The EU response to the offer

The three features I like most about the UK proposals are

  1. The whole UK leaves the Customs Union
  2. Great Britain  leaves the single market
  3. Northern Ireland leaves the single market unless Stormont meets to vote to stay in

This is in accord with what both sides said in the referendum, that leaving the EU means leaving the single market and customs union at the same time.

It turns out these are the three key features of the proposals which the EU dislikes and  now wishes to remove or water down.

The Prime  Minister was right to say this offer represented still  more UK concessions on other things and they should not expect  more concessions . I  recommend stressing the free trade offer within the letter, which could change the nature of the discussions, given the problems with the draft Withdrawal Agreement and costly and cumbersome so called transition period. .

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  1. Shirley
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Anyone with any sense knows the EU wants to keep control of the UK, in one form or another. They have a choice now, this deal or no deal, but we need to reinforce the message that the UK is prepared to leave with no deal. This is being (deliberately) undermined by Remainers, in order to keep us under the EU thumb.

    We want to be a sovereign self governing nation. Nothing less, nothing more.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Then to achieve that absolutely the UK would have to pull out of NATO, the UN, all extradition and other international treaties.

      They ALL involved parting with a degree of sovereignty, usually for an agreed quid-pro-quo, but sometimes the UK is arguably bullied into them by greater powers.

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Martin, Why would the UK have to pull out of NATO, the UN, all extradition and other international treaties? That doesn’t make any sense. In the first place choosing not to give up our sovereignty in one area does not preclude choosing to give up sovereignty in another area.

        Secondly, as you have been told many times, the EU treaties are unlike other treaties, which are specific and limited. The EU treaties are “enabling” treaties, which allow the EU to impose extra new laws continuously, none of which the UK has signed up to (for the obvious reason that the new laws haven’t been made at the time of signing the treaty).

      • Edward2
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        None of these bodies impose laws on us.
        Big difference.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        But none of those assumed control of our borders. That was the final straw that caused Brexit.

        Frau Merkel decides someone can become European, that someone can then decide to live in Britain, we don’t have much say in the matter.

        All the people wanted was reasonable control over this.

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Utter nonsense. In NATO, sovereignty is maintained because members can withdraw their forces or their commitments at any time, as France did under De Gaul. Furthermore, the majority of European nations have continuously failed to maintain their commitments in spending and manpower to NATO, without serious penalties. NATO cannot fine members for non-performance. The same arrangement concerns your other examples. The EU insists on the surrender of sovereignty and the right to self-determination as the primary condition. of membership and is very quick to penalise those nations who try to buck the system.

        • Oliver
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 6:27 am | Permalink

          I do always like to be reminded of LBJ insisting his man (Dean Acheson?) ask De Gaulle, when he demanded all US troops be removed from French soil, if he meant the ones in cemetries there, who met their ends liberating his country, as well.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

          Members can leave the European Union at any time. What do you think that the UK is doing now?

          It is the UK which keeps begging for extensions, not the European Union.

          Where have you been?

          The European Union has no say over immigration whatsoever. There is free movement of its citizens around their common home, as is reasonable.

          Border security and checks are entirely sovereign matters.

          • NickC
            Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            Martin said: “Members can leave the EU at any time” ?!!?! You mean like France and Nato?? Or even when the Czechs exited the Warsaw Pact in 1991?? Ohh oh hahahahaha!!

          • Edward2
            Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

            Come off it Martin.
            How can you say ” the EU has no say over immigration whatsoever”.
            You are perfectly entitled to feel the EU is a wonderful thing but nonsensical comments like this don’t help your argument.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 5, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink


            DOH !

            No we’ve been trying to leave with no deal for 3 years

            Its the ESTABLISHMENT who undemocratically are stopping us by inventing nonsense arguments against leaving .

            Its the EU who once again are breaking their own rules

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Let’s hope that the PM puts this proposal to a vote early next week. It would help to show the EU and Varadkar that we mean business this time.

      By the way, is there any reason why the PM shouldn’t use his vote on the EU Council (we are still members after all) to veto any extension to Article 50 after the 31st of this month?

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Mockbeggar, Sorry to be the harbinger of bad tidings but putting Boris’s proposal to a vote in the HoC is pointless because the HoC is Remain – they will vote down anything that is not Remain. The Remain HoC has no shame.

        Boris cannot veto any extension offered by the EU because the UK “shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it” (TEU Art50/4).

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

        You HATE the EU but you dont know the first thing about it. Under Art 50 a withdrawing state has no vote

        • NickC
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          Len Porridge, Yes we hate the EU ideology. It is yet another modern Western European attempt to recreate the Roman Empire but using bureaucracy and fake law instead of the cannons of Bonaparte, the machine guns of the Kaiser (Caesar), the tanks of Hitler’s “3rd” Reich, or the gulags of Lenin/Trotsky/Stalin/Khruschev (himself the butcher of Katyn).

      • Otto
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        A good point Mockbeggar among other interesting points in this blog over time which are never answered by JR even if the answer could be yes or no. This lack of info is most frustrating. Perhaps he just doesn’t know but doesn’t like to admit it.

    • Helena
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      No Shirley, the UK is NOT prepared to leave with no deal. It is the law of the land , enacted by our Parliament, that if no deal is agreed, the PM must request an extension of EU membership

      • Edward2
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

        And if the EU, as is likely, refuse the extension then what will Parliament led by the Speaker do next?

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        Helena, Our Parliament also enacted the Referendum and promised that the result, whether we voted Remain or Leave, would be implemented.

        The possibility of leaving without a withdrawal agreement is the law – see TEU Art50/3 – which has primacy over UK law (Lisbon Declaration 17) and therefore supersedes the Benn Surrender Act.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        The people are but it’s this Quisling parliament led by “Bully Boy” Bercow who are determined to overthrow the referendum result.

      • Steelback
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, Helena – EU law trumps UK law.

        Under EU law i.e. Withdrawal Act 2017 – if no new treaty with the EU has been negotiated – we LEAVE!

        The Surrender Bill was concocted illegally by a pro-REMAIN speaker on behalf of a deluded REMAIN Parliament.

        REMAINERS trumpet Parliamentary sovereignty but fail to understand that MPs derive sovereignty from democratically expressed will of the people.

        LEAVE won the vote in June 2016 and it’s high time REMAINERS stood aside to let democracy run its course.

      • David J
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Well Helena, I’m sure that Boris will request an extension if a deal has not been agreed. The EU do not have to grant it though- they can finally grow a back bone and refuse it as they don’t need the UK in the EU…. But what do you think they will do 🙂

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink


        Total rubbish.

        Traitors in Parliament have turned on the electorate. And the majority of people don’t want a deal with the EU.

  2. Pominoz
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    It is absolutely vital that there is no transition period. Four more years of servitude will not be tolerated by a significant majority of the population.

    Out, and properly out, by 31st October is all that is acceptable.

