Should Labour do a deal with Mrs May?

The two main parties in Parliament who commanded 82.5% of the vote in the summer of 2017 managed to get just 56% in the local elections. Both have to think about this amazing fall from grace and what they are going to do about it.

Some of it was brought about by voters who blame the two big parties for failing to sort out Brexit. Leave voters are scandalised that 3 years on the wishes of the people have still not been implemented. Most Leave voters now just want to leave without the Agreement. Some Remain voters see the Agreement as obviously worse than staying in, and want a second referendum or simple cancellation of our notice to quit. Mrs May’s dreadful Agreement with the EU has united most Leave and most Remain voters against it, though of course the two sides want a different outcome without the Agreement.

The Labour party is unable to reach friendly unity on what to make its new EU policy. The Leader is understandably reluctant to commit himself to a second referendum. The many Labour MPs representing heavily pro Leave areas in the Midlands and North would find such a policy particularly difficult to support. Meanwhile pro Remain London is urging the party to do all it can to undermine the Brexit vote and to retreat back to some kind of surrogate membership of much of the current EU. The noisy minority who want a second vote still have to say what the question is, or want to ask a pro Remain question, offering two different ways of staying in.

The Conservative party says it wants us to leave as soon as possible, and clearly does not want a second referendum. So far, however, it refuses to just leave and has created the conditions where European elections seem likely. It struggles to explain why the delay was needed and how soon we can get out, and on what terms. Just saying we will leave having signed the Withdrawal Agreement requires an answer to the question why will the Agreement go through after the elections when it didn’t go through before them? How does the PM answer the criticism that the Agreement is an Agreement for delay or to stay in the customs union and many other features of the current EU? If all the Eurosceptic Conservatives voted for the Agreement in a fourth vote – which they are not going to do -it would still be defeated without a deal with Labour. The Irish backstop means it continues to weaken the DUP confidence and supply arrangement. The DUP cannot vote for the Agreement as drafted, and the government and EU refuse to renegotiate the Agreement.

So far Labour has shown willing to talk to the government, but is unwilling to simply sign up to the Withdrawal Agreement, understanding how toxic it is with the voters. They have played around with the details of the Political declaration where the EU has said there is some more flexibility. They have not yet come to a view of changes from a possible EU negotiations that Mrs May can accept. The negotiations to get out of the EU with an agreement only start once the Withdrawal Agreement lock in is signed, and would require an agreed common position on all the main issues between Mrs May and Mr Corbyn with a formal pledge that Mr Corbyn will place a 3 line whip on Labour MPs to push through the necessary legislation.

The big danger for Labour is that Mrs May, now desperate to secure the Agreement, will offer staying in the customs union and keeping the UK under single markets rules and laws as a negotiating aim for the next talks. Were Labour to accept, Labour too becomes responsible for the Withdrawal Agreement. If and when Parliament is shown the legislation to implement that in UK law it will discover how long, complex and binding the provisions of the Agreement are, extending the EU’s tentacles back into so many features of UK life and government. It will remind all Labour’s Leave voters that it is not in any sense leaving. It will stir up their Remain voters who will stress the superiority of current EU Treaty arrangements over the new arrangements in the new Treaty where we would have no vote or voice over all the laws and regulations the EU will enact for us.

The continent has a tradition now of so called grand coalitions between the main centre left and centre right parties as they no longer have the support to form a government individually. They usually depress the popularity of the junior party still further without adding to the support of the major partner. Quite often they presage a collapse in support for one or both such parties, ushering in new political forces to government at the next election. Labour should study the tragic history of the collapse of the SDP in Germany as the grand coalition partner to Mrs Merkel. They now languish on 16% of the vote.

Signing the Agreement would be part of a joint Conservative/Labour wish to be more European. It might well succeed in making the UK more European with more parties and much lower support for the traditional parties that bend their knee to Brussels.


  1. Peter Wood
    May 5, 2019

    Sir John,
    I listened to Mrs. May give evidence to the select committee, in it she repeated ‘no deal is better than a bad deal, but in her opinion, the deal she has negotiated is a ‘good deal’.’
    Mrs. May’s deal has thrice been refused by parliament, I would think that that makes her deal a ‘bad deal’. We appear to have a delusional Prime Minister!
    The EU have said that the ONLY deal they will accept is the one negotiated already, by Mrs May. For the EU, there is only the May deal or no deal. Parliament has refused the May deal therefore logically, and legally, there can only be one way out the EU. The ONLY reason we are still in the EU is because Mrs May asked to stay in, when she did not have to. Under her own terms of reference, we should have left on 29th March.
    When are you and Conservative Parliamentarians going to do what is necessary to remove this government?

    1. KMILLS
      May 5, 2019

      I wish you well in trying to get a decent answer out of May as she has a range of stock replies which might be considered to have some merit had they come from a parrot with a very good memory.I cannot say that I have seen much of the debate but whenever May is asked a sensible question she comes up with her stupid non answer and is allowed to get away with it all the time…….has she ever been closely questioned and forced to answer a question truthfully? I rather doubt it because if she had we might well be in a rather better position.

    2. Lifelogic
      May 5, 2019

      Indeed in her opinion the deal she has negotiated is a ‘good deal’. It just shows how totally deluded May is. In her last few days as PM she wants to tie the hands of the country and the next government, paying £ billions of our taxes for the privilege. It would be very foolish for Labour to join her in this lunacy.

      An excellent article by Dan Hannan today:- “Tories have days to oust the Prime Minister, or face obliteration” also one on the excellent JCB Academy in Staffordshire. Why indeed do we not have similar more practical schools all across the country?

      1. Treacle
        May 5, 2019

        There are two possibilities. Either Mrs May is deluded. Or she is a fanatical Remainer, trying to keep us subject to the EU by stealth. I favour the latter hypothesis. The national interest requires her removal–which is why she is absolutely determined to stay in office.

    3. Caterpillar
      May 5, 2019

      Peter Wood,

      Dr Redwood and others have all made very clear criticism of the WA as is. If the ConLab coalition is to push ahead with the WA and tweaked political declaration then one would hope that May and Corbyn publish a considered response to each criticism, accompanied by a comment from the Attorney General. one document with transparent responses. If the ‘leaders’ want the WA then let them be honest and show why they are confident that the WA is OK.

    4. Hope
      May 5, 2019

      We read Barnier agreed to May’s extension if she talked with Labour. The EU knows Labour wants a customs union and single market. Which is remaining in the EU. Our country would not be competitive against the EU. A rule taker and on a leash to bring to heal, as was said. It means the EU is in charge of our trade deals, and also influence in foreign policy around the world. Vassalage and in servitude for forever by treaty.

      The discussions, let alone any agreement, legitimises Corbyn. Your party has already taken another beating for that. It will demonstrate there is nothing beteeen the two. No point Rory Stewart saying otherwise. He used to be Labour. Another minister that makes people cringe when he speaks. Gove the same. A totally discredited person who ought to leave politics altogether because of his lack of basic standards. Despite him claiming he learned and is now a team player! What idiot would trust him?

      Another bad decision and broken promise by May. Your party stated categorically it would not count on Labour votes, Barwell told your MPs the same. Caldwell wrote about it in the papers. Another lie by your party.

    5. Peter
      May 5, 2019

      There a couple of answers to this question. One answer from the readers view and o e answer from the point of view of what is theoretically best for the Labour Party.

      The answer to question number one, from my point of view, is ‘No’ Labour should not help the widely despised and often rejected Withdrawal/Surrender Agreement to get through Parliament.

      The answer to question number two is that Labour should certainly make a show of trying to be helpful in making progress on Brexit. May will try to blame everyone but herself for the mess we are in. So no point in helping her with her blame game. Ultimately, though it does not help Labour to facilitate May’s Withdrawal Agreement. Voters will not like it. Leaving the Conservatives to implode is a better risk-free path to follow from a party political viewpoint.

      1. Peter
        May 5, 2019

        McDonnell played the game well on Marr’s show today. He stated that May cannot be trusted to keep confidences. This also reminded viewers of justifications for Williamson’s recent sacking. McDonnell then added that May could not be trusted to adhere to anything agreed and that dealing with the government is like trying to conclude a deal with a company going into administration.

        Labour presented as trying to be helpful and then skilfully avoiding any further cooperation.

    6. nshgp
      May 5, 2019


      We are being fitted up.

      A bit like Williamson. No prosecution means its a kangaroo court.

    7. Richard Elsy
      May 5, 2019

      I’ve just sent this letter to the Editor of the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald, Rory Stewart’s local weekly newspaper:

      Whilst it’s certain that some of the voters in the constituency may be basking in the reflected glory of seeing another local MP elevated to a senior post in a Conservative Party government, I suspect that there may be more than a few who wonder why their MP is so determined to ignore the crucial components of the manifesto on which he was re-elected in 2017.
      Some 53.30% voted to Leave the EU in 2016 in Eden District, and 60.0% voted for Mr Stewart in the constituency in the General Election of 2017, on a Conservative Party manifesto, which specifically ruled out Britain’s membership of the Customs Union of the EU. Looked at reasonably, 82% of the British electorate voted for the two major parties which had both pledged to respect the referendum result, specifically including no further membership of the Customs Union, the Single Market or any jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the Conservative Party’s manifesto. A very clear position, I’d assumed.
      I’m curious to know why Mr Stewart believes that he has any honest political legitimacy for advocating British membership of the EU Customs Union, in spite of the very clear mandates which his constituents have given him – twice.
      The Conservative MP for Carlisle, John Stevenson, has also chosen to ignore his constituents in exactly the same manner. It’s either something in the Cumbrian water supply or a singular local outbreak of hypocrisy which affects MPs.
      The recent local election results should have communicated a message from the voters to our MPs. I wonder if they are listening. The next, unwanted, elections for the European Parliament on the 23rd May will hopefully reinforce the message which we thought we’d sent back in June 2016.
      Will they listen? I doubt it, and I’m starting to wonder why we bother with the tedious procedures which we pretend are a part of our longstanding parliamentary democracy. If our elected representatives can so cheerfully ignore our expressed wishes, we are simply pretending that we have a genuine democracy. They are certainly only pretending to represent us, and it looks like they can carry on doing so regardless of the expressed wishes of their electorates.

      1. NickC
        May 6, 2019

        Good letter, Richard.

  2. Pominoz
    May 5, 2019

    Sir John,

    How can our PM still really believe that her WA is anything like leaving? The answer is that she does not – because she doesn’t want to leave. She just thinks that she can continue to use the power of her position to bully the remainder of the country to acceding to her manic obsession with Europe. I really do fear that she is so surrounded with people of the same mind, so that she has deliberately blocked any questioning comment.

    The disaster of the local elections is, of course, ‘not her fault – it is everyone else’s’. I concern myself whether her mind remains sound. See my post of 3rd May under your article about the local elections.

    The WA must not be approved under any circumstances. The result of approval will be catastrophic in so many different ways. I am glad I am well away from it all – except in mind.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 5, 2019

      Indeed Aa MERVYN KING puts it:-

      It simply beggars belief that a government could be hell-bent on a deal that hands over £39 billion, while giving the EU both the right to impose laws on the U.K. indefinitely and a veto on ending this state of fiefdom.

    2. John Hatfield
      May 5, 2019

      May works under instruction. She does as she is told.

  3. Adam
    May 5, 2019


  4. javelin
    May 5, 2019

    Or to put it another way the Conservatives and Labour have been on a collision course to merge for decades. The voters will be unable to distinguish between the two parties.

    In otherwords half a century of Political dialecticism will result in a synthesised Party.

    YET the newly synthesised Conlab party will hold a minority position in the country, due to the socioeconomic dynamics of the London and Westminster bubbles.

