Germany insists on the backstop

Germany yesterday we are told asserted herself again as the leader of the EU. In a few harsh words Mrs Merkel effectively said to Mr Johnson he was wasting his time and the time and energy of the UK government in seeking changes to the Irish backstop. As far as she was concerned the EU needed the full backstop, customs union and single market alignment.

I doubt Mrs Merkel had phoned round the other 25 member states and checked their view on this. She does regularly clear things with France. I do not think she was formally speaking for the EU, which has entrusted this to their Negotiator in chief. I do think once again she revealed how the modern EU works. Germany is the leader, and Germany feels she can say these things, safe in the knowledge the others will accept them. There was no sudden outpouring of disagreement or protest at her reported words, nor any official denial.

As someone who thought simply renegotiating the backstop was insufficient given the nature of the rest of the Withdrawal Agreement, it serves to underline just how committed to this draft Treaty the EU is that they will not even countenance changes to one of its worst features. It does not augur well for future talks or imply with some more give and take there might be an agreement. Mrs Merkel has condemned a modest UK proposal to deal with one of the bad features of the Agreement without offering anything back and without implying she is willing to compromise on anything else.

Yesterday the government confirmed it will be leaving the EU on October 31st, deal or no deal. It looks as if the EU wants a no deal result or think they can find a way to stop Brexit altogether. Such is the damage to the UK’s negotiating position the Parliamentary opposition to Brexit has now done.

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  1. Shirley
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    WTO exit now. Otherwise, democracy is non existent in the UK, along with the EU.

    • eeyore
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

      No ma’am, we are now into a struggle between two sorts of democracy: that of 650 people and that of 65 million. The next election, if the 650 ever dare call one, will decide that question.

      Democracy was never a part of the EU, by the way. Its founders believed democracy had led to WW2, so from the start they made sure a wise and impartial bureaucracy could always overrule the turbulent, irrational, dangerous popular will.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Boris Johnson should send a letter saying there is clearly no point in the UK remaining in the EU any longer and therefore we have decided not to avail ourselves of the full extension period granted by the EU27.

      And he should do that now, so that the new position can be reflected in the contents of the Queen’s Speech next Monday.

      I would also point out that the extension was never intended to give time for further negotiations between the UK and the EU:

      “(9) On 10 April 2019, the European Council agreed to a further extension to allow for the ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by both Parties. Such an extension should last as long as necessary and, in any event, no longer than 31 October 2019.”

      We know that ratification is not going to happen.

      “(12) This extension excludes any re-opening of the Withdrawal Agreement … Such an extension cannot be used to start negotiations on the future relationship.”

      Both sides have been infringing EU law for long enough.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 10, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        It is not yet too late for Boris Johnson to do this.

    • APL
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

      Shirly: “democracy is non existent in the UK”

      Democracy is non existent in the UK. It’s just that for a short while BREXIT has riven the facade, and for this instant you get a glimpse of how we are really governed.

    • Hope
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      We knew Germany ruled the EU from Cameron’s begging then lies that he reformed the EU. He should have grasped the nettle when Merkel went against him over Junker’s appointment.

      Yesterday’s events graphically show what treasonous activity Mayhab was up to from December 2017 and the Tory party did not act against her. There can be no doubt she was prepared to keep the UK in the customs union and single market under disguise of temporary arrangement until we changed our minds. Mayhab needs to be investigated.

      What disappoints me is the govt response to opposition statements like that from Starmer yesterday. Why did not Gove point out the opposition should be outraged about the EU demand for the separation of our country as they were about Ukraine and Crimea! How dare a foreign body try to make a land grab from our nation, why do they think they have the right to punish the U.K. for exercising a democratic right?

      No more talks, out by Friday should be the action of the day. But no, we read Johnson running off to Ireland!

      It would appear govt/Gove stopped using Surrender Act now calling it a Ben Act! No it is a Surrender Act which caused the events yesterday, why would the EU or Ireland give ground when MP traitors, yes traitors, are doing their work for them to defy the will of the UK people and democracy?

      Oh for a Trump or a Farage to lead the nation from the gutless traitorous quislings.

    • Ian
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      To Hell with the Germans, they are at last governing the EU, they have been for several decades, this talking has just made everyone a where.

      Now just get the Hell out, with a free trade deal , finished

  2. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    If it wasn’t that it would have been something else

    The UK has to be punished, for daring to want to be a democracy

    Which is also why the EU conspirators in the HoC are fighting so hard – they fear the People. The EU way is People are ruled by a superior class.

    Everyone should fear the consignment of democracy to a footnote in our history

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      Oh, do make up what passes for your minds.

      One moment you are whining, that the power of nations in the European Union to veto things is being eroded, and yet not diminished enough to prevent Germany – and they are not alone either – from doing just that.

      Oh, my aching sides…

      • graham1946
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

        Nations’ power eroded.

        Yes it is and ours has been over the last 40 years with the veto being watered down. This proves the point. Germany obviously rules the roost as the exception as they are the biggest paymasters, and no-one dare gainsay it, mostly because the bulk are on the take.

        Are you quite incapable of making a cogent argument without the usual Remoaner insults? I suppose the insults will get more shrill (or is it shill) as the date approaches. Quite pathetic. You have now joined Andy in my ‘ignore’ section of this site and won’t be reading any more of your erudite posts.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

        I think Sir John’s message is some nations in the EU are more equal than others.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          Malta or Liechtenstein could veto any such UK proposal just as easily as Germany, and probably would too by the looks of it.

          His point, if what you claim, is erroneous on that basis therefore.

          • Richard1
            Posted October 10, 2019 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            Liechtenstein is not in the EU. It would be good if you would check facts before posting

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        I rather differ from this ‘whining’.

        The EU has been perfectly clear about what it is, the UK establishment has not.

        There lies the whole problem. Hidden agendas by politicians in our country hiding their true inclinations – otherwise Parliament would reflect the public more than it does.

        A speedy cultural and sexual revolution has been forced upon England in particular. Too hard and too fast, the sheer insanity of gender neutral loos, for example.

        Had they all been a little more patient…

      • libertarian
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Posting your abuse just shows you up even more

        You and your friends claim that EU democracy consists of the Heads of the 27 governments sitting around a table, discussing the merits of a thing and then voting on it.

        NO SUCH THING happened re Germany . Mrs Merkel decided unilaterally and with no discussion with other government heads to annex Northern Ireland

        Its not my sides that are aching , its the sheer disbelief at how naive and childish most remainers are . Yet not one of you can give a coherent reason for wanting to remain

        • libertarian
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:34 pm | Permalink


          Liechtenstein is NOT in the EU Martin, this checking facts before you post still not working out for you is it?


          Oh my aching sides

    • agricola
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Absolutely correct, the swamp must be cleared.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Daring to want to be a democracy and even to become competitive. It must be prevented as otherwise we will show what a suffocating disaster the EU regulations are for the others.

      UK productivity down I read, hardly surprising the largely parasitic government grows by the day and it introduces some new daft red tape almost every day too. Gender Pay reporting, making tax digital, new landlord red tape lunacy, carbon reporting soon, bonkers employment laws, idiotic bank lending rules, dithering on Brexit ……

  3. Stephen Priest
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    Labour immediately backed Merkel.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      As did all decent, honourable, civilised people, who value peace in Ireland.

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

        Are you draped in your blue and yellow flag worshipping at the altar of Angela again in a boat on the River Taff?

      • Richard1
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

        Wouldn’t a change in the status of NI implied by putting NI under effective govt by the EU / Ireland without the consent of the people of NI be a flagrant breach of the GFA?

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

          That is not remotely what being in a Customs Union or Single Market would entail, as it presently does not for the whole UK.

          So no.

        • Andy
          Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          It is indeed, and the EUs demands are a flagrant breach of International Law.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

        What an offensive comment.

        The only people to blame for violence are the people who do violence.

        Terrorists have much to learn from the peaceful and patient conduct of Leave voters who won a referendum and have seen it opposed for three years.

      • margaret howard
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff

        Hear Hear!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      I struggle to remember the last time that the decent, honourable, civilised Labour party actually backed our country against an adversary.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        ask MH- she comes out with some whacky ideas of history.

      • mac
        Posted October 10, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        1939-45. You probably weren’t born then.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Labour’s sole purpose is to break the UK’s system of Government, they don’t care about Merkel or the EU – just focused on tearing down UK society.

      That’s is why we have the contributions from the Momentum Group powering on to Sir John’s debating blog to drown out discussion.

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

        May 1966 Circular of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party on the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution:

        “Chairman Mao often says that there is no construction without destruction.Destruction means criticism and repudiation;it means revolution.It involves reasoning things out,which is construction.Put destruction first and in the process you have construction.Marxism-Leninism,Mao Tse-tung thought,was founded and has constantly developed in the course of the struggle to destroy bourgeois ideology.”

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      I would like to back Merkel as well. Anything that scuppers the WA with or without the Irish backstop has my support. Leaving without the WA in either form is better.

    • Leaver
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Just pointing out that if we had voted for May’s plan, then we would be out of the European Union already.

      I remain furious with Labour and the E.R.G for voting it down. We voted to leave. It was the government’s choice how to do it. Parliament had no right to vote against it.

      • Oggy
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        Oh please give it a rest about May’s WA, as we have informed you numerous times this is not Brexit, it was written to keep us subservient to the EU in perpetuity.

  4. Newmania
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Am I actually blocked form this site then ?

    • Andy
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      We know they all struggle with those of us who dare ask difficult questions.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:05 pm | Permalink


        You can say that again

        More than 20 times I’ve asked you & Newmaniac simple questions

        You run away, hide then come back with some more random poorly thought through abuse

        I really do urge Sir JR to publish all your posts though its people like you, Newkie, Martin and Maggie H that are the best recruiters to Leave

      • Fred H
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

        and make nonsense statements, over and over again.

    • IanT
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Apparently not…

    • libertarian
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink


      Sadly not , anyway hows to city moving to Frankfurt going? Are you settled in yet ?

