Those indicative votes

It was no surprise that there was no majority for any of the proposals put to the vote. That was highly likely and reminds us why Parliament works best when government proposes and Parliament approves or modifies.

Three of the options I supported were not put to the  vote. One was a constitutional proposal to avoid this kind of Parliamentary chaos. The second  was a set of proposals to ensure just leaving takes place with a range of sensible agreements on things that need agreement. The third was a general proposal which had plenty of names on it to reaffirm Parliamentary support for leaving the EU, designed to get majority agreement by reminding most MPs they were elected to get us out. Nor was there any ability to vote for the comprehensive free trade proposal I and others have been putting to the government. One of the problems with not putting some first choice preferences to the first vote is it leaves MPs feeling unhappy that even their first vote had to be a compromise with what they really want.

It was another opportunity for Parliament  to vote down the bad idea of a second referendum and to vote down yet again the idea of staying in the customs union. It is true Parliament also voted against No deal, but as the Prime Minister often reminds us the only way to leave avoiding no deal is to name a deal we want that the EU will grant. Once again Parliament failed that test. It is a pity Parliament was not allowed to highlight leaving with a range of deals without having to sign the Withdrawal Agreement, which could unite many voters if not MPs.

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  1. J Bush
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    As I understand it Bercow allowed 7 remain proposals and 1 leave proposal to go to indicative vote. Why not 4 of each?

    • Andy
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      You do not understand it very well then. 6 of the proposals were various shades of leave. Another was leave subject to a confirmatory public vote on the terms. The final one was to revoke article 50 – but it did not specify to what end.

      • Edward2
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

        Correction for you Andy……”6 of the proposals were various shades of remain”
        The 7th to revoke article 50 was to totally remain.

        • Andy
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Oh look, a unicorn.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 29, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

            Or blindingly obvious truth Andy.
            If you stay in the customs union and or the single market and then allow the UK’s legal supremacy to remain with the EU courts and accept all their future laws rules directives and regulations then you have not left.
            All those 7 proposals were not leaving the EU.
            I suggest instead of childish comments you re read the Leaflet and look up speeches during the referendum campaign made by the PM and Chancellor.

        • Stephen
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

          This debate sums up the whole mess! For a country split 52:48, leavers see keeping any link to the EU as remaining and remainers see any move away from our current arrangements as leaving.

          Hence there is no consensus on a compromise in parliament or the country as a whole.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 29, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

            Half in and half out is your compromise.

            You either live in a nation that is independent or you do not.
            There is no compromise on that issue.

          • Merlin
            Posted March 29, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            Well said. It is indeed a mess. I feel things are unchanged since the referendum. The country is split down the middle (maybe even more fragmented than that) and nobody is changing their minds.

        • Hope
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:22 pm | Permalink


          A Dutch customs expert (Maeson?) spoke to May and a Cabinet about customs and borders and concluded none of them understood the correct legal position.

          We, ead May will put her servitude plan to parliament tomorrow without the political declaration. So when does the country get an apology and explanation for her outright lies about paying £39 billion plus add ons equalling £100 billion to talk about trade? No trade,deal was discussed or,agreed,despite,lying to the public with strap lines nothing agreed until everything agreed. We had the Transition period then the implementation period repeated many times to give business time to adjust! Now it is abundantly clear there is NO trade deal and all her comments were outright lies to fool the nation it was getting something for the vast amount of money she was giving away for nothing- the EU deciding how much and when and any challenge from the UK being put to the ECJ! This is dishonest and a fraud on the taxpayer. A blank cheque book to be drawn upon at any time the EU wishes.

          JR, please tell me I am wrong. This alone is reason to vote down the dishonest servitude plan written in collusion between May and the EU. May knew this because article 184 of her plan makes it clear the EU has not complied with article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to agree a future relationship! May needs to be held account not just allowed to resign. The SFO needs to be made to investigate her servitude plan with the EU.

          • Hope
            Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

            JR, the indicative votes have been excellent is determining which associations need to get rid of their MP who has deceived them, the party and nation. It is now clear which MPs and ministers need to be got rid of. Of your party does not then it is abundantly clear to the public. So in that sense Letwin has outed the names of those traitors. Start with those who voted for a customs union as it is directly against what they were elected on, not leaving on 29/03/2019 without a deal. Again totally against the manifesto.

            I trust every association chair will carefully read names against,voting and manifesto. After all the assocaitinsmraised funds and campaigned for them on points they have now voted against. Come on associations take heed of the results and act brutally to those who abused you and your trust.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

          Exactly how is leaving the EU to be in an arrangement like Norway (not an EU member) or leaving to be in an arrangement like Turkey (not an EU member) or leaving to be in some sort of arrangement that could draw parallels with Switzerland (not an EU member) any sort of remain? Remain means remaining as a member and none of those options result in that.

      • Merlin
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        I thought it was actually pretty decisive.

        Looks like they’re going to go for some form of customs union, and it’ll probably have to be put in a referendum against remain.

        The problem for any prospective PM is that they can’t really change the parliamentary numbers. And the numbers for No Deal are dire. A general election might change things, but it’s hard to be sure which way and who would lead the conservatives anyway. They might put in old Bozo and then all bets are off.

    • Adam
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      One vote is enough if its choice fits.

      The DUP are Vanguards protecting UK values.
      The UK van holds our laws, sovereigns & DNA.
      The EU say freedom of movement is sacred.
      Our van needs Freedom of Movement from the EU.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

        “The DUP are Vanguards protecting UK values”

        Maybe yours but not mine. They are narrow minded fanatics who would take us back centuries.

        Creationism in schools?
        Anti abortionists?
        Restoring the death penalty?
        Criminalising whole sections of society?

        • Adam
          Posted March 30, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

          margaret howard:

          DUP Brexit votes protect your UK right to choose on those issues.

          British people decide what is right, just as well. If you need 27 other countries to control your behaviour, remain incapable.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      There was only one “remain” option on the list – Revoke Article 50. The others were six variations of leave and one to put whatever leave option was chosen to a confirmatory public vote (an approach Jacob Rees-Mogg advocated way back in October 2011).

      • matthu
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Pity that JR-M’s approach was not accepted as the way forward when the government instead replaced it with a once in a generation vote then? A vote the result of which it was promised would be implemented – and not revoked.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted March 29, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          A decision taken by the previous parliament, and umder the principle that no parliament may bind another, one to which the current parliament is not beholden.

    • oldtimer
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Bercow is a Remainer.

      • Richard
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        All this is of course happening with May’s connivance. Her empty promise to quit last night is all part of the pantomime.

    • Peter
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      “It is a pity Parliament was not allowed to highlight leaving with a range of deals without having to sign the Withdrawal Agreement, which could unite many voters if not MPs.”

      Very good idea. Vote for would also indicate a third run at the Withdrawal Agreement was a waste of time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Bercow is sloping the pitch just as Cameron did in the referendum and the BBC does every single day.

    • Angry constituent
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Why should the Speaker allow a vote on suggestions that had been ruled out by the EU? Perhaps it’s time the ERG side woke up and realised that what they’re ‘offering’ is logistically impossible, given the Irish border situation.

    • Hope
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      JR, could you explain why some of the proposals keep coming back when they have been voted down many times before i.e. Second referndum and customs union. The latter being in both manifestos to eave single market and customs union. Gregg Hands gave a superb account why a customs union would be economically disasterous for us. What did MPs not understand? Clarke and remainers want a custom union so we can remain and be controlled by the EU irrespective of the economic consequences what a hypocritical absurdity, when using sensational language about leaving on WTO terms which the public over whelmingly demand.

      Well done JR, keep voting the servitude plan down. Bill Cash made a lot of very good points, which parliament keep ignoring, how underhand May was when writing the WA behind ministers backs against ministerial code at a time when the Withdrawal Act was passing through parliament. May should be out on her ear for her behaviour alone.

      Thank goodness for the DUP. If I could I would vote for them I would. A party of conservative principle. Bring down the govt a general election required with just leave or remain for every MP. Manifestos no longer trusted.

      Davis and Rees-Mogg are right if this cabal of traitors led by Letwin had any honour or conviction they would vote no confidence in the government because that is exactly what they are doing in colluding with Labour backbenchers.

