No point in delay until 12 April

The government should not try to delay an answer until 12 April.  It would require difficult Parliamentary processes for no obvious gain.

Why would MPs vote for the Agreement after March 29 when they have not been willing to vote for it before March 29?

Mrs May should have asked for a free trade deal tonight and told them she cannot get the Withdrawal Agreement through, given the large defeats, the  dislike of the deal by the public and the reluctance of most MPs to change their minds on it.


  1. old salt
    March 21, 2019

    So, is it to be No Deal or No Democracy?

    1. Stephen Priest
      March 22, 2019

      Theresa has a very strange way of trying to get her Withdrawal Agreement through.

      She simultaneously dangles “No Deal” and “No Brexit” and gives nobody an incentive to vote for her Withdrawal Agreement.

    2. Lifelogic
      March 22, 2019

      The latter, under “Brexit means sweet FA to Theresa May”.

  2. oldtimer
    March 21, 2019

    The implications are clear. Votes on Referendum ballot papers are no better than toilet paper – to be flushed away by MPs.

    1. ukretired123
      March 22, 2019

      They may not have rigged the ballot papers like 3rd World countries but they are rigging it now. No more rigging in the friggng as we know you do not want us to leave, s’il vous plait, merci. Thank you very much. Bye bye to EU.

    2. Andy
      March 22, 2019

      Advisory. It means when the advice is bad you can ignore it.

    3. Lifelogic
      March 22, 2019

      May, Hammond, Gove and Bercow all against the 17.4 million. 17,400,000 against these 4 traitors.

  3. Andrew S
    March 21, 2019

    NO! No delay. Leave means leave. A majority decision. Failure to deliver 29 March means no further democratic vote stands.

    1. Len Grinds
      March 22, 2019

      What tosh. The date 29 March is pure chance. Never even mentioned during the referendum. We will not leave until we have a deal that will protect our trade – all power to Mrs May for facing down the no-deal zealots

    2. NickC
      March 22, 2019

      Andrew S, Yes, Remain MPs are so terribly concerned about the so-called damage our country by being out of the EU (when most of the world is out), but entirely blind to the damage to our democracy and to our reputation by the Remain shambles they have created.

  4. L Jones
    March 21, 2019

    ”Should have” again.

  5. Gareth Warren
    March 21, 2019

    Totally agree here, as a voter I thought leaving the EU would not required any agreement with the EU.

    Instead have watched a farce where politicians have said we will leave, we won’t accept the wretched deal, but won’t accept no deal.

    Surely the moment hyas come for a healthy dose of sanity, if we spent half the cost of that awful deal the country would still be 10’s of billions richer.

  6. Warren
    March 21, 2019

    In the event of the WA failing to get through again, they are no doubt hoping that an extension to April 12 would allow remainer MPs to thwart Brexit with their endless amendments.

    How long would it take to pass a Statutory Instrument through both the Commons and the Lords in order to change the date of our withdrawal?

    Reply Probably a day for each. It will only pass if Labour vote for it.

  7. ian
    March 21, 2019

    leaving on the 29th of March has been cancelled, the Brexit people know and understand is not going to happen.

  8. Sir Joe Soap
    March 21, 2019

    It gets more senseless by the hour. Why on earth April 12th?

    1. DaveM
      March 22, 2019

      I don’t understand this April 12th bit either – could someone explain?

      1. 'None of the above'.
        March 22, 2019

        I read a comment from the EU last night. Apparently, 12th April is the date by which the UK must nominate candidates for the European Parliament elections.
        Any attempt to extend should be voted down, the ‘Articles of Surrender’ so beloved of TM should be ditched and we should leave on 29th March and go to WTO rules.
        It will be open to the EU to suggest talks on an FTA after that date, if they wish.

      2. GilesB
        March 22, 2019

        It’s the latest date for the U.K. to commit to organising EU elections on May 23rd

      3. graham1946
        March 22, 2019

        It’s 2 weeks after 29th March. Plucked out of the air, like the 39 billion I would guess. More delay, more chance to dream up some more concessions the UK must make. The final straw is the EU telling our Parliament which way they must vote – a portent of the future of staying in.

      4. hefner
        March 22, 2019

        45 days before the elections to EU Parliament, deadline to declare candidatures.

      5. Jagman84
        March 22, 2019

        The EU want the £39 billion bribe in used notes. It’ll take until then to get it all through Dover and delivered to Brussels, especially if the French customs are on strike. Apparently, the UK only has one port of exit, according to the MSM.

