There is no soft or hard Brexit

I do not know how many more times I have to argue the obvious. There is Brexit, or there is staying in the EU. The EU has made it crystal clear you cannot stay in the single market without accepting freedom of movement and paying contributions, two things the people clearly rejected in the referendum and again in the General election. You cannot stay in the Customs Union if you want to have free trade deals with the rest of the world.

The Labour Manifesto in 2017 stated  they accepted the decision of the referendum. They set out policies to negotiate a range of new free trade and investment agreements with non EU countries that assume we are leaving the single market and the Customs Union. The Manifesto talked positively about a new trading relationship they wished to negotiate, again assuming the current one stemming from single market and customs union membership had gone. Their document  stated that “freedom of movement will end when we leave the EU”. The Conservative and DUP Manifestos also made clear we will be leaving the single market and Customs Union and looked forward to new free trade deals around the world.

 

So we have overwhelming agreement, endorsed by 86% of the voters in the election, that the UK will run her own immigration policy and her own trade policy on leaving. People in the UK have to grasp that arguing amongst ourselves about what our negotiating position should be, when the government  has already set one out, can only help those in the EU institutions who wish to harm the UK. Fortunately most of the member states want access to our market and want good relations with us for a wide  variety of reasons. Fortunately also the Lisbon Treaty has in Clause 8 a clear legal requirement that the EU itself seeks an “area of prosperity and good neighbourliness” with us. We know how keen Commissioners are to stick to the law of the Treaty.

I am optimistic about the negotiations. It would help our country if more people got behind the government’s stance. After all what the government wants is what all say they want – good access to the single market, and many collaborations and joint workings based on bilateral agreement. To change stance now would undermine us. We negotiate with the rest of the EU, not amongst ourselves!

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197 Comments

  1. alan jutson
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Agree absolutely John, perhaps some of your own Party Mp’s should set an example.

    There was one question on the referendum leave or remain, it was very clear.

    If we accepted remain then we would have remained as we were, would have to accept all unknown new controls, treaties, legislation, as things progressed into the future, and not argue about what new bits to come we did not like.

    Leave meant exactly that, we leave completely and govern ourselves.

    Perhaps the confusion is being caused by trying to negotiate new terms of trade before we leave, which is in the sensible interest of both sides for a smooth transition.
    Likewise the co-operation and run on and run down of existing projects, and common interest agreements.

    Afraid many remainers still do not seem to understand not only the resul, but the original question and result.

    • acorn
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

      The words “smooth transition” were not on the ballot paper either.

      • Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

        “The EU has made it crystal clear you cannot stay in the single market without accepting freedom of movement and paying contributions,”
        If we adopt the “Norway Option while we negotiate (they have their own committees which are already working to do this) then both these difficulties can be addressed.
        ” They set out policies to negotiate a range of new free trade and investment agreements with non EU countries that assume we are leaving the single market ”
        Ditto.
        The Norway Option is a far better place to be than watching the clock ticking – we have about 18 months left before we are chucked out of the EEA and chaos results.

        • getahead
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          Mike, the Norway option is not much different to EU membership which we voted to leave. Why should we pay to trade with the EU which benefits from our custom?
          Failure to leave the single market will mean Britain fails to regain control over the laws by which we live and the borders within which we live. We will continue to be governed by bungling bureaucrats in Brussels. Our laws will be dictated to us from Brussels, with those laws adjudicated by the Court of Justice of the European Union.
          We will continue to pay the EU an enormous membership fee. And we will still be subject to the EU’s freedom of movement principle, preventing the Government controlling EU immigration.
          If we remain within the Customs Union, we will not have control over our trade policy. The customs union consists of both a common external tariff and a common commercial policy. This prevents the UK setting its own import duties and negotiating free trade deals with the rest of the world.
          From this simple base, we must – at the very least – commit to leaving the single market,

        • Norway option
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

          Mike Stallard
          let me make it crystall clear you are not allowed to write Comments here above 10 words. So, bow to me or a slight nod will do.

      • acorn
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        So, if the referendum on EU membership was a binary On-Off switch, as JR and his fellow Brextremists are saying, what exactly is his leader, Mrs May, “negotiating” for at this stage?

        If we just “switch off” our membership of the EU Club, we must expect to get a final bill for services received but not yet paid for, just like switching your electricity supplier; including previous commitments we promised to support, as members of the EU Club.

        So, if we want to swap our full membership of the EU, for an even more “pick-n-mix” associate membership than the one we have now, I am unsure why the other 27 EU member states, would not want a similar deal.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          And a rebate, one presumes.

          Gawan. Switch off London I dare you. See what that does to the western economies.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

        acorn

        Dont know if you spotted this but there were a few 1,000 words that weren’t on the ballot paper.

        In fact there was only a couple, I think they were Remain or Leave.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

      First sentence precisely correct.

      “It would help our country if more people got behind the government’s stance”.
      Don’t blame “people”.
      It’s the government itself which isn’t united or getting behind its own stance. Do you have examples of crystal clear statements by each of your PM, Chancellor, Brexit Secretary and Foreign Secretary about how these issues should pan out? No? Don’t blame “people” then.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

        It’s only you and your backbench colleagues who can move any cabinet members who are inconsistent with the manifesto promises into obscurity. “People” can’t do that.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

        MPs on balance and indeed the Lords (and certainly the appalingly biased BBC) are mainly united behind no Brexit (or Brexit in name only).

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      Anna Soubry on tv last weekend said that she was following Nigel Farage’s intention had the Remainers won i.e. to fight on. The difference, of course, is it would have been carry on regardless under the EU yoke. The chance of another referendum was nil. There was no Leavers’ Plan B, which clearly some Remainers have. UKIP MEPs would have been lost soldiers in the jungle after the war was over.

      • Doug Powell
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

        Soubry?
        Ah yes! She who spent the last year weeping in the corner of the chamber, now thinks it is safe to surface and incite treason!

    • Hope
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      The vote was leave or remain. We voted leave with a record turn out. Cameron stopped any planning for a leave result.nthis was the first attempt to thwart our public vote, he failed to act on the result as promised sending letter and leading us out the U.K. He resigned. Then May delayed sending the letter for nine months rather than the day after as promised allowing hysteria, legal challenges and every other obstacle to be placed in its way. Trying to get a narrative off the ground to stay in the EU but out in name only i.e. Soft Brexit. All this failed so May , contrary to claiming no GE would take place six times called an election three weeks before egotiations began! Do not tell me this was not deliberate. Now we have all the traitorous remainiacs lying up again to interpret Tati ons of the result that do not exist!
      Remainiacs put May in place knowing she had an appalling record that could be exposed, but her vanity to become PM overwhelmed her. She should never have been allowed near the office of PM. Your party has a majority of remainers and steered your party/govt to this current situation. Either May was hoodwinked by ambition, stupid or needs deliberately lost the election by her mind numbing stupid manifesto.

      • getahead
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

        Kinda sums it up, Hope.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

      You need to be much better informed. Norway is not a member of the EU, but it accepts most of the EU’s rules. Being like Norway is compatible with the referendum. You might not like that, but the referendum did not offer a choice of the type of Brexit that would follow.

      • Hope
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        It did not need to offer a choice of Brexit and neither was there an offer of choice for remaining. You might recall Cameron lied to say he had reformed the EU following his alleged negotiations! He dropped all key points of his Bloomberg speech before any form of negotaition took place! So his key planks he promised us never got to the negotiating table! Then he falsely claimed he reformed the EU! A liar. At least be balanced and factual.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        Len Grinds

        Hmm being better informed should be a goal of yours. The referendum was quite clear. Should we Remain in the EU or should we Leave. We chose to leave,the only way to do that is to invoke Art50, which we have now done. All that is left to do, is a) negotiate the terms of leaving, b) Get EU agreement that UK citizens can remain resident in EU countries & visa versa. Over time we will also start negotiations on the potential for FTA’s with the EU.

        Should you wish to see the UK apply to join the EEA, EFTA or indeed any other organisation to which it currently doesn’t belong then you would have two options 1) Find a political party that made it a manifesto pledge and get themselves elected or 2) Stage a referendum asking should be join the EEA, EFTA or none

        Glad I could clear that up for you

        • Chris
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

          Concisely put, libertarian. should clear up any illusions.

        • Helena
          Posted June 16, 2017 at 5:11 am | Permalink

          O dear! The UK does not need to apply to join the EEA. It is in it.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 16, 2017 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

            Helena

            Oh dear you missed us invoking Article 50 then?

    • Richard Butler
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I’m sorry Alan but the reason Remainers are winning the national conversation is because complacent leading Brexiteers have largely vacated the debating chamber, and this complacency will be their undoing.

      Using standard sound-bites such as ‘we voted to leave’ or ‘Brexit means Brexit’ are utterly feeble compared with the Remainers relentless assault.

      We all need to start re-fighting the original debate to keep our arguments front of house.

      It’s no use using silly soundbites regardless how appropriate we might find them.

      It’s not enough to keep saying ‘we knew what was on the ballot paper’, we’ve got to re-run the entire argument for Brexit.

      For example that only 8% of so of total UK commercial activity is concerned with EU exporting and that we obviously wont see trade hampered as this would for example harm the 9% of Dutch exports that are UK bound. Point out nations not in the EU do more trade with it than us.

      A MAJOR PRESISTENT MISUDNERSTANDING OF REMAINERS IS THEY VIEW EU TRADE AS AN EITHER / OR DYNAMIC, that we will lose EU trade to gain global trade. I hear this every day mentioned all the time on radio.

      Keep it focused and relevant, not ‘Brexit means Brexit’.

