Timetable to Brexit?

The next few days will once again be important in settling whether we leave the EU or delay it again.

According to the EU’s timetable the UK government would need to send a letter on Friday of this week requesting a further delay , as the EU needs two working days to consider it before the European Council on April 10th. The letter would need to set out how long a delay the government was seeking, and for what purpose. The context is the EU’s clear statements that it will not re open negotiations on the Withdrawal Agreement, and that the UK has to sign the Withdrawal Treaty and implement it in UK law to be able to enter talks about a so called future partnership agreement. Mrs May’s idea of a close and wide ranging partnership, or the ideas of a customs union, Common market 2.0 and other close alignments would only be feasible if the UK has signed the Withdrawal Treaty.

The added complication driving the current timetable is the European Parliamentary election. April 12th is the last date for the UK to set up an election to that body. The UK would be required by EU Treaty law to elect new MEPs if its EU membership is going to extend beyond May 22nd, the date of the election. There is a reluctance on both sides of the Channel to allow this for obvious political reasons.

The EU has said it would only consider a long extension if the UK promised a second referendum or a General election. They have no wish to renegotiate the Agreement, which is take it or leave it.

Mrs May’s statement was unacceptable. There must be no more delay. Labour’s policy of  trying to stay in the Customs Union is against the Conservative Manifesto and all Mrs May’s promises to date. She did not take no deal off the table in her address to the nation but let it be briefed she will take it off for her talks with Labour. It cannot be taken off  the agenda as it is the default position. It is also the preference of a majority of Conservative MPs and of most Leave voters. Mrs May could only get her Agreement through if Mr Corbyn promises to vote for it and to vote for the subsequent legislation to implement it, as the DUP and many Conservatives will not vote for the Agreement with a Customs Union and single market laws added on to it.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    ‘Mrs May’s statement was unacceptable’ Absolutely!!!

    The complete and utter betrayal of the will of the people was finally revealed in Mrs May’s Downing Street speech yesterday. She is “breaking the logjam”, she says. I ask, “Who caused the logjam?”

    Not only has she turned her back on the 17.4 million people who gave a very clear mandate to make a clean break from the EU, she is now placing the future of our once-great Nation in the hands of Jeremy Corbyn. This is bound to alienate almost all fellow Conservatives, whether Leavers or Remainers. What is more, she compounds the insult by insisting that, In addition, any agreement must also invariably include the signing off of her treacherous WA.

    The Prime Minister is now so focussed on her own selfish ends that she is prepared to sacrifice democracy, dispense with our sovereignty, destroy the ability to trade with the remainder of the world (where economies are actually growing) and accept subservience to the non-elected EU bureaucrats ad infinitum. Our only hope now is that at least one of the EU member countries is as infuriated with the UK as most of the UK is with Mrs May and refuses the ridiculous request for another extension.

    Mark my words. The EU will crumble. The whole concept is totally unsustainable. Just how soon this will happen, I do not know, but happen it will. When it does happen, we should be as far removed as possible from that pile of dung, because any country remaining up to their neck in it will be damaged for years, if not decades.

    History will not read well for Mrs May.

    • Pominoz
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      I note my submission of 5.07 am is still awaiting moderation, but do not understand why.

      If something within the posting is of a cause of concern I would be most grateful if you could advise details of the contentious section. I certainly have no wish to cause problems in anything I might write.

      I know you are a very busy man, particularly at this difficult time, so I apologise for troubling you.

  2. Kevin
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    Mrs. May speaks of the need to unite a divided country. Division, however, can be a good thing. For one thing, it is a sign of a healthy democracy in which people are entitled to their own opinions. When the president romps home with 95% of the vote, then suspicions are aroused.

    What did unite this country, however, was the idea that a majority opinion would carry the day. That unity saw government switch from nationalising Labour to privatising Conservative, from centralised government to devolution, and from EFTA membership to EU membership. It lasted right up until the vote to leave the EU.

    Happy Independence Day Plus 5.

    • Hope
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      May said a week ago today at PMQs: “the biggest threat to our standing in the world, to our defence and to our economy is sitting on the Labour front bench.”

      I think she needs to look in the mirror. No one can tolerate her anymore. Barclay would not rule out a second referendum on the Today programme.

      Time for Tory associations to withdraw support immediately. May has gone rogue. There is no difference between Corbyn and May. I would trust him more than her.

      • Hope
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        JR, was Osanya in breach of her curfew when voting for Cooper’s bill last night? If so what will happen?

    • mancunius
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      ” from EFTA membership to EU membership”. But we did not vote for EU membership. Ever.
      In 1975 the referendum was on membership of the EEC – the ‘Common Market’ as fork-tongued politicians, big business and the civil service mendaciously labelled it.
      In international law the EEC ceased to exist in 1993 and was replaced (via the Treaty of Maastricht) by the EU. People in other countries were given the opportunity to vote on this, as it affected their constitutions. It affected ours too, but John Major dared not have a referendum.
      The first UK referendum on the EU was in 2016. The vote in favour was 48%. Would that be a convincing majority to make us join the EU?

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Kevin, You are right. Every vote in a democracy is a division. It is essential. A vote in the House of Commons is even called a “division”, for goodness sake.

    • Tooley Stu
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      It may have been Happy Independence Day after all (forget the plus 5).

      R Tillbrook has launched a landmark court case saying that.. as the UK law was never amended with proper protocol.. the Mar 29th 11.pm date still stands.
      This has been backed up by Sir Richard Aikens, who sat in the Court of Appeal from 2008 until 2015, who agrees it needs to be heard.

      We may have left after all.
      (Ooops.. own goal anyone?)

      Tooley Stu.

  3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    For me, real cross party cooperation is a sign of civilization. It should have happened two years ago.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      A great pity that it doesn’t happen in the EU either. If it had, We probably wouldn’t be in this stalemate situation now.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        @Jagman84: ??? There is a lot of cross-party cooperation, both in many individual countries and in the European parliament.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      I wish we had a system in the UK which supported and encouraged this. Cooperation and finding agreeable compromises are simply grown up behaviours that are often not seen under a winner-take-all FPTP system which allows politicians to avoid having to show such mature behaviour.

    • agricola
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Two years ago the people spoke. Committees of politicians have created the fog we are in. End lf story.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

        @agricola: and rougly half of the people votes leave and roughly half voted remain. The outcome which would have respected both the majority as the minority would have been a rather soft brexit.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      I thought you would be happy Peter as it increases the chance we will never leave the EU.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

        @Edward2: I have long thought that the UK is a misfit within the EU, a spanner in the works. I don’t like the damage that will be done to the Dutch economy and would be happy for the Dutch to demand compensation by Britain (is not going to happen of course) but until the UK were to become a more normal country I think it would better just be a close associated friend to the EU than a member.

    • Prigger
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Yes we’ve had European “civilisation” on “cross-party” cooperation on the continent of Europe it seems for ever. The dead are heaped in Everests as a result.
      Even with the silly EU we have had wars in Europe, Yugoslavia. Ukraine, Georgia, and not counting the most horrendous civil strife, Sweden , France, Germany, Belgium to name but a few.
      So much for “civilisation”. Go tell it to the Marines. Better, cross party go to tell it to the Marines

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

        @Prigger: You are welcome to your opinion of course but factually wrong when you imply that the EU comprised of Yugoslavia, Ukraine and Georgia. This largest peace project on earth, for which it rightfully got the Noble peace price a few years ago, is only within the EU, where “wars” and “conflicts” are fought out at the table. The EU forges peace among its members, it is not like NATO, which is only an alliance against (perceived) external threats and which operates outside its own borders.

        • mancunius
          Posted April 4, 2019 at 11:14 pm | Permalink

          “when you imply that the EU comprised of Yugoslavia, Ukraine and Georgia. ”
          He plainly didn’t. And the EU deserves a Nobel Prize for Peace about as much as Nobel did.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Cross party cooperation is what we’ve had for over 20 years. Look where it got us.

      Mr Cameron expected (and hoped) for further coalitions when he offered an EU referendum – ie he wanted continuity Blairism, but won an unexpected majority instead. And a signal from voters that we should return to politics as it should be, with real choice.

      Now Mrs May has to combine with a Marxist against those in her own party and certainly against her voters.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: I wrote this because such an important decision as implementing the referendum result needs a larger base to sustain it. “Winner takes all” with such a slim majority is not suited, and as Labour also wanted to implement the referendum, it should have been taken more seriously. It would have led to a softer brexit, but still a brexit.

      • APL
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        Anon: “Now Mrs May has to combine with a Marxist against those in her own party”

        The pretend Tory and the pretend socialist, go together like hand in glove.

    • Andrew S
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      That’s a remainer talking. There would have been no talk of real cross party cooperation had Leave not won the majority vote 52% in our referendum. For me, upholding democracy is a sign of civilization. In the UK this has happened for many decades from the time the whole of the people got to vote. Until now, where our democracy has been subverted and broken.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        @Andrew S: Actually, I’m not a remainer. I watch from across the North Sea, with some sadness, how this process unfolds in your system of democracy. A system that doesn’t seem to function too well currently.

    • Brian Radford
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Only if it has consensus from the people and in this case that is definitely not the case, a majority from 3 years ago voted to leave and both parties said in their manifestos they would accept that, but now both parties have gone against the people so therefore the people have no faith in both parties.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        @Brian Radford: One of the reasons a “peoples vote” is resisted is that a majority of the people likely aren’t favouring leaving anymore as they did 3 years ago. That doesn’t make me a supporter of a new vote though, because I still remember the shameful populist campaigns of the referendum. Why would anybody risk a repeat of similar campaigns. Real compromise between the larger parties is preferable IMHO.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 4, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

          This is a repeat of the claim that those who voted to leave did not understand what they voted for.
          Only those who voted remain understood what they voted for.
          Plainly wrong.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted April 5, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2: I made no such claim, nor the opposite (i.e. that everybody did understand what they voted for).
            Human beings can change their mind, Look at you own politicians, e.g. brexiteers who are still on (youtube) record that they wanted to stay in the singel market, the custum union etc. or look at the comical billboard campaign in which various brexiteer politicians are confronted with their earlier public statements. (my way of saying that also brexiteers are human beings! 🙂 )

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


      Where was the co-operation by the EU with David Cameron’s requests.

      Had you co-operated just a little more Cameron would not even have gone for a referendum.

      You reap what you sow sometimes in this World.

      I await with interest the results of the next Euro Elections.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        @Alan Jutson: Cameron already had much more than an average spoiled child:
        – no Schengen
        – no EMU
        – no Euro
        – no Social Chapter
        – only a la carte judicial cooperation,
        – no Charter of Fundamental Rights,
        – a large annual rebate on its 1% GDP contribution

        At some stage, enough is really enough!

        Conclusion: the current UK doesn’t really fit in the EU and acts more often as a spanner in the works. It is really better to leave, remain good friends, and maybe maybe, in the distant future a new generation in the UK will decide again to join again, but then as a normal country. For that I’m thinking in 10 or 20 years, not tomorrow.

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      PvL, We voted in the Referendum by 52:48 to leave the EU treaties. Cross party cooperation to defeat that is a sign of tyranny, not civilisation.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        In my book a 2% majority has to take account of the minority.
        Instead, the tirrany of “winner takes all” and disrespect of the “losers”was chosen. Any surprise that your democracy seems to be in some melt-down?
        You seem to be all enemies of one another instead of a unified country.

  4. Stephen Priest
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    I now stop following any news after midday. It’s always likely to be depressing regarding Brexit.

    Theresa May trying to do a deal with Jeremy Corbyn is a new low.

    • Nicholas Murphy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Read Nigel Adams’ resignation letter. It will cheer you up – a bit.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Quite agree! Theresa May has betrayed the British People, murdered democracy, and reduced the Tory Party to a joke – a joke that is probably unelectable for a generation, if ever!