    • L Jones
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Newmania – you are not the only commenter on this blog. If your posts aren’t included perhaps they weren’t relevant or acceptable to our host – it’s HIS choice, after all. Many of us don’t have our comments posted. It’s not a personal slight.
      And it’s not a public forum.

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

      We live in hope…..

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

      Ditto – but you’ll never find me bitching about it.

    • Bob
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      “Am I actually blocked form this site then ?”

      Sadly not.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      No, clearly you’re not blocked, but others ought to be. Allowing healthy discourse is one thing, to allow the discredited remainer message to be constantly regurgitated is like killing ants. Stamp on one, and there’s another with the same narrow perspective and inclination to take its place.

  5. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Defy the judges. Out on WA terms. The people are behind you.

    • RichardM
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

      Defy the judges and go to jail. The people want an end to this nonsense. Revoke Article 50. You can have another referendum when you are capable of coming up with a sensible leave strategy. I.e. Find an alternative to the Belfast agreement FIRST that doesn’t have EU membership as a prerequisite.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Much more importantly we would need parliamentarians whose commitment to our national democracy was such that they would be prepared to set aside their personal views and work constructively to assist the government in keeping the unequivocal promise made to the electorate at the referendum:

        “The government will implement what you decide”.

        Rather than looking for every conceivable way to stop the referendum decision being implemented, which is what has happened.

        And we would need a Prime Minister who was on our side and would not collude with the Irish government to make a mountain out of a molehill on the Irish land border because she wanted to keep in with the likes of the CBI, and who would at least consider a solution that the Scottish government had already mooted for the Angl0-Scottish border when that idea was presented to her on a plate:

        “Well, here’s a letter of mine mentioning the Scots which the editor of the Maidenhead Advertiser has been kind enough to publish today under the headline:

        “‘Parallel marketability’ is answer PM needs””

        That was in May 2018, plenty of time to work out details.

      • dixie
        Posted October 10, 2019 at 5:07 am | Permalink

        We followed the EU mandated legal process, Article 50. Are you suggesting that the EU is incompetent.

        The Belfast Agreement does not have EU membership as a pre-requisite.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink


        Why oh why are all ultra remainers to ignorant . The GFA makes no mention at all of the EU, the EU had nothing to do with the Belfast agreement. Which was chaired by US senator Bill Mitchell

        The border has been open since 1923 and will remain open, no matter what the EU thinks

    • agricola
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      I think you meant WTO terms.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Well spotted. Auto corrector is pro EU. Must get another phone

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      No, just a fringe group, within the twenty-six percent who voted Leave – already a minority – amongst the UK’s sixty-seven million people.

      You absolutely do not speak for the overwhelming majority.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        The remain vote was therefore even less than the 26% you quote from your ridiculous and repeated use of irrelevant statistics

      • libertarian
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

        Marty this will come as a big shock to you so brace yourself


        You absolutely dont speak for anybody .

      • John Hatfield
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Even less voted to remain as I recollect. You can’t count those who didn’t vote.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

        So when did the babes in arms get a vote?

      • Pud
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

        Martin, three simple questions for you, regarding the 2016 referendum:
        a) How many eligible voters voted Leave?
        b) How many eligible voters voted Remain?
        c) Is the answer to a) larger than the answer to b)?

        Your reference to the entire UK population is meaningless, unless you want toddlers to vote?

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

        And neither do you – less than twenty six percent voted to remain.

  6. Pominoz
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    The EU will make no concession on anything. The plan since the successful referendum has been to trap the UK into continuing to make payment and to ensure that the bloc does not have a competitive world player on its doorstep. Foolish or treacherous MPs and negotiators have seemingly happily played into the EU’s hands. News has emerged now that, from the outset the Irish have used Brexit to press for a reunited Ireland by not even allowing talks between the NI and Irish customs officials.

    Boris’s offer has clarified the fact that the EU are not remotely interested in anything but complete preservation of the plans for ‘the project. Trade between nations is of no concern to them whatsoever. The UK must simply find a way to walk away – cleanly and completely. Only then will it be possible to make the most of the UK’s strong hand.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink


      Absolutely agree, many of us thought this would be the case at the outset, even more of us could see the plan the EU and the Republic of Ireland were putting into action, except Mrs May, and the majority of our Mp’s in Parliament (I of course exclude our host)

      What is absolutely unforgivable was the action of Past Prime Ministers, Cabinet Ministers, and present members of Parliament helping the EU by undermining our own side, for goodness sake they even went abroad to brief the EU against our own Government.

      We should have walked away before Mrs May humiliated us in front of the World two years ago, for goodness sake walk away now, enough is enough, the EU do not want any sort of deal, they just want total capitulation from the UK.

      Surely to goodness our own Mp’s can see this now.

      I have already moderated my language for you JR.

    • agricola
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Yes, Barnier declared at the outset in 2016, in I believe a German newspaper article, that he will have been seen to have done his job when the UK decide to stay in the EU. I find it abhorrent that he should have so many placemen led by Benn in the UK Parliament.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      Excellent! Spot on!

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:57 pm | Permalink


      “News has emerged now that, from the outset the Irish have used Brexit to press for a reunited Ireland”

      Can you blame them? For centuries they have been ‘ruled’ by a foreign country and despite countless bloody uprisings have failed to regain their independence.

      Hopefully they will achieve their aim with the help of the EU.

  7. Richard416
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    What a pity we didn’t leave no deal three years ago, the dust would have settled and we might have negotiated a decent trading arrangement by now.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Indeed. We understood that this would be May’s approach at the time.

    • Len Gruel
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      You do realise the lesson you should be learning is that after no deal it will be no talks either – until the UK signs up to all these things you hate. No deal Brexit is not the end of your humiliation, it is the start. Well done for so weakening the UK

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        “Germany calling, Germany calling … “

        • Fred H
          Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          Germany has been saying JUMP. The spineless nobodies answer HOW HIGH?

      • Edward2
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        For 40 years, until very recently, Japan had no trade agreement deal with the EU.
        Did you notice any lack of Japanese goods in the UK or Europe during that time?
        International trade just carries on

      • libertarian
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Dear Lennie

        Come back when you know the first thing about international trade

        I see that you think Japan and Canada are in the SM and CU …. what an odd person you are

      • Tad Davison
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        So little confidence in our ability to govern ourselves after a no-deal WTO Brexit.

        Given the weaklings and 5th columnists who have gone before, I might have a little sympathy for your point of view, but with the right people in the right positions who KNOW how to negotiate, Brexit will be a resounding success.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        In that case we won’t have a deal
        With a £90billion trade deficit with the EU who comes off worst.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      No, the UK would more likely have been in the Hague, arguing its excuses as to why it had not yet paid all the money that it owed.

  8. Mark B
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I doubt Mrs Merkel had phoned round the other 25 member states . . .

    I think that was a Freudian slip 😉 She certainly would have spoken to President Macron in France as these two effectively run the EU for their own benefit.

    We were never going to get anything decent from them. The sooner we realised this the sooner we should have been planning for our future. Once out of the EU things will be different. Yes the EU will still insist on some form of arrangement between the UK and EU / RoI border but, the emphsys will shift more on to them to find a workable solution. A border is a shared responsibility.

    The UK Government has been poor over the last few decades. It has been happy to be rule takers and not rule makers. Every Minister and Prime Minister has had to face who really is in charge and, when it comes to it who runs things – Germany and France. If we ever thought we could wriggle our way between these two forget it !

    In a speech by Sir Winston Churchill in Zurich 1946 he said;

    ” The first step in the re-creation of the European family must be a partnership between France and Germany.”

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Mark B
      Gladstone’s “ blessed act of oblivion” didn’t work.
      ‘Cos as we see …leopards don’t/ can’t change their spots!
      The Europe described in the speech is VERY recognisable IMO.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      I’m just reading Alan Palmer’s excellent 1972 biography of Metternich-Councillor of Europe.His comments on the Protocol proposed by Metternich at the 1820 Congress of Troppau (that followed the Congress of Vienna)struck a chord:

      “The Protocol announced the intention of allied powers “to bring back to the bosom of the Alliance “states which had endangered the security of their neighbours by an “illegal” change in the form of government.Sir Charles Stewart(British ambassador in Vienna) protested at such a doctrine of interference in the internal affairs of the smaller states of Europe and Castlereagh( British Foreign Secretary)subsequently declared that the Protocol assumed “a moral responsibility of administering a general European Police”which was contrary to British notions of international law.”

      How things have changed – if only from the British point of view.

      And a contemporary letter from Metternich to his favourite confidante,the notorious “Russian intriguer” and wife of the longserving Russian Ambassador to London,Countess Von Lieven:

      “My life has co-incided with a wretched epoch.I came into the world too soon or too late;today I know I can do nothing.Earlier I should have enjoyed the pleasures of the age;later I should have helped in reconstruction.Now I spend my life propping up buildings mouldering in decay.”

    • Lester Beedell
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

      I think that it was meant in a different context!

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      “when it comes to it who runs things – Germany and France.”

      In case you have forgotten it was a decision between those two countries that decided our membership application. When we begged to be allowed to join the EU because it had overtaken the trading blocs like EFTA and the commonwealth we started, the French under De Gaulle repeatedly vetoed our application. He did not trust the UK to be reliable partners and it was the Germans who backed our application which eventually succeeded.

      I bet the Germans now wish they had listened to De Gaulle!

  9. Mick
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    And the bbc /sky and all the other Eu media mouth pieces went into political melt down over this news , it’s about time these media outlets were looked into there bias towards Europe because as a normal man on the street they surly aren’t reporting British interests, yesterday they were also calling for investigation into Mr Johnson’s interest into conflict of interest into Jennifer Arcuri , it’s a pity the same isn’t being called for the same of the remoaners of a conflict of interest into the Eu

    • Mark B
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      BREXIT Has lifted the lid on so called UK democracy and the Establishment. They have, for quite some time, been happy to allow some of the former whilst keeping the latter hidden behind its curtain. A sort of Punch and Judy show. A light has been shone into the darkness and the desperate means to which they will defend to maintain the status quo and their grip on power. Things will never be the same again.