      Reply We accept all the invitations we get from the media

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        But it seems there is no rapid rebuttal unit in David Davis’s department. The media are fed rubbish and it goes unchallenged and it is not only repeated it is embroidered. There has now been a continuing propaganda war for the past year, but for a few days, and the Leave side has been losing by default. Why? Is it the intention of Theresa May that eventually the referendum result will be reversed? I don’t actually believe that, she has been my MP for a decade and she has never shown any great enthusiasm for the EU, little or nothing beyond the minimum required by the Tory party line. I cannot say the same about some others, for example Philip Hammond, who have been allowed into government. As for David Davis, he seems to think that if he just carries on regardless then it will all be alright on the night, there is no need for any active propaganda efforts to counter the Remoaners.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

          Sorry, for two decades not one.

        • acorn
          Posted June 16, 2017 at 5:57 am | Permalink

          A rapid rebuttal unit would have no weapons. There is nothing it can fire at the “Sensibles” (the new name for Remainers). The leavers have no idea what lies outside of the EU or if the atmosphere is breathable. They never have, right from the £350 million a week big red bus lie.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 16, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            acorn

            Ha ha ha that is the one. The grand prize for the most deluded post ever posted on here.

            “We have no idea what lies outside the EU”… Lol that is sooo funny

            Of course none of us have ever traded, lived, operated or done business from one of the 165 countries outside of the EU.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted June 17, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

            For a start it would have the factual truth, as opposed to the tripe which is being spread around in the media.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

        The appaling bias of the BBC and the fact the most of the Commons, Lords, the bureaucrats, state sector workers and big business are for remain will surely ensure there is no real Brexit now. Remainer ex(?) May has blown it.

        Meanwhile we have endless building control regulations, full of green crap and other total insanites and yet they allow local authorities to wrap their large tower blocks in flamable, insulation and cladding, at large expense, to form a chimney! Once again a huge and expensive government sledge hammer fail on the basics.

        It was all entirely avoidable. Please, please get some decent engineers and physicists in charge and kill the greencrap religion. Put Peter Lilley in charge of ensuring this never, ever happens again.

      • David Price
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        How do you measure that Remainers are winning the national argument? The last election strongly suggests otherwise. There are clearly some loud voices and the BBC is heavily biased that way but the opinion I hear a lot is that people just want the referendum result to be actioned ASAP.

        BTW, facts4eu.org is a very good source of material, a very recent piece points out that EU people account for just 5% of NHS nurses & midwives up from 1.8% in 2010. It also explains why the recent dramatic drop is nothing of the kind.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Comment on Reply–Dear John–We have to find a way to get you to become more pro-active instead of your just politely waiting for invitations. Obvious that a more belligerent approach is not your natural style but the situation is starting to get desperate. If I can get letters in the Torygraph I am very sure you can, and it does not have to be the Torygraph–the Sun, with its excellent editorials, would be good too. And did not Alastair Campbell once all but force his way physically and immediately on to Channel 4’s Evening News? I know less than nothing about Facebook and Twitter but can you not tweet like the POTUS? I for one admire his talking straight to the people. Something along the lines, when appropriate, of, “The BBC got it all wrong when they said…..”. And for my money you could and should be more critical of for instance Hammond’s reverting to type. Unfortunately I do not get the impression Mrs May is in love with you so you perhaps don’t have too much to lose.

        Reply I did the Jeremy Vine show and the Politics show in the last two days.This blog is widely read and can be circukated , tweeted etc

        • Chris
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          The left rely on us being polite and reasonable. They however employ every trick in the book, it seems, with the end justifying the means. The apparent incitement by John McDonnell to get 1 million rioters out on the street to depose May (if reports in D Express are to be believe – questionable possibly) then he should be countered in no uncertain terms. Instead we have wishy washy and weak Theresa May who does not seem to be able to organise any rapid response to the assault of the left on our democracy. Make no mistake, they are intent on bringing May down, and completely sabotaging Brexit. The problem is that they are being ably abetted by the enemy within, which Tory Brexiter MPs seem totally powerless to deal with, or are simply too weak and disorganised to take the necessary action.

      • getahead
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

        You contradict yourself Alan. You say Remainers are winning because complacent leading Brexiteers have largely vacated the debating chamber
        And then you talk about the Remainers relentless assault.

        What you do not mention is the relentless media campaign led by the BBC.
        I would suggest that the Remainers are not winning. They simply have media backing and make most noise.

        Theresa May, if she is ever to achieve anything, it will be to implement the will of the people and get us out of the parasitic EU.

    • Javelin
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      “Many Remoaners”

      Blair – gone
      Brown – gone
      Clegg – gone
      Cameron – gone
      Osborne – gone
      Farron – gone

      I think we can be quite pleased that we have decapitated the opposition.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

        But they seem to have multiple lives. Ted Heath who instigated the disaster UK membership of the EU was causing trouble for decades after he was evicted. Not the dire Ken Clark has take over as father of the house.

      • Chris
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

        The main opposition is the cultural Marxist left, who very nearly gained power at this last election. Momentum is flourishing and Corbyn is supremely relaxed about developments so far. The Tories are far too complacent, but that is because they have been blinded/duped by the scramble for the centre left ground so rather than countering the far left they have been chasing them, moving the “centre” of politics ever more left under the banner of Progressive politics. Nick timothy is, I believe, a clear example of this if, as is widely reported, he was largely responsible for the disastrous manifesto.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted June 16, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

        Two post coalition Libdem Knights are back. It was not difficult to forecast they still had Commons’ ambitions. Am I alone in thinking this Knighthood malarkey is way past its sell by date.

  2. Caterpillar
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Yes. The Labour party needs to come out and restate this position, reminding the country that the two main parties agree on these fundamentals.

    • Hope
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      Not going to happen. Lib Dumbs are dead. Seize the moment. May’s chief of staff was a bad choice, with the fire yesterday he needs to walk quietly away. Rudd needs to go before all the he facts are exposed, again, into the three atrocities in Manchester and London. She has no defense for failing to keep us safe. Any action over the past three months to secure borders, implement control orders, easy deportation of terrorists, stop EU convicted killers walking into the country etc? If not why not? Any politico accepting responsibility for the unarmed police officer being murdered outside parliament? The police might have acceded to the request but it is clear a request would have been made. All iconic buildings would be armed. They are in NYC.

    • eeyore
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      The Labour Party are on manoeuvres. A party which does not scruple to politicise mass deaths by fire is not to be trusted on Brexit or anything else. In my inexpert opinion it is high time for the Conservatives to exhibit some leadership – or they will be forced to make way for those who will.

      During the election the plates shifted. Surely you felt it?

      • libertarian
        Posted June 16, 2017 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

        eeyore

        SPOT ON !

  3. Mark B
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The question on the referendum ballot paper was clear. Do we want to remain in the EU or not ?

    What was less clear is what exactly was the EU ? There was very little debate about its history and future. All very relevant. There was no mention of ; “EVER CLOSER UNION ” and what that all meant. And we were never told or explained what the miriad of options that were open to us.

    Those like myself who favour the so called, Norway Option do so because we see the EU for what it is, a system of government. A government that has been managing our affairs for nearly half a century. Therefore, we believe losing such links, at least until we have had time to create our own, would be beneficial.

    This is about governance, not trade.

    • matthu
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

      The EU: a government that has been managing our affairs for nearly half a century – but without the consent of the people it seems.

      And you are right that losing such links would be beneficial.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I meant ‘using’ not losing. Darn predictive texts. And to think I championed such technology on a thread here.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

      Indeed the point is we need to fully restore UK democracy and our UK government can then decided on trade deals, immigration levels, fishing and farming policy, industrial policy, UK tax laws, environment laws, UK energy policy and the likes without any reference to the EU or to any European courts.

    • NickC
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Mark B – Yes, there was mention of “Ever closer Union”. It was the sole significant thing that David Cameron negotiated us out of, and was listed as such in the white government Remain propaganda booklet.

      The Norway option keeps us locked into, and subservient to, the EU. What’s so very difficult about the UK being independent? Most countries in the world are, and most are smaller and weaker than the UK.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

        Cameron came back from the negotiation with absolutely nothing of any substance at all yet then he tried to deceive the voters into to thinking he had, thank goodness the cast iron deceiver has left the stage with he even worse sidekick Osborne.

      • Lindsay McDougall
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

        I’ve heard that most Norwegians hate ‘the Norwegian option’. Perhaps Mr Redwood can obtain some parliamentary fact finding money to visit Norway this summer. Don’t talk to the Oslo elite, but talk to the opposition and visit Bergen, Trondheim, the fishing ports and northern Norway.

    • Jerry
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

      @Mark B; Indeed, the nub of the issue, it is about governance and that is why the right so hate the EU, all the time we are in the EU they have lost control of running anything from a street barrow stall to Whitehall – not because of the EU, but because they have constantly failed to properly engage, when they do it is only to tell the other EU27 how they have it all wrong!

      The electorate have indeed simply only voted to leave the EU, nothing more, and because the GE manifestos are multi issue documents it is totally wrong for our host to suggest that the electorate voted to leave the single market because both Con and Lab manifestos had that as an aspiration. Manifestos are not mandatory for either government or opposition.

      For example how many Tory voters here in the south (some very high ‘Leave’ areas) voted Labour because Labour were the only party offering any real solution from the mess that is the privatised TOCs, or the shortage of housing, not because there is a shortage but because of the high cost – the shift in votes in my own area simply can not be explained on the student vote alone, if at all, nor can it all be explained on the collapse of the UKIP vote either unless once Tory voters were switching away from the Tory party on issues other than the EU and single market etc.

