It’s the economy stupid – we will be better off out

The Remainians want it every which way. If economic figures disappoint, they claim that is the result of Brexit fears. If the numbers fail to disappoint, they claim that is because people think Remain will win!

Their most consistent claim is the pound will go down if we leave. It’s as good a guess as any. You have a fifty fifty chance of being right. The pound has often gone down whilst we have been in the EU. With a colossal balance of payments current account deficit we are currently running thanks to our lop sided trade with the EU and all those EU contributions we have to send abroad, it is quite possible it will go down again. Just to make it more likely the Chancellor has weighted the dice. He has imposed higher taxes on foreigners buying property in the UK. He has just toughened the anti money laundering rules to deter dubious foreign cash from continuing to come. He has toughened the rules against tax avoidance, to put people off using once normal offshore schemes into London from abroad. That ought to lower the pound.

It is therefore curious that since the end of February, as the referendum campaign has come to prominence, the pound has gone up a bit against the dollar. It serves to remind anyone interested in the truth rather than the mindless and often misleading slogans that the pound is part of a much larger currency turmoil where the dollar has been slipping at last against the other main currencies of the world , unlike last year which was a year of dollar strength.

This year has also brought the surprise that the yen and the euro have strengthened a bit despite the large amounts of these currencies being created as part of their exotic money policies. Both the Euro area and the yen area are running large current account surpluses, so helping to underpin the currency values.

The Chancellor also forecasts that Brexit will slash house prices. Many see this as a good thing, so it might backfire as a political trick. However, the Chancellor should be reminded that he wants to get house prices down so they are more affordable. That is why he set more penal Stamp duties at the top end against foreign purchases, and why he has sought to stop some foreigners buying by new rules and regulations. So many house prices in Central London have already fallen, no thanks to Brexit, but thanks to a deliberate policy of trying to get them down set out by the government itself.

Recent retail sales figures have been strong, undermining the government’s view that fears of Brexit are damaging the economy. The main investors in the UK motor industry have all said they are staying and will continue to invest if we leave, and HSBC has completed its review and decided to stay in London before knowing the result of the Brexit vote. There is simply not enough bad news around to underpin the government’s pathetic wish to talk us down and to force us to stay for fear of worse, when out of the EU we will be better off. We will spend our own money on our own priorities, which brings a modest 0.5% boost to our National Income once we do it.


  1. DaveM
    May 23, 2016

    Yet another article which should be published in full in newspapers. Complete with headline.

    1. Hope
      May 23, 2016

      The posh economic idiotic duo tell us today that we will have a recession for a year and lose 800,000 jobs. They were telling us previously it was 3 million! When have they got their figures right over the last 6 years- never. Why we would any right minded person believe a word tax avoiding Dave says? With all the apocalyptic warnings why have they not planned for it, moreover why did he not negotiate for all his original points and more? Again, it demonstrated what an utter poor negotiator he is. If the world is going to suffer an economist shock, war And terrorism I’d we left the EU why did he not get more from his negotiations? I suspect it is because he is lying like those before him who wanted the UK in the catastrophic Euro! Where would our country below if we followed Heseltine’s view!

      1. Denis Cooper
        May 24, 2016

        According to this report:

        “The UK labour market is incredibly dynamic, and would adapt quickly
        to changed relationships with the EU. Prior to the financial crisis, the
        UK saw on average 4 million jobs created and 3.7 million jobs lost
        each year – i.e. there is substantial churn of jobs at any given time.
        Indeed, the annual creation and destruction of jobs is almost exactly
        the same scale as the estimated 3-4 million jobs that are associated
        with exports to EU actors.”

        Unfortunately that sanguine attitude will not shared by many people who don’t want to lose their jobs but fear that they could be among the 0.8 million or 3 million or whatever, nor by their family members; few of them think that they’d rather take the chance of ending up on the dole in an independent Britain than keep their job but stay in the cursed EU, and potentially that’s millions of votes switched from Leave to Remain.

        1. Hope
          May 25, 2016

          I accept your point Dennis. However, I think Cameron has over egged it and Steve Hilton yesterday labeled his warnings as pathetic. There are many people who think the same. There are also a lot of people who will vote out because of immigration. It are too scared to say so in case of being label.ed a racists. The dim- witted desperate Major trying to make veiled comments to link immigration with prejudice and racism.
          The leave campaign need to ram home immigration for all it is worth. Sadly, I think some ministers who are in the leave camp knew the real immigration statistics and perhaps feel limited in what they can say or can attack the cover up of the true figures as they were part of it.

  2. Lifelogic
    May 23, 2016


    This chancellor is a total disaster. His direction of travel is absurdly misguided. His attacks on non doms, the slightly rich, landlords/tenants, people with children and pension investors is totally counter productive.

    So too is the absurdly high stamp duty levels, the tax changes to legitimate interest deductions, the 45% tax rate, the wage control laws, the sugar tax, the 10% insurance taxes, the pension pot muggings, the IHT ratting, the taxes well above the laffer point, the arbitrary GAAR, the removal and child benefit and personal allowance, and all the absurd tax complexity and compliance costs on top.

    The man is a tax, borrow and piss down the drain menace to the economy. His wage controls alone show he is an economic illiterate. Getting rid of him with a Brexit vote will be a huge additional benefit on top of the Brexit ones – for UK economic growth and earnings.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 23, 2016

      Why should people have to pay £100K in tax just to move houses?

      Why should tenants have to pay far more rent to cover an addition 3% stamp duty and interest that is not tax allowable – and thus have a restricted supply of properties to choose from too?

      Why should people whose work is worth less than a certain figure by prevented from working by daft laws?

