxation without representation!

    You must think we voters are inherently stupid to not understand this, therefore either you are is delusional or you are batting for the EU, not us.

    Almost everyone I speak to would prefer WTO terms from 29/3, the date you promised many times. No ifs or buts.

    Sincerely disenfranchised,

  70. Captain Peacock
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    Seen the item on the Express about the breaking up of the UK with parts be joined up with France. This is no bombshell as there was talk about this 15 years ago, there was a map with the UK split up anyone remember it?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Oh yes, Calais and Kent have been a unit local authority, for a while, the `French Parliament has a member sitting representing the U.K.
      Slice by slice …

  71. Plantman
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    In every General Election this millennium every winning party’s share of the vote has been under 41% and in one case was under 30% Their share of the electorate – the total entitled to vote has never bettered 30%. Shame on any MP serving in a house where a system has been created to manipulate power based on constant minorities, to have the hypocrisy and double dealing to attempt to frustrate the verdict of 51.9% of the voters representing 36% of the total electorate.
    There is however a big elephant walking the halls of the total Remain cult. From the first incredulous seconds in the TV studios there has been a constant overt, covert and nasty campaign against the leave voters. Remainers may be hypocrites but they are also cunning and they very quickly realised that the numbers were in such contrast to those which had elected every government this century it would be a big problem to overcome.

    So the campaign began to supplement project fear v111 with project undesirable v1 So the meme began to discredit the numbers by asserting that a large proportion of the leave vote could, and indeed should, be discounted because they were cast by voters who (to quote a few of the more repeatable comments) were:

    too old (and if we can delay things enough, sufficient of them will die and rebalance the next vote)
    ill educated
    not very clever – and certainly not clever enough
    little Englanders
    nut cases and fruit cakes – add your own favourites as you wish.
    But in fact all of this can be summarised in one simple statement. “We the Believers no longer approve of Universal Enfranchisement and certain groups and categories of people should not be allowed to vote. (and Oh, by the way due to an oversight we let some of them vote in the recent referendum – actually they were a bit sneaky, we thought they wouldn’t bother but it seems they do care and they rather messed things up) So in the spirit of don’t put off ’til tomorrow what you can do today, we’ll just ignore their votes.

    For the sake of efficiency and saving costs we’ll make sure the right legislation is passed for any future votes that we are allowed to have.

  72. ian
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    That right Sir John Redwood, your insistence on a trade deal with-in the WA which has let the leave voters down.
    Instead of insisting on the minimum be put into the WA, you insisted on the maximum with your leave colleagues, one can only suspect that the reason for this was you wanted to make speeches and to be in the news most of the time, the UK could have been leaving the EU on the 29th of March it was not for that.

    Reply Not true. I have been consistently against Chequers and the Withdrawal Agreement. Any FTA follows our exit!


    • rose
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

      This is an absurd accusation. Sir John never wanted a withdrawal treaty at all. Nor did most sensible people. It wasn’t necessary and it isn’t wise. As George Eustice keeps saying, get our freedom first then talk.

  73. agricola
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    As an adendum, David Starkey in the Mail on Sunday,puts it all into historical context. It is in fact now a case of the people versus Parliament. If parliament do not back down they will get their cumuppance at the next GE.

  74. Caterpillar
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    The ERG does not need to fold and the government does not need to lay a statutory instrument to delay. It should be clear that the only game in town is to leave on the 29th with no deal.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Well, evidently that was not clear to the 321 MPs (+ 2 tellers) who voted against it on Wednesday evening, and that was for leaving without a deal at any time not just on March 29th:



      That this House rejects the United Kingdom leaving the European Union without a Withdrawal Agreement and a Framework for the Future Relationship.”

      That does not overturn the legislation presently laying down that we will leave on March 29th, but it indicates that a majority of MPs would be prepared to amend that legislation to defer withdrawal, possibly indefinitely, while on the other hand they would not be prepared to approve later legislation needed to accommodate our withdrawal without a deal.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        The European Union (notification of withdrawal Act) does not give any power to the Government to apply for an extension. Perhaps someone who is keen on asking the Courts to check the Governments use of perogative powers could be persuaded to step in.
        I know! How about Gina Miller, she’s keen………….oh wait!

