How many more industries does the EU intend to damage in the UK?

Amidst all this unreal talk from remain about possible future damage to business if we dare to leave the EU, there is a stunning silence about all the damage our EU membership has already done to many  businesses. Remain claims to have perfect foresight over future damage if we leave, but complete memory loss over all the actual known damage done by staying in.

 

The other day I was asked by a remain supporter what he thought would prove a difficult question. “Mr Redwood, which of EU regulations do you think are damaging and would you like to repeal?”

Where do you begin? How can you compress the long list into a short answer?

We can all agree the rules and regulations of the single currency are not for us, though keeping out of some of them is difficult. Remain has total amnesia about the recession and huge damage to  business the EU’s Exchange rate regulations did to  us in the late 1980s.

Remain is usually silent about our fishing industry. An island  nation with one of the world’s richest fishing grounds when we joined the EEC/EU has lost much of its industry under the rules of the common fishing policy. We are reduced to importing our own fish, plucked from our seas by foreign vessels. Out of the EU we could regulate our own fishing grounds and catch more of the permitted catch in UK vessels.

They are not that keen to talk about our steel industry either. Labour in the 1960s made a massive investment in a 45 million tonners a year industry, with five large modern integrated plants paid for by taxpayers. Sine we joined the EEC/EU we have seen continuous decline, to an industry of under one quarter the capacity we had on entry in 1972. EU rules on steel trade, energy prices and state aids have helped bring us to this sad situation. The German industry, still at 43 million tonnes of output, has fared much better with a regime for cheaper energy and state support which is deemed legal when we struggle to get help or permission for us to help  from the EU. EU policies have driven us to much more import dependence for steel, including having to import the steel for our submarines.

Then how about our electricity industry? EU regulations have turned a productive relatively low cost generator into a high cost one. EU energy policy is forcing us into more import dependence through interconnectors to the continent where before we were self sufficient.

 

When we joined the EU we produced 4% of the world’s aluminium. Today it has practically all gone, thanks to plant closures brought on the EU’s dear power policies.

 

Industry by industry the EU has damaged us and assisted industrial decline. If we were in charge of our own rules and spending plans we should do better.

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153 Comments

  1. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Erm what about the UK having the highest fuel duties in the industrialised world? What about job killers, like workplace pensions and the resulting admin and cost burdens that are forced on employers? Those are both determined in Westminster not Brussels. NEST did create jobs in its administration but they are managed by TATA in India. What happened to British jobs for British workers?

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      The U.K. has the most bloated state sector in the world bar North Korea yet politicians and civil servants still refuse to broach pensions for non public sector workers .

      The state pension is only £7,000 yet vocational pensions for people who have worked a lifetime in the state sector are typically 2X , 3X , 4X , 5X this .

      The ratio is all wrong .

      Once upon a time the unlivable state pension might have been intended to create admin jobs for administration of means tested benefits .

      Pretty soon the rug is going to be pulled from under peoples feet and means tested benefits are going to reduce and ordinary Britons are going to be left starving and freezing to death .

      • Jerry
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        @ADS; “The U.K. has the most bloated state sector in the world bar North Korea”

        Cough, if you say so….

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        I am glad I am a bit away from retirement yet. Apart from nibbling away at savers, ZIRP must be putting the trustees of DB schemes under a hell of a lot of pressure at the moment. The universities scheme is just a straw in the wind in this respect. I am also waiting for the press to start reporting stories like “Saving into a workplace pension stopped my benefits. I wish I had not bothered”. Thats of course if there is no market crash and the punters actually have something to buy an annuity with.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Indeed the sector when pensions are included is about 50% overpaid compared to the private sector. This for far fewer hours, better conditions, more sick pay earlier retirement and very little useful output indeed.

        • hefner
          Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

          As an employer, have you ever considered that your employees are underpaid, overworked in worse conditions, with worse health plans and pension schemes?
          And what is your company producing which is so socially useful?

          • Lifeligic
            Posted June 7, 2016 at 2:26 am | Permalink

            Unlike the state sector we have to operate in a competitive (and hugely overtaxed and over regulated) market. So we can only pay the market rate or go out of business.

            We produce mainly houses, offices, other buildings, building materials, storage systems, construction and IT consultancy. Most people find houses & offices quite socially useful I think.

            Certainly more than find for example government’s “motorist muggings agenda” useful I suspect.

      • hefner
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

        Your comment does not seem to fit with
        “Public sector employment as percent of total employment”, business insider.com 28 November 2011, or around the same time “The size and composition of the State-owned enterprise sectors in OECD countries” in OECD-library.org

        Among OECD countries, at the time, only Japan and the US had a LOWER percentage of public sector workers than the UK. Portugal, Greece, Italy, Germany, France and China all had more, sometimes a lot more.
        And I doubt that the picture has drastically been changed over the last five years.
        Where did you take your figures?

      • Witchie
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Dunno where you get a state pension of £7k, mine’s £5k, and 40% of that goes back in tax. Fortunately, I’m still working. State pensions can be up to 2/3 of final salary, which for a fat cat can be over £100k …

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Indeed Nest, the national minimum wage, the sugar tax and the attack on non doms are all hugely damaging to competitivity. Perhaps why Osborne has a record trade deficit in peacetimes.

      They just create pointless parasitic non jobs.

    • acorn
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      Dame Rita. Number crunchers were a bit surprised by Osborne’s move for workplace pensions. Alas, we should not have been, it is a typical piece of neo-liberal thinking, brought about by the total misunderstanding of how fiat currency economies actually work.

      If you want the economy to grow, its households (the Customers) have to spend money. Preferably from income and not from ever increasing borrowings; the latter is the Osborne plan.

      So a Chancellor with half a brain, would not want to decrease the amount of HIS “money” circulating in the economy; unless, there was a sector of the economy that was overheating. That is, more government “money” and commercial bank “credit” available, than the private sector has the capacity to supply goods and services. Result; inflation. Remedy; taxation specific to that sector of the economy, to slow it down.

      Three things remove “spending power” from households. Taxation; Savings and Imports from foreign currency areas. The UK is global number one, at the latter, at the moment.

      Pension contribution, both private and public sector, are basically a form of taxation. They remove spending power from Households. Most private sector pension funds are Ponzi schemes. They basically pay out the contributions of working members to the retired members. They get a little bit from investment total returns, but knowwhere near enough to cover the outgoings. I think the only public sector scheme that has a surplus is the NHS. That is because its contributing working members has increased hugely. It pays its surplus back to the Treasury.

      The TATA Steel pension fund is ex public sector British Steel. It has to have the sponsoring Company, put large donations into it, to keep it afloat. Its working members and investment income, can’t get close to covering its outgoings. It is selling assets currently, to cover some of its outgoings.

      Public sector pensions are superior to private sector versions because there are no middlemen taking a very large portion of the income the funds acquire. Public sector pensions are a channel to inject spending power into the economy, just like the State Retirement Pension does.

      The State could takeover all the private sector pension funds, no problem. The State will never run out of its own “money” to pay those pensions. The State is the currency issuer.

      The big big question is, will there be anything available to buy with that “money” issued by the government. How much are you prepared to offer for the next couple of hundred Ford Mondeo, that the company had enough parts to make them with?

      Play it cool, don’t panic. A sovereign government that issues its own currency, is not going to collapse overnight. BUT, we may have to cut back on the imports for a while, as we get revved up; and, start the new British Commonwealth EFTA. Existing EU States are welcome to apply for membership. 😉 😉 😉 .

  2. Mark B
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The issue I have with some on the Conservative Leave side, is they are not honest with the facts and figures themselves. The dear energy our kind host talks about, was mostly brought about by the Climate Change Act which, is supported by his party and has yet to be repealed or by a majority Conservative government.

    It is also been stated, that the EU wanted to put higher tariffs on Chinese steel but the UK vetoed this. So our steel workers are being shafted by our own government and not the EU.

    The then EEC was indeed responsible for taking our fishing grounds, but who gave them to them on a plate and thought it was a price worth paying for membership ? To remind everyone, it was the Conservative government led by, Ted Heath.

    The EU is moving to a full federal system. It needs to do this in order to survive. It is VERY important that people are told this and, not bamboozled into thinking it is all about trade and the money in their pocket – it is much, much more than that.

    So lets drop the nonsense and talk about the EU. I am sick of hearing who is going to replace, Cameron and if they will be any good or not. I want people to talk about the EU. What it is ? What it does ? Where it is heading (EVER CLOSER UNION) ? And, what is our part in all this ?

