What will life be like out of the EU?

The only thing the Stay in campaign wishes to say is that the Brexiteers are muddled over coming out. This is far from the case. Let me try one more time to explain our view.

There is no need for the UK to seek a Norwegian or Swiss style deal with the EU. The two biggest wins from leaving will be getting our money back to spend as we wish, and ending our obligation to freedom of movement with the rest of the EU. The Leave campaign has no wish to throw part of these gains away by entering an EU lite arrangement which makes us pay some money in and requires us to be part of the free movement zone.

The only reason the Stay in campaign wish to imply we want to be Norway is to be able to claim that we will then not get the two big wins we want from exit! When will the media get this point and start asking the Stay in campaign what the future looks like inside as the EU rushes on to political union.

The day after we decide to leave – assuming we do – nothing changes. We would say that trade and other contacts continue as at present, and we will then go to Brussels to discuss what we need to change and to hear what they would like to change in our relationship. We would tell them that contributions will cease and that we will taking charge of our own borders. All EU citizens currently in the UK would be welcome to stay, and we would expect all UK citizens in EU countries to be free to stay. Future EU citizens wishing to come to the UK would need to comply with UK migration rules, which would have common principles for the whole world and would no longer discriminate against non EU nationals. The EU is not going to evict UK nationals legally settled elsewhere in the EU, and may or may not want to impose restrictions in future over migrants from the UK. Neither side is going to want to restrict people with good qualifications or with money to support themselves from changing residence as they see fit.

The UK would not wish to impose any new barriers on trade with the EU, despite being in heavy deficit. It is unlikely the rest of the EU will wish to impose any new tariffs or barriers on their trade with us. Were they to seek to do so, they would be unable to exceed World Trade Organisation tariff levels as both the other EU states and the UK will be members of the WTO. To clarify the current position, the UK and the other EU states are members of the WTO in their own right, so WTO arrangements can remain in place when we leave the EU. All that should change is the UK will regain her voice and vote at the WTO and no longer have the EU representing her. The EU has very few trade agreements outside the WTO arrangements.


  1. The Active Citizen
    March 1, 2016

    Sorry to be pedantic JR, but you forgot to mention that we’ll be visited by a plague of locusts, our TV programmes will immediately revert to black and white, and our smartphones will stop working.

    1. The Active Citizen
      March 1, 2016

      I just reread your article JR and it really is first-class. It nails many of the arguments from the Remain campaign and tells people like it really is. Critically it’s very reassuring – something which is needed given the froth in recent days.

      I’m going to repost it where possible and I hope other readers will too.

    2. Mitchel
      March 1, 2016

      Last week’s “How Britain will look after Brexit” Private Eye cover captured the mood perfectly – one of Hieronymous Bosch’s hellish visions with the speech bubble “Mr Cameron did warn you this might happen” emanating from one of the monstrosities featured.Brilliant!

    3. Chris
      March 1, 2016

      Don’t forget “the dragons coming out of the Thames, and the serpents coming out of our taps” (Owen Paterson quote)!

  2. The Active Citizen
    March 1, 2016

    Yesterday the PM claimed he was all about Project Fact. As an international businessman I like facts. Prime Ministers can spin, but the facts stay the facts – at least in my world.

    So here are some facts about our great trade prospects after Brexit. As usual it’s researched, not lifted, and it’s powerful info not available elsewhere. This latest ‘simple summary’ had to be four para’s not the usual three, as it’s so important.


    1. The Office of National Statistics confirms that 56% of the UK’s exports now go to non-EU countries. This percentage figure has jumped by 24% in just 15 years. The EU’s importance to the UK decreases each year as the world’s importance to us grows.

    2. We will do even better outside the EU, which currently prevents the UK from making its own Free Trade Deals. The 161 countries of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) have grown their trade by 276% in the last 20 years.

    3. Bizarrely, the EU has managed to make only six working Free Trade Deals in its history – with countries like Chile and Costa Rica. It has only made 25 more complex deals ‘related to trade’ – mostly with underwhelming economies including San Marino, Andorra, and the Faroe Islands. Nothing with the US, China, India, Australia, etc…

    4. On leaving the EU, the UK can make its own free trade deals with major economies, including a special one with our European neighbours. Even if we have to use the WTO, their average trade tariff is now less than 1%, according to the UN’s trade body UNCTAD.

    Outside the failing EU, world trade gives the UK a global, growing, exciting future.

    [Sources: ONS UK Balance of Payments, Pink Book 2015. EU Commission ‘The EU’s bilateral trade and investment agreements’ 2013. EU Commission Trade website. World Trade Organization – International Trade Statistics 2015. UNCTAD – ‘Key statistics and trends in trade policy’.]

    P.S. A fuller version is available to the Leave campaigns on request.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 1, 2016

      Project Fact! What use are facts to a PR spin merchant like Cameron? He deals in irrational emotions, beliefs and feeling. It is rather more like marketing perfumes or deluding people into buying expensive, quack anti-wrinkle creams.

      Facts have little or nothing to do with it.

    2. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      I think you’ve missed out an important part of 4.

      “On leaving the EU all existing trade deals will continue, but later the UK can make its own free trade deals with major economies … “

  3. Iain gill
    March 1, 2016

    Will we still have the sub third world NHS? Which can never do its day job? Swamping us with propaganda? And wasting energy on “designing healthy new towns” how very chairman Mao top down state control from the least successful part of our society.

    At least in Belgium and Italy I can get decent medical care.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 1, 2016

      I agree that the NHS is largely falling to pieces under but the Italian system is certainly no better in my experience. I do not know about Belgium. I knew a top Italian surgeon/professor who practised in the London for many years who was totally unimpressed by the Italian system and would never return to it.

      Health care in the UK can be very good especially if you pay for it. Heath insurance is usually not that expensive. It would be even less if the government did not tax it with Osborne’s new higher IPT and gave income tax relieve for those who have it. As they clearly should do to relieve pressure on the NHS and encourage more private sector in medical provision.

      The NHS now seems to be all about rationing, delays, managing queues/waiting times (artificially) to pretend to meet targets and often non treatment. You are quite likely to die in the waiting room at casualty before anyone even takes a look at you at many hospitals.

      They do seem to be quite good at charging a fortune for parking though as you wait endlessly for service.

      1. Iain Gill
        March 1, 2016

        I’ve been treated in A & E in Italy, no queue, first contact was with a doctor not a receptionist or nurse, straight in and immediate action for a problem which in the UK I would have waited 4 hours just to see the triage nurse.

    2. Cheshire Girl
      March 1, 2016

      I note that the money to pay for these housing developements will come from ‘council budgets and private partners’. I am wondering how this will work, as Councils have consistently had their budgets cut over the past few years.

      Sounds like wishful thinking to me!

      1. Iain Gill
        March 1, 2016

        Don’t worry in the “Northern Powerhouse” that the Chancellor is designing the councils are in charge of the NHS too. Fills me with great confidence. Even less power in the hands of the patients, and even more in the hands of the clueless.

  4. David Price
    March 1, 2016

    While I can see the need to assure people of constancy of trade relationships and continuing interim funding to cover the exit from EU projects and programmes I would hope and expect to see major changes.

    The day after would be our independence day and should be a public holiday, becoming an annual reminder and opportunity to warn future generations.

