The Agreement to delay our exit is not one the UK should have signed

The EU have required the UK to accept there can be no re opening of the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement during the delay in our exit. They have also stated we cannot start discussing the future partnership despite it being sketched vaguely in the Political declaration, until the Withdrawal Agreement is signed.

This new agreement says if the UK does not fight the European elections we will automatically leave on 31 May. That would be the best outcome from here, and is to be recommended to a government that does not really want to hold the elections yet seems drifting to them for want of accepting the Withdrawal Agreement is not about to pass.

If the government wants to carry on with the delay despite the fact that it cannot be used to renegotiate anything with the EU, then the UK is subjected to major constraints on its rights as a continuing member of the EU. despite paying a big financial contribution and acting as importer of last resort for many continental producers, the UK is required to behave in a way the EU finds acceptable. The Agreement says ” The UK shall facilitate the achievement of the Union’s tasks and shall refrain from any measure which could jeopardise the attainment of the Union’s objectives, in particular when participating in the decision making processes of the EU. ”
Worse still they act as if the Withdrawal Agreement is in effect when the delay has been caused by the unhappiness of most voters and many MPs with it. “Any unilateral commitment, statement or other act by the UK should be compatible with the letter and spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement, and must not hamper its implementation.” This is an unusual idea that a country has to follow an international treaty which its Parliament refuses to ratify!

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Just shows that the arrogance of the EU and the determination to retain control of the UK, whether we ‘leave’ or remain.

    Hopefully resistance to the putrid WA will be maintained, particularly in the light of the following extracts from your letter to the AG posted yesterday:

    “4 The Treaty creates a category of super citizen in the UK. EU nationals living in the UK when we “leave” the EU will have their access to benefits guaranteed in a way the rest of us do not for their entire lifetimes. So we will not be taking back control of our benefit system.”
    “Article 39 gives special protection to EU citizens currently living in the UK from changes to social security for the whole of their lives, protection which the rest of us do not enjoy.”

    How ironic that UK pensioners in Australia, and some other parts of the world, having paid National Insurance dues for the whole of their working lives, are now subject to a pension which is frozen at the amount when it was first paid. If an insurance company, having been paid the appropriate premiums, then decided to withhold part of the contracted pension payment, they would have been hauled before the courts.

    This is a situation which demands remedy – but to find that EU citizens in the UK are going to be treated more favourably than UK citizens, and particularly those overseas on frozen pensions, simply adds to the insult. It is time this pension anomaly was rectified – the wasted money for European elections and continuing payments to the EU would pay for full reinstatement of the currently frozen pensions one hundred times over.

    I do hope that you could raise this issue in Parliament at the appropriate opportunity.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Indeed the state cheating on people’s state pensions that they have paid for (just depending on where they reside) is an outrage.

      • graham1946
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        The WASPI women outrage is bay far the worst con trick carried out by con artists posing as politicians. Never mind, plenty of money for Begum to have Legal Aid to sue the country she despises ans is a traitor to. No doubt Mrs.May will get her pension before she is 67.

        • John Turner
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          I sincerely hope Mrs May gets her pension long before that – how about next week – or is that too long to wait?

          • Hope
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

            You Gove poll put today show the public have not changed their minds after three years!

            Huge job losses in the car industry in Germany and Spain announced today. Why no coverage by the MSM like the rotten BBC? Former German CEO of VW charged with fraud over emission scandal. Hammond three weeks ago claimed I parlaiment Ina answer to a question why he is increasing tax on diesel cars was due to them emission scandal! Why punish British consumers and not the German car manufacturers like Trump Did? Has Hammond lost the plot? Our environment that they keep on about put in jeapardy by German car manufacturers. Why has Hammond not done anything to protect us? Where is Traitor May’s virtue signalling?

      • Hope
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        JR, the servitude extension is substantially different from what has been debated to date. Ttherfore I fail to see why it is legal. It means the U.K. is in the EU on different terms that parlaiment did not vote for or was even allowed to debate.

        But there is a shorter route, get rid of May. I have never been able to understand why it took so long to realise what she was up to. Davis was either lazy or had no clue about his brief while in offi, especially the backstop.
        Chequers was clear as your nose on your face for dishonest underhand behaviour irrespective of the issue. With a background of not preparing for no deal! Chequers plan was dreadful, socially, economically, constitutionally etc. In business she would have been out on her ear. No questions asked.

        There is nothing for the UK in the backstop, or money May is as prepared to give away straight away and for years to come, nothing. Only penalties. May let Merkel and EU see her plan before cabinet and parliament! She prevented Merkel answering a question on it. Dishonest KitKat policy caught on tape, it could not have been made clearer for all MPs what this dishonest team of civil servants were up to.

        Legal advice from Cox still not provided only a small part about the backstop. Why has he not provided it, parliament demanded it. From his wind and piss statement he has not got a clue about risk. This was his justification for voting for the servitude plan. If this was his best legal advice I would ask for him to be replaced. Do not expect an answer from him, he failed to rpovide his advice to parliament. He is not going to respond because it would make him look more stupid than he already does. The man who let out a criminal Labour MP early wearing a leg tag to vote on removing no deal!

        • Hope
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          The extension terms awasmwritten by the EU like the servitude plan. The civil servants dishonest KitKat policy was the central plank to the outcome. A last minute show of themdocuments with a host of,lies and spin to bounce MPs to vote for it. The person responsible for this dishonest strategy, May.

          You will note EU fantatics Ken Clarke and Letwin voted for the servitude plan. Clarke has never voted against the EU. A bit of a clue. Clarke was,behind,supporting May for leadership with his accidental on purpose difficult woman blurb, he is now panicking she might be ousted. God forbid a leaver. Remainer Tory politics openly declared on TV they would prefer Labour than leave. And so the negotiations with Labour come to pass. It matters not who is in government if in the EU. The government only allowed to operate within small limited boundaries.

          If I were Labour I would not entertain any agreement with her. There is nothing to gain and all to lose. Let her sink and take the spoils afterwards.

    • Tory in Cumbria
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      I assure you that rejecting what you call this “putrid WA” will make zero difference. If the UK rejects it and leaves with no deal, the EU will shrug its shoulders and wait a few days until the disasters are so great – not enough medicines, not enough food – that the UK will beg for help. And the EU will offer help – provided the Uk agrees to everything in the “putrid WA” and maybe a bit more besides. There is a very good reason that all bar a few MPs have ruled out no deal. No deal is worse than any deal, and a lot worse than Mrs May’s deal. This is the lose-lose situation that the deceit of Brexit has reduced us to.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

        Tory ion Cumbria

        The fear tactic again, oh dear oh dear.

        If the Eu will not sell us food, then let it rot in the ground, and we purchase it from elsewhere.

        Like wise medicines, are the EU the only source of medicines ?

        Please wake up !

        • Bardirect
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          the UK is the major European manufacturing base for both UK US and EU companies. There are already shortages of medicines in France of EU manufactured products.

      • Grahame ASH
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        Tory in Cumbria I can assure you that if the EU decides not to deal with the UK, then those companies in the EU will find some way around the restrictions. You also have overlooked the opportunity that non EU countries will provide us with goods. The UK will not be without food or medicines.

        I am sorry to say you have been inculcated by the EU and Remainer scare stories. No deal, which is really Leaving under WTO rules IS distinctly better than leaving with Mrs May’s WA.

        Tory I think you ought to read John Redwood’s two latest articles with an open mind and realise he, unlike most MPs is trying to do his best to educate others of the serious disadvantages of remaining in the EU under the terms currently offered. – the WA.

      • Prigger
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        @Tory in Cumbria
        “… No deal is worse than any deal…”
        Perhaps you should place this phrase in numerous other but real contexts so its applicable “logic” can be seen and tested away and well outside Remain Ideology . You appear to be in the boxed War is Peace argument

      • Oggy
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        TiC – ‘There is a very good reason that all bar a few MPs have ruled out no deal’ – yes because they don’t want to leave and have done everything they can to subvert a democratic decision and make it impossible to leave.

      • Julie Dyson
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Pure and utter Project BS.

        I actually find it remarkably ironic (and more than a tad amusing) that Leavers were branded the “stupid” bunch when in reality the people believing this absolute codswallop are clearly the ones unable even to think for themselves. It is in fact Remainers who are always willing to swallow any old rubbish just because it comes from such as the CBI or similar incredibly biased sources — most of which have been proved wrong time and time again: on joining the Euro, on the ERM, on simply voting Leave being enough to send us to hell in a handcart…

        But it actually also gives me fresh hope. Despite all the horror stories and dire predictions, 52% still voted to Leave. I reckon another 15-20% would probably have done so but were scared off — and most of those now also have a keen sense of smell where continued Project BS is concerned. If we repeated that referendum word-for-word it wouldn’t surprise me at all to see a 70-30 result.

        • old salt
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

          Julie D
          I fear we will not see another referendum until the polls show a clear vote in favour of the EU following more BS. They will not make the same ‘mistake’ again.

          • Sharon Jagger
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            Old salt, Julie D

            According to the grape vine in Brussels Nigel Farage has heard that any referendum will be a) stay with the current treaty, b) go with the new treaty (May’s WA)

            So the choice will be remain , or remain with no say…..

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. I blame that cowardly 15-20% for the pickle we’re in.

          That is roughly the figure I was coming to in my straw polls during the referendum. “I don’t want the EU but I’m scared of leaving.”

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        I’m afraid some people still cannot appreciate what a grasping lop-sided malignant place the EU is, and how it manipulates everything to its own advantage. Any entanglement with it is therefore best avoided in my view. Perhaps work with it in areas of mutual interest after we have left if we must, but it should not have any semblance of control over the UK, as expressed in the result of the referendum. Leave means leave.

      • graham1946
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        ‘Not enough food or medicines’

        How will that happen? Do you suppose the supermarkets will shut up shop just because of a political principle? Do you think big pharma will stop supplying the UK, (the NHS is one of their biggest customers) on some political principle? The only guiding principle of big business is money – that comes before all else. No more talk lately of ‘just in time’ causing factories to close, despite weeks of French Customs strikes holding up thousands of trailers. Don’t be sucked in by the Remoaners scare stories. Not one has produced any evidence, just biased opinion, whereas the Ports who actually to the work have stated there will be no problems.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        You really are totally deluded, doubtless taken in by project fear for Hammond/Carney types and the BBC propaganda. Up in Cumbria I am sure you will be able to survive on Cabbages, misc. root veg and lamb (perhaps the odd trout, pike or salmon too) so fear not. Anyway was the government not recently more concerned about the Obesity crisis?

        We will be just fine just like all the other countries that are not members of the anti-democratic, sclerotic EU. Indeed we will be far better off if we do the right things after leaving. (Cut taxes, cut red tape, cut energy prices and reduce the size of the largely parasitic state sector by about 50%).

        • robert valence
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

          Query on your comment LL – regarding cutting energy prices. Can we actually do that? Didn’t Millband pass a law which promotes closure of all coal-fired power & gas in favour of hot-air? Didn’t May sign off on the big Chinese deal for nuclear which obliges us to pay super-top rate for that power?
          How can we do it?

          • Lifelogic
            Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:33 am | Permalink

            Scrap the insane Climate Change Act, that nearly all our moronic and largely scientifically illiterate MPs voted for and cut out all the green crap subsidies.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Sad reflection that we have to rely on hostile states in order to feed and heal ourselves. We might as well have been part of the USSR.

