Conspiracy theories and the EU talks

Some are writing in stating that Mrs May is making concessions before the formal talks begin and complaining about this.

The Prime Minister’s approach is to make major statements of her position in the form of speeches or press conferences and statements to the Commons. Her position on EU matters is as defined  by the Lancaster House Speech and the latest Statement and White Paper at the time of sending the Article 50 letter.  The PM does  not usually brief the media or press to provide a running commentary on the prospective talks. There will be plenty of wrong stories put round by Remain supporting people and institutions, and much  speculation based on conversations with senior officials or Ministers not in the loop, which cannot  be relied on.

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68 Comments

  1. Chris
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for your reassurance. This is very much needed.

    • Hope
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      JR,
      We had the useless and false Bloomberg speech by Cameron. You lauded as a focal point for direction, Cameron claimed he reformed the EU and we now know he and Osborne asked foreign leaders either not to mention what they wanted or to poor doom on leaving. Cameron stood by Hollande smirking when he made veiled threats to our country. This is not conspiracy but fact. Rememebr all the talk came from the two posh boys, including reports from the Treasury which made it look quite stupid, as you pointed out several times!

      Now why should we not think this is choreographed like Cameron before? May was part of it. £52 billion demand for nothing, Gibralta given up on a plate, just to ask or write about it would bring any normal negotiation to a halt not a cordial next step meeting with Tusk today! May claiming there must be years for the transition to take place, including immigration! Why? She is already sounding completely disingenuous like Cameron before her. Her speeches are worthless like Cameron before, empty hollow words. This is. not a conspiracy theory or a baseless theory of any kind it is a total lack of trust in the politicos to be honest and deliver on what they promise. May has an appalling record so she starts from a very bad position.

      • Posted April 8, 2017 at 4:41 am | Permalink

        Indeed. Everything Mr Redwood told you should and would happen is not happening. It is far harder than you were promised.
        Why? I see two possible explanations.
        1. Cameron and May (and Major and Blair) are undermining our democracy from within, hatching their secret pro-European plans to defy the will of the people. (Perhaps they are actually giant lizards in disguise).
        2. Mr Redwood has been talking ideologically driven pie in the sky for years, and real business people whose companies depend on our biggest trading partner, the EU, now have the government,s ear

        Reply Wild and wrong assertions. I have long argued for a referendum and an Out vote. Both these happened. I then argued for an Article 50 letter and repeal of the 1972 Act, which are also now happening. I argued the UK economy would carry on growing satisfactorily in the first winter after the vote, as it has done. So what I have made an error in forecasting?

        • Richard
          Posted April 9, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

          You promised a quick and easy deal, because the EU needs us more than we need it. If this were true, they would be offering us hard cash to maintain the current arrangements. The opposite is in fact happening. We are the supplicant

        • Jerry
          Posted April 9, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          @JR reply; “I have long argued for a referendum”

          How long is long though, certainly not as long as some that is for sure…

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Much needed, but can we trust it or rather her?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    But when she pushes such bonkers things as gender pay reporting and workers on boards, mugging the self employed, increasing taxes all over the place, to build on employment laws, HS2, Hinkley C and greencrap energy one has surely to make a working assumtion she will be incompetent at negotiation too.

    • Hope
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

      We read today £1.2. Billion extra will be wasted and given away on overseas aid as our GDP has risen. A sixth of overseas aid is give to the EU to waste, therefore a sixth of that extra money will be given to the EU to waste without any imput from the govt. why act it stop today? Meanwhile we are all being given extra taxes on our community charge bill to pay for social adult care, even though we have to sale our homes to pay for this, in addition to the increase to the community charge and in addition to the extra added for flood defenses- even though we pay £1.5 billion in our taxes for the useless Environment Agency to prevent floods! How many more taxes will Tories impose on us? Over 300 since 2010 and the extra ones for probate. Yet all those immigrants arriving here will get the same public service even though they have not paid a penny in the pot! Commrad Teresa May ‘s world.

