Advising government on Brexit

I have a simple answer to the government on seeking advice on Brexit.
They should not seek advice from consultants who were urging us to stay in until June 23rd, who want to charge the taxpayer a lot of money for their advice, and who have not read and understood the many documents which have established the EU.
The task is much easier than many of these wannabe consultants want us to believe. The PM has made clear we are taking back control of our laws and our borders. We also need to take control of our money. This means none of these things can be negotiated.
There are two simple ways of trading in the future. We can carry on as at present tariff free. This is obviously the right answer for our partners who sell us so much. If they want to damage their trade with us, then we can trade under WTO MFN status.
There are various people who have read all the necessary documents, who believe there is a good way through for the UK and who will provide their advice free. I suggest this is what the government accepts. Some of us have recently published a blueprint through Legatum, which covers all these issues and offers a strong negotiating strategy on trade to maximise the chances of a happy outcome and to speed it up to remove the uncertainties.

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99 Comments

  1. alan jutson
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    I agree, I do not think cutting a leave deal is complicated at all.

    We leave, become a completely sovereign Country (like most of those in the World), and then simply negotiate what we want from the EU with regards to co-operation.

    Ongoing agreements are either wound up, modified or are continued until completion.

    Trade is simple, its either free, world trade rules (or a version of it) for both sides, or we walk away, nothing outside trade should even be considered at the same time as it simply complicates the process.

    Given we have freed up many countries from our colonial past and given them independence, I would have thought we should have enough skills and knowledge to gain independence for ourselves, without the need for outside advice.

    • Hope
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      Your problem is that May and the majority of the Tory govt want to remain in the EU or an associated member.myou are selective with your quotes on May. She has also claimed border controls are secure when a former head of the agency makes it clear how porous and dangerous our lack of border controls are. Carney continuing project fear and your current chancellor doing nothing to stop it. Hollande made threats to our country with Cameron standing cowardly by, this week he makes further threats, time for action rather than placifly let him make threats towards our nation. Merkel bring in benefit regs that she would not allow for the U.K.! When will we have a PM standing up for our people and country? It is not racist to do so. No housing crisis we still have an immigration crisis with pro EU Rudd giving hollow words and doing nothing about it. Do not worry about other parties no one knows what the Tories stand for, Cameron was the heir to Blair and self acclaimed liberal conservative, so he claimed. May this week wants to follow Balls’ economic plan of borrow and waste, more govt, more state intervention more PC clap trap.

      Where is the free market, low tax, entrepernial Tory spirit? The Tory party is the Blair New Labour and Labour swings back to the looney left of the seventies. There is no Tory party, it is in name only. A bit like the BBC in self denial that it is balanced and fair in its reporting. Only the BBC believes this. Most normal people want it scrapped or forced to fend for itself in the private sector off the public purse. If it is good as it thinks it should thrive if not market forces will take its course.

  2. graham1946
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Hear, Hear.

    Consultants as a breed are not worth listening to. They are mostly failed practitioners who just talk to confuse their clients in order to make their fees. They are adept at making mountains out of molehills, delay and dither is their stock in trade, especially if paid by the hour.

    The real consultants are those that ‘do’, for instance medical consultants who actually operate or very highly trained and experienced people who have a specific technical knowledge which it is not possible to provide in house.

    The average ‘business consultant’ is a waste of time, money and space – they will take your money, make outlandish recommendations and very like ruin your business.

    Let common sense prevail in Brexit – maybe a tall order in Westminster, but give it a go. Let’s hope the government listen to you, but I am doubtful. Mostly they seem to be fixated on complications and empire building.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      That is exactly my experience. Also with governments they just tend to tell them what they want to hear regardless of the truth. So the group think insanity just continues. As with the ERM, the EURO, the endless red tap, the wage controls. climate alarmist, HS2 and all the other bonkers agendas the government have.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 1:49 am | Permalink

      Stuff and nonsense, Graham1946.

      I am a retired consultant and interim manager and I left behind a track record of successful completed assignments and projects, nearly all fixed price contracts, and all addressing issues clients either had cocked up entirely by their own efforts, or recognised they did not have the knowledge or resources to sort out or were faced by impossible internal politics only an outsider could untangle.

      The art of consulting demands the consultant be prepared to tell the client he/she is wrong and before that to decline an inappropriate brief. Few ‘line’ managers understand what a consultant can or should do, few understand the impact the mere presence of a consultant may have on others.

      Yes there are many bad consulting experiences, but the fault lies with both the consultant and the client who chose him/her and decided the brief.

      As it happens I agree consultants should not be employed for Brexit. My reason is that the it is actually not half as difficult and complex as Mrs May’s government seems to be making it. Perhaps, as a consultant I should be employed to point out how easy Brexit could be if she chose to make it simple instead of complex? Of course my fee would be a percentage of the savings I could make for the UK Taxpayer – several £100 million pounds and cheap at twice the price.

      • graham1946
        Posted October 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

        Well, I can only comment on the three companies that I know of who had ‘Consultants’ make recommendations, 2 largish firms, 1 small, all went bust in a couple of years.

        As you say Line Managers often do not understand’, but who do the Consultants talk to? Usually the Line Managers and the Directors. I have not heard of any talking to people actually doing the job who often know what is wrong. The presence of a Consultant usually results in fear for the employees who see their jobs as on the line . Secrecy seems to be the main reason Consultants and Directors use.. That is my experience.
        Why is it the fault of the client if they choose the ‘wrong consultant’ – how many have any experience of them and how can you choose? Is there a ‘Which?’ style of testing people can refer to? Mostly they are recommended by their banks who seem to know even less.They all spin a good yarn – that after all is their business. Those who can do, those who can’t ,talk is a reasonable take on it.. Lifelogic (another business owner) seems to have had the same experience, so I’ve not made it up and even you admit there are ‘many bad consulting experiences’.

  3. Iain Moore
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The most damaging prospect for our economy would be uncertainty and allowing the EU to string out negotiations. It would be better for us to grab the initiative and go for hard Brexit.

    • Hope
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      There is no such thing as a hard Brexit, we voted leave in its entirety. The losers of the debate want to make a distinction to reduce their loss and keep the UK an associated member of the EU. They also continue to talk our country down and act like traitors.nthe govt are allowing this rather than take decisive action to enforce the public will. EU fanatics like Clarke who want to treat the leave result as an opinion poll.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Hollande will be taking his boundless talents elsewhere next year. If the Porsche and Quandt families see their personal wealth endangered they will be straight on the phone to Merkel to tell Juncker to change tack. As FDR said you have nothing to fear but fear itself. Just get on with it!

