This election and Brexit

I have spoken to various Remain voters so far during this election. Many say to me they accept the result of the vote and just want the government to get on and do the best deal they can. Some tell me they voted Remain because they did worry about the possible economic consequences, and they are now relieved to see the bad predictions of recession this winter and collapse of confidence did not come true.

A few have told me they still cannot accept the decision and still fear there will be bad economic results in due course. They seem to think when we leave there will be all sorts of new barriers and restrictions imposed which will get in the way of normal travel, trade and collaboration across the Channel. They have perhaps been Lib Dem voters in the past and are often particularly concerned about academic and student links, research and cultural exchanges.

Let me try to reassure. The UK government has made very clear it wants a UK open to talent and university collaboration. The UK is not planning closed borders, making it more difficult for people to come here to courses in UK universities. We will still welcome tourists,visitor performers, people with good qualifications, entrepreneurs wanting to invest. The government will be generous with visas for talented and qualified people wanting to come to the UK to be faculty members, just as we are today with academics coming from the USA and other non EU countries. It will also want to see a continuation of the many musical, artistic and cultural links and exchanges that take place with EU and non EU countries today.

Nor do I expect the rest of the EU to want to stop EU citizens travelling to the UK or undertaking university work here. Under international law the EU would not be able to block people and ideas to and from the UK, nor can I imagine they would want to. There are no restrictions the EU could place just on the UK – they would have to be common restrictions against the rest of the world. I do not think the EU wants to cut itself off.

The UK has several world class leading universities and many other good ones. Their interests will be upheld by the government. More importantly, as the UK and the EU both pride themselves on a belief in freedom and on a pluralistic society, universities,individual students and academics will remain free to travel, study, work and collaborate in each other’s countries as they see fit. I want to live in a free society. Such a society does not stop free institutions doing as they wish, and allows them under the law to pursue their aims and development. Some people think government is more important and more powerful than it is, and have a very dim view of how the EU will seek to behave.

Published and promoted by Fraser Mc Farland on behalf of John Redwood, both at 30 Rose Street Wokingham RG40 1XU

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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Mrs May/Hammond (and even M Gove) do not pride themselves on a belief in freedom and on a pluralistic society. Hammond has just upped IPT to 12% on private medical cover so you have to pay four times over to go privately. Gove even wants VAT on private school fees to make them pay four times. Thus killing of lots of private schools (and it would cost not raise anything anyway).

    These people want dire state monopolies certainly in Heath and Education and probably in rented housing. Take it of leave it mate we have your money already so put up with it or get lost. They want higher taxes and lower more means tested benefits and want to kill the Gig Economy. They want an even more bloated and inept state sector. They want people to have little or no freedom to choose at all.

    • Hope
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      JR, why do you think it right EU students should continue to get free tuition at some of our best universities while English students have lifetime of debt? Why do you politicians think it right we taxpayers pay for your benevolence when you want our residual wealth to the point of selling our homes to pay for care! Nasty party does not begin to accurately describe May’s vindictive world of English citizens.

      • hefner
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Could you please provide a reference for EU students NOT paying the same UK university tuition fees as British students? Thanks a lot in advance.

        • Narrow Shoulders
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

          Figures from Student loan company in 2016. The figure for default or not repaying yet is 42%

        • rose
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

          EU students don’t pay in Scotland, nor do Scottish students, but English students do.

          • rose
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

            PS English students do pay in Scotland, in case that was ambiguous.

            EU students often get away without paying in England because they don’t repay their loans and no-one chases them.

        • Hope
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          St Andrews university. The EU students do not pay because Scottish students do not. Even though Westminster decides all matters EU. English students pay tutuition fees EU students do not. You might want to look up their chancellor, one Menzies Campbell, whose party advocated on the policy!

          • hefner
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

            OK, thanks, I got it. All students (British and from EU countries) pay fees, get loans to help on those, but EU students when back in their countries stop reimbursing.

          • Hope
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

            And the Tories increased tuition fees for English students while providing free tuition to their EU competitors. The Tories punishing the young and punishing the the old. Is this what JR means by his inaccurate claims about his manifesto?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    So T May (with the help of her lefty manifesto team – Godfrey, Freeman and Ben Gummer it seems) have managed to get her poll lead down to 5% in a YouGov poll. Quite an achievement with Corbyn and Sturgeon as the opponents, and this with the constituency boundaries still helping Labour too. Largely due to her appalling, socialist, we will tax you even more, grab your house off you, hit your pensions, rob tenants and landlords, take your fuel allowance, regulate even more, have more religious schools, strangle your company with red tape, restore fox hunting, have a prices and incomes policy and push even more expensive, job destroying green crap down your throats.

    How can these “bright” dopes misjudge the public mood so? The UK is hugely over taxed already plus the government delivers very dire, rationed and delayed services in the main. We need lower taxes and better services, there is so much fat that could be cut out. No proper vision of lower taxes, free trade, less red tape and a sound economy – just more taxes, more pain, more bossing about and more rationed services.

    JR can you not get someone sensible to explain to them how out of touch she and her team are and how the economy actually works to her?

    • John Finn
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      So T May (with the help of her lefty manifesto team – Godfrey, Freeman and Ben Gummer it seems) have managed to get her poll lead down to 5% in a YouGov poll.

      So you think the reason support for the Labour party has surged from 25% to 38% is because Theresa May is too left wing?

      I’m sorry to have to break this to you but there is a large swathe of people who believe the rich should be taxed more, think that the railways and National Grid should be nationalised and think that no student should pay tuition fees.

      Corbyn’s policies are barmy but they are resonating with huge numbers of people. Over 800,000 people registered to vote in just 2 days before Monday’s deadline.

      The Conservatives need to put people’s minds at rest about Care and Pensions issues – stressing that they realise there are complex factors involved which needed to be fully explained. They need to remind people that the Brexit negotiations begin just 11 days after the election and the May and her team are fully prepared (Corbyn cant’s possibly be). They also need to demolish some of the Labour economic manifesto policies.

      The Tories are still polling at 43% which isn’t that much down on their peak. Labour, though, are picking up all the “Don’t know” floaters

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

        People of course want lower taxes and better services, they want cheaper non greencrap energy, they want a good choice of jobs, they want more houses built more cheaply and they want less regulation, more choice and more freedom. They should get all this as they pay far too much for very little of value from the state already.

        You do not promise to tax and NIC them much more during an election campaign, you do not introduce a probate second IHT tax when you still have not delivered the £1M IHT threshold you promised, you do not say you are going to take their houses off them to pay for their dementia care, you do not introduce prices and income policies or other such insanities.

        Just no uplifting, real Tory, low tax vision from the tedious woman. She needs to out Thatcher Thatcher not ape red Ed Miliband and his tomb stone.

        Why do you think she is doing so badly against such weak and pathetic opposition then? Why did the Tories get such a surge in the polls when Osborne promised £1M IHT then? Even though not that many were affected.

        It is not good being a low tax conservative at heart, and high tax in every action. Stop all this endless waste and deliver value.

      • NickC
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        Corbyn is bribing people with their own money, they just don’t know it yet. Corbynites think “all the rich” will pay. Even if the rich stay there isn’t enough of them to fund all of Corbyn’s dreams. Venezuela here we come!

        And with Corbyn as the next PM (in coalition with the LDs, SNP, etc), we won’t be leaving the EU, either. We will be in the single market at least. All down to Theresa May failing to get on with it – as usual.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Despite May and Hammond’s best efforts Corbyn will surely not win. But why on earth is she and the manifesto team working so very hard to help him? Why did she join the Conservative party when she is clearly another Ed Miliband type witthout any grasp of economics or reality?

          In the Times Business today – Tory Policies slammed by SMEs – they are quite right to. They would be almost as much of a disaster a getting Corbyn.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          @NickC; The Tories also bribe people with their own money, by reducing direct taxation but then increasing indirect taxation, For example I still remember the gasp that went around at work (mostly Tory voting in 1979 due to the difficulties of the 1978/9 winter) back in mid 1979 when in Mrs Thatchers first Budget Geoffrey Howe raised the standard rate of VAT from 8% to 15%. Didn’t the same budget also remove the Light Goods class from VED, creating the PLG class, meaning that many companies and the “white van man” of the time also had to pay more to use their vans for work.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 4:44 am | Permalink

            Indeed endless increases in tax, almost everwhere, for the past 20 odd years and what do we get for it? Virtually nothing of any real value at all.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

            ALL politicians use “pork barrel” tactics and endless waste our hard earned money. Thats why we need far far fewer of them and far more restrictions on what services government actually provide

      • Andy
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Of course they ‘resonate’ because he is busy ‘buying votes’. That is basically what is wrong with our country: too many politicians feel that the public purse is there to buy their core vote. And we are too stupid because we allow ourselves to be bought.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

          Some do but most see through it.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          @Andy; “Of course they ‘resonate’ because he is busy ‘buying votes’.”

          What the hell do you think the Tory manta of “Tax cuts” is also doing – just to be replaced by either indirect, stealth taxes or reduced levels of service.

          “And we are too stupid because we allow ourselves to be bought.”

          Indeed you do, or so it seems…

          • NickC
            Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, Neither changing the tax take from direct to indirect, nor reducing tax at the same time as reducing services, is a bribe.

