So what is Parliament doing now?

Yesterday afternoon Parliament moved early to its Adjournment debate at 4.47 pm. The House had been given four Statutory Instruments to scrutinise and talk about on Brexit matters. Practically no Opposition backbench MPs turned up to do so. The SIs were hurried through without a vote. The Speaker had granted three Urgent Questions which used up much of the time that was spent. These were about the situation in Yemen, homeless people and the endlessly discussed Irish border.

Many Conservative MPs stayed at party conference correctly predicting the Opposition would not that day do anything interesting or challenging in the Commons. We were left wondering why Labour voted down a brief recess for the Conservative conference when Labour and Lib Dems had enjoyed the traditional recess for their conferences. They said they wanted to scrutinise Brexit, but not when it comes to detail about farming and trade.

Parliament needs to ask itself some simple questions about how it wishes to handle the next few weeks. Will it now do what it can to facilitate Brexit, to fulfil promises made by all Labour and Conservative MPs in 2017, or will it continue to do all in its power to stop it?

Will it continue to undermine the Prime Minister’s efforts to negotiate a better Agreement with the EU, or will it at the last moment recognise that the loyal opposition should reinforce the government’s requests for a better outcome to EU talks in our and their mutual interest?

Do MPs seriously think Parliament should try to enforce a requirement on the Prime Minister to act against his judgement to break his promises over Brexit?

Do a majority of MPs think whether we leave or remain in the EU this autumn should fall to be decided by 11 Supreme Court judges, after the massive public debate, referendum and General election we have held to settle this matter in the high court of public opinion?

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  1. Stephen Priest
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    11 Supreme Court judges – why 11? The USA has 5.

    How can it be a Supreme Court when the EJC is currently more Supreme?

    I seem to remember Blair bringing in the Supreme Court and getting rid of the Lord Chancellor and Law Lords at a drop of a hat. Could Boris reverse this in the same manner?

    • James Strong
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      The US Supreme Court has 9 members.

      • Stephen Priest
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        9 – I was hoping you’d spot that one.

    • J Bush
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      “How can it be a Supreme Court when the EJC is currently more Supreme?”

      Probably because they are a ‘subsidiary’ of the ECJ…as Blair intended

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      The ECJ is only paramount in the specific, limited, areas of law covered by the Lisbon Treaty, which become European Union law.

      In everything else – which is nearly all of it – the Supreme Court is the top authority.

      If you don’t even know the very basics, why do you think that you are suitable to vote on these things?

      • NickC
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        Martin, All UK law must conform to EU law, every bit of it.

        If you don’t even know the very basics, why do you think that you are suitable to vote on these things?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          You can say that where there is a clash between UK law and European Union law, then the latter is trumps, yes.

          However, how would such a clash arise, in one of the many, many areas, where the Lisbon Treaty has no remit, such as in family and divorce, inheritance, or property?

          If it did, then why didn’t the Government appeal to the ECJ over the prorogation ruling?

          Why didn’t you, for that matter, if you are so sure, and it bothered you so much?

          • Otto
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

            Wasn’t it EU law which said the UK must not use Imperial weights and Measures, surely not in the purview of the ECJ but they wee insisting, no? It was only by a tough fightback that we were ‘allowed’ to continue with our old measures.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        That’s a partial view Martin.
        I suggest you do an internet search on the powers of the ECJ as I have done and you will read just how many areas the ECJ is able to become involved.
        It has the general power to rule on any action that contradicts a member state’s actions required under EU treaties. that might affect other member states
        That gives it very wide ranging powers.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        I already provided the paragraph from the ECJ website that proves you wrong

        Youre vote has now been revoked

        ps Someone on here got very sniffy about fact checking, wonder who that might have been ?

      • steve
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:22 pm | Permalink


        “the Supreme Court is the top authority.”

        No it isn’t. The people are the top authority, as will be demonstrated at the next general election.

        Which is also when Parliament will be purged and Labour get their comeuppance.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

      Well only if/when he can get a majority!

      • Richard Evans
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

        He can, that’s why the opposition don’t want an election

    • Andy
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      Unelected El Presidente seems to think he can reverse whatever he likes. He appears to think he doesn’t even need Parliament to do it.

      And there are 9 US Supreme Court Justices. The US Supreme Court being a wonderful example of why politically appointed judges are a bad thing.

      • NickC
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

        Andy, I thought you complained that the Leave politicians, such as Boris, Gove, and Cummings, had “run away”?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Andy/Newmania/Marty c

        Whoops ( rules based organisation you say )

        World Trade Organisation has enabled President Trump to impose tariffs on roughly $7.5 billion worth of European goods, after WTO ruling that EU granted illegal subsidies to Airbus over many years.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      It was part of his promised lords reform. He banged on, I remember, about the injustice of hereditary lordships.
      Now look at what has happened…

    • Syme
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      He can introduce an elected, smaller version of the HoL at the same time.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      The USA’s 5 are elected too.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Catching up with some reading last night I came across a very good article on the subject of the Supreme Court by Peter Hitchens in Sunday’s MoS.

    • APL
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Stephen Priest: “Could Boris reverse this in the same manner?”

      Yes, he should too. But let’s see the Lords purged of about 1000 appointed peers first.

    • steve
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Stephen Priest

      Well as far as I’m concerned you have to be born a Lord in order to be a Lord. Not because Tony says you can be one.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    You give Parliament a veneer of respectability, when we all know it has none. Parliament, and particularly your erstwhile senior colleagues, are bent on destruction and mayhem. The PM must accept that there is no ‘deal’ to be done but we MUST leave on the 31st. Mr. Johnson and team had better have a plan to outwit these quislings to save the nation from further damage.

    • Hope
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      You are correct Peter. Today we read Johnson to announce his Brexit plan with two borders.

      N. Ireland remaining in the single market for another four/five years! It was clear to all, leave the single market and customs union, leave ECJ and control our money- not keep giving billions of our taxes years after we leave or as we read yesterday Hammond content to give away all our money (billions) held in the EIB and continue to lend it billions interest free!

