Two offers of delay

The Withdrawal Agreement is a deliberate expensive delay. It means we do not take back control of our laws, or our money or our borders for at least 21 months, and probably for 45 months under the extension built into it. That would take us well beyond the next General election, and would mean no Brexit for six and half years from the referendum!  Remain forces would be then be arguing the referendum was out of date and we have to just accept staying in. It also means trying to negotiate our eventual way out under duress, with the EU pocketing all they want in the Withdrawal Agreement and likely to demand even more sacrifices for little in return. There would also be the backstop, likely  to keep us in the customs union in perpetuity.

There is then the nebulous “long delay” of recent briefings. No time limit, no price, no legal basis has been set out, because of course there is no such agreement as yet. Does it come with continuing full membership? If so they would have to fight the European elections, which the two main  parties have no wish to do. Or would it come with some new lesser status, in which case it will need elaborate UK legislation and a new Treaty like the Withdrawal Treaty Parliament has twice rejected.?

So there we have it. An actual very expensive long delay which Parliament rejects, or a theoretical long delay which the 188 Conservative MPs who voted against delay could not accept. What a silly idea that we have to choose between a disaster and phantom.

The default option remains leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement, which remains the best option. Then we could get on immediately under EU rules with negotiating a free trade agreement with them. The government should table one now to avoid new tariffs and barriers if the EU agrees to negotiate an FTA.

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  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink


    • oldtimer
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      A no brainer.

    • Hope
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      JR, the is the same servitude plan as it was in November!

      This is not the EU it is collusion with May. No right minded person would agree to this let alone claim it is a good. May as failed to get a trade deal and conflates a trade deal with her servitude plan to deceive everyone why she is giving away £100 billion plus add ons for an unlimited time period to talk about trade!

      EU citizens remain under ECJ. Name a county in the world where immigrants are entitled to their originating country’s legal system forever! May then lies to say taking back control of laws when ECJ applies to them, disputes etc.

      It is not taking back control of our money when the ECJ is the final arbiter for ancillary hidden payments forever. Nor can she claim to have control of our borders until the trade deal is complete. Article 184 make it clear the EU has failed to agree future,relationship per,article 50! May has signed up to it!

      It is a triple lock to keep the UK tied to the EU by two treaties forever until the UK changes it mind. This is not leaving. It is servitude and vassalage. It should be voted down.

      The govt needs to be brought down it no longer represents democracy, society or the wishes of the people. Its only purpose is self serving to its members. A corrupt institution that needs draining as it did in 2009.

      • Hope
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        I note CCHQ and the head whip is supporting Boles rather then the Tory assocaition leaving its constituency without an MP! Bearing in mind what Boles has threatened against your party and country! Again self serving not listening to its supporters or atcitivs whatsoever.

        Tory associations must withdraw their support immediately to remain MPs who are actively against democracy and the referendum result. Including associations for ministers.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      The ERG can take this approach, but there is a huge risk of backfire.

      If parliament does agree a delay, there is a risk there will be a long negotiation which eventually peters out, and we will end up remaining.

      The ERG and Brexiteers will scream the referendum is not being respected, to which I will reply ‘then why didn’t you vote for it? You had two chances. You turned them down. Don’t come here for tea and sympathy.’

      By playing games with the referendum, you risk not leaving at all – but that is your prerogative of course.

      • Peter
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        Mogg is now saying a bad deal is better than Remain.

        He should be aware that the Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement is not simply a bad deal. It is far worse than that. It is Remain minus with no possibility of escape.

        ‘Blessed are the meek
        For they shall inherit the earth”

        I am sure Jacob will know that this never applies in politics where a more assertive approach is required.

        The idea that a long delay will result in Remain victory is unfounded and pure pessimism. David Davis, Lamont and McVey take note too

        • Sulis
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:47 am | Permalink

          ‘The idea that a long delay will result in a Remain victory is unfounded’
          The EU play a long game, that is grounds for caution. Delays and limbo gives rise to possibilities that the UK will finally dance to the EU tune of holding another vote.

          It is worth remembering that the young (and by nature vulnerable) were targeted by the EU as propaganda recipients – a campaign not without success as the ref. result suggests. I don’t see Time as a friend.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 22, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink


      • Hope
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        May’s servitude plan is not leaving it is paying a kings ransom for nothing and remaining without a voice or veto!

        May’s says the choice is her plan or remain: stupid thing to say as everyone knows remaining is better to than her servitude plan! Then trying telling the electorate, supporters and, activists why she chose to ignore the referendum and manifesto despite strap lines claiming otherwise. Good plan for elections.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

          “May’s servitude plan is not leaving it is paying a kings ransom for nothing and remaining without a voice or veto!”

          Indeed and further more it would make the UK negotiate the trade deal from inside a straight jacket with May having already given the key to the EU and having paid billions for this.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        This Deal is Direct Rule from Brussels – no representation. And it’s forever because they will never let us go. They will bleed us dry.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        The ERG isn’t playing games?
        Theresa May is playing a game that she’s already lost twice.
        I would rather stay than accept this pathetic shackle BRINO and just completely disrupt everything in the future from within until they ask us to go.

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Merlin, It is not the leave side playing games with the referendum but May and the majority of 650 undemocratic EU loving MPs. May’s deal is not Brexit. Let them ditch Brexit if they dare. Apparently manufacture of yellow vests are doing a roaring trade at the moment.

        • Timaction
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

          4pm 29th March 2019 Parliament Square. Leave Means Leave will end their march there. Be there to show the “remoaners” we mean to leave the EU despite them!

          • a-tracy
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

            I don’t believe a march shows anything, look at the yellow jackets in France they are being unreported and roundly ignored, when it suits French politicians they aren’t making any significant point or gaining any change and people have been seriously injured, it’s just not very British unless you’re in a trade union, public sector or a student.

      • sm
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Merlin, you accuse the ERG and Brexiteers of playing games with the Referendum???

        Who is in charge and who has the most influence? The Prime Minister (Remainer), Oliver Robbins (Remainer), Dep Prime Minister (Remainer), No 10 Chief of Staff (Remainer), Speaker of the HoC (Remainer)….

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        No one sensible will vote for May’s appalling treat, it is far too bad (even without the backstop). It is as appalling as May, Hammond and the rest of the dishonest, remoaner traitors themselves. I shall never vote Conservative again unless I have an MP who voted against this deal to the bitter end. All thanks to Gove.

        Bercow now even preventing another vote on her dire deal.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        It’s a false choice. Brino is worse than remain.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 22, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink


    • Richard
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Good article Sir John. Hopefully, the points here can win back the normally sound: JRM, MCFey, Kawczynski etc.

      If the WA passes, its awfulness will become increasingly obvious. MPs that allow it to pass will own it; and will be tainted by the Serfdom WA for the rest their careers.

      Do the EU really want a long extension/revocation-invocation? With a furious UK with a Brexiteer PM being difficult while leaving properly? I doubt it.

      Owen Paterson nailed it: neither Labour or Conservatives can afford to be blamed for killing Brexit by long extension.

      There is a big unmet market oportunity for ‘a Brexit Party’.

    • Richard
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Suella Braverman is sound, like Sir John: “If I vote for the deal now, what will I say when I am asked why we are disabled from striking that free trade deal with the USA? Why we can’t set our own tariffs or are still following EU rules and regulations? What will I say when border checks between GB and NI mean that part of our nation is treated differently by the EU to the rest of the UK? What will I say when we try to leave the NI Backstop only to find ourselves locked in protracted legal battles because we relinquished our right to leave to a handful of unelected, unaccountable quasi-judicial arbitrators?”

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        Quite right, let’s ask Liam Fox, Esther McVey and other capitulating ditherers. In fact, ask May and Hammond what they say to this. Sometimes as a leader you have to utilise the skills of other people in your team, strong negotiators, people who genuinely are strong and don’t lose their voice with the stress of it all. Why aren’t a team of leavers deployed?

  2. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    What does it say about the media when people who believe in democracy are described as hardliners?

    • Mark B
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Or in the Chancellor’s case, extremists

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      It is odd. The ERG are apparently hard-liners but the entirety of the Labour and SNP party MPs (save a few) who also voted against the WA are not called that – in fact with such a large cross-party consensus against the WA the ERG are firmly in the centre-ground and so by definition those voting FOR the WA are marginalised extremists.

    • James
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      It is in the nature of political discourse for self-evident truths to become distorted. Far from being ‘extremists’ our host, the ERG and DUP are a beleaguered minority standing up for the referendum result and their manifestos promises. Their determination that “Britons never never never will be slaves” is deserving of our profound thanks.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        I wonder if the recent private meeting between May and Corbyn was to agree to ditch their party manifestos from the last election to untie their hands and dump another load of pro-EU male bovine excreta upon us?


      • JoolsB
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Exactly James. If only the ERG and the DUP were doing the negotiations instead of appeaser May. What a different outcome we leavers would now be facing.

    • Hope
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      May’s servitude plan will last forever parliament will not. Therefore think carefully and vote the Merkel/May plan down.

    • Kenneth
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      It’s pretty scary. The BBC openly hosts regular discussions on ways of ignoring democracy.

      Calling politicians who are standing up for the majority (and their party manifesto) as “hardliners” or “rebels” is sinister and threatening.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink


        Don’t be surprised at anything the BBC does. Its current affairs programmes are not even subtle about it these days, and the contagion is everywhere.


    • Hope
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Jacob Rees-Mogg absolutely wrong in his thinking to support May. May’s plan is remaining in the EU and she is giving away our security, defence and intelligence for nothing to EU control. Her plan is worse than remaining. Moreover it gives the EU direction and control over phase two with May/Merkel in control waiting to make matters even worse.

      People do not like cowards they prefer to go down in a fight. Namely, Better to die standing than live your life on your knees- which is May’s servitude plan.

      I have changed my mind: I would rather have five years of Corbyn than another minute of May or any of her cabal.

      For me the Tories are done.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      @ Stephen Prieszt

      Do they believe in democracy? Direct or constitutional? You cannot have both..

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        😂😂 you can’t have one without the other! You continentals are really lost!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more! It’s called wanting the best most democratic outcome for our nation, quite unlike the remain position.


  3. Lifelogic
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    Exactly let us home the sensible wing of the Tories can still push a clean leave through on 29th.

    Hammond said on Marr that leaving on the 29th is “physically impossible”, what an admission of gross negligence by himself, May and this appalling government. Hardly surprising that May’s treaty is so appalling given their lack of preparation to leave and Hammond’s treacherous and incessant project fear agenda. Why after all would the offer a sensible deal given this.

    You say – “What a silly idea that we have to choose between a disaster and phantom.” Indeed but May is a very silly, dishonest, socialist and dangerous woman. As you say “we do not take back control of our laws, or our money or our borders ……..” despite May endless lies to the contrary. Her treaty an absurdly expensive straight jacket with no exist and nothing to commend it at all.

    Portillo (on Farage LBC) said the Tories are largely coherent except over The EU. Nonsense sensible Tories want low taxes, smaller government, a bonfire of red tape, simpler taxes, no HS2, a sensible non green crap energy policy, sound money, criminal justice with some real deterrents, free speech, freedom of choice in healthcare, housing, energy, education …… May, Clarke x2, Hunt and tax to death Hammond types have delivered the complete opposite of this.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    It seems the BBC are now culling This Week they have already culled the Daily Politics and replaces with the much inferior Politics Live. After this all the presenters (and nearly all the “experts”) on the BBC are left wing other than Andrew Neil who was middle of the road fair, bright and balanced. Without him the BBC will have no one who is sound presenting at all. All will be pro EU, big goverment, anti-democratic, climate alarmist, insufferably PC, magic money tree, art graduates. With little understanding of anything very much beyond BBC think left wing propaganda.