      Letwin should have his tilte taken from him and no longer allowed in privy council. He is a disgrace to the nation, traitor to his government, party, supporters and manifesto. He does not learn from experience, his last good idea of the poll tax brought riots to the streets.

      • Hope
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        What was telling is when Arlene Forster said she hoped the PM negotiated the backstop and later said PM ignored their warnings and letters.

        May was in collusion to keep the UK in the EU by other treaties. If any of you think remainers will disappear or can take a firm view for phase two think again. That is why the servitude plan must be defeated. It is the first part of a choreographed plan to keep us in the EU by another name and by different treaties. It is no accident.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        That superb account by Greg Hands is here:

        and every MP who voted for a customs union should be made to read it and commit it to memory.

        Just a sample:

        “On trade agreements, we have talked before about the Turkey trap. Essentially, if the EU entered into a trade agreement with a third country and the UK were in a customs union, we would have to offer access to our markets but we would not get the reciprocal access to that country in return. That would be a massive democratic deficit. It amazes me that it is the official Labour policy to do this. I remember well the disputes around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. The biggest objections to TTIP came from the Labour side. Now we have a situation where trade policy will be determined by others without even a UK seat at the table. If Labour thought at the time, when we had a seat at the table, that TTIP would lead to US private healthcare companies gaining access to the NHS, what will it be like when we do not have a seat at the table? But that is the official Labour policy.”

  2. Bob Dixon
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    What a waste of time.

    • JoolsB
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Totally. And they’re going to do it all again on Monday.

    • Andy
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Very true. MPs are wasting time when they could be fixing our country discussing the least worse way to diminish the UK and to make your children and grandchildren poorer.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        A way to make our children poorer ? Voting Labour, LibDem, or Green ? Just a guess.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

          Or Conservative if led by a tax to death, solicialist incompetent as now.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      I agree. I’m so angry. I feel we’ve just held a referendum on something that can’t be delivered.

      All this is achieving is populist outrage and government paralysis, and whatever solution we arrive at, most people will hate.

      We obviously have to respect this ill-planned referendum, but how?

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Merlin and Andy It could have been delivered if Parliament had honoured the referendum result and their own manifestos. Most MP’s from all parties have deliberately obtained the result they wanted. Subservience!

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          The referendum was a question on “what”, not “how”. There has been no agreement on “how” either before the referendum, after the referendum and after triggering Article 50, and therein lies the problem.

          Ultimately, politicians care about getting re-elected, and what we have been witnessing is the conflict involved in figuring out a way of leaving which the politicians feel will not do damage to their chances of being re-elected. The general opinion amongst them seems to be that leaving on WTO terms is not that way.

        • Andy
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          Of course Brexit can be delivered. But it can not be delivered on the terms that Vote Leave promised – because vote leave lied. Their fantasy Brexit was never deliverable.

          They promised you a unicorn. And have delivered a donkey with a strap on horn. Some of you still hold out for the unicorn. Enjoy your donkey.

          • Edward2
            Posted March 29, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            Remain have hijacked the leaving process.
            Parliament has a remain majority.
            The mess is your making Andy.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Well it could have been delivered but what was not discussed during the referendum by the Remain side and the Remain establishment was this:

        “If you dare vote Leave we will not prepare for leaving and many of us will do our best to obstruct it.”

        No. That was definitely not mentioned in the referendum.

  3. Henry Carter
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    The Speaker was quite right to refuse to accept suggestions that have been ruled out by the EU. You can keep claiming we can rip up the WA and ditch the Irish backstop, and still expect the EU to talk trade, but you simply make yourself look foolish. The Speaker is not foolish

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Again the usual Remainer insult added at the end.

      The EU may have said they have ruled something out but that is a mere political statement not a legal one. So on what basis is the Speaker to judge what has been “ruled out” ? He has not been involved in negotiations and is not privy to the government information on them so how would he know ? The UK parliament has already “ruled out” several times remaining in a Customs Union so why did he allow a vote on that ? Well, because what is ruled out one day can be ruled back in the next, it’s not the Speakers job to decide.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 29, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

        Do you think it is either, the same person or, group of people ?

    • eeyore
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      So if the EU reject anything we must accept their ruling, but if the British public reject anything it’s still on the table?

      Good to know our place in the pecking order.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      One of the options was no deal, which doesn’t require the EU’s permission. Another was EEA / EFTA, also something the EU won’t give permission for (they’d want the backstop / CU also). That was the only remotely sensible one but it lost by the biggest margin.

    • Adam
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Reflect on your thoughts with a mirror, Henry.

    • Woody
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      I always thought the speaker was there to smooth the parliamentary process by controlling MP’s behavior debate … I now realise he is the unelected master of parliament and can do whatever he wishes .. even though he is unelected and his wishes are contrary to the democratic choice of the people.

      • hefner
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

        The Speaker is elected by MPs.

        • Stephen
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          Technically they are elected to serve as an MP by their constituents and then elected by fellow MPs to be speaker, so are elected twice!

        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          Selected not elected … normally someone not from the same party as the government of the time … in Bercows case he purported to be Tory to get his job but is very much anti Tory in all his decisions and processes.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      I would like to see “ruled out by the EU” properly put to the test, as in: “It’s this proposal — which the HoC can and will support — or it’s No Deal. Take your pick…”

      Then let us see just how adamant they are about “ruling out” entirely sensible and mutually-beneficial alternatives.

      But if these don’t get past the Speaker, they will never be put to the test (as they should have been from the very beginning, instead of just surrendering to the WA Treaty).

    • James Freeman
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      The first and third proposals are nothing to do with the EU.

      The second proposal is for side agreements already made, or announced unilaterally by both sides.

      The comprehensive free trade proposal was offered to the UK by Donald Task a year ago. It solves the Irish border issue in a similar way to how Ireland will deal with it in no deal situation and is compatible with international customs best practice.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        No. Tusk only offered the the free trade agreement to the UK excluding NI.

        • John Hatfield
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

          Which is one reason why it was unacceptable. The other reason is that what Tusk offered prevents Single Market businesses’ access to the EU gravy train. The Establishment elites who run our country will not permit that.

    • mary
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      So you’re saying that we must stick with the horrendous Suicide Treaty aka “W”A that would give EU carte blanche to do as they damn well like with us, tax without representation to pay for their disasters and burgeoning Army; dictate and enforce how many migrants we take, the sky’s the limit; asset strip Britain to their hearts content and inflict a totalitarian state. Purely in order to beg EU for the gracious favour and privilege of talking trade with them Well there are other markets outside the sclerotic EU.
      Sorry I don’t get your “reasoning.”

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        ” to pay for their disasters and burgeoning Army”

        You prefer for us to carry on paying and taking part in the US disasters like the Iraq war that has destabilised the Middle East leading to millions of terrified citizens fleeing for their lives? No EU country has ever forced us into any similar disasters.

        And rather than asset strip us membership has turned us from the ‘sick man of Europe’ into the world’s 5th largest economy.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      The Customs Union option was an option not on offer from the EU, as the EU says we have to have a Withdrawal Agreement before we can set the final deal, and the Customs Union option is trying to set the final deal. This shows Parliament doesn’t know what it is supposed to be voting for and that Bercow is playing fast and loose with the rules according to his political prejudices, just as he is allowing a number of votes on a losers referendum, but cites a rule from the 1600s to stop votes on stuff he doesn’t like.

      This is a rotten Parliament with a politically corrupt Speaker.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      And what about suggestions ruled out by the people? The Conservative manifesto was explicit in saying we would leave the single market and the customs union. Both the Labour and Conservative manifestos promised to respect the referendum result. People then voted for representatives on this basis.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      He may not be foolish but he is is certainly biased, totally wrong and a huge danger to democracy, transparency and parliament.

    • Gareth Warren
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      The EU have their controllers, I suspect Germany, Italy and France would be rather keen to organise a trade deal if the alternative were to watch the UK car market taken over by the US and Japan due t0 zero tariff trade deals.

      Then again, would it still be more beneficial for the UK to effectively sell their market share in return for better market access for UK companies? Judging by the cost to trade tariff free the EU charges (evidence, the WA) I would say yes.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.” Do you remember this mantra from Mrs May? We are not at the all-agreed stage yet as Parliament has rejected the WA twice running. It exists as a mere proposal, so cannot be imposed on us by the EU. We are free to decline their mendacious offer.