    • Pominoz
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      The plain fact is that the EU is desperate to receive our vast financial contribution, without which they are in strife. The ‘Remainiac’ MPs seem happy to spend UK taxpayer money for the benefit of wealthy EU nations. Disgusting!

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Indeed. But it is still unacceptable and it seems clear the EU will not agree anyway. Why would they with the appalling Benn/Grieve/Gauke/Bercow surrender/treachery bill in place and with Boris having no commons majority?

    • Simeon
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      We are still yet to see what BJ’s big idea is on how to actually deliver Brexit. Giving people reason to doubt his true intentions doesn’t seem like it would be a real vote-winner…

  4. Fed Up Englishman
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    As expected, Ireland and the EU have poured cold water on this idea.
    Our response should be OK then, we leave on WTO terms, and in accordance with the Belfast Good Friday Agreement (BGFA), we will manage with no checks on the border as we have already said we’d do, so we will not build any hard border infrastructure.
    That’s it, over to you, Ireland and EU. You can ensure ther’ll be no hard border by doing something similar. It will be their choice to put up hard infrastructure if they wish, but they will carry the can for breaking the BGFA.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      That is more or less what the UK government should have said nearly two years ago, when it was becoming clear even as a matter of public knowledge that the new Irish government under Leo Varadkar was set upon an absurd extreme and intransigent course.

      From November 26 2017:

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

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

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

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

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

      • acorn
        Posted October 6, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        Ireland is circa 1.9% of EU GDP. It has become a holding warehouse for US multinationals’ cash, with a small country attached. There is no way the EU and Trumpland will allow Ireland to suffer. And who do you think will get the blame if it does?

        • libertarian
          Posted October 6, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink


          Lol, hilarious. Ireland is a tax haven and the EU is about to end that by insisting on uniform tax rates .

          Who will get the blame? Well the people causing the problem the European Union

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 6, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          You could ask the Irish government whether they expect Ireland to suffer if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

    • Len Gruel
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      No no no, our Parluament has already ruled out no deal. If no deal, then extension. That is the law!

      • Know-Dice
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Has anyone actually defined what a “deal” is?

        The Draft Withdrawal Agreement is that really a deal?

        Maybe Boris has enough agreements in place to say that he has a deal.

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Len Gruel/Grinds/etc, A deal?? The EU has refused to negotiate a trade deal, and the UK Parliament accepted that over 2 years ago. The UK is subject to EU law which has primacy over UK law. EU law says that we can leave without a withdrawal agreement. And what use is the Benn Surrender Act anyway if the EU does not offer an extension?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      It’s quite obvious who will be responsible for any re-emergence of trouble in Ireland, and the world will not generally judge it to be the European Union, of which Eire is a part.

      So say Friends Of Ireland in the US, anyway.

      • Oggy
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        The blame for any further troubles emerging in Ireland is completely at the door of those people causing that trouble ie IRish dissident groups, do not try to shift the blame elsewhere.

        Would those ‘friends of Ireland in the US’ be the same friends who funded the IRA to commit atrocities in NI then ?

      • NickC
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

        Martin, The responsibility for “trouble” will be those who make “trouble”, and no other. And make no mistake the EU empire is our enemy, as they have plainly shown over the last 4 years (arguably the last 47 years).

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

        England denied home rule by the IRA. What a turn up !

        So who are your *friends* then ?

      • steve
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink


        “It’s quite obvious who will be responsible for any re-emergence of trouble in Ireland”

        I presume you mean Northern Ireland, which by the way is British sovereign territory and as such is nothing to do with the republic or it’s little Prime Minister.

    • Andy
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      In the scenario you outline where we refuse to put up a border – a random country with an axe to grind against Britain – Argentina for example – could take the UK to the WTO.

      The WTO has made clear that although its rules do not require a hard border it will investigate claims by any of its members who say their interests are damaged by the trade advantages the UK gains from having no hard border.

      You seem very keen on WTO rules. So keen you are happy to break one.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        The Republic of Ireland has (like the UK) said it will not create a hard border.
        Do you think the EU army or the mythical WTO army will invade and build a wall?
        Perhaps the remainers herd of Unicorns can be asked for an answer.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        I don’t see why there can’t be electronic manifests for goods.

        We’ll settle for a personal border that exists only is so far as that a person who rocks up here via any EU border can no longer proclaim themselves British and can no longer claim associated rights of citizenship and can be deported automatically.

        Otherwise what you have is a free for all. Destruction of border is destruction of nation.

        You may like destruction of nation. Well put in it a manifesto and stand for office on it and see how far you get. Until 2016 all federalist MPs were reticent about it.

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


        Withdraw this post as it is totally and fully fake

        The WTO just last Friday made it perfectly clear that WTO rules do not require any hard border or indeed set any border infrastructure rules , so another country say Argentina which is in South America will not be affected by a soft Irish Border .

        Of course if you still deludedly believe that goods in transit only do so if hordes of people in blue uniforms look in the back of every lorry then I guess your mistake is just pure ignorance

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    The leaving fee (circa £39 billion) is not this figure in the agreement but determined by a formula any with the hardly impartial ECJ as the final decider of this? This is also totally unacceptable.

  6. Bob Dixon
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    So what do you not like?

  7. Tabulazero
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Why do you still pretend that this proposal serve any other purpose than provide the Conservative party with the cover to blame the EU when no deal happens.

    You know full well that the EU will never let the DUP manage one of its external border in perpetuity.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Where does it say the DUP manages the border what are you talking about?

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

      Tabulazero, The EU’s borders are for the EU to manage. UK borders are for the UK to manage. Since the EU refuses to do a trade deal, and will not negotiate sensibly on a withdrawal agreement, who else is to blame but the EU?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        What about the UK whose proposal ask for the EU to dismantle the Single-Market and the Republic of Ireland to let go of the peace process ?

        All that because a cat fight in the Conservative party got out of hand.

        • NickC
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          Tabulazero, Where and when has the UK asked the EU to dismantle its single market, and Eire to let go of the peace process? Quotes from the UK government as evidence please.

          UK businesses selling into the USA must conform to the USA’s single market. And doing so does not dismantle the USA’s single market. Likewise selling into the EU (including into its province of Eire), when the UK has left doesn’t.

          The “peace process” was not a transfer of part of the UK’s sovereignty to Eire. So the UK leaving the EU does not mean Eire (or the UK) lets go of the peace process.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 6, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink


          I cant get over how ultra remainers come on here day after day posting their total ignorance of how modern goods in transit flow across borders all over the world.

          There is NO damage to the EU single market or Customs Union by goods entering from the NI part of the UK . NONE

          Just as theres no damage to goods entering from Russia, Belarus , Morocco, or indeed anywhere else in the world

          The GFA has no mention in it at all about borders . The CTA has been legally in force since 1923

  8. Martin in Cardiff
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    John, you are being disingenuous, I think.

    It is a legal fact that the Article Fifty process leads to leaving all the institutions of the European Union, including those that you state.