            A bribe is when someone offers you something for nothing, or in this case your vote. Corbyn says that “the rich” will pay for his current enticements, when the evidence shows that ordinary working people pay (simply because there are millions more of us). It is certain that Corbyn is not giving us his own money.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            @NickC; “A bribe is when someone offers you something for nothing”

            EXACTLY! Individuals are being told they’ll be better off because they will pay less direct tax (usual refereed to as income tax) whilst companies are being told that corporation taxes and the like will be lower. When in fact most are no better off and some are worse off due to increased indirect or stealth taxes. But have it your way, if it’s not a bribe then it’s a blatant lie…

            “It is certain that Corbyn is not giving us his own money.”

            Nor did Mrs Thatcher, nor will Mrs May, thus your point is vacuous,

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      I think TM,s plan is working. Produce an openly socialist manifesto as a ploy to lose the election.
      Why settle for second best when you can have Corbyn.
      No doubt Brexit will be sidelined as nothing must interfere with the globalist juggernaut.
      I fear we have been duped by plans to steal the maximum. houses and repeal fox hunting.
      Distractions to annoy real Tories.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Something like 83% are against fox hunting, so it is hardly a vote winner to put in the manifesto. Let sleeping dogs lie! Why “promise” to remove the triple lock too?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink
        • Sulis
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          The bustling of the May Queen:)
          I don’t like fox hunting but then I don’t like the castration of lambs or ritual slaughter either. Time and place do matter so as you say, let sleeping dogs lie and instead use Brexit to end the trade in exporting live animals for slaughter.
          Continuing with animals, it was reassuring to hear Mr Hammond state that the UK will not be like a ‘wounded animal’ on exiting the EU; maybe there is hope he sees a Lion, I do.

      • Chris
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

        It is very interesting, Ian W, that in the comments section of Spectator articles there is a very strong view repeatedly expressed that May is indeed trying to lose this election or rather narrowly survive. That is a quite extraordinary state of affairs, and shows what a catastrophic error of judgement May seems to have made with her manifesto and the version of “Conservatism” she has chosen to impose on us.

    • eeyore
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      LL – “How can these “bright” dopes misjudge the public mood so?” Britain’s last four Prime Ministers – Blair, Brown, Cameron and now May – are committed Christians with powerful (if not infallible) moral compasses.

      One must tread delicately here. With great respect for the sensibilities of others, I do wonder if the modern accent on the social aspects of Christianity, rather than the doctrinal or theological, leads to a view of the world which, in a believing leader, persuades them that it is necessary to express private morality through public actions.

      Alas, there’s more to politics than high moral principles. Would it were otherwise! Sir Robert Walpole, the first and possibly most successful of all ministerial tenants of 10 Downing Street, had few principles that anyone noticed. He found it more serviceable to tell smutty stories over the port.

      • rose
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

        Mr Gladstone and Mrs Thatcher were both Christians and both separated that practice from public administration. Both implied that liberalism held sway in the public realm while Christian morality maintained discipline in private, over the individual. Modern Christians, both here and on the Continent, seem to think it is their duty to exercise Christian charity on all our behalf, in Frau Merkel’s case on behalf of a whole continent, and there are only clues as to whether this Christianity extends into their private lives.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 6:44 am | Permalink

          @rose; Religion and politics can not be separated, they are just differing sides of the same coin, both wish to control peoples lives or bring order to a disorderly world – each tends to be a check upon the other, and quite correctly. When one is missing the other tends to run out of control, we saw this in the USSR and today we see it today in the Middle East.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

        I tend to worry about anyone with strong religious views – if they fall for one belief system, without evidence, than they might fall for anything even the climate alarmist religion.

        Look at what pointless wars (one on a lie) that we got into with Blair, He even felt strongly enough to converted to the Catholic church.

    • Chris
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Completely agree with you Lifelogic.

      • Chris
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        My response to Lifelogic was to a post of his/hers at 4.23 pm 26 May. It would appear that the whole reply system here has got rather muddled.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Please tell me Mrs May isn’t seriously contemplating replacing Philip Hammond with Amber Rudd as I heard rumoured! Michael Gove, Dominic Raab or of course JR would be far superior choices.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Amber Rudd is even worse!

        • zorro
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:06 pm | Permalink


          Words fail me….


      • Jerry
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

        @Richard1; Anything is possible, look who she put in charge at the FO….

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      The pole suggest an overall majority of just two seats. Well done Theresa May. Please can someone finally get her and her tax mugging chancellor to see reason and stop them promising increases in taxes, benefit decreases, more red tape and more greencrap energy?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink


    • Mr Ajay Gajree
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      The long term care policy would have been the most radical and truely co conservative policy since Thatcher’s privatisations.

      How anyone can claim that already rich 50 year olds should have their inheritance protected by taxing everyone else to pay for their parents care is anyway fair is beyond me.

  3. Len Grinds
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood serves up deceitful nonsense here. It is not that the EU would wish to impose restrictions on the UK. It is that the UK, by choosing Brexit, converts itself into a third country, and promptly loses all the benefits of EU membership. That means customs controls at Calais, it means phytosanitary checks at Boulogne, it means no guaranteed access to the markets of our most important trading partners, it means no place in the Single European Sky, it means no say in key decisions on migration, security and climate change taken by the EU but affecting all of Europe. The restrictions here are those that the UK itself accepts by pursuing this uncosted, untested Brexit based on fantasies

    • DaveM
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      It also loses all the disadvantages of EU membership.

      Customs controls at Calais are nothing to do with the EU -the Touquet agreement is bilateral between France and the UK.

      Phytosanitary checks were far more reliable when the UK carried them out itself.

      You’re confusing “access to” with “membership of”. If no other countries had access to the Single Market, how would the EU’s economy grow? Not that it seems to be growing much anyway in comparison to the UK’s economy.

      So no planes can fly through the SYS? I must remind the pilots next time I get on an Emirates plane!!

      If we are out of the EU the EU’s migration policy and decision making on security and climate change are none of our business – we will have our own policies on those matters. And if we’re not in Schengen how does that affect us?

      • Len Grinds
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

        Let me try to help you. You say “Phytosanitary checks were far more reliable when the UK carried them out itself”. Well, maybe they were. So you imagine that UK traders will arrive at Calais, at Boulogne, at the Hook of Holland, at Bremerhaven, and when asked if their goods have been checked to meet EU phytosanitary standards, they will reply “well, they comply with UK checks, and they are more reliable, so kindly stand aside and let us import our chickens”. How do you think that will go down?

        • libertarian
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          Len Grinds

          From EU website

          Exports of plants and plant products to the EU must:

          Be accompanied by a plant-health certificate issued by the relevant competent authorities of the exporting country.

          Phytosanitary certification is used to attest that consignments meet phytosanitary (regarding plants) import requirements and is undertaken by an NPPO (National Plant Protection Organization). A phytosanitary certificate for export or for re-export can be issued only by a public officer who is technically qualified and duly authorized by an NPPO .

          So yes a UK exporter can turn up at an EU port with an accredited certificate and be granted entry….. Just like we already do when exporting to the 120 odd other countries not in the EU

    • Graham
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Better being a ‘third’ country than a region within a bloated corrupt undemocratic EU controlled by individuals who couldn’t run a whelk stall.

      You forgot to mention that the third world country is a vital export market for the EU and so the EU better change if we want to let them continue.

      • rose
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Third country is just EU jargon for normal country.

      • Cloverdoguk
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Why do you think the EU is bloated? The EU budget is 150 billion Euros. Government expenditure by the EU 28 is 6,500 billion Euros. There are 50,000 civil servants employed by the EU vs 450,000 by the U.K. alone.

        In what way is the EU bloated?

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink


      Having read your post anyone would believe that the EU sold and purchased absolutely nothing at all from outside of the EU designated Boundaries/borders.

      That people from the EU do not visit other non EU countries around the World, and people from Outside do not visit or work within the EU.

      Pray tell me is it only millions of African migrants who are allowed in to the EU who also happen to have no paperwork at all !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Norway is not an EU member state and so it is a “third country” as far as the EU is concerned; that is why for example Barnier will say:

      “We will take into account the interests of third countries closely associated with the EU, such as Norway and other EEA countries, Iceland and Liechtenstein”

      And the Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein will say of those EFTA countries:

      “We are not ordinary third countries, but the EU’s closest partners and friends”

      Well, the UK also seeks to be among the EU’s closest partners and friends, albeit with a different, UK specific, bespoke, treaty arrangement.

      And of course Norway also has a long land border with Sweden, which border is the EU’s external border for the single market and the customs union.

      So how many of those disasters have befallen Norway?

      I’m well aware that certain people who obsessively want us to stay in the EEA are propagating a myth that those three EFTA member states of the EEA are not “third countries” as far as the EU is concerned, and so they automatically escape some of the legal and practical complications which are associated but that status of “third country”, but is not what the EU says and it is not what they say either.

      I’m also well aware that other people simply repeat the myth without bothering to think for themselves whether or not it is true.

      • Nig l
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Yes. I was speaking to a Norwegian man the day after we voted to leave and asked him how independent Norway was because their status was being proposed for us. He was unequivocal. The EU said jump Norway said how high. ‘Independent’ in name only.

      • Richard1
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

        In 2015 Sweden exported $14bn to Norway, outside the customs union, but $9bn to Finland which is inside the customs union. Both countries have land borders with Sweden and are of approx the same population.