      The man is clearly inflicting huge economic damage. He is running a huge PSBR and a record trade deficit to boot.

      1. hefner
        May 23, 2016

        What type of house do you own to pay £100k just to move. I have recently moved from a > 700k house and did not have to pay anything like your advertised £100k.
        It is like your continuous complaint about IHT: give most of what you have above the threshold to your children now, or put it in a trust, or invest in EIS, VCT, or AIM-based ISA.
        From what you keep writing almost everyday, you seem to be rather economically incompetent.

  3. Nick
    May 23, 2016

    The Latest from Osbourne, the man who increased the debt from 6 trillion to 11 trillion, is that we have a recession.

    So War is on its way. What next? Pestilence?

    He and Cameron have joined an end of the world cult. The UK is so pathetic that it can’t cope.

    So how do I join the Tory party to vote the numpties out?

    1. DaveM
      May 23, 2016

      The worst recession in living history was/has been/still is at a time when the UK is in the EU and during the time when there has been “more Europe” than ever before. How much worse can it get? How much worse could we do by ourselves?

      Don’t answer that – I’ll ask the Greeks.

      1. Nick
        May 23, 2016

        Ask the Greeks about debt

        90% of their debts are pensions

        Same as the UK

  4. Roy Grainger
    May 23, 2016

    I know I keep saying this but the point needs making: Osborne today says Brexit will lead to an increase in inflation – well isn’t that a good thing ? If not why is his own inflation target 2% ? UK inflation has been under (mostly well under) this target for more than 2 years, it is obvious Osborne is incapable of meeting this self-imposed target using the means at his disposal so he should be welcoming Brexit for this particular aspect of the debate shouldn’t he ?

  5. Sean
    May 23, 2016

    I agree that we are 100% better off out
    Only watching Television bias media on the economy scaremongering is working , yet I see so little coming from the Brexit side on the economy. I really do believe that if Brexit doesn’t get out of first gear we will lose.
    We need hard hitting facts and embarrasse the stay in, we need more passion and hard hitting fight or lose.

    Reply I offer something every day! I do as many debates and interviews as I am invited to.

    1. Dennis
      May 23, 2016

      Unfortunately the many people I speak to every day out and about even if they have even heard of you never have read or heard anything you have posited on the referendum. Perhaps this even applies to BBC interviewers and journalists as they don’t use anything you say.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      May 23, 2016

      Dear John–Maybe you should write more letters. Cannot believe they would not be published

    3. getahead
      May 23, 2016

      Both the BBC and ITV have been got at I suspect and are playing on the governments side. Can`t do much about that.

    4. turbo terrier
      May 23, 2016

      Reply to reply

      Therein lies the problem John.

      It is the story of the old bull and the young bull.

      You have been there, done it, got the tee shirt, wrote the book and made the video and for that reason you set very high standards and you are a hard act to keep up with. At times the perception is that you and maybe Roger Helmer (sorry) are both in your own way giving the likes of your readers a chance to keep hitting the forward button with your daily inputs which for a lot of us are far more cutting than all the higher profile TV and radio interviews.

      Don’t knock your pan out you have a private life and deserve to live it.

  6. Antisthenes
    May 23, 2016

    David Cameron and the stayers have become more ridiculous by day. Every prediction and dire warning makes them look incredibly stupid but oddly it appears not to be doing the harm to them as it should. Very worrying for us leavers and does point to a large part of the population being easily hoodwinked and therefore intellectually challenged. Of course that is why the left do so well in politics so we already knew that.

    As you point out if there is a balance of payment problem then the last thing you need to do is discourage inward investment. Imports greater than exports is not a real problem as long as money going out is balanced by the surplus returning as capital for investment. Better of course that exports are greater than imports and then the investment is in the other direction but many countries prosper without that advantage and many do not who do have that advantage.

    George Osborne obviously does not understand basic economics so his recent policies on curbing inward investment, the large increase in the minimum wage and his poor performance in reducing the deficit points to him not to be fit for the office he holds. And certainly like Cameron not a person to take advice from on any matters of importance.

    1. Liz
      May 23, 2016

      The news media – to a man/woman give their warnings headlines and do not bring in anyone on the leave side to rebut them. This morning they all lead with the latest recession warning and I have yet to see either an impartial comment from any of the political commentators or even bring in anyone from the leave side. Brexit cannot win with almost the whole of the TV,Radio and most of the newspapers news media line up against them. They have almost all paused reporting on the influx of immigrants into Europe until 23rd June – which says it all about their supposed impartiality.

      1. Antisthenes
        May 24, 2016

        The bias of the mass media and/or ignorance is astounding I am sure they all went to the same school as Polly Toynbee.

    2. Bob
      May 23, 2016


      “George Osborne obviously does not understand basic economics”

      His new living wage will mean that wages will rise not just people below the “living wage” level, but for people already on it as wage differentials will need to be maintained.

      Will this cause an inflationary effect, as Sainsburys, Morrisons, local authorities and other large employers will need to charge more to cover the additional cost? If this is correct, does it mean that the Living Wage will then no longer be a living wage?

      1. Antisthenes
        May 24, 2016

        It will mean inflation and/or unskilled workers will be laid off or find it more difficult to find jobs. In the US fast food outlets are being converted to being fully automated because of it there. Intended to help the poorest and as usual it will hurt them the most. Adam Smith must being turning in his grave at the crass stupidity of many of our political class especially those with progressive views. George Osborne is in the wrong party.

  7. JoeSoap
    May 23, 2016

    Spot on!
    The question really to be asked is “How can you be part of this crowd of lying charlatans?”

