What are the negotiating aims of the EU 27?

So many commentators and broadcasters, and most Opposition politicians,  keep on and on about what are the UK’s negotiating aims. Often they misrepresent the UK’s position, both seeking to weaken it by false report and by pretending our aims are unclear or unstated. If they wanted to be helpful and do something useful they should turn their attention to the rest of the EU and their aims and positions.


The UK’s position is very easy to grasp for anyone who read the referendum ballot paper or has listened to the Prime Minister. The UK is going to leave the EU. There is no such thing as a single market we can remain in on leaving, and no-one on the Vote Leave campaign suggested there was. As the Uk wishes outside the EU to negotiate trade agreements with non EU countries we clearly will not be in the Customs union. The PM has ruled out EEA membership. This means there is not a lot to negotiate. We will not negotiate our independence with the rest of the EU – that is an absurd contradiction. We will offer them no new barriers to their trade with us, and I expect after a lot of huffing and puffing they will want to accept that offer. If they don’t we will trade with them as most favoured nation under WTO rules, and they will be the big losers on tariffs as a result.

So what do they want? They haven’t yet even confirmed that all UK residents legally living in the rest of the EU can carry on doing so, though the UK has made clear we are happy for all EU legally resident people in the UK to stay if they wish assuming there are no forced evictions from the continent. Isn’t it time the rest of the EU moved to reassure all those citizens? Surely civilised countries who accept international law could bring themselves to reassure people living in their counties?  Why are they so unpleasant to their residents?

Some of them have said they want the UK to continue with freedom of movement. The answer to that is clearly No. They cannot make us do that. Some have then said they wish to damage their trade with us, so they can damage our trade with them, as a punishment for daring to leave. What a ghastly club if it needs to punish members who want their freedom!  The bad joke is of course on those who make these threats. It will be their trade that suffers more, as it is their trade which will attract more of  the tariffs that can be placed on agriculture, wine, and cars whilst most of our trade will be tariff free or very low tariffs under WTO rules.

I don’ t  think in the end, with such high unemployment in the Euro area, they will want to hurt their trade. If they do, it will certainly confirm how wise we were to leave. Why would you want to stay in a club with other members who so want to harm you that they will harm themselves more to do so? Why would you wish to stay with former partners who say such disobliging things and cannot even tell their residents they are of course free to stay where they are living. Time for our journalists to ask some  questions of the 27.

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Indeed a good analysis. But most journalists, most of the state sector, most “BBC think” economists and indeed over half the Tories are still essentially for remain. BBC discussion programs are usually about 4 remainers plus the presenter against perhaps one leaver at best.

    May and the Government are dithering and failing to fight properly for a clear Brexit. A good article in the spectator, correctly I think, claims May has been dealt a winning hand. Let us hope she has the gumption to play it properly. The forces for remain, the BBC, Ken Clark, Major, Blair types, the state sector, much of academia and nearly all the state sector are still rather powerful.

    The only thing I can find to say that is positive about Hammond’s dire budget is that John Mc Donnall and Rebecca Long-Bailey would clearly be even worse. They have not got a clue and clearly think the government have a magic money tree. It is worrying how many people cheer for them and there evil politics of envy. This is largely due to the lack of any sensible pro growth vision from the pedestrian May and Hammond types.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      We are reminded constantly how much worse Labour would be. McDonnells ridiculous £1/2 trillion spending splurge, Corbyn talking about how emerging tech industries need government direction by him and his new-Marxist mob – as used to happen in the Soviet Union. Do these people not look around the world and wonder why it is that it is countries like the US, Singapore, South Korea (& in Europe the U.K.) which have the most successful growth technology sectors? This morning we had The Labour extreme leftist Ken Livingstone defending Cuban dictator Castro – who came close to starting WW3, who bankrupted his country and who ran a vicious socialist dictatorship.

      I agreee it looks like May & Hammond will be a disappointment but my Goodness
      Labour would be much, much worse!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        Indeed but it could be so much better if May and Hammond were real freedom loving, small government, low tax Tories.

        • Richard1
          Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

          Need to give them time for the Brexit hysteria to settle and allow for a proper budget.

          • rose
            Posted November 27, 2016 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            Very stupid to tax insurance habits. These should be encouraged but are being treated as a vice.

            If people stop paying for health insurance, for example, how will that affect public expenditure in adding a further burden to the NHS?

      • Hope
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        Blaire is trying to cause subversion by his insurgent comments and the same is true of the EU extremist Major by claiming tyrannical majority. The same majority electing political parties when it suited both! Those of us who did not like Major’s Maastricht or Brown’s Lisbon have a legitimate right right they were deceived by the tyranical PMs. The same for sending our troops to war in Iraq based on lies. About time someone in the establishment brought these people to proper account. No hiding behind ministerial codes.

      • Hope
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Time for our security services to monitor subversion of EU fanatics wanting to remain in the EU. Irrespective of the office they hold or held.

    • Dimensions
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      It may seem very odd to some, but I have time for the likes of John Mc Donnall and Rebecca Long-Bailey. Their lives are interesting. You see where they are coming from. I do not agree with their present opinions as a whole. They need to seize border control of what and how they think.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        All they say is government should spend more here, & here and over there. People should all be paid more, we should invest more in this and that, schools need more money, the HNS needs more money, pensioner need more money, the police need more money, the prison officers need more money, we need more social and affordable housing ……

        But never. ever do they say how on earth they are going to pay for it. They would destroy the economy in no time.

      • Richard1
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

        Check out Cuba the last 50 years, Venezuala, Zimbabwe, Eastern Europe pre-1989 and to a lesser extent the U.K. In the 1970s to see the effect of their policies. It’s not even worth a debate, the evidence for the failure of big state socialism is overwhelming.

    • Prigger
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      It is hard to think what the Labour Party is for. It seems to function like the human appendix. Some think it a left-over from primeval evolution, something which had a function but became redundant. Others posit that it has functions like the spleen and helps the immune system. .Personally I’d sooner woof back a kilo of anti-biotics.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 27, 2016 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        The Labour Party is there to incubate envy as much as it can, to get elected by promising its voters other people’s money and money from the magic money tree. Then if it ever gets elected on these lies to destroy the economy and appoint their mates to well paid quango jobs to keep themselves in reasonable styles.

        Alas many of the Tories are similar lefties in very many ways. Look at the crony green energy industry and the political consultants.

    • am
      Posted November 28, 2016 at 6:44 am | Permalink

      Being an ex-pat and just arrived home for a few weeks I can concur with the statement about BBC discussion panels. Question time last Thursday seemed to be loaded with remainers although the Tory representative who did vote remain was going to plough on manfully with leave. Still it seemed very biased in favour of remain.
      A position, not entirely related to the BBC, but a feature of economic discussion is the credibility given to forecasts even when contradicted by hard data. In effect the forecasts are received but the data is ignored so false reporting abounds. The example I have in mind is on Weds the Chancellors Autumn Statement rolled out the OBR forecasts which included 2.1 growth for 2016. On Friday the ONS confirmed growth at 0.5 for Q3 on Q2 2016. This is an annualised rate of 2.3: already ahead of OBR’s 2.1. Yet not a word that just two days after their forecast it was already wrong. Is it just incompetence in reporting or something deeper. Also given the likelihood by surveys and general report that there will be further growth in Q4 2016 the annualised rate for 2016 will be at least 2.4 making it 0.3 higher than the OBR forecast. All OBR forecast based reports on borrowing, cost of brexit, etc., that were spread across the press and broadcast on the media, already need revision, but they seem to be treated as if they are still correct.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted November 28, 2016 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

      Brexit and Remain are the too easiest and worst options. The best option is to be a Reformer. Which means to remain in the EU but get it reformed, above all, over immigration.

      I have little doubt now, Mrs Thatcher would have been a Reformer (Mrs Thatcher when she was at her best early to mid 80’s). Mrs Thatcher was great because she was geopolitical as opposed to just seeing our country’s future through the lens of parliamentary sovereignty and trade outside geopolitics.

      The whole Referendum was a disaster because it’s up to politicians to work out our country’s future based through the overall picture of geopolitics. That’s what why they went to Oxford to study PPE and what they’re paid to do.

  2. Caterpillar
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    According to the media the PM has referred to keeping the UK’s negotiating position secret, implying there is something to negotiate about.

    • Richard1
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      I don’t know why the UK Government persists in this rather irritating line about keeping the negotitiating cards close etc. Surely all they need to say is: ‘the U.K. Will leave the EU, we would like to continue with friendly political and cultural relations with cooperation in numerous areas, we would like to continue with free and easy travel for business, tourism and study, and we would like to continue with free trade as we have now, in the mutual interest of the U.K. And the EU’. It is then for the EU to say whether they will demand any or all of: subjugation to the EU institutions, uncontrolled immigration from the EU and payment of aid by the U.K. To the EU. The answer to the first two will clearly be no, but perhaps in the end we can bung a few £bn to Eastern European countries in place of our current contribution to keep everyone happy. It ought also be possible to agree a speedy deal on free movement for skilled workers and those with jobs to go to. Why should it all be so complicated?!

      • Caterpillar
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Richard 1,

        Agreed, the UK Government just needs to get on with it.

        (When there is something to do politicians complicate the simple. When there is something to discuss politicians simplify the complicated.)

    • GuzinterExpert
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

      Andrew Neil in his nonpareil way queried what Mrs May could have meant when she answered SNP Parliamentary Leader Angus Robertson by stating that free movement was not a binary issue. At the time I remember her seemingly smirking knowingly to him and he reciprocated. They had just shared the knowledge that they have regular official meetings and discuss many issues. Mr Neil came up with what I feel was a white lie about what it could actually mean whilst keeping his true thoughts to himself. At the time I took their interchange to mean she was prepared to allow some freedom of movement bilaterally with particular EU nation states but not all of them. A cunning plan to undermine and out-flank EU central negotiators and, to utterly betray what we voted for. We must watch Mrs May with her binary plans.

      • Hope
        Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        I agree. I first thought project fear continued. Now I th No it I should more sinister than this. Subversion of the public to get a second referendum or to align the U.K. as close as possible to the EU is well underway. The lack of logic for delaying until March is a red herring. The govt could have issued article 50 straight away as Cameron claimed. However he thought the establishment would get the result they wanted. Plan B is the current one we are witnessing with May being elected PM by her party. Her appointment as PM against the will of the people and what we voted for. Once more, subversion of the will of the people.

