How much trade do we do with the EU? Under 40% of our exports.

People who want to stay in the EU wrongly think our trade is at risk. They then compound their error by telling people half our trade is with the EU.

They clearly have not read the balance of payments figures. Less than half our goods exports are to the rest of the EU, and well under half our service exports are to the rest of the EU. The total of our published export trade with the rest of the EU is 43.6% (latest figures available, Q3 2015).

You cannot get to half our trade even if you add in imports as well as exports. What the Remainians never point out is that we import so much more than we export to the rest of the EU, so the percentage of our imports from the EU is a lot higher than the percentage of our exports.

In Q3 2015 54% of our goods imports came from the rest of the EU, but the total imports were still below half when you add in services.

All these figures also have to be adjusted for the Rotterdam/Amsterdam effects. Quite a lot of our exports go first to a large continental port, and then are shipped onwards to a third country outside the EU. This is counted as trade with the EU. Taking this off means less than 40% of our exports are to the rest of the EU. The ONS assumes around half the published trade with the Netherlands is in practice trade with the rest of the world.


  1. Excalibur
    March 8, 2016

    I am reluctant to raise this off topic subject, JR, as it detracts from the ‘Leave’ campaign, although it is closely allied to yesterday’s ‘chugger state’ post.
    It appears the government is to pursue as soon as next month conclusion of the agreement with EDF for the Hinkley Point nuclear deal.
    This has to be the wrong decision again by CMD, heavily supported by Hollande. EDF is eighty-five percent owned by the French government. It is in debt to the astronomical tune of 35 billion euros; it has technical problems with completion of the prototype plant at Flamanville in France (which is identical to the Hinkley Point project); and its CFO has just resigned (he wanted to postpone Hinkley Point for three years). In addition, EDF is having to prop up the loss-making firm, Areva, which is the designer of the plant, and it has problems with the decommissioning of other plants.
    The new French technology is totally unproven. It appears to me CMD is prepared to bale out the French nuclear industry at the expense of our own. I know you have many commitments at present, JR, but I think your forensic abilities and common sense analysis should be applied to this before it is too late. While I agree our energy needs are pressing, we should not adopt the EDF option at any price (currently double the going rate).

    1. Lifelogic
      March 8, 2016

      Indeed it is the wrong project. The money would be far better spent on buying the currently far cheaper and more flexible fossil fuel solutions. Buying lots of oil, gas coal, stock/futures would surely be a far better investment.

      I am in favour of some nuclear but this is not the right project and far too expensive.

      1. Lifelogic
        March 8, 2016

        Why on Earth is Mark Rowley doing much of the terrorising for the terrorist?

        ISLAMIC State jihadists are planning “enormous and spectacular” terror attacks on British soil, the country’s head of counter-terrorism warned today.

        What does he hope to achieve by this he is surely just helping them in their goals? Also the police have released a video telling people to “run, hide, tell” if they are caught up in a terrorist gun attack.

        I think I might have worked that out for myself if under fire!

        His job is surely to try to stop the attack and pick up the pieces if one happens, not to do the work of the terrorising for the terrorists. Perhaps tell people to be vigilant and report suspicions, but not to issue such damaging and pointless statements what is the point/benefit of them?

        1. graham1946
          March 8, 2016

          It’s just another bit of the ‘Project Fear’ nonsense.

          Cameron keeps trying to tell us that we are safer from terrorism by having open borders with no checks on who comes in, so we must stay in the EU.

          They are just getting their excuses in first in case anything happens. If the British public do believe his garbage, and vote ‘In’ I hope, should it ever happen, Cameron is able to live with himself. According to his biographer nothing, even war, stops him sleeping, but the thought of losing his Premiership terrifies him for what history will think.

          1. Robert Christopher
            March 9, 2016

            Hasn’t the History already been written as far as Cameron is concerned?

            We just haven’t decided whether Britain will join him, or not! 🙂

        2. Jerry
          March 8, 2016

          @LL; “His job is surely to try to stop the attack and pick up the pieces if one happens, not to do the work of the terrorising for the terrorists.”

          …and I suppose (Sir) John Anderson should have kept quite, being confident that Chamberlain would make Germany see sense, between early 1938 and the 3rd September 1939? In fact by your logic, until the first German bombs started to drop, rather than setting about planning for and making the public aware of the impending dangers and what they can do to keep themselves and others safe(r)…

          Also, one can already see the tabloid headlines, should the worst happen, then later it came out that the Metropolitan Police had suspicions (even worse, knowledge) that there were terrorist attacks planed but said nothing!

    2. Roy Grainger
      March 8, 2016

      But we haven’t got our “own” nuclear industry, at least not one that can build power stations. The electricity supply crisis is so severe we have to buy capacity from whoever can provide it the quickest. Incidentally, Germany are still bringing new coal-fired power stations on stream this year.

      1. Ian Wragg
        March 8, 2016

        But we do have the capability to build our own reactors. RR&A have been building UK designed PWR’s since the 60’s and they are remarkably reliable. We could perhaps build our own turbines or collaborate with the US getting us away from the blackmailing Europeans.
        Hinckley Point is a disaster waiting to happen.

        1. Jerry
          March 8, 2016

          @ian Wragg; “or collaborate with the US getting us away from the blackmailing Europeans..”

          From the frying pan into the fire!

