Protecting employees

There was general agreement in the Leave campaign that on departure from the EU all employee rights that are in EU law should be retained as good UK law.

When we researched what was entailed, it became apparent that Labour and Conservative governments had pioneered rights which subsequently the EU took up, or had gone beyond the standards required to comply with EU law anyway. Conservative and Labour spokespeople on the Leave campaign all united to recommend to government retaining the rights in UK law. The UK government did not propose diluting them and there are no plans to do so.

The new Prime Minister has repeated the pledge, and made clear she has no wish to dilute rights currently included in EU law that benefit employees. The European Communities Act 1972 Repeal Bill will include crucial clauses confirming that after leaving the EU all current EU law including the employment measures will be good UK law. Whereas following the passage of the Act the UK government may well wish to amend the border laws and the fishing laws amongst others, there will be no adverse changes to employment law.

This means that Mr Corbyn’s understandable concern that Brexit is not used to undermine employee rights will be fully respected. It also means that Labour MPs will need to vote for the Repeal Act if they wish to keep their pledge to maintain EU employment law in UK law, as this will be the way to do that. Were we leave without doing this, then all directly acting EU law would lapse on our exit. It would be odd indeed if Labour wanted to undermine this legal settlement.

The passage of the Bill will give Parliament plenty of opportunity to debate these matters. There will also continue to be other debates and votes. This week we had a Statement on Brexit on Monday and will have a debate on it with a vote tomorrow.This is an Opposition motion. Interestingly, it does not seek to stop an Article 50 letter, so maybe they understand they need to help implement the wishes of the people.


  1. Lifelogic
    October 12, 2016

    The only real protection for employees is plenty of alternative available jobs. Most employee “rights” laws and minimum wage laws actually tend to kill or export jobs, render businesses uncompetitive and prevents them for getting rid of incompetent staff (so good staff have to put up with them). So they have a negative effect on employees.

    Unless that is you are in the largely parasitic areas of the law, HR consultancy, employment tribunals, the “equality” industry and other similar industries.

    Like so much of what governments do it has totally the opposite effect to what is claimed by the proponents.

    Similarly, the only real way to help tenants is to have more properties available to rent. Government policies and taxation usually decrease the number available and pushes up the rents.

    1. Iain Gill
      October 12, 2016

      Plenty of available jobs and no swamping of the native workforce with uncontrolled entry of foreign workers with skills already in oversupply. And incentives to hire and train locals rather than use tax perks available for using cheap labour from abroad.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 12, 2016

        Indeed just the normal laws of supply and demand.

        1. Hope
          October 13, 2016

          JR, What about the fishing and agricultural policies when can we see these revoked?

    2. Jerry
      October 12, 2016

      @LL; “Government policies and taxation usually decrease the number available and pushes up the rents.”

      Well it has done for the last 35 years, on the other hand from 1945 to 1979 there was a tendency to increase supply whilst lowering rents (in real terms), indeed the two main political parties vied with each other as to who achieved the lowest rent and the highest build/availability (and quality…).

      1. StevenL
        October 12, 2016

        That’s because more voters were renters, once more voters became owners (about 50% owners was achieved in 1970) the government started buying their votes by ramping up land prices.

        Now the pendulum is swinging the other and there are votes in bashing landlords again.

        1. Lifelogic
          October 13, 2016

          The biggest attack/theft from Landlords was the rent act 1977 which stopped nearly all residential letting and robbed landlords of their assets doing huge harm to the market.

          What is needed is relaxed planning, less over the top building regulations, lower taxes and cheaper utility connections. Freedom to build the properties that are needed (be they for sale or for rent).

          1. Edward2
            October 13, 2016

            Totally agree LL

          2. Iain Gill
            October 14, 2016

            Actually we need to transform the private rental market from one which is dominated by lots of small landlords to a market large reputable companies are prepared to enter.
            There are lots of reasons the big boys don’t enter the private rental sector:
            • No control of school catchment area, the state can move the houses into the catchment area of worse schools with no notice and no appeal dropping the value of the properties massively
            • No control of GP and other healthcare catchment areas, the state can move the houses into the catchment area of worse GP’s etc with no notice and no appeal dropping the value of the properties massively
            • Lots of unfair competition from “social” housing, planning preferences, hidden subsidies etc
            • State manipulation of house prices, in many forms including planning bottlenecks, is unpredictable and a big risk, the state could decide to drop the prices of houses anytime and nobody would be able to do anything about it
            If we sorted some of this out big reputable companies would enter the private rental sector, be prepared to offer the security of long term tenure instead of the short term tenants currently have to endure, and would improve things no end

    3. StevenL
      October 12, 2016

      the only real way to help tenants is to have more properties available to rent

      If government policy is causing the number of properties available to rent to decrease, how come the % of properties rented keeps increasing and the % of owner occupied properties keeps decreasing?

      And September stats show BTL mortgages are picking up again. Won’t more BTL mortgages mean more properties available to rent?

      1. Jagman84
        October 12, 2016

        It may have something to do with the attack on private pensions, initiated by Gordon Brown and, sadly, perpetuated by George Osborne. Expect more pension pots to be emptied, in order to join the BTL housing market.

        1. Lifelogic
          October 13, 2016

          Indeed the destruction of pension with low returns, low annuity rates, load of red tape, extra taxes and absurdly low pension pot caps and restriction on tax deferment reliefs.

          Osborne and Brown are as usual to blame.

      2. Jerry
        October 13, 2016

        @StevenL; The problem is not the number of rents but the number of homes, more BTL mortgages will indeed mean more properties available to rent but not any increase in the total number of properties.

        Then there is the cost to the landlord of that BTL mortgage and thus the tenants ‘market rate’ rant, not only does the landlord have to cover the cost of those mortgage payments but also the cost of maintenance, any taxes and then a profit for themselves. There might well be more properties available for rent but are they affordable (to possible tenants, or even tax-payer should the prospective tenant be eligible for housing benefits)?

        1. Edward2
          October 14, 2016

          You are trying to describe the market Jerry
          Landlords need to make return for taking a risk and swopping cash for property or borrowing to buy.
          They will calculate overall costs and add a margin and a market rent appears

          1. Jerry
            October 15, 2016

            @Edward2; Of course I am describing the ‘market’, a rotten one at that. Housing Benefit (payments) has become tax payer funded social security for landlords!

            The solution, as even Mr Lifelogic has pointed out, is to increase the number of properties available, and I would suggest that it done via a program of new LA housing schemes. This will reduce the market rent of social housing to a substitutable level and even if market rents do not fall tax payers money, paid out as HB, is more likely to be circular in nature within national or local government.

  2. Roy Grainger
    October 12, 2016

    Quite a success by the Remainiacs to force May to disclose our negotiation position in the Commons in advance of the negotiations. I don’t see them lobbying for the EU to do the same.

    1. Jerry
      October 12, 2016

      @Roy Grainger; How ironic, one of the reasons put forward for Brexit by Vote Leave and others was their wish for the UK to once again become a democratic self governing nation, but now all they do is bleat whenever others demand just such a democracy…

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        October 12, 2016

        If you do not like the solution proposed after it is invoked you can vote the perpetrators out later. That is democracy Jerry.