    • Peter Moore
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Totally agree with you, Cat.

      Don’t Trigger Article-50, Just Leave.
      Written by Ingrid Detter de Frankopan who is a professor of international law and holds three doctorates, one specifically on European law.
      Find it at: http://moneyweek.com/dont-trig

      My poor effort at précis:
      Under international law and under the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 the UK is entitled to leave by mere notice under article 50(1). There is no need to “trigger” further agreements or discussions with the EU. The UK even has the right to leave at once.
      Other states have left easily without all these deliberate difficulties.
      States have jurisdiction – EU is not yet a state.
      Art-50 is of the Lisbon Treaty. That treaty is inaccessible now.

      Not in the article but pertinent:
      Lord Kerr, who wrote Art-50, stated it was intended only for a country suffering civil commotion. If you want to leave, stop writing the cheques, stop attending the meetings, just trade, it requires no treaty.

      I would add a question: “Is all this ‘negotiation’ flummery a deliberate trap by Eurocrats & Remainer British beaurocrats designed to ensure we never get out? I firmly believe so.

  3. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    Another splendid article Dr Redwood and right on the button. Clearly stated and completely logical. If only the mainstream commentators and the main TV news channels would ask these questions…

    This afternoon we’re interviewing Prof Patrick Minford of ‘Economists for Brexit’ and the Cardiff Business School. We believe he’ll have some interesting things to say about the post-Brexit trading relationship. If any of your readers want to ask him a question via us, they can do so here: http://facts4eu.org/news_nov_2016.shtml#ask_the_prof

    • Neil Jackson
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      You can ask all the questions you like from the government side and the EU but there will be no discussion until article 50 is activated and that’s for certain- David Davis, Liam Fox and Boris by now realise this only too well. The EU will not allow any negotiation by the back door either- so we’re just going to have wait until at least next march to see how that procedure for disengaging from the EU is going to work out and only after the completion of the process of disengagement is complete will we be able to have talks about our future trading patterns with the EU- can anything be more clearer?

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Prof. Mariana Mazzucato seems to be the latest BBC find to push the lefty “BBC think” views on the nation. Allister Cambell also endlessly there talking his usual remainiac drivel and usually talking directly through anyone else too, without any BBC chairman intervention. Long-Bailey pushing her usual drivel too on Any Questions, endless calling for government “investment” which off course can only come by taxing others who would have invested it far more wisely.

    Almost any investment would be wiser than HS2, Hinkley, greencrap grants or Swansea “Lagoons” after all.

    • Boet
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      University education, in any discipline other than what you may call 2+2=4 subjects, is wanting. The ability to rattle off circular arguments and partially disconnected or false examples is taken as well-read and erudite. Actually is is. Just lacks logical outcome. Courses in Economics & English Literature in our universities should be closed down until we find out what’s going on. No point asking the people involved: there would be little chance of them understanding any question properly put.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        Much truth in that. I would not close them down but surely people can pay for their own hobby subject at university. Why should others pay for their hobbies?

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    The more I think about it, and the more I see of the ditherer (workers on boards and gender pay reporting ex(.) remainer) T May and Hammond then the more doubtful I become that we will actually escape.

    I just do not think she (and they) are up to the job. Her speeches are vacuous, pedestrian and full of self contradictions, hugely lacking in any real pro growth, lower taxes, smaller government vision or any sensible sense of direction at all.

    • Dame Rita Webb
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Of course she is not up to the job. She was not even up to the job of Home Secretary where she had complete control of who came into the UK from outside the EU. In the meantime she has allowed “children” into the UK from Calais, welfare handouts to be paid to ISIS and ITV interviews a mother of eight who is going to use hers to pay for some implants. And you thought it was only the Roman Empire that went into this sort of decline?

    • Dauber
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Mrs May does not appear genuine. She says things which indicate a warped version of Brexit. Then, when heard by alert journalists, she re-emphasises the official Brexit line. But does not explain her lack of precision in former statements. She is too big and grown up to make so many tiny errors. Of course she is working on the assumption of Leaver-weariness. Drag the whole thing out until we think “Oh well, it’s not exactly what we wanted or voted for but after all this time we’ll say it’s ok. No, we’d rather vote her out of power altogether! Even a Green Party member with a Christmas cracker of partial truths is better than May the con-artist. She did as much for Rotherham when she was Home Secretary as Picasso did for Socialist Realism

  6. alan jutson
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    I really do hope you are working away in the background with our so called Brexit Department JR, and are thus part of the team who is behind negotiating our future and parting relationship with the EU.

    We voted to leave the EU, nothing more nothing less.

    It was a simple question, Remain or Leave, which required a simple answer, there was nothing on offer in between, because David Cameron and the government set out only those two options, because that was all he could offer.

    There is no halfway house because under threat of us leaving and our then pending referendum, our then Prime Minister attempted to get some reform from the EU and after months of talks and begging, he got absolutely diddly squat in return.

    Like you I simply do not understand why we are still pussy footing around and allowing all sorts of speculation to be built up with further delay.

    We simply need to give notice of leaving, offer sensible trading terms such as you have outlined, and then walk away and leave it to them to approach us.

    We are then in the same position as every other country in the World outside of the EU, all of whom can and do still trade with the EU, without being members of a single market and all of the complications that brings.

    • Mervyn North-Coombes
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear! I totally agree.

      One reason why “so many commentators and broadcasters, and most Opposition politicians, keep on and on about what are the UK’s negotiating aims” must be Theresa May’s apparent failure to express those aims as simply and clearly as JR has done and as often as would be necessary, instead of her now stale and unconvincing “Brexit means Brexit”.

      • Hope
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        Alan, I agree. May is the reason traitors such as Major and Blaire are allowed to do the EU bid to get a second referendum. There is no proper reason for the delay and not to implement the will of the people. It is classic EU. Keep asking until you get the right decision. Worryingly is seeing the former head of M16 having dinner with with fanatical remainers like Campbell. If ever there was a case to monitor and review people likely to cause subversion this would be one.

        • Chris
          Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

          Agreed, Hope. Also, if May had acted decisively and convincingly without wasting any time, the dangerous political vacuum which she created would not have been allowed to happen. Dangerous times indeed as the small number of true Eurosceptic Conservative MPs determined to honour the Referendum result are in a weak position and they are led by a “Remainer” PM whom they chose.

  7. Landlord
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Lib Dems usually speak of the “Mood of the Country” when they haven’t got so much as one nostril in any but the smallest niche “up and down the land”. So the negotiating aims of the 27 are hard to determine given most of us cannot without assistance but name them.Even in our digital age these countries remain as remote and unknown as Labour Defence policy.

    Importantly, “the mood of the country, up and down the land” is not caring one jot what the negotiating aims are of the 27. Remainers would like it were otherwise with “calls for a second referendum” from a country “deeply divided” with people “really worried what is going to happen”. But our people do not want a second referendum, nor are they divided, nor worried in the least.

    Admittedly, impractical in nitty-gritty realpolitik, our people take the attitude that the EU is like a landlord of their once favourite pub. On a Saturday afternoon, they step in with their three children, bags of shopping, have quite a reasonable lunch. But when they wish to pay the bill and leave, the barperson looks worried for he fears in addition to their bill the landlord may wish to keep one or more of their children, their shopping, their hats and coats, and take via card payment for many times their bill.
    The response of our people is to call the landlord, pay the bill as per menu and walk out of the pub with one of two choice words.

    Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    “What are the negotiating aims of the EU 27?” To blackmail us with our citizens based in their countries. Otherwise the President of the EU would have made clear that our British people in EU nations states would have their rights to work and residence guaranteed whatever. He did not.

    The Leader of Ireland threatened us yesterday. Noted#

    The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz,with tremendous support within the EU, says he will not run again for Presidency but instead will try…. to become a relatively minor politician in his native Germany in 2017, presumably with immeasurably less salary and benefits, status, and obviously unknown and shaky career path, if, if, elected. The EU is scuttling ship . Their Kapitän has decided not to go down with his vessel. The EU has different standards to our own. Noted#

  9. Prigger
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Fidel Castro has died aged 90. Cuba does not spring to mind as a particularly good example of US diplomatic and negotiating skills in trade and politics. The EU is worse x 27.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      The BBC seemed very excited about the man this morning, as one might expect of them.

      Someone who adopted a Marxist-Leninist model of development and converted Cuba into a one-party socialist/communist state is rather up their street.

        Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        The BBC was not satirised by George Orwell in “Nineteen Eighty-Four” .It was just the book form of Radio Times

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      Almost as excited about him as they were about Nelson Mandela.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

        Yes Thatcher was Controversial but he was nothing but Good

        Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

        The BBC loved Gaddafi years ago. I distinctly remember the BBC doing a documentary on him showing his personal “chapel” as part of his office. “Where he prays every day”. Outside his chapel-cum-office a male Beeb person said: “It is hard to describe the love his people have for him. Perhaps it is best likened to what we feel about Jesus Christ”
        We are still paying the licence fee

  10. Fred
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    It is no surprise that the UK government’s negotiating position is misrepresented. What have they actually done to move the process on? Nothing as fas as I can see. Lots of waffle and crying about how hard it is but no actual progress.
    Just get on with it. Send the letter saying we are leaving and let the EU scrabble to beg us to trade with them – which they will for the reasons you have laid out Mr Redwood. Mrs May is notorious for talking the talk but not walking the walk. Now is the time for that to change.

  11. hefner
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    So which of the 27 EU countries have emitted doubts/threats towards British people living there? If anything to boycott them for potential future holidays.

  12. Christine Constable
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    John thank you for that, I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps the aims of the other 27 are to create a handout dependant structure where everyone becomes poor rather than lifting struggling economies – (following the failed comprehensive school education model !) Certainly the IMF can prove that every time another country joins the EU Europe’s share of world trade takes a nose dive, whilst our costs to the EU go up. Giving handouts to failing economies does nothing to encourage these economies to sort out their underlying structural weakness and the outrageous practice of sending millions of their unemployed (in the case of Poland and Portugal) to other countries so that they don’t have to pay their unemployment benefit is not something that has been picked up on but is a massive untold scandal. It is a scandal that Poland can lose nearly a million people to the UK and no one thinks that is strange or (worse) we give more money to Poland to assist with their incompetence? Or if we complain that we can’t house so many hundreds of thousands of people we are told “tough” those are the rules there is not backing out – there never seems to be any review of policy it is formed in stone and no matter how dysfunctional we have to drag along with it – the whole approach of the EU is madness.

