The waning of Germany

Mrs Merkel has been feted and courted as the de facto leader of the EU for the past decade. Mr Obama was a strong believer in the Euro and EU project, and looked to Mrs Merkel to provide its discipline and to be its voice. Mr Cameron decided Mrs Merkel was the main person he had to win over when he sought to renegotiate the UK’s relationship. She did not offer him much, which led to the decisive vote by the UK electorate to leave. It was another of her damaging misjudgements, to go alongside the mistake she made over migration into Germany.

Today Mrs Merkel’s power is visibly waning. The UK now has  a Brexit government. It sees Mrs Merkel as an obstacle when she blocks early resolution of the residency issues, or when she grandstands telling us we have to accept freedom of movement. In the USA President Trump has launched public criticisms of her immigration policy and has said he sees the EU as a “German vehicle”. He speaks up for European countries which want to restore their own identities.  Her voting base is also under attack from the anti Euro anti migrant AFD party.

The diminution of Mrs Merkel’s power is helpful to UK as it seeks to negotiate its future relationship with the EU on leaving. Mr Trump will be aware of the huge size of Germany’s balance of payments surplus, which matches part of the large deficits the USA and UK run up. He wishes to alter this, and is busily seeking to repatriate motor car capacity and investment to the USA given the large stake Germany has in the world car industry.

The German electors will have their say on whether she should continue as Chancellor this autumn. They will also be voting on how big a contribution will Germany provide to the new EU absent its UK paymaster. What is clear is that Mrs Merkel, or any replacement to her, can no longer count on the automatic support of the USA to keep Euro and EU together. Nor can they count on UK cash and support in the Council for lower budgets and better discipline.

 

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126 Comments

  1. Freeborn John
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    The danger with a UK-EU comprehensive trade agreement is that it will require the UK to implement EU law or ”acquis” and keep it aligned in future. This is the case with the already existing ‘deep and comprehensive trade agreements’ such as that between the EU and Ukraine:

    http://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/docs/2013/april/tradoc_150981.pdf

    The “Great Repeal” bill will in that case become just the Trojan Horse upon which EU law continues to apply in the Uk ad infinitum with all changes in EU law more or less automatically transposed into Uk law as happens in Norway’s “fax democracy”. In that case the compressive free trade agreement would become the vehicle for an unacceptable Brexit In Name Only (BINO). Any Uk-EU agreement has to be different from the existing comprehensive trade agreements in not accepting the EU acquis in UK domestic legislation, but only in product regulation for this products that are exported to the EU27.

    • zorro
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      We would not accept a ‘free trade agreement’ like that one then. This is the beauty of self government, we decide what we will accept and do not accept what is unacceptable……

      zorro

    • Hope
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      It shows Cameron in a very poor light. He never tried to get a proper substantive deal the lied and lied to the public and threatened us and stood by other foreign leaders when they made threats to us. What an utter weasel.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      An excellent, important point.

      Reading that agreement it seems that it is not the whole acquis but only those parts necessary for Ukraine to have unconditional reciprocal access to the EU internal market in the agreed sectors. We come back to Norway similarly being required to accept only a fraction of the acquis, although I won’t quote a precise percentage because a) there are different numbers quoted, and b) agricultural and fishery products are excluded.

      I think we may need UK legislation to guarantee to the EU governments that our exporters into their markets will always comply with their requirements, but with its application restricted to exporters to the EU and not affecting the great majority of UK businesses which do not intend to serve those foreign markets.

      When Parliament starts on the mammoth task of going through all the existing EU derived measures transferred into the misnamed Great Repeal Bill, item by item, then those which are relevant only to exporters to the EU, and which are not seen as desirable for the whole of the UK economy, could perhaps be moved into some portmanteau legislation specifically applying only to those exporters.

    • acorn
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

      The Acquis Communautaire is already in UK domestic legislation, getting it out is going to be the hard bit! Last time I looked there were over 100,000 documents in it, encompassing some 130,000+ rules, standards, ECJ judgements, etc. of one sort or another.

      There are various guesses of how much recent UK domestic legislation, makes some reference to the EU; 62% seems to be a good average. As the UK is a Common Law country, how much EU law is setting precedents in the Courts as well as Statutes?

      Westminster avoids playing the Jenga game whenever it can. No government wants to take the risk of pulling out the wooden block that topples the whole pile. It’s the same risk when repealing legislation and creating a “cascade trip” as we say in the electrical business.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        The government should consult on which are the most troublesome and start on them, then gradually work through the lower priority measures year after year. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if in twenty years we still had the odd law which originated with the EU and had never been repealed or amended, but the most important will have been dealt with much sooner.

        • rose
          Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

          And the sooner we start, the better, as it is accumulating all the time we are still in the EU.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Indeed. The Trump victory should be a great asset to the UK in the EU negotiation.

    At last we have some sense from Theresa May, but why could she not have said this about six months back? Why are we still waiting to serve notice? I do not think she said anything on the ECHR either, can we now have some sense on this, on cheap energy, on bonfires of red tape and on lower taxes and a much smaller government please.

    Or do we have to wait another six months before she says something sensible? Just an indication of a sensible direction of travel is helpful.

    Trump has outlined most of his agenda already and is not even in office yet.

    • Sean
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      I agree, Britain is always dragging her feet.
      I have to take my hat off to Mr Trump, he knows
      How to get things done ahead if time, on budget.

      Maybe May should take a leaf out of his book, instead of calling him and pushing him aside. This will only bite her in the backside.

    • Hope
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Trump is a breath of fresh air. Merkel continues her monotone pitch to have a EU army and March east- where have we heard this before? Trump is right the EU is being used for Germany’s benefit, as other countries know this perfectly well.

      This two year period is a maximum not target. JR has made the point it could take months not years to complete. I would strike the deal this year when the French and German elections are being held.

    • zorro
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Good speech by T May which I support, and she will have by admiration when it is implemented…. I promise.

      zorro

    • Paul H
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Given that Cameron had irresponsibly done no planning – indeed, had forbidden it – realistically it made sense to sit back, take stock and plan before moving forward. Giving notice is one thing whose timing is under the control of the UK.

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        They replayed a question to Cameron at PMQs a while ago on today’s Daily Politics.

