Why do some pro EU bloggers take such a poor view of other EU countries?

Why do those keenest on the EU think the other members are so nasty and will want to damage us as they inflict self harm?

And why do they think all the laws of the Treaty we are renouncing legally still apply to us, yet the rules do not apply to those staying  in.

The other member states are bound by Article 8 of Lisbon requiring them to have good relations with us. They are bound by WTO rules against many tariffs and barriers. They will find it very difficult to agree a damage package, as many of them do not want to do that or fear retaliation.

I am much more positive about our former EU partners than the pro EU lobby. I have talked to various senior business and government people on the continent before and after the vote and found them keen to build, not undermine our trade.

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42 Comments

  1. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    Of course.

    I think the immediate reaction on the continent on June 28th was shock that we had been deposed so early from the Euro football tournament, and also that we had voted to leave the EU.

    Now, we have Sam Allardyce and T May to put things right.

    Hopefully other EU nations will still compete with us in future. We just don’t need to share the same dressing room or manager.

  2. Mark Watson
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s because they are generally an insecure, anxious bunch.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 4, 2016 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      ‘I think it’s because they are generally an insecure, anxious bunch’

      – Not as ‘insecure’ or ‘anxious’ as the Japanese right now, ‘Japan calls for ‘soft’ Brexit — or companies could leave UK’ – Financial Times
      (and China and the US not so secure or calm about things with the UK either).

  3. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Well, curiously, posted elsewhere earlier today, last sentence emphasised here:

    “My view is that expressed by Mr Tyrie himself at several points in his report – that it is not only in the interests of the UK that the present EU treaties should be smoothly succeeded by mutually satisfactory new arrangements, it is also very much in the interests of the other countries with whom we will be negotiating.

    For example, at the end on page 15:

    “it is in both the UK’s and the EU’s interests to reach agreement”.

    Therefore I do not believe that the European Council would insist on starting the negotiations as soon as the Article 50 notice had been received, even though they were little more prepared for the negotiations than we were; I do not believe that they would want to give priority to sorting out incidental matters like MEPs’ pensions rather than sorting out trade; I do not believe that they would want to wait until we had actually left the EU before sorting out the new trading relationship; I do not believe that if the period of two years mentioned in Article 50 was up without an agreement having been concluded then they would simply shut down the negotiations and throw themselves, as well as us, on WTO terms of trade; but nor do I believe that it will be necessary to finish negotiations and agree on everything before we leave the EU, provided that the basics were agreed and the EU was prepared to use Article 8 TEU on the EU neighbourhood policy as their legal basis for completing the process with additional agreements as required over time.

    I don’t believe any of those things because they defy common sense and obviously would not be in the interests, especially financial interests, of either them or us; IT’S RATHER AN ODD THING THAT I WHO WANT TO LEAVE THE EU SEEM TO HAVE MORE FAITH IN THE COMMON SENSE OF THE OTHER EU GOVERNMENTS THAN THOSE WHO PREFER TO KEEP US IN THE EU WITH THEM.

  4. Bob
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    “Why do those keenest on the EU think the other members are so nasty and will want to damage us…”

    It’s Project Fear, some of them just can’t switch it off, they can’t believe that they lost, like some Japanese sniper still hiding in the jungle 30 years after the end of WWII.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 4, 2016 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      ‘like some Japanese sniper still hiding in the jungle 30 years after the end of WWII’

      – ‘Japan’s Unprecedented Warning To UK Over Brexit’ Sky News

  5. ian wragg
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    The only weapon in the remainiacs locker is fear. To them we are a defeated nation awaiting the terms of the armistice. The fact that the EU is failing doesn’t enter into their script. They have expended so much energy and capital on a failing institution they cannot back out now.
    There is a excellent article in todays Mail about the failure of the Euro but bankrupting half the EU is a price worth paying for One World Government.
    Remove the Bilderburgers and Common Purpose fanatics from the corridors of power and all will be well.

  6. acorn
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    I have said before on this site, if you are a large net importer, like the UK; you are importing the exporting countries potential unemployment. The UK citizens get to enjoy lots of stuff it does not make itself. Everything from slick cars to 40% of its food and 45% of its energy.