    • rose
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Typical that this sexual differential in pay is to be policed by HMG but the proposal to monitor companies employing all-immigrant workforces was howled down.

  3. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    Well, I hope are right about this!

  4. Jerry
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    “There will be plenty of wrong stories put round by Remain supporting people and institutions”

    Not to mention those europhobes who are still smarting tat their preferred PM was not annotated last year and thus wish to try and damage Mrs May in the same way they have tried (and sometimes succeeded) to damage various Conservative party leaders since 1990.

    • libertarian
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      Jerry

      Blimey, have you just discovered politics? All politicians in all political parties have done this kind of thing since the invention of parties

      • Jerry
        Posted April 7, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian; No I have not just discovered politics! But now you mention it, funny how some politicians try and make out that one side (usual their own) do not do engage in such shenanigans…

    • Jagman84
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear! More flack from the ministry of disinformation.

      • Jerry
        Posted April 7, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        @Jagman84; That comment says far more about you than it ever does me. 🙁

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    The fact that this government (according to the BBC) actually “welcomes” the outrageous attack on civil liberties ruling today by Baroness Hale of Richmond says all you need to know about this government. They are clearly just incompetent socialists light and not even that light.

    Are they really going to criminalises and perhaps lock up millions of parents for missing a day off school? Much of what goes on in school is PC drivel and bogus science anyway. I had to spend lots of time correcting the bogus science, poorly constructed and ambiguous questions the teachers set them anyway. Even some of the GCSE exams had duff science, poor questions and basic errors in them.

    Nest thing you know they will be putting VAT on private schools as socialist Gove and Corbyn suggest, Thus shooting themselves and the economy in the foot yet again.

    • zorro
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

      You got there before me! I must agree that this is unacceptable in a free society….. I also noted that there was some allusion to exceptions for ‘religious holidays’….hmmm….

      The state does not own people as much as the totalitarian state may like to do so. This chap was clearly interested in the future of his child and laws should not be enacted to clamp down on the majority for the sake of not targeting the feckless. It is as simple as that.

      AS you say, the state wants your children in schooll for a reason…. That reason is to inculcate PC rather than educate the soul. Disgraceful!

      zorro

  6. Adam
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Off topic but if these judges think children should conform to school hours and times precisely, maybe its time to scrap homework requirements so that it is not going to disrupt home life.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      My parents always took me and my siblings out of school for a holiday at the beginning of September. It was awful for us. We were two weeks behind with schooling when we got back and when we started a new school everyone else had already made new friends. I hated it. It is a job to catch up and my father even took me out of school so that I missed my GCSE typing exam. I couldn’t get a job as a secretary after that. This was in the time before fines. I am sure they wouldn’t have done it today. It is disruptive for the child and for the others in the class. Schooling is important and if parents don’t want to pay the extra for a holiday which they think is more important then perhaps they should think twice before having children and all the responsibilities that entails. Besides which it’s nice for those without children to holiday in peace!

    • Mark
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      The most valuable role of homework is letting parents see what is being taught to their children. I’d rather know.

    • graham1946
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Don’t hear any worries abut kids education being damaged by using their schools for elections, or teacher training days or worst of all ‘non pupil days’ whatever they are.

  7. Eh?
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May herself on several occasions, as seen on TV, made a point of emphasising where no emphasis was previously voiced or written “The British people wish MORE control on immigration..” and only ditched her own particular emphasis when Commentors to this blog and mainstream journalists belatedly became querulously questioning. Mr Gove too, recently, as seen on TV, veered away somewhat from saying yes or no to more immigration as part of the final deal.
    The answer to “Can there be any concession to the immediate elimination of the free movement of people and workers in the final deal?” is “No, the elimination of the free movement of workers and people is NON-NEGOTIABLE and is not part of the negotiations” as with recent “The sovereignty of Gibraltar is not part of the negotiations and is NON-NEGOTIABLE !”
    Mrs May has a history as Home Secretary and in her appointment of Mrs Rudd as her new Home Secretary of irresponsibly progressing foreign settlements ( communities ) and incoming of potential foreign settlers and workers without the permission or vote of our people either nationally or through Local Authority elections relating to housing and schooling party manifesto.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      More “good” immigration and less “bad” immigration please, it that too difficult for May to understand?

