50 shades of delay

Remain leaning MPs dream of all kinds of delay. Some would accept a short delay, hoping it would lead to another short delay. Some want a long delay. Opposition MPs want a delay for a General election or a second referendum. It is difficult to see the Conservative party in Parliament voting for either a General election or a second referendum A small number of Conservative MPs want a delay effectively for a renegotiation which the EU has not offered. In the recent free vote on delay 200 Conservative MPs refused to back the Prime Minister’s short delay until April 12th, which passed on Opposition votes.

Parliament’s indicative votes about a different future from either leaving without the Withdrawal Agreement or leaving with it imply negotiation of a delay. The problem with this approach is that the things they want relate to the second part of the negotiation with the EU as defined by the EU.The EU has made clear the UK has to sign the Withdrawal Treaty Parliament has three times rejected before such talks take place.

The wish of a lot of MPs to have a customs union relationship could only happen after signing the Withdrawal Agreement which they rightly refuse to do. The EU has said they would consider a long delay as long as the UK participates in the European elections in May. This is a  very uninviting prospect for either of the two main political parties, who could expect a strong challenge from pro Brexit parties angry at the delay.

Yesterday Parliament was offered just four choices for the future, as the number of propositions was whittled down. Because it is a Remain dominated Parliament there was no Brexit option left to choose from. Leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement was removed and my preference for a WTO/Free Trade offer exit was not available either. We had a Customs union proposal. We were offered a plan to create Common Market 2.0 with a customs union and single market membership, implying freedom of movement, some financial  contributions and acceptance of single market laws.  We had a motion to require a confirmatory public vote for any exit plan, which would mean a referendum running any final deal against staying in, with no proper Brexit option on the ballot paper. There was finally a motion to secure a delay or failing that to revoke our notice to leave.

The government should have asked all Conservatives to vote against all four options, which all pro Leave MPs were willing to do. All four were against the Conservative Manifesto of 2017. It was good to see there was a majority against all of these ways of stopping Brexit. The Cabinet should take note and agree our exit on 12 April without the Withdrawal Agreement.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Yesterday’s indicative votes were, once again, I am pleased to say, all defeated, albeit some only narrowly. Hopefully there will not be further attempts to push any of them again, although I still fear the putrid WA will be voted upon for a fourth time. Regrettably, unlike you, Sir John, many MPs still appear to have either not fully understood the devastating consequences of approval of the WA, or do understand, but wish to ensure the UK remains tied to the EU. Hopefully some of those who previously opposed the WA, but buckled and supported it last time will by now have come to their senses and will again reject it. If so, that surely must be the death knell for the treacherous deal.

    If a Customs Union is pursued, it is likely to be disastrous for the Conservative Party, so perhaps the fact that 170 (or perhaps now even more) MPs have written to Mrs May urging her to back a No Deal Brexit may place her in a position where she feels she has no choice but to accede to such a request to avoid political oblivion for the Conservatives at the next election.

    It is now vital that any delay, short or longer, is totally resisted and the positives of a WTO exit publicised, with every effort being made to get this message out, despite the determination of the BBC and the MSM to only focus on fabricated negatives.

    Please continue with your valiant efforts, for which we thank you.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink



    • Hope
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      We read the deliberately leaked advice from the top civil servants who give apocalyptic warnings of leaving on WTO terms. I have to say it is for the fairies. But it would not surprise me if Treason May beleived it or commissioned its writing. We read and hear how Hammond is working his remain tactics through cabinet and backbench MPs. Now he wants a referendum claiming it is better than an election.

      May has had since October to change the backstop. She has failed or not tried because it was devised in collusion with EU.

      May and Brandon Lewis supported Boles against their own supporters and activists who want him gone for failing to act on what he was elected for, he replied by disowning the Tories because he could not get his own EU fanatic way! May and Lewis publicly support Grieve against supporters and activists for failing to agree on what he was elected for in writing and what he said. May and cohort of remain cabinet failing to act on manifesto and what they said publicly to get elected. How do you think this is going down with all Tory supporters! What can your party tell voters in the future that will be beleived?

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      I believe the only reason the Conservative MPs want to back a Customs Union is to try to make it a Labour party brexit because that’s Labours desire and there is a hope that the buck can be passed when people realise we’re completely surrendered.

      • Hope
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Your lying dishonest a PM May announced the destruction of your party tonight. Openly telling everyone that she is prepared to betray the nation and its people not to leave the EU.

        In so doing why would anyone vote for your party when she has confirmed that she is willing to work with a Corbyn to thwart out vote, the largest in history, her servitude plan voted down by the largest majority in history, because reaminer parliament does not want to leave the EU. It also shows that her claims about Corbyn are false. We might as well have Corbyn as PM.

        Time to bring down this government. Under the EU it matters not who is in government in any case.

      • Richard
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

        Only 37 & 33 Conservatives voted for CU & “Common market 2.0” (236 & 228 Cons against – Cabinet ministers were whipped to abstain). This is quite encouraging.
        So our dear ‘fanatical remainer’ (per A Civil Servant) goes looking for a Labour Party dominated Grand Alliance.

        Time for Clear Blue Water & Clean Hands.

    • Merlin
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      I fear all this infighting will lead to a conservative split and a Corbyn government.

      Strangely I don’t fear a Corbyn government, as others do. Mainly because he has no control over his party, so I can’t see how he plans to pass legislation. I think it will lead to more paralysis, more ineffectual government, more of the same.

      I still think it’s hilarious that Brexit looks like it will result in a customs union that neither side wanted and leaves us more at the mercy of the E.U than before. However, it does take us out of the core E.U group and the E.U army et cetera, so I guess it delivers on the referendum.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        You should do. May is carrying on with a policy despised by the majority of her party but for one reason and another she is still in office and still pursuing it. Once the neo Marxists are in power they will be able to exercise sufficient control over Labour MPs by extra-parliamentary means as we have seen.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

        Something might have escaped your notice Merlin, Tom Watson is the de facto leader of the Labour Party. He and the Blairites took over weeks ago. If they got into power, we could expect another pro-EU interventionist neo-liberal charade much the same as we got last time. And that ended really well didn’t it!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        I certainly fear a Corbyn/McDonnall/SNP government. They will just start confiscating people’s assets, increase taxes (even further than the dire Hammond has), will destroy the property market and will hugely damage economic confidence.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


        It does not deliver on the referendum. One of many failures the HoC, media and possibly you make, is to simplify to Remainers and Leavers. This leads to MPs, and others, wrongly believing that they should seek a compromise (or pretending such). I suggest the reality is that many voters in the referendum made a compromise in their vote. For example a major reason I voted leave was to leave the CU; although I have views on free movement this was of lower importance to me (and potentially some benefit). Others are happy being in the CU whilst not liking free movement. So I say again, we all already made compromises in voting whether to leave completely (even though there might be some things we don’t like giving up) or voting whether to remain (even though there are consequences we don’t like having).

        MPs ought to be able to grasp this, they should not force a subset on the population which would have less backing than either completely leaving or completely remaining. This is why a referendum was the correct approach, and this is why a complete Brexit is needed…we have all compromised in our own ways in our voting.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

          And now, despite the Leave compromise beating the Remain compromise the (so called) PM May is now going to seek a compromise with Mr Corbyn. So the HoC will try to deliver neither of the options of the referendum. Political gaming, elitism, antidemocratic and a lack of intelligence.

      • stred
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        We are already signed up to their PESCO army.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I agree fully with all of this. Alas May seem to get almost every single decision she takes completely wrong. Let us hope she finally get two right. Leave on 12th and then resign please.

      Let us also hope more people do a Richard Drax. No self respecting nation should ever be entering such an appalling treaty. It is not Brexit or “respecting the referendum result” in any sense whatsoever. It is a £39 Billion straight jacket.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        May got it wrong yet again. The woman is a complete and utter sick joke.

    • Pominoz
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      And I now see that the aim is to have BOTH May and Corbyn in charge of the Nation’s future.

      What a joke!!

  2. Helena
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    There is a lot of confusion here, but no one is more confused than John Redwood. In your second paragraph you – correctly – note that the EU has made clear the UK has to sign the Withdrawal Treaty before any trade talks take place. Then in your fourth paragraph you state a preference for a WTO/Free Trade offer exit. So you propose something which – as you yourself have admitted – is not now and never will be available. Is this confusion, or are you perhaps not approaching this in good faith?

    Reply Not so. The EU has said they would probably discuss free trade after we have left. It is the future partnership free trade plus options that have to be negotiated whilst still in.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Without the Withdrawal Treaty being ratified by Parliament, we just leave the EU on 12th inst. Tout simple.

    • Helena
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      You are simply wrong. The EU has said – very clearly – that if we leave without a deal, and renege on the payments and the Irish backstop, there will be NO trade talks. No deal means no deal

      • Chris
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

        It is not as you describe. READ Article 50. No deal is “defined” under Article 50, with the procedure to follow in that event – WTO rules. It also stipulates that the leaving country should be dealt with unfairly.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:38 am | Permalink

        There are no payments to renege on. The payments are only agreed when parliament has voted for them or some court or arbitration process has determined them.at the moment these payments are simply an offer by May and her hapless civil servants in a vain attempt to appease the EU.

        It is unlikely the EU will want to start a trade war they have enough other problems and have a £100bn trade surplus with the UK at stake. They will not maintain unity for such a foolish policy.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      I’m sorry, Helena, but if you think the EU will simply give us the cold shoulder and actually refuse to come to reasonable terms should we just leave (as voted for by 17.4 million and 498 MPs — before the latter proved themselves untrustworthy liars for the most part) then you are gravely mistaken.