    1. Steve
      May 5, 2019


      “YET the newly synthesised Conlab party will hold a minority position in the country, due to the socioeconomic dynamics of the London and Westminster bubbles.”

      …and because people will likely spit on them at every opportunity.

    2. L Jones
      May 5, 2019

      “No question now what has happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again: but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

      Prescience from George Orwell!

  5. J Bush
    May 5, 2019

    “They have not yet come to a view of changes from a possible EU negotiations that Mrs May can accept.”

    And therein lies the problem. I am not a betting person, but would lay odds that May the autocrat has already signed it and possibly did so, before translation.

    1. Ian wragg
      May 5, 2019

      But without Parliament ratifying it it is just so much rubbish.
      Thank the Lord for Farage and the DUP.

      1. Ian wragg
        May 5, 2019

        Surely Parliament should have debated the WA line by line before voting not after agreement.
        That’s a stupid situation.

      2. Leslie Singleton
        May 5, 2019

        Dear Sir John–Could you please again try and explain, slowly so I can understand it, as they say, why you aren’t translating to Brexit? The country’s dire need should come first, surely. Please don’t fluff it a second time.

      3. Lifelogic
        May 5, 2019

        Plus the rather too few on the sound wing of the Conservative Party.

      4. Fred H
        May 5, 2019

        Ian …., I do wonder whether No 10 has open fireplaces? Presumably there are multiple copies of the WA to burn? Or as I rather suspect, Mrs May, the AG, Cabinet ministers (better referred to as careerist sheep) have copies carefully number controlled and locked in a safe in No 10. We could draw lots as to who will ‘light my fire.’

      5. L Jones
        May 5, 2019

        And the other valiant and honourable souls (our host included) who stand between us and thralldom to the EU.

    2. Everhopeful
      May 5, 2019

      J Bush
      Your theory would explain the unnatural desperation of the PM and the “negotiations” that defied all logic.
      Like signing a credit agreement for an expensive car before telling your other half!

  6. Alan Jutson
    May 5, 2019

    I agree that the W/A as it stands at the moment is worse than staying in, and worse than leaving on WTO rules.
    Politicians were reasonably united 3 years ago when they voted to leave under Artical 50 with or without a negotiated deal (WTO terms as our backstop), with 494 voting for such action.

    So what has changed ?

    Courage, passion and conviction that we can run our own affairs, and be a Sovereign State is the answer.

    We now appear to be represented by weak willed politicians who simply do not want the responsibility to be in charge.

    We now have two toxic Party Leaders who are suggesting they can cobble together some sort of “compromise” to get an agreement between ourselves, when that is absolutely not what is required at the moment.

    The compromise to bring sides in the UK together should only come AFTER we have left properly on OUR TERMS, when WE are in charge of our own affairs.

    The EU has shown that it has absolutely no intention of reaching a sensible agreement with the UK because it is demanding of us, things which it has never demanded of Canada, Japan, South Korea, and all of the other Countries in the World that it trades with.

    We have to leave under WTO rules, and Leave now, then talk to the EU about trade, then and only then can we try to bring together all of the people in the UK.

    The people had their vote, politicians just need to implement it.

    1. Stred
      May 5, 2019

      Traitor May has signed an agreement that the UK will not leave on WTO terms during the extension. Parliament will back her. We have a traitor parliament which does not recognise the sovereignty of the people and breaks its promises to them.

      1. Corry
        May 5, 2019

        But the peopke do not have sovereignty. Parliament does. Rule one of being British

        1. Steve
          May 5, 2019


          So where do you think British sovereign subjects come from ?

        2. Stred
          May 5, 2019

          They do when Parliament gives it to the people when it promises to do what they decide in a referendum. If they break that promise, the people will take back their sovereignty and dispose of their politicians. By the ballot box or, if that is not allowed, by other more direct ways.

        3. NickC
          May 6, 2019

          Corry, False. In a democracy (demos=people, kratos=power) people have the power. That is why the British people have representatives in the national Parliament. Indeed the House of Commons (which over rides the HoL) consists of the people’s elected representatives only.

  7. oldtimer
    May 5, 2019

    This is a crystal clear analysis of the problems and issues at stake for the two main parties. It is evident that neither is fit for purpose and neither appears capable of changing its failed leaders. I never imagined that an incompetent like May could be permitted to remain in the most powerful office in the land to continue banging her head against a brick wall in defiance of the electorate. I think the Conservative party is finished as an electoral force.

    1. Fred H
      May 5, 2019

      oldtimer…..she is determined to be able to say ‘not me guv, it was them wot did it.’

    2. Tad Davison
      May 5, 2019

      When it comes to handing useless people the responsibilities of high office, the Tories have form. After Margaret Thatcher’s engineered departure, the downward trend towards the selection of nonentities began under her successor, and has continued ever since.

      Unfortunately, like attracts like so the dilution and the disease of the Tory ‘wets’ has gone unchecked. I knew quite a number of true-blue politicians of yesteryear, and they would have been absolutely incensed at the workings of the present-day Tory party and its inability to get rid of an electoral liability of a leader. It is absolutely nothing like what it was, nor indeed should be.

      We are where we are. It might purport to be the Tory party, but it has been hollowed out from within by these maggots and its MPs no longer share the values of traditional Tory voters. Save for the odd solidly pro-Brexit exception, it just isn’t worth voting for any more.

  8. Gordon Pugh
    May 5, 2019

    There is no majority in the Commons or in the country for Mrs May’s version of Brexit. But there is no majority in the Commons or in the country for ANY version of Brexit. Leave got to 52% in 2016 by promising a whole array of frictionless trade with the EU, easy trade deals with third countries, and lots of money left over to plunge into the NHS. None of this will ever happen (we now know) and so the very basis of Brexit is broken. I voted Leave in 2016 – I am wiser now, and I want the chance now to change my mind (as MPs do weekly).

    Reply The EU has offered a trade deal again to us but Mrs May refuses to do that

    1. Julie Dyson
      May 5, 2019

      Gordon, while I respect your new viewpoint I feel it would be much fairer to say that in 2016 Remain campaigners managed to keep the Leave vote down to 52% by utterly terrifying a further 15-20% of the populace with even wilder claims of doom and destruction if we even so much as dared to vote to Leave, never mind actually went through with it!

      You had the strength and conviction of your beliefs then and it saddens me that you have been browbeaten by this ongoing travesty of failed democracy into giving up now — and it angers me because this has been precisely the aim of the Remain campaign over the past three years.

      Defeatism is not the answer. A vote for democracy is.

      1. Gordon Pugh
        May 5, 2019

        Julie, thank you for your thoughtful reply. I voted in good faith in 2016, but feel I have been let down. Look at Mr Redwood’s reply to my first comment – he claims that the EU has offered us a trade deal, whereas we all know the EU has said it will not even discuss a trade deal until the Irish border, citizen rights and money issues are settled. So I believe the Leave campaigners have not been straight with the British people, and they still are not being straight. Mrs May’s deal is not better than remaining, nor is leaving with no deal. So I have become a reluctant but realistic remainer

        1. L Jones
          May 5, 2019

          So, Gordon, they’ve become difficult and antsy, so we should just say: all right, please can we stay after all and you can have everything your way?

          You say ”Leave campaigners have not been straight with the British people” – therefore are we to assume you think that ”Remain” have?

          And what sort of conditions do you believe would be imposed upon our remaining? Because, sure as eggs is eggs, they would want their pound of flesh in return for our having the temerity to despise their dominion.

          We haven’t left yet. If we do, then perhaps your fears will come to naught (say not the struggle naught availeth) and you can have another vote in the future. If we don’t, then tell us what you think will be our future course? If you don’t like it, they won’t let you choose again.
          Because there IS no ‘status quo’ with the EU. Or haven’t you got that yet?

        2. Original Richard
          May 5, 2019

          GP, with all the negative propaganda against Brexit coming at you daily for the last 3 years from Downing Street, the Civil Service, the BBC and most of the media, the CBI etc. I am not surprised that you feel you want a chance to change your mind.

          But this is only because in the meantime you have forgotten just how bad it is for our democracy and our economy it is to be a member of the EU.

          In addition to retaining the ability to have some influence over our laws, taxes and policies through retaining the ability to elect and remove those who make decisions you also need to consider just what type of EU membership you want :

          One where we have :

          A large net budget contribution to make which will increase dramatically as the EU expands further eastwards (from the Atlantic to the Urals as proposed by Mr. Camerson at his Kazakhstan July 2013 speech) as there are now more votes from recipient countries than contributor countries ?

          A £100bn/year trading deficit ?

          Unlimitable immigration so we can never know how many people will be living in the UK and thus can never plan for sufficient housing, hospitals, schools and infrastructure ?

          Where we have less access to our fishing grounds than other EU countries ?

          Where we give away our military assets that the UK taxpayers have funded ?

          Where our foreign, trade, environmental and energy policies are decided by people who we do not know, have not elected and cannot remove ?

        3. NickC
          May 6, 2019

          Gordon Pugh, I do not recognise your travesty of Leave. Personally I did not want a “deal” with the EU, and said so. But I was willing to accept a trade deal (not trade for submission) to appease the timid. I am quite happy to have another referendum on EU membership too. In 47 years time, assuming we actually ever do leave in 2019.

      2. Oggy
        May 5, 2019

        Absolutely Julie, there is a much bigger issue than just continuing to fight for a proper Brexit, we are now fighting for the very survival of democracy itself.

        To Gordon, the basis of Brexit isn’t broken, Brexit was never about trade and money, important as that maybe, but it was always about the return of Sovereignty and the right to be a free, independent self governing nation once more.

      3. Julie Dyson
        May 5, 2019

        P.S. Gordon, might I also recommend reading Sir John’s piece published on this weekend. It’s an excellent reminder of what both you and I voted for in 2016, but more importantly, why many of us voted as we did.

        This is not something that either the UK government or the EU can simply brush under the carpet — provided the people stand firm.

        1. matthu
          May 5, 2019

          Excellent article you refer to.

          I had already ordered Sir John’s book which I am confident will be worth every penny!

      4. JoolsB
        May 5, 2019

        Well said Julie. The answer is not to cave in to the bullies in the EU and the traitors in parliament who would love nothing more than for us all to give up on their shenanigans and treachery and decide to stay. That is exactly what they want.

      5. Mark
        May 5, 2019

        Well said!

      6. Pominoz
        May 5, 2019


        An excellent response.

    2. Richard1
      May 5, 2019

      Reply to reply. I can never understand this point. Owen Patterson keeps making it- that Donald tusk offered a Canada style FTA last March, but mrs May in bovine obstinacy refused to discuss it. Can this be right, didn’t it exclude UK(NI)? Why don’t we hear of this offer of an FTA in public from the EU – what they repeat is there is no deal without the WA & the WA won’t be re-opened?

      1. Corry
        May 5, 2019

        It was a Canada FTA but also with an Irish backstop. The EU has never offered an FTA which doesnt include an Irish backstop. It never could – the UK has a land border with Ireland, it doesnt with Canada.

        1. NickC
          May 6, 2019

          Corry, The land border between the UK and the EU province of Eire is no more significant than the sea border between the UK and the EU province of Holland.

      2. Caterpillar
        May 5, 2019


        I think it was subject to NI saying in single market, which of course would not be acceptable to the DUP. Since then we have seen that the WA with backstop is not acceptable to DUP, and moreover there might be potential for some movement on the backstop via quasi commitments in the political declaration. This should all be clear indication that May could now dump WA and return to no deal then table free trade and announced changes to maintain no hard border in NI. This route seems much more possible now then at the Chequers stitch up meeting. The offer of free trade plus movement on the border make a this abundantly clear.