        ‘Will the Prime Minister confirm that in the event of a vote to Leave he will stay in office to implement it?’

        There was a one word answer from Cameron. ‘Yes’.

        How long before he resigned? Was it one day or two? The worst Prime Minister, by a country mile, in living memory. It is what happens when you have ‘career’ politicians. His renegotiation was hopeless.

        • Hope
          Posted January 20, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

          Hopeless, no, dishonest.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        The delay of six months has cost a fortune.

        She could usefully have said what she did yesterday, just a few days after she became leader and have issued the notice not long after with suitable parliamentary approval. I can see no advantage in the delay, just more money wasted. The sooner the country & industry adjusts to the new situation the better it will be. So just get on with it.

        And reducing tax rates should not be a threat to the EU, it is sensible anyway so do that too.

    • DaveK
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

      Hypothetically, the QMV rules and voting system were replaced by the Treaty of Lisbon, effective 1 November 2014, but until, 1 March 2017, any member state can request that a vote is carried out under the Nice system. The Nice system was mainly based on unanimity. Perhaps we are waiting to ensure that the QMV system which applies to Withdrawal of a member state (49a TEU) will definitiely apply. Wouldn’t want Wallonia to veto it would we.

    • David Ashton
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      No chance of cheaper energy with that woman as PM. In PMQs today she responded to some SNP MP’s complaint about high electricity costs in the Highland and Islands that they should take more advantage of renewable energy. Is she really that clueless?

  3. Mark B
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:31 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    What a perfect storm 2017 is turning out to be for the German Chancellor. 🙂

    What also has to be factored in is the rise in rebelliousness of the Eastern European nations. They do not like a German dominated EU and now realise all that free money they have been getting comes at a price.

    • Bob
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      @MarkB
      It’s only the UK politicians that give money away with no strings attached and nothing in return.

      I blame the people who vote for such idiotic politicians.

      I suspect it would do the Tories no harm to repeal the ludicrous Cameron Clegg 0.7% foreign aid law. If Labour tried to oppose such repeal, they would get a drubbing in 2020.

      • JoolsB
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        The Tories don’t seem to want to repeal it despite knowing full well how unpopular it is with the public. It makes them feel good being so generous with taxpayers’ money – bet they’re not so generous with their own!!

        Priti Patel was deadly opposed to the aid budget and setting an arbitrary figure and then struggling like crazy to find enough worthless causes to throw the money we haven’t already given away at. That is until May put her in charge of that department. Funny how she’s gone very quiet on the matter now.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Especially when there will be a lot less free money when we are gone.

  4. Same GermanFairytale
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    Merkel represents the self-satisfied German middle- class. Former East Germans, many of whom still finding foreign travel a rich man’s luxury though they always had plenty of money to visit the eastern part of all the world. The novelty is wearing thin however.

    Migrants literally in boatloads do jobs Germans are too lazy and proud to do. Without their cheap energetic labour, Germany would fall apart. You can’t build a country laying on foreign swimming-pool deck chairs. The myth of German engineering skills vaporised in diesel admission fumes and an app called Deception.

    When Merkel falls, so will the German middle class. They will blame everything on migrants. Me thinks that is another reason they are there in abundance.

    • John
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

      No Same GermanFairytaile

      Just like in the UK 30 years ago it was our near neighbours that did those jobs. That we saw serving in the local shop, picking veg at the local farm shop, cutting a hedge.

      The only two countries in the EU to have a tax free earnings allowance are the UK and Germany. Its to bring in cheap labour from elsewhere.

      We had the same arguments when we said its not right to have cheap child labour in the mills. The Americans hears the same arguments when they said the economy would fall apart and there would be no clothes to wear unless we have cheap slave labour.

      The ex M&S CEO said it would be a ‘disaster’ Stuart Rose if the CEO’s of Europe could not cram in cheap labour to devalue human time by increasing their number. Flooding the market with humans to devalue their worth.

      People are not lazy, you confligate the deliberate devaluation of labour with effort pet!

  5. Richard1
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Sterling rose 2-3% during and after Mrs May’s speech. Did anyone follow exactly when? The BBC announced that the rise came at the moment she said Parliament would be able to vote on – and therefore block – a Brexit deal. At least Mrs May has learnt the critical lesson of Mr Cameron’s negotiation – there’s no chance of a good deal unless you are prepared to walk away.

    • zorro
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      If they block the deal, we go to MFN WTO. They don’t stop us leaving. What do you think they will vote…?

      zorro

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Dear Richard–Whenever Cameron mentioned negotiation I never had the first idea whether he meant the scarcely existent negotiation he reckoned he had already (not) achieved or the pie-in-the-sky one he was going to achieve that was clearly impossible. The EU may be regretting its misreading of the situation and its unhelpful response but even for that Cameron was largely responsible–who can doubt that he told them there was nothing to worry about?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 20, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        https://www.ft.com/content/3482b434-c37d-11e6-81c2-f57d90f6741a

        “The prime minister’s allies insist he always warned that defeat was a possibility, but one senior EU official recalls Mr Cameron telling colleagues at the G20 summit in Brisbane in 2014: “We’re going to win. Maybe by 70:30.” In the end he lost by 52:48.”

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      The BBC said stock markets fell as they would if sterling (the currency they are valued in) rose. So the the Bbc can make it negative either way.

      On Newsnight a guest was asked but what can we offer the EU in these negotiations, they replied free trade into the UK. The presenter then said “they already have that”

      What part of they export more to us than we do to them do these block head Bbc presenters not get!

      • CdBrux
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

        And some person, a Pole I think, interviewed on the radio last night when asked if the fact that EU exports a lot more to UK than the other way around and so should be incentivized to strike a good trade deal pointed out that it is a far far higher % of the UK economy than of the EU economy. Now for sure that’s a dogmatists opinion, but I am quite convinced it’s nowhere near as black & white as you would like to think it is. Who will have the upper hand at the crucial moment, and remember it only takes one EU nation to block the deal, is anyones guess.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        BBC news presenters as opposed to journos like Andrew Neill seem bent on soft balling Remainers and exaggerating the difficulty of our timely and beneficial exit. So much air time is given to them and if they had won would they have counternanced a reverse reaction. I don’t think so – you lost, bad luck, get over it would have been the response from Clegg, Clarke, Soubry and the rest.

