Invite Nigel Farage to help with an early many deals WTO exit

Now Nigel Farage leads the largest UK and largest EU wide single grouping of MEPs the next UK Prime Minister should work with him to secure an early exit from the EU. He should be invited to Downing Street as soon as the new PM moves in  to discuss the details of our departure on or before 31 October this year. The government should invite the Brexit party MEPs to assist in presenting our case for a smooth WTO exit, adding to government work on ensuring working arrangements are agreed for the main issues in an exit of many deals. Much of the work is already completed and agreed, including customs, transport and government procurement, but more could be offered and supported in the European Parliament as well as in further bilateral discussion between the UK government and the EU. Both the Brexit party and the government should accept that the Withdrawal Treaty is a no go for the UK, as the Brexit party made clear to achieve their win in the European election. The resounding defeat for Mrs May’s Withdrawal Agreement, commanding only 9% of the vote, should be decisive. There is no way we should sign that Treaty or anything like that Treaty, for the reasons often set out here.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Pominoz
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Agree wholeheartedly that Nigel Farage should be involved and also agree that the WA should be utterly rejected, However, the detrimental legacy of the outgoing PM may not be entirely eliminated just by dumping that putrid agreement.

    I have just read an article by ‘Caroline Bell’ (nom de plume for an anonymous high ranking Civil Servant ) on the website entitled ‘Vassalage or Power? Thoughts for Would-Be Prime Ministers’.

    If the article is wholly accurate, and there is no reason to doubt that it is, It is absolutely frightening – but worth the six minute read. It appears that, even if Brexit occurs as early as the end of June, Mrs May has committed the UK to paying a further full year’s budget contribution to the EU which amounts to £18 billion. Legal grounds for enforcement of payment by the EU are said to exist and it is claimed that insistence by the EU that elections did take place in the UK was a means of ensuring the UK’s liability for the payment.

    What is more, there is a written commitment by the UK that our MEPs will ‘be good boys and girls’ and not do anything to impede EU business. All this whilst having no say whatsoever in whatever the EU may decide.

    In other words, we are already a vassal state and the treachery of this outgoing PM, and the advisers around her, appears to have no bounds. I do hope that, in time, all those responsible will face justice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:28 am | Permalink

      Treachery indeed as one would expect of May and her putrid government. When she said:- “to serve the country I love” and burst into tears I assume she intended to say in full:- “the country I love to stitch up, betray and put in expensive handcuffs”.

      • bigneil
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Totally agreed LL – I fully expected her to be at the Hammiest acting awards ceremony, where she won, down to votes from the EU bosses.

        • rose
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          I curled up at the hamming and the plagiarism from Cameron’s last, genuine line.

          • Tad Davison
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

            Didn’t Major say something similar too?

            Just shows what these political nonentities are prepared to say in order to deceive a fundamentally honest and trusting electorate.

            Even when we give the political class an instruction, they still try to wriggle out of it with platitudes and false insincere assurances. Only when we vote them out will the public ever truly take back control.

      • Hope
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

        JR, please publish the current agreement for extension made by Mayhab. I think you will find it is agreed that there will be no negotiation during the extension up until 31/10/2019. It puts the U.K. in vassalage now as we write.

        Your party is done. There is no public trust. Gymiah announces today he wants a rigged referendum to remain as his ticket to become Tory leader!

        Therefore the choices are very limited and your nutty party, Widdecombe describes as having gone mad, is not prepared to leave on WTO terms on 31/10/2019.

        Tory associations need to oust these EU FANATICS. Good to see Lee had a vote of no confidence. They all should go further and oust them even by having a referendum to recall.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

          Well said!

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink


      Why is it I would not be surprised at what it turns out May has agreed with the EU in the fullness of time.
      She extended our membership of the EU we are lead to believe without even Cabinet approval, she came up with her dreadful Withdrawal Agreement without the knowledge of the Brexit secretary, what else has she done which still has to come to light !

      • Julie Dyson
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

        “what else has she done which still has to come to light !”

        How about: the price of the latest extension to 31st Oct was agreeing to pay a full year’s contribution to the EU — amounting to some £18bn or so — while of course promising to not “interfere” in any way (i.e. full membership fee without any actual say or rights, essentially already a vassal state even though we haven’t actually agreed to accept the terrible WA).

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink


          I was not aware that is what she has agreed to, although nothing would surprise me, so I would like this confirmed by JR or an official announcement before I comment further.

          What worries me is what perhaps has yet to come to light, which I think could be even more damaging to the UK.
          Not that I have any idea as to what that may be at the moment.

          But once you start digging it always gets worse, just like Company liquidations and the debt figures.

          • Fuddy Duddy
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            Surely a PM on its own cannot sign away anything without cabinet approval – otherwise what is the difference from a dictator? Am I wrong?

          • Hope
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Read Briefing for Brexit, article by Caroline Bell.

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted June 3, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          Julie & Hope

          Have now read the article in question, but still would like the contents verified.
          I am amazed (if it is true) that a Prime Minister of the UK would have so much power to act alone on such a decision, without Cabinet or Parliamentary approval.

          Any Comment John ?

    • stred
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      She had this signed when she was in Brussels begging for her extension, after her WA had been democratically rejected three times.

    • Peter
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      It certainly makes sense to go for an early WTO Brexit and to do everything helpful to achieving that aim, including working with Nigel Farage.

      However, that looks unlikely. I suspect a new Prime Minister will delay, kick the can down the road, avoid a General Election pretending to work on Brexit. They will then buy another extension and hope that the public gets tired and the Brexit party somehow gets derailed.

      • Dougal Hamer
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        What is a “WTO Brexit”? Can you define it, please? Specifically, how would the position of the UK, operating on the basis of a “WTO Brexit”, differ from the current position of the UK as a member of the EU?

        • NickC
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          Dougal Hamer, You asked the same question a few days ago, and you were given the answers. Is your memory that short or are you a mere troll (a time waster)?

          The UK has numerous agreements (treaties) with other countries on issues as diverse as double taxation and mutual recognition of driving licences. None of those permit the UK to govern those nations, and they do not govern us. So we can and will have similar minor agreements with other European nations. As we already do, in fact.

          A “WTO Brexit” means that we will leave the EU without a specific trade deal with the EU, instead relying on the WTO framework of treaties that already govern 98% of international trade.

          Remains frequently and erroneously say that “nobody trades solely under WTO rules” claiming that the various RTAs, MRAs, etc, alter WTO rules. They don’t. The RTAs etc modify the rules of the nations that make each RTA, not the WTO rules.

          • Dougal Hamer
            Posted June 3, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

            You are horribly wrong, Nick. The point about free trade agreements is exactly that they change the position under the WTO. Parties to a free trade agreement grant each other benefits which they then do NOT have to offer to other WTO members. So free trade agreements suspend the application of the most favoured nation clause under the WTO. This is why Brexit is such a disaster for British commerce – we lose all the benefits of the free trade agreement which is at the core of the EU, and we gain precisely nothing in return. Brexit means unfree trade

          • David Price
            Posted June 3, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

            This morning Vince Cable declared one of the reasons he objected to President Trump having a state visit was he was trying to destroy the WTO that we so depended on.

            Is he allowed to say that as the chief EU boot licker and will he be taken aside for a brain refresh later to remind him that “WTO” is a dirty word and we must obey the EU in all things?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 3, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            That is wrong Dougal.
            Additional trade arrangements come on top of WTO schedules.
            They help in simplifying technical product issues, quality issues and things like labelling and packaging and no tariff trading if that suits both sides.
            But world trade carries on regardless.
            The things that are already part of our EU trade arrangements with other nations can be simply copied across when we trade with those same nations as a free independent nation outside the EU.

        • L Jones
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          Easy enough to do a bit of your own research, Mr Hamer, and form your own conclusions rather than rely on what might be biased information.

