The UK offer for talks

The Prime Minister’s letter yesterday to Mr Juncker offered sustained talks for a new Agreement in the next few days, and proposed a way through the difficulty of the Irish backstop.

It also said something more significant that has enjoyed scant attention. It said “the backstop acted as a bridge to a proposed future relationship with the EU in which the UK would be closely integrated with EU customs arrangements and would align with EU law in many areas. That future relationship is not the goal of the current UK government. The government intends that the future relationship should be based on a Free Trade Agreement in which the UK takes control of its own regulatory affairs and trade policy”

The government seeks a major rewrite of the Political declaration to reflect this different future relationship. It leaves open the other issues surrounding the existing Withdrawal Agreement, which would need to be changed to avoid its provisions stifling the intent of a genuine Brexit with a possible Free Trade Agreement for the future relationship.

The government is right that the most objectionable feature of the old Withdrawal Agreement is the way the Irish situation is used to lock the UK into large areas of EU law for the future, alongside the close subservient relationship envisaged. There is a long way to go to get an Agreement which does allow a proper Brexit, but the very different approach to where we wish to go is most welcome. I have urged successive governments to just table a Free Trade Agreement and then leave, with GATT 24 allowing tariff free trade on departure if the EU agrees to such talks.

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Your second paragraph highlights the fact that Boris does appear to be aiming to get a ‘proper’ Brexit, which is reassuring.

    However, I am unclear about references to the ‘Transition Period’. 4 years is mentioned – but does this mean that the UK cannot pursue trade arrangements with other countries during the transition? If so – then what Boris is proposing is not acceptable.

    I do hope you can provide reassurance.

    • eeyore
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Sir John welcomes the new approach but is careful not to say whether he supports the proposal.

      It seems designed for all-round rejection in a manner which will leave HMG blame- free and Britain out on WTO terms. This is a reasonable political position with an election in the offing.

      My view is simple: our host and his fellow Brexit stalwarts in the Commons have established their credentials as sceptical, patriotic but fair judges of an agreement. If they say a result is acceptable that’s good enough for me.

      • Simeon
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        Sir John’s support for the proposal is immaterial; the proposal is consciously unrealistic, so he won’t be asked to choose whether to vote for it or not because it won’t lead to an agreement requiring ratification.

        The Conservatives seem to think they can have their cake and eat it (wait a minute…); they are attempting to pose as, simultaneously, hardcore Brexiters and eminently reasonable good Europeans. They want a GE. What they really want is for a broad church of people to trust them to deliver Brexit (whatever that might look like) and supply them with that mandate. Voters will decide whether they trust the Tories (whenever a GE actually happens – my money is still on another referendum first). That’s democracy.

        • JoolsB
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          Another referendum without the first one being honoured is not democracy.

          • Belter
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:02 am | Permalink

            Agreed. The Brexiters failure to deliver on their promises – easy trade deals, frictionless trade, 350mill for the NHS, no border in Ireland – is a total affront to democracy

          • Simeon
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

            The first referendum should have been honoured faithfully. That it hasn’t been is an abject failure of the political class. But if our democrarically elected Parliament decide on another referendum, that is democracy. But my main point was that voters trusting the Tories (as foolish as I think that is) would be democracy.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


            We have 44 trade deals so far, and ( unlike the EU) we will have a trade deals once we leave withe the biggest market in the World, USA

            Trade IS frictionless , everywhere due to technology

            Since the referendum the NHS has received more than £350 million per week

            There hasn’t been a strict border in Ireland since 1923 and the CTA ensures there won’t be unless the EU ORDERS RoI to break the CTA, GFA and install one

            You aren’t very on the ball are you

    • Hope
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      How about ECJ, military subservience and state aid rules? No single market we were told, this does not deliver on referendum promises.

      • MickN
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        ….and will we have control of our borders and fishing grounds on 1st Nov or not ?

      • Hope
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

        Just heard Johnson’s statement in the house . Minor changes from Mayhab’s servitude plan which Johnson told us was dead only last week! It is a sell out.

        It strikes me there is every incentive for Labour and remainers to vote against his servitude plan mark 2. The only saving grace is if the EU reject his servitude plan and go for no deal. I fail to see any other outcome that will save your party and govt.

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

        “The government intends that the future relationship should be based on a Free Trade Agreement in which the UK takes control of its own regulatory affairs and trade policy”
        No Single Market then.

        • Hope
          Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

          N. Ireland not leaving single market which is part of the UK.

    • Leaver
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      I don’t mind about the ins and outs as much as everyone else. I think the details can wait for later. I just want to leave the E.U please. Indeed I wanted to leave nine months ago, as Theresa May proposed.

      Please vote for it this time. If the E.R.G votes down Brexit a fourth time, I am really worried it is not going to happen.

      Reply Vote for what? There is no agreed text. Only sign if you like the contract

  2. Mark B
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The proposal is not what I was lead to believe I was voting for back in 2016. We were told, quite clearly, that the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland would be Leaving the Single Market, the Customs Union and the ECJ. How is it therefore that one part of the United Kingdom (Ulster )must Remain ? And if Ulster can Remain effectively in the EU, why not Scotland ?

    It has always been my belief that you must treat everybody the same. The Scot’s, quite rightly, would have grounds for complaint. They too voted to Remain and, there is currently a border between England and Scotland when it comes legislation. Remember, England and Scotland are two countries that have, with respect to their histories, only recently become politically united.

    It also does not address the issues of the border between the mainland UK and the RoI. Not to forget all the other stuff that in the WA which is so poisonous to a Leaver like me.

    If this WA goes through then the Tories are finished. It is nothing short of betrayal.

    PS Any chance that this can be put up today rather than stuck in moderation ?

    • Simeon
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      Congratulations on the publication of your view!

      But not to worry. This WA isn’t going to make it to the Commons. The EU cannot possibly engage with BJ’s offer, as BJ well knows. BJ is pretending to be reasonable (as indeed the EU are with yesterday’s polite response) to save face. But I think it’s a colossal misjudgement because a ‘willingness’ to betray Brexit will, rightly, corrode trust even further, and, perhaps, decisively.

      And of course there will be an extension rather than Sir John’s forlornly hoped for ‘no deal’/’side deal’ Brexit.

      Let’s hope that the willingness of the Tories to propose a betrayal Brexit is enough to finish them off.

    • Len Gruel
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

      I totally agree. Any Tory MP even HINTING at backing this is toast at the hands of the Brexit party at the GE.

      • Oggy
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        I waited to hear what Steve Baker MP had to say in Parliament and I was somewhat puzzled when he said Boris’s deal was a ‘glimpse of a tolerable deal’. Does he know something we don’t ?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      No, you were not “told”, Mark, you were warned, that without more, as a matter of simple fact, the UK would be leaving those two essentials of the economy, and that was a reason why leaving was a bad idea.

      It was to advise all but complete fools just what would have to be replaced.

      It absolutely was not a promise. If it were, then it could have been on the ballot paper.

      Couldn’t it?

      The paper was silent on the post-exit relationship.

      That, so far, is a matter for our sovereign Parliament.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

        Dear Martin in Cardiff , Andy , Newmania , Tabulazero etc

        I am fed up hearing your silliness and its about time you started giving us your thoughts on YOUR side of the argument

        So I want to hear your thoughts on

        45 weeks of rioting in France

        recent demonstrations in Sweden

        The farmers strike in Netherlands

        The banner unfurled at Camp Neu last night during UCL accusing the EU & Spain of being fascist dictators

        Oh and the little matter of scotch whiskey being hit with 25% import tariffs in their biggest market due to the illegal activities of the EU

        We’ve been waiting 3 years to hear from you on your side of the debate and all we get is made up scare stories

        Either put up or shut up

        • Alan Jutson
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink



          Project fear again because they have nothing positive to say about the EU, how many moths have we had negative posts from all of the above, always complaining about leaving absolutely no coherent argument about any future with the EU.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

          Nations have their national problems.

          We could revisit the poll tax riots, or Toxteth etc. ablaze under the Tories.

          Or the Troubles.

          Couldn’t we?

          • libertarian
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            Martin in Cardiff

            No we can’t because NONE OF THOSE were protesting about the EU whereas ALL the ones I mentioned are protesting the EU . Do you see?

            Now then lets have some answers from you, come on

          • Edward2
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

            You can if you want to compare things that happened 30 or 40 years ago in the UK with things happening in the EU right now.

        • Andy
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          Protests in France are a matter for France.

          Demonstrations in Sweden are a matter for the Swedes.

          A farmers strike in the Netherlands is a matter for the Dutch.

