We’ve had enough indicative votes

Some MPs claim Parliament has been prevented from expressing a view on Brexit and needs a series of indicative votes on different options. Where have they been these last two years? Parliament has talked about almost nothing other than Brexit. The  pro Remain MPs  told us for years before the vote the EU had little power, it was not very important,  there was no need to go “banging on” about it and  the electors were not interested in it. Now these same MPs  claim it is critical to our economic survival, that the EU has tentacles into so many things that matter  and bang on about it to the exclusion of all else.

Parliament has had endless debates rerunning the referendum. In the referendum itself and since we have discussed the Norway model, the Swiss model, EEA membership, EFTA membership, Customs union membership, single market membership, and some combination of all the above memberships. We have had debates and votes on staying in the single market, staying in the customs union, and  having a second referendum. Each of these proposals has been defeated. Why do we have to do all that again?

If Parliament has more debates and more votes they would only be indicative. The government need not accept them. The EU/EEA/EFTA etc may not wish to negotiate the answer Parliament wants should Parliament suddenly back one of these proposals above the others. The government may not agree with the proposal. A large number of Conservative and DUP MPs may not agree with the proposal. Parliament cannot make the government adopt a particular policy. All it could do is to vote no confidence in a government which refused to take its advice. It has tried that recently and the government won the vote. Why would the government wish to proceed with the least unpopular proposal, if that entailed continuous backbench rebellions on its own side in large numbers? Why would the Opposition MPs who favoured a different approach to Brexit then behave responsibly and help the government get it through against the wishes of many Conservative MPs? Wouldn’t they see opportunity in  defeating a government trying to implement their chosen policy against the wishes of many of its own backbenchers?

There is a reason why Parliament in our system lets government get on and govern, defining its task as stopping decisions and laws which it thinks are wrong but not as dictating to government what laws and decisions are right. That latter way anarchy lies. Parliament either has to put up with the government or sack the whole government. It cannot run it from the backbenches. The government’s idea that it needs to appeal to Parliament generally for  support means it has given up on finding a Conservative answer that the governing MPs will vote for.  That is a strange conclusion for a PM whose job depends on being the Leader of the Conservative party.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    You should propose an Australian model
    – no deal with the EU
    – no recession for nearly 30 years

    • Merlin
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      I noticed yesterday that there seems very little appetite for compromise.

      This alarms me, as I really want Brexit to happen as I think it is vital to implement the referendum.

      I feel that by obstructing May’s deal and not compromising, people are not respecting the referendum, which they are allowed to do. But if this goes belly-up, as I fear, and the referendum is not respected, it will not be because of me.

      • J Bush
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

        May’s pile of paper is not a trade deal. It is a mechanism to keep the UK locked into the EU and under its control. It does not respect the referendum result.

        If it goes ‘belly-up’ it will be May’s fault and the fault of the others who also do not respect the referendum result.

        • Hope
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

          JR, the public were promised by Cameron and the Tory govt that the public would decide. At NO point whatsoever did any politician say if you win the vote to leave parliament would have indicataive votes to determine what sort of reman the country will have!!

          No indicative votes whatsoever should take place.

          JR, please tell us why is CCHQ, and chief whip, still supporting remain traitors who betrayed their party, supporters, activists, manifesto, referndum reault and broke their own word?

      • Pud
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

        Compromise is only possible if there is a middle position in which both sides achieve sufficient of their aims to find it satisfactory. You suggest compromise, but EU membership is a binary choice, either the UK Parliament is free to pass laws without EU influence or it is constrained by what the EU allows it to legislate on. A Remainer doesn’t want to leave the EU at all and allowing the EU to dictate to the UK in any way does not satisfy Leavers, as clearly in that case the UK has not left.

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


        If I may. From Peter Hitchens.

        I voted Leave because my beloved children became inexorably poorer whilst in the EU. Both nearing PhD level education and neither able to afford (because of a factor of 20x income plus student debt) a house which was bought by a postman in 1997 who then raised his family without his wife having to work.

        For decades we were told that the EU was boring and inconsequential and that fringe politicians should stop ‘banging on about it’.

        It turns out to be a face hugging type creature. Sticks its proboscis down its victim’s throat, grips its skull with its spindly fingers and tightens its tail around the neck in a ratcheting way – then spits acid everywhere if criticised and threatens to kill its host if any attempt is made to take it off.

        It can’t even claim to be a force for unity now.

        • Richard1
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          Peter Hitchens is very good at moaning in about how terrible the world is now and how at some unspecified time in the past – sounds like the mid-50s – it used to be much better. The facts don’t bear him out though. He’s certainly right there are terrible problems such as the failure of the police and criminal justice system to confront real crimes instead of futile arrests of people for gender misidentification etc. But many more people are now immeasurably better off than they were in his imaginary past. And a lot of it thanks to the economic reforms of the Thatcher govt. manufacturing as a % of GDP has plummeted in all developed countries. You do not need blast furnaces visible from every train to be a prosperous country.

          He bewails the referendum but omits to mention he is one of the EUs longest standing and most trenchant critics. His writing has done as much as anyone’s to whip up anti-EU feelings.

          I often enjoy Peter Hitchens’s writing. He’s a good journalist and writes incisively, but It would be good if he could sometimes suggest a few things he is in favour of, a policy idea or two perhaps, instead of just moaning and saying how foolish everyone else is.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

            Well he is in favour of a Criminal Justice System that has some real deterrents. Not one where you have be caught carrying with a knife as a weapon some 14 times or commit countless muggings, thefts or burglaries before anyone ever goes to prison.

            As he says you have to be a very serious serial criminal before you ever get sent to prison.

          • M Davis
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

            I think I prefer to believe Peter Hitchens than to believe anything you have to say, Richard1.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

            Having read both for years I would far prefer Richard1’s opinions to Peter Hitchens.

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:42 pm | Permalink


          “I voted Leave because my beloved children became inexorably poorer whilst in the EU. Both nearing PhD level education and neither able to afford (because of a factor of 20x income plus student debt) a house which was bought by a postman in 1997 who then raised his family without his wife having to work.”

          If that is the reason you voted leave then you were conned. University fees are decided by governments and have nothing to do with the EU. Scottish universities charge no tuition.

          The same applies to house prices. Nothing to do with EU but unchecked market forces dictate costs. You’ll find most EU countries have far cheaper housing than we have.

      • David Price
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        I commend to you the ERG pamphlet “Your Right To Know” (18-Nov-2018) which provides a condensed guide as to why May’s Withdrawal Agreements (aka Chequers) is not leaving EU control in any meaningful way.

        Keep in mind also that the backstop is viewed by some as illegal under EU law- a Feb 2019 paper by Herbert Smith Freehills, a sizeable professional services partnership, lays out the issue. The UK AG came to a similar conclusion in his advice 5-Dec-2109.

        Don’t worry, I won’t blame you if we exit on a WTO basis, however I will blame you and many other remainiacs if we do not.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink


        And if have Dr Redwood’s many comments on the WA you will understand why the WA does not respect the referendum result.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

          PS, Merlin, Did you read all the replies your posts received yesterday?

      • Edward2
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Just say it Merlin you simply want to remain in the EU.
        You are polite compared to many others but the message is the same.
        By compromise you mean give up on leaving the EU.
        The Withdrawal Agreement is not a deal.

      • Frank
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        It is not “people” obstructing May’s deal that are not respecting the referendum, it is Mrs May herself – by putting forward a deal which is no Brexit at all – who is not respecting the referendum. 17 million people did not vote for a compromise; they vote for out.

      • Al
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Taking May’s deal isn’t Brexit. It still ties companies that don’t trade with the EU into following EU law as well as British law and the law of their trading partners, and does not allow us to correct the damage to various business sectors or adjust our own tax levels.

        Parliament hasn’t voted for it, and the people certainly didn’t as it wasn’t imagined at the time.

        • Andy
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          Mrs May’s deal is Brexit.

          It takes us out of the EU and single market. It even takes us out of the customs union – which none of you had heard of until after the referendum.

          It ends free movement. It ends the jurisdiction of the ECJ. And you get to keep the ‘vast sums’ you personally send to the EU. That’s a few quid a week for most people.

          So to argue her deal is not Brexit is simply preposterous. It is Brexit reality.

          Of course her deal is not good. But then in 2016 we told you that any Brexit would be worse than the status quo. But you knew best. Except it turns out that you didn’t.

          • Al
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

            “It ends the jurisdiction of the ECJ.”

            Andy, thank you for confirming that you have not read May’s deal. Art 167 to 181 of it gives primacy to the ECJ over British courts. Article 174 means that any disputes between the EU and UK must be resolved by the ECJ.

            Even the former President of EFTA’s courts states that: “This is not a real arbitration tribunal – behind it the ECJ decides everything.”

          • What Tiler
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

            Not a single thing in your post is actually true; remarkable.

          • Andy
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            Mrs May’s deal is Brexit. You voted for it. Quit your whining.

            It really is not my fault that you lot were too silly to understand that Brexit meant complete and utter subservience.

            Perhaps if you paid attention to detail rather than slogans on the side of a bus you would not be in this mess.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

            Mrs May’s deal is Brexit.

            Have you read it? It is truly appalling, even without the back stop.

      • robert lewy
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Let us be clear May’s Deal is not a deal it is the terms of surrender imposed by the EU.

        It is simply a prelude to the shackles adumbrated in the Political Declaration.

        It is a Aggravated Supplication, no less.

      • Hope
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        Hammond clear on TV today he wants to remain in the EU under any circumstance. He advocates indicative votes. Therefore a general election is required. When senior ministers advocate for labour back bench control of govt and some MPs sit with Labour on opposition benches time for general election.

        Remain traitors who against democracy need to be ousted from office both Labour and Conservative. Prevent/delay any legislation being passed to extend.

        Bring this govt down is now the only answer. Your party is now done like, Callaghan, Major and Clegg’s before.

        • Hope
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          If May was to countenance no deal she would not have asked for an extension! Get real. May has shown the EU the country wants to remain under any circumstance but what form of remain has to be decided. The same with Hammond and Liddington. Hammond from the outset stated there would only be modest changes in leaving!

          The govt does not accept the referendum result and treated its manifesto as a dishonest means of getting in power to achieve it.

          JR, you lauded Bloomberg and Lancaster speeches. Do you still stand by their dishonest intentions?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          You see, if May really believed Brexit meant Brexit, and the UK would be leaving on the 29th March, she would have got rid of Hammond ages ago for he was clearly an impediment to her plans.

          Nor would she have touched people like Rudd, Liddington and Robbins with a barge pole! Even the Brexiteers she put in her remain-weighted cabinet were undermined by May’s placemen, so we can see quite clearly that May always practised to deceive.

          Notwithstanding the cogent pro-Brexit people who subscribe to this blog, I am astonished others couldn’t see it, but I admit, even I was taken in by May’s Lancaster House speech. I thought we’d found a new Iron Lady. Things went downhill from there on, and are still in decline.

          She is an incompetent wrecker!


          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

            She is indeed. A tax and regulate to death, PC drivel spewing, greencrap socialist one too.

