The UK on the way to exit

From the moment the referendum result was declared the UK’s relationship with the rest of the EU changed in an important way. Whilst it is true the government has not yet formally notified the rest of the EU of our intention to leave, the EU has known for three months that we are going to leave. Few on the continent now doubt it.

The rest of the EU have already altered their behaviours. They have started holding the odd EU meeting without us – a violation of the Treaty which seems reasonable, and would be defended on the grounds that it was not a proper EU meeting. They have given more public prominence to polices like the EU army that they know the UK opposes. The Commission has postured over their response to Brexit, whilst trying to warn member states off from talking about it or even discussing it with the UK. We will discover with Brexit, as with other crises and big changes for the EU, international politics takes over from Treaty clauses and EU laws. One notable feature of the EU and the Euro area under crisis is its flexibility when its Treaty based dirigisme creates yet another disaster.

Some advisers in the UK want to make a lot of money or media capital out of interpreting Treaty rules in particular ways and claiming the UK will have to confirm to them to its own cost. This misunderstands both what we are embarking on, the assertion of independence, and the way the EU will in practice have to respond. The EU has always had a very partial or lop sided approach to enforcement. Most member states have continuously flouted the central state debt rule, and many have broken the fiscal deficit rules. Many sign up to carbon reduction targets which they fail to hit. The no bail out rule and the rule against the ECB helping with monetary financing of member states have been sorely tested by ECB QE programmes and bank recapitalisations. Consultants may wish to earn large sums by being literal in a skewed direction, but in practice there will be an arrangement as it is in everyone country’s interest to have one.

The UK needs to think through what it intends to do during the transitional period. Any new Regulation will be directly acting and will have to be governed by the same approach as the rest of EU law. New Directives need not be transposed into UK law in future if we do not agree with them. Other member states have poor records at getting on with the task of transposing EU measures. Why would we bother to transpose ones we do not like?

Once we are out we should ensure there is no residual ECJ jurisdiction. All will agree no-one can bring a new case to the ECJ against us once we are out. There is the issue of what should be done about outstanding infraction proceedings against the UK on leaving? Again the sensible thing would be to discontinue them, as the UK would not be inclined to pay a fine for a past failure to transpose a Directive.


  1. Lifelogic
    October 6, 2016

    I notice you have not commented on May’s dire lefty speech.

    “Once we are out” you say, but will we ever actually get out?

    May’s warm up act for example was the dire Ruth Davidson who is anti grammar schools, pro EU, pro single market, pro un-selective immigration, in favour of green crap grants and load of other insanities.

    The headline in the Telegraph today is ‘Change is going to come”It’s time to remember the good that government can do’ says Theresa May.

    The bloated and largely incompetent and over paid government in the UK is largely the problem not the solution. If May cannot even see this what hope it there? May is surely just another wet Cameron Libdem almost an Ed Miliband?

    Her bit about Alistair and Jonny Brownlee in the Triathlon World Series was particularly vomit inducing. Anyway does being carried (or carrying) over the line not disqualify contestants?

    1. Lifelogic
      October 6, 2016

      Allister Heath has it right in the Telegraph today.

      Indeed governments are usually quite wrong.

      “It does not matter where you were born” May said to great applause, but then she is introducing forced reporting for businesses of migrant employees and “naming & shaming”. Is she not getting rather confused?

      Is she really going to keep Osborne’s insane nation job destroying wage controls!

      She seems simply not to understate that businesses have to operate in a competitive market or they go bust or they move abroad. The way to help workers and indeed the population in general is bonfire of red tape not yet more damaging burdens. Thinks like workers and customers on company boards and “stakeholder capitalism” are damaging lefty drivel.

      If they want to be a stakeholder they should buy a stake. Companies are not charities if you force them to become charities they will close down, move abroad and stop paying UK tax.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 6, 2016

        Then again nearly everyone in the state sector and politics fails to understand competitive markets and the private sector.

        They think you raise wages just by passing a minimum wage law.

        1. Anonymous
          October 6, 2016

          Well you don’t raise wages by importing poor and unskilled people to compete for jobs !

          I thought her speech was pretty much bang on except for HS2.

          Capitalists have behaved disgracefully in recent years and expected the taxpayer to provide them with cheap labour, whilst inviting more people to bid for their overpriced bedsits.

          1. Anonymous
            October 6, 2016

            The minimum wage was introduced to put a glass bottom beneath the disasterous immigration policy – otherwise there would have been blood on the streets by now.

          2. Jerry
            October 6, 2016

            @Anonymous; Well you don’t raise wages by importing poor and unskilled people to compete for jobs !”

            Nor can you avoid importing the lower skills needed if your company does not spend money to train the young to do such work, or if the young keep refusing such work because they have not been allowed to learn that life is not always fair, that life can be hard, there are winners but also losers, nor can wages raise above the market rate unless you fix the market either via protectionism or price controls.

          3. Lifelogic
            October 6, 2016

            That is not “capitalists” at all. Businesses have to compete in the environment they are given or they go out of business. They cannot easily pay more than the going rate for long or they get out competed or taken over by someone who will pay less. Similarly they charge the going rate for flats they rent out. If you give it away at half price you get 50 people who want it so 49 are disappointed anyway.

            The government decided to have open borders to EU migrants but restricted property supply through restrictive planning and pushed building prices up with OTT greencrap building regulations, excessive stamp duty and utility connection fees. They also failed to provide for the extra school spaces, roads, health care, police, social services ….. that they needed.

            Government is the problem as always. Just get them out of the way.

          4. Iain Gill
            October 6, 2016

            Its not just the poor and unskilled. If you import massive numbers of skilled people in any one skill that will only lead to displacement of Brits from the jobs market and/or driving market wages down. Pretty much exactly what has happened in the information tech jobs market.

            Frankly I am disgusted that our journo and political class still don’t get the magnitude of what is going on.

            And as for the BBC and their nutty pro immigration whatever the consequences views they need a kick up the bum.

          5. Lifelogic
            October 6, 2016

            What did she say about HS2 I mist that. She is not mad and innumerate enough to actually go ahead with that financial insanity is she? It it even dafter than Hinkley Point C.

            The more I hear from the women the more depressing it becomes.

            At least some fracking seems to have been given the go ahead.

          6. Jerry
            October 6, 2016

            @Ian Gill; But many a MSM did write about the problems that globalisation would cause, back in the 1980s and ’90s, only to be accused of being “lefty”.

          7. Edward2
            October 7, 2016

            Ian was complaining about our open borders leading to uncontrolled excessive immigration into the UK not globalisation.

          8. Jerry
            October 7, 2016

            @Edward2; One slight problem with your attempt to pick yet another argument, the problem of mass migration was recognised as a side effect of (both cultural and economic) globalisation many years ago.

          9. Edward2
            October 8, 2016

            Wrong Jerry
            Many nations have become wealthier due to global trade and tourism but they do not have freedom of movement nor open borders as we in the UK have.

          10. Jerry
            October 8, 2016

            @Edward2; Can you please name these countries you talk of.

            Oh and the UK doesn’t have ‘open’ boarders, not even with the other EU27 (and nor them with us), perhaps you should actually read up on what the relevant EU treaties and our opt-outs actually say!

          11. Edward2
            October 9, 2016

            EU has a declining share of world trade Jerry did you not realise?
            Been going on for ten years
            Growth in the Eurozone is worse than global averages.
            USA has grown trade with the EU the most since the single market started despite no membership nor agreeing to free movement
            The rest of the world is forging ahead
            Australia USA China India Singapore Canada New Zealand the list is endless.
            Oh and 600,000 new arrivals a year, that we manage to count coming in, is open borders to me

          12. Jerry
            October 9, 2016

            @Edward2; I’ll take that as a no then, you can not actually name any developed and/or industrialised countries that have not had either inward migration in the last 30 years, despite your assertion that there are such countries.

            “The rest of the world is forging ahead
            Australia USA China India Singapore Canada New Zealand the list is endless.”

            Wrong, many of those countries have very serious economic problems, some have an illegal migration problems. Stop taking inflating balloons as proof, they have a habit of bursting when you are not looking.

          13. Edward2
            October 9, 2016

            You’ve changed your question now Jerry
            To answer this one…most nations, even Japan, have immigration.
            They also have a controlled management of numbers.
            Not perfect of course but better than EU.

            You were talking about open borders and freedom of movement.
            The countries I named do not have open borders for example Canada and USA nor Australia and New Zealand yet have better growth than the Eurozone nations.

          14. Jerry
            October 9, 2016

            Edward2; “Not perfect of course but better than EU.”

            Tell that to those who, like you, object to immigration in Australia and the USA – heck why do you think Mr Trump -if elected- wants to get Mexico to pay for a coast-to-coast ‘Great wall of the Americas’ to be built if there is no problem, if there is no problem in Australia why the need for the “Pacific Solution”…

        2. Bob
          October 6, 2016

          People who own shares through pension accounts, ISA and other such mutual funds are excluded from voting at company AGMs as their names are not listed on the Register of Shareholders.

          Instead the fat cats that run the nominee accounts get to utilise the votes, which is why remuneration packages in the fat cat community tend to be so generous.

          Is it beyond the wit of man in the 21st Century digital world to end this disenfranchisment of small share holders?

          1. A different Simon
            October 6, 2016

            My execution only internet stock broker (TD) allows me to vote at general meetings so it is not beyond the wit of man .

            A person might have an investment in a “fund of funds” so their may be several steps to reach the underlying base company .

            I doubt many pension fund / scheme members have any idea which companies it is invested in . Increasing transparency is surely a good thing .

            Voting is not the only issue which needs straightening out . Safety is another .

            i.e. what happens if the nominee (which is the legal owner of the shares) goes bankrupt owing money to senior creditors ?

            Can the beneficial owners (you and me) , who I presume are unsecured creditors end up losing their shares ?

          2. Jerry
            October 7, 2016

            @Bob; Surely allowing the customers of a pension etc. fund to have the voting rights (with all the other necessary information needed) to the funds investments rather than the managers would be akin to allowing the customers of a supermarket chain to have access to discussions that take place in the boardrooms and accounts departments etc. – all commercial advantage will be at risk, and to think that people on this site object to the idea of employees being represented in the boardroom!

          3. Bob
            October 7, 2016

            @A different Simon
            If you have purchased shares in your own name, then you won’t have any issues with AGMs, I was referring to shares held in ISAs & pension funds, where the fund manager’s name is used instead of the individual.

            I don’t expect you’ll be able to understand this Jerry, but here goes:
            – AGM & board meetings are two different things.
            – Sharholders & directors are two different things.
            – Shareholders & customers are two different things.

          4. Jerry
            October 8, 2016

            @Bob; What ever, but it is you who doesn’t understand what I said nor the implications of what you suggested, how on earth could each and every member of a pension fund have a vote from same shares, such a fund would descend into meaningless bickering between its customers and get nowhere very quickly.

          5. Bob
            October 9, 2016

            As I said, we live in the digital age. A fund manager knows how much each investor or pensioner has invested in a particular fund, and how much the fund is invested in a particular company.

            I cannot therefore be beyond the wit of man to allow the beneficial owner of the shares to register their AGM vote.

            At the very least, the fund manager could act as a proxy for the investors and vote according to their wishes. It need be no more dificult than logging onto a web based proxy vote form and ticking the relevant boxes.

          6. Jerry
            October 9, 2016

            @Bob; If you want to control your own block of shares then why not just buy shares in your own name as ADS suggests!

        3. Peter Parsons
          October 6, 2016

          To (slightly mis-)quote a well-known and widely respected MP:

          “It is a serious national evil that any class of Her Majesty’s subjects should receive less than a living wage in return for their utmost exertions.”

          Lifelogic presumably prefers a race to the bottom where cheapskate employers line their own pockets by paying as little as they can get away with leaving the ordinary taxpayer to subsidise such cheapskate behaviour via necessary top ups through the tax and benefits system paid for out of the taxes of ordinary workers.

          1. Lifelogic
            October 6, 2016

            In the end the only real protection for employees is a good choice of jobs. Wage controls do the reverse they kill jobs.

          2. libertarian
            October 6, 2016

            Peter Parsons

            How about workers who are not paid enough for their work just dont do the job and go somewhere else?

            Its not difficult

          3. Anonymous
            October 6, 2016

            Reply to Lifelogic at 8.28

            On the 23rd of June the people voted to change that environment, to cut competition for jobs and to cut competition for housing (as well as other things.)

