The damage the EU as done to us so far

The Remainians love being negative about what might happen in the future. They should be asked more about all the damage their beloved EU has done to us, our jobs, industries and economy so far.

Let us take the case of the European exchange Rate mechanism. I wrote in 1989 why we should not go into it. I stated that the actions required under the scheme were “intrinsically destabilising”. I set out in detail how it would lead to higher inflation, more debt and more interest charges, which it did. I explained that the systematic undervaluation of the DM in the scheme would boost German exports at the expense of the rest of us. It did. I went on to subsequently forecast the recession that it finally induced.

The IMF, UK Treasury. Bank of England and World Bank supported this scheme and did not forecast the recession it generated.

Let us remember the case of the Euro. The good sense of the UK voters prevented the UK elite following the advice of the IMF, World Bank and other leading institutions to join this currency. I wrote a couple of books explaining the damage it would do. I pointed out “If you cannot devalue your currency when your costs are too high, you have to sack people and close factories instead. ..History shows that rigged exchange rates do not work. The Gold standard, pegging currencies to gold,bankrupted many businesses and caused mass unemployment. The Exchange Rate Mechanism caused a bad recession, and then collapsed. The single currency is an Exchange Rate Mechanism you cannot easily get out of.” I went on to show how the poorer regions of the Euro area would be worse off with high unemployment in the single currency.

I pointed out that the Cecchini Report promised us 3% extra growth from the 1992 single market programme. Instead in the two years of the introduction of the 1992 programme the UK was in recession, thanks to EU policies.

In 2007 none of the IMF, World Bank, UK Treasury or Bank of England predicted the forthcoming great recession, brought on by their policies. I wrote early in 2007 the following:

“There is considerable uncertainty in world markets about how far the Federal Reserve Board, the ECB and the Bank of England will go in raising rates to squeeze inflation out of the system. They must know there are huge pyramids of debt throughout the system, and inflation will not be killed unless the appetite for more debt is blunted. They must also know that if they push interest rates too high for too long they will bring the debt structures crashing down, as we have seen with the sub prime mortgage collapse in the USA, leading to falling asset prices, rising unemployment and even recession”

Apparently the Central Banks did not after all understand these points, and chose to switch from being far too tolerant of debt build up, to bringing the whole edifice they had allowed or created to come crashing down with terrible effects on jobs and employment.

These same institutions now ask us to trust them in their judgements on UK membership of the EU.

They all ignore two obvious points. The first is the stimulus effect of spending our own money in the UK on jobs and services here, at a time when the world economy is slowing again. They also ignore the point that the rest of the EU will not wish to impose tariff and other barriers in the way of their trade with us.

Project Fear has become absurd. It just serves to remind us how wrong its authors have been in the past.

As spending our own money will add 0.6% to our GDP, my forecast is for a small improvement in UK incomes and output from Brexit . Any short term confidence and market response will not be sufficient to offset all the positive effects of the extra spending and the reduced balance of payments deficit. The authorities seem to want lower sterling to help exports, and are clearly determined to try to talk the pound down. They should put into their forecasts the upside on exports if they put in the negative assumptions. There is a general slowdown this year so far in the main advanced economies which they need to address.

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46 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Exactly.

    Growth and the economic benefits post Brexit will be in our own hands. If we get a sensible government. One who gives us lower taxes, simpler taxes, keeps Osborne’s IHT promise (instead of blatantly ratting on it while lying), has far fewer regulations, cheap reliable energy without the green crap, new runways, free trade with the world, better roads and selective only immigration then we will have a huge boost to the economy.

    A government that gets out of the way of businesses and the people and lets them run their lives and businesses efficiently. A government that halves in size ideally.

    • Hope
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      JR, very good piece and this is why you will never be invited to an pro EU government like Cameron’s. You could also point the current economic position of Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Eastern European countries to demonstrate what a catastrophie the EU project is. France is also not doing so well either. Forging links to the commonwealth countries will be a way forward as reiterated by the former New Zealand minister.

