Deal or no deal?

The Withdrawal Agreement is unchanged, so I have no need to update my comments on it which set out the problems with it, especially concerning the powers of the ECJ and the money.

The Political Declaration is improved. It now makes it clearer that any joint military actions requires the consent of the UK government. More emphasis is given to basing a future trade relationship around a Free Trade Agreement.

The Declaration whilst confirming we become an independent coastal state for fishing purposes puts our fish back into play with the prospect of a new fishing quota and access based agreement with the EU.

It suggests the future agreement is based on an EU Association Agreement, designed to get countries to converge with the EU prior to joining. This is not a good model. The ECJ remains supreme over issues of EU law in any dispute.

The reworked Northern Ireland protocol raises the issue of how could Northern Ireland extricate from following EU rules and customs practices?

This is an important question, as this draft Withdrawal Treaty does not have an Article 50 allowing unilateral exit .

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  1. Pominoz
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    So, Boris has come up with his deal and the EU, after extorting even more concessions from him, has agreed it. It sounds like a very good deal – from an EU perspective. From a UK Brexiteer’s viewpoint, it looks like BRINO and absolutely unacceptable. Boris appears therefore to have sold us out and failed us disastrously.

    However, is this, in fact, a masterpiece of political wizardry? It takes a genius to present the Brussels Mafia with an agreement which Boris knows will never be approved by the HoC, whilst getting them to confirm, before that vote, that they will not agree to any further delay of Brexit. Result – complete neutering of the Benn Surrender Bill and a chance to deliver WTO Brexit at Hallowe’en.

    I may be in ‘cloud cuckoo land’, but my hopes, for the time being, remain that the ‘proper’ result of the referendum will be delivered in short order. I know, Sir John, that you will give the most careful consideration to your vote on Saturday and, whilst you have set out some of your thoughts above, I do not expect you to reveal your intentions at this stage. I do hope, however, that you will vote against it, or be able to convince me and your many other contributors here that our grave concerns are genuinely misplaced.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:55 am | Permalink

      All sensible MP will surely vote against this putrid new treaty. Brexit is not about agreeing to buy and wear new expensive EU handcuffs, it is about casting them off.

      • Johnny Dubb
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        Sir John sums it up politely. You sum it up succinctly.

        • Hope
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          JR, we read the U.K. Is giving up EIB billions of cash assets but liable for 500 billion euros of bail out liabilities! Who in their right mind would agree to this?

          Cameron told us we would not be liable. Darling thought the U.K. Was not but realized there were demotions that made our country liable.

          Why not agree to bail out Venazuala? Idiots.

      • Cornwall Leaver
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

        John Redwood has consistently opposed keeping us locked into the EU. I am sure he will vote against this agreement and suggest instead we table a free trade agreement. If he does not, it can only be because he is afraid of losing the whip and not being allowed to stand in Wokingham at the GE. I am certain though that he will stick to his principles

        • Sue Baron
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          I do hope so he has always been to me a man of integrity. One of the few in the conservative party.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        It’s comically ironic, that many commenters here – not necessarily you – clamour for one Tony Blair to be tried at the Hague, so you obviously have no problem with foreign courts having a jurisdiction over this country and its people.

        Yet all that changes, for you and for John, when it comes to the ECJ, even given its limited reach to matters agreed in the Lisbon Treaty.

        Could you explain that contradiction?


        • NickC
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Martin, I do not advocate that Tony Blair should be tried at the Hague. Nevertheless the the reason that others do is obvious. Blair engaged in an international war to take over another state, possibly illegally. An international court is therefore appropriate.

          Ironically you advocate the same as Blair but this time EU control of the UK, rather than UK (in coalition) control of Iraq. Far from it being a contradiction, the logic is the same – stop interfering in other countries.


          • bill brown
            Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:48 pm | Permalink


            when you comments as much as you d , some of it really ends up as real nonsense

        • richard verney
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

          That is not a good analogy.

          The ECJ ruling on EU matters is on its face neither independent nor an impartial arbiter, whereas the Court in The Hague is, on its face, independent and impartial.

          In Justice, the mere appearance of potential bias is an afront to natural justice.

          • Martin in Cardiff
            Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            Oh. So which court should rule on domestic US matters, say, then?

            Burkina Faso’s?

      • Hope
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        It is Mayhab’s servitude plan with lipstick. Tweaks at the very most and goes against what Johnson said last week: May’s deal is dead. This is not a “new great deal”, that is a simple lie.

        Pominoz is wishful thinking, DUP should have negotiated on our behalf from the outset.

        By the way Farage correct, again.
        Extinction it is for your party and govt.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          It will be interesting to see if you eat humble pie when Johnson wins with a decent majority. When it gets serious, people will not vote for the Brexit loons.

          • NickC
            Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

            Mike Wilson, Do you think all the other 165 nations in the world are “loons” for not being in the EU? If not, why is the UK unique in being a “loon” for deciding to not be in the EU?

    • Simeon
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:03 am | Permalink


      Unfortunately this scenario hinges on a) Juncker having the authority to decide whether the UK can have an extension or not (he doesn’t), and b) Parliament forgetting that it can, at any time, revoke A50. The latter is the nuclear option (though given Parliament’s views on ‘no deal’, one would assume they would fight fire with fire. But, as needed, the EU will, in all likelihood, grant a new extension as requested. The genius of Cummings is yet to be revealed.

      • Baron Ash
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

        Good points. But I think the key dynamic right now is finding a way to change the composition of this hung Parliament. No matter what happens this month in terms of this deal, no deal, or extension, if they get a new Parliament next month or soon thereafter, they can rework many of the problematic areas. No matter what happens – complete sovereignty or mish-mash – trade involving EU will always involve working with their regulatory maze and courts, so 90% of what is negotiated will be the same no matter the situation (deal, no deal etc.). The key points are sovereignty, esp. getting out of ECJ. With a new Parliament, they can do that on Constitutional grounds if nothing else with a simple Act.

        In other words, what’s really going on now is thrashing about until an election gives the country a new Parliament with a working majority to either destroy or deliver Brexit once and for all. Until that happens, it will remain muddled, not matter what happens this month.

        • Simeon
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

          You make an important point on trade with the EU. The more extensive our future trade with the EU, the more difficult, or at least less advantageous, our trade with the rest of the world. Inevitable given the EU is a protectionist trading bloc. It seems obvious to me that, whatever BJ’s bucaneering rhetoric, the Conservative party will inevitably seek to remain close to the EU. This is the conservative course, preserving existing arrangements.

          In terms of altering the makeup of Parliament, which we, and most contributors to this site, would agree is highly desirable, the coming GE obviously presents that opportunity. However, reworking the problematic areas is something I would not trust the Conservative party with. The Brexit Party is the only viable option for this, albeit an imperfect one.

    • Andy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      Alas. This deal will pass. Probably on Saturday, if not in a couple of months.

      It is a terrible deal. So bad that Theresa May rejected it when it was offered two years ago.

      The little economic analysis done on it shows it will cost us £2200 each. The country will be £50bn poorer.

      Northern Ireland is carved off. Scotland will invariable demand IndyRef2 – which will back independence.

      Jobs will go, companies will move, Rights will be slashed.

      Fishing – a favourite of Brexiteers – will be dealt with next. There will be no easy access to the single market for UK caught fish without EU access to UK waters. There will be no trade deal at all without a level playing field.

      Meanwhile trade becomes harder and more bureaucratic, so too does travelling – holidaymakers are really not going to put up with your Brexit red tape, and there are entire realms of extra bureaucrats needed just to make your Brexit work.

      Still. You voted for it. It is reality Brexit. It is what we are getting. You are not allowed to change you minded. I hope you are ready for the backlash.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Andy, This “deal” is a soft Remain – the EU remains in control of the UK in ways that Mexico, New Zealand, and the USA simply would not countenance. We keep being presented with the opportunity of being independent – of actually leaving – and every time our stupid MPs vote for subservience. I hope you are ready for the backlash.

        • Andy
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          What the backlash from mostly uneducated 60 and 70 year olds?

          Bring it on. (And bring your meds – oh wait, they’ve run out. Hard luck.)

          • NickC
            Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            Andy, All British born people have had at least 10 years education by law, the majority by state schooling. So your “uneducated” claim is false. If you are hinting at the Remain canard about the lack of university degrees amongst older people, then you should know that it is due to lack of opportunity, not lack of intelligence. Indeed there is worrying evidence that younger people have lower IQs than their parents.

      • czerwonadupa
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

        Freedom is Priceless, which many have forgotten but not those lying in British & Commonwealth military cemeteries across Europe & their families.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        Remainers have done everything to turn Brexit to dust.

        Thankfully Leavers are better behaved than to backlash against three years of obstruction. Yet it’s OK for Extinction Rebellion and every other cause to smash the place up.

    • Ian terry
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:12 am | Permalink


      I don’t think you are cuckoo at all. I am with you BJ will be voted down and either it will be a no deal or a GE. I do not see the fat lady standing in the wings.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      Given that Labour, the SNP and the Lib Dems have entrenched positions that will not allow their MPs to vote with the government, the DUP will vote against as will many of the ERG, I can not see this deal getting more than 300 votes tomorrow unless there is an amendment for a second referendum which would bring Lib Dems and some Labour on side. That amendment, however would alienate some of the Conservatives and Labour rebels.

      I can not see this passing so the circus will move on, Jean Claude’s insistence there will be no extention will be exposed.

      The only way to resolve this is a General Election with campaigning along partisan lines. If a majority appears we can move on.

      • Dominic Johnson
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

        “The only way to resolve this is a General Election with campaigning along partisan lines. If a majority appears we can move on.”

        But will one?
        We have seen the chances of a conservative remain government, in the EURO’s, DanHan, the safest politician in the world was reduced to begging for support.

        Even if there is a Tory Majority, what is the 50-100 ERG / Spartans refuse to play ball?
        What if TBP win 80 seats in Wales, the South West and North East?

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:12 pm | Permalink

          If a general election, properly faught along personal preference lines, can not solve the impasse then it must be passed back to a referendum with the negotiated deal or WTO and favoured arrangements as the two options.

          Staying in has already lost.

    • Julie Williams
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      That may well be the case but it makes me feel sick that it has had to come to this.
      Remainers say that Brexit voters didn’t know what they were voting for and in one sense they were right: vote to leave and Remain in Parliament and other institutions will do everything to stop it whilst you will be scared and reviled for three years.Yes, that wasn’t on the ballot paper.
      I never want to vote for any of the parties currently in Parliament again.

      • TerryinDorset
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        I voted to LEAVE & am so tired at being told I didn’t know what I was voting for. I did… was to escape the grotesque corruption sanctioned & administered by the Brussels Commission, that nobody ever mentions, as though this is the normal way of working………

    • Thomas
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:02 am | Permalink


      If this is Johnson’s “cunning plan” then Baldrick would be proud of him.

      He also said, when he became leader, that the chances of leaving with no deal were a million to one so, if he managed to get those odds with a bookie, then it’s a double whammy for him!

      Yes, I’m also in fantasy land.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      My thoughts/febrile hopes exactly.
      If we are correct and not hallucinating after 3 years of total stress….. this would indeed be a work of absolute genius.
      Everything crossed!!

    • margaret2
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Pominoz. My thoughts exactly. It’s beyond lunatic to agree to this abomination
      “just to finalise the Brexit issue, no matter how.” Leaving things unresolved beyond 31 Oct would leave a glimmer of hope, plus control of our army which might be the only means of escape. Without it, the EU will be able to come here and brutally slap down rebellion. I’m certain Johnson is complicit and knows that “BRINO” will trigger us signing up to PESCO ?

    • margaret2
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      Pominoz. Agree entirely. “Brino” would also trigger signing May’s proposed “Security Treaty.” paying a totally unacceptable price for police convenience pursuing cross- border crime and “terrorism.” It will mean the final end of our English common law rights, and hello to an arbitrary “justice ” system tailor made for oppression. For example, Govt is hell bent on sticking with the evil EU Arrest Warrant rather than an extradition agreement observing due process.

    • sm
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Pom, I have studiously refrained from posting opinions here and elsewhere on the PM’s negotiations, because all we are going on is overheated reporting/allegations from the media.

      However, like you I have wondered/ hoped that the PM’s tactics are in fact a very sharp tactical manoeuvre that exploits the tangled web most of the HoC has woven.

      Let’s see what happens this weekend before we applaud or weep.

    • margaret2
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Pominoz. Agree. I add that Brino will trigger operation of the UN Global Migration Compact which was sneakily signed last December, and will open the immigration floodgates: ending all illegal immigration by making it legal ! This WILL be legally binding. It gives sovereign states the right to determine their annual intake; but unless we get clean Brexit, the EU, not us, will be the sovereign state doing the determining.
      BTW re money: we’ll be liable for more than £39 bn: the EU want to bleed us white to pay for their self inflicted fiscal meltdowns; this in spite of the fact that UK is in a mountain of debt itself. Add to this mix the coming meltdown of the fiat monetary system…

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        Note to normally-informed, reasonable people: Margaret is entirely serious.

    • Richard
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:40 pm | Permalink
  2. Peter Wood
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Good Morning Sir John,

    In this new proposed Treaty, is there a date specified or indicated, after which its terms no longer apply? Meaning, no ECJ jurisdiction, no requirement for alignment of any laws or trade practices, no obligation to agree or act upon any EU commission laws, directives or the like. If so, what is it?

    • Joe Lomas
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      Peter, take a look at para 131 of the Political Declaration. the ECJ is in charge!

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      Search is free.

      The internet exists, and there are some reliable sites, such as the European Union’s.

      Why don’t you inform yourself?

