Is it a waste of time delivering Brexit
Tory MP on Brexit"We will finally be a free and independent country"
Christoph Heinemann: How can the Brexit standstill in parliament be overcome?
John Redwood: Parliament has made two very wise legislative decisions: once with the parliamentary resolution to inform the EU that we will leave the EU on March 29, 2019 by sending the letter on Article 50 of the Treaty. And it passed the EU withdrawal law. This confirms the content of the Article 50 letter in our national law: from March 29, 2019, the EU no longer has any power over the United Kingdom in our legislation. We will finally be a free and independent country. What I'm looking forward to.
If Parliament now wants to change its mind and postpone or modify these changes, it will have difficulties. Changes or shifts would have to be discussed with the European Union. And that becomes even more difficult.
Heinemann: The Labor Party wants to prevent an unregulated exit in parliament. Does that mean there will be an agreement?
Redwood: Not at all. If parties ask in parliament that they do not want to leave without an agreement, they are free to do so. But that does not change the legal situation. This is given by two parliamentary resolutions that I have just described. The only thing that could prevent us from leaving on March 29, 2019 is a revocation or an amendment to the law.
"We will leave without a deal"
Heinemann: The Prime Minister wants an agreement. Why is Britain unable to say what it wants?
Redwood: Britain said what it will. But the European Union does not want to allow that. And therefore, that is my view of things, we will leave without an agreement. I am glad that without the exit agreement we will leave because it is a very bad document from the UK's point of view. I can only congratulate the negotiators of the European Union: they have packed everything into this agreement that the EU somehow wanted. But that makes it an extremely bad deal for my country.
A majority of my country voted to take back control of our money, our laws and our borders. And the deal prevents it from happening. That is why Parliament did indeed object to this agreement by a very large majority.
We spoke a little longer with John Redwood -
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Heinemann: What exactly is bad about this agreement?
Redwood: Everything. The idea that we have to submit to European law for another 21-45 months. That we have to pay large sums of money to the European Union. That we have to have another and very long negotiation about what our future relationships might look like. I can't see anything good in this agreement at all.
"No need" for controls at the Irish border
Heinemann: No Deal means border installations and controls on the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland. What are the consequences?
Redwood: No not at all. The UK Government has rightly said that it sees no need whatsoever to erect new barriers between Northern Ireland and the Republic.
Heinemann: But that's what the EU will demand ...
Redwood: Then the EU will have to explain this to the people of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. The UK doesn't see it that way. And if you use existing technology, you can do cross-border trade with it - even with taxes - without border installations where people convert money.
Heinemann: Border controls, as you just said, are part of take back control - getting control back ...
Redwood: Yes, and we want to use our controls to avoid creating new intrusive border barriers between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. It is our right to make that decision. And I and others are thoroughly fed up when we see the European Union trying to turn this into a problem that makes it difficult for us to leave in a sensible and amicable way. That's not really a problem. There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to introduce new strict controls and border devices at this border. And you should understand that.
Heinemann: The EU says there is a need. And we should remember: Britain wants to leave the EU, not the other way around.
Redwood: Great, then the EU should explain this to the people in the Republic of Ireland who have always said that they don't want a border. And we, as great friends of the Republic of Ireland, confirm this. We say we will not cause any border difficulties.
"After the exit, the economy will grow"
Heinemann: Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said last year that UK households would have about £ 900 less than they would if the UK stayed in the EU. 900 pounds less - what for?
Redwood: He is wrong. Mark Carney, the Bank of England and the UK Treasury have published a slew of hopelessly false predictions. You said we were facing a recession and 500,000 job losses. And that only as a result of the Brexit vote, i.e. in the first few years after the vote. We know today that that was completely wrong.
I am critical of these long-term, 15-year forecasts. I expect that we will do a little better outside the European Union than inside. My own forecast predicts an increase of one percent of the gross domestic product in the next few years, provided we leave the EU on March 29, 2019 without any financial obligations.
Heinemann: The respected Governor of the Bank of England is completely wrong?
Redwood: Yes absolutely. We know this. And he had to explain why his 2016 predictions were so hopelessly wrong. And mine were correct. And I repeat: we will be in a slightly better position if we leave the EU cleanly and act amicably with you from March 30 of this year under the terms of the World Trade Organization.
Heinemann: The vast majority of young people in Great Britain do not want Brexit. And they will want to return to the EU. Is Brexit an expensive waste of time?
Redwood: I do not agree with you on that either. Many young people took part in the campaign on the side of the Bexit supporters. There were a lot of enthusiastic, very young people in the election campaign headquarters for the EU exit who share my enthusiasm for the prospect of getting their own independent country back as soon as possible.
"No way for a second referendum"
Heinemann: Why shouldn't there be a second referendum now that the facts are on the table?
Redwood: I think there is absolutely no way for a second referendum. I don't see a majority in Parliament for this unless the opposition changes its mind. But at the moment the opposition and its leader do not support a second referendum. A second referendum could not be held before our exit on March 29th. In this respect, the question would be a bit difficult. The majority who voted to leave would be very resentful of the idea that they should change their minds and were too stupid to get the right decision in the first vote. I think a second referendum would result in a larger majority in favor of leaving. But that won't happen because I don't think there are enough MEPs who would be stupid enough to want a second referendum.
Heinemann: If it did happen, it would mean returning control to the British people. Wasn't that exactly what the Brexit proponents were calling for?
Redwood: Yes, we want the controls and we voted for them. And we say to Parliament: you promised to give us control back, so you have to deliver now. The public is fed up with Parliament. Two years and seven months are far too long for many people. We decided to leave in the summer of 2016. That should have happened a long time ago. A large majority of the public insists that we get out in March 2019. You are thoroughly fed up with these people working with the EU to stall or postpone the Brexit we voted for.
Statements by our interlocutors reflect their own views. Deutschlandfunk does not adopt statements made by its interlocutors in interviews and discussions as its own.
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