      The pure dishonesty and deceit of the govt and a Remain Parliament is bound to cause strong feeling and strong language to be used by the public. When the ballot box is rendered void, as Mayhabs agreement did, what are the public expected to do? Just accept the dishonesty of parliament and let it defy the will f the people in getting rid of our democracy? Why does the Supreme acourt think it right to take away the role of the Queen in our constitution and place it in their Remain hands!

      No JR, it is coming to the point where the only option is for people to take back control and rid our nation of this rotten Parliament its dishonest politicians that has not learned any lessons from the expense scandal or Iraq war where politicians are not held to proper account. No more should there be laws for them and us. Democracy belongs to us not MPs.

      • Otto
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        I read somewhere, perhaps in The Conservative Woman, that 10 of the 11 judges voted to remain – how this info is known I don’t know – is it well known?

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Peter Wood, Very true. Parliament asked us 4 years ago. Parliament promised to obey our choice. Any “deal” which keeps the UK subject to the EU is not Leave, by definition. Why haven’t we left yet?

  3. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    You misses a trick, Sir John. You should have invited Their Supremeships into the Commons – to demonstrate just how right the decision to prorogue had been. The Supremeships need a bit of humbling.

    • J Bush
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      I am not sure if I agree with giving these people the opportunity to massage their ‘virtue’ by inviting them into the Commons.

      I would prefer the televised event of none attendance is made public with a cryptic comment about real purpose of the decision made by these 11.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      John’s constituents voted by fifty-seven to forty-three to Remain, I read.

      They might disagree over who it is who needs that.

      Reply My constituents voted 16% for a second referendum with the Lib Dems and 57% for me and Brexit in the 2017 General election.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        For the 2016 refendum Wokingham was “lumped” together with Maidenhead. Not sure how you have managed to separate them?

      • NickC
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Martin, The majority of the country voted to Leave (according to the rules laid down by Parliament).

      • libertarian
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 3:51 pm | Permalink


        Check your facts mate, check your facts

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      David Starkey: the elite is guilty of treason on the The Brendan O’Neill Show give a good historical analysis – pulling no punches.

      Clearly the many traitors in parliament are going to continue to undermine Boris, to try to stop Brexit at every turn, try to make Boris less electable while not daring to face the people in an election.

    • Digger
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      There is no space beneath for their humbling( exclamation mark)

  4. Tabulazero
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    « Do a majority of MPs think whether we leave or remain in the EU this autumn should fall to be decided by 11 Supreme Court judges, after the massive public debate, referendum and General election we have held to settle this matter in the high court of public opinion? »

    11 judges just said that lying to the Queen is bad. Can’t blame them for that, can you ?

    But do not despair, John, the EU will reject whatever poor excuse for a deal Boris Johnson will present because it is not dumb enough to destroy the Single-Market simply for the sake of the Conservative party.

    You will have your general election but not before October 31st. All is not that bad.

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, False – 11 judges at the Supreme court did not say that lying to the Queen is bad. Nor did they say that the Queen had been lied to either.

      But do not despair, Tabulazero, we will reject whatever poor excuse you present for the EU because we are not dumb enough to destroy our country simply for the sake of the EU.

    • David Taylor
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

      I do not think the Queen was unaware of the alleged political tactic the Prime Minister was trying to employ .
      I thought it was a reasonable attempt to force a conclusion to the Brexit impasse .

    • libertarian
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink


      Hmm why lie? Its in black and white, NO ONE LIED to the Queen. The SC judgement had NOTHING to do with Boris or what he said or his reasons. The SC invented a political reason, that parliament needed to sit for urgent Brexit debate…. how’s that working out?

  5. Garland
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Do MPs seriously think Parliament should try to enforce a requirement on the Prime Minister to act against his judgement to break his promises over Brexit? Yes, obviously. That is the law of the land, as passed by Parliament. Don’t you get that Parliament is supreme? As for your comment that whether we leave or remain in the EU this autumn is decided by 11 Supreme Court judges, you are dangerously trying to whip up anger and hatred against the proud institutions of our country. The Supreme Court has no view on Brexit, all it did last week was to hold the PM to have acted unlawfully in shutting down Parliament. Please tone down your inflammatory language

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Garland, your comments about our host are ridiculous. We already feel the same animosity towards treacherous MPs and the stitch up Supreme Court. We don’t need Sir John to inflame anything thank you.

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Garland, When you start criticising Remains for their “inflammatory language” (Remains claim that Leaves are “thick”, “uneducated”, “racists”, “flat-earthers”, etc), you will not be regarded as the hypocrite you clearly demonstrate yourself to be.

      “Don’t you get that Parliament is supreme?” Whenever did Remains believe that the UK Parliament was “supreme”? The whole point of Remain is to remain subservient to the EU.

      • bill brown
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink


        Did you really read it before it was sent?

  6. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    The behaviour of some in this Parliament has been nothing short of despicable. They have ensured that the majority (those of us that believe in democracy) no longer trust them. They have made this country crawl and virtually beg for a reasonable way of leaving the EU. Enough is enough. Why leave it until the 41st to depart? Just leave now. What we don’t want is May’s WA without the backstop. Boris must remember the fearmongers told us we would leave the single market and the customs union. That is what we voted for. Our freedom despite all the forecasts of doom and gloom.

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Fedupsoutherner, Remains think they can re-write history. And re-define whatever they want. All major politicians and both Leave and Remain official campaigns told us that Leave meant leaving the single market and the customs union. Indeed we could not have our own trade policy unless we did. Leave means the UK never being under the control of the EU.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        No, it is the Leavers, who claim that every single one of seventeen-odd million people consciously voted for a no deal exit from the European Union, despite ALL the Leave campaigns saying that there would be one, EEA, Switzerland and the rest.

        It’s hard to beat re-writing history like that.

        Those statements of fact as to what leaving meant were warnings as to its seriousness, and what would need to be replaced, not promises.

        But you know that.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          Have you any idea of just how silly and childish you sound with this type of posting?

          It really is vanishingly simple

          There is only ONE way to leave and thats to leave THEN negotiate a deal of some kind

          Just because the ultra remainers INVENTED terms like no deal, crashing out blah blah doesn’t make it true.