    Those exporting countries will end up with a lot of Pounds Sterling, that they have to find something to do with. Buying stuff that is for sale in Pounds, Chelsea mansions; Gilts and Nuclear Power Plants. No member state in the EU Customs Union will want any of that to change; except they would selfishly like it better if the UK Pound was replaced by the Euro. Replacing their own currency with the Euro, is a big mistake 19 of them have already made.

    This all works fine as long as foreigners have faith in the UK economy growing stronger and its currency exchange rate is the measure of that. The central banks of the countries that export to the UK can pull up the pounds value if it sinks temporarily; this to keep there exports flowing into the UK currency area.

    BTW. I think there is a lack of understanding on how the WTO works. “Most Favoured Nation” status, means exactly the opposite of what it sounds like it means. https://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/fact2_e.htm

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    The only significant argument they had in the referendum was that if we come out they will gang up on us out of spite. But that is not how it works as it is not in the EU’s interests (nor ours) for that to happen.

    Anyway who wants to stay in a club full of members just because they will gang up on you if you leave?

    The remainers foolish, half baked arguments have not moved on at all. The BBC is still pushing the same drivel with the same “experts” and favourites like Soubry, Abbot, the Greens, Clegg (and now even his wife) and their duff economists and lefty presenters editors.

    Just the same with the BBC’s climate alarmism. Eighteen years of no significant warming (despite the increasing c02 levels) yet no change in their agenda, how many more years will it take before they, at the very least, admit it might not be quite as dire as they have been assuring us? After all they cannot even get the weather right for a week hence!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 4, 2016 at 6:05 am | Permalink

      It seems they have a back up plan with “ocean acidification alarmism”. This as the warming is clearly not performing as they predicted.

  8. Kevin
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

    This post reminds of the following extract from Wikipedia’s article on “The British Empire” (emphasis mine):

    “Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, published in 1776, had argued that colonies were redundant, and that free trade should replace the old mercantilist policies that had characterised the first period of colonial expansion, dating back to the protectionism of Spain and Portugal. The growth of trade between the newly independent United States and Britain after 1783 seemed to confirm Smith’s view that political control was not necessary for economic success.”

  9. Xeelee
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Of course, if the Article 50 negotiations are conducted in good faith by both sides, there will eventually be some sort of acceptable resolution to the (many) outstanding issues resulting from Britain’s exit.

    In your last post, however, you argued that Britain should unilaterally, without any legal basis, suspend some of the obligations following from the EU Treaties. In that case I fail to see why other Member States would accept to negotiate in good faith with Britain. The fact that many Member States obviously wish trade to continue without tariffs would become quite immaterial. Surely the will to enter trade agreements with Britain would rapidly fade, since one could not be sure that Britain would not renege on that agreement at a later date.

  10. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    The pro-EU anti-democratic Remainers smart. They were cocksure they would win. One month of pure pro-EU propaganda before the campaign-proper even started. All the “Best People” were for Remain. Yet they had their noses rubbed in it good and proper. Flummoxed with disappointment and former unsound advice.
    They now look for some kind of revenge for their failure to hang on to EU dictatorship…some foreign (ruler ed)in a foreign land…”He’ll show ’em! ” , they think.

  11. Anonymous
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    “The EU prevents war in Europe”

    From whom ?

    Which country in Europe had a predilection for invading France multiple times ???

  12. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted September 3, 2016 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    Times changed for the minds of Remainers. At one time, the mere trace of a suggestion that any other nation(s) should be allowed under any circumstances whatsoever to pressure us what to do was unthinkable. No-one in his right mind or right-minded would dream of using such as a point in an argument.

    Now, in the UK there are undemocratic forces afoot. Worryingly they cannot be called or seen as Brown Shirts or Black Shirts or Mosleyites. Yet they try to overturn masses, hundreds of thousands of votes for Mr Corbyn within twelve calendar months of his election by manipulation via Parliamentary procedurism.
    Also, they do not just question a massive win in the referendum. They feel and say the vote was and is invalid. Why? Because it was not in keeping with their own selfish anti-democratic desire.

    In national and local media they barefacedly, brazenly advocate the overturning of basic democracy. Yet our media are not guided by the good principles of journalism ( yes, dear Commenters, Journalism with a capital “J” does have principles ).
    Free-speech is a must. But prolonged uncritical allowance for the 171 Labour MPs to rabbit on and on about the virtues of their theoretical right to be considered right above half a million souls of their own kith and kin is beyond the pale of the most liberal democracy, or should be. They can never, as it were, be part of our Commonwealth of Thought.