    The day after that real “attitude adjustment” needs to start with associated dismantling of the EU proxies in our public sector. If meaningful changes aren’t adopted then what would have been the point.

    As it would have taken so many years to disentangle ourselves from the undemocratic means in which we were inveigled into such a disasterous relationship this should also be an opportunity to refresh and reinforce democracy in the UK, how it works and exactly who the politicians and mandarins are answerble to. At the least the London centric attitude has to change.

    Such a large and exciting project should keep the civil service seat polishers happy. For those that aren’t, well where would they go… but absolutely no mega payoffs, revolving door “consultancies” and re-employment or the like.

  5. Mick
    March 1, 2016

    The inners keep going on about the Norwegian or Swiss deal, we are a lot bigger than them put together and then they are always going on about the EAW and that without it we wouldn’t have got the 7-7 bomber back to this country which is just one that I can think of so this is being spouted as the only case that are using as a fear tactic, so what a load of poppy-cock,to me this is a the inners running scarred, so keep up the good work Mr Redwood and let the public know the truth about the dreaded eu

  6. Margaret
    March 1, 2016

    Yesterday I was interested in the argument which you and Bill Cash were voicing. Unfortunately the microphones were not set up in a way where I could hear you properly . Every time you turned around to refer to Mr Cash, your own part of comment was lost. As I read this blog and know your views I could guess and fill in the gaps, however those who visit BBC parliament and do not read these articles would miss out.

  7. Antisthenes
    March 1, 2016

    At one time I believed that the proper arrangement if vote to leave won was an EU lite arrangement. A sort of British option aka associated membership. However David Cameron’s non event his deal and the considerable amount of focus and attention brought about by this EU referendum has brought it home that that option is the wrong and even a dangerous one.

    It is clear that the EU is a sinking ship that alone is sufficient reason and is totally not to be trusted. Likewise nor are future UK politicians. EU lite allows for the possibility of the UK to be sucked back into political and economic union at the whim of any future administration be it either the UK or EU one . There are no safeguards against that. Completely out and free would make it considerably more difficult for any capricious or conniving politicians to take us back in again. I doubt that they could.

    As it is obvious that the EU is in a mess and mostly of it’s own making the last thing we want is to be tied to it in anyway. That mess will eventually destroy it but it make take years for it to happen. All the while impoverishing it’s members and at the same denying them the right to save themselves. If we leave we will not be queuing to use the lifeboats we will be observing it from the shore.

    A complete break away is nothing to be feared. As you say under article 50 we have two years or more to sort out workable arrangements so life will go on as before. The hope being that those arrangements can be concluded very quickly so that the UK can experience the benefits of leaving faster.

  8. Jerry
    March 1, 2016

    “The day after we decide to leave – assuming we do – nothing changes. We would say that trade and other contacts continue as at present, and we will then go to Brussels to discuss what we need to change and to hear what they would like to change in our relationship. “

    I think that is were the problem for some begins, the above is an assumption, not on the Brexit side as to what the UK will do but what the EU will do. Exit could (as the Cabinet office pointed out) be a long drawn out Article 50, in which case the above assumption is probably correct, or very speedy and spiteful. Not that it should worry the UK, as is regularly pointed out we import far more from the EU than we export and there are many many other countries willing and able to fill our (immediate) need to import what we can not or choose not to make ourselves – perhaps from countries that we have not previously seen as suppliers, for example there would be little reason why Australian produced cars could not be speedy Type Approved for sale in the UK as there will be little or no major re-engineering needed to their right-hand drive cars.

    In some ways a bitter divorce might be more helpful to the UK in the long term than a amicable separation!

    “All EU citizens currently in the UK would be welcome to stay, and we would expect all UK citizens in EU countries to be free to stay. [..//..] The EU is not going to evict UK nationals legally settled elsewhere in the EU, and may or may not want to impose restrictions in future over migrants from the UK.”

    I hope you are right… Sorry John but they do not need to “evict” our ex-pats, they just need to treat them in similar ways to how many europhobes wish to treat European migrants coming into or already in the UK, and for many retired ex-pats it will just needs one bilateral arrangement to break down for them to start buying one-way tickets back to Old-Blighty, health -namely the EHIC agreement etc. What is more some of these retuning ex-pats will have been unable to sell their properties, at least in the short term and prior to their leaving (even more so should the property markets suffer a glut of available properties and thus drive the values lowers), thus they will return to their last UK town or county of residence with their British passport and NI card in hand to declare themselve4s in need of immediate social services and LA help – nor will UK government policy be seen by any court as a fault of an ex-pat, who probably didn’t even have a vote in the referendum, so these people could not be classed as ‘voluntary homeless’, even if some LAs tried to classify them as such to avoid having to provide emergency accommodation etc..

    Not that the above is any reason not to seek a Brexit, just that it can not be ignored and swept under the carpet, planning for it might be as difficult as planning for unknown numbers of EU migrants have been but with the money saved from our EU membership fees the UK will be able to have that first class NHS and social care provision for the elderly and infirm will we not – always assuming the savings are not just squandered on pre-elections income tax cuts or similar ‘bribes’… In fact increasing NHS and social care spending before 2020 would likely be as big a pre-election policy for the Tories as any amount of tax cuts.

    Reply Spain with 20% unemployment is not going to evict relatively well off UK pensioners/ early retired people with money who have bought a villa and spend time and cash in Spain.

    1. Jerry
      March 1, 2016

      @JR reply; First off, apologies, perhaps I muddied the water by referring to the tourist EHIC, the people I’m talking about would be using the S1 form (Certificate of entitlement to healthcare).

      That said, sorry to say John but you do not seem to understand the average retired UK ex-pat, more often than not living off a very fixed income that is also very dependant on the FX rates, were the property has been funded by the sale of their UK home (and/or by dipping into a pension or redundancy pot). Especially in Spain, these people having often sold-up in the UK and moved to the warmer climates offered by much of Spain to relieve already existing heath conditions and are thus often very dependant on the bilateral benefits, such as the S1 entitlement, these people did not move to Spain to live “the high-life” even if they were able to buy more property for the same money – Marbella and the Costa del Sol are not typical…

      1. JoeSoap
        March 1, 2016

        So they apply for citizenship of Spain etc.
        My guess is that existing EU stayers in the UK will have the same choice, within similar structure to that in Australia, Canada etc.

        1. Jerry
          March 2, 2016

          @JoeSoap; “So they apply for citizenship of Spain

          Well yes and perhaps all the eastern European migrants should do like wise here in the UK and our government should (it appears) be duty bound to give them it in the same way as you seem to think the Spanish government will be falling over backwards to do – oh many, if not the majority, of the people I talk about do have their official “Residential” certification for (local) tax purposes etc. anyway.

          “My guess is that existing EU stayers in the UK will have the same choice, within similar structure to that in Australia, Canada etc.”