    Remain pointed that out as a warning to the seriousness of leaving.

    However, as I recall, the Leave campaigns did not make that an objective of leaving, as they talked of a range of post-exit relationships ranging from Owen Paterson’s EEA model to Farage’s oft-trumpeted Norway and Switzerland models.

    The key point is that the ballot paper itself was absolutely silent on what the post-exit relationship with the European Union should be, so there is no pressure, moral or legal, preventing a sovereign Parliament from deciding that.

    Reply I made it clear pre the referendum we would be leaving the single market and customs union, Remain stated endlessly that is what it would entail and the Conservative Manifesto of 2017 said so.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Thank you John, yes, but that is a simple matter of fact, of what Article Fifty involves.

      There is nothing whatsoever preventing a sovereign Parliament from replicating parts of the arrangements currently enjoyed with the European Union, without membership, subject to mutual agreement, however. They could take effect just one second after the UK had left those institutions if that suited, and your manifesto would be discharged.

      The ballot paper was silent on the matter, and no party promised not to do this.

      • William Jones
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        You are correct, Martin. We are in a terrible mess today because the Leave campaign in 2016 refused ever to define what should be the nature of our relationship with the EU in the future. And there are many possibilities, ranging from Norway to no deal. A terrible mess – but entirely the fault of the Leave campaign

        • Edward2
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

          The EU has refused to negotiate and agree any of your “many possibilities “..
          It is the dreadful Withdrawal Agreement or no deal.
          They will not alter their position.

        • NickC
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:46 am | Permalink

          William Jones, The official Leave campaign was quite clear that we would enjoy recovering control of our sovereignty, laws, courts, trade policy, fish, and money. All the main politicians, including Cameron, Gove, Hammond and Johnson, confirmed this over and over.

          We are not (yet!) a communist country, so we did not (and do not) want a USSR-style “10 year plan” for exactly what the UK would be like after escaping from your EU ideology. Leave means abrogating the EU treaties so the EU no longer has control over the UK. And that’s it. What the people will want after we Leave must be up to us, not some rigid “plan”.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          William Jones, you are wrong.

          We weren’t electing a *party* called Leave. We were given a choice clearly defined by the government of the day with a binary choice on the referendum slip.

        • dixie
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          The Remainers have refused to say what our relationship with the EU will be in the future – a cowardly deceit.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, I recall Sir John saying clearly and specifically that we might have to trade on WTO terms if the EU would not come to a sensible deal, but that would not be a problem. The Remain side stated time and again that leaving meant leaving the Single Market, they meant that as a threat I’m sure but I took it as a promise.

    • steve
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:43 pm | Permalink


      “It is a legal fact that the Article Fifty process leads to leaving all the institutions of the European Union…..”

      So that’s the ECJ out of the way then. Result.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Martin in Cardiff

      O M G

      You have been banging on for ages NO ONE VOTED FOR NO DEAL

      Now you tell us ( we already knew) that this is entirely the case once we triggered A50

  9. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Sorry John I just see this as a complicated fudge with yet more concessions given upfront.

    Did it really take 70 days to put this complicated double border policy together ?

    What is the next concession, a border in the Irish sea, monthly payments to continue whilst we have yet more years of transition time ?

    Can no one see all the Eu and the Republic want is a United Ireland, and they are using Brexit as a tool to try and get it, or at least to lay the foundations or unrest for it now.

    If we have a double border for N Ireland what about Scotland wanting the same ?

    • Les
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

      Indeed … and it may well happen.
      I suggested it 3 years ago 🙂 .

  10. Dominic
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    ECJ subordination still remain’s. That’s unacceptable, utterly unacceptable. The UK, its people and its judicial authority should not be sacrificed on the altar of body that is not judicial in nature but a mere political extension of the EU whose fundamental aim is to limit the actions of member state governments

    • Andy
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      No doubt you moaned about the Supreme Court case too.

      And also, no doubt, you object to the European Court of Human Rights.

      And, no doubt, you can not name a single specific ECJ case you object to.

      Your hysteria whipped up by years of Europhobic trash from UKIP and the ERG.

      What you actually object to is the rule of law. It does not matter which court is involved. If you don’t get your way it’s wrong. Sad really.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 6, 2019 at 10:30 am | Permalink


        Waiting with anticipation to your post on Nov 1st supporting the law

  11. John Sheridan
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    It’s becoming clearer and clearer that the EU wish the UK to stay within their sphere of influence, and that they will never accept the UK being outside their customs union.

    In the eyes of the EU, the government’s latest proposal offers the UK too much independence.

    They liked May’s withdrawal treaty, or perhaps better said the their own withdrawal treaty, because it would lead us into a customs union with high alignment. They will never accept our proposal.

  12. Sharon Jagger
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    As somebody suggested yesterday, if Boris turned up with a signed, blank cheque and a white flag, the EU would still not be happy. They do not want us to leave the EU!

    We need to leave, no deal, before they will get the message that we are serious and determined.

    In the papers today, it says that Veradhkar thinks the British public want to remain! They will not stop being difficult, intransigent and pushing until they get our second referendum where we are intended to vote remain!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Who are “they” Sharon?

      Public opinion amongst the four hundred and fifty million people of the rest of the European Union seems to be shifting in favour of being rid of the UK as soon as feasible, as Macron for himself has suggested too.

      You might like to check the most recent surveys.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        Fingers crossed you are right.
        The EU will refuse an extension and we will be out of their clutches.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 6, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink


        Hope so

        Didn’t realise the French riots, Dutch Strikes, Danish and Swedish marches were all demanding that the UK be kicked out

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Depends who you think “they” constitutes.M Macron probably wants UK/US influence removed from Europe-he’s a convert to the Eurasia concept which is anathema to the Atlanticists;he told his diplomatic corps at the end of August that Eurasia is coming,if not here and that France must be a part of it to ensure that it has a vaguely European context and not wholly Asiatic in nature-Russia is key to this(Russia is “deeply European” he insists).

      The EU and Japan signed a connectivity agreement last week to bypass China’s “New Silk Road”.What lies between Japan and the EU?Russia!Who controls the most direct trade routes between the two(both land-the Trans-Siberian-and maritime-Northern Sea Route?Russia!Japan’s Abe is desperate to sign a treaty with Russia-as his legacy-and participate in Eurasian integration(he had to sit by and watch as President Putin and Indian PM Modi signed three dozen development deals at the Vladivostock Far East Economic Summit last month.But Russia won’t give him what he wants unless he downgrades security relations with the US.

      Frederica Mogherini’s Special Advisor was at the well attended annual conference of Russia’s premier foreign affairs think tank,the Valdai Club,on Monday,tweeting breathlessly:”Always interesting to look at the world from Valdai Club in Sochi.Kicking off discussion on global systemic changes with Chinese,Indian,Turkish,Japanese and Lebanese perspectives.Different views but all agree on end of US hegemony.”