        Labour and many Conservatives would have their capitulating solution imposed on us even though they lost the vote. That is totalitarian behaviour in keeping with their beloved EU.

        1. Jerry
          October 13, 2016

          @NS; My comment was in relation to the calls for a second referendum, or for MPs to binding votes in parliament with regards going forwards (to use that awful phrase) with the detail of our exit from the European Union, rather than the current way some Brexiteers wish to carry on fighting the previous binary referendum as if it alone gave an answer to the How and When questions. But sure, if you want it settled via a GE, best Mrs May calls one, perhaps before triggering A50!

          What are Brexiteers afraid of, not surely the very same (direct-)democracy they wanted ‘repatriated’ to the UK…

          1. Edward2
            October 14, 2016

            With Conservatives currently 15 points ahead in several polls do you really think this would advance Labour or even the Lib Dems position if there actually was an early election.

          2. Jerry
            October 15, 2016

            @Edward2; Perhaps, except for two points, first you seem to assume that the government benches would be filled with any greeter numbers of europhobic Tory MPs than currently. Secondly, when you used the word “currently”, who knows how support might pan out should people actually had to cast real and binding votes, not just have a rant about what ever via an opinion poll.

            But even if you are correct that doesn’t stop the current UK parliament, both MPs and Lords, being allowed to have their say (on the “How” and “When” questions), after all wasn’t that one of the campaigning points for Brexit, a repatriation of democracy from Brussels to Westminster?

            Seems to me that some Brexiteers are running scared at the first hurdle, anything but the (direct-)democracy they called for. Brexit is fast becoming nothing more than a right-wing political land grab, as many on the Remain side told us it would.

            Reply I am all in favour of Parliamentary debates and votes. Why didnt the Opposition this week table a motion to provide a vote on Article50? I presume because they dont want to vote against a letter

    2. Edward2
      October 12, 2016

      Indeed Roy I agree.
      Does the EU have a plan for the negotiation process ?
      Does the EU have any replies to Labour’s 170 questions ?
      I do not hear any voices asking the EU for a response.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 13, 2016

        The referendum result surprised the EU as much as the UK government, and it too is still working out its negotiating position.

  3. Lifelogic
    October 12, 2016

    I read that the Lady Barbara Judge (of the dire CBI) has suggested that mothers should hire a nanny and go back to work or risk losing their jobs.

    One of the main reasons why so many do not do this is Osborne’s daft tax system (and over the top employment regulations). If you look after your own children then no tax is due and their is little red tape. If you employ a nanny and then go to work you pay tax and NI on your salary and the nanny has tax and NI (employer and employee) too. This plus the pensions obligations, employers liability insurance, travel costs, the usually risks of employing anyone at all and the general hassle mean that unless you are earning about four times as much as the Nanny there is simply no point.

    Has she actually tried doing the sums? Plus the mother is likely to do a better and more diligent job too in most cases I suspect.

    They best way is barter with another parent. You do one day in exchange for them doing another. But of course the government have lots of red tape (Regulation of Child Care) to try to stop this too. They always want their cut, this so they can waste it on green crap, HS2, Hinkley C, Garden Bridges and other insanities.

    1. Iain Gill
      October 12, 2016

      There is a lot in this issue. Me and the missus regularly move around the country dragging our kids with us. So we often find ourselves in a new place without a support network around us. There is no way we could both work, it needs one of the two to be free to sort out the kids, indeed it relies on the other one being able to free time up from time to time to cover the others dentist and medical appointments etc. Long gone are the days of extended family in the same location to help out. We have extended family but they are all hundreds of miles and more away.

      It would only take a few simple interventions like before and after school clubs, and some way for similar parents to pool their resources, to transform the situation so that both parents could work, even if one was just part time or occasional work.

      But as you say all the government interventions pile on the tax and overheads, and the supposed checks on the carers don’t seem to really reduce the risks much.

      Crying out for some sense.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 12, 2016

        “some sense” from government? You are optimistic!

        1. rose
          October 14, 2016

          And you don’t mention the family unfriendly policy of withdrawing child benefit from single earners who earn less than double earners put together.

          It took many centuries to train men up to support a wife and children. Now they are being punished for it.

  4. Mick
    October 12, 2016

    I’m getting a little cheesed off with the likes of miliband clegg sourpusss getting a lot of airtime from the BBC / Sky on back door staying in the dreaded eu, do they honestly believe that if they got there way that the leavers would just sit back and let it happen, in your dreams remoaners it wouldn’t happen, there would so much unrest and distrust in the politicians which would I think send us into civil war, so these anti British people who cannot except the will of the people should crawl back under the rocks they came from and except that we are LEAVING the eu and if they don’t like it there are planes, buses, trains that can take them to live in the eu,

  5. Lifelogic
    October 12, 2016

    I read in the Telegraph today that David Davis has accused Treasury officials of trying to “undermine” Brexit negotiations as part of a “desperate strategy” to keep Britain in the Single Market.

    Do you have any comment on this? How is Theresa May’s government going to get rid of the these dire people? Is Theresa really still on their side (as she clearly was until very recently)?

    1. A different Simon
      October 13, 2016

      Lifelogic ,

      I used to ask when Mrs May would get rid of Mark Carney .

      This betrayed a naivety on my part .

      It is clearly the network of Central Bankers who are calling the shots . Elected politicians are supposed to report to them .

      Just look at Greece . Banks which lent it money should have lost the lot yet the Troika thought it worth destroying that country to ensure creditors got their money back .

      It just amazes me that people want to be part of an organisation which promotes that sort of looting .

      1. Lifelogic
        October 14, 2016


  6. graham1946
    October 12, 2016

    What’s the problem? You have a majority, so what the Labour Party want or not surely doesn’t matter much. The way to shut them down is to bring it forward. If you intend to do it, just do it as you do when you want something passed. The Lords are surely not going to veto it?

    Slightly off topic, but topical. Saw you on telly last night trying to convince Krusty Sqawk that the government have no plans to pay our budget contributions in any event, when we leave the EU. However, this story has come from somewhere, solid enough for you to attend the studio – she said a government minister and was quite forceful about it, so it seems more than just a journalistic invention. Part of the softening up process for a welshing on the full Brexit?

    The longer it all goes on the more suspicion will mount and the bigger the cry from the Remainers. Other than the pending court case which will be settled by Christmas, why is she waiting another 3 months? What’s wrong with January 2nd for putting in the letter on Article 50? What is magical about 31st March?

  7. Jerry
    October 12, 2016

    “It also means that Labour MPs will need to vote for the Repeal Act if they wish to keep their pledge to maintain EU employment law in UK law, as this will be the way to do that.”

    Do they have to vote for the Repeal Act, sure it is one way to keep EU -or better- employment law but not the only way.

    Even whilst in the EU, Brexit or no Brexit, such law is already, or could be, incorporated into stand-alone UK law, the Repeal Act being in effect just a ‘wholesale’ way making sure that all EU Law for the time being gets transferred to UK law upon Brexit.