        2. Robert Christopher
          March 9, 2016

          A capital and technological intense and very long term industry, like nuclear, needs steady investment, not bursts of enthusiasm puncturing complete hatred, which as been experienced in Britain.
          Because so few nuclear power plants have been built over such a long time period, we do not have active professionals with recent experience, quite apart from not having the supporting technology that we have sold to foreign powers. The French have kept up a bit better, but they and others have had to react to alarmist fears by adding layers of safety mechanisms without really reappraising the system as a whole. In addition, there have been many discoveries and improvements in other fields that would likely help to build a better power plant, but we currently don’t have the inclination, funding or expertise to assess the opportunities, nor do we have the time! We need the extra supply this winter!
          The French are further ahead because they stopped later, but they are not necessarily in a better position, and building 1960’s technology that will produce power after Hinckley does, if it ever get built, is not the answer.
          In the last week or so, has several threads on the accumulating evidence against the Climate Change theory: over 200 academic papers last year and 48 and counting this year already. Fossil fuels are here, cheap and the technology has improved to exploit them, even in the last thirty years. We have well over 200 years of supply, but we don’t need to burn it if circumstances change.
          For example, we hope to get more information on the LENR (cold fusion) advances very soon, expected in the next few months or not much longer. It will either be very disappointing 🙁 , or extraordinary and would change the energy market beyond recognition, with oil being used a lot less for heating and transport, with its main use continuing for input to the chemical industry, including pharmaceuticals, and probably some transport.
          Then we have Thorium, another long term option, but again, we are hardly at the prototype stage, though other countries are forging ahead, like China, India and Norway.

          These options require hope, support and ‘expertise that has British patriotism is its heart, well before the massive investments required, and they are not yet on the horizon. They also need a measured, level headed, media to inform the public: and we certainly don’t have that either.

          Meeting the National Grid’s energy gap with banks of diesel engines adjacent to ‘underutilised’ solar panels and windmills is a sad reflection on our past and current energy ministers.

          Fossil fuel is a good short term solution and we could even export some of the power generated, and the technology! Many of China’s power stations are very outdated.

    3. stred
      March 8, 2016

      Cameron may be trying to cover up the folly of handing the British nuclear industry to the French and opting for the disastrous EPR. The name may indicate the reason- European Pressurised Reactor. A pathetic interview on Today this morning failed to ask why RBS lent the money to EDF to buy British Energy and almost all suitable sites for nukes or why the Finns have opted for a tested Russian design, with all the safety features and total finance by a consortium for a price around half that of the current agreed rate for Hinkley Point. Or that the Finns are still facing claims for doubling of costs and delays for their EPR.

      Andrea Leadsome has just said that they expect the EDF deal to go ahead. Their incompetence is unlimited.

    4. agricola
      March 8, 2016

      On your analysis EDF is a basket case. Time to assess what other options there might be in the World nuclear industry before Cameron leaves us with a legacy on a par with that of Blair /Browns signing of the Lisbon treaty.

      No one is as yet forthcoming on the feasibility of converting maritime nuclear power units to civilian power generation. Is there anyone with thought on the subject out there.

      1. stred
        March 8, 2016

        The Germans chose the adapted Russian design too and some were half built before Mrs Merkel had another of her bright ideas and opted for lignite and buying French nuclear power from stations just upwind of (Germany ed). At least she kept Daniel Cohn-Bendit and his comrades happy.

    5. graham1946
      March 8, 2016

      The Tories hate anything nationalised, unless it is owned by a foreign government.

  2. Mick
    March 8, 2016

    Can we trade Cameron for a good bottle of red wine ?

    1. DaveM
      March 8, 2016

      I’d say we’d probably have to throw in a few cases of Dom Perignon for anyone to accept him.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      March 8, 2016

      If only!

    3. agricola
      March 8, 2016

      can I suggest Plonker for Chateau Plonk.

    4. Paul H
      March 8, 2016

      I’d accept a Liebfraumilch.

  3. Brian Taylor
    March 8, 2016

    1975 all over again, I voted to stay in the Common Market.
    Ok we were not in a good position economically then so fear played a part.
    This time fear will win it for Remain,
    For Vote Leave to win we must have a cast iron case to counter this narrative.
    Are we so arrogant that no plan is in place, why not join Norway in EEA & EFTA and negotiate from there, this at least return our seat on WTO and others get control of Fish And Farmers, and save some money.
    This option would kill the fear factor stone dead and stop this waffling that we see in the media when asked if you can protect the Single market.
    If not we lose on fear again.

    1. Horatio
      March 8, 2016

      Completely agree; I’m rather afraid that it will be project fear mostly with the connivance of the BBC and probably the Scots that will win it for Brussels.

      I hear so very often on the news and on last week’s QT the confident suggestion that lots of the West Country will vote remain due to a misunderstanding about the continuance of farm subsidies by a Sovereign British government post Brexit. This crap is all down to the BBC. I’ll be off to the West Country, quaffing a few ales and leaflet dropping at some farms, this weekend.

      1. stred
        March 8, 2016

        JR. You are a very capable and clear writer. Could you possibly get together with some other MPs and write a short leaflet or’manifesto’ which Outer MPs would put into operation after sending the Inner ministers to the back benches, after an Out vote.

        This would include payments to farmers, universities and scientific research, wildlife management etc, but controls on political appointments to the boards of ‘charities’ which are working for the EU agenda and an end to their EU subsidies. Possibly, a reduction in pay for the Governor of the BoE from £800k to £100k would go down well too and a list of other wasteful organisations together with cuts to provide the money for a reduction in university fees, which would attract young voters.

        Reply That is what this is! Vote Leave are publishing just such writings on their website to give it greater traction.

        1. stred
          March 8, 2016

          This could be put on the net, where Outers could copy and forward it.

          1. Jerry
            March 8, 2016

            @stred; Isn’t John’s website on the internet then?!… 🙂

          2. stred
            March 9, 2016

            If anyone in my family is to take any notice, It has to be on an A4 page and contain some sort of carrot- like lower university fees or higher prices for milk and -er- carrots.