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 1:55 am | Permalink

      Theresa May and David Davis need no help in stringing out the Brexit negotiations. They have tied them unnecessarily and at considerable risk to negotiating a new and complex relationship with the EU. Negotiations strictly on Brexit could be completed in a few months. The complex agreement the government is planning to negotiate on trade and many other matters cannot be completed within two years. UK will probably end up with all sorts of imposts dumped on it during the next two and a half years and a poor deal resembling associate membership at the end of it.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Indeed, but it does not look like Theresa May will take good advice for sensible numerate people.

    Anyone who goes ahead with HS2 and Hinkley C is clearly not remotely rational. Hammond in his speech says he wants to get productivity up but Theresa May seems to want to piss tax payers money down the drain and thus drive it down.

  5. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    Dead right Sir..and particularly the LSE brigade. Didn’t seem to trawl far for advice did they? I would expect those of our Civil Service in the Brussels provide the impartial stuff, or has that professional requirement also been dispensed with?

    Digby Jones? Forget Sugar. And there’s your good self and colleagues.

    Viewing the EU Parliament last night on rail/travel free for 18+ students showed an awful large bunch of lefty, social, lib females in there. They need to be put back in their boxes I think…we start soon thankfully! End of Lunch.

    • rose
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      I heard a Danish LSE academic in the referendum debate. She was virulently anti British and pro EU in an aggressively irrational and ideological way. She couldn’t hide it and didn’t try to. She was threatening us. The thought of having such people paid by the FCO to give us advice is absurd. Only the BBC culd insist on it.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 8, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

        The BBC seem even more pro remain now than they were biased in that direction before the referendum.

  6. Richard1
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Up to a point. William Hague, who was on the Remain side, came up with a thoughtful piece in the Telegraph the other day.

    • Mark Watson
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      William Hague’s idea would give us a worse deal than South Korea has with the EU.Less free trade and very little control of immigration.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      What was it that turned William Hague into a remainer?

      Cowardice I assume.

      • MrBojangles
        Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

        The foreign and Commonweatlh office.

        They ‘turn’ every Euro sceptic that ever joined the place – Hammond was also turned.

    • Bert Young
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Hague is an ex Management Consultant ( a very good one ) .

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      As far as I understand it (willing to stand corrected), the referendum was the brainchild of Lord Hague and Mr Cameron? (With the intention of putting Ukip and those on the right in the Tory party ‘back into their boxes’). If so, he has a lot to answer for.

      Reply. No Mr Hague tried to stop it. It was the result of sustained Conservative MP pressure in the House and in private meetings with the PM

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        ‘No Mr Hague tried to stop it’

        – OK, but the media reported something about him and Mr Cameron concocting the Referendum in a Chicago-airport cafe or something.

        Reply I was at the meetings with Mr Cameron when we persuaded him that the Parly party intended to have a referendum.

  7. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Your ‘Brexit Blueprint’ provided a very good outline and was an important document. Critically it had the right mentality running through it.

    This isn’t about a long drawn-out negotiation lasting many years. That’s something which Eurocrats love and it helps to explain why no trade deals have been done with the major economies of the World in the almost 60 years of the EU’s existence. With the right attitude and an understanding of EU culture and how to cut through it, this can be done efficiently.

    We completely agree about not using highly-paid consultants coming from ‘the usual suspects’. Much better to get in people who have actually negotiated major deals – real business people, not bureaucrats who are merely salaried directors and who have only worked for large PLCs. There must be risk-takers and true achievers in there.

    We can’t rely on civil servants. Unfortunately their culture is riddled with Europhilia and until that changes they’re of no use, except as detail merchants once deals are sketched out. (Naturally we generalise.)

    We would put in a vote for certain politicians who are currently absent from decision-making. This looks unlikely as very few of the candidates we would propose were appointed in Mrs May’s massively pro-Remain government. As examples, we’d like to see you, Owen Paterson, Peter Lilley, Steve Baker.

    On the legal side, the excellent EU-specialist QC Martin Howe, and the barrister who won the Tower Hamlets election fraud case, Francis Hoar, plus others from the ‘Lawyers for Britain’ team.

    Finally about cost. The country shouldn’t be shy about paying for good people. The EU continues to cost a fortune. The sooner the UK is free and fully-independent, the sooner we stop hemorrhaging hundreds of millions to the wasteful EU.

  8. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    We are subjected to a daily diet of negativity about Bexit and how difficult it will be to leave the EU by the broadcast media and others who still, it seems, cling to the hope that it will never happen. Thank you for stating what to many of us is the obvious. Where ther’s a will there’s a way. The question is: are there enough in government with the necessary will?

  9. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t agree with you more John. Just walk!! Simple. No more contributions and no more rants and threats from the likes of Hollande. Who are all these so called experts anyway? They charge an enormous fee for twaddle. Everytime there is a debate on important policies we always hear from the ‘experts’ and many times the ordinary man in the street knows better. The ‘experts’ in the renewables industry are a prime example. Just massive troughers. Just another way of taking from the poor and giving to the rich.

  10. ian russell
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Likewise the government and its negotiators should not engage with any arguments advanced by member states and their negotiators who have not read and understood the many documents which have established the EU. Especially on freedom of movement.

    Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande have now let the cat out of the bag with their comments about the other 25 states wanting to go their own way. The govermnent should recommend the EU set up a concerted action on immigation and freedom of movemnt to agree policies and practices which all can agree.

    The lack of any such agreement or understanding of the issues was the major factor in the failure of David Cameron’s negotiations earlier in the year. The referendum was primarily about that agreement.

    Until then the obvious thing to do is carry on as before with free trade until the EU has something constructive to say about a better arrangement.

  11. Phil
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    If you think the answer is that simple, you clearly do not understand the question!

    As good Conservatives, we believe in the supremacy of the a free market. What the currency markets are telling us is that the hard Brexit proposed by Thersesa May on Sunday is hugely damaging to our economy. Putting control of immigration and control of our laws as priorities means that access to the Single Market is a lower priority. Obviously our economy will suffer as a result

    It comes to something when, as HSBC rightly said, the pound sterling is now the de facto opposition to government policy: when you do stupid things, the pound falls against the dollar & euro. I cannot believe that we Conservatives are doing this!

    If you insist on a hard Brexit, your government will undoubtedly go down as the worst for the last 100 years.

    Reply This is a silly and incorrect explanation of the fall in the pound, which fell a lot prior to the vote when markets thought the Uk would stay in the EU. Think about QE, interest rate differentials, balance of payments etc

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      “Obviously our economy will suffer as a result”

      Maybe, but to put this in a proper perspective the total benefit of the Single Market to the UK economy has been slight, about the same as the benefit of natural growth of the economy at the long term trend rate over six months.