    • agricola
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Yes and the politics show even had a panel member from extinction. He was never asked why he and his mob were not in China where 90% of the human input to the environment originates.

      • bigneil(newercomp)
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        If they went to China they would have had to use fossil fuel energy to get there – unless they hitched a lift with Little Miss Greta on her boat.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Mick, not much reporting on Josep Borrell’s call yesterday for 60,000 EU troops either. From the D. Express:
      “The EU has to be more operational on the ground. We have to be ready to deploy forces, starting with our neighbourhood.”
      Mr Borrell called on the bloc to revive a 20-year-old target to have between “50,000 and 60,000 troops on the ground”.
      He went on to say: “We have the instruments to play power politics. The EU has to learn the language of power.
      “We should reinforce the EU’s international role and further our military capacity to act.”

      Maybe they will be useful for the annexation of N.I or Gibralter, the suppression of uprisings within the EU itself, the sacking of NATO, the taunting of the Soviets on the Ukrainian border, interventions in N.Africa and other ex-Francophone colonies, an alliance with the Turks against the Kurds, supporting the Iranians? What will the foreign policy of this Empire be? Who will control it?

    • MB
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      None of the mainstream media such as BBC have reported on the continuing riots in France every week, where we are now up to about week 48 of the riots.
      Also no mention of the terrorist hate crime this week in the city of Limburg in Germany.
      Who will bring BBC to book ? Obviously not Ofcom.

  10. /ikh
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    Firstly I agree with the thrust of your post. However, I would like to point out that the Withdrawal Agreement negotiated by Mrs May and the E.U. breaks the Belfast ( Good Friday) Agreement / Treaty. Particularly on the issue of consent. Likewise the PM’s proposal does the same.

    If the Belfast ( Good Friday ) Agreement /Treaty is to be respected then Border Issues between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland can not be in a treaty between the E.U. and the U.K. They can only be negotiated by the British-Irish Intergovernmental Conference and the North-South Ministerial Council as defined in the Belfast Treaty.

    Lord David Trimble has written extensively on this in an article on the Policy exchange website.

    Cross-referencing treaties is very foolish. It is what stopped David Cameron repealing the European Convention on Humans Rights Act because it is referenced in the Belfast Agreement.


  11. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    I voted Leave because I hoped for a gradual withdrawal through membership of the EEA as a member of EFTA. That made a lot of sense to me at the time.
    Now, I can see more of the cold heartlessness of the EU grandees. The really do not care. They shafted Cyprus and Greece. They corrupted Italian politics. They allowed completely uncontrolled immigration in the South. Now they are deliberately messing up our parliamentary arrangements. And it is all done by them in the best possible taste with maddeningly complacent faces.
    I hope that Boris just leaves completely on 31st October come hell or high water. I believe in my country and I want to be equal to Australia and Canada in our world standing.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      It makes a change from blaming the BBC for all our ills. I my experience only weak people blame others for their own misfortunes.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink


        Says MH who blames British Imperialism for everything until saved by the glorious EU

        Laughing my socks off

  12. GilesB
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Merkel’s comment helpfully reveals the backstop to be a complete sham.

    The EU would never accept any less control than Northern Ireland permanently locked into the Customs Union and Single Market. They would always refuse to agree to ‘alternative arrangements’.

    We have to trade on WTO terms.

    Let’s leave now. Why wait until the end of the month?

  13. Caterpillar
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Those supporting Merkel and against the PM’s focus on consent would do well to reread Lord Trimble.

  14. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Merkel obviously regards the Irish border as being equivalent to the former border between East and West Germany. For her a united Ireland means the same as a united Germany. Given her background this isn’t surprising, but is interesting nevertheless.

  15. Javelin
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Germany wants to rule the EU.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      You’re projecting, I think.

      That was the Tories’ UK, and when they discovered that they could not, they threw their toys out of the pram.

  16. Stred
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The fact that the backstop was deliberately designed by the Commission to isolate Northern Ireland and separate it from the UK is proved by the record of the customs officials in Irish Parliament when they said that they were working to use an electronic system. This was confirmed by the British customs and both of them said they were prevented from liaising with each other. The script is on Facts 4 EU.

    • Stred
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Merkel has changed her tune and is clearly counting on the collaborative effort to halt Brexit by Messrs Benn, Grieve, Major, Clegg, Heseltine, Letwin, Burt and the rest, along with the political judges.

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

      I heard that the backstop was T. May’s idea, no? It was not contradicted on the radio panel.

  17. Peter
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    “Yesterday the government confirmed it will be leaving the EU on October 31st, deal or no deal. ”

    It will be interesting to see how the government achieve that with no Deal or delay the two paths now left and the Benn Act putting obstacles in the way of No Deal.

    Whatever happens a massive swamp draining and parliamentary clear out is still urgently required.

  18. SecretPeople
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    The current impasse – and logical conclusion – perfectly encapsulated.

  19. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Sir John, to be fair to Mrs Merkel (and her Chancellor in waiting to whom she now answers). Her position is that of the EU and its other 26 leaders.

    They are united. It is the UK which is divided which undermines our position.

    Even now approaching the 11th hour the EU knows that the EU withdrawal act (no 2) prevents us from leaving without agreeing their terms.

    We have been let down by our politicians and their apparatchiks. The EU is not to blame here for being itself, we need to look within.

  20. Julie Williams
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    As the old saying goes,”With friends like this, you don’t need enemies”.
    The backstop really was a trap to stop us escaping.
    Article 50 is not worth the paper it is written on, is anything that the EU says?
    The remaining EU countries will become the kept pets of Germany.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      not ‘will become’ are!

  21. John Lewis
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The EU has been quietly sneaking their Common Purpose trained traitors into every part of our Establishment, Judges, Police, Media, Politicians etc. etc. They are getting desperate as we close in on 31st October. To Boris, I say, “Stand firm Dear Boy, Stand firm”
    Thank You Sir John, sterling work.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      John Lewis

      ” To Boris, I say, “Stand firm Dear Boy, Stand firm”
      Thank You Sir John, sterling work.”

      With Boris’s record in telling the truth, I shouldn’t put too much hope on anything he says or promises.

      • mac
        Posted October 10, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Ms. Howard,

        You wouldn’t want to make a small wager on whether Britain leaves the EU, would you?

  22. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    It would have been better had Mrs May never been let loose to allow the EU to advance so far as to effectively annex Northern Ireland. You don’t mention the DUP, who represent the strand of British opinion most affected by her agreement.

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

      When it comes to Brexit the DUP do not represent the majority of people in NI.. only 25 per cent

  23. eeyore
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Quotes yesterday from Mr Varadkar, Mr Tusk and others indicate EU leaders are suddenly windy. They see now that even suborning the HoC to stab us in the back while they thump us from the front may not be enough.

    What we might have achieved with a Parliament loyal to Britain!

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      This really being at the heart of the matter

  24. formula57
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Can the Evil Empire now by recognized by Government for the hostile power that it is?

    Merkel makes clear the Irish backstop was always intended as a perpetual entrapment. Only a quisling could have accepted it, but she is now gone.

  25. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    There is one ploy left to us, I think. Boris should announce, this week, that in the event of the Forces of Darkness topping us leaving the EU by the time of the next general election, the Conservative manifesto will include as clear a commitment as Swinson’s: we will leave the EU within three months, abrogating all hindering treaties, ceasing ALL payments to Brussels and closing our fishing grounds to EU boats. Do that, this week, and expect some movement from the former East German Communist agitator. The Conservative polling will also head north of 40%.

  26. Everhopeful
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    At least now the EU has shown it’s true colours.
    There were always weird mythologies that we had “ a place at the table”..a “voice”and actually that an EU army was a “ dangerous fantasy” ( why more dangerous than an army?).
    Now the true nature of our servitude is obvious.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      ***its not it’s!!!
      Auto correct and recaptcha ..GRRRRRRRRR!

  27. bill brown
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Sir JR

    “Such is the damage to the UK negotiation’s position the Parliamentary opposition has now done”
    This is an interesting hypothesis or maybe it is because the proposal set out by the Johnson government did not really have the support that was needed and particularly not in NI.
    This government is a disgrace.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      “This government is a disgrace” no Bill sorry I don’t agree, this parliament is a disgrace, saying one thing to get elected, then acting against their party platform once in position to their own personal opinion without a byelection that is disgraceful. No honour. When the conservative MPs wanted to join UKIP they both called a byelection as did David Davies to confirm his electorates support for his determination.

      • bill brown
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink


        Your description of Parliament fits well with a description of the present Government as well

        • mac
          Posted October 10, 2019 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

          Mr. Brown,

          If this Parliament had REALLY wanted to know what the British people wanted with regard to Brexit, they would have had an election quite some time ago. This bitterly anti-Brexit Parliament KNOWS that the majority of the British people want Brexit. However, they are determined to thwart the will of the majority by hook or crook. It isn’t surprising that there have been so many references to Cromwell’s words dismissing the Rump Parliament. There are a tremendous number of similarities between that avaricious, self-interested Parliament and this one.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Had Parliament honoured the referendum as the parties said they would and not fraudulently got elected on a false prospectus, we would not be still in this position. Any business seeking shareholder support on such a basis would be in the courts for mis-representation.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Which is why a general election was needed. Alas denied. By whom ?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink


      we no longer have a government we are now ruled by a speaker, rogue parliament and the courts

      They cant avoid the electorate for ever

  28. Tabulazero
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    “I doubt Mrs Merkel had phoned round the other 25 member states and checked their view on this.”

    And you ? have you checked with the British electorat is they want to leave without a deal ?

    No. You oppose a second referendum that would settle that exact question.

    The survival of the Single-Market is more important for EU members than trade with the UK and no, neither France, nor Germany nor anyone else was willing to throw the Republic of Ireland under the proverbial Brexit bus for the sake of the Conservative party.

    Once more your prediction that leaving the EU would be painless and riskless is found wanting.