          3. Jerry
            March 10, 2016

            @stred; Err so your problem, with our hosts writings, appears to be a faulty printer then?!

            Actually I agree with you in regards getting the message across, many people will want to see it on the printed page, that is why I keep bemoaning the fact that the Brexit groups appear disorganised, around here we have already had printed matter shoved through our letter boxes from the BSE group but nothing at all from anyone with a Brexit message – not even from UKIP who in the past have been very quick to push their own election/party publicity.

            As for farm gate prices, I doubt even a post Brexit or BSE government/EU could promise that, unless we are going to see wholesale and retail price controls again with the supermarkets being rained in as a consequence. It was a bad day when the MMB was effectively abolished and milk prices deregulated. Another mess the Tory party has never apologised for. 🙁

    2. Lifelogic
      March 8, 2016

      Indeed endless question about can we stay in the single market outside the EU. Surly we just want free trade no to be in the “single market” construct. As they need us more than we need them of course we can, Even if we need to pay so what we can charge then the same and will be net winners. Or we can switch the trade to the rest of the World or home demand to replace EU imports.

      Mary Helen Creagh MP shadow overseas aid came up with perhaps the daftest reason yet to remain in the EU yesterday. Something like the EU might breakup and explode if we leave. It is apparently so unstable. Can the “remain” side really not do any better than this?

    3. Roy Grainger
      March 8, 2016

      You are probably right but this time there is fear on both sides, the referendum will be held right at the time all visa controls on Turks are removed in preparation for them to join the EU as soon as possible.

    4. Denis Cooper
      March 8, 2016

      Guido points out that they are recycling phraseology from Wilson’s pamphlet for the 1975 referendum!

      “Deja-v-EU: Remainers rehash 1975 leaflets verbatim”

      1. Jerry
        March 8, 2016

        @Denis Cooper; Not sure what Guido’s (and thus your) point is, with many of the same arguments applying, even some of the Brexit side have sounded like they could be rehashing 1975 leaflets verbatim. Or is Guido trying to suggest someone has quite literally made facsimile’s of 1975 leaflets?!

    5. getahead
      March 8, 2016

      We need to be completely free of the EU. Not sure that EFTA or EEA or any other EU organisation gives us that freedom.
      The EU needs our trade more than we need theirs. We do not need to grovel.

  4. Mark B
    March 8, 2016

    Good morning.

    Not only that, the EU is a shrinking market globally.

    We will not be so much turning our backs on the EU if we leave, but embracing the world.

    1. alan jutson
      March 8, 2016

      Mark B

      The EU have just signed off on one of what seems to be the biggest trade deal in the history of human trafficking, and its all legal !!!

      Euros 6,000,000,000 for a human churning operation which will now include the Turkish population.

      In through the back door, out through the front.

      Puts the criminal smugglers of human misery as small beer by comparison..

      Utter madness.

      Perhaps it will now be Britain out, Turkey In.

  5. The Active Citizen
    March 8, 2016

    Thanks JR. This is important to hammer home, because I keep hearing Remainers saying that 50% of our trade is with the EU, unchallenged by interviewers.

    As you rightly say, “The total of our published export trade with the rest of the EU is 43.6%.”

    An important thing to add: The Remain campaign constantly talks about the UK’s negative future out of the EU. The Leave campaigns have failed to present a real and positive case to counter it, despite the wealth of information for this.

    When talking about trade, it’s important to show people the negative future for trade in the EU and the positive future outside it. Here’s just one key fact:

    Our trade with the EU is falling fast, as the EU struggles more and more. In 2008 it was 56%. Seven years later in 2015 it was 43.6%. At current trends, by 2025 the EU will be less than 30% of our trade. If we don’t leave, we’re going to be in big trouble.

    When we leave the EU, we can once again negotiate trade deals internationally, as we used to do. We can then trade even better with the dynamic global community, who are growing much faster than the increasingly-failing EU.

    [Sources: ONS Pink Book. Dept for Business Innovation & Skills ‘Trade and Investment Analytical Papers Topic 3’.]

  6. Mike Stallard
    March 8, 2016

    I reckon that we can leave the EU without interrupting our trade at all.
    Well, we go back into EFTA which we left in 1973. That will maintain our membership of the EEA. Trade will simply continue.
    The mistake which a lot of people (including our Prime Minister) make is to see this as a permanent position. It is not.
    We then apply Article 50 and negotiate our Associate Membership which is being offered by the Spinelli Group and which has been hinted at by M. Juncker himself, starting from our easily understood and very acceptable EFTA/EEA position.

    1. Dennis
      March 8, 2016

      Is this right or what? There are many stimulating comments/ideas on these blogs but you, JR, hardly ever make even a short reply as to whether ‘this is right or wrong, possible or impossible, illegal or whatever.

      Why can’t you make some indication of the value of these ideas and help us out to what we can pass on reliably?

  7. Ex-expat Colin
    March 8, 2016

    Certain electrical goods from China stage to Sweden and Holland before UK..batteries for one. It would be interesting to know what else, and I suspect a lot. Origin should be on the waybills and perhaps not within a computer input. That finger problem?

    Beko and Ford operate in Turkey, but I would never know exactly who the exporter is and that they may attribute items to the EU ..via. Tate & Lyle story up again on R4 this am.

  8. stred
    March 8, 2016

    We face a big problem getting figures like these over to some women and the under 40s. The R4 news yesterday had a’debate’ on Brexit in which the female journalist interrupted the Leave side with the usual figures for our trade being 40% and the whole other EU only losing 15%. No mention of the large losses of sales for the EU producers if we were slapped with tariffs.Whether they just do not understand or this is a scripted lie is difficult to tell.