          EVERY senior Remain supporter told us endlessly before we voted that it would mean leaving the customs union, single market, FoM, etc etc . No going back, no second chances leave meant leave out , totally out. Theres literally dozens of video clips of this on the net

          Please either come up with some rational arguments or cease posting, because the fake news is tedious and dull

  7. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    What the crowing Labour Corbynites don’t seem to grasp is that the establishment will use exactly the same measures (Supreme Court, breaking parliamentary conventions, relentless biased media attacks etc.) against Corbyn if he is elected PM.

  8. margaret
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    The house could go tit for tat and refuse a recess for their conferences as there are still the same important issues to discuss , however this childish toing and froing won’t get the civilised people anywhere.

  9. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    I see we have now reached some practical common sense with the Border in Ireland and agree some sort of physical checks are necessary to try to counter the smuggling of people and goods.

    We have a physical border with all other countries in the EU when people come here, hence the passport check facility. Never been or returned to France or anywhere else without showing a passport at both ends, why should Ireland and Northern Ireland be different.

    Been made a major stumbling block by Ireland methinks simply as a leaver to eventually get a fully united Ireland.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      Agreed Alan.

      The Belfast Agreement speaks only of “normalisation at the border”, not that there will be no checks at the border or elsewhere.

      The ROI have overplayed their hand.

  10. Mark B
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    All the nonsense over the past few weeks, months and even years by the opposition has been solely to humiliate the government, the Conservative Party and the PM. And it has only gained intensity due to three factors :

    1) The Opposition (Labour mainly) is doing poorly in the polls.

    2) Another BREXIT extension is needed.

    3) We have a new PM who is currently popular and needs brought down a peg or two.

    Whilst the political class play their silly games the rest of the country is suffering. This too is a tactic of the opposition. Damaging the economy, business and peoples lives makes people angry against whoever is in power. This gives the opposition a greater chance in any future election. The behaviour of the political class on all sides is contemptible. We are the ones that are suffering !

    I saw an interview with the PM, Alexander Johnson MP. It seems clear that the N.Irish are to be sold out and, a watered down BREXIT is to be offered. I did not vote for compromise, I voted the LEAVE. Leave the CU, the SM and the ECJ.

    Three years you lot have had and, you still cannot deliver. May I remind people that, India gained her independence in less time. Clearly we had both better MP’s and Civil Servants back then. They could grant the independence of some 500 million people back then but, will not do the same for their own. Disgusting !

    • Mark B
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      Truth hurts ! Eh, Sir John ;o)

      Looks like I called it right ahead of the PM’s big speech. A watered down BREXIT it is.

      To paraphrase Sir David Steele. “Go back to your constituencies, and prepare for OPPOSITION !”

  11. Frankie
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    What do we need parliament for when we can have Uno duce Una voce – ‘take it or leave it’ –

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Frankie, What do we need parliament for when they promise we can Leave, then block Leave when we have voted for it? What do we need a UK parliament for when we are in the EU?

  12. Caterpillar
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    All we seem to hear about is the Irish border. Do ‘we’ know how different Johnson’s proposed agreement or deal is compared with May’s?

  13. Wil Pretty
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I suspect the opposition Mps are busy plotting. ( or is that a non PC word)

  14. sm
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Today’s Daily Telegraph reports the first diagnosis of someone with a ‘Brexit psychosis’; it seems to me that this sad state of mind is in fact currently rampant, particularly in the HoC.

  15. Lifelogic
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    It seems that all people are equal – but some are rather more equal than others. 17.4 million counts for nothing against 11 group think lawyers, the B***** to Brexit Brecow Speaker and the many contemptible, traitor MPs who were elected promising that they would deliver Brexit but now will not do and dare not even seek re-election.

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, Hear, hear!

  16. Nig l
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    The constitutional impact is an important one going forward and needs to be sorted because government can’t work if it is always under the threat of higher action.

    However once again it is everyone’s fault but the politicians. Closing down parliament for 5 weeks with the transparently false justifications was always taking the p and deserved what it got.

    More importantly you/Boris are suspiciously quiet on what is being proposed to the EU. Nothing about the 47 billion, being tied for ever to much of their and regs, state subsidy, ECJ, etc only back drop.

    I smell a large surrender rat.

  17. MPC
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Another ‘simple question’ will a majority of MPs vote in favour of Mr Johnson’s tweaked Irish Backstop leaving the rest of the existing WA intact and pleasing neither leavers nor remainders?

    • Nig l
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Sir John and the ERG are suspiciously quiet. My guess is that the slew of announcements from Conference is the ‘bribe’ to get the electorate to forget the coming sell out.

      Reply Not quiet. I have made clear why I oppose the Withdrawal Agreement.

  18. Shirley
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    While ever Parliament resists a GE, then it has no legitimacy. None at all. They are doing great harm to democracy and public trust.

  19. Andy
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Parliament should fulfil its role and hold this unelected minority government to account.

    To pass a Brexit deal MPs have to be given a Brexit deal to pass.

    They have, thus far, been given just one. Mrs May’s deal which you voted against 3 times.

    Nobody has seen El Presidente’s deal but from what we are hearing it is a bureaucratic dog’s dinner which will pretty swiftly break up the United Kingdom.

    Remember you are supposed to be Unionists as well as Conservatives? Remember also that, in 2016, you promised the electorate that Brexit would mean less red tape.

    Please explain how El Presidente’s plan creates less red tape? There is actually much more of it.

    Finally, remember most MPs have not seen any of El Presidente’s plan. And when they do they might not like it. And that includes the ERG.

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      Andy, Care to look at EU Commission Regulation (EC) No 1462/2006
      of 2 October 2006? And then come back to us about unnecessary red tape? Or in this case an unnecessary ornamental-sheep-with-a-knitted-wool-coat tape?

    • agricola
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      The key to holding this elected (2017) government to account would be to have a general election. Problem is those you hold dear in this Parliament are all too aware of the consequences so they will not be risking that will they.

      Any Brexit deal has first to be given to the EU, which they can either accept or reject. Either way we leave on the 31st October whether Parliament likes it or not. You can dine on it when you know what it is.