        • Gary C
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          Unfortunately Hammond is in a safe seat so he doesn’t care what the electorate think.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

            Anyone who thinks taxing people on profits they have not even made or putting a turnover tax of up to 15% on houses is clearly an economic illiterate idiot too.

          • Steve
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            Gary C

            “Unfortunately Hammond is in a safe seat so he doesn’t care what the electorate think.”

            For now, but give it a week or so.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

          Hammond is a CBI toady.

        • Peter Wood
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Yes I watched that interview, a remarkable repeat of lies and deceptions; ‘we either leave on the May deal or no Brexit at all’. Just shows that getting rid of the PM is not enough.
          I hope there is some solution to avoiding the SI for the date change, and that May and Hammond and other Remainers are gone by Monday.
          BTW, just looked up Olly Robbins on Wiki, no legal training and was president of the Oxford Reform Club that promoted a ‘federal European Union. There was never any intention to leave.

          • Jagman84
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            One could be easily convinced that the EU chooses UK Government ministers and senior Civil Serpents.

          • graham1946
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

            The SI for the date change is irrelevant. EU law overrides UK law so whether an SI is put in or not makes no difference, the new date is 12 April. They will put in the SI to make it look good, but this is what EU membership means – UK law meaningless in the face of the EU.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Mays deal does not respect the referendum result
        It is continuity remain and why the backers of a Peoples Vote want the question to be.
        Mays deal
        Both amount to the same.
        Here in Spain I listened to BBC World and they appear to be advocating No Deal

      • NickC
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Merlin, Leave means leaving the EU treaties. Leave is binary – either we are out of the EU treaties, or we’re not. In fact, what you really want is to remain partly in the EU. That is your “compromise”. But it isn’t Leave. And neither is Theresa May’s dWA – read the original and forget the MSM’s comments.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        I didn’t vote for compromise, where the EU has some kind of political control or influence over the UK, and I don’t know anybody who did! We have come not to trust the EU, and with every justification. Regrettably, we no longer trust our own politicians either – especially those on the remain side.

        Let’s just get out altogether. The ramifications of not doing so are massive and potentially so serious, the nation’s very fabric could be dependent upon it.

      • a-tracy
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

        It will be because of people like you Merlin, you have refused to accept that people don’t want to BRINO. The WA is a stitch up, it’s in the EU all pay no say and we’re better off remaining. The government have allowed continuous revoke and remain press and promotion for weeks now, if the Tories vote this WA through and we’re trussed up and stuck they’ll never be forgiven and Hammond and the civil service will just spend the next 5 years getting us back in on our knees or bellies.

      • mancunius
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

        “I really want Brexit to happen”

        Merlin, Pull the other one.
        Kind regards,

        • Merlin
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          I do want us to respect the referendum. I fear the consequences of public unrest.

          Doesn’t mean I think it makes any economic sense. I may get things wrong but I don’t lie.

          • NickC
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

            Merlin, No, you don’t “respect” the Referendum. We voted to leave the EU treaties. Do you accept that? No, you don’t. You repeatedly say you want a “compromise” where we stay partly in the EU.

      • rose
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Merlin, we never compromise on election results: however narrow the margin or low the turnout, they are respected and implemented in full.

        This is the first time the losing side has refused to concede defeat, instead working itself up into unthinking mass hysteria such as we saw on Saturday. Much the same has been happening in America.

        Our democracy rests on the convention that the losing side concedes defeat, without mounting a fight. The fight is during the campaign. Once the result is in, the winning side is allowed to proceed. Can you lot not see that?

        In this case, in the wake of the result, the losing side seized the initiative, foisting on us a PM who did not believe in Brexit, who then appointed a government which mostly did not either. Against the background of a House of Commons which mostly did not believe in Brexit either, the consequence, the DWA, has been not Brexit, but a parody of Remain.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      An Australian Model sounds very nice (in both senses) but a Singaporean one is far better. Government expenditure in Australia about 34% of GDP (plus loads of left wing drivel and green crap and over prices energy) in Singapore just 17%. Under tax to death Philip Hammond’s UK it is nearly 50% and most of it is wasted, much of it does active positive harm.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        40% I think

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Expenditure (not taxation levels that are lower) but might have be figures from year before last. Made worse by the appalling wasteful and incompetent way it is wasted hand over fist in the UK. Look at the NHS, education, green crap, HS2, Hinkley C, the legal aid racket, the payments to augment the feckless, the countless worthless degrees with 50K of soft debt ……..

    • Peter
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      May only had one plan – her Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement. That has now failed.

      Playing off Remain and Leave factions against one another was her way of staying in office. They are now united against her.

      She has no power. She does not want to leave on WTO terms, so indicative votes and endless debates are what we are left with …….for the time being.

      • NickC
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        And only 4 days left. What an utter shambles.

    • Pominoz
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink


      Judging by the time of your comment, You, too, must be in Australia.

      Mid afternoon is a good time to look at Sir John’s dairy.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        No, I don’t live in Australia. I just get up very early to make sure that my Pearls of Wisdom are the first to appear.

        I live in Wokingham Borough, just like Mrs May and Sir John is my MP.

        • hefner
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

          That’s either dedication or sleep problems?

          • libertarian
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink


            Or a shift worker…. ah working see why you missed that one

          • hefner
            Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

            Good point, thanks.

          • Stephen Priest
            Posted March 25, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

            I’m so dedicated I have sleep problems

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      @ Stephen Priest

      You seem to forget that Australia has a few things going for it that the UK does not have. Plus: Australia has a very good constitutional system resulting in decent government. You cannot really compare these countries.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        ” Australia has a few things going for it that the UK does not have. ”

        Number One – not being in the EU

        Number Two – Several years of a Conservative Prime Minister, John Howard, who cut taxes, not raised them at every opportunity.

        • Pominoz
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:31 am | Permalink

          Absolutely right (cobber) Put that in just to sound authentic!

      • libertarian
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink


        Oh no we dont forget what Australia has, its just that we want some of the same which is denied us by being tied to the Inquisition , or EU as it pretends to be called

        • margaret howard
          Posted March 26, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

          Nothing to do with being a member of the EU but rather that the Australians got their country for nothing by taking it away from the original inhabitants.

    • Richard
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      FWIW, I came across some apparently well-informed discussion that: “Repeated extensions or long extension could be seen as an attempt to frustrate this and other Acts and would therefore be seen as improper use of treaty prerogative powers; legislation would be required for anything but a single short extension.” https://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2019/03/would-may-really-be-prepared-to-attempt-no-deal-we-offer-you-the-varadkar-test.html#IDComment1070515504 https://ukconstitutionallaw.org/2019/01/09/robert-craig-can-the-government-use-the-royal-prerogative-to-extend-article-50/

      Make of it what you will; I am not a lawyer!

    • acorn
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Australia is full of holes in the ground. 20% of its economy comes from mining minerals; Gold; Uranium; Coal to name but three, and exporting it the Asia. In fact, two thirds of its exports are such minerals. Yet, it still ends up with a 3% current account deficit. Aussies love to party on them imports, bless ’em.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Thanks, once again for your sensible words.

    The Oxford dictionary defines ‘government’ as ‘the group of people with the authority to govern a country…’

    Unfortunately we currently have a group who do not have the ability to govern, hence the repetitive calls to the Parliament “What the hell can we do now?” otherwise known as indicative votes.

    All the options which may be put forward as indicative votes can also be considered once we have left the EU – probably from a situation where we have regained some bargaining power. As such, why waste time and effort when ‘the government’ is totally incapable of making a decision. It is all game playing.

    Do I gather that the third Meaningful Vote may not now happen as TM would be completely embarrassed by a larger loss than in MV2?

    OUT on the 29th on WTO terms please. May to resign and rid the ineffective ‘government’ of all others incapable of making a decision which respects the will of the people.

    • Matt Cronin
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      Sadly, from what I understand, we cannot leave on the 29th now. The EU have changed the end to 12th April, and their law trumps ours… Hence why I want to leave. Obviously our kind host can correct me if that understanding is wrong…

      • graham1946
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        You are correct.

    • John Hatfield
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I think the leave date has been by some subterfuge, extended.

  3. agricola
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    The government has not given up on finding a Conservative solution. It never had such an intention from day one. Just about everyone was conned into believing they were doing their best for the UK until the opposite emerged at Chequers.

    Now we need clarity of the sort we are never going to get from the PM or the current Cabinet with the possible exception of Gove. You need personal close working experience to make that judgement. For sure we need a pro Leave PM and Cabinet.

    The task is to leave if the intention is to be true to the referendum result, both main party manifestos, and speeches too numerous to enumerate. The political consequences of not doing so would be disasterous for both main parties. Do not be mislead into thinking the electorate have become detatched and lethargic. My experience is that they are boiling.

    The cleanest way to leave is to put aside the toxic WA for the present and leave on WTO terms. This levels the playing field. Then put forward a one sheet A4 proposal on free trade on goods and services with no political appendages. Then invoke Art24 of GATT to continue current trading arrangements until an FTA is agreed. This way you kill off CBI and TUC objections.

    You are then free to negotiate and sign whatever other trade agreements you may wish around the World. The EU also have the clarity as to UK intentions they have been demanding. Finally, separately, and unconditionally you forensically disect the WA for those items that make sense to and benefit both the UK and The EU.

    All other solutions are either too complex and time consuming or dishonest to all promises in referendums , manifestos , or speeches. The referendum was clear Leave or Remain. Not a direction to take any specific course with bells on to achieve either objective. We now demand leadership and clarity.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      My wife told a Conservative canvasser yesterday that she was fed up with Theresa May’s and her negotiations and we just wanted to leave with no deal on the 29th March.

      He rolled eyes on hearing the name Theresa May and agreed that everyone was saying to him

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

        One called here in Maidenhead yesterday and I told him that I had broken my longstanding practice by voting for Theresa May in 2017, and that was the last time ever that I would vote for any Tory at any election at any level.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      I would argue the referendum was many things. It was not clear.

      People (as you correctly point out) voted to leave. Many people seems to claim to know what that means and they shout will of people a lot – while saying different things. Mr Gove, for example, does not agree with Mr Mogg.

      Where this is actually getting us, I’m not sure.

      • Al
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        There are a lot of Remainers claiming Remain means different things as well:
        We have those who claimed Remaining means there’d be no EU army and there were no plans for one.
        Those who say Remaining means that we should stay in but not adopt the Euro.
        Those who say that Remaining means we should stay with the current status quo and not adopt ever closer union.
        Those who say we should Remain in order to Reform the EU from within because it is corrupt.
        Those who think the EU is fine and on the right direction.
        And those who think that we should discard the British government and become a full arm of the EU.

        Which is Remain?

        • Original Richard
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          A1, A very good point.

          If, as looks likely, there will be a second referendum, it will be necessary for clarity for remainers to define exactly the sort of remain they have in mind before the vote takes place.

          We need to know what we are voting for.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink


        “not sure where it is getting us”

        It is deliberately getting us lots of delay, for people to make further and more complicated comments so that we eventually do not leave because it’s all too much trouble.

        These people are nearly always Remainers who have either never read or understood the Lisbon Treaty, have never Read the Five Presidents Report, and have never read the Withdrawal Agreement.