  29. RAF
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    It’s time for the Remainers to remove their blinkers and read the writing on the wall. The entity that is the EU is a rapacious imperial construct with one intent that overrides everything else, to grow by devouring other nations through its never satisfied gaping maw. That the UK, economically one of largest nations, wants to escape their control is anathema to them, it offends their overweening arrogance that they are the masters: ergo, the apostate must be punished.
    In May they had a willing ally and her Withdrawal Agreement was a punishment “deal” and nothing less. Everything follows from her agreement to have the UK placed into an economical and political straitjacket from which many suspected, and was confirmed this week, there was never any hope of escape. It is little wonder that the EU will not countenance any changes to their Backstop, it would give them a level of foreign control over these islands not seen since 1066.

  30. agricola
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Yes the traitorous Benn and his Bill have a lot to answer for. It should be made clear that after the Merkel negative response we contemplate no more discussion and leave on the 31st October. The EU have had their opportunity to move forward with an amicable agreement and they have blown it. I hope Boris has a route to leaving without contravening a Parliamentary elephant trap. It seems very odd to me that Benn should produce a piece of legislation specific to blocking Boris and the will of 17.4 million voters. None compliance with this bill criminalises the majority of the electorate. The most shabby piece of parliamentary manipulation to date. The swamp is over full of this dreadful affront to democracy.

  31. Richard1
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    It is entirely predictable. The EU know that saying no means another delay, and maybe either an election or even Parliament forcing a change of position on the U.K. Govt without an election. A Govt of national (Remain) unity perhaps. I think we might see another stunt pulled this month – eg the EU agreeing an extension conditional on another referendum. That is after all the EU way – if the voters vote the wrong way, either ignore the vote or ask them to vote again until they get it right.

  32. George Brooks
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The events of the last two days were well planned and orchestrated by the quisling remainer MPs and the EU to coincide with the short recess of parliament , the Queen’s speech and the ensuing debate.

    Over the weekend a few old project fear threats re-appeared, trucks blocking the M-ways, shortage of food, high tariffs etc etc. Then the final drum roll with a forecast of borrowing going up to record levels and finally Merkle saying she won’t agree to anything.

    These remainers have been under mining our negotiations from the outset. Unfortunately ‘Treason’ May kept it hidden for the first 18 months but after she stood down they have all come out of the wood work.

    I would be very surprised if Cummings, Boris et al had not got something like this factored into their plans and I expect that they have a shrewd idea what will be thrown at them during the last 9 or 10 sitting days before 31st.

    It is imperative that we come clear of the EU at the end of the month and start moving this country moving forward again. Enough damage has been done by these Remainer MPs and if we don’t get clear we will be ruined.

  33. Old Albion
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I’ll say it again. The EU has to make the whole process as difficult as possible. Because they know, when (if) the UK leaves and is seen to be thriving outside of their superstate, it will herald the beginning of the end for the EU.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      It is the UK which keeps asking the European Union for extensions, not the other way round.

      I doubt whether anyone is seriously worried about your last point either.

      Read the proper analysis of the effects of the Leave vote so far.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Once it asked for an extension.
        It doesn’t keep asking.
        Get your remainer facts right for a change.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion

      “because they know, when (if) the UK leaves and is seen to be thriving outside of their superstate”

      Makes you wonder why we begged to join them in the first place. Could it be that before our EU membership we were known as the ‘sick man of Europe’ but it became the world’s 5th biggest economy?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink


        Yup but now Germany is known as the sick man of Europe

        And despite your repeated posting of fake news, you have been told umpteen times that the UK was THIRD in the World before joining the EC

    • Mark B
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Old Albion

      The beginning of the end started years ago with the creation of the EURO. They created a currency but failed to implement political, fiscal and financial UNION. In there are the seeds of its demise and downfall. It is, through mass unemployment, creating in the young an army of future Eurosceptics.

  34. Pud
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    I don’t think “Such is the damage to the UK’s negotiating position the Parliamentary opposition to Brexit has now done.” is entirely accurate. The UK’s negotiating position was first nobbled by Mrs May accepting the EU’s demand that agreement was reached on payments etc. before a trade deal would be discussed, which spawned the Withdrawal Agreement.
    Resistance to leaving the EU has come from MPs of all parties, with pro-Remain Conservative and Labour MPs acting dishonestly as they stood on manifestos claiming to back the referendum result.

  35. Iain Moore
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    As Martin Selmayr said, the price of Brexit is Northern Ireland , and everything the EU has done in the Brexit negotiations has confirmed that.

  36. Alec
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Absolutely correct. I do not blame the EU. They are maximising their advantages and acting in accordance with their political creed. The fault is entirely with British Remainers. They have destroyed our negotiating leverage and turned Britain into a laughing stock. If the Remainers had any conscience or shame they would resign their seats and retire from public life without taking their massively over generous benefits. Zero chance of that.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Take heart. Most won’t be there much longer and they know it which is why all the delaying tactics. They will get their payoff though, but I’d willingly contribute myself to be rid of this fifth column.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      What you call “over generous” benefits are much the same as most ordinary workers enjoy in Germany, in France, etc.

      You show just how much propaganda you have swallowed by that phrase.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

        Oh dear god Martin you really are beyond parody

        Ordinary workers in Germany and France get NOTHING LIKE the benefits of ex MEP’s and EU apparatchiks

        ps A large number of “ordinary workers” in France dont actually have a job

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

        So ordinary workers in France and Germany get MP style pensions and huge expense accounts?

        I think you are wrong ( on many things)

      • dixie
        Posted October 10, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

        Evidence please of generous statutory pay-offs at the end of a temporary employment contract for ordinary workers in Germany, France etc.

    • steve
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:18 pm | Permalink


      “If the Remainers had any conscience or shame they would resign….”

      They won’t need to, we’ll do it for them at the next general election, or before if necessary.

  37. John Sheridan
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Mrs May spent years trying to deliver a Brexit that looked like staying in the EU without voting rights. Leavers rejected it because it was not Brexit and Remainers rejected it because it was worse than staying in the EU.

    Boris has tried hard to compromise with the EU, but the Benn act has embolden them to stand firm and wait for the UK to capitulate. I’ve never felt such a low regard for MPs and Parliament as I do now.

  38. fairwind
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    First of all Mr Johnson phoned Merkel so don’t know what other answer he could have expected about the ‘backstop’ except the stock answer-

    You say- it does not augur well for future talks etc- but what talks? and just where is this strange thinking coming from? It can’t be a surprise to anyone even at this stage- there will be no future with them unless the past is settled and in a satisfactory manner for everyone especially the people of NI.

    Yesterday a minister was interviewed coming out from the No.10 cabinet meeting who repeated the old refrain- ‘the EU will settle at the last minute’- but really? ’cause I don’t see any sign of it myself- and to remind you the Brussels crowd can also watch TV- idiocy in saying such a thing at this stage.

    The WA was agreed over a period of two years and signed off by twenty eight governments and Boris/Cummings think they can come along now remove the Irish backstop from the package, chop it up, and deliver half of it back again as per the DUP on a ‘take it or leave it’ basis- and surprise surprise Angela Merkel says Boris Johnson is wasting his time- and Macron say’s Non Non!- so then who’s the odd one out? who’s not in step?

    There will be no WA agreement now and we will leave 31st Oct- whatever that means for the Uk’s future I have no idea but am certain it is a long way from the great deal in equal partnership terms we were promised.

    Lastly did you hear Veradker yesterday- A deal yes- but not at any cost- and Coveney- it’s not about money or handing out sweeties- it’s all much too deeply political than that- if you don’t understand then don’t know what you have been doing for the past thirty forty years.

  39. Fred H
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Shock! Horror! Merkel rules the cowering roost. Who would have thought it?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      She doesn’t at all. Malta has just as much power to veto any deal as Germany, and probably would for the same reasons too.

      John puts that spin on this, to perpetuate its misunderstanding among your many others, I think.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:55 pm | Permalink


        But she DIDNT ask Malta or ANYONE else did she

        She made the statement unilaterally . You do realise that with each of your posts you are confirm just how undemocratic the EU is right?

        • bill brown
          Posted October 10, 2019 at 2:30 pm | Permalink


          I am actually aware that she consulted both the Danish, Swedish and Finnish PMs

          • libertarian
            Posted October 11, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

            Hansy Brown

            Well according to Mrs Merkel she spoke only to Macron about this

            Quote DANISH Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen

            “I understand that the British Government want a new discussion and of course we are ready to do so.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        You really believe any of the shit-scared 25 are going to face down Germany and France? They are well aware that the thumb screws will be turned for anyone who speaks out. Exactly why we are getting out!

      • Dennis
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Martin – ‘Malta has just as much power to veto any deal …’

        Not necessarily at all – Cameron vetoed something during his ‘negotiations’ which was just ignored by the EU.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        I think you confuse power with right above. Not the same thing or likelihood

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:34 pm | Permalink


        Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,

        Say that again, “Malta has as much power as Germany” ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,

        That really is funny.

        Well done for thinking that one up ! !

    • Mark B
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      He who pays the Piper calls the tune 😉

  40. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The Government should table a bill repealing the Benn Act. This would seriously test numerous MPs as regard to their loyalty to the UK.

    • old salt
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      The fact that the Act was passed suggests that it probably would not be repealed if tabled.
      We are in the hands of a controlling remainer Parliament aided and abetted by others.

    • Sea Warrior
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Perhaps it could include a repeal of the FTPA at the same time. We clearly need an election.

    • TIM
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      Nice idea, but I suspect Boris would suffer yet another defeat for the media to pounce on.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      How do you think that the Act was passed in the first place?

      Why would Parliament vote differently now?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink


        This will come as a big big shock . The FTPA was passed in 2011 when the Tory/LibDem coalition was in power . We have a completely different make up of parliament since then .

  41. Our Kingdom
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    The United Kingdom border is none of the business of anyone but ourself.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

      No. A border is a shared responsibility. To have one you need two parties who both recognise it and act according to agreed international standards.

