What does Remain look like?

Remain is a wild ride to political Union. A reluctant UK will be dragged into more loss of power and more integration than we want, whilst demanding more opt outs as the Euro drives the others to a political and fiscal Union. We will have to pay more of the bills for the failing Euro whilst battling to stay outside the immediate rescues and  extra loans some countries and banks will need. The European budget will grow and will make bigger transfers to the weaker countries in the zone. The UK will contribute to this.

So here are some questions interviewers ought to put to the Remain people.


  1. How big will the EU budget become in future years? Won’t the UK have to contribute to a beefed up regional policy to help the Eurozone?
  2. How many economic migrants will come in the next five years, as the Eurozone has double the UK rate of unemployment and many parts of the wider EU have lower wages than us?
  3. How will the UK respond to the demands of the Commission and many member states for a new Treaty of political union?
  4. When will we get the Treaty amendment we have been promised as part of our renegotiation?
  5. How do you see the EU plans for fiscal Union and greater EU control of VAT and business taxes affecting the UK?
  6. When will the Ukraine and Turkey join the EU?  Why does the UK support additional members of the EU when there are still such obvious problems integrating the last wave of new members?
  7. Will the UK continue to oppose joining in a scheme of quotas to take refugees who have arrived elsewhere in the EU? How long will it take other EU states to offer recent migrants EU citizenship and freedom of movement rights to settle anywhere in the EU?
  8. What is the average WTO tariff charged on non EU members trading with the EU and how does that compare with the tariff EU pay as members? (They are both very low and similar)


  1. Mark B
    April 19, 2016

    Good morning.

    9. When will the CAP be revised / abolished ?

    10. As Foreign Policy is now determined by Brussels, will the UK be dragged into any future conflicts ?

    1. Brian Tomkinson
      April 19, 2016

      11. How long would UK remain out of €uro when all existing and future members, except UK and Denmark, have to adopt it?

      1. hans christian ivers
        April 19, 2016

        Poland have never said they will join the Euro and netiher have Sweden get your facts right

        1. Denis Cooper
          April 19, 2016

          The facts are that both have accepted a legal obligation to join the euro under their treaties of accession to the EU, as have all the countries which have joined the EU since Maastricht.

          1. Brian Tomkinson
            April 20, 2016

            Thank you, Denis.

          2. Richard1
            April 20, 2016

            I don’t know about Poland but there is no more chance of Sweden joining the euro than the UK. Perhaps this goes to the heart of it – the Remain case is it doesn’t matter what is agreed on paper, there will be a practical solution to muddle through.

    2. Hope
      April 19, 2016

      Hague writes in his DT article today the French asked for an EU army in 2012 which he claimed he vetoed. If this is true Clegg stated in the Farage debate the call for an EU army was a fantasy. He would have known as deputy PM that this was asked for, so was he telling blatant lies?

      Fraser Nelson accuses the Tresury report as breathtaking dishonesty. Alastair Heath and others make similar claims. What image does this create of our country with the deranged EU fanatic Osborne in charge? It demonstrates to me he will do or say anything to stay in the EU no matter how damaging to our country; and give up our freedom as a self governing democracy. A traitor allowed to stay in office?

      Osborne has failed to meet any of his targets and the Treasury has failed to predict anything correctly over six months or prevent the crash. Osborne’s last budget had a £20 billion black hole. The Treasury report admits that immigration will increase by 3 million. The Treasury report does not include the Whitehall paper on the future EU demands buried under all the other news. I am really surprised that Osborne is allowed to discredit the Treasury by this report and discredit our country in the eyes of the world for his personal fanatical dream. I am at a loss why Grayling and others think Cameron could be kept as PM after the vote.

      1. Yosarion
        April 20, 2016

        Osbourne is looking more and more like the heir to Browns crown by the Day.

    3. Lifelogic
      April 19, 2016

      Truthful answers to almost anyone one of these (now 10) questions should put anyone off a “remain” vote.

      We all know the real answers to these questions.

  2. Mick
    April 19, 2016

    Your not expecting a answer are you Mr Redwood ?, after listening to the jackonary quartet yesterday and nearly all of the air time given by the bias BBC – sky- channel 4 on the future I was fuming, Osbourne didn’t answer one question,just a load of spin and stuff which Albert Einstein would find hard to work out, I think it’s about time the outers started telling untruths and suffer the consequence after the vote because that’s what the inners are doing

    1. Lifelogic
      April 19, 2016

      Indeed lots of silly equations to give the absurd claim that we will be much worse of after electing to restore democracy, free trade and self determination. Rather like all the climate change models that have be proved so consistently wrong with their projections of doom.

      You do not expect any sensible questioning of remain by the BBC interviewers do you. Only Andrew Neil does that so Cameron and Osborne dare not even face him.

      Osborne’s record as a chancellor and the treasuries at prediction is abysmal, no one sensible would trust a word the tax borrow and waste, IHT ratter says.

    2. Jonathan Tee
      April 19, 2016

      The models the Treasury came up with are not really Albert Einstein maths. All it is is a general outline of how they came to their numbers. It is easy to build something similar:

      Ice Cream Sales = (Price x some factor) + (temperature x some factor) + (ice cream vans x some factor) + (newsagent freezers x some factor) + other stuff.

      Replace the words with a mix of symbols and acronyms and you’ve got something that looks similar to the models. The ‘ln’ bits in the Treasury model just denote where they are converting exponential curves into lines, which is handy for some forms of analysis.

      What is missing is some measure of how well that model describes patterns in the data. Because of course you could chuck just about anything in there, represent it as a Greek letter and it will look all clever and sciency. Whether or not it describes reality is the important thing. Andrew Lilico is worth a read if you want some assesment of the contents.

    3. alan jutson
      April 19, 2016


      I understand and share your frustration, but the last thing we want is for the leaving side to also lie through their teeth, tempting though that may be.

      The leave camp simply need to get their act together and run a planned campaign.

      They need spokespeople who can efficiently debunk the “Remain” lies, they need spokespeople who can promote the “Leave case” with positive fact, and they need spokespeople who can raise attacking questions as in this post.

      They need to define the spokespeople for each of theses tasks, so it is the same people who are being interviewed each time.

      At the moment the Media are simply choosing the smaller fry who are not the major players, and attacking them.

      How many times do you see Farage, Hannan, Gove, IDS, and our host interviewed.

      This last load of cobblers about £4,300 per household should simply be attacked for what it is, absolute disgraceful propaganda.
      That sum is very nearly the whole State pension in its entirety they are talking about, are they really suggesting that for a singe person household prices in 15 years time can be calculated to this degree of accuracy, when George Osbourne cannot even calculate properly the deficit or tax take from one year to another using the same resources.

      They need to be made to look like the fools that they are in using such stupid calculations.

      The EU will be a very, very different place in 2030 than it is now, they have already set out what they want it to become by 2025.

    4. JoeSoap
      April 19, 2016

      There is a major problem that the government message is being amplified by the BBC. Every time it’s “The government/IMF/CBI/Obama says such and such will happen, causing the end of the world as we know it. Some people, however, say the world might not end”

      Unfortunately this was bound to happen the day a Conservative gov was elected. Instead of neutering the BBC, Cameron nurtured it.
      Instead of jumping ship or changing leader from Cameron, Conservative MPs nurtured and supported him. For many of them the chickens are coming home to roost.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 19, 2016

        Indeed as soon as Cameron appointed the great anti-democratic, EUphile Lord Patten to the BBC it was very clearly he was a wrong’un.

