Who now doubts the power of the EU?

Before the referendum pro Remain commentators and MPs delighted in telling us we were a free and independent country whilst still in the EU. They explained that the EU did not have much power over us, just a few necessary details to allow trade to take place. Since we voted to leave some of these same people have explained how crucial EU laws and controls are, and how they penetrate most features of our public life and law codes. They now claim the control is so wide ranging we cannot live successfully without it.

The supremacy of EU law over domestic law has been at the centre of recent disputes over the matter of delaying our exit. The Prime Minister requested a delay of Brussels at the last Council. She wanted to leave on 30 June. The EU Council instead gave her the ultimatum  of a delay until April 12th, unless she could carry the Withdrawal Agreement which could hold up  our departure  until May 22nd. These different delays had not been agreed by Parliament or even explained to Parliament. As soon as the PM said Yes to the Council we were told they were good EU law which trumped all that Parliament had enacted to get us out on 29 March. After a legal wrangle the government decided to put it beyond doubt by legislating in the UK as well, whilst claiming the supremacy of EU law.

The upcoming Council on Wednesday raises the same difficult issue again. The Prime Minister is requesting a delay until June 30th for a second time. If the EU grants it she will tell Parliament we have to put up with it whether we like it or not. Treaty law is superior to UK law, and apparently a mere written statement by the EU Council can flex this Treaty.

The question is how will the EU want to respond this time to a request for yet more delay? The EU minus the UK has big plans to press on with greater political, monetary and economic integration. Many of its members will be pleased to see the end of UK resistance to these centralising plans, as the UK has for years been trying to slow down the movement to greater integration. France may be tempted to get rid of the UK more quickly so she can press Germany harder for a closer union. Germany may be more attracted to delay so the UK has to pay in money for longer which helps Germany most as the biggest paymaster, and dilutes French and other centralising influences as well.

What will be clear is that once again our future will be settled by the rest of the EU, probably under the influence of Germany and France.They will decide whether the UK can delay, and if so on what terms. They after all have encouraged the Commission to settle the penal terms for long delay that are represented in the Withdrawal Agreement at great cost to the UK.  The UK public has been too wise to fall for thar so the EU does need to think again. The UK government us humiliating our country by putting us through this repeated begging to the European Council.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    What a state the UK is in.

    At least this attempt to leave has revealed just how controlled we are – highlighting the absolute need to leave.

    May will do all she can to keep us tied, so let us help that one of the other 27 lets us go.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Most MPs don’t seem to bothered. They either don’t understand or don’t care.

      The BBC talks in terms that make it seem the EU is oh so reasonable compared to the difficult British.

      • Hope
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        JR, wevread thevterms for extension is that the UK accepts budget and trade deals without a say and goes along with majority voting. I.e. Vassal state.

        May is humiliating our great country in the eyes of the world. At home ministers continue making a coalition with a Marxist anti Semite party.

        What is your EU election campaign based on servitude without a voice and veto in the spirit of partnership. Also giving up intelligence, security and defence for nothing! May needs medical help that is the conclusion I draw. What does it say for Tory MPs to allow this to continue. Largest vote in history voted out.

        • NickC
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          Hope, Not just the scheming Remain Theresa May, the whole government machine has been corrupted by the EU. The EU m/o is a figleaf parliament, a politicised civil service, bribery, and propaganda.

          The stupid thing about Mrs May is she has used the same techniques as the EU does but she has been found out. Yet she still continues to believe, apparently, that her duplicity is succeeding.

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Sky news are no better. The whole media is biased talking of crashing out when referring to no deal.

    • matthu
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      At the moment we appear to be controlled not by the EU but by the unwillingness of Westminster and our PM in particular to respect the outcome of the referendum.

      At the moment I honestly cannot think of a single reason to vote for any of the main Westminster political parties. None of their manifestos would be worth the toilet paper they were written on.

      The only way out might have been for May to resign, be replaced by someone with vision and enthusiasm and then to call a general election. But it is honestly too late for that now.

      There is talk of the EU being prepared to re-open the WA on condition we agree to a longer delay to Brexit – but then there is the little problem of the EU elections …

      • Hope
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        If rules of parliament and constitution can be changed, the Tory MPs could oust May. They do not want to.

        • Chris
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Yes, Hope, where there is a will there is a way. The apparent lack of any will is on display for all the electorate to see, and they will bear that in mind on judgement day.

      • Richard1
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        The EU elections are no problem at all. In fact they might be a needed kick in the rear at least for the Conservative Party. May I suggest a good reason to vote Conservative? Corbyn becomes PM if you don’t.

        • Hope
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          That is a scare story that will not fly, particularly for the ill-informed, now Tor party is in coalition with him on the biggest policy issues facing the country. It will confirm their view how nasty the Tories have been about so far.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Well said. The odd thing is, I’m one of those easy going, middle-of-the-road types who could probably quite easily embrace the European Dream — if only the bloody thing worked. The problem is, it doesn’t, it never has, and it continues to fail to deliver for a significant number of EU citizens.

      Of course, the little people don’t count any more inside the EU than they do outside. But, critically, at least in the UK I still get to vote to help remove and replace our law makers when they go too far. That to me is something worth preserving.

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        Only trouble with that one Julie is with FPTP the two main parties have the system stitched up between them and as as both of them, John and the ERG excepted, have no intention of honouring the referendum result, how do we vote them out?

        • Julie Dyson
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

          It’s a fair comment.

          I do feel that the one good thing likely to come of all of this will be a significant shift in our politics. So many at the next GE will not vote for the two main parties, instead shifting to such as Greens or UKIP (as much a protest vote as anything) that we’ll end up with a very messy coalition, huge numbers of MPs being voted in by small margins and tiny percentages of the total constituency vote, that we’ll have fresh demands for some form of proportional representation.

          There’s something fundamentally flawed with a system whereby almost four millions votes returns one MP — whether you believe in their politics or not.

          • a-tracy
            Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

            Who really knows what the Greens stand for, I know people that are pretty right wing in their views who think they’re sort of Tory light when I understand they’re more left wing than Blair’s Labour but slightly to the right of Corbyn’s Labour. How would people feel if they elected them and they slowed down motorways, made cars too expensive for them to drive in rural areas, increased parking to take us all off the road and out of the air with new flight taxes.

            Are they all windmill huggers where windmills will replace trees in every area?

            Will they pass legislation to make meat eating too expensive and fund campaigns to persuade us to change our mind about eating tofu – be careful what you vote for it just might happen and the next scheme may be something you enjoy doing.

        • Robert mcdonald
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          Don’t see how PR would make any difference … the mp’s will be selected by the parties not the people and it’s unlikely any one party , i.e. a Brexit party, would get a majority as the others would “cooperate” with each other. At least with fptp the constituencies can choose their mp.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Don’t be so sure that we will have anything worth preserving! If democracy is trashed in regard to the referendum result, the neo-liberals will believe they can get away with anything! As the little people don’t matter anymore -why not take their vote away? Thus avoiding any embarrassments in the future!
        Unfortunately, there are too few democrats in both houses, who would fight to preserve the little peoples’ vote.

      • DaveM
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        I could easily embrace the Council of Europe with mult- or bi-lateral agreements and cooperation. Just don’t see the need for a Commission or Parliament. That’s because I’m not a corporate globalist but a patriotic internationalist.

      • Andy
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Which bit do you think does not work? I am interested because, actually, if you ignore the angry headlines it seems to work rather well.

        Collectively we are richer, healthier, better educated and live in a more peaceful society than we ever have. And by we I mean all of Europe. So which bit has failed for you?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

          Do you think all improvements are due to the EU?
          You forget that standards of living have risen in nations not in the EU.
          And it isn’t just about trade.
          It is about the natural desire to be a free independent nation and extricate ourselves from what is rapidly turning itself into the United States of Europe.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          If you listen to Labour in their areas they are full of food banks, more children are in poverty. Disabled people can’t survive. Our hospitals are overflowing and can’t treat us. We are running out of medicines and having medicines on prescription restricted and this is all before any Brexit.

          We have children who are now in school until they’re 18 too many with inadequate education standards and 50% of them persuaded to stay in school until they’re 21 with we’re told now substandard degrees that aren’t guaranteeing them jobs to earn enough to pay even the minimal contribution to their student loan.

          We have taxes increasing left right and centre a new 8% tax toward the State pension renamed Nest. This is why people aren’t feeling better off they have an extra 5% tax going out as workplace State pension with no guarantees on what sort of return they’re going to get for that money or whether their state pension will be means tested because they have it!

          No Andy you wealthy people just don’t get it and you’re not really interested or prepared to listen to what I’m telling you and its not because we have a Conservative Government, they have spent years on the EU and IMF instructions giving us austerity after Labour’s free for all spending years.

          We are all paying taxes on a figure made up by the EU for prostitution and drugs. Go on explain how that is fair and just?

    • Special K
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      This is why a second referendum is so important to the EU and to its supporters here.

      We MUST have it recorded that it was The People’s idea.

      • Julie Dyson
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Erm… it was. The date was 23rd June, 2016, in case you missed it.

        • Al
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          Ah but, Julie, that was the wrong People’s Idea. The EU would much prefer we vote again until we have their idea.

          I shall be voting in May to show them my idea is emphatically not in alignment with theirs. I will be most unimpressed if I have to vote twice.

    • Andy B
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Also highlights the sham of parliamentary democracy and the power of the BBC/MSM.
      It remains to be seen if the monarchy is following the same diktats not that would be a surprise as every e.u diktat since 1972 has been rubber stamped.
      In the ‘best possible taste of course’ and for ‘the good little peoples best interests’.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

        Certainly right on the BBC. They are hugely biased and wrong on nearly every issue. Left wing, high tax enthusiasts, full of climate alarmism propaganda and hugely pro EU (thus wanting to destroy UK democracy completely).

        As an example a long discussion yesterday on radio 4 over Sadiq Khan’s driver mugging tax grab (that is just starting in London). BBC discussion entirely about air quality with not a single mention that it is actually just another damaging tax on people going about their businesses and then their customers. On say an LBC radio calling almost every caller would have said it was just yet another tax (and a very inefficient one too).

        It will for example make people scrap perfectly good older cars early, drive further to avoid the zone, travel by buses that are often less direct, take far longer and are often dirtier per passenger mile. Or use a taxi that might make a double journey for each leg.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      @ Pominoz

      As an Englishman in Australia, why do you bother with this? Do you want to return to that miserable weather and those difficult people? Why not enjoy the spirit of mateship instead and bowls in the sunshine?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Stop doing my country down!

        Pominoz has a perfectly legitimate right to feel a kinship with the UK. We British are only ‘difficult people’ as you put it, when somebody tries to deny us our democratic rights and seeks to subjugate us – and we have barely got into our stride!

        If the UK was as bad as you suggest, why do you think half the world is trying to get here, and why do they describe it as ‘Treasure Island’?

      • NickC
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Rien, That’s independent Australia, you know. And it’s a fine thing that at least the British don’t fall for the latest totalitarian European ideology. You have benefited far more from Britain than you have from the EU. Pity you don’t realise it.

      • Pominoz
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:25 pm | Permalink


        I have no intention of returning – but that does not mean that I am not devastated to see the blatant wrecking of sovereignty of the country which has so positively influenced the world for centuries.

        The EU ‘house of cards’ will inevitably collapse. Quite when, I do not know, but it surely will. The UK must be as far removed from it as possible when it occurs. That is why we must GET OUT NOW.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      For anyone who has a Twitter account, Kate Hoey and Jacob Rees-Mogg have both re-tweeted something Yvette Cooper (Mrs. Balls) said in a video back in 2017. Unsolicited, my wife and I transcribed Ms Cooper’s words for Sir John’s subscribers and they are copied below.

      Clearly Yvette Cooper isn’t Churchillian in her delivery, but we get the gist – she is democratic when it suits her, as are most of the MPs at Westminster it seems:

      ‘We had a referendum. The thing I feel more concerned about than any possible scenario, because we don’t know yet what those are going to be, is the idea of becoming a country that no longer respects democratic values. And I think that matters. We had a referendum. We didn’t go into that referendum, those of us who were campaigning in that referendum, we didn’t go into that referendum saying, ‘look, I want you to vote remain, but to be honest, doesn’t matter how you vote, I’m going to ignore you.’ It was a referendum that was fought in good faith. And nobody said at any time ‘but do you know what, I’m just not going to respect the result afterwards’. That’s the kind of thing Donald Trump says, and he did say it before the presidential election, and we were all appalled and horrified that he was saying that about the out come of a vote……..but I don’t see how I could go out there and say, ‘it is so important to stand up for democratic votes’, and say ‘but there’s this democratic vote we just had, that I never said I wasn’t going to respect, and I’m not going to respect it now.’

