Freedom

I was proud to learn when young that I had been born into a freedom loving country. Our nation’s story was told as a long progress to one person, one vote. We had pioneered the Mother of Parliaments and had established equal freedoms under the law from Magna Carta onwards. Our country held a distinguished record of defending the rights of smaller nations in Europe to self determination. England had become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, after seeing off the aggressive tyranny of imperial Spain. Together we had turned the tide of the Napoleonic conquests and military rule of much of Europe. In the twentieth century in coalition with allies we defeated German belligerence twice .

As a teenager I found the defeatism of a new establishment generation surprising. I was advised as a student to emigrate, as people were so gloomy about the prospects of Labour’s Britain in the run up to their forced visit to the IMF for bail out. I watched in sadness as a City analyst as our first decade in the European Common market produced the widespread destruction of industry, with closure after closure of mines, steel works, foundries, textile mills and car plants. Many senior managers had lost the will or ability to manage, and many Union leaders were willing to press companies toward bankruptcy by their strike ridden actions. Tariff free product from Germany, France and Italy displaced home production.

In the 1980s I advised Margaret Thatcher on how she could implement a vision of a dynamic enterprising UK, with wider ownership for the many, more small businesses and self employment, higher standards of education and training and better management and Unions working more often for a common good. Towards the end of her time in office I became a Minister in the DTI or Business Department. As Single market Minister given the task of helping the EU “complete” the single market by 1992 I grew to understand just how damaging the EU project was for UK enterprise and small business. Far from being a liberating wealth and income generating project, it was a massive legislative programme to put so many aspects of commercial and personal life under EU control. It was a one way ratchet to more laws we could not hope to repeal or even at times to improve against the wishes of the Commission. So often the laws set out a blueprint for how you had to make or do things based on continental multinational company procedures.

EU power advanced under successive Treaties agreed by the Conservatives at Maastricht and then far faster and deeper through Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon under Labour to the full Treaty of European Union. I resigned from the Cabinet under John Major when he refused to rule out abolishing the pound at Maastricht and took the case to the country.

I worked with my party in Opposition to vote against and to highlight the damage the successive integration Treaties Labour signed us up to did to UK Parliamentary democracy. I worked with a few colleagues to make a referendum Conservative policy, finally persuading David Cameron when we approached a majority of Conservative MPs demanding one. When we finally got a referendum in 2016 the majority agreed that continued membership of the EU was incompatible with a flourishing UK democracy based on Parliament and the ability of people to sack incompetent or unpopular governments in regular General elections.

Today it is most important that we make a decisive move to accountable democracy by the way we handle our exit from the EU. Leave voters did not vote to have an Agreement with the EU that recreates the legal ties and obligations of membership. You do not have to accept EU laws to trade with them, as the USA, many smaller independent countries and China can affirm.
This week’s news with France closing her borders against a fellow member of the single market reminds us of various past occasions when strike action closed the French Channel ports disrupting U.K. supply chains. Taking back control must herald a drive for more U.K. self reliance as we had before our membership of the EEC/EU. Later blogs will examine the other battles we need to win to re establish our lost freedoms.

472 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    December 22, 2020

    Good Morning,

    Boris has promised us freedom, he must deliver on this, his most sacred obligation.

    The evidence is, once again, clear. The Pfizer vaccine approval was slowed in the EU because of political motives to demonstrate ‘one europe’. When it was found this produced a slow response, the Empress in Berlin stamped her foot and told then to be quick about it. Suddenly, an approval appeared.

    Conclusion:

    1 The EU puts the project first, a United States of Europe, but it proves, again, its incompetence.

    2. When Germany tell the EU to jump, the EU says ‘how high?’

    And you for folk living in the EU, get used to being told how to live your lives by Berlin. This time you voted for it.

    1. ian@Barkham
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      December 22, 2020

      No, Leave voters did not vote for the things that John lists.

      Nor, generally, do little children write notes to Father Christmas asking for mathematics text books.

      They usually request toys and confectionery.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 22, 2020

        True on the child maths books front, because the Richard Feynman types who liked their maths realised early there clearly is no Father Christmas and so went to the library. Now they can just look it up on the internet.

      2. Arthur Wrightiss
        December 22, 2020

        Leaver and remain voters alike voted on the same referendum question.
        Do we stay in the EU, or do we leave the EU. Simple straightforward question. You lost.

      3. Glenn Vaughan
        December 22, 2020

        Martin

        Enjoy your toys and confectionery this Christmas.

        1. A. F. Fanculo
          December 22, 2020

          Martin, enjoy the sweeties and continue to throw your toys out of your pram

      4. None of the Above
        December 22, 2020

        I voted to Leave.
        Do not presume to tell me and other leavers why we voted.
        Your arrogance is astounding.

        1. Mike Durrans
          December 22, 2020

          +1

      5. Timaction
        December 22, 2020

        Sir John’s account is slightly off the mark. It was the duopoly that signed us up to the EU and all its associated treaties over 4 decades. The majority of the the former Conservative Party and its leadership were fully signed up to the ever encroaching union of a federalist state. It was UKIP, Farage and his band of brothers that fought long and hard against the establishment to fight to get us a referendum. The establishment lied and pulled every trick in the book to keep us in. Many of us travelled the length and breadth of the Country to inform the people of the true nature of the bureaucratic beast, hidden from us for decades by a compliant msm. Against all the odds we won, despite project fear. Once out, we need a knew voting system and an end to the duopoly who have proven to be against the people for decades!

        Reply It was group of Conservative MPs which secured the commitment to a referendum for the Conservative Manifesto. It was when we were approaching 50% of the Parliamentary party wanting it that David Cameron changed his mind and granted it. None of us thought UKIP would win any seats at the subsequent election so we were not doping it for that reason.

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          December 22, 2020

          Sir John

          I do not underestimate the sway you and your stalwarts held within the Conservative party but your leadership would have continued to marginalise you and that cohort if UKIP had not become an electoral threat.

          The “we can do better outside the EU” rhetoric was ramped up by UKIP and not the Conservative party. You and your colleagues added credibility t leave but the campaign was UKIPs.

          1. John Lodge
            December 22, 2020

            +1

        2. Lynn Atkinson
          December 22, 2020

          In addition it was Conservative and Labour MPs who fought for a fair Referendum – not a yes/no question.
          We owe them everything.

          1. Hope
            December 22, 2020

            No Lynne, you are sadly confused. We owe the Fake Tory Party nothing but our contempt and disgust.

            JR has been a good leave campaigner but his party ignored him and his minor few colleagues long, long ago. What did a former colleague and minister call them “righty tightys!”

            Heath’s Fake Tory PM sold out the nation including fishing and our territorial waters. Here we are over forty years later and today we read Johnson is not regaining purposeful fishing territorial grounds but allowing EU to have majority share for years to come while France blockades trade!

            JR highlights Major’s treacherous contribution. Edwina recently remembered Major fondly though.

            Cameron lied to say he reformed the EU! He lied publicly to state he would send the letter the next day knowing he stopped any preparation for that outcome!

            May’s treachery should be within your memory. With her cheer leaders and backers:Hammond, Gauke, Rudd, Soubry, Clarke, Letwin, Lee, Wollaston etc etc. they were working with Labour and LibDems. That is before the Lords!

            Johnson has so far failed the nation five times not walking away. Lied about May’s WA and NiP deal being dead then signed it. He had an eighty seat majority. Sadly even JR voted for it even though he knew very well how bad it was, he repeated the other day he knew he understood and had done his homework.

            Four PMs in a row Lynne.

            I think the penny dropped after successive EU elections. Cameron stated he sighed a breath of relief he won the election and Farage did not get elected. Why would he say that if he did not feel pressure from UKIP? He forgot to say that a Conservative party member was later punished in court for fiddling the spending to stop him getting elected. Are we expected to believe Fake Tories broke the law for a nonenety?

            Fake Tories got Ed Miliband elected last year! The one they warned us about!

            If you feel you owe Johnson everything you are a lost cause. Youmrepeatedly slated him. Suggest you read Con Woman today another set of scathing articles. Start with the collection from a host of commentators compiled by Laura Perrins.

          2. Hope
            December 22, 2020

            Lynne,
            You are deluded beyond belief.

          3. dixie
            December 23, 2020

            @Hope
            You denigrate our host and his colleagues yet when it mattered the most you were not in the game.

            No UKIP.
            No Brexit Party.
            Nothing.

            There were no other options.

            It was the same in the EP, you were solely a protest party and actively avoided protecting our interests while there. All you and your comrades do is whine, you offer no practical solution or alternative. The same with the Conservative Woman website, it is all shrill whining.

            You are the deluded one if you think that instills confidence and is a recipe for success.

      6. DavidJ
        December 22, 2020

        Don’t tell me what I voted for!

      7. No Longer Anonymous
        December 22, 2020

        Any kid with any sense would ask their parents for a tower computer at Xmas instead of an X Box or Playstation like my clever lads did. “We need them for our homework” (which they did) but this meant that we could not take away these super-duper gaming computers as punishment as they really were needed for their school homework.

        Thankfully they did turn in the required grades.

        1. Narrow Shoulders
          December 23, 2020

          Computers used to need DVDs to run the games. Just take away the disks.

          These days you can uninstall the games and delete built up collateral. Huge punishment.

          The online games are more difficult to block but a good router will manage it.

          Keeps me young to stay ahead.

      8. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        Yes we did vote for the things JR lists. What sort of idiots voted against that list is the question? You. Andy. German Bull.

      9. Graham Wheatley
        December 22, 2020

        I presume you’ve requested a shiny be-glittered Unicorn from Mr. Claus?

      10. NickC
        December 23, 2020

        Martin, I certainly voted Leave for the things that JR lists.

    3. Ian Wragg
      December 22, 2020

      The fishermen were sold out by Heath and it looks like Boris is about to repeat the betrayal.
      EU reporting he has agreed to them keeping two thirds of the fish over a period of 7 years.
      That means they have effective control over our waters.
      Brexit it isn’t.

      1. None of the Above
        December 22, 2020

        For myself, I tend to ignore EU propaganda from wherever it originates.

        1. Mark B
          December 23, 2020

          +1

    4. Andy
      December 22, 2020

      Isn’t it funny how angry they are getting about the EU. Here on mutant virus Brexit Island your prime minister literally held a press conference to talk about the wonders of the new lorry parks he’s built for Brexit. Apparently the barrier on the M20 is a wonder. And here you are whining about EU drug approval.

      Both the FDA and EMA took slightly longer to approve the Pfizer vaccine because they wanted to ensure it was safe – and also because they wanted to retain public confidence in the process. Polls show that confidence does not exist here. Though as the anti-vaxxers are often the same people who reject climate change and back Brexit some of us are not too worried if they also get COVID. Fewer such people would make the world a better place. Perhaps Covid can become the idiot remover we sorely need.

      1. Richard1
        December 22, 2020

        Confidence in the vaccine is higher in the U.K. than many other countries. That the U.K. managed to approve quicker – what counts is the number and effectiveness of trials not the length of time it takes – is a tribute to the Governments decision not to join the EU process which has been slower.

        Read Ambrose Evans Pritchard in the Telegraph today, if you can bear to see opinion you might not agree with. Then you’ll be a bit better informed for your next post.

        1. cornishstu
          December 22, 2020

          I have to disagree, one of the most important trials is the study of the long term effects of a vaccine which is why they normally take so long to be approved.

      2. Cliff. Wokingham
        December 22, 2020

        Hi Andy
        I wouldn’t normally waste my time replying to one of your posts however, it is Christmas.
        Firstly you don’t know why people voted for Brexit. You don’t know why people question vaccination safety. You also don’t know why people don’t buy into the climate change agenda.
        For your information. I voted to leave the EU. I wanted full independence again just as we had pre 72.
        I do not deny that climate is changing but I do question whether the current driver of that change is man and his use of fossil fuels. To me, it has gained a religious feel about it and people are almost labelled as heratics if they question the establishments view.
        I am not an anti vaxer. I have had many vaccinations over the years including the seasonal flu vaccination this year. Those of us who are immunosuppressed are a bit worried about the safety side of the Pfizer jab for people like me but are more hopeful about the Oxford one. It is not a one size fits all because different people will react in different ways to these new treatments.
        Have a great Christmas Andy and answer me one question… Will the EU terminate your employment as the poor man’s Lord HawHaw when we make our clean break on 1st January? At that time you and your beloved EU will realise that you will need another cash cow.

      3. Edward2
        December 22, 2020

        Nonsense again andy.
        It has been rushed through in Europe.
        Normally the EMA take many years to approve a new vaccine or new drug.
        It just gave in after the Queen of the EU Merkel shouted at them.

      4. DavidJ
        December 22, 2020

        Obviously you have swallowed the lies Andy.

      5. Dennis Zoff
        December 22, 2020

        “Perhaps Covid can become the idiot remover we sorely need”

        Could this be your last post then Andy?

        1. No Longer Anonymous
          December 22, 2020

          Two jabs… then a right hook.

      6. a-tracy
        December 22, 2020

        Andy, more than half a million people have been inoculated in the UK whilst the EU dithered.

        The BioNTec CEO is confident the Pfizer vaccine will work on the UK variant. Which incidentally I read in the ft “Genetic mutation that originated in Spain” in October with the holiday returners.

        Did you stay in the UK this summer Andy?

    5. Alan Jutson
      December 22, 2020

      Peter

      It will be interesting to see how the vaccine is shared out given it is reported they have not yet ordered enough the the whole EU population.

      Guarantee germany and France will not go without !

    6. Sir Joe Soap
      December 22, 2020

      So now, being a scientist, I’d like to know what proportion of those vaccinated have then gone on to test positive at 1, 2 and 3 weeks out, and of those how many hospitalised/died?
      This is basic stuff.
      Run a control study to at least know how efficacious your vaccine is and in which time period.

  2. Grey Friar
    December 22, 2020

    Where on earth did you “learn” your history? “… a long progress to one person, one vote” – nonsense, every change in the franchise, from Peterloo to the sufragettes, had to be wrung out of your ruling class. Magna Carta protected the barons, not the common man. And how “distinguished” was Britain’s record in the slave trade?

    Reply Not my ruling class, and it is a great story how we got the vote

    1. Peter Wood
      December 22, 2020

      The practical answer is, there’s always someone who makes the rules, possibly you. The issue is, are they sensible and reasonable rules, ie good management. My decision was and is, the EU is worse, (and a lot more expensive) at managing our society than the one we can select and sack.

      Ours desperately needs an overhaul, but at least we have a chance to do that.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        December 22, 2020

        The European Union does not manage the societies of its member countries.

        It could never have imposed measures such as lock downs for instance.

        The remit of the Treaties is confined to a very few of the many, many areas of law, and generally to uncontroversial ones, where consensus between reasonable partners is easily reached.

        The rest are entirely sovereign.

        As a result the member nations remain the historic, self-confident, and characterful entities that they always were, and as the UK has shown, free to withdraw at any time on the mere sending of a letter.

        1. acorn
          December 22, 2020

          The British have never understood the division of competences between the EU and its member countries. The principles of subsidiarity, proportionality and conferral (Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union – TEU).

          The EU can only act within the limits of the competences that have been conferred upon it by the EU treaties. The four types of competences are defined in Articles 2-6 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU).

          It’s meant to be a bottom up constitution similar to the USA. Alas, the member states on both sides of the Atlantic have allowed their federal levels to get out of control. That includes the “elective dictatorship” that is Downing Street in the UK.

          The EU’s big mistake was introducing an idiotic common currency system decades too early; with a central bank that dictates both monetary and fiscal policy of Euro currency members.

          1. Edward2
            December 22, 2020

            I agree with your last paragraph acorn.

          2. jon livesey
            December 22, 2020

            The Europeans have never understood that quoting the paper aims of a constitution does not actually guarantee anything.

            The Europeans have had centuries of paper constitutions that sound wonderful in theory but achieved nothing but periodic tyranny.

            The British have developed a constitution that looks a mess on paper, but which has guaranteed the freedom of the citizen for the same number of centuries.

          3. bill brown
            December 23, 2020

            acorn,

            I actaully disagree with your last paragraph, see explanatoin below

        2. Peter Wood
          December 22, 2020

          just like no army, no taxation, not to mention the minutiae of the CAP and CFP; the list goes on for many pages. You are lucky you live in a country that can make democratic decisions based on facts that will regain our own control.

        3. Edward2
          December 22, 2020

          One minute you tell us the EU has a huge impact on us and as a result we cannot survive without being a member and now here you tell us the EU has little or no influence nor impact on us.

          1. Narrow Shoulders
            December 22, 2020

            Schrödinger’s EU?

        4. Christine
          December 22, 2020

          You are like the proverbial frog that continues to sit in the boiling water because you haven’t noticed your sovereignties erosion over the years. Come back in ten years when the EU has its army, police, border force and tax-raising powers in place and tell me how you have any ability to force through change via an EU parliament that can’t propose, amend or repeal legislation.