        Len Grinds is wrong, there are no tariff barriers now between the UK and the EU, someone has to decide to impose them. Obviously the UK won’t so it will be up to the EU – which presumably will require 27 governments all to agree to such silly move which will surely make the EU the laughing stock of the world. And as the stats above show, its unlikely to make much practical difference. I think we can relax.

        • Len Grinds
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

          The EU imposes tariffs on trade with third countries. The UK, post Brexit, is a third country. So tariffs are applied to UK goods when they are exported to the EU. It is that simple. The EU is not deciding to impose anything, it is the UK that has decided to surrender privileged access to its most important markets on the basis of an uncosted Brexit based on deceptions

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

            If it really was that simple, why do some third countries have extensive tariff-free trade with the EU? The EU and the UK can agree to maintain the existing completely tariff-free trade if they so wish, or they can agree to reintroduce tariffs in some areas but not in others, as they so wish; there is no inevitability about the reintroduction of tariff, or indeed non-tariff, barriers on the existing easy well-organised two-way trade, and it would not be the wish of the UK government to do that. And nor should it be the wish of the EU to reinstate unnecessary barriers to trade; just read what it says about that in the EU’s own treaties.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

            Dear Mr Grinds–Why is it so hard for you to understand that there are other considerations that on balance overall (said the Referendum, remember) swamp what you say. Even on pure financial considerations, our not having to pay (enormous) “contributions” (“enormous” as they are about to find out without us) alone makes Exit worthwhile and when one consider the joys of no longer having to be told what to do by third-rate unelected foreign nobodies it’s a no-brainer–and that’s just for starters. The big wide world beckons.

      • Publius
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        “And of course Norway also has a long land border with Sweden, which border is the EU’s external border for the single market and the customs union.”

        Norway, by virtue of being in the EEA, is part of the single market. So your statement above is inaccurate.

        For the purposes of the relationship with the EU, Norway is not classified as a “third country”. A third country is one that is outside the single market. Norway, since it is in the EEA, is in the single market.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

          That is not what the EU says and it is not what the EFTA countries in the EEA say, as pointed out above:

          “We will take into account the interests of third countries closely associated with the EU, such as Norway and other EEA countries, Iceland and Liechtenstein”

          And the Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein will say of those EFTA countries:

          “We are not ordinary third countries, but the EU’s closest partners and friends”

          Of course some may believe that Richard North will know better than the EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the Foreign Minister of Liechtenstein, and even though back in February he actually came close to saying the opposite of what he is claiming now:

          “If the UK is an EU Member State, it will be treated as a Member State. If it chooses to become a “third country”, it will be treated as a third country.””

          Not “If the UK is an EEA member state”, but “If the UK is an EU member state”, as opposed to becoming a “third country”.

          • Publius
            Posted May 28, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

            Denis, I read your comments with interest whenever I come across them. Please don’t suppose I’m being eristical.

            I am glad to see that you seem to concede that Norway is indeed part of the single market and that the land border between Sweden and Norway is not, therefore, one of the EU’s “external borders for the single market.” The distinctions are important.

            As for your comments about “what the EU says” and “what the EFTA countries in the EEA say”, firstly, these snippets you have found are not ex cathredra pronouncements of either body.

            Look, I think you are getting confused owing to the equivocal nature of the term “third country.” It has a perfectly normal English usage to signify a kind of “other” (as in “third person” or “third party”).

            But specifically and more technically, when applied to the distinction between states in their relation to the EU, there is a distinction between those that are members of the EEA and therefore members of the single market, and those that are not.

            Rather than equivocate about how the term is being used in any given context, better to look to the reality to which the term points. Then you can determine whether, in that context, the term is being used loosely or technically.

            I saw your comment about Richard North – or “Doctor” North as he insists,etc ed

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 29, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

            As has been repeatedly pointed out over the years, the EU treaties say nothing at all about any “single market”.

            That term simply does not appear anywhere in the treaties:


            while the correct term “internal market” appears no fewer than 50 times in the text.

            So is Norway part of that EU “internal market”? No, it is not, Norway it is not an EU member state or dependent on any member state, and it has no vote on any of the “internal market” rules or any other aspect of its management.

            Or is that EU “internal market” perhaps identical to some wider EEA “single market”? No, it is not; for a start the EU “internal market” extends to agriculture and fisheries, which are not covered by the EEA Agreement which gives three out the four EFTA countries free access to other sectors of the EU “internal market”.

            And nor is Norway part of the EU Customs Union; how could it and the other EFTA states conclude their own trade deals if they were bound by the EU’s customs union and its common commercial policy? Which is why Norway has problems with EU tariffs applied to its fish exports, eg:


            “Norway, which farms salmon in pens in fjords, sells fresh and frozen salmon to the EU in 2016 with a minimal two percent tariff. But it has to pay a 13 percent rate on processed fish, making it unprofitable to process salmon at home … “

    • Yossarion
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

      For years We were held captive in an organisation that was heading in a direction that was never discussed by Edward heath and put to the electorate in the 70s, at the first opportunity we freed ourselves from the ever increasing oppressive EUSSR.

    • Mr S. T. Whopid
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      Len Grinds
      Yes we are doomed. We cannot manage. We cannot survive. What is to become of us? You and I must head for the lovely coasts of Romania or Bulgaria and rent a council house, or, go live aside those wonderful wild flower meadows of Latvia and move into an abandoned house in one of their ghost-town abandoned villages or towns. We can always fly back here if we are ill and be seen by a Latvian, Bulgarian or Romanian doctor, have one of their nurses stick a thermometer in our mouth, or just stay there in EU freedom and die like aman.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      What advantages? The EU is a huge net negative, as can be seen from its dire growth rates relative to other rather more sensibly run places.

    • Peter Davies
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink


      Anyone would think by your tone that the world starts and ends with the EU.

      Anyone would also think that you have to be a member of something to collaborate.

      Here’s a fact. In economics terms the eu27 GDP is roughly (if I recall corrrectly) $usd13 trillion, admittedly a huge market.

      The top 8 non eu countries who want trade deals with the UK have a combined GDP of $USD 30 trillion, something we could have without being under the boot of some sclerotic entity run by 3rd rate politicians who have their tails wagged by you know who. Add another 27 countries who want deals then the total combined is circa $usd47 trillion.

      I read somewhere on Wed that there are plans being drawn up to force all remaining members into the euro, we all remember the ERM disaster don’t we remember the ERM?

    • Mr Ajay Gajree
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      We voted to become a 3rd Country, you know like the other 160 odd around the world.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    The best thing I have found to cheer people up about our Brexit prospects is Dan Hannan’s book – Why Vote Leave. He is right on nearly everything – we will be far better off out. Even under the daft high tax, interventionist May. Hopefully she can be U-turned, she seem to do a lot of it but still needs more to get her off her Miliband agenda.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

      The more I see of Andy Burnham, the more unpleasant and dangerous his views and worthless platitudes seem to be.

      So what is his solution?

      • Richard1
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

        Mr Burnham is very lightweight – full of soft left virtue signalling. But he is no longer a person of national consequence. He did however apparently have the sensible idea of charging drunks for use of A&E, but that foundered on the NHS being always and everywhere free mantra, however much you abuse it. No wonder it’s collapsing.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

          A good plan indeed, that way they might not be able to afford to get drunk out of their heads the next weekend.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Dear Lionheart–Doers anybody understand why Dentistry and Opticians are not free at the dreaded point of use?

          • zorro
            Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, and there are so many queues when I pay to visit the dentist….. Oh wait


          • Richard1
            Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

            That is interesting – the thatcher / Major govt seemed to have quietly managed to remove both (largely) from the NHS.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      “Hopefully she can be U-turned”

      May is the continuity candidate,she will do what the leftist Establishment wants.I want radical change,not continuity and will not be voting for her(weak & wobbly as John Prescott-welcome back!-christened her yesterday).And just look at the array of non-talent behind her-Fallon,Hammond,Rudd,etc.

      Not as bad as Corbyn is not good enough.

    • NickC
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, Stop being so cheerful. The next PM will be our Jeremy, not Mistress May-be.

      This is why UKIP is needed – because the Conservative party is so politically incompetent. How can a party that is probably the best at managing the economy kick itself in the mush politically so often and so comprehensively? It is a mystery.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Dear Nick–May is awful but Corbyn ten times worse

      • hefner
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        And who will be the UKIP leader, hitching to become PM?

  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    I read an interesting article by the chief economist of one of my investment companies (one of UK’s biggest) – his firm conclusion was that Brexit would be bring a positive boost to the economy and GDP by getting outside the customs union with its massive tariffs and artificially inflated prices. I don’t remember him saying anything like that before the vote, at the very least it seems the groupthink conclusions of economists seems to be being challenged at last. He’s discounting the idea of Corbyn being elected of course, which based on today’s polls may not be wise – May not much good at campaigning is she.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink


      Think I may have read the same article, April 2017 edition.

      “Currently many of the EU’s tariffs are designed to protect continental not UK producers”.

      Thus the EU maintains a 39%tariff on wine, and tariffs on coffee beans, rice, olive oil and citrus fruit -items the UK hardly produces at all.
      Similarly there is a 85% tariff on frozen beef imports, a 65% tariff on fresh beef and lamb, a 50% tariff on butter, a 30% tariff on cheese, and a 20% tariff on sugar.