      • EastDevon Tory
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Tony in Cumbria – I see you have well and truly bought into Project Fear Mk2. I suggest you broaden your reading to see what otyhers are saying not least the Port Authorities in both Calais and Dover.
        Furthermorem you do know that the EU currently enjoys a trade surplus of £96bn with the UK, a sum that the struggling eurozone cannot afford to lose anytime soon.
        Why do you think Brussels ‘blinked’ last weel in offering an extension? An wextension that was not supposed to be on offer only weel=ks earlier when Treason May was told to come up with a Plan B by 1 April or Leave happens. Clearly, no Plan B was delivered last week.

      • The Banana
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        You’ll need to do better than make up a crisis filled future and state it as if it’s axiomatic truth.

        The notion that medicines won’t be imported, for example, is ludicrous. Who exactly will stop that? The EU? Export bans are illegal under WTO rules except in specific circumstances. So, the British government would stop them? I don’t think even Theresa May is that incompetent.

        Really, why on earth do you believe this things? They don’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny. Who told you to think this? I’d be more worried about that then the Brexit future tbh, you’ve been brainwashed.

      • Original Richard
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Tory in Cumbria,

        Please stop this nonsense.

        How can “no deal” be worse than “any deal” ?
        Do you really believe that “no deal” would be worse than direct rule by Brussels ?
        Think about it.

        Shortage of food and medicines ?
        Is the EU the only producer of food and medicines ?
        Are they going to blockade us or introduce trade sanctions ?

        Do not the EU suppliers want to keep trading even if the EU bureaucracy does not ? Is this not blackmail and is it legal by international rules ?

        Take medicines.
        The UK exports £12bn/year to the EU of pharmaceutical products.
        Do the EU want to stop the import of these items?

      • L Jones
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear, Tory in Cumbria! You really HAVE fallen hook, line and sinker for that scary Project Fear! You must lie awake at night, fearful in case a big lump of sky (or an aircraft) falls on your house, eyes wide in dread, thinking how the majority in your country had the temerity to vote ‘leave’, bringing doom and disaster on our heads!
        Good job there are even more people in work to keep your electricity supply going, manufacturing all those medicines that are not imported, getting up at 4 am to grow the (seasonal) food to put on your table, working at the docks with the imported non-EU foodstuffs, etc, etc.
        Never mind. Go to bed early so you feel strong enough for a hard day’s stock-piling tomorrow, just in case EU-made Easter eggs might be in short supply!

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      While Theresa May swims in deep waters (out of her depth), Nigel Farage rises up like the shark in Jaws.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

        As he says……Lions ruled by donkeys!

      • Prigger
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Mr Farage has stated many times that having MEPs in the EU Parliament cannot be profitable as it entirely lacks democracy.
        Since a Referendum positive result has not been observed in science-reality, and so too parties manifestos, why keep hitting our heads against mirages? Your head comes out at the other side untouched, you look back and observe nothing was actually there! It’s as easy to understand as camels walking through the eye of a needle.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        But we have a fist past the post system at Westminster and lots of always have always will vote X people.

        The sound wing needs to take control of the Conservative party and kick the traitors out.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          Sound small government, Brexit people need to be joining the Conservative Party not leaving it.

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Stephen Priest

        “While Theresa May swims in deep waters (out of her depth), Nigel Farage rises up like the shark in Jaws.”

        More likely he’ll end up like Icarus.

    • sm
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      As one of those UK pensioners living abroad now for family reasons, I must add that it is somewhat ironic that I get no pension increases despite not now being a possible charge on the UK in terms of medical treatment, social services, bus passes, free TV licences etc.

      I am of course still required to pay UK taxes!

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

        Pity you are not in the USA, you would get those increases

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Perhaps there’s been enough of this “get rid of May” talk. Most Tories seem to like her, and the remainder are powerless in a party driving the wrong way up the motorway. We just need to vote this lot out. Nothing less.

      I can see Mr Farage being supportive enough of British citizens in Australia and other Commonwealth countries to continue to upgrade pensions there. Other sensible folk now joining Brexit Party.

      Labour and Conservative parties must really hate British citizens sufficiently to load these penal conditions on us. We need to get rid asap.

      • JoolsB
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        If they hate British citizens then they absolutely loathe English ones. Why else would they treat Brexit voting England with such contempt? No voice, no representation in the Brexit talks or anywhere else, less money spent on us per head despite being the only net contributor to the UK coffers, £9,250 p.a. tuition fees – only England, prescription charges – only England, hospital parking charges – only England, May’s dementia tax if she tries to bring it back – only England.

        • graham1946
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

          Trouble is, England has nowhere to send its bills to, unlike Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who are kept afloat by England. One reason why NI won’t join with the south for a long while – they simply could not afford it.

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

          Tuition fees, prescription charges, hospital parking charge etc are all decided by national governments nothing to do with the EU.

          If anybody deserves your contempt for that its our own government. After all, not even Scottish students pay the exorbitant tuition fees English ones have to.

          • JoolsB
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

            We are talking about this UK Government and it’s contempt for British citizens and especially English ones. Do keep up please.

    • SueW
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      I suppose this will also apply to all those “Brits” who sought Irish passports in the aftermath of the referendum.

    • Iago
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      If a uk state pensioner lives in Serbia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey (! the last, a change introduced by the Cameron government I believe with for some reason no publicity) he gets the annual index-linked increase. A list is here

    • Wieslaw Piatkiewicz
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      The UK Pensions system does pay increments if the country in which the UK citizen has chosen to live has the appropriate agreement in place , for example if the UK citizen lives in a EEA country he/she will receive the increments. But this is down to the agreements the UK Goverment has made and nothing to do with the EU. It dates back to the 1946 National Insurance Act so plenty of successive Goverments of the UK have chosen to keep this freeze. Don’t blame the EU for that which it has no responsibility for!

      • Pominoz
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink


        The blame is entirely with the British Government. There was no suggestion in my post that the EU was responsible for the frozen pension scandal. BUT, it is utterly wrong for Theresa May to try to provide EU nationals with better terms as regard benefits that UK nationals.

  2. Mark B
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Welcome to the world of Kafka.

    The EU has no right to impose anything with regard to the extension. And it would not be in its interest to do so unless the PM would have been happy to agree to it in advance. Think about it. If any one of us wanted an extension and was presented with the above terms we would simply say no and remind the EU of the alternative. That being, to Leave.


    You have asked repeatedly how we and our kind host think this will all end ?

    My answer, if I may, is badly. Badly for BREXIT. Badly for Mrs.May MP. Badly do the government. Very badly for the Tory Party. Badly for the UK, her international standing and democracy. And finally, badly for the EU.

    Our best hope is to sit it out without signing the WA, and do what the EU has always, to good effect, done. And wait for better weather.


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Sit it out for long enough and you may see Theresa May shedding crocodile tears as she revokes the Article 50 notice. Then for a generation or more the argument will be “We tried to leave before but after so long as a member it simply proved too difficult to extricate ourselves, do we really want to go through all that again?”

      • Mark B
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        I am, despite being an ardent Leaner, am pretty relaxed about her trying that. If you think think things are bad now for the Tories, wait until that happens. 😉

        BREXIT Is lifting the lid on our so called democracy and political parties. Ordinary people have suddenly done a Neo.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

          You forget that MPs may insist that she does it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Badly indeed unless we abandon the EU elections, leave at the end of May and evict this appalling traitor from No. 10.

      • Prigger
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        Mrs May is not a traitor in terms of its legal definition and concept. What she is outside the Law is an Outlaw

    • jerry
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; Beyond the echo chamber that is this, and similar, sites I do not agree that this will all end badly for the Tory party -it might for some factions within though…. The other main parties are also suffering from the Brexit impasse, some worse than the Tory party, UKIP has all but self destructed, Mr Farage looks like he trying to remain on the gravy train yet again (once more he ‘un-resigns’), whilst Labour are just as split as the Tory party is.

      Will the Tory party suffer in the local elections, any more than the party of govt does anyway, I’m not so sure, most people judge international issues differently from domestic govt issues when it comes to punishing via the local elections. My own local Conservative election leaflet is very upbeat about the area, a “can-do” attitude compared to both the Labour and LD more regular communications that tend to stress what they have managed to stop happing or delayed, be it local enterprise estates (read local jobs), housing, roads etc, etc, etc…

      • Grahame ASH
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        I would like to know in which district you reside, so I can see how well your upbeat Tory party does in the May elections.

        Your comments indicate you haven’t obviously done any canvassing at local elections, otherwise you would know national issues are very frequently the main topic of issue. This is generally accepted and I also talk from personal experience.

      • James Bertram
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        The local Conservative election leaflet for my area (Cranleigh) had the Union Jack emblazoned across 3 pages and a large picture of a memorial to ‘The Fallen’ of our villages!
        This cynical ‘fake patriotism’ from a bunch of traitors to win votes is absolutely disgraceful.
        (Note: too, ‘traitors’ is fair comment as our MP, Anne Milton, is one of the Chief Remoaner Ministers, so I apply this to any local party campaigning in her constituency – I would not say ‘traitors’ about Sir John, and those who continue to oppose the WA surrender treaty).
        My family have fought and suffered in both wars, and this abuse of their actions and values is just insulting. It is not acceptable to use the War Dead to advance political aims – never – in any circumstance.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          I have seen this kind of thing myself James. The wavers of the Union Jack at the Last Night of the Proms, singing ‘Land of Hope and Glory’, then they sell the nation down the river at the earliest opportunity. It really is cynical in extremis for the Conservative party could quite literally fold as a consequence of May’s actions.

          I have been friends with senior political figures who assured me they were very Eurosceptic – that is, until the chips were down, then they turned out to be nothing less that EU placemen, doing that iniquitous place’s bidding.

          The public haven’t necessarily been as politically engaged as those who subscribe to this ‘echo chamber’ as Jerry puts it, but there is a growing discontentment with politicians that I haven’t seen before.

          Tribalism isn’t quite dead, so Jerry could yet be proved right, but I really do think the sands are shifting this time, and the very word ‘Conservative’ is now treated with contempt. Theresa May more so. Whilst she remains leader, the party’s fortunes are tied to hers and thus unlikely to recover.

          • Steve
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:34 pm | Permalink


            “…..the very word ‘Conservative’ is now treated with contempt.”

            Yes, it’s not far behind ‘filthy traitor / remain voter’

      • Mark B
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        What a nasty little post. I suspect you voted Remain ?

        • jerry
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          @Mark B; Good grief, unless the truth hurts, in what way was I being nasty?!

      • Original Richard
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

        I will definitely NOT be voting in the local elections for the remain parties (Con/Lab/LD/CUK/Green etc) as I am so upset by the way they are trying to reverse the referendum result and these elections are the only way I can register my protest.

        My Conservative WA voting MP no longer replies to my emails.

        I shall probably have to spoil my ballot paper.

        • Steve
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Original Richard

          “My Conservative WA voting MP no longer replies to my emails.”

          I’ll bet the coward won’t dare show his / her face at the polling station.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      I agree with you.

      We should never, ever sign Mrs. May’s/the EU’s surrender WA from which there is no lawful means of exit. Nothing could be worse and I even wonder if such a treaty can be legal under international law or how it is possible when we are told that no Parliament can bind a future Parliament.