        Now I know they are all long and legally complicated, but if anyone takes the trouble to read them slowly, enough to absorb what the phrases mean, then it’s obvious which way they all point.

        More and more control to the EU, more majority Voting, Veto’s to be removed, ever closer Union with the EU taking much more powers over Nation States, where Taxation, Budgets, Laws, Foreign policy, and Armed forces will be decided for all member states compliance.

        That is the simple basics, there are plenty of other areas of coverage where the EU will be superior to the Nation State members.

        Thus the EU’s aim is a superstate where its rules and laws, take precedence over all other Nation State Members.

        Few Remainers know or believe it, but if they were to actually read what has already been set out in the above documentation, then most of the population of EU member states would reject it.

        Slowly, Slowley catchy the monkey is the long term game, and they are just about halfway there.
        We need to get out whilst we can, because the EU as we know it today, will not be standing still, it will and has a timetable to develop into a superstate no matter what the cost to members, perhaps other than Germany, and perhaps France who are driving it !.

      • NickC
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

        Merlin, The Referendum was completely clear. The binary choice was to remain in the EU subject to David Cameron’s re-negotiated terms, or to leave the EU treaties entirely.

        What form our government takes after we have left is open to future governments. But equally clearly, any future relationship we have with the EU cannot in principle be any “deeper” than our relationship with any other state or empire.

    • David Price
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      I agree with almost all you say, except for Gove. I don’t trust the man an inch.

      I think we would be better off with someone from outside the current cabinet who resigned because of the government’s refusal to go with a no-deal exit.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink


      Many good points in your post.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Absolutely! Well said!


    • Andy
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      As everyone who knows anything about trade will tell you Article 24 is not a thing. It is a fraudulent claim repeated by Brexiteers to attempt to prove they have thought about something other than themselves. Repeating it does not make it true.

      Still, you are in Spain – enjoying your right to free movement which you wish to deny others – so it will not hurt you anyway.

      • agricola
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

        Being a person of good faith I feel sure you would wish a penalty free trade arrangement between the UK & EU from when we leave to the time at which we conclude an FTA with our friends in the EU for the long term future.

        Can I suggest you read Brexit Central, “A managed no deal WTO option using Art 24 of GATT can avoid raising tariffs or quotas.”

        Author David Campbell Bannerman MEP. Spokesman ln International Trade for the Conservatives in the European Parliament.

        As it happens I am in the UK at present. I do not have any desire to halt the free movement of anyone in the UK or EU providing they have legitimate reasons for movement such as a career move to a legitimate job, a genuine educational course, a holiday, or a self financed retirement that does not burdon the host country. Reciprocal health care will almost certainly remain wherebye UK citizens enjoying health care in Europe are funded by the UK government and visa versa. I do not anticipate anyone getting hurt as you put it except ATM scammers, sex slave trade operators, and street beggars. All of which we would be better off without. Prepare to enjoy a renewed sovereign UK.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        “Repeating it does not make it true.”

        Something that you spectacularly fail at, with every post that you make.. Hypocrite!

    • Arnie
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

      Super clear comment Agricola. Well constructed argument and way forward with much common sense. Which brings me unfortunately to why it couldn’t possibly fly in parliament. The majority of MP’s don’t appear to be able to recognise common sense if it landed on them, they are too petty, too soft, too used to being run by the EU and so on to be objective about what you propose. I wish the circumstances were different because your thoughts, and John’s above, make so much sense to being the right way forward but I am resigned to its failure for the above reasons.

    • Jane
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

      Sounds very reasonable.

      The problem is to convince those Remainer MPs, who are not implementing the Manifestos, who think as the germans do that we did not know what we were voting for. That is where we have all come unstuck!

      And now they want control, and that is a real problem. Tail wagging the dog. The PM needs to wrestle back control and fire some of her cabinet.

      • Jane
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Sorry my reply was to Agricola 6.07am.

  4. Mark B
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The irony is, that we here have done the opposite to that of parliament. We debated right from the very beginning the various options open to us and, apart from Remainers, who could never be accused of being civil, have conducted ourselves in a reasonable but passionate way. Both myself and, Mike Stallard prefered the EEA Norway Plus option. Not because it was necessarily the best but, because it allowed us to leave quickly with as little interruption as possible. We understood its limitations but we also saw that Leaving the EU was a process and not a sudden transition. Of course others, including our kind host, strongly disagreed. They wanted to Leave on WTO terms and table to the EU a FTA. That too comes with advantages and disadvantages as we are seeing. Namely, that the majority of MP’s, despite promises to respect the will of he people in their manifesto’s, do not want it. But we here, over time, came to a consensus. We on the EEA Norway side realised now it was too late and it did not have support. We accepted that others, the majority, wanted a clean break. So here in one little corner of the internet a virtual parliament, kindly hosted by Sir John Redwood MP, has for many years achieved that which those which he calls colleagues and friends have not. This despite the considerable resources open to both parliament and government. When one stops and thinks about this and the ‘professional’ and mature way we all (Remainers excepted) have gone about this really does make you wonder why we need MP’s at all ?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      The difference is May’s so called inclusive government. It gives equal weight to all sides and all arguments, no matter how feeble. It actually threw an election when it thought it was going to win too strongly. So we end up with a fractured cabinet, Parliament and country.It’s an awful and frankly stupid way to govern, and a new PM with a purpose could unite us in the way this blog does.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      We did indeed debate alternatives to EU membership on this blog well before the referendum, even when it seemed from the opinion polls that probably there would not actually be any opportunity for an alternative after the vote, and on the whole the discussion remained fairly civil, certainly in comparison to what we have seen since some really ghastly people lost the vote. And while some views have had to change to reflect the emerging post-referendum situation – “No plan survives first contact with the enemy” – it is not the case that people are calling for us to stay in the EU because of lots of important new information that has come to light since the vote; it was just days after the vote when the bad losers slapped in their first applications for judicial review in the hope of overturning the result.

      As for the alternative schemes that you and Mike Stallard prefer, I have to repeat that these are not “options” in the sense that we could unilaterally choose to take one of them up, they both require the agreement of 31 other countries and the EU; and the Irish government made it clear in the autumn of 2017 that they would veto the one where we try to adopt a position like Norway, and if we tried to add on a customs union to overcome the Irish objection to even a “light touch” customs border then it would become Norway and the other three EFTA countries objecting that we could not honestly commit to zero tariffs on our trade with them while the EU was still controlling the tariffs we applied to imports from them.

      • Andy
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        Parliament has not properly debated these things – most of which are ruled out by Mrs May’s red lines. They’ve merely been tacked on as amendments to a plan everyone hates. Where is the proper argument?

        In the past people like Farage, Hannan, Owen Paterson and other well known Brexiteers spoke of being like Norway. There is a brilliant video of Farage saying how wonderful Norway would be. He did not say this once. It was his main theme. Until they figured out what Norway meant.

        Daniel Hannan all spoke of being like Norway. And he spoke of being like Switzerland too. Until he figured out what both meant.

        For what it is worth most Remainers would probably accept a Norway type deal – which is what Farage advocated for so long. But we understand that Brexiteers did not realise what Norway meant until after the referendum which is why so many have changed their minds since.

        PS: we Remainers are not allowed to change our minds but you quittlings are, apparently.

        Reply I never spoke for a Norway option nor did the official Leave campaign

        • NickC
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          Andy, I have been specifically opposed to the “Norway option” since 2013 (I still have the email/posting evidence). And I first made public in a letter to the Telegraph my opposition to the Booker/North EEA option in 2003.

          Parliament has not debated these things for two main reasons: Parliament handed the choice to the people so there was nothing more for MPs to debate; even Parliament understood that remaining partly in the EU was not viable long term. Indeed the proponents of the EEA option also said that their model was transitory. But one of many things they never could explain was how they could guarantee it wouldn’t become permanent, or worse, lead to re-entry.

          In the end the EU is such a creature that a nation is either in the EU treaties, or out of them. Those are the only two viable long term options.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          I’ve wasted hours of my life watching MPs debate these things, albeit in an incoherent repetitious and often ill-informed and stupid way.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Just one little comment (although I could make many). Please do not let anyone underestimate the significance of this blog.

      I happen to know (because they have told me so, and quoted bits back to me) MPs and journalists alike read it and take note of its contents. It is testament to Sir John that he should freely provide such a forum in his own time, and for little if any reward apart from constantly being reminded that he is absolutely right to be sceptical of the European Union, and the undemocratic way it works.


  5. robert valence
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    I fear that the no-confidence route is the only way now.
    The PM has completely lost her marbles and Parliament contains a majority eager to ignore the result of the Referendum and of their own party manifestos.
    If there’s another MV3 which fails I expect Corbyn to call a no-confidence vote and at this juncture, the ERG and the DUP should support it.
    By going to a G.E. we should be able to root out the anti-democratic Remainers and bring balance back to the HoC. Otherwise, it’s likely that BREXI will be kicked down the road or cancelled.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      @ Robert Valance

      You will see. As a prominent German football coach once said: “Die Wahrheit liegt am Platz” (what happens on the pitch is what counts).

      • sm
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        Rien, as the exposure of the gross corruption of the past few years at FIFA showed, it isn’t just ‘what happens on the pitch’ which counts.

  6. Edmund
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Mrs May should return to the backbenches, in church for sanctuary, out of harm’s way.

    • Dame Rita webb
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      The papers this morning say they want to replace her with Nicky Morgan as a “unity” prime minister. Try selling her to the electorate at the next general election if you think you had problems with Mrs May.

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

        God forbid it’s Nicky Morgan. She will be just as bad. I read somewhere it could be Jeremy Hunt. He would be preferable but it has to be a complete Brexiteer and someone who will take us out.

        • sm
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          And now there’s the suggestion that David Lidington could take over – ye gods and little fishes!

    • Prigger
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      She wants nun of it

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      I agree, but she’d probably even make a mess of that and sing from the wrong hymn sheet!


  7. javelin
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Just posted a comment on Conservative Home

    “MPs aren’t listening to voters”

    It was deleted by the administrator.

    The Conservative Party is UTTERLY LOST.

    I suggest you think about retirement, rather than banging your head against a brick wall.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Decent folk gave up on ConservativeHome a long time ago. It’s now just an echo chamber.

    • Frank
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      There are some Conservative MPs listening to the people – Sir John Redwood is one of them and should definitely not retire. Perhaps that was why your post was rejected by Conservative Home.

      • hefner
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        No, read the posts on of the Cornerstone Group (whenever they appear): their motto “Faith, Flag and Family” so close to the “Labour, Family, Fatherland” of … yes, Petain.

        • NickC
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, And the EU model is so close to that of Walther Funk’s, where the EU “states” are on the same level as Vichy France.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      That surprises me! After all, of late, many of the articles on ConHome are saying the same thing.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      The Conservative Party is now so unused to hearing Conservative voices and proposals that it is shocked when one gets through! Without us they did not win an election for 23 years – and only then because Cameron offered the referendum.
      It’s time to out the anti-conservatives or establish a proper conservative party. Whichever is possible. Do what is to hand!

