No deal is better than a bad deal

Those simple eight words mean the UK has a good negotiating position when it comes to sorting out our future relationship with the EU. Without them the UK would be in a very weak position.

There are those in the EU who talk darkly of a punishment deal, seeking to make the UK pay for daring to leave. There are those who want to send us a large bill with no legal backing to it and expect the UK to pay. There are those who think it a clever idea to volunteer continental farm products up for high WTO tariffs in order to make a political point. That is why the UK has to make it clear we will not accept any such deal.

None of this means the UK negotiators should walk out in a huff at the first available opportunity if the EU’s demands are silly. There is still a good prospect of reaching sensible conclusions. The UK intends to take back control of our borders, money and laws. It is happy to have extensive agreements on free trade, security sharing, academic collaborations, transport rights and the rest. We are leaving the EU’s legal structures, single currency and budget, not leaving Europe. It will require a combination of friendly patience, stressing the advantages of many collaborations, and unbending clarity that we are taking back control of our laws, our money and our borders.

It is clear that many on the continent do wish to keep tariff free access to our lucrative market. It is obvious they like sharing security and Intelligence with us. The only way to get a good outcome for both sides is for the UK government to repeat that it makes no sense for us to take a bad deal. Nor would that in practice help them. It’s a pity the other main parties contesting the General Election do not recognise this simple truth. If they understood negotiating they would also say with Mrs May , “No deal is better than a bad deal.”

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. fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    The other parties don’t know the meaning of negotiate. The way they are all carrying on it would seem they all want to see the UK go down just so they can say “I told you so”.

    Corby and Sturgy would, together, break the bank of the UK within 6 months of being in office. Sturgeon is already shouting her mouth off and saying the usual mantra of Scotland must have more say in Brexit as if Scotland’s contribution is anything at the moment other than a chain around our necks. Disgraceful action by all of them including Clegg.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      @fedupsoutherner; Whilst Mrs May basically shouts her mouth off telling people to “Trust Me”, I’m a Doctor, I’m going to operate on you – but without telling the patient what the diagnosis is nor what the treatment will be. You claim that “Corby and Sturgy would, together, break the bank of the UK within 6 months of being in office”, how do you know that the Tories will nort do so also, after all were are their manifesto costings?!

      This election has been very fought in a very negative way by the Tories, always a sign that a political party know they do not have a first clue how the country should be run but want to be elected non the same, it will be very interesting to note Turn-out and spoilt ballot counts on the election night, what ever the result, especially in safe Tory seats.

      As for the actions of those who wanted to Remain, your point being what, after all no one knows what sort of Brexit people actually want, they have never been asked, just that a majority wanted to leave.

      • Know-dice
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink


        All we can hope for is a rabbit and a hat 🙁

        But, I don’t have any confidence in that….

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

        Oh, Jerry, give it a rest! Other people have opinions. It’s not all about you.

        Corbyn couldn’t even come up with any figures the other day when asked so he doesn’t fill me with confidence. My experience of Labour is that they leave us in a financial mess.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          @fedupsoutherner; “Corbyn couldn’t even come up with any figures the other day when asked so he doesn’t fill me with confidence.”

          Well at least he has manifesto costings to forget, unlike Mrs May…

          • fedupsoutherner
            Posted June 1, 2017 at 5:08 am | Permalink

            His manifesto costings look very damaging to me and will probably mean we will all be poorer in the long run unless of course you are one of the ‘lucky’ ones who do nothing for your money.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 1, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

            fedupsoutherner; Her manifesto costings look very damaging to me and will probably mean we will all be poorer in the long run unless of course you are one of the ‘lucky’ ones who do nothing for your money.

            Notice what I did there? Having no costings just suggests even worst damage, hence why they have been hidden by omission.

      • getahead
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

        “no one knows what sort of Brexit people actually want, they have never been asked, just that a majority wanted to leave.”

        “People” being Remainers I suppose you mean. Well you are quite right, you only have to ask. In the Leavers mind it is quite clear.

        • Jerry
          Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

          @getahead; No I mean ALL voters, Leave and Remain, there were 28 different Leave manifestos published (ranging from the pretty far left to the pretty far right) not just one, there were 19 different Remain manifestos published (ranging from the pretty far left to the pretty far right) not just one. All groups campaigned within the law, if not then the result will have to be annulled and the referendum re-run…

          Sorry @getahead but if you really think that those voting to Leave having read and agreed with the “Trade Unionists Against the EU” manifesto want the same Brexit as those who voted for Leave having read and agreed with the UKIP or even the Vote Leave manifestos then you are even more deluded than I first though.

          Reply People voted for all sorts of reasons in the referendum as in elections generally. The rule of elections is we respect everyone’s right to make up their own mind and to cast their vote as they see fit. It is not for others to come along and claim some people were misinformed or wrong. Some people know more about the issues,some less. The ones who know more might not have the better judgement. We can disagree with their decision, but we must respect their right to it and must act on the majority decision. I have been on the losing side in a few national elections. The days after I have not complained that the voters got it wrong or did not understand. You pick yourself up, and accept the verdict.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

            @JR reply; ” It is not for others to come along and claim some people were misinformed or wrong.”

            Indeed but then it is also not for some to try and tell others what they voted for – no one knows why people voted for Brexit, only that they did.

        • hefner
          Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

          GaH, people: are you so sure that a City trader, a car factory worker, a university lecturer, a farmer, a fisherman, a car dealer, a NHS employee, … wants exactly the same Brexit? All those people might have voted Leave (or Remain) but still might want to get some more details on what Brexit will exactly mean for them, on a day-to-day basis for them and their family.
          During the campaign, a lot has been made about sovereignty. But as far as I am concerned, I doubt that the recovered sovereignty will increase my income nor my future pension.

          • Hope
            Posted June 1, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

            Brexit was clear, we would leave the EU in its entirety. Some aspects appeal to some more than others. Your point is rather obtuse Heff. Politicos are never going to spell out the truth. Naive to think otherwise.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

            @Hope; Wrong, as usual, see my comment to @getahead above.

            Some of the pro Brexit manifestos suggested membership of the EEA or EFTA, how do you know that a majority did not vote for those manifestos?

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    The need to state the obvious AND explain it is rather sad…

    I see no chance of a deal with the EU as long as they leave such negotiations to the bureaucrats of the EU; they simply have no ‘skin the game’ and therefore don’t need to do a deal. Only when the political leaders of the other nations require a deal will reasonable terms be found.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

      So far it has all been political hot air, with minimal substance?

      Have patience and watch the European corporate businesses start to rattle their cages when the negotiations begin to disintegrate!

      When push comes to shove, watch how they twist the arms of the Politicians to come to some sensible bilateral arrangement. There is too much to lose from a financial perspective to allow Politicians free rein!

  3. Len Grinds
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    There is a splendid article in today’s FT, pointing out the hundreds of agreements the EU has with important countries around the world, all of which the UK loses on Brexit day.

    One of the very many costs of Brexit which Mr Redwood has hidden, and continues to hide, from readers of his site.
    Reality is biting!

    Reply EU agreements with third countries novate to the UK unless the third country wants to cancel them, which is unlikely.

    • Andy
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Twaddle. In many of those ‘deals’ the UK is a signatory in her own right. The agreements remain in place unless and until the other contracting party objects.

      • Stephan Schmid
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

        a couple of examples please

    • NickC
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      Len, The “hundreds of agreements the EU has” seems to be frequently cited with glee by the Remains, almost as a totem. I’m not sure why.

      Firstly it demonstrates that the EU can, and does, make trading (and other) agreements with non-EU countries. Surely that is encouraging news for the UK as an independent non-EU country? Secondly, as JR states, most of those agreements will be novated. And thirdly as an independent nation we can make our own agreements anyway.

      It is almost as though Remains have forgotten, or dare not admit, what benefits being an independent nation brings. As well as the responsibilities of course. But that’s growing up for you.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply:

      To borrow a sentence from Dr Richard North’s post this morning:

      “The crucial distinction (one the FT doesn’t make) is between “exclusive” treaties – those concluded between the Commission and the other parties, where EU Member States are not signatories – and “mixed” treaties, where Member States are co-signatories. ”

      For exclusivee treaties to novate would surely require the agreement of both the EU and the third party?

      Obviously we will no longer

      • Vanessa
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        So glad some read Dr Richard North’s blog on this site. There are so many who are completely clueless on what May should be doing and is not.

        We are headed for a seismic car crash if you read because none in the government is clued up and could not be more arrogant and ignorant.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

          Vanessa, Governments, past, current and future, were/are/will be/ever clued up, is the first fallacy?

          Let’s give credit where credit is due, all Governments are the very worst at governing! If one is capable, one generally does not enter politics, other than when requiring a financial safe haven! Though I must profess, I am speaking from personal experience, having worked with Governments and watched their incompetence first hand. Therefore, I am a tad bias!

          No disrespect to you John. You have personally trodden within the private commercial world, managed successfully commercial entities, whilst being under the hammer to make sound business judgements, increase wealth creation and make critical decisions, which can make or break a business. This fact alone rather legitimises your comments?

    • Richard1
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      It would be good to establish the truth on this. If it is the case that these agreements all novate to the UK automatically unless the third country objects, then the FT story is misleading enough to constitute fake news. On the other hand, to the extent new and better trade deals are required post- Brexit, If these are simply adjustments to existing treaties rather than being drawn up from a blank sheet of paper, that should be a positive.

      Reading the FT and listening to Comtinuity Remain you really wonder how it is that any countries manage to get by at all without being in the EU. Perhaps the US, China, India, Switzerland, Singapore, Australia etc will all apply to join since it seems to be so impossible to be independent?

      • Vanessa
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        The EU does not even make a lot of our laws any longer. It is organisations like UNESCE and CODEX which draw up and make our global laws which the EU then rubber-stamps and sends out to its 28 member states. When we leave (if Theresa May is well advised) then we take our seat at these top tables and so influence the making of these laws which are, at the moment, done by an EU representative. Norway and Switzerland do sit here and we need to join them.

    • Helen
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

      Mr Redwood, could you name one country that has shown
      Any willingness to give the UK the same deal the EU has with it?

      reply Yes there are plenty of countries wanting a freer trade deal with us than EU rules currently allow

      • Peter Davies
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

        There are 35 countries who want billateral trade deals with the UK. Total co,bined GDP USD $47 trillion.

        The top 8 are I think $32 trillion whilst the eu27 is $13 trillion in size.

        Huge opportunities apart ftom a certain labour politician being worried about food going off when being exported to Australia

      • Limited
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        The question is – name one. Just one

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 11:50 pm | Permalink

          India; Iceland; Germany; New Zealand; Australia; Ghana; Canada; Mexico; South Korea; Switzerland; USA, etc…and many more that are talking to the UK directly or indirectly, but prefer, at this time, to stay under the radar!

          Germany, surprised? Germany is a very interesting one on the list and one I can personally (among others) put forward. This from the recent discussions that I have had with the German business community? They are not going to let unelected Politicians destroy their hard-won business in the UK! Watch this space?

