Treasury forecasts go badly wrong

The Treasury’s long term forecast for 2030 is absurd. Mr Cameron now tells us he does not have a forecast for how many people there will in the country by 2030 if we stay in the EU, so how can he defend a forecast of  how big our National Income will be?  Why did the Treasury use the wrong number of people when trying to work out GDP per head figures and then pretend these were family income figures?

The Treasury’s short term forecasts have so far proved simply to be wrong. Remain says that fear of Brexit and then Brexit itself will

Raise interest rates

Lower the pound

Push us into a shallow recession

Since the end of February the polls have moved considerably in favour of Brexit. Where the City and markets thought in February Brexit had no chance of winning, now many think Brexit could win. So how has the Treasury forecast fared?

 

Interest rates (government bond rates) have fallen considerably.

The pound has gone up against the dollar and other currencies, and our foreign exchange reserves have risen.

Retail sales and manufacturing output have b0th risen encouragingly in May as the polls narrowed.

 

So there we have it. The Treasury so far has been wrong, wrong and wrong.

They also have been busy contradicting themselves. At the same time as telling us interest rates will go up, their Governor of the Bank of England favouring Remain tells us he stands ready to cut official short rates further on Brexit.

So what does Leave think?

We think the pound and interest rates have gone up and gone down during the long period we have been in the EU, and will doubtless fluctuate when we are out of the EU. Over the  rest of this year US rate changes and other major international events will doubtless affect the value of the pound, but there is no good reason to expect major change to either rates or the pound from Brexit itself. As recent output and retail figures show there is certainly no reason to forecast the temporary end to growth if we vote leave.

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178 Comments

  1. iain gill
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    yet another hospital rated inadequate but all politicians continue to support the nhs

    • Know-dice
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Too many people not enough resources.

      How can anyone plan for the future when there are too many unknown unknowns and you have no control?

      • Jerry
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:19 am | Permalink

        @Know-dice; A&E is by definition an unknown unknown, if the NHS knew that people were going to have an accident or emergency in advance that would be great (it’s called preventative medicine, H&S etc.) but it is not the real world! You are correct on one thing though, there are too many managers and not enough front line staff.

        • Know-dice
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          And don’t forget A&E is the only hospital department that the general public can access without an appointment. And if your GP is quoting two weeks for an appointment, where are you going to go?

          • Hope
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            Iain you are quite correct, if you have a mass immigration policy where over 500,000,000 people have an absolute right to be here and have access to our services for free it is impossible to plan for if the budget does not match the projected demand. You would have thought Osborne would have caused his Treasury team to spend a little more time on reality issues if mass immigration is what he wants, and the figures bear this out- not ambition as he now speciously claims, and less time on scaremongering nonsense where his alleged figures do not add up.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 11, 2016 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; Illogical, hate filled, rants like that drive people towards the BSE camp, not Brexit.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2016 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

            I just dont see how Hope’s comment was as you claim.
            Hope’s point was quite logical
            It concerned the fact that if we are having a few hundred thousand new arrivals each year then the Govt needs to plan the infrastructure to match.
            Your reactionary post is typical of the virue flag wavers who want to close down debate and ignore the requirements of Govt to react and provide.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; It would only be true if these “500,000,000 people” brought the plague with them or something, do we even actually know how many are actually using the NHS. If people like Hope, you and UKIP want to prove your point then you need to stop banding about vague figures, you need to start producing some credible evidence in the shape of audited and profiled patient figures based on proper demographic sampling (hot-spots, such as an area close to a port of entry, do not prove a trend).

            Without such audited figures one could just as equally claim that the Baby-Boomer generation is starting to have an adverse affect on the NHS as they age – prove that claim wrong, if you can!…

    • Jerry
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      @iain gill; But the CQC condemnation is directed towards the way in which the NHS is being run and managed, not the concept. crap in = Crap out.

      You should also check out ‘customer’ satisfaction in countries that have a more market orientated health care provision, including insurance claims for medical malpractice etc.

      Oh and at least those patients left sitting in ambulances that the CQC report highlights were at a hospital, as unacceptable as it was, they were not sitting at home or elsewhere perhaps to scared to call for an ambulance, doctor or who ever due to having little or no health insurance and not being able to afford the cost of treatment/drugs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Free at the point of queueing, non treatments, delays, incompetence, deaths from errors and lots of post error coverups.

      It is quite easy to turn up critically ill at casualty and not be even inspected for many hours.

      The system only works at all due to a few very dedicated medical staff doing their best despite the dysfunctional, absurd and over stretched system.

      The idea that the NHS can cope with hundred of thousands more mainly low paid immigrants, arriving every year from the EU, who perhaps pay only a couple of thousand in taxes and national insurance PA and expect benefits, housing, schools, roads, police, free medial care and perhaps bring several elderly relatives over too for care and treatment is absurd.

      Only magic money tree, EU dreamers like Major, Osborne, May and Cameron could ever think this open door migration system can ever work let alone finance itself. It will get even worse with Osborne’s bonkers minimum wage laws.

    • dame rita webb
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Blame the inadequate non medic and usually Corbynite management. If the NHS is short of cash it could let go of all the admin staff that were brought into it by the last Labour government. They said it was an investment into the NHS though it was more like a job creation scheme.With the medics no longer having to feed these people a never ending supply of worthless paperwork they might then be able to get around to see the patients

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        Exactly and let the money follow the patients better still make the patients pay.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

          @LL; The patients already do pay, its call NI (and other taxes), what is more ones premiums are based on what you can afford, not how much some commercial company can screw you for!

      • Jerry
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

        @DRW; Stop contradicting yourself! The system is wrong, the system is not “Corbynite”, if it was there would be less managers and more front line staff, if you want to coin a phrase to describe management trends in the NHS then perhaps “Thatcherite” would do, after all it was her government that brought in such delights as the internal market etc.

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

          Jerry as you know my other half works in the NHS. I would see a lot more of him if he did not have to do so much admin. If you were there too you would see a lot of ineffective managers who get more pay than a doctor and have the Corbyn view of the world. FFS if the NHS is so dependent on overseas staff (Dr Webb inc) why does it need “equality and diversity” staff or waste the medics time taking their “exams”?

          • Jerry
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

            @DRW; But Mr Corbyn’s view is surely of a 1945 style NHS, that is not what we have today, so to call the current NHS “Corbynite” is just plain daft and pure party political posturing. I agree with you that we need far more doctors and other front line staff, and far far less back-room managers and accountants etc.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed I just had to ring Addenbrooks Hospital and noticed that they say on the web site:-

      Please do not to come to A&E unless it is an emergency. We are seeing an extraordinary surge in demand on our A&E department. Please do not to come to A&E unless it is an emergency or your condition is life-threatening.

      The problem with this is that often patients (and indeed doctors) do not know if it is an emergency on not. Until relevant test and scans have been done. You condition needs to be “life threatening” before you can get treatment. What if you just need a few stitches in a wound or have a broken finger or something?

      What sensible business would advertise to tell customers to stay away? One that is tax payer funded has your money already and is “free at the point of rationing” I suppose.

      Anyway what is the alternative perhaps 5 minutes with a GP, if you can get an appointment within the month?

      Still do not worry it was Cameron’s priority in three letters (about six years ago) and we can trust him surely. I am sure he will have organised for them to be able to cope with the aging population and the extra 300,000 + people PA.

      • Jerry
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        @LL; That says more about the state of common sense in the UK than it does the state of the NHS and A&E!

        No one is going to complain if someone attends A&E with chest pains, a pain from the gut, because their child appears to have a fever or some such, but far to many people are attending A&E simply because they can not get an immediate appointment with a doctor, or worse, have a lack total lack of even the most basic First Aid skills.

      • Keith
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        You wouldn’t believe some of the rubbish that presents to casualty. These patients know they are time-wasters. A nominal fee for A&E treatment should be introduced to deter them – doubt dentists and vets have the same problem.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

          @Keith; Except that there has been a dramatic rise in the number of NHS dentist who, by the time they see the adult patient, have untreatable teeth (or worse). Oh and I hear that animal charities that run low cost or free Veterinary clinics are being run off their feet. Placing a charge on seeking a diagnosis doesn’t reduce the need nor does it reduce treatment costs (in fact it can actually increase them), it just kicks the problems down the road.

      • Chris S
        Posted June 10, 2016 at 6:56 am | Permalink

        Yes, but the NHS is an almost unique business in that would much prefer to have fewer customers rather than have more !

        As taxpayers who gave to come up with the cash, most of us would agree with that policy !

  2. Mick
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Watched the interview with Osborne last night what a plonker, he said Ukip leader’s vision of Britain outside the European Union is ‘not what we want’, says chancellor, sorry but it’s not Mr Farage but the true British that want our country back and the likes of yourself and all the other traitors to this country will find out on June 23rd and the next GE

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      Indeed vote Brexit and be rid of this no nation fake Conservative with his pay controls, his pension and landlord mugging, his IHT ratting and his huge trade and PSBR deficits.

      • Chris S
        Posted June 10, 2016 at 6:58 am | Permalink

        Couldn’t have put it better myself !!!

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Mick – The only thing is that the News item on the Neil/Osborne interview was edited to show Mr Osborne winning.

      The part where Mr Neil showed the “£4300 worse off” poster and then overlayed it with the Treasury report saying that it was verging on the dishonest. The news report cut just short of that. Other things were edited out too.

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Indeed you are exactly right. It is all absurd propaganda from the remain side, all happily shouted from the roof by the hugely biased BBC.

    The Treasury’s forecast too is absurd propaganda and incompetently executed propaganda too. Three cheers for John Nott, the former defense secretary and Anthony Bamford chairman of JCB.

    Leave will surely will surely prevail. Britains surely will not vote for anti-democratic serfdom and the end of the UK.

    The real question is will parliament actually implement the people’s demands – I suspect they will not. A better deal will be negotiated and the voters will be asked to try again.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      So MP Sarah Wollaston swaps sides over ‘untrue’ Leave claims.

      There is nothing untrue about stating what is freely admitted is the gross figure. If Ms Wollaston is looking for untrue claims they are nearly all on the remain side.