    3. Steve
      May 5, 2019

      Gordon Pugh

      “..there is no majority in the Commons or in the country for ANY version of Brexit. Leave got to 52% in 2016”

      There you go then, majority.

      “…by promising a whole array of frictionless trade with the EU”

      No they did not ! The choice was simple; leave the EU or remain.

    4. L Jones
      May 5, 2019

      Of course you should have the opportunity to change your mind, Gordon. That’s what democracy is all about. But for it to mean anything at all the 2016 referendum result MUST be honoured. After that, should there be a groundswell of public opinion for another referendum on the same subject, then we should have one, so that people like you can show you’ve changed your mind. But as we haven’t left yet – why do you think that these things (extra NHS money, trade deals) won’t come to pass when we do? Why shouldn’t things be different?

      But if we don’t leave the EU now, and without the straitjacket of May’s treaty, then the choice won’t actually be ours. It’ll be the EU’s. That might suit YOU, since you now believe it’s best to remain shackled – but it wouldn’t be democracy as we understand it now, as a sovereign UK. Neither would a GE be on our own terms. The EU wouldn’t want a Eurosceptic party disrupting their plans for a superstate. Is that really what you want for your country?

    5. Timaction
      May 5, 2019

      So who is the problem? Who needs removing. It’s obvious to us all outside the bubble. She has destroyed your party with her/your party,s betrayal.

    6. Andy
      May 5, 2019

      The evil Mays ‘deal’ isn’t Brexit and she has no intention of honouring the 2016 Referendum. And nor does the vast majority of the Commons and the Lords. Leave isn’t difficult and it is only as difficult as you want to make it. Most of the world are not members of the EU and we shouldn’t be.

      By failing to honour the Referendum, by seeking by any means possible to ignore it and to set the result aside; by being deaf to what the people actually want they are unleashing terrible forces which will lead to who knows where.

      1. L Jones
        May 5, 2019

        Is this the ”virtual Andy”? It would be helpful if we knew the difference! If he/she has an alternative self, then that could be interesting, though confusing!
        Thanks, ‘This’ Andy. You’ve put it in a way that most of us here can agree with.

        1. Pominoz
          May 6, 2019


          I have tried to get this ‘sensible Andy’ to change his ‘handle’ a number of times. Perhaps he never reads the other ‘Andy’ so doesn’t know that much of what this sensible Andy is writing will probably be skipped over without reading by the majority of visitors, thinking it is the other Andy.

          This ‘Andy’ please do change ‘handle’ and let us know when you have done so.

    7. Tad Davison
      May 5, 2019

      I know people who voted Green and Lib Dem last Thursday, but have since found out they are both ‘remain’ parties and want the chance to vote again.

      The information was all there, so tough, they’ll have to wait until next time.

      A referendum was a little different. Firstly, the government gave every household a booklet spelling it all out, so ignorance (as with the law) is not an excuse.

      Secondly, a referendum is a once in a generation opportunity, so the chance to change the outcome of the last one will have to wait a good while yet, however much the remainers might squawk about it.

      Which part of ‘you knew all of this beforehand’ do these poor losers not get?

    8. Original Richard
      May 5, 2019

      The reason for our current predicament is because a majority of pro-EU Conservative MPs voted for a hardened remainer to be PM and who has spent the last 3 years dissing Brexit through leaks and other means and promoting a treaty from the EU where we accept EU laws, taxes, fines and policies but without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit (according to the AG).

      Mrs May from the very start colluded with the EU and undermined the Brexit department.

      Had the Conservative MPs voted for a leave supporter, as they should have done, given that leave won the referendum and they as a party said they would respect the referendum, then we would have had positive plans put in place and our position would be far different.

    9. Everhopeful
      May 5, 2019

      Gordon Pugh
      Methinks you do protest too much!
      Remoaner through and through.
      If you voted “Leave” because of promises how do you know they have not been fulfilled?
      We HAVEN’T LEFT.
      PS JR knows a tad more about it than you do!!

  9. J Bush
    May 5, 2019

    “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.”
    Walter Scott

    Silly naive career politicians thinking they are being clever and subtle and fooling people with their “I respect the referendum result” and ‘I believe in democracy’ lies while weaving their webs. They appear to be unable to comprehend that what they are are doing, is being done in plain sight of the World. Do they honestly think, and I include May in this, if they achieve overturning the referendum result by basically throwing democracy into the bin, they can just walk off into the sunset and there will be no retribution?

    Tony Blair actions have resulted in his inability to walk down the street, or go into a restaurant without someone trying to implement a citizens arrest. What the current crop of politicians fail to understand, is the anger against them is far far greater.

    1. ian terry
      May 5, 2019

      J Bush

      Silly naive career politicians thinking they are being clever and subtle and fooling people with their “I respect the referendum result” and ‘I believe in democracy’ lies while weaving their webs.

      All working on their own private hidden agendas. No consideration let alone respect on a democratic vote. Would we have had all this nonsense if it had gone the other way? NO.

      With a very large number of the existing MP’s it is the same old story as it always has been:- incompetence fuelled by ignorance and founded on an arrogance as they never ever admit they are wrong or apologise. The people spoke so what ignore them, what do they know?

    2. Steve
      May 5, 2019

      J Bush

      Exactly. Blair is a fine example.

      I’ve always said leaders should be able to walk amongst the people, if they can’t and fear for their safety – they’re doing something wrong.

      “What the current crop of politicians fail to understand, is the anger against them is far far greater.”

      Yes, but I think you’ll find they are fully aware of what will happen if people get their hands on them. What they don’t seem to grasp is the very real possibility that one more notch on the temperature gauge would blow the lid off and it goes sectarian in this country – Leavers & Remainers.

      However you are absolutely right in context, it’s got to the point now where brexit is becoming a lower priority than sheer wrath driven revenge.

      The 200 or so corrupt cowards who kept May in office should be proud of themselves, but what they don’t understand is that we’ll probably get them first.

      1. L Jones
        May 5, 2019

        Oh dear. What a truly dreadful scenario.

        But, the sad thing is, Steve – you may be right. I hope not. But you may be. There seems to be so much anger that is manifesting itself in many ways. Like the side vents of an active volcano – who can say where it will blow?

  10. Turboterrier.
    May 5, 2019

    Totally agree

  11. agricola
    May 5, 2019

    Why not, in the unreal world they live in they think they can get away with it. Reality dictates that whatever they traiterously cobble together the conservative party and DUP might kick it out yet again. Then of course there is the matter of the EU agreeing it in the face of the stitch up of the UK WA which they already have. I imagine that they would only do so were it more onerous to the UK than the WA.

    Were they to do so the already open door for the Brexit Party would be off its hinges at the EU election. The only real solution is the removal of May and her replacement with a truely Leave PM and Cabinet. Said body must have the guts to say to the parliamentary tory party, enough is enough, we are intending to deliver the Leave that the electorate voted for and if that means WTO terms so be it.

    Question is, do the 1922 Committee have the guts to rid us of this toxic barrier to democracy. You tell me. If not your conference will be something to anticipate,and the Brexit Party will slaughter you at the next GE. I believe you will get a taster at the EU election.

    Should May consort with Corbyn to defy the electorate and the 1922 do nothing, do you and the ERG have the guts to defect to the Brexit Party to ensure that the decision of the electorate in 2016 prevails. It is make up you mind time. Many of us already have.

    1. L Jones
      May 5, 2019

      Well said, Agricola. It all seems so obvious – yet we’ve been left shouting into the wind, it seemed. Though not for much longer, I hope. Many of us have already made up our minds, as you say. I wish that our host were one of us.

    2. James Bertram
      May 5, 2019

      Agree, Agricola.

      The third question is: if May and Corbyn fail to do a deal, will Labour then put forward a Vote of No Confidence? Surely Sir John and ERG and the DUP cannot vote to keep May in office then?

      It’s fast becoming ‘make up your mind’ time, Sir John. Brino or Brexit. Support May or support the People. Party or Democracy. Party or Country.

      It’s time to put your misplaced loyalty aside.

    3. Fairweather
      May 5, 2019

      Sorry,The Brexit party wouldn’t have them,
      Apart from a few they have all shown their colours

  12. Turboterrier.
    May 5, 2019

    Alan Jutson

    Good post Alan well said

  13. Bryan Harris
    May 5, 2019

    The concern over support for labour or tories is not what drives the considerations by most that want a clean Brexit – It’s not just that Parliament has failed to act on a mandate, it is the crooked way the delays have been brought about.
    Yes of course labour will bear some of the pain being dished out to the tories, due to their shenanigans and shifting of position, but while they have the Greens and Libdems who act as a safety valve for them, as they can always cohabit, they will not be too worried as long as the tories take a big hit.
    Labour is only interested in the Tories losing out, and will work to that end.
    The certainty is that the tories will be decimated at the next GE, the extent to how much will depend on what happens next.

    Reply So far the Conservatives have fallen from 42% to 28% and Labour from 40% to 28% since the General Election. It amazes me how much pain each Leader wants to impose on their party, all for the sake of the EU.

    1. Alan Jutson
      May 5, 2019

      Reply – Reply

      I agree with your reply John, but then why are the Politicians of both Parties not doing sometihing about it, just get rid of them and fast before either can do more damage, for goodness sake.

      If a deal is cobbled together by Corbyn and May, and if by chance it gets through Parliament and the EU, then I forecast both Parties will be finished as far as the electorate are concerned, and the Brexit Party will clean up at the next election !.

    2. Bryan Harris
      May 5, 2019

      JR – Yes I agree, but while May is clearly for the EU at any cost to party or country, Corbyn has other motives and is not so wed to the EU as May. We should not underestimate the hatred – and hatred is the correct term – that many labour people still have for the Tories. Corbyn’s first aim will be to ensure the Tories are so badly damaged that they will be unlikely to form another government.

    3. Lifelogic
      May 5, 2019

      “Labour is only interested in the Tories losing out, and will work to that end.“ and May clearly determined to destroy the Conservative Party too.

    4. Brigham
      May 5, 2019

      Mr Redwood. How can it amaze you, about anything to do with the party leaders? Theresa May has appeared to be “off her head” for some time now, and Corbyn is a complete idiot However it is not their fault. It is the fault of the people that put them in the position of being able to cock things up, without being able to kerb their stupidities. As a former Tory I feel able to complain about May, but the Labour party’s stupidities are entirely their own.

    5. hefner
      May 5, 2019

      « all for the sake of the EU »? Given the coming EU elections, it is likely that UK MEPs being present or not there will be some « réarrangement » between the various groups present in the EU Parliament and ultimately in the EU Commission. So how precisely could the present discussions between the PM and the Leader of the Opposition could have such an importance on the future functioning of the EU? It is one thing to have been a Eurosceptic for years, another to be Euro-fixated as you seem to be. Aren’t those discussions all about how the top bits of the CUP and of the Labour party want to position themselves in view of a future GE?

    6. Pominoz
      May 5, 2019

      Reply to reply.

      It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to see the problem. But it does need a brain surgeon to see the problem makers.

    7. Hope
      May 5, 2019

      Come on JR, you are not hat naive. Tory politicians have already stated quite clearly over the last three years they would welcome a period of Labour (while Corbyn was in office) in government to remain in the EU. Clarke did not care being in opposition for years, he still stood on a platform with Blaire for the euro after tour party had a drubbing! Wake up. They are putting the EU before party and nation. When will you and colleagues do the same for the U.K.?