          Politically, as we all know, the UK is rather troublesome to the EU…however, from the European business community perspective, they very much want business as usual. I did not say this, they did. They need a continuation of the bilateral trade with the UK at all costs!

          Remainers on the other hand, appear not to have had these direct discussions with companies within Europe, but nevertheless, spout ill-informed (ignorance) negatives for Brexit.

          However, to be fair, I am not in receipt of all the commercial data points and welcome someone on this blog, who is perhaps anti-Brexit, to eruditely counter my point of view with regards to their own personal European business experiences. But please, not in the third person, but your own direct experience?

          Incidentally, did anyone (yes many) really think the world would wish to miss out on an opportunity to grow their businesses within the lucrative UK market? They will be breaking down the door!

          But naivety and ignorance still abound! We must blame the current Government for this appalling debacle, due to the lack of clear information (not political soundbites) that should have been made available to each individual!

          This situation should not remain visceral, but open and informed!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      The unspoken assumption is that governments around the world are on constant alert for any technical breaches of treaties to which they are parties so that they can object and declare the treaties to be invalidated. That can certainly happen, if a country is already fed up with some effects of a treaty which it has contracted and is looking for an excuse to terminate it. But if the party to a treaty is reasonably content with the way that the agreement is working in practice then it may well choose to turn a blind eye to some technical breach.

      To throw out a few examples where technical breaches have been ignored rather than being allowed to cause practical problems: the EU has not updated its WTO schedules to reflect enlargements from 2004 on, technically Croatia is still not yet a member of the EEA four years after it joined the EU, and the EU trade agreement with South Korea has only just come into force after several years of provisional application while Italy demurred on ratification of certain provisions.

      So I think the question will be: which party to one of these EU treaties will cut up rusty and say that the treaty is not longer valid for its interactions with the UK, or even for its interactions with the EU – which will also have been changed by the withdrawal of the UK – and therefore those interactions – trade or whatever – must immediately cease?

  4. Taimanov
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:34 am | Permalink

    I read the Conservative manifesto and it has no costings at all. This is not serious politics. Equally no one with a grain of sense says “no deal is better than a bad deal” unless they show the costs of no deal and compare them with costs of a bad deal.
    “No deal” means loss of all trading privileges with our most important partners in the EU and no access to the benefits of the bilateral and multilateral deals the EU currently has with third countries like the US, Canada, Australia, Japan etc. The UK will be one of the half dozen or so countries in the world that trades exclusively under WTO rules.
    If anyone can identify a bad deal that would be worse than this, then I would be interested to know.
    Mrs May is doing badly in this campaign because she is putting empty slogans ahead of substance, and Mr Redwood is following her lead

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      @Taimanov; Wrong way around, Mrs May is being lead by the europhobes (putting it more politely that Sir John Major did…), Mrs May is in office but not in power. A great pity as Mrs May, when elected, had great potential, she is suffering the same fate as Major but quicker unless she some how pulls several golden rabbits out of the hat in the next 7 days I suspect.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

        I suspect she will not last long. Although no-one will admit it, any less than a 50 majority will be seen as a disaster as she has mainly made this ‘her’ election (until things go wrong when she tries to blame her minions). She is chucking away a dead cert result. All so unnecessary, the casualty will be Brexit, either if she doesn’t win in which case Labour will find a way to reverse it or if she ends up with a reduced majority the EU will not take her seriously.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Mrs May is doing badly in the campaign because her Socialist-lite policies for wealth redistribution are unappealing to Conservative voters. If she had stuck to empty slogans she would have won easily.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        @Roy Grainger; That would be why votes appear to be shifting not to UKIP but Labour, because Mrs May is being ‘to socialist’… Duh!

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Taimanov – If we listen to you all we’ll get is a bad deal. We must be prepared to walk away and to be able to mean it.

      So Britain will go up in a puff of smoke with no deal – is that what you’re saying ?

      Our banks, London, real estate, our market…. gone… with no domino effect on global economies and the personal fortunes of foreign investors.

      Please. Do not join our negotiating team. We will get owned if you do.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

        If Dutch Tulips could cause a global depression then what of London property and businesses ?

        We must be treated carefully and with respect.

    • Richard1
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      Sure. A deal which involved handing over €100bn, accepting uncontrolled immigration, accepting rule by the ECJ and other EU institutions on whatever issues they choose to define now or in the future as constituting the single market, continuing to be bound by the EUs nonsensical and environmentally damaging global warming policies (eg promotion of diesel), implementing a financial transaction tax or accepting joint and several liability for the debts of other Eurozone countries as is now to be proposed for members would all constitute a very bad deal, and one very much worse than moving to a free trade model under WTO rules.

      A ‘bad deal’ is by definition not worth having. Like every other trade deal or treaty signed by 2 free countries or blocs the deal needs to be ‘good’ for both sides – or it won’t fly in a democracy.

      An difficulty following that?

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Clearly the UK has to be prepared to accept no deal. If the EU bureaucrats are determined to harm their own economy (so as to attempt to deter others from following the UK’s excellent example) then no deal will be the best deal.

    Surely any politician, with even half a brain, can see this?

    • Mark B
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      If no deal, then how will our border with Eire work ?

      TM and others are talking nonsense.

      • anon
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        – a border at the non Ireland mainland, with regular internal id card checks.
        – an internal border within the EU for Eire&NI.
        – Eire exits the EU.
        – am unlikely hard Eire/NI border.
        -some other arrangement, agreed by those most affected.

  6. David Cockburn
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    Some of course believe that any defeat for Britain is a victory for us all and that is why they will not say that no deal is better than a bad deal. Others however think it is a big mistake for us to leave the EU and wish to reverse our decision but they’ve come tho realise that most of the voters disagree with them.

  7. Jerry
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

    “No deal is better than a bad deal”

    There is no logic in that, it’s an as meaningless phrase as Hard or Soft Brexit is. In fact the biggest ‘punishment deal’ the EU could achieve if they are so minded is to get the Mrs May to leave on WTO rules knowing what her parties economic plans are for the UK – Mrs May, is walking headlong into a trap of her right-wing europhobes making I suspect [1], doing so utterly unprepared. It will be her who walks into the A50 negotiations totally naked, not Mr Corbyn, because her party is utterly unprepared to commit the UK to the sort of industrial regeneration polices that the country will need once outside of the EU’s single market.

    For a successful Brexit on WTO rules we need Mrs May to be closer to being a MacMillan, not a Thatcher, just as (should Labour win the GE) he needs to be closer to being a Wilson than a Blair…

    [1] they will be rid of her either after loosing the election or upon the disaster that will be their desired Brexit

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Off topic, I was listening to, on BBC Radio 5L this morning, comments from ‘businesses owners’ regarding the living wage, many saying that they could simply not afford to pay £10 ph to their employees (strangely the same was said about the NMW…). What do they not understand, by making such such comments [1] they are basically admitting that their businesses are unviable in the real world outside of the welfare state and tax credits etc.

      [1] assuming that the comments were from genuine business owners and not just (orchestrated?) activists trying to discredit the Labour policy.

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        SMEs can pay the minimum wage, they are using the wrong argument, SMEs just have to hope their clients will pay the increased charges to reflect the large increase to the payroll, with pay differentials up 25% on today’s rate and higher still for 18-25-year-olds, it is not just the cost of the basic hourly rate but also the additional Employer’s NI 13.8%, the Employer’s Nest 3%, the increased holiday pay plus the extra four days with four days lost trading. Whilst still competing with their self-employed competitors who by their own reckoning half the time don’t earn the current minimum wage, don’t contribute Employer’s NI (0%), don’t contribute the same employee’s NI (9%), and don’t in the main take the full quota of holidays thus saving themselves replacement worker costs. I’d guess hours will drop a little maybe 5 hours per week, or maybe some people will be laid off and younger people will find it harder to find full-time work in order to keep employee model businesses afloat. A consequence of zero hours work being removed will be retired people could find it harder to find work to suit themselves to top up their pensions when they want to work maybe in advance of Christmas or just before a holiday. The economy may then contract when companies turnover less because they don’t wish to take on so many employees. The NMW was originally set low, lower than what the majority of SMEs were paying and has been carefully raised even though some people on the tv interviews recently have claimed they were on the minimum wage and hadn’t had an increase for a couple of years, this is a blatant lie.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink


        Oh for christ sake ( to copy you). How dumb are you?

        A business like say a hotel with 100 staff suddenly has to find

        1) An extra £3 per hour for all NMW workers
        2) EXTRA costs of ENI, Workplace Pensions and holiday pay cover
        3) This is the killer, as happened really to a friend of mine that does own a small chain of hotels, ALL the other staff then demand pay rises as wage differentials are important. ( He ended up giving pay rises of between 8-10% , which nearly killed his business, luckily if you want to look at it stupidly, which is about your level Jerry, he had been saving profit in the business to build a large spa complex that would have made his hotel more attractive and provided work for more staff. He shelved his expansion and extra hirings to try to cope with enforced increase in NMW )

        Those additional payroll costs then have to be factored into the business price model. If they are passed on to customers the room rate could become uncompetitive and custom drops off therefore having larger costs and decreased revenues, then starts to make your business none viable.

        It has sod all to do with tax credits and welfare

        Where do you think that a business would get the money to pay a sudden increase in their most expensive overheads ? They either a) raise prices b) cut their costs by laying off staff c) do a combination of these things

        99.3% of UK businesses are SME’s, most of them make minimal profits , that would not fund unexpected and unbudgeted extra costs

        You wouldn’t know the real world of business if it smacked you in the face.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 2:26 am | Permalink

          “99.3% of UK businesses are SME’s, most of them make minimal profits , that would not fund unexpected and unbudgeted extra costs”

          This is simply not true. Your breakdown of SME’s pay and profits is rather rudimentary! The majority of SME’s are not made up of low wage companies, such as hotels? (though in general well-run hotels make a decent profit, partly due to low wage regimes).

          However, the hotel and other’s cries for the need to keep wages low, blah blah blah, is a well-worn chestnut…as the owner drives off in an expensive car to his nice house.

          I am not decrying an individual’s company’s profitability or the hard work required to achieve a nice lifestyle, good luck to them. It is just the disingenuous statements on holding down wages?

          I am guessing your 99.3% SMEs comment came from “UK Small Business Statistics” You make an interesting point and no doubt your assertion within the low paid SMEs areas are, for the most part, most probably correct.

          However, very many medium sized non-hi-tech SME’s through to the high-tech SMEs do not work this way? Above and beyond “UK Small Business Statistics” the pay for professional SME companies is considerably more than the low-tech, low-wage SME’s, as one would expect. They need to be wage competitive to ensure the best people remain!

          I am simply trying to point out that your comment is only relating to a proportion of SME’s. Therefore, you are only partly factually correct! Companies House is a great source for SME profits breakdown if you want to do the research?