      Macron’s off to Beijing soon.Tectonic plates are shifting!

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Mitchel, After Obama and the EU played around with Ukraine, it will take more than boy-Macron’s charms to fool the Russians into siding with the EU.

        • Mitchel
          Posted October 7, 2019 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          Of course.Sergei Lavrov has already said – at the UN last week :”We do not consider the EU a reliable partner.”

          So,yes,they will have to try much,much harder.

  13. agricola
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I am not privy to every clause and comma, but from the outside it appears to be getting a bit cluttered and even more so if the EU are allowed to meddle with it. KISS would be my approach, keep it simple stupid.

    Leave on or before 31st October. Present the EU with a draft FTA and a proposal of continuity with the mutually agreed invoking of Art 24 of GATT. As the Northern Irish seem to find Boris’s proposals acceptable it is down to the Southern Irish and the EU to accept it or not. trade with Eire is only important to the Southern Irish. It is make up your mind time, the EU have 27 days max. If they prevaricate and revert into our rules or nothing mode that they have been in for the past three years then it is WTO rules as of 31st October. When reality dawns in the EU they can then come back, if industrial pressure in Europe demands it, and talk about an FTA and any other arrangements they may wish to retain. No access to our territorial waters and no demands for the apocryphal £39 Billion should be entertained.

  14. Mark B
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again.

    And what of the rest ? What of the ECJ ? What of freedom of movement and the fact that the EU seeks to make its citizens superior to us in our own country. What of defence and security with regard to PESCO ?

    Leave means Leave. A independent sovereign nation whose only contact with the EU is with regards to trade.

    Reply Yes, the WA has more problems than just the backstop as I have always pointed out.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink


      I think Sir John’s position is that the UK offer is still rubbish from a UK perspective, but because it’s also rubbish from an EU perspective, there is no chance of agreement, and therefore no risk of Sir John having to vote for something awful. As someone previously suggested, the UK’s negotiations are a sham. If only all these contortions led inexorably to a No Deal rather than a further extension…

      • Oggy
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        I see from papers submitted to the Scottish courts that Boris has said he will apply for an extension to A50 if a deal isn’t agreed by Oct 19th.

        He must realise that his and the Tory popularity will nosedive if we don’t leave on Oct 31st.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      But listening to MP’s, including the DUP ones, they seem fine with the tweaks to the Backstop, and only the Backstop in the WA. We the British people, as witnessed on your site, are not fooled by this, we can see what the government is trying to do and do not like it.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      So why are so many MPs willing to sign up to Boris deal which is based on the WA including Level Playing Field and subordination of our armed forces to name but two.
      Totally unacceptable.

    • Peter
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      So far the EU seem unlikely to accept the Boris formula. Unless it is just theatrics on their part as a prelude to a dramatic climb down.

      It’s not Brexit as you and others point out. There is more in the ‘Surrender Agreement’ that needs to be addressed.

      So what happens at the end of October when we hit the deadline?

      Boris says we are out – Deal or no Deal. He may have a secret plan. He may be bluffing.

      He may fail. We may have a General Election.

      Who knows? Not me.

  15. MPC
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Thank you for your optimism it helps prevent people like me descending further into despond. It would be wonderful to prove the doomsayers wrong if we were to leave without WA handcuffs and see that things will be fine after some initial turbulence. It would make Mr Corbyn look an utter pessimist with his talk of a ‘race to the bottom’. What a silly phrase when our own Withdrawal Act embodies the continuation of all existing EU laws.

  16. J Bush
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Of course the EU don’t like it, because they would lose control.

    What they now appear to be trying to do is 3-fold, to kick the can further down the road to delay departure/overturn the result, to claw back the control their WA gave them and to keep getting a £1b a month from the UK while we are stuck in this idiotic never-ending non-negotiation saga.

    I can’t say I’m overly impressed with the PM’s proposal, as it is not a clean break and I sincerely hope he keeps his word, that this is a final offer and will not cede any of control he has removed.

  17. BOF
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Sir John, those good points may be heavily outweighed by the bad.

    We will still have the transition period, following EU rules and diktats.
    Presumably we will still be shovelling over £39B and paying £1B per month during transition.
    What about the CFP and CAP?
    What about the armed forces and security?

    It sounds like the May surrender treaty is alive and well with tweaks to the backstop.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The surrender treaty is indeed alive and well, but fear not, for no vote will be forthcoming on it this side of November. Expect another extension, with either a GE or referendum to follow. Could the opposition parties give BJ the GE he wants? Seems unlikely, but when you stop to consider what the Tory Brexit policy will be…

      Sir John, you and your party want a GE. Would the policy be to pursue a No Deal/WTO, or seek a mandate to negotiate a new deal? Or in other words, Brexit Party Lite with trust issues, or dither, delay and probably a BRINO. Or no deal. Or another GE. Or a secomd referendum. In other words, God knows what.

      Suddenly, giving BJ what he wants doesn’t seem half as bad from a Remainer perspective. (Still think the second referendum is on balance the more likely option though.)

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      I thought of Boris when I heard some of the riper-than-ripe dialogue from the trailer/teaser for Sky’s Catherine the Great production;

      “There are unscrupulous people in Russia-fortunately I am one of them.”

      I’m afraid Boris is just not Godunov!

  18. Nigel E
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Presumably if we’re not in the SM nor CU, there is no role for the ECJ?

    What about fisheries and security/our Forces being in the EU command structure. Are these side agreements? Part of the FTA agreement?

    • alastair harris
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      There is no particular reason to proceed with a transition period. The trade agreement negotiations don’t require it, and whilst we are negotiating it we can agree to trade without tariffs.

  19. MarkLeigh
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink


    The speed of the outright rejection from the “we respect the referendum but must have a deal crowd” is telling.

  20. villaking
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    Sir John,
    The government’s information leaflet distributed during the referendum campaign did not specifically state that the UK would leave the Single Market it simply stated that no third country has ever gained access to the Single Market without accepting its rules and paying into it. It did not mention the customs union at all. The UK has not given any great concessions, this is Boris preparing for a manufactured “me against the Remain establishment” showdown. The EU’s red lines are that we pay for the financial commitments we signed up to, respect the integrity of the Single Market which has brought prosperity to its members, respect the GFA and protect the rights of EU citizens. Hardly unreasonable.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      “The EU’s red lines are that we pay for the financial commitments we signed up to”. Well the EU got an extra 3 years after the referendum, just how many years obligations did we sign up to, I thought it was 5 so that only leaves 2 years left now.

    • zorro
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense – how much does China or USA pay to ‘access’ the SM? – nothing. We pay to be a member, but why does our non-EU trade exports grow quicker than within the EU hallowed SM?