      Where were the Treasury, BoE, IMF to prevent the crash in 2007/8? What have they done to change the banking system, Lord King makes good points what should be done. Nothing of substance to date. Would this explain why some of the banks are pay rolling the Bremainiacs?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 5:53 am | Permalink

    Two excellent articles in the spectator this week. Rod Liddle:- Write a lefty column and win a doctorate and Mary Dejevsky British higher education is in a boom that is bound to go bust.

    Far too many people are studying for pointless degrees at public expense, in pointless subjects at second rate establishments. Many not even British or intending to stay in Britain. Academia is another hotbed of Libdim/BBC wrong think.

    This while excellent people like Matt Ridley are overlooked for positions at the Natural History Museum, because they are climate realists and real scientists who do not accept the current climate alarmism politics & religion.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    Yet the BBC wheels out all the people like Major who got it totally wrong yet hardly ever listen to all the people like yourself, Bill Cash and Patrick Minford who got it exactly right.

    • Dennis
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

      There is a blind spot though in Patrick Minford’s thinking on economics – he doesn’t know what is the fundamental/primary source of economic wealth is – I’ve asked him.

      IMO a rather important piece of knowledge which should be in the very first lesson on economics which it appears isn’t.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Three excellent pieces from Christopher Booker in the Sunday Telegraph today too.

    • Hope
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      Yes, Cameron supporting Rudd to destroy what is left of our industry. No wonder the steel industry is decimated by Cameron and like minded idiots. Fith Carbon act should never see the light of day it is unbelievable that a government would cause such havoc to its country at a time when it should be doing all it can to provide a recovery! Deficit £74 billion, debt £1.6 trillion. Madness. Then we have Javid, who cannot make up his mind on he stands for, saying business is the reason to pursuaded him to vote remain! Has he read what Judd is about to implement and its affect on business? All stemming from the EU!

      • Hope
        Posted May 15, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        No wonder the steel industry is going to the wall with the likes of Javid as the minister!

  5. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Labour’s Remaindian Logic:-

    * Thanks to the Tory Government :The UK economy is dire on every level…jobs, housing, benefits, holidays, health and safety at work, health and medical provision,green issues, lack of more sunshine.
    BUT: Thanks to the foreign body of the EU: The UK economy is prosperous on every level…jobs, housing, benefits and holidays underpinned, health and safety at work underpinned, health and medical provision smashing because of EU workers, lots of wind mills and horsedrawn buses, 20 days more sunshine per year.

    Yesterday, Mr Corbyn making a first time pro-EU speech in his 40 years of the opposite started talking about how poor little migratory birds were being shot down somehow because of nasty ideas about the EU. The News Commentary quickly cut him off and returned to the studio.
    We shall never know, perhaps, how Mr Corbyn configures bird migration with the Remain Campaign.

  6. DaveM
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    As always your points are sound and your forecasts backed up by actual evidence – this article (in potted form) is exactly what the Leave campaign needs to trot out every time Carney, Lagarde, and other such behemoths threaten us with 3rd world status.

    • John Bracewell
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:12 am | Permalink

      I agree with the article’s points and also that the Leave campaign spokespersons should rebut the Remain financial arguments. At the moment, the Remain campaign get their financial doom stories broadcast and nothing other then the rather weak message ‘they were wrong in the past so why take any notice now’ is trotted out without details as per articles like this.

    • Brexit Facts4eu.org
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      DaveM, agree entirely. It’s another great article from Dr Redwood.

      If you ‘pot’ it, (put into quick bullet-points), we’ll publish it and send the link to Vote Leave.

      Best wishes,
      http://facts4eu.org/news.shtml

      • Duyfken
        Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        I am sure JR would have no objection to your potting it to your requirements.

      • DaveM
        Posted May 15, 2016 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        I have emailed it to your ”editors”’ email address.

  7. Gary C
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Morning John, Re: ‘Project Fear has become absurd’

    I could not agree more, so much so they have lost my ears and therefore the opportunity to win me over.

  8. eeyore
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    A commenter to the previous post tells us that a debate at his university produced an 80% Remain vote, largely because the other side could not precisely detail what would happen after a Leave vote. Sharpen up! he warns. Ever obliging, Mr Redwood now forecasts a small improvement in incomes and output based on a 0.6% GDP boost.