  8. Richard1
    May 23, 2016

    Whether we are better or worse off post Brexit will of course depend on policies adopted. If we continue with high tax high spend interventionist policies & shy away from public sector reform – albeit it’s much better under the Conservatives than it was under Labour – then we can expect sclerosis. If on the other hand we redouble efforts at radical reform on welfare and education, and even start to try to reform health, if we get rid of green crap and stop sending £bns to foreign dictators and cut taxes to make us the most tax competitive economy in Europe, the future could be bright.

    Those Conservatives tearing the Party apart and focusing most on getting rid of Mr Cameron need to look at the misery of Venezuala, much praised over many years by the like of Abbott Corbyn and McDonall. Venezuala is what happens when far left politicians like them try to ‘overthrow capitalism’ as McDonnell wants to do. When this referendum is over we need all Conservatives to pull together and make sure we win the 2020 election to spare the UK from the disaster of a Corbyn governement. It’s not out of the question – they could decide to throw Scotland and do an alliance with the SNP in order to bring about a Marxist govt rest of the U.K.

    Reply If you wish to pull together, why then are you so critical of the leadership’s approach to the NHS, where they clearly rule out the market reforms you advocate.

    1. libertarian
      May 23, 2016


      You seem oblivious to the fact that for some time now the Conservative Party, government and all its local authorities have been mildly socialist. At best the Tories are now a Blairite Social Democracy party. We do not have any party that stands up for small government, lower tax and free markets

      1. Richard1
        May 23, 2016

        I do not think that is fair. Valiant attempts have been made to reform welfare and education, although as JR points out they have shied away from healthcare. The tax position is not great but tax/GDP is heading down to c 36% and CGT is now competitive at 20%. It’s not perfect but let’s not make the perfect enemy of the good. The realistic alternative is Corbyn-Sturgeon.

    2. Mitchel
      May 23, 2016

      I hold no brief for Venezuela but what has done for that country is the low oil price and the fact that the government-unlike Norway,Russia,Saudi,etc -put nothing aside during the boom years,rather like this country.

      1. Richard1
        May 23, 2016

        Nonsense, Venezuela was a basket case when oil was $100. What has down for it is socialism.

    3. Richard1
      May 23, 2016

      I don’t think continuing to advocate a sensible progression of reforms in the Thatcherite spirit is incompatible with urging Conservative MPs not to split the party in such a way as to allow Corbyn and his gang of marxists in.

  9. Anonymous
    May 23, 2016

    The Mail on Sunday could do with John Redwood writing in it.

    1. getahead
      May 23, 2016

      It is a government rag.

  10. Denis Cooper
    May 23, 2016

    I don’t know whether Cameron and Osborne reckon that if they write an article jointly then what they have to say will carry more conviction. Are we supposed to think that the one supporting the other and vice versa strengthens their joint case, just as we are supposed to think that when a politician makes a speech with a carefully selected group of “endorsers” standing behind him then that gives him more credibility?

    There are of course many very questionable claims in that Telegraph article:

    but I will skip the series of economic and financial misrepresentations and focus on this towards the end:

    “Yes, there are improvements to make to the EU – but we know what they are and we’ll be at the top table fighting Britain’s corner.”

    Back in January 2013 when Cameron gave his Bloomberg speech he gave the impression that he knew what improvements needed to be made to the EU, both for its own sake and to make it more acceptable to the British people; after his re-election he spent months at the top table, and at other tables around the EU, supposedly “fighting Britain’s corner”; however he had started by asking for very little and he came back with next to nothing; then for a time he insisted that he had achieved a “reformed” EU, but he has gradually dropped that pretence as it became clear that it only attracted derision; so why should we suppose that having failed this time round, when his position was greatly strengthened by the threat of a referendum, he would manage any better in the future?

    1. Hope
      May 23, 2016

      Dennis, you are correct. I reached the conclusion he is a lying tosser. With all the apocalyptic events he predicts you would have thought he could have achieved something from his negotiations with all the soothsayers supporting him like the IMF. World Economic ruin, war and terrorism and he got nothing of substance! Are the EU dim not to accept Cameron’s warnings, and his supporters from around the world, or is he lying? EU obviously reached the same conclusion as me and told him to do one!

      1. APL
        May 23, 2016

        Hope: ” I reached the conclusion he is a lying tosser. ”

        Anyone who aspires to be the heir to Blair cannot be anything else but a lying tosser.

        Now our generous host has supported him, and claimed that David Cameron is an EUro-skeptic.

        Well, perhaps it’s time Redwood admitted he has been mistaken all along.

    May 23, 2016

    Absolutely no doubt, there is great lobbying in the UK of local MPs by various interested companies as in the USA and indeed as highlighted on TV recently of the powers-that-be in Brussels.
    One does not see any , even short-term, concern to the housing market in the scheme of things. Money talks.

    One sees the Remaindian Campaign appearing to talk down the Pound so consistently that perhaps the odd investigative journalist may wish to dig deeper into currency speculation from one quarter or another.. Also a spree of House-buying speculation and associated financial vehicles . If any . Or, any investments in financial institutions ..banks, and others on the periphery, regarding remortgaging to either private landlords or individual property owners, or the potential to do so,-people and organisations who may forecast and encourage a blip as with a temporary rise in mortgage repayment requirements.
    “Fear” of Brexit is a great opportunity for financial gain by those in the know or close to those in the know. It is no coincidence that the higher they are—the more they seem to propagate “fear”. You reap what you sow and they are well known to sow whenever the opportunity arises.