    • cornishstu
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      From my understanding once article 50 is invoked we are out, deal or no deal once the 2 year negotiating period is up, unless an extension is is granted. So if parliament rejects any deal on the table we will be on WTO terms. That is why we have the challenges on the who has the final say on our giving notice, in my book parliament gave up their right to a say when they allowed our sovereignty to be given away bit by bit to Brussels without so much as by or leave to what we the people wanted until we finally had our say.

  6. Newmania
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Trump likes money. We are a tenth the size of the EU. Do the maths John. I know you like to claim to have experience in business but the “Spirit of Ecstasy” is not the thing that drives the Roller.
    We will soon discover how bitter snakeoil tastes and I can only watch and remember what you said before you hurt so many hard working families across the country.

    • zorro
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      I like money too, very helpful in doing good things for people. A lot of people like money. Do you have a problem with that?

      Are you a little challenged. You say that John ‘claims to have experience in business’. Is there some doubt there or do you have some quality intelligence (secret squirrel like) you have purloined to suggest it’s not true…?

      Newmania, I feel really sad (well a little bit) for you because you seem quite lost. Did you not have a good day yesterday when the pound rose?

      zorro

    • lojolondon
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Wrong in every way. Stop watching the BBC and do your research. Trump is a patriot who has been appalled how Obama messed up the USA, the Middle East and the world, and he wants to make America great again and he personally wants to be the best president ever. Trump will be great for Britain. You were and are wrong about Brexit, you were and are wrong about Trump. Watch him perform and prepare to eat your own words.

    • zorro
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      ‘hard working families’…. where have I heard that politically driven phrase before ?…..

      zorro

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      Newmania – Today’s post is about the damage Mrs Merkel has done to herself, her country and the EU.

      It is a disaster zone. The mediterranean crisis is of Biblical proportions and the EU can’t control it. It is not the worst EU problem by any means, but it is the most visual and Mrs Merkel has dealt with it badly.

      We in the UK are also dealing with another refugee crisis. Youth refugees from the eurozone disaster (such a great economic powerhouse, the EU.) And if you believe in a one-country-EU (as all good Europeans should) then you must be worried about the EU’s elderly, asset stripped of their own young with no-one left to pay their taxes and do their work.

      All Merkel had to do was offer Mr Cameron a few measly sops for his worried masses and we would be staying in the EU.

      Therein lies the real problem. Sticking out as prominently as a bonnet star on a Mercedes. The British Prime Minister had to go to the leader of Germany to ask for control of his own country. It certainly wasn’t him in the driving seat and that was made clear for voters to see.

      A continuation of this relationship would have been OK with you ?

      Never fear. If the world was worried about Greece going belly up then they must be quaking at the thought of Britain going under.

    • DaveM
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      We’re almost 15% of EU (excluding UK) population, and about 21% of GDP.

      Rather more than a tenth.

      http://www.tradingeconomics.com/european-union/population

      • DaveM
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

        Sorry to butt in, but who’s this pinching my name?!

    • Hope
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Utter rubbish. Trump is a breath of fresh air. If he achieves nothing else it will take the career politicos think differently if they ever want power again. The same here and around the world. He has already done us all a favour.

      Goodness me, leaving the EU is not just about economics. It is about being a free democratic nation. This gives you the ability to sack JR or any other MP and Party. We have no influence over Junker, Schultz or Tusk.

      Leaving the EU will mean the liblabcon managers implementing EU law and policy will now have to think for themselves and will have to try to be different if they want to be elected. The only PM to stand out during our time in the EU was Maggie Thatcher. Why did so many people like her? Because she portrayed she wanted to put our country and people first. Whether she did or not is another matter of discussion.

    • sunnyday
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      “hard working families” is a horrible soundbite used by both left and right.

    • Graham
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      You are so narrow minded and you clearly fail to understand that true British people (who you disparage) are aware of the cost of getting their democracy back.

      It’s only you that clutch at any straw you can to keep us in the thrall of EU dictatorship and which incidentally clearly illustrates your lack of faith in yourself to do what is right for your countrymen (giving you the benefit here of being a true patriot.

      Grow up

      • Newmania
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

        The British people ( by which I take it you mean half of them) were promised a Brexit bonus not a down turn and a dismal reduction of our status and prosperity

        • rose
          Posted January 19, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          They weren’t promised anything. They were invited to vote for independence. Suggestions were made by different people about how that might turn out. anyone who voted to Leave will have understood there may be a price to pay for independence. they judged it worht it. Those who didn’t want to take any risk but would have liked to be independent, voted to remain. Many people said at the time they would like to vote leave but didn’t dare. they were partly cautious but mainly intimidated by the black propaganda.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

        ‘Grow up’

        – I’ve been veering more and more recently towards the Brexit argument recently. But hostile language like this then makes me veer back towards Remain (what’s the point of having a successful country either inside or outside the EU if people are just unpleasant to each other)?

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 20, 2017 at 2:50 am | Permalink

          ‘Grow up’ was a reaction to Newmania’s relentless Remainer hostility. We hear a lot about wicked Brexiters but in truth all of the hostility has been from Remain, before and since the referendum.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

            There’s hostility on both sides. Whoever’s right overall, everyone’s a loser every time there’s bad blood over it.

        • libertarian
          Posted January 21, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          Ed M

          If you base your voting and support intentions based on the postings of one anonymous poster to another on a social forum then I would suggest that you would do well to take on board that very message !

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted January 22, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            I’m fickle i know … that’s because i find strong arguments on both sides and often not sure really what to think overall (i think many remainers and leavers are same as me)

            What i’m more sure about:
            1) the EU needs strong reform
            2) we need to unite over the decision of the Referendum (the country as a whole) and try and reassure those who are genuinely concerned about the future from whichever side that things will turn out well if we stay positive etc
            Regards

            I agree with you … But often not sure what to think over Brexit, i think both sides have strong arguments (and i think a lot of
            What i am pretty sure about, however, is
            1) if the EU has any future, it has to reform – now – fairly radically, in particular over immigration.
            2) we have to unite

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      The logic and maths says do sensible deals with both not one or the other. The UK deal should be far easier to do and we should be far more nimble than the sclerotic, multi headed, socialist EU with all there conflicting interests.