      The only way we will know what the electorate thinks about the How and When questions, what they want, is when they are asked directly via a second referendum, but of course that is not something the europhobes want any time soon, quite understandably, they prefer to try and project what they wish others are thinking rather than deal in any hard facts…

    • forthurst
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Believe you me, millions of people will be extremely angry if we went for the ‘Norway Option’ because they voted to control our borders and not to receive our laws by fax.

      Having spoken to many people during the Referendum campaign, I can confirm that most people did not know what the ‘Single Market’ or ‘Customs Union’ or ‘Norway option was or how the EU functioned in any detail: they believed they were voting either to continue our integration with the EU or to revert to the status quo ante 1972 and a clear majority voted for the latter and now that the dust has settled and Project Fear has been exposed for the pack of lies it was, an even greater majority are now in favour of leaving: we are Great Britain not Liechtenstein.

  4. Richard1
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    This line was fine before The election when the govt could credibly say ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’, walk away and then make choices such as unilateral free trade vs reciprocal tariffs in the event the EU refused continued free trade, regulatory equivalence etc. But there is not now a majority in Parliament for this line, so there seems a high chance the EU will regard it as bluff.

    Ending up with some variant of the Norwegian or Swiss arrangements would constitute ‘soft’ Brexit. If that means some – but lower – payments than now, some preference for EU immigrants but not uncontrolled, some acceptance of ECJ Powers but less than now and achieves more or less the same trading & travel arrangements as now and an ability to strike 3rd party trade deals that sounds like an improvement to me. Maybe that’s just a staging post to ‘clean’ Brexit at some future point. We can get out of the single market and customs union yet agree some concessions (e.g. A bung in ‘divorce’ settlement).

    We need some kind of national consensus on this, and it would be best to get it sorted out quickly. This is beginning to affect confidence and decision making, a resolution would give a boost.

    Agreeing your negotiating bottom line in public (i.e. In Parliament) on the various issues is clearly sub-optimal and won’t give as good a result as we could have got had the govt negotiatied well with a majority behind it, as the EU will go immediately to that stated reserve position. But it has the advantage that the govt can then credibly say this is as far as we go. It will also oblige Remain / soft Brexit MPs to take a position on such issues as how much of our money they vote to pay etc, instead of just carping from the sidelines.

    Reply There is a majority for the government’s approach to Brexit – just watch.

  5. Nig l
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Agree totally. Hard Brexit is a perjorative invented by Remainers to frighten people with soft Brexit as the alluring alternative, sold on the basis of respecting the decision to leave, but in reality with no/or as little change as possible, thus achieving their objective of mitigating the Referendum result.

    Nonetheless you need to convince your rent a quote colleagues to be more collegiate and particularly put an end to the manoeuvrings of Hammond and the Treasury, the latter presumably still awash with Project Fear culture, because he has been quoted as fighting to stay in the Customs Union. With May not strong enough to knock heads together it is a mess that only emboldens our EU counterparts. Please tell us what is going on with Mr Hammond.

    • rose
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      He is also reported to be obstructing the DUP talks.

      • Chris
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

        and very significantly too, if detailed Press reports are to be believed. If Hammond believes that he can get away with this (if he indeed has been doing this) then this indicates how weak May is and how ineffective as leader. I believe that the sooner she goes, or hands over to a Brexit supporting team, the better. She could retain her position in name for a period, but the power would be held by committed Brexiters. She cannot be allowed to completely destroy Brexit, and our democracy, for that is what it really amounts to

  6. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Spot on this morning John. Why then do members of your party like Morgan, Soubrey etc keep going on about it? It has been a year now since we voted out and it is about time, as you say, they got behind the party and the country and tried to get the best outcome for us all. All this infighting is futile. Bad enough that other parties are trying to stop democracy without your own party joining in.. I am amazed that Soubrey was voted in again in the election. She is nothing but trouble to your party. I certainly don’t want to be governed by the EU or pay them any money for them to tell me how many immigrants we have to take, what taxes we will have to pay and whether our young are going to have to join their armies. They have interfered with our laws and trading agreements for too long. Mrs May must stay strong over this or else it could have serious repercussions for the party.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

      I guess she is being used as a, “useful idiot !” by some in the party who have too much themselves to lose by speaking out.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    More honest would be ‘full’ or ‘partial’ Brexit. Remain concocted these options after they’d lost the result and chose psychologically loaded words ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ which the BBC quickly adopted.

    Otherwise yes. We are in or out. No in betweens.

  8. Thames Trader
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    I’m fed up and annoyed with the opposition parties trying to score political points on this subject instead of all working together for the best of the whole country. It’s about time they understand that they are damaging the country .

    It was a breath of fresh air to see the DUP leader talking in positive terms about working with the Conservatives instead of speaking the negative dialogue displayed by the other parties.

  9. Javelin
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Interesting to see on Tues George Osborne pointing at food inflation as an anti Eu story. He knows full well food prices will fall when we leave the EU.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the IHT threshold ratter, punishment budget threatener and the person who introduced the absurd level of 15% stamp duty (turnover taxes) should disapear into a black hole and go away. He even falsly claimed he was repaying the debt!

      • stred
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

        I no longer read the Evening Standard, even though free.When my bird brings it in I read the adverts and decide to never use that product again, then use the paper for decorating. Not very effective but it brings psychological relief.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      If tariffs are removed and sterling does not fall further

  10. DaveM
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    One of the chief problems is people constantly trying to interpret people’s motivations. People vote for a myriad different reasons. Those analysts don’t know what we’re all thinking.

    A larger section of the population voted to Leave the EU than Remain. Simple. We didn’t elaborate on our reasons and we DID know what we were voting for.

    People voted for thousands of different reasons in the GE.

    The govt should just get rid of all these analysts, switch off the TV news for once, and get on with the job of making our country work the best way they can.

  11. agricola
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I spelt it out in similar detail to your para one under your entry ” Creating a stable government.” Soft Brexit, hard Brexit is just a smoke screen created by those who would wish to remain. I would like to hear this reality spelt out by May or Davies in the H o C at the earliest opportunity. This would be a one off chance for the remainers and the EU to understand the position as it is , not the position as they might wish it.

  12. Peter
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    I agree with John’s position.

    Unfortunately there seem to be any number of dogged remainers who will use every opportunity to try to stop Brexit.

    Not least among them is Mr. Hammond. Maybe he should have been replaced?

    • Bob
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      @Peter

      “Mr. Hammond. Maybe he should have been replaced?”

      not very likely, Mrs May has increased the ratio of Remainers to Brexiters, it now stands at 3:1.

      She is aiming to fail at the negotiation and then get it voted down in HoC & HoL.
      We’ll then be offered a deal whereby we Remain and get some minor temporary concession, which will be proclaimed as a great success.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        That certainly seems to be the mad socialist, woman’s plan. Such are Geography graduates it seems. I blame VAT of school fees Gove – for knifing Boris.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Hammond certainly should be replaced but May is to weak to do it. May needs to go first I suspect what a complete mess it all is.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter–Yes, a mystery, especially as he was at least by report due for the chop anyway–He is the complete opposite of a mover and shaker and such moves as he makes are in the wrong direction

  13. Richard1
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    I see Jeremy Corbyn, praised for his ‘honesty’, is choosing to blame the Kensington fire horror on Conservative ‘cuts’. No doubt the same explanation will come up for every road accident, premature hospital death etc etc. Hopefully the contemptible opportunism of this Marxist will backfire on him. A more plausible explanation is the green regulations which encouraged the cladding & which seems to have spread the fire so quickly – in other words too much public spending, but the money spent very badly. It is grim that after such a tradegy politicians such as Corbyn cannot resist a chance to try to score a (bogus) political point.

    • Hope
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

      Did it comply with EU regs that is what we need to know then hammer the remainers for complying with it. EU directives caused flooding Somerset levels, people lost there homes, business badly hit, farms devastated. For what EU environmental. Rip crap i.e. Could not dredge because it would be classed as toxic waste making it too expensive to do, they only did for about 500 years before!

  14. Lifelogic
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I absolutely agree with that, but that is not what is going to happen. May has blown it, she cannot now even get rid of the hugely misguided Hammond (with his IHT ratting, his probate tax, his medical and other insurance tax increases, his daft vanitiy projects HS2, Hinkley and his attempted NI mugging of the gig economy).

    We are going to have a soft socialist, greencrap pushing, high taxing, red tape pushing, pro EU government – limping on under a leader who is mortally wounded and an electoral liability.

    As you say – there is Brexit, or there is staying in the EU – but the latter is what we will now surely now get. May needs to go very soon indeed and to be replaced by a proper Conservative with sound views, but half the Tory party are dire wet, Libdem remainers at heart. The biased BBC has an endless stream of people like Heseltine, Ken Clark, Osborne, Soubry, John Major all the Libdems & SNP types to push this no Brexit line every single day.

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    It’s a pity 86% of MPs don’t agree on what Brexit entails.
    Referring to Chukka Unna again on Radio 2 yesterday his position was totally incoherent.
    We all know that in the end we will be offered Associate Membership which is being in the EU with a different title.
    Parliament will then try to sell it to us as a good delivery in the continued belief that we are entirely stupid.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      The one the EU wants is for us to pay them ever increasing amounts, while having open borders so Germany can shove all she invites, but doesn’t want, over here for us to keep. A combination of the two would ensure our countries death and our nations extermination within a decade max. Germany would be happy and Britain and the British consigned to history.

  16. Norman
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

    I hope we get out – pure and simple – no messing! That’s what we expect of you now, Theresa!