      2. Fidgit.
        April 19, 2016

        Either David Cameron OR the Eurosceptic backbenchers should be resigning the day after referendum day.

        I’m not saying that either will. But they should.

        Richard Littlejohn says today that he’d rather live under a Labour government free of the EU (so would I) but he hasn’t considered that we may well be living under a Labour government stuck in the EU … forever !

        The truth is, it wouldn’t matter a jot which UK government we have once the mandate for ever closer union has been confirmed.

        1. Fidgit.
          April 19, 2016

          Clearly the people who voted for David Cameron at the general election and gave him an unexpected majority wanted out.

          How frustrating it must be to see his dirty tricks.

          Either way. Labour by 2020.

          1. Lifelogic
            April 19, 2016

            They did not vote for Cameron really they voted against Miliband and Sturgeon and many Ukip supporters held there noses and voted Tory as the least bad option given the FPTP voting system.

          2. Mick
            April 20, 2016

            Exactly Lifelogic, the voter was scared into voteing Torie but it won’t happen again, people now know what a bunch of untruefers Cameron and his side kicks are, come the 2020 GE it won’t be lab/Libs/ cons in power, back to the eu referendum I still think the outers should tell a few porkys just to gets votes at any cost, it seems to be working for the inners, we have nothing to lose but our Country so we have to be as devias as them so gloves off

    5. Gary C
      April 19, 2016

      While I understand where you are coming from Mick and fully agree with your thoughts on the Remainian’s spouting fairy stories of fear I do think Vote Leave should keep their campaign factual.

      As I see it the message for leaving is just not getting across, it’s like a Q&A session with all the questions being asked by those drafted in to give an endorsement for remaining. Vote Leave need to get ahead of the game with the many many positive reasons for leaving and get their voice heard.

      I saw on the news over the weekend the Irish wheeled out Bertie Ahern pleading for us to stay in, yes dear old Bertie, the very same lovable (man ed) that sleepwalked Ireland into a recession, the very same lovable (man ed) that jumped ship just before the sh*t hit the fan, (etc ed) Unbelievable !

    6. Anonymous
      April 19, 2016

      Yet Boris Johnson gets a good grilling by the BBC.

      1. Lifelogic
        April 19, 2016

        Indeed leave always get a grilling but with rather absurd question and then constant interruptions to prevent them answering.

  3. hefner
    April 19, 2016

    I do not care what Remain will look like: I want more details about what Brexit will look like. How comes that it seems impossible to get anything more than airy-fairy statements from the Brexiteers? What are you hiding?

    1. What provisional budget?
    2. How many migrants from out of EU?
    3.4.5. What kind of arrangements with the EU? Switzerland? Norway? Iceland? Canada?
    6. Will the UK get a treaty with Turkey, including migration agreement?
    7. What exact policy towards refugees?
    8. How long before all bilateral treaties are signed and effective?

    and taking from Mick B:
    9. What will happen to UK agriculture?
    10. What foreign policy? How will the UK deal with Russia, Ukraine? China?

    I do not want to be treated as a child by Osborne (Gove dixit). I do not want it either by Redwood et al.

  4. Brexit facts4eu.org
    April 19, 2016

    Very good questions and I’m sure we could all add to the list.

    Your readers made a series of excellent observations yesterday on the Chancellor’s ‘£4300 poorer’ Report.

    Overnight we produced our own piece in rebuttal, based on data from the Report and from Mr Osborne’s favourites the IMF.

    It shows how, using the Chancellor’s own warped view of the reduction in GDP growth from Brexit, households will still be better off by nearly £1,000 per year over the absurd 15 years he covers. This makes use of his assumptions, which of course we don’t agree with.

    Readers may wish to take a look? http://www.facts4eu.org/news.htm . I’m sure many readers could help to make this better, in which case we welcome emails as ever.

    There is also a news item on that page quoting you from yesterday, JR, about the tampon tax.

  5. Antisthenes
    April 19, 2016

    What is the purpose of remaining in the EU if we do not want political and economic union? Apart from trade and cooperation in some areas that are of mutual benefit there is nothing else that we want from the EU. Sometimes even that is more of a burden than a benefit because of the cost of membership, the restrictions it imposes on what domestic legislation, policies and practices we can implement and the way that our trade with them and the rest of the world is regulated. Also the myriad of other things that deprives us of much of the rights we once had.

    The stayers must be very thick if they are not aware that if we remain in we eventually will be forced to accept the full deal of union. Unions are not unions and and are not viable if some parts of that union does not take part in all the processes. Sure there are some areas where we can do it differently but only within the framework of a single constitution. Otherwise the UK would be like a loose canon aboard a sailing ship that left to it’s own devices would one day sink that ship. The USA nearly fell apart because the southern slave states wanted to do what the rest of the union did not.

    The stayers are yet again not being honest as they cannot all be thick and must know what remaining in will eventually lead to. So much these days is glossed over so as to keep the truth away from the public and those guardians against that are no longer doing their job. Chief among them is the likes of the BBC and the Guardian who aid and abet that hiding of the truth and the rest are just useless hacks or also in on the scam.

  6. hefner
    April 19, 2016

    “The Out camp has failed to come down clearly on what post-Brexit trading arrangements it favours. It claims, with straight face, that Britain could maintain access to the single market without meeting the obligations this entails as regards free movement of people.
    This disdain for political reality bears more than a passing resemblance to the Know Nothing rhetoric of Donald Trump.”
    FT, 18 April 2016.

    Will we get any details on what the Brexit plans are, or is it (again) a case of “Do trust me” and all us little rats are to follow the flute player of Hamelin?

    1. alan jutson
      April 19, 2016


      So how about telling us what the EU will look like in 10 years time with by then Turkey as a member.

      Do you honestly think it will only be the same as it is now !

      If we do vote to stay, so many people will are going to be so disappointed when more power and money goes to the EU.

      Those very same people will then be crying but they lied to us, I really did not know it was going to be like this.

    2. NickC
      April 19, 2016

      Hefner, Does the FT know what a post referendum EU will look like? Or is it (again) a case of “Do trust me” and all us little rats are to follow the flute player of Brussels?

      1. hefner
        April 20, 2016

        NickC, Alan,
        Obviously nobody knows what the EU will look like in 10 years time, with Remain. But what I would like to know and am interested in is what the UK will look like in 10 years time with Brexit.

        The two sides Remain/Leave are as dishonest, one making rather improbable long-term projections, the other keeping their cards so close to their chest that one can get the impression (I certainly do) that the only point is “have UK out of the EU, and trust us, milk and honey for everybody”.

        Is one more credible?

    3. forthurst
      April 19, 2016

      “It claims, with straight face, that Britain could maintain access to the single market without meeting the obligations this entails as regards free movement of people.”

      The editor of a neoliberal arsewipe straightfacedly claimed that free trade with the Brussels regime without agreeing to further the anti-English preferences of some of the people who need to have their British passports withdrawn and who froth at the mouth at the thought that someone, that has not been bought and paid for by others of their ilk, might become President of the USA, was improbable despite the fact that wiki lists a long list of countries that negate that untruthful premise.


  7. Cheshire Girl
    April 19, 2016

    It is said on the Daily Telegraph website today that the Remain campaign now has a substantial lead, as the Governments pamphlet ‘hits home’.
    I Would bet that what has ‘hit home’ is George Osborne’s speech yesterday about how much worse off a family would be, and how much tax would have to go up, if we left the EU. The figures would be worrying to most people I think, and they would vote for the ‘safe’ option, even though some experts have said the figures are ‘assumptions’ and not ‘facts’.