  4. jerry
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    “Parliament works best when government proposes and Parliament approves or modifies.”

    What utter nonsense, otherwise you are implying that all private members Bills etc. are a waste of time, and would you have said the same had the Conservatives been in opposition?!

    Whilst it is true none of the suggestions gained a majority many received a greater level of support than May’s WA, yet some senior ERG members appear to want that WA to be presented a third time now…

    As for options that were not put, lobby the Speaker, he said in reply to a Point of Order that he is open to the proposition of those options being put to the House on Monday.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      The one that gained most support was the Customs Union one, how many times has that one been voted on ? Three ? Four ? More ? More times than May’s WA anyway.

  5. Wokingham Mum
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    If parliament can’t agree what it wants or away forward and can’t support the PM. What else is there to do but put it to the people to decide. Hang on we already did. Believe me I don’t want another referendum. The people will be ignored again if we voted for leave and then we’d have to keep voting again until the people voted for what the majority of parliament want, remain. Is this democracy? Let’s have a general election but where do the parties stand on Brexit? and would they do what they stated. They haven’t so far. What a mess.

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Wokingham Mum. Exactly, what a mess. How could we believe anything any party said or promised again? They have destroyed any faith we had in our Parliamentary system. They are all a disgrace. I resent the wages they get from us.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

        Nail on the head. They’ve brought this about on themselves!! Totally disingenuous charlatans. Our politics and voting system has broken.

    • Andy
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      We are in this mess because the people are NOT being ignored. Rather than taking note of the advisory referendum and moving on Mrs May has tried to deliver the verdict she thought it gave. This is a fraught exercise as different people voted leave for different reasons, some of them contradictory.

      But what has been established since 2016 is that Brexit can not be delivered on the terms promised but Vote Leave. You can have your Brexit but it will be a world away from what you voted for, because you voted for a mirage. A fake, a fraud, something which does not exist.

      The politicians are not brave enough to tell you that you were conned – so they pretend otherwise. But the fact is that you were conned.

  6. Mick
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    We could have been leaving tomorrow if Mrs May had carried out what she had told mps and the public nearly 200 times that we will be leaving on March 29th 2019 and that no deal is better than a bad deal, so if her deal flops next time around then it’s definitely a very bad deal so we finally leave on April 12th unless some other force finds a way to alter the withdrawal date again 🤬🤬🤬

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      The Remainers will repeat taking control of parliamentary business and force a long extension. The EU elections will then become very interesting although, given that we no longer live in a democracy, they will probably just pass a statutory instrument preventing our taking part in the election.

    • Merlin
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      They voted on leaving on April 12th. You will be delighted to hear it was decisively defeated, so that isn’t an option either.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        What’s on the House of Commons agenda for Monday? MPs voting to stop the sunrise and the tides?
        The longer that remainers delay our exit, the longer they’ll have to wait for the EU to talk about trade. They are adamant that there will be no such talks with current EU members. Ultimately, the markets will decide on the trade implications of the referendum.

  7. Stred
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    May accepted that the EU would not negotiate s trade deal until we had officially left. Then she accepted the extortionate payments and terms written by them. Then she ruled out the only way of avoiding the trap, which is to leave on the same rules as we already use with other countries. The civil service have not finalized the rules for agriculture and fisheries. It decided to leave Euratom when we could have stayed like Switzerland. Give has overseen this mess. It must be deliberate. They cannot be that incompetent.

    • Andy
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Actually Brexiteer David Davis accepted all this. He may not be a very bright man but he quickly figured out the balance of power.

      • Stred
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        He was overruled by May. The Chequers document was written behind his back. He is one of the more intelligent politicians. More than May and much more than yourself.

      • Timaction
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        UK economy is equivalent to the total of the 19 smallest Nations in the EU and we run a trade deficit approaching £100 billion annually. Our soft power is estimated at the 2nd most powerful Nation on Earth. Balance of power my ass. May and the remainiacs are on their side and the rest was pure theatre. No new negotiations have taken place since she agreed her deal last year. Charades to take us back in asap.

    • Bob
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      “They cannot be that incompetent.”

      Have you seen any evidence to support this assertion?

      • Stred
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        Nearly 3 years to plan and finish documentation. When did they start? Some departments were complaining that the money had not been released. Hammond should face an enquiry. Why did they have to re write all of the Euratom contracts when we could have stayed in, as it’s not run by the EU?

    • Merlin
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      As I pointed out, the problem does not lie with parliament. It lies with the ill-planned referendum.

      We voted to leave without having anywhere to go to, and now we’re all at sea.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        A Remainer called the Referendum and another headed the negotiations (May or Robbins, make your choice) so, logically, we can blame the resulting mess on you, as a Remainer.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Off-hand I cannot recall any previous government systematically failing to defend its own central official policy from attack in the way that this government has not only allowed all manner of nonsensical scare stories to go unchallenged but has actually added to them. As you say it must be deliberate.

  8. Dan Rushworth
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Rather frustratingly, we never get the full story from the mainstream media. Thankyou Sir John for giving a little more inside information on westmonster. The feeling of this eleventh hour is similar to that of the night of the referendum where many leave voters had consigned themselves to a loss. We need to make sure a loss of Brexit still doesn’t happen.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      According to BBC MPs are “trying to break the deadlock”.

      Luckily a large proportion of the population can see through this and know that most MPs are trying to overturn the largest democratic vote in our history.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      And BBC interviews deliberately held with “STOP BRE-XIIIIT !” being shouted in the background. Can’t they find somewhere else to do them ?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      I could not agree more. And please. Mr Redwood, do not accept the Withdrawal Treaty. Please don’t.

  9. Stred
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Gove not Give. My phone alters while sending.

  10. javelin
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink


  11. Lifelogic
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Indeed, keep the good work JR and do not vote for her straightjacket. Allister Heath is spot on today in the Telegraph. May should go, the worst PM in living memory – but she did nearly give us presumed consent organ donation I suppose, which will help some people. Almost nothing else positive alas.

    Everone says how dilligent, tenatious and determined she is. But alas all in totally the wrong direction.

    I blame Gove and the speaker in the main. Let us hope we can still avoid Corbyn.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      We would at least have the amusing spectacle of Corbyn trying to negotiate with the EU for his own Labour-owned unicorn (quite badly defeated in the indicative votes I see).

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

      Obdurate is the word I would choose.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Why does May resigning make it not a turd ?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          It doesn’t

    • Grahame ASH
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Organ donation! Mrs May needs a backbone, as do many of the Tory MPs

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        The only positive I could find!

    • Dennisa
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Whilst OT, presumed consent organ donation has not altered the situation in Wales. The problem of course, is that donors have to die first.

  12. APL
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Now that we see the complete failure of representative democracy as constituted currently in the United Kingdom. Can we introduce a performance related pay scale for MPs?

    Perhaps the lot of you together is worth about £15. We could have the speaker throw the notes into the forum of the Commons, and you could all fight over your share.

    Direct democracy has given you a decision, all you impotent so called ‘representatives’ need do is implement it.

  13. Richard1
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Amazing so many MPs can vote for the absurd idea of leaving the EU but staying in the customs union! The only remotely sensible ‘compromise’ option would be EEA/EFTA, on which there was an interesting interview with the foreign minister of Iceland on the radio à couple of days ago (he asked why the UK could want to join the CU if in EFTA).

    I agree with Dan Hannan: best thing is to extend membership for the period of the WA instead of going into the WA and have a complete re-set under a new PM, a change which at last is to happen.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      Richard1. It is remarkable how hammered the EEA/EFTA no CU option was and the amount of support for the contrasting CU without representation or power options. This pattern of MP voting has no relationship to any serious trade considerations; taking rules on CET from Brussels without influencing them is mind boggling. If Labour hadn’t been whipping support for anything CU like, and an informed debate had actually happened then maybe the results would have been different, it would be shocking if they weren’t.

      • Richard1
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink


    • KZB
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Richard1.
      I could go with the EEA/EFTA option as a compromise, if they could give us some assurances on immigration. If we got that we could realise Brexit upsides by leaving the CU.
      Unfortunately this option got voted down the most heavily, and remaining in the CU was one of the most popular ! What are they on?