      As to red Tape , it is the food of bureaucrats whatever their political colour. Depending how we leave the EU, we ditch their red tape as to the way it may effect our trade with the rest of the World. With the rest of the World there are either WTO rules or specific trade agreements. Compliance is part of giving the customer what he wants whoever they are. It works both ways. Otherwise you end up with pink bath plugs.

      Parliament aren’t anywhere near as important as they think they are. They have largely disqualified themselves from decisions on anything. As a committee they could not even produce a camel from a horse plan.

  20. Julie Williams
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    This Parliament has decided that it only has one job: kicking the can down the road until an extension is granted by the EU.
    They think that by doing so, along with months of bewitching Brexit and Boris in the media, they will achieve their aims because the electorate will give up!
    Labour:power at any cost
    Libdems:revoke Article 50
    SNP: Scottish independence
    Unfortunately for them, they have badly misunderstood the populace, but we need people like you to keep fighting in Parliament until we can have our say.
    Thanks and apologies for long post!

  21. Everhopeful
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    So strange how things seem tipped in Remoaners’ favour. The fixed term Act, the unfortunate loss of a tory working majority have both helped them enormously.
    And oh boy..are they making the most of it. Spitefully.
    I hope that no one seriously expected them to turn up suited and booted, sandwiches packed to do a few days of solid work?

  22. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Plus ca change

    Noone who seeks office should be eligible for office unfortunately.

  23. RichardM
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    Ridiculous post. 11 judges decided your government broke the law. Your government put up no defence and had claimed prior it was nothing to do with Brexit. You should try to be more honest rather than criticising judges who cannot answer back.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      There was no law, the judges invented it – even Eric Blair would have been bemused.

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      RichardM, Kindly name the law that Boris’s government “broke”? Thank you.

      • Belter
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        The law which forbids the government stopping Parliament holding it to account.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink


          There wasn’t a law that stopped that, they had to invent it on the hoof

    • David Taylor
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      In the judgement , the Supreme Court said the case had nothing to do with Brexit either ?

      • RichardM
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        The GOVERNMENT said it was nothing to do with Brexit. The justices did not even consider the reasons – only the effects.

        It found that the power to prorogue “is limited by the constitutional principles with which it would otherwise conflict” – those two principles being parliamentary sovereignty and parliamentary accountability.

        Clearly proroguing for this length of time DID conflict with these principles.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      Dear Dickie M

      Try reading the judgement before posting fake news. Why are ultra remainers always detached from facts ?

  24. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    “What is Parliament doing now”

    Given how desperate the opposition were to recall Parliament I would have expected them to want to be sitting all day and every day since the enforced recall.

    The fact that they are not indicates to me they were just point scoring, and trying to humiliate the Prime Minister.

    What a fiasco of the incompetents and the time wasters.

    How much lower can the reputations of many of our Politicians (I exclude our host) and our Parliament go.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    The government says it cannot negotiate with the EU in public, that would never work, but as it seems that every proposal it makes is leaked to the media to be distorted by its opponents might it not be better to simply publish the correct details in full?

    I would also point out that Theresa May said at an early stage that she would not be providing a running commentary:

    and so instead we have had three years of unremitting anti-Brexit running commentary that has gone almost entirely unanswered by the government.

    Incidentally I said yesterday that I was still waiting to see some rebuttals from the rapid rebuttal unit promised by Michael Gove, but then just by pure chance I came across the official blog that is being run for that purpose.

    Contrary to my usual practice I will not helpfully offer a link to that blog, instead I will leave it as a challenge to other interested readers to see if they can track it down in the vastness of the internet.

    I will just say that so far there have been only three entries, dated September 12, 18 and 27, and even if anybody else has read them none are particularly effective.

    • acorn
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      I pointed it out to you yesterday Denis, I told you to Google it. You requested a link to the article. My links don’t get past moderation these days. “but then just by pure chance I came across the official blog”; No you didn’t.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

        Are you calling me a liar?

        When I said that I came across it by pure chance that was because I came across it by pure chance, I leave the pure inventions to you.

  26. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    So Boris is to offer Brussels Mays rubbish WA with a 4 year limit on the backstop.
    This essentially means going into an election as full no voting member of the EU.
    Your total destruction awaits.

    • glen cullen
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      You are correct

      The voters, will at the next general election, be fully aware whether we have left the EU or not…..and the brexit party will be shouting from the roof tops

      • L Jones
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        If we haven’t left, why would the EU even allow us to hold a GE, let alone vote into power a/the Brexit party?

        • Gordon Pugh
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

          Good question, L Jones, let me answer it. They would allow us to do it for the same reason that we had a GE in 2017 (and 2015 and 2010) and a referendum in 2016. The reason is that it is nothing to do with the EU, because we are a sovereign country (like Germany, like France, like Ireland etc) and we decide for ourselves how we are governed. Sovereignty belongs with states, not with the EU, and British sovereignty rests with Britain, as it always has. The EU only exists because (and while) sovereign States decree it. So if you vote to leave the EU to regaim sovereignty you are barking up the wrong tree – the EU doesn’t have any sovereignty in the first place

          • Otto
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            Gordon – Why did the UK have a problem in trying to reverse the decision/directive or whatever it was so that we could still use the simple choice of using Imperial weights and measures?

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    If we do get to see the UK government’s latest, and supposedly final, offer to the EU then I shall be very interested to see whether it starts where it should start, and that is not with technology but with law:

    “To render it unnecessary for the EU/Irish authorities to routinely intercept and inspect goods coming in across the land border from Northern Ireland the UK Parliament will pass an Act to control what may be legally exported across that border, including provisions for effective enforcement, potentially in close co-operation with the Irish authorities.”

    Why start with the law? Because the problem, such as it is, starts with the removal of the existing UK laws to implement the EU customs union and single market laws, and so the solution must involve the introduction of a new UK law to achieve the same desirable end result of keeping the border open for the movement of goods.

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Denis, You are right but you’re banging your head against a brick wall. This Tory government won’t listen. And the civil service won’t listen whatever the government.

  28. Dan
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Given Parliaments recent actions, and I don’t just speak of the opposition here but also others such as the 21, I do not think they really care to debate the current issues of the day. Refusing the recess and every other action is just about bringing Boris Johnson and the Conservative government down. I think that many of them couldn’t care less if the Brexit debacle continues or not. Some of them perhaps see another extension as playing into Johnsons hands and by refusing a GE they are stringing out the pain and frustration even more without seeing or caring about the consequences. Anything to damage Boris is justified.