    1. hefner
      April 19, 2016

      CG, Obviously Osborne’s speech and report are full of model results based on various assumptions, a lot of which can be questioned, a few can be justified, but clearly ridiculous w.r.t. the timeline of its projections.
      However this document exists for anybody to look at it and criticise it. Fair enough.

      The problem for the Leave side is that no similar document seems to be available, all it can say is ” trust me to lead you to pastures green”. Gove says Osborne takes people for children, but he does exactly the same.

      I am sorry, but Redwood and Wolfson produced a report in 2007 defining a lot of possibilities for UK to benefit from Globalization.
      Was this document so crap that JR is now ashamed of it?

      It is certainly much better than the hysterical Tea-Party type information on the Facts4eu.org website.

      I cannot understand the Leave campaign. Too many clever people, maybe.

    2. Antisthenes
      April 19, 2016

      You are probably typical of how the public will view the treasury predictions. That is understandable because you do not have an understanding of the efficacy or not of the models they used to make those predictions. Coupled with which because they have been produced by an august body like the treasury the feeling must be that they would not publish something that is not true or least have some basis in fact.

      Sad to say they will not be total untruths but they will have three flaws. One they are produced by people and for people who have a vested interest in remaining in. So it can be certain that they contain a greater percentage of spin than actual proper research and they will be exaggerated as much as they can be. Two the mathematical models used have been discredit on a number of occasions as their predictions have been wrong. Three the magnitude of how wrong they are governed by two factors a) how far into the future they are predicting which in this case is a very long time b) what data, variables and circumstances are fed into those models.

      It appears those that give the results not favoured by the stayers have been omitted. They can get away with this because it is all about assumptions and assumptions are in the eye of the beholder and therefore a legitimate opinion of one group of like minded people.

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 19, 2016

        Osborne brusquely told an opposing Tory MP that if he wanted to have his own analysis done then: “Be my guest”. Except of course the Tory MP would not actually be Osborne’s guest in the Treasury, directing the civil servants to perform a new study at public expense, if he wants a different study performed then he and his friends will have to pay for it themselves.

  8. Lifelogic
    April 19, 2016

    I see the Michael Gove says the Government is treating people like children. What did he expect from this dire government? Cameron and Osborne think the public are complete fools and can be frightened like children by their big (garbage in garbage out) equations and predictions of doom and gloom – should they dare to vote leave. They probably think they won the last election with their clever strategy when in fact Miliband and Sturgeon won it for then. It was a prospect even more dire than Cameron and Osborne. A sound, low tax, small government, cheap energy, no green crap, get out of the EU, Tory would have won with a large majority.

    Cameron and Osborne are getting rather desperate and it will get worse, with the polls still at about 49/51 and the leave side much more likely to vote .

    The BBC bias is perhaps the worse thing to overcome with their “independent” experts virtually agreeing fully with these absurd economic predictions and endless scare stories. Needless to say the projections are based on continuing large scale immigration so Cameron clearly has no intentions to limit that to the “tens of thousands – no if no buts” about it.

    What about the additional boost the UK will get by replacing Osborne with someone with at least a basis grasp of economics and competitive advantage, what about the boost to the UK from fewer daft regulations, what about the boost to the economy from the much lower energy prices we could have and the more selective higher wage & selective migration only? What about the lower pressures and costs on the NHS, schools and other public services from selective immigration only?


  9. JoeSoap
    April 19, 2016

    You will not change the BBC. This is the way Cameron wanted it to be.

  10. agricola
    April 19, 2016

    You are quite correct. Our less than honest politicos will say we are not signed up to political union or the Euro. I emphasise less than honest ,because they are all well educated and cannot be so stupid not to know. However as the various arms of government in the UK are infiltrated with law created and controlled in Brussels, backed by the ECJ we will be, de facto, in a political union whether we choose to realise it or not, and none of it subject to democratic control.

    All your questions are highly valid. They map with accuracy the path to political union, which we will one day soon find ourselves a part of, whether we like it or not. This referendum is a last call for the lifeboats.

  11. Lifelogic
    April 19, 2016

    It is surely unlikely that Cameron, Osborne and the BBC will manage to delude the voters into a narrow remain vote, even after using the voters own money and the biased BBC licence fees to pay for all their propaganda and lies.

    If Cameron does actually scrape a small & dishonest victory – then surely the Tory party will explode. Hopefully the real Tories can seize back control from the current pro EU, Libdem loons and hold a second & fair referendum and then leave later.

  12. Margaret
    April 19, 2016

    As a director of an Insurance Brokers I lived the first half of my life with assumptions and projections based on financial performance of shares which should have impacted on pensions , life insurance etc. We all know what happened. Why should we make big decisions about the EU based on similar assumptions now? We have to deal with the reality now , NOT would could be.

    1. Lifelogic
      April 19, 2016

      Exactly especially projection that clear are prepared with the intention of political indoctrination with tax payers money.

      It would be as daft to trust they as believing the global warming projections and computer modelling made by the climate “experts” in 1998 since when we have had no warming. In fact even dafter.

      1. Margaret
        April 20, 2016

        Global warming is slightly different. The argument is a bifid one
        and the stronger element is grounded in available and future energy resource.

  13. John Bracewell
    April 19, 2016

    An excellent set of questions. But, since the biased BBC, Sky, ITV and Ch4 will never ask them, the only way to get the answers is for the Leave side to ask them (in print and in the one mailing shot they get) and answer them in much the same way as the Remain side do when asking what Brexit will look like and then coming up with the Remain side’s own false, future predicting answers. But if the Leave side’s answers appear more realistic about after a Remain vote than the Remain side’s do about life after Brexit then there may be a potential benefit.
    As for Osborne and the Treasury predictions for 14 years ahead, when they cannot get a 4 month prediction correct, it is the oldest trick in the scientific book, make a prediction backed by an incomprehensible, long and impressive looking equation and stand back whilst saying ‘there, you see that proves the prediction is correct’. It’s humbug, pure and simple.

  14. Denis Cooper
    April 19, 2016

    With your permission, JR, I would like to mention that Richard North and Christopher Booker are holding a public meeting in London on Saturday afternoon to promote their preferred Flexcit route out of the EU:


    Given that the Treasury has published predictions that when we leave the EU it will do the least damage to the economy if we stay in the EEA, as in the first step of the multi-stage Flexcit proposal, I hope that some of the Leave campaigners will be able to go along and listen to what he has to say and if necessary argue with him.

    Reply Unite to fight the referendum! Now is not the time for internal debates – we all agree we want out, and all agree we will negotiate details of trade arrangements once we have secured the support of the voters. This referendum is not mainly about trade, which anyway is not at risk.

    1. NickC
      April 19, 2016

      Denis Cooper, Unfortunately Richard North fanatically (sorry, it’s true) pursues the Article 50 route to leaving the EU. Art.50 is a trap.

      The UK led exit route rejects the Art.50 route because it makes the UK a supplicant to the EU, where the process, outcome and timetable is under EU control, not ours. The UK led route retains the position of equal partner in the negotiation process culminating in the repeal of the UK’s ECA in our own Parliament, under our own control, timetabled to suit us, so that we leave both the EU and the EEA.