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Most people voted to leave because of immigration.
      Morally and practically, Brexit won’t / can’ t succeed until immigration is made the number 1 focus of all – both leavers and remainers. That’s what the people voted for overwhelmingly (and the main reason, also, why remainers wanted to vote leave but didn’t in the end).
      Whether our economy can sustain a drop or not in immigration is besides the point. We have to at first focus on immigration. And if it then turns out our economy can’t sustain a drop in immigration, and support turns against those who argued it could, then we have at least tried and tested the argument of reducing immigration from the EU.
      If we don’t address this immigration issue (whatever one’s views are about the referendum), then debate about the EU will drag on for years and years and years (with Labour / Liberals easily able to hold another referendum sometime in the future to try and get the UK back into the EU). We can’t afford that, because there are so many other important issues other than the EU that we have to look at and address NOW! (Not in years to come).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

        The EU isn’t just about whether it’s bad or not for the UK (whatever one thinks), it’s all a case of time. We can’t let this whole EU thing drag on for years. There are so many other important issues that we have to look at and address NOW. If we don’t, we’re seriously going to lag behind other countries similar to us, economically. Meanwhile we have a massive debt hanging over us. We’ve got to get on with Brexit but also of focusing on immigration and trying to bring it down (according to the democratic wishes of the people).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

          The only alternative, perhaps, for those Brexiteers who now admit reducing immigration isn’t possible having promised an even better economy is to at least consider telling voters they couldn’t keep promises they made, as these promises weren’t based on economic realities but on political goals. And instead consider that we remain in the EU but ONLY if we try and REFORM it especially over free movement of people for which there is much sympathy in the rest of the EU as it is … (as well as reform in the EU in general – something that a British political leader would be in the best position, i’m certain, to carry out). Either that, or we risk sinking our economy – for years –
          whilst having to return to the EU but on even worst terms than before (and having wasted precious time and energy on other important non-EU issues that really need addressing NOW).

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 8, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

            You still hope to reform the EU?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 8, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

        “That’s what the people voted for overwhelmingly (and the main reason, also, why remainers wanted to vote leave but didn’t in the end).”

        Correct in both parts. Almost all of those who voted to leave the EU want immigration cut, but so do many of those who voted to stay. If the vote had just been about immigration, without any warnings about EU economic retaliation if we voted the wrong way, then the result would have show that.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

      I agree, ‘immigration’ is non-negotiable. But i think that many Brexiteers are now beginning to see the real pressures of delivering on this whilst delivering a stronger economy (not that they can’t get control of borders, but can they they can also reduce immigration overall whilst making our economy stronger?).

      But what adds even more pressure is trying to get control of our borders without a deal with the EU. I just fail to see how we can do this whilst maintaining – above all – that we deliverer an even stronger economy to those who voted for Brexit, having been both promised a stronger economy and reduction in immigration. If we go down the no-deal option, then I’m sorry but it’s looking increasingly like a Titanic scenario, with all kinds of other non-EU issues being neglected for years, adding to the sinking our economy and country in general (although never say never to both reduction in economy and stronger economy).

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 8, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        A policy of relying on continuous mass immigration to boost GDP is no more than an unsustainable human Ponzi scheme which has little or no benefit for the host population. As the EU is permanently wedded to its inseparable “four freedoms”, of which we only want three, it’s hard to see how there can be any satisfactory deal with the EU relating to the volume of migration, which must be under the complete control of our government and Parliament.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted April 8, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          I agree, i think we should try and reduce immigration in general (and, yes, that will impact the economy but worth it in the long-term financial interests of our country).

          Saying that, we were failing to reduce immigration from outside the EU before the referendum. Therefore there’s a bigger issue involved about immigration that those focused on immigration from the EU are ignoring.