      6. miami.mode
        March 22, 2019

        Dave, it appears that April 11th is the last plenary session of the EU parliament.

      7. NickC
        March 22, 2019

        Looks just like an arbitrary fortnight.

    2. Peter Parsons
      March 22, 2019

      April 12th is the last day on which the UK can make a decision on participation in elections to the European Parliament.

  9. Sir Joe Soap
    March 21, 2019

    As Portillo says, if she’d prepared for no deal she’d be getting a good deal instead of no deal.

    1. Mockbeggar
      March 22, 2019

      Speaking of Michael Portillo, did you see him make that chap Rutger look a complete Tom Fool on This Week last night?

    2. Nigel
      March 22, 2019

      Quite right. The EU are desperate to avoid us leaving on WTO terms. If only she had recognised the strength of our negotiating position, we would have been out with a decent trade deal by this time.

    3. NickC
      March 22, 2019

      Sir Joe, That’s screamingly obvious to us; why isn’t it so for MPs, the BBC, civil serpents and the rest of the the Remain establishment? I think the answer – frustrating though it is – is they simply do not want Leave. And the MSM have failed to call them out on their act of bad faith.

    4. Lifelogic
      March 22, 2019

      Indeed and this was quite obvious from the outset. Just as it was obvious that the ERM and EURO would be disasters!

  10. Steve
    March 21, 2019

    I suspect the purpose of delay till 12th April in the event of the WA being voted down, is to provide a window to revoke A50, and give time for the criminals responsible to get well clear of the ensuing carnage or be protected by very heavy security.

    Recent anti – stalking legislation, advice to MP’s to only leave Westminster by car, and MoD involvement are no coincidence.

    The penny has dropped, and they know we’re onto them. However they will be brought to justice sooner or later.

    29th IS the date for leaving.

    There can be no third vote on the WA.

    If there is, it would not be legitimate and would signify the collapse of law and order in this country.

    If Parliament doesn’t respect the law, why should anyone else ?

    1. APL
      March 22, 2019

      Steve: “If Parliament doesn’t respect the law, why should anyone else ?”

      Parliament doesn’t respect the law, Parliament is where you go to make yourself a millionaire in as short a period as possible and with as little effort or intelligence as you need to exert.

      1. NickC
        March 22, 2019

        APL, Well, Remain MPs are definitely exerting their little intelligence strenuously.

      2. Lifelogic
        March 22, 2019

        Indeed. The remoaners and the dire Appeaser May and ‘tax to death’ Hammond are playing with fire.

  11. ukretired123
    March 21, 2019

    Collusion by May to further her ego tripping is very wearing.
    Folks want out, no more messing about.

    You should never live your life a lie.
    Especially when you are showing off going to Church, as she often does.
    Hypocritical promising out 100+ times and then conveniently forgetting yesterday’s sound bytes.

    1. APL
      March 22, 2019

      ukretired23: “Collusion by May to further her ego tripping is very wearing.”

      No ego, just no investment in the future.

  12. Denis Cooper
    March 22, 2019

    Will it never end?

  13. Richard1
    March 22, 2019

    Have you spoken to her directly? Do you know why she doesn’t just ask for an FTA?

  14. Edwardm
    March 22, 2019

    Quite right.

  15. Bob
    March 22, 2019

    For the last time Sir John, it’s not a deal.
    It’s an agreement to pay £39 billion and hand the decision over the future of our country to the very institution that we voted to leave.

    She is prepared to sell Britain down the river into vassalage.
    Force a GE and let’s send the Quislings packing. It’s now or never.

    1. A.Sedgwick
      March 22, 2019

      No, it is a Treaty, the usage of the word – deal – is camouflage for the truth, it is a 588 page International Treaty.

  16. Ndubisi C. Okezue
    March 22, 2019

    You are assuming that she is sensible. She is nothing like that. She has no leadership skills. In fact, she is the polar opposite of Maggie Thatcher. The smartest thing to do at this juncture is to get together with Corbyn’s Labour side and oust this disaster of a Prime Minister from office via a “No Confidence Vote”. From now until 12 April, your job is to work round the clock to get rid of her for the sake of the country

  17. Steve P
    March 22, 2019

    This agreement is purposely timed to enable more motions, amendments, votes of confidence to take place in the hope of getting one to overturn Brexit. How many times have we seen losers go to the EU and tell them how to frustrate Brexit – Blair, Corbyn and many more. At the end of the 12th I would still expect another delay to be offered by the EU. They are waiting for the UK to say No Deal but the prime minister will not as she is a coward. The Prime Minister must be forced to accept no deal on the 29th otherwise all hell is going to let loose. She talks about uncertainty – then moves the date out causing more uncertainty. We are really really fed up of her behaviour and some treacherous MP’s.