    Anyway, would Mrs May not have to call an early election if she was to loose her first test of policy -and authority, and were would that then leave Brexit (Mrs May and Conservatives might have a 17% lead over Corbyn and Labour but does she lead overall, such as a grand coalition of Labour, SNP, LDs and PC), the government should not need any opposition votes to get key policy through – although right-wing europhiles might decide that 5 years of a socialist government is a price that might have to be paid…

    Of course Labour (and Europhile Tories might prefer simply to vote for an exit date in 2050, but of course they are hardly going to get that choice unless of course the Europbobes carry on trying to claim a mandate they do not (yet) have on the How and When questions, thus forcing a second referendum – it really is time the pro-Brexit campaigns accepted the result and stop their campaigning, they have won one, but might end up loosing the other two (more important) questions!

    1. Edward2
      October 12, 2016

      A lead of 15% would give the Conservatives a 100 seat majority.
      I think if that margin continues it is unlikely the “grand coalition” as you call them, would welcome an election before its due in 2020

      1. Jerry
        October 13, 2016

        @Edward2; There is no certainly, especially should a few (perhaps senior) europhile Tory MPs decide that principles are more important than career and do an “Enoch Powell” (23 February 1974) a few days before polling day, suggesting that those Conservatives who wish the UK to remain in (or have the best possible europhile Brexit from) the EU should vote Labour (or who-ever)…

        Also do not pin hopes on UKIP, a deeply divided party, at a GE they can not go after both the eurosceptic disaffected post Thatcherite vote and the eurosceptic disaffected post Foot/Kinnock socialist vote at the same time, they will loose support from one or the other, perhaps both, if they try.

        1. Edward2
          October 14, 2016

          The future is difficult to predict I agree.
          But I do think the Conservative party is in a strong position looking at other parties and their current problems.
          But unity is important.

  8. Brexit
    October 12, 2016

    O/T : Mr Redwood, do you have any comment on the apparent climbdown by the Government on a debate and vote before sending the Article 50 letter?

    We deeply regret what appears to be a complete reversal of the Government’s position. We only hope we have this all wrong.

    1. Mandy Jones
      October 12, 2016

      Watch the Commons debate about this.
      there is NO vote on sending the article 50 letter, the “debate” was on about letting the Lawmakes see the things that the Government proposes, but it was also stated,
      That they can only see it,
      They cannot amend it,
      They cannot vote on it &
      They certainly cannot Veto it.

  9. alan jutson
    October 12, 2016

    Indeed given workers employment rights were one of the very few reasons Mr Corbyn gave as one of the few benefits of being a member of the EU (he gave few others) then I would expect him to support what is being proposed.

    I do wonder however given his lack of support from his fellow MP’s for many of his policies, whether they will follow his lead.

    I certainly agree that it is sensible to transfer all present EU law into UK law for simplicity of leaving, and then Parliament can change/modify some of the worse elements of those laws into laws which suit the UK and the UK alone, in its own timescale.

    Some laws like fishing quota’s/discard will need to be changed quickly

  10. Gerry Dorrian
    October 12, 2016

    If Theresa May wants to win the next election she’ll need to look closely at the rights of working-class voters, a group I think Jeremy Corbyn is only vaguely aware of.

  11. Old Albion
    October 12, 2016

    Off topic JR.
    I saw you being interviewed by Kirsty Wark on Newsnight. You made her look foolish. She was just a mouthpiece for another imagined Brexit disaster that the EU funded BBC couldn’t wait to broadcast.

    1. Mandy Jones
      October 12, 2016

      I saw the very same interview.
      Thank goodness we have people like JR in the Commons.
      John was right, these people do not listen, they go round & round in circles and keep asking the same silly questions that should not have been asked in the first place.
      It is the media that stir these things up, they put a different slant on everything and then when gullible people read it, they do not question it & accept what is written.
      Please let’s make sure we all read & question what’s been written, then show people the truth of what was really said.
      I watch the commons debate today, Wdnesday 12th October & JR did a few, very good interventions, also David Davis stated once again, they “we seem to be going round in circles” Well we are, through the very questioning, in different forms about what specifically means what, for the life of me, why do these people keep asking the same old questions, which have been answered on numerous occasion, as I for one, am sick of hearing the same old stuff!

    2. James Munroe
      October 12, 2016

      The BBC probably feels obliged to give the EU some ‘return on investment’, for their ‘altruistic’, £2-£3 million spend on the BBC, since 2013.

  12. Denis Cooper
    October 12, 2016

    The Commons debate should start at around 1 pm today and the motion and proposed amendments may be read here:

    “That this House recognises that leaving the EU is the defining issue facing the UK; believes
    that there should be a full and transparent debate on the Government’s plan for leaving the
    EU; and calls on the Prime Minister to ensure that this House is able properly to scrutinise that plan for leaving the EU before Article 50 is invoked.”

    I will just point out here that the House was able properly to scrutinise the European Referendum Bill 2015, but during its passage MPs could not be bothered to raise the question of what would ensue from a vote to leave the EU. Only after the event do some them belatedly demand to have a debate, and a vote, before Article 50 is invoked, in the hope of overturning the verdict of the people in the referendum.

    I look forward to seeing other, loyal, MPs producing their copies of the government’s official leaflet for the referendum. I have mine here, and the unambiguous promise:

    “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

    is on the page two in from the back, headlined “A once in a generation decision”.

    1. Mockbeggar
      October 13, 2016

      I agree. Remainer MPs demanding to be able to scrutinise the Govt’s negotiating plans put me in mind of a quotation that I cannot find in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations or on Wikipedia, so it may be a figment of my imagination, but I seem to remember was that it was Ernie Bevin on a round of negotiations regarding the cold war when he said something like “Do not send me naked into the negotiating chamber.”

      What I did find was a Hugh Gaitskell quote regarding Britain joining the EEC which was this:

      “Gaitskell alienated some of his supporters by his apparent opposition to British membership of the European Economic Community, which Macmillan had been seeking since July 1961. He believed that the EEC was resistant to reform and that membership would hurt Britain’s relations with the Commonwealth.

      “In a speech to the party conference in October 1962, Gaitskell claimed that Britain’s participation in a Federal Europe would mean “the end of Britain as an independent European state, the end of a thousand years of history!” He added: “You may say, all right! Let it end! But, my goodness, it’s a decision that needs a little care and thought.”

      In the speech Gaitskell summoned up the memory of Vimy Ridge and Gallipoli, where Canadian and ANZAC troops had fought alongside British, mixing his defence of national identity with the tradition of the Commonwealth. The speech dismayed many of Gaitskell’s natural supporters but was applauded by many on the Left, causing his wife Dora to observe “all the wrong people are cheering”.”

      I note that New Zealand is now saying that it has created new trade relations away from Britain since we joined the EEC (not surprisingly), which we will have to rebuild.

      Perhaps we should have given the decision a little more care and a little more thought then instead of voting to stay in when we were bamboozled by Harold Wilson into thinking it would be good for us.

  13. Hope
    October 12, 2016

    Good interview on news night. To grab headlines the odd eff off might help rebut the BBC think stupidity in its ever balanced reporting.

    The Tory EU fanatics are still at it with the Lib Dumbs, who hardly anyone votes for, and the chaotic Labour Party who does not know what it stands for other than its antiseptic views in disliking Jews.