            People want their kids to be able to work for decent wages and to have affordable housing.

            People dislike their kids being leeched off by landlords.

            Yes. There are work ethic issues which need to be dealt with in Britain.

            Stuffing the country to the point that green belt has to be built on, with no extra provision re schools etc is not working.

            The people have vote for Brexit and I find your arguments to keep immigration up as subvertive as those who wish soft Brexit.

            If we carry on with immigration of labour without very rare skills and qualifications, then we are ignoring the Brexit result.

          4. Peter Parsons
            October 6, 2016

            The body of evidence on the effect of minimum wages on jobs is inconclusive. While some studies do draw the conclusion that they have negative effects on employment, other studies draw the conclusion that they do not.

            The idea that people just “go somewhere else” to get more pay is somewhat oversimplistic. It works for some but does not reflect the reality of modern life for many others. A minimum wage helps avoid the situation where, to quote from the same MP I cited earlier: “the good employer is undercut by the bad, and the bad employer is undercut by the worst”.

          5. A different Simon
            October 6, 2016

            Peter Parsons ,

            The problem is usually not UK wage levels which are amongst the highest in the world .

            The problem is that the wages do not go as far as they should because things like accommodation have been made more expensive by successive governments policy – especially the failure to shift a large part of the burden of taxation from labour/industry onto land .

          6. Jerry
            October 7, 2016

            @libertarian; “How about workers who are not paid enough for their work just dont do the job and go somewhere else?”

            That sort of clap-trap can only work if there are more jobs than those of working age and that all jobs are accessible to all, the closest the UK ever came to such capitalist utopia was during the 1950s, a booming economy, a working age population devastated by WW2, swaths of affordable rent council housing stock either built or being built (by private contractors, so creating more employment), not forgetting the schemes that allowed people to move between LA areas should employment needs require it.

          7. Lifelogic
            October 7, 2016

            Simon, how do you think taxing land even more will “lower” accommodation costs? We already have council tax, up to 15% stamp duty, restricting of relief for landlord interest, CGT at 28% and income tax on rents at 45%, how much more tax do you want to see?

            Relaxing planning rules would however. More taxes on land would surely do the reverse.

          8. hefner
            October 7, 2016

            A different Simon: see 17/12/2014 UK salaries still thousands of pounds lower than across most of European rivals.
            For entry-level professionals:(all figures in £, 2014)
            66,671 Switzerland.
            47,677 Denmark
            44,492 Luxembourg.
            44,449 Norway
            43,449 Germany.
            38,991 Belgium.
            37,237 Austria.
            33,923 Sweden.
            33,921 Finland.
            31,556 Ireland.
            31,292 France.
            27,199 UK.
            26,197 Spain.
            26,078 Italy.

            $7.25/hour US federal minimum rate

            So you might be comparing with the minimum weekly salary in Montenegro €55, or Kosovo €170?

          9. Edward2
            October 7, 2016

            Council housing trapped people in certain areas.
            Transferring or swopping was very difficult.
            Private renting has made people more easily mobile so they can go to where jobs are available rather than waiting for jobs to come to them.

          10. rose
            October 7, 2016

            Dear Hefner

            You see, you have demonstrated that the lower the population, and the lower the immigration, the higher the standard of living. We learned that lesson from the Black Death, all over Europe, but seem to have forgotten it now. Our political and business class are hellbent on having a high GDP, not a high wealth per capita or quality of life. They started this trick of growing the GDP by growing the population and letting the taxpayer top up the driven down wages under Blair and it has continued under Brown and Cameron. A very nasty and dangerous orthodoxy which must be resisted.

            How many people know our wealth per capita is now lower than Ireland’s?

            How many people know what happens in countries where the population soars?

            How many people know what happens when you have more than one nation in one land? We now have 191 in our city.

            It takes several generations for these things to explode but explode they do.

          11. Jerry
            October 7, 2016

            @LL; Perhaps ADS meant land that could be built on, perhaps were outline planning consent has been given, but the developer is simply sitting on the land in the almost certain knowledge that house prices will carry on inflating. Having to pay a large tax bill for land-sitting will make these developers either get building or sell-on to those who are prepared to build.

            @Edward2; But the mass selling off of council housing made such properties unavailable, this in turn drove up the market rent both within the private and Not-for-Profit housing stocks you talk of, making it even more difficult for people to move to were employment is or might be. I’m not saying you don’t have a point about the way some LA’s made it difficult for people to move, just that the ‘solution’ was no solution at all, it has made the problem 100 times worse.

          12. Edward2
            October 8, 2016

            Selling council housing had the opposite effect Jerry
            Owners can sell and move.
            The houses are not “unavailable ” They still exist

            Rents rose due to huge increases in new arrivals since 2000 and property price inflation in general.
            Rents have relationship to house prices and loan costs.

            Private buy to let and housing associations hsve greatly increased the numbers of property available for rent.

          13. Jerry
            October 8, 2016

            @Edward2; “Selling council housing had the opposite effect Jerry Owners can sell and move.
            The houses are not “unavailable ” They still exist”

            Once again you try and swap context. You know full well that I was talking about LA housing stocks, and that once the property has been sold by the LA it is no longer available for rent via the LA.

            “Private buy to let and housing associations hsve greatly increased the numbers of property available for rent.”

            That would why be there is a shortage of such not-for-profit housing stock then, and why the market set price for private rents is so high, after all there is such a surplus of supply people are queuing up to pay good money to rent a top floor studio flat on the top floor and no lift -more than it would cost to pay the instalments mortgage on a 2 or three bed property, if the banks would allow said mortgage.

          14. Edward2
            October 9, 2016

            We were both talk about local authority housing.
            Mobility is made more difficult by LA rented property
            Moving where work is is difficult

            It’s more people, several million since 2000,most wanting to rent that creates demand and pushes rents up.

          15. Jerry
            October 9, 2016

            @Edward2; “Mobility is made more difficult by LA rented property Moving where work is is difficult”

            You are simply wrong, on high stilts! 🙁
            What you assert is difficult was almost a daily occurrence during the 1950s and ’60s. people moving from one area to another, moving to were the work was, all within the LA housing system. Some of this was achieved within the New Town schemes but must was achieved by simply building council estates at the edges of existing towns, often also facilitating light-industrial estates too.

            “It’s more people, several million since 2000,most wanting to rent that creates demand and pushes rents up.”

            Wrong again, the largest rise in population (and thus needing housing) occurred in this country after WW2 and before 1980, the late 1960-80 period being the highest as the post war baby boomer generation matured and moved out of the family home. There wasn’t anything like the problems then, even though it was also a time when the nation was also engaged in slum clearance, as there are now even though today the population growth is a fraction.

          16. Edward2
            October 9, 2016

            Quite ridiculous arguments Jerry

            Now retreating 60 years to try to make a point about mobility.
            Plainly six monthly private rentals offer people an opportunity to move where work is.
            Dealing with the council to move and swop with another LA tenant was almost impossible if you lived in a depressed area.

            And you are forgetting the cumulative effects of adding several million people to an already crowded island.

          17. Jerry
            October 9, 2016

            Oh sorry, my bad, once again Edward2 and his simplistic capitalism is correct and history is wrong….

        4. libertarian
          October 7, 2016


          As always you are totally ignorant and wrong.

          Today Friday 7th Oct 2016 there are 756,000 unfilled advertised job vacancies in the UK. We have absolutely massive and growing skills shortages in manufacturing, engineering, teaching, Creative, IT, sales, marketing, healthcare and other well paid roles. The number of low paid jobs is falling. We have more than 600,000 new apprenticeships being created in the next 3 years and the fastest growing apprenticeship sector is higher level apprenticeships ( degree level) . 92% of those currently employed earn MORE than the living wage.

          The average UK wage by years experience in a job

          Less than 1 year £21k
          1-4 years £24k
          5-9 years £31k
          10-19 years £37k
          20 years plus £40k

          The UK average salary is £28k ( putting those people in the top 7% of worlds wealthiest)

          So I’ll tell you again if you are in a job that isn’t paying you enough or you think your skills are worth more, change your job . There are plenty of jobs available. If you lack the skills to do better paid work , get yourself on an adult education course to improve your skills.

          This situation ( skills shortages ) will get worse. Wages are rising , unemployment is falling ( now 4.8%, amongst lowest in Europe) highest number ever in employment .

          I’m currently running events helping employers hire talented workers with supported and disabled needs too. There is work for everyone .

          I work in the job market every day, its people like you Jerry who come out with deluded claptrap. Talk to some local employers and ask them how easy it is to find workers .

          1. Jerry
            October 8, 2016

            @libertarian, as always it is you who are totally ignorant and wrong, with your know all, one size fits all snake-oil comments.

            “[On] Friday 7th Oct 2016 there are 756,000 unfilled advertised job vacancies in the UK.”

            All fine and dandy if all those jobs are in same town as all those seeking new or re-employment!

            Otherwise do feel free to tell us how someone living in say Liverpool (owning their own home, having kids in school, perhaps the spouse having a part-time job in locality too whilst also caring for elderly parents) can realistically apply for a job in say Reading – when even Birkenhead might be out of the question. Even if was it possible it is most certainly not just a case of walking out of one job into the other as you suggest.

            If you want to talk any sense then taking the Liverpool area as the example, on the same day, how many people were officially looking for work by claiming JSA, how many unfilled advertised job vacancies were there?

            Average salary is meaningless, unless you want to talk about a meaningful specifics, take Liverpool as the example again, what is the average income (salary or hourly wage) per week/month in the area.

            Skills shortages exist because we do not have proper work place apprenticeships and training any more.

            As for unemployment figures, are you citing official figures, those claiming JSA or the total unemployment figure of those entitled to claim JSA, the two are quite different. Many people, who are still seeking work, have either been removed by the DWP rules or have removed themselves from claiming JSA. Then there are those who are notionally self employed but are doing not much more than finding enough work to fund their own JSA in effect.

            “I work in the job market every day, its people like you Jerry who come out with deluded claptrap.”

            Yes I can believe you do, because you come out with the same utterly self-deluding claptrap as the rest of your snake-oil industry does, as does the DWP half the time, back in the real world though….

          2. Edward2
            October 9, 2016

            There are lots of people out of work in Liverpool
            Just drop it Jerry
            You regularly tell others to trust experts and listen to them.
            Time to take your own advice.

          3. Jerry
            October 9, 2016

            Edward2, “There are lots of people out of work in Liverpool”

            Exactly my point! But how many jobs are realistically available to in the Liverpool area…

            “You regularly tell others to trust experts and listen to them. Time to take your own advice.”

            I would do if there had been any expert advice, trouble is all there has been is a couple of people, of unknown experience or age, called Walter offering an opinion.

          4. Edward2
            October 10, 2016

            Tens of thousands the last time I checked and thats just the ones currently advertised on Govt websites locally.

      2. CdBrux
        October 6, 2016

        Maybe you could explain why countries such as Germany (where I happen to be living at the moment) have thriving businesses despite all these job destroying government interventions you describe.

        I know the German ‘currency’ is undervalued and for sure that helps. A couple of other big differences I would suggest are:
        1. Productivity much higher. And in directly comparable businesses / jobs, not as an overall economy.
        2. Much more collaborative approach between management and workers, the difference coming from both sides. Indeed at places in UK such as Nissan, Sunderland, where this is clearly done you see the benefits. The head of INEOS also made a strong reference to that when talking about the future of Grangemouth a couple of years ago.

        If large government intervention and workers on boards etc… were the automatic disaster you suggest then I would think Germany, Scandinavia to name just a couple of places would be a basket case. If they are I have to say I haven’t noticed it!

        You need to accept your viewpoint is very much on the margins of society and would be as likely to win in a general election as I hope Corbyn is.

        1. Lifelogic
          October 6, 2016

          It may not win elections although Mrs Thatcher effectively won four one with John Major as her man until everyone worked out how misguided he was.

          Nevertheless a far smaller government would clearly make the country far better off and far more efficient.

          There are many reasons for the success of some German industries. more land per head, better technical training, better finance, a bigger market withing easy reach, cheaper houses, cheap coal energy, smaller government, more efficient government, less defence expenditure, fewer graduates in duff subjects.

          Anyway the German government spend about 4% less than the UK as a percentage of GDP and they spend it for more efficiently than the UK (not hard to do).

          Left pro EU dope Cameron through one election and only just scraped by in the second due to the dire Ed Miliband and the SNP

          1. Lifelogic
            October 7, 2016

            “threw” one sitting duck election again the hapless Brown that is.