    The most depressing thing is when family members are unwilling to even read the Leave arguments. My better 1/2 is very intelligent and has a highly specialised job, where she works with colleagues in the EU but equally from non-EU countries.When she noticed that I was becoming annoyed when a BBC tripe debate was on, she said ” I can’t believe someone like you (with lots of European friends and a house their) is against Europe. I explained the difference between the EU and Europe but, as usual, it went in one ear and out of the other.

    The other worrying matter is the apparent takeover of some organisations by pro EU leftists. I could not believe that the Chambers of Commerce had two Labour advisors on their council. Then, after I was advised by the 1/2 to volunteer for the Wildlife Trust running the park to clear brambles, their pro- EU board pops up telling us to Stay. They can forget the brambles.I suppose these sort of organisations make a natural home for failed politicians.

    1. stred
      March 8, 2016

      There- not their. Chrome grammar did not pick this up, but works well usually.

    2. Denis Cooper
      March 8, 2016

      “and the whole other EU only losing 15%.”

      It needs to be put in terms of the actual numbers of people in the rest of the EU who would instantly lose their jobs and be added to their already excessive numbers of unemployed at the same time as we lost 3 million or whatever jobs here, in the event that their governments decided to be stupid and/or spiteful.

      I’ve been looking at a recent House of Commons Library Report Number 06091, entitled “In brief: UK-EU economic relations” which has a section on “UK jobs associated with EU trade” but nothing about the other side of the coin:

      I think this defect in the report should be raised by an MP.

  9. Lifelogic
    March 8, 2016

    David Cameron tweeting yesterday –

    “I’m at the European Council where I’m making clear the UK’s special status means we keep our own strong borders.”

    These will be the “open doors to everyone who is a member EU or who is granted (or sold) such rights by any of the member states” – This regardless of any merits, any criminal history, medical conditions, size of extended family or any abilities to pay their own way in the World, one assumes.

    So strong border in what sense exactly David? You live in a dream worlds. Another £500M too it seems.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 8, 2016

      If Cameron says our borders are “strong” then obviously they are “strong”, even if they are in fact pathetically weak thanks partly to his party cutting the budget for border controls. Just as if Cameron says that the EU is now “reformed” then obviously it is “reformed”, even if in fact all he got was an unreliable promise that some ill-defined changes will be made at some indeterminate point in the future.

  10. DaveM
    March 8, 2016

    BBC SW Inside Out made attempts last night to find an Icelandic fisherman who backed EU membership (on the basis that it would be good to have easier means of exporting fish to the EU).

    They found one, and he wasn’t 100% sure.

    It seems the only thing putting pressure on the Icelandic fishing industry is their own govt-imposed quotas. Many said they’d like a larger market, but then Iceland only has a population of around 350000.

  11. The PrangWizard
    March 8, 2016

    So I dare say the Dutch want us to stay in the EU as I trust when we Leave we will export directly rather than through Rotterdam. However, we must remove the EU fanatics.

  12. Bob
    March 8, 2016

    Mr Redwood,

    Transshipments through Dutch ports
    Isn’t this like counting transit passengers arriving at Heathrow as immigrants?

    Is it true that the EU allows tariff free access for Turkey and Turkish nationals will soon have visa free access?

    1. Narrow Shoulders
      March 8, 2016

      If this is true then it debunks the myth that no one can have access to the single market without paying or being part of the club.

      Oh for a strong negotiator

  13. Antisthenes
    March 8, 2016

    If we leave the EU the sky will not immediately fall in as most believe or try to make us believe in fact it never will. There is a good chance that it will for the EU as it is in a very unhealthy position and the UK leaving may be the final straw that breaks that beasts back.

    At first nothing will change then the process of disentanglement will begin deals will be cut, new treaties made and the UK will sign up to different international bodies. Through all this trade will not be affected and in the end trading with the EU will be pretty much the same as it is now probably better. How long the transitional period will be is the only uncertainty because we know EU officials cannot tie their own shoe laces without taking years to think about it. Apart from which they will drag it out as long as possible to keep us tied in so that our contribution will continue. They may in fact try to make us change our minds which I almost certain they will. Irish referendum style I do not doubt they will attempt to cut the same deal but reworded and ask us to vote again.

    The only thing we have to fear is that the EU keeps us in far longer before all the negotiations are done than we want and that way suck us back in again. We also have to fear that the divorce settlement leaves us not as independent as is necessary for the UK to be completely out of the EU clutches.

  14. eeyore
    March 8, 2016

    In my village pub the other night Olaf said he would vote Remain because he feared for his regular booze cruises to France. Someone pointed out that the French were bust and desperate for his money, so they were most unlikely to do anything to curtail their highly lucrative trade with him. There, in a nutshell (or a wine bottle), I thought, is the entire trade argument.

    Of 15 people in the bar nine were for Leaving. They were all determined to vote. Only two Remainians would definitely vote. The other four lacked conviction. Everyone complained that politicians and media were not keeping people informed. Project Fear attracted unanimous contempt and seemed to work strongly in favour of Leaving. The landlord, who likes to discuss these things, reckoned his clientele were split 60-40 in favour of Leaving.

  15. Alan
    March 8, 2016

    Over the years I would expect our trade with the EU to decline, as EU companies will tend to buy from the rest of the EU rather than the UK, and for us to get steadily poorer compared with the rest of the EU. After about 20 years the difference could be quite marked. I can remember that was what it was like before the Single European Market, so I tend to extrapolate that into the future.

    1. Know-dice
      March 8, 2016

      As has already been pointed out our trade with the EU is already in decline, so surely we should be looking at increasing our exports to the rest of the world now?