      • Caterpillar
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

        Dear Dr Redwood,

        Could you clarify this – would any SIs have to be approved to leave with no WA on the 29th, or would potential.problems only arise with legislation after leaving?

        Reply They need to change the law to keep us in

  75. James Matthews
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

    Can’t disagree with any of this post, but it seems to omit any reference to Parliament’s motive for seeking an extension to article 50. They have not done this because they actually want an extension. The purpose is simply to frighten dissenters into accepting Mrs May’s appalling and humiliating non- deal. Parliament’s rejection of no deal can not, of itself, prevent the UK leaving without one.The clock does not stop just because Parliament wants it to

    Perhaps our host is reluctant to be explicit about this and prefers that we draw our own conclusions. However, project fear now seems to be working. If, consequently, May’s deal is accepted, or, as a result of its rejection, we do not leave, more than half the population of England, and perhaps of the UK, will never trust their Parliament or their political class again.

  76. Alastair McIntyre
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    The problem is that the Prime Minister is a liar and you simply can’t trust a proven liar.

    The whole point of the referendum was to decide if we wanted to be in the EU or not and we decided to leave. I can’t vote as I am now a Canadian citizen but to be frank I was anti EU when I lived in Scotland some years ago.

    I am of the opinion that if we did have another vote it would be an even larger vote to leave than the last time around. Look at all the fear stories we were fed and none of them came to pass. In fact we have done better on pretty well all measures than what we were told would happen.

    I didn’t support the immigration issues but very much supported being able to do our own trade deals with the world. Looking at what Trump has said I foresee that he will impose new tariff barriers for the EU and believe he has only delayed that in the hope the UK will leave and so they wouldn’t impact us.

    On the world bank web site they forecast that by 2050 China will be the largest market followed by India and then the USA. As far as the UK in concerned we are a member of the Commonwealth. Already the Commonwealth is the largest trading block in the world and recent forecasts suggest Africa is heading for decent growth and as most of the larger African economies are in the Commonwealth that would be great for the UK.

    Look at all the problems in the EU. Macon in France is having all kinds of problems with the Yellow Vests. Germany is heading for a recession. Italy is having issues so the largest 3 EU countries are all in decline. Why on earth would be want to remain in a declining part of the world.

    I would hope that in the next election we deselect the Remain MP’s as they ran on getting us out and that’s both Labour and Conservatives. We are paying our MP’s to run our country and frankly too many of them are simply not doing their job. We need to remove those MP’s that have lied to us.

    And the SNP are simply terrible. They are totally consumed with getting Independence and thus you can’t trust them on any matter that comes up for discussion. Everything they do is with Independence in mind. And of course Nicola Sturgeon is a real spin artist like she told us we need to be in the EU as that’s Scotland’s largest market which it is BUT she didn’t mention that over 2/3rds of those exports were to England alone. And also note that she has totally ruled out any referendum on joining the EU if Scotland did vote for Independence. Being a member of the EU is not the independence most Scots want. Around 1/3rd of Scots that vote SNP don’t want to join the EU.

    Anyway John… I’ve been documenting the Brexit debates as I run the ElectricSctland.com web site which is all to do with the history of Scotland and what is news today is history tomorrow. Many thanks for your contributions over the years and I have listed some of your discussions on my site so they are preserved for historical research.

    Let’s hope that somehow we do leave on 29th March but as we need to deal with many stupid MP’s it’s going to be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of weeks.

    I say have pride and faith in the UK and let’s move to a new and prosperous future.

  77. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Dear Lynn
    I was at a luncheon in the Wirrall with Jacob Rees-Mogg. He took the same line as Philip Davies , then asked about 300 people what they would support “a May Deal or not “.The majority did not seem happy with his stance, but not a huge majority. I think if he had asked the question first more would have been favouring not supporting May’s WA. I sensed an uneasiness and the caveat he presented was one of future “hard negotiation” with the EU on an issue by issue basis. It could have been what Hammond meant on the Andrew Marr show when he referred to discussions about “process” rather than finite conclusions.