      • ChrissyG
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        Frightening how someone in such an important position can lie so blatantly without redress. Surely she’s broken some parliamentary rule/law or other? Are politians really so unaccountable? And where are those we expect to challenge what’s happening in government? Why aren’t they putting forward bills saying referendum results must be honoured/democracy must be carried out by a certain timeline? I’m now for revoking A50 and having an election – that way at least we Leavers have a voice again. I’m so sickened by what’s taking place right now. Total betrayal.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          That’s exactly what they want Chrissy, but they aren’t any more likely to let us have our democratic rights upheld a second time as they were the first. It’s the same old ploy. They will keep us voting until they get their way, then they will block us off altogether.

          Don’t give the dross an inch I say!

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        That would be the same Jacob Rees-Mogg who, in Parliament in 2011, advocated having two referenda on leaving the EU, the second one being a confirmatory referendum on whatever deal was agreed?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

          Peter Parsons

          Thank you for giving me the opportunity to expose what liars and distorters of the truth some remainers are.

          Your comments relate to a total misrepresentation of what actually took place in a House of Commons debate where Mr Rees-Mogg was talking hypothetically, so I grabbed a few quotes for your attention:

          In a statement, Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “I joined Twitter in 2017 so the billboard is fundamentally dishonest. It is designed as a tweet and is a highly selective quote.

          “I have never supported a second referendum of the type proposed by the ‘People’s Vote’ campaign.”

          “In the House of Commons on October 24th 2011, I was discussing the idea of a mandate referendum for David Cameron to begin his negotiations on our terms of membership of the European Union followed by a decision on what he had achieved.”

          Personally Peter, I think your remain campaign is rather tawdry if that is the best it can do.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted April 10, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

            And what would a confirmatory referendum on whatever deal finally makes it through Parliament be if it is not “a decision on what (s)he had achieved”?

          • Tad Davison
            Posted April 11, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

            Listen, I could talk about creating gold out of base metals, but it wouldn’t mean I ever intended to try it or if it was even practical. Hypothetical means precisely that! You’re clutching at straws!

      • Kendo
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        Said before we learned Vote Leave committed criminal offences. The 2016 vote is consequently invalid.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          Kendo please list the ‘criminal offences’ you allege.

  2. Mark B
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The extension that the PM seeks has serious long-term financial implications. It could lock us into their 7 years plans even after we Leave.

    TM can only be challenged for the leadwrship in December. I suggest that despite the above BREXIT MP’s hold out. She is a Cuckoo in a Tory nest.

    • Gary C
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

      “TM can only be challenged for the leadership in December.”

      Before then we can show our anger at the local and EU elections and must do so.

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Thanks to May’s incompetence, the Tories will be slaughtered at the local and EU elections but what’s the betting our deluded Prime Minister will dig further into her bunker and still refuse to go blaming everyone else but herself.

        • Stred
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

          Labour are very cheerful in Brighton as they are canvassing. They are just about held back from their looney agendas at present and a Labour councilor has defected to the Conservatives after antisemitic bullying. The return of the looney left in local government will be another of May’s legacies.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

          May just does not care. Soon she will choose to have political parties supported by taxpayers rather than members, unions and companies and then they can despatch with members altogether.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Mrs May is a disaster and she is steering us towards remaining indefinitely in the EU.
      It really is time for the men in suits…
      PS In politics all is fair. Laws can be got round by skilful people. Everyone has their price.
      I am not talking violence at all. We need people who can persuade a very stubborn woman to resign before she does something even more dangerous to our great country.

      • Mike Cooper
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Mike Stallard – very well said. Theresa May has one goal in her sights to the exclusion of all else and that is her beloved Withdrawal Agreement that she signed without reference to her cabinet. I seriously believe the woman is bordering on being declared insane. Forget ant delay until December to vote her out. These are exceptional times and exceptional measures are called for. She MUST be removed by whatever means s she is a threat to the Country.

        • Martin R
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink


      • sm
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        Mike, there has been a lot of reference in recent weeks to suggestions that the ‘men in (grey) suits’ should act, but please don’t be fooled.

        I have been involved in situations when the men in suits have been hand in glove (forgive me!) with a duplicitous leader, and the votes of senior officers have been overturned. Inevitably, the officers turned out to be right in the long run.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Agreed because the 7 year plan starts whilst we are still talking, a real danger indeed.

      I see the latest threat from the EU is if we choose to leave on WTO terms, they say they will not talk to us until we pay them £39 Billion, settle the Irish Border Problem (the way they like) and protect EU Citizens Rights.

      If I was in charge it would be a very long wait, I would invite them to talks on a free trade deal, and then leave it with them.
      Which is what we should have done in the first place.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        If we remain in we will have a veto.

        It must be used to ensure we only pay while we are in pro rata.

        If the veto is withdrawn as part of the extension then our politicians’ true loyalties will be further exposed.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Narrow shoulders

          I think you will find we are excluded from any talks that involve us leaving, we are at present current members, and Mrs may is sent out of the room when Brexit iOS being discussed, as she will be later today/tomorrow.

        • graham1946
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          The so called 39 billion was to take account of our subs until end of budget, December 2020 as well as the many fictitious things the EU has not enumerated, so obviously as each month passes that we continue to pay in, that 39 billion should decrease by a billion a month. Anyone reckon we will still owe 39 billion or probably even more if we keep paying to the end of 2020?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Whoever else leads the Tory party will still lack the majority that she lost.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        The next leader might well have been put into a £39 billion EU straight jacket or other ties by May’s appalling government too.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          As I’m not a Tory I’m not obsessed with the £39 billion above all other considerations. I’d rather pay that even if it’s more than can be strictly justified and get out of the EU so that we don’t keep paying in forever more. We’ve already paid in half a trillion, a few billion more is of no great significance in that bigger picture.

      • James1
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        But at least he or she is likely to believe in the wonderful opportunities the Brexit offers, and not see it as a calamity that has to be avoided

    • mac
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      It is time to retire Guy Fawkes and replace him with Theresa May.

    • cynic
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Agreed, but who to replace her with? Grove,Leadsom, Boris and even J R M have all voted for the W A. Most other candidates seem to support May to some extent and do not inspire confidence.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Certainly not Gove who gave us May nor anyone who supported remain in the referendum.

        Even voting for the W/A at any stage is suspect.

        • JoolsB
          Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely agree. No remainers and no members of the Cabinet either, certainly not Gove and not Mordaunt and Leadsom either. So called Brexiteers who have backed May’s appalling WA from the beginning in return for a Ministerial car and a seat at the cabinet table.

    • Martin R
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      The membership, or what’s left of it, would have her out on her ear in an instant if they were allowed a say. However they won’t be for that very reason. But Tory MP’s can’t be trusted to do anything different than they did last time.

      • rose
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        The membership were saying “Anyone but May” during the leadership contest of 2016 which is why they were cut out.

    • Nicky Roberts
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      She was told last night apparently that opinion has turned and she is not trusted either by backbenchers or the electorate. Apparently it was a technical vote of no confidence. She sat it out like she always does, secure in the knowledge that unless she is actually picked up and carried out she can just weather the storm, please someone, anyone drag her out kicking and screaming, the future of our country is at stake.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Mrs. May Remains in office because the Parliamentary Conservative Party continues to support her. The larger part of the PCP and HoC is Remain. The Nation voted Leave. The PCP is not fit for purpose since it will not remove Mrs. May.
    There is only one solution: you Brexiteers have to support a ‘vote of no confidence’ in the May Government and go to the country, which should remove all the Remainers, and give us a new, true, Conservative and Unionist Party.

    • James Bertram
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      Peter, we are of like minds (see my post lower down).
      The answer to this is so simple.
      When will the Brexiteers have the courage to do this? If not April 12th, then when?

      • Peter Wood
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

        Ms. Hartley-Brewer put Mr. Owen Patterson on the spot this morning, who as usual with Tory grandees, just waffled on about the 1922 asking the PM to resign. She’s not going to resign, she has to be forced out and the only way left is a ‘no confidence’ in the government.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      “.. A new, true, Conservative and Unionist Party?” Dream on! The CUP is deceased – it is no more! Who in his or her right mind would vote to be conned again?
      First we had Cameron, head of the government that said:
      “We will implement your decision!” – LIE!
      Then: “If the country votes ‘Leave’, I will submit the Article 50 letter the next day!” LIE! – HE RAN AWAY within a few hours of the result!

      That cowardly deed has left us with the current incumbent – No sense or understanding of Democracy, no sense of honour to the Country or her Party! And most telling, despite being the most reviled leader in the history of our nation, she has no sense of shame! All we get from her is ME, ME,ME – she regards her opinions as more important than the wishes of 17.4M fellow citizens! ARROGANCE isn’t the word for it!

      Who will rid us of this turbulent PM?

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        Spot on. Well said Doug.Her ego and getting her disastrous WA across the line is all that matters to May. Not a shred of guilt for the untold damage and humiliation she is heaping on our country or the destruction of her party.

  4. Henry Carter
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    This is what you voted for, Brexiteers. You were told that inside the EU we have real power, as one of the largest members of the club. Outside it, we are on our own – less powerful than Latvia or Ireland, because the EU has their backs. You were told this. You ignored it. You were told too that that 0ld Commonwealth would not come running to help out the UK – Australia, India, Canada have all moved on. You were told this. You ignored it.And now you are surprised, as reality hits.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      So what “reality” do you think has hit? The “reality” that I have seen is a pro-EU Tory Prime Minister replacing a pro-EU Tory Prime Minister who had been cornered into holding an EU referendum that he really did not want to hold, and who had said that if we voted to leave the EU then he would stay and take us out but promptly ratted on that promise, with his equally despicable successor then unnecessarily throwing away her party’s Commons majority so she would become reliant on the votes of pro-EU Labour MPs and had an excuse to try to reverse the referendum result. While all the time even those Tory MPs who genuinely wanted us to leave the EU put the interests of their party before those of the country and loyally helped her along in her deceit and treachery, until eventually some of them finally realised that she had been taking them for a ride. And what do I suppose will be the chance that this unhappy truth will be published on this blog?

      Reply By co-operating with Mrs May we secured the passage of the EU Withdrawal Act which is crucial to us getting out.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        But you have now made it odds on that we will never leave.

      • Dennis
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        Reply to Reply By co-operating with Mrs May we secured the passage of the EU Withdrawal Act which is crucial to us getting out.

        No one else could have done the same? Then what did she do? And anyone else would have the same incompetence to get us into our present state?

      • Mark B
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink


        I believe the GE was held to extend the life of parliament. Had the GE not been held we would be looking at one next year. With BREXIT effectively killed and voters still fuming what chances a Tory government ?

        They planned all this all well on advance.

    • Dr John Adams
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      This is not what we voted for. We voted to Leave, which would have happened if a Brexit believing person was leader of the UK. All this mess has been made to happen by the Remain thinking people in power. The brain dead population believe that it is Brexit that is the problem, which is exactly what the Remain plan intended. In no other vote would the losing side have any sway at all. 35 million people lost their lives last century to stop this unified, one nation Europe coming into existence. What couldn’t be achieved with tanks, is now being achieved by banks. We would be in a better position if we had not resisted in 1914 or 1939.

      • Andy
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        What a ridiculously flawed reading of history.

        You are comparing the EU to Hitler and the Kaiser. What absolutely ludicrous nonsense.

        Your generation did not have to die in a continental field because previous generations did.

        They fought against the petty nationalism which you embrace.

        What you voted for is a unicorn. A bunch of undeliverable claptrap. When you eventually figure that out we can move on.

    • Mike Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      Henry Carter – You talk such bollocks. We didn’t vote for this. The country voted to leave the EU and as elected members of parliament the MP’s had a duty to implement that plan. Unfortunately deceit was present from day one with a Remainer installed as Prime Minister. She went over the head of strong negotiators like David Davis and Dominic Rabb and entrusted the country’s future to the pro EU unelected Oliver Robbins. Ever since Heath lied through his back teeth when he dragged the Country in in the first place. Dont even try and say he didn’t because recently published papers under the freedom of information act show a cover up plan to conceal the extent of EU control.