    1. Lifelogic
      October 12, 2016

      “the Lib Dumbs, who hardly anyone votes for”

      Cameron, Osborne and about half the Tories are alas essentially Lib Dumbs too. I suspect T May is too given her many daft decisions so far.

      1. fedupsoutherner
        October 12, 2016

        Quite right. All these idiots actually voted for a referendum and they would not be wanting to discuss the ins and outs of a bunny rabbits backside if the vote had gone their way. We Brexiteers would have been dismissed without any say whatsoever. Why we have to listen to a bunch of have beens and a Labour government that is in complete disarray, I don’t know. I am getting really nervous that the vote will be given on the conditions for leaving and we will be staying in some shape or another. This can’t possibly happen. I and many others on this blog do not want to keep paying the EU ANYTHING AT ALL. We want our country back to govern as we see fit and nothing less than this will do.

        1. Lifelogic
          October 12, 2016

          Indeed I do have grave doubts that we will ever escape. HS2, Hinkley, green crap, gender pay reporting, yet bigger government and workers/customers on company boards……. Theresa May does not inspire much confidence economically either.

          She failed to control non EU immigration for 6 years and even had the temerity to assure/lie to voters that we had control of our borders through Schengen. We could have a quick peep at their passport before having to wave them all through! Control sure Theresa and she was the home secretary.

  14. margaret
    October 12, 2016

    I didn’t sleep very well last night and as I am having an extension to my house ,disorder reigns. I happened to put the box on to find out the time and I Duncan Smith was in process of being interviewed . The interviewer was speaking over the top of the responses and as usual Brexiteers were being voiced down. Ah!

    1. ColdOut
      October 12, 2016

      Haven’t had a box for over 10 years. Friendly, but serious suggestion, try it Margaret. You don’t have to invite the brain washers into your home.

      1. Lifelogic
        October 12, 2016

        No only that but all the news programmes seem to deliver is wars, suffering, extreme weather porn, terrorist bombs, murders, rapes, train & plane crashes, bird flu, swine flu, medical scares, climate alarmism and general doom and gloom.

        All rather depressing.

        Humans have never actually had it so good it is a fabulous time to be alive.

  15. Bert Young
    October 12, 2016

    Just ” get on with it !” . There is far too much dithering going on following ” Brexit “. The public have voted , the letter is going , negotiations will happen , reality will set in , some will be pleased and some will be disappointed . The antics going on in the HofC are a ridiculous display of personality . Leadership must act and put a stop to it all .

  16. Chris
    October 12, 2016

    Slightly O/T, but there is a very good article on Brexit Central (Jonathan Isaby) this morning by Morten Harper, from Nei til EU, advising strongly against the Norway option, and discussing what many Norwegians would really like (to get out of EEA commitments?) for itself, and the potential for the UK.
    “….Nei til EU wants Norway to leave the EEA, and instead negotiate a new trade agreement with the EU. Norway and the EU have mutual interests in fair trade relations, Norway being its fifth largest trading partner. Norway has more than 70 bilateral agreements with the EU on different areas, such as the association to Europol. These agreements are separate from the EEA.

    For this purpose, Nei til EU joined forces with several other organisations to produce a report on various alternatives to the EEA, which can be read in English here. A new trade agreement would be without any supranational surveillance institution or court. The WTO agreements would of course also be a foundation for trade relations, independent from the results of future Norway-EU negotiations.

    Prior to EEC membership in 1973, the United Kingdom was of course a member of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which now consists of Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. EFTA is an inter-governmental collaboration, and nowadays the vast majority of Norway’s international trade agreements are negotiated through EFTA. An EFTA+ that included the UK would be a significant economic alliance. Switzerland and Norway are the EU’s fourth and fifth largest trading partners. Britain is the second biggest national economy in the EU.

    Straight after your referendum, various Norwegian ministers dismissed the possibility of inviting the UK to join EFTA. It has since become evident that such a dismissal is unfounded, and the government’s official position is now to be open to it.

    We at Nei til EU think that the prospects of UK joining EFTA should be closely examined. Moreover, the Norwegian government should initiate talks with the UK regarding bilateral trade, the UK being the largest export market for Norwegian goods….”

  17. a-tracy
    October 12, 2016

    Jerry gives the game away here “Supporters of Vote Leave and Brexit have no mandate to tell the government what Brexit should look like, if they want that mandate then there needs to be that second referendum… All Vote Leave and others can demand is that the UK leaves the European Unions, nothing more (which is why there has been no mention of the ECHR, even though it is the ECHR that has caused far more problems for the UK than the ECJ).”

    They think that ok let’s leave the Europeans to make all the rules on the European army, Turkey, federalisation, one nation, one flag etc. without us in the way that will all perhaps go swimmingly well for Brussels. BUT and it’s a big BUT our Parliamentarians will be expected to toe the line and vote to tie us in paying by every other means possible. Then they’re hoping the people will say
    “well if we have to do that….we’re better off staying in and having a say”,
    every day it’s relentless and has been since before the vote. I’ve seen bullies operating all my life.

    In today’s news Scottish Universities want EU students to continue to study for free in Scotland whilst expecting English students to pay full fees, well if Education is devolved and Scotland want to pay for this go ahead, what are they waiting on Westminster for, does Nicola have the power on this matter or not? The Scottish taxpayers however, should be the ones to fund this generosity with extra taxes because England already pays our own way in Higher Education.

    1. agricola
      October 12, 2016

      I find the choreography of all things Brexit fascinating, particularly when viewed from a parliamentary perspective. The majority of the H o C were for Remain, but now their dilemma is that they supposedly represent the wishes of the electorate who voted resoundingly for Leave.

      Too many MPs who go public are trying to nuance the vote to Leave the EU by arrogantly suggesting that the electorate did not know what they were voting for. or were not voting to Leave the EU in it’s entirety, but only in part. They do this because it suits their narrative of Remain. They pay lip service to the vote and then try to dilute it. The leader of the Lib/Dems and possibly Ken Clarke are the worst offenders.

      Discussing whether we should be in the single market is typical. The single market is a supposed reward following a series of demands that the EU makes of it’s members. They must meet all the demands if they wish to participate in the single market. As our vote to Leave does not accept the ECJ or freedom of movement, just to mention two aspects of EU membership, we cannot be part of their single market. For Remainers this then generates their plague of locusts and much else they care to create.

      Please try to understand and be clear that having left the EU and it’s compulsory baggage, we do so with all EU law on our UK statute book. With our newly regained sovereignty we can amend this law at our leisure, and henceforth control all our own law enactment. We are not subject to the ECJ. We control our own agriculture, fisheries, and emigration policy. We are free to support our own industries and research as we see fit. We set our own tax and VAT levels.

      We can offer tariff free trade to the EU, which as the main beneficiary they would be stupid to refuse. Additionally we can set up trade agreements with whom we wish in the World. Finally we can offer to cooperate with the EU in many areas considered of mutual benefit.

      Hard and soft Brexit are a nonsense, a device from Remain that suggest that there are degrees of Brexit. There are not if we wish to be a sovereign nation again. Those who use the terms are hopeful of a dilution of Leave. They should be slapped down at every opportunity.

      1. Jerry
        October 13, 2016

        @agricola; “We can offer tariff free trade to the EU, which as the main beneficiary they would be stupid to refuse.”