          1. Mike Durrans
            December 22, 2020

            +1

        5. a-tracy
          December 22, 2020

          “The UK has been told it must pay an extra £1.7bn (2.1bn euros) towards the European Union’s budget because the economy has performed better than expected in recent years.” bbc 24/10/14 The leader of the Conservative MEPs, Syed Kamall, said the UK was being penalised for its austerity measures.

          “The European Commission is penalising Britain for taking tough decisions, putting in place a long-term economic plan and for having the most successful economy in the EU, while actually rewarding France for being an economic basket case,” he said.

      2. Mike Durrans
        December 22, 2020

        +1

    2. Simeon
      December 22, 2020

      Two things. First, it’s pretty clear that you do not understand the historical context of the progress Sir John writes of. For instance, Magna Carta was in the context of a feudal system, where the ‘barons’ protected the people beneath them. Obviously the system didn’t always work perfectly (but what system does?). But the point is that standing against a tyrannical monarch was done to serve the interests not just of the land owners but of their people, for whom they were responsible.

      Second, one person, one vote is a terrible way of running a nation. It would be a dangerous way of running a small community, never mind a more complex entity. So progress to this point is hardly to be welcomed.

      It is, however, fair to say that changes in the franchise were wrung out of the ruling class. This was primarily a failure of the ruling class, and more specifically a failure to make the case that enfranchisement was a slippery slope leading to mass democracy and, by extension, a moronocracy, owing to the immutable law of the lowest common denominator. Though to be fair to the ruling class, I doubt the people would have been of a mind to accept such fancy arguments.

    3. Man of Kent
      December 22, 2020

      We are in danger of forgetting that in order to get rid of slavery we decided to pay off all those owning slaves .
      Most of these were not gang masters but little old ladies in your town who depended on the income to fund their old age .
      Details of who was paid what are available locally but it takes some digging .
      The payments all came out of general taxation.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        December 22, 2020

        Approx 1% of the population – Which means that 99% of our ancestors weren’t slave owners. Many, in fact servants and workers on terrible pay and conditions themselves.

        Who worked in the Satanic Mills, down pits and up chimneys ?

        1. SecretPeople
          December 23, 2020

          Absolutely – all airbrushed from history as it doesn’t suit the current narrative. Property owners were not given the vote – in my family the first home owners (well, mortgaged and therefore owned by the bank) came about in the 1960s!

    4. beresford
      December 22, 2020

      Britain’s ‘record in the slave trade’ is better than most. Having been subjected to slavery for centuries by the Romans and Barbary Pirates from North Africa, our businessmen were involved for a time in buying slaves from the black rulers who had enslaved them and transporting them to the New World (where their descendants have prospered). When our Parliament decided that this was wrong, we spent large amounts of our blood and treasure in deploying our Navy to halt the slave trade.

      1. Mark B
        December 22, 2020

        +1

      2. Robert Harneis
        December 22, 2020

        Some of them prospered if they were delivered to North America but if they had the misfortune to be sent to Spanish South America, they died in their millions.

      3. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        And we halted the slave trade while fighting the Napoleonic Wars! The africans in Southern Africa were fleeing the Moslem slavers in the north, now they have caught up with them and with us, the Barbary slave trade was NEVER halted. Why don’t you go after them?

        1. margaret howard
          December 23, 2020

          If we were so concerned with the well being of slaves after being the world’s ‘most successful’ traders ourselves, why did we pay compensation to the slave traders rather than the slaves themselves?

          1. a-tracy
            December 23, 2020

            I cannot believe you are British at all margaret, you never have one good word to say.

          2. Lynn Atkinson
            December 23, 2020

            Because we ‘bought’ the slaves freedom Margaret, just like the U.K. Government paid Mugabe for the farms he intended to sequestrate. We ‘bought’ the farms for the farmers, but Mugabe stole them anyway and the British Rhodesian farmers arrived in the U.K. with nothing.
            Our mistake is to treat everyone as a civilized person.

        2. bill brown
          December 23, 2020

          Lynn Atkinson

          Read some mroe history also about France and Waterloo

      4. Mike Durrans
        December 22, 2020

        +1

    5. Richard1
      December 22, 2020

      British was amongst the first countries to abolish slavery and the West Africa Squadron of the Royal Navy played an heroic role in the suppression of the slave trade.

    6. Otto
      December 22, 2020

      Reply to reply.. ‘In the twentieth century in coalition with allies we defeated German belligerence twice .’ You forgot to mention Hitler – he helped a lot in that defeat.

    7. forthurst
      December 22, 2020

      Where did you learn your history? All about barons, really?

      Chapter 38 of Magna Carta states (in English translation):

      No bailiff is henceforth to put anyone to law on his sole accusation without trustworthy witnesses brought forward for this. (NB Sussex police and its Tory PCC).

      Chapter 39:

      No free man is to be arrested, or imprisoned, or disseised, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any way destroyed, nor will we go against him, nor will we send against him, save by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land.

  3. Len Peel
    December 22, 2020

    Trade needs rules. Eu rules allow free trade between independent countries. Without EU rules you get massive blockages to trade. As you Brexiters are finally finding out

    Reply The current blockages come from new rules about Cv 19 not from Brexit.

    1. ian@Barkham
      December 22, 2020

      It is not free trade when another ruler dictates how those that will never trade with their domain must comply with. That is the EU proposal, the whole of the UK must comply with their undemocratic dictates that are not just those that want to trade with the EU.

      Exporting companies as it stands will quite comfortably work to the standards of the countries the wish to export to. They are capable of producing to US standards on one line and EU standards on another. The EU rulers want every nook and cranny of the UK to come under their dictates, with the UK having no say in what they might be. In a trading context it would mean a UK company couldn’t produce exports for the US market unless the EU had given them permission. If in giving that permission it then creates competition for a EU company it could be denied. There is no democratic process in prospect for the UK alter EU rules

      That is simply enslavement, containment and rule – that works against ‘free trade’ and democracy.

      Competition is not a force for evil but a force for good.

      1. Fedupsoutherner
        December 22, 2020

        Great post Ian.

        1. DavidJ
          December 22, 2020

          Indeed.

      2. Alan Jutson
        December 22, 2020

        +1

      3. Dennis Zoff
        December 22, 2020

        +1

      4. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        +1

      5. Otto
        December 22, 2020

        I think every UK/EU negotiation these past years should have been and now available to the public in transcription as the ‘talks’ go on so that we know how all has been done – why not, as the result will affect us all?

        Why should the talks be secret?

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          December 23, 2020

          I agree, and there should be a referendum.

      6. bill brown
        December 23, 2020

        Ian@barkham

        If yo really believe your own comments on how the EU works, then I am able to better understand your weird comments

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          December 23, 2020

          You mean you don’t understand how the EU works Bull. We all realised that. Or that you are a paid plant.

    2. Translator
      December 22, 2020

      “Trade needs rules”.
      The GATT was established in 1948 and replaced by the WTO in 1995, to which 123 nations are signatories.
      The EU signed up to the WTO in 1995.
      What the UK does not want or need are laws imposed by empire builders

    3. The PrangWizard
      December 22, 2020

      Reply to reply:

      It seems naïve to me to think that France does not have an eye on gaining political advantage over this.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        December 22, 2020

        Do all the rest of the forty countries who have done exactly the same also have that objective?

        1. No Longer Anonymous
          December 22, 2020

          How I wish blockades had been as fast and airtight at the outset of this crisis and directed at its origin.

          I wonder why it wasn’t.

          1. Martin in Cardiff
            December 22, 2020

            Because we are proud and British, and a silly foreign virus could not bother us.

          2. Edward2
            December 22, 2020

            Who said that Martin?
            More made nonsense from you.

    4. Richard1
      December 22, 2020

      All around the world there are countries which trade perfectly happily with one another without needing political unions.

    5. Christine
      December 22, 2020

      Reply to Reply – If this new strain is so virulent then it will already have spread across mainland Europe and probably the World. Yet again the UK is being punished for its honesty just the same as happens with foot and mouth, BSE and bird flu. Any excuse to stop trade from the UK, not to it, is always taken. The UK always damages itself by playing by the rules.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        December 22, 2020

        +1

      2. JoolsB
        December 22, 2020

        It’s already in mainland Europe and beyond but apparently we are world leaders in the field of identifying the different strains so identified it first. Wonder how many other countries would have been so honest.

        1. Longinus
          December 22, 2020

          Our idiots politicians tried to justify the new Tier 4 by politicising this minor mutation that does not increase virulence.

          1. glen cullen
            December 22, 2020

            which was widely reported in sept/oct and started in spain

            so why is the media only picking it up now…..brexit smoke and mirrors

            google – mutant covid virus sept 2020

  4. Tom Rogers
    December 22, 2020

    Freedom? It would be nice to live in a country in which the government doesn’t mandate mass house arrest for innocent, blameless people on the entirely fictitious premise that our lives are threatened by an apocalyptic strain of flu.

    When will you come to your senses?

    1. ian@Barkham
      December 22, 2020

      Surely the only people causing the problem are the people themselves. The virus dies if it doesn’t find a host and it is people not the government that are passing it on.

      As yet no one knows how to identify the carriers of the virus. So identifying the innocent and the blameless is also impossible. If all the carriers were isolated for 7 days the virus dies no one else gets it and the problem goes away.

      Like most I believe the Government on this is inept and running on the principle ok ‘knee jerk’ responses without thing it through. The only logic is it spreads via close contact and seemingly brought on by social gatherings. From that you would have to deduce some(probably the carriers – with no symptoms) don’t care about their own responsibility to others and basically killing others is fine.

      A difficult call for any one in Government to make, but Science from discredited individuals and ‘saving the NHS’ – come on. There has to be a better way.

      1. Mark B
        December 22, 2020

        Ian

        All that is happening is that we are dragging out the agony. Far better to protect the most vulnerable, let the virus take its course, and achieve some sort of herd immunity. The virus will die out as it encounters fewer and fewer people to infect.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        Catching the virus is not a problem, being bankrupted, having your leases (legal contracts) trashed, being denied the right to work, being denied healthcare even by the private sector (because it’s been taken over by the Govt) these are problems.
        Moreover the Govt are comprised of people who have caught the virus themselves, so they should know how futile it is to try to avoid catching it.
        The Govt has wasted our treasure which is required for the massive challenge to come. On other websites (CW) people are saying ‘they just want them dead’ – and they are getting support. This is a sea change in response to the sea change that the Govt imposed on a free people.
        The Govt declared war on its own people. God help them because I will not!

        1. Longinus
          December 22, 2020

          Protect the NHS by destroying the private sector that pays for it. Genius.

  5. DOM
    December 22, 2020

    Is Boris Johnson a social Marxist?

    1. ian@Barkham
      December 22, 2020

      Yes

    2. BJC
      December 22, 2020

      It’s probably easier to look at who’s advising Mr Johnson to understand his current beliefs.

    3. Fred H
      December 22, 2020

      gullible buffoon would be more accurate.

      1. Christine
        December 22, 2020

        + 1

    4. Dennis Zoff
      December 22, 2020

      Aren’t Social Marxists those that have similar characteristics to those sitting before a television, shouting out against some capitalistic injustice, but generally will not lift a finger to assist?

  6. Mick
    December 22, 2020

    This week’s news with France closing her borders , it not just the French but Scotland are effectively shutting borders as well with sturgeon trying to look important, it’s about time we grew more of our own after years of being held back by red tap of the Eu ,at yesterday’s news conference I got the impression from the PM that we are leaving the custom union and single market with no deal and trade on WTO terms which is ok by me if it means we are not tied to the dreaded Eu by some back door under hand deal

    1. JoolsB
      December 22, 2020

      “I got the impression from the PM that we are leaving the custom union and single market with no deal and trade on WTO terms which is ok”

      As we’re beginning to learn from this Prime Minister we can’t believe a word he says. My money is on him caving in at the last minute betraying our fishermen and making the Tories unelectable for a generation or more.

      1. Mark B
        December 22, 2020

        Well, he does seem to have rather a lot of form 😉

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      December 22, 2020

      Wales is shut too.

      1. Mark B
        December 22, 2020

        Thank God !

        PM Johnson – Build that wall !! 😉

    3. DavidJ
      December 22, 2020

      We need Blair’s stupid devolution reversed too. All an attempt to break up the Union in preparation for separate EU states.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        +1 they are called EU regions in the EU blueprint. England would have been broken up next. All those shouting for an English Parliament are helping the EU.

        1. Hope
          December 22, 2020

          No, England destined to be cut into regions which Fake Tories are currently still doing with mayors and police commissioners against the public wish.

          England with its own parliament would be very strong voice and being runts of home nations to heel. It would also present too much of a threat to U.K. Govt. Hence it will not be entertained.

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            December 22, 2020

            There would be no U.K. Government. Did you not know that was the trade off? And therefore no British Constitution, so the Globalists can write our ‘new, codified constitution’ which MiC assures us will include being a member of the EU. No wriggle room.
            You help them every time you yell for an English Parliament, the solution is to revert to the single U.K. Parliament, there can be only one Parliament.

      2. Mike Durrans
        December 22, 2020

        +1

    4. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      +1

  7. Shirley M
    December 22, 2020

    While I am not a climate change supporter, it makes sense for domestic production to take precedence where possible. Not only does it prevent reliance on a potentially hostile nation, it also reduces transport costs, provides UK employment and a source of UK taxation.

    As soon as we get the UK back on its feet, the UK should also introduce new laws to prevent foreign ownership of essential services.

    I expect Boris to deliver UK sovereignty in full. Anything less will be seen as yet another failure of UK government. We will see straight through any ‘fudges’.

    1. ian@Barkham
      December 22, 2020

      Without a dynamic economy there are no asperations to move on to.

  8. Newmania
    December 22, 2020

    The Battle of Waterloo, also called La Belle Alliance, was won by the Duke of Wellington’s allied army of 68,000 (with British, Dutch, Belgian, and German units) and about 45,000 Prussians, under Von Blücher.
    I dread to think what the Duke , a professional and expert soldier, would make of the bumbling opportunists who hop about on our public stage, selling faux patriotism to old ladies.

    1. SM
      December 22, 2020

      And throughout the Napoleonic wars, Britain was supporting France’s targets with both military AND financial aid. You will recall the Peninsular Wars and the battles of Trafalgar and the Nile, for instance.

    2. Richard1
      December 22, 2020

      Whilst it is meaningless to debate the opinions of a dead person, I do not see any evidence that the (1st) Duke of Wellington would have supported political union with neighbouring countries or seen that as a necessity for trade. Do you?

      Indeed there were great allies at Waterloo. As indeed there were in WW1 and WW2, and other conflicts. But political union wasn’t required for that, just normal treaties between sovereign equals.

    3. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      So you have not read Wellingtons biography then. The idiots and shirkers like the poor, are always with us.
      The French are taught that Napoleon won at Waterloo – see any French history book, and that the English kidnapped him after the victory.

      1. hefner
        December 23, 2020

        ‘The French are taught that Napoleon won at Waterloo’: not your first lie on this blog, isn’t it? I happen to have cousins and nephews living in France who have gone to school there.
        The French seem to get much better history lessons in primary and secondary schools, they even know about Bluecher and Wellington.

      2. hefner
        December 23, 2020

        And I don’t expect expect you to know this … but ‘L’Expiation’ a poem by Victor Hugo has quite a bit on ‘Waterloo, morne plaine’, a tad better and less hysterical than Tennyson’s ‘The Charge of the Light Brigade’. If anything ‘L’Expiation’ sounds to me much more respectful of the dead soldiers.

        1. Edward2
          December 23, 2020

          “I dont expect you to know this”…How incredidbly pompous you are hefner.

          1. hefner
            December 23, 2020

            Pompous? I hope that British people would know about Tennyson and the Charge of the Light Brigade. I think there are fewer chances that they know about not only a French author but also one of his not so famous poems.

            If that makes me incredibly pompous in your eyes, I can take it easily because to tell you the truth that exactly what I think of you. Deuce (or ‘egalite’).

          2. Edward2
            December 24, 2020

            Even your reply is pompous.
            Hilarious.

          3. hefner
            December 24, 2020

            I got it, Edward2, two because you are only able of using ‘hilarious’ and ‘pompous’.

            Best wishes to you for as good a Christmas as possible.

    4. Martin in Cardiff
      December 22, 2020

      It’s a hoot, this use of “we”, to refer back to victories hundreds of years ago, or even decades for that matter.

      1. No Longer Anonymous
        December 22, 2020

        Then don’t use ‘we’ when talking about slavery either.

  9. Sea_Warrior
    December 22, 2020

    Look out for the exit clauses, Sir John. Don’t let Boris bind us to the EU.

    1. MPC
      December 22, 2020

      Yes it was always going to be a last minute vote on an agreement without time for scrutiny by the likes of Martin Howe and the ERG. Wording of any arbitration clauses will no doubt favour the EU in years to come.