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink


      Many others have said the same before, if Con home does not agree with comments made, then they are never posted.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Maybe this is why the Westminster Tories are largely detached bubble-dwellers, they are being denied proper feedback from those naughty leavers. Seriously deluded remainers and always the last to know.


    • rose
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      What is happening about the lorries, Javelin?

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink


    We have had more than enough of May, Hammond and all the remoaners too who have clearly ensured that the EU are offering only this appalling and totally unacceptable WA surrender and lock in treaty.

    Can we please replace May, get a real Brexit and still avoid the appalling prospect of Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP – let us hope so for the sake of the UK and real democracy.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      If May is to be replaced then surely anyone who supported her truly appalling surrender treaty (or is one of the 200 who supported her in the no confidence motion recently) should have ruled themselves out on the grounds of abject stupidity. It should certainly not be someone who supported remain either and should be a proper low tax Conservative. Also not one who inflicted May on the nation, pushes green crap and wants to abolish private schools or wants put VAT tax on fees.

      Also someone who will scrap HS2, get fracking and get some new runways at Gatwick and Heathrow quickly.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        Someone who will kill the green crap subsidies, cut the size of government stop governments endlessly obstructing the productive sector and actually honour the £1 million each Inheritance tax thresholds that we we promised by Osborn many year ago.

      • William
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        I agree with these points but if it is just an interim leader until there is a leadership contest later this year, I would still prefer Gove over one of the other remainers in the cabinet. Imagine Rudd, Livingston, Greening, Hammond etc. It would be pretty much as bad as May.

        • William
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink


      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        We certainly don’t want anybody of that description as ‘caretaker PM’ and then presented as the ‘Brexiteer’ option to the members!
        Member will demand a real Brexiteer – ie somebody with clean hands, a heart and a brain. Or else!

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Totally agree with your comments L/L

        • JoolsB
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          Me too.

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Totally agree Lifelogic. May but be replaced by someone who believes in Brexit. Gove and Liddington are being touted at the moment – unbelievable. Tory MPs really do have a death wish. Let’s hope if they are stupid enough to allow either of these two muppets to take over from May that they get their wish!

      • roger
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Totally agree with you. Sadly I can’t think of anyone who would be prepared to offer such a manifesto. We desperately want to regain control of all of our affairs in this country yet by their sheer incompetence the current crop of MPs (mostly having no proper business experience) demonstrate that they would not be up to the task any more the bureaucrats
        in Brussels

    • sm
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      I have just read a rumour in yesterday’s DT that senior Brexiteers were suggesting Nicky Morgan – yes, that Nicky Morgan – as a ‘compromise’ Party Leader/Prime Minister.

      OK, (if it’s true) now I know the world has gone crazy.

  9. Steve Pitts
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Indeed. But if they end up not having such a vote but agreeing a soft Brexit with the opposition, that is even less Brexit than the WA, with the current PM or a temporary substitute, they will reap what they sow in later elections. Maybe they don’t care as long as we stay in the EU in effect. Why have they been consulting the Lib Dem’s and the Tig group? Because they plan such a solution.

    • NickC
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Steve Pitts, Apart from not having the figleaf of MEPs, dividing up the UK, and not having an exit clause, I cannot detect a practical difference between May’s dWA and Remain. And for those three reasons I would vote Remain in a second referendum – run away to live and fight another day. Of course, what we should do is leave the EU treaties. For which we voted.

  10. Alan Jutson
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    And all because the lady closed her mind, only consulted and put trust in a couple of Civil Servants (and perhaps her husband) who were all remain in mind.

    Thus we had remain thinking, leading remain thinking, talking in an echo chamber to the exclusion of all other thoughts.

    Those who advised on Cameron’s huge tactical failure were used again, and the thought that the EU and then our own Parliament would not agree never crossed their minds, thus no real
    preparation was ever put in place for any alternative, and least of all a failure to agree anything other than complete surrender.

    If ever there was an example of failure to properly prepare, leading to complete failure, this is it.

    Fortunately we have some people in Parliament, like our host and a number of others, who have had some real commercial and international experience, who could see the more simple way forward and have stuck to their task, unfortunately they were not consulted fully if at all, and indeed appeared to be constantly ridiculed for their efforts.

    Is Our Prime Minister now ready to listen and act on their advice and indeed her own words, that No Deal is better than a bad deal ?

    The time for talking options other than WTO Terms has now ended, the time for action to implement matters in our own Countries interests and put them first is now, failure to do so now will lead to lengthy and extended chaos and uncertainty over many years to come.

    Mp’s voted to support the result of the referendum, enact article 50 and install WTO terms as our default position over two years ago if negotiations failed.
    That vote of action was carried by a large majority, it is now time to carry that instruction to its logical conclusion.
    We leave on 29th March 2019 on our own WTO terms and regain control.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      In my view the time for talking about options other than defaulting to the terms of the WTO treaties, which already exist and are in force and are legally binding on the EU collectively and each of its member states, including the UK, individually, ended in the autumn of 2017 when it became blindingly obvious even to somebody outside the negotiations like myself that the new Irish government was not going to be sensible but was intent on using the largely invented problem of the land border as a ruse to try to keep us under the economic thumb of the EU.

      This refers back to a comment posted on November 26th 2017:


      which included this paragraph:

      “So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.”

      Whether or not it was on bad advice or on her own volition Theresa May chose to kowtow, and has now utterly humiliated herself and us as well.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink



        The fact is the Irish want a United Ireland, and they think they can get it by being so difficult we will allow it.

        It will happen eventually, it’s just a question of when really, perhaps 20 perhaps in 50 years time or even more, but I think it is inevitable eventually..

        • NickC
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

          It’s only “inevitable” if you believe in the nation state. Something that EU fanatics don’t, by definition. Unless they’re hypocrites, of course.

        • Pominoz
          Posted March 25, 2019 at 2:05 am | Permalink

          Perhaps, when the Irish see the folly of the ever-increasing demands of the EU, they will apply to leave and join Northern Ireland in the UK!

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Mrs May seems intent on pursuing what M. Juncker calls “the Withdrawal Treaty” to the exclusion of all other options. That way, Northern Ireland is hung out to dry and we are put under the governance of the EU delegation to the Joint Committee (sinister name!) And who will be on that Committee? Martin Selmayr? M. Barnier? Sabine Weyand? or, worse, Guy Verhofstadtwho seems particularly interested in Brexit.
    Any objections? Well, the EUCJ is always the final court of appeal…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink


  12. oldtimer
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The current crisis cannot be resolved while Mrs May remains PM. On Thursday she advised EU leaders there would be a vote next week on the WA – that was the basis on which she secured the Article 50 extension. On Friday she writes to MPs saying there might not be a vote! She is utterly untrustworthy. She must be removed from office. There are two practical choices, her WA or the default of no deal, and one impractical choice, trying to get agreement ton a third alternative. It needs to be resolved in the coming week.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      1. She told Tory MPs that she had the DUP onside (could command a majority in the House) and would not lead them into the next election to con them into showing’confidence in her’.
      2. She told the Commons she would get legally binding amendments to the Backstop within the WA.
      3. Now she has told the E.U. she will present her WA again – and can’t partly because it cannot be put again and partly because it will be defeated again.
      All the decision taken on the basis of her lies should be struck out. So:
      1. She must be removed as PM.
      2. The WA must be laid to rest forever.
      3. We must leave on 29th.

    • rose
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Best course is for her to be persuaded to honour the referendum, the manifesto, and the legislation, and take us out on the 29th; then resign just after. That way she would redeem her reputation and do the right thing as well.

  13. Kevin
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    The Millennium Bug analogy is apt: it is December 26th 1999, and instead of providing reassurances as to the preparations it has carried out for the inevitable New Year, the Government is giving MPs the chance to vote on alternatives to the Gregorian calendar.

  14. Kendo
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Brexit was meant to restore power to westminster. But now you wamt MPs to shut up

    • Bw
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      We do. But Westminster is full of those that lied, supporting manifests for Brexit to gain their seat who are determined to give it away

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Brexit indeed offered power to Westminster but a majority of them just said “Meh” and now want to give it back to the EU.

      MPs who live in Leave constituencies should stand down. Visa versa.

    • Pud
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      I want the UK to leave the EU so that the UK Parliament is the law making body for the UK, not the EU. There’s nothing inconsistent about objecting to MPs who wish to stay under EU rule.

    • mickc
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      No…just comply with the manifestos on which they were elected.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      That is a very odd argument kendo.
      For Westminster to regain its powers we first need to leave the EU .
      If MPs stop the UK from leaving the EU then that will never happen.

    • yossarion
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      MPs representing their constituents who voted for them on a mandate, no lying through their teeth to get elected and then doing as they wish like some rogue state.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      But those in Westminster say they don’t want the power, and that it should remain in Brussels, in spite of standing on manifestos to honour the referendum result.
      They should have considered resigning their seat if it was to become a responsibility they weren’t prepared to accept.

      • BW
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Well said Dave

      • piglet
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Quite right.

    • Amanda
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      It appears that the current crop at Westminster primarily want to be local councillors for Airstrip 1. They only want the power to hand power to an unaccounable, undemocratic body – they have no mandate for that.

      What is more, an increasing number of them are not democraticlly legitimate eg they do not represent what they were elected to represent. In that case why should we pay any attention to the laws they want to foist on us?

      John Redwood makes it quite clear that the options have already been debated; so no, we don’t want to hear any more, we just want the referendum mandate implemented in full. Then we want to elect people who do have vision to become a Westminster ‘powerhouse’.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Oh Kendo, do get real. We haven’t got Brexit have we?

      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Parliament delegated the decision on EU membership to the British people via a referendum. The people decided we should leave. Parliament then should have got on with the job of leaving. A “deal” with the EU was a side issue which couldn’t be fully negotiated until after we had left anyway.

      The opposition parties should have been holding the government’s feet to the fire on issues like post -Brexit preparations. Instead, as JR explains, they’ve been re-running the referendum campaign, They have been utterly useless.

    • DaveM
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      No – we want MPs to adhere to the manifesto upon which they were elected. That’s what is meant by returning sovereignty to Parliament. Government by consent.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Parliament gets it’s authority from the electorate, via the ballot box. It appears that they have ignored this, in the case of the referendum result. Mrs May wishes to deprive us of our sovereignty, in perpetuity, by pushing the dWA and the associated political declaration. It appears that many MPs do not want the power after all.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Although each Parliament is sovereign, it is temporary and requires renewal at each general election.

      As a result Parliament does not have the authority to give away the country’s sovereignty without a specific mandate, such as through a referendum.

      Previous Parliaments have acted illegally by signing away sovereignty at each EU Treaty without a referendum to give them the authority to do so.

  15. Bw
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Sir John has always said we would leave on the 29th March with or without a deal. That is the law. That has kept me from going insane. Now I hear that she will introduce an SI to delay the date. This will be accepted by the remainers as they see any delay as a means to overturn Brexit.
    It cannot be right for MPs to gain their seats on the promise of a manifest to leave, and that applies to both parties, then do the opposite. It is lies about student fees that so damaged the Tories at the last election and nearly got Corbyn into power.
    I thought lies, deceit, and a feeling of powerlessness, were why we want to leave the EU. However it is now a huge part of our own parliament. If nothing else this has shown democracy in the Uk to be a complete myth.