    On trade deals John, why aren’t the Conservatives making more capital out of the following:

    1) The UK has bankrolled the EU for forty years as a net contributor – we have more than paid our way in this “club” and have earnt the right to demand a decent and fair settlement. NONE of the other countries will have paid as much as us for as long when you also put in our contribution to European security over those years and how much we gave up in sharing our natural resources and destroying our fishing industry. Where is our capital in this negotiation? They need to be shamed and reminded loudly that they owe us.

    2) The UK sacrificed our own kith and kin protecting Europe from Nazism (in two world wars) for that success alone we should have a deal and a quick settlement to meet our needs.

    We have nothing to apologise for all we have ever done is dip into our pockets and give blood and treasure to these wretched people and what fthanks do we get for it? Sabre rattling at the negotiation table they make me sick.

    It is gobsmacking to listen to the likes of “Malta” (for God’s sake) lecturing us about the deal we might get and that free movement of people is non negotiable. The vast majority of the people in the EU would have nothing like the lives they are leading if the UK hadn’t indebted itself to bail out all the lame ducks. Now the gravy train has hit the buffers all we get is brick bats and abuse from people we have helped out of the gutter.

    I find the whole situation gut wrenching in its hypocrisy and sheer cheek from these begging bowl nations. To me the EU is simply a device to impoverish the UK and hand cash to incompetent (failed) left wing politicians who won’t take the tough decisions we had to take during the last thirty years.

    We should assert ourselves and demand payback for all the costs of the 2 nd world war in helping Europe to avoid disaster and in lieu of payback a decent deal in our exit from the EU. No one is doing us any favours, if anything we have been doing many favours to everyone for a very very long time.

    I dream that one day we will have a strong vocal British leader who can defend our interests in the face of the obscene rank hypocrisy of the little people standing on soap boxes telling us how it is going to be, when without us they wouldn’t live the way they are at the moment. We should be endlessly thanked for impoverishing ourselves for their benefit, do we get ANY recognition???? Not a bit they are all a disgrace and if anything are helping the British people to understand what a nasty self serving construct the EU actually is.

    • Bert Young
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Christine , your response is both succinct and heartfelt – well done !

    • Lamia
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Superb comment, Christina.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:54 pm | Permalink


      We did have a strong and vocal leader. But the Conservative Party stabbed her in the back when it became clear that she did not want EVER CLOSER UNION with the then EEC.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

      No-one explains why Britain taking in the EU’s youth benefits the wider EU. How are the other EU economies to grow ? How are their pensioners to be supported ?

  13. agricola
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Your para 2 sums it up conclusively, and not for the first time or possibly the last. I only wish that Tim Farron, the SNP collective, and numerous other members of the chattering, and journalistic classes could get their heads round what our basic negotiating position is, and that it reflects the referendum vote.
    Once this is established in the heads of the EU the ball is in their court. Accept it in good faith or make a political balls of it. Always bear in mind that there could be a big difference between the desires of an EU with nothing but their EU credo in mind, and the very real interests of the sovereign countries and people within the EU.
    Once this basic position is resolved we can then talk about all those areas where it is of mutual benefit to cooperate.

  14. David Murfin
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    At last a real recognition that there are two parties in this negotiation.
    From media discussion, anyone would think that Article 50 negotiations are between UK Leavers and Remainers, with the EU waiting for us to make up our minds what we want.

  15. Oggy
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Well stated JR as usual. If we can see it, it’s obvious the media can too but just don’t want to. Not just opposition MP’s either as even only last night on BBC (of course !), Ken Clarke remoaningly said membership of the Single market wasn’t even discussed during the referendum debate. Now he’s either been living on the moon, lost his memory or just being untruthful – or perhaps all three.
    Then of course we had the Maltese PM weighing in.

    WE won’t need to worry what the other 27 say if Lady Macbeth gets her way at the Supreme court hearing in a weeks time. Lord Advocate Wolffe QC will be seeking a Scottish veto over A50, and if they get one then what ?
    I can’t help but feel that after Reneging Cameron, we’ve now got Dithering Mrs May and events just seem to be passing her by. Why oh why doesn’t she ditch the appeal and put an A50 vote to the Commons instead of waiting for the Court appeal (or March) instead of leaving this vacuum for all the remoaners to fill with their propaganda.
    If the courts or the Scots block our exit from the EU – you had better tell Mrs Rudd to get those water cannons bought by Boris ready as she is going to need them.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

      I have to say having given her until Christmas to start crystallising our position, she is likely now to let us down. Many on here, having given her the benefit of the doubt, are now doubting her benefits. We need somebody there who will just thump the table, Trump-like, and say “they’ll be gone”… all we get is a lot of doomsday predictions…
      Farage’s march on 5th December has to be the beginning, not the end, of a wake up call. Perhaps an ever-growing march on or close to 23rd of each month until this thing is settled.

      • Mark B
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:01 pm | Permalink


  16. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Yesterday we had Malta berating us and saying we must be punished.
    This is one of the reasons we voted leave .
    I’m reasonably confident that if another referendum was held it would be 60/40 leave.
    Continually threatening us with retribution doesn’t sit well with the British psyche.
    We now have Bliar and Minor tying to overturn democracy.
    In the end common sense will prevail and we shall leave the EU and its institutions.
    Any other outcome is too frightening to contemplate.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      I wish I was as confident as you. May does not inspire confidence at all. Workers on boards, wages controls, gender pay reporting, vanity projects, greencrap grants and other absurd lefty drivel.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        She will be gone if this isn’t sorted by the end of March.

    • Totally comic
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      Yes well Blair and Major joining forces is like Green Arrow and Batman coming together to save Gotham City. They stand no chance even though curiously and oddly they are in league with Joker Juncker.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      In some respects it may be helpful that Malta is taking over the rotating presidency of the EU Council, so giving pro-EU Maltese politicians plenty of opportunities to throw their weight around and threaten us.

  17. Leslie Singleton
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Dear John–The nutcrushing problem is that there is no “they”: only a disparate hodgepodge of countries many if not most of whom don’t export much to us so are indifferent to our potential tariff barriers. “They” are unlikely to be able to reach consensus never mind unanimity. And some, even if they do export to us, will see the effects on them of whatever tariffs we set up as being bearable rather than, as they would see it, probably correctly, allow the EU and the Euro to be threatened by not applying screws as tightly as possible for others considering following us to see. Remember our leaving is one thing but we are an island and have never totally been pro much to do with the EU whereas if a country on the Continent were to leave that would be, for them, Armageddon.

    • rose
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      “They” are unlikely to be able to reach consensus never mind unanimity. ”

      This is why I don’t want to negotiate at all: just give polite notice of leaving and offer tariff and non tariff free conditions. Then they can fail to agree amongst themselves while we get our freedom and continue with the status quo ante for trade indefinitely.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


      “Exporters to the UK in 22 of the 27 remaining EU member states face higher tariffs costs when selling their goods than UK exporters face when selling goods to those countries.”

      • acorn
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Which means UK voters will be paying higher prices for their favourite imports. That will be difficult to sell on the doorstep at the next general election!

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          Dear Acorn–Baloney–What counts, primarily, is that the pound should be at a level such that our exports pay for our imports. That’s why it is floating and that’s why it had to go down anyway. Forget the bleeding heart stuff.

          • acorn
            Posted November 27, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

            That is how it is meant to work. The currency drops to try and balance, the Balance of Payments current account.

            Those BMWs become more expensive in Pounds; we buy less of them. Those UK assembled Nissan’s, are a little bit cheaper for foreigners to buy. Taking into account that 60% of the bits those Nissan’s are made out of, are imported, paid for with a devalued Pound, converted into foreign currencies.

            The bottom line is that imports are a benefit to UK citizens. We get to play with BMW M5 and similar, in exchange for Pound Sterling bits of paper, with a picture of the Queen on them. The Germans, who made them BMWs, get a wage – instead of unemployment – for making them; but, will not get to own and play with, what they made.

            BMW ends up with a lot of Pounds Sterling which its CEO could stash in the bottom drawer of his desk; or, could convert back into Euro – forcing down the Pound exchange rate; or, buy the Metropolitan Police HQ building, if the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, had not just bought it, with a 20% discount, due to the collapse of the Pound Sterling.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 27, 2016 at 10:09 am | Permalink

          I’m not expecting to have to sell it on the doorstep.

          But if the other EU countries insist on reinstating tariffs for trade with UK then I will point out that while we are in the EU it insists that we must apply tariffs on our imports from the rest of the world, and three quarters of that money goes to Brussels; once we have left the EU all money collected on imports into the UK will go to the UK Treasury and can then be used to help the poorest in our society.

          • acorn
            Posted November 27, 2016 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Import tariffs are applied to protect UK domestic producers from cheaper imports. The result is UK domestic consumers, pay higher prices for such goods or services, compared with the cheapest globally available supplier prices. This is the price a nation pays to protect its citizens from unemployment.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted November 28, 2016 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            Indeed, according to one source the EU’s common external tariff is costing each of us £40 a week on average.

  18. acorn
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    If you swap around the “EU” and the “UK” acronyms, the 27 members could have posted the same comment in full.

    PS. I am still unsure if there is a proper understanding of how the WTO schedule of rates and quotas gets accepted. Splitting the EU and UK does not mean that the other 162 member states will accept just splitting the quotas; and, both entities otherwise having mirror image schedules?

    • Mark
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      It is a bureaucratic process at the formal level. In practice, countries quietly get on and trade despite the lack of formal approval – the EU itself has been doing this since enlargement.

      A simple solution to the quota problem is to let the rEU have all its existing quotas under its Common External Tariff, and simply to add on additional quota volumes where the UK adopts that tariff – or to disapply the quota on UK trade. Of course, if they insist on WTO terms, they will have to fit in UK trade within the quotas, which may not entirely suit them. It’s one of several tin openers on improving on straight WTO terms.