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    It seems to me, given the appalling tragedy at Grenfell tower, that we now need to remove nearly all the plastic cladding and insulation from all tower blocks and very quickly indeed before the next tragedy.

    Let us get some sensible engineers in charge and get rid of these dire greencrap pushing, politicians and bureaucrats. Wrapping tall building in flamable insulation and claddings is not a clever thing to do and never was. Any sound, honest & impartial engineer or physicist could have told them that. But politics and government seems to be stuffed full of green priests, lawyers, history & PPE graduates.

    Government ministers were warned about the fire risk of claddings as far back as 1999.
    according to the telegraph today.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/14/grenfell-tower-inferno-disaster-waiting-happen-concerns-raised/

    Of course, far more have been killed by the green religion already, through the banning of DDT and the bio fuel agenda that made food more expensive and made people starve to death.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      I assume it was installed at vast expense so that governments and politicians could appear to be “saving the world” and to make the buildings look shiny and new. The heating bills saved must have been trivial, compaired to the costs and energy used to manufacture and install.

      What another dreadful mistake by politicians, just like Miliband’s Climate Change Act, voted for by nearly every single, scientifically illiterate, MP.

    • hefner
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      You should have done a bit of research about the DDT before writing. You might have learnt a few things, in particular its role during WWI and II, its effects and the reasons (essentially not green) for its use being phased out.
      Do you not realise that by shooting from the hip without aiming anywhere, very often you shoot yourself in the foot. A bit like The Donald I would think.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 16, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        hefner

        Knowing not a lot about the issue , I took your advice and googled DDT

        All I can see is hardly anyone agrees on whether it should be phased out altogether, used sparingly or indeed that it is fairly safe

        Another one of those topics on which there isn’t a consensus

  18. Beecee
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    Happy birthday

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Oh. Didn’t know. Happy birthday, Mr.Redwood MP sir.

      🙂

  19. Doug Powell
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Agree totally!

    As for: “It would help our country if more people got behind the government’s stance.” – Well, the place to start is within the Tory Party! For instance the leaders of the EU Republics of Rushcliffe and Broxtowe!

    • rose
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

      Rushcliffe is sounding less obstructive these days. Broxtowe is attached to business interests in free movement.

  20. bratwurst
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    1. If/when we withdraw from the treaties of the EU we will automatically leave the customs union. We cannot stay in the customs union when we leave, we will need a new customs agreement.
    2. It is the common commercial policy that prevents us from negotiating trade deals, not the customs union.
    Now MSM are picking up and supporting the EFTA/EEA option presumably our politicians will eventually start to consider the various options and we will have the debate that should have happened prior to the referendum, i.e. how we leave the EU.
    This government is proposing the unachievable and has no coherent plan. We are in deep trouble and the electorate will probably put the tories out of power for a generation as a result.

  21. Lifelogic
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Allister Heath today. I am not sure is interventionist plan is the right way to do it. Just relaxing the planning obstacles and costs is the best way, and the let the private sector get on with it.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/15/high-stakes-offer-housing-can-reopen-door-conservatives/

    • rose
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      But why should we build on agricultural land when we already can’t feed ourselves and have water shortages?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        There is no shortage of water (just a lack of storage facilities) and most people in the uk eat too much and are over weight. Food is largely imported anyway. There is a demand for homes.

        • Hope
          Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

          Rose is correct. Why do we need to ruin our country for the Mass immigration policy of govt. spell man made it clear in 2010 the EU would not allow her to build more reserviours! Yet happy to implement EU directive to cause floods! Costing people their homes and business.

  22. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    I’m with you on most of what you say, but differ a little at the end. I say the government (assuming we get one) is the one that needs to reach out for a consensus, rather than being what is “got behind”.
    We are in a good political position regarding Brexit, notwithstanding the hung parliament, because the prospective leader of the opposition is a democrat and doesn’t much care for the unaccountable EU machine in Brussels.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Very true. Corbyn was a reluctant Remainer, unlike CMD and his Chancellor.

  23. Matt
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    It’s politics.
    Your opponents advise the impossible and then attack you for failing to follow that advice. So that when problems arise, however minor, they can attack you for failing to follow their impossible advice.
    Be wary though of using the argument that so called soft Brexit is denied to us by the EU. The remainers and the EU may make it appear that it is at the 11th hour.
    I know you also make the case that the people have now endorsed real Brexit twice in a referendum and a general election.
    I spend some time after the election telling remainers who voted Labour that they made a mistake. If they’re looking to overturn the result they should have voted Lib Dem or SNP. Labour have pulled off something of a coup by taking all possible positions on Brexit simultaneously. Do keep on pointing out to people like Chuka Umuna that every time they argue for their “soft” Brexit they are breaking a firm commitment from their manifesto.

  24. formula57
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    It is so refreshing to read such a cogent commentary on an issue about which we read so much nonsense. Why though does no leading government minister hammer this message home when everyone of them ought to have be doing so long since?

  25. Michael
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    There are too many fifth colomnists in senior government positions who do not want us to leave. Members of the EU want us to remain. The likelihood is that the EU will give us a choice to either remain or leave on the terms of a deal to be negotiated. If that choice is offered will parliament as now constituted ( minority government in the Commons and a bunch of Lib Dems in the Lord’s ) be capable of making the choice or will the strategy of the EU by giving us a choice make a second referendum inevitable? Remember the Commission would like to keep on receiving our money.

  26. Bert Young
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I wish that Hammond would agree with today’s post ; it would seem that he wants to continue as before . In my view the reason for Brexit was a) to control immigration b) to be free from EU bureaucracy c) to restore our democracy . If it meant a “hard” Brexit so be it ; our ability to survive in a competitive world has been tested before and I have no doubt it will be successful again .

    Hammond wants to preserve business and jobs ; so do I . It does not mean being subservient to Brussels ; it does not mean continuing to pay huge sums of money to a regime that is not able to have its accounts signed off . He is now using the dilemma of the election result to impress his remaining views and he obviously intends to cause dissension and difficulty . He should be sacked .

    The public want to get on with the job and stop the shilly-shallying . If consulting around is the order of the day , then all will be lost and we will be the laughing stock of the world . It would be far better for Theresa to proceed as if she was really in charge .

  27. Jumeirah
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Mark B: you are one of a minority who wish to be RULED by a ‘collective’ of foreign Governments. I might perhaps understand it (well in truth I dont actually) if you were advocating a Norway type agreement based on Trade but to think of it in terms of ‘governance’ – wow -that’s frightening!

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense !

      I advocate the EFTA / EEA option because it circumvents many of the problems we are likely to face in terms of administration.

      Have you read the EEA Agreements ? What about EFTA membership ? Ever been their and look around. Knowledge can be a powerful and liberating thing. It can cast light upon lies and free you from fear.

      Leaving the EU is not about trade, immigration or controlling our own money. It is about governance. It is about hold those, like our kind host, to account.

      The UK inside the EEA and or EFTA can still negotiate its own trade deals. Yes we would be subject to the Four Freedoms, but we will not be subject to areas and policies not covered by the EEA. In fact, being outside the EU but inside the EEA would allow the UK to sit at the top tables of the world and formulate rules and regulations that the EU have to adopt. And remember, we would not have to adopt anything we do not like, the remaining 27 member countries would and they get very little or no say.

      Do not accuse me of being a Remainer. I am not and many people here and elsewhere know this.

      • Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        Obviously you want to remain in the EU. That us not what we voted for

      • Jumeirah
        Posted June 16, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        Mark B: Quite frankly you flatter yourself -It’s not what you are or are not that matters it’s what you say that does. Back in the day 24th Oct 2014t you blogged
        1) “invoke Article 50 and begin negotiations on our terms of exit”
        2) ”one of the principles of the EU is once power is ceded it can NEVER be returned”.
        You also wrote ” you are either in or out! Which is it to be?”
        The Norway Agreement allows access to the Single Market based on continuation of contributions to the EU Budget over which we will have NO control or say whatsoever ;acceptance of majority of EU Law with no rights enabling us to challenge any that do not meet our National interests; Immigration the terms of which will be set and enforced by the EU; continued subjugation by ECJ and the rest.
        I agree ‘knowledge can be a powerful and liberating thing’ and I am truly liberated because I have followed the thoughts that you laid down in your blogg of 24th Oct 2014 at the end of which asked ‘are you in or out which is it? and asked myself the same question but rather than duck the question settling for a ‘Half In’ position which is the easiest solution and one that benefits our Country not in the least I support ‘Out’ as our way forward in this.

  28. Christine
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    The People seem to understand this but many MPs don’t. We need to get on a war footing where Politian’s across all the parties that have embraced leaving in their manifestos come together for the good of the country. We need a strong negotiating team who are ALL behind Brexit. We need clever people like you John on this team. Please tell us if there is anything we can do to help make this happen. The people of this country are in despair about all the infighting that is going on. I haven’t come across one person who isn’t absolutely clear in their understanding that Brexit means taking control of our money, our borders, our laws and our trade with the rest of the world. Any betrayal of these points would be a betrayal of the people.

  29. margaret
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    On Europe I am 100 % behind the government , but only a few days after David Nuttall lost his seat , the labour nasties are at it again. Their vitriole makes me ill. A whole different tone is now in the area. Euro Car parks are the boss even when you have paid tickets and gone along with the system they try to get you. You have to take time out running around get screen shots of tickets and payments to prove that you paid and you were in the place where you had paid and sat down for a meal . Facebook is full of crude nasty images of Theresa May and the language and behaviour of the labour voters doesn’t help their cause at all . Of course they wasn’t equal rights … what they mean is they don’t want to work 40-50 years to get a decent wage they want equality of earnings now before they have given anything . Despair.