          For example, some average Business Profit Margins in the UK by sector:

          1. The average net profits of a small manufacturing wood products business, with £2 million in revenue annually, is 14.56 percent per year.
          2. Medical equipment and suppliers, with £2 million in revenue, have a net profit margin of 26.95 percent annually.
          3. By contrast, computer and electronics products return a net profit of 53.94 percent.
          4. Food processing sector has a net profit margin of 10.28 percent.
          5. UK hotel sector runs on an average profit of between 4%-7%

          Actually, the hotel sector is in a growth spurt with increasing occupancy currently around the 77% – 82% mark!

          A throwaway fact: There are circa 23 million SMEs in the EU, representing 99% of all European businesses. Understanding their needs is a significant undertaking, though a very lucrative one.

          I could go on but you get my drift regarding facts and damn statistics!

          When working in the Corp and SME world, in-depth business information analysis is crutial to success and significant profitabilty. It just happens to be my business!

          With reference to your comment to Jerry. Just when you think you know something about business, along comes someone who really does know something about business….on the £Billions mark!

        • Jerry
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          @libertarian; & @a-tracy; Let’s try again… The same arguments were made regarding the NMW, the sky did not fall in.

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 3, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

            Jerry, We’ve been told we’ll have four days trading removed and increased costs of holidays too. When the nmw was first introduced it was set low, under what we were paying anyway, it was increased gradually and with lots of thought and care, not pumped up by 25% in a couple of years for everyone over 18 which will massively affect pay differentials in the private and public sector and all their multitude of pay bands with seven grades in each band. The gig economy and big increase in self-employed workers is just one repercussion used by those employers who weren’t paying it anyway. Like I said we’ll just have to hope the economy can cope with this big increase to the salary bill in a short time, Jeremy has promised to create loads more jobs, and increase all union members pay and benefits and shake those wealthy people earning over £80,000 down to pay for it all.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 3, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink


            Lets try again the NMW did cause harm and it was a minuscule amount , this is £3 per hour rise.

            The cost of employing someone on NMW of £10 would be £24,000 per annum

            Any idea how much it will cost the NHS? This years rise to £7.20 cost the NHS an extra £280 million , see if you can work out the damage of a £10 NMW

            Anyway, it makes no difference as 1) Corbyn admitted during Q/T last night that it could harm most SME’s and therefore he would give tax breaks to ease the problem……. Lol

            2) If we are forced to do this, its you that will pay Jerry through increased prices

            3) Minimum wage workers will still be minimum wage workers and no better off after price inflation

            4) As always under Labour unemployment ( especially youth unemployment) will go up

    • NickC
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      Jerry, the best deal is no deal. That is because independence is far more valuable than the small monetary advantage of a trade deal.

      Unless of course you are an imperialist? Then, to be consistent, you should campaign for all the countries that gained their independence from the British Empire to re-join it.

  8. eeyore
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    No deal better than a bad deal? A Corbyn premiership would mean no Brexit at all. His SNP coalition partners would force him to drop it. His own backbenchers would breathe a huge sign of relief.

    The cheated public would be bought off with massive public spending of borrowed money which they and their children would still be paying back long after Lord Corbyn had gone to his fathers, full of years and honour.

    The Grizzly Bear is huge and wild.
    It has devoured the infant Child.
    The infant Child is not aware
    It has been eaten by the Bear.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      It was predominately England which voted Brexit and it will be predominately England which votes Conservative. If the wishes of the English electorate are overturned by a coalition of the SNP, Labour & the Lib Dums, then the Conservative party will only have themselves to blame for choosing to deliberately ignore the English Question. We need an English Parliament so just like Scotland & Wales, England not only gets the government it chooses but also has someone fighting our corner and standing up for England, unlike now.

      • eleanor justice
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        Don’t mention England it brings them all out in hives.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Exactly, it is extraordinary that we have the SNP manifesto able to promote policies which primarily affect England, our political world has truly gone mad.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      Fox Hunting and ‘Dementia Tax’ seem designed to get a reduced majority or even a hung parliament.

      • eeyore
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

        They couldn’t have done any worse with a Fox Tax and dementia hunting.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      We have issued an Article 50 letter. We are leaving ! They only way back into the EU is to reapply via Article 49. And if we did, we would lose ALL of our opt-outs / ins, including not having to join the Euro.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        I’d rather not test that by electing a government which immediately asked the other EU governments if it could revoke the Article 50 notice.

        • eeyore
          Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          Especially if it’s happy to write them a fat cheque with other people’s money and then blame lying Brexiteers for causing the mess.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

        Don’t bank on it. The EU will cheat and break any treaty or law to protect their fiefdom. If we said tomorrow we wanted to cancel, it would be done like a shot. Then we’d see a punishment beating for evermore. We cannot go back, but I’d not bet money we won’t or at least end up like Norway. If this election is s sign of Mrs. May’s negotiation skills we are lost. Lets hope she leaves herself out of it.

  9. Caterpillar
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    I do not think “no deal is better that’s a bad deal” is a strong enough position. I think the the EU27 need to demonstrate a deal better than no deal, the UK position should be “no deal unless offered a good deal”. On the one hand lawyersforbritain have assessed the situation as a possible small liability with no jurisdiction from the ECJ or ICJ, on the other hand the EU seem to want an earlier agreement to negotiation terms and ECJ jurisdiction, I am very fearful of what the next UK Governement (however constituted) will sign up to, too early – and the shift of negotiating power this will give. “No deal unless offered a good deal”, be stronger.

    • hefner
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Incredible how UK-centric some people can be. Haven’t they had any opportunity in their life to make deals of some kind, if anything with their spouse and/or children? Why would you want the EU27 to give you a deal better than what was before Brexit? Deluded, aren’t you?
      So accept that it could be no deal. And stop dreaming these “egocentric” dreams.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

        Hefner, that is not what I said, I am neither uk nor EU centric. Many authors do not feel trade blocs move towards global free trade, and the eu is a clear example of using its customs union against those outside, whilst not benefitting those inside. Setting our ethical position just above a bad deal saddens me, whilst I also fear EU behaviour – the uk needs to have an ethical line and be more wary of the EU’s negotiation approach.

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Does my right hon. Friend not know that it is fatal for any Government or party or person to seek to govern in direct opposition to the principles on which they were entrusted with the right to govern? In introducing a compulsory control of wages and prices, in contravention of the deepest commitments of this party, has my right hon. Friend taken leave of her senses?

    Can someone get May & Hammond to wake up & smell the coffee, before they flunk this sitting duck election?

    The Tories need to stand for lower taxes, efficient managment of the economy, law and order and sound defence – this especially given the current, hugely over taxed and regulated position.

    • eeyore
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      LL – your first sentence is lapidary. But consider this: well over half of UK households – 53.4% – are net beneficiaries of the State (Centre for Policy Studies). A Corbyn administration would increase that figure to – who knows? – 60% plus?

      Why should any of these people ever vote against their own interest?

      Eventually, I suppose, we’ll all be net beneficiaries and the economy will work like that run by the five antique dealers marooned on a desert island with only one chair between them, who all made a good living.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        They would not be voting against their own interests. The economy (and even the poorer half of the population (who do pay less tax than they receive in benefits and immediate services – such as schools) would be better off with a far smaller state and lower tax in general as well.

        This as wages, standards of living and job oportunities would improve significantly. The number of essentially parasitic jobs and red tape would decline and productivity would improve when we had far less dead weight to carry.

        I am not sure May has made the right decision on tonights debate. It looks rather contemptuous of the voters. Then again she does not come across very well anyway. Let us hope that Rudd is rather better than she usually is – not difficult.

        I also very much hope Trump with indeed withdraw from the absurd Paris Climate Accord and expose all the pathetic exagerations and blatant deceptions & frauds that comprise climate alarmism.

        It is the climate alarmists who are the religious, flat earthers, not the climate realists as Obama pathetically suggested. May, Rudd, Blair, Brown & Cameron clearly have all been taken in too along, with nearly every MP. Get some sound scientists & engineers into the commons please.

    • Bob
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      I suppose it was just a matter of time before the Tory Party became a victim of the Long March through the institutions.

      What puzzles me is why real conservatives like our host, Dan Hannan, Jacob Rees Mogg etc. seem to be in denial about it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

      Well Amber Rudd was perhaps slightly better than I expected.

      But then Jeremy Corbyn, Tim Farron, Angus Robertson, Caroline Lucas and Leanne Wood were all complete (we have a magic money tree) jokes.

      What has the UK done to deserve such dire, second rate politicians?

  11. Mark B
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Alas I fear that we are still talking in terms of trade father than what happens with regards to administration once we become a third country.

    Some here are in for the shock.

    It is also worth a TM does dither and flip flop. So I do not trust her. She had a chance to save the UK from the most expensive energy ever negotiated, paused and then signed. Not good.

    • Stred
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      She is also going ahead with even more expensive windfalls in the middle of the North Sea.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Indeed Hinkley and HS2 are clearly bonkers. She need to do lots more U turns (on those two for a start) also on the self employed NIC’s lunacy, the attack on the gig economy, on the probate tax, on workers on company boards, on her ratting on IHT thresholds, pensions, on the dementure tax, on the gender pay crap, on expanding workers rights, on the energy price controls, on the daft apprentice schemes, on minimum wages, on the work place pensions, on the increases to IPT tax on medical insurance, on charges for the NHS indeed almost all they do is totally misguided socialism.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think those here are in for a shock. We have been well warned on this site.

      We’ve read some very scary comments but none are as scary as seeing the EU invite limitless numbers to join us from the third world.

      This caused Brexit.

      • rose
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        And Corbyn is to continue this policy here if the leak is accurate.

        They are also to tax gardens. People will then sell them for development which is perhaps one of the motives.

  12. alan jutson
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    Those eight words may be the only thing that saves you from a defeat in this General Election.

    The very thought of any of the other Party leaders negotiating any sort of deal that will be good for the UK in the long term fills me with horror.
    Indeed so grim are their proposals, we may as well stay in the EU, and give up all hope of us ever running our own Country.

    What and absolute disaster the Conservative manifesto has been for your Party John.

    • Atlas
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Quote: What and absolute disaster the Conservative manifesto has been for your Party John


      A triple whammy on Pensioners (12 million of them, most vote) is proving to be the thing that lost it for the Conservatives. (To be clear, I mean the triple lock on pensions, Winter fuel allowance and elderly care costs).

      If May wants to stand a chance she will have to row-back completely (and do it NOW) on all those matters – otherwise all your, John, good arguments and campaigning on Brexit over the years has been wasted.

      May says she wanted this election to be about Brexit – and but then she tries to sneak in highly unpopular policies hoping nobody would notice.

      • JoolsB
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        What many don’t realise is it is only English pensioners who will be hit by two of these. Social care is devolved so whilst May is proposing those in England (not that you ever hear the word England come out of her mouth) hand over everything they possess for their care bar 100K, not so the rest of the UK. Same with winter fuel allowance, the Scottish Conservatives have already stated that there is no reason why the winter fuel allowance in Scotland should not continue.

        So it’s really a quadruple whammy because not only is May hitting pensioners, she hitting the English pensioners, the ones most likely to vote for her.