      If you make plain that you have to be spoon-fed, then plenty of people will rush to feed you all sorts of rubbish, as they clearly have done for many years.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:27 am | Permalink

        Martin, It is not as simple as you imagine. The reason is there are multiple dates – different for different aspects of the treaty. There is the Boris WA date, the end of “transition” date, and the 4 year consent date for NI, for a start.

        If you make plain that you are ignorant, then plenty of people will rush to agree with you. Me included. And only a Remain could claim with a straight face that the EU is “reliable” – reliably hostile and vindictive maybe.

        • bill brown
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

          NIck C

          more unsubstantiated propaganda from you

          • NickC
            Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:39 am | Permalink

            Bill Brown, It is substantiated by reading the new WA. You should try it.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      I, too, would like to know the answer to this question.

      Sir John writes:

      “this draft Withdrawal Treaty does not have an Article 50 allowing unilateral exit”, but now I have seen this quote in context, he seems to be referring to the special arrangements for NI.

      Elsewhere, Martin Howe QC writes:

      “the UK will have the real option of walking away if the terms are not good enough.”

      However, he also states:

      “The most important and damaging feature which remains is the long-term subjection of the UK to rulings of the European Court of Justice.”

    • Hope
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      No. ECJ applies to EU citizens and their families and unborn children. ECJ applies to any dispute over money which could go on for decades!

      What country in the world allows a foreign court to have a say over its own laws? None. Read the Spectators forty horrors and you will easily see that the majority remain.

      It is a sell out.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        Hope, That is very much true. It is extremely odd that Remains keep trying to describe Leave as some form of “soft” Remain. It’s as though they think we’ll eventually accept black is white if only they keep pumping out their fake propaganda often enough. When we’re out, when the EU no longer controls the UK state – that is Leave. Accept no substitutes!!

        • bill brown
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:45 pm | Permalink


          You really do believe you own fake news and propaganda keep it up

          • NickC
            Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Bill Brown, You really do believe you own fake news and propaganda. Don’t bother keeping it up.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:55 am | Permalink

        Indeed it is.

      • Richard
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        And here is a summary from prepared “with the advice of a Brussels-based barrister”:

  3. Tabulazero
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    The Boris Johnson surrender deal is a pig of a deal but either you vote for it or Boris Johnson will seek the votes he need from Labour by puting the deal vs remain in a referendum (and we know this means remain).

    If the deal does not pass then Boris Johnson has to extend and call a general election in which the Conservative party will get destroyed by the Brexit party.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      A Brexit/Conservative Party leave alliance/accommodation is essential.

      • Ian terry
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:14 am | Permalink


      • margaret2
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        I wouldn’t trust either of them.

        • margaret
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

          Margaret 1, agrees entirely with this sentiment. It would be interesting to know what pressure is being applied to get firstly a ludicrous WTA even into the arena and then a similar one to be excitedly accepted and then to keep subserviently thinking that these despots rule. To be quite frank I find it simperingly and disgustingly creepy.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        Dear Lifelogic–As one who early supported (published letter to DT) Boris for PM I think the less of him now that he has put the Conservative Party ahead of sweeping the board on Brexit and blowing Corbyn and Co to Hades. There is no other interpretation to his response to Nigel’s offer of a non aggression pact.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Perhaps he is still waiting until the time is right?

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, you do know very well what it means.

      The democratically-expressed will of the people would now be to Remain, and so you want to deny them that expression.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        Martin, The polls indicate you are wrong. Which is why Remain is trying to fix a second referendum choice of Remain vs “soft” Remain. If you were that confident you would have Leave on the ballot paper.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          Nick, you will never be satisfied, because there is no parallel universe in which the European Union never existed to which the UK could be transported.

          It is arguably the world’s leading economic power, and without doubt its cultural leader. The UK will have to accept that and respond accordingly.

          • NickC
            Posted October 20, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

            Martin, Wrong. I will be satisfied by Leave. Obviously. Can’t you Remains get anything right?

    • APL
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero: “Boris Johnson will seek the votes he need from Labour by puting the deal vs remain in a referendum”

      If that is what happens, then the next General election the Tory party should be wiped out.

    • NickC
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero, The cunning behind the Remain propaganda that Leaves “did not know what they were voting for” was that it a) portrayed Leaves as ignorant; but principally b) enabled Remain to pop up and specify what Leave is. As you do. The disadvantage is that both are false.

      Yet is one of the main unspoken grounds used by Remains, including yourself, who comment on here. No one seemed to have trouble understanding what Leave meant before 23 June 2016.

      Leave is defined as the EU ceasing to have any control over the UK state – lawmaking, courts, fish, money. That means the UK must abrogate the EU treaties, and not re-join via another treaty. So Boris’s new treaty, whilst better than May’s, is not Leave because the EU retains control over the UK in a number of areas.

      Boris’s renegotiation is like May’s or Cameron’s before it – a “soft” Remain. But “hard” Remain lost in 2016, so any second referendum cannot resurrect it. Precedent suggests a 40 year wait is appropriate. Any second referendum now is anti-democratic, but a “soft” Remain vs Remain referendum, as you suggest, is cynically destructive.

  4. Joe Lomas
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:14 am | Permalink

    The Political Declaration is not legally binding, so it is irrelevant to assessment of Mr Johnson’s “deal”. The Withdrawal Agreement is legally binding and it is every bit as bad as Mrs May’s – it cuts the UK into two parts separated by the Irish sea, it locks us into the EU’s orbit. Any MP who opposed the May deal must oppose this deal

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:58 am | Permalink


      • Hope
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:35 am | Permalink

        Not correct JL. There are elements of the PD which gets its legal footing from the WA. Read Martin Howe QC articles on it.

    • Andy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      They won’t. It will pass. Every Tory MP will vote for it.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink


      That is how I see it, legally trapped with handcuffs by an International treaty to the EU, with only the hope of some goodwill promises in return.

      This is certainly not taking back control as a sovereign nation at all.

      I am not so sure this is better or even worse and more complicated than Mrs Mays so called deal, or International treaty.

      If this passes, just wait for even more concessions by the UK on the so called political declaration, the EU will really play hardball knowing we are already trapped in their net.

      Remember “nothing is agreed until all is agreed” another promise failure.

      • margaret2
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        We’ll be seeing a lot of handcuffs literally as well as legally, if we dont escape cleanly; when the EU shows its true face you will find it has “vays” of dealing with dissidents.

    • old salt
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      Joe Lomas-

      “it cuts the UK into two parts separated by the Irish sea,”

      Part of the ongoing ever more powerful EU divide and rule!

      This must not prevail.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      It cuts the UK into two parts, one of which has about 1.7% of UK GDP while the other has 98.3% of UK GDP; yet under Theresa May’s deal the whole of the UK economy would have stayed under the economic thumb of the EU forever; and that was to avoid checks on the 0.1% of UK GDP which is driven across the Irish land border, which in turn constitutes about 0.2% of the total imports into the EU, and about 0.02% of collective EU GDP.

      And it only cuts the UK into two parts separated by the Irish Sea to the extent that imports into Northern Ireland from the UK will be liable to checks at the points of entry alongside imports from other countries outside the EU, and as I understand some goods which were legally permitted in the rest of the UK might not be permitted in Northern Ireland in case some of them find their way over the border into the Republic.

      This is a sub-optimal solution to the vastly exaggerated problem of the Irish land border:

      which should have been solved by legal controls on the small volume of goods exported across the land border from Northern Ireland into the Republic, and not by controls on the much greater volume of imports into Northern ireland from the rest of the UK.

      However it will not necessarily be forever; perhaps at a later stage there will be a realisation that the EU and the Irish government only have a legitimate interest in what crosses the border into their territory, and not in what is in free circulation in Northern Ireland, or the rest of the UK, or indeed within the territory of any other third country such as Canada or the USA.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    Indeed, still an truly appalling deal and totally unacceptable. Farage describes is as the second worst deal in history, with Theresa May’s sick joke still in first place.

    • Joe Lomas
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      I can’t agree. This is WORSE than the May deal. Mrs May said no British PM could possibly accept a border between Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Boris has accepted exactly that.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Joe, not even carpet-bombing the other twenty-seven members of the European Union would assuage your fantasy-based anger, would it?

        Why don’t you just give up?

        • Edward2
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Why do you have be so rude and aggressive Martin?
          Typical remain fan.
          Never a comment without an insult.

        • NickC
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

          Martin, You are projecting. Again.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Any deal must allow the UK to fully extricate itself from all aspects of EU control over a fairly short timescale, anything else is unacceptable and not Brexit. Cooperation yes control by never.

    • SecretPeople
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      In a nutshell. And – that is what we should have been doing this last 3.5 years.

  7. Mick
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Deal or no deal , this will be the 4th time of trying to get the remainder dominated Westminster to vote a deal through , and they think that putting it back to the people to decide is the answer , it was bad enough in the 2016 referendum debates , can you not see the total confusion with all the claims and counterclaims of staying or leaving, we should have carried out the wish of the people in the first instance and left , come the General Election we the people will have our revenge and send all remoaners packing for there total betrayal into not carrying out the democratic vote and good riddance to the lot of them

    • Mark B
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:36 am | Permalink

      If there is to be another referendum, it should be between this Treaty and Leaving without one. I think many here know where I will be putting my mark should we be given the choice.

      • John Fitzgerald
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        But Mark in your heart of hearts you surely realise with a remain biased Parliament if there is another referendum forced upon us the choice will be accept the Withdrawal Agreement or remain, not as you wish! Unfortunately our ballot papers never have a “None of the Above” box on them, and a spoiled ballot paper is null and void! So even with a 100% turn out and a 75% spoiled ballot papers the 25%remoaners win!

        • Mark B
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

          The let them win. I’ll take a GE later on and he chance to rid ourselves of these naves.

    • Andy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:08 am | Permalink

      There are not claims and counterclaims.

      There is evidence and there is lies.

      You can argue a bit about the amounts but this deal makes you poorer.

      It makes your children poorer.

      It splits off Northern Ireland. It will see Scotland go.

      It creates a mountain of extra red tape for businesses and even travellers.

      Have your deal if you want. You really won’t like it.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:49 am | Permalink

        Andy, Your claims are wrong. Not least because the likes of New Zealand and the USA are not clamouring for your fake “advantages” of EU membership. That’s especially true of the USA which sells nearly twice as much to the EU as the UK does. So there are counterclaims.

      • Matt Ryan
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

        It does not make us poorer – it makes us less rich. There is a big difference.

        If I have £10 and in 10 years it has grown by 10% then I have £11. If it only grows 5% then I have £10.50. At no point do I have less than £10.

        The economy is forecast to grow less quickly than it might have. Even that is debatable as it’s a Project Fear claim.

        • Fred H
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          no thought re-inflation devaluing the purchase power?

  8. Norman
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    I guess then, Sir John, despite the intense pressure, you must vote against it, as I hope you will!

    • Andy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood will vote for it – as will all the ERG.

      Remember Boris Johnson’s deal is so bad it was rejected by Theresa May.

      I hope she votes against it. She, at least, is a proper Unionist.

      Incidentally Tory Brexiteers like to complain a lot about their Remainer colleagues going against the 2017 manifesto.

      Any Tory who votes for Boris Johnson’s deal is also going against the manifesto – which has an entire section ‘Our Precious Union’. So precious you’re selling out half of it for your English Brexit.

    • Leaver
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      Absolutely not.

      JR needs to vote for it. 17.4 million voted to leave the E.U. The will of the people must be respected. Bad enough that we have already been betrayed three times by parliament. We need to leave and we need to leave now.

      • margaret2
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        It’s not leaving. It will make us a vassal state of the EU, as Mogg kept hypocritically telling us……until he signed for it himself third time round as did Johnson !!!!! . You won’t take my word for it so I will leave you to find out for yourself shortly what this entails as events unfold, and you will doubtless bitterly regret that this abominable deal was ever passed. Did you not see the EUrocrats on TV laughing their heads off because they had managed to pull off making us a vassal state. I saw the Express headlines today screaming “Just do it,” Criminal irresponsibility, misleading an ignorant public.

        • Brian Smeath
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          John Redwood has CONSISTENTLY explained that Mrs May’s deal is NOT Brexit. Mr Johnson’s deal is equally NOT Brexit

    • Lorna
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Thank you Sir John for your clear and unambiguous articles on the Agreement
      I have shared your vision but we have to accept the real world and with the constraints of a negotiation held under the threat of the Benn Act it was bound to be suboptimal
      I draw hope from the fact that the important issues like regulatory alignment and fishing are consigned to the Political Declaration and negotiations on a Trade Agreement .This May have bern to,prevent the need for binding negotiations without time to do so
      I had always understood we would be reallocating fishing rights to,give U.k a fairer deal unlike the present disastrous agreement ,as opposed to keeping them all
      under U.K. control Therefore during a FTA negotiation Britain does have the upper hand as the EU exports considerably more goods to UK than we to the EU If the EU wants fishing rights and they desperately do,then concessions will be required from them

      It is known that many goods we import from the EU could be sourced elsewhere
      A fact that French winemakers appreciate very well.Californian,Australian and Chilean wines available minus punitive EU imposed tariffs become really attractive to U.K. consumers
      I therefore am much more hopeful that details of the Political Declaration will not inevitably maintain EU dominance
      Global Britain will have choices !

  9. Mark B
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The Withdrawal Agreement is unchanged, so I have no need to update my comments on it . . .

    I think many of us here know that Sir John. It is therefore imperative that you convince others in both your party and the HoC of the same and vote this Treaty down.

    The EU, particularly the Germans and the French, do not want the UK to prosper. They fear us !

    No foreign court should have writ in our lands. Our sovereign territorial waters are our own and should come under our complete jurisdiction and control. It is the Canary in the mine and a clear and visible expression that we have most definitely left the EU. That and that alone is enough to convince many that we have left.