    2. Nigel
      December 22, 2020

      You say that in the 1970’s many senior managers had lost the will or ability to manage. Similarly today one could say the same about politicians who have become too used to receiving diktats fro Brussels and simply having to put them (after suitable gold plating) into UK law. Any complaints are simply referred back to the fact that we cannot do anything because of EU law.
      Now we see the Government taking instructions from the medical modellers seemingly without question or much consideration of how decisions affect other areas of our lives. Only yesterday it was Sir Patrick Vallance who was telling us that tier 4 may have to be extended, while the Prime Minister stands by nodding his head (following the science).
      Where is the leadership?

      1. Fishknife
        December 22, 2020

        Where is the leadership?
        Walking a tightrope whilst the MSM carp endlessly at every turn.

      2. JoolsB
        December 22, 2020

        Exactly. Well said.

      3. DavidJ
        December 22, 2020

        Indeed Nigel.

      4. Dennis Zoff
        December 22, 2020

        Ignorance will always nod its head in the face of a seemingly greater knowledge….establishments have used ignorance of the people to gain advantage for many generations!

        However, when it is within the highest office of the land, we are in danger of creeping totalitarianism!

  10. DOM
    December 22, 2020

    Your party and indeed yourself voted for laws designed to destroy our most fundamental freedom. The right to express our opinion without fear nor favour has been destroyed by laws passed by your party and that unmentionable presence opposite you

    Hate speech laws. Embedding perception into law is the most dangerous thing I have seen in British politics. That an accusation of hate itself is treated in law as evidence of hate, discrimination and bigotry. This form of Marxist denunciation has become part of British culture designed to attack anyone who dares to oppose the prevailing collectivist orthodoxy.

    Both main parties and that stain in Scotland have become a genuine threat to who we are and what we are

    Johnson will betray Brexit. Johnson is an unprincipled charlatan. Johnson cares not one jot for the UK.

    I am convinced that both main parties are working together or certainly the Tories are working with Labour’s allies in the public sector to undermine who we are, our freedoms and our exit from the EU

    Not only his John and his party captured by the left, the UK is captured by the left.

    We’re utterly enslaved by the politics of the EU and Marxism

    1. JoolsB
      December 22, 2020

      Well said Dom. Hear hear. This country is desperately in need of a third party to vote for other than the two socialist parties on offer. The problem is as long as we have FPTP they have every General election stitched up between them.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        That argument is 30 years old. It was all tried. It failed!

        1. Simeon
          December 22, 2020

          Perhaps it was not the fault of the idea or the argument, but of those making it? Just a thought…

          1. Lynn Atkinson
            December 23, 2020

            Do you know who was ‘making it’ before Farage, by various means which I can’t specify because JR will redact?
            Did you know, for example, that Norris McWhirter was not a member of the Tory Party when he died? You know Of the Late Lord Stoddart? My friends in the Anti-Common Market league, Reg and Betty Simmerson, mortgaged their house to print and distribute Ench Powell’s speeches and books on the EU. Where the hell were you when we needed you?

          2. Simeon
            December 23, 2020

            I was too young, and not sufficiently informed. My comment was somewhat tongue-in-cheek. As I have said before, then was not the time to gain traction with the wider public. But now might be. Either way, attempting to achieve change through the Tory party is a fool’s errand.

    2. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    3. Mark B
      December 22, 2020

      Johnson will betray Brexit. Johnson is an unprincipled charlatan. Johnson cares not one jot for the UK.

      I wholeheartedly agree.

    4. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      +1

  11. ian@Barkham
    December 22, 2020

    Good morning Sir John

    A good on message and reminder your blog this morning.

    Our personal and country relationship’s with others work best when the principles of democracy are employed. People seem to forget if the laws and rules of our life in our own domain are not a product of the democratic process, you are not a free people. Meaning the laws and rules have to be introduced, enacted, reformed and repealed by our own elected representatives. In a free sovereign democracy those simple principles are the only ones that define the difference of a society that defines its own future and one that is enslaved.

    Going forward I personally see more effort is needed in our own democratic structure to bring back a level playing field on the selection of candidates that get to put themselves forward. It should be a constituents choice not that of a leader of a tribe whose only consideration is compliance. The aim should be that the whole of Parliament should be better equipped to challenge the executive.

    1. Mark B
      December 22, 2020

      The aim should be that the whole of Parliament should be better equipped to challenge the executive.

      But we don’t.

      We have an opposition that is more interested in seeing the government fail so it makes it easier for them to get into power.

      We have a Legislature whose future career prospects and membership is totally dependent on the Head of the Executive (PM). How then can they be honest umpires of the Executive when it holds such powers, including the party Whip, over them ?

      1. ian@Barkham
        December 22, 2020

        Agreed

        That is why I said ‘aim’

        At best we might be heading to a pseudo democracy as opposed to a client state.

        Democracy is a pipe dream because those that spout to get into power distort it to retain power – that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t keep pushing

  12. Lester Cynic Beedell
    December 22, 2020

    Happy Christmas to you and your family!

    Just how much longer can you continue to support the conservative party with a small C, it’s changed beyond recognition…….. I still have my mother’s membership card from the 1960’s.

    There was no mention of all the green crap in the manifesto so Johnson has no mandate for
    changing our lives beyond recognition.

    I cannot even bear to listen to Johnson any more, he’s a charlatan and destroying the Tories will be his legacy and I speak as a lifelong Conservative!

    1. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    2. Fred H
      December 22, 2020

      remember that when next you vote!

    3. turboterrier
      December 22, 2020

      L C B

      You are not alone, many have the same opinions especially about the green crap.It could well end up as his Achilles heel when the real cost for all this green nonsense is passed over to the householders and the taxpayers.

    4. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      The green agenda is a truly appalling error. Forced onto him by the Queen of Green Carrie Simmons and the deluded Greta types. Not so much follow the science as follow the deluded new fashionable religion. It is vastly expensive, will hugely damage jobs and the economy and will do nothing for the climate either. Like this second lockdown it will do far more harm than good.

      1. Mark B
        December 22, 2020

        Nothing to do with either of those two. You are just buying the crap that is said about them.

      2. DavidJ
        December 22, 2020

        +1

      3. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        Would they have ‘forced’ greencrap on Mrs T? It’s Boris’ fault. Carrie should know NOTHING of Government.

        1. Martin in Cardiff
          December 23, 2020

          Johnson proposed London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone long before he was with his present partner.

          Stop this nonsense.

          1. a-tracy
            December 23, 2020

            ??? That’s what Lynn is saying Martin, it is ‘ALL BORIS’ nothing to do with Carrie or anyone else.

    5. glen cullen
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    6. glen cullen
      December 22, 2020

      Even our kind host will have to stand tall and justify why his party of government capitulated our fisheries and our territorial waters to the EU

    7. Mark B
      December 22, 2020

      It does not matter what was in their party manifesto, it what agreements they sign when in office / power. Paris Climate Agreement is what gives PM Johnson the mandate. That and many other agreements that he and his predecessors have signed with parliaments rubber stamping.

      1. glen cullen
        December 22, 2020

        And therein lies the issue of trust with the people

    8. Alan Jutson
      December 22, 2020

      Anyone noticed the huge increase in the cost of insulation products since this green crap policy has been launched.

      Yet again industry profiteering from a government subsidy, which does not benefit the householder, because no actual savings at all as the costs have risen dramatically from its normal level.

      When will politicians learn the very simple lesson, subsidies never help, or go to those who they are meant to help.

      Just scrap VAT on insulation products, and let the people decide to buy or not to buy.

  13. Simeon
    December 22, 2020

    I’m surprised that a scholar of history would characterise the conduct of Germany thus with regards to the First World War. That tragic event happened for a variety of reasons, one of which was German pre-eminence on the continent – hardly Germany’s fault. It was essentially a diplomatic failure in which all the great powers shared blame, even if Germany’s share was on balance the largest. The Second World War was caused in large part by Versailles – though Germany obviously had to take responsibility for the evil actions of a democratically elected government.

    I understand that it can be difficult for older generations to be objective about Germany. The World Wars were awful, and the closer one is to them, the more emotional one’s reaction is liable to be. But such a subjective, even partisan, view of things undermines what would otherwise be reasonable criticisms of the misguided EU project.

    A tragic aspect of the EU project is that, at least initially, it was motivated by a desire for peace in the continent, whereas the present EU, by seeking to impose a European identity on nation states through supranational policies that damage the interests of particular nation states, raises the prospect of resentment and, therefore, violence.

    As for the future blogs you refer to at the end, I trust you will identify the key battle to be won that we might re-establish our lost freedoms as the vanquishing of the Tory party, that a political movement devoted to freedom might take its place. Without this, there will be no repatriation of lost freedoms, but only further losses to the state.

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      December 22, 2020

      You write above of your disdain for one person one vote but the way to true freedom if for each voter to exercise that vote for single issue or special interest parties on issues they truly care about. Voters need to be educated to vote for their causes not for the party they want to win or for the lesser of two evils.

      Until politicians are truly held to account at the ballot box we will never be free. Vote small parties or “none of the above” that will make a difference.

      1. Simeon
        December 22, 2020

        Holding politicians to account and voter education are worthy aims. But the fundamental problem of democracy is that it entails individuals cooperating in order to impose their agenda on others, rather than cooperating to further a shared interest. Individuals should, as far as possible, be self-governing, rather than governed by the aggregate of everyone’s opinion – which, as we see, particularly in increasingly diverse societies, results in nonsensical policies borne out of fudges masquerading as noble compromises.

      2. a-tracy
        December 22, 2020

        There should be a ‘none of the above’ option and if it is over 50% of the local electorate then no-one gets elected and the local competition has to be re-run with other candidates.

    2. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      Was it about peace though?
      Sometimes I have wondered whether it was not about corporations.
      Many firms still in existence were involved in war time Germany.
      And see how they have wiped us out..with our cooperation of course.
      Motivation? Peace, love, sexual/personal freedom and greencrap have all served as very good masks (!) for damaging activity. And also for authoritarianism ultimately.

      1. Simeon
        December 22, 2020

        Initially it absolutely was. The continent of Europe was utterly traumatised. The blitz we endured was terrible, but nothing compared to the utter devastation in Europe. In addition there was the profound guilt Germany had at perpetrating the holocaust. Latterly, it has very much been corporations driving the EU – as indeed they drive the UK, and any other western nation one cares to name. To emphasise, the EU is a terrible mistake, and not only will it end badly, but it is very much producing bad outcomes now. But the initial motivation for it was understandable.

    3. Fred H
      December 22, 2020

      so German military build-up for 20 years prior to WW1 was no indication of the eventual declaring of war by them?

      1. Simeon
        December 22, 2020

        Germany were in the process of building an empire. The military build-up was not intended to make war in Europe. There was also a defensive element to it, particularly with regards to the the perceived threat of Russia, which transpired to be exaggerated.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          December 22, 2020

          Wrong. Their empire was and is Europe. They made a treaty with Russia then attacked her.

          1. Simeon
            December 22, 2020

            Blimey. We were talking about WW1. You’re talking about WW2. You’re making yourself look silly.

          2. bill brown
            December 23, 2020

            Lynn Atkinson

            We are aall aware of your deep hstorical knowledge and interpratations. They are usually wrong

      2. hefner
        December 22, 2020

        ‘The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to war in 1914’, by Christopher Clark, 2013 might bring some different arguments to such a discussion.

        1. Hope
          December 22, 2020

          Interesting Hef. Do you think the Prussian invasion of France in 1871, starving Parisians, shaped events later in 1914?

      3. Richard II
        December 22, 2020

        Not necessarily, Fred, any more than our major rearmament from 1937 on was proof we wanted to declare war on Germany, even though we eventually did. We were being prudent.

        After the 1894 alliance between Russia and revanchist France looking to recover Alsace-Lorraine, Germany was aware it might have to fight a war on two fronts. Perhaps it was being prudent too. That’s probably how big powers have to think.

        1. Fred H
          December 22, 2020

          ‘we wanted to declare war on Germany’

          I’m aghast at such nonsense. Just like Russia invited Hitler to attack them.

          1. hefner
            December 22, 2020

            Aghast, you might be, but reading a bitty more on history has never hurt anybody, specially if you try to read various historians with different outlooks on facts, characters, events, interactions and consequences.

            Libraries (those that have not seen their funding cut thanks to the austerity imposed on local councils by recent governments) usually have various tomes on British/English history(ies).

            A very enjoyable one, at least for me, is from James Hawes ‘The shortest history of England’, 2020. It puts to bed a number of the tales usually fed in various instalments to the English people. I particularly loved the ‘revised’ 55BC-1508AD period.

            I must admit that thanks to this particular book I enjoyed even more today’s serving of ‘Mother of Parliament, Magna Carta, equal freedoms’ as if the populus of those years had seen anything changing in their day-to-day life conditions because a few barons had been fed up to the teeth with Sir (oops!) King John.

    4. ChrisS
      December 22, 2020

      It may have passed you by, Simeon, but Europe is largely back to normal and once again it is dominated by Germany. Merkel might have to pay lip service to Macron and others, but the smaller countries really don’t matter in the world of EU decision making. Ask Greece and Italy if you don’t believe me.

      The most catastrophic mistake was the Euro. It allows German industry to thrive like never before without suffering the consequences of a higher exchange rate to compensate. This has done immense damage to almost all the other economies in the Eurozone. It’s why the Germans will put up with idiots like Macron for as long as they can keep the Eurozone going. Without it, any new German currency would increase in value by 35%-50%.

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        December 22, 2020

        The countries of the European Union are listening attentively to one another.

        They are unaware of and disinterested in whatever you might say here, on the other hand.

      2. Edward2
        December 22, 2020

        Great post ChrisS

      3. margaret howard
        December 22, 2020

        ChrisS

        ” but the smaller countries really don’t matter in the world of EU decision making. Ask Greece and Italy if you don’t believe me”

        Do our own smaller members in our union, Wales, Scotland or NIreland matter much in the world of London decision making?

        They certainly don’t believe so otherwise there wouldn’t be so much resentment and successful independence parties like the SNP. And unlike in the ‘ British’ union any EU member can leave if it so desires.

        1. Martin in Cardiff
          December 22, 2020

          Yes, simply by sending a letter.

          There’s no requirement even to have a referendum if the country’s own constitution does not require it.

          As indeed the UK’s does not.

          And that is what Farage was going to do in the event of ukip ever getting the whip hand in Parliament.

          1. Edward2
            December 22, 2020

            Fantasy scenario Martin.
            But if the majority voted for UKIP then he as leader could do that.
            Your mate Andy tells us you will gain a majority and reverse Brexit.
            What’s the difference?

        2. Edward2
          December 22, 2020

          Well they get lots of extra money from England and then use it to give their people free student fees, free eye tests, free prescriptions and lots of other freebies.
          Whereas Greece Cyprus and even Italy have had austerity imposed on them by the EU

          1. steve
            December 23, 2020

            Edward 2

            “Your mate Andy tells us you will gain a majority and reverse Brexit.”

            ===========

            Andy’s rhetoric comes from somewhere not normally associated with words, unless he is a reincarnation of Le Petomane.

        3. Lynn Atkinson
          December 22, 2020

          Our Celtic firing drives decision making in London. Every Labour Government is imposed on England by the over represented Celtic fringe.

          1. steve
            December 23, 2020

            Lynn Atkinson

            “Every Labour Government is imposed on England by the over represented Celtic fringe.”

            ===========

            This is indeed true. It is generally believed that the Scottish vote put Blair into power.

      4. Simeon
        December 22, 2020

        I don’t disagree with you. I’m not sure you read my third paragraph, particularly, “supranational policies that damage the interests of individual nation states, etc.”.

      5. bill brown
        December 23, 2020

        ChrisS

        You really do not udnerstand economics, yes Germany has thrived on teh EURO and so has all of eeastern Europe and all of northern Europe as part of a strong trading block, which ahs given them all significant higher standards of living.
        Your point on some countries in southern Europe are correct but in the meantime some of them have also had significant rises in standard of living .
        The lastest decisin making in the EU on teh budget was actually led my Holland, Denmark, Seden Austria and Finland . NO your conclusions do not stack up

        1. Edward2
          December 23, 2020

          I love your self confidence bill.
          You understand economics.
          But anyone who doesn’t agree with your analysis doesn’t.
          Sums you up.

    5. No Longer Anonymous
      December 22, 2020

      I would agree and Germany is absolved of all blame for WW2 atrocities. The BBC, Hollywood, historians, everyone is at pains to say that “The Nazis did it.”

      A mysterious and extinct tribe. Possibly exiled to Sth America somewhere after VE.

      Now, I don’t mind this but when Britain (more to the point The English) are still dragged through the mud at every opportunity by our own BBC, Hollywood, historians… (notably on slavery – which they, in fact, ended) then it is only fair to point out why Jean Monnet founded the EU (nee ECSC) and that was containment of Germany – not ‘Nazis’ but Germany.