      Or over rather less than a year, if you prefer to take the EU Commission’s estimate of a one-off boost to GDP of about 2% averaged across the EU, as accepted in official UK government reports, rather than this estimate of more like 1% on per capita GDP for the UK, which it seems has benefited less than other EU countries such as Germany:

      https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/fileadmin/files/BSt/Publikationen/GrauePublikationen/Policy-Brief-Binnenmarkt-en_NW_02_2014.pdf

      “20 years of the European single market: growth effects of EU integration”.

      That is why it is not possible to discern any significant effect of the creation of the Single Market on this chart of the UK annual economic growth rate going back to 1956, the average since then being 2.5% a year:

      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/gdp-growth-annual

      Go forward a decade and it seems unlikely that many people in the UK will be yearning for the good old days when we were in the EU, and saying how much better off we would have been if only we had stayed in the Single Market.

    • Robert Wheal
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Silly, silly Billy! Fluctuations in our currency happens all through time as anyone who follows these matters will tell you. However, the pound has been overvalued for about two years and which has been hurting our exporters! The recent fall was a catalyst for Brexit and not the cause. Calm down and you will see the recovery of sterling in good time and following the EU’s cessation of printing money (Q E)!

  12. Acorn
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    One core element of WTO rules is that a country cannot offer favorable tariff terms to another without offering the same regime to all comers. If Britain wants to import French steel for its submarines with zero percent tariffs, it would have to offer the same deal on that product to China and Russia.

    The Canada deal has not been concluded after seven tortuous years of diplomacy, and it will ultimately be hostage to votes in 38 national and regional assemblies, some of which have threatened to veto over the rights of migrant workers.

    The chronology is also sensitive here. Lilley has called on the EU not to “prevaricate” over securing a trade deal that would reduce tariffs to zero.

    But EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has underlined that talks on a trade accord cannot begin until Britain has left and has already dropped onto the WTO regime. Until then, the EU can only agree to trade accords with non-members. Politico.eu

    Reply If we carry on tariff free with the EU we register that as a trade deal under WTO rules.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Do you think that what Malmstrom said makes any practical sense? If not, do you not think that the EU political leaders will also see that it makes no practical sense?

  13. fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    It might be in my imagination but I can sense more and more detrimental reporting over Brexit. This must be making the general public more nervous by the day. Surely if Mrs May is serious about getting out she should make her move now. The longer we delay the less likely we are to get a good deal. All the whingers and whiners will are coming out of the woodwork to stoke up the flames of doubt. Let’s just get on with the job in hand. The comments coming from leaders in the EU are more threatening too. We don’t need it. The BBC can’t bring themselves to report one good thing lately. All doom and gloom. What a way to start the day.

  14. Shieldsman
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    If we left the EU tomorrow how many of the rules and agreements we have in the EEA (single market) would still be in force?

    Richard North and Christopher Booker have pointed out that over the years the Brussels bureaucracy have gathered into their rule book agreements made with and outside of the EU. On leaving the EU many would still stand and still have to be honoured by the EU member States. Richard North quotes our membership of the OECD which will still be valid after we leave the EU. 19 members of the EU are in the OECD. As its title states the aim is to further Economic cooperation. OECD appears to have taken responsibility for the ‘Freedoms of the Air’ within Europe, which is of concern to EasyJet.

    There are those that are pushing to remain in the single market but cannot guarantee a negotiated exception to freedom of movement under Article 112. If they could it would be marvellous. The PM has made quite clear “We are not leaving the European Union only to give up control of immigration again.”

    A joint study group is needed to navigate around the rules that will still apply when we leave the EU.

  15. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    I hear the BBC is sensationalising the view of the FO that advisors need to have UK passports. The decision has apparently caused ‘outrage’ which they have made a point of emphasing.

  16. Newmania
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Yes we can simply do those things we always could have simply done those things . Then we can simply lose the City of London lose employment throughout manufacturing and simply deal with the rest of world on a Free basis as we have no choice . That of course means simply decimating farming and what remains of lower tech manufacture at the same time as high tech is relocating to join the Banks Pharma Insurance and Services in Dublin or somewhere else where they are welcome and not the food stuff of a parasitic Nationalist regime . By this time I hope to see the Daily May is a simple military Hat a topped with a simple jaunty banana tearing up workers’ rights in a an effort to compete with the Asians who live on a leaf and good wishes for a year .
    The Conservative Party used to listen to business, families, experience and ( god forbid ) expertise not force it enact some ritual foreigner counting exercise whilst creating trading conditions none of these public sector drones would last ten seconds in and certainly not writer ……..Must dash the Brexit siren is calling for exercise on the compound ; strength though joy my brothers , strength through joy !
    PS
    Calling the resistance join 48% underground . …..

    Reply Your comments might be taken more seriously if you grounded them in some facts and reality.

  17. Jack Snell
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Unfortunately all the best advisors and consultants on brexit are stacked up on the EU side and as far as I know Michel Barnier has his team already in place. If David Davis and Theresa May don’t know where we are headed by now without the need for consultants then I think the game is up and the only likely outcome to brexit is that we will get the best deal that the EU decides.

    • David Price
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Who are these worthies who have been directly involved in the Article 50 process on both sides?

      If advice were sought from anyone it should be from those who have been successful negotiators on the opposing side to the EU. I would have thought the last people we should consult would be those associated with the EU and are pro-EU.

  18. Alan Bell
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    You are basically saying the government should take it’s legal advice from the comments under Daily Express articles. Cracking idea. You will get advice that is free, it is what you want to hear, it comes with an air of confidence and a reassuringly liberal approach to spelling and grammar.
    This will serve you well going into the negotiations with a spring in your step.

  19. Bert Young
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    Getting the best advice is always the best approach ; the deal we have to make has many colours ( and traps ) to it and we face a dire future if we get it wrong . When one considers investments like that of the HS2 and its idiotic costs , paying for top level consultants would be a drop in the ocean .

    I am all in favour of standing firm on a ” hard Brexit . Disclosing anything before March can lead to many difficulties . Merkel and Hollande have stood together in an attempt to protect themselves before elections in France and Germany ; they stand on thin ice recognising the threat to themselves and to that of Europe as a continuing entity .

  20. Caterpillar
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Yes. As Monsieur Hollande seems to suggest leavers must pay a price. This seems to suggest that the EU will be economically irrational, or insist on rejected free movement for free trade. Conspiratorially it seems the UK Govt is willing to pay in 3 years of uncertainty to get to the economically sensible decision. It does seem that the WTO MFN route needs to be prepared and easily triggerable – if it is already prepared then some independent due diligence and then get on with it.

    (As an aside I don’t think we should risk giving all consultants a bad name, at least for SMEs there are some that value add.)

    • graham1946
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Mr Hollande is therefore saying that the EU is a rotten deal for its members and we must be punished to stop the others leaving the sinking ship.