          The football thing sounds like a matter for UEFA.

          Tariffs are down to Trump. He’s out of office soon anyway.

          Every country has problems, protests, strikes.

          Every country whether it is inside or outside of the EU.


          • libertarian
            Posted October 7, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink



            So you as usual have no answer to straightforward questions

      • Original Richard
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

        MiC : “That, so far, is a matter for our sovereign Parliament.”

        It is the people of the UK who are sovereign.

        A Parliament is only temporarily given sovereignty for the Parliamentary term until the next GE.

        But no Parliament has the authority to give permanently away the nation’s sovereignty without receiving explicit authority from the country to do so via a referendum.

    • Hope
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. This is only a minor change to Mayhabs servitude plan. Also vast sums of money and dual laws for EU citizens in this country for years after we leave!

      Nothing agreed until everything agreed we were told, especially trade. This has not secured a trade deal and still leaves the EU in the driving seat at the controls for what deal they would like! Sell out springs to mind.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      There are a number of unanswered questions, but this proposal does represent the maximum possible compromise which will get through Parliament and people. It’s staggering that hapless May didn’t even get to this point after 3 years.

      Amongst questions that need answering however:

      If NI is in the single market, but GB isn’t, can a company send its workers from GB to work in its NI plant? If so, will they need separate contracts or visas for separate legal constructs in both jurisdictions in the same country?
      Precisely which checks will be made on a lump of cheddar cheese being sent from Liverpool to Belfast?
      How will the UK ensure that customs checks carried out by the ROI are completed in good faith? Will there be measures to avoid hold-ups and does NI have the legal power to enact countermeasures in the event of goods being delayed in passing through ROI customs?
      Precisely which measures will be enforced at the GB “border” for goods going from GB to NI? How will this “border” be policed?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink


      For nearly two years now I have been suggesting that the UK should pass an export control law to prohibit the carriage across the Irish land border of any goods which the EU would regard as unacceptable, illicit or contraband goods which did not comply with EU rules and standards.

      I presume that under these new proposals it will be necessary for the UK to pass just such an export control law; but rather than that law being applied to the border where logically it should be applied, namely the existing and real international land border between the Irish Republic and the Northern Ireland part of the UK, it will be applied to a newly created internal border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

      Because in the absence of such a UK law how would it be possible to stop goods which did not comply with EU requirements, but which were in free circulation in Great Britain, entering Northern Ireland and then passing on down to and across the open border with the Republic?

      So as it would in any case be necessary for the UK to have an export control law why not apply it to the correct border, the one where the Irish and the EU have a legitimate interest in what goods can legally come across?

    • Alison
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Many Scots voted remain in the belief that they received lots of money from the EU. I campaign for Brexit actively up here, and every single time I am told this by people on the streets. You need evidence in black and white to get them to stop and think, and then half of them go away, saying, no, we get too much from the EU.

      • Brit
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

        If I were the EU, I’d try to bribe Scots too to carve up resistance in the UK. I’m sorry Scots have fallen again for the historic trick of European powers to humour Scottishness. The money will stop once they beat England. It’s not the English are superior to Scots. It’s just there are more of us and we get really grumpy about Germans and French and they know it. They make lousy food and wine too…and are no good at fighting. Obviously.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Indeed as you say – table a Free Trade Agreement and then leave, with GATT 24 allowing tariff free trade on departure if the EU agrees to such talks.

    Boris was a rather confused in his speech yesterday, sensibly championing capitalism and free markets but then praising the dire state monopoly NHS (which is the complete opposite and one of the worst systems for outcomes for any wealthy country). Also championing the minimum wage increases which are anti-free market and would be very damaging indeed. Very confused with his wind/solar energy statistics too (by a factor of about 25) and the national debt has increased hugely (not decreased) under the Conservatives.

    He also said:- “but remember it was only a few years ago when people were saying that solar power would never work in cloudy old Britain and that wind turbines would not pull the skin off a rice pudding” they were spot on Boris. They only work because the government idiotically forces tax and bill payers to subsidise this green wash lunacy. When/if they can complete without subsidy and market rigging fine but stop all the subsidies.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      Table an FTA and leave with mutual zero tariffs sounds good to me too, but that’s not what I read in Boris’s letter. This looks just like the original WA with just the Irish backstop tinkered with a bit. No mention of scrapping the part that gives the EU a direct debit on the UK current account. Mention of a transition period however – transition to what and for what purpose?
      No thanks, John’s plan still sounds much better.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      why do you think the EU would suddenly agree to give the UK what it did not want to give during the negociations after the UK pretty much tell it to go whistle ?

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Tabulazero well the EU did make a serious mistake not making David Cameron’s reasonable changes to repatriation of child-rearing benefits and make them for UK based children only (the allowance was to help raise children in our expensive country – not to allow mothers in Eastern Europe not to have to work at all and live on UK benefits whilst British women have to work virtually full time to keep afloat).

        He wanted a time delay on claims to out of work benefits and housing benefit and rights to abode to protect newly married Britain born families and change the priority from foreign overtaking housing benefit social housing (people that live on these estates see the changes for themselves, they are the ones with children who can’t get social housing and keep getting bumped down the lists – the Brits are the ones in expensive private rentals whilst programs on C4 and C5 regularly reminded people of how to get a social house by getting kicked out of private rentals and have no UK family).

        More and more British born men are on our streets homeless because they have such a low priority on housing this just is not acceptable whilst people who arrive here within four years get higher rights to homes.

        Changes would have made little difference we were told by the OBR “changing the rules on in-work benefits will make little difference to the numbers of migrants: most come for the jobs, not the tax credits”. So why make such a big deal of it? The Germans and Austrians now want some of these changes as the impact started to seriously affect their benefits system.

        Perhaps telling us to go whistle again will speed things up.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink


        Oh I love easy questions. Because the Eurozone is about to enter a big recession, they have wide scale unemployment, because their export markets are shrinking, because Germany’s manufacturing output has declined because they’ve been caught cheating on subsidies and been slapped with massive tariffs by the USA and they need all the help they can get

        Youre welcome

        • bill brown
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink


          Wide scale unemployment and wide scale employment in even more countries in the EU, thank you for your not very factual contribution

          • libertarian
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

            billy no name

            There are only 3 EU countries with reasonable employment rates compared to UK. That is NOT wide scale .

            Facts dear boy facts

            ps I notice you ignored all the other major problems in the EU ….

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:45 am | Permalink


      They only work because the government idiotically forces tax and bill payers to subsidise this green wash lunacy. When/if they can complete without subsidy and market rigging fine but stop all the subsidies.

      But they won’t stop the subsidies because the British public have swallowed the bait of saving the world hook, line, sinker and the boat!! They will keep on paying.

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

        I rather liked Mr Putin’s comments at this week’s Russian Energy Week International Forum re Greta : “a poorly informed teen”…”telling developing countries they should keep living in poverty,depriving them of the chance to become as rich as Sweden.”

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Indeed deluded by the new alarmist religion with its fiery shell on earth.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:56 am | Permalink

            Hell not shell!

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      The minimum wage increases are the fastest way to a 32.5 hour week I can think of for some businesses, 6.5 hours per day rather than 7.5 with staggered start/finish times, it could also increase productivity only IF you could maintain turnover, otherwise more businesses will sink into low profitability, producing lower taxes and eventually people will just give up running small business as a bad job. Our shops are almost completely unmanned as it is now, it will cause faster technology changes.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        Shoplifting is rife too.

  4. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Mays deal reheated. Not acceptable. Vassal status awaits.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:52 am | Permalink


    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink


      Afraid that’s how I read it at the moment, but also adds even more confusion and complication to the mix.

      The cleaner the break the better, “Keep it simple Stupid” has been the Mantra in management training sessions for years, for a very good reason, it works !

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      As the Remain campaigns repeatedly explained, ALL versions of leaving the European Union would involve either what you call that, or economic ruin.

      There is NO third option.

      You were told.

      • ian wragg
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        Absolute rubbish, a clean break does not mean economic ruin. How do the 164 countries not in the EU manage. Your nothing more than a Brussels paid troll.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          They manage because their economies were never intricately involved with the European Union, so they could not wreck them by pulling out.

          Divorce is not like never having been married in the first place.

          There is no such thing as a “clean” break. It will be carnage for many businesses.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            Pick any business you like , its your choice and explain why it will be “carnage” to the economy when we leave and trade freely

        • Andy
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          Around 100 of those other countries are poorer per person than the poorest EU country.

          All but about a dozen of those other countries are poorer per person than the EU average.