      Delaying signature will allow personnel changes in the EU bureaucracy and the composition of the EU and UK Parliaments to take place which will enable us to exit on either fairer terms or with an agreed “no deal”.

      I also believe that the further the EU goes down the road of monetary, economic, fiscal, social, political and military integration the fewer UK citizens will want to belong to it.

  3. Len Mears
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    As you write, “the EU have required the UK to accept ….” and “They have also stated we cannot start discussing …” The EU holds all the cards. The EU has always held all the cards. Brexit is like watching the UK getting trampled underfoot. We used to have a seat at the table. Now we are on the menu. I voted Leave, I got it wrong. I wonder if people like you, who campaigned for Leave, will have the honesty to admit your mistaken judgement.

    Reply It confirms my view we need to leave without the Withdrawal Agreement!

    • Mark B
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      The only thing people got wrong was to think that a Remainer could be trusted to deliver a Leave BREXIT.

      No one held all the cards. It was just those in charge folded before being asked to.

      • Prigger
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Remainers are like goldfishes in their bowl. We say there is an ocean outside. They then swim in a circle and look. They arrive back at their original position. having deeply analysed their world. “No, there is no outside”
        We’ve had nearly three years of their daily swims. We just don’t get it do we.

      • APL
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Mark B: “No one held all the cards.”

        Beg to differ, The EU held all the cards, once Theresa May ( Not a traitor — Speaker Bercow ) gave her hand to the EU.

        • Mark B
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

          Well OK ! Up until she got the job.


      • graham1946
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        That wasn’t ‘people’, it was the Tory party in full knowledge of what would happen.

        • Mark B
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

          Animal, vegetable, mineral or voting fodder ?

          Take ya pick ?


    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      No JR and the people got it right. May, her government and the remoaner MP have just made a complete mess of it through total incompetence and by undercutting the negotiations. Even I did not think May and her government would be quite so useless, fraudulent, traitorous and dishonest.

      This even though about 85% of MPs were elected on manifestos promising to respect the referendum result.

      • Steve
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink


        “This even though about 85% of MPs were elected on manifestos promising to respect the referendum result.”

        Ah yes but Traitor May’s surrender document delivers brexit and respects the referendum, didn’t you know !

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:36 am | Permalink

          Sure it does!

    • Al
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      “The EU holds all the cards. The EU has always held all the cards.”

      If this is true, it is because Theresa May has given the cards to them. While the EU are playing poker, Ms. May appears to be playing Snap.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        She and Olly have been on the same side as the EU, colluding with them against her own Ministers and in secret without co sulting her Cabinet. No one has brought her to account so the legal lies must all go!

    • Julie Dyson
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      It sounds to me, Len, like your mistake was not in voting for Leave, but in believing — as many of us did — that our politicians would carry out the wishes of the people. After all, they promised to do so both before and after the referendum; the two main parties included that same pledge in their respective manifestos just to confirm the fact and put our minds at ease; and then 498 MPs passed the Withdrawal Act to write it into UK law just so there could be absolutely no mistake about it.

      You were lied to. We all were. It has been a massive betrayal of trust and has been in the planning for a very long time — practically a government in collusion with the EU against the wishes of its own people (but this is actually nothing new in the history of the manipulative EU, as others such as Ireland and Denmark can attest). One has only to study a little the history of the EU to see that this is not some crazy conspiracy theory; it is hard, chilling, frightening, fact.

      Remaining in this failing, manipulative monstrosity is the absolute worst thing we could do. We must get out, before we are trapped forever. Don’t weaken now.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      No Len, our negotiators got it wrong. We made the right decision to leave but our PM has bungled the whole thing with their intentions from the start to remain. The whole thing stinks.

      • Timaction
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

        No bungling. Deliberate plan to keep us in by gross deception but we haven’t been fooled. They will pay at the ballot box and our exit Genie won’t go back in the bottle.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          That is what we must now do, ensure that all remainers whether at local, national, or EU parliament level, get trounced. We also need a strong mechanism to prevent those who replace them, who are of a similar disposition, from getting elected further down the line.

          There has to be a way of filtering this rubbish out, to sort the wheat from the chaff before they get anywhere near public office. To want to subscribe to something that traps the UK into a dangerous foreign political construct, should be sufficient grounds to disbar anyone who holds that view.

          Would we really have voted for people in the 60s 70s and 80s who wanted to tie us to the Soviet Union with no chance of escape?

          The principle is surely the same.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      EU membership is like watching the UK getting trampled underfoot.

      • bigneil
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        I’d have gone for ” steamrollered” – and even that wouldn’t have been enough. Our host wouldn’t have posted the words I REALLY wanted to use.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      If we had spent the A50 2 years preparing for WTO, then left on WTO, the balance of power between UK and EU would have been radically different in subsequent trade talks. I thought that’s what we voted for. We could still do this but of course it will require ejecting the Conservatives from government. This latest delay is idiotic as the WA is set in stone. Just have a straight-up parliamentary vote WTO vs Revoke (Revoke wins) and move on to a GE to remove those responsible.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink


        Not for the first time, I find myself in accord with what you say, but I am particularly taken by your last line. By all means get rid of the creeping pro-EU toadies, but let’s not forget there are a lot of honest, decent people in parliament who have fought hard all along for a proper clean Brexit, and have sacrificed a great deal in the process. We must lend them every assistance whilst discrediting the remainers at every opportunity, whatever party they might hail from.


      • Mark B
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink


    • Amanda
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      But if we simply left, as we are now able to do under A50, then the UK would “hold all the cards”. So, your post makes no sense – John Redwood’s judgement is spot on, as is that of others now working to extricate us.

      Leave we voted and, ‘real’ leave we will. The British are not lying down to be trampled underefoot, and nor should you. No one should want to stay under such a tyranny as the EU is proving itself – but then a lot of us looked at the state of other EU countries and knew this before we voted !! And we haven’t changed out mind.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        Good post. The British still have an ace card, and it is one that the EU hasn’t yet circumvented (and I do say ‘yet’ with a lot of trepidation, because the EU likes to stop democracy when it goes against their expansionist centralising cause). The ace is this – the British can still vote. They still have the authority to remove unsuitable, incompetent, or unworthy people from office.

        If we could change the make-up of parliament to one that reflects the will of the people as expressed in the EU referendum, we would already have Brexit on the most favourable terms to the UK.

        The problem however, has been with highly duplicitous politicians saying one thing to get elected, then doing something else entirely when in office (I hope Theresa May is listening, but even if she was, she is impervious to criticism or common sense, just as remain contributors to this blog).

        We have to stop them getting away with it!

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink


        “The British are not lying down to be trampled underefoot, and nor should you.”

        Nearly half of voters did not voted Remain. The arrogant way Leavers try to ignore that and shout from the rooftops about their own ‘rights’ is the sure sign of the bully boy.

    • sm
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Len, the EU did not hold all the cards until the Prime Minister slid the UK pack across the table to them, along with every chip in the bank.

      I do not blame the EU for taking every possible advantage of such stupidity – it is what I would expect any sane negotiator to do. I do blame every campaigning Remainer for attempting to stay within a political construct that so many of us believe is unsuitable for the UK.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

        The smirk on Junker’s face tells it all. He has to go along with this charade and look statesmanlike, but he knows this is not really a negotiation, it’s an abject capitulation by a so-called Prime Minister who cannot wait to fail and thereafter make all sorts of excuses to the British public.

        I watched a YouTube video a couple of nights ago about Edward Heath, and how he made quite a lot of money from the lecture circuit, as a lot of former Prime Ministers and senior government ministers seem to do these days. I doubt if Mrs May will lose out after she’s been booted from office, such is the odd system we have where failure is rewarded.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Len Mears

      You say you voted leave and believe you got it wrong. The very fact that we’ve encountered such a huge, dark force determined to stop us from leaving, shows we were most definitely correct!

      We are going to have to fight on for longer than we first thought. A lot of leaver MPs and the leaver electorate, wrongly assumed that the vote to leave would be enacted. There have been dirty tricks and dirty dealings from the start, led by Teresa May and her cabal here and in Brussels. We’ve got to try and stay one step ahead to try and thwart their plans. The MPs such as John Redwood have the vast majority of the electorate behind them. The electorate have felt helpless for some time, but are now so furious that they’re prepared to destroy the Conservative party if necessary.

      All this shows up what has been going on in the background for decades. We must leave the EU, preferably with WTO if we are to survive as a country with any pride left. It’ll be tough, but our great nation has survived much worse!

      • margaret howard
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink


        ” We must leave the EU, preferably with WTO if we are to survive as a country with any pride left. It’ll be tough, but our great nation has survived much worse!”

        As long as you don’t make any difficulties about Scotland and Ireland leaving the union turning us into a rump with the same sort of influence in the world as Liechtenstein.

        After all both countries voted Remain in much greater numbers than England voted leave.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

          Some rump.
          One of world’s biggest economy.

          And current polls still showing no desire for independence.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      ”I voted Leave, I got it wrong”.
      In other words, even after seeing what an appalling organisation this EU is, you think we should remain shackled to it. You speak of our being ”trampled underfoot”, that we are ”on the menu” – all this scenario created in your mind by viewing the EU as our overlords. Yet NOW you think we should cringe and allow them to bind us completely, just because they’re being autocratic bullies, making our leaving a trial – not because you think the UK is better off ‘IN’.

      That sort of thinking simply beggars belief.

      • Len Mears
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        L Jones, it is YOUR thinking that beggars belief. Inside the EU we have a voice, we are at the table, we are with France and Germany one of the big three. We might not like verything that gets done, but we are involved in the discussion. Outside the EU we are weaker than Ireland, weaker than Malta, weaker than Latvia. Only big counts in the world today – US, China, EU. I understand that now, after watching the Uk be ridiculed (by the EU and by everyone else on the planet) ever since 2016. Better off in!

        Reply Many countries considerably smaller than the UK flourish as independent democracies without EU membership. We can have oru own foreign policy and develop our own alliances.

        • James Bertram
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          ‘small is beautiful’. With 28 countries in the EU, policies often get ground down to the lowest common denominator (take animal rights across Europe, for example).
          By being an independent country we make our own laws, for a much smaller population, and much more specific for our circumstances. Once independent of the EU, we can strive to be the best in everything we do – the best workers rights, the best environmental rights and the best animal rights. We will have to fight hard for these rights, no one will give them to us automatically, but we have a much better chance of achieving this with just 60 million people and the 5th strongest economy in the world than we do by remaining in a large, dysfunctional and declining trading bloc.
          Once we have our independence, and can trade freely with the rest of the world, we will flourish.
          The world does not stop at the EU frontiers.

        • Nick
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Mr Mears, you’re deluded. We have no say. Our size and wealt his irrelevant to the EU. We are just there to write the cheques and lend it some cachet.

          You’re complete daft to think we would be small outside the EU. Outside othat hated thing we would be internationally recognisable, telling the EU what we will accept and how we will trade. Yes, little old England that you write off so happily, telling 26 other countries what to do.

          We are a world power. It’s time you got off your knees and showed some faith in this country rather than giving up and squealing in the corner – as Theresa May has done.

        • Original Richard
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          Mr. Mears,

          You’re completely deluded if you belive that we are stronger in the EU.

          They will crush us taking away our sovereignty and democracy.

          They want to break up not only the UK but England into small separate regions, one of which to be joined with a French region.

          They are planning on taking over our military including our nuclear capability and are already asking us to give up our permanent seat at the UN.