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Keir Starmer made a fair point yesterday:

    “You cannot give a serious response to the EU’s concerns about protecting the integrity of the single market simply by saying, “We’ll put that question off until later.””

    That is why I suggested a long time ago that the UK government should emphasise that it has absolutely no intention of trying to undermine the integrity of the EU Single Market, on the contrary it is ready to change UK law specifically to prohibit the export across the Irish land border of any goods which do not comply with EU requirements, and would be very willing to enhance the present high level of co-operation between the UK and Irish authorities to enforce that law, while completely ruling out any routine interception and inspection of goods as they cross the border in either direction.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      The border need only exist in so far that incomers cannot claim benefits or immunity from deportation if they have no right to be here, nor claim Human Rights privileges if they commit (or already have committed) crime.

      We should be prepared to compromise, of course. Personal checks on identity and rights to remain can be undertaken within our borders.

      The main objective is to stop people seeing this country as a land of freebies and to deter freeloaders and gangsters from coming in the first place.

      The reduction of immigration to the tens of thousands is not an unreasonable expectation – especially in a country struggling to reduce its carbon footprint.

    • TIM
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      Good point Denis. I think they’d still reject it though. The politics are about making it as difficult as possible to leave as per Barnier’s original mission statement.
      Aided and abetted by a Remain parliament. And previous prime ministers both advising the EU and conspiring to keep us in. It’s hearsay, but a remainer friend of mine happened to find herself at a posh private art function and was reassured by John Major in July 2016 ‘don’t worry, we have a plan’…

    • Mark B
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      “You cannot give a serious response to the EU’s concerns about protecting the integrity of the single market . . .”

      And what of the integrity of the UK internal market ??? No one talks about that. Why should we accept meat laced with donkey from the EU ?

    • Andy
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      So the veritable flood of goods passing over the Northern Ireland/RofI border will destroy the EU Single Market ? Piffle. Do you know the total value of goods that cross that border actually is ? And you know what percentage that is of the entire EU Single Market ? It isn’t even a statistical anomaly. The whole thing is a nonsense and always was.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 10, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Yes, it is a nonsense and always was, as I have repeatedly said …

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Mr Johnson has made the wrong concession. Goods exported from the any part of the UK to any EU Member State have to comply with EU regulations. There is nothing special about the Republic of Ireland in that regard. There is no need to accept EU regulations on HOW goods are made, in other words our places of work would comply with UK employment and environmental laws, not those of the EU. Where the Republic imposes its tariffs and checks is entirely up to it. Mr Varadkar has proposed that they are made at Irish ports and at sites within the Republic and close to the border. That’s fine.

      We should admit goods exported from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland tariff free, a generous concession on our part. We would also guarantee that UK regulations on goods would be no more onerous than those of the EU, so that we would have no need for either tariffs or checks entering from the Republic. The UK would charge its WTO tariffs on goods entering the UK from other EU Member States. This would comply with WTO rules because, as I never tire of pointing out, the EU is not a country.

      There would be little risk of Northern Ireland being used as a back door for exports from mainland Europe to the UK because most of our EU tariffs are fairly low. Take for example a container passing through Felixstowe to Cambridge, with the UK imposing a small tariff at Felixstowe. In order to avoid paying the tariff, that container would be taken to Dublin, travel north to Belfast, cross to Liverpool and travel to Cambridge. In other words, a low tariff would be replaced by a zero tariff, but handling at a single port would be replaced by handling at three ports and a journey overland from Dublin to Belfast – not a paying proposition.

      The advantage of my proposal over Mr Johnson’s is that both the Republic and the UK would regain sovereignty.

      For the time being an all Ireland agricultural area is accepted but what happens if the UK decides to import American soya, chlorine washed chicken, hormone injected beef and GM crops. What then in Northern Ireland?

  43. Derek Henry
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Heiner Flassbeck is a German economist and public intellectual. From 1998 to 1999 he was a State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry of Finance (German: Bundesministerium der Finanzen) where he also advised former finance minister Oskar Lafontaine on a reform of the European Monetary System. He became the Chief of Macroeconomics and Development of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva in January 2003, a position that he held until resigning at the end of 2012 due to his age.

    Nails the problem in this piece. As Charles Dickens wrote: “There will be a day of reckoning sooner or later” …,

  44. Len Gruel
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    John Redwood, you are simply repeating the lies told by Dominic Cummings. You have lost all credibility. Mrs Merkel has not changed her position one iota. Britain created the need for the backstop by voting for Brexit without having any alternative solution and it is time you were man enough to accept responsibility

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Len Gruel,

      I think your comment is unfair. Ireland/EU can be characterized as behaving more Sunningdale whilst the current PM has been more Belfast (Good Friday).

      (What we saw with Brexit is that the UK as a whole tends towards bottom up consent in contrast with the EU)

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Len, serious question how do you know what Dominic Cummings is saying? This single man is given far too much bogyman status and its just unbelievable.

      As for Mrs Merkel, we were told by May’s government her withdrawal agreement didn’t lock the United Kingdom into a customs union, this was a lie, wasn’t it?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Dear Mr Porridge

      Give up with your nonsense

      The UK isn’t having a hard border as enshrined in the 1923 CTA

      If the EU requires protection of goods entering its single market and customs union then its vanishingly simple . The Swedish Border & Customs Expert Lars Karlsson has put together a very simple solution to the entire problem. One that is used successfully all over the world

      Remainers aren’t very bright, its what comes of relying on a nanny state to look after you

      • graham1946
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Yes, I pointed this out last year. His system was used on the Swedish border by the EU no less, successfully for four years until 2014 I believe, then EU decided it wanted to revert to horse and cart days to slow things down. They are really the most backward bunch going. Old white men as Andy would say, except he doesn’t when it comes to the EU.

      • RichardM
        Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        Ah the Lars Karlsson mythical smart border solution that has ‘manned border crossings’. The no-infrastructure border with infrastructure, and added friction.

        Brexiters arent very bright. I’d suggest going back to your books, Mr Librarian.

        • graham1946
          Posted October 10, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          There’s another one who’s only argument is insult. Remoaners seem to have some sort of virus. No facts, no references, just made up on the hoof. Have you even read or heard Lars Karlssonn talk about it? I’d guess not.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 11, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink


          I suggest you ACTUALLY try exporting goods across borders. You clearly dont have a clue how the flow of goods works ELECTRONICALLY around the world.

          NO ONE SAID there would be no infastucture you utter fool. The technology to implement this IS infrastructure

          I’m afraid you are another in the long list of remainers who have zero experience of business and trade who want to tell us how its done without ever having done it

          I imported some goods from China a few weeks back. I ordered them online , they were delivered to my premises 6 days later , customs cleared and duty paid…. what friction?

    • David J
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      John’s position is supporting the voice of the people (about 48% of the public and most of the BBC don’t like it).
      Merkel’s comments are strengthened by the Remain MP’s, Theresa May and BBC who have consistently undermined the negotiating position on the UK.
      But strangely, the eternally gracious EU people aren’t telling us to sod off. No, they are proffering yet another extension until June 2020? How kind- a longer period to contemplate surrender…Ho hum

    • steve
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

      Len Gruel

      Our host does not peddle lies and is a man of outstanding credibility, unlike many other MP’s I can think of.

    • mac
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Mr. Gruel,

      You are posting on our host’s property. You SHOULD have the good manners not to insult him in his own blog. He would be well justified in banning you.

  45. Dominic
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Why are we still pandering to the Irish government?

    Why is Johnson having another official meeting with the Irish PM tomorrow in Liverpool?


    The Irish government is obviously an extension of the EU pressure strategy

    Grow a pair Johnson and stop showing faith towards governments that despise our move forward to a democratic future

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Well said, Dominic.
      No more surrender talks – let’s just Leave, and NOW.

    • Tony Sharp
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Varadkar was sponsored by the EU Commission as ‘a go between’ for the RoI Net budget Receipts and ‘grants etc’. They told the Irish that any concessions were due to his ‘brilliance’. He was lined up/ groomed by the EU to become taiseach and the irish fell for it. Varadkar since has been nothing other than a tool of the Commission.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      Ireland IS the European Union.

      That is why.

      Why else?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 10, 2019 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        What a silly comment.

    • Len Gruel
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Because Ireland is now more powerful than the UK. Brexit summed up – craven weakness

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      It could be worse, he could be making another pilgrimage to Dublin to get on his knees and beg for help from the leader of that more powerful state.

  46. Edwardm
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    It all shows how rotten the EU is. It acts against self-determination, freedom and democracy. How dare Mrs Merkel or her EU sidekicks think the EU can continue to assert its rule over us after we leave.
    And owing to colluding Remainer MPs we too now have a rotten parliament, doing its rotten worst and deferring a GE.
    Not soon enough, but the time will come when those MPs will be held to account.

    • Andy
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      It is worse than that. The EU does not respect the integrity of a neighbouring State. This is a flagrant breach of International Law.

  47. Jake Bennett
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party have only themselves to blame for the whole shambles of Brexit.
    They felt they were having to deliver Brexit rather than wanting to. Our membership of the EU was their baby – they conceived and nutured it and were loth to let it go.
    Mrs May and her team set out to fudge Brexit set out to fudge Brexit? The ultra Remainers were emboldened by this and set out to wreck Brexit. Oh! what a tangled web………

  48. Alan Joyce
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It is becoming ever clearer that the EU has been negotiating in bad faith all along. It was another German, EU diplomat Martin Selmayr, who gave the game away some time ago when he reportedly said that Northern Ireland would be the price the UK would pay for Brexit.

    Perhaps even the EU’s useful idiots in our Parliament can now see how much damage they have done, not just to the UK’s negotiating position, but parliamentary democracy and constitutional government in this country. Just don’t bet on it.

    • rose
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      “Perhaps even the EU’s useful idiots in our Parliament can now see how much damage they have done, not just to the UK’s negotiating position, but parliamentary democracy and constitutional government in this country. ”

      If only this were true but I am afraid they have just too much invested in the damage they have done and will continue to do. They hope to destroy both Boris and Brexit, then come to power on the ruins of it all.