      If the EU is such a wonderful idea, why on earth would anyone want to leave, except for the eccentric British of course?

      I agree about the delay and the cost – we’ve had more than enough time by now. Even when they fire the Article 50 gun, (unless she decides on a GE meantime, which I would not quote odds against, meaning even more delay) we won’t be out, it just means the clock for negotiation has started. There has to be a reason for a 9 month delay and I don’t believe it is because we don’t know what to do. JR has laid it all out on an A4 sheet. We need to be out, saving the money and sort out the pernickety bits at the government’s leisure. I don’t like our money being donated to EU countries to do up their infrastructure while ours steadily falls apart.

  21. ChrisS
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Just yesterday I posted a piece on this subject in the Times comments section and, while it has so far received around 50 recommendations and several favourable comments, one adverse comment in particular caused me some concern which requires further research.

    The person said that it could take us years to rejoin the WTO and that other countries or a Bloc like the EU would have a veto. If this is the case, it would not surprise me if the likes of Junker and Hollande ( in the unlikely event that he is still there ), would choose to use it to punish us.

    Junker and Hollande are both being particularly vindictive towards us this week and Merkel is doing nothing to reign them in, quite the opposite, in fact.

    So, what is the exact position over rejoining the WTO ?
    Would we be automatically re-admitted ?
    If the answer is yes, are there barriers to getting Favoured Nation Status ?

    Over the last few weeks I’ve come to the conclusion that protracted negotiations will be a waste of time. There seems little prospect of a weakened Merkel being able to force through a trade deal that safeguards German exports to the UK ( even if she wanted one, which seems uncertain ) and Hollande’s comment earlier in the week make it clear he is not at all interested in safeguarding his country’s car and agricultural trade with us.

    Against this background, I think we should simply table our proposal for free and unfettered trade without tariffs at the same time as Article 50 with a provision that, if the 27 don’t reach agreement with us to accept it within, say, six months, we leave there and then, reverting to WTO terms.

    What would be the point in allowing the Commission to drag out what would ultimately be fruitless negotiations for another 18 months at a cost of £800m a month in EU budget contributions ?

    Stopping our budget contributions in September 2017, would save us something like £14.8bn compared with waiting the full two year period.

    As for the letter in the FT that the BBC is going on about, that seems like round three of Project Fear from the same organisations that predicted Armageddon if we didn’t join the Euro or voted for Brexit.

    Reply We are a founder member of the WTO

    • Andy
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      My understanding is we are members of WTO (as JR says ‘founder member”) but we do not have a schedule of tariffs and quotas lodged with them. we are part of the EU schedule. As WTO operates by consensus that means all the members, including the EU, has to agree to our Schedule and some could be awkward about it.

      I might be mistaken but if agreement cannot be reached on the Schedule of Tariffs etc the UK would probably have to leave WTO and apply to rejoin.

      Reply easiest to either adopt current tariff free trade as a trade deal registered under the WTO, or to adopt EU standard tariff for non EU countries, as both these are easy to register

    • Alan Bell
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

      “If the answer is yes, are there barriers to getting Favoured Nation Status ?”

      OK, so this points to a common but dangerous misconception about the most favored nation principal. It really isn’t what it sounds like intuitively. I am guessing you think there is some kind of hierarchy of status with really sucky nations at the bottom and awesome ones at the prestigious “most favored” level right?
      That is not what it is about. The principal is that you always give all nations the same deal that your most favored nation gets. That is what MFN means. If you want to do better than that you need a regional trade agreement where you agree special terms that cover substantially all of your trade and can give better terms.
      So, to understand the consequences of this, which someone needs to explain slowly to the brexiteers, this means that if we are not a party to the regional trade agreement that is called the EU then the EU must give us the same deal that the EU gives to their most favored nation. Sounds fine right? Now if we want to do free trade with the EU, but without doing a trade agreement then John Redwood would have you believe we can just not impose tariffs on them and see if they impose tariffs on us. So, we sell them one Nissan Qashqui and hope there are no tariffs applied in Calais yay, we have tariff free trade, and John was right, those Germans wouldn’t let there be tariffs on cars. Then the next boat arrives from America with a GM Encore on it. Now the USA wants the same deal that the EU gives their most favored nation – so they now get zero tariffs on their cars and the EU is flooded with cars from America, India and China. Thanks to us this destabilizes the economic environment of all the EU manufacturers. So what are BMW going to do, have tariffs on the few cars we will be able to afford with our plunging currency, or have no tariffs and let Cadilac in?

      We can have a regional trade agreement (please, never call them free trade agreements because they just are not, that is a gross oversimplification) that gives us better market access, and we have one. It is really good. We just voted to tear it up. Dunno where we go from here really. Well personally I spent all day packing boxes because I am selling my house and getting out, but I don’t know where the UK goes as a country.

      Reply I fully understand the WTO issue and have said continuation of present tariff free should be registered as a trade deal at WTO!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 9, 2016 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

        Just a pity that the present really good regional trade agreement comes with a regional immigration agreement built into it, which is a bit unusual.

        • Alan Bell
          Posted October 11, 2016 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

          So you were happy to tear up our trading relationship with Europe, recall our MEPs so we have less democratic representation and restrict our own freedom of movement, and you are doing all of this in order to curtail someone else’s freedom of movement.

  22. Man of Kent
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    Back in March I attended an open local school Brexit Debate .

    There were 4 speakers , two German females from the LSE , a local remainer and Suzanne Evans of UKIP .

    There were plenty of question marks over the format , it gave every indication of being a forerunner of Project Fear.

    The two ladies from the LSE were socialist very pro EU . When I questioned one why Merkel had unilaterally torn up the Dublin Agreement and effectively opened the EU external borders to all she replied ‘she had no alternative ‘.

    I asked why she appeared not to have consulted any other leaders and to have acted alone
    – I still await an answer !

    No doubt both ladies are in the consultant category .

    I would not let them near any of our national interest position papers .

    BTW below you ask the question ‘who would you have run UKIP ‘
    Well Suzanne Evans rebutted every pro EU statement in calm ,measured tones , in a minority of 1:3 .
    She would be my choice .

  23. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Remainers are forever banging on about “the complexities of leaving”..hoping no doubt such “complexities” prove prohibitive to the point of them overturning democracy in our country.

    But was joining the EU or Common Market beset with such “complexities”? It was a long time ago that we joined but I do not recall anyone mentioning how “complex” it was to join.
    Later of course when it came to signing the Maastricht Treaty, and after its signing, Ken Clarke famously told everyone he had never read the Treaty. Not even the easy-to-read summary produced by “The Sun ” newspaper. (Actually it was a brilliant piece of journalism…explaining the complex with such simplicity.)