    We also need to talk about the processes of leaving and the numerous ‘options’ open to us. The advantages and disadvantages of each. The debate, I have seen some, is very poor. It is almost if you people really do not know what it is you are talking about.

    And please, can we have, Dan Hannan talk. I am sure no one will be asking or accusing him of wanting to be the next PM, as if that job now really matters a part from a few career tougheners.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for finally putting my post up.

    • getahead
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      When is a conservative not a conservative? When it is Heath or anyone after Margaret Thatcher.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    We would indeed do better, it would be rather hard to do much worse. Though perhaps Corbyn & Mc Donnell might manage it, were the public foolish enough to ever elect them.

    Corbyn and the lefties like to use the phrase “a race to the bottom” endlessly. Why they think people, when left to their own devices, would try to race to the bottom rather than climb to the top I do not know. Perhaps the bottom is just the area the lefties prefer?

    Certainly Corbyn’s “let’s follow Venezuela agenda” would take us to the bottom. Fortunately I do not think the people give him the chance to try it. Let us hope that post the Brexit vote the Tories can hang together sufficiently and return to being a proper Tory party again with a sensible “low (and simple) tax at heart” chancellor. Also that they can find a leader that is not in the Heath, Major, Cameron mode of pro EU, ever higher taxes, PR spin over substance & endless greencrap mode.

    What on earth is Osborne’s side kick Hancock playing at now?
    If he really wants to improve the life chances of the poor get some decent Grammar and Direct Grant Schools back and stop dumbing down the exam systems.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/29/young-matt-hancock-the-privately-educated-minister-fighting-a-ch/

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    It is going to be rather hard keeping the Tories together, post the Brexit vote.

    Cameron seems to want to make it even harder by the day.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/05/david-cameron-intensifies-tory-civil-war-by-uniting-with-leaders/?WT.mc_id=e_DM125228&WT.tsrc=email&etype=Edi_FAM_New_AEM_Recipient&utm_source=email&utm_medium=Edi_FAM_New_AEM_Recipient_2016_06_06&utm_campaign=DM125228

    But then is is clearly far more at home with Ms Harman, Tim Farron and Natalie Bennett types.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:02 am | Permalink

      Brexit odds falling yet again I see, from 4.5 now down to 2.4.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

        The odds on Joe Biden becoming the Democrat presidential candidate are also dropping like a stone. Hopefully with the removal of Mrs Clinton we will start to see the demise of neo-liberalism.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

          @DRW; What utter hyperbole… No, if Mrs Clinton finds herself removed as a presidential candidate them it will mean the odds on either Sanders or Biden increase, it will not see the end of what you call neo-liberalism.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:50 am | Permalink

          Mrs Clinton is a very week candidate, she reminds be of a bossy but rather dim primary school teacher who talks rather slowly but has nothing sensible to say.

          • Lifeligic
            Posted June 7, 2016 at 2:34 am | Permalink

            Weak!

          • Dame Rita Webb
            Posted June 7, 2016 at 6:51 am | Permalink

            Its her “laugh” that you should be more concerned about

        • hefner
          Posted June 6, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          Unfortunately just being pushed forward in England after Brexit or in the EU after Bremain.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      Cameron also seems content to put up John Major as his proxy to personally abuse other Tory MPs on the Leave side after piously refusing himself to take part in any Blue on Blue debates himself. Major is a total joke, how anyone who wrecked the economy with the ERM feels himself qualified to offer up advice on Europe is beyond me and calling someone who ran London and had the largest personal mandate in UK politics a “court jester” is just absurd, an insult to the London voters, and contributes precisely zero to the EU debate.

      Interesting TUC campaign for Remain today – their argument is that the EU would be able to override any Tory government changes to workers’ rights. They don’t consider the other side, that the EU would also block any future Labour government policies on nationalisation for example.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        Well, their argument is just an anti-democratic as Heath arguing to his colleagues that his Tory government should take us into the EEC because that would tie the hands of the next Labour government.

        That’s apart from their lack of concern about people who would like to become workers but are denied that possibility partly because potential employers are put off by the cost of all the rights they would acquire.

        http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Unemployment_statistics

        “Eurostat estimates that 21.224 million men and women in the EU-28, of whom 16.420 million were in the euro area (EA-19), were unemployed in April 2016 …

        … The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.2 % in April 2016, stable compared with March 2016, and down from 11.0 % in April 2015. The EU-28 unemployment rate was 8.7 % in April 2016, down from 8.8 % in March 2016, and from 9.6 % in April 2015.”

    • agricola
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      Wise up, Cameron always has been a closet socialist rather than a one nation conservative. His dark side has been well articulated by Lifelogic in the past, so I will refrain from repeating it.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      @LL: But in 1975 we had people Mr Enoch Powell sharing platforms with the likes Tony Benn, surely you remember? Oh and in 2016 if a certain Mr Scargill didn’t have the up most political scruples (at least on this issue…) someone from the opposite end of the political spectrum wanting a Brexit could have found themselves sharing a platform with him – it’s what happens with cross part issues.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        Jerry you are absolutely right about sharing platforms past and present,,

        Nothing wrong with that at all.

        The difference this time is the personal attacks.

        Those attacks will fester, and will not be forgotten

        Listened to a 1975 Enoch Powell speech about the EU and what he thought would happen if we remained, almost word for word it would suit the arguments of today.

        Such an insight/foresight which 40 years of history has proven he was correct.

        Shame we do not have many such Politicians with such foresight now, I exclude our host.

        As for Mr Major, think the least said the better, but comments from someone who oversaw 17% interest rates and made the Conservatives unelectable for many years because he could not keep control of his own Party, its a bit rich complaining and bad mouthing others.

        Sounds like he has been waiting years to vent his fury at others for his own limitations and failures.

        Was it not him who signed the Maastricht Treaty which started the real demise of the UK’s power within the EU.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 7, 2016 at 4:33 am | Permalink

          @alan jutson; Did you watch the BBC Parliament channel on Sunday evening, they re-broadcast some of the key debates in the 1975 referendum, including a most fascinating edition of Panorama with Tony Benn and Roy Jenkins going head to head across the table, Mr Benn could have been delivering a history lesson from the grave….

          We might not have liked his politics but on many issues he was spot on, even if his solutions were not!

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Neither Enoch Powell nor Tony Benn were twits though.

        • Lifeligic
          Posted June 7, 2016 at 2:40 am | Permalink

          Well, certainly not the former, but the latter had no understanding of the damage his economic policies would have done. He was essentially a magic money tree man, a lets play Father Christmas with other people money and try to buy some votes. Rather like most of the left. He even kept the absurd Concord project going, destroying countless real jobs in the process.

          He was however at least a democrat and far superior to his depressing son.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      It looks rather like a meeting of a proto-Fourth International!

  5. eeyore
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Such a question about deregulation is often put to Leave spokesmen by interviewers, and with justification, I think. The onus is on those who propose radical change to explain the reasons for it, the mechanism and the benefits.

    What often follows is an unsatisfactory answer with rather too much bluster to be convincing. But the question is not difficult to anticipate. Briefing notes should provide a short list of specific named and dated regulations, by way of example, as well as a longer one giving the principles by which deregulation would be governed. This would reassure those who fear that deregulation is just weasel-speak for a Tory assault on workers’ rights.

    Even in this post Mr Redwood slides from posing a question about regulation to more generalised complaint about EU-inspired damage. To say “Where do you begin?” is not quite the same as actually beginning.

    Reply On the contrary, I opposed the very damaging regulations of the ERM and wish us to leave the Common Fishing Policy as soon as possible.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      @JR reply; OK so that is two [1], and hardly needing a comment like “Where do you begin?” in response, so what about the rest, how about you list then all rather than just talk generally. Surely the political right-wing of the Brexit campaign actually knows what regulations they wants to repeal post Brexit – but then perhaps the left-wing of Remain (and the left-wing of Brexit for that mater) are correct, it would be far to politically damaging to put such cards face up on the table before polling day?!

      [1] well only one actually, as the ERM one is irrelevant now

      Reply Yes, there are various damaging regs we will be able to shed. Getting rid of the Common Fishing Policy is a clear e.g. of regs that have done huge damage with what industry is left wishing them to be replaced with something better. VAT on fuel, tampons and green products are also regs we want rid of.

  6. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The grandees who support Remain are generally pleased that we are being deindustrialised as they hate us.
    Building thousands of useless windmills subsidised by the masses whilst closing down major industry is all part of Agenda 21.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Future generations will wonder what collective insanity made governments spend such vast sums of tax payers money, ruining the countryside and pushing up energy bills with these pointless bird and bat exploding machines.

