Deal/No deal – a false description

The choice before us is not leaving with or without a deal. The choice is simple. We either leave without signing the Withdrawal Agreement or we stay in for an indeterminate transition period with no agreement on what we are trying to transit to.

Were we to sign a version of the misnamed Withdrawal Agreement we stay in for 21 to 45 months more under full EU legal control and making large payments to them. This time is available to try and negotiate an exit. Who can doubt throughout such a time Remain would be urging more delay in exit? And why should the EU rush to offer us good terms for exit when they had secured everything they wanted in the deliciously misnamed Withdrawal Treaty? They would have the UK’s money and compliance without facing our voice, vote and veto as they develop their centralising plans further.

What Mrs May and her officials probably had in mind for the eventual Future Partnership Treaty was a beefed up EU Turkey or EU Ukraine Association Agreement, locking us in in Perpetuity to many of the features of the EU we wanted to leave. Mr Johnson has made clear he just wants a Free Trade Agreement, which is greatly preferable. In which case the best course is to short cut these things and find out now if the EU will sit down and negotiate one or not. Either way we can then leave on 31October.

The PM has done well to get the EU to talk. He must now ask for enough change to honour the referendum result.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Shirley
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:09 am | Permalink

    We voted to Leave the EU institutions. If we are still tied into any, rather than voluntary, then it is NOT Brexit. I’m still not confident that Boris will deliver, as there is still talk of a new Treaty. Why do we need a Treaty? The Tories have been as guilty as any party in signing Treaties that are bad for UK sovereignty and bad for our economy. This all started with Heath and his lies, and the sacrifice of our fishing grounds and continued sacrifice of our industries. We will never forget!

    WTO/FTA is the only way to get a real Brexit.

    • Here and Now
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      We are not “tied into” any now. Our membership of the EU is entirely voluntary. And if you don’t want a treaty, then what do you think the WTO is? What do you think an FTA is?

      • NickC
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Here and now, You can see that being a province of the EU empire is not “entirely voluntary” – we decided to Leave and some Remain fanatics are stopping us from doing so. No “voluntary” about it.

        A treaty with the EU results in the EU making new laws – which we have not signed up to – being imposed on us. Both the WTO and an RTA are fixed agreements where neither the WTO nor the partner in the RTA imposes their new laws on us.

      • agricola
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        The WTO is a trade organisation whose rules we adhere to. An FTA is an agreement not a treaty. Rome ,Maastricht, Lisbon etc are treaties with the EU. Once volunteered in they are difficult to leave as you might have observed during the past three years.

        • Here and Now
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:31 am | Permalink

          You seriously believe a free trade agreement is not a treaty? Amazing. I think on occasion that Remainers might exaggerate how ignorant Brexiters are – then I read something like this…

          • NickC
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

            Here and now, So you think the EU treaties – which give the EU power to create hundreds of new laws – are the same as other treaties which are fixed?? Amazing! I think on occasion that Leaves might exaggerate how ignorant Remains are – then I read something like this . . . .

          • Edward2
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

            The WA is not a deal.
            Yet remainers like you keep saying it is.
            Ignorant you say….

          • Edward2
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            The WA is not a deal.
            Yet remainers like you keep saying it is.
            Ignorant you say…

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          As explained in this Foreign Office guidance:

          there are various kinds of international agreements.

          This section is worth reading to clear up the muddle:

          “WHAT IS A TREATY?

          The term treaty describes an international agreement concluded in writing between states which creates rights and obligations in international law. Treaties are known by a variety of names, for example agreement, convention, protocol, treaty etc. They may be in the form of a single instrument with numbered articles or in the form of an exchange of notes. There can also be treaties between a state and an international

          I would expect the UK to make new treaties with the EU and its continuing member states to cover matters of common interest which are presently covered by the EU treaties to which the UK is a contracting party; there is really nothing to fear in the word “treaty”, and our concern should only be about the contents of those new UK-EU treaties.

      • Hope
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:55 am | Permalink

        John Longworth Con Woman today writes a very good article, everyone here should read. This sentiment must be promulgated to defeat project fear from traitor remainers like Hammond who speak without being tested on the fallacy of his specious economics- he makes Brown look a genious. A dullard who has not achieved anything for our country only hindered its rise economically, socially and culturally.

        When those politicos side with the EU against their own country to separate/annexe our country by giving away N. Ireland and give control of our govt to the EU under the Surrender Bill ask yourself: Why did the UK sacrifice the lives of its citizens to go to war with Argentina? Why not give it up? Why not give Gibraltar to Spain? Has Iran got more of a claim for the £400 million it claims from the U.K. Than the tens of billions for an unknown period of time, decades, until the EU says stop? If challenged the EU court gets to decide!

        No Withdrawal Agreement is the only option for any self-respecting free nation. The trade talks required under Article 50 are yet to be had! Three and half years on and no EU legal justification for not having them!

      • Mark B
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

        I think you are comparing apples to oranges. FTA, NATO and other agreements have clauses which the UK can withdraw. The Treaty that the EU wishes the UK sign, the so called ‘deal’ / WA has no exit and keeps us tied to the EU. That is not a treaty anyone should sign.

    • steve
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink


      I’m not convinced Boris will deliver either. The facts are that the ungrateful EU and their little sidekick Varadkar wants us to surrender British territory, and wants us rendered a powerless colony under their control.

      These facts need to be presented to the nation BY those supposed to defend our island and our sovereignty. They need to show some balls and tell it like it is. Like for example Mr Farage does.

      We need leadership prepared to draw sword to defend the nation. Not leadership that sticks us in the back with a coward’s dagger disguised as weasel words.

      We need leadership with the guts to have a cold war with the ungrateful EU if necessary. Leadership that will show THEM how it works, basically.

      At the moment we don’t have it, the establishment is rotten to the core and is about as useful as a cardboard bath seat.

      • Hope
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Parliament is not going to vote for anything he agrees with the EU. Therefore last weeks no. 10 leak was correct, no agreement will be achieved ever because MP remainers will keep introducing law to extend etc. A stand against this has to be made for the will of the people to be enacted, therefore it might as well be now when the public are against traitorous remaining MPs.

        Johnson incrementally caving in to remain demands in collusion with the EU will achieve nothing.

        Swinson publicly made it clear if there was another referendum and leave won she would not accept the result. The Traitorous Lib Dumbs do not accept democracy. Their view or you will be smeared, labelled and denigrated by any means.

        If Corbyn kept to his anti EU leave views he would be PM by now.

      • Pominoz
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink


        You seem to have got your version of uncontentious opinion through moderation.

        Congratulations. Agree wholeheartedly.

      • K Jig
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Well said!

    • agricola
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      A treaty under the Vienna Convention is a way of formalising all those aspects of future cooperation, devoid of oversight by either our own supreme court or the ECJ. Citizens reciprocal rights for instance are removed from the politics of either side.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      John says that Johnson “must get enough change to honour the referendum result”.

      Since the ballot paper was utterly silent on the post-exit relationship, anything which meets the legal definition of ending the UK’s membership does honour its result.

      No amount of silly noise about “leaving in name only” has the slightest relevance.

      Johnson should make very fond use of that fact, I think.

      Reply We voted to Leave and that was defined by both sides as leaving the dingle market and customs union as part of departure from the EU

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        We keep revisiting this point, don’t we John?

        That is just a fact, of what leaving the treaties means. In the case of the Remain campaigns it was a warning, as to the gravity of voting Leave, not a promise of the terms of a future relationship.

        It imposes no binding obligation to refuse to consider any accommodation or arrangement thereafter at any level whatsoever.

        Had the ballot paper said “…or leave the European Union and all its arrangements for trade in permanence” then it would arguably be a different matter, but it did NOT.

        Did it?

        • Edward2
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

          Read the Leaflet.
          Listen to Cameron’s many speeches during the referendum campaign.

        • mancunius
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

          Yes. Because by any definition of the English language, leaving the EU means leaving it entirely, and this is what it meant on 23rd June 2016. It is the definition of ‘leaving’ given countless times in advance of the referendum vote by the EU, by various EC and national leaders – Juncker, Tusk, Merkel, Hollande etc. – all of them made it explicitly, abundantly, repeatedly clear that the UK would be “either in, or out – there can be no intermediate path.”

          Leaving does not mean remaining in the EEA, or Efta, or joining Schengen, or signing up to any of the Lisbon Treaty obligations. It means leaving them bag and baggage. The thought of leaving its ‘arrangements for trade’ was a considerable motivation in itself.

          It was and still is patently clear to all referendum voters that Leaving the EU means leaving the EU, completely and utterly. I have yet to meet somebody who is as confused about the meaning of the word ‘Leave’ as you appear to be.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink


          I think that people who do not understand the word LEAVE shouldn’t really be allowed a vote

          I think people who think referendums and democracy should be based on knowing exactly what the future holds shouldn’t be allowed to vote

      • JoolsB
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Plus let’s not forget the £9 million the Government of the day spent on making sure every household received a leaflet telling us if we voted to leave it meant leaving the Customs Union, leaving the Single Market and leaving the ECJ.

        It’s amazing what selective memories the remoaners have when it suits them.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

        Once again Martin makes it up as he goes along

        You have zero credibility I’m afraid

        We voted to leave and leave we will. What happens in the days, weeks, months, years and decades after that as always is open to fortune

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

        Martin, False – The ballot paper was not “utterly silent on the post-exit relationship”. True, it was silent on “deal” or “no deal”. But it did specify “Leave” which as you confirm means exiting the EU. So that any “deal” which involves remaining in the EU, or partly remaining, or re-joining, is not Leave, by definition.

        Oddly Remain didn’t seem to have your problem with such a simple word as Leave before the vote. And that’s the point – Remain is re-writing the rules and re-defining agreed words after you lost. Not even you can be so thick as to not know what the word Leave means.

    • JoolsB
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      “WTO/FTA is the only way to get a real Brexit.”

      Totally agree Shirley. I’m secretly hoping that’s what Boris is hoping for too. The alternative is a tweaked version of May’s rotten surrender treaty. That is not Brexit – it’s Brino.

  2. Mark B
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Let us make it clear. There is no ‘deal’. The so called Withdrawal Agreement, as stated in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, is no longer an Agreement. It is a new EU / UK Treaty. It legally binds us to the EU. That is, the Single Market, the Customs Union and the ECJ. To Remainers that is what they regard as a compromise. There was nothing on the ballot paper, literature or speeches made that compromise would be an option regardless of the result of the referendum.

    The PM is only focusing on the Backstop, nothing else. I argue that this is a ruse to which the EU can give a little allowing the PM to claim some sort of victory. BREXIT in our time, to paraphrase a well known quote. We, the United Kingdom of Great Britain AND Northern Ireland, together, voted to Leave the EU. Some three and a half years later, we are still waiting and, are now being told that, at the end of it we will be given a choice between, Remain and BRINO.

    Words fail me at this point !

    • steve
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      “Words fail me at this point !”

      …..well, look where words have got us. If we don’t get the brexit we voted for then words will become irrelevant as we’ll move on to the next phase in our fight for sovereignty. The establishment are playing with fire.

      • Hope
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        Yes, Mayhabs deal is dead we were promised. Nothing Greed until everything agreed we were promised to ameliaorate the vast billions demanded for nothing. Hammond happy to give away billions of our taxes in the EU bank plus interest free loans. Brown looks a genius compared to Hammond!

        No discussion at all after three and half years, with two delays, about future trade relationship which was originally known as the “deal”. Not the servitude Withdrawal Agreement. That was substituted as the deal.