      She now has a place in history though – to reside forever among the great betrayers of the ages! Imagine the scene: May standing shoulder to shoulder with Judas Iscariot, Vidkun Quisling, Benedict Arnold, Cassius and Brutus – all the while hectoring in her usual strident tones “MY betrayal is the greatest of all!”

    • javelin
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      I’d be surprised if LibLabCon are the biggest parties in 2 years.

  5. Bob Dixon
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    The Conservative party must now force Mrs May to stand down.What ever it takes SHE must be replaced. As things stand The UK is going no where.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Bob Dixon,

      Scorpion and the Frog, or Scorpion and the Tortoise.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Force May to stand down! Alas, a forlorn hope!
      The Tory Party is lost! Where is the spirit of Leo Amery? In the name of God, go! Where is the guile of Macmillan who orchestrated the ‘Night of the long knives?’ Where are the grandees who would leave a bottle of whisky and a loaded pearl handled revolver for the miscreant to do the honourable thing? – Gone forever?

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      She must indeed go — enough is enough! — but with the failure to remove her from abusing her power late last year, that particular course of action cannot be pursued again until December 2019, if I understand these convoluted processes correctly?

      Clearly, she is not willing to just step down: it’s Her Way or No Way — the latter being a complete revocation of Article 50, of course.

      Perhaps Sir John could clarify for us, maybe in tomorrow’s piece if not in reply (busy chap that he is) just what other options may actually exist… if any. Is there any other possible short-term solution to this absolute scourge of a PM?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid purgatory is not some passing faze but our future. It is here to stay. Moreover we deserve it.

      Whether we voted Blair or whether we voted Cameron or whether we paid no attention at all – we are responsible for destroying Middle Eastern civilisations, the ensuing crisis did far more to create demand for a referendum and secure a Leave vote than any overspend or slogan on the side of a bus.

      The exodus from Africa via the EU brought everything to a head.

      I do not agree with Margaret Howard that we were responsible for the crimes of Empire (my class were not enfranchised then) but we are responsible for the horrors of the first part of this century.

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink


    • Tim
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Spot on Bob.

    • Ian Pennell
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      @ Bob Dixon,

      I have written to our esteemed host several times- and to members of the ERG- requesting that they strain every sinew to get Theresa May deposed before Brexit is lost forever.

      Looks depressingly like we are going for a Customs Union non- Brexit after Theresa May’s latest capitulation (agreeing to talks with Jeremy Corbyn). Tomorrow Parliament will vote to pass legislation compelling Theresa May to delay Brexit (with MPs having the chance to specify the leave date).

      I despair not only of the Government and Parliament, but Brexit supporting MPs like Sir John Redwood, our excellent host, who will not collaborate to act to bring down the Government in a Vote of No Confidence ASAP! Catharsis is vital to Rescue Brexit and save the Tories from electoral catastrophe later!

      Ian Pennell

      Reply Only the official opposition can table a motion of no confidence and get it debated

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        was there a motion of no confidence against Margaret Thatcher?

    • EJS
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Bob Dixon, The problem is that too many Tory MPs are infatuated with the EU ideology.

  6. John Scott
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    So we are on the road to the passing of the Withdrawal Agreement, with a permanent customs union added on, all achieved by the votes of a minority of Conservative MPs and a majority of Labour MPs. Mrs May has taken her time, but she has finally done what no previous Conservative leader of the last 30 years has been bold enough to do – namely skewer her right wing.

    • Hope
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      In fairness I think she has destroyed her party. No right minded person would vote Tory again.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      What she’s done in her desperation to remain as PM and pass her Deal is to hand control of the country to the opposition and those in her own party who are not following the party manifesto. Unfathomable how the Conservative Party is still allowing her to be leader. It’s like having a football manager who lets the opposition dictate his tactics because he knows FIFA wants his team to lose.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      And simultaneously alienating a massive chunk of Tory support right across the country to the extent they are going on the radio, absolutely lambasting that woman with words like ‘traitor’ and ‘weakling’, and cutting up their membership cards. Oh what a fantastic leader the Tories have!

    • rose
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      “Mrs May’s statement was unacceptable.” Sir John is being restrained as ever. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, is what I say. She has taken revenge on her party and the country, and super revenge on the DUP. One could see the spite and vindictiveness in her face each time she lost a vote. On top of that she ensures she stays in power as by tying up Corbyn in talks she staves of the VONC that was coming and which was the only way her party could have brought her down.

      • rose
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        staves off, not staves of.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Is it ‘Right Wing’ or ‘Extremist’ as is currently held, to uphold the result of a referendum? I’d say the extremists are the ones trying to thwart it.
      The Withdrawal Agreement ‘with a permanent Customs Union’ is in no way honouring that result and is not leaving.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      She has skewered her own party.

      Most of my friends are Conservative. Most say they will never vote again.

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      John Scott, It is Leave voters who have been skewered. Unless like Remain Andy you think the Tory party consists of 17.4m angry extreme right pensioners?

  7. Mark B
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Withdrawing Art.50 is going to be the ace that is up her sleave. She will use that as the final threat to get the WA through the HoC and then threaten a snap election. She will get both as the latter is in Labour’s interests and she knows she and most of the government in safe seats will vote for one as well. She will betray her friends, her party, and the people of this country make no mistake.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      I have often wondered if May is clever enough to work this strategy out all by herself?

      Maybe she is instructed what to do next, each time she visits Brussels. I know this much, she is leaving a lot of wreckage and a bitterly divided country back here in the UK.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Oh I think the concept of safe seats for Conservative MPs has gone – personally, with apologies to our host – I would be in favour of voting against any and all Conservatives at the next election. Their manifesto is worthless and they have collectively chosen and supported the worst PM I remember right up to the point it’s too late to do anything. Brexiters in the Conservative party are now and will continue to be impotent – best vote for a new Brexit party.

  8. Geoff Travers
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Mr Rees Mogg sounded close to tears in his interviews – which is splendid news for us decent loyal Tories who have seen him and his like hijack our party and pull it towards right wing petty nationalism of a type that Mrs Thatcher would never have tolerated. Praise to Mrs May for finding a way forward in difficult circumstances.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      April 1st was a couple of days ago. The coalition with the Lib Dems is the source of the cancer within the Tory party. They are now to the left of anything Blair would have dared to impose on us. ‘Heir to Blair’, David Cameron, was being brutally honest when he claimed that crown.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink


      Time will tell what the true motive is behind this move.

      It’s not simple. I don’t expect Mrs May to “fall on her sword”, more likely she will try and con Mr Corbyn in to being the “fall guy”.

      We will see…

    • Woody
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      At least there are signs that Rees Mogg has emotions, I see none in May. She has looked us in the eye and promised no deal is better than a bad deal and that we will be leaving the eu and proceeds to push a really really bad deal on us as being a good deal and continues to delay brexit. “Strong and stable” ? she is finding a way to keep us in the eurocracy against the democratic wishes of the public. A shocking, indeed disgusting, display of ignorance and arrogance from her and her supporters.

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

      Decent loyal Tories you say? Tory wets could only ever get elected by masquerading as Eurosceptics, otherwise the public wouldn’t have touched them with a barge pole!

    • rose
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Was De Gaulle petty in wanting “Une Europe des Patries”? And in recognizing Britain was too outward looking for the European project?

    • sm
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Do you believe the SNP are a right-wing petty nationalist Party for wanting to secede from the UK?

    • Edward2
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      As you want to remain in the EU Geoff, then I suppose you are pleased.
      But your party will be rejected by the voters for a very long time.
      Leaving the EU is not a right wing thing.
      It is the wish of the majority who voted in the referendum.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Redwood is not right wing. He is Liberal compared to my Conservative voting grandparents (long deceased.)

      “Petty nationalism”

      You don’t set out the alternative, which is the effective subcontracting of sovereignty and the abolition of country by means of the EU.

      No Australian, Canadian, New Zealander nor American would put up with it. Would you call them petty nationalists ?

      • Bondo
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        Trade is based on geography. We trade a lot more with Belgium than Australia and we alaways will

        • Edward2
          Posted April 4, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

          We trade more with USA China India and Korea
          Your argument isn’t correct bondo.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 4, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          Bondo – Belgium export double what we import from them, do you believe they want to cut that off?

          “The total of Belgian exports to the UK represent almost nine percent of total exports from Belgium (an amount of EUR 31.99 billion), whereas the UK accounts for nearly five percent of total Belgian imports (a total amount of EUR 16.06 billion). Belgium’s most important exports to the UK are in the vehicles, chemicals, food and beverages, textiles (of which about 30 percent of output goes to the UK), synthetic materials and the machine industries”. Deloitte

    • rhoda klapp
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      By lies and cheating. How happy you must be!

    • mancunius
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Your loyalty to Jeremy Corbyn does you every credit. Because he will now end up the winner: May has just kicked the majority of cabinet, her manifesto, the 2016 referendum majority – and incidentally the Tory Party – in the teeth.

    • Steve
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Geoff Travers

      “….decent loyal Tories who have seen him and his like hijack our party and pull it towards right wing petty nationalism”

      Firstly I know of only one decent loyal conservative.

      Secondly, right wing nationalism is certainly not petty. As will be realised when this country is sold down the river.

      And since you seek to blame someone, blame the cry baby remainers who lost the referendum but seem to think democracy works by minority rule.

      It could eventually lead to bad karma for the remainers……they might find themselves in fear of a right wing uprising. Unfortunately for them our [patriots] response will be ‘hard luck, you caused it, your problem’ .

  9. /IKH
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    I can’t disagree with anything in your post. However, I suspect that the PM is pulling more ‘smoke and mirrors’ as she has done many times before. I suspect that her statement last night is meant to be misleading and that she has no intention of doing a deal with the Labour Party. I do think she is running down the clock and she will write to the EU Commission requesting an extension in time for the 10th April. But, it will not be clear why she is asking for it. As ever, Mrs May plays her cards very close to her chest.

    Our best chances of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit are to wait and also vote against MV4 when she brings it back. The E.U. can force a ‘No Deal’ and Mrs May can on the 10th April, when it is to late for Parliament to pass a Bill preventing her.

    Voting down everything is the best bet of a WTO Brexit and ignoring any pressure that the PM brings. And trust that her own ego desires leaving the E.U. come what may.


    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Bercow won’t allow MV4, just in case it passes.

  10. DaveM
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Every time she does something new I think she can’t get any worse and yet she somehow manages to. What next? Unbelievable that she’s still in charge. Now favouring a communist terrorist sympathiser over her own cabinet.

    I’m not a conspiracy theorist but am genuinely beginning to wonder why she’s so utterly terrified of not passing her “Deal”. It seems she’ll break everything to get it through.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      When May came dancing onto the stage that time, I tried to see who was pulling the strings. I fully expected to see Junker or Tusk up in the gods, but the shot didn’t go up that high.

    • McBryde
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      If the Brexit ramifications can be viewed in a broader context, one view to consider is that the present government is looking after the historical interests of ‘establishment’ – namely the continued exercise of financial power by the Crown (or whatever…) over an intentionally disunited world.

      Is it possible that by creating a European superstate at the expense of its composite sovereign nations, and by continuing the principle of divide and rule (currently applied by fomenting antagonism with Russia by any means) that western interests might survive against the rising power and inevitable replacement by China and her allies as the eventual leading world economy?

      In this respect, May and her government would be bowing to a greater power than the voting people of the UK. I don’t believe anyone in her position would be behaving in such a way only as a result of her own political convictions.

      The government can’t be ignorant of Europe’s disintegrating economics as a direct result of its debt structure, of the still toxic loans carried equally by its banks, and of years of artificial interests rates leading to a huge pension crisis (and elevation of taxation).
      Yet they prefer to abandon the safer prospects of the UK.

      Surely, there has to be a powerful incentive for thia apparent madness.

    • TrueBrit
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Indeed; there can be no doubt that she is a traitor doing as traitors do. Sadly our law on treason has been watered down in anticipation of the need to use it against politicians. This will not end well.