  19. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Officially, the EU27 cannot even know for certain whether there will be a Brexit, pending the awaited Article 50.
    It is unimaginable that British citizens in the EU 27 will be sent back to the UK. There are even ideas of granting continued EU citizenship to other British who would want that. NB nothing compulsory about that!!!
    Unemployment in countries that export a lot to the UK (Germany, the Netherlands) actually don’t have such high unemployment (and a much lower youth unemployment than the UK).
    I think it is more than likely that down the line an agreement will be reached with no or very very low tariffs.

    • Mark
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      I think your conclusion is right. After all, the present Commission will be gone just after the UK exits, and the new one won’t have the baggage of presiding over the process. That will leave room for some common sense all round.

    • Doorway
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      “There are ideas of granting continued EU citizenship…
      Which means someone said it to someone else.
      That would require such negotiations amongst the 27 nation states themselves that realistically it can be forgotten. it would mean anyone settling in the UK from outside the Eu could gain access to any EU state, including formerly Turkish people which the EU seems to hate, now.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        @Doorway: It is a bit more serious than you think:
        “A plan for Britons to retain the right to live and work in the EU – for a fee – has won the backing of the European Parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator”.
        So, not for Turkish, but possibly for some among the 48%. For the UK a way to deal with some of the most disgruntled among those who voted “remain”.

        • rose
          Posted November 27, 2016 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          Very exclusive, charging a fee, and so different from what they have foisted on us all these years. Do you have any idea how much this fee will be?

          • rose
            Posted November 28, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

            And will it also be levied on existing British residents on the Continent?

        • old free movement
          Posted November 28, 2016 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

          I met a British guy near Bonn who was living and working in Germany before the EU was in existence. Had done so for decades.The EU did not invent living and working in foreign countries. Both Karl Marx and Lenin lived and worked in London. So did Malatesta and all over Europe.In fact we had as many potential terrorists in London in those times as NATO believes are there now.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      “Unemployment in countries that export a lot to the UK (Germany, the Netherlands) actually don’t have such high unemployment (and a much lower youth unemployment than the UK).”

      Because we’ve taken in so much of the EU’s unemployed !

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 28, 2016 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous: More than the Netherlands and Germany???

  20. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    Now off to Marks & Spencer in The Hague as my wife wants to raid its food hall before it closes for good. I add this just to prove that, we too, buy British. 🙂

    • Lifelogic
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      Not much that is pleasant to eat at M&S, all rather overpriced and over packaged too. Is that really the best the Hague has to offer?

      Is there no proper food market?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        And all over sweet too I find.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

        Some British have nostalgic moments, even after 40 years of living in Holland.

    • Mark
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      We had an excellent Christmas Pudding from there. I think it has been under threat of closure for a long time, probably because the Dutch don’t go for Christmas Pudding!.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 28, 2016 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        We DID buy a small Christmas Pudding though! I asked and heard that they may stay open for another 6 to 12 months. The Young British guy at the cash desk was adament that he was going to stay in Holland . . . and he is very welcome! 🙂

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Do you return to Holland every weekend. I hear the Brussels Christmas Market is quite nice.
      Of course even if you grant EU citizenship (we always have been citizens of Europe due to a geographic anomaly), they will be travelling on the new UK passports.

    • Bert Young
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      PetervL . Your wife has good taste !.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        @Bert Young: The Scottish pancakes with yogurt honey and fruit were actually quite delicious, and we’ve stacked up with crumpets and some other typical British things.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:44 am | Permalink

        Not in men, Bert.

    • Simon Platt
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Buy British? At Marks and Spencer? Not any more. Or hardly.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    As usual Patrick Minford gets it right, in the Telegraph today:-

    The OBR and the Chancellor got it wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong

    As does Charles Moore:-

    Brexit is a big opportunity for Mrs May to offer new ideas – not the status quo
    The PM will be defined by exit from the EU, so the Autumn Statement should have had a clear vision.

    May and Hammond need to get their act together and quickly. They seem to still be using Osborne and Cameron’s broken compass.

  22. Newmania
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Redwood has made a good point !
    Not his claim that a vote to leave the EU was also a vote to leave the single market and customs union .He would have shrieked with horror had these decisions appeared on the ballot paper and lost. Neither is his claim that we all voted to have the same access as Belize to our largest trading partner by far and, as a consequence, be poor . Polling has been done on this subject and Mr Redwood is factually incorrect.
    Dan Hannan was still saying we could be in the Common market and outside the EU after the referendum, all leavers promised undisturbed economic and trading arrangements. End of; can we just all stop this childlike lying and start to talk sensibly about what next ?
    Where the Redster is right is that what we want is not really very important. Our solipsistic dream that they will cluster around like Jermyn Street tailors measuring us up for a bespoke deal is cobblers. We will be lucky if we can beg our way back into the single market if we start now. This may hurt them a little but that will be assuaged by moving financial services and much manufacturing within their border. They are ten times our size. Try, please, to grasp this. We are headed straight for a cliff edge.
    I can only implore anyone who reads this blog with vestige of care for their fellow Britons to think of the families they are hurting. I enjoy a good ding dong as much as anyone but its not a schoolboy debate or a hobby for the retired .
    Please please think it possible you may be mistaken, so much depends on it

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Wow Google and Nissan are going to have enormous problems then. How silly of them to ignore your warnings!

    • zorro
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Why on earth do you acquaint our future access as similar to that of Belize? Are you trying to prove a point? What is the point of considering what you say if you really think that is the likely reality once we (5th largest economy in the World with a trade deficit with the EU) leave the EU. Think about it yourself! Agreed, we do need someone far more effective than May or Hammond to move us forward over the next two years….


      • Newmania
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Zorro do you know what the fifth largest island in the British Isles is ? It’s the Isle of Man actually. You may say , well how silly, obviously there are two large land mases and the rest are scraps.
        I agree. The UK is about 2.5% of global GDP the EU is about ten times the size the US about nine times the size and China closing in fast. If you look at a real global Company like GSK that’s where they have their people and currently they have a significant presence in the City of London as well . In the future it is an open question as to whether this will continue . the City , as we know fears Brexit will finish it as a global leader and hates it with a passion. Thats why

        So that’s the lie of the land, we are a nothing, a zero a dot, and we have placed ourselves in the weakest possible position to deal with anyone . Belize is a WTO member and would have the same relationship with the EU as we would if we truly follow this insane course to its bitter end .

        • rose
          Posted November 27, 2016 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

          So why are the Chinese developing a second Canary Wharf?

        • libertarian
          Posted November 27, 2016 at 9:39 pm | Permalink


          The EU is NOT 10 times larger the EU percentage of global GDP is 16% and that INCLUDES the UK in that figure. The UK is the worlds 5th largest economy. GSK’s HQ is in Brentford West London. You are wrong ( I did post all the evidence about the city staying but JR chose not to publish it) about the city. You really do have no knowledge of trade , business or financial services.

          You are right both the US and Chinese markets are bigger than the EU without the UK , so i guess you’ve never stopped to wonder why the EU does NOT have trade agreements with USA or China?

          Overseas investors accounted for 78pc of the commercial property bought in central London in the last three months.

          More than £695m of Asian capital has been deployed in the city since June, with Hong Kong investors being particularly active, according to research from property advisory firm Savills, while US money accounted for £685m worth of transactions.

          European investors acquired £482m of commercial property in central London since the Brexit vote and the Chinese have announced a £5billion investment in a new mini Canary Wharf

          Maybe you need to have a word and tell them all theyre wrong?

    • Richard1
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Could you take a moment some time between your hysterical posts to explain why it is that you think supra-national government is needed in order to have free trade?

      • Newmania
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

        In a nutshell it is because it is always open to politicians to plead the simple case for Protectionism and as long as political power resides only at National level they will do so
        Look at the terror over Nissan , if you think a Nativist ethically based anti International regime will be able to resists the protectionist logic of the beast it has used , you don`t know your history

        • Richard1
          Posted November 28, 2016 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          That is a very negative view. Look at countries like Singapore, Switzerland, Israel & also the likes of Canada and Australia which are not protectionist, are keen on free trade but see no reason to merge their democracies with neighbouring countries. In the world as it now is the EU is a force for protectionism – the CAP being one of the worst protectionist policies in force today anywhere.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Newmania – It was made quite clear during the referendum that Leave meant leaving the single market and customs union. The shrieking was from Remain.

      Leave countered that trade would not cease with the EU, not that we would remain in the single market/customs union.

      I put a cross for Leave with my hand shaking.

      British people are already hurting because of EU membership, during which Britain accrued record debts and an accommodation crisis, hospital crisis, schools crisis…

      Why do you think we had a referendum ? For the fun of it ? Out of spite ?

      EU Britain has obviously worked for you and your family and you have much to lose. Not so people suffering wage depression, unaffordable house costs, hospital queues and lack of school places.

      For them economic armageddon is already here.

      You exhort us to care for our fellow Britons but you have shown scant regard for them, often evincing utter contempt in the most disgusting language (which would be prosecuted if directed at a protected minority.)

      17 million people in Britain feel uncomfortable enough with the EU to take an economic risk. Yet you have shown no understanding as to why.

      You offer no give. It’s as if the discontent expressed in the referendum can just be ignored, we all get back on the bus and carry on as before, with you on the top deck spewing insults at us thickos as usual.

      There has to be some give and take here and I’d like you to ‘please please’ think it possible that it was haughty attitudes such as yours that caused Brexit in the first place.

      • Newmania
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:00 pm | Permalink

        Anon – Give and take is all I ask for , as it stands half the country are being frog marched away form security prosperity international significance and already Brexit are making our children pay for it all by taking the lid off what minimal fiscal restraint we have had.
        Actually as a father of three boys I have had my ups and downs including a period of unemployment. That desperate experience changed me and informs my irritation when jobs are risked
        We have all been betrayed by politicians prepared to ride a populist scapegoating tiger , knowing full well how bad the consequences are likely to be .

        • rose
          Posted November 27, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

          Was it populism in 1997 and in the two subsequent elections?

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        Clarification: “Leave countered that trade would not cease with the EU, not that we would remain in the single market/customs union.”