  16. Nigel
    March 8, 2016

    Much is being made of the possible disruption to free trade with the EU if we vote to leave. The Remain campaign are saying that we only have two years to negotiate agreements to replace the existing ones, and how difficult the EU negotiators will make it for us.
    As I understand it, the two year negotiating time runs from when we invoke article 50 (the mechanism to leave the EU?), but do we have to do that immediately? A vote to leave would give the Government a mandate to negotiate an exit. The sensible approach would be to open preliminary discussions, prepare the groundwork, and only to trigger the mechanism when we had been able to work out in some detail how the Brexit would be structured.
    Monsieur Hollande and Herr Shauble may talk about “consequences” and things being difficult. Certainly, one could expect the Brussels bureaucrats negotiating new arrangements with us to be awkward and difficult, but when push comes to shove, what reaction could there be from the French farmers when they see the prospect of losing their exports of food and wine to the UK market? Road blocks, “manifestations”? Equally, although more orderly, imagine the Stuttgart, Munich and Wolfsburg auto workers looking at their position if we are pushed to switch to Jaguars or Toyotas.
    If we allow ourselves to be blackmailed at this stage, we will be open to similar threats for ever more.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 8, 2016

      The referendum Act is silent on what would ensue from a vote to Leave the EU, but in my view the government should put in the Article 50 notification as soon as it is clear that there is no possibility of the result being overturned through legal challenges, which have to be lodged within six weeks of the referendum. As the article has no provision for a notification to be revoked I believe that it would be necessary to wait that long before putting it in.

      At the same time the government should introduce a Bill to repeal or amend the European Communities Act 1972 which can wend its way through Parliament at a leisurely pace, if necessary with the Lords being by-passed through the Parliament Acts, with the new Act only coming into force when a commencement order is made at some point in the future, for example at the latest two years after the notification has gone into the EU, unless the negotiation period is extended.

      Unless the governments of the other EU member states are going to mess us about then two years should be enough time to recast the existing trade arrangements into a new form with the UK no longer a member of the EU.

  17. margaret
    March 8, 2016

    There are also the industries such as Aldi who are building and building here. Now even though many jobs are created , industries do not expand altruistically simply to create jobs for people of another nation . They would not like to lose our custom either .
    I can see the farmers point of view though and perhaps the outs can reassure them with alternative proposals.

    1. DaveM
      March 8, 2016


      Regarding your final sentence:

      I have already posted today about the fishermen, and clearly they, and those associated with them and their industry are probably 90-95% anti-EU.

      The farmers, however, have not been brought into this much as yet, and it is an industry – indeed community – that the Leave campaign needs to target and reassure. The farming community is like a mafia!! When a couple of them get the message that the govt will take care of them and that the future is bright (bearing in mind most have contracts with local purchasers), that message will spread throughout the country like wildfire.

    2. Know-dice
      March 8, 2016

      Really the Government should be coming forward with a plan of what THEY will do when we vote to leave the EU.

      Cameron’s position is just wrong… As HE was the one that has called a referendum for whatever reason his reasons are?

      As such he MUST take a neutral position and honour the plebiscite… ,whilst he probably can (and does) have a recommendation, the Government should not have a position on this until the public have spoken.

      So back to Margaret’s question, not only should the “Leavers” assure all of those with EU grants that they will continue, but also the Government should also give this assurance…

      Reply The Agriculture Minister Mr Eustice has said he will wish to pay all the grants after exit.

  18. Denis Cooper
    March 8, 2016

    “People who want to stay in the EU wrongly think our trade is at risk.”

    I don’t think our trade is at risk, because if our exports to them were at risk that would necessarily mean that their exports to us were also at risk, and apart from the fact that they export more to us than we export to them I don’t think the eurozone is in any fit condition to easily withstand a lot more unemployment than they already have.

    How many jobs would be lost across the rest of the EU if there was a sudden cessation of all exports to the UK? On February 28th JR said 5 million, in a reply here:

    “Reply There are 5 million jobs at risk on the continent, as the Remainers say … ”

    Although I would like to see some evidence for that number, JR; while I’m prepared to take it on trust others may challenge it.

    I haven’t yet found anything about that aspect on the internet, beyond this:

    “The Scaremongers”

    which says on page 6:

    “A study by Ruth Lea and Brian Binley MP concluded that since the original 1999 Britain
    in Europe ‘3 million jobs’ claim, 6.5 million jobs were related to what the rest of the EU
    was able to sell to the UK, with 4.5 million UK jobs linked to trade with the EU (see chart
    overleaf). The EU, therefore, has almost one and a half times as many jobs ‘at risk’ in the
    unlikely situation that they choose to initiate a full-scale (and illegal) trade war with Britain
    if we vote to leave.”

    With a table giving a breakdown across the 24 other EU countries in 2006.

    That is a big gap in the Brexit case; we need to play the Remainders at their own game by producing a plausible estimate of the number of people elsewhere in the EU who would lose their jobs if their governments really did decide to be as stupid and/or spiteful as the Remainders suppose that they would be, while at the same time still wanting them to have a large hand in the government of our country.

    Yes, I know that their exports to the UK are a smaller fraction of their total economies, which may seem to put them in the position of being able to bully us; but would they really want to risk the eurozone and/or the EU being ripped apart by the addition of another 5 million unemployed on top of the present 20-odd million?

    But I do have one concern, which is that if our government’s post-referendum “Brexit” negotiators are as weak as its pre-referendum “reform” negotiators then they may end up accepting continued mass immigration from the poorer EU countries as part of the price for uninterrupted and unimpeded trade.

