Keeping track

I do wish the Guardian would stop keeping track of things we said that turned out to be not quite right. This article is quite rude…

11 Brexit promises the government quietly dropped

Leaving aside the £350m for the NHS, Brexit has promised quick and easy trade deals with the EU and the rest of the world, an end to ECJ jurisdiction and free movement, and British control of North Sea fishing. None of this has come to pass. Here are 11 key abandoned claims

Wed 28 Mar 2018 14.46 BST

Last modified on Thu 29 Mar 2018 09.02 BST

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Brexit will be easy, and have no downsides

Brexit will be easy, and have no downsides

There will be no downside to Brexit, only a considerable upside

David Davis

10 October 2016

The day after we vote to leave, we hold all the cards and we can choose the path we want

Michael Gove

9 April 2016

Getting out of the EU can be quick and easy – the UK holds most of the cards

John Redwood

July 17 2016

The free trade agreement that we will have to do with the European Union should be one of the easiest in human history

Liam Fox

20 July 2017


David Davis now says: ‘Nobody has ever pretended this will be easy. I have always said this negotiation will be tough, complex and at times confrontational’



Trade talks would take place in parallel with divorce talks

Trade talks would take place in parallel with divorce talks

How on earth do you resolve the issue of the border with Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland unless you know what our general borders policy is, what the customs agreement is, what our trade agreement is? It’s wholly illogical … That’ll be the row of the summer

David Davis

14 May 2017

Most of the EU states are very sympathetic to our view

David Davis

15 May 2017

We have to establish the ground rules. The first crisis or argument is is going to be over the question of sequencing

David Davis

21 May 2017


Davis caved in on the first day of talks on 19 June 2017



The UK did not need a transition deal and would not be subject to EU rules or budgets during one

The UK did not need a transition deal and would not be subject to EU rules or budgets during one

We’re not really interested in a transition deal, but we’ll consider one to be kind to the EU

David Davis

15 November 2016

The idea that we’ll do a transitional arrangement where you’re still in, paying money, still with free movement of people – that we’ll do the long-term deal in slow motion … That is plainly not what we’re after

David Davis

15 March 2016

We made it clear that control of our own borders was one of the elements we wanted in the referendum, and unregulated free movement [during transition] would seem to me not to keep faith with that decision

Liam Fox

30 July 2016


The UK will have to abide by all EU rules and regulations including those agreed by members states during the 21-month transition



The transition serves merely to implement the final trade deal, which would be agreed by Brexit day

The transition serves merely to implement the final trade deal, which would be agreed by Brexit day

I believe that we can get a free trade and customs agreement concluded before March 2019

David Davis

18 January 2017

The point of the implementation period is to put in place the practical changes necessary to move to the future partnership, and for that you need to know what the future partnership is going to be

Theresa May

23 October 2017


The transition period will be used to negotiate (as much as possible) of the future relationship, not to implement a relationship that is already agreed

Many EU capitals believe even the 21-month transition period will not be anywhere near long enough to conclude a comprehensive free trade agreement and will have to be extended.



The transition would be short but open-ended

The transition would be short but open-ended

The period’s duration should be determined simply by how long it will take to prepare and implement the new processes and new systems that will underpin the future partnership

Government transition paper

21 February 2018

These considerations point to an implementation period of around two years

Theresa May

22 September 2017


The period is fixed at 21 months, with no easy way to extend it

This merely postpones the regulatory cliff edge business is desperate to avoid until December 2020. Even this measure of stability is uncertain, since the transition period could be rescinded if there is not wider agreement this autumn.



The UK would owe no money to the EU after it left in March 2019

The UK would owe no money to the EU after it left in March 2019

The last time we went through line by line and challenged quite a lot of the legal basis of these things, and we’ll continue to do that … [Of rumours of a £40bn bill:] They sort of made that up

David Davis

25 September 2017

Because we will no longer be members of the single market, we will not be required to pay huge sums into the EU budget

Theresa May

17 January 2017

The sums I have seen that they propose to demand from this country seem to me to be extortionate and I think that ‘go whistle’ is an entirely appropriate expression

Boris Johnson

11 July 2017


UK told EU in November 2017 that it was ready to honour its share of all financial commitments made while it was a member of the bloc, estimated at €40bn to €45bn, through the transition period

It has since become clear payments will continue until about 2064, and indefinitely if the UK wants to continue to be part of EU agencies and programmes.



A raft of new trade deals would be ready on 29 March 2019

A raft of new trade deals would be ready on 29 March 2019

Within two years, before the negotiation with the EU is likely to be complete, and therefore before anything material has changed, we can negotiate a free trade area massively larger than the EU … The new trade agreements will come into force at the point of exit, but they will be fully negotiated

David Davis

14 July 2016


Britain has won the right to negotiate deals with third countries during the transition period (not before) but they cannot be implemented until after December 2020

New deals will anyway take a long time to negotiate, especially since few countries are likely to want to sign them until they know the state of the UK’s final relationship with the EU. And while the EU will ask third countries with which it has trade deals to keep Britain in them, there is no certainty they will.



