Should we charge Germany to sell us their cars?

I wish to reassure our German friends.  I see no need to impose a charge on Germany to go on selling us so many goods if we leave the EU.

In return for this friendly and comradely act, I am sure the Germans would not seek to impose a charge on us for importing their vehicles, or for selling them a few back.  The Germans know they sell us twice as much as we sell them.

There is no need to pay a surcharge to buy their imports in the form of sending a contribution to the EU budget. We do not have to send a contribution to the US or Chinese budgets in order to trade with them, though they are both  bigger and more powerful than us.

The UK voters will be happy to carry on trading with the rest of the EU on the same basis as today if we leave the EU treaties. We are not seeking to leave to take our deficit elsewhere. We will not want to  seek to find Asian or American sources for goods we currently buy from the European continent.

The day after we leave everything will carry on as before with our trade. The only difference will be that both the EU and the UK will be able to negotiate changes bilaterally to our arrangements, and the UK Parliament and people will have the last say on the line the UK takes in any negotiations. The UK will gain its place on the World Trade Organisation. Both the EU and the UK will remain bound by WTO obligations to keep tariffs down and markets open. The best way of proceeding is to keep in place current trade arrangements until we negotiate better ones.

Germany has made clear they would not wish to face a special 10% tariff on car exports to the UK. We would not wish to impose one, and assume Germany with the rest of the EU would therefore not impose one on us.

Our trade is not at risk from Brexit. Scaremongering by some pro EU people shows how devoid of positive arguments they are to persuade us to stay in.


  1. Lifelogic
    October 30, 2015

    Indeed, are we should even buy those VWs, Audis and Skodas as we quite understand that if governments set very poorly designed car emission tests (tests not really designed to reflect normal use) then engineers will clearly have to design cars that pass these, yet still perform well in normal use.

    1. y
      October 30, 2015

      Always have a chuckle when the left go on about the car industry, who brought Honda, Toyota and Nissan here, all Brown could manage was 50M to keep the Rover boys and girls quiet before an election and then sell it lock stock and barrel to the Chinese. Anyone seen a new Leyland Daf Van recently.

  2. Brian Taylor
    October 30, 2015

    We should remain in the EEA after Article 50 invoked which with UNECE and WTO rules gives us access to the single market until we negotiate our Independence.
    I wonder how many other EU countries will do the same.
    Richard North and others have done remarkable work on an Exit plan called FLEXIT.

    1. M Davis
      October 31, 2015

      I believe it is, FLEXCIT, Brian, not Flexit.

  3. Mark B
    October 30, 2015

    Good morning.

    Of course, it will take time to iron out the details of any trade deal with the EU. And that for many is the problem.

    I think it is high time the Europhiles were challenged and asked if they would like to explain to us all the ‘postives’ of so called membership. I won’t hold my breath.

  4. bigneil
    October 30, 2015

    I read the other day that Germany’s rate for deporting failed asylum seekers has risen very sharply. I sarcastically wonder why. Firstly, how come they can deport at will. Secondly, what happened to them “taking everyone”? Thirdly, we now get told a million more will leave Turkey before winter properly sets in? I can see some of those ending up in the Savoy or the Dorchester soon because the lower chains will be full. This will not end well, FOR US, but DC will keep handing out free houses, benefits and NHS to all and sundry who arrive – having contributed zilch. It is getting interesting seeing politicians deliberately engineer the destruction of their own country. Cameron must be so proud of himself. Can we get Tony Abbott over here ASAP please.

    1. Anonymous
      October 30, 2015

      Big Neil – Today we are told (yet again) that we need to immigrate young people to pay our pensions as we have a rapidly ageing population.

      But they need high paying jobs to pay for themselves first – let alone our pensions.

      Many of them arrive unable to speak English and unqualified. If they put their minds to it and they get government assistance they might become good earners by their forties, by which time they’ll be well and truly part of that ageing population.

      These are just excuses for a system that is out of control.

      It will not end well.

      1. APL
        November 1, 2015

        JR: “Today we are told (yet again) that we need to immigrate young people to pay our pensions as we have a rapidly ageing population. ”

        Requiring more people to subscribe to a scheme to avoid the collapse of the scheme is a primary characteristic of a PONZI scheme.

        Such schemes are illegal in the private sector. But apparently encouraged in the Public sector.

  5. alan jutson
    October 30, 2015

    If only the leave campaign could try and promote this very simple logic forward to the media, and use it against the defeatist nonsense that is coming from the stay as we are camp in any discussions/interviews on the TV/radio, the sooner the population may realise how logical and simple trade will be.

    Aware this is the argument you have been using for years John, and Nigal Farage also made good use of it in a recent interview on Radio.

    All the time we have a trade deficit with the EU the stronger the argument that we should actually charge them, rather than the other way around !

    Once again the defeatist stayers twisting the truth and facts to try and frighten people.

    1. Timaction
      October 30, 2015

      We have over £77 billion trade deficit with the EU. I read earlier today that it is £30 billion with Germany alone based on 2014 figures. USA sends us £32 billion goods and we export £38 billions to them. The scare mongering by their trade people about a trade deal is probably at the behest of our intrepid leader and Chief non negotiator!
      There are no good reasons to stay in the political project known as the EU.

  6. Richard1
    October 30, 2015

    Well set out but this isn’t the whole argument is it? The In campaign are saying the main risk of leaving is international businesses will prefer to site major investment in the future and base operations within the EU in order to ensure ‘access to the single market’. As you imply it is difficult to know what this means and how it differs from being outside the EU so long as there are not tariffs. Perhaps there might be disadvantages to a business based outside the EU in terms of competition rules, or rights of appeal if they are excluded from business (in sectors where that actually applies today under the single market – which excludes most services)? As long as there is doubt and fear of disinvestment, the In campaign will have the upper hand in this debate.

    1. ian wragg
      October 30, 2015

      Why should the whole country suffer for what is at best 4% of GDP with the EU.
      Why would my company which is French remove all investment from here when it makes more profit than in France.
      Companies will have to adapt to a different environment. It doesn’t stop the Chinese and the rest of the world trading with the EU.

      1. Timaction
        October 30, 2015

        Exactly right. The in mob are just creating an environment of fear and uncertainty. We weren’t in the EU for thousands of years and don’t need to be to trade with them. It is and always has been a political project led on false pretences by the legacy parties.

    2. libertarian
      October 30, 2015


      Of course we know this is blatant nonsense . Overseas companies will base their plants, factories and offices all over the world for many different reasons. Large numbers of UK multinationals have based their customer service operations in India in the past. German & French companies operate plants outside of the EU .

      If large numbers of companies are so keen and there are large numbers of unemployed people in southern EU states how come they aren’t piling in building factories in Greece, Portugal, Spain etc?