      Machines that produce tiny amounts of vastly overpriced, unreliable & intermittent energy.

      • Know-dice
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        And why CMD was so pleased to have “negotiated” deals with the EU (BBC Countryfile 06/06/16), whereas if we were out we could have just done what was in the UK’s best interest without asking a remote institution in Brussels.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        Hear, hear Ian. I agree with Mr Redwood’s summary of lost industries and your own comments. As I look across at over 40 wind turbines from my property all doing nothing at the moment, I have to question why we are all paying for this rubbish. The EU and all their cronnies have a lot to answer for. Just come back from a 4 day tour of the Highlands and am pleased to report that for the main part there are not many ugly turbines destroying the wildlife and the scenery. It is majestic but I fear the SNP will not care a jot for it all and carry on regardless of the damage and destroy the whole of Scotland for what??????

        Looks like fracking will not take off in Scotland and that says a lot about the stupid bunch of useless politicians we have up here. Jobs galore are going in not only the oil industry but many others while our jokers in Holyrood sit back and go on about Scotland being 100% renewable. It makes you want to throw up into a bucket.

        I hope to God people wise up to what is going on in the EU and vote OUT. It is the only way to get our country back.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      Building thousands of useless windmills subsidised by the masses whilst closing down major industry is all part of Agenda 21.

      Totally spot on

    • sjb
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      It is not the Remain ‘grandees’, Ian. The following quote is from a leading Brexit economist.

      “Over time, if we left the EU, it seems likely that we would mostly eliminate manufacturing, leaving mainly industries such as design, marketing and hi-tech. But this shouldn’t scare us.” – Prof Patrick Minford, March 2016

      Reply His is not the official view and not a view I support. It is true that belonging to the EU has greatly reduced our manufacturing base.

      • Lifeligic
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 2:44 am | Permalink

        Over time. post Brexit. we will nimbly react to market pressures as they arise and find our areas of competitive advantage, that is the way to succeed.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

      Germany is planning on addressing it’s shortfall by building yet more lignite stations .

      They will be paid to stand by .

      The British establishments decision to close all coal seems a bit premature .

      They are always either late arrivals just as the smart guys are moving on to something else or premature adopters .

      I have a real worry now that with a harsh winter , we will see industry told to shut down in order to protect the grid and maintain supply to vital services and homes .

      You can get away with a renewables fantasy when you can import surplus conventional electricity from your neighbours via an interconnect .

      However , when your neighbours also start succumbing to the renewables delusions , those contingencies disappear .

    • hefner
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      Ian, you might want to read “Britain for sale”, by Alex Brummer (City editor of the Daily Mail), and realise that deindustrialisation has been going on since the ’50s, and accelerated from Mrs T onwards.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        hefner

        Its called evolution. Technological innovation. We are now the 5 largest manufacturing nation on earth . Another fact that doesnt get airing is UK Car manufacturing output per automotive worker is 10.8 cars per worker. Germany is below the EU average at 7.0 cars per worker … Romania produces 2.6 cars per worker. Industry and manufacturing isn’t going away its CHANGING, evolving.

  7. Elsey
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    If we had intelligent leaders- which we don’t- we would, repeal every single EU law and regulation on the day we leave. No picking through and keeping some. Just get rid of all of them. The damage and lost potential from these dictats is gigantic. Every transaction that has been prevented and every business that hasn’t started is an unseen but massive cost to this country. Take back our fishing grounds, revive our industry, cut our costs and show the rest of Europe there is an alternative to the all pervasive centrally planned control of our lives.

    • Lifeligic
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 2:45 am | Permalink

      Plus about 90% of the UK red tape too.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Some of the regulations derived from the EU are necessary and beneficial and we will want homegrown replacements, but it will take time to do that properly.

  8. agricola
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Many of the regulations imposed on industry, necessary to sell in the EU, are an unnecessary burden when selling at home or to the rest of the World. A potential cost down for industry.

    Protectionist trading rules on food purchase from World sources, make our domestic food bill unnecessarily high. Without them we could help developing countries with increased trade rather than charity.

    As you say the EU CFP has decimated our fishing industry to the advantage of the EU fishing industry. It has also caused a depletion of stocks and a totally unjustifiable waste through the imposition of quotas.

    EU environmental rules have managed to flood the Somerset Levels and other vulnerable areas of the UK.

    Praying to false Gods at the altar of the climate change movement costs us in very expensive electricity, and the export of whole industries. All because the green Canutes think they can compete with the sun, and ignore the lessons of the geological past of our World.

    Another positive side to the ending of our subjugation by the EU should be an end to that branch of the legal profession that feeds on the rights of terrorists and criminals, at the expense and disadvantage of the law abiding.

    It could also be an end to the rubber stamping, gold plating of EU dictats by our unthinking civil service. Indulging in original thought could be good for them.

    A final positive advantage might also be the collapse of the socialist, protectionist, house of cards, that the EU has created for itself. It could be that our peaceful departure might show other European nations that they too have a choice, before they are swallowed up by this ill- conceived , anti democratic model for governance.

  9. formula57
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Why is the UK government so much less capable at managing the EU than the German government seems to be, given “The German industry, still at 43 million tonnes of output, has fared much better with a regime for cheaper energy and state support which is deemed legal when we struggle to get help or permission for us to help from the EU.”?

  10. Know-dice
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Off topic – almost…

    From the BBC today “

    “Pro-Remain MPs are considering using their Commons majority to keep Britain inside the EU single market if there is a vote for Brexit, the BBC has learned.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36457120

    For me this shows any post Brexit economic failure will be in the hands of the Government. They will produce a “fudge” as predicted by several on this blog in the recent past.

    I’m appalled by the arrogance of this Government for not producing (publishing) a post Brexit plan. they called this referendum and as such should have plans in place for ANY, decision made by the British voters.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Know Dice

      “Pro Remain Mp’s ………..”

      If they tried the above that would be the end of our so called democracy.

      Leave Mp’s would simply have no choice but to put forward a motion of no confidence in Cameron and perhaps the Government to trigger either a leadership contest or a General Election with perhaps Labour Support.

      If that failed then the Conservatives would be dead as a political Party for decades.

      See how support for UKIP would grow then. !!!!!!!

    • Jerry
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      @Know-dice; But many on the Brexit side want the same, hence why they keep mentioning the agreements that Norway and Switzerland have with the EU as good blue-prints for keeping the UK within the single market.

      Why should a government publish a plan for something they do not wish to see happen, perhaps they could also write the Labour parties next manifesto and thus give the Labour Party the best possible chance of winning the election – quite daft!

      • Know-dice
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry,

        Simply because it may happen, they are the ones causing uncertainly and potentially market instability.

        Seems like they have already given the Labour Party quite a boost 👿

        • Jerry
          Posted June 7, 2016 at 4:43 am | Permalink

          @Know-dice; By your rational the government should also then publish the countries military defence strategy, just to prove that they have actually planed such a strategy!

          • Know-dice
            Posted June 8, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            @Jerry

            Now who is being daft?

          • Jerry
            Posted June 8, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

            @Know-dice; Exactly, and what do you think the markets would make of this “In care of Brexit” briefing document you want published? Publishing the war plans would likely cause less turmoil!…

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        It’s not an election, it’s a referendum, and whichever way it goes the Tory party will still be in government afterwards and they, not Labour, will have to deal with the consequences. But in fact we do know their plan, which is to stand idly by while the bomb under the UK economy blows up precipitating a global economic meltdown and triggering World War 3.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Interesting article in a number of ways, but I particularly note that suddenly we’ve jumped from the EU really having very little effect on our laws to:

      “… a huge amount of legislation would have to be changed.

      The European Communities Act 1972 that took Britain into the EU would have to be repealed.

      New Acts of Parliament would be needed to implement the withdrawal agreement. Acts that implement EU directives would need to be repealed or amended.

      Thousands of EU regulations – that were automatically transferred into UK law – would have to be reintroduced, amended or allowed to lapse. And secondary legislation dependent on the European Communities Act would also have to be given new enabling laws.

      Ministers say this process could take years and would provide determined pro-EU MPs lots of opportunity to cause trouble.”

      Well, it will take years, so the sooner we start the better.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Exactly why Cameron & cronies must stand down on 24th June if they lose. He will sell us out like he has done on this one.

      We need hard headed negotiators.

