Negotiating our way out of the EU?

In the muddle of the tv debate on Tuesday there were three positions advanced on how to get out of the EU, and effectively three positions on when to get out.

Mr Stewart argued that Parliament had to pass the Withdrawal treaty it has thrice rejected. That looks very unlikely. In default of that he invented all sorts of new processes which would entail a long delay in exit. HIs further consultation with the public might well be designed to move towards a  second referendum or some other way to stop Brexit altogether.

Messrs Hunt, Javid and Gove argued there had to be a renegotiation, with efforts at least to remove the backstop from the current Withdrawal treaty. It is difficult to believe any of this. The EU has made clear they do not intend to re open the Withdrawal Treaty issues. Changing the Political declaration would not change the backstop or any of the other bad features of the draft Treaty. There is no obvious authority to negotiate with before the new Commission is formed. It seems impossible for a new PM to engage in talks, get meaningful changes to the Treaty and put it through Parliament before October 31. Two of the three countenanced a short delay to get an agreement, with Mr Gove favouring a delay until  end December 2019.

Mr Johnson insisted on exit on 31 October. He has in mind offering a free trade deal to the EU. If they will agree to talks on such a proposition then the UK need not impose any new tariffs on them as we leave, nor them on us. Under GATT 24 there would be ample time to discuss the Free Trade Agreement whilst continuing to trade without tariffs whilst doing so. If the  EU refuses to discuss a Free Trade Agreement then we leave without a deal and impose the same tariffs on the EU as we impose on everyone else. They do the same to us. The EU has always said they are interested in a free trade agreement but it has to be negotiated after we have left.

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  1. formula57
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Fair enough that “Mr Johnson…. has in mind offering a free trade deal to the EU” (although let us keep in view trade deals do not always do only good) but the worry remains that he may betray us with resurrection in some form of May’s Withdrawal Surrender (for which he once voted).

    • Nigel E
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I suspect he’ll be happy if the backstop can be time limited or better removed, forgetting the many other as bad features of the WA.

      I am not at all confident that BJ will keep his promise to leave on 31st Oct.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

        Nor am I but he is the best/only hope. The Brexit party should keep him in line. Any betrayal will kill the Conservative Party and quite rightly so.

        So Theresa May will not say who she voted for! Well she will certainly have voted for Jeremy Hunt who is just her disaster continued. Slightly less robotic perhaps. Another pro EU, socialist, pusher of climate alarmism and the dire NHS and with no ballot box appeal – just like her.

      • Hope
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        According to Damian Colin’s on TV with Brillo Johnson only intends to change the backstop! Brillo asked several times because it was not commensurate with Johnson’s claims that Mayhabs deal was dead.

        So which is it JR?

        I do not hink the public will accept only changes to the backstop. The full horrors of Mayhabs servitude plan are now in the public domain. Mayhab wanted to rush it through without scrutiny.

    • NickC
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Formula57, The problem is not Boris Johnson – if he becomes PM – the problem is the EU. Over 45 years experience shows that the EU is not interested in free trade, the EU is interested only in extending its power.

      That is why many of us have advocated (note to Remains: advocacy is not a “promise”) that we walk away from both a withdrawal agreement and a trade “deal”. It may be possible to safely make some minor agreements, from aviation to driving licences, because they are internationally governed or commonplace, and therefore not open to the EU to manipulate.

    • Hope
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      JR, your views on Ivan Rogers analysis of these proposals in the Spectator please.

      He seems to think the EU will not negotiate and the UK will return with its tail between its legs begging for a trade deal which will cost more than the current servitude plan.

      • Hope
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        If Tories have the brains his first task would be to change postal voting. Second task, radical change to BBC to put the fear of God into the corrupt extreme left wing bias organisation that flouts the will of the people and its very purpose.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

          Exactly. But he has no majority and more than half of the Tory MPs are lefty tax to death, pro EU, anti-democratic remainers …. full of green crap too ….. just like Hunt, May, Hammond, Osborne and indeed the BBC.

        • Andy
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          Postal Votes need to be abolished. To get one should be very difficult.

          As to the BBC following its behaviour this week I think it needs to have the license fee abolished and made subscription, but also subject to competition policy like everyone else, and that means it would have to be broken up.

          • Pominoz
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:00 am | Permalink

            Please, please, please, Andy, change your ‘monica’, even if only marginally and relate it back that you were the sensible Andy.

          • DJE
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

            During my time in HM Forces, many of us relied upon postal votes to enable to cast a vote in whatever election were taking place. There are many people who needs them, simply because some abuse the privilege is not justification to remove the capability altogether, just to reform it.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        His views are interesting & given the position he held they do illustrate why first Cameron and then May failed in their negotiations. you cannot negotiate on your knees as these sort of people seem to think is appropriate when a nation addresses the EU.

      • NickC
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Hope, It’s quite possible the EU will refuse to negotiate in the hope that the UK will buckle. That is why walking away from the EU is so necessary. We should leave our door open for when the EU gets over its hissy fit.

      • Bob
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        “the UK will return with its tail between its legs begging for a trade deal”

        That’s not how you should deal with bullies. No deal, no £39 billion, no Irish border posts, no problem.

        • Richard Evans
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

          BOB…….. plus you know where we are.Take it or leave it.

      • Keiron
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        I would like to know too. Rogers seems very well informed, and he treats the ERG (especially Rees Mogg) with total scorn

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Sure. The immediate point here is what Mr Johnson says at face value NOW ” Leave on 31st October.”

      He has, thus far, lead by such a march because the Tory MPs sitting in marginal seats know full well that core Tory voters still want to leave the EU completely and that this is the message that will resonate with them.

      So why are are we still hearing about a second referendum and Brino ?

      The BBC has been busy agenda setting rather than reporting the news. A state enforced organisation such as this has no place except behind an iron curtain. It must go.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Indeed BBC propaganda (lefty, pro EU, big government, regulation and tax pushing, anti-democratic, climate alarmist, PC drivel, diversity, enforced “equality”, anti-landlord drivel …… causes huge harm to the nation.

        Plus we are even forced to pay taxes to fund these daft, lefty, anti-democratic, art graduates, to tell us how we should think!

      • Doug Powell
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        I too, have been struck by the similarity between the Russian people of the USSR era and Pravda, and the UK citizens of 2019 and the BBC!

    • Barry Young
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      If he does that, the Brexit Party will win the General Election that would follow. They would then be free to implement the UK leaving under WTO rules and should the EU want to talk about a free trade deal, the door would be open.

      It is the only way to get a fair deal from the EU. At the moment they hold the whip hand, as soon as it is taken away from them, matters will change rapidly.

  2. Shirley
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    I truly fear the WA agreement with the EU. I fear that the Remainer MP’s will back it, if they think they cannot stop Brexit. It’s a bad deal, but I think the Remainers are desperate and arrogant enough to do the dirty on the UK. They have used every dirty trick in the book.

    The WA must be binned, for the sake of the country. Let the EU sink or swim on it’s own merits without our £39bn.

    The best and most permanent solution is a GE, so we can rid the Commons of the undemocratic MP’s. Then we will have a majority of MP’s all pulling for the UK. The danger, of course, is that they will lie and defraud the electorate with promises they never intend to keep, merely to get elected. We need some sort of recall for MP’s who lie to their constituents.

    • oldwulf
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Shirley – please take a look at petition 241276.

    • James Bertram
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      Shirley – all your wishes might come true soon.

      This is Andrew Lilico in the Telegraph on a Cons – Brexit Party pact:
      ‘Nigel Farage has nothing to gain, and the Conservatives have everything to lose
      Boris Johnson is going to win the Tory leadership election, with the result announced on July 22nd. When he wins, he will probably face an instant no confidence motion from Jeremy Corbyn. If he wins that no confidence motion, he may take that as a justification for proroguing Parliament to effect No Deal.
      That means he will probably be voted down in that confidence motion…..’

      After the defeat of Labour’s recent motion to seize control, didn’t Corbyn mutter something along the lines of ‘Wait until September?’
      Are the Conservative ultra-remainers (Grieve, May, Hammond and co.) going to vote Johnson’s government down at the earliest opportunity?

      Are the Brexit Party ready for this – a General Election in September?
      Is the Conservative Party irredeemably divided – thus, vote Conservative and you get either more of the same shambles and uncertainty or, more likely, get Corbyn.
      Vote Brexit Party and clear the swamp?

    • NickC
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Shirley, Remain MPs have already lied and defrauded the electorate with promises they never intended to keep, in the manifestos (note to Remains: manifestos are promises) during the 2017 general election.

      Remain MPs must be brought to understand that democracy is not for them to pick and mix – “oh, I don’t like that Referendum result, so I’ll ignore it”, they say. Why should we obey their elections and laws, if they won’t obey ours? And again – for Remains – preventing the implementation of our 2016 vote is not the same as advocacy.

    • Hope
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      The remainers will vote with Corbyn for no confidence. A general election will take place.

      EU fanatics Clarke, Letwin have already stated they are standing down so ousting them makes no difference. Boles, Soubry, Woolaston and Allen have already basically left. Then there are those where the writing is on the wall to be ousted: Lee, Greive, Gauke.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Hope (springs eternal) ..thats the bottom of the rotten barrel gone, but there are plenty more bad apples floating to be netted out and squashed.

  3. Pominoz
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Well, at least Rory Stewart is out of the running – thank goodness.

    The answer is so blooming obvious, for all the points you make today. Out on 31st October – or preferably earlier – on WTO terms. All those who voted leave know it, Some who voted remain, but respect the referendum result, know it. Experts from all spheres assert that any difficulties in leaving will be modest and short-lived. It is only those ‘know best’ MPs who seem determined to continue to stop the UK leaving, either soon, or at all.

    Good luck to Boris. I have concerns, each in different ways, about the other four remaining candidates and, unfortunately, not 100% confidence that Boris himself will find a way to deliver on time – either because he is thwarted, or because the precise details of his strategy, yet to be disclosed, suddenly reveal a ‘necessary’ delay.

    The end of this long running saga, caused in the main by duplicitous PM, is well overdue. Halloween is an absolute deadline.

    • Helena
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

      Not a single leave campaigner in 2016 suggested we would leave on WTO terms. They all said we would get a great deal, and the official Leave paperwork explictly said the Art 50 notification wouldn’t even be sent until a deal was agreed. There is no mandate for leaving on WTO terms.

      • Zorro
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        Wrong – the EU has always said that they would only agree a trade deal after we have left. If they impose new tariffs, we will be in credit and can take plenty of measures to counter any effects from their introduction. The EU can, of course, maintain tariff free access to treasure island if they reciprocate. Where there’s a will….