      The 2 main things that the EU offer multinational business they cannot mention because the public would revolt.

      1) Large numbers of cheap immigrant workers

      2) Corporate Tax and VAT avoidance

  7. JJE
    October 30, 2015

    The standard WTO tariffs would not be that much of an issue if imposed.

    The trade deals being negotiated currently are about standardisation of regulations and legislation, almost entirely to the benefit of US corporate interests. It’s a last attempt by a declining super power to impose their control on world trade.
    For example Heinz were recently forced to relabel their ketchup in Israel as the ingredients did not meet the Israeli legal definition of ketchup. The response from Heinz was to complain that Israeli legislation had not yet been brought into line.
    More seriously, attempts to impose US style regulations on drug pricing and state purchasing could wreck the NHS budget.

    But we don’t actually know what is being negotiated between the US and EU. MEPs and MPs can only see the documents in strict confidence by appointment in a closed room in Brussels and they are not allowed to make notes.

    So on the whole I would be greatly relieved if the UK were to be excluded from the current round of secretly negotiated trade deals.

    1. Hefner
      October 30, 2015

      Here I think you are very hopeful. To me, the first thing that a UK government will do will be to sign a TTIP-type agreement with the USA, so that whatever good/bad things could have been brought by the USA-EU TTIP will be brought by the USA-UK “TTIP”.
      I guess the dreamers on this website who think that a UK out of the EU will have it easier in terms of trade are not realistic. There will not be that much change. The only good thing, to me at least, is that it will not be possible for UK politicians (and the unconditional ones herein) to go on bleating that “the UK is prevented by the EU to show how good/strong it is”.

      I am unfortunately much more pessimistic than that. The U.K. will certainly be more free to go its own way, but I doubt very much it will be that brilliant.

      1. forthurst
        October 30, 2015

        “To me, the first thing that a UK government will do will be to sign a TTIP-type agreement with the USA, so that whatever good/bad things could have been brought by the USA-EU TTIP will be brought by the USA-UK “TTIP”.”

        By the time of BREXIT, the details of the US Corporatists’ stichtup will have become publicly available rather to be viewed by MEPs in a sealed cell without any means of subsequent reproduction.

        Dream on yourself as you have no grasp of reality.

      2. libertarian
        October 31, 2015


        The rant about the benefits of doing business in/out of EU for us “dreamers” was bought to you by Hefner who has never founded, started or run a business, ever. Meanwhile us “dreamers” who do run businesses obviously are wrong to see how much better off we would be. Well Hefner seeing as 85% of ALL business is conducted within the UK it is blindingly obvious that reducing unnecessary EU trading regulations is a massive BENEFIT . Whether or not an independent UK signs a trade deal with the US, STILL 85% of business & the economy will be conducted WITHIN the UK. We will therefore STILL be massively better off. You only need to be pessimistic if you intend voting Labour at the next election

        1. Hefner
          November 1, 2015

          I had not realised up to now that only “business people” had the right to comment on this blog. Also should doctors, teachers, bankers, scientists, shop attendants, all other kinds of employees and workers be prevented from commenting?

          Interesting view, certainly in a country, which up to not that long ago was proud to be the mother of democracy.

  8. Lifelogic
    October 30, 2015

    They are indeed totally devoid of any rational arguments for staying in. They usually just state that we get huge benefits from membership but can never say what these are.

    The only argument seems to be that if we come out the EU members will gang up and try to damage us. But they can do this far more effectively while we are under EU laws and indeed they often do.

    Hardly much of an argument.

    I think I just heard Cameron on the radio saying he was “giving people higher wages”. Very kind of him, except of course it is not him, nor the government “giving”. It will be thousands of businesses. The result will be they will have less to pay other workers, will have lower profits, with have less to invest in their businesses, will be less competitive and will have to make many redundant.

    A lose, lose, lose for everyone. Surely even Cameron & Osborne must be capable of understanding this?

  9. margaret
    October 30, 2015

    The problem isn’t the new German cars , but the continuing maintenance and parts which are expensive. Perhaps this area of trade could be looked at as well.

    1. agricola
      October 30, 2015

      Not just German cars. There is a vast disparity between what the car manufacturers pay a component supplier and what is charged at a garage for the same part as a replacement. From past experience I would estimate the mark up at between 5 and 10 times the OE price. None of this can be justified by selling in smaller volume, extra packaging , transport etc.

      Not only will you the car owner be ripped off when your clutch wears out, but your insurance costs reflect the price of parts also. When you buy a car you just have to accept the fact that throughout ownership you are there to support both the car companies and their component suppliers. They use their warranty arrangements to prevent you buying from more competitive sources. They get away with it because their lobbying power is greater than yours.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 30, 2015

        Indeed but if you run older cars like me you can always get most things from other suppliers more cheaply or even second hand from break ups.

        James Dellingpole had an interesting article in The Spectator on the “interesting” ways the car insurance industry can often work.

        Also we have the ink jet (embedded compatibility chip) tricks to make you buy ink for perhaps 100 times what it should really be.

  10. agricola
    October 30, 2015

    I would that the politicians and civil servants see our separation from the EU in the same light. If it can happen as you suggest, then no need for a staging point via EEA/EFTA. What is the best mechanism for achieving this after a no vote in the referendum.

    My second question is, would that mechanism reverse or end all the other EU impositions on our country. I have in mind the return of our sovereignty via Parliament over all aspects of life in the UK up to and including our maritime borders. Ministries can then become wholly responsible for their actions, no blame shifting to the EU.

  11. JJE
    October 30, 2015

    Great news today regarding a breakthrough in lithium-air batteries made by Professor Clare Grey and her team at Cambridge. I hope we can commercialise this superb piece of research.

    1. oldtimer
      October 30, 2015

      This is a promising development but the scientists working on it have said that real life usage could still be more than a decade away.

  12. Mark
    October 30, 2015

    The trade argument from those in favour of the EU has never made real sense. The reality is the EU has a declining share of world trade, and its regulation is choking its economy, making for a declining share of global GDP as well – there is no offset from internal trade adequate to make up the loss of external trade. Never mind the theories – look at the facts.

  13. Dame Rita Webb
    October 30, 2015

    Eh charge the Germans for selling cars why not? I often play a game with my German friends by asking them when did you last buy anything British? Apart from stuff from the Anglo Dutch Unilever or Shell they are stumped to come up with something. So they do not really have much to retaliate with. Its about time Dave, who by his actions elsewhere is no “free marketeer”, gave the regulators some powers to have a go at the the utility companies they own here and stop them burdening the British consumer and industry with their rip of prices.