          So most of these countries manage by being worse off than most of us.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

            Yet they are free and independent nations.
            Not rules by a supranational artificial empire called the EU

      • libertarian
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink


        You say you told us but you didn’t actually tell us anything

        Give an EXAMPLE of what trading as do 165 other countries will do to cause economic ruin. Come on this is the third time Ive asked .

        Its pointless posting statements if you cant back them up with any evidence at all

        • bill brown
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink


          this is like my question to you about no businesses particularly built up stock before end of March and you still deny it

          • libertarian
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:42 pm | Permalink


            No it isn’t remotely the same . For those like you who dont understand business , ALL businesses carry stock, what they didn’t do was excessively stockpile ( I linked you to the full fact website where I found the info too, maybe you failed to read it)

            So come on tell us what and why our economy will lie in ruins if we trade WTO.

            I’m waiting , you all keep telling us this but dont provide any examples. You told us car plants would close, in fact 4 new ones have opened. You told us the city would move to Frankfurt in fact two of the worlds largest banks opened new European HQ’s in London. You told us that we would lose 500,000 jobs in fact we’ve created 600,000 new ones

            Come on I want answers

        • Belter
          Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:04 am | Permalink

          In the EU carmakers have just in time frictionless trade. Plants in the UK and in Germany, exactly the same production line. Impossible outside the EU

          • libertarian
            Posted October 7, 2019 at 2:56 pm | Permalink


            Thats is a BELTER … ha ha ha

            How many times do I have to explain to ignorant remainers

            Just in Time manufacturing has absolutely sod all to do with the EU, SM, or CU . Its a system devised by the Japanese in 1950’s and in place in UK , USA since the 1970’s. All long before the EU even existed

            “Impossible outside the EU” I’m crying with laughter here . You really should never show your face on this blog again with posts like that

            Just one example from outside the EU

            General Motors Corporation (GM) has one of the most wide-spread lean manufacturing initiatives in place in the U.S. Saturn’s Spring Hill, Tennessee automotive manufacturing plant receives more than 95 percent of its parts in reusable containers. Reusable kanban containers also serve as signals for when more parts are needed in a particular process area. This “kanban”-type system eliminates tons of packaging wastes each year and reduces the space, cost, and energy needs of managing such wastes.
            Saturn has also implemented electronic kanban with suppliers, enabling the suppliers to deliver components “just-in-time” for assembly.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:48 am | Permalink

        I’ll tell you what Remain did. They went all or nothing. On the eve of the referendum they did not yield an inch on what Leave voters wanted and so they lost.

        All we wanted was controlled immigration. That would have satisfied most Leave voters and Remain would have won easily but no…

        Remain responded to all reasonable requests to slow down immigration by calling Leave voters nasty things like “racist” or “bigot” or “thick” or “stupid”.

        So Remain lost. Obvious, really.

        More recently they have the barefaced front (having stopped Brexit by all legal angles possible) to tell us that we can’t even use even moderate and accurate words to express how well feel.

        Brexit is a disaster, we’ll agree on that. But the solution to avoiding it was very simple. A slow down in migration to let us settle a bit – proper vetting of newcomers (and don’t tell me that 600,000 a year are being properly vetted. Having worked closely with the immigration service I know that’s impossible.)

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Well, we’ll find out, won’t we?

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 5, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

            I was with another of my police officer friends this week who told me guardedly that he voted Brexit (Remainers get all shouty at him.) He did so because of the misuse of the Human Rights Act by EU criminal gangs.

            I hear this time and again from police and prison officers whom I have a lot of contact with. I have yet to meet one front line law enforcer who voted Remain.

            How did you not see Brexit coming, Martin ?

      • Nelson Moondweller
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

        You’ve obviously never experienced life in most of the EU countries. Our media concentrate on Germany and France. Believe me, it is not pleasant living in most EU nations with what we consider acceptable living and work conditions. Oddly their peoples agree and storm into the UK like bats out of hell. Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Romanians etc etc head for Calais but don’t wish to stay in EU number two nation more than five minutes until the next rubber boat and a large pair of underpants for a sail. Bon Voyage mon ami

    • Dioclese
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Totally agree. Farage predicted this and he appears to have been proven right…

      • Hope
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Quite frankly he has always been right about the govt position with the EU despite smears, labels and other tactics to shut him up.

        I can’t wait to vote for his Brexit party. I simply do not care nor believe a word the Tory govt says.

        Can Johnson even remember what he previously said about vassalage or why he resigned! ECJ, military controlled by EU for their foreign policy and trade agreements- not to mention no ability to control our territorial waters from EU fishing fleets, vast sums of our taxes given away for nothing including billions in assets in EIB and interest free loans. etc. He needs to read Martin Howe QC articles ASAP or the the Spectator’s forty horrors of Mayhab’s servitude plan.

        He thinks we will forgive and forget everything under a sham leave placing our country in servitude.

        JR, tells this latest Tory Govt servitude plan is not disgusting or contains all the previous horrors/faults you highlighted in this blog.

    • Leonard Battrick
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Here we go he about to sell us down the river it’s not Leaving in any sense of the word , it will be Leaving in name only we will still be under ECJ and will not be able to do trad deals outside of the EU for years if ever we will not get our fishing back he is pulling the wool over our eyes talking the talk but it’s NOT BREXIT not the BREXIT I voted for its quite simply another BAD DEAL .
      He is very clever and will end up getting his own way and staying PM plus keeping the Conservative Party in at the next election as I say clever man but NOT A TRUE LEAVER
      If it turns out that I’m right , then I will never vote Conservative Again, and that’s after giving them my vote for 50 years.

  5. Mick
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    So is it a good deal then, will we be free of the dreaded Eu,there’s no way your going to get Blackford snp/Swinson libs/Corbyn Labour and all the others to vote for it even if the Eu were us billions to leave because all they want to do is stop Brexit full stop, when the General Election finally does come your party is going to have to bite the bullet and strike up a deal with the Brexit party that is going to be the only way to get a commons majority , you know it makes sense

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      The Opposition plan is for the Tories, and especially the PM, to fail. They need the Tories to dip in the polls to have any chance in a GE. If the WA goes through then the Tories can claim victory and hope the people by the sell-out. They all fear the BP.

    • Al
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Given the EU’s initial adverse reaction (Barnier is quoted as saying “The EU would then be trapped” and Verhofstadt as claiming “The first assessment of nearly every member in the BSG was not positive at all”), the question of getting this deal through Parliament may be irrelevant if the EU does not accept it.

    • Julie Williams
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Pretty much spot on: get out on 31 October, get a majority with the Brexit Party, get a Speaker that does the job properly and then start massive reforms to put the constitution back together again including privatization of the BBC.
      Trade deals with the EU can start when their negotiators travel to London.

    • Ed M
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Only a minority of people (which is not the same as a small number of people) feel really strongly for or against the EU.

      Most people feel more strongly about their jobs, mortgages, NHS, children’s education, law & order, holidays, pensions, security, and really important, practical bread and butter things like that.

      Also, we’re turning Brexit into a religion, when more people are really worried about growing old and what happens to them when they die. And to have happy, healthy relations with their family and friends, and, if they’re married, a good sex life. And just being happy! Brexit is not going to suddenly make people REALLY happy (which is what we all want, right?!).

      I strongly believe in Sovereignty as something sacred (really) not just ethically or practically desirable. But we can’t be Utopian about it (look how Utopianism has help to destroy the world from one degree to another in particular the 20th century). We have to be PRACTICAL and plan properly for something as ‘complicated as a moon landing’ (in the words of David Davis apparently). The end doesn’t justify the mans. And something as honourable as sovereignty deserves to be carried out with honour. And that firstly involves planning. Not just about Dover and things like that but much, much more importantly building up our economy so that Brexit becomes a breeze (most people don’t mind leaving the EU that much what they mind is the 10+ transition period in which the economy would have to be re-shaped. But our economy isn’t even strong to go into that 10+ transition period for Brexit to be trouble free, to put it mildly).

      And we need the right long-term economic goal. In my view that is to focus more on High Tech / Digital than The City (but let’s have a debate about that in the Conservative Party). The City is great but it is far too big now. We can’t put all our eggs in the one basket. We have to diversify our economy. The City played an important role (along with other areas of the economy) of nearly busting our economy 10 years ago. And its damaging productivity and sense of patriotism in British economy. More High Tech / Digital would boost productivity, boost high quality exports across the country and abroad, boost sense of patriotism in the British economy, and so on. And people once in finance can do well just as well in High Tech / Digital but with many other rewards of satisfaction than just large incomes.