    Surely all the EU nation states, particularly the smaller ones who have a relatively tiny civil service will shine to the idea of simplicity. It is cheaper. They will not thank Germany or France for making a meal of it as we do not appreciate the Remainers having fits of mardiness laying on their backs kicking and screaming because they were trampled into the mud and dust of history never to raise their ugly heads again.

  24. English Pensioner
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Modern politicians seem to be keen on making mountains out of molehills.
    Surely the answer to trade is quite straightforward; we announce that we are prepared to carry on trading with the EU under the same terms and tariffs as at present. If they wish to place tariffs or restrictions on any of our goods, we will do something similar in return, it is entirely up to the EU.
    As all the countries in the EU can’t seem to agree on anything, it would take them some while to agree as to what they will do, meanwhile trade would continue.
    We should do the same with everything else. We announce what we intend to do, such as restrict immigration, and leave it to them to decide whether they take action. I suspect in most cases they will do nothing. Action (by us) speaks louder than words.

  25. Rupert P
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    John – Do you believe what Brussels, Merkel, Hollande et al are saying, or do you think it is just posturing to persuade their own public not to go down the same route as the UK? In public, they are saying the UK has to suffer and to have less good trade arrangements than we have now to demonstrate to the rest of the EU that there is an economic cost to taking back control. Merkel has even warned German business not to push for an easy deal for the UK, as she otherwise fears that the rest of the EU unravels and “everyone does whatever they feel like”.

    Brussels seems to think that if they may leaving look as unattractive as possible, we might ultimately even change our mind. The FX markets certainly seem to be pricing in that we are going to suffer economically and end up trading on WTO terms, based on the on-going devaluation of the pound. Are you worried that we will lose a lot of inward investment to the UK if we are completely on the outside?

    Why could we not have a 2 tier EU with a core who wish to pursue ever closer union and ultimately becoming the United States of Europe and an outer ring who simply wish to participate in a large free trade area and not much else.

    Do you think the constraints of participating in a European free trade area / customs union would work for the UK, or is it instead your view that we need to retain complete sovereignty and negotiate free trade agreements with any other country we wish to trade with under better terms than the WTO offer?

    Reply We leave, and we offer them tariff free as at present or WTON MFN. How many more times do I have to explain this? I think they will after much absurd posturing want tariff free.

  26. Mark B
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Pot-kettle-black.

    There are those who have worked, written and a widely regarded as being foremost in their respective field. Yes they may request a fee for their services, aftwr all, politicians get a fee for the services thst they provide and I do not believe that many are that particulary skilful given the mess with regards we are now in.

    Many in the past have warned us about joining ERM and the EURO, irrespective of whether that advice was free or not. one csn only do due diligence and hope that the advice offered is sound.

  27. forthurst
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    “The Road to Brexit” (Blexit Blueprint) published by the Legatum Institute and the Centre for Social Justice, at 52 pages is 154 pages less than Flexcit.

    http://li.com/about/press-releases/britain-could-be-out-of-the-eu-in-less-than-two-years-according-to-ex-ministers'-blueprint

  28. Action not Rhetoric
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    This article implies the Government doesn’t really know what it is doing. As you say, the advice is out there. I can’t see the problem. Also, it sounds as if they aren’t listening to you either ! Conclusion being they have their own agenda ? I’ve always thought they should involved the MEPs much more, as a front line perspective. The ‘party before country’ attitude is partly what lost them the Referendum. But thanks to you for asking us. I hope our comments matter.

  29. Oggy
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Exactly.
    There is only a trade deal to negotiate – the rest is returned to Westminster control. I don’t understand why the Government’s attitude is why it’s all so difficult and to drag it’s feet. To the rest of us it’s glaringly obvious, we give the EU a choice and it’s upto them how they want to go.

    OT – I live in the Batley and Spen constituency ( who voted to leave the EU 55 -45) and as you know we have a by election coming up on Oct. 20th because of the death of Jo Cox. I didn’t agree with Jo’s politics and didn’t vote for her, her friend Tracy Brabin is the labour candidate and she is virtually unchallenged as no party is offering a candidate out of respect for Ms Cox. She is therefore an MP in waiting.
    I wrote to her recently and asked her if she was going to support the democratic wish of the British people and her constituents to leave the EU – she didn’t reply – so I assume that’s a NO then ! which isn’t a surprise as she supported Owen Smith in the labour leadership. So it looks like another vote to add to the likes of David Lammy, Owen Smith, the SNP’s and LibDims to prevent the repeal of the 1972 European communities act, – it’s going to be a close call.

  30. gyges01
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    One blindingly obvious Brexit adviser would be the economist Bernard Connolly who used to work for the EU. According to his wikipedia entry, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard_Connolly “[t]he publication of The Rotten Heart of Europe led the Wall Street Journal Europe to name Bernard as one of its outstanding Europeans of the year in 1995 and in March 2001 he received the Frøde Jakobsen prize, awarded in Denmark for outstanding moral courage in public affairs. More recently, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney has identified Bernard as one of the very few economists who predicted the current global economic and financial crisis.”

    High praise from all quarters then.

    • Andy
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      I hold him in high regard. If he is not an adviser now I would want to know why not.

  31. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Just watching the BBC World here in Cadiz. Every article refers to Brexit and the potential downside. Just interviewing one of the Nobel Prize winners and BBC interviewer asked about loss of EU funding for research after Brexit. Neither could see the irony of all 3 winners working in the USA.
    Banner line…business pleads for soft Brexit and investigation into £crash.
    It’s time it was closed down.

  32. Framer
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    There are nearly 12,000 comments on the exaggerated and unevidenced story from the LSE that the FO will not commission advice on Brexit from non-nationals.
    The liberal terror is not just mammoth in numbers but also so wounded it has lost all common sense.
    London must be a frightening place to live.

  33. Sam
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    If we trade on the basis of the WTO we face tariffs on goods but- far more important- our services sector will be decimated. WTO doesnt help services nor does it do much for nontariff barriers. To give up guaranteed eu markets for the thin gruel of the wto is truly irrational

  34. Ed Mahony
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Most people voted for Brexit because of immigration NOT sovereignty or the economy.
    If the government carry on as if most people voted for Brexit because of sovereignty and the economy then they aren’t just deluding others, they’re deluding themselves as well. A strong percentage of economists and companies as well as political leaders in countries such as Japan, China and US warned against the dangers of Brexit.
    The best way to meet the concerns of the British people regarding immigration is to try and reform the EU as a whole regarding immigration whilst remaining in the EU. It’s possible. Many others in the EU are calling for reform. And Sarkozy has even put his political future on the line on this.
    History and the world will judge the UK harshly if it doesn’t try to take a real lead in reforming the EU over immigration instead of focusing on a Brexit that many people didn’t really vote for (many Brexiteers didn’t really vote against the EU but against unrestricted immigration from inside the EU).