  12. agricola
    May 23, 2016

    Do not forget that the Goebbels run remain office is now telling us that our grocery bills will increase on Brexit. Rather strange when CAP increases the price of food from the EU and tax inflates the price of wine considerably.

    Much of the EU opposition to TTIP and other trade agreements is based on protectionism for already subsidised and inefficient EU farming. Being free of this racket, which I describe as such because it accounts for the unaccountable disappearance of EU funds, rendering their finances impossible to satisfy their own auditors; we could then subsidise our own farming industry where we strategically choose to. Milk production comes to mind. A subsidy for milk would keep our own farmers viable and CAP subsidised milk out of our market. In other areas of food we could buy from wherever we choose in the World so keeping our costs down and helping developing countries. A better move than overseas aid.

    One of the reasons that food costs are so high in the UK is the ridiculous idea that we should be able to buy anything at any time in the year. A second is the fanaticism for uniformity of size and colour. They do not prey at this altar in Spain, they live with the seasons. Strawberries are on the wane ,but cherries are now on the market. I always maintain that the tomatoes taste like tomatoes because they come in all shapes and sizes. The net result is that it is all much cheaper than it is in the UK. Just one example from this weekend. Gambas which we call prawns in the UK cost Euros 8.95 per kilo this weekend. They are about six inches long and that in old money is £6.94 per kilo. Just go into a UK supermarket to find as I did two weeks ago, that two inch versions cost £22.00 per kilo. Such price differences can only be based on poor buying by UK supermarkets and the ignorance of the buying public.

    Having little of substance to say the remainers continue to try and frighten the electorate. A final bonus of leaving the EU will I hope be the despatching to the political wilderness of Cameron and his less than honest cohorts.

    1. Bert Young
      May 23, 2016

      Agricola – a first class response that focuses on simplistic facts.

      May 23, 2016

      On Brexit: Higher prices for dachas deep in the Russian countryside well away from the UK and EU tax regimes for former Remaindians are on the cards due to supply and demand and because President Putin has quite an ironic and poetic sense of humour actually. His laugh is infectious: like an open-mouthed jaggered low-key continual giggle. The late Sid James had similar though of a deeper tone and shorter. ( not that I’ve met either of them of course )

    3. Dennis
      May 23, 2016

      Re gambas – except for the different size no other differences? Are they fresh, frozen, sent to Thailand for cleaning etc., etc. Is there VAT on food in Spain?

      Still a big price difference.

      1. Dennis
        May 23, 2016

        It seems 10% VAT on fish and 4% on primary necessary foods!

  13. Richard1
    May 23, 2016

    Has the leave campaign really said, as alleged by Sarah Wollaston MP, that Brexit means we can spend another £350m per week on the NHS? If so that is very damaging for the credibility of Leave as the claim is plainly absolute rubbish!

    Reply No, of course Leave has not said that. It has said we pay £350m a week gross (pre rebate and money back offers) and will spend the net contribution on our priorities like the NHS.

    1. Richard1
      May 23, 2016

      Thanks for the clarification. On the Today programme this am it was reported that Mrs Wollaston has criticised Leave for saying we could spend another £350m pw on the NHS if we leave the EU. Either she should ask the BBC to correct this false allegation, or – if she did in fact make it – perhaps you should ask her to.

  14. Cheshire Girl
    May 23, 2016

    I see from the Telegraph that the PM and the Chancellor have teamed up today to announce another nightmare scenario – a DIY recession. Apparently ‘hundreds of thousands’ would lose their jobs and other dire predictions too numerous to mention.

    The mind boggles when I think of what they may pull out of the hat the day before the Referendum. A daily ‘warning’ seems assured!

      May 23, 2016

      Cheshire Girl;

      Mr Osborne is fighting for his political life. On Brexit he will be least his hopes for taking over from Mr Cameron.
      Mr Cameron will not last two minutes after Brexit and who will want him to go on millions of dollar lecture tours when he got absolutely everything wrong?
      What they will pull out of the box will probably something threatening your home. Your very existence.
      Perhaps a joint press Conference with Cameron , Osborne, IMF and BoE looking grim faced. It’s easy for the latter two anyway for they will be also out of a job when Brexit comes.

    2. DaveM
      May 23, 2016

      When exactly does Purdah start? And how will the terrible duo break the rules on it? I suspect they will just ignore it and keep peddling speculation and lies.

        May 23, 2016

        I believe Purdah starts on 27th May. I imagined it would compel broadcasters to give balanced reportage. But…well,l may stand corrected, but I believe it primarily is about civil servants and what they can and cannot do.

      2. getahead
        May 23, 2016

        Whatever, the BBC will continue pushing out its Remainian campaign so that my Eastenders watching wife will persuaded that all hell and damnation will fall upon us if we leave.
        Whereas the opposite is more likely the truth.

    3. Martyn G
      May 23, 2016

      No doubt the last 2 shots in their locker will threaten the appearance of the ‘horsemen of the apocalypse’ followed by ‘the sky will fall in!’ Trouble is that too many will be taken in with all that the leaders say and vote to stay; and then we shall see the true nature of the EU as it swamps us with legislation aimed at reducing the UK to a regionalised, impotent part of their empire. Much like we already are I suppose on reflection?
      I never did or can understand the total absence of objection from politicians and public when England as a nation was eliminated from the map of the EU (and of course remains so to this day).

      1. Jane4brexit
        May 26, 2016

        There have been a few articles printed saying we are soon to get told about aliens by Obama and/or Clinton… Maybe they will say we have to stay in the EU or face attack from outer space!

  15. Know-dice
    May 23, 2016


    In with the heavy boots this morning.