  29. Turboterrier
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    People ask “why are the public totally fed up with politicians and parliament”?

    Practically no Opposition backbench MPs turned up to do so.

    Just about sums it all up.

    Parliament must JFDI and stop all this childness nonsense. It is quite a large swamp and it rapidly needs draining. The nation deserves better .

  30. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    As a casual observer, I am deeply shocked by the sheer meanness and hypocrisy of the Remainers who have stopped the Prime Minister “proroguing ” parliament and implying that he is Charles I.
    OK So they won the court case – and brought lawyers into politics like in a third world country.
    Now, they have obstructed the Conservative Party Conference having already enjoyed the two or so remainer party conferences in the full glare of publicity.
    And, to cap it all, the opposition MPs are simply not attending parliament at all! They even didn’t on the first day that parliament was brought back.
    They have also taken advice and received money (probably) from the EU, so they are beholden to do what they are advised to do in order to keep things like they are where a lot of them are enjoying a lifestyle of which they could only dream and where they are at the peak of their career.

    Dog in the Manger.

  31. bill brown
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    The supreme court judgement was about constitutional matters and how to interpret the procedures for Parliament not about Brexit. I am sure you are aware of that as well

    Reply The piece is mainly about a possible future SC action!

  32. Iain Moore
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Well we will have the joys of watching Diane Abbott stand in for Corbyn at PMQ’s today. Oh dear that is going to be painful and an embarrassment , not least because she speaks v e r y s l o w l y.

  33. Anonymous
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Let’s abolish Parliament. Have the Supreme Court make all the decisions – whatever the EU wants.

    • bill brown
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink


      Thank you for a valuable and worth while contribution on the SC

  34. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The crunch time all round is coming for BJ and the CP. The comments being made by some MPs are beyond reason. If BJ does cop out, which is my bet, then the CP is finished and unless an electoral miracle happens with the BP so is the UK. It could be time for England to break away.

    Our Chancellor was far from inspiring and he looks a rerun of his predecessors e.g. instead of burdening employers with higher minimum wages increase the income tax allowance now to £15k. He, like the others, is grasping the wrong end of the economic and political stick.

  35. libertarian
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    The problem here is that this rogue parliament is not being held to account by an impartial media. However the people of the UK ( whichever side of the stay/leave fence they sit on) can see that this parliament has lost all authority, all sense of democracy and is just kicking the can down the road in the forlorn hope that something pops out of the woodwork and rescues them.

    When we finally get an election the peoples wrath will be beyond compare to anything that has happened since the civil war

    • Newmania
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Yesterday U Gov published a Poll in which 49% of people ( versus 40%) said we were wrong to vote to leave the EU. 40% is really remarkably high when you think how badly misled people were about the likely consequences of negotiations. What happened to that trade balance that would so terrify them ?
      You seem to think that it is wrong or illegitimate for the majority of MPs to agree with the majority of people .On the other hand you want to interpret an unwillingness to vote for Jeremy Corbyn as a vote for Brexit
      That will make sense when a disinclination to be punched in the face may be interpreted as a positive wish to be kicked down the stairs.

      • NickC
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Newmania, Again you try to justify overturning an actual vote by invoking a mere poll. The fact is Parliament offered us a binary choice: Remain, or Leave; and promised to implement what we decided. Yet MPs are blocking what we voted for. We have been misled – by Remains.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


          BOth sides mislead all the time, that is why our politicinas have no credibility. Can we get some balance in the arguments , please

      • libertarian
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:06 pm | Permalink


        In an ACTUAL referendum a MAJORITY voted to leave . Implement that decision .

        Ive just been on the You Gove website , so far Ive not found this poll of yours ( provide a link)

        What I did find was ONE poll that had the split 45% v 43% ie within the margin of error

        Still no answer on your earlier predictions I see, been too busy punching yourself in the face I guess

  36. Oggy
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your update Sir John.
    It doesn’t matter what or how fair a deal or if any deal at all Boris comes back with, what can be guaranteed is that the opposition WILL vote against it. Because they don’t want a deal, they only want to remain in the EU, and all this ‘blocking a no deal Brexit’ is just remoaner speak for blocking Brexit completely. We have all seen and had enough of their sickening pro EU anti British sentiment.
    The British people have also had enough of all the Parliamentary squabbling, we must leave the EU on the 31st come hell or high water. Then let’s have a GE to clear out the democracy deniers.

  37. ianterry
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    If the reports in the Daily Express are true that that there is a plot afoot to use Standing Order 24 as an emergency motion for the impeachment process and try and install either Hammond or Rudd in number 10. It is reported that the speaker in the past has “bent the rules” in the past in allowing SO 24 motions.

    These failed politicians for that is what they are, have lost their fight to remain in the EU, have had the whip removed because of their behaviour and now claiming that by using SO 24 they can still block the wishes of the people with a SO that has been considered obsolete since 1999 according to a report from Parliament’s Joint Committee on Parliamentary Privilege.

    How much lower can these people and their so called supporters drag this country down?
    Not one of this group are honest to admit let alone discuss that if the country leaves the EU under any version of May’s WA we will still be paying in to the EU and if we stay in eventually our rebate will be withdrawn. We do not need people like this representing the electorate in Parliament. What is their secret agenda one has to ask?

    Surely enough is enough and Conservative Headquarters had with some urgency install different criteria as to who and what we consider to represent us.

  38. stred
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Listening to the MPs and Hannan on LBC last night, it is obvious that the Conservative plan is to get a tweak to the backstop and rely on Labour votes to pass a WA, which will apply for years. All the talk about trade deals with the US and Australia is BS. They no longer need the DUP and Boris is dumping on them by agreeing to the Commission demand for annexation of NI. They are counting on a big win at a GE where the true nature of the WA is never mentioned by the Remain media. Very few voters at present are aware that it amounts to colonisation of the UK with EU law and command of defence. The truth has been effectively suppressed.