    He also weighs the record of the Remainian prophets. The first qualification for a would-be soothsayer is to say sooth; getting it wrong is useless, as the Prophets of Baal discovered in the Bible. It turns out the Remainian seers are no more reliable than the Baalites, whom Elijah slew by the brook Kishon. “And the torrent of Kishon swept them away.”

    Incidentally, a debate at my pub, among people with experience of the world who actually work for a living, produced a 60-40 split for Leave. But of course we’re not as clever as students.

    • Hope
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Universities are not allowing the leave side the opportunity to make their case. It is simply disgusting that so called open minded bodies have very much closed minds and brainwashing our young. Perhaps they could explain why the UK is providing free tuition to some of top universities while Cameron’s got, is consigning British students to a life time of debt? Paying for our EU competitors, you could not make it up, well, Cameron could.

  9. Excalibur
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    I suppose I am guilty of a certain naivety, JR, but I am quite unable to understand how anyone could barter the sovereignty of these islands for ideological reasons. CMD seems quite prepared to do this.

    The scale of the Remain support as propagated by the BBC, Sky and ITV, and the unrelenting diminution of quite sound arguments to leave, are a serious cause for concern. The flippant dismissal by TV anchors, press reviewers, journalist agitators and others, of the Leave campaign’s spokesmen, when added to the big guns above, needs to be countered. I know you are working very hard with others JR. But how do we counter this media prejudice ?

    • Hope
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Social media, talking to everyone you can, leaflet dropping, handing out pens, badges.

      I wonder what will happen if the remain win by this current foul means? Hardly fair or balanced as promised.

      • Hope
        Posted May 15, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        I think a lot of the elderly will vote out, but will not say so in case of the Major types insinuating they arera racist.

  10. agricola
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    The organisations you rightly castigate are no doubt full of people with first class honours degrees in all the required disciplines, so it begs the question, are they inherently stupid or are they playing a totally different game with a different agenda.

    Desiring a low exchange rate to boost exports may work in the short term. Better to let currency reflect a successful economy based on exporting high tech goods that people want. I would contend that a low exchange rate, making exporting easier, blunts the need for a higher level of productivity. Productivity being an area we have not been very good at, with a few exceptions, often foreign owned.

    The thrust of your entry is absolutely correct, why follow failure with even greater failure.
    Unless of course if failure is your real aim.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      It’s a power game.
      Farage managed to put a spoke in the wheel, and from thereon in the riders have been trying to control the power machine as it wanders off course. Sometimes the riders need to steer into the skid, but many of these people take the emotional route of think steering out of it will be their salvation.
      We’ll see.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      agricola: “Desiring a low exchange rate to boost exports may work in the short term. Better to let currency reflect a successful economy based on exporting high tech goods that people want.”

      High tech stuff is generally priced in dollars so exporters can either enjoy higher sterling profits or reduce their prices to increase competitivieness.

      A point worth considering is that since 2008 the dollar exchange rate has declined about 40% but since 2008 our current account has also been falling off a cliff: are these facts related? The problem with the concept of import substitution as a panacea for current account woes is that many products that people and businesses wish to buy are not produced here. Furthermore, the more the ecoloons running the government deliberately destroy our industries with their carbon trading scam for Remain supporting and fraudulent CDO selling banksters as well as the deliberate imposition of deliberately inefficiently produced electricity, the worse our position becomes. However, Brexit will bestow considerable trade-offs in other ways. The removal of the incompetetent and unpatriotic CMD regime will mean that we will not need to waste vast sums of money on German trains to nowhere, obsolescently designed French nuclear power plant with grotesquely overpriced electricty; also we will be able to buy our own fish caught in our own waters by our own fishermen and grow as much food as we able not that which the Brussels regime permits. However, in the shorter term it may be necessary to raise personal taxes to choke off demand for gizmos and spend more money on infrastructure projects which improve peoples’ lives by relieving some of the consequences of previous uncontrollable mass immigration; the training of more of our own people (strictly on merit only) in STEM subjects would also achieve beneficial import substitution in quality.

  11. Antisthenes
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    ” I am from the government and I am here to help” I believe Reagan said this sentence is not one any sane person would like to hear.