      For one thing, you very seriously underestimate just how important the British market is to some of our continental neighbours, and the sheer weight and intensity of pressure that would be brought upon the EU Commission by its member states when that tariff-free access begins to bite. Principally Germany, by the way — and we are all well aware just how influential they are within the union.

      If I may suggest, with all due respect, it behooves us all as sensible voters to actually look into matters more thoroughly than most of us really do. Ignore the scare stories, fake news and hyperbole, and look at the cold, hard facts based on actual research, statistical data and carefully considered & explained expert opinion. Sites such as The Bruges Group, Briefings for Brexit, BrexitCentral and LawyersForBritain would all be very good places to start.

    • Northern Man
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      One thing Sir John is not is confused. Both the UK and the EU are already members of the WTO so there is already agreement to trade on those terms. Once out of the EU it is in the EU’s interest to quickly establish a free trade agreement with us – something they have no motive to do under the woeful WA.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Sir John – it must be galling to have to waste time explaining things in words of one syllable to someone who can’t grasp simple concepts, but very kind of you. Especially in view of the implied insult (remainer, obviously).
      I wouldn’t have bothered.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Article 50 doesn’t state that a leaving nation must sign a WA before trade talks can begin, in fact it says that the WA and the “future relationship” are to be “negotiated and concluded” which implies they are to run concurrently and be agreed by both parties.

      The WA should never, ever be signed for one reason alone and that is that no nation should ever enter into a never-ending treaty.

      Additionally, in our case, no one PM/Parliament is allowed to sign an agreement which binds all future Parliaments in perpetuity.

      In this respect at least, the WA is worse than exiting EU membership which of course is how it was designed to be. At least the Lisbon Treaty contained Article 50 allowing a member nation to leave unilaterally.

    • margaret
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      i will have what you are having and said in the past for all regular blog readers.

  3. Stephen Priest
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    This year we have had at least 11 votes on “soft” Brexit options. All have been rejected.

    Sadly, in typical EU fashion, only one of them has to be voted through once to end a true Brexit.

    • Al
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      If you want a good example of EU democracy, the article 11&13 (now 15&17) votes are a good example. During the meeting the vote order was changed, leaving even the presiding officer confused. While the motion passed by 5 votes, 13 MEPs stated on record that they had wanted to vote the Articles down, and instead were recorded voting against the amendments that would have struck the Articles down.

      The EU parliament has said there will be no second vote and the result stands. Techradar among other sites has details.

  4. Stephen Priest
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    Nick Boles himself out.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

      Boles doubtless will not call a by-election to see what public support he actually has as he is clearly not a democrat. At least if we have a general election we will rid parliament of him and the TIG Soubry types and hopefully get rid of the appalling Bercow.

      • zorro
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

        So Nick Boles cries off in a hissy fit because his own Party didn’t support his option as it flew in the face of what had been promised to the nation in the manifesto in recognition of the public vote to leave the EU institutions. Well never mind… :-0


      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        Some dope PPC (from the Treasury) called for him not to go. Perhaps he should go too.

    • Peter
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      “Nick Boles himself out.”

      From the pavilion end?

      He certainly left the field of play with a big flounce.

      • Jagman84
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        No, he was caught out at (a) silly point….

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      He left without a deal!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      The Common Market 2.0 proposal was by far the most rediculous of them all. Totally unrealistic.

  5. Peter Wood
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Lets say, as some pundits predict, that we defer leaving but do NOT participate in the EU parliamentary election. How much of a problem is it for the EU if a member state is not represented as their rules require?

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      Peter “Let’s say” doesn’t work with the EU. They say: you do. They have the bright ideas. You do not.
      It is against their law for any state not to be represented in the EU Parliament with properly elected MEPs. And they are not going to change that. Why? Because it goes right against their ethos as expressed most recently in the Lisbon Treaty, signed by Mr Brown.

    • GilesB
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      As someone who left the U.K. over fifteen years ago, I am already an EU citizen with no vote in the European elections.

    • matthu
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      None – they will simply impose a massive daily fine …

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      It is not just a “problem”, it is actually illegal under the EU treaties. There is absolutely zero chance of deferring past the end of May without being forced to hold British elections for MEPs. Indeed, the EU are even less likely to bend on that one than they are on reopening the WA treaty…

    • Timaction
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      That’s lip gloss. If they agree the WA that’s the reality of where we would be. In it with no say or escape, legislated against to remove our competitiveness so May can recommend going back in post haste. She really thinks us a bunch of fools. Who keeps who here? Who represents us, the people, here? Answers on a post card.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      It is unlawful (EU Law) for members not to be represented at EU Parliament and would hamstring EU business.
      This is why the EU faces a dilemma about 12th April which is the date by which candidates for the EU Parliament elections must be nominated. Therefore, logically speaking, on 12th April the EU must grant an extension or accept a no deal departure and they cannot grant an extension without it being requested by the UK Government.

  6. oldtimer
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Is it not time that the 1922 Committee changed its rules so that the Mayrrionett can again be challenged and removed from office without waiting until December? What passes for government is farcical. Parliament controlled by a biased Speaker is useless. It will take years for the political class the recover from this debacle.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      Indeed. The pathetic marionette dancing for the EU needs to be buried as soon as possible. You cannot have an election under May/Hammond and we might need one quite soon.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–There are idiots around who say we have to be led by May in to any GE because we need her experience. Ye Gods!! Boot her out on her ear this afternoon and put Boris in charge by acclamation or in a non smoke filled room. He would win an election going away. Where are these people who don’t like him? In Parliament of course.

    • Mcbryde
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      That wouldn’t matter much in the future if we’re dragged further into the EU. The political class would probably have much reduced power to govern and with no veto power

    • GilesB
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      The Parliamentary Conservative Party should force Treason May’s resignation by eviscerating her cabinet.

      Call for a vote of no confidence in the Chancellor.

      Then Rudd, then Hunt

      Make up your own list …

    • Timaction
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      They have created a reputation amongst the populace as arrogant, useless, lying deceptive, self serving etc. In favour of a foreign entity the EU in preference to their own people. Total ignorance. EU loving cry babies. We want our sovereignty, culture and Governance in all its forms back here to the people. We all know Parliament cannot be trusted and needs to be accountable again. The voting system, right to recall and independent scrutiny by those wrong doers in the House needs significant change. They can no longer police themselves as Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

  7. Mark B
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I read on line all the proposals. There was one question I found myself asking as I read through the list. “What would the EU agree to ?” You see, there is no point in, for example, offering parliament a Common Market 2.0 if the EU are going to flatly reject it. Which they would. It truly amazes me that the people who ‘we’ charge to look after our interests are so completely detached from reality.

    Once more I say, there are only two choices on offer. The first is to agree to the WA. The second is to Leave without a WA. These two choices are mandated in Article 50. Parliament refused the WA so we must Leave without one. All this is just wasting time and making the UK a laughing stock.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Mark B
      AND ( as far as I ever understood) that is exactly what we were told until leaving without a WA looked likely!! Talk about changing the rules as you go along.
      And May has always made such a thing about that vomit inducing mantra of **** FAIRNESS. Yuk yuk yuk.
      And now will they waive the rules regarding EU elections so they can have a longer delay?
      How are they getting away with all this??

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink



    • Oldrightie
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      A succinct and excellent comment. Sadly the remain Parliament is so in thrall to the unelected EU Commission and their own UK Mandarins as to tremble at acting like grown ups and leaving this cabal of protectionist, undemocratic dictators. One such member of that gross organisation our very own PM.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      “The UK is a laughing stock” Sadly, in some quarters, you are correct.

      There is a great deal of schadenfreude from our supposed friends on the Continent and further afield? I also believe there is deep-rooted disdain for the British people, which is, in reality, simple jealousy? Interestingly, however, support from our Anglosphere friends appears to be unwavering.

      Once we have left the EU, everything will return to normal, and the real day to day issues can be addressed. This Brexit debacle has gone long enough; at worst it has shown us the reality of our current so-called Political class and how dysfunctional, disconnected and incompetent they truly are..with the exception of our kind host and a handful of real Brexiteers!

  8. Newmania
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    The fact that Nick Boles and Dominic Grieve have no place in this new Brexit Party shows you how far it has come from Conservatsim .
    Many Brexit voters are Conservative and were not prepared to impoverish the country, tear up decades of regulation. No-one was interested in our chimerical trade Policy and whilst immigration is unpopular, only for your ex BNP allies is it all consuming . Common Market 2 is the median point in the country , you do not speak for Brexit voters; only extremists and you own increasingly isolated Party membership .

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

      “tear up decades of regulation” yes that is exactly what we need, most do far more harm than good. Creating largely parasitic jobs and damaging productivity.

      • Geoff Travers
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

        It’s the “decades of regulation” that are the lifeblood of free trade! Scrap the regulation and you get trade barriers. This is what the Brexiteers have never understood – they dream of freedom from regulation, but regulation is how the world of international trade functions

      • Newmania
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

        Where shall we start then, maternity leave, paid holidays, safety at work soft toys without handy sharp edges, to what is it that you object exactly ?
        What about rolling back the progress made by New Labour in dragging our primary schools out of failure
        What we need is a few more disadvantaged children left to rot . Do you know what really drags this country back , its super abundance of old do-nothings and addiction to debt.

      • Andy
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

        Which regulations? I always ask. You never answer.

        Ones which hold back business by stopping 10 year olds working down the mines?

        • Al
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          You’ve been answered before about regulations. so a few examples:
          VAT (e.g. VAT on fuel, health products etc.)
          Digital VAT, and very recently Article 11&13 (in practice these have always benefited large firms to the detriment of small businesses and actual creators),
          The Fishing quota allocation,
          The regulation structure around benefits that actually costs people money for being in work or volunteering,
          The Make Tax Digital Initiative is another purely UK one that’s causing problems.