    To repeat : I voted to Leave the EU. The Single Market, the Customs Union and the ECJ. Any part of the aforementioned that is still holding sway is not Leaving.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Good morning,

      I listened to Steve Baker speaking on Brexit recently. Amongst other things, he namechecked a raft of Tory Eurosceptics. Conspicuous by his absence amongst these names was our host. I thought this odd, given that for the vast majority of voters, John Redwood personifies Tory euroscepticism. It was after all he who challenged Major in ’95. I fear Baker’s omission was indicative of the extent to which our host is a marginal figure in the Tory party. In a very real sense this is much to his credit given the appalling bunch these Tories are. However, it doesn’t bode well for his persuading ‘colleagues’ to reject the deal.

    • Hope
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Mark, Do not forget Johnson agreed level playing field so the UK cannot be more competitive than the EU! That is not leaving or taking back control. It is agreeing to be in a straight jacket forever!

      • Mark B
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:25 am | Permalink

        Yes. Thank you.

    • Ian @Barkham
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      To repeat : I voted to Leave the EU. The Single Market, the Customs Union and the ECJ. Any part of the aforementioned that is still holding sway is not Leaving.

      Agreed – So did everyone else that didn’t vote remain

    • Fred H
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      It feels like Boris is doing this to try to hold the split Conservative vote together in the face of Brexit Party. I am not sure this May Mk2 WA will do it. Too many can see it for what it is – remaining under several EU rules, handing over the money that should be down to very low figures, backing off the Irish problem and hoping to maintain his PM position!
      Vote against.

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 19, 2019 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      “The EU, particularly the Germans and the French, do not want the UK to prosper. They fear us !”

      What a travesty of the truth. It was the Germans who supported our application in the 1960’s when we were down and out begging to be allowed to join the then burgeoning EU against the repeated ‘Nons’ of De Gaulle.

      As for anybody fearing us, regarding us with mild amusement these days is nearer the mark.

      • NickC
        Posted October 20, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Margaret H

        “It was the Germans who supported our application in the 1960’s when we were down and out begging to be allowed to join the then burgeoning EU …”

        What a travesty of the truth! The UK economy was not a basket case in the 1950s/60s, though it was affected by trade union militancy in the 1970s – after we joined the EEC. Our GDP ranking is now lower at 5th and destined to drop further, after 47 years tied to the EU. Most of the economic advances in Europe were down to the reforms of Erhard and Rueff, and later Thatcher (copied throughout Europe). EU economic policy was either non-existent, irrelevant, or, like the Euro, is positively detrimental.

  10. Sea Warrior
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    The important thing now, Sir John, is to get out of the darned EU. If, subsequently, the EU fails to act in good faith we shouldn’t hesitate to abrogate the WA. That the WA, in its revised form, still upsets so many people is a testament to the appalling performance of May’s government during this whole process. Re-establishing a credible national negotiating capability needs to be an urgent task for Boris. As a minimum, every government minister needs to be sent off for some training. A week will give them a good enough advantage over those on the other side of the negotiating table. The era of amateur ministers must be brought to an end.

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      It looks like your boat will be under EU integration and the UK commanders will be promoted according to their willingness to comply. A mutiny would be necessary in order to abrogate. Bye bye 5 eyes and awarding contracts for arms to British companies.

    • margaret2
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Sea Warrior : It is a complete fallacy that the “WA” Treaty can be abrogated or changed, as some MPs would have us believe. It is irrevocable. Don’t fall into that trap.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Should this dire £32 billion handcuff treaty go through all those traitors who voted for the Benn surrender deal will have inflicted immense damage to the UK and it’s people. Costing it a fortune and damaging it economically for years to come. No one who voted for the Benn/Grieve act is a fit person to be an MP. None should be allowed to stand for the Conservative party and none deserve to be elected ever again.

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      Boris did not confirm that the traitors would not be accepted back into the Party of they voted for the colonial treaty IV.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

        Not should ever be allowed back what sensible person would ever vote for such traitors? Plus it would destroy even further the Tory brand. Tax to death Hammond especially!

    • Martin R
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately £32 Bn is small change compared to the trillions that May and Boris have decided they’re going to flush down the loo to satisfy their deranged fantasies regarding zero plant food CO2. That is just how mad the future is that this government (and any other likely UK government) has in store for us. They’re not just off on another planet, more like a distant galaxy.

    • Hope
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      LL, Well said.

      Spain jailed its political leaders for along period this week for calling a referendum! The EU remains silent! SNP take note. Those MPs who want to be in the EU should live by that code. These MPs would be hung in a previous era not allowed to vote again and connive with a foreign power to undermine its own country.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:53 pm | Permalink


  12. Dominic
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    I have no idea how Johnson can stand up and ask for loyalty from his MPs after this appalling abuse of the trust afforded to him. He was given a simple remit. He’s failed to honour that simple remit though many of us on here did say he would.

    This is an agreement designed to shackle the UK and place the EU in direct and ultimate control of our trading, financial, political and constitutional arrangements.

    And still we cannot escape the vile clutches of the ECJ.

    I thought, naively it seems in retrospect, that Johnson would prove a break from the past. Alas, no. He’s a mere extension of it

    There is no end in sight for the taunting of the Brexit voter. Only a significant number of BP MPs in the Commons can now tilt the balance in favour of leaving the EU and purging the UK and the British state of those who despise this nation, its culture and its people

  13. cornishstu
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    So just as what many of us suspected it would be. At the risk of repeating what I have said before the deal no deal line should have been shut down from the get go. I think you are the only Mp who I heard explain that the no deal is no such thing whilst being interviewed. Even JRM has perpetuated the myth.

  14. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Rubbish agreements full of Bear traps. No. No. No.

    • Ian terry
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Bear traps you jest. If we accept this mouse traps will do. We have all but rolled over and laid down again

  15. Carson
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Is this some kind of cruel joke? This is Mrs May’s deal, with Northern Ireland ripped away from GB, and the nationalist community in Northern Ireland handed a permanent veto over any attempt to heal the break. No Unionist can possibly support this

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:34 am | Permalink


    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      It’s a majority decision in NI, like the referendum. Perhaps it should have been the whole UK which decided, but there you go.

      If it gets us out from under the bus that is Italian banks before it’s too late, that will do.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      There is a big difference between 1.7% and 100%.

      Northern Ireland GDP €43.432 billion (nominal) / €39.873 billion (PPP)

      €40 billion = $44 billion

      UK GDP = $2600 billion

      44 divided by 2600 = 1.7%

      JR, please could you point out to the DUP MPs that if they are seen to have kept the rest of us in the EU through their votes on Saturday then that could severely damage UK-wide support for their cause.

      As I have said before, and repeatedly attempted to communicate directly to some of the DUP MPs, the correct solution to the vastly exaggerated problem of the Irish land border would be for the UK to pass and strictly enforce a new law to prohibit carriage across the border of any goods which the EU deemed unacceptable within its Single Market.

      Instead it seems we will have new UK laws to impose checks on imports into Northern Ireland from Great Britain, and presumably also to keep Northern Ireland as a kind of buffer zone, free from any imported or locally produced goods which do not comply with all EU requirements.

  16. /ikh
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    I have not yet had time to read the new WA however, based on details I have heard on broadcast news and your comments in this post, this is still a very bad deal.

    I will never support paying the E.U. an unspecified amount of money running off to an unspecified future. Whilst the Fishing industry is a very small part of our economy, it is politically sensitive to both sides and this looks very one sided. It is also totally .unacceptable that we converge with E.U. rules or that we continue to be under the jurisdiction of the ECJ.

    That we can not unilaterally leave the WA is also unacceptable.

    This is a deal that ‘puts lipstick on a pig’ . A bad deal that should be rejected. And, I for one, hope you will vote against it


  17. Lifelogic
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Mr Farage had said: “If ‘Withdrawal Agreement 4’ fails on Saturday, as I believe it will, I think then Boris Johnson as Prime Minister would drop the idea of this new treaty and there is a possibility of putting together a Leave alliance for the next general election.

    This is surely the only way to go a leave alliance and a general election. Let us hope he is right and this surrender treaty is voted down.

    • Simeon
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:24 am | Permalink

      My question is how does BJ pivot to no deal from “this is a great deal”? This is no longer about the technicalities of how and when we can leave given the Parliamentary arithmetic. The truth is BJ is powerless in this regard. This is about whether BJ can present as a credible leaver and command trust. In my view, given all he has said and done, he can do neither. He has not put Farage back in his box, and in truth never had the power to do so. Farage was only ever going if he got what he wanted. Surely now it is abundantly clear that those that desire to truly leave now have just one option. BJ may have united the leave vote, but behind Farage, not himself. Will not just voters but also politicians recognise this and act accordingly?

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        Peter Oborne ,last weekend,suggested that Mark Sedwill had taken control of the situation.

        • Simeon
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

          Are you suggesting that Cummings has been sidelined? My understanding is that the ‘Brexit’ Boris is proposing is entirely in line with Cummings’ own views. Regarding ‘Get Brexit done’, I woukd suggest that very heavy emphasis is on the ‘done’, and very little on ‘Brexit’.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      Boris is still driven by the establishment. He secretly supports Mays abysmal deal. We will now see who puts party before country.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Indeed. This new treaty is still paying £ billions to put on EU handcuffs before the real negotiation even starts. Why would anyone who has the UK’s interests at heart do that?

      • Mitchel
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        Indeed,he is more “deep establishment” than May ever was.Peter Oborne some months ago in his Saturday DM column gave his support to BJ’s candidature for leadership on the basis that he would be brought back into the fold when leader.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      On this occasion Nigel Farage is talking rubbish.

      We joined the EEC through an accession treaty:

      and if we leave it will be through a withdrawal or secession treaty.

      People have been led into a silly muddle about the word “treaty”:

      “As explained in this Foreign Office guidance:

      there are various kinds of international agreements.

      This section is worth reading to clear up the muddle … “

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:00 am | Permalink

        Denis Cooper said: “and if we leave it will be through a withdrawal or secession treaty.

        No. Abrogation of the existing treaties is all that is necessary. A state does not need a treaty to not belong to the EU.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          The point is that people should not get themselves into this silly time-wasting muddle about the word “treaty”.

          “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

          Yes, we could leave without any new agreement, but if there is an agreement then it will be a treaty.

          • NickC
            Posted October 20, 2019 at 9:17 am | Permalink

            Denis Cooper, Of course an agreement is a treaty in law. That wasn’t my point. I have long argued that we should “just leave”, by which I mean, as I have previously explained, the UK should not agree either an all singing-all dancing Wt, or an RTA. The EU is too dangerous an enemy – it would a mile if we give it an inch. We should use international treaties instead wherever possible; or none.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 21, 2019 at 11:14 am | Permalink

            The Withdrawal Agreement is an international treaty!

        • bill brown
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

          well we are obviously not going to be doing that are we

      • Hope
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

        Dennis, as I recall you wrote there is no need for a Withdrawal Agreement leave the U.K. Could so by itself. Do you still stand by this?

        If so Farage is not talking rubbish. Please clarify.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

          Yes, but see above.

          It is rubbish to pretend that any treaty with the EU must have the effect of keeping us in the EU, when a treaty for our withdrawal or secession would obviously have the opposite effect.

          • Hope
            Posted October 19, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

            No, you wrote we do not need a treaty to leave. That is different from what you say above. We do not need a WA or succession treaty to leave. You were right first time not now.

          • NickC
            Posted October 20, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            Denis Cooper, The danger with any treaty with the EU is that they will use it as leverage to impose more EU law on the UK as the years go by.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 21, 2019 at 11:39 am | Permalink

            So what are you going to do about the WTO treaties?

            They are international treaties, and the EU is a party to them*, and each of the EU member states is also a party to them**, so should we withdraw from them before the EU has a chance to use them as leverage to impose more EU law on us?

            Just as a quick example:


            “Members accepting the Protocol of Amendment to insert the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement into Annex 1A of the WTO Agreement”

            “Members and dates of acceptance”

            “… European Union … ”


            “The European Union … has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995. The 28 member States of the EU are also WTO members in their own right.”

    • Mark B
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      Whilst I like Nigel I think his head is in the clouds on this one. It seems the media and establishment are getting behind it.

    • Chris
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Yes, it seems the only path to saving the UK, Lifelogic. However, I think Boris has been persuaded he has the numbers for his deal, hence him ditching the DUP. I suspect those Tory Remainer rebels see this deal as a platform for the UK re entering the EU at a later stage. At least they recognise that it ties us to the EU and does not represent leaving.

    • miami.mode
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Agree,LL, on a Leave alliance but the HoC is the hubristic capital of the UK, as evidenced by Mrs May’s disastrous call and the detestation by many MPs of the Brexit Party.

      Nemesis often follows hubris.

  18. Tabulazero
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    So basically in order to get the same deal that Canada got for free, you are going to give £39bn and Northern Ireland.

    You call that a victory ?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

      The deal is not remotely as good as the Canada one, even without the fee or the NI issues.

    • eeyore
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      You are right, sir. But what might we have had if our hand had been played properly from the start? Given the unspeakable mess this PM inherited, his tactics have been masterly.

      Unless the 27 vote against their own interest we are out on the 31st, deal or no deal, regardless of what Parliament decides.

      Has so fat a rabbit ever been pulled from so battered a hat?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:49 am | Permalink

      If we don’t pay up (and we should not be paying this much) your ilk will say we have walked away from our responsibility.

      You can’t have it both ways, undermining our negotiating position and then complaining when we do what you screamed for.

      Remainers said we must pay what was demanded, leavers asked for a list of assets and liabilities.

      Do pipe down old chap!