      Same article perhaps that you have read.?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Not good at campaigning at all and pushing daft socialist, big state, high tax policies too. Policies roundly rejected when red Ed and the Libdims offered them at the last election.

      All this against such weak and pathetic oposition.

      • zorro
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

        It is quite frankly embarassing that T May i doing so badly in the pills following her serial blunders. She should hop on one of those boats landing in Catania and take it back the other way. It would probably be her best judged decision of the campaign. It is clear why she has tried so hard to avoid a debate and try and positively project her image! 😟😟

        Oh well – nice weather this weekend time to watch some cricket!


  6. Mark B
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    It is not a deal we seek but a new relationship. Such a relationship needs to address the fundamental questions of what happens once we become a non-member of the EU. It is these arrangements that we must addresses.

    Of course other EU countries will want to continue trade and travel as before but, it is how we interact with the EU itself which will be key.

  7. Jerry
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    “Some tell me they voted Remain because they did worry about the possible economic consequences, and they are now relieved to see the bad predictions of recession this winter and collapse of confidence did not come true.”

    This winter?! What about winter 2019/20 and so on, when will you stop peddling the myth that Brexit has already occurred! But then of course, when all else fails, divide and conquer.

    I bet you have been speaking to a lot of Remain voters in your neck of the woods, one of the most pro Remain areas in the country, but of course the one thing they fear more than Brexit is Mr Corbyn cycling up Downing Street (perhaps alongside the leader of the LDs).

    “There are no restrictions the EU could place just on the UK – they would have to be common restrictions against the rest of the world. I do not think the EU wants to cut itself off.”

    Indeed but then nor can the UK, except that some of the more vocal europhobes want to do just that.

    “Such a society does not stop free institutions doing as they wish, and allows them under the law to pursue their aims and development.”

    But there lies the rub in all this smoke and mirrors electioneering, “under the law”. Mrs May’s manifesto says “We will, therefore, continue to bear down on immigration from outside the European Union.”, but under the international law you cite, once Brexit occurs, EU students will be no different to international students, the UK will have to treat EU27 students the same as RotW students!

    I also note that Mrs May wants a £450 ‘NHS’ surcharge to these levied upon international students (which, as I said, EU students will be after Brexit) but will this charge be repaid should the student find lawful employment to supplement their student living costs whilst here and thus pay UK tax or will these students be banned from doing any work? What about medical students who will most likely train within the NHS, thus helping to staff the NHS for which they have been charged a levy…

    • Jerry
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      If, under the international law you keep citing Mr Redwood, the EU can not treat the UK any different to the RotW, and, quid pro quo, the UK can not treat the EU differently to the RotW how can there be anything but a hard border between the UK and Eire, and won’t that also mean NI? Are you not simply and simplistically cherry picking what best suits your Brexit arguments?

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

        Two choices: 1. Hard border without special status when we become a third country. All goods and people checked at the approved customs at Shannon. Strong border patrols on both sides to prevent smuggling and illegal people. Loads of criminal activity – drugs – people trafficking – gang bosses and so on.
        2. No border: totally free immigration into the UK at will. Totally free trade in everything from the EU as it is now. This, of course, is totally impossible because the government and M. Juncker have both ruled out being in the “Single Market”. Were we to stay in the EFTA/EEA the problem would simply not exist any more than there is a hard border between Norway and Sweden. Buy – hey! – that is out of the question.

        • rose
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

          3. Irexit. New man coming along soon. Macron will try and enforce uniform corporation tax much to their detriment. Most trade is with us and USA, so need to stay in Protection Racket.They are no longer net recipients and this will get worse. They won’t have us to stick up for them.They won’t have to have the single currency or Free Movement, so no need for a hard border.

        • NickC
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

          Mike Stallard, the EFTA is a completely separate organisation from the EU. The EEA Agreement is an agreement between the EU and some of the EFTA nations, whereby those nations accept the EU’s single market with all its EU rules, including the “four diktats” (sorry, “freedoms”).

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          I suppose you could try looking at other sources of information and analysis than your usual two, the second of which is in fact just an echo of the first. Like on page 48 here:

          “6.3.1 Norway-Sweden border cooperation”

          “Customs checks cannot be wholly eliminated between Norway and Sweden, as this is one of the external borders of EUCU. However, both partners have agreed to the imposition of light-touch customs checks … ”

          Both countries are in the EEA, but Sweden is also in the EU while Norway is not; so the border between the two is one of the external borders of the EU and therefore of the EU Customs Union, and therefore there are customs checks; however this has clearly not proved to be an insuperable problem.

          With the political will legal and practical ways can be found to ensure that the present easy and well-organised trade between the UK and the EU will continue uninterrupted and unimpeded, and if any government seeks to disrupt that trade it will certainly not be the UK government.

    • NickC
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      Jerry said: “… nor can the UK [cut itself off], except that some of the more vocal europhobes want to do just that.” As a europhile how many have you asked? Rather than told, that is?

      I have not met, nor know of, a single Leave voter who wants to cut ourselves off from trade, tourism, cultural and educational exchange with other European nations or, more importantly, the rest of the world. We just don’t want to be ruled by the EU. Or by the USA, or by India

      However we should assert our independence first, by repealing the ECA (1972), and only then seek agreements for trade, security, science, etc. As an interim, we offer to trade under existing terms (and rules, because of the patriation of the Regulations), with a fall-back based on WTO rules until the EU comes to its senses.

      • Len Grinds
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

        What you miss is that this is the 21st not the 18th century. if you want to trade with countries you have to do deals with them nowadays. If you want to do deals you have to make concessions. You can’t call all the shots and the smaller you are, the fewer shots you call. That is why there is defeaning silence on all those lovely trade deals the Brexiteers promised would have appeared by now.

        Leave, take back control? No, Leave and stand outside in the cold

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

          Just agreeing to continue to run our chronic, massive trade deficit with them is itself a huge concession, and that should be more than enough to satisfy them without the addition of extra benefits such as subsidies to their governments, and granting all their citizens the right to come and live and work here, and allowing them a large say in how our country is governed. They are greedy, and you approve of their greed.

        • libertarian
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

          Dear Len Grinds

          For those of us that actually trade internationally in this here 21st Century we are fully aware that we DO NOT trade with countries we trade with BUYERS . If you had any experience of business or trade at all you would know that the vast majority of countries that we would wish to “trade with” adhere to WTO rules as far as tariffs are concerned.

          There is a deafening silence on non EU trade deals for the simple reason that anyone with a brain cell knows , we are still members of the EU and therefore can’t negotiate deals until we’ve left Duh !

          Oh and the UK is the 6th largest country so if you are worried about small , I wouldn’t be as there are 196 in the world and 190 are smaller than us.

          I trade with Canada, Brazil, Japan and Spain…. guess which one is hardest to deal with

          • Limited
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            You are badly mistaken. You do not trade with buyers. You trade on the basis of applicable laws, which are set by countries. You don’t get anywhere near buyers until you deal with their countries’ laws. The beauty of the EU is that it solves such problems because it has common laws. Outside the EU, it is a whole lot harder

      • Jerry
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        @NickC; You might not want it but that is what you will get, because the UK under Mrs T bought into the “single Market” so readily and fully the EU is controlling the Brexit agenda – yes the EU might well cut their own nose off to spite the UK, but the UK risks deprecating its own economy to spite the EU [1], thus the EU doesn’t need to “come to its senses” – although many a europhobe does.

        [1] which would not be a problem if the UK was planning to invest in a way not seen since the post WW2 era, but all I ever hear from fundamentalist Brexiteers on the right is talk of more cut to tax and spending

        • Jerry
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

          Oops, ..and spending cuts

        • libertarian
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink


          80% of economic activity is in services, The EU despite the propaganda still does not have a single market in services.

          • Limited
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

            It is not perfect but it is the most integrated cross-border services market the world has ever seen.
            And we are leaving it!

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

          Attn Jerry–“deprecating”?–I doubt you mean “praying away from….”. Is ‘depreciating’ (which is I assume what you meant, though cannot be sure) now about to go the same way as it has in what should be ‘self-depreciating’?

          • Jerry
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

            Attn Miss Singleton- stop wasting our hosts time!

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

            Attn Jerry–Can you be serious? Every other post seems to be from you. If I were female I’d be a Mrs but not so. “ie” ending is a “him”, “ey” a “her”. Look closely and you might see a pattern. Also host’s not hosts and it’s not just your orthography that’s substandard.

  8. Caterpillar
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    What concerns me is politicians using phrases like “best deal”. We voted to leave the EU, this is what we should do within whatever agreements legally apply (and we read reports from Martin Howe / Lawyers for Britain that this is minimal). Agreements to do with UK citizens in EU and vice versa, Irish border, Gibraltar and Cyprus will need to be clarified, but these and best deals are separate to leaving – I would be fearful of the UK signing up to any early document (trap?) offered by Barnier et al, to create obligations that do not exist now. Leave the EU as we voted, within whatever agreements do actually apply.