    The Brexit Party will have the resources to advertise the truth.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

      That is why all those Tory MP’s resigned the whip and voted against the government to have the whip removed, to pull the teeth of DUP.

  39. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    I heard a EU official on SKY (I do watch it rarely) talking about the prospect of a deal.

    It was clear he just repeated the same old arguments over the backstop to protect the sanctity of the single market, avoiding mentioning how no deal will cause even worse problemsfor the EU.

    What was interesting was he fell back on the surrender act, it was clear he had faith in Hillary’s bill to prevent a no-deal brexit.

    However it might be done we must find loopholes in this bill, it must be effectively ignored or circumvented and a no deal brexit delivered on the 31st. After that a GE should help wash many of these traitors out of parliament, we have no use for MPs who serve the EU.

  40. agricola
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I think they are keeping their powder dry. I suspect that they are beginning to realise that their opportunities for creating chaos are becoming more limited because the ultimate sanction of forcing a general election is becoming less attractive to them as time progresses. A thoughtfully conducted campaign by Boris could see most of the traitorous element eliminated from Parliament. They know it, so they are keeping their heads down. Any one of them with half a brain must now realise that their misguided campaign against no deal is the single most likely act to result in no deal. My only hope is that Boris realises that we know that the WA contains endless toxicity besides the backstop and that in whatever deal he may be aiming at it will be minus the WA in it’s entirety.. If there are elements of mutual benefit then they can form a post Brexit agreement/treaty , just like the many things that have already been agreed.

  41. Lifelogic
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    So Javid is considering abolishing inheritance tax an excellent thing to do. But why would any one believe the Conservatives? Osborne promised a £1m threshold each many years ago yet the threshold is still £325k. Hammond and Osborne both blatantly ratted on this. Perhaps keep this promise before making new ones.

  42. nshgp
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Why have no costs been published for any of these bills?
    30 bn a year in subsidies to low paid EU migrants
    13.5 bn a year for payments
    100 bn one off for EU pension incompetence
    8.8 bn a year for tariffs
    240 bn a year for EU regulations
    We’re talking real money, paid by us, and its ignored by politicians.

    Why isn’t there a cap on any payments to the EU? ie. No more than 39 bn can be paid to the EU.

    Do you think they will accept a CAP? If they don’t then someone isn’t being honest.

  43. ferdinand
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    how many times have I heard that expression ” a majority of MPs” only to find that it is mot a majority at all. I hope the Tories find a technical defect in the Surrender Bill so that the supposed majority of MPs are made redundant in the final exit from the EU.

  44. JoolsB
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    John, apparently the Domestic Abuse Bill is going through parliament today. Although it only applies to England and Wales, Kirstene Hair, MP for Angus and the only woman Conservative MP in Scotland, was on the news this morning saying she wasn’t attending the Tory conference because she wanted to be in Parliament to debate this bill.

    What the hell has the Domestic Violence Bill for England and Wales got to do with this MP or her constituents and when are you and your fellow Tory MPs ‘representing’ (?) English seats going to demand an end to this interference from unelected and unaccountable MPs from meddling and voting on English only matters.

    I know you don’t believe in constitutional equality for England, i.e. an English Parliament but surely someone like yourself who purports to speak for England should be speaking out against this affront to democracy.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      Too damn right Jools!

    • RichardM
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      It doesnt only apply to Eng and Wales. Parts 2 and 3 cover NI and Scotland.
      Domestic abuse is one of the leading causes of homelessness in the UK, which this bill attempts to address.
      To think this useless disgusting government wanted to stop this proceeding by proroguing Parliament. Absolutely shameful on them, and all those criticising the Supreme Courts judgement.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Well done mate. Bloody disgrace that these people are allowed to debate, let a lone vote, on English matters.

  45. ukretired123
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    The Supreme Court is much about nothing.
    Heat generated to divert Brexit.
    They could not understand why folks had voted to escape their ECJ masters.
    As such they were in no position to act responsibly and thus ruled themselves out in the eyes and court of the people.
    They are perceived as EU stooge proxy agents who see P45 s looming up ..and the loss of gravy train to boot…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Judges/Justices are a subset of lawyers who suffer form “lawyers group think”. The people are sovereign and do not suffer from this group think problem. I would guess that about 90% of lawyers I have met are pro EU (it is after all vastly in the financial interest of lawyers to have ever more laws, more complex laws, red tape and more court levels.

      As they say to a man with a hammer everything start to look like a nail. To a lawyer everything looks like it needs more laws, courts levels and more lawyers preferably well funded by the tax payer! Laws that are as arbitrary, elastic and vague as possible.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      ”…They could not understand why folks had voted to escape their ECJ masters…”

      Of course they understood. But they just didn’t care. ”Pull the ladder up, Jack, I am suitably provided for.”

  46. Lifelogic
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Excellent speech by Boris. He was of course wrong on Debt/Deficit at a % of GDP, wrong on solar and wind and his more than 50% of energy claims and yes we can all access the the often incompetent, delayed & rationed NHS on the same basis but there is massive room for improvement. Wrong to on the damaging minimum wage increases. But then politics is politics I assume he thinks these lies and duff promises are needed to win the election. About 200 times better than Corbyn/SNP or the Libdims though.

    Can we not find a rather better candidate to kick the dire Sadiq Khan out! I cannot even remember the current candidate’s name.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      its extraordinary how invisible the Conservative mayoral candidate in London is i don’t think i’ve heard squeak out of him nor had any communication despite being a voter in that election. there’s no chance of winning like that

    • hefner
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      Joy Morrissey, Shaun Bailey, Andrew Boff seem to be among the top names put forward by the CUP.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      The irony is appreciated. And maybe BJ’s party are better than Labour and the LD’s, to whatever order of magnitude. But if (and this a highly rhetorical ‘if’) BJ’s party is still dire, might it be worth supporting an alternative? It’s the risk of having a more dire government versus the potential reward of having a government that isn’t dire. Though perhaps every single option is dire, in which case… follow your heart. Or toss a coin. Whatever.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Wind and Solar in the UK is only about 10% of electricity production. And electricity is only about 20% of energy usage. So 2% of total energy coming from solar and wind would be rather closer than the Boris 50% claim! Then you also have to allow for the fact that they are intermittent and therefore need fossil fuel back up.