    • Cliff. Wokingham.
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      I agree with you Alan. It’s almost as if the politicians want a hung parliament, so they can all blame each other for the eventuality when we only leave the EU on paper.

      I have always voted Conservative and ever since I moved to Wokingham, I have voted for our host, lending my vote to UKIP for European elections. However, today I felt that we have no real choices at the ballot box this time and I have completed the membership form for The Christian Democratic Party which I feel is nearer to my “Conservative with a conscience” political beliefs and my Catholic faith. It is a long term project but, I feel there is a public feeling of anger towards the main parties or “The Good Dog Club” as I prefer to call it. I think we’ll see a rise in the minor parties and the independents when people realise they’ve been short changed or conned over the Brexit farce. Time will tell.

      Note to LL:-I know your views on religion, so no need to mention them again here!

      Reply This election is about the immediate issue of whether you want your country governed by Mrs May or Mr Corbyn as PM.

      • Cliff. Wokingham.
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink


        It is not! It is about which face you want to live in Number Ten and which one you dislike the least. There is so little between them: BluLabour, Red Labour, green Labour or yellow labour…..My fear is that Jimmy Krankie will for an alliance with one of the aforementioned and further the SNP’s agenda but, that may be what it will take to rid ourselves of left leaning politicians in the so called Conservative Party.
        You know I am a long term supporter of you as an MP but, I cannot support the party as it now stands and knowing you of old, I am shocked you can!.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

        Worse that just Jeremy Corbyn – It will be Jeremy Corbyn wagged by the SNP’s and the dire Nicola Sturgeon. Surely no one wants that?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Jeremy Corbyne, John McDonnell, Diane Abbott & Nicola Sturgeon are perhaps eight better words to the avoid defeat.

      A defeat May/Hammond and the manifesto team are clearly trying to snatch from the jaws of victory.

  13. Nig l
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Looking at the polls, it may not be your choice. What a hopeless mess.

  14. Alan
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    A good deal is better than a bad deal.

    No deal is a bad deal.

    Any sensible deal is better than no deal.

    We have to negotiate. Everyone knows that walking away will result in no deal and that is a bad outcome.

    Of course the best deal is the one we have now, inside the EU, but we can’t have that once we leave. Don’t expect the final deal to be as good as what we have now.

    • Roger Williams
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      You must realise that the final agreement (if there is one) has to go through a) EU Commission, b) EU Parliament and then c) National Governments – all these 3 parties could’t agree on the colour of !@£$ so whatever our representatives bring back can always be bounced by a, b, or c.

  15. Old Albion
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Or of course the EU may choose to ignore our democratic referendum completely as it has when Ireland, France, Greece, Denmark, Holland and Hungary voted against the EU in the past.

    • hefner
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      I wonder whether you are right. From my very limited and biased sample of continentals met over the last few months/weeks, I would say they do not wish any harm to the UK, but would very happily like to be rid of it.

      From their perspective, what’s the point of trying to cajole people who always are complaining, based on what they read in what is for the continentals the worst kind of “gutter” press. Read the French, Italian, Spanish, German press and you will see the huge difference of viewpoint on Brexit compared to what is mainly reported in the UK. Do not forget that the websites of a lot of British newspapers are accessible worldwide, and that a large fraction of educated continentals can read English.

      At present, the main example is about the openness of the Brexit future discussions. The 27 have had 11 months to set up a plan and various documents have been published over the months for anyone to look at them. Compare that to “Brexit is Brexit”, “red, white and blue Brexit”, and the almost complete absence of information from the British side on even the main approach (apart from the “no deal is better than a bad deal”, the mantra now repeated by anyone and his dog) and this at the time of a General Election. Consider also the rather childish threats proferred by the PM, as if she did not know anything about the state of the EU27 discussions.

      Given the general continental situation, (and contrary to what JR keeps repeating), losing overall 10-12% of trade would, it seems, for the continentals not be a thing so bad as going on and accepting 43 more years of what most continentals think has been an unhelpful relationship.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Maybe. but they do love our money – no way around that. Germany will have to stump up more or the EU will have to contract its grandiose schemes. That’s why they want 100 billion Euros from us if we are stupid enough to agree. It will keep them going for another 10 years.

      • anon
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        Our politicians are so bad … no deal wil be a pragmatic and ok outcome.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

      Can’t ! Article 50 letter has been sent. We’re leaving !

  16. formula57
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    The Eurocrats of the EU ought to be recognized as the enemy that they are, even while the UK recognizes that some few or many member states typically might not be.

    We have, however, just been treated to Dr. Merkel’s astonishing and ill-judged outburst where she seems to overlook the fact the UK sided not with the US but Germany et al on climate change.

    Let us adapt Lenin’s thought on capitalism and acknowledge that in its final stages of collapse, the Evil Empire will turn mad. For the next UK government to accept a bad deal, which would include any deal that sees material sums disbursed, would indeed be shameful.

    • rose
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps Frau M’s odious outburst against us – that they can no longer count on their traditional allies (when it is we and the US who have been providing most of the defence, while she and most of the otherEU nations bar five have been shirking their duties as allies) is inspired by the prospect of a Corbyn government. Or it may just be that Macron has persuaded her to adopt the usual anti NATO position of the French.

    • Doug Powell
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink


      And what good did siding with the Germans on climate change do? The German motor manufactures built software to cheat the emission’s test! So much for all the holier than thou claptrap trotted out on protecting the planet! Just think of all hot air produced by those pious words! Must have put a couple of degrees (Celsius of course) on this summer’s temperatures! All these EU (Merkel driven initiatives) aren’t worth a light until the meaning of “Honesty” and “Integrity” have been understood! Or is that Not PC – just like mentioning the war!

  17. Richard1
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Very well put.

  18. Richard1
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Although I do think 2 things the government could do to bolster confidence and support for this approach would be firstly to lay out clearly an assessment of what no deal would mean in practice. (The group Economists for Free Trade have made a good start) and secondly it would of course be excellent to announce some heads of terms for free trade deals post Brexit. How about joining NAFTA – that might give President Trump a device to keep NAFTA but reform it.

  19. agricola
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    While you are quite correct in your judgement, I think you should give serious thought as to how you handle the public relations of this negotiation. At the referendum nearly half of our voters , most of our politicians and that voice of probity the BBC thought the EU was better than sliced bread. Many of them still do, reading their manifestos confirms it.

    I think the British electorate are mature enough to be given weekly factual reports on the progress of these coming negotiations. It should not remain a big state secret that leaks like a colander for two years and then emerges as a camel that should have been a horse. The alternative is that the opposition will , mushroom like, feed on the darkness and dung.
    Taking the population with the negotiating team to a destination that the population will have to live with would I think be seen as an act of great maturity. Telling it as it is and as it develops, will negate the nay sayers in our political orchid house.

  20. Original Richard
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    “The UK intends to take back control of our borders, money and laws.”

    Please add to this list “assets” as I am expecting the UK to gain full control of all its fishing assets with limits up to 200 miles where applicable.

    It would also be better to use the word “immigration” rather than “borders” as we are told we are in control of our borders at present.

    • JakeG
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

      To original chance..we’ll get back the same limits we had when we joined in someone else pointed out before 12 miles out from a base line. The limits out from this line to 200 miles are eu limits and will not be considered as uk waters..its a bit like leaving your savings on deposit in the bank for 40 years and then getting back your deposit minus all interest dividends other words a bad deal

  21. Sally
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    We should also ensure we take back our fishing waters. This will be an important industry for the U.K. in the future.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      And to build a navy to police it. (Didn’t we have one of those once ?)

  22. Know-dice
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    Off topic 🙁

    BBC headline “Brexit expat retirees ‘may cost NHS millions”.

    No mention of the money that will be saved by charging EU citizens living in the UK using the NHS after Brexit…

    A “quid pro quo” agreement with the EU will surely be the best way to go – Juncker & Tusk are you listening?

    Back to today:
    It’s so obvious that we will negotiate the best deal possible, but the EU needs to understand from day one, that if it’s no better than no deal, then we walk…simples

    • Stred
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      No mention of the saving of payments to EU governments for treatments given to UK citizens abroad. The more election half truth bias in order to scupper brexit.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      what people fail to realise is that many ex-pats already come back to the UK for their free medical care under the NHS even though they shouldn’t. If they still own a property in the UK it is easy and if they haven’t then they give the name of a relative. When we lived out there we were shocked at the number of people that did this. Not just for little things either. Heart conditions and heart operations, hip replacements and even cancer care. Perhaps the change won’t be as bad as we think??

      • rose
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Even people living where healthcare is excellent still come back because they trust the NHS more. The only exceptions I know are people in the USA. And then there are all those people from other continents who fly in to have their babies etc. The BBC never runs scare stories every half hour about what all that is costing.

        • hefner
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          “still come back because they trust the NHS more”: this or maybe people prefer to have possibly complex medical topics discussed in their mother tongue?

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      “The UK pays more than £670m to EU countries for Britons’ healthcare abroad, while claiming back less than £50m from the EU.” “”Other countries are recharging and we are not. The figures are astonishing – we are paying them 70 times more than they are paying us. We are paying our bills and they are not paying theirs – because the British NHS is not recharging them.”

      We need to get a grip and the newspapers today need calling out on reporting of medical charges. We are paying the EU SEVENTY times more than they are paying us. This can be sorted if they want to play silly beggars. We should be saying quite clearly NO DEAL WITHOUT A GOOD DEAL FOR THE UK.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

      @Know-dice; Stop trying to shoot the messenger (the BBC) just because you dislike like the message.

      Most EU citizens (economic migrants in the main) are mostly UK tax payers so actually contribute to the NHS, our own ex-pats should they return are mostly retired, hence now a 100% drain on state resources, and perhaps more so should the social services and local authorities need to provide non hospital care and even housing.

      The report came from the Nuffield Trust, perhaps the most respected, independent, health charity in the country, do you really think they would over look such issues in a cost/benefits analysis of Brexit and its effect to the NHS?

      • agricola
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

        The BBC is not or should not be a broadcaster with a message. They should be a reporter of fact or a presenter of multiple views on a given subject.

        I would remind you that if you take up residence in Spain and stay for periods of more than 181 days you are legally obliged to pay tax in Spain. You are equally obliged to obtain a Spanish driving licence after a suitable medical.Incidentally this took nine months. My pilots licence took fourteen days. On enquiring of my lawyer as to why the difference, she said you do not understand Spain, drivers are nothing, but pilots are gods.

        It is not unusual to have private medical insurance, but if not there is a reciprocal arrangement whereby the Spanish pay for their citizens in any other EU country and the UK pays for it’s citizens in the EU. Do not overlook the fact that retired UK citizens in Spain almost certainly have private pensions and will have paid UK NI all their working lives. A retired person is no longer paying NI so where he collects his state pension is academic.

        If you read my piece yesterday you would realise that there is not much incentive to return to the UK. Today the pool is 29C so I am now going for my daily 1/2Km. swim.