      Staying in a “reformed” EU – what reform would that be?
      We have “control” of our borders within the EU (according to Mrs May this as they have to flash their passports as the 300K+ are waved in)
      The absurd Treasury economic projections are totally dishonest and have very basic errors too.
      For every £1 we pay into Europe we get £10 back – complete tosh
      Goods would be more expensive outside the EU – complete tosh they would be far cheaper with out the common tariffs. Energy could be nearly half the prices without the green religion and some fracking.

      We either return to a democratic, independent, self governing, border controlling UK or we are subsumed into a region of the disaster that is the new sclerotic & anti-democratic EU super state. That is the choice we face.

    • Hope
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I think MP like Sarah Woolaston need to resign or the public have a proper right to recall. MPs declare their values and what they will stand for in office so we can choose to vote, hence why it is important to know what they stand for. If MP say one thing to get nominated as an MP and act in stark contrast it is reasonable for the public to get rid of them. The MP for Plymouth and Alan Duncan the same. The oublic will feel,quite rightly, they were conned.

      John Nott, Tim Montgomery and a host of others feel just like me. I will not vote Tory while Cameron, Osborne or May types are in the cabinet or likely to be there. As for your latter point,LL, Cameron will act as a traitor within if allowed to remain in office. It is up to the Tory party, grass roots particularly, to get rid of him. Look at the writing on the wall when he answered Liam Fox in parliament on the point you make.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Indeed what is democratic if you vote for people who just do the complete opposite of what they promised at the election.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        A proper right to recall -yet another broken promise.

      • Chris
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

        Wholeheartedly agree, Hope.

      • alan.
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        Hope

        Problem is many people vote for a Party and ignore the local Mp’s ability etc.

        Hence the reason why we have so many cardboard cut outs who are simply lobby fodder.

      • getahead
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

        Applies particularly to our current, hopefully not for long, prime minister.

      • A different Simon
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        Definite a case for the power of recall .

        She has lied to her constituents to persuade them not to vote UKIP .

        Even if we took her at her word , she would be claiming presentation is more important than substance , i.e. that people should decide on the basis of who is fronting each campaign rather than the issue itself .

        The issue is like the death penalty , abortion on demand or the existence of God – you don’t just decide depending on which side of bed you get out of that day ; or maybe Sarah Wollaston does ?

        No , this is a choreographed defection and premeditated .

        What depths will project fear plumb next ?

        As for “MPs declare their values” , in the words of John Travolta in Greece “(Sandy,….pause….) don’t make me laugh ….” .

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    The lies and corrupt practices of David Cameron and the stayers has been horrendous. This referendum has exposed so much that is rotten in politics that it is hard to see how we can trust our political system ever again. This does not bode well for the future it is reminiscent of the last few years of the Roman empires. First West then East.

    The Western empire fragmented and and eventually made Europe great again only to start declining once more. The Eastern empire was swallowed up by an Islamic one that is mostly in chaos and upheaval today after a very checkered history. The UK went it’s own way and created a mighty empire of it’s own which has now gone. Where does our future lie being absorbed into another empire like it was in 44 AD and once again be told what to do by a foreign government in a foreign land or strike out on it’s own to seek it own glory as it has proved by it’s past action that it can.

  5. Margaret
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    The news is full of the leave defector this am. The causes is apparently about inaccurate NHS spending. She cannot have had much original conviction if she allows this to change her mind. Obviously she is under the wings now of the controllers.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Indeed what on earth is wrong with quoting and the gross figure and admitting freely that it is the gross figure before a little comes back but with endless daft strings attached.

      • graham1946
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Mostly because the gross figure never actually goes out. We are assessed at the gross figure but the rebates are taken off before the cheques are written.
        Messing about with clever dick wording just leads ordinary people to think something fishy is going on.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          Messing about with clever dick wording by quoting the Treasury.

  6. Cheshire Girl
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I see this morning that Dr Sarah Wollaston has changed sides from the ,Leave ‘ side to the ‘Remain’ side over the statement that we would have £350 million a week to spend on the NHS if we left the EU.
    Lately, there is some concern that this statement is not true. Can you reassure me John, that it is true? The Remain side will hail Dr Wollastons move as a victory for common sense, and this could encourage lots of people to change their vote to ‘Remain’.

    Reply The £350 m figure is the official gross figures, as I have endlessly pointed out. The net figure is the one I use when discussing how much more money we will have to spend when we leave.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Watch out Jeremy Hunt as loyal as you’ve been,you’re a bit toxic and Dr Wollaston will be an excellent friendly faced replacement.

    • Know-dice
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Reply to Reply – The problem with this figure is that you (and others) have to explain where it comes from and that it’s money we lose control over regardless if some of it comes back.

      The fact that you need to do this already puts you on your “back foot”.

    • Bob
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      @Cheshire Girl
      Dan Hannan explains it well. He says that when asked how much tax you pay, do you quote the amount you actually pay to HMRC, or do you first deduct the notional value of public services provided to you?

      Link to debate at Reading Univerity: EU Debate – Dan (Brexit) Hannan vs Eddie (EU) Izzard

      • Jerry
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        @Bob; As I said the other day, Mr Hannan’s explanation doesn’t wash, when you buy a bargain from the shops or on-line you do not tell your mates what the RRP is, you tell them what you paid – the price after discount!

        People want to know our actual EU membership cost, not the RRP list price.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          Well, technically the rebate is a refund rather than a discount.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

          Jerry – My understanding is that the rebate is in arrears, far from ‘never leaving the country’.

          On your point about the ‘bargain’.

          You’re talking about a one-off purchase whereas the EU charge is yearly and the discount can be withdrawn without us having much say about it. God knows what the EU will do if we vote Remain after Mr Cameron’s poor negotiations.

          • Anonymous
            Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

            Jerry – Even if a person wants to vote Remain it would be poor bargaining to do so first time. Rest assured there will be a second, a third… however many neverendums it takes to get the right answer.

            But there is always a better deal to be had by being prepared to walk out of the shop.

        • Bob
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          No, that’s wrong Jerry. With a discount you decide for yourself what to buy, you pay the discounted amount and keep the rest to spend according to your own priorities.

          With the EU, they take the money and then decide what to spend it on.
          If they spend it in the UK they display a plaque on the wall saying “Funded by the EU”.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:10 am | Permalink

            @Anonymous; As I pointed out last week, discounted car servicing is a 365 day business model, and many people take advantage of it once or twice a year, when they talk to their friends they do not boast about what (they would have) had to pay at the main dealer, no they boast about the discounted price they actually paid.

            @Bob; You seem to be arguing a totally different point to the one being debated, you seem to be debating how our contributions are used.

          • Bob
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

            Wrong again Jerry. It’s about who controls the money.
            We pay the EU £350m per week and have no control over how it is used.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 11, 2016 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; “It’s about who controls the money.”

            Yes Bob, you are wrong again. Try reading the (on going) debate, it is about how much we send to the EU, which of the quoted figures is the correct one to cite, Gross or Nett. That £350 figure is the gross, as I said, a bit like someone quoting the RRP and not the shelf price after any discounts have been applied.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2016 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

            It would be better to satisfy those many pedants to quote a nett figure but…
            If we leave the EU the original gross sum will “Remain” here in the UK to be spent by our democratically elected Parliament as we decide.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        “Do you quote the amount you actually pay to HMRC, or do you first deduct the notional value of public services provided to you?”

        It would be the same for me when I was in the UK. I got a few services roads and the occasional GP appointment, but they also caused me huge costs with complex tax returns and endless pointless red tape and their motorist mugging agenda.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        But I take account of any refund of over-payments in previous years.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      From this official Treasury report:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/483344/EU_finances_2015_final_web_09122015.pdf

      Page 3: “This statement … sets out details of the United Kingdom’s gross and net contributions to the EU Budget over the calendar years 2009 to 2014 (together with an estimate for 2015) …”

      Page 13: “3.5 Table 3.A shows the UK’s gross payments, rebate, public sector receipts, and net contributions to the EU Budget for calendar years 2009 to 2015. The figures for 2015 are estimates; those for earlier years are outturn.”

      Page 14, the heading to Table 3.A: “Gross payments, rebate and receipts (calendar years)”, and the first line in the table: “Gross payments”.

      And for 2014 the official number corresponding to that official description “Gross payments” is £18,777 million, which works out as £361 million a week.

      Personally I would prefer not to use the £18,777 million and £361 million a week numbers, I would use the numbers corresponding to the official description “Gross Contribution Post Rebate” mentioned a bit further on in the report, which would be £14,361 million and £276 million a week or £39 million a day, and I would use the numbers corresponding to the official description “Net Contributions”, which are £9,785 million and £188 million a week or £27 million a day.

      However if people choose to take information straight from an official report and they report it accurately I don’t think they can really be accused of deceit.

      And if it is deceit then it is very low down on the scale of deceit, compared to some of the unspeakable garbage coming from the Remain camp.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:58 am | Permalink

        Thank you Denis I have used this information you provided, very useful.

        You said you would prefer not to use the Gross but the leave side always say how much our Universities get from the EU and the Farmers and Scotland and Wales but it needs to be clear that’s with our own money back but told what to do with it.

        • Know-dice
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

          That’s the essence of the problem – who controls the money?

          Also, we know that the EU also “controls” the rebate and I believe that it is repaid in arrears – how does that work? And certainly will disappear next year if we stay in.

          But the fact that this has to be explained is the biggest reason not to quote Gross.

      • Mark
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        £359m per week is a whopping deceit.

        A car is advertised at £1000. The dealer gives you a £100 discount (negotiated, as it happens by someone you loved, but that’s by the by). You therefore pay a net £900.

        His much did the car cost you?

        Answers on a postcard please.

        All the tricky answers in the world, including extracts from official publications, can’t hide from the essential conclusion and crystal clear fact that the car costs £900.

        Clever people liked John Rddwood are making fools of themselves by defending the nonsense of £350m per week. It is a figure which is wrong wrong wrong wrong. Are you Brexiters HONESTLY saying you wouldn’t be challenging this fugure if situations were reversed? Anyone who says no is telling porkies. And you demean you case.