    Maybe reflecting my mood over the last few days.
    I’m getting quite angry with Cameron, Osborne,Hammond et al, not just being disingenuous but just lying to us.

    You have covered most of this weekend’s lies in your blog today, I guess I always knew that politics was a dirty business, but this is ridiculous.

    Please make sure that you and “Vote Leave” take full advantage of this situation to push home your side of the discussion…

    Reply I have told Vote Leave I am available for media interviews, and have blogged on the topic of the day, but have no media bids.

    1. eeyore
      May 23, 2016

      Reply to reply: some comments on this blog assume spokesmen have full command of the media and can make statements and give interviews whenever they wish. Would it were so. Modern social media aside, democratic politicians are condemned always to speak through megaphones owned and controlled by others.

      Outfinanced, outspent, outshouted, with all the resources of BBC, HMG and EU ranged against it, it’s a fearful uphill slog for Leave. At least most of the Press is onside. The real wonder is how well it’s actually doing, and how resiliently its vote is holding up.

      As the Duke said at Waterloo, “Hard pounding, gentlemen. Let’s see who pounds longest.”

    2. Chris S
      May 23, 2016

      Perhaps you could try some more proactive activity like phoning in to challenge Remain speakers statements on radio talk shows including Radio 4’s Today ?

      Boris, Gove and IDS get on the news regularly by issuing statements challenging the lies and half truths put our by Cameron and co.

      You have considerable standing as an ex-cabinet minister so one or two carefully selected contributions would surely be picked up by the media ?

      Having said that, we never hear anything from so-called leading Brexiteers such as my own MP Christopher Chope.

      Biggest disappointment is big-hitter Dan Hannan. He is the most convincing and clearest speaking person on our side yet he appears to not have been given a high profile job to do.

  16. Ian Wragg
    May 23, 2016

    Osborne should be sacked immediately for trying to talk down Sterling and the economy.
    If we fail to win release from this Soviet inspired organisation what will the posh boys have to say about a slew of detrimental legislation from Brussels.
    The BBC is in overdrive this week discussing the EU. Totally biased for remaining as usual.
    No doubt egged on by North. 10.

  17. Nettle soup
    May 23, 2016

    I agree with the guy in Brexit the Movie who said I don’t care if me and my family are eating grass stew if we Brexit .
    Any hardship is worth bearing for a while for this our last chance.

  18. Bob
    May 23, 2016

    I see that Mr Cameron has implied that the UK would veto Turkish membership of the EU.

    In 2010 he said he strongly supported Turkey joining:

    Is this another U-turn?

    1. Know-dice
      May 23, 2016

      No, it’s an EU-Turn, and clearly “The man is for turning”…

    2. Denis Cooper
      May 23, 2016

      The British government may have a veto over any country joining the EU, but that doesn’t mean that the British people would have a veto because they wouldn’t be asked. That’s the consequence of Section 4(4)(c) in the European Union Act 2011, Hague’s so-called “referendum lock” law, which provides a blanket exemption for all accession treaties for new countries to join the EU. We didn’t have a referendum on whether we wanted Croatia in the EU, even though it joined after that Act had been passed, and nor would there be any legal requirement for a referendum on whether we wanted Turkey to be allowed to join.

      1. Bob
        May 24, 2016

        @Denis Cooper
        Are you implying that Mr Cameron is trying to deceive us?

        1. Denis Cooper
          May 24, 2016

          I was really just stating the legal position, for the umpteenth time, but as you ask that question my answer is “Yes”, he is.

  19. agricola
    May 23, 2016

    It is my habit on switching on my computer each morning to first deal with your diary entry and then to move on to see what the papers have to say.

    The Daily Mail this morning has an article by Steve Hilton, one time mover and shaker at number 10 for Cameron. It is a devastating dissection of the EU and explains the heart of the argument for leaving it’s tendrils. Well worth reading. It’s only omission is an explanation of why Cameron is such a devoted worshiper at the EU altar.

    1. JoeSoap
      May 23, 2016

      The day after Brexit he will change his mind and say he never supported staying….

  20. Iain Moore
    May 23, 2016

    In 2014 there was a 15% decline in the pound, but did anyone notice Britain entering a world ending recession? Nope nor did I. But now Osborne is predicting a similar movement on Sterling will be the end of the British economy.

    The fact is as with our exit from the ERM, a decline in Sterling will more likely give a boost to a our manufacturing base , something we desperately need in light of a our trade deficit, especially with inflation criticality low. A decline in Sterling is a win win.

  21. Bert Young
    May 23, 2016

    The “remain” case has been centred on economics to draw attention away from the critical issues of migration and loss of sovereignty . Osborne has involved the Treasury into the campaign relying on ambiguous figures and assumptions ; his own record is a shambles . That Cameron has drawn on the likes of other leaders in their field is another indication of the frailty of his own background and unpopularity .

    On the other hand the “Brexiters” have done a poor job in co-ordinating their approach , they have less financial resources and too many front-lining personalities ; the polls presently show how important it is to convince the “undecided”. A little magic is now required to re-focus their efforts and introduce a simplistic dynamic to reach the ordinary voter . The older generation who have the benefit of experience on their side are , clearly ,voting to leave , everything therefore depends on convincing the young . The Paxman effort is the best so far .

    Johns’ efforts and his consistency are highly commendable ; his retorts on the economics front are the best . The BBC are having a disproportionate influence so far and it is difficult to see how they can be brought into line . My fingers are now crossed for a small miracle .

  22. Paul Cohen
    May 23, 2016

    It is getting tedious listening to Mr Cameron whenever he is talking about the referendum. He has only one approach, and that is to rant at whoever he speaks to.
    This conduct is unacceptable which together with the half truths and nonsense he spouts makes any informed conversation impossible.