          We will be far better represented at international meetings as a single nation than represented by the EU who do not have our best interests at heart.

          And trade deals can be done to enhance our economy and not those of France, Germany and Italy.

        • margaret howard
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply:

          “Reply Many countries considerably smaller than the UK flourish as independent democracies without EU membership. We can have oru own foreign policy and develop our own alliances.”

          Can you name a few on the European continent, omitting the ones that have applied to join?

          reply Norway, Switzerland – but I had in mind fully independent countries like Australia, New Zealand, Singapore etc

          • margaret howard
            Posted April 17, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

            Reply to reply

            I didn’t know Australia, NZealand, Singapore etc shared our continent of Europe.

            And you know full well that both Norway and Switzerland have close associations with the EU. In other words you can’t name a single European country that ‘flourishes’ outside the EU.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 17, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

            160 nations outside the EU margaret.
            All independent and managing their own decisions.
            Does Canada or Mexico allow the USA to rule over them?
            Does Japan allow any nation to tell it what to do?
            China South Korea Australia?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Len,what will you say when your kids and grandchildren get conscripted into the EU Army? Or you get evicted from your home in the interests of housing our new EU front line “cousins” from Ukraine? Your taxes feeding the Turks defending themselves from themselves?

      That’s when you’ll know what it’s like being on the menu.

    • John Sheridan
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      “The EU has always held all the cards. ”

      We also held cards but Mrs May elected to play Misère.

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      The only mistake in judgement was allowing Theresa May to become the PM. The current debacle has followed that piece of political chicanery. Vested interests are behind all of these decisions. Not that is has ever been any different before now. That’s why our democracy has been trampled underfoot.

    • Alison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Len, please, no, you were right in 2016. Please do not judge Brexit in the light of our current situation – this is where Remainers want us to be.
      We cannot vote out the people who devise and impose laws on us.
      In economic terms, we are a cash cow for the EU and its member states – the trade deficit is now over £100bn.
      Brussels is moving to take control of taxation. Imagine what it will be like .. in not to many years it will take over national insurance too.

    • JoolsB
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Len, we the UK held all the cards, not the EU, until May decided to throw them in without even trying to play them. It’s not Brexit which is the problem but the politicians who have refused to deliver on what we told them. You didn’t get it wrong, they did. Sadly this is what they want, people so worn down by it all that they give up. Hopefully the majority of the British public still have that bulldog spirit and will not surrender to our treacherous MPs or the bullies in the EU – what a pity you have. I hope you think again.

    • Oggy
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Len, We were not mistaken, your/our vote to leave the EU was the correct one, unforunately with a Remainer Prime Minister, Chancellor and Parliament, they were never going to allow Brexit to happen. Mrs May’s apparent total incompetence at negotiations was by design and in collusion with the EU and she willingly handed ‘all the cards’ to the EU.
      It just proves that the EU’s tentacles have undermined UK Sovereignty and democracy and we must leave before we are snuffed out completely.

  4. Adam
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Which idiot signed it then?
    The UK should hold wrongdoers to account.

    • Andy
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      It will. And it won’t be those who signed it.

      • Jagman84
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Only in your delusional world, pal! The culprits will be brought to ‘justice’ at the ballot box.

    • Prigger
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      An interesting use of words, Adam

  5. Ian wragg
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Then bring down the government.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Who will do it? Not this Remainer parliament, not the cabinet.

      Vote for the Brexit Party – a BIG win for them should help. I fear our host is grasping a straws at the moment.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Indeed very good points and yet the Speaker claims their are no traitors MPs in the House. There are many and we currently have a Traitor as MP and Chancellor.

    I see that Hague today says – Labour doesn’t want to solve Brexit, it only wants to destroy the Tories. Too many Conservatives have lost their sense of proportion and are blind to the bigger danger.

    Well May hardly needs any help at destroying the party. May’s putrid Treaty, her and Hammond remaining in office any longer and a Corbyn/SNP Government are the bigger dangers – but this seems to be May’s appalling plan.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      Hague is playing the bogeyman card. If you don’t what we tell you, you’ll get worse. Is if that is any reason to allow them and their behaviour.

    • Andy
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Brexit is bigger than then Conservative party. And, in any case, the Conservative Party lost the last election – the Brexit election. 58% voted against your hard Brexit. What part of democracy do you not understand?

      • Edward2
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        85% voted for parties that had manifestos promising to leave
        Lib Dems and Greens did badly.

        • Andy
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          The crucial thing is HOW they promised to leave. Labour said it would leave but retain the exact same benefits of the single market and customs union. So in the 2017 general election 58% voted specifically against the hard Brexit you claim you had a mandate for at the advisory referendum a year earlier.

          • Edward2
            Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

            Lovely spin Andy but not correct.
            Labour didn’t state they wanted to remain in the ECJ CU and SM.

            Both parties said they wanted a deal but that is all.

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        Andy, Leave won the Referendum on whether to remain in the EU or leave the EU. What part of democracy do you not understand?

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        The part where the losers of a referendum get their way. That part.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

        Nonsense. 85% of MPs promised to respect the referendum result.

    • William1995
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      We need to tone down the traitor rhetoric. Leave the petty insult throwing and facetious commenting to the Lammyists, Soubryites and Corbynistas of this World. Take both the intellectual and moral high ground.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        I have sympathy with your comment, but like many my blood boils at the anti-democratic deception being perpetrated on us by our own government.
        Perhaps that is the purpose of this blog, to give angry brexiteers an outlet to vent, hoping we won’t take to the streets…. or is that a conspiracy too far…

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, and I mean no disrespect, but I use words that fit in with a dictionary definition. To put Theresa May’s deplorable actions any more lightly is to let her off the hook and I am not about to do that.

      • Alison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        As indeed, our host exhorted us to do quite recently. Intemperate language, gratuitous insults will only come back to bite. And they’re not nice.

    • John Sheridan
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Labour has a great opportunity to let the Tories destroy their electoral chances by encouraging Mrs May to sellout her core voters. She has boxed herself into a situation where she needs Labour votes to pass the WA, but to do so would render the Conservatives undetectable for decades.

      What a legacy Mrs May will leave behind her.

      • miami.mode
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Love the (assumed) misplaced word John, but undetectable is probably more apt than unelectable and in truth what reason would Labour have to join talks with the government other than to get exactly what they want and destroy the Conservatives at the same time. Anybody who thinks otherwise seems naïve.

        • John Sheridan
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

          Oops! I did mean unelectable. I’ll blame the auto-correct function rather than sub-optimum proofreading.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      LL coming from Bercow, that’s a beauty!

  7. Mark B
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Hague is playing the bogeyman card. If you don’t what we tell you, you’ll get worse. Is if that is any reason to allow them and their behaviour.

  8. Alan Jutson
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Whilst the EU keep on asking for concessions and the UK keep on giving in, it will only get worse.

    The simple solution is to walk away and set our own terms on WTO basis, but not enough MP’s have the confidence to do such, unless it is explained in detail to them how that will work..

    Such is the ignorance of so many in Parliament, including our Prime Minister and Chancellor..

  9. Dominic
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    As long as we have a Europhile as PM we will be the EU’s main vassal State to be chained and abused at will. We have ceased to be a nation and have become a mere destination for investment.

    What this entire spectacle has confirmed is that democracy can and will be circumvented to achieve a certain political objective. In that respect, the will of the people and their self-imposed compliance will be abused and will be abused in the most arrogant of fashions. It isn’t wise for politicians to dictate to their masters. From this flows undesirable consequences that no one wants to see

    The ERG knows what it needs to do. Unfortunately, it simply doesn’t have the will nor the inclination to tear up the rule book and declare war.

    • Timaction
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      This whole debacle has shed light on the behaviour of the majority of legacies in Parliament and we can now remove them with patriot parties.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    So the Archbishop of Canterbury is “praying for the firemen” fighting the Notre Dame fire. I am sure this will help greatly and they will be most grateful. Perhaps he should just have prayed to God that no more buildings catch fire. While he was at it he might do the same for car and plane crashes, industrial accidents, dangerous volcanoes, earth quakes, tsunamis, avalanches and similar.

    Doubtless he or other people of the cloth will soon claim it was “a miracle” that no one was injured and that some of the building is still standing.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      And don’t forget the 2008 banking crash and its far reaching after effects that we are all still paying for LL. Our dear old Archbishop of Canterbury does have form when it comes to praying for lost causes after the event (and a seat on the panel of the Parliamentary Commission on banking standards).

    • Alison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Actually, at least one fireman was gravely injured.

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    For the avoidance of any doubt, “The Agreement to delay our exit” in the title of this article refers to the Decision of the European Council to delay our exit:

    “taken in agreement with the United Kingdom” on April 11th.

    It does not refer to the Withdrawal Agreement, which would not delay our exit.

    Reply The Withdrawal Agreement delays our exit for 21 to 45 months for talks about how we might then get out.

    • Dougal Hamer
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      “Reply The Withdrawal Agreement delays our exit for 21 to 45 months for talks about how we might then get out.”

      That’s just wrong. 100% wrong. We leave the EU as soon as the Withdrawal Agreement comes into force. The clue is in the name – “Withdrawal” Agreement. Of course there will then be talks about what the future holds. But those talks are between the EU and the UK as a NON member state. Please stop claiming black is white, Mr Redwood

      Reply No, we have to obey all rules, pay all bills and remain as if a member without vote or voice.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        JR, the operative words are “as if a member”; not “as a member”.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Denis Cooper, In an extraordinarily narrow sense the dWA – enacted as a treaty – means we leave the existing EU treaties. The WA treaty however signs us right back up to control by the EU: from trade policy, to customs union, to the CFP, to most EU laws, to CJEU control. It is simply bad faith to describe the dWA as Leave, or as not delaying our exit.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        So you think that whether or not the UK is a member state of the EU is of importance only “in an extraordinarily narrow sense”.

        I object to your suggestion that I am somehow acting in bad faith by pointing out the legal reality that however bad the agreement may be the Withdrawal Agreement would nonetheless withdraw us from the EU.

        What do want me to do? Agree with something that I know to be untrue?

        Reply We cease to be a full member but we have to obey all the laws and pay the bills. How does that help?

        • Len Mears
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

          It doesn’t help. It is dreadful. But it is leaving the EU. It is what you voted for. You don’t get to pick and choose the terms of leaving. That wasn’t on the ballot paper

        • NickC
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

          Denis, I am so sorry to disagree with you. The “legal reality” as you call it, is that under the terms of the dWA the UK is back under the control of the EU in an almost identical fashion to now. That is why it is bad faith to call it Leave.

          It is what I have been saying for months, but been ignored. The dWA (or Chequers) is a “revolving-door remain”: out of the existing EU treaties but back in under a new treaty the next minute. That is the truth.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      So precisely which part or parts of the Withdrawal Agreement would, or could, have the effect of keeping the UK as an EU member state during that period?

      There is a difference between the UK leaving the EU but still being subject to swathes of EU laws, and the UK not having left and still being a member state.

      Reply Under the WA we cease to be a member state with voting rights, veto, MEPs etc but place ourselves back under the whole panoply of laws, the ECJ, fishing policy etc under a binding Treaty which is even worse than the Treaty we are leaving. They get out of us the money, obedience, rights to instruct and control without us being participating members. We have to obey the whole lot! There is no guaranteed exit as we need their permission to leave, and we lose the Article 50 route of the current Treaty. Please do not keeping wasting my time by misinterpreting the binding so called Withdrawal agreement treaty. What do you think the consequent legislation is going to do other than repeal our freedom and exit and spelt out in the current Withdrawal Act?