    Most of our problems stem from the actions of politicians and bureaucrats. We achieved the standard of living we have today despite them not because of them. However most of our prosperity was gained when government had the least to do with the economy.

    We know from socialist countries that the more the government is involved in the economy the worse it gets. So why do we try to emulate them even going so far as remaining in a club the EU even after is apparent that that club is bend on government controlling everything socialist style.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I have long since come to the conclusion that most politicians are financially ignorant, but do not want to admit it, and that is unfortunately the price (a very heavy price) we the electorate have been paying for years.

    John, your regular comments are like a breath of fresh air in their clarity of explanation.

    Shame much of the media, the voters in general, and those politicians who do genuinely care about our future over and above their own careers have yet to catch on.

    We will pay a very heavy price indeed if we continue with the policy of shackling ourselves to the EU experiment, which is as yet nowhere near its finished format.

  13. oldtimer
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Agreed.

    The euro and the EU political structures lack safety valves or means of adjustment as circumstances change. Imbalances within the euro zone are not compensated by transfer payments but by loans which the political class continues to pretend will be repaid. Devaluation by a member state within the EZ is not an option – only exit from the EZ. The evolving EU political and law making structures are inflexible; power is concentrated within the Commission with few means for redress or reform as Mr Cameron’s attempt to do so revealed. As Mr Juncker has said, there is no room for democracy; the only option to escape this regime is exit.

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    There’s a letter from a reverend gentleman in the Sunday Telegraph in which he expresses his wish that there was a third option on the ballot paper, “Remain and Reform”.

    “I would like to be able to vote to stay in the EU only on the condition that the Government commits robustly, creatively and persistently to work for strategic and detailed reforms. This would be far better than the self-congratulatory complacency that will undoubtedly follow a victory for the Remain campaign.”

    Well, I can see that it’s quite possible he was very busy with other things at the time and Cameron’s Bloomberg speech in January 2013 completely passed him by, but surely he must have picked up something from the media during the months of “renegotiation”, and surely he must have noticed Cameron and his allies when they were constantly referring to the “reformed” EU he had achieved, even though in reality these “reforms”, his “deal”, amounts to no more than an unreliable promise of ill-defined but minor changes at some indeterminate point in the future?

    However, if he still believes that Cameron could and would go back and take a more robust negotiating position in a fresh “reform” effort then clearly he must vote for “Leave”.

    There is another EU leader who has been much more successful in getting the “reforms” she wanted, through her “Reform Treaty”, later renamed the Lisbon Treaty:

    https://www.google.co.uk/?gws_rd=ssl#q=merkel+%22reform+treaty%22

    and then afterwards through a major EU treaty change which Cameron gave her while asking for nothing substantive in return, and which our Parliament approved without allowing us to have our say in a referendum; but as the EU treaty change agreed on March 25th 2011 was the subject of a virtually complete media blackout, akin to a D-notice, it is extremely unlikely that the author of the letter ever heard anything about that.

    Here I will add that if that EU treaty change had been put to a referendum in the UK then the answer may well have been “No, go back and get something worthwhile in exchange for our assent, as your party promised it would at the first opportunity which arose”.

  15. Iain Moore
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    I see Carney has come out from behind the Bank of England doors and publicly joining the Remain camp on Marr this morning.

    Andrea Leadsom has been put up to reply to Carney. As her economic interventions on behalf of Brexit have been pretty lame up to now, I hope she contacted you for a few pointers.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      I thought Leadsom was pretty good actually, better than Carney. The latter seemed to be rolling back behind his “remit”, which as I have posted elsewhere, seems to be of questionable validity in a referendum campaign such as this, where democracy should trump CB intervention, not vice-versa.

  16. Jagman84
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    David Cameron in November 2015….

    “Britain is an amazing country. We’ve got the fifth biggest economy in the world. We’re the top ten manufacturer. We’ve got incredibly strong financial services. The world wants to do business here. Look at the record of inward investment. Look at the leaders beating the path to our door to come and see what’s happening with this great country’s economy. The argument isn’t whether Britain could survive outside the EU. Of course it could”.