  14. Ian wragg
    October 30, 2015

    According to Dave we will still have to contribute humongous amounts of money to trade with the EU. The world will stop rotating the day we leave. Our credit rating is at risk and all babies will be still born.
    How about shouting from the rooftops that if we leave the EU we may charge them £19 billion to continue trading at a deficit to us.
    How about shouting that we can use that money for funding the elderly.
    What about telling everyone EU immigrants will have to get work permits and health insurance.
    How about telling all and sundry that the benefit bill will reduce by £ billions when we don’t pay foreigners to be unemployed and remit the money home.
    There are sunny uplands after the EU and yes I will still holiday in Italy and France and still be friends with my European colleagues.

    1. Kenneth
      October 30, 2015

      If we leave the eu Mr Cameron must surely know that any future Conservative PM who negotiated a deal whereby we paid the eu to trade with them would be booted out of the Conservative Party.

    2. libertarian
      October 31, 2015

      Ian Wragg

      Probably lots of scope to charge for work permits too !!

  15. agricola
    October 30, 2015

    As an addendum to my earlier contribution I read that Standard and Poors have stated that the UK leaving the EU will lead to a downgrading of our credit rating. All based on the prediction that this will lead to an increase in tariffs against our trade with the USA.

    You realise that S&P are playing politics when you look at the UK/USA trade figures. We sell them £31.7 Billion, but they sell us £35 Billion. S&P seem to believe the USA would wish to jeopardize this rather than establishing a replacement UK/USA trade agreement.

    1. ian wragg
      October 30, 2015

      Read my above comments. According to the pundits, the whole world will instantly stop trading with the worlds 5th biggest economy the day we leave the EU.
      We the sheeple are incredibly stupid and we all believe this.

  16. Anonymous
    October 30, 2015

    In the interests of consistency the EU should impose tariffs on China.

    There is absolutely no point in our industries being green and our human rights being good that are made so costly that people buy Chinese imports instead forcing them out of business.

    The consumer should be encouraged to buy EU goods (or from any nation adopting the same standards) to ensure that progress is made on the environment and human rights. Otherwise what is the point of it all ?

    If there is no tariff on Chinese goods then there is hardly going to be one between states post Brexit – unless for punitive reasons.

  17. rick hamilton
    October 30, 2015

    The Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal just agreed between massively different economies such as Vietnam and the USA shows that independent nations can work together just as effectively as those trapped in the EU. There is no need for political union of any kind for trade agreements to work.

    It is just that we have had 40 years to remove trade barriers while the TPP countries are just starting out, so it will take years for them to harmonise everything whereas our continuing with the same arrangements after Brexit should be very simple. I can see no reasons ( other than vindictiveness by EU bureaucrats or incompetence by our own negotiators ) for which we should be worse off in trading terms after leaving.

    Surely nobody in their right mind would throw away their own sovereignty for the sake of 2% of GDP (or whatever supposed benefit EU fanatics claim membership confers).

    It does still invite the question why our politicians gave away so much of our sovereignty in the first place. No answer has ever been forthcoming.

  18. bratwurst
    October 30, 2015

    If (when!) we leave the EU then surely we will not be negotiating trade agreements with the individual EU countries, eg Germany, , but with the EU as a single entity. This could take years.

    Since we are already in the European Economic Area (EEA) – the basis of the Norway Option and the core of the Single Market – we should on leaving the EU maintain continuity by staying in the EEA, buying time for a considered, longer-term solution.

    The Norway option is not the end game. It is an interim solution to the complex problem of extracting ourselves from over forty years of political and economic integration. It would be extremely unwise to attempt a “big bang” separation from the EU. The two year period allowed for the initial Article 50 exit negotiations isn’t long enough to broker a bespoke free trade agreement – which could take 5-15 years to conclude.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 31, 2015

      Rather reluctantly I’ve moved towards thinking that this is the best solution.

      We are already in the EEA, and as I see it our membership of the EEA is through a separate treaty to which the UK is a party in its own right and is not contingent upon our EU membership. In other words if we withdrew from the EU treaties that would not in any way invalidate our continuing membership of the EEA, although clearly there would be some details to settle such as the financial details.

      Therefore, put in our notice that we will be leaving the EU, while making it clear that we are not also leaving the EEA. The negotiations with the EU will then be more about other things than about trade, which as far as the EEA countries are concerned will continue on the same EU Single Market basis as before.

      That will relieve us of about nine tenths of new EU laws, not ideal but we will still have much more control over our laws than now. I work it out that if we have a 55% say now – 10% over the half of our new laws which originate with the EU, plus 100% over the other half – that will go up to about 95% – 0% over the 5% of our new laws still originating with the EU, plus 100% over the other 95%.

      Afterwards, more at leisure, seek favourable amendments to the EEA treaty, especially in relation to the automatic free movement of persons, which for us is the biggest defect of the EEA treaty.

      I think there is little we can do regarding the legal immigration we have already had from the rest of the EU – we cannot with any justice start turfing out people who have settled here on the invitation of our government, whether or not we wanted that invitation to be issued, not unless they are behaving very badly – but we can prevent mass immigration from any new EU members states.

      It seems to me that we could effectively block any new countries joining the EU even though we were no longer in the EU, simply by refusing to admit them to the EEA unless proper protections were put in place and we had control over the quantity and quality of immigrants from those new EEA countries.

  19. Mike Stallard
    October 30, 2015

    “if we leave the EU.”
    There appears to be some doubt that you actually want this. Can you assure us that you are going to vote LEAVE in the referendum please?

    Reply My doubt is about how the public will vote. My own position on wanting to leave is quite clear.

    1. DaveM
      October 30, 2015

      To reply:

      I’ve always understood that your position was to support a renegotiation which led to fundamental treaty change. Have you given up on this now?

      Reply I voted for out in the last referendum and will vote for out again unless there is a deal based on free trade and co operation outside the treaties. how many more times do I have to state this?

      1. DaveM
        October 30, 2015

        Mr R, I was merely commenting that you have always hoped for a “deal based on free trade and co operation outside the treaties” therefore suggesting that you support a successful negotiation leading to such a deal. However, your recent posts have sounded more as if you are going for “OUT” regardless.

        reply I have always said I thought it unlikely the rest of the EU would offer a deal that restores our democracy, my aim.

    2. stred
      November 1, 2015

      AS the vote is likely to be close, the Irish and commonwealth vte could determine the result. It would be in the interests of Irish citizens to stay in the same new stae as Ireland will be trapped in. Are conservative MPs supporting Migration Watch efforts to stop the foreign vote. UK citizens don’t vote in Irish referendums. How can the government justify their intentions if they really want a fair result?