    • Richard1
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      This is nonsense. There is no reason countries of different sizes can’t negotiate good trade deals. Australia has just concluded a good trade deal with the US (in 15 months). I was a floating voter in the referendum but it’s amazing how negative Remain stalwarts are about what should be undiluted good news – that the US administration wants a trade deal with the UK. Remain spent the whole referendum campaign arguing that they wouldn’t!

      • Newmania
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        You understand that when you do a deal it can be bad one right ?

        • libertarian
          Posted January 20, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          Newmania

          “You understand that when you do a deal it can be bad one right ?”

          Youve never done business have you?

          There are only two ways that can happen

          1) You are incredibly stupid & dont check the small print

          2) The other party is acting fraudulently

          No sane person negotiates a deal that is bad for their own interests

    • Richard Butler
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      Newmainia, you are not allowing for the fact Trump and his team of deal makers also believe in Bi-lateral deal making, not doing deals with lumbering great blocs that squabble over Feta cheese definitions for a decade.

      Again remoaners posses an innate sense of British impotence instead of recognising our great strengths

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

        ‘Again remoaners posses an innate sense of British impotence instead of recognising our great strengths’

        – Every great team, whether it be marriage, business or a country depends on people who compliment each other in terms of optimism and caution. The cautious types prevent hubris and the optimistic types prevent cowardice. If we’re going to make a success of Brexit, we have to try and persuade people through strong but respectful language. Not insult each other

        • Anonymous
          Posted January 20, 2017 at 2:53 am | Permalink

          It’s ‘remoaners’ for a very good reason. I disapprove of it but not because it isn’t a true description. It is reactive, quite clearly.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

            The British people are a great people.
            – calling people ‘remoaners’, however, is the language of little people.

    • Trumpeter
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

      “Trump likes money” He has indicated he will accept only $1 per annum salary. No-one asked him to. He had already won when he said it. He feels bad about the $1 but the law says he must have a salary as President.
      “President-elect Donald Trump has announced he will give up his presidential salary of $400,000 (£319,500) and take just $1 a year. He revealed his plan to receive nominal pay during an interview with 60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl on CBS News.14 Nov 2016 ”
      He will be President for at least 4 years, probably 8 years

    • Ron Hector
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      See you already have the spirit of doom. The eu have a£60 trade advantage with uk. They will be keen to keep exporting to us. Gives uk the upper hand.

    • libertarian
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Once again Newy I ask what is YOUR experience in trade and business ?

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:48 pm | Permalink

      Hi, I was a (reluctant) remainer but so far, Brexiteers seem to be winning argument overall.
      1. Uncontrolled immigration is unstainable
      2. Nothing terrible happened economically yet
      3. Patriotism is a good thing (some/many Remainers seem a bit anti patriotism – yes there can be fanatical patriotism but there is also healthy patriotism).
      4. The EU lacks the political leadership to govern the EU – as it is now – with 500+ people)
      And more (and yes, Remainers have good arguments, but at moment, Brexiteers have the edge i think).

      • rose
        Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Luke 15:7 (ASV) “I say unto you, that even so there shall be joy in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, [more] than over ninety and nine righteous persons, …”

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          If everyone turned to Christianity, allowing themselves to be transformed by The Divine, the UK (and the world) would be bliss – Paradise (that’s what the Bible teaches, and that we can believe whenever we do experience a bit of bliss and Paradise in this world):

          ‘The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them’ – Isaiah 11:6

          (including Brexiteers and Remainers …)

          Best wishes.

  7. Ian Wragg
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Having worked in the Middle East power industry for years I have never been seduced by the myth of German efficiency. They are very much like the Japanese in mentality being very good at group think but not so good on innovation.
    Their equipment tends to be over complicated and as such requires specialists to maintain it.
    Unlike UK and American equipment parts cannot be sourced other than from the manufacturer making them very expensive.
    They tend to be less reliable than US products.
    Merkel typifies German mentality with her do as I say hectoring attitude.

  8. zorro
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Remember….. just like Nick Ridley intimated 27 years ago….

    zorro

  9. alan jutson
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    I think the EU is heading into very troubled waters in the next few years.

    Out of control immigration, the restrictions and internal conflict of the Euro on Countries who should never have joined it, the internal conflict of trade surpluses and deficits between countries within the EU, the undemocratic leadership plans for the future and the rise of rather more extreme parties to the left and right, the internal deficit and excessive cost and spending of the EU commission.

    Clearly we are better out, but if this turns nasty then as usual we will still be expected to help sort it out from outside, because it will impact on us in the end as it will others who are outside the EU.

    The EU is making a mess of Europe yet again I am afraid.

  10. Peter Wood
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Germany, France and the other larger EU nations should first start paying for their own defence; in this aspect Mr. Trump is correct. Germany and France spend about a 1/3rd less than the UK in cash terms, (less in terms of % of GDP). Time to end the free ride.

  11. Rob
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    “Migrants literally in boatloads do jobs Germans are too lazy and proud to do. Without their cheap energetic labour, Germany would fall apart. You can’t build a country laying on foreign swimming-pool deck chairs.”

    Same GermanFairlyTale

    Do you mean English?

  12. lojolondon
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Dear John, the performance of the Biased BBC hit a new low today with the barrage of anti-government performances as they see their beloved sponsor EU disappearing from the British stage. We really do need to rein in this anti-democratic propaganda machine, that keeps on pounding the drum, diminishing every achievement and always supporting anti-British forces. We can save £6 Billion a year by removing the BBC entirely, with the advent of internet, satellites, subscription music services and paid-for TV we certainly need no more than a single government-funded TV and radio station. Local radio could easily be sold to local businesses and run commercially. Sooner the better.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 3:02 am | Permalink

      It also advertises relentlessly. Films, music and celebrities. All of them private business being given ‘free’ advertising on radio and TV. Radio is particularly bad. It is as though presenters are told to mention a film a certain number of times as they segue really clumsily and randomly to them. It is so obvious. One wonders if payment is going on.