    • margaret
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      want not wasn’t correction

  30. Andy Marlot
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    If we get a real Brexit it will be despite not because of May and her Remainer cabinet.

  31. Jerry
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    “The EU has made it crystal clear you cannot stay in the single market without accepting freedom of movement and paying contributions, two things the people clearly rejected in the referendum and again in the General election.”

    Best you tell that to Mrs May and the DUP then as that is what the DUP want, in effect, and it is what the EU will offer. Get used to it, and, stop remoaning all the time, you’re sounding like old vinyl played with with a worn stylus, unless of course you are prepared to vote your own party and government down?

  32. James neill
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Well said John but now to put it into practice- although i’m not at all convinced about new trade deals around the world- i just dont see it- .. anyway only a few days to go before the fog lifts on all of this- my thinking now is that we will crash out probably before the end of this year.. the difference between the two sides is too great

  33. Lifelogic
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    Nick Timothy today in the Spectator:-

    That is why the Conservative manifesto, which I authored jointly with the brilliant Ben Gummer, rejected ‘untrammelled free markets’ and ‘selfish individualism’,

    The manifesto was later written off as ‘the worst in history’. One of the criticisms is that, instead of offering voters giveaways and bribes, we spelt out where cuts would fall. While I accept that the manifesto might have been too ambitious, I worry that the implication of this argument is that politicians should not be straight with the electorate.

    What a plonker he is. It is a bit like a vegitarian rearer of beef cattle or a advertising executive who worried about people being misled by his adverts into buying things. Ben Gummer with his double firsts may be brilliant is some ways but he is clearly an idiot as a writer of Tory Manifestos and totally out of touch with The average voter.

    The problem is the untramelled and bloaded state, the endless suffocating red tape, the quality of jobs, the over priced energy, the lack of housing, the over taxation of everything and dire public services and state monopolies like the NHS and Education. What plonkers.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      They and T May offered no sensible uplifting vision whatsoever, just more punishments, further reduced pensions, the stopping of the winter fuel allowances, attacks on the gig economy and ever more tax increases.

      Complete and utter idiots, brilliant or not!

  34. alastair harris
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    It is important to say it. Often and LOUD. Otherwise it gets drowned out by the rising tide of misinformation and propaganda masquerading as news.

  35. james Neill
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Reading you loud and clear John and now to put it into practice- although I am not at all convinced about new trade deals with countries around the world- we already had that.. it was called The Empire? To bring a semblance of that back we would have to build a merchant navy again– can’t see it happening.. anyway as I said before my thinking is that we will probably crash out of the EU before the end of the year because there is too much difference between the sides- and then we’ll be free to plan for our future- in fact we’ll have no choice but to take up whatever options are available.

  36. Len Grinds
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    You write: “The EU has made it crystal clear you cannot stay in the single market without accepting freedom of movement and paying contributions, two things the people clearly rejected in the referendum”.
    This is categorically not true. None of these issues were on the ballot paper at the referendum.

    “The Labour Manifesto in 2017 stated they accepted the decision of the referendum. They set out policies to negotiate a range of new free trade and investment agreements with non EU countries that assume we are leaving the single market and the Customs Union”.
    Also categorically untrue. The Labour manifesto states explictly at page 24 that the intention is to stay in the single market.

    As for the DUP, their main priority is to avoid a hard border in Ireland, which entails continuing membership of the single market and the customs union.

    Your extreme version of Brexit is supported by neither the referendum nor the election.

    Reply The Labour Manifesto says it wants access to, not membership of, and goes on at length to discuss how to sue the freedom of being out to negotiate new trade arrangements.

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

      Les, there are lots like yourself who wish to distort our language. The labour party want continued access to the SM which of course every other country in the world has. This is a long way from being part of the SM which carries all the other unwanted baggage.
      The EU is not really interested in trade deals as 80% of tariffs collected go directly to Brussels. It is a major source of revenue raised from the voters, to squander.
      Why should we pay 18% duty on South African oranges when they are not in competition with UK growers.
      Most of the CET in the CU are to protect mainland Europe farming and little or none is beneficial to the UK.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      “The Labour manifesto states explictly at page 24 that the intention is to stay in the single market.”

      No it doesn’t, that is a straight lie.

    • David Price
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      You are telling untruths, the Labour manifesto does not “explicitly state at page 24 that the intention is to stay in the single market”. Para 3 on page 24 states;

      “We will scrap the Conservatives’ Brexit White Paper and replace it with fresh negotiating priorities that have a strong emphasis on retaining the benefits of the Single market and the Customs Union …” That is not the same thing at all.

      An FTA could have the same trade benefits without the entanglements of EU government and the ECJ and free movement of everyone etc etc. It would be nice but I don’t expect it and the EU luminaries have been very clear that we cannot have the benefits without all the other entanglements.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      You clearly did not watch the project fear protagonists in the Referendum campaign, who all stated categorically the dangers of voting leave were the UK would leave the single market, customs union, ECJ and there would be no free movement of people. This is recorded many times in TV interviews and most recently Andrew Neil went through them with a squirming Clegg. The voters knew the score and decided that the only way to regain democracy and sovereignty was to leave the EU with all its convoluted trappings, bureaucracy, uncontrolled spending and unelected five presidents.

  37. NickC
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    JR, I think almost everyone on here accepts your position that there is either Leave or Remain. I do. But Philip Hammond doesn’t. That’s the problem. He is not alone. That’s the problem. Behind those problems lies emotion, not rationality; fear of leaving the EU rather than a sense of adventure and self belief.

    Like children, most of the Remain establishment whines about leaving the EU: “Awwww, doowee-afftoo?” There are many of them, and only a few like you. You will have to shout louder, otherwise you will be drowned out. And don’t worry about doing so – it’s worth it.

    • rose
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Mr R is always very good when he is invited on the air but as you must surely have noticed, remainiacs and socialists get invited on far more. The only hope is that the bias is so overdone that people will notice.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Behind those problems lies emotion, not rationality; fear of leaving the EU rather than a sense of adventure and self belief.

      And that is about the truth of it. Plus. Once they become fully responsible and can no longer ‘offshore’ their responsibilities, we will be able to separate the ‘wheat from the chaff’, much like this election has done to the PM and her inner-circle.

  38. Atlantic Span
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Tell that to Theresa May John. She’ll be ‘forced’ by the DUP to consider a (dare I use the phrase) ‘Third Way Brexit’.

  39. David Edwards
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Am I right in thinking that Art. 50(2) anticipates that ‘the’ framework for a future relationship precedes ‘an’ agreement for withdrawal and that the framework must be based on Art. 8, and that raising trade barriers when none had previously existed is not good neighbourliness, provided of course that we too are good neighbours?

  40. Chris
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Perhaps you could tell your Chancellor this?

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The Labour party is the leading opposition party and contender to take over the reins of power and so it must at least appear to be offering a better alternative than the government of the day even if that is just a matter of subtle language or relates to some minor points of detail. Having said that it is not helpful to have it projecting an image of deep disagreement with the government when in reality it essentially agrees with the government and if it was actually in power it would pursue a very similar course of action.

    In this case the Labour party knows perfectly well that other EU leaders have insisted that the EU single or internal market must indissolubly link together trade and immigration even though there are no significant practical economic benefits to doing that.

    It is they, other EU leaders not the UK government, who have laid down the quasi-religious dogma that a country cannot both control its own immigration policy and be a member of their single market; the adamantine hard line, the publicly stated intransigence, is coming from them, and all the UK government has done so far is to acknowledge that they will not move on that and so there is absolutely no point wasting both sides’ time and effort on trying to negotiate any change of their fixed attitude.

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    “Fortunately also the Lisbon Treaty has in Clause 8 a clear legal requirement that the EU itself seeks an “area of prosperity and good neighbourliness” with us.”

    But if you went by what by the mass media say you would think that UK government policy is to end all links with our neighbours as far as that can be achieved.

    I wonder if the government is ever going to start up a counter-propaganda propaganda rather than allowing all the pro-EU media nonsense to go unchallenged.

  43. Edward2
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    The significance of the Single Market is being over played.
    It is a protectionist trade bloc with tariffs imposed on importers to discourage free trade and stop external competitive pressures on EU countries.
    The effect is to reduce the standard of living of many European citizens and to reduce many poor countries attempts to sell their goods.
    The Single Market is like modern day East Germany where barriers to external trading were built with depressing consequences.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Edward2

      Thank you !! I’ve been trying to tell people this for so long. Most people have no idea what the single market is or what it entails, they just think it sounds good so it must be. Well it isn’t and thats why I voted to get out of it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      The economic significance of the single market is vastly exaggerated.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Google : The Round Table of Industrialists. These are the people who benefit most from the so called, ‘Single Market’. In truth, it is nothing but a cartel.

    • Publius
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      The Single Market is essentially a common regulatory framework within which frictionless trade can take place without protectionist “non-tariff barriers” getting in the way.

      It is the Customs Union that is concerned with tariffs. You have to be in the EU to be in the Customs Union. There is a common external tariff and trade pacts are managed by Brussels.

      Turkey, which is often mentioned in this regard, is not in the Customs Union – it has a customs agreement with the EU, which is different.

      The UK can choose to be in the Single Market and still be free to conclude trade pacts with 3rd parties.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        I realise internally the single market is fairly free of tariffs but for others offering well priced goods and services the Single Market is increasingly protectionist and places barriers to free world trade.

  44. Kenneth
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    “Soft Brexit” is code for remaining in the eu. I am sure the BBC and others who have been agitating for this outcome know this well enough.