        No Withdrawal Agreement is the only fare option for the UK. No vassalage transition,

        Why would any self respecting free nation have another country’s law imposed upon it, pay vast sums not legally owed, give up all assets for nothing and be told how to trade to prevent it being competitive! Give the control of its military to the country upon leaving under full copoperation! Moreover being told by another country, Germany, it would have to give up part of its terrortory and by another, France, its territorial waters!

        Has Johnson and the Tories lost complete leave of their senses to remain traitors? Time to have the home grown traitors investigated for conspiracy to undermine the government and use every means to get them locked up. No MP who voted for the Surrender Bill should ever be in public office ever again. Handing control of our nation to a foreign power is beyond despicable. Those who fought, live, work and pay taxes for our country should rightly feel betrayed. Action is now demanded.

    • agricola
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Failure, a fear I share with you will open the door to the Brexit Party in the next GE. They will bring the future of the Conservative Party and Labour into question should the next few days end in perceived failure.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Well said

      Your last comment, I can assure you you are not alone on that.

    • Christine
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Well said.

      “The PM has done well to get the EU to talk.”

      Not if he is offering TMs reheated withdrawal treaty he hasn’t. I can smell betrayal in the air. When will our politicians learn that the EU is not to be trusted? We need to distance ourselves from the EU as quickly as possible. A recession is on the horizon and we must be in a position to manage our own affairs. Any new treaty must be examined as to its true meaning and commitments. The public is fed up of being lied to.

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

    Sir John,

    The news of a ‘breakthrough’ has worried me greatly. I fear that all the downsides of your second paragraph might be heaped upon us as a result of any concession Boris might have proposed. I hope your view that an FTA is all that Boris wants, is correct.

    Surely, however, our negotiating position will be much stronger after we leave than before, so why bother trying beforehand? Send the letter required by Benn and then allow superior EU law to give precedence to the notice to leave submitted under Article 50.

    • Here and Now
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      A lot of you Brexiters don’t seem to understand the first thing about this organisation, the EU, you hate so much. Let me try and help you. Once the request required by the Benn Act is sent, and assuming the EU agrees to it, then our membership of the EU is extended – under EU law and under UK law. Your idea that the Benn Act is somehow overruled by EU law is totally wrong.

      • NickC
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        Here and now, A lot of you Remains don’t seem to understand the first thing about this organisation, the EU, you are so much enslaved by. Let me try and help you. EU law – TEU Article 50 – states that leaving the EU is possible without a withdrawal agreement. The Benn Act cuts off that possibility, or would do if it were not for the fact that EU law has primacy (Declaration 17 Lisbon).

        At the very least the Benn Act deprives me and 17.4m others of the implied statute right to leave without an agreement. The Benn Act is also a cheat. The rules of the Referendum have been changed retrospectively by a ragtag of Remain MPs – another legally questionable antic.

        • Tad Davison
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          Well said. I’m convinced these remainers don’t really appreciate how dangerous the EU is. If they did know, and still want us to belong to it, the word ‘traitor’ hardly covers it.

        • bigneil(newercomp)
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          VERY well said Nick.

        • RichardM
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

          NickC the non legally binding referendum did not give you the slightest right implied or otherwise to leave without an agreement.

          EU law does not have the slightest impact on the Benn act. There is no conflict in laws, so the question of primacy is irrelevant.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:53 am | Permalink

            Read the Leaflet
            Listen to Cameron’s many speeches during the referendum.
            “This is your decision
            We will implement what you decide”
            And May said in Parliament many times
            “No deal is better than a bad deal”

            The dreadful Withdrawal Agreement has been rejected by MPs three times.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 9:19 am | Permalink


            WRONG ( as usual)

            1) Theres no such thing as a non legally binding referendum

            2) Anyhow Parliament enacted the vote by passing by a LARGE majority A50

            3) A50 gives you maximum of 2 years to agree a withdrawal agreement and then LEAVE

            4) Its been 3 and half years


  4. Andy
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    There will be no trade deal until you have resolved citizens rights, the financial settlement and the Irish border. The EU has told you this, it is unclear why you are refusing to listen.

    Brexit is not a negotiation. It is a Tory led capitulation. The EU will tell you the terms of your surrender when it is ready.

    Fortunately the EU understands that the entire blame for Brexit lays not with the British people – the majority of whom now want to remain. The blame belongs to the Conservative Party, the DUP and Farage’s ragtag band of malcontents. The EU will treat the rest of us with the compassion and respect we deserve.

    • NickC
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Andy, EU citizens rights are the EU’s affair, not ours. Foreign residents will be treated well, whether they come from the EU empire or Mexico. There is no “financial settlement”, but there is an EU demand for Danegeld. The EU/UK border in Ireland can be treated as any other part of the EU/UK border provided the EU respects the existing Eire/UK agreements. We have told you this, it is unclear why you are refusing to listen.

      Fortunately we understand that the entire blame for Remain lays not with the British people – the majority of whom now want to complete Brexit. The blame belongs to the raging ragtag band of Remain malcontents and traitorous Remain MPs. The EU empire will continue to treat the rest of us with the lack of compassion and disrespect we have come to know from years of vindictiveness and dirigiste incompetence.

      • bill brown
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:43 am | Permalink

        Nick C

        Your ranting just make you come across as even less informed

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      If you’re looking for someone to blame, why not lay it at the feet of David Cameron, who allowed the electorate to have a vote on the issue, made no plans for a leave majority, and then ran away? All for the sake of stopping the ebb of Tory votes to UKIP – the idea that he wanted to give the people a say was never his motive.

      • rose
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        But he honoured his manifesto commitment to have the referendum didn’t he? How was he to know Gove would stab in the back and that Mrs May would take over? I agree about preparation. That should have been done and a Rolls Royce civil service would have done it anyway.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      ‘ The EU will treat the rest of us with the compassion and respect we deserve.’

      Funny man.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink


      I actually read your post this morning, and can only assume you work in Brussels as your attitude is so typical of their response to things.

      “The EU will tell you the terms of your surrender when it is ready.”

      How utterly pompous a statement is that!

    • IanT
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:44 am | Permalink

      Contempt is more likely than Compassion….but you don’t see that do you.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Do you accept that Remaining would be very different from 2016 and increasingly so in the future?

      Do you want the UK to disappear into the NW Region of the USE?

      Not only has our Government conspiratorial approach to Brexit dominated our politics and sidelined needed policies but it has halted the EU politburo from implementing their far reaching plans into Empire building.

    • Anjela Kewell
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Please site your source on the majority wishing to remain. Every single poll and commentary across the board that I can find sites Leave getting stronger. Arch Remainers have not changed their opinions and are fighting as dirty as they can, but true democrats who voted remain in good faith are now seeing that democracy needs to be respected if we are to remain a law abiding country.

      It seems no Leaver has changed their mind which is why the arch remainers in the HoC do not want a GE. They know they will lose their jobs.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        There does not seem to be a majority for anything either in the HoC nor in the Country. No majority for WTO brexit. No majority for remain. No majority for ref No. 2. And of course no majority for May’s WA.

        There again I suppose no govt nor even policy in UK history has ever had an absolute majority.

        The main threat by far to the Country is a far left Labour govt. I would incline to the view the best way to avoid it is some sort of brexit deal fudge & therefore back that, assuming it doesn’t lock us into Brino for ever. Conservative MPs won’t like handing over the £39bn etc, but then they shouldn’t have left useless Mrs May in office for so long.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      ” The EU will treat the rest of us with the compassion and respect we deserve. ” – Clearly in your eyes – none. The EU sees the UK as a money pit and something to be destroyed by the EU telling us we are getting millions of the 3rd World each year, for us to house, keep, treat and teach.

  5. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    What’s the betting he proposes some misguided version of the discredited May WA

    All the signs are pointing this way

    • Simeon
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      They’ve been pointing that way for a long time. Thank goodness that there would appear to be no way that this Parliament will ratify whatever treaty BJ might pull out of his backside.

    • One man band
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      I saw Boris in Questions and he and Soubry had an exchange. He smiled, she smiled back, as he said they had often worked together amicably. Sounds like Boris is the right Brit man for the job.
      But he needs to concentrate on the job of our leaving as a oncer and not staying in for seconds.

  6. Peter Wood
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Sir John, it may be a bit early, but do you know what ‘new’ Treaty Mr. Johnson has in mind to get us out? Is it a re-hash, ‘dis-aggregation’ of the May Treaty, the whole May Treaty with an adjusted backstop, or something new?

    I’m sorry to say I still think we’re going to get the May Treaty with minor changes, otherwise know as the Boris Stitch-up!

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      As Sir John has not replied may I interject ? It will be the Mrs.May ‘deal’ / WA / Treaty with a few tweeks to the Backstop. The sameone parliament rejected three times.

  7. Nig l
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    The silence about the detail and now seemingly caving in on the back stop is worrying. I continue to believe we will be sold out.

    • Andy
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      You were sold out in June 2016 when you believed the snake oil salesmen. It is staggering that nearly four years and a mountain of evidence on you still do not realise.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Mountain of evidence – list it. Project Fear is not evidence. Planes did not crash out of the sky at 00.01 01/01/2000.

      • NickC
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:16 am | Permalink

        Andy, Evidence for what? It is staggering that nearly four years on, you still cannot see the EU empire for what it is – self-serving, incompetent, corrupt, anti-democratic, dirigiste, vindictive, and acting in bad faith. We have even more evidence now that our 2016 decision to Leave was the right one. It’s as if being sneered at as a “colony” by the EU isn’t enough evidence on its own for you.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:36 am | Permalink

          Nick C

          Definition of COLONY?

          • graham1946
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

            Ask Mr Verhofstadt, his dept said they wanted the UK as colony. It is on public record if you care to look it up.

          • NickC
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            Bill Brown, You’d better ask one of Verhofstadt’s staffers who boasted “We finally turned them [the UK] into a colony”. Don’t you Remains know anything?!?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:56 pm | Permalink


        A mountain of evidence that you have totally failed to supply and worse when asked what this evidence is you run away and hide

        • steve
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:50 pm | Permalink


          You’re wasting your time he never responds because he’s never got anything intelligent to say.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Exactly but is Boris clear actually very clear on this?

    A clean Brexit and an accommodation with the Brexit Party (and never letting the Hammond, Gauke, Clarke 21 traitors to return) is also the only way the Conservative will win an election. Also the only way to save the country from the appallingly damaging Marxist policies of Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP/Plaid/Green.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      But there is no desire on either BJ’s or Cummings’ part to deal with the Brexit party. My own view is that they realise that this would essentially be ceding control and leadership to Farage, who has consistently campaigned for the position they would have to accept, and who is very obviously a more accomplished politician than BJ. It’s all about ego and power.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        If they really rule out some sensible Brexit accommodation (when push comes to shove) they are making a big mistake. There is no real down side to this. Brexit would have won Peterborough but for the Tories splitting the vote. A mistake that might well lead to Cobyn/SNP and another Venezuela.

        • Simeon
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          The splitting of the Brexit party / Tory vote is a huge problem. I think the solution is for the Tory party to get out of the way. Ideally, people can recognise that the Tories are the party of corporate interests and big business, and thus not committed to any kind of true Brexit, leaving the Leave field free to the Brexit party. The problem is that this realisation will inevitably take a little time, and will therefore work to the short term advantage of progressives and remainers. But this problem is not resolved by leavers unititing behind a Tory party that doesn’t represent them.