      1. Simeon
        December 22, 2020

        I think that German guilt over the holocaust is real and significant. Mostly, they have been their own worst critics. I don’t think Germans in general simply blame a small minority of Nazis. I think it is reasonable for foreigners to let the Germans deal with the mistakes they made without reminding them about it.

        I agree that there is a great deal of self-loathing amongst sections of the British population, and that it is especially prevalent amongst the establishment. Despite his (in my view, incoherent and unimpressive) rhetoric, I think the PM is similarly disposed. I’m all for a sober assessment on one’s place and part, but you will struggle to find this in the mainstream.

        The natural hegemony of Germany on the Continent was indeed the motivating force for the EU. The idea was that it would allow German superiority a relatively healthy expression. In this narrow respect, one could argue that the EU has been a success. But there is a wider context, and in that the EU is clearly a very bad mistake.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          December 22, 2020

          You are completely wrong in your assumptions. Therefor everything built on that is wrong.

          1. Simeon
            December 22, 2020

            So you don’t think the EU is clearly a very bad mistake. Okay.

  14. The other Christine
    December 22, 2020

    The key words are ‘accountable democracy’. The rumour going around is that the treaty/deal/whatever you want to call it will be presented to Parliament at the 11th hour and MPs will have to vote on a 300 page document that they will not have had time to read or the opportunity to debate in the Chamber. This is what the House of Representatives has just done in the USA and I seem to recall not so long ago that Teresa May pulled exactly the same trick on the Cabinet. It’s disgraceful. Let’s not pretend we live in a democracy and just call it what it is. Dictatorship.

    1. oldtimer
      December 22, 2020

      I think you may prove to be right about this. It all looks too stage managed so that detailed scrutiny, by MPs and the rest of us who can be bothered, is avoided. My instinct is that any last minute “deal” will be a Johnson sellout. At this point my trust in politicians is at zero percent.

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      December 22, 2020

      But what you want is exactly a dictatorship, which brutally imposes what you groundlessly assert that seventeen million people unanimously want over the other fifty million.

      Isn’t it?

      The UK’s appalling electoral system goes a long way to enable this too.

      You are utterly spoilt.

      1. Edward2
        December 22, 2020

        Ridiculous use of statistics again Martin.
        There are well established sensible rules for voting.
        It isn’t compulsory.
        You have to be a citizen.
        You have to be 18 years old or above.
        The was a dicisive majority for leaving the EU.
        And a huge 80 seat majority for the party that had the headline of “get Brexit done”
        The 3 remain parties had dreadful election results.

      2. dixie
        December 22, 2020

        Which is exactly what you have done to the majority for the last 40+ years.

        You voted for the status quo, we voted to undo it all.

      3. Fred H
        December 22, 2020

        You are utterly minoritized.

      4. a-tracy
        December 22, 2020

        It wasn’t just one election though was it Martin, it was backed up with a European Election that gave the Brexit Party a massive majority.

        We then held two elections that gave leave majorities, the latter one with a promise of Independence by Boris personally got an 80 seat majority and took with it a raft of red seats.

    3. Andy
      December 22, 2020

      It is Brexit. And last time – with the withdrawal agreement – Conservative MPs had more than two months to read it. And most of them didn’t. This is why we have a border down the Irish Sea.

      1. steve
        December 23, 2020

        Andy

        This is why we have a border down the Irish Sea.

        ================

        No, we have a border down the Irish Sea because we have a soft as shit government.

        1. Lynn Atkinson
          December 23, 2020

          …because we have a Remainer Government.

    4. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      And MPs seem to take underhand blow after underhand blow.
      Like punch bags.
      Look at Boris delivering his coup de foudre when he knew there was no time for debate.
      Why can’t MPs try being underhand?
      Change the clocks. Lock the doors. Find some old rules to revive.
      Be heard.
      Surely it is past midnight now?

      COVID has been MOST convenient as a democracy block.

    5. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      This is surely what is going to happen. The “mutant variant” and blockade a planned part of this process probably.

      Freedom yes please. Freedom and choice, perhaps to go out, meet people, make our own laws, fish in out own waters, freedom to say what we wish to (offensive to some snowflake others or not), freedom to choose our healthcare provision, our broadcasters, our electricity, gas, vehicles and children’s education without being financially forced to use the state enforced, virtual monopoly ones. Freedom to build our houses without being forced to install expensive green crap too.

      Freedom in full from the EU. But with friendship and cooperation where it is possible and sensible.

      1. DavidJ
        December 22, 2020

        Green crap indeed LL. It will destroy our lives but maybe that is the intention. It is absolutely staggering that the flawed and manipulated “science” behind it is still being followed. Clearly it is too useful a tool to be discarded.

        1. Mike Durrans
          December 22, 2020

          +1

    6. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      If that is true then , for once, the MPs must be ready.
      Insist on some sort of extension.
      Sit through the night.
      Just try being creative.
      Unless you all really want a Johnson fudge.

  15. BJC
    December 22, 2020

    You’d think that having been proved right again and again on so many fundamental levels, the government would be first in line to listen to you. Nothing is sacred or worth protecting for this short-sighted government and they continue to negotiate away our newly-regained independence as if it’s of no consequence or value to us. Of course, the larger the share of control the EU can retain or ensure is left unresolved, the more they can influence opinion and look forward to a government that could fully capitulate in future.

    I presume that the latest surrender on fishing is the ransom for keeping our nation fed? The Mafia must be proud.

    1. glen cullen
      December 22, 2020

      Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

  16. Cheshire Girl
    December 22, 2020

    This is off topic, for which I apologise, but apart from a very brief line or two in the Daily Telegraph, I could see no mention of the tragic death of Margaret Tebbit, the Wife of (Sir) Norman Tebbit. I looked in vain at other newspaper websites. Its almost as if it had been ‘airbrushed’ out.

    I hope this was not the case.

    1. Fred H
      December 22, 2020

      a VERY large obituary page attributed to her in the TIMES today.
      Change what you buy and read!

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      Yes a wonderful couple. Suffered outrageously and no justice to the murderous IRA. Lord Tebbit is still a towering Tory.
      Sincere condolences for his great loss.

    3. SM
      December 22, 2020

      No, it has not been airbrushed out, there are some lengthy obituaries up now.

    4. Qubus
      December 22, 2020

      A large and interesting obit. in today’s Daily Telegraph also.

  17. acorn
    December 22, 2020

    Redwood and Farage Angry That France Has Taken Back Control Of Its Borders! D’oh!

    “… France closing her borders against a fellow member of the single market …” We left the Single Market last February. The Transition period is part of the Withdrawal Agreement.

    Reply We are still fully in the single market until year end.

    1. glen cullen
      December 22, 2020

      I see our borders are still wide open to illegal immigrantion from France

      1. acorn
        December 22, 2020

        glen. Which is what the referendum was all about. The Leave campaign was designed to be interpreted by the proletariat as the no immigration vote.

        Remain was designed to be interpreted by the prols as a continued flood of immigration from the EU. It was a brilliantly executed campaign which took advantage of the low level of political sophistication in the UK electorate.

        The leave campaign had no idea what they were going to replace EU membership with, so they deliberately never mentioned it in the leave campaign. This government still has no idea how we are going to get to the sunny uplands Brexiteers promised we would have outside the EU.

        1. glen cullen
          December 22, 2020

          and yet the Leave vote still won

        2. Edward2
          December 22, 2020

          The leave campaign was about regaining control of our laws borders and money.
          Remain lost because they tried to use Project Fear and it was too negative.

        3. dixie
          December 23, 2020

          If you are so sophisticated why you remainiacs keep lying in such an amateurish way – from the Vote Leave pamphlet (page 30);
          “We regain legal control of things like trade, tax, economic regulation, energy and food bills, migration, crime, and civil liberties. If we vote for the people who make our trade deals and control public services, the results will be better. British voters should be able to change our laws and control our taxes by voting out politicians.”

  18. bill brown
    December 22, 2020

    Sir JR

    We Have not lost our freedom as members of the EU nor have we lost our sovreignty .

    Parliament still veters on wehter we stay in te EU or not and we still have free choice on whether we stay in the EU or not.

    So, the fredom discussion in this context seems a bit off road.

    Merry Chsitsmas

    1. Edward2
      December 22, 2020

      Which court is supreme in the UK?
      Read the treaties.
      Yes we are free to leave, but to state the UK never lost nor gave away its sovereignty to the EU whilst being a member is completely wrong.

      1. bill brown
        December 23, 2020

        Edward 2

        Nobody gave away anythign thir Parlimants did not agree on, so they had full sovreignty to say no. SO yes we disagree in that interpretation

        1. Edward2
          December 23, 2020

          That is a very odd response bill.
          First you told us that the UK hasn’t given away any sovereignty to the EU.
          Then when shown that claim isn’t correct, you reply saying….err, yes OK, the UK did give away it’s sovereignty to the EU, but because Parliament allowed it to happen, err….I can say therefore it didn’t really happen.

          1. bill brown
            December 23, 2020

            Edward 2

            You draw conclusions on the text which you cannot draw, but if you want to play the clown go ahead and be my guest. It is a bit like your statement about the clar intentions of the French, even if you do not really know. It seems to be a reoccuring phenomena.
            Merry Christmas

          2. Lynn Atkinson
            December 23, 2020

            The EU requirement was that each country joined ‘in accordance with its own laws’. Our law demanded that the Constitutional statutes that the European Communities Act ‘72 contradicted, be explicitly repealed by Parliament. This was NOT done, so in law we never joined.
            Let’s hear what Bull can make of that. In German if you are more comfortable Bull. I will translate.

          3. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            I’m just reading what you right bill.
            No need for the abuse.
            You try to deny me my opinions.
            And it will never work.
            PS
            Your claims about the UK not losing any sovereignty to the EU is nonsense.
            And you know it.
            Why deny it?

    2. Simeon
      December 22, 2020

      You are certainly right to say that the UK government now has, and always has had, the power to walk away from the EU. However, governing in the UK people’s best interests necessarily entails diverging from the EU aquis, and therefore leaving the EU. The issue now is that the UK government is openly defying the expressed will of the people in the 2016 referendum. The problem is that this same government was elected on a platform to remain under EU control, as the WA makes abundantly clear. Were the people duped by the Tories, were they hoping for the best, despite grave reservations, or did they endorse the policy to ‘Get Brexit Done’ – a conveniently ambiguous phrase. It is impossible to know for sure what the will of the people actually is when people voted the same way for different reasons. But our democracy dictates that the elected representatives make the decisions – up until they lose their mandate. My purpose is to encourage Sir John to play his part in denying the present government their mandate.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        You have been reading the BDI – I designed that strategy in 1995, we launched it in 1999. The ideas were new then.

        1. Simeon
          December 22, 2020

          I’ve done some googling, and so can confirm that I’ve never read the BDI. But, as I think I have said in an earlier exchange, the ideas that you proposed back then may now have come of age (though I can’tcommenton, nor therefore endorse, specifics). Just because they weren’t well-received then doesn’t mean they will be similarly dismissed now.

          I also better understand your ill-feeling toward friend Farage. I would agree that a new figurehead is needed. He is damaged goods, at his own hand of course.

    3. ian@Barkham
      December 22, 2020

      If only what you were suggesting was true

      A simple point, the EU won’t trade equally, all the stumbling blocks on a trade agreement with the UK amount to the EU wanting to keep control, create the laws and pass down rules. Not only on those that have dealings with the EU, but also on those that will never have any dealings with the EU.

      On fishing it is not about the amounts of fish, it is that the EU wants full control over UK Sovereign territory, for them to be the ones that define what is appropriate and for them to administer regardless of the stocks. EU territory fish stocks have been depleted by the EU’s reckless administration – so they now need to plunder the stocks of other territories. Irony, France therefore the EU has the Worlds largest EEZ already under their control and that is still not enough.

      Any Country that does not create, have the ability to amend, or repeal its own laws and rules via its own Parliament and through the elected representatives, is not free or sovereign.

      Sovereignty belongs to the people of a free democratic country, it is leant to their elected representatives for them to use in an elected Parliament. As such any miss-use the people will remove these representatives.

      The Laws and Rules that the EU passes down cannot be made, adjusted or repealed through the elected representatives of the UK people. The EU is fighting not over trade but to keep the UK embedded under their control – a colony.

      In these ‘trade talks’ the EU is seeking to punish the UK if it does not comply with any law or rule it hands down. Again this is not just on the small part of the UK that trades with the EU (less than 8% of GDP ) that has any dealing with the EU but the whole of the UK. This is not about Trade it is about Control. Something that the EU does not impose on any other nation

      So even whilst members of the EU the UK people, its industry and yes even its fishing industry had no democratic rights in the true sense. They had to do what they were told.

  19. George Brooks.
    December 22, 2020

    When will Boris stop this stupid charade of the so called ‘negotiations’ and let our team stand down and spend the last few remaining days to December 31 giving industry and commerce the clear message that we are leaving and will trade under WTO rules like many other independent countries.

    Macron’s closure of the French Channel ports is another ‘own goal’. His aim appears to be to encourage the ardent Remainers and ruin our Christmas so that we might extend the Transition period. In fact all he has managed to do is to box up a 1000 or so EU truck drivers trying to get home for the holiday in their empty vehicles, stop Spain’s main export market and deny his fellow countrymen the supply of large quantities of shell fish.

    More importantly he has given us a practice run of our plans to open up and run our lorry park system which has gone well.

    Boris, stop wasting your time and effort on these farcical talks and concentrate on getting CV-19 under control and protecting our economy as much as you can. That includes stopping Witty and Valence giving unscripted comments to the news media.

    1. DavidJ
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    3. margaret howard
      December 22, 2020

      George Brooks

      “More importantly he has given us a practice run of our plans to open up and run our lorry park system which has gone well.”

      Why do we need such a ‘lorry park system’? Do we expect post brexit pandemonium? And why didn’t we need such a system while we were EU members?

      1. Martin in Cardiff
        December 22, 2020

        Yes, I wonder how the lorry drivers judge the success of this government?

      2. Edward2
        December 22, 2020

        Because the French seem determined to play up.

        1. bill brown
          December 23, 2020

          Edward 2

          It does not change the fact that your assessment on teh 8 other countries and their currencies was wrong again

          1. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            You have posted in the wrong place again bill.
            Have another go.

      3. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        We need it for all the Irish lorries which have not been allowed to cross the French border Margaret.

  20. M P B
    December 22, 2020

    Sir John

    Appropriately I address you as Sir John, a Parliamentarian who has once again hinted at raising the flag of Parliament against the arrogance and deceit of Government.

    Freedom you title your blog! Freedom is exactly what we do not have, be it Brexit, C19, Speech or many of the other issues being pursued by our Emperor Buffon with his new clothes.

    Ironically in this era of mass information flow we are provided little information, only mass propaganda by politicians and officials who don’t even look embarrassed when previous profoundly made statements are reversed or rewritten or proven to be false.

    We are fast moving to a one party state, run by Boris and Kier, both of whom conveniently have names reflecting their once opposing but now lost political backgrounds.

    You promise more blogs on the battles to be won to regain our freedom. You are not a 20th Century phamleteer, you have a duty to Parliament to act now, raise you battle standard and quickly whilst you still can or the battles will be even more in number and the war longer.

    1. Mark B
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    2. Simeon
      December 22, 2020

      “You are not a 20th Century pamphleteer.” He oughtn’t to be simply that. Let us see what the new year brings. Over to you Sir John.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        The Times is no longer the official record for obvious reasons. Sir John’s diary is published and lodged in the a British library for future generations. Like the Book of Matthew, a commentary is very important.

  21. matthu
    December 22, 2020

    We read today about firms working on developing “freedom passports” that will permit carriers to prove that they are COVID free and thus able to visit schools, pubs and workplaces.

    This when there is even now no transparency on the rate of false positives for PCR testing and no desire by the government to achieve this transparency.

    These freedom passports are nothing more than a system of permits akin to the apartheid system of passes controlling where people may go and where they may gather. Will people be arrested or fined draconian amounts if they venture out to a pub without the necessary permit? Will the pub be closed down? Will schoolchildren be denied education if they arrive at the school gate without their freedom pass?

    1. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      It is a way of ensuring uptake of vaccines.
      Lots and lots of them.
      The “New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group” ( look up the members..very interesting) is busy discovering new viruses as we type!

      NERVTAG!

  22. Jack Falstaff
    December 22, 2020

    We cannot deliver our presents.

    Our politicians cannot deliver Brexit.

    All that is “oven-ready” is stuck in a different tier.

    Is that freedom?

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      December 22, 2020

      They delivered brexit last January.