    1. Iain Moore
      May 23, 2016

      I wouldn’t be surprised , or shocked if the deadly duo had a press conference and they said, ‘wow, wow, and thrice wow, plague and pestilence will descend on this land if we vote to leave the EU’.

  23. Caterpillar
    May 23, 2016

    “There is simply not enough bad news around to underpin the government’s pathetic wish to talk us down and to force us to stay for fear of worse” The Government is inducing Chicken-Little syndrome into the UK, and this will be the outcome whichever way the referendum turns out. The motivation for Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne to behave in this way is extremely unclear, whatever the referendum result they are clearly not the people to lead the country forward. In the roles they are in they ought to be able to put forward a confident view and strategy in either scenario, whichever they prefer. The situation seems to be one that even with a Remain vote there will now be a large uncertainty of when political competence will emerge. I would be amazed if confidence remains in the PM after the referendum, taking him seriously is bordering on impossible … unless of course he chooses to replace Mr Osborne.

    1. Jagman84
      May 23, 2016

      A suggestion for the panic in the Remain camp …. Maybe Cameron’s private polling results are not in keeping with those of the public polling organisations? Or the public ones are severely ‘doctored’ to make us believe the majority of the population are for remain, in the hope that the Brexiters will give up the fight?

  24. Shieldsman
    May 23, 2016

    How did the United Kingdom get into the situation whereby Simon Heffer writes ‘David Cameron’s disgraceful dishonesty over the EU is turning Britain into a banana republic’.

    Whilst you Mr Redwood are researching facts and figures on the failure of the EU, Cameron and Osborne have the LIE machine at peak output, reaching new heights of incredulity.

    Could one describe it as a dirty game to win by FOUL means.

    Heffer: “That Mr Cameron wrote to the chairman of Serco, which has billions of pounds worth of government contracts, outlining his plan to ask for pleas to stay in the EU in annual reports, while telling the House of Commons he did not rule out leaving suggests he is a liar. At the time, to give him the benefit of the doubt, he may not have been able to decide to whom he was lying. We now know it was to the Commons, and the country. Having done that, spraying around a few peerages to deeply unsuitable people, or promising businessmen to see them all right in the long run, may appear neither here nor there.

    But it stains him: it stains our public life; it stains our country; it justifies the low opinion millions of people have of politicians; it is indeed reminiscent of the banana republic; and should cause everyone to ask why, on this most important question of our lifetimes that we decide in just a month’s time, we should dare to believe a single word he says”.

    Go back to the Brussels charade, a few promises were made, which remain unfulfilled, and nothing changed in our treaty terms (the reformed EU is a hoax). In fact Cameron gave more away than he got. If eight German professors can see through it, why can’t the other half of the Governing Party, the media, and the vote.leave campaign see it and publicize it. Depositing the agreement at the UN was a red herring and absolutely meaning less.

    IF you read BRIEFING PAPER Number 7524, 8 March 2016, you will find:
    It is not a binding EU treaty or EU law in itself.
    The Decision probably cannot be reversed without the consent of the UK. But it cannot guarantee all of the outcomes envisaged in it.
    The President of the European Parliament made it clear at the time that the ’emergency brake’ would be subject to a vote in Parliament.

  25. agricola
    May 23, 2016

    In the Penny Maudant rebuttal we see the PM at his devious “Flashman” worst.

    When she highlighted the dangers of future Turkish membership of the EU he put her down by saying that Turkish membership was “Not remotely on the cards”. Yet when he speaks offshore he says he wants to pave the way for Turkey to join the EU. It is UK government policy to effect Turkey joining the EU. Only nine days ago Cameron committed the UK to re-energise the accession of Turkey to the EU. Apart from his unpleasantness to Penny Maudant he must be confusing the Turkish government.

    How long is this duplicitous PM to be allowed to continue. His behaviour is despicable, particularly when you add to it all the fantasy scare stories that fall from his lips on a daily basis. I hope it gives Penny Maudant the courage to move from remain to leave.

  26. The Active Citizen
    May 23, 2016

    Another splendid article today JR.

    Seven days a week you do this, and yet you’re not an official Vote Leave spokesperson – or at least they don’t choose to promote you. When you do appear on TV it’s via your own efforts and you’re one of the most effective speakers in my opinion. On this site you produce longer and considered pieces, on TV you get right to the heart of what voters want to hear.

    Today there’s one month to go before we lose by around 60/40. (Sorry LifeLogic, I love your continual optimism but you’ve been wrong on this for weeks.)

    We’ve known all weekend that the Government was going to issue the final Treasury report this morning. The content was even leaked in advance.

    Yesterday, Vote Leave’s big idea was its Turkey poster – a total turkey and if one of my marketing team had produced something this I would have suggested they start seeking alternative employment.

    Today at 6.00am, Vote Leave’s website had as its latest news item: ‘Paving the road from Ankara’ – dated 3 days ago. Absolutely nothing to rebut the biggest news for voters today – the official Treasury forecast of massive job losses, price rises, mortgage rises, house price falls, and recession – if they vote Leave.

    At exactly the same time, of course had an opposing and positive take on the Treasury predictions. I’m sure they would have done much more if they hadn’t had to reduce work drastically since Friday as a result of the site’s funding crisis. It’s still a good response – particularly when you think Vote Leave have produced nothing. And Fact4EU’s piece is very positive.

    Unless there’s a blow-up in one of the EU’s major crises, we’ll lose. Vote Leave’s strategy was flawed from the start and some of us will know who to blame. Not something which is any way helpful, after the event.