    Most people voted to leave the EU, because they want to take back control. Borders was less important for many than the money.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Cameron tried your approach and failed.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    It’s a funny old world when an Italian communist insists that his projected European Union must have a mechanism for a country to withdraw or it will look like a “prison of nations”*, but when a country decides to make use of that provision a French socialist starts to talk in terms of “a threat, a risk, a price” for leaving, just in case any other country might also be tempted to try to escape.

    That is not how friends talk about each other, in fact it sounds more like an enemy rattling his sabre and close to a declaration of war, albeit only a trade war. Of course the French have form on that, although Napoleon’s attempt to defeat Britain through the Continental System did not work out well for him.

    Clearly the man is a bit mad, seized with fervour for the quasi-religious doctrine of the “four freedoms”, four united in one and indivisible – there was a time when those who denied the Trinity were burned alive – but nevertheless I think we may have consider the possibility that he and others will not behave with any rationality, let alone any good will, and then they could try to prevent us trading even under WTO status.

    The problem I see here is that although the UK is already a member of the WTO in its own sovereign right its present trade arrangements are founded on the presumption that it is an EU member state, and while it could be technically simple and quick to make the necessary adjustments, and in the meantime trade could carry on as now, it would be open to any of the other WTO members, such as France, to object to that being done.

    The same problem, in fact, as with the idea that the UK could leave the EU but stay in the EEA with some technically simple adjustments to the EEA Agreement, as clearly if France persisted with its current attitude then it would veto that proposal.

    The UK wants a smooth and seamless, and amicable, exit from the EU without disruption of regional or global trade, while France appears to want to maximise disruption to both regional and global trade even though that would clearly be an act of self-harm.

    If I had been experiencing any regrets about voting to leave the EU then they would have disappeared listening to the irresponsible lunatics in charge of other EU countries.

    * http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=82975

    “On the other hand, there is every reason to believe that the withdrawal clause is entirely genuine. First introduced in 2003 by the European Convention on the Future of Europe, it actually goes back further, to the Italian Communist and latterly MEP, Alterio Spinelli, author of the draft treaty of the European Union.

    His work was later to form the basis of the Single European Act and the Maastricht Treaty and, even then – according to his political strategist, Richard Balfe – he was a strong advocate of including a withdrawal clause in the treaties.

    As a Communist, Spinelli was very well aware of Lenin’s condemnation of the Romanov empire as a “prison of nations” and was determined that the EU should not be likewise tainted. He felt strongly that the EU should be a voluntary association of nations, and not a trap for unwilling members.”

  36. Antisthenes
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Experts, consultants and bureaucrats like nothing more than grandstanding and proving their jobsworth. They reap handsome rewards from doing so. Having them in clerical positions is fine accepting their advice or input on matters beyond that will as you say complicate matters.

    You have seen that the EU treaties although exuding much legalese in an attempt to ensure Brussels supremacy and to make them the sole arbitrators on any matter within or without the EU is assailable. By the simple expedient of not confronting them on a ground of their own choosing. You decided they will have to come out from their safe space behind impregnable walls and fight on open and level ground. That way the UK has most of the advantages making fighting less attractive and making mutually beneficial treaties more attractive.

    A simple strategy consultants and the like could never contemplate as it would challenge their conventional and non innovative thinking, their aversion to risk and to cap it all it would expose their irrelevance.

    • zorro
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      Quite right, and unfortunately, this is my experience of consultants. Often, not very expert consultants either, often fresh faced (rarely if everreceiving the full supposed consultant fee as their wage) and fronting for the bosses who actually take the fee from the customer……

      zorro

  37. lojolondon
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    I see that Nick Clegg has headlines in most of the MSM today : “Nick Clegg, former Lib Dem leader and now its European Union spokesman, said: “It is utterly baffling the government is turning down expert, independent advice on Brexit simply because someone is from another country.”
    Nothing Nick Clegg does is in the interests of British people, when he tries to get ‘experts’ to get involved, it is because he wants to be a key part of the team that subverts our Brexit. As a general rule, the more Nick Clegg is against something, the better it is for Britain.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps Nick Clegg should stick to hosting Have I Got News For You.

      All very left wing drivel which is where Nick belongs.

  38. zorro
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Absolutely John…… The ‘usual suspect’ consultants are queueing up to give their expensive advice when as you have pointed out along with others, the issue is not of negotiating a surrender/deal but taking control of our destiny as an independent country.

    These consultants were continually arguing and belittling the Brexit argument before the debate, and continue to carp and undermine it now.

    I am concerned at some of the committed Remainers who have achieved high office (not quite sure how) and how they will act as time goes on.

    zorro

  39. Dung
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    The Role of UKIP

    The role has not changed; we are still in the EU and wish to get completely out. Mixed messages from Theresa May are not making much sense right now, her speech indicated that she considers Libertarians as right wing extremists? Hammond said in the DT that we would have to remain part of the custom union (er….. excuse me but is that not the EU??)
    May’s speech would have been great coming from Corbyn but was disturbing coming from a Conservative leader, UKIP is still the safe Haven despite handbags at dawn.

  40. David Price
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Completely agree – I’ve started reading through the blueprint from Legatum.

  41. Iain Gill
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    But my definition of “taking control of our borders” is probably rather different to how the British political class will define it. I want to see a bunch of things
    1 Sustained ongoing reduction on numbers coming in
    2 Fight back against workers undercutting and displacing Brits
    3 Proper native skills tests on all visa categories including intra company transfer
    4 No indefinite leave or citizenship for anything other than marrying a Brit from now on, certainly not just for working here a while
    5 Revamp rules and stop abuse of health and social systems by new arrivals
    6 Ramp up action to send home more illegal immigration, more resources into doing it

    etc

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      Iain Gill. ‘ Ramp up action to send home more illegal immigration, more resources into doing it’

      Do we actually send any home?? They normally disappear into the ether before this can be done anyway.

      • Oggy
        Posted October 8, 2016 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Illegal Immigrants disappearing into the ether is why a lot of us are quite cynical and disbelieving in their reasons for wanting to be here. They make it quite obvious that reason is financial. Any true refugee is just glad to be safe.
        Incidentally to answer another of your posts above – No it isn’t your imagination the BBC are ramping up their doom and gloom brexit scenarios.

    • rose
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

      No more extended family reunion for illegal immigrants or “refugees”. We are, as someone once said, bailing out an ocean.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

      I see no problem with the government asking for stats on migrants employed. After all – we already survey companies on sex and race and every government form I fill in asks for my race, nationality and religion.

      It is right to put British workers first in their own country. Every other country does it so why not ours ?