  13. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 1:00 am | Permalink

    The pro-EU lobby are quite content to see us dragged kicking and screaming into a European Federal SuperState, that’s why. Any old spin and mendacity will do if it furthers their aim.

    There are still an uncomfortably large number of them in the Conservative Party. How is it that two thirds of the cabinet voted Remain? Where is your rebellion against that? Where is your “We are the masters now” speech, to be delivered in the Commons?

  14. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Just for information, here is Article 8 TEU:

    http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-european-union-and-comments/title-1-common-provisions/6-article-8.html

    “Article 8

    1. The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.

    2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, the Union may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned. These agreements may contain reciprocal rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking activities jointly. Their implementation shall be the subject of periodic consultation.”

    As “the Union may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned” the EU would have a clear legal base for negotiating and concluding additional agreements with the UK after it had left the EU and become a third country, it would not be necessary to sort out everything before we left.

  15. turboterrier
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    Good morning John

    Like you I am very positive about the EU in so much that as next years elections over there take place it will be the end of the EU as we know it. The talk about a new super state is just pipe dreams and it is the last effort of a failing administration to keep control.

    The UK will be out of the blocks and hopefully getting up to full speed in trade deals with the rest of the world.

  16. Antisthenes
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    The dream of a pan European superstate captures the imagination of many people. It has become a belief that when realised it will be a place where every one will be happy, prosperous, secure and there will be peace for ever. Analogous to the Israelite land of milk and honey. Other religions also always offer some type of promised land, place or condition.

    The EU is no different to religious belief and as is socialism both are making unrealistic promises that are greedily accepted by the gullible and credulous who are looking for greater fulfilment in their lives. Those of us who expose the fallacies of those promises and turn away from them are not appreciated and will incur their anger and they will fight us tooth and nail to hold onto those Utopian ideas.

    They will make the most outrageous, contradictory and irrational claims about the efficacy of their belief as they cannot stand to have their dream shattered and or be deprived of the chance to have the promise fulfilled. That is why they say the things they do about Brexit and the lengths they go to stop Brexit becoming a reality.

    None of us are immune to such feels and behaviour. I for instance believe in free market capitalism and libertarianism and shun all other beliefs. The difference I hope is that my belief is not based on faith or nebulous promises but on evidence and experience. Knowing full well that my chosen option does not offer flawless panaceas but does offer the best world, life and condition now and in the future as it has done in the past.

  17. Ronald Olden
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    JR has a good point. These Eurofanatics are worse than any UKIP supporter when it comes to talking about ‘them and us’. The other 26 are not some homogeneous ‘gang’ running the EU with us on the opposite side They are 26 sovereign states with their own agendas..

    And it matters not a jot what ‘the EU’ thinks. ‘The EU’ doesn’t have any political powers. The EU is creature of law and it will do whatever the Treaties say it must. Where any political decision is required the EU will do whatever the Council of Ministers tells it to.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    People playing Politics are the ones most likely to cause difficulties when discussions take place ; they often believe that saying something “nasty” is the best way to gain attention and headlines . Face to face , when challenged , they will shift their feet and then make quite different statements . Just consider how the “Calais” business has been highlighted by different factions in France .

  19. agricola
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    It is because they cannot differentiate between Europeans as human beings, Europe as a geographical place, and the EU as a totally undemocratic construct that many of their leading politicians have allowed them to be governed by. This is why we, an evolved democracy over many hundreds of years, and still not perfect, have chosen to leave the EU. It is hoped that our relationship with Europe and the people of Europe will continue to be positive.

  20. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The North wind doth blow upon you today.

  21. Des
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    I’m not sure I understand some “remainers” arguments.

    Is this really all about Regional Trade and a possible 5% on the price of a BMW etc? Are these the same liberal minds that would have stood up in 1939? What is the moral basis of their position? Does not self determination and accountable democracy mean anything?

    I for one cannot understand that if the Japanese and Koreans can sell us cars and make a profit on them (as well as the Chinese built American owned iPhone I’m using) then why can’t we?

    I sell my services in Europe and I can’t see this changing. If it does I’m confident enough to spit elsewhere.

    Perhaps this is all about confidence?