          There is a lot of unnecessary or overcomplicated regulation that could be scrapped.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

          Yet slavery has returned to the UK via the EU. And what’s *modern* about it ?

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted April 4, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            Totally unnecessary use of the English language and just fake news and propaganda

        • Edward2
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          I always tell you and you never remember Andy.

        • Richard1
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          That regulation was banned in the C19th – by a Tory Govt – not by the EU.

          How about: the CAP, the CFP, the ban on GM crops, the promotion through regs and taxes of diesel and wind power, much of the dysfunctional bank regs which make banks more not less risky, the regs designed to disadvantage Dyson vs German vacuum manufacturers, the planned tax harmonisation, the effective ban on shale gas fracking. The absurd new rule on quoting Content on the Internet, to prevent entrepreneurship in the media sector, etc. Will that do for a start?

        • Jagman84
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          That’s the sort of silly comment that shows your immaturity.
          Small businesses are hamstrung by EU rules for exporting, when the overwhelming majority of them only trade in the UK home market. It imposes punitive costs and reduces the opportunities for employment. They become a one man band almost by necessity.

        • L Jones
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Oh, Andy. Andy! You can do better than that!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

          Do we have many mines left?

        • Steve
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

          Did you say something, or was it gas ?

        • libertarian
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink


          Dont tell big juicy fibs, apologise immediately, myself and at least 3 other regular contributors on this site have repeatedly provided lists of the regulations most in need of scrapping

          No wonder you and your friends have zero credibility


          The regulations that shut down legitimate business, the regulations that outlaw the internet , regulations that allow the transport of live animals for slaughter . I’ve provided the list so many times

        • Gareth Warren
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

          I would remove expensive EMC testing that goes far beyond looking for real problems, every device tested has to be covered in copper tape with special leads – unrepresentative of a real product.

          Better too how about get rid of legislation that compels a company to declare a product contains fish on a packet of salmon, wattage maximums for domestic hoovers and incoming speed limiters for cars.

          I’d recommend you take a look through the electronic recycling directive, full of statements like “try to reuse when possible”, complete waste of time.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:13 pm | Permalink


        I had a late night researching items for a friend prior to their early morning radio interview and I got up late so you beat me to it LOL

        People should see Peter Hitchens’ YouTube video if they want to learn about regulations. The EU spews out entitle libraries of the stuff and they’re looking for even more space to put it in!

        The EU gravy train feeders have got to try to justify their massive salaries and pensions somehow. That cursed place will eventually become so bound up with regulations, even those who conjured up this nonsense won’t be able to extricate themselves from the mesh.

        Best the UK gets to hell out of the EU whilst we can before its too late, and let’s show these closed-minded bureaucrats that we only need to keep the best, they can keep the rest.


    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

      John also speaks for the majority of MPs who rejected Common Market 2.

    • Ginty
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      What’s remotely conservative about the EU ?

      What’s conservative about saying stabbers have a disease ?

    • agricola
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      Just more apptly headed drivel.

    • Richard1
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      If Nick Boles, Dominic grieve etc think it is absolutely unconscionable to leave the EU without the EU’s permission, which is what they are saying, then they should not have voted to hold the referendum, to respect its result, or to trigger article 50 in the first place.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      The fact that Boles describes himself as a ‘Liberal Progressive’ is enough to show that you are posting utter nonsense, as per usual. The daily insult was poor today. Running out of ideas are we?

      • John C.
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Jagman, I assume you are a Remainer, not by the content of your post, which is unclear, but by the unpleasant, sneering tone. Are you all like that?

    • L Jones
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      And there we are again. Remainer – offensive comment.
      This time you attempt to insult all of us, Newmania. I am not an extremist, and neither are the people who comment here. It must be a sign that you feel you have no argument, or losing the feeble one you hold, that the only way you have of expressing your frustration is to give offence.
      You never give good reasons why the UK should cling on to your EU overlords’ apron strings, or why you admire them so. Nor why they are so desperate to shackle the UK ever more tightly. Tell us, do – you seem to believe you know it all.

      • Newmania
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        No Deal is the outcome to which the largest majority object out of any alternative according to U Gov polling. If you do not wish to accept the term extremist ( who does) then you must at least , as a matter of fact, admit that you are unusual

        • Edward2
          Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

          You keep quoting You Gov poll but others show a different result.
          One reported yesterday by Guido Fawkes but ignored by our news media showed a majority preferred leaving on April 12th on WTO rules.

      • John C.
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        The only argument that Remainers faithfully produce is that we are better off as we are. By better off, they mean have more money (minus 39 billion pounds, I suppose). Even suppose this were the case, and it is by no means proven, it is purely materialistic. Ideas such as freedom, self-determination and sovereignty mean nothing. A nation of shopkeepers indeed.

      • Steve
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink


        “I am not an extremist, and neither are the people who comment here.”

        Actually Jones that is not entirely accurate. I’m one, I must be because I hold patriotic views.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Common Market 2.0 is what you would call a unicorn, and if that really is the median point for the country then our political class and mass media should stop peddling lies and start giving truthful explanations to the population.

    • Woody
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      So anyone who is determined to implement the will of the people .. to leave the Eu , its single and common market, its legal and regulatory system and its funding arrangment, as was promised in no uncertain terms in the referendum, is an extremist ? Now that IS an extremist talking.

    • Howard Roberts
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      You are obviously not a conservative – conservatives just love to ;tear up decades of regulation’.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        I would have put it slightly differently. True Conservatives like to tear up unnecessary regulation. For instance, true Conservatives would like a simplified and streamlined tax system. That we still have a complicated tax system gives us a clue that the Chancellor and his supporters aren’t really true Conservatives.

        As for tearing up decades of EU regulations, it wasn’t clear at the outset that the EU would morph into something so bureaucratic, so even a true Conservative could be excused for any initial error, but having seen what a diabolical and dangerous institution it became, a true Conservative would move heaven and earth to get us out.


    • NeverReady
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      …and Boles and Grieve are Conservative or conservative or ……what?

      They both want to thwart the result and both want to remain in the EU. I suspect that is why they are not part of the “Brexit Party” (sic)

      Brexit isn’t really about the Party politics, is it?

    • outsider
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

      Dear Newmania, The “median” is an objective statistical concept, the fiftieth of 100 per cent, so that the median of referendum votes would be Leave. Your median is the mid-point of a entirely subjective spectrum of alternatives drawn up by you. Personally, I would have thought that “Common Market 2.0” was the closest to Remain of all the alternatives debated in the HoC. That too is subjective but can you think of any of the alternatives that are closer to Remain?

      • Newmania
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

        Outsider, as you are probably aware opinion has shifted against Brexit since the referendum . The polling I was referring to was measuring degrees of dislike as well as support
        A second referendum , for example is hugely divisive with strong opinions held by almost all on both sides. Common Market 2 is disliked strongly by relatively few people and is not strongly objected to to a good proportion of Brexit voters

        These people who are not as loud seem to have been forgotten

        • Edward2
          Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

          You still haven’t told us what question you want on your referendum.
          Two versions of remain I presume.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink


      We can pinpoint how many of the Brexit voters are not extremists by deducting the BNP’s highest membership (I’ll be generous to you, Newmania.)

      You never mention how good we all are.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    The government should indeed have asked the Conservative MPs to stick to their manifesto promise to the electorate. But alas it is led by an appalling disingenuous remainer using a broken compass and a stuck record (and with an even worse tax to death, incompetent dope as Chancellor)

    The cheers for Richard Drax let us kill the fatted Calf.

    The country and the Conservative party are crying out for a real Brexit and for a real, small government Conservative policies. Only the dire and pathetic Libdims who masquerade as Conservative MPs stand in the way. At least some have already gone and Nick Bowles has finally gone too thank goodness.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      HMRC seem to think they will collect £9 billion of extra tax from their expensive making tax digital agenda. Well not from my businesses. It will cost me about £2000 extra per year thus reducing profits, making us less competitive, damaging company productivity, wasting people’s time and so reducing my ( and million of other companies) corporation tax bills. The government shooting the economy in the foot yet again. How did HMRC come by the £9 billion figure? The figure is surely bound to be a net negative in reality.

      One assumes some MPs are acting at “consultants” for the accounting software companies! What other reasons are there for this lunacy?

    • L Jones
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      We shall never be allowed to know (it seems) how many other Richard Draxes there are as Mr Bercow won’t allow a fourth vote on the ”deal” if it looks like being defeated again. He is anything but impartial. How can he be allowed to continue in this vein?

      Can a Speaker be ‘got rid of’ (in a way that doesn’t involve a lot of mess and stains on the Woolsack)?

  10. BW
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Don’t you think it is disgusting that all Brexit amendments were left out by Mr Bercow. Assuming that any future vote on the WA will be rejected, and I hope it is. Also that there seems no appetite for a long delay. Is leaving on the 12th on WTO rules any closer.

  11. BW
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    As a staunch Brexiteer wanting to leave on the 12th on WTO rules. I think I am correct in being happy that none of the pro remain amendments passed. Are we ever going to be able to sit back in the confidence that we can organise our independence parties

    • Oggy
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Letwin and Cooper now taking over Parliament again tomorrow with a bill to stop a no deal Brexit, which will mean absolutely nothing.
      It just goes to show they don’t understand that it isn’t one sided. If the EU refuses to give another delay we leave with no deal whether they like it or not.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      BW. We need to play the long game. First up, local council elections and EU Parliament elections.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Would a massive Conservative defeat in the council elections be enough to shift May from office? I doubt it. She needs to be Prime Minister to steer her ultimate betrayal through. I can see a time when she’ll chain herself to the Downing Street railings whilst the new PM moves in.