          2. Jerry
            October 7, 2016

            @LL; “It may not win elections although Mrs Thatcher effectively won four one with John Major as her man”

            The fact that the Labour party was at war with its self (sounds familiar…), being lead by perceived incompetents until John Smith (from 1992 to his death, and then Blair) played no part in Thatcher winning the four terms you credit her with, quite frankly a wet paper bag would have been elected as the government had the Tories not stood in 1983!

            “until everyone worked out how misguided [JM] was.”

            Funny then how the electorate voted, by a landslide, for a party and leader even more misguided then -read even more europhile. The electorate did not boot the Tories out of office in 1997 because they were being to europhile, they were booted out because some their then MPs had been found abusing their positions within public office – I think the MSM called it sleaze, and once again a wet paper bag would have been elected as the government had Labour not stood in 1997!

            “Nevertheless a far smaller government would clearly make the country far better off and far more efficient.”

            You keep asserting that but have never offer any words of explanation when anyone asks for some detail – funny how many other countries, both here in Europe and the RotW have larger state sectors and larger private sectors than the UK does, it doesn’t need to be one or the other.

            As for Germany, and some other successful northern European countries besides, the biggest difference is the lack of constant battle between employers and unions, unlike here in the UK.

            Reply We were booted out in 1997 thanks to the ERM. Our poll ratings plunged on exit from the ERM and never recovered. People were talking about what had happened to their mortgages and their businesses in 1997.

          3. Jerry
            October 8, 2016

            @JR reply; Well yes, that as well, but that was more of a Eurosceptic problem, hence Mr Majors indiscreet comment – remember that Mr Blair in 1997 wanted the UK to enter the Euro!

        2. libertarian
          October 6, 2016


          I think you need to do a better analysis of the job market and employment. In Germany workers boards are in large companies only. Germany like the UK is actually driven mostly by SME’s.

          I would also check out some of the Scandinavian countries if I were you too. I think you’ll find its not as rosie as you wish

          You might also want to tell us which directly comparable industry Germany is more productive in ( heres a hint though check the figures, dont just guess)

          You need to accept your viewpoint is based on myths and out of date information

        3. a-tracy
          October 6, 2016

          Do you have an example of comparable businesses you say are much more productive please? Do they include stores with a similar turnover, a coffee chain, a university, a hospital, or is this just an engineering industry and which two are being compared, I’m really interested to investigate why and how, as all businesses should be, perhaps there’s a trick we’re missing and a program like Dispatches could investigate.

        4. A different Simon
          October 6, 2016

          Quote “If large government intervention and workers on boards etc… were the automatic disaster you suggest” ….

          They aren’t always an automatic disaster .

          However , they aren’t the solution many claim .

          Just look at Volkswagen , it had everything the socialists and statists in the West ask for ; large state ownership by Lower Saxony , worker representation at board meetings , compliance managers galore .

          None of it made a blind bit of difference because German arrogance created a corporate culture where managers at all levels would go out of the room if their subordinates tried to raise concerns about the cheat devices .

          The green image is a charade as the stripping of square kilometers of topsoil to access wet lignite show . What an act of vandalism / environmental terrorism .

          Being such a major player in manufacturing , cartel behaviour and price fixing is rife .

          Wasn’t the German Economic Miracle created by Ludwig Erhard’s laissez faire policies and the social market economy ?

          To be sure you get a lot of things right over there and there is lot we in the UK could learn from you but I think you are getting complacent and starting to rest on your laurels .

      3. libertarian
        October 7, 2016

        Iain Gill

        There are 1.8 million people employed in UK IT industries

        There are 52,478 overseas workers on intra company/tier 2 visas

        The threshold minimum salary to obtain a visa is now set at £41k

        Maybe the press aren’t reporting it because theres not a lot to write about. We have massive skills shortages in IT and Digital in the UK

        1. Jerry
          October 7, 2016

          @libertarian; Your comment asks more questions than it answers, for example why is there such a “massive skills shortages in IT and Digital in the UK”, nothing to do with such companies skimping on training here in the UK by any chance?

      4. libertarian
        October 7, 2016


        Pointless list

        Entry levels in WHICH professions?

        Adjusted for cost of living/tax rates in each country?

    2. Jerry
      October 6, 2016

      @LL; “I notice you have not commented on May’s dire lefty speech.”

      Well if Mrs May carries through on her speech then she will still be PM, the party will still be the party of government, in 2020 and probably 2025 too, on the other hand if the government reverts back to the sort of policies you want Mr LL then we stand a very good chance of having Mr Corbyn cycling up Downing Street in May 2020. The Brexit vote wasn’t won in the Tory heartlands (and certainly not in London and the Home Counties) but in many Labour heartland and those traditional floating constituencies that any party needs to carry and thus be in government, and it wasn’t just all about the EU, stop mistaking a symptom for the cause – look deeper than the rash…

      As for your uncalled for attack on Ruth Davidson, what ever, but she is for the union, and that is her first concern I suspect, on the other hand Mr LL you appear not to care, sure she could push Thatcherite policy but that would only drive vote towards Scottish Labour at best and the SNP and an inevitable iSctoland at worst.

    3. Dame Rita Webb
      October 6, 2016

      “Incoherent” would probably be a more accurate description. Otherwise she needs to sack her Chancellor right now. Hammond says deficits do not matter. May wants Carney to change tack. If she is going to accept that the central bank has done all it can post 2007/8, then she is going to have to start with some serious demand side reforms and some serious cuts to public spending. Low information voters might buy this, anybody else who can see the consequences should be prepared for the worst.

      1. hefner
        October 6, 2016

        Oh, DRW, how I like your “low information voters”.

        1. Jagman84
          October 6, 2016

          I think Dame Rita Webb refers to those who get their political news information from the BBC.

      2. acorn
        October 6, 2016

        Chancellor Hammond is correct, the deficit does not matter, ask the Japanese. The last thing the UK needs at this time is “serious demand side reforms and some serious cuts to public spending”.

        The neo-liberal austerity plan, (a la Osborne 2010, via the IMF), has caused the longest recession in the UK since the Victorian era.

        In the 1921/23 recession, the real earnings drop was 8% plus, it recovered in seven years to a 4% drop on the 1921 level. The 2007/9 real earnings drop was a similar 8%. The seven year recovery from 2007, was zero in 2014; it remained at an 8% drop.

        1. rose
          October 7, 2016

          The Japanese borrowed from themselves, didn’t they?

    4. Lifelogic
      October 6, 2016

      Another example of productivity being hit by bonkers government regulations again today. I had a gas cooker delivered to be fitted. But they refused because a shelf above was very slightly to close they said. It has never been a problem with certification before but now it seems it is.

      Could they fit the cooker and I would get the shelf moved later that day? No. Could they fit it and leave it switched of until the shelf was moved? No. Could they more the shelf No.

      Sorry mate “regulations” you have to do it then book us in again! Wasting more of my time, my tenants time and their time. If you want productivity Hammond have a bonfire of red tape and half the size of government.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 6, 2016

        Another thing Hammond might do for productivity is get to HMRC (and other departments) not to leave people hanging on the phone for hours then telling them to get lost & ring back later and just hanging up on them. Or get them to reply to letters or accept emails.

        Better still simplify the tax system and they might not have to ring all the time.

      2. James Matthews
        October 6, 2016

        Not really a new problem though. Way back in the days of the British Gas monopoly of supply I bought a new gas water heater from BG after one of their representatives had inspected the existing installation, measured all the appropriate dimensions and recommended the replacement – price to include fitting and removal of old heater.

        In due course heater arrived and, some weeks later, the gas fitters.

        “Sorry mate, space is too small”. I pointed out that BG had measured and recommended it. Response “we are not prepared to fit it”. (note the “we” – never send one person when two will do).

        A (single) registered gas fitter from a private contractor subsequently installed it without query or difficulty, but at extra cost. As will be apparent it still rankles.

        1. Jerry
          October 7, 2016

          @James Matthews; What has the then British Gas monopoly of (a metered gas) supply got to do with the then as now commercial supply and fitting of a boiler?!

          If your comments has any validity then it is two points that have nothing to do with the then nationalised BG, firstly not all registered gas fitters back then obeyed the regulations to the letter (and still don’t if the regulations are being somewhat “jobs worth”), secondly not all sales staff were fully trained in the regulations as they affect giving quotes, and still aren’t.

          I once knew of a boiler installed in a location that, a mere causal inspection of would suggest, does not comply with the regulations in force at the time of installation, but in practice upon a more detailed inspection it does.

      3. hefner
        October 6, 2016

        LifeLogic, How much of your so precious time do you spend/waste on this blog illustrating over and over again your inability to deal with what most other mortals just take in their stride?

      4. zorro
        October 7, 2016

        Yes, I was informed of this as well, so new cooker means remodelling the kitchen. Think of the perilous situation you were in before with your tenants. Perhaps we should rip out every gas cooker in the UK to ensure it fits the new regulaions and avoid multiple dangerous catastrophes….. ?


        1. stred
          October 7, 2016

          I had a flat with a big gas cooker with an oven door that opened downwards. The gas check engineer insisted that a chain needed to be fitted between the cooker and the wall because the Corgi experts were worried in case a turkey was put on the door and the whole lot tipped over.

          1. hefner
            October 7, 2016

            Such a chain, including the hook to be installed in the wall can be bought from B&Q for about 10 pounds. It is a trivial DIY job to set it up. Is it out of reach of any landlord? Really?

          2. stred
            October 9, 2016

            A turkey as heavy as myself would be necessary in order to tip the cooker. Fitting the chain cost £60.

    5. Henry
      October 6, 2016

      Hang on. After May’s Brexit rhetoric surely it would be political suicide not to deliver?

    6. Stephen Berry
      October 6, 2016

      Lifelogic: “Once we are out” you say, but will we ever actually get out?

      No need to panic I feel. The political imperatives for both the prime minister and the Tory party are still for the UK to leave the EU.

      My own view is that there is much to be said for a slow BREXIT. It gives a chance for the country to calm down after the referendum. It has already allowed many of the absurd predictions of the Remainers to be spectacularly disproved and this will have strengthened to hand of the Leavers. Finally, it’s clear that the EU is in some trouble and perhaps terminal decline if it keeps the Euro. This should enable the UK to strike a better deal. We can now see that time was on the side of the West in the Cold War. The Soviet system was doomed to fall further and further behind economically. It’s the same with the Eurozone. For instance, how many years of no growth can the Italians take before something cracks big time?

      I have waited 43 years for our exit from the EU. I can wait another two if it means getting the exit right.

    7. Lifelogic
      October 6, 2016

      My goodness May really is going ahead with the insane HS2 project. She clearly must be both innumerate, bonkers and a lefty interventionist.

      Hammond wants to improve productivity and she is busy building daft white elephants or pointless bridges to nowhere. Using masses of money stolen off the productive (this making them much less productive). They would doubless have invested it about 100 times better than on HS2, Hinkley, green crap subsidies and the rest.

      1. Richard1
        October 6, 2016

        Is HS2 going ahead I hadn’t heard that? That is certainly a bad sign following Hinkley Point.

        1. alan jutson
          October 7, 2016

          HS2 is simply a political vanity project to prove government can and will invest in the infrastructure.

          It seems cost does not matter.

          Stupid just stupid.

          1. rose
            October 7, 2016

            I thought it was G.O. going to Japan and being bowled over by their bullet trains.

    8. Richard1
      October 6, 2016

      I hope and assume this Heseltinian guff is there to appease the pro-EU side of the Tory party, some of whom like this sort of thing. Let’s see what actually happens. I see below you suggest if the Govt wants a stake they should buy stakes. Indeed but be careful what you wish for, Mr Carney is reportedly to embark on a £10bn corporate bond buying spree, equities could be next!

      1. Lifelogic
        October 7, 2016

        Indeed but not governments buying states but individuals. Governments only have money they have taken of individuals and businesses or borrow off their backs in the fist place.

    9. zorro
      October 6, 2016

      She is the Tory Gordon Brown…..


      1. Lifelogic
        October 7, 2016

        Has she said no return to boom and bust yet?

        1. Lifelogic
          October 7, 2016

          Or endogenous growth theory yet.

  2. Brexit
    October 6, 2016

    These are important issues you raise, which could all be resolved easily if both sides are reasonable.

    However, this is from the Commission’s website only last week: “The European Commission is taking the United Kingdom to the Court of Justice of the EU for its failure to propose sites for the protection of the harbour porpoise.”