        • GilesB
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

          Art. 50 specifies precisely the opposite: the Withdrawal Agreement should be negotiated taking into account the future relationship .

      • Leo Savantt
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

        There really is no such thing as no deal, HMG and the EU have already made numerous arrangements on transport, security, travel, and financial transactions, to come into force if the WA is not implemented.

        Furthermore if the UK leaves 31st October without the WA, it is the start of a processes of making deals, sheltered for two years by GATT 24. The new Commission will not have nailed their colours to the WA mast and will be able to be politically less intransigent.

        Finally it is not just the UK that decides, the EU might not grant an extension, Macron has a veto and has already said he will use it (OK he is not known for his honesty but it is a possibility).

      • mickc
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        The Remain campaign, including all party leaders, said leaving meant leaving the Single Market, the Customs Union etc.

        The point was made very clearly.

      • Ian
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        No one suggested as the only thing on the table was a ‘clean break’, which what was voted for in the manifestoes of the majority in Parliament. Parliament also passed a law with the majority agree that was to be the only situation.

        Mrs. May as a remain supporter invented all the other stuff so as delay everything as long as possible as she didn’t want the UK taking control of its own destiny. The preference was far Parliament to rubber stamp laws passed to it by un-elected Overlords.

      • Hope
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        Rot. Leavers were talking about a trade deal as ‘the deal’ not withdrawal agreement being the deal.

        Mayhab conflated the two to make it sound the same when it is clear they are totally separate things. Instead of negotiating our future relationship (where the Irish backstop belongs) per Article 50 she agreed to sequencing of talks. That is why we are where we are and no discussion or agreement whatsoever about a trade deal after three years! The woman is mad.

        You might also recall she said a line by line examination for the outstanding commitments. She offered £20 billion but the EU demanded far more and hidden under principles. The Treasury came up with the Illusory and false figure of £39 billion. We were also told by liar Mayhab that nothing agreed until everything agreed. There is no trade deal so why has she agreed to pay any money! She needs taking to task on these lies.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        No one was aiming for WTO but for successful negotiations it was always an option.

        YES. It was mentioned.

      • NickC
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

        Helena, What both campaigns engaged in was advocacy, not promises. Neither side was going to form a government. Advocacy is not a manifesto promise. The fact that the government then failed to take VoteLeave’s advice after we won, is the government’s fault, not VoteLeave’s.

        Moreover, your absurd claim that: “Not a single leave campaigner … suggested we would leave on WTO terms”, is false. Gerard Batten even wrote a book about it. I and many others on here or elsewhere advocated walking away from the EU, for the pretty obvious reason that the EU is power obsessed and cannot be trusted.

        • Bob
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

          I tried several times to post a link to Gerard Batten’s on-line pdf (The Road to Freedom) but it was never allowed by our venerable host.

          It sets out very clearly the most efficient and effective method of dealing with the EU. It’s no wonder the BBC took such a palpable dislike to Mr Batten.

          • Mark B
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:40 am | Permalink




      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        We will get a great deal, but it will be negotiated after we leave. The EU always said that – a trade deal after we leave!

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        The Rules of the EU dictate that any nation exiting the protectionist bloc will do so on WTO terms. They will not talk about a FTA until after we are out. All the more reason to leave sooner, rather than later.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        ”Mr Stewart argued that Parliament had to pass the Withdrawal treaty it has thrice rejected. That looks very unlikely.”

        It’s the word ”unlikely” that is not exactly confidence-inspiring.

        If Mr Johnson voted for it once, at its most recent presentation, who’s to say (if HE doesn’t) that he won’t resurrect it?

      • Pragmatist
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        Cameron promised he would sign Article 50 no later than the morning of 24th June 2016

      • Stred
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        The EU refused to negotiate a deal before their colonial agreement and ransom was paid. There was no promise to get a trade deal prior to the leaving. The government leaflet did not say that we would continue in the single market. The campaign claimed we would have access to it, as other countries do. We will only obtain a trade deal after we leave and EU products are subject to the same tariffs as the rest of the world.

        • L Jones
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

          It’s not a ‘ransom’ though, is it? It’s a bribe offered in the interests of trade. Surely that’s illegal?

      • rose
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        You are contributing to the blog of someone who did, in company with others who did. What was the point of coming out of the oppressive treaties, only to go back into another? There wasn’t any need to use article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty either. All that was necessary was to repeal the 1972 legislation, write a polite letter, and leave. Our relations with our friends and neighbours would be better if we had done it that way, and our economy would have been spared three years of excruciating uncertainty and shambolic government.

        • NickC
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          Rose, That is correct. It is amazing how Remains continually fool themselves with their own propaganda, and then get taken by surprise when a something happens that they don’t expect. And then they wail that “no one” told them about it. Actually people did tell them, but they were deaf to it; or they believed the BBC.

      • TomTomTom
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        I don’t remember any Remain Campaigner saying that there should be another referendum either.

        In fact, I distinctly remember them saying they would “Respect the result of the referendum”.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Unlike Farage of the Leave campaign who is quoted as saying:

          “In a 52-48 referendum this would be unfinished business by a long way. If the remain campaign win two-thirds to one-third that ends it.”

          • libertarian
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink


            Absolutely no one is stopping you forming a political party and campaigning for 40 years to join the EU. The only problem you’ve got is you would have to come up with some reasons to join and so far none of you remainers have come up with any

      • Mike Ferro
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Where is the mandate for refusing to leave on WTO terms?

      • Richard1
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        unfortunately the strategy recommended by the leave campaign – to propose a comprehensive FTA – was never tried. It was certainly not suggested by anyone in the Remain camp, nor in Remain literature, that if we could not agree a deal to the EU’s liking then we would just ignore the referendum and remain in the EU.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        Leave campaigners didn’t dream that Remainers would be doing the ‘negotiating’ (taking Brussels dictation actually) and sabotaging the process with the intention of making it all so long and complicated that the people would turn against it. They succeeded in the first two, but the people are still for Brexit, so just get on with it. Also, it is the EU which will not talk about a deal until their punishment terms are met. Why you still love this EU set up is beyond my imagination.

      • oldrightie
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Wrong. Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty specifically says that WTO was the default option after two years of invocation. That treaty obligation was broken by May and the EU. A court case is in progress to rule on that breach. Regardless, “no deal” is a misnomer. WTO is an EU treaty fact.

      • EastDevon Tory
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

        Few peole are aware of the measures already in place on both sides in the event of No Deal. Of course the BBC and Remaoners do not want this information to be known by the wider general public:
        Even Sir Mark Sedwill has confirmed the UK is “in pretty good shape” for a No Deal outcome.

      • Fed up with the bull
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        Helena, can I suggest you take your ear muffs off. You obviously didn’t hear what Cameron told us.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


        Were you not paying attention, Cameron , Osbourne and Clegg ALL told us that leaving meant leaving everything

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Agreed, let us hope Boris has the guts to deliver and does not bottle it. It will not be easy with all the dire, lefty, pro EU, big government, anti-democratic MPs in his party.

      Rory might make a leader for the Labour Party or Libdims perhaps but he is not a Conservative.

      • Hope
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Boris is not conservative. That notion has long passed. There is no conservatism in the Tory party. It is a left wing tribute band to Blaire. A few MPs exist, but until root and branch reform so it is in line with its membership it is done. Hague started the top down know best and ignore its membership.

        Associations are no more than serfs to raise cash and cheaply act as a postal service. Associations needs to get some respect back being able to shape policy, being able to appoint their own conservative MP not a left wing liberal clone from CCHQ. Two thirds of Tory MPs are EU left wing liberal clones. Brought about after Thatcher.

        Bruce Newsome and others evidences and chronicles it very well.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Some truth in that but I think Boris might deliver despite all those lefty Conservative MPs. If not a new Brexit/Sound Conservatives party will be the only solution.

        • Richard Evans
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

          HOPE – Fully agree but the people still have not woken up. Do they not remember Cameron stating he was Heir to Blair and STILL they vote for the conservative party. The C&U party has long been gone.

          Boris is a likeable fellow but he “runs with the hare and hunts with the hounds”: check his background. Should he be voted in as PM and not deliver Brexit he along with the C&U party are totally finished. Maybe that thought is our only hope of Brexit with this regime? I still want the UK MSM to tell the people why MAY resigned. Brexit had nothing to do with it.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink


        Boris does at least have more credibility than the others. If he does make it, and genuinely delivers Brexit on time, then he deserves our support. We leavers need to do what we do best and keep the pressure up on the remainers until such time as they can be removed from office via the ballot box.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

          Indeed he deserves a chance he is the last hope.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        Nor of course is Jeremy Hunt. He too is essentially an anti-democratic, pro EU, big state, socialist. He would certainly be a disaster at any general election due to his total failure to address the disaster that is the current NHS system for five years. A dire state monopoly that kills thousands every year.

        He also is rather robotic in the May mode (though not quite as dire). He generally talks as if addressing rather dim primary school children in the same way.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

      Rory is now going to be King Maker, apparently. Stop Boris. (I don’t care either way)

  4. Mark B
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    People really do need to listen to Mr.Barnier. He has made it quite clear that there are ONLY 3 options on the table.

    1. Sign the WA (Treaty)

    2. Leave with out signing the above.

    3. Revoke Art.50

    We have rejected the first one. The second one is what the people voted for. The third is what parliament wants to do but does not have the balls to do.

    We need a GE to purge ourselves of as many Remainers as possible. When we have a parliament that reflects the will of the people, as it should do, and not the Establishment, then we shall Leave the EU.


    • NickC
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Mark B, Yes, it is a slow learning process for many MPs. They seem to understand neither the power of the EU, nor the power of the UK, in negotiations. Walking away from the EU without a withdrawal agreement or a trade deal was always a possibility, as TEU Art50 confirms.

      However much Remain MPs regret the Referendum, they cannot undo it, nor its result. They may remain convinced that being absorbed into the EU empire is the way to go, they may hate the idea of UK independence, but they must know that failing to implement a democratic decision leads to civil disaster.

      Theresa May (remember her?), and her civil servant acolytes knew this, which was why she went to such great lengths to pretend that her Remain dWA was Leave – a “Kit-Kat” Brexit to fool the plebs. Us. If that isn’t corruption, I don’t know what is.

    • Hope
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Let us not forget it was the BBC that allowed Jo Brand’s comments to be aired. it was pre recorded and edited. The BBC allowed her remark to become acceptable way to behave.

      It was the BBC who wanted to smear Boris bu its two inappropriate questioners. One was allowed on Radio in the morning on Nicky Campbell and both later that day. The BBC trying to smear and force compliance on MPs political correct left wing bias.