  20. botogol
    October 30, 2015

    this is not good — US Official warns that the US wouldn’t make a trade deal with the UK post Brexit.
    If the US pursue this line it could scupper the Leave campaign. It reminds me of how the SNP were scuppered by the UK announcement that they couldn’t share the pound.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 30, 2015

      If the US pursue this line then it will certainly fuel anti-American feelings in the UK, which in my view would be a bad thing for all concerned. It reminds me of how some in the Tory party steadily stirred up anti-Scottish feelings in England, although that was deliberate while in this case Cameron and his allies in the US administration may not know what they are doing.

      Whether it would scupper the Leave campaign is another matter. It could change the shape of the Leave campaign by swinging some, especially on the left, in that direction – if the Yanks want to force us to stay in the EU, and be subjected to the proposed EU-US trade deal which Cameron says would be so wonderful, then for some people that could be a very good reason for getting out of the EU.

    2. yosarion
      October 30, 2015

      Its time Their Aircraft Carriers on England’s Green and Pleasant went anyway

    3. alan jutson
      October 30, 2015


      Do you seriously believe this sort of scare mongering ?

      Who are the first Nation they call when they want help and support to resolve any trouble in the World.

      1. forthurst
        October 30, 2015

        “Who are the first Nation they call when they want help and support to resolve any trouble in the World.”

        A well trained dog always knows how high to jump when he hears his master’s whistle.

    4. Iain Gill
      October 30, 2015

      I doubt president trump will allow the US to act like that. Although the Scottish government will find they have upset the wrong person with all those windmills next to his golf course.

    5. stred
      November 1, 2015

      As usual Wiki tells a story. Mr Froman’s career, after uni doing law with Barrack, included a job with the EU, then to the US Treasury, then Citibank. He advised Barrack when running for office. Top boys stick together.

  21. Iain Gill
    October 30, 2015

    We are not a manufacturing country, recent government policies have been to hamper any attempt to manufacture here with extreme “green” measures and power prices. Mostly anything “manufactured” here is little other than final assembly so that the products qualify as made in Europe for trade barrier purposes, with most of the high value components coming from abroad.
    The government strategy for paying our way in the world, as much as it has one, is to be provider of financial and insurance services to the world, and not a maker of things, and certainly not leaders in other fields which they don’t understand. They manipulate the market in all sorts of ways to try and make this happen. They are happy to destroy other industries like the UK information tech industry by trading away our advantages in trade agreements in exchange for supposedly enhanced chances of selling financial services, this is apparent in the way they are happy to agree to large numbers of immigrants from outside of Europe to decimate the native information tech workforce agreed for minor concessions of extra access to others financial services market. In doing so the government fail to understand the opposite countries individuals tendencies to buy from local suppliers, and other similar issues, so gives away our competitive advantage without really gaining us anything in return.
    As for cars well without real or threatened trade barriers there would be no car assembly in Europe or the UK, the Japanese have proven time and time again they can produce cars in Japan more cheaply and to a higher quality than anyone else. The Honda, Toyota, Nissan plants here are primarily to make sure the cars are considered made inside Europe and not counted in any trade negotiations. The Japanese diversified their assembly lines around the world to get around the real or threatened trade barriers to their ruthless efficiency at home.
    Nissan is in any case part of Nissan/Renault group and France would be extremely upset by anything which harms their UK factory, and MINI is of course a BMW brand these days so the Germans are hardly going to want to destroy it (at least not in the short term).
    One of the advantages of leaving Europe in my view is that we could get away from politicians and mandarins trying to manipulate our economy with ever dafter manipulations and free the British people up to succeed at whatever their entrepreneurial skills leads them to. So we could and should stop favouring the financial services sector, make it at least as easy to manufacture here as it is “on average” elsewhere in the world, stop decimating some of our native workforces, allow businesses to trade on – and win business on – quality as much as cheapness… and not have constant manipulation built into our system. You see if you free up the individuals from all that government (of all layers) manipulation they would be able to produce a whole lot more wealth. The government should concentrate on defence, protecting our borders, police and justice, and get out of the way of the people as much as possible in other aspects of life and hand decision making to individuals absolutely as much as possible as we all know command and control economies do not work (and with the public sector spending at over 50% of our money command and control is what we are in far too many regards).

  22. Jagman84
    October 30, 2015

    Absolutely correct Mr Redwood. A vote to leave is the stability option. The remain vote will be a wild ride to a federal Europe and eventual membership of the Euro.

  23. majorfrustration
    October 30, 2015

    Agree. Moving on, there was some comment in the press yesterday to the effect that the UK would/could lose its AAA/AA credit rating – any truth in this?

    Reply. No. It is decided on the numbers, and the numbers will improve as we stop paying money away to the EU. that means a better balance of payments and a lower public deficit or tax cuts.

    1. majorfrustration
      October 30, 2015

      Thank you

  24. ChrisS
    October 30, 2015

    Given the trade imbalance between the EU and ourselves, and in particular the exceedingly large one between the UK and Germany, we appear to hold all the cards in negotiating a trade deal with the EU.

    The idea of everything carrying on the same until we negotiate new and improved deals is the only sensible solution. There was a clear scare-mongering headline yesterday where a US official suggested we would face higher tariff barriers under a UK/US trade deal.
    Somebody should have asked him why this should be when the tariffs we currently suffer are relatively small and there is no deal in place at all !

    The scare tactics being used over trade are amongst the easiest to knock down. We are a far, far bigger player on the world stage than Norway and Switzerland and the massive trade imbalance should ensure we are taken much more seriously and can demand better terms.

    There are only two problems :

    1. Whether our side of the argument will ever get a fair hearing because of the extreme bias across the broadcast media who are all lined up in favour of continual EU membership whatever the terms on offer.

    2. After we vote to leave, the idiots in Brussels and M. Hollande ( if he survives in office ) are more than capable of playing hardball in a fit of pique and to discourage others from following our example. Despite the very obvious disadvantage to Germany and other leading countries who have the most to lose, it may take some knocking of heads together before common sense will prevail. I am very sure it will work out fine but somehow I think it will be a rocky ride.

  25. Know-Dice
    October 30, 2015

    We all know that the German tail wags the EU dog, there is no way that they would allow petty politics to get in the way of their trade to the UK.

    More influence if you are sitting at the “top table” I hardly think so and recent voting history at the EU shows this is not the case. One of Twenty Eight, how much influence does that get you…none…

    So, where does this leave the UK…

    A good negotiator will keep their cards close to their chest and that was exactly what I saw Owen Patterson do on News night the other day 🙂

    I’m not convinced that CMD is holding the right set at the moment 🙁

  26. Geoff not Hoon
    October 30, 2015

    Isnt is strange for two similarly sized countries that we no longer have a real British motor industry, virtually no British bus building, no British truck manufacturer and no train/carriage manufacturer. Plus many others of course. Do we really think it is through lack of good entrepreneurs or is it successive government policy that couldn’t give a fig for such staple industries and leave the markets open to German and other’s that do care.