    What has fundamentally changed in the meantime?

    • JoeSoap
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      That was one of his other faces. Nothing is sacrosanct, nothing is core belief. Everything is said to appease and please those present at the time.
      Where there is conflict, let there be fudge.

  17. JoeSoap
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    The point is that the bank should be responding to democratically made decisions, both by the government and the people, not trying to change them in advance. On the margins one could say they could be pointing out the possible risks involved in future political decisions, but Carney seems to think that the government case is always central and has to be considered the risk-free scenario (other than risks already considered in the BOE template), and it only considers any adverse risks and not the benefits from events outside the government case.
    If this is the CB s remit, then there is something seriously wrong with it.

  18. Shieldsman
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    David Cameron and the political establishment in attempting to skew (manipulate) the results of the referendum by scaremongering are playing a dangerous game.
    Honesty and Integrity are being replaced by Lies and Hype.

    The reason for the Referendum is that David Cameron did not believe the Lisbon Treaty is working for the United Kingdom. Without a change to the Lisbon Treaty which has not taken place, the EU is still not working.

    We have moved on from why we must leave the EU, to why we can’t leave the EU.

    Because Cameron has orders that we must NOT leave the EU we are being threatened with spurious statements on what will befall us if we leave the EU. Its become like the fairground ghost train, at every bend the political ghouls appear, time and time again.
       
    If Cameron and the BBC concentrated on what is happening and being said in the European Parliament and Commission, the Public could have unbiased information on which to make their decision.

  19. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    JR, you write “the Cecchini Report promised us 3% extra growth from the 1992 single market programme”, but the central projection in that 1988 report was closer to a 5% increase in the collective GDP of the EU member states.

    https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/227069/2901084_SingleMarket_acc.pdf

    “An important element was the so-called Cecchini Report from 1988, which attempted to quantify the benefits of the Single Market to the European economy. It claimed they would be in the region of 4¼% to 6½% of GDP.”

    While it is acknowledged in that same 2013 official government report, the “Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union, The Single Market”, that:

    “The most commonly cited study, by Ilzkovitz, Dierx, Kavocs & Sousa in 2007, suggests that in 2006, EU GDP was 2.2% higher than it would have been in the absence of the Single Market”.

    While in 2010 the EU Commission said 1.85%:

    http://ec.europa.eu/internal_market/smact/docs/single-market-act_en.pdf

    “The Commission estimates that the combined effect of internal market integration, in particular through the liberalisation of network industries, and enlargement has been to create 2.75 million additional jobs and growth of 1.85% in the period 1992–2009.”

    In round figures, the projection was for a 5% increase in the collective GDP of the EU member states but the outcome seems to have been only 2%.

    Moreover that is the average across the whole of the EU, a one-off boost to collective GDP of about 2%, but this 2014 report:

    https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/fileadmin/files/BSt/Publikationen/GrauePublikationen/Policy-Brief-Binnenmarkt-en_NW_02_2014.pdf

    claims that the benefits have not been evenly distributed, for whatever reasons, and the UK has only gained 1% in terms of per capita GDP.

    As I have said, this one-off gain from the EU Single Market is equivalent to the natural growth of the UK economy over about six average months, taking the long term trend rate of GDP growth as being 2.5% a year and adjusting for population to get a long term trend growth rate of per capita GDP of about 2.1% a year.

    The fact that the economic benefits of the EU Single Market have been so marginal, not by any ill-informed conjecture on my part but by the government’s own carefully considered account, based upon the EU Commission’s own carefully considered account, only about 2% of EU GDP, and that it is then reported that the UK is one of the EU countries which has gained the least, only half the EU average, does make me wonder how the Treasury and the IMF et al have managed to come up with their predictions of economic catastrophe if we left it – with the IMF reckoning that the loss of GDP could be as high as 10%, worse than the Great Crash of 2008 and the Great Depression and the First World War:

    http://order-order.com/2016/05/13/peak-projectfear/

    Given these estimates of the marginal GDP benefit of the EU Single Market, and without even starting to think about its costs, perhaps Sajid Javid could explain why he thinks that being in the EU Single Market is so crucial, it is “the clincher” in the debate, rather than being just a matter of convenience for trade – and trade both ways, of course?