    1. Lifelogic
      March 8, 2016

      As you say “if our government’s post-referendum “Brexit” negotiators are as weak as its pre-referendum “reform” negotiators”, This is certainly a major concern but surely Cameron/Osborne and his Libdim team will have to go.

      Anyway whatever team, they are certainly better off negotiating from outside than from within, with the EU courts in ultimate charge and the damaging treaties still controlling the UK.

      Oh sorry I forget a “Treaty” is no longer a “Treaty” once ratified – according to Cameron’s Libdim lot.

    2. oldtimer
      March 8, 2016

      For every £3 of goods the UK exports to the EU, we import £5 from the EU.

      The notorious “3 million jobs at risk” lie often peddled by the Europhiles (and expertly dissected by JR in a post here last year) actually referred to an estimate that there were 3 million jobs related to UK exports to the EU. Likewise an estimated 5 million EU jobs are related to exports to the UK. There is a mutual interest in continued trade and the suggestion that the UK is “at risk” while implying that the EU is not at risk is palpable rubbish.

  19. alan jutson
    March 8, 2016

    Yes exports are important, but our trade with the EU is small compared to our total GDP.

    Lists all Countries exports as a % of GDP.

    Ours in 2014 was 28.4%

    Germany was 45.7%

    France was 28.7%

    So if only 40% of our exports are with the EU then that is only 11.4% of our total GDP.

    Yes exports are of course important, and it is important that we grow them ever larger, but let us not get bogged down with figures taken in isolation, let us look at the larger picture.

    Exports are far more important to Germany, than to any Countries.

    1. Denis Cooper
      March 8, 2016

      And taking the UK labour force as about 31 million, 11.4% of that = 3.5 million.

  20. Ian Wragg
    March 8, 2016

    How about trumpeting this from the pulpit in the HoC and correcting Dave and company at every opportunity.
    I see despite denials Cameron was involved in the sacking of BCC director.
    Cameron is a very nasty piece of work and the population at large are beginning to notice.
    etc ed

  21. Bert Young
    March 8, 2016

    We are signed up to the WTO treaty so , whatever emerges from “Brexit”, we are covered . If we produce and sell products and services that are competitive and needed , they can and will be purchased around the globe . The basis of our success depends largely on the activity and output of the educational system ; compared to the rest of the world it is relatively in good shape . Overall I believe we have nothing to fear .

    The biggest fear and drawback to our success are the constraints that emanate from Brussels ; Boris rightfully says ” We should break out of this gaol”. There are many talents in the EU but much is stifled into insignificance ; the rules and regulations the bureaucrats dream up in Brussels can , and have , pushed back the development of innovation – the , so called , green energy policy eg . We must break away from any source of constraint and give the utmost support to innovation and creative skills .

  22. agricola
    March 8, 2016

    So what is the adjustment factor to be applied to Rotterdam so that we can apply it with accuracy to the 43.6 % figure in the official statistics.

    Equally much that we import comes on ships which may make a Rotterdam first port of call for offloading and subsequent shipping in smaller loads to UK ports. Are these shipments counted as EU exports to the UK.

    It would seem that the customs element of HMRC are failing to produce accurate figures or what they are producing is being interpreted to suit whatever case is required. As import and export figures must play a part in the Deficit/Debt figures, they too might be suffering mathematical inaccuracies.

    Reply ONS reckons half our trade with the Netherlands is with the rest of the world.

    1. stred
      March 8, 2016

      It is not only Rotterdam but Schiphol too. Airfreight is very valuable. I wonder how the Dutch flower and veg industry would react if the Commissioners started a post Brexit tariff war. There must be hundreds of Dutch lorries on the dawn ferries every day.

    2. agricola
      March 8, 2016

      Reply to Reply.
      Accepting the 50% Rotterdam factor to Exports and Imports, the figures for 2013 are as follows:-
      UK exports are £141.5 billion or 46.1% of the total go to the EU. £165.3 billion or 53.9% go to the rest of the World.
      UK imports from the EU amount to £206.0 billion or 49.1% of our total imports. £216.4 billion or 50.9% come from the rest of the World

      In this computer age we should have figures for 2014 and 2015 available, but I cannot find them. Rumour has it that the balance is shifting in favour of the EU, in that the EU is now importing less.

  23. alan jutson
    March 8, 2016

    Off topic

    I see the Turks have given the EU a lesson in how to negotiate.

    David Cameron are you watching, when you are in a strong position you use it, not give it away.

    What a disaster this Turkish agreement will be for the EU, and eventually the UK of course with the free movement of people.

    1. agricola
      March 8, 2016

      Alan he was only pretending to negotiate. Everyone knew that he wished to stay, so why give him anything apart from a few sentences that would be open to dispute and ECJ rulings. Following this pretence and his subsequent actions he is not fit for the position he holds.

  24. Shieldsman
    March 8, 2016

    The leave groups are being criticised for not clearly stating the BREXIT deal they want.
    As it stands Cameron is the PM (in the chair) and the Government will be responsible for negotiating BREXIT.
    Cameron said he had no exit plan, and now Hammond is knocking all the options with his ‘dodgy dossier’.
    There are many ‘outers’ who are more clued up on trade treaties than Hammond but have an official platform to negotiate BREXIT when we vote to leave.

    In the meantime the Public are being conned into thinking we are being offered new conditions in a reformed European Union. have:
    Since Cameron’s announcement of the June referendum, politicians across the UK and the rest of Europe have taken to the airwaves to attest to the seismic changes that have been made, announcing that the EU is now fit for continued British membership.