    I just wish that with only one month to go, Vote Leave’s Directors would finally say today that “enough is enough” and replace those who have so far been responsible for such a disastrous campaign. It’s our only chance.

  27. bluedog
    May 23, 2016

    The global elites are in panic mode, Dr JR, Bilderbergers and Davosards alike.

    Suddenly they see that the masses are rejecting a seventy year drive towards globalisation, and that the protectionism and nationalism promoted by populists like Trump are very close to electoral acceptance. The Brexit referendum is undoubtedly a tipping point in this secular shift in the mood of Western electorates. The very fact that the referendum is taking place at all, not who wins or loses, shows the power of the new nationalist consensus. An order and institutions set up after WW2 are tottering.

    Cameron’s desperation reflects the realisation that if he loses this referendum and Brexit prevails, Trump receives a massive shot in the arm and his nationalist/protectionist agenda will simply steam-roller Clinton. A second American Revolution seems to be at hand. Then there is the French presidential election next year, with Sarko already tacking to the Right. A second French Revolution may also be in the offing.

    Cameron faces the possibility that he will go down in history as the man who lost the New World Order, suddenly an international pariah rather than a gilded achiever who opened the way for a federal Europe with Britain as a key province. Cameron has a history of taking gambles that have paid off. But this time, win or lose on June 23rd, he loses. British politics will never be the same again and the rest of the EU will be affected as the ripples spread outwards. Merkel must be cursing Cameron.

    Even if we lose this time, we must continue the fight. The country is deeply divided, and it may take a little longer before we win the day, but it would be a great mistake to consider gentlemanly concessions in the interests of ‘unity’. The only concession we should consider is the unconditional surrender of the Remainians, how ever long it takes..

  28. Denis Cooper
    May 23, 2016

    In that article, Cameron and Osborne make this statement:

    “A few weeks ago, the Treasury published analysis which shows Britain would be worse off to the tune of £4,300 for every household every year by 2030.”

    Firstly, of course, the Treasury is not an independent, impartial body; its civil servants do what their boss wants, and if Osborne makes it clear that he wants them to come up with the most pessimistic predictions of the effects of Brexit that is what they will do.

    Secondly, that figure of £4,300, which is being so widely publicised, does not relate to an average loss of household income but to a predicted loss of GDP divided by the number of households. In 2014/15 the total GDP of the UK was £1809 billion, and the number of households is about 27.0 million, so the one divided by the other is £67,000, while the mean household income is only about £30,000. So that £4,300 has been deliberately inflated by a factor of 2.2, and should be cut to £1,925 just on that account.

    Thirdly, that £1,925 would be for 2030, not for say 2017. Why project forward to 2030? Because by then GDP, and GDP per household, will have increased through growth of the economy. If GDP grew at the long term trend growth rate of 2.5% a year that would work out as another factor of 1.4 inflating the predicted loss per household – assuming the same number of households, that is – and so the £1,925 loss of household income should then be cut back further to just £1,375 for say 2017.

    So through two simple, brazen, fiddles worthy of any doorstep shyster an average loss of income of £1,375 per household has been roughly trebled to the figure of £4,300 which is being sprayed around everywhere by the Remain campaign.

    Fourthly, that particular £4,300 number from the Treasury is based upon a prediction that if we leave the EU we will take a hit of 6.2% of GDP – what Cameron and Osborne describe as “a more severe shock scenario”, rather than only “an immediate and profound shock to our economy” with a 3.6% loss of GDP.

    According to the European Commission the EU Single Market has added about 2% to the collective GDP of the EU member states. However that is the average gain across the EU, and it appears from a German study that the UK is one of the countries which has gained least, only about 1%.

    As our economy has gained so little from being in the EU Single Market, about 1%, it is a bit of a puzzle that the model used by the Treasury predicts that we would lose far more than that if we left. Yes, if our withdrawal was disorderly then that might happen in the short term, but there is no reason why it should be disorderly when that would be in nobody’s interest, hurting other EU member states as well as us.

    Taking the average household income stated above, around £30,000 a year, a pro rata drop of 1% would equate to around £300 a year, not £4,300 a year as the Remain camp keep claiming. Going by the reverse route and dividing the last corrected number, £1,375, by another factor of 6 the answer would be about £229.

    Of the three cheats which civil servants at the Treasury have quietly slipped into their predictions the greatest uncertainty is around the last, the loss of GDP. Taking the first two together, pretending that average GDP per household is the same as average income per household, and arbitrarily projecting forward to 2030 because by then both will have increased and so the cost that is being predicted will be a higher number even though it is the same percentage loss, roughly treble the scale of the predicted loss from about £1,375 to £4,300, while the overestimation of any loss of GDP will bring in another factor of maybe 6 to deliberately inflate the real cost to a false number which will upset and scare some of the more gullible, or less attentive, voters.

    I don’t think it’s enough for the Leave side to dismiss the Treasury predictions as mere scaremongering, even though they are, it’s necessary to make some attempt to take them apart and show how the Treasury has cheated, and that’s what I’ve tried to do.

    1. stred
      May 24, 2016

      The Treasury apparently added 3m additional population to the computation, in which case about 1.25m extra household should have been added and used to divide the growth (which is not income). Then did they account for the growth in constant value and if so what inflation figure was used for 30 years? Also, as shown on a number of the graphs from ONS and others posted here, the GDP growth rate over the past years, during which there has been mass net migration, was below the average of 2.5% over a longer period and the GDP per head of population was much less. The graph line is almost flat for some years. Was this taken into account?