    • Andy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:29 am | Permalink

      It’ll be a worse deal than Canada got. Do you think anyone has told them trade deals don’t include services? Oh.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:08 am | Permalink

        Andy, I continue to be amazed at your risible ignorance, though I should be used to it by now. Of course trade “deals” may, and sometimes do, include services. Some trade “deals”, such as the 2017 insurance regulations deal between the USA and EU, are only about services.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Well the problem is that the EU’s very own T May came up with both of these pretend obstacles to leaving and many others. Rather like the horse’s owner T May tying its legs together and leading it 500 yards behind the starting line then asking jockey B Johnson to ride it to victory. To be fair, B Johnson & Co have done their best starting with this sorry scenario.

      The question is whether, having come this far in 85 days, these people who seem far smarter than T May’s crew can take us through 5 years in which the country regains its independence.

      First, having put forward an FTA, and given that NI is now in one, the EU would deserve to have that £39bn (now £32bn and falling by the month) halted if they started to renege on that deal.

      Second, the NI border issue is even now a fabrication. Only goods which are going into the EU via NI should pay tariffs. Reimbursement and waivers are in UK control. Furthermore, NI businesses have the advantage of being able to import raw materials from GB, process them and export them to EU tariff free. They can import from EU tariff free and sell straight on to GB, which seems an anomaly to me. In the absence of an FTA, we could presumably import all our goods tariff-free from EU that way.

      It’s a question of trust. Most folk here rightly had no trust in T May. She pretended to be pro Brexit to get elected, failed in the GE, failed again with her WA and promised to take us out on a no deal without any intention of doing so.

      Do we trust this team? It’s a balanced decision, but when you look at the alternatives, we don’t have any better. If this doesn’t get through, then we are back to square 1, possibly with some other team as hopeless as May’s, or even worse.

    • Hope
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      It is not £39 billion that number was dreamed up by Hammond to appease voters. The sum is based on principles without a fixed sum and runs for an unknown period of time!

      All commentators say it is the least amount to be paid. There are a number of volt ons as well.

  19. wab
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Johnson has thrown the DUP under the bus. Northern Ireland will in effect become part of Ireland. We might as well call this the “Surrender Bill (2019)”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      The DUP MPs should be made aware that quite a lot of people in the rest of the UK would be willing to see Northern Ireland become part of a united Ireland, in reality rather than just in this overblown rhetoric, albeit with varying degrees of reluctance, and if their votes were seen to have kept the UK in the EU then that would inevitably further weaken support for their Unionist cause.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        Easy for you to say from where you live. And what of the people of Gibraltar ? You do realise that, if the Tories are ready and willing to throw Ulster under the bus, they will throw the people of Gibraltar as well. And Spain, that oh so nice country that treats its citizens so well, /sarc, have made it clear that they will kick them all out if they ever get the chance.

        For a clever man you do say such silly things.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

          How is it saying a silly thing to point out the reality that there are already quite a lot of people in the rest of the UK who would be willing to see Northern Ireland absorbed into a united Ireland, and that it cannot be in the interests of the DUP or of British unionism in general to add to their number?

          • Mark B
            Posted October 20, 2019 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

            It is silly because it is not our choice, it is theirs and we must respect that.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 21, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

            Well, the DUP MPs have already weakened my support for keeping Northern Ireland within the UK and for handing over my taxes to subsidise the population at the rate of about £5000 per capita per annum, and I’m sure I won’t be the only English taxpayer to feel that way. So I suggest that the silliness is on their part not mine.

      • sm
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        I could not agree more, Denis. Talk about the tail wagging the dog!

        There is nothing ‘holy’ about the United Kingdom – if the majority of the Irish people want a United Ireland, they should have it. If a majority of the Scots want to revert to being an independent nation, why should their wish not be granted? In both cases however, independent should mean independent.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Denis Cooper, You may be right that “quite a lot of people” would be willing to see NI become part of Eire. And “quite a lot” wouldn’t either. Me being one.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          And are you being helped by the attitude of the DUP?

          • NickC
            Posted October 20, 2019 at 9:33 am | Permalink

            Denis Cooper, Whether I am being helped or not, is not a reason to give away part of our country.

  20. BW
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    I just know without reading anything else that seeing Barnier and Junker laughing and back slapping that we have been stitched up. One fundamental flaw being the supremacy of the ECJ. I just hope that Pominoz is correct in his thoughts that this is a plan by Boris to get around the surrender act. Get the deal voted out and leave on WTO rules on the 31st

    • Martin R
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:58 am | Permalink

      Problem is if the opposition cotton on to the fact this gives them everything they want, the finishing touches to the destruction of the UK, and vote for it.

  21. Nig l
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Yes. As this blog has been saying all the time. It will be sell out mark 2 and indeed that is what it is. Utter BS from Johnson and of course a lie. We won’t be leaving on the 31st in any normal sense of the word.

    Rees Mogg sells out having been bought off with a big job again as we knew would happen.

  22. Pete S
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    It just tips the balance of being acceptable. Seeing the forces against us leaving. It gets us out, that is the important thing.

  23. Steve P
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    The treaty still contains anti-competition clauses and keeping UK aligned to many EU treaties. It is not taking back control – it is handing it over control for ever with no get out clause. It breaks the GFA by segregating the UK into NI and GB, it has bypassed the required referendums required of unionists and loyalists to change sovereignty over NI. It must be voted down and leave with no deal.

  24. stred
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Does regulatory alignment and taxation include tariffs and agricultural standards? If so the much heralded statement that ‘we will be able to negotiate our own free trade deals with other countries’ is a lie. We will still lose our Five Eyes security if we integrate the military with EU. Even
    Denmark has refused this. MPs are claiming that the European Court will not have the final say but the treaty is unchanged. Are they capable of making a decision by tomorrow based on facts?

    This is about pulling the Conservative Party together and winning an election by fooling voters that migrated to the Brexit Party and killing it off. Truth will become well known before the election.

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      The widespread adoption of Huawei 5G by the larger part of the non-five eyes world will mean that five eyes will be substantially blinded.

      M Macron is talking seriously about creating a new security architecture for Europe with Russia-in which case it is likely that the EU will ultimately become a Russian protectorate-preliminary “2+2″format meetings(respective Foreign and Defence Ministers) are already underway with France and Italy-and,at the other end of the supercontinent,Japan.

      In the wake of the Syrian debacle French Defence Ministry spokesman,Jean-Yves Le Drian told TV channel,BFM,that “France is now looking to Russia given their common interests in defeating Islamic State.”

  25. Dominic
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Our kind host does his sincere best but on his own and with others like him it becomes an almost impossible task to defeat the forces that remain in direct control of events. Only the rise of a committed Brexit force in the Commons can the vice like grip of the EU and its acolytes be broken

    The criminal infection of our electoral system. The sinister and meteoric rise of identity politics designed to crush debate on issues that expose Labour’s criminality. And the vice like grip on public debate by the authorities and the BBC. Together present a troubling environment in which the people feel unable and indeed disabled from participating in open debate that reveal the sheer abuse of some of the main players that have tainted and undermined confidence in the British political and electoral system.

    We are being nobbled and those doing it, should they succeed, will take away our freedoms,. without question.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Agreed. And brilliantly put.

  26. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    Half a loaf?

    Please do support it. It is a good compromise and if the Parliament doesn’t, then we are doomed to stay in – as the clever dicks wanted all along in direct contradiction of the will of the People’s Vote in 2016.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Please do not support it. It s still an appalling and hugely damaging deal. It handicaps the UK in on going negotiations. Far better to negotiate without these expensive handcuffs. Also the serious danger is Corbyn/Mc Donnall/SNP and it makes this more likely – as the Brexit Party will spit the Tory vote.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      I did not vote for compromise. If Remain won they would not have wasted three and a half years to deliver a compromise on EVER CLOSER UNION.

  27. Stephen J
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    When Boris Johnson not long ago talked about turd polishing in such a derogatory manner, I never dreamt that he was considering taking up the hobby.

  28. Sharon Jagger
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    I agree with your other commenters here that this deal isn’t leaving the EU and becoming an independent country. Like BW says, once junker et al were seen to be back slapping, I knew it was a bad deal for us. But as Pominoz says, let’s just pray it’s part of a clever plan for the bad deal to be voted down and a WTO clean break departure!

    However, when the likes of Sir Bill Cash and Steve Baker are suggesting they will vote for it – my heart sinks!

    If this deal gets through Parliament, all this awfulness and disgusting behaviour we’ve witnessed over the last 3-4 years from our politicians, media, BBC etc would mean evil had won!

  29. Michael
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

    Vote for this deal.

    Avoid the risk of no Brexit, more dither, delay and uncertainty. Go for it.

    • MickN
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      The Irish backstop was never needed. It was a “red line” put in by the EU that they could give up at the last minute to make it appear that we have won something. The questions to ask re Boris’s “agreement” are:
      Do we still pay 39Billions to the EU?
      Does it give us a date albeit a short way into the future when:
      a. We can get back control of our fisheries?
      b. We can stop freedom of movement and control our borders?
      c. We stop deferring to the ECJ in matters legal?
      d. We can arrange trade deals with other countries independently of the EU?
      If the answer to the first is yes or the others is no, then we have not left the EU and the “deal” needs voting down on Saturday.

  30. Christine
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    The most important treaty in our history and MPs have 1 day to study and vote on it. The people of this country need to be told the full consequences of signing this treaty. How one parliament can sign away the future of our country is totally unacceptable. Democracy that has been long fought for given away without a shot fire.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      We will never be told the “full consequences” of anything. The ITV program on HS2 a few days ago showed that. Places bought for a few hundred pounds when worth far more. A building that had to be built – just to be demolished – for most profit. Places in London ripped from under people’s feet – and now – if HS2 is scrapped – will be sold off for millions to big corporations. And as the program said, no-one lost their job or had to resign.

    • NickC
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Christine, It’s a modification of Theresa May’s WA, which has been extensively studied (and rejected 3 times).

  31. Kenneth
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    This really is an awful arrangement.

    I have been let down yet again by the Conservative Party.

    Why can’t we just leave the eu?

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Why can’t we just leave? I suspect there are a lot of people in our govt expecting
      B-I-G rewards for their treachery. Seems that Britain must be controlled and destroyed, so a relative few get their EU position of power.

  32. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Well done John! No WA!

  33. Shirley
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:44 am | Permalink

    I would prefer a WTO exit, if it can be achieved. Most of all, we need a GE so we can clear out the undemocratic MP’s. This would give us a much stronger hand, and be better for the country in every way.

    I don’t believe Junckers claim that an extension won’t be allowed. He’s the guy who said ‘when things get serious, you have to lie’! The EU aren’t going to turn down membership money, especially if the alternative is ‘no deal’.

    • Chris
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      You are right, Shirley. I think they work on the principle that the “truth” is simply what is expedient to say at that particular moment, in order to win support. It can later be reversed, no problem. What a disgrace.

    • NickC
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Shirley, Just so – Juncker is impossible to trust, condemned from his own mouth.

  34. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    This is all to do with trying to neutralise the Brexit Party. Just as Cameron thought he would neutralise UKIP with the referendum. It won’t work.

    • Chris
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Yes, BT, the personal vendetta against the Brexit Party apparently being waged by Cummings is clouding judgements and leading to nonsensical decisions. Has Cummings been responsible for getting Boris to resurrect the WA, to spin that it is a wonderful new treaty or was this what Boris planned all along? Whatever, they must be fools for thinking that we do not see through it. This is not Brexit, and the deal should be rejected.

  35. Oliver
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Well, Sir John, prior to the third May WA vote, I folded, and suggested you hold your nose, and vote for it, for fear of losing Brexit entirely. You didn’t, and along with the other Spartans and the DUP, you were certainly right, and saved us from vassalage. Thank you.

    But, quid nunc?

    If no extension is genuinely available, you may have a free “No” vote, with “No Deal” as the prize. While I’m relaxed about that, it does offer the potential for the inevitable snafu’s etc in the immediate aftermath to coincide with an election campaign, which may not be ideal.

    I don’t like the NI aspects of the BJ WA, but blame Benn, not BJ, for them. Not sure that view will be that widely shared.

    So, is this deal, imperfect as it certainly is, sufficiently bad to be worth rejecting, risk losing everything you’ve fought for for nearly three decades?

    Happy thinking!

    • NickC
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Oliver, Yes, that sums up JR’s dilemma neatly.

  36. David in Kent
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    While the political declaration is an improvement this deal should still be voted down as the DUP are not happy with it and then we can all leave on WTO terms and get on with our lives.

  37. BOF
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    It is May’s treaty. It is BRINO. I find it extraordinary to watch people whom I have always thought sensible and intelligent stand in front of the cameras and praise the very same deal that they previously fought tooth and nail against. Led by our Prime Minister!

    Trust has been entirely lost.

  38. agricola
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    I pray that this is Perfidious Albion at its best, a serious negotiation that with the best will is not going to pass the HoC , but opens the door to a no deal WTO terms Brexit. If the HoC reject this deal then they can hardly insist that a no deal is unacceptable. That would be an ultimate hypocrisy, which I must admit is not new territory for the present HoC. I am sure your appraisal of this latest agreement is accurate, so gather your forces and vote it down to the crocodile tears of those on our side who agreed to it.

  39. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    A totally unacceptable proposition and a severe indictment on Johnson and Gove. Their respective bluster and smooth talking will not wash.

    The Belfast Agreement is holed and the Edinburgh court hearing today is valid. SNP are correct in saying Ulster has potentially preferential treatment over Scotland – more UK disharmony.

    The ECJ still rules supreme.

    Our FTA plans are effectively subject to EU veto.

    The UK has massive national debt which will increase with never ending annual deficits and yet £39+ billion gifted to the EU is not an issue. Talk about generous with the people’s money!

    Our fishing grounds are sovereignty not bargaining chips.

  40. Oggy
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Well Boris was correct – you can’t polish a turd.

    His other prediction that if we don’t have a proper Brexit by Oct 31st it will be a terminal event for the Tories is also looking inevitable now. If the WA passes on Saturday the Tories are toast. If it doesn’t pass the Benn act says he has to ask for an extension, with the same result, the Tories are toast.