  27. stred
    October 30, 2015

    Well VW/Audi may have to pay a lot to sell their cars. It is unfortunate that they used Vorsprung durch Technic in the UK- which means advancement in engineering- but a lidl too far. In the US they chose a German phrase meaning Truth in Engineering.

    When the cars are altered to squirt urea into the exhaust all the time, at about £10 a gallon owners are not going to be pleased, unless they are very keen to be better than drivers of E5 VWs. There was a test on various cars analysing NOx and particulates and VW came out best. It would be interesting to know how much other car makers have done to modify the latest engines.

    1. oldtimer
      October 30, 2015

      I believe they have all followed the same route of squirting urea (sold as adblue) into the exhaust stream. Jaguar have released a short video which illustrates and describes the process of SCR (selective catalytic reduction) here:

      1. stred
        October 30, 2015

        Iteresting to read the performance on the video. Almost all particulates gone but only >50% for NOx. The car manufacturers joint video claims that inner city NOx pollution is only about 7% of the total. Diesel cars have had particulate filters for 10 years and levels have been reducing as well as NOx. With these new anti NOx measures the total would presumably be down to 3.5%. It seems that Lord like Prescott and Stern would do better to turn their attention to taxis and buses instead of targeting cars and telling us to go electric.( Re their debate yesterday). The figure of large numbers of deaths they keep repeating is just plucked out of UN statistics for the world, which includes gross pollution from cooking and heating with fires inside houses without flues and far worse Chinese and Indian industrial pollution. Oddly, lung and heart deaths have been reducing, not going up.

        Looking at the pollution monitors on the ministry site it appears that the EU safe levels are only exceeded at certain times in congested streets, so why do they always show Oxford |Street and claim we have the most polluted streets in the world?

        1. oldtimer
          October 31, 2015

          Why? you ask. Answer: propaganda. Take a specific bad case and generalise it to promote your cause.

          1. stred
            November 1, 2015

            I can’t understand why they pick a cause which contradicts the previous cause. CO2 reduction is the first and then they pick another which involves scrapping half our cars and manufacturing replacement, when the first 4 years creates as much CO2 as the fuel just to make it, and the new petrol engines create 30% more CO2.- Apart from the health figures being unproved and misleading.

  28. Iain Moore
    October 30, 2015

    I noted the Evan Davis’s from Newsnight , when interviewing Owen Paterson, pursued a line of questioning about what subscription we should have to pay the EU to access their markets. Unfortunately Owen Paterson was a poor representative of the Leave campaign, for he got lost in a convoluted point, rather than challenging the BBC’s line, and ask why we should have to pay any ‘subscription’ to the EU, and in light of our market being more important to them their their market is to us, in light of the trade deficit we run with them, then if there is any worry to be had it should be found in Brussels, if we should seek to levy a subscription on them for their access to our market.

    Of course that would require the BBC to change its spots, and rather than always having a defeatist attitude about our country, actually saw it from our nations point of view and had some confidence in our country.

  29. NickW
    October 30, 2015

    We are learning extremely rapidly who our friends and enemies are.

    Our friends respect our democratic right to make up our own minds about the future of the UK, free from coercion and interference.

    Our enemies use threats and bullying to subvert the democratic process and force the British people to vote in a way that suits their interests.

    Our interests and the interests of the USA are diverging rapidly; perhaps it is time for our own “Boston Tea Party” moment to free ourselves from American tyranny.

  30. Keith Kablutisak
    October 30, 2015

    It is being reported that the USA has warned the UK that if it leaves the EU it will not be possible to negotiate a trade agreement bi-laterally. And yet, my understanding is that that is what the US has just done with Canada and Mexico and Japan and a host of other “pacific rim” nations.

    It seems to me that this threat from the US is a major problem for those of us who wish the UK to leave the EU. How do you think it can be countered, Mr Redwood?

    Reply I don’t believe it. The next PQresident will negotiate with the UK if we leave. The EU of course has not delivered a greet trad agreement with the EUS so far anyway.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 30, 2015

      Well, I see in a reader’s comment on the Telegraph article that:

      “the US is currently negotiating bilateral trade agreements with Thailand, New Zealand, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Taiwan, the UAE, Ecuador and Qatar”.

      I haven’t checked to see whether this is true, but if it is then perhaps our Prime Minister should be publicly asking on our behalf why our ‘closest ally’, with whom we supposedly have a ‘special relationship’, would flatly refuse to negotiate any trade deal with us if we left the EU.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 31, 2015


        “Michael Froman is quoted as saying “We’re not particularly in the market for FTAs with individual countries.” Here is a list of 20 US bilateral FTAs taken from his own website … “

    2. NickW
      October 30, 2015

      There are two possible responses to a threat.

      The first one is to give in and know that the oppressors boot will be on your face for the rest of your life.

      The second response is to reply with a single swift punch on the nose which earns respect and leads to a civilised working relationship.

      The referendum will reveal whether Britain can still hold its head up high, or whether we are a nation that gives in to self professed liars (Juncker; “When the situation is desperate, you have to lie”) and bullies (USA “We won’t trade with you unless you vote the way we want.”)

      I know where I stand.

    3. Keith Kablutsiak
      October 30, 2015

      Thanks for your response. I hope we vote to leave but suspect fear will drive people to vote to stay.

    4. alan jutson
      October 30, 2015


      Guido Fawkes has a list of 20 countries which already have Free Trade agreements with the USA.

      The EU are not on it !

  31. Bert Young
    October 30, 2015

    Dr. JR is right to focus on Germany as the key to our relationship with the EU ; not only are they the money bags and real decider of the Union , their trade relationship with us is a major feature of their economy . Whatever sort of a deal we work out with them doesn’t mean us kow-towing ; our strength in international markets and our credibility in the eyes of the world give us a moral stand point the Germans would love to emulate ; there is no other country in the EU of our equal and the Germans are aware of that .

    The EU can not continue as it is and we are wrong to be members of its defunct society . Germany will not be able to assuage its conscience of the 2 Great Wars by a Union that still has it as its most dominant ingredient ; no other country is able to muster the centre ground except for us and , with our leaving , the rug would be pulled from under its feet . As I see it Germany has to come to the table on our terms .

  32. Kenneth
    October 30, 2015

    Mr Redwood, I am glad that you have restated this – although it is so obvious it should not need to be spelled out.

    The protests against the drop in trade due to Russian sanctions are nothing compared to the serious unrest that would be caused if other European countries could not sell to the UK.

    They will obviously not wreck their own economies so that a few unelected nobodies can save face.