      But first we need to win and already it looks like gerrymandering with postal votes has been going on. The Daily Mail last week said 1.5 million postal votes had been ‘mistakenly’ sent out. When the Electoral Commission looked into it, (after many had already been returned), they said it was ‘only 3,500’. They reckon they will cancel them, but who knows really? Believe who you like, but the reason so many in political circles despise the DM is because 95 percent of the time they are proved right in the end.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      The Single Market is the EEA. I thought Cameron and the rest of the Remaniacs thought that a EEA only relationship was not an option as we would not be able to make the rules ?

      They are all over the place.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      Late last week Cameron stated that Brexiteers must accept the result of the EU referendum. He gave no such instruction to those who want to remain in EU. It struck me as odd and menacing when I first read it and with today’s revelations even more concerning.

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    The Telegraph has a long letter today from a Greek lady who was previously the EU Commissioner in charge of our fisheries, and she says that it’s now all hunky-dory. Presumably this is why Cameron didn’t bother to mention the subject during his “renegotiation”.

    Communications with her present base in Arlington, Virginia must be a bit slow, because she is referring back to this article published in the Telegraph on May 22nd:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/21/the-eu-has-destroyed-some-of-our-most-prosperous-industries—an/

    “The EU has destroyed some of our most prosperous industries – and will continue to do so”

    For her, as an ex-communist, now socialist, naturally enough “the mobility of fish in EU waters makes them a shared resource”, and “Wherever you see national fisheries policies, you find overfishing and the collapse of stocks”. I don’t think the Norwegians or indeed the Icelanders would agree with either of those propositions.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      @Denis Cooper; ” I don’t think the Norwegians or indeed the Icelanders would agree with either of those propositions.”

      So what were the three “Cod Wars”, between the UK and Iceland, all about then, all of which occurred outside of the then accepted territorial waters of the time?

      Stop the world, nature wants to get off…!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        They were about the Icelanders NOT accepting that the fish were a shared resource, precisely as I have said.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 7, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          @Denis Cooper; Exactly, which is not what those who keep banging on about “Our fish” wish to accept, both Norway and Iceland are suffering from the same decline in world fish stocks as everyone else. But they are right on one point, this is not best dealt with by the EU,. it would be better dealt with by the UN…

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 7, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

            ?

          • Edward2
            Posted June 7, 2016 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps we could be allowed to decide in the UK what is best for us.
            Having spoken to our neighbours in a reasonable wish to be friendly.
            And the UN defines a country’s geographical boundaries for legal fishing areas.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 8, 2016 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; “Having spoken to our neighbours in a reasonable wish to be friendly.”

            Which is what we have been doing, but people like you object, do make your mind up!

            Don’t get me wrong, the CFP is utter rubbish, but a Brexit will not magically change the core problems, which have been dogging the fishing industry since long before we joined the EEC.

  12. Ken Moore
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    I have nothing to add other than Mr John Major is complete poison….a toxic bitter individual. Johnstone a ‘court jester’ according to Major…bit rich coming from the joker that threw billions at the ERM, lost hundreds of jobs, forced people from their homes, made the Conservatives unelectable for a generation…
    Why doesn’t he just crawl under a rock and stay there… hideous man.

    • Duyfken
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Major … Reminds me a bit of the sullen, perfidious Heath. Ready to sell the country in the name of his new ideal, but not prepared to let any of us know what’s really afoot.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        @Duyfken; Perhaps but then best add Mrs Thatcher name to your list, after all she sold the country in the name of a new deal, a treaty called the Single European Act, on the promise of a “Single Market” (easier trading between member countries).

    • Beecee
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

      Do not forget the cones hot-line, nor the one he wears on his head!

    • Mark B
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      And allowed, Blair, Brown and the Labour Party to wreck the nation with MASS immigration and huge public spending.

    • zorro
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      He dared to call the Brexit campaign ‘squalid’….. Well, he would know wouldn’t he?

      Back to basics for you Sir John!!

      zorro

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 11:24 am | Permalink

        John Major please put your silly hungry python and hamster back in its box and go away. The country have had more than enough of you and your no nation, Libdems types in the Tory party. Please go away and join Nick Clegg and his band of lefty, pro EU, greencrap dopes.

        Your ERM experiment, which ended predictably in disaster. It cost me alone some £3 million or so. Many lost their homes, jobs, businesses, marriages, lives even as a result. You would clearly have taken the UK into the Euro too, had your ERM not failed.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 7, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

          Perhaps two boxes!

  13. Atlas
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I await a Remain spokesman being pressed over the “Risks of staying in”.

    As you have pointed out frequently, John, the status quo is not an option.

    • Dennis
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      Emma Reynolds was asked this question on Sunday Politics to which she replied that there are no risks. So there you go.

      • zorro
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

        LOL….. She read the autocue beautifully ?

        zorro

  14. Chris
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Norway protected and developed its own fishing industry precisely because it was out of the EU and had its own seat at the top table of global organisations, e.g. WTO, Codes Alimentaire, instead of being like the UK, which was merely represented by an EU official who in turn represented the “common position” of the 28 Member States (a position hihgly unfavourable to the UK). Thus Norway took part in the forming of the global regulations BEFORE they were handed down to supranational/EU level thus illustrating how it had vastly more influence outside the EU in formulating global regulations than the UK had, being inside the EU. All on Richard North’s site: Norway fishing industry, globalisation of regulation. It is well known that Norway has its own protected coastal waters, where Spanish and French and other trawlers cannot fish, and furthermore its fishing industry is not only thriving, having protected many jobs and livelihoods, but has generated great wealth. What a disgrace that our politicians apparently knowingly were willing to sign up to an organisation which has necessarily resulted in the demise of many of our industries.

    • Chris
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Sorry, hit wrong key. Should read Codex Alimentaire

  15. hefner
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    How comes that nobody seems to question the role of the then Chief Policy Advisor to Mrs T (a certain John Redwood) advising a great privatisation program, in the subsequent reduction and near demise of the British industry in the hands of foreign owners? How can I be confident that his present stance will not bring further negative impact? I am very sceptical of the Remainers, but have even less confidence in the present forecasts and comments of one whose actions thirty years ago started such a roll down the drain of huge parts of the industry, for which he does not seem to ever have had any second thought.

    If being a politician is to be advising actions that turn out very badly and not take any responsability for them, I am happy not to be one.

    Reply I was responsible for offering advice on telecoms privatisation which has helped develop a much more successful and prosperous industry with many more jobs.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    I’m a bit surprised by the lack of sensible debate about the damaging economic effects of those EU regulations which are excessive and/or ill-judged, and importantly the difficulty and delay in getting bad regulations repealed.

    (I don’t count Boris Johnson pointing out that the EU places what are ostensibly absurd restrictions on how bananas can be sold, but getting the detail wrong – under the EU regulations it’s actually either single bananas, or clusters of at least four bananas, although I doubt that any trading standards officers have ever bothered to enforce that rule in the way that they went after market traders selling apples by the pound.)

    A decade ago we had articles like this one by Ruth Lea:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/2949447/Personal-view-Its-official.-The-Single-Market-costs-outweigh-the-benefits.html

    “It’s official. The Single Market costs outweigh the benefits”

    “The Single Market’s regulations do not come cheap. Günter Verheugen, EU commissioner for enterprise and industry, recently announced that EU regulations were costing the European economy some €600 bn a year (this was almost twice as high as previous estimates). €600 bn is some 5.5 pc of total EU GDP, equivalent to the size of the Dutch economy.”

    “Comparing the Single Market’s costs with its benefits makes for painful reading. In 2003 the Commission published its assessment that EU GDP in 2002 was around €165 bn higher than it would have been without the Single Market. Even after allowing for the extra GDP growth since 2002, this means that the benefits are less than a third of the costs.”

    In fact that works out as benefits of the EU Single Market = 1.5% of the collective GDP of the EU countries, while the costs = 5.5%.

    I’m sure that Cameron would say that the position is much better now, he personally has got the EU bureaucrats to see the error of their ways and increasingly the UK is getting exactly the regulations it wants and needs, although of course it is not perfect and so we should stay in and use our influence to bring it to the pinnacle of perfection …

    • Duyfken
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Is not Ruth Lea a political economist? Surely this is an outstanding example of an economist supporting Brexit. That must have slipped Mr Gove’s mind!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

        And there are others, but I think he didn’t want to name names.

  17. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    How many more industries does the British Parliament wish to damage in the UK?