  9. Nig l
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    My parents and grandparents travelled extensively in Europe before there was any question of the EU and I have even visited many of the Iron Curtain countries before the wall came down albeit with visas, so this travel question is a myth. However I think it was your then education minister Nicky Morgan who specifically said, in another Project Fear piece of dissembling, that students travel across Europe would be at risk, this to an audience of young people who had not had the experience to know better. I have heard first hand that the vote to leave was viewed with utter dismay and I am still hearing this is a massive negative. HMG needs to do a massive hearts and minds job to win back the 18s to 25s who are a vital part of our community.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      @Nig 1; Indeed but people are not worrying about de facto travel but the ease of such travel, someone with a valid UK passport can decide this morning to drive to Greece, by tonight they will have packed, bought a night passage via rail or ferry and go, after Brexit they might well need to apply for visas, thus need to plan well in advance.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Visas were not required pre EU for travel around Europe.
        Just a passport.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          It will be a bit odd if citizens of the UK need a visa to travel in the EU but citizens of Ukraine do not need a visa, which proposal is in the pipeline and should emerge soon.

      • Nig l
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        No. Travelled all over Europe, except iron curtain, my passport was my visa. In any event I do not hear these people whining about the visa requirements for the US.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 27, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

          @Edward2; @Nig 1; Indeed passports were only needed then, but who knows what will be needed after Brexit, that is the point you have both side-stepped.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            Well Jerry that is true, none of us can predict the future. But then of course you didn’t know what would have been needed if we remained either. EU ID cards maybe?

            So lets assume the EU imposes a visa system on UK citizens

            We would need just one visa to visit the 27 EU member countries ( thats the nature of the EU freedom of movement)

            We could reciprocate by either accepting one visa for an EU citizen or 27 separate visas . Hmm Occam’s Razor , unlikely to be any visa needs either way

          • Edward2
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

            Indeed, who knows, Jerry.
            But carry on with your predictions.

          • Jerry
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian; “We would need just one visa to visit the 27 EU member countries ( thats the nature of the EU freedom of movement)”

            Indeed but that visa application will need to be approved by all EU27 countries, unless they complete their USoE. At the moment each member country controls its own border and internal security, and in certain situations they can close or restrict their border. You also forget that the EU and their eurocrats are more interesting in safeguarding their project, thus making an example out of the the UK is not so far fetched.

            @Edward2; How many times, I’m not making any predictions, unlike those who keep telling us that nothing will change, I’m saying no one knows.

          • zorro
            Posted May 29, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

            More nonsense Jerry, there are many countries in the world that need a Schengen visa (EU 27) to travel within Europe. They are approved by one of the Schengen countries and accepted in all. It is nonsense to say that a visa application would have to be approved by ALL 27 countries. Come on, this is basic stuff!


          • Jerry
            Posted May 29, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

            @zorro; The only people talking nonsense are those who think they know what requirement might be put in place after Brexit in 2019.

    • Hamsterwheel
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Because the 18-25 group has a load of rubbish fed into them at school/collge/university.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Indeed many have and by the BBC.

  10. agricola
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Peoples fears have bee stoked by the outpourings of a number of EU leaders aided and abetted by a fifth column of remoaners. The EU would seem to be somewhat more restrained as zero hour approaches, and the remoaners realise that their boat has left.

    I do not agree with you when you say ” The EU prides itself in a belief in freedom.” Examine them, they are mostly new to democracy and only pay lip service to it in the structure of the EU. Judge them by their actions. Their contempt for referendums, shared by many in the UK, Their attitude towards anyone who thinks outside their box.

    They benefitted from a dose of the latter when the Donald landed in their midst. I was delighted that he spelt it out to them yesterday with an attack on their free loading tendencies. They the EU are the ones who will have to face up to the reality of the UK leaving, and face up to the damage they will cause themselves with anything less than a pragmatic approach to our departure. If they get it wrong it is the people of Europe who will give them the ultimate raspberry as did the people of the UK to UK politicians. We in the UK are a bit further down the democratic road, though with still a distance to travel.

    • agricola
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Is there something within this piece that is off the Redwood message. Please explain.

  11. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    This country needs to be weaned off cheap immigrant labour and GDP growth driven by increasing population.

    Barista visa? How skilled do you need to be to make a cup of coffee using a machine? Fruit picking? Develop a machine.

    Business finds a way. It adapted to cheap recyclable labour which drove our living standards down. It will adapt to not having an endless supply of cheap labour.

    The government’s access to work scheme makes it attractive to make adjustments and employ the disabled (thus reducing the employment gap). There is plenty of labour already in this country. Adjustments and training are all that is required. It will cost us less in the long term.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      @NS; “This country needs to be weaned off cheap immigrant labour and GDP growth driven by increasing population.”

      We would also need to be weaned off cheap, mostly, imported goods…

      • forthurst
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        The Customs Union is not about free trade without; it is about protection within and most of our trade is without.

      • Narrow shoulders
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        The two are not entwined @jerry

        However, I would feel very comfortable if less tat were consumed in this country

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Why ?

  12. eeyore
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Good to see JR is still confident of Brexit at all, with Mr Corbyn now just five points behind in the polls.

    One of the first things a Corbyn government will do is change the rules to make sure it can’t be removed. Seasoned infiltrators all, they’ll start with party funding regulations and move on from there. It’s their duty to the people to make sure the evil Tories can never wreck everything again.

    Next it will borrow half a billion pounds and treat us all to a big party. We’ve seen that before. We’ve also cleaned up the empties and vomit before.

    Will Mr Corbyn negotiate a good Brexit deal for Britain? I guess we’ll get the same sort of deal we’d have got had he been negotiating with the IRA, and the same we’ll get when he sits down to talk with Isis. A man who believes in running Britain’s foreign policy so as not to offend Muslim suicide bombers is “strong and stable” in a way we are not yet used to.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      @eeyore; “with Mr Corbyn now just five points behind in the polls…”

      …any smear will do, it seems. 🙁

      • eeyore
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        Sorry, Jerry, don’t quite follow. No smear intended. Where’s the smear?

        • Jerry
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

          @eeyore; Your last paragraph.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

        Says Jerry, the poster who’s majority of posts are smears… Try not to be a hypocrite Jerry

        • Jerry
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; Walter, care to cite were I even imply that posters on this website appease terrorist.

  13. Ian Wragg
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Yesterdays story. EU spends £1.6 billion on universities in Britain.
    No it doesn’t. The UK taxpayers stump up the cash to be alocated as the EU sees fit.
    This nonesense should be shouted from the rooftops especially to LimpDumbs who see Brussels as a philanthropy project funded from space.
    It’s good to see immigration falling although the figures are largely guesswork as we don’t count them in and count them out. I think ASDA has a more accurate idea.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      @Ian Wragg; Then the Tory government has not increased funding to schools, the NHS, the MOD etc (to record levels) either, the tax payer has…. The Tory party should thus stop lying!

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        You’re very silly Jerry
        I’m flattered that I annoy you so much you have to make stupid rebuttals to all my posts
        Yes, I was a submariner on nukes in the 60’s keeping you safe to spout such rubbish.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

          @Ian Wragg; Another of your well thought through abusive rants! Heck, what do you not understand, governments (and that includes Tory governments here in the UK and Proxy governments such as the EU) do not have any money, their only money comes via taxation of the people – or so the right wing monetarists keep telling us…

  14. David L
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    A concern I have is the shortage of staff that may ensue for the less-regarded jobs that are nevertheless essential in our society.
    I have worked in social care with some amazing people from other countries (EU and non-EU), who fled some appalling situations, arrived here with nothing but absolutely excelled in difficult jobs that, frankly, many British people view with disdain. Social care would collapse without these immigrants, but their lack of formal qualifications would make them unwelcome according to some of the respondents on this blog.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      David L

      I thought all Political Parties were going to allow selected (controlled) immigration to continue.

      Thus where there is a need, which cannot be filled with UK labour, then recruitment will be allowed from outside.

      Thus It should be an encouragement to up skill our own workforce before we look abroad.

      Seems sensible enough.

    • Andy
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      ‘Social Care’ come to my Mother three times a day. They are all local people, not one is from the EU.

  15. Doug Powell
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    JR, I don’t know if in your general remarks regarding an openness to talented people coming to the UK you were including sportsmen and women and sport’s coaches? With sport being such an extremely popular passion and pastime here, it would have been fitting to have given sport a particular mention. Sport’s fans would have been reassured by this, given the many players and coaches now working in the UK – football, rugby, rowing, athletics and the occasional cricketer.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      If you are interested in racing, please note the number of horses and jockeys who live and come from Ireland. That, as you know, is about to come to an end as all animal products will have to be checked at the border after 30th March 2019.

      • ian wragg
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        For an educated man Mike you don’t half spout some rubbish. racehorses are sent all around the world from the UK and Ireland, Gulf States, Singapore, China Hong Kong, |USA and Mexico to name a few. Life will go on pretty much as usual, business will see to it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        Do you ever have any original thought on this subject?

        • zorro
          Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

          What was it that’s going to happen on 30/03/2019? 😉


          • Denis Cooper
            Posted May 27, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

            It would be like that film where space invaders paralyse all the electric systems bringing everything to an instant halt.

  16. alan jutson
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink


    Doubtless you would also have spoken to many about the Social Care house and wealth robbery plan.

    The Conservative Manifesto has simply been a disaster.
    But that’s what tends to happen when you rely upon taking advice from pet advisors, instead of taking advice from back bench MP’s, who are not in the Westminster/Downing street bubble.

    It is suggested not even Cabinet Members were aware of the contents until it was published !

    Will that manifesto be the largest ever own goal in political history ?

    • Nig l
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Agreed. But ‘it’s the economy, stupid’ get back on that topic and hammer it. Vast posters linking Venezuela’s economy, the Labour manifesto and pictures of Abbott and Corbyn visiting and their comments in praise of it.