          Hmm, but you forget that the vast majority of the people you talk of are economically active, paying income tax etc, whilst the majority of those I’m talking about are net recipients of state handouts, and should they find themselves in a situation were the only (sensible) course of action is to lock the doors on their Spanish property, hand the keys into a Spanish Estate Agent (with instructions to ‘Sell it for what you can get’), and then buy a one-way ticket back to the UK, arrive at their local LA or Social security office and claim those UK state handouts, which will be even larger now than just the bilateral S1 form was – and these returning ex-pats will have the right to claim, a right to remain in the UK (unless you are suggesting that the UK governbment could make these people effectively stateless, which is against the UN charter), unlike your suggestion for EU migrants who would be subject to regulation like those found in Australia or Canada etc…

          As I said originally, I do not see these issues as a Brexit deal breaker (if planned for) but I do urge those wanting a Brexit not to sweep them under any carpet, for if you do you can be sure that the BSE groups will not and they will make hay from them, there being many people in the UK who have relatives or friends as ex-pats and these people have votes even if the ex-pats do not.

  9. Roy Grainger
    March 1, 2016

    I see the SNP say that if UK votes Leave but Scotland votes Remain then they’ll declare independence. So, a win/win as far as I am concerned. I saw one interesting comment that questioned what would happen then if UK votes Remain but England votes Leave ?

    1. fedupsoutherner
      March 1, 2016

      “I saw one interesting comment that questioned what would happen then if UK votes Remain but England votes Leave ?”

      Exactly! Which is why Scotland must not be given the right to yet another independence referendum. Over 50% of the population of Scotland don’t want it, never wanted it and would be too glad to see the back of the SNP and all this talk of splitting.

    2. Lifelogic
      March 1, 2016

      Well the Scottish cannot just declare it there would have to at least be another referendum and they clearly could not keep the UK’s pound. But for those who want Scottish independence it is another very good reason for them to vote for Brexit.

      The betting odds still suggest a 70% chance of a “remain” vote. I think leave will win out in the end though as more people consider the arguments and the migration issue deteriorates further.

      There is simply no reason to vote remain in the first referendum (or second) whatever you think, unless you just want to harm the UK. A new better negotiation/deal will follow as night follows day – there is no way the Establishment and EU will give in without a fight.

      Cameron’s deal is clearly a complete joke. I thought he would just get a transparent fig leaf, but he did not even get that. Yet still he want in? What is wrong with the man?

    3. JoolsB
      March 1, 2016

      That’s an easy one. The wishes of England would be ignored just as they are now. I agree with you, if the Scots declare independence it’s a win-win but that’s never going to happen – Sturgeon will huff and puff but the Scots are never going to cut themselves off from the English milch cow.

    4. stred
      March 1, 2016

      Re SNP declaring independence, that will be a shame for the majority of Scots, having to rely on income tax to pay for the free universities, prescriptions and care homes, instead of oil and English electricity bills.

      But how is it that Gideon has agreed to continue the full Scottish subsidy while everyone is distracted by other matters. The question of how to handle the Pledge, given by Gordon Brown, Eural McCameron and Nick- I Went to EU University- Clogg, was supposed to be sorted out by Lord Smith of Strathclyde University and SSE.

      As the English will be paying for 90% of the freebies, is it possible to have a vote or even a veto in Parliament?

      1. Iain Moore
        March 1, 2016

        As I understood it George Osborne has agreed to keep the Scottish grant in full, while allowing them to keep all their income tax revenue . Unfortunately the British media has chosen to not scrutinise this deal, a failure that seems to be common feature when it is costing English people. A situation that is not going to be rectified , for regardless of John Redwood’s efforts, there is going to be no recognition of England in the BBC, but I also understand Scotland is going to get its own dedicated BBC news program.

        Meanwhile George Osborne is proceeding with the carve up of England, where the Hampshire devolution proposal has been summarily dismissed as it doesn’t fit George Osborne’s desire to carve up England into Mayoral fiefdoms, and now seeking the dismemberment of Hampshire as an entity, Hampshire a county that is one of the oldest counties in the country , and a lot older than most countries in the world , but than doesn’t protect if from being dismembered by that constitutional expert, Osborne, and of course no debate to be had about it.

  10. David Price
    March 1, 2016

    Good comments on residents, the statements by the Europe minister were extraordinary and simply underline the pathetic attitude of administrators under the EU thumb.

    Your second point certainly clarifies your strategy though I do wonder how things will need to progress tactically if Leave wins the referendum.

  11. Lifelogic
    March 1, 2016

    Excellent you make all the sensible points that are clearly right.

    Why do you think the Cameron/Osborne and majority Libdim wing of the Tories cannot see the sense of your position?

    What is really driving these people into wanting to permanently destroy UK democracy and the UK economy by burying it in this failed, disastrous, socialist, superstate experiment, as it careers to its inevitable breakup and financial meltdown?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 1, 2016

      Sensible warmings for Mervyn King about the EURO break up the other day.


  12. Duyfken
    March 1, 2016

    The landlord of one of my locals is an “Inner” because apparently he does not want to go back to the bad old days before we were in the EU/EEC. He reckons the UK was then in a dire economic state and subject to industrial strife and this all magically improved when we joined. It’s pointless trying to argue the toss with him but maybe we should contemplate whether for instance there might be a resurgence of power from left-wing Unions to blight the bright prospects following independence. How can we be sure there will be no return to the 1960s and 1970s?

  13. Antisthenes
    March 1, 2016

    The stayers are stating that sorting out the leaving and the aftermath will take ten destabilising years. Of course it could take twenty puck any number that sounds the most scariest the stayer’s decided on ten as being scary enough . How long it takes depends on the will of those engaged in dealing with it and the resources that are brought bear on the problems.

    Civil servants both UK and EU ones can be sure to drag their feet because they are reluctant to leaving in the first place and secondly they will enjoy bringing their ponderous and inept abilities to such a cushy job as they usually do. If we vote leave then David Cameron and those ministers who are in favour of staying have to go and those genuinely committed to Brexit have to replace them.

    That way the proper resources can be brought into play and the civil servants can be motivated to work properly and quickly. Nobody expects leaving initially not to throw up difficulties but if the will is there they most certainly can be dealt with quickly and efficiently.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      I wouldn’t be surprised if we still had the odd minor EU-originated law still hanging over unnoticed and unrepealed twenty years after we’d left the EU. After all there are so many of them. But that’s not important, it’ll only be like having the odd strange law left over from feudal times.

  14. MikeP
    March 1, 2016

    Cameron has ensured, beyond any shadow of doubt, that his wish to stand down before 2020 will come true. Were we to vote to remain in the EU, he will be assured a nice little job in Brussels to continue the cosy deluded relationship he thinks he enjoys with the rest of the EU Politburo. If we vote to leave, as I hope we have the courage and sense to do, he will be ousted within 6 months, having shown he is incapabable of leading the UK through the next chapter in our development, an exciting future for Brexiteers despite Cameron’s frankly disgraceful misinformation and scaremongering campaign. He has fallen so far in my estimations I can’t bear to watch what he says which is difficult these days given the daily unfettered air time he’s getting.

  15. bluedog
    March 1, 2016

    Totally off-topic, Dr JR, but has Cameron taken leave of his senses? The first shoe dropped when IDS was quoted as saying that Cameron despised the British people. But now we see the true target of Cameron’s contempt, the Conservative Party membership, in particular the rural and provincial members with their unhelpful and ill-judged Euro-scepticism.