    Compared to the transgressions of other countries which you mention, the above action leaves us almost speechless.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      October 6, 2016

      Dear Facts–Soon they will be telling us that we mustn’t be doing our best to exterminate as they arrive those ghastly big foreign hornets that one reads about

    2. James Munroe
      October 6, 2016

      Will the UK be taking action at the ECJ, for the EU’s failure to abide by Article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty?:-

      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.

      1. Jerry
        October 6, 2016

        @James Munroe; “Good neighbourliness” is a two way process, sorry to say, something many Europhobes have no intent on allowing, even if they do still expect our neighbours to buy our home-made jams or what ever, perhaps even open their homes to our retired, either for a few weeks each year or for them to move in, complete with kitchen sink & pet dog…

        1. James Munroe
          October 6, 2016

          Presumably your analogy refers to wealthy UK ex-pats, retiring to EU countries, buying properties to boost local economies and spending their fat pensions to the benefit of the locals.

          Doesn’t sound like an act of neighbourliness by the host EU countries, rather, just good, commercial sense, that greatly benefits those EU countries.

          The thing is, the EU are bound by their Lisbon Treaty, and all its obligations.

          The UK will not be similarly bound, by that Treaty, when we leave.

          My question was:-

          Will the UK be taking action at the ECJ, for the EU’s failure to abide by Article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty?

          The rhetoric we have heard already, from EU Leaders, does not augur well, for compliance with Article 8.

          1. Jerry
            October 8, 2016

            James Munroe; “Presumably your analogy refers to wealthy UK ex-pats, retiring to EU countries”

            No I don’t! But thanks for proving that you really do not have a first clue about the average British ex-pats, your comment would make many a hard left wing socialist blush. There are many ex-pats. especially on the Spanish Costa’s, who are living on not much more than their state/employment pensions plus average savings, having bought their Spanish home with the money they got from selling up in the UK. Many go to Spain for the generally better weather, dry warmth being better for then the usual cool dampness of the UK when it comes to arthritic joints etc.

            As for your caricature of UK expats “buying properties to boost local economies and spending their fat pensions to the benefit of the locals.” Well knock me with a feather, much the same might be said about the average European migrant here in the UK – buying or renting properties to boost local economies and spending their wages to the benefit of the locals, some even starting businesses that benefit of the locals, businesses that would otherwise not exist.

            “The thing is, the EU are bound by their Lisbon Treaty, and all its obligations.”

            Just as the UK is (until actual Brexit hour), and thus as I said, “Good neighbourliness” is a two way process. The rhetoric we have heard already, from certain UK party Leaders (and others), does not augur well, for compliance with Article 8.

    3. forthurst
      October 6, 2016

      In order to win the case at the ECJ, we should cease disturbing these delightful creatures with unnecessary noise; a complete cessation of pile-driving for off-shore windmills would be most welcomed by both our species.

  3. Sam Stoner
    October 6, 2016

    This is dangerously deluded. It is very true that the EU happily bends its rules – but only when the powerful want that to happen – think France and Germany’s disregard of the fiscal rules. When a weaker state tries to wriggle free, the Treaty gets applied with maximum and remorseless rigour. Think Greece. The UK, the quitter set against 27 states plus a commission plus a parliament all of whom are increasingly irritated by british blustering about cherrypicking, is very much Greece in this scenario. It is good politics to stick to the letter of the law when it suits you, and that is what Germany et al will do

  4. Mick
    October 6, 2016

    I cannot wait till we leave the dreaded eu, beings the government didn’t have a plan to leave we can hope they have one for when we do in 2019, a bloody big party not seen since charles and Diana’s wedding with all the trimmings would go down well

    1. Lifelogic
      October 6, 2016

      An independence day holiday on June 23rd (nearly the longest day) with perhaps ceremonial burnings of Ted Heath effergies.

      He tried central wage controls to with predictable and dire results. Why do Tory leaders never learn from history?

    2. Anonymous
      October 6, 2016

      As a Brexiter I don’t want to see a party, or any flags. Most of us aren’t interested in that.

    3. Leslie Singleton
      October 6, 2016

      Dear Mick–Free wine flowing in the fountains was the way it used to be done

      1. hefner
        October 7, 2016

        Sorry. I would tend to agree with Anonymous if the free wine in the fountains is British.

  5. Lifelogic
    October 6, 2016

    She complains about business owners taking out large dividends while the pension scheme is going bust. Well why do the regulators, company law and accounting rules permit this? Indeed why are people so distant from their own pension investments in the first place.

    The blame lies with government yet again.

    The artificial depression of interest rates by government is also much of the problem here too. Depressing annuity rates and distorting their investment policies by rigging the market.

    Government in rarely the solution to anything Mrs May. At 60 you should at the very least have worked this out. You are clearly just another wet, misguided Libdim.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      October 6, 2016

      Dear Lifelogic–One is forced to ask what one should have any right to expect from that fiasco of an “election”. The one obvious given, that the PM had of course to be a Leaver, amazingly didn’t happen. Took real skill that. If she is a Conservative I am a giraffe. Perhaps she is trying, maybe subconsciously, to atone or compensate for her earlier nasty party remark. I believe it matters a great deal where people are born. Just think, Dear John, you would be Leader of UKIP now if you had ratted when it was so obvious that you do so. Ignore the present nonsense at the top. UKIP’s ratings will hold and improve–I do not understand how May’s strategy is, as I have read, supposed to win back voters from UKIP. Hasn’t worked with me.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 6, 2016

        She is clearly not remotely a Conservative nor even remotely numerate. Given the decisions she has made on HS2 & Hinkley. These project are clearly just bonkers.

        Either that or she just trusts her “expert” advisers and has been taken in by them. Either way she is unsuitable for her job. PMs need to have a working compass.

      2. Chris
        October 6, 2016

        I would agree LS that May’s strategy will not win back UKIP voters, mainly because they do not see a reason to trust her. Already the clean Brexit which we thought we had voted for is being toned down, and Hammond et al seem to be influencing direction. Not good.

      3. Jerry
        October 6, 2016

        Leslie Singleton; “If [Mrs May] is a Conservative I am a giraffe”

        Might I suggest that you do not venture to close to a zoo, you might find yourself somewhat confined! Mrs May might not be your idea of a Conservative, but for many neither was Mrs Thatcher.

        Define “real Conservatism”, for me the last real Tory PM the country had was either Harold Macmillan or Alec Douglas-Home (the latter had so little time in office though…) [1], although after her two conference speeches Mrs May might yet be one.

        [1] not the personalties, upbringing, nor their education, but their policies – true One Nation Conservatism

        1. Lifelogic
          October 7, 2016

          Well a real Conservative believes in small efficient government doing only the rather few things that governments do best, a sound defence policy, a sensible legal system with real deterrents and solid protection of individual property rights, minimal red tape, simple & low taxes, freedom, a UK based democracy and sound money.

          True most Tory leaders of late have been dire misguided Libdims or interventionist socialists – Heath, Major & Cameron even Thatcher made very many silly mistakes and failed to cut the state sector anything like enough.

          I am too young to have much to say on Harold Macmillan or Alec Douglas-Home.

          1. Jerry
            October 7, 2016

            @LL; That is your opinion of what “real Conservatism” is, or should be, thanks for proving my point! As for your comment regarding the likes of Macmillan or Alec Douglas-Home, you can read, so try reading their manifestos if nothing more, do we all have to rubbish or have no opinions o that f the Victorian era because no one is now alive from the said period?!

            For most, “real Conservatism” is not just a race to bottom with a mere 1% reaching tops.

          2. Lifelogic
            October 7, 2016

            Jerry. Ted Heath was a disaster politically, economically & electorally, Major buried the party for 3+ terms, Cameron threw one sitting duck election and only just won the second thanks to Miliband and the SNP (This being a dire alternative). Thatcher (in effect) won four, one with Major as her man. Until the electorate realised he was just another a lefty dope.

          3. Jerry
            October 8, 2016

            @LL; You are repeating yourself, rather than retype out the same basic reply, read it here;


          4. Edward2
            October 9, 2016

            “You are repeating yourself”
            That made me smile Jerry

    2. graham1946
      October 6, 2016

      ‘The blame lies with the government again’

      No it doesn’t. It lies with unprincipled individuals who are fully prepared to take great advantage for themselves at the cost of those less fortunate or who don’t and can’t know what is being done to them.

      Just because something is under regulated doesn’t mean anything goes although some think so and is proof why markets need to be regulated. Some people have regard for others whereas some others have only a love of money and want more and more even if they cannot spend it. Greed in short.

      I thought you didn’t like regulation. Seems you want more when it suits your argument and less when it doesn’t.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 6, 2016

        I am not against all regulations. Regulations against murder, burglary, theft, fraud. some health and safety rules and the likes are clearly rather sensible.

        But most UK regulations are very badly designed and do far, far more harm than good. Generating countless parasitic jobs for lawyers, bureaucrats, consultants and the likes.

        You do not seem to understand that businesses do have to compete in the market or die. If they act as charities too much they go bust or get taken over who runs them more cheaply.

        The customers just elsewhere if you do not offer value and the jobs then go anyway.

        1. graham1946
          October 7, 2016

          Ah, the famous race to the bottom, darling of those businessmen who can see no alternative and are actually clueless. I think I understand a little of business, having been employed, then self employed and then a business owner employing other people for the best part of my working life until I retired early having got where I intended to go.

          You did give a clue in your ‘value for money’ sentence, but that is not just ‘the cheapest’, which if pursued to its limit produces little value and poor goods and services. Is a Rolls Royce less of a car than a Trabant? Is Waitrose a worse store than the pound shop? How about rents on flats and houses being the lowest possible? No, I didn’t think that would appeal. By the way, your idea of ‘productive business’ – does that include BTL?

    3. Sir Joe Soap
      October 6, 2016

      Not only does the government permit companies to nanny their workers’ savings for them, i.e. pensions, it actually forces them to save for their workers. Well surprise, surprise when some of the same companies, in trouble, ask themselves why they should carry the can for zero interest rates imposed by that same government to keep on propping up their workers’ savings at the expense of themselves.

      Either you have an independent pension system, organised by workers for themselves without company interference, or you don’t. For May to start blaming companies who look after themselves but encouraging people to do the same is just contradictory.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 6, 2016

        Exactly, she clear is too daft to understand the point you make. Such are many geography graduates I find.

      2. graham1946
        October 7, 2016

        Very simplistic with apparently little understanding of what pensions are or how they work or what good they do in the end or for the companies in the interim. Short termism encapsulated.

        Traditionally good Companies provided good pensions as part of the pay deal with both sides contributing, so that workers could live in dignity at the end of their working lives as many now do, although they are a dying breed. Workers are the lifeblood of any Company, not the over rewarded managers, (for that is what most directors are these days). Very few are entrepreneurs or risk their own capital but just happen into a nice cushy sinecure, but all are assured of mega pensions when their time comes, whilst complaining that they can’t afford the same for their wealth producers – the staff.
        Good pensions were earned over a lifetime but the young are now being brainwashed into believing that the older generation are taking all the goodies, whereas they should be the norm. It has been wrecked by allowing Companies to take Pension Holidays or use the pension money like Maxwell did, or not put in sufficient like (a named co). Can anyone really support the claim that this company could not afford it whilst paying the kind of dividends it did?

        The pension system was ruined by one Gordon Brown who thought it a good idea to use it to try to balance the books and pour the money down the black hole of the British economy. Now, we still have a black hole of even greater proportions thanks to Osborne’s poor management. Final salary pensions are now virtually defunct, except for public employees.

        Most people need the help and guidance of their employers to choose and run a pension scheme but the little that is now being put in on both sides means a retirement of penury for most which will store up money problems for the State in due course.
        Pensions need to be compulsory on both sides and be well funded, otherwise we will have an even bigger black hole in future. The cheapskate way they are being funded now and the way the industry runs them means useful pensions are heading for the knackers yard and a further debt for the state, like its own pension schemes. Nothing is properly funded.

        Under present conditions, I, personally would rather keep control of my own money in an ISA or somesuch if I was starting again, but most people do not have the knowledge or the discipline to do it, so compulsion is the only way and Companies must not be allowed anywhere near the pension scheme. Too many have gone bust leaving the State to pick up the bill. When a pension scheme goes bust due to insufficient input, the Directors should be first in line for paying it back.