      Farage is clear it needs to become a prescription channel or radical overhaul. Same change for Lords and other establishment bodies.

      Let us also not forget the Electoral Commission who acted on the false suspicions/words of Gordon Brown to smear the Brexit Party, but has yet acted convincingly to investigate the postal fraud in the Peterborough by election where a convicted person for electoral fraud allowed to campaign for Labour!

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be something if the next election came down to a choice between ‘leavers’ and ‘remainers’ as supported by their voting records, to weed-out all those politicians who make spurious claims.

      I can think of quite a number who are ‘born again ‘leavers’ because of political expediency.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    The reality is that there is no chance of negotiating anything new this side of the 31 October. The UK must leave then making the offer you outline. It will be up to the EU to accept or reject it. If they reject it the UK will proceed based on WTO terms. The government needs to be ready with the measures needed to respond to those sectors most adversely affected, notably agriculture, and introduce measures which take advantage of new found freedoms. That will require people in key positions with the wit and imagination to respond positively to the new opportunities.

  6. Dominic
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    The final paragraph is indeed Brexit once we include taking back control of all legislative and constitutional matters and removing ourselves from the jurisdiction of the ludicrously titled European Court of Justice (ECJ)

    If Johnson does do this one thing and then enters into an election pact with the BP a centre-right alliance has the political ability and ideas to obliterate Marxist Labour. This would require a completely open and free discussion about issues that are damaging to them but have been deliberately made toxic for political ends

    Brexit. Tory-BP alliance.

    Dismantle Labour’s client state including total reform of the BBC.

    Codify freedom of expression to dilute the fascist grip of liberal left totalitarianism.

    Welcome to a normalised United Kingdom free of leftist politicisation and poison

    • jerry
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      @Dominic; “Codify freedom of expression to dilute the fascist grip of liberal left totalitarianism.”

      If you think fascism is “left wing” all you do is prove juts how far to the extreme right you really are, quite a lot further than 1930s Germany!

      A “Codified Freedom”, just so long as we all agree with the grand leader Dominic of course. How do you propose preventing a Corbyn lead backlash in 2022, resulting in a 1945 style majority to the Socialists – ban elections?

      • NickC
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, And all you prove is how much of a sucker for post-WW2 Labour propaganda you have been. British socialists needed to distance themselves from National Socialism otherwise people would start asking questions. So they concentrated on denigrating the “nationalism” bit, and swept the “socialism” bit under the carpet. Their success has distorted UK politics ever since.

        From the French revolution, the “left” was originally anti-statist and intrinsically in favour of personal liberty including the freedom to trade. But socialism, like fascism, is statist, the very antithesis of personal liberty. Socialists have infiltrated the left, inverting its original values. So now individual liberty, such as freedom of expression, is sneered at by the likes of you for being “far right”.

        • jerry
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; Whilst all you prove is how much of a sucker for post-WW2 far right propaganda you have been, deigning historical facts as you are.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


            Clues in the name chap

            Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei

          • jerry
            Posted June 22, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

            @Walter,. The clue is in the word “Propaganda”.

      • Rob Pearce
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Jerry, you obviously have never been to any right-of-centre rally such as organised by Tommy Robinson, UKIP or For Britain.

        Those meetings are routinely shouted down by crude loudmouth Antifa and Momentum fanatics, sent in by Labour Central. We know this because if you try and talk to them they either swear or spit at you, or just don’t know exactly what they are there for, or what they are protesting about. They all have the same placards BTW. These are classic fascist tactics to close down civilised debate.

        What Dominic is asking for is a return to Free Speech like we all thought we had when I was a kid.

        • jerry
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

          Rob Pearce; “What Dominic is asking for is a return to Free Speech like we all thought we had when I was a kid.”

          You mean like we had in the 1960s and ’70s?….

      • Steve
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink


        “a Corbyn lead backlash in 2022, resulting in a 1945 style majority to the Socialists – ban elections?”

        Only the left wing marxists would ban elections if they could, once they were in power of course.

        If defending democracy makes us right wing then so be it.

        Note that ‘fascism’ does not just appertain to Nazis, and that Nazi is an abbreviation of Hitler’s National Socialist Party, NSDAP. Left wing.

        • jerry
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

          @Steve; Stop showing your total and utter ignorance. National Socialism was a construct of the far right in 1930s Germany, using the word “Socialism” for propaganda and a means to ban the established trade unions, to counter the possible spread of Communism (the same happened in 1930s Italy).

          As for banning elections, what are you suggesting, that Hitler faced opposed elections in 19367, having served a five year elected term as Chancellor, having also proclaimed himself as successor to Hindenburg (stylising himself as “Führer” rather than President).

          Also if Nazism and Hitler himself was of the far left as you claim why would they have embraced a mixed economy rather than the more usual Planned economy that was, then as now, far more usual for a Marxist political system.

          “If defending democracy makes us right wing then so be it.”

          Nonsense, that is the last thing you want, assuming you are agreeing with Dominic above when he said; “Codify freedom of expression to dilute the fascist grip of liberal left totalitarianism.”.

          Surely allowing the majority to elect a liberal left totalitarianism govt, if that is what they freely wish to do, is democracy?

        • Mitchel
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          The Nazi Party had a left wing-under Otto Strasser-which supported nationalisation,mass strikes and wanted closer ties with the Soviet Union.They were expelled from the Party in 1930 and disposed of during the Night of the Long Knives in 1934.

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      Totally agree Dominic but that should also include having a massive purge of all the Liberal lefties in the PCP. If there isn’t a pact with the Brexit party, which Farage may or may not agree to and certainly wouldn’t entertain the idea of forming a pact with most of the current incumbents in the PCP, then it will result in a split in the centre right vote allowing Corbyn and his Marxist Government to come through the middle and thus be elected by default.

  7. Richard Stevens
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Sir John. Your last statement sums it up… negotiate a free trade deal after we have left, its only common sense. You cannot negotiate a deal whilst you are still in the club.

    • George Dunnett
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      The only problem is that the EU will not talk to the UK government until we have signed the WA.

      At this point we have called the EU’s bluff and we should leave it to the most powerful weapon in the UK’s armoury to take the fight to Brussels.

      The French Farmers!!

      • James1
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        The prime minister needs to be someone who believes heart and soul in Brexit. It would be a big mistake and arguably unfair to expect anyone who voted remain to be able to provide what is required.

      • Mark
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        If the EU fail to negotiate an agreement that we agree to, they are in breach of their obligations under Article 50 (2). That remains the case as soon as the negotiating standstill agreement a.k.a. membership extension agreement expires, and regardless of whether we are still in the EU. This point needs to be made firmly in rejecting any extension that includes a further stopped clock on the EU meeting its obligation.

        When you analyse it, the EU’s position is much weaker than their bluster, since they are obligated to negotiate something we agree to.

      • Martinez
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Didn’t IDS already promise two years ago that the Bavarian car workers one million strong were going to pile pressure on Mrs Merkel..M Gove said the french wine producers would be doing hand stands to pressure the french government and Liam Fox said we would get the easiest deal ever..but none of this has happened because politics trumps economy every time as it did with us when 17.2 million voted for the stupid thing

        • NickC
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          Martinez, Thank you for accepting that the EU cares more about its own power than minor things such as the well-being of its own serfs. And so thank God 17.4m of us had the wisdom and foresight to vote Leave.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Totally agree George! They won’t wear it for a minute.

      • Andy
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        The EU are making a terrible mistake. If we Leave on WTO then it is in the interests of countries like Australia, New Zealand, USA etc to make and conclude FTA with us rapidly, as I rather think they will. This will enable them to easily undercut EU products and the EU will rapidly lose market share. Once lost they will find it very, very difficult to recover. The UKs trade deficit with the EU will shrink probably quite rapidly.

        • hardlymatters
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          Oh yeah! and where do you think we are going to get the ships from or how rapidly do you think we can reconfigure our old ports and build refrigerated warehousing. Do you think that Blue Funnel Line, Blue Star and Elder Dempsters shipping lines can be resurrected in the morning rapidly? all pie in the sky

          • NickC
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

            Hardlymatters, The infrastructure is already there for our imports – by definition. If we import something from the EU, we can just as easily import it from the rest of the world.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

            hardly matters

            You been off planet for a couple of decades? Majority of our export of goods is already to none EU countries , we already make massive use of container shipping and what makes you think we can only use British ships/containers?

            As for imports WE ALREADY IMPORT so we ALREADY have the infrastructure

            Good grief

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


          ” If we Leave on WTO then it is in the interests of countries like Australia, New Zealand, USA etc to make and conclude FTA with us rapidly, as I rather think they will”

          I don’t. We ditched them overnight when it suited us after we joined the EU. I remember Australian sheep farmers and New Zealand dairy producers being furious with many of them facing bankruptcy. They eventually turned east to open new markets.

          Why should they now take pity on us? What goes around comes around.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink


            Totally wrong as usual. Australia is already most of the way there with putting together an FTA , just waiting for us to leave.

            What astounds me about remainers is they have zero common sense. If you were correct about the Aussies you are seriously predicting that Australia would refuse to sell us things because we were horrid to them. I dont think you have the faintest clue about business, trade and how it works

            Once more for the hard of thinking Trade and business takes place between buyers and sellers NOT BETWEEN COUNTRIES

      • Steve
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        George Dunnett

        More likely the French farmers will blockade ports, set fire to live British sheep, terrify British pensioners, attack their cars, burn British lorries, etc…..just as they have always done when they can’t get their own way.

        And the Gendarmerie standing by watching with arms folded.

        Also expect more attacks on British fishing vessels, and a lilly livered British government doing absolutely nothing to retaliate.

        Some of us have long memories, and we don’t forgive and forget.

      • Steve
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:45 pm | Permalink


        …..”The only problem is that the EU will not talk to the UK government until we have signed the WA.”

        This is not a problem. The last thing we want is renegotiation, the impasse should be left as is and run past midnight on Oct 31st.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      … while you remain in serfdom negotiating with your Owner!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Dear Richard–Hard to finalise perhaps (even that not necessarily so) but I cannot see why negotiations could not start before we leave indeed should already long ago have started–Surely there are many aspects that are not in the least contentious–This is just a diktat from the EU and it has very little basis in sense.

      • Ian
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

        Parliament has contrived for us to remain, that what was meant by negotiating before hand. Just a bit longer, then a bit more time and some more time. Oh! shall we just stay.

      • Pominoz
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink


        Absolutely right in what you say. The EU are determined to see The UK punished, even if, in doing so, they punish themselves further.