    October 30, 2015

    Not JR for the reasons you suggest. But we should actually charge Germany to sell cars here. Now in fact. She has a backlog of cars. Her own fault. Only way to clear them and continue to produce without expensive and debilitating plant closure will be to dump overly cheap new cars. The second-hand market is also affected which will lower the price of competing brands. It will mean most people owning a non-German car will find its second-hand price lower. An attack on the private assets of our people and economy.Unfair competition. As with her dumping of cheap steel produced by state subsidized industry.

    Certainly no need to charge Germany merely because we exit the EU. But she does subsidize energy too. This affects her pricing to the positive and our negative on many of her goods. Whilst it is true she has abandoned nuclear power which is an EU argument made for her subsidies,- such subsidies and a perceived greater supply reliability have coincidentally made relatively more expensive Ukrainian, Czech, Polish coal and others. Increasing in the scheme of things the prices of their general goods to us.

    Germany should fear our exit. Her making economically and politically dependent a number of smaller countries via her exported car production has not made her friends. We would be a true competitor if someone in government realizes we might one day require our very own steel, coal and fishing industries.A state owned British branded car industry might be an idea too.

  34. acorn
    October 30, 2015

    EU MFN Tariffs are looking like a Brexit minefield, particularly for autos; chemicals and spiv city gambling products. Assuming the 10% EU import tariff on such goods and services would apply after Brexit; AND, for the five to ten years it will take to renegotiate all the EU external trade agreements, the UK currently uses. NCs in Brussels reckon it will take the UK that long to just cross out “EU” at the top of the document and replace it with “UK”. I am advised “… just look how long it has taken the Swiss to do the same …”.

    Reply. Germany has already made clear she would not want a 10% tariff on cars!

    1. acorn
      October 30, 2015

      Your editing of posts appears to be even more drastic than when I was last on this site. Reminds me of that Jack Nicholson scene in “A Few Good Men”.

      “You can’t handle the truth!”

      BTW. Previously by acorn elsewhere. “A while back I commented on the fact that Conservative governments start out, (for three years) with the “slash and burn the public sector” mantra. This manifesting itself in the nation having to prostrate itself before the great “God of Austerity”. Thatcher; Major and Osborne (twice) in the last three decades alone.

      The UK OBR, (Office of Budget Responsibility, a much lesser version of the Congressional Budget Office) having become the government sponsored wing of the IFS (Institute for Fiscal Studies); has had to come a little bit clean. The storm clouds are gathering over the Osborne Austerity religion. A lot of laissez faire, neo-liberal Conservatives, at home and abroad; the ones that have H-A-T-E tattooed on both knuckles; are wishing to repent, using the Kurt Waldheim defence, (we were only following [the Whips] orders.

      Etc ed

  35. Denis Cooper
    October 30, 2015

    You’re far too generous, JR, and you’ll end up with a bad deal from the negotiations if you start out with such a weak opening position.

    Admittedly not as bad an overall deal as you would get if you started out saying that whatever happened you would still want to stay in the EU, as Cameron has done, but still a bad deal on this particular matter of market access fees.

    Norway is a net exporter to the EU and is charged for its access to the EU Single Market, on a variety of pretexts, while in contrast the rest of the EU including Germany is a net exporter to the UK and so by the same token they should pay us for their access to the UK domestic market.

    That is only fair and reasonable; the Germans can only find buyers for their cars in the UK because it is a fairly prosperous, relatively well-run, country, and it costs money for the UK government to keep it so, and so obviously the Germans should be making some contribution to the UK government’s budget.

    Moreover there are parts of the UK which are lagging behind and need development – thereby expanding the market for German cars, of course – and we would welcome some Germany grants for that purpose, like the Norway grants to the EU.

    I could add that we would expect Germany and the others to pay us for any help we may give in controlling the EU’s external borders, but I won’t because the Germans don’t want any such control anyway, and the Norwegian vessels deployed in the Mediterranean are not there to help control the EU’s external borders but instead to facilitate the illegal mass immigration that the German government has promoted, indeed just like the Royal Navy ships which have been sent there.

  36. Colin Hart
    October 30, 2015

    Scaremongering? Who can you be talking about?

  37. Denis Cooper
    October 30, 2015

    Off-topic, but quite amusing in its way:

    “Bicycle shortage stems Arctic refugee flow”

    “The number of asylum seekers entering Norway via Russia has slowed, due partly to the shortage of bicycles, reports Reuters. “The local shops are empty of bicycles”, a source told Reuters. Migrants are stuck in a Russian border town and are unable to cross by car because of paperwork.”

    Etc ed

  38. Peter Parsons
    October 30, 2015

    Never mind tariffs, what about what the UK would choose to do regarding manufacturing standards and regulations should the country vote to leave the EU. Would the UK choose to start to introduce its own set of regulations and standards, and if it did, what would be the impact on manufacturers and the cost of manufacturing? Would EU manufacturers find that the cost of producing for the UK market goes up (and thus they end up having to sell goods into the UK market at a higher price anyway just to cover the extra costs we would have introduced)? Equally, for UK manufacturers selling both domestically and for export, would their costs also go up if they were expected to produce to different standards for the domestic market and the EU market, thus reducing their international competitiveness and potentially raising prices for domestic consumer at the same time?

    1. bratwurst
      October 30, 2015

      Many (most?) standards & regulations are set at a global level, eg UNECE, Codex etc. The EU is usually just a middleman passing them on.

    2. Monty
      October 30, 2015

      The standards and regulations observed in industry already depend on the market in which goods are to be sold. Thus for the EU we use BS-EN standards, for North America we tend to use Underwriters Ltd of USA and Canada. China has her own standards bodies. Marine equipment usually has to meet Lloyds of London standards, plus whatever extra is required by the end user. We are accustomed to this and the costs of compliance are broadly the same whether we are EU members or not.

  39. Bill
    October 30, 2015

    Do we know what sort of impact our departure from the EU would have on the City of London as a financial centre? Would alternative centres spring up with alternative currencies to our detriment?

    1. Leslie Singleton
      October 30, 2015

      Bill–Alternative centres I suppose could “spring up” (though I doubt it) but I struggle to imagine anyone trying to introduce an alternative currency, just like that

  40. fedupsoutherner
    October 30, 2015

    Whatever happened to the Bulldog spirit our great predecessors had??? Cameron certainly hasn’t got the credentials to lead us out of Europe. He has made it quite clear to all he will stay in whatever the cost to Britain. If we don’t win this vote it will give the EU a clear mandate to do whatever they want regarding our membership.

    As for the US, why don’t they keep out of things that don’t concern them. It is for the British people to decide what they want to do and we can do without the scaremongering of other nations. I’m sure Cameron will provide enough of that before long.

    Are we ever going to hear Cameron stand up for Britain?

    1. Iain Moore
      October 30, 2015

      “Are we ever going to hear Cameron stand up for Britain?”