    • Oliver
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      The BBC is toast, along with the FT and the Economist – all of whom have destroyed their credibility during this affair. I now only pay for one of these, and not at my choice.

      Interesting also the near complete absence of coverage of the turmoil going on in many European countries just now!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

        Indeed I only read the FT/Economist if free at the airport or in the library as I do not want to give money to them – so biased are they.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        True. Very shoddy lop-sided journalism!

        But then, where is the incentive to provide better reporting of domestic and global news, when they are assured of their income?

        If they had to fight for it, like others (with the exception of Sky News which has gone completely pro-EU) they might try a little harder and be more balanced.



      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

        And during the EURO & ERM fiacos.

      • Jerry Matt
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        Totally agree, plus a little more light shone on the future intentions of the European. Union. Over the next 20 years UK and GB will only be mentioned in history books, I suspect most of it will be airbrushed out by our educational new age weirdos.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink


        Turmoil? Can you be more specific?

        • 'None of the above'.
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

          Hello Margaret,

          I missed the opportunity of responding to your comment on my post about democracy but perhaps you will forgive me if I do so now.
          You referred to 30,000,000 people who could not vote and asked me if I considered that to be democratic.
          If any of the 30,000,000 people were under 18 yrs of age, enjoying a custodial sentence in one of HM Prisons or foreign nationals (not entitled to vote) then yes, I consider that democracy.
          I am sure that the same rules applied in the referendum to take us into the EEC in the early 70’s and I’ve now doubt that you think that was a fair result.

    • William
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Andrew Neil will be a great loss to the BBC. But maybe he will be given his own show on another platform such as LBC, where he will have complete control over the format?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Which is exactly why I go, like all my grandchildren, to the internet for news, entertainment and fun.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Anyone wanting proper news now ignores the MSM with exception of the Sun and Telegraph. Speccy is good as well. True news is now the internet.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Ben Wallace, talking complete and utter drivel on Brexit about security just now (on the Today programme). It is amazing how many section try to use the Christchurch atrocity for their one ends either to suppress free speech or to push May’s appalling treaty.

      It seems the BBC are actually going to have JR on Today later – how did he get through the BBC’s propaganda only political filters?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      People will turn to social media and deliver a Trump figure to the UK.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I watched the BBC’s Countryfile last night (more by accident than design) and they did a piece on farm subsidies. They told of the £3 billion per annum the farming industry receives from the EU that would soon go if we leave.

      Yet not one single mention of the vast sum the UK gives to the EU for them to give us back a small amount, and even then, it is at the EU’s discretion as to what we spend it on, not ours.

      Out of the EU, the UK would be able to give our farmers a better deal, and far more cheaply.


      • Alan Jutson
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Par for the course Tad.

        BBC is a disgrace in its partisan support for the EUand its got even worse of late.

        All things EU good everything else bad.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        Indeed and the farming subsidies makes them run their farms in a daft and inefficient way. Just as greencrap subsidies do the same for the energy market.

    • Bob
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      “all the “experts”) on the BBC are left wing”

      Governments around the world are seizing control of the news agenda and anyone who contradicts the globalist viewpoint is labelled “far right” and worse. It’s not just the BBC. There is much going on around the world that is either mis-reported or not reported at all. The social media tech giants are not immune and can be browbeaten into compliance. A former Deputy UK Prime Minister has recently taken over as VP of one of the biggest platforms which has recently de-platformed political dissidents.

  5. William Simpson
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    You and I agree that the default position is the current most favoured option, (in my view). The majority of Parliament seems to disagree. However, the majority of Parliament seems to think that a delay is a good option, but possibly for a myriad of reasons.

    I am very clear in my mind that the Withdrawal Agreement in its third attempt to be voted upon, remains the most dreadful option for the United Kingdom. An extension to Article 50 is not ideal, but if we can’t have the default position, a delay of 1- 2 years is preferable to the WA. Apart from anything else, Mrs May is unlikely to be in office, and whoever takes over now has to be a committed Brexiteer. Martin Howe QC has eloquently explained why:

    I am utterly dismayed at the prospect of the WA passing in the Commons, and hope that the ERG and others who see this trap are able to prevail to stop it. Extending the WA for 1-2 years may be the best option, if the default position is overruled by Statutory Instruments.

  6. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Cheats never prosper. They may have stolen our BREXIT however the economy has a giant avalanche of debt hanging over it. It’s inevitable that the next great financial crisis will happen on their watch and they no longer can blame BREXIT for it. Let’s see what lies they come up with when it happens like, “it all started in China (or America)” etc

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      They have not stolen our Brexit yet! 8 sitting days and counting! I see David Davis is seeeing the winning post and waking up! Pressure all the wobblers please, to vote against her Deal – all we need is for them to stand strong and we deliver and are delivered!

      • Brigham
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

        IF ONLY!!

      • Simon Coleman
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        Nobody owns Brexit for God’s sake. You vote for something, therefore you own it. Really? Take that to it’s logical conclusion. On second thoughts, don’t bother.

    • rose
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      They will still blame Brexit and the Brexiteers.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      German economy narrowly avoiding recession and banks forced to merge, Italy’s economy is in a mess, Greece is a basket case, France has riots on the streets every week and the least popular president in living memory, half of Ireland’s money goes on paying off her debts. Spain with high and persistent levels of youth unemployment, lots of the nation states’ politicians voicing their displeasure. If and when the next crash comes, it could emanate from the European Union, and I think it is best the UK is as far away from its entanglements as possible.


      • Den
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Such details are petty and irrelevant to those die-hard remainers. They must be extremely dumb or completely mad to want such a disaster brought to OUR country. If we remain tied to the EU WE shall be ordered to bail out all of these countries AND given the pratts that call themselves ‘Parliament’, we shall end up bankrupting the country by obeying Brussels orders by bailing everyone out, bar ourselves. Then who can we turn to?

  7. Mark B
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Indeed that is the default position, Leaving without a Withdrawal Agreement. Article 50 makes it perfectly clear. Either we sign a WA or Leave after 2 years. MP’s must have known this ? They voted for this when they passed legislation allowing the government to send in our Article 50 letter. They simply cannot back out of it now for no good reason.

    We Leave on the 29th March 2019 as legislated for. And until that is either changed or removed then that is what is happening. Any change will be against the will of the people.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      But would MPs still vote for that legislation if it was presented now? I doubt it. And the longer Theresa May and the anti-Brexit majority in her government have to run their covert anti-Brexit propaganda campaign, day after day, the more likely that they will succeed in overturning the goverment’s overtly stated policy.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        This morning BBC Breakfast ran a segment about stockpiling.

        They repeated a rumour that Sainsbury’s have drawn up plans to ration certain products while Morrisons have been building up stocks. They said that 10% of consumers have already been building up stocks at home in case imports are disrupted and the shops run out of food and other essentials, and another 26% are actively considering whether to stockpile.

        Examples were three women who were put on the screen, with one vocal in her determination that her own family would not be left short of food and other necessaries whatever happened.

        Meanwhile the British Retail Consortium, which has already had a lot to say about the soaring shop prices we can expect if “WTO tariffs” are slapped on imports, has said that it should not be necessary for consumers to stockpile against the possible disruption of imports, because that should rightfully be done by the supermarkets on behalf of their customers.

        Luckily most MPs want a deal with the EU, and so there is still a chance that these problems can be avoided.

        There was no contribution from any government department, and even if there had been on all precedents it would have been weak and ambivalent and ineffective; if anything it would probably have lent further weight to these nonsensical fabricated concerns rather than calming them.

        Now, JR, just imagine what this Remain-led government could achieve in swaying opinion among the public, as well as among MPs, if you gave them another two years to run their anti-Brexit propaganda campaign.

        As the bard explained, “There is a tide in the affairs of men”; unfortunately that tide is now beginning to run strongly against Brexit.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

        It’s, but’s and maybe’s. Until it happens, it hasn’t happened.

        Get a grip, Denis.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

          And when it had happened it would be too late.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Let’s hope your analysis is correct. I’m told that it’s possible to engineer a delay via the Statutory Instrument option. Perhaps our host could advise if possible? How it can be prevented?

      • Noneoftheabove
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        There is no point in tabling an SI if there is no new exit date.

        • 'None of the above'.
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          And they won’t have an exit date unless the EU 27 can agree one unanimously.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            Any date later than March 29th would defer the repeal of the European Communities Act 1972. And remember what Hilary Benn said last Wednesday:

            “… Ministers need to recognise, be aware of and acknowledge that this House will never vote to leave the European Union without a deal, whether at the end of March, the end of June or the end of October. We are not prepared to take that risk with our economy, our jobs and the livelihoods of the people we represent – not today and not ever.”

    • Hope
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Therefore what they made law trumps their motion.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Dear Mark–As regards the bulk of MP’s there is no reason to believe that they “must have known this”, or much else. I’d have a GE if it were up to me. Clean the Augean stables and the sooner the better. It was too much to have to listen to Mrs May on “patriotism”, which apparently she equates to signing her hideous document because she, responsible for it, says she likes it.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        We need to sort out easily discernible Brexit Candidates before the next GE. Critical! And a contract with them – if they vote to overturn our constitution they resign in the same action!

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink


      Spot on and totally ignored by the majority of politicians. The organisation is so well past its sell by date. Should be sent to Room 101 before it does any more damage to this country.

    • bigneil
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      ” Any change will be against the will of the people. ” – Do you really think that would bother them? We are only here to be taxed and lied to. Then lied to again . . and again . . .and again . . .etc.

    • rose
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      They were uneducated; low information; they didn’t know what they were voting for.

  8. Ian wragg
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    May and Hammond will bankrupt the country sooner than leave their cherished EU.
    It will take a miracle to get unshackled on the 29th.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Why was Mrs May chosen?
      She has sold us out. Her massive staff of over 200 civil servatns, led by Olly Robbins, himself a person who is determined to prevent Brexit as far as I can tell (like the EU he keeps it all secret) at No 10 is taking all the wrong decisions

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Hammond highest and most complex and idiotic taxes seem to be designed to bankrupt the country anyway as does his idiot bank lending regulations then we have his project fear running down the country at every turn. His ratting on inheritance tax and his idiot taxes on properties. The man is a menace to the economy.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Plus his 20% increase in insurance tax, his new probate tax and death certificate taxes etc. etc. etc.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          That’s certainly true LL. It is said we are more heavily taxed now than at any time since the second world war. I wonder what happened to their plan to simplify the tax laws?


        • Know-Dice
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          Careful LL, somebody will pop up and call them “fees” 🙁

          Sir John chased this up with the relevant person and their answer over the probate matter was, that Inheritance Tax goes to a “consolidated fund held be the Treasury” whereas the “fee” gets paid to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) to ensure an effective court and tribunal system.

          I really don’t care…it’s a tax – Simples.

  9. Newmania
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    You-Gov’s polling tells us ‘No Deal’ is strongly favoured by only 19% but strongly opposed by a whopping 54% (with others unsure etc). To be fair, a second vote is ferociously polarizing, with the 41% strongly favouring, matched by 39% strongly against.
    The least divisive outcome by far is …“.Britain leaving the EU but with a new deal within the customs union and single market”. 70% express support and lukewarm support, a testament to the generosity and moderation of ordinary Brexit voters.
    The country can agree on it; Parliament could deliver it. What is stopping it? The ERG which is now determined to pitch us into a disaster, only selfish extremists want

    • Dame Rita webb
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      The pollsters said at the last general election the Conservatives would have a 100 plus seat majority. Where is it?

