Mr Javid gives good advice to the CBI

I was delighted to read the Business Secretary’s speech to the CBI this week. In it he told them in no uncertain terms that if they continue to say the UK must stay in the EU come what may, they undermine the Prime Minister’s negotiations. He reminded them that in a negotiation you need to set out what you want, and to indicate that you will walk away if you do get a good offer. Business is for ever telling us they want to stay in a reformed EU, not the current EU. They should now tell us what reforms they want. They should also tell Brussels what reforms they want, and tell Brussels that people in the UK will vote against staying in if we are not offered solutions to the problems with our current membership.

At the base of the UK’s unsatisfactory relationship with the modern EU is the way in which the EU uses the so called single market as an excuse to regulate, legislate and interfere in a range of other important matters in ways which UK voters do not approve. The modern challenge for business is the way in which the demands of the Euro for more taxes, more financial controls and more business regulation are also spilling over into the wider EU. Big business does not like the banker bonus controls, the Financial Transactions Tax and the new banking capital rules from Brussels, though these may be popular with some voters. Nor does business like the results of the EU’s energy policy, with dear gas and electricity driving energy using businesses out of the UK.

The truth business needs to understand is that membership of the current EU is not a comfortable status quo that they can live with, but a ticket for a wild ride to political union which may do all sorts of things they do not want. The recent programme set out by the 5 Presidents of Euroland and the EU show just how central to the EU the Euro project has become. They want legally binding targets and controls on economies, a Euro Treasury, a financial union, and a political union. The UK has wisely decided not to join the Euro. Few business leaders want us to join the Euro. They therefore need to understand that any UK government now has to negotiate a new relationship with the emerging Euro state. We want to trade with them, be friends with them, have a range of sensible agreements with them but we do not wish to be governed by them.

It is an urgent task to get more business people to grasp that now we have an opportunity to free ourselves to be more prosperous, and to free the Euro area to get on with what it wants to do. The UK and our businesses do not wish to be drawn into a massive transfer union where we have to pay more tax to send to countries in the Eurozone that need more aid and support. That is why now is the time for business to tell us what reforms they need as we seek this change of approach.

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45 Comments

  1. Posted July 2, 2015 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Indeed, there is a tendency for organisations (that in theory should represent the interests of their members) to do no such thing and to create their own agenda. Politician types tend to get on to their boards and they head off in the wrong direction often in league with a government/state sector agenda.

    We see it in landlord organisations who rapidly become advocates for ever more pointless and damaging rules on landlords. That way the organisation can sell more services in insurance, legal advice, deposit protection schemes, health and safely rules etc. to its members. The end result is more hassle, inconvenience and costs for landlords and far higher rents for tenants.

    The sorts who aspire to the top of these organisations are generally the types who climb to the top of large organisations by doing very little of use other than keeping in with the powerful and not rocking the boat. They are rarely what I would see as real business people. The IOD is not as bad but shows many of the same tendencies. A reluctance to ever tell the hard truths on any issue preferring to sound nice, kind, inclusive, fake green, pro fake “equality”, alost “BBC think” and thus talk complete drivel instead.

  2. Posted July 2, 2015 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Congratulations to our host, Mr Redwood for having read and understood the Spinelli Document and also the Five Presidents’ Announcement! This is political commentary at its best.
    Mr Juncker, way back when he was trying to be selected as President of the Commission, laid out five (why always five?) aims for his presidency. The fifth was to include Britain in the EU.
    Now in the Spinelli Document and also in the Five Presidents’ Document, he (and a lot of others) suggests associate membership for the EFTA bloc as well as Britain and (possibly) Turkey.
    We can negotiate this position. Who knows, even the CAP and the CFP could tumble!