        As long as those leading the British drive to extricate us from this disaster of a union can see the light ahead, they should ignore self-harm actions of the Brussels ‘elite’ and look only at the benefits which will inevitably flow when Britain can play its deserved role on the world stage.

      • Mark
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        The membership extension agreement includes a specific clause preventing any negotiations. Thus it is the EU who are preventing any progress, since we have rejected the WA.

  8. Conehead
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Mr Johnson did not insist on exit on 31 October. He said this was “eminently feasible”. That is a very different thing. He is carefully avoiding committig to exit on 31 October. Mr Johnson is utterly untrustworthy, yet the ERG is trusting him. Why?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

      He is the best hope they have. I think that he will deliver, this as he has no real choice, deliver or destroy the Conservative Party in four months time.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Indeed the only hope the have!

    • Simeon
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      My sentiments exactly. I think Sir John is putting a positive spin on Johnson’s words.

      If we recognise that McVey, even with the full-throated support of the ERG, didn’t have a chance of being in the final two, and Raab’s chances were not much better, then Johnson is the one ‘proper Brexit’ option remaining. Furthermore, as I understand it, and Sir John can confirm, Raab’s ‘interview’ with the ERG was unsatisfactory, whilst Johnson said all the right things. So Johnson, taking him at face value, is the best Brexit candidate. Taking him at face value though is of course the problem. But I think that Sir John and others have concluded that he is the least worst option and are hoping that he keeps his word to them – seemingly at the expense of not keeping his word to other of his supporters.

      Many do not trust Gove, and for good reason. I certainly wouldn’t. But I think a case could be made that he would be a safer pair of hands to deliver Brexit, even if I won’t be making it. I think Javid and Hunt are more transparent and straightforward, even if their thinking is muddled (though of course this might be deliberate on their part. The thing is, one cannot be entirely sure they are wilfully dishonest, whilst with Gove and Johnson, experience tells us they cannot be trusted). Johnson, in my view, is, by almost any measure, the worst of these candidates. But he’s won support because others see there is a chance that he delivers the necessary.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      Dear Conehead–Because the others are also-rans and one can only do what one can do.

    • jerry
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      @Conehead; “That is a very different thing.”

      Not it’s not, unless you mean he is not burning any bridges…

    • SecretPeople
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      The ERG do seem to trust him, though us Leave voters are probably justified in reserving judgement.

      DD writes in today’s Telegraph:

      “I talked to Boris Johnson yesterday and outlined my concerns. The date of leaving on 31st October simply has to be fixed whether with a withdrawal agreement or without one. I made my concerns clear, and he gave me the absolute assurance I was looking for. Without equivocation. We will leave the EU on 31 October.”

      I hope the assurance Boris gave to DD proves to be well-founded.

    • Pragmatist
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      Mr Johnson as usual is being quoted out of context by many due to our poor education system.
      He said ’eminently feasible’ in a counter to the argument that there could be a technical reason why we could not leave on 31st October 2019.
      He has stated many times we MUST leave on 31st October 2019.
      If there is no impediment to him doing so, he should appoint himself on gaining PM-ship to that of Secretary of State for Education. Our Education is on the point of total collapse.

      • Pragmatist
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        Put to one side all the recognised trues you are able to decide on, the rigid establishment in the former Soviet Union of ONE voice for all their contexts, PRAVDA was necessary for the Absolute and the absolutely true in having point.

      • Simeon
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

        Johnson has managed to win the votes of MPs across the Brexit spectrum. He has done this, not by ingeniously squaring the circle, but by saying different things to different people. His “eminently feasible” fits neatly into this context as obfuscation, allowing all his supporters to believe he’s committed to the course of action they desire.

        As and when Johnson becomes PM, one of two things will happen; he will upset the Brexiters, or he’ll upset the Remainers. When the crunch comes (if it comes), one or other faction will withdraw their support and Johnson’s government will fall. The only way for Johnson to avoid his government falling is to be proactive and eliminate or nullify one or other of these factions by calling a GE and making the case for a specific course of action. A failure by the next Conservative leader to be clear and decisive will end their time as a popular party and potential party of government. I don’t think any of Johnson, Gove or Hunt understands this, however…

    • Stred
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Boris and even David Davis have not said that leaving with the WA but tweaking the backstop is not really leaving. They intend to prepare for the WTO option and then cave and agree the WA with long transition and payments, tax free salaries, armed forces under EU command, and not being difficult while having no say and paying even more. Which reminds me that I must send some more money to the Brexit Party.

  9. Ian wragg
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    I see the EU are playing hard ball with Switzerland by threatening to exclude access to EU stock markets unless they sign up to an association agreement similar to the WA.
    Of course they have rejected it.
    It really shows what a slimy outfit Brussels really is.
    Definitely the time to leave.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Dear Ian–And just think–Switzerland is totally surrounded by the EU–If anybody hasn’t noticed we do not have that problem

      • Leo Savantt
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Except for Liechtenstein.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        If you exclude Liechtenstein.

    • Mark
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      It seems clear that the EU now seek to abandon their obligations to neighbouring countries under Article 8 and 3(5). Since they break their treaties we should not trust them by signing another until they reform into a more honourable institution.

  10. Dougal Hamer
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    The EU has already ruled out any talks about a free trade deal until UK signs off the Withdrawal Agreement. This is not going to change. The EU holds all the cards. Well done, Brexiteers, you have made this country as weak as it has been in 500 years

    • Mark B
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      The EU does not hold all the cards, although I believe it does have a better hand over the shorterm. Medium to long term it is UK all the way.

      Have more faith in your country.

      • hefner
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        “Have more faith in your country”: Why?

        • libertarian
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


          Because we are world leaders in a number of industries , especially future industries . We have 62 unicorn businesses in the UK

          The EU is a backward looking, anti innovation , protectionist market going nowhere . Thats why

          • hefner
            Posted June 22, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            Off the mark, Libby. I might have faith in the British know-how, entrepreneurs, … why should I have “faith in the country” (add tremolos in your voice saying it), specially in its institutions?

    • agricola
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:25 am | Permalink

      No, with that level of response the EU holds a poison chalice. Their failure to talk could only be political, and would attract the wrath of most of Europes commercial interests, ie. Those who pay their wages. Definitely the longest suicide note.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink


        “would attract the wrath of most of Europes commercial interests”

        With our past history? More ‘schadenfreude’ than ‘wrath’.

    • Dominic
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      500 years? Interesting

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

        In strict geopolitical terms 500 years is about right – and it has very little to do with Brexit.Power is rapidly moving from sea to land (the tellurocracy vs thalassocracy argument)as the last in the line of seapowers,the USA(with the Spanish,Portuguese,Dutch,English before them) goes into relative decline and towards isolation to be replaced by what is in effect a return to the Pax Mongolica-that period when the Mongols controlled the trade routes from the Pacific to Europe-the Silk Roads,using the Italian mercantile city states as their western outlets(it’s very appropriate that Italy should be the first major western state to sign up for the Belt & Road).Had Hitler not been so stupid as to invade Russia you might have seen it sooner(and rather more alarmingly!)with a Germany-USSR-Japan alliance.

        Elements within the government/Whitehall can see it’s happening witness the Huawei decision,the softening of the stance on the South China Sea, the fact that backchannels are being developed with Russia again,etc.

        • Mitchel
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

          In fact Brexit will probably free us to engage more nimbly with the new world order.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        I had to laugh when I read that. I wonder where these people studied history?

        • hefner
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

          Tad, “Rira bien qui rira le dernier”?

    • sm
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      As far as trade is concerned, we are a huge customer of the EU, so we hold a pretty big card right here in the UK.

      Sometimes it appears that Brussels is losing the plot in the same way that some of the biggest/most famous British High St retailers have done in the last 20yrs or so – ignore your most affluent customers, aim for minority tastes, be REALLY trendy…..and then wonder why your profits are plummeting.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Dear Dougal–Nonsense–With one bound we could be free

    • Noneoftheabove
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      What a foolish thing to say! You are an example of the arrogant, autocratic and unpatriotic policy makers that have led us to this point.
      If our Country has been weakened, it is by our membership of the EU and by the actions of Mrs May and the anti democratic behaviour of people who have cheered her along.

    • Shirley
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      The EU holds the cards only because our Remainer politicians handed them all over, free of charge!

    • The Mariner
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Hi Dougal, the EU does not hold all the cards at all ! The fact is that we buy far more from them than they do from us. If you think that their industry and business won’t be badly damaged by not seeking out a reasonable deal with the UK then think again. We can shop elsewhere if some EU products price themselves out, or even do without some of their stuff. If they want our business and I can assure you they because businesses need all the business they can get, then they have to make it attractive or instead of the UK shopping in the EU supermarket we will do our main shopping in the Worldwide Megastore.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink


        “The fact is that we buy far more from them than they do from us.”

        But the fact is that there are 27 of ‘them’ to absorb the losses and only one of ‘us’ so that will mean a far heavier burden for us.

        That’s why we begged to join them all those decades ago – we were broke.

        • Ginty
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

          All 27 of them ?

        • Mark
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

          It was the wrong solution to the problem Margaret Thatcher’s government found the right solution, which was to unleash markets and curb union power.

    • mickc
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Then WTO it is…..

    • Ian
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      There is no such thing as Free Trade, just costly impositions. If by holding all they cards you mean they don’t want to trade with their biggest partner – so be it.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Douglas Hamer

      Do not blame the Brexiteers for the place we find ourselves in. It is the fault of a remain dominated parliament who saw the whole process as a damage limitation exercise.

      Had they gone and negotiated properly and been prepared to walk away if needs be – I think we would be in a whole different place. And we’d have left in March or before.

    • Steve
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Dougal Hamer

      Sorry but I have to say that if this country is weak it’s Chamberlains like you who are the cause.

      I also point out that the EU is in serious trouble, the euro is on a knife edge and could be tipped over by the southern EU colonies, Nationalism is sweeping across Europe.

      The EU do not hold all the cards as you suggest. We do, but lack a government of the balls to take the lead in bringing the corrupt franco belgian empire down.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink


        “would attract the wrath of most of Europes commercial interests”

        With our past history? More ‘schadenfreude’ than ‘wrath’.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink


        “the euro is on a knife edge”

        Makes you wonder then that it has replaced the £ as the world’s number one reserve currency after the US $ and the pound continues to plummet against it.

  11. Bob Dixon
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Boris Johnson needs to shout from the roof tops your clear explanation on leaving by or before 31.10.2019.

    • nhsgp
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Before is easy.
      Just say no contest to the Tilbrook case.

      • Ian
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        To subtle and to practical as it doesn’t play to the self centered egos in Parliament.