      • DaveM
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        I remember thinking that when Blair did it.

  11. J Bush
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    In some respects it is no surprise May would lean toward a communist leaning party, given her own predisposition to authoritarianism.

    On a more serious note, you and your fellow like-minded MP’s now know without any doubt how determined she is to keep the UK chained under EU control.

    It is also becoming clear why that immunity clause is in that beloved WA of hers. All she needs is to be offered an EU commissioner role, or such like, (if it hasn’t been offered already as payment for the sacrificial lamb to be delivered for slaughter) and she is protected from whatever prosecution she rightly deserves.

    Yes, I am angry. Words cannot fully describe what I feel, watching this mockery of democracy being played out, while those with the ability to stop her wring their hands and do nothing.

    She is not doing this because she believes this is best for this country, she has no love for this country. If she had, she would not be doing this. Either that, or she is insane.

  12. oldtimer
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Not only was Mrs May’s statement unacceptable, she is unacceptable as PM. Why anyone should believe a word she says is a mystery to me. My assumption is that if no deal is the outcome, she wants to be able to blame anyone and everyone but herself. No doubt Mr Corbyn is aware of the trap ahead. Failing him as the fall guy, she will rely on the EU, or the ERG, or the DUP or her backbenchers to fulfill that role.

    I read that the Telegraph headline lists 14 cabinet ministers who support no deal. Evidently she is incapable of coming to terms with the chaos she has created. It will be revealing to see if and how they vote if or when she brings her WA back for a fourth time with different bells and whistles attached.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      oldtimer if Brexit cabinet ministers hadn’t kept resigning there would be more voting no deal so I never understood why they just quit and left the remainers to it?

    • APL
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      oldtimer: “Not only was Mrs May’s statement unacceptable, she is unacceptable as PM. ”

      Yes. Since Parliament is so fond of indicative votes. Can we have some indicative by- elections? Perhaps Maidenhead and Rushcliffe, would be a good start.

  13. Wokingham Mum
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Oh dear. What next in the parliament soap. Let’s just leave, get a new PM and a new future. We’ ll Be alright.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      We’re not leaving an never were. There are unseen forces at work here.

      Get used to that idea.

  14. Richard1
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Sounds like the EU will offer a long extension whatever Mrs May asks for. I’d suggest going for that as it gives a chance to replace Mrs May, re-set and do the whole thing properly as it should have been done from the first. So what about the euro elections who cares? Might be quite fun! Bear in mind also that there is a new crew of pharoes in Brussels come June. In reality it should be possible for a new UK team to come to a sensible arrangement. The EU’s other problems aren’t going away.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Richard – Quite Agree !

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Richard, the ‘crew of pharos’ might be new come June, but the dangerous creeping expansionist centralising ethos of the evil empire will still be there.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      A long extension won’t re-set things. The EU have stated many times that they are not going to re-negotiate anything. Why would they when they’vs been promised money not due, will have us in a strangle hold and make our laws for the next 2-4 years which could ruin us for good? A clean break is the only way forward or we will regret it for the next 30 years.

    • rhoda klapp
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      The Lisbon treaty is self-amending, isn’t it? Article 50 might not be there next time.

  15. BW
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Thank you Sir John. However just when I thought it could not get any worse. Mrs May ignores the majority of the Cabinet and turns to Jeremy Corbyn. Utter disbelief. Then, today, we have yet another attempt by Mr Bercow and Ms Cooper to thwart Brexit. It is like a continual rearguard action until one remain vote wins. As has been said before we have to win every single battle, remain only have to win one.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      They do nothing more than massage their egos. They could hold them in the Oxford union. They’d be no more valid if they did.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      That, I’m afraid, is how the cards are stacked against democracy and independence from an empire that seeks to keep all the power for itself. It sets so many barriers to any opposition whatsoever, and then the gullible ones keep falling for it thinking the EU can do no wrong. Beggars belief, but we need to keep trying to get the message across.

  16. Mick
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    So now Mrs May is between a rock and a hard place, which could have been avoided if she had carried out the wish of the 17.4 million and just left instead of trying to please the remoaners in Westminster, well I’m probably not the only one is totally fed up with the constant excuses and kicking the can down the road into the long grass , we need action and if that means demonstrating so be it because it’s fair to say we now have a right to be heard

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Mick, The biggest wonder for me is that Mrs May thinks (well, says) her dWA is Leave. Has she even read her own work? Or does she imagine we haven’t?

    • John Hatfield
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      May does not work for the 17.4 million. She works for Philip Hammond and his elite cronies.

  17. Richard1
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    May is extraordinary – every time you imagine the weakest possible line she might take she comes up with something even worse!

  18. miami.mode
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Dr. Strangemay Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Socialist Corbyn.

  19. agricola
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Another May dogs breakfast. Can we assume the Cabinet agree with it. The conservative party will deeply regret failing to rid itself of what has now become a colluder with Labour to get her toxic WA approved. Are Labour sheep who can be persuaded to vote for it having to date been against it. I cannot evdr imagine voting conservative again. I am only one vote
    but out in the country there must be thousands who think the same. She has destroyed the conservative party and is well on the way to destroying the UK. She must be stopped.

  20. GilesB
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    If Corbyn agrees to support the Withdrawal Agreement, which is unlikely, the DUP will withdraw their support when Corbyn subsequently calls for a vote of no confidence.

    The worst case scenario for the Conservative Party is that the Withdrawal Surrender is passed into law and that there is immediately a General Election.

  21. agricola
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Another May dogs breakfast. Can we assume the Cabinet agree with it. The conservative party will deeply regret failing to rid itself of what has now become a colluder with Labour to get her toxic WA approved. Are Labour sheep who can be persuaded to vote for it having to date been against it. I cannot evdr imagine voting conservative again. I am only one vote
    but out in the country there must be thousands who think the same. She has destroyed the conservative party and is well on the way to destroying the UK. She must be stopped……

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Say what you like John, the whole point in all of this is Mrs May is not logical, neither is she behaving in any sort of orderly or sensible manner.
    She is now completely out of control.

    She is still trying to ram through her disastrous Withdrawal Agreement, and is blind to any other way forward.
    She is now trying to get support from Labour by attempting to bribe them, by offering them talks, if they will help her, get her agreement through first.
    If enough Labour members do fall for it (and some will), we are then stuck with a Withdrawal Agreement, and with Corbyn.
    What next ask Vince Cable to help ?

    Good grief can it get any worse ?

    The only solution I am afraid I see, is to bring her down now, before she does any lasting damage to the Country and your Party, and if that means the nuclear option of a vote of no confidence, then so be it.

  23. Dave Andrews
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    If I were Theresa May, I wouldn’t trust Jeremy Corbyn.

    If I were Jeremy Corbyn, I wouldn’t trust Theresa May.

    • NickC
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      I don’t trust either of them!

  24. Everhopeful
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    The whole May fiasco which might have been called a pantomime has now become…
    A Horror Film!!
    Very similar to those old 1950s ( I have the box set) The Twilight Zone TV series where every “ trustworthy” character turns out to be a blood drinking zombie.
    Is May trying to hasten the Marxist revolution?
    Surely this is now existential? The Tories must get rid? Please!!!

  25. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Last night on LBC three very angry people, all three of whom had decades of loyal service to the Conservative Party, rang in to say – very forcibly – that they would no longer vote Conservative. Ever. They were appalled by the alliance with Labour, especially with Mr Corbyn, and the acceptance of the Customs Union which flies in the face of the Manifesto promises.
    I wonder how many people they speak for in the country?

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Why would Mrs May care Mike? She’s near retirement age, will retire on a nice big fat Prime Minister’s pension and annual pay off of nearly £200,000pa and more when her book deal gets through and it manages to make thousands and thousands of pounds. They’ll endlessly interview her like they do Major, Blair, and even Brown!

      She should name her book ‘Brexit McBrexit Farce’. In the same way, the Science Minister knew better than the people (after giving them the chance to name the vessel then reneged on it) the interest in Science and what the 300 million dollar arctic explorer does just crashed out of public awareness, interest, support and backing – she is hoping to recreate that with her false Brexit.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      It’s the sort of thing I’m hearing personally too.

  26. Paul H
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    May’s move has also legitimised Corbyn in one foul swoop, with all that means for his electability. Has any political decision of hers, ever, not been 100% wrong and disastrous?!

  27. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    We know what a great negotiator Mrs May is – Corbyn will issue his demands: CU, SM, confirmatory referendum and May will agree to them all – then Labour/SNP will vote in favour and 20 or so Conservatives (Hammond, Rudd etc.) will join them and it will be passed.

  28. Sarah
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    May’s only red line is keeping us in the EU. If the ERG etc are not willing to do more than write this is unacceptable she will carry on. Either get rid or you likely won’t have much of a party left. Your activist base I gather in not particularly large and just get insulted and denied a say. Even your donors are withholding money May is so dire. Whilst plenty will remember how you betrayed Brexit and happily saw us humiliated.

    • MickN
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I saw a retweet fro Steve Baker this morning that said that in parts of the country conservative canvassers for the local elections have been withdrawn such is the bad feeling they are being subjected to on the doorstep.

      • a-tracy
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        MickN, but who do the public vote for? If they vote LibDem it will be seen as a proEU vote and they never get anything done bar 20mph signs and road bumps. If they vote Labour god help their pockets and services especially their schools, it would also be seen as a pro-Custom’s Union. If they don’t vote at all then they allow the political type zealots to decide how their local area is run.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Sarah, if you mean the Conservative Party, your just complaint is best addressed to Brandon Lewis at CCHQ.
      Sir John Redwood did not do any of that. He is one of the few ‘good angels’ in this stubbornly, anti-democratically Remainer parliament. has held to the majority decision to Leave the EU and the declared policies of the 2017 Conservative Manifesto (recognizing, as have all who have read it with care, that the WA does not do that, and rightly resisting it).

      • Sarah
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        Redwood has rightly refused to vote for May’s surrender treaty. However all you get from conservative Brexiteers when the latest May sell out occurs is oh dear it is unfortunate. As I saw one commenter say “you need someone who is not only willing to kick someone when they are down but to grind their face in the dirt.”. Nobody in the Tories however seems prepared to put the boot in. I don’t care about his party, it deserves to die a death and because of the various issues above it very well may do. He may feel it should have a future though.

      • David Price
        Posted April 4, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

        Utter waste of time writing to Lewis, he does not have the common decency of acknowledging receipt let alone considering the content.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

      May’s only red lines are to keep herself in office and in the EU!

  29. BCL
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    This is the ultimate betrayal. I think Mrs May has now surpassed Mr Blair as the worst prime minister in modern times and that was stiff competition. It really does make me wonder what the point of voting ever again would be. It’s clear that a vote can be ignored by parliament and the PM. If I vote in future it is likely to be for the Brexit Party. I don’t think I could be more disappointed or angry.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      And that means there is nothing to fear from a Corbyn government. The same civil service will not allow him much scope.

      Tear up your voting cards !

  30. javelin
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Delaying Brexit is like borrowing £10,000 from a bank them not paying it back on the due date. The person might think they have got away with it but the bank will get as much money back as they can and the bank will not lend money to the person again. The analogy here is that the voters can do little legally, but they can refuse to trust the borrower for a generation.

    In otherwords The Conservatives have defaulted but the admistrators won’t come until the next election. Once they are powerless they will be declared bankrupt.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Then javelin, the public will play right into the EU’s hands won’t they. Cut the Conservative party in two, a weakened Labour party also sliced and diced (I mean I hear how can Yvette represent a 70% leave constituency?) the two wings can both converge in the Centre with their two wings ignored as they do on the continent and completely ignore manifestos and just do as they’re told.

    • robert lewy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      good analogy but incomplete.

      When the Administrators are in charge they will , hopefully, receive tender(s) for the remaining assets from start-up(s) that place a higher value on the grass root votes of the Party.