          But perhaps you haven’t quite realised it yet – but Brexit isn’t all about trade. It’s about far, far more. And those things are why the majority of us don’t want to be our country to remain a member of the EU.

          You seem to be one who has been bamboozled by the ‘smoke and mirrors’.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink
        • libertarian
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

          Dougal Hamer

          We CONTINUE to operate under WTO framework. The EU currently also operates under WTO framework. However as countries dont actually trade , its companies, buyers and sellers who actually trade with each other. Countries just put in place regulations and tariff barriers to make it difficult for “outsiders” to offer better market rates for products and services . The EU like the current US government have put in place protectionist policies to stop lower cost producers competing . As only 8% of UK companies actually trade internationally it doesn’t really have a great deal of effect overall . Currency fluctuations have a far greater impact on export/import

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      If this is true, it is outrageous and should surely knock several more points off the Tory polling % which seems strangely to still be in double figures. Our kind host should have been asking for Farage to keep an eye on this lot from the day after the referendum, not now the good ship Tory is holed and sinking. Going down with the ship whilst ignoring the guy on front shouting “iceberg” isn’t such a great plan.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        But the day after the referendum we still had faith in the honour of our Government to deliver what for which the people had voted (overwhelmingly so constituency-wise). We didn’t think we’d have to fight for it.
        It only dawned on us slowly how they were going to try to stuff us. Now we have the wisdom of hindsight – Mr Farage has too, I daresay.

    • Annette
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Which is why the new PM should cede the Tilbrook case immediately & confirm that we lawfully left the EU on 29th March. Yes, that will make things ‘messy’ but continuing attempts to cover up unlawful actions to save individuals just perpetuate the perception that the Government & Parties cannot be trusted, are fundamentally dishonest & are not working in this Country’s interests.

      The amount of our money that is being spent on subverting our democracy & sovereignty to an unwanted foreign power is staggering. This farce must be brought to an end and people held accountable for their actions. I, for one, am heartily sick of watching those who appear to be working in others’ interests seemingly immune from prosecution.

      It also all reflects badly on those, some who may well be fighting in the background without exposure, trying to re-impose the honesty & integrity expected of elected representatives (regardless of individual politics) & our laws & procedures, somewhat trampled & bent to ‘fit’ the EU masters’ diktats. It’s creating a horrible mess, particularly legally as we seem to be moving from our bottom up ‘free to do anything unless expressly forbidden’ to the totalitarian regime type ‘you may only do what the State permits you to’.
      A light has been shone on the corruption which has been allowed to fester & dominate our Parliament. It must be acted on if Parliament is to be saved – Dark to Light.

    • Dorothy Johnston
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      I am wondering if Robin Tillbrook wins his case and we left the EU on March 29th, will this agreement still be lawfull?

      • Mark
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

        It may not be lawful anyway under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. There are provisions annulling treaties that are improperly agreed.

        • Ian wragg
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

          The EU is not a signatory to the Vienna convention on the law of treaties. That is why the WA is a treaty with the EU and not covered. This would confer Colonial status on us with the only exit being via an uprising.
          Remember Kenya, Cyprus etc during the 60s.
          The EU army would be deployed to quell resistance.

      • NickC
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

        Dorothy, Theresa May’s draft Withdrawal Agreement was rejected 3 times by the HoC, so never became law. So the dWA was never “lawful”.

    • rose
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Lord Sumption has written an extraordinary piece in the Spectator this week, attempting, with surprisingly sloppy bigotry and ignorance for a top judge, to justify what she did.

      Incidentally, he was the Government QC who said of the case against one of the EU treaties that it was just “politics dressed up as law.” How times have changed – until the Tilbrook case when that will no doubt be the dogma again.

    • Alison
      Posted June 3, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Re the commitment that our MEPs would be good boys and girls, I’m pretty sure that was in the letter that Mrs May signed on ?11 April, but WITHOUT authorisation from parliament. If I remember right, that letter is the subject of a legal challenge.

      It certainly should be the subject of legal challenge. Why didn’t all MPs reject it??

      How any UK prime minister could even put those words to paper, let alone sign them, is beyond me. Indeed, I think a lot worse of it.
      Anyway, I do not think our MEPs should take the slightest notice of this commitment.

  2. Old Albion
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Your Government has had three years to tell the EU we’re leaving on WTO terms and has totally bottled it. Remember “No deal is better than a bad deal” ?
    I fail to see the crumbling remnants of the Conservative party, electing anyone with the guts to tell the EU that now.
    Calling in N.Farage would be the biggest admission of Tory incompetence yet. Who among the those clamouring to take over governance of this once respected country would be likely to do so?
    I’m sick to the back teeth with the whole of Westminster. It’s an outdated monolith that needs root and branch modernisation, but we all know it will never happen. Just like Brexit in fact.

    • formula57
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink

      @ Old Albion “Calling in N.Farage would be the biggest admission of Tory incompetence yet”.

      Guilt is established in the public mind so admission is superfluous. What we need is the “root and branch modernisation” that would be shown by adopting Sir John’s suggestion.

      • Fuddy Duddy
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

        Altho calling in Farage would be good it will never happen as the Tories would be ridiculed from here to Kingdom Come so they won’t do it.

        • Jagman84
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          But May negotiating with Corbyn and Co. was perfectly fine?

    • NickC
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Old Albion, If we end up remaining in the EU, the HoL and the HoC are not necessary. If we actually properly fully (!!!) leave then the HoL and the HoC will be drastically reformed. In either case the miserable Remain Quisling politicians are on borrowed time.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      ”….but we all know it will never happen. Just like Brexit in fact.”

      And THAT is exactly the sort of stuff that is music to the ears of the Europhiles. Don’t give them the satisfaction! We MUST keep repeating what we know is right.

      Remember: ”All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent”. So we mustn’t remain silent, and we MUST NOT give up when the going gets tough.

  3. Nigl
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    Thank goodness for an outbreak of common sense. Unfortunately I cannot see it happening. Your people are too arrogant, Gove is allegedly saying he will put leaving back yet again.

    In any event how would your plan get past Bercow and the Commons where there is no majority for this and how are you going to stop your Remain MPs voting tactically to make certain a Leave candidate doesn’t even make the final two?

    Hammond, Clarke, Grieve etc would seem to,prefer electoral suicide?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Hammond, Clarke x 2, Grieve and all but three of the candidates for leader.

    • Gary C
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      “Hammond, Clarke, Grieve etc would seem to prefer electoral suicide?”

      There’s no seem about it they are working hard to ensure that happens.

      Donald Trump is right we should walk now, stop wasting time and do it.

    • APL
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Nigl: “Hammond, Clarke, Grieve etc would seem to,prefer electoral suicide?”

      They don’t believe the rank and file will follow through.
      They calculate we’ll have forgotten about Tory treachery by the next election.

      It remains to be seen, but the last general election wasn’t a vote of confidence in Theresa May’s administration. The council elections were an indictment of Tory conduct, the European Elections were a rejection of Tory prevarication.

      Can the Tory rank and file hold their nerve in the next general election?

      Maybe, a better question, is there a Tory rank and file anymore?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        APL…..the ‘leaders’ haven’t noticed the rank and file walked off, demob happy quite a long time ago.

  4. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–Damn right–Get shot of the waste of space nobodies we have at present–Put Boris in by acclamation and of course get Nigel on side. Wonderful stuff from President Trump who I hope makes Mrs May stew in her own juice. Did anybody begin to understand why Tusk’s offer of an FTA was not pusued–or indeed have the slightest idea? Thank God there seems to be some hope at last all round. It is essential that Mrs May be humiliated for what she has done to us so Brussels gets the message and by no means just that: it is because that is what she deserves. A pox on the EU and everything to do with the EU.