    • NickC
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Villaking, The government’s information leaflet distributed during the referendum campaign was a Remain leaflet. Of course it would not mention the main advantages of Leave!

  21. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    It is a pragmatic offer but should be non negotiable. Numerous comments by the main players have used the “basis for negotiation” line – this is unacceptable. It is not Brexit as true Leavers envisaged but we have reached the political stage when the gloves need to come off. I much doubt that BJ will prove he is a true Leaver. As events have proved the CP is a Remain party and will suffer unless it delivers the vote of 17.4m.

  22. Hope
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink


    Your second point is an outrageous way to con people. Both points should be in one sentence to comply with referendum promises of leaving single market and customs union. The whole of the UK was going to leave the single market and customs union, no difference for N.Ireland.

    How about the other faults with the servitude plan you highlighted on this blog? They appear to be missed off, why?

    How about ECJ, give away tax money for nothing, Military etc. Why is,it,expected the U.K. Give concessions and jump when EU says, why not an equal negotiation between two equal partners as we were first told it would be? I smell a hefty fat a con in your blog acting in stark contrast to your previous views expressed here. Please explain your change of mind.

    Reply You are wrong. I still hold the same views re WA and FTA as this makes clear.

    • Dominic
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:03 am | Permalink

      I have the upmost respect for John Redwood and believe him to be a decent and honorable person but he has changed his position in a rather subtle but evident way. I see little point in trying to deny that.

      Johnson’s proposals are a travesty and undermines trust but the upside will be oxygen for the BP’s claim of surrender by the political class. If this translates into the demise of the poisonous Labour party that I can accept it in the short term

      Reply I have not changed my position which is we must leave on 31 October and table a FTA

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

        We must indeed leave on 31 October and table a FTA.

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

        Reply to reply by JR:
        I believe that you have changed interpretations/meanings of things that were quite clearly expressed. This sadly seems to be a characteristic of many politicians, but I had honestly felt that you were not one of those.

    • Hope
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      If N.Ireland acts under EU single market rules like agri products, food etc ECJ applies does it not? This is not taking back control is it?

      Please also tell us about money for nothing including EIB assets UK holds and is giving away do nothing, military under EU control etc. Tell us how the 40 horrors of Mayhab’s servitude plan do not apply at all under Johnson’s proposal.

      If I am wrong then explain why you have point one under UK and point two under Great Britain? To be fair and balanced and all that.

  23. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    If this deal still means EU control of the UK economy for several years then I would prefer a WTO brexit since I expect we can buy goods from the world cheaper than the EU.

    But if it actually at least has a end date for EU control then it is livable.

    I have a feeling Hillarys surrender act may sabotage things, we shall also see if the Irish fold.

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

      Am afraid you’re going to be disappointed if you think the Irish are going to fold- fold to what? some DUP / Erg /Cummings crazy plan for the island of Ireland..No no..that’s not going to you will see very shortly

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        HarveyG, Eire may be the useful idiot for the EU, but neither controls the UK after we have left. And every demonstration of intransigence from the EU (and Eire) means we are less and less inclined to regard them as allies, let alone friends. We’re not going to forget this.

  24. glen cullen
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    So the ECJ still has some control over NI

    So we still pay £39bn

    So we don’t control all of the UK borders

    Thats not leaving

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      £39 billion or whatever higher figure the ECJ come up with!

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    But if Northern Ireland leaves the EU customs union that will mean customs checks on the island of Ireland, and according to the latest Remoaner lie the UK government has pledged that there will be no customs checks anywhere on the island of Ireland:

    And Boris Johnson has even been goaded into upping that to “at any other place”:

    “… the proposals we are putting forward do not involve physical infrastructure at or near the border or indeed at any other place.”

    Which if taken literally would mean, for example, that if at any time the existing customs facilities at Larne proved inadequate to cope with the flow of goods being imported from Great Britain across the newly created customs border in the Irish Sea then not only would it be impermissible to expand the facilities at Larne, it would also be impermissible to expand the facilities on the other side to take some of the additional burden.

    And I suppose that if the Irish government shares that attitude then the Republic could have similar problems with all its point of entry for goods, there should be no customs checks and no new infrastructure so that they can cope with increased workload.

    As I said in a comment posted yesterday evening but not yet published:

    “That is how this all started, with the spectre of a return to manned customs posts on the border crossings interfering with the free movement of goods between Northern Ireland and the Republic; but now that spectre has been laid it is being resurrected in a new form on the false basis that in some way the whole island of Ireland is one big border and there can be no customs checks anywhere on the island.”

    And once again the response from the UK government is feeble.

  26. margaret
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    what a lovely paradox!

  27. Original Richard
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Leave won 64:36 by constituency and until we have a HoC in alignment with the referendum result the EU will refuse to negotiate and only offer terms which Mr. Verhofstadt’s staff have described as “colonial”.

  28. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Are we still liable to pay yearly contributions and what about our fisheries, armed forces and vat etc? I would like the EU to turn this down so we can leave and I mean LEAVE! I have read in the media that the ERG are ready to sign this ‘deal’. We need more scrutiny before that and the public need to know EXACTLY what is being signed.

  29. mitchell
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Tick Tick!

  30. ukretired123
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Suddenly the EU is looking down both barrels as they stare into the headlights of democracy which they smear as populism, the same populism that Blair and Brown /Balls signed us democratically up to without asking us.
    Suddenly they are losing it and want to blame us for voting out.
    How nice the EU are….

  31. Atlas
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Since the EU thinks it had us as a colony with May’s surrender deal – I can’t see why they will change their stance with so many pro-EU Fifth-Columnists active in the UK.

    • HarveyG
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      The EU is not a country it is an organisation of 28 countries- hard to know how it could have colonies.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Flag, anthem, ambassadors, embassies, President, Parliament, courts, it’s own currency, plans for expansion, plans for an armed force, plans for extended common taxation, budget deficit control over Euro currency nations.
        Actually more of an Empire than a country.

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        HarveyG, The EU is a “country”, though more accurately an empire as some EU politicians have already noted. And they also claimed that they had made the UK a colony. Wake up.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 6, 2019 at 11:03 am | Permalink


          what a load of nonsense

          • Edward2
            Posted October 6, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            Verhofstadt actually said he wanted current EU nations to turn into regions and colonies.
            As they hurtle towards the United States of Europe.

  32. Helena
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The only proposal anyone has advanced which (i) prevents a hard border in Ireland and (ii) avoids the UK being in a customs union with the EU is the backstop. Accept the backstop and we move on with a deal. Reject it, and there’s no deal and the UK PM is legally obliged to ask the EU for an extension. it is that simple

    • rose
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      There is no need to talk about the border till we have settled the trading arrangements. Then we will know what is needed.

      The EU hoodwinked Mrs May into the backstop by pretending they were concerned about terrorism. You may remember Major and Blair together with their sidekicks, threatened terrorism if we voted to leave. This was disgraceful and the appalling behaviour hasn’t gone away.