    Reply The 5 Presidents statement is an official EU statement and appears on their website – Spinelli are a pressure group

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Good for Javid. A pity you highlighted trust in Cameron in your Bruge Group speech. How will his no ifs or buts pledge about Heathrow panning out? The same as his no ifs or buts cut to immigration to the tens of thousands? Or perhaps the failed promise in The Sun about the Lisbon Treaty. Or perhaps his veto that never was, how many countries has he stopped using EU institutions? Or perhaps the we will not pay the extra £1.7 billion to the EU, then did. EVEL on Downing Street not EVEN or any other watered down version he now offers. Or how he has falsely halved the deficit, not including any qualification about GDP as that was not his promise. I am not sure what is more alarming, either he is very poor at reading figures or he is used to promising anything whether He has any intention of acting upon it or not. Your trust is misplaced based on Cameron’s record of failed promises.

      Reply I pointed out to Bruges that Mr Cameron is our PM, he is honouring his pledge to give us the referendum we all asked for, and we should want him to highlight the problems in our relationship with the EU in the negotiation. Politics is about getting on with people and building majorities for things you believe in – you should try that sometime.

      • Posted July 2, 2015 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Did you also point out how he is rigging the referendum by purdah, money spent on each side of the campaign, the bias question, the lack of substance behind his renegotiation according to reports from those he approached? Better still what is he renegotiating? Can you tell us? If it is good enough for everyone else to know why not the British public? Or is it to calm the nerves of those in the EU that he will not ask for anything substantive?

        As for your last point, politics is also delivering what you pledge/promise. He resoundingly fails on that point even though he mentions it as an important point himself. According to the reports in the papers today, about Clinton’s emails, Cameron has not made a good job of that either!

        • Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          So you don’t trust David Cameron. What is the alternative? Do you think that getting rid of DC and changing in mid crisis will get us a referendum or rule change in the EU . That chaos if it was brought about could easily be the excuse why renegotiations and a referendum did not go ahead as planned.

          • Posted July 3, 2015 at 7:08 am | Permalink

            Don’t blame me I voted UKIP.

            Crisis, chaos, Come on do not be silly. No such thing.

            If he was last or only person to vote for I would abstain. I think it was clear in 2010 that he went into coalition to change his party. The Tory party should have dumped him then.

            You write as if he is the only choice. Read the writing on the wall. It was only June when Cameron stated treaty change was necessary as did Hammond. Now they are running away at the first hurdle with their tails between their legs!

            Yes, a referendum will take place because even Labour are for it. The referendum will be like the fudged right to recall MPs or instead of EVEL the now proposed EVEN. Getting rid of Cameron will not make any difference to those wanting out of the EU. Cameron has no intention of delivering.

  3. Posted July 2, 2015 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    ” any UK government now has to negotiate a new relationship with the emerging Euro state.”
    The ’emerging Euro state’ has already split the EU into at least two parts, and itself no more has a demos than does the EU. It is struggling to retain Greece, with worries about other members if Greece leaves, or is given special terms to stay.
    Why should any new relationship necessarily be closer than those we have with USA, or with Commonwealth countries, or Japan or Middle East or African ones? The world is changing and we need the freedom and flexibility to find our own place in it as a major trading nation, not continue to link ourselves to an ideologically driven attempt to create a superstate from the diverse mix which is Europe.
    We should leave the EU and negotiate our new relationship using Article 150.

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      50

  4. Posted July 2, 2015 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    I would be interested to see the poll evidence that the majority of CBI members wish to stay in the EU. So far their only reasons for doing so have been trotted out by Richard Branson and amount to no more than the scaremongering rubbish once talked by Nick Clegg. Pure baseless propaganda designed to sway voters to the interests of a few large companies who can exercise control of their market in the EU.

    I still await your leader’s explanation of his love affaire with the EU and his desire to marginalise the UK within it. One may as well search for rocking horse droppings.

    Reply BCC and IOD say their members want to stay in a reformed EU, not the current one.

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      I agree with all your views and sentiments on the EU. However, your leader, his side kick Osborne and most of his select Cabinet are avid Europhiles who are set against the National interest in support of the EU.
      You need to put aside party politics and remove them. They do not act in the interests of the British people as they have shown time and again.
      This is not my fault, I voted UKIP and for the British people!