    • Dougal Hamer
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Leslie, the EU has always said an FTA is on offer, and it still is on offer – but first the UK must agree to the Withdrawal Agreement, which deals with money, Ireland and citizen rights. The talks about an FTA start the day the UK signs the Withdrawal Agreement, and not a moment sooner.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Dougal Hamer

        You might want to look up what FREE TRADE AGREEMENT actually means

        Dont EVER try and run a business

        • Dougal Hamer
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

          Libertarian, I know what a free trade agreement actually means. It means an agreement in which two or more parties agree to reduce or perhaps even remove tariffs on their trade and in some cases in which two or more parties agree also to reduce or perhaps even remove non tariff barriers (eg border checks, technical standards) on their trade. A very good thing. The EU is by far the most deep and advanced free trade agreement ever seen on the planet, which is why we have frictionless crossborder trade right now. Yet you (and Mr Redwood) want to take the UK out of this, and out of the other free trade and related agreements which the EU has with third countries elsewhere in the world. You must hate free trade. I can’t understand why.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

            But Dougal, where are the delays and dreadful queues of goods passing in and out of nations not in the EU when they trade with each other and when these outsiders sell to Europe and when they buy from Europe.
            A free trade agreement is advantageous but trade carries on regardless.
            Have you ever run a company that imported and exported goods?
            I have and there was little difference in the difficulties of time planning, admin and paperwork dealing with EU nations and non EU nations.
            Most delays were caused by strikes, staff go slows, computer crashes, sudden bad weather, road closures and so on.
            I would like you to explain what you mean by frictionless.
            Lots of pro EU fans talk about it but I have yet to hear anyone explain it.

          • MickN
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps you can give us all the benefit of your wisdom and tell us why a so called “Free trade agreement” costs us many billions of pounds every year.

          • Timaction
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

            We don’t want to be ruled by foreign unelected dictators in any area. Got that!

          • libertarian
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

            Dougal Hamer


            1) Its not free it costs £360 million per week

            2) It is a protectionist customs union

            3) As someone who trades internationally I can tell you that the EU is most certainly NOT frictionless

            4) There is NO single market in services and 86% of our economy is service based

            Just so you know I trade / have traded with France, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, USA, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Singapore and Sri Lanka . I used to trade with Germany but the non tariff barriers put in place for non German companies stopped me trading there

      • anon
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        If that is the case then it is evidence imho of bad faith in negotiating the article 50 process.

        In any case we are now at the point of unilateral exit. The EU
        surrender treaty is a nogo. So you are obviously a fanatical remainer. Do you even understand the concept of democracy as we approach June 6.

        If May had any balls left thats the day to unilaterally exit.

        A FTA means a deal on trade only. It does not require a new treaty with the EU which would effectively render a FTA meaningless.

        We need direct democracy, and reform to ensure that the voters cannot be ignored and managed away by those elected to serve.

        • Ian wragg
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          He’s not a fanatical remainer he’s an EU troll. There’s one or two on every blog.

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


          ” Do you even understand the concept of democracy as we approach June 6.”

          Obviously not the way you see it. So could you enlighten us as to how we achieve your concept of democracy?

          Personally I didn’t know I had lost mine in all our years of EU membership.

          Do tell!

      • Jack Leaver
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        The FTA is the bait and the WA is the EU hook that cannot be removed by the UK. If the WA was ever passed by Parliament, the UK would have to tow the EU line in perpetuity. See

      • NickC
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Dougal Hamer, Everything you claim is false. It is an RTA not a FTA (it must be registered at the WTO). The EU cannot have “offered” an “FTA” since talks about the content of the FTA would not have taken place until after the draft WA was made into a treaty. And the Hoc has rejected the dWA 3 times.

        The dWA did not deal with “money, Ireland and citizen rights”, all of which rely on separate additional agreements. The dWA was intended to be a treaty; and in principle it simply extended our general servitude under the EU, effectively replacing Lisbon. And the process you describe is not “talks” but blind obedience to the EU. Finally even TEU Art50 says that a WA is not necessary.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

        Dear Douglas–If that is all that was meant one would never have guessed it from what I read.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        The offer of a FTA was made for just Great Britain, thus excluding Northern Ireland. The attempt to split up the UK began from the start of hostilities. No doubt, a sop to Jonny-come-lately, Leo Varadkar, to keep him onside. And then the EU had the nerve to accuse the UK of putting the Good Friday agreement at risk!

    • cornishstu
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      According to Steve Baker that is what government agreed to, an FTA and what David Davies was aiming for but May went rogue with Olly and co behind everyones backs before dropping the WA on the cabinet at chequers.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      ‘It is essential May be humiliated for what she has done to us’.

      I ran this past a friend who has experience of these matters in a professional capacity.

      There are a small number of people who function without feeling the same depth of emotions as the rest, and to them, humiliation means nothing at all. Although they might say they understand, they are essentially emotion–neutral and can feel neither empathy nor sympathy for others to the same degree.

      That is why they should never be allowed anywhere near positions of authority because they cannot see the consequences of their actions or inactions.

      Going on my own personal experience over thirty years, it seems there are plenty of those types at Westminster. Sociopaths whose emotions are not genuine, who will do the most nefarious things with dire consequences for others, just so long as it furthers their own dubious interests.

      It is surely time we took advantage of the present situation and got rid of every last self-serving politician by voting them out, never again to have their like darken the corridors of power.

  5. agricola
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Well you have surprised me with some practical thinking outside the box.

    The meeley mouthed and spiteful thinking towards Nigel Farage, coming from May and her cohorts disgusts me. It is pure playground behaviour that only goes to confirm that May was a totally unsuitable choice for either the Home Office or number 10. Any half intelligent politician should be taking advantage if Nigel’s unique relationship with Donald Trump and his many years experience as an MEP. It does not take long to realise that it is a belief in the sovereign state of the UK and patriotism that drives Nigel. Once that battle is won I suspect he will walk away. I have never detected in him a desire for power for the sake of power that one can smell in so many of our prospective PMs.

    Can I suggest that you invite him to a good unadvertised lunch and get to know him. You both come from very different moulds, but you might be surprised at how much common ground there is between you.

    • formula57
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:06 am | Permalink

      I would find agricola’s lunch meeting suggestion more worthy if he was offering to pay for the meal.

      • agricola
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        What a banal suggestion. The fact that I can afford to is irrelevant. My presence at the dining table would be a distraction. My contribution to the Brexit debate is best effected via this diary. Having briefly met one of the gentlemen, a good meal, a bottle of wine, and a forensic discussion would be a good way to spend two hours. However I am not a main player, just one member of the electorate. My days of making executive decisions or acting as a king maker are long gone. I am however passionately interested in the outcome and want to see the UK a sovereign state once more.

        • formula57
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          @ agricola – No, I was not suggesting you be present yourself, rather just supply the funds you so readily propose are spent.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        We could ‘crowd fund’ it. I’ll give a sizeable donation!

  6. Everhopeful
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    For the unpopular Tories to employ a popular figure makes absolute sense.
    So it would be most unlikely to happen.
    If the govt had an ounce of sense we would already be out!

  7. Cromwell
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    When the American colonies were striving for independance Thomas Paime wrote
    “The more men have to lose the less willing they are to venture. The rich are in general slaves to fear and submit to courtly power with the trembling duplicity of a spaniel……………… from the errors of other nations, let us learn wisdom, and lay hold of the present opportunity – to begin government at the right end.” This equally applies to the situation we are in now

    • L Jones
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      We need a Cromwell. Have we found one?

  8. formula57
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Especially given the three wasted years of failure we have just endured, the next Prime Minister would be commended for showing resolve and purpose consistent with the Referendum result and 2017 manifesto so of course the resource represented by the Brexit Party MEPs ought not to be overlooked. Your suggestion is especially welcome in these times of division.