    An ongoing get-out by MPs is that they did not approve of some particular EU measure, they wanted that bit weeded out in a “reformed EU” in which “the UK is taking a leading role”

    You can almost hear a future Labour government after Brexit saying: ” If only we had stayed in the EU then the crisis in…wouldn’t have happened. ”

    Time to keep a record of MPs in the Remain Camp and note what they say apart from their lazy scripted soundbites

  18. Bert Young
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The Fishing industry is a very blatant example of the result of EU policy and directives , however , much more important – as John has pointed out , is the effect of its influence on our energy costs . When a person’s resistance is low , the creep and danger of further illness increases ; high energy costs have the same effect . Germany , in contrast to EU directives , restored its carbon production of energy simply because it did not wish to develop further its atomic energy . We should have turned our backs on any directive that had the effect of pushing up costs , after all , why should we be different ?.

    • stred
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      The latest move to reverse EU inspired energy policy by MRSM is with wind.

      http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jun/01/angela-merkel-signs-deal-with-german-states-to-regulate-green-energy-rollout

      Unlike Eural, who is giving the go ahead to a huge increase in wind in the middle of the North Sea, where it is going to be twice as expensive and on average turbines last 13-20 years.

      It makes you wonder how they managed to avoid ruining their steel and metal industries while our civil servants went about it enthusiastically. We don’t only need to Leave, we must sack large numbers of top servants who will probably keep on looking at EU directives and doing their best to put them into practice without many realising what they are up to.

  19. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    One extremely good thing the EU is doing and will continue to do in the extreme if we vote to stay in the EU is weakening and then completely dismantling local “democracy” in the UK.
    Central UK governments has done nothing to address the democracy deficit of Local Authorities where only a minority vote at all. Yet billions of pounds are allowed by government to be spent by say Labour Authorities who have been in place for over half a century. Rotherham happened.

  20. Vanessa
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    I used to hear talk, before we joined the EEC, that if we joined our Pensions would be destroyed. This was because the European pensions were disastrously under-funded so we would have to prop up their pensions to the detriment of our own. How Right We Were! Another “industry” which has been destroyed by the EU

  21. NickW
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Anyone familiar with divorce proceedings will know that the decision to split up is taken before discussion of the financial arrangements. Financial matters have little or no relevance in the decision to end a relationship.

    Particularly for those voting for the first time, it needs to be explained that for those who intend to vote Remain, that vote may well be the last meaningful vote they have in this country. A remain vote will mean that the electorate no longer has any say in the running of the country; we will be governed by Brussels in Brussels interests. The Greeks know what that means.

    Remain have not explained why being governed by foreigners in foreign interests is good for Britain. Nor have they explained the logic of using one’s vote to give up one’s electoral franchise.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      @NickW; “it needs to be explained that for those who intend to vote Remain, that vote may well be the last meaningful vote they have in this country. A remain vote will mean that the electorate no longer has any say in the running of the country”

      What utter bloo….sorry, Brexit baloney, and people complain that Remain are using “Project Fear”!

      The above comment by @NickW is like suggesting that when Texas voted to join the Union (the USA, for those who have problems following a debate) they threw away their democracy, not only do the voters of Texas still have a say in how their State of Texas is run, they punch well above their weight in having a say in how the Federal Union is governed, at the highest level. Oh and did Hawaii give up their democracy when they became the 50th state of the USA in the 1959?…

      Stop talking the UK down, if we do vote to remain then we can and should be -there is no treason we can’t be- a ‘Texas’ within the EU/USoE, not act like some South-sea island atoll protectorate, grateful for what ever crumbs of help are given.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry; As I said, minus the obvious ‘fat-finger’ typo!

  22. Jerry
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    “there is a stunning silence about all the damage our EU membership has already done to many businesses.”

    Really, so how come our contemporary and opposite countries in the EU (for example France and Germany) have not had as many problems caused by the EC/EU. Once again some seem to be trying to blame domestic ills upon the EU, even if if there were directives imposed how those directives have been implemented are the responsibility of the domestic governments.

    I was once told by a Spanish (local government) bureaucrat that if Spain (autonomous regions) receive a EU directive they don’t like it gets lost down the back of a filling cabinet until they are made to act or it is forgotten, the British though mount such directives in a heavy gold plated frame that gets hung around the nations neck! How true he was being is anyone’s guess but from my own observations there did seem to be some truth in the comment, and I suspect that this attitude is comment in other EU member countries – it’s called playing the rule book in English…

    Our problem is not so much the EU, but the way our own politicos have run the country in the last 50 plus years.

    • Know-dice
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Too true Jerry – “Gold plating” will be a continuing problem which ever way the vote goes.

      Our MPs, Civil Servants, Bureaucrats, Council workers need to get their priorities right – Do what is in the UK’s best interest, don’t just “tick the box”…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      You make a good case for leaving the EU, but don’t you think that maybe over time Spain and other countries might learn to respect the rule of law?

      • Jerry
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 5:03 am | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper; You can ‘respect the rule of law’ without gold plating it, doing the latter is also sometimes called being a “Jobs-worth”, something that the British have become very good at – even more so if a cash-cow income flow can be created, this is how the HSE work, how pay-and-display car parks are now run for example (just to give a couple of examples from either end of the spectrum).

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 8, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          But you can’t respect the rule of law by losing laws down the back of a filing cabinet, which is what you said.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:38 am | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; Of course you can, as it’s not law yet!

            What I said was “until they are made to act [enact the law] or it is forgotten”, nothing there about refusing to make or uphold the law. Also, as an obviously lawful and upstanding Gent Denis I do hope that you still obey all of the various old laws that have simply fallen into disuse in the UK, but which have never been repealed, you must respect the rule of law after all…

  23. Mitchel
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Off topic but as someone who is keenly interested in the history of Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire,I was horrified yesterday by Andrew Marr’s throwaway remark that getting Turkey into the EU would re-unite the Western and Eastern halves of the Roman Empire.It would do no such thing and I hope this remark was down to ignorance and not opinion of the “educated classes”.The Turks were migrants, invaders,squatters on the Byzantine lands,occupying Constantinople/Istanbul only by right of conquest.It is Russia that is the successor to the Byzantine Empire both through the Orthodox religion and bloodline and ,but for the revolution,may well have succeeded in it’s historic mission to take back Constantinople.If anyone wants to reunite the former Roman Empire they should seek a better relationship with Russia and closer ties between the Catholic and resurgent Orthodox churches.

    PS I was amused to see President Putin recently on his trip to Greece,visiting the sacred monastery on Mount Athos and pictured standing by the throne once occupied by Constantine XI,the last Byzantine Emperor-trying it for size?!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      We fought the Crimean War to stop the Russians taking Constantinople!

      http://www.victorianweb.org/mt/musichall/macdermott1.html

      “We don’t want to fight but by jingo if we do,
      We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, and got the money too!
      We’ve fought the Bear before and while we’re Britons true
      The Russians shall not have Constantinople.”

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 7, 2016 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Yes,but half a century later under the secret treaties agreed between the Russian Empire and the Western Allies just before WWI(and published by Trotsky within days of the revolution), there was a total reversal of policy with Russia being given the green light to take Constantinople and control of the Straits.

    • CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      BBC knowledge of religion and its relationship to geo-politics doesn’t go much further east than Canterbury, on a clear day. They’re still searching for Rome on a map of Catholic areas in Northern Ireland.

  24. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Sir John Major is an extremely intelligent man. This makes one of his recent comments interesting and betrays his inner thoughts about the British and their lack of democracy.

    He said it is an illogical Leave Camp assertion that migrants from the EU drive down wages yet those wages attract them to enter the UK. Of course most people realise lowered wages in the UK are still much higher than wages earned in poor EU countries and large numbers of EU workers willing to undercut British workers can drive down wages.

    The point: Mr Major must feel that a large percentage, an overwhelming majority of all hearing his comment are incapable of unpicking the simple logicality; that they will hear his comment and accept it at face value, absorb it, not question it for they are too stupid. It would seem he holds the British in the most unutterable supercilious contempt. Or he took a deliberate calculated “dive” in the boxing ring of the EU debate because he actually believes through his barbed rhetoric we should in fact leave.
    But why would he not openly say so?
    If Sir John Major is correct about the political ignorance of the British then it seems mean to egg them on into the EU where their fellow more intelligent Countrymen and Countrywomen have diminishing power to protect them..

    • stred
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      The alternative view is that he really is not very bright and believes the rubbish he talks. If he is or was very intelligent, why would he have made so many mistakes in the past?

      • Jagman84
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Intelligent people do not need SPADs to come to a decision. As PM, John Major had eight. Tony Blair had twenty! All of them unelected appointees and thus, unaccountable to the public. Where have we seen that sort of system in operation?