    4. graham1946
      October 6, 2016

      Here’s a little quiz for you, LL.

      Of two fairly comparable companies, which is the most successful:
      1) BHS
      2) John Lewis.

      You don’t have to run a firm on 18th century lines. There is more than one way.
      This was realised by Henry Ford who paid his workers sufficient that they could buy his products. Cadbury made a new town for his workers, so did Crittall. There are modern day equivalents as well, who demand the best and get it, rather than skinning a turd as was the old British way.
      These firms still exist and prosper, whereas BHS and the old wool and cotton industries run on grinding the workers died.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 6, 2016

        Well the co-op bank is not doing very well and Cadbury got bought out and the UK parts closed down I think.

        In the main after the companies did well, the owners became rather more generous to staff in their later years, rather than the other way round.

        I am all in favour of competition between different structures and rewarding staff for good performance.

        There is John Lewis but not very many others that have done well.

        1. graham1946
          October 7, 2016

          The Co-Op bank was failed by (word left out ed) management. Won’t list it because JR probably won’t allow it. Cadbury was bought out because it was successful, not because it was failing and the Americans wanted to (transfer jobs abroad? ed), despite their promises which were about as authentic as Cast Iron Dave’s. Ford is going from strength to strength. You are way behind the times. Do you still use the old quill pen?

      2. Anonymous
        October 6, 2016

        Indeed – UK workers often emigrate to get away from poor treatment here.

        The country could be richer and more productive without our curious system of Anglo-capitalism in which the hard working middle are often the poorest of the lot.

    5. acorn
      October 6, 2016

      Oh for Christ’s sake LL, give it up. The days of grumpy old white Tory males are over.

      Mrs May has just put you and the Daily Telegraph’s Mr Heath, in the Thatcherite neo-liberal dustbin; God bless her. And, I am saying that as a some time, paid up, Orange Book Liberal.

      It will be interesting to see how she handles the Dickensian right wing of the Conservative Party during Brexit, particularly as they started it. She needs a plan to dump them into UKIP or somewhere they can’t do any more damage.

      If she gets anywhere near walking her talk, she will have achieved the Holy Grail of capturing the middle ground of UK voters; just like Blair did. She could pull in a large chunk of middle ground Labour voters and old Orange Book Libdems. I think she has already got the large group of Conservative ladies who know what the phrase “caring society” means.

      1. hefner
        October 7, 2016

        Thanks for that.

      2. Jerry
        October 8, 2016

        @acorn; you are 100% spot on with that comment, especially your last paragraph, even more so your last sentence (and many gentlemen too).

        Lifeloigic’s constant protests are becoming akin to, but the opposite of, The Militant Tenancy during their last grasps for political life, and much of Neil Kinnock’s 1985 conference remarks against Militant is just as relevant;

        You start with far-fetched resolutions. They are then pickled into a rigid dogma, a code, and you go through the years sticking to that, outdated, misplaced, irrelevant to the real needs

        …and especially the last line;

        I am telling you, no matter how entertaining, how fulfilling to short-term egos – you can’t play politics with people’s jobs and with people’s services or with their homes

  6. Ecalibur
    October 6, 2016

    Why do we continue to give succour to the French ? The extortionate and open-ended Hinkley agreement with EDF, and the acquisition of Trident steel from them are cases in point. In the meantime, the French do everything they can to undermine us by threats and actions e.g. over Brexit and Calais.

    1. alan jutson
      October 7, 2016


      I agree it seems we seem to be giving the French rather a lot of late.

      Once again we seem to know the cost of everything but the value of little.

      Cannot understand the purchase of steel from France unless we simply cannot make the specification that is required.

    2. rose
      October 7, 2016

      And what about the tolls on the Severn Bridge? All those fivers going to France.

  7. Mark B
    October 6, 2016

    Good morning.

    And what about the ECHR ? What if someone wishes to take the UK to court there ? Does our kind host advocate the UK leaving the Council of Europe as well ?

    And what if all those who advocate a more cautious approach to leaving the EU. If they are proven correct, and damage to the UK economy is done, will our kind host apologies for holding the position he does.

    I make no secret that I do not think our kind host is as commanding on his brief on this matter as he is if others. Forgive me but, on this matter of leaving the EU, it is to those who are widely known to know of such matters do I look fir advice.

    If I am unwell, I seek the advice of a professionally trained doctor, not some quack.

    1. David Price
      October 7, 2016

      If there were, for example, a “hard” brexit then I don’t see how those who advocated a “soft” brexit could be proven correct. There would no evidence that would have been the case since it would not have happened and might have failed in a different way. It is all opinion not fact so there is nothing to “prove” the path not traveled would have been effective.

      Instead, the UK electorate has nominated Brexit as a goal and a course must be charted and followed. It seems to me that “soft” brexit is not brexit at all since we would still be entangled and subservient financially, legally and bureaucratically. Soft Brexit starts from the basis of the UK not being sovereign at all, instead it is founded on a lack of confidence in ourselves, a lack of resolve and worst of all a willingness to let the EU set the goal and course.

      As a matter of interest who is widely known who has credibility in such matters? These would be rare individuals given that no one has experience and so knowledge of leaving the EU, and there is apparently only one MP who had any experience of negotiating trade agreements in Parliament.

  8. LeaveWon
    October 6, 2016

    Am now hopeful. It will only take a few more to get it.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 6, 2016

      Are you sure, with a majority that is so slim (thanks to Cameron lefty pro EU agenda) and half the Tory MP’s are still for remain and the Lords is stuffed full of remainers?

      1. rose
        October 7, 2016

        Don’t forget the Ulstermen.

  9. Fred
    October 6, 2016

    Why do we need a “transitional period”? Just leave. All this hand wringing and whimpering about what the EU will do is, quite honestly, pathetic. Can we not stand on our own two feet like independent human beings. We don’t need to beg for anything. Just leave now. Tell every country we will trade freely with them if they do with us. No months of negotiations designed to increase the importance of officials and benefit big business. No asking permission to take back what is ours. Just do it now.

    1. James Neill
      October 6, 2016

      Don’t worry Fred- we’ll be out soon enough- out on our ear…free to trade with whomever we like and the rest of the world… all and everybody except the EU countries who very likely won’t have much to do with us as our currency by then will be devalued so much we won’t be able to afford mercs and audis. By now we probably have only one friend left in Europe ‘Mrs Merkel’ but she won’t be around after next years elections so then maybe we’ll rebuild the merchant navy so that we can reimport butter from New Zealand and mutton from Oz just like in the old days. We can expel all the foreign workers and then the Chinese Indian and Thai restaurant workers and then we can get back to the old reliable menu of fish and chips.. and yes pints of bitter- taking back control- for that’s where we’re headed.. back to the future back to the 1950’s– say goodbye to holidays in the sunny Spain the canaries and Italy because most people won’t be able to get visas for travel– and anyway it will all cost too much and be too much trouble– aw well there will always be bucket and spade job and the isle of man.. lucky us taking back control.

      1. Anonymous
        October 6, 2016

        Hopefully we’ll see.

        1. Anonymous
          October 6, 2016

          I actually like all of the things you mention and it pretty much resembles my life now.

          1. Anonymous
            October 7, 2016

            Meaning German cars and luxury meals are none existent for me. Foreign holidays ? I’ve rarely returned without feeling exhausted and ripped off, so avoid them like the plague. My money has gone on my kids’ education and an oversized mortgage (larger than it should be because our country is overcrowded.)

            I’m not complaining, I just can’t see what the fuss is about.

      2. Sir Joe Soap
        October 6, 2016

        You mean the East European Indian restaurant workers so that we can allow in the genuine article?
        Sounds good to me.

      3. rose
        October 7, 2016

        You sound like a very young teenager. Are you?

        We used to do all sorts of things before we joined the EU. And we weren’t rich either. In fact our holidays were mostly on the Continent as we couldn’t afford the long haul flights the young do now. No need for visas, just as there is no need for visas to the USA and Japan now. Teenagers have been worked up for nothing.

        1. rose
          October 7, 2016

          And before you say we were poorer then because we weren’t in the EU, it was because we didn’t live on debt.

        2. rose
          October 7, 2016

          And the great beauty of the Continent was that it was made up of independent nations, each one with its own unique identity. That is what, above all, the EU was designed to destroy. A very great tragedy. It took a long time to forge European civilization and it was admired the world over.

  10. keeffromlondon
    October 6, 2016

    A suggestion. Should not all EU regulations transposed into UK law from now on have a sunset clause so that they terminate on the day we leave? The exceptions would be if there is a clear benefit to the UK for retaining them post Brexit.

  11. alan jutson
    October 6, 2016

    I think I would be making some sort of protest about us not being included in EU meetings.

    What if we reduced our payments simply because we were leaving anyway, guarantee the EU would be up in arms with all sorts of threats.

    If we are a member paying full membership, then we should be taking part in 100% of everything, up until the point of leaving.

    If you said you were not going to renew your membership at any other sort of Club you would still be able to take part and use its full facilities, until the day your membership ran out, and you then stopped paying.
    If you stopped paying before that date then you would be thrown out.

    I assume they are going to continue to pay subsidies to our farmers and all other projects already agreed to be funded, or are they ?.

    One thing we must not do is leave any sort of legacy claim (bail out claims etc) on our finances after the date we leave.

    1. Liz
      October 6, 2016

      No meetings no money! They can’t have it both ways until we are actually out of it.

      1. Jerry
        October 6, 2016

        @alan jutson; @Liz; If you want those eucrats to start playing the rule book then carry on expecting the UK government to be utterly arrogant if not obnoxious towards the EU. If the UK makes a nuance of its self by ‘gate crashing’ such meetings the EU would just needs to call Euro zone area meetings instead, we are not members of the EZ so have no right to be attend uninvited, nor can we complain if the one other non EZ member is invited – after all perhaps that country is exploring ways to eventually adopt the Euro, who knows…

        1. a-tracy
          October 8, 2016

          Jerry don’t meetings have to be minuted and if foul play is suspected and sneaky Euro meetings, debating Brexit terms whilst not allowing us Brexit talks, couldn’t we appeal to the European Courts (or are they corrupt and not followers of rules as you intimate the European leaders would be).

          Junker is reported in our newspapers being obnoxious towards the uK all the time, in fact many people I talk to believe he was quite a big influence in the decision to leave. The French PM doesn’t seem at all concerned about being arrogant and demanding our heads on a plate.

          1. Jerry
            October 9, 2016

            @a-tracy; Yes, the official meeting does have to be minuted, can’t stop people informally discussing other issues in the ‘coffee bars’ or where ever. Just as our own Government has done, both within the UK and RotW.

            As for the ECJ, or perhaps even the ECHR, do we really want to risk either considering the issue, after all a majority in Scotland want to remain in the EU, as is the case in NI – yes the EU27 might come away having to invite us to their meetings but the collateral damage might be high for those who believe in the United Kingdom, Scotland might well have their second iScotland referendum, whilst NI might end up having to hold a vote with regards their with their borders with the south.

            I’ve said this before, if you want the UK to play the rule book then expect those who wrote the rule book to return the favour – with interest (eurocrats have previous form on this).

            “Junker is reported in our newspapers being obnoxious towards the uK all the time”

            Shock horror, hold the RotW front news pages, europhobic British newspapers exaggerate reports of Mr Junker saying ‘Boo to a Goose’ whilst celebrating how utterly obnoxiously rude a well known UK MEP and group leader is towards Junker et al…

            As for influencing the Brexit vote, perhaps you do know people who voted Brexit because of Mr Jumker, on the other hand I know people who had been talking -in some cases for many years- about wanting Brexit but ended up either not voting or voting to remain because of the behaviour of Mr Farage and the campaign – even before the tragic turn of events. This in an area of moderately hight EU immigration

          2. a-tracy
            October 11, 2016

            Informal meetings don’t account for anything though do they Jerry, an informal agreement my husband always says isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

            Can Scotland have an iScotland referendum? I thought they were told quite categorically the last referendum that it was a once in a lifetime and they did know at that time that this referendum was on the cards as they were warned of it. I’m one of life’s rule followers Jerry, that’s why I have problems with soooo many being written yet euro Countries cherry picking which they’ll follow like France with their new Macron Law designed to stop the free movement of goods into France.

            I was referring to articles in the Guardian online about Junker and his table thumping. I thought Mr Farage was quite rude to the EU council and didn’t agree with his speech but I’m not a UKiper, I think quite a lot of men in politics are quite arrogant and rude on all sides, as you can sometimes be Jerry.