    Reading the tea-leaves, this is not a Crosby master-stroke, it’s from the Cameron inner circle, and only Europhiles count. If the 650 Conservative Associations are going to be disbanded and replaced with 65 super-associations with paid staff delegated by head office, two things are going to happen. Firstly the membership is going to implode and the arrogance of Osborne’s reported question ‘ Who else are they going to vote for?’ will be be put to the test.

    But more importantly, deprived of a constituency related power base, individual MPs are going to find themselves potentially subordinate to a regional chieftain. Inevitably, if 650 MP’s are dependent on 65 centrally controlled ‘Associations’ the dynamics of the party will change from collegiate to hierarchical. Local chieftains will emerge and possibly be expected to bring rebellious MPs into line. In short, a massive shift in power within the Parliamentary party and the effective disbanding of Conservatism as a popular movement.

    In the Royal County of Berkshire, one can imagine the Europhile Richard Benyon MP rubbing his hands with glee at the opportunity that may lie ahead. Being a scion of a family that owned the farm that became Reading may be the first of those strokes of luck to which one feels entitled.

    1. David Price
      March 1, 2016

      Interesting timing also. At the same time as this latest brainwave I received a letter from the CP entitled “Securing a brighter future for Britain” asking for money and claiming the referendum is solely down to Mr Cameron. There is some mention that Labour and libdems were not supportive of this while ignoring completely the pressure from backbenchers, UKIP and the vocal eusceptics. No mention at all that the local members and associations played a significant part in getting a Conservative majority.

      It would appear that central office are trying for an early April Fool gag or there is something very rotten at the heart of UK politics.

  16. Richard1
    March 1, 2016

    David Smith, Sunday Times economist (& a good one) says the saving, if we had to pay nothing, is £7bn not £10bn (£17bn gross contribution, minus £10bn in rebate, grants and agriculture subsidy coming back to the UK). I continue to be surprised that this insignificant sum, which is itself in dispute, is held up as the main reason to make a fundamental change in the UK’s relationship with the EU. I would have thought the main reasons for Leave are: the recovery of Parliamentary sovereignty; the return of decision making to UK courts; getting out of the CAP, the CFP and the CEP; insulating the UK from the costs of the inevitable further integration and costs to be imposed on richer countries dut to the euro.

    Reply IT is £10bn, the money is important, and reminds us we do not have the power to make our own decisions about taxation and spending.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      JR, James Kirkup is writing the Telegraph’s series on “EU Facts” and here:


      he says:

      “Taking account of the money that comes back and the aid spending, Britain last year gave almost £6.5 billion to the EU that would otherwise not have been paid out if we were not members of the club.”

      No comments are allowed on any of those articles, which in my view constitute not-too-subtle pro-EU propaganda directed at readers and immune from rebuttal by any of them who may disagree; perhaps you or one of your colleagues could ask the editor for the right to reply?

      1. bluedog
        March 1, 2016

        The role of the press will be critical as the campaign heats up. One notes that Murdoch himself has made some very Eurosceptic tweets which may point to active support for Leave in the Sun. Certainly the DT is highly selective in where it allows comments. For example, the recent panegyric in the DT from Sir Nicholas Soames suggesting his grandfather Winston Churchill would have voted Remain did not allow comments. One can almost understand why not. Was there ever a career so dependent on the faint patina of glory provided by an illustrious ancestor?

    2. Lifelogic
      March 1, 2016

      Indeed, it is in effect more than £10bn as what does come back is often tied up in red tape and hugely misdirected – it thus delivers far less in value. The other points you make are vital too.

    3. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      Richard1, £10 billion a year is either a huge sum or it is trivially small, depending on the context and the purpose for which the number is produced. So if it’s the projected benefit of TTIP it’s huge, and once it came into effect that EU-US trade deal would “turbo-charge” our economy, and we must not risk missing out on that cornucopia by leaving the EU. The facts that £10 billion represents just 0.6% of our GDP, and with a long term trend economic growth rate of about 2.5% a year that would be equivalent to just one quarter’s average natural growth, and that there have already been about ten quarters since Cameron started to proclaim its potential wonders in the future, all those facts are totally irrelevant. On the other hand, if it’s the net annual cost of our EU membership then £10 billion a year is trivial, just 0.6% of our GDP and little more than 1% of our total public spending, and more than counterbalanced by the huge benefits of being in the EU with free access to a Single Market of 500 million consumers all eager to buy our exports. But then as estimated by the EU Commission the benefits of the Single Market only add up about 2% of GDP, and that is without taking into account its costs, so that would also be equivalent to less than one year’s natural growth …

      My view has long been that the estimated economic benefits and disbenefits are not important in the long term – either we will be a bit better off if we leave, or we will grow out of any small loss which is incurred, and who cares if our level of prosperity in say 2050 could have been attained a year earlier in 2049 if we’d stayed in the EU? – but the EEC/EC/EU project is primarily a political, or rather a geopolitical project, which has been deliberately designed to gradually strip the member states of their national sovereignty and neuter their national democratic processes, and whatever its politicians may want I don’t want my country to be a part of that project.

    4. rjkbe
      March 1, 2016

      Richard is right to point out that the amount of the saving is not a very material number and is, in any case, easy to dispute. Claims of £55m per day are clearly wildly misleading and would need to be explained as the gross contribution (which itself is disputed) before various deductions. Apart from David Smith others, including the Telegraph!, say our net contribution is around £6.5bn. This is relatively insignificant in the scheme of things and is not a major reason for wanting to leave. I am a firm Outer because I want our parliament to be sovereign again to co troll our laws, our borders, our fishing, agriculture, energy etc, and because I think Europe is going backwards and we will be more prosperous in the longer term.

      1. rjkbe
        March 1, 2016

        Spellcheckers don’t work. Co troll is control!

        1. rjkbe
          March 1, 2016

          I can perhaps understand why you appear to have banned my original comment since it questions the size of our net contribution and of using it as a main reason to vote out. However it is very odd that you then print my correction of a typo in the original posting!

          1. rjkbe
            March 1, 2016

            Please delete my last posting – the original has now appeared

  17. Glenn Vaughan
    March 1, 2016

    An excellent and concise summary John. It should be printed in a leaflet format and distributed to every household in the U.K.

  18. Richard1
    March 1, 2016

    Clear dispute on an important point of fact: Nigel Lawson says all existing trade deals with non-EU countries are in the name of individual countries, Inc the UK, not of the EU which isn’t a WTO member, therefore all these deals would stand post-Brexit (and new ones could be signed). “rubbish” says Lord Mandelson, these are EU not UK deals. Do you know who is right?

    1. Iain Moore
      March 1, 2016

      Indeed, I hope Lawson has got his legal facts right here, but it is an issue that should be possible to clarify.

      Reply Yes the UK is a member of WTO and the main EU trade deals are WTO trade changes which can remain in place.

    2. The Active Citizen
      March 1, 2016

      Hi Richard1, good question. In fact the EU is a member of the WTO. The WTO website entry for the UK says:

      “The United Kingdom has been a WTO member since 1 January 1995 and a member of GATT since 1 January 1948. It is a member State of the European Union. All EU member States are WTO members, as is the EU in its own right.”

      Lord Mandelson is wrong in his assertion. The WTO website entry goes on to say: “Notifications submitted by the European Union are valid for all EU members. However, occasionally individual EU members notify certain measures which are specific to their country only.”