      They cannot deliver your fantasy world, however.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        The Brexit present has been stuck in the post Martin. Seem we may not get it this year either, but the 800 years we governed ourselves were real not ‘fantasy’ and one way or the other, we shall govern ourselves in our own interest again.

      2. Edward2
        December 22, 2020

        If they delivered Brexit last January why are we still negotiating?

        1. steve
          December 23, 2020

          Edward2

          “If they delivered Brexit last January why are we still negotiating?”

          ==========

          Basically, because Boris seems to think he has to pander to the whinging of big businesses too lazy and too greedy to adapt.

          These businesses are also terrified of losing their source of cheap unskilled labour. The prospect of having to pay British workers a wage commensurate with skills & show us some respect also terrifies them.

          Big business is more important than what we the electorate say. That is why Boris is still talking to the EU.

          What he should be doing is telling them to STFU & get on with it. If they object, they’re welcome to get out of the country but they won’t be leaving with the money.

      3. steve
        December 23, 2020

        MiC

        “They cannot deliver your fantasy world, however.”

        ================

        How does that compare to yours i.e. wooly rainbow hats, demos at any opportunity, giving free money spongeing immigrants, extreme jealousy of anyone who owns anything, destroying British values, woke-ism, infestation and corruption of the Civil Service, destroying freedom of speech, the country unable to defend and feed itself…..the list is endless.

        You see why so many people despise what people like you stand for.

        Seems to me Martin your left winger’s marxist fantasy world would fail, very quickly.

  23. Sir Joe Soap
    December 22, 2020

    Apart from the EU we have a more domestic issue where the Chief Constable in Belfast has to grovel and apologise for handing out more penalty noticed to people knocking monuments down compared to those protecting them. It’s not just the EU, we have our own home grown Marxists in control.

    1. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      +1

  24. Nigl
    December 22, 2020

    I hope this isn’t because you think a sell out is on the cards. Their latest behaviour shows what bullies they are. We need to stay strong.

  25. agricola
    December 22, 2020

    Well Sir John we have all been on the same journey, contributing in many varied ways according to our talents. We are now prolonging the end game in what amounts to a very messy divorce. We need the clarity of that divorce and a clear way to an entirely new life. Absolutely no loose ends after 31st December. Anything less is politically unsustainable for your party.

  26. Lester Cynic Beedell
    December 22, 2020

    An article in the Conservative Woman today which perfectly sums up Johnson
    “The never-ending Boris Horror Show” which is exactly how I feel and I can only imagine how the Red Wall voters must feel

  27. middle ground
    December 22, 2020

    Looks like there may be agreement on fishing so we may have a deal with our largest market.
    As for democracy, what part of the House of Lords represents democracy.Not the time servers, charlatans and party donors. There are some terrific members of the Lords but do we need so many and why are they not elected, preferably outside the party system.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      The original Lords represented their own vast estates. They are long gone, this House is redundant as you say. It must be removed and not replaced – as advocated by Lord Kinnock in his former incarnation.

      1. steve
        December 23, 2020

        Lynn Atkinson

        Most of ’em got to be Lords because Tony said so. They’re not real Lords…..not the kind of people one could look up to.

  28. Brian Tomkinson
    December 22, 2020

    The freedoms I want restored right now are those taken from us by this government, this year. We have moved to an authoritarian state with little resistance from those elected to represent us. Parliament has become useless and it is clear that those of us who have not been brain-washed, despite the best endeavours of the government, its behavioural scientists and the mainstream media, must together overturn this tyranny.

  29. Andy
    December 22, 2020

    Uttered without a hint of irony.

    You, your party and what you claim as a single group of leave voters (which it isn’t) are responsible for the biggest theft of freedom in my lifetime.

    The freedom for any of us – regardless of means – to live, work, study, love in 30 other countries stolen by elderly xenophobes.

    Enjoy your cheap tampons. We will claim our rights back one day.

    Thieves.

    1. Philip P.
      December 22, 2020

      You’re exaggerating again, Andy. In my younger days I was already free to work on the continent before we joined the Common Market in 1973, and did so – lived, worked, studied and loved.

      Young people now will still be able to study in the EU, though I gather they will need to get a study visa which will hardly be a massive burden.

      Right now, what worries people around here is more likely to be things like the fact that we aren’t free to even ‘leave our own area’, never mind go looking for work in the South of France or study in Heidelberg. But all these lockdown restrictions don’t seem to have bothered you all that much, do they?

    2. DavidJ
      December 22, 2020

      I’ve lived and worked for years in other countries without problems. Seems like you would be happier in the EU..

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        Even Satan would reject useless Andy.

      2. Fred H
        December 22, 2020

        Andy – – and many of them retire much earlier than in the UK, have better ‘cost-of living’ calculated pensions – – a bigger drain on the country finances.
        I wonder how your ageist whinges would go down in the 27?

    3. beresford
      December 22, 2020

      Biggest theft of freedom in your lifetime? Where have you been for the last nine months? Never mind the freedom of your children to work in Albania, they’ll be lucky to find jobs here after the Government close all small and medium businesses.

    4. steve
      December 22, 2020

      Andy

      If I send you some free tampons will it shut you up ?

  30. Nigl
    December 22, 2020

    And we appear to be crumbling over fish. Why are we offering to pay them when they are our fish. Hardly the action of an independent nation, indeed it ties us to them for umpteen years.

    Let their own governments use their money.as ever the EU plays hardball, we give in.

  31. Chris Dark
    December 22, 2020

    A five year “transition” for the EU to reduce its fishing by one third, I see is likely. Utter capitulation. That is not “taking our waters back”. It is pure betrayal.

    Reply Why believe it?

    1. glen cullen
      December 22, 2020

      I also believe we have capitulated on fisheries – the endless deadlines have been building momentum towards the ‘great sell-out’

      The stars are aligned, the plague is upon us and our neighbour twitchy….the people will never now till its too late

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      December 22, 2020

      Betrayal of what, exactly?

      The words that you groundlessly put into the mouths of every single Leave voter, and even then they are only about a quarter of the population?

      There was a case for the UK’s leaving the European Union, and it has discharged any such obligation last January.

      There is none whatsoever for the extremist position that you wish to take on post-exit relations, and about which you have never even been asked, however.

      So give this silliness a rest.

      1. Edward2
        December 22, 2020

        There you go again with your ridiculous statistics Martin.
        Leave had a big majority of over one million more votes than remain.

        1. bill brown
          December 23, 2020

          Edward 2

          Wrong again not all 8 are udner pressure as some of them have a treaty which tells they can keep thei own currency the Danes and the Brits

          1. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            You have posted in the wrong place again bill.
            Let us hope Santa brings you some new reading glasses.
            And a better keyboard for you computer.

          2. Lynn Atkinson
            December 23, 2020

            If my German was as bad as your English Bull, I would be more circumspect.

    3. Fred H
      December 22, 2020

      reply to reply….well endless resumption of talks (negotiation!) after deadline after deadline come and go. We don’t believe him – DO YOU?

      Numerous times he could have pulled the team out and publically stated no attempt to compromise is wasting time. He would have retained ‘some’ respect.
      Now he is thought of as a buffoon, a liar, a chancer, a coward, a weak and devious PM.

      Remains the leader of your Party and worse our Country – shamed to say!

      1. glen cullen
        December 22, 2020

        Agree

    4. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      Answer to Reply: because Stewart Jackson has set out the schedule for pushing the ‘agreement’ through by 30th December.

  32. Bryan Harris
    December 22, 2020

    We know the EU as bullies that want everything their way – Boris has a duty to resist them in every way.
    It often occurs to me that it is entirely possible that the EU could have played a hidden hand in encouraging some of the events of the gloomy times when Wilson was PM and the unions ruled. They were awful times, and I especially recall the mid 70’s as a time of gloom and factories standing silent, which were thanks to labour’s incompetence.
    Then of course came the impact of being inside the EU.

    I was fortunate enough to get a good job abroad while everything was collapsing in labour’s Britain. When I came back that wonderful woman Thatcher had all but turned everything around – It was such a thrill to be back in a dynamic growing economy, even if the EU was still soaking us for every penny they could get out of us.

    If only Major had not succeeded in becoming PM…. Our relationship with the EU would have been so much more pragmatic, and eventually more rewarding – we might even have left far far sooner, if only that MP for Wokingham had won the battle to become PM.
    But even then the political establishment was strong enough to deny him that, and keep us subservient to the EU.

    1. Robert Harneis
      December 22, 2020

      Agreed, I remember it all too well, expect I wasn’t smart enough to work abroad. But consider instead of Major we might have had Tarzan.

  33. Iain Gill
    December 22, 2020

    Boris is already toast due to the dire handling of Covid, although in truth the the poor quality at the top of the NHS, civil service, and scientific advisors are largely to blame, and they all need a clear out. We have got to start improving the quality of our politicians, we need far wider world views, far more substance, far more with science backgrounds, far more who have done proper jobs.
    If he comes up with some crazy deal at the last minute and he expects MP’s to sign it off with a casual glance through then he should just go immediately.

    1. Bryan Harris
      December 22, 2020

      ++++

    2. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      Every word a gem!

  34. Everhopeful
    December 22, 2020

    “Lost freedoms”.
    Yes..and removed in such duplicitous ways that even now, a good many have no idea what they have lost.
    Quite happy in captivity.
    They think Boris is looking after them!

    1. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      +++1

  35. beresford
    December 22, 2020

    Freedom is under assault in Britain today as the Government battles to implement its globalist agenda. People live under arbitrary laws which dictate how often you may leave your house or who you may have sexual relationships with. ‘Freedom passes’ are proposed on dubious scientific grounds to determine whether you may travel or enter a pub or cinema. Enthusiastic baton-waving police charge elderly people trying to protest the Government policies while ignoring BLM demos on orders of their Chief Constables. The judiciary refuse to hear cases opposing the orthodoxy. Legislation is mooted to silence inconvenient voices in the media or on-line. An Army psi-ops unit is deployed to spread propaganda. And even Parliament is sidestepped so the Cabinet can rule by fiat.

    1. Iain gill
      December 22, 2020

      Yes indeed

    2. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      +++++1

  36. Everhopeful
    December 22, 2020

    Oh yes, as expected Boris is dropping hints about school closures…indefinitely.
    (And we know these hints are always predictive) Virus. Second Wave. Mutation. Third Wave.
    As per the agenda.
    All schooling on line for ever.
    So there we have it.
    The Great Reset.
    I just do not believe that all the establishment is in the dark!!

  37. Glenn Vaughan
    December 22, 2020

    John

    Hancock knows when you are sleeping
    Hancock knows when you’re awake
    Hancock knows when you are good or bad
    so keep social distancing for f**k’s sake!

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      December 22, 2020

      Unfortunately he’s not that funny.
      Frightening people witless without strong evidence isn’t funny.

      1. Glenn Vaughan
        December 22, 2020

        Who said he was funny?

        Bizarre!

  38. glen cullen
    December 22, 2020

    An ancient European saying about trust

    Never trust a hairline crack in a sword, a playful bear or the son’s of kings

    In modern times now insert the Tory party

  39. Sakara Gold
    December 22, 2020

    It is now clear that we need a different approach in the way we are dealing with the Chinese plague virus here in the UK. The evolution and current rapid spread of a new, hyper-transmissible virus variant – and now our being cut off by the rest of the world – shows that we cannot continue as before.

    Many middle-ranking public health professionals, academics and medics think that we should now move rapidly to a zero virus strategy of the sort that has been successful in the far east and the antipodes. This will involve stricter, but more rational, social distancing rules across the country and finally doing what we should have done from the start – to build the kind of test, travel, isolate and support programmes that they have in countries who have managed to suppress the virus to negligible levels

    Many on the official (and the unofficial) SAGE committees believe that the current approach is unlikely to contain the virus, however their views are being suppressed. Many public health professionals disagree so profoundly with the current approach that books are now being published; John Ashton’s (an experienced, qualified public health consultant to the Bahrain government) book “Blinded by Corona” is a good example

    Repeated lockdowns no longer work, the tier system appears to have made the situation worse, the current test and trace system is wasting financial resources and is ineffective and many view the government responses as firefighting rather than working to a pro-active strategy.

    An alternative strategy, based on the proven response in Australia and New Zealand would involve the following;

    1) Immediately close the borders, ports, airports and tunnel links to all except essential hauliers (who rarely leave their cabs and are low risk) and cargo flights. This will involve carefully managed testing and quarantine centres for returning Brits and other esstential people.

    2) Introduce a final, enforced total lockdown to break chains of transmission and identify the hotspots. This will mean stoppping domestic vehicle travel and leave only supermarkets/grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, and petrol stations as the only commerce allowed, social interaction must be limited to within households.

    3) Vaccinate front-line hospital staff, GP surgery staff, anybody involved in front-line care

    4) Build vaccinated response teams to put breakout areas into special measures, using local authority test and trace specialists to identify contacts, enforce self-isolation by daily checks.

    Johnson should show leadership and announce changes at the top to reassure the public that someting different was being attempted and to reinforce the message that instead of just slowing the transmission of the virus, the UK had set a course of eradicating COVID-19 from its shores, by cutting off the arrival of new cases and choking out existing ones with the restrictions.

    What I have describled above will be highly unpopular with the libertarian element in the party. However, these procedures are those Australia and New Zealand used – and they are proven to work. We cannot continue trying the same things and expect a different outcome.

  40. Richard1
    December 22, 2020

    Off topic, but I really think Matt Hancock should be allowed to spend more time with his family. His ridiculous scare-mongering using language such as the virus is ‘out of control’ and warming of restrictions for months is not supported by evidence – and has apparently surprised scientists who advised on it. It is regarded as a nonsense by many international scientists including advisers to other governments. As explained very well in the Telegraph by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, what has happened is the U.K. has simply discovered this new strain first. Its almost certainly all over the place.

    Hancock has stirred up understandable but misplaced alarm and silly reactions in other countries and given the little Napoleon in the Elysée Palace an excuse for a fatuous Brexit-driven gesture on freight. (We must think of ways to repay him, revenge being a dish best served cold…)

    1. Caterpillar
      December 22, 2020

      Richard 1,

      It is notable that Sir John writes so eloquently and hopefully on “freedom” and “accounatable democracy”, whilst we the people continue to be subjected to Mr Hancock and the consequences thereof. A striking contrast.

    2. RichardP
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    3. Robert Harneis
      December 22, 2020

      Could it be that the government is quite happy to distract the country with a lot of Covid nonsense as we negotiate our way day by day to 31 December? Without the great Covid we would have been entertained by highly subsidised Remainer demonstrations through the streets of London.

    4. Mark B
      December 22, 2020

      Reading this from your Richard1, a staunch Tory supporter, shows the level of unrest growing in the nation.

      As for our 1FF Napoleon, I am happy for all those French citizens living in London and the UK to do it for us in the upcoming Presidential elections.

    5. Sir Joe Soap
      December 22, 2020

      He is indeed child-like and naive.
      He strikes me as though he should be a trainee-grade civil servant, shuffling papers somewhere well out of harm’s way.

    6. Timaction
      December 22, 2020

      Don’t buy any French or German products or services. Full stop. They are not our friends as Boris often repeats to the point of boredom!

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        +1

  41. glen cullen
    December 22, 2020

    I wonder if the reports are true about fisheries

    The UK have offered a five year no change transition period followed by a EU 65/ UK 35 split of our waters

    If true every single Tory MP is complicit for stabbing democracy in the back

    Reply I shouldn’t think so. The EU side put out a lot of false info about UK climb downs, but so far their forecast deadline climb downs by UK have all proved wrong.

    1. Fred H
      December 22, 2020

      Capitulation!
      1 year transition is plenty. EU 20% /UK 80% catch by volume and value.
      Show some balls – we have come all this way – 4 years – to finally back away in the last possible days.
      COWARDS?

      1. glen cullen
        December 22, 2020

        Completely right COWARDS – lions led by donkeys

    2. glen cullen
      December 22, 2020

      I apologise unreservedly in advance if this report and its claims are proven to be untrue …..but it’s a sad indictment of our government that I’m starting to believe EU reports over our own

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        Yes I know the feeling, though ‘Brexit Stewart’ is indicating same. Would you do business with anyone in Boris’ Government? Me neither.

      2. glen cullen
        December 22, 2020

        Upon reflection I must rescind my apology, as I just don’t believe this government

    3. Mark B
      December 22, 2020

      Reply to reply

      And we put out a lot of false deadlines.

    4. hefner
      December 22, 2020

      People actually in the know (scientific staff doing gene sequencing on samples from persons showing signs of the disease) have been seeing more than a hundred of mutations within COVID-19. Since September some of these scientists have been contracted to follow more closely the development of some of these mutations by being given access to thousands of samples. The present mutation thought to be spreading much more rapidly than others has been known since end of September. The relevant information has been passed regularly to the ‘Authorities’.

      Then the government has been using a technique known as ‘mushroom management’ in ‘learned circles’: Keep the public in the dark, Feed them shit regularly.