        But it would be nice

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Bob Dixon

      “Boris Johnson needs to shout from the roof tops”

      According to the latest news headlines Boris shouts loudest from his girlfriend’s flat these days. Looks like Hunt now.

  12. Andy
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    GATT 24 is something Boris Johnson mentioned the other night.

    Iain Duncan Smith mentioned it to. Lord Lamont raised it in a Parliamentary committee.

    Farage loves it.

    It has become the favoured go to falsehood of Brexiteers.

    Why do you all continue to lie?

    • Helena
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Andy, GATT 24 is a superb summing up of the whole Brexit fairy story. We can happily leave with no deal as long as we have a deal. GATT 24! Lovely.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink


        Read It again and then we can have a another talk

        thank you

      • NickC
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        Helena, You have repeatedly been told that there is no such thing as “no deal” because the WTO is a “deal”.

    • agricola
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      You are required to explain in forensic detail why it is the great falsehood you maintain. Firing grapeshot randomely is bovine scattology.

      • Simon
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Celia Malstrom explained this yet again a few days ago. As did Sir Ivan Rogers in his latest talk / paper. What more do you want ?

      • Andy
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        GATT 24 applies only when a trade deal is substantially agreed.

        You will not have even started trade talks with the EU.

        GATT 24 can not be imposed unilaterally. The EU would have to agree.

        They have said they won’t.

        And any member of WTO can object.

        Last week the EU’s Trade Commissioner Cecelia Malmstrom said Brexiteers who say we can rely on GATT 24 are ‘completely wrong.’

        Tell us how you know more about trade than she does?

    • Richard1
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      What are you talking about – are you denying the existence of article 24 of GATT?

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        Ricahrd 1

        It does not apply and was not set up for a UK-EU situation

        • Richard1
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

          of course it wasn’t set up for an EU-UK situation as that could not be forecast. But it absolutely was set up so WTO members have a framework for continuing tariff-free trade whilst negotiating an FTA. Of course it will be the EU’s choice to say yes or no to this. But the very clear point will be that if reciprocal tariffs are to be applied, that will be the EU’s choice. The UK govt will (I assume) propose continuing trade on a tariff-free basis. I think that is very unlikely we will get tariffs therefore, especially with the EU having a €100bn trade surplus.

          If by chance we do then let us not hear any more criticism from EU figures about President Trump’s tariffs.

      • Simon
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        We are denying absolutely that it has the effect contended for. It doesn’t.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      You are saying GATT 24 doesn’t exist ? Who told you that – Bristol Council ?

      Hard not to laugh at media darling Rory managing to get less votes than in the previous round despite the BBC backing him.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        At least Tory MPs know that the population hasn’t changed on Brexit.

    • jerry
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      @Andy; Why do you keep showing your ignorance about GATT 24, you do realise that the EU28 already trade under WTO and GATT treaties?!

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink


        Read GATT 24 again and then come back and talk to us that would be much appreciated

        • NickC
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Read GATT 24 again and then come back and talk to us that would be much appreciated.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

            Nick C

            Please, do kindly tell me your kind interpretation as most experts interpret it differently to you ?

            thank you for your kind collaboration and great understanding as always

          • Steve
            Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

            Hans, better idea; Don’t bother trying to sell Europe to us, we don’t want it and we’re not listening.

            We might, just ‘might’ be prepared to listen once we have left, but that rather depends on which of the ungrateful EU 27 is doing the talking.

          • NickC
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

            Hans, Please, do kindly tell me your kind interpretation, as the WTO interprets it differently to you? All you need do is read the 84 pages yourself. Thank you for your kind collaboration and great understanding as always.

        • jerry
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          @hci; I already have, heck I even posted a URL to GATT24 a week or two back!…

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      I agree that there will not be a schedule and plan agreed by October 31st hence Gatt 24 won’t apply. I do not agree that it is impossible to agree such with the EU; if Mr Johnson wins one supposes that we would know this is the intent if Steve Baker returns to DExEU. It won’t happen though because Barnier (or other) has red lines of so-called liabilities, citizen right and Irish border before any trade negotiation/schedule. This stubbornly ignorant position prevented a trade deal in parallel with the WA and, alongside UK Parliament’s incompetence, has put UK and EU where we are. Barnier continues to insist that things that are not legal liabilities are, moreover he has recently refused to carve out citizen rights and get that part agreed. The only possible movement might be on the backstop, which probably results from Parliament’s naive signalling that the backstop is the only problem.

      All that said, there is a chance with Baker in DExEU and Malthouse in cabinet that the Malthouse compromise might be reoffered to Barnier (other). This gives chance to extend transition to end of 2021 (so EU gets money), swaps out the backstop and puts in a free trade deal. My opinion is that this is still not true to a Leave vote but there isn’t a ‘real’ reason why Parliament or Barnier couldn’t go with it … Apart from childishness. The fact that Mr Johnson is prepared to walk away might make it happen…but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • Steve
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink


      “It has become the favoured go to falsehood of Brexiteers.
      Why do you all continue to lie?”

      You just don’t get it do you ?

      Here, look……we don’t want to be in the EU, we voted to come out, we don’t like the EU, we’re fed up of being ruled by the EU and the ECJ (which has no validity).

      You and your kind will only ever bolster our determination to restore this country’s sovereignty, you cannot thwart us, you cannot stop us.

      Call us little Englanders – call us what you like, you and your kind are finished.

      • hefner
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        You would look a little bit more credible if you were to stop telling us that everything going astray is because of Remoaners and the EU27. The EU27 are just waiting to see what will come out of the UK (some decision by Parliament, what the next PM is going to do). As for the Remoaners, apart from a tiny fraction of the 16m, most people right now are also waiting to see what happens. To me you sound like an over-excited and angry (old?) teenager with nothing much else to do than filling these columns. After all we are still in a democracy, everybody should be free to bring forward their ideas and debate. The problem is that I’m not so sure that some of your contributions actually bring anything to such a debate.

  13. hardlymatters
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Cannot disagree with much of this except to say we did not vote for a new FTA with them- In any case they will not agree to FTA talks whilst the terms of the WA is not settled- that’s so very obvious now. Also M Gove is out of his tree if he thinks they will allow a further delay for negotiation, that’s just not going to happen. Some think the Irish border is going to be the difficulty but others see the immediate problem after we leave 31st Oct as being the movement of people and how it is going to be regulated- because without the WA and Transition in place each one of the 27 will be dealing with this matter separately as opposed to the EU dealing with it as a whole.

  14. bigneil
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Off Topic
    On a recent program a man was given the right to stay here because he had Crohn’s disease and the drugs needed weren’t available back home. The chap clearly couldn’t resist smirking as he said he was allowed to stay. As this has presumably set a precedent does it mean that anyone from any poorer country can come and stay here, because of their illness, getting everything else along with his free medication/operations for life – all on our taxes? Absolute madness.

    If we HAVE to be responsible for his health wouldn’t it have been cheaper to deport him (and inevitably his whole family ) and just send him his tablets every month?

  15. agricola
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Spot on.

    Rory Stewart was continuity May , but with integrity. Gove, Hunt, and Javid are all too vague as to when and how we leave. Clever though he may be I would have great difficulty in trusting Gove.

    You are advocating the same process I have put forward, a WTO leave, an offer of FTA on goods and services, and mutual EU/UK acceptance of Art 24 of GATT ensuring no disruption of trade while an FTA is discussed. It was first muted by Owen Paterson.

    If for political reasons this is too much for the EU to digest then it is WTO rules with no agreement. The consequences of this would be more onerous for the EU than ourselves. National commercial interests would demand answers of the EU.

    Finally the WA is dead. Within it are body parts of benefit to the EU/UK. Write them into a treaty under the auspices of the Vienna Convention with a realistic agreement to jointly fund such projects as necessary.

    Make it clear that in so doing the above we are a sovereign nation. No political, commercial, judicial or financial oversight from the EU. Part of any agreement should involve our assets within the ECB.

    Our aim is to continue to be friendly neighbours of the EU cooperating for our mutual benefit and harmony.

  16. Everhopeful
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Well…they say you can’t fix stupid.
    Not one intends to just leave.
    So we had best get out our most tuneful singing voices.

    “ Ohhh Jeremy Corbyn” and on and on to red rainbow lala land.

    But in all honesty ..after May how can we believe ANYONE??

  17. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    GATT 24 is not set up and was not set up to apply to a relationship as complicated and as large as the one between the EU and the UK and lots of your contributions have told you this before as well

    • Zorro
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      It is not complicated at all. The essential elements of a free trade deal exist already. What do you mean ‘complicated’ and ‘large’? It is only obtuse minds that set these parameters. As Bony said ‘impossible is a word only to be found in the dictionary of fools!’


    • Mark
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Nevertheless it is part of GATT, and the UK is entitled to rely on it if it can be shown to be applicable. The same is true of what is left of the EEA Agreement once we leave the EU. Under Article 10, we are entitled to free trade in goods. If the EU wants to vary that, they must negotiate.

    • agricola
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Were you involved in it’s drafting or the definition of it’s remitt. If not how can you possibly adjudicate on how flexible it might be. If there is willingness, ways can always be found in human constructs such as Art24 of GATT.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:08 pm | Permalink


        It has to do with past use and interpretation of the paragraph and it ahs nothing to do with whom was involved in its articulation

        • NickC
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          Hans, GATT Article 24 is not a “paragraph”, it is 84 pages long. Shows how much you know, doesn’t it?

      • Sharon Jagger
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink


        I think it was Ian Duncan and one other MP who have already been to discuss the gatt 24 with the World Trade organisation and have been assured, there will be no problems. And even if there were problems – they can be resolved!

        Please try to be more positive.

  18. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Two little questions:
    1. Is Brexit just about the economy stupid? Or are there other things involved too?
    2. Why can’t we just stay in the EEA and leave all the rest? I just cannot understand. can someone please explain?

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      The big reason is that the EEA is dominated by the EU. ‘Out of the frying pan’ springs to mind. As little contact with them as humanly possible is best in the short term. They will do their utmost to create havoc, aided by our quisling remainder MPs. The EU cannot risk any more absconders.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:10 pm | Permalink


        There will be no other absconders , the EU is actually more popular and has more support in the rest of Europe than any time over the past years in the general populations of the 27. Denmark f. example it has gone from 50 to 70% support for the EU, source Danish statistical office.

        • Jagman84
          Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          Just look at the new MEP intake and say that it is not a more EU-skeptic, pretend EU Parliament. It will only improve when the UK contingent leaves when we finally exit. Your worst nightmare is coming soon!