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply.

      Well in the interests of clarity let us have the names of those individuals and companies who are for us remaining in the EU and those who are against. To what extent have the shareholders and employees of those companies been consulted and asked to express their opinion.

      As the EU has no intention of reforming itself, do these members of the BCC and the IOD believe in the tooth fairy. My best guess is that they have their foot in the door for control of their particular industry in the EU and prefer to keep it that way. I cannot imagine them giving a monkey’s for the loss of UK sovereignty which is the end game if we stay in. To a large extent it has gone anyway.

      • Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        Spot on.

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      @Reply
      Have these BCC and IOD stated what their requirements are for EU reform?

    • Posted July 3, 2015 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; Those reforms being what though. Just because they want reforms that doesn’t equal a eurosceptic position (never mind a europhobic one with a Brexit to follow), quite the possibly opposite – they don’t want the current UK membership of always being halfway out the door, they might well want a UK membership were we have both feet under the table, fists banging the desktop, whilst building alliances and thus getting those burdensome unnecessary regulations removed or amended into at least workable regulation.

  5. Posted July 2, 2015 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Some seem to want it both ways…

    I was delighted to read the Business Secretary’s speech to the CBI this week. In it he told them in no uncertain terms that if they continue to say the UK must stay in the EU come what may, they undermine the Prime Minister’s negotiations.”

    Oh dear, a group of other people have a different set of opinions and wish to share them, the above comments (by both Mr Javid and our host) are not much different to Mr Juncker’s comments regarding what the Greek government want – how dare other people put at risk a life’s political work. Other opinions simply can’t not, will not, be tolerated, is that clear?!

    “He reminded them that in a negotiation you need to set out what you want, and to indicate that you will walk away if you do get a good offer.[..//..] They should now tell us what reforms they want.”

    Indeed but has the government actually gone and asked them, part of the pre-negotiation process is listening to what a significant stakeholders want, such as the CBI surely, perhaps something that Cameron and Javid should have done before telling the EU what the UK wants from such negotiations?

    “[the CBI] should also tell Brussels what reforms they want, and tell Brussels that people in the UK will vote against staying in if we are not offered solutions to the problems with our current membership.”

    The CBI is not the elected government of the UK, do not expect others to do the governments work for them – especially as many businesses seem to want the opposite to what eurosceptics want.

    “At the base of the UK’s unsatisfactory relationship with the modern EU is the way in which the EU uses the so called single market as an excuse to regulate, legislate and interfere in a range of other important matters in ways which UK voters do not approve.”

    A very wild comment, the GE polling figures (popular vote) would suggest otherwise, given a significant number of europhiles within the Tory party, perhaps you meant to type eurosceptics instead of voters.

    “Big business does not like the banker bonus controls, the Financial Transactions Tax and the new banking capital rules from Brussels, though these may be popular with some voters.”

    Big businesses no not like regulations period, many would prefer a wild west, dog eat dog world, they will thus still complain that regulation is to harsh even if thee UK is out of the EU.

    ‘Nor does business like the results of the EU’s energy policy, with dear gas and electricity driving energy using businesses out of the UK.”

    Perhaps but that is a world wide issue coming out of the UN, not just the EU. Perhaps if Cameron had spent more of his time disproving so called ‘Climate Change’, rather than trying to be the “Greenest government ever” or boosting his air-miles bonus points by flying off to huge a husky etc?..

    “The truth business needs to understand is that membership of the current EU is not a comfortable status quo that they can live with”

    Why ever not?! After all UK business see German businesses doing so and doing so very successfully, as are some French, Italian, Swedish, Irish companies etc.

    “but a ticket for a wild ride to political union which may do all sorts of things they do not want.”

    As might either a full or parietal Brexit.

    “The recent programme set out by the 5 Presidents of Euroland and the EU show just how central to the EU the Euro project has become.”

    Stating the obvious, and a bit like complaining just how central to the USA the USD has become!