          They ignore these issues, because their goals are ultimately political not economic and immigration, however they jump on the immigration bandwagon, making concrete promises about immigration as if getting control of our borders will suddenly resolve all our problems.

          Many around the EU have sympathy about us regarding free movement of people. And I can see this being reformed in the EU. But reform takes effort. And we could be playing a leading role in reforming the EU, in particular over free movement of people.

          Whatever happens, promises have been made to working class Brexiteers. If they don’t think they’re getting what they voted for, then they will – when Corbyn’s been ousted – return to voting for Labour (and disgruntled middle class Brexiteers to the Liberals). And anything could happen then. They could call for a second referendum. And we return to the EU with even worse conditions than before (whilst having wasted years of time and energy on Breixt, when we could have spent it on other things crucial to our economy and country, including paying off our big debt).

          What i just fail to see is how we can ride the storm without a deal with the EU. If we get a deal, i can see Brexit being a success. But i just find it so much harder to see it being a success without a deal.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted April 9, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

            Cameron got little support for his efforts to get even a very weak reform of free movement.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 7, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      A few days ago I commented here that with caveats I would not be too bothered if the EU’s free movement of persons continued for a few years after we had left the EU, but I have changed my mind and I now judge that it would be far too risky to accept anything other than a clean break on that when we leave.

      What has swung me in that direction is the very fact that the Guardian thought it worthwhile to commission an ICM poll which was partly designed to gauge likely public reaction to any softening of the government’s line on this and three other issues, Table 7 here:

      https://www.icmunlimited.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/2017_guardian_apr1_poll.pdf

      Plus articles elsewhere in the pro-EU media with headlines such as:

      “Theresa May’s bad news for Brexiters”

      And as you say she has form on failing to control immigration when she could.

      To repeat, there is a distinction to be made between a transitional period when we do not yet have control over immigration from the EU, and a transitional period when we have regained control but as a matter of our own immigration policy we decide to allow quite large numbers of EU immigrants to come here while necessary adjustments are being made.

      If the EU slyly suggests that transitional provisions on trade should be linked to transitional provisions on immigration then the answer should be “No, when we leave we will take back complete control of our immigration policy”.

  8. Jack snell
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    No wonder that conspiracy theories abound with the way we were lied to during the the referendum campaign and with Boris and David davis out there leading the uk negotiating team i really dont hold out much hope for success at the talks. Its just like the Prime minister says no deal is better than a bad deal and thats the way i think were heading- problem is i don’t see much progress with new trade deals- Liam Fox has been a bit quiet of late – I thouht we would know a lot more about the new deals by now? Anyway i expect all will be revealed bye and bye

    • libertarian
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      Jack Snell

      You were lied to?, by politicians? really? blimey thats a new one

    • rose
      Posted April 6, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

      We can’t make any deals while we are prisoners of the EU. They are even trying to stop us talking to other people.

  9. ian wragg
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    O/T John we hear much about our net contribution to the EU. We are never told how much we hand over from the Common External Tariff and VAT collection. Perhaps you could do a piece as to how much we really contribute.

    Reply I set out the net and gross contributions in the referendum and the figures were argued over throughout. The tariffs we have to impose on non EU food etc are collected in the UK.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted April 7, 2017 at 5:01 am | Permalink

      Yes but we have to hand over a percentage to Brussels.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 7, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        80%.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 7, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      The customs duties are collected by the UK but 80% of the money is then paid over to Brussels, with only 20% retained by the UK notionally to cover the costs of collecting the duties on behalf of the EU. Once we are out of the EU and its customs union the UK government will keep 100% of whatever customs duties Parliament decides to imposes, and in principle any addition to its present revenues would permit it to reduce other taxation. Hence overall it would be swings and roundabouts, in the sense that if people were paying out more as consumers because of tariffs on imports then they would be paying less to the government in other taxes. However I’m pretty sure that if EU system was changed so that the UK government kept 100% of the duties it collected while it was in the EU that would not reduce the gross sums it was paying into the EU, because another component would be increased to compensate the EU for that loss of revenue.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted April 7, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        For clarification I am referring to the third component of “own resources” mentioned here:

        http://ec.europa.eu/budget/mff/resources/index_en.cfm

        “… each Member State transfers a standard percentage of its GNI to the EU. Although designed simply to cover the balance of total expenditure not covered by the other own resources, this system has become the largest source of revenue of the EU budget.”