      The UK is a GREAT country. It only deserves the best. And above all, it deservers down-to-earth, practical PLANNING. And not to lose its sense of humour as it seems to have done in the last few years.

  6. margaret
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    The proposition and presentation is not as fawning as the previous WA , however the answer to a new agreement still depends on the EU which is frustrating as their control over our decisions are heightened.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      This is it – The constant need to seek ‘their’ approval.

      • Otto
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Not a lot of people know this, not even the BBC etc. et al media, but UKIP had a conference last week! Anybody hear about it?

        What was their solution to this mess? Anybody care?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          The TUC has one too.


  7. Henry Carter
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Omg, after all this time, you still think it’s about tariffs. A poor O level Economics student would laugh at you. Non tariff barriers? Ever heard of them? Proper economists have

    • Edward2
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      Go on then Henry, as you say you are an expert in these matters, tell us all about non tariff barriers.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      O levels don’t exist any more. That’s just one of the several errors in your post. Must try harder.

      • Al
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

        Singapore and at least nine other countries would be very surprised to learn O-levels don’t exist, since they use them.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Henry Carter

      Those of us that trade have indeed heard of Non Tariff barriers , they are already there , especially in Germany as members of the EU.

      By the way you might want to read the WTO rules on non tariff barriers oh and you might also want to explain how the EU has been found guilty of illegal business subsidies and has now allowed the USA to impose tariffs on £6.8 billion worth of EU goods

      Glad youre a proper economist ….lol ( there no such thing, they’re all astrologers)

      • bill brown
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink


        the implementation of WTO rules works well on tariffs imposition allowances on both sides of the Atlantic not just against the Eu, but you know that already

        • libertarian
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink


          Behind the curve again. Go read the WTO judgment it does nothing of the sort I’m afraid. This was levied as a fine against the EU for illegally subsidising airbus

          Surely you knew that?

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      The BBC back in March said “The government has announced that most imports into the UK would not attract a tariff in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

      Under a temporary scheme 87% of imports by value would be eligible for zero-tariff access.

      At the moment 80% of imports are tariff free.

      Tariffs would be maintained to protect some industries, including agriculture. Beef, lamb, poultry and some dairy products would receive protection.

    • Original Richard
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      Non tariff barriers is just why we have a £100bn/YEAR trading deficit with the EU.

  8. Tabulazero
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Let’s be serious : You already know that the EU will reject this sorry excuse of a deal since it would prevent Brussels from protecting its internal market if the Northern Ireland assembly blocked the arrangement in 2020 or at a later date.

    If not, the EU would have already entered the tunnel for talks.

    This so-called deal is there to help the Conservative party pretend it has tried to negotiate something.

    Even you do not think it will pass the EU parliaments or the national parliaments.

    Why not say it ?

    • Simeon Hartwell
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Politics old chap. The art of being dishonest honourably. But these Conservatives are being exposed, not as Picassos but as potato-printing pre-schoolers.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:06 am | Permalink

        That is what I do not get. It is massively obvious that the EU will not accept this if it values the continuation of the Single-Market.

        Why prentend otherwise ?

        Does the ERG believe that their own voters are either thick enough or cynical enough to believe that this proposal had a chance ?

        Reply No, we respect our voters. The ERG wishes the PM well with his negotiation and we will decide how to vote if and when there is an agreed text to assess.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

          Reply to Reply: Your voters maybe but definitely not the Irish people on both side of the borders or the Europeans.

          This proposal calls for spot checks within the buffer zone which will impact people traveling from Ulster to Ulster or from the RoI to the RoI.

          There is no way to decide if an individual intends to cross the border or not until he or she actually does it. That’s why there are border posts in the first place.

          Absolutely unworkable and you should be smart enough to know it

          • libertarian
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


            It does nothing of the sort . Good grief

            You have the front to accuse others of not being smart

          • Edward2
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

            There are spot checks now.

          • a-tracy
            Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

            Why does it matter if people cross the common travel area? they would not be entitled to housing benefits, unemployment benefits, top-up tax credits, child tax credits, child benefit, NHS unless they were a citizen of Northern Ireland so what does it matter?

        • Simeon
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          Reply to reply

          Sir John, you are not a fool. You know very well what BJ is up to. You know full well that you’re not now going to have to choose between supporting your party and remaining true to your well-established Brexit position.

          And not being a fool, you will have noted the broad consensus of opinion amongst your posters, the majority of whom are appreciative of you and your position, even if they are not sold on this government. They are unimpressed by BJ’s manoeuverings, to put it mildly. Trusting the Tories is increasingly looking like a less defensible position.

    • Stred
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      Good. Then Ireland can sell its products to the EU instead of the UK. This will help British farmers and dairys.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        It is exactly what it has been doing since it joined the EU.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:49 pm | Permalink


          Irelands 2 biggest markets by miles are USA and UK

          Youre welcome

  9. Shirley
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    I agree. We need to be totally free of EU control, ie. a sovereign, self-governing nation. I can wait a year or two if this is the end result, but no way will I ever accept a long, or never ending agreement that relies on EU goodwill for the completion.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

      Indeed, but not a year or two a month or two perhaps!

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      You can have jam tomorrow but not today, if you want ?

      Think about it ?


    • Andy
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      We are a sovereign self-governing nation. So you will be waiting for something you already have. And it’s so wonderful you don’t even realise you’ve already have it.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:10 am | Permalink

        Words can serve many purposes, Andy. They can convey factual information, tell stories, or be the lyrics to songs.

        They can also be a tribal, chest beating, foot-stamping , mouth-breathing chant. It does not matter if they make no sense at all, and demonstrably so. All that is important is that they are the same as the rest of the troupe are chanting. That is what the utterances and writings of so many Leave fanatics are, and why your commendable attempts at reason are in many cases pointless.

        There’s always hope though.

        Keep it up.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

          All the tribal chest beating foot … al comes from you remain fans

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Funnily that’s exactly what I think of Remainers.

          We all run out of words in the end.

          It was your side’s fault. You wanted mass immigration, clearly designed to destroy a nation. Well. A destroyed nation is what you get then.

          You don’t get to choose what it looks like.

          • Anonymous
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

            The Brexiter’s solution is to change Parliament.

            The Remainer’s solution is to change the Electorate !

      • libertarian
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:51 am | Permalink


        We cant do trade deals , so no we aren’t

        But then you’ve never been right about anything . Callousness of a child like approach I guess

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

          We can’t refuse the US bombing whomever it likes from our soil either, it seems, so whether we stay in or leave the European Union, no we are not a sovereign nation, and leaving it will not change that.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            Martin iC

            As usual you are WRONG .

            Youre just mouth breathing, chest thumping, foot stomping, chanting WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE you sing, no food, no medicine, no jobs. Cliff edge cliff edge cliff edge up goes the chant .

            STILL none of you have managed to answer some simple questions Ive put to you

            Truly pathetic

          • Edward2
            Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

            Very silly comment by you Martin
            There are no laws that force us to have USA bases on UK territory.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink


      Your sentiment is shared by the 17.4 Million patiently waiting Leave voters; regardless of how the MSM and quango institutions have tried vigorously and cynically to persuade them otherwise over the past 3+ years?

      However, on the one hand, we have hardened Remainers doing all they can to thwart Brexit (blatantly ignoring the will of the people) and on the other hand The Brexit Party is strategically waiting for the Conservatives to fail, so they can clean up at the next election. Boris Johnson needs to get the job done before 31st Oct. not in one or two years!

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        No, quite a few of them believed the likes of Owen Paterson, who proposed EEA membership, or Farage, who repeatedly referred to the Norway and Switzerland models.

        Try not to put words into millions of people’s mouths.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

          Says the man who repeatedly tells us he knows that 17.4 million people did not vote no deal

          Youre a parody account aren’t you Marty

        • Edward2
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          But the EU has refused any of these options.
          It is a non starter.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          Martin in Cardiff

          Try not to be obtuse!

  10. Dominic
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    How can the British PM negotiate with an organisation whose actions since 2016 have been utterly abhorrent, without integrity and openly hostile to our leaving?

    The EU have brought the full weight of its influence and invoked all the dark arts in trying to undermine the previous and the incumbent PM even directly interfering in the Parliamentary mechanism. It is intolerable that the British people should have to tolerate this political infection

    Johnson must find a way to trigger a GE, form an informal alliance with the BP, demonise Labour by any means and then we can start the process of leaving without the baggage of idiots we have to tolerate opposing such a move

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Grant Shapps seems equally deluded. Now saying he can now consider increasing motorway speed limits to 80mph. He says:- “I think there is an argument that once you have increased the level of electrification and therefore decreased or entirely removed carbon, that you might look at those things again.”