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink


      EFTA? Isn’t that the one we helped co-found?

      Since 1995, only two founding members remain, namely Norway and Switzerland. The other five, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom, have joined the EU in the intervening years.

      I wonder why?

      And incidentally, and all four member states (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) participate in the European Single Market and are part of the Schengen Area.

      Is that what you want? Or are you going to ask for exemptions?

  14. Sakara Gold
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    You don’t mention that Parliament did vote to approve the Statutory Instrument delaying brexit until 22nd May. As I’ve said here before, this is the thin end of the wedge and the most likely outcome will now be an indefinate delay – probably leading to no Brexit at all

    Macron and the Gang of Four, allied with the Remainer faction in the Commons, have won a famous victory. What a disappointment.

  15. RichardM
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    2nd referendum most popular, Leave with No Deal the least. A bad night for you hard brexiters. Mogg and Johnson once again demonstrating what hypocritical lying toads they are.
    A no deal by accident on April 12th would illustrate once again what an antiquated system of government we have and that for all its faults the EU parliament does it so much better.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      2nd referendum is not inconsistent with hard Brexit because Leave would win again.

  16. Philip Stephens
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    One positive came from yesterday’s indicative votes: a substantial majority preferred No Deal to Revocation. Amendment L, which proposed revocation of Article 50 in the event of No Deal, was defeated by 293 to 184. While few MPs want No Deal, Revocation is even less popular.
    No Deal = WTO terms plus many mini-deals on aviation, medical supplies, etc. as already announced. No Deal is not “crashing out”, “over the cliff edge” with Project Apocalypse consequences as enunciated only last week by the Labour MP for Swansea West.

    • piglet
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      As Sir John has indicated, a strong, pro-Brexit Conservative Government with a positive message would probably be able to secure a majority for No Deal – even with this Parliament.

  17. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    This what you get with a Brexit built by Maybots which has to be driven by humans.

    A total dead-end after nearly 3 years.

    Best choice now is stay for a year and get a competent Brexit leader.

  18. Caterpillar
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The PM (and MPs) taking no deal ‘off the table’ was/is of course the problem (as well as the general dishonesty shown and disrespect to the electorate, if the UK had any brand value it has gone).The options seem to be

    1. Put no deal back on the table and mean it so that either (i) no deal happens or (ii) the EU changes the backstop in the dreaded backstop in the WA – it remains bad but without the risk, would squeek hrough and hopefully a Brexit PM and cabinet could make it work in the longer term even if it throws away the short (but it should not happen without the backstop change).
    2. Ask for an extension with no reason given so that the EU reject it (if it were accepted then we would get a very clear signal in the European elections).
    3. Revoke Article 50 and live with what this will cause – it will change minds quickly enough.

    Whatever happens any option with permanent in it should be automatically rejected. Any options with a CU in should be rejected. Why anyone would suggest these characteristics is beyond reason.

  19. Andy
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    It turns out you were all right. Parliamentary sovereignty is a wonderful thing. Oliver Letwin was brilliant yesterday. His response at the end of the votes was very powerful. Though it was a little hard to hear because an old duffer sat near him – a chap called James Gray (predictably a Brexiteer) was guffawing throughout.

    You had the eloquence of Dame Margaret Beckett – what a phenomenal speech – and many other powerful contributions from MPs trying to get us out of this Tory made crisis.

    And then you had Jacob Rees Mogg – insulting someone else because they did not go to the right posh public school. A reminder, if ever it were needed, that Eton needs closing down and levelling.

    • Richard1
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      No end to your chippy snearing insults. There are Etonians on both sides of the debate (as there are entrepreneurs, business people, economists etc etc)

      • Andy
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

        Not really. There are proper business people and economists on the remain side. And a handful of discredited malcontents for leave. You will always have flat Earthers.

      • Jagman84
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Andy’s like Owen Jones, but without the gravitas 😉

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      So what did Parliament decide to do Andy ?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      All private schools, Andy.

      You can’t pick and choose.

  20. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I note that May hasn’t said she’ll quit if her WA is defeated again. She’ll just keep going I suppose, her offer to quit just a ruse to discredit the ERG switchers because she knows it will very likely be defeated.

    At this point our best hope is the EU observes this shambles and washes their hands of the whole thing by refusing a further extension, because what would be the point of one ?

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Will “ Disaster Deal” pass to get rid of May?
    Would she really go?

  22. Mike Wilson
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    One might form the impression that whether we leave the EU or not is the whim of one person, not 650.

    If we leave with May’s Surrender Agreement, will the DUP bring down the government?

  23. JoolsB
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    You are too polite to say it but the speaker is biased and is trying to scupper Brexit. Why were all the options not on the ballot paper instead of just the ones he chose? Also why is he allowing the same indicative votes to be voted on again on Monday when he won’t allow the same withdrawal agreement to be voted on (not that I want May’s terrible deal to be voted on).

    What chance have 17.4 million people and democracy got when not only the majority of MPs are determined to thwart Brexit but Bercow is in on it too? We now need a general election to clear the whole place out and that includes the removal of this ………… man.

  24. Duyfken
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Is it not strange the PM has offered to resign if her MV3 succeeded yet does not give that guarantee if it fails – with her having been rejected for the third time?

    But in politics it seems nothing succeeds like failure.

  25. JoolsB
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I watched the debate for a good few hours and the thing which struck me was the number of MPs playing with their ‘phones or chatting to one another whilst various members were on their feet. I thought the whole purpose of this ridiculous charade was to compromise and listen to the views of others. From what I saw, most MPs were only interested in putting their own views forward and not interested in what others with different views had to say – so obviously not interested in compromise at all but only in trying to find ways to thwart Brexit. And why hasn’t Grieve been deselected by now? Surely he belongs on the opposite benches with ………. Soubry and co.

  26. Christopher Huddon
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The situation is obviously unclear, I think people, John, will trust yours and Boris’s judgement from here


    • Mitchel
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      You’d trust a careerist gadfly like Boris?!

      As Harold Wilson wrote of Macmillan over the latter’s exploitation of the Suez crisis;”First in,first out.”

  27. Robbie1975
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Still “No way!” to the WA.

    In which regard, please can one of you—even JR himself—shed a little light on the following.

    In reasonably meaningful detail and applied to the present facts, how, procedurally, could Parliament “overturn Brexit” if the WA goes by the wayside?

    Bear in mind they are not united, they are not the executive, and they lack bottle.

    While if things continue to go south—where else under May?—surely the Tories will eventually be Forced to save themselves and turn things around, by putting in a Brexiteer PM in favour of Canada / No Deal, still propped up by the DUP, and with the grudging support (that is, given the alternative of electoral wipe-out) of every Tory Remainer MP.

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

    For the English,
    Good Friday Agreement. , Although the British Irish Council was formed from it and the English have no representation on the body. No Vote ( the Backstop?)
    Scottish Parliament. No Vote
    Welsh Assembly No Vote
    Scottish Referendum on independence No Vote.
    The English sat back and thought well that’s their democratic right.
    Referendum on leaving the EU, one vote that now seems to mean nothing, the Parliamentarians knowingly or not are indirectly supporting the IRA.
    We now have a Speaker that the English Bill of Rights 1689 was put in place to protect us from the likes of.
    When will the Conservatives grow a backbone and form an English Conservative association as they have in Scotland and Wales?.

    • Steve
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:11 pm | Permalink


      “When will the Conservatives grow a backbone and form an English Conservative association as they have in Scotland and Wales?.”

      Oh that isn’t allowed, that would be racist and far right extremism.

  29. hans christian ivers
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    There is however a clear for wishing to leave with a deal.

    • Original Richard
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      I agree.

      But definitely not the EU’s WA where we are signing a treaty with no unilateral lawful means of exit and consequently leaving us permanently exposed to damaging EU directive, laws and taxation without representation or a veto.

      It is better to have an extension where we can still vote in the Council of Ministers, where we can veto legislation damaging to our country (where such a veto still exist of course) and where we still can elect MEPs to the EU Parliament.