    None of this, of course, is in any way true. The concessions that Cameron claims to have won are entirely cosmetic, if that: many, such as cutting regulatory red-tape and the involvement of national parliaments in law-making, were already permissible under treaty law or form part of the European Commission’s current legislative plan; others, such as welfare support for intra-EU migrants, tinkered at the margins of the issue whilst failing to alter anything substantial.

    But then, this was the result that many predicted. The renegotiation process was never about any problems with the state of Britain’s EU membership, but rather a haphazardly choreographed attempt to manage the divisions within the British Conservative Party.

    There was only one solution: to launch a ‘renegotiation’ that would change next to nothing, but sell it as a wholesale rewrite of Britain’s membership conditions.

  25. acorn
    March 8, 2016

    In the United Kingdom , the 7 May 2015 general election scored the worst of all Western European states, ranking only 39th out of all 139 countries worldwide in PEI-4.0.

    Despite considerable debate over electoral reform in recent decades, the electoral system for Westminster continues to use the plurality ‘First-past-the-Post’ formula with 650 single member constituencies. The system systematically penalizes geographically dispersed minor parties, with a mechanical ‘winner’s bonus’ for the seats allocated to the party in first place.

  26. Paul H
    March 8, 2016

    In other news, more subtle bias from “Auntie”. The website is making a big deal about Boris Johnson having to reverse a gagging edict, and the Today program used the word hypocrisy given his attack on the BCC’s treatment of John Longworth.
    However, although the same program gave a long interview to someone criticising John Longworth for going “off piste”, there is no mention of the fact that other officers have been left in place after publicly advocating a remain vote. Nor coverage of No. 10’s initial denials of any influence over his sacking now seemingly being exposed as untrue.

  27. oldtimer
    March 8, 2016

    Thank you for drawing attention to this. It is also helpful, I believe to know the value of exports to and imports from the EU and the resultant balance in £ billions. The EU runs a large surplus in its trade with the UK. The UK runs a large surplus with the rest of the world but a deficit with the EU.

    It is necessary to know and understand these matters when considering a post Brexit vote (if that occurs). There is a mutual interest between the parties to reach a sensible agreement, based on free trade but not on adherence by the UK to the rules of the single market (freedom of movement and so forth). That should be the objective of the Leave campaign. Whether the EU would want that is another matter – they will certainly not admit to wanting it this side of the referendum vote. Failing that the default position is the adoption of WTO tariffs. This would have a significant impact on certain sectors, particularly trade in cars. This would be a point of departure for negotiations to mitigate the impact such rules would have on the parties. No doubt the negotiations would be difficult but when were international trade negotiations ever easy? It seems to me that parallel negotiations to participate in, say, NAFTA might well help concentrate minds.

  28. Antisthenes
    March 8, 2016

    A new EU drama is about to unfold that starts with the EU and member states politicians generously giving 6 billion of taxpayers money to Turkey. Then proceed to giving Turks unfettered access to the Shengan area. Does that mean the UK is exempt well David Cameron says it is so but his track record to date on telling the truth would suggest otherwise.

    After which the EU say they will seriously consider making Turkey a member of the EU. Well knowing the EU and their track record of saying one thing and doing another they will not admit what is rapidly becoming a dictator non secular state. Still the EU is also famous for doing stupid things and causing events that control them not them controlling it they may well make Turkey a member. Greece should never have been allowed to join the euro but that did not stop the EU letting them.

    The progressive elite are hell bent on making Europe a homogeneous supra-state and are going the right way about it to achieve it. Or maybe that should be the wrong way about it. As oddly it is not their acumen that is letting them achieve it but it is their lack of it. If the euro-zone had worked as envisaged from the off then political and economic union would not be such a pressing necessity and perhaps would never happen. If mad Merkel had not made her statement inviting every Tom dick and thief to come to Europe then offering membership to Turkey and adding yet another burden to the EU budget would not have happened.

    There are many bad consequences when governments and their officials are involved for us it has to be wondered why we let them do so much. We even allow them to expand and duplicate themselves one layer at a time heaping cost on cost for us the poor benighted taxpayers. This latest debacle can only mean one thing the EU budget always demanding more will make that more very much more. And Joe soap us who get nothing in return will be told to cough even greater mouth watering sums.

    1. oldtimer
      March 8, 2016

      I find it difficult to believe that voters want to remain part of such a shambles of a political organisation. In some respects it could be asrgued that the evolving EU, with its obvious hostility to democracy, is a natural bedfellow of current Turkish government.

      1. Antisthenes
        March 8, 2016

        Yes you are right they would make good bedfellows as one is not seeking democratic legitimacy and the other is dumping it. Both of course would vehemently deny such accusation but then megalomaniacs always do when their manias are pointed out to them.

  29. Antisthenes
    March 8, 2016

    Here is what all interstate trade negotiators should take into account when drafting trade agreements It is worth the read. It may change many who have protectionist tendencies to change their mind. To me is says free market capitalism is the real socialism and achieves that which avowed socialist/progressives do not.

  30. Denis Cooper
    March 8, 2016

    I think we need to look at the transitional arrangements for new EU member states, which are inadequate and need to be radically reformed:

    “Restrictions on the free movement of workers may apply to workers from EU member countries for a transitional period of up to 7 years after they join the EU. For the moment this concerns workers from:

    Croatia (joined 1 July 2013)

    Individual governments of the countries that were already part of the EU can decide themselves whether they want to apply restrictions to workers from these countries, and what kind of restrictions. However:

    They are not allowed to restrict the general freedom to travel, only the right to work in another country as an employed person.

    For the first two years after a country joined the EU, national law and policy of the countries that were already part of the EU determines access to the labour market of workers from that country so that they may need a work permit. If a country wants to continue to apply these restrictions for three more years, it must inform the Commission before the end of the first two years.