      Retention (ie “patriation”) of the existing Regulations (and Decisions) should not be a problem – after all we have already paid for them, and the EU could not stop us continuing to make use of them. We can then enact, modify or repeal them to suit us.

      Having been frequently told in the most authoritative manner that I am a moron for wanting the UK led route of eventual repeal of the ECA, I have come to the conclusion that we should actually repeal the ECA within days of the 24th June 2016 victory, rather than waiting a year, two years or David Cameron’s decade. At the same time, we should enact a simple Patriation Act to (temporarily) make use of the (frozen) Regulations.

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 19, 2016

        Article 50 is technically flawed and it is true that in theory it could be used as a trap. However it provides an agreed procedure for negotiating an orderly rather than chaotic withdrawal from the EU, and even if we started with that route we would still reserve the right to simply abrogate the treaties if the governments of the other EU member states started to mess us about.

    2. bratwurst
      April 19, 2016

      You highlight an important point. Flexit is the only detailed plan for the UK to disengage from the EU (whether you agree with it or not). There is not a hope of winning the referendum without a clear path on how we will achieve it and thereby reassure the electorate that it can be relatively risk free. Vague hopes such as lets get a leave vote then decide how we leave will lose us the referendum.

      1. Denis Cooper
        April 19, 2016

        Well now the media is suggesting that Gove wants us to be like Albania.

    3. Denis Cooper
      April 19, 2016

      You don’t have to convince me, JR, you have to convince the millions of voters who have just been officially informed that leaving the EU would immediately cost them a large chunk of their family income, and quite possibly also their jobs.

  15. Liz
    April 19, 2016

    They are good questions but I have not yet heard a sensible question on these lines being put to any in the “remain” camp. It is pretty obvious now that all UK TV & radio media are supporting “remain”. The usual format is to headline the day’s “remain” scare story then interview somone from “leave” and ask then to briefly comment on it, And that is what they call impartial coverage. .Anything that might influence voters to “leave” is either not covered at all – the usual ploy – or side-stepped. A notable example yesterday was the coverage of shortage of school places. Much of this is due to immigration but they all failed to menion this at all – viewers were left angered and patronised.

  16. Richard1
    April 19, 2016

    Michael Gove did well on the Today programme today. But he failed on one key question – which is the main economic argument: will the UK, by not being in the single market, face invisible trade barriers? I think it’s is well accepted that there won’t be tariffs on German cars or French cheese. But – eg – c. 90% (?) of European FX trading happens in the City of London. The Eurozone has actively tried to prevent this, but our membership of the single market has meant the govt could fight that and stop a new regulation moving euro trading into the Eurozone. Outside the single market we would have no redress against a new such move. UK financial and other service companies can ‘passport’ into the EU. It is not clear this will still be the case. Leave need a proper response to this. Talking about how tariffs on cheese won’t happen is a straw man.

    The other main argument which Remain put forward is the EU is better with the U.K. In – more Atlanticist more free trade oriented and less likely / able to out up a defence arrangement in competition to NATO. This is pointed out eloquently by William Hague In the Telegraph, who makes the point Obama is fully entitled to put this view forward. I would be interested in the Leave response on this.

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 19, 2016

      My response is that the EEC/EC/EU/USE project may have gone the way British politicians, including Hague, wanted but it has not gone the way the British people wanted. I don’t see that the British people have had much influence on how it has developed.

      Back in July 2011 Hague wrote an article saying that this would change with the enactment of his “referendum lock” law:


      “This law hands back democratic control of the way the EU is developing to the British electorate.”

      But it has only been invoked to stop us having a referendum, twice, and it might be better described as the “referendum block” law.

  17. Ken Moore
    April 19, 2016

    Excellent points Dr Redwood.
    I would also ask remain (none of which will even be considered worthy by the biased BBC):-

    How do you plan to build enough housing and capacity in GP, A & E services and School places to cope with annual migration of 300-600k PA. What are the costs and are they affordable?. What impact will the extra overcrowding have on quality of life ?.
    What will the impact be on the environment ?. How do you explain/sell this policy to an electorate who have consistently said they believe immigration has been too high ?
    Is there a democratic problem/time bomb here ?

    What plans are there for when the Uk economy changes – the Uk economy is cyclical and despite Mr Brown’s boasts ‘boom and bust’ has never been eradicated.
    Will some of the millions of economic migrants go home when the economy falters or stay and receive welfare at a time when the Uk is already massively indebted and struggling to reduce it’s deficit. Perhaps Mr Osborne believes he has also abolished ‘boom and bust’ ?

  18. agricola
    April 19, 2016

    You ask the questions so I feel obliged to offer some answers. nine and ten reference Mark B.
    There will come a time when all the tax revenue of the UK will be handed to the EU. The EU will then decide how much we get back. If you doubt my prognosis, they already do this via CAP, Regional Funds, University Grants, and the BBC. Wake up to the reality. The account is already running at a £8.5 Billion loss per annum.
    As long as the UK’s economy remains buoyant, an infinite number. However when you look at most of the EU economy it does not bode well for the UK economy under EU direction.
    Given the present political leadership of the UK, with a white flag and hands in the air.
    You will not be able to see it for long grass.
    They add up to fiscal and political union. You might as well join the Euro as a bonus.
    As fast as Brussels can get them in.
    As we lose financial, political, and legal control of the UK, the opposition will disappear, because in the offices of the EU it will have no voice. To your second question, no time at all.
    The trade tariff argument is another red herring that ignores fact and substitutes propaganda.
    The CAP will only die when the French stop striking and rioting. Never as it is in their DNA.
    No time at all, but as they lack the means and will to back their silly games with serious military power it will be left to NATO to sort out. We could so easily under EU leadership find ourselves dragged into another WW1 scenario.

    The only hope for Europe is that their people gain strength from our Brexit and with equal voice say enough is enough. I fear that that part of the process will not look good.

  19. John S
    April 19, 2016

    One subject which I haven’t heard from the “Out” campaign is the fact that the auditors have refused to sign off the EU books for 19 successive years. This is criminal corruption, people should be prosecuted but no-one cares.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      April 19, 2016

      Dear John S–Today I am fairly sure that (Remainer) Alan Johnson said on WATO that it isn’t true about the lack of sign offs. I did not catch any elaboration if there were any but then it was just a quick comment among others about ripe bananas and the like. Maybe someone in the know can comment. I hadn’t realised there was any doubt and have heard about the lack of sign offs any number of times. Has the situation changed very recently perhaps??

      1. The Active Citizen
        April 20, 2016

        Hi Leslie,
        The answer to your question about the sign-offs of the EU’s accounts is as follows:

        For 20 consecutive years the EU’s audited accounts have had to be ‘qualified’. This means the auditors couldn’t approve them normally so they’ve had to caveat them.

        “For the twentieth consecutive year, the ECA [European Court of Auditors] granted a qualified DAS [‘Déclaration d’Assurance’] with regards to the legality and regularity of the transactions underlying the EU budget accounts.” – HM Treasury, 2015.
        [Source: http://www.facts4eu.org/facts/cost_of_eu_membership.htm#2 ]

        So, in the case of the EU, the ECA (the auditors) have been unable to sign off the accounts without qualifying their report, for 20 consecutive years.

        For Mr Johnson to claim that the EU’s accounts have been signed off is a deliberate attempt to mislead the public – again. In everyday language, “signed off” means “signed off normally, without qualification”.

        None of my companies’ accounts have had to be ‘qualified’ in over 20 years – if they ever had been I would have been seriously concerned and would immediately have taken action.