      One final point. Many EU members have a traditionally protectionist stance, such as (notoriously) France. In practice this means that when the EU negotiates on behalf of all EU countries, it must account for the particular demands of certain countries. Maybe this is one of the reasons the EU seems to have been incapable of negotiating trade deals with the US, China, Australia, Russia, India, etc.

      JR might want to comment, but I’m sure we’ll have no problem when we negotiate our own deals in the future, and no problem in continuing (or even improving) existing trade deals post-Brexit.

    3. miami.mode
      March 1, 2016

      Agreed R1 that the WTO question is an extremely important point and obviously needs to be clarified as the Remains are basing most of their arguments on trade.

      We need some sort of confirmation from the WTO that can be quoted so that any spurious claims can be discounted.

      I wouldn’t doubt that JR’s reply to Iain Moore is correct but it will be constantly rubbished by the Lord Mandelson types unless we get official confirmation of the precise position.

    4. Mark Myword
      March 1, 2016

      Just to be factually correct, the EU is a full member of the WTO in its own right. Each of the 28 countries of the EU are members of WTO. However, trade deals negotiated by the EU and signed off by the EU, are approved by the EU Council and the European Parliament, not by individual parliaments. Consequently, it is a moot point whether such deals would continue after the UK had left the EU.

      1. Denis Cooper
        March 1, 2016

        On your last but one sentence:

        Firstly, as pointed out in my longer comment the South Korea trade deal:


        was signed not just by representatives of EU and South Korea but also by Hague along with the 26 other national representatives.

        Secondly, the deal was subject to UK parliamentary approval, albeit in a weak kind of way with Parliamentary committees approving a draft Order in Council to add it to the list of EU treaties in Section 2(2) of the European Communities Act 1972; in the Commons:


        “Third Delegated Legislation Committee
        Tuesday 17 January 2012
        [Sandra Osborne in the Chair]
        Draft European Union (Definition of Treaties) (Republic of Korea Free Trade Agreement) Order 2011”

        “I believe that the free trade agreement is beneficial to all EU member states, but particularly the UK, so I commend the order to the Committee.

        Question put and agreed to.”

        And that Order is here:


        but apparently it has still not come into force, because:

        “On 6th October 2010, the European Union and its Member States signed the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Korea, of the other part (the “Agreement”). The Republic of Korea signed the Agreement on the same day. The Free Trade Agreement has been provisionally applied since 1st July 2011. It will enter into force 60 days after the Parties exchange written notifications certifying that they have completed their respective applicable legal requirements and procedures for ratification, or on such other date as the Parties may agree.”

        On your last sentence:

        I agree that it is moot whether the agreement would continue after the UK left the EU, but only because one of the 30 separate parties might object to it continuing and refuse to agree to the small amendment which would be needed for it to continue, at least for the time being.

        1. forthurst
          March 1, 2016

          “I agree that it is moot whether the agreement would continue after the UK left the EU, but only because one of the 30 separate parties might object to it continuing and refuse to agree to the small amendment which would be needed for it to continue, at least for the time being.”

          Surely the purpose of the EU as well as existing members of the EU having separate seats on the WTO is so that both a new member of the EU and an ex-member are covered by existing trade deals up to that point. Whether the EU would like total control or not, the WTO would probably not want to have to start from scratch every time a new member joined the EU or an old one left. If I look up a particular category of service under both the EU and the UK, I get the same tariff page. Who actually negotiated the deal seems to be a red herring as is the opinion of the remaining EU members on the UK’s residual entitlements.

          1. Denis Cooper
            March 2, 2016

            That’s what the government is trying to tell us, that all existing trade deals would just terminate and we would start again more or less from scratch and it would take a very long time, but when you stand back and think about it you have to wonder whether the people involved would really be that daft, as daft as the government is implying, given that the damage would be all around not just to the UK but could easily be averted.

    5. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      I think Lawson is broadly correct on the substance, although I wouldn’t emphasise the WTO aspect and there is a caveat. Mandelson is quoted as saying:

      “No, it’s not the legal position and it’s absolute rubbish. Of course the EU represents the EU member states in the WTO – I know, I represented them, I took part in all the WTO ministerial meetings, every single one of them.”

      But while I haven’t checked all the trade deals with third countries as far as I know each of the EU member states is always a party to the contract in its own sovereign right, plus the EU as a whole is a party, and of the course the third country is the counter-party for all of them. That is “the legal position” which has resulted from the negotiations and it is immaterial that the EU conducted those negotiations on behalf of the EU member states, they are still separate parties to the treaty.

      So for example the “FREE TRADE AGREEMENT between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of Korea, of the other part” is available at this link, which may be a bit slow to download:


      and it starts by listing the 27 EU member states:


      and then:

      “and THE EUROPEAN UNION, of the one part, and THE REPUBLIC OF KOREA, hereinafter referred to as ‘Korea’, of the other part” …


      And a long way down, in Article 15.16, in multiple languages:

      “Done at Brussels on the sixth day of October in the year two thousand and ten.”

      followed by 30 signatures of the representatives; one for Korea, two for the EU, and 27 for the EU member states including:

      “For the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland”

      with a scrawl which seems to be the signature of William Hague.

      Therefore straight off the CBI are wrong when they say in this leaflet:


      “While being in the EU means that the UK doesn’t sign its own trade deals …”

      because undeniably Hague did sign that trade deal on behalf on the UK.

      Now I come to what I see as the caveat.

      When I referred to the 27 EU member states that was not an error, because this was before Croatia joined the EU. I feel sure that in among the maze of legal documents around this deal – and it is a maze – there must be one which says in effect “Now Croatia is joining the EU this trade deal will also apply to Croatia”, but also I feel sure that all the parties, including Korea, would have had to agree to that extension of the terms of the contract to an additional party.

      And likewise I feel sure that when we are on our way out of the EU there could be another short legal document saying in effect “Even though the UK is leaving the EU this trade deal will continue to apply to the UK, at least for the time being”, but again all the other parties would have to agree to that.

      I would add that much of this is also relevant to the EEA Agreement:


      where all the EU member states apart from Croatia are listed on page 4 as parties to the Agreement, plus there is a note on page 1 about a series of amendments to the original agreement, including:

      “Agreement on the participation of Croatia in the European Economic Area of 11 April 2014”

      And here is that 13 page document on the admission of Croatia to the EEA:


      under Article 6 of which agreement it

      “shall enter into force on the day following the deposit of the last instrument of ratification or approval of a Present Contracting Party or the New Contracting Party … “

      1. Mark Myword
        March 1, 2016

        Thank you for your extensive research. As an aside I had presumed from my own research that EU trade deals were imbedded in EU law via an EU regulation. That is clearly not the case for the Korea deal, whether it is for other deals I am unsure. Nevertheless, I think we agree that it is not obvious that the UK can leave the EU and can continue to benefit from deals struck by the EU; rather it depends upon the negotiations that will take place following invocation of Art 50.

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 2, 2016

          There are loads of Council Decisions and also Regulations relating to these deals, as for example in the list here:


          and they have to be approved by the EU Parliament, so they are embedded in EU law. And on the domestic plane there are Orders in Council, approved by Parliament, declaring them to be EU treaties for the purposes of the European Communities Act 1972.