      • Mark B
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

        Reply to reply

        Well said Sir John.


        For someone who went to great length to do down the Norway Option as not BREXIT I am surprised at you for supporting the odious WA

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

          You are free to disparage me without fear of contradiction.

          This is not my blog but if it was I would not publish the one and refuse to publish the other.

  12. Old Albion
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    It’s all part of the plan to deny the democratic decision to leave the EU.

  13. FranzB
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Tough John- so suck it up- the delay is there at the request of the UK government- The EU doesn’t really want it- am sure they have their own business to get on with. In any case whatever the outcome the final date is 31st Oct and between now and then there will be only twelve full day sessions in the EU parliament, plus a few half days, so not enough time for anyone to make an impression- I don’t know why we are even bothered and at an election cost of over 100 million. They for their part are only concerned with legacy issues now- and
    despite what you say the WA will be agreed- just walking away is not an option- so no point in continuing on with this old guff

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      FranzB, If walking away is not an option, what are you so worried about? And actually delay suits the EU very well – otherwise they would not have agreed to it. The delay keeps the UK in a box, and as the EU’s cash cow. What’s not to like for the EU?

      • Anonymous
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        Nor a charismatic figure to lead us out, having won their stonking majority first.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      There will be another extension. The longer it takes the more money we pay and the more likely they can bulldoze Brexit away. Win win for the EU, lose lose for the UK, just like the politicians planned.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      FranzB – so Corbyn is going to whip his MPs to support a WA which through state aid provisions will prevent a big part of his economic policy ? Why would he do that ?

  14. acorn
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    You can understand why the EU put in an anti ERG clause.

    Mr Rees-Mogg, a leading figure in the eurosceptic ERG group of Tory MPs, had said on Friday morning that “if a long extension leaves us stuck in the EU we should be as difficult as possible”. He suggested: “We could veto any increase in the budget, obstruct the putative EU army and block Mr Macron’s integrationist schemes”. (Independent)

    The UK is voluntarily leaving the EU. The EU is not throwing the UK out. Any leaving gifts we might get from the EU are at its discretion. Terms and Conditions apply.

  15. GilesB
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    The position of U.K. elected MEPs needs to be addressed in any withdrawal agreement under Art. 50. It cannot be simply addressed in a side letter.

    The CJEU would confirm that the current document MUST be amended

  16. Christine
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    So the vassal state begins. How can it be legal for that woman to sign away our rights like this. It just shows how our country has lost its sovereignty. Our politicians (apart from the ERG) are beyond pathetic. Facts4eu picked up all these constraints last week. Why has there been no mention of it in the news. In fact the opposite occurred with the BBC lying that we hadn’t had to agree to any terms for this extension.

  17. David Maples
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    In Germany, October 31st is celebrated as Reformation Day. It’s a pity that their leadership doesn’t take a ‘leaf out of Dr. Luther’s book’, and at last stop buying Brussels’ indulgences! The EU needs a ‘Vatican II’.

  18. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Then how do we make sure that the UK does not fight the European elections?

  19. JoolsB
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    If polls are to be believed, and let’s hope they’re right, the Tories will be annihilated in the EU elections hence their running around like headless chickens trying to avoid them. The only way to achieve that as far as May and the remainers are concerned is unfortunately not to leave at the end of May but to get her awful deal across the line and the only way she can do that is to give in to Corbyn’s customs union and second referendum demands. She’s lied on absolutely everything so rubbing out her final red lines will come easy to this arrogant out of touch with reality Prime Minister.

    • Oggy
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      I agree JoolsB but they (MP’s) will all have to face the electorate some time and revenge is a dish best served cold.

      • L Jones
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Oggy – that’s UNLESS we’re bound so tightly by the EU, when comes the time for the electorate to have their say, that we’re actually not allowed to ”have our revenge”.
        Why should our EU overlords want to give us the opportunity to throw out their best champions?

    • miami.mode
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      JB, Conservatives may well end up with just 20% of the total vote in the local elections.

      It’s possible then to envisage Mrs May being carried out of No 10 saying “…but you have to pass the deal, it’s the only one available…”.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Those aren’t Corbyn’s demands. They’re Starmer’s demands. Big difference.

    • Roseate
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      There are currently only 18 Conservative MEPs among UK’s allocation of 73. As the EU parliament has limited powers and national parties are subsumed in EU political groups, I suspect it would make no diffference if there were none.

  20. Kevin
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    “if the UK does not fight the European elections”

    Of course, eighteen days after Independence Day, we should not be participating in European elections. It did not take long, however, to go from rejecting the People’s Vote to having an election the holding of which in a month’s time appears to be entirely at the Government’s disposal.

    What reason do we have to expect that we will ever have another general election, or, if we do, that there would be any transition of power? All the reasons that have been given for denying the People’s Vote could be used against universal suffrage in its entirety. If Mrs. May were to sign a treaty promising not to call an election in case it upsets the EU, would we be “bound” under international law not to have one?

  21. agricola
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    They have well and truely stitched up May and via her incompetence the UK. Just leave on WTO terms on 31st May as you suggest. With our duplicitous May and Parliament I would not put money on it.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Stitched May up? – – She has wanted every bit of this. She is playing along, still throwing cash to the EU while going in the very direction SHE wanted to. She has become drunk with power and totally lost it. She is fighting FOR the EU, not for us or our country. The EU wants the UK destroyed and it’s people flooded out of existence by unlimited mass immigration – from anywhere. Violent crime going through the roof, but the criminals are given privacy ( so we don’t see which group are doing it). Importing the unskilled, uneducated and virtually unemployable, 3rd world en masse is just making US pay for their lives here, While they carry on their unchanged lives, getting a free rise in living standards, while WE get exterminated.

      May is fully complicit with the EU plan, hoping for her reward of a seat in brussels for her treachery to us.

      • agricola
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        History will decide the level of guilt that May should bare. None of us are riding shotgun on this farce, but like you I suspect the worst.

        Immigrants are a complex subject. We need skilled ones because we do not produce enough home grown ones. We need less skilled ones who are prepared to work. An Albanian and a number of Romanians work my local supermarket car valeting facility. They do a good job. I am pleased to benefit. They do work that the indigenous Brits are not prepared to do. I suspect the supermarket would not allow them to operate illegaly at sub standard rates. To balance the good there is the bad. The ATM scammers, beggars, sex slaves and pickpockets who we need like a hole in the head. You have to understand where they come from to realise that this is how they survive.

        Having been in the EU we do not have the means to remove the bad elements. Outside we will have, but as we never managed it with none EU immigrants I doubt the will ever existed in the Home Office in May’s tenure. In general you could argue that the more immigrants we encourage to come because we need them, 40,000 nurses short at the last count, the more we need to service their needs. In simplistic terms, more people to valet their cars.

        I suspect T May would be happier sat on a rock enjoying the view from Crib Goch than one in Brussels, when the dust has settled on the present, largely of her own making, fiasco of Brexit.

      • L Jones
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        ”Drunk with power”? When Sir Bill Cash asked her about her possible resignation, in a very serious, statesmanlike and measured manner – she LAUGHED! She actually laughed.

        Absolutely shameless.

        • Chris
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

          She is indeed, L Jones. Yet still they support her…..

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Spot on Neil.

  22. Everhopeful
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    There appear to be at least two legal challenges…I think specifically against the two extensions.
    Maybe we actually did leave on March 29th?
    Maybe blatant lying to the electorate should be illegal anyway?

    Mrs May said the other day re Assange that no one is above the law…….

  23. Caterpillar
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    The PM and Chancellor have decided they are having their way. It is like a block vote, their votes alone outweigh 17.4m.
    W.r.t. Just leaving,
    1) On May 31 – no chance, all no deal preparations stood down, not ramped up.
    2) On October 31 – no chance. The well respected Lord Mervyn King had suggested asking for a 6 month extension to mitigate any final dislocations in leaving without a deal, clearly the UK now has 6 months. It should be pushing everything to optimise no deal and it should be public so that the EU know about it.

    Perhaps the “not hamper its implementation” clause is simply a fearful admission by the EU (May and Hammond) that UK could be ready to (smoothly) go it alone by October if not earlier.

    Cameron gave democracy back to the UK and didn’t like the result, May and Hammond have just stamped out democracy.

  24. Arnie from Newington
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Hi John

    I would be interested to hear your views on the scrapping of S21 no fault route of ending a tenancy.

    This is the second time that major anti-landlord legislation has been introduced within a year of a general election without it being included in the manifesto.

    In my opinion it shows that Tories cannot be trusted and no longer believe in the free market or small business.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Arnie – haven’t you realised yet that a Manifesto only applies till the last polling station door shuts. Then it goes into the shredder. How many of them included “get immigration down to tens of thousands” – then did the exact opposite?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        May makes an absolute nonsense of the term ‘political integrity’. She undermines the entire political system. May, Hammond, Rudd, Liddington and a host of others really aren’t fit to govern. As far as the opposition goes I wouldn’t rely on them in any way, shape, or form! Corbyn used to be against the EU, until he realised he had a chance of becoming PM by default. That principle quickly went out of the window!

  25. William1995
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    May has a long extension in place. It is now essential that the Conservatives get rid of her and reset. You are tanking in the poles. Corbyn is on a road to No 10.

    • bigneil
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      May does have a long extension in place – and she’s ( insert your own applicable word here )ing the whole country over with it.

  26. Simeon
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    I think the only way for the Conservative party to save itself is to dump May and elect a new leader that promises to leave the EU, and only then reach an FTA with the EU. There is then a distinct possibility, if not a likelihood, of a Corbyn government, because even having made this promise, many leavers will not trust it, and many Conservative voters – and, no doubt, MPs – of a Remain persuasion, will abandon the party. But at least the Conservatives would have a guiding principle, and might in time regain trust, and eventually power.

    However, the prospect of the Parliamentary party pursuing this option looks remote from where I’m standing, and so it is only a question of when, rather than if, the Conservatives are annihilated. Given the catastrophic damage inflicted on the brand, this may be no bad thing. True conservatives, including our good host, have the option of forming a new party, or joining an existing party, whose first and only immediate purpose is to restore British sovereignty. In the context of a contemptuous betrayal of the expressed will of the people, it’s electoral prospects would be very good indeed. And they would be further improved were the Conservative party made extinct.

    In the short term, there is no Brexit. But in the future, there is an opportunity for conservative voters to elect a party that offers true conservatism. Of course, this is not a ‘conservative’ project but a radical one, given the misgovernace of the last 30 years.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      Simeon, Conservative MPs have been repeatedly told this over the last year. The bulk of them are not listening. When it happens they will be shocked. The warnings will be amplified in the locals, and in the EU MEP elections.

      What we’re hearing on the streets is complete disgust and anger from previous Tory voters. At the locals some won’t vote at all; some will vote UKIP. The net result will be a Labour landslide. At the MEP elections the Tories will be wiped out.

      Even now, if Tory MPs actioned the falsely named “No deal” – that is, left the EU treaties, as we voted for – the losses could be mostly avoided.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      They don’t want Brexit.
      It don’t suit!!

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      So often have the Conservative Party and May, Rudd, Hammond, Lidington, Grieve etc in particular, won elections despite not fulfilling their election promises that they now believe their positions as MPs is secure whatever they do.