      This would be the ultimate accomplishment of demonstrating that there is still life in the two party system.

      Mrs clearly misunderstands what Unique Selling Proposition USP means. It refers to the product not the shares in the organisation.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      A very good analogy. I shall be using that.

  31. cryingoutloud
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Comments are as follows-

    At last some reality creeping in – paragraph 2

    Paragraph 3 – agree

    Paragraph 4 – the WA is ‘take it or leave it’ – cannot agree – WA has already been signed off by 28 countries – it is much much more important than just take it or leave it business – and it will have to be settled sooner or later.

    Para 5- It is precisely because she could not get the necessary backing needed from her own side that she has no choice but to ask help from Labour – she’s putting of the country first

    In this she’s going to bypass the extreme elements of the ERG – she’s plainly had enough

    Also the DUP is now toast – it’s importance is superseded by Corbyn’s Labour – looks like

    and no doubt she will certainly have to shift some of her Red Lines but that’s the art of politics – supposed to be – although listening to ERG you wouldn’t think so.

    Brexit – as the sceptics would have it, is lost mainly because of ERG intransigence and Tory party infighting, but mostly because of prima donnas putting their own self serving careers first.

    majority preferences? – so whats democracy got to do with anything?

    looks like reality has finally taken over – has to be the country first

    If I could only see some of these new trading deals with countries far away lined up – if I could see them as was promised by Fox Gove Boris IDS etc etc I could have a different opinion – but there are no new worthwhile deals out there waiting for us- so instead we have to be sensible and look at what we have and then make the most of it.

  32. Nigl
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    So when are you going to do something about her and why is she being allowed to continue down this path?

    • graham1946
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      They won’t do anything about her, she suits them just fine at the moment. It is what the Tories want. They are the party of big business who are their paymasters and who want to thwart Brexit.

  33. Caterpillar
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    I think we are now able to write the historical record:

    Remainers won the referendum.
    A Remain supporting manifesto won the General Election.
    A heroic PM ensured the EU gained powers in perpetuity.
    A small number of initially leave supporting Conservatives were persuaded of their errors and remained dutiful servants of the party.

  34. Oggy
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    She’s now dug a huge hole for herself and the Tories.
    Her ‘promises’ are worthless and mean sod all.
    Any meaningful Brexit is finished.
    Mrs May is finished.
    The Tories are finished.
    The trust in politicians and politics is finished.
    Democracy is finished.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink


      Totally 150% correct

  35. Old Albion
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Seven hours of talks, just to emerge and kick the can down the road again !!!

  36. villaking
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    If a majority emerges for a softer form of Brexit with Jeremy Corbyn’s support (which has a slight chance of happening now), and if the House remains resolute in trying to block a WTO exit (which seems certain),would you then reluctantly back Mrs May’s original deal as the least worst option?

    Reply No, because it is not leaving. It probably ends in Customs Union were we to eventually get out.

    • Oliver
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m sorry, Sir John, but you really must get real. “probably ends in” is MUCH BETTER than “certainly ends in a permanent” Customs Union (how any parliament can even consider “permanent” is mind blowing).

      What you’ve done is great. But recognise it is a process. We can **** with them in stage two – and a CU is clearly insane – it’s not just that it prevents doing our own trade deals, as the media are portraying as not much lost, but that we actually lose any say over our own trade policy – it’s like buying a house and not being allowed to use all the rooms.

      Please, fold now, keeps your chips so as to win the whole pot later on.

  37. Everhopeful
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    How anyway can that woman claim there is a “logjam” ( banal soundbite as per) when the majority of the cabinet want “No Deal”.

  38. Fred H
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Just when we thought Mrs May had played all her key cards in the game, she found a trump to threaten influential players to stay at the gaming table, or throw their hands in for good. Perhaps we can expect fury, Cabinet resignations, and a declared split in the Conservative Party today. Mrs May is determined to share the blame in history with the Labour Party, and has now sealed the end of her career. What future Conservative government would have her in it’s ranks? Endless mistakes is now how she will be remembered plus loathing from the public.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Ex Prime-Ministers don’t care about loathing from half the public FredH?
      Endless mistakes just brush off their shoulders as they shrug them away.
      You’ll have to come up with something better than that, she may as well revoke but then that won’t suit the EU anymore, they want us out but hog tied in for regular repeated punishment beatings.

      The Irish make me laugh, did they get regular punishment beatings from the UK when they obtained their Independence answer NO. They got rewarded, no changes, we still order big quantities of food from them, Osborne bailed them out with low cost loans (much lower than he charges our students) Blair gave them a bigger say, freed all their ‘freedom fighters’ and now our government allows to prosecute men who were doing the British governments bidding in Ireland.

  39. James Wallace-Dunlop
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Nothing will satisfy May but her WA which is non voting membership without an article 50 exit route, so worse than remaining.

    May won’t honour her manifesto, and uses the party apparatus to protect MPs whose associations want their conservative MPs to vote as they promised they would.

    Crazy that party rules prevent a challenge till December. At this rate there won’t be a party by December.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink


      At this rate there won’t be a party by December.

      Will be amazed if it drags itself past end of June.

      Never in the field of politics has a country been so betrayed by so many elected politicians. The electorate will have the final say and it will end in tears for so many

  40. Nigl
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    And she has just handed Corbyn political credibility. Electoral suicide.

    • Richard
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      Arguably she has handed UKIP/Brexit party and other parties more credibility, by making it appear that the two old parties are in it together against the public.

  41. What Tiler
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    JR:- Labour’s policy of trying to stay in the Customs Union is against the Conservative Manifesto and all Mrs May’s promises to date.

    Well colour me unsurprised; the woman’s a pathological liar, that much is blatantly obvious.
    She is also consigning the Conservative and Unionist party to the dustbin of history, and all those who mighty be able to do something about it, no matter how small, appear to be sitting on their hands. It really isn’t good enough.

  42. Kevin
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    “She did not take no deal off the table in her address to the nation”

    “No deal” was never on the table. “No deal” is when you walk away from the table because you are not getting what you want.

    “No deal” is the EU’s position if we do not sign the Withdrawal Agreement.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      ‘No deal’ is when negotiations are halted. We can do precisely that – leave without signing and trade on WTO terms with businesses in the EU. Brussels can make whatever demands it wants to, but they are not justiciable in international law once we have left.
      You forget that the EU has no money or goods – Brussels does not do any ‘trading’ – it just provides regulations and tariffs and imposes them on the member states. Once we have left it, it has no further power over UK trading agreements.

      • Stred
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        The second minister to resign was responsible for leaving and made clear in his letter of resignation that he does not believe the briefing against WTO. The secretary to the cabinet said that food prices would rise by 10%. So opening the market to the cheaper producers would raise prices when we have announced zero tariffs on food that is not produced here is going to raise prices. Lies are produced to order. Previously this May selection ran the Home Office. That went well didn’t it. Immigration and knife crime explosion for starters.

  43. Stephen Reay
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    As a staunch leaver I can see when the game is up. We were always aware that we couldn’t have the same deal if we were out of the E.U, with Corbyn involved the deal will be very much like membership but with no say so we might as well stay in.

    There will be a people’s vote on the outcome and we the leavers will lose we can only hope The next PM is a Brexiteer so we can try again sometime in the future but probably not in my lifetime.

    If we do lose in the peoples vote we the Brexiteers should chose to lose with some dignity and accept the decision and show those who have thwarted democrocy how good losers we are.

    • Al
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Hoping the next PM is a leaver isn’t enough: you need Leave MPs as well. The Leave vote has to turn out to make that happen.

      Even if it means voting independent if the local parties don’t give Leave candidates.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Stephen Reay

      Hang on a cotton picking minute here. With all this mayhem going on it would appear that British industry is doing well whilst the Germans are going into recession.
      When the politicians are focused on other things it just proves the our industries do what the do best. Succeed when left to do the job they are founded for. Making money and securing jobs.

      Being a good loser never has and never will impress anyone. Nobody remembers the runner up. Nobody loves a loser. If we had lost due you think for one nano second the remainers would have given us any consideration?

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      A staunch leaver? Pull the other one! Using ‘Peoples vote’ gives the game away. You’re about as honest as May. Nice try though….

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      “and show those who have thwarted democrocy how good losers we are.”

      One thing I have pointed out repeatedly. We are never ever praised for our use of the ballot box and our peaceful and patient use of democracy.

      Andy and Newmania are the true face of the establishment. They cannot utter a word without insult towards us.

      We will be written into EU history as evil people, seen off by gallant Remainers.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      That’s a curiously passive and defeatist attitude. Not shared by any Leavers I know. We are determined to fight – with any and every means.

      • M Davis
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        Hear, hear, mancunius!

    • Natalie Tallis
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Probably the funniest thing I’ve ever read on here….. my Stephen Reay what a staunch Leaver you are, what a dignified Leaver and what was the other one….ah yes, a GOOD Leaver.
      On behalf of genuine Leave voters, thanks for the giggle.

    • Steve
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Stephen Reay

      “If we do lose in the peoples vote we the Brexiteers should chose to lose with some dignity and accept the decision and show those who have thwarted democrocy how good losers we are.”

      Not a chance. If there was to be a people’s vote and we lost, we would be justified to whinge and moan like hell, and subvert that referendum.

      We would be justified to label the other side as xenophobes and extremists.

      As the minority, we would expect and demand our right to get our own way.

      In short, we would be justified to ‘do it back’ and by God we will.

  44. Shieldsman
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    Jeremy Corbyn and Keir Starmer are still peddling their ideas for a future relationship with the EU.
    You can read it in Labour’s Plan for Brexit.
    Having rejected the Withdrawal Agreement three times, Corby appears to be blissfully unaware that the EU have made it the key to his having any part in negotiating his wishes.
    That is one big compromise Labour MP’s will have to make.
    So far, along with the SNP, LibDem and one Green they have consistently voted to remain in the EU.
    Corbyn’s game to date has been to pull the Conservative Government down.

  45. Peter
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    May thinks Corbyn will simply go along with her Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement with a few more concessions of red lines. She aims to take all the ‘credit’ for getting a ‘deal’ while Corbyn shares the blame.

    Why would Corbyn help May out though? He will try to show he is cooperative but he can always blame May for having a closed mind when it suits him.

    Meanwhile the EU will need to believe May can deliver. Opponents can also monitor developments before making further moves against May.

    • cynic
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Peter, you may well be right, perhaps this is a means to persuade the EU to grant another extension on the basis that she now has something new to offer.

  46. William Simpson
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    May’s overtures to Corbyn are really quite attractive for him. He gets to add on bits to the WA that are the policy du jour of the Labour party, (and which accordingly, are difficult to specify), and in return he gets the end of May’s premiership, and a completely destroyed Tory party. He may not immediately get the premiership, but he would have a more powerful say in the coalition that would have to form the next government, before or after a general election. Win, win for Corbyn!

  47. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    I am afraid it appears those claiming to favour leaving the EU within the cabinet have blinked.

    There should be 14 resignations today but there will not be a single one.

    Labour continues to play politics with its requirements for leaving so Mrs May will just look more indecisive following talks with Mr Corbyn

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Why should they resign they’re supported by the majority of members, who voted this week that no deal was better than the WA. So they are actually supporting the people who get them elected?

    • mancunius
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      But once they resign, she just finds 14 muppets who like being chauffeur-driven back to the shires, and will agree to her every mad whim of the day.
      I can well understand they need to think it over and consult.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        14 resignations brings down the government

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 4, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          It wouldn’t. Corbyn survived his Labour 2016 coup attempt.

  48. Lifelogic
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s statement was indeed unacceptable. She is an appalling, disingenuous traitor, electoral liability, a tax to death socialist and a national embarrassment to the UK. She clearly has no intention of delivering Brexit in any real sense.

    She clearly wants the UK to be ruled by the EU while pretending to have left. This would be even worse than remain. Will someone please remove her and avoid a Corbyn disaster.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Can someone explain to her that essentially we are either in or out out. Brexit in name only with her expensive treaty straight jacket is an abomination. Worse even than remain.