      • libertarian
        Posted January 21, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Anon

        Thanks for posting this, I have been saying to Jerry and other BBC fans that the BeeB endlessly provide free and sustained advertising for private services and products that are run by their lovey mates, for a long time. Meanwhile the Government via Ofcom restrict private community radio to only earning 50% of their revenues via advertising and sponsorship ( they dont seem to have a suggestion as to where the other 50% might come from) . I was pleased however when a couple of MP’s raised this outdated and freedom restriction in the HoC debate on the Digital Multiplex ( community stations) Bill on Friday 13th

  13. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “diminution of Mrs Merkel’s power is helpful to UK”
    I suppose that sums up the writer’s intent for today’s blog.

    • rose
      Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Peter, more than 20 nations werer in favour of speedily settling the question of reciprocal residents’ rights – until Frau Merkel said nein. That is just one example of the problem we have with her destructive power.

      • rose
        Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, were.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 20, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Theresa May said “one or two” countries refused, so I guess that will be France as well as Germany. And arguably they are technically right to refuse because the EU is developing its common asylum and immigration policy, and on that basis once the UK has left the EU and become a “third country” UK citizens already resident in the other EU countries will most likely have to be treated according to an EU common policy which has not yet been set.

        The UK and Ireland have opt-outs and so the UK could act unilaterally with regard to the EU citizens already resident in the UK, but the governments of their home countries cannot reciprocate.

        That is a measure of how far EU integration has gone, when our Prime Minister meets the Swedish Prime Minister and suggests that there could be a bi-lateral agreement on how we treat Swedes on our territory and how the Swedes treat our citizens on their territory, and she replies that her government no longer has the power to decide that:

        https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jan/16/ann-linde-swedish-minister-xenophobia-swedes-uk-brexit

        “Asked if she could give assurances to British people in Sweden, Linde said that was an EU-wide issue and not something her country could offer unilaterally. “I don’t offer anything. This is part of the EU negotiation that is conducted by the EU commission,” she said. “What I hope is we have a negotiation result where the Swedes who live in Britain can continue to do so and the Brits who stay in Sweden continue to do so.””

  14. Julien Tabulazero
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I think the EU should thank President Trump for he will force it to become stronger or disappear.

    It’s sink or swim.

    I do have the slight feeling that Mr Redwood would like the former to happen but I would really be interested in his vision as to how a post-EU continent should work. A future post, maybe ?

    • rose
      Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      It should drop the single currency and it should lessen its minute control of the 27 nations. Successful empires rule with a light rein.

      • rose
        Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        And after that it should revert to independent nations running their own affairs.

        The attempt to obliterate the nations by abolishing borders, individual currencies, and democracy, in conjunction with unfettered immigration from other continents, has been hugely damaging and will take a lot of getting over. The great question is, will Europe be able to recover its glorious civilization?

    • libertarian
      Posted January 21, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Julien

      How about we call it the European Economic Community or Common Market for short and we scrap all idea of a federal Europe, the Euro, European Courts, Euro Parliament , Euro Armies, Presidents and MEP’s. and just have a collection of neighbours who wish to trade freely with each other and visit each others countries without too many onerous restrictions?

      • Julien Tabulazero
        Posted January 22, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

        Libertarian

        And how do you propose to mediate the inevitable trade dispute that will arise ?

        Regards

  15. Agricola
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkels future is a matter for the German people to decide. Yes she has made mistakes but for honest reasons. I would want to know what the options were before I started to look elsewhere for leadership in Germany, remember history.

    Mrs May got it right yesterday, it is now a matter for the EU and or the European nation states to decide where their interests lie. This could leave us with 28 including the EU points of view. Let’s see how it plays out and be prepared to say enough is enough and revert to WTO rules. It could take such a move to concentrate their minds for a more sensible solution in the more distant future. I see no future for an industry by industry approach. It would not be fair to those outside automotive and aviation, plus you would end up with a bucket of worms. The difference between what we might pay in WTO duty levels and what we might collect could be used to give support to exporters to the EU to balance what they have to pay in duty. Interesting times ahead, but now very positive.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 3:05 am | Permalink

      Accepting a million migrants was not an honest mistake. It was a cover for the fact that there is nothing she can do about the crisis – to make it look like she was still in control of it. Worse was her authority’s trying to hush the news of migrant sex assaults.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    Now that it has been decided that we will no longer be a member of, or part of, the EU internal or single market perhaps we should start refining our language about our future relations with that market. The problem with talking about us needing “access” to that EU market is that just by default it perpetuates the false impression that our trade with the rest of the EU somehow consists entirely of UK companies exporting to them, when in fact that is only 43% of the total two-way trade and 57% of it is them exporting to us.

    I think the word “reciprocal” is crucial; it is not just our access to their markets but their access to our market, “reciprocal access”, and that is what we should always say.

  17. margaret
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    The vote for Brexit was won on those wanting to stop free movement. If this continues then all that the British citizens fought for will be made a mockery of. Free movement is only free for the mover , not those who reside in one place permanently .
    It is true we need power to rule ourselves and believe it or not this is a war , a war of wills . No arms are resorted to ; at least we are not as uncivilised as the terrorists.. but it is time cycling again .
    We will be friends with any civilised nation , but not dictators. The EU thinks that we want our cake and eat it and they decry that , but that is precisely what they have.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 3:07 am | Permalink

      Hear hear !

  18. turboterrier
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    It is a a question of circles and wheels going round.

    Eventually the electorate get fed up with the same old same old and want change.

    Change when it comes opens other areas and the opportunity for others in the community to have real hope and feel they have at least a chance to enjoy the fruits of their labours.

    It is nothing new it is just a fact of life.

  19. Andy
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I’ve long thought that Merkel was vastly overrated and she has been a disaster for Europe. By kicking the problem of the Euro down the line all she has done is compound the problems and she has wrought more havoc on the Southern States, particularly in Greece. The sooner she is gone the better. It needs fresh ideas and fresh thinking.

    • cfrancis
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      I vividly recall hearing the news that AM had (unilaterally) offered 1 million people entry to Germany without any apparent thought of;

      a) the ramifications of either the security or social aspects of that amount of people suddenly arriving, or

      b) that she hadn’t agreed it with the other various Heads of Countries in the EU..

      I looked at my wife and both of our jaws had slumped to the floor. Utter lunacy and it proved beyond doubt that when AM says ‘jump’, everyone in the rest of the EU is expected to do just that.