  16. Kenneth
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I would suggest that true C0nservatives consider forming an alliance with the new Brexit party.

    The BBC heavily promoted the 2nd referendum march and a remain petition but ignored the leave march and leave petitions.

    Mr Farage has a flair for publicity which cuts through despite the BBC’s antics.

    We need to make clear to Remain MPs that many of them will be replaced when the opportunity arises if they continue to block the democratic will of the People.

    We need to use all the tools at hand, include the Brexit Party, to mobilise the People.

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Vicky Ford MP on Any Questions said (after making the usual May type of false claims about the W/A) that “the back stop is a legal risk not a practical risk”. What on earth does that mean? A legal risk of this type is clearly a very practical risk. I expect rather better of a Trinity Maths lass!

    Anyway May’s straight jacket is appalling and totally unacceptable – even without the back stop.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      I think there’s an EU pension tucked away there somewhere but of course that wouldn’t be declarable.

      • mancunius
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

        Well spotted, Sir Joe, she was an MEP from 2009-17.

  18. Bw
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Mr Bercow assures the house there are no traitors in there. He hasn’t assured me.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      He is one of about 300 of them and a leading one.

  19. J Bush
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    You ask “why would the government wish to proceed with the least unpopular proposal”?

    The government aren’t interested in what is popular or otherwise. The government, and by this, I mean May, will use any means available to keep the UK in the EU. What happens to the UK is of no matter. That may sound harsh but looking at the way she operates, suggests this is the case. All that matters, is that she and those around her get what they want.

    Why else do you suppose she has said she will stand down if her surrender document is voted in? She doesn’t want to deal with the aftermath of her making.

  20. William Simpson
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Given what we now know about the Withdrawal Agreement, and how it would be the worst possible option for UK, why does any MP still think it’s worth voting for, “just to get us over the line to Brexit” etc. What part of being locked in and with no say in our future, and subject to (effectively) external arbitration does not scare the living daylights out of our parliamentarians? The WA is completely toxic.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      These WA supporting MPs are globalists and being ruled by the EU with no representation or veto on laws and taxes is just the first step.

  21. hefner
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    “Why do we (MPs) have to do all that again?” No need, Parliament and Government have both shown themselves to be incapable of doing such things. Give people another vote, not on Remain vs. Leave, that is already settled, but on the various options for leaving. Three benefits: you will keep your nice cushion in Parliament, you will stop the bickering within Parliament, you will not have to take any responsibility for the result (as if you ever had in the past). What is not to be liked?

  22. Dominic
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    You never call for her resignation. Why?

  23. George Brooks
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I have a question Sir John.

    This morning shortly after 7am a young journalist Henry Newman who was reviewing the papers on Sky News stated categorically that ” we will not be leaving the EU on Friday 29th as International law has changed the date”!!!!!!

    Does he mean that because the EU offered a 2 week extension or a conditional extension to May 22nd this has automatically changed the date in Article 50?

    Or does he mean EU law changed the date on Thursday evening?

    I find it hard to believe that the media are missing a banner headline. Alternatively just because the PM requested a delay surely that cannot change the date that is already enshrined in law?

    If any part of this is true it means that to vote for the WA is total capitulation for the UK

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      As UK law presently stands the European Communities Act 1972 will be repealed on March 29th, removing Parliamentary approval for EU membership. So while under international law the UK may still be a party to the EU treaties, thanks to a decision of the European Council, there will no longer be any assurance that the UK will comply with the terms of those treaties.

      Reading the FCO guidance:


      it seems to me that the Foreign Secretary would then be obliged to tell the EU that the UK no longer considered itself bound by the EU treaties and laws.

      “Accordingly, if domestic legislation is required to enable the UK to give effect to its obligations under a treaty, the legislation should be in place before the treaty comes into force, so that the two can come into operation at the same time. It is FCO practice, therefore, to insist that any necessary UK legislation, i.e. an Act or Order-in-Council, must be in place before a treaty is ratified or acceded to.”

    • Pominoz
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 2:18 am | Permalink


      Totally understand your confusion – This article will perhaps help explain the situation.


      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Well, thanks for that, but I don’t think I am confused … as I’ve repeated today, the UK is a “dualist” state, and that is why a decision of the European Council cannot amend the exit day which has been expressly defined in the withdrawal Act. Even though Theresa May assented to the EU decision she has no power to agree to the exit day in the legislation being changed without the consent of Parliament which again is expressly required by the legislation. That touches the Bill of Rights 1688, under which the Crown has no legal right to suspend or overturn Acts of Parliament without its consent.

  24. Steve
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink


    Fully agree.

    Particularly; Parliament dictating to Government which laws it thinks are right leads to anarchy.

    Anarchy is the HoC now. Caused and perpetuated by cry baby remoaners.

    The system is now so perverted by these selfish ungrateful people that anarchy will surely hit the streets before long.

    The only way to sort this is to leave on 29th – no WA.

  25. J Bush
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    There appears to be some confusion over why May is dogmatic. Some say it is her dedication to do what she believes is best for the country. To that, I say poppycock! It is her dedication to ram through by any means possible what she believes, which is the UK must stay in the EU. Hence the reason for the continuation of indicative votes. Why? Well, that ‘bag of worms’ is for another time.

    When you look at the way May operates, you see someone who is autocratic. Just look at some of the policies and laws implemented by her. She is what joe public call a ‘control freak’. She doesn’t listen to the electorate, her party or even consider her cabinet when decisions need to be made. She just tells them to vote for what she believes in or get a taxi home. Blair was rightly criticized for his ‘sofa cabinet’. May operates from an armchair. She decides what she wants done and uses any mechanism available to achieve that.

    Whoever voted her in should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. Some are possibly even regretting their decision. But one thing is abundantly clear. She needs to go and needs to go now.

  26. Lifelogic
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    May has brought us to this disaster – and we won’t recover until we get a new PM
    Daniel Hannan today is surely right.


  27. RichardM
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Merlin, one of he few voices of reason on here, has demonstrated you no-deal Leave lot have no ears for compromise. This needs to go back to the people to decide.
    David Davis. 2002.
    “Referendums should be held when the electorate are in the best possible position to make a judgment. They should be held when people can view all the arguments for and against and when those arguments have been rigorously tested. In short, referendums should be held when people know exactly what they are getting. So legislation should be debated by Members of Parliament on the Floor of the House, and then put to the electorate for the voters to judge. We should not ask people to vote on a blank sheet of paper and tell them to trust us to fill in the details afterwards”

  28. Norman
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    If TM was to step down, may I suggest that Andrea Leadsom’s quiet and principled poise, supported by a few good colleagues to ward off the wolves and the dogs, would be a merciful balm for our nation at this time. I remember that she was JR’s choice at the beginning, so I guess he knows that she has what it takes – at least for a caretaker role. From what I know, I would be delighted to support her.

  29. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    What you say is correct, but this is not a majority government. It cannot impose its will on members who feel they disagree with gvt policy as proposed, unless these members are vulnerable to blackmail by party members (such a small portion of the electorate that is can be ignored for all pracxtical purposes except for candidate selection). But I agree that it must be extremely frustrating to see the prize: an “independent” Britain that can be chained to the US economically, mover further into the distance. Maybe in your generation, maybe not. Maybe never. The UK is much more European than some people think. Anyway, battle on and if you succeed, let’s take a look at the outcomes, say two years down the road. Not twenty or even ten years, but two. When elections are near.

    • NickC
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

      Rien, I see what you did there! You swapped the UK’s actually being chained to the EU economically and politically, to your imaginary chaining of the UK to the USA economically. But, you see, that is a strawman – it doesn’t actually exist. Unlike you, I want the UK to be independent. But if you insist we cannot be, then I would prefer to be the 51st State of the USA, than the 28th State of the EU empire.

      • Mitchel
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        It’s because we’ve long been the 51st state (or ,more realistically, a wealthier version of Puerto Rico) that we became the 28th state of the EU in the first place!

        For the nth time the USA wanted us in a federated Europe.America is not,never has been,our friend.

  30. Simon
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    It is time for the Tory party to adopt the blatantly obvious fact that the Prime Minister has completely lost the plot.

    • mancunius
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      So have Gove, Morgan, Lidington, Hammond, Hunt, and all the other smooth-tongued remainers who have been obediently backing the ridiculous WA so far.

      Away with all of them. Cleanse the Cabinet.

  31. RichardM
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Revoke Article 50 petition now at 4,850,271.
    Leave with No Deal petition 503,935.
    Nearly 10:1 now. If this was Russian bot activity, we should all know whose side they are on, and its not the right side.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Leavers, having achieved the result they were looking for have no need to campaign.
      I did think about signing up for the No Deal petition, but I actually do want a deal – We leave on the 29th and offer them reciprocal barrier-free trade in the interim to an FTA, otherwise might be called the “Redwood Plan”.

  32. Jack Falstaff
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I know you are by nature a loyal person, but I’m afraid you must now admit that it is time for Mrs May to go, and go she must.
    The timing is less than perfect but we cannot idly stand by and watch her do even more damage.

  33. Steve
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    So, some serious stuff going on this weekend, apparently they’re finally thinking about replacing Theresa May.

    Two concerns spring to my mind;

    1) She survived a vote of no confidence, so her position can’t be challenged for three years.

    2) She’d only be replaced by another remainer.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      I think Mrs. May is only immune from another challenge for Conservative Party leadership for a year from the last one, so in December this year.

      There is always a chance that the globalists in the CPPP will come to their senses and rather than destroy their party pick a candidate who is popular with the membership.

  34. William Long
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Having gone for BRINO, Mrs May has become LINO – walked on by all!

  35. Captain Peacock
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    If May does not go don’t cry come next election when the Tories get wiped out.

  36. JoolsB
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I really am in despair. We hear this morning that backstabber Gove or remainer Liddington are the two top choices amongst Tory MPs to take over from May. They really have learnt nothing from this sorry debacle have they? How are these two supporters of May’s pathetic deal going to make any difference? We need to a true Brexiteer to take over immediately and no matter what the majority of 650 self serving MPs decide through their indicative votes, the new PM needs to rescind May’s extension and address parliament on Friday, the 29th and say “we are leaving today as is written in law”. Surely the wishes of 17.4 million people must come before a bunch of EU loving traitors.

  37. Iain Moore
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    I thought Bercow had said Parliament can’t vote on the same thing twice, and as a losers referendum has already been voted on and dismissed as a rubbish idea, how can it come back as an indicative vote? Or have I got this wrong, or is dependent on Bercow’s political prejudices?

    • rose
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      Bercow was questioned on this straight away by a Conservative backbencher when he made his pronouncement on the third meaningful vote (4th meaningful debate on the DWA as the first one was halted just before the vote in December) and indicated he would use different criteria for the Losers’ Vote.

    • mancunius
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      The Speaker’s role in all this is a serious constitutional anomaly. One single MP should not have such powers.

      • miami.mode
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        mancunius, our system of government seems way out of date. I can well understand how an official arbitrator is necessary in a talking shop and the rules dictate that he has to be obeyed, but modern politics has moved on and it now seems an anachronism to have so much power.