    After that, countries can continue to apply restrictions for another two years if they inform the Commission of serious disturbances in their labour market; all restrictions must end after 7 years.

    Workers who are subject to national restrictions must be given priority over workers from non-EU countries.

    Once they are legally employed in another EU country, workers are entitled to equal treatment with national workers of the country where they are working.

    The countries whose nationals face such restrictions may impose equivalent restrictions on workers from that country.”

    And none of this applies to the self-employed.

  31. David Tomlinson
    March 8, 2016

    I’ll repeat a point I’ve made before about about export stats. We really need a proper analysis, taking into account several major elements. There is not only the Rotterdam factor on container shipping but the high value air cargo factor – DHL and Fedex for example route their air cargo through their Frankfurt hubs which like the Rotterdam factor count as exports to EU. A British engineering manufacturing company I know exports all its high tech industrial equipment to China, Japan, India, Autralia etc by air freight this way but I guess they get counted as exports to EU
    Secondly the notorious high export figures to Belgium are in fact $billions of rough diamonds on their way to India for cutting and polishing via the Antwerp diamond market – which is so non-EU that it is formally excluded from the EU VAT regime.

    Last point: I try hard to persuade Remainers that it won’t be us looking for a trade deal with EU, but EU desperate for a trade deal with us to protect at least some of their exports to us from international competition once we’re outside Fortress Europe and can buy from anywhere in the world.

  32. Colin Hart
    March 8, 2016

    Whatever the value of our exports to the EU, we need to scotch the myth that they would stop the moment we leave the EU. They would not. What might happen is that they would face higher tariffs. But, even if we did not retaliate, the continental buyers who would have to pay more for them, might just have the wit to lobby their respective governments not to put up their costs.

    It would be interesting to know what we export and who buys it. Do German car manufacturers buy British components? And let’s not forget that it is businesses that trade with one another – not countries.

  33. BigD
    March 8, 2016

    John, while not an argument that the Remainians would support, I also tend to knock off the UK trade with Ireland from the EU totals, as I do not consider that this is something that we owe to our being in the EU but is effectively trade from the internal market of the British Isles. In the latest ONS stats, Ireland is our 3rd largest export destination (after USA then Germany) taking 6.26% of UK exports. UK exports to the EU excluding Ireland = 37.3% and nearer to 30% once you knock off the Rotterdam effect.

    Reply Good point

  34. ian
    March 8, 2016

    The Canadian at the bank of England says he is going to do QE before the vote on the ref because he fears what a out vote might do to the country, this be one the first times someone has taken action before knowing the out come.

    You can QE in minutes by just saying it, I like I said the another day they will do QE soon because the banking system is not safe and liquidity is running out and they using the ref to cover it up, the minimum they will put in will be 50 billion the max 100 billion the debt at the moment is near 1.590 billion so if you say 1.640 billion and next years debt of at least 70 billion you will at 1.710 billion on net debt which take you well over 90% of debt to GDP.
    So john figures are way off from last year at election time that the debt will be 1.675 billion by 2020 so you will be going past what he said this year. He might of got a few extra votes for the con party for that one.

    1. Anonymous
      March 8, 2016

      If the head of the BCC can be forced to resign in favour of leaving the EU how can the Governor of the BofE be allowed to be biased ?

      The debt will be greater than that. We have just admitted (though unofficially) another poor state into the EU and will be taking in more pushy young blokes.

  35. getahead
    March 8, 2016

    It’s not about trade. It’s about freedom.

    1. Dennis
      March 8, 2016

      Quite right. If it were about trade, prosperity, no rationing, no black market, no deaths, no terrorism, no bombing, no massive debt to the USA so in 1939 we should have not declared war on Germany but traded with them particularly in armaments so that the common enemy of the Soviet Union would be defeated with the concomitant promise of more jobs and more GDP and more wealth all round.

      Germany’s ‘civil rights’ problem at the time could be addressed by mentioning it to their foreign minister on occasion as we now do with (offending countries ed)

      What was not to like?

  36. ian
    March 8, 2016

    State workers to receive higher old ages pension index link to inflation than private sector workers, just announced by the government, a state worker on 30,000 a year will receive 17,000 pounds more over a life time in they old ages pension than someone working in the private sector or not working as the case mat be.
    Than on top of there working government pension the one they getting more for is the one everybody gets.
    What it means is they contacted out for a government pension but now the government have contacted them back in but in private sector if you contacted out for a private pension you are still contacted out so you will receive less than the 155 a week new pension because paid less NI by contacting out.

    You are in a us and them world, did you vote for that john.

  37. ian
    March 8, 2016

    The telegraph reports that the pension increase for government workers will cost you 1 billion a year starting april 2016 I say you because government workers do not pay tax they only pay tax on there pension and that’s only if they stay in this country you might get something back from them because for them to pay tax they have to receive the money first to give it back to the government, its a accounting trick the government use.

  38. ian
    March 8, 2016

    The government and the politician keep saying they have fix the banks but they cannot stand on there own two feet the only time the banks will be fix is when they are shut down, like I tell you bail-in will be coming to save the banks
    All government workers to get a 1 percent pay rise april on top of the pension increase in april and of cos as usual higher up you are the more you will get.

    The discount on homes of 20 to 40 percent will come to billions of pounds and it free money, for the lucky 200,000 people under the age of 40.

  39. ian
    March 8, 2016

    I wonder what the next giveaway in housing will be to keep the show on the road, its costing the taxpayers billions and billions to keep house price going up which could of been paid off the debt, when consider all the giveaways and money wasted the everyday debt of 90 billion a year would been paid off by now.

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