      If the EU does not wish to give us an extension, then I am very happy to leave with no (trade) deal but lots of working agreements – many of which are already in place – and use WTO tariffs for our £100bn/year trading deficit with the EU.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      As trade and non-trade issues are inevitably intertwined, for your deal to emerge, we will need to exit the EU first, then negotiate. Hence, the Remainer cabal are blocking their own ambitions and this was displayed in the indicative votes yesterday. Leave without the ‘deal’ and transition, via WTO, to formal talks. That’s the key to unlock the impasse.

    • Steve
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink


      Not amongst the leave voting majority there isn’t .

  30. Newmania
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    A second referendum as the most strongly supported option and No Deal was a non starter .If you take a step back , it is obviously unreasonable for a cabal of extremists to force the country to adopt the Policies of UKIP supported by neither Parliament or the country . There seems to be room for consensus around a soft Brexit within the single market and customs union; let us proceed in that direction then.
    I don`t mean to be unkind .There is no doubt a place for rabble rousing “Nativists ” such as Mr Redwood and the charming and erudite Mr Mark Francois but we primarily require statesmen and women at this time.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Why do you Remainers keep omitting to say freedom of movement and on-going budget contributions as part of your SM/CM “compromise” ? Your option was rejected by our sovereign parliament last night incidentally, your view as a mere voter is irrelevant, that’s what you keep telling Leavers anyway.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      “it is obviously unreasonable for a cabal of extremists to force the country to adopt the Policies of UKIP ”

      It’s like there wasn’t a referendum for which 12.5 million non-UKIP voters voted “Leave the European Union.”

      You Remainers have decided there are various versions of Leave, not us.

      • Andy
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

        There are various versions of Leave. It is unfortunate that you have still not realised this.

      • margaret howard
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink


        ” for which 12.5 million non-UKIP voters voted “Leave the European Union.”

        While 16m+ of us voted Remain. Where is democracy in that?

        Our political system is not fit for purpose – an antiquated system created by the few for the few.

        We have become the laughing stock of the world with our politicians debating the 21st century equivalent of how many angels can dance on a pinhead.

  31. Mick
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Just been listening to long-Bailey talking usual labour spin rubbish and how two of the votes were narrowly defeated last night, what planet are these muppets on they got voted into Parliament in 2017 on a manifesto of leaving the custom union & single market but now want to keep us in, I’ll tell you what labour and all the other Eu loving muppets let’s have a GENERAL ELECTION and you tell your constituents you want to stay in the Eu and then watch how many of your mps are put onto the dole

  32. Brian Cowling
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    A complete waste of time in Parliament yesterday, except to show up what self-serving, dishonourable and awful people most of those that represent us are.

    Then today, in that place, the day before we should have left the EU, when we should have been preparing for celebrations tomorrow, what do we get in Parliament?

    1. Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (including Topical Questions).
    2.Church Commissioners, the House of Commons Commission, the Public Accounts Commission and the Speaker’s Committee on the Electoral Commission.
    3. Business Statement.
    4. Business Questions to the Leader of the House.
    5. Backbench Business.
    6. General Debate on Beer Taxation and Pubs.
    7. Backbench Business.
    8. General Debate on Permitted Development and Shale Gas Exploration.
    9. Adjournment. Housing.


  33. A.Sedgwick
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    England’s only hope is for the DUP to establish itself over here.

    As suspected and at best there only 15% of Conservative MPs who truly support Brexit.

    We are currently witnessing the inmates taking over the parliamentary asylum.

  34. mary
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    To Henry Carter; So you’re saying that we must stick with the horrendous Suicide Treaty aka “W”A that would give EU carte blanche to do as they damn well like with us, tax without representation to pay for their disasters and burgeoning Army; dictate and enforce how many migrants we take, the sky’s the limit; asset strip Britain to their hearts content and inflict a totalitarian state. Purely in order to beg EU for the gracious favour and privilege of talking trade with them Well there are other markets outside the sclerotic EU.
    Sorry I don’t get your “reasoning.”

    • margaret howard
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Why post the same diatribe again?

    • Henry Carter
      Posted March 29, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, Mary – now, at last, you are getting it. Those concessions are exactly the ones we have to make to keep access to our major export markets. Those Brexiteer fantasies about Global Britain and us holding all the cards – lies, all lies. But mary, it’s not too late – now you grasp how bad life is going to be outside the EU, join the growing campaign to keep us in it

      • Edward2
        Posted March 29, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        Odd how independent nations like Korea Australia USA China and others have access to Europe and UK markets.
        No open borders for them No billions of pounds membership a year for them.
        No allowing supranational courts to rule supreme over their laws.

  35. MPC
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Last week a Leave voting colleague at work recommended me to avoid all TV news programmes. I’ve been doing this now for several days and confirm it’s made me about 10% happier – or 10% less unhappy – and I would recommend it. Just reading website headlines at lunchtimes and avoiding televised interviews with Remain MPs giving unchallenged opinions, combined with reading Mr Redwood’s site for insight and morale, is enough now there’s nothing whatsoever we as individuals can do.

  36. Bob
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    “Parliament also voted against No deal”

    That is an absurd negotiating position which reveals that the true intent of it’s proponents is to ignore the result of the 2016 plebiscite.

    Even JRM and Boris have capitulated – shameful.

    Credit to you Sir John.

  37. Fred
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    We come back to my original hope, that is to Leave with No Deal. The EU playing hardball until the end were never going to ease a rational break that is reasonable for both sides. They are insisting on treading on our toes, yet shoot themselves in the leg. So be it. Bring it on, after nearly 3 miserable years. My hope is that the electorate have taken note of their MP and their justice will be carried out at the next ballot box.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Quite likely we’ll end up with a Trump and, looking from afar, what’s so bad about that ?

      Turns out that ‘fake news’ was exactly what it all was.

  38. Shieldsman
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Time is running out for enacting the withdrawal agreement. With the Speaker restating his position that there must be some material change, is MV3 ever going to be voted on?
    You Sir, summed up the position precisely six days ago and nothing has changed.
    Blackmailing her MP’s into having cold-feet, hopefully will not produce the numbers to get it through, if it reappears.
    I prefer the DUP’s stance that a 12 month extension and no deal presents better possibilities than the minimum 21 month transition period under EU rules.
    It does not revoke Article 50 which I do not think the majority of MP’s would dare to contemplate.

  39. Monza 71
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    It’s clear from the outcome of yesterday’s votes that the Clarke/Grieve wing of the party and Remainers are smelling victory if the May deal can’t be voted through tomorrow.

    The numbers make it a certainty that ultra-soft Brexiteers and Remainers will be able to stitch together a deal that they can force through Parliament on Monday. This will require the government to negotiate a Customs Union and probably Single Market membership. In other words, Remaining in the EU in all but name.

    Remainers will be brought on board by tacking on a confirmatory referendum with Remain on the ballot paper to give them a last-ditch chance to cancel Brexit altogether.

    Can you really take that chance, Sir John ?

  40. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Mess with voters on a scale never seen before and they will mess with you, big time, at the Polls.

    There are only a few honourable ERG and DUP MPs left, who courageously seek to implement the will of 17.4 million Leave voters. (Yourself included, sir).

    CCHQ should start preparing their ‘spin’ for the days following the wipe out at the next Election.

    “We need to find a way to reconnect with Voters”.
    “We did not realise the strength of feeling about delivering Brexit”. Blah! Blah!

  41. Bryan Harris
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    It’s all being stacked against us leaving on WTO terms… Not because that would be a bad thing, but because it would leave us free of EU interferrence..

    It is time for all good MP’s to come to the aid of the country and forget about the party!

  42. Nigl
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Piers Morgan brands Boris Johnson’s u turn as shameless. I would add opportunistic.

    Spot on.

    • Steve
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 7:18 pm | Permalink


      “Piers Morgan brands Boris Johnson’s u turn as shameless”

      Mr Morgan has no moral ground to lecture anyone about shamelessness.

  43. Original Richard
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    I read that Mrs. May is in “11th hour talks with the DUP”.

    Shouldn’t she be talking instead to the EU on the UK’s behalf ?