        Leave didn’t say that we would be able to remain in a single market or customs union. All I heard them say was that trade would not cease between our countries and nor should it – unless spite becomes a factor (as Dr Redwood states in his post.)

      • Oggy
        Posted November 27, 2016 at 11:29 am | Permalink


        The only thing I can add is that my hand wasn’t shaking when I put the cross in the leave box.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:54 pm | Permalink


      The single market is a market in goods only. The single market in services has never been implemented

      The digital services market which the EU are working on is so attractive (not)that so far Google, Apple and Facebook have all decided to move their European HQ’s to London. We can continue to trade like China and the USA, both bigger markets than the EU zone.

      Theres no lying involved. I’m sure out of 17.4 million people there are people with differing views of what they want, the thing is NONE of those options were on the ballot paper. It said LEAVE or Remain, we chose to leave, thats it. Its only the unhinged that can’t work out simple things like that.

      The whole point of leaving is precisely because the EU is our largest trading partner that we need to leave, because the EU is gracefully sliding down the economic table and we urgently need to negotiate our own trade deals with the emerging and growing markets around the world.

      I really get fed up being lectured about business by people that have never had one or have any experience of actually trading.

      Moving on to your total ignorance of financial services.

      There is NO WAY that the banking community will relocate to anywhere in the EU. Every bank that claimed they would move has now retracted that and the ONLY financial services company that relocated was ING ( a Dutch bank) who moved their operation from Brussels to London. The Chinese have just announced they intend to build a second mini “canary wharf” on an old East London dock with an initial investment of £5 billion. The trading infrastructure is embedded in 3 places in the world London, New York and Hong Kong. Financial services is primarily a technology based platform and the technology, markets and specialist expertise are ALL in the UK & New York. If London failed as a financial centre the banks would move to New York, not the EU.

      Perhaps the most important of all considerations. Banks have spent the 30 years since the Big Bang investing in London.

      Investment has not just come in bricks and mortar, although there has been a lot of that. It has come in the people they employ, the city they operate in, and the general infrastructure. The cost of abandoning that and starting again would result in the banks losing £100’s billions. Who would pay the banks the money for those shiny Canary Wharf office blocks if there was no point in being there?

      Your wishful thinking about the collapse of the UK economy, just to “prove” that we should have stayed in the EU so that you dont have to show a passport to go on holiday is truly pathetic.

    • Sam Stoner
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      Quite right. But I think Mr Redwood already knows he is mistaken – this is why his original post is full of wholly unsubstantiated claims (in truth Vote Leave claimed consistently that the plan was to stay in the single market; the Customs union was mentioned by no one and was certainly not on the ballot paper; and the PM has NOT ruled out EEA membership).
      Mr Redwood wants the UK to trade on WTO rules but the public did not vote for that on June 23, and there are big beasts – Hammond, Hannan and all the captains of British industry – who are determined it will not happen.
      Mr Redwood is rattled. He’s right to be. His vision is a minority view

  23. Peter Wood
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    I entirely support your position on ‘not much to negotiate’, so this begs the questions:

    1. Why the delay in issuing our departure notice? (pre legal judgement)
    2. What are all the extra civil servant and overpaid external consultants doing?

    Please press your point home with the responsible ministers, we don’t want a half-in deal, we want out and then see who blinks first.

  24. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Good article – I am not surprised at the turn of events since June 24. To me the situation after the result was simple – invoke Article 50 immediately, we are leaving and let the 27 come up with their suggestions to maintain their beneficial trading positions with the UK. The so called single market is the EU in a nutshell and we voted to leave both. It is generally acknowledged that excessive EU immigration and the strain on our social resources was the main reason Leave won, so how can we accept any level of free movement of EU citizens. There is no argument or room for negotiation.

    Mrs May is a disappointment on Brexit and other decisions e.g. Hinckley C confirmation and to have the top two Government Ministers with Mr. Hammond as Remainers in charge is creating the current and continuing uncertainties and backtracking.

    Would Major, Blair, Campbell (on Any Questions last night) if the result was to Remain countenance second referendums. This is classic Brussels – sorry folks you have voted wrongly have another go. Our democracy and sovereignty is really at stake and the hysterical nonsense Mr Major continues to spout is worrying.

    • rose
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:55 am | Permalink

      The best remainiac tantrum this week wasn’t from Sir John Major or Alistair Campbell but from the ViceChancellor of Bristol University. During quite a long tirade on Sky news he was threatening that some universities may be shut down because of Brexit. He also wants the immigration system altered to disguise foreign students and had the cheek to say we agreed. He was remoaning that he would lose “EU” money – which the locals are pointing out is their money. I wonder what he says to his Chancellor, Brenda Hale.

      Well dinna fret yersels, Madam Chancellor and Mr ViceChancellor. Your university was at the peak of its academic excellence in the 60s, 70s, and 80s – before the EU had got its hooks into our educational establishments.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted November 28, 2016 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        Will Hutton was also on form, BBC News @ 5 last week.

        • rose
          Posted November 28, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          Will Hutton was at Bristol University in its heyday. When they had proper tutorials and ViceChancellors didn’t think just of concrete and growth.

  25. formula57
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    If the negotiation is as easy as you suggest, and I am sure it would be provided always the Dr. Spendloves are held in check by capable ministers, why has Mrs. May given the ailing Evil Empire c.£3.5 billion of our money since she became Prime Minister and why does she continue to provide c.£850 million a month? Does that kind of money not buy a little application and effort?

    We have seen what delay buys, being threats from jumped up EU politicians and efforts by Remoaners to thwart our salavation.

    • zorro
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Because she is ineffective as PM, same story when Home Secretary…..


  26. Dancelikeabluebottle
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    I don’t read all the EU-nation state newspapers. Some English versions are available online readily. When written in their native languages, Google either automatically translates or you can translate it via Google. I do not see much comment on their negotiating stances either collectively or singularly. But then they don’t have to suffer the continual earache from Remainers wallowing in self-pity, abject failure with uncertainty over their election at the next General Election. Can they get all the Remainers in their electorates to go to the polls? If not they are finished. From their own Hammondesque gloom and pessimism they will be imagining their spouses will leave them running off with a European and their girlfriends too playing a Spanish tune; will have to sell the house at a loss. Their children will look upon them as losers and bad role models. The economy will plunge, according to their own dismal analyses, and they will end up working in workingmens’ clubs like those guys in “The Full Monty”. One or two them would actually enjoy that, judging by their social media messages:-)

  27. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Why does the EU misrepresent and misreport the UK’s position?

    Simple. It’s a big political game of, “LOOK!!! Over there!”

  28. Antisthenes
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    The UK fall back position is to walk out the door leaving the 27 to squabble amongst themselves about what they are going to do about the mess they are in of their own making. Of their own making because they will not adjust amicably or sensibly to the new situation.

    No doubt the first act would be to try and make the UK pay for walking out without a settlement. That runs into a problem the EU’s teeth will have been pulled because the UK is no longer a member and the rules of the club will no longer apply to her. Walking out of the door does not mean we will close it so their only recourse unless they are irredeemably stupid is to negotiate sensibly agreeing areas we will mutually cooperate in and those we will not.

    We have already ascertained that the EU has far more to lose than the UK if no deal is secured. So I believe their will be enough among the 27 who have some level of common sense and the most to lose that they force others to act sensibly.

    A major stumbling block is that 27 plus the EU parliament can never agree 100% acceptance of anything on Brexit as interests and intellectual abilities have too much divergence which would indicate that any negotiation is doomed to fail. So is not worth attempting anyway.

  29. hefner
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Coming back from my local market where I just noticed that some of the fruit and veg traders have kept the same prices but have moved from the metric back to the imperial system.
    Funnily enough I even heard a customer thanking the trader for such a move. With such customers, a hidden ~10 percent inflation is clearly not a problem.

  30. Roy Grainger
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    One problem is it is ill-defined what the “EU” we will be negotiating with actually is. When an individual German politician says something disobliging about the post-Brexit relationship with UK then the media rush to report it as a definitive and non-negotiable statement of the EU’s position. Of course this view is supported by Mrs Merkel who always gives the impression that she alone speaks for the EU. The UK should start pointing out this incoherent approach to Brexit by the EU – it looks like they have no plan at all.

  31. michael
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    We need to send notice under Article 50 in January and get down to the real business of leaving. There will always be reasons for delay and remoaners are working hard on them.

    But let us get on with it.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Dear Michael–Absolutely right–Why isn’t it absolutely bleeding obvious that the mere passage of time gives the Remainiacs more and more space (No, I am not going to bring space-time in to it!) to retrench and increasingly loudly say that the Leave vote is out of date? The worry is that May and Hammond must know this but nevertheless just choose to sit on their hands. Getting our ducks in line is important but the cost is getting too high. It continues absurd that two Remainers (I won’t call them maniacs) are in the positions they are in (which Brussels types are fully aware of). Major is a total disgrace. He and the rest would not exactly be seeking a second referendum – the idea is preposterous – had the vote gone the other way.

  32. Neil Jackson
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    You still don’t get it John, The UK establishment and some low life media has been bashing Brussels for decades so in the main there is no way the EU political class will entertain anything else except a clean and hard break. What we are all are considering now is how to go about this- the procedure to unravel all- and when that is finished to set up areas of trade that are of mutual benefit. It will not include freedom of movement so the old retirees and others living in the south of france and Spain etc will have to come home as they won’t have medical cover and those that are well off enough to remain will need to get their own private medical cover and probably residence visas. And that’s how its going to turn out.. but it will take some time to negotiate, probably five to ten years. So there is no point in whining on about the EU stance.. nothing will happen until we press article 50 next March..

  33. The Meissen Bison
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    It would clearly have been over-optimistic to think that leaving the EU would be like cancelling a golf club membership or ending a gym subscription.

    Now, however, the utterances of the EU negotiators and other assorted European voices, it’s looking far more like Brexit means splitting from an uncompromising and tenacious religious cult.

    The ensuing process will become rancorous and ugly and while eurocrats and politicians may enjoy this as a means of showing the UK who has the whip hand, continental businesses and the wider citizenry may be unimpressed with what this implies for trade and democracy.

    If the EU wants to reinforce it’s anti-democratic credentials. it’s making the right noises.