      The backstop is nothing less than annexation of part of our country, in such a way that we continue to pay for it. Herr Selmayr’s “price for Brexit.”

    • Edward2
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Parliament has refused to accept the Withdrawal Agreement three times and the EU has said it will not alter its position.
      The Speaker has said he will not allow the Withdrawal Agreement to be considered a fourth time.
      The EU may well refuse an extension as there isn’t a prospect of this deadlock altering.
      We have had one extension and it has achieved nothing.
      A second extension wouldn’t be any different.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 6, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink


      Nearly every other border in the world uses advanced 21st century technology to maintain integrity of markets whilst allowing frictionless trade . Why is the EU insisting in living in the mid 2oth century ?

  33. acorn
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    “Boris Johnson should abandon Brexit talks with the EU and go all guns blazing for no-deal, veteran Tory MP John Redwood has told i. Ahead of the Conservative party conference which starts this weekend, the senior Brexiteer piled pressure on the Prime Minister, warning he can’t support a revised version of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.” (i)

  34. Iain
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Let’s cut to the chase. The EU will have financial difficulties once our £1 billion per month cease. They have been delighted with our extensions and would no doubt readily agree to more. Why did it take us so long to issue the Article 50 letter. I wonder if we left with no deal would we NOT have to pay the £39 billion. We should perhaps threaten to “review” this figure if the EU continue to be difficult. We should let them know forcefully that there are many issues in addition to the backstop that are unacceptable. There should be NO further extension.

    • steve
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink


      I agree.

      But shamefully we cannot do anything by force because the EU have their people in our establishment and nobody has the guts to do anything about it. However that will change.

      One thing the monkeys cannot avoid is a general election, that is where we’ll get them.

    • Mark Richmond
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      I think the financial equation is hugely important to the EU. I think for them the quid pro quo of May’s deal, awful as it was for us, was likely continued tarrif payments in perpetuity. Boris offers nothing like that financial inducement so I predict, esp now no deal is banned by law, that the EU won’t be taking his proposals very serioisly.

      I should stress that I voted leave in the expectation of a “no deal” type exit (after all everyone told us we would leave the customs union and single market).

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    “Hopes of Brexit deal fade as DUP leaders launch bitter attack on Irish government”

    Good, it’s time somebody hit back at them for their unscrupulous deceit and sheer arrogance, rather than just taking it all lying down as Theresa May always did.

    • Garland
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

      Denis.. I don’t think too many are concerned with what Arlene or the DUP have to say, they represent only a minority viewpoint in NI and as such are completely at odds with rest of society there

      • rose
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        The majority of Unionists voted to leave.

    • acorn
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Accusing the EU of “unscrupulous deceit and sheer arrogance” is a hilarious comment! The UK is voluntarily leaving the EU Club; demanding the EU Club changes its rules to accommodate the UK’s leaving demands. Just how arse backwards can leavers get this?

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:24 am | Permalink

        Acorn, Given the multiple lying by Remain fanatics in the UK, and the intransigence, deceit and arrogance of the EU, it is no wonder that we wanted to leave. And we still do – even many Remain voters are now fed up with the Remain position. No one is demanding the EU changes its rules – just to stop applying them to the UK when we leave!

      • rose
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        If only David Cameron had been more in touch with public opinion he could have prepared for this.

        The Irish entered the Common Market on the same day as we did; they didn’t enter Schengen because we didn’t; and they might have considered leaving when we did.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 6, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink


        Oh dear. We aren’t asking the EU to change anything. Its the poor little EU that cant seem to grasp simple technical solutions to maintaining its market integrity whilst allowing the kind of frictionless trade enjoyed around the rest of the world. But what else do you expect from a technically illiterate, backward looking trump like protectionist market

  36. David Maples
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    In consideration of the approaching industrial recession world wide, and(according to Ambrose Evans-Pritchard), one in services too, surely now would be the time to leave with no-deal(after all, the EU is nothing significantly more than a customs union), as deflation will begin to ‘rule the day’. The theoretical effects of taxes imposed on demand and supply equilibrium, will see supply exceeding demand, pressuring prices to fall, and mitigating the inflationary fall out from tariffs, which large suppliers like VW will have to swallow?

  37. David J
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    No one expects a simple answer on this complex issue, but I for one cannot fathom out whether the Boris plan is to engage with the EU (but know that the EU will disagree), or, use the threat of WTO deal to drag them to the table to bring in the fudge re-draft of the WA (hoping that the Remainiac alliance will support it).
    Being told off by the Irish Republic is getting tiresome. Can’t wait to hear the EU offer another extension to the delay because they are shaking in their boots other this

    • Len Gruel
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

      Being told off by Irekand and other small countrues is what you voted for. Leave the EU, get sand kicked in your face. You voted fir it

      • Edward2
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

        But it has no actual effect.

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Len Porridge Grinds, But we get “sand kicked in our face” when we’re in the EU. At least we will be free to respond when we’re out. Think Cameron’s foolish loan to Eire. Or rather we’ll re-think it.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      David J

      “Can’t wait to hear the EU offer another extension to the delay because they are shaking in their boots other this”

      No, all they want is to be rid of us. Not just after the Brexit vote but for years before. They had become sick and tired of our constant whining and demands for special treatment and opt outs. Cameron was just the last in a long line but his bluff was called.

      Seeing we were johnny come latelies who begged to be allowed to join at a time when we were known as the sick man of Europe our behaviour is regarded as deeply ungrateful.

      If you really believe that 27 EU members, among whom are the world’s wealthiest and most successful, are ‘shaking in their boots’ because of our leaving you are sadly mistaken. Our politicians are dragging it out because they fear we might return to the bad old days of being overtaken by the other world economies without our EU membership.

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        Margaret H, We weren’t “johnny-come-latelies” unfortunately. We’ve been a province of your EU empire for 47 years, far longer than most provinces.

        Now that the EU has ruined our manufacturing industry they might want to get rid of us as you claim. However you’re forgetting that the EU slavers after our free £10bn gift every year. And the EEC even invented a “fisheries policy” to steal our fish. So I suspect you’re wrong. As usual.

        • margaret howard
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 11:02 pm | Permalink


          Our manufacturing industry was ruined by Margaret Thatcher in response to the ruinous strikes by miners and other overweening unions who held the country to ransom. It was replaced by a service and finance industry and we stopped manufacturing things.

          And our fishermen sold their allocations for a quick profit rather than consider the long term implications.

          It has become the norm in this country to blame everybody else for what was mostly self inflicted stupidity and greed.

          Reply More manufacturing was lost in the 1970s under Labour when we joined the EU and faced an onslaught of continental tariff free competition for the first time. Mrs Thatcher attracted substantial new investment into cars for example, so the industry halved in the first ten years of EEC membership and started growing again under Margaret.