      • Know-dice
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        You tell me Jerry, the BBC didn’t ask the question or even pose it as a counter to what the Nuffield Trust had said…

    • Greg moore
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Know-dice..the eu citizens living in the uk are young vrry healthy people in the main. The uk retirees are old and in continual need if medical contest

      • Know-dice
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        Greg, probably true, but there are more EU citizens in the UK than elderly UK citizens in the EU so could even out – even the young and apparently healthy do get sick from time to time.

        In any case it wasn’t mentioned…

      • a-tracy
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        How do you know Greg? Where are the figures for the age of EU citizens living in the UK, do you know what % of them are paying tax and national insurance anywhere near the £8,000 the British Goverment are spending per person pa.

        How do you know that UK retirees are needing continual care that the EU governments are paying for and not them privately? Where are these figures please give me the links, I’m genuinely interested.

    • anon
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

      no mention of the gdp increase when more pensions are spent in the uk.

  23. JoolsB
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    What’s the betting the UK Government will end up handing over billions in a divorce settlement when we shouldn’t hand over one single penny. Let’s hope May has the guts to refuse any such demands. All the billions we’ve handed over and never got back over the last forty years should cover any demands the greedy EU make on British taxpayers’ money.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Even Dan Hannon was on TV yesterday saying we should not follow the letter of the law in what we pay the EU, we should pay more.

  24. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    ” The UK intends to take back control of our borders, money and laws”.


    But that is not how the EU sees it at all. They want one large state which runs a single market, with its own central bank, its own currency, its own lawmaking and enforcement and courts. This is clearly spelled out quite often by all the major leaders, Presidents and Pan Tusk. Guy Verhofstadt is cheered whenever he speaks int he EU parliament.

    We have, in fact, two options: Leave the lot and become a “third country”. In which case we will simply be snipped off the computers and everything – people, laws, Directives, police arrangements, banking, trade – will simply cease. Or go with the flow and become a State within the United States of Europe.

    There is a third option too. We need to consider it very carefully. The Single Market is in fact a dual market because it contains within itself some countries which are not prepared to go along with the leaders of the EU but who are, nevertheless, included within the market.
    These are the Free Trading nations of EFTA/EU.
    We can join them because that is where we belong. They are not perfect, that is true, but as a negotiating platform they buy us time and they also allow trade of all sorts to continue seamlessly on 00.00 30/3/19.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Get with it Mike. You should have understood by now that EU terminology is disingenuous; the Single Market is a legal system concocted by the unelected Commission and administered by the ECJ. If you are in the Single Market you are under the legal control of the Brussels regime whatever Dr whatsit says.

      The Brussels regime is run by dangerously deluded and, in many cases, sectionable individuals who are bent on self-destruction and we need to get well out of it.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        @forthurst; Oh dear, and you were doing so well until your second paragraph…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      As mentioned one or twice already:

      If we are not in the EU then we are classed as a “third country” irrespective of the alternative treaty arrangements we have with the EU and its member states.

      So that supposedly dreadful fate of becoming a “third country” in the eyes of the EU would not be averted by continuing our membership of the EEA as you wish.

      That is why Michel Barnier refers to Norway as a “third country”. along with the other EEA member states:

      “… the interests of third countries closely associated with the EU, such as Norway and other EEA countries, Iceland and Liechtenstein”.

      There are several reasons why we do not belong in either EFTA or the EEA, the first being that we wish to regain complete control of our immigration policy.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper; “There are several reasons why we do not belong in either EFTA or the EEA, the first being that we wish to regain complete control of our immigration policy.”

        Says who, please post the breakdown of the referendum results… As far as I’m aware all people were asked was a simple binary In or Out question. Some of the Leave manifestos mentioned membership of the EEA or EFTA as options.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

          Says numerous opinion polls on immigration over the years.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; The opinion polls, this time last year, also said that the UK would be voting to Remain – I asked you for some facts, not opinions…

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

            The fact as shown by numerous opinion polls over the years is that whatever you may think about it a large majority of British citizens want an end to uncontrolled and unlimited immigration into their country.

            You deny that at your peril and that of your party.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 3, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

            @Denis Cooper; “The fact as shown by numerous opinion polls”

            An opinion is not a fact, whatever you may think.

            “a large majority of British citizens want an end to uncontrolled and unlimited immigration into their country.”

            Is that an opinion of a fact? I suspect the former, as I do not recall there ever being a referendum on that specific question.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

            It’s a fact, as recognised even by some of those who disagree.

  25. Lifelogic
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    More politically driven nonsense from the BBC/Independent/pressure groups etc. about the costs and burden on the NHS – should everyone come back from the EU if they lose their EU health care. A total failure to think rationally as usual as:-

    1. Most will clearly not return, they will pay or take out private insurance if they have too.
    2. The UK taxpayers pays for the treatment they receive abroad already anyway.
    3. If they came back they would spend more in the UK, perhaps work and certainly pay more taxes in the UK – VAT, NI, fuel duty, VED, council tax, IPT, income tax and the rest.

    The Nuffield Trust seem to think that treatment in the UK would cost twice as much (due to the dreadful inefficiency of the NHS one assumes). If so perhaps we should be sending far more people abroad for treatment (or giving them part payment vouchers they can use to go privately abroad or elsewhere to have their operations done so as to clear the large NHS waiting lists).

    They best way to help the NHS is to encourage more to pay privately with tax breaks, cutting IPT tax and the likes. The opposite of the May/Hammond agenda.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      LL. As I have already said, many expats come back to the UK and use the NHS anyway.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. They need to start charing those who can afford to pay.

    • Mark B
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      They best way to help the NHS is to encourage more to pay privately with tax breaks . . .

      Exactly ! I could not agree more. The NHS Hospitals also have Wards put to one side for those that wish to go private. With more people using personal healthcare insurance it would allow the NHS to make more money.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink Could expats be barred from EU healthcare and benefits?

      It’s possible, but unlikely – not least given that it would open the door to retaliatory measures from the UK, which hosts its own share of expats from European nations. There are as many as three million EU nationals living in Britain.
      “British expats can also claim to pay their own way in Europe, as the UK paid £674 million in 2014-2015 to other European countries for the treatment of UK nationals. However, the UK received just £49 million from other European nations in the same year to treat those from other countries residing in the UK.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        @a-tracy; Did you bother to actually read even the summary of the Nuffield Trusts report before posting the above, the bill you talk about could be doubled, because the NHS doesn’t pay all the costs incurred when ex-pats are treated in the EU27 [1], unlike what will happen should they seek treatment here in the UK post Brexit.

        [1] in many countries there is a different culture of care, often revolving around in-hospital family care, which is one of the reasons why some ex-pats do already return to the UK for treatment, there is also the language barrier for many retires.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

          Just giving Lifelogic something else to read along with this

          “The UK pays more than £670m to EU countries for Britons’ healthcare abroad, while claiming back less than £50m from the EU.” “”Other countries are recharging and we are not. The figures are astonishing – we are paying them 70 times more than they are paying us. We are paying our bills and they are not paying theirs – because the British NHS is not recharging them.”

          We will need to get a lot smarter recharging other Countries for healthcare in Britain with the funding raised going straight back into the British NHS as it should be at the moment, there won’t be any choice but to do so if as the Nuffield Trust point you refer to is correct and our bill “could be doubled” .

          In large ex-pat areas the NHS could look at outsourcing the retired pensioner’s medical care needs to a private British managed NHS clinic perhaps.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

            I am not at all surprised we are useless at recharging. It is after all done by the NHS & the state sector. They are also useless at charging those who should be paying for the NHS in advance, in the first place.

          • Jerry
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

            @LL; Most EU27 states also use the state sector for this, but then of course their health services are correctly run and funded, so your once again just spouting your usual nonsense. Perhaps if some of the middle and upper management in our NHS Trusts were to spend time ‘recharging’ EU27 health coast and less time trying to run the NHS like a private company…

          • libertarian
            Posted June 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


            Health care isn’t in my knowledge sphere. Mind telling me which EU countries health care system is state run, and which of them are free at the point of use. Thanks

            Oh and what does this mean?

            “Perhaps if some of the middle and upper management in our NHS Trusts were to spend time ‘recharging’ EU27 health coast and less time trying to run the NHS like a private company…”

            Surely managing charges is the primary function of a private system , what else are they doing thats distracting them from this ?

  26. A.Sedgwick
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Brexit has become a sideshow in Mrs. May’s campaign when the perceived logic for calling the GE was to ease the deal with a bigger majority. She, alone or persuaded by poor advice, has muddied the water with a raft of unnecessary, nonsense, not thought through and controversial proposals. This could reflect the lack of a long run in to the election for more reason to prevail.

    The big hitting Leavers should have been and should now be at the front of the campaign.

    The May/Hammond leadership is and will remain the fault line if this Government resumes power. Neither are dynamic leaders and both at best Referendum fence sitters.

    The Referendum result is looking shaky especially with the SNP dreamers, I repeat my 2015 and more recent view that a majority SNP vote is a vote for Scottish independence and should be given. If the Scots electorate want to be Greece Mk2 let them get on with it.

    As Paul Nuttall said with Andrew Neil, UKIP may come back and an English Parliament and abolition of HoL are strong policies, whilst Mrs. May proposes school breakfasts.

    • JoolsB
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      UKIP are the party to vote for. We need UKIP MPs in the H of C not only to hold the government’s feet to the fire but they are also the ONLY party in touch with the public mood. An English Parliament, scrapping the Barnett Formula, scrapping the H of L, cutting the foreign aid budget and scrapping postal votes except for those who truly have no choice to name but a few.

      Shame on the ‘Tories’ for ignoring all these affronts to democracy

      • rose
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        In Stoke, 5,000 people voted UKIP and 5,000 Conservative; so the socialists took the seat with 7,000.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

        @JoolsB; When even 50 odd SNP MPs can not hold the government to account what chance a handful of UKIP MPs, and remember (as @rose says) most of UKIP’s support comes from the Tory voter base, meaning marginal and even some no so marginal constituencies are lost to both the Conservatives and UKIP.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

        JoolsB when you see the equal time and attention minor parties get on our Broadcasters political programs like the debate last night the UKIP MEPs will have to get at least one elected into the British government or disappear. Just look how often we have to listen to the Plaid leader and the single Green MP, the Lib Dems get equal billing and time with just 9 MPs.

        • Jerry
          Posted June 2, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

          @a-tracy; That’s why UKIP did not actually want Brexit, with little or no hope of getting (and keeping) Westminster MPs the EP is their power-base.

          • a-tracy
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

            I don’t think UKIP stand a chance this election but if the next government screw up Brexit then unemployed ukip meps may look more attractive just as the SNP did in Scotland.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      @A.Sedgwick; “The big hitting Leavers should have been and should now be at the front of the campaign.

      It might help to know which “big hitters” you mean, many that I suspect you mean would result in even worse polling results than even Mrs May has managed!

  27. Michael
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    The worst deal on offer at the moment is Mr Corbyn. Campaign so far has been steeply downhill with the prospect of losing actually in sight. Gives me the jitters.