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Actually no, we just voted to Leave. This current mess is a Remainer one, thoroughly and completely – the result of a Remainer PM, a Remainer cabinet, a Remainer parliament, and a wholly undemocratic “People’s Vote” Remainer campaign.

      The sooner you people accept this basic truth, the better off we’ll all be.

      • Andy
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        No, this mess is caused by Brexiteers failing to accept the unpalatable choices you now face.

        You have yet to define what you mean by Brexit.

        Norway is not in the EU. Do you want to be like Norway? That is leave.

        Switzerland is not in the EU. Do you want to be like Switzerland. That is also leave.

        Canada is also not in the EU. Do you want to be like Canada. That is also leave.

        Venezuela is also not in the EU – and a no deal Brexit’s most comparable relationship with the EU is the one Venezuela has. Do you want to be like Venezuela? That is yet another type of leave.

        All of these relationships – and there are many more – have the UK out of the EU. And they all required different unpalatable choices. Brexiteers have not yet figured out that you have to make some really uncomfortable decisions which are going to make voters angry. Get on and make those decisions and prepare for the consequences.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

          One thing is certain the Withdrawal Agreement is not leaving the EU.
          Another certainty is that you who will have us remain do not know ever consider what the EU has in store for you.
          There is no status quo, they have a plan.

        • Stred
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

          Ever Brexitteer that has said or written anything on the subject has preferred s Canada plus deal. How many times do you need to be told this? Only May and Remainers reject Canada.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

          Andy, this mess is not caused by Brexiteers, they want to leave without a withdrawal agreement deal, this is caused by Remain parliamentarians breaking their word.

          They’ll all be rewarded elsewhere i.e. Yvette Cooper with a safe seat in London – we in North know we are told what to do and what we can have from London centric controllers and nothing but this fact is becoming clearer.

          • Andy
            Posted April 10, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

            Yvette Cooper sits for Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford. And I detest her Act – the Government should have refused it Royal Assent.

    • Jiminyjim
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      ‘Real power’ inside the EU, Mr Carter? What an incredible statement! The very reason we are where we now are is because the EU has refused all attempts at reform – not just by us but by many others, too. And ‘the EU has their backs’? What about the EU’s ban on UK beef, years after the BSE threat had disappeared? Have you no memory, or are you perhaps 16?

    • graham1946
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Real power in the EU eh?

      Is that the power that we voted 72 times against proposals we thought would damage us and lost 72 times?

      • Kendo
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        No, its the 5000 we voted for, and won.

        • a-tracy
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          provide a link Kendo please, let us see what the UK voted for and won.

    • Special K
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      We are NOT outside it. That’s the problem.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      No, we voted to leave the EU. Simple. Didn’t vote for a deal, didn’t vote for close alignment, didn’t vote because of what people or buses said.

      Just wanted to leave a political construct so we could choose our own destiny and make our own mistakes – for better or for worse.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 3:19 am | Permalink

      Henry Carter, It is not what we voted for, which was Brexit. We did not vote for Mrs May. We did however, trust that Remainers, this being a democracy and all, would accept the result, which is what has usually been the case over the last 400 years. Before you blame Brexiteers you need to reflect on the unending opposition of Remainers and their conspiring with the EU to undermine the government’s negotiations and eventually block Brexit. Now, I don’t recall any of you Remainers telling us either before or just after losing the referendum that you would ignore the vote and do all you can to subvert Brexit.
      However, I anticipated your actions and in my 2016 plan for Brexit UK would have left asap on WTO terms so that you and your subversive friends would not have had time to organise. May’s delay was fatal. Under my plan UK would by now be finalising an FTA with the EU.
      You might feel aggrieved that nobody listened to you, but that is nothing to how the majority feel about Cameron’s dereliction of duty in not preparing for a Leave vote, and PM May for whom we did not vote and who listens and gives in too much to people like you. That is the problem we now have: a mess created by you Remainers successfully sabotaging Brexit in conjunction with Remainer May’s Remainer government.

  5. Dominic
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    This is all well and good but unless Eurosceptic Tory MPs have control of the party under a Eurosceptic leader then this nation will be deliberately chained into some form of limiting agreement initiated by both May and the EU.

    It is excruciatingly perverse to see a leader so hated still as PM and still as the leader of the Tory party

    It is also telling that efforts to depose her have come to nothing. May knows that Tory Eurosceptic MPs have been neutered simply because they’re not prepared to push the nuclear button

    How odd it is that this Tory leader probably despises her own MPs more than the Marxist revolutionary she now conspires with.

    We really have entered into a parallel universe

  6. Adam
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    Theresa May’s brain-shape is a magnet attracting every particle of EU nonsense.
    She carries it the wrong way up in the UK.

    • James1
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      I assume that at least one of Mrs May’s lacklustre team will advise her not to come back from Berlin and Paris waving a piece of white paper in the wind like Neville Chamberlain. We know how that turned out.

  7. DaveM
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Your last line is true, and indeed the final insult to us. The vote to leave the EU was about so much more than the EU. It was a scream against all the laws and procedures imposed on us which were perceived as unfair and wrong. And despite public acknowledgment by politicians, once again we’ve been ignored and mocked.

    That vote was our attempt at a peaceful revolution. I don’t need to expand on that.

    • Stred
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      I wonder how many Ruperts are like Tobias and can’t wait to put on the star spangled armband. The ranks seem to be very against this.

  8. agricola
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    How many Tory MPs still want her as PM. Whatever she gets in terms of delay is just more can kicking time. Get rid of her, we do not need her negativity.

    I have just receive a Tory councillors manifesto. He is probably a very decent person to represent me as was his predecessor. He is likely to get slaughtered in the polls and it will all be down to May’s myopic intransigence. Please do all of us and yourselves a favour and insist she departs No 10.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Indeed the country certainly does not need more wasteful lefties in local government. With many staff earning £100 -£600 K PA with gold plated pensions for a generally dire service.

      • Stred
        Posted April 10, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        They don’t earn it. They are paid it.

  9. Pete Else
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    This sorry and disgusting episode has not demonstrated the power of the EU. It has demonstrated the complete and total inadequacy and corruption of the British political class. We have known this for a long time but it is now so obvious that even the most brain washed, over worked tax slave can see it. The great British democracy that our rulers tout so much is a sham. The party system is there to deceive and control us and I’m afraid anyone that is a member of any major party is tainted by that. May is turning to marxists for support because she is just as much a marxist as the ruling Junta in Brussels. If you believe in central control of economies and people you are a collectivist just like Marx, Stalin and Castro, the difference is only in degree and May wants us to be controlled so she is at common purpose with Corbyn.

    • Chris
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Re last sentence, P E, indeed she is. I have always thought that May espoused Marxist thinking/policies. She apparently is completely at ease with the whole EU project, and has worked willingly to further their goals. The EU did not need to appoint an outside technocrat to run our government (e.g. the parachuting in of Mario Monti to Italy some years ago). They had a perfect one in situ with T May.

  10. Ian wragg
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    So we’re going to participate in the EU elections and May has withdrawn our voting power in Brussels despite being the second biggest contributor.
    I must have missed the bit when Parliament was disbanded and we became a ductatorship.
    What next John.

  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    What is not being explained by anyone is what a hard Brexit will exactly entail.
    If it means being cut off from Europe completely, that will put us in the same position as Australia or Canada in the world. Personally I would much rather be in a trading block with the Americans than with the Europeans who do not speak our language or share our history.
    When in Australia, I had good food, wine and travel. My daughter lives there and she had excellent service for her two children’s birth.

    • Pete
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      “Personally I would much rather be in a trading block with the Americans than with the Europeans who do not speak our language or share our history.”

      Food poisoning is about 10 times more common in America than in the UK. I think that it would be a huge mistake for us as a nation to lower our food standards to the levels set by the US.

      • SueW
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Can you provide bona fide statistical data to support your allegation? Or is it just something the BBC told you?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        Your food poisoning story is fake news cooked up by a BBC “fact” checker. Experts in the field corrected him later.

      • Pominoz
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

        The Yanks eat ten times as much!

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      A hard Brexit or leaving on WTO terms would see the EU coming on bending knees to do a deal with us. It would make a nice change from watching our hopeless out of her depth PM constantly on hers.

  12. Dave Andrews
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    Once again Theresa May will appear before the Council, for them to pass judgement on her. How contemptible she will seem once again as she fails to account for her actions and propose a future plan. Once again she will be asked to leave as they deliberate.
    How can they grant an extension this time with no good reason for it? It’s not up to them to determine the UK’s future, just because its prime minister hasn’t the wit to come up with a plan.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      She’s gone to see Mummy Merkel first to get her orders.

      Of course she will get an extension – the longer the delay the more likely Brexit won’t happen and the more money they get out of us. The French posturing is just that, a pantomime to make the hard of thinking believe that anything different will happen.

      • Chris
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

        You are exactly right, graham, and it seems from latest reports that they will grant her long extension (French obstinacy choreographed, I suspect. They are not on board apparently, but with further concessions to be extracted, I understand).

        • Chris
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          “Not” should read “now” in my comment above (second line from bottom).

      • Steve
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        Graham 1946

        “She’s gone to see Mummy Merkel first to get her orders.”

        Just like she did before the infamous turd polishing soiree at Chequers.

    • Steve
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews

      “It’s not up to them to determine the UK’s future”

      Likewise interferers such as Leo Varadkar, who actually thinks the UK should revoke A50 or sign a surrender document, just to protect Irish interests.

      And not forgetting Tony Blair, of whom you may ask; ‘what’s it got to do with him ?’

      They and the rest of the prominent anti – England culture really need to keep their noses out of UK matters.

      It’s bad enough Theresa May licking the boots of our historical enemies, oops silly me….meant to say; our European ‘partners’.

  13. James Dixon
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    There’s absolutely nothing stopping you from walking across to the opposition benches and resigning the whip. That’s the only message May would understand.

    Reply I have no wish to join Corbyn’s Labour party! I was elected a Conservative and intend to keep my word. Several former Conservative MPs have resigned the whip and joined the TIGs but that has not made any difference to Mrs May.

    • MickN
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Agreed but 50 of you resigning the whip and standing for the Brexit party would.
      Trouble is you would not all do it in the numbers required to make any difference.
      It is admirable that you intend to keep your word to your electorate. Unfortunately the party you stood for no longer exists.
      I never thought I would see the day when the few of you left actually supporting the manifesto you stood on would be called rebels, lemmings, unicorns etc.
      A utter bloody disgrace.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      The sensible wing need to take back control of the Conservative party. The members and voters are generally sound already. Just get rid of the dire “No Nation Conservatives” or rather Libdim MPs to TIG.

      Sound Tories should be joining the party not leaving.

    • James Dixon
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      No one mentioned joining the opposition party Dr Redwiod,just the opposition benches. similarly, not joining the TIGs either.
      Stand as an independent conservative on conservative pro-brexit values, just not as a member of the Conservative Party.

      The more that leave, the more pressure is applied. Your electorate are confident enough in your abilities that I believe you would win against an official Conservative Party candidate.

      Either you are on the lifeboat, or you will be on the deck as May takes the ship down.

    • Chris
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Sir John: The TIG do not represent a threat to May as basically they are Remainers. If the “few good men and women” were prepared to resign the whip and become independents, or better still, form the nucleus for a Grassroots Conservative party, then that would set alarm bells ringing with May et al. At the moment, their numbers are dwindling as May and her team, ably assisted by the BBC, are apparently picking them off one by one. Worth looking at Daniel Kawczynski ‘s twitter account and the replies to his statement about the ERG and why he left.

  14. steadyeddie
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Thank you John for presenting this powerful argument for remaining within the EU. We can work together with our partners, part. Germany and France, or we can leave and they continue together for their mutual benefit. Meanwhile we try to find a place in a rapidly changing, inter connected world up against countries that match the EU power (USA, China, India) or, from our weakened position, endeavour to make agreements with those countries with relatively small markets or with dubious rights and régulations. The first rule of any business- play to your strengths.

    • forthurst
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Another ignorant remainer who thinks that India’s economy is a match for the EU, having read somewhere that India is a superpower, but it’s pc rubbish just like all the other propaganda you have swallowed. We are no 5; India is no 7. Wake up.

  15. RichardM
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    The power of the EU, what a thing. We were told we were ruled by unelected beauroceats, but now we here we might get to vote our own EU Parliamentarians.
    Looking forward to being able to vote useless devisive Brexiters like Farage.

    • sm
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Do you believe that the EU Parliament has the same powers as the House of Commons? You need to do some serious reading about the European Commission!