    2. Peter D Gardner
      October 7, 2016

      Alan jutson,

      I agree. First of all exit need only take a few months if not tied to negotiating a new complex relationship and restricted to arrangements for withdrawal as required by Article 50. Agreement could be reached quickly by QMV thereby giving industry and individuals early assurance of the outcomes, before the Ge elections in late 2017. During this time, ie concurrently with the letter invoking Article 50, UK should, by MoU or informally agree to withdraw from certain policy areas, refuse any new directives or regulations deemed not in its interest, wind down payments, reject any demands for further funding, eg. finance, migrants, border forces, resolve or terminate any cases involving UK at the ECJ, etc.
      The question of a new relationship, should be addressed only after both the EU and UK have had time to adjust to the new status quo. Why slide while still a member of the EU directly into a new entanglement with the EU? It is extremely risky, unlikely to be in Britain’s best interests and unnecessary.

  12. Denis Cooper
    October 6, 2016

    “They have started holding the odd EU meeting without us – a violation of the Treaty which seems reasonable.”

    I think it is ECJ case law that a group of states may make use of EU resources if none of the other states object.

  13. ChrisS
    October 6, 2016

    If it hadn’t been for Merkel’s very own migrant crisis I would have assumed the need for trade would ensure that German common sense would prevail and a satisfactory deal would be done. After their usual posturing, even France would eventually have come to realise that their industry has too much to lose by punishing Britain.

    However, the Eastern Europeans will not be so reticent. They gain hugely from FOM with the UK and that is going to end. I suspect that they will be united in opposing a trade deal without concessions from the UK on FOM. They are not clever enough to realise that that is politically impossible for Mrs May.

    Any deal also has to get through the European Parliament There we have that …….. Junker and sidekick, Verhofstadt and the substantial number of Eastern Bloc MEPs sitting behind them.

    Junker has already guaranteed the process will be fraught with difficulty by ensuring that Verhofstadt was appointed lead Brexit negotiator for the European Parliament.

    Given Verhofstadt’s history of combat with British MEPs, and particularly his open warfare with Nigel Farage, it would be hard to imagine a more divisive appointment.
    Junker and Verhofstadt will be doing everything they can to punish Britain because their own credibility is at stake.

    Junker’s position is increasingly perilous and he will be desperate to ensure that the Commission leads the process whereas the interests of the Member States would indicate that they should be in the driving seat.

    I therefore don’t think we can have any certainty that a satisfactory deal will emerge, at least initially.

    It seems likely that there will be conflict over Brexit within the Council of Ministers because German influence has been severely weakened by the migrant crisis. This will not change even if Merkel stands down. Then there will be protracted arguments between the Council and Member States on one side and the Commission and Parliament on the other. This will further destabilise the Union and make decision making almost impossible. Nothing new there, then !

    If common sense was employed it would be easy to come to a satisfactory deal. However the internal stresses and strains within the 27 and between the Council, Parliament and a Commission led by Junker seems to ensure that anything but commons sense will prevail.

    In short, the outcome will remain uncertain.

    My guess is we will rapidly realise that negotiating is a waste of time and will pull out of the process and leave in less than the two years on WTO terms. How that will leave the City is hard to guess.

    It will then take several years for a free trade deal to be negotiated. By the time any trade deal is concluded, Britain will be more successful than the EU, particularly if the EZ continues to stumble along in its current form.

    If the EZ breaks up which I think is inevitable, we will then be able to rapidly come to a satisfactory trade agreement with our principle trade partners.

  14. Bert Young
    October 6, 2016

    Just ignore everything as the French have done on many occasions . We are now “out” and we must show it !.

  15. Peter D Gardner
    October 6, 2016

    The Transitional period is a worry because the UK Government appears not to know what Directives are extant and due to be enacted before April 2019, what directives are in the pipeline, what Regulations in force should be ditched. In addition it needs to be clear which area of policy making it will withdraw from on invoking Article 50 so that it can get on with developing its own on agriculture, fisheries, energy, environment, ‘global warming’, defence, security, education, immigration, taxation, to name a few. All we know about the Great Repeal Bill, from press reports, is that it will not come into effect until the Withdrawal agreement does, ie. in about two and a half years’ time, by when all sorts of new demands for money and other burdens will have been foisted on Britain

    The reason is obvious to anyone who has read David Davis’s evidence to the Committees on the EU and Foreign Affairs. The focus is almost exclusively on negotiating a new complex relationship including trade. To my mind it is folly to slide from membership into yet another entanglement while still a member of the EU.

    UK should concentrate on the arrangements for withdrawal as required by Article 50. Nothing else is required by that Article. Furthermore any attempt to include anything else or negotiate anything else concurrently would be agreed by the EU only by unanimous vote, whereas Withdrawal Arrangements can be agreed by QMV.

    If the agenda is kept to its proper and narrow focus, agreement would be greatly facilitated and UK could be out within months – before the German elections. Meanwhile, in their own time parallel discussions on various aspects of a future relationship can proceed at a measured pace. In my view UK should be in no hurry to entangle itself with the EU again, Rather it should concentrate on self-government and full participation in world fora thus leap-frogging over the EU in the hierarchy regional and global organisations. Both the EU and Britain need to adjust and gain perspective on matters once the UK has left.

    With trade, clearly a simple proposal like a binary choice between continuing current arrangements or reverting to WTO and World Customs Organisation rules, could be included in a Withdrawal Agreement, simply but a trade deal of the kind the EU is used to would take years to negotiate.

    It is in my view highly risky of Mrs May’s government to delay Brexit for no reason other than to secure a new complex entanglement following the maximum period of negotiation. Supposing agreement is not reached within two years. Would Brexit be delayed yet further. And what imposts will the EU inflict on Britain during this period? A bank rescue? The EU Border Force? Banking union? The Ports Directive? The Coastguard Directive? EU Armed Forces?

  16. agricola
    October 6, 2016

    The most important imperative is to get on with it. having dealt the blow why give your opponent time to recover. The unelected EU in Brussels has little responsibility for the way it’s dictats may affect the lives of millions of Europeans. It never has in the past, witness Greece , Spain, and Portugal. Driven by political ideology it will be as difficult as it chooses. I therefore suggest that it is presented with less a negotiation more a fait accompli.

    The final outcome rests on the power of the individual countries most affected to safeguard their own interests, particularly in terms of trade with the UK. Once the 1972 accession act has been reversed in a UK parliament there is only trade to be discussed. The question is then, do EU countries want tariff free trade or do they prefer to pay duty on what they sell to the UK. European industrialists and trade unions may well have a view on this that is more pragmatic than Brussels. None of the above logic is guaranteed, we already have at least one politician from a country that cannot even form a government for itself, mouthing off as to what he intends to do about Gibraltar and ex pats healthcare.

    Meanwhile the very situation for which the EU was created to avoid is growing in the form of political discontent throughout the EU. Many individual governments may pay lip service to the EU because they are part of the gravy train. However their citizens are becoming increasingly discontented with the impact the EU is having on their lives. The EU has to change quite radically or the cork will explode from this bottle of discontent, much as it did in Russia and Eastern Europe when the incumbent politicians could offer little to their people. It was the people who decided and this will repeat itself in Europe.

  17. Chris
    October 6, 2016

    I understand that an option being considered is that we carry on some form of financial contribution to Brussels after we have left, apparently as some sort of olive branch. What nonsense is that?

  18. a-tracy
    October 6, 2016

    “The Commission has postured over their response to Brexit, whilst trying to warn member states off from talking about it or even discussing it with the UK. ”

    NO, John they can’t have their cake and eat it if they want meetings without us present “violating the treaty” then they can’t reasonably demand this of us. We must stick to the letter of the treaties and so must they full stop, no British reasonableness when we get none in return.

    1. Jerry
      October 6, 2016

      @a-tracy; “no British reasonableness when we get none in return.”

      Hmm lets see, since 1980 the EEC/EU has been reasonable to UK demands/worries by granting a UK rebate (even if Blair did then give much of it back), an opt-out to the UK from the Euro, an opt-out from the Schengen Agreement – just to name three occasions when the EU27 (or then number of members) showed “reasonableness” towards the UK only to have europhobe MEPs and Westminster MPs either name call or demand yet more.

      1. Edward2
        October 7, 2016

        We are talking about the current situation.
        The opening position as stated by several EU technocrats and some elected political leaders is one of no compromise and no deals.

        1. Jerry
          October 7, 2016

          @Edward2; Oh and these eurocrats have formed their position in a total vacuum since June 24th, nothing what so ever to do with the (perceived or otherwise) arrogance of the British over the last 44 years, always wanting what the UK wants, expecting special exemptions, even having UKIP europhiles being gratuitously rude to them etc.

          1. Edward2
            October 8, 2016

            I cannot read their minds Jerry as to how their attitudes towards us have been formed and neither can you, but my observations are still correct.
            The current position of the EU leadership is one of no compromise and no deals for the UK
            And it is the current position we have to respond to.

          2. a-tracy
            October 8, 2016

            Why shouldn’t we challenge we are the 2nd largest contributor, when we’ve below France in the largest economy table why are they paying in so much less. As for getting our own way, what’s the alternative Germany and France’s way unquestioned? We were repeatedly told there wasn’t going to be a European currency then tried to have the € foisted on us. The ERM nearly sunk us! Well we’ve voted now for our independence because we’re sick of hearing there’s going to be no EU Army – following year – we’re paying for it! Bills for a sex and drug trade that we don’t collect taxes on that the rest of us that don’t participate in these trades now pay the cost on in the EU, the ever increasing costs of building museums in Poland shown on the news and people so desperate to come to the UK for our free for all housing benefits to get people off the streets unlike France who leaves then in mud strewn tents for years.

            Personally I have no problem with the free movement of workers, as most of the Leave official team were in favour, I just have a problem with the benefits system entitlements, housing benefit entitlements which shouldn’t be accrued until what is it in France 10 years?! A poorly constructed uk tax credit system for immigrants.
            Donald Tusk and the others should have agreed to Cameron’s small requests in this regard but no they thought they’d bullied us enough to stay and just take their unreasonable demands. Sometimes you have to be forceful to be heard and if you perceive that as rude there is far worse happens.

          3. Jerry
            October 8, 2016

            @Edward2; You don’t need to read their minds, just read what they have been saying in public!

            @a-tracy; “Why shouldn’t we challenge we are the 2nd largest contributor,”

            That is what we have been doing for the last 44 years, but what many UK eurosceptics seem to want is not to challenge but to veto above and beyond what such veto’s were intended for.

            “As for getting our own way, what’s the alternative Germany and France’s way unquestioned?”

            If France, Germany or whoever can carry the votes then yes they do get their way, it’s called democracy, just like where English MPs have a majority to pass a law that applies to the entire UK and not just England.

            “We were repeatedly told there wasn’t going to be a European currency”

            Both an eventual common currency and federation were mooted as far back as the early 1950s and the original ECSC, EDC & EPC treaties. If our own politicians were economical with the truth [1], if our own domestic politician can not sort out our own benefits system entitlements, or simply tell the voters that things will or can not change, that is not the fault of the EU or the EU27.

            [1] Edward Heath never lied about what the future would be, there is categorical proof of this within a BBC Panorama programme from 24th January 1972 were he clearly talks of inevitable political union, common currency, even commenting about the need for a future common defence strategy in addition to NATO with perhaps both having less involvement from the USA.

          4. Edward2
            October 9, 2016

            Heath mocked anti EU campaigners when they talked about loss of sovereignty
            Many quotes are available on t’Internet.
            I went to a public meeting back then where he laughed when a question from the audience asked about our future powers to govern ourselves and make our own laws was raised.
            He was duplicitous

          5. Jerry
            October 9, 2016

            @Edward2; “Many quotes are available on t’Internet.”

            Yes, and any prankster or fraudster can place such “quotes” on the internet, for the foolish or partial to cite with the utmost glee! First lesson taught to research students (any subject) is not to trust t’Internet for that reason, even Wikipedia is only as good as the last correctly referenced edit.

            Forget “quotes”, as I said, there is a video recording (probably telecined 16mm film if you want to get pedantic) of Mr Heath using his own voice, own words, try searching for the said Panorama programme, watch and listen. But then I suppose the BBC faked it, used a Heath look-alike, used Mike Yarwood to voice dub…

            Yes I can believe that Heath, being somewhat a rather ‘pompous’ intellectual person, would have mocked loaded or silly arguments – sovereignty is fluid, always has been, hence why this country is called the United Kingdom (big clue there), whilst England, or should I say the Kingdom of England, is its self is made up of nine Kingdoms plus the Principality of Wales.