  9. Tory in Cumbria
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    Funny! Farage would run a mile if he were ever asked to take responsibility for anything (except his own expense account), but it would be good if the new PM did go public with such an offer, so his followers can see what a bluffer and coward he really is

    • L Jones
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      It seems you are a remainer, TiC.
      Remainers nearly always give themselves away by their boorish discourtesy and juvenile insults, as well as a self-centred certainty that they will suffer personally when we escape their EU masters’ clutches. And the closer they see Brexit approaching, the more personal, vitriolic and derogatory their remarks become. Good weather-vanes perhaps?

      Remainer = me me me me and me, and how shall I be affected?
      Leaver = the good of my country.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      How the hell do you know?

      You’re making unfounded assumptions about someone you have probably never even met. He has given this nation something none of the current crop of Westinster politicians has, save for an exceptional few – hope!

      You really are an insipid and nasty piece of work, just like all the other remainers who didn’t get their way and are now looking down the barrel of a gun with the word ‘annihilation’ writ large upon it.

    • Tony Henry
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      What a gutless thing to say! He achieved a referendum – and won it. He tops the polls in his new party! He is asking for responsibility to help the country in future negotiations. Let me ask you Tory in Cumbria… What have YOU achieved in life (apart from sniping at better men?).

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink


    I see that Trump has called on Britain to leave the European Union without a deal if Brussels refuses to meet its demands and urged the government to send Nigel Farage into the negotiations.

    Surely this is obvious to have any serious negotiation at all. Anyone who wants to take a WTO Brexit off the table is surely intellectually challenged.

    The next PM should just say we are leaving on 31st October and talk only about what needs to be organised/agreed for the mutual interests of the UK and EU.

    I see that Carolyn Fairbairn warned again that “the vast majority of firms can never be prepared for no deal” and said whoever replaces Theresa May should reach an agreement with Brussels. With an Economics (Double First) Caius one might have expected better. But then the CBI is surely just a pro EU pressure group with mainly large businesses that largely benefit from it at the expense of customers and other smaller businesses.

    Brussels is not offering anything that resembles a sensible deal – has she not noticed?

    • agricola
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      LL let me state from experience, the only thing members of the CBI fear is not being sat round the EU table where their particular industry is controlled by their equivalent EU players. They would lose their controlling voice.

      Most of these companies are already importing and exporting under WTO rules in parallel with trading with the EU. The mechanics of information distribution are well known to them. Fairbairn is there to stoke the smoke screen, thats what they pay her for. From what I have read, the very successful owner of JCB Sir David Bamford has no worries about WTO terms.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s called ‘vested interests’ LL. Keeping wages low, with tax-payer funded top-ups would suit the big corporations just fine.

  11. Dougal Hamer
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    There is not going to be any further bilateral discussion between the UK and the EU. How many times do you have to be told this? The EU has agreed the WA with the UK, and there is nothing more to say – the EU has even broken up its negotiating team. It’s over. Stop pretending that any new PM will get any further forward than Mrs May. The Uk has a very bad hand, and it doesn’t matter who’s playing it

    • libertarian
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Dougal H

      Wrong, we just leave THEN we start negotiating . You really have not got the faintest clue about trade

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Well said. May’s awful so-called ‘agreement’ cannot bind her successor (thank I Christ!)

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

        That is the stated position of the EU. No trade talks with an existing member state. If not, other EU nations may threaten to leave, in the hope of getting more favourable membership terms. The quicker we exit, the sooner we can talk in a sensible manner. The UK, anyway!

    • NickC
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      Dougal Hamer, You have been gulled by EU theatrics. The dWA is not a trade deal, so if both sides want a trade deal, of course there will be more to say. The UK has no more a “bad hand” than any other independent nation such as New Zealand, India, or Canada. And your phrase “further forward” is self-referencing, trite and meaningless – any outcome is further forward.

    • agricola
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      The WA was a draft agreement between May and the EU. It is dead having conclusively been rejected by Parliament. WHAT DO YOU NOT UNDERSTAND.

      The future is leave on WTO terms and just get on with it., or leave on WTO terms with a proposed deal that ticks all the boxes. The ball is in the EU’s court. Stop being so negative.

  12. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Sir John – WOW!
    Usually I get a lot of pleasure out of reading your thoughts. Today, I am totally blown away!
    Good thoughts!
    Well done!

    (PS I think you are the only person saying this though – more’s the pity.)

  13. J Bush
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Your suggestion of using the Brexit Party MEP’s is a sensible suggestion, given these MEP’s do actually have business experience. Sadly, the career politicians in Parliament are likely to disagree.

    There is no need for the UK to sign any Treaty to leave the EU and especially not that travesty May was trying to sell as a deal!

    The UK leaves and signs the trade agreements already struck with other countries, which can be signed off on exit from the EU.

    Trading with the EU can continue under Article 24/GATT of the World Trade Order.

    A reciprocal trade agreement with the EU can be negotiated downstream. Preferably with people who have knowledge of ‘real world’ business negotiations, ruling out any participation from most of our current politicians and all the civil servants.

    Do these career politicians really want to continue being seen as stupid to not acknowledge this IS a deal. But then, I suppose it is understandable, as they have no business/trade/negotiating experience and are frightened to anything other than the EU rubber stamping chattels.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Article 24 GATT requires agreement by the EU, which is unlikely to be forthcoming.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Not if they act in ‘good faith’ as they try to bind us to. But I agree, good faith is not likely to come from the EU, at least until the present crew leave and a new more realistic set arrive.

      • J Bush
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        OK if that is what you think. However, this would mean the UK and the EU cease trading. Who do you think will blink first?

        One country (the UK) who has trade deals with the Rest of the World, or 27 EU States who have just lost their largest customer because of EU intransigence and spite?

        • Dougal Hamer
          Posted June 3, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

          The UK has no trade deals once it leaves the EU. the EU has many

          Reply Untrue. Both parties have to roll over existing EU cum UK deals

          • Dougal Hamer
            Posted June 3, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            I’d check that with a lawyer, Mr Redwood. You are wrong. They are EU deals and once the UK leaves the EU, it loses their benefits

            Reply They are deals for the EU inc UK so both sides need to roll them over

          • Denny
            Posted June 3, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

            Dougal is right, Mr Redwood. The EU has legal personality in its own right, so the deal is not with the “EU inc the UK”, as you mistakenly think, but instead with the EU, irrespective of how many members it has. So when the UK leaves the EU, it imnediately loses all the EU’s trade deals too. You shouldn’t be getting basic stuff like this wrong even if I know you are not a lawyer

          • Edward2
            Posted June 3, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

            Denny you are still wrong.
            Yes the EU has trade deals and arrangements with non EU nations.
            And yes it is basic simple stuff
            In fact when we leave we will speak with these other nations and offer either to transfer those deals and arrangements as a continuing identical deal or offer even better free trade arrangements and deals.
            Do you really think nations will refuse either of those offers?
            Most sell more to us than we sell to them.

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

        You Wish!

    • forthurst
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      “…all the civil servants”?

      The civil service in its hierarchy is a self-selecting oligarchy much like the BBC. It is manifestly obvious that those who achieve ultimate pre-eminence in it are substantially anti-English globalists who are willing to use their influence to keep us wedded to the EU and to the ongoing process of replacing the indigenous population; however, to what extent are those people representative of the civil service as a whole? Without evidence, it would be most unfair to make such a charge. There are people who achieve their positions not only by their extremely sharp elbows but also by their memberships. It is sometimes surprising to find such a consistency of outcome in many spheres. What is for certain is that the Tory Party is far too blinkered and accepting of an imposed status quo to ever do anything about it despite the enormous damage being wreaked on our nation with impunity by traitors. Only radical change can save our country now.