    The great danger is that we may indeed remain in the eu but the parties agree to label a few cosmetic changes as a Brexit.

  45. miami.mode
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    ……The Labour Manifesto in 2017 stated they accepted the decision of the referendum……

    Always remember Clegg. He personally signed a pledge (dictionary definition-a solemn promise) for no increase in tuition fees and promptly did the opposite when in government.

    Labour are not even in government and scruples can sometimes take a back seat.

  46. Taimanov
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    “Only a madman would actually leave the single market”, Owen Paterson, November 2014.

    “Absolutely nobody is talking about threatening our place in the single market”, Daniel Hannan.

    Reply Bill Cash, Bernard Jenkin and I produced a pamphlet and a news conference on why we had to leave the single market. That was also official Vote Leave policy.

    • Helena
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      I never received any leaflets from Vote Leave that even mentioned the single market. I received a lot that talked incessently about immigration, and claimed Turkey is about to join the EU.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        You must have been reading the wrong leaflets and not listening to the debates then. It was made quite clear we would leave.

  47. Anonymous
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    At least we have the truth about ‘kind’, ‘enlightened’, ‘inclusive’ Remain London. A city which thrives on street-by-street disparity – a ‘cheap’ workforce of nannies, coffee makers and cleaners crammed into unsafe housing to cater for the rich, ‘beautiful’ people.

    If they want this then they should at least pay the full price for it and not be allowed to drive this country down to third world levels.

    The so called ‘cliff edge’ arrived long before Brexit !

    (This is not about cladding. Residents were calling the block a death trap long before.)

  48. Shieldsman
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

    The Labour Manifesto, I refer everyone to my comments Posted June 14, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Are manifesto’s a worthless piece of paper, if so why publish them? Politico’s have a habit of ducking and diving when questioned later about what it said.
    1. Labour accepts Referendum result
    “Labour accepts the referendum result and a Labour government will put the national interest first.”
    2. Labour rejects Freedom of Movement
    “Freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union.”
    3. Labour will negotiate new international trade deals
    “Labour will work with global trading partners to develop ‘best-in-class’ free trade and investment agreements that remove trade barriers and promote skilled jobs and high standards.”

    EVEN AFTER THE GENERAL ELECTION, LABOUR CONFIRMED ITS POSITION
    Sunday 11th June, Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn on the BBC:
    “The Single Market is a requirement of EU membership and since we won’t be EU members there will have to be an arrangement made.”
    Sunday 11th June, Shadow Chancellor McDonnell on ITV (asked about membership of the Single Market):
    “I can’t see it even being on the table in the negotiations, I don’t think it’s feasible.”

    So what do Labour actually want?
    They want a negotiated trade deal that gives us the freedom to operate under WTO rules.
    They want a bi-lateral trade agreement to continue trading with the EU outside of the EU and free from the political rules of the EEA.
    They want to control our Borders.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted June 16, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      The problem is that Mrs May’s government has said nothing that helps the public understand these obscure rules and entities like a customs union, and nothing that explains what sort of new relationship with respect to these the Government intends to achieve. The public is not daft. They/we understand perfectly well that matters have to be negotiated and the outcome must be uncertain. They/we also understand that informal exchanges with the EU have been continuing for some months leading to the formal negotiations so the EU is well aware already of the UK’s position and can in any case make well informed estimates of what it is likely to be. Therefore there is no good reason why the government should not be able to explain at least that much to the British public. Speculation fills the void and trust in the government plummets.
      In these circumstance voters start to look elsewhere, most obviously Labour. otherwise nobody would give a toss what the Labour manifesto says.
      Brexit is Mrs May’s to deliver or to lose. She overplayed her hand seeking to foist her loopy domestic policies on party and the country by calling an election. The bad judgment she has shown on many occasions have cost us all this time. She’s still there, and she will go on making serious errors of judgment of both the electorate and her appointments, failing to communicate, and potentially delivering a disastrous Brexit. There is some comfort to be drawn from reports that sensible senior people are saying they will ensure that at least she is bound by cabinet decision making. We’ll see.

  49. Christopher Hudson
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    People such as the Labour Party, Sinn Fein, the SNP and now even Ruth Davidson seem to be looking to cause mischief, the Conservatives shouldn’t get dragged into any conversation with them and stay focused. There’s gonna be sniping in people’s ears throughout the entire process, the Conservatives have to shut it out.

    • rose
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      But at least Ruth Davidson is now calling for the return of our fishing grounds. About time too. She and Mrs Sturgeon should have been doing this all along.

  50. Prigger
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    I never hear people outside Medialand speaking in terms of hard and soft Brexit. The LibDem
    challenge that people are “concerned about hard Brexit”….well if so, they seem to keep it to themselves.
    However, people are genuinely annoyed Mrs May didn’t “get on with it” the day after the Referendum a year ago. Who would have believed on 23-24th June 2016 we would a full year later STILL not have started the first meeting of negotiations and bureacrats in EU would be waiting like stood up on a teenage date. “Where IS she? they plead, looking this way and that for someone who looks remotely like a Prime Minister.

  51. Richard Butler
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    John as I keep saying we’re losing the national conversation due to the fact Remainers dominate the public sphere and day in day out are still fighting Brexit and I am noting people are being swayed by this relentless assault, whereas leading Brexiteers have largely long vacated the conversation as they think the battle has been won.

    They keep saying the EU will not give us a decent deal, and that THEY TOLD US THIS WOULD BE THE CASE.

    Why this matters is the EU will play along with this constant background melody in the hope the Heseltine’s of this world will then say ‘see told you this was all going to fail, it’s time we cancelled this nonsense’.

    To give an example LBC’s James O’Brien day in day out uses the same sound-bites such as ‘you’ve all voted for self harm, the first generation to be poorer than our parents’. Every time inflation goes up or anything else ‘negative’ occurs he pins it on Brexit.

    The public never hear from leading Brexiteers in term of still making the case for it. The public are forgetful and fickle and easily swayed by the constant din from Remainers.

    Today Remainers across the broadcast media are pinning DFS’s numbers on Brexit. Where are all the Brexit luminaries, this debate is far from won?

    Don’t be complacent, haven’t we just learned where complacency leads to?

    You guys need to be still arguing as if we are still battling for the referendum result. Please spread the word.

    I often think people in high places do not have a sense of what ordinary people are exposed to each day. Newspapers are not nearly as important as they were. Talk radio and social media is where the fires burn hottest.

  52. Joan Wild
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Soft Brexit = Fake Brexit

    We have voted for a real and true Brexit.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Quite right. Made from titanium and diamond-tipped.

  53. MickN
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I keep hearing the refrain “people didn’t know what they were voting for”
    I have yet to meet ANYONE who voted to leave that could be considered one of those people. That means that the only ones who it seems were too stupid to understand the question were the remoaners. Imagine if it had been more that a single sentence. How would they have coped with that?

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Well, Mr Redwood did not know what he was voting for.
      He thinks he was voting to leave the single market. But he wasn’t, unless his ballot paper was different form everyone else’s. He was voting to leave the EU. And, as the case of Norway shows, it is entirely possible to be outside the EU but inside the single market.
      The problem with you Leavers is that you think there are only two types of country in the world, those in the EU and those with no links with the EU. It is far more complex than that. There are lots of ways to be outside the EU but linked to the EU and the referendum failed to offer any choice

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Len, if we stay in the single market we have to rely on EU business because we are not allowed to freelance in the real world. I don’t want our hands tied behind our back. For good ness sake, the issue of in or out is simple. Get over it. You really don’t have much faith in your own country do you? God knows how we managed to get through 2 world wars and run an empire.

  54. JoolsB
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope May sticks to her guns and doesn’t fall for the waffle put out by the likes of Soubry that the vote last week was against the Lancaster House speech. We need to be out of the single market, out of the customs union and NO divorce bill.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      If people wanted to overturn the Lancaster House speech they should have voted for the LibDems, the SNP or the Greens – total share of the votes cast, 12%.

  55. John Maynard
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Disingenuous.
    How nice it would be if John’s scenario of sweetness and light was anywhere near reality.
    On the EU side, France and Germany are intent on stripping away as much of British industry and commerce as they can, with the ‘fig leaf’ of making sure “the UK is not better off out than in”.
    And on the UK side, a large proportion of ‘Leavers’, (especially the UKIP tendency), are xenophobes who want nothing at all to do with Europe, or most other foreign countries.
    It was utterly ridiculous that Nick Timothy was permitted to wreck a promising relationship with China, just because he had some personal fantasies about ‘turning the lights off’. These ‘ultras’ have no interest or regard for business or the economy, and rather than “putting migration or the economy” at the centre of negotiation, prefer to put antediluvian cold war and xenophobic notions at ‘the centre’.
    The hard Brexiteers in the Tory party are always careful to be very vague on what they really want.
    As for May, she is unfit for purpose – a narrow-minded, economically illiterate, uncharismatic excuse for a leader, with appalling judgement, who will only further damage the Tory party for as long as she remains in office.
    She apparently taunted Osborne for not knowing his party, but she does not know her electorate – a far bigger problem.

    • anon
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Quite possible to exit and be outside the eu, eea and still have access to the single cartel / market on WTO or better terms.