    8. Fred H
      May 5, 2019

      Sir John,….but these stats merely are a foot in the water, to test the public outrage. Now that it is so clear of the anger, frustration and determination to change things, even at a rather meaningless Local level, the real sunami of negative opinion will strike home at the EU elections, or a hasty GE presently. I, and others known were intent on spoiling ballot papers, but in the event didn’t bother to make the trip to vote.
      That is a measure of how disenchanted we are, with EU voting shortly, I am confident of a lot more anti-Con/Lab voting.

    9. Tad Davison
      May 5, 2019

      Reply to reply:

      What madness is this?

      It’s almost as if the UK domestic parties are being offered up as sacrificial lambs, just so that the UK remains part of the EU.

      Happily, there is one party that is prepared to stand up to the EU, and seems to be moving into the cavernous void left by the rapidly diminishing Tory party.

    10. Chris
      May 5, 2019

      Reply to reply by Sir John:
      Not only the leader prepared to inflict pain but the fawning Remainer Tory MPs e.g. Rory Stewart comments reported by Paul Waugh in this tweet:

      @RoryStewartUK tells us on Pienaar’s Politics that a split in the Tory party is a price worth paying to get Con-Lab Brexit deal over the line. “Yes there will be short term pain.” @JPonpolitics @AyoCaesar

      Steve Baker tweets:
      But where would @RoryStewartUK go?

      1. Stred
        May 5, 2019

        Rory wrote a book about walking around with his dad. After a couple of chapters it becomes apparent that there is a screw loose. He should stick to wandering around Arabia and hoping that they don’t think he’s worth bothering with.

      2. matthu
        May 5, 2019

        I feel pretty confident that half the cabinet agree with him.
        (Including Gove it seems, as he gives every appearance of wanting to come across as a “team player” trying to patch things up with Dave.)

    11. Mark B
      May 7, 2019

      Reply to reply

      The same pain all the continental parties did before their destruction.

  14. Mick
    May 5, 2019

    Agree with what you’v stated Sir John but i also feel this sorry mess was brought about by labour mps Tory mps snp libdems mps and other bastards trying to undermine the negotiations of the elected government , and of course the Eu were going to listen to them in the hope that the decision to leave can be reversed and is what the Eu want, well come the European elections the remoaners in and around the country will see the total frustration of the people when the Brexit Party wipes the floor with them all and if there is a GE soon after will dominate Parliament

    1. Steve
      May 5, 2019


      “I also feel this sorry mess was brought about by labour mps Tory mps snp libdems mps and other bastards trying to undermine the negotiations of the elected government”

      Mick, except that the government themselves are also ‘bastards’ for assuming a right to negotiate with the EU…..we didn’t vote for negotiations, we voted to leave and despite what remain minorities will tell you, we understood perfectly well that ‘leave’ meant exactly that when we cast our votes.

      We did not vote for negotiations…….negotiations are the remain minority’s spanner in the works.

  15. Steve
    May 5, 2019

    A right dog’s dinner isn’t it !

    There is only one proper way to sort this out; just walk away from it and on WTO.

    This country does not need the EU…..They need us. We are a maritime and an island race, we have better resources than EU countries, and we’re British….we don’t often loose wars and have defended our island against foreign aggression for over a thousand years – much to the annoyance of the french in particular.

    The industrial revolution was born here, why ?…..because of our unique ancestry and our island’s resources.

    Truth be known the EU, and again in particular France, is terrified that we might leave on our terms, not theirs.

    They know our island nation 21 miles off their coast is a serious threat to EU dominance, they also know that without Britain the EU is finished as other member states will surely follow.

    Let’s be clear; we owe Europe nothing, Europe owes us !

    This comes down to one simple scenario – it’s us or them. We should get out right now giving them two fingers. They’ll soon sing from a different hymn sheet were we to ban German and French car imports, and kick their fishing fleet out of our waters.

    Should have kicked may out and replaced her with someone who had the balls to take on the EU when we said, rather than keep her in post to chuck away every winning hand when no one’s looking.

    Parliament should be proud, I wouldn’t pee on any of you if you were on fire.

    1. hans christian ivers
      May 5, 2019


      Being both British and European . I am sure all 500 million Europeans in the EU are sorry to see Britain leave and would prefer to have as close an association with Britain in the future as possible.

      But thinking that the (French/Europeans) are terrified ad others will leave a well, is a theory you will have to prove , before most of us believe it

      1. agricola
        May 5, 2019

        HCI, all but eight of the EU members are dependants and as long as the EU can finance their dependency you are correct, turkeys don’t vote for Christmas.

        However the cracks are arising all over the EU in a political sense. In some countries driven by the high levels of unemployment. In others by the scarcity of democratic control of the EU. The EU was conceived with the best of intentions after WW2 and previous conflicts. The way it has evolved to what it is today is more likely to repeat the mistakes of the previous century than to avoid them in trade and harmony. All very sad in my view. If only they had stuck to perfecting trade and put political integration and the Euro on hold until there was a rough balance and equality of wealth it could have worked. Sadly second rate politicians were allowed to drive it and we are where we are.

      2. Steve
        May 5, 2019

        We don’t have to prove anything, all we have to do is wait until the day comes when 500M Europeans realise they’ve been had over by a minority in Brussels, and that day is closer than you think.

        The EU is in trouble, and the commission knows it. Nationalism and far right movements are gaining strength in virtually every member state. But hey, you knock yourself out Hans. Personally I’ll just sit back and watch history repeat, then have the pleasure of saying ‘we told you so’

        BTW – yes others will also leave if we do. The EU commission themselves said that was a serious concern as far back as 2016. The French will be particularly miffed, no more dumping non EU immigrants on our island when really they’re supposed to be sending them back where they came from, and no french access to UK territorial waters – ask Mr Macron his views on that one, or look them up on the net, he’s made them quite clear.

        The majority in this country who voted leave did so because they want rid, and want nothing to do with the ungrateful EU.

        However we have other priorities to deal with right now, like finishing off the PM and party who betrayed us, brexit will come later, after the betrayed people have exacted revenge.

        Brexit can wait, there’s a scrap to be had first.

      3. libertarian
        May 6, 2019


        Not seen the news recently? The French have been rioting and literally at war with their government for 26 consecutive weeks. I think the actual behaviour of the Italian government, Catalonians , French workers etc all provide more than adequate examples of others wanting to leave and their governments being terrified. Then thats reality and remainers dont occupy a world based on reality , they are like socialists who think that because a systems SOUNDS good it must be good.

    2. margaret howard
      May 7, 2019


      “This country does not need the EU…..They need us”

      We were called the ‘Sick man of Europe’ and were on the verge of collapse before we begged to join the EU.

      Industry was collapsing, interest rates were spiralling and inflation was rampant. We had food, fuel and power shortages and a steadily growing balance of payments deficit. The common market had to pump in 25% of its regional development funds to stabilise Britain, the highest ever figure

      Who is to say that post Brexit we will again fail to thrive? I doubt whether the EU will allow us back in a second time.

  16. ian terry
    May 5, 2019

    Reply to reply

    Sir John, You are only amazed!!!!

    The pain to both leaders is nothing to what they are inflicting on the country. It will end in tears and the country will have a broken parliament as the electorate talk with their feet. Only you and a hundred odd supporters have grasped what is happening and the direction we are being forced to take.

  17. Dominic
    May 5, 2019

    Many thanks for such an insightful description of the nature and scale of the duplicity now playing out between the these two most grotesque party leaders.

    The British people voted to leave the EU in 2016. The fact that a liberal left tyrant and a crypto-Marxist Anglophobe have snatched this decision away from the people and are now using it for their own political agenda is perverse in the extreme. Political power asserts its control over the people’s choice once more. A kickback will of course at some point be inevitable.

    What is of great importance for this nation is ensuring the dismantling of the Tory-Marxist Labour duopoly in the Commons. This cosy, convenient relationship is based on the idea of quid pro quo and therefore allows a Labour to extract legislative favours of a socialist bent from a government determined to smash Brexit at all costs

    In effect Labour is using its numbers in the Commons to force new laws on the statute books that I believe are not natural Tory laws. Hate crime legislation is simply not what we are as a party. This form of attack on our most fundamental freedoms is pure Labour politics. I have no doubt other legislation that codifies an authoritarian attack on our individual freedoms emanate from Labour

    We so desperately need an ardent, committed Tory Eurosceptic leader. We also need the Brexit party to smash Labour in the north to achieve a considerable presence in the Commons. It is the Commons that is now the crucible of power not No.10.

  18. rick hamilton
    May 5, 2019

    Apparently No Deal is now ruled out by the Letwin-Cooper stitch up Act that was pushed through in 24 hours with a majority of one. One who voted for it was a convicted criminal out on bail who has now been deselected by her own constituents. If she was barred from the HoC the Act would not have passed.

    Why has this not become a scandal of the highest order? Much worse than the recent Houwei leak non-event which just brought another Remainer into the cabinet to support May.

    A relative who stood for Councillor tells me she had to confirm she had no criminal record before being allowed to stand. One rule for the little people and another for the arrogant, self-regarding ‘elite’ ?

    1. Original Richard
      May 5, 2019

      If Mrs. May can put her surrender WA to the vote more than once, even after the biggest HoC defeat in history, then surely it is possible to have another vote on this act, particularly as there was a majority of just one provided the vote by a convicted criminal out on bail who has now been deselected by her constituency ?

  19. John Sheridan
    May 5, 2019

    Mrs May has become obsessed with her legacy. She does not wish to be seen as a failed PM (although many would say that that ship has sailed) and sees delivering Brexit, even a Brexit in name only, as a success.

    Unfortunately she is damaging the Conservative Party and allowing opponents to claim ‘Tories cannot be trusted’. The Brexit Party will be the beneficiaries and in doing so prevent the Conservatives from forming a majority government for decades.

    If Labour were to support her flawed WA/PD then they too would take their share of the blame and not be trusted. I suspect that Labour will not wish to be associated with the fallout from passing the WA/PD and will find a way to allow the talks to collapse.

    1. Original Richard
      May 5, 2019

      Mrs. May is doing far more than destroying the Conservative Party.

      She is destroying the country with her plan to use China for 5G, HS2 and HinkleyC and signing an international WA treaty with the EU which leaves the UK accepting EU made laws, taxes, fines and policies without representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit.

  20. Mark B
    May 5, 2019

    Good morning.

    Let us hope todays missive does not get deleted.

    No, Labour should not do a ‘deal’. In fact, I am surprised that Labour are so naive to even discuss this. The Conservative Party was elected on a manifesto to Leave the EU. That meant the CU, SM and ECJ. No second referendum, was offered and no compromise.

    I find it amazing that the Tories are happy to negotiate with the opposition and waterdown their promises but were not prepared to discuss with their coalition partners, the DUP, over the terms of the WA and the Irish Backstop.

    If Labour are smart I think they will try and play this out right up to and beyond the Europarl elections. There the Tories will get the mother of all drubbings and although Labour may suffer a little, it will pile more pressure on the government to cave in to other demands. Demands that we are only seeing but not hearing as more Left wing policies is put on the Statute Book. 😉

  21. Kenneth
    May 5, 2019

    The logic could not be simpler. MPs were split on our future with the eu, so, the Cameron government put the question to the People in a referendum.

    Now, 3 years later MPs demonstrate they are still split….and the remain members call for another referendum!

    The actual referendum solved the problem. By not implementing it, the main parties have simply resurrected the problem all over again and multiplied the damage to themselves. The longer the negotiations between Remain Conservative and Remain Labour go on, the worse things become as they dig an ever deeper hole.

    This is what their plotting and wriggling against the People has led to

    If that is not madness enough, we have the ridiculous spectacle of the Conservatives fielding election candidates and then hoping they never take their seats!