  18. cosmic
    March 22, 2019

    God knows what’s going on in Mrs May’s head, it’s not clear she does.

    Who would care to place a bet on how this will fall out? It certainly looks nothing like a rational process carried out by the Mother of Parliaments.

  19. ian
    March 22, 2019

    Mrs T May has killed off the Tory party. The majority of MPs in the Commons will now be looking for along extension without a purpose.

  20. Peter D Gardner
    March 22, 2019

    Apologies for repeating myself but you really must face the fact that Mrs May is fully intent on UK being subject to technocratic supra-national government of the EU. That does not make her a traitor because she genuinely believes it is best for UK. But it does mean she is attempting a double act and her government is a hoax.
    If her WA is defeated she intends to manoeuvre MPs into insisting on her revoking the Article 50 notice of withdrawal. It will not be difficult. She will claim to bow to the will of parliament and she will blame MPs for her betrayals.
    It should be no surprise that in her speech at the Downing Street podium she was unable to hide her contempt for these useful idiots in Parliament. It is the opening round of the blame game and there is much truth and justification in her blaming MPs.
    I do ask that you challenge Mrs May in Parliament to admit that her belief is that technocratic supra-national government is what she intends to be the outcome of either her Withdrawal Agreement or her delaying Brexit.
    If she were to admit it, at least we could debate it on merit instead of dancing surreptitiously around this elephant in the room.

    1. miami.mode
      March 22, 2019

      PDG. It always astounds me how we castigate various leaders around the world for taking unilateral decisions and yet our Prime Ministers often seem to take similar actions.

  21. Colin Hart
    March 22, 2019

    She has said “If Parliament does not agree a deal next week, the EU Council will extend Article 50 until 12 April. At this point we would either leave with no deal, or put forward an alternative plan.”
    It is not up to the EU Council. Under UK legislation we leave, as promised, on march 29th without a withdrawal agreement (aka No Deal).
    There is no alternative plan. She does not have one and even if she did all she has secured, or been offered, is the right to put it forward. There is no guarantee it would be accepted.
    She is in La-La Land.

  22. Pominoz
    March 22, 2019

    So, the EU are quite prepared to offer an extension which will do one or more of the following:

    1. Avoid the UK leaving on time on WTO terms
    2. Get the May / Robbins WA surrender plan approved to tie us in ad infinitum
    3. Keep the prospect of a second referendum on the table
    4. Permit the revocation of Article 50

    It appears the Brussels meeting was ‘more cordial than expected’. Hardly surprising when they and Mrs May want the same.

    May’s address to the Commons, blaming not herself, but all other MPs, for the current situation was hopefully sufficient to make many of those who reluctantly supported her last time reversing their decision should MV3 occur.

    No delay necessary. Vote down the WA. Get out on 29th on WTO terms.

  23. rick hamilton
    March 22, 2019

    This extension has taken some of the heat off the hysterical HoC so her rotten deal is surely less likely to pass next week than before.

    Unless we get WTO pronto by some miracle, as JR rightly advocates, the sane approach would be to ditch the Transition and the 585 page garbage altogether and stay in the EU as we are, until a proper FTA can be agreed. Then we leave with the options of that, or fall back to a properly considered WTO. The problem then is, that could take 2 years and we will have Remoan shrieking all the time. It will only work if Remain is formally taken off the table as an option during that period. And of course May has to go and be replaced by a genuine Brexit enthusiast.

    It does have the farcical side effect of forcing us into EU elections. But that will probably lead to a massive victory by Brexit parties and give Leave arguments the ongoing publicity they sorely need.

    1. miami.mode
      March 22, 2019

      rick, the problem with your solutions is that the EU are calling all the shots and there will be onerous conditions on anything we put forward.

      We propose, they impose.

  24. Mick
    March 22, 2019

    May 22 or April 12 extension!!! What’s the point oh I know it’s a bit more time to try and fix us to stay shackled to the dying Eu , history will look back at the way all political parties have made a complete mess of us leaving and conclude how did such incompetent people run our Great country, self serving muppets the lot of you, just get us out next week to try and gain some credibility for once in your miserable life’s

  25. hans christian ivers
    March 22, 2019

    Sir JW

    80% of our trade today is tariff free, the government proposal for a tariff free trade with the EU and the rest of the World would raise that to 88% of our trade.