    • Good stuffing
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

      John Maynard
      There is some truth in what you say about Mrs May. She is very intelligent and a pretty good question dodger. Though she obviously lacks the common touch. I do not criticise her for that personality. Yet,voters nowadays prefer approachable people in the main. and enjoy being humoured though they inwardly know it is all fake. Labour MPs have to take salt tablets for their copious use of teary eyes and avoid crocodile hunters. Also taxidermists

  56. Eh?
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Hard and Soft is the stuff of studio audiences attended by Labour Party members. They are on a part-time to full time basis on zero hours contracts starving to death and are only in the studios because they have been carried there from hanging out in food banks and sleeping in railways stations. There are fifty-five Labour Party members sleeping on plastic bin liners and eating fish-heads at the back of my local chippy. But they vanish on Thursdays for BBC Question Time only to return with their fish-soup bowls autographed by Mr Dimbleby and share a bag of chips and a pickled-egg as a special treat

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      We have another dilemma where I live, Social Security are referring women for food parcels and everyone are non English speaking immigrants and all appear to have a council minder.
      This is what we get with free movement, no doubt their “umanrites” would be affected if we tried to repatriate them.

  57. Antisthenes
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    We are arguing amongst ourselves about Brexit and almost every other aspect that effects us because we are not all born with the same attributes. Those with attributes closest to their own will band together into groups and sub groups and will be poles apart from other groups who have completely different attributes. An environment is created that ensures their will be differences of opinion and there will be thrown up a range of issues that will cause disputes. In a perfect world logic, reason and common sense would quickly deal with these problems consensus would be quickly achieved and harmony maintained. Unfortunately logic, reason and common sense is in very short supply.

    Something your articulate and and erudite article on how Brexit negotiations should be conducted and what it’s aims should be requires those it is aimed at to be imbued with. Too many are not if they were they would either wholeheartedly agree with you or respond with an equally erudite counter version. Plenty disagree with you but do not put forward a coherent reason but ones born out of romantic idealism, blinkered thinking, paucity of intellect and some(too many) out of greedy self interest. However that is how it is and explains why progressive socialism and other equally repulsive ideologies have managed to gain their popularity.

    • hefner
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Would I dare assert that neo-liberal trickle-down economic policies have managed to gain their popularity in the same way, simply not with the same public.
      Most of the quasi-fanatical support for them does not particularly display coherent reason, deep thinking, elevated intellect, but I will give you it will be linked to greedy self-interest.

  58. John Booth
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, I suggest you send this post to Philip Hammond and other Ministers who have hinted that we should have a ‘softer’ or more ‘open’ Brexit.

  59. John Booth
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood. I tweeted this email to Ministers who are known ‘remainders’ 2 days ago (tweeted because it is not possible to email them directly).

    Dear Minister

    I am a British citizen, a voter and fully engaged in current affairs and in particular, the Brexit issue. For 44 years I voted Conservative. A few years ago I switched to UKIP when the EU referendum was announced and the campaign commenced and I have stayed with UKIP since then. I voted to leave the EU. I have never voted Labour.

    In normal circumstances I understand the convention of ‘collective responsibility’ that binds you to Cabinet policy and decisions but of course after last Thursday’s vote, we are not in normal circumstances. It is for this reason that I have written this message to you. I am sending this message to those members of the Cabinet of the new UK Government who are known ‘Remain’ supporters in last year’s EU Referendum.

    The ‘Remain’ campaign, emboldened by the General Election result and led by the BBC are now openly saying that Theresa May does not have a mandate for a ‘hard’ Brexit and a ‘soft’ Brexit must be the new objective of the negotiations with the EU. All the siren voices are now saying, in unison, that we must stay in the Single Market and Customs Union.

    Everyone knows there is no such thing as a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit. A so-called ‘soft’ Brexit simply means staying in the EU. It is shocking to see and hear the constant use of the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ Brexit in the media with no one picking them up on it. This is now the new narrative.

    We thought it was over, we thought we had it won, but now it looks like we have to fight for it all over again. We are now officially re-running the EU referendum.

    If this new plot succeeds, the retribution from the 17.4 million people who voted to leave the EU will be merciless and we will ensure the Conservatives will be wiped out at the next General Election. Yes, that will mean Jeremy Corbyn will be Prime Minister but that will have to be the price the country and those antidemocratic Conservative MPs pay for treachery.

    Please do not underestimate us.

    Sincerely

    John Booth

    Name, address & phone numbers supplied

    • Oggy
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

      Well said John. I will also be voting for Corbyn in the next GE if we are betrayed by the Tories.

      PS – did you get any replies ? – I rather doubt it.

  60. William Long
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    You state very clearly what is apparent to all thinking people, including apparently Jeremy Corbyn, but not, according to the Daily Telegraph, Mr Hammond.

    • Next step
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

      Mr Hammond could very well be the person to lose the Election next time for the Tory Party. Then he can continue sulking with John Major and the Dancing Queen of Labour

  61. Mick
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I voted out and if that means no deal then so be it, as for the brainwashed deluded young who voted to stay I bet that you wouldn’t be making so much fuss about staying in the eu when it as its own forces and you are conscripted into it muppets

  62. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Yes, there is only BREXIT – The UK out of the influence and bad habits of the EU.

    JR, you mention people should get behind the government, quite rightly, as this is what most people want – however something needs to be done about the jackels, hyenas and vultures that have surfaced since the election, with utter malice and intent to harm the government.

    Talk about a country at war with itself – maybe that’s an exageration, I hope, but certainly there are ******* (I won’t say people) out there determined to hurt us all because of their selfish destructive ambitions.

    .

  63. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    It’s a pity that Tim Farron has now resigned for the wrong kind of reason, when he should have resigned because of the failure of his general election strategy. The Liberal Democrats were supposed to be targeting the 48% who voted to stay in the EU, they put up candidates across the country and fought their campaign on a manifesto which explicitly said:

    http://www.libdems.org.uk/europe

    “Keep the UK in the single market and customs union – trade must continue without damaging customs controls at the border.”

    and yet they got only got 7.4% of the votes cast.

    Even adding on 3.0% for the SNP and 1.6% for the Greens the parties with that position got only 12% of the votes cast, nowhere near the 48% who had voted to stay in the EU.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      And apparently 375 LibDem candidates lost their deposits.

  64. G
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Once again John Redwood demonstrates the clearest thinking by far. Chukka One up here is a jumped up twerp. But he’s not the only one unfortunately. I am relying on visionary leaders like John Redwood to prevent sabotage

  65. roger parkin
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    True there is no such thing as a ‘Hard’ or ‘Soft’ Brexit just the straightforward one a significant majority of us voted for. Sadly the many enemies of the decision we reached last year wont accept this and have been ennobled by the general election to try and deny us our victory. What is most galling is that many of them are our own members of parliament (including no less the Chancellor) who stood on a manifesto that clearly stated what Brexit meant. This is going to end in tears both for the Conservative party and the country.

  66. Corin Vestey
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I’ve long been a reader of this blog and I should think would see eye to eye with you John on many things. However I think you have got this one wrong. I voted Leave and I have always wanted EEA/EFTA on a transitional basis. I only want the UK to exit the Single Market once government has shown itself both capable of getting to grips with the extraordinarily wide range of issues that exiting the Single Market raises and has built up proper trade negotiation teams at all the global governance bodies like the WTO, Codex, UNECE etc that we will need to have in place if we wish to shape global regulatory standards to benefit the UK. There has been little or no sign that the government appreciates the scale of the task ahead, even if we stay in the Single Market on a short-term basis, let alone if we were to crash out in the overly rapid and unplanned manner that Hard Brexiteers seem to want. I appreciate the desire to prevent hard-core remainers from re-fighting the Leave/Remain battle again but nonetheless we have to accept that neither party offering a hard brexit won a majority. The Leave coalition that won the referendum cannot form a government. There is no majority in the country for leaving the Single market, at least not with the offering that our party, the Conservatives, have presented. To ignore the result of the GE and force through an unpopular hard brexit that has been rejected by the electorate would be as bad as Remainers ignoring the referendum result. We can and must allow ourselves as Leavers to see that the majority of Remainers have accepted the result of the referendum and that there is a solid constituency of people that will vote for a deal that respects the question asked, but will not vote for a hard brexit strategy based on ‘trust me’ and no other details. If we want to win support from Remainers who are reconciled to Leave (and we clearly cannot ignore them) then we must respect the very valid concerns these people have about the economic damage of trying to unpick 40 years of integration in two years. They may actually be right. In terms of immigration, yes, accepting free movement is sub-optimal. However, on a transitional basis, with a permanent opt-out on free movement from any future Single Market entrants, and a commitment from the government to cut non-EU immigration by say 40% of the 2016 figure over 5 years (gross preferably, not net), would that not represent a compromise that would be acceptable to the vast bulk of the country? It would allow Tory leadership to drop the ‘tens of thousands’ promise which everyone knows is unachievable and would reassure hard brexiteers that a phased withdrawal is not a betrayal. The worst outcome would be to force a hard brexit and see massive economic damage followed by 20 years of Labour during which time they run and win a referendum to take us back in. During that 20 years all restraints would be taken off immigration and we would lose any opt-outs we currently have.

    • anon
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

      The referendum was to exit the EU, regain control of borders and trade policy and to rebuild an accountable democracy.

      To keep true to this vote we need to exit all the ties that infringe holding our politicians to account for the laws they pass.

      This means to me a minimum of a “no deal” outcome and i would be ok with that.

      • Corin Vestey
        Posted June 16, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        The referendum was a simple Leave the EU / Remain in the EU question.

        Nothing more, nothing less.

        I am so bored of people claiming to know what every leaver thinks.

        We already control immigration to this country from outside the EU and yet it continues to spiral. We have borders we can control now. Why do we not get them under control without creating monstrous amounts of economic uncertainty by leaving the Single Market? Under the EEA agreement we can implement greater controls on EU migration that currently anway. Given the reluctance to control immigration on the part of the Cabinet why is it better to ensure that we hold politicians to account for non-EU immigration first and then, once the procedures to do so have been put in place, begin to apply the EEA emergency brake gradually, once we actually have the deal signed? Under EEA you do get control of your trade policy.