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

            Read it again I said the population and none of the parties you are talking about wish to leave the EU, they wish to change it

          • NickC
            Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            Hans, So you are saying the (supposedly) EU-loving populace has voted for the increased number of EU-sceptic MEPs? That’s even weirder than your normal sneers.

    • Mark
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      We haven’t applied to leave the EEA Agreement, so to the extent that it applies to Contracting Parties, and doesn’t involve EU law being applied inside the UK, it will still be in place. Michael-James Clifton, the senior judge in the EFTA court has explained that leaving the EU will not remove the UK’s status as a Contracting Party – only as an EC Member State.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      ‘Why can’t we just stay in the EEA and leave all the rest? I just cannot understand. can someone please explain?’

      Denis is the best bloke to advise on that one Mike, if he still has any patience with you.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        We’ve been over it again and again …

    • Andy
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      EEA requires free movement.

      And we know many, if not most, Brexiteers voted leave to get rid of foreigners.

      • Mark
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        That is only so while we remain an EC Member State. the EEA Agreement says

        Article 28
        1. Freedom of movement for workers shall be secured among EC Member States and EFTA States.

        When we leave the EU we would just be a Contracting Party, not an EFTA State or an EC Member State. SO freedom of movement even for workers does not apply, unless we grant it in some other fashion.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 2:29 am | Permalink

        No we didn’t andy.
        Don’t try and play the racism card.
        Control over immigration by our elected representatives is what was put forward.
        Just like most non EU countries.

  19. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    That GATT 24 won’t work is wishful thinking on the part of Remainers. Looking at the problems facing the EU, poor youth employment, Italy economy about to collapse, Greece economy already has, poor growth, trade war with the US, Ireland cut off from the rest of the EU, offer them continuing frictionless trade and I think they will go for it. The Commission will oppose, but they can be overruled by the Council and EU Parliament.
    I suggest the new PM by-passes the Commission and goes straight to the Council to make them an offer of mutual benefit.
    If we leave on tariff basis, no money for the EU, we will need it to support business in this country that might be affected by our departure. Leave with frictionless trade, and there might be some pocket money for them.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Dave Andrews

      Interesting perspective but totally unrealistic and not viable, the Council has backed up and will continue to back up the Commission

      • Simeon
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        The Council will back up the Commission, this is true. But the individual nation states have, and will continue to, influence the Council and Commission. The economic impact of no trade agreement would be a significant factor in EU decision-making, if not the biggest factor, for the EU is, of course, first and foremost a political project.

  20. margaret
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    To be honest I have read the GATT24 and am not sure whether the contracting parties have already signed up to it or there will be an offer to sign up to it for the purposes of continuation of trade and subsequent offers.It is emphasised in GATT 24 that the aim is not to provide advantages that are restrictive to any other Countries trade, so perhaps the EU would not be as forthcoming as BJ thinks,

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      We could always set our WTO rules tariffs high and negotiate much lower tariffs in trade deals with everyone except the EU (but only if the EU are bloody minded). As I understand it, EU tariffs are higher than most, so perhaps a group of nations could ask for them to be reduced unilaterally.

      We should remember that the EU has two paces for negotiating bespoke trade deals – dead slow and stop (ask Canada).

  21. Richard416
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    It looks like a case of picking the least worst option. I think Mr Johnson’s position is the most credible, and he at least has some sort of charisma. None of the others look like being winners for the Conservative Party.

  22. Paul Edwards
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Let us look at the evidence:
    30% of the country voted for some form of Brexit- many versions on offer.
    Brexit has proved to be very difficult because it is not a great idea. The EU will not re- negotiate as they are busy doing trade deals with Canada, Japan, South America, S Korea et al.
    No-deal will cost the country a fortune. – greater than the £39billion to be paid over a number of years acc. to Chancellor Hammond, the man who has the accounts and has no motive to lie. He will probably lose his job whoever is PM.
    Conservative members are prepared to see the break up of the Union and make UK poorer – Unionists and patriots?
    A GE will result in a hung parliament acc. to opinion polls- split Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem and Brexit parties in some proportion- no one knows which.
    So that has all gone well since June 2016!

  23. Andy
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    What Brexiteers fail to explain is why you even want a free trade deal with the EU.

    Combined Margaret Thatcher’s single market and the customs union are the best trade arrangements in the world.

    Nothing else comes close.

    Yet you are unhappy with this top of the range trade arrangement. You want something else which is only ever going to be worse.

    You are the type of people who would exchange a brand new top of the range Aston Martin for a beat up, second hand, clocked Austin Allegra.

    You expect it to improve your lives.

    It’s going to be funny to watch.

    • NickC
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Andy, I see you have still not read Margaret Thatcher’s Bruges speech, apparently. The EU’s single market is everything Mrs Thatcher did not want. So either you are deliberately keeping yourself ignorant, or perhaps you do know and are therefore lying.

  24. George Brooks
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you for an excellent summary Sir John and thank goodness young Stewart has been put back in his box. No doubt he will trail round the country behind the Chancellor spreading doom and gloom.

    There is no point wasting time talking to the EU about altering or tweaking the WA or any part of it. Equally they know it is dead in the water and further more they know that they do not hold all the cards

    In the background a huge amount has been agreed from citizens rights to security which can be ticked off and if the EU wants any part of that £39bn they know that they have to talk to us sensibly about trade.

    The biggest danger to overcome are saboteurs of Brexit that we have lurking in Parliament.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

      George Brooks

      “The biggest danger to overcome are saboteurs of Brexit that we have lurking in Parliament.”

      Getting ready to blame them when it all goes belly up – as it will?
      Still, makes a change from blaming the BBC.

  25. Sakara Gold
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately, one cannot believe anything Boris Johnson says – he is an inveterate liar who will say absolutely anything that comes into his head to get elected.

    Conservative MP’s, looking at at a probable wipe-out at the next election as the public rejects austerity, the abject failure to get us out of the EU in March as promised, the national humiliation as Parliament rejected May’s WA etc etc are clutching at straws in voting for him – one is remined of lemmings going over the cliff.

    Tory MPs must know Johnson is a farcical choice for prime minister – but as they look at loosing their seats at the next election and being out of power for a generation, they are desperate.

  26. Richard1
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    My guess is whatever happens, in about mid Oct there will be no agreement with the EU. At that point, amidst a crescendo of wto Brexit scare stories, the EU will say OK have another longish extension conditional on a 2nd referendum. Parliament will then have a choice between revocation of article 50, which most remain MPs will be very fearful of voting for, WTO Brexit, which they all say they are against, or the new referendum.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Apparently, there are a greater number of Labour MPs opposed to a second referendum than there are Conservative MPs for one.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

        With 5 million Labour voters who voted for Leave, is it any wonder? Lunatics like Watson and Starmer are trying to bounce Corbyn into agreement to a second referendum. I think they will have to replace him first. Their argument is that 500,000 Labour members want it but they ignore that 5 Million of their voters don’t. Brexit Party is looking to be a nailed on cert in the next GE if Bojo fails.

    • Steve
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink


      Let the weasels try it, revoking A50 is the fastest way to trigger a civil war.

  27. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I guess we need Boris to win and to keep his word !

    Sounds simple, so why am I still worried ?

    • Duyfken
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      I am worried too, but at least we have Nigel F hanging around in a strong position to help keep him honest.

  28. nhsgp
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Leave with no deal.

    The EU will be forced by by Merkel and Macron.

    The reason is with week 32 of the yellow jacket protests, and Macron about to abolish unemployment benefits for over 500,000 people and their families, France is clearly bankrupt when you consider what 40 trillion Euros of off the the book pensions debts does.
    [UK has 10 trillion GBP of off the book pension debts]

    Germany, the canary is DB and Commerz. Look at their share prices. They (seem to have difficulties ed).

    Reply France is not bankrupt and can meet all her obligations.

  29. John Sheridan
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I truly hope that Boris Johnson (assuming he becomes PM) drops the wretched Withdrawal Treaty (WT). It was Mrs May’s creation and designed to keep us locked into the EU’s orbit pending a rejoining of the EU several years after we had left.

    He needs to be clear that it is not just the backstop which is a problem with the WT, the bulk of the WT is disadvantageous to the UK.

    My worry is, given that he voted for the WT at the third reading, is that he will buckle again as the deadline approaches. I hope he does not, but the doubt remains.

    • rose
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      His father, in summing up the Boris Brexit policy to Newsnight, used the word “dump” in conjunction with the DWA. He is a very polite fellow.

  30. Simon
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    The GATT 24 thing is a complete myth. Long since comprehensively debunked by proper experts. It is absolutely shameful that people are still peddling such nonsense.

    And it is completely absurd that a small number of MPs who vehemently dislike the person of Mrs May and her policy (these being two different matters) are now about to annoint such a manifestly unsuitable leader offering unicorns, bread and circuses.

    You would need a heart of stone not to laugh.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      ”… unicorns, bread and circuses…” as opposed to your EU masters who offer….. what exactly?

      Never mind. You people do most certainly relish being gleeful and merry if you can believe that the UK might suffer in some way.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        L Jones

        “being gleeful and merry if you can believe that the UK might suffer in some way.”

        Not UK – both Scotland and Ireland will be gone after Brexit. So just a rump England will be left with about as much influence in the world as Liechtenstein.

        Isn’t that enough suffering? Not forgetting the pound which is sinking faster than the Titanic.

  31. Kevin
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    The impression I got from Mr. Johnson is that he considers “no deal” (the
    only eventuality for which he ought to be preparing) a “disorderly exit”. This
    must surely mean that he would waste the few weeks until Halloween trying to
    make the EU blink. He referred to the Brexit Party as a reason why they might –
    yet, there’s the rub! A Brexit Party government is needed to finish the job.

  32. Mike Peach
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Agreed the ‘WA – which Mr Johnson called ‘serfdom’ contains much that is bad for the UK, especially the defense aspects which keep us tied in ever more closely to the EU defense structures leading to our being subsumed into the proposed EU Army. The EU Arrest warrant is not a panacea either!

  33. Andy
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    This week’s You Gov poll of Conservative and Unionist Party members shows just how deluded and dangerous many of you have become.

    Most of you think Scotland – Scotland! – leaving the Union is a perfectly reasonable price for your Brexit. Most of you think Northern Ireland leaving the Union is a perfectly reasonable price. Most of you think that inflicting economic carnage on your children and grandchildren is an acceptable price.

    Only Prime Minister Corbyn is a bill too far.

    History will damn you all – and what you have done to our country.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      You have spun the questions and the results of the very odd survey you refer to to now mean different things.
      And there was no ” but do you think any of those things will happen?” question.
      So Andy, swop the word Leave for the word Remain and answer those survey questions yourself.