        Oh so we buy goods and services from the EU27 as some form of charity do we, not because we need such goods and services, WTO rues will make not one jot of difference to the EU27.

        Oh what about those products made here in the UK the europhobes cry, well if 10% tariffs on their own products imported from their own factories sited in the UK can not be absorbed then they will simply move production to within the EU27 or some country that has a more favourable trading environment (and the same applies to those non EU27 manufactures who will be faced with 10% tariffs).

        1. Edward2
          October 14, 2016

          He didn’t say that Jerry
          He said why would the EU nations turn down tariff free trade deals if offered by the UK
          If I may be allowed to precis the original post.

          1. Jerry
            October 15, 2016

            @Edward2; The EU/EU27 will (likely, we are told) turn down tariff free trade with the UK because the UK -or more specifically, europhobes- will not want the linked pre-requisite of free movement of people.

            I’m sure they will still sell all those goods to the UK that we need but by the time the end customer received their goods HRMC will have been a 10% (or more) WTO derived tariff, with all the knock on effects to the UK economy. That is fine all the time we are talking about discretionary purchases, such as cars or household white goods, but it will be problematic should UK businesses not be able to source alternate supplies of essentially parts/ingredient etc.

            Then of course there is the trade the other way, why would anyone in the EU27 buy UK products that are 10% more expensive than those that can be sourced from within EU27 (or other countries with trade agreements), never mind EU27 companies having to pay 10% just to ‘import’ their own products into their home market that happen to be made currently in the UK, any such company would be mad not to at least explore the possibility of bringing production back within the EU27.

      2. Mockbeggar
        October 13, 2016

        One of the best contributions I have seen on this topic.

  18. Denis Cooper
    October 12, 2016


    Pressure mounts on Theresa May as pro-Leave Tory MP demands three-day Brexit debate
    Pro-Leave Conservative backbencher Stephen Phillips has pressured Theresa May, insisting the use of prerogative powers to push a deal through without parliamentary approval would amount to “tyranny”.

    Now it seems he is to go one step further and demand a three-day debate before Article 50 is triggered.

    “Beth Rigby
    BREAK: On heels of No 10 climbdown, Stephen Phillips says he’ll force govt 2 commit to 3-day parliamentary debate BEFORE triggering Art. 50″
    8:42 AM – 12 Oct 2016″”

    Obviously it’s “tyranny” if MPs and peers are allowed hours and hours of free debate and multiple votes on a Bill ordering a referendum on EU membership, and they yak on endlessly about allowing children and foreigners to vote and about arrangements for “purdah”, and whether the government should use £9 million of public money to send a leaflet to every household urging electors to vote the way it wants but saying:

    “This is your decision. The government will implement what you decide.”

    and yet no parliamentarian, not even Mr Phillips, not even Baroness Wheatcroft, can be bothered to ask what would ensue if the government lost the referendum.

    Well, the Commons debate is today, and tomorrow the High Court will start to consider whether it should rescue lazy and inattentive parliamentarians from the consequences of their own incompetence, or it should take the side of the people by making sure that the government will be able to keep its promise to implement the result of the referendum without said lazy and inattentive parliamentarians being able to block it.

    1. turboterrier
      October 12, 2016

      @ Denis Cooper

      If it wasn’t so serious you would have to laugh.

      Don’t any of these remoaner pr***s ever read a financial paper and try and understand that in its present format the EU is finished. All the bail outs to various countries have not altered the present situation one jot.

      You have to lay some of the blame at the feet of the Brexiteers in Parliament and in the media that I have yet to hear one casting concerns about the EU as it is slowly imploding. in less than a year it is quite possible if elections go the way that the polls show there will not be a France, Holland, Italy as a starter for ten and Mrs Merkal hopefully will not be around which would be the icing on the cake.

      As in the scene from Ice Station Zebra when all those supposedly in charge were exploring every concerns and Patrick McGoohan bangs the table and shouts “Just bloody get me there” An iconic scene which just about sums up the feelings of a few million voters in the UK.

      1. Jerry
        October 13, 2016

        @turboterrier; If such people “ever read a financial paper” they might conclude that the UK is finished, the GBP falling through the floor on the FX markets, imports getting more expensive, inflation bound to rise on the back of both, the FTSE acting like a yo-yo….

        For goodness sake, will someone in the hard core Brexit camp please put the coffee-pot on – assuming we can still afford to import coffee!

        1. Edward2
          October 13, 2016

          “The UK is finished”
          Come on Jerry

          1. Jerry
            October 14, 2016

            @Edward2; Please stop miss-quoting what I said. Not only did you lift four words out from the middle of the sentence they were used but you also chose to Capitalise the first word and thus change the context and make out that it was a stand alone comment.

  19. Brian Tomkinson
    October 12, 2016

    Good to see you on Newsnight last night (totally anti-Brexit programme that it is). You showed clearly and calmly the fatuous and rather hysterical nature of the questioning and assertions by Kirsty Wark (any of their other presenters would have been equally as bad) so prevelant at the BBC and other broadcast media. We need to see and hear more from you.

  20. Bob
    October 12, 2016

    I was shocked (not) to read this from Rupert Myers in the Telegraph:
    “Whenever we do, we will still be a full member of the European Union throughout the second half of 2017, when we would have had the presidency. Determining the agenda of the European Council might have helped Britain to steer conversations in Europe in areas that are still bound to be significant to us in the next two years. At best this move looks like tokenism. At worst it is the abandonment of a bargaining position that would have aided Britain in asserting influence in our negotiations to leave. “

    1. Mark B
      October 12, 2016

      I mentioned that this was a bad mistake, both here and elsewhere.

      I also see that the government seems to have given the go-a-head for the second of the three H’s.

  21. agricola
    October 12, 2016

    If promises are kept, both Labour and the TUC have little to worry about. It is difficult to work out what their opposition to Leave might be unless of course they are opposed to a UK sovereign state on principal. As circumstances change over the coming years it is reasonable to expect what we inherit from the EU will also need to change. The EU will find itself in the same position.

    I read that an Indian led company with UK backing has found a way of capturing carbon emissions from burning coal that is economically viable. Much more reliable and cheaper than current so called green sources of electricity generation. This could be a real game changer because we have our own or access to cheap coal and until recently were World leaders in the technology of mining coal. If you add to that technology the computer control capability then you have a safer than before, and cheaper means of extracting coal. Suggest you investigate Carbon Clear Solutions Ltd and if the reports are correct, get behind it.

    1. turboterrier
      October 12, 2016

      @ agricola

      Suggest you investigate Carbon Clear Solutions Ltd and if the reports are correct, get behind it.

      Bring it on. The impossible is always possible given belief and determination.

      1. hefner
        October 12, 2016

        Well, I would look more than twice to Carbon Clear Solutions. It might capture 80% of CO2 emissions (very good) but produce a large amount of subsequent solvent by-products (not so good, unregulated and possibly dangerous?). The “investment” case is not so clear-cut.

    2. Denis Cooper
      October 12, 2016

      I’m OK with the method of “capturing carbon dioxide using proprietary regenerable solvent”, that seems clever, but “the CO2 thus recovered can be used as a raw material for downstream industries” assumes there is a sufficiently large market and that the CO2 used by the downstream industries isn’t going to end up in the atmosphere anyway, albeit after a delay.