        Reply I am always accurate, saying that is a gross figure. I always myself use the £10bn net figure of the money we can decide how to spend for ourselves which currently is taken from us.
        If I ask someone their salary they usually give the gross figure which I know is not the same as the money they actually keep and can spend. As we have always said it was a gross figure what is your problem with it.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          It’s not a discount on the current year’s contribution, it’s a refund of overpayments last year. So the correct analogy is that you get this year’s car at the advertised price of £1000, but the dealer kindly refunds you £100 that he overcharged you when you bought a car last year. But as I have said I would not use the £1000 figure, even though officially it is correct, and then go on to say that if we stopped buying cars we would have £1000 a year available which we could spend on other things. That could hold for one year, in principle, the year after we had left, when we no longer paid in anything but were still due a refund of overpayments the previous year(s). After that, it would no longer hold. Nor has JR himself ever said that to my knowledge, he has always been focused on the net contribution, £10 billion in 2014.

        • Mark
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          Dear John

          Thank you for responding to my badly typed comment – the perils of the iPhone. This was the first time I have commented on your blog.

          I take your point that if “Gross” were emphasised, then I would have less to quibble about with the use of £350m. But it isn’t – the figure is plastered about on the bus etc, and commented upon in the media by Brexit leadership as if this is the net amount we spend. As for the salary parallel, that doesn’t hold water at two levels. Firstly, the association of the word “spend” with £350 is designed to make people think this a a net figure. Secondly (as I explain elsewhere) the inclusion of our budget discount in the £350 is an egregious attempt to inflate the figure, as various independent statistical authorities attest.

          In any event, in the great scheme of the debate, this is a fairly arcane matter upon which we perhaps have to differ.

          I have already cast my vote as a eurosceptic, postal voting Remainer. The decision wasn’t easy and I have done my best to read a range of opinions in recent weeks ( including yours) before reaching my conclusion. Why Remain? Well, in no particular order:

          Both sides have dissembled, exaggerated, fibbed and misrepresented. World war three, economic catastrophe, £350m per week, 80 million thieving Turks, etc. I happen to think that the Brexiters have been a bit worse, but my most striking observation is that each side believes the other side is doing the lying. Well, you are both at it, and so facts are hard to establish.

          My sense is that economically we will be in for a much rougher ride in the short term, should we exit, than Brexit acknowledge. But who knows what the long term holds; any forecast more than a few years out is worthless. I’m confident that we could survive economically; I just not confident that we would do as well as we might within the union.

          Immigration is an important issue, but doesn’t weigh as importantly with me as it does with some. And I don’t like the way the race card has been played, even if I have bit of sympathy with the concerns.

          Sovereignty is clearly very important to you. I feel a little less strongly, because I don’t especially see what we have in the UK as a paragon of democracy. I don’t really know what I think would be better, I just can get quite as concerned as you about the influence of the EU. Of course I don’t like the idea of ever greater union, but I suspect the risk of that is receding.

          It is notable how many Brexiters hate David Cameron. Well I quite like him; I think his heart is essentially in the right place and, as far as anyone can ever trust a politician (apologies for generalising), I essentially trust him. To expand, and to demonstrate my impartiality, I also trust Gove and May and you, to name a few examples. I don’t trust Osborne and didn’t trust Brown or Balls. Where is this going? Well it is to emphasise that trust is a precious commodity, and I do not trust Boris a fraction of an inch. I find the man an opportunistic, duplicitous, unfaithful, shambling joker who lends no credit to the Brexit case.

          There is no doubt that there is much wrong with the European experiment, but on balance I feel our duty and national interests are best servee by trying to fix it, and not yet exercising our one option to exit. I have chosen to keep that in reserve.

          Best wishes and apologies for the ramble

          Mark

          Reply I have explained in many posts why I disagree profoundly with your judgement. You cannot be a Eurosceptic Remainer. You have to be a pro EU Remainer.

          • James Matthews
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

            Choosing to keep your “option to exit” in reserve is, if you are serious, a profoundly reckless strategy. If, after voting to remain, we ever get another referendum (itself highly improbable) the demographic changes which are in train from existing and continued EU immigration will mean that there will be zero possibility of a vote to leave. EU citizens won’t (or at least shouldn’t) have a vote but their children – more per capita than the host population – will.

            Vote leave now or repent for ever.

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

            Mark,
            If this £350m –pw figure is such a big thing for you how did you come to terms with the EU and remain making claims about the money they gave to our scientists, universities, farmers, regions. NONE of it was the EUs money it was ours. If someone gives you a rebate why the hell should they have a say in how you spend it?

            John, what does the NHS cost per week?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:09 am | Permalink

            I expect that if you were in government you would want to try to fix it. But you are not, and it has become more or more obvious to me over the years that most of the politicians we elect do not in fact want to try to fix it in any serious way. They may make noises about it for domestic, often party political, purposes, but whenever they have an opportunity to try to fix it they instead decide to go along with it, at least as far as they can get away with that. Of course technically you can still change your vote but I don’t expect you will and I’m not going to even suggest that you should do so. I will just predict that if we vote to stay in the EU then a chunk of the voters like yourself will come to regret that they did not take the rare opportunity to force our politicians into serving us rather than serving the EU, which is what a lot of them have been doing for decades now.

          • Andy
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

            The problem is the £350million figure is actually correct. The EU obtains its money (which is OUR money) via TOR, VAT and GNI. None of these may be varied by Parliament – they have to hand over the cash which in 2015 (estimated) was over £17 billion.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Mark – To make your analogy work

          You buy a new car every year (and must do so) from the same dealer (and must do so)

          If that dealer says you must pay full price (or more) then you must do so.

          He also tells you what car you must have and that it must be painted in his colours – that the impression must be made that he’s given it to you and that you haven’t paid for it yourself. So that your wife says how wonderful the dealer is and that she should vote for him in the coming council elections.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

          Mark

          My other statements to you need correction:

          You go into a car shop.

          The price of the car is £1000.

          You pay the £900 and get the car next to it with a ticket price of £600

          You have to do this every year. And next year you might have to pay £1000 with no discount and still take the £600.

          Plus the car must have the dealer’s logo on it and you have to tell everyone he’s given it to you and what wonderful works he does.

        • Bob
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

          @Mark
          Does the car salesman spend the £100 on a set of gnomes for your garden, together with a plaque stating “donated by “Honest John’s Used Car Supermarket”?

    • stred
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      It was a mistake from the start to use gross figures instead of net. The rather strange young men running the remain and leave campaigns are not interested in reality. Many otherwise intelligent people are not terribly numerate when it comes to things like gross and net. Dr Woolaston spoke in the gay marriage debate and thought Alan Turing, the war hero, should have been better treated and this was a reason for it. Softie logic sometimes wins the vote. They are easy meat for the unscupulous.

      • alan jutson
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

        Stred

        Gross figures always used to advertise salaries, but you only ever get net (never mentioned)

        Contract amounts always gross.

        Sales figures always gross.

        Gross spending on the NHS.

        Gross receipt of taxation.

        Gross overseas aid.

        Gross spending on Defence.

        Only mistake was perhaps to not put gross in front of it.

        How about the EU funding for Universities and Farmers when it is no such thing, its our taxpayer money, the EU has none, neither does our Government.

        Where do you draw the line.

        Simple argument as above to explain its not rocket science, I simply do not understand why politicians want to make it complicated.

        • APL
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          “Gross receipt of taxation.”

          Which is of course a government fraud, since it’s a given that the only way a government can raise money is by taxing the productive sector of the economy then using that revenue to pay the public sector of the economy.

          Thus government gross tax revenue which includes the fictional amount of revenue raised from the public sector is misleading (perhaps even a lie) but no one questions the government figures.

        • stred
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          Alan. The gross figures for salaries etc are not being used in a dirty underhand propaganda campaign where both sides have employed unscruculous PR merchants and the chief propagandist was one and was put in office by some. Give them any opportunity to accuse the other side of lying and they will take it. They will lie even more, as when Sir John told us that the real figure was only a third.

          It was getting even more ridiculous when before the debate last night a commercial station ran an advert claiming the £350m would beused to save the NHS. It is so easy toclaimthis is untrue, even though thefigure given by JR is from about half of thetrue net figure. Whoever thought running ads like this was a good idea should be sent down the road asap. The true figures giving gross, net after rebate and explaining farm and research amounts are given today on facs4eu, yet they are begging for contributions, while millions from public funds are given to pay tv stations to run counter-productive tripe.

          • Andy
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            Like I say above the £350million figure is correct. The revenue demanded by the EU in 2015 (estimated) was well over £17 billion. The ‘rebate’ is exactly that – clue in the name – and what comes back via grants, farm subsidies etc are directly under the control of the EU not the UK Government. If you were drawing up a set of accounts you cannot ignore the £350million figure. That is what you would have to enter in the account.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      There will be far more than that to spend as controlled migration, a bonfire of red tap and other changes will boost the economy hugely, cut NHS demand and cut the costs of energy and the goods the NHS consumes.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Reply

      The idiots at Vote Leave have produced a leaflet which clearly states that leaving the EU will yield a further £350m per week to spend on the NHS; personally, I’m fed up with trying to put that figure into context for people who query it. Can’t Vote Leave think of anything else or are they stuck in a groove?

  7. Chris S
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Our own Great Leader has obviously arrived at the same point of panic he reached towards the end of the Scottish Referendum campaign.

    No previous PM has ever been so stupid as to have called a majority of his party members, activists and supporters unpatriotic. Nor, for that matter have we ever heard a PM come out with so many lies, half truths and insults.

    I for one am deeply, deeply aggrieved to be called unpatriotic. An Englishman’s loyalty has to be, first and foremost, to his Sovereign and Country. Nowhere are we required to defend and protect Junckers and Co.

    Cameron must know he’s finished whatever the outcome. There will be a lot more than 50 unpatriotic men in grey suits, and even some women, ( but not Woolerston, obviously ), who will be only too keen to present their letter to the Chairman of the 1922 on the 24th.