      On the day Cameron brings Shaker Amer to the UK from Guantanamo, the answer is clearly , No.

  41. stred
    October 30, 2015

    The PM of Iceland was on Sky news last night and was very positive about their wish to trade with the UK, whether we vote in or out. He said all the other Nordic countries thought the same. He also said he was not sure whether they would choose to sell us their electricity via the £4bn connector proposed by DECC or use it for their profitable aluminium and other smelters. They currently use three quarters of their cheap hydro and geothermal power for these.

    Eural was discussing the connector project during his trip there. Apparently the idea is now at ‘task force’ stage. It sounds like whichever way the 300k Icelanders decide to use their electricity, they will have a genuine Powerhouse and not one with a lot of closed industries but fast trains whizzing around.

    There is an interesting article on the link below. Not much publicity has been given to the proposal since DECC started a few years ago. Their technical advisor, David Mackay does not seem to think much of it in his book.The energy losses along the 1000 km cable and from Scotland to the south will be considerable.

    The £4bn will buy 1GW of capacity but we currently need 55,000GW for the winter peak. And don’t forget that the eventual aim of the Stern/Deben brigade is to stop using gas for heating, in which case electricity use will be much higher. The proposal is for two way transmission, but there seems to be no need for the Icelanders to import any. However they have a plan to export high price power to W.Europe too, as shown below. The oddest thing about this latest green idea from the PM is that DECC were proposing to pay for it, wheras the supplier makes the profit. One GW in 55k is not going to save us from blackouts. Perhaps the are planning to guarantee another very high strike price and buy it on HP off the overdraft.

    1. stred
      October 30, 2015

      The information was on the euanmearns one that fedup put on another subject, but on the list on the left. A very interesting blog recommended before by Mark.

      1. stred
        October 30, 2015

        The euan blog put on by fedup showed very clearly how little use and expensive solar was. Today, it was unsurprising to see Greg Barker, who didn’t fancy being an MP any more and has been nobled. He has taken a job at the top of the solar energy business and is busy telling us how cheap it is getting and how we should be covering every suitable house with it . It used to be around £400 but is is coming down as low as other renewables.

        Unfortunately, the difference it can make is negligible in northern countries. Perhaps he would have more success in Spain. Oh hang on, they have just slapped a tax on solar because so many Spaniards were milking the subsidies and the costs were being passed on to customers. Lord Greg should read the blog on Lord Deben’s climate change committee’s proposals, which are clearly shown to be tosh.

    2. Mark
      October 30, 2015

      The rule of thumb is that CCGT capacity costs $1per watt, or $1bn per GW, which implies we could buy 6GW of CCGT for the same money. We will of course have to pay for the power delivered into this interconnector should it ever be built, as well as for the system itself including any further grid connections and links required. Does the DECC think it is the DFiD, whose job is to waste taxpayer’s money in large quanitities?

      1. stred
        October 31, 2015

        Re. the £4bn for 1GW proposed by DECC for the Iceland link at 6x the cost of gas, there is a very interesting article in Nature 29,10 p.630. There is a company in Reykjavik which is making methanol by combining CO2 and hydrogen, using cheap electricity. To quote the author, Xiao Lim, – The advantage for Iceland is that methanol, being a liquid fuel, is a much easier way to export the country’s wealth of geothermal energy than, say, laying an undersea electricity cable to Europe.

        No doubt DECC and the Task Force will have understood this. The money saved would pay for the unpopular tax credit removal,wage rises and inflation the Treasury is having to reconsider.

    3. fedupsoutherner
      October 31, 2015

      There are also extensive losses with wind power which has to be transported for miles. It’s all madness. I wonder what the wholesale price of this thermal energy from Iceland will be? Probably something like 6 – 8 time the cost of conventional power. More people in fuel poverty then. How will we cope when our population is expected to increase by 10 million?????

    4. stred
      November 2, 2015

      Reading the comments on the website about the Iceland link, The figure of 55000GW should have been 55GW. A case of MW and GW confusion perhaps. Anyway still bugger all in relation to what is needed to avoid blackouts and why should we pay for it when they profit.

  42. English Pensioner
    October 30, 2015

    The problem with any negotiations these days is that our negotiators want to be “nice” and not upset anyone. Thus we give away our negotiating position when we should be taking a hard line.
    I once attended a few Eurocontrol (European Air Traffic Control) meetings as an engineering adviser and was appalled at the way discussions went, not on the merits of the equipment offered where the British radars were far superior at the time, but on everything else. The French negotiators constantly opposed any British proposals and after several meetings the French had their way. Seems that the French get their “Brownie Points” for failing to reach agreement whilst ours want agreement at any cost. Having been involved in negotiations with industry, I found the whole affair totally alien and just wonder if the Civil Service and those involved are up to the job of reaching equitable agreements with anyone.

    1. alan jutson
      October 30, 2015


      Your post echo’s the point I have made on many occasions.

      Most of our Politicians appear to be next to useless at any form of negotiation.

      We need to get some hard headed Commercial businessmen/women involved.

      Cameron has already thrown away a good deal of the advantage we had, and he has not even started negotiations yet.

      Shameful really, no other words to describe it !

  43. Kenneth
    October 30, 2015

    To be fair, I don’t think the majority of the IN campaigners are using this ‘pay to trade’ argument. I suspect that is because they don’t want to look stupid in public.

    To base part of your campaign on nonsense is not a good idea.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 31, 2015

      Well, it is the subject of new posters:

      and Cameron has echoed the BSE line.

    October 30, 2015

    Off topic. As I type the “Hospital Carparking Charges Bill” is being debated LIVE on BBC TV Parliament.
    One MP has already stated he is content to leave such things to his local hospital.

    1.There are scarce parking resources around hospitals.

    2. Residents around those hospitals are naturally fed up of their streets cluttered with other people’s cars.

    3. Certain family members ( carers ) can do well without massive parking charges on a regular basis.

    The real questions are:

    1. Should parking charges occupy the time of Parliament?

    2. Why cannot Local Authorities, Leaders of Councils, Councillors, Hospital Trust management using up massive amounts of money in salaries and expenses deal with a relatively simple question of parking outside and somewhere near the captive audiences of patients and visitors/carers?

    3. Is it not time for Mr Osborne and relevant Ministers to change the whole face of Local governance? Too many Councillors. Too many Council Leaders. Probably too many Councils.
    Rotherham and the mess, should have indicated the whole idea of Local Authorities is just not working. It is not that Local Authorities are working less than perfectly. They are adding to the problem and cost.

    What will be the next Bill before Parliament? How many sparrows are allowed to perch in every village park? I know…it will depend on pecking order. Anyway, whatever determination is reached the Lords are sure to throw it out after a week’s debate.