    • NickC
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      Andy, No, History will damn all you monomaniacal Remains. First you lie to us, then you lie to us, then . . . and so on. You take us in behind our backs, lying to us as you do. Then you lie to us during the 1975 referendum.

      Then you sell our birthright of liberty, common law, and self-determination on a continual basis from treaty lock to treaty lock. Lying to us as you do it. You claim that the EU does not rule us – contrary to the EU’s own laws! – then you claim that we are so far entangled that we cannot leave.

      You accept a once in a generation legal Referendum, but then when the result does not go your way, you whinge and wail with your establishment cronies to almost destroy the independence and democracy that millions have fought and died for.

      You are too far gone in your EU corruption to notice. Take your rotten EU empire and be off with you.

    • Rob Pearce
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      If being a slave to a foreign power, or as Verhofstat says, a Colony, is Britain’s future, then I still want out.

      My kids and grandkids would damn us all if we DID let that happen.

      I want my country back!

      OUT, OUT, OUT!!

    • L Jones
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      ”Many of you”. ”Most of you”’. Good grief, Andy. Do you have ANY idea how patronisingly juvenile you sound?

      Perhaps you should spend the time you obviously have on your hands, telling us in what ways the EU is the paradise you obviously think it is. Talk it UP, for goodness’ sake, don’t talk your country DOWN.

      Speaking of ”carnage” in its true sense (if indeed you know what it does mean), our children and grandchildren would know what that was soon enough, if blindly adoring, EU-worshipping people like YOU ever got their way. Now, THAT’S when the damning would take place – for that which people like you would inflict upon our children for a few extra pounds in your bank account.

      • L Jones
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        I actually meant ”patronising AND juvenile”. (Not that he/she’d notice.)

    • Fred H
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Andy…..I missed that. However, I can understand many thinking the union with Scotland and NI has stretched ‘friendship’ too far. Perhaps you would point out for me where the poll reported the willingness to ‘ inflict economic carnage on your children and grandchildren’ ? Was this last question asked of the QT audience?

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Have a rest Andy and climb back into your pram.

    • Steve
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:35 pm | Permalink


      “History will damn you all – and what you have done to our country.”

      For what ? Freeing the country from foreign rule ? I doubt it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

      Scotland is a reasonable price for Scotland leaving England. They’ve done nothing but whinge. If they were serious about independence they should have allowed the English a vote on it as well.

      Germany reunifies while Great Britain disintegrates. Well. That’s the sort of thing that happens when you vilify one nation continuously “The English” *spits* (Hollywood and the Left) and then let the other off the hook completely and blame every atrocity on some mysterious and disappeared tribe called The Nazis.

      • Steve
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:08 am | Permalink


        Interesting post on Scotland.

        Though my sentiment is that the whingeing has always been done by the Scottish far right, i.e the Nationalists.

        They will end up with a bloody nose were they to acquire independence after we have left the EU. For starters they have no currency, so they will probably go crying to Brussels and have to join full on. Then, there is the issue of a border between Scotland and England – payback time.

        The likes of Sturgeon know full well that an independent Scotland will get nothing from England and will have to join the EU……independence at the price of independence. This is where the SNP are hoodwinking their own people, and they will come undone as a consequence.

        But of course by then it’ll be too late, we won’t want them back.

        Indeed so the English should have a vote next time around, I suspect Ms Sturgeon will have quite a shock when she sees that actually we want rid of them !

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink


          “But of course by then it’ll be too late, we won’t want them back”

          WE don’t want them back? Why then did we force them into the union at the point of a gun in the first place?

  34. ELMES Joy
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    1. The WA is dead. Bury it ASAP, it is stinking Britain out. It was never a deal, but a stitch up. The backstop was a red herring, the rest of it was the dangerous part. Rory Stewart was three years in the past, things have changed.
    2. To truly negotiate you need to be free, so leave first, negotiate after when you know your options, and have the strength and free thinking to plan properly.
    3. The majority voted to leave. No deal is the only option where we cut off the payments and really start to recover. Even people who voted to remain, except the blinkered ones or who are being bribed by EU, realise that if we do not implement the complete withdrawal, then democracy is dead.
    The debate on TV was like a version of Groundhog Day, it could have been taking place pre the referendum of 2016. Are we really going round again ?

  35. Alan Joyce
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    There is understandable concern among leave-backing voters over the possibility that Boris Johnson, with the premiership assured, would then renege on his commitment for the UK to leave the EU on the 31st October 2019.

    All Conservative MP’s should understand that if this happens then their voters will turn on them and then turn to the Brexit Party. The Conservative Party will be in ruins. This is not a threat; it is a statement of the blindingly obvious. It is as simple as that.

  36. Paul Cohen
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    The BBC over the last few years have managed to squander both it’s inheritance and it’s reputation for impartiality. Despite much protest which seemingly fell on deaf ears, or being powerless to act this has continued unabated.

    The debate this week, which was important to many seeking some insight was fatally flawed and descended into farce in short time – will there be an enquiry into this by the BBC?

    Perhaps one answer is to confine their activities to producing light entertainment only, they certainly shouldn’t be allowed a repeat of this weeks effort.

    We certainly do not want to become mired in further drawn out discussion, a clean break by a Free Trade Agreement seems to be far the best route now.

    • Simeon
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      It’s been a few decades, rather than a few years. Perhaps longer, though I’m not old enough to say so with authority. True impartiality is at any rate impossible. Serious historians declare their biases before starting. Bias is human nature. It’s not a bad thing. One should simply be honest about ones presuppositions and predilections.

    • Rick
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      There will not be a clean break without a WA and without a WA there will not be talks about FTA..cross my heart

  37. Pragmatist
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The question is whether the candidates some of whom are Cabinet Ministers and all MPs
    who have voluntarily taken weeks off work to persuade their fellow MPs they will work.
    Also in advance of a General Election to convince millions of people they will without minute-by-minute severe supervision work a jot even in so much as mucking out a lion’s den.
    Good luck to them all.

  38. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    The Conservative leadership process is showing the party in its death throes. Boris is being staged managed and his Heathrow commitment springs to mind. He is turning out to be another whose priority is to be PM. I would have been more convinced and probably most CP members too if he had said – negotiations are over we Leave 31.10/19 – but he didn’t, he waffled which he is quite good at. The general election is looming and FPTP may be hugely damaging to CP with Brexit Party taking many votes away but few seats with Corbyn/SNP completing the chaos.

  39. Billy Elliot
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    England did vote for leaving the EU. So leave we must. Unfortunately Dutch prime minister got it right. As a country UK will diminish. Personally I believe UK will cease to exist – at least in it’s present form.
    But still: we must leave that’s how democracy works.

    • Al
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      There is a lot broken about the UK in its present form – from the current welfare system, to the pensions timebomb, to efficiencies and the lack thereof in the state sector and local government, to the over-regulation of industries (the latest insanity being HSA revealing they don’t know how to use a broom).

      The UK ceasing to exist in its current form in these areas might actually be a good thing.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      At present the U.K. is not a country, we have no Monarch (she’s a suzerain) and our ‘Parliament’ is not Sovereign (it does not hav the last word – so it’s not a Parliament). According to the UN definition of a country we don’t qualify for a seat in the UN. So to recover any level of a country – even a Swazi level – will be an improvement on current situation.
      However the British people are great and will get the country they deserve – a great one.

    • Steve
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

      Billy Elliot

      We aint dead yet mate.

      • Billy Elliot
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        Correct Steve. But might be just matter of few years when NI joins RoI.

  40. Gareth Warren
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    That is the summary of Boris’s choices, however watching the thumbscrews being turned on Switzerland convinces me that the EU, at least this administration will not turn.

    They will apply tariffs to us, and likely even refuse the GATT 24 treaty until we sign the WA.

    Here we will see if Boris folds, if he spends all his time negotiating with Brussels then he assuredly will eventually fold.

    However, if he says “I understand your choice” to the EU and walks away he can really rachet up the pressure on the EU. To convince others to sign FTA’s with us we should apply tariffs on luxuries such as cars, why would tax on a BMW be objectionable to tax on food? Although we should apply the same tariffs on food as the EU for nations we lack a FTA with.

    Then quickly sign temporary FTA’s with reviews to allow both sides to alter terms after a year if they cause real problems. Britain gets cheaper food and cheaper components for industry with larger markets for its goods. The EU then has to either fold or watch its members go into recession as the US takes over their UK marketshare.

    All of this is achievable without taking actions against another nation in particular. It is depressing to see so many politicians not pushing the UK’s best interests in this manner, hopefully we will be rid of many of them at the next GE.

  41. ukretired123
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Boris knows this “poison chalice” must be dealt with bravely and boldly and must convince fellow MPs not to “bottle Brexit” as he told May on the two missed deadlines already.
    One was unfortunate, two was incompetent and three would be a catastrophic disaster for:
    * UK credibility abroad to our allies, the Commonwealth and the rest of the world via BBC
    * All Politicians credibility – All parties!
    * BBC credibility and MSM
    * Trust in democracy
    * Trust in the Civil Service and Establishment
    Betrayal of the people would be a toxic legacy and take years to recover if ever.
    Brexit must be delivered in good faith to honour the Referendum in both good spirit and not a mean-spirited way favoured by the toxic Withdrawal Agreement.

  42. Nicholas Murphy
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    So we are to be spared Stewart’s experimentation with Shura government. Good! The BBC gave a timely example of how audiences can be anything but representative.

    • matthu
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I had always assumed that Stewart’s scientific sample of 500 voters would have been selected using exactly the same methodology as a QT audience, so the example from Tuesday evening’s debate is very apt indeed.

      Never, ever must we allow a politician to propose a “scientifically selected sample” of the electorate to determine government policy. Close shave averted by all!

  43. Nicky Roberts
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    In my view the general election everyone is talking about will be very dangerous. MPs with safe seats – Remainers many of them will get back in, Leavers standing against may fail. It could well be that after a General election we have much the same make up in the House as before. Not everyone keeps up with politics, and some might not vote for a Leave MP either Labour or Conservative because of confusing agenda which is pumped out daily. The list of 26 Labour MPs who yesterday wrote to Corbyn saying that Brexit must happen have a lot to lose as they have Leave constituencies. The water is very muddy, votes could split etc etc and we may well be in a worse mess than we are currently. I personally do not see why Boris has to call a GE, he should try his best to avoid one.

  44. glen cullen
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Just heard on BBC2 Politics Live that Boris only wants to make one amendment to the WA i.e the schedule of the ‘backstop’

    The rest of the WA remains the same

    Are you kidding me !!!!!!!