        If the EU decided to forgo the first component, 80% of customs duties, then no doubt it would increase that third “balancing” component.

  10. Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    We can all see and hear for ourselves what is going on John. We do not need “wrong stories”. The shifting policy statements of the PM and her cabinet ministers speak for themselves. It is also naive to expect us to believe that outsiders like IDS and Gove are not in fact part of the Govt’s spin operation and are heavily scripted. It has even been mooted in the FT I think that ECJ jurisdiction is quite likely to continue in the laughably entitled “implementation period”. It is just Continuity EU heavily disguised to get through the election.

    I also now believe the PM is very concerned about splitting the party with 60 odd MPs signed up for the ERG. So as is her custom she is trying to steer a middle path to satisfy two irreconcilable visions of the post Brexit environment.

    The Great Repeal Bill makes no sense at all unless the as yet unannounced plan is not only to adopt EU law but to then track it so we stay in convergence. The row back on migration is now complete. No mention of fisheries. The 50 billion will be reduced then spread over 7 years but will be paid. Continued membership of most / all agencies. Common defence / security. Erasmus continued. Zero tariff deals being proposed. And I bet the EU is going to require us to comport with the Fundamental Charter in future.

    So no control of our laws, our borders or our cash.

  11. Bob
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    Most conspiracy theories are true.

  12. Posted April 6, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I see in today’s news that former European Union employee Peter Mandelson has urged Prime Minister Theresa May to pay the £50 billion “ransom” the bloc has demanded as the price of Brexit.
    He said that he would deal with the small change of the financial settlement in the first negotiation as quickly as possible.
    Shows how Labour thinks about taxpayers’ money, to them £50 billion is “small change”!

  13. oldtimer
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I hope that in this respect she does not follow the example of Mr Cameron’s Bloomberg speech which turned out to be no more than hot air.

  14. Bob
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Is it also fake news that the foreign aid budget increased by £1.2 billion last year – in part because EU rules have added prostitution and drugs to national statistics?

    • hefner
      Posted April 9, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed, the DfID/ODA budget has been kept at 0.7% of GDP these last three years and therefore increased by about £1.2bn linked to the increased GDP, but I would be rather curious to see the references to “EU rules hav”ing ” added prostitution and drugs to national statistics”.
      I doubt that Priti Patel would have signed off such a thing.

  15. Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

    You sound very nervous!

    Mrs May did vote Remain, after all.

  16. Mark
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

    At this stage, I think that Mrs May is keen not to close down negotiating options, and also to avoid unnecessarily antagonising EU negotiators before we’ve even seen their first real position. At the moment we only have the Tusk draft, which contains a number of inconsistencies (e.g. how do you remove uncertainty for EU migrants if you won’t sign a separate deal about them up front?). There is no harm whatever in promoting the idea of cordial negotiations. They key is that when they bite into their chosen cherries, they find that some of them have rather large pits, or turn out to be vishnya instead.

  17. James neill
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    At this stage we have no idea from anyone on what we can rely on as being the truth. We have already had so much information, misinformaton, and down right lies- in fact fake news!

    It’s likely that when whatever brexit agreement is finally made it will likely leave gibraltar and northern ireland with their unchanged constitutional positions but still remaining inside the EU and with Scotland then considering its own future with the uk – i’ve a good idea now that this brexit talks outcome will have consequences – much more than we can realise at this time

  18. rose
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    I hope to goodness you are right and that the fishing grounds will be recovered too. The latter is the acid test.