          It’s possible to imagine two extreme scenarios for how the other EU member states and the EU institutions would react if we voted to leave the EU.

          The one which our cynical government is now trying to implant in the mind of the public has them changing from nice Dr Jekyll to evil Mr Hyde, going berserk and setting out to inflict what Stephen Kinnock described as a “punishment beating”:

          and tearing up parts of the existing EU treaties including Article 8 TEU on the EU’s neighbourhood policy, and refusing to negotiate constructively and being as obstructive as possible so that we get to the end of two years with no agreement and they can say “Right, you’re now out of the EU and with nothing else in place”.

          The other extreme scenario has them reacting more with sorrow than anger, resigning themselves to the fact that they’ve finally cheesed off the British so much that they’ve now voted to leave the EU, and setting out to minimise the damage to themselves and everybody else through constructive negotiations leading to an amicable divorce settlement.

          Personally I reckon there may be a brief period of outrage with wild suggestions for revenge from some quarters, as there was after the Irish people voted against the Lisbon Treaty, but then as in that case cooler heads and wiser counsels will prevail.

  19. formula57
    March 1, 2016

    The Stay side, alas with enthusiastic participation from Mr Cameron, exploit the tactic used against the SNP of demanding detailed explantion of exactly what many and various aspects of life would be like post-Brexit. It is a shabby approach but it may be effective, not least in disgusing the even more compelling question of “asking the Stay in campaign what the future looks like inside as the EU rushes on to political union”.

    Mr Juncker has previously, with a candour worthy of Chaucer’s Pardoner, set out how the EU pushes and extends its sphere of operations over member states, memorably embellishing his remarks with “When it becomes serious, you have to lie”. What could be more serious than a major state exiting so we should expect anything to deflect us from seeing the truth.

  20. stred
    March 1, 2016

    Presumably after exit we will still continue to treat EU citizens queueing for 5 hours in A and E and for scans for free, while we have to present cards, pay and reclaim for their rather better treatment when we are on holiday, retired or living in the EU.

    Talking of top down excessive management in the NHS, while waiting 5 hours with a broken leg, beside a lady with bone cancer and a fractured hip, watching Romanian families asking for a scan for their grandad, my better 1/2 noticed that the management had come up with a new name for the broken bits section- Trauma Lite. Then, as she did not have time to make a complaint after they misdiagnosed and refused an x ray, then lost her x rays obtained elsewhere and gave wrong advice, I emailed the CEO and asked him to take action. He suggested I became one of their ‘mystery shoppers’ to help them identify problems. I was left with the impression that they poach managers from retail.

    While yesterday, the fire service have spent a very large sum creating what looks like a Hollywood disaster movie set in a disused power station in order to practice what to do if a tower block collapsed onto a tube station and crushed it. The ambulance serice and plods are in on the act too, as are lots of badly injured actors hamming it up for the cameras. But what about practising for something more likely like a Paris style automatic rifle or chemical terror attacks. Do we need full scale mock ups for these too?

    We can’t afford fire stations, but piled up tube trains and lots of concrete rubble must come from a different budget.

  21. Chris S
    March 1, 2016

    The problem I see is that we are not getting our message over on the key news media. Like it or not, that inevitably means the BBC.

    CMD normally gets the headlines and everything flows from that. We are forced to play catch up all the time. Perhaps, like you do here, all the leave campaign groups should agree one topic per day and make the running on it.

    Take just one example :
    We’ve recently seen suggestions that that our citizens residing in EU countries would have to return home if we leave the EU. Like so much else emanating from the Remain side, it’s obvious nonsense.

    Are all the former Eastern block countries like Poland going to allow Brussels to create a situation where upwards of 1m of their citizens living here and sending huge sums back home have to leave the UK ?

    London is the second largest city in Europe after Paris from the point of view of French residents. Is Hollande or his successor going to do likewise ? Of course not. Yet the Remain side still make the claim.

    Whatever the outcome of the referendum, when the history of the Remain campaign is written, it will be a tale of lies, half truths and yet more lies being told by everyone from CMD downwards.

    Further evidence of the BBC failing to be even handed :

    Between 7-8 this morning Today had an interview with the excellent Gisella Stuart. On the crucial 08:10 slot they had Mandelson. When they ran news headlines at 08:35 the lead was a comment by Mandelson about years of uncertainty, an assertion that is pure conjecture with no basis in fact whatsoever. So much for “project fact.”

    There was no mention of anything that Gisella Stuart had said.
    How long must this go on before the BBC Trust insists on some balance ?

    1. Lifelogic
      March 1, 2016

      The BBC is absurdly biased as we know (on the EU, on a large state, magic money tree economics, the benefits of open door immigration, the PC drivel, the non gender pay gap, higher taxes, endless regulation of everything and all the green crap).

      Often I wonder how they manage to keep all their staff so on message or do they only employ the lefty, dimmer, art graduates with chips on their shoulders from adverts in the Guardian?

    2. stred
      March 1, 2016

      I was surprised yesterday when my alarm came on and Today had Lord David Howell to promote his new book on energy policy. He was allowed to say that the German policy is a disaster and to speak uninterrupted by a more intelligent Irish sounding interviewer. Of course it was on very early. The book does not seem to be available yet.

      It looks like the only way that the Leavers will get a fair say is by paying for it or using the Internet.

    3. Iain Moore
      March 1, 2016

      It seems the BBC has no shame . I don’t believe an EU sceptic has been allowed on the main Today program 8:10 interview slot , and as you say this is then used as the news headlines. It also gives the EU supporters to get the last word on the issue. Same with the stage-managed corporate events Cameron is going around the country doing, where Cameron can tell a pack of fear mongering lies, safe from any challenge or heckle, and have it lead the evening news as the gospel truth.

    4. Qubus
      March 1, 2016

      Totally agree with you regarding the behaviour of the BBC. It seems to be a general rule that “OUT” campaigners are scheduled before 8.00am and “STAY” camaigners scheduled after 8.00am, when they have the bulk of their audience. What a disgrace.

      Slightly off-topic, but I should be very interested to know if anyone can answer the following questions:

      If all the medical students who qualify in the UK were to remain in the UK, would there eventually be enough of them to fill all the NHS posts available, thus obviating the requirement of importing all the foreign doctors? If not, what is the reasoning behind this? School leavers are queuing up to study medicine. What is the bottleneck? Is it the BMA that controls numbers? Is any account taken of the number of females studying medicine, now in the majority, who take up medicine and then proceed to work part-time? Is the intention that there should always be a shortage of doctors in the UK such there is never any real competition for posts and never any unemployed doctors?
      In other words, is it a conspiracy or a cock-up?

    5. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      It’s said that “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.”, and that is what is happening. However because Cameron and his chums have started in so soon before the official campaign has even begun hopefully there will be time for the truth to catch up with their present batch of lies before the first postal votes go in. (Note that I don’t say “before polling day”, that no longer applies as it used to.) Of course we don’t know what other lies they are keeping back for later on, when there will be less time for them to be exposed.

  22. Anonymous
    March 1, 2016

    Those who wish to remain ought to know that the EU hasn’t finished morphing. That by remaining we will be subject to huge and unknown changes, at least as drastic as leaving.

    On past form there will be much instability and uncertainty too.