  41. Alison
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Sir John. If we sign the WA, it will soon be crystal clear how bad it is for the UK. Give it six months. Then the EU will start punishing the City of London, for example.
    And we won’t be able to un-sign the WA.
    The SNP will make sure the Scottish people believe that all the ills are because of Westminster and not being in the EU, and will use the undeniable separate treatment of Northern Ireland to support their case for independence in Scotland.

    Could we not use being in limbo against all those remainer MPs?

  42. Kevin
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    The Juncker no deal “threat” is laughable. After working up to the WA for going
    on four years, the EU’s backup plan is to give us the freedom we voted for? If
    members of the opposition approve the WA, the Prime Minister will surely try to
    make capital out of being the “unity leader” Parliament has said it has been
    yearning for. I suspect there will be a “No” vote and an extension.

  43. Fred H
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    It does alarming look like search JOHNSON’S WA for comparison to May’s, and you find barely a change, barely a deletion, barely an insert.
    The blonde wizard is making it seem a new Agreement, and the EU who are bored stiff are prepared to let his media treat it as such. Whilst I am fed up to the back teeth of the whole political games being played as we move towards 4 years of stitch up, voting against (as we should!) may or may not result in a GE which is so badly needed. It feels like defeat to vote for it.

  44. Richard416
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I would be very wary too, there is still mention of an unelected joint committee that can make law on the hoof as well as many other things that made the WA a non runner in the first place. Not good enough and not fair, so just leave, please.

  45. Johnny Dubb
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Just watched Le Grieve and Bridgen on tv. Excellent body language. Grieve hates the deal so maybe……Bridgen made the point that with Remainers like Le Grieve this is as good as it will get. True to form, Le Grieve recklessly referred to NI being excised from the UK, deliberately trying to inflame tensions. That’s right Dom. What are a few casualties in NI as long as YOU get your way? Despicable!

  46. agricola
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    To be specific about your submission. “The PD is improved”, really. I suppose this is possible as it was a rubbish document in the first place.

    Before considering any joint military actions with the EU, I suggest you first read “Dunkirk” by Hugh Sebag-Montefiore. Via NATO should be our only involvement with the EU militarily.

    Convergence and the supremacy of the ECJ is an absolute no no. Brexit means divergence.

    Our territorial waters and fishing rights are not up for discussion.

    I can understand the doubts in the mind of the DUP, given that this WA remains a dogs breakfast.

    Vote it down.

  47. Alan Joyce
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    We are told there were hard-fought negotiations, conducted at breakneck-speed with teams of legal experts poring over minute detail. Nonsense. As we expected all along it was a cut and paste job straight from the thrice-rejected May deal with a bit of backstop and border tinkering.

    It should need a bigger lipstick to get this pig of a deal through.

    • Chris
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Put simply, AJ, we have been lied to. Brexiter Tory MPs were sufficiently reassured by Boris to state that he had said the WA was dead. They were fooled, again, first by May and this time by Boris. The WA has been resurrected and tweaked and still represents a vassal state treaty.

      • Simeon
        Posted October 19, 2019 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        Fool me once, shame on me…

  48. James Bertram
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    There is an excellent summary of this new ‘colonisation treaty’ on today’s BrexitFacts4EU website – see link at the top of this page.
    No self-respecting politician could vote for this – once again, it sells our country down the river.

    • Chris
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Thank you, JB. See also Barrister Briefing Note on The Bruges Group website. Boris’s deal certainly is not Brexit, and I feel hugely dismayed seeing Rees-Mogg advocating the deal. I thought he was a principled individual. Now it seems he is putting Party before country and spinning madly. Does he think we are stupid?

      I hope that Martin Howe of Lawyers for Britain will provide another excellent analysis, as he did of May’s deal.

      Sir John, has Geoffrey Cox provided much needed input to MPs about the legal implications of Boris’s deal?

      • Timaction
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. I wrote to him today as he is my MP. I sent him Melanie Phillips piece as well as the Brexit facts 4u article damming his judgement and outright audacious claims.

  49. Dan
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Although I fully understand your reasoning there is one thing that I would like clarified. Would this treaty apply just to the end of the transition period or are there aspects that extend further?
    Additionally, does it mean that we will have left the CU, SM and jurisdiction of the ECJ or will some form of them apply to the end of the transition period. Thank you.

  50. Newmania
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    If Northern Ireland can opt out but why not regions of the country. Scotland obviously but why stop there, London all the university towns Manchester.. In fact building on the Free Port and N Ireland exemptions lets establish an area of the country that basically did not leave the EU. Let people vote with their feet before establishing a new border, a partition if you will.
    We will be free to get on with our diverse prosperous and civilised lives. LIBERTARIAN!!!! .. will be free to shout about at his terrified neighbours on some other exciting subject like Garden Gnome placement or the superiority of his Franklyn Mint Collection. Everyone will be happy

    • Andy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Dominic Raab this morning was saying it was a great deal for Northern Ireland because they get all the advantages of the single market.

      This man is foreign secretary. Genuinely.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

        Andy, What Dominic Raab actually said on Good Morning Britain was: “It’s a great deal for Northern Irish business, because they get to stay part of the UK customs territory so we’ve got that flowing trade between GB and Northern Ireland. They’ve also got access to the EU single market – there will be no hard border and no infrastructure or border with the Republic“. Which is not what you claim. Do you get anything right?

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:07 pm | Permalink


      “If Northern Ireland can opt out but why not regions of the country?”

      Brilliant idea. Back to good old tribal Britain.

      Our neighbouring county of Yorkshire hates us Lincolnshire yellow bellies and their reputation for aggression will no doubt result in an imminent border war or invasion.

      Rutland has already threatened to declare its independence having a very snooty reputation and regarding the rest of England as vastly inferior.

      Lets show the way to how a country that once prided itself on ruling the waves and a quarter of the globe is now ready to lay down its former glory to rival Luxembourg in importance on the world stage.

  51. ChrisS
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    I believe that a WTO exit would be better than this deal, however we simply MUST judge Boris’ deal against the situation we face in Parliament, the Country and elsewhere.

    There is NO CHANCE of Parliament allowing a WTO exit to succeed. The Remainers will revoke A50 before they allow that to happen.

    If the Boris deal is rejected, I calculate that there is a more than 50-50 chance that Brexit will be lost altogether.

    Remainers have tested the patience of the British people to exhaustion. We simply can’t have any further delay or a second referendum. Both are nothing more than Remainer strategies with the sole objective of delaying and destroying Brexit.

    No, we must be pragmatic : it’s far from a perfect deal BUT, given that a WTO exit is not going to happen, Boris has the only deal in town. If we are serious about leaving we MUST go for it.

    In the short term, there is all to play for in the Free Trade Deal negotiations that will follow us leaving. In the medium term, a future Conservative Government with a decent majority will be able to revisit much of it again anyway.

    But, ultimately, the Euro is going to bring down the existing EU political structures and we will find ourselves being asked to continue a relationship with several smaller groups of former EU Countries. That means that Ireland will return to being the insignificant little player it really is, and we will again be free to negotiate much more advantageous deals with those new, smaller, groupings from a position of strength.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:03 am | Permalink


      I disagree. If WTO is not going to happen then revoking article 50 is better. It gives the opportunity for a party that will actually represent the Leave vote to come to the for. The ‘May-Johnson deal’ does not return freedom and sovereignty. If the PM is unable to set out a certain route from the WA to unrestricted sovereignty in a short timescale then there is zero reason to take it. If the UK Govt cannot freely offer policies to the UK electorate on which it can act then Brexit has not been achieved.

      A chance for democracy is better than a bad deal.

      • Simeon
        Posted October 19, 2019 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        This is exactly right. I would suggest voting for this deal is putting party before country and Brexit. The silver lining is that, should the ‘Spartans’ vote for this treaty, then it should then be beyond any doubt that the only party of Brexit is the Brexit party. In fact, I would suggest that even the ERG’s willingness to support BJ shows their hand.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      The longer we stay in the greater the chance that we will stay in forever. That was why Baroness Wheatcroft argued for the Lords to delay the process for as long as possible, back in August 2016:

      “With no constituents to fear and a conviction that remaining in the EU and helping it reform would be a much better option than plunging into the unknown, they would defy the whip, which cannot inflict the same pain as it does in the Commons. The Lords would be resoundingly “not content” and could remain a blockage to the legislation for up to one year.

      Much might change in that time … “

    • Andy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      No offence but Remainers do not need to do anything to delay and destroy Brexit.

      The clueless Tory leave imbeciles have managed this all by themselves.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        It is a remain Parliament that has created the mess.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

        you may be proved correct tomorrow.

      • NickC
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

        Andy, So Benn, Hammond, Blair, Swinson, Bercow, Miller, Hale, Grieve, Soubry, Letwin, Starmer, Corbyn, etc, are all Tory Leaves??

  52. Tabulazero
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    It is quite hilarious to see all those ERG luminaries trying to find some merit to the surrender deal Boris Johnson brought back after having trashed Theresa May’s deal so much.

    Please tell us since you are on the inside: do the ERG members think their voters are so thick that they will not notice that this deal is even worse than what Theresa May negotiated ?

    I can already tell you that it will be an exquisite delight to see the ERG dismantle its own amendment to Taxation (Cross-border Trade) Act 2018 that it specifically drafted to avoid a border in the Irish sea.

  53. Roger Phillips
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    This is nothing more than a complete surrender and a shocking betrayal of our democracy. The people are not easily fooled anymore. Brexit has engaged many millions in politics that had previously not bothered. If this deal passes it will not end well. I believe this will be the end for the 2 party state in the forthcoming election. I will firmly stick with the Brexit party.

  54. Turboterrier
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    This latest episode of this political soap opera goes to show one thing. The people of this country can no longer expect for a politician to be elected on a manifesto pledge and then renege at the point of vote, because this is what has happened. It is more than time for every candidate prior to acceptance to sign a legally binding document that by being selected he/she will 100% support and abide by the manifesto. Failure to do so will result in the immediate expulsion from the party, resignation and a by election. No more of this getting into parliament on the back of one horse and changing mounts in mid stream. The people that elected them,the party, their political colleagues deserves better and so does the country. this situation that has arisen must never be allowed to be repeated.

  55. Polly
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    I don’t think Theresa or Boris have gone about Brexit in the right way. In fact, I think their approach has broken all the golden rules of negotiating.

    They should always have planned for and assumed from the beginning that it would be a No Deal situation, and that if a FTA was to happen, the offer should come from the other side. There should not be any giveaways at all.

    There should have been no running around European capitals, no frantic dashes to see the EU bosses, and definitely no desperate requests for a deal.

    They should have stayed home, feet up in Downing St or Chequers… waiting for the phone to ring… and if it didn’t, they would have all their No Deal plans ready and in place.

    As things have turned out, it’s been one calamity after another, and Boris’ plan looks like being a cat and mouse game for years as the EU turn the screws on Britain with Brits ultimately ending up back where they started.


    • Mark B
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink


      It was all choreographed. Part of the drama of a Soap Opera. All to make you think that a deal was being done when, in truth, things were decided long ago.

    • margaret2
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      This entire pickle is of the Conservative Party’s own making: they did not have to invoke Article 50, which as experience has now proved, was always a trap to prevent membMay it has been beyond disastrous. But the Conservatives invoked it because they do not want to leave.

    • margaret2
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      Amended comment (keyboard let me down).
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      This entire pickle is of the Conservative Party’s own making: they did not have to invoke Article 50, which as experience has now proved, was always a trap to prevent member states leaving. With a good UK negotiator this still would be so but with May it has been beyond disastrous. But doubtless the Conservatives invoked Art 50 because they do not want to leave.

  56. Sydney Ashurst
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Boris turned on the light and what was revealed – the ghost of Theresa May.
    The outcome will be the same – rejection. The media can never get it right.
    The Benn Act cannot demand an extension.
    Parliament has had two extensions and has ignored the terms on which they were granted – to ratify the withdrawal agreement.
    If a third extension is granted the Benn Act has no purpose. It says: To make further provision in connection with the period for negotiations for withdrawing from the European Union.
    The EU Council terms for the extensions are that the Withdrawal Agreement will not be reopened, so no further negotiations will be possible.
    Is Juncker saying that a further extension is pointless, the PM jemmied open the door slightly and it is take it or leave it.
    Article 50 set a two year negotiating period which ended on 29th March, seven months ago, with the default that not coming to an agreement we would leave without one. So why are we still in limbo?

  57. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I must confess I have no idea what the point of this treaty is, the only explanation I have heard is it allows us to start negotiating a trade agreement – which then protects the EU’s dominant trade position.

    While I believe less taxes are better I heard not heard any convincing argument why we should reduce tariffs and thus starve services such as the armed forces and NHS of funding? A trade agreement with the EU is expensive and merely keeps prices the same, FTAs with the world reduce them.

    I hope you and other brexit MPs oppose this, and I thank you for standing with the British voter, it is clear the media are fully supportive of it, but the people just want brexit, and this isn’t brexit. I’d expect the reality to come home to people over the years should it pass in parliament.

  58. David Taylor
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Politics is a strange game .
    Mr Johnson may have worked out that He cannot negotiate a deal that would satisfy Leavers , Remainers and undecided and that his attempt to do so will end in another stalemate .

    If so , the House of Commons cannot deny the electorate an election in these circumstances , can it ?

    Opinion polls suggest a strong desire still , to leave the European Union and its legal and political entanglements

    As to Northern Irelands position , does it need an additional Article 50 ? I assumed that as part of the UK , they are leaving the EU (Ha Ha) with the rest of us.