        1. Qubus
          April 20, 2016

          Having looked at the http://www.facts4eu.org website, I am a little confused as to how both points (1) and (4) below can both be true.
          If the budget for 2016 is €155 billion, how can corruption at 1% be be €120 billion pa?
          I wonder if you can enlighten me please?

          1. The EU says its budget for 2016 is €155 billion. This was adopted on 25 November 2015, when the European Parliament confirmed the agreement. The European Parliament is the one which was elected in May 2014 when only a third of us (35.6%) voted.

          4. Corruption: “The economic costs of corruption in the EU were estimated by a study conducted for the Commission to amount to approximately 120 billion Euros a year (the equivalent of 1% of the EU GDP),” says the EU Commission Press Release.

          1. Brexit facts4eu.org
            April 21, 2016

            Of course. We were only giving a factual answer to Leslie’s specific question to JR about the ‘qualified’ sign-off of the EU’s accounts for 20 years. You’ve raised a separate question about different information on our site which we could have answered there, as JR isn’t responsible for the content of other sites like ours.

            You only quoted items 1 and 4, but all five items give the complete picture.

            Item 2 says about the EU budget: “This is only the notional cost of the EU government on top of the normal costs of running each country, which are accounted for separately by the governments of each country. ”

            Item 4 relates to corruption estimated by the EU Commission across the activities of all its member states.

            In the interests of completeness, the final item 5 (on corruption) quotes the EU Commission: “Corruption in the area of public procurement is a clear barrier to competition in the internal market. Studies have shown that about 20 to 25% of the public contracts’ value is lost to corruption.”

            We hope this assists.

  20. Bert Young
    April 19, 2016

    Once again Johns’ points raised in the blog today ought to be widely publicised ; the public are not getting a balanced view of the facts and are “scared”. I never thought that I would agree with anything Sturgeon had to say , but yesterday she referred to the “scare” tactics used in the Scottish Independence campaign – Cameron is using the same source of advice .

    Yesterday , as with most days , I am not able to obtain the responses made to John’s blog until late in the evening . From the replies he receives obviously others ( like Lifelogic ) are able to get them throughout the day . Am I right ? . I don’t intend to sit by my computer all day long to see if things change , however , if I am missing a trick would someone please advise me .

    1. alan jutson
      April 19, 2016


      I guess our host is exceptionally busy at the moment in attempting to put his efforts where he feels they have best impact.

      I think we are very fortunate to still get John completing a daily blog at this very important time.

      Happy to wait for the comments if it means we eventually win the Leave vote.

    2. NickC
      April 19, 2016

      Bert Young, Nicola Sturgeon is pulling a fast one. England and Scotland have had the same government since 1603 – James VI/James I, when kings were the government. She is implying the two referendums are the same thing. They are not.

      The Scottish referendum was about breaking up an open, successful, democratic, 412 year old state which has a single demos. The EU referendum is about leaving a project (a process), which we joined only 43 years ago, on the basis that it was a trading association; that does not have a demos, and is not democratic; that is attempting to metamorphose into the USE without our agreement; and is doing it all by subterfuge.

  21. NickW
    April 19, 2016

    Doctors arrive at an accurate prognosis by extrapolating past events and trends.

    We can make an extremely accurate prognosis of the future nature of our relationship with the EU by extrapolation.

    We will continue to lose sovereignty until there is none left.

    We will continue to pay more and more to the EU.

    Our courts will be increasingly secondary to those in the EU.

    Regulation and red tape will increasingly restrict our businesses.

    Our financial sector will continue to be undermined by the EU because Frankfurt and Paris want London’s business.

    EU regulation will continue to favour German and French industry and products.

    All of this is certainty, not speculation.

    The question for the electorate is not leave or remain, it is;

    “Do you want Britain to be governed by Westminster or Brussels?”

    1. NickW
      April 19, 2016

      I have tried asking a few people, “Should Britain be governed by Westminster or Brussels?” and found everyone quite clear on the subject. It also trumps the scaremongering in their minds, and very much clarifies the issues at stake.

      It is an honest and accurate summary of where we are, and where we are going, and it is a very good question for those in Westminster who have such a low opinion of their abilities that they would happily defer to Brussels.

      I am clear that a vote to remain is a vote to be ruled by Brussels, and if that is our future, voting in Parliamentary elections will become pointless and I won’t be doing it.

      Remain MPs are like turkeys voting for Christmas.

  22. oldtimer
    April 19, 2016

    Good questions, to which you and the rest of us will not get an answer from the Remain campaign. The reason is simple. They do not know the answers. Yet they demand the Leave campaign produce a detailed future outside the EU. The Leave campaign can no more produce an answer to such questions as the Remain campaign.

    What really matters is how you are able to respond to events and trends as they unfold in the world. The future presented to us all by Mr Osborne yesterday was fatally flawed because it assumes we live in a linear world. Whereas, in fact, we live in a non linear world that is buffetted or influenced by unexpected and unpredicted events. The Treasury economists’ models, just like those produced by the climate scientists or the investment bankers before the 2008 crash, are useless because their models do not and cannot account for the unknowns, the game changers, the disruptive events and technologies that we witness every passing year. What is especially worrying is that Mr Osborne and his colleagues on the platform might actually believe what they were saying.

    The UK will be in better shape to deal with the unkowns if it is in control of its own destiny. As a member of the EU the UK will continue to be be the victim of EUrosclerosis, a failure to get to grips with problems because they need so much time to get the agreement of all the participants. And sometimes, as we have seen with the continuing EZ crisis, the unwillingness of some to contribute to the solution. The EU, as the EZ and the Schengen arrangements have revealed, is a deeply flawed institution. The idea, still pedalled by the Remain campaign, that the UK has and will have effective influence is as quaint as it is wrong. We are better off out.

  23. Denis Cooper
    April 19, 2016

    “How big will the EU budget become in future years?”

    As it happens I was asking myself that question only yesterday, or more exactly I was asking how big our net contribution will become in future years, and so I looked at the numbers tabulated on page 20 in the recent House of Commons briefing here:


    Of course the net contribution, in real terms, has not risen smoothly, rather it has bobbed around from year to year and in fact in 1975, the year of the last referendum, it was actually negative, a small net repayment of £0.4 billion, the only time that has ever happened and a very good reason to view the “estimated” number for 2015 with some suspicion.

    However taking the whole period from 1973 to 2014 our net contribution has increased roughly tenfold, from about £1 billion to about £10 billion, that is an average compound rate of increase of 6% a year, over and above inflation.

    And projecting forwards at that average historical rate of increase it would increase from £10 billion in 2014 to about £26 billion by the end of Osborne’s forecasting period, 2030, and would be up to about £112 billion by 2057, when I suppose we might be graciously allowed another referendum on the matter.

    That is in real terms, adjusted for inflation, not cash terms, and of course the precise numbers should be given little credence; however what is indisputable is that since we first joined our net contribution to the EU budget has risen much faster than our economy has expanded to provide the required tax revenues.

  24. Roy Grainger
    April 19, 2016

    I’m sure there isn’t anyone in the Leave or Remain camps who doesn’t know that the answer to (4) is “Never”.

    Someone should start asking these rabid Remainers that if the EU is so key to the financial success of UK why don’t they want fuller and deeper political and economic union ? Surely that would be even better ?

    1. fedupsoutherner
      April 19, 2016

      Excellent point Roy.