      And in that respect, I do not expect any of the keenly followed and well paid newspaper commenters (AE-P) either to know that much more than the common public or to deviate from the Government’s line.

      Merry Christmas everyone.

      1. a-tracy
        December 23, 2020

        Hefner, how do you know these things? Which scientists have been contracted to follow more closely the development of some of these mutations, is this in Great Britain? Just on strains in GB?

        We were locked down for November!

        1. hefner
          December 25, 2020

          Ever heard of COG-UK?

    5. Sir Joe Soap
      December 22, 2020

      So why not just declare No Deal?

      1. Simeon
        December 22, 2020

        Exactly. But then the WA was passed to enable exactly this scenario. There was always going to be a deal. Only hysterical Remainers and the thouroughly duped ERG thought otherwise. Sadly, the people of this country voted for a Boris ‘Brexit’, albeit many of them hadn’t realised just how bad a deal he was hawking.

    6. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      I hope so Sir John, I also hope our PM uses the malice shown to Great Britain by the EU and Barnier in particular to declare the withdrawal agreement null and void.

  42. Peter Miller
    December 22, 2020

    Sadly, my five bucks says Boris will bottle it at the last moment in the EU trade negotiations.

    The EU is being thoroughly unreasonable about a trade deal for one simple reason: it does not want the UK leaving it to be an economic success, as this will cause more nations to leave and that will be the end of the sclerotic, bureaucratic, monster.

    1. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      If he’d wanted to go we’d be gone.
      This is all theatre.
      As all in power know full well.

      1. glen cullen
        December 22, 2020

        Correct

    2. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      Exactly and I am certain Boris will cave in and any day now, and/or extend in some duplicitous way. It would be another huge mistake from him in addition to the green crap, HS2, the current lockdowns, the size of the state sector, the absurd tax levels …..

    3. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      You can perhaps put more the 5 bucks on it. The only question is surely when exactly he will cave in. Any day now I suspect.

    4. Barry
      December 22, 2020

      Without Covid, the Brexit negotiations would be attracting greater scrutiny, and probably frustration and criticism.

      I don’t normally believe in conspiracies, partly because few people are capable of organising them and subsequently concealing what they have been up to. Covid is real, obviously, but the fear that has been generated, and kept alive by the new mutation, is certainly politically convenient for the government.

      I don’t know whether to believe this or not, but I’m not ruling it out.

    5. Alan Jutson
      December 22, 2020

      Peter

      Sadly I agree, but hope that will not be the case.

      With so called friends like these who needs enemies.

    6. DavidJ
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    7. Multi-ID
      December 22, 2020

      Correct Peter in all of these discussions with the EU they have had an eye to the bad boys Hungary Poland Bulgaria and Italy- and just in case of deviance from any of them there is the text book on UK Brexit on the Brussels shelf ready to deal to deal with any outbursts- there will not be another time like this again.

  43. Mike Wilson
    December 22, 2020

    So, if it took centuries to achieve the ‘freedoms’ in the article, why did the Tory Party give them away so easily in 1973 and in many of the EU treaties since? Heath knew what he was doing in 1973. Every treaty since has seen the consolidation of EU power over us. Why was it done?

    1. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      Morning Cloud?
      Prize for Charlemagne Prize..lots of dosh.

    2. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      Heath did indeed and it was anyway pointed out to him by E Powell, Peter Shaw, Tony Benn and many others. He even did it without even bothering to ask for voter’s consent.

      1. Lifelogic
        December 22, 2020

        Nearly every Tory leader since has be brought down over Europe. Boris next perhaps if he caves in as I expect him to.

        Heath’s actions have poisoned politics and destroyed real UK democracy for most of my lifetime. An economic illiterate too with his idiotic prices and incomes policy and three day week. Also rather a disaster at the ballot box.

        Needless to say he graduated in PPE at Balliol.

        1. Iago
          December 22, 2020

          Heath went for a walking holiday in Germany in August 1939, had to come back in a vast hurry by train. Sums him up, I think.

        2. Lynn Atkinson
          December 22, 2020

          Heath’s mother was in service, and went to the Great Houses of France with her employers. She brought Heath titbits and stories of the grandeur. Heath compared working class U.K. to upper class France and found us wanting. He developed a hatred of all things English, we see an example in Andy.

      2. Lifelogic
        December 22, 2020

        voters’ consent.

    3. Grey Friar
      December 22, 2020

      The EU has no power over us, it never did. None. All EU members are independent sovereign countries – Germany, Italy, France, all of them proud countries. The EU is just a place where independent countries co-operate, according to a rulebook they have all signed up to freely. It’s tragic that British voters were duped by these stories about losing power to the EU – we had more power as a member of the EU than we do now we are on our own, as you are starting to find out as the harsh reality of the terms one non-member can extract from 27 members becomes obvious

      1. Peter Martin
        December 22, 2020

        You might have a point if there wasn’t an EU parliament and a common currency. It could have been the kind of EU we could all support.

        The idea that 27 countries can make one size fit all is economic nonsense. It can only work properly with the introduction of a United States of Europe as advocated by Ursula von der Leyen and Guy Verhofstadt.

        1. margaret howard
          December 22, 2020

          Peter Martin

          How can you call it a ‘common currency’ if only 19 of the 27 EU member states use it?

          Your claim about the ‘one size fits all’ EU economy is nonsense. How does that apply to members like, say, Holland and Greece? Or France and Bulgaria?

          Oh, and incidentally, the euro has displaced the £ as the world’s second most traded currency after the $. Pity we didn’t join it.

          1. Edward2
            December 22, 2020

            The major economies of the EU use the Euro.
            The remaining 8 are being pressurised to adopt it.
            It is very odd logic to say firstly that it isnt a common currency and then argue at the end that it is the second most traded currency.

          2. Lynn Atkinson
            December 22, 2020

            😂😂it was you Remainers who called the intended Single Currency the ‘common currency’ intimating that the 28 currencies would be maintained. It we Leavers who argued that it was a single currency and Kenneth Clarke QC MP explicitly denied it in a letter to me.

        2. Multi-ID
          December 22, 2020

          Question- How many countries were part of the British Empire? far more than 27?- and yet as trade goes we made it as one size fits all and it made economic sense- the difference between then and our involvement recently with the EU is that at that time we were the chiefs at the head of the table in control of all- and that is the real difference between Empire and EU- because consider this if we could ever again conceive of another Empire of maybe another 27 I am quite sure we would have no problem at all- no problem with sovereignty or minding borders etc- so long as we were the ones at the top of the table so song as we were the the ones in charge-

          1. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            But the people of the UK voted in a referendum to leave the EU.
            We want to return to being an independent nation like the 160 other independent nations on Earth.
            The Commonwealth and the Common Market are very good examples of how the EU should be.
            Sadly many in the EU are intent on building an Empire.

          2. Lynn Atkinson
            December 23, 2020

            But the Empire did not impose Sterling as a ‘single currency’. There was a sterling area of countries, many of which were not in the empire: Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, Iran, Iraq, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Portugal, Siam, Sweden, etc. Despite being parts of the British Empire,

      2. a-tracy
        December 22, 2020

        No power over us Grey? So how could it bill us for an extra £1.5bn due to Osborne putting us on an austerity plan for years? How could it decide to tax us for black market activity that the UK doesn’t collect tax on. How could it decide that we had to send child benefit and child tax credits for children not living in the UK. How was it able to dictate that we must allow those children to be calculated for tax credits? How could it decide that British taxpayers had to pay EU citizens student loans and tuition fees. There are lots of frustrating extra charges that we had no control over when we had regions and children that Marcus Rashford was telling us were starving in the UK! I could go on but it is simply untrue to say the EU has no power of us, just look now at the power Macron is trying to exert even though we are still in the sainted single market. We will find a workaround, if I were in charge we already would have done so, Boris should have known these power games would be in play for the last couple of weeks.

    4. Mark B
      December 22, 2020

      Arrogance of power.

    5. Derek
      December 22, 2020

      Heath was a confidence trickster who denied the claims that the EEC was the first step towards the centralised politicisation of all of its members. I, like millions of others, naively believed the British Prime Minister of the time.
      It has been suggested that Heath has done more damage to this country than that achieved by Hitler in WW2. That surprises me no longer. I believe it.

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        Legg-Burke, who was an MP taken in by Heath, told me categorically that had the House was in known the truth, they would NEVER have passed the ‘death of Britain’ bill.

    6. John Hatfield
      December 22, 2020

      Why was it done?
      Your mission Mike, should you choose to accept, it is to find the answer to your question.

  44. ChrisS
    December 22, 2020

    No deal should be rushed through before the 1st January, it’s too important to our future for it not to be properly scrutinised by Parliament.

    I never thought, and still don’t believe that a solution satisfactory for the UK and acceptable to the Brussels establishment and particulary Macron and the French can be agreed.

    We’ve wasted four years already, time to call a halt.

  45. Andy
    December 22, 2020

    Lots of Brexiteers have been gloating about the vaccine. Developed by two Turkish migrants at a German owned company, in conjunction with a US pharmaceutical giant – and produced in Belgium – it suddenly, somehow, a great British achievement.

    Specifically Brexiteers like to point out the speed with which it has been approved here and the fact that it has been quicker than the US or EU. This is true. We approved it quicker – enabling us to vaccinate less than 1% of our population. But it’s also now been revealed how much we are paying for it. $37 a dose here. The EU is paying $18 a dose.

    The people you trusted to negotiate Brexit negotiated to pay a private company more than double. We perhaps should not be surprised that they also negotiated masses of pointless paperwork, a border down the Irish Sea and lorry parks. I fear you may not even get your discount tampons.

    Happy 2021. Thanks to the Tories mutant variant tens of thousands of us will needlessly die.

    1. ChrisS
      December 22, 2020

      Nobody here is claiming the Pfizer is British.

      As for the cost, Andy, where is your evidence that we are paying $37 a dose when according to the Observer, the official price is just $19.50 per dose ?

      Perhaps you have doubled the price to cover both doses a person needs ?

    2. steve
      December 22, 2020

      Andy

      “Thanks to the Tories mutant variant tens of thousands of us will needlessly die.”

      =========

      When you say ‘us’ I presume you include yourself ?

      1. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        Let’s hope so!

    3. Derek
      December 23, 2020

      “Somehow a Great British achievement” – par for the course with you again. Distorting the facts. Britain ie Boris was claiming, quite rightly, that we were the first Nation to approve a vaccine for public use. That it was developed by Pfizer and BioNtec is not disputed, so who are these Brexiteers you mention that claim the actual vaccine is British invention? Figments of your EU brainwashed imagination? I rather be a Brexiteer than a useful EU zombie so it makes me wonder if you really are British no patriotic Brit would run their country down so much in favour of another.

  46. None of the Above
    December 22, 2020

    Born in the early 50s, I had joined the world of work some years before we joined what was popularly labelled as the Common Market. At the time, I was a Deck Officer Cadet in the Merchant Navy serving on refrigerated cargo ships sailing between the UK and New Zealand and I witnessed the dismay amongst New Zealanders after we joined the EEC. Our trading relationship with the remainder of the Commonwealth was also damaged.
    It is true to say that we had many problems, particularly in our nationalised industries, mainly caused by poor industrial relations. These problems were largely solved by Margaret Thatcher forcing the Trade Unions to democratise but were made worse by the distinctly uneven playing field of the EEC.
    Time to repair this damage and renew old trading routes

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      December 22, 2020

      Aus and NZ are FAR more interested in a comprehensive trade arrangement with the European Union, NOTA.

      1. Fred H
        December 22, 2020

        only now that China loses it over Aus/ NZ deserved criticism.

    2. Multi-ID
      December 22, 2020

      Might happen if we could renew Blue Funnel Blue Star and all of the old British shipping companies but am afraid the Tory business class sold the whole lot off. To renew old trading routes would require shipping offices and agencies to be set up- not to mention training up of British seafarers in sufficient numbers- No I don’t think so- it’s not going to happen and we have not even talked about the huge additional transportation costs including for pollution to the atmosphere in trading over such long distances. Time for a dose of realism here- Regionalism is the way of the new world now- trading with your nearest neighbours- think JIT, think Economy, think saving on Costs, think about what makes sense

      1. dixie
        December 23, 2020

        So you are clearly not aware that Germany imports a significant proportion of hard coal from Australia and the USA, how do you think it gets there, pixie dust?

  47. Everhopeful
    December 22, 2020

    According to WHO experts this “ mutant” COVID is no more dangerous than the first strain of COVID and is only slightly more infectious.
    As in why they change the flu jab every year…viruses change!! And prob jabs help them!
    But obviously Boris Knows Best.
    The devastation is all around us!

  48. alastair harris
    December 22, 2020

    Well said. As good a Christmas message as I have read anywhere.

  49. ukretired123
    December 22, 2020

    Summing up your lifelong aim of Freedom based on the lessons of the past is in the traditions of the finest Knights of the Realm Sir John. We owe you much gratitude and thanks.

    As a young man I wanted to emigrate and join the Brain Drain abroad which many did sadly
    This country had turned into a basket case by bloodyminded Unions. However I was challenged to make it here beforehand and saved by the rich legacy of British engineers and academic innovations esp with electronics. Also Mrs Thatcher’s and your policy of encouraging SMEs which revitalised the economy along with encouraging affordable home ownership and taking more personal responsibility (which the unions hated).

    Instead of being “on the Unions bus” heading nowhere we were freed at last. Today this applies to the European EU bus going nowhere fast.

    1. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      +++++1
      Bring back the real trade apprenticeships not the cheap labour things that are badly used

  50. Peter from Leeds
    December 22, 2020

    Current negotiations look a bit fishy to me. Incoming …. New EU Treaty. How are you voting Sir John? Will we ever be truly free? I think we all know which way Sir Keir will vote.

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      December 22, 2020

      Much of Labour will probably abstain.

      But with a majority of eighty the Tories will own brexit and all that stems from it, quite rightly.

      It was their silly, election-gimmick referendum which started this mess.

      1. glen cullen
        December 22, 2020

        Your generalisations on the intensions & deliberations of the traditional labour voter do you a disservice

        Many labour voters where happy to participate in the referendum

      2. Fred H
        December 22, 2020

        not silly – it was catastrophic for ‘Dave’ and the Establishment.
        Even the stupid EU didn’t think the Brits would be brave enough to stick 2 fingers up, like the bowmen did at Agincourt.

        1. margaret howard
          December 22, 2020

          Fred H

          I don’t know why ‘super patriotic’ Englishmen keep on about Agincourt and all the myths surrounding it.

          After all Agincourt like Crecy were just 2 battles in The Hundred Years War against France which we lost and saw us driven from the European continent for good.

          History seems about to repeat itself.

          1. Fred H
            December 22, 2020

            we have another battle going on right now – and if we had used those 2 fingers to show our regard for the outright hostile attitude from ‘friends’ allthis dragged out shambles would have ended a year, maybe 2 or 3 ago!

          2. LONGINUS
            December 22, 2020

            We returned to the continent in 1944 to free them from national socialists. Yes, history does seem to repeat itself.

      3. a-tracy
        December 22, 2020

        Nick Clegg leader of the Lib Dems at the time also wanted a referendum, Martin!

        Several of the vote Leave spokespeople were Labour through and through.

      4. steve
        December 22, 2020

        MiC

        In other words; mouth it off but loose the bottle.

      5. steve
        December 22, 2020

        MiC

        “It was their silly, election-gimmick referendum which started this mess”

        ========

        Actually it was Ted Heath, and John Major didn’t do us any favours either.

  51. Jack Falstaff
    December 22, 2020

    Headlining today with a quote from William Wallace, eh?

    I hope this display of seasonal goodwill ensures that Nicola Sturgeon and Ian Blackford are kept sufficiently content to stay in their box this Christmas!

  52. Mark B
    December 22, 2020

    Good morning.

    England had become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, after seeing off the aggressive tyranny of imperial Spain.

    Err sorry to correct you, but it would have been the whole of Ireland not just the north. That came after 1922.

    Taken from a speech by Sir Winston Churchill

    ‘We are bound to further every honest and practical step to which the nations of Europe may make to reduce barriers which divide them and to nourish their common interests and their common welfare.

    ‘We rejoice at every diminution of the internal tariffs and the martial armaments of Europe. We see nothing but good and hope in a richer, freer, more contented European commonality.

    ‘But we have our own dream and our own task. We are with Europe, but not of it. We are linked, but not comprised. We are interested and associated, but not absorbed.’

    This to me sums it up. They have their own path and we have ours. Our respective futures are similar but are not the same. They look inward to Little Europe and we, we look to beyond the horizon. Britain is a global nation with global links, interests and family. The ports from Europe maybe closed, as they were closed by Napoleon and Hitler. This should be seen as an opportunity to establish new links to new and old friends and trade with them. Let us have beef from the Americas. When the ports reopen, let the EU27 know that they have just lost market share.