  49. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    Mrs May seems determined to destroy your party as well as our democracy in order to keep the UK in the EU by one way or another.

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

      That certainly seem to be her agenda. If she says her £39 billion handcuff treaty “respects the referendum result ” again I will have to smash my TV.

    • Steve
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Brian Tomkinson

      “Mrs May seems determined to destroy your party as well as our democracy in order to keep the UK in the EU by one way or another.”

      And why not ! After all the woman’s buggered everything she’s touched. She’s good at it.

  50. Richard1
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I suggest you & other colleagues take Mark François MP off the airwaves, his puerile and unpleasant manner of speaking is a liability & not good for the reputation of Parliament.

    • Edwardm
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      No, I find Mark Francois’s says things as they are and shows support to the ordinary Leaver.

    • Nicky Roberts
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      You make no mention of Theresa May and her unpleasant manner, her betrayal and her lies. Let’s get her off the airways and consigned to a life as far away from politics as necessary. Who gives a damn about Mark Francois’ choice of language, it is our future shackled to the EU we care about. Your priorities are completely wrong.

    • roger
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      What reputation is that then?

    • Penny
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Parliament no longer has a reputation to defend, barring a few honourable souls.

      Mr Francois is doing a great job, defending the country’s decision to leave the EU.k

    • James M
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Mark Francois is one of relatively few MPs who tell the truth in plain English.

  51. Andy
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Your mistake all along is to think that Brexit is just about what the Conservatives think.

    Conservatives are in a minority in the country. Most of us did not vote for you.

    And even if most of you now back no deal – a doubtful assumption – you are still a minority.

    • 'None of the above'.
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Dear Andy,

      Please do not assume that all contributors to this Blog are Conservatives. If you must generalise with some sort of label, then ‘Democrats’ might be appropriate.

    • agricola
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      There are lies and statistics. You’ve chosen the wrong statistics. 17.4 million voted leave, the only figure that counts. The fact that most Conservatives and some Labour support them is coincidental.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Have a look at the Com Res poll showing that it isn’t a minority for leaving on April 12th on WTO terms.
      The Withdrawal Agreement gets a very low score.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      No. Most people did not vote Conservative but that’s how democracy works here. (I had to put up with Blair for 13 years !)

      We are in purgatory and it is here to stay. It is not a passing phase.

      Each of us voted for an egotistical PM, both useless here but who destroyed Middle Eastern civilisations which caused unspeakable horrors and (because of the ensuing refugee crisis via Schengen) brought the matter of our EU membership to a head.

      It was not a minor overspend or a slogan on the side of a bus that caused Brexit. It was the beyond biblical exodus that Blair and Cameron did so much to create.

      What went around has indeed come around.

      We shall never again know political stability, we shall lose our wealth and our peace and our law and order (which we see daily.)

      We deserve none of these things so they are going – this is natural justice at work.

      You ascribe our grave losses to petty nationalism and the vote to Leave the EU. I ascribe it to our own carelessness about the wicked people we put into office – both of them fervently pro EU as it happens but that’s incidental.

    • DaveK
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      Your mistake all along is to think that Brexit is just about what the PLP, Momentum and Marxist students think.

      PLP, Momentum and Marxist students are in a minority in the country. Most of us did not vote or agree with you.

      And even if most of you now back remain – a foolish position – you are still a minority.

      p.s. have a chat with Labour voters who voted to leave.

    • Penny
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Tiresome man.

    • William1995
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Funny to hear an extreme remainer talk about being in a minority

  52. simon
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I can only think that Mrs May has been working to another agenda since she became leader of the conservative party. I used to think that she was just not very intelligent and was being fed poor information by her advisors. I now think that she is duplicitous.

  53. Caterpillar
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    I will repeat the obvious (though not to the PM) democratic point again. People voted to leave for different reasons, any soft Brexit removes some of those reasons and therefore probably generates a majority for Remain. There are, and have always been, only two options – a) Leave completely or b) Remain completely.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. That’s what the EU are covertly saying to Mrs May but she is too focused on selling us down the river to take any notice.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        She had the time after Chequers to negotiate differently, she could have negotiated harder when she went back to change (or not) the backstop, but above all she has had time to prepare a managed no deal. Now we have Cooper and Letwin pushing forward with the block no deal forever bill, and Carney sticking it again saying no deal is now an even bigger risk as it will happen suddenly. Meanwhile May sides with Cornyn and continues to run the clock down.
        Carney should have and still should follow his predecessor and advise May to ask for an extension to prepare for no deal. He like others has failed to keep the pressure on Govt to be prepared to manage the dislocation.

  54. Ian wragg
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Total destruction of the Tory Party and country in a bid to stay in the beloved EU.
    Get this loathsome woman out.

  55. Edwardm
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Mrs May (with Hammond et al) is determined to shackle us to the EU as a vassal, and she will stop at nothing – there is now a danger that she will move towards Labour’s position and get her WA voted through.
    Time for a no confidence vote in the government – better then May/Corbyn trapping us in the EU and then taking years of political wrangling and upheaval to get our of it.

    • Edwardm
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      … out of it

    • Steve
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink


      Maybe not. Next general election will be the conservative’s lot, virtually every conservative voter is now fixated with revenge. Labour might just survive by a whisker, but the conservative party will not exist.

      A nationalist party will be voted in, and it’s two fingers to the EU.

  56. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Even if May gets her way, for now, she needs to be followed by a new leader who will take us out of the CU. And the commitment needs to be in the next general election manifesto.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      If it was in the manifesto who would believer it ?

    • Jim R
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      The words “committment” and “manifesto” do not seem to have much value theses days.

  57. formula57
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    So Mrs. Ramsey MacMay staggers on, all thanks to the support she enjoys from the parliamentary Conservative Party.

    What about future partnership agreements with the other c.170 countries in the world? Do we have enough wealth to pay for even just some of them?

  58. William1995
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I do not think it concerns Mrs May that she has previously said she won’t agree to a Customs Union, that her party wouldn’t support it, that it contradicts the manifesto she was elected on etc. May stated over 100 times we’d be leaving on 29th March, that she believed no deal was better than a bad deal, and then that she would take us out on 12th April. I don’t want to use the word liar, but all of these fundamental promises have turned out to be completely untrue. She knew she would not leave on no deal. She knew she would be willing to delay delay delay as long as she needed. She knew she would be willing to accept a custom union. It seems to me that this is one of the most dishonest duplicitous PMs we’ve had, and I have no faith in her other promises of stepping down, not calling a snap general election and ultimately delivering Brexit.

    The only thing more incredible than her ridiculous performance as PM is the fact that the conservatives voted to keep her in in December, and have since been unable/unwilling to remove her by other means.

  59. AndyC71
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve said before, but she needs to be removed without delay. Anyone still a member of her cabinet by the end of today is as culpable as she is.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      I don’t understand why people such as your goodself keep saying that ‘she needs to be removed’. There is NO MECHANISM to do this.

  60. Oldrightie
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I see nought but a deep state victory this morning. Corbyn will massage May’s temporary survival, help ensure the extension is forced through and the saga of our democratic destruction move further towards a stark reality. Whether Corbyn then gets the Governorship of a satellite, minor State. A subjugated province of the Federal EUSSR will be a sort of reward. Power it won’t be. As for leaving the EU. Not a snowball’s chance. When May was installed in Number 10, democracy was finished.

    You and the handful such as yourself, Sir John, are the last now flickering beacons of our once proud democracy. For that I am extremely grateful. However the manner of our destruction and decency is nought but appalling.

    • Charles Crane
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

      Proudly seconded!

  61. Burning injustice
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is attempting to put herself at the head of a de facto national government, riding roughshod over her own party in the process. A high stakes game. She will do absolutely anything to achieve any deal at all. No Deal is complete anathema to her. She has led Brexiteers up the garden path. How much longer can she be tolerated?

  62. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately realpolitik will now intervene with long extensions.

    May has now entered her second big phase of incompetence. Having made such a mess of negotiation in the first phase, her second phase will be putting control of it into true Remainer hands and the EU. With Corbyn, who is to say he won’t trade off aspects of his Communism with May to get her daft deal or some variant through?

    The only reply was is, and ever was, to get rid.

  63. Mick Anderson
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    My guess is that Mrs May will promise a General Election in order to persuade Mr Corbyn to support her appalling WA. This will then also permit a long extension to the sham negotiations as it also satisfies a requirement of the EU.

    Once these things are in place and the relevant documents signed, she will then break her word and continue in office.

  64. Beecee
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    As well as all her other successes Mrs May has single-handed turned Mr Corbyn into a Statesman and seriously increased his chances of winning the next Election.

    You could not make it up!

    • Bon Accord
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      I agree. Mrs May is saying she trusts J Corbyn

  65. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Her tactics must be clear to everyone by now – She intends us to stay in the EU, either:

    – by getting her surrender agreement signed into law;


    – by extending ‘negotiations’ into the far future.

    FGS – There must be something that can be done to stop her extending!

  66. ukretired123
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The EU has blinked as Barnier admitted the EU’s existence in it’s present format is at stake and will need to reform, something which our country has been asking for years and has never listened. It is many years too late and is incapable of doing this by itself. It only knows how to increasing spend and has never budgeted when things went due south. That is why our £Billions are their oxygen and we still have that Ace Card. We need this ourselves as Sir John has stated many times for many sorely needed things in Britain.
    When folks are held back for so long like on a catapult the UK will bolt forward economically and in fighting spirit if TM could only see this she could turn it around and become a heroine instead of folks demanding her head. She cannot please everyone and must not break the big promise, is her elected Mantra of “No Deal is better than a bad deal” which WE certainly is.

    Let’s pray she sees this and all MPs see sanity and sense like our kind host – Thank you JR!

  67. NigelE
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Mrs. May’s promises? We would do well to understand they mean nothing.

  68. Chris
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you for this clear and consist assessment of the situation. Greatly valued and it is vital for any sensible debate and action planning on the issue.

    I think it is very important to let those MPs who have behaved honourably know how much their honest and principled behaviour means to us. It must be a lonely place for them in that apparently corrupt bubble with all its duplicity, spinning, briefing and pressure/bullying.

  69. Chris Dark
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    We always expect people to play by the rule-book. Now we have a parliamentary set-up where rules and procedures no longer count if they are considered to be a “hindrance” to the anti-Brexit agenda. The little people are expected to obey the country’s rules, but not politicians, it seems. Well, things are changing fast. The public is so incandescent with rage that it could light up the Mariana Trench. Leave voters are being taken for fools and that’s a very dangerous attitude for parliament to have.

  70. Julie Dyson
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Sir John, for that astute analysis.

    The conclusion I draw from this is that Mrs May is trying to play some grand game of chess but is severely hampered by the fact that she is utterly incapable of planning more than two or three moves ahead, while across the House sits a very devious and cunning man indeed — and he has been waiting a long, long time for a chance such as this.

    Corbyn need only prevaricate while appearing to act in the country’s best interests — and pull off a little juggling act with his own MPs — and it will be Checkmate at the next GE. The PM has now virtually guaranteed that the Tories will continue to tear themselves apart, between a strong Remain camp aiming for an complete revocation of A50, and a smaller, stalwart group fighting valiantly for what the country as a whole increasingly wants: No Deal.

    This will end up as one extreme or the other, now looking more and more like No Leave with each passing day — and in that case Labour will win the next GE by default.

  71. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    The insanity of the situation demonstrates May has nothing to offer but her agreement. Following a cabinet meeting yesterday, before her little speech to the nation:
    The Prime Minister proceeded to announce an offer to sit down with Jeremy Corbyn to agree a plan for leaving with a deal. She explained:

    “Any plan would have to agree the current Withdrawal Agreement “

    Where is the Knight on a white horse we so badly need right now.