  49. Chris
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    The inimitable Arlene Foster makes it quite clear why Merkel’s proposals are unacceptable:
    (Source Brexit Central newsletter).

    The DUP, for their part, weighed in with an extremely robust riposte to Merkel. Party leader Arlene Foster said:

    “The comments from the German Chancellor to the Prime Minister that Northern Ireland must remain in the EU Customs Union forever now reveal the real objective of Dublin and the European Union. For the United Kingdom to be asked to leave a part of its sovereign territory in a foreign organisation of which the UK would no longer be a part and over which we would have no say whatsoever is beyond crazy. No UK Government could ever concede such a surrender.

    “The EU is not interested in a negotiated outcome at this time. Their position is the UK can only leave with a deal if it agrees a binding piece of international law permanently tying either the whole country or a part of it to the EU’s legal order over which it has no control. The true purpose of the “backstop” is now in the open for all to see. Those who eagerly supported the backstop as the best of both worlds can now see the error of that assessment. It was neither temporary nor an insurance policy.”

    “The Prime Minister’s proposals have flushed out Dublin’s real intentions to trap Northern Ireland in the EU Customs Union forever, where Dublin rather than the United Kingdom’s elected representatives would be in the driving seat. We will not accept any such ultimatum or outcome.”

  50. Turboterrier
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    Your post just confirms situation normal regards the controlling factor within the EU.

    Germany shouts. We jump on the shovel.
    France shouts. We stay in the dark and have more thrown on top of us.

    This is what we have to accept due to the actions of our so called political representatives.

  51. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Most of us realised many years ago that Germany was and always will be in charge with France being a close confidante. These two nations have the mist to gain from membership. The UK never had much of a say and were overruled on many things. Time to take the bull by the horns and go. If the EU are capable of trading elsewhere then so are we. Being independent our future is ours to mould and we don’t have to suffer the interference of other countries. The next thing that will help England to progress is to stop the Scottish, Welsh and Irish having a say in English issues in Parliament. Its about time they butted out.

  52. John Probert
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Well done Boris on track, keep going

  53. Simeon
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    BJ made a big play about no more dither and delay, but he has wasted these past three months or so. This is nobody’s fault but his own. It is blindingly obvious, and has been all along, that given compromising the integrity of the Single Market would amount to an unacceptable undermining of EU sovereignty, and given that N. Ireland, or indeed the UK as a whole, remaining subject to EU law represents an unacceptable undermining of UK sovereignty, that a clean break Brexit was the only way of acceptably delivering on the referendum. That the UK government has failed (or refused) to recognise this, and worked on the basis of it, amounts to a catastrophic failure of statecraft. As for the EU, they can hardly be blamed for determinedly working in their own interests, and given the encouragement they have received from virtually the entire breadth of the UK political class, that has led to the current situation whereby there is a distinct possibility that the UK opts to remain in the EU after all. I don’t like the EU. It is a very bad thing. But the mess the UK is in is almost entirely of it’s own making.

  54. Sydney Ashurst
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    A gang of MP’s and Lords are attempting to overturn the 2016 Referendum result.
    They have colluded with the EU in obtaining an extension (Cooper-Letwin Act) until 31st October, with T & C’s attached making the Act non-effective. Talks have continued since the 10th April, but there has been no breakthrough to real negotiations, it was never intended there should be.
    This extension excludes any re-opening of the Withdrawal Agreement. Any unilateral commitment, statement or other act by the United Kingdom should be compatible with the letter and the spirit of the Withdrawal Agreement, and must not hamper its implementation. Such an extension cannot be used to start negotiations on the future relationship.
    Parliament has failed to abide by the condition that it uses the time to ratify the Withdrawal Agreement as written. It has no intention of ever doing so.
    With talks coming to an end it reveals the true purpose of the Cooper-Letwin Act extension as an exercise in can kicking, purely to delay our leaving. The Commission is happy to oblige, keeping the UK in its clutches with ulterior motives for the future.
    The readers of the Telegraph are asking questions, which remind me of of the old adage – ‘You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink …
    The PM can say the terms of the extension are not acceptable, rendering the Act null and void. The wording is: the EU Council in agreement with the Member State (UK), unanimously decides to extend this period.
    The extension accepted by the Cooper-Letwin Act said the Commission would not reopen the withdrawal agreement to negotiations, and it has not, preventing an agreement

    The two year period ended on 29th March 2019, the EU Council then grants a series of pointless extensions. The T & C’s they attach make the Acts purpose unachievable.

  55. MikeP
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Small point Sir John but I also noticed this slip in your HoC question yesterday, you referred to “the other 25 member states”. There being 28 in total didn’t you mean 26 ?

    Reply I assumed she had talked to France

    • Mark B
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      BINGO !!!

      I was right 🙂

  56. Alan Joyce
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    What is it with some Conservative Ministers? We hear and read talk of cabinet splits and resignation concerns if a No-Deal Brexit is pursued or becomes party policy at the general election. What did they think they were signing up to when joining the Johnson cabinet?

    What is the logical conclusion of being unable to get a satisfactory deal with the EU? What do you do if it is clear that the other side never had any intention of negotiating a deal in good faith? What should you think if having made strenuous efforts to put together a workable deal and made painful concessions, your adversary just pockets these and refuses to budge? Whatever happened to the truism that No-Deal is better than a Bad Deal?

    Some cabinet ministers seem to think they can continue to discuss backstops and borders ad nauseum in the forlorn hope that the EU will change its mind. After yesterday’s Merkel revelation, it is clear that it will not.

    A general election is around the corner. I suggest Conservative MP’s start to focus their minds on winning it lest voters see the clean-break message of the Brexit party as the more attractive.

  57. rose
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    We mustn’t confuse Frau Merkel with the Germans. There are plenty of members of the Bundestag, of the EU parliament, and businessmen as well, who have spoken up in public to say they hate what she is doing to us. While not wanting us to leave, they don’t want us treated like this. They are not being charitable either; they just can’t see the practical sense of trying to destroy the equivalent of 19 EU smaller countries, and their largest market. They also value us as a sensible partner in the face of some worrying tendencies in the French bit of the protection racket. In short, they would like an arrangement in trade that is civilized, not punitive.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 10:51 pm | Permalink


      Frau Merkel didn’t vote Brexit – we did.

      And the ‘harsh words’ she is supposed to have used are an interpretation by JR, not an actual fact.

  58. Richard1
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    What about offering a financial penalty for breaches of the EU CU and SM rules – if a consignment of unapproved NZ lamb or US chicken sneaks over the border the Irish Govt gets a compensating payment. with reciprocity in the other direction in the (hopefully unlikely) event the U.K. decides there are EU goods which don’t meet our standards.

    • rose
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      I can think of plenty of EU products which don’t meet our standards but unfortunately won’t be labelled as such. Horse and donkey meat passed of as beef for example. Infected pork and contaminated eggs. Olive oil grown on toxic waste dumps and signed off as organic, etc. Then there is all that animal cruelty which we hope to tackle as soon as we are out.

  59. BillM
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Is it any wonder Germany wishes to remain in the EU. They own it.
    They also own the euro currency, are soon to have a federalist German Politician running Brussels and are now pushing for a EU army. Deja vu anyone?

  60. Atlas
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Indeed Sir John,

    On the ITV Breakfast programme this morning the point was made that the ‘The EU is a rules based organization’.

    Hmm, well what was not discussed is “Exactly whose rules”. The answer to that is what you have said in this post – Nowadays it is Germany’s rules. It used to be the French rules, but times have changed.

  61. Kathleen P
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    It looks to me now that a reasonable FTA will never be achieved. If Theresa May had not agreed to the sequencing of these negotiations, we could have had one by now and the Irish border issues would have been irrelevant. There have been unscrupulous and underhand tactics from both sides to cheat us of our democratic decision: the EU making NI the price to be paid for leaving in order to coerce us to stay; and the UK negotiating a mere Brexit in name only. Added to that we have an army of remainers who support the EU’s stance in all circumstances so there are few voices to explain clearly to the voters what’s going on. Why, for instance, does no one challenge the assumption that it is for us to find a way of protecting the ‘integrity’ of the single market? Or that an attempt at a land grab of part of the UK is in any universe not to be utterly condemned?

    One final thought: MPs are supposed to declare any interest before speaking in the House but there are loud and shrill Remainer voices that fail to declare that they have family members who receive vast amounts of largesse from the EU. There are many remainers, just like the BBC and the CBI, whose views should be filtered through that lens.

  62. Mick
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    So now Parliament will be sitting on the 19th of October to try and thwart Brexit , when the General Election does eventually comes we can only hope all these remoaner mps are wiped out and put on the dole and replaced with true believers in Great Britain , funny that the last meetings on a Saturday in the last 100years were war or conflict related , because it feels like we’re at war with Westminster

    • Happy Sunday
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      I bet the Labour Party had no religious reasons for not sitting on Saturday

  63. Brit
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Who would have thought even a few years ago that we should have any kind of conversation with European countries in a bloc as to United Kingdom borders and have an insistent leader of the Republic of Ireland have the adopted second-hand strength and temerity to lay down rules essentially backed by Germany its ally. More Germany’s dream of expansion which appears as low fruit for them now to pick. Well done to them. We must be generous with a country that has always been quite a match for us. Though our verbal generosity and our natural inborn politeness should not stop us when push comes to shove to tell them straight to Shove off their boats!

  64. ukretired123
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Sir John’s identified who really runs Europe and has done for decades.
    The EU is just a sham front for a European democracy as is the Euro project controlled ultimately by Germany who previously had the mighty Deutsche Mark backing it.
    After being divided by Russia for 50 years it is making up for it by dominating Europe by stealth instead.
    We should recognise what others have known for years and fought to avoid.
    The very thought that a UK army could be controlled by Germany would be the ultimate irony and insult those who sacrificed themselves. The 11th hour deja vu 11th November.