    Let’s have some focus on BREXIT which was what it was supposed to be all about.

    Wanting a deal with the EU at any price is by definition not smart.

  28. Beecee
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Mrs May has dropped the ball in a big way, and this is reflected in the latest YouGov survey.

    Back to now playing the man she may (no pun intended) find that Mr Corbyn has his body armour on, his praetorian guard in place and is being served dollies by the BBC.

    The young, students, poor and poorly paid could not care less where the money will come from to pay for his ‘policies’. They just do not believe that it will be them!

    Mrs May clearly treats her Cabinet and senior Tories like mushrooms – keeps them in the dark then, as now, throws social care manure over them.

    Mr R, perhaps you know what the Conservative election strategy is? and who is running it?

  29. Shieldsman
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Leaving the EU is a huge administrative problem, and the big question is whether Barnier and his Brussels bureaucrats plus our own Whitehall mandarins up to the task. Can they get up to speed in time. Insisting on a financial agreement before tackling our relationship on leaving is postponing both the simple and the hard tasks.

    There is a strange belief abound that when we leave Air Traffic will be in chaos. This will only be the case if the EU member states fail to honour the International bi-lateral agreements. The right to negotiate traffic rights with ‘Third Countries’ returns to the United Kingdom. If any of these agreements were negotiated on our behalf by the Commission they can only be revoked by the UK. Our Civil Aviation Authority can write to all Governments concerned expressing the changed situation and our desire to continue the bi-lateral.

    The only problems could be with the 7th Freedom negotiated within the auspices of the Commission and used by RyanAir and EasyJet.

    NATS Holdings, formerly National Air Traffic Services and commonly referred to as NATS, is the main Air Navigation Service Provider in the United Kingdom, and will continue to provide these services.

    As I pointed out yesterday, the G7 (which includes 4 EU members) confirm the right of Countries to have sovereign immigration policies. Quote: ‘we reaffirm the sovereign rights of states, individually and collectively, to control their own borders and to establish policies in their own national interest and national security.’

    The EU insistance on ‘freedom of movement’ is contrary to this declaration.

  30. andyW
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    What is coming down the tracks is a disaster for the UK as a whole and for the EU it will also be a setback of huge proportions. But the EU side is big and brassy enough to dust itself off reform regroup and get on with it, on the other hand the UK is heading into no mans land with no clear vision as to how all of this is going to work out. Slogans like ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’ means nothing to the EU side, and if we keep going in in this vein then that is exactly what we are going to get. Lately I heard David Davis sounding off again about how EU citizens are going to be treated in UK after the brexit business- so how does he know? has he got some kind of a crystal ball? well this is only another example of blah blah that goes on in this country, instead we should be saying nothing and keeping our powder dry. Am afraid we are in big trouble now especially if conservatives fail to get sufficient mandate and If it happens that we have to have a coalition government then that might very well be the signal for another brexit vote- which I personally think would be a good idea- if nothing else it would clear the air.

    • Andy
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      You are being unduely pessimistic. The UK is a large economy and is nimble enough to alter her economic model and thrive outside the EU – most countries in the world are not members of the EU. As to the EU itself yes it is big and brassy, but it is also in dire straits as a visit to Greece would show. The EU will become increasingly protectionist and self absorbed, which bodes will for the future. And those who think with the election of Macron that the Franco-German axis will be reenergised should be wary given that it was this axis that inflicted the disaster of Monetary Union on all and sunder.

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      So keep voting until you get the result you want then ? It wouldn’t clear my air.

  31. Antisthenes
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    The EU’s attitude and inability to make decisions quickly and often not at all would point to the fact that a substantive EU UK Brexit deal is not possible. At least within the article 50 time frame. Even though the EU not negotiating a deal with the UK will do itself considerable harm it will for the simple reason that a virtual unanimous vote is required for the EU to come to any agreement with the UK on Brexit will be next to impossible. Considering the size and bureaucratic mentality of the EU and large number of it’s member states and institutions that have to be in agreement. That leaves two possible outcomes leave without a deal or an interim deal that leaves much of the current membership status in place until a final agreement can be reached many years down the line. Though probably never will be.

    No doubt the latter will be very much favoured by the EU and the UK remainiacs and if current opinion polls are to be believed and the Conservatives majority is reduced then that is precisely what we will get. The former is as you point out by contrast a much more satisfactory solution although that is fraught with many practical difficulties. Such as leaving in abeyance solutions to the position of expats, unresolved status of the Irish border, customs procedures chaos and many more of that ilk. We can walk away without a deal and deal with those problems in exactly the same way as we do with other non EU counties we trade with and they will eventually will be resolved. Very much to the dissatisfaction of the EU which will undoubtedly concentrate their minds to act sensibly. However until we do leave without a deal they will certainly not do that.

  32. Graham
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink


    Please tell me why TM called this election because the way things are looking I think she has seriously jeopardised the Brexit process. Equally was this done deliberately I wonder after all she is a Remainer.

    Thoughts appreciated.

    • hefner
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      If what you dread were to happen, it would be another proof (as with Cameron) that politicians and their advisors are only humans (and rather weak and wobbly) and are not able to read entrails.

    • agricola
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      I can understand the logic of her calling an election. Loading her manifesto with IEDs, which would I guess came from her team of advisors ,and not detecting the totally negative reaction that would result, is a crime against the wishes of the people. The thought of ending up in a situation where a cabal of SNP, Lib/Dems/ Greens and a Marxist labour party are allowed, through a collective majority ,to dictate is too horrific for words. Were they all asleep when these IEDs were planted.

      • Jerry
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

        @agricola; If Mrs May has allowed her advisor’s to load “her manifesto with IEDs” doesn’t that tell us that Mrs May might not be the best person to deliver Brexit, how many of these advisor’s will also be advising her on Brexit policy – if they could not foresee the outrage of the ‘Death Tax’ what chance the far more complicated nuances of Brexit policy?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      The simplest explanation is not that May had some subtle Remainer strategy but simply that she is incompetent – odd that those Tory MPs who voted for her as leader (denying the membership a vote) didn’t know.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

      Yes. It couldn’t have been done better to jeopardise Brexit nor better disguised.

      Let’s see the result. I was going to bin my postal vote but the prospect of Corbyn/Abbott is too scary.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

        I shall be searching for my ‘already binned’ postal vote!

    • Doug Powell
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

      I blogged at the time of the GE announcement that this was the only to lose Brexit! To this end we now have: i) alienate the pensioners and lose their votes; ii) Have a dog’s breakfast of a Care Policy and lose the votes of the ‘caring’ conservatives and reinforce the resolve of all those favourably disposed to the NHS!

  33. RupertP
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The government needs to actively prepare the whole country for a “no deal” scenario, otherwise the EU won’t take our “no deal is better than a bad deal” mantra seriously. There are strong signs from the EU that they currently believe a no deal outcome is not credible in the UK, so they calculate that they can offer us a very expensive deal and we will be forced to accept it because of the political and economic fall out of no deal scenario. This is perfectly rational on their part.

    The EU wants a deal with the UK, but unless and until the UK convinces the EU that we are serious about accepting a no deal outcome, the UK is guaranteed to only be offered a poor deal. By actively preparing for no deal, we make it far more likely that the EU will think more carefully about offering the UK a reasonable deal to avoid a no deal outcome.

  34. Bert Young
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    A consequence of the forthcoming negotiations with the EU is the possible triggering effect of a further fall-out with EU member countries . Slovakia and the Czech Republic have already told Brussels where to get off and their bordering countries _Austria , Poland and Hungary , have made strong statements about migrants and the dire effect they are having on their way of life and traditions .

    The finger points to Merkel and her belief that countries should be punished if they do not accept their fair share of migrants . Germany has also rejected the proposition of a common fiscal EU and has said “no” to exposing its reserves in support of the EU economy . Once Brexit negotiations start , further dissent will emerge from among EU countries who will want to maintain a strong trading and political line up with us ; one or two of them have already indicated this . Putting these conditions into the hat , I conclude it will lead to the break up of the EU as a centrally controlled body .

    There will be much pressure on Barnier and the presentation of the EU case when negotiations start ; we will be in a very strong position where “walking away ” will signal the EU break up . Our statesmanlike approach is the very basic philosophy EU member countries respect and like us for ; I trust this dignity will prevail and we will not fall into the gutter of threatening behaviour .

  35. margaret
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    It was clear that we were not at the centre of the EU union from the start. Tell tale signs began which some dismiss ( e.g. Eurovision song contest all backing against us) the calling of us as dinosaurs, the attempt to dismantle anything British , the failure to employ British staff……….. in NHS , the growing harmful influence by other countries as they try and take control,( almost like a 3 line whip . but exaggerated ) the dumbing down of British standards and the crude mockery of our history .The slow taking over of laws where we could self rule. Why have people been so blind to see that Germany is doing OK , but they and others will not let us have any influence whatsoever. Black mail to gain trading power is silly as down the line it will affect everyone not just in this country , but everywhere .Do they honestly think that we will go silent into that night ? I have always believed that when people show peevishness , or a tendency to aggressive behaviour or a deliberate awkward stance for the sake of demonstrating how powerful and right they are , then the best remedy is to fight with common sense and gentleness and with hold any counter silliness.

    • margaret
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I read my complete post this am which was approximately 30 line long and was published . It has now been reduced to 2 lines. Any ideas ? No editors comments , so who has access?

      • margaret
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        now back up to full post ..pranksters or computer problems ?

  36. Prigger
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    “If they ( the other political parties) “understood negotiating they would also say with Mrs May , “No deal is better than a bad deal.” ”
    Oh but they do understand. How could they not? Yes they say UN-intelligent things. But many of them are very brainy, cunning, and well-educated. Everyone and anyone knows that if for example you are buying a motorbike and selling your car to the same man then you are not going to accept a bad deal.He must be made aware you will drive your car away and leave him with his motorbike if you don’t come to a proper deal. The Labour, SNP and Lib Dems under their negotiations would end up with no car and the offer to hire his motorbike when he awasn’t using it.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

      @Prigger; “He must be made aware you will drive your car away and leave him with his motorbike if you don’t come to a proper deal. The Labour, SNP and Lib Dems under their negotiations would end up with no car and the offer to hire his motorbike when he awasn’t using it.”

      That is about-face, putting politely, it will be the likes of the Mr Europhobe who would end up either walking home or having to hire his own car back. If there is no deal he keeps his car and the other person his motorbike, the status quo is kept – the UK stays, at least for the time being, in the EU (although that might be via EEA or EFTA membership)…

  37. P2017
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    A negotiating position which is a massive and clearly transparent bluff is hardly a good negotiating position. It is completely obvious to anyone but Mr Redwood and his supporters that no deal will cause an economic crisis. The EU isn’t going to believe it.

    At the end of the day, May will pick between a transitional agreement or no agreement. If she cares remotely about the economy, she will need to pick the former. If she wishes to appeal to the fanatical ignorance of MPs and voters like Me Redwood, then she will go for the latter. And the rest of us will pay the price whilst the hard-line eurosceptics winge about how mean the EU is for not giving us a deal.