  59. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    “… this draft Withdrawal Treaty does not have an Article 50 allowing unilateral exit ”

    Nor did the 1957 Treaty of Rome for our accession to the EEC have any such provision, but nobody doubted that we could leave. For example, at the time of the 1975 referendum there was no question raised about our right to leave if the vote had gone that way.

    As this is a withdrawal treaty rather than an accession treaty it is hard to see why any UK government should want to unilaterally abrogate it in its entirety. Rejoining the EU would be through Article 49 TEU, with an accession treaty which inter alia would repeal parts of this withdrawal treaty.

    My concern about the previous draft treaty was not that there was no legal way out of the Irish backstop but that the Irish government would have a veto over what arrangements succeeded it and would no doubt refuse to release the UK from its grip.

  60. Carson
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Sinn Fein has warmly welcomed this “deal”. What more do you need to know? Vote it down

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Yes, at the same time it unites the island of Ireland at one level, and distances it from the rest of the UK.

      There is NO problem free exit from the European Union, however, except for no exit.

    • Irish eye
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Sinn Fein have an eye for history of course and development. If by some supernatural occurrence they were suddenly transformed into British MPs they would have voted to leave the EU most definitely without any deal whatsoever. They would know by native, natural, instinct what is in the hearts and minds of Germany long-term.
      It is a pity Remainer MPs are so much lesser men in essence than those of Sinn Fein.
      The Remainer MPs would of course have been executed without trial.Not that that is a good idea of course but even Sinn Fein are not completely perfect. The should respect legal process!

    • Matt
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      So has Lord Trimble welcomed the deal- so how do you square that?-

      i think it is a bad deal but it is the best you have been able to negotiate for yourselves and given the circumstance it is better than no deal. The British people were horribly lied to in 2016 and since then the UK politicians have been digging a deeper and deeper hole for themselves.

      Sinn Fein hardly count as they are not in parliament in UK or NI – In time the Irish people as a whole will decide for themselves about Ireland- the DUP will have faded away by then6

  61. Hope
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    JR, your paragraph two is incorrect. Military operations will be EU led. It says it quite clearly. It cannot force the UK to join but once it does the military will be under EU control! Our servicemen putting their lives on the line not for Queen and country but unelected EU commissars! Do,you think our foreign policy or EU will be at its heart?

    Vassalage transition, pay billions for nothing, ECJ apply to citizens in U.K. or any dispute, level playing field to prevent U.K. being more competitive including tax, EU led defence operations based on its foreign policy, N Ireland linked to EU forever with customs tax and regulation, access to our waters and quotas for fishingetcetc.

    JR, tell us how this is not a tweaked Mayhab servitude plan restraining the UK from the exciting parts of leaving the EU? Tusk already publicly saying how Johnson caved in over N.Ireland! Irish already saying U.K. will be tied to EU forever. Johnson has now acted against what he told DUP conference last year, he said EU should whistle for the tens of billions for an unknown period of decades, where there is a dispute ECJ decides! ECJ applies to EU citizens in this country.

    Of the Forty horrors highlighted by the Spectator how many have gone and how many remain? Martin Howe QC made it clear it was not just the backstop. The whole agreement was bad with him recommending an extension rather than accept her WA.

    I hope this sell out will encourage and speed up the extinction of your gov and party. The public will in the coming days become aware of the horrors, again, of this EU rotten servitude plan. The public will come to realise what a shyster Johnson is and how he has broken his promises, including only last week saying ‘s deal was dead. The majority of it remains!

  62. Lucy
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Sir John, you must vote against this fudge. Otherwise you will lose your self-respect.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Thanks Lucy, I needed a rip-roaring, laugh-out-loud moment this morning!

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Why will he Lucy? If he fundamentally disagrees with it then he maintains his integrity and self-respect by staying true to what he stands for.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      or ours?

  63. Caterpillar
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    There does seem to have been little effort/success to change the WA other than committing to level playing field – presumably this is to get Labour rebels on side. I worry about this going into free trade talks.

    The fact that the agreement does not immediately take back UK waters is disgusting. Allowing the EU to benefit from UK resources without going through the conventional trade or FDI routes is a confirmation that imperialism is OK.

    The pressures on constitutionally neutral members of the NI Assembly at the first four year opportunity might be unreasonable (have they been consulted?) The two year cooling off and the switch to eight years appear unreasonable. [If I have read it correctly]

    During the Saturday debate Mr Gove, as he is intimately involved in prep, should compare and contrast transition with no deal and transition with WA. Including smoothness/risk, future negotiations and freedom. The disadvantages of the WA need to be openly unpacked so that it can be fairly tested against the no deal-bad deal decision criterion.

    ECJ problems remain. No representation during transition problem remains.

    I am not concerned about divorce bill as long as Govt creates as debt free and does not borrow through usual system that profits banks. Which probably therefore means I am worried.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      You could have saved yourself all this silly worry by simply voting Remain.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

        Martin in Cardiff,

        I am in the probably unusual position of not supporting the current financial system, supporting some policies that are described as ‘progressive’ and yet also some of free market economics. However small the chance of the policy changes I would want occurring outside the EU (within the current electoral system), the probability of them occurring inside the EU is zero.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        Martin your stupid comment just sums up what has been wrong with the whole process. You blooming remains and your insistence that we have to take notice of your whims

  64. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning Sir John

    If only the HoC would permit the vote to be ‘deal’ or ‘no-deal’, the answer would be simple.

    However, Parliament is determined to fight its People and that will never be the question. More likely to be another vote, then another until Remain becomes the default. That is the EU way. Never forget most of our MP’s are agents of an un-elected foreign power.

    Even the seemingly benign WA holds the UK close to the EU until it feels able to vote ‘Remain’

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      No, the MPs also represent the fifty million who did not vote Leave, but who voted Remain, or who were denied a vote, or who did not care either way.

      That’s all.

      We are all people, and there are more of us than there are of you.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        50 million now is it.
        Therefore there must have been 52 million who voted leave.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        using your infant grasp of arithmetic – there are 51.5 million who didn’t vote Remain. Have you managed to understand that 51.5 is bigger, greater, larger etc than 50?

      • Julian Flood
        Posted October 19, 2019 at 2:04 am | Permalink

        You are silly.


  65. Mark Richmond
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Sir John, I think this deal represents the last chance to do two important things: First to achieve Brexit. Second to save the Tory party from oblivion. I urge you to support Boris’ deal tomorrow in the House of Commons and allow us to leave the EU on 31 October.

    Obviously I can only speak for myself but this process, of debate and delay, needs to stop. I voted leave, and even believe that a no deal type exit represents the most beneficial economic outcome for the U.K. But the current deal is good enough and the most debilitating thing now is the uncertainty. This is why I believe revoking article 50 would be better than further delay. I also know on an emotional level, if Conservative MPs do not support this deal, I will probably never vote Tory again, having never previously voted for anyone else.

    Good luck tomorrow but, honestly, this is the last chance saloon for Brexit. Please vote for the deal!

  66. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Seeing how the UK Parliament has a small but strong core of MP’s sitting under false pretenses – as in they promised one platform to get their job and then reneged on it once in position. Then another core that will vote against anything those in Govern propose

    A honest set of people with integrity would be ensuring that the only way forward is a General Election. Votes in Parliament should never be geared to saving ones job but how to serve and keep your promises to the People you represent. After all it is the Sovereignty of the People that is being trashed, and mightily trashed. Democracy as we are told has no place in the EU, and the HoC is proving it every day.

  67. Ian @Barkham
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:00 am | Permalink
    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Ian @Barkham,

      Yes, little has changed. Hopefully each point will be raised in turn in debate to allow Johnson/Barclay/Gove to respond. If each point* isn’t effectively and honestly answered then MPs have a responsibility to take the’ no deal’ route.

      * Perhaps apart from 2. As a sovereign currency UK can create/print.

  68. glen cullen
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    I feel your frustration and agree with your assessment

    I believe that the government have been misguided trying to amend or improve the TM deal (treaty) and should have scraped it and started negotiations with a clear focus on FTA

    I might only have one vote but its now going to the brexit party…..I wound how many feel the same…the word ‘appeasement’ shouts loud

    • Edwardm
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:06 am | Permalink


    • SteveF
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

      Dope..without a WA there will not be a FTA

      • glen cullen
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Leave under WTO then negotiate a FTA

        Its only a trade deal/treaty pretty simple really….not everything is complicated unless you make it complicated

      • Edward2
        Posted October 19, 2019 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        That’s odd Steve because Japan and Canada have recently agreed a free trade agreement with the EU and they didn’t sign a Withdrawal Agreement.
        I note you continue the remainer tradition of no post without an insult.

  69. Alastair MacMillan
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I have spent quite a lot oif time going through the new WA and the Political declaration and I don’t recognise many of the comments above. I am in full agreement with the comment that the May deal was awful and I would prefer a clean break Brexit. However we have to accept an element of political reality that not everyone who we share this beautiful island with wants what we want so compromise is required. This is a withdrawal deal and provided the present Government is reelected it will last until the end of 2020, it can be extended by a maximum of two years which would no doubt happen if Labour or others were elected after that we are on our own entirely. This is not the end game this is our pass out of the door and the key difference now is that the EU can’t hold us into anything against our will. From a traders perspective there is no longer any requirement for movement certificates which sound harmless but would have the effect of throwing sand into our trade with NI and the EU. On balance this is a treaty which if I was in John Redwood shoes having refused to back the previous deal I would back. Pursuit of unattainable perfection can frequently lead to nothing, time to take a deep breath and go for it.

  70. alastair harris
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    You say the treaty is unaltered but others comment that the backstop has both been changed and moved to the political declaration. It would be good to have clarity on this. Particularly since it appears the attorney general has stated the backstop can be terminated. I also think it would be good to have clarity on how we would exit the treaty if trade talks fail.

  71. BJC
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    The “best” deal does not automatically equate to a good deal, and this rebranded “May Treaty” is a fine example. Mr Johnson promised us his deal would not reflect Mrs May’s “deal”; a deal he resigned over, yet this is exactly what he has presented. We are being legally bound to our past in the sclerotic EU with M. Barnier apparently believing that “regulatory alignment” will include taxation.

    Separately, I understand that the Scottish Courts are being used again to rule that the proposed Irish solution is unlawful. They can’t lose; heads it’s unlawful and Mr Johnson’s Treaty is scuppered and tails it’s ruled lawful and prepares the ground for Scotland to stay under EU jurisdiction as well. Why are our lawmakers routinely allowing the Courts to make decisions on their behalf?

    I despair.

  72. Jonathan Browne
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    It seems to be ‘lipstick on the pig’. Is there though any realistic chance of anything better, given the paucity of our ruling class?

  73. MickN
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Another piece of garbage that I keep hearing is that Brexit has to take into account and accommodate those that lost. Anyone like to take a bet with me that should Labour win with a narrow majority in a forthcoming GE those that voted for other parties would just be told to do one and suck it up.

  74. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Tomorrow’s vote will for Sir John a choice between the Tory party or the country. Which will it be I wonder.

    • steve
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:00 pm | Permalink


      JR will vote according to his principles and conscience, of that you can be sure. His will be amongst the few honourable and honest votes you will see tomorrow. I would bet my life on it.

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      It’s good to know that there are still some Sirs on the honest side. Including yourself.

  75. Diane
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Things have turned out sadly as I anticipated. When the PM said more than once that the WA was dead, I gave him the benefit of the doubt & expected far more than what we appear to have. I don’t yet have sufficient info/facts to make my own decisions on this new Treaty – I refuse to call it a deal. Not that that makes any difference, my vote still means little. On the reports I have read it’s looking to me that we will still have a dead weight around our necks for years to come. What about fishing e.g. – John Longworth’s piece this a.m. highlights some good points ( The Conservative Woman website) How about our farmers. It’s increasingly upsetting to read of the plight & despair of some of our small farmers. Another report in the DT the other day about this by Noreen Wainwiright, a farmer. How does this leave us with regard to things like the suggested free ports, our abilities to be competitive & innovative, so many questions & too few facts & answers. So disappointing. By the look of things in the news, there is also at least one more forthcoming legal challenge in the Scottish courts by a named pro EU individual. And so it goes on.

  76. rose
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I can think of another worry: after the disgraceful behaviour of our own political court, we have to beware of allowing any jurisdiction to the ECJ as these unaccountable hybrids have shown they can make up law out of thin air and apply it retrospectively to whomsoever they please. Say, for example, that the ECJ is adjudicating on a dispute between one of our continentals and their employer, which they would be able to insist on for two generations into the future. The ruling could then be applied to us all. A nightmare.

  77. Mark
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I cannot help but think that we would have had a much better deal had MPs not made May PM. Gove cost the country dearly. A Brexit supporting PM would have ensured that we prepared properly for no deal from the outset, and used Merkel’s fear of an unrestrained competitor on her doorstep to secure much better terms. A paradox for the EU is that competition would drive their sclerotic economies forward to the benefit of EU citizens.

  78. Geoffrey Berg
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Boris Johnson’s deal is very significantly better than Theresa May’s (let alone what Corbyn is proposing which is a ‘leave’ option that remains in the EU institutions and would in reality be remain). Boris’ deal would liberate 97% of the U.K. sufficiently from the E.U. to make worthwhile trade agreements with the rest of the world and begin to diverge from the crazy regulations and bureaucracy of the E.U. The other 3%, Northern Ireland is the big winner from the deal and would in time become a specially advantaged economic trading zone with privileged access to both the British and E.U. markets which would draw industrial investors there like a magnet (often locating there instead of in the Republic of Ireland who were therefore crazy to ask for this) especially if UK Corporation Tax is further reduced. In theory the Northern Irish at Stormont will be able to end this but in the end they won’t – who’d give up an advantageous economic position? This economic status will also underpin the Union because going into a united Ireland would destroy it. The DUP are being very short sighted in not supporting this advantageous deal!
    Speaking personally I (like Sir John Redwood) would have preferred no deal but in reality there is just not the support in Parliament or from Boris Johnson to make no deal the preferred option.
    So though this deal is far from ideal it is just about the best deal anybody from our Parliament would be able to negotiate (and Boris Johnson has done better than others would have in getting it) and it ought, given the likely alternatives, to be supported by Sir John and others in Parliament. If it does fall on Saturday we need to leave without a deal by any means possible on October 31 and as a first measure The Civil Contingencies Act 2003 should be invoked and if the Courts interfered with that in the last resort the Prime Minister should simply ignore Benn’s Surrender Act and not send a letter of surrender to the E.U. The overriding mandate of the Referendum is the ultimate democratic version of the law!