    • Lamia
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      The Meisson Bison,

      Quite. Other EU citizens may, for all I know, like seeing Britain threatened and done down, but the wiser ones will grasp that the intended ‘example’ is aimed as much at cowing them as punishing us. It is hardly going to make the EU more loved by its remaining citizens.

      • CF
        Posted November 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        And there we have it, Ladies and Gentlemen,

        Beautifully put. Do they realise it though, or even care?

  34. Original Richard
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood, you are absolutely correct.

    Although various EU functionaries and EU national leaders have indicated that the negotiations and the result will be tough for the UK they are also not likely to make their position clear until after the triggering of Article 50.

    [By the way, is Mrs. May delaying the triggering of Article 50 until end March so that our exit (or non-exit) is determined by QMV which comes into force on 1st April 2017 ?]

    However, there is no reason why our EU politicians such as Mr. Farron and Mr. Clegg could not be requested to inform us of the “deal” we will be given upon exiting the EU, particularly as they tell us that the EU will be in the far stronger negotiating position.

    This would at least bring the clarity to the situation which we are always informed is important.

    Mr. Farron keeps saying that although we voted to leave the EU we did not vote to make the UK poorer or to risk jobs. But we did ! Throughout the referendum campaign we were told again and again by Mr. Cameron, Mr. Osborne, the IMF, the Treasury, the Bank of England etc. that voting to leave, never mind actually leaving, would bring economic disaster. The Treasury in its May report said that a vote to leave (not even leaving) would cause unemployment to rise by 500,000.

    A majority still voted to leave despite being told that it would make the country poorer and would cause unemployment.

    Not that economic matters were the Leaver’s main reason for wanting to exit the EU.

    I note that Mr. Major has declared that we should not be ruled by the “Tyranny of the majority”. So is this the start of “post democracy” and what would Mr. Major like to put in its place ?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Funny how he never held that view when seeking office as an prospective MP.

  35. mike fowle
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    The Prime Minister does keep talking about staying in the single market, though.

  36. Atlas
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    A valid set of points, John.

    Slightly off topic:

    Having read in the newspapers about the challenge to Trump’s victory in three States that were narrow for Trump makes me wonder why the challengers do not question the votes in the states that were close for Clinton. Could it be that their desire for ‘the Democratic Process’ is a bit one-sided – nay even Remoanerish??

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Dear Atlas–I think you’ll find that it was not closeness motivating the revisiters but expectations that didn’t go their way

  37. James Munroe
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Good to see that the pro-Brexit group Lawyers for Britain will be allowed to make their legal case to the Supreme Court.

    But can someone answer me this…maybe JR himself…

    The Government is fighting a crowd-funded action against Brexit…basically a bunch of ‘amateurs’.

    The Government has ‘unlimited’ funds… to fight the case in the cause of democracy.
    The Government can have access, to the finest legal minds in the World.

    Why hasn’t Mrs May done that, and why has nobody called her out about it?

  38. James Wallace-Dunlop
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    True, the EU27 don’t agree among themselves. And, within each country, is the usual tension between the general population, who want prosperity, and the Euro elite that puts their pet project before all else.

    Theresa May talks of a ‘transitional arrangement’ with the EU. But, any bespoke arrangement, whether final or transitional, will require the support of each of the EU27, the commission, and the parliament. That’s unlikely to be achievable within 2 years, especially with the Commission trying to insist that the UK agree preposterous ‘divorce payments’ before it will discuss post-exit trade.

    The options in 2 years time are

    1. Leave without an agreement, and operate under WTO rules until we can reach a new bespoke agreement (probably in several years time). This would probably work well, but when the economic cycle turns expect the Remain media to be full of ‘post hoc, ergo propter hoc’ articles

    2. Have an ‘off the peg’ arrangement – i.e. EEA or EFTA membership. May has ruled out EEA membership, which leaves EFTA, the Swiss model. It is not perfect, and I would not choose it as an end state, but it could be a workable transitional arrangement.

    3. Put leaving on hold (the European Court will rule that Article 50 is reversible). Blair, Major, Smith, and Farron are conspiring to this end.

    The advantages of EFTA membership being the transitional step include

    A) it is realistic to achieve

    B) it takes us unambiguously out of the EU, but in a way that it would be difficult for continuity Remain, in either the commons or lords, to oppose.

    C) we would be outside the customs union and so able to negotiate trade deals with the US, Australia, Canada, India, and the rest of the world (deals that BofE and OBR ignore in their forecasts)

    D) We would be able to show the concrete benefits of leaving: our fisherman will flourish outside the CFP. Leaving the CAP will mean Agricultural subsidies can be directed to U.K. priorities like animal welfare, organic farming, and access to land for recreation

    E) our negotiating position with the EU27 is improved. We would have removed their incentive to offer a bad deal in the hope that we lose our nerve and cancel Brexit. They would know that, unless we are offered a good deal, we will not do a deal at all. And, with every new trade deal we sign with the rest of the world, the significance to us of the EU27 will decline.

    Today the BBC is having some success with its campaign to make people scared of ‘hard Brexit’, in a few years, people will see through that demonisation. Whilst in the EU there has been a ratchet of ever increasing powers to Brussels. On leaving, the ratchet will go in the other direction. We don’t need to break free in a single bound. Once we are out, the only question will be one of speed. Spending 2, or 5, or even 7, years in EFTA would be a small price to pay to neutralise continuity-remain and de-risk the process of leaving.

    The business cycle hasn’t been abolished. We have already been expanding for more than the c6 years that is the typical post WWII average, so sooner rather than later, there will be recession whether or not we leave the EU. The BBC will try to tell us it is the fault of Brexit. By taking the ‘soft’ route of EFTA membership now, we can avoid Brexit being blamed, and position the U.K. for ‘hard’ (i.e. with no deal) withdrawal during the early expansionary phase of the business cycle thant will follow the recession.

    • Lamia
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

      All good points, James, and I think the route you suggest may be the best one (the authors of Flexcit seem to be in borad agreement too). I am quite happy for the UK to detach itself in stages, and it has the political advantages that you note.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      That is quite possibly what will happen, but it sounds too complicated for the May-Hammond partnership to take on board.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      EFTA cannot be in itself part of a transitional arrangement as it is not part of the EU. Only the EEA Agreement with its Four Freedoms can be used and, as you have stated, Chairman May has ruled that one out.

  39. Bert Young
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    As time goes by there will be more ifs and buts about the terms we will have in trading with the EU ; the sooner this comes to an end the better . No matter what the Supreme Court might decide , the letter should be sent without any more delay . The Majors and Blairs are using this delay to disrupt opinion and drive elements of doubt in the minds of people ; the BBC and other vested EU parties take up every opportunity to headline their case .

    Comments have already been made about Theresa not using her position to stop this mess – I agree with them . She has to a) stop the differences that do exist within the Cabinet , b) instruct the Civil Service to stop their dithering and c) re-tell the public in very clear terms that we are “Out” and we will not suffer further interference from the EU .

  40. James Munroe
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    I believe that the’ game-plan’ for Blair and the other ‘Brexit Derailers’ is this:-

    1) Create the illusion and deception, that there are 2 types of Brexit…Hard and Soft Brexit – (Job Done)

    2) Bring all the anti-Brexit forces together…use the anti-Brexit media (BBC ITV Sky C4 etc) and undermine public opinion for Brexit, by a constant barrage of bad news.
    Good news – “Despite Brexit”
    Bad news – “Because of Brexit”. – (Work in Progress)

    3) Gain general public acceptance that a Soft Brexit really is best for Britain.
    Of course Soft Brexit – is not really Brexit at all (unlimited immigration, payments to the EU, ECJ ruling us) – (Work in Progress)

    4) Then convince voters that, given a Soft Brexit is really the best for Britain, it is not worth doing, and we should just stay in the EU, as a full member.

    5) Second Referendum on leaving (with a Soft Brexit) or staying, and people vote to stay.

    We must not let these people get away with this and overturn our vote to Leave.

    We won the battle with the Vote to Leave…We must not let those “enemies within”…win the War!

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Classic divide and conquer. Sow unhappiness between Soft BREXITIERS like myself and Hard ones like JR. That is why I swerved today’s debate.

      Unity is strength !

  41. forthurst
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    “I don’ t think in the end, with such high unemployment in the Euro area, they will want to hurt their trade.”

    Ilse Aigner, Minister for Economic Affairs and Deputy to Minster President Horst Seehofer of Bavaria has stated that Brexit poses a “high risk” to the economy and the UK is one of the “most important trading partners for Bavaria”. Germany props up the EU and Bavaria props up Germany; at some point, realpolitik will force the zealots of Brussels to pull back from the economic precipice.

  42. Peter D Gardner
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    All very well and true, John Redwood but here’s the thing: Mrs May’s efforts are devoted almost exclusively, not to leaving the EU but to forming a proposal for a treaty of association. That is why the debate is wide open to debate and intervention. Mrs May would be wise to listen to Michel Barnier. By all reports he he clearly sees that Article 50 is about negotiating the terms of withdrawal, not about negotiating any future relationship. Terms of withdrawal can be negotiated easily and quickly and concluded with goodwill on all sides. As you have suggested an offer of free trade can be made by UK in conjunction with these and such an agreement may or may not be concluded concurrently, the fallback being no formal agreement and WTO rules.
    Why is Mrs may not following such a strategy? Because she intends a concurrent treaty on associate membership of the EU. This is being seized upon by every shade of remainer and opportunist to influence negotiations to ensure associate membership is not very different from full membership. It is no good your saying we cannot be a member of the single market because that means free movement, or that we cannot be in the customs union because that would preclude separate trade deals. Those are current rules and assertions by various people on both sides of the debate but the fact is that everything is negotiable, everything has a price. Thus by delaying Brexit in order to secure associate membership Mrs May is jeopardising Brexit in the short term – it may be stopped or delayed indefinitely – and risking an agreement on associate membership that is not in Britain’s long term interests.

    Mrs May’s strategy is that of an unimaginative administrator. it seems to be intended to satisfy both side of the referendum result with Britain ending up 52% out of the Eu but still 48% bound by EU rules and laws.