      • Stred
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

        Wind for the last year was 18.9%- 51TWh. Re My Grid. Almost the same as nuclear. Boris confused capacity with production. Politicians always do this. He also got the story about fusion wrong. It’s nowhere near a practical working system. They can’t get the heat out without the pipes melting. There seems to be no way to get politicians to understand that increasing wind will be very expensive and that a huge amount of back up gas and nuclear will be necessary. They do not seem to understand that carbon capture has not been made to work economically or practically. There are no engineers in parliament and the ministry.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:01 am | Permalink

          Indeed he is also confusing electricity generation with all energy use including cars, trucks, gas heating, shipping etc.

    • rose
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      We really liked the PM’s speech too. His tribute to his Brexiteer mother was nice too. We never hear about her, yet she has obviously had a big influence on him and not just artistically.

  47. villaking
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Why do you think this matter will have to be decided by the SC? Do you consider it a foregone conclusion that Boris Johnson will break the law again?

    Reply No I do not expect the PM to break the law. Last time he took good legal advice and then the SC changed the law.

    • NickC
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Villaking, Which law did Boris break?

      • Stred
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        The future law written by, 11 judges that like the EU and thought it was important to help Messrs Grieve, Letwin, Burt, Benn and the squeeker make leaving the EU with a deal impossible unless the PM accepts their colonial treaty.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        The one they made up after he broke it.

        Sounds a flippant comment but I suggest you listen to, Sir Geoffrey Cox MP and his account.

    • bill brown
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

      Sir JR,

      The SC did not change the law, the courts do not change laws, they interpret precedence differently

      • Stred
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:02 am | Permalink

        They ignored the High Court decision and 300 years of precedence and made a new law to suit their own political views.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink


          The courts cannot make new laws so this is nonsense

          • libertarian
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink


            Except they did just do that. There was NO law enacted by parliament and on the statute book that you cant suspend parliament , none and never has been which is why parliament has been suspended ( often very controversially many times) . They MADE IT UP

            Read the report by Professor of Law at Oxford Richard Ekins. He says

            The Court should have stuck to the established law and refused to intervene with a political decision.

            Awaiting your apology

  48. NigelE
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    Please, Sir John, reject a warmed over WA sans backstop.

    What The Loyal Opposition are doing is anyone’s guess. Delivering the referendum decision is the one thing they are NOT doing.

    Reply There is currently only one Withdrawal Agreement on offer which I voted against 3 times.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Why on earth did every MP not reject it three times? May W/A ‘deal’ is putrid no sensible, honest person with any concern for the UK’s interests should vote for it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:33 am | Permalink

        Even with a few fig leaves on it.

  49. Rule Britannia
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    They’re “all in” now, they would prefer that Diana Ross and the Supremes get a chance to overturn Brexit than let it through.

    They realise they’ve shot their bolt with all but the die-hard Labour voters (would put a cross next to “Ted E Bear”) and ultra-remoaners currently voting Lib Dem.

    I see the SNP are proposing 10-minute motion next Weds for a Bill to create the position of Acting Primem Minister and to allow parliament to appoint someone to that role and to be able to decide cabinet appointments.

    At some point, the PM has to refuse Royal Assent for some of this nonsense. Perhaps they are reserving that until the crazed socialists do something the govt can’t live with (which implies that they have a method of circumventing the Surrender Bill?). Let’s hope it doesn’t involve Diana and her expertise on family court matters.

  50. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Love the comment after the conference speech where one woman said “Its time to stop apologising for being British”. Might I also add for being English too. Great speech by Boris, full of optimism and great ways forward. Bring it on.

    • Belter
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Who has ever apologised for being British?

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        Belter – recently Glasgow University made an apology they received up to £199m – in today’s money – from … Liverpool, the centre of Britain’s transatlantic slave trade.

        The British are famous for how frequently they say ‘sorry’ – even when they’re not at fault. google BBC report. “A recent survey of more than 1,000 Brits found that that the average person says ‘sorry’ around eight times per day – and that one in eight people apologise up to 20 times a day.”

        The archbishop of Canterbury has apologised “in the name of Christ” for the 1919 massacre at Amritsar in India, when hundreds of people were shot dead by British forces. 100 years ago.

        Giving the UK government’s response to the Saville Report, produced after a 12-year inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday, David Cameron said the killings that took place that day were unjustified and unjustifiable. He said he was “deeply sorry”.

        Gordon Brown apologised for the UK’s role in sending more than 130,000 children to former colonies, where many suffered abuse. He expressed regret for the “misguided” Child Migrant Programme, announcing in the Commons that he was “truly sorry”. He also announced a £6m fund to reunite families that were torn apart. The scheme sent poor children for a “better life” to countries like Canada and Australia from the 1920s to 1960s, but many were abused and lied to. “We are sorry they were allowed to be sent away at the time when they were most vulnerable. We are sorry that instead of caring for them, this country turned its back,” he told MPs.

  51. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    In contradiction to the brazen lie being spread by the BBC and others, the Joint Report agreed on December 8 2017 did NOT say that there should be no customs infrastructure or controls anywhere on the island of Ireland.

    That prohibition related only to the border:

    “43 … The United Kingdom also recalls its commitment to the avoidance of a hard border, including any physical infrastructure or related checks and controls.”

    Do we now have to listen to the likes of Simon Coveney pretending that the land border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic somehow encompasses the whole of the island of Ireland, in the same way that previously we had to listen to him pretending that there was no border, and without any challenge from the UK government?

    And likewise why has the UK government always chosen to remain silent about Section 10 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018:

    which has already enshrined that prohibition in UK law, specifically referring to:

    “… border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland …”

    and why did it then fail to react when that provision was repeatedly misrepresented by opposition MPs? For example, here:

    “When the Prime Minister says that “the reality” of Brexit is that there will need to be customs checks on the island of Ireland, it is in stark contrast to the words of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland this morning that there would be no checks five or 10 miles into Ireland. That would be in breach of the joint declaration of 2017, and importantly, as my right hon. Friend the Member for Leeds Central (Hilary Benn) pointed out, would be in breach of section 10 of the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, which made it clear that any arrangements for Northern Ireland after exit day that featured border posts or customs controls would not be acceptable.”