  44. Andrew S
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    29 March 2019 is the leaving date. Anything else is a sham fix by tory brexit betrayors. History will show independence day was temporarily thwarted by fakers and weasels. Many will soon be gone when this shambolic tory minority administration collapses. Others will return but over time will be ousted I feel sure.
    Boris and Rees Mogg have caved in and put their tory party interests first. Its not worth saving. Others including presumably John, and Steve Baker, DUP, show integrity.

  45. agricola
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    It is surprising that viable solutions are not even allowed to be discussed, but then there are so many under the table forces at work to scuttle our leaving the EU that I am not surprised.

    The WA is the dead parrot. It is in many critical ways an agreement that runs contrary to leaving the EU in any honest way. It also has the potential to break up the UK. Finally there is no apetite for it anywhere that counts.

    Whatever grubby deals are done they will not reflect the wishes of the leave voting electorate. Reflecting on last night, piss ups in breweries comes to mind, however most of the current lot in the HoC could not even find the brewery. The thought that they might have anything to do with any future trade agreement is too horrific to contemplate.

  46. Original Richard
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    The EU’s WA should never be signed as we should never, ever sign a treaty from which there is no lawful exit. To do so is just madness.

    A Parliament is only sovereign for the Parliamentary term and until the next GE.

    So no Parliament has the authority to give permanently away the nation’s sovereignty without receiving explicit authority from the country to do so via a referendum.

    And I cannot see how any single Parliament could brazenly sign such a treaty which would not only go against the majority vote in a referendum but would also illegally bind future Parliaments.

    That is why the Lisbon Treaty had Article 50.

  47. BartD
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Nero fiddled while Rome burned

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      And when Caligula made his favourite horse,Incitatus,First Consul,Rome was better governed than we are now!

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        Well I certainly feel like a bound barbarian being brought before the Emperor… surrounded by the spears of auxiliaries (fellow Britons no less.)

  48. Alan Joyce
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Very telling to note that Mr. Barnier addressed the European Parliament in Strasbourg yesterday declaring that “In the case of no deal… there will be no hard border”. Presumably he means that other ways would be found to circumvent this.

    Of course, the Brady amendment proposed that the backstop be replaced with alternative arrangements to avoid a hard border.

    Critics have suggested the EU has been negotiating in bad faith in respect of its insistence on the backstop on the basis that it is the only way to avoid a hard border.

    No doubt, a foretaste of things to come from the EU if or when matters proceed to the future relationship.

    • Chris
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      The address on Brexit to the European Parliament yesterday by Nigel Farage ticked the boxes, as I expected: well worth the 3 minutes of videoclip. He raises the significant issues around Brexit with added humour, asking “Do you really want me back here?”. He praised Barnier and Juncker for their preparation for No Deal (seems they have at least done their homework) and thanked them for their clarification about the non existent Irish border problem.

  49. Original Richard
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    If Parliament does not pass the EU’s WA, quite rightly because we should never, ever sign a treaty from which there is no lawful exit, then the EU on April 12th will need to decide whether to grant us a long extension or tell us to leave with “no deal”.

    I would prefer to leave with “no deal” but a long extension is still preferable to the EU’s WA as I would prefer to continue to have representation and veto rights over damaging legislation whilst negotiations continue, rather than enter the EU’s permanent transition period and be exposed to damaging EU legislation with no representation or right to veto.

    I am perfectly happy for us to take part in the coming EU MEP elections.

  50. Gareth Warren
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Its clear now we have just two options for brexit, since any possible credibility disappeared from Mr Letwin’s proposal when the parliament rejected every option. I was highly amused too by his reply to your question with the mental picture of government dutifully doing his bidding, farcical!

    Now the two options left are Mrs Mays deal or no deal. Being difficult to pass Mrs Mays deal due to DUP it looks unrealistic.

    Well there is option three I suppose, general election. Going to the electorate with a dud PM and a recent track record of failing your own manifesto will very likely result in Corbyn’s marxists getting hold of the country.

    • Chris
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      GW. there are many of May’s policies that are based on cultural Marxism. I am NOT advocating Corbyn, but merely pointing out the huge gap in the spectrum for a new political party (or reformed Cons party) to occupy, and win an election on.

      • Gareth Warren
        Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

        I agree on the cultural marxism, or political correctness as I understand it – these sort of policies will not lead to a better Britain.

        But more depressingly there are too many socialists in the conservative party, people who honestly believe prosperity only comes from government action. It is this sort of thought that motivates a large proportion of the remainers, they do not have faith in British industry making its own decisions without government “help”.

        Instead they think regulations, inspections and advice (from people who are often clueless, but paid well) is a good thing.

        One of my favourite quotes that sums this up is from Thomas Sowell “Western civilisation has spent the last 40 years replacing what works with what sounds good”.

        • Chris
          Posted March 29, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

          Agree, GW, and I think Thomas Sowell is wonderful and very wise. Often look at his videoclips on Youtube. He has some revealing comments on bureaucracy and how it is designed to spawn more committees and meetings, and create even more (government) posts. Problems are not there to be solved but instead new problems associated with the first have to be identified (and committee to examine it and a new post created to oversee). My experience of meetings with bureaucrats is that at the end of the meeting is the obligatory “Now when shall we have another meeting?” No question of deciding in the meeting to take decisive action to actually solve said problem .

  51. Man of Kent
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    In the press this morning there is a list of Tory MPs who have said they would now vote for Mrs May’s deal with differing conditions .
    Frankly the ‘deal’ is so bad that no one who believes in nationhood should sign up to this treaty .
    We would never get out of it .
    Consequently I would no longer vote for Boris or JRM as PM .
    Or any other of the 25 .
    They have placed party above their country to their shame .

  52. a-tracy
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Do you think if the people got a vote with the choice May’s WA or No Deal, the public would back May’s WA?

    • Fred
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      I sense the people would go for No Deal, HOWEVER, getting to the actual administration involved would mean incredibly painful decisive views and media while we waited for a day to vote.
      Therefore it shouldn’t be considered.
      Perhaps the H of C should be asked to vote for the choice above?

    • Monza 71
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      As Remain or Leave was decided in the first People’s Vote, the question for any second referendum should logically be May’s Deal or a WTO Exit.

      The problem is that the Remain majority in Parliament will ensure that the question is May’s Deal or Remain.

      With that choice, they know that they would almost certainly win.

  53. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    David Paton points out that MPs voted overwhelmingly to reject Motion L (Revoke A50 to avoid no deal) so TM now has MPs approval to leave with no deal if the WA is not approved.
    Although no Deal was voted down in another motion, that just shows it’s not MPs first choice. But when faced with the alternative – no Brexit – they opted for No Deal!

  54. Anonymous
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Like the EU itself. It drowns everyone in democracy. So much choice that there is none except more EU.

    The number of parties in the EU Parliament is staggering.

  55. Ian wragg
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    The destruction of the Tory Party carries on with impunity.
    Boris backs the WA in the hope that he gets a shot at PM which the establishment will never allow. May says she may stand down if her WA gets through. Another lie as she clings on to office with no power or respect. However did we get to this.

    • rose
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      You could say Boris has sacrificed himself to get her to announce her departure (not that we can trust that) knowing that he was never going to get past the majority of the PCP on to the final ballot paper, in order to salvage something of Brexit in the next stage. Desperate stuff. But so is the Spartans’ last stand. I am with the Spartans, myself.

    • Mark B
      Posted March 29, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink


      BREXIT Is showing them up for what they are. All posturing and preening with a keen eye on the top job. And not a care for the country and its people.

  56. Shieldsman
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Parliamentary process is in a shambles.
    If a consensus is finally agreed it is not home and dried.
    Someone, presumably the Government (it only has the authority) has to open negotiations on it with the EU Commission.
    How long will that take and what will be the outcome is anyone’s guess!!!

  57. Rien Huizer
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    “leaving takes place with a range of sensible agreements on things that need agreement. ”

    Like a few otherbroposals (comprehensive FTA) that is not on offer. In the case of no deal, the EU will do nothing that does not mainly benefit the EU and certainly nothing that undermines EU integrity. A realistic politician looks at bargaining power and the other side’s objectives. The WA is the first step towards a future relationship that is constructive. Antything else means conflict for a very long time.