      1. stred
        October 13, 2016

        Or leak out over time if stuffed down empty oilfields. It still requires more energy to be produced to capture Co2, producing more Co2, which then has to be captured too.

    October 12, 2016

    Perhaps Labour feeder UK trades unions will now countenance a full acceptance of the EU recommendation that employees receiving regular and consistent bonus payments per month could have that payment calculated into their holiday week/month payments. And backdated.

    Some employees were not able to take two-week holidays in any one month because they could not afford to lose their regular earnings. Mr Vince Cable made quite a bad deal with British trades unions that these bonus payments, he insisted on it, would not be backdated to the time that the EU recommended it. This meant thousands of British citizens were treated in a discriminatory way compared with employees in a similar position in other nation states…even British employees working in the EU
    I do not believe there was a racist element in Mr Cable’s negotiating stance nor a racist element in that of the British trades unions which agreed to deny certain of their members such a vast amount of money.
    UKIP’s spokeswoman at the time, (my comment about it was published here ), of the negotiations was very much in favour of discriminating against British workers in favour of European workers for reasons which again were not racist in spirit or practice but merely based on not wishing British employers to treat their British and EU workers fairly as they should.

  23. Denis Cooper
    October 12, 2016

    Off-topic, in the Open Europe bulletin today:

    “The Guardian today cites Open Europe’s analysis of the cost of leaving the EU’s customs union, which we estimate would have the effect of making UK GDP 1% lower than would otherwise be the case in 2030, due to the out of time and administrative cost of customs checks.”

    Note that, just 1% of GDP, equivalent to about five months of natural growth of the UK economy at the trend rate of 2.5% a year since the 1950’s, quite marginal, plus:

    “However, the same research found that these costs can be offset if the UK takes steps to boost trade with other parts of the world by lowering tariffs on imports or striking new trade deals – only possible by leaving the customs union – and by deregulating the domestic economy. In this scenario, Brexit would have an economically neutral or positive outcome by 2030.”

    Of course while the Guardian “cites” this it does so as another part of the general Brexit economic catastrophe, presumably because it thinks its readers are too dim to see that 1% one way or the other is not that much, the difference between say GDP being 41.3 % higher in 2030 than now, or only being 39.9% higher, or possibly being 42.7% higher.

  24. Iain Gill
    October 12, 2016

    I would like to see employees protected from unrestricted immigration in their skillset. Not just at the bottom of the skills spectrum but also in skills already in oversupply (stop the decimation of the British workforce seen in the information technology workforce and stop if from happening in other sectors). I would like to see incentives to hire locals and not foreign imports as currently happens with tax perks. I would like to see employees brought in from abroad protected from abuse by their employers, so stop tying their right to be in the country to working for one specific employer which can then abuse that hold over them. I would like to see employees protected from harassment and racism which is apparent in some of the foreign workforces the outsourcers bring in on uncapped intra company transfer visas.

  25. Prigger
    October 12, 2016

    Bit of a joke, Labour wishing to protect workers rights. Local Authority workers should have a right to a realistically free trade union as opposed to a “Corporate Trade Union” . That way the workers would not have to lose, periodically, full days’ pay on fake strikes to “force” their employer who funds the trades union down to paying the official union pay of union officials. Labour cannot go on with these stooges of the fake trades union movement. Either have unions or don’t have unions but not fake ones, taking Labour and trade union members for complete fools to be tricked day after day and actually paying union subs of many pounds stopped out of their pay monthly for absolutely NOTHING!

  26. E.S Tablishment
    October 12, 2016

    Workers in our Country have a fundamental right which has at many times not been available to workers in Hungary and parts of Germany. The right NOT to work. Labour’s former bedfellows in the Eastern Bloc were all for jobs and all for themselves. You had to have a job or be imprisoned or shot. If you were university educated you could be made to sweep the streets for half a lifetime until you had saved enough money to bribe a Party official to get an upgrade to Chief Brush Sweeper ( Dr, PhD, Eng).
    Corbynistas would agree with such Compulsive Labour Disorder

  27. Eddy
    October 12, 2016

    What’s the point to post a comment when you don’t like to publish anything not of your liking. Congratulations, you are a real democrat….
    Despicable and a measure of the man….

    1. Lifelogic
      October 12, 2016

      Nonsense all sorts of comments are posted.

  28. Ian Wragg
    October 12, 2016

    The problem is John the dedicated Remainiacs want all current and future EU law binding on the British people.
    They believe that we are too stupid to draft our own laws.
    Despite many of the EU regulations being detrimental too us they still want to abide by them.
    We have a sizeable rump of MPS,s who wish to thwart the will of the people and they are aghast at the sheer stupidity of the common man.
    The same tactics are being used in America to destroy Trump because he is a threat to the establishment.

  29. Lifelogic
    October 12, 2016

    Why on earth is the government going to keep giving soft university loans of £27,000 to EU students until at least 2020? This especially as most of the lending is rather unlikely to be repaid, so much of it is a grant or overseas aid to competitors?

    The UK does not even give these loans to British students originally from the UK (but who have lived outside the EU for a year or two before going to university). Surely they at least should get them in preference? Surely a Brit whose parents happen to work abroad for a year or two should get the loan before someone from Germany for example.

    The Telegraph leader today is quite right on the absurdly low pension cap (that the misguided Osborne chose to raid). The pension tax benefits are only deferments in the main anyway. There is no need for a cap at all, just have some contribution limits (but these are also far too low).

    In general if Osborne or Brown did it is should undone as soon as possible.

    Does the government want people to make proper retirement provisions or not?

    1. hefner
      October 12, 2016

      Could you please elaborate on this student loan problem? I only found a Daily Express item on 23/05/2016 quoting £89m of non reimbursed loans, by non-UK students, and this accumulated from 2010. All the other loans (not clear whether it was 95 or 98 %) were being reimbursed.
      A reference would be welcome. Thanks in advance.

  30. Denis Cooper
    October 12, 2016

    “Some claim Norway’s prosperity is due to the EEA. But we at Nei til EU do not share this point of view, even though our opposition to the EEA is more based on issues such as democracy, consumer interests, labour conditions and welfare. A study conducted by Norway’s official statistics bureau (SSB) states that total revenue from the trade rules of EEA and WTO is 0.77 %. That is equivalent to only a few months’ average economic growth in Norway.”

    On the economics it’s all very marginal, and that may be largely because global trade has already been freed up to the point of diminishing returns. Take as another example TTIP, which would allegedly “turbocharge the transatlantic economy”:

    but on official projections would produce a one-off benefit of about 0.6% of GDP.

  31. Robin Smith
    October 12, 2016

    Has anyone read a book called “Protection or Free Trade” by Mr. Henry George. If nothing else it’s a hilarious read in terms of how it points out the stupidity of ‘protectionism’ “We will pay foreign exporters to raise the prices of their goods and services before we buy them to protect our industry” for example. Chapter 9 is particularly amusing “Exports and Imports” and illustrates how protection means its best to sink all ships before they arrive in port as the extreme case for the support of trade tariffs.