    I sincerely hope our host will be first in the queue.

  8. eeyore
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Bombproof performance on the wireless this morning, Mr Redwood, but this ongoing argument over the £350m looks bad. It would be a pity to lose the war over such a piffling point. If Leave spokesmen were careful always to add the word “gross” to their claims (as Nick Robinson conceded you are) the argument would be killed stone dead.

    Now you need damage limitation. So make a virtue of it: paint GROSS on the bus and call the Press in to watch it being done.

    It’s a pity Dr Woollaston sees fit to decide her country’s future on such a triviality, but like all of us she must form her judgement according to her capacity. As Abe Lincoln said drily, “People who like this sort of thing will find this the sort of thing they like.”

    • Bob
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      @eeyore

      “a pity Dr Woollaston sees fit to decide her country’s future on such a triviality”

      Guido Fawkes blog has published some of her earlier pronouncements on the debate including this

      “David Cameron was right that the EU will need further reform but if this is the best that can be grudgingly conceded when there is a serious risk of a British exit, what chance of any meaningful further reform if and when we are tied-in long term by the referendum? The proposed red card system to halt unwanted EU diktats will need a majority of other leaders in support…so it is vanishingly unlikely to be of use if future policies are imposed against our national interest.”

      Maybe there are other considerations to explain her volte-face.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

        Clearly there must be perhaps she just wants to be on the wining side – but she has misjudged it hugely.

      • eeyore
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

        Dr Woollaston has a high reputation for integrity and independence. Her own (slightly priggish) explanation is that she did not care to board a battlebus with an untruth written on it.

        We Redwoodians know she’s wrong, but the important point is that the £350m claim is sufficiently ambiguous to serve to brand Leave as liars. Probity is everything so the smear must be dealt with.

        My humble advice again: Get the Press in, get a grinning signwriter with his ladder, paintpot and white overalls, let him paint GROSS on the blasted bus so everyone can see it, and explain to the hacks that while normal people who earn a wage all know fine well the difference between gross and net, the PM and Chancellor clearly need a bit of help. Seize the opportunity to run through the figures again. Stress that a gain’s a gain, regardless of the amount. Most of all, remember humour is a deadly weapon, so make it funny.

        • alan.
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          eyesore

          Good idea always good to make a positive out of a negative.

        • Bob
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

          @eeyore

          “Woollaston has a high reputation for integrity and independence”

          Then why did she not resign from the Vote.Leave campaign and continue to support Brexit independently? Does this £350m issue now mean that everythong she previously said about the EU was untrue?

          Independence? Integrity? Really? I don’t think so.

          • Andy
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

            Nor do I. It has everything to do with her ego.

      • Pud
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        I can understand that perhaps Dr Woollaston felt that the £350 million claim was so dishonest that she couldn’t work for the campaign making it.
        I cannot understand why she wants to join Remain, if dishonest campaigning is her motivation for leaving Leave. Surely Remain have made far more dishonest statements than Leave?

        Reply Indeed, they have made some truly dishonest statements. The Vote Leave use of the gross figure is not new – she knew that weeks ago when she signed up to Leave!

      • Qubus
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

        Is the lady hoping to be the next Minister of Health?

        Incidentally, she is supposed to be a GP and often refers to her patients. When does she fit in her doctoring?

        • Chris S
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:25 am | Permalink

          I think you have hit the nail firmly on the head, Qubus.

          Woolerston’s meteoric rise to lead a select committee can only be bettered by a cabinet appointment. She’s clearly on a promise should Remain win.

          Pity she’s backed the wrong side, as has Mrs May.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      Maybe someone should make the point that £350m is a figure, and it is actually the principle that counts – I would object to “giving away” £1 if I didn’t get it back.

    • Hope
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      It demonstrates to me her shallow thinking on a very important issue and why she did not have the foresight to consider before now. Her timing is questionable, her ethics appalling to her electors. She should resign. Does her association know what she stands for? Is she the sort of person to flit from one view to another because of her inability to analysie or put career objectives before country? We have seen many MPs already put party before country. Parliamentarians are still damaging the reputation of their office by sordid substandard behaviour and ethics. Time for a good clear out- promised 7 years ago by one tax avoiding hypocrite Cameron.

  9. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Call me cynical if you wish. The treasury and BoE are tools of government. They do as bid if they want their K at the end of a greasy pole career. The IMF and other international bodies also have their own agenda. They want the UK to continue with financial support for this failed experiment because it lessens their financial commitment.

    I suspect that the Pound is being marked down at the moment in anticipation that it will rise again after Brexit. It would make forward currency sales more profitable.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Surely no one who reads both Mathew Hannan for remain and (consistently the wrong on every issue for years) Mathew Parris in the Spectator today could possibly vote to remain?

  11. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    According to the head of the WTO leaving the EU would cost our exporters £6.5 billion a year in extra duties they would have to pay:

    http://news.sky.com/story/1708309/brexit-could-cost-uk-exporters-5-6bn-a-year

    “British exporters are at risk of paying up to £5.6bn in duties if the UK votes Out, the head of the World Trade Organisation says.”

    While he also said that it would cost our importers, so consumers, £9 billion a year :

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/05/25/david-cameron-warns-elderly-that-a-brexit-could-hit-their-pensio/

    “Earlier the World Trade Organisation warned that if Britain leaves the EU, extra tariffs imposed on imported goods could cost the British consumer £9 billion.”

    £5.6 billion would work out as an effective average tariff of 1.1% on all our exports, or 2.5% on just our exports to the EU if that is what he meant, while £9 billion would work out as an effective average tariff of 3.1% imposed on our imports from the EU. It seems unlikely that such minor imposts would significantly affect our trade.

    Moreover total UK GDP is around £1809 billion, and in that context both those figures pale into insignificance – just 0.3% for the first, 0.5% for the second. The effects are so marginal that it is difficult to see how they could possibly translate into the much greater losses of GDP predicted by the Treasury, 5.4% – 9.5% for the “WTO option”.

    It is a puzzle, and I suspect a lot of the answer lies in this article by Ashoda Mody, formerly deputy director of the IMF’s European and Research Departments:

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/eu-referendum-why-the-economic-consensus-on-brexit-is-flawed-a7057306.html

    “Why the economic consensus on Brexit is flawed”

    “So how do the Treasury, OECD and the IMF conclude that Brexit could reduce GDP by between 6 and 10 percent forever? The vast bulk of those large estimates come from the further assumption that reduced trade will shrink British productivity growth. This is disingenuous. There is simply no evidence that less trade lowers productivity growth – and there is not even a logical connection between productivity growth and a shift in trade from Germany to the United States.

    More trade has been associated with higher productivity growth when countries have emerged from economic isolation. But for the sophisticated British economy, this possibility should be completely dismissed.”

  12. Jerry
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Sorry John but you seem to love writing pieces that, whilst hitting the opposition out of the ground for six, then go on to dislodge your own bails with the follow-through! If true, that HMT can not make sensible forecasts, then what chance anyone else, should we still believe the economic forecasts from the likes of Vote Leave – if we should then why, I’m not asking for your best guess data (you have already given that) but why you think the Brexit sides methodology is better?

    Reply I do not think anyone can make an accurate and well based forecast for incomes in 2030, and Vote Leave have not tried to do so.

    • Bob
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Andrew Neil exposed a glaring error in the Treasury figures last night on his interview with Mr Osborne The 2030 projections were based on a nett increase in population of 200k p.a.

      However, given that:

      1. UK fertility rates are below the replacement level
      2. The PM has committed the govt to a reduction in immigration to tens of thousands p.a. (no ifs, no buts)

      He must have made a mistake somewhere, he can’t have it both ways.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        UK fertility rates might will rise if they did not have to pay so much taxes to pay for others who do not contribute much at all.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

          @LL: “if they did not have to pay so much taxes to pay for others who do not contribute much at all.”

          So what do you suggest is done with pensioners then, at least the unemployed youth and school leaver could be put to work, even if only doing workfare filling potholes…

          • Edward2
            Posted June 11, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

            Pensioners have paid via many years NI contributions for their pension.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 12, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            @Edward2; Those Pensioner contributions paid for their grandparents and parents health care etc, not their own, how else could it have been so, seeing that the NHS only started in 1946 whilst the state pension started in around 1912. One of the reasons why so many object to NI being called an “insurance”, when it is quite clearly just a tax just like any other, is because it has always been used to pay for current spending, or playing catch up were pensions are concerned.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      I’m not an economist, I’m just a sceptical observer who picks up various numbers from different sources and looks at orders of magnitude to make comparisons, and then asks whether what the government and its allies are saying makes sense or it looks like nonsense designed to pull the wool over our eyes.

      So when the Prime Minister tells us that we should stay in the EU so that we can enjoy the huge benefits of the proposed EU-US trade deal I notice the number “£10 billion” and work out that it would be less than 0.6% of our GDP and the deal would be unlikely to “turbo-charge” our economy or anybody else’s:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/news/pm-seeks-launch-of-trade-deal-to-turbo-charge-the-transatlantic-economy

      “PM seeks launch of trade deal to turbo-charge the transatlantic economy”

      “Following agreement on the EU mandate by trade ministers on Friday, the stage is set for the launch of negotiations with the US on an ambitious trade deal that could be worth up to £10 billion a year – £380 to every British household. This would deliver on one of the PM’s top priorities for the Lough Erne gathering and turbo-charge the transatlantic economy.”

      Likewise when I know that the EU Commission has estimated that the EU Single Market has added about 2% to the collective GDP of the EU member states, and that has been accepted in UK government official reports, then I wonder why it should have such devastating economic effects if we leave the Single Market, and that is even before a German research foundation suggests that the 2% benefit has not evenly spread across the EU and that has been only about 1% for the UK.

      And similarly when the head of the WTO talks about increases in duties on our exports and imports which work out at 0.3% or 0.5% of GDP, see above, I wonder how the Treasury has managed to magnify the effects of those duties into losses of GDP which would be ten or twenty times greater.