  78. Lazlo
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    No clear leadership is the UK’s problem. Looking at the comments in this diary you can see we are all over the place. If the people and the political leaders have no vision for the future and where they want to go then what hope for the EU or anyone else to know? and then we have to wonder what is Liam fox’s vision and plans for the future, he has been on TV a lot lately, Minister for international trade, but I still have no idea of what plans he has? all we get is old waffle and today 17th with only twelve days to go..Idiocy

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      No charismatic Brexit leader is the main problem. It is rather like the Robert Redford film The Candidate. On winning the election says “What do we do now ?”

      In an overwhelmingly Remain establishment.

  79. RichardM
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Your comment yesterday regarding Jeremy Corbyns brother almost made me fall our of bed laughing this morning. Highly comical.
    His area of ‘expertise’ is weather forecasting, but why anyone would actually pay for his forecasts which are based on known sunspot cycles is just bizarre. These cycles have nothing remotely to do with longer term climate change. He has no climatology credentials whatsoever.
    The past 4 years have been the hottest on record, coinciding with his predicted big freeze due to a cyclical low in sunspot activity. Little wonder his website appears to have given up any attempts at analysis since 2014.

    • Steve
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      Sunspots occur on an 11 year cycle, and as a matter of fact their number has been quite low during the last few cycles.

      I doubt that climate warming has anything to do with low sunspot numbers.

      More likely low sunspot count is caused by brexit, and why not ? everything else is blamed on it.

    • rose
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      His credentials are that he gave the NUM a huge advantage by predicting the weather.

  80. ian
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Not true, you have always been for a free trade agreement on the back of the WA well before chequers. when DD was Leading Brexit. you have written about it on this blog a number of times when and after DD resign from the cabinet.

    When DD was working on a trade deal with-in the WA with your help and others when Mrs T May came up with chequers deal, know to leavers as the Merkel EU deal.
    Brexiterters started the whole thing off, which played right into the hands of remainers in parliament and the cabinet and the EU.

    EU said several times, that trade can only be talked about after you left the EU, but DD and others carried on regardless till Merkel had her own one put into place by Mrs May.

    As far as I am concerned, this has been the whole problem from the start to finish with the WA which has now turned into a treaty instead of an agreement with hardly anything in it of note.

    • rose
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

      Lisbon Treaty says withdrawal and future relationship to be discussed together. Davis said this too. Mrs May reneged on common sense and caved in to the EU rewriting the rules, accepting their irregular sequencing. How was it even possible to discuss the border before the trading relationship was known? No-one puts money down first. The EU citizens should never have been caught up in this so called negotiation (in fact an EU dictation). She should have told them as everyone else wanted to, that they were very welcome to stay. Besides, the EU would not have been able to get the upper hand.

  81. JeremyG
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Listening to Farage interview Portillo on LBC today, he talked about Mrs May revoking Article 50. It’s that threat that is causing the likes of Esther McVey to back Mrs May’s treaty with the EU.

    However is that really a threat? If Mrs May were to revoke Article 50, then at some point in the not too distant future she will no longer be PM. The next leader is likely to be a Brexiteer given the Associations predominantly back Leave.

    Why cannot the new leader immediately invoke Art 50 again and leave the EU asap either with a proper FTA or leave under WTO terms? Isn’t that a better option than signing May’s treaty from which there is no escape?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      JeremyG, I agree with this. UKIP won 24% of the vote in the last European elections and we saw that that converts to 52% in a referendum. UKIP might be finished but if a Brexit party stood and won more than 24% we would know exactly where we are.

      The only options should be leave with no deal or revoke Article 50.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        And that UKIP win made no difference in the EU Parliament. Why ?

        Because the EU Parliament is a charade.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

          It made a difference in the UK though.

        • PeterM
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

          Because UKIP with 24 seats among the EFDD 48 seats are only part of the 6.39% EFDD. Total number of MEPs in EU Parliament is 751.