  65. libertarian
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    All the things that Leavers said about the undemocratic EU have now been shown ( by the EU themselves) to be correct

    We must now leave , then look at negotiating a free trade deal with whats left of the EU later should be deem it necessary

    • bill brown
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:20 pm | Permalink


      great aspiration and positive attitude, but it will not work in our favour later on

  66. Ian Pennell
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John Redwood

    Clearly the European Union are not going to negotiate in good faith: They see Boris Johnson boxed-in by the Benn Act and the Remainer Courts. Legally, the only way forward is to abide by the Benn Act- which means delaying Brexit until at least 31st January 2020 – and after Boris Johnson promised to Leave the EU on 31st October that means collapsing Conservative Party poll-ratings going into the General Election some time in early December.

    Given the dirt that has been thrown at the Prime Minister – i.e. allegations of financial impropriety and groping – the Conservatives could lose a General Election in these circumstances and the pro-Brexit Vote will half split off to the Brexit Party (who will get few Parliamentary Seats on 20% of the Vote- but will take enough support off the Conservatives to let in many new Labour and Lib. Dem MPs). A Remain Coalition Government of the SNP, Lib Dems and Labour will thus get a majority after the next Election leading to a rigged Second Referendum – with a choice between Remain and Brexit-In-Name-Only (BRINO). Remain will win as scores of furious Brexit-supporters will not vote for BRINO!

    For you Sir, for the Prime Minister and all senior Conservative MPs it is now a time of Stark Choice (and yes this is what it is coming to). The Choices are:

    1) Sacrifice Democracy and Brexit- with the Conservatives consigned to Opposition for another decade whilst the Left kill Brexit and irrevocably damage the British constitution and democracy (i.e. Leveson 3 State Regulation of the Press, Votes for 16 year-olds and immigrants to permanently gerrymander the Voting-system towards the Left and Pro-EU parties).

    2) Break the Benn Law (or any other anti-Brexit laws Remainer MPs pass) and any Anti- Brexit Injunctions issued by pro-Remain Judges, and being willing to go to jail and have your careers terminated to ensure that Brexit happens and that the Conservatives retain almost all pro-Brexit support in the country.

    I sincerely hope that for the sake of Democracy that Boris Johnson sees what is at stake – along with other senior Conservative MPs- willing to sacrifice careers and their freedom in order to safeguard the future of Democracy and the Conservative Party. I pray and hope, Sir that you are one of those principled Conservative MPs willing to go to jail to defend what you know is right. You need to quickly get Boris Johnson to get two Brexit-supporting Deputy PMs in-place to take over his job (one being a Deputy PM) should Boris Johnson be sent to prison – so that they can carry on defying the Benn Act long enough to ensure that we Leave the EU on 31st October.

    If no Conservative MPs willing to sacrifice your career to safeguard our democracy and the Vote of 17.4 million people – I’d say “Shame!”: People in the past were killed in getting Britain the Democracy that we enjoyed in recent years and decades – a Democracy now threatened by a rogue Speaker, the modern equivalent of the “Rump Parliament” and over-mighty Remainer Judges! I hope and pray that you are brave and bold!

    Ian Pennell

  67. David J
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    You have to admire Merkel’s and Macron’s belligerence. Shooting down the attempts to negotiate a deal. Their confidence in our Remain parliament block Brexit is high and they are prepared to offer long time to get the result. Over 3 years, a lot of people have forgotten just how bad and self serving the EU is. Thankfully, not everyone

    • Gary
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know where you see this belligerence- all I see is Merkel and Macron at home quietly minding their own business. As far as i know the negotiations have long since finished certainly since the WA was agreed and that was before they all went off on their summer hols. There are talks going on now about the UKs attempt to overturn the backstop but I don’t think thats going to fly.

  68. ASW
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John,
    Lots of talk about the backstop but is everyone being conned into thinking the rest of the WA is acceptable as Brexit? Why are the Government not publicising the executive summary of TM’s WA and spelling out in plain english the subservient future we would face were it signed. Likewise, the further loss of freedom and control were A50 to be rescinded. I thought that publicity funds had been made available and that Mr. Gove was in charge. The MSM, the Establishment and Remain to control the conversation and the truth is being kept from the great british public. Is the Government able to broadcast to its people?

  69. agricola
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    If the position on 31st October is that we have no visible deal, but the law says we are obliged to leave on 31st October unless we ask for an extension by letter, then what do we do when Benn’s traitorous Bill demands we leave with a deal. How about an extension letter demanding a delay of one hour or one day and then leaving with a deal that reverts to WTO rules. It is a deal and we have complied with two contradictory laws. QED.

  70. Keith
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    There’s nothing modest about the UK’s Boris proposal to amend the Irish backstop in fact he turns it on its head so that it is completly unrecognisable. And Mrs Merkel has condemned this without offering anything in return? you say – and without implying she is willing to compromise on anything else.. Well excuse me Sir John but shouldn’t Boris be conducting his business with Barnier in Brussels instead of wasting time trying it on with individual EU leaders since he has already tried all the back doors throughout Europe anyway and all with no go- not even in Orban’s Hungary.t your headline..’Germany insists on the backstop’ because Germany has first hand experience of what it’s like to have a border through its land..they will stand with the Irish..probably something Cummings never even thought of.

    • rose
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      She wants to put a border through our country.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Merkel proposal breaks the Good Friday Agreement. There can be no “island of Ireland” solution without the explicit consent of Northern Ireland, until then they are part of the UK.

      • margaret howard
        Posted October 10, 2019 at 11:17 pm | Permalink

        Roy Grainger

        The Irish know all about our so called solutions. Because they repeatedly tried to remove us from their country we flooded the north with land hungry Scottish settlers.

        As for rose’s remark about putting a border across our country – we did that when the south declared itself a republic.

        Can’t you people ever stop blaming others for our own stupid mistakes?

  71. Kenneth
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    I watched the BBC’s Newsnight show last night which covered Brexit. Obviously it came from a Remain perspective.

    That said, Peter Lilley was given a hearing. Unfortunately this was outdone by the BBC’s own contributions which clearly amounted to a sustained attack on the Prime Minister.

    By contrast, the president of the eu “parliament” was given referential treatment by the BBC.

    I suspect the BBC will now be in overdrive while it tries to discredit no 10 as time runs short. The problem they have is that their coverage is already so obviously biased towards the Remain position, any more extremes into this position may destroy any credibility the BBC has left and leave them with few viewers and listeners.

    If all they can offer is propaganda and no actual news, surely people will stop consuming the output. They are already in a minority bubble but they may end up just talking to themselves.

  72. ian
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Mass tory defection underway against no deal.

    As some Labour MPs now want no deal as of last week and now the Tory MPs as of this week want no deal taken off the table, 5 cabinet ministers and dozens of other ministers are threatening to leave the party if they do not get their way,
    this is the reason I would never vote for a party or bother reading a manifesto, pledges nearly allways get water down to nothing or shelved because of party infighting.

    you can’t trust a word they say, they won’t be seeing me at the polling station.

  73. Oggy
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    So I see Parliament is sitting on Saturday the 19th to decide the future of Brexit, and there was I thinking that we ‘the people’ had already decided that in a democratically held referendum over 3 years ago.

    This has moved on from being just about Brexit, it is about the death of democracy itself in the UK, and those democracy deniers in Parliament will eventually have to face the wrath of the electorate one day very soon – and they know what awaits.

    • sm
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      And according to reports today, the President of the European Parliament is having discussions with the Speaker of the HoC about how to delay Brexit!

      Funny that, who ever realised that the Speaker is part of an elected Government?

  74. ian
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    The majority of MPs in the HOC want 90 billion wasted on HS2 and hundred of billions spent on climate change while everything less goes to rack and ruin, they have no plans which would help the voters.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      They are in the thrall of big business and numerous pressure groups and teenagers with pre prepared speeches. Oh, and they just do what they are told.

  75. Tony Sharp
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    A ‘backstop’ is only required if there is no intention by the EU to negotiate a FTA. No ‘deal has ever been offered by the EU and none is inherent in the WA-PD only a vague intention to discuss this.
    It follows that the only thing the EU and UK can agree on is No Deal.

  76. Lorna
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Sadly there is nothing to negotiate! Merkel has exposed the plot that the EU and Ireland agreed ! To keep UK in a customs union as they could never allow us to,have trade deals independent of the EU. An Irish spokesperson on Radio 4 went further and stated bringing cheaper goods into NI would be very bad for the south !
    Merkels suggestion that Britain may not be allowed to leave the CU is truly concerning
    With our MPs determined to block us leaving what alternative is left to pursue ?

  77. tim
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Germany controls the EU, the house of lords, the Supreme court, and the house of commons. There seem to be a few MPs and most of the peasants of the UK who are not subservient to Germany/EU. To prevent us being tied up waiting to be slaughtered I suggest Boris breaks what ever law Germany imposes to get us totally free.

  78. James Bertram
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    From the Guardian:
    “Tory MPs react with fury to talk of no-deal Brexit manifesto promise
    More than 50 MPs could refuse to stand at election if no-deal pledge is in manifesto”
    …Expectations that up to 50 Tories would choose not stand for their party at the next election in protest, could be an under-estimate, according to one source. They said the group of 100-plus One Nation Tories were all extremely worried about the government’s potential direction.
    The former cabinet minister Damian Green is meeting the prime minister on Wednesday to tell him that many MPs cannot support a no-deal manifesto….

    Good – get rid of them, hypocrites all – drain the swamp.
    Whatever happened to ‘No Deal is better than a bad deal.’

    • Fred H
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Wonderful news!!

      Join the exit you lot.