      • tim
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        Boris will not deal with the Brexit party! Nigel Farage is the most honourable, truthful, descent MAN in politics for the last 20 years, Despite the British Brainwashing Corporation. Nigel Farage will be Prime Minister.
        OR, Boris could grow some Balls, get us out of EU, no deal, tell them to go to hell. He would be a hero and Prime minister for a long long time!

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          Some truth in that, though I am not sure Farage will ever become PM or even that he wants to be. Clearly he would be far better than Heath, Wilson, Major, Blair, Brown, Cameron and May but then a stuffed teddy bear would have been. Teddy bears rarely increase taxes, bury us more into the EU, go into to pointless and counterproductive wars, subsidise endless green crap, push expensive energy, equality drivel or increase red tape hugely. Even Thatcher did much of this.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink


  9. J Bush
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Your articles suggests to me that the direction the PM appears to be heading is a slightly fudged version of May’s WA.

    I sincerely hope I’m wrong and that he isn’t dumb enough to think he can convince the populace his ‘deal’ is Leaving, as in regaining full sovereignty control. Because that is what I certainly voted for over 3 years ago, not some regurgitated version of May’s garbage.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

      This is what Farage always thought was the Boris agenda let us hope it is not. May’s W/A treaty is appalling even with the back stop fully removed. It is not Brexit or even close to a real Brexit. In many ways it is even worse than remain.

      • old salt
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Barnier in 2016 as quoted in the French magazine Le Point:
        ‘I shall have succeeded in my task if the final deal is so hard on the British that they’ll end up preferring to stay.’

      • rose
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        I think his agenda is a FTA.

  10. Garland
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    What a truly weird post. We don’t need to “find out now” if the EU will sit down and negotiate a FTA – the EU has spent the last 3 years making very clear it will sit down and talk about a FTA with the UK ONLY when the UK agrees to pay its debts, secure the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and to keep the Irish border open – that is the whole point of the Withdrawal Agreement, which solves all these issues. Leave without a deal if you want, but don’t pretend that will open the way to talks. The EU will simply say “come back when you are finally ready to sign off the Withdrawal Agreement”. We’ve had more than 3 years of you Brexiters running away from reality, it’s time you took your fingers out of your ears and stopped pretending Brexit is nice and easy.

    • Just Leave
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Dear John

      I fear it looks like Boris is heading to give us a reheated version of the dreaded May treaty. This is not Brexit. When Leo Varadkar is smiling – you know it’s not good for us. I’m afraid if this happens – the Conservative party will be doomed at the next election. Has nobody got any backbone to stand up to the EU??Hopefully I’m wrong but I think Nigel Farage has been right all along. Let’s hope Boris does the right thing and leaves with a clean break

    • Fred H
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      ‘The EU will simply say “come back when you are finally ready to sign off the Withdrawal Agreement”. ‘

      So they will shoot all their exporting businesses in the foot will they? If true that shows the extreme hold they (Germany/France) have on the slave club.

    • NickC
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

      Garland, What a truly weird comment. We know the EU will not negotiate an RTA, because it has said so over the last 3 years. Simply making demands is not negotiation. Nor good faith. Like any blackmailer the EU must be resisted, otherwise the demands never stop.

      The EU demand for money with menaces is just pure Danegeld. Citizens of the EU empire will be well treated in the UK, as are all foreign citizens – as you well know already. And the UK has clearly stated that it will not put a “hard” UK/Eire border in place.

      Stop pretending that putting the Brexit genie back in the bottle will be nice and easy. Or accomplished by the usual EU threats.

      • bill brown
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        Nick C

        I must once again ask you to define EMPIRE?

        • NickC
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Bill Brown, If you need help with the definition of the English word “empire” then I suggest you try the internet. The EU certainly has the form of an empire, though it exercises control over its hapless provinces by bureaucratic strangulation rather than military subjugation. If in any further doubt, have a word with Guy Verhofstadt, who sees the EU as one of the participants in a “world order of Empires”.

          • bill brown
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:40 am | Permalink

            Nick C

            You still did not answer the question?

          • NickC
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            Bill Brown, You made a request for the definition of the word “empire”, you did not ask a question.

            I was surprised you are so ignorant (and lazy), but I provided you with two sources – the internet and the EU apparatchik, Verhofstadt. Moreover I do not need your permission to describe the EU as an empire.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Fine, they lose our markets, but why would they want to do that?

      I suppose leavers were stupid for voting leave, so I suppose you can easily think the EU is stupid enough to block its exports to the UK?

      • Garland
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        They lose our markets – but by refusing the UK’s attempt to retain the trading benefits of EU membership without signing to its rules, they maintain the integrity of their own market, which covers 27 countries and is many times bigger and more important than the UK. What you Brexiters have to realise here is the UK has NO leverage. Brexit is lose-lose but for the UK is many times bigger lose than for the EU. That is why the EU will not budge from the Withdrawal Agreement. That is why Brexit means making Britain weaker

        • NickC
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          Garland, The vast majority of nations in the world trade with the EU’s single market, without being a member. So what “benefits” are you talking about?

          • Garland
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

            No tariffs. Control of non tariff barriers. No border checks. No paperwork. Frictionless trade. No hard border in Ireland. All available to EU members. None available to non EU members.

          • Edward2
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

            no paperwork you say !
            Try sending goods into the EU like that and see how you get on.
            You obviously have never imported nor exported.

          • NickC
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:44 am | Permalink

            Garland, All nations with RTAs have all those “advantages” for trade. And without being a member of the EU. No hard border with Eire pre-dates the EU. Next!

          • libertarian
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink


            “no paperwork for exporting to the EU”

            Crying with laughter here . These pompous people come on here day after day spouting this total nonsense without having the faintest idea what they are talking about


    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I agree with all the points you have made. But I would like to add that, once out of the EU and with no ECJ and Commission on our backs we will be able to negotiate as equals. I do not believe that their citizen rights and any monies we owe are somehow a block to any FTA. FTA are not all they are cracked up to be and, personally, I would much rather speak to the USA, Japan, China and other Commonwealth Countries first. When the EU27 see one of their biggest customer look elsewhere, the political pressure on the EU itself will change their minds.

      • James Bertram
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Good comment, MarkB.
        Back of the queue for the EU.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Exactly, and they are breaking their own law in doing so. Article 50 said the WA should be negotiated ‘taking into account of its (the leaving party) future relationship with the Union’.

      Obviously their law is the Alice in Wonderland kind which means what they say it means. By breaking this rule, the WA has no basis and cannot be signed. It is the EU with help from Remoaners which has delayed all along with the hope of canceling Brexit, but has just entrenched more people into wanting out by their shoddy treatment of the UK. We would be less than serfs if we ever went back on Brexit.

      • Here and Now
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        But the WA has been negotiated ‘taking into account of its (the leaving party) future relationship with the Union’ – that is what the political declaration which accompanies the WA is. So what’s your beef?

        • graham1946
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          The political declaration is separate and has no legal force. It is not in the treaty, therefore is not in accordance with Article 50 and is anyway unacceptable, which is why the whole thing was thrown out 3 times by Parliament, even by the Remoaners. Item 2 of the Article 50 if you want to look.

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

          Here and now, No, it hasn’t. Unless you think the WA will be permanent.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:56 am | Permalink


      What a weird post.
      1) The fact that the EU refuses to negotiate a future relationship now classifies the WA as a bad deal worse than no deal. The Conservative manifesto was clear that the future relationship would be agreed in parallel, this therefore is a necessary (though not sufficient) requirement for any agreement not being classed as a bad deal. This should not been ignored by the EU or PM May, and should not now be ignored by PM Johnson.
      2) The EU citizen settlement scheme is already in place there is no need to do anymore or create any other rights. (UK political parties can debate immigration policies thereafter).
      3) The Good Friday agreement does not specify an open border. It is though built around the principle of consent. The EU ignored the failure of Sunningdale. The EU ignored how the Irish Govt seemingly attempted to circumvent consent back in 98 risking the Good Friday agreement before it was signed. Current behaviour appears to be repeating this. (Some might suggest FG is a pro EU party and it would be in its interests to align the united Ireland narrative with the EU membership narrative – some might suggest this).

    • Original Richard
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Garland, I would rather just leave 31/10 as planned with no payment to the EU and trading on WTO terms than sign their WA treaty.

      Freedom is more far important than an FTA agreement with the EU.

      • Coote
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Obviously not possible under the Benn Act. Our sovereign Parluament’s statutes are far more important than Brexiters tantrums

        • Original Richard
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

          It is the only the people of the country who are permanently sovereign.

          Parliament is lent sovereignty temporarily every 5 years or so through an election process and is not allowed to give away the country’s sovereignty without express permission from the people.

          The reason we have a problem with implementing the result of the referendum to leave is because the current MPs are not representative of the electorate, who voted 64:36 by constituency to leave, and are determined to undemocratically delay and ultimately block Brexit.

        • rose
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          The Surrender Directive is not law as the British people know it. When our Parliament passes law it is done according to precedent and a process. This Directive, which we are informed was worded by EU lawyers, was rammed through without prior consideration or consultation, without scrutiny or debate, with no committee, having been kept secret till the night before. It only applies to one person, not to all of us, and it is for just one occasion. There is no penalty attached to it either. That is not Statute as the Parliament is accustomed to pass, and it could not have been done but for a bent Speaker making up the rules as he went along. Furthermore, being a foreign directive, it doesn’t take account of money assent.

    • rose
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

      “ONLY when the UK agrees to pay its debts, secure the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and to keep the Irish border open –”

      This is all made up. We have no debts – it is the other way round, they owe us.

      How we treat foreigners here is nothing to do with them. We have a much better record on human rights than they do. They got their human rights from us.

      We don’t want to put up a hard border but they do, so that is nothing to do with us.

      The whole point of leaving is that we free ourselves from their jurisdiction and stop paying them Danegeld. But they don’t want to accept that.

  11. RichardM
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    The EU has nothing to negotiate on. The incompetent PM you voted for still has not submitted any text. There is no chance of negotiating anything before Oct 31st, therefore by law we must request extension.

    Meanwhile in Europe Farage votes against a European parliament resolution calling for stronger EU action to counter election meddling and Russian disinformation.
    Its clear whose master him and the barely coherent buffoon in the White House is.

    • Ben
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      If only the frothings and sour grapes about “Russian collusion” – made by vested interests and those they have brainwashed – even reached the level of “barely coherent”. Your last sentence (the one that ironically contains “barely coherent”) is a good example.

      And we will see just how watertight the Surrender Act is, won’t we? Will it somehow be Boris’ fault (and Farage’s, and Trump’s, and Putin’s) if it isn’t?

      Those who believe that we should give up our nationhood and democracy, just so that they can benefit at the expense of most others, never cease to amaze with their self-righteous, aggrieved tone.

    • NickC
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      RichardM, So is the EU meddling in the Ukraine a different sort of meddling?

    • dixie
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

      Nothing to negotiate on? Under Article 50 the onus and obligation is on the EU to agree a withdrawal agreement not the leaving state. So why has the EU not offered amendments to their offer which failed to be agreed? Where are the EU proposals?

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

    We know we don’t want the WA but will Boris get what he and leavers want or will it be a fudge up ? Its totally unclear to me just what Boris is actually trying to achieve right now. Will Parliament accept it when all most MPs want is to remain? Staying beyond 31st October is unacceptable when there have been clear signals sent out to businesses that we will be leaving.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      MP’s are now more interested in keeping their seats for as long as possible, hence the call for a ‘peoples vote’ which we have already had. They know that to arrange a referendum would take the thick end of a year to organise what with the long Christmas break and all, and hope that after 4 and a half years we may change our minds out of frustration. A GE must come this year before any more lies and a fixed referendum offering ‘Remain or Essentially Remain’. MP’s voting for any deal won’t cut it, we know who are the ones to be removed are and they must face the music.