        In some parts of the democratic world there are what might be called dynasties such as the Bush presidencies, but where else do you get legislators who are there because they are the sons of the “landed gentry”, appointed by political party leaders or those that choose a religious “career” such as we get in the House of Lords.

        • mancunius
          Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          You are right about the political appointees. Many of them are part of the elitist confirmation bias; a surprising number were EU Commission employees or MEPs or Commissioners (so have a europhile agenda) or left-of-centre MPs who were voted out of their seats by the voters.
          Ironically, many hereditary peers had (and have) extremely sensible views. I miss the hard, good-humoured common sense of such men as Lord Onslow, for example.

  38. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    ” The government’s idea that it needs to appeal to Parliament generally for support means it has given up on finding a Conservative answer that the governing MPs will vote for. ”
    If the government cannot govern then it should fall on it’s own sword…. But at this precarious stage that would just create more uncertainty…. Someone needs to take the PM to one side and persuade her to go with a WTO exit – She doesn’t listen or take in what decent MP’s have to say in debates … It has to be a one to one…
    Just let her know that this will be her last act as PM, then she should restructure her cabinet to exploit Brexit, and sit back while they get on with it. That way she can stay in Number 10 for a while.

  39. Oliver
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Not sure you’ve commented on what the Federalists in Brussels are doing to Switzerland – letting all the deals expire and forcing them into a restrictive straight-jacket – not unlike our WA… so presumably anyone promoting the “Swiss model” is a bit out of date?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink



      The EU working to form as usual showing its their way or no way.

      Afraid some Remainers still have not yet worked out what the EU plan for all members in the future, even though it has been laid down.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Exactly. They are trying to railroad Switzerland into associates membersbip of the EU under the control of the ECJ

      Fortunately the Swiss aren’t as stupid as our lot and It won’t happen.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      It’s true Switzerland is under pressure from EU imperialism. We will have to see what happens. They have a long history of defending their independence from the EU and earlier from Germany. Good luck to the Swiss.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      The problem with Switzerland as with Norway, is that they are both heavily reliant on the EU market. The UK, despite what we are force fed, is not as reliant and, over time, even reduce its reliance especially in the area of food.

  40. Grant
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    You say parliament has had endless debates..yeah well it’s a pity you didn’t have the debates before you went to the country june 2016.

    And you ” have to do it all over again” yes- because you did not do it right. Gobshite

    • MickN
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      Oh we had the debates, endlessly, and a 9 million pound one sided propaganda leaflet delivered to every household in the land, oh and that nice Mr Obama who said we would be at the back of the queue for a trade deal. Queue? An American would always use the word “Line” unless reading from a script. You must have slept through them. Gobshite !

      • Dennis
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        MickN – ‘Queue? An American would always use the word “Line” unless reading from a script. ‘

        This nonsense is often repeated even by Nigel Farage. -‘always; use’? He was speaking to an English audience – do you think he didn’t know the word ‘queue’? I am English and when I am in the US I don’t use ‘queue’ I use line and sidewalk not pavement etc., etc.

        You think people are fixed robots in their use of language?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Grant. This was brewing for many years but sceptical MPs were told repeatedly by a largely Remain parliament to “stop banging on about Europe”

      Any debate on the subject was effectively closed until a referendum was forced.

      Not one MP stood with an EU badge on his person or promotion literature. The EU was treated as a minor and inconsequential issue – now we know different. It’s tentacles are so entwined removal will kill the host (according to Remain.)

      We didn’t have any debate because the Remain establishment blocked it and had to have it dragged out of them.

      You cannot foist *uncontrolled* immigration on an enfranchised population and expect to slap them around when they complain – so be grateful and respectful that they used the ballot box and kindly temper your language when communicating with one of our representatives.

    • rose
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      The EU was one of those subjects we weren’t allowed to talk about before the referendum. As Sir John points out. It was called “banging on about Europe” and only “nutcases, fruitcakes, closet racists and swivel eyed loons” wanted to do it. After the referendum, the remainiacs hijacked it and are sabotaging the whole thing. Your quarrel is with them. It really isn’t a complicated question at all: Independence or Foreign Rule?

  41. villaking
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Your comments are true, the indicative votes will likely mean a majority compromising on their second best version of leave and the government does not have to implement that. But since your preferred version of leaving on WTO terms does not appear to have a majority behind it, what do you propose? I’m guessing you will suggest government just defying parliament anyway since leaving on WTO terms does not require new legislation, but how would that work in reality with the half the cabinet including the PM opposed to such a catastrophic course of action?

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    The TV tells me that most people have never heard of David Lidington, but I have not only heard of him I have been watching him for years and I know that he is a weasel.

    JR, if Theresa May does go please on no account allow that eurofederalist shyster to take over as a “caretaker” Prime Minister, because you could be damn sure that he would then take every care to stop Brexit, or at least delay and dilute it.

    If he is supported by that traitor Philip Hammond, as some claim, then that should be enough to warn you that he must be kept out by all possible means.

    And nor should you trust Michael Gove, who at best is an unreliable trimmer.

    It is saying something when I look at who is available in the present cabinet to take over and decide that the best person would be “Fresh Start” Andrea Leadsom.

  43. Lee Taylor
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,

    You make the crucial point towards the end “Parliament either has to put up with the government or sack the whole government. It cannot run it from the backbenches.”This sums up this whole sorry debacle. When Thersea May was parachuted into the PM job my heart sank. She had been ineffectual at the Home Office and invisible during the referendum debates. Frankly she should have been booted out when David Davis resigned after finding out she had been undermining him and using him as a smoke screen. Yet even with the Dominic Raab resignation she still stuck limpet like to the job. I despair for the future of the Conservative party the way this is continuing. I am fortunate to live in an area with a Conservative MP who does respect the result of the referendum, but many people who have been betrayed by Tory mps who reneged on the manifesto. These mps are going to find themselves out of work at the next General Election. It will be a bloodbath. If they think fear of the communist clown will keep people voting Conservative they are sadly deluded. Though Labour’s duplicity will also come back to haunt them. We now need a Conservative leader who believes in leaving the EU and that is not Lidington or heaven forbid Hammond.

  44. Bitterend
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    IDS thinks the EU dismissed the PMs request for delay to 30th June ‘rather arrogantly’ he’s not his usual bouncy self this morning – on Marr – gone is the old talk about the Bavarian car workers riding out wit Mrs Merkel..we’re in a pickle now allright and need Liddington to take up the reins..my opinion

    • MickN
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      If Liddington is the answer might I suggest you are asking the wrong question.

    • Sue Doughty
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      IDS would make a good replacement PM right now. Calm, patient and pragmatic.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      If you think Lidington is the answer then the question can only be ‘who was the final leader of the now defunct Tory party’.

  45. Dominic
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    Hammond’s just declared that he would like to see a second referendum no doubt with the question framed to guarantee the UK’s continued EU membership status

    He wouldn’t say this if he thought it wasn’t possible to achieve. It also reveals May’s plan to crush the EU referendum result

    It almost defies belief that this tyranny can be allowed to continue

    The ERG and the DUP have a moral responsibility to bring down May’s government.

    We are tired of debate, articles and verbosity. We want to action

    The ERG are trying to straddle the fence and maintain a balance. Well, I’m sorry but that’s unacceptable. May’s betraying our nation. You have the power to stop her. Your lack of action is complicity

  46. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    One curious thing about these indicative vote options, other than the fact that no one has asked the EU if the options are even feasible, is that most ignore the WA entirely, for example if MPs favour Canada+ the EU will still require the WA with the Irish backdrop included first, Canada+ as a final destination doesn’t alter that at all.

    Incidentally John, the answer to your many of your Whys ? Is that many MPs and government ministers secretly want to repeal A50 but daren’t say it … yet.

  47. Doug Powell
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink


    If Brexit does not happen on 29th March 2019, it will be another day which will live in Infamy (apologies to FDR), – an infamy against the democratic inheritance of our citizenry!

    The democrats among us will have a Dark Age of dictatorship by the Centre Right/Centre Left Coalition to contemplate. A coalition whose aim is to facilitate national and world domination by corporations to the detriment of the individual!

    In that event, we may as well demolish the Houses of Parliament. After all, what would be the point of having another CR/CL talking shop merely serving as an echo chamber for Brussels Diktats?


    • Doug Powell
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      On reflection, I think a more apt expression would be “… THE DAY THAT DEMOCRACY WAS MURDERED IN THIS LAND!”

  48. Sue Doughty
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    It seems that the only Europe related thing Parliament has agreed on in the last couple of years is that the UK leaves the EU in toto on March 29th 2019.
    That is what they committed to in manifestos and it is what Britain expects.

  49. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    JR, I wish to point out that unlike some other proposals my own oft-repeated proposal has never been considered by MPs, and I seriously ask you why that should be the case when it is blindingly obvious that it offers a solution which is both rational and practicable.

    Unless of course it is thought to be more rational for the whole of the UK economy – and every UK citizen – to be under EU rule for the sake of the 12% part of our output which is exported to the rest of the EU by about 6% of UK businesses.

    Or, even more absurdly, for the sake of the 0.1% of GDP which is driven across the border into the Irish Republic and potentially on into the rest of the EU Single Market.

    There are many countries around the world which each accept at least 0.1% of our output as imports into their territory but do not insist that as part of the trading relationship we must apply all their laws in our territory.

    In this article there is a chart for our goods exports to three of them:


    In 2018 Turkey and Japan each took about 0.3% of our GDP in that form, while Canada took a bit less but still much higher than the 0.1% carried across the border into the Irish Republic; so which law do MPs think should prevail within the UK – Turkish, Japanese or Canadian, or all of them simultaneously, and alongside EU law?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

      Along the same lines, JR, back in September you wrote about ERG proposals:


      “There has also been a campaign to ask the ERG to produce their proposal instead of Chequers. Yesterday the Group presented research to show that the Irish border is not a problem that requires Chequers or the EU backstop.”

      But I don’t remember any Commons debate or vote on that.

  50. John Probert
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Your right it is a strange conclusion
    It is the conclusion of some one who lacks leadership
    Forcing Parliament to vote for a bad deal is the only strategy I fear

  51. Lorna
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    It is clear May must go but the unedifying spectacle this Sunday with
    Cabinet ministers leaking stories to the Press was very outrageous and uncomfortable
    If they have decided on a course of action it warranted a visit to see the PM and tell,her face to face not have her read it in the MSM
    What was even more disgraceful was this group of Remainers wanting to anoint one of their own to take over from May
    Why should any member of a Cabinet who supported May the ough Chequers and now the WA be crowned as her successor?They are all complicit and would not be trusted by voters
    Even more preposterous was the idea that Michael Gove would be acceptable to Brexiteers
    What world do these people live in ? Brexiteers have not for some time considered Gove reoresentative of their cause .He is hated and distrusted ! He must not lead the Party unless they want to,seal their fate and lose all trust

  52. Gareth
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Whatever the metro elites and the otherwise well healed say or indicated in their all white March yesterday, I am convinced that the majority, many unheard, want a speedy end to Brexit and favour a No Deal Brexit on 29/3/2019 as was promised or as soon as possible thereafter.