      • acorn
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Old EU joke. How do you know when the British have arrived? You can still hear the whining after the engines have stopped.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          They will be much happier after we have left then, wont they acorn

      • rose
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        Our leaving equals the 19 smallest countries. That is not a welcome loss, nor is our money and our providing a home for so many EU citizens. That is one reason they don’t want us to go.

        The other is that they don’t want us to prosper outside.

  38. Rule Britannia
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Please be careful when saying that NI will remain in the SM.

    What may be a convenient shorthand one day will become a demand for a SM contribution the next. What the PM’s letter actually said is that NI will maintain regulatory alignment with the EU SM.

    That’s rather different – keeping trading rules aligned while being outside that market is rather different to being withing the SM.

    I would also suggest that NI has a vote not only every 4 years, but an option to have a vote whenever it believes that there is a significant change to the SM rules.

    I hope all this is a smokescreen heading for no deal, with the EU and remoaners clearly being at fault. Having a customs border inside the UK is not good.

    However, seeing Hale’s latest antics reported on Guido (standing in front of a presentation saying “Spider woman brings down Hulk” while referring positively to “girly swots”) suggests that any remoaner legal challenge is likely to succeed – it seems that woman has dropped any attempt to disguise her stance on these matters. Supreme Court has to go – back to the Law Lords please.

  39. Edward2
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    I hope that either the EU will reject the Withdrawal Agreement Mark 2 or our own Parliament will reject it.
    It is not actually leaving the EU and the obsession of this Withdrawal Agreement Mark 2 has with Ireland is a falsely manufactured situation, designed as a trap to keep us under the legal power of the EU for ever.

  40. Blah , blah
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    How say you now? Boris in Court signed our name DELAY.
    It is invalid, however, it is not our name

    • Andy
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. If it was in the name of the majority it would now say Remain.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

        So you have asked 30 million people now have you Andy or was it just a midnight fantasy?

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Andy, The legal vote was to Leave by 52%. Current polls indicate that a larger majority want to Leave.

  41. acorn
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    As JR is now saying a “no-deal” Brexit is actually a “multi-deal” Brexit. These 19 multi-deals are offered, without negotiation, unilaterally by the EU, purely for the EU’s benefit. These are all time-limited in months.

    Regulation (EU) 2019/498, for instance, is the fishing one. It turns up in UK legislation as

    • NickC
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Acorn, Around 88% of UK GDP is not derived from trade with the EU. So the EU is far less important than the rest of our single market, and our other exports.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      If the EU offers the UK a deal and it is accepted then that is an agreed deal.
      If the UK offers the EU a deal and that is accepted then that is an agreed deal.
      There is effectively no difference.

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    This morning Sky’s Adam Boulton wheeled out Jonathan Powell, who was once chief of staff to Tony Blair, and he was allowed to claim that Boris Johnson’s proposal “imposes a hard border in Northern Ireland” without that blatant lie being challenged. Then he complained that the people of Northern Ireland had not been offered “the Norway option of remaining in the single market and the customs union” without it being pointed out that Norway is not in any kind of customs union with the EU. Then on the BBC an Irish journalist was allowed to suggest that if Northern Ireland left the EU customs union then that would be “re-partition of Ireland imposed by the British”, and when he was reminded that there is actually already a border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic he was allowed to get away with claiming “there is no economic border” even though the two parts of the island of Ireland use different currencies and have different taxation systems, a point which was also ignored during a brief interview with a florist whose shop is on the Republic’s side of the border but who gets supplies from the other side … all the time it is lies, deceits, misrepresentations, a flood of false anti-Brexit propaganda, and hardly ever does any of it get even feebly rebutted by the UK government, there still being only the same three outdated entries on the blog of so-called rapid rebuttal unit.

    • NickC
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Denis Cooper, Yes that is all true. And thank you for highlighting yet more examples. It illustrates that we cannot expect fairness or justice from our Remain establishment, including the BBC.

    • rose
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      If there isn’t a border there, why is there smuggling to and fro across it, and Garda Patrol notices on the other side?

  43. rose
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Given the position of the Government in Parliament and the DUP in Ulster, this seems to me ingenious.

    We have now caught up with videos of you and Mrs Foster with Mark Francois and Martin Howe at the Bruges Group. All very heartening.

  44. Steve P
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    The referendum was held under the law set by Elections and Referendums Act 2000. A question was set in law and the people answered. Since that referendum, the remainers have retrospectively modified the question and all its supporting documents on several occasions. The surrender and traitor acts have not in any way complied with the law set by the Elections and Referendums Act 2000 – they themselves break the law.

    • rose
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

      In 1999, Brenda Hale followed Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss to become only the second woman to be appointed to the Court of Appeal (styled The Right Honourable Lady Justice Hale), entering the Privy Council at the same time.
      this is part of the Oath that she took:
      “You will to your uttermost bear Faith and Allegiance to the Queen’s Majesty; and will assist and defend all civil and temporal Jurisdictions, Pre-eminences, and Authorities, granted to Her Majesty and annexed to the Crown by Acts of Parliament, or otherwise, against all foreign Princes, Persons, Prelates, States, or Potentates. And generally in all things you will do as a faithful and true Servant ought to do to Her Majesty so help you God”

  45. Ken from glos
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear, Johnson has just agreed to an extension until end January if no agreement

    Is reached. As I understand the benn bill if no agreement reached by then we revoke.

    Democracy my foot.

  46. Nig l
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately he is going to have to ask for an extension. That plus transition period equals stay in……… for ………..

    He must have known that but keeps trying to BS us about definitely going on the 31st Oct.


  47. fairwind
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    As the Irish PM says an extension may be granted by the EU but only for a good reason- can anyone think of a good reason?

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

      To hold a general election.

    • tim
      Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

      fairwind– YEA, £350,000,000 a week to the EU Parasite

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      To delay our exit forever. To make the EU constantly appear all powerful. To teach other countries where people think about leaving a lesson. To convince the British we are useless. In 10 years we will still be applying for extensions.

  48. John Partington
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Yet another surrender to the EU. We have had May’s knee-scraping surrender;we don’t need another one. Just leave by any means possible even if we have to defy Benn’s horrible hand-tie law.

  49. ian
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    Last time the Torys had an extension their support went down another extension will see their support go down, even more, the people can and will find other alternatives

  50. tim
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    I believe we will leave 31st Oct 2019, at 23:00 NO DEAL, BREXIT, WTO.
    Then on 31st Oct 2019 at 23:20 the EU will graciously offer a FTA. and we should tell them, form a line in London, in about 4 years.

  51. Steve Reay
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    I hope Boris doesn’t start going backwards and forwards running to the E.U like Theresa May, it was so embarrassing to see. Boris just needs to say that’s the deal. If he doesn’t the E.U will see a sign of weakness and there’ll be further delay.