  13. Javelin
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Just a thought but under common law you cannot or rather do not have to continue negotiations if the other party acts in bad faith. If the EU does not budge in negotiations then Boris need not send a letter even if an act of Parliament tells him to do so. You cannot compel a person into effective imprisonment by telling them to do something that is impossible.

    • Javelin
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      The key point here being under the EU (civil law) parties are required to act in good faith. The UK is entitled to break off negotiations under EU law – which is the law that the Article 50 negotiations come under.

      [The] Common Law System, we will focus on English and American Law, while we will look mainly at German, Brazilian and French Law to illustrate the Civil Law.”

      “The obligation of good faith in negotiation is found practically in all civil law system countries and generally provides a remedy for a wrongful conduct produced by a bad faith act. However, there is no general rule in Common Law requiring the parties to negotiate in good faith. “ – From The duty to negotiate in good faith
      Pedro Barasnevicius Quagliato (2008).

      • Here and Now
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:53 am | Permalink

        The EU has not only negotiated in good faith, it has reached an agreement with the UK in good faith. It is not the EU refusing to implement the Withdrawal Agreement, it is the UK trying to change its terms.

        • NickC
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

          Here and now, The UK is not “refusing to implement” the WA – because the UK never agreed to it in the first place.

          The EU has not “negotiated in good faith”, it has not “negotiated” at all. As indeed is made clear in TEU Art50.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

          You forget that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

          “This report is put forward with a view to the meeting of the
          European Council (Article 50) of 14-15 December 2017. Under the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed, the joint commitments set out in this joint report shall be reflected in the Withdrawal Agreement in full detail.”

      • Dominic
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:59 am | Permalink

        This whole issue is not about the rule of law, it concerns itself only with the application of geo-political power and international influence. In that context, there is no rule of law.

        I have no doubt that Johnson will fail to deliver UK independence and UK sovereignty free from EU intereference. He’s a politician without conviction.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Im afraid that given the consistency of the EU position all along, I dont see how they could be said to have negotiated in bad faith. If anyone is guilty of this it is successive UK governments. But of course, for obvious reasons, the EU would be loathe to pull the plug.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        I blame David Cameron and Theresa May more than the EU.

        • Simeon
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely, and by extension the party behind them. The same party now has a different leader, but I don’t see BJ being meaningfully different to his predecessors.

  14. GilesB
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    The backstop is not the only problem with the Withdrawal Agreement.

    A NI only backstop might be acceptable to the EU (they accepted it a year ago)., but that doesn’t mean that the UK should accept all the rest of the pottage.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      Alas the rest of the pottage is what the EU really want and the Backstop was a UK Government / T.May idea. So I do not think the EU will be too bothered about watering it down and letting Johnson claim some sort of victory.

  15. Mick
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    We just want out, what as shown me over the last 3 years the lies and deceit that MPs have been spewing out to try and convince us to stay or go, we voted go and that’s the only thing we physically want to see is us leaving the dreaded Eu, you can wrap it up in as much fancy paper as you like but so long as the average person on the street sees we have left that will
    do, because no doubt when we do eventually leave hopefully on October 31st 2019 mps on both sides of the argument will be shouting they have won, but so long as we are seen to have left that will do for me

  16. Simeon
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I think there would be few of us that would doubt your soundness or sincerity on the principles of Brexit. But I doubt the soundness and sincerity of the government that you support, and the PM you endorsed. I am confused as to why you placed your trust in such an obviously untrustworthy man. But we are where we are, and come the 31st of October, we’ll either have a new treaty with the EU, or an extension to our current membership – with the latter being the clearly least worst option. Your party’s difficulty, it seems to me, is that even if we merely suffer an extension, how on earth can BJ be trusted to pursue with all skill and determination a clean and proper Brexit? Even if he says all the right things (as he did when interviewed by the ERG prior to being elected), the sensible response is, We don’t believe you.

  17. Nig l
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Read peter Oborne in the DM this morning. Looks like you will be sold out like the rest of us JR

  18. NickC
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Remain MPs are cheats. They have changed the rules after they lost.

    Leaving means no longer being controlled by the EU. A “deal” may (or may not) result in independence, but (the misnamed) “no deal” definitely will. Banning “no deal” fatally undermines our Leave vote, not just by removing one route to Brexit, but also by rewarding EU intransigence and vindictiveness.

    By attaching the retrospective condition to ban “no deal”, this Remain Parliament has sold out to a foreign power, broken the Referendum contract, and made voting worthless. It is corruption far more serious than the expenses scandal.

    Yet no Remain has ever been able to say why the UK must be ruled by the EU.

    • Garland
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      No one ever said the UK must be ruled by the EU. Lots of people say the UK is stronger, richer and more powerful by being a member (one of the biggest members) of the most developed free trade bloc in human history. What you are seeing now – being laughed at by Irealnd and Luxembourg etc – is what it means to be outside that bloc, alone and pleading for favour

      • Pominoz
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:32 am | Permalink


        I think you are wrong.

        I could have used a single word, but Sir John would probably have disallowed my submission.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

          Pom…..did you mean the word written across the side of the bus ‘ B——s to Brexit?

          • Pominoz
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:25 pm | Permalink

            Fred H,


      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Is New South Wales ruled by Australia?

        Is Nebraska ruled by the United States of America?

        And so on with all the federations around the world … have you ever read the 1950 Schuman Declaration?

        Rather than your false gloss this is what the EU itself says:

        “Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.”

        “The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe … ”

        “… this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace.”

        As I have said before it is in my view a respectable political position that the UK should cease to be an independent sovereign state and should instead be subsumed in a sovereign European federation; however what is totally unacceptable is that some of its political leaders do not argue that case openly but instead lie about what is intended and attempt to impose their eurofederalist agenda on the their fellow citizens by stealth.

        • Simeon
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          With respect to your last paragraph, this is the heart of the remainers’ dishonesty. It is interesting that the classic UK remainer position as exemplified by most of our present politicians is viewed with disdain by many European federalists, who see UK exceptionalism as a serious obstacle to the further integration the European project requires to be coherent and effective.

        • Andy
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Does Nebraska have its own independent nuclear deterrent- and its own navy?

          Does New South Wales have a seat at the UN?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:20 am | Permalink

            Thanks for supporting my point, intentionally or not.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 1:02 pm | Permalink


        Oh my word

        Even the EU admit that the EU has no been of much use economically to the UK

        The EU is NOT a FREE TRADE block #youdontknowwhatyouvotedfor

        We will see how hard Ireland laugh if theres no deal and their export market dries up alongside the EU killing their and Luxembourgs current taxhaven status

        Germany is on the brink…. lets see how long it all lasts once they go down

      • NickC
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        Garland, The UK is ruled by the EU (EU law has primacy over UK law) at the moment. You want to keep it that way. But you don’t say why. In fact, as I said, no Remain has ever been able to say why the UK must be ruled by the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Exactly, anyone who says we must rule out “leaving with no deal” is clearly trying to kill Brexit but dare not actually admit it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        Well, the Liberal Democrats now admit it …

  19. steve
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:00 am | Permalink


    I hope you’re right about the PM’s intentions. We had the disadvantage of Mrs May swanning off repeatedly making concessions to the EU that people would not approve of, and I’m sure that when we do find out the extent of her boot licking it will be a horror story for sure.

    The woman tried to have us over, now Boris is also talking to those whom we voted not to have anything to do with, and, very suspiciously the government are staying tight lipped.

    It is not difficult to see why this is turning to an issue of trust. This does look like May v2.0 but quietly via the back door. We are not mushrooms to be fed as such and denied light.

    As for me, well engaging in dialogue with a country that insults mine just about does it quite frankly. I don’t care a hoot for the Irish economy and like many others no longer buy Irish produce.

    Varadkar is trying to sneakily make a gab for NI while hiding behind EU coat tails, everyone knows this, and Salmeyer declared that in order to leave the EU Britain must give up Northern Ireland.

    Boris knows that on Oct 31st if NI is sold out, if we see one more EU fishing vessel in our waters, if we are in any way under jurisdiction of the jurisdiction of European courts then it will be the death of the conservative party. We have the power of the ballot box and by God we will use it with vengeance.

    Reply I have just set out what the PM has said. I do not know anymore than anyone else if he will strike a good deal, a bad deal or no deal.

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

      My thoughts exactly, Steve.
      I only hope that the ERG have the courage to vote down the treacherous Johnson-deal – for the sake of our country.
      Then we just LEAVE.
      A General Election with both the Torys and the Brexit Party on a ‘clean-break’ platform is the only way the Torys will be kept in power.
      Otherwise it is Labour – and that is a damn sight better than voting for the May-Johnson Surrender Treaty as Labour can be kicked out after a few years whereas, if we sign the WA, then it is colony-status forever.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      reply to reply…..
      The big question is –
      How far can the MPs and electorate trust the PM? And – does the PM actually care a fig for the future of the Conservative Party? Successive PMs have shown their loyalty to Constituents, Party and Country to be close to non-existent.

  20. Derek Henry
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    Boris knows something……

    A rumour I have heard from a freight forwarder.

    Export licences are a particular problem. Depends which one you need but any dual use type licences are controlled by SPIRE which is a department of the DTI. Currently that process takes around 3 weeks so the question is do they have enough staff and that’s a big no. Gets even worse for other types of licences handled by other departments as a lot of these are not currently required within the EU.

    CHIEF (Customs Handling Import Export Freight) is going to be a big problem because it just isn’t capable of what will be a doubling of its use following a no-deal Brexit. The computer system was supposed to have been replaced several years ago but, guess what, it is over budget and delayed.

    The replacement is called CDS (Customs Declaration Service) and it’s in a bit of a state by all accounts. Migration to it has been put back to September 2020 (from originally August 2018) it’s currently only live for a few ‘warehousing entries’ wont bore you with details of those but its a very small % of what is needed.

    Last update we had was back in July and it is failing most tests.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Most trade inside or outside of the EU is done on Open General Licence so you do not need to apply for specific ones unless the goods are sensitive.

      The new Customs requirement is for one declaration, done electronically before the goods reach the port and the system was beefed up in March 2019 in anticipation of leaving then.

      Imports are the same and customs entries do not need to be done for up to six months after import, so there will be no delays at the border this side. If the exporter acts correctly no problem will arise.

      Reply All this Remain propaganda is written by people who have not understood or read the WTO Facilitation of Trade rules.

      • Garland
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Please Mr Redwood, could you give us an example of a country being found to have violated the WTO Facilitation of Trade rules, and what the remedy was? One example will do. Otherwise we will have to conclude they are not rules at all, only unenforceable guidelines

        • libertarian
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


          Starting to panic now that a deal is in sight?

          Whats going on here ? Not very open and friendly

          Denmark is to impose temporary border controls at the Swedish border next month, after Swedes were suspected of being behind a number of serious attacks this year in the Danish capital Copenhagen

          • libertarian
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Sorry captcha system playing up this post was posted on a different thread

        • libertarian
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink


          Do your own research

          Theres and entire database of all the outstanding judgements plus pending enquiries freely available on the WTO database

          Just so you know the EU are the 2nd worst offenders with 105 cases against them

        • Peter D Gardner
          Posted October 14, 2019 at 3:57 am | Permalink

          SHould have posted my comment here.
          FYI from WTO, the dispute resolution mechanism started operating in Jan 1995. I quote:

          Of the 500 disputes brought to the WTO, only 282 proceeded to the litigation phase. Of the others, 110 were resolved bilaterally or withdrawn. For the remainder, no outcome was notified to the WTO. A total of 102 members have participated in a dispute either as a complainant or as a respondent or as a third party, meaning 63 per cent of the membership. The Appellate Body has upheld the rulings of dispute panels in 82 per cent of the cases, modified the rulings in 14 per cent of them and reversed them in 4 per cent of the cases.