  72. Am
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Tm will never allow no deal. She is a remainer.
    It was always the plan. When Robbins was moved from decay to number 10 it showed her mind. Negotiating directly by bypassing her cabinet dexeu secretaries showed her mind. Chequers and the wa showed her mind. Robbins pub talk in Brussels actually expressed her mind. Eventually she will kick Brexit into the long grass entirely.
    She will do this despite the destruction of her party. It shows how determined a remainer she is.

  73. Phil_Richmond
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Some of us ex Conservatives have been warning you John about the Conservative Party. How did you let someone like May become leader? Its riddle with traitors and corrupt Bilderbergers.
    You should be ashamed to call yourself a Conservative MP.
    Time to bring down the Government.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Faisal Islam was recorded as being very offended by the use of the word ‘traitor’ and the person saying it challenged him to look it up, so I did:

      a person who betrays someone or something, such as a friend, cause, or principle.
      “s/he was a traitor to their own class”
      synonyms: betrayer, back-stabber, double-crosser, double-dealer, renegade, Judas, quisling, fifth columnist, viper; turncoat, defector, apostate, deserter; collaborator, fraternizer, colluder, informer, double agent;

      She has betrayed her principles said during her re-election to Prime Minister, she has betrayed her friends and colleagues in the Conservative Party and the People’s Brexit decision – time and time again Mrs May said “no deal is better than a bad deal” her party have told her four times the Withdrawal Agreement deal isn’t a good deal. We read in the Economist last August “With less than eight months until Britain is due to leave the EU, and only about four months left to reach an agreement on the terms of its exit, her government is still stressing its readiness to depart with no deal in place”. If this wasn’t true she and her government betrayed and deceived the public? So why Faisal Islam can’t this word be used?

    • Oggy
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      To be fair to John his choice was Andrea Leadsom for PM (as was mine).

  74. percy openshaw
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I fear the establishment coup is gaining ground and that we have here the first steps towards a Labour dominated “National Government” and a Tory split: the story of Ramsay MacDonald in reverse. Whatever happens, the remaining Tory party must constitute a clear majority of its own MPs. Try to move “en bloc” for the greatest impact and the greatest authority. Set up your own organisations quickly and field candidates across the board. Many will make donations – whatever our levels of wealth. We are anxious to see the Utopian establishment brought low and replaced. How hard you have worked, Sir John! But the greatest toil may well lie ahead of you yet.

  75. Dan Rushworth
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Watching, reading and listening to MSMedia is rather strange at present as the majority of talk is still nothing to do with the bright elephant in the room that is No Deal as the default position. Am I missing something, is the default position really not going to happen as any other option is really that much better?

  76. Les
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    If I read Cooper’s bill correctly, TM could propose any extension date including the 13th April or 23rd May – which makes the bill nonsense – Am I wrong?

    I truly hope for Divine intervention against these twisters – but are we to get what we deserve…?
    “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive” W Scott
    “all is vanity and pursuit of the wind” Ecc.2

    Reply Yes, she can propose any length of delay she likes under the Bill as drafted. Parliament cannot insist on a delay, as it requires EU consent as well as UK government compliance.

  77. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Listened to you on Radio Berkshire this morning John.

    Excellent comments as usual.

    Shame Mrs May is not listening.

  78. A Northener
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    So we now have a Prime Minister who really, really wants to stay in the EU but has been pretending she’s committed to leaving, relying on a Leader of the Opposition who really, really wants to leave the EU but has been pretending he wants to stay, for support in pretending to leave the EU but really staying.
    Is it any wonder politicians are held in such low regard?

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

      Corbyn does not have any princples so he never ‘really wanted to LeavEU’ that is a fiction.

  79. Anthony
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    But john, we’re not leaving. It isn’t happening. Repeated assertions that we must leave aren’t working. Brexit is going to get softer or be cancelled.

    Are you going to save the hardest brexit we can get or will you sit in a corner and be angry? The PM has made choices but she holds the power. You can only respond and so far have responded in a way so as to soften brexit.

    Will you now respond in a way to secure brexit or watch it slide beneath the waves?

    Reply Her Agreement does not offer Brexit.

    • Anthony
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I guess we’re going to watch it slide beneath the waves then.

      The Tory party as a whole will be held responsible. Then we’ll have a Marxist in no. 10 and no credible force to achieve Brexit at a later date.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Sir John – it must be so tiresome repeating these words to people with cloth ears, and the inability to do their own reading and research in order to understand your argument.

  80. bigneil
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Our local Breakfast radio show presenter on the Beeb implied this morning that the explosion in knife crime is somehow linked to Brexit. Then a few minutes later had a woman on saying that she used to be a “Leaver” but now wants a Restart on the whole process – -then came the blatant plug for her business !! – -the Beeb giving free advertising and promotion in exchange for anti-Brexit views – -Surely they wouldn’t stoop so low.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      The BBC carry promotions every single day, under the pretext of ‘culture’ They have ‘Front Row’ night every night, another one at the weekends, book reviews, film reviews, all selling books, films, shows etc. as well as presenters regularly telling us that they went to see a wonderful film or show

    • Steve
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink


      Surely they wouldn’t stoop so low.

      Oh yes they would, they’re lower than a snake’s ass.

  81. Newmania
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Continually referring to a manifesto no-one read and under circumstances where you only have a choice of two ridiculous options is absurd .

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      It’s funny how suddenly ‘manifestos don’t count’ – if you don’t agree with their contents. A bit like ‘referendums don’t count’ – if you don’t agree with the result. Presumably, General Elections don’t count either – if you don’t vote for the winning party. Why do you obey the law if it is made by a government you didn’t vote for. Your position is undemocratic and unprincipled.

    • Dominic
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Your refusal to accept Remain lost a binding referendum is absurd and delusional

      Democracy is not a political plaything to be picked up and tossed away at the convenience of an infected political class

      You lost the vote. Accept it or declare that you find popular democracy an inconvience

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

      Yeh, lets abandon trivia, like reading a prospectus, black and white choices are for the simple minded. We clever devils like a choice of every shade of grey in the colour spectrum. Then we can expend hours of verbal bowel movements deciding on which shade agrees.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Well read the Leaflet instead then Newmania.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      So if no-one has read the manifesto that means it can be ignored ? Interesting. I haven’t read the law on tax evasion so that means it doesn’t apply to me. Great !

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink


      I am unsure to what your two ridiculous options refers, but the referendum was between two compromises, not the current extremes being debated. The two compromise positions are (a) completely leave, or (b) completely remain. They are compromises because for many people either decision has pros and cons. The current options that the HoC and now PM&Corbyn will discuss are the extremes e.g. a CU but not free movement is an extreme preferred by those essentially benefiting from an EU trade policy but wanting a national immigration policy, whereas an EEA/EFTA route supports the four freedoms but not CU, EU trade policy, CAP etc. Each supposed intermediate option is an extreme with a focus, the two options completely leave/remain are the compromises – each with positives & negatives, hence each essentially a middle ground.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      You mean you did not read it or followed the Hustings and Broadcasts – or did you not notice on Social care Policy and other items May had to drop them mid campaign?
      There are no ‘ridiculous options’ for an EU referendum on Mmebership – this is what Parliament debate dover 2 years – there is only Membership-RemaIN or Non-membership -LeavEU. Any attempt to pretend there is a possible negotiated half way house was shown by Cameron to be ‘absurd’. But of course you are not neutral- you Voted remaI and want to set aside the referendum choice, fully debated with sheer hysteria of your side foretellin gthe public of dire consequences immediately after a LeavEU Vote, which were shown to be a sham!

    • L Jones
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      We know that Sir John only allows your posts to pass to afford us all a little light relief.

      Perhaps you should keep in mind:
      ”It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.”

  82. Alan Joyce
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I’m surprised at Jeremy Corbyn. In the past he has consorted allegedly with Hamas, Hezbollah and the IRA. Now it looks as if he will even sit down for talks with Theresa May.

    Has the man no scruples at all?

  83. Newmania
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Incidentally I do feel that No Deal is better than a permanent customs union – there is at least the hope the country might recover and adjust eventually .
    Norway is a much better idea than either and not leaving the best option in every conceivable way but given the choice of grim or grimmer, a customs union is the worst possible outcome imaginable

    • Edward2
      Posted April 4, 2019 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Like most remainers Newmania, you keep assuming the EU are happy to accept any one of your alternative proposals.
      They are not.

  84. Man of Kent
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    How can a clear majority vote to Leave by 17.4 million people be turned into a Treaty to tie us into the EU indefinitely unless we obtain their permission to leave ??

    Now with the prospect of adding on fully fledged customs union and single market too ; not to mention a possible second referendum

    My children and grandchildren will have no say on EU membership again in their lifetimes as they will be absorbed into this anti- democratic institution sucking the life out of this great country .

    What a pass this dreadful PM has ‘negotiated ‘ us into .

    Sir John , I know you will stand firm but some of your colleagues seem less certain .

    Let’s hope JRM , IDS, DD , BJ and others now do a Drax mea culpa and reverse their last votes

  85. Peter Miller
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Mrs Theresa May nearly blew the last election in the Tory manifesto by relying on the non-astute advice of two non-political nobodies. More recently, she has blown Brexit by relying on the same non-astute, non-political advice of Olly Robbins.

    She has proven to be a weak negotiator, talking tough, but waving a white flag at the earliest opportunity. I shudder to think of the ‘concessions’ the crafty marxist Corbyn will wring from her to get Labour’s support for a BRINO deal as a vassal state of the EU.

    As Oliver Cromwell said in 1653, “It is high time for me to put an end to your sitting in this place, which you have dishonored by your contempt of all virtue.”

  86. Iain Gill
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    stop voting for government business in the house while there is a remoaner as PM

    mrs may has got to go

  87. Original Richard
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    It is clear that for Mrs. T. May and her EU supporting colleagues remaining in the EU is above absolutely everything else.

    It is like a religion and shows how 40+ years of EU membership has totally corrupted our political system and led us into a position where our elected representatives have no intention of implementing the result of a referendum that they freely gave the people and are quite happy to be seen brazenly breaking their election manifesto promises.

  88. Martin R
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s promises are worthless, as we all well know.

  89. MikeF
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Conservative party grass roots support will be decimated by this action. I have written to my MP this morning so that he is under no illusion that I will not vote for the Conservative party again structured as it currently is. They should fear a General Election greatly. Reality is that faced with a non- Brexit that is WA + Customs Union it would actually be preferable to stay in.

  90. They Work for Us?
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your efforts on our behalf, genuine Conservatives must stand firm.

    Where possible local associations must place votes of no confiodence in their remainer MPs, follow up with deselection and tell CCHQ there is no support for canvassing, leafleting and support in any forthcoming elections for candidates the locals do not endorse.

    Please encourage cabinet members that their duty is not to serve May any more for their views are ignored. In the limit even Mrs May cannot govern without a cabinet.

    Cannot the ERG effectively withdraw all cooperation with all govt business however trivial. Make everything bloody difficult. It is now a war of attrition, fair play and courtesy are seen as weakness.

  91. Les
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    There is a succinct summary on Conservative Woman: “Never rule out a vote of no confidence” which basically says that the only way to get Brexit is by a vote of no confidence – i.e. stick to your principles – country before party.
    It is interesting that that is precisely what many of the Remainers think they are doing: putting the principle of EU unity before party (and country).
    So the question ‘remains’ what is the correct principle: national democracy or supra-national rule?
    (Just to put my own ‘cards on the table’: I only believe in a theocracy 🙂 )

  92. Fred H
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    This ‘difficult woman’ has surpassed herself. Any self-respecting Tory in the Cabinet would resign today, how can they live with Corbyn taking part, and indeed now becoming a front-runner to win the next GE?

  93. Nigl
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Alastair Campbell right on it. ‘Weak Tories have boosted Corbyns chances of becoming Prime Minister’. Well done Theresa May. You started process back in 2017 losing your majority and are now losing the country.