    • John O'Leary
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Do you have a problem with English? Your comment makes no sense whatsoever.

  16. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    May’s WA – Direct Rule from Brussels – is so dangerous and our Parliament so weak that I now think we should Repeal Art 50. We need to establish one powerful, strong Leave Party that will attract the best candidates and there must be no policy of ruling out Brexiteer candidates as the Tories do.
    Then it’s UDI time!

  17. hans christian ivers
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink


    The Conservative Party put us in this situation not only the government, if, your party had made this a national issue across party lines as they have now done, two years too late we would not be in this muddle.

  18. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    The EU has to respect Her Majesty’s Government.
    It is Her Majesty’s government asking all these extensions beyond 29 March.

    “The UK holds most of the cards in any negotiation” – to me that sounds like power.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Only when we are finally out of the EU do we have such power. The WA keeps us in, so must be rejected every time it is resurrected.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

        The WA your government signed is the result of such a negotiation.

        UK holding most of the cards in any negotiation???

        • Jagman84
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          Signed but not as yet ratified. It’s a treaty of surrender, not an agreement and removes the need for the EU to further negotiate. They have all that they require up front.

    • Andy
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The EU to date has shown scant ‘respect [for] Her Majesty’s Government’ nor indeed much respect for Her Majesty nor for her people.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Sir John,

        I agree with this post. Unless this ‘Andy’ has a split personality that constantly switches between tripe and reason, there must be a way for the rest of us to differentiate the two.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        The EU is actually showing due respect to the UK, but obviously will negotiate in the interest of the 27.
        27 against 1 was never going to be an equal match, such is reality.

        • Andy
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          Which is why we have a vindictive and evil Withdrawal Agreement. Forcing this so called ‘deal’ on the UK is an incredibly shortsighted and stupid thing to do. You Continental Europeans must be very pleased with yourselves.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        Bit confusing to have two Andy’s on the board – you’re not the one who claims babies voted Remain I assume?

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink


      Holding them is different applying them.

      The Eu have played their poor hand very well it is fair to say.

      The UK have thrown in a very good hand.

      Perhaps being ruled by a foreign power block for so many decades has become too comfortable for many of our politicians, because we certainly lack many who have real drive initiative, vision and yes patriotism.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        @Alan Jutson:
        the EU never had a poor hand.
        The UK’s argument “they sell us more than we sell them” always was a flawed argument. It should not have been presented as absotute numbers but rather as percentages of GDP.
        27 agains 1 was never going to be an equal match, whatever the Brexiteers were making themselves believe.
        The interesting thing is “why did the Brexiteers make themselves believe this?

        • Edward2
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          Still you refuse to understand Brexit is about more than trade.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      “The UK holds most of the cards in any negotiation” – to me that sounds like power.

      Yes Peter, I think you have identified the crux of the problem.

  19. davews
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    You gave a fairly impressive speech in the chamber last night Sir John. I am one of those you intimated at who is getting more depressed every day as the saga continues. Of course your words did not have the slightest effect on the division results. Friday this week will sadly pass as yet another day when nothing whatsoever happens. Keep up the work.

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Indeed the EU hold huge amounts of power and control over the UK as does out bloated government. Get rid on the EU control completely and greatly reduce the latter. Small government freedom and choice is what is needed. From the current highest taxes for nearly 70 years that Hammond has kindly given us.

    If you love Europe as I do. (I have an Italian wife and have properties in both France and Italy) then you should hate the damage that the anti-democratic, socialist, EU is doing to it. As many in both these countries do. Love Europe, hate the EU.

    Nicky Morgan on the radio the other day complaining again about use of terms like betrayers, quislings, traitors, liars, frauds, cheats ….. It seems she (and the rest) wants to betray act as quislings, frauds, cheats and traitors but not have this pointed out by the public. It is not going to happen dear.

    What words does she suggest for people such as herself, Dominic Grieve, Oliver Letwin, Soubry, May, Hammond and so very many others who stood on the last manifesto?

    Gove seems to be roughly joint favourite for next Tory leader. Gove who wants children to bunk off school to give us the benefit of their great understanting of energy production & climate change, wants to tax and kill private schools and is the reason we now suffer under the dire Traitor Theresa May.

    No thank you very much.

  21. L Jones
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you say the ”UK Government is humiliating our country” but people seem to be blaming Mrs May alone. Is she indeed the representative of our Government with every executive power, so that the fate of our country rests ENTIRELY in her hands, as if she were the SOLE arbiter? Because that’s certainly how it seems.
    Who else is hanging on to her coat-tails?

    Why can’t she be removed, or at least reined in, if she is doing such damage to us all?

    • Steve
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      L Jones

      “Why can’t she be removed, or at least reined in, if she is doing such damage to us all?”

      Because they’re all a bunch of spineless namby pambys.

  22. Everhopeful
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Most inconvenient that vote to leave!
    The tide has gone out and there they stand, naked, clutching an EU rule book!
    All is revealed! We are in deeper than they ever let on.
    Articles 11 and 13 will save them.
    And the latest UK draconian internet law.
    Blogs like this one will be impossible.
    But as with the EU no one will take any notice until it is too late!
    ( its all a conspiracy…tin foil hat etc etc)
    The sheep will be penned in ..never again to vote “wrongly”.
    ( Oh and it looks like that at some point we will only be able to get otc effective headache tabs from the dr…like in Australia).

    • Pominoz
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      Have you ever got effective headache tablets in Australia?

      • Everhopeful
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        Law in Australia bans sale of previously otc codeine containing pain killers.
        Much stock piling went on before law took effect.
        Not a joke for migraine sufferers,
        Same thing likely to happen in UK.
        Not funny.

  23. Lifelogic
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    So called “One Nation Conservatives” are actually out to destroy the nation, destroy democracy in the UK (such as still remains) and they will destroy the Conservative Party if they are not stopped. They are no Nation, anti-democratic, socialists.

  24. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    I see it is being reported in a few newspapers of late (not the BBC of Course) that because George Osbourne appears to have inadvertantly broken some EU tax harmonisation details, some years ago whilst Chancellor, that a number of UK Businesses are being told they now owe between them, up to £1 Billion in back dated Company taxes, according to EU Law.

    Proof if any was needed, that we do not control our own tax rates.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    I notice that the 255 comments published on the last article include plenty of anti-Brexit rubbish but do not include my perfectly reasonable comment:


    pointing out that the Tories lost their overall majority in the 2017 general election and raising the question why their leader called that unnecessary election.

    A lot has gone wrong since then, much of it connected with that fateful decision; but there seem to be some Tory MPs who still have not quite come to terms with the reality that to put excessive pressure on a leader who does not have command of the Commons runs the risk of driving her into the arms of other parties.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      The DUP provided a rock solid majority for conservatives in Parliament. Mrs May had had hopes of a remain majority who would have been more easily bullied. Had she won a majority the would have destroyed us in quick order – she has been ‘delayed’ by the lack of that supine majority.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        She has been delayed by MPs who notionally wish to leave the EU siding with MPs who definitely want to keep us in the EU.

  26. Steve Reay
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    If we do ever get a deal with Labour involved then the deals going to be a lot worse than we have .

  27. Caterpillar
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    PM May stated “I have always been clear that we could make a success of No Deal in the long-term. But leaving with a deal is the best solution.” She must be asked to state publicly how the UK could make a success of no deal, what is meant by long-term (because after all that is what matters) and how she intends to test each possible deal against her model of a success of no deal in the long term… “best” is not defined.

    If no deal can generate a success but any deal might leave UK locked in then she has a responsibility to give full and comprehensive clarity. There is a rational step missing between her first and second sentence above. She is desperately trying to get any deal to work (to avoid European elections, to enjoy the humiliation, pride/sociopathy?), but perhaps it would be good reflection for her if she wrote out what would need to be done to get no deal to work.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      Hopefully the news about the ERG splitting due to PM May’s clock running down & running to Labour approach working is not true. A bad WA cannot get through and certainly not with a pathway to a CU. The European elections are needed to give democracy a slight chance; are the splitting ERG members just putting party first? If not the European elections then at least a referendum with the ‘just leave’ option.

      • graham1946
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        The Customs Union nonsense is just a ploy to keep us in. If we were really leaving all that would be required is a simple FTA based on today’s tariffs between the EU and the UK and no other impediments to trade.

        This was the ‘simplest ever trade deal’ that was referred to by Liam Fox but the EU don’t want free trade with the UK, they want total control.

  28. Turboterrier
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Where do we stand now Ms Coopers bill has Ben made law? What a state this country is in

  29. am
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Yes, it is clear. But who would think after all the statements, see youtube, there would be so many dishonest uk politicians, with the pm at the head of them, saying, we would take back control.

  30. George Brooks
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    One can understand your analysis of the present position and I agree with Pominoz, that I hope one of the 27 will let us go. However for centuries both France and Germany have tried to conquer this country so don’t hold your breath.

    As I have said before Theresa May cannot be trusted, so think ‘out side the box’ as to what she might or could do in these next 3 days. What could the EU do to stop us leaving on Friday night?

    If they suggest an extension can could it be talked out of time? I doubt it, but if we want to leave the ‘gloves are off’ and we have to do anything to ensure the clock runs out and we get out on Friday night.

    No MP, with any respect for this country, should be persuaded to back the WA which will ruin us. Especially those MPs who weakened at the last vote and switched to supporting it.

  31. Christine
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    The veto on tax changes is soon to be removed. New legislation will be passed by QMV. Once Brussels has this in place they will take control of our tax receipts and our Parliament becomes obsolete. Many Remainers didn’t know what they voted for but they will find out soon enough. The MPs voting to stop Brexit will live to regret it.

  32. Richard
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    One of the points to come out of the somewhat stiflled debate on the Letwin-Balls bill, was that it could only be enforced by Parliament. The worst possible consequence for ignoring it would be a vote of no confidence in HM government, which the Conservative government would win (again). There was for example nothing to stop the prime minister seeking a further deferment of Leaving Day with strings attached, such as a clear statement of no more payments to the e.u. or some other condition which the e.u. could not approve, thus allowing us to leave. It is so sad the prime minister agrees with the sponsors of this new act, and will do great damage to her party before she is finished. Thank you Sir John, and Sir William Cash and other MPs who have supported our leaving so well.

  33. Tom Rogers
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Couldn’t it be argued that continued extensions amount to an implied revocation of the Article 50 notice and are unlawful without an Act of Parliament?

    Note: The Cooper Bill, even if enacted, does not cover this as it merely requires that the Prime Minister bring a Commons motion seeking approval to request an extension. It does not approve an extension, nor does it authorise revocation of the notification itself.

    • Richard
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      It is a novel situation, brought about partly by the eu itself, that we now have the possibility of Great Britain, a member state that could leave at any time, without giving two years’ notice. Whilst it is unsatisfactory for many planning purposes, politically it would be of tremendous advantage in the right hands.

  34. Simon
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    What is humiliating is realising that hardly any MPs have had any idea what the nature of our relationship with the EU has been for the past 40 years nor how its constitution and institutions actually work. It should be no surprise that an EU treaty is “superior” law to ours. Of course it is. And we agreed it was years ago.
    We agreed quite freely, with full debate and passed the legislation in Parliament.

    • Chris
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      You are right, Simon. The fundamental ignorance of the majority of MPs about EU law and the detail of how the EU works is shameful and is one of the key reasons why we are where we are. Many MPs until recently had no idea of the precedence of EU law over ours and hence were taken by surprise by Theresa May’s strategy. That is why she looked so confident and just kept pushing on. She, or rather her advisers, knew exactly what was what, but our MPs had little idea apparently.

      All this fuss about Cooper’s Bill is misdirected, as it is the EU that will tell us how long our delays will be and what has to be done to “win” that delay. (R North has a section on the significance or otherwise of the Cooper initiative in today’s article on his website. I may not have agreed with R N on Flexcit, but his expertise on EU law and procedures is second to none).

      I suspect that a significant number of Remainer MPs, if they actually knew the detail of the EU project, the legislation, the level of its control of us, and the direction in which it is going, would not be keen to Remain. They also imagine that Remaining means going back to the status quo. That is false.

      The EU project has moved on, with many new Directives pushing through e.g. few are aware of what May has signed us up to with regard to EU Defence Policy, or further mass immigration from outside the EU because of a UN “guidance” which the EU has embraced and May has also apparently signed up to.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      During the time these transfers of legal authority happened, pro EU people like you Simon, told those of us who pointed out what was happening, that we were deluded and fantasists.
      Now roll forward a few years and you have the nerve to suggest that we were stupid in not realising the transfer of our powers to the EU.
      I find this even more irritating than being lied to at the time.
      We knew what was happening.