          The authorization for a member to retaliate once another member has been found to be in violation of its WTO obligations has been given 18 times

          The compliance rate with dispute settlement rulings is very high, at around 90 per cent.

          The members that have initiated the most complaints are the United States, with around 22 per cent of the cases, and the European Union, with around 18 per cent, followed by Canada, Brazil, Mexico and India. As respondents, the United States has had the biggest number of cases brought against it, with around 27 per cent of the cases, followed by the European Union, with 19 per cent, China, India, Argentina and Canada.
          The average timeframe for a dispute at the WTO, excluding composing of the panel and translation of reports, is about ten months. For the International Court of Justice, it is four years, for the European Court of Justice it is two years and for NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) it is from three to five years.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        Graham 1946

        Exactly correct

        Derek H its Form CN23 there are exactly 18 fields to fill in which are mostly name and address of shipper and recipient

        If pictures were allowed on this blog I would show you the simple form

  21. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The more this goes on the more we seem to capitulate, and the more we pay.

    Fully aware we have to see the detail but the signs are not looking good are they.

    The whole thing has now moved so far away from the original option of simply leaving the EU, it has become a farce, and a very expensive and humiliating one at that.

    The Eu have now examined the patient, and has recommended a stripping out of its backbone as the best treatment for compliance..

  22. Alan Jutson
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Whatever happened to nothing is agreed until all is agreed.

    Was that a dream or simply a lie ?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      A lie !

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      And ‘No deal is beteer than a bad deal’.

  23. Dominic
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    I sense that even Sir John is concerned about the eventual outcome of the PM’s Brexit plan. His worries are fully justified.

    Johnson is a London based, Eton educated social liberal. Every single politician of his ilk are without substance. For them, politics is a career not a mission. For someone like Thatcher, her entry into politics was a mission to defeat the forces of Marxist thuggery over the private person. For someone like Johnson, his entry into politics was a mere career choice. Sincere versus insincere.

    The British people are not looking to be patronised, we are looking for a politician with total conviction, honesty and an unwavering belief in freedom, liberty, the apolitical person and democracy. Those qualities are not too be found in BJ, unfortunately

    • agricola
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      I do not buy this unless he is a masochist. Who would wish to be head prefect to at least 500 squabbling political children. He can earn infinitely more outside politics than within, and has proved himself time and again.

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

        Being PM was on his bucket list.Girly Swot,Dave,had it so he had to have it too.Doesn’t matter if he does the job well or not or his tenure lasts just a few weeks.It’s been ticked off the list.

        • Alison
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Being PM was certainly on the bucket list of Mr Cameron and Mrs May

      • Simeon
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        I think you fail to appreciate just how much more money Boris the ex-PM can make as opposed to Boris the newspaper columnist and light entertainer/clown.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

          I do not think they are driven by money at all. Rather easier ways to make money and without the endless hassle, out of public view.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Bang on the money !

  24. Kevin
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    The fact that you do not appear to know your own leader’s mind
    on this surely speaks volumes. Three weeks remain until the
    most recent extension expires. That is less than half the official period
    made available for campaigning to leave the European Union,
    yet the PM seems to think he has a mandate to implement his will, not ours.

    • agricola
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Ours he has a mandate to implement, yours it would seem not.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      The EU always act at the last minute of the last hour and this is proceeding in their normal way.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        A Canadian negotiator is said to have said, that the EU only got serious in the last 2 weeks of negotiation or, when they famously walked out and said; “If the EU cannot do a deal with Canada, then what is the point of the EU ?”

  25. Julie Williams
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Completely sick of the whole farce now, sick of the childish games played by all sides: the people of The UK and EU deserve much better.
    Look what we face if we’re forced to stay attached to the EU in any way: a European Commission of failed and or corrupt politicians and a fight by non-Eurozone countries like Sweden and Denmark not to have to pay for the follies of which they have had no say or benefit in order to subsidize the losses of France and Germany..northern European countries, like the UK, treated as cash points, as someone put it so aptly.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      I agree with you. But to play devil’s advocate, if and when we leave, the politicians we’ll have are no better. Where will we find the good politicians? Without them leaving the EU is arguably pointless…

      • Mark B
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 4:49 am | Permalink

        Darwin’s law.

  26. Sharon Jagger
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Having read the comments here, it would seem most are in agreement with my thoughts.

    I’m tired of hearing the word “compromise”. The EU will not compromise enough to make our leaving in anyway meaningful. The WA and PD have not really been mentioned. The contents of which are horrific for the UK…

    I feel that Boris is looking to reheat May’s deal too. I know our remain EU MPs have made it nigh on impossible, but the only way to break free is to leave with “no deal”. Anything else is not leaving!

    • Simeon
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Let us hope the rest of the electorate are as enlightened

  27. Iain Moore
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    With Bercow negotiating with the EU president to postpone Brexit for a referendum, something the BBC doesn’t want to report, and Remainers about to hijack the business in Parliament , no doubt with Bercow’s help , to foist a losers referendum on us , it seems wishful thinking there will be any resolution to this that respects the referendum. With Remainers prepared to run a scorched policy that rips through all our institutions to get their way there will be nothing left we can trust.

  28. George Brooks
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The PM has stated several times that the ‘WA’ IS DEAD. If he goes anywhere near any part of it he and the Conservative party are finished.

    Similarly the ardent Remainers in and around parliament who have screwed up negotiations for the last three years do not need and should not get any concessions, sops or inducements.

    We have no idea of the detail but it might be that the PM has come up with a germ of a solution for the Irish border that protects the Union and could be acceptable to both the DUP and the EU. That is all we need before we walk out on Thursday fortnight.

    We do not need any part of the WA as we can sort out the rest after we have left without the Remainers getting in the way and trying to wreck the negotiations. Ever since article 50 was enacted all the important matters for our future relationship have been discussed at length and very largely agreed and there will be very few surprises as to what has to be done.

    We will be on even ground to complete the negotiations and clear of the ECJ and all the other EU restrictions. Further more we don’t need to pay £39bn for the pleasure of leaving.

    • James Bertram
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Common sense, George.
      Sadly, you won’t find much of that in the Tory Party (JR excepted) – otherwise we would have left three and a half years ago.

  29. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Tell me how we secure trade deals at lower tariffs with other countries when the EU also benefits from those deals by those tariffs being implemented at the NI border and no customs checks into the EU? Clearly any EU importers wanting to take advantage of this route could do so, destroying any competitive advantage we have?

    As I said 18 months ago, Ireland has to become a free trade area with customs both east (with UK) and south of Ireland with the EU for such an arrangement to work.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      Equally, why should we undergo customs checks and tariffs for goods brought back from NI to GB?

  30. BOF
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    If tinkering with the Irish border is the best that can be done then that will be a failure of statecraft.

    There is no Treaty with the EU that will properly return sovereignty.

    I see, Sir John, that there is a major drive for another referendum. Of course there is as it is much easier to rig a referendum than a general election.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      A GE would be fine only as long as the Brexit part commanded the near-unanimous support of leavers, and were therefore returned on a landslide. Unfortunately, as awful as the Tory party is, I don’t see them being obliterated immediately. The result would be a hung Parliament with no clear mandate to move on Brexit in any direction. Some kind of coalition would emerge, and would no doubt bring together the worst elements of all parties involved.

      A second referendum could be a choice between remain or BRINO, but at least then the stitich up would be obvious and the battle lines for a subsequent GE would be crystal clear. I think a referendum with a choice between revoke and no deal (to use usual terminology) is still possible, and I’d be more bullish about no deal’s chances than I’ve been previously. This is perhaps the only possible success of BJ and Cummings – though I’m quite sure it’s not what they were aiming for!

  31. formula57
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    I note your words and do not understand how T. May lives with the shame.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      May is shameless and clealy very dim too. Quite an achievment to go from “Brexit mean Brexit” to “Brexit mean Brexit in name only” with a new hand cuff treaty that we have to pay billions for. Then throw one sitting duck election, betray the 17.4 million voters and take the Conservative party to 9% and fifth place. Yet still many Conservative MPs simply do not get it!

    • Fred H
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Many politicians have a thin veneer – through which we can see the real quality, or not. In the case of former PM once the veneer was penetrated the truth of the underlying horror was clear for all to see.

  32. Amanda
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    At the current time it feels like we are all in ‘The Matrix’ – bluff, counter bluff, misinformation fed by both sides to a biased and hungry press. The slightest little sign played up by the perfidious pundits.

    The good news, of course, is that the Remainer Elite, are equally unsure of the situation.

    Which all means that we do not know what is going on – and until we do we cannot judge – so why waste the energy. Sometimes, the best course of action is staying still until the path is clearer. As I saw it said elsewhere, ” take decisions on facts, don’t make assumptions on emotion’.

    Enjoy the weekend, we live in historic times, and remember that All Souls Night, is followed by All Saints Day.

  33. agricola
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Artificiality and deliberate complexity has dogged this divorce for three years now. We all know that the backstop is a creation to keep the UK within the EU for as long as possible. Computers can exchange whatever information is required to whatever destinations deemed necessary. Talk of hard borders is a farce. Additionally JR has in the past outlined many other aspects of the WA that conflict with our demand for sovereignty. I fear that Boris may be tempted to contrive a pick and mix from this dogs dinner of a WA.

    The way forward is relatively simple and tests the EU’s sincerity in wishing an amicable break. Depart on or before the 31st October, and at that point in time offer a draft FTA for negotiation. Suggest the invoking , by mutual agreement, of Art 24 of GATT to ensure continuity of trade while the FTA is negotiated. Put all the desirable areas of cooperation and genuine compensation into a treaty under the auspices of the Vienna Convention. This is a comprehensive deal, and from the position of trade we start from a point of existing free trade. It should be made absolutely clear that from the time of our departure that the EU are dealing with a wholly sovereign nation who from that point on manage their trade with the rest of the World and their territorial waters alone. If the EU fail to agree then it is a deal under WTO terms until such time as they see sense.

    • Garland
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Or, put another way, simply ignore everything you have learned over the last 3 years, and hope that by magic the EU will say “Oh OK we’re weren’t ever really serious about the money, citizens rights and Ireland”. Tell me, do you believe in Father Christmas?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        One important thing some of us may have learned over the past three years is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to draw any decent patriotic and intelligent Prime Minister from the upper echelons of the Tory party. But then some of us had already realised that.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          Denis : -One important thing some of us may have learned over the past three years is that it is very difficult, if not impossible, to draw any decent patriotic and intelligent Prime Minister from any of the parties. But then more and more of us are realising that.

  34. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Judging by the responses so far it looks like nobody trusts Boris to do the right thing. I have a feeling the EU will get all of what they want in the end and we will end up paying for a lifetime. In effect, still in the EU. What a complete waste of time all this has been. If I had known it was going to be so mucked up by politicians I would never have bothered to vote in the first place. I say again, if Boris fudges this then I am no longer voting Conservative. You really couldn’t make it up if you tried. Is there nobody we can trust anymore? Oh, yes, the Brexit Party.. The only party that will do what they promise to do.

  35. Ian terry
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    The reality without question is very simple. There never was, is or could be a deal, not as the forward planning and future ideals of the European Union remain as they are.