    Remains do not have the monopoly on sensible choices. Far from it.

  23. Bert Young
    March 1, 2016

    The EU is a defunct bureaucracy and that’s it !!

  24. Know-dice
    March 1, 2016

    On one side we have the “Brexiteers” and on the other the “Remainders” (thanks LL).

    i.e. According to the Oxford Dictionaries:

    A part, number, or quantity that is left over.
    The number which is left over in a division in which one quantity does not exactly divide another.

    Or in other words “what is left once all the good parts have been taken away”

  25. ian wragg
    March 1, 2016

    People like RA North who waffle on about an interim agreement like the Norway option must be mad. If we took this route we would gain nothing and be at the mercy of any government re-admitting us at a later date.
    The fact that the Scots would declare UDI is yet another pressing reason for leaving.
    I think the migrant crisis and the on going Euro crisis in Greece is a big plus for us Brexiteers.


  26. alan jutson
    March 1, 2016

    Your comments are short and to the point.

    You can expand the arguments as/if required.

    Shame about the BBC, but Cameron will not do anything as they are on his side (at the moment)

  27. Shieldsman
    March 1, 2016

    The Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Our special status gives us the best of both worlds. We will be in the parts of Europe that work for us – influencing the decisions that affect us, in the driving seat of the world’s biggest market and with the ability to take action to keep our people safe.”
    I think this needs some clarification, our Mr Cameron is reading things into his deal that are not there.
    For starters there has been NO treaty change, the first prerequisite of a reformed EU.
    A revisit to the treaties is promised sometime in the future and Cameron’s objection to those three little words ‘ever closure union’ will be noted but will not be removed from the treaty. This will not create a reformed EU.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      That driving seat must be a bit cramped with nearly thirty backsides on it!

  28. David Mentmore
    March 1, 2016

    It will be crucial for every UK politician and every member of the UK commentariat (especially the BBC) to learn by heart the provisions of Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. Here is my summary:

    1. The UK may decide to withdraw from the EU under Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.

    2.If it decides to withdraw the UK must notify the European Council of its intention (The Brexit Notice).

    3. After service of a Brexit Notice by the UK the EU is obliged under the Lisbon Treaty to negotiate and conclude an Agreement with the UK (The Brexit Agreement).

    4. The Brexit Agreement must be concluded (a) in accordance with guidelines from the European Council, (b) setting out arrangements for UK withdrawal and (c) taking account of the UK’s relationship with the EU.

    5. Once the Brexit Agreement has been finalised the European Council must conclude it on behalf of the EU acting (a) by qualified majority of the European Council and (b) after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

    6. The European Treaties cease to apply to the UK on the day the Brexit Agreement comes into force.

    7. If the Brexit Agreement has not come into force within two years from the date of the Brexit Notice the European Treaties will then AUTOMATICALLY cease to apply to the UK. However, the European Council may (a) acting unanimously and (b) in agreement with the UK decide to continue negotiating the Brexit Agreement beyond the two year period.


    It is important to note that the event that triggers the process is not the Referendum but the delivery of the Brexit Notice to the European Council by the UK government. Before that happens I imagine a full and serious debate will take place in Parliament on the result of the Referendum and the question of service of the notice.

    My own view is that the undemocratic EU elites loathe both British politicians who advocate Brexit and those members of the British public who might vote to leave. They will do all in their power to use the Lisbon procedure to disadvantage the UK. I imagine some of the Article 50 provisions were actually designed with this in mind. Their special target will be the City of London and they will do all they can to harm our banking and financial services industry and move chunks of it to other EU centres. We should also be aware that EU elites will provide us with a master class in delay, obfuscation and prevarication – core skills which they have demonstrated on many occasions.

    We must have a full and frank public debate on these detailed issues without delay. I am convinced by the Brexit case but we must own the detail of Article 50 and use it to our advantage. We must also distinguish between the machinations of EU elites and the more favourable way we are regarded by ordinary the people of Europe.

    Reply Once we decide to leave we do not have to abide by Article 50. The whole point of voting to leave is to get ourselves out of the Treaty entanglements.

  29. Nigel
    March 1, 2016

    William Hague has written an interesting article in the Telegraph today. He makes the point that the EU “Member states simply do not have the collective will or cohesion to agree to an improved offer to Britain”.
    He is quite right, and this is precisely the reason that we need to get out. The EU is incapable of making any difficult decision, be it over the migrant crisis, the Greek economy or whatever.
    Inevitably, with each country’s representative voted in by their own population, they will want to look after the interests of their own people above those of the other 27 countries involved.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      Once again, no comments allowed on that article, so Hague is largely free to write whatever nonsense he fancies without much fear of contradiction.

    2. Chris
      March 1, 2016

      Yes, I thought this was helpful to the Leavers, particularly with regard to enlightening those people who naively, in my mind, imagine that by staying in we can influence things for the better.

  30. agricola
    March 1, 2016

    Under the heading ,getting our money back, we should make it clear to farmers, universities ,and other causes considered worthy, that they will continue to receive the payments they get under CAP etc. It has always been UK money which in future will go direct. EU propaganda payments to the BBC and others should cease. We are then in a position to decide how the remaining £10 Billion can best serve our economy.

    While our industry will have to continue to comply with EU customer requirements in the EU market place, there is a lot to be saved by none compliance when exporting to other World markets.

    At worst our trade with the EU, and their greater trade with us, would be conducted under WTO rules. As members of the WTO our status would equal that of the EU. It is not in the interests of the EU to screw up EU/UK trade, they are in a big enough financial mess for it to be a form of slow suicide. We can make our own vehicles, our range of British cheese rivals that from France, and wine from the rest of the World can not only be very good, but highly competitive as well.

    The greatest potential gain is that of control of our own borders, only allowing in genuine refugees/asylum seekers and others who suit our economic needs. It is the people of the UK who feel the effect of Blair’s betrayal, and our services of health, education, and housing that have been overwhelmed by it.

    Most other UK/EU cooperations could remain in place as they suit both parties. Even the EAW were it subject to judicial oversight in a UK court.

    Our fishing industry could be sustainably re-born as an even greater exporter. Sadly for their waistlines, UK citizens have only a limited idea of what they can eat from the sea.

    Just as EU citizens can be a working asset to the UK economy, so can UK citizens , workers and pensioners, be an asset to the EU economy. Just in spending power alone I roughly estimate that UK pensioners are worth £3 Billion PA to the Spanish economy.

    The European Health Insurance Card could continue unabated as it benefits everyone who finds themselves in a foreign EU country and the costs are reimbursed by the country of origin of the citizen. It would be stupid of Spain or France to exclude the UK as the vast majority of their tourist income derives from UK holiday makers. None of these babies need to be thrown out with the bath water.

    Possibly the greatest gain will be our self esteem, that once again we are an independent nation in the World, willing to cooperate where it is beneficial, but holding our heads high. A shining example to all other nations in the EU and an indication of what is possible.

  31. graham1946
    March 1, 2016

    Every day, in every interview given by the Europhiles, they say ‘the leavers want a Norwegian or Swiss deal’ and then go on to outline why this is worse than what we have.

    No, we don’t – that’s just another lie by the ‘Remainers’ and we really must make a bigger deal of this and call them out as the liars they are – it’s too important to be nice and pussyfoot around.