  22. Sakara Gold
    May 5, 2019

    Mrs May is being disingenuous in suggesting that the public is blaming both Labour and Conservatives for the local election results; clearly the tories lost far more councillors and councils than Labour. The voters have punished her and the party for failing to deliver Brexit as promised on 29th March and for inflicting a national humiliation on the country – she should accept the result and resign.

    This is another example of her patronising approach to the voting public – who have seen through it and her unacceptable agreement. It smacks of desperation to me.

    1. Steve
      May 5, 2019

      Sakara Gold

      “Mrs May is being disingenuous in suggesting that the public is blaming both Labour and Conservatives for the local election results”

      I agree, but disingenuous is an understatement.

      I have this image in my mind of something like a pub fight, where electorate has just walloped the daylights out of the conservatives, and turned around with pointed finger at labour and said; ‘and you can shut up unless you want some ‘

      This explains why cons lost far more than labour…..if anyone should be taking good advice, it’s Corbyn. Labour survived but with a stern warning from voters.

  23. formula57
    May 5, 2019

    And should Mrs. Ramsay MacMay do a deal with Labour?

    If she does not, her failure will be as manifest as her betrayal of the British people. If she does, her betrayal of the people and of her party will be confirmed at a new low level.

  24. Lifelogic
    May 5, 2019

    “The Conservative party says it wants us to leave as soon as possible, and clearly does not want a second referendum” indeed but May cannot be allowed to lock us in to a new treaty without letting the people veto it.

    I am constantly amazed by the complete lack of understand of science, energy, transport and engineering. Yesterday we had a BBC presenter talking about HS2 and suggesting trains were a green form of transport. Helen Whately deputy chair of the party (on any question) thought that cycling was a zero carbon commute! Plus electric cars are advertised as Zero Emission – why do the ASA allow this lie?

    One thing for sure building an new HS2 track for £billions and running HS2 is very far indeed from green. Look at the figures dear. Then I heard the dire Antoinette Sandbach taking scientific lunacy even talking about electric aircraft! It will be a while before we get practical electric jumbo jets dear. Or are we proposing mid air recharging every few miles!

    1. Lifelogic
      May 5, 2019

      “Emma Thompson the first-class hypocrite” shouts the Daily Mail today.

      I assumed at first she simply had no understanding of science and had not appreciated that flying first class in a private booth doubled or tripled or more her CO2 output. But even now that many people have pointed this out to her she still chooses to fly first class.

      Do as I say not as I do, total hypocrisy of the first order from the dope. But then this type of lefty are (almost by definition) total hypocrites.

  25. kenD
    May 5, 2019

    The WA on the table is not a bad deal as deals go and it and gets us out..although it might take a few years more..but don’t forget we were in there for nearly fifty years so it’s quite understandable that it might take that little extra..why does everything have to be done with a ‘bang’?-

    So yes- ‘Labour should do a deal with Mrs May’- we have to move past this horrible mess

    1. agricola
      May 5, 2019

      God forbit it is a horrible deal. The Spectator disected it in December, please read it and you will understand why it is so toxic. Leave on WTO terms the same terms that 60% of out trade is conducted on at a profit to the UK economy. EU trade is in deficit. When the EU realise that their cash cow has gone and does not intend to pay them a further £39 billion for nothing they might have a tizzy fit but ultimately sense will prevail from internal EU industrial pressure. Then there will be no restrictions on who we trade with. We become a sovereign nation once more.

    2. Original Richard
      May 5, 2019


      I think if you read Mr. Redwood’s letter to the Attorney General about the legal impact of signing the wrongly named Withdrawal Treaty posted 15/04/2019, then you wouldn’t make such a ridiculous and ignorant statement “the WA on the table is not a bad deal as deals go”

  26. julie williams
    May 5, 2019

    This Parliament has created it’s own Gordion Knot (yes, everyone; who let May and Robbins get ths far and why?), The way to undo it?

    Like Alexander, with a sword i.e. No Deal.

    Anything else is nonsense, particularly a second referendum, which has no many potential consequences none of which are good, that why it is even being contemplated is bewildering.

    It’s as you say, however, democracy has been replaced by the loudest screamer and we are all supposed to give in to the toddlers.

    It looks like a perfect storm where all the problems in our political system have come together but maybe something better will come out of the rebuilding.

    If nothing else, it’s revealed the naked political opportunism hiding behind Corbyn’s Father Christmas of the Left persona to a few more people but then many of them worship an ideal and not the man.

  27. Simeon
    May 5, 2019

    Sir John,

    Short of a majority of MPs performing a u-turn and deciding to truly honour the referendum (which is simply unrealistic), how will a clean Brexit be achieved? The answer is certainly not that the Euro elections will be cancelled and the EU kick us out.

    It is heartening that a May-Corbyn stitch-up does not appear to have the support of the House. But this is fatally undercut by a confirmatory referendum attached being enough to secure the support of Remainers. This because Remainers have calculated that the option to remain would win such a referendum – even if the alternative is a clean Brexit.

    My second question is this; do you think the anger of those who initially voted to remain, but have since changed their mind as a result of EU ‘bullying’, combined with those original remainers who now believe democratic will should be respected, will outweigh the anger of those leave voters that believe they were lied to, the anger at the failure of the political class to demonstrate competence and implement the will of the people, and the consequent scepticism that the political class can safely and competently deliver Brexit? Or in other words, won’t the majority view among ‘floating’ voters be that it is better to remain stuck in the mud than risk casting out in a rickety raft riddled with holes that will, in all probability, sink?

  28. Kevin
    May 5, 2019

    The Withdrawal Agreement amounts to leaving the European Union
    only if you think that leaving a club is simply a matter of terminating your
    membership. It is, of course, important to think through other things that
    may need to be taken care of, such as cancelling the direct debit instruction to
    your bank.

  29. Richard1
    May 5, 2019

    Correction to para 2 could be a typo? Many Leave voters see the WA as clearly inferior to EU membership. (Remain voters obviously do also).

  30. MPC
    May 5, 2019

    Where are we re legal challenges that we have already left the EU Mr Redwood? I thought Bill Cash, among others, was pursuing this.

    I’ve always thought Statutory Instruments were used solely to implement existing legislation (notably new EU laws!), not to override established legislation as with the Government’s Article 50 extension?

  31. Brian Tomkinson
    May 5, 2019

    I doubt there has ever been a time when the leaders of the Conservative and Labour parties were so poor and yet their MPs, also in the main of low calibre (our host and some others excepted), are happy to keep them in place to wreak their damage on the country. When I voted to Leave the EU I must admit that I hadn’t fully realised that most MPs have neither the will nor the intellect to govern and legislate on behalf of an independent, self-governing country without being directed by the protectionist club called the EU.

  32. Christine
    May 5, 2019

    There is so much more than our political system broken. Throw an egg at Corbyn and you get locked up. Pour a milkshake over TR and you are treated as a hero. Call Soubry a Nazi and you get arrested yet Lammy calls the ERG the same thing and no action is taken. Speak out for Brexit at university and get marked down. There’s such a Remainer bias in our police, justice and education system. I’m sick of the way Brexit voters are treated just because they want a free democratic country. Time to vote out politicians trying to thwart Brexit and clear our all the those in a position of power who corrupt out society.

    1. Fred H
      May 5, 2019

      Christine…..but you haven’t mentioned the BBC, worse bias and agenda than the gutter press.

  33. A.Sedgwick
    May 5, 2019

    Integrity she has none.

  34. Steve
    May 5, 2019

    What’s up JR ?

    Too British for you, was it ?

  35. Sharon Jagger
    May 5, 2019

    This recent local election result should be sending a message to Government, but the PM seems to have received a garbled version. She believes that voters just voted against the conservatives because parliament won’t vote through her WA, when the reverse is true, it’s because she’s tried, and failed, on three separate occasions, and still keeps on trying to ram it through that voters protested.

    Worryingly, this will make her more determined than ever to get it through before the Euro elections. Many people, myself included, are seriously concerned that this could occur!

    Also worryingly, some (probably many) MPs seem to have taken the PMs word for it that the treaty, is in fact leaving! My MP – Paul Scully said as much when I questioned whether he’d even read the legal breakdown and implications.

    Some people are viewing her withdrawal package as irrefutable evidence of her intention to cause irrevocable harm to our country at the behest of a foreign power, which is surely proof of Treason?

    The only way out of this mess, is if we have a change of leader to someone like Owen Patterson, Steve Davis or someone with some conviction and the courage to leave on WTO rules, and then negotiate the trade deal, once we’re on an equal footing.

    1. Steve
      May 5, 2019


      Why worry ?

      WTO brexit is not going to happen, the cry baby minority has seen to that, thanks to corrupt parliamentarians and ministers soft enough to let them scupper it.

      What matters is punishment, and people are so enraged as to make sure that government in this country changes beyond recognition at the next general election.

      Wait until the next election……..then get them !

      1. L Jones
        May 5, 2019

        What ”next election”? When? Organised by whom and for whose benefit and under whose rules?

    2. matthu
      May 5, 2019

      Steve Davis? The snooker player?

  36. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    May 5, 2019

    Where is the full legal advice on the WA?

    Why has AG Cox not answered your ‘demolition’ of the WA, Sir John?

    May’s policy is to conceal the truth.

    When will the Tories demand the information is published? It is unbelievable this hasn’t happened before.

    I still believe the talks will break up in acrimony.

    “Come on Jeremy, share the blame for the Brexit SNAFU I have created”.

    It won’t happen. Labour opposes, as mandated. They are not May’s lifebelt as she drowns in tempestuous seas.

    1. Steve
      May 5, 2019

      “Why has AG Cox not answered your ‘demolition’ of the WA, Sir John?”

      Because he’s frightened of Mrs May.

  37. Paul Cohen
    May 5, 2019

    Well I think this is the “last chance saloon time” for the Conservative party!

    May must go now – she is clearly not capable of proceeding any further with her desire to get a “deal” at any cost, and will be surely voted down and it is ludicrous to take this seriously any more.

    Someone needs to urgently take a lead here – internal party actions have proved to be ineffective and gives the impression of running around in ever decreasing circles. Time for action this day chaps or face oblivion.

    1. Steve
      May 5, 2019

      Paul Cohen

      “Well I think this is the “last chance saloon time” for the Conservative party! May must go now”

      Nah, it’s too late, they’re finished no matter what. Next general election they won’t even exist as a political party, even if they did get us out on WTO……people will not suddenly say; ‘oh that’s alright then in that case I’ll vote conservative’

      The shocking thing is I suspect May knows it, and is trying to shaft the country before she and her party goes, just out of spite.

      1. L Jones
        May 5, 2019

        ”Next general election…..”. I admire your optimism. Perhaps that’s why ‘they’ don’t care, because ‘they’ know there won’t be one in which we’ll have a meaningful say.

  38. Ginty
    May 5, 2019

    It’s how the EU works. Forcing formerly disparate parties into a synthesised group.

    I didn’t know there were so many EU fanatics until after the referendum was won. They should look at what is really motivating themselves which is a contempt for white, English working class ‘oiks’ … and ‘toffs’ to the same degree.

    They really seem to have in mind the Mel Gibson cartoon aristocrat villain and cockney foot soldier of Braveheart.

    1. Steve
      May 5, 2019

      Steady on Ginty, you might find your posts disappearing for being too patriotic.

  39. Alan Joyce
    May 5, 2019

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    If the EU has again offered the UK a trade deal, which would go a long way to alleviating the problems of the backstop and the future relationship and the Prime Minister has not accepted it, then we must conclude that there really is an establishment plot to keep the UK tied to the EU and that her Withdrawal Agreement and Future Partnership was designed in collusion with the EU to be BRINO right from the start.