  25. Lifelogic
    April 19, 2016

    Even if any of the biased, lefty, arts grad, deluded fake green, BBC interviewers ever did ask these sensible questions they would never get any sensible answers.

    The dreadful career politicians on the remain side just ignore any off message questions and repeat their silly set phrases. Rather like a stuck record:- “A leap in the dark”, “no seat at the table”, “we would still have to pay a fee and have open door EU immigration”, “permanently poorer”, “50% of our exports”, “Obey all the rules but have no say” ……

    We shall, I am confident, leap into the light despite the BBC & all these second rate professional “advocates”.

  26. Shieldsman
    April 19, 2016

    All very valid questions which the BBC fail to ask.
    They push Osborne’s gloom and doom economic arguments. But, with his fiscal record are they worth a light.

  27. Kenneth
    April 19, 2016

    Another question for the Remainers:

    If we remain, for how long can we justify having fully paid, full-time members of Parliament when so many decisions are taken elsewhere?

    NB Mr Redwood, very good, resolute performance on the Today programme yesterday. You managed to get a lot of clear points through in just a few seconds

  28. alan jutson
    April 19, 2016


    Perhaps you should ask the Chancellor some rather more simple questions.

    How much will a standard loaf of bread cost in 2030

    How much will a litre of milk cost in 2030

    What will be the cost of a takeaway fish and chips in 2030

    What will be the minimum wage in 2030

    How many children will be born in the UK in the five years pre 2030

    How many will be in full time Work in 2030

    What will be the base Bank rate in 2030.

    If he cannot answer all of the above, then how can he possibly make a sensible economic and far more complicated forecast for 15 years hence.

    The man is playing us as fools, but is looking a fool himself.

    Under the Sale of goods act, he is not fit for purpose, and has just signed his own political demise.

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 20, 2016

      He probably couldn’t answer the first three questions for 2016.

  29. NickW
    April 19, 2016

    Bloomberg does not share the Treasury’s optimism about the future of Europe and suggests that the migrant crisis could cost Europe €540Billion over 10 years.


    Membership of the EU means that we face a troubled world with both hands tied behind our back.

    We do not want to handcuff ourselves to a corpse. The EU cannot change or adapt; even when faced with the existential risk entailed in a Brexit they were unable to make meaningful changes or reforms.

    April 19, 2016

    Point 7: Quotas of refugees: The UK will accept quotas right after a REMAIN victory.

    Shouting: “We told you so” will be useless as the battle will have been lost and a General Election not close.

    The ineffectual measures taken in relation to Buy-to-Rent companies and landlords will mean that Local Authorities bereft of adequate social housing will buy up or rent long-term unoccupied and unrentable private houses ( because they are merely kept for general price increase ) . These will require refurbishment at tax-payer expense costing thousands per property. Incidentally, this is being done now.

    There are many. The Labour Party at ground level has been conducting research for two years to earmark these houses and flats. I’m sure Diane Abbot mentioned this on “This Week” when she was a regular on that programme. It is also being mentioned in local Labour Party campaign publicity.

    This will mean an increase in migrant/asylum seeker “ghettos” as she called them: a further “lack and growing lack of assimilation” which she definitely did not say. Bless her, she cannot cover all the bases.

    The end result inevitably: the tax-payer forking out, nothing to do with fork-handles, exorbitant rents to private landlords on a guaranteed basis and that rent being paid as a retainer even if asylum seekers/migrants temporarily or permanently leave the property.

    Additionally, EU citizenship can be obtained in less than the statutory 5 years in none-German EU states. Anyway, the years can always be lessened to make more easy free movement into the UK. Will statistics be kept? Does it matter about statistics?
    The future is dire for us all if we remain in the EU

  31. peter
    April 19, 2016

    Question 6 frightens me to be honest. The EU is laying a very dangerous game and we could all pay a heavy price for it in or out.

  32. Frank
    April 19, 2016

    The Eagles did a tour and an album in 1994 called Hell Freezes Over, I think that might be the answer to question 4.

  33. A different Simon
    April 19, 2016

    John ,

    What do you think of George Osborne’s threat to punish the country by instigating deep NHS cuts if we vote to leave the EU ?

    1. Bob
      April 19, 2016


      “What do you think of George Osborne’s threat to punish the country by instigating deep NHS cuts if we vote to leave the EU ?”

      If Leave wins, Gideon will be too busy collecting his P45 along with his Bullingdon Buddy.

    2. formula57
      April 19, 2016

      Surely if we vote to Leave, then the NHS budget will not be George’s concern, rather that of the new chancellor.

  34. English Pensioner
    April 19, 2016

    Osborne claims every family will be £4300 worse off by 2030 if we leave the EU. Do the calculations include the cost to each family of the ever rising payments to the EU if we remain? My instinct based on what has happened over the years suggests that the costs of remaining in the EU will continue to escalate and by 2030 will be costing every family much more than an extra £4300.

  35. David Edwards
    April 19, 2016

    Another question:
    9. The EU restricts the ability of the UK government to invest in the vast numbers of new technology developments originating in the UK. Outside of the EU, the UK government could create a powerhouse of technical development that would lead the world. Why then should we remain and be restricted from such an opportunity?

    1. hefner
      April 19, 2016

      What is your reference for this restriction?
      A large number of new developments in biotechnology, material science, … is presently happening in and around universities. Also looking at how many new enterprises seem to require financing through crowdfunding or VCT financing, I have some doubts about such a restriction.

  36. Know-dice
    April 19, 2016

    Also, those being interviewed really need to have it “off pat” the cost of remaining in, in particular those costs of the Euro zone that the Remainders think we can opt out of.

    The odd £1.7 million foisted on us last year, that CMD said wouldn’t been paid and promptly was. Our ever increasing subscription fee – which I note that the BBC are now admitting is in the order of £10 billion.

    Interesting Newsnight last night, the audience to a man/women [all eight of them] had no trust in the Treasury figures and Daniel Hannan and colleagues did manage to get across some good points to the “nose in the air” Liz Truss.

    Also, note that Siemens bought out BBC Projects a few years ago, it was an unmitigated disaster and is now [almost] back in house. Etc ed

  37. miami.mode
    April 19, 2016

    The only way these questions will be put to Remains is if the interviewer is truly fair or of an independent mind or perhaps one who believes in Leave.

    Sometimes the best “interviewers” are those that the politicians fear most – the General Public!

    If there are any TV debates involving an audience, I would love to see any questioners allowed say two follow-up questions if they are not satisfied with the answer. Alternatively the “chairman” could perhaps ask if the questioner is happy with the answer or whether there is any point that needs clarifying. To his credit, David Cameron is a master at swatting away single questions even if they are in the HoC where there is sometimes a “hidden” meaning in a particular question.

  38. agricola
    April 19, 2016

    The run up to the EU referendum has, in my mind, brought the many deficiencies in our so called democracy into raw focus. Our once favourite dog is now somewhat old and mangy. When we get the Brexit result we are all hoping for, there is much to be done. I do not mean the post Brexit discussion with the EU. There is much in need of reform and repair in the UK. In some cases a fundamental re-think.

    Good governance is the result of an agreed contract between the people and those we entrust with government. The old ways of political parties presenting a manifesto (Contract?), and then being left for five years to get on with it or otherwise are in my view dead. The advent of the IT revolution has seen to that. Information is power, and increasingly the people have it and will not let go.