    The political declaration appears tp be the keyntowards a Parliamentary compromise. Should Parliament agree on a PD content that abandons the so-called red lines, prevents the sort of things Labour (partially correctly and partially disingenuously) AND legislate to constrain the capacity of any May successor to achieve a radical Minfordian political economy in Britain (and Minford is supported by very few people, even in your own ranks), there seems to be an easy compromise. Labour (except Corbyn’s more extreme and ignorant handlers, like the good Ms Pidcock) seems to be ressonably OK with the WA and would be very happy to have the PD solution I was mentioning, as would be Brussels (but maybe not all member states). So there is a sloturion and I would expect a decent group of adults to find it. If someone like me can, one has to wonder what kind of games are being played here.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      Rien, by compromise you actually mean remain in the EU.

  58. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    In terms of the gross number of MPs voting for it, 268, the most popular idea was that the Remoaners should have a chance to overturn the result of the 2016 referendum through a second referendum, while the close runner up with 264 supporters was the idea promoted by the eurofanatic Kenneth Clarke:

    “That this House instructs the Government to:

    (1) ensure that any Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration negotiated with the EU must include, as a minimum, a commitment to negotiate a permanent and comprehensive UK-wide customs union with the EU;

    (2) enshrine this objective in primary legislation.”

    That second proposal was also the one defeated by the smallest margin, 8 votes, which I suppose that could mean that the final demand of the House of Commons will be for the UK to volunteer to be put in the same appalling position as Turkey.

    While the Tory MP Marcus Fysh tried to point out in his hesitant way, and over mounting background conversations, that having just a customs union does not eliminate border formalities and so does not solve the Irish problem, an observation which was supported by the Tory MP Greg Hands who explained that it had also needed the advent of the single market to get completely frictionless trade, but these intelligent and informed comments did nothing to popularise the Fysh proposal.

    There is a pattern here, and it does not show up the present crop of MPs in a good light; but I doubt that we would get a better collection of MPs through a fresh general election still dominated by the same old pro-EU main parties.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Dear Denis–But hopefully a GE would blow the main parties with their Left and Right wing mentalties to Hell in the proverbial handbasket and we would end up with, probably temporary, parties which were pro In or Out. That way might at least have a chance of getting us somewhere. I’ll believe Mrs May is leaving only when she has done so. I wish she would go this afternoon.

  59. Kenneth
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    The problem boils down to the fact that a binary decision made in the People’s Vote of 2016 to leave the eu in its entirety has been ignored and instead Remainers, including the out-of-control BBC, introduced the illogical notion of having “degrees” of leaving.

    (i) Leaving and (ii) our future relationships should have been dealt with separately.

    This was mucked up by having Remainers dominating the executive and a bombardment of political propaganda by the BBC.

  60. Everhopeful
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Doubt if Brexit would have happened without internet freedom.
    Freedom going with arts 11 and 13.
    We’ll be starved of real news and gagged for ever .
    Rotten “ Deal” will reign supreme.
    Maybe they knew this all along??

    • rose
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Too late to get the snowflakes on board?

  61. Brigham
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I am very much afraid that the way Brexit has been handled means the death of the Tory party. As I have said before, my MP is a remainer, although he is beginning to change his tune a bit, but a feel I can no longer vote for him. There will always be the, “I’ve always voted one way and will continue to do so”. The only MP that will save some remnants of the Tories, is of course Corbyn. Nobody in their right mind would accept him as PM.

    • Steve
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:14 pm | Permalink


      “I am very much afraid that the way Brexit has been handled means the death of the Tory party”

      There’s no need to be afraid, in fact you could rejoice at the prospect of merciless revenge at the next GE, where both conservative and labour parties will be destroyed.

      • Brigham
        Posted March 29, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        The labour party has more chance of surviving the next general election IMO, because of the number of non critical voters who have always voted labour no matter what.

  62. SimpleQuestion
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I would like to remind everyone that the EU DID offer a comprehensive FTA plus according to Steve Baker’s testimony to the HoC European Scrutiny Committee at the end of Jan 2019.
    He was gagged by No. 10 to not mention it. The negotiation with the EU were led by No. 10, Secretary for Brexit’s remit was to prepare the country for exiting. He starts speaking after some 2 min. Watch for 4-5 min.

    WHY did PM TM reject this offer outright and come up with her Chequers Plan and has been sticking with it despite both Remainers and Brexiteers calling it unacceptable?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Long pondered this.
      Her way of trying to please everyone inc EU and so secure “legacy”?
      She had no right..only remit was to LEAVE.

    • Jagman84
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      It was only for Great Britain, not the whole of the UK. It was a naked attempt to hive off Northern Ireland and hand it to the South. Then they have the gall to accuse us of endangering the Good Friday agreement!

  63. ian
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I see nobody put in for a long extension last night, maybe that because they couldn’t come up with a reason why they need one.

    I see the gov a plying for a long extension, they no valid reason for one and can’t the 27 or commission giving one.

    As for a customs union, the commission already has one in the WA and are quite capable of negotiating one themselves, they need the UK MPs help.

    As for new ref, Mrs T May would never agree to one.

    As for GE to late in the day and wouldn’t help remain.

    Remainers will have to do better next Monday.

  64. BR
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    What is so depressing is that increasingly your blogs come across as a powerless MP, on who is prepared to do what he was elected to do but is unable to avoid being thwarted by collusion by those in his own party,

    If ever there were a case for more clearly written rules / constitution, this is it.

    The big question for Brexit is: what are you going to do about it? How are you going to get this through?

  65. Pauper King
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    PS my total income is a third of a first year nurse. I drink, smoke and keep a dog in perfect health. I pay rent.
    I do know what poverty is. No-one in this country suffers from it now. No-one

  66. Simon
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Your description in the House of the unilateral temporary EU measures for No Deal was hilarious.

  67. simple soul
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I heartily support you Sir John for not having put a foot wrong from first to last. As to the proposed resignation, I am sure that it is just one more dishonest manoeuvre in a long line of such and will not be the last. I hope it will not take trusting folk in. There is an awful lot of playacting going on among these Parliamentarians, with a very few exceptions, and almost nothing can be taken at face value.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Simple Soul, sadly one Sir John does not a movement make. When will Conservative Brexiteers come together behind their one candidate for PM (rather than backstabbing), when will they come together to stop an in perpetuity backstop and money for nothing WA, when will they come together to ensure there is no CU? Some stayed on the payroll, some resigned, some were never on it. Some supported May when they could have removed her, some didn’t. It is time for the Brexiteers to stop competing, get a strategy, get the country rebalanced, get the country performing and get the country free.

    • rose
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      This is so right. She has come up with another ruse already: the second DWA vote was different because some bits of unbinding paper had been added to the treaty, and now the third is different because some bits of unbinding paper have been subtracted from the treaty. Just shuffling the paper clips.

    • Chris
      Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Yes, ss, I agree the need for caution. I saw something in another comments section which simply said: “May says she will resign. Tories believe her”. Sums the situation up quite well, I think. I don’t think some of those MPs have learned the lesson about Theresa May (which so many in the electorate had a long time ago).

  68. ian
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    The Eu commission and 27 are talking big today, they want to start an economic war with the UK if there is no deal.
    I say, bring it on brothers.

  69. a-tracy
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    No Mrs May, just NO. You don’t get to organise one of the worst agreements for the UK and just walk away leaving it to some other mug (Boris don’t fall for this you have a legacy for your children – May has no-one to embarrass with her historic failure) like David Cameron did whilst you to stitch up the British Public further. You wanted the job, you got it. Now sort it. If you put in A50 then didn’t use the last 2 and a half years to plan for leaving without a deal. Revoke A50 and plan to leave without a deal as you were advised to do at the time in conjunction with the withdrawal agreement and get us out properly when you have properly sorted our departure out to the benefit of the UK.

  70. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    There is an expectation by some, that once the number of options have been narrowed down by Monday, one or more of these options will receive a majority of votes. I doubt it, because MPs were allowed to vote for as many options as they wanted to in the first round of voting.

    There is another consideration. Kenneth Clarke’s bland ‘an EU wide Customs Union’ would have to take a form that the EU would approve. Bear in mind that the EU have said that ‘cherry picking’ is not allowed, would we not have to retain freedom of movement and all the rules (present and future) of the Single Market? Once these requirements were added, would not a Customs Union prove less popular?