    “They want legally binding targets and controls on economies, a Euro Treasury, a financial union, and a political union. The UK has wisely decided not to join the Euro. Few business leaders want us to join the Euro. They therefore need to understand that any UK government now has to negotiate a new relationship with the emerging Euro state. We want to trade with them, be friends with them, have a range of sensible agreements with them but we do not wish to be governed by them.”

    Thus Mr Cameron must, in effect, be negotiating for a Brexit, time to invoke clause 50 then… Oh and many businesses leaders quite like the traditionally favourable exchange rate between GBP and the EUR, not because they are fundamentally opposed to the Euro per se, indeed when the GBP-EUR exchange rate was closer to parity there were more business leaders calling for the UK to join the Euro.

    “It is an urgent task to get more business people to grasp that now we have an opportunity to free ourselves to be more prosperous”

    Well first you’ll need to persuade them that life outside of the EU will be significantly better. So when will that Brexit business plan and economic case be put forward by the europhobes, so far all they seem to want to talk about is some woolly concept of Sovereignty that means a million different things to a million different people.

  6. Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    It is funny. The CBI. It needs to be told and advised on how to negotiate. Employers who are deficient to the point of blindness, denial. Even speaking up before any negotiations have begun, not knowing their detail. They are doing a Juncker. Telling people to vote Yes when the question is unknown.
    Mr Javid needing to explain, persuade and gently poke such as the CBI is fun fun fun. It says much about the CBI and unfortunately much about British business. Just because rabbits are quite jolly, very productive, extremely good at digging holes and tunnels does not mean they know about Earth geology, fracking, and how and where to build a reservoir. Politics and the finer points of international trade would need stilts and Everest mountaineering equipment to get beyond CBI payrates. But the CBI behaves like a dumbcluck nevertheless.

    Whenever I hear of the nicey-nicey British entreaties to the CBI, the TUC, the EU High Command…the endless and often fact-deficit debates in Parliament, I am reminded oddly of China. Is it was it a communist state? Is it was it always capitalist continually wapped by a fluttering red flag? Like the bumble bee, the best minds with furrowed brows and flautist eyebrows swore it could never fly. The CBI should be sent to China to learn a thing or two and if they have not then awoken, sent to Coventry.

  7. Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    No doubt Javids speech was sanctioned by CMD and Co. The CBI position is exactly the same as Cameron ‘ s.
    He has no intention of negotiating anything worthwhile and playing on the wait and see brigade until the last minute
    In a previous post you said we would know what he was negotiating by the end of June. We’re still waiting.

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Well, we do have some idea, albeit only through a leaked document:

      http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/26/the-guardian-view-on-britain-and-europe-the-queen-is-right

      “The leaked note confirms Mr Cameron has boiled his reform demands down to four key headings … ”

      Of which the only one of any significance is the demand that the commitment to a process of “ever closer union” be removed from the EU treaties, and he’s already been told that any such treaty change would not be tolerated.

      • Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:20 am | Permalink
        • Posted July 2, 2015 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

          All are totally pathetic and virtually worthless aims, just as one would expect of the man.

          • Posted July 3, 2015 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            All except one:

            “Answering Britain’s concerns about sovereignty by giving the UK an exemption from the EU’s historic commitment to forge an “ever closer union”. The prime minister said the UK did not want to stop other member states from pursuing this goal, but that Britain needed an opt-out because the European Court of justice has used it to push through integrationist measures.”

            That is the only one which would definitely require treaty change, and it would be a fundamental change to the purpose and future direction of the EU – which is why he has already been told that it would not be tolerated.

            I note there are attempts to minimise the importance of this by saying that the commitment is purely “symbolic”; it isn’t, it has informed everything that has happened since the establishment of the EEC in 1957 and while it is still in place it will continue to inform everything that happens in the future. That is why there was an immediate and hostile reaction to his proposal when he first made it.