  45. Ken Moore
    October 30, 2015

    Meanwhile the ONS has said the Uk population is expected to increase by 10 MILLION over the next 25 years…..and that the population will be nearly 100 MILLION in a lifetime.

    Why hasn’t this been debated in the house of commons – it is a national emergency we are sleepwalking into. Dr Redwood where are you on this – why not highlight the consequences in a more high profile way. ?. I know you are fighting hard to get us out of the EU but we need a senior politician who is prepared to spell out the consequences of long term mass immigration – basically it’s bye bye England to how we know it
    Anyone who thinks London is getting a bit crowded these days..well you ain’t seen nothing yet.

    Who seriously believes that we can educate, treat, feed and house that many more people and maintain current standards of living ?.It’s nothing short of a national emergency. Why should future generations be denied the space and peaceful culture we have enjoyed?.

    What is the point in having an army (which is fundamentally there to defend our borders and way of life) if we are going to surrender ourselves to millions of foreigners that wish to live here).

  46. Denis Cooper
    October 30, 2015

    Presumably for the sake of balance (!) the Telegraph is running an article today by a Norwegian, contradicting Cameron by saying that most Norwegians are quite happy for Norway to have ended up like Norway rather than like the UK as it now is, in the EU, except they would like Norway to move further away from the EU not closer:

    One point which particularly grabbed my attention was this:

    “Some people say that Norway is forced to accept all EU regulations. In fact, despite the EEA agreement, most EU regulations do not apply to Norway. Between 2000 and 2013, Norway adopted 4,723 directives and regulations through the EEA agreement. In the same period, the EU adopted 52,183 pieces of legislation. Of all EU legislation, only 9 per cent was adopted into the EEA agreement.”

    Now there has been disagreement about what fraction of EU laws Norway is obliged to accept as a member of the European Economic Area or EEA – and note the words “obliged to accept” there, this is not counting other EU laws which pro-EU Norwegian politicians voluntarily choose to accept even though Norway is under no legal obligation to do so under the EEA agreement which some are suggesting would be suitable for the UK, at least as an interim or transitional arrangement after leaving the EU.

    The BSE campaigners, and now Cameron, like to pretend that Norway must accept ALL new EU laws, while this Norwegian anti-EU campaigner is saying that between 2000 and 2013 it was only 9% of them.

    One might hope that this 9% is not as wildly inaccurate as the 7%, or sometimes also 9%, that Clegg and others falsely claim as the fraction of our new laws which come from the EU, and personally I am cautious about that because it is so difficult to make these kinds of calculations.

    And in any case it is only numbers of laws, with some EU laws being rather trivial or technical, as indeed are some of the entirely home-grown UK laws, and in some cases the EU laws really only have any practical effects in some of the member states even though formally they apply to all member states, while other EU laws are very important and do apply to the UK or in this instance to Norway.

    In 2005 Daniel Hannan claimed that the proportion was a bit higher than that:

    “The 3,000 EU legal acts adopted in Norway since 1992 have required only 50 statutes in the Storting. And the people who make such a fuss of these 3,000 regulations neglect to mention the 24,000 that Britain has had to incorporate over the same period.”

    3000 divided by 24,000 = 12.5%.

    While according to Lee Rotherham writing for Taxpayers’ Alliance some years later:

    “Then there is the Norwegian example. There was a similar question raised in the Norwegian parliament in 2004 about how much EU legislation had been implemented under EEA terms. The then-government replied that over the period 1997-2003 there had been 11,511 pieces of legislation adopted by the EU. Of those 2,129 fell under the EEA Agreement, or about 18.5 percent. As recently as August 2010, Norwegian sovereignty campaigners Nei til EU released their own research covering the years 2000-2009, and according to their statistical analysis the national share ran at a rate of merely 8.9 percent.”

    Then again last May Richard North replied to my question as follows:

    “Currently, the EEA acquis stands at 5,758 legislative acts, from 20,868 EU acts currently in force (December 2013). Thus, Norway implements just over 25 percent of EU laws.”

    While again there has been a much-cited Norwegian parliamentary report calculating that Norway has implemented three quarters of EU laws, but not making it clear that Norway was not obliged to implement most of them under the EEA agreement but the nevertheless the mainly pro-EU Norwegian politicians chose to do so, a flaw which was also present in this 2004 report from EU Observer:

    “Norway takes on one in five EU laws”

    “In the years 1997 – 2003, Norway transposed over 18.5 percent of the laws adopted by the EU, according to new statistics from the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, reported by Nationen.

    In this years the EU introduced a total of 11,511 different pieces of legislation of which 2,129 were adopted by Norway.

    Norway participates in the European Union’s internal market through the European Economic Area and is obliged to adopt EU legislation in this field.”

    It should be understood that there is not necessarily any great fundamental inconsistency between the results of these various analyses, some of which relate to the flow of new EU laws which Norway was obliged to adopt over certain periods while Richard North is looking at the cumulative effect between 1994 and 2013, with some of the new EU laws since the EEA agreement came into force being in new areas of legislation, some just amending existing EU laws, and others entirely repealing and usually replacing existing EU laws, while the Norwegian parliamentary report includes many EU laws which the mainly pro-EU Norwegian politicians chose to implement even though Norway was free from any legal obligation to do so under the EEA agreement.

    So I think the best answer is that if we left the EU but stayed in the EEA then we would immediately be free to dispense with about three quarters of the laws we now have which we have got from Brussels since 1973 when we joined the EEC, and we would only be obliged to adopt about a tenth of the new EU laws coming from Brussels in the future rather than having almost all of them imposed upon us.

    Incidentally, Daniel Hannan had an article about this yesterday, here:

  47. Alan Joyce
    October 30, 2015

    Dear Mr. Redwood,
    In view of the fact that a possible Brexit is only a maximum of just over two years away, are you aware of any planning that Government has undertaken in order to prepare for life outside the EU? A prudent government would surely have done some quite detailed work by now including on tariffs, charges, etc. Or is Mr. Cameron so sure of winning the referendum that he considers it unnecessary? The Government knows that the voters number one concern in the referendum will be uncontrolled migration which is not likely to improve in the next two years and may well become worse making a Brexit more likely.

  48. Gina Dean
    October 30, 2015

    I am sure that whats left of our fishing fleet would be very pleased to have our 12 mile limit reinstall. Though we would need more ships to patrol the waters to keep out the Spanish trawlers.

  49. Richard Roney
    October 31, 2015

    Germany is able to flood the market with their cars by being part of the euro. It seems that eight out of every ten cars on the road are German. If German cars were so much better than anyone else’s cars one might understand it but their cars are not better than everyone else’s – Ford cars are better by far technologically than Mercedes for example. I think we should tax German cars imported into this country to level the playing field and make sure none of our publicly owned institutions buy them.

Comments are closed.