  52. Mark B
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Reply to reply

    But listening to MP’s, including the DUP ones, they seem fine with the tweaks to the Backstop, and only the Backstop in the WA. We the British people, as witnessed on your site, are not fooled by this, we can see what the government is trying to do and do not like it.

  53. Shirley
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Say bye bye to what little democracy we have left. The news says Boris will ask for an extension. This rogue Parliament has no integrity, so we know voting will be rigged one way or another from now on.

    I am ashamed of, and disgusted with, our politicians. If I were younger I would be leaving the UK for pastures new.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted October 6, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Funny that a huge majority of young people voted Remain.

  54. Kenneth
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    Good news that the eu no longer needs to concern itself with the peace process in N.I. since the assembly will decide for itself.

    A great example of self determination and all within the the framework of the peace process.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted October 6, 2019 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      The assembly that hasn’t been sitting for over 2 years. That shows how much you care about the peace process.

  55. HarveyG
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    You can forget about your ‘free trade offer’ we didn’t vote for it- we just voted to leave and if we don’t get ‘leave’- no if’s or buts- then we know for sure that democracy is not working in this country.

  56. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    Boris now needs to lean, hard, on Merkel. She holds the key.

  57. Nigel E
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    There’s an interesting view on the RoI/NI border in ‘spiked’, also covers the Treasury’s planning predictions for a no-deal Brexit. Just search spiked interview with graham gudgin.

  58. Chris
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    You write:

    “Great Britain leaves the single market
    Northern Ireland leaves the single market unless Stormont meets to vote to stay in

    This is in accord with what both sides said in the referendum, that leaving the EU means leaving the single market and customs union at the same time”.

    This is certainly not “in accord”. I fail to see how you can reach such a conclusion. It is not convincing at all, and very surprising coming from you.

  59. Oliver
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    I should just like to say thank you for your efforts on our behalf. What the EU are doing reminds me of when Putin annexed the Crimea, invaded in common parlance.

    Perhaps the most distressing part of the whole thing is that I no longer want to live in a country with these “Remain” people. I simply can’t understand how anybody can tolerate the behaviour we’ve seen from the EU, and many members of our establishment. I’m extremely unhappy about funding these people with my taxes.

    Where can I go, if this doesn’t get done?

    • Andy
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 1:39 am | Permalink

      Nowhere – unless you are super rich.

      Priti Patel is taking away your right to free movement. Before Brexit you could have picked 31 other countries to live in. As soon as we leave you only have the choice of here. Shame.

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 10:58 am | Permalink

        Andy, Rubbish as usual from you. The EU took away the right for people to decide who should come to their own country – that’s your so-called “free” movement. My nation is not a pick-n-mix bag of sweeties.

        • L Jones
          Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

          Andy thinks that ”free movement” has something to do with spending a couple of months in ”furrin parts”.
          He/she has never realised that there is a big world out there beyond the EU borders.
          For goodness’ sake, Andy – broaden your horizons!

    • Pragmatist
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 3:26 am | Permalink

      Anywhere, you are stateless.

    • Derek Henry
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 4:27 am | Permalink

      Chin up Oliver we will win this even if we have to play the long game.

      I know we shouldn’t have to and quite frankly shocking what remainers and the liberal elite have done.

      Second your taxes fund nothing. They destroy currency we spend first and then collect taxes later. We never tax and then spend. We are no longer on the gold standard so sleep easy your taxes will not fund these people.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      Where can you go?

      1) To most countries in the world – and then come running back here when you realise you already live in one of the best countries in the world.

      2) into a quiet room to have a good think about what is important in life and to get some perspective.

      • NickC
        Posted October 5, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Mike Wilson, Yes, I’ve had a good quiet think, and I’m more convinced than ever that I do not want to sell out my nation to the EU empire.

  60. steve
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    Well I can’t figure out why Boris says he will respect the traitor’s law and ask for an extension, while at the same time expressly stating that we will be leaving on 31st.

    I can only surmise he must –

    a) intend to resign
    b) know something the rest of us don’t.
    c) intend to ask for extension.

    Personally I think he was a fool not to form pact with Farage, but one thing must be made clear to government: out on 31st no deal, or Farage gets landslide victory. WE MEAN IT !

    We will not have a government lacking the balls to stand up to the enemies of this country. Those days are coming to an end.

    If that means destroying the conservative party along with Labour and the Liberals at the next general election, then that is what we will do.

    No conservative MP should be so naive as to think we’ll vote conservative through fear of Corbyn government, we won’t, we’ll just take the tories down as well.

    • MarkLeigh
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Because this…..

      A senior Downing Street source said: “The government will comply with the Benn Act, which only imposes a very specific narrow duty concerning Parliament’s letter requesting a delay – drafted by an unknown subset of MPs and pro-EU campaigners – and which can be interpreted in different ways.
      “But the government is not prevented by the Act from doing other things that cause no delay, including other communications, private and public.
      “People will have to wait to see how this is reconciled. The government is making its true position on delay known privately in Europe and this will become public soon.”

    • L Jones
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      You can’t get a ”landslide victory” if the EU doesn’t allow you to have a general election. If we are sold out to the EU and if the status quo is maintained because it suits the EU masters, why should we be ”allowed” to vote in a Eurosceptic party?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 6, 2019 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. The destruction of any real democracy is the aim of the EU empire.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 7, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink


          The EU is not empire. Rome was and empire look it up

  61. ian
    Posted October 4, 2019 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    It’s now all about winning a vote in parliament, BJ needs to win a vote in parliament before leaving and take back the control of parliament he is a few votes short, but labour MPs in leave areas want to show the labour party leaders what they think and vote with their votes to leave with or without a deal.

    I am waiting to see what happens.

  62. Atlas
    Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    “The EU response to the Offer” – why, it is a characteristic response from the Franco-German Empire of course.

    What I find fascinating is how people who support Remain do not see that in practice it IS just such an Empire, ruling all others. As we have seen many times now: “What Germany wants, Germany gets, and what Germany does not want never happens”.

  63. bill brown
    Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Sir JR,

    It makes it very difficult to believe anything what MR. Johnson says, when he publicly says this is the final offer and then says he will extend in private and in the courts.

    It makes us look really unprofessional.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 5, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Mr Brown – utter rubbish. Is this what Facebook tells you?

      And who is ”us”? You, perhaps?

      • bill brown
        Posted October 6, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


        If, you believe Boris, just go right ahead , be my guest

  64. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 6, 2019 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    Well, if there’s so much about these proposals that you like, we can be sure that they have no chance of leading to a deal. It’s just a cynical manoeuvre by the government, cheered on by you ERG fanatics. In 2017 the government committed to a permanently open border in Ireland with no infrastructure. So they’ve now gone back on that haven’t they? You’re always so anxious to see that people deliver on firm commitments that they’ve made…unless they’re people who happen to support Brexit of course!

  • 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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