  35. Gary C
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Without doubt Theresa May has to win the award for having the worst CV anybody could possibly have.

    Theresa May is guilty of:

    1. Removing any trust the public had in politicians
    2. Removing any respect the public had in politicians
    3. Creating discontent amongst the electorate
    4. Inciting hated on social media
    5. Propagating a massive divide within the country
    6. Removing democracy from the UK
    7. Making the UK a laughing stock in the eyes of the world
    8. Destroying the Conservative Party
    9. Giving what was once a great country over to the EU
    10. Capitulation to a degree unknown until recently
    11. Treachery

    Feel free to add more . . .

    And . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . She will be rewarded with a fat pension and protection from the police all paid for by taxpayers.

    No wonder there’s a lot of anger out there.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Guilty of … having no integrity.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more!

      We know the problem, we also know the solution, but how do we get from one to the other with all the pro-EU toadies in parliament blocking the way?

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      12. Made marriage less secure than a phone contract.
      13. Caused a knife crime epidemic
      14. USELESS negotiator
      15. Sided with a Marxist and foreign leaders against her own people
      16. Causing white boys to be discriminated against in the work place
      17. Causing unisex toilets so that women have to sit on wet seats and men have to wait for women to do their make-up

      18. Stops people having free speech on the internet

      I just want to kick a Tory now – or anyone STUPID enough to vote for them.

      • Stred
        Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        19. Raised business rates to destroy the High Street.
        20. Demonised diesels for a theoretical increase in lifespan of a week and crippled the car makers.
        21. Increased energy cost with offshore wind and by choosing the European Pressurised Reactor.
        22. Pressed on with the EU required HS2 and allowed the contract to pay mega salaries while costs are five times what the French pay.
        23. Made divorce even easier so that men can be kicked out of the house with no reason given.

  36. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I’m beginning to think that the EU is a sociopath, even down to having the trademark superficial charm that beguiles our young.

    • eeyore
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      With respect, this is unfair. The EU has done its duty to its members. The blame and disgrace lies entirely with HMG.

      When this is over I predict we will hear how astonished EU leaders were at the positions adopted by Britain, and how their surprise turned to first to perplexity and then to disgust as their admired, ancient and formidable neighbour grovelled and pleaded before them.

      • rose
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

        If you listen to the German politicians and businessmen, it would appear the EU has not done its duty to its members: these conscientious Germans do not want to see us put in the impossible position the DWA puts us in, because it damages them too.

      • Nicholas Murphy
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        I disagree, the blame is shared. Yes, May’s efforts have been a shambles. But I can’t see that the EU’s attitude has ever been consistent with Article 8.2 of the Lisbon Treaty.

  37. Viv Evans
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    It’s 30 seconds to midnight, so for once I’ll come out of lurkdom.

    Having seen the demands made by the EU and now Labour – to make the WA and Brexit legislation “Boris-proof”, thus telling Ms May to sacrifice yet another of our parliamentary conventions so she can get her WA over the line, I am saddened but no longer surprise that the ERG still hasn’t woken up to the fact that it’s over unless they do the necessary and remove Ms May now.
    Legalities don’t matter to the EU, so to save our Nation it’s time, methinks, for the Tory Party to overlook their party ‘legalities’.
    When a house is burning down before our eyes we don’t debate if knocking the door down is breaking and entering and might be prosecuted …

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Viv Evans
      Totally agree.
      It surely proves that very few actually want to leave?
      If any!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Removing Theresa May from No 10 would not restore the Commons majority that the Tories had before she called, and then lost, the 2017 general election.

      Only 13 MPs voted against holding that entirely unnecessary election:


      and I do not see any known ERG member listed among them.

      There are strong suspicions that David Cameron preferred to have his hands tied over the EU by his Liberal Democrat coalition partners and he did not really want to win an outright victory in the 2015 general election, and similarly there must be strong suspicions that Theresa May was happy to throw the 2017 election.

  38. Special K
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Amend that:

    “…we ventured into its cave unwittingly and under the orders of our leaders operating a mission with secret aims, after all. It wasn’t the Aliens that deceived us.”

  39. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Very much to the point …
    Strange how sometimes the government works both sides of the coin, telling us both that we are our own master and that the EU are our masters…

    The only thing to add to the above description is a reminder that the EU cannot be trusted to help us look after our best interests. As we all know too well, the EU is underhand, secretive, and totally engaged in getting it’s own way or what it wants – Pan-determined they are not.
    I feel we may have to go with a UDI

  40. Andy B
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Little chance of that it seems now that 28 ERG members have now resigned. Total capitulation today then and the Queen already signed the royal assent to the Cooper/Letwin Bill.
    Game set and match then?

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      We are a province of the EU.
      End of.
      Oh well we had the Romans …for quite a long time…..

    • MickN
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      I read that too. They don’t name them though so it is probable more remoaner rag BS.

  41. Edwardm
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The more the EU controls us, the more we need to get out.
    We need a PM and parliament that are on our side determining our future, not a bunch of quislings and the EU.

  42. oldtimer
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    The unfolding of events since Chequers has made it abundantly clear that the UK is already treated as a vassal state. A majority of MPs evidently are content with this situation. This condition will only be remedied when they are replaced in a GE by those determined to leave.

    The Conservative party appears riven at this time and unable to deliver Brexit. If the UK participates in the forthcoming EU elections, it will provide the new Brexit party with a useful test run on how much support it can garner. After that effective change will rest on GE success – a much bigger hurdle. Much will depend on how many Conservative activists and supporters make the switch to help get it off the ground to deliver electoral oblivion to MPs unwilling to break free from the clutches of the EU.

    • Chris
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right, oldtimer.

  43. Fred H
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The 1922 has forcibly told the PM that she is the problem. She would have to be mentally damaged not to have noticed MPs having had that opinion previously. I would like to see all the ERG, followed by any others, resigning Tory membership today. A final flourish to point to the EU that she carries no leadership for the UK. Once she’s gone, all right minded Tories would welcome them back.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      “Once she’s gone, all right minded Tories would welcome them back.”

      Only one problem with that Fred H. There doesn’t seem to be enough right minded Tories left. Better for the ERG to form a new party and fill it with true Conservatives like themselves – something May and the majority of MPs currently masquerading as Tories are anything but.

  44. James Bertram
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    ‘once again our future will be settled by the rest of the EU’.

    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

    When are Tory MPs going to find the backbone to resign the whip, bring this government down, and fight the election as The Real Tory Party (taking over the local party machine, and contesting all 650 seats)?

    The answer is staring you in the face.
    Do something.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      The Tory party are the party of the EU and of big business which wants the EU. They are happy enough with things as they are and will be happier still when Brexit fails.

      They can blame May whatever happens. In due course, as is usual with politicians, they support her now, but when she falls, just like the cock crowing 3 times, they will deny even knowing her and will be sycophantic towards whatever dullard is their next leader and will be sucking up hoping for personal preferment.

  45. Robin Brooke-Smith
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Very accurate analysis. I am so depressed at this humiliating performance by TM and government. She must go NOW. EU has been forced to bare its teeth and our political class its utter mendacity. We now know what we are dealing with, if we didn’t know already.

  46. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    A simple second referendum WTO Leave ( it still exists P.Oborne) or Remain will result in a bigger majority for Leave, as you say – enough of the public were wise to the EU stranglehold in 2016, the subsequent years has increased that awareness – bring it on.

    Chairperson May goes from worse to beyond belief with her sofa propaganda – my deal or no brexit.

    Her slogans: Brexit means…, no deal is better ….., we leave on March 29th, etc shows why most of the public cannot believe a word she says. the dummy Cabinet is as bad – why have they not got rid of her by threatening to resign en masse except Hammond of course, I wouldn’t ask him the time..

    Why does she keep going to Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin, Paris, Dublin etc – has she no self esteem?

  47. Special K
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    So now we have an appeal decision which has found that Vote Leave’s spending was £50k over budget and not £70k and the judge has said that this was a mistake and not bent.

    A 0.7% overspend which is a rounding error.

    Not the 129% overspend allowed to the Remain campaign, free gift of the Government in the form of its £9m pro Remain leaflet campaign.

    But you won’t be hearing about this on the BBC.

    And Andy and Margaret Howard and Newmania will still tell us how corrupt, stupid, racist and old we all are and will scream and scream until they make themselves sick if our choice is not disqualified because of their claims.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink


  48. Newmania
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    This country is service based . It cannot go back to basic manufacturing by taking on Asia .It is right to say that WTO has lowered basic tariffs leaving little gain from deals on customs ( See treasury figures ). Creating a global market in services is therefore our deepest National interest and not something that can be done bilaterally by its nature or without trans National political and legal institutions.
    It is possible for populist opportunists to present this as some sport of alien invasion but is it ?If we agree on transnational standards of liquidity for Insurers, testing processes for Pharmaceuticals, qualifications in Law , copyright for media , we can trade .They cannot be voluntary , clearly….and this , Mr Redwood wishes you to think is essentially Johny Foreigner bossing you about.
    I frankly find it beyond me to express my opinion of this sort of “material” in a polite way so I shall merely say I do not agree.
    You might as well claim that the legal requirement for us all to drive on the left hand side of the road is a vile imposition inflicted by some strutting dictator . No it is not , we agree this standard for our profit freedom and safety

    • Edward2
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      That is the argument for every nation on the planet to join the EU.
      Thankfully the vast majority of nations disagree and thrive in their independence.
      There is a huge difference between nations agreeing mutually beneficial standards and having them imposed on us whether we like them or not by the EU

  49. ChrisS
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    As I said here yesterday, we are no longer in control of anything, thanks to May and her pathetic and incompetent negotiation team, Remainer Civil Servants and MPs, all egged on by big business and the media.

    The voting public have rightly recognised this and a clear majority of Leavers are keen to exit now, without a deal.

    If only MPs would, just for once, reflect the wishes of the electorate.

  50. Rien Huizer
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    The “big plans” you mention in your penultimate para are just proposals from one side. Among the members (the Gremans, Austrian, Nordics and Dutch) those plans are not so big. France is traditionally a proponent of political integration ahead of the natural course of things -one or two generations and there will be a US of Europe of sorts, probably smaller than the current EU and more “nordic”, the sort of thing the UK of the past would have liked, I guess. But all those French pnas are for domestic consumption, more or less like brexit but in the other direction.

    I do not think there is repeated begging going on either. The remaining members have more urgent business than brexit. After signing the WA by the commissieon eand the UK get the files should have been closed in preparation for the more serious matter of the future relationship (if any). If the UK really does not want to have such a future relationship, that is something that will be accommodated too as Bernier has said, but there would still be bills to pay and the Irish border.

    Anyway, as you may have seen, FX markets are getting very wary of this. A bit of volatility is fun and especially in a market where insider trading is legitimate. But this is ridiculous. Shape up or ship out, in earnest. And pse do not act as if May is not part of your Party. It is your collective duty (as politicians) to look after the interest of your country and respect the interests of neighbors.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

      You sound like an EU technocrat Rien.
      Lecturing us, mocking us and threatening us all at the same time.

  51. bigneil
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I remember the EU as being described as – – ” if you have the slightest link to them, the end result is to keep slowly enveloping you, until you are no longer a nation in your own right “. It seems abundantly clear that that is what TM wants to go down in the history books as – The woman who secured the death of the UK.

  52. jack Snell
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The EU is first of all a club – it has rules and laws- if you don’t agree with them then just leave- simple- the door is always open just walk out

    If you don’t like foreigners, especially european foreigners, then just walk out

    The door is always open- you can walk out anytime, you can do it Friday.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      An overwhelming number of posters on this blog like the European peoples but loathe the Supranational prison created by the EU political machine. Conflating the EU with ‘Europe’ is an old and a now discredited ploy.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      We’ve heard it before, ad nauseam and ad infinitum – ”the UK wants to leave the EU, therefore everyone in the UK hates everyone in Europe”.
      This has always been risible, and it hasn’t lost its power to make any remainer who utters it sound a fool.
      But there we have it: remainer = never a comment without an insult (overt or implied).

  53. Kevin
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    “These different delays…. As soon as the PM said Yes to the Council we were told they were good EU law”

    My understanding is that the Government has been claiming they were good international law, rather than EU law. For example, BBC writes as follows (March 22nd, all emphases below are mine):
    “Downing Street sources say an agreement with the EU to extend the Brexit deadline would be a piece of international law and would take precedence even if Parliament rejected it”.