    Please give us a No Deal Brexit ASAP John.


    • M Davis
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

  53. Tony Sharp
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    I read your article twice.
    Mrs May must be removed by 1922 pressure, rule sabout ‘not for 12 months, are besid e the point, if she has not even the confidence of a simple majority of her Parliamentary Party and the 1922 Chairman can see that is so, then would she remain? What is the point of democracy even if the Cabinet now, as Mrs May does not even have support of the Ardent RemaINers?
    So remover by constitutional Parliamentary means.
    If you are not prepared to support a Vote of No Confidence in the May administration in Parliament as a Conservative MP to get another Conservative Leader who could carry the House – not a member of the present Cabinet who are all compromised, then you must split from the Parliamentary party and take the national party of local associations with you in a Geneal Election.

  54. Nation deceiving nat
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I am getting very concerned the MSM are finding it hard to make excuses for the fact we are now living in a dictatorship. The BBC and others cannot keep on claiming for much longer that as these are not ”ordinary’ times demoratic norms are suspended. Excuse me? Have I seen emergency powers for PM dictatorship and suspension of democratic norms, voted on?

  55. Jumeirah
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    If remain and now many leave Politicians believe that the EU has SO MUCH to offer us in the way of their Customs Union, Single Market and everything that goes with it WHY do these people still advocate leaving the EU? Why do they want to settle for a political union which forces us to abide by their Laws, their Rules, their Budgetry contraints with NO VOICE AT ALL. Surely what they should be working towards is for this Country to fully embrace all the conditions required to become a fully paid up member of the EU where we have a strong voice and where over time we can properly influence changes within the whole EU Organisation to make it more accountable and far more democratic and curb the political power of Civil Servants who hold this Organisation in a vice like grip. Why do (so it appears) the majority of our politicians believe it right to leave the EU but take a subservient position within this hopeless Organisation. Either way full transfer of power will shift to Brussels and Strasbourg and in time the EU will ensure that ‘half inners’ will indeed be required to be full members in order to fulfil their (EU) political ambitions. full members will have ‘Senior Regional’ Representatives sitting in the EU Parliament where all the decisions will be made and implemented. Westminster will be no more than a talking shop for local matters and the House of Lords dissolved as surplus to requirements at last!. County Councils will run the everyday business of their areas under strict EU regulation. The EU does not want Nation States operating within its borders on the premise that we are ‘all Europeans’. If Parliament sits in Brussels – what would be the future role of our Monarchy? Head of State? opening Parliament – hardly! Some modernists would argue that after 1000 yrs of all that – it’s time to move on. I am NOT a European I’m English and would like to see this Disunited Kingdom broken up whereby the Scots REMOVE themselves from Westminster and enjoy full Independence, the Province of N.I remove themselves back to Stormont and govern themselves for once and seek alliance and integrate with ROI – if we force them to they will ( it has been because we have always been there that they won’t and don’t). Wales has to make up it’s mind what they want to do in the short term but they have to know that THEY will be going their own way so get going and prepare. No subsidies of any kind go with any of them as they leave as they have to make their way in the world by themselves. Once break up starts it will become a different situation with the EU and England will leave with NO opposition and we will do just fine and we will rid ourselves of Scots and Irish interference and financial obligation.

  56. ian
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Parliament has already made the decision, its the cabinet and PM who are refusing to implement it and want more vote on the same argument.

    The fact is, nobody wants to take the blame if something goes wrong, so the PM who meant to lead the country keeps putting it back to the cabinet and then they want it put back to parliament.

  57. Gareth Warren
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Our only two hopes now are to frustrate the government by stalling new legislation and allowing the UK to leave the EU on the 29th of March.

    Or to let the government fall to elect one capable of securing brexit, risking Corbyn’s socialists and race baiters seizing power.

    Either way Theresa May has to go, along with all she has touched. No idea who should replace her, people like Gove lack charisma, Boris has it – but like Wiston feels unpredictable.

    Mogg sounds good, he seems to have a strange appeal, would be interested to see where you see yourself, you have been too low visibility in public for PM, that aught to change.

  58. Richard
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I think the best way forward is to leave straight away with an agreement to manage the details over a short period after we have left, with no changes on the ground at first. I gather the e.u. would agree to this. Failing that, we should leave straight away and work things out for ourselves. That would give us 39 billion pounds to smooth out any problems.

  59. Chewy
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Undoubtedly we’re in a mess, too many Conservative MPs will not hold to manifesto commitments and are making the country ungovernable. All this talk of replacing TM with a compromise candidate who’ll find something that Parliament will accept is hardly inspiring.
    I would like to see someone stand up and not try and put a tablecloth over an elephant, and admit yes we’ve made a right mess of Brexit, we’ve had no direction and the wrong kind of leadership. I like our host would like to leave on WTO but think the current crop of MPs will thwart leaving by all means possible, and the EU know this. So I think agree a long extension, as unpleasant as that is it’s better than the WA, and let’s us sort things out. We need a general election, brought about by MPs ratting on manifesto commintments and I think there’s a good chance of delivering a less Remain orientated commons. If the EU won’t grant us an extension on good terms no problem we’re out.

  60. rose
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Very good and quite right. Matt was very good on this too in the DT yesterday.

    I notice an FTA never appears on the list of options, and “no deal” only appears in order to be shot down as out of the question.

  61. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    There is much speculation about how and when the Prime Minister should resign. I have a suggestion.

    The entire senior cabinet should be replaced as well. After all, they supported the PM all the way. They agreed to the Brexit negotiation strategy and they agreed to Chequers. And if they didn’t or claim they were kept in the dark, neither did they have the guts to say so or resign their positions as did Davis, Johnson, Raab and some others.

    Instead, they cling like limpets to their precious ministerial positions hoping that someone else will do the dirty work of getting rid of the PM for them.

    Soon, a few of them will claim that they believed in Brexit all along and submit their grubby applications for the top job praying that MP’s and the party membership will believe their Damascene conversions.

    They are as useless and culpable for the situation the UK finds itself in as is the Prime Minister. Get rid of them all.

  62. Matt
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Am 75 years old Irish and European, but European first, I have just listened to another rendition of ‘ode to joy’ from nurnberg choral , we here just don’t realize it yet but how lucky we are to be living beside this huge continent of freedom, enlightenment and cultural richness. Ode to Joy will be played at my funeral. Matt Dublin

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:50 pm | Permalink


      “Lucky we are to be living beside this huge continent of freedom”

      Then you should thank the allies who fought for it.

      For many it was unfortunately the ultimate sacrifice as the huge number of War Graves show.

    • Boris
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      The Irish seem to favour European totalitarian regimes that use that particular tune.

    • sm
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      I’m European by immediate ancestry, though English-born; I’m a fraction younger than you and I too appreciate European culture and cuisine.

      But I also remember that in our lifetimes, Matt, we have seen Dictators Salazar and Franco in Portugal and Spain, the break-up of Czechoslovakia, the military Junta in Greece, the constant quarrels in Cyprus, a new government in Italy approximately every 18 months, the problem in Catalonia, etc, etc, right down to the inability to decide on a single location for the European Parliament.

    • Steve
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink


      “Am 75 years old Irish and European”

      No, you ‘used’ to be Irish.

  63. Everhopeful
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    10,000 EU troops to come to the UK on March 30th!
    Is that true I wonder?
    If so …utterly unbelievable. ( Do they still think we are stupid?).
    Our “leaders” are cowards in addition to all their other failings.

  64. ian
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    All of a sudden the cabinet want to remove the PM, could it be that they think she is going against them now and going to implement leaving on the 29th of March, as I have said before Mrs T May has the power implement parliament decision made 2 years ago, it the only decision they have ever made on Brexit, that is the date for leaving the EU and have spent over 4 billion pounds on personal and overtime at the civil service and buying goods and equipment.

    Could be that the UK does have a leader, after all, to save the country from, —–.

    • James Bertram
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Ian – I sense suddenly something is amiss with May’s loyalty to the Remainer cause.
      First, she only asked for a short extension, when the Remainer plan was to ask for a long one, morphing into a referendum, then staying in the EU.
      Next day the BBC (notably Jeremy Vine interviewing Rory Stewart) and SKY started being hostile towards the Conservative party, and leading to more favourable press for Corbyn and Labour – as if the media establishment recognised May had gone off-script, and were now threatening to no longer support her
      Then, secondly, at the EU meeting reports were coming back that May unexpectedly had ‘resigned herself’ to leaving without a deal – which caused the EU to panic and, effectively, to ‘blink’ – showing disunity, and needing a long time to discuss what offer to now put back to May.
      Now, recognising this, it seems that Hammond, Rudd, (G)Clarke and Gauke have led this Remainer Cabinet coup, briefing to the press to replace May – by Lidington (remain), Gove, (remain) or Hunt (remain).
      Too, today’s Chequers meeting was between May (+ Chief Whip and Party Chairman) and prominent Brexiteers + Lidington / Gove who had been tipped to replace her – so it did look like there was a choice of successor being contemplated in exchange for Brexiteers backing her atrocious WA.
      Of course, no self-respecting MP could back this WA in any circumstances; and May’s promise to go in exchange for such backing is just a completely stupid tactic – she will go very soon anyway – so no one in their right mind would fall for this nonsense, nor trust her to go.
      But I expect other things were discussed – and hopefully the notion of playing hardball with the EU to get a last-minute FTA.
      So, with a lot of wishful thinking, May may have agreed to leave the EU (hopefully on the 29th March) on WTO terms, but will put it to the EU on the 28th March to see if they want to accept a GATT24 transition first. She will then leave on the 29th March as she has promised to do over 100 times, then resign (as she has failed to get her deal through) and, so as to keep the Conservative Party united, will hand over the leadership temporarily to another Remain type – Liddington / Gove – before having a full leadership contest.
      Dream on, you all may say, and perhaps rightly so. But something is definitely amiss here – she is no longer behaving in the way that her Remain backers expect – so let’s see what happens next Thursday/Friday.

  65. mancunius
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Greg H – You want somebody as PM whose name you can’t even spell?
    How typical.

    • Hamish
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Mancunius..you put Greg H down over such unimportant detail..how stupid but typical of your average English pedantic mindset.. been watching your comments and know where this is all going to end.

  66. RichardM
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    The police, who are the most reliable judges of these things, estimate 2 million peacefully marched for a second referendum yesterday.

    You can ignore or pretend its meaningless, but when that many people march the streets, something fundamental is happening.
    The moderate centre are totally pissed off with the situation this Tory government and you ERG’ers have driven us to.
    Nobody forgave Blair when he ignored the million who marched for peace. You won’t be forgiven for similarly ignoring.

    A sensible polititian would recognise this and respond accordingly.

    • Pud
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Can you cite your source for the police crowd estimate? I’ve tried Googling for it and failed to find a statement from the Met apart from CNN quoting them as saying that they are not commenting on crowd estimates.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 24, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        RichardM’s whole ideology is based on lies so, no doubt, the size of the crowd will continue to rise with every new post he makes.

      • Pud
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        Fullfact.org (independent fact checking organisation) estimate the number of marchers as between 312,000 and 400,000 people. This is well under half the number the organisers claimed and nowhere near Richard M’s figure. Fullfact also confirmed that the Met don’t comment on crowd numbers.