    The simple strategy that minimises risk is 1) to exit quickly and cleanly in order to provide certainty to individuals, businesses and other organisations, 2) to actively develop sovereign democratic government of an independent Britain fully engaged with the world, 3) to wait and see how both UK and the EU set their new directions independently of each other, maybe for 5 years maybe ten, and only then, 4) consider a new entanglement or treaty with the EU or the Federal State of Europe, whichever it may be by then.

    Mrs May’s rush to associate membership is completely lacking in strategic vision, risks de-railing Brexit and risks binding Britain into a rushed and disadvantageous associate membership which will take another 30-50 years to correct.

    For heaven’s sake listen to Michel Barnier. He is right for both Britain and the EU to say: exit first and only then negotiate on a future formal relationship. Why over complicate Brexit when Article 50 does not require it?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:04 pm | Permalink

      Whilst I very much agree with you, the problem with just exiting the EU is, that we will not have all the necessary regulatory framework needed in place.

      Unlike our kind host, I do not argue staying in the EEA because of trade, but because the EU basically has been doing our lazy politicians jobs for them.

  43. Kenneth
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    John, your common sense and straight forward analysis cannot be argued with.

    The Remainers/BBC know this of course which is why they refuse to engage at this logical level and prefer the water to be muddied and filled with red herrings.

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    “The PM has ruled out EEA membership.”

    Has she?

    She should, because under the EEA Agreement we would still be committed to allowing unlimited and uncontrolled immigration from the EU and other EEA member states, as stated straight off in the preamble:


    “DETERMINED to provide for the fullest possible realization of the free movement of goods, persons, services and capital within the whole European Economic Area … “.

    But has she actually ruled out that or any other treaty which continues to lump trade and immigration together when the majority in the UK wants them separated?

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to sign up to something which actually runs directly against what you really want and in which you therefore have no belief or true commitment. That is almost certain to lead to trouble sooner or later, as indeed it has already done with the EU treaties where the UK government has taken on commitments while thinking that it might be possible to wriggle out of them in one way or another.

    Is the UK government genuinely determined to seek the fullest possible realization of free movement of persons between the UK and the other countries? It certainly shouldn’t be, because that is not what the majority of UK citizens want, and it now says that it isn’t, and if that is the case then it would dishonest to sign up to that commitment.

  45. ian
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    You have had 6 to 8 months of negotiations with last PM and got nowhere and it require a referendum with the people to say if they want to stay or leave to make the process legal to stay or leave anything that is now taking place is not legal, bankers and big business will decide what happens, they control the politicians and the lords with high ranking civil servants with judges and not forgetting most of the media, they are mostly brought and paid for as you can see with all the big gun coming out now for stay, the last PM and chancellor are now making big money giving speeches to bankers and economist, that the way of the world unless you control your own MPs.

    • Anonymous
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:49 am | Permalink

      Sadly true, Ian.

      • Anonymous
        Posted November 27, 2016 at 1:07 am | Permalink

        No second referendum !

        Let them defy us openly and not under the guise of our own volition whilst under duress.

        Economic armageddon asides; most of the people in this country are extremely unhappy with the EU, all things being equal.

        The referendum result is being dismissed because:

        A) The People are racist

        B) The People are stupid

        The economic argument against Leave is being built up beyond realities. The forecasts of doom are largely self-fulfilling prophesy. Remainers are the reason for our country going ‘off a cliff’ with their continual talking-down and they’d sooner Britain fails than Brexit succeeds.

        In any case – the people know that ‘off a cliff’ is better than a slippery slope: a catastrophic ending from which we can recover (Iceland) is better than a never ending catastrophe from which we can’t (the EU.)

  46. Colin Hart
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    May and Hammond (where’s Clarkson?) have already given up on tackling the deficit. What price Brexit?

    They’re banking on the Supreme Court referring their appeal to the ECJ, thus giving them a perfect excuse for missing the March 2017 target for invoking Article 50. They will then wait and see what happens in continental elections.

    They are playing a very long game and hoping it will all go away. The only way the EU will go away is if we go away.

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

      That, or a new treaty offering Associate Membership.

  47. Dennis
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    alan jutson said – “I really do hope you are working away in the background with our so called Brexit Department JR, and are thus part of the team who is behind negotiating our future and parting relationship with the EU.”

    As JR did not reply it seems he does not know or is keeping it a secret.

  48. SluggishBrexit
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    Not many people watch BBC Parliament. Few viewers do so for long. Lots of repetition. You fancy each MP is grandstanding so his local paper report he has opened his mouth and is not simply boozing in one of the bars or doing a photo-shoot in a poppy field in France…close ups, rehearsed frowns and down-turned defiant lips for local paper publication proving he knows there has been a war ending over 70 years ago before he was born.
    So, much of the incessant moaning of Remainers like cows in calf is missed by the general public. The negotiating stance, if any, of the EU will be the President de Gaulle “Non” , in public.
    We cannot bank on pragmatic logic emerging. In any event they will play for time. Labour and Lib Dem Parties are banking on Time to change voters minds. It is too late. The sky did not fall down next day after the Leave vote. Their delay of 6 months after we mandated immediate signing of Article 50 has still not resulted in an aerial bombardment by cumulus clouds. It is a deliberate and premeditated delay however.

    Posted November 26, 2016 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    A Tweet by President Elect Trump
    “Donald J. Trump ‏@realDonaldTrump 5mminutes ago
    Fidel Castro is dead!

    I’ve got meet Mr Trump, somehow. I love him.

      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      Sky News has been broadcasting all day that President-Elect Trump has typed the tweet “Fidel Castro is Dead! “with JUST an exclamation mark after it. I wonder if they are also obsessed with sex and hamsters, it usually goes in threes

    • Mark B
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

      But has the BBC linked it to BREXIT yet ?

  50. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I recall reading somewhere that before she became Prime Minister a senior civil servant advised Theresa May that the citizens of the other EU member states living in this country would represent our only bargaining chip in the withdrawal negotiations.

    If that is true I think it’s a great pity that she accepted that advice and publicly made their future position in this country conditional upon the good behaviour of politicians in their countries of origin. It is one thing to say to a foreign citizen invited to and legally resident in the UK that his future position is conditional upon his personal good behaviour, that is not at all unreasonable, but it is an entirely different thing to tell him that it is conditional upon the acceptable behaviour of his home country politicians during negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, politicians over whom he has virtually no control.

    Moreover this has muddied the waters for public debate, so that there is now rarely any report in the mass media which does not elide control over future immigration from the EU with the future of those who have already migrated here from the EU.

    We are going to need friends around the world, and so the government should always be thinking hard about how its actions may be perceived by the “international community” and doing whatever it can to seize the moral highground. That should not be too difficult, when the other side have already been behaving so badly even before formal negotiations have commenced.

  51. ian
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    I like WTO rules, the EU has never been free trade, it costs 20 odd billion a year on top of all the rules that go with it and is going up by 2 billion next year and with add on 2.7 billion pounds, i would sooner leave right away and save that money and collect 13 billion a year in wto fees for the next two and half years, in total about 90 billion pounds, that UK open for business, yes that where PLC UK make a profit and save money, i hear a lot from are politicians about the UK is open for business but i never see any money coming into the treasury it’s always going out overseas or to business in hand outs, the whole idea of having a treasury for the country and the people is to collect tax from everybody else but the people, you come to the people for taxes as last resort not as first resort, i mean people starving to death in this country, no money, no roof over their heads and the politician tell you that you have never had it so good, thousands of people die every year in this country why nobody knows, they tell you that you live in the richest country in the world and you have more charities than anywhere else and yet thousands die each year from cold no food no home no job no hospital treatment with thousands now living in hospitals to get by,
    the politician say it nothing to do with them the same with the lords big business civil services councils the rich, you name them they all say nothing to do with us and it gets worse each year as the avoidable death toll comes in.

  52. oldtimer
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    The negotiating position of the 27 appears to be to to give succour to the remainers inside the UK – perhaps they are providing money too under some guise or other. For Germany, as its Finance Minister said, “Brexit is a disaster”. It is the EU interest to frustrate it in whatever way it can. We can expect plenty of dirty tricks to come to achieve this end. They are ably supported in the UK by an array of latter day Quislings who seek to frustrate the referendum result.

    No doubt there is admin nitty gritty to be resolved such as how Lord Kinnock’s and Mr Clegg’s future EU pensions will be paid for but on the fundamental issue I agree with your analysis. The position of UK and UE citizens and the baseis on which future trade in goods and services will be conducted are the fundamental issues. It seems to me that the UK position is clear: mutual respect for each other citizens living in the separate jusisdictions and an offer, from the UK, of a free trading relationship. The BBC can be expected to continue to muddy what should be clear waters.

  53. John B
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    “They haven’t yet even confirmed that all UK residents legally living in the rest of the EU can carry on doing so, though the UK has made clear we are happy for all EU legally resident people in the UK to stay if they wish assuming there are no forced evictions from the continent.”

    The main reason why the UK is ‘happy’ that legally resident EU citizens in the UK can stay, is because that is what the Law* says, as it does in all EU Countries, that any EU citizen legally and permanently resident for five years or more has right to permanent residency.

    *(EC Directives are adopted into National Law… n’est-ce pas?)

    The UK Gov discovered that even if they wanted to eject EU citizens, in the case of over 80% of them, they could not. That information was announced, then the ‘ishoo’ disappeared from the politcal RADAR screens.

    Maybe the lack of reassuring noises on this issue from other EU Countries is because they know it is not an issue.

    The situation only became ‘an issue’ after Comrade May acting on the advice of one of her ill-advisors thought there was political capital to be made in declaring she would not guarantee residency for EU citizens, imagining it to be a bargaining chip.

    It seems not, unless you Mr Redwood know something different.

  54. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic. here’s a nice little bit of disinformation in the Independent:


    “Ms May had wanted to trigger Article 50 herself using royal prerogative powers, but faced stiff resistance in Parliament … ”

    I never noticed the emergence of that “stiff resistance in Parliament”.

  55. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Ha, guess who wrote on May 29th:

    “There will not be another referendum on Europe. This is it. The decision we take on June 23 will shape our country, our people and our livelihoods for generations to come.”