    I wonder just what the fascination is with the EU? What is the attraction? Why must the UK be subservient to unelected foreign officials? Why must our laws be made in Brussels and subject to the whims of a foreign court? Why have successive Prime Ministers kept their intentions hidden from the British people for so long and why is the present incumbent of No.10 prepared to risk everything to keep the UK shackled to the EU?

    If the EU is indispensable to the UK why do not our leaders explain the benefits of EU membership, beyond free mobile roaming charges and easy travel that is, so that we may all see the light?

    I understand the benefits of co-operation with other countries in matters such as peace and security but why is it necessary to be part of a political union and to contract-out our decision making to 27 other countries in order to achieve these aims?

    Should Labour do a deal with Mrs. May? I don’t much care what the Labour Party does. I see it as should Mrs. May be doing a deal with Labour?

    If her legacy is not to be the PM who wrecked the Conservative Party, sold the UK down the river and did it on the back of Labour votes then the answer has got to be NO.

  40. Mark
    May 5, 2019

    Corbyn, Milne and McDonnell have to balance making Conservatives unelectable with not seeing erosion of Labour support and the threat that the Brexit Party becomes electable. I suspect they consider they might be able to break agreements with the EU if they were to secure a majority government and found they impeded their march to Communism. But it would surely be much simpler not to have to do that. Corbyn would probably prefer Macron to veto our continued procrastination and try to use that to seize power.

    If Conservatives will not protect us from Corbyn it becomes vital that there is a credible alternative that can.

  41. Andy
    May 5, 2019

    Fun isn’t it?

    I am still not sure it has clicked with some Brexiteers. The Withdrawal Agreement IS Brexit.

    You can huff and puff all you like but what is on the table is what Brexit actually means. Not some garbage written on the side of a bus. Not a 30 year fantasy of splendid isolation. This is the reality of what you voted for in 2016. Permanent subservience.

    And, incidentally, it does not matter who is PM. The deal will not change – and Mrs May has actually done far better for you than Johnson, Mogg, Farage or any of the other rent-a-gobs would.

    I often hear quittlings say – ‘If we had never joined would we vote to go into the EU today?’

    A better question is would we have voted for Brexit if the actual deal was known at the time of the referendum. The clear answer is no.

    1. Edward2
      May 5, 2019

      Well would you vote to go into the EU today?
      No rebate so much higher annual fees.
      In schengen,
      Take the Euro and agree to austerity budget deficit limits.
      All OK for you Andy?

      1. L Jones
        May 5, 2019

        And conscription looming? If Andy is as young as he/she tell us he/she is, this will also affect him/her.

        1. margaret howard
          May 7, 2019

          L Jones

          No EU army would have been so stupid as to have lead us into a disastrous Iraq type war that the US did and which we followed like the obedient American poodle we are.

    2. Ginty
      May 5, 2019

      Per Cameron’s referendum leaflet. That’s the Brexit I had in mind – certainly not May’s.

    3. NickC
      May 6, 2019

      Andy, Leave means leaving the EU treaties which make the UK subservient to the EU. Theresa May’s dWA keeps the UK subservient to the EU. By definition that is not Leave. Try again.

  42. Jeremy
    May 5, 2019

    Given Corbyn is a Bennite and has been a EU sceptic throughout his career, would he really sign up to May’s toxic deal which he must know would be worse than remaining in the EU?

    Assuming that Corbyn is thinking of going along with May, is there anyone from the ERG lobbying Corbyn to stop this happening? What about the Labour leavers in parliament? Can they stop Corbyn?

    What’s the ERG’s plan if May does succeed in getting Corbyn to agree to this madness? Bring down the government by siding with Corbyn in a no confidence vote?

  43. bigneil
    May 5, 2019

    Can you remind us – Which party is she supposed to be in?

  44. Edwardm
    May 5, 2019

    As always a sensible and clear analysis.
    In forming a BRINO coalition with Labour to force a bad outcome on our country that no one voted for, Mrs May with Labour are acting like the type of oligarchy in the EU that we voted to be rid of. And they interpret bad election results to mean more of the same.
    (I guess Corbyn never reckoned on Mrs May reaching out to Labour, so that’s unexpectedly upset his calculations).

    It seems Mrs May is doing her best to diminish our country and our democracy by subordinating us to the EU and wanting China to access to our key infrastructure (Hinckley, Huawei and now HS2) and giving naval contracts abroad. And she is getting away with it because a many Tory MPs are too inadequate to oppose her – or they share her contempt of the electorate.

  45. Martin
    May 5, 2019

    “bend their knee” – guess what after Brexit day, to drive your car in France you will have to go to a Post Office, stand in a queue, get to the desk and apply for an a funny permit to comply with French law. Your British driving licence will not be recognised by France and you will be be bending the knee to the French Government. Still lots of Brexit voters enjoy Post Offices, enough said!

    Ah yes make our own laws – force people to go to the post office.

    P.S. I forgot to mention that the Post Office will be the wrong type of Post office and you will have to drive miles, pay an expensive car parking charge and finally get to the right post office, where the forms will be out of stock!

    1. sm
      May 5, 2019

      You haven’t heard of International Driving Licences?

      1. Martin
        May 6, 2019

        Yes the “funny permit” is an “International Driving Licences”.

    2. L Jones
      May 5, 2019

      Perhaps it still hasn’t got through to you that Brexit is about things of far more import than your wallet, your convenience and your comfortable lifestyle.

      What a pathetically selfish and narrow view of the world you remainers have.

      1. Martin
        May 6, 2019

        ” pathetically selfish” – I know real people whose lives are on hold because of Brexit. I try not to use insults online. I try and respect other people’s opinions unlike some who see words as “traitor” as the norm.

        However your insults reveal that Britain will be a poorer, more inconvenient and uncomfortable place to live in. How wonderful!

    3. NickC
      May 6, 2019

      Martin, From the USA Embassy website: “The U.S.A. has an agreement with most countries whereby the renter’s full national driving license may be used for a period of up to one year in the U.S.A. This applies to the full U.K. driving license.” Are you telling me that the French government in the interests of making tourism difficult will not make a similar agreement? Then you wonder why we have such a low opinion of Remains.

  46. TheyWontCrushBrexit
    May 5, 2019

    “I say this: let’s listen to what the voters said in the local elections and put our differences aside for a moment. Let’s do a deal.”’ – Theresa May, Mail on Sunday

    The woman really does have ‘tin-ears’.

    Complete and utter distortion of the election result, to try to push through her WA, that neither Leavers nor Remainers want.

    When will this Nation be rid of this woman?

  47. Miss D Lumpharding
    May 5, 2019

    McDonnell on the Marr Show today stated that Labour will place Climate Change firmly on its agenda.
    This is in light of studies by the Green Think Tank who point out clearly that Climate Change actually began on Black Monday 1360, Witch!

    was recorded by Yardeologists and Hail Guy Well-Met Courtiers on BBC Teletrickery when bonfires relaeas’d toxic carbon d’oxenhades into the Heavens willy-nilly.

    Tomorrow Monday will be the Winter of our Discontent. And we can Shake on that the multiplying villainies of nature will be a plague on this May
    The British Labour Party is well up to date on all things

  48. BOF
    May 5, 2019

    I have been disappointed, frustrated and angry at the failure of Mrs May and Government. As usual Sir John you have managed to analyse the situation from various angles with great accuracy. But there is a new player on the block and with or without EU elections it will not go away.

    I am now optimistic with the rise and rise of the Brexit Party that whatever Parliament does now will be overturned and we will once again be a sovereign country. TBP is much more than a political party, it is a movement which in the final analysis will reform UK politics for the better .

    1. Caterpillar
      May 5, 2019

      If May gets through a WA Implementation bill and (perhaps?) a supremacy of EU law bill then there will be no overturning.

  49. Andrew Gunning
    May 5, 2019

    Sir John
    The so-called ‘Withdrawal Agreement’ is deliberately named to mislead us. In my mind, it is the ‘Treaty of Berlin’ and will bind us forever to the EU, soon to become the United States of Europe.
    I shouldn’t be surprised to learn, sometime in the future, that the Treaty has already been signed in secret by Mrs May and Mrs Merkel.

    1. L Jones
      May 5, 2019

      Many of us fear this very thing, Andrew. We could then wave goodbye to any future elections on our own terms.
      What hold does the EU have over ALL in our own government? Even the ones who could see this awful scenario unfolding over months now, knowing who was its architect, didn’t take steps to prevent it – to remove her, by fair means or foul.

  50. ukretired123
    May 5, 2019

    Neither Tory nor Labour can see a Win-win to succeed against the Lose-lose Withdrawal Agreement and both leaders are now toxic.
    Anything they cook up for us will be seen as poisonous and fatal to them.

    Nothing has changed except Theresa Mays outfits – all colours from black funeral to white flag – the message is just the same – Stuff the electorate, Stuff Brexit, Stuff you all.

    When May was appointed Tory leader Ken Clarke observed “She is a very awkward woman” but she is an actress trying to better Margaret Thatcher but without her integrity and honesty. Both were church goers but that’s where it ends.
    It will be brutal also for Theresa May and she knows it. Sadly she is not as smart as Gordon Brown for all his failings he recognised the game was up and went dignified but bowed and broken.

  51. Know-Dice
    May 5, 2019

    I suspect that May will try and do a deal with Corbyn asap so that she doesn’t have to get a dose of “home truths” from the European Elections.

    In essence that will mean ratifying the Draft Withdrawal Agreement and a fudge around the never to be delivered Political Declaration.

    From where we are now, I believe it is essential that the UK participates in the EU elections so that Parliament gets a better idea of what the Country wants.

    If the Brexit party take a majority then to me that means leave without a deal.
    If the Lib Dems + Greens take a majority then it’s remain.
    If Change UK take a majority, then no ones knows what direction to take….

    I would suggest that the Conservatives and Labour will be toast 🙁

  52. Dominic
    May 5, 2019

    ‘It’s no coincidence that the more they (May, Corbyn duopoly) try and overturn democracy, the more May tightens the ratchet on Free Speech, Freedom of Association and internet access.’

    A paragraph that should send a shiver down the spines of all freedom loving democrats throughout the British Isles.

    What we are seeing is the rise of constitutional authoritarianism with the express aim of crushing debate, destroying national democracy and silencing all those who opposed

    This is your party John. This is my party. This is what our party’s leadership is doing to the UK and still the ERG remain loyal. It is a travesty that Eurosceptic MPs still belong to the Tory party.

    We have entered very dangerous territory

  53. Ian McDougall
    May 5, 2019

    Good morning Sir John
    It has been obvious to any external casual observer Mrs May with the collusion with the majority in Parliament intends to keep the UK in the EU by any means.

    In the next few days we could say May and Labour agree to a customs union, being sold as temporary arrangement. Enabling project fear more time to muster a spurious reason as to why staying under EU control makes economic sense.

    It is clear whatever the outcome Brexit will never happen and the damage to UK industry will continue. Turning the UK into a basket case economy.

    So for Mrs May and Parliament it will be seen as a job well done.

    1. L Jones
      May 5, 2019

      They surely don’t want us turned into a ”basket case economy”. Wouldn’t they rather keep us healthy so that they can go on milking us?

  54. Dennis
    May 5, 2019

    The Withdrawal Agreement “Mayday Broken Brexit Treaty” if passed in parliament would create a sunken UK ship of state that will allow the EU permanently to dredge the subsequently colonised wreck into locked, bolted and imprisoned colonial servitude.