    If the other member states for one minute see or sense that allowances have been made it will result ultimately in the break up of the EU and the destruction of it plans for a Federal State of Europe the foundation of which has been laid in the form of the Lisbon Treaty.

    I find it incredible that when one reads some of the replies you get voiced with such venom
    if they have their way there will be little or no future for this country as we we know it.

    Like many here I have very little faith that the PM will deliver a clean break of being out of Europe. The very question we were asked at the time of voting. Leave = out. Any smoke and mirrors stitch up by him and parliament I fear will signal the beginning of the end for our parliamentary system and all that it encompasses. Regardless of which way people voted 3.5 years ago the general perception is we are totally fed up with our political classes and it gets worse by the day and will continue to do so until we leave.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      as a certain football manager once said ‘ It is squeaky bum time’.

  36. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    My misgivings about BJ increase, his premiership so far has been a lash up. His running around Europe is an indication that he is going down the May “pathway”. Had the EU accepted his offer in full, without demur, there was an argument to get it over and hope. But true to form they have not and the horrors of the May Withdrawal Treaty Remain e.g. CFP, ECJ, Trade regs., ??exit date, £billions for nothing etc.

  37. Tom Rogers
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    31st. October is no longer a deadline. It is now the date on which we leave the European Union. There are no deals to be done with the European Union. Bilateral trade politics is becoming archaic in a high technology world anyway. Just declare Unilateral Free Trade as at 11 p.m. on 31st. October 2019, with the caveat that ministers can adjust or impose special tariffs from time-to-time as necessary in response to political and industrial pressures.

    If any of this puts us in breach of WTO/GATT, then we can threaten to withdraw from that too. So what? Ultimately it’s a piece of paper. Trade is trade. A sovereign country need only determine product standards and publish these and allow reciprocity, mutual recognition and grandfathering, etc., when appropriate and sensible. I assume we will also be incorporating EU laws into domestic law to allow a smooth transition, which seems sensible to me. What’s the problem?

    The Prime Minister must make clear that he will take all necessary measures to ensure this happens and the People’s will is respected – including suspension of the appellate courts, which can be done under the Civil Contingencies Act. Orders of Council should also be used, as necessary.

    If the Prime Minister cannot do this and instead thinks he can negotiate a compromise over the heads of a weary British public, then he may be in for a shock. At this late stage, I cannot see that a compromise over Northern Ireland will be acceptable. It might have condonable early on, if the government had acted promptly after the referendum, and if it had been a purely commercial arrangement to smooth cross-border trade and ended automatically after a short fixed period, but we are well past that point now. Any such compromise will be seen for what it is: cowardly, impotent political class buying-off the EU by splitting up the country.

    • Here and Now
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      I announce Peak Brexit! So far the wildest of Brexiters have said “let’s trade under WTO rules only”. Now we have a new true faith – let’s trade and break WTO rules! So Mr Redwood, will you allow yourself to be outflanked ?

      • NickC
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        Here and now, Do not ascribe one conditional statement by one commenter as an absolute statement by all commenters. That is bad faith. If you disagree with Tom Rogers, do so, but with him only.

        Actually what he advocates may not be a breach of WTO rules anyway, depending on the precise circumstances. Some retaliatory action is allowed, with the WTO acting as arbitrators.

    • Les
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      An excellent post!
      Does the PM have the backbone for it?

  38. percy openshaw
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Quite so, Sir John. Let us hope that the PM is not pressured by the establishment into repeating the appalling blunders of Mrs May. It’s one thing to vote for her deal at the third time of asking; actually to repackage it and shove it through this dead parliament would be an unpardonable betrayal. He had much, much better resign than so badly stain his reputation – not to mention that of the Tory party.

  39. mitchell
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Too late for comment – they are in the tunnel now and everything is moving fast- it has to

    The border and Ireland will be sorted- the only cloud on the horizon is Scotland?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Exactly ! Why should the Scots be treated any different form the Irish ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        Will Scotland have a land border with the EU?

        The whole thing depends upon that molehill on the Irish land border, which Theresa May was content to see built up into a massive mountain to provide a pretext for giving business pressure groups like the CBI most of what they were demanding:

        • Mark B
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          I think you miss the point. The SNP will use every ruse to get Indy’ 2.0 up and running. Remember, they voted to Remain and the SNP, strangely, want to Remain subject to the EU. So yes, I think they will demand the same or Indy’ 2.0.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            It will be difficult for the SNP to demand a land border with the EU, just as it will be difficult for the government of any other country around the world lacking a land border with Northern Ireland to claim that the UK must give it exactly the same treatment as the Irish Republic.

  40. Russell
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately an FTA without following EU labour and environmental standards and without handing over our fish is not going to be on offer. Verhofstadt and others have said this often enough.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Fine ! The EU are only 27 nations. The world on the other hand . . . . ?

      • Lorna
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Have you any ideas how he could do that through the current Parliament?
        So easy to,talk but unfortunately our PM has to,work within legal constraints

        • Mark B
          Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Pity then he did not apply those same legal constraints when proroguing parliament.

          Again, you fail to see what is going on. This is no longer about BREXIT or even the EU, this is about party politics. The UK, that’s people like you and me, don’t matter.

          • graham1946
            Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

            He did act within the law. The judges changed the law to make it ‘unlawful’ by their judgement. Even now, no-one can point to any written law he has broken, just an opinion made legal by the supreme court system.

  41. BW
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    I have supported Boris all the way. However this is the first moment I have thought he is going to stitch us up. I don’t want a deal. Just get us out.

  42. BW
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Sir John. Please tell me you will vote against this stitch up. Nobody is talking about the ECJ. Any deal that allows the ECJ priority must be voted out. It appears that the backstop problem is the only issue. Just get us out

    Reply There is currently no stitch up. If an Agreement emerges then I will read it and decide what to do then, based on the views I have consistently expressed.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      I am amazed and truly anxious that after all this time and intransigence, the EU would appear to meet us somewhere ‘halfway’. It has always been very unlikely. The feeling in my water says Boris/ Cummings are caving in to pressure.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply, the sun has not yet set, but it will do, as it always does. And then it will be dark.

  43. Pete S
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Well I get the feeling that as the gap is that wide. then this will end up just showing that getting an agreement with the EU is not possible. The sat Parl, will end up as a presentation to the public that those who say they will get a deal (Labour) are really just howling to the moon.

  44. Atlas
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Anything that makes Barnier and the Irish PM smile is ominous in my opinion.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:04 am | Permalink


  45. Enrico
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The only person and party to get us out on WTO is Farage and the Brexit Party.The conservatives are a total shambles and the proof of that is to take a look at the last 3 1/2 years.It says it all really.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      agreed — but if something like 100 of the ones masquerading as Conservatives are ejected by CCentral Office, or voted out by the electorate, then some sort of party might rise again from the ashes that it appears at the moment.

      • Simeon
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        Fred H, but what’s the point? You’re essentially talking about a new party. For the present purpose, one already exists, and it is untainted by many long years of abject Tory failure.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

          Simeon . But Brexit Party is a single issue party, and ought to be very temporary. It’s MPs could assist honest MPs with integrity, from say, the Conservatives (you may think that’s stretching the bounds of reality apart from a few dozen). Then at the following GE, we could imagine none being re-elected?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Or indeed the last circa 47 years since Ted Heath took us in without even asking voter permission. All governments since have buried the UK deeper in the EU hole.

    • hefner
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      Farage … who despite seven attempts has never made it to become a MP, who became a MEP only thanks to a the EU’s more proportional voting system, and has never done there anything useful. … The Brexit Party, which for the time being has never been really tested as such, and as UKIP only succeeded to get a number of second- (third-, fourth-) rate counsellors.
      And if anybody still believe in those clowns, what about reading “How democracies die” by Steven Levitsky & Daniel Ziblatt and/or “How democracy ends” by David Runciman. I do not often agree with Sir John, but could he please help keep the Brexit Party stooges out.

      • graham1946
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        ‘Farage never done anything there useful’

        Are you forgetting the Brexit referendum? Without a platform as MEP he would be just a private citizen like the rest of us, with no power and without upsetting the EU would not have had any publicity. How many others who kow tow to the EU can you name? People outside the cozy party cartel cannot get elected. The UKIP party getting 4 million votes and and counting for nothing proved how our corrupt voting system works, maintained for the benefit of the legacy parties. The Greens having been in Parliament since 2010 can only boast one MP.

        What you really mean is he has never agreed with the EU becoming a federal state, forming an army, single currency and a whole lot more. Thank heavens for Nigel Farage, without his efforts we would be in all that, as our watered down veto and lack of power over 40 years has proved.

        • hefner
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

          Isn’t it a bit ironical that Farage had to enter the EU Parliament to denounce the EU? And stop bringing these 40+-year reference: up to 2013, the percentage of the UK population who had any (negative) interest in EU matters since 1973 had varied between 2 and 7 %. It moved to roughly 10% in 2014. So stop rewriting history: there were a few politicians including our host very unhappy with the EU, but not the “people”. In case you have not yet figured it out, the “people” is a construction of populists. And for the usual @&£:;@ ones, populist is not equal to nationalist.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 5:27 pm | Permalink


            Ironic, hmm short of armed insurrection how else do you suggest democratic change is made other than getting elected and challenging the status quo?
            Ah see your point the EU OUTLAWED disagreeing with it

            Stop making up history as you go along I just checked the Mori database of polls

            1979 60% leave

            1992 46% leave

            1991 51% leave

            “In the ten years that Tony Blair was prime minister, British attitudes to the EU fluctuated between reasonably comfortable majorities for staying in and narrow leads for the “get out” camp. At one point there was a swing of 12% in just three months, from a 53%-32% lead for “stay” to 46%-43% in favour of “leave” between June and September 2000 ”

            So you are totally and utterly WRONG

          • hefner
            Posted October 14, 2019 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

            Libertarian, Except if you have some priviledged access to some different MORI websites, I would say that you are somewhat dishonest. The “Europe, the EU and the Euro” indeed includes an index of polls covering Britain’s relationship with Europe, with a large number of polls covering immigration, economic impact, EU foreign policy, a few (very few) stay vs. leave, …. Some of those polls show the numbers you are quoting, no doubt about that, but not for a clear time series of stay vs. leave questions.

            But as a MBA graduate/tutor, you should know that a meaningful timeline cannot be made out of results of polls asking disparate questions over the years. The same question should be asked over the whole period.
            Which is not the case in what you are quoting.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 16, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink


            Just admit you are wrong theres a good lad

            You claimed 7% support nowhere in the entire database is it ever that low

            The numbers I quoted are what the polls reported at the time they reported them , its not difficult

            You made up the numbers in your original post just say sorry and move on

            The fact is contrary to your incorrect post Eurosceptism has been a major factor amongst a large number of the population since 1975

          • hefner
            Posted October 21, 2019 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

            Sorry to have taken so long to answer, Dad. Yes Dad, as you say Dad. But there is a tiny-weeny little problem: there is under the heading “Britons saying the EU is one of the most important issues facing the country” a continuous curve with points every quarter, starting in 2006 with values below 5% till the end of 201, below 10% till 2014, then going steeply to 50% between end of 2015 (11%) and end of 2017 (51%).
            This was last appearing in Steve Richards, TNE 161, p.4, 19/09-25/09.
            You’re welcome …

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        Seven attempts and thwarted by the “anyone but” brigade.

        I suspect that out Prime minister and several other prominent MPs may fall foul of similar voting tactics at the next election.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

        HEFNER : you’d prefer the stooges in the Greens, the Libdreams, the Momentums, the SNP?