      Hardly a picture-perfect ‘partnership’, is it?

      • rose
        Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        Everyone keeps saying 1 million people but in fact it was unlimited. She thought she was going to get the cream of the Syrian educated class, before any other European country could get them. It turned out her invitation was answered by men from all over Africa and Asia as well as Europe. 80% of them are said by Germans to be illiterate and not to speak German. This could have been predicted. I think about 100,000 got jobs while 50,000 people had to be employed to look after them.

  20. rose
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    This is all very true. What a contrast to the BBC telling us this morning that Mrs May’s splendid speech was a victory for Frau Merkel. Their way, I suppose, of not admitting they were too stupid to work out that the internal market was going to be left along with the EU.

  21. Antisthenes
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Are we not just seeing the waning of Germany but the EU as well. In Merkel and the Brussels clique it is quite apparent that they have the same traits of intransigence and bossiness and an inflated opinion of their abilities and a belief they are infallible. Dangerous characteristics for people who are in charge of our governments and national institutions. Their incompetence and misguided actions has fostered discontent causing the rise of anti EU sentiment and Brexit. Brexit is a major blow to the EU’s stability and viability. A stability that is further threatened by the rise of anti EU political parties.

    The EU objectives and the means being used to achieve them are beginning to be questioned. Brexit can only accelerate doubt about the efficacy of the EU especially as the UK’s exit will require Brussels to find new sources of funding which can only come from remaining taxpayers pockets. Not an enviable position for the EU one that can only sow more discontent. Another problem to add to the myriad of others the EU have conjured up over the years. Many unresolved. Add in as you point out a non cooperative USA and we have a recipe that may see the end of the EU or at least one radically altered that accepts reality over fantasy. Most likely the former as few accept the loss of their dreams.

  22. Vanessa
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    Germany’s reduction in status and power in the world will be nothing compared with the consequences of Theresa May’s idea of negotiating Britain’s exit from the EU. Our economy and wealth will diminish to that of a “third world” country. She has been listening to people who know nothing about the treaties Britain has signed up to nor how the WTO rules actually work.
    If you read EUReferendum dot com you will find a thoughtful and well defined road for our exit – Flexcit. It advises Britain should join the EEA/EfTA which will reduce our funding, give us the ability to control immigration and sort out all the trade problems we could face and keep us in the single market so the economy does not suffer. Then once all the negotiations are completed we LEAVE the EEA – takes one year. It is a “bridge” to a very complex and time-consuming negotiating time without the horrors for businesses, manufacturers, traders, packers, etc. May needs to wise-up – this is a COUNTRY we are talking about not your local neighbours.

  23. oldtimer
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    Post Brexit Germany’s role as principal paymaster, principal trade beneficiary and significant lender to the high risk deficit members of the EU (such as Greece) will become ever more obvious. It is unclear to me just how aware the German electorate is of its exposure to such risks. In the past Mrs Merkel has said they are not at risk. Policy, up to now, has been to kick the can down the road. I imagine that opposition parties such as AfD will draw voters’ attention to such unresolved difficulties as the German election looms closer.

    The UK negotiating position on Brexit, as set out by Mrs May yesterday, has emphasised those risks. UK contributions will cease, the terms of trade have worsened for Germany as the £ has weakened vs the euro and there is a clear risk of a reversion to WTO tariffs of 10% on cars if a mutually satidfactory trade agreement cannot be achieved between the UK and the EU. The age of kicking the can down the road is coming to an end.

  24. ferdinand
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    The Euro particularly created a massive price advantage for German cars in the EU, possibly as high as 30%. Unless these companies can have equivalent trade terms with the UK for their products then they will suffer quite markedly. The German car industry is extremely powerful because it uses so many other parts of German industry in the manufacture of vehicles. Mrs. Merckel and her government I am sure are well aware of this.

  25. JohnMiller
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    The German car companies have an enormous influence on German politics.

    A threat to imports of German cars to the USA and, to a lesser extent, the U.K. would be an effective bargaining tool.

  26. David Price
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The UK represents 20% of EU GDP, not 10 – $2.9T of $16T 2015 figures from tradingeconomics.com.

    The UK contributed 12.7%, not 10%, of the 2015 EU budget according to statista.com

    Or perhaps you mean we are 10% of land area? You’d be wrong there also.

    • David Price
      Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      my comment was reply to Newmania comment above on 18, 2017 at 7:22 am

  27. Anthony Makara
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    I see nations like Germany as economic competitors rather than partners and believe our government should be doing everything it can to back British business at the expense of the Germans and others. There can be no doubt that Merkel’s naïve immigration policies have been a disaster for Germany and should serve as a warning to others who think they can socially engineer a shift in the population demographic to pay for pensions two generations down the line. Now that Germany lacks credibility with the new US President we must take full advantage of that. It appears that some senior politicians in the UK have access to Donald Trump and can make the case for post-Brexit Britain becoming the new business centre of Europe at the expense of Germany. Over the last 30 years Germany has come to represent everything bad about the EU and even the French now realise that national independence can only come by escaping from Germany and its vehicle, the EU.

  28. formula57
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    As you doubtless recall, as recently as 5th. January I commented upon your post that day that “Soon after the referendum result became known, you called for a Brexit government. Can we have one now please?”.

    Today, less than a fortnight later, you state, “The UK now has a Brexit government.”

    Your celerity is unmatched. This blog delivers like no other. I cannot recall an occassion when I have been more impressed or pleased. Thank you!

  29. formula57
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Mindful of Mr Trump’s endeavours “given the large stake Germany has in the world car industry”, should your friend Mr Javid not be encouraging Daimler amongst others perhaps to site a manufacturing plant in England or Wales?

  30. JoolsB
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Thing is John, we haven’t left the EU yet and despite having a ‘Brexit Government’ as you say, they are outnumbered by the many remoaners who still refuse to accept the referendum result so surely by giving Parliament and especially those failed unelected has beens in the Lords the final vote, it is an open invitation to vote against or obstruct us leaving for years if they don’t get their way. We already know the SNP and Lib Dums will vote against any deal plus all the other remoaners who cannot contemplate the UK standing on her own two feet outside of their beloved single market.