      It is in leavers hands to simply stop voting for these EU supporters and to keep voting for these people expecting a different result when elected is the very definition of insanity.

      Only by removing these people can Brexit happen.

  27. rose
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The EU is only able to get away with this because Mrs May and her helpers have been colluding with it. Similarly, Parliament is only able to set aside the constitution because the PM is colluding with it.

    On another matter: we should recall what happened when the Wilson government deprived landlords of their control over their own properties. The private rental sector dried up and it took Conservative governments many years to win back the trust of landlords to the point where they felt they could safely let those properties again.

    Brokenshire is in the wrong party. Not just for this, but for his appalling treatment of Sir Roger Scruton, even if the orders came from “No 10”.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      Brokenshire revealed his true colours for all to see – and he’s very much liberal left.

      • Chris
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

        …and there are many others like him in the Tory Party, TD, who do not belong. Can’t they be persuaded to go to the Change Party?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 2:41 am | Permalink

        Indeed an appalling suggestion that would harm tenants interests as well as landlords.

  28. Richard1
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I really think you need to focus all efforts on getting rid of Mrs May, it is clear nothing positive will happen while she is in office. Of course we will be in until Oct, then after MVs 4,5,6…have been voted down there will probably be another extension. The EU will change nothing as long as they know there is a PM and negotiating team who will cave in at every stage. Even a stated change of tack would carry no credibility now. So whether it’s men in grey suits lining up or a change in rules, step one is get Mrs May Out, elect a new leader and then see what can be done to salvage the abysmal mess Mrs May & the hypocritical weasels especially in the Labour Party have got the Country into.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

      Richard1, The “Kit-Kat Brexit” tapes show that UK and EU civil servants co-wrote Chequers and the dWA. Our establishment still has not got the message that Leave means leaving the EU treaties.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Spot on! Love it! The only bit I would change is the colour of the men’s suits from grey to white.

  29. Dougal Hamer
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the US House of Representatives, yesterday made cristal clear that if the UK does not accept the Irish backstop, the US will never offer the UK any trade deal. It is time for people like John Redwood to face facts – if you want Brexit, you are going to have to swallow the Irish backstop. It is that simple. Your idea of the buccaneering UK doing deals round the globe as it pleases is pure fantasy. Ireland is backed by the Eu and by the US. Britain is backed by .. no one at all. Well done, Brexiters, you have left us more exposed than at any time since 1940 (and we only survived that by doing deals and finding friends and making alliances)

    Reply Nancy Pelosi is a Democrat hostile to the US administration

    • Andy
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Ms Pelosi is a Democrat. She is hostile to Mr Trump. But in the US a trade deal needs the approval not just of the president but of both houses of Congress too. And she has a significant majority in one of them. Awkward.

      • NickC
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Andy, Your stating that “a trade deal” is desirable or even essential, without any justification, is an assumption only. You have not demonstrated it to be true.

        When we leave the EU treaties, so re-gaining control of our trade policy, we will be able to set our standards and tariffs to suit us, not the EU. Or the USA. In those circumstances trade “deals” will be of only marginal benefit, and may even be counterproductive.

        • Andy
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          It is not me wanting a trade deal with the US. It is Liam Fox. It is Owen Paterson. It is the hard Brexiteers. It is those you worship.

          As much as I love the United States, I don’t want its substandard products, its Frankenstein foods or its disgraceful healthcare ‘system’ – which lets poor people die – anywhere near the UK.

        • L Jones
          Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

          Well said, NickC. All this blathering about trade deals and backstops is smoke and mirrors. If we were allowed to be the architects of our own destiny, by leaving the pernicious EU efficiently and cleanly, these things would be sorted by our own side – probably quickly. So long as we had the right people doing it. Not this bunch (present company excepted, Sir J.)

    • William1995
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Interesting you pick up on this but ignore the President’s repeated support of Brexit and a U.K.-US free trade deal

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      But she continued:

      “I have to say though every single person, including Theresa May who we spoke to on the phone, everyone said don’t even worry about that, it is unthinkable that we would even go there.”

      With or without the ‘backstop’.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      Dougal Hamer,

      This is such a non-comment (your and Pelosi’s)
      1) No one is against the peace process (all that is required is a more modern solution to no hard border).
      2) Remaining in a CU (even if it is renamed a common customs territory) with the EU would mean that the UK would not be negotiating its own trade deals anyway. [The PM’s unstated but apparently enacted, and the Labour party’s stated position on CU makes no sense from either a UK or a progressive trade policy perspective – it is impossible to reach their position rationally and consistently.]

    • Richard1
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Pelosi said she would oppose a trade deal if a hard border returns in Ireland. No party has yet proposed a hard border. The only way a hard border could happen would be if the EU were to force Eire to erect one. Presumably then ms Pelosi would oppose a US trade deal with the EU.

    • Chris
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      Nancy Pelosi is of little consequence, I believe, and I suspect it will not be long before the Dems will not be in control of the House. There is an almighty upset about to happen when the detail of the soft coup to prevent Trump becoming President, (and, in the event of him becoming President, to bring him down) hits the fans. The MSM in the US are not reporting it, nor the MSM here, but that does not mean it is not about to happen.

      Furthermore, the scale of voter fraud in 2016, and also in 2018 are going to be made clear. P Trump apparently won the popular vote as well as the electoral college, but dead voters, people voting twice and illegal aliens all distorted the vote. The reports from the DHS, when released, will make interesting reading. Exciting times when there will finally be accountability. Bring it on.

    • margaret howard
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      “Reply Nancy Pelosi is a Democrat hostile to the US administration”

      So according to you she has no power to deliver her threat about Ireland and trade deals?

      “Nancy Patricia Pelosi is an American politician serving as speaker of the United States House of Representatives since January 2019. First elected to Congress in 1987, she is the only woman to have served as speaker, and is the highest-ranking elected woman in United States history. Pelosi is second in the presidential line of succession, immediately after the vice president.”

      She sounds a bit more important to me!

      • Edward2
        Posted April 17, 2019 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        She only has one vote.

  30. Antoinetta III
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    You need to get rid of political parties. They, all of them, and their minions are only interested in the Party, not the Kingdom as a whole. Traitors, all of them.

    Antoinetta III

    • One Ruler
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      @Antoinetta III
      There does exist a theoretical model of Individualist or Independent MP Parliament. The fear is that they would gang up and in effect form parties without even a cursory manifesto showing through their clothes.
      We seem to have that now anyway

  31. acorn
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I was a leaver that turned remainer as the evidence kept telling me I had got it wrong. Sadly, relationships have deteriorated; both within the UK and with the EU, so much, that remaining as a full member of the EU, is no longer tenable IMO. The UK would always be a square peg in a round hole. I still reckon leaving the EU is a very bad idea geopolitically and socio-economically. The economics may take up to a decade to recover; domestic social relations possibly a generation. (There are still families that don’t speak because of the Coal Miners Strike.)

    ” If the United Kingdom is still a Member State on 23-26 May 2019, and if it has not ratified the Withdrawal Agreement by 22 May 2019, it will be under an obligation to hold the elections to the European Parliament in accordance with Union law. In the event that those elections do not take place in the United Kingdom, the extension should cease on 31 May 2019.” (European Council.)

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Acorn, There is simply no evidence to tell you that Leave is wrong. There’s lots of Remain propaganda. And it’s true they are far more effective at it than Leave is. But if you step back, ignore the Remain hysteria, and remember that most of the world’s nations are not in the EU, you can see that the EU is just not necessary.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      You’ve never explained why buying and selling things to each other needs political integration.

      Being in the EU is so good for us that leaving it kills us.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink


      I like you and respect you for your honesty. Leaving was never going to be easy, certainly in the short-term. But is the right thing to do. BREXIT is about politics not economics. That isn’t to say that we should completely ignore the economics but that does not trump the political argument.

      The EU is a bad idea that has gotten worse over time. If the EU took the Hippocratic oath as a body I think it might be OK but it has done so much harm it just not worth it.

  32. William Long
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The language of this agreement (it sounds more like a dictat to me) makes it crystal clear why we must leave the EU, and not in name only. Why do HM Government, and apparently most MPs and Peers seem to enjoy being treated like the sheep they are?

  33. Andy
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Alas – the withdrawal agreement is your only route to Brexit. You all have no other option. If you want Brexit you need to sign up to it.

    Parliament has overwhelmingly decided it will not accept no deal. Changing Mrs May will not change the maths – in fact it will make it worse. Why?

    Well several Conservatives have made it clear that they will not serve under a hard Brexiteer. They will leave to sit as independents or with Change UK or the Liberal Democrats. Even with the DUP that is your majority completely gone.

    You could opt for a general election. Good luck with that too. Not only would you lose seats, the Parliament that’s returned would still not back a no deal.

    You could ask the public again. Good luck with that too. No deal would lose to no Brexit.

    The withdrawal agreement is Brexit. It is rubbish. But then we always told you it would be – and we were right (again) and you were not.

    • William1995
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Parliament might not explicitly vote for a no deal, but they have voted for article 50. Whether or not a “no deal” occurs isn’t up to Parliament. If a deal cannot be agreed, it cannot be agreed, and we leave anyway. That’s the way it would be if a sensible government were in charge. It may still happen if May is replaced.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Andy, We already voted for “no deal”. Leave means leaving the EU treaties – even Art50 says so! Leave was not conditional upon a “deal”.

      The dWA is not Brexit. Your persistence in retailing that falsehood does not make it correct. Read the dWA or stop telling lies. If we signed up to the dWA now, within a couple of years the EU’s continued control of us would become blatantly apparent to even thick Remains.

      Very few Remain MPs actually want to own Remain.

      So the truth is, the UK must be either in the EU, or out of the EU. Exactly the choice in the Referendum. There is no half-way house.

    • Oggy
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Same old, same old.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Andy – You make the strange assumption that Parliament has control over the No Deal matter – very Little Englander of you. It doesn’t. It is purely at the whim of the EU, just a single EU leader (Macron) can force No Deal at the end of the next extension by refusing to extend further. At that point sitting MPs would have to vote Revoke – good luck to those who do at the next election, especially Labour in the North.

      • Andy
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

        Mr Macron talks tough but he will not push the UK into a no deal. Nor will any EU leader. They all look to the UK with sympathy – a much loved friend who is having a mid-life crisis.

        MPs will vote to revoke rather than accept a no deal – and some would lose their jobs as a result. But ultimately most understand they have a wider duty to the country and future generations.

        Plus very few remain MPs will lose their jobs anyway. Remainers are more likely to vote than Brexiteers – and are smarter tactically. But if I were Zac Goldsmith, Iain Duncan Smith, Theresa Villiers, Kate Hoey, Boris Johnson I would be planning my post Parliamentary career as theirs will all be ending soon.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

      If a Tory MP could even contemplate sitting with the Liberal Democrats, maybe that’s where they should have been all along. If they do cross the floor, then they should resign their seat immediately and make way for a proper blue pro-Brexit Conservative or a Brexit Party candidate.

      I have been taken lately by how many cowardly, gutless MPs are waiting to see how the cards fall before making a decision. Some, like my old MP, David Tredinnick, have already decided to call it a day and will retire at the next General Election. Where that happens, it is imperative that the incumbent’s replacement is a solid Brexiteer, otherwise the Tory party truly will be consigned to the wilderness for generations.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, the WA is rubbish but that is only because it was “negotiated” by an EU supporting PM (not a leaver!) to be even worse than remaining and eventually to be used in a WA v remain referendum (unless of course our current Parliament is so pro-EU they don’t mind signing a terrible international treaty from which we can never lawfully exit).