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        In 2015 they suggested a hung parliament and we got a Conservative majority.
        2017 the pollsters said May was popular and was heading for an increased majority, the pollsters said Hilary Clinton was popular and would win by 3%, the pollsters said remain would win, I don’t know many people that TRUST polls anymore. It’s the same for weather predictions, we were told we would be blanketed in snow repeatedly for nearly two months, we had one day of it, we had an unexpected heat wave, people I know changed planned for weekend visits to family and short stay holidays there are repercussions to these mistakes for hotels, city breaks, older people stay home in fear of getting stuck in snow and ice that doesn’t materialise. There should be some account held of institutions like the Met office that we pay to provide this information if they are just best guesses.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Within the single market means with freedom of movement – was that in the polling question too ? Or, like the Labour Party, did they fail to mention that for fear of alienating voters ?

      Polls which ask about a second referendum are curious, a second referendum is just a process not an outcome. You can be sure whoever lost a second referendum would not accept the result. Why should they ? Even holding a second referendum means it’s outcome carries no weight at all because then by definition referendum results can be ignored. The politicians would STILL argue about the policy to adopt whatever the outcome.

      I am OK at this point with a nebulous long delay – remove May when Tory rules allow again in the Autumn, install a Brexit leader, let the Remainers all resign, hold a General Election. If Corbyn then wins so be it. A big problem with the WA passing is that May would cling on and negotiate the trade agreement too, secretly caving in to all EU demands on fishing etc.

      I’m not sure why people are moaning about the DUP extracting money from May – they’ve noticed her negotiating skills involve giving people whatever they ask for – get the money from her then vote against the WA anyway.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      The trouble with polls is that they only draw from people who are motivated to respond to them. The views of anyone who feels they have better things to do than answer a questionnaire are excluded. When it comes to a vote that matters, like an election or referendum, it is only then they make their views known.
      I doubt there would be any circumstances under which I would respond to a survey. Anyone else feel the same?

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Who has been approached by You Gov, no-one I know.

      • sm
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        You need to know who has commissioned the survey – you can get the answers you want by carefully selecting the questions you do and don’t ask.

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes, absolutely right.
        Taking polls too seriously is akin to forecasting the weather with a handful of seaweed.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Of course No Deal is a misnomer (we shouldn’t forget it is an inappropriate label, perhaps it might fair better if called the sovereign, no trap, free country, lower cost option). Of course the people’s vote to leave was informed by decades of membership. Much better to just leave with the many mitigating deals that are actually in place, trade then negotiate a free trade deal. It is difficult to see how this could be divisive, having a sovereign government free to tackle the country’s problems.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      So you are in favour of Remain. Just say so. The British people disagree – strongly!

    • Edward2
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Odd questions give odd answers.
      We don’t have a deal with the Withdrawal Agreement.
      Whether we just leave on March 29th or leave on March 29th having signed the Withdrawal Agreement negotiations towards a free trade deal begin the next day.
      The question, deal or no deal, is a false one.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      What is stopping it (I hope) is the right thinking real Conservative MPs who understand what an appalling disaster & betrayal that May new handcuff, surrender forever treaty would be.

      It is not Brexit in any sense at all. It is even worse than remain. I have voted Conservative all my life (other than in EU elections and for the appalling John ERM Major the second time). More Backbone like JR and Mr Bone is needed from all the sensible wing, Davis and McVey types should think again.

      I could never vote again for anyone who had backed May’s appalling proposed treaty. If it goes through the Tory party are dead in the water and rightly so.

      Just leave and negotiate – without the hand cuffs and retain the £ billions too.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Leaving the EU but remaining in the SM & CU is pointless as pointed out by Tony Blair. This route has been disingenuously put forward by Remain politicians and media (ie the overwhelming majority) as a moderate compromise, so no wonder there is half-hearted public support. Such a set-up would give up any influence on formulation of the laws and regs and tariffs of the EU, under which we would continue to live, without the UK being able to take advantage of any of the policy freedoms of Brexit. If Continuity Remain were more honest, this would be pointed out and an argument made simply for cancelling article 50 and ignoring the referendum. But that of course they don’t dare to do.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      In what way is that leaving?

      The EU has already said we cannot have the ‘benefits’ of the Single Market etc anyway whilst not a member. Why should we pay to import more from the EU than they do from us. Surely, as they profit most they should logically pay for access to our market. To do otherwise is Alice in Wonderland absurd.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      These are the surrender terms. (Hat tip to Nick W)

      1) The UK is shut out of all EU networks and databases for security – yet no such provision exists to shut the EU out of yours. (Article 8).

      2) The UK is bound by EU rules on procurement rules – which effectively forbids you from seeking better deals elsewhere. (Articles 75 to 78)

      3) The UK will be tied to EU foreign policy, “bound by the obligations stemming from the international agreements concluded by the Union” but unable to influence such decisions. (Article 124)

      4) The ECJ is your highest court (Art. 86).

      5) The UK will remain under the jurisdiction of the ECJ in certain areas until EIGHT years after the end of the transition period. (Article 158).

      6) The UK will still be bound by any future changes to EU law in which it will have no say, not to mention having to comply with current law. (Article 6(2))

      7) Any disputes under the Agreement will be decided by EU law only – perhaps the most dangerous provision of all. (Article 168)

      8) Arbitration will be governed by the existing procedural rules of the EU– this is not arbitration as you would commonly understand it (i.e. between two independent parties). (Article 174).

      9) The UK is bound by EU rules on procurement rules – which effectively forbids you from seeking better deals elsewhere. (Articles 75 to 78)

      10) You give up all rights to any data the EU made with your money (Art. 103)

      11) The EU decide capital projects the UK is liable for (Art. 144)

      12) The UK is bound by EU state aid laws until future agreement – even in the event of an agreement, this must wait four years to be valid. (Article 93)

      13) Any powers the UK parliament might have had to mitigate EU law are officially removed. (Article 128)

      14) The UK will be liable for future EU lending. (Article143)

      15) The UK will remain liable for capital projects approved by the European Investment Bank. (Article 150).

      16) he UK will remain a ‘party’ for the European Development Fund. (Articles 152-154)

      17) The UK will remain bound to the European Union Emergency Trust Fund – which deals with irregular migration (i.e. refugees) and displaced persons heading to Europe. (Article 155)

      And, of course, the UK will agree to pay £39bn to receive all of these ‘privileges’.

      Plus a Corbyn government which no Remain analyst has calculated the impact.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        Note to Andy.

        The WA is not Brexit. WTO is Brexit.

        “Leave the EU”

        The one thing the civil service have not prepared for.

    • Stred
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      The BBC and other Remainer TV stations never mentioned the traps and onerous conditions in the WA which mean that the UK continues under EU control and may not ever leave. They repeat that it is impossible to trade with the EU in the way that we already trade with the rest of the world and most of them trade with the EU. This is why some polls show support for the capitulation. It will be s disaster and extremely polarising if extremist Remainers force s capitulation.

      I nearly had an argument in church yesterday when listening to the extreme views of s dimwit who was accusing Leavers of causing the problem rather than themselves. This one was standing as a Labour Councillor and hoping that the Conservative would be deposed because of May’s deal.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Speaking of ”disaster” and ”selfish extremists”- you haven’t read and understood the implications of the ‘Withdrawal Agreement” then, Newmania? You can quote figures all day, but they don’t make any difference to the fact that we don’t want to be trapped in your EU for ever and a day. I’d prefer my money stay in my own country with its own laws – why wouldn’t YOU?
      You know what they say: there are lies, damned lies and statistics.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Divide and rule…. Nice try with the usual spin.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Newmaniac Well the poll I took part in yesterday showed overwhelming support for leaving with no deal. Depends on where you get your figures from doesn’t it? I know nobody that has changed their minds.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      If accurate, I’m happy to be one of the 19%.

      I seem to recall Peter Shore, Tony Benn, Enoch Powell, Barbara Castle and a host of other notables were in the minority back in 1975, but they were proved right then as will those Brexiteers now, who want to leave on WTO rules.

      If we listened to them, we wouldn’t now be in the EU straight-jacket desperately trying to break free, but it’s a tough game trying to counter the mountain of establishment BS.

    • Den
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      I’m going to take a phrase from the Reaminer guide book to counter this. Those 54% who oppose leaving without a deal with the EU did not know what they were voting for.
      They were voting against FREEDOM – as required by the result of the National Referendum.

    • Andy
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      This was presumably the poll which enabled Iain Duncan Smith to say the majority favoured no deal. Or maybe he just made it up.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

        Except that was backed up by a referendum which said “Leave the European Union” and for which Remain concocted many different meanings once they lost.

    • acorn
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      I recently had conversation with some clever guys and gals in the legal profession, they gave me some pointers.

      “No deal: If either the UK Parliament and/or the EU27 fail to ratify the current draft Withdrawal Package, the risk that the UK leaves the EU at 11pm on 29 March 2019 without a deal becomes very real indeed. The only realistic way to avoid that would be revocation of the Article 50 TEU Notice of Withdrawal (on which see further below) or an extension of the notice period to allow more time for negotiation. However, there would be very little appetite for the latter on the EU side. Indeed, the UK could be faced with a worse deal, given the stance taken by some Member States in recent days.” (The Bar Council)

      Worth having a read of Particularly “PREPARING FOR A NO-DEAL BREXIT”. Also, interesting to see the train load of (negative) SI being forced through Westminster .

      Apparently, to decrease significantly the high level of damage to the UK economy a no-deal Brexit will cause; ratifying the Withdrawal Agreement would be good. The object then would be to minimise the period of time that the UK will be a “EU third country”, subject to EU import tariffs, before the EU condescends to start talks on a future trade agreement.

      Afterall, if I were the EU; having been subject to loads of pompous, arrogant, ignorant insults from the UK for the last three years; I would not be in any hurry to start talks on some future relationship.

      • acorn
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        Correction 4th para. Otherwise, the no deal object then would be …

  10. Bob Dixon
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    We do not have a governmental.Without collective responsibility there is no government. The Prime Minister plan or plans is her WA.Please keep voting against it.The 29/03/2019 will soon be reached when we CASH Out.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      ”Cash out” – I like that!
      So all along, Project Fear’s biggest lie was actually just a typo!

      • Richard
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Yes a typo! It is a good, memorable line. Perhaps our host might use it…

  11. Dominic
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Maybe if Tory MPs stopped putting their careers and lifestyles before their nation and its democracy and bring down May then we wouldn’t be in this position

    The voter did its job in ensuring a victory for Brexit. We still wait for Tory MPs to do theirs and collapse the May-Merkel government that’s been actively and happily destroying Brexit since the referendum result.

    It’s very simple. Tory MPs simply haven’t the spirit or inclination to do what is necessary for the nation.

    When the next GE we’ll make sure you won’t have the choice either

    • graham1946
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      It seems that the turkeys are willing to vote for a delayed Christmas, just like they seized on delay by voting for Article 50. I think they are just lazy and don’t want anything to disturb their cosy club least of all the public interest or voters’ wishes. They will be held to account sooner or later. This could be the death knell for the Tories. 17.4 million will never trust them again, until we die out and a brainwashed generation comes of age. Sorry Andy etc., we aim to make you wait a long time.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Exactly. Nail on head!

    • James Bertram
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      Thoroughly agree, Dominic.

      As you’ve said many times before, ERG and the Brexiteers have the numbers to bring this Government down.

      If they haven’t done so by the 29th March, they will be putting Party before Country (as support for May’s ridiculous deal is all about putting Party before Country – there is no other explanation for so-called ‘Leave’ MPs supporting it; and as for ‘Remain’ MPs supporting it, well…).