    • rose
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      Who did you hear it from? I am hearing all sorts of things from his many enemies. For example, they are saying he said leaving on the 31 October was eminently feasible when he was actually talking about a deal.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 20, 2019 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

        Tory MP Damian Collins

        Interviewed and reported on BBC2 politics live today, quoted as being on Boris’s team and in the know

        He was very clear (Andrew Neil asked him a few times) that the ‘backstop’ as the only thing he was going to change !

        ….and that was a ”very significant change”

        Nothing else on the WA was to change ?

        watch it on iplayer

    • Al
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      That statement was from the BBC, so be aware of potential bias. The Guardian says he is ripping it up. Bloomberg have an interesting piece stating that he is either avoiding committing himself, or telling each group what they wanted to hear. The first leaves concern about intentions, the second was May’s tactic and worked so well once everything reached Parliament…

      My MP is a Remainer, so who wins the leadership contest doesn’t actually affect my vote.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      BBC – don’t believe a word they broadcast. Switch off. Relax!

    • Fed up with the bull
      Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Glen, if that’s true then we may as well say goodbye to the Conservative party. I cannot believe that Boris would want to be responsible for the demise of the party when it is in his power to make it great again. So, Boris and Hunt it is. I know which I prefer of the two but oh boy, am I glad Gove is out of it. Serves him right after all the back stabbing he did.

  45. Caterpillar
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    2 spoilt ballot papers?

  46. BR
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it seems the effect of May’s shenanigans is to make a WTO or FTA exit the only way.

    It was interesting that she supported Roderick Stewart in the ballot; this confirms her remainiac credentials (if proof were needed). only a dyed in the wool remainer would ever vote for the nonsense he spouted.

    What strikes me about all this is that no-one in the UK is up in arms about the EU’s stance on all of this. Their intransigence and determination to punish us for leaving are disgraceful behaviour for supposed Statesmen. We are free to leave a trade bloc if we wish and they should simply be setting in place the best arrangements possible for both parties after we leave.

    Isn’t it time people in public life started calling out EU behaviour for what it is? Perhaps a few MPs saying so in Parliament would be a start.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    “Philip Hammond urges next Tory leader to consider new referendum to break Brexit deadlock”

    So how exactly would that work?

    If we had another referendum, and we still came up with an answer that a majority of MPs did not like, then would they nonetheless keep their promise and implement it?

    Why should we believe that, when we told in terms that the government would implement whatever we decided in 2016 referendum but MPs will not allow that to happen?

    I repeat what I said recently, that I am a staunch and unwavering supporter of Parliament as an institution but I regard most of the current occupants with utter contempt.

    As far as I am concerned Philip Hammond should never have been allowed and assisted to blag his way into the House of Commons, and that is the fault of the Tory party.

    • Steve
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

      Dennis Cooper

      Phillip Hammond has a meeting scheduled with a lump of 6 x 4, in political terms.

      The chinless idiot is finished.

      The first task of the new PM is that he replace Hammond…..the country demands it.

    • Al
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      If the deadlock is in Parliament then surely he should be calling for elections, as it is the Parliamentary make-up that needs to change, not the electorate.

      By-elections for MPs who change parties (particularly multiple times in one year) would be a good start.

  48. Stred
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Neil filleted the MP for Dover? today after he said he was backing Boris and that the plan was to drop the WA by an amendment to the backstop. Neil pointed out that s minor amendment would not be in any way abandoning May’s deal. Something smells off. A stitch up is coming.

    • Steve
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink


      Don’t worry, if they stitch us up we just put Mr Farage in Downing Street.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 21, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink


        Farage in Downing Street? Does he know something you don’t as he is reported to have applied for German citizenship which his 2 children already enjoy?

        Prepared to leave the sinking ship?

  49. Freeborn John
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    The new government must above all else avoid getting sucked into another fruitless pursuit of a will o’ the wisp deal with Brussels. The government need to say their working assumption is that no deal will be forthcoming from Brussels that can be ratified by the UK Parliament. This is entirely consistent with what the EU is saying and the Speaker’s position. Johnson should be on a plane to Washington DC in the first week and standing next to their President saying a free trade deal with the US is effective from a November 1. If Brussels believes they can suck us into another runaround where the Uk does not plan for life outside the Eu until we have a permission slip from them then that is exactly what they will do. So Boris has to demonstrate with every action that he is taking up opportunities that are available outside the EU rather than being paralysed by an EU that will never give the UK what it wants even when to do so would be in their own interests. The time for negotiating naivety is over.

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    “Irish border: UK expert panel to advise on post-Brexit arrangements”

    I wonder whether any of the experts will have the nous to see that:

    a) The present Irish government has been inventing and exaggerating problems with the border to try to keep the UK under the rules of the EU customs union and single market, as became clear in late 2017; and therefore

    b) It is extremely unlikely that this, or indeed any future, Irish government would ever willingly accept any “alternative arrangements” which did not have the same effect of keeping the UK under swathes of EU laws.

    The following comment was first posted on November 26th 2017, and I hope JR will stretch a point and allow it to be reproduced in full:

    “On the TV this morning it was stated that the UK government is “desperate” to move on to trade talks, but this would be vetoed by the Irish government unless the UK government committed to keeping the UK in both the Single Market and the Customs Union.

    Apparently the latest threat on this matter has come from an Irishman who has forgotten that as an EU Commissioner he is supposed to be an impartial official faithfully serving the interests of the EU as a whole, not just those of his home country, a promise he made as part of his solemn oath of office.

    Whatever delusions the Irish government may entertain there is no political possibility of the UK remaining in either the Single Market or the Customs Union after leaving the EU, so there is now clearly no point in the UK even trying to negotiate any “special and deep” trade deal with the EU. And of course there was never any justification for paying the EU a bribe just to get trade talks started.

    So we should now say that rather than kowtow to the stupid destructive intransigence of the EU we will fall back on WTO trade rules and only seek agreements on the practical or technical aspects of continuing trade.

    That would do us some economic harm, although nowhere near as much as portrayed by the Remoaners, and it would do the other countries more economic harm, albeit it would be spread around among them, but on most projections the country which would suffer by far the greatest economic damage would in fact be Ireland.”

  51. BillM
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 2:58 pm | Permalink

    Brussels have made it quite clear, on more than one occasion that we must leave first then discuss a new FTA. Surely it cannot be that simple? Have the past Government procrastinations been caused by the potential scare of a EU segregated NI from the UK?
    For the EU to insist on such a requirement, is for them to display their megalomaniac tendencies to the Rest of the World and that would not look too good, given the history of the Two World Wars in Europe. The Europeans have suffered enough from Dictators in the past and they would be more than silly to allow this new form take hold. As would this country. Leave means leave.

  52. hefner
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    “Negotiating our way out of the EU?” See Ivan Rogers’s talk to the Compeer Ltd event as put together in the Telegraph on 18 June.

  53. David Maples
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    Even Sir Mark Sedwill has finally admitted that ‘no-dealing’ will not be the catastrophe the seers and prophets in the metro elite have warned us about. The ‘only thing we have to fear, is fear itself'(FD Roosevelt); but has BJ got the steely spine to carry it fearlessly through? I doubt it. The future of Disraeli’s great invention, looks bleak. However, if the new PM includes messrs Redwood, Rees-Mogg, Baker, Francois et al in his cabinet, to ‘pin and plate’ his courage, then I might be more optimistic.

  54. hefner
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    17:24, will we get a move from CP to CCP or CCCP? How are the Bolshevik Brexiters handling the potential votes for Michael Gove?

  55. Lucas
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Great to hear Mark Rutte Netherlands PM today..such clear thinking devoid of the usual delusional navel gazing that we have become used to.

  56. Steve
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    All this talk of the EU not renegotiating, I don’t buy it.

    I suspect that the EU will reopen negotiations at the last hour, just to force another delay.

    The issue is; will we have a government with the guts to get us out on Oct 31st without a deal, even if the EU wants to talk.

    In other words, we need to do what should have been done on March 29th, that is; clean break on WTO.

    What we don’t need is a PM who says; “ah but the EU has just said they will renegotiate” This obviously rules out the selection of Gove.

    If the conservatives allow the EU to shove a stick in the spokes, the Brexit party will be going for the throat, and rightly so.

    It MUST be no deal and talk after we have left.

  57. Fred H
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    As i had hoped …Javid gone, Gove got a ‘lasting’ taste of et tu, brute?. It is very likely half a dozen Boris fans couldn’t refuse the idea of passing justice metered out at the final hurdle. Boris may yet offer posts to the losing 3, but I trust Stewart will abandon politics or go play with some other change party.

  58. stred
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Thank goodness Gove is our. We might have had someone as PM madder than May and with views approaching those of Mad Andy.

  59. mancunius
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Yes, of course the EU is not going to renegotiate any of the Withdrawal Agreement except a trivial detail or two. The backstop is the whole essence of the plan to subject the UK to lasting economic, political humiliation and destroy our national independence. Pleading with Juncker, Barnier and Merkel to alter that careful provision, would be like mice petitioning the householder to remove the spring from the trap, and to improve the quality of the cheese.

    The only way to leave is to leave. Martin Howe has given an excellent commentary about Gatt 24. It should be read and acted on.

  60. Fire!
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Mr Carney of the Bank of England is speaking as I write. He says that the Digital Revolution in regard to Banking will mean in terms of knowledge and data gained, instantaneously, as if it is reading all the works of Shakespeare millions of times over.

    It is hard to know where to start with the Bank of England.

  61. George Brooks
    Posted June 20, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Please do explain what is so difficult about my comment that it has been waiting for ”moderation” since early this morning

    • hardlymatters
      Posted June 21, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      It’s a form of censorship George- political censorship- a bit like it’s my ball so you’ll play by my rules. On the other hand I say that what is often delayed for moderation, or even comments not published,just have to be the more interesting ones

  62. New LibDem Emperor
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 1:47 am | Permalink

    The Left say the democratic vote for Boris was undemocratic. See, they CAN change their attitude!

  63. DJE
    Posted June 21, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    It’s concerning that a clause in the 31st October extension agreement is that the WA will not be renegotiated. Is this TM attempting to tie the hands of her successor?

  64. Graham Thompson
    Posted June 22, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Dr Mr Redwood ,

    Last week you failed to acknowledge the Robin Tilbrook court case with Graham Moore,as he said all you MPs are aware of this case but wont mention it.WELL TODAY YOUR POTENTIAL NEW PM mentioned it at todays hustings ,isnt it time you leavers started promoting it as it solves all the problems of leaving as we left on 29 March 2019.By Boris not contesting it in the High paves the way to just leave.

    Reply I raised it! I would be delighted if the court finds we are out.

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  • About John Redwood

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

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