  19. Freeborn John
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    My remarks in earlier blog posts were based on readings of the Continental press and the FT, which has contacts in Brussels that have proved reliably sources in the past. Theresa May may not as you say be giving a running commentary or talking to the media but those on the other side are.

    I would say there is “no smoke without fire” and the signs are that Theresa May is making unilateral concessions espcecially around what she calls the “implementation period” (which actually seems will not implement any changes at least not to freedom of movement, the supremacy of EU & jurisdiction of the ECJ and UK budget contributions). She will have hell to pay if these reports are true and hopefully will pay for them by being thrown out office by 2020 for squandering £50bn of taxpayers money chasing a Will o’the Wisp trade deal which never arrives.

  20. Bob
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    I dont trust Boris Johnson anymore, not while he just echoes neocon propaganda like its fact.

  21. forthurst
    Posted April 6, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately the Tory Party under May has already demonstrated its pathological ineptitude by allowing the ARM Holdings (inward investment: No, a dagger at the heart of a renascent British electronics industry) and Cadburys (not owned by Nonconformists and it now shows) takeovers and giving the green light to Hinkley Point C and HS2, both white elephants that will cost the taxpayer a fortune and totally unnecessary as we are leaving the EU which should mean their madness as well.

    All May has to say is that we returning to the position prior to Accession except in regards to
    changes affected by new International laws.

    We must stop mass immigration and employers must accept they have to employ our existing workforce, not be allowed to import cheaper labour to undercut Britsh living costs.
    If that causes a recession, sobeit; the people are prepared for it and will accept it if it means an improve quality of life in future.

  22. Posted April 6, 2017 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    I am becoming increasingly annoyed by criticism of a deal with the EU well before the terms of such a deal have been been discussed, never mind agreed.

    When will the media stop speculating and the Remain side criticising something they and the rest of us know nothing about?

    • hefner
      Posted April 9, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      What about adding to your list “most people on this site” who very rarely (there are a few very knowledgeable exceptions) do not have any more clue than I have, specially when reading the gutter press (which I happen to also read)

  23. Roy Grainger
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Part of the problem is that Mr Hammond, who clearly IS in the loop, keeps expressing Remainiac views in public statements.

  24. Mark
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I note some important words from Barnier when he spoke to the Europarl:

    This public debate, in each of our countries, is essential to order to reach an agreement not only on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom, but also on the agreement on our future relationship. I would remind you that the latter must be ratified by your Parliament and all national parliaments.

    That is, Article 50 does not need ratification by all national Parliaments but agreements outside it do – which is of course correct in the light of Article 216, but it is interesting that he should obliquely make the point. The point becomes the dividing line between what is in Article 50 agreements and what is not.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 8, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

      The wording of Article allows different interpretations, and the other EU leaders may come to regret adopting a least sensible one because they think it will give them most advantage in the negotiations with the UK.

  25. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    Are the following merely hearsay?
    – Mrs May is considering allowing freedom of movement to continue
    – Mrs May is considering making the EU a generous payment offer

    If she does, she will lose support.

  26. Nig l
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    According to the Express this morning, Theresa May is insisting on a softer Brexit and the Chief Whip has brokered a deal with the ‘hardliners’ . No doubt a coincidence that your blog asking us to be patient came out at the same time!

    Reply My blog comments stand.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 7, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Well, JR, have you pointed out to Boris Johnson that just because he is enthusiastic about what he perceives to be the benefits of mass immigration – his personal view, mind, which he is entitled to hold but which is not shared by the great majority of UK citizens – that certainly does not mean we should continue to allow the EU to in any way dictate our immigration policy even after we have left the EU, as he himself previously recommended we should do in order to “take back control”?

      http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-greece-britain-johnson-idUKKBN1782F7

      “UK could allow EU freedom of movement after Brexit, Boris Johnson says”

      “Britain could allow free movement of people from the European Union during an implementation phase after Brexit to allow the economy to attract talented people, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday.

      When asked by Reuters TV if Britain would accept full free movement of people during an implementation phase, Johnson said this was possible, and could be agreed before Britain left the EU in two years’ time.