    What you are proposing according to the government proposal is not going to make a major difference to the UK consumer or UK business.

    1. Pominoz
      March 22, 2019

      But it is to Sovereignty and democracy

    2. Edward2
      March 22, 2019

      That is an excellent argument for leaving and shows how wrong project fear proponents are when they claim trade will stop after March 29th.

    3. 'None of the above'.
      March 22, 2019

      I am afraid that you miss the point Hans.

      Let us take oranges for an example. Oranges from Spain or Tariff free but not cheap.
      Oranges from outside the EU are currently charged a high tariff so they would be more expensive in the shops. The Common External Tariff of the EU Customs Union protects Spanish Orange growers from cheaper imports and it is paid for by EU consumers. It penalises growers in developing countries and EU consumers.

    4. graham1946
      March 22, 2019

      For goodness sake, Hans, you have been told umpteen times it is not only about trade.

      We value our freedom to do what we want and not be ordered around by smaller less successful nations and have done for a thousand years, whereas most of the Continent has been under dictatorship in the last 100 years, so you just don’t understand it.

    5. NickC
      March 22, 2019

      Hans, Who is “our”? You don’t know what you’re talking about. Over 69% of UK trade is domestic and not therefore subject to tariffs or NTBs anyway. So your figure of “80% of our trade” (if it refers to the UK) is wildly off.

      HMRC reports that “42% of imports (approximately £200 billion) and 26% of tariffs lines are currently EU MFN tariff free”. That is c10% of UK GDP. Neither are anywhere near your absurd “80%”.

      Our independent tariffs are due to be set so that about 95% of tariff lines are at zero (about 87% by value) – HMRC. This is considerably different to the current EU imposed tariffs; and much different to your guesses.

  26. Stephen Priest
    March 22, 2019

    Sadly, so many MPs, including the Prime Minister, civil servants, and journalists do no believe in democracy and look down on a large number of voters.

  27. Everhopeful
    March 22, 2019

    If one side of a negotiation says….as the EU has…” That’s all we will ever agree to.”and the other party doesn’t accept what that side agrees to….as per the majority in Parliament , then surely there is NO DEAL. De facto!

    Aren’t negotiations meant to be flexible and accommodating?

    If the law is overturned on March 29th and we all fall right to the bottom of the rabbit hole will the law still work for other things? Like paying tax and driving on the correct side of the road?

    1. Amanda
      March 22, 2019

      You last is a good question, and one we should all consider carefully in the months to come !!

  28. Lifelogic
    March 22, 2019

    Indeed but May is a remainer, a socialist, insuferably PC and a rather dishonest robotic dope. She gets almost every single decision wrong both at the Home Office and as PM. She is a huge electoral liability too, even against the appalling sitting duck Corbyn.

    She needs to be removed before she destroys her party and puts the UK into her absurd, permanent straight jacket. She is destroying the party even more effectively than John Major managed (and they have still not had a decent majority since Major and his ERM fiasco. They will rightly never be trusted again if they fail to deliver a real Brexit. Not only that but her expensive energy, tax, over regulate, borrow and waste economic agenda is also totally wrong headed too.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 22, 2019

      May’s deal is not Brexit, it is far worse than a WTO managed leave and even worse than remain. Either May is too daft to see this or she understands it but simply does not care about damaging her country and burying her party. What other explanations are there?

      1. Dan Rushworth
        March 23, 2019

        She is deluded on many aspects of life. Being the PM, this has shown to be very dangerous for our country. She shouldn’t have been given a second chance after her revealing character as Home Secretary.

  29. Everhopeful
    March 22, 2019

    There was never any need for “A Deal”.

    That assertion is a fabrication to keep us in the EU.

  30. Emily Jones
    March 22, 2019

    The EU have made it clear from day one they will not discuss trade until the UK pays its bills and settles the Irish question. Please, stop posting ill informed rubbish. If you could pay attention to what is actually happening, and has been happening ever since the UK invoked Article 50, that would be helpful

    Reply Face them with no Agreement exit with or without an FTA and I think they will want the FTA

    1. Len Grinds
      March 22, 2019

      The EU has said “no” to what you propose approximately one thousand times. Are you deaf? The UK needs to settle the accounts and agree to keep the Irish border open. Then – only then – the EU will talk trade. This means the UK is a very weak position. And that, my dear Leavers, is what you voted for. Welcome to reality

      1. Edward2
        March 22, 2019

        You miss the point Les.
        The EU makes 90 billion profit a year on trade with the UK
        Take trade.
        Yes when we are ready.