    On another note, May has promised the devolved parliaments a say in Brexit talks saying she wants their voices heard and their interests taken into account. As usual, no mention of England’s voice or England’s interests being taken into account. Nearly 20 years after devolution, could there be no further proof needed as far as UK Governments are concerned, this Tory one included, that England has no voice. The majority of Brexit voters reside in England and yet there will be no-one sitting alongside Sturgeon and Jones to represent their interests, certainly not any of our UK MPs squatting in English seats who speak for the UK and woe betide them if the word England should ever pass their lips God forbid. Unbelievable. And we kid ourselves we live in a democracy!

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    It seems that the short Bill being prepared by the government needs to make it clear that if/when Parliament approves the service of the Article 50 TEU notice to withdraw from the EU it will also be approving withdrawal from the EEA, if that is where negotiations lead the UK government as now seems most likely to be the case:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4127988/Claimants-fresh-Brexit-COURT-challenge-demand-ANONYMITY.html

    That’s on top of the Bill a) making it very clear that Parliament is taking this decision notwithstanding its earlier European Communities Act 1972 and b) that it will not accept any further legal attempts to defy its will whether in UK or foreign courts.

    Otherwise we could get to the end of March with the government still tied hand and foot by an interminable succession of vexatious legal challenges.

  32. Atlas
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    The Germano-French Empire on the retreat. Who would have thunk it?

    P.S. It used to be the Franco-German Empire, but times change…

    • Newmania
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      Are you serious ? Theresa May has caved in before the negotiations have begun. You obviously missed the point here. May was still battling for access to the internal market last year She has been forced to accept that Britain will have to leave the single market, it does not get any worse than that . We have lost everything and the rest of Europe will be eyeing up the European Financial Business as pure gain

      If we wanted to get zip Cameron could have done it standing on his head …. She has achieved zero zilch nada nothing which , to be fair was the only possible outcome once the great mistake had been made. Well we are all in trouble now as you will see

      • zorro
        Posted January 19, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

        We WILL have access to the internal market but not be members. Why can you not understand this simple point?

        zorro

      • libertarian
        Posted January 21, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

        Newy

        You really really can’t grasp even the most basic and simple concepts of trade and business can you.

        We can have access to the EU 27 country markets any time we want. We no longer wish to be part of the single market. I for one voted for Brexit precisely so that we COULD leave the ridiculous so called internal market in goods . Its a customs union about protectionism, exactly the same protectionism that the EU lovers are now wailing and crying and rioting about now that Trump is going to play them at their own game. You have to laugh

  33. Wasp
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    PM’s Question Time today in Parliament allowed again the repetitive questions of Labour.

    Remoaners barked on about foreigners’ rights here in the UK: their Constituencies as ever are some way off the coast outside our territorial waters. One female SNPer appeared to voice the problems of the Spanish fishing industry in regard to Brexit. I shall need to look at the Hansard right-up as I am at this moment unclear about her point. But Mrs May responded by stating that the Common Agriculture Fisheries policy was not in Scotland’s interests. Well the SNP does need reminding that Scotland’s interests are precious and should not be given away freely to the foreign power that the EU is.

  34. chris S
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    If Merkel were a UK politician she would have already have been forced to resign following her catastrophic and sudden change of immigration policy.

    Unfortunately there is no opposition to Merkel capable of taking power ( The SPD being a signed up member of the grand coalition ) so there is every likelihood she will be re-elected.

    Similarly in the EU there must be an immense dislike and deep resentment of Merkel for unilaterally changing the migration policy of the 26 countries of the Schengen area without any discussion whatsoever. Problem is, such is the position she holds in the bloc that nobody in power dares to criticise Germany or Merkel.

    This is all extremely unhealthy for the limited democratic accountability across the EU.

    In Obama, Merkel had a strong ally and, given his dislike of the UK, I always feared for our future outside the EU.

    However, from tomorrow we will have a friend in the White House and one who is entirely realistic as to what we can all expect from Europe. I hope he takes a very firm line with Germany and others over the agreed 2% contribution to NATO defence.

    Germany is by far the worst culprit and, in most respects, has the most to lose.

    Furthermore, if President Trump introduces the threatened 35% tax on cars imported from the EU and Mexico, I can see a big opportunity for Britain as long as our own US/UK trade deal is tariff free on cars and other high end goods.

  35. rose
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    For anyone whose heart sinks at the thought of Frau Merkel, may I suggest they think instead of the charming and accomplished Ambassador of Latvia, whose constructive and friendly comments on our Brexit must have disappointed the various broadcasters who have interviewed her.

  36. David
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    The worse thing about Merkel is that she managed to make Cologne famous for mass sex attacks.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 18, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      More disconcerting is that her establishment tried its darndest to keep the Cologne sex attacks a secret !

      We are leaving the EU because our PM had to go to her for permission to run his country the way the British people demanded it. She declined to give him it.

      Newmania thinks Remaining under these conditions would be best.

  37. Bert Young
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s utterances do not fit the diplomacy book but, he does say as he sees it – and that’s no bad thing . The EU – as Trump says , exists for the benefit and design of Germany ; the huge surplus it has built up has been largely the result of the Euro enabling Germany to export its products at artificially low prices .

    The day of reckoning is not far off and I suspect that the Merkel reign will end – similarly that in France . Europe is now in a wake up call situation and , once again , Trump may be right in his statement that there will be other Brexits . Who knows , if we re-design ourselves as a tax attraction haven , we may well create surpluses like Germany .

  38. John
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

    Great news that we are going for a full English Brexit. Wasn’t necessarily going to be the case but a lot of credit due to the PM for not backing down.

  39. Stuart Saint
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Germany will have to reconsider their paltry defence expenditure. They also surprisingly have crumbling infrastructure due to insufficient investment and shaky energy resources (having shut down nuclear in another panic move).

    Merkel is a shrewd national politician and despite the growth of AfD it is likely she will again be Chancellor given the German PR system and history of sharing power out as a result. But She will never be a powerful again.