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink


      Maybe if Tory MPs stopped putting their careers and lifestyles before their nation and its democracy and bring down May then we wouldn’t be in this position.

      Absolutely correct and four names of members of the cabinet who bottled it came to mind. Why and how are they still in post I ask myself?

    • bigneil
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      The May-Merkel govt? Ours wants her reward seat in Brussels for her treachery. She will destroy this country to get it – then apologise ( in a croaky voice to get sympathy of course).

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Cringeworthy types who put their careers above this nation need not apply.


  12. Everhopeful
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Could Brexiteers get a big screen ( à la Big Brother) or loudspeaker in the HoC and play all of May’s assertions/ promises?
    Over and over again?
    Maybe that would be “against the rules” …but how many “rules” have so far been broken by Remainers?
    I mean…perhaps she has forgotten what she said……….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      We are leaving the EU on March 29th – She promised this in the house 108 times I understand. I can hardly bare to hear her robotic voice or watch her.

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        She promised a lot of things – we’re leaving on the 29th, no deal is better than a bad deal, Brexit means Brexit – all lies. The next one to be broken is there won’t be a second referendum, how many times has she said that? Apparently Labour will support her deal if she promises to put it to the people in another referendum, the choices being her deal or remain. As Andrew Neil pointed out to Dominic Grieve, the vote would be rigged from the start. Why would the public choose May’s deal when they and the politicians hate it so much? Whatever comes out of May’s mouth, we should expect the opposite to happen. All that matters to her is her ego and getting her pathethic deal across the line. All those Tory MPs keeping her in place should hang their heads in shame.

  13. Nigl
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    I along with 17 million plus people voted to leave, which as we were constantly assured means leave. This so called agreement is vacuous waffle designed to subvert that. Specific, measurable, time bound, it is not.

    You are correct, despite all the BS coming from the likes of Hammond whose known objective is to keep us in, you must stay strong. March 29th we leave, end of!

    • Adam
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      WTO: What Tomorrow Offers is free trade with the world.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      The WA is in the Lisbon Treaty and we are obliged in good faith to negotiate one. However we are not obliged to sign one. All we have to do is just sit tight and we are out.

      • David Price
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        We are not obliged to negotiate one, all the obligation is on the EU;

        A50 para 2 has “the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”

        It does not say “the Union and that state shall negotiate and conclude …”

        The only obligation in A50 on the departing state is to notify the European Council of its intention

        • rose
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:06 am | Permalink

          And it says we can come out according to our own constitutional arrangements. That means we repeal the 1972 Act and send a letter.

        • Mark B
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

          If they were two separate entities but, we are still part of that union.

    • Timaction
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      …….vacuous waffle. No, I’m afraid its alignment and rules on state aid and a further long list to keep us in at a price of £39 billion plus £65 billion in assets for diddly squat! Delivered by Olly and Theresa and the not Conservative Party to keep us in post the next general election!

    • Andy
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      You voted leave without defining what leave meant. That is the problem.

      I can end a relationship by kissing my ex-partner goodbye, by thanking them and by promising to remain friends.

      Or I can insult her, tell her she is ugly, break her stuff, and take a dump on the carpet on my way out.

      The net result of both is that I have left. But in only one version will I forever be known – by everyone – as the man who dumped on the carpet.

      This appears to be the reputation Brexiteers want.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

        You only talk of one side of your partnership Andy.
        What about a bit if goodwill from the other side.
        You can be all nice and friendly but if the other side are difficult then the relationship breaks down into acrimony.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        “I can end a relationship by kissing my ex-partner goodbye, by thanking them and by promising to remain friends.”

        Never works in my experience. Especially when a new partner comes along.

      • Steve
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        “Or I can insult her, tell her she is ugly, break her stuff, and take a dump on the carpet on my way out.

        The net result of both is that I have left. But in only one version will I forever be known – by everyone – as the man who dumped on the carpet.”

        Firstly I’m surprised by our host’s tolerance, your general vulgarity seems to be increasing lately.

        Secondly your comments today are the work of a hypocrite, since that is exactly the loathing you display towards us.

        We will be recorded as defenders of our Island’s sovereignty, you on the other hand will go down as nothing more than a fool with a chip on his shoulder.

      • rose
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:08 am | Permalink

        There is only one way of leaving a house: you leave all of it. You don’t leave the house but stay in the rooms.

  14. Henry Carter
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Your “plan” is to leave without signing the Withdrawal Agreement, and you then expect to get on with negotiating a free trade agreement with the EU. So you want the Uk to rip up the promises it has made in the Withdrawal Agrerement, go back on its word about the £39bn due, and throw the Irish under a bus. But you think that the EU will then just shrug its shoulders and say, o well, let’s talk about a trade deal then? You are dangerously deluded

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      Uh ? Barnier TOLD us that nothing is agreed till everything is agreed. So at this point NOTHING is agreed. Complain to him, not John.

      • Gary
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        More than Barnier has been repeating this phrase ad infinitum including IDS, m Gove and Boris. The point is the WA has been agreed and signed off by 28 democratically elected governments it is now being held up by UK parliament for ratification..really nothing to do with Barnier

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      There is no £39bn due. The WA quite sensibly makes provision for the UK to pay its share of the cost of remaining in the EU institutions during the transition period. It also refers to costs for liabilities accrued whilst the UK was a member. The EU decides how much the UK has to pay and can present its bills as it pleases.
      Imagine if you had a lease agreement in front of you that stated no rent except what the landlord decided he wanted to bill you, and you would be legally bound to pay. Would you sign?

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      No promises have been made – the WA has been rejected repeatedly. The E.U. needs to continue trading with us. Threaten us any more and you will find that the British People boycott E.U. goods unilaterally and bankrupt the E.U. regardless!

      • old salt
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        I hear many are following Tim Martin’s lead in buying elsewhere wherever possible. Could it be why EU figures are declining already?

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          We find Commonwealth wine wonderful, adore English ‘champagne’ – (Champagne is coming home 😂😂) British cheese is wonderful. Jaguar cars are the best and I’m looking forward to British designers continuing that great British industry and producing world beating beautiful cars! Holidays abroad in the Dominions and USA offer the full spectrum.
          It’s in our hands – don’t give them a living if they threaten us!

      • Gary
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        Very brave talk Lynn but am afraid not a sensible might not matter too much to you personally but with an economic war looming with the EU a lot of businesses will fail..a lot of people and families will suffer. UK has made this problem so it is up to UK to put forward sensible solutions

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

          We can have free access to the USA 327 million consumers and a growing economy in exchange for the nearly starving E.U. population. We will also be able to source from around the world – now that’s real international Aid! Give them business!
          Cheer up!

        • rose
          Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:11 am | Permalink

          I would say it is the EU which has made the problem by developing into an undemocratic overtaxing over regulating monster.

    • MickN
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      Henry did you not hear Mrs May say over and over again that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Are you calling our PM a liar?

    • Richard1
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      The UK has not made any promises to hand over £39bn. Only mrs may has. Until the WA passes Parliament the uk has made no such obligation. The Irish are not being thrown under a bus because the uk declines to make itself a perpetual economic colony of the eu as the wa proposes.

      If the uk owes the eu any money (& vice versa) – under the terms of the treaties that is – of course that must be paid. If figures can’t be negotiated of course the parties can go to arbitration.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      It is you Henry who is deluded. The people and parliament have no promises in the W/A yet and the £39bn is not due where is the itemised bill! Nothing is agreed until we sign up and hopefully we never will do.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      As the Remainers are fond of saying, we didn’t vote for this deal, it has no legitimacy and is not upholding the referendum. It is not a treaty until ratified and she had no authority to chuck 39 billion down the EU sewer.

      • Andy
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        You did vote for this deal. You just didn’t realise it because you did not do your homework.

        Mrs May’s deal is the logical consequence of all the incoherent promises made by the Brexiteers.

        • Lynn Atkinson
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          😂😂😂 incoherent Andy! The Govt leaflet delivered to every house – God Bless Cameron – specified WTO.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          It is a deal formulated and developed by remainers like you Andy.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          WTO is what “Leave the European Union” meant and plenty of leading Remainers told us so.

        • Steve
          Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

          “You did vote for this deal”

          No we did not. May’s WA was revealed at Chequers in 2018, the referendum took place in 2016, two years before.

          Perhaps you could enlighten us as to how we managed to vote for something which;

          a) didn’t even exist.

          b) wasn’t on any ballot paper, obviously.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Tell the EU to come up with a sensible trade relationship and the WA might be passed. Seeing that the WA already gives them all they need, I cannot see them wanting to do so. We can leave and put them at the back of the queue, to quote a US president. We are entitled to keep our current conditions for up to 10 years, if the EU wish to be awkward. Just watch other disgruntled members who want the same!

    • agricola
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Logic has it that if the WA is not approved by Parliament there is no WA to comply with. Then again if we comply with the law as agreed by Parliament we automatically leave the EU on 29th March. Once we have left we are free to submitt a draft FTA on goods and services to the EU. Their response to it is academic. Having submitted the FTA we can then,under WTO rules, invoke Art 24 of GATT. I would point out that the WTO is a superior organisation in World Trade to the EU who like most member states are mere members. The consequence of the above sequence of actions is that both parties continue with current trading arrangements until such time as a new trading arrangement is agreed.

      I would advocate that those items within the WA that are of benefit to the UK and EU., be discussed with a view to agreement. Reciprocal benefits to all expats for instance.

      This I would submitt would be a way forward showing respect for both parties.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      “But you think that the EU will then just shrug its shoulders and say, o well, let’s talk about a trade deal then?”

      Absolutely. Oh, there is certainly no doubt at all that the EU Commission will itself initially attempt to play hardball — they don’t give a damn about ordinary people, after all — but throwing their rattle out the pram and refusing to come to reasonable, mutually-beneficial terms, while no doubt harmful to Britain in the short term, will be increasingly damaging and ultimately devastating for the EU as a whole. The blinkered Commission might be happy to ride the waves, but it’s an absolute certainty that the twenty-seven member states, individually and collectively, will not. Ultimately, their own interests, and their own people, will not allow them to play politics while everything swirls around the bowl and is in increasing danger of being well and truly flushed.

      Might I respectfully suggest that you, and indeed, others of your ilk, take some time to look more closely at what’s actually happening over there on the continent. Anti-EU sentiment is massively on the rise, especially in the poverty-stricken south, and the economy on the whole is teetering on the brink of collapse, stumbling from one crises to the next. French and German banks are in hock up their eyeballs with Italy’s massive debt, while the problems of immigration / Free Movement is dividing Europe as surely as it has here in Britain. Anyone who thinks all of this will “get better, perhaps with reform from within” is living in a dream world. Anyone who wants to see us permanently shackled to that failing monstrosity is either ill-informed, a foolish believer of the ‘Project Fear’ mantra, or quite simply doesn’t have two brain cells to rub together.

      The EU as a whole desperately needs our cash, our hugely significant market, our world-leading financial services, and our friendship. The EU Commission is not yet (not quite yet, anyway) supreme enough in their power to completely ignore the wishes of their twenty-seven member states once the pain of denying our hand of friendship begins to bite.

      If our pathetic excuse for a Government had taken the right tact from the very start, all of this would already be done and dusted — and we’d still be very good friends with the EU, instead of humiliated supplicants either running around like headless chickens, dazed into uselessness, or bored into submission.

      What an absolute farce. I’m actually embarrassed to be British.