A high-tech customs solution would make frictionless borders simple

A high-tech customs solution would make frictionless borders simple

The UK is currently implementing a new customs declaration service, which will replace the existing HMRC customs system. This is a high-priority project within government and HMRC is on track to deliver by January 2019

Department for Exiting the EU

15 August 2017

I am confident that using the most up-to-date technology, we can get a non-visible border operational along the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland

David Davis

5 September 2017


Theresa May now concedes customs arrangements are difficult and will take time to set up

May told the Commons liaison committee on 27 March 2018: “I think it is fair to say that, as we get into the detail and as we look at these arrangements, then what becomes clear is that sometimes the timetables that have originally been set are not the timetables that are necessary when you actually start to look at the detail and when you delve into what it really is that you want to be able to achieve.”



Free movement would come to an end on 29 March 2019; any EU citizens arriving after that date would be subject to a different immigration regime

Free movement would come to an end on 29 March 2019; any EU citizens arriving after that date would be subject to a different immigration regime

It is a simple matter of fact that the four key principles of the European Union include free movement – we won’t be a member of the European Union when we leave

Brandon Lewis

27 July 2017

Free movement will end in March 2019

Government spokesperson

July 31 2017

I’m clear that there is a difference between those people who come prior to us leaving and those who will come when they know the UK is no longer a member

Theresa May

1 February 2017


Free movement continues, the only difference being a registration system for newcomers

Even May’s commitment that arrivals after Brexit day would be treated differently was abandoned in the negotiations. EU citizens arriving in Britain before the end of the transition period will be treated as before.



There would be no role for the European court of justice in Britain after Brexit day

There would be no role for the European court of justice in Britain after Brexit day

The simple truth is we are leaving. We are going to be outside the reach of the European court

David Davis

14 May 2017

The authority of EU law in this country has ended forever … We are not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the ECJ. That’s not going to happen

Theresa May

5 October 2016


The ECJ will have full jurisdiction during the transition period and the ECJ interpretation of relevant civil rights laws are likely to hold thereafter

In addition, the transition agreement makes clear that Britain will be “consulted” but is expected to ensure the “proper implementation and application” of all new draft EU rules and regulations during transition.



Britain will take back control of its fisheries after Brexit

Britain will take back control of its fisheries after Brexit

Leaving the EU means we will take back full control of our territorial waters and for the first time in 50 years will be able to grant fishing access for other countries on our terms

Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

3 August 2017

The UK will regain control over our domestic fisheries management rules and access to our waters

Theresa May

3 March 2017


The EU will have continued access to UK fishing waters throughout the transition period and has demanded reciprocal access afterwards too as a condition of any future trade deal

Brexit Dividend

Catchy quote from yours truly, widely reported, as follows: “Fantastic news about NHS funding. The fruits of a strong economy and a Tory government. Stand by for Brexit dividend”.

I wonder why our glorious leader when interviewed refused to agree that a ” Brexit dividend” was on the way?

Channel 4 story

I have made clear that it is, quote ” utterly ludicrous” for Channel 4 to suggest that the Leave campaign deliberately avoided electoral spending rules by sending £625,000 somewhere else. I have no idea why we decided to give £625,000 to the BeLeave campaign run by some spotty youth no one has ever heard of (Darren Grimes- is that a real name?) but it’s all 100% above board!

Professor Who?

Profesor John Hardy, of University College London is apparently the joint winner of their year’s Lundbeck Foundation 1 million euro prize for his pioneering research work on the causes of dementia. I am told that at a press conference this week he described the UK leaving the EU as an “unmitigated disaster for science and an unmitigated disaster for the health service”, adding that he planned to donate some of his prize money to the anti-Brexit campaign group Best for Britain.

Still who needs experts. What do they know?

Packet of crisps anyone?

So some jumped up civil servant just said on the radio that leaving the EU was as follows:

“You’re giving up a three-course meal, the depth and intensity of our trade relationship across the European Union and partners now, for the promise of a packet of crisps in the future, if we manage to do trade deals in the future outside the EU which aren’t going to compensate for what we’re giving up,”

Then he went on to say that our current suggestions needed a “fairy godmother”if they were to work. Bloody cheek!

Had to find out who this little twerp is – turns out it’s a chap called Martin Donnelley and he used to be the senior civil servant in that idiot Feeble Fox’s own department. For goodness sake – can’t he control his own staff!

Labour and that Trot Corbyn

I see they have shifted their position to say they are now in favour of being in “a” customs union – note that is not the same as being in “the”customs union. All seems a bit weasel worded to me ( mind you we have been clear as mud on what we suggest) but I sense trouble ahead….