      If there is a second referendum it will be interesting to see what type of remain the EU supporters will be promoting.

  34. NickC
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    In effect, then, Theresa May has signed the second Delay deal, and that becomes the UK’s interim acceptance of the Withdrawal Agreement. And by prerogative, too. Just when we think Mrs May cannot get any worse, she contrives to confound us.

    Perhaps we need not only Robin Tilbrook’s ongoing judicial review of whether Mrs May is entitled to delay the Art50 process by prerogative at all, but also whether she has the prerogative authority to limit the UK’s rights and obligations whilst still in the EU.

  35. ukretired123
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    May is a Dud leader and to see her pathetically traipsing through a service station yesterday incognito with P.May contrasted with her actress persona was telling.
    She is broken but propped up by EU and civil service.
    Her very own WA is not a crock of gold but a crock.
    We are all between a rock and a hard place.
    May has cut off every option to leave EU.
    She is a wolf in sheep’s clothing and has gone AWOL at a time of crisis.
    The MPs do not deserve a holiday and should instead be working like Sir John to plan our future. It is a disgraceful state of affairs. Unbelievable, especially since MPs think it’s entitlement, just like their salaries and hidden expenses.

  36. Edwardm
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Thank you for informing us of the Delay Agreement, which is one-sided and unacceptable.
    It just shows there is no end to the active disloyalty of Mrs May and her cohorts.

    I hope all Conservative MPs read todays and yesterdays posts by JR, and form objective conclusions in support of our country and act accordingly (and dispel my poor expectations).

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      I let my wife read JR’s letter to the Attorney General. She is pretty savvy but even she was astounded that the UK should have any party of anything so complex and biased. There is a way out of this mess of Theresa May’s making. Boot her through the exit door before she can make any more balls-ups.

  37. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    My Dutch perspective:
    The EU27 is bending over backwards to allow the UK finding its Brexit solution, in which the WA, the revocation of article 50 and “no deal” are still possible. Personally I wouldn’t have been so kind to you and could have preferred Macron’s stand. But like you(?), I’m loyal to my government and trust its judgement.

    Your Tory government has already signed the WA and all it has to do is getting it ratified. Your sovereign parliament doesn’t want the WA and doesn’t want “no deal”. Does that mean you will end up with revocation of article 50 and how would I feel about that? I have no very strong feelings about it – we’ve managed with spoiled child UK for over 40 years – but I still think that brexit followed with a close alliance might be better.

    You could always join again in 20 or 30 years.
    Again, I’ll just trust the Dutch government. The EU27 will defend its interests which obviously includes those of Ireland.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      PvL, We’re simply trying to protect you from your politicians’ predilection for the latest totalitarian European ideology.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      A change from the chuckle-some chappy who joined us all those years ago.

      Sure you’re not an EU insider ?

      I’ve always maintained that it was never the EU at fault – it being what it is. Our own Parliament has been the problem. And no. We don’t trust it. It has been attacking the English for … what… forty years. Now there’s a coincidence !

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Those in positions of control in the EU27 and commission defend their own interests – relating to power and personal ambition. Any concerns they exhibit for the people are only fake, unlike you and I. They would shaft Ireland in a heartbeat if they felt it served their higher interests.

    • Andy
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      Well perhaps your ‘Dutch perspective’ needs some education. As the UK is a Dualist State the Government may sign International Treaties but they have no effect in UK Law without the express actions of Parliament – this is not the case in The Netherlands. So May has presented her WA three times and on each occasion it has been roundly rejected. Does that not suggest to you that the WA is unacceptable to Parliament ? Does that not suggest to you that the EU have produced a WA that cannot be accepted. So what, pray tell, would be the rational thing to do ??? RENEGOTIATE the damn thing to produce an agreement which might be acceptable. You and the other 26 wont do that. So that means there can be no WA.

      And after the arrogance with which you have behaved how do you think you can conclude a ‘close alliance’ ? The attitude of the 27 towards the UK, and yours here too one might add, has been deeply hostile towards the UK and her people. The talk at dinner parties around here is not to see you Continental Europeans as ‘friends’ but as foes and potential enemies. You really have poisoned relations, so I hope you are proud of yourselves.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        In the Netherlands traties need ratification as well.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        @Andy: With your impossible set of red lines ther is nothing to renegotiate on the WA. Without you reassessing your red lines and the need for maintaining the Good Friday agreement and the integrety of our single market there is no re-negotiation of the WA. It wasn’t for nothing that your duly elected government signed the WA, and those who voted against it did so for quite different reasons. By now even Boris Johnson and IDS have voted in favour of the WA.
        The Brits I know and meet see us as their friends and realise we are not hostile at all, just consistent. The hostility is mainly Brits and other Brits. An ireconcilable political class having created a disunited and internally sometimes hostile British society.

        • Andy
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          You have obviously not read the WA. The EU has refused (not withstanding the wording of Article 50) to discuss the future relationship between the UK and EU, so the ‘red lines’ are only relevant to that relationship. They (you) have made the Northern Ireland/RofI border an issue, but that cannot be solved without discussing the future relationship, and there is nothing to ‘solve’ – the EU will have to order RofI to erect a border. The attitude of the EU – and yours here too – has not been to respect the territorial integrity of a Sovereign State (the UK) but to seek to inpune that Sovereignity. This is hardly a friendly act. And the EU has no standing vis a via the Good Friday Agreement – it is an agreement between Sovereign States.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 17, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          If the EU wants a hard border in Ireland then it needs to build one.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      A majority of the UK are not happy with what they see as the future direction of the EU and voted to ensure that they can maintain some influence over their laws, taxes and policies by retaining the ability to elect and remove those who make these decisions.

      This was despite being told by the PM, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Governor of the BoE, the CBI, the BBC, the banks, the corporates, the POTUS, the IMF, the Archbishop of Canterbury etc. that simply voting for Brexit would bring economic disaster to the country.

  38. Simeon
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Is Andy a Brexiteer construct designed to discredit Remainers? If so, I’d suggest the pudding has been over egged. ‘Andy’ is simply not believable. He’d make Alastair Campbell blush.

  39. Rien Huizer
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    One of the things I got used to over the past months is to look at my daily dose of Redwoods diary with a kind of anticipation: this is when we will hear that there is some form of breakthrough and maybe even reconciliation with the main body of the Parliamentary Party. But each time it is more or less the same message. The UK should not go ahead with the WA (et sequitur) process but accept the -preferable- no deal outcome. Or maybe even celebrate its newfound freedom. And that with more variations than even JS Bach could have invented.

    This is not meant sarcastically. On the contrary, I agree that the proper place for the UK is outside the EU (and the UK is not alone in that respect. Under UK and US pressure, the EU has become an orphanage for ex-soviet (or worse and earlier) dependencies with lots of identity problems and little understanding of what West Europeans consider civilized socio-political practice and let’s face it, the EU is essentially a West European project. The bits and pieces of the Former Habsburg and Romanov empires are had to fit, as Bismarck discovered some 150 years ago.

    Now the UK is gone (there we disagree, I think there is no chance of the UK resersing the leave decision now, for the simple reason that too much has happened, so tehre is no need for any fear in this respect) either via the WA or without, there remains the question of what to do with: the money, Ireland and the 4 million plus Britons end EU citizens who live in the wrong place. Without the ratification of the WA, already agreed by the UK government there will be quite a few problems as there will be no basis for managing the no deal, except via ordinary diplomacy. The EU will grant some temporary relief and so will the Uk. But that will be it. I am not so sure that is what you want, or what the majority of the UK public wants. But, as said, I do not see a way back.

    So the curiosity remains.

    • Fred H
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      Rien. One assumes you are au fait with the WA? If not I urge you to read Sir John’s questions to Mr Cox. Reasonable people will come to the conclusion that it NOT LEAVING THE EU. In fact it could be argued that UK will be worse off, and for quite a number of years, compared to staying put. Why would the H of C vote against it 3 times in spite of Mrs May’s underhand contrivance. We may have come to the view that the members of the H of C need reduction, and wholesale change, BUT they are not ‘all’ fools. Leave means Leave. No ifs or buts.

  40. Tad Davison
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid some people still cannot appreciate what a grasping lop-sided malignant place the EU is, and how it manipulates everything to its own advantage. Any entanglement with it is therefore best avoided in my view. Perhaps work with it in areas of mutual interest after we have left if we must but it should not have any semblance of control over the UK, as expressed in the result of the referendum. Leave means leave.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Tad Davison, Exactly right. And it’s amazing how Remains base their existence on something as flimsy and rotten as the EU ideology.

  41. NickW
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Letwin and Cooper are going to discover some unforeseen consequences to their seizure of control of Parliamentary business.

    All the arguments used to justify overturning the Referendum result and abandoning Brexit, could equally be applied to a change of Government following a General Election won by Corbyn’s Labour.

    Labour win, May announces that the civil service was not expecting a Labour Victory and needs time to plan for a change of Government. The media and business interests start a propaganda offensive about how damaging a Labour Government could be, and suggest that (as with the Referendum), if the people make a bad choice, Parliament has to oppose it.

    The Conservative “Opposition” allies with the anti-Corbyn caucus of Labour MPs, and forms a majority in Parliament which not only blocks all Corbyn proposals but starts to impose its own pro EU agenda.

    After three years May announces a “People’s vote” General election and offers the Country a choice between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.

    End of Parliamentary Democracy.

    Was that perhaps Letwin’s and Cooper’s intention, to render Parliament dysfunctional, thereby ceding complete control of the UK to Brussels?

    • L Jones
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      ”Was that perhaps Letwin’s and Cooper’s intention”? Possibly, if they believed they would personally reap the rewards.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Interesting scenario Nick, and quite a lot of irony.

      As for Cooper and Letwin, I get the impression they think they can get away with their injudicious and seditious acts against the people and parliament, as no-one is going to notice because they are too thick to understand. I have got news for them, both could face de-selection quite soon. Watch this space as the saying goes.

    • Mark B
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      There is a flaw in your thinking. There won’t be a parliament and all MP’s no longer stay MP’s, including Mrs.May, after the result.

  42. Iain Gill
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    May must go

    Deselect the outright liars sitting as MP’s, I dont mind what they voted for as long as they were honest with their voters during election time and voted accordingly

    Reform the candidate selection process to have more normal people selected

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more Iain!

  43. Colonialist
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    We are staying in the EU as we learn.
    There is a reason Europe has a long history of internal wars and external ones including those in many EU states such as those of former Yugoslavia. Also in the Ukraine.
    We just don’t get we really don’t like being stuck up together. It’s the African Dream. It knocked them back. It will knock us back too.

  44. Polly
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Imho, Treasa is not a patriot, she’s a no borders globalist and has been going to Davos far too often where she has picked up some very weird ideas.

  45. The Prangwizard
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Who signed it? I presume it was May. If not, only she presumably could have delegated and authorised it. Is it legal?

    Seems like another traitorous act.

  46. Barbara Castle
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    “Any unilateral commitment, statement or other act by the UK should be compatible with the letter and spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement, and MUST not hamper its implementation.”