  12. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    There are now only two offers on the table because at the moment, the EU is calling the shots.
    1. Take the (Diktat) Withdrawal Treaty. This means hanging Arlene Foster and the NI people out to dry. It also means being under the cosh of the Joint Committee and, ultimately, the EUCJ. The EU are going for more unity. The German economy is faltering. The future does not look promising in the EU. And the Germans know to their cost what happens if you trust the EU (with your D Mark).
    2. Stay in. Just exactly what a lot of people want and are too canny to admit to. Wimps. They have a duty to explain why they want to stay in. They are too scared to do that.

    Otherwise we just leave on 12th inst.

    • William Simpson
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Mike Stallard: that’s 3 options. the one unnumbered, “just leave on 12th inst.” is certainly my preferred choice, but apparently has little or no chance of happening given the Remain bias in parliament.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      It should be that straight forward Mike… but I suspect May will be off to Brussels, just before the deadline to beg for another delay… and even though the EU has already said they want a concrete reason for the delay (GE or new referendum) It is all but certain that if May gets herself into this situation where Parliament is unable to reach a clear decision, that the EU will grant that delay anyway – we should know how fickle the EU is by now…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Just leave on 12th April – that is the only way to save the UK and indeed the Conservative Party.

      Appeaser May then resigns in richly deserved ignominy is replace by a real Conservative and then the Tories win the next election (against the dire threat of Corbyn/SNP who cannot continue to sit on the fence over Brexit).

      “Simples” as T May might say.

      Anything else the Tories are dead in the water.

    • Paul H
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      In which case the DUP would promptly hang the government out to dry and some of the ERG might even back a VONC. And the implementing legislation would then fall, and it would be a complete mess.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Spot on, Mike. Leave MPs spend time explaining why we should escape and get all of our country back. Remain MPs never try to tell us what is so imperative about allowing the EU to tighten our shackles. There is no attempt by them to win hearts and minds, to say why they think the ‘leave’ vote was wrong-headed, and thus why they feel compelled to act as they do.
      Their arrogance is truly breathtaking.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      I would just add a cautionary note for those who wish to stay in.

      The current Treaties are out of date and not fit for the future strategy of ever closer political unity. By 2030, at the latest, the UK will dragged into Schengen, the Euro and the European Defence arrangements.
      If any ‘Remainers’ think that our ‘opt outs’ will be honoured in the new Treaties, I invite you to think again!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Mike Stallard,

      Agreed. Following Barnier’s reported indication that it is the WT or no transition then the options are simple for May

      1) Force the WA through – pretending to recognise the democratic referendum, ignoring 3 meaningful votes in the HoC, risk becoming a rule taker forever, extend uncertainty.
      2) Revoke A50 – ignore the democratic referendum but leave the electorate to respond in European elections (and perhaps a GE)
      3) Leave with no deal on 12th April – recognise the referendum, recognise the 3 meaningful votes, reduce the period of uncertainty, potentially save her political party (risks showing May, Hammond, Government and Civil Service lack of preparation for no deal, but can be offset by efficient execution and a final few months of effectiveness for the PM).

      1) would be a ridiculous choice to make, so that is what the PM and her Government will do.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        ‘Civil Service lack of preparation for no deal’ as indicated by more Project Fear today … one does wonder whether those who should have been making preparation for no deal, whether Govt or Civil Service are conspiring to hide their failure should the UK manage to leave.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          And now we have Yvette Cooper et al. wishing to bring forward a bill to prevent leaving with no deal. It looks.like an admission from the opposition and some Tory back benches that they too don’t wish to get caught out for not holding the Govt to account w.r.t. preparing for no deal. All those who have prevented / limited / not called for preparation are, seemingly, now trying to protect themselves.

          Supporting no deal and it’s execution would of course serve the UK better.

    • Grahame ASH
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink


      I just wish you are correct. I believe there is a condition in the granting of that extension by the EU, that the Govt has to indicate to the EU a way forward before the 12th April, for consideration by the European council. If that is the case the extension from 29th March to 12th April is conditional on complying with the EU’s requirement. So what happens if the European council refuse to accept the UK to depart on WTO rules, what then? Now, I realise how devious the PM and the EU are, so I am not as optimistic as many we will leave on 12th without any encumbrances, if we leave at all.

      Perhaps Sir John would like to clarify and comment on my submission.

  13. Dominic
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Time for this nonsense to stop. The ERG must find a way to depose this most poisonous of politicians masquerading as a Tory leader. Do anything you can to depose her, anything

    Most Tory MPs need to understand that we can smash Marxist Labour across the country. Remain Tories will vote for a Brexit Tory party. And Brexit Labour voters will also vote for a Brexit Tory party.

  14. agricola
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    As you say, leave on 12th April with no WA , our trade reverting to WTO rules. Then submitt a FTA proposal.

    I am heartily sick of the media who on such post vote occassions dig out the most negative people to comment. Last night we had to put up with Drommey dispensing cliff edges and catastrophy. Not one presenter has the whit to demand he explain himself, yet they see fit to constantly interupt any Brexiteer. We are badly served by our media.

    The Cabinet such as it is, needs to get leave as above implemented as soon as possible or collectively resign along with May to be replaced by people who can lead.

  15. Nigl
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    I note Gove and Hunt felt unable to support their own pary’s manifesto presumably because they do not believe in it. Obviously if that is how they view a manifesto, I will equally treat theirs with contempt should they get the top job.

  16. BW
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    After last nights voting. There will be many Tory voters wondering who to vote for at the next election as they will see those that voted for the remainer amendments, as I do, as betrayers of the referendum. Personally I would never vote for any MP who tried to thwart a clean Brexit, no matter what party they are. So I consider myself fortunate indeed to have Sir John as my MP. It makes my decision at the next election very easy.

  17. KMILLS
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Delighted that the indicative votes were voted down which I heard on last nights radio news.An MP….I believe Mark Francis(?)….then popped up and very quickly told the interviewer where to get off and then suggested that Hammond had been up to no good beavering about in the background. I cannot think that the BBC will be anxious to let him have the oxygen of the airways again,but he sounded to me like just the sort of bloke we do need to tell us the truth.
    In that respect are we not in a dreadful place.At least we thought many years ago that Heath was telling us the truth and it took us a number of years to realise the the important bits were lies…….now we are aware as the words come out of their mouths that they are telling total porkies.Clearly they do not care.

  18. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Following the precedent set by the speaker on the withdrawal agreement then neither Common Market 2.0, A customs union or another referendum should be presented before Parliament again without substantial revision. They have all been voted down at least twice.

    Therefore tomorrow we should see completely new (leaving) options not the same ideas regurgitated.

  19. Kevin
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    “the number of propositions was whittled down. Because it is a Remain dominated Parliament there was no Brexit option left to choose from.”

    It has become apparent that we are not being governed under a system that is grounded in a commonly held sense of ethics, principles and duty: we are simply being governed under a system. Those for whom politics is their day job know how to operate this system. We need to catch up.

  20. RichardM
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    The Brexiter amndments were ruled out because they were the least popular in previous round of indicative votes. Mays deal was your best option. A long extension and a referendum between remain and whatever flavour of leave you politicians eventually agree on now seems likely.

  21. ChrisS
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    We have been told that Parliament will not allow us to leave without a deal. This is the basis on which some of us have been suggesting that May’s deeply flawed deal is the only way to secure Brexit. However, is there anything that the Remainers across the house can actually do to prevent us leaving on WTO terms on 12th April ?

    As WTO Terms are the default position, does the Government actually have to pass any more legislation for us to leave on the 12th ?

    If the answer to both is no, it is evident that only the Government can stop us leaving. After last night’s events, is there a majority in the Conservative Parliamentary Party to urge May to replace some members of the Cabinet and carry on and leave ?

    Of course, the Government could at the same time, immediately table a FTA as our host has recommended.

    If May is one of those not prepared to go along with it, she should be replaced.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    It would seem a WTO deal (sadly miss named as No Deal) needs to be explained to some Mp’s, as they do not seem to understand that most of the World trades under such a banner (including the EU) if they do not have free trade agreements in place, and it already has a dispute procedure which covers fishing rights.

    It is the logical move forward and also a sensible default position, and our Government would be in full control of any tariffs set, thus we will once again be a sovereign Nation.

    Uncertainty for business is immediately removed, and it will encourage any nation that wants to do business with us (including the EU) to get their act together and talk trade with us if they want a better deal.

    Simply do not understand why this solution has had virtually no air time for sensible presentation.

  23. acorn
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    As it has become near impossible for me to get past moderation; and, assuming the UK leaves the EU on the 12th April, can I just say for now, number crunchers are looking at what happened to post communist Cheqoslovakia, as the most likely model for post Brexit UK. Google the following:

    David Warsh shares the thoughts of Peter Murrell, author of “The Nature of Socialist Economies: Lessons from Eastern European Foreign Trade”, on how economists might look to the experience of Czechoslovakia when attempting to forecast the effects of Brexit.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      You need to consider the relative GDP of the two nations.
      UK is huge by comparison.
      The study is ridiculous.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 4, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Don’t take it personal acorn it’s happening to all of us, Sir John is obviously very, very busy at the moment.

  24. Al
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Mark Sedwill’s charming letter, leaked this morning, makes it quite clear that the civil service, at least, are well-embarked on Project Fear 3.0. As he is repeating all the debunked comments from the last round, such as the security claims debunked by the security forces themselves, is it not possible to call him out on this?

    I wish you the best in trying to get common sense through Parliament.