    • Chris
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      I fear it will be mone of the most significant ones, AJ. I believe May is blissfully unaware of how disastrous her policy of pulling the Party to the left of centre is. She could win hands down with tax cuts, abolishing HS2, Heathrow expansion, the Climate Change Act, and adopting true Conservative policies. Those tory backbenchers who can see what is wrong must be utterly dismayed. I believe they really have to do something, forcing her hand. The problem, in my view, started with their weakness in the past facing up to David Cameron, and putting Party before country.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:42 am | Permalink

        Dear Chris–I am sure I am despairing as much as any at Mrs May and her antics but surely you aren’t suggesting she change the Manifesto at this stage; or has the precedent for secretly writing and changing the thing on the hoof at the last moment now been set? Pure arrogance and conceit if you ask me. One thing she could do is get rid of the Foreign Aid Budget. It’s places like Germany with their Surplus that should be giving away Aid. Everything seems ever so slightly unbelievable. Let Boris loose I say. Or we could have a different Manifesto for every day of the week, except that it’s not funny.

    • Atlas
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Quote: Will that manifesto be the largest ever own goal in political history ?

      If my conversations with pensioners is anything to go by, the answer is an emphatic Yes!

      The Winter fuel allowance removal affecting so many millions of pensioners begs the question as to what will be the cost of the likely increase in pensioner hyperthermia cases be to an already overstretched NHS?

      If say 10% of the affected 9 million pensioners become ill as a result ending up either at the GP or worse hospital then the costs could easily dwarf the so-called savings if a hospital bed is charged out at a few thousand Pounds a night in NHS costings. Even ‘spread-sheet Phil’ ought to have seen that coming.

    • zorro
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      Remember it is the T May manifesto!


  17. Peter D Gardner
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    When the election was announced I thought the best strategy for the Tories was one of two: Say as little as possible about anything or make it about Brexit and only Brexit.

    Three things were clear from her early days in office: all her non-Brexit domestic initiatives fell well short of what UK needs to become a self-governing sovereign nation once again; secondly, she does not take her cabinet colleagues into her confidence; third, she lacks the clear insight and boldness essential to taking swift, decisive action to achieve a good Brexit and to rebuild the country.
    She now shows herself to be not ‘strong and stable’ but stubborn and rigid. Being brittle, she is liable to sudden fracture, aka U-turns and hissy fits (calling an election).

    • Richard Butler
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      The 3 complaints being cited by callers to LBC since the Tory manifesto are;

      1) The Care chaos
      2) Fox hunting blunder (she set a tone of other worldly Tory toffs with her comment)
      3) School dinners withdrawal

      I am Mr Brexit but in reality most people are far more engaged with the 3 blunders above

      • Longinus
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

        Her inability to deal with Islamists is my major concern.

    • zorro
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Look at her six years as Home Secretary and leave it at that for non-delivery!


  18. Antisthenes
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The forecasts on the consequences of Brexit range from the bizarre to the sublime. Evidence and theory is all we can go on. There is a paucity of the former but what there is points to conglomerates being unstable, unwieldy and when they are nation states are incentivised to curb civil liberties culminating in loss of sovereignty and the right to self determination. Theories there are in abundance but it depends on which school of thought that is followed will be the preferred ones. The schools that advocate free trade and free market capitalism and individualism will offer a Brexit that will deliver greater prosperity. Those that advocate centralised planning and control and collectivism will declare Brexit a disaster preferring instead to defer to their misguided belief that government is omniscient.

    Fears expressed that Brexit will lead to loss of rights and privileges are unfounded if those expressing them can convince us that they are warranted. More often than not they cannot but the government to placate are guaranteeing their continuance for at least a limited period. A sad state of affairs that politicians give largess for political gain as the EU has to many institutions, organisations and businesses for us all to face the unacceptable economic consequences that attempting to rectify encounters considerable resistance.

  19. Wolverine
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    It suits , Labour, LibDems, and the SNP to have our people lacking personal and national self-confidence. Then we are dependent on them and others to hold us under the arms at each side so we can walk and limp with their assistance in our personal and national life. But always but always dependent. I hear those parties are having interactive workshops for their members where they are trained to sit on the floor and shout “Woof, woof, woof! “upon which they are thrown a digestive biscuit “Good boy! Good girl!”

  20. james Neill
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how anyone can be so confident as to how all of this is going to work out, here we are being told that students, academics, professionals and other elites will continue to pass freely into and out of the country and yet I read in another brief how over 100,000 EU nationals with their varying skillsets have already voted with their feet and left Britain in the past year? The perception is now well established and accepted- that it is not the EU that is leaving the UK but rather the other way round- the UK is now seen by EU nationals as being a not very welcoming place to be- and as everyone in politics, business and government fully realises that perception trumps reality every time- we just have to accept that we have a bad press in all of this and it remains to be seen how it will work out. We know from various statements that the EU side is very determined to ensure that nothing will be allowed in any future agreement that will encourage cherry picking of any kind including of elites or otherwise that could damage the image of the four freedoms of the EU- and that is going to be a real problem for us when it comes to the talks- so I believe nobody can guarantee a confident forecast or even a half forecast in any of this.

    • Longinus
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Who cares what the EU thinks.

  21. Bert Young
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    I turfed out my old dark blue passport the other day ; it had many additional “stuck on” pieces showing how much I had taken in Sterling for each of the many trips I used to take throughout Europe . There were never hang ups or difficulties at the various borders ; friendliness and co-operation always seemed to be the by-word .

    One thing was certain there was always an atmosphere of respect for we Brits . Having looked back and now looking forward , I see no reason why the same relationship should not continue . The controls we had at our borders were strict and respected ; our Universities and businesses were open doors to talent and I would think this ought to be the same once we are out .

    • jonP
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Wrong Bert– too many insults and other forms of personal abuse have been hurled at the Europeans by our gutter press and low class politicians in the European parliament during the intervening years.. they have not forgotten and will not forget. Times have changed..we will not be welcome back in Europe again

    • Jerry
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

      @Bert Young; That was then, this is now… Some Brexiteers want to, as others in the EU27 see it, put barriers up against their citizens entering the UK (how else will the UK control our boarders, stop migrants etc?), it would not be difficult for the EU27 to reciprocate in a way Spain already acts at the boarder with Gibraltar. No one is refused entry, it just takes hours.

      • Oggy
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

        ‘our Boarders’ – a Freudian slip methinks !
        117,000 EU citizens returned home so a lot less ‘boarders’ ! and a great saving in Tax credits too.

      • Chris S
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

        I’m really surprised that even some regulars here post rubbish about the movement of UK citizens around Europe post Brexit.

        I can confirm what Bert Young has said, I had no problem moving around every part of Europe before the EU, often not even having to show a passport going from France into Italy or the Netherlands. It was good being able to buy tax free petrol coupons from the Italian Touring Club at the border when going into Italy !

        The only problem was going into and out of the DDR which was always a pain.

        When we have our Blue passports back, once we are inside the Schengen area ( if it still exists ) we will be just as free to move around as an EU citizen !
        We might face slight delays in getting into the zone but I doubt it.

        All the talk about visas is no more than Remainer propaganda.

        Etc ed

        • Jerry
          Posted May 28, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

          @Chris S; Will you please read what others actually say, not reply to what you think or hoped they said, what happened in 1970, 1990 or 2010 is irrelevant to what might happen in 2019.

          Tell me, why do you think the Swiss government have not yet implemented their borders/immigration restrictions as instructed to be that peoples referendum a couple of years back, could it be anything to do with the EU telling the Swiss government that there woudl be “consequences” if the Swiss did impose such a policy (not good for a landlocked country surrounded by the EU27)!…

  22. E.S Tablishment
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Mrs May and the Tory Party need to list OUR culture’s Dream Makers and then promote the British Dream, only. You cannot address other people’s mashmallow dreams or confusion will reign.
    It is interesting the first line is always left out of the following 1 Corinthians 9:22 (King James Version)

    “To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak:
    I am made All things to all men, that I might by all means save some.”

    So we have the weak LibDems, the weak Labour, the weak SNP with their “No, no, no its too hard! It’s too hard! 🙂

  23. Roy Grainger
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Here’s a few quotes from the investment company economist I mentioned above:

    “The overall increase in UK consumer prices due to the EU’s protectionist policies is estimated to raise UK prices by close to 8% eroding personal incomes in real terms by a similar amount”.

    “Many EU tariffs are designed to protect continental, not UK, producers. Thus the EU maintains a 39% tariff on wine, and tariffs on coffee beans, rice, olive oil, citrus and tropical fruits – items the UK hardly produces at all. Similarly there is an 85% tariff on frozen beef imports, 65% on fresh beef and lamb, a 50% tariff on butter, a 30% tariff on cheese, and a 20% tariff on sugar. Currently the EU has a 25% tariff on US pick-up trucks and a 10% tariff on car imports …. Eliminating these tariffs would therefore enable UK consumers to buy goods directly from countries outside the EU more cheaply”.

  24. Richard Butler
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    JOHN, THIS IS SERIOUS NOW. The Tories must educate the public that mortgage interest rates rose 4 times in quick succession on Blair taking office. Under Corbyn and his Communist advisers rates will soar.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

      @Richard Butler; They rose even faster under John Major, and never so high!