    I am not a lawyer, but I understand that whereas the word “should” means “may”, the word “must” imposes a legal obligation on us.

    Am I being utterly paranoid, or do we now have a situation where a catch-all statement has provided the vehicle to bypass Parliament and handed total power to the EU?

    Reply Yes in all respects where the EU claims competence.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Jr, I agree. And Theresa May has in effect signed us up to the dWA by prerogative. Given the Miller case I think that is illegal.

  47. RichardM
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    The whole business case for your no deal brexit for which only a small minority want relies on scrapping shared environmental protections and workers rights that our membership of the EU has brought.

    You brexiters are totally obsessed with the race to the bottom of the pile. Bottom of the EU poverty pile. The Tory right wing obsession is to widen an already obscene wealth gap with your desire to avoid tax.

    You are blinded by your precious brexit to the real issues facing us all.

    • BR
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Why is it that remainers have only assertions? Never a shred of evidence, logic or anything else to put forward that is worthy of debate. If you have nothing of substance to add then please be quiet.

      • L Jones
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        And if they can squeeze in an implied insult, so much the better. For them, it seems to stand in place of cogent argument.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        Seconded. I am very much working class, and I have no worries at all about a clean Brexit. Facts are better than assertions any day.

    • NickC
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

      RichardM, 17.4m people voted to leave the EU treaties without the precondition of a “deal”. That’s what we were offered: Remain on condition of Cameron’s deal, or Leave unconditionally. You may not like it, but those are the facts.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Our own Annual Leave provision is better than much of the EU.

  48. BR
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    All true – but a bit late to do anything about it now.

    May is now in the process of the next betrayal – Labour holding out for a CU that (somehow) binds future governments. This cannot be allowed; there has never been a CU that does not allow a member to leave.

    It is clear that we have a rogue PM, acting in collusion with a rogue Speaker and a large number of MPs who are also rogue in the sense that they stood on a manifesto and a committeemen to honour the referendum – it is now clear that they had no intention of honouring either of these.

    Therefore, although it is imperative that we ‘drain the swamp’, we must also make it clear to all (the EU and other international observers) that the UK cannot and will not be bound by the actions of such actors.

    We must make it clear that we will exit any treaty that acts against our interests, despite the cost to our national status. If a group of Conservative MPs say this now should limit the damage and may prevent these people trying to create such ‘inescapable’ agreements.

    It is long past time we started hitting back. Attempts by a supra-national group to bind a sovereign State in perpetuity can only end one way. We need to say that loudly and clearly and start showing the world that Britain can and will exit any such nonsense – there’s a first time for everything.

    May must go and she must go quickly before she damages this country further. And – do not allow Gove anywhere near the levers of power under any circumstances.

  49. BR
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    By the way – is it not now crystal clear that May has all along played a long game to pretend to be almost neutral on Brexit, being fairly quiet on the pro-remain stance prior to the referendum, positioning herself for a bid at leadership. All this has been designed to give herself the opportunity to undermine her DexEU people and secretly negotiate a supine post-exit position for the UK.

    She hangs on due to out of date party rules, ignoring political normality in order to facilitate this betrayal. Unless the Conservative MPs change their rules or act against their own leader, perhaps for the first time in history, then we she will be able to stay at least until December.

    Over Easter, you must change the rules or be prepared to vote against your own government on all issues, including domestic ones and finance bills until she goes.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

      For the Conservative Party in its entirety, May’s removal from office at the earliest opportunity is their last best chance to turn things around.

      Easter is but a quiet period, but things are moving beneath the surface. No more duplicitous liars must be their watchwords from now on. If people who hope to join its ranks are so disposed, they need not apply to the candidates list. Those already in post who connive to assist the EU against the UK should be de-selected. This surgery has to be radical to the point where McMillan’s ‘night of the long knives’ looks tame by comparison.

      The party has to be bigger than one very bad leader, but May is relying upon chicanery and rapidly diminishing public good will to see her through. She taints the very brand itself with her lies and duplicity. The schism between honest and dishonest Tory MPs has now become a chasm. Strength and virtue can put it right, but May has neither. Truth to one’s word in imperative.

  50. Bardirect
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    What AUTHORITY or power did Theresa May have to agree. The most likely answer NONE. The Miller case determined that there were NO Royal Prerogative powers in relation to the EU Treaties. But ever since May was required by the Supreme Court to have statutory authority to serve the Notice May’s dealings with the EU have lacked proper authorisation ie no other statutory authority has applied. Article 50 is an international treaty provision about a state withdrawing. It contemplated the negotiations on all matters withdrawal and future relationship within 2 years of a Notice being served. But immediately the EU sought to dictate a change of sequencing putting talks about the future beyond the 2 year period. It implicitly varied the treaty and extended time for negotiations about the future relationship fundamentally contrary to what the Article provided for. What power did May have to agree that variation? It wasn’t authorised by statute nor were there any prerogative powers. This wasn’t some minor negotiating circumstance but was an act of sabotage of UK interests – by agreeing to a change in sequencing this allowed trade issues (backstop) to be introduced before trade talks. Also, by allowing trade and the future relationship to be postponed she made them subject to national veto when under Article 50 future relationship issues were subject to QMV, so single country vetoes would not have applied. Now single countries have leverage over fish, over Gibraltar, etc. None of this was subject to prior authorisation by Parliament nor indeed any subsequent ratification. May could have insisted that such postponement still required those issues to be under QMV as if under Article 50 but her incompetence or duplicity is limitless. Her conduct in relation to the later extensions follows the same power. And Hansard makes it plain that the statutory instrument power to AMEND the date was never contemplated to concern extending time. It cannot provide both the power to seek an extension and the power to implement it in domestic legislation.

  51. Bardirect
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Addendum: there remains the issue of whether Article 50 includes a power to “grant” multiple and conditional extensions, for purposes at odds with the Article which is about leaving. Every extension or variation is a variation in a treaty obligation – ostensibly to allow more time for negotiations about the future relationship – but no such further negotiations were contemplated and that has now been expressly agreed . More time because of an impasse is something totally different and seems to be undermining rather than applying the entire provision. But for the ECJ a court challenge would seem viable.

  52. ian
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    They had no right signing the WA in the first place without parliament approval and her party approval, the act of acting alone with the EU and UK civil service was a mistake, anyway, Brexit is only a means to an ends, you have maybe less than 100 MPs in parliament for leaving the EU, you cannot accept this in a leave the EU country, you are short 230 odd leave MPs in parliament, that gap needs to come down to win no matter how long it takes.


  53. Andy Baldwin
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

    It would be good if you could indicate why you think you have not been able to persuade MP’s of this argument in sufficient number to get anywhere near it being viable. The argument is fine until you take account of often stated negative economic impacts. Whilst you may not agree with these impact assessments, they have been determined by experts. On the principle that the majority of people (i.e. those who voted both for and against Brexit) didn’t vote for a significant negative economic perturbation, it is difficult to see how you can achieve a morally correct and achievable outcome along these lines. Our freedoms were given away years ago in the Lisbon treaty (as I recall), and that is the root of the problem, is it not?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Andy Baldwin,

      GDP growth of approximately 7% below where it otherwise would be over 15 years is about 0.5% decrease per year and some of this is due to a forecast of reduced population growth. It is fine saying the number but it has to be interpreted. The GDP per capita effect is at a noise level. Also (1) The negative effect, if valid, is smaller than effects of economic policy (it equates to about 50,000 houses per year, UK already underbuilds) – it is much smaller than policies to increase savings ratio and investment, (2) it is a forecast longer than a business cycle, (3) it is a forecast through technological disruption, (4) it is a forecast through huge global change (will China keep a 996 week?), (5) the effect is smaller than changing Govt (see e.g. Venezuela’s GDP in recent years), etc.

      I think there are two fundamental issues (a) initial disruption – if the Govt doesn’t plan for this then MPs in constituencies that feel the disruption will lose their seats. Even if this is not the case many MPs are likely to feel this way as they have chosen roles as ‘social / community workers’ not as prospective ministers. Such MPs, though absolutely well meaning and ‘good’ people will, I guess, want to maintain the status quo to work within. The local benefits may take time to flow and the Govt has aimed to hide any preparation for ‘no deal’. (b) Many have stuck to arguing about leave/remain and how to leave; the argument of what is the future of the country hasn’t moved from existing territory e.g. no one wishes to cut workers’ rights but this has become an artificial argument. MPs seem unwilling to move the argument on e.g. out of a CU does UK want a protectionist trade policy, a free and competitive policy, a progressive trade policy? Does UK want future immigration to be that which encourages capital investment, or perhaps unskilled from around the world to take back skills to home countries rather than take from them, or migrants who pay high remittances as effective international aid? Etc. If the argument had moved forward to the UK’s destination – what should the country be like – then I suspect more people would be able to judge the advantages/disadvantage of remain/WA/no deal.

      It seems to me that many that continue favouring remain see the EU as a means to manage downside risk (without the EU our rights and freedoms would be eroded), those who want to just leave ASAP see upside opportunity (and believe the UK’s democratic system will manage the downside risk). I haven’t fathomed the big picture of those supporting the WA.

    • Original Richard
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      “On the principle that the majority of people (i.e. those who voted both for and against Brexit) didn’t vote for a significant negative economic perturbation, it is difficult to see how you can achieve a morally correct and achievable outcome along these lines.”

      What planet were you living on during the referendum ?

      The EU supporters, namely the PM, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Governor of the BoE, the CBI, the BBC, the banks, the corporates, the POTUS, the IMF, the Archbishop of Canterbury etc. all said that simply voting for Brexit would bring ECONOMIC DISASTER to the country.

      But the country still voted to leave.

  54. Steve
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Now we have Tusk interfering with the internal affairs of our country; he says the extension(s) are to give the UK people opportunity and time to change their minds.

    Who does the jumped up shabby little pipsqueak think he is ?

    We also have our traitor PM saying that the UK will take part in the EU elections. Obviously, the aim is to block any attempt to leave without the WA and on 31st March.

    It is obvious by now that we have both the EU and Theresa May + remain traitors inspiring to keep us in the EU as much as possible.

    The blame must of course be laid firmly and squarely on Parliament. We, their paymasters to whom they’re answerable, have told them time and time again to get rid of May and leave the EU on WTO terms.

    The arrogant shysters continue to ignore us and refuse to do as we demand.

    Next and every election…….GET THEM !

    My intention will be to start with the local elections; if the country is not out of the EU on WTO, and there is no UKIP / Brexit Party / Right Wing candidate – I shall deface / destroy the ballot paper.

    If there are such candidates I shall do my part to vote the Conservatives and Labour out of existence.

    They deserve no less than the biggest electoral bum’s rush the world has ever known. Show the buggers no mercy whatsoever.

  55. Chris
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    “Can you imagine if an African country held an election and the result was annulled?

    Left wingers would be up in arms and so would the West. We would be demanding that the United Nations were sent in.

    What is the difference here?” (Tweet by N Farage).

    Another absolutely spot on comment by Nigel Farage about our situation here with May and her assault on democracy.

  56. Marcus
    Posted April 16, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    John- you are not the only one suffering huge disappointed with the delay, there are others, many of them in neighbouring countries, so fed up with your whinge that they would instead gladly pay the 39billion themselves just to get rid of you..ASAP

    • Dominic
      Posted April 16, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

      John’s trying to protect YOUR democracy from the forces of political authoritarianism or are you to stupid, blind and ignorant to see?

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

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