    Clearly George had his own agenda – to abolish all taxation and fund government instead from the annual rental value of land under real estate. Don’t allow that to divert your attention away from his view on Free Trade and spoil your day. The intention of the book was to start with a proximate cause – protection and the foolish taxation that necessitates. And once the observer recognises that, it’s a teeny step further to recognises instantly that ALL tax is a terrible mistake. Pick and choose from the chapters. There’s plenty of ammo there for use in a TV debate to silence even the brightest interviewer.

    In topical debate, the term Free Trade is being used euphemistically. It has nothing to do with real free trade. It has everything to do with raising taxes where there were none before, and thus raising prices artificially – which will cause more unemployment in the end. Tariffs are the international version of VAT, an intra-national tariff which protects UK enterprise from the competition of itself in the same astonishingly stupid way. If tariffs where a boon to the economy why not have a customs house on the entrance to each city. Nay, each street. How about each doorstep, if, tariffs are a good thing for us? Now we’re rid of the EU (and potentially VAT which was a founding policy of the EU) let’s abolish all the tariffs and please not adopt any new ones. Then, now truly ‘Free’, who knows how high the UK economy will climb?

    The book mentioned above was written by a very well travelled journalist of the time from his weekly articles.

  32. They Work for Us?
    October 12, 2016

    The clamour by the Remainers including some Conservative MPs and industry vested interests to try to find a vehicle, any device, by which Brexit is stalled, diluted and obfuscated is revealing and shows the extent to which our country is not largely run for the benefit of the people. It is essential that local Conservative associations have the last word on candidate selection and deselection to ensure that the majority view is represented. If neo liberal Conservative MPs are instrumental in bringing Brexit down then their local associations should deselect them and tell Central Office that there will be no local elctioneering/ canvassing support.
    All of this suggests a strong need for MPs to be made to act more as employees of the electors and not as independent, we know best merchants. All major issues should be subject to a referendum. As a starter we should be asked if we assent to the reduction and removal of fossil fuels i.e. are we willing to give up our cars and gas fired central heating etc. If the answer is no, our govt should say to the international and green campaigners “Sorry but we are not doing it, our electors don’t agree to it”.

    1. fedupsoutherner
      October 12, 2016

      They Work For Us.

      ‘ As a starter we should be asked if we assent to the reduction and removal of fossil fuels i.e. are we willing to give up our cars and gas fired central heating etc. If the answer is no, our govt should say to the international and green campaigners “Sorry but we are not doing it, our electors don’t agree to it”.

      Exactly right! For far too long the renewable energy industry and the charities such as WWWF and FOE have decided on policy for far too long to the detriment of our industrial industries trying to remain competitive.

  33. Chris S
    October 12, 2016

    I posted the comment below last night, but anyone who hasn’t seen it might like to follow this link and watch it on the iPlayer at :

    The package starts 5mins 50secs in.
    Congratulations on an absolutely brilliant performance on Tuesday’s Newsnight with Kirsty Wark.

    All her arguments rightly deserved the ridicule you heaped upon them and after you demolished each in turn, she really had nothing left to come back and challenge you on.
    I guess you won’t be invited back onto Newsnight anytime soon !j

    Many of us said you should have been given a leading role in the referendum campaign and we were right. We can only guess at how much bigger our majority would have been if you had been invited to take part in the big debates.

  34. The Prangwizard
    October 12, 2016

    I have lost faith that your government will get us out of the EU.

    There are too many indications of weakness of resolve in general and the EU in particular.

    May seems to be struggling and I’m fairly sure is now is a ditherer who will lose the initiative. And complacency about the ineffectiveness of Corbyn and his revolutionaries will cost the nation dear.

    What can you write over coming weeks and months to restore my faith and show that your leader is stronger than her opposition?

  35. Roy Grainger
    October 12, 2016

    I’m going to negotiate with my boss for a pay rise. Before I go in I’m going to pin a paper on the office notice board saying my strategy is I’m going to ask for 10% but I would ultimately accept 2%, and if he says he’ll fire me I will accept 0% and work 10 hours a week extra. In this way I will get the best deal. Ed Milliband says so.

  36. James Munroe
    October 12, 2016

    If another Falklands War blew up again (Heaven Forbid), I assume the precedent now set over Brexit, would mean a Parliamentary debate, to allow MPs to discuss and reveal our battle plans…

    1. Iain gill
      October 13, 2016

      The BBC did broadcast our live battle plan during the Falklands much to the disgust of the services in combat listening to it on the world service.

      That’s our wonderful BBC for you.

  37. Richard Butler
    October 12, 2016

    Surely inviting hysterical remainers to pontificate over the Brexit package is going to extend things forever?

    I debate them day long and their ignorance is staggering. They unaware that the benefits of SM membership are vastly exaggerated, and that 70% of trade is already under WTO terms.


    2007 – the consensus amongst Economist was that it would be plain sailing. The global financial crash came in 2008.

    In 2008 as oil surged to $140 a barrel, experts said it would soon hit $200 p barrel; a few months later it plunged to $30.

    From the most widely used Economics textbook of the 1960’s ‘Economics: An Introductory Analysis’ by Economist Paul Samuelson – told us the USSR would overtake the US in economic power by 1997. By 1997 the USSR did not exist

    1988 Clyde Pestowitz wrote the book ‘Trading Places’ which was an account of the coming Japanese dominance. He totally failed to spot China, not giving it a mention.

    Alvin Toffler in 1970 wrote a best seller that warned of ‘Future Shock’, that the Human brain would not cope with the pace of change. By 1979 he told us global riots would have bought civilisation to a standstill.

    Paul Ehrlich – The End Of Affluence – 1974 – ‘the age of scarcity has arrived’. ‘We are facing the disintegration of nation states…… the year 2000 the UK will be a group of impoverished islands’. ‘This global new dark age may well see the end of civilisation’.
    1967 – William and Paul Paddock – published ‘Famine 1975’ which predicted global famines

    1968 Paul Borlaug – the father of the green revolution warned of the impending doom and global famine just around the corner

    Knight – Riddle Newspaper chain 1974 ran a 4 part series on the end of civilisation. ‘a host of powerful forces has come together to shake the very foundations of civilisation’

    Richard Faulk – Princeton University in ‘This Endangered Planet’ – wrote ‘people will increasingly doubt whether life is worth living, the 1990’s will witness the era of catastrophe and the 21st Century would be the era of annihilation’

    Desmond King-Hele, the British scientist writer in ‘The End Of The Twentieth Century’ wrote – ‘has man a future? Probably not – or at the least disasterous’
    Valery Giscard d’Estaing wrote ‘the 4 horsemen of the Apocalypse had arrived’

    International Panel chaired by Willy Brandt (former German Chancellor told us – ‘the 1980’s could witness greater tragedies than the 1930’s

    Late 1970s – Jimmy Carter gathered the renowned Economists of the age and concluded that peak oil was about to be reached, informing the people in his state of the nation address’s. After this oil promptly fell and stayed cheap for 2 decades.