      Even these figures are based on ONS migration estimates from airport surveys where the truth of replies and sampling have been shown to be suspect. If the NI figures, which we are told assume that everyone went home after a year and did not come back are believed, even these do not necessarily include non -working dependents. To say nothing of the extra 4m on GP’s books. The true figure may be millions higher than the 3m.

      Civil servants have been instucted not to reveal information to even their own ministers which may be harmful to Remain. A leaked copy of Treasury calcualtions will be needed to expose any fiddles. After the referendum a FOI application may reveal the truth and then the referendum will be void as far as half the voters are concerned. The civil servants and ministers will have to be held to account. Anyone who hopes for immunity should come clean now.

      1. Denis Cooper
        May 24, 2016

        Yes, if they’re going to allow for GDP to increase through a continuation of mass immigration, contrary to the government’s stated policy, then they should also allow for an increase in the number of households, and if you take that as being 1.25 million then that will knock the GDP loss per household back from £4,300 to about £4,100, about 4% lower.

        But that would be a second order cheat compared to the first order cheats of deliberately allowing people to believe that it would be a shortfall in their income rather than in GDP, and allowing them to believe that it would be straight away rather than in 2030. It would mean the loss of household income in say 2017 would be £1,314 rather than £1,375.

        However the biggest cheat of all relates to a loss of GDP which is so much higher than even the official view of the benefits of the Single Market, with the possibility of any gains from deregulation being dismissed.

        Of course Osborne has form on this kind of thing.

  29. Dennis
    May 23, 2016

    Just heard on Daily Politics that the Leave campaign has a TV ad saying that the £350 million could be spent on the NHS! How stupid is this?

    We will remain in the EU, no doubt.

  30. majorfrustration
    May 23, 2016

    First class article but we are preaching to the converted. Agree with Sean – question whether we are getting our message across. We can win this referendum but only if the Brexit leadership can get their act together and speak with one voice and take on head to head the arguments of the remainers.

  31. DaveM
    May 23, 2016

    A good balanced EU discussion on Vine today. Tim Farron, a Guardian and New Statesman journo, and a farmer who survives on EU subsidies. You couldn’t make it up.

  32. Jack
    May 23, 2016

    While considered “exotic” by the mainstream, lower central bank interest rates and QE don’t create more currency, in fact they directly reduce demand and total spending in the economy. The BoE admits that they turn over £billions in interest income on the bonds they hold to HM Treasury, thereby reducing the government’s deficit, without realising that same interest income would have been received by people in the economy.

    But nevertheless, people believe that the “stimulus” measures by the ECB will cause inflation and so sell their Euro portfolios. Hence why the Eurozone’s current account surplus has expanded recently, keeping their otherwise awful economies afloat. So when the Euro appreciates because of said surplus, it doesn’t look like it’s going end well.

    The natural rate of interest is zero, and it should be left there forever. Without central bank manipulation of the interest rate market, the base “interest rate” will always drift back to 0%. Fiscal policy should be the thermometer on the wall, not monetary policy. When the economy is cold, as it is now, the government should expand its budget deficit, not attempt to reduce it; and central bank operations should continue without any particular policy significance.

  33. Denis Cooper
    May 23, 2016

    Apparently Cameron has said that it would be “morally wrong” to vote for Brexit; I can only suppose that he was briefly tempted into that immorality when he was in his “rule nothing out ” mode but he has since seen the light, praise the Lord.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 24, 2016

      I didn’t see the interview but I’m looking at the transcript:

      and Penny Mordaunt was on the right track until she jumped the points and went down a siding, hit the buffers and then bounced back out badly damaged …

      When she said early on:

      “But it’s also that this Referendum is going to be our last chance to have a say on that. We’re not going to be consulted or asked to vote on whether we think those countries or others should … join.”

      she was almost certainly making a correct prediction.

      Likewise when she said later on:

      “And I think it is quite wrong that the British people will not be asked their view on this in the future. The referendum is our only chance to say no, we disagree with that.”

      she was correct; it is wrong that we are never asked in a referendum whether we want a new country to be allowed to join the EU.

      Where she went wrong in between was to allow Marr to switch the meaning of “we”, from her original meaning, “the British people”, to “we” meaning the “British state” – the government, but with the approval of Parliament; Marr:

      “Except the British government does have a veto on Turkey joining so we don’t have to let them join.”

      It’s five years since Hague’s “referendum lock” law, the European Union Act 2011:

      was going through Parliament, and yet even now few people are aware that its Section 4(4)(c) provides a blanket exemption for all accession treaties for new countries to join the EU, one of a number of the loopholes that Hague deliberately built into his Act when he drafted it.

      If that seems just a matter of theory, it wasn’t in February 2012 when Hague laid a statement before Parliament invoking that provision to block a referendum on whether we wanted Croatia to join:

      “All of the provisions of the Croatia Accession Treaty relate to the accession of a new member State to the European Union and thus the Croatia Accession Treaty as a whole is subject to the exemption provided for in section 4(4)(c) of the Act.

      In my opinion the Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Croatia to
      the European Union of 9 December 2011 does not fall within section 4 of the Act
      and no referendum is required in the UK.

      Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs”

      It would be the same for Albania, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, which are all lined up to join the EU quite soon, and it would be the same for Turkey, which would probably join later than the others but still before we were likely to have a chance to vote in another “in-out” referendum – if that ever happens.

      She was right, if the UK stayed in the EU then we, the people, would not be asked directly whether we agreed with our politicians that those countries, including Turkey, should be allowed to join.

  34. Jane4brexit
    May 26, 2016

    The pound is still worth a lot more than it would be, had we joined the euro at .71p to one euro.

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