  82. ian
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    We all make mistakes, but this one is one of the biggest ones I have ever seen in the history of negotiation.

    They might have thought they were being smart at the time but they are certainly not clever.

    Now the people find out that they to vote for Merkel deal now or was that the case all along.

    As far as I am concerned if DD and the rest do not stand up and vote against Merkel deal, then see them as being complicit in getting Merkel deal through parliament

    • Bobs your uncle
      Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

      How can we make our MPs braver?

  83. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

    Anyone got any clue what May’s plans are for her 2 year delay ? I mean beyond waiting till the very last week and presenting her WA again ?

  84. ian
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    If I have caused you any stress I apologize and am will to accept what you say in your defence as true or just a miss understanding. but DD and the other, they have gone over the line and should answer for their action in full.

  85. Fuddy Duddy
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    If the WA can be defeated twice and posited again can there be 3 more if subsequently won twice to make sure there is not a reversal?

  86. Original Richard
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    If the DUP decide to support the EU’s WA then I think it will be necessary to revert to the EU’s idea that N.I.is treated differently to the rUK (GB).

  87. Monza 71
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

    I’m sorry, Sir John, but I do not see how you can possibly get the necessary votes in Parliament to enable us to leave on WTO terms. Remainers, who after all, have a majority in Parliament, will stop it. As it currently stands, the numbers don’t make it at all likely that May can get her deal through either.

    I believe we will be offered a choice of a two-year extension or none at all. Parliament will then vote for the two year deal. Brussels will be hoping that the Remainers will use that time to destroy any prospect of Brexit. I think that’s exactly what would happen.

    I hate the deal every bit as much as you but May’s disastrous premiership has put us in a position that only by supporting her deal will we now have any chance of leaving.

    But she has to go the day after we leave.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Or we could let the law take its course and leave with WTO on 29th. only a few days away. Article 24 permits current trading arrangements for 2 years, up to ten years. I’m sure the EU would take this up rather than face their exporters wrath.

  88. Gordon Nottingham
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    When, ooh when are those we put in power are they going to ACTION, leave means leave.

  89. Simon Coleman
    Posted March 17, 2019 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Manifesto commitments aren’t always realised. Can you think of a few other Conservative manifesto pledges that never became policy? I think most people could. The point is – a No deal Brexit has become less and less attractive to more MPs and businesses. If MPs have the power to stop it, then they are entitled to try. You ERG people only have yourselves to blame. You pressured May into setting out red lines which made a good deal impossible. You hoped that this would end with a No deal exit, thinking that the soft Brexit / Remain majority in the Commons wouldn’t have the bottle to force No Deal off the table. As always, complacency is your problem!

    • Edward2
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      It wasnt just any old manifesto promise Simon.
      It was the central one for all parties at the last election.
      It developed from the referendum vote and the almost non stop debate on the subject since that date.
      The problem is remainers are in charge in politics and in the media.
      Negotiations have been undertaken by remain supporters.
      The Withdrawal agreement is not a deal and it keeps us in the EU.
      You trying to blame those democrats who still want us to leave on 29th March is the latest remain attempt to stop us leaving.

  90. graham1946
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Red lines are what the public expected. The EU told us we would never get a good deal whatever. If Remainers had accepted the result and rallied behind the country we would have been far better off, but their love of foreign government rather than stand on their own feet scuppered that. Nearly 3 years wasted for nothing and we have been endlessly insulted into the bargain by pip squeaks from bankrupt countries who want to do the same to us.

  91. robinhiggins
    Posted March 22, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    The establishment promised we would leave the EU on March 29th 2019, but they are now attempting to delay Brexit or even stop it all together.

    That’s why we need to show them we will not sit by whilst they betray Brexit. Join thousands of leavers in a historic rally in Parliament Square, starting from 4pm on March 29th to show the Westminster elite we must leave the EU without delay.

    This rally will immediately follow on from our historic March to Leave and we need as many people in attendance as we can get to give our epic journey a fitting conclusion!

  • About John Redwood

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

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