  8. Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    The Prime Minister has undermined his own ‘negotiations’ by himself doing the very same thing of which Mr Javid accused the CBI. He always says that the UK must stay in the EU and he is confident that he will achieve that result. I cannot remember him ever being reported as being prepared to walk away and advocate leaving the EU.
    The whole thing is a grotesque charade.

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

      Charade indeed and has been ever since Heath (no loss of sovereignty) took us in without the authority of the people.

  9. Posted July 2, 2015 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    You simply have to remember that big business bosses are very much the same as those fat cats in the EU, and much in common.

    They have a very good income, excellent pension arrangements, usually fixed term or lengthy contracts, get large payoffs if they leave, but most of all, it is not their money they are risking.
    If on rare cases it is their money at risk, most have a bolt hole somewhere which is not located in the EU.

    The CBI like the TUC belongs to the past.

  10. Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    ” he told them in no uncertain terms that if they continue to say the UK must stay in the EU come what may, they undermine the Prime Minister’s negotiations”

    Mr Javid may wish to tell the PM the same ? …………….

  11. Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    As we are seeing from the Greek referendum nations do not necessarily enjoy the consequences of EU (and EZ) membership but fear the unknown of not being a part of it. For us it has been 40 years since we were not part of the club. Scaremongering is relatively easy for those wishing to stay in.

    Like the Scots the out voices need to be positive about prosperity from out and ideally we should be able to quantify it. Having our own currency makes the argument for out easier and more credible than it was for the Scots but we must remain united, upbeat and positive not whiny.

    Organisations such as the CBI who enter the campaign should be mandated to declare any funding received from the EU whenever pronouncing on the subject. If this does not become part of the referendum legislation then the out campaign should employ researchers to identify if published and broadcast advocates receive funding from the EU and then make that known on social media, the blogsphere and if possible MSN.

    Neutralise if we can’t eliminate.

  12. Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    The CBI is hardly synonymous with business .

    They will always extol the crony capitalist approach over and above the capitalist one so no surprise they love the EU .

    They are like the commercial arm of the BBC . Just listen to John Cridland who has never worked one day in industry pontificating about the “UK’s legally binding carbon budgets” and opposing domestic shale gas .

    The Institute of Directors has a better track record that the CBI .

    They world has moved on and the CBI and TUC have been left behind .

    Hasn’t the Minister got more important things to do than wasting his time with increasingly irrelevant fake charities like this ?

  13. Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The £800,000 the CBI have received from the EU (may help ed)explains its bias(enthusiasm for staying in ed) ; equally it applies to the BBC . Javid was right to highlight the relationship and that the EU should play no part in influencing our forthcoming referendum .

    I am fairly certain that the EZ will make every effort to consolidate following the Greek vote this week-end . The ECB will ensure that all its member banks have all the money they require to shore up the Euro . A closer union will be created of the EZ bringing fiscal unity into focus and more discipline . The EU will do everything it can to keep us in its net aided by the leadership of David Cameron .

    Features of the sort I have pointed out all highlight how important it is for a co-ordinated and well led campaign to bring to the public all the weaknesses of staying in the EU . A closer union will bring even more controls from Brussels – a situation I consider abhorrent and an insult to our integrity and sovereignity .

  14. Posted July 2, 2015 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The EU reflects the French attitudes to business, which does not like entrepeneurs and makes setting up a business as hard as possible; and neither does the CBI which likes all the EU regulations that keep down upstart companies that might compete with theirs! The EU is, of course, insanely jealous of the entrepeneurial companies the USA has produced – Google, Amazon, Microsoft etc.and is trying very, very hard to clip their wings. The EU has not and will not encourage any such companies to develop in Europe and is one of the reasons the CBI like it.

    • Posted July 3, 2015 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      @Liz; “The EU reflects the French attitudes to business, which does not like entrepeneurs and makes setting up a business as hard as possible”

      Best you tell the many French Sole-traders and businesses that it’s close to impossible to be entrepreneurs.

      “The EU is, of course, insanely jealous of the entrepeneurial companies the USA has produced – [./company examples/..] and is trying very, very hard to clip their wings.”