          6. Edward2
            October 10, 2016

            You are really struggling now Jerry
            The internet has many serious sites.
            I think most of us on here are able to do some sensible research
            Hansard quotes and films of him speaking are available.
            I attended several dinners where he gave speeches myself.

            Sovereignty was a major issue at the time and he regularly said that the UK would always retain its powers.
            If I was being kind I would say he was misinformed or never realised how things would turn out.

          7. a-tracy
            October 11, 2016

            “what many UK eurosceptics seem to want is not to challenge but to veto above and beyond what such veto’s were intended for”.

            Jerry, Can you give me an example or two of a veto that we deployed that the vetos weren’t intended for please?

            Have you got a link to the Ted Heath article I was very young then and I’d like to watch it, remind me what was this about the ECJ?

            The Conservative party manifesto did promise us English Vote for English laws, and decision making for England alone in relation to devolved issues like Schools, so I guess the Conservatives could use that argument in the Grammar debate as it only affects England’s school system and only English MPs should get a say representing their constituents and their children, but first they have to deliver on that pledge.

      2. a-tracy
        October 7, 2016

        I was specifically talking about the procedures followed after the referendum result, Jerry.

        These are things they wanted to ADD to the agreement that we didn’t agree with such as joining a Euro currency as was our right. Have we stopped paying in Jerry, because as far as I’m aware we are still fully paid up members and should be attending ALL the meeting? We are part of a group that allowed for negotiation if we secured opt-outs that was our right as part of the club and not done behind closed doors and in secret little meetings, I’m sure.

        Perhaps you can tell me, Jerry, how the French have secured themselves the right to opt out of the free movement of goods into France with the Macron Law and when did the EU meet to agree on this breaking of one of the four pillars. There is now a charge to carry goods into France and a fine if you don’t comply.

  19. Chris
    October 6, 2016

    Meanwhile, the EU pushes ahead. If these things are true, as reported in the Press, then it seems imperative that we leave as soon as possible, before we are even more entangled in the EU spider’s web, and that the break must be clean, and not fudged with compromise/semi membership:

    More poking of the Russian bear?
    “EU opens door to GEORGIA as visa-free travel AGREED for Russian neighbour
    EUROPE could see another increase in the numbers of migrants crossing its borders after European Union states agreed to grant Georgian nationals visa-free travel….”
    “EU superstate plot intensifies as Brussels presses on with plans for own PROSECUTOR
    BRUSSELS is forging ahead for plans to impose a centralised legal system on member states despite the continent-wide outcry against its superstate ambitions unleashed by the Brexit vote. …”

    and, if that weren’t enough:
    “Free speech crackdown: EU orders British press NOT to reveal when terrorists are Muslims
    Meddling Brussels has said the British press should not report when terrorists are Muslims in a slew of demands to the Government to crack down on the media….”

    1. Jerry
      October 6, 2016

      @Chris; “If these things are true, [list of Daily Express URLs]”

      Indeed a question that need to be asked of any story within the Daily Express these days, especially if the CAP-LOCK key has been used, and most certainly if any story features the EU in any shape of form.

  20. Antisthenes
    October 6, 2016

    The workings and rules of the EU are beyond the comprehension of most and and when understood often defy definitive interpretation. So as you say Brexit gives opportunities for some to milk the exit process for personal gain either financial or political. It is hoped that David, Liam and Boris have the acumen and sense to find the shortest and least convoluted route out of the EU avoiding the traps that will be set for them on the way. A tall order even though you have outlined a simple method to apply for the UK to exit easily.

    Brexit it appears has brought out the worst in many who are prepared to either scupper it or gain substantially from it. The CBI wish to retain crony capitalism, Brussels wish to punish, individual member states are looking to snatch rich pickings from any unguarded areas of the UK economy and other vested interests are looking to keep their privileges or cause in tact. Indeed the process can be simple but not if all these interests are to be included. Not including them as we see from the tantrums displayed on our TV screens and in the columns of newspapers every minute of every day is going to be very difficult. A successful Brexit is going to need the wisdom of Soloman. So let us hope Theresa and her team posses it.

  21. Denis Cooper
    October 6, 2016

    “… international politics takes over from Treaty clauses and EU laws.”

    Where there is political will there is normally a legal way.

    Unfortunately many continental politicians are obsessed with the quasi-religious dogma that their so-called “four freedoms” are inseparable, and it is their political will that the final arrangements for trade with the UK shall be sub-optimal for both sides unless the UK submits and accepts that the EU shall continue to control the UK’s policy on immigration from the remaining EEA countries.

    As usual, for eurofederalists the politics trump the economics, the same thinking which led to the euro disaster. However I don’t think that this will end in disaster, for example with lorries stacking up on both sides of the Channel, it will probably just involve our lovely EU partners deliberately creating token impediments to trade in the form of tariffs.

    And if they wish to do that they will simply disregard their own treaty provisions in favour of good relations with their neighbours, Article 8 TEU, and the promotion of free trade, Articles 3 and 21:

    “2. The Union shall define and pursue common policies and actions, and shall work for a high degree of cooperation in all fields of international relations, in order to …

    … e) encourage the integration of all countries into the world economy, including through the progressive abolition of restrictions on international trade … “

  22. Theodor Storm
    October 6, 2016

    Voters are exhausted. The Brexit debate for them is over.. If the media persist in showing SNP, UKIP, LibDem and Labour mardy footstamping squawkers on TV then everyone will switch off.

    By chance I spoke with many neighbours recently. Quite a number, young and old, no longer have a TV.They did not say why. Money did not appear a problem. Their lack of TV did not raise eyebrows from other neighbours present.

    I myself am trying to work out whether my owning a computer will still mean I will need to pay a license fee and continue to pay my TV/phone/PC service provider.

    All news media spend much of the day playing fanfares of their imminent start, a repeated menu of what they are going to talk about…many times failing to do so and over-the-top coverage of Syria, migrant boats, charity advertisements with rich actors appealing for five pounds to provide basic resources to people throughout the world who one wonders ever managed to progress past the Stone Age since they seem to lack knowledge of finding and directing so much as a stream for their own survival.

    etc ed
    In fact I might just sell my TV irrespective. The RAF should be instructed to drop affirmative leaflets over the whole of the UK when politicians have got us out of the EU, but not when it is snowing around Christmas as this would frighten robins and spoil family photographs.

  23. Roy Grainger
    October 6, 2016

    There has been predictable horror on the left over Amber Rudd’s (admittedly strange) proposal that firms will have to report how many foreign workers they have. However whenever I have any communication from my local Labour council they invite me to fill in a section detailing my ethnic origin such as “White British”. I can’t see any difference in the two requests.

    I say Rudd’s idea is strange only because the government has enough data at its disposal to obtain this information anyway via the HMRC and National Insurance and other databases.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 6, 2016

      Apparently two thirds of the public agree with her proposal, including many Labour supporters and even half of LibDem supporters:

  24. graham1946
    October 6, 2016

    ‘New Directives need not be transposed into UK law in future if we do not agree with them’

    Whilst we are members we are bound and I think this statement is factually wrong.

    A long while ago, I read a piece about EU law (cannot give any refs etc as it was a long while ago) which stated roughly that since 1973 around 120,000 EU laws have been passed, but due to the enormous amount of work involved only about 20,000 had been ratified in the UK. The EU regards the remaining 100,000 as being ratified in default and we are fully committed to all of it.

    Is this no longer true? I doubt it.

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 6, 2016

      EU regulations have direct effect and automatically become law across the whole EU once they have been made in Brussels. Many by-pass Parliament altogether, some do need Parliament to legislate to square existing UK law.

  25. Christine
    October 6, 2016

    We need to get back to training our own workers. Fewer courses in media studies and more training for plumbers, engineers, electricians etc. The idea that everyone should go to university is nonsense. Look back to how Germany became a great industrial nation after WWII. This was done by having less Government interference not more. Good staff is the key to a good business. Provide the building blocks for a company to thrive and they will do the rest. Leaving the EU will be our D-day and we must prepare well for it. The EU will want to make an example out of the UK to deter others from following the same path. The EU will not play fair and the UK needs to learn to play dirty as well and look out for our own interests from now on. By the time the EU manages to take us to the ECJ we will have left.

    1. Chris
      October 6, 2016

      Yes, and more vocationally oriented schools for those who do not want to pursue academic studies. Give these students a top class training, and give them some self esteem and pride in doing the occupations they want to pursue.

  26. Prigger
    October 6, 2016

    All matters relating to Brexit, affairs of state, HM The Queen’s speech, possible Questions to the PM on Wednesdays, statements from the Leader of HM Opposition, and of Mrs Sturgeon’s ongoing vision for Scotland issue by issue should be channelled through Alistair Campbell.

    Most people take him for some Lord, political grandee, senoir politician, but most assuredly a person with tens of thousands of votes behind him supporting his opinion. He is shown on TV in exactly the same light, positioned, as with Party leaders and visiting foreign statesmen.
    So from now on every MP should give him a fiver and a spare cigarette or two and they will never ever need to stand for any election again or be on TV in those tiresome chat shows with cheeky journalists.
    Or, tell the media to get him off!

  27. Denis Cooper
    October 6, 2016

    Angela Merkel, as translated by Open Europe:

    “German Chancellor Angela Merkel told a business conference in Berlin, “We just say, very generally: full access to the single market is linked and inseparably bound up with the acceptance of the four fundamental freedoms – also including the freedom of movement for people.””

    Theresa May, in her conference speech:

    “It is, of course, too early to say exactly what agreement we will reach with the EU … I want it to involve free trade, in goods and services. I want it to give British companies the maximum freedom to trade with and operate within the Single Market – and let European businesses do the same here. But let’s state one thing loud and clear: we are not leaving the European Union only to give up control of immigration all over again. And we are not leaving only to return to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. That’s not going to happen.”

    There may have been no actual negotiations so far, the others having refused to start any until the Article 50 notice has gone in, but both sides have publicly put down markers and clearly their positions are irreconcilable.

    Theresa May will be held to her word over control of immigration.

    1. Chris
      October 6, 2016

      I suspect she will back down. It will require enormous courage and conviction on the part of the PM, plus a sound back-up team of individuals who are truly committed to a clean Brexita. To have an individual in a key position (Philip Hammond, for example), whose commitment to fulfilling the terms of the referendum vote seems questionable, is not helpful.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 7, 2016

        She will need to keep an eye on how public opinion is developing, and try to steer it further in the direction of supporting her stated position. As I have tried to post here several times, unsuccessfully for some reason which is beyond my understanding, the dogma that the “four freedoms” cannot be separated in a single market has no real practical economic basis and merely reflects unshakable commitment to a eurofederalist political agenda of which the great majority of the British public want no part. Plus to reassure the public about the potential economic losses from leaving the EU Single Market and maybe even reverting to WTO terms, should the governments of other EU countries persist in their present irrational intransigent attitude, she should in effect reverse Osborne’s Project Fear and put those negative economic effects into a proper perspective. At present the diehards of the Remain side are being allowed to carry on with their pre-referendum propaganda unchallenged. She should also keep an eye on how opinion is developing around the world; the blame for an unsuccessful negotiation which led to disruption of trade should be laid squarely where it belonged, with the other governments and not with ours.

    2. a-tracy
      October 6, 2016

      But The EU has allowed the French to put in the Macron Law which doesn’t allow the free movement of goods, the quote to get a French representative to produce the right paperwork in French to do a delivery of goods in France was €150 per job! Read the law, how does that comply with the four pillars that can’t be negotiated?

      Something isn’t feeling right with the Rudd statement which was just poor politics and completely unnecessary.

      1. stred
        October 7, 2016

        How does Macron’s law work? If ,for example, a Polish lorry driver on Polish wages is delivering a load of beer to the UK, drives through Germany, Belgium and then 20 miles in France to the Dunkirk ferry, does he have to prove that he has been paid according to the law for the 20 miles or for the whole trip?

        I was thinking that if M.Macron starts to put obstacles to British exports by requiring inspections and paperwork, we could pass a law requiring all cars entering the UK to be certified to pass British fuel economy tests. The EU tests have allowed manufacturers to give false claims. We could reinstate the old way of testing on a circuit. Before long car buyers in the EU would be looking at British tests when deciding to purchase.