    How proud you must be to be ‘a bloody difficult woman’

  94. Monza 71
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink


    Having prevented the Withdrawal agreement from going through, which would have secured Brexit without a Customs Union, the ERG has now caused a desperate PM to try and cobble together a deal with Corbyn. One has to ask, how a Cabinet, with a majority of 14/27 in favour of leaving without a deal, could possibly have allowed her to do this ?

    If she succeeds, it will inevitably mean the exact same flawed withdrawal agreement being passed with Labour votes but it will now be tied to a much softer Brexit. At the same time, as we have repeatedly warned, Remainers are probably going to succeed in making leaving on WTO terms unlawful.

    The Brexiteers who voted against the deal last time are going to have to take the blame for this. And rightly so.

    Reply I voted for WTO exit which is the only answer. I do not support May talking to Corbyn

    • Monza 71
      Posted April 4, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      Sir John,
      I have been posting here for a number of years and on every issue other than this, I agree with you. But Politics has to be about the art of the possible.

      It was obvious before the last vote on the Withdrawal Agreement that if it was voted down, Parliament would not allow a WTO exit and the inevitable result would be a softer Brexit. JRM, IDS, David Davis and others realised this. Others, including yourself, did not. The vote was therefore lost.

      Now we have Parliament voting for a further delay and Corbyn will insist on at least a CU and possibly a “confirmatory” referendum. The responsibility for a soft Brexit will ultimately rest with the Brexiteers including yourself who voted against the deal on that 3rd occasion.

  95. Andy
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    On the plus side – watching the Conservative party destroy itself is really rather fun.

    When Labour gets a decent leader you will be totally annihilated.

    • a-tracy
      Posted April 4, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Do you think the Labour voters are happy with Labour? Really, do you know any?

  96. Stred
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    PMs questions should be interesting for once. A love in between a Cultural Marxist and a Marxist who both want to give the country away to please global corporations.

  97. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I am utterly amazed that May is still PM. After all, they got rid of Thatcher for far less and she was a far better PM than May could even dream of being. It is the weakness of MPs that has got us into this mess. Your party has gone to the wall John and is no longer fit for purpose. I am no longer voting Conservative and wish I hadn’t vite for the lies in your manifesto last time. Its all utterly disgraceful. There is no way she should be crawling to Corbyn when she should honour her manifesto and leave.

  98. John G
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    This whole situation is seriously risking my health, I have never felt so strongly about a political matter. Teresa May has failed in every sense of the word, allowing the EU to paint us into a corner from the start which she has willingly and dutifully accepted despite her many promises to this Country. How can she possibly believe the WA honours the referendum result when it evidently does not? Either she is completely deluded or she really sees it for what it is but simply won’t admit it, all the while trying to con us all to the contrary. What is equally frustrating is the inability of pro Brexit MP’s to influence the situation to any degree other than delay what seems to be the inevitable – a soft or no Brexit at all. Democracy has all but died in this Country, the future does not look bright.

  99. robert lewy
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    I am trying to imagine if there could be any positive result from May’s overture to Corbyn.

    The only possibility seems to me to be that she could see no other way:

    a) to present her WA before Parliament again
    b) to obtain an extension from EU

    Although both these views may be contentious it is conceivable that she sees the options in this way.

    Therefore, she has a low probability chance of an agreement with Corbyn which seems unlikely both because of the lack of any mutual respect and Corbyn’s overriding ambition of bringing her government down .

    However, the possible bright spot may be that if she believes that her WA is now dead she still has a basis for obtaining an extension from the EU to 22 May which would allow 40 days more preparation for a No Deal.

  100. gyges
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Err … you do know that we left at 11pm on the 29th March 2019.

    The gov has no mandate other than to do anything else. No regulations / directives have any legality other than through UK legislation. Any monies sent to the EU are gifts rather than anything else but again, there is no lawful authority for anyone to send these gifts.

    Just because it hasn’t been tested in a court doesn’t mean it isn’t lawful.

    That part of the gov is Vichy in nature.

  101. yossarion
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    The ERG needs to replace European in its name and replace it with English, getting out of the UK seems the only way not to be held at ransom by the Cackling Celts and to be free of the EU..

  102. Mike Wilson
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I have somehow gained the impression that after a long cabinet meeting yesterday, May unilaterally decided to try to do a deal with Corbyn – ignoring whatever was said in cabinet. Is this true? Who on earth does she think she is.

    Either the DUP or disillusioned Brexiteer Tory MPs are going to bring the government down if she persists with her ‘any deal is better than no deal’ philosophy. It seems to me it is about time cabinet resignations took place.

    On the one hand it seems inevitable that this is going to split the Tory Party – perhaps irrevocably yet, despite many Labour constituencies voting to Leave, it looks as though they will emerge intact.

    It now seems only a matter of time before we get a Corbyn government. I use the words loosely. Mind you, let’s be completely honest, could a Corbyn government be more dysfunctional than the one we have now? I think not.

  103. michael mcgrath
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I wonder whether anyone has mentioned to the dear leader that the customs union means handing control of uk import duties to Brussels and then paying them 80% of the import duty which they have imposed upon us.
    And I also wonder whether Jeremy Corbyn understands that the customs union is not affiliated to the TUC

  104. Jane
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    The PM’s bizarre behaviour is in keeping with what the EU want, that is cross party talk to get the WA through Parliament.

    I can only assume that she must have been having another cozy chat with Juncker.

    Perhaps the PM’s phone should be taken from her!

  105. Atlas
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Who would have thought that May would hand Marxist Corbyn such credibility on a plate.

    If Conservative MPs don’t stop her she will have shredded their future.

  106. Dominic
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    A May, Corbyn government. The most sinister development in British political history

  107. matthu
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    “this is the only way to deliver the smooth, orderly Brexit that we promised and for which the British people voted.”

    That’s a lie for a start.

    We voted to leave in the face of all warnings that it would be anything but smooth and orderly. We did not vote to leave ourselves half in and half out, having rules continuing to be imposed by Brussels. Being unable to sign free trade agreements with the rest of the world. Being reliant on Corbyn to get our policies adopted.

  108. JoolsB
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    So not only has the worst PM in living memory decided to go against her own party and make a Marxist her deputy but she is also having talks with the SNP – unbelievable. Brexit was an English decision John, it’s only chance to he heard by an establishment that continues to ignore it’s very existence and deny it any rights to self determination enjoyed by the rest of the dis-United Kingdom. It seems May is interested in the interests and demands of every part of this so called union except the part which overwhelmingly voted Brexit. Not only is this awful deluded PM sticking her two fingers up at 17.4 million people but also at the very people of England that bizarrely your party relies on for it’s support. Who is May listening to to put forward England’s interests in these talks when she is having talks with the devolved Ministers? Absolutely no-one that’s who. And still 500 plus self serving UK MPs squatting in English seats refuse to contemplate England as a nation let alone having a voice or any form of representation in it’s own right on a parity with the rest of the dis-UK because to do so would result in a dilution of their powers and a huge cull in their numbers.

    So as usual the wishes and voice of England must carry on being ignored by UK Governments of all colours, this so called Tory one included. Shame on you all. The Tory party deserves England’s contempt and hopefully it’s betrayal over Brexit will be it’s final undoing hopefully allowing a new true Conservative party to emerge that is willing to recognise and stand up for the people of England unlike now.

  109. Andy
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Why didn’t the Conservative party remove May when they had the chance?

  110. Gareth Warren
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Short of the EU actually being serious about deadlines, I am sure they are not, the only hope now appears to be getting rid of Theresa May.

    That requires either a change of rules or a wait until December, I do not know what is required to change the rules.

    It is remarkable, I thought a leader offering to resign was low, but conspiring with Corbyn is ridiculous. What is extremely odd here is that all options being taken such as betraying manifesto are dooming the party at the next election, it is as if they do not care, why I wonder?

  111. BR
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    You need to get rid of her. Perhaps if 10 or so ERG resign the whip, saying that you will vote against the government or abstain until Mrs May is replaced with a leader committed to deliver the manifesto Brexit.

    Whether you actually need to resign the whip in order to do that is another question, but one way or another, she needs to go FAST.

  112. Tom Rogers
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I would like Theresa May to stay in post.

    Theresa May is the Remain Establishment’s frontman. Normally that should have put her in a commanding position. With the backing of the greater part of the mainstream media, the courts, most Tory MPs, etc., and all the others who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, she should now be riding high, having secured a ‘Remain That Looks Like Brexit’ while marginalising the Hard Brexiters and satisfying the soft underbelly of southern England that the Tory Party relies on for support.

    Why didn’t it work out for her? Her downfall is her tin ear and her tendency to make obvious tactical moves, which results in her games almost-always falling flat. She is also the victim of a shift in public consciousness, largely caused by the worldwide web. The cat is out of the bag. People can see through all the old methods. Theresa May is like an old school magician who still relies on magic tricks that everybody has already had explained to them.

    My view is still May Must Stay because each and every disastrous decision she makes has brought us closer to a Hard Brexit.

    Even now, as I type this, Hard Bexit is, in effect, two days away. If the request for an extension to Article 50 is not submitted by close of Friday, then the EU have said it will not be granted.

    To get round this tricky problem, May is now allying with Labour. This is another disastrous political calculation, both by May and by those tin-earred Labour MPs, like Keir Starmer and Yvette Coper, who will have encouraged her

    May has now thoroughly alienated the provincial Tory Party. A proper conservative alternative could clean up in the south of England.

    Likewise, Hard Brexit has overwhelming support in those parts of northern and eastern England that Labour has always regarded as its core base. So this presents an opportunity for the patriotic Left too.

    That’s why I hope Theresa May stays in place. She is the gift that keeps on giving. Even when she wins, she loses.


    – every day, we dance closer to the fire of Hard Brexit;

    – she is destroying the Conservative Party, and the criticism is not that it is insufficiently progressive, but that it is insufficiently conservative;

    – she is now dragging Labour down with her.

    Who knows, she may destroy the EU before she’s done?

    Keep it up Theresa!

  113. Helen Smith
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Her statement is way worse than unacceptable. She disregarded the cabinet, party MPs, the manifesto she wrote, party members wishes, party voters and the referendum result to collude with a man she has rightly said is not fit to govern in order to force through her toxic WA and leave the UK in the EU but without a voice or vote.

    If she won’t go then the Brexit MPs should resign the whip en masse.

  114. Sue Doughty
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Just leave without this deal and then the real dealing will start and be done fast. The civil service have already done all they can as if we left on 29th March. It is in law and at least Whitehall obeys the law made by MPs.

  115. John Booth
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Sir John

    You say “Mrs May’s idea of a close and wide ranging partnership, or the ideas of a customs union, Common market 2.0 and other close alignments would only be feasible if the UK has signed the Withdrawal Treaty.”.

    Do you think she may have already secretly signed it? Many people on social media aghast at her behaviour, trickery and treachery already believe that she has signed it and what we are seeing now is a charade, mere window dressing.

    What is you opinion Sir John?

  116. BR
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    Alternative to resigning the whip – simply tell her that you will make Corbyn aware that you will vote with him in a VoNC. Under the FTPA you then have 14 days to find someone who can ‘command the confidence of the house’. That won’t be a socialist since they could never pass the require confidence vote, so effectively you have 14 days to elect a new leader.

    The Parliament Office have said (on their web site) that they would allow more than 14 days if it seemed that a government could emerge.

  117. Prigger
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Many are resigned to the fact that nothing resembling leaving the EU and our becoming an Independent country is likely to take place in the next five years or so. Then it will.
    What happens henceforward ranges from steady disintegration of society, increases in knife crime, gun crime, acid attacks, arson, vandalism, hooliganism,general breakdown of relationships both personal and otherwise to acts of violent domestic terrorism on an escalating scale dragging in more professional terrorists as time goes by.
    No need of mystic meg, just knowledge of our own people~ in general. We do not like it up us

  118. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    This morning Sammy Wilson has taken Stephen Barclay to task over the pathetic excuse that we cannot leave the EU without a deal because at present there is no devolved government in Northern Ireland to take some of the decisions which could become necessary. There is of course always the fallback of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004, that extends to Northern Ireland. Not to mention that it is also an insulting excuse for the English, given that there is no devolved government for England at any time; but nobody cares about that, do they.