    Compare, also, online Hansard, Feb. 3rd, 2016, according to which David Cameron said the following of his pre-referendum UK-EU renegotiation:
    “These changes will be binding in international law, and will be deposited at the UN.

    In any case, does valid EU law not require the involvement of more than just the Council?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Very interesting, but that aside, the inescapable truth is that May and her cohorts have tried every conceivable ploy and method to keep the UK inside the European Union. She has thereby consistently lied about her true intent. That in itself should be enough to see her removed from office.

  54. glen cullen
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Are the people being stitched up ?

    Last night the house of lords voted for the cooper bill unopposed i.e not one conservative voted against the bill….a disgrace

    Last night the house of commons voted against amendment A and for the cooper bill to get royal ascent….this was achieved with the help of the conservative votes….a disgrace

    It also appeared that a great number of Tory MPs where missing last night…if they abstained….that’s also a disgrace

    Reply We were down to about 90 opposing it

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

      Sir John

      You say only about 90 Tories opposed the vote !!! thats disgraceful

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      This should never have gone to the Lords. It won by one vote and that one vote was by an MP released early from prison with a tag still on her leg who should never have been there to vote in the first place. Oh and my pro Brexit MP Derek Thomas who abstained because he is fed up of the whole thing apparently. Well he can kiss goodbye to my vote.

  55. Merlin
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Personally I doubt the power of the E.U.

    As John knows well, the power of the House of Commons, and indeed all political institutions is due to their control over tax. That is why the Commons has power and the house of Lords doesn’t. The E.U has (and probably never will) be given direct tax-raising powers for this very reason.

    This argument is a canard – pure and simple.

    Also, to the fellow what said No Deal was delivering on the referendum, I suggest you read the leaflet. It makes no mention of No Deal, nor do any communications from that time. I believe the argument given was that the EU would roll over and do whatever we said. No Deal is every bit as much of a betrayal of the referendum as the customs union. Please deliver what we were promised.

    • David Price
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Which leaflet – neither the government leaflet nor the Vote Leave leaflet promise a deal, any deal for the UK. The government leaflet is full of threats and dire predictions while the Vote Leave one is about us, not the EU, deciding our course.

      We decided to leave, there was no conditional deal offered only threats from your fellow remainers.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      The Leaflet didn’t make any mention of only leaving with a ‘deal’ either. Perhaps YOU should read it again.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

      If you really think the EU does not tax us, you are seriously mistaken.

      You seem to be the only remainer who voted remain because you believed the EU, having issued dire threats of punishment if we voted to leave, would be prepared to come to an indulgent agreement when we came to leave it.

  56. ASW
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Does further delay to our departure mean that the numerous refugees/ecnomic migrants who crossed the Mediterranean will soon have the ‘freedom of movement’ allowing them to come to the UK? The numbers were large, our controls non existant. Permitting free access to our housing, employment, health, education and other services is unsustainable; not to mention the effect on our culture and way of life.

    Why is Mrs May not removed from office? Are the Conservative Party rules really so unalterable that nothing can be done before December?

  57. Lifelogic
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    “Who now doubts the power of the EU?”

    Indeed and who now doubts the power of governments in general to damage, inconvenience, over tax and over regulate the economy? Especially government by bureaucrats over whom the public have zero control. Damaging productivity and wealth creation at every turn.

    The Conservative are surely the party of economic competence & low taxation or they are nothing. May & Hammond are heading for the highest taxes for 70 years. While claiming to be a tax cutters and repaying the debt. This combined with generally dire and declining public services too.

    Lies, lies and more lies from this dire government.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Some of us have been warning for over 40 years that by choosing the wrong candidates to stand for parliamentary elections, the Tories were sowing the wind. No doubt they will soon reap the whirlwind.

      Bringing the wrong people in to stand for parliament, liberals who have little or no resonance with the public, who subsequently went against the very principles of the Conservative party – low taxation and law and order – was always going to end in a shambles, and so it is proving to be.

      But it doesn’t have to be like this.

      Signposts (those who show the way) can take weathercocks with them (those who have no real direction of their own and just follow the crowd). It just needs the right leader to start repairing all the damage the present no-hoper of an EU stooge has caused, and give the party real direction.

      There’s a snag. The Tories now have so many weathercocks pointing in different directions, and lamentably too few signposts. What is needed is an absolute hurricane to get them all facing the same way, and that might yet come if the Tories are heavily defeated.

      Will it take a political melt-down to concentrate the minds of the party machinery and finally take it in another direction?

      Judging by the difficulty they are having disposing of one tax-and-spend directionless liberal weathercock that has failed on law and order, and on tax, and found its way by default to the very top, evidently so.

      Tad Davison


  58. Norman
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    ‘…for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.’

  59. Know-Dice
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Off today’s topic…

    When I read “European Union (Withdrawal) (No. 5) Bill 2017-19” i.e. Yvette Cooper & Lord Rooker’s bill.

    All it seems to do is force the Prime Minister to ask the EU for an extension to Article 50, I can’t see that it actually forces the Government to obtain a Withdrawal Agreement from the EU.

    It is also interesting that the Bill states:

    “That this House agrees for the purposes of section 1 of the European Union
    (Withdrawal) Act 2019 to the Prime Minister seeking an extension of the period
    specified in Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union to a period ending
    on […]”

    Maybe a typo but there doesn’t seems to be a “European Union
    (Withdrawal) Act 2019” there is a “European Union
    (Withdrawal) Act 2018” though….

    Am I missing something?


    • acorn
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      The Bill dropped the number 5 for 2019 in its citation as an Act.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink


      shows that the Act bullied through so hastily by MPs conspiring to try prevent the UK from leaving the EU now claims to be the European Withdrawal Act 2019.

      I surmise that Sir John will soon comment on its potential legal effect. As far as I can see, regardless of all its fine words it would not legally prevent the EU from exercising treaty law by refusing the PM to extend beyond its previously granted deadline of 10th April.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      The new Act is referring to itself:


      “European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019”

      “1 Duties in connection with Article 50 extension

      (1) On the day on which this Act receives Royal Assent or on the day after that day, a Minister of the Crown must move a motion in the House of Commons in the form set out in subsection (2).

      (2) The form of the motion set out in this subsection is –

      “That this House agrees for the purposes of section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 to the Prime Minister seeking an extension of the period specified in Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union to a period ending on […]”

      Which has now been done:


      “I beg to move,

      That this House agrees for the purposes of section 1 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2019 to the Prime Minister seeking an extension of the period specified in Article 50(3) of the Treaty on European Union to a period ending on 30 June 2019.”

  60. Terry Wall
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    I need advice. May told us that the Withdrawal Agreement gave us control of our “borders, money, fisheries, agriculture, laws and trade” (or something like that). In other words, exactly what all those who voted for Brexit wanted, regardless of which item was most important to them. But now those who want to leave cleanly claim that the Withdrawal Agreement is deeply flawed and ties us to the EU in various ways in perpetuity.

    Either her summary was fictitious or they are exaggerating. Which is it? Or is the truth that the WA would be perfectly acceptable to almost everyone if the Irish problem could be resolved?

    • Richard
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Her summary was fictitious.

    • Merlin
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      My advice is that matters have changed since the referendum.

      During the referendum, it was argued we were voting leave the E.U with some sort of deal. The only argument was which one.

      Somehow, this argument seems to have morphed into two equally terrible arguments. First, that the customs union is somehow delivering on the referendum, despite meaning we still have no control over immigration.

      Secondly, that leaving with No Deal is a reasonable response to Europe not giving us everything we ask for.

      Both arguments seem to reflect a new and growing trend of people declaring whatever they believe has ‘the will of the British people’ behind and becoming very angry.

      I agree with you. Everyone should stop making trouble for the government, take May’s revolting deal and get on with it.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        There is no such thing as “No Deal” the EU & UK have already put in place contingencies to cover the UK leaving. And as has been pointed out on here many times under WTO current arrangements will stay in place for many years until changed.

        “During the referendum, it was argued we were voting leave the E.U with some sort of deal. The only argument was which one.”

        can you highlight in the leaflet that was sent to every home in the UK by the Government of the time where it said this. This is the ONLY official publication that you should have based your decision on which way to vote.


      • L Jones
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

        No, it wasn’t ”voting leave the EU with some sort of deal”. How utterly ridiculous, Merlin. Your memory is playing you false.

        ”Take May’s revolting deal” you say? And how many private enterprises would settle for a ”revolting deal” if they could just ditch it and get something far better?

        You are being disingenuous, I feel. Maybe an agent provocateur?

      • mancunius
        Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Merlin, membership of the EU customs union has many dire and lasting disadvantages that are all too real. The one you allege (‘no control over immigration’) is fictional.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Terry Wall,

      I am sure experts will reply, but the documents can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/withdrawal-agreement-and-political-declaration. I think:
      ‘Borders’ – fee movement would seem to be part of the future negotiations not ended within the WA.
      UK would remain a law taker until at least the end of 2020.
      Money – UK would be making contributions for this period plus a large number of liabilities thereafter. ECJ will be all powerful if any disagreement.
      Fishing – common fisheries policy during transition (UK just takes it), with negotiation regards access thereafter (i.e. power not yet taken back and could be negotiated away).
      If the in perpetuity threat of the backstop were removed, one might be tempted to argue that a bad WA and transition period could be lived with as it makes progress to a longer term better position. The problem would be that the WA weakens the UK negotiating position; the UK would be taking rules, would be a captive market for at least two years (more with the backstop), have agreed to financial commitments and received a non-binding political declaration in return. Simply UK would have played its cards with no movement towards a future relationship made.

      Since the EU did not permit negotiation of a free trade deal at the same time then for the UK leaving without playing its cards would seem to be/have been the sensible approach. The conservative party’s manifesto was big on trade and trade deals, this means being free to negotiate (i.e. out of the EU and not in a comprehensive customs union)…why would other countries negotiate if it is not clear when/if UK will be free?

      • Stred
        Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        In other words, May lied to the Commons.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Terry Wall,

      She should have evidenced and explained how each claim is reflected in the WA. She has made several speeches in which she could take such an opportunity. She still could.

  61. Peter Martin
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    We’ve all heard the arguments that now the terms on offer from the EU are known we should have another ‘confirmatory’ referendum.

    Maybe we could take a leaf out of the EU negotiating handbook, when we do finally achieve independence, and use it to hold the UK together in the event that Scotland voted for independence in a referendum. We could have a few years of tough negotiations, offering the Scots a really terrible deal with, say, a £10 billion leaving bill attached.

    We’d demand access to their fishing grounds and oil fields etc.

    Then, we’d say it wouldn’t be fair on the Scottish people to have to leave the UK under such circumstances and they should have a ‘final say’ in a another referendum once the terms of the final deal became known.

  62. JoolsB
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    May has gone rushing off to beg Merkel and Macron this morning. How can you allow this woman to see this country humiliated in this way a moment longer John? Please put country before party, May has destroyed your party anyway. Surely if you wanted to, you and your fellow Brexiteers could find a way to get rid of her NOW.

  63. JoolsB
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    We hear May’s priority is the union and how a no deal might jeopardise it. Could you please remind May that the largest part of that so called union, the part which is constantly overlooked and ignored, voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU, no ifs, no buts.

    Unlike the rest of the dis-UK, being denied a devolved parliament or voice, the referendum was England’s one and only chance to have a say in it’s future so instead of constantly pampering to the ‘devolved nations’ it’s about time this anti-English parliament indeed started worrying about the break up of the ‘union’ but not from the parts which are recognised and listened to but the part which is sick of it’s very existence being denied except when our votes or our cash are needed.

    P.s. I don’t know why I am bothering wasting my time writing this John as anything I say regarding the anti-Englishness of this Government, who would not exist without England, stays in moderation for days anyway.

    • outsider
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      Dear Jools, Scottish Nationalists are not stupid. They know that a customs border with England would make breaking away from the UK economically impractical. Much worse than a border in Ireland that all sides are desperate to minimise.

      Revoking Article 50 would therefore be best for the SNP and an UK/EU Customs Union almost as good, given that the EU would then be more sympathetic to their accelerated entry.

      For all the rhetoric, a clean UK withdrawal from the EU should actually reduce their threat to the union.

  64. Grahame ASH
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    So the EU have such total control over the UK, I question the need of having any MPs.