  22. rose
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    And why does the Remainiac media give us so little news from the continent? They love going to America, and occasionally, though not during the referendum campaign, they report from a migrant camp or port, but hardly ever do we get an intelligent, informed report on a continental country’s affairs. There are several elections there as well that they should be covering.

    My own explanation is that they are like the anti-racists: they actually don’t feel what they preach, and the objects of their persecution are far more likely to have philanthropic instincts.

  23. James Munroe
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    It was a real spectacle yesterday, when a few thousand ‘Remoaner Ostriches’ had a jolly day out and a march around, …..

    All waving Junckers’ EU flags.
    The banners proclaimed “We love EU”…”We need EU”.
    Not one banner with a cogent reason for staying in the EU.

    Do they really expect to be taken seriously?

    I guess they will just carry on, burying their heads in the sand.

    It takes a long time to recover from the Stockholm Syndrome.

  24. Mark
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    Most importantly, under Article 50(2) the rest of the EU are obligated to negotiate and conclude the exit agreement with the UK even after we have left – there is no time limit on negotiations. We do have the automatic guillotine under 50 (3) that we leave two years after we submit notice to do so if agreement has not been reached beforehand – but it does not terminate negotiations.

    They cannot conclude an agreement unless we and they agree to it, and the obligation is on them to conclude.

  25. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    This is amusing:

    http://facts4eu.org/news.shtml

    “Naturally Mr Redwood’s pieces have already started to attract comment and controversy. One Brexit site has already attacked Redwood’s ideas with the usual vitriol which they always reserve for Brexiteers (not Remainers) who fail to see the righteousness of the Brexit solution they have decreed as the One True Path.”

    It’s just as well that there’s plenty of vitriol to go round; unless the UK plants have now been shut down to save the planet they turn out over a million tonnes a year, making it the highest tonnage industrial chemical produced in the UK.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Here’s an interesting article from last December, preferably to be read in conjunction with Anna Soubry mouthing off in the Mail on Sunday today:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3772775/Ex-Business-Minister-ANNA-SOUBRY-says-tariff-free-trade-Europe-control-immigration-false-promise.html

    “The great Brexit delusion: In a stunning rebuke to the ‘Three Brexiteers’ ex-Business Minister ANNA SOUBRY says tariff-free trade with Europe AND control of immigration is a false promise”

    and the Japanese government telling us that we must continue to permit unrestricted free movement of persons from the EU, even though it has a strict immigration policy:

    http://news.sky.com/story/japans-unprecedented-warning-to-uk-over-brexit-10564585

    “Japan’s Unprecedented Warning To UK Over Brexit”

    http://www.cipd.asia/people-management-magazine/hr-news-opinion/asean-free-movement-labour

    “Will the ASEAN Economic Community mean free movement of labour?

    Author: Johanna Johnson | Date: 09 Dec 2015

    Asian businesses can benefit from new trade agreements but the shift will be small at first, says Johanna Johnson of Taylor Vinters

    A new economic community is being formed in 2016 to represent 625 million people and become the world’s seventh largest economy.

    It will be formed of the 10 Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

    A core tenet of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is to be a free flow of skilled labour. But what does this really mean, and what impact will the AEC have on workforces in Asia?

    The natural parallel is perhaps the most prominent economic community of all, the European Union (EU). Visions of workers freely moving between member states, reduced border control and increased access to state social security benefits spring to mind. In reality, however, there is a gulf of difference between the EU’s free movement of people and the AEC’s free flow of skilled workers.

    In the EU a citizen can freely move, reside and seek employment in any member state, regardless of skill level, but the AEC has a far more limited approach. It is only making concessions to eight professions at this point in time: engineering, nursing, architecture, medicine, dentistry, tourism, surveying and accounting. This is less than 1.5 per cent of the ASEAN labour force.

    There are, however, further limitations on the free movement of that small slice of skilled workers. There are minimum years of experience requirements, labour market tests, pre-employment requirements such as health clearances and numerous other domestic immigration and professional boxes to tick.

    For organisations that employ people in those eight professions, consideration should now be given to the new, wider talent pool that the AEC is establishing. Organisations can make use of the increased mobility of professionals keen to seize new opportunities.

    However, it is estimated that around 87 per cent of current intra-ASEAN migrants are low-skilled workers who do not fall into this category. Singapore has a large number of low-skilled workers from the region to build its offices and condos, look after its residents’ households and keep its streets clean. Such workers are, however, strictly controlled on a national level, and without doubt, the AEC will have a hard time persuading increasingly nationalistic ASEAN member states to cede regulation of such workers to the AEC.