    Time to move on.

    1. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      ++++=👌🏻

    2. margaret howard
      December 22, 2020

      MarkB

      “They look inward to Little Europe and we, we look to beyond the horizon. Britain is a global nation with global links, interests and family.”

      So explain why we begged to join this ‘inward Little Europe’ in the 1975 referendum all those years ago with a much greater majority than the Brexit one?

      And bankrupted our ‘global family’ like the lamb producers of Australia and the dairy farmers of New Zealand in our rush to join the EU? They had to find new markets with their Asian neighbours. Do you really believe they will ditch them now to trade with us again?

      1. Edward2
        December 22, 2020

        It was presented as a Common Market back then

        The ambition to turn it into the United States of Europe was kept very secret.

        1. hefner
          December 23, 2020

          Have you ever read the Preamble to the Treaty of Rome (25 March 1957), the bits where it says:
          ‘Determined to lay the foundations to an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe,
          Resolved to ensure the economic and social progress of their countries by common action to eliminate the barriers which divide Europe,
          Affirming as the essential objective of their efforts the constant improvement of the living and working conditions of their peoples, …’

          The common market is obviously there within the rest:
          ‘Desiring to contribute, by means of a common commercial policy, to the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade’
          but as can be found by anyone knowing how to read it is only one element among a number of others.

          So ‘the ambition to turn it into the United States of Europe was kept very secret’ looks to me plain obvious and not so secret.

          1. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            It is a very odd interpretation of the phrase “ever closer union” to justify the enormous changes in the Common Market to the Empire of the United States of Europe in just a few decades.
            It was kept secret back then.

            People like you would have laughed at, and dismissed anyone who predicted in just a few years it would change its name more than once and have 5 Presidents, embassies anthems, flags, 28 members, tax powers, budgetary powers its own courts which could overrule our courts, fine imposing powers, two huge parliaments a powerful unelected commission and plans for its own army.

        2. bill brown
          December 23, 2020

          Edward 2

          Both Hefner and I have toldyou this before and you still claim not to know, wake up and start reading some more

          1. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            See above bill.
            Don’t be a denier.

          2. hefner
            December 23, 2020

            Edward2, if there is a denier in this sad story, it is you doing all types of calisthenics pretending the EU objectives were secret and that you knew about it all along.

            I would bet that you didn’t know because, apart from a very small number of MPs including Sir John, most of the political class and the huge majority of the public could not care less about the EEC/EU before 2007 and the Lisbon Treaty. Even after it the opposition to the EU within the UK was very marginal and UKIP only started to be noticeable with Nigel Farage becoming its head and starting to get not-so ridiculous results in elections from 2011.

            So for once be honest and do not pretend to be more than you are (I will spare you a qualificative).

          3. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            The EU objectives were not “secret” but anyone decades ago anyone who said what they thought their plans really were, tended to be sneered at as being ridiculous by EU fans like you and bill.
            Wilson Heath Major Clarke Hesletine and others laughed at those who predicted what the secret ambitions of the Common Marketeers were.

            Now it has all come true people like you and bill say it was their intentions all along, how silly of you not to understand.

            Very soon we will be out and away from their deadful United States of Europe.

      2. dixie
        December 23, 2020

        “We” didn’t beg, the eurotrash did and they abandoned our friends and families throughout the Commonwealth so they could cuddle up with their new BFFs in Brussels.

        You are of their thinking so you explain why the eurotrash did that.

    3. Peter van LEEUWEN
      December 23, 2020

      @Mark B: So there you have it Mark: An Association Agreement is what Churchil would have approved of, not being absorbed in the EEC/EU!

      This however may have to wait. Your 1972 mistake has caused so much hate and hostility (in e.g. your influential tabloids) and the brexit pain may well cause an initial drifting apart. Proof if it that even you have to use terms like “Little Europe” – I don’t blame you – but also here you are mistaken. Portugal, Spain and Holland have always had a global outlook and global connections and this has fed into the EU. Our internal squabbeling doesn’t take away from global outlook. We even risked having a new investment partnership with China before the end of 2020, now receding in probability because of internal and external (US) opposition.

      1. Edward2
        December 23, 2020

        It was you not the UK who moved away from the Common Market, the UK happily joined, towards a United States of Europe.
        Non stop advancement.
        It could have been a formidable Commonwealth of European nations.
        Open for international trade enriching its members and those poorer nations outside.
        But it very sadly become a left leaning protectionist bloc ruled centrally.
        Obsessed with treaties directives regulations and rules.

  53. Kevin Caudwell
    December 22, 2020

    Fantastic article Sir John. Thank you.

    It is sad the media and so many in power seem happy to peddle the French and EU side of the argument and ignore the many positives freedom can give this country.

    As a principle, protecting or restoring freedom appears so low down the agenda for the ruling elite and the media I wonder if it is just complacency, some sort of self-loathing or something more sinister.

    It would be great to read more of your thoughts on this topic in this blog and elsewhere.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      +1 JR does truly speak for England, and Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland.

  54. Peter Parsons
    December 22, 2020

    Firstly, France hasn’t closed its borders. Unaccompanied freight traffic is still moving as before.

    Secondly, it is worth highlightinh that France’s decision was a decision of a sovereign EU member state acting unilaterally. To read some of what is written on this website, you would think that such a thing was impossible, but clearly not. Who’d have thought it?

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      Big sign at Dover ‘The French Border is closed’.

      1. Peter Parsons
        December 22, 2020

        Reality at Dover – unaccompanied freight is still moving as normal.

        1. a-tracy
          December 23, 2020

          Lol

    2. Lets Buy British
      December 22, 2020

      The EU is a rules based organisation but as Juncker said when France ignores their common rules “France is ……….. well, France”
      The EU is a rules based organisation but Germany can make unilateral decisions such as in the matter of migration.
      There seems to be a theme here which is the EU was set up to protect French agriculture and German manufacturing. The rest of the EU members can go to hell and back in a hand cart and that includes the UK

      1. Peter Parsons
        December 22, 2020

        France hasn’t ignored any rules. Their actions are entirely consistent with what is permitted under the Schengen agreement.

        1. Edward2
          December 22, 2020

          There is no real logic to their decision despite your rules claim.
          One lorry driver seperated from any crowds of people.
          Isolated and travelling alone inside a cab of a lorry.
          The risk of transmission of virus is very very low.

          If you think this isn’t a part of France’s power play about Brexit then I think you are mistaken.

          1. Peter Parsons
            December 22, 2020

            There is plenty of logic in reacting to the UK government announcing the prevelance of a mutation in the virus and the claims made about increased transmission rates.

            Lots of countries have imposed travel restrictinos on those coming from the UK, not just France. I doubt that Brexit figured in the decisions of Argentina, Canada, Columbia, Oman, Saudi Arabia or Singapore, for example.

            As I write this comment, it is also worth noting that travel has started to open up subject to drivers meeting certain conditions.

            As I said in my original comment, simply a sovereign state exercising control of their borders, which some who comment on this website claim is impossible while also being an EU member.

          2. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            The French knew exactly what they were doing Peter.
            No amount of your posts will convince me otherwise.

          3. hefner
            December 23, 2020

            Obviously you will not be convinced…

            Over the last week France has seen between 5,000 and 12,000 new cases per day, the UK between 28,000 and 36,000. So the French knew exactly what they were doing, indeed, preventing a bad situation to become even worse thanks to their British ‘friends’ (as the. common newspeak from PM and President has it).

            And in your book I guess the other 40 countries that put restrictions on travellers originating from the UK also ‘had no real logic to their decision’.

            As you say of others, ‘hilarious nonsense’.

          4. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            For the previous 10 months, millions of lorries travelled back and forth across the channel without any restrictions.

            Millions also travelled to and from France.

            Yet just before the very final days of Brexit negotiations the French suddenly shut down Dover Calais.

            That you think this French action is all to do with health and safety is the hilarious nonsense.

          5. a-tracy
            December 23, 2020

            Peter, It’s about time we insisted on tested people only coming into the UK. This virus version we were told came from Spain, do France, Spain, Italy and others test as much as we are testing on a daily basis?

            If Matt Hancock doesn’t do this to protect British people locked up all over Christmas then we should demand he be dismissed.

          6. a-tracy
            December 23, 2020

            Edward2 they have kicked the hornets nest here, the vast majority of drivers they have held up are foreign. Now if the drivers fail the same test that is being held up as perfect to lock us all into tier 4 areas they have to stay (where? In their cabs) for seven days!

            They have had more risk of transmitting by locking them down all together in this truck park.

            Frankly you couldn’t make this farce up. Meanwhile we allow free movement coming in to a well tested and locked down Country. Pakistan blocked flights we still allow their flights, this must stop. Matt Hancock is letting us all down.

          7. Edward2
            December 23, 2020

            I agree a-tracy but you will not convince bill and Hefner their job is to go onto blog sites and peddle the EU line.

          8. hefner
            December 26, 2020

            a-tracy, to try to answer some of your past questions. Gene sequencing is done by COG-UK (look for it).
            As of last week 15/12, it was thought that between 150,000 and 200,000 gene sequencing had been done over the world to try to figure out which Covid-19 variants are becoming prevalent.
            In that respect, for once it is true (not the BS usually fed to the UK public), the UK is at the forefront with around 50,000 such sequencing already performed. It also appears true that the variant that is now about 60-70% of the new cases in the SE of England is far less prevalent in other countries.

        2. Fred H
          December 23, 2020

          but the UK is not a member.

  55. Freeborn John
    December 22, 2020

    Completely predictable response from the EU to Boris Johnson’s appeasement. They regard these unilateral offers as a sign of weakness. The U.K. should have walked out in October and refused to come back unless the EU dropped its control-freak demands on “level-playing field” and “state aid”.

    1. Multi-ID
      December 22, 2020

      Too bad – what’s the matter? don’t you like fair competition

      1. Freeborn John
        December 22, 2020

        WTO is sufficient to ensure fair competition with a truly independent dispute arbitration system.

      2. Lynn Atkinson
        December 22, 2020

        The whole idea is that we are not allowed to compete. We have to be hamstrung to protect Germany.

  56. agricola
    December 22, 2020

    When you talk of Freedom it is all in relation to our involvement with Europe and latterly the EU. Personal freedom has taken a back seat in the face of a wave of illiberal thinking on the part of all political parties. You pray to the false god PC. and run a mile rather than call it out. You have abandoned freedom of speech. Thought in the privacy of ones home is under attack. All because such freedoms are seen as a threat to the controlled society you aspire to.

    This is the most heinous crime committed by politicians in the name of progress. In doing so you have abetted criminality with gay abandon. Once you devalued the status of children in the face of cultural and sexual assault, you lost the right to represent us. I have yet to see any sign that you have learnt anything. You even sit back and allow censorship of thought and expression in our greatest universities, so confirming your complicity in this assault on freedom. Rest assured there will be a backlash.

    1. Iago
      December 22, 2020

      Yes, have to agree with all of this.

  57. Roy Grainger
    December 22, 2020

    Freedom ? I’m not even allowed, under penalty of the criminal law, to invite a member of my own family into my own home at Xmas. That’s nothing to do with the EU.

    Covid policy here is set by the press as we know. I see them now saying the virus is being principally spread in secondary schools and they should be closed (despite the fact they’ve been back since start September well before the latest increases). SAGE of course want the entire country shut down so will support this view. So, when do you think Boris will cave in as he always does on this issue ? Next week I suppose. Then he’ll cancel the exams a bit later.

  58. John Hatfield
    December 22, 2020

    Please make sure that Wobbly Boris understands what you have written here, John.

  59. Derek
    December 22, 2020

    France again blocking our access will fall right into the hands of Belgium and Holland who have been seeking OUR Port business for years.
    Calais will decay and the locals will not be thanking Macron for his childish belligerence towards our Nation, seeking Independence from such dictatorial people within the EU.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      December 22, 2020

      I do hope you are right.

  60. Stephen Reay
    December 22, 2020

    You’re correct, we must become more resilience as a country and must produce more of the the things we import. We can grow most of the food we need under glass with help from ground heat source pumps and solar panels to provide the heat and light required to grow our fruit and vegetables. Businesses will need government support to enable this within a short time . We will see the rewards of Brexit if we are prepared to invest, support the government and unite as a country.

    We must keep the Labour party out come the next general election , if not they won’t be fully behind Great Britain moving forward and will seek ways to re-align with the EU again.

    It will probably take 10 years to see the effects of Brexit. If Boris sells out our fisherman then the conservatives will lose the next general election and all will be lost.

    1. Mike Durrans
      December 22, 2020

      Ground source heat pumps ??? Obviously no experience in this useless technology. Business needs viable sources of heat and this is not one option

  61. Christine
    December 22, 2020

    I see little to no preparation for taking advantage of our new-found freedom. Where’s the help for rebuilding our coastal communities that have been decimated over the last 40+ years? Where is the plan for repealing damaging EU laws? All I see is constant Boris U-turns. He talks tough on reforming the BBC then backtracks. He takes no action on Sadiq Khan, who seem intent in destroying OUR, not his, capital’s history and heritage. He proposes expensive unachievable green policies which he doesn’t have a mandate for. Until I see a dynamic confident Government, with a Prime Minister with vision, I won’t be feeling at all confident about our future. He could make a start by making you a minister for post-EU reform.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      December 22, 2020

      We do t want anybody capable in the Boris Govt. that ship is sinking. We don’t want to lose any ‘of us’.

  62. Remington Norman
    December 22, 2020

    It appears that Boris Johnson is preparing to betray the Leave vote with an agreement which holds the UK into EU rules and arbitration. If he really sought to deliver freedom – not BRINO – he should have walked away months ago. The EU have made it clear by their actions and pronouncements that they wish to punish the UK, whatever the consequences for its constituent economies.

    Theresa May was a shameful disaster. Johnson, sadly, is worse. We urgently need to get rid of this blistering incompetence.

  63. anon
    December 22, 2020

    Maybe with Freedom comes with thinly disguised illegal blockades from the now openly hostile EU Empire
    I note also deliveries of vaccines may no longer arrive in volumes we contracted?

    Our response needs to very firm.

    Announce grant aid for direct sea-routes to non EU suppliers, preferably by container. The containers can be moved locally by local truckers cutting food miles.

    We need to remove dependence support & co-operation to the EU outside of the trade sphere. Passport & fish monitoring contracts need to be cancelled on national security grounds today.
    Logistics, air transports or security aid to the EU, need to be re-assigned to mitigating the blockade by air freight as needed. Start with France in the Med and in Africa.

    This should be a primary aim of the UK government.

    Have we been able to give advice & distributed yet to the vulnerable to increase Vitamin D3 and others?
    Studies have been done with controls comparing Age,BMI,Sex,ethnicity,Sun insolence, which show illuminating positive results in taking D3, which help to reduce viral loads by supporting the immune system

    The positive effects are evident against Flu as well.
    Do not just wait for a vaccine?

    1. Martin in Cardiff
      December 22, 2020

      Forty countries have imposed the same restrictions as the individual, sovereign European Union ones have nationally.

      No European institution was involved.

      This is nothing to do with the European Union, but a matter for all of those nations and the UK.

      1. anon
        December 22, 2020

        The “mutant virus” is likely widespread, in the EU. Will the other borders be closed similarly.

        Interim passenger controls maybe, i could agree with. However freight drivers without a positive test in one direction only?.

        40 countries do not have a major port crossing with UK.

        Smells like politics. Single market advantages yeah right.

        Hello world. UK looking for reliable trade partners?

        1. a-tracy
          December 23, 2020

          We must immediately insist the French government pay for testing drivers in Calais before they are allowed into the UK. Then we compare results.

    2. Caterpillar
      December 22, 2020

      anon,

      On vitamin D, indeed, +1.

      At this time with a supposed second epidemic curve, a risk management approach would be for at least elderly and vulnerable to be on one of the vit D prophylactic protocols (e.g. C, D, zinc + zinc ionophore). I appreciate there is argument whether the zinc ionophore could be HCQ or similar, but when one looks at the vit D data and green tea drinking in Asia, it is more than disturbing that cheap, low risk, prophylactic roll out hasn’t happened (other than those and their families who have done it themselves) for high or even moderate vulnerability patients. The costs and risks are so low that even if it turns out not to work it doesn’t matter.

      There is on going fundamental failure in the Govt approach in that it has locked into stereotypical scientific methodology at any cost within an epidemiological perspective. This has been narrow, irresponsible and harmful.

  64. JohnK
    December 22, 2020

    Sir John,

    Whether Boris sells us out over Brexit will be seen shortly.

    However, it seems clear Covid has broken him. In his press conferences he looks absolutely shattered. He seems to be a hostage of Vallence and Whitty, who appear to be a de facto duumvirate in charge of the country. It must be a heady time for these two scientific bureaucrats. How many more lockdowns can we endure before we lose the will to live?