    Perhaps we ought to have a motion put forward in the Commons. The two choices either 1). to Leave under WTO rules or 2). Remain in the EU and make all MPs and HOL redundant. Would make interesting results.

  65. Dominic
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The Tories won’t demonise extremist Corbyn and McDonnell

    The BBC won’t demonise extremist Corbynand McDonnell

    Merkel it seems is now choosing the next leader of the Tory party if one is to believe a ‘Boris Clause’ has been inserted into any agreement to extend our leaving

    What is with the Tories that they refuse to confront left wing fascism and left wing extremism?

    Decent, moral people must stop voting scum Labour and the complicit Tories before both main parties destroy this country, its decency and its morality

    The Tories have shown themselves to be part of Labour’s client state and are willing to tolerate it

    We expect vile behaviour from Marxist Labour but we demand decency and a willingness to confront all issues

    There must be NO SACRED COWS

  66. Les
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink


  67. AndyC
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I’m just boiling with fury. I’m starting to entertain dark fantasies where the traitors are led from the chamber one by one and flogged under the statue of Cromwell. That’s not a healthy mindset is it… but right now, yeah, I’d watch that.

    • Special K
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Now you know what the concrete bollards are really there for.

    • DaveM
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t watch it – I’d do it.

  68. Les
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Come on folk – a clean Brexit is best for Britain – whether we have a government that can utilise it remains to be seen – and – best for Europe.
    A relationship can be built on a realistic, righteous basis – not on a twisted protectionist, power-centralising one.
    Note: this is right for both parties!

  69. Turboterrier.
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Sir John.

    Laws are funny things.

    Parliament passed a law saying we would leave on the 29th March.

    We now have a law passed to say we can not leave without a deal.

    It must be my age but how can this be right?

    Further proof the law is an ass.

  70. Chris
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Re the 28 resigning from the ERG. Theresa May must be laughing. The Art of War, Szun Tzu, divide your enemies.

    Those who stand up for their principles and who are willing to defend our country and its democracy, and to honour the Referendum result are apparently becoming fewer. This period is providing quite the starkest illustration of, what I view as, the corruption in politics, and, in my view, the desperately poor quality of many MPs, both in terms of their honesty and principles, but with regard to their intelligence, ability, common sense and knowledge (or rather lack of it particularly with regard to the EU).

    Thank you to Sir John for being one of the few. It will not be forgotten. Your obvious talents, intelligence, and principles could be far better used/employed outside the current Conservative Party. You are of a different calibre from so many of the current MPs.

    I think that the dwindling band of “good men/women” may well welcome emails of support. How else are they going to know that they are truly valued by the people of this country when there is such management of news today?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I do it already.

    • Excalibur
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Your penultimate para is endorsed, Chris. Very well put. Sir, John’s fault ( if he has one) is that he is too damned decent. We need a Trump style Prime Minister who will act ruthlessly, EU style, in our interests. We are not going to get one, I’m afraid.

    • Stred
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Daniel Kawshitski was saying that the British are made of sterner stuff and would not be rolled over a week ago.

  71. BobLayson
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    And Britons ever ever ever shall be slaves?

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      They will be if the likes of Letwin, Cooper, and the dear old BBC have their way!

  72. Christopher
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Why don’t they just let us leave on Friday

    For the love of God!!

  73. William Long
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Is there any hope that the EU, or even just one member of it, wil decide it has had enough of us and just tell us to GO? Clutching at straws I know, but I should have thought that any sensible institution would have at least begun to wonder if we are worth keeping after this ongoing fiasco.

    • mancunius
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      I’m afraid not – whatever divides the EU states, they are all united by greed.

  74. villaking
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Presenting the current situation as an all powerful EU subjugating the UK is misleading. The UK has chosen to ask for an extension. It has the power to leave at any time but has chosen not to (rightly in my view). The Treaty itself was not imposed on the UK, we had the power of veto but we signed up to it. There are no laws imposed on the UK, we are represented in the legislature and in the European Council. Of course the decision on whether to extend or not lies with the EU 27, because it us who is asking them for this, we are not being forced as you would like to imply. This is how international treaties work. Hopefully the irony of perhaps having to participate in elections in an “undemocratic” body is not lost on you.

    • Les
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Very good comment.
      The blame lies squarely with Theresa May and her cohort, there is no excuse in the real complicity of the cabinet, Tories, the HoC and the MSM; or with the EU bullies – they could have been thwarted – they still can!
      It will be on their epitaph if they do not.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      Well said – gold among the dross!

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      The Mayist who is doing this to us also:

      – made marriage easier to get out of than a phone contract

      – brought equality laws which will see white boys heavily discriminated against

      – brought gender neutral loos in which women have to sit on wet seats while men queue outside while people do their make-up

      – delivered high, redistributive tax policies

      – delivered the worst violent crime on our streets ever

      – betrayed us on Brexit and sided with a Marxist and foreigners

      – and now is about to deliver on us complete internet censorship for saying nasty words like… ‘betrayed’. Where do we go now that the broadcast and printed media is almost all leftist ?

      It beggars belief that anyone would vote Tory on the grounds that Corbyn could be any worse.

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

      Where do you get this ‘we’ from?

      True Brexiteers have fought these things all the way! Please don’t include true patriots with those who have sold this nation short!

  75. ferdinand
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I wish they would just throw us out saying ‘good riddance’. I should weep in my prosecco

  76. Chris
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Those ERG members who have left the ERG, and some of whom are mocking the principles of the dwindling band of the ERG, would do well to read this article by a retired Tory MP of 18 years, who is so angry at May betraying Brexit and now turning to Corbyn that he has donated to The Brexit Party and joined. He now feels that members of the Conservative Party have behaved so dishonourably that the Party needs to be put out of its misery. He is also particularly incensed by the treatment that local canvassers have met on the doorstep, all as a result of Theresa May betraying her country and Brexit:


    “….So my patience has snapped. I now want to see the Tories annihilated. I’ve just paid £50 to join the Brexit Party…….

    What finally did it for me was when I heard, last week, on the Today programme, a Tory Party worker canvassing in Somerset for the upcoming local elections. He faced the wrath of a former Tory voter in the aftermath of Mrs May’s Brexit betrayal. Tory party workers are often sneered at and derided by the party hierarchy but, for all their imperfections and elderly prejudices, these people are decent loyalists to their party and their country. But this humiliation to which they are being subjected is the worst they have ever endured. May and her gang should be ashamed of the suffering they have inflicted on these good people…..”

    Nothing in the long history of Tory ups and downs – not even the meltdown in 1997 – compares to the horror of recent days for this once great party. It needs to be put out of its misery forever. The Brexit Party may help in achieving that objective. I have a hunch that millions of Tory voters may be thinking the same.”

  77. BR
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I don’t agree that this is about EU ‘power’. The situation is created by the existence of a remain majority among MPs, who are prepared to abuse their position to renege on promises and collude with the EU.

    Even then, without a PM who has ignored all the constitutional norms, this could never have happened. May is the EU collaborator in chief. If Boris had been PM we would be out by now. Gove has a lot to answer for.

  78. steve reay
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Conservative Mps must now boycott Pm’s question time to show their distaste with her policies.

  79. Martyn G
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    A house divided against itself cannot stand. (A Lincoln). Which is pretty much where we are this day and means that the UK is in very real trouble, with the risk that it could all fall apart. What that would mean in practice is unfathomable but does not bode well for anyone.

  80. iain
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    The writing has been on the wall for a long time. When David Cameron resigned as PM without staying in place long enough to enact Article 50 I smelt a rat. It was no surprise that Mrs May took the maximum length of time to do so. Being a remainer she eventually took over full control of the ” withdrawal agreement” and gave her Cabinet a few hours to read it before insisting that she could announce to the Media that it had the full backing of the Cabinet. A few days later a few resigned from Cabinet but the damage was done by then.

    As long as she remains PM we shall not leave the EU. Very sad. Still we can always try again in a few years but who knows what the political landscape here will look like then. We can be sure that the EU will have by then introduced some pretty harsh penalties for leaving. £39 billion will be peanuts.

  81. Sue Doughty
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Newest British colony – EU!
    By preventing Brexit Brussels will have to accept that we remain to convert and run the EU in our own image, the successful Anglo Saxon model. Smaller government, accountable, responsive and doing less centrally. Only in this way can we make our own laws even though it means Westminster making laws for all of Europe to comply with, and London to rule over. This is to be regretted but Brussels conspired and M Barnier is forcing us to do it.
    Having divested ourselves of an empire Brussels is forcing us to take on another to run. It must be done, the world cannot abide an exclusive continent in centralised forced recession.

  82. Atlas
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink


    May is now the problem.

    It is simple, she has to go – now!

  83. Jane
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    All a ruse to force us to sign that WA against all of our better judgements.
    The WA is on worse terms than staying in EU – something the EU have always said.

    We must not sign, we must fall out of EU.
    Or as a last resort stay in but never to sign away our freedoms in a WA Treaty.

    No new leader will ever make good of that dreadful WA Treaty. We will be under the thumbs of Merkel and Macron!
    Humiliation complete.

  84. Eh?
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    So, Parliament is considering changing the divorce laws made 50 years ago. It’ll be interesting to list the parents and relations of present MPs who were also MPs and made stupid and thoughtless decisions on family life , relationships and the care of the children who are now MPs.

  85. V, bad news for EU
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May in talks will of course have advice from her Think Tank on the consequences for the UK as part of the EU on Trump’s announcement one hour ago that the US is going to impose $11 Billion of tariffs on EU products in regard to Airbus.. Also today’s announcement by an EU official that it was investigating ways to counter attack the US.

    In addition, the US has been considering since March on many more sanctions on the EU across the board.

    Sweden of course is utterly dependent on its exports to the US as are other small nations. This could wipe them off the economic map and we will end up trying to support several economies within the EU.
    What will be the impact on the UK economy if we stay in the EU a moment longer?

  86. Steve P
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    The EU is not strong but many Tory, Labour, and Liberal MP’s deceitful in obtaining their positions of power by lying to the electorate and not honouring manifesto’s. Our leaders betrayed us like the cowards they are. They surrendered without a fight. They sold democracy for 39 billion which no doubt a commission will arrive in their foreign bank accounts.

    Treachery is one of the worst sins. From this moment on like many millions of others my support will be with the new Brexit Party. Sir John you fought well and I thank you but I can no longer support you as member of the Tories. A vote for you inevitable counts towards the national party. Please join the Brexit Party.

  87. Dominic M George
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Why not rally everyone to get Theresa May to call a General Election? She said she was planning on not standing anyway at the next election. It will be the perfect time to get her out.

  88. Original Richard
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    We are being betrayed by a remainer PM and Parliament and are witnessing a coup d’etat against the people of this country.

    They are using the temporary power we give them between elections to permanently give away our sovereignty to the EU in a treaty from which we will have no lawful exit.

  89. Whaddyasay
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

    And now Leadsom rubs salt in by her throwaway remarks that Merkel might reopen the WA to allow changes- our betters are starting to insult the people now

  90. Ian Pennell
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    Parliament has taken away any “clout” that Theresa May might have in negotiations- she has to agree a Delay by law and the date must be voted on in Parliament. The new Cooper- Letwin Law makes it illegal for Theresa May to tell Mr Barnier and Mr Tusk to “Go take a hike” and the EU knows this.

    The EU could decide unilaterally that the £39 billion Divorce Bill must be increased as a condition of an extension. Parliament could decide the Delay must be to December 2020 at the earliest and the EU could state that, as a condition of that a further £60 billion must be paid. Both the EU and the Remainer UK Parliament have our weak Prime Minister over a barrel.

    And what is there now to stop Parliament pushing through a Bill (again initiated by Remainer MPs) to demand the Prime Minister go for a second referendum or even to Revoke Article 50 (to remove all risk of a True Brexit for all time)? Precedent has been set- back-bench MPs have demonstrated a capability for taking over the role of Executive- with the help of a sympathetic Speaker- to pass laws against the will of a minority Government!

    Neither Theresa May nor her Cabinet have any real power and authority (or the numbers) to do anything any more. The sooner that she and her Government are put out of their misery- with strong Brexit-supporting Churchillian leadership to replace it- the better.

    Ian Pennell

  91. ukretired123
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May is the EU’s Ace Card.

    No Deal is ours.

    She thinks she is Teflon May like Clinton but ‘people go too far but never know when they have gone too far ‘. Unless le crunch No 2 No deal happens this Friday voters will turn away from whatever is on offer.
    The WA Mk1 sounded very fishy and no amount of tinkering will remove the odour!