    • L Jones
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      ”Promises in the Withdrawal Agreement…”? If it hasn’t been signed, and we leave without it, how can ”promises” in it be broken?
      And we all know by now (those of us who have been listening/reading/researching) that £39billion is not ”due”.
      And if we leave with no TRADE deal, why should that affect our own people of N Ireland, ”throwing them under a bus”? The ”bus” being….? (Let those in the south be cared for by their EU masters.)

      Mmm. ”Deluded” you say?

    • S J Matthews
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      What promises? Nothing has been ratified. Everyone, including the EU negotiating team know that.

    • rose
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      £39 billion is not due. The EU is throwing the Irish under a bus and trying to foment civil war as well. The PM has not yet signed the surrender treaty. We don’t have to encourage any of this folly. We could just leave and then talk about trade as the EU prescribes. Just as any other self respecting country would do.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

      Picture this – the EU is suddenly faced with tariffs on its goods after the 29th March by a former member state that just happened to be one its best customers. The EU economy isn’t doing too well, even its powerhouse is flat-lining, and it can ill afford any more job losses or economic contractions. A tariff-free trade deal with said former member and without strings attached, would seem very wise.

      I would say that puts the UK in a strong bargaining position. Quite why the British negotiators cannot use that situation to this nation’s advantage is mystifying. Most of the contributors to this blog could do better than the likes of the hapless hopeless May and Robbins.

      Let’s just leave on the 29th and take it from there.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Not sure Henry, that as nothing has been signed, the Withdrawal Agreement is worth the paper it is written on.
      What do you think the EU will do? Invade?

      • rose
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:12 am | Permalink

        Isn’t it worth £700,000 a page?

  15. Everhopeful
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    In an article in The Mail re Parlt and Brexit, David Starkey mentions a poem “ The Solution” by Bertolt Brecht quoting these final lines.

    Would it not be easier
    In that case for the government
    To dissolve the people
    And elect another?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Indeed, also in the Mail some interesting things about green crap pushing politicians earning large sums from their the mad green agenda.

      It perhaps explains so much of this unscientific lunacy we get from government. Even the totally irrational proposal to ban gas hobs and heating from new homes.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      It’s already in hand, in the form of 3rd world, mass immigration. However, controlling such a new electorate will be akin to herding cats.

  16. Peter
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    Norman Smith on BBC ‘Today’ programme has just claimed that Leavers “are digging in rather than crumbling” under May’s attempts to change minds. He says that even if DUP were to switch Leavers feel they still have enough to defeat the Withdrawal Agreement. Furthermore, he says ‘the whiff of No Deal’ is now in the air for Leave.

    Whatever the truth in this report it is unusual for the BBC to give comfort to Leave.

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

      Indeed the bias of the BBC is appalling – as it is in academia, the establishment, the legal profession, the Lords and parliament but almost no where else. Let us hope Norman Smith is right. Let us hope the forces of reason & logic will win out in the end and we we just leave. It seems they have already delayed the celebration 50p coin. Why on earth just a 50p one? Was this Hammond’s doing surprising he did not do a 1p one?

      It seems May’s “Patriotic” article has backfired. May clearly does not have a patriotic or even an honest or Conservative bone in her body. Does even even have any bones at all she seems more of a misguided, hapless jelly fish in the negotiations..

    • graham1946
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Poor old Norman. Not a good career move. Perhaps he has something more sensible lined up.

    • MPC
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Even Paul Mason, hardly a friend of the Tories, on TV over the weekend said that although he disagrees with the ERG on many things he does admire their stance on the WA, which he described as bringing vassal statehood.

    • rose
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      They probably think that by bringing down the surrender treaty they are puffing the Losers’ Vote.

    • Martin R
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      You’re right about Al Beeb. I smell a rat.

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      “Unusual” I would say “Unknown” would be more accurate!

    • Steve
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink


      “it is unusual for the BBC to give comfort to Leave.”

      I’ve noticed this tendency over the last few days.

      Perhaps something sensational is going to happen;

      May’s resignation / dismissal from office ? Default no deal Brexit ? MkII WA surrender ?

      However there must be a compelling reason for the BBC to appear to be dropping Theresa May.

      We’ll just have to see what sneaky stunts she pulls over the next eleven days.

  17. RichardM
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    The old control of our money borders laws myth is getting very tiresome to here from Brexiters. We are in full control of all our money. We chose to give 0.7% as our share to EU. We can be in full control of our borders had we chosen to do so. People continue to be arrested under our laws. We make EU laws alongside other nations.
    We routinely propose new EU laws and amendments.

  18. Adam
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    The Withdrawal Agreement is a sign of danger. Disobey & don’t do it.
    The EU can remain, rejected in darkness.
    Restore UK’s freedom with the bright sign via WTO.
    We voted Leave for better.
    Let’s go WTO with signs of movement in improvement.

  19. Jeremy
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    You need a new leader. That would break this log jam.

    Why does the ERG not abstain in a vote of no confidence in the government that Corbyn can, if he wishes and he does, call? May could not survive losing a vote of no confidence. You then have 2 weeks to win a second vote which takes us passed March 29th and we would be out of the EU.

    Elect a Brexiteer as new leader (the Associations are not going to allow another Remainer to be PM) and if an election cannot be avoided, then you can still beat Corbyn with the right pro Britain policies.

    • Jeremy
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      I meant to say “Why doesn’t the ERG abstain…”. Sorry for any confusion.

  20. javelin
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The last time I saw the anger at a Government, that can be viewed in online comments, was during the suppression of the miners strike. The parallels are similar because both groups believed they were expressing their democratic right to vote or strike. After 35 years that anger still remainers.

    This time it is Conservative voters who are angry. Their argument they have been denied democracy is greater than the miners. May’s legacy will be decades of anger against the party by its core voters. This could mean no conservative MP sitting in the commons will ever be in Government again.

  21. Oliver
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I’m afraid, and I say this with hesitation, both because of your obvious credentials, and the nature of my fellow correspondents, but… this time, you need to rethink.

    The downside of not accepting May’s Blackmail is massive further delay, a dramatic increase in the chance of NO BREXIT at all, and you – instead of the EU – will get the blame for it.

    The upside is it makes exit certain. The price for your vote is [1] insistence the negotiation going forward is handled by competent people [2] a clearing out of the cabinet, including especially Hammond, who would need replacing with someone who knows what he’s doing – any names come to mind?!

    That way, the backstop can be avoided. At the end of the day, once the EU have been allowed their little victory, enough time will have passed for people operating in the interest of their people, not some silly federalist fantasy to make a deal that suits both sides (as should have happened already, but was never going to because of the infantilised ideological cabal of failure that is the EU elite).

    The very worst case would be they do (and “they” by then will be different people) we can break the Treaty. **** ’em.

    Hold your nose, extract a massive price, and vote for her deal. And her departure, of course.

    • Oliver
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      they do … force us into the backstop, I meant, towards the end…

  22. Dave Andrews
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    At this point, I suggest it’s better if the ERG can’t achieve the Mar 29th exit to support a revocation of Art 50.
    Quite honestly, we don’t have a functioning government that can tackle international trade agreements. I can see countries all over the world falling over each other to get to No 10 for their turn to mug the UK.
    Wait until the next GE for an opportunity to vote out the Remain from Parliament, and replace it with one that has the wit to negotiate.
    There will be no need for a second referendum with the authority of the first, and a Leave parliament can act in its sovereignty without an “advisory” further referendum.

  23. Jeremy
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    If you haven’t already done so, you and all your colleagues in the ERG should read the article published yesterday by Martin Howe QC on the Brexit Central website called ‘Theresa May’s deal remains “fake Brexit” – the alternatives are far less damaging’

  24. Shieldsman
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The penny does not seem to have dropped.
    If TM brings her meaningful vote on the WA back to the Commons Corbyn plans to hijack it.
    Everyone appears to be asleep. As I commented here yesterday: –
    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. It is being played down but she is well and truly snookered.

  25. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    With a majority in Parliament against your proposed solution, why do you keep arguing for it as a majority do not wish to leave without a deal and this is not what you are proposing?

    • graham1946
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      We are British, this is what we do, fight on until defeated (not often). We don’t give up at the first whiff of cordite, for which Continentals have cause to be grateful.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      But the Withdrawal Agreement is not a deal either.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

      hans Christian ivers,

      I will put this scenario to you. You walk down the road and suddenly you get arrested for something you know you had not done. You protest your innocence and that those who accuse you are wrong. If you absolutely know they are wrong, and can prove they are wrong, would you not keep arguing your case, or just roll over and await your fate?

      I do not presume to speak for Sir John, but it seems to me that he is doing the same thing in arguing against something he knows to be wrong, and for something he knows to be right. Furthermore, he has a wealth of evidence to back up his case.

      Better to be in a minority of one and right, than to be one of the baying misinformed hoards who are patently wrong! The caveat of course, is that the majority voted for the same thing Sir John is seeking to achieve, so he is hardly in the minority.


  26. villaking
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I believe your opening paragraph is technically incorrect. If we were to sign the WA, we would leave the EU institutions straightaway. Although there would be an “implementation period” of 21 to 45 months, we would already be outside of the EU so it would not be possible for remainers to later suggest that we should then “just accept staying in”. Too late, we would already be out. I agree with you that this is a terrible WA but it is in the strictest sense a Brexit as it takes us out of the EU institutions, it just wouldn’t feel like it. I do hope that enough of your colleagues hold firm and vote against it.

  27. agricola
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    I will watch the convulsions of Parliament. Get it wrong and they are yesterday’s chip paper. The duplicitous talking heads are still cluttering our screens. I favour David Starkey’s conclusion that it is now the people versus parliament. 650 members who have largely been faced with their responsibilities to those who elected them and have deen found wanting.

    • Jacob
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      Well, all opinion polls say that “the people” now favour staying in the EU. Is that what you mean? Perhaps we can put it to a vote? You know, like how things work in a democracy, where you are allowed to change your mind? Or are you still expecting German carmakers to demand we get a GREAT deal?

      • Al
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

        “Well, all opinion polls say that “the people” now favour staying in the EU.”

        Jacob, was this not exactly what the polls said right before the referendum?

      • agricola
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

        Sorry I don’t read the fantasy Guardisn..

  28. Kevin
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    With the repeated “meaningful votes” on her Withdrawal Agreement, Theresa May is doing to MPs what she has so far refrained from doing to the population as a whole: she is giving you a neverendum.

  29. Christine
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    The Brexit voting electorate will never forgive what parliament has done to this country. The sooner a new party is set up that represents the values and interests of this country the better. Unless I have a democrate to vote for I won’t be voting in future.

  30. Iain Gill
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Why is wanting what is in the manifesto seen as extreme?

    If nothing else this is showing a massive disconnect between the voters and the ruling classes, a disconnect which is going to lead to large problems in this country.

    When people can see winning at the ballot box does not lead to corresponding change it destroys any presence of democracy.

    I dont think the people are going to put up with this nonsense, one way of another they will prevail.

  31. BCL
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    I hope the WA is defeated, if it is put to the vote, followed by any extension (unless very short and purely to allow a month or two to get ready for no deal) being defeated and then followed by a WTO exit on 29th March. That is what we voted for and it will save us 39 billion and put us in a very strong position in negotiations with the EU.

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Don’t bank on that one BCL. It seems May is determined to hand over £39 billion no matter what the outcome.

  32. javelin
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Looking at the WA agreement- . The text below says these countries will be included in the territorial scope.

    N.B. paragraphs (b,c,d) have clauses in them limiting the extent of the new treaty. Where as paragraph (a) and (e) do NOT limit the extent.

    Specifically paragraph (e) relating to oversea territories does not limit the extent but contains an inclusion clause rather than an extent clause, differently to the other paragraphs.