      None of it makes sense, none of it stands up to even cursory, superficial, order of magnitude scrutiny, any more than Osborne’s claim that pensioners would be worse off by £32,000 stands up to even a moment’s critical examination.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Andrew Neils interview with the Chancellor last night rubbished the figures you talk about.

    Andrew Neil also used some of the tactics I suggested and outlined in my post yesterday (still in moderation) that Mr Cameron has to be shown to have changed his mind, on very important points with the use of video’s.

    Turkey speech in both our Parliament and theirs, with unqualified support for their membership.

    Immigration down to the tens of thousands.

    Etc Etc.

    Prove that Cameron says different things to different people at different times, and you rubbish/question his promises now.

    Sorry if you think this is getting personal John, but Cameron started this with his personal attack on Boris, the day Boris came out for Leave, and now the Remain camps tactics of trying to demonise Farage has started.

    Osborne’s “I do not want to live in a Country run by the likes of Farage” last night a case in point.

    Osborne has already been proven to have fixed the figures, so you have to expose him further as well.

    The gloves have been removed by the Remain side so you have to do likewise, but with a positive message to go with it as well.

    No point in Leave being nice, and losing, the stakes are too high.

  14. Richard1
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    There is a clear push by Messrs Cameron and Osborne to identify Leave with Nigel Farage whom they describe as a “Little Englander”. I think this language is a mistake – it reminds me of an article in the FT, of which I am a regular reader, describing those who opposed the euro at the time of that debate as ‘little Englanders at best, xenophobes at worst’. As someone who opposed euro membership at the time I felt it rather offensive, not being a little Englander, but also absurd.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      The thing about Farage (and Dan Hannan and Paul Nuttal) is that he has more skin in the game than just about anyone else. If Brexit occurs they will lose a nice little sinecure with more earnings than most of us in the real world could ever dream of. Lots of the Remain brigade have the opposite, salaries, pensions and hopes of a nice cushy job within the EU.

      It would be good if this was pushed a bit. Maybe then people would have more respect, whereas at the moment most of the visceral hated of Nigel is based around his mostly misreported views on immigration and his undoubted masculinity which does not go down well with the feminist brigade (witness the shrill mauling the female audience gave him on ITV this week).

      On the question of the £350 million a week, this was always a mistake and has come back to bite the Leavers as I said it would weeks ago and it will get worse yet. Clever clogs arguments over the meaning of words cut no ice with the electorate. Far better to have admitted a mistake and painted it out weeks ago, but then of course that would entail politicians owning up to a mistake. That does not happen.

    • Qubus
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      I would agree that this is a trivial point, but CMD played the old school-yard trick during PMQs yesterday of deliberately mispronouncing Nigel Farage’s name.

      I would have hoped that this type of behaviour were beneath a Prime Minister. I think that it probably gives a true insight into his character.

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Gideon can’t predict next months borrowing let alone conditions in 15 years. Last night his pension bluster was exposed for the sham that it was.
    If project fear was working Remain should be 20 points ahead. It seems every trick is being used to assist Remain. Web site crashes for 90 minutes so 48 hour extension is granted. Cameron is toast. Never again will a single word he utters have any value.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Indeed a professional, no if no buts, cast iron serial liar. A man lacking a working compass whose words such as “I am a low tax Conservative” are forgotten before the echo dies away.

      Heathrow U turn next it seems – at least that is in the right direction for a change.

  16. Dioclese
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    I can’t help thinking that the major factor effecting exchange rates will be the US presidential election?

    • forthurst
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      “I can’t help thinking that the major factor effecting exchange rates will be the US presidential election?”

      That probably applies to WWIII as well. Brexit surely pales into insignificance compared to the possibilty of Hillary the Warmonger and Corporate Stooge, funded by the same (word left out ed) banksters as the Remain campaign, taking up residence in the White House.

  17. JoeSoap
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Indeed, nothing to have sleepless nights over. If the Pound rises, people with money have a better standard of living, if the Pound weakens, we are more competitive at the lower end of the pay scale, so more jobs there.

    What is worrying is the shallowness of one of your colleagues who changes their mind on the basis of a figure on the side of a battle bus. Clearly not the sort we need to lead us forward in this Country.

    • Bob
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      @JoeSoap

      “not the sort we need to lead us forward in this Country.”

      Politics does tend to attract some self serving individuals as opposed to the sefless MEPs that are working for Brexit which will make them redundant from their well paid sinecures.

      • zorro
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        She will have been promised something – DC will be in ultra patronage mode – he is that desperate…..

        zorro

        • Chris S
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

          CMD can offer as many bribes as he likes over the next two weeks but he won’t be around long enough after the 23rd to make good on them.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      Joe

      Re your last paragraph, I agree, but unfortunately this will be a view held by a lot of electors and just writing her of as a no account will do no good. The public know its fishy and makes the Leavers look shifty. Not a basis on which to ask for trust.

  18. oldtimer
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Speaking of Treasury forecasts I watched the exchanges between the Chancellor and Andrew Neill last night. Mr Osborne did not impress me at all; rather, in my eyes, he was diminished by the exchanges. What was extraordinary was his belief that Airbus could easily or actually would switch from its current UK supplier of Airbus wings to another supplier, (presumably inside the EU though that was not stated). Even though he is Chancellor of the Exchequer and has spent lots of time on photo opportunities in high visibility jackets in factories around the UK, it is clear he has little clue about what actually goes on inside them or the technologies and challenges involved in operating such businesses or building the collaborations and supply chains that support them.

    He did his utmost to avoid answering questions, usually by talking over Mr Neill as he asked them. No doubt this was because he had no good answers to offer.

  19. formula57
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    All of the post-Brexit forecasts leave out the huge boost the UK economy will enjoy from supplying war materiel to the opposing sides in WW3 and the European wars that the Prime Minister tells will break out.

  20. DaveM
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    What’s going on Mr Redwood?

    We have Sarah Woolaston changing sides over a spurious unquantifiable claim that the NHS might not be as well taken care of outside the EU.

    We have Johnny Mercer declaring for In despite telling constituents he was going to keep his intentions to himself and in spite of Plymouth voting for 2 x Con MPs (against the odds) and a Con/Ukip council. Both after years of Lab control. Not to mention the online poll he conducted indicating 74% for Leave.

    We have Oliver “hedgehog” Colville disappearing on Saturday evenings for secret – even denied – meetings with John Major, then returning to tell folk that he’s never been more adamant Remain will win. Despite him being very indecisive and lacking self-confidence much of the time.

    Something is starting to stink.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      I’ve been expecting planned defections,possibly from both sides, right from the off.I hope the Brexiteers have someone of weight lined up to defect in their favour to offset.

    • Know-dice
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      I would expect some “stalking horses” to come out of the woodwork.

      Was she truly Eurosceptic or just a “fence sitter”?

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Dave M

      Afraid its been stinking for months.

      Leave Ministers told they could not speak out whilst Remain did for months.

      The Civil service only working and releasing figures/propaganda for remain

      The £9.4 Million taxpayer funded remain leaflet.

      EU funded organisations openly backing remain.

      Government contracted Companies openly backing remain

      Eu funded so called Charities backing remain.

      Politicians who got elected on a eurosceptic ticket, changing sides when the EU has gained ever more control, and is ever more expensive, why I wonder.

      The honours list is anything but honest.

      Now the fiasco of the registration web site.

      Much much more going on we do not even know about. YET.

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

      @DaveM; On the opposite side of the coin, Sir John Nott (who is believed to have voted UKIP in the last European elections, according to the article in today’s Daily Telegraph) has apparently refused to renew his party membership due to the “tirade of fear” by Cameron and Osborne, demanding that he will not rejoin the party “until we have a change of leadership”.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/08/margaret-thatchers-defence-secretary-sir-john-nott-suspends-tory/

      As for a ‘stink’ that is happening today at Westminster, in that emergency legislation to extend voter registration.

      • James Matthews
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

        Entirely agree with your final paragraph.

        Also rather sceptical that so many peoples apparently only on the very last day became concerned enough about the referendum issues to register to vote.. Will the eligibility of these late applicants be properly checked (or indeed checked at all) or could we be looking, at least in part, at more large scale electoral fraud?

        Bye the bye I see that “Former Prime Ministers Sir John Major and Tony Blair have warned that a vote to leave the EU would be a “historic mistake”. Well I never. Two historic mistakes predicting a third. What are the chances?

        • Jerry
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

          @James Matthews; That Major-Blair double act of a news conference from Londonderry was really quite a strange affair and left me wondering just were Blair is really standing on Brexit – sure he is going through all the process of supporting the official Labour position but he knows that his name is even more toxic within Labour and other left leaning parties than he is with the political right, then today whilst Major made some credible (if wrong) points Blair then went totally hyperbole and thus trashed the last shreds credibility in Major’s argument.

          What ever his true position, Blair is the best campaign tool Brexit have!

          • Chris S
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

            Blair is the best campaign tool Brexit have !

            No, that’s now Cameron !

        • Know-dice
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          Tail wagging the dog AGAIN.

          Remind me:

          Population of Scotland – 5.4 Million
          Population of England – 65 Million

          I don’t care if Scotland has another referendum and decides to separate from the rest of the UK.

          But, I certainly don’t want to see sectarian violence rising again in Ireland (North or Republic).

          • Bob
            Posted June 10, 2016 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

            @Know-dice

            Mr Farage pointed out on QT last night that the price per barrel of oil:
            At the time of Scots referendum was $130.
            Now $50.

            Thg SNP are once again being used by Mr Cameron as the bogeymen for his empty threats.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      We need MPs with independent minds like yourself, not people who just follow whatever is on the side of a bus.
      The £350 million is a straw man. People with half a brain, as a Dr. should have, can easily work out the difference between gross and net. Does she take home all her MP’s salary, or have to pay tax out of it for things she doesn’t always agree with?

      • Mark
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        Brexiters consistently present £350m as the amount we will save on leaving the EU. It is a porkie. A consistent, mathematical lie. As well as payments to us from the EU such as for agriculture (which Boris has confirmed will continue to be paid), Maggie’s discount is also has to be offset from this total. If we leave, for £350m to be the true saving, not only would we stop making contributions, but the EU would continue to give us our rebate. How bonkers is that assumption?? Well John on the radio, Boris et al seem to believe it.