  25. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Job One today is to ensure that May doesn’t call a general election. With her in charge, with the parliamentary party divided, with Labour intent on doing anything to gather Remainer votes, and with the shambles of May’s ‘negotiations’ fresh in peoples’ minds, a Marxist government would be the inevitable result. In a way that would be an appropriate legacy for Theresa May. She will have achieved something no-one thought possible. The mood music from Brussels is that ‘No Deal’ is a lot closer: good – it will be the saving of this Conservative government.
    P.S. I’ve been thinking this morning how lucky we are that this Cabinet wasn’t in Southwick House in June 1944 charged with making the D-Day ‘go’ ‘decision. We would still have a million troops in tented camps across southern England.

  26. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Strong leadership, with total integrity, is what is missing here.

    May is not honest enough to admit her plot has so far failed, and we can expect her to keep on pushing carrots in certain directions or ‘persuasion’ in others, until she runs out of breath or carrots, or indeed MP’s.
    If we are not going to get a real leader to give us a WTO Brexit, then I feel it is up to Tory Brexit MP’s to make a substantial impact by resigning the whip – Or resigning from the Tory party


  27. Richard1
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Obviously a longish delay will be agreed next week. I don’t see the big issue with the EU elections other than the Conservative Party might not do too well. What we need is a change of leadership. Mrs May is hopeless at every level unfortunately and needs to recognise this herself and go.

  28. Shieldsman
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Before the options were even voted on, the most likely choice, the Customs Union was not really available.

    The penny had yet to drop for Sturmer and the Labour Party on the terms the EU are asking for the Customs Union. They had not read what Guy Verhofstadt was saying.

    “What we expect is that a proposal could reach a majority around the customs union and then we are prepared, on the EU side, to renegotiate the declaration and to include that customs union therein,”

    “That new political declaration can then be approved at the European summit on April 10 and then we will give the British the opportunity to formalise it in English legislation by May 22”.

    The bone being waved under MPs’ noses by Mr Verhofstadt is the very same dog’s dinner thrice served up by Mrs May – her deal or a long Brexit extension.

    Brussels will only rework the Political Declaration if MPs back the Withdrawal Agreement they have rejected three times already.

    Over to you Mr Corbyn. Are going to tell the Public you have changed your mind about the WA. If not what do you propose? Labour accepts the referendum result (and a Labour government will put the national interest first)

  29. Thames Trader
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    The ERG and various Leave organisations should be making a more co-ordinated and concerted effort at publicising all the benefits of leaving without signing the Withdrawal Agreement as well as debunking all the myths and untruths spread by Remainers.

    Sir John does a great job with the above but this site on its own is not enough.

  30. Neil
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    I’ve now heard Mark Francois, a doughty member of the ERG, twice say ‘up yours’ – once in a speech to pro-Brexit marchers, and again to BBC radio yesterday, with particular reference in the latter to the Chancellor, accusing him of working with other ministers and members across the House to defeat Brexit. Can anyone put any flesh, beyond speculation, on the accusation?

    • rose
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      The first indication is that he has refused to prepare for a WTO exit. He has also announced it is physically impossible to leave without a treaty. He has never once said anything positive about Brexit or produced a budget such as Sir John would have done that would be propitious for our future status as an independent country. As to actual collusion with saboteurs, I would expect Mr Francois, a former whip, to know what is going on in the House of Commons.

      Mr Hammond is now bracketed with M. Delors.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      If you had kept up with events like his repeated comments on “leaver extremists”, never criticised by his derogatory remarks about leaving by the PM, who often rebuked all leavers, not making adequate funds available to ensure a smooth leave with a few bumps as possible, a stated alliance with all leavers, may I go on………….

  31. GillianbJilleyy
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Sir John. What do you think the prospects are for us to Leave the EU on 12th April, bearing in mind the MPs have rejected every indicative vote? Has Theresa May now ran out of options?

  32. libertarian
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    So another so called Tory outs himself as a LibDem… Bye Nick Boles you won’t be missed

    At what point is the Conservative Party going to wake up and smell the coffee. Because your party is under the grip of a top down, centralised control ( based on an EU model) oligarchy its been hijacked for the last 30 years by disenfranchised Libdems

    Its about time you handed back control to grassroots members and once again became a true Conservative party . To be honest the best way of doing that is if May, Hammond and the awful crew in charge won’t go , then I suggest the true Tories leave them and start their own party. You’d sweep the board

    • Mark B
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I think our kind host did an article sometime ago about entryism. I wonder if he had some of those who have now walked the walk in mind.


  33. NickW
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Has the Government petition site been hacked, or has the Government been playing fast and loose by removing petitions and pretending they were never there.?

    I signed and got an e mail to verify my signature on 66028912; “Leave the EU without a deal on April 12th. The petition got up to 150,000 signatures, but now if I click on the e mail, the petition site says “This petition was rejected” You might like to sign and share one or more of these (alternative and similar) petitions.”

    On that list is “Leave the EU without a deal on April 12th” 248281. Click on that and it takes you to a page saying “this petition was rejected”

    Or another alternative, “Leave the EU by April 12th 2019, with deal or no deal, 250967.”
    Click on that and you get ” This petition was rejected”

    Will the Government simply stop pretending and abolish elections? Rewriting history and pretending that petitions with massive support never existed is a huge step down the path of totalitarianism.

    But there is a petition you CAN sign, and it’s a new one, “Support the Prime Minister’s Brexit Deal 233104” It has 174 signatures. It will doubtless be up to ten million within a couple of hours.

    The shameless dishonesty is unbelievable.

  34. nhsgp
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I’ve read the withdrawal agreement.

    Why does the EU get to tell the UK how much it owes, and the UK is then force to pay it?

    Why are there no numbers as to the payments?

    Why is their no cap on the payments?

    How can MPs sign a deal without knowing the cost?

    Ask remainers why they are voting out of ignorance.

    Why John, would you sign that deal without knowing the costs?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink


      I have likewise read the W/A and it beggars belief that some Mp’s think the only problem with it, is the backstop.

      You highlight some of the other basic problems, there are far, far more which I could list.

      The fact is we get absolutely nothing in return, other than the EU remains in control
      of the next round of talks, but by then we then have absolutely nothing left to bargain with, so it will be another EU walkover.

      Remain is better than this deal, although that is the second last thing I want.

    • Blinkered
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Because it is the UK that is leaving and has to pay the bill

      Because there are too many zero’s in the number

      No Cap just the same as happened at the treaty of Versailles following WW1

      MP’S can sign any deal they like because it is the tax payer who will pay

      Ask leavers why they voted because they saw 350 on the side of a bus

      John would sign anything if it got us straight through to WTO Rules

  35. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Well done Mr. Drax

    Good bye Mr. Boles

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Tories – one is, one isn’t, but for me, there’s another big difference – I respect Mr. Drax. I never could respect a gutless liberal.


  36. Gareth Warren
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    I was intrigued to hear 0of the AfD speech Mr Mogg referred to.

    Watching it she made a very reasonable complaint as to why Merkel was wanting to punish the UK. I do not know if she was merely referencing the WA, or future trade relationship though.

    Lets suppose it was future trade relationship friction, under WTO rules they can claim the maximum tariffs.

    We can and should keep tariffs at zero for essential items for industry and essential food, but I think the tariff may well be a much fairer tax that VAT.

    So if this tariff war comes about why not embrace it, a 12% tax on luxuries such as BMW’S and Volkswagons may well pay for a reduction in VAT down to 10%. I could imagine a PM standing before the public like the repealing the corn laws to announce such a fairer change in the burden of taxation.

    Coupled with a reduction in taxation due to no fees to pay and we have a much brighter future, in this scenario only a no deal brexit will work, the country are increasingly behind it, but relying on the EU to give us this will not do – they will extend endlessly.

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Has anyone bothered to ask themselves what the DUP will do if one of the half witted, half-Remain options is selected by Parliament. Will the DUP then bring the government down at the first opportunity?

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      One would hope so!

  38. glen cullen
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Leaving on WTO terms on the 12th April (29th March) is what the people asked for.

    It will bring certainty to parliament, bring stability to business and bring faith to the voter

    It might just save the Tory party in the next election

  39. ukretired123
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    It was interesting to see Richard Drax admitting he should have been true to himself and voted accordingly. Pity he didn’t read or action your blog last week how you arrive at your difficult decisions. Still to err is human and to admit it in public is honourable despite all the brickbats.
    Given all the flip-flopping in this Parliament there must be many other MPs like R. Drax who did not vote in an honourable decision and what is so special about TM saving Dominic Greive?
    Exposure is topical so what you never hear is what the EU get up to in their secret meetings over the last 50 years. Comparisons with secretive FIFA are apt given billions go in but little is known how their decisions are arrived at. Also as Sir John points out no Remainer can extol the future advantages of staying in, so many have no idea what they are voting for by Remaining other than footing eye-watering millstone bills ad infinitum.
    Thank goodness you are a like rock, a beacon of hope in a tempest of emotional torments for many of your fellow MPs.

  40. Stred
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Conservative MP Merryman for Leave Bexhill and Battle wanted to have a Right Sort of People’s Vote with a choice between the WA capitulation and Remain. Is it time to have a meeting with his local party? He seemed to be very peeved that his Treasury approved plans to stay in the Customs Union had been thwarted.

    • rose
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      I have been nagging my mother to ring him up and write to him for ages now, as she lives in Bexhill.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      Too many remainers in government for the good of the country. Time to thin them out. Better still, de-select them altogether. It’s now down to local associations to do the patriotic thing.


    • Timaction
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Hello Neil from above. Who do you think put this up under cover? The clue is he works for Mr Hammond!!!!!!!!