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/14/sajid-javid-the-only-thing-leaving-the-eu-guarantees-is-a-lost-d/

    In my view the only compelling argument for staying in the EU Single Market is that we are in the EU Single Market now and consequently it provides the present basis for numerous subsidiary agreements and practical arrangements to enable and facilitate trade, and it may perhaps take longer than two years to sort out all the technical details for trade to continue uninterrupted and unimpeded after we have left the EU and its Single Market.

  20. Bert Young
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    John’s post today shows his grip and knowledge of our economic affairs ; I know of no-one else who is more qualified and experienced to overview our situation . He would be my first choice as Chancellor – in fact the combination of Boris and John would just the sort of leadership to put us in an ideal place for the future .

    We do not need outsiders to forecast and tell us what is going to happen if this or that followed “Brexit”. Their advice in the past has been wrong and we cannot trust them . Once the vote is out of the way there are some serious adjustments and changes that need to be made in the leadership of the Conservative Party ; I hope that John will be featured significantly .

  21. NickW
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Given that the referendum result is going to be close, the leadership of the Conservative party needs to understand that holding a referendum and then blatantly rigging it is going to leave approximately 50% of the electorate ready to take to the streets in their fury.

    Losing the support of 50% of the electorate is going to hand a victory to Jeremy Corbyn in 2020 on a plate, neatly wrapped with a nice ribbon. The media hate campaign against Corbyn isn’t working and won’t work; in Cambridge, Labour increased their vote and the number of seats on the council, partly because the Lib Dems who were standing as candidates openly solicited support on the basis that they would “Keep Britain in Europe”.

    The downside for the electorate in allowing Corbyn victory has been removed by the frequent protests from Westminster that Europe has all the power anyway, and that in many respects Westminster is impotent.In any event, those who voted to leave may well not bother voting at all, because after all, a remain result would be a declaration that the UK wants to be ruled by Brussels, not Westminster.

    Cameron and Osborne are demonstrating all too clearly that the epithet of “The nasty party” as applied to the Conservatives is accurate and well deserved. Their behavior has been and is dishonourable and disgraceful; a rigged referendum is infinitely worse than no referendum at all. Eton has demonstrably failed to bestow any moral values on these particular alumni, a fact of which the electorate should take careful note.

    That there are decent and honourable people in the Conservative party is unquestionable, but they need to remove the rot before it is too late.

  22. Tad Davison
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Another great post today John. I have often tried to promote you as a good choice for Foreign Secretary, but perhaps you should have been Chancellor.

    Just heard Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, Hilary Benn, on Sky News shouting about the worker’s rights solidly enshrined in EU law and how good that is. A shame then he was so poorly briefed about the riots in France yesterday against the package of measures proposed by a socialist president no less, that take a significant number of those rights away. Maybe he only watches the BBC, because as far as I am aware, they never covered it, or indeed any the previous workers rights riots, to any great extent if at all. I wonder why, dare they not air anything that might bring the EU into disrepute and lessen the chances for their preferred campaign?

    And why should the Labour party not trust the British people to vote for those same worker’s rights in a general election should we vote to leave the EU?

    Our own parliament could enact those same worker’s rights were it so minded and mandated to do so, so to rely on a foreign undemocratic and expensive institution to get them through is extremely dishonest. I just hope the British people see through that sleight of hand and remember it long into the future.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  23. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    The EU has strip-searched and undressed the Left in Western Europe. As ugly as projectile vomit. Syriza the exemplar.
    The EU has released Right-thinking folk who never knew they could be so termed. They merely considered themselves run-of-the-mill British. Now they know they are very special. So you see, Good can be found in everything even the EU…like the Devil who despite everything is always good for a light.

  24. Jack
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The problem wasn’t the private debt build-up per se, in fact the private credit growth was the main driving force behind the economy. The 2008/09 collapse happened because the government deficit had gotten too small to support the private credit structure and it all came crashing down. The real resources never went away, the collapse was a nominal crisis not a real crisis.