  55. Nig l
    May 5, 2019

    So Rory Stewart says that the Tories 99% want a permanent customs union. That is not what we voted for and it was made clear in your manifesto and the government’s letter to all of us that a vote to Leave would mean the Customs Union.

    Is he correct that your policy is now a permanent Union? Did he get the job in return for being an EU puppet, he certainly seems to have the same cloth ears as May

    Reply No our policy is no customs union as set out in the 2017 Manifesto

    1. Timaction
      May 5, 2019

      So why is he allowed to say this without sanctions? The same as all remain Ministers since Mayhems rule! Say policy but act to remain. When is she being ousted?

    2. Caterpillar
      May 5, 2019

      As previously noted he is the person who claimed 80% of voters support the WA. He is the person who, apparently, associates no deal supporters with the far right. He is the type of person that Mrs May wants in her cabinet – successor?

  56. Jacey
    May 5, 2019

    I much doubt that the Labour party will agree to a deal with Theresa May. If they do they will be dipping their fingers in the blood too whereas at present this ” deal ” is entirely a Theresa May orchestrated disaster. The local election results were hardly sparkling for the Labour Party but they did not appear to be quite such a catastrophe as they were for the Conservatives. If the local elections were a catastrophe what will the Conservative party performance be like in the European elections when Nigel Farage anf the Brexit party take to the stage ? Woeful seems an entirely inadequate description for their likely performance.

  57. rose
    May 5, 2019

    As I see it, Corbyn/Milne are going along with the charade because it is creating turmoil in the “governing” party. They have no intention of bailing out a sinking May regime, whatever super salesman Stewart may say.

    1. Fred H
      May 5, 2019

      rose….you are correct. The whole nonsense has been to display to the Hof C and electorate that Mrs May was wrong all along and should have involved Labour and the other half-wits. I imagine Labour have looked to be cooperating, stringing Mrs May along, until they have to admit she would not move her red lines one jot. No real negotiation – the blame squarely back at her door. And we all watch the days going by and EU voting getting nearer.

  58. Original Richard
    May 5, 2019

    The issue for Labour is that whilst Mrs. May, as an EU supporter, is happy for us to remain in the CU/SM where we would be accepting EU Laws, taxes, fines and policies but with no representation or veto and with no lawful means of exit, Labour wishes us to have some say in the EU’s negotiation of any future trade deals with third countries.

    This would be sensible of course as otherwise the EU would be able sell our market to a third country on the basis that this third country would not have to reciprocate by taking our goods into their market tariff free.

    It could also enable the EU to trade their cars, food and wine to the US tariff and quota free in exchange for opening up the UK market to US health insurance companies.

    Unfortunately for Labour, the EU would never accept any arrangement whereby the UK could retain a veto over future EU trade deals.

  59. Newmania
    May 5, 2019

    What is now proposed is an unholy alliance between Conservatives who care about nothing but their duck ponds and Trotskyist zealots to rip off the country in the cause if their equally clownish ambitions .It is monstrous. There are three options; Remain No Deal or May`s botch. Let us tell you what you already know and end this farce.

  60. Chris
    May 5, 2019

    The article by Brandon Lewis on Conservative Home is beyond belief. He claims that the verdict from the local election was due to the fact that May hadn’t got on quickly enough with Brexit. What is quite wonderful is that the readers of ConsHome have put him right in no uncertain terms. They are unforgiving, and not going to let him get away with it.

    The comments are very well worth reading, remembering that the Commenters on the site are the ones left after a purge of true grassroots Conservatives that took place a few years ago. So, if the left of centre Conservatives commenting on the site are very angry and are not going to tolerate the spin of Brandon Lewis imagine what the true grassroots Conservatives feel. I believe that Sir John has a good idea, as shown by his articles on here and in the Press, and his appearances of late on television.

    The problem is that May and her “cell” (a term used by Professor Gwythian Prins in his recent address in Washington DC, and reported on by Melanie Phillips in a very good article on her website) are not prepared to take on board the message from the electorate as they are apparently driven by a fanatical zeal to betray this country and make us a vassal state of the EU. Job done for the global political elite, intent on delivering One World Government, of which the EU is an essential component.

  61. Gareth Warren
    May 5, 2019

    I think too many people underestimate Corbyn, and I feel it was a serious mistake by David Cameron to egg on his election.

    He is an idiot if viewed on his economics, but politically he is patient and wise. He had everything to gain by talking to the government, but he appears to still be anti-EU and appears to foresee what a poison chalice the WA will continue to be for the conservative party after it is signed.

    I suspect he also sees what a load of undemocratic nonsense the second referendum would be.

    But Labour aren’t in government, while his vote has suffered a little, it is nowhere near as bad as the conservatives. I suspect every possible motion would be added to a agreement demand, such as only giving his support if it included a confirmatory referendum – which would likely spin things out to the next GE.

    At which point, if he won, he would likely give short shrift to the EU by dictating terms and present the result with EU folding or not as leadership.

    The conservatives have only two opportunities to save face, both require getting rid of May, either cancelling the EU elections putting the brexit party in a very weak position, or afterwards which needs a leader with some charisma, but before the end of the year.

    Whatever happens if the change over slump (brexit may cause a short term one) is delayed to combine with the GE then it won’t be good news, as no doubt Corbyn knows and likely is his number one plan.

  62. NickW
    May 5, 2019

    I lived and worked in the North of England of England for many years, with some involvement in local politics. The one thing that unites all Labour supporters is a pathological hatred of the Tories. Labour have already been hammered by their North of England Leave voters. Corbyn will be committing electoral suicide if he cooperates with May to save her bacon, and her MPs know it; that is why they are already losing seats.

    How did we get where we are? The mistake was made in the very beginning when doubt was cast on the referendum result and the implicit suggestion was made that the result could be overturned if people made enough fuss.

    The way out for the politicians now is to show true leadership and make it clear that the result of a Democratic vote must stand unassailable, otherwise Democracy will be lost; there is no other way to regain trust and respect. There have been many close fought elections in the past and many losers who accepted the results with good grace.

    Part of the purpose behind the demands for a second referendum is to devalue the electoral franchise until elections are regarded as worthless, which is the goal of the EU and the Globalists. There are some at the head of the EU who wants us destroyed for all time as a Nation State, and Parliament is assiduously doing their work for them.

    If we set a precedent by having a second referendum ,who then gets to decide which election / referendum results will be allowed to stand, and which ones should be overturned by the media whipping up public opinion? And who elected them?

  63. The Prangwizard
    May 5, 2019

    If your leader does a deal with Labour on the basis of the EU’s surrender treaty, which she totally endorses and fights ruthlessly to get, it with without doubt be one of the greatest betrayals of the people in democratic times.

    If the party and MPs can’t or don’t depose her now, every self respecting person in this country must do everything in their power to destroy the party.

  64. Ex-Tory
    May 5, 2019

    I’m starting to think that a second referendum would be good. Although it would be a massive insult to the British people, there could only be one winner: Nigel Farage. If the result was to leave, he would be the only party leader who hadn’t been humiliated. If the result was to remain, he would be the only champion of those who wanted to leave.

    1. mancunius
      May 5, 2019

      This remainer parliament would ensure that any such referendum would be so structured as to give a genuine Leave option no chance in hell of winning, even if 80% of the population wanted it.

  65. Wokingham Mum
    May 5, 2019

    Should Labour do a deal with Mrs May?
    Should Conservatives do a deal with Mrs May?
    The conservatives are currently the elected caretakers, their differing fractions need to sit down and talk (locked away in private for weeks if necessary – no leaking) agree away forward, with or without May. And then get on with it.

    1. Know-Dice
      May 5, 2019

      They did that, it was called “Chequers” and look what that has delivered….

    2. Fred H
      May 5, 2019

      Mum…..the only deal with Mrs May should be ‘resign in the next 3 days, or we will stand in the Hof C and shout over and over ‘resign, resign, RESIGN!’

      1. Steve
        May 5, 2019

        I’d like to see that !

    3. Chris S
      May 5, 2019

      Without the DUP, there is no way that any arrangement agreed by all Conservatives can be voted through.

      The Conservatives just don’t have the numbers. In any case, Members like our host are never going to vote for May’s shabby deal.

  66. Cis
    May 5, 2019

    That Wakefield councillor’s comment about Yvette Cooper is true of 80% of ‘honourable’ members, including May and Corbyn: they would not recognise democracy if it scratched them in their eyeballs.

    This arrogant, entitled generation of politicians deserved the kicking that they let their local activists take for them on Thursday. Next time, the activists should be standing with the kickers too.

  67. Jiminyjim
    May 5, 2019

    Sir John, having read the fallout of the local elections over the last couple of days, and listened to the PM’s astonishing view that all would be well if only she could get her draft treaty supported by Labour, I’m left with two questions:
    1. Are you prepared to continue supporting the PM until there is no Conservative party left for you to represent?
    2. Is there anything, anything at all that she could do that could conceivably cause you to leave the Conservative party? If not, then I’m afraid you’ll get what’s coming to you – political annihilation

    1. Fred H
      May 5, 2019

      Jim…..I think it has gone to far for the Tories. This government and seemingly majority of Tory MPs are facing a wipe-out. History will record step by step of the lemmings lead by Mrs May, and the couple of hundred who jumped over the cliff.

      1. Jiminyjim
        May 5, 2019

        Of course. But the lack of a reply by our host Sir J R, is monstrously depressing. Is there a single person left in the HoC that we can depend on to stand up and be counted at personal expense? Come on, Sir John, to be treated seriously, you absolutely have to have some kind of position which you recognise as ‘enough is enough’. Or are you prepared to watch as the Conservative party and our country are wiped out completely? How very sad that we have no-one left with the courage to stand up for millions of voters who simply wanted and still want a clean ‘Leave’ without a new and even worse binding treaty than the one we’re stuck in now.

        Reply I stand up for Brexit and for voters every day. My vote is always cast in Parliament to seek to implement the referendum. I was elected as a Conservative and intend to keep my promises to my electors over my own conduct. I wish to have a vote in the forthcoming leadership election to choose the next Prime Minister and in the meantime to be part of the group in the Conservative party trying to move things in the direction of implementing the result of the Peoples vote.

        1. Fred H
          May 5, 2019

          Sir John….all that relies on the Leadership being vacant. I am not so sure it will happen willingly, possibly by her kicking and screaming as she is bundled into the car taking her to Buck House. I also don’t think the sort of person you would vote for stands any chance with the mass ranks of existing Tory sheep MPs. As for moving things in the direction, it really is a magical mystery tour, with an unhappy ending at every turn.

  68. Peter D Gardner
    May 5, 2019

    The Tories can see a deal with Labour only as a deal between two parties, Tory and Labour. But that is not Mrs May intends, which is a grand coalition of Remainers. Her aim is simply that UK should continue to governed by the technocratic supra-national government of the EU. her Withdrawal (Vassalage – Accession) Agreement is her first choice. Failing that she will manoeuvre in conjunction with the EU to confront Parliament with a choice of No Deal or revoking Article 50. Her first choice settles the Brexit question for at least a generation and gives the EU a free hand to develop its future post Brexit independently of British influence and obstruction. Her revocation option – already threatened – at least allows her to blame Parliament for her betrayal.

  69. BillM
    May 5, 2019

    We should have left the EU in 2016 and at the invitation of Mr Tusk, commenced Trade Deal negotiations right after. However, Mrs May had her own ideas and over ruled everyone, much to the unexpected joy of Brussels.
    She, like ALL remoaners, ignored the prime reason of Britain’s departure – to regain National Sovereignty and deliberately side-tracked us down the time wasting Trade talks route to delay our departure.
    Because of this extended delay, the losers of the Referendum launched their attack on democracy to change the outcome of that Referendum.
    She, I believe, planned these delays around designer procrastination because procrastination is the thief of opportunity and she, a dedicated Remainer, who then surrounded herself with a Cabinet comprising a remainer majority, ensured she got her own way.
    Consequently her mismanagement of our leaving and of our country in general has made herself just short of a pariah around the rest of the free world sadly dragging the international respect for our country down with her.
    If we are to ever regain our stgrong status a la Mrs Thatcher, she first must go.