        A smaller figure is true, but by failing to present an accurate figures, Brexiters’ leaders prove themselves to be duplicitous and untrustworthy. It is that simple, however unpalatable that assertion will be to some.

        • James Matthews
          Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

          Whether or not you believe that the leaders of the Brexit Campaign are untrustworthy seems of very limited relevance, They are sometimes guilty of quoting accurate figures in a selective and, when asserted without qualification, potentially misleading way, but certainly no more so than the Remainders. What is at stake in this campaign has led some on both sides to some fairly ruthless spinning.

          What is at stake though, doesn’t change. We are handing £350 Million a day to the EU, the getting about half of it back, mostly with strings attached, but also, and much more importantly, we are allowing decisions which should be ours alone to be subject to the views of twenty-seven (+) other countries. If that is OK with you then fine, you should vote Remain and accept the consequences. If not, then your issues with the £350 figure and doubts about the personalities in the leave campaign really should not change your vote. Unlike the Remainders, the leaders of the leave campaign will not be running the country after the referendum, whatever the outcome, unless and until there is a general election.

          Of course if your conclusion that the Brexit leaders are “duplicitous and untrustworthy” and that this is more important than that the Remainders are at least equally so, is prompted by the need to find an excuse to vote Remain, then you have found one and there is nothing more to be said.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Who cares what your MP thinks when the people think something else? I live in a safe Labour seat with a “remainer” MP though there are “Leave” posters everywhere. Check the “Guardian” website, they have run pieces this week on why rock solid Labour areas like Sunderland and south Wales want out. How is it a big surprise to you that an MP could not give a toss on what you thought he was going to do for you?

      • DaveM
        Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        DRW,

        The point I am making – slightly conspiracist though it may sound – is that these people are hedging their bets and protecting themselves because they have insider knowledge of something that is going to skew the Referendum massively. The second two I mention in my little tirade are new(ish) MPs with a very small majority.

        I don’t believe that a conspiracy to rig the vote somehow would be common knowledge in Westminster without our host knowing about it, but you never know.

        Mercer has annoyed me the most; he stated very early on that he believed the Referendum was an individual matter and that he would provide facts rather than opinions. He also uses the strapline “Plymouth’s voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice in Plymouth” Very admirable. However, having conducted his online poll and being fully aware of the general sentiment in this very English of cities, he has voiced his opinion – on ConHome of all places – to the complete contrary of what the voices of Plymouth have said loud and clear.

        He was voted in due to his tireless campaigning and the above strapline. However, he has clearly bowed to pressure from somewhere and is more concerned about himself than what he purported to be representing during his election campaign. I don’t know why I’m surprised really.

        • Dame Rita Webb
          Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

          Why bother worrying about an MP whose biggest impact since being elected has been with a photo of him having a shower? It just shows how much standards have dropped in Westminster. Today we also hear from a former politician who has obviously done well for himself, despite his much trumpeted impoverished childhood and humble career as a bank manager. The more I read of his final years the more I think Wilson was the last decent man who became Prime Minister.

          Under normal circumstances journalists, from say the “Guardian”, would be all over a rigged election. However as they are part of the liberal establishment we can only expect them to turn a blind eye. So it will be down to the right wing blogs to reveal any Austrian practices and it will be all conveniently ignored and wept under the carpet if they find anything untoward.

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      I have little sympathy for naive voters in Devon who despite ample evidence to the contrary took Conservative candidates “euroscepticism” as being authentic .

      Sarah Wollaston clearly has no convictions as it was anything but traumatic for her to change sides .

      She didn’t lose any sleep over it . Let’s hope that like her mentor (name left out ed) she has chosen the wrong side .

      The same charge can be leveled at Boris who said he made up his mind recently .

      An issue like national sovereignty isn’t something you make your mind up on . It is part of your belief system and character .

      These tossers have no beliefs or convictions . They do not love Britain .

      Their actions just perpetuate the old maxim – “never trust a Tory” .

  21. Bert Young
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Our value standing in the world largely influences the £ , property and other tangible assets ; whether we are “in ” or “out” will make very little difference . Being able to innovate and create products and services that the world demands are far more important issues ; energy costs and employment costs are more significant features of the equation .

    Cameron and Osborne have lost their way and the trust of previous supporters ; if their predictions had been any way near the outcome , it would have been different to their present low standing with Conservative members . Their lack of real life experience prior to their Political involvement is the underlying feature of their failure ; PRism and the gift of words have fudged where they are today and the public have had enough .

    I firmly believe that there will have to be a General Election following the referendum ; no matter what the outcome , the Conservatives have to re-build themselves under new leadership and take advantage of the disarray in the Labour Party . The likes of Cameron and Osborne have had their day .

    • A different Simon
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Re last sentence .

      But they are pursuing one hell of a scorched earth policy on their way out .

  22. oldtimer
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Re the Chancellor and as a follow up to my earlier comment. Paul Goodman posted an interesting comment here:
    http://www.conservativehome.com/thetorydiary/2016/06/if-osborne-really-wants-to-get-stuck-in-why-wont-he-face-boris-in-the-tv-debates.html
    …on his apparent refusal to face Boris Johnson in any of the TV debates.

    Picking up on one questioners striking image in an earlier TV debate, it seems that Mr Osborne looks like the man who blows the whistle to send Amber Rudd and Ruth Davidson up and out of the trenches to face Boris.

    Goodman comments:
    “There are a number of ways of reacting to Remain’s plan. One can argue that it won’t work. One can assert that it will. One can say that all’s fair in love, war, and TV referendum debates. One can call it ingenious. One can call it cunning. But the one thing that one cannot call it is brave. Rudd is a relatively new and junior Cabinet Minister. Davidson is not only not such a Minister but not even an MP. Where are the Cabinet big guns, such as Michael Fallon? Where – if a woman is required – is Theresa May?

    Where, above all, is George Osborne? We accept, reluctantly, that it is best for the dignity of his office for David Cameron not to debate directly with Boris (although there is a lively counter-case to the contrary). But there is a limit to how far this logic will run. It surely cannot be right for neither the Prime Minister nor the Chancellor to go head-to-head with the most senior Tory put up by the Leave side. They owe it to the voters to debate the issues in this campaign as they might do in the Commons.”

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    And now we have Osborne pretending that the “triple lock” on the state pension would mean that if inflation went up to 4% the state pension would only go up by 2.5%.

    http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2016/06/transcript-george-osborne-vs-andrew-neil-brexit/

    “[So the state pension] rises by the so-called triple lock either by the rate of inflation or by 2.5 per cent. Well if the rate of inflation is higher, and people are forecasting that it could be 3-4 per cent the rate of inflation instead of what it is today, well that will eat away at the real value of people’s pension.”

    The triple lock means that the state pension rises not “either by the rate of inflation or by 2.5 per cent” but by the highest of price inflation, earnings growth or 2.5%.

    So if inflation rises to 4% the state pension will rise by that, not by 2.5%, and the real value of the state pension will be maintained.

    Of course Osborne knows that, but he is prepared to mislead pensioners about it.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Yes. That’s just a flat-out lie. Woolaston needs to change sides again.

  24. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Quite frankly John, I am sick to death of the ridiculous claims coming from Cameron. He and Osborne don’t seem to be able to control anything regarding the economy. As you say, many things drive the value of the pound.

    I see someone from the Leave side has defected. It couldn’t come at a worse time. The BBC is going on with its usual drivel this morning getting people to use their computers to look at the BBC website with “all the facts”. No chance of getting any truth there then.

    I am concerned when I hear people say that if we vote to leave it will be for parliament to decide where we go next. If we have Cameron in charge then we won’t get half of what we really need and want. There is a lot of talk about free movement of people and I am worried that we will still get unprecedented amounts of immigration even if we are not in the EU. This must not be allowed to happen. The number of people coming in are far too high and for many people voting out, immigration is their number one priority.

  25. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    What’s curious is how Rt Hon Mr Osborne in a very recent interview with Andrew Neil was able to rattle off quick and comprehensive answers, right or wrong, to questions which were made to him equally quick and comprehensively. He struggles in Parliament to answer even one simple question without prior knowledge of it. For years he used the terms “Debt” and “Deficit” without a clue of their difference in meaning.

    So how come Mr Osborne’s sudden understanding of economics? He got a degree in Modern History. I guess this could have introduced him to the economic niceties of the Irish Potato Famine.

  26. Mitchel
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Andrew Neil was on peerless form last night with his Osborne interview;Osborne seemed to have no capability to argue beyond the confines of his rehearsed clichés and soundbites and by the end sounded like a distressed chicken on its way to the butcher’s block squawking Farage!Farage!Farage!Farage!

    That dismal performance and the recent uplift in the polls for Out brought to mind a line from a letter Lenin wrote to the writer Maxim Gorky in September 1919:-

    “The intellectual forces of the workers and the peasants are growing and getting stronger in their fight to overthrow the bourgeoisie and their accomplices,the educated classes,the lackeys of capital,who consider themselves the brains of the nation.In fact they are not it’s brains but it’s s***”

    I might change one or two words but….quite!

    • Gary C
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      “Osborne seemed to have no capability to argue beyond the confines of his rehearsed clichés and soundbites and by the end sounded like a distressed chicken on its way to the butcher’s block squawking Farage!Farage!Farage!Farage!”

      I thought the same, there were several occasions when Osborne was looking very uncomfortable.

  27. Colin Hart
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Vote Leave should repaint the bus with one simple word – QUIT.

    • Gary C
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

      ‘QUIT’ . . . . As in give up our democracy to the EU . . . . . . Allow the EU to make the laws we have to abide by even if it does our country harm . . . . . . Makes us subservient to an unelected dictatorship . . . . .

      Do you really think staying in will give us a voice to change the EU, being one in 28 is like peeing in the sea to warm it up.

      The EU does not learn, those who have the power have not the knowledge to make the decisions/laws they have control over, furthermore the EU is ridiculously slow to realise/admit they have done wrong and make changes to revert their decisions to put things right.