    1. Ed Mahony
      October 12, 2016

      You accuse Remainers of being ‘hysterical.’ What if Leavers are just being hysterical about the EU?
      Personally, i think both the mainstream Remain and Leave positions (including Soft and Hard Brexit) are flawed. That the best, least-hysterical way forward (in my view, and not calling anyone ‘hysterical’) is to remain in the EU but to focus on getting it reformed for all, in particular on immigration. (And no, no-one has really tried to reform the EU – David Cameron trying to get concessions from the EU for the UK is a completely different thing from trying to actually reform the EU for the benefit of all of Europe). (And it is possible to reform the EU for all, although it requires a lot of will power, vision and persuasion).

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 13, 2016

        In his Bloomberg speech Cameron said that he wanted to reform, indeed transform, the whole EU. He was advised to scale back his stated ambition to just getting some changes which might placate public opinion in the UK, and he was advised not to seek treaty change. In fact the advice given to Cameron was not dissimilar to the advice given to Wilson before his “renegotiation”. There were good reasons for that advice; other EU member states may want to make substantial changes to the EU, but not ones that we would want.

  38. Iain Gill
    October 12, 2016

    Funny to see the BBC news channel go over to the shadow Brexit minister talking live in the commons, trying their best to get the anti Brexit message out there. When will the BBC ever learn the meaning of balance.

  39. John S
    October 12, 2016

    Just to say that you dealt with a very excitable Kirsty Wark with admirable calm on Newsnight last night. This was another non-story about the single market seized upon by the BBC.

  40. am
    October 12, 2016

    With Corbyn now firmly in the leave camp there could be no attempt by Labour to stop article 50.

  41. Denis Cooper
    October 12, 2016


    Clegg still thinks that with fancy diplomatic footwork and intelligent negotiating it would be possible to remain in the EU Single Market and yet curtail freedom of movement.

    Corollary No 1 – Cameron’s months of negotiations were clumsy and unintelligent.

    Corollary No 2 – Continental politicians don’t really mean it when they chorus that as far as they are concerned the “four freedoms” of the Single Market are inseparable.

    1. Chris
      October 12, 2016

      Do you still look at the eureferendum blog? The comments section tonight seems very depressing, and there is even one comment apparently praising Clegg’s statement. Ironically, they do seem to be very much on the side of the Remainers who want the so called soft Brexit, and I fear they are doing all in their power to brief and influence against what I regard as Brexit proper, or a clean Brexit.

      1. Denis Cooper
        October 13, 2016

        Yes, it provides some useful information, so I do look at it even though like many others I have been banned for persistent dissent. I’ve likened it to the last parts of the film “Bridge on the River Kwai”, when the British colonel has become so swollen with pride at the excellence of the bridge designed and built by his men for the Japanese army, his bridge as he has come to see it, that he forgets himself and tries to prevent it being destroyed.

  42. Denis Cooper
    October 12, 2016

    I’ve just checked Article 50 TEU to see if it says anything about leaving the EU but staying in the EU Single Market and/or the EU customs union.

    Oddly enough, it doesn’t:

    “1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union … ”

    Luckily the referendum question was about just that, whether we wanted to withdraw from Union, and not about what other arrangements we might then want; so that fits in very nicely with Article 50, and the referendum result is exactly the right mandate for the government to proceed to send in the notice under that treaty article.

  43. Mick
    October 12, 2016

    Mrs May should invoke article 50 now and not in march next year, because watching all these MPs who before commenting in parliament say they abide by the result in June must take the public for idiots, because all they want is a way of blocking us leaving the eu no matter how they dress it up, invoking A50 now would shoot the remoaners fox and start our journey to independence

    1. Denis Cooper
      October 13, 2016

      Correct, and we wouldn’t be in this position now if Cast-Iron Cameron had done what he promised and a) activated Article 50 straightaway, and b) stayed in office.

  44. James Munroe
    October 12, 2016

    The Brexit ‘surprise’ left the Remain campaigners dazed and confused for a short while.

    But Mrs May’s delay has created a vacuum, that the regrouped Remainers are now filling.

    Now we have the enraged and belittled EU leaders, aided and abetted by a worried City financial workforce, plus the Remain voters (still in various stages of denial, anger, etc). The democracy deniers Farron, Miliband, Clarke, plus plenty of pro-EU politicians are coming together strongly.
    They have media mouthpieces in the BBC, ITV and Sky – all losers of EU revenue and showing clear anti-Brexit, pro-EU bias.

    If May is going to deliver a clean Brexit, as demanded by the 17 milion, she and her Government have to ‘up their game’ .

    We are told a “running commentary will not be given”, but we are seeing exactly what happens with that strategy. An absence of regular information, (which both informs and takes people along with a cause) , is a recipe for disaster.

    A clear plan and better communication/PR are required, to ensure hearts and minds are not lost, to the gradual drip-feed of the anti-Brexit commentary.

    A fight-back is now overdue, before the initiative is completely lost.

    I have to say, as a life-long Tory voter, that watching performances in the Commons today, particularly by one Tory ‘Grandee’ was enough to make anyone question their Party allegiance…

  45. Long Kesh
    October 12, 2016

    Off Topic and how:

    “Next Steps in Leaving the European Union” BBC Parliament 10th October 2016 Part of a question by Hannah Bardell SNP to David Davis Brexit Minister:

    ” The press reported over the weekend that hate crime was up following the Brexit vote. In particular, homophobic attacks were up 147%. ”

    Actually, hate crime also rose during the recent Labour Party leadership election and indeed in the process and following the Scottish Referendum vote, more in Scotland than elsewhere in the UK.
    By Ms Bardell’s logic she might see a coincidental yet causal relationship between the SNP saying anything at all in election periods and, increasing divisions in our society. Look desperately for a connection then eventually you’ll find one!

    The next accusations from Remainers will possibly be there were more sunspots and sightings of UFOs since Brexit. ( Actually I believe there were. ). This may go some way to explain why the mysteriously missing Mr Osborne landed in Parliament today and sat wide-eyed next to Nicky Morgan MP

    1. stred
      October 14, 2016

      The increase in hate crime may be due to the huge efforts made by the Home Office under Mrs May and the CPS since run by Sir Starmer of the referendum reverse squad, with the help of the politico police, to expand definitions. The results are covered by Facts4eu ^ and, having looked at the College of Police guidance notes, the 131 pages would be enough to explain why the plods seem to have largely vanished from our streets. Most amazing is that evidence is not required, third parties may report and that ‘hostility’ is the key word, which may be defined in many ways- including ‘unfriendliness’.

  46. Robin Smith
    October 12, 2016

    Tesco Was Being PROTECTED By The EU

    No Longer.

    Good. Now the Free Market and the True Free Trader can prevail on equal terms.

    This special protection gave Tesco an unfair advantage relative to those who did not have it. The free market was distorted in their favour. Now they no longer have it they will struggle to compete on a level playing field and new and authentic enterprise will come to the fore.

    Can this be bad news for the nation?

    That is, unless our politicians step in to ‘help’ and destroy that golden opportunity by distorting the market once again with more trade deals?

    Leave the market to the traders who’re far more capable of finding the best price, whomever they’re trading with foreign and local. No more silly childish timid protection. Lots more bold enterprise.

    Government only steps in to protect a particular vested interest in the lobby, NEVER, to protect the equal rights of all the nations traders – the only duty of government in the market. Once it steps beyond this duty it is causing harm to the nation in a vain attempt to ‘help’.

    Get out of the way!

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