  70. mancunius
    May 5, 2019

    The BBC should not have allowed McDonnell to push his propaganda lie (on Radio news today) that a permanent customs union is essential as ‘investment in the UK is declining’.

    In fact OECD figures published at the end of April show that following a decline between 2014 and 2016, UK FDI has recovered since then: its increase in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone was £15,947 million ($21,050 million). The UK’s total FDI is now $1.89 trillion – more than twice Germany’s FDI of $920 billion.

  71. Chris
    May 5, 2019

    I see, Sir John, that you are asking for ideas of alternative names for the draft Withdrawal Treaty (twitter). I am sure a lot of people on this site could oblige!

  72. javelin
    May 5, 2019

    I would not trust May in any commercial negotiations at the bank where I work. My advice would be “Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” (false in one thing, false in everything.).

    1. Nicholas Murphy
      May 5, 2019

      Another issue right now is whether any politicians who have shown themselves to be putting EU interests ahead of the country’s can be considered worthy of Developed Vetting (Top Secret) security clearances. This is something that ‘MI5’ needs to ask itself.

  73. NickW
    May 5, 2019

    It has been suggested by posters on the “Conservative Woman” site that May’s ambition is to remain Prime Minister, and Dictator in perpetuity. She has after all, got the Security Services and the Head of the Civil Service supporting her.

    The Media are attacking Corbyn incessantly and they would doubtless be behind the nullification of any General Election which elected him, just as they were so keen to nullify the Referendum result. No doubt the Chinese technology would enable her to crush any dissent.

    I will believe this scenario possible until May is ejected from the Premiership; until then it remains a possible future; if May doesn’t resign “today” or “tomorrow”; she never resigns.

    Are you sure you know what she has planned?

  74. Chris S
    May 5, 2019

    We know that May’s deal is appalling and, in an ideal world, a new Brexiteer PM, supported by a more Brexit-orientated Cabinet, would go back to Brussels and request it be renegotiated, otherwise he would say, we would leave on WTO Terms.

    Unfortunately the H of C is not going to allow a WTO exit so that would be an empty threat, and Brussels knows it.

    Neither can we afford another election until a Brexiteer PM has had a chance to rebuild support in the country that has been so badly damaged by Mrs May, her hopeless election campaign and other policies, particulalry those imposed by Hammond. Even with a charismatic and likeable new leader and boundary changes, Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party is bound to take away votes from Conservatives in vital seats unless there is a deal over which seats the two parties contest. I can’t see the Conservative party agreeing to that.

    It therefore appears to me that the only way forward that would enable us to leave and cancel the Euro elections is for there to be an agreement with Labour. The idea of maintaining a Customs agreement until after the next General election is a reasonable one. The new Conservative Leader can then campaign to leave on WTO terms and Labour can campaign for a permanent customs union. However, it won’t be enough to persuade Brussels to drop the backstop.

    So that leads us precisely back to where we are now !

    The problem would be the deal with the DUP. Why would they continue the confidence and supply deal if their wishes over the Irish Border issue have been ignored ?

  75. acorn
    May 5, 2019

    What we really need at this time is a military coup d’état, just like a proper banana republic from the the last century. Sadly, we are short of capable Colonels or Brigadiers in our austeritised military asset.

    1. Edward2
      May 5, 2019

      Very funny acorn
      But poor irony.
      What we actually need is a Parliament that respects the result of the Referendum as promised.

  76. Roy Grainger
    May 5, 2019

    There are only two options. Revoke A50 or WTO exit. My preferred option is for May (or her successor) to announce the government will back WTO exit and gives Parliament the opportunity to revoke A50 instead which I full expect them to do with a mass of Conservative MPs voting Revoke. Then at the next election the electorate has a clear choice of Brexit Party (to resubmit A50) or LibDems/Labour/SNP leading a coalition to remain. In this case the Conservative party is then surplus to requirements and can shut up shop.

  77. Chris
    May 5, 2019

    In response to your request for ideas of alternative names for the Withdrawal Treaty, how about the “Unconditional Surrender Treaty” or the “All Exits Secured Treaty” or “The Subjugation Treaty” or (credit to Charles Moore D Tel c Dec 2017) “The Complete Capitulation Treaty”?

    1. Chris
      May 5, 2019

      Regarding The Unconditional Surrender Treaty, we are just past the anniversary of
      4 May, 1945. Significant?

  78. Ex-Tory
    May 5, 2019

    I really can’t see what all the fuss is about. TM says that her ideas about Brexit are very similar to those of the Labour Party. So why doesn’t she simply resign as Prime Minister and join the Labour Party? QED

  79. ukretired123
    May 5, 2019

    Neither Tory nor Labour can see a Win-win to succeed against the Lose-lose Withdrawal Agreement and both leaders are now toxic.
    Anything they cook up for us will be seen as poisonous and fatal to them.

    Nothing has changed except Theresa Mays outfits – all colours from black funeral to white flag – the message is just the same – to the electorate, to Brexit and to all.

    When May was appointed Tory leader Ken Clarke observed “She is a very awkward woman” but she is an actress trying to better Margaret Thatcher but without her integrity and honesty. Both were church goers but that’s where it ends.
    It will be brutal also for Theresa May and she knows it. Sadly she is not as smart as Gordon Brown for all his failings he recognised the game was up and went dignified but bowed and broken.

    1. Steve
      May 5, 2019


      “Neither Tory nor Labour can see a Win-win to succeed against the Lose-lose Withdrawal Agreement and both leaders are now toxic.”

      Indeed so. Anyone can see what’s going on here; Theresa May knows she’s done for, so her game now is to get Corbyn’s support to concoct a grand stitch up ASAP just out of spite.

      You can trust the woman will not go with dignity, she’ll make damn sure to leave something nasty behind because she was denied her chance to show off. It’s in her mentality, it’s all about her. Never mind the fact that she’s screwed up and left scandal in her wake at every post she’s ever held. In fact the only things she seems good at are being an actress and finding scapegoats when it all goes wrong.

      If she were physically a child she’d be stamping her feet and throwing a massive tantrum.

      And there’s the lies……..lies by the hundreds since she got into No 10.

      Now she’s in cohorts with labour.

      Truly a despot by any analysis.

  80. R.T.G.
    May 5, 2019

    Why would anyone think that John McDonnell and others in the Labour Party would be as naive as the so-called ‘Conservative and Unionist Party’ not to conclude that they’re trying to dilute the sh*t storm they’ve created by their own naivety, stupidity, incompetence and disregard for democratic principles?

  81. Lynn Atkinson
    May 5, 2019

    Nobody at all should ever do a ‘deal’ With Mrs May! What the Tory Parliamentary Party should do instead, is DEAL with Mrs May! pronto!

  82. Steve
    May 5, 2019


    Judging by the comments here I think it’s fair to say that government and parliament were very unwise to have enraged us.

  83. APL
    May 5, 2019

    Reports have it that Sri Lanka have expelled 600 foreigners of which at least 200 are Islamic Clerics after the Easter massacre there.

    Would you kindly ask the foreign secretary, or the appropriate cabinet official if Britain will extend refugee status to any of these people? Or indeed if any of them are ‘British’ citizens?

  84. APL
    May 5, 2019

    Really, Mr Redwood. Your leader must be the most inept and incompetent Tory leader since Heath lost against the Miners.

    She starts out by calling a completely unnecessary election, and loses twelve seats.

    Now she’s just decimated, Tory local council seats. She’s the leader who can lose you seats. Got five an a half thousand council seats? Invest with Theresa May she’ll see your investment returns of -24%

    Way to go!

  85. Ginty
    May 6, 2019

    Reading your book and – um – well.

    The bit on immigration. “Anti-immigrant populists.”

    A) They aren’t anti *immigrant* (anti people) they are anti mass immigration (anti policy)

    B) There is a law against being anti immigrant (racist) and in the absence of prosecution you should have presumed innocence but didn’t.

    C) In supporting this slur against ordinary people you are helping to legitimise the nullification of their vote – playing the Remainer’s game, perhaps unwittingly.

    D) This was a good opportunity for you to have praised our people for our tolerance and understanding in the face of extreme provocation by minorities within minorities. We know it’s not the fault of most migrants and have behaved accordingly. We also know how many lethal racist crimes have occurred against minorities – one. It is regularly publicised.
    (We are not allowed to know how may racist crimes have been committed against the majority, they have been that frequent.)

    E) You conclude in that chapter as though *populists* are the only group that could be capable of hatred. I posit that globalists might be too – we certainly have plenty of evidence of it directed towards older white people, especially since Brexit but it actually occurred long before that and was what actually *caused* Brexit.

    F) The whole premise of your book is flawed. *Populism* is their word, not ours. I would use *un-populism* to describe events better and how we feel about the traditional parties. We’d all rather UKIP/Brexit Party didn’t have to exist.

    Your party is over – un-populism is about to see the end of it.

    As a fervent Leaver I was shocked to watch Jacob R-M get totally drubbed by James O Brien (it’s on Youtube – I urge blog regulars to watch it) but I never placed my faith in him.

    I was holding out hope for you being our one and only but how disappointed I am to read you adopting Andy’s tone on immigration rather than mine. You really don’t get what we’re about, do you.

    So what made you presume to know all about what’s in our heads and go and write a book about it ?

    Reply You clearly did not read the book fully. The chapter on migration is balanced and explains the legitimate concerns of many people about high levels of immigration and distinguishes them from people who are racist

    1. Ginty
      May 7, 2019

      I’m still reading the book. That chapter concludes as I have reported here – that ordinary people have ‘been attracted to racist populists.’

      For one this is not true. For another *racist populists* is exactly the ploy the Remain establishment has been using to justify ignoring a majority vote – to defame those voters and then to disqualify them, it works on both a practical level and on a moral level in that those Remainers not only win an argument by being allowed to attach false labels but then feel virtuous about doing it.

      Thanks for the ‘tell’ though. If you thought anything like I do then you would feel equally aggrieved but clearly don’t. Well at my level (here in meat world) we are being told that either we are directly racist or that we are stupid enough to vote for racists.

      It is highly offensive. You’re clearly not feeling it.

      And it’s not your job to be balanced. Leave that to the BBC and if they aren’t being balanced then you being balanced equates to a leftist/Remain pull all the same.

      For God’s sakes.

      Arena bombings in which little girls are blown to smithereens, uniformed police officers and a soldier hacked to death in Help for Heroes T shirt – all the street crime we have put up with over the decades… we have been saintly in our tolerance.

      When is one of you going to acknowledge and praise us in public for this ?

      It certainly is not in your book.

      So WHAT balance ???

      Reply The book makes clear why many people do vote populist and discusses crime and violence. It is also correct to say some people are attracted to racist comments and extreme parties – that is not condemning the many who vote populist and the mainstream populist movements who are not racist.

      1. Ginty
        May 7, 2019

        Thank you for your responses.

        I can only hope that people read your book and these exchanges.

        Calling Brexit voters racist and stupid is core to the Remain revolt and has cost us Brexit. They apply this to every Leave voter – not just ‘some’ and I expect the same situation applies on the continent.

        Reply It is quite wrong of you to suggest I call Leave voters any such thing. You should apologise for your false slur on my words.

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