      Quit . . . . . ‘Quitting’ is wimping out of making those decisions that help our country to prosper, ‘Quitting’ is being able to say it’s not us it’s the EU, ‘Quitting’ is giving in to the bureaucratic, megalomaniac, dictatorship that the EU is heading for.

      If thats your choice vote in.

      Personally I think we have the knowledge, expertise, foresight and gumption to run our own country, protect our citizens & secure our borders and thats why I’m voting to leave the EU.

  28. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Predictions by the Remain Camp are fairy tales. It is sad for the UK we have so many Experts with crystal balls. They do not seem to have any regard or a tinge of embarrassment to how others in their profession regard them. They did not predict the 2008 recession. Nor the major fall in Oil Price which has made SNP MPs engage in mass burnings of their Manifestos.
    Which “Expert” can make a valid prediction of say the usage of steel, oil, copper, timber in China three months hence? No-one, not event the best Chinese economics expert.
    The British people are tired of the deluge of tales of woe from the Remain Camp.
    Now The Rt Hon Mr Blair and Rt Hon Mr Major are across the Irish sea bringing to the Irish what they should think, telling them of their history , how they should judge it and what they should do to make the most of themselves and live a good life.

  29. miami.mode
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Notwithstanding the fact that the world economy can sometimes hit difficulty, surely it is up to the government of the day to respond accordingly to ensure some sort of stability in the nation’s finances and affairs.

    Are both David Cameron and George Osborne saying that they would be powerless to do anything in the event of Brexit and would just have to sit back and accept any and all consequences?

    • Chris
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      It would appear so, which seems to make them even more incompetent than I think they are already.

  30. Atlas
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Re: last night’s TV interview with A. Neil and G. Osborne. “A lack of facts” and a surfeit of bluster – was my conclusion. Rarely have I seen Andrew bested.

    I’ve noticed how everything revolves around the Altar of “The Single Market” – It seems Cameron & Osborne will sacrifice every thing to this vain God.

    However little discussion so far on the Common Agricultural Policy, the Common Fisheries Policy and the Common Energy Policy. These are areas where leaving could greatly improve life for the ordinary folk.

    As for the Treasury forecast – we would be better off asking the Met Office for a forecast !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      A false god, in the main only beneficial for its priests.

  31. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    To be able to make a prediction one would have to know of all the interconnected changes of governments of all 28 EU nation states ongoing, the resulting changes of input into the EU, the changes in their own economies regarding consumption and export of particular commodities, the ongoing changes in the value of the US Dollar, Oil Price and countless other calculations beyond the capability of the best computers on earth; because, no-one has the information to program the computer. That information changes with the hour, day and week.
    So, the Treasury is actually saying the British people are insufficiently educated or intelligent enough to understand the non-predictability of most economic behaviour. Mr Osborne is saying the British education system has failed the British people. Is keeping them in blissful ignorance of the true nature of their own world. Like goldfish in a bowl standing on grandma’s sideboard. If he is right the Referendum vote will be a 100% for Remain.
    It seems it is not even a possibility to predict the behaviour fortnight by fortnight of the considered opinion of a senior British MP. Just think…if such a person can change their mind on a decisive and national issue so flip-floppishly , think what every MP in every 28 EU nation parliaments can do every fortnight and their impact on predictability of economic performance.

  32. stred
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Computers allow many outcomes to be created instantly depending on the choice of inputs. Osborne can ask his public employees to produce any picture he thinks will help him. It’s pick and mix for presentation purposes only. If he can be pesuaded to take another job in perhaps PR or posh wallpaper, it would be possible to save a huge amount of taxpayers money by sacking 90% of the number fiddlers and keeping the computer.

  33. Dennis
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Pity that Andrew Neil was swamped by Osborne in the interview on ITV. Osborne’s ‘answers’ would have beld held contempt of court in a trial but Neil couldn’t say his responses were just absurd and not to the point. In fact most answers were non sequiturs – Neil should have said so.

    Pity there was no analysis of the interview after the programme.

    • alan jutson
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Dennis

      I think most sensible people who viewed it would have seen the Chancellor for what he is

      A CHANCER with no substance, but a lot of contrived spin.

  34. Dennis
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    In that Neil/Osborne interview the “no ‘full’ in work benefits for 4 years came up” which Osborne claimed as a proud victory for CMD’s ‘negotiations’ .

    This was a chance for Neil to say it was no victory as CMD wanted no benefit for the whole 4 years and not graduated. Neil ignored this and other telling points he could have made. I think Neil failed in this.

  35. Androcles
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Stan Freburg would have had fun with remain campaign. “So you are over £trillion in debt with a huge budget deficit, services are being cut, schools are full up, long waits for GP appointments, houses are unaffordable for young people, wages have not risen against inflation for 15 years – and you need to stay in the EU to maintain your prosperity?
    No it would be worse if we leave! At least that is what the political establishment, investment bankers and CBI CEOs have told us. But they must be affected by waits for appointments, school places, house prices and pay cuts? No they have actually been doing rather well. “Are you mugs”?

  36. Lifelogic
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Still some good news the appalling John Major is helping the leave cause hugely – every time he opens his mouth to say something even dafter than his last statement.

    This AM he is, in effect, threatening us with renewed Irish terrorism.

  37. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Woolaston’s position is bizarre. She disagrees with one small part of what one of the Leave groups is saying so, having been anti-EU on a whole range of issues, she’s going to switch and vote Remain ? What sense does that make ? She’s treating the whole thing as simply a political game – she must have no principles at all. I’m sure Arthur Scargill disagrees with almost everything Nigel Farage says but he’s still voting Leave based on his own principles – he’s not changing his mind to vote Remain just to punish Farage. She seems so unprincipled that one assumes she must have been promised a government job – let’s see. On the NHS issue itself, the only clear threat to the NHS is TTIP which she’s now happily voting for.

  38. Chris
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Good to see some evidence of sound financial backing, an action which seems to disregard the Treasury’s dire Brexit predictions. I know whom I trust more, and it is not George Osborne’s team.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-08/norway-wealth-fund-commits-to-u-k-investments-as-brexit-looms

    Norway Wealth Fund Commits to U.K. Investments as Brexit Looms
    The world’s biggest wealth fund is committed to investing in Britain even if the country leaves the European Union after this month’s referendum.

    “We’ll remain a long-term investor in the U.K. regardless of the outcome,” Yngve Slyngstad, chief executive officer of Norway’s $860 billion fund, said in a comment e-mailed by his press department. “It’s not our role to comment on political questions and we have nothing further to add.”

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/06/09/eu-referendum-tory-mp-sarah-wollaston-to-defect-from-leave-campa/

    “Sir John says the EU single market is a “huge benefit” to Britain … ”

    When is somebody going to call out this lie for what it is?

  40. Beecee
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I see that the Major/Blair show is given prominence today!

    The major (no pun intended) fear now launched is that the UK could/would split up if Brexit were to succeed, also the NI peace process would fail. Yawn!

    If I were a Scot Nat and wished home rule for Scotland, along with nearly 50% of my fellow Scots, then I would vote Brexit and get home rule via the back door. In F1 it is called an under-pass.

    But will the Scots work it out?

    • James Matthews
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      The surely will have worked it out. The remaining question is whether, in the context of Brexit, there would still be enough Nats left to win an independence referendum. British membership of the EU underpinned the nationalist surge by guaranteeing Scotland many of the benefits of Union with England without it actually needing to continue that Union. With no real revival in the North Sea oil fields expected for at least two years immediate independence would be very costly for Scotland, so my answer to that second question is no. The Nats may want a second referendum but, like St. Paul, not yet.

      I fervently hope that my prediction will be tested empirically.

  41. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic but an indication of why politicians are held in such contempt – in Sadiq Khan’s written manifesto for his Mayoral campaign he said “Londoners won’t pay a penny more for their travel in 2020 than they do today”. Now he has announced fare rises which will affect hundreds of thousands of commuters who use travel cards and oyster card season tickets.

  42. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic;
    When we get our freedom: on Independence Day 23rd June, can we have a week-long celebration?
    Can we also have some kind of regulation on the mainstream TV media about eulogies. You see, we have an ageing population. Been through the rock,pop, eras. Had relative free-speech at one time decades ago, seen great theatrical and movie performances. But, we have some kind of “star” kicking his and her clogs every other hour throughout the world. Followed by speeches, interviews, reportages, playing their music, kicking that goal of goals, clips from movies, bits from conversations, tributes from their friends and colleagues in all fields from nuclear physics through to comedians to keepers of the Royal fishpond. At its best the BBC was ever like warmed-up Zombieland with an annual fine called Licence Fee but now, except for the Referendum Debate is an ongoing star-studded funeral ceremony. Morbid.

  43. bigD
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    As with any forecasts, garbage in = garbage out. It’s a hobby horse of mine, but given that there is no formal mechanism in the UK for recording & registering migrant numbers & that the ONS continues to rely on passenger surveys, the actual population/migrant numbers are way off the actual position.

    I was looking at a Brexit debate event on Facebook, hosted by The Open Russia Club in London, and was interested to read in their standard blurb that: ‘The Open Russia Club offers a lively programme of politics and culture, of theatre, concerts, films, art, rock music, wine and food tastings. In Russia any creative initiative, whether political or cultural, which goes against pro-government ideology, nowadays has no chance of success. So Russian cultural life is moving to London, where 300,000 Russians are living, working and studying.” Note that this figure is just for London (& is in line with other figures I have seen over the past 10 years quoted by the Russian Ambassador or on local Russian community sites) & there are sizeable Russian populations across the whole of the UK, making the overall number of Russians well north of 300,000.

    The most up to date stats that I could find on the ONS site for UK population by country of birth & nationality shows full-year figures for 2014 and has Russian born residents as 42nd out of the Top 60 nationalities in the UK with an estimated 27,000 total. While a portion of the 300,000 figure will be Russians who may well now have obtained British citizenship through marriage or residency, there is still a large gap between ONS official figures, used in Treasury & other forecasts, and the reality.