  41. Stred
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The latest fear story on LBC this morning was about sheep farmers who will not be able to sell a third of their lamb if we leave with WTO. It really is incredible that Mr Gove’s department has not told farmers what they will be doing after leaving. Is there any reason why wr can’t use the money saved subsidising the CAP to subsidise hill farmers in return for keeping the grass short. Perhaps freeze the meat until it can be sold after the tariffs are agreed. The French, Dutch and Spanish farmers will be telling the EU to hurry up.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      As there will apparently be food shortages after we leave the EU, maybe those sheep farmers will find the UK market more receptive to their produce.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Stred what is Gove playing at, he should be asked why his department hasn’t made plans or spoken to UK farmers? Lamb could be promoted for sale in the UK without importing lamb from elsewhere, schools and hospitals could be persuaded to use more locally grown lambs in their meal plans. If we import fewer pigs (due to EU intransigence) we will need an alternative.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Better still, Stred! We clearly do not have too much Lamb in our country because we import some from abroad. I’m not a Sheep Farmer but might it be conceivable that the Lamb we don’t export could be sold to the British consumer?

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

      I will buy more of their lamb, using the money saved by not buying Irish beef,

  42. Alan Joyce
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    Presumably, when MP’s debate indicative votes once again Mr. Bercow will limit the motions on offer to two. If these are both rejected what then; a single motion for a customs union? May I suggest he makes the No Lobby off limits so as to ensure MP’s can only produce the ‘right result’.

    This pattern of voting until the correct result is achieved is pernicious. Dominic Grieve lost a vote of no-confidence held by his local constituency party and I presume they will now try to have him deselected. However, CCHQ says Mr. Grieve is wonderful and that he will stay.

    CCHQ takes its cue from the EU. Obviously, both think that ballots are not valid if they produce the ‘wrong’ result or that the stupid and ignorant should vote again so that they produce the correct one.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      It just goes to show how detached from reality many of them are!

      • 'None of the above'.
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

        * And the Electorate!

        • 'None of the above'.
          Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, I meant “detached from the Electorate”.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      At least four times and five if that doesn’t work!

  43. Oliver
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Simple question – is it true that, under a Customs Union, tariffs collected on our trade go, as at present, to the EU? So we can’t mitigate the cost of more expensive footwear, etc?

    And even simpler – why not simply point out that Brady/Malthouse is deliverbale, and it is simply the EU’s choice to quit their permanent punishment brexit, or be responsible, 100%, for “No Deal” – and indeed remind everyone that it is their original intransigence, during Cameron’s “negotiation”, that made Brexit necessary?

    • Mark B
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      I believe a large percentage does as does VAT. It is not just the contributions that they will be losing.

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Here is a little letter I have just sent to a national newspaper, with references appended to back up each claim:

    “It is a sad comment on the state of our politics when 261 MPs are prepared to vote for a proposal which is actually a legal impossibility.

    I refer to the crazy plan promoted by Nick Boles MP, under which we would join EFTA and therefore be required to remove all customs duties on goods imported from the other EFTA states (Article 3 of the EFTA Convention), while continuing to allow the EU to determine what customs duties we would apply, including on imports from the other EFTA states.

    So, to take one example, at present the EU dictates that we must impose a 13% tariff of Norwegian smoked salmon, and continuation of that tariff would obviously be incompatible with the zero tariffs which operate within EFTA.

    The legal impossibility of this particular “compromise” scheme was pointed out by a Norwegian politician in a UK national newspaper as far back as December, saying:

    “It is not an option for the UK to stay inside the customs union … if you are part of the Efta platform … ”

    but Mr Boles chose to ignore that; and now that his suggestion has rightly been rejected again he has flounced off across the floor to join the Opposition.”

  45. William1995
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Every day the Conservatives keep May as leader they are haemorrhaging votes. Their reputation is becoming increasingly unsalvageable. We are shoving the Country further towards a Marxist government.

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    And here is another little letter, this one to our local newspaper:

    “We all know that Prime Minister Theresa May repeatedly pledged that we would leave the EU on March 29th, but has now broken her word.

    Perhaps less widely known is that she has also repeatedly stated that we must have our own independent trade policy after we have left the EU.

    Why, then, did she fail to appear to argue that case when MPs were debating whether we should seek a continuing customs union with the EU?

    Would she really be content to see this country reduced to the same humiliating position as Turkey, which has foolishly accepted EU control of its trade policy without any say, even to the extent of being forced to open its market to other countries without any reciprocation on their part?

    If not, if she does not want us to be treated by Brussels in the same way that London treated the American colonies before they finally rose up and freed themselves, why did she not knock this crazy idea on the head the moment it was first proposed by the Labour party?

    Over the past two and half years we have witnessed the extraordinary spectacle of a government which never attempts to refute attacks upon its central official policy, and in fact sometimes appears to be the original source of scare stories and other fallacious criticisms.”

  47. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    “Trust the people – I have long tried to make that my motto; but I know, and will not conceal, that there are still a few in our party who have that lesson yet to learn….

    Yes trust the people. You who are ambitious, and rightly ambitious, of being the guardians of the British Constitution, trust the people, and they will trust you….”

    Lord Randolph Churchill, Birmingham 16th April 1884

    Remainiac MPs, especially those in the Conservative Party who are resistant to the democratic outcome of the 2016 Brexit referendum, should read Lord Randolph’s words and blush with acute embarrassment.

  48. Kreplach
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    It’s as if the Brit politicians looked across the pond, saw all the prevarication and disfunction and said, hold my beer.

    It will be interesting to see who get’s the biggest hair cut in this politician made disaster.

  49. a-tracy
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Why does PM May just keep speaking to her cabinet and putting the same deal offer up time and time again? Surely it is the people whom refuse to sign her WA she needs to meet with to fully understand why they refuse to back her and what they wish to do instead and allow them to set out their stall – if she’d listened to them in the first place she wouldn’t be in this mess she has lead us down. A strong leader always listens to the dissenters to get a full understanding not just keep trying to railroad them or threaten them.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Remember who went behind the back of her Brexit Secretaries Mess rs Davis and Raab? She also hid the fact she was writing a secret white paper with her Civil Serpent Robbins. She colluded with Mrs Merkle and the EU before agreeing Chequers with them……….She then ambushed her Cabinet at Chequers and the rest as they say is history.
      The most dishonest treacherous, disingenuous, unworthy, dim Prime Minister ever.
      Let me know when she’s selling her car as I need a fool who will accept any deal as long as she can sell it!!!

  50. P Moore
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I ask for information, please.

    Like many, I had thought that we would leave on 29th March – by Law. What is to stop them revoking the same on 12 April & indeed kicking it down the road for ever?

    • Les
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Also, please excuse my ignorance,
      Is it within May’s powers to go to Brussels as UK PM and simply sign her WA?
      Would this be all that is required to bind the UK?

  51. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Indeed they should. To contrive further delay would be inexcusable, yet I’m certain May will be continuing with her plots and deceits even though all have been exposed.

    We must leave clean and free and immediately.

    All power to you and your fellow patriots.

  52. Les
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Very little attention is being given to the very large blame which belongs to the EU and its negotiators for using their “we are bigger than you status” to have made the WA completely unacceptable to the UK – either government or people.
    Notwithstanding the total abject compromising incompetence of the British government and its negotiators, the failure of the EU in their bullying greed is surely an even bigger factor than the remain factions in the HoC.
    How intelligent people in the UK can want to continue to be married to that lot I fail to understand – to be in an arms length (amicable) trading and travel etc. relationship is perfectly reasonable.

  53. Kees
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Again John too many ‘should’s’
    But there’s a good chance now you’re going to have your wish granted 12 april ..but what then? Do you think we’re going to start straightaway with FTA talks with them without first settling the WA business..no chance..no chance

  54. John Hatfield
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    “The Cabinet should take note and agree our exit on 12 April without the Withdrawal Agreement.”
    Can the Cabinet do that without interference from Parliament? If so that is the way to go.
    It solves all the problems other than the CBI’s Philip Hammond.

  55. JohnWoodcock
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I have two questions:
    1. Why is it assumed that the DUP would maintain confidence and supply in the event of MPs signing off the Withdrawal Agreement?
    2. In a parliament in which party discipline is now so chronically weak, extending even to members of the cabinet, and in which MPs have shown a willingness to take control of the executive function (excepting money bills, but only because they cannot get their hands on the public purse) … in all this furore why would the Conservative Party not desire a General Election to restore order and normal function?

    • Timaction
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Because they will be slaughtered ! Who could ever believe a word they say or any manifesto promise they make??. I’m waiting for Jacob to call at my house as I have a few words to say to him.

  56. Steve Pitts
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Would Labour really prefer no deal to WA if they really thought they were the only options? I think not.

  57. Little Englander
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Nobody wants to say this or admit it but there are only TWO options available which are:
    1) revoke Art 50 and apply to join the EU as a full member accepting ALL the conditions that the EU requires including the euro which would give us STRENGTH and INFLUENCE at the Top Table additionally give us the voice/power in the decision making not only in the Political Agenda but also Trade Contracts and Agreements inside the EU and crucially with the OUTSIDE world.
    2) Have done with this Political organisation by LEAVING the EU COMPLETELY and forever with No Deal to find our own way in the world which we can do and which everyone knows ‘we can do’ if push comes to crunch. The Business sector in this Country will survive and prosper – THAT’s WHAT THEY DO – and they will find their way to albeit perhaps in a different direction. CHALLENGES make them bolder and stronger.
    Half – In Half – out with no voice, no power, no control is HALF- ASSED.

  58. Robert Riley
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    As I understand it Article 50 which states we leave without a deal after 2 years if one has not been agreed is written into the Lisbon Treaty.
    Therefore can our own MP’s just vote to have no deal taken off the table. Surely this has to be changed at EU level and the Lisbon Treaty reopened to change the wording provided it had the agreement of the other 27 EU members.
    I would be grateful for your clarification on this.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      There is actually a worrying aspect to Article 50:

      “the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State”

      It doesn’t specify what will happen if that “agreement” is not signed up to by that “State”.