    So the question is when these oversea territories find out they could now ruled by EU law do you think they will want to leave the Commonwealth? Does the Queen know about this? Will she sign a treaty that is so ambiguous?


    Article 3 – Territorial Scope

    “Unless otherwise provided in this Agreement or in Union law made applicable by this Agreement, any reference in this Agreement to the United Kingdom or its territory shall be understood as referring to:

    (a) the United Kingdom;

    (b) Gibraltar, to the extent that Union law was applicable to it before the date of entry into force of this Agreement;

    (c) the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, to the extent that Union law was applicable to them before the date of entry into force of this Agreement;

    (d) the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia in Cyprus, to the extent necessary to ensure the implementation of the arrangements set out in the Protocol on the Sovereign Base Areas of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Cyprus a

    (e) the overseas countries and territories listed in Annex II to the TFEU having special relations with the United Kingdom 1, where the provisions of this Agreement relate to the special arrangements for the association of the overseas countries and territories with the Union.

    Anguilla, Bermuda, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Falkland Islands, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and Turks and Caicos Islands.

    • javelin
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Another interesting point. Even after withdrawing from the EU then the EU commission can take the UK to their court. This is not Brexit.

      ARTICLE 87
      New cases before the Court of Justice
      1. If the European Commission considers that the United Kingdom has failed to fulfil an obligation under the Treaties or under Part Four of this Agreement before the end of the transition period, the European Commission may, within 4 years after the end of the transition period, bring the matter before the Court of Justice of the European Union …

  33. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    JR: “What a silly idea that we have to choose between a disaster and phantom.”
    That is Mrs May’s modus operandi – to offer basically no choice at all. She says its her “deal” which is BRINO or No Brexit i.e. no choice. She excels in duplicity and mendacity and how she survived a vote of no confidence last year is still incomprehensible and a stain on the reputation of those Conservative MPs who voted for her.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


      If I had my way, I’d kick that woman out before the hour is up, and any leader with any honour at all would have resigned by now, but what is the betting she’ll still be in office in three months time?

      Maybe the local elections will be the watershed.


  34. Chewy
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I think the representing of this dreadful deal is quite scandalous, what is it with Remainers and repeating votes to get the answer they want?
    I read that once the house has considered an issue it should not be asked to do so again in the same session. Is it possible to attach an amendment stating this in the event of rejection as an attempt to kill it off or would this just play into the hands of the government trying to pressurize wavering MPs into backing it?

  35. George Brooks
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    You are absolutely right Sir John and we have a PM who has systematically broken every single promise she has made throughout the last two and half years. She has evolved from her original description of being ”a b——- difficult woman” to a ”dictator” who is ignoring all aspects of democracy.

    She set this course when announcing ‘Chequers’ last summer and she got away with it as many still believed that she was an honest person but somewhat misguided. All trust in her has completely evaporated and she has to go and go quickly before she damages this country anymore.

    The WA has to be thrown out, she and anyone else with similar views has to be prevented from ignoring or delaying the law and we come out of the EU next Saturday week. This country is in a similar position as it was in 1940 and just about to be over run by those in Europe. Everything that has been built, developed and invented in this country will be plundered and squandered by the EU dictatorship.

    What a legacy to leave our children!!!!!!

  36. mickc
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    One can only hope that this will be the end of the current Red Conservative Party. Blue Labour has already been destroyed; time for Blairism to be totally eradicated and real politics to be restored.

    Labour has a true Socialist as Leader, but where is the next Thatcher?

  37. Nigl
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    It is conveniently forgotten or more accurately ignored that the refendum ballot paper offered two simple choices ‘stay in’ or ‘leave’ preceded by a notice from HMG to every household setting out the implications.

    Mr Hammond et al, your view of the future has no more accuracy than mine nor is it any better informed. You are my paid and elected representative, therefore I and 17 million plus other people want you to carry out our wishes. If you don’t like that you shouldn’t be a politician.

  38. Ian wragg
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    It’s amazing that the once anti and now rabid pro EU Daily Mail describes the politicians who are trying to uphold the referendum result are called extremist.
    Esther McVey saying she will vote with May and change the agreement afterwards. Totally deluded. The withdrawal agreement is a huge Elephant trap with no exit.

    • old salt
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:38 pm | 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)

  39. miami.mode
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    If we end up with a long delay or possibly no Brexit at all, then the Tories will be blamed.

    If we go out with no deal, again the Tories will be blamed, but at least they will have the opportunity of making it work by manipulating finances to mitigate any downside and by aggressively pushing the EU for a free trade deal.

  40. Graham Wood
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John. This is to thank you for another excellent comment on the “Withdrawal Agreement” and consistent with the stance you have taken for some time.

    Your first paragraph is a masterly summary of the position and I immediately quoted it in a letter to my own MP today (Mr Julian Sturdy – York Outer) who in contradictory fashion voted once for the WA and once against!

    I’m sure all your regular readers will once again express their grateful thanks to you for all the hard research work , time and effort you put into defending the democratic principles you regularly strive to defend.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink



    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Wholeheatedly endorsed again.

  41. Dioclese
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    No deal is better than a bad deal
    Brexit means Brexit
    In the name of God, go

    At least the last one meant something…

  42. BOF
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    An excellent interview on radio this morning Sir John. I am amazed how many do not seem to understand the difference between legislation, as in the Withdrawal Act, and an opinion of Parliament. That goes for BBC as well.

  43. James Bertram
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Why, oh why can’t the majority of MPs have your common sense, Sir John? When it comes down to it, the matter is very simple – just leave on the 29th March.

    Sir John, please email all your wavering Brexiteers with this latest ‘in a nutshell’ analysis – and ask them how any self-respecting MP could ever even consider accepting May’s ‘total surrender’ deal.

  44. Sakara Gold
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, Parliament voted decisively not to leave with no deal. This has handed the Remainers – and the EU – victory. Which ever way you try and spin this, we will not now leave the EU on the 29th March as promised.

    What will happen next is that droves of ex-ministers will be playing politics and putting in leadership bids, the appalling Boris Johnson started his this weekend. Stuff the country!

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      I refer you to the post above from BOF. Statute Law and whiny Remainers in Parliament are two entirely different things. They EUphiles rely on the great British electorate being ignorant of the facts.

  45. agricola
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    To the parliamentary titles of honourable, and right honourable can we add dishonourable. The latter being the one that MP’s have earned rather than the first two that come up with the rations.

    • Steve
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink


      ‘shyster’ would be more appropriate, surely.

  46. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    White coat time?

  47. Jacey
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Your Withdrawal Agreement Prime Minister is utterly dreadful………..simples.

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

      Mrs May’s agreement is neither “Leave” nor “Remain”. Everyone knows that. MPs should not succumb to blackmail and should not support it. If, ultimately, “Leave” is thwarted then those responsible will presumably be prepared to accept the consequences of their actions.

  48. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Thanks for spelling this all out clearly. Although I’m sure my MP has been in the chamber when you’ve been giving your comments, like many I suspect he was not listening…but it is good data, and I will send this on to him.

    I still think putting the PM in a locked cupboard until we have legally unburdened ourselves from the EU is the best option.

    • old salt
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


      There is an option available here with only some 15,000 short of 100,000.
      “At 100,000 signatures, this petition will be considered for debate in Parliament”
      “The Prime Minister should advise Her Majesty the Queen to prorogue Parliament.”

      • Al
        Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

        I note the government response is somewhat lacking. I quote: “We have engaged with businesses and other sectors to understand their needs and to make sure we are prepared to address the effects of no deal.”

        Perhaps, but they are apparently not prepared to address the effects of delay or May’s deal which, if either occur, many businesses in one sector can (thanks to certain legislation due in May) only survive by leaving the UK and EU area.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Old salt – Would that help though … wouldn’t it just allow May to reintroduce her ‘deal’ with no changes other than to the minds of those she will have had time to work on in the meantime?

    • Steve
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      “I still think putting the PM in a locked cupboard until we have legally unburdened ourselves from the EU is the best option.”

      Then imprisoned for acts of sedition and treachery.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Steve – Yes

  49. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    MP’s on all sides can’t seem to decide whether their love of all things EU is greater than their fondness for their jobs.

    I would like to reassure many of them that sooner or later that decision will be made on their behalf.

  50. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    I completely agree with your expectation that signing the WA will not result in a speedy exit (of course, membership will cease, so formally the UK will have left) and also that 21 months will not be enough to negotiate arrangements that respect the GFA. If this takes say, twice that amount of time, Bristish popular sentiment may have changed and many enthusiastic ordinary brexit supporters may have passed away or changed their minds. In that case, a fresh referndum could take place that might return the UK to the type pf membership it enjoys now, rather than to have to negotiate a fresh one (EUR, Schengen, standard contribution rate). By that time the EU internal migration regime will have lost some sharp edges and anyway, mot Eastern countries would have started to pay enough for work at home to result in an exodus of especially, Poles from WE countries. As an added benefit, there would be no UK MEPs for a while, which would be a blessing.

    A long delay would offer few benefits (from the EU perspective) compared to the WA and add the burden of UK MEPs continuing to spoil the political process.

    Of course, brexit could become more popular too, it is a rather speculative thing anyway and with the WA in place, the UK will not experience the dire consequences. Those consequences would start to bite next year and reach a peak around the time of the next elections, when the lack of foreign investment/skilled foreign labour and Irish border difficulties (especially in agriculture, cars, aerospace and steelmaking) would start to hit the midlands, Wales and NI) and also the very small gains available to the UK from an FTA with the US would manifest itself. The only upside would be the freedom to import large numbers of labour from even cheaper places like the Subcontinent and the Philippines. Whether those people would be more popular with traditional British voters of the UKIP persuasion remains to be seen.

    No deal would expose those consequences and I wonder what it would do to the Conservative tribal distribution.

  51. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Without repeating the whole of this comment that I made yesterday:

    I would point out that under their 1957 Treaty of Rome the six founding countries allowed themselves twelve years to set up their Common Market in stages, and I would not be that bothered if it took us a similarly lengthy period to completely extricate ourselves from all of our present legal and practical EU commitments.

    However while in her Lancaster House speech on January 17th 2017:

    Theresa May spoke about “A Phased Approach”, and said that we should not get “stuck forever in some kind of permanent political purgatory”, and there should be “a phased process of implementation”, and “For each issue, the time we need to phase-in the new arrangements may differ”, she later went along with Labour’s proposal for a transitional period during which nothing would actually change.

    From December 17th 2017:

    “Well, what a fool I’ve been, I should have known that if you give the euromaniacs an inch then they will try to take a yard, it’s what they always do, and now we have all this oxymoronic nonsense about a “standstill” or “status quo” transition.”

    But, JR, I don’t remember seeing Tory MPs taking to the mass media to lambast her for that; to a large degree our present problems are connected with an unwarranted excess of loyalty on the part of even those Tories who are strongly in favour of Brexit.

  52. Alan Jutson
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Aware that you have explained WTO deal on here numerous times JR, and indeed it is the only sensible way to go now we know what May’s attitude and negotiation skills are like, but it would seem far too many MP’s are either completely unaware, or are mindbogglingly ignorant of how this WTO option works, otherwise they would surely agree to take control on March 29th 2019, or have at least another 4 years of total chaos.

    I said a couple of years ago calling the WTO option a No Deal was a mistake, because so many appear to think nothing is in place, so trade is impossible.

    Probably too late to explain it to Mp’s now but voting for Mrs May’s surrender WA really is the very worst option, and will lead to even more uncertainty over I would suggest 6 years.

    Mr Barnier has already said negotiation will take at least 4 years, and that’s before stringing it out, and yet another implementation period.