    I just happened to come across his article in the Mail on Sunday:


    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Dear Denis–As I wrote above the man’s a disgrace

  56. Jumeirah
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood: what I cannot understand is WHY the Prime Minister is WAITING and WHAT is she waiting for? I can understand that at the very beginning it was important to adjust and appoint her people and allow them all time to settle in then send them out to gauge the reaction of the trading partners around the world. That bit was done fairly swiftly and she and her Ministers must now know very clearly what we can expect in the way of challenges and where we can look for support in world markets. As we all know the Mandate, returned by the majority, was very clear which was to leave the EU and given that she has always said and continues to say Brexit means Brexit meaning that we will take back our Sovereignty etc etc etc. She will not share her Negotiation Plan with us and only imbeciles would fail to understand the reasons for that; the EU have said from the very beginning and continue to reiterate that the UK cannot be part of the Single Market unless we embrace their 4 Principles and that THAT is non-negotiable and they wont budge on it which is very, very positive because in effect it means that the EU and the UK Government agree on one very important and fundamental point which is that WE (UK) cannot remain in the Single Market and that has been obvious for YONKS. The EU cannot understand our delay in triggering Article 50A and neither can we. So why the delay?

  57. ian
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    i see that schools are going to be cut by 2.5 billion pounds starting now and they talk about grammar schools, what a laugh they are, no money for the NHS just money for companies and bankers, lords and the rest with big pay rises with lots more people coming into the country when they cannot even look after the people already hear, just more cuts and tax rises to look forward to, when will it all stop, i have loss count of billion of cut to the budget on services for people must be 120 billion so far, year on year debt still running at 70 odd billions a year, the country debt forecast to be at 1.95 trillion by 2020, 350 billion debt for PFI, that’s 2,345 trillion without the the cuts to the people budget and taxes going up, so what is the real truth about the financial hole the politician bankers, big business have made, they seem to be doing alright with 50 to 200 percent pay rises and more with asset prices going up all the time, the budget go up every year while the people get more cuts, so where is all the money going because people are not seeing any of it, all the politicians all seem be millionaire now with all they mates, how can a liquidity hiccup in 2008 turn into a 2 trillion pound black hole for the people of this country, it must be the biggest con job of all time.

  58. Richard
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    The EU-27 needn’t have negotiating aims right now; it’s up to the UK to send the A50 letter. But more to the point, a common mistake in negotiations is to assume that the other side is like oneself. I think many in the UK underestimate the level of commitment to the EU as a political project that there is on the continent, not only in governments but also in the private sector. The oft-cited German carmakers have already accepted that the cohesion of the EU has priority over their sales figures. Plus, German cars, French cheese etc are premium products that don’t compete on price; if their sterling price is up 10% then their sales won’t go down by the same proportion.

    • Sam Stoner
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      Completely correct.

      Mr Redwood consistently assumes the EU will negotiate on the basis of economic rationality alone. No one with even a passing interest in the politics and sociology of international relations would make such a foolish error

  59. NA
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    ften they misrepresent the UK’s position, both seeking to weaken it by false report and by pretending our aims are unclear or unstated.

    The plan is to intentionally make Brexit not work by asking foreign powers to make it difficult for us so that everyone agrees it was a historical mistake and calls for another referendum.

  60. NA
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    This is the one time in history we need the closest relationship with the US president is possible. What are backbenchers like John doing about it? Has he met Trump yet and if not why not?

  61. NA
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    What are backbenchers like John doing about it?

    Dr J Redwood MP is doing a great job, but I still think a delegation headed by him should have been dispatched by now.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted November 26, 2016 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      It is indeed a very obvious avenue where the smarter politicians, no names mentioned, from let’s say less well established parties, are well ahead of the game.

      The US-UK trade relationship will be pivotal in our end-game relationship (and the US’s) with the EU.

  62. David Williams
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    The eu27 has 9% of the world’s population. Let’s trade more with the other 90%.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      And about 80% of world production is outside the EU.

    • graham1946
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink


      Aside from this calculation, The Remoaners keep on about a 500 million people market in the EU as though they are all like Germany. Don’t know the figures, but I’d be surprised if more than 50 percent of them have any money to spare at all as most of these countries seem to be poverty stricken. If only a few nations are said to be net contributors, then obviously all the rest are supplicants and not likely to be ‘our home market’.

    • R. De Witt Jansen
      Posted November 27, 2016 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      500 million (EU) Customers some British business leaders bleat! said this before -WHY do we need 500 million Customers who sell to us more than they buy from us? Britsh business leaders get off your backsides and get out there and Yes DW let’s trade more with the other 90%

  63. Richard
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    The EU leaders have been very consistent: the 4 principles of the UK are inseparable. That is their negotiating position so not sure why you are even asking the question.

    You propose leaving the eu for ideological reasons, it’s clear they economic consiequences will be terrrible for the average Brit. In the same way the eu will protect the eu for ideological reasons even if it has economic consequences for them.

    Article 50 will be an economic sucide note, as all experts agree. Although for these reasons you don’t believe the experts do you….

  64. Chris
    Posted November 26, 2016 at 11:38 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, so many of the commenters here are obviously hugely concerned about Theresa May and her intentions. They have raised a large number of issues. Is it possible that you and others have misinterpreted the government, or have been misled by the government as to their intentions and commitment to honouring the Referendum result?

  65. Dark Forces
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 1:18 am | Permalink

    EU nations probably feel the decision on Brexit will be reversed. For example, if Germany had instead of the UK staged a Referendum and the result was Leave. BUT, then up-jumped two world famous Ex- Chancellors plus the Leader of their main Opposition Party plus the Leader of a lesser Opposition Party plus the Leader of the northern part of Germany to say “Nein we want a second vote” then would we seriously believe Germany was leaving? Would we bother having a “negotiating aim?” Of course not.
    There have always been massive political forces in Germany opposing real democracy. We have seen it time and time again and it has cost us many lives. The forces refusing to accept the democratic Referendum vote here are quite different of course: they can’t speak German.

  66. Carol Yule
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 2:24 am | Permalink

    Here in the Comments Section,one sees the most deplorable things written about Chancellor of the Exchequer,The Rt Hon Phillip Hammond. Quite frankly they are mostly childish opinions and do not do any favours for the people so misguided as to write them. Good grief, the man works! What more do you want!? It would not surprise me in the least that when other MPs and Ministers are taking their Christmas break Mr Hammond will still be working on, nose to the grindstone sorting out the nations’ financial problems earnestly assisted by his Chief Civil Servant Bob Crachit.

    • James Matthews
      Posted November 28, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

      Quite a lot of ghosts in the Treasury, not all of them dispensing wisdom. Not so easy to find a goose for Mr Crachit (or is it Sir Bob?) these days , but St. James’ park is adjacent and usually has some swans. Perhaps HM will turn a blind eye (purely in the interests of economy).

  67. S. Ian
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    It will be their trade that suffers more, as it is their trade which will attract more of the tariffs that can be placed on agriculture, wine, and cars whilst most of our trade will be tariff free or very low tariffs under WTO rules.

    Watching this self-delusion collide with economic reality will make for fascinating, if painful, viewing over the coming years.

  68. Alex
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    This isn’t for the PM to decide. If it had been a manifesto commitment following a general election then that would be a different matter. EEA membership should be s call.

  69. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    I think that part of the negotiation should feature asking the 27 why they are so insistent that the UK must retain freedom of movement in order to have tariff free access to European markets?

    If freedom of movement is as beneficial as the 27 make out then surely by not participating the UK is losing a competitive advantage. Therefore the 27 will get tariff free access to our market and the advantage of freedom of movement, we are offering them a win win while we are (apparently) putting ourselves at a disadvantage.

    Unless of course freedom of movement does not benefit all equally……..

    If this argument can be brought out into the open then maybe the EU will have to admit that freedom of movement is a disadvantage to some.

    • James Matthews
      Posted November 28, 2016 at 8:50 pm | Permalink

      Freedom of movement is not primarily about economics, it is about undermining existing national identities in the interests of promoting a larger European political identity. I think the Commission and most of the EU states are quite open about that. The deniers in chief, up to now, have been successive British Governments, a tradition that the Remainder rump continues.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted November 30, 2016 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Freedom of movement is also an economics issue. There are many services that can only be sold by people physically living in the country. I can’t buy Polish building services from a builder living in Warsaw, they need to be able move here in order to be able to sell their services to the UK market.

  70. JM
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

    1) The Government is being pressed to set out its vision. I do not see why it cannot do so. It is not a negotiating position. Here’s a suggestion:

    In voting to leave the European Union the United Kingdom did not vote to isolate itself or to cut itself off from the rest of the world. The United Kingdom wishes to have open and harmonious relationships with all other countries in to the world and to trade freely and openly with all.

    The European Union is set on a course that leads inexorably to the United States of Europe. The United Kingdom was already lagging behind that process; it is not a vision which we share with the other 27 members of the European Union. We wish to pursue our own independent course.

    We make it clear that any European national presently living, working or holding assets in the United Kingdom will remain free and welcome to continue so doing whatever the outcome of our negotiations with the European Union. Further, anyone with an offer of work will be free to come and settle in the United Kingdom wherever in the world they come from. However, we make it clear that control of our borders will remain a matter solely for the United Kingdom. We will not accept any requirement from another country or trading group, which will compromise our ability to control our own borders.

    The relationship that the United Kingdom seeks with the European Union is that same that it seeks with the rest of the world. We wish to trade freely and to co-operate intellectually and commercially. We will be actively seeking such opportunities. Inward investment will continue to be welcome.

    We will not pay for market access except by way of import tariffs. We do not wish or seek the imposition of such tariffs. We regard them as inimical to trade. We will, however, reciprocate where we find them.

    Our Parliament and courts will have primacy. We will not be subject to a higher jurisdiction or law making body.

  71. lojolondon
    Posted November 27, 2016 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

    Exactly correct, John. The first thing we should do is not to discuss any of this with the bigoted EU. Speak to Far Eastern manufacturers like Japan, Korea etc. about importing cars. Speak to African countries about importing food. Speak to the lovely Mr Trump from the USA about importing technology. Speak to the Australasian and Amerian wine-producing countries about importing. THEN we speak to European countries (or the EU if it still exists at that point) and see the stonking deal they will do with us. Simples.

  • 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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