      Other than:

      1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

      Denis !!!!


  59. Sue Doughty
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Correct. We should leave with no deal on April 12th 2019 and then the whole scenario is changed and new. We are no longer a member state and the EU will be speaking to us as an independent nation state next door. Then we can talk of a customs union, and all that science, security, prevention of famine stuff as equals.
    Brits living across the channel have already got their new driving licences in hand as if we have left the EU on time. They arrived yesterday.

  60. Barbara Stevens
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    its obvious there will be no agreement as things stand.. and Mrs May appears to be a stumbling block for the party, voters will not support her or her deal.. the ‘speaker as think ruled out her deal appearing for a 4th time.. it should be binned.. we now should seek an interim leader is she removes herself, which should be allowed by the party; she lacks support in real terms. Then we should consider taking the no deal route, and end this saga once and for all. Labour are playing party politics with the commons and the nation..and we should at all means think about a GE which is a testing time, and risk with a Communist leading the opposition. Time for decisions within the party, and for the nation.. May should resign and a temporary leader installed..for the time being.

  61. Sirhc
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink


    You repeatedly put the case for a clean Brexit, which I support. How does this happen without precipitating a GE? Also, I repeatedly see the claim that parliament will stop this from happening in any case. What gives you hope that they are mistaken and a WTO EXIT remains a viable outcome ?

    If it does precipitate a GE there is the same probability of a GE if a customs union is chosen through the vindictive votes process. The only up side here being that delivering on the former would deliver a strong base to take the Tory party through an election, whereas the latter would see the Tory party head for the political wilderness.

    • Les
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      There are quite a few questions today from us laymen –
      could you give a
      response for them please?

  62. BR
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    Is it now apparent that May is complicit in the plot to remain?

    Surely any PM would by now have said to these people ‘What you are proposing is against the Conservative manifesto and cannot be sought or abetted by this government. Furthermore, you are repeating the same options. Your indicative votes have been held and noted but nothing further will be taken into account. Essentially, this government will not act on your instructions.’.

    She must also realise that if the WA is voted through then she will lose the DUP and there must then be a GE, which the Conservatives will lose partly because so many (normally) Conservative voters will blame them for failure to deliver Brexit and partly because they do not have the funds to fight an election (nor the activists, since they are thoroughly disillusioned with the party).

    The WA has become a suicide note and Labour realise this, which is why they are pushing to pass it in some form or other. May and her WA are in danger of destroying the Conservative party (I will not be voting for them again unless Brexit is delivered whereby we leave all EU institutions and end FoM).

    She has to go. Now.

  63. BR
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Further to the above – there is a majority of Conservative MPs for leaving on April 12th, so why does she need to care what the parties who are NOT in government think?

    The HoC voted through the Withdrawal Bill, which had a default of WTO, therefore the HoC has ALREADY voted for no-deal.

    • Chris
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      This seems to be one of the things that Helena, who posts on here regularly, cannot understand, BR.

  64. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Given that the eurofederalists have been lying about the “benefits” of the EU Single Market for years I guess we should not be surprised that they have also been lying about the “benefits” of the Customs Union for decades.

  65. Mick
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    My blood pressure is at boiling point just seen Labour’s cooper table a motion to avert a no deal, these bloody Eu loving remoaners soul aim is to thwart Brexit nothing more nothing less, come the next GE I hope to see less of these anti British pro Eu loving remoaners kicked out of there seats the sooner the better

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      She clearly wishes to spend more time with her husband 😉

  66. Richard1
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    A detailed response is required as a matter of urgency to the letter from Sir Mark Sedwill which has been leaked, no doubt deliberately. Food prices will go up by 10%! Gadzooks, that must mean an absolute plummet in the FX rate as much food comes from domestic sources. It also means presumably, that we won’t be cutting tariffs? If by some miracle the £ doesn’t move much and tariffs were cut, presumably food prices would fall?

    the police and courts wont be able to cope? why not? will EU countries just stop co-operating with us? Don’t we co-operate on eg anti-terrorist activities with countries such as the US with which we aren’t in intended political union?

    We will have to reimpose direct rule in Northern Ireland. Why exactly, it might continue much as now?

    Firms trading with the EU will need bailing out? Why? Are we expecting a blockade or access to be blocked for UK trade, contrary to international law?

    Presumably this is partly project fear and partly civil service arse-covering. But I suggest a detailed response is ‘put into the public domain’ by some party wanting a robust approach by the govt at this 11th hour.

  67. Kevin Lohse
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Question. It seems to me that the EU are content to run the clock down and leave this Remainer Parliament with the option of either May’s WA or revoking Art 50. The carnage wreaked on our damaged political parties by the fallout from either option would effectively emasculate UK governance and make resistance to the EU’s agenda impossible. Is it possible for Art 50 to be revoked at this late stage?

    • mancunius
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

      Possible? The EU would bite May’s hand off if she backed the idea. They would then chew her, spit her out, and elect, not Corbyn, but Starmer PM in her place.
      You think they can’t – they can.

  68. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    A downside for the EU of a long extension is that then, as a member, UK gets a veto over future budget setting for the EU and assorted other matters. Quite a big lever if we have a PM prepared to use it at that point.

  69. Shieldsman
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    Why am the only one who has to have his comments moderated.
    It would be more appropriate if the bizarre comments of the pro-eu Andy and Newmania were.
    They never have any proven facts to add, so I just ignore them.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

      Not only that, I think our kind host would have fewer posts to moderate.

  70. outsider
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Many of the Ditchers in the HoC claim that they are looking for “consensus” but to this outsider there is no possibility of consensus on this matter because opinions are so strong and divided, as in the country. A second referendum might deliver a different split but it would certainly not bring consensus in any normal meaning of that word. In the corporate world it tends to mean 90 per cent agreeing. In the Commons, a majority of one, let alone 52/48 would be greeted by some as “consensus”. Perhaps they are taking their lead from the European Council or Mrs May’s Cabinet.

    • outsider
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

      Two thoughts after the PM’s statement:
      1) If Mr Corbyn now proposed a motion of no-confidence it would probably pass with abstentions.
      2) If the final Customs Union deal were pitched against Remain in a confirmatory referendum, as Labour would wish, Remain would win heavily on a very low turnout.

      • rose
        Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

        On 1 it seems to me this is yet another ploy on her part, or the part of people behind her, to keep her in power, by staving off the VONC she fears her own backbenchers may join in.

        I agree about the In/In referendum.

  71. a-tracy
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    If he accepts Cooper/Letwin/Benn then what about a Redwood/Hoey/A.Foster opposite act, to leave on April 12th – discuss free trade after we have left and the future partnership if they want one.

    Or a simple vote one or the other – revoke or leave. Not delay (please no you will send us all into paralysis they C4 and BBC news teams will meltdown.)

  72. mancunius
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Not entirely off-topic on the subject of delay: A division this afternoon on revoking EU Geo-blocking took a full twenty minutes, with only half the House voting, and the chamber nearly empty during the ‘debate’.
    One member spoke for thirty minutes, with not a great deal of moment being argued on either side: in fact the Hon. Members seemed keener on using the occasion to promote their personal opinions on Brexit. The Undersecretary of State spoke for 8+19 = 27 minutes.

    Can division not be carried out more speedily using an alternative method? And can the House of Commons be used more effectively, just as any sensible company would want its expensive plant, staff and infrastructure to be used as effectively as possible?

    It might be argued that MPs are addressing their constituents’ business instead of being in the House. But in that case, I’m wondering why my own MP (who was not there today) does not take the opportunity to reply to her own constituent’s email addressing her refusal to respect the result of the referendum.

  73. Steve Pitts
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    If Theresa May is working with Corbyn and thinks we need a long delay does it mean she is effectively supporting Labour? Is she now effectively Labour Party leader? So how many conservatives are left ?

  74. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Good grief, just listened to our Prime Minister.

    She now says vote for the Withdrawal Agreement, and I will include Corbyn in the next round of negotiations.

    Talk about the worst of both Worlds.

    Complete and Utter madness, for goodness sake get rid of her NOW.

  75. George Gunn
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    The PM has AT LAST thrown you ERGs under the bus. Hip hip hooray! Bring on cross party talks and a supersoft brexit

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Once the EU have us right where they want us they will bleed us dry. And you, and people like you won’t be laughing then.

  76. agricola
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    So May the socialist has a plan. First divide your core support. Then try to conive with the oposition to get an emasculated form of leave through Parliament. So gelded it will not be leave in any meaningful way. It only serves to confirm her duplicity and unfitness for office. I predict it will destroy the conservative party in the country, and do little to further the cause of democracy. I hope that Nigel Farage in the guise of his new Brexit party puts the skids under this whole rotten establishment cabal.

  77. Marcas MacAedha
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    The Conservative party will split as soon as this is determined, our only hope is the Visegrad, Italy or Austria on April tenth, failing this, if the Cooper/Umuna Bill passes, might Her Majesty refuse to afford Royal Assent in light of the unconstitutional method used to bring about it’s passage?

  78. Dominic
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    We have just seen the face of autocracy splattered across our television screens and that autocracy is May and Corbyn working in partnership to destroy Brexit

    If the ERG and the DUP do not coalesce and smash this government then Brexit is no more and we shall enter into a state of total vassalage and subservience

    Stop putting your party before your country and act radically

  79. formula57
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    So now we have three part-time prime ministers to set policy, Letwin, Corbyn and May. What a pity none is fit to hold office.

  80. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Well, that’s it then: Theresa May is going to rely on Jeremy Corbyn to deliver Labour votes to defeat those of her own party’s MPs who reject her deal, in exchange for which she will make sure that we remain permanently subject to swathes of EU customs union and single market laws as adjudicated by the ECJ; and the CBI will be happy, and Leo Varadkar will be happy, and she too will be happy because that is what she has always really wanted.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      …and I’ll be happy as well.