  92. John P McDonald
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Whilst I agree that the Government has handled our Leaving the EU very badly, and the conservative party selected a remain PM, but Parliament has voted to ignore a Democratically arrived at a decision to leave the EU by putting into Law that it would be illegal to Leave without a deal. The failure clearly rests with Parliament and not the Government now, or at least the majority of MP’s.
    You don’t have to be a super negotiator to realise that taking a no-deal exit off the table will remove any chance of a reasonable deal acceptable to most. And just what would happen if we left without a deal ? Are we free to trade with the EU as before or must we then operate under WTO rules ?

  93. mancunius
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    May’s appears to believe that her deliberate dereliction of her duty as PM by failing to implement Operation Yellowhammer will be her fearmongering trump card.
    She is supported by the many civil servants (led by the No. 10 Cabinet Office) who have also been deliberately inactive in preparing for our WTO exit, and have issued misleading advice and warnings that are politically motivated in their contents and timing.
    Sir John, is there really no way of ridding ourselves of these creatures of the EU?

  94. margaret howard
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    A comment on today’s BBC story on Conservative MP Daniel Kawczynski quitting ERG for endangering Brexit sums up the whole sorry business best:

    “The ERG needs to take all the credit for voting consistently against Mrs Mays deal to ensure the UK remains in the EU

    It was also their malevolent shadow that made Mays DUP bribed, propped up minority government pursue a Tory party Brexit instead of a Brexit based on a cross party consensus Their entitled intransigence has thrown the baby out with the bathwater

    It couldnt happen to nicer people!!”

  95. Andy
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    MPs in Westminster are responsible for most of the ills in our society. Our NHS is not as good as it should be because you do not fund it properly. Likewise our schools are inadequate – that is a Westminster thing.

    MPs have also failed to fix our faltering transport system, our lack of housing – caused primarily by increasing life expectancy and more people living alone. MPs have failed to tackle crime, our tax system is broken and our foreign policy is woeful. All this you in Westminster have full responsibility for and you have all repeatedly failed.

    The EU deals mainly with things which are best done on a multinational level. Product regulations. Standardised rules for minimum labour standards. Guaranteed environmental protections. Things which guarantee not only free but frictionless trade.

    I hear people whine about the NHS, schools, housing and transport all the time. I have never heard anyone complain about frictionless trade. No normal person objects to EU rules requiring their beaches to be clean. Name a worker (as opposed to a fat cat) who objects to the protections you get under EU law? Even free movement is a wonderful thing. An amazing right for all of your children and grandchildren to live, study and work bureaucracy free in 31 countries. Let it never be forgot that Mr Redwood’s party are stealing all this from us.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Listening to you you would think every nation is a mess compared to the 27 in the EU.
      The rest of the world is experiencing a great improvement in standards of living.
      It is the EU that is slipping backwards.
      You need to get out more.
      Love your “bureacracy free” bit.
      Try setting up a company in Italy or France or getting residency status sorted in Greece or Portugal for example.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 10, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Which countries in the rest of the world are you referring to? I hope it isn’t the US where the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer. Millions without health insurance and living on pitiful state handouts.

        The EU helps those countries that need it, including being courageous enough to sort out the appalling mess the Greeks got themselves into which made them cheat to get into the EU. That’s why they keep voting for pro EU governments as did every EU country in their latest elections.

        Your ‘residency status’ example is just a desperate red herring to find anything negative to say.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 10, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

          Well let’s try Australia Canada New Zealand Hong Kong and Singspore as starters.
          Higher GDP per head than the EU.

          The rich are getting richer everywhere including the EU, your statement is meaningless.
          People live on pitiful state handouts in EU countries.

          No red herring, try and see if the EU is bureacracy free as Andy says when you apply for starting a new business or try to register for residency.

          Ridiculous socialist claptrap from you Margaret.
          The Green party…even more far left than Corbyn.

  96. Captain Peacock
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    May is humiliating this once great country, going to Europe begging Merkel and the French PM shame on the Tory party keeping her as leader.
    Roll on the next election.

  97. hardlyEver
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Yeah no doubt the EU has a lot of power but thats only because our government is so weak. We have been playing too many games like ‘divide and pick them off’ hasn’t worked..talk to the bavarian car workers and the french wine producers..hasn’t worked..and then despite what we were promised about it being the easiest deal ever by liam fox..it hasn’t worked either..so we are bunched with no new trade deals in the pipeline..again we are bunched

  98. Jumeirah
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    Today the Nation hangs it’s head in shame as the prime minister ( small capitals) shuffles around Berlin and Paris clutching her handbag in one hand and a begging bowl in the other. Never will we forget this nor be allowed to forget this – a once proud Nation bent in submission. Politicians and Civil Servants YOU will never be forgotten for what you have done.
    Different point: Conservative Councillors Wokingham Borough Council (Remain) on May 2nd you might reflect on your decision to spend SO MUCH on Wokingham Town centre whilst the rest of us drive through pot holes in the roads and have to live with GROSS overbuilds in our areas WITHOUT the necessary infrastructure ( such roads?) to accommodate the rapid growth. You Conservatives are done so get out the way and let a new breed of enlightened people take over the responsibility that you have so miserably failed to manage properly.

  99. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Conclusion: We need to get rid of this parliament, this Government and our participation in the EU. Given that the numbers in this parliament are against you, what are you going to DO to achieve your goals?

    Hint: The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

  100. Chris
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    Excellent article by Martin Howe QC of Lawyers for Britain on why May’s deal must rejected if Brexit is to be honoured, and why those individuals arguing for accepting the deal, just to get it over the line, are in very dangerous territory believing that they can later change the deal.

    In measured terms and with rigorous scrutiny of the law and all the arguments put forward, Howe makes clear that accepting the deal and hoping to change it later would be beyond foolish. Such is the construction of both the WA and the PD that such action mooted would be impossible.

    Howe examines the legal intricacies and implications of the WA and PD, and although the PD itself is not legally binding there are legal implications drawn from it that would be expected to be followed. If they were not, then the EU could be expected to take retaliatory measures which would be perfectly justifiable under law.

    It seems to me that the WA WA and PD are extremely carefully drawn up with a view to ensuring that we do not actually leave the EU but are bound to it. Indeed a vassal state with no means of escape.

    An extension without the WA being signed is preferable to the deal being signed, according to Howe. The key thing is that the deal should not be signed off by Parliament, so Daniel Kawczynski and others be warned. Your hopes of altering the WA after it is signed are misplaced.

    • Stred
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      How could any MP who genuinely wishes to leave read this and vote for the WA?

  101. Whaddyasay
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    So now you know that after thousands and probably millions of words written here it has all come to naught..we are now entering the realm of the California Hotel syndrome. Key politicians have been bought off and have gone silent or have given up and so momentum to any chance of leaving has largely collapsed. It seems nothing can be done to stop her- the May runaway train is rattling along- and yes the EU has the power. What a complete waste of time- the past three years?

  102. oldwulf
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Today – the government made the following response to petition 233767

    “The Government stands by its commitment to uphold the result of the 2016 referendum and to deliver the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

    In 1972, the United Kingdom became a member of the European Union. In the time since, we have had the power, as a Member State, to influence the terms of our membership.

    However, in the 2016 referendum the Government gave the British public a clear choice, and wrote to every household in the UK making the firm commitment to respect the result, whatever the outcome. With the knowledge of that commitment, 17.4 million people then voted to leave the European Union, providing the biggest democratic mandate for any course of action ever directed at a UK Government.

    The British people have made their voice heard and their view clear. It is now the responsibility of this Government to uphold the result of the referendum and continue to try and seek a consensus across the House that will ensure the UK leaves in a smooth and orderly way.

    Department for Exiting the European Union”

    I can understand the comment “the responsibility of this Government is to uphold the result of the referendum”. However, this might not be compatible with the additional responsibility (which was not part of the referendum) “to try and seek a consensus across the House that will ensure the UK leaves in a smooth and orderly way”. It would probably have been more “smooth and orderly” if the Government had declared a clean break from the outset.

  103. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

    they should NOT backtrack now

  104. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn’s motives are opaque. I assume he mostly wants a permanent CU because he hates America and doesn’t want a FTA with them. However, the EU Parliament will be at least 30% populist next time and that group will want Commissioner posts. What if the EU eventually signs a full FTA with Trump (re-elected in 2020) chlorinated chicken and all – then what can Corbyn do about it with his permanent CU ? Answer: Nothing. The liberal elite assumption that the EU will always reflect their own view is misguided. For example, the disapproval rating of the UK government with UK voters is not the worst in the EU, the French government rates significantly worse with their voters – what if Le Pen is elected next ? Starmer would work with her in the spirit of European cooperation would he ?

  105. Original Richard
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    The EU appears powerful because we have been betrayed.

    Mrs. May needs to go before she signs us up to the EU’s damaging WA from which there is no lawful escape.

    Those Conservative MPs who still believe in democracy, that the referendum should be respected and that manifesto promises should be kept, must now demonstrate they are prepared to put the country before party and vote for a GE.

    This will be only way to remove Mrs. May and hopefully to stop the passing of the WA, a treaty which will leave us as a vassal state with no exit.

  106. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Its nothing yo do with the power of the EU John. Its your government that’s corrupt and refuse to take us out. They could sort this out if they really wanted to but none have the gumption to do so. They are all contemptible.

  107. agricola
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    It would seem that German industry is begining to blink. They seem not at all impressed with the way in which the EU have approached the UKs avowed intention to leave and the subsequent negotiation. They know it was wrong to treat the UK as a suplicant. I think that at least the Germans realise the enormity of what the EU have done and it’s impact on German business and the availability of capital. Whether it has dawned on Merkel is unknown, but I would suggest we hold in there and watch this space.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      Treat the UK as a supplicant? It was the Germans who supported our EU application in the 1960’s after de Gaulle’s repeated ‘NONs’. They are still doing it today. As Betty Boothroyd so wisely put it in a speech yesterday: “Europe needs us as we need Europe”

      As for the ‘enormity of what the EU have done and it’s impact on German business’ I am quite sure that they will manage better than we shall after Brexit.

      • APL
        Posted April 12, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

        Boothroyd: “Europe needs us as we need Europe”

        We are happy to work with European Nations, but don’t need or care about the European Union.

  108. Simon Coleman
    Posted April 9, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    ‘…encouraged the Commission to settle the penal terms for long delay’. We’re still free to leave without a deal if we want to. But Parliament has decided that that would be too damaging. We remain a sovereign nation – to suggest otherwise is a lie. We decided to leave the EU – that was a decision made by a free nation. All the the bloc has done is look after its own interests, principally the integrity of the Single Market. 17.4 million people decided to throw away many of our benefits in return for a completely unknown future. That’s what you told them to do…and this is where we are.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      How can we be a sovereign nation when our supreme court is the ECJ?
      The treaties we have signed gave away our powers as an independent nation,.
      In a post earlier another pro EU person mocked those of us who voted remain for our stupidity in not realising that the EU has legal supremacy.
      Was he lying too?

  109. Brit
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 2:52 am | Permalink

    Correction. The work has all ready started. I did speak with a contractor. He told me that they have also started “completely doing the roofs on empty homes. I told him it had all been done in bits 3 times over in the last 15 years and most recently and pointed to the new roofs which were bright as new without flaw. He looked and smiled at me. That smile, a knowing wry smile of the experienced. “Yes, ” he said and then another wise knowing smile . ‘Nough said!

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

      And of course my garden will be flattened again and every plant destroyed. Birds have stopped building nests even over 3 month period in my hedges. It is a kind of natural telepathy. They seem to know Labour is in charge. Birds evolve!

  110. hans christian ivers
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 3:35 am | Permalink


    The great cost you are talking about ,the majority of the cost (which is not significant in the scheme of things) is actually something we have committed to pay as part of our membership in the first place.

    So talking about a penal payment is actually not the case

    • Edward2
      Posted April 10, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

      If we delay we continue to pay and therefore pay much more.

  111. JeremyG
    Posted April 10, 2019 at 4:26 am | Permalink

    When are you going to bring your rotten government down? Do you not see that the Tory brand is toxic now and the longer this continues the worse it will get. Even with a new Brexit leader will the public trust the Tories again? I have real doubts. Wouldn’t it be better for the ERG to form an alliance with Farage’s Brexit party to gain the public’s trust again and take the Tory Associations with you?

    Whatever happens good luck Sir John and thank you for all your efforts so far.

  112. Dominic
    Posted April 11, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink


  • 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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