  25. Ian Pennell
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    John Redwood,

    Sir, as regards the General Election Campaign it has been a colossal disaster so far. The Tories now have a Poll Lead of 5% (a fortnight ago we were polling 20%) and there is every likelihood of this trend in the polls continuing so that in the days running up to polling day we have Labour leading. Policies should have been discussed widely and consulted upon before putting them in the Manifesto….rather than discovering (too late) how wildly unpopular it is to take people’s homes off them and then backing down…which makes a mockery of the prime Minister’s claim to be “Strong and Stable”.

    If the polls continue to narrow and the Conservatives actually lose their Majority, Theresa May HAS to be relieved of her post- the Election was called with the aim of increasing the Conservative Majority to help with Brexit negotiations and it is now looking like calling the Election was a big misjudgement (which, of course it would not have been had such a contentious disastrous policy NOT been put in the Conservative Manifesto).

    In the event of a Hung-Parliament outcome this is what you must do- in order:
    1) Get the Conservative 1922 Committee together to get rid of Mrs May- quickly (but after she has gone to the Queen to seek permission to run a Minority Government as we need to stop Jeremy Corbyn getting his “Coalition of Chaos” from forming a government).
    2) Nominate either yourself or another no-nonsense strong Conservative like David Davis or Graham Brady and get the Conservatives to elect one of you as leader.
    3) Whoever is new leader should form a cabinet of proper Conservatives quickly and the programme should include:
    a) Leaving the EU quickly and not paying this “Divorce Bill”
    b) Raising the State Pension Age to 68 to pay for proper care and put extra costed £ billions into the NHS.
    c) Slash the £60 billion Quango budget to put more into front-line Police (including many more armed police on the streets and around vital infrastructure), more money for front-line Education and health- and to increase the Defence Budget.
    d) Halve foreign Aid and use the proceeds to raise the Income Tax threshold to £15,000 ASAP.
    e) Abolish the 45% Income Tax band and cut the Budget Deficit by deciding not to pay the EU this “Divorce Bill” and by deciding nothing will be contributed to the EU beyond 2018- on the grounds that the EU owe Britain money. These measures would strengthen the economy, encourage inwards investment and reassure the Credit Ratings Agencies we were serious about reducing the National Debt.
    f) Promise to bring back Capital Punishment for terrorists who kill and for child-killers. This would be popular with large sections of the electorate and would act as a deterrent against heinous crimes.
    4) When the Opposition votes down this programme of policies in the Queens Speech (which they will), the Conservatives may have to go into Opposition to give the country a taste of what a Socialist Coalition of Shambles actually means. This is because a Minority Government that gets voted down in its Queen’s Speech cannot trigger a new General Election because of the Fixed Term Parliament Act.
    5) Going into Opposition will be a necessary part of allowing the Conservatives to regroup and tear the Socialist shambles of a Government to shreds. We should have enough MP’s (even on the worst possible projections of Polls likely to occur in coming days), with the help of the Ulster Unionists and sympathetic Labour MPs like Giselda Stuart and Frank Field to STOP Jeremy Corbyn inflicting some of the most dangerous and irreversible-harmful policies.
    6) After a year Jeremy Corbyn’s high taxes and borrowing will likely lead to big economic problems. We then hammer the weaknesses and inadequacies of the Government of Shambles (he will be selling Britain down the river in the EU negotiations), then we approach sympathetic MPs in other parties to table a Vote of No Confidence in his Government….I have no doubt that we would win if we did this late 2018.
    7) Then Jeremy Corbyn would have to go to the country. We Conservatives campaign ruthlessly on the platform outlined above, win a big Majority and take control of the EU negotiations (we leave and withhold any promise of “Divorce Payments” made by Jeremy Corbyn- assuming they have not been made) and we take control of the economy- selling off any newly-nationalised utilities to pay off debts left by the Coalition of Shambles.

    I think this is now looking like the only way forward if we lose our Majority. It’s the back-up plan in the light of the shambles that the Conservative leadership have made of the Manifesto, complete with the U-turns.

    Ian Pennell

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      What do you expect, we’ve had wall to wall social media messages from Labour about their cornucopia of giveaways and only the rich will pay! Only those earning over £80,000 and more so the top 5% it won’t affect the majority, has he made any promises over inheritance taxes? Oh! let’s not worry about what happens when we’re dead.

      To boot we’re having a minimum wage by 2020 of £10ph from the age of 18 wonderful. A near £20,000pa minimum wage – will we also have a pension and benefits boost by the same % otherwise what will the rampant inflation do to social costs? Will he be holding down mortgage interest rates? Never mind, don’t worry about that only the rich will pay; only companies, bankers and City types will pay, but not the self-employed don’t you worry people (the only people that can be laid off with no notice at all) moving along… the small companies that employ the money creators you won’t be affected, oh scratch that we’re all going to be nationalised – nationalised contracts, benefits, rules and regulations, extra holiday’s paid for from these greedy rich people, what’s not to like – we’re all going to be working for Jeremy with his JC complex of feeding everyone out of one loaf and a fishy. Paradise awaits people what on earth are we waiting for.

    • sunnyday
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Ian Pennell
      Only skim read but sounds good.
      They need people to actually tell them what to do as you have done.
      Like the oldstyle number/letter layout too.

      • sunnyday
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

        Might need to tweak 3 (f)
        as it would unfortunately not act as deterrent
        and would be seen as cynical if just a sop.

      • Ian Pennell
        Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        @ sunnyday

        Aside from the policy about Capital Punishment it is the broad thrust that matters: Is is, unfortunately, the only way the Tories can salvage their reputation as competent and strong in Government- the 1922 Committee MUST ACT and force Theresa May OUT if the poll numbers continue to deteriorate and we end up with an even tinier Majority or God-forbid a Hung Parliament situation. However, the Conservative back-benchers must wait until after 8th June.

        Before then , getting out there and attacking Labour’s policies and the likely Coalition of Shambles should a Left-Wing Rainbow Coalition prop up Jeremy Corbyn (complete with Labour’s IRA/terrorist sympathising and Jew-hating cohort), focusing afresh on his likelihood of selling Britain out at the EU negotiating table remains the Tories’ best hope. If we do this we may get 7% ahead of Labour in the one Poll that matters- with a 30-seat Majority. I don’t think we can hope for better because the Tories have already been well-and-truly holed below the waterline thanks to the mother of all Dogs’ Breakfast of a Campaign to date.

        There is, of course, another tactic. For all of us to collectively get on our knees and pray to God for a Miracle- which means for Jeremy Corbyn to mess up spectacularly and do a Gillian Duffy style Gaffe- but something really spectacular!

        The point is that, if we do end up with less Conservative MPs (when the original reason for Theresa May to call the General Election was to get a workable Majority) then Theresa May HAS GOT TO GO. The 1922 MUST get together and force her out and get a no-nonsense Conservative leader who REALLY IS STRONG AND STABLE with a no-nonsense costed Conservative programme that appeals strongly to 50% without greatly irking the other 50% too much!

        Ian Pennell

    • rose
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      I too am very pessimistic. But things might yet be salvaged if the token women could be given a rest and the intelligent men put out there. They are all invisible at the moment. We all know who they are: the ones who have been too highly educated and have experience of life outside the bubble etc. The one woman government and campaign is a disaster. Quite apart from her being exhausted. I suppose it was some 30 year old man who thought it a good idea.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:53 am | Permalink

        Dear Rose–One dose of Amber Rudd as Home Secretary on the News is enough to convert anybody to what you say. No stature or authority.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      As labour are closing in on victory we can only hope that there are enough labour MPs prepared to jump ship if elected. Of course some of these have already stood down and others might think of their careers. I noted the pointless high risk strategy of calling an election when it was called and my fears are growing. Even if the Tories win any small confidence in May has been destroyed.

  26. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

    The EU has laid down its negotiating position clearly and publicly. We have two choices. The first is to go along with their proposals. The second is not to. In which case, on 00.00 30/3/19 we will be thrown out. All arrangements until that date will simply cease.
    Article 8 tells us this. The words “third country” mean that, yes we are under international law through the WTO, but that is nowhere enough to allow free travel either of goods or people to and from the EU. Mongolia will have more trading rights than we have.
    It is no good just writing off anyone who questions the orthodoxy as a Remoaner or whatever. I am a Brexiteer.

    • David Price
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      If we must go along with the EU negotiating position then it is clearly not a negotiation.

      If the North group were constructive then people would likely react more positively. But you are not, your group demands we acquiesce to the EU demands, that we must be the ones to suffer and are abusive to those who question that orthodoxy.

      We are not limited to the choices you present.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mike–We are not being “thrown out” or even close–We are escaping by the skin of our teeth.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Certainly when we leave the EU we will become a “third country” as far as the EU is concerned, like 160-odd other countries around the world. Your first mistake is to suppose that this would necessarily be a dreadful fate which we should at all costs seek to avert. Your second mistake is to believe that we could avert it by arranging to stay in the EEA after we have left the EU. Now you have added a third mistake to your usual two by thinking that this is the consequence of Article 8 TEU when that is not the case:

      “Article 8

      The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.

      2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, the Union may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned. These agreements may contain reciprocal rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking activities jointly. Their implementation shall be the subject of periodic consultation.”