      No they are not, they just want them to operate within some rules, for example not allowing computer operating systems to block or at least make it difficult for the average pleb to use another companies software (for example web browsers), or for a company to pay tax in the country were the income was created, or perhaps stop a service industry (which almost all now depend on in our daily lives) from acting in a cartel like way to their benefit and the customers loss.

  15. Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    “The UK and our businesses do not wish to be drawn into a massive transfer union … “, and the same may well be true for other countries as well.

    Including some which have already joined the euro, but not anticipating that it would turn into a transfer union when the EU treaties said that would never happen.

    As Merkel herself said on March 1st 2010:

    “We have a Treaty under which there is no possibility of paying to bailout states in difficulty”

    which held until she decided that it was possible to bailout Greece after all:

    http://openeuropeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/they-said-it-wouldnt-happen.html

    In the Czech Republic the Tories’ allies the ODS argued back in 2011 that their country should be relieved of its legal obligation to join the euro on exactly that basis, that the terms of the contract were changing radically from those (supposedly) in force at the time when that obligation was accepted under its treaty of accession to the EU:

    https://euobserver.com/political/114118

    “The recent agreement on another bail-out for Greece and on boosting the eurozone’s bailout fund is fuelling Czech calls for a referendum, said Czech MEP Jan Zahradil, leader of the European Conservatives and Reformists.

    “We should allow non-eurozone members – such as my country the Czech Republic – to decide again whether they wish to enter. We signed up to a monetary union, not a transfer union or a bond union in our accession treaty. This is the major reason why the Czech Prime minister wishes to call the referendum on this matter,” Zahradil said in a statement.”

    But the same must be true for the countries which have already joined the euro, they should have the option of making an orderly withdrawal rather than being sucked into a federal United States of Euroland.

  16. Posted July 2, 2015 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The French failure at Calais and their ATC controllers threatened an cancelled tells me that they are not a nation that we should be tethered to. That includes a good few others really.

    I don’t understand why the French strikers are allowed to reek havoc on E.Tunnel. Its not the first time and criminal damage takes place.

    The drivers stacked up to the Belgian border are in life threatening situations (supplies and immigrant criminals). And UK companies are being fined when they report immigrants aboard their vehicles it appears?

    So much for business and leaders…

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the fine imposed on the haulage firm is iniquitous,the driver reported finding them so what more could have been done? What has happen to our justice system when people can be treated in this way? Haven`t hauliers enough to put up with having to tolerate the delays and intimidation caused by these people without being fined as well, if this is British justice it stinks.

  17. Posted July 2, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Note that the biggest single member of the CBI is the National Farmers Union, which is currently arguing against the limiting of biofuels in petrol and diesel, which is where much of the harvest is burned . They also point out that most of the big solar farms are on member’s land, to say nothing of bird choppers. And don’t forget all those essential CAP price subsidies, tarrifs on cheap stuff and payments for not producing and ‘greening’. They have an office in Brussels. Happy to be in the EU etc ed.

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Scrap all these green crap subsidies now.

  18. Posted July 2, 2015 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The CBI should tell us what EU reforms they want ? Why should they ? Mr Cameron hasn’t troubled to tell us what reforms HE wants either.

  19. Posted July 2, 2015 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    An interesting piece of news this morning on Reuters: “Jaguar Land Rover signs partnership to build cars in Austria”.

    Over the last few weeks, our host has repeatedly told us that the UK getting out of the EU would certainly not stop the sale of German Cars, French wines, … A fair enough point. But could it not be also rather incomplete in its perspective, at least for cars?
    According to the latest figures (from the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders), corroborated by export figures from HMRC), in 2014, 1.528,148 cars were manufactured in the UK out of which 1,195,196 were exported representing £26bn, with 55% of this value in trade with the EU.
    These cars were produced by Nissan, Honda, Mini (BMW), Jaguar, Land Rover (both Tata group), Ford, and General Motors (both US companies).
    A question worth asking is whether these foreign companies are located in the UK just because of its flexible markets/workforce or could it also be because the UK is a good place from which to serve the rest of the EU.
    How our host can be sure that, if the UK comes out of the EU, and has to rely on WTO rules, the EU will not impose a 10% tariff on imported cars and a 5% tariff on imported components? If only the present WTO rules were to be applied, would it not be conceivable that within a few years, manufacturers would shift part or all of their production inside the EU so they would not have to pay these taxes.