  119. Tony Sharp
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    As I predicted Mrs May will do anyhting to stay in the EU and to pretend her PWA has been accepted – you had this from the Whips themselves when they pretended a WTO Agreement could follow a Vote for the PWA.
    Now Mrs May is prepared to treat with Labour because she cannot get her own Cabinet to agree her PWA.
    The only way is to remove Mrs May is by a Commons Confidence Vote (#1 under FTP Act 2010) and see if the Payroll MPs will support her or dump her before No Confidence Vote (#2).
    You hav eto accept that Mrs May has broken the Conservative Party at Cabinet, Commons and local association level – you cannot let her choose on the split , split before she creates even more damage. She will not resign even if ther eis a WTO Brexit on the 12th.

  120. MickN
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Has anyone else noticed that the losers referendum is no longer being called a second referendum but is now being referred to as a confirmatory referendum.
    They can change the name as often as they like but it would still be a betrayal of democracy.

  121. PaulDirac
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    If the tete-a-tete with Corbyn is successful will have the startling result that a Conservative PM will pass the most important law for 60 years against the wish of the majority of Conservative MP’s, against the majority of Conservative association, contrary to the expressed wishes of Conservative voters, contrary to the Conservative manifesto (and I could go on, but wish to spare Sir Redwood).
    My initial prediction is that Corbyn will not agree to any terms, his interest is not in a successful transition to freedom, but to maximize chaos.
    Be that as it may, it is amazing that our MP’s Brexiters and Remainers are sitting on their back-sides completely impotent to prevent the probably disaster waiting for us in the next GE as a result of TM’s policy.

  122. chris rooke
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    John, you had your chance to avoid this obvious outcome but you chose purity over reality. You could have voted through the WA and we would now have a leadership election and a chance to reset for stage 2 of the negotiations. The disasters to come are for you and your hardline colleagues to ponder as you had the power to stop it.

    • drunk on babels wine
      Posted April 4, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      John, you had your chance to avoid this obvious outcome but you chose purity over reality.

      Chris, you will soon taste reality, its called a GE.
      Hold firm and views like yours will soon be considered hilarious, but you probably do not even know why?

  123. Ian
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    As for this dissgracefull PM being away from her Manifesto, with her talks with her new friend from the USSR.
    She has kicked that into the long grass three years ago.
    Had she stuck to it we would have been out by now.

    That has been the problem Sir John, we voted for The Manifesto that the Tory’s offered.
    Oh they knew what we wanted alright.

    This worst PM since Eden, and the worst Government since Cromwell, has spent the last three years overturning Brexit.

    We need an election to get rid of the treacherous Remainers, in fact to get rid of the three main parties, who think only about there party and definitely not about what the People want

  124. Chris
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Steve Baker is rightly praised in an article on The Conservative Woman website today:

    TCW’s Brexit Roll of Honour: The unbiddable Steve Baker
    Michael St George

  125. Ken ruby
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Just leave no problem let them come to us for trade

    • Bon Accord
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      I agree, the eu caannot survive without access to uk markets, john redwood has made that clear

  126. Paul
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    The Tory party died today RIP. The public will never allow this to happen again and no Tory government will ever be trusted. She fought an election on a dreadful manifesto which resulted in a minority in the house.

    You will be out of power for generations following this betrayal your only possible hope of salvation is to deliver a WTO solution now.

    Her deal is that bad deal sorry treaty.

    • Andrew S
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      A true brexit government will one day default on any treaty entered into by this sham parliament. They will have to send tanks to stop us.
      March 29 Independence Day to remind us all each year of the treachery of the tory democracy destroyers. We will get brexit, it will take a hard struggle and there will be deserved discomfort for the traitors.

  127. Jen Amey
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    What is the point of voting for your party or labour if we stay in the European union. Why should we pay for your debating society as it clear you no longer listen to the electorate and are not working for them. May’s has withered long enough and has shown she has not intention of leaving the EU. If the parliament fails to deliver Brexit it’s the politicians and the civil service that is at fault not that Brexit is to hard. It’s time for a new broom through parliament.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      I would encourage, nay hope, that the electorate note behaviour of their MP and not vote or put the cross against a better candidate, in order to ensure revenge is a dish best served cold. Sir John will get mine, you may not agree ( but I do) but he has remained steadfast and explained in detail the reasoning.

  128. Charles Crane
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    I admit to being confused.
    What is the legal basis for saying that we didn’t already leave with no deal last Friday?

  129. Lorna
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for al you do

    I have been giving this debacle considerable thought and have tried to understand what the problems are
    The big mistake by our PM I have decided
    was starting by trying to get a WA rather than just putting forward U.k plans for Leaving within the Article 50
    We could have used the two years to agree arrangements that facilitated this process
    Leaving is the starting point and all this discussion at present is about what happens after we have left .

    A complex EU plot was unnecessary and unwise !

    In the first instance being subject to Art 50 time limitations has created a situation whereby we agree with the WA or are threatened with not leaving ,creating major issues for the business and community !
    We clearly do not need an agreement to leave just well considered plans in place!

    Labour now using the opportunity to make political points about workers rights etc is an example in point .
    Why should this be a decision for the EU?That is part of the domestic agenda to follow after leaving !
    Was that Not one of the reasons for leaving? To,take back control of our own agenda !

    All the discussions could have been undertaken under the umbrella of a FTA .
    May however allowed the EU to trap her into an agreement that is totally unacceptable to all well thinking patriots .
    It threatened our sovereignty and ties us to the EU for an indeterminate time .She steadfastly refuses to understand that fact .Allowing opponents to be classified as extremists !Using an emotive title of No
    Deal to,describe leaving ! Leaving is the wish of most of the public as grassroots supporters canvassing are experiencing on the doorsteps

    This is now a mess ,May needs to have the dignity to,stand down as she tried it her way and failed !Destroying much of our respected Precedents and trust in Parliament in the process.
    There needs to be a solution that separates the two objectives!We Leave then move to a transition or standstill process that allows plans for Canada plus trade agreement.
    The imperative is to Leave
    I trust you will understand the point I am making .

  130. Alastair McIntyre
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    Given that more MP’s want to remain how do we leave with a no deal? It’s all very well you saying that’s what we should do but how can you make that happen? And I do agree we should leave with a no deal.

    It seems to me the majority of MP’s have no faith in the British people or British businesses and the BBC is clearly anti-Brexit but whenever MP’s that say they want to leave are interviewed by the BBC they ALL fail to mention that the BBC is anti-Brexit.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Alastair McIntyre,

      If we don’t have MEP’s we are not represented and therefore I don’t think the EU can accept an extension. If we get to vote to in the European election we will have the Brexit party, the EU will wish us to leave and all the Conservatives and Labour know they shouldn’t stop it.

      The problem occurs if the WA is voted through (or a permanent comprehensive CU) – we then might not escape and continue to take rules.

  131. glen cullen
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    How can Sir Oliver Letwin MP bring a ‘Bill’ against the government of his own party ?
    Why hasn’t the w ip been removed ?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Oh because they all stick together – witness the widespread public sorrow from Gove, Boris etc., when Boles and Grieve got into difficulties with their constituency parties. The rest of us just said “good riddance”. That’s part of the problem.

  132. A Call to Prayer
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Nigel Adams, the MP for Selby and Ainsty, has resigned

    The BBC would not report why he resigned or give any statement, so hear is what he said….

    Adams resigns: “You have decided a deal cooked up with a Marxist…is better than No Deal”

    • Chris
      Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Chris Heaton Harris has also. Junior Minister, I believe.

  133. Chris
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    The splendid Reagan quote on freedom, which we are fighting for:

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same or one day we will spend our sunset years. telling our children and our children’s children what is was once like in the United States where men were free….”
    Ronald Reagan

  134. Bitterend
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

    So no indicative voting on Monday and probably no extension allowed for after 12th April ..well that should help to concentrate minds – the timetable is in flux

  135. Chris
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Statement by Juncker on No Deal and Article 50 (message also for Helena):


    Statement by President Juncker on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union at the European Parliament’s plenary session
    Brussels, 3 April 2019

    “…Yet I believe that a “no deal” at midnight on the 12 April is now a very likely scenario. It is not the outcome I want. But it is an outcome for which I have made sure the European Union is ready.

    We have been preparing since December 2017. We have always known that the logic of Article 50 makes a “no-deal” the default outcome. We have long been aware of the balance of power in the House of Commons…..”

  136. Steve
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Hard to describe appropriate sentiment. Repugnant, disgraceful perhaps.

    Should have got rid when we said, ‘we told you so’ .

    I’d advise leavers not to build their hopes up. Tusk & Co will give May whatever she asks for if they think there’s a chance brexit could be stopped / delayed.

    She only has to convince them she has the numbers, thanks to licking Corbyn’s footwear.

    No doubt there will be more dirty tricks over the coming days, some of which will make your stomach churn.

  137. Simon
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    You are hilarious Sir John. Your beloved Conservative party is now in coalition with Mr Corbyn. I am going to die laughing at the absurd antics and posturing of you and your chums.

  138. Martinez
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Further delay is out of the question..either you leave 12 April 2300hrs or you apply to stay in for good. Times up! The EU is not going to put with any more BS

  139. Mark Richmond
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    It may well be that Mrs May can not get a May/Corbyn compromise through the commons but I don’t think anyone can blame her for trying.

    We need to remember that, for all the talk on this blog of manifesto commitments, the Tory party did not win an overall majority; and the Labour party did not either. The Labour party in particular are perfectly within their rights to design new policies, having been defeated.

    Meanwhile it is now clear as day that, whatever the majority of MPs thought they were doing in triggering article 50, they did not expect no deal, do not want no deal, and they seem to have enough power to stop it. So we won’t get it!

    It has been obvious for a while now that the only way to keep a “harder” Brexit alive was to vote for May’s deal and do things differently in the second phase of the process.

    As it is, that dream has gone IMVHO.

  140. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    Be careful what you wish for.
    Corbyn will take your beloved EU apart from the inside.
    Watch the third world arriving here, then wandering off to Germany for a return on their work and less than 90% tax. Barbed wire facing the other way at Calais.
    I’m almost looking forward to it.

  141. agricola
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    Well if JCJunker’s words have any authority the EU are done with any further extensions and we leave on 12th April. I suspect the EU are getting as tired of the musical chairs in the HoC as we the UK public are. It is fairly obvious that May is the supplicant and the EU call the shots. If in doubt look at the WA. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a happy ending after all.

  142. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted April 3, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    The Brexit Party has already raised £250000 and looks set to garner the same amount in the next two days. This is May’s achievement. Must see who’s standing in the by-election tomorrow.

    • rose
      Posted April 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      Just a UKIP candidate of many years experience in the Assembly who trebled their vote. It is damnable that there are now two Brexit parties. If the Brexit Party had been standing the result would have been split, as it was between Plaid C, the Greens, and the Liberals, all bumping on the bottom, yet between them increasing their vote.

  143. Gordon Nottingham
    Posted April 4, 2019 at 3:04 am | Permalink

    I just hope that the BREXIT Party and UKIP are going to give us someone who we can vote for, as there is no way I can EVER vote Conservative or Labour again. Any chance we can sue them for disloyalty to all the citizens of the UK?

  144. Can we debate global
    Posted April 4, 2019 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    Three women now giggling on BBC news 24 saying ”what the hell is going on”. I think that just about sums it up. These were the Brexit political experts. Apparantly Brexit is just a bit of a giggle, where we are supposed to laugh at MPs for not reaching consensus.

  • About John Redwood

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

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