    We are in dire need of a new contract between the people and government that will transcend elections and be a map for the conduct of that contract. Call it a modern day Magna Carta or Constitution if you will. It must allow for a much greater input, as and when required by the people, in referendums. It should lead to much better government because it will be by consent. The old party politics involving, privilege, whips, and patronage should be abandoned. Those who seek power had better get used to it. Lobbying should be between the lobbyist and the people, not between lobbyists and malleable politicians. Let their case be judged in public. The relationship between civil servants and the government should be between civil servants and the people. They are there to aid government not to abet it. As it should be part of their contract with the people, it should in most cases be transparent.

    I would be interested to read your thoughts on the subject when the gun smoke of the Brexit battle has settled to the relief of the populace.

  39. Ian Wragg
    April 19, 2016

    So now it’s official. Tony economic policy relying entirely on immigration of half a million annually increasing consumption
    No plan as to how public services will cope
    No mention of the astronomic rise in property prices due to shortages.
    The posh boys want to continue displacing us in line with UN policy.
    By 2030 immigrants will have reached a critical mass whereby we can be sidelined and it will be job done

    It’s a pity for the UN that the East Europeans won’t join in the destruction of Europe. It must be very annoying for the political elite.
    Still they can send the troops in when the new EU army is up and running.

  40. forthurst
    April 19, 2016

    10. Will all references to English history, commencing with Magna Carta, in which untrammelled and arbitrary power was gradually replaced, through struggle, by a democracy based on universal suffrage be put down the memory hole?

    9. Will CMD be awarded the Coudenhove-Kalergi prize for his role in deliberately destroying Western civilisation;? It might be contingent on the size of the uncontrollable flood of non-European and unassimible persons which would inevitably flood this way as a previous winner of the prize has already done her bit towards that end. CMD certainly, like Blair, has the oppropriate ancestry and like him is very enthusiastic for non-European people to immigrate and non-European countries to join the EU. Traitors.

  41. oldtimer
    April 19, 2016

    This morning I read that there are many comments very critical of Mr Osborne’s presentation yesterday of the costs of Brexit. Among them was this comment by Fraser Nelson:

    It appears that even on the Treasury’s own figures that we shall all be much better off under Brexit! That said, it is clearly a deliberate arrempt to mislead, as bad as any Mr Gordon Brown visited upon the nation (according to Fraser Nelson). It is difficult to imagine a greater insult.

  42. Hamsterwheel
    April 19, 2016

    Meanwhile the FT gets ever more hysterical and abusive towards “Brexiteers” (as though they’re some sort of mental defectives). Grab today’s’ issue and see for yourselves.

  43. Anonymous
    April 19, 2016

    Remain looks like millions of boat people beating their way here.

    This is why Cameron has rushed the referendum through – he knows full well it’s going to get worse later this year.

    Even the most outrageous predictions by those against mass immigration have been surpassed – and already people seem inured to the biblical scenes from the Mediterranian.

    What does remain look like ?

    Africa – eventually.

    Because this will only stop when Europe is as bad as the worst third world country. And if we vote Remain you can guarantee that the EU won’t get the blame for this – Thatcher will !

    1. turboterrier
      April 19, 2016


      Africa – eventually.

      Some of the country already looks like it is already in the third world.

      The rot has already well and truly set in.

      1. stred
        April 20, 2016

        My old friend from Scotland came to visit me on the end of the District line recently. His first words were “Did we vote for this?”
        It took a few seconds to realise what he meant.

  44. a-tracy
    April 19, 2016


    Will we be legalising brothels and prostitution like Germany and taxing it otherwise all of us pay extra taxes to the EU for this activity and not the actual people profiting from it. It created mega-brothels in Germany and a 16bn Euro industry so how much extra tax would that be to spend on the NHS!

    1. hefner
      April 19, 2016

      Drugs and prostitution are already accounted for in the UK GDP, for 0.7% or 10 bn.

      1. a-tracy
        April 20, 2016

        Exactly our contribution to the EU is based on that made up figure and we don’t collect the tax on that so the rest of us pay the ‘hypothesised tax’ bill to the EU, on whose say so I wonder and why are those nations so powerful they determine the tax position of all of the nations even when we don’t collect taxes on this activity.

      2. stred
        April 20, 2016

        I read that the Germans have mobile brothels parked on autobahn services. Most of the horizontal sex workers are from the new EU countries and they may remit their earnings. However, this will be counted into Mrs Merkel’s growth figures and possibly some of it taxed too. The Treasury may already be working on a 20 year calculation to of EU benefits if we were to adopt a similar policy.

        1. ChrisS
          April 21, 2016

          You could have no greater example of the differing attitudes in Europe to small business entrepreneurship :

          Germany has its well-established mobile brothel services with the girls commonly referred to as “Layby Lils.”

          France, on the other hand, has just made it illegal to pay for sex………

          Remember, part of the EU £1.7bn surcharge on Britain was because various business sectors in the black economy had not been included in our GDP calculations.

          One of the sectors the UK excluded from its GDP figures was the sex industry. As a result every household in Britain is now paying Brussels a contribution to pay off the surcharge but only a small fraction of the population ever derived any benefit from it.

          A bit like HS2 really !

  45. Dunedin
    April 19, 2016

    I came across this survey from CNBC – 70% of Global CFO Council say Brexit will not change likelihood of trade with UK.


  46. Denis Sugden
    April 19, 2016

    First, to thank you, Mr Redwood, for your untiring efforts on behalf of Britain and her freedom. However, I must draw your attention to the fact that the Remain camp have pulled significantly ahead in the polls. “Project Fear” is working. For this reason, I welcome the emphasis placed lately by yourself and Mr Daniel Hannan on the drawbacks of our continued membership of the EU and on the fact that the remain vote is certainly not for the “status quo”. Rather it will involve a state of increasing subjection and interference. Any campaign for hearts and minds must involve exposing the drawbacks of the opposing case. As a rather disillusioned and cynical member of the electorate, I am well aware that merely positive approaches are not enough; indeed, my fellow but less scrupulous cynics only pretend that they are in order to trick their opponents into shedding some of their best weapons. Another problem with the “Leave” campaign is its failure to present a vivid picture of the liberty and prosperity which we might enjoy as an independent state. It is almost as if the case is too “intellectual” to gain any heft among the public. You need the dark of our continuing and worsening restriction under “Europe” and the light of our unshackled prosperity as an independent nation – and in broad brush terms.

  47. Tom William
    April 19, 2016

    Good questions but apart from no 8 they will probably be answered by spin and waffle.

    Now the Referendum Campaign has officially begun who pays the travelling expenses of ministers campaigning or can they just be disguised as a factory visit?

  48. a-tracy
    April 19, 2016

    Remain question?

    How does the German health system and French health system work, are we going to harmonise.
    How much are there junior doctors paid and how do their contracts compare?
    If we are going to stay in the a Franco/German led EU what have we got in store harmonisation wise, can we have any – no of course we won’t demand that – in a legal binding document please.

    April 19, 2016

    Off topic: His speech today
    He’s like a stick of seaside rock, Michael Gove, but with BRITISH writ big through and through

  50. con
    April 19, 2016

    Although I do not expect answers, truthful or otherwise from the ‘IN’ crowd, it would be interesting to see the ‘OUT’ campaign’s views on these items. Indeed they should be hammered every day until June 23rd. So far they have not even been mentioned.
    I find it incredible that the ‘IN’ crowd are getting away with such obvious chicanery.

  51. rk
    April 19, 2016

    The Treasury report on economic costs of leaving the EU seems only to consider potential reductions in European trade.