    Except, Grant Shapps electric cars do not actually reduce carbon emissions, indeed they tend to increase them. Surely a transport secretary might be expected to understand the transport/energy basics like this?

    My experience driving in the UK (usually in the South East) is that you are lucky if you can do 30 mph on the over congested UK motorways much of the time. We need more road space mate. Plug in all electric cars are still rather less that 0.2% of vehicles on the road anyway (despite are the tax and other bribes) and they are mainly small city cars (so rarely on the motorways). When they are they tend to be plugged in charging at a service station!

    • Stred
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      If electric cars run at 80 the air resistance goes up the same as IC cars and more road resistance because they are heavier. The battery will run down more quickly and range will be even less. They will both have the same risk of crashing. Is this plonker a minister?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:58 am | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 5:05 am | Permalink

      Shapps it seems completed a business and finance course at Manchester Polytechnic, and received a Higher National Diploma. Oh well better that Oxford PPE or Geography I suppose.

  12. Markus
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    What government proposed yesterday is a ‘dog’s dinner’ and you know quite well that it is not going to be accepted by the EU side- not even as a basis for negotiation. They are not going to change their rules upside down to suit UK or anyone else. So both sides will continue to wind the clock down but in the end it is the British public who will pay the price.

    There will be no trade agreement going forward without the past being closed off in an orderly way. What is proposed from Boris has nothing to do with ‘order’ as we will hear loud and clear later today from the EU parliaments steering committee chair Guy Verhofstadt when they report- don’t forget there is also another parliament that has to agree everything- Schmucks

  13. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    I think talks will go on for years and if we can’t trade with the rest of the world during that time then this deal is unacceptable. I hope the EU turn it down then Boris will have no option but to just leave as that is what he has promised to do. Also, I cannot see this being voted for in Parliament. Corbyn has already said its worse than Mays deal. How, I’m not sure and I don’t suppose he is either. He will just try to stop Brexit totally together with Sturgeon and Swindon.

    • Andy
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      We already do trade with the rest of the world – and we will continue to do so.

      Have you never bought something from outside the EU?

      Coffee, bananas maybe? Where do you think these come from?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:56 pm | Permalink


        You mean non EU imports that carry huge tariffs? Those ones ?

        Er you do realise that citizens in the EU by products from places that aren’t in the single market or customs union dont you Andy , so you rather killed your own argument there

  14. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    What I want to know is how much are we going to continue to pay the EU and are we handing over £39b? This isn’t what we voted for Sir John. I hope Boris isn’t going to disappoint and make this country continue to be subservient. It sounds to me like you will vote for the deal

  15. Oliver
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    The paragraph in the letter you won’t hear on the BBC is “”Goods trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland makes up a little over one per cent of UK-EU total trade in goods.”

    Is Merkel really going to let the Irish PM promote his nationalist agenda at the expense of the German Car industry for that piddling amount?

    PS Watched Arlene Foster’s Bruges group speech – really impressive.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink


      Sir John’s speech was equally good. I especially like the jibe that Remain saw Leaving the CU and the SM as a threat, whereas we on the Leave side saw it as a promise. 🙂

      But the biggest cheer came for our fisherman. There can be no doubt that this terrible wrong to them must be put right and that there is widespread support. Getting back our fishing grounds is, in my opinion, a solid gold vote winner. If PM Johnson can do this he has nailed the next GE.

  16. Caterpillar
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, yes that is an important paragraph, we will see.

    Three quick and easy checks we can all do if a new WA is published:

    1) Is UK an unrepresented rule/law taker after 31st October for any period?
    2) Are any and all roles the ECJ takes clearly time limited?
    3) Does UK have clear and immediate control over its waters so that any ‘non-UK’ exploitation would have to take place as foreign direct investment and within UK determined regulations?

    (As stated before, I’d like to think UK would leave emissions trading scheme, instead following a tax and dividend with border adjustment policy.)

  17. Derek Henry
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink


    Paragraph 2.

    Why was it even in the proposal if that is not the goal ?

    Why didn’t Boris just highlight what is the goal ?

    Sounds duplicitous to me.

  18. Stred
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The border in Ireland is the problem of the EU. If they wish to keep us and our products out then let them build a border post and defend it from the nutters. The head of our customs told us two years ago that we were ready to apply the new rules and so were his Irish opposite numbers. Then Vardakar stopped them and May decided to use the backstop to keep the whole UK in a virtual customs union. It’s been a stitch up.

  19. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    I find myself favouring the Redwood Approach – if it is politically feasible. If not, then the Boris Plan looks like the only game in town. That our political class has got us to this wretched place disgusts me.

  20. Labour Blind Justice
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    The Labour Party were on telly even before anyone knew including themselves which they admitted openly the contents of the Letter to Juncker saying it would vote against it as “totally unacceptable”
    A General Election is needed badly. Blind scrutiny is not fit for any MP

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Agreed – General election NOW clear the swamp.

  21. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    As Mick states above even if the PM brings back a deal that the ERG backs the opposition parties will not vote for it.

    Leaving the EU is now a political football rather than a logistical challenge.

    On one side we have dogmatic remainers and leavers who only see pure leaving or staying in as before and on the other side you have the rump of Labour who see an opportunity to make mischief and maybe get their hands on the levers of power.

    Any deal will not get through Parliament as your government does not have the numbers and Parliament is emboldened by the EU withdrawal act no 2, thinking we can not leave on 31 October.

  22. Sharon Jagger
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    The idea of changing the WA and the PD are welcome, but I don’t believe it possible to achieve in the time. So, like you, Sir John, I think we should leave on GTT 24 and sort them out after we leave.

    After the hellish last three years, the thought of a transition period is an awful idea! However, if we leave and then negotiate a FTA, how do we know we can trust that it will be done in good faith, and no binding ties are put in place.

    We really do need a general election to rid us of pro-EU MPs! Urgently!

  23. Richard1
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    It sounds much more sensible. But supposing the EU agree is there time to get it all documented and signed by 31 Oct?

  24. David J
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    This looks like WA version 4? Not a clean break. £39 billion to pay? The Europeans don’t have to offer an extension after 31 Oct, but they will at the drop of a hat because they are petrified of the implications to the EU Club accounts. More delay and Project Fear coming up….This does not feel good

  25. John Sheridan
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Boris (and his team) have put forward a proposal which would lead to a free trade agreement. As always, the devil is in the detail, but it’s a much better offer than May’s treaty. It may not be perfect, but it does take back control in a number of areas after the end of 2020.

    If the EU reject it, or try to water it down too much, then I hope Boris does have a way to take us out on the 31st of October 2019 without a deal.

  26. dixie
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Nothing about the “transition” period, the UK “contribution” to be levied, the £39b, fishing/EEZ, military, ECJ/legal, financial and other entanglements. Nor what obligations there are on the EU not to actively damage the UKs economic and other interests.

    A re-hashed May surrender is still a surrender and not acceptable Boris.

  27. Iain Gill
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink


    Immigration, including from 3rd party countries the EU obliges us to issue visas to?

    Illegal immigration to England via Dublin, land border, ferry to mainland UK?

    Protection for UK intellectual property?

    Data protection for UK citizen data held in EU data centres?

  28. Iain Gill
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Rights of Brits in EU countries?

  29. BOF
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    I have , Sir John, no other influence other than my vote so I will wait for independent assessment of any new deal (if of course it is ever passed). My criteria will be that the UK is fully in control of laws, borders and money and is so from day one with no recourse to the ECJ. Most especially, UK security services and armed forces are in no way compromised by any form of control by EU. Finally, any transition period is unacceptable as we watch problems arise with EU economies. The UK cannot afford any shared responsibility.

    Should we end up with any of these compromises I am unlikely to vote at all.

  30. agricola
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The question now is for the EU. Is their response to be political or pragmatic. If it is political and in any way infringes the absolute sovereignty of the UK it is dead in the water. The downside for the EU is that it will alienate their industrialists in the widest sense of the word because they become the ultimate losers. If it is to be pragmatic then your last sentence is the way forward. A word of caution, do not allow anything that impinges on the sovereignty of the UK, such as fishing rights, become a bargaining chip. Whatever we might do by way of granting any fishing rights to EU boats is solely at our discretion. Make it absolutely clear to the EU that whatever the outcome, in future they are dealing with a sovereign nation after 31st October.