    This should come as no surprise. The ASEAN member states are far more disparate in terms of development and wealth than the founding member states of the EU. It is no wonder that ASEAN members tread cautiously when approaching issues of immigration. A ‘brain drain’ of highly educated workers to richer countries, small, wealthy nations being overrun by poor migrants, and the destabilisation of fledgling industries are very real fears for ASEAN members.

    When compared to the EU, the ASEAN Secretariat (which will be the central authority for the AEC) appears seriously underfunded and understaffed: last year, its total budget was US$17 million whereas the EU’s administrative budget is in the billions; the ASEAN Secretariat has around 300 staff while the EU has more than 20,000.

    The list of reasons why the AEC is unlikely to move quickly, if at all, to further facilitate the movement of all workers – not just skilled workers –is a long one. However, while it is important to see the barriers for what they are, the focus should be on the opportunities the AEC will now provide.

    It will, hopefully, provide a strong platform for the future movement of workers, and the management and protection of migrants. There is an opportunity now for the member states to recognise the worth of local labour and skill sets, and to address the issue of unemployment of educated youth.

    In time, perhaps the AEC will follow the lead of the EU and abolish discrimination on the grounds of nationality between workers of member states in their employment, remuneration and other conditions of work and employment.

    For now, however, there is a wider talent pool to consider, and increased mobility for certain professionals. In the wider scheme of things, these are small developments in enabling free movement of workers. But things change quickly in Asia, and the advent of the AEC will almost certainly benefit, rather than hinder, further change.”

    As noted Japan is not a member of ASEAN and apparently has no appetite for throwing upon its doors to those 625 million people, even while the Japanese government tells us that we must keep our doors completely open to 440 million in the rest of the EU, plus of course the third country nationals who blag their way in, and eventually the additional many tens of millions after further enlargements of the EU.

    I suggest that when Theresa May meets the Japanese Prime Minister she should politely ask him why he thinks we should do something Japan does not want to do.

  27. GTE
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stockholm_syndrome

    Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.

  28. lojolondon
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Correct, John. The EU needs to trade with us us far more than we need to trade with them. Plus £10,000,000,000 per annum. We hold all the cards, this should be very good, if we ever get around to it!!

  29. a-tracy
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I think it’s a retaliation and protection stance. When Scotland announced they wanted to leave the UK I thought does this mean they’d not be allowed free flow into the RUK and have to apply for work visas for essential jobs like everyone else in the world. If the S Irish are not in the UK and we exit the EU do they also have to apply under reciprocal arrangements to work here.

    There is lots of talk of the French and Spanish in particular threatening our ex-pats in their Countries with no healthcare, and being kicked out ??? I though there was a Vienna Convention (or something like that) about this. Don’t they already rebill medical costs back to the UK even though we don’t bill them, we need to get our act together.

    The Japanese the latest to threaten the UK. If they leave couldn’t we start building UK cars again, Rover got bought out because it was threatening BMWs market share in my opinion the 214 taking a great number of fleet wins over Vauxhall and VW etc. Can’t British banks fill the gaps they’d leave. This sort of behaviour isn’t diplomatically at all is it? But if true John we need to know what is going on. I’ve started buying Japanese motors, in fact I’ve just put a new order in for one and I can’t say I’m happy if they’re going to leave our market.

  30. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Just over the Channel are 27 other nations in a Single Market. They have very different economies, very different histories, very different religions and very different languages. To get them all to agree on anything is a major undertaking.
    In addition there is the Commission, the Council, the Parliament and then the bureaucracy with all its different agencies to think about.
    Add to that 40 years of micro management within that single market which varies from trade agreements, standardisation and workplace regulation through to tariffs and informal exchange of information.
    That is why negotiations with the EU as a whole takes forever – decades – even with USA and Canada.
    During these decades we need to remain in the EEA and to join EFTA. We can deal with the immigration question, leave the CFP and leave the CAP.
    Go on – leave this in, take it out, do what you like as moderator. The country will not thank you if you do not get it right.