        1. a-tracy
          October 8, 2016

          My understanding Stred, and I’m only just finding out about this is that since July this year, all deliveries of goods into France (not passing through) have to be accompanied by French language paperwork, we’ve been quoted €150 per delivery, the driver has to have his contract of employment with them translated into French showing they are paid at least the French NMW which is higher than our Living wage even if you are only delivering an envelope. I don’t understand how this complies with the freedom of movement of goods within EU nations. This is France blocking the movement of Labour. I’ve also been told it doesn’t apply to self-employed drivers which is very odd. Failure to comply leads to a €5000 fine, I haven’t heard about this from transport organisations, small business groups or the UK government but from a company trying to sell their rather expensive services, this just isn’t right.

      2. a-tracy
        October 7, 2016

        Fraser Nelson has perfectly identified my feelings about this Rudd/May talk at conference thank you Fraser.

        It is time the Brexit leaders in the Conservatives slammed the pair of them down. Boris, Gove, Hannan, Redwood, Davis, Fox – it is time you stood together and force the nasty identification of foreign workers down, the Remainers are behaving badly but should not be allowed in our name.

    3. jane4brexit
      October 7, 2016

      e were told exactly what voting Leave would mean and that the government would carry out the wishes of the British People, as they voted, in Prime Minister’s Question Time 15th June just prior to the Referendum, when Nigel Adams MP asked the following question:
      “…there are those in this House and the other place who believe that if the British People decide to leave the eu, there should be a second Referendum. Will he assure the House and country that, whatever the result on 24th June, his Government will carry out the wishes of the British People – if the vote is to remain, we remain, but if it is to leave, which I hope it is, we leave?”
      The UK Prime Minister answered:
      “I am very happy to agree with my Hon. Friend “in” means we remain in a reformed eu: “out” means we come out. As the leave campaigners, “out” means out of the eu, out of the European Single Market, out of the Council of Ministers – out of all of those things – and will then mean a process of delivering on it…..”
      Most of that Prime Ministers Questions was intended to influence voters and the Prime Minister said this himself, with regards to undecided people watching and undecided MP’s votes too, although as Nigel Adams said himself “we have heard some hysterical scaremongering during the debate”.
      It is available in the Hansard record of 15th June 2016 @ ‘1759’.
      It is also available in some recordings of 15th June 2016 Prime Minister’s Question Time. I checked and found it on the BBC Parliament website earlier today, but some recordings on youtube for instance have been cropped and end prior to Nigel Adam’s question (and those after), which makes me wonder if that omission could be deliberate, bearing in mind all of the opposition to our leaving the EU?
      In which case Mr. Redwood, if you think this answer could be relevant to the Government’s defence re Article 50 in Court next week, please can you pass on details to the Attorney General and other barristers involved or to whoever you think should be told? Maybe Nigel Adams could stand as a witness in the cases coming up (I am not trained in law to know, but this question and answer seem very relevant to me and films being shortened make me wonder even more )?

      Reply I have reminded the government that the government itself repeatedly said leave means leave. They also sent a leaflet to every household saying we the voters would decide whether to leave or not. Vote Leave always made clear the single market was part of the EU we are leaving. The issue is access to the market, not membership of it.

      1. jane4brexit
        October 7, 2016

        Sorry jumping between websites I left out a few words while copying the quote, the PM’s answer second sentence should start “As the leave campaigners and others have said…”. Thank you.

    October 6, 2016

    Off Topic: Bank of England

    So, it has announced today it is going to use a “judgement system ” as opposed to reliance on hard economic data ( which surprisingly it claims it used before ) on future estimates of economic performance.
    Is there a way of completely closing down the Bank of England immediately? Maybe MI6 could throw one of those electronic nets around it which are sometimes used after a terrorist attack ensuring zero transmission of terroristic information.

    1. Sir Joe Soap
      October 6, 2016

      But I thought their prompt actions after the EU vote saved us from disaster?

  29. Edward.
    October 6, 2016

    Mr Redwood,

    I heartily concur with all of the above post, your instincts and judgement are, in my humble opinion spot on.

    Personally speaking, I deem that, the most sinister aspect of this awful federal project was and are the workings, the usurpation of UK Common law via what was originally designed and crafted for a post WWII Europe, namely the ECHR.
    Ingenious, was it devised by some clever men, inclusive of the Brussels forces of anti democratic, really authoritarian and who long ago concluded the best way to bind the people was via the aegis of a statutorily imposed diktat and underpinned through the ‘legal’ jurisdiction of the Strasbourg and indeed not forgetting, its………. sibling the Luxembourg rules of Ruritania sent down from the Berlin…oops the ECJ and – the ECHR betwixt the twain: there is no real distinction despite however Brussels would argue it.

    Britain needs to be rid of the ECHR and the ECJ and immediately.

    Mr. Redwood, what is ever so slightly worrying, that, the Tory party and the nay sayers – also known as the remoaniacs the propensity for obstruction, filibuster and also in the HoL, to thus stymie Thereas May’s efforts to extricate ourselves from the EU will be a formidable obstacle to shearing the shackles of the Brussels Empire and – I don’t think Ken and Tarzan have given up yet, do you?

    Furthermore, and as some noted commentators have alluded to above. Seemingly, Mrs May is a tad confused about the very definition of, conservatism.

    It would be to rather understate the case to say that, I don’t like big government much at all. Indeed, it is through my experiences gleaned, it only coalesces and enforces my firm belief that, despite all the good intentions, altruism, “good outcomes!” blah, blah, there is no such thing as pro bono insofar as governments are concerned and that, the road to hell itself is paved with governmental intentions, policies and councils, departments and quangos.

    In the case of government, small is the only way to be and with some political hyperbole, lets play shall I? Small, TINY government = Elysian fields and pulchritudinous bliss.

  30. Buckle McShoe
    October 6, 2016

    We should all pray if only on a far out possibility there is a God who we earnestly forgive for creating indestructible eternal and everlasting PPI phone calls, that Brexit does not lead to any Labour Party MP even if he or she swaps parties ever coming to a position relating even remotely to the nation’s defence and security. The Labour Left are not old and mature enough and the Labour right are congenitally stuck in their childhood. Offer them a sweetie, you’ll see.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 6, 2016

      Indeed but can the Tories be trusted with it either. At least Cameron has gone, after his misguided actions in Libya.

  31. misomiso
    October 6, 2016

    The biggest mistake the Eurosceptics ever made was conceding the economic arguments on the Single Market.

    The Single Market is TERRIBLE for the economy, as it takes Democratic control away from the people and gives it to the buerocracies and the politicians.

    This means that in the single market, the economy will NEVER work for the public, it will only work for those political forces that are strong and rich enough to influence the Governing class.

    It is that most terrible of all political creeds – Corporatism.

    At least the socialists believe in something. The Corporatists are just empty.

    So start going out there and saying the single market is bad thing John! It’s a terrible entity!

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 6, 2016

      Not just that; according to the EU Commission, and as officially acknowledged by the UK government, the Single Market has only added about 2% to the collective GDP of the EU member states. While for the UK the benefit is about half of that.

    2. forthurst
      October 6, 2016

      “The biggest mistake the Eurosceptics ever made was conceding the economic arguments on the Single Market.” It is the Remainers who wish to keep us in the Single Market; the Single Market defines the customs union of the EU. We would wish to trade with the Single Market, preferable on a continuation of the existing mutually tariff-free basis, but not essentially; if we stay in the Single Market, for all intents and purposes, we are still in the EU, which is why Open Britain, the Remainers advocacy group are pushing this by using the same unsubstantiable economic arguments they used for not voting to leave.

    3. Anonymous
      October 6, 2016

      Nor is the SM tariff free. It exacts a terrible price on productive nations in weflare, crowding, political and cultural destruction.

  32. Margaret
    October 6, 2016

    Whilst being aware of other countries activities we must not read too much into anything we could be objective about. As you know opinions often shape future facts and many like to jump on a bandwagon for security as animals do in the centre of a herd.

  33. tangerine
    October 6, 2016

    Once we’ve exited
    Could you put in a good word for us poor (moneywise) females born in the 50s. Altmann, formerly Ageuk topbod, said no deal. 4 more years of gruel for me. Even a one year reduction would be great. I have faith in you.

    1. rose
      October 7, 2016

      And will we ever get any interest on our savings? Intergenerational theft? I should say it was the other way round.

  34. Debonair Spewtin
    October 6, 2016

    Baroness Chakrabarti is Shadow Attorney General and Diane Abbott is Shadow Home Secretary.
    No, there has not been a successful invasion by North Korean troops.

  35. Eternal
    October 6, 2016

    Mrs May, being a woman as she correctly spotted, was probably wondering whether she should go to the expense of getting new carpets and making major changes to decor at Number 10.
    Nagging in her mind naturally, would caution she could lose a General Election and have to move out relatively soon. Mr Corbyn has just chosen some of his Shadow Cabinet……..I hear, now at 12.30am, Mrs May has been seen in a 24/7 carpet warehouse buying three of everything.

    Reply What patronising nonsense

    October 7, 2016

    This is one of my favourite Trump interchanges on his road to the US Presidency. ( Sandown New Hampshire after landing at …Manchester… airport, yeah we got around! ). It is to a small audience instead of the tens of thousands at his rallies. You can see how the questions are formulated. How he reads from notes and then just talks WITH the audience answering their questions. For me, particularly notable are the two speakers in the run-up to his appearance . Also 33 minutes into it ; 46 minutes in; one hr 12 minutes in. His references to the up-coming Sunday one-to-one debate with Clinton. His talk of “middle-class” is really in our terms “workingclass” as he is talking of from 25% to 65% of the American population. His foreign policy seems a match for Corbyn’s…and much of his views on healthcare. Obamacare is certainly not like our NHS. It’s made alot of money for private companies. It is sad Labourites never really listen to what Trump says but prefer chanting daftnesses. Unfortunately Americans put their day and month opposite to our own. Our 06/10/2016 is 10/6/16 to them.

    October 7, 2016

    It is strongly hinted the Labour Party…its PLP will stage yet another resignation bout prior to the next General Election. This is what those 171 undemocratic careerists of little esteem and account are planning. Oh yes they are! I have spies.
    All democratic forces of whatever Party or group affiliation should stand against these individuals. In a better Britain they would be jailed.

  38. ChrisS
    October 7, 2016

    The more we hear from European leaders, the more convinced British voters will become that Brexit was the right move.

    What we are hearing is political posturing and a European version of Project Fear. If they are so concerned that voters in other member states might vote to leave, the obvious response would be to adapt EU policies to make membership more attractive – indispensible, even.

    Clearly, that’s not going to happen. Never mind Merkel’s migrant crisis, as long as the disaster that is the Euro is allowed to limp on from one crisis to the next, opposition to the EU will continue to grow within member states.

    Neither politicians or bureaucrats have any answers that the 27 could all sign up to.

    Yes, we should offer unrestricted free trade in goods and services but if the 27 turn us down we should not hesitate in terminating the negotiations and just leave, reverting to trading on WTO terms. After all, this seems to work for China and the US without they having to accept FOM and budget contributions.

    Let’s not forget, the very large trade surplus the 27 have with us will mean that tariffs on their exports to us will make a big net contribution to the UK budget.That money can be used to boost our own export effort and invest in our industries to modernise them and make them more competitive.

    The future for Britain is bright – but not so for the EU without us :

    Our country constitutes 14.8% of the EU’s economic area, with 12.5% of its population. Failure to continue with free trade puts their trade surplus with us of £60bn pa at risk.

    After Brexit there will be 440m customers left in the EU but 14 times that number – 6.9bn people – in the rest of the world

  39. Denis Cooper
    October 7, 2016

    Comment missed for moderation here, again.

  40. Ronald Olden
    October 7, 2016

    John Redwood knows about things like this.

    What is the point in the Government selling its 9% stake in Lloyds Bank via this ‘Trading Plan’ when at the same time the Bank of England is buying in Government Debt which is costing less than 2% to fund.

    None of us want to see the Government owning Shares in Private Companies let alone Banks. But if you’re in a position where you have to buy assets for monetary policy reasons you shouldn’t be selling off higher returning ones at the same time.

    As long as the Government doesn’t interfere in the commercial activities of Lloyds Bank and doesn’t use its Shares to Vote at General Meetings these Shares are a much more profitable investment prospect for the future than buying in Gilts.

    Reply I would not buy in any more debt and would sell the shares

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