    • miami.mode
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      RichardM, it seemed to be a march of March hares.

      Where else in the world would you get people marching and/or demonstrating in favour of a supranational body? Generally people demonstrate against such an organisation.

    • mancunius
      Posted March 25, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh Richard, why only 2 million? Even the organizers claimed it was 1 million. Make it 5 million, 10 million, 20 million…:-)
      In actual fact, crowd-science statisticians have already used RAMP analysis combined with helicopter imaging to give an accurate estimate of the crowd numbers:
      “Based on the visuals from the helicopter image, it’s between 312,000 and 400,000 people,” explains Manchester Metropolitan University’s Keith Still, a world leader in crowd science who has developed mandatory event-monitoring training for police.”
      [from ‘Wired’]

  67. Original Richard
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    The EU’s surrender treaty, aka the WA, should never be signed under any circumstances as it locks us into a treaty from which we can never lawfully exit.

    In addition it requires us to accept all EU directives, laws and taxation decisions with no say and no veto to any legislation which could be damaging to our country’s interests.

    It is extraordinary that any UK PM could even consider agreeing to such a treaty.

  68. Original Richard
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    If the EU is not prepared to amend their WA, and Parliament has decided not to agree to the EU’s WA or leaving with “no deal” then by April 12th Parliament will have to either revoke Article 50 or request a further extension.

    Although I would prefer to leave with “no deal”, I am prepared to have a long extension where I could then express my opinion in the forthcoming EU MEP elections and by December this year hopefully have finally a Brexit supporting PM who will be prepared to fight for our interests in the EU’s Council of Ministers.

    In the meantime negotiations for a new WA continue and proper preparations for a “no deal” exit.

  69. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    On TV this morning Hilary Benn referred to:

    “whatever deal Parliament can agree with the EU”.

    Clearly this son of Anthony Wedgwood, “Tony”, Benn has a poorer understanding of our constitution than his father, and perhaps whoever is currently Foreign Secretary should put him right by explaining firstly that the UK is a dualist state and secondly that:


    “The responsibility for concluding treaties involving the UK lies with the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs. The FCO is responsible for Foreign and Commonwealth policy aspects of all treaties, as well as for dealing with questions of form and procedure. It must also consider points of international law. This remains the case even when the negotiation of the treaty is led by another government department, ie the department that will carry out the treaty’s provisions.

    The FCO’s Legal Advisers and Treaty Section must be given the opportunity to comment on the drafts of all treaties under negotiation in order to ensure that they are drafted in accordance with correct practice … ”

    And so forth; it is simply not part of our constitution that Parliament can agree deals with the EU, any more than Hilary Benn could take over the role of a minister of the Crown and amend exit day without himself being a minister of the Crown:


    “… there is no legal basis for anybody who is not a minister of the Crown, let us say the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Revolutionary Committee, whether that would be Hilary Benn or Yvette Cooper or whoever, to take over that role.”

    MPs can certainly vote to amend the Standing Orders of their own House, and they may well be able to take control of the Order Paper to arrange the proceedings of their own House more to their liking, but that does not mean they can usurp core functions of Her Majesty’s Government such as making regulations or negotiating treaties.

    • acorn
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Understand that the majority of modern European States are “Monist”, not “Dualist”. As I have said before, the UK form of parliamentary democracy is at least two centuries out of date. Chancellor Merkel says; and Speaker Bercow recently demonstrated, it is actually four centuries out of date.

      The European Communities Act 1972 (ECA) Parliament voluntarily gave effect to the UK’s obligations and duties under the former Community and now EU Treaties in national law. The ECA defines the legal relationship between the two otherwise separate spheres of law, and without it, EU law could not become part of national law, without national legislation to incorporate it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 25, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        This really adds nothing.

  70. Doug Powell
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I am somewhat bemused Sir John, you moderated positively on my addition to my original entry, but did not ok the original. Is this an error, as one is pointless without the other, or is the original rubbish?

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    If Brexit does not happen on 29th March 2019, it will be another day which will live in Infamy (apologies to FDR), – an infamy against the democratic inheritance of our citizenry!
    The democrats among us will have a Dark Age of dictatorship by the Centre Right/Centre Left Coalition to contemplate. A coalition whose aim is to facilitate national and world domination by corporations to the detriment of the individual!
    In that event, we may as well demolish the Houses of Parliament. After all, what would be the point of having another CR/CL talking shop merely serving as an echo chamber for Brussels Diktats?
    Doug Powell
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink
    On reflection, I think a more apt expression would be “… THE DAY THAT DEMOCRACY WAS MURDERED IN THIS LAND!”

    • rose
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      The march yesterday reminded us of the March on Rome.

  71. BR
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Presumably, if these votes are proposed, you and the ERG will be telling the lofty goblin that he should not allow them on the same basis as MV3 (already asked and answered in the same session).

    I read that there are moves afoot to oust May – please make it happen.

    I also understand that we asked for an extension to 30th June, the EU made a counter-offer and that we have not yet accepted their counter-offer so we could/will still leave on March 29th unless parliament votes to accept.

    So a change of leader now would make it very difficult to push through any such legislation in what remains of the week.

  72. JoolsB
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    She was given the job for one reason and one reason only – to deliver on the referendum result and deliver a true Brexit. She has failed miserably and now wants to absolve responsibility and hand over to a remain parliament to decide what they think should happen. And still this deluded stubborn woman still refuses to go because it’s all about ego now and nothing to do with leadership. Is there no technicality John to get rid of her on the grounds she has broken her contract with the people?

  73. Doug Powell
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Finally, it looks like the Conservatives are running scared of the repercussions of the PM’s lack of vision, lack of political nous, lack of appreciation of what this country demands of its leader and now realise she must go! – Scared of losing their seats and scared of seeing their once great, formidable party crumble into nothingness! I predicted this PM would be a total disaster from the beginning – it gives me no pleasure to say ‘I told you so!’

    It is just embarrassing to see our PM standing before us, like a political equivalent of ‘Eddie the Eagle’ saying in effect “I come to bury the Country and the Conservative Party – not to praise them!”

    • agricola
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      Eddie as a very young lad was one of my friends paper boys who grew into a vdry positive can do young man. Mr Bean might be a kinder comparison.

  74. Mary
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    I didn’t understand when you went up against Major. You didn’t seem credible. I failed to realise it was all about the power of the EU back then just as it is even more so now. Credible candidate now after May implodes? You would have the grassroot Conservative party and the bulk of the Brexit nation. If you don’t stand you have to lead: names lik Gove, Hunt and Morgan will see obliteration of the party on May second. The grassroots trust Is blown we do trust you, step up John.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear to that Mary.

  75. zorro
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    OK folks – place your bets – give me odds on ‘haywire’ Theresa May no longer being PM after tomorrow…..


    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:05 pm | Permalink


      All.she has to do is force through no deal and the n change her cabinet to MPs who believe in the UK. If she does this she can stay and recover. If she doesn’t then it doesn’t matter who is leader.

    • rose
      Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      She will not resign.

  76. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    The Tory eurofederalist Chancellor Philip Hammond claims that it would “catastrophic” to leave the EU without a deal, defaulting to WTO terms, following on from similar claims from his Tory eurofederalist predecessor George Osborne before the referendum, and that hysterical description is happily repeated by the Labour eurofederalist Hilary Benn, on the basis of the government’s own figures which have been conveniently supplied by his fellow eurofederalists … I would just point to this:


    “Evidence-based policy or fake news? Eleven Economic Propositions made by Remain”

    and in particular this:

    “Proposition 5: long-term economic losses from leaving the EU single market and customs union will be very large”

    “The Treasury’s 2016 document and the more recent ‘cross-Whitehall briefing’ claimed UK GDP would fall by 8% in the long-run in the event of the UK leaving the EU and reverting to ‘WTO rules’. This estimate is probably 3-8 times too high.”

    The odd thing is that a clutch of studies reported by two German bodies and by the EU Commission itself all support the criticism that the UK Treasury is out by some factor between 3 (which would make it 2.7%) and 8 (which would make it 1%).

    And this is all in the context of the UK’s long term trend growth rate being 2.5% a year, hence even if such losses did materialise in unmitigated form their magnitude would be equivalent to natural economic growth over just 5 to 13 average months.

  77. NOT BOB
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink


  78. ukretired123
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May has never shown any humility and learned from her mistakes even though she promised that at her trial with the 1922 committee recently.
    Churchgoers are encouraged to do this by default but I fear that Sundays have been an opportunity to avoid Press Scrutiny by Marr etc.
    Margaret Thatcher was never afraid to face uncomfortable questions and earned the respect of even her enemies who nicknamed her T.Iron.Lady.
    The current incumbent will inherit the name she called her own party years ago if she cops out on Friday 29/3/2019 which would be such a pity, mainly for the country who thought she could be trusted just to leave the overbearing EU.
    Anything else will go down as infamy. We pray that the Referendum will be honoured the lately reformed Honourable manifesto abiding MPs of all sides.

  79. L Jones
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    So many comments, Sir John. How do you find the time to weed and respond?

    It certainly does show the depth of feeling of articulate and balanced people (generally) who want to see our country free of this ‘organisation’ (with no ill wishes to anyone who want it otherwise) and to be in charge of our own destiny, with no vituperation directed at those who disagree.

    But whether it succeeds or fails it will have been OUR country’s decision. If it succeeds then they will see that they can participate in our precious country’s success. If it fails, then the Remainers can have their own version of a referendum in the future. (It won’t be like the one in 2016 though because the EU would have charge of it. Don’t the Remainers realise this?)

  80. Pete Else
    Posted March 24, 2019 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

    When do we get a vote on whether we can get rid of parliament? What a useless bunch of authoritarians mascarading as democrats. All trying to wriggle out of their promises and manifestos, not that that’s surprising, it happens every single time.

  81. robert lewy
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    I posted previously that the May so called deal consists of two parts the WA and the Political
    Declaration. It is the first part which attracts horror from true Brexiteers as well as some Remainers. However, the WA says nothing about the furure trading relationship which is left for the Political Declaration.

    Surely that means even if Parliament comes up with some Customs Union and/or Single market configuration that effort would only find its way into the Political Declaration not the WA. This is true partly because the WA does not refer to the trading relationship and secondly because the have ruled out any change to the WA.

    Therefore, based on the Speaker’s pronouncement that the same bill cannot be voted on again in the same session, will he not allow the WA to be voted once more?

  82. ferdinand
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    At our local Conservative Constituency AGM on Friday our MP asked for a show of hands on each of the likely indicative votes. At the Referendum the Constituency was heavily Remain.
    When asked who would support revoking Article 50 only 4 hands were put up. On asking whether we shoull leave with No Deal, 90% of the large numbers attending put their hands up.

  83. mancunius
    Posted March 25, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Sir John – Have you seen the leaked No. 10 document available at BrexitCentral’s 24 March article by ‘A Civil Servant’? If not, I urge you to read it. It is dynamite.
    “According to the document, Parliament’s vote for an extension on 14th March gives the Government executive power to agree and enforce any extension period agreed with the EU. Under any conditions.”

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page