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Phillip Lee, Bracknell Tory MP, loses no confidence vote. Lee (other than on the issue of Brexit) seem to be a sound chap. So what makes these types go so off the rails and become such anti-democratic EUphiles and to go back on the manifesto they stood on?

    Perhaps he should have stuck to his medical career.

  15. Steve Pitts
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    If they don’t do this, or we don’t leave on time, it would be a disaster for the Conservatives. The latest opinion poll would result in Conservatives having 26 seats including Wokingham and Maidenhead, but 305 seats for the Brexit Party, 20 short of a majority, Labour on 205, LibDem 33 plus the usual Irish Welsh and Scottish parties. So unless there is a solution to all this , the people will let Farage take over anyway. The next Conservative leader after that would not be very important.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      It seems from all we read that the Conservative Party is just about holding up, probably because people really want to believe it will come good in the end. It’s hard, having given your loyalty to one party, suddenly to acknowledge that perhaps it’s not the one you should be giving it to. And even worse to have to recognise that that loyalty is now misplaced, and you’re being actively betrayed.

      Like seeing the end of a marriage – you want to believe you can hold it together, but there comes a time when you’re forced to see it’s impossible to save it.

  16. oldtimer
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    Sounds sensible to me. It appears however that the May government has sought to prevent Trump meeting Farage on his forthcoming visit. Perhaps Mr Trump will meet him; it is customary for Western leaders to espouse dissident causes when visiting unsavoury regimes and after all Farage is a leading “dissident”

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      If not protocol, I thought it only courteous that the President should meet all the significant political leaders on his state visit. What could the Tories possibly be worried about with President Trump meeting Mr Farage?

      That suggests to me they are either looking at the opinion polls and quaking in their boots, or are being petty and churlish. So who made that decision in the first place?

      I’d like them to be held up to ridicule.

      • Pominoz
        Posted June 3, 2019 at 2:25 am | Permalink

        Agree entirely with you.

        Anyway, Tad, I’ll bet that Nigel has met Donald quite a few times over in the USA and that they are good mates on first name terms.

        I bet the President found it very difficult to simply use the name Theresa!

  17. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    Yes – that is positive – all hands to the pumps

  18. Dominic
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    An eminently sensible idea and one that should be embraced by all Tory Eurosceptics

    A Eurosceptic alliance is badly needed to deliver on the result of the EU referendum and to push back against Marxist Labour and the progressive elites that have now infected most of the UK’s public institutions

    The UK is not a region of the EU. We must assert our sovereignty and independence and to hell with the CBI, TUC and the Europhile cabal that now dominates the public arena across most professional bodies

    I want to see a no-compromise Eurosceptic PM. Someone with spine, vision and an iron will to defeat the enemy.

    I don’t want a PM who is prepared to manage or who is open to suggestions on matters of importance. They must have a definite mission to achieve sovereignty and purge Marxism and the ludicrously titled ‘progressive politics’ from our institutions.

    Leave won the vote and Leave shall have its victory

    • L Jones
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Agreed wholeheartedly.
      Except for the fact that they’re STILL not in any way ”elite”.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more! Well said!

  19. Simeon
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Amber Rudd’s article in the Observer is amusing. In it, she says a little of something to please every parliamentary faction. Of course, the result is that there will inevitably be those unhappy at the totality of what she says. Despite initially suggesting that the coalition government should find agreement, to her credit she understands this is impossible. She then moves on to the idea of a cross-party agreement (aka a parliamentary stitch-up), claiming this is the only sensible course – and further claiming this would constitute Brexit!

    My conclusion is that Rudd seems to think that a stitch-up can be done without the government falling and there then being a general election. This is putting a great deal of trust in Corbyn’s Labour to go along with a Tory-led stitch up rather than achieve their long-stated aim of a GE. Furthermore, Rudd seems to think that such a stitch-up would survive contact with the electorate, whenever that GE comes. She seems to be either very foolish or very desperate. The possibility she is both I would not rule out.

    Sir John, do you think there is any point in a prospective leader of your party who understands the need to deliver a proper Brexit for your party to have any chance of surviving as a party with broad popular appeal engaging with Rudd and her group? Perhaps this question is answered by your suggestion above to engage with Farage.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink


  20. javelin
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    I think Conservative MPs still think there is some kind or inertia or friction between electing the TBP party.

    Voting TBP is not like switching banks or utility supplier. Its a cross in a box 5 cm away from another cross. It’s even easier than switching between Shell or Total for petrol when you find (one company offers a less good deal than the other ed)

  21. Barbara Castle
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    If I was Nigel Farage, I’d think more than twice about associating myself with the untrustworthy and badly tainted Tories. The Tories are blinded by hubris and don’t have any answers to Brexit, so they would do well to embrace any offer from him with good grace.

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Your suggestion makes perfect sense, no one has any better idea of the working ways and thoughts of the EU than Mr Farage, the Conservative Party MEP lap dogs appear to have been absolutely useless in our fight for freedom.

    Will It happen, could it happen, I doubt if any of the candidates are big enough to offer such an invitation. and that’s the problem, you have to be big enough in Character, and sure enough in your own mind of your own ability to do so.
    Hence the reason I sadly do not see it happening anytime soon if ever.

    The only way I can see that Nigel will get a say, is if his Party win a General Election.

    • acorn
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Farage was a commodity trader and fully understands what a “Special Purpose Vehicle” (SPV) is used for. That is what the Brexit Party is, an SPV. It exists for one specific purpose and when that purpose is complete it will be liquidated. The Brexit SPV has no members only supporters; it has no manifesto, it won’t need one. It has one voting member, Nigel. But, it would make an excellent “no-deal” vehicle for the ERG / IEA.

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink


        It may start off with the one intended intention, hence the name Brexit Party, but as we all know things can change if it later proves to have a big enough following which will support another target cause.

        • L Jones
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

          Yes! The Brexit And Beyond Party!

      • NickC
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

        Acorn, Not only are you too impatient, given that the Brexit party is only two months old, you are wrong anyway. TBP already has a second aim “change politics for good”. Farage has made it clear that not only does TBP want a WTO Brexit, but that UK government institutions must be reformed too.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        That’s OK, then.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        For now……if it becomes a fully fledged political party, it could sweep all before it.

        • acorn
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          The last thing Farage wants is to be Prime Minister; he has absolutely no intention for the Brexit Party to be a General Election contender. He would shit his pants at the prospect of being held accountable for a £2,000 billion economy of 66 million citizens.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 3, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

            You remainers continue to underestimate Mr Farage.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Alan….The only way I can see that Nigel will get a say, is if his Party win a General Election.

      Well that becomes a real possibility as the electorate watch the Tories bickering over which magician they want to elect to in a swirl of cape, puff of smoke, and sleight of hand to immediately revise the WA, win EU trade deals, persuade approx 40% of the electorate that the brief spillage of milk is all over.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Come on, Fred! Embrace the future! Look forward brightly! You might even find you enjoy being optimistic!

        The only power that wants to TRY to stop us is the EU – and we’ve seen ’em off before in a different incarnation. We can do it again, can’t we?

        An anniversary is looming. And many of us count people of the erstwhile ”enemy” as our friends. But good fences make for good neighbours – we should have learned that much at least, though the EU doesn’t like the fostering of goodwill between nations. ‘Divide and rule’ is more their style.

  23. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    It is disgusting that Farage is being told he can’t meet Trump. Don’t we live in a free society anymore? Of course Farage should be invited into discussions. He has a lot of experience in the machinations of the EU parliament. He knows how scheming they are and he could be a great help to those in government who don’t seem to know much at all.

    • anon
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      The US president has many demands on his time, i am not sure talking with the outgoing “EU/ remainers” would be very useful.