  40. Original Richard
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    “Mr Cameron decided Mrs Merkel was the main person he had to win over when he sought to renegotiate the UK’s relationship. She did not offer him much, which led to the decisive vote by the UK electorate to leave. It was another of her damaging misjudgements, to go alongside the mistake she made over migration into Germany”

    Was Mrs. Merkel’s refusal to offer little to Mr. Cameron a misjudgement ?
    Are we sure Mrs. Merkel wanted the UK to stay in the EU ?

    Is it not more likely that she wanted to rid the EU of the one country who has held back the integration of Europe into one single country for the last two centuries ?

    The US system of not allowing its presidents more than two terms in office has its benefits to prevent a leader, constantly surrounded by sycophants and elites, believing they cannot make a mistake and that they and their country can walk on water.

    Only the German electorate are able to remove Mrs. Merkel from office before she makes any further grand unilateral decisions which have a disastrous impact on the whole of Europe (not just the EU).

  41. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Your post today John has done wonders to cheer me up and if more people read it the anti depressants so many people take could go in the bin!!

    Merkel has been a disaster for Germany and Europe. Someone suggested today that we should stay in the EU and try to negotiate better terms. Not on your life! I don’t trust them with a barge pole and whatever we thought we had we would find out we didn’t. Mrs May is really starting to impress me. I hope she keeps up the positive attitude.

  42. ChrisS
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    German voters “will also be voting on how big a contribution will Germany provide to the new EU absent its UK paymaster”.

    It’s obvious to all that the EU should cut its budget by at least €12bn pa when it loses British net contributions of £10bn.

    It won’t of course, because the whole project is being steamrollered by the Brussels establishment who would see a budget cut as backsliding on the European dream.

    Can’t have that ?
    Can we ??

  43. ChrisS
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    After listening to and reading almost all the comment following Mrs May’s superb speech, one thing overwhelmingly comes to mind :

    The responsibility for the success or failure of the talks and the strength and depth of our future relationship lies entirely in the hands of the EU 27, the Commission and the European Parliament.

    For our part, we would like to continue with free trade in goods and services and full security and defence cooperation as now.

    These four are all very much in the interest of the 27 : after all :

    1. They have a very large trade surplus with us.

    2. By their own negotiator’s admission, they need access to the London Capital Markets.

    3. We provide absolutely vital intelligence information to our European friends.

    4. We make the largest contribution to the defence of Europe after the US.

    Yet we are offering to continue all of this cooperation without restriction in return for our regaining the freedom to make our own external trade deals and set our own rules on migration and our own laws.

    If the 27 are foolish enough to turn the opportunity down, that will first and foremost be damaging to the EU and the 27 although, there will also be a knock-on effect on us, albeit one that will be less serious.

    Tusk is acquiescent and even Juncker appears to be softening his approach.

    We are never going to get any kind of cooperation from people like Verhofstadt, who, we must remind ourselves is the former PM of a state ( Belgium ) that is so divided that it can’t even form a workable Government for any length of time.

    Hopefully common sense will prevail.

  44. treacle
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    Trump’s threat of a 35% tariff on the import of German cars into the EU is great news for us. It means that the German car manufacturers will press even harder for tariff-free access to the UK market.

    Off-topic, but after Mrs May’s speech yesterday why has no one, not even Ms Sturgeon, mentioned our fishing grounds?

  45. Good Riddance
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    The Obama administration is like sellotape when you were a kid. You just can’t get it off your fingers once touched. Obama is on 6 different news outlets on my TV right now. He gave his going away speech yonks ago His Deputy got his medallion too. But Biden is still on today, Can’t they just leave the stage!? Or should we get a giant theatrical rodded hook and yank them off from thee sidelines? Go….Away!!!! Sticky leftie libtards! Thanks for all the deaths!

  46. fedupsoutherner
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    I cannot believe how the BBC are exaggerating what Boris Johnson said about the French tonight. The word Nazi was not mentioned and he was referring to the French and not the Germans. Trust the BBC to report everything out of context. Can they report on anything without prejudice?

    • rose
      Posted January 19, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      Not just the BBC, alas. The left cannot forgive Boris for winning Labour London, not once but twice; and helping to win the referendum was the last straw for them. Their bigotry and hatred, and their incitement, know no limits. They never say what Hollande said [“there must be threat, there must be risk, there must be a price”] to elicit Boris’s lightly given and good-humoured response. They have no sense of irony or proportion. They are incapable of intellectual sophistication. The only words we are allowed to use in their grey uniform world are “inappropriate” and “unacceptable”. Worst of all, they are stabbing our Foreign Secretary in the back, over and over again, when they should be supporting him.

  47. Eh?
    Posted January 18, 2017 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

    Malta had a vote in the referendum. My relations were stationed there ( Navy ) in the war (perhaps) ( I never got confidential info out of them )and afterwards ( certainly ) at various times. Spain seems to have claimed it is “theirs” and not “ours” periodically . Therefore, it came as a shock today when the leader of Malta or some representative of Malta suggested in the EU Parliament that we should be punished for leaving the EU.
    If we still have ships docked there, perhaps their captains can be signalled to distance their ships one mile from shore as a protest to the Maltese Government?

    • rose
      Posted January 20, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      It is very sad the way these small, erstwhile friendly countries – Slovenia is another – are doing Germany’s bidding.

  48. cantreadcantspell
    Posted January 19, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Warning: Merkel’s days are FAR from over! (not that it matters one jot to us). Historically Germans like to be RULED not governed so the good little Germans will fall back into rank now that THEY think that she is being tough on Immigration. She will continue to rule Europe for a few more years to come but we are “coming out”‘ and it really doesn’t concern us does it?. Merkel sells us nothing – German business does and it would take them a few years to wind down their business with the UK IF indeed that is what they want to do. Our Business Leaders have to get out into the rest of the world and Ëxport Britain”‘ – we used to do it and we can still do it. 500 million Customers? That’s the biggest joke this Country has ever heard. Business Leaders IF that is the case – WHERE are all the orders and WHAT have you been doing all these years? Sitting on your ass?

  49. Original Richard
    Posted January 19, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    “He [Mr. Trump] wishes to alter this, and is busily seeking to repatriate motor car capacity and investment to the USA given the large stake Germany has in the world car industry.”

    An industry that used emmissions cheating tecnology to help grow its business world wide.

    I trust that leaving the EU will mean the UK tests vehicles itself rather than relies upon EU testing.

  • 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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