    Hence why we needed, and still need, much larger government or private sector deficit spending to restore high GDP growth and maximum prosperity. The private sector has took on slightly more debt over the last few months but far from what is necessary, and so it falls to the government to act. My preference would be to leave the EU, free ourselves from the deficit limits and VAT rules, and cut taxes massively across the board to increase the deficit.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    There is a very interesting article here:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/15/the-new-trump-order-global-trade-growth-stutters-for-first-time/

    “The new Trump order: global trade growth stalls for first time since WW2”

    The reference to Trump is not in fact particularly relevant, this is what struck me:

    “Economists might not agree on much, but on globalisation, they sing in almost perfect harmony. The benefits of trade are what have made us rich, they say, dragging up the living standards of people across the globe.”

    And yet:

    “Against this the backdrop of an increasingly hostile political climate, trade growth has seemingly hit a wall. For the last five years, trade has grown more slowly than the global economy, a phenomenon unheard of since before World War Two.”

    Or, the global economy has grown faster than the volume of global trade, when from past experience since the war conventional economists would expect the opposite.

    So what price those models which assume that the creation of any impediment to trade will inevitably feed through to a reduction in economic growth and GDP?

  26. Stephen Berry
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Project Fear has become absurd. It just serves to remind us how wrong its authors have been in the past. (JR)

    In no way should the Remain camp change their campaigning in any way. It’s an own goal of quite spectacular dimensions. My particular favourite was the claim by William Hague that a vote to leave would endanger peace in Northern Ireland although why this should be so was not clear. As if this were not outlandish enough, he then maintained that a vote to leave would threaten the security of the Falklands. Truly we lost a foreign secretary of unique abilities when Mr Hague retired to his tent. Also Mr Heseltine should be urged to tell everyone again that if the UK stays in the EU, it will inevitably join the Euro.

    In general this campaign has flushed out the faint-hearted ministers in the Tory party. The sight of such ‘eurosceptics’ as Mr Javid and Mr Hammond campaigning to stay in won’t be forgotten in a hurry, whatever the result in June. In it’s first year of government, this administration, with its ‘Living Wage’ and its refusal to face up to the BBC, seems little different to New Labour. The right of the Conservative party clearly needs to make its voice heard.

    There is a slowdown in both the US and the UK economies and Mr Carney must be aware of this. It could be that whether or not the UK votes to leave the EU there would be a recession and this fact is more important than any temporary market flap if the UK votes for out. Whatever happens, I notice no one is claiming that the world economy can be pulled out of its present troubles by ‘a dynamic Eurozone’.

  27. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 2:04 pm | Permalink

    And of course Boris is correct. The EU is a German stitch up based on 1930’s doctrine.
    Silly Hillary Benn this morning on radio says the EU has bought peace and prosperity. He obviously hasn’t been out of the Westminster bubble lately.
    Cameron this morning saying we should stay in a reformed Europe. When will it be reformed.
    The remainiacs are getting desperate.
    Why do you keep cancelling the link to the 3 minute animated Brexit video.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 15, 2016 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

      “Cameron this morning saying we should stay in a reformed Europe. When will it be reformed.”

      According CMD’s booklet of EU truthiness funded by Leavers to the tune of £4.5 million, “The UK has secured a special status in a reformed EU”. So there you are Ian, it’s already been reformed; were you not paying attention? Of course the £1.5 billion paid by Leavers to be propagandised by the BBC makes CMD’s booklet of half-truths, lies and omissions, small beer, indeed.

  28. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Mark Carney is odds-on favourite to follow in Mario Dragi’s job and in the footsteps of the very thin ice of EU fiscal and monetary policy. Possibly. May be. Could be. Might be

  29. Big D
    Posted May 15, 2016 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    John, another area of EU impact is as a result of the sanctions imposed on Russia post-Crimea & the EU’s bungled Drang nach Osten. This has hit many UK businesses in the extraction/services sectors etc & also farm gate prices as product from Poland, Finland, Germany etc due to go to Russia has been sold back into Europe. I note that the UK Embassy/Consulates in Russia are struggling to keep busy with educational/ English language or cultural events, given the collapse in trade visits.

  • About John Redwood


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

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