    Then we rejoin the EU because of a economic crisis they created. Then they complain some more, with no more constructive ideas than they ever had.

    It’s genuinely amazing that after decades of integration and campaigning by people like Mr Redwood, the best they can offer is ‘it will be fine’. What have you been doing for 30 years?

    Reply It will be fine, as many non EU countries around the world show every day.

    • P2017
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      ‘ It will be fine, as many non EU countries around the world show every day.’

      You’ll have to remind me which other non-EU countries are attempting to leave the most integrated economic block on the planet if you seriously intend to make a comparison as fallacious as that. Your blind faith is more astounding every day.

      • anon
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Time will tell…once they become a large net contributors who knows.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      I expect there will be transitional provisions, and that does not greatly concern me as long as we know where we are going to finally end up. Back in 1957 when the six founding countries agreed to establish a common market they allowed themselves twelve years to gradually do that, step by step. Similarly there were transitional provisions in the later UK treaty of accession to the EEC. But what I would not want would be a treaty which took us to some transitional state supposedly as an interim arrangement, which then turned out to be the final permanent arrangement.

      • P2017
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        ‘I expect there will be transitional provisions’

        We are discussing a no deal scenario. You can’t say you expect a transitional agreement when Redwood is saying we’d be fine rejecting one. Answer the question actually being posed.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          I’m saying what I expect to happen, not what somebody else wants to happen or expects to happen.

          • P2017
            Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

            Then I’m glad we can agree that a no deal scenario is a bad idea.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 2, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            But not necessarily worse than a bad deal.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

      Yes, Mr Redwood, they do fine because they have deals with the EU. You are arguing for no deal. It is economic madness

  38. Bruce Knight
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    “No deal is better than a bad deal” – Those simple eight words mean the UK has a good negotiating position

    This applies equally to the EU, who must therefore also have a good negotiating position!

    Reply No, it is asymmetric – they need a deal

    • Len Grinds
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

      They need a deal- come off it!! The EU’s trade with the UK is about 6 per cent of its total. The UK’s trade with the EU is about 45 per cent of its total.

      The EU doesn’t need a deal. The UK is DESPERATE for a deal, and no deal would be catastrophe

      • graham1946
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        That’s an old chestnut and is only true because most of the EU countries are unsuccessful and poverty driven. Otherwise, why are so few countries net contributors?

      • anon
        Posted June 2, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        45% -so we buy stuff somewhere else if we have to?

    • Cloverdoguk
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      Why asymmetric? Why do the EU need a deal more than the UK? Why would a bad deal be better than no deal for the EU?

      I’m probably a bit thick but would really like to understand the argument here.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

        From another perspective…

        There are more jobs in the EU that rely on trade with the UK than the other way around.

        Percentage figures are not particularly helpful, the countries that will lose out most from trade barriers with the UK are, Germany, France, Italy, Poland & Spain i.e. With Germany the main EU “power broker”…

      • Cloverdoguk
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        One never actually gets a response when you try and get behind the very vague assertions. This leads you to the conclusion that there is actually nothing behind these assertions except wishful thinking.

        A shame you won’t engage in real discussion.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      The argument put forward by those like John Redwood is “they sell us more than we sell them”.

      According to, exports to the EU27 represent 13% of the total UK economy, exports from the Eu27 to the UK represent 3-4% of the EU27 economy. “No deal” will impact much more of the UK economy than it will impact on the EU27. £1 in 8 has more impact than 1 Euro in 25.

      “No deal” means what exactly for the border between the North and the Republic in Ireland?

      “No deal” also produces a situation whereby UK services companies lose their passporting rights (as the EU WTO rules require certain services to be delivered by a corporate entity based in an EU country), which is why companies like Aviva, Legal and General and Standard Life are moving operations to Dublin, and why JPMorgan have just bought an office block capable of holding 1,000 staff there are well.

      I am sure there are domestic politicians around the EU27 who see great opportunity in “No deal” as it means they will be able to attract good jobs from the UK to wherever they are, with the associated tax revenue and economic activity that come with those jobs.

  39. A tangles web
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Labour’s Hilary Benn MP Chairman of a Parliamentary Committee ( BBC Parliament ), on hearing “No deal is better than a bad deal” when voiced by Brexit Minister David Davis responded…… “Of course!”
    There we have it. The Labour Party does disagree fundamentally on the question with Corbyn. Also Yvette Cooper ( Labour ) did not voice disagreement, nor SNP MP Joanne Cherry though the latter two had much of other things to say however cleverly banal.

    So the SNP has senior differences with Mrs Sturgeon it would seem. The SNP are very canny not to show what must be internal differences with Sturgeon. No leader is so lucky to have an absence of senior dissent. It is a dishonest party, the SNP.

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      @ATW’ But “No deal is better than a bad deal” can also be taken as meaning no Brexit!…

  40. Shieldsman
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    No one seems to have given consideration the fact that Lisbon was a step too far and that article 50 as an added afterthought is no basis for the negotiations.

    Obviously the bureaucrats in Brussels and the EU Council never considered a Country would leave their Empire.
    In un-threading the UK’s returning negotiating rights from the Brussels Administration and all aspects of our relations with the Member States, much of the onus to regulate the paperwork lies with the EU.

    In the case of Civil Aviation it would be foolish of the EU to say you have left and all agreements made with the Commission are void. Exchange of traffic rights mostly pre-date the existence of the EU and are made under International bi-lateral agreement.

  41. Adults only
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Mrs May is right not to attend the latest politician TV debates. They have become like the children’s play area set aside in large home gardens while the adults sit elsewhere but in view and get along with their own important conversation whilst the children play, shout and scream to their hearts content.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      … But why send a substitute?

    • hefner
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      She might be right, but will be seen by a non negligible number of people as a “chicken”. And when your motto is “Strong and Stable”, it is not the best illustration of these qualities, qualities we are all expecting of her in the coming Brexit negotiations.

  42. Anna
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    The ‘poll’ published by Yougov is, apparently, not a poll but a ‘projection with a wide margin of error’. In which case, why publish it unless with the intention of manipulating public opinion? The Spectator average of last week’s polls gives the Conservatives a predicted majority of 92. Let us hope this is a truer picture.

    I have been abroad for a couple of weeks and out of contact with political events so I am shell shocked at the change in the situation. I wonder if there is not some deeper manipulation of news and information going on behind the scenes. The EU has a propaganda department and a contingent of hard Remainers here prepared to work for the overturning of Brexit. Interference in our elections is not too fanciful a conjecture, I think. On the ground, I detect little change in the views of those I encounter day to day.

    Another point of interest: Mr Juncker is jubilant at the Dutch Senate’s vote to overturn the referendum held in Holland last year in which the Dutch people voted 61% to 39% not to approve the EU’s Association Agreement with the Ukraine.

    • hefner
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

      Ever thought of the Russian propaganda department? Its campaign was very successful during the Brexit campaign (I will be good enough not to cite the names of people on this blog who were regularly quoting RT and/or Sputnik).
      After the attempts at interfering in the French presidential elections, some continental Europeans seem to think that the Brexit campaign was the test run for what was later used in the US campaign, and tried again subsequently elsewhere.

  43. Michael Purches
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    It’s increasingly in doubt whether it will be Mrs May doing the negotiating. Calling the election at all was fraught with risk (as I posted here before it was). Having decided the risks were worth taking, the least the Conservative high-command needed to do was to bring out a well-crafted manifesto. Instead they presented an omni-shambles similar to their recent budgets, presumably drafted by the same incompetents. Has any political party ever before done a U-turn on its own manifesto the very next day? You couldn’t make it up. Do they have a death-wish?

  44. nigel seymour
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    Anybody out there aware of impending court cases/files to keep us in the EU?
    SNP manisfesto mentions Jolyn Maugham’s ‘failed’ Irish case?. I assume Miller is still active?

    • hefner
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      “I assume Miller is still active”: Are you really so busy/clueless that you don’t know?

  45. Richard Butler
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    The Tories deserve a beating, and I say this as a Tory voter. They’ve completely left the airwaves to the left. Day in day out I am subjected to hours long diatribes on a famous London radio station with no counter, to name but one example.

    Where is the Tory narrative setting on things like pointing out Corbyns immigration tsunami will nullify his house building program?
    Where’s the agenda setting on the strike culture we would see unfold?

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      @Richard Butler; Trouble is they have no counter, it was in Mrs May’s gift to simply withdraw that stupid Death Tax, she could have pledged to abolish the Bedroom tax (a daft spiteful policy of the Cam-borne years), she could have made a policy out of that £350m Brexit bonus that Vote Leave pledges to the NHS upon Brexit – she chose to do none.

      Sound-bites, spin and attack-ads only fool the electorate for a time.

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    I think we need to be clear about what we mean by a “deal”, as relations between countries are typically regulated by a hierarchy of “deals”. If “no deal” meant that we would end with WTO tariffs being applied to trade with France then that is one thing, but if “no deal” meant that Jacques in French customs at Calais would cease to take calls from his counterpart John in UK customs at Dover because there was no longer any “deal” on customs cooperation then that would be a different matter with different potential consequences.

  47. Anonymous
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    Not one Remainer has explained why a single market, single government, single currency, single military, single border (unpoliced), flag, anthem, legislature… are a good thing.

    All they give us is the downsides of leaving.

    For once I want to hear an enthusiastic and loving recommendation of the EU.

    I want to hear from someone who would willingly wear a uniform and take up arms in defence of the EU.

    • Cloverdoguk
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

      Here you go:

      The EU is democratic
      – commission chosen by council of ministers and subject to dismissal by proportionally elected parliament)
      – legislation by unanimity or QMV of council of ministers (democratically elected representatives)

      The EU is efficient
      – budget of Euro 150bn per year is 2% of total eu government expenditure
      – overhead of Euro 7bn per year is low at 5% of overall spend

      The EU is effective:
      – cohesion funds have helped keep the regional disparities in Europe under control
      – investment in key areas (e.g. Space, education, infrastructure) has been productive

      The EU is globally respected – in some cases feared – for its economic clout and uncompromising approach to e.g. Trade negotiations, its commitment to human rights and the rule of law

      The EU is professional and well run and transparent – see the performance of the Commission on Brexit to date vs the performance of the U.K. Or see for instance that fact that HMG had several options to curb immigration within EU law and took none.

      The nations of Europe share a common European home with a terrible history of warfare and strife. We need a coherent framework for ensuring our common environment, our shared economy and the peace of the European continent, and the EU works well for this.

      The EU is frequently blamed for things that are nothing to do with it (e.g. unemployment in Italy), especially by the British press.

      Certainly the EU has made mistakes, enlarging too rapidly (most strongly pushed by the U.K., ironically) and embarking on the Euro without proper fiscal unification being the two worst, but these are soluble and I am confident will be solved.

      Most importantly, the EU commands the support of a significant majority of its citizens (see Eurobarometer for details) for its key policies, including the Euro and freedom of movement, and thus has a clear democratic mandate.