    However a key argument from the Leave side has always been that having left- the UK would be able to sign trade agreements with many other countries.

    I’m surprised Leavers haven’t made the point that these potential increases haven’t been counted.

    Whilst I understand that this would be difficult to model- it does seem unfair to exclude it entirely from calculations (as my brief skim of the report seemed to indicate).

  52. Antisthenes
    April 19, 2016

    An excellent speech by Michael Gove the content of which could easily have been lifted from your many articles on the subject and the comments made on them. He really has articulated well the case for leaving at the same time demolishing the stayers case for remaining in. He has shown that the only fear that the British public should have about the referendum is if the vote to remain wins it.

    As for the stayers negative claims and their use of FUD that he has torn to shreds. Now we sit back and wait for the stayers and their allies in the MSM etc, to retaliate by misquoting him and twisting his words. One cabinet minister with BBC backing has already claiming that he was talking in generalities. When it was obvious that he was being very specific. The speech will not get to most of the general public in it’s pure form but in a distorted one the stayers as they have the muscle (they have the BBC on side so that alone makes them the strongest in the room) will see to that.

  53. They Work for Us?
    April 19, 2016

    Dominic Grieve opposed Michael Gove’s arguments for the leave side on the “Today” programme. He came over as a Lawyer, putting a case against because that is the side he is being paid to take (today) and is not interested in justice or truth. After this Case it is most unlikely the protagonists will go off to a good lunch and that there will be no recriminations. The Conservatives will lose lots of core voters if “Remain” prevails.

  54. Phil Richmond
    April 19, 2016

    Firstly LIFELOGIC – I find myself in general agreement with you (I am a real conservative unlike Cameron & his wet clan). However I thought you were a bit harsh on Zac Goldsmith the other day. I agree he is probably not the right candidate for London but thats because Londons demographic has changed so much and it is only 40% white English now. Try finding a white native Londoner and you’re struggling.
    Zacs constituency is Richmond Park which still resembles England therefore he is liked and has done well there. As my local MP I know he is very independent minded, in politics for the right reasons and he is no fan of Cameron. Added to that he wants to leave the EU so he cant be all that bad.

    Secondly – Mr Redwood. The Leave campaign has a major problem which is the Media. They are not challenging the lies. I am quite shocked by how biased they are! What can be done? As an MP can you stop the BBC from being so blatant?

  55. Beecee
    April 19, 2016

    As it seems almost impossible to find one group of Economists to agree with another I am amazed that the 1,000+ Economists we employ at the Treasury were able to put out an agreed vision as how the UK would look in 14 years time should it leave the EU!

    Even more amazing is that this lot have proved themselves to be totally incapable of getting their economic forecasts right year on year.

    The mind boggles!

  56. ian
    April 19, 2016

    Wet & mad and the treasury dodgy dossier of 200 pages of the remain establishment fear campaign, base on Canada model which said UK would be 6% worst off by 2030 on GDP.
    The treasury said that the average household would lose 4300 pounds a year and that means the average in this country earns 69,000 pounds a year, when the ONS has household income at 45,000 pounds a year a 24,000 pounds a year difference, that why it called the dodgy dossier.
    Before wet & mad started this year he said growth would be 2.6%, now his team have already down grade it to say it will be 2% growth but as I tell you it will be 1.6% or lower and will rise above 2% till 2019.
    The UK treasury is forecasting the impact on total GDP and not on per capita GDP, The treasury model has 14 years of out of control immigration built into the calculation of towards 400,000 people a year instead of the leave model of 100,000 a year which would mean 4.2 million less people living in the UK over 14 years and that would mean a higher per capita GDP with less people, so higher wages which means more money to go round.
    The treasury has already lost 5% GDP growth forever with the banking bail out and will lose 3/4% more every year with QE with on going bank bail out till 2030 that’s 16 % growth in 22 years and if it follow Europe with negative interest rates it will be another 1/2% a year loss in growth a year, then you have the fees going up, losses will be much more if you remain than leave.
    I am not saying hat if you come out there will not be losses there will be but for maybe 3 or 4 years after that growth will go right up with living standards as the people and the country out perform with better MPs in parliament.

  57. Atlas
    April 19, 2016


    … it’s a pity somebody did not ask Osborne those questions at his ‘comedy slot’ talk which used the Treasury document as a prop.

    When you consider how complex the real economy is then a few formulae like the ones they showed are going to be a gross over-simplification – just like the climate change models…

  58. NickC
    April 19, 2016

    The WTO tariff profile for exporters to the EU is 5.3% MFN average (WTO ITC UNCTAD World Tariff Profiles 2015). That is made up of 12.2% average for agricultural products, and 3.9% average for non agricultural products. MFN = Most Favoured Nation.

  59. Paul Cohen
    April 19, 2016

    Another telling and insightful post by JR!

    Time to play hardball – Print off a few million leaflets for general distribution and get these eight questions in front of “Remain” at every opportunity to give their answers, and to also provide their projections of what the Household Cost would be if we did follow the EU route.

    We really need to press them hard on this, even if it becomes as tedious as CMD’s stupid “Leap in the dark” warning.

  60. ian
    April 19, 2016

    What needs to, happen, BOE man in charge, sacked and the BOE shut down also wet & mad sacked and the treasury shut down and the man in charge of the northern powerhouse sacked and council only allow to borrow off the government at 1% and no outside borrowing and limited to what the people and the country can afford.
    No more PFI or anything like that, what that means is no more micky mouse finance, money to come from government at 1/2%, government work pension need to be funded every year instead payasyougo out of taxes, if you cannot afford that you will have to start sacking people at the top of government, then I can see 5 to 6 percent growth a year, what all this means taking 500 billion in QE and 500 billion the banks are sitting on and restructuring the country finances, business need to start paying gross taxes and all government borrowing brought on to the books instead of hidden at hospital and school to pay and of cos people income tax and NIs tax need to come right down, small and med size business interest rates need to come down and personal interest rates need to go up, if big bank are not up to the job let them die, there are lots of new small banks, building societies, credit union, crowd funding and other ways to raise money and of cos you can always barter.

  61. ian
    April 19, 2016

    I Think if the big banks go the people working there will open up a lot of small investment business and apply for banking licences and you will end up with more people employed and more tax and service being sold overseas.

  62. fedupsoutherner
    April 19, 2016

    Your article today is just what I wanted to read about. Everytime I have heard today that to leave is a risk I have asked myself what will remain be? It can only get worse, more expensive and more draconian with more powers being given to Brussels and more people to bail out and provide housing, health care, education etc to. Good post John and please get this aspect of the whole stupid debacle out there for the public to think about. They think it’s all roses at the moment but what is around the corner is a bloody great car crash and we are in front.

  63. ferdinand
    April 19, 2016

    Will BMW and Mercedes say “You can’t have any of our cars unless you let in half a million migrants “. That’s what Remain are saying about trading with the EU after Brexit.

    1. Denis Cooper
      April 19, 2016

      Apparently the German government has such an ideological fixation that they will say that they don’t want to trade with us unless we still allow the entire population of the EU, or more precisely the EEA, to move here if they so choose. And they will do that even though the IMF says that could precipitate a global economic meltdown.

      1. a-tracy
        April 20, 2016

        Would this be a bad thing, we started to change our Mercedes and BMW cars for Lexus and Mitsubishi, lower on fuel use, lower on taxation, more reliable and lower costs to service. It’s a big world out there.

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