    Without moving to a registration regime with a domestic ID card that needs to be shown when using the NHS etc, the UK will continue to be a soft touch migrant magnet (& the Treasury & ONS will continue to work from populations numbers & forecasts that are way below the actual numbers).

  44. agricola
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    One should treat every newspaper report with a degree of cynicism so I am cautious about what is currently in the Express. It would appear that should we vote Brexit then France or more specifically Napoleon Hollande has every intention of making life intolerable for us. The fear is that it will give strength to all those various movements currently bubbling away in the EU that would wish to follow us to varying degrees. Not least of course the NF under Ms Le Penn in his own bailiwick.

    It is not easy to dig out real time trade figures, but I have ascertained that we export around $27.0 Billion to France. They in turn export to us around$41.5 Billion. Does it make business sense, even to a Frenchman, to threaten to deprive us of all those frogs legs , wine and cheese. Perhaps to a socialist politician, but then not all Frenchmen believe in commercial suicide.

  45. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    :Off topic:
    Mr Corbyn supports Rt Hon Mr Major and Rt Hon Mr Blair in an interview today with BBC News.
    In Labour Party rock-solid areas of the UK there is an historical begrudging “respect” for the Conservative Party in that “They say they’re for Big Business openly, and they are.”

    Mr Corbyn has , now, lost any “respect” on the Left of British politics. He cannot , simply,by displacement, avow he has any “respect” in Conservative circles either.
    His view and “policies” are negotiable by the lowest political common denominator. An ingenuous Politico. A Faker!
    The extreme Left outside the general mainstay of politics has scored an own goal by Mr Corbyn’s presence as Head of the Labour Party. Though wrong, entirely wrong, in their Leftness, they are at least, honest. Therefore: British for all that. A light year away from mr corbyn

  46. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    One can forgive Mr Corbyn in renouncing his avowed anti-EU stance afterr 30-40 years, now, he has got the Foreman’s job. One could set it to music but he knows the red flag anthem and the lyric. 🙂

  47. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Any chance of talking Farage out of not appearing with Andrew Neill tomorrow evening and getting either Gove or Boris to appear instead.

    Nigel got us the referendum but he is too strident and completely shoots the whole Leave campaign in the foot with stupid references to people coming here who have AIDS and to events in Cologne. He opens the door for the left wing liberal fascists to shout ‘Racist’, ‘Bigot’ and ‘Little Englander’.

    I have been very impressed with both Boris and Gove so far. Measured, sane and very capable of making their point and dissecting counter arguments. Farage will be ripped to pieces by Neill who, to be fair to him and contrary to my normal accusations of BBC bias, has been ripping everyone to pieces.

    Reply The media do not give Vote Leave the same control over who represents us as they seem to give Remain

  48. BOF
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Hugely disappointed that so much debate centres around money and wild guesswork around the economy when surely, the fundamental reason to vote leave is to regain our democracy and to give us the power to directly, vote in, and out, our law makers who can then govern the country for the good of British citizens.
    The remain camp fear this argument and that is why they constantly return to the economy. I should not be ‘The economy, stupid, but, ‘DEMOCRACY, STUPID’.
    This is the one thing, when I talk to people, that few will argue about, and nearly all agree.
    JR one of your previous diary items highlighted this for me when you described how legislation comes through from Brussels and is disgracefully passed into British law by a consensus in parliament with no debate.

  49. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Mr Major and Mr Blairs’ assertion that the Easter Uprising ( 1916 ) hero James Connolly being shot in a invalid’s wheelchair by the British could have made him, with more positive orientation, eligible for a place in the Paralmpics, fell on stony ground in their very Bwitish Campaign for Remain.

  50. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    I have to say I was hoping enough Tory MPs would issue a ‘keep this up and we will challenge you before the referendum’ message to Cameron.

    The latest is that we, apparently, are ‘quitters’. Did you ever hear more puerile, offensive nonsense. If I were you Mr. Redwood, I would have resigned the whip weeks ago. You’d still be elected as our local MP as you are well thought of in the constituency. No-one here would vote for an ‘official’ candidate who opposed you.

    Reply I have no wish to resign the whip, as I do wish to influence what happens next inside the Conservative party as we are about to enter most interesting times. I had to fend off endless demands that I resigned from Parliament as a Conservative and lose my seat as UKIP during the last Parliament. I told you I had no intention of doing that as I planned to help persuade the PM to give us a referendum and then help him deliver one. That is exactly what I did. It was Conservative MP votes and pressure which secured the promise of the referendum, and the Conservative majority in this Parliament that put through the Bill for the vote. Sometimes you should trust me and accept I am your side and do have a plan to restore our democracy.

    • acorn
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

      The thing is JR, have you been guaranteed a lifeline back into the bosom of the Conservative Party, after this Brexit Pantomime closes on the 23rd; or, has CCHQ told you that you are in the exit lane for the 2020 GE? 😉

      There just has to be a General Election straight after the Brexit vote, regardless of the result. We can’t be left with four years of internecine warfare, in this shambles of a government, until 2020 for Christ’s sake!!!

      Reply My relationship is with the electors of Wokingham and the Wokingham Conservatives, not with CCHQ. My wish is to fight the next election in due course.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. You have my utmost respect John. I often say to my husband that I don’t know how you find the time to do all the things you do. This blog alone must take up a lot of your time and all the other work regarding being an MP and fighting for our freedom with this referendum must really take it out of you and not allow you much time with your family. You deserve a medal in my book! I wish people would give you the credit you deserve. I have learnt such a lot just by reading your diaries every day and really appreciate all your hard work.

      • Chris S
        Posted June 10, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

        Hear ! Hear !

        I’ve nothing against my own Conservative. MP but I would feel privileged to be represented by JR.

    • Chris
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Reply to Mr Redwood:
      although I disagree with your statement about who was responsible for getting Cameron to call a referendum, and I agree with Mike Wilson’s post, I do believe that you are entirely sincere in your reassurance that you have a plan to restore our democracy. There are not many MPs that the electorate feel they can trust, which is a very serious state of affairs. We watch with concern as the MPs are apparently presssured by the Whips supposedly to change their allegiance. Who will be next? It is not a pretty sight.

      There is a great need for a radical overhaul of our democracy and our current representatives i.e. the PM, MPs, the electoral system. Perhaps some good will finally come out of these troubled times. I also hope that there is a stop put to the belittling of UKIP, its leader and the achievements of that Party. People do not like all the smearing and apparent dirty tricks that have been going on in this campaign, and I believe there are many who would welcome an extension of the working together of grassroots Conservative MPs with UKIP, such as has happened with the Grassroots Out campaign. The atmosphere at many of those debates was magic, with individuals sharing the same message and working together. Sadly, the Vote Leave campaign has not exuded magic, and the will to unite the Leavers. They have some good people, but they do not seem to many voters as a harmonious group. I would attribute that to the style of leadership of Vote Leave and the prejudices of some Conservative MPs about working with UKIP. Farage has offered to work with them all along.

      The label toxic was invented by the liberal left and parts of the media who disagreed with their outlook, and used by Cameron and some Tory MPs to smear Farage. Margaret Thatcher was toxic to some, but she was regarded by very many as one of our outstanding PMs. Michael Gove is really toxic to some teachers, for example, but that does not exclude him from the Vote Leave. Whether Vote Leave likes it or not, immigration and sovereignty are among the key issues for UKIP, but they have consistently and convincingly advanced arguments on all of the main EU issues for a long period of time. Vote Leave are relative newcomers to the scene, and some seem pretty shaky in their convictions and allegiances as we have seen for example today.

      So I would urge you and other MPs working on your restoration of democracy to be inclusive, and thereby representative, and not try to sideline UKIP, by actions and words, as has sadly happened to date.

    • turbo terrier
      Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      Sometimes you should trust me and accept I am your side and do have a plan to restore our democracy.

      Never had a problem with that John ever.

  51. Chris
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just seen this posted:
    http://order-order.com/2016/06/09/only-14-7-of-economists-oppose-brexit/
    Only 14.7% of economists oppose Brexit(!)

    “BSE made a big play out of “nine out of ten economists” apparently warning against Brexit this week. The figure was based on a self-selecting Ipsos MORI survey of economists from the Royal Economic Society and the Society of Business Economists. But BSE had some fun with the figures…

    The survey was sent out to 3,818 economists. Only 639 (or 16.7%) replied, of which 561 said Brexit would be bad for the economy. That’s just 14.7% of the total number of economists contacted. So rather than nine out of ten economists warning against Brexit, it was actually closer one in seven…..”

  52. turbo terrier
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Watching the debate on ITV tonight I am struck by one thought.
    Its better than reality TV. If Amber Rudd stepped back from acting as if she is about to have a heart attack or stroke so stressed out and animated she seems to be.

    She should really step back and concentrate on her department. I know over the years I have never been her biggest fan but when you read the articles in today’s Scottish Energy news regarding the new deals for standby coal power back up added to the GMB Congress being informed that we are losing 46 days a year to the fact the wind is not blowing she and her department are confirming a lot of peoples fears that they are not fit for purpose. What a price we will end up paying for gross incompetence. Just the same as we will end up paying if we remain in the EU.

  53. Anonymous
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    Yet again broadcasting news giving an edited and biased interpretation of what I’ve just seen on ITV.

    Remain were roundly stuffed by the Leave team. They looked like rank and ill informed amateurs.

  54. NickW
    Posted June 9, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Trade deficit with the EU £23.8 Billion. A new record.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/06/09/uks-trade-deficit-with-eu-hits-record-high-just-before-brexit-vo/

    Presumably the EU will punish us if we vote leave by refusing to sell us anything.

    They don’t sell us anything we cannot get from someone else.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 10, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you” would actually be true!

  55. Gary
    Posted June 10, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    We quibble over £350M a week , while the financiers tax our savings, destroy capital for production, inside trade securities, ramp up their military-industrial costs, make profitable war(for them), inflate out currencies and make us pay them for their lousy bonds , to the tune of £billions or £trillions ! What a diversion. They must be rolling on the floor laughing.

    Luckily the electorate are too stupid to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  • About John Redwood


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

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