      I look forward to seeing how the EU and UK match up over the next 10 – 20 years.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Half a dozen times or so the EU has forced re-runs of referenda – to get the results it wants.

        Holland and France have a significant extreme right wing presence. Britain has voted for Brexit. Yanis Varoufakis (Greece) has written a book on the perils of dealing with the EU; clearly there is significant unhappiness with it.

        The exciting prospect of an EU army was never advertised in the Remain campaign – nor fiscal union nor our eventual inclusion in the euro.

        Do you think the result would have been for Remain in that event.

        The prinicipal aim of the EU was to prevent Germany from invading france – again.

        You don’t think Germany will invade France without the EU do you ?

    • Limited
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Really a single border unpoliced?
      Heathrow didn’t look like that last time I was through. It

    • Jerry
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

      @Anonymous; They don’t need to, they just need to point to the USA, probably the greatest capitalist country in the world – even if it does have a crap health service! Who in their right minds would suggest that the USA would be better broken up into 50 self governing states, there is more chance of another country trying to become the 51st state than one leaving.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 5:11 am | Permalink

      A single market is economic good sense – go read Adam Smith, it’s pretty basic.

      As for the rest of it, you are hysterical. Mostly fiction and anyway ignorant of the UK’s many opt outs.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Len Grinds – The single market comes with huge and unaccounted costs.

        All the things I listed of the EU are fact.

        I’ll agree there are opt outs and here is where I blame our own politicians and judiciary – many of whom have been federalists in the guise of nationalists, blaming the ill effects of their policies and judgments on the EU whilst working against those opt outs.

        It was, therefore, natural that our citizens would become anti EU.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 1, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          Had the result been for Remain the pressure to remove those opt outs would have been unassailable.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        In theory it’s good economic sense. In practice on the EU Commission’s own estimates the EU single market is worth about 2% added to GDP on average across the EU, but according to another study only about 1% for the UK, and that’s before taking into account its costs which may exceed its benefits.

  48. Christine
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Why no mention of the draft EU Budget 2018 paper published yesterday which proposes an increase of 8.1% contributions from member states for next year which the UK has to pay? Where is this money coming from? TM should be defending the UK tax payer against this exorbitant increase and showing she has some mettle regarding her dealings with the EU. At the moment she comes across as weak, ineffectual and dithering.

  49. SheaJ
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    Wow..the penny has finally dropped..the chickens have come home to roost..the comments above say it all..we are not united in it’s difficult to see what the end result of this election will be..anything can happen..and then what?.. to face’d have to wonder how we got ourselves into this sorry mess?

  50. zorro
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    And we will no have Theresa May empty chaired as Corbyn turns up to the debate!


    • zorro
      Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      😂😂😂 Amber Rudd??? You really don’t want to win this election, do you? Probably even worse than not turning up at all!


      • zorro
        Posted May 31, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

        Amber Rudd during debate….. ‘Have you not read my manifesto?’ – Really? Is it yours Amber? Theresa might have something to say about that 😉


  51. Doug Powell
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Like most things in life, ‘A good deal’ is subjective. My ‘good deal’ is to pay nothing for leaving; control of borders, movement of people, and laws; have 100% control of our fisheries; receive our share of the Investment Bank’s capital in a lump sum immediately; get out sooner than later – without a deal if needs be – put the EU in the position of making the decision whether it wishes to trade by WTO rules, or continue with present arrangement: etc, etc..

    On the other hand, and this is where possible wavering Referendum Brexit voters need their heads banging together – a Labour/LibDem/SNP/Plaid coalition ‘Good deal’, inevitably drawn up by Clegg, would be something like:

    To leave the EU in name only! The 100bn euro divorce settlement would be reduced to a 10 bn euro annual payment – payable until the end of the century! AND backdated to 1973! You get the idea….. So don’t lose the plot NOW!

  52. Oggy
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just had a nightmare – Next Friday morning Corbyn forms a coalition Government with the Lib Dums and the SNP – and the Scots now in Government with Sturgeon as Deputy PM, – I woke up sweating – no bl**dy way I’m emigrating !

  53. Jason wells
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Looking at the David Davis interview on channel 4 news this evening, i am now more worried than ever.. to think that this politicical person is leading the team to represent us in the upcoming brexit talks leaves me astounded.

  54. Iain Gill
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

    Sadly Mrs May is doing her best to throw the election away. No doubt helped by a bunch of clueless public school SPAD’s.

    Where on earth do the Conservartives get the idea that this is sensible.

    Given the shambles of the opposition it should be a walk over.

    Wish Mrs T was alive…

  55. Prigger
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    What a shambles of a Debate on TV with a totally unrepresentative audience ( and a very poor chairman indeed if in existence most of the time ) cheering and clapping nonsenses from the Coalition of Chaos that no legitimate radomly formed audience would applaud irrespective of their own political views.
    The Coalition of Chaos is a term that is a wonderful and truthful catch-phrase to describe such humbug.
    The ordinary voter will vote for Mrs May. She is sane.

  56. Time gentlemen pleas
    Posted May 31, 2017 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

    After Mrs may wins the Election, a thought about the next one. The Tory Party should seriously consider refusing to take part in any TV debate.
    I do not know the experience of MPs in all their constituencies, at Party meetings with the public, union meetings, town hall meetings, branch meetings, work meetings…but our people are used to ORDER. They expect ORDER. They feel ORDER at meetings is the proper way of conducting them. There was no ORDER at the so-called debate. Mrs Rudd was shouted down and over-talked by the SNP futiure leader and the soon to be ex Liberal leader and of course Corbyn. That is considered not ORDER by our opeople. and inappropriate in important formal meetings. The “debaters” did not do themseves any favours except with already decided voters on their own side and even they would be embarrassed by their disORDERliness.

  57. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    I feel I must point out yet again that if tariffs or non-tariff barriers to trade are introduced where there were none before, it is the party doing so that would be transgressing WTO rules. If trade with the EU does not continue after Brexit on very similar terms to what we have now it will the EU that is the transgressor, not UK.
    People seem not to understand why the WTO exists. It is to reduce trade barriers of any and every kind gradually without causing disruption so we all have time to adjust. thus it tolerates customs unions like the EU so long as a) their creation introduces free trade within them where before there used be significant barriers to trade, and b) their external barriers also reduce albeit more slowly. So far the EU has abided by these principles. It should continue to do so.
    The second greatly misunderstood principle is that of equal treatment of members of the WTO, the Most Favoured Nation status. The point is that the UK will (I hope) offer to continue free trade with the EU, and also aim to agree better terms with non-members than the EU currently allows. This would be seen by the WTO as a great benefit to the other members because it would both encourage the EU to lower its own external barriers further and also reduce barriers to world trade overall. If the EU rejects barrier free trade with the UK, the WTO rules entitle UK to impose equivalent barriers on exports from the EU while still offering free trade to non EU states.
    UK really does have the upper hand on trade in both goods and services, the upper hand on the legalities of the so called ‘divorce’ settlement, the upper hand on financial services, the upper hand on immigration.
    There is no way Paris could possibly lure this sector away from the relatively free operating environment in London with its unsurpassed global connections, into the capital of European socialism and regulation. Frankfurt possibly, but its ours to lose. People mistake adjustment to new circumstances for catastrophe. Resisting change is like holding your breath. If you succeed you die. Financial services are highly adaptable and more so in UK than on the continent because adaptability is built into their structure. they just need to kn ow the rules, the rest they can do themselves.

    • Limited
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      So if you stop paying your subs to your golf club and they tell you you can’t play next Sunday morning, then that is them outrageously denying you your rights, is it?

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:03 am | Permalink

      This is dangerous nonsense, Mr Gardner. Members of the EU treat each other more favourably than they treat non-EU members of the WTO because of the special protection ensured by Article 24 GATT for the internal arrangement of a free trade area. But a State that chooses to leave the EU automatically also leaves the protections afforded by the GATT. So the UK, on Brexit, immediately becomes a third country as far as the EU is concerned, and faces up to tariff and non-tariff barriers. The EU has not imposed such barriers. The State leaving the EU has triggered such barriers, which apply to all third countries, by renouncing its previously privileged status as an EU member.

      You need to grasp that, whatever Mr Redwood has promised you, leavuing the EU is not a free lunch

  58. Iain Gill
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 2:11 am | Permalink

    I see the BBC has a rather long article of the border between the UK and Southern Ireland on their website. Which makes the rather grand claim that nobody wants the border to be enforced. I don’t recall them asking me, and therefore their claim that nobody wants this border enforced is the usual liberal elite nonsense. As far as I am concerned we cannot continue to allow passport free entry from Northern Ireland into mainland UK on the ferries, otherwise we will just end up with many people simply flying into Southern Ireland, crossing the land border, and entering mainland UK on the ferries, allowing many in who would otherwise not have been allowed entry.

    I am far from convinced giving free NHS care to the whole of the people of Southern Ireland who care to rock up at our hospitals in the North or mainland is economically viable for the UK either.

    The BBC is as usual happy to endorse complete open doors immigration in any way it can.

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Interesting, I’d like the BBC to actually explain what a border would mean for the British people of Northern Ireland.

  59. Truther
    Posted June 1, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    Fox hunters think there in the cavalry and going to war. Let’s keep the English countryside free from people like that. They can play squash to let off steam.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted June 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Yes on fox hunting Mrs may has misjudged the mood of the country too.

      • Sid
        Posted June 1, 2017 at 10:16 pm | Permalink

        Are you sure she is not doing this on purpose?

  60. hans chr iversen
    Posted June 2, 2017 at 7:14 pm | Permalink


    You are on a roll again about what no deal would look like as you again seem to evade the facts about what an agreement under the WTO would look like.
    It wold have serious consequences for British exports both in terms of non-tariff barriers and standards but also in terms of the amount of time it would take to negotiate new trade agreement across the Word and the disruption we wold have in the meantime and the costs to our standard of living.
    As an example there is no direct agreement between the US and EU but there are still 151 separate agreements linked to the trade thorough the WTO .
    So stop disregarding teh facts staring us in the eyes withot any deal

    Reply Many of the existing arrangements will transfer as the rest of the EU needs access to us!

  61. hans chr iversen
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    “No deal is better than a bad deal”

    This is John getting carried away again not thinking of thee facts and figures because he always starts writing before he checks the facts.

    Recent research shows that we would loose 40% of our exports to the European market with no deal and just WTO rules, but John seems to say that the European will loose more and therefore it will not happen.

    WTO rules will just make it all that more complicated and we will have customs barriers besides tariffs and technical barriers which we really do not need, but John seems to ignore these facts. Why? is it because he does not really understand what is going on?

    It can be difficult to follow the facts, when yo write on so many subjects as John does.

    Now, even the PM has stopped saying no deal is better than a bad deal, but John is as usual not up to date.

    HELP ,HELP just make John write about subjects he actually understands.

    thank you

    Reply We would not lose that trade. The average tariff would be around 2.5%, after a devaluation of considerably more!

  • 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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