    • Mark B
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Denis this is not pointed at you personally.

      Sir John

      Here is an example of what is meant by bias. I have a post from this morning. On topic, relatively short, no links etc. Yet it is being held in moderation. Why ? When you talk about bias at the BBC and in the media you seem to forget your own. Can you please, by way of courtesy, explain why my posts are being held in moderation ? I appreciate you are especially busy what with the conference and parliament sitting etc. but I fail to see how this could only affect my posts and not others.

      Many thanks.

      Mark B

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        Mark B, several times over recent days I have tried to draw attention to the impudent demand made by the Irish EU Commissioner Phil Hogan on November 26th 2017 and the posts just get vaporised … it is important to understand why the Irish government will always find some reason to say “No” to any UK proposal which does not give them enough of what he openly demanded at that time.

        • Mark B
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Thanks !

          Yes. I know about the RoI problems but, they should have said from the beginning that a free trade deal or EEA membership would be a good way to go rather than just demand we stay in the EU in all but name.

          Oh. And I have not forgotten their interference in the 2016 Referendum.

  52. David Maples
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Sir John,

    If Parliament were to pass a bill into law requiring Boris Johnson to drive to Seaford in Sussex, to park his car at Beachy Head, and then to walk towards that infamous cliff edge, and THROW HIMSELF OFF TO CERTAIN DEATH, would he be within his Common Law and Equity rights, to refuse to do so? Some cliff, some ditch!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Of course he would be entitled to refuse, under the Human Rights Act 1998. There may be other statutory and common law grounds too.

      The Government would be violating his Right To Life and others besides.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 2, 2019 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Or if he was order by a law in parliament to stand naked in a bowl of custard outside Parliament, with a placard saying do not vote for me round his neck.

  53. Whaddyasay
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    Thing is at this time I can pass freely throughout most European countries without meeting customs officers of any sort- then why should I allow myself be subject to customs check of any kind when I pass a bump in the road in my own country- and for what? to suit Tory narrow minded and DUP self serving agendas- no! it’s just not going to happen. So back to the drawing board- more unfinished business looks like

    • John Bull
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:23 am | Permalink

      Pipe down. This is an English matter, decided by the English.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:16 pm | Permalink


      The border in “your country” has been open and free since 1923 ( google CTA) . Its the EU that are trying to shut it

      Dont vote for them.

      ps Irish whiskey now carries a 25% tariff in its biggest market, thanks to the EU illegally breaking rules.

      Dont vote for them


  54. Yah
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Now, Parliament is discussing the Domestic Abuse Bill. I did not listen. There is something missing, always, in such discussions, the truth.
    Always we hear primarily of physical abuse by a man on a woman, of psychological abuse by a man on a woman. Sometimes as an after-thought someone says, yes well, men can be abused too but it is mainly women.

  55. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Semi-May; semi-Surrender; not for me. If this is Boris’ offer I’m voting Lib Dem for Repeal. Then no withdrawal deal, no delay, no negotiation, no Tory Party.

  56. Richard Evans
    Posted October 2, 2019 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    Stella Creasey was in Brussels yesterday to hear a speech by Macron, while there she spoke to the BBC about her attempts to end the free speech of an anti-abortion group, so much for desperately needed time in the Commons to protect the rights of the electorate.

  57. Javelin
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I believe Dominic Grieve was last seen thumbing through old Norman law, written in his native language, for a misspelt word to keep us in the EU.

  58. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    And Hilary Benn has repeated that lie today:

    Hilary Benn (Leeds Central) (Lab):

    “For the last three years, it has been Government policy that border arrangements between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit would not include checks and controls—that is enshrined in UK law—but now the Prime Minister has announced that there will be customs checks in Northern Ireland. [Interruption.] Those are the words he used. He has also entertained the possibility that Northern Ireland will never enter the regulatory zone of which he speaks because, if the Assembly and the Executive do not agree to do so, it will not happen. As a result, he has abandoned that commitment and risks a return to a hard border. How is that consistent with the joint declaration of 2017 signed by his predecessor, with the Good Friday agreement and with the peace and stability in Northern Ireland that has been so hard won?”

    The Prime Minister:

    “The right hon. Gentleman is absolutely right to lay the emphasis he does on the Good Friday agreement and the peace process. In all our conversations, we are driven by the need to protect, and indeed fortify, that agreement and process. The deal we are setting out gives us and communities in Northern Ireland the opportunity to build on that process, but I must stress to him that he is mistaken if he believes that any of our proposals will necessitate any kind of checks at the border—that is absolutely untrue—or indeed any kind of hard border. I must tell him respectfully that that is untrue.”

  59. Ian Pennell
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood,

    All could be decided by the Scottish Court of Session by Monday where the barrister Jolyon Maugham is representing the same Remainer Politicians who bought the anti-Prorogation Case. This last Case resulted in three SNP Judges ruling Prorogation unlawful- and the Supreme Court upheld that decision!

    I would suggest, Sir that the time has now come to realise that the fight for Brexit is “The Establishment vs Brexit”, and it is time to plan forward accordingly. Ultimately Boris Johnson and even members of his Cabinet may have to choose between Prison or backing down- and backing down means the evisceration of the Conservatives by the Voters!

    Thus, Boris Johnson needs to face prison in the (likely) event the Judges deem refusing to co-operate with the Benn Act to be Contempt of Court punishable by prison. The Prime Minister should get a Deputy in place who also is willing to face prison to uphold the tough Brexit stance (Steve Baker, perhaps) and then a third-in-command supportive of a No Deal Brexit – in case the Deputy has to become Prime Minister and gets arrested and jailed for pursuing a No Deal Brexit.

    Now Sir, people died in the past to get us freedom and democracy in Britain: The question will be “Are you willing to be Boris Johnson’s Third In Command willing to go to jail for a year or two (and lose your career) to ensure that the Brexit Resistance lasts long enough to ensure Britain leaves the EUSSR without a Deal on 31at October?”. For Britain’s freedom and independence today you might make that Sacrificial Stand and do us all proud!

    Best wishes

    Ian Pennell

  • 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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