      If there is proof that a company made serious attempts to recruit local people then fair enough. But we really do need to start seeking that proof as the indegenes are feeling like enemies in their own country – as hostilities over Brexit have confirmed.

      (Thanks again to …………….Newmania for providing abundant evidence of my claims.)

  42. iain
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Good uncluttered thinking John. Do you know if Mrs May shares your position.

  43. NickW
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    President Hollande wants to punish the UK for leaving the EU, “pour encourager les autres”.

    Peugeot/ Citroen and Renault between them have (according to the SMMT) 10.19% of the UK car market which was 2.6 million vehicles in 2015. That’s 260,000 cars.

    Germany has 27% of the UK car market (SMMT 2015) by volume, but far more than that by value, given that the German Brands are in the main, premium brands.

    Do the French and German Unions and their members agree with Hollande?

    Have the EU Institutions been behind the attacks on the pound?

    Does membership of the EU bestow so little advantage on the EU population that threats are now the only cohesive force keeping the EU together?

    Does the EU want to declare war on the British people, because that is what Hollande’s threats amount to.? If that is what Hollande wants; we can , and will, buy elsewhere, and it won’t just be cars.
    To make things clear, I have a 2016 Citroen which I really like, and I am happy to provide employment to French car workers; employment which Hollande is now threatening to destroy.

    • Arunas
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

      “attacks on the pound”? The pound is overvalued, in the view of our atrocious trade deficit, and it should keep falling until the trade is balanced.
      In this stagnating world, falling currency is God-sent; Japan, ECB and Switzerland would do anything to devalue theirs to prop up the exports. Whisper it, but if BoE was actually worried about falling pound, they would raise the rates and unwind the QE to prop it up. I think there is a lot of fist-pumping in the BoE offices.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 8, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      We cannot bow down to spite.

  44. mike Wilson
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Of course it would be too easy for the government to ask Mr redwood and colleagues for advice. They have been around the issues for decades and have sensible solutions already worked out. No, they will pay many millions to people who will justify their fees by deliberately making things over complicated.

  45. Can keep up
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree with oldtimers post on “Mrs May and Big Business” but fortunately the younger generation doesnt listen to Radio 4 and the BBC.
    It’s still a propaganda war though.
    Logic and reason isnt the preserve of the older generation.
    I loved the film Idiocracy. The withholding or manipulation of information by a few vested elites will take some effort by the majority of non corrupt people with brains.

  46. Sean
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Just leave already, then we can negotiate.

  47. agricola
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    On this I am totally with you. Repeal the 1972 act of accession , adopt all EU law as UK law and then use the next twenty years to adjust this law through Parliament to more readily suit our needs. Use Article 50 as a letter of resignation then offer the EU tariff free trade with the UK or if they are stupid and parochial, trade through WTO rules. You have to be stupid to introduce tariffs where they currently do not exist.

    After that cooperate where it is of mutual benefit. No pressure on EU citizens to leave the UK. If anyone should leave it is the around two million illegals who are already here, and others as they finish their jail sentences. Create an effective border force so that the door is closed to even more illegals who currently arrive by the truckload every day..

    Above all, get on with it before the negative forces gain strength after their brush with democracy..

  48. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    The sense of entitlement emanating from the LSE is amusing. A posturing and proudly left-wing organisation (as they have been for decades) whining about a Conservative government not shovelling money in their direction.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      I suppose it’s never got over being co-founded by Sidney Webb:

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sidney_Webb,_1st_Baron_Passfield

      “Sidney James Webb, 1st Baron Passfield OM PC (13 July 1859 – 13 October 1947) was a British socialist, economist, reformer and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. He was one of the early members of the Fabian Society in 1884, along with George Bernard Shaw (they joined three months after its inception). Along with his wife Beatrice Webb, Annie Besant, Graham Wallas, Edward R. Pease, Hubert Bland, and Sydney Olivier, Shaw and Webb turned the Fabian Society into the pre-eminent political-intellectual society of England during the Edwardian era and beyond. He wrote the original Clause IV for the British Labour Party.”

  49. Chris
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

    The EU seems to specialise in protracted negotiations with compromise or even second referenda. Their viewpoint seems to be that “the people’s” views are of no import and must not be allowed to get in the way of the grand project. So far these tactics have succeeded with other countries, with the EU winning second referenda, or the Greeks being apparently browbeaten into submission. This must not happen in the UK, and it is certainly not what the UK voted for in the referendum.

    I completely support you, Mr Redwood, and we must have a leader of courage and determination to ensure that we are not supplicants, but instead setting the agenda and on our terms. The longer the delay, the more the speculation and stirring by the Remainers, and, most dangerously, the BBC.

  50. Arunas
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    I am for free trade, but against unfair advantage. More specifically, CAP gives the EU farmers an unfair advantage over the UK farmers, therefore the opening gambit should be tariffs on agricultural produce, roughly equal to the rebate negotiated by Mrs. Thatcher.

  51. Roy Grainger
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    As in the old joke a consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time. In my industry the likes of McKinsey come rather close to fulfilling the stereotype. You need to remember these people get paid by the hour, their general strategy is to scare the people who employ them in to thinking things are so complex and difficult that the only solution is to employ them on a continuing long-term basis.

  52. Chris
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    I wondered what you thought about this, Mr Redwood: C Booker article on type of Brexit.
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/08/what-theresa-may-did-and-very-carefully-did-not-say-about-brexit/

    Reply I no longer read Mr Booker

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 9, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      There’s an easier place to find his articles than on the Telegraph website!

  53. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    JR. Genuinely, not for rhetorical or otherwise histrionic effect. In a word, really…I do not understand why if two men of MEP status in the European Parliament have an “altercation” which seemingly has a direct result that one of the two is placed in hospital for 4 days why the police have not been on the site.
    Here in Reality Land, the UK,I cannot envisage a parallel. The police as a matter of form if nothing else would be evident. What strange laws cover the unacceptable in the Brussels Parliament?

  54. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Whatever advice we get we don’t want the government advised by the doom laden hysteria of Newmania.

    One can’t believe that this emotionaly incontinent and unpleasant little man has a position of much responsibility and if he has should be fired and replaced by someone more willing and unflappable.

    The fall in the pound is largely self fulfilling prophecy. Newmania has provided plenty of evidence that un-British conduct is damaging the UK economy.

  55. Margaret
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Off topic but I would appreciate a reply. I am thinking of joining the Conservative party and the joining fee is £25. Is there a monthly subscription also?

    Reply I thought that was the annual fee. I don’t think you have to pay twice in the first year. The application form/process will tell you the answer.

  56. Anonymous
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    Off topic: President Clinton is going to use Britain as her whipping boy to please Irish, Hispanic and Continentals.

    We are not leaving the EU.

    (In view of Trump’s fatal error.)