  31. Rhoddas
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Lipstick on the PIG I’m afraid, the rest of the putrid WA is still being given the ok.
    Very disappointed Boris….

    Quite agree Sir JR with your last para, lets just leave cleanly on GATT24, save 39bn.

  32. ferdinand
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    I agree with you entirely, but with whom does your view hold sway ?

  33. JoolsB
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Even if all 27 States including Ireland agree which is highly unlikely, the UK Parliament full of remainer MPs will never agree to any deal. The best outcome is the so called no deal option which isn’t no deal at all but multiple deals and opportunities. Let’s just hope that’s what Boris is really hoping for too and that he isn’t bluffing when he says we will come out on the 31st no matter what. He is surrounded by some clever people, Raab and Mogg who knows the workings of Parliament inside out so hopefully there really is a loophole that they will pull out of the hat on the 31st to wipe the smug smiles off the faces of the likes of Grieve and Soubry. Once Brexit is done, let’s have that general election and get rid of all the democracy denying EU loving self serving MPs as well as all the Liberal lefties that have invaded the Conservative Parliamentary party.

  34. Stephen J
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Personally, I reckon that we should be leaving the EU rather than signing a new EU treaty.

  35. Andy
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    I wonder what it would be like to be a Brexiteer this morning.

    Not one of the 17.3m who were co-opted in 2016 to support this bonkers project.

    But one of the small group of passionate Europhobes who have wanted this for decades.

    It must be an awful morning.

    We now know Brexit means complete capitulation to the EU. We know it spells the end of the United Kingdom. Voters in Northern Ireland do not want this monstrosity. The verdict of business groups in NI is damning. When Northern Ireland goes Scotland will follow.

    RIP United Kingdom. Killed by the right wing of the Conservative party.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      If Northern Ireland goes does that mean an end to the Common Travel Area?

      If Scotland goes into the EU and out of the UK does that mean border controls?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:52 am | Permalink


      Try joining the reality based community

    • outsider
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      Dear Andy, the awful morning for leavers was when the European Union (Withdrawal) (No2) Bill 2019 became an Act.
      Leaving the EU Customs and regulatory union is now, in my view, the only way to save the Union with Scotland. If we remain in, British identity will look enfeebled, humiliated and pointless. Caledonian folk wanting something to be proud of would prefer a full Scottish identity and could achieve it at only a tolerable budgetary cost. If the UK leaves, an independent Scotland would inevitably face a hard border.

  36. Roger Phillips
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Good morning.
    A lot of unanswered questions from this so called deal. What about our fishing grounds? And what about the EU demand that we pay them £39 Billion pounds? There are also serious questions to be asked regarding PESCO and the handing over of our armed services. We will not accept and BRINO deal and it will be the end for the Conservative party in the next election should you try to deceive us. Please do not make the mistake of the “Remain” camp by underestimating Leavers as being stupid people that did not know what we voted for.

  37. Mike Wroe
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The only answer is to just leave and then negotiate. Boris and Nigel also must stop their antagonism. If The Brexit Party can be persuaded to only put up candidates in Labour and Lib Dem safe seats at the GE they can win 50 to 100 seats and the Conservatives will have a majority Government. If the Tories continue with their arrogant attitude and snub the Brexit Party they will stand in every seat and split the vote.

  38. Everhopeful
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    “Let’s Get Brexit done” (with or without a deal) x 7. Can’t ask more than that!
    Nice little bonus calling Labour out for exactly what they are. ( The M word).
    The ideology Remoaners have strengthened.
    Am I being overly hopeful/ romantic or is Boris the 2nd Churchill?

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Randolph,you mean?!

  39. James Bertram
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The website (link at top of this page) gives a good analysis today (the comments, too) of the many problems left by Boris’s proposal.
    It is unacceptable at just about every level – a betrayal of the ‘Leave’ vote.

    Sir John, you seem to be the only sensible voice left in the Tory Party. You are entirely correct on the way forward:
    ‘I have urged successive governments to just table a Free Trade Agreement and then leave, with GATT 24 allowing tariff free trade on departure if the EU agrees to such talks.’

    • Andy
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      Facts being a very lose phrase when it comes to that website.

      I am still waiting for its list of non-existent countries.

  40. Dan
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Please forgive me but I, like many others, appear to be a bit confused about this new deal that Johnson is offering to the EU. Is it May’s deal with the Back stop re-hashed? If it is, then it could be a very bad thing and a big risk for Boris to play. There are plenty of commentators who have brought up the ‘worst 40 things about the WA’ and they are truly appalling. Can you please confirm if the rumours are true or not regarding the offer and if it is indeed May’s terrible WA. If it is, can you please provide simple reasoning as to why we should accept it? Thank you.

  41. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    It would be surprising if the EU accepted this paper, even though it is a long way from a clean break but the odds are it would pass the Commons albeit with some Labour MP defections(future peers?). The reality is the EU has been intent on punishing the UK and to date have been ruthless negotiators. This should be a take it or leave it offer but the wording is mealy mouthed enough to suggest another May cave in. She was in the Commons yesterday lapping up Raab’s comments – ugh!

  42. RichardM
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    This ‘deal’ will be unnaceptable to all bar the DUP, who have been bought. Its transparent that the Governments target is to take absolutely no responsibility for no-deal and the resulting recession, and maximise the blame on everyone else.

    • Ring-a-ding
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

      Rejoice, this would bring in a Labour government. So you should welcome all that is happening right now. Oddly you don’t. Afraid of 20-30 years of Labour Rule based on “We saved the UK”? The truth is Remainers are afraid of Brexit success and are fighting like mad rabid ferrets and a rat in a sack even weeks before exit.
      Soon it’ll be bye bye to the LibDems who have only got one policy. And bye bye to Labour who have many policies on each subject to cover week by week change of their multiple brains, Gollum-heads! Of course no fish. No ring too. or is that three?

    • acorn
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      When the DUP supports a proposal that puts any border in the Irish Sea, you know this offer is a big bluff play. The EU knows it and is playing it cool. There is no way Boris is going to put Barnier behind the eight ball.

  43. DaveM
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Sir Hohn, please can you comment on the security and fishing aspects of the PM’s proposed deal? It’s all quite unclear from where I’m sitting.

  44. DaveM
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    John. My apologies.

  45. Iain Moore
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I see a lot of goal post moving going on , like the EU complaining about the lack of time limit with Boris’s NI proposals, something they weren’t too worried about when it was us suffering from the unlimited backstop, but especially by the Irish Government, who weren’t worried about customs checks away from the border when it was about duties and VAT which have been going on for decades, but suddenly becomes an issue when it is customs checks for goods. It all shows what we always suspected that the NI issue was being exploited by the Remainers to block Brexit, and by the Irish Government for a land grab.

  46. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I too wish he had dropped the WA in the bin and proposed just a FTA, the WA is so awful it requires 90% to be rewritten.

    I do find it doubtful any agreement that the EU objects to will get through parliament. I also believe the Irish problems of staying in the EU are not the UK’s, they are often unfriendly with us and we should put friendship with countries such as Australia above them in our priorities.#

    We should not be subjected to any EU rules, nor should our fishing grounds be freely shared, if our withdrawal treaty achieves that then it is brexit.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink


      “we should put friendship with countries such as Australia above them in our priorities”

      Like we did when we joined the EU and deserted them overnight with many of their sheep farmers and New Zealand dairy farmers going bankrupt?

      You really think they have forgotten and will come running once we desert the EU in the same way? Will anybody?

      As for ‘our fishing grounds’, our fishermen sold their allocation for a quick profit and they are no longer ours.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        This nonsense has been repeatedly answered Margaret.
        But for the umpteenth time:-

        1 Australia and New Zealand have both said they would like a trade deal with the UK after we leave on the 31st of October

        2 Some sold their allocation because the original deal created quotas so small that many fishermen realised they could not make any money at those quota levels.
        Selling and getting out was the only option for them.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, Margaret.

        Julia Gillard pointed out that she was very pleased with the way that talks with the European Union over trade with Australia were going.

        She said that after important partners such as them, the US, and China, she would be still interested in what countries such as the UK might offer.

        Do these fools here think that the Commonwealth countries have been idly standing by, waiting for the UK?

        • libertarian
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:02 pm | Permalink


          Julia Gillard is not only no longer PM, she isn’t even a politician any longer

          You are so far behind the curve its untrue

          Australia’s Minister for Trade Simon Birmingham said a trade deal with Britain will particularly benefit the country’s agricultural sector, worth around A$60 billion.