    • Robert Cuffley
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      I think you are wrong about Major being extremely intelligent. He was a dismal PM and his agenda now is clear – he signed Maastricht and took us into the ER.

      I think he is your typical rather stupid party hack who was promoted above his level of competence, and now he is wheeled out at convenient moments as an eminence grise (because even Cameron has realised that the public is fed up of listening to all the other useless lying scoundrels).

    • Ken Moore
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Major dismisses anything sensible the British people propose as either ‘populist’ or the ‘politics of the 4 ale bar’…I suppose that explains why he was/is so deeply unpopular and out of touch. When a politician stops looking from the bottom of society up and and sees everyday people as part of the problem the game is up.

      Will Cameron’s friends and family be troubled by schools that speak 26 different languages, overcrowded A & E departments or huge waiting lists for social housing. Probably not.

      Cameron is of the same school of thought – he’s another politician about to be dispatched to the political knackers yard.

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      I think it more likely that he genuinely believes what he said. I other words, he couldn’t grasp the logic himself.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      If so intelligent then why did he let the governance of this Country drift between 1992-97?
      Perhaps he should stick with Cones Hot line and Lottery as the main markers of his premiership. Oh, and White Wednesday!

  25. oldtimer
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    There is an interesting post today by Howard Flight MP over at Conservative Home:
    http://www.conservativehome.com/thecolumnists/2016/06/howard-flight-the-economic-case-for-brexit.html

    I think he makes a good case, drawing on arguments already made by others and adding his own nuances. In particular he thinks the City will be fine post Brexit. The Common Market, as others have pointed out, is a customs union. This tends to promote protectionist instincts; these can be observed from time to time in the non-tariff regulatory wheezes that emanate from Brussels. Dyson has complained about this in the past saying that regulation tends to stifle innovation. He supports Brexit.

    The more I have dug into the issues the more persuaded I am that Brexit is by far the best course for the UK.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      That is an excellent article and maybe JR should invite him to repeat it here.

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

      Democracy is always better than tyranny.

  26. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    The objective of our economic policy should be to maximise GDP per capita in this country. We are not responsible for every Tom, Dick and Harry throughout Europe who wants to emigrate or move temporarily to the UK.

    Taking into account our net payments to Brussels, the unnecessary halving of our fishing industry, the low level of EU tariffs on goods that Canada has negotiated – and which we could have, and the opportunities for other trade deals that we currently have to forego because because the EU makes deals on our behalf, there is a clear case for Brexit. The gain would be £10 billion per annum at least.

    What I haven’t yet got a handle on is whether our services industries would take a hit if we left. How much of our current services exports to EU-27 (£80 billion or 4.6% of our economy, not 80%) are at risk if we leave? What prospect is there, as Remain claim, of completing the Single Market in services if we stay in? To answer this, it looks like I am going to have to slog through two documents – a 38 page tome on how the Single Market in services operates at the moment, and HM Tresury’s 200 page ‘dodgy dossier’.

    Surely Messrs Redwood, Minford, Halligan and Lawson, who already have the expertise to make this assessment, could spare me this dreary chore. How about a blog on the prospects for our services exports to EU-27?

    Reply No, they will not take a hit. I dealt in detail with the main remain allegation that we will lose the passports and therefore business in a recent blog.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I don’t think the position has changed a great deal from October 2013 when Open Europe was involved in an inquiry, which concluded:

      http://openeuropeblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/we-cant-complete-eu-single-market-in.html

      “We can’t ‘complete’ the EU single market in services but we can do a lot better”

      And nor has my own position changed since my comment there, concluding:

      “… whatever the benefits turned out to be they would be relatively small one-off enhancements of GDP, at most equivalent to the natural growth of the UK economy over a couple of years at the trend rate of about 2.5% a year.”

      “… if achieving those small economic gains over a number of years means any further erosion of the power of our Parliament, forever more, we would do better to keep that power over the government of our country and just wait a couple more years to get those gains anyway through natural growth.”

  27. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Off Topic:

    The use of the word “Experts” by the Remain Camp left many people scratching their heads. Something didn’t ring true in its use. No, not just the “Experts” were predominantly connected with the elite or survive by such subservience. You see, we may speak of high ranking doctors, economists, professors by their titles Drs;Econs: Profs but “Expert” is never really used in reference to them as it is such a cognitively weak generic term. Their titles alone have the power.

    Strangely, such particular use of the word “Experts” stems from Russian where the term has more power within it.
    Many years ago, I watched a regular and popular TV programme in Russia. On screen four people sat round a large important table. The compere would ask each in turn a complicated question sent in by viewers and listen to their profound answers amidst furrowed brows and deep tones.
    It was explained to me by my Russian friends that it was a panel of “Experts”. Whereas the tradition in the UK in a similar format would be to have a panel and call it “QI” the compere being certainly an intelligent and worthy person like Stephen Fry and guests not being “Experts” but Personalities.

    It should come as no surprise the EU Remain Campaign has a Soviet propaganda configuration. That “Experts” replace personable real people. It was Ex-USSR President Gorbachev and echoed by Russian President Mr Putin:-
    ” After the complete failure of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, it has to be wondered how Europeans could be so stupid as to erect the very same in the shape of the European Union. “

  28. BOF
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    It is not just British the fishing industry that has been destroyed by the EU, but also that of many African countries where, surprise, surprise the money paid for fishing rights has never made its way to the affected communities.

    Notably, Namibia refused to take money from the EU and do a deal on fishing. It now has a thriving fishing industry, polices its own waters and exports fish. I think that tells us a great deal about rapacious EU policy.

    Oh, and by the way, the European fleets get very large subsidies, paid for in part by the British taxpayer.

  29. forthurst
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    When people tell me that leaving the EU would put millions of jobs at risk, creating high unemployment and the collapse of the economy all because they have bought Project Fear, I ask them to name a country in Western Europe which is not in the EU and does not have free trade access to the Single Market. Leaving the EU is positive for jobs, employment and growth.

    Project Fear will not succeed and neither will Project Smear.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      http://www.lawyersforbritain.org/brexit-single-market.shtml

      “In fact, all European countries outside the EU have tariff-free access to the EU single market under FTAs with the exception of Russia and Belorussia.”

      But while that deals with the tariffs it doesn’t deal with non-tariff barriers, which Richard North argues are now more important than tariffs.

  30. Robert Cuffley
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    John

    To be strictly fair insanely high energy costs are surely largely a result of the Energy and Climate change Act passed by Labour with cross party support.

    Our membership of the EU did nothing to protect us from this insanity, but the damage is self inflicted.

  31. Know-dice
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    What’s the matter with this guy?

    Cameron likens Brexit to putting ‘bomb under economy’

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-36459451

    Before calling the referendum, he says “If I don’t get the right deal for the UK, I will recommend that we leave”, he gets nothing and gives away who knows what, then claims that the UK will completely collapse if we leave.

    I’m sorry Mr Cameron, you have lost the plot – why would a responsible government call a referendum knowing that if the result went the wrong way that it would badly damage the country?

    Why would you the Prime Minister of the UK do that?

  32. Simple Soul
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    On the question of UK industrial decline in the EU I would dearly like to know why English China Clays of St Austell is no more. I don’t believe it is just because there was no more china clay left in Cornwall to mine.

  33. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Interesting small article in The Timesat the weekend saying the government is back-pedalling on their offer to part-invest in the steel industry to save it as it is not allowed under EU rules. Someone should ask the relevant minister, Sajid Javid, to justify that EU policy, just for a laugh.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Sajid Javid and Peter Mandelson are teaming up today for the Remainers. Now ther’e a nice win double pair you can put your trust in!

  34. ian
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    Nearly all traders in city betting against the pound for the in camp,

  35. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Most Commenters on here should refrain from taking stock of reports by those EXPERTS in economics drafted in by the Remainers and their media. No joke. It will make you think you are an economics guru.