  57. Ronald Olden
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    We don’t need any ‘advice’. The time for ‘advice’ was before the Referendum. We received it, considered it and decided to Leave. If these Remainiacs are now saying there was further advice that we should have been given, that’s their problem. They had their chance to give it before June 23rd but instead made fools of themselves.

    All that remains, is to get the best deal we can get. But if all that’s available is the WTO terms then so be it.

    But see this BBC report today. When Obama was trying to blackmail us into voting to stay in the EU he told us that we’d be at the ‘back of the queue’ for a Trade Deal with the US. A line obviously written for him by David Cameron. Americans don’t talk about ‘queues’

    The Trump camp however now say that we’ll not only be at the front of the queue, we might be the only people they’ll allow into the queue at all. The US might even tear up the deals they already have with others.

    The Hillary Camp’s position isn’t that different. Both sides are coming to terms with the fact that Americans are sceptical of TTIP and Trade deals with anyone at all. All sides however are happy to have a Trade deal with the UK. The reason? Trump, Hillary and the near certain Republican Majority in Congress post November are all Anglophiles. Obama is not. The way things are going, we’ll have Free Trade deals with most of the world and EU will have no deals with anyone (not even with us, their big export market with which they have a current Trade Surplus).

    Is there anything that these Remainiacs haven’t lied about? I can’t think of a single thing.

    A big bonus from the Leave Vote is the drop in the price of Sterling, which dwarfs the effect of even the maximum WTO tariffs. In the absence of some fundamental economic weakness, it’s usually nigh on impossible to engineer a devaluation of this size without causing inflation. But that’s exactly what the Leave Vote has managed to achieve this time round. The inflationary effect of this Sterling fall will be no more than to push the CPI slightly above the Government’s target for a year or so. 3% plus maybe ? Following which it will settle down to normal by late 2018.

    The economic benefit in extra competitiveness however will be enormous. This will take us a long way to achieving the long promised, but never delivered, ‘re-adjustment’ in the UK economy. By the time of the next General Election I expect a Golden Scenario to be with us. An export led boom, inflation having long since dropping back again, and the Pound on it way back up.

    Remainiacs beware. Your worst days are yet to come. And the Scottish Nationalists might be in for a bit of a shock as well. If we all keep our heads this might turn out even better than we imagined.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-37594928

  58. Juliet
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    I support the decision that the experts on the Brexit negotiations should be UK Citizens because they will privy to time-sensitive information that comes under scrutiny and security. Therefore, they must be fully committed to the Brexit vision, and work to achieve the best outcomes for Brexit in line with the UK EU change strategy. It’s imperative that they are knowledgeable about the current practices of UK/EU relationship

    Brexit presents many challenges, complexities and uncertainty. Reality is Brexit will change the political landscape, and impact across multiple core industry/sectors both in the UK and EU. And it is for this reason why advice from consultants, academics, economist, must be impartial, fair, unbias, free of ambiguity, and be in the best interest of UK in the interim, and in the future

    Before, during and after the referendum, (academics & economist) in favour of remain believed that they knew what was best, and confirmed they were acting in the best interests of everyone, however this was not always the case, several were quick to dismiss opposing views of leave voters labelling them racists, idiots, not intellectually equipped to understand what was at stake, (taking the great out britain) so to speak. This behaviour displayed the essence of remain supporters exposing some experts as point-scoring, opinionated, confrontational, and bigoted instead of being open, helpful and honest.

    Post-referendum gave rise to some academics / economists who were also EU citizens having a vested interest in the UK remaining in the EU, took to social media, using brexit blogs, forums, televised broadcast media as sounding board; to promote brexit insight and research from pro-EU stance.

    When raised as an issue with one establishment the feedback was dismissed as non-intentional. [ *John, please contact me to discuss further ]

    Was the intention of these articles / interviews
    purposely delivered as a diversion from the truth, distraction to divide & confuse,
    provoke a negative reaction (add oil to water),
    did they send the wrong message,
    can an individual have a vested interest and stay objective,
    does this raise the question of balance and objectivity in brexit

    I welcome honest opinions, grounded analysis, hearing from experts who are ready to discuss brexit issues objectively rather than over-reacting and coming off as incapable, inflexible and unwilling to critically analyse brexit matters because they are still coming to terms with the outcome of June 23rd

    I think we have to acknowledge and take into account there are and always be pro-EU experts who are UK citizens and EU citizens who are committed to the EU status quo. Polls suggested 90% of universities voted remain

    I read the Legatum Blueprint on Brexit, it made sense and provided the missing link that was missing from numerous EU experts

  59. Pam
    Posted October 8, 2016 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Once we accept that a clean break is the best option, our negotiating position is insurmountable. Successive governments should be ashamed that one of the key objections to leaving is the reliance of the UK on London trading and underscores exactly why we must break away and build strong economies throughout the UK.

  60. Peter D Gardner
    Posted October 9, 2016 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    John Redwood, you have several times stated that you and several colleagues have proposed a Brexit plan to the Government. Today you say it is published through Legatum. I cannot find any sign of it on Legatum’s web site. How can I obtain a copy?

  61. Ken Moore
    Posted October 9, 2016 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    Above all what is needed is clarity and accuracy – there are so many contradictory commentators that all seem plausible.

    http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86202

    On the one hand John Redwood says we can trade under WTO rules…then Richard North comes along and says this would harm our economy as the rules would have to be applied to the rest of the world….

    Then Peter lilly says Peter North is also wrong being prone to making ‘adverse interpretations on his own discoveries’.

    http://www.peterlilley.co.uk/publications/1920/richard-norths-papers-brexit

    It would be interesting to hear Dr Redwood’s reply to Mr North’s comments.

    http://www.peterlilley.co.uk/publications/1920/richard-norths-papers-brexit

  62. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted October 10, 2016 at 3:29 am | Permalink

    I wish that you would inform Philip Hammond of Patrick Minford’s forecasts of our economic growth with and without Brexit, made before the EU Referendum took place. Mr Minford forecast that GDP growth would end up 4% higher with Brexit than without.

    Mr Hammond seems to believe the forecasts in Mr Osborne’s ‘dodgy dossier’. Mr Osborne’s Remain forecast was based on the EU completing its single market in services. There was no such single market and the UK had in vain been trying to obtain a single market in services ever since the Maastricht Treaty was signed, to no avail. You can’t complete something that isn’t there.

    Neither Mrs May nor Mr Hammond seems to appreciate that if we invoke Article 50 before the end of this year, they will need to contribute £14 billion to Brussels only on 1st January 2017 and 1st January 2018. If we invoke it after the start of next year, we also have to pay on 1st January 2019. Never mind, it’s not their money; it’s ours.

  • About John Redwood


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

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