    Added to Brexit and Covid, Boris has completely lost the plot over green politics and the harmless trace gas and plant food called carbon dioxide.

    In the last elecetion, Labour stood for a Green New Deal and the end of ICE car sales by 2030. The Conservatives did not. I voted Conservative. I now find we face a Green New Deal and the end of ICE car sales by 2030. What is the point of voting?

    Boris has no mandate for his Green New Deal, which will cost at least £1 trillion for no benefit at all. We did not for it, we voted against it, yet here it is. Is Klaus Schwab our new secret prime minister? Does he issue orders to Princess Nut Nuts? Do we get a say?

    The whole Green New Deal, and the illiterately named “decarbonisation” of our economy will cost us more than the two world wars and the Covid crisis combined, yet we get no vote, no say. This policy will impoverish us, and change our way of life forever. If ever we needed a referendum, we need one on this mad policy. I urge you to begin a movement in parliament for a referendum on the Green New Deal. One day, probably sooner than later, Boris will be gone, but the economic and social disaster of the Green New Deal will sink the country. We need our say on the matter. We need to take back control!

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      December 22, 2020

      Your comments on the rubbish New Green Deal are spot on. Yes, bring on a referendum. It’s disgusting.

  65. Adams
    December 22, 2020

    We did not vote for this soul destroying ,job destroying lockdown either and neither did you John. Our elected representatives are letting us down badly . The Tory Party is now a curse upon the land .

    1. Remington Norman
      December 22, 2020

      Absolutely – but they seem oblivious to the fact that they are haemorhaging support and show no contrition at their serial incompetence. I hope Nigel Farage’s reform party takes wing, so the electorate can show the Tories what we think of them.

  66. mancunius
    December 22, 2020

    What is this nonsense of ‘negotiating’ by offering to give away more and more of our sovereign rights over our coastal waters? Enough! Stop the talking now.
    The longer the government sits there like a lemon, complaisantly making concessions to predatory foreign governments instead of declaring complete independence, the weaker and the more victim-like they look. This is simply repeating all the dire mistakes of the early 1970s.
    Sir John, if any of these stupid concessions are ever accepted by the EU, the Tories will never see power again.

    1. Shirley M
      December 22, 2020

      +1

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      December 22, 2020

      +100

    3. Martin
      December 22, 2020

      Iceland (not in the EU) extended its sovereign fishing limits to 200 miles and wiped out the large deep water trawler fleet based at Hull, Grimsby and to a lesser extent Aberdeen and Fleetwood. Mr Heath fought the cod war and lost as the Americans wanted to keep their naval bases etc. in Iceland.

      Our inshore fleet was clobbered in the mid 70s by the Arab oil price hike. In the early 1980s Mrs Thatcher ended the grant and loan scheme that helped inshore fishermen buy boats.

      Had successive UK governments wanted more fishing there were lots of ways within EU laws to do this. Use environment laws to minimise CO2 emissions sailing to fishing grounds. Use Naval defence needs (Article 35 I think) to subsidise (maybe via grants related to tax breaks) seamanship skills and availability for Royal Navy wartime work (e.g. minesweeping).

  67. Alan Paul Joyce
    December 22, 2020

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    I hope you’ve left a 12-24 hour gap in your diary between Christmas Day and the New Year so that you can digest the new 600+ page EU treaty that Boris is going to bounce on backbench MP’s!

    1. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      Seems likely.

    2. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      Speed reading app.

  68. Lynn Atkinson
    December 22, 2020

    I was educated in South Africa where education was dominated by the Afrikaans. Having been taught how dreadful the English were in the Boer War, I went home and asked my grandfather to ‘tell me about the War’. He asked me ‘which war’! Long and the short of it is that I was taught about my own people by my own family, I knew the map of Britain in detail by the time I was 7, I too was and remain so proud of the massive and honourable achievements of our forebears. I struggle every day to be worthy of them. They made few mistakes, inquisitive, inventive, they judged between right and wrong rather than profit and loss and shared worldwide, the comforts that their inventions produced. They raised humanity and wrested gentle civilization out of a very harsh world of which most of the current British generations cannot conceive.
    God preserve us as an independent, freedom loving, generous nation. The world will be immeasurably poorer without us.
    2021 is going to be another sever test. We may have to sacrifice everything we have to fight for The English System in both the USA and Britain and possibly Oz and NZ too. SA is long lost.

    1. Grey Friar
      December 22, 2020

      It will be a sever test. Severed from our main trading partners, severed from Trump’s America, severed from Northern Ireland and soon enough severed from Scotland too. Well done little Englanders!

      1. Sir Joe Soap
        December 22, 2020

        Who wants free trade with the world and who puts up barriers, even at Calais? Did you see those signs? FRENCH CUSTOMS CLOSED. Not Englsih customs.

    2. ian@Barkham
      December 22, 2020

      +1
      That’s what some don’t get, being free and living in a democracy is a constant fight. Those that grab power have a tendency to protect themselves by denying the freedoms of those they wish to control

    3. Norman
      December 22, 2020

      I do warm to what you, and Sir John, are saying here, Lynn. I have been so blessed to live in this dear country, the UK. Good and bad, yes, but so much that has been good. However, I guess you know there’s another country many like the Bedford tinker, dear John Bunyan aspired to, even, ‘an heavenly’: as did all the missionaries that went out from here. ‘For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come’ (Hebrews 13:14).

  69. No Longer Anonymous
    December 22, 2020

    Sovereignty, as I understand it, is a fully accountable ruling establishment which cannot blame supranational bodies for their own failures.

    Thanks for your part in bringing this closer.

    1. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      A fully accountable ruling establishment which cannot blame supranational bodies for their own failures would be very nice indeed. But I suspect we will not really get this from this government.

  70. Fernando Ferreira
    December 22, 2020

    Dear Sir John,

    Don’t worry: you will be free from the EU, but shackled by CoViD-19.
    Enjoy the new lorry parks at Kent.

    Best wishes,

    Fernando Ferreira

    P.S.: if you happen to visit Jacob Rees-Mogg, please don’t forget to taste his eggnog.

    1. Graham Wheatley
      December 22, 2020

      …says a €uro-twit.

      1. Fernando Ferreira
        December 23, 2020

        Dear Graham,

        I strongly advise you to reed the following:
        https://www.reuters.com/article/us-britain-eu/hopes-high-for-brexit-trade-deal-as-talks-enter-final-stages-idUSKBN28X0TW
        Specially this small piece:
        «However, a French official told Reuters that the British had made “huge concessions” in negotiations over the past 48 hours, mostly on access to fishing in its waters.»
        Always glad to enrich your feeble newsfeed, but please don’t forget to discharge the toilet flush after using the single available loo at Dover…

        Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

        Yours (truly),

        Fernando Ferreira

  71. Elli Ron
    December 22, 2020

    Thank you sir Redwood for all your work.
    We are now out of the EU and in 8 more days completely out from under their domination.

    Merry Xmas and a happy New Year

    1. Fred H
      December 22, 2020

      I wish!

  72. margaret howard
    December 22, 2020

    BBC article headlined:

    “Coronavirus: EU urges countries to lift UK travel bans”

    carried the following comment by “magdad”:

    “It hurts that the whole myth about ‘lost sovereignty’ is being exposed, doesn’t it?”

    1. Edward2
      December 22, 2020

      No.
      France has acted outside the EU treaties in signed up to obey

      1. Fred H
        December 23, 2020

        quelle surprise!

  73. Martin
    December 22, 2020

    “Lost freedoms” ?

    The right to get treated like **** by bully boy customs officers?

    The right to spend even longer in queues at immigration to keep you and your chums happy?

    If Brexit is so wonderful why are so many people (even some called Farage) trying to get EU passports ?

  74. Phil_Richmond
    December 22, 2020

    All very good John but I’m furious today at the Tory Party betrayal to our fishermen and coastal communities. We voted for you to reclaim these waters. Traitor Heath sold out these poor fishermen in the 70s and many port towns have been devastated like Lowestoft, Hull, Grimsby etc…… As a former party member I cannot express how disgusted I am.
    What is wrong with you politicians. When will we ever have a leader that stands up for people of this country?!?! The last one was 30 years ago!

    1. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      And even Mrs Thatcher made huge errors in failing to cut the state sector down to size, burying us further in the EU, shutting many grammar schools, failing to give any real freedom of choice in healthcare, education or broadcasting and failing to cut taxes sufficiently.

      Her largest error being her appointment of John Major to be Chancellor and allowing him to take us into the predictable disaster of the ERM.

  75. Fedupsoutherner
    December 22, 2020

    Why are we spending a pittance on our homeless when we have plenty to put illegal immigrants in hotels?

    1. Lifelogic
      December 22, 2020

      Why indeed?

    2. Everhopeful
      December 22, 2020

      Same reason the elite sent us into the trenches.
      Same reason they are using the virus narrative.
      Both exactly the same!!
      They just see us as units of labour and/or useless eaters.
      Those in hotels and old army camps are a fulfilment of international treaty obligations…so very important.

  76. steve
    December 22, 2020

    JR

    “Taking back control must herald a drive for more U.K. self reliance as we had before our membership of the EEC/EU. ”

    =============

    Correct in all you say, JR.

    However it will be a big challenge, and not one for your average snowflake.

    I think one of the major obstacles will come from the generation who do not know what hardship is.

    Hardship wasn’t necessarily a bad thing as it taught a sense of value, and the skills to survive and succeed.

    In the days you refer to, mend & make do was normal. People would share the knack of how to fix things, consequently there was communities and people knew each other.

    I guess you could say consumerism & throw away culture has made us victims of our own progress.

    I was pleased to see a discussion on TV this morning, where it was suggested – as I’ve said for many years – that we need to get used to eating seasonal home grown foods.

    I hope that more and more people buy only British in the supermarkets, that would give a much needed lifeline to British farmers and secure their livelihoods. It would be nice to stick two fingers at the blackmailing French.

    I don’t buy any EU or Irish produce, and I feed myself very well. I will not allow food from countries that have insulted mine to pass my lips.

    When I was a kid you’d often find a grub on your lettuce, and our dad used to say it was a good thing as you knew there was no chemicals.

    Our toilet was an old oil drum in a hole with a piece of rope attached, and we had the finest raspberries and gooseberries ever grown, – yes, we lived on the land back then.

    I think there needs to be a national drive to get as many people as possible growing at least some of their own food. Tomatoes, lettuce & spuds – nothing too difficult, but perhaps include home growing in the Schools national curriculum.

    Home economics, remember that ?

    We need to turn the clock back and learn to appreciate where the answers are.

  77. XY
    December 22, 2020

    I hope you and the ERG are ready to fight against a deal.

    All this seems to be misdirection – big fuss about fish, quietly agree a LPF/State aid deal while no-one’s looking.

    I hope Starmer doesn’t abstain and leave us stuck with a horrible EU alignment, since it would leave an open goal with the ERG powerless.

    Farage would be back. If I were him, my opening gambit would be “When we win power we will withdraw from all EU treaties, including the WA”. That would work. It would win my vote.

  78. jon livesey
    December 22, 2020

    There is a truly important and technical difference between the development of individual rights in the UK and in Europe, that most people ignore. In Europe, cities quite early on developed the notion of a “commune”. Cities then individually negotiated with Kings to obtain extensions of their existing liberties, usually in return for their paying extra taxes and “aids” to help those Kings to fight their wars. This resulted in a chequer-board pattern of different rights for different cities and it allowed determined Kings to grant or withhold rights on a city by city basis.

    In England only London followed a “commune” model, and most of the time the negotiations for rights were conducted by committees of Barons, which negotiated with the King on behalf of the whole country. This led to similar rights for the whole country, and led to much more resistance to Kings who attempted to withdraw rights. A Parliament for the whole of England, the successor to the committees of barons, was a much better protector of rights than individual city communes were.

    Europeans, and some EU supporters in the UK, still do not understand the difference between rights you can demand and defend, and rights that are granted by Brussels in return for European conformity, obedience, and “good behaviour”. But they are about to get an education in this as more of the EU27 begin to ask what powers the EU had awarded to itself using the concept of “rule of law”, allowing itself to tell EU member states to obey laws that have not yet been written down.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      December 23, 2020

      Very well said.

  79. Graham Wheatley
    December 22, 2020

    I now ONLY purchase seasonal groceries produced in either the UK or Commonwealth countries, when shopping at the supermarket or local shops. If it’s out-of-season, then I’ll eat something else in the meantime.

    Boll€aux to €U produce – I’m happy to leave them even more of their own fare for their domestic consumption.

    I also now actively avoid (as far as I am able) anything manufactured in China. Unfortunately, the list of items there is becoming a very long one, due to their dominance of world markets in mass produced goods.
    And needless-to-say, I never purchase ANYTHING from ‘Amazon’. Bezos wouldn’t get the drips from the end of my nose.

    It’s time to revert to the maxim BUY BRITISH (& BRITISH COMMONWEALTH) !!!

  80. glen cullen
    December 22, 2020

    UK have agreed tonight to the French demand to covid test every drive going to France – are these arrangements reciprocal to drives from France

    We are weak

    1. a-tracy
      December 23, 2020

      When travellers from the UK travel abroad they have to go with a covid test within 48 hours paid for by themselves.

      I would estimate only 10-15% of those drivers in Kent are British, yet taxpayers are being asked to pay for the tests for foreign drivers when their own Countries banned them, you couldn’t make this up. Blame Hancock and his scientist chums for rash announcements on a weekend. Drivers are alone in their cabs, they wear masks, wash their hands and use sanitiser gel, they keep socially distant on collections and deliveries. I will be very interested to hear how many of them test positive and can’t go home for Christmas!

      1. a-tracy
        December 24, 2020

        The French have done a lot of damage with their knee jerk border closure, now ferry companies have to give up their Christmas Day and Boxing Day to allow many men to get home to their families and what of the tests Reuter’s say only 3 tested positive out of nearly 2400! Of those 3 they won’t tell us John but an investigation should be done on where they contracted the virus, what were they doing, how long had they been in our Country, were they sick, perhaps it is they that arrived with it! Totally unnecessary to penalise these hard workers like this. If transport drivers go to Italy they have to be tested 48 hours before going with a negative test. The UK should insist on this as covid tests in France have revealed they have a worse position on covid than the UK.

  81. Derek Henry
    December 22, 2020

    Well the best 2 books I have ever read on the issue. Which are both factual which is very rare nowadays and not ideological or political. That concentrate on the balance sheets and assets and liabilities are

    Eurozone Dystopia by Bill Mitchell- which provides a full history of the EU what it has become and is excellent.

    The price of Peace by Zach Carter of why we are where we are today. What happened at both the treasury and the BOE during both world wars. That moulded the monetary system we have today.

    Well worth a read regardless of political persusion. I’ve read over 2000 economic papers from the left, right, liberal academics and studied the government accounts for over 12 years.
    I’m not a caveman I will listen to any arguement from any political party. But as soon as the lie about the government accounts and our monetary system I switch off.

    Politics and ideology aren’t my cup of tea as power corrupts both. Brexit will be a roaring success for all without question.

    Providing those that have always been against it for over 100 years as described in those 2 books in fantastic detail don’t try and hijack it for their own agenda. That will ultimately leave everyone poorer and set the country back at least 200 years.

    I live in hope.

  82. Roger Phillips
    December 23, 2020

    Our fishermen are gathering and organising ready to blockade ports in the event your party sells them out. If this happens it will not be hidden it will become a very public affair and the public will be furious and will probably never forgive the Conservative party in future elections.

    1. Lynn Atkinson
      December 23, 2020

      More strength to our Fishermen!

    2. Martin in Cardiff
      December 23, 2020

      if the fishermen mess up food supplies etc. then yes, the public will be very angry with them

  83. ChrisS
    December 23, 2020

    Yesterday, Sainsburys were issuing press releases warning us that if traffic across the channel didn’t resume today a catastrophe, presumably of biblical proportions would descend upon us :

    There would be a shortage of strawberries in Sainsbury’s supermarkets after Christmas !

    Why on earth do we need strawberries from Spain in the middle of winter ? The carbon footprint must be enormous and the deliveries are hardly essential journeys, are they ?

    The mind boggles.

    1. Fred H
      December 23, 2020

      OMG – Waitrose had no icebergs on Sunday morning!
      I came home anxious at my reception ‘waddya mean no lettuce!’
      I offered to return later to see if any came out of cold-store – but was saved that long queue.
      Yesterday our local store ‘open all hours’ had them …no queue, no fuss, came home brandishing iceberg ‘ ‘Peace in our time’.

    2. Mark B
      December 23, 2020

      Funny enough I was in Sainsbury’s yesterday. Saw strawberry’s on display and thought, “Why ?”

      For anyone with space to grow them (strawberry’s), I suggest you do what I have and shall be doing. GROW YOUR OWN !!!

  84. chris hook
    December 23, 2020

    Your efforts have been appreciated.

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