      Words from the soon to be extinct MPs once a vote is held are pointless.

      We must exit the EU and leave immediately and bring in direct democracy.

      As for potential malfeasance in public office.
      I believe a recent court case is being heard may help in providing some clarity.

  24. Andy
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Mr Farage wants the UK to be like Norway. He said so repeatedly in the run up to the referendum.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Careful Andy, your whole argument is to whine “but people have changed their minds in the last three years”. To now say changing your mind is not allowed undermines your case, such as it is.

      • J Bush
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Nice one 🙂

      • Andy
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        I don’t think many people have changed their minds. People stupid enough to think Brexit was a good idea in 2016 are largely stupid enough to think it is a good idea today.

        You have a three year old mandate to deliver a Norway style Brexit deal – which is the sort of thing Farage, Hannan, Owen Paterson and others talked about pre-referendum. Indeed doing a deal with the EU which preserved all the good bits of being in EU was Vote Leave’s who argument.

        The trouble is you have all changed your minds. You have now done a bit more research (not enough but more) and you have realised that Norway actually has a bum deal. So, since the referendum Brexiteers have changed their minds and many no want a no deal. Something you have no mandate for.

        It is not me that has changed my mind. It is you who has changed yours.

        • Richard1
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

          You are misquoting them. I read Hannans writing and heard him speak before and since the referendum. He has never advocated a Norway deal – he’s always backed a Switzerland type arrangement, which would be better.

        • NickC
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          Andy, I am not sure why you deliberately misquote and misconstrue what people like Farage and Hannan and indeed the VoteLeave campaign, have said. It is a plain fact that a trade deal, an RTA, between the UK and EU is perfectly possible, and would allow trade to continue along similar lines to now. I would not go for it, and never have, so even your “you all” is wrong.

          Now let’s take Farage’s statement: “I have to say that everybody from David Cameron to half this panel say, “Wouldn’t it be terrible if we were like Norway and Switzerland?” Really? They’re rich. They’re happy. They’re self governing. That is a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question. Are you Remains so irretrievably thick that you actually cannot understand it? Norway is a half-way house; better than membership, but not as good as leaving, as Farage has always said.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          If you had plagued this blog in the months before the referendum took place, rather than just since you lost the vote, you could have seen some of us weighing it up and coming down against the UK seeking a position like Norway. And since the referendum it has become very clear that in any case the Irish government would not accept that arrangement.

        • L Jones
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Andy – I’m sure it must have occurred to you by now that the EU you voted for in 2016 isn’t the one that exists now, and that we certainly know a LOT more about it that has been uncovered and brought to our attention since mid 2016. Has it all been good in your opinion? Has the conduct of your EU overlords impressed you and evoked your admiration?

          You now know that there will be an EU army into which your children (if indeed you do have any) would be conscripted a few years down the line. And down the line is where they’ll be sent.

          If just that ONE FACT hasn’t made YOU change your mind, then, to use your own word, you have got to be ”stupid”.

        • John O'Leary
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

          Norway does not have a bum deal as you call it. The EFTA/EEA option could have been made to work for the UK as well.

          • margaret howard
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink


            ” The EFTA/EEA option could have been made to work for the UK as well.”

            We were one of seven founder members of EFTA along with
            Austria, Denmark, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland

            Since 1995, only two founding members remain, namely Norway and Switzerland. The other five, Austria, Denmark, Portugal, Sweden and the United Kingdom, have joined the EU in the intervening years.

            Don’t you ever wonder why?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

            Not with the Irish government ruling out any border checks such as operate between Norway and Sweden:


            “Is the Norway-Sweden border a solution for Ireland?”

        • Tad Davison
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink


        • Tony Henry
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

          Ah yes Andy those who disagree with you are stupid. You must be a remainer….

          • Andy
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

            Not at all. People who disagree with me are not necessarily stupid. Only the ones who believe in unicorns.

            Incidentally Daniel Hannan has recently argued on his blog for a Swiss style deal because, he says, Switzerland is in the single market. Except it isn’t.

            And as I have said all along you guys can all have your free trade deal with the EU. But free trade is not frictionless trade – like you have as part of the single market and customs union.

            All that a free trade deal requires is for you to decide where you want to put the hard border – in the middle of the Irish Sea or along the actual Irish border. That is the only decision you have to make – and then you can have the free trade agreement with the EU that you claim to want.

            So just make your decision and how you are going to lose Northern Ireland and then we can move on.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink


          Lol you can’t even think your way through one post

          Quote “I don’t think many people have changed their minds”

          Same post next paragraph

          “The trouble is you have all changed your minds.”

          Theres a Village with an opportunity for you Andy

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Yes. Rich, successful and free! Everything that you do not seem to want for the UK. Only for yourself and a Champagne-Socialist lifestyle.

      Oh.I nearly forgot. Thanks for this month’s Pension. Keep up the good work and pay your taxes!

  25. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Possibly invite some of the business negotiators that Mr Farage referred to in his victory speech onto working groups.

    Either way what has it got to do with President Trump.

    I don’t think we need his thoughts any more than we need Msr Nacron or ex President Obama’s

  26. George Brooks
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    You are ONE HUNDRED PERCENT RIGHT Sir John. Let’s stop faffing about and get on with it and get out.

  27. jerry
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    One flaw in your plan Sir John, the EC has said many times they will not reopen the WA, so it is utterly pointless to get Mr Farage involved, there are only three real options open to the new PM; 1/. Leave on WTO rules, 2/. Return the question to the people (question to be decided), 3/. Revoke our A50 request.

    Even if the new PM is forced into holding a snap GE, would those usually Tory voters who either voted TBP or sat on their hands during the EP elections really vote/abstain to allow Corbyn into Downing street? Stop pancaking Sir!

    “The government should invite the Brexit party MEPs to assist in presenting our case for a smooth WTO exit”

    If they are not going to do that (within the EP) anyway, without invite, it tells us all we need to know about their own aims, and why it would be very dangerous for the leader of the majority Westminster party to involve a party that has zero elected representation at Westminster – not even an MP saved from UKIPs sinking ship. Would it not be in effect the flip side of the 1960-70s, when unelected Trade union leaders were invited into Downing Street to help write Whitehall/Govt policy?

    Reply Both Nigel Farage and I recommend not signing the WA and not re opening it. The issue is the various deals for a smooth exit without it.

    • Andy
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      There are no smooth deals with out it. The EU has told you that.

      • jerry
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        @Andy; Door-to-door snake oil traders must love you!…

      • libertarian
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink


        I know you lack business experience, but deals are a two way street , why do you think the EU after 40 years still doesn’t have full trade agreements with most of the Worlds largest markets ?

        • Andy
          Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          Who does the EU not have a trade deal with that you want a trade deal with?

          This will be good.

          • Richard1
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

            The USA, India, Brazil….

          • libertarian
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:56 pm | Permalink


            The worlds two biggest markets




            India ( bigger than France)

            Brazil ( bigger than France)



            New Zealand

            Many many more smaller but rich countries

            Its like taking sweets from a baby

          • jerry
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            @Richard1; …might I add China, New Zealand, Australia, Canada (EU FTA still pending, not fully ratified), Taiwan…

          • Jagman84
            Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

            The EU has just one genuine Free Trade agreement (from the EU’s data) and that is with South Korea. The rest are association agreements or EEA member add-ons.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        Andy…..yes just like that trade deal EU with CANADA, that might be finally done after 7 years. A small ‘county’ somewhere in Belgium vetoed it. I hope Cornwall doesn’t do that to our proposed deals!

    • jerry
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; I agree regarding the WA, and I have stated many times my desire for a WTO exit, and that decision needs to be made now, without further negotiations -perhaps even without further debate in parliament, the HoC have voted and rejected the WA.