    It is interesting to note that Corbyn’s idea – a Customs Union plus full protection of workers’ rights – received fewer votes than a Customs Union. Maybe enthusiasm for the EU’s Nanny State is not so great.

    What is emerging is that the real objection to No Deal by the CBI and the TUC is the tariffs themselves. Set against that are two positives. Firstly, that import substitution will be encouraged by the tariffs and by scrapping EC regulations designed to aid German technology. Secondly, we will be able to make trade deals with non-EU countries whose economies are collectively growing nine times faster than the EU’s.

    The first two years of No Deal would be rough but once the new trade deals kick in
    there should be ‘broad, sunlit uplands’.

  71. Kees
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    We can’t just ignore the WA and walk away..because whether we like it or not it contains terms for our departure..terms that have been negotiated over two years and signed off by twenty eight countries and so cannot be ignored indefinitely because if we want to trade with them and others into the future we have to settle the why persist with this nonsense about just walking away with no responsibility for anything it only makes you look silly

    • Chris
      Posted March 29, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Can you not understand, Kees, that we will not actually “depart” under the WA, but instead be firmly cemented into being a vassal state. That is not, by any stretch of the imagination, leaving the EU.

  72. L Jones
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    There will soon be a great concerted howl of rage from those constituencies who voted leave (the majority). We can only wonder how this anger will manifest itself. If we are ever ‘allowed’ by the EU to have another GE on our own terms, it’ll be clear then – or else another way will no doubt be found.

    Do MPs really think they can let down their constituents like this and not pay for it? No-one believes that any of these self-serving ‘remain’ people have the interests of our precious country at heart.

  73. agricola
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    So the dead parrot is to be cut in half, horizontally or vertically I know not. It will then be taken to an ICU for radical resucitation. This entails MPs dancing round it mouthing incantations after which it leaps to life to be fed poppy seeds by a joyous Mrs May. The fact that it’s co owner has no use for half a parrot, dead or resusicated has not dawned on the staff 7of ICU.

  74. Martinz
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    You guys have no idea of just how ridiculous you look from outside

    Was watching Sky again this afternoon and can hardly believe what I’m seeing

    And if this is the way politics business is conducted over there, like the indicative voting, my my! well then the only thing I can say – you should at least stop broadcasting it on Sky and BBC for the whole world to see.. better keep it to yourselves

  75. glen cullen
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    The media keeps telling us that no one wants a ‘no deal’ in parliament so how come 160 (29%) MPs voted for that option last night. I congratulate them for keeping faith with the referendum

  76. Steve
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    The other night in HoC must surely rank as the farce of all farces.

    They were at their bickering till late night, and despite eight options they produced nothing.

    I find it disgraceful that they were being paid for this. They should have their pay docked accordingly.

    The remain side because of their attempts to screw up brexit, and the leave side for not having the guts to silence the remoaners.

    I certainly don’t think they should be paid for last night’s shambles.

  77. Simon Coleman
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    MPs were not elected to get us out. You don’t know what a General Election is. Are you seriously claiming that 82% of voters at the 2017 election voted for Brexit?

    • Edward2
      Posted March 29, 2019 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      Read the 2 main parties manifestos Simon.

  78. Ian Pennell
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    On the subject of Indicative Votes, the whole exercise will be repeated on Monday (subject to the Prime Minister’s Deal being rejected again) and “Customs Union” will certainly be one of them- it almost won yesterday. If the House of Commons DOES approve it Theresa May will come under real pressure to pivot towards that type of “Brexit”. She is so Weak- and inclined towards retaining close links with the European Union- that legislation could be rushed through Parliament (Parliament could try and do this itself and make it legally binding on the Government to adopt this “Brexit” policy).

    Given this situation, I am happy that Theresa May has finally agreed to resign after getting her “Deal” through Parliament- but there is one caveat: If Theresa May does not get her “Deal” passed and a Customs Union “Brexit” is Mandated upon the Government Brexit will be holed below the water-line. If a Second Referendum (with a choice of Remain or BRINO in it) is foisted upon the Government the Conservatives will lose the next Election. In both cases, Theresa May could well cling to office.

    Pressure thus MUST brought to bear upon Theresa May to resign No Matter What; if her Deal fails to pass there is even more reason to take her- and the current Remainer Parliament- down ASAP because Brexit is then at real risk. This will involve getting more Brexit sympathetic people in the Cabinet like Sir Liam Fox and Sir Graham Brady (representative of back-bench Conservatives) telling Theresa May that she “MUST RESIGN- Or Else!”. The “Or Else!” is Brexit supporting Tories and the DUP voting with Labour to collapse the Government in a No Confidence Vote. This should be sufficient- but if not this Catharsis needs to be carried out very soon.

    Such drastic measures are the only way to protect the Conservative Party from later electoral annihilation), and the only sure-fire way of stopping Remainer MPs from collaborating to Overturn the 2016 Referendum Result by Stealth. When Theresa May does resign you need a quick efficient Tory leadership campaign to get a pro-Brexit Leader. Then, the Prorogation of Parliament followed by a General Election- with the Tories campaigning on a pro WTO “No Deal” Brexit and popular pro- growth platform- will almost certainly lead to a Majority Conservative Government.

    However, Time -and the Speed of Acting (should Theresa May not go and BRINO looks likely)- are of the Utmost Essence!

    Ian Pennell

  79. Ken Moore
    Posted March 28, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Parliament often talks about how it must have more candidates from ethnic minorities or women. How about having more Mp’s that have a reasonable grasp of a few basic issues instead of box checking ?. Perhaps some engineers or scientists rather than career politicians. ?

    I watched the Brexit debate last night and not one Mp, not one! had the wit to make the point that it is impossible to join EFTA if the Uk is in a customs union as would be the case with CM 2.0. Similarly other proposals are shot through with holes and contradictions which I won’t bore everyone with here. But just to say our Mp’s have not done their homework. They don’t understand how the EU works and are not willing to learn as in their own minds they know it all already.

    Full of his own pomposity and self importance speaker Bercow sanctioned a vote on a proposal that was complete and utter nonsense!. And the sad thing is nobody commented on this – if parliament was a manufacturing company nothing would work or fit properly and the works would be half derelict!.
    What have we done to deserve this house of self serving fools. I should add there are a few bright stars ,John Redwood, et al but they are few and far between. Most couldn’t tell a bi lateral trade treaty from a customs union so prefer to stick with their nanny EU..

    These people are stupid (present company excepted) and rather scarily… they do not realise how stupid and ignorant of the basic facts they are

  80. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted March 29, 2019 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Things are looking up. Tomorrow’s vote is MV3 in all but name because the Political Declaration is non-binding. If the House of Commons votes down the draft Withdrawal Agreement and the none of Monday’s indicative votes gets a majority, then we will have deadlock. There is a very good chance that Macron will pull the plug and force No Deal on the UK. It’s a humiliating way to get what we want but it’s the result that matters.

    • Monza 71
      Posted March 29, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Macron is like the emperor with no clothes.

      If he were daft enough to try and force us out of the EU without a deal, Merkel will squash him flat. After all, the German economy is showing every sign of tanking and the last thing her struggling car industry needs is an extra 10% tariff on exports to their biggest market in Europe.

      This morning Mervyn King was on the Today Programme and it was a joy to hear him saying exactly what most of us posting here know to be true :

      May’s negotiating strategy has been totally inept from day one.
      She started by giving away our strongest cards in return for nothing.
      Parliament has now totally undermined any chance of a good deal by taking No Deal off the table.

      Why do political parties put us into a situation where we are almost always forced to choose between one hopeless candidate and another that’s even worse !

  81. Chris S
    Posted March 29, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Looking back at the last change of leadership in the Conservative party, it seems that I and many others were wrong in thinking that May would be a better and more reliable pair of hands, particularly compared with the largely untested Andrea Leadsom.

    Andrea looks to me to have been an excellent choice as leader of the House and, seeing what a total hash May has made of the Brexit negotiations, I suspect she would have been the better choice of the two. At least she started as the one candidate who believed in Brexit !

    We can only hope that the next change of leader doesn’t put Boris in charge. That would make us even more of a joke across the world than May has done.

  • About John Redwood

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

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