          “As part of the EU, market access to Britain in terms of agricultural products has been limited,” Birmingham told reporters. “This is something we will look to address.”

          Keep a tally of these Marty this is another FACT that you failed to check

        • Pominoz
          Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:04 am | Permalink


          and do you think the Aussies give a tinker’s cuss about Julia Gillard’s opinion?

      • Gareth Warren
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        The New Zealanders even offered us military assistance during the Falklands war, while EU countries helped Argentina.

        More recently the Australians and others have been very vocal in their support for us despite how we harmed them entering the EU. A great way to apologize for entering the EU would be giving them free trade with the UK.

        • margaret howard
          Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

          Gareth Warren

          “while EU countries helped Argentina.”

          Wikipedia regarding the Falklands war

          European support:

          The European Community, of which the United Kingdom is a member, fully supported the UK’s position and opposed the invasion of the Falklands, the community also supported the United Nations Resolution requesting that Argentina withdraw from the islands.

          When Argentina refused, the community announced sanctions against Argentina. Today, the present European Union recognises the UK’s sovereignty as the only legitimate claim and this is recognised in the Treaty of Lisbon, with all member states (apart from Spain which is Neutral), individually recognising it.

          French involvement:

          The President of France, François Mitterrand, gave full support to the UK in the Falklands war. Sir John Nott, who was Secretary of State for Defence during the conflict, has acknowledged in his memoirs that “in so many ways Mitterrand and the French were our greatest allies”

          Some more malicious myth making Gareth?

  47. Alison
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Fishing must be repatriated, totally, ditto our waters. Our military autonomy, ditto totally.

    • bill brown
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink


      What does military autonomy mean as we are part of NATO?

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        M Macron is looking east to enhance relations with Russia and China-and,indeed,develop a collective security architecture with the former.Look what’s happened re Ukraine over the past few days.Are you sure NATO has a future?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Come on bill it is pretty easy to understand.
        We are in a voluntary organisation of allies called NATO.
        It is very different to have our armed forces controlled by the EU or being merged into an EU armed force.

    • Andy
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Will you tell the fish that they are not allowed to swim beyond British waters?

  48. John Partington
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    A disguised Brino; who is daft enough to vote for that.

  49. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    At least Boris Johnson has recognised that this really is a molehill:

    “Goods trade between Northern Ireland and Ireland makes up a little over one per cent of UK-EU total trade in goods. It is entirely reasonable to manage this border in a different way. Any risks arising will be manageable in both the EU single market and the UK market … ”

    And as a fraction of UK GDP goods driven across the land border into the Irish Republic represent about 0.1% of UK GDP.

  50. Nigel
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    I had heard that Sir Bill Cash was being consulted on the latest proposals, as a representative of the ERG group. Has anyone heard what his assessment is?

    Reply Bill Cash and many others from the ERG have set out in detail over the last year or so the issues that arise with the Withdrawal Agreement, so you can read what we wrote and said.

  51. David Maples
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    To what extent is Boris’ deal, May’s deal in drag?
    Allister Heath and Sherelle Jacobs in the Telegraph seem at opposite poles. Even if Heath is right and we come out of the customs union and single market, there is still a lot of toxic stuff that needs eviscerating.

    Q/Should we support this deal? Will the Commons support it? If they don’t, should Boris extend or break the law? Or should he just jettison everything now and opt for no-deal?

    ‘Everybody has to sometime break the rules’
    (Francis Rossi/Status Quo)

  52. villaking
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    Is this not all rather academic? Unlike you, most of the Opposition does want a close relationship with EU after we leave and since this is a minority government it will not pass even in the unlikely event that the EU signs up to it. I also can’t see how Dublin could accept this when it breaches the commitments made in December 2017 to have “no physical infrastructure or related checks” and also allows Stormont (most probably the DUP) to opt out every 4 years.
    The backstop is very popular in NI and solves all of the issues regarding protection of the EU Single Market and preservation of the GFA

    • libertarian
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink


      You really must find out how borders, customs and import/ exports work BEFORE posting smh

    • Robert McDonald
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      Most of the opposition just want to oppose anything the government seeks to do, even when its exactly what was in their manifestos at the last general election. It’s time for another general election if the opposition has the courage to face the public.

  53. bill brown
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    How many times doe we have to go through the GAT 24 argument, when we know that the EU has declared clearly that this is now what they wish to do in the future relationship. It is getting rather tedious and boring , when we know it will not be applicable. This is like talking with the Brexit Party

    Reply In 2018 some in the EU though an FTA a good idea

    • bill brown
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Sir JR,

      When this was back in 2018 and it is now a no flier, why, do you raise it again?

    • Nigel E
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      Indeed Tusk offered one based on Canada. But Mystic T May and team rejected it.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        The GDP shrinkage was too much.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink


  54. BillM
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Just why is the Irish border such a problem? Officials on both sides – the UK and the EU have admitted in the event of a no deal with the EU that border will not change from its existing status. It would break the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties if it were to do so.
    Just what is the problem with Article 24 that it cannot be introduced?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      It isn’t. What the problem is, as highlighted by Denis Cooper, is that the Irish government will see one of its largest markets practically gone. ie Competition from other suppliers will sell their beef and dairy products at a lower market rate. This is going to hurt them so, they need the UK in the CU and the SM so they can keep out the competition. This has nothing to do with the Good Friday Agreement.

  55. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I’d add my question to others on sovereignty over our waters. We must take back our fishing rights. No compromise on this.

  56. ukretired123
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    1% Cross-border trade between Ireland and NI !!!
    1% of UK – EU trade was the Backstop ruse by EU and Mr V , unbelievable nonsense.

    It seems lots of smuggling must occur for them to have been banging on about it ad nauseam.

  57. Nig l
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    And a transition period, no time stated so not leaving in any real sense. The EU will string it along for ever.

  58. mancunius
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John, Your GATT XXIV suggestion is the best one, in fact the only viable suggestion which makes this country genuinely independent as we leave the EU. That is the only ‘extension’ we need.
    The WA stinks from top to toe: it commits the EU to nothing at all in the nature of a future FTA, as the PD is legally unenforceable on the EU. What must be avoided at all costs is an extension whose end or enforced continuation is dependent on the EU’s future negotiating demands, or their legendary glacial progress in trade talks.
    Give ’em an inch, they’ll take an ell.

    • Belter
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:08 am | Permalink

      The EU has made clear there is no GATT24 until the UK agrees to the WA

  59. ian
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    I see labour might have a rebellion on its hands.

  60. formula57
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    “I have urged successive governments to just table a Free Trade Agreement and then leave,…”

    Indeed, and you have also said we do not need to pay (£39 billion plus) to trade and we are out when we say we are out, no Article 50 timetabling handcuff. What price you being listened to by those (pro tem) in Downing Street?

    With the forthcoming trade war that President Trump will launch against the Evil Empire, the U.K. is tremendously advantaged by achieving Brexit soon.

  61. glen cullen
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Deja Vu

    We’ve been here before

    A deal will not solve anything…apart from decimate the tory party at next GE and keep the UK in limbo for years

    We need to either completey remain or completely leave

    • steve
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:40 pm | Permalink


      “A deal will not solve anything…apart from decimate the tory party at next GE and keep the UK in limbo for years”

      I think Labour is first on the electorate’s hit list.

  62. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Why is the Prime Minister even bothering to try to get a revised Withdrawal Agreement? As Sir John has pointed out, No Deal is a misnomer. There are already a mini-deals in place and we can proceed step by step with a series of mini-deals, retaining the principle that the EU only receives an exit fee if it treats us nicely. Retention of leverage is crucial. The ultimate goal is substantially free trade with EU Member States – individually if possible.

    One possibility is to negotiate rapidly to make a few items tariff free in both directions. Car parts, aircraft parts and train parts come to mind.

    We will need a short transition period to put the necessary computer and administrative procedures in place for WTO rules procedures – till the end of 2019 not 2020. If we had opted for no deal 6 months ago, these systems would already be in place.

    Mr Johnson wants to leave the EU on 31st October in order to avoid paying the EU £1 billion a month. But that also applies to a transition period, so let’s have it as short as possible.

  63. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    Mr Johnson’s proposals for Northern Ireland already concede too much. If NI has to stay within the EU regulatory system for goods, does this apply only to what is made and not how it is made? In other words, do factories in NI have to comply with EU labour and environmental laws? If so, that will in time diverge from practice in the rest of the UK. Mr Johnson wants the UK to have a capitalist economy. Bravo! But that will depend on getting rid of most of the dirigiste crap that the EC has foisted on us through laws and directives over the 26 years since the Maastricht Treaty was written into law.