    Reply WTO does not impose 10% car tariff. Why would Germany want a 10% tariff on her cars into UK?

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      But won’t such cars be submitted to HMRC’s 10% import duty?

      Reply No, it’s an EU duty which we would not apply unless Germany and France applied it to us, which they have indicted they will not for obvious reasons.

    • Posted July 2, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Even if these other governments, at present known as “our European partners” and apparently capable of running our country better than our own national government can run it, were in fact to turn out to be so stupid that they imposed a 10% tariff on our exports of cars to their countries, how much would that be in total? Well, taking your figures, 55% of £26 billion = £14 billion and 10% of that would be £1.4 billion. So it would be a damn sight cheaper for the taxpayer if we left the EU and the government then paid that £1.4 billion to car manufacturers as compensation for the import duty than if we stayed in the EU and paid many times that to the EU budget. Moreover, 10% duty on car exports to the EU would mean 10% duty on car imports from the EU, and so you would need to work out how much that import duty would defray the £1.4 billion export duty.

  20. Posted July 2, 2015 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    Thomas Jefferson to Horatio G. Spafford, 17 March 1814:

    “I join in your reprobation of our merchants, priests and lawyers for their adherence to England & monarchy in preference to their own country and it’s constitution. but merchants have no country. the mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”

    History proves that Thomas Jefferson was right and his unpatriotic merchants, were wrong, wrong, wrong. Is it time for our own unpatriotic merchants to get on the side of history, ditch their selfish and misguided attachment to the EU, and join with us in the ensuing prosperity that only freedom from the Brussels dictatorship can bring?

  21. Posted July 3, 2015 at 1:09 am | Permalink

    The free trade part of the single market – at least in goods – was completed with the advent of the Single European Act on 1st January 1987. All the subsequent Treaties and Acts have been aimed at creating a Federation and imposing constraints on the single market. In other words, we have been going in the wrong direction, from the UK’s point of view, for over 20 years.

    If we don’t want to be sucked into a European Federation or a German Empire, it is necessary to reverse by Statute Law our participation in these Treaties and Acts. Specifically, we have to repeal our commitment to ever closer Union and our Acts of Accession to the Maastricht, Amsterdam, Nice and Lisbon Treaties. We could leave in place, for the time being, all the harmonisation of goods regulations the has taken place since Maastricht was signed, but scrap all the social laws relating to how goods are produced and delivered (e.g. the working time directive and cab hours).

    I don’t want Mr Redwood to say that this is impossible. I want him to say that it’s got to be possible and to put Mr Cameron’s feet to the fire. At the moment, Mr Cameron appears to think that he, and he alone, should determine our renegotiation stance. His approach is to find out what Mrs Merkel is prepared to concede and ask for that. But it’s not what Mrs Merkel wants that matters; it’s what we want. It’s also high time that the pro-European tail stooped wagging the Tory dog. Eurosceptics have won the arguement; now we need to win the battle.

    Reply The Single European Act set up a process to complete the single market. This was announced as completed in 19923 following substantial EU legislation on a wide range of matters. Since then the EU has ignored the fact that it “completed” the single market, and regularly uses it as an excuse to legislate more.

  22. Posted July 3, 2015 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Sounds as if its back to in Europe but not governed by Europe! I do not know how many still believe that is possible.

    Using the image of the train, if as you rightly argue there is no status quo but a ticket for a wild ride to political union which may do all sorts of things we do not want. Then just fiddling with the speed of the ride is not going to work, we have to get off the train, if we don’t do that logic tells us we will eventually arrive at the destination.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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