  31. rose
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    We have just seen Obama bullying us again. How dare he? How would he react if Mrs May arrogantly told him in front of the whole world that it would benefit the rest of us if the USA were in political union [with free movement of peoples etc and paying annual tribute] with South and Central America, and Canada. And all subject to a superior court.

    Anyway, it made me warm to the Geography Graduate and I hope it puts her back up as much as it did ours.

    • rose
      Posted September 4, 2016 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      The Remainiac broadcasters have now cut that footage from the rolling news!

  32. LE Hutson
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

    I would echo JR’s sentiment about being more positive about the response of our former EU partners.

    At the moment, Remainers are still peddling the ‘you wait and see what deal we will be given’ – like a miscreant waiting for its punishment. A deal given, not negotiated.

    A sensible settlement will ensure that we can carry on buying their goods, and even more of them, and ultimately helping the countries of the EU become more prosperous.

    This is the approach our negotiators should take – what’s good for us, is actually good for them. And as fanciful as it might seem now, the UK may be the EU’s last chance for salvation.

  33. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 4, 2016 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I agree with you in the sense it’s not the Europeans we should be worried about. It’s the Japanese, Chinese and Americans, all who have been expressing serious concerns about the UK at the moment – Japan about Japanese investment in the UK in the context of the EU, China about Hinkley (and already expressed concerns about investment in the UK in the context of the EU), the USA about Brexit in general (only Donald Trump supported Brexit but he said ‘bad trade deals cost jobs’ so he’d be pretty tough with any trade deals with the UK).
    At end of day, it’s in the EU’s geopolitical interests to be nice to the UK. But Japan and China (and to a degree USA too) have no geopolitical interests in the UK at all except to be as ruthless with us as ruthlessness will allow.
    And as the right-wing Conservative Norwegian PM said, the UK will hate it outside the EU (as right-wing Conservative leaders across the EU have said the same).

    Firstly, what we must try and do now is reform the EU (in particular over immigration). At least try.
    Secondly, we must consider that if we completely leave the EU we must accept the strong possibility that this country will go into serious decline and/or sinking the EU (with perhaps fairly serious consequences on the rest of the world’s economy, including Japan, China and USA). If we don’t sink the EU but we go into long-term decline then there’s the serious unintended consequence that we might have to return to the EU but on their terms including having to joining the EURO (small but realistic possibility) whilst we struggle to pay off our national debt as well as deal with all the other big non-EU issues that have to be dealt with. With the accumulative effect of putting this country back years.

    Lastly, I accept the theory that this country COULD do better outside the EU. But it’s high risk with low returns (it certainly wouldn’t be gloriously better, economically). Meanwhile Brexiteers have to deliver on peace, security and low immigration, not just jobs and prosperity. And if they fail in these, then there will simply be another referendum in the future to reverse Brexit (and we could end up with some awful left wing / liberal coalition governing this country – who would have thought once popular Blair and Labour would sink sharply in popularity – it can happen very quickly and it could easily happen to the Tories). And this country will have wasted years of time, energy and money. And Brexit will go down in history as something far worse than the South Sea Bubble.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 4, 2016 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Also, Brexit is incredibly complicated. It would need real leadership to pull off – and by real leadership I mean one individual with all the following traits (not just one or two): visionary, practical, highly intelligent, a tonne of energy, creative, charismatic, pragmatic, and with enormous will power. In other words, you’d need a Winston Churchill to pull off Brexit.
      But I seriously doubt Churchill would support Brexit because Brexit lacks geopolitical vision. Churchill would have first tried to reform the EU. And if that didn’t work, he’d go for a pragmatic settlement with the EU that did minimum damage to our economy, whilst we try and deal with many other serious issues, including trying to pay of our huge national debt.

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Why are we in that huge national debt Ed?
        What was our total debt in the years before we joined the EU.
        We have been borrowing money both as a Country and personally in order to enrich the EU and helping EU Countries to catch up and overtake us, taking our Companies (Spain, France etc), our factory jobs (Poland and Slovenia) and leaving people like you feeling helpless and willing to surrender.

      • minty
        Posted September 6, 2016 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Nigel Farage could do it!

  34. Tim L
    Posted September 5, 2016 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to know why all those self claimed “progressives” (politicians and celebrities) think the UK deserves to still be a member of the EU?

    According to them we are, by a large majority, racist and xenophobic half-wits that failed to be pursauded by their enlightened views on the world and Eurpoean membership.

  • 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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