  81. William1995
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    May now delaying again, and trying to work with Corbyn. Inevitably will end up with May bringing her deal back with a customs union added. This Government is a disgrace to the party and to the Country.

  82. Sue Doughty
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Good God, it’s getting even worse today. Our only hope now is Macron blocking us from remaining and having MEPs and seats on the council of ministers. They have already realloacted those chairs to other countries so their MEP elections will have to be changed as well.
    Brussels must blow the whistle on the House of Commons.
    I wish I could.
    Damned Speaker!

  83. Geoff Jones
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    So Mr Corbyn is now in charge. How decisively you have been to made look a fool, Mr Redwood. Every step of the way you have been sidelined. I trusted you, Mr Redwoid. But now I see you have left the field open to May and Corbyn.

    • rose
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

      Not made to look a fool at all, but outnumbered by fools, 5-1.

  84. MickN
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Sir. I don’t expect you will publish that but it really is all I have to say tonight.

  85. javelin
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Can the PM not see she has snatched an extinction event from the jaws of victory.

  86. W Willis
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    No deal is the only way. If a country votes to leave the control of a foreign power why would you let it dictate the terms of leaving, and charge you £39 billion for doing so! Leave first and tell them we are open for business. I really don’t think they are going to turn away from such a profitable trade surplus.

  87. Chris
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    If these reports from Guido about May seeking agreement with “Corbyn’s Customs Union backing Labour Party” are true, then it must appal honest people from all parts of the spectrum, but principally the Cons Party and Brexiteers. No longer is she making any attempt to hide that she is part of the Uniparty, whose principal aim is to ensure that the UK does not effectively leave the EU. She has duped the Conservatives and more importantly the country, and has, in my view, behaved disgracefully.

    She has to be removed before she inflicts any more catastrophic damage to this country. I think she is a huge liability, and this country will not be able to effect Brexit while she is in power, nor will it be able to recover and to heal. We need a strong, bold and utterly committed Brexiteer plus team to inject some adrenalin into our few honourable MPs, in order to save this country by effecting Brexit, and literally breathe new life and soul into it.

  88. 'None of the above'.
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

    She’s done it again! I really struggle to believe that her Party tolerates having such a leader.
    She is a waste of space.

  89. Iain Gill
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    As I have been saying for a long time…

    May must go!

  90. Richard
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    This is so unbelievable. Take India for example, an act of Parliament was passed and a month later India was independent. There is a long list of nations which have gained independence from Great Britain, and that is all we are asking for ourselves. We should leave on 12th April on whatever the prevailing terms are, and use our 39 billion pounds to overcome any short term problems for the benefit of our own people. That is what the majority of the country voted for and expencted to happen – some time ago.

    • Geoff Jones
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:15 am | Permalink

      Does India have a land border with Ireland?

  91. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    So we voted Tory in order to let Corbyn run Brexit ? Don’t remember that being in the manifesto. I imagine Labour voters in the North and Tory voters in the South will be casting around for a different option at the next election.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      a lot of voters are going to sit on their hands on any election days, and a lot of people will be looking for proper leavers to vote for, and even more looking for some basic competence in the people they are being asked to vote for

      and I for one will feel no fear reporting what ministers tell me under “chatham house rules” during election time, they can forget the cosy deal where people keep quiet that they are openly promising business that they will not implement what is in the manifesto

      gloves are off, the people are being ignored why should we listen to this joke of a ruling class

  92. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    No doubt this is what should happen. But let us suppose that Mrs May finds a way of persuading Mr Bercow to allow a meaningful vote 4, probably based on a modified (non-binding) political declaration. M Barnier appears to be playing ball in that regard. It is highly likely that Mrs May will lose MV4 by a bigger margin than MV3; Richard Drax cannot be the only MP regretting his vote for Mrs May’s deal.

    The big question is how will Mrs May react to a fourth defeat. I think that she will ‘crack’ and that her behaviour will be unpredictable and possibly irrational. Can Prime Ministers be sectioned?

  93. For want of a word
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    So May is going to dump part of our country into foreign hands: Northern Ireland. Chum
    up with someone who wishes to give Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland and who also works for the Falkland Islands to be under the joint control of Argentina.
    What is she at? What is the Tory party at?Wake up !

  94. Peter Thompson
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Well Mrs May has opened up the Brexit process to the Labour party . Any agreement will be Brexit ultra light after a long delay and dependent on a ” peoples vote ” . Looks like it s game set and match to Remain. Maybe the ” deal ” in hindsight will not be seen to have been such a bad offer after all.

  95. mancunius
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

    And now we see May ignoring the majority view of her cabinet and instead planning to conspire with the Leader of the Opposition in order to persuade him to whip Opposition MPs into supporting the WA – which is an EU-dictated prerequisite for any future UK permanent customs union and single market union with the EU.

    British voters will in future know that whatever the Tory manifesto, a Tory government will subvert it and implement the very opposite.

    • Chris
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      “And now we see May ignoring the majority view of her cabinet……” aided and abetted by Geoffrey Cox and one Michael Gove, it is reported, mancunius.

  96. Magna Carta
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Utterly horrified at May’s betrayal of the country tonight.
    Those with the power to act, need to do so now!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

      Magna Carta,

      Agreed, a total betrayal and yet Gove (who essentially caused May to be leader) comes out and supports her. Why any Brexit or democracy supporting MP remain in her cabinet, why any Brexit or democracy supporting MP stay in her Conservative party is unfathomable.

      She is prepared to force through any lie and to do so before having to field candidates at the European elections. If we cannot have no deal no we should have a long extension and representation (and a vote).

  97. James Brown
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    ERG had all the options open if they had just supported the deal. At the 1st and 2nd time the DUP had not realised their position was not compatible for what they were voting. Had the ERG voted then, we would have departed on the 29th. Now the Labour Parth and Unions are making the calls. Whoops.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      No options were open by passing the WA. It would have meant this country permanently maintained as the EU’s doorstep boot-scraper. Mrs May’s cunning little plan is merely an attempt to rat on her party and on the referendum vote. It will not get far.

  98. James Brown
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    Even the option of a possibly winnable second vote had been lost.

  99. Iain Gill
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    wow the numbers of people tweeting photos of their cut up Conservative party membership cards is massive, simply massive

    I cannot believe Mrs May is being allowed to get away with this

  100. John Miller
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    I must admit that I stopped following the antics of politicians fighting to find a way to tell we voters to piss off that would not stop us voting for them again, but I must have missed the passing of the Act postponing Brexit. There must have been such an Act passed as that was the whole point of Gina Miller’s escapades. Or have I made a silly blunder?

  101. Monza 71
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    According to the Telegraph today, Jeremy Hunt has joined those in the cabinet promoting leaving on WTO terms. That gives no deal a majority of 14 out of 27 members.

    Yet in Cabinet today, nobody forced it to a vote and now May is looking to try to force through her hated withdrawal agreement by offering to soften Brexit to attract Labour votes. To get Corbyn to talk, she is said to have taken No Deal off the table !
    How have the Cabinet No Deal majority allowed her to do this ?

    May’s supporters can’t have been thought through : The UDP might well choose to bring down May’s government at the first opportunity and Conservative attitudes will harden against her.

    This is as much a nuclear option as a General Election and when Boris or another Brexiteer takes over, they are never going to go through with whatever she agrees with Corbyn.

  102. Andrew S
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    Hah! How ashamed are you feeling now John of your leader! Conspiring with marxists, propped up by corbynistas? Momentum..er lost methinks. Next stop Ken Livingstone in for talks. Best regards

  103. Iain Gill
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

    and now people threatening to commit suicide over brexit, something even I didnt see coming, this is all going to get very out of control very quickly, really somebody should do something quick

    this cannot be allowed to carry on, this is simply not going to be tolerated by ordinary people, are the ruling elite so stupid they think they can carry on like this?

  104. Peter D Gardner
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:38 pm | Permalink

    PS. Another issue I have not seen in the MSM is the blocking vote, in the European Council, which is based in part on population counts. UK, Germany and France, have the votes to block decisions by QMV in the European Council. UK’s departure means the Mediterranean states will become significantly more powerful in the Council. That might explain why Salvini has not leapt to UK’s defence. It is not in the interests of any of the Southern Euro states for UK to stay in the EU after the elections in May. Also Orban’s Hungary, for example want to stay in the EU and reform it from within rather than leave (it is a net beneficiary, as well). So it too may object to UK remaining.

  105. rose
    Posted April 2, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    Every few days one thinks, she can’t make things any worse – and then she does. And then again after a few more days, and then again…

    • rose
      Posted April 2, 2019 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

      I suppose Corbyn will want the handover of Northern Ireland to Southern Ireland, the handover of Gibraltar to Spain, and the handover of the Falklands to Argentina, just as an opening bid.

      • Chris
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        The DUP won’t let him, while they have the chance. They are made of sterner stuff than R-M and others.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

      There will be an enormous sigh of relief when she ‘finally’ goes.

  106. Simon Coleman
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:06 am | Permalink

    Remain MPs may have been dreaming up all sorts of things, but they don’t come close to matching the absurdity of your stock fantasy: that the Conservative Party in minority government plus the DUP can deliver any kind of Brexit that could unite the country. You like to scoff at proposals that got through on Labour votes…but how many times have you voted with Labour on Brexit bills and motions?
    And now we have an unreconstructed Marxist from a bygone age called upon to help deliver a Brexit that will help business, while you ERG people want to deliver a business-ruining Brexit. Perhaps you can give that some thought? I think whatever influence you had in government has now evaporated for good.

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    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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