    Firstly, none of them I’ve heard in the UK actually have shown they understand what the aim was and is of Mario Draghi, President of the ECB. which he expressed yet again a few days ago. He is trying to keep the Euro lower. It has gone remarkably higher; yet, the EXPERTS of Remainfantasia talk today firstly of “European markets ( stock markets ) edging higher” and simultaneously do not mention the Euro’s strength as a negative and then go on to speak of the GB Pound as declining a little because of “BREXIT uncertainty.”
    Since the Remain Campaign and they themselves believe the fortunes of the EU and the UK are at this point in time inextricably linked, then any “uncertainty” would also impact with equal force on the EU, the Euro and the GB Pound, also because the UK is the 5th largest economy in the world and the 2nd largest economy in Europe. On BREXIT the EU would be 65 million hardworking people weaker. And presumably the EU states could in the goodness have time have a terrible rehousing problem for voluntarily returning citizens.
    But these EXPERTS believe the “metrics” of world currency fluctuations are more easily disaggregated from the so to speak world’s body-economics than other fluctuating factors. Well it may be true if they themselves showed any sign whatsoever they understood the remarkably good English of Mr Draghi. Yes his economic explanations though simply worded are not for first-year infant school economics classes. Hard to understand how these experts stay in work. They appear to depend on people not understanding jargon. OK I guess it works for many bosses of large Corporate bosses in the Remain Camp.

  36. DaveM
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Another couple of articles on various websites reporting statements from both sides. I’ve just realised that I haven’t properly read an article for about a week – I just go straight to the comments now!!

  37. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, what do you think of reports that if Leave win, the majority of MPs who support Remain will overturn the result of the referendum?

    Reply I don’t believe they would dare do that

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      Really?
      I can almost now see Cameron at 8am, June 24th, on the steps of Downing Street…

      “to hold together our proud United Kingdom, I will not let English votes rule Scottish voters… a vote to Leave has to be a vote by ALL parts of our United Kingdom. Our elected MP’s in Westminster will have the ultimate say in this matter. They are elected BY the people, FOR the people… blah blah…. ”

      You can see it in Kinnock, Major, Cameron and Harman. They WILL weasel their way out of a Leave vote.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

        The only way to fully and formally Leave the EU was, and will be, to vote UKIP.

        Reply Not so. You need MPs in the Commons like me who campaign for a referendum, voted to get one and will now speak and vote to get us out if that is the result if the referendum.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        They won’t be overturning the Vote, as such, but re-interpreting it…

  38. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Do all of you on here who constantly carp on about wind turbines ruining the countryside think that the pylons of the national grid – all over the countryside – are attractive?

    When someone built a mill centuries ago to mechanise grinding grain, were all the NIMBYs up in arms? Our countryside is being covered with windmills?

    Wind turbines are beautiful. I’d like to see them alongside every motorway.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear Mike. You really haven’t a clue why people dislike wind turbines do you? Try living near them. Try watching the value of your home plummet to the point that you get no buyers even looking and why – because of the blight on the horizon called a wind farm!!! Try sleeping at night or concentrating during the day after a sleepless night. Add to that the destruction of our countryside for NO good reason, the high costs of energy now, the effects on the poor, the effects on industry and the economy and the effects on wildlife. If these are not important to you when there are clearly better alternatives then I can see why you are in such awe of the things. You may not think they are such a good idea when we get blackouts.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      Let’s also not forget that many of the new pylons erected on prime land and wonderful countryside have been erected to take wind energy onto the grid. They are bigger than ever and more importantly noisy to the point that people are driven to distraction by the ever monotonous hum from them. Have you been to Scotland recently? If not then can I suggest a trip up here to see the carnage for yourself. Our friends from Sussex had no idea of what a wind farm was until they saw the 200 and ever rising numbers of them on the moor just outside Glasgow. We have over 200 one area where I live and even though they are often switched off they are erecting more. It is utter madness on a grand scale.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      The big difference is that the pylons and proper windmills had a purpose and actually worked, beyond just enriching the land owners and owners of these wretched things. Beauty is in the eye of the bolder and I have yet to meet anyone, except you who thinks they are even attractive let alone beautiful.

  39. JoeSoap
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Cameron is now getting into the realms of serious treachery. To say that any particular result of a referendum which he called, as leader of this Country, will “put a bomb” under it is treachery. If he couldn’t trust the people to make a sensible decision, he should neither have called the referendum nor be Prime Minister. The man must resign now, having been caught on the wrong side of history, before further damage is done to this Country.

    • Chris
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      I would agree, JS. To me there seems to have been such a brazen abuse of power I am completely taken aback. I am afraid there can never be any forgiveness, or building of bridges possible after the referendum. A line has been crossed. I am still reeling from the fact that a “Conservative” PM has done this to the country, the electorate and to the Party.

  40. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    A second and serving UK Prime Minster has come up with a Secret Dossier. Déjà vu as they say in Brussels

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    I see Cameron is now warning that Brexit would put a bomb under the economy.

    That does raise a few questions, which of course he won’t answer:

    1 If you believe that Brexit would blow up the economy, why did you take the risk of that happening by offering to hold a referendum if we voted Tory in May 2015?

    2. If you believe that Brexit would blow up the economy, why did you let it be understood that unless you got the “deal” you wanted you would campaign for Brexit?

    3. If you believe that Brexit would blow up the economy, why do you apparently have no plans to do anything at all to defuse that bomb before it explodes?

    4. If you believe that Brexit would blow up the economy, why would nobody outside the UK be concerned at the prospect of debris raining down on them?

    However I admit to being a bit sceptical about whether Brexit would actually be a bomb under the economy, or it would turn out to be just a damp squib.

    I’ve been catching up with this survey of economists allegedly showing that almost all of them share the concern that Brexit will blow up the economy:

    https://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3739/Economists-Views-on-Brexit.aspx#gallery%5Bm%5D/0/

    Well, actually, 83% of those invited to participate in the survey were obviously not so concerned about it that they could be bothered to respond; and while a majority of those who did respond reckoned that Brexit would cut more than 3% off the economy over the following five years that was reversed over ten to twenty years, when a majority thought that the effects would be minor, or virtually nonexistent, or even positive.

    • Chris
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Precisely, Denis. The Guardian, when it reported this poll (the 600+ top economists) added in italics at the end of said article that only 17% had actually responded. Of that 17% (however many that totalled) 600 or so were worried by Brexit. Hardly an ringing endorsement of the damning of Brexit viewpoint. Why on earth wasn’t Cameron challenged at the time on this and why is it apparently left to individuals on the internet to point this out?

    • Qubus
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Perhaps it just means that he puts party, and his own career, above country.

    • jeffrey
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      The 83% of non-respondents is significant. Only the very naïve are unaware that polls of this kind are intended as propaganda, spun in the interests of the poll’s sponsor. Consequently, respondents are likely to be those with very strong opinions. Most economists would agree there will likely be a short-term hit to the UK economy from Brexit, for well rehearsed reasons – expectations, inventories etc. etc. 83% are however sufficiently shrewd (or bored, lazy) not to lend themselves to the lie machine by allowing this opinion to be twisted into a “bomb under the economy”

  42. Jumeirah
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Somebody mentioned this a long time ago – it’s all very good that we have Bojo, Gove and Ian blasting away in the press , TV and radio courageously and continuously but because they have been and are high profile to the extent that perhaps they have become ‘same old same old’ without meaning to be can we not bring in someone who knows what he’s talking about; makes the case that the Country needs to READ about and therefore study carefully in a rational undramatic manner in the way that you do in language and content that the people understand which would be far more impactful and appreciated by the people in rather than the gladiatorial bloodfest that it has become.
    Every day you make the points in your Diary to us and we appreciate that BUT it’s preaching to the converted; it would seem that you devote all the hours that god gives going around the Constituency putting the facts across and that is ‘true calling’; you speak in debates and in Parliament banging away about how crucial it is to Leave however I believe that not much of what you say or write gets nationwide exposure AND IN THESE FEW REMAINING WEEKS IT MUST. Is the Leadership in the Leave campaign so disingenuous and wrapped up in their own self-importance that they EXCLUDE people like you Mr. Redwood (a Senior and long standing Politician with huge knowledge and experience) from leading from the front nationally and putting the case to the Country. I dont want to hear what Bojo et al say -I’ve heard or read it a thousand times. What we need now is a quiet statesmanlike Presentation of the Facts.
    Project yourself Nationally Mr. Redwood- it is so important for someone with no other Agenda than to put the case forward and win. Forget the others their time has past.

    Reply I do appear on tv and radio when opportunity presents. I have written in various national newspapers recently and am happy to do more articles when space is available for me.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 7, 2016 at 5:56 am | Permalink

      A couple of names worth listening to:

      Andrea Leadsom & Daniel Hannan

      • Chris S
        Posted June 8, 2016 at 4:56 am | Permalink

        I’ve said here before, Dan Hannan is probably the best potential leader of the party. He has surely got to get into Westminster. He’s wasted in Europe.

        As for Andrea, she has been somewhat hidden away but the Brexit campaign has given her a platform on which she has greatly impressed. With Teresa May having blown her chances by choosing the wrong camp, I expect Andrea to get a top job in a Boris cabinet.