      As an aside, Speaker Bercow is out of order when he states that parliament must have a further say, they have already had three votes on this issue, two of then amendable.

      As for post Brexit trade arrangements, Mr Farage is not a business man, I believe he was a commodity trader before politics, has he ever run his own business, even if only as a Sole Trader? Better people are available, we need experts, even just those with experience, not media personalities…

      • graham1946
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

        But he does know his way around the Brussels Tower of Babel. He has negotiators and business people in his party and could guide them to where they need to be. Maybe what is more important is the will to get it done which was lacking in the May/Robbins pantomime horse.

        • jerry
          Posted June 3, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

          @graham1946; But so does Danial Hannan – next!…

          • jerry
            Posted June 3, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            Apologies for miss spelling Dan’s surname.

  28. stred
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    If they choose two Remainers or a weasel like Gove for the members to choose from, TBP should have nothing to do with the sell out. Loyal MPs and members (to the electorate) may then feel that they need to break away or defect.

  29. Christine
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I think Peterborough this week will be the final wake up call for both the Conservative and Labour parties. People are getting behind Nigel’s latest slogan “change politics for good”. After the constant decipt of parliament we don’t trust MPs any more. The best you can hope for is doing a deal where Nigel doesn’t fight any seats where leave supporting MPs currently sit. With the experience of leave MPs joining Nigel’s new MPs we could have a dream team to fix what is wrong with this country.

  30. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Farage should refuse to meet the next PM, it taints him with failure and puts off his Labour switchers. Leave on 1 Oct and you don’t need to meet him.

  31. John Sheridan
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Yes. 100 times yes. I just hope the next leader is wise enough to take note of your ideas.

  32. Kevin
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    This shows a generosity of spirit that could help make the UK succeed again
    on the international stage. Of course, it remains critical for the Brexit Party to
    make huge gains in Westminster. Three hundred Tory “Spartans” could have
    made a difference, but fewer than thirty? It’s time to make up for three lost
    years, starting with Thursday’s by-election in Peterborough.

  33. agricola
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    Just suffered Sam Gyimah selling confusion on Sky. Silly man is still selling remain. One does seriously wonder at the thought processess that are passing through his mind to be still trying to sell a dead parrot. Bye bye Sam Gyimah , not wanted on voyage.

  34. Longinus
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Hope Farage has nothing to do with the Tories. Why bail them out when he can replace them all at next GE?

  35. agricola
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Mark Francois was begining to make sense in the DT yesterday. I have written to him, filling in the ommissions and expanding on the possibility of leaving on WTO terms minus a deal or with a deal. Both are possibilities and should be on offer when Barnier or Tusk are called in to Number 10 for re-direction.

  36. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    The way I understand Nigel Farage, he wants a little more than just out of the EU:
    He is now on record to want to change the whole UK political system.
    That will require the Brexit party continuing and standing in national elections, competing with the current mainstream parties.

    After having achieved a so-called WTO/no-deal package, he’d be quite a competitor.

    • Ian Terry
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      It had to happen sooner or later the system as is has become totally unsustainable

    • libertarian
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink


      Absolutely . A major overhaul is long overdue. Our democracy isn’t fit for the 21st Century . Still the legacy parties haven’t understood that the vast majority of ordinary people ( ie not party apparatchiks ) have had enough . Our politicians override what the people want , appoint their friends and sponsors to paid positions at the taxpayers expense .

      We have the highest rates of taxation in a generation, yet we have austerity and cuts in major public services whilst finding endless sums off tax payers money to vanity projects and pork barrel schemes

      If I was writing a TBP policy statement it would be

      1) Scrap the House of Lords and replace with an elected English Parliament

      2) Directly elect the PM of the UK

      3) Ring fence public services , Government should be responsible for Foreign Affairs, Defence, Law and Order, Health services, Education, Social Support, Treasury services, Transport infrastructure, energy infrastructure . There should be no other departments or areas of interference . All revenues to be allocated to the above

      4) Vastly reduce the number of MPs to two per county , FPTP 1st and 2nd placed candidates elected

    • rose
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Dear Peter

      We have been told for decades that yet another centre party is required. The latest version has crashed embarrassingly. But what is really required, and has been for a long time, is a real conservative party. The last month has shown that there is a demand for that, and by Labour voters too.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Peter…yes that is exactly why the mass public support won so handsomely after a 6 week verdict. To think the majority of Tory MPs could still be stating they would renogitiate the WA, or wish to remain, sends a clear mesage to the voters….trust me at your peril.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted June 6, 2019 at 12:48 am | Permalink

      Nigel Farage is more ambitious than that. He wants to destroy the EU.

  37. Chris
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Splendid, Mr Redwood. More common sense and wisdom.
    President Trump is well known for his ability to identify what the real problems are and to state them clearly, not being cowed by the opposition. He too has suggested that Farage should be involved with negotiations (and also that we also should not pay the £39 billion).

  38. Ian Terry
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Ever hopeful.
    Ounce of sense? That’s a funny one. By my reckoning there are a 100 odd blessed with that attribute within the house and the rest are neither use or ornament. The Libdems are openly the fifth column party totally not accepting the outcome of a legal voting process and totally ignoring all the elephants in the room Euro, EUArmy and the Lisbon Treaty to name but a few. Farage should have been bought in at the start of the whole process. A lot hinges on the forthcoming by election if Brexit win how many members will fear the cold sweat on the back of their necks and think about jumping ship before the total collapse of any meaningful damage control?

  39. Mark B
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Good morning. And what a lovely morning it is.

    As negotiating with Jerymy Cornyn MP was toxic to the Right-wing of the Tory Party, so will it be the same for the Left-wing with regards to, Nigel Farage. Sadly I see nothing but further political strife.

    My solution to the impasse is to have another referendum. The choices on the ballot paper should be between accepting the WA or Leaving without one. I also believe that the electorate should be given all the information available including the AG’s advice.

    • anon
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Why we have had a peoples vote in 2016? A pretty good proxy in the EU elections.

      Just exit and seek a confirmation via the next GE.

      The EU after all is in eternal pursuit of “ever closer union” therefore logically the door will always be open.

      The issues will still be live for some. However those who seek to rejoin will have to win an argument HONESTLY and convince the people.

      Rather than claim to be something else to get elected.

  40. Christine
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    I have always considered myself to be a political animal and have always taken a keen interest in all such matters. I have now got to the point that we are just left with are words, words and more words which appear to achieve nothing and I for one don’t want to talk any more about the Conservative Party, its potential leaders, the House of Commons, Uncle Tom Cobley and all. The Conservative Party doesn’t listen, will never listen and can be consigned to history. Let’s not waste any more breath on them and hope in the meantime that the people of Peterborough vote in a Brexit Party MP. The faintest glimmer of hope in an otherwise depressing state of affairs.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

      I look at it differently Christine. If we don’t keep showing these wasters in parliament where they’re getting it wrong, they’ll think they’re getting it right.

      This is a constant relentless battle against an entrenched devious low-down deplorable foe that thinks it a legitimate practise to deceive us to get their way. We need to criticise, disparage, and condemn them in the most vehement ways possible. Further, if they do not respond, then we must play our ace card and vote them out. We can’t let up for a minute.

  41. bigneil
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Off Topic.

    I see the poor penniless refugees/asylum seekers/freeloaders can afford to buy motor boats to get here for their life of free everything. Are they all housed and fully checked by the NHS yet. If not then they’ll probably sue us for bad service. After all, THEY have more rights in this country than WE do. The £millions sent to France clearly did nothing.

    • MickN
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      This will not stop all the while we are picking them up and bringing them here. It will ONLY stop when we pick them up, take them back and place them on a French beach and destroy the boats that they have crossed in so that they cannot be re-used.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Next step will be to go to France and give them all Eurostar tickets to save them the trouble of boats.