    Madness, utter madness to sign May’s deal.

  53. a-tracy
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    There is no point to this as you say. George Osborne in January said “‘At least that gives some space to explore whether there’s an alternative deal on the table – I doubt there is, but it’s worth exploring’. Why on earth would he say that – its taken 2.5 years and this is the ONLY deal and it’s not even a deal its just a poor Withdrawal Agreement? If our current crop of Parliamentarians can only deliver this WA then revoke A50 and let us have a general election with personal promises from each person standing to represent us on how they will vote on key decisions of our future.

    Our politicians need to decide are we leaving on March 29th without any withdrawal agreement or are we revoking A50 in order to line us up better with Parliamentarians that get behind the UK not behind the EU.

  54. a-tracy
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I’ve been watching a box set called Vikings at least their leaders didn’t sit at home making decisions for other people to screw up they were in the action our Leavers that just quit and walked away from Farage to Johnson to Gove they should be ashamed. There is no point them trying to secure May’s demise and thinking they can pick up the pieces after the WA is signed, their hands and feet will be bound and they will be gagged and the whole failure of the project will be passed back to them are they fools, I don’t think so, if May signs this WA then she should stay and sort out the mess she will be the architect of.

  55. Edwardm
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I hope that ERG MPs hold firm and that other MPs are persuaded by the realities that you articulate.

  56. agricola
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Logic has it that if the WA is not approved by Parliament there is no WA to comply with. Then again if we comply with the law as agreed by Parliament we automatically leave the EU on 29th March. Once we have left we are free to submitt a draft FTA on goods and services to the EU. Their response to it is academic. Having submitted the FTA we can then,under WTO rules, invoke Art 24 of GATT. I would point out that the WTO is a superior organisation in World Trade to the EU who like most member states are mere members. The consequence of the above sequence of actions is that both parties continue with current trading arrangements until such time as a new trading arrangement is agreed.

    I would advocate that those items within the WA that are of benefit to the UK and EU., be discussed with a view to agreement. Reciprocal benefits to all expats for instance.

    This I would submitt would be a way forward showing respect for both parties.

  57. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Unless I misheard, it sounded to me that Jacob Rees-Mogg just said, on LBC, that he was going to support the Withdrawal Agreement as not doing so will mean we never leave. On the basis that, technically, we will have left.

    I hope the Remainers are pleased with themselves. The WA is worse, a lot worse, than Remaining. Even I would vote to Remain rather than leave with May’s ‘deal’.

    It would appear that a bad deal is better than no deal. And a bad deal is better than remaining. What a bunch of half-wits we have in Westminster.

    Mr. Redwood – sounded to me as though JRM is capitulating. Will you?

  58. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    It is also worth looking at the section headed:

    “9. New trade agreements with other countries”

    in Theresa May’s Lancaster House speech of January 17th 2017:

    “A Global Britain must be free to strike trade agreements with countries from outside the European Union too.”

    “… it is true that full Customs Union membership prevents us from negotiating our own comprehensive trade deals.”

    “I do not want Britain to be part of the Common Commercial Policy and I do not want us to be bound by the Common External Tariff. These are the elements of the Customs Union that prevent us from striking our own comprehensive trade agreements with other countries. But I do want us to have a customs agreement with the EU.”

    Of course this was before the new Irish government decided it would be a good ruse to pretend that there could be a return to terrorist violence unless the UK stayed in the EU Customs Union and Single Market, and Theresa May decided not to openly ridicule that idea because it provided her with a good pretext for doing what the CBI wanted.

    Perhaps Boris Johnson is right that Theresa May should try to get more reassurances from the EU; in particular that we will be able to have our own independent trade policy as she still claims, and if that turned out to be untrue then that deficiency would be accepted by the EU as a valid reason for the UK to unilaterally abrogate the ‘Irish backstop’ protocol attached to the Withdrawal Agreement.

  59. Jane
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    The DUP are in a win win position.
    Money on the table courtesy of the Chancellor, not being cut off by the UK (a promise that needs to be given) and not to be ostracised by the majority who voted in NI to stay in the EU.

    This does not buy off Leavers who would have to put up with the humilation of vassalage and BRINO.

    • Iago
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Jane, I think the Nationalists (Sinn Fein) voted overwhelmingly to remain, not being in favour of an independent and self-governing United Kingdom. Ostracism from this quarter will not concern the DUP. The rest of the population probably voted for leave in the same proportion as the people in England. I hope the DUP are not beguiled.

  60. BJN
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    There is a slight problem that the PM and her remainers have overlooked, with their self centred treachery. I believe democracy in this country means that the majority wins. If the hated W.A. gets through parliament, the majority of MPs (a few hundred) will expect the Queen to honour their wishes and grant Royal Assent. Problem!! If the Queen does grant them Royal assent then she denies at least 17.5 million people their right to have their wishes granted, so end of democracy. The second the Queen signs she will lose the love and respect of millions of people worldwide.
    The Queen did her bit in the second world war, so she knows the horrors and sacrifices people made to keep this country free and a decent place to live. So if she were to put a wreath on the cenotaph on Armistice Day, people will now see it as an insult to the men and women who died to keep this country free.
    I was only 5 when the coronation took place, but I do remember the Queen making her vows to respect the people of this country. If she give Royal Assent, then she has broken those vows and is not to be trusted.
    Her Majesty could sort this problem out, either discretely or publicly, by letting the PM know that she is not prepared to go against democracy (the will of the people). End of problem!! If she chose to do it publicly, wow, wouldn’t the world love and respect her.

  61. David J
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    We voted for Brexit and it was decided to do it.
    Our business is fully prepared to deal with the EU countries in the same way we do today with the US, India, China and 50 others.
    We have suffered the scare stories. Please not extend the real harm caused by procrastination. Let’s get out on the 29th March (2019!)

  62. Dorothy Johnston
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Henry Carter, you forgot to mention all the promises made to the British people. Like we promise to honour the referendum result, to take back control, to leave the single market and custom union, to leave theECJ. To become a sovereign country again.

  63. Den
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Perhaps, Brussels might not want anymore anti-EU Brits swarming into their Parliament?Surely, if the leave date is extended, Britain would be entitled to a large number of MEPs? Now I wonder who the people will choose to elect then!
    It seems now, thanks to the wretched self-servers in Parliament, we are sitting between a rock and a hard place at present. Is there nothing in the British Constitution, British Law or even International Law, to prevent the Remain lobby taking over and revoking the people’s decision in the democratically held National Referendum? Leave means leave!
    What is the opinion of the EU Law experts working with the ERG?

  64. L Jones
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    ”Brexit Central” has an article by Martin Howe QC. And one by Christopher Howarth. A lot of thought provoking stuff, written by people who should know, I suppose.

  65. Dominic
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    A great betrayal is on the cards and our democratic culture, our freedoms and our liberties will suffer considerable damage

  66. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I’m afraid George Eustice is still badly wrong with this:

    “What about the Irish border? There are no problems on the border between Sweden and Norway. There are 60 border crossings, and only 14 of them actually have any physical infrastructure.”

    That’s as may be, but the Irish government publicly, and categorically, rejected anything like that as long ago as November 2017, as recently pointed out again here:

    “The Irish government made it clear at least fifteen months ago that it would not tolerate that kind of arrangement, in fact it will not tolerate anything that even implies that there is is a border, despite the incontrovertible fact that there is a border:

    “We have been very very clear from day one, there cannot be a physical border and that means ruling out cameras, that means ruling out technology, that means ruling out anything that would imply a border on the island of Ireland, it is not an option for us”.

    Note that according to the fixed EU ideology supinely accepted by Theresa May an open border on the island of Ireland requires both a customs union, inevitably depriving us of an independent trade policy, and single market alignment, and the Irish government will always insist upon both elements in any future agreement.”

  67. Atlas
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Sir J.,

    Agreed. Vote down her hamstringing deal. “You have nothing to lose apart from your chains”

  68. Gary
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Fat chance we can just leave without a deal and then immediately start talks with them for a FTA.. it won’t happen in the real world, not under anybodys rules,.not until the withdrawal account is settled and probably not for years to come

    Next thing is we did not vote for a FTA with them so I don’t know where this is coming from..we have been promised new deals with new worldwide trading partners -or am I missing something?

    So on to the 29th we just leave and on the 30th we can look to see how things are.. but I bet it won’t be long before we start to hear reports of difficulties in some areas, areas we have not even yet thought about? But only eleven days to go and so am looking forward to it now to see who are the visionaries vs the delusionalists in all of this.

  69. BrianW
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    We’re down to the wire now and the EU side is not crumbling..the only thing crumbling as far as I can see is the ERG. Then when we see Lord Trimble sticking his oar in with alord Lamont changong sides..well better lookout..the fix is in

  70. Everhopeful
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Lovely BBC 4’s Today programme radio interview with JR! Vid on Youtube.
    So reassuring.
    These…um…interviewers shape up to him …but they just don’t have the necessary intellect.

  71. Dennisa
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    From Politico this morning:

    An EU document presented to ambassadors and seen by POLITICO’s Jacopo Barigazzi states the U.K. is legally bound to organize the European parliamentary election between May 23 and May 26 this year. If the country does not do so and the new Parliament holds its first session July 2 with Britain still in the bloc, the EU institutions “cease being able to operate in a secure legal context.” Hence “it follows that no extension should be granted beyond 1 July unless the European Parliament elections are held at the mandatory date.”

    The fear: The Commission (specifically its Secretary-General Martin Selmayr) warned, according to diplomats present, that the only ways of avoiding the above disaster is to either grant London a short extension until May 23 — or for the U.K. to hold the EU election.

    The (even bigger) fear: If the U.K. doesn’t participate in the EU election, it could, under May or some other future prime minister, revoke Article 50 before the July 2 first session of the new Parliament, giving the bloc a poisoned non-departing gift that would paralyze EU lawmaking. “All acts of the Union that would be adopted with the participation of an irregularly composed Parliament would be open to legal challenge on this ground, which would put the security of legal relations in the Union seriously at risk, on a very large scale,” the document warns.


  72. formula57
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Delay or no delay, if Brexit occurs I am concerned that “ever closer union” will be pursued by the establishment class, amply fortified as it is by the quislings amongst it.

  73. Lawndered
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    So, The Labour Politburo in my city has announced it is going to flatten my garden again running at 1.8 times on average over a 15 year period, twice last year, by doing roof inspections and work, done 3 times in the last 15 years and, roof insulation “where necessary ” in properties which have had their roof insulation ripped out for no reason and replaced just 10 years ago…some more times.

    The Chancellor has sent them another box full of money, well, it’s now being spent on goodly works in advance of the box arriving. Well done Hammond!

    Also Council Tax increase with the police component a 14% increase from last year “Double congratulations to Thrifty Hammond!!! The Precept increased too for…well anything will do won’t it so long as another box full of money is seen as “an emergency”.

    When I’m rich, a dream , I shall break out of this Socialist Paradise and , have, dare I say it…shhh.. a garden.

    All’s well that ends well.

  74. ukretired123
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Why Vote?
    Folks will ask why bother at all.
    This is dangerous because history shows extremes replace democracy.
    No to Brino and yes to Brexit.
    Anything else is unacceptable.
    Folks have had enough shenanigans.
    MPs have had their 15 minutes of ego displayed.
    The speaker has shown contempt for impartiality.
    The HoC has no right to pervert the course of justice.
    We have to leave -simple.
    We have survived wars and this is winnable.
    Take responsibility for the referendum or suffer the consequences.
    Otherwise Parliament is irrelevant and not fit for purpose.
    In fact the joke will be on Parliament around the world.
    The mother of all parliaments needs to step up and show leadership.
    Being bold is against all the odds is a very British DNA trait.