  79. John Partington
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    This is BRINO. Be in no doubt, there have been very few changes from the original May surrender agreement which was turned down 3 times. I hope it is defeated in Parliament as it is just a big con trick,which after examination allows the EU control over the UK forever.

  80. formula57
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Thank goodness the Prime Minister has Dilyn so at least he will have one friend in future.

    Are we being set-up for thirty plus years of British politics trying to unwind the ill-effects of Quisling May’s Withdrawal Surrender?

  81. David Maples
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Can we be sure we can exit the transition period, and do they want us on a long leash(aka European Associate status), subject to rules on accepting quotas of immigrants and other horrors? Clearly, yes they do.

  82. Wessexboy
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    It’s not a particularly good treaty and it’s not a treaty that will last for long, but it starts the process. Since after forty years Brexit is not an event but a process and if it takes ten years to unwind completely then so be it. But we must start somewhere and this is the best we can currently get.

    • L Jones
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      ”… the best we can currently get….”
      But we were told over and over again that we did not NEED a trade deal in order to leave the EU. That our money (£39 billion) was only a bribe to get the EU talking about trade.
      Why have we lost sight of all this? We still don’t need their permission to leave – if this is still representing itself as a ‘trading bloc’.

  83. Edwardm
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    (repeat owing to internet glitch)

    I agree with JR.
    The new WA still has much wrong about it – most articles in it are of no benefit to us – so why have them and agree to them. It leaves control with the EU and ECJ.
    This deal allows the EU to demand huge sums of money, unjustified – so why agree to this?
    No treaty deal, ever, should be agreed without a unilateral get-out clause.

    I commend rejection of this deal.
    Never vote for defeat.

  84. Kate Finch
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I cannot believe the stupidity of the posters here. If this deal isn’t passed, we’re into second, rigged referendum territory.
    It’s removed the worst aspects of May’s deal. The DUP can’t have it all. For God’s sake get behind it, or we shall never leave.

    • Brian Smeath
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      So you are willing to throw loyal Ulsterman who fought for our country under a bus?

    • J Warrior
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly.

  85. anon
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    Options – vote it down and maybe EU law is enforced and
    1) we default to a World Trade Rules. Which can then be upgraded with willing partners.
    2) the EU self amend EU laws to mandate an extension, so we remain as is until a General Election but subject ever closer union via EU law
    3) Await a GE so we can then unilaterally abrogate all treaties links.

    Vote for the deal and be subject EU laws etc until we are allowed a General Election so we can unilaterally abrogate all treaties and links,

    The problem is the EU And Remainers are bad faith anti-democratic actors.
    Expect further repression inside the EU , see France , see Spain.

    EU law could change to ensure that parliament cannot vote to abrogate treaties or EU direct laws.

    I am not seeing a clear path to a peaceful way of resolving this dilemma because of the above bad faith actors, excepting by respecting the leave vote in full.

    We are truly no longer a democracy.

    Therefore all repressive laws should be viewed through that prism.

  86. mancunius
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    I agree with JR – it should be rejected, lock stock and barrel, and we should leave without any agreement.

    It is no satisfaction at all to see that my previous predictions are correct. The EU has basically retained all the levers of the WA. As soon as we sign it, an attack on the UK’s financial institutions will be launched in Brussels, and we shall be forced to implement whatever is agreed.

  87. Peter Martin
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    If the deal, or new Withdrawal Treaty is passed on Saturday it will be the beginning of the end for the Tory Party and probably the Labour Party too.

    The parties who will gain are the Lib Dems and the Brexit Party. Instead of the old class based political divide we’ll have a new divide based on our position wrt the EU.

    On the one side we’ll have the supposedly Progressive Liberals of the political centre. On the other we’ll have an alliance of the more Nationalist right and a large section of the Northern working class left. I’d include myself in the latter BTW!

    • L Jones
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      The other parties will gain IF we’re allowed to hold a GE on our own terms. If it’s under the EU’s terms, we can wave goodbye to our idea of ”free and fair”. They won’t want a Brexit Party gumming up their works.

  88. BillM
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    We voted to leave and ‘leave’ means ‘depart from permanently’. Does this “new” plan meet those requirements? No.
    Boris has a serious problem because of the British Law that was brought about by those who wish to undermine democracy in this country. He cannot walk away with a No Deal so his hands are tied.
    Therefore, any deal MUST be made valid for a short conditional period up to the next general Election or no later than May 31st 2022. At which time the Government so elected will be able to amend the deal in any way they see fit or withdraw from it altogether.
    It is a ludicrous situation that the people and the future of this country are being held to ransom by a selection of MPs who defied their own Act of Parliament to honour Brexit and totally ignored their own Party manifestos, their policies upon which these MPs were elected. If that is OK by British Law then the law stinks and most certainly favours more the Establishment but not the people and definitely not our democracy.

  89. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just seen the DUP MP Sammy Wilson describe this deal as “toxic”.

    Well, proverbially one man’s meat is another man’s poison, and in this case while it is true that people living in Northern Ireland, who number fewer than 2 million, would not have the benefit of being immediately released from the plethora of EU rules there are about 66 million people in the rest of the UK who would so benefit.

    In effect Sammy Wilson is saying that 100% of the UK population must continue to share the same EU-related disadvantages as would otherwise be imposed on just the 3% living in Northern Ireland, and to be honest I personally see that as quite a big ask given that the 66 million are already subsidising the 2 million, reportedly to the tune of about £11 billion a year, and indeed they might be better able to do that once they were out from under the economic thumb of the EU.

    Moreover I have repeatedly tried to point out to DUP MPs, as to others, that the best way to get round the mountain that has been built up out a molehill on the Irish border is for the UK to enact and enforce export control laws, not to have Northern Ireland as a kind of buffer zone to protect the EU Single Market.

    From September 21 2018:

    “Brexit – time to mind our own business?”

    “I was amused to read about “perfidious Albion” … when we have the Irish Government scheming to keep a part of the United Kingdom under EU economic control, ostensibly to act as a kind of buffer zone to protect the Irish market and the wider EU Single Market from unwanted goods such as US-style “chlorinated chicken” … “

    • rose
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

      “In effect Sammy Wilson is saying that 100% of the UK population must continue to share the same EU-related disadvantages as would otherwise be imposed on just the 3% living in Northern Ireland, and to be honest I personally see that as quite a big ask given that the 66 million are already subsidising the 2 million, reportedly to the tune of about £11 billion a year, and indeed they might be better able to do that once they were out from under the economic thumb of the EU.”

      Not fair. He would much rather leave without an agreement and if his boss Nigel Dodds had been in charge of the negotiations we would have been long out, and with a much better arrangement.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 19, 2019 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        But that is not where we are, is it.

        I could equally well say that if Theresa May had taken up my suggestion that the UK should offer to enact and enforce export control laws so that there would be no new need for the Irish to intercept and inspect goods as they crossed over the land border from Northern Ireland then that would have been a much better solution to that problem, and the DUP would not now be objecting to the crazy scheme that was originally thought up by Olly Robbins.

        From May 2018:

        “… here is a letter I have sent to my local newspaper, which happens to be that for Theresa May’s constituency.

        “Dear Sir

        I was staggered to read this in a Sunday newspaper, referring to Theresa May’s preferred plan for a crazy “customs partnership” with the EU:

        “Mrs May’s No 10 Brexit adviser, Olly Robbins, has told her that the ‘partnership’ is the only idea which will allow the UK to cut new trade deals while avoiding the need for a hard border in Ireland …”

        I suggest Mrs May should get herself a new Brexit adviser who will not talk such nonsense … “

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 19, 2019 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      US style chlorinated chicken.

      Ah. That’ll be the Colonel’s secret ingredient then.

      What does it matter when it’s going to be fed to chronically obese people who like it in a bucket, deep fried with a supersized portion of fries and a gallon of Coke ?

      The least of the health issues here is chlorine. The only protectionism is economic.

  90. ian
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    I am just waiting for calls for a ref in NI and kown what happens if they do not have one?

  91. Gareth Warren
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    I hope you make the best decision, this talk of losing brexit is a sham, the people are more for it now then ever before.

    But would signing up to it get brexit closer or allow us to fix its flaws later? I believe we will likely get out whatever now in the end, people will likely look back and wonder what all the fuss was about a deal.

  92. Chris
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    See Martin Howe’s piece, Lawyers for Britain, about the pitfalls of Boris’s deal.
    NB the title in the link is HIGHLY MISLEADING, and has already been quoted to indicate that Howe approves of Boris’s deal He does not.

    Howe examines first of all the few plus points of the deal and says that Boris’s deal is not quite as bad as May’s deal which was appalling. However, he then goes on to look at the “severely negative features” of Boris’s deal and this is what Tory MPs should heed. One example quoted below from Howe’s article:

    “.….but the revised WA still contains many severely negative features. …..unfortunately the actual WA text itself, as negotiated and serially capitulated by Theresa May, will be untouched. The most important and damaging feature which remains is the long term subjection of the UK to rulings by the ECJ….”

    • stred
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      This is very helpful. It confirms that it would be possible to walk away eventually. The bias of the ECJ without any participation of British judges is a problem but would having British judges such as those in our own Supreme Court be any better?They already work for the EU against us.
      The danger is that the traitorous MPs will refuse an election and collaborate with the Commission to delay and subvert Brexit. Voting tactically to pass the Boris capitulation could be better than letting Benn, Grieve, Starmer, Letwin, Bercow and the many others working for the other side hold the electorate in contempt. There is no moral duty to abide by the rules once these treacherous MPs have been identified and alternative candidates become available. Tear the rotten document up.

  93. lojolondon
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Firstly, full marks to the PM, we always knew you could make the EU change their position. Secondly, please see this very good article, detailing 40 major flaws with Mrs May’s WA.
    So, with the backstop removed, there remain 39 Billion and 39 major problems with “the deal”. That is 39,000,000,039.
    NO DEAL is better than a bad deal.

  94. Remington Norman
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Please would someone kindly explain why were are giving £33 bn to the EU without any discernible benefit. I trust those who vote for this appalling ‘deal’ will explain to their constituents why we have no money left for police, NHS, social services, potholes and the rest of our crumbling infrastructure if this passes the HOC.

  95. ian
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    When will people in NI start paying 23% VAT and are they going to be compensated by the Treasury, are they still fully in the UK or not.

  96. Trumpeteer
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    LIVE: President Donald Trump Holds MASSIVE Rally in Dallas, TX 10/17/19 ( 17/10/19 in proper English )
    20,000 plus audience plus many more online, on just this amateur network Speech proper starts about 5.53 in and the audio-visual reception improves ongoing.
    .Other networks don’t show the crowd which is large.
    The re-election is a year away. So not so many turned up, I guess.
    408,000 viewed online since last night

  97. acorn
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Oh dear! I suggest a Redwoodian Brexit eulogy. Never have so few, being so dumb, got it so wrong for so long. Regards from Dubai where everyone thinks the UK has gone mad.

    • steve
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:51 pm | Permalink


      Oh they’re not so dumb, far from it. They know exactly what they’re doing, i.e ‘having us over’ again !

      But they do have one serious dumb – ass flaw, which is that they stupidly believe we’ll play nice at the next general election. Their arrogance prevents them from realising the seething anger that awaits. We’ll get them, be of no doubt.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Stay there acorn.

    • Mark B
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      No acorn, we have not ALL gone mad. Just the political class and the establishment.

      How’s Dubai ? It’s raining here 🙁

  98. Phil_Richmond
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    I think how pleased our EU enemies looked tells the story. These evil dangerous empire builders in the name of Tusk, Juncker, Verhofstaft, Shultz, Van Der Leyen looked like the cat that got the cream.
    This ‘deal’ makes us into a colony.
    Vote it down.

    • Andy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      They are not our enemies. They are our friends.

      You need to realise the war ended 74 years ago.

      • Fred H
        Posted October 19, 2019 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        I thought you could choose your friends. We are stuck with them in the prison cell.

    • Matt
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Not exactly a colony..more like a vassalage

  99. Andrew S
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully there will be enough true brexit mps to vote this sham deal down. Leave no deal regardless. Then force an election, then we’ll see.

  100. Peter
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    What I find particularly interesting today is that this deal is barely distinguishable from the one that led Boris Johnson to resign as Foreign Secretary in July last year.

    I wonder what new information he has gathered in the last year that has led to this change of heart.

  101. Sybil waller
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    Hold your nose, vote for it, then walk away from it when the EU demonstrates that they do not intend to negotiate in good faith, which they will surely do.

    • Matt
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      How do you know this Sybil? why should the EU not negotiate in good faith- By the time it gets to negotiating the future there will be a completely new set of people there- probably on both sides. Makes me wonder how you can allow yourself to be so taken with a body that is not even a country?

  102. a-tracy
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

    I’m glad I’m not you John, damned if you do, damned if you don’t. We all are well aware you feel No Deal is the way forward, just leave. Your government has been handcuffed by the Benn Act on ‘No deal’ an act put into place with the help of Tory MPs who are now surprised their associations don’t want them to represent them.

    Is this deal better than remaining or not to you?