  46. Rule Britannia
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    I’ve been saying for some time that a WA is not a ‘deal’, a trade agreement is a deal.

    Yes he must get those changes – around 147 problems have been identified with the WA, many of them major issues.

    I’m actually hoping for a WTO exit since it is the simplest and gives us most control over our future. I see no reason for a WA, especially if the future relationship is a trade agreement.

    I’m watching very carefully and although I like Johnson, if he fails to get a form of Brexit I’m happy with then BXP will get my votes in future. The days of tribal loyalty are over – like many of the electorate, I know a lot more about these issues than I did before 2016 and I’m not going to be sold some BRINO and trot along to the polling station to vote for the blue teddy bear.

  47. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    We have all been wounded and traumatised by the dire May over the last three years that it is inevitable we fear another stichup.

    I want to believe that Mr Johnson will get us out cleanly but I regret I’m another one of those who think we will get instead an adjusted yet warmed over version of May’s treacherous plan and that we will be expected to stay in some awful transition period. In other words we’ll never get out because as long as the EU has an element of authority over us they will increase it.

    • one to 10
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      No deal is better than a bad deal she said, was it 109 times? The Lady was for turning at the 110th

  48. John Probert
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    I think you make some very good Points

    PM Johnson has done well but Mrs May has left him badly placed

    The WA is a disaster

    Build on a Free Trade Agreement

  49. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Outside of the London bubble attitudes have long since hardened over the EU, as Conservative poll numbers show despite hopes of a “deal” diminishing.

    I hope we do finally see an end to this business with either a FTA or WTO rules, nothing else will be acceptable for the next GE.

  50. Chris
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Boris seems to be going for a stitch up, which represents betrayal of Brexit. He seems to be utterly untrustworthy, and, as far as I am concerned, he has sealed the fate of the Cons Party if he agrees to a tweaked WA. I will not vote for the Cons Party again and The Brexit Party will be my home. There is only one person I trust, and that is Nigel Farage. If Boris betrays us he and his Party deserve to bite the dust. The real problem seems to be Boris’s vanity and belief that his personality can save the Party. A vain hope, in my view.

  51. Christopher
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Is it just me or does anybody else get the impression that our people are, as before, walking into another trap?

    And are they, at 2 minutes to midnight gonna attempt to bounce MP’s into voting for a slightly tweaked version of Theresa May’s worst deal in the history of deals?

    Is there something in the water in Brussels cos it seems that as soon as our people start talking to theirs they seem to lose the will to live

    Steve Barker, all smiles yesterday, “Steve, what you smiling at mate?”


    • Point of Order
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      We are not walking into a trap. Remainer MPs are keeping us in one and insist we vote again to remain in it.

  52. Les
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Hi! Perhaps you or someone else who reads this can give a short list of essential results in leaving; and how the law stands in relation to them.
    Because this risks getting lost in all the confusion.
    I have no desire or time and energy to educate myself in EU (or UK) legislation. But this should not be necessary for the average UK citizen.
    As far as I can see we need clear statements that we are to be outside the ECJ, ECB, CU, SM, Euroforces … what am I missing?
    Where the ‘we’ above is the whole of the UK.

    • Les
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, I missed fishing – what else did I miss?

  53. Les
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Is the only hope that the Remainer parliament refuses Boris’s deal;* and then Boris uses whatever powers and schemes available to a PM/exec./government to get past the 31st?

    *I am assuming in the absence of info., that any deal involves a degree of £billions continuing to be paid, CU, SM, WA, PD, ECJ, EUforces etc. Until these issues are clarified – the UK populace is being kept in the dark and fed the proverbial.

  54. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    A well explained post this morning Sir John. Why does this information rarely make it to the press. An FTA with the EU covering our current trade agreement suits everyone except the EU politicians who have their lifestyles to preserve.

    We can then pay to belong to any EU institutions or agreement that it is mutually beneficial for us to be part of. As non members a reasonable premium would be expected unless we are bringing something useful as members in which case consideration of our talents would also be expected.

    Can one of the better informed Europhiles who post on here (Acorn perhaps or Hefner) explain why a comprehensive FTA would necessitate customs checks on the Irish border? Goods that do not meet regulations in either market would be illegal and therefore black market which already exists. And if they can explain that quote the clause in the Good Friday Agreement which specifically prohibits a physical border.

    I do realise that if one is not part of the solution there is good money to be made by prolonging the problem.

    Re[ply I put this all out in a Today programme interview this morning!

    • Bob
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      “Re[ply I put this all out in a Today programme interview this morning!”

      The BBC presenter introduced you as “Sir John Greenwood”

      The program is available on catch-up here
      The “Sir John Greenwood” piece starts at 1:38:13.

      • Simeon
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Might have been worse; Sir Ron Greenwood?

    • Coote
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      If we are not in a customs union with the EU then goods imported from third countries will not meet EU standards or pay EU tariffs. So there has to be a border to carry out checks. OK? So Brexiters who told you we could leave the EU customs union but have no border checks were either ignorant or untruthful. OK?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        Those good could be smuggled as it stands. They would be illegal wherever they are sold so nothing changes.

        • Here and Now
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Of course. but within the EU that is tolerated, no need for a hard border. Outside the EU there has to be a hard border – that is what being in the EU or not means. Didn’t you know what you voted for?

          • Edward2
            Posted October 13, 2019 at 10:22 am | Permalink

            It is already illegal inside the EU.
            It is not tolerated.

            There already is a border in Ireland with different currencies plus different duty and tax rates.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 4:19 am | Permalink

        And the same can be said of items entering the UK Single Market from the EU.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      The interviewer didn’t want to deviate from her narrative did she?

      She could have explored your solution and probed it but she was much more interested in finding out how you would vote on an as yet un-published agreement.


  55. ian
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    The tunnel crap doesn’t matter what matters is the votes in parliament next weekend.

    Any deal BJ come back with will require an extension to the leave date and then an extension for 21 months or 45 months, 45 months look about right which would take you to over 7 years to leave, most people and businesses want it done and dusted by end of this month, the thing i can see coming out of the HOC next week is a second ref.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      What I don’t get is BJ staking his credibility on securing a deal, only for it to be rejected by Parliament. This is in no sense ‘Getting Brexit done’. He is already anathema to remainers, and he appears to be doing his best to alienate leavers. May set a high bar for unpopularity, but BJ might be on the verge of soaring over it…

  56. Polly
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    If Boris has caved in on NI, and if he wants to sign up to a version of G S’s WA pretending that means Brexit………

    ………. will you move over to the Brexit Party and give your support to Nigel Farage who hopefully would restore sense to Britain ?


  57. David Maples
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    The malign spirit of ‘Lord Heathifax’ is alive and well(1940 & 1972), and must be crushed. Remainers are convinced they have checkmated Boris, and if he does extend, the 100 + majority predicted by ComRes will shrink to 10 or 15. The only way to guarantee victory for the Tories is for the PM to break the law, just like Oliver Cromwell, the US Founding Fathers, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela. It will be the end for Boris if he allows an extension, electoral misery for his party and possibly the advent of communism/Corbynism for the country. I know you hate talk of law breaking Sir John, but sometimes a ruling regime is so utterly abhorrent, that morally there is little choice. Long live the memory of John Wilkes 1725-97.

    • Robin Brooke-Smith
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      I tend to agree as this has become a national emergency or at least a political and constitutional emergency. Boris must take us out on 31 October.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

      The law is an ass.

  58. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    There is a rumour that the new plan will resurrect that part of Theresa May;s Chequers plan which involved the UK continuing to collect customs duties on behalf of the EU, and if that is true and if the EU accepts that element then that could actually be a concession on its part, insofar as it would reverse the prompt rejection delivered by Michel Barnier in July 2018 on the grounds that the UK could not be trusted:

    “However the most interesting part is the reason that M Barnier gave. He could have just said that the scheme was too complex, and might not be workable, and anyway he saw no point in it; but instead he effectively said that he could not trust us to continue to do it properly once we had left the EU and so we were no longer “subject to the EU’s governance structures”.

    That is to say, once we were no longer under the thumb of the EU Commission, backed up by the EU’s Court of Justice; and on that basis it may reasonably be asked if the EU will ever trust us to faithfully perform any deal about anything, or they will always insist that even outside the EU we must accept continued supervision by the EU institutions.”

    Or perhaps it would be a reciprocal concession by the UK that the collection of the EU’s duties at the UK points of entry could be supervised by some joint UK-EU body?

  59. Lorna
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    I would be curious to,know what was the response of Downing Street to the suggestion made by Sir John about negotiating a trade agreement rather then the WA?
    It seems very sensible to me that we invoke Article XXIV GATT and commencing talks on a F TA but that is clearly not where we are heading
    Bring tied to,the EU during a lengthy transition is certainly not an attractive situation

  60. Graham Wood
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Sir John. Your first paragraph succinctly expresses the choice before our government, and you are right to emphasise the clear distinction between the much discussed “deal” or no deal, and the WA.
    The latter is, as has been said so often, not a ‘leave’ choice but another form of ‘remain’ and is entirely unnecessary anyway.

    That BJ has a very strong mandate indeed to insist on an absolutely clean break (no WA or WA lite) because the vote from the people in the referendum was utterly transparent and a clear expression of the will of the people is seen in the following referendum stats:

    Leave 17.4m-52%
    Remain 16.1m-48%

    Leave 406-63%
    Remain 242-37%

    Lab – Leave 184-69% Remain 84-31%
    Con – Leave 247-76% & Remain 80-24%

    Leave 9-75%
    Remain 3-25%

    Leave 160-25%
    Remain 486-75%.

    Its clear then that the current democratic deficit lies within our own parliament not with the people.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Well put, Graham.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Graham Wood

      “That BJ has a very strong mandate..”

      In a REAL democracy he would have no mandate at all as he was foisted on the country by an unelected establishment coterie of about 100 000! Scandalous.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:01 am | Permalink

        Yet your party is refusing to allow us voters an election.
        Scandalous indeed.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        MH- If only we had a REAL democracy, and not one where numerous bodies, individuals, MPs etc are able not only to frustrate the country’s PM rightful policies, but enact a so-called law that ‘forces’ our PM to do something he doesn’t agree to.
        A real democracy indeed — you can look but won’t find one!

  61. bill brown
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Sir JR
    To think that we will be able by October 31st to find out, what sort of free trade agreement we can have with the EU and then just leave, sound very optimistic or probably rather naïve as well

    • libertarian
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:08 pm | Permalink


      Starting to panic now that a deal is in sight?

      Whats going on here ? Not very open and friendly

      Denmark is to impose temporary border controls at the Swedish border next month, after Swedes were suspected of being behind a number of serious attacks this year in the Danish capital Copenhagen

      • bill brown
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:37 am | Permalink


        The Swedes have had these controls on their side for the past two years, so keep yourself informed

        • libertarian
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 6:42 pm | Permalink


          Do try to read the posts , I didn’t ask about Sweden I asked about Denmark, its not that difficult

  62. BillM
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Just what is the big deal about no deal? Should we leave the EU without any agreement with them we shall merely adopt the WTO Deal as utilised by the Rest of the World who trades with the EU. China does not have a deal with the EU yet sends them €Billions worth of products each year. In 2018 the EU imported Chinese goods to the value of €394.7 B and the figure for the USA is €267.3 B If the both the Chinese and the USA manage their EU business under WTO terms, why can’t we?
    The EU should be treated like the Rest of the world when it comes to Trade deals.
    We negotiate AFTER we have left the EU. Just as Mr Tusk wanted in 2016. Thanks to our hapless PM May, the offer was turned down.