  75. Andy
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    It seems to me that Brexiteers want Brexit to fail.

    There is simply no other explanation for the recklessness with which some are behaving.

    This is a huge change for our country – which requires careful thought and planning.

    And you have shown none.

    Be in no doubt, Brexit will be undone unless it is an overwhelming success.

    And traffic jams, job losses, shortages are a sure fire way to fail.

    Recklessly claiming it will all be okay – while actual evidence suggests otherwise – will not work out well for you all.

  76. Another Country
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Parliament has closed itself down in the minds of many of the public. The 650 MPs have gone over the top in betrayal of basic democracy.
    Set against 66 million people on these islands who think democracy is now an idealistic dream which is seen as dirty and hate-speech by Remainers and London, in general: The Capital of Foreign

    • Jacqueline Ward
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      The number of people who now believe in Brexit is about 43 – that is the number on Mr Farage’s march.

  77. Lester Beedell
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    TAD Davison, you will find Cromwell’s words to Parliament on YouTube

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Thanks Lester, that’s greatly appreciated. I just hope others get to see it too and see the similarities between that rotten parliament and the present one.


  78. ian
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

    I do not fear anything the gov and remain want to do because Brexit will never die, Brexit is a permanent fixture of England whatever happens, begin on the two-year extension I say and let all people see the new plans and agender of taxes that the EU have for them.

  79. MickN
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    I read somewhere that police are expecting a huge upturn on the knifecrime figures on 29th March when they expect 17.4 million people to be stabbed in the back.

  80. Jest an MP
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    It is rumoured in rumouring circles that Mr Rees-Mogg has suddenly taken a turn.
    He is now standing on his head in a corner of The House like an inverted hatstand.
    There’s wonder sniffing in the air. Can he also do somersaults as well as juggling the English language to absolute breaking point?

    • Jacqueline Ward
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Yes, rees mogg is going to support mays deal

  81. Tony Sharp
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    You must remove May at all costs whether her PWA is voted through or voted down. She will sabotage even WTO Brexit with bringing back her PWA as a ‘transitional-interim’ measure. She is completely untrustworthy and dishonest and a pathological liar. She will never resign she must be forced out, by either the Commons or the electorate.

    You can do so by supporting – or abstaining- on an Opposition motion of No Confidence which would be carried.
    May has used the prospect of a General Election as a threat – like so many other things she uses as a threat, well shoot her fox. Your Payroll colleagues will remove her rather than allow her to be around for the second No Confidence Vote or lead them in a GE as she is a Serial Loser. .

  82. Stephen Reay
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    If we don’t leave on the 29th March I will never make a vote in my lifetime again. Democracy will have failed and we will have become a nation ruled by those who think that if our vote doesn’t go along with their thinking than they’ll decide for you. Great Britain the oldest democracy in the world will be reduced to a banana republic .

  83. Kathryn Mann
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    If brexit isn’t delivered in its truest form, ie, leaving with NO DEAL, then that will mean we are living in a dictatorship NOT a democracy as we have all been fooled into believing. I am sick and tired of being told I didn’t know what I was voting for when I put my X in the leave box. I DID know! I voted to leave the EU as in the ECJ, Customs Union AND the Single Market! I want us to have control over our borders, our money, our fishing, our trading partners etc etc etc. THIS IS WHAT I VOTED FOR!!!

  84. Steve P
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    The motion to vote for May’s deal a 3rd time was packaged with voting for any extensions to the WA. The speaker has stated that if the PM does not change her deal then there cannot be another vote on it. This invalidates the MP’s voting for either extension to the WA as it was conditional on voting for or against her deal. There was no default extension if there was no vote – so am I right in assuming no vote has been made to extend the WA?

  85. James Snell
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Following Bercow’s ruling WA is out of the question now so this leaves our departure 29th without a deal. Alternatively government might try to kick the can..but to what purpose as the EU will have none of it..Meeting on Thursday will tell a lot. Anyway we can just leave and then argue our case from outside..we’ll have more time then

  86. Mick
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink
    So does this mean we leave on no deal on March 29th after all Mrs May did say no deal is better than a bad deal and beings that it as failed to get through Parliament twice then her deal must be a bad deal simples

  87. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    And Bercow has now said he won’t allow another Meaningless Vote on the WA – unless the proposition is changed. Which, when you think about it is quite right. Otherwise a government could bring the same legislation back to parliament every day ad nauseam.

    So, what’s next?

  88. agricola
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    The Speakers refusal to accept a third vote on th WA unless it changes substantially is not a constitutional crisis as government would have us believe. His ruling is the essence of common sense.

    Perhaps we can now have our Brexit on 29th March despite a malevolent scheeming government. Th evil of that woman and her cohorts knows no bounds. This just might be a defining moment in our democracy when a rampaging cabinet reaches its limits.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Our constitutional procedures become even more important in a crisis. Critical for Bercow to have upheld them. If she come back with a better deal, we know it was available all the time – she just ‘couldnt’ get it. How much better will the deal be if we negotiate having left and represented by someone who knows which way is up!

  89. Steve
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    So, from what Mr Speaker is now saying, the second vote on May’s surrender document was illegitimate.

    Mrs May in contempt, clearly.

    Reply No he explained why he allowed no 2

  90. Monza 71
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Could Bercow have made a massive mis-judgment by refusing to allow a third vote on May’s deal ?

    If Italy does go ahead and vetoes any extension, as a favour to Nigel Farage, we may leave under WTO terms after all. If so, Nigel will finally have to be given the Knighthood he so richly deserves by our next Brexiteer Prime Minister.

    Seems a long shot and both Brussels and Remainers will still have a few tricks up their sleeve but, unless the 27 make some serious concessions at this weekend’s EU summit, it does seem that May’s deal might finally be a dead duck.

    Pressure must then be brought to bear for her to resign on 30th March.

  91. Steve
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    What is abundantly obvious is that Parliament is out of control, gone rogue.

  92. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    I forgive Bercow everything! Straight to the Lords!

    • Pieter
      Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Yes along with Moog, Boris and IDS, plus some other ones who have lately gone mysteriously quiet

  93. Stred
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

    The sqeaker and other plotters seem to be going for the full welch with an eye on the post fear polls. Delay and second referendum it is. He forgot that during the referendum there cannot be a blackout on the history of Remain tricks and meetings with the other side. It will be merciless this time.

  94. Steve P
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    If the PM cannot resubmit her WA then can the remainers be permitted to bring back the 2nd referendum question unless it is substantially different. Has this not meant that the PM cannot go to the EU and ask for time for a 2nd referendum as she cannot bring that question back to parliament? No deal will happen by default

  95. BenD
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    John Bercow has used a rule from 1604 which applies to England only..and not to UK

    Next thing is to Leave with no deal now is the best option according to Owen Patterson..he says then we can immediately start talks with the EU on a FTA as soon as we leave..well good luck with that Owen. He further says the EU will move rapidly to make a new deal with us. What planet he is living on and where does he gets this stuff from- I have no idea?

    • Whichever
      Posted March 19, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Yeah 1604 does not apply to Scotland or Ireland as it was a rule made for England only. Therefore it cannot apply to the UK..but where is the attorney general in all of this. If this ruling is allowed then anyone can pluck any kind of an old rule going back to Roman times and beyond. The whole thing is ridiculous

  96. ian
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Mrs T May going to Brussels Thursday through to the weekend hoping to get more concision from them with the speakers’ help with his new ruling.

    The vote will take place next week if she can persuade Brussels to give more to win over more MPs in parliament next week, she does not have the numbers this week to win.

  97. Ian Pennell
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    Sadly, it looks like a Long Delay before Britain leaves the European Union- at least officially if not in fact. The Remainer Speaker John Bercow- with a Smug Look on his face – has just made it nigh- on impossible for Theresa May to get her Withdrawal Agreement voted on in Parliament a third time before the end of March: Maybe this is a good thing- but what is not good is how much time it will give Remainers in the Commons and the House of Lords to mobilise effectively to effectively kill off Brexit for good!

    The result will be a delay and the Remainer House of Commons- with the help of the said Remainer Speaker. Theresa May is too weak to prorogue Parliament (and doubtless the Remainer Speaker will find some arcane device in Erskine May to twist- to stop Parliament from being Prorogued).

    Brexit is now in mortal danger and on life- support: If drastic action is not taken- quickly- it will be killed off by the Remainer Establishment: Whether that is a Second Referendum with a choice between BRINO and Remain, or whether Theresa May will be forced to pivot towards a Custom Union/ Single Market Vassalage matters not a jot- Brexit as those 17.4 million who voted for it three summers’ ago understand it- will not happen.

    The time has come for you and all the ERG MPs to write to Jeremy Corbyn to tell him to table another vote of No Confidence in the Government- so that Theresa May and her disastrous divided government are expunged from office ASAP. Then- through a show of hands- the Conservatives must get a Brexiteer Proper Leader in charge of the Party.

    I know that you don’t like this idea, Sir but Swift Catharsis is vital and it is needed NOW. The Conservatives are already losing support and the Party will lose a lot more if Theresa May and her Ministers (with no respect for Theresa May) remain in office. Better to have a General Election now and face a risk of a minority Labour Government (Labour will then carry the blame for messing up Brexit whilst the Conservatives can re-group under a Brexiteer to take on the Remain Establishment and soon topple Labour before it can do much harm); however I think a Brexit supporting Conservative Government is likely if you have some popular pro- growth policies in the Conservative Manifesto.

    The alternative is Theresa May clings to office, Brexit gets undone on the watch of the Conservative Government (it matters not a jot that this could be foisted on the Government by Remainer MPs- Conservatives would be blamed in the Court of Public Opinion): In the eventual General Election in 2022 (sooner if Jeremy Corbyn sees his opportunity) the Conservatives would go down to a 1997- style defeat and be kept out of power for years whilst a majority hard left Labour Government not only reverses Brexit but also irrevocably wrecks the British Constitution and electoral system. The Conservatives might never govern outright again.

    These Sir, are the stark choices that you and your ERG colleagues now face. It is your call with regards to what you do now.

    Ian Pennell

  98. ian
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    It all down to Brussels now, first they will see if they can get 27 members to agree with a long extension to Brexit, if not, they will consider thinking about changes to the WA to try and get it through parliament.

    If the 27 members cannot agree, then Brexit on track and you will leave on the 29th of March, that if Mr J.R.Mogg holds up with rest on new changes to the WA if there is any.

  99. javelin
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:32 pm | Permalink


    The WA clearly states that the Commision can go to ECJ 4 years after leaving.

    You appear to have missed this.

  100. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your proposal for the way forward Sir John. What’s not to like indeed?

  101. mary
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Any MP who votes for the appalling “W”A will never hear the last of it. If they think the public believe it amounts to Brexit, they need their head tested. We willnever cease trumpeting to the world the true nature of this Treaty and how it binds us firmly under the EU jackboot. and we will never cease to remind people which MPs voted for it. If they think it will save their careers or the wretched Tory party they are mistaken

  102. Adam
    Posted March 18, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

    I’m still awaiting a tv licence refund due to bias.

  103. Peter Thompson
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 12:55 am | Permalink

    A 20 month delay means Brexit will not happen . It will be 5 years since the referendum and it will be too late. Can you not understand that the actual passion for Brexit is only shared by a small minority and we were lucky in 2016 . We had an opportunity to leave last week and your lot threw it away. Shame on you.

  104. Utter tyranny rules
    Posted March 19, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Yet again Peter Thompson seems to think he can threaten a non Brexit, when will these idiots realize their is no way back now?

  • 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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