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Is it true or not that the UK would remain in a transition until December 2020, during which most aspects of EU law would continue to apply?

      • Fred H
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:42 pm | Permalink


      • steve
        Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:43 pm | Permalink


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


  103. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    I hope that parliament votes it down, but only if Boris Johnson has the courage to go for broke and refuse to sign the Benn Act letter. As I have argued before, the Benn Act is unconstitutional because of the way that Speaker Bercow conducted himself during the passage of the Bill and the rulings that he made. The reality is that the Bill was a money Bill and it received inadequate scrutiny in the commons (three readings in four hours flat).

  104. Jack Falstaff
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    If politicians try to push for a public vote in the form of a second referendum of any kind, you can be sure that it is only a ruse to avoid a General Election and secure them more time in their seats to perpetuate this wholly unsavoury disconnect between the electorate and parliament.
    If you think they have your interests at heart by asking for a second referendum, please think again.
    Expect some highly obstructionist motions to support this strategy, which shall of course be admitted by the self-evidently partisan speaker.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Too bloody right jack

  105. L Jones
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    On the web site Mr Johnson (along with 45 others, including our host) PLEDGED: ”…to commit to leaving the EU on 31st October and abandoning Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement as dead.”
    I may be old-fashioned, but to me a ”pledge” has something to do with honour. Mr Johnson has broken this pledge as the WA remains unchanged. Our host tells us so, and he, without any doubt, is an honourable man.

  106. Sybil waller
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I’ve changed my mind. You really can’t in good conscience sign this. It is still in essence the original treaty.

  107. Rule Britannia
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

    All good points, I hope you will vote against it and that leads to a WTO exit.

    However, if Boris has pinned his hopes of thwarting the Surrender Bill on this… at least a vote against this will now be seen as a vote for “No Deal” as in no WA, so the Surrender bill is in abeyance for now… until the seize control of the order paper again next week and get up to more remoaner antics.

    However, perhaps that will be the time to refuse Royal Assent and make clear that they need to be come the government if they want to do things that governments do – albeit with having set a precedent by allowing the previous Bill through.

    Let’s vote it down and continue as we were. We have a democratic mandate that is yet to be enacted – that won’t go away even if they can hold out against the people for 3 years to the end of this parliamentary term (which is very unlikely).

    • Rule Britannia
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Actually since I posted above I’ve had time to read around this more and I think the article may be doing the deal an injustice.

      The WA has been changed with respect to the backstop and the level playing field provisions, such as they are, have been moved to the PD.

      That means the EU have no long-term leverage over any future FTA, such as locking us into a CU, and the WA will cease to have effect from the end of next year. Both sides will be able to agree or not agree things in trade negotiations without any obligation being established in the WA.

      I don’t think it’s that bad and the Open Europe guy providing his analysis over on Conservative Home seems to think it’s just about ok.

      So maybe this is worth voting for. The tricky bit is when the remoaners try to amend the Bill (but why put it up next week? better to wait until after 31/10 so that the govt can pull it and leave on WTO terms if they wish).

  108. David J
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    An attempt at a complete sell out: May WA version 4.
    Not leaving the EU Empire. Massive divorce bill. ECJ remains the top court. Broken Union.
    Turns out that Boris is not the genius people hoped he might be (it was always a tough call!)
    If the surrender act is agreed tomorrow, it will kill off the Brexit Party. That will reduce Parliament back to two horse race. Conservatives may actually deny Brexit but win a GE!! Not with my vote

    • Martyn Scott
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      If this Withdrawl Treaty is agreed in Parliament tomorrow (and the huge flaws are being exposed in the press and social media) by both Tory and Labour Brexit constituency MPs it will fuel the rise of The Brexit Party, particularly in the most effected areas of the country. This battle has a long way to run.

    • Sue Baron
      Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Boris Johnson is light weight in any ones standards. It was the members rights to vote in who they thought was right for that role, and we can only say differently during an election.

      As a former conservative member I wanted to believe his words, but like on so many matters managed by Boris he is just a let down and I will continue to vote Brexit Party.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted October 19, 2019 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      Yes I can see a lot of conservatives refusing to vote for the party after this pale imitation of a proper Brexit.

  109. Derek Henry
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I am in quite a good mood John.

    I think the liberal left and liberal right will over play their hand tomorrow.

    Push thousands of voters into the hands of Nigel.

    Let’s see what the reaction is of soft remainers and soft leaver voters is in Monday morning who want this done tomorrow.

  110. ferdinand
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    This is another curates egg. Some people whose opinions I respect are now perpared to vote for Boris’s deal yet others llike yourself are reluctant to do so. I think Boris has boosted his election opportunity so that may well be the best way of solving the issue.

  111. miami.mode
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    Brilliant little summation in the Graun.

    Will MPs know the full implications of the deal (when they vote)?

    Answer: Not really.

  112. steve
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    David J

    “If the surrender act is agreed tomorrow, it will kill off the Brexit Party. That will reduce Parliament back to two horse race. Conservatives may actually deny Brexit but win a GE!! Not with my vote”

    David, I share your sentiment as regards not voting conservative.

    However I don’t see the end of the brexit party as being the end of Mr Farage. Nor do I believe the conservatives would win an election, if anything they’ll go down spectacularly along with Labour and the Libs. Reason: the cat is out of the bag now and everyone knows the job of MP’s and Ministers is nothing other than to crap all over us.

    In many ways brexit has been quite an eye opener. We, the people are the highest court in the land… will be demonstrated at the next general election when we hold them all to account for their treachery, corruption and cowardice.

  113. BillM
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    A straight forward question, SJ. Will you be For or Against this new Agreement?
    I, personally am against it because it does not fulfill the requirements of our majority Leave vote.
    I am influenced by the summary from the Bruges Group. Is it similar to your own interpretation?

    h t t p s : / / w w w . b r u g e s g r o u p . c o m / b l o g / t h e – r e v i s e d – w i t h d r a w a l – a g r e e m e n t – a n d – p o l i t i c a l – d e c l a r a t i o n – a – b r i e f i n g – n o t e

  114. Wokingham Mum
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Vote against it and there will be no brexit. All over, brexit will have been defeated by the brexitiers

  115. Eh?
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    Catalon separatists went on general strike against themselves in Barcelona bringing themselves to a halt.
    Have the SNP been advising them?

  116. Secret whispers
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Letwin is said to be putting his Amendment in. It’s an honourable position he takes, we can’t rob him of that.

    • Fred H
      Posted October 19, 2019 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      honourable? — The action of a spoilt brat loser.

  117. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    So we’re hearing that nearly all the ERG are intending to back the deal, thus selling out your DUP mates. We know that your leader, Rees-Mogg, had a thorough education in the Classics…but he seems to have forgotten that the Spartans didn’t surrender!

  118. glen cullen
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I’ve heard throughout the day many Tory MPs describing the deal as great for NI, in fact they conclude that NI will have the best of both worlds and it will increase there economic base…..if the deals that good why isn’t the same condition being introduced throughout the UK

  119. miami.mode
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Ambrose in the Telegraph hits the nail on the head when he says that if we sign the Withdrawal Agreement we will pay £30+billion to talk to the EU about trade and at the end of the implementation period we will probably be back in the same position as we are now.

  120. Elli Ron
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    The 39bn question: Is this deal “good enough”, as people above point out, it has more serious flaws for us than flies in Brussels.
    It is likely to fail on Saturday and the trajectory from there may bring a WTO exit or perhaps an extension and a GE.
    I hope that Sir Redwood will vote against it, but as always, I will respect his decision knowing it was done in the best interest of the country.

  121. Iain Gill
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

    my preferred outcome:

    parliament votes against the deal
    EU rejects extension, and we leave immediately WTO only
    general election, Brexit Party win

  122. Slackwater
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Deal or no deal – quite honestly not many of the rest of us europeans give two figs if you leave or if you stay – at this stage we have had enough of your prima donna stuff

  123. Sue Baron
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    This treaty should not be agreed to by Parliament it has hardly changed at all. It is not-an arrangement where two parties respect what the other has to offer longterm, it is the EU simply ensuring we can never function again properly as a country. I expect a clean break brexit so as to be free of this Frankenstein that has been created called the EU.

    Johnson is spinning as he always does on matters but I’m afraid on this the consequences are to great to laugh off his childish behaviour. Disgraceful.

  124. mancunius
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    In a message sent out today to all Conservative party members, the Chairman announces blithely : “We’re getting Brexit done – because with Brexit out of the way, we can focus on our priorities like the NHS, police and schools.”
    There you are – Brexit is an inconvenience to the Tory Party, to be ‘got out of the way’ so they can ‘focus’ on not having a majority with which to implement any policy whatsoever.

    It doesn’t occur to Cleverly that a) it’s not out of the way, it just carries on unfnished, and b) if properly implemented it should demand a complete rethink of government policy in all areas.

  125. margaret howard
    Posted October 18, 2019 at 10:10 pm | Permalink


    “It now makes it clearer that any joint military actions requires the consent of the UK government.”

    That’s more than we get when we follow the US into yet more illegal invasions and wars into countries like Iraq and all that followed. And we get nothing from them in return.

    • Ben
      Posted October 19, 2019 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      Its not true. We are legally bound never to act against EU foreign policy, in military or speech. Either Sir John did not do his homework or he thinks his party unity is more important than betraying his country. Your party will never be forgiven if you pass this bill.

  126. Freeborn John
    Posted October 19, 2019 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    Hang firm Sir John and try not to vote for this this deal. No deal is better than a poor Boris deal and not just May’s bad deal. But make sure you are in the next parliament because we don’t want Philip Lee having any chance of winning Wokingham and we need you there when FTAs are been voted on, including what is almost guaranteed to be a bad one with the EU.

  127. Roger Phillips
    Posted October 19, 2019 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Out of interest I have spent several hours this morning reading through thousands of reader comments on various media articles regarding this “deal” and I can honestly say the people of the UK are not going to be fooled into accepting it and this will prove fatal to the Conservative party at the next election. The deal is a complete betrayal of our democracy and country. You will never be forgiven should you vote for this surrender document.

  128. David Webb
    Posted October 19, 2019 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, some commentators say the Political Declaration is not binding. But the EU has been crafty. Article 184 of the binding Withdrawal Agreement commits the UK to use best endeavours to agree the goals in the PD. Do you see what they did there? If on November 1st Boris announces we are not handing over our fishing grounds, he will have have used his best endeavours to agree access to UK fishing waters and a quota for EU fleets. So the PD is effectively binding, although less fleshed out and possibly allowing some room for a minimalist implementation. Can you answer these for me?
    1. Is Ulster being pushed out of the Union? Has Boris told Varadkar that he expects Ulster to join the RoI of its own accord within 10 years? Why are we encouraging part of our country to leave?
    2. How does this deal accord with Article 6 of the 1800 Act of Union, which specifies that Ireland after the Act of Union would always be covered on an equal footing in any international treaty the UK signed?
    3. Why are we paying £33bn?
    4. Will we not end up agreeing dynamic alignment with EU regulations?
    5. Why is the ECJ accorded a role in citizen’s rights (and probably supervising regulatory alignment)?
    6. Why does Peter Mandelson not pay tax on his pension, but I have to pay tax on my income?
    7. Why are we agreeing at all to military co-operation? The EU is not NATO.
    8. Isn’t this about the survival of the Conservative Party and not Brexit?
    For Christ’s sake, vote the deal down.

  129. Helen Smith
    Posted October 19, 2019 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Please just vote it through, I can’t stand this much longer.

  130. ben
    Posted October 19, 2019 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    You are so underestimating the damage that would be caused by Boris international treaty, it just is not funny. Maybe you should read it again. If we have a GE, there is no way I will vote Tory with this deal. This deal will end the UK, separate Northern Ireland and Scotland. Scotland will demand the same deal and you will be telling 1.5 million Scottish and Northern Irish leave voters, their vote means nothing. Did you look at the liabilities under EIB that could be as high as 500 Billion. Eu laws and taxes having direct legal effect. Still an act of treason under UK law. As for our military, The EU will control it. And what about procurement, state and defence, because we are tied into EU for both. What does this deliver for a Brexiteer ? Nothing but Vassalage SHAME ON YOU

  131. Ben
    Posted October 19, 2019 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    Oh and 33 Billion is a lie. EU control schedule and amount. You have no say. Its all in the WA in black and white.

  132. Steven Smith
    Posted October 20, 2019 at 12:37 am | Permalink

    Sir John,

    As much as I would prefer a no deal exit from the EU, I am of the belief that we need to get this over the line.

    Although there are parts of this agreement that I do not like, at least I see a path in it to properly exiting the EU. I can live with the payments and the restrictions during the transition period and believe that although the DUP are not happy, a majority in Stormont to leave the Northern Irish commitments seems to be fair to the people of Northern Ireland as a whole to me. If the DUP want to end these arrangements then they need to make their argument and provide a majority or coalition who can end them, which I see as being fair. The Free Trade agreement could also be a route out for them.

    With the current parliamentary arithmetic the risk is parliament will continue to block our exit and keep pushing for, what would be a rigged, losers vote.

    At this point I think the best course of action is to get this deal over the line so that we can then get an election. At that point my feelings are that there will be better numbers in parliament to work on the future free trade agreement, where with an increased majority and a PM who believes in Brexit we could negotiate more distant relationship and if we do not get that go for a no deal at the end of the process.


    Steven Smith

  133. a-tracy
    Posted October 22, 2019 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    “The committee heard that pensioners were desperately worried, with one peer relaying reports of a story about a 99-year-old Briton who had lived in Poland for 50 years and had received a letter from the Polish authorities saying her healthcare would no longer be covered in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

    This is how Poland wishes to treat the UK. They rebill the UK for healthcare of UK Citizens in Poland anyway don’t they? Why are your government letting them get away with these threats to UK citizens?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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