    What we want and will get is a deal like Canada has, (a much smaller less influential country in terms of population and economy), of free trade, but no laws made in Brussels, no freedom of movement of EU citizens (and others the EU may just dole out passports to in the end as a ‘solution’ to their refugee crisis), and no subscription fees. It is simple enough to explain, yet it does not get across. All the talk of bilateral trade agreements, whether we can implement WTO agreements is not of interest to the average punter. It is for the political geeks only. KISS.

    In the next few weeks, this glut of in/out stuff will sudside as the voters get sick and tired of it and the main push of the campaign will be in the last couple of weeks, so we need to marshall our simple to understand ideas ready for a big push towards referendum day and not let purveyors of untruths like Mandelson just get away with his drivel. Why anyone takes any notice of this totally discredited man who is beyond my comprehension.

  32. William Long
    March 1, 2016

    Thank you for clarifying the post Brexit situation regarding trading relationships. This confirms my reaction when I heard Mr Cameron saying in a televised speech that we would be hanging about for ten years while a solution was negotiated, that he was talking total nonsense. Unless that is, he thinks he or some of his cronies, might still have something to do with the process. With anyone else in charge I would find it unbelievable that there is no contingency planning in train.

  33. Atlas
    March 1, 2016

    A one word answer to your posed question: “Better!”

  34. forthurst
    March 1, 2016

    “Neither side is going to want to restrict people with good qualifications…”

    In the bad old days, training for all levels of skill was available via schools, apprenticeships, technical colleges and universities; from time to time skill shortages would develop as the economy expanded faster than the available human resources to service it, or as newer technologies demanded newer skills in short supply: the response to the first situation was to recognise that the economy needed to be damped down, and to the second situation, that the existing workforce needed to acquire newer skills by going back to school or receiving in-work training. What JR is advocating is a continuation of the present situation in which our population continues to rise inexorably as the economy expands, creating further demand for resources, either with people being imported in preference to retraining members of our existing workforce or recognising that the economy cannot be allowed to expand indefinitely without concreting over the whole country; meanwhile members of the existing workforce can find themselves either out of work or forced into employment at a lower skill level than their aptitudes would warrant. It is far more preferable that we make proper use of our existing talent than we import others whose training may be suspect and whose intelligence, even more so.

  35. Dennis
    March 1, 2016

    “There is no need for the UK to seek a Norwegian or Swiss style deal with the EU.”

    Quite – so when these possibilities come up for the UK in front of Leavers why is it that they never say that this style deal is not one anyone wants? It makes me think that some of the Leavers at least may like that arrangement. Anyone here for that option?

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 1, 2016

      Richard North is in favour of exiting the EU via EFTA and the EEA:


      I reluctantly agree something like that would be the best option.

      Reply We know he is, and have examined that argument several times before. He is a capable man who has researched the EU extensively, but he is not the only one, and it is possible to disagree with him on the odd judgement.

      1. The Active Citizen
        March 2, 2016

        Denis, I always find your posts informative and well-researched. I value them very much on JR’s site and others, as you dig out details which really inform the debate.

        I frequently agree with your conclusions, but where I sometimes differ is in my interpretation of the political and common sense realities which will ensue.

        In business I’ve often had people say to me “you can’t do that because of xyz detail”. Lawyers are the best at this, and have to be stopped involving one in reams of nonsense which may be factually accurate, but which never get us anywhere.

        Years ago I learnt to say “I hear you, but let’s just make this thing happen, okay?” Funnily enough, an agreement would then be quickly reached, which both sides could broadly accept and be happy with.

        JR appears to adopt this general attitude, and I think he’s right. No matter what the fine minutiae of detail of treaties, contracts, protocols, etc, we must never forget political and practical realities. I’m afraid Richard North – whilst he’s intelligent and often comes up with useful analyses based on intricate EU knowledge – focuses on details and insists something isn’t possible when in fact it is. He’s wrong about his whole beloved Flexcit document mainly because it focuses on details and not the eventual realities.

        I have just two caveats. 1. Knowing the background detail is essential in order to get to the overview. For example your excellent comment above with all the detail about how the Korean Trade Deal was eventually ‘passed’ by the UK Parliament. However my conclusion is that this reinforces how the whole WTO issue raised by Mandelson won’t be a problem, if we have to go that route.

        2. Second caveat is that we need to keep the FCO mandarins a million miles away from the post-Brexit negotiations. They are completely clueless when it comes to commercial matters. In addition, their view of the UK in relation to the rest of the world is defeatist, pessimistic, and weak-livered.

        I nominate our host to head all EU negotiations post-Brexit. He has the intelligence, the knowledge, the experience, and most importantly the cojones.
        Kind regards and much respect, TAC

        1. Denis Cooper
          March 2, 2016

          Thanks! But I’m partly thinking about how we can reconcile ideas about what would happen after we have won the referendum with actually winning it.

  36. forthurst
    March 1, 2016

    Mandelson is claiming that the UK lacks trade negotiating skills. However, the EU’s skill is via the commission consisting of 30k civil servants costing £3 billion. What proportion of the EU negotiators are English speaking English? Are they all English speaking French?

    Trade negotiation needs to be based upon priorities. Is the standard of living comparable, such that we would not be further exporting manufacturing abroad? Is the country a primary producer of raw materials that we need?

    Going into a deal with a country like China would be tricky; New Zealand has done a trade deal with China and found that they have allowed the Chinese to purchase their farmland. Negotiating a trade deal with a country with a lower standard of living which is not a primary pruducer (apart from a few Rare Earths) is definitely not for those wet behind the ears.

    1. stred
      March 2, 2016

      Is this the Mandelson who, when he was a minister, used his negotiating skills to sell the British car industry to some entrepreneurs for a few quid and then was very cross when they closed it and sold the real estate.

  37. Ken Moore
    March 1, 2016

    Compare Cameron’s gross dishonesty, childish point scoring whenever he is challenged and muddled scaremongering with Dr Redwood’s clear and well reasoned position. Why can’t the brightest and best lead this country and not those with the sharpest elbows and most polished presentation skills?.

    We are daily told by the BBC and the government that up is down and black is white. What is scary is the number of people who say ‘they want to know the facts’…..when all too often what they are presented is a tissue of lies and scaremongering by organisations that should know better… and our PM who will keep Britain in the Eu ‘at all costs’.
    I still don’t get a sense that the OUT campaign are getting their message across to a broad range of people many of which have no interest in politics.

    Cameron must go at the soonest possible opportunity. Mercifully he has decided not to go on for another term..but his word isn’t worth very much… Out of the Eu perhaps I and others can go back to the Conservative party…..providing the Europhiles NEVER AGAIN are allowed to gain the upper hand.

    Perhaps the Conservative party could take this opportunity to build a party that offers a genuine alternative to Lab and Lib….that actually acts not just speaks in a conservative way. A party in which genuine conservatives like John Redwood aren’t pushed aside to make way for others that are in the leaderships pocket or tick diversity boxes A pipe dream maybe….

  38. dennis perrin
    March 2, 2016

    I think this EU debate is so important I copy my Right Hon Friend’s diary posts to my face book page from time to time. With full attribution of course. If JR prefers that I do not do this, please let me know! I shall delete immediately.


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