    • steve
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:38 pm | Permalink


      I wouldn’t be too concerned about it. Neither the EU or parliament is going to endorse Boris’s proposition. Thus we’ll be leaving without a so – called deal anyway.

      • Harry
        Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        Steve- correct you’ll be leaving in a matter of weeks with no WA and no plan for the future except all of these new trade deals with countries far away which will kick in and which wouldn’t be so bad if only you had a merchant navy still- which you don’t. At this stage the Eu want’s rid of Farage & Co from the EU parliament and of course that suits Boris too so that’s all the more reason you’ll be leaving with no deal- but come January the EU knows you’ll be back again knocking on the door- please sir

        • steve
          Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:29 pm | Permalink


          “but come January the EU knows you’ll be back again knocking on the door- please sir”


        • libertarian
          Posted October 6, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


          If you ever catch up with us in the 21st century the realisation about international trade will really astound you

  64. Newmania
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

    “It wasn’t me miss it was them those horrid EU people , they did it , we had a plan, we did Miss, I threw it at them from across the Street and that makes it all their fault Miss …”

    *later after fearful rollocking ..”

    ” I must not treat people like simpletons
    ” I must not treat people like simpletons
    ” I must not treat people like simpletons
    Blimey 200 to go
    ” I must not treat people like simpletons …”

    • steve
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:33 pm | Permalink


      Careful with that rattle, you’ll have someone’s eye out.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 6, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


      Rather than this chanting ( Martin in Cardiff , thinks people who chant slogans are really dumb, so dont offend him)

      How about you answer the question how come youre oft stated “facts” turned out to be a pile of …..

  65. JackT
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    The EU will never agree to any deal that does not leave it with a large measure of control over us. Hence the so-call WA. The only way to avoid that is the clean exit that we voted for; i.e. no residual control over us. That needs to exclude any more of the so-called “military co-operation” which will surely lead to EU command of our armed forces.

    WTO is the way to go. than let them come begging for something more beneficial as a simple trade agreement with no strings attached.

  66. Nigel E
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Most welcome indeed. I’m sure we need to recognise the role that you and other Clean Brexiteers have had in this process – so well done! Mind, no slacking now! Keep Boris honest.

    For a Clean Brexit, I would grit my teeth and swallow the payment of £39 billion (minus the last six months paymenys already made). But no SM, no CU and definitely no role for the ECJ.

  67. Edwardm
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

    Anything that remotely resembles Mrs May’s WA is a very bad thing.
    Even with the backstop gone, I feel we are being stitched-up until we get rid of the WA – so why even entertain anything like it even as a temporary measure, and there is always the danger it becomes permanent by default.
    And why pay the EU so much money, and money – as if that is no problem ?
    Its looking like Boris is only half on our side – we need a PM who is fully on our side.

  68. Frankie
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    Not alone is the UK a minority government but the DUP represents only 30 per cent of the people of NI at the most or 300000 voters out of a total population on the whole island 7’s all a load of nonsense

    • Edward2
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Very odd use of statistics frankie.
      Most governments in the UK get voted in with a share of vote in the 30% or 40% range.
      And you need to look up the total number of people who are eligible to vote voted not the total population.

    • steve
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink


      “…..on the whole island 7 million.

      ‘Southern Ireland’ i.e the republic is irrelevant. We owe it nothing. I personally don’t care a hoot if a no – deal brexit ruins their economy. Not our problem and nothing to do with us.

      Perhaps they and their little PM should have thought carefully before ‘courageously’ insulting us from behind their EU master’s coat tails.

      Still, when and if their economy falls to ruin as they predict, they’ll be wanting to leave the EU and be expecting sympathy from us, we shall laugh.

  69. outsider
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Yes, the amended documents would be only a small improvement. If the alternative was leaving with “no deal” on Oct 31, however, I imagine that both the EU and the HoC would agree them and the outcome would be accepted by most voters. But neither the EU nor remainer MPs believe that leaving on Oct 31 without formal agreement is possible, so one or other will veto Mr Johnson’s proposal.
    Unless Mr Johnson can still find a way to fulfil his pledge, the Leave vote at the subsequent General Election will split badly and Mr Corbyn will head the next UK government with far more damaging consequences, whether or not he needs a coalition. So a lot rests on Mr Johnson having a cunning plan – and the plan working.

  70. Whaddyasay
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Let me repeat- the DUP do not represent the majority of people in NI only about 30 per cent or 300,000 voters. Total population of the island of Ireland is 7 million. There is no way the majority on the Island will support an economic border dividing yhe community and this on top of the political border. If UK crashes out there will have to be a EU/ WTO border we know but for how long will a situation loke this remain before there is a border poll?

    • steve
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      ” There is no way the majority on the Island will support an economic border dividing the community”

      Dividing what community ?

      No one is suggesting a border be put through any community. You speak as though NI and the republic are one. They are not. NI is British territory.

      What the republic of Ireland supports or does not support is irrelevant, nothing to do with them.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

      Let me repeat, you use some dodgy statistics.
      First most governments have been elected with a less than 50% percentage of the total vote.
      Secondly it is silly to quote the 7million figure because this includes those ineligible to vote.
      And it’s not my fault if some who are able to vote could not be bothered to get up, go out and vote.

  71. tim
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    The British/Brussels Brainwashing council thinks Boris has a good deal, he must be selling us in to servitude for sure. I feel sick!

    • Whaddyasay
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

      By new agreement I presume you mean a new withdrawal agreement but no chance for that now as there’s no time left. Furthermore the EU is not prepared to waste any more real time over this- what is going on now is just window-dressing for the legacy writers. So Boris wants to go to the people as the hard done one but that is not going to wash either- The only agreement he has managed so far is with the DUP and the ERG- a failed foreign secretary and now a failed PM.

  72. BillM
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    I have to agree with Ms Jacobs of the DT analysis of the Boris Plan. It makes for a chaotic Brexit and one that does not match the aspirations of the 17.4 Million majority who in 2016 voted to Leave the EU.
    Especially when we were told by PM Cameron that Leave means leaving the single market AND the Customs Union and everything else that clamps us to the wretched org called the EU. Everything about it makes my skin crawl and my blood boil because I have had enough of the BS that has held us back for three years and three months thus far, with absolutely no progress whatsoever. And The Boris plan puts our UK leave date even further back. Why?
    Why are we always be beholding to those that despise us because we dare to question their authority? Why is there fuss about a FTA? We do not need one.
    Our actual trade with the EU is less than that with the rest of the world and now represents less than 10% of our total GDP.
    Why do we continually kow tow to these unelected neo-emperors of the EU? What is in it for us? ‘Us’ being the 17.4 Million people who voted to dump the EU and go our own way in the world.
    We do not need the EU and the Brussels regime running our lives but it would appear that they need us. We should not care about that for the freedom of the British people should always be put first. Indeed wars have been fought to preserve that status.
    Boris! be a Donald Trump. a tough negotiator and force them to kow tow to Britannia for a change.
    Ensure we do leave at the end of THIS MONTH. With absolutely NO CONDITIONS.
    Anything less will betray democracy here. If there is any left.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 3, 2019 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      Spot on. We DON’T need a trade deal to leave the EU. As you say, all this fabricated fuss makes one’s blood boil.

  73. pauline baxter
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Hello sir John. I’ve not read the other comments.
    Your diary struck me as a bit luke warm towards the suggested ‘Deal’. And if it really is a resurrection of May’s deal then surely any brexiteer should say definitely NOT. I hope the Government is not going to try to fudge something like that through.
    Of course there may be Tory backbenchers who do not have the courage to go for the so called ‘no deal’ (WTO I think it should be called) but I really hoped Boris would get exactly that

  74. Ed M
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Apologies for any annoying comments. I support Sovereignty too.
    Thank you for allowing me to comment.
    All the best.

  75. Thames Trader
    Posted October 3, 2019 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    The Irish border has been blown out of all proportion into a way to keep the UK in the EU. It’s clear to me that the EU figures would never agree to any solution proposed by the UK government that involves properly leaving the EU. Why is that public commentators never ask the EU to propose a border solution satisfactory to them that allows the UK to leave the EU ? I suppose it’s because all the key media figures are Remainers.

    Ask the EU to propose a solution and they just trot out “The UK’s leaving so it’s up to them to propose the solution”. Why does no-one challenge this nonsense ? We have to leave without a deal because it’s clear that no solution involving leaving will ever satisfy Varadkar and co. The answer is “No”, now what’s the UK’s proposal ?

  • 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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