      “Ideally I think it could be done, what with goodwill and imagination it could be done as fast as – I think it can be done in two years,” Johnson told reporters in Athens. “In the last 10 years I have been one of the few British politicians to speak up on the benefits of immigration,” he said.

      Johnson added that he did not want to discourage talented people from coming to Britain, but said the government wanted control over flows.

      “We don’t want to close the doors. We simply want to have a system that is balanced,” he said.”

      Wrong, what we want is a system which is completely under our national control, whether or not is “balanced”, whatever that may mean; and it is now becoming clearer by the day that those who believe we must regain complete control of our national immigration policy must take care not to allow themselves to be inveigled into accepting anything less than that complete control from the day we leave the EU, scheduled for March 29th 2019.

      And please could you ask him to drop this patent nonsense about being unable to attract talented people we would quite like to come here unless we allow the EU to continue to control our immigration policy? What does he suppose would happen in the absence of EU control of our national immigration policy, does he imagine that the governments of the remaining EU countries would prohibit their citizens from moving here even if we were happy to accept them?

      If we allow any continuation of the arbitrary and irrational linkage between trade and immigration, even supposedly for just a transitional period, then there is the real risk that we will end up with the same predicament as the Swiss: if we ever say that we want to change our immigration policy and make it more restrictive, then the EU will respond by threatening to damage our trade.

    • Chris
      Posted April 7, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      Boris is reported as firmly going for a softer line, including on immigration and mass immigration and freedom of movement apparently for some years. Very worrying. You may stick to your principles, Mr Redwood, but I am not at all sure about others.

  27. A.Sedgwick
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    I read the situation being similar to the fawning over Cameron’s nonsense “negotiation” pre Referendum. The Leavers in Government/Party are being held or keeping themselves on a leash for fear of splitting the Conservative Party. The difference now is the people have spoken outside FPTP, safe seats and vested interests. By the way whatever happened to prospective/sitting MPs being subject to primaries outside party membership?

    We, the people are continually ignored and any payment to the EU to exit or reneging on complete exit of their single/internal market by March 2019 will have political repercussions.

    The headline report in the Daily Mail yesterday that our foreign bill is getting even bigger thanks to more barmy EU regulations is a further example of this bureaucratic nightmare.
    The vast majority of us don’t support this 0.7% law – repeal it.

  28. Antisthenes
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Society encouraged by the progressive left have rushed to embrace mediocrity and socialist dogma in the name of equality. One of the consequence of which is the escalating rise of fake news either from unscrupulous design or ineptitude. The various media outlets especially the BBC we trusted to disseminate the truth from which at least we had an honest basis from which to form our own opinions. That is no longer the case so that we now take up inappropriate causes and make erroneous judgements. We are never very good at making the right decision and now when we have to base them on misinformation the possibility becomes even remoter. A situation that suits many vested interests.

  29. keith
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    What will define Prime Minister is ending the ludicrous way limited quantity of companies win bids to run education, NHS to MOD catering, cleaning under tender directive in EU law. It is `best value` cited as reason for victory but this is errant nonsense and actually costs taxpayer more in topping up low pay and hiring of staff not sufficiently trained who then need more expensive management time to get trained. The MOD is example of poor procurement practises tying contractors in for thirty year deals hidden behind management companies.

  30. Richard Butler
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    More bad news today for Remainers (from mainstream news sources – better not post links here);

    The bad news just keeps on coming for Remoaners. Germans want a trade deal, from BBC today;

    07/04/2017
    ‘In Germany, small & medium-sized firms suggest the least-possible trade barriers in both directions’:

    “It would be very desirable not to
    have trade barriers, and if so to have the least possible amount of trade barriers in both directions”

    “We shouldn’t forget that 750,000 jobs in Germany depend on the trade with the United Kingdom”,

  31. BOF
    Posted April 7, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, please excuse my cynicism, but when trust has been lost it is then very difficult to regain.

    I wish sincerely to regain that trust in our leadership but would like to see more positive signs.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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