  43. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

    OK I shall not comment for some time. Said too much. Words are not enough anyway.

    I have just heard on Skynews an interview with guests Jacob Rees-Mogg from the Leave Campaign and, Rt Hon Kenneth Clark, ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer 1993-1997 from teh Remainders . Mr Clarke is famous for saying repeatedly he has never read anything of the Maastricht Treaty. Now he says that a Government does not deliberately rubbish its currency to achieve economic gain and, importantly, does not reduce the value of its currency deliberately anyway. Another EXPERT who if he has ever listened to Mr Mario Draghi ECB has not understood a bless-ed word. My poor poor England. For want of an abacus….

  44. Margaret
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I find it difficult to argue any more, as everything ,as far as I know, has been lain out here over time. I can see the damaging effects of losing control and actually get too upset to read any more or join in repetitious arguments. I have voted by post out and will simply await the outcome on June 23rd. This was my country and the only way there was to emphasise the conservative stability of GB which ever party was in.

  45. jon
    Posted June 6, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    Yes indeed Mr R and how many more would go under TTIP?

    I work for a US global successful consultancy firm. I know some of their way and grateful for the job.

    US globalists teaming u with EU globalists in TTIP = less sme’s and less tax being collected here. It means greater shocks as these Globals threaten to move so more Policy is driven by them.

    We are fighting to retain democracy, an intellectual one.

    We reflect on that 1 minute silence each year for those that gave so much.

    We talk to those that want to throw their sacrifice away because they think they can profit on their house through immigration.

    Or where are those famed employment rights for the average worker with a salary barely risen for a generation.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 6, 2016 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

      As an SME you struggle against, or sell out to, the mid-range companies.
      As a mid-range company you struggle against, or sell out to, the big Corporates.
      As a big Corporate, you pay lower taxes, do deals by lobbying which all enable you to employ the most expensive graduates, slice through the government’s democratic obligations, and so the world rolls on.

  46. Chris S
    Posted June 7, 2016 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    Apologies if this subject is the topic of the day for today. Where I am at the moment we are 7 hrs ahead of the U.K. If it is, please move it to the new topic.
    ——————————————————————————————————–
    It has worried me for some time that the cross party pro-EU majority, particularly in the Lords, could scupper a good deal for us to leave.

    Today this is headline news in the papers. I have no doubt it will drive more people to vote for Brexit and make those already in our camp even more determined to win.

    If we do win the referendum, as seems increasingly likely, MPs and Peers must be left in no doubt that an end to freedom of movement was an essential cornerstone of the Brexit package we voted for.

    Another vital component is an end to sending billions a year to Brussels.

    Nobody will be able to argue that these two issues were not fundamental to the outcome.
    If it is not possible to negotiate at least associate membership of the single market without an end to FOM and contributions to the EU budget, then we will be leaving it.

    I am sure that in the next few days the Vote Leave team will make it even clearer that an end to both FOM and budget contributions are essential parts of the proposition we are to vote on.

    If we are successful, it will not be up to MPs or Peers to usurp the will of the people and insist on something different.

    I do not believe that membership of the single market is essential to having a trading relationship with the EU. In fact, given all the rules that would then apply, such as the working time directive, we would probably be better off out of it.

    Ignoring or attempting to sabotage the desire of a majority of those who vote for Brexit would by profoundly undemocratic, every bit as undemocratic as the EU itself.

    We will not take any attempt to retain FOM and budget contributions lightly.

    Stephen Kinnock, CMD and Co be warned !

  47. Iain Maclean
    Posted June 15, 2016 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    In terms of the future, thanks to Elizabeth I, we left the first European common market and became an international trading nation.

    The First Common Market was called the Hanseatic League. The word Hanse was a medieval German word for “guild,” or “association.”

    The Hanseatic League was an organisation founded by north German towns and German merchant communities abroad to protect their mutual trading interests in 1356.

    By the 16th century, the Hanseatic League had extended its economic influence from Italy to Russia and from Scandinavia to England. The modern equivalent of their trading area covers 20 European states.

    The League primarily traded timber, furs, resin (or tar), flax, honey, wheat, and rye from the east to Flanders and England with cloth (and, increasingly, manufactured goods) going in the other direction. Metal ore (principally copper and iron) and herring came southwards from Sweden. These expanded over the years.

    They established permanent commercial enclaves (Kontore) in a number of foreign towns, notably Bruges in Flanders, Bergen in Norway, Novgorod in Russia, and the Steelyard in London.

    The Hanseatic League’s aggressively protectionist trading practices often aroused opposition from foreign merchants.

    The league typically used gifts and loans to foreign political leaders to protect its commercial privileges, and when this proved inadequate, it threatened to withdraw its trade and occasionally became involved in embargoes and blockades.

    In extreme cases the league even resorted to war, as in the 1360s, when the Danish king Valdemar IV, tried to end the their economic control of the southwestern Baltic.

    They raised an army and defeated the Danes decisively. In the Peace of Stralsund (1370) Denmark was forced to recognize the league’s supremacy in the Baltic.

    Such was the power of the league, that they had their own warehouses in dozens of their “client” cities, including London.

    In London, this was known as the “Steelyard” and was located on the north bank of the Thames on the site is now covered by Cannon Street station.

    Like other Hansa stations, this was a separate walled community with its own warehouses on the river, its own weighing house, chapel, counting houses, language and residential quarters.

    In the 15th century, the German merchants began extending their reach into the cloth-making industry of England.

    Not only did they control the price and distribution of English wool but eventually finished cloth through cloth-making centres in England, such as Colchester.

    This led to constant friction over the legal position of English merchants in the Hanseatic towns and Hanseatic privileges in England, which repeatedly ended in acts of violence.

    English merchants resented the Hanseatic League’s tight control of the wool and cloth trade in England and with the Baltic cities.

    They urged the English crown to acknowledge their rights to participate in the Baltic trade. So, eventually in 1447, King Henry VI revoked all Hanse privileges.

    In 1468 Hanse ships seized several English merchant vessels. Edward reacted by having the Hanseatic Steelyard trading base in London stormed and plundered.

    Representatives of the Hanse cities met and decided to go to war with England. English wool imports were banned and privateers were ordered to raid English ports.

    Hanse ships raided the English coast and didn’t spare neutral vessels. Unfortunately, Henry was embroiled with the Wars of the Roses and was eventually forced to conclude peace by the Treaty of Utrecht in 1474.

    This re-established Hanse privileges and granted the League ownership of the London Steelyard, as well as other trading bases in Boston and Lynn. Consequently, hundred of English merchants were put out of business.

    From the mid 16th Century, Dutch merchants aggressively challenged the Hanse and, after several naval skirmishes and wars, Amsterdam became the leading port for Polish and Baltic grain.

    The prosperity of the Hanse merchants and their monopolist practices induced Queen Elizabeth I to expel the league in 1597. She had the Steelyard and those in Boston and Lynne closed in 1598.

    Many feared that this would lead to economic disaster, as the Hanseatic League still controlled much trade throughout Europe.

    However, it had the very opposite effect. England had to look further afield. Elizabeth sought to replace lost trade from the Low Countries by seeking new markets and routes beyond Europe: to Asia, Africa and the Americas.

    The rising maritime power of the Kingdom enabled England to search for new trade routes and to take over existing ones by force when necessary.

    Elizabeth’s reign saw England transform from a small, parochial Kingdom dominated by European merchants and powers into a prosperous international trader.

    As members of the European Union, which, ironically, is dominated by Germany, in Queen Elizabeth II ‘s reign, England or now the UK, started as a world power, albeit with an immense debt of £21 billion through no fault of our own.

    If we remain, we are likely to end up a small, parochial kingdom dominated by European merchants and powers again.

    UK exports of goods and services to non-EU countries have grown at a faster rate than imports, driven largely by services exports.

    This has resulted in the UK running an overall trade surplus with non-EU countries (value of exports exceeds imports) over the past three years, which reached £27.8 billion in 2014.

    According to Jean Claude Juncker, “the EU’s share of global output is falling and will soon represent just 15 per cent of worldwide GDP, while 80 per cent of growth is emerging from countries outside the European Union”.

    Europe’s share of the world’s population has fallen from 20 % a century ago to 7% and could be just 4% by the end of this century. “We are demographically weakened, and will remain so,” added Mr Juncker.
    So, what have we got to lose? It’s time to follow the first Elizabeth’s example and seek new markets and routes beyond Europe: to Asia, Africa and the Americas…

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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