    2. Amanda
      March 22, 2019

      If that were so, Emily, then it was very foolhardy to throw away our ability to leave with no deal. It has been clear from the start that the EU did not want and feared that. Do you think we have to do what the EU wants us to do for their advantage and our disadvantage? It is that type of thinking that has brought us to the perilous place we are in, and is very very stupid. Acting unjustly never end well ! Nor does acting undemocratically in a country that is used to the rule of law ! There will indeed be a price to pay, and it will be a heavy one.

      Also, let me ask you, what should we do about all our assets in the EU – eh ???

    3. Leslie Singleton
      March 22, 2019

      Dear Sir John–Difficult at least for me to understand how they could posibly not want an FTA.

  31. Fedupsoutherner
    March 22, 2019

    How can any of you continue to support her? She has made a complete cock up of the whole process and continues to do so. Lie after lie. She really is something but I can’t think what!

  32. eeyore
    March 22, 2019

    Why delay? To give time for the Cooper-Boles amendment to pass, the first step to killing Brexit dead.

  33. Mark B
    March 22, 2019

    Good morning

    If you cannot deliver something in over 2 years, what’s 2 weeks going to achieve?

  34. Jaack Falstaff
    March 22, 2019

    It seems that the only “point” to this delay is to satisfy Mrs May’s ego and allow her to both kid us she’s got some kind of ace up her sleeve to put on the table and stay in power.
    If so, why hasn’t she played it? EU leaders are as baffled as to what she hopes to achieve as we are.
    I find her continuation in power deeply embarrassing for our country and credibility.
    She must step down or be sent packing as everybody is fed up with her.

  35. […] “The government should not try to delay an answer until 12 April.  It would require difficult Parliamentary processes for no obvious gain. Why would MPs vote for the Agreement after March 29 when they have not been willing to vote for it before March 29?” (here) […]

  36. BOF
    March 22, 2019

    The can has been kicked again? Surely not!

  37. Simon
    March 22, 2019

    Sir John, in the words of Ronnie Reagan there you go again.

    An FTA can not possibly be an alternative to the WA. It will take years to negotiate. Of course what you are really proposing is a No Deal exit in the meantime.

  38. ferdinand
    March 22, 2019

    You are absolutely right. But Mrs May doesn’t want to leave, so she is desperate to get her deal thorough Parliament.

  39. GilesB
    March 22, 2019

    Why didn’t asking for an extension require legislation? Invoking or revoking does.

    The statutory instrument power was merely to effect the change in domestic legislation AFTER the EU had agreed extension. It does not give power under international law to ask for an extension

  40. Bob Wade
    March 22, 2019

    Sir John, Can you explain why everyone is talking about a 3rd vote and a delay. Does what happened in Brussels make Mr Bercow’s ruling on a third vote irrelevant. Mrs May does not seem to have anything different in her deal Does it make the legislation to leave on the 29th March irrelevant. My understanding has always been, we leave on the 29th March, deal or no deal. That is the law.

  41. BR
    March 22, 2019

    I read the EU statement differently. The point of April 12th seems to be to allow or ‘alternative plans’ to emerge i.e. to give the HoC time to seize control and vote for a Brexit in name only plan such as Norway / EEA.

    Such low cunning is typical of them, but we are not obliged to accept what is essentially a counter-offer. We would need a very rapid change of leadership to prevent May accepting it though.

  42. BW
    March 22, 2019

    The Cooper Boles amendment was defeated. Why are we continueing to vote again and again over the same thing. It makes no sense to me. Surely Mr Bercow should not allow this as it has already been voted on.

  43. Jack Falstaff
    March 22, 2019

    Is No Deal (which is what I and many others really seek) still possible Sir John? If so, when would this happen? I am totally confused and any help you could offer would be most appreciated. Thank you in advance.

  44. BR
    March 22, 2019

    Just to add…

    It seems clear that May’s plan is to cling on as PM via short extensions. If Letwin & co succeed and push through some alternative such as Norway then the EU will grant another extension to discuss it and so on.

    This seems to have the effect of preventing MPs from removing May. The men in grey suits (or white coats) need to see her very soon and get someone in place who can fix this mess before we are locked into a permanent punitive treaty. If you wait until April 12th it may already be too late.

    Please discuss with the ERG.

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