  63. forthurst
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Will JR vote for the capitulation reported from the Varadkar/Johnson talks by which Northern Ireland de facto remains in the EU Customs Union but the tax is collected by the British government on behalf of the EU and which the British taxpayer will then refund to Northern Ireland businesses who have paid it? Presumably any disputes will be decided by the ECJ? So the UK is given an appearance of independence just like any self-respecting Vichy regime.

  64. mancunius
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    The EU will force Boris Johnson into an NI customs union.
    There will be no FTA: the EU will demand that customs union is extended to the UK.
    It will be a Treaty that is unbreakable.

    It is up to you and your colleagues, Sir John, to ensure that this pseudo-‘deal’ does not get through Parliament. If Tory MPs help Parliament to ratify such a treacherous Treaty, any subsequent election will wipe out the Tories for ever. You need to explain to Boris that simply being a different shade of yellow from May is not enough to save his skin.

    • Stred
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      Honest Conservative MPs. have no choice but to join the Brexit Party. The rest are about to betray us and they think that they can get away with it. Boris is their Laval.

    • Multi-ID
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      What they’re trying to do now is to agree the WA so that we can leave in an orderly fashion and move onto the next stage- ie. talks about the future- there doesn’t have to be a FTA and also I don’t think anyone is going to force or demand anything of anyone..a little OTT

  65. acorn
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Free Trade Agreements do not do away with customs borders, you need a Customs Union to do that.

    The UK and the EU in both the Good Friday Agreement and the Dec 2017 joint statement committed themselves not merely to barrier-free trade in goods with no hard border in Ireland, but to the preservation of an All-Island Economy. (UKTPO Sussex Uni)

    Re[ply If you have zero tariffs you do not need to charge people customs!

    • acorn
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      But you still have to check for origin, counterfeit goods fraud and concealment.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:03 am | Permalink

        That all happens currently.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 6:41 pm | Permalink


        “But you still have to check for origin, counterfeit goods fraud and concealment.”

        You have to do that in a Customs Union too

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

      You do not need to collect customs duties at the border, any more than you have to sort out differences in VAT and excise rates as the goods cross the border. In fact avoiding collection of duties at the Irish border is a minor problem compared to avoiding interception and inspection of goods as they cross in order to ensure conformity with the regulations and standards of the destination market.

      That is why the removal of all routine trade related barriers on the Irish land border was only possible – and indeed became mandatory – with the advent of the EU Single Market in January 1993.

      This was explained long ago by Oxford professor Kevin O’Rourke:

      “Getting rid of border controls on trade thus depended on both the European customs union, and the European single market. Norway is a member of the single market but not the customs union, with the result that there are border controls between it and Sweden. The UK and Ireland were members of a customs union before 1993, but not a single market, and the result again was border controls … “

    • libertarian
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:02 pm | Permalink



      We’ve had a free non customs border with RoI since the CTA in 1923 . We dont operate a customs union . Tariff free agreements do not require a customs union

      Any more news on Faroe Islanders being Swiss or French being South Korean ?

      • acorn
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

        Your usual confused nonsense libby, which I for one will not be replying to anymore.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 6:39 pm | Permalink


          Youve been caught so many times being economical with the facts I’m not surprised you won’t engage

          Saves you looking silly

    • Coote
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Zero tariffs, Mr Redwood? So you want to expose our manufacturers and our farmers to cheap imports from low wage unregulated economies in China and the like, meaning their immediate elimination. At last the truth is out. Brexit means millions of British jobs lost

      Reply NOnsense. We currently have zero tariffs with the EU which a FTA could continue without having to take tariffs off nonEU where we still want them.

      • Garland
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

        The EU will not even talk about an FTA until the UK signs off the WA. Are you really incapable of grasping that? Or do you prefer to live in the land of make believe?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

          Are you employed as a spokesman for the EU?

        • Edward2
          Posted October 13, 2019 at 8:07 am | Permalink

          If there is no deal then one day the EU and the UK will have a trade agreement as it benefits both parties.
          But don’t be afraid Garland, Japan traded successfully for decades without one, and so do many big nations today.

  66. ian
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    If the UK is still in the EU in 2021 net contribution will go up to 1.1 of GDP which is about 21.5 billion pounds a year which will be over 8 billion increase on what you pay now, on top of that 13 billion to NI in subsidy plus the new deal being talked about like Brittan pays all tariffs on goods ship from Brittan to NI, and pays Scotland over 15 billion a year in subsidies.

    So total subsidies to EU, NI and Scotland will come in at over 50 billion pounds in 2021, how do you like them apples and that not forget the 14 billion in overseas aid.

    • K Jig
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:30 pm | Permalink


  67. Lifelogic
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    As you say the choice is simple:-

    “We either leave without signing the Withdrawal Agreement or we stay in for an indeterminate transition period with no agreement on what we are trying to transit to”

    We either pay billions to be put in surender handcuffs or we do not.

    Surely even the dimmer MPs can understand this? But many do not seem to, and many are clearly not even on the side of the UK. After all, all but a handful voted for the insane Climate Change Act and 200 Tories voted confidence in Theresa May (when it was very clear to everyone that she was a total and utter disaster) & many voted for her putrid deal three times. Just once is quite bad enough.

    Some idiots even voted to retain John Major when he “resigned” – before he predictably buried the party – Labour 418 to Conservative 165 – still not quite as bad as May’s 5th place and 9% of the vote recently!

  68. ian
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    And if you add in wales subsidies and grants, you are looking at 8 per cent of England taxes going to subsidy other countries around the world, I don’t think the USA spends 8 per cent of its taxes on subsidies to other countries, and that’s only what you know about it could be a lot higher.
    If you continue to vote in MPs that like giving your money away, 70 billion pounds in 2021 if still in the EU, can’t wait for the crap MPs in the HOC to start on climate change, how many billions a year for that, estimates of between 10 billion to 30 billion a year, I do not see any money for schools, hospitals and the police or anything else, just money for HS2, immigrants and climate change and more for subsidies for countries.

  69. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    No possible deal is as good as leaving without any Withdrawal Agreement and without any transition period. True, in the short term we would need to retain most of our EU markets and a fall in sterling would be necessary to do this and we would be slightly poorer. Set against this the advantages are huge. We could from 1st November:

    – Decide our immigration policy
    – Implement trade agreements with other countries
    – Determine our own foreign policy
    – Manage our own agriculture
    – Escape from the EU’s nascent Federal SuperState
    – Minimise the size of our exit bung
    – Cease annual payments to Brussels
    – Begin import substitution
    – Seek new export markets
    – Escape the heavy burden of EU Single Market laws and regulations
    – Take back control of our fishing waters
    – Determine our own taxation policy
    – Determine our own investment policy (market orientated)

    The list is virtually endless. On any reasonable projections, our reduced wealth would last no more than a couple of years before the economic benefits of new markets began to roll in. And the self respect that our nation would regain from being free would be enormous. Need I mention it, that nation includes Scotland and Northern Ireland. Devolution has gone too far and Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff must be cut down to size.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:57 am | Permalink


      “Devolution has gone too far and Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff must be cut down to size.”

      So you want your (imaginary) freedom from the EU but at the same time deny the same to Scotland, Ireland and Wales?

      And just to challenge you on one of your (imaginary) EU enslavement claims: if only we had been UNABLE to ‘determine our own foreign policy’ it would have stopped us from following that of the US and illegally invaded and destroyed Iraq and all the disasters in the Middle East that have followed.

      Unlike us, independent EU countries refused to become US stooges.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Our independent foreign policy would include aiming to ensure that no single power dominated continental Europe. This is a policy that ‘Perfidious Albion’ has held ever since the time of Good Queen Bess and it has served us very well. The EU aims to become such a dominant power and we don’t wish it well.

        American overseas wars will soon be a thing of the past. The American President has withdrawn US troops from the Middle East and is aiming to do the same in Afghanistan. He is the most enlightened President since the late great Richard Nixon but the world media present him as some sort of country hick. In America, the norm is that the Democrats are the war party (e.g. Kennedy, Johnson). George W Bush was an aberration.

        We were grateful that the Democrats were in power during WW2 but I think that a Republican President would have reacted to Pearl Harbour. After Roosevelt declared war on Japan, Hitler declared war on America.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Did you support our involvement in Kuwait and Bosnia?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 6:37 pm | Permalink


        “Unlike us, independent EU countries refused to become US stooges.”

        True but apart from France most of them dont have a military worth the name. Which is going to leave them a little in limbo if they dont continue to support NATO . Unless of course the EU is planning its own military

    • Fred H
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      -Remain in control of OUR military capability
      -Develop our own independent geostationary capability
      -Trim back the negative and stupid Eco & Health & Safety measures imposed by EU.

  70. BillM
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

    Whatever the deal may be, should it not first have to pass Parliament approval before it is ratified by Our side?

  71. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

    JR, I would be obliged if you could explain why it is not permissible to point out the fact that the economy of Northern Ireland constitutes only about 1.7% of the UK economy, so if people there were prepared to accept some fudge, a special compromise, which would leave them still under a degree of EU economic control then that could get 98.3% of the UK economy right out from under the EU thumb, and with an orderly transition.

    And given that people in Northern Ireland voted 56:44 to stay in the EU it seems quite likely that a majority would accept some fudge which would keep them rather closer to the EU than the rest of us, even if the DUP MPs found it hard to swallow.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 12, 2019 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      It’s unnecessary and confected, that’s why.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        Fudge is indeed confectionary. but in this case it may be necessary.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 13, 2019 at 4:09 am | Permalink

      And what of the rest of the WA ? There are clauses in there that will tie the UK to the EU with no say, no veto and bills galore. We will be a vassal state. No thank you !

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 13, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        Clauses such as what?

  72. James Bertram
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    “The PM has done well to get the EU to talk. He must now ask for enough change to honour the referendum result.”

    And what if he doesn’t, Sir John?
    Will you vote against the WA when brought back to parliament?
    Will you resign and join the Brexit Party?

  73. tim
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    Nelson mandella broke the law, his people are now free. Boris needs/has to do the same. If they cause any more problems I suggest we ask out Friends the USA to step in. I would gladly be a USA extra state, that the EU vassal state!

  74. glen cullen
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

    As we understand it a government cannot break the law nor can it set object conditions against parliament without the threat of the Supreme Court or ECJ

    If the EU breaches its own withdrawal extension Article 50(3)TEU EUCO XT 20006/19 section (11)) with either allowing for alteration or extension can our own government take them to court ?

  75. Steve P
    Posted October 12, 2019 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    We have a deal already agreed with the EU so we can leave on 31st Oct. Its called WTO, both parties have already signed.

  76. Ah!
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 1:11 am | Permalink

    The mistake our negotiating team is making perhaps although they may be experienced and canny is that across the table they respect and like us as much as we like and respect them. The negotiating team is British and we are indeed arrogant. We cannot believe, really believe, we are not liked one little bit. But our team should answer their smiles with smiles back and jokes. They will laugh. Don’t believe laughs!

  77. Roger Phillips
    Posted October 13, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    If the Conservatives fail to deliver a clean break from the EU and trade off things like our fishing grounds then it will be game over for the whole party. Why do we have 2x Dutch owned Super trawlers scooping up thousands of tons of our fish just off the south coast yet the Government has failed to act. This is now becoming something of a joke, why have you only managed to deport a fraction of the so called “refugees” that have arrived recently? It is fairly obvious that the main attraction is our over generous benefit system yet you have done nothing to stop this? The time for talking is over we expect to see action in future.

  • 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.

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page