    • APL
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 2:20 am | Permalink

      James Bertram: “up to 50 Tory MPs”

      Looks. Like we have 50 volunteer MPS where the Brexit Party can stand unopposed by an official Tort candidate.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

      One Nation Tories = LibDems

      Pity when Mrs.May MP said, “No deal was better than a bad deal.” They didn’t upsticks then. Or did they know that she never ever meant it ? 😉

  79. Anthony Pollock
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Well it is nice that Germany are so clear. We are caught in the EU departure lounge which is in reality currently seems to be a room with no exits. This save us a lot of head scratching at the comments by Europhiles in the press with their sycophantic view’s of the EU and corresponding statements that we need to stay in the EU or our economic house will fall down on our heads. It would be better if they admitted the truth about the undemocratic heart of the EU and the inward looking sclerotic EU economy just one or two crises from fall on their (EU’s) heads rather than ours.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

      Anthony Pollock

      Aren’t we lucky to have a system whereby 100 000 unelected establishment figures have just foisted Boris on us as our PM?

  80. Gary
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    Erdogan is about to kick off WW3 and we are discussing Mrs Merkel- marvellous

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Gary, agree, the Turkey/Syrian thing looks serious. What a mess the middle East is.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        is and always has been.

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

      No,he’s not-there’s a large element of theatre and propaganda to what is going on.

  81. mancunius
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    It seems the Speaker has told the EU he will personally ensure that the UK is unable to leave the EU, and he will also bring about a second referendum.
    If that extraordinary report really is true, he is clearly acting ultra vires, and the government needs to take urgent action to put him back in his box.

  82. Caterpillar
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Aside – the Sassoli speech that all will be discussing.

    1) Cannot accept anything that would pose a threat to the Good Friday agreement – but the original WA+PD ignored consent (and no deal does not need to go against Good Friday agreement if people read it)
    2) Cannot compromise the integrity of the single market – but EU are unable to see that agreement cannot compromise the integrity of the UK
    3) There are two alternatives extension or no deal – given 1) and 2) above it is clear that an extension is a waste of time
    4) Open to extension if tehre are specific objective reasons for it – given 2) above this seems impossible
    5) No deal with have serious economic consequences for both sides but in particular the UK – there is no mention of democratic consequences here or what the EU might consider to help its neighbour
    6) No deal responsibility would be laid at the door of the British Govt – incredibly shocking given 2) above and refusal by Barnier to negotiate future relationship in parallel to WA.
    7) Discussion with Bercow -?!?!?!?!
    8) Any prorogation of UK Parliament should allow people to give views via GE or referendum – weird opinion given that UK Parliament rejected a GE and there has already been a referendum
    9) Bercow and Sassoli share an awareness – ?!?!?!?!?!
    10) The EU has adopted all the necessary measures( for no deal) should it occur – so if Mr Gove can confirm UK has as well then no deal would seem to be a go.

  83. Rule Britannia
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    If the government’s plan was to show up to the public the true motivations and objectives of the various players, then they have done that in spades.

    Having a way to leave on 31/10 is the next and key element, especially in view of apparent bias in the ‘Supreme’ Court – if there’s going to be a cunning plan deployed then if it can be legally challenged, it seems certain that the remoaners will go down that route.

    I wonder if that bias was apparent and was taken into account when the plan was developed. Let’s hope so.

  84. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    Its obvious the EU are not going to talk sense. Let’s just go. It was always obvious that France and Germany were the only countries in charge of the whole thing – in fact the whole EU project and they have done very nicely out of it. No wonder they don’t want us to leave and take our money with us.

    I hope Boris has the courage of his convictions. I see signs on the motorways etc saying we are leaving so I am encouraged that this is what will happen. Lets just get on with it.

  85. Iain Gill
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    So Bercow is in Brussels with David Sassoli planning ways to stop Brexit

    Words fail me

    Really what are the decent voters to do in the face of such outrageous behaviour?

  86. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Maybe you can answer the question no Tory will answer. How will we leave on the 31st October if, as is obvious even to my dog, there will not be a deal?

    We have to ask for an extension.

    How will we leave on the 31st?

    All the Tories I have seen on the box are gibbering about ‘we want a deal’. It is like listening to people from an alternate reality or, rather, people who have decided to treat us as if we were all idiots.

    We are NOT leaving on the 31st October. I do wish people would stop insulting our intelligence. I can’t be the only one sick and tired of the whole thing. I wish there had never been a bloody referendum.

    • David Taylor
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      That is what they are hoping for , the U.K giving up on the result of the referendum and accepting their smug we know better attitude to it .

      It is annoying and irksome to be in this position , bought about by the E.U and 40 plus years of being misled by the E.U and our own politicians .

      The biggest insult is to our intelligence , no medicine , no food , no foreign travel , tens of thousands of jobs lost , Dover will be gridlocked , that’s one port , there are others or are Harwich , Liverpool or Holyhead to name but three , all mirage`s ? there is also London , Immingham , leith , Peterhead , Portland , Plymouth , Rosyth and the little port of Mostyn near me , could do with some more trade , what is the matter with people ?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:21 am | Permalink

      The one politician that has been stating that we will not be Leaving at the end of October is Nigel Farage. Should he indeed be proven correct it will elevate him above all others. People will really start listening to him.

      The Conservative Party fail to realise that Alexander Johnson MP is really their last hope. If he fails, the Tories or finished.

  87. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Boris should ask for extension but point out that, as it is not government policy, we are no longer going to pay our £1 billion a month membership fee.

    They’d soon kick us out then.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      So what exactly would they do when we finally refuse to pay?

      • Mark B
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:17 am | Permalink

        Usually, they can fine us. They can suspend both our MEP’s and Commissioner. They can stop making payments back to us in the form of grants but, since we are a contributor (VAT & Tariffs) they would lose more that us.

        One thing they cannot do thought, sadly, is kick us out !

  88. Fred H
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    Well Sir John,
    I hope you didn’t have plans to use your Saturday!

    Earlier, it emerged MPs would be called to Parliament for a special Saturday sitting on 19 October – the day after a crunch EU summit, which is seen as the last chance for a deal ahead of the Halloween deadline.

  89. steve
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Well Boris has certainly got the ungrateful EU and little sidekick Varadkar rattled.

    Way to go Boris !

  90. tim
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    Under article 50 EU Law is supreme the Ben Act is irrelevant and can be ignored, EU Law over rules the UK law,

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      The Benn Act has nothing to do with EU law and applies irrespective of it.

  91. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    I was gratified to hear that our Government rejects not only the Irish backstop but also a ‘level playing field’. In other words, EU laws on employment practices and environment will not necessarily survive in the UK.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      That old German imperative again: “We must ……………….”

  92. Brigham
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t we just leave with a deal? The deal being WTO deal.

  93. Full Crumb
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Why are Remainer MPs always said to be Moderates? Moderate in what? Drinking?

    • Fred H
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      I thought EVERYONE knew why.
      It is from the knowledge that they are possessed with little or merely MODERATE reasoning power.

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Because they care about businesses, jobs, the NI peace settlement, scientific research, food and environmental standards, the sovereignty of Parliament, the nation’s standing internationally…all the things Brexiteers don’t care about. Not caring about these things is an extreme position…and that’s a fairly moderate description.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink

        That is a very silly post.
        Just listing a few of the areas involved and claiming only remainers care about them.
        It is just more Project Fear 2.0

  94. Norman
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

    One of the sad features of this Brexit chaos is the relative paralysis of good initiatives on many other fronts, both at home and abroad. I’ve just listened to an excellent report by the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville, on conditions in one of the detainee camps for ISIS women and children: Surely the Kurds are right to treat this as a humanitarian crisis. What a tragedy, that the children are the ones that are suffering the most. Many have little sympathy for these people, but the best cure for them – indeed their only hope – is for them to be shown them compassion and mercy. How sad the human condition, wherever we look!

    • Norman
      Posted October 9, 2019 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

      PS: Indeed, I read these inspired, immortal words of the Apostle Paul, only this morning: “Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:17-21)

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:48 am | Permalink

      One first has to ask how they arrived at such a place ? 😉 Then ask, of their victims, for there were many including Kurds, was such mercy ever shown ? And yes, the old argument of, “what of the children ?” This is only used by those who have no other argument.

      Not good enough !

  95. George Brooks
    Posted October 9, 2019 at 11:15 pm | Permalink

    No doubt the word ‘Treason’ caused my comment to fail moderation!!!

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:45 am | Permalink

      That and telling the uncomfortable truth.

  96. David Taylor
    Posted October 10, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Mrs May repeatedly told the houses of parliament & the public , that the deal she presented to us from the EU , was the only deal on the table , the EU had told her what they are now telling Mr Johnson and us the public .
    The EU had & have no intention of negotiating with the U.K and they attempt to shift blame for this onto the U.K Government and by extension anyone who voted leave in the 2016 referendum .

    • Simon Coleman
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Completely untrue. They negotiated with the May government, signed a deal and passed it among the 27 countries. Johnson himself wound down the negotiations and only re-started them when his prorogation was deemed illegal.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:00 am | Permalink

        Because Simon, Parliament refuses to accept the dreadful Withdrawal Agreement treaty.
        Which isn’t a deal.

  97. John S
    Posted October 10, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    I was looking on line to see what sanctions could be brought on Boris should he refuse to ask for an extension. It appears that contempt of Parliament can be an imprisonable offence for the life of the Parliament for strangers (members of the public). However, the sanction for an MP is suspension or expulsion. So if Boris follows that path he will not finish up in nick.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 10, 2019 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      should Boris be tried and put in prison, I for one would assist anyone with an escape attempt… conviction nonsense with no bounds.

  98. robert lewy
    Posted October 10, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Is the position now that Democracy is regarded as anti-EU?

    • Richard416
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Certainly is the other way round.

  99. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 10, 2019 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    As usual, you’ve just reported the government’s version of the phone call. The EU is perfectly entitled to protect the integrity of its brand new 300 plus mile border in Ireland which the UK has given it. It has to do that in order to protect the Single Market. The UK made a written commitment to keep a completely open border there in perpetuity. It’s gone back on that commitment and given the DUP a veto over all arrangements. Your indignation is fake.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 11, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Well the UK has said it will not build a border beyond what exists now.
      The Republic of Ireland has also said it will not build a border.
      So presumably you think the EU is going to invade and build a Trumpian wall.

  • 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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