      We are the softest touch in the world, no wonder they all want to get here whilst the Remainers say we are the worst. Why they don’t save them from the sea, then put them on a coach to Dover and on a ferry back to France heaven only knows. We owe them nothing, they have already spurned France as a ‘refuge’ so they are not that desperate.

      • rose
        Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

        One man at Calais told an interviewer: “The French make you go and live in a small village but the English give you a big house in a big city.” Another said “Here my mother cannot wear her veil but in England she can.”

  42. Halfway
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Yes, the sooner Farage is put to negotiating on our behalf the sooner the better, then the sooner we can join the US as a dependency, a bit like puerto rico..we’ll be able to make our own laws and set our own tax rates..yes we’ll be independent again..sigh

  43. Iago
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    My impression is that Farage and his chosen MEPs are left of centre virtue-signallers. He will compromise on free movement of peoples/immigration. He was quick to accuse Ukip of racism (unjustly in my opinion). With what grouping in the European Parliament has he aligned the Brexit MEPs? once again it won’t be with the nasty populists, who wish for a Europe of nations rather than a European Union.

    • rose
      Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      This is all tactical. He has one purpose at the moment: to get out in one piece without paying a ransom or submitting to another treaty.

  44. BR
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Correct, but the next PM probably can’t say that until after they are in post. Or… they probably don’t think they can say that yet, so we will probably need to read between the lines of the usual question-ducking when candidates are interviewed.

    I suspect they will drive and co-ordinate it through their own MEPs anyway.

  45. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Of all those who have announced their candidature so far I would say that Dominic Raab is probably one of the least untrustworthy. Maybe that’s just because he hasn’t yet had the full opportunities to build up his own long bad record, or maybe he has but it hasn’t yet been properly exposed by the media … perhaps being one of the best of a generally bad bunch is not much in the way of a recommendation, but pragmatically I would like to see him offer a pact to Nigel Farage under which the UK would without any question leave the EU on October 31st, deal or no deal, in return for which the Brexit Party would commit to actively help him to extirpate the eurofederalist wing of the Tory party, Philip Hammond and his ilk, if they dared to precipitate an early general election.

  46. Elli Ron
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    Sir Redwood,
    I hope that the process of selecting the two Conservative candidates will make long term sense for the party; at least one must be a Leave voter.
    The members are heavily in favor of a Leave voting person to head the next government, the promises of people like Gove are not worth, well, anything.
    I fear that the MP’s might be tempted by the “safe” option i.e. someone who promises to kick the can further, while we all suspect that additional time will not bring any changes to basic situation.
    Calamity Theresa has wasted three years and landed us in a bad mess, we now need to solve it well and not waste any more time, which is actually very detrimental to business which complains mainly about the uncertainty which these postponements create.

    While another prevaricator or a “Calamity Theresa continuation” candidate may seem a safe option, I suspect that choosing one as PM will be the final scene in the “Conservatives face annihilation” play.

  47. John S
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you but it ain’t goin’ to happen.

  48. John Hatfield
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    And Gove is talking about delaying Brexit until the end of 2020. Some people just don’t learn.

  49. Fred H
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    A lifeline for those remainers: The number of citizenship applications to become Irish (annually) since 2016 are : 568, 860, 1213, and 607 to end of May 2019. The numbers of applications for an Irish passport since 2016 are: 63453, 80752, 98544, 37258 (to end March 2019). So there you have it off you go!

  50. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    As the leader of the largest EU block it would make sense to invite Farages organization into any brexit planning, although if the EU keep to their word there will be no further negotiations.

    Fortunately the rest of the world has been rather eager to trade and deal with us.

    Here it makes sense to announce reciprocal tariffs with the EU, so if they grant us tariff free access we reciprocate. And then we grab with both hands the fantastic opportunity to deal freely with our largest trading partner – the USA.

    I expect the EU will not want to negotiate a FTA until we have signed the WA, I expect they will try to make us worse off with tariffs, but that virtually guarantees a recession in Germany and France if we reciprocate. Happily this is not our problem.

    Because we will be enjoying cheaper food, lower taxes and a wider market for our now more competitive goods.

    Meanwhile the machinations continue in the conservative party, the fact so many still seem to believe the WA is relevant anymore is odd, my only explanation for that viewpoint must be they watch very narrow news sources such as the BBC.
    A referendum is also touted, often with multiple options to leave to split the vote, while I don’t believe TBP will win in Peterborough they will be close, don’t these people understand what will happen at the next GE if brexit is thwarted?

    Hopefully we will get a great conservative leader who achieves brexit and tackles many of the other problems we have today, if we don’t I’m confident we will achieve brexit anyway.

  51. Ian
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Welcome NigelFarage indeed.
    Well the so called Tory party is indeed an utter disgrace.
    For my money and most of the people writing here today, what still calls itself the Tory party is an utter disgrace.
    The likes of Stuart Rory
    Gove and the rest, Boris yes, but I wish he had not signed the WA, I might forgive him , if he comes out firing on all cylinders, laying waste to nine tenths of what is left of his party ?

    Why bother , our Tory party is nowcalled The Brexit Party.

    Bring in Nigel and his team, anything less as you can see is a Waste of time and quite wrong.

    You can see that all the rubbish is still there, non of them have listened, hopefully they are looking down the barrel of oblivion.

    There will not be any change unless you get rid of this nest of Enemies of the State.
    As for that disgraceful number one Enemy of The State.

    I will go further, we will never stamp out Treachery unless you have the guts not to look like a bunch of Liberals.

    You have to bring back the Treason Act ofthe 1300.

    Treason must be stamped out , you are wasting time with no protection ?

  52. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    If I were Mr Farage I would have nothing to do with this attempt to save the Tory party. He will be tainted by association with a bunch of the unreformable and untrustworthy.

    However, let us imagine he is tempted and he were to be approached. His pre conditions must be the prior replacement of the likes of Hammond, Gove, Rudd and Javid with untainted MPs such as Sir John.

    And of course Olly Robbins and others if his ilk must go too.

    Promises won’t do, the clearout must be completed first.

  53. Original Richard
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    A suggested way forward for a new PM could be to go to the EU and say that a new EU referendum will be held and that the two questions of the ballot paper would be the EU’s offer and “no deal”.

    Remain would not be on the ballot paper because the first referendum had already decided the leave v remain question and hence it would be undemocratic to repeat it.

    The EU’s offer would have to take into account the result of the first referendum that the UK is leaving all the EU’s instutions.

    This second referendum would be for the electorate to decide upon the type of Brexit.

    In the meantime the country prepares properly for a “no deal” (WTO) Brexit.

  54. oneminutemoneymag...
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    I would add that Sammy Wilson (DUP) should be a full member of our negotiation team.

  55. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

    My criticism of your suggestion may still be in the queue but normally I can see it is ‘awaiting…’. This time I can’t. I hope on reflection you will let it through.

  56. ian
    Posted June 2, 2019 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    NO deals with the USA and no deals with the EU on anything, there just have to take it on trust, that means by word of mouth.
    People of this country can’t trust anybody in power or the civil service as well as companies to make deals for them, nobody cares about the people of England and they will be sold out at the first opportunity for greed and the NWO.

  57. Hoarder!
    Posted June 3, 2019 at 12:11 am | Permalink

    Farage has the correct position. Anything less than than won’t be good in the long-run or even in the short term. We need to settle the debt of the referendum decision without further interest amassing.

  58. James Snell
    Posted June 3, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Come 31st Oct Nigel Farage will have no further reason to campaign because we will have already don’t know why we are giving him so much attention

    Look at it this way the Summer Hols are here so with EU parliament not getting together until September and everyone sorting themselves out there won’t be time to negotiate anything much before 31st Oct.

  • About John Redwood

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

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page