      It is often said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but in your case it is a lot of wilful copy-cat ignorance which is far more dangerous.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 1:58 am | Permalink

        Dear Denis–S/be a little learning or maybe you are right and it is knowledge that is often said

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Dear Mike–What you have said is a False Dichotomy or in plain English nonsense. We do not face two exclusive boxes one of which we have to tick, which might be difficult as you say: instead there are an infinity of boxes in between and we need to end up with one that we like. Another way of looking at this is to say (Politely, to keep JR on board) Nuts to the EU’s negotiating position.

  27. acorn
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Fog in Channel: Brexiteers isolated from Britain’s duty to save Europe (Niall Ferguson).

    “There is an enduring myth that The Times once published the headline: “Dense fog in the Channel: Continent isolated for three days”. In reality, this was always a joke — “just the sort of story that is invented by an Englishman and told by Englishmen to amuse other Englishmen”, in the words of a letter to The Times published on November 3, 1939.

    The principal reason that this joke evolved into a false “fact” is that it was being cited at that time by Nazi propaganda as evidence of insufferable English arrogance and “the absurdity of a small island imagining itself so important that the Continent should be isolated from it”.

    Nothing changes

    • libertarian
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      You’re right acorn, the continent is still run by a bunch of undemocratic demagogues who are trying to build an empire against the wishes of their own people.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      “Nothing changes”

      Do you mean that the Germans are making another major misjudgment?

      • acorn
        Posted May 27, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

        Like last time, it will depend on whose side the Americans join in.

  28. sunnyday
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    Can an election be cancelled / postponed ? ( current critical threat to national security ).
    May allowed to retire early along with Rudd.
    Whoever takes over to be red pilled.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      @sunnyday; The Tory party could try but all that would do is ensure a Labour landslide, when ever the next election is allowed, the electorate do not like being taken as idiots

  29. Chris
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    I think Rod Liddle in his Spectator article sums up admirably what he considers to be the worst tory election campaign. To give a flavour he refers to the:
    “robotic incantation of platitudinous idiocies” by key people. Theresa May’s Andrew Neill interview responses come to mind.

    The situation is hugely serious for the Tories, and Fraser Nelson is now questioning whether Theresa May will “blow this election”. Judging by the blogosphere comments that are being hurled back at the Tories, I suggest the answer is “Yes”. What a disgrace to throw away a potentially commanding majority, simply by apparently listening to close advisers and going for a centre/left of centre manifesto. This is not what voters want – there are millions of votes available for a true Tory government, but if May is going to ape labour then many voters feel that at least Corbyn is more sincere than May, nor does he seem to indulge in the “robotic incantation of platitudinous idiocies”.

  30. Brian
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    If the Tories lose this Election or if they increase their majority just in single figures, then let no-one say “Oh bad luck” or “Hard Cheese” or “The other party had a good campaign”. Let people declare honestly the Tories are unfit to govern and could not hit a barn door with ten shotguns at point-blank range.
    What a terrible election campaign! Rubbish! So many shots to the foot they resemble a Monty Python clipperty-clop coconut banging assault on a French castle.

  31. acorn
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    In January, Trump told Michael Gove, who was a prominent figure in the leave campaign in Britain, that he thought the EU was a vehicle for Germany and that the UK had been “smart in getting out”.

    “I believe others will leave. I do think keeping it together is not going to be as easy as a lot of people think,” Trump said at the time.

    “Tusk said,there had been a change of heart, telling journalists: “I was positively surprised by President Trump’s comments on Brexit because it was clear for both of us that in fact the EU27 is more united after Brexit than before.

    “I tried to convince him – and I deeply believe – that Brexit is very important and dramatic but just an incident, not a trend. And President Trump agreed. It was for me a very positive moment in our discussion.”

    acorn here. You can forget the special relationship, Trump can’t even spell it. This tells me that TTIP is not dead. Trump is doing handbrake turns just like our own El Presidente T. May. The UK will be dead in the Atlantic water if it is outside of a a US/EU TTIP.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

      That would depend on what trade arrangement we had instead of TTIP. If we had the same as now then that would not be a big problem. As repeatedly pointed out here the economic effects of TTIP would be very marginal.

  32. John
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    I suspect that the prominence of UK Universities will rise after we exit. Provided we deal with this current recent intolerance of free speech with them.

    The EU has a long history of paying for propaganda, paying news outlets on the agreement that they promote the EU in a positive light. I dare say their tentacles of influence extend way beyond my knowledge. That interference in:


    Will promote the excellence of independent European University education that exists in the UK but won’t in the EU.

  33. Prigger
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just seen Corbyn’s interview with Andrew Neil. It looked to be cut and restarted at least twice. It was legal to meet IRA members of all ranks in England in about 1968. They used to openly publish and distribute a newspaper too which I glanced at but couldn’t find any cartoons. Mr Corbyn says he never met any IRA. It shows, as a senior politician, his total ignorance and lack of proper legal political activity as an MP. He should have been talking to them when it was legal to do so. He is a complete loser.

  34. So sad
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Just listened to Corbyn’s speech linking terrorism and foreign policy in full ( on Mirror website ). He may win yet.

    • Limited
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      It was sober and sensible. To discount UK foreign policy as a cause of radicalisation, as Mrs May tries to do, is to treat the public as fools

  35. Starlet
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    I think Mr Corbyn and our media have struck enough fear into a large number of our people that his possible forthcoming regime,- so feckless and defence-less of our country and, that he stands a chance at coming into government.
    It’s fine for Guardian readers and other unfairly comfortably off armchair Marxists who have never experienced the result of such stupidity . But for the ones who painfully know, it is scary indeed.

  36. fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 26, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    I just despair at how inept Mrs May has been in this election. One has to ask has she done it on purpose to get out of making a decision on Brexit??

    I am not at all convinced that she will win now let alone get a majority and this was the last chance saloon for the UK to make something of itself. All blown away with a few stupid decisions. She should have done what UKIP are doing and cut foreign aid and spent it on the health service and social care. She should have scrapped the climate change crap and brought about a policy of cheaper energy and she definitely should not have said she would have a vote on fox hunting. That may seem trivial to some people but to many it is very important. I know several people who were Tory through and through but are now thinking very hard about where their X will go on the ballot paper. What a silly woman and what a disaster for the UK. All so unnecessary.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      You are right to wonder whether there was a deliberate plan for the Tories to call an unnecessary general election and then lose it, so a new government could tell the EU that the UK had changed its mind about leaving. But if such a plan did exist it might not have been May’s plan.

  37. stred
    Posted May 27, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    This week I went out for a drink with some engineering people in education who had invited some of their entrance year students. All of the students were extremely fed up with the large debt they would have to build up and the high rents and charges to find accommodation- and all of them were keen on the abolition of fees and were going to vote Labour.

    One of them also told me that his father has been told that he would have to leave his job as a paramedic, with 25 years experience, and take a degree in the subject in order to continue working. He was told that his PPIwould not cover him if this was not done. THis struck me as just the sort of inhuman management that Steve Hilton was writing about in his book ‘More Human’. Now the NHS will lose experienced staff because they are insulted and will just take a different job.

    The lecturers and I, on the other hand, had invested in BTLs for a decent pension and had own houses which they wished to pass to their families. None of us trust the PM or her team of remainer turncoats one bit. Some of us think the way expensive energy projects are given out following lobbying ( words left out ed)is nauseating. None of us will be voting. I was going to vote for UKIP,as much of their manifesto was attractive. However, even they have decided to allow LSs to compulsarily purchase home private rentals they consider unfit. This could be used to take someone’s investment after a house had been made unfit by tenants and then they would be hit with verge large CGT bills. So the choice is dire.

    We may be heading for a Marxist hard line regime thanks to Tessa the Messa. Strong on speaking, weak on sense.

    • stred
      Posted May 27, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      LAs not LSs

    • Jerry
      Posted May 29, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      @stred; “This could be used to take someone’s investment after a house had been made unfit by tenants and then they would be hit with verge large CGT bills.”

      Only if you do not bother to a/. insure your properties correctly b/. make financial provision for uninsured losses and c/. choose not to employ a builder even though you have done both the aforementioned!

      “We may be heading for a Marxist hard line regime thanks to Tessa the Messa.”

      Oh come off it, this has been festering for years, and well before the 2007/8 crash. Just as it had been in the years up to 1979. Thirty to forty years down the road no one can blame anything but Monetarism and indeed Thatcherism here in the UK, just as in 1979 no one could blame anything other than the post war ‘socialist’ settlement that even the Tory party had bought into. If there is a swing (back) to socialism then it is because Capitalism, or more precisely Monetarism, has been seen to have failed.

  38. Freeborn John
    Posted May 30, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    It is time for the UK to reconsider it defence alliances. The US administration is indicating NATO Article 5 support is conditional upon Continental countries paying more into the budget which EU states led by Germany are resisting. Those countries are instead setting up an EU defence union and structures which duplicate NATOs and undermine any rationale for them to be NATO members.. The German chancellor is openly speaking of the need for the EU to defend itself without US support. The UK was not able to defend Poland from invasion in 1939 and will not be able to defend the Baltic states today from a Russian invasion without US support. It is untenable for the UK to be spending its scarce resources on the militarily impossible task of defending Eastern European countries who are actively seeking to damage the U.K. Economy in brexit negotiations. It is time the US and U.K. left NATO and formed a new alliance with real allies like Japan, South Korea and Australia/NZ instead.

  • 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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