        Even if we exit entirely immediately under a no deal situation our politicians will still be subject to a plethora of global governance rules and in terms of immigration and asylum, the Geneva Convention and the Convention on Refugees. The world of the totally independent state no longer exists. Trying to get back there at any price could mean we end up rejoining the EU, assuming the Tories survive long enough to even take us out, and seeing levels of immigration under PM Corbyn that would have made even Blair uneasy. If we as Leavers do not compromise with reality (electoral, economic, political) we could win the battle and lose the war.

        • Corin Vestey
          Posted June 16, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          Sorry – that should have been:

          “Given the reluctance to control immigration on the part of the Cabinet surely it is better to ensure that we hold politicians to account for non-EU immigration first”

    • David Price
      Posted June 16, 2017 at 5:16 am | Permalink

      EEA/EFTA would not be “transitional”.

      • Corin Vestey
        Posted June 16, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        It could be if we wanted it to be. We need only legislate now for a referendum to be held in 5-10 years time to decide whether to Leave/Remain the Single market.

        • David Price
          Posted June 17, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

          In the early stages of the referendum I thought a staged withdrawal would be the best approach and even tried to read up on Flexcit, EFTA etc.

          But the actions of the remainers, especially those in parliament and the media, made it clear to me that we would never move on from that half-way house and it would be too much a temptation for the politicians to stride the world stage, act the “statesman” and ease us back in through the half opened door.

          I don’t want that opportunity to be available to politicians and the like. We decided to leave and we must leave completely, we must expect and require our politicians and government to act for our interest, not theirs, not the EU bureaucrats, not for some mythical greater thing but our interest.

          Your 5-10 years delay means it would never happen so I reject your kind offer. Besides, we already decided to leave.

  67. APL
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    JR: “You cannot stay in the Customs Union if you want to have free trade deals with the rest of the world.”

    I don’t think it correct to call it a ‘Customs Union’, the Single Market area is a free trade area. And, yes there are no customs tariffs between states within the Single Market area.

    But, EFTA has an trade agreement with the EU, Norway is a member of EFTA, but you don’t claim Norway is in the EU, do you?

    In some respects, Norway is more influential in the EU than the UK currently is, not least because much of the regulations translated into UK law are first defined at the UN level of the international hierarchy by Norway sitting in its own right on international bodies such as CODEX.

    http://www.fao.org/fao-who-codexalimentarius/en/

    But as a member of the Privy Council, you will have access to all this information already.

  68. Mark J
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    Dear John,

    Some of your Conservative colleagues need to learn the word “party loyalty” in order to prevent Jeremy Corbyn from being the next PM. If they don’t we will subjected to his tax and spend, spend, spend rule before long.

    If the public really wanted Corbyn as PM they would have voetd for him in greater numbers, to ensure victory. However what I believe we saw was the near maximum number who were prepared to vote for his backward ideals – either willingly or through “few other alternatives” available.

    Your colleagues need to accept it is not the UK playing “hardball” with Brexit negotiations but the EU itself. Many of us would love to remain in the Single Market, however we are not prepared to accept the mandatory, non-negotiable terms that come with it.

    The mandate IS still there to deliver a Brexit that is best for Britain and not pandering to the one-sided demands of the EU. Let us also not forget that both Corbyn and McDonnell have also publicly stated on TV and in other media,t heir commitment to ending Freedom of Movement. How are they going to achieve this without pulling out of the Single Market? Labour voters are deluded if they think a vote for Corbyn represents “No Brexit” or “Soft Brexit”.

    The “52%” who voted for Brexit last year have not gone away. They have been split by the collapse of UKIP (remember not all the “52%” voted Conservative) and the lacklustre campaign run by the Conservatives in this election, that saw many traditional Conservative areas turn Labour or Lib Dem.

    In my humble opinion the “Dementia Tax” was largely responsible. A rather stupid, irresponsible and vote losing policy to put in place during an election campaign.

    To c0nclude, can the Conservatives please give us a Brexit deal that:

    1) Permanently ends EU rule.
    2) Creates a immigration policy that is fair but gives us ultimate control over numbers.
    3) Tries to maintain Single Market access but NOT at any, or all costs.
    4) Takes us out of the much hated ECHR.
    5) Ensures that those areas of the UK (such as Wales and Devon/Cornwall) that lose out on EU grants are given some kind of “compensation” by the Government.

  69. oldtimer
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    I smell a rat – or should that be rats? – seeking to frustrate the referendum result. It, or rather they, are aided and abetted by the BBC at every turn including providing ample air time to those politicians who continue to beat the Remain drum.

    They follow an extremely dangerous course. If they were to succeed in frustrating Brexit and ensuring the UK remaining in the EU I can think of nothing better calculated to destroy all confidence in our legal and constitutional processes. The consequences do nor bear thinking about; but that is not a reason not to think about them. If due process is not followed or seen not to be followed then those whose will has been frustrated would be forced to consider the alternatives.

    • Oggy
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

      I agree entirely – IF this Government frustrates democracy then it will be seen to be nothing better than a dictatorship. The people will not tolerate such a move, and it will end in tears.

  70. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    two things the people clearly rejected in the referendum and again in the General election

    Sorry, but you can’t argue that. A General Election is not a one issue vote. I am sure many people who voted Tory or Labour do not support leaving the EU. It is disingenuous to argue otherwise. Our first past the post system (whilst being undemocratic and useless) forces one to vote for the lesser of two evils.

    40% voted for Labour. 42.8% voted Tory. Hardly a mandate. Not even a majority. Consensus is needed now. May should invite Corbyn to appoint people to sit on the Brexit committee with David Davis and co.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Works out at 82.8% to me.
      Both manifestos said out of the EU and single market.
      The Lib Dems were there if you wanted a remain vote.

  71. Mike Wilson
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    If you carry on with this ‘we won the election, we’re in charge’ nonsense you are not going to last 6 months as a government. And Labour will win next time. Time to play the long game and build some consensus.

  72. Jonathan Bagley
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    John, I agree entirely, but we haven’t heard it enough recently. All we now get, from various sources, is May has no mandate for a “hard brexit”. If it’s repeated enough, too many people will believe it. Get yourself on the TV and tell everyone, before it’s too late.

    • Chris
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      I fear they have missed the boat because they were too timid, ill organised, and still, apparently, do not realise the enormity of what is about to happen. Brexit is going to be sabotaged, and some think deliberately, and there is nothing that Theresa May has done that counters that fear, rather she has done the opposite. According to one newspaper report, she even offered Boris sweeteners in terms of appointment of his staff, in order that he would not mount a coup. The same newspaper reports that this was just before Boris spoke out publicly about supporting May, after having been uncharacteristically quiet. If true, she has got the Leavers under wraps, but has given the Remainers like Hammond a free run.

  73. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

    Looking at the figures for illegal immigrants coming into Italy at the moment I would say we definitely need BREXIT good and proper. There are millions coming in and the amount of money to keep them is enormous. Look at these figures printed in the Gatestone Institute.

    we have to take a look at the cost of every migrant to Italy’s treasury. Immigrants, once registered, receive a monthly income of 900 euros per month (30 euros per day for personal expenses). Another 900 euros go to the Italians who house them. And 600 euros are needed to cover insurance costs. Overall, every immigrant costs to Italy 2,400 euros a month. A policeman earns half of that sum. And a naval volunteer who saves the migrants receives a stipend of 900 euros a month.

    How can Italy carry on down this route? No wonder their economy is suffering. Out is the best way for the UK. I don’t want my taxes spent on economic migrants while we don’t have enough money to look after our own. Merkel has lost her senses.

    • Oggy
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

      ‘All refugees welcome’ said Mrs Merkel and now she’s trying to push them onto everyone else. The cost of this insane policy is frightening, but as an adjunct the Italian coastguard do pick the refugees up near Libya and give them a free taxi ride to Italy, so they only have themselves to blame.
      They need to adopt ‘push back’ like the Aussies do.
      We need to be out of this mad EU once and for all.

  74. Peter Martin
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    There’s actually three kinds of Brexit. Staying in the single market (complete with freedom of movement) and the customs union. Staying in the customs union only. Or leaving both entirely.

    So maybe we should be talking about soft, medium, and hard ?

    The choice is probably between medium and hard. There was no point leaving the EU if we have to comply with the conditions of the single market.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:51 pm | Permalink

      There’s a fourth option – try and reform the EU (others in the EU want this too), in particular, over immigration. Or else we go for damage limitation (Soft Brexit).

      Reality is there’s a lack of leadership now in the Tory Party to implement Hard/Medium Brexit. Time is also ticking with huge national debt to pay off. And if we’re not careful, Corbyn could get into power with the Liberals, under a new leader, and then we’re really screwed.

      We now have to face reality and either go for 1. damage limitation (soft Brexit) 2. be ambitious and creative and go for trying to reform the EU in particular over immigration – at the heart of why people in general voted to leave.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted June 17, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        As I understand it, the EU position on free movement isn’t negotiable. Free movement, in itself, wouldn’t be a big problem if the movement weren’t so asymmetrical. But when the EU peripheral countries are as economically depressed as they are, the present situation is just to be expected. Naturally when people have no work they will ‘get on their bikes’ to look for it.

        The problem of economic depression in the EU also adversely affects our trade. EU countries tend to be highly mercantilistic or they are economically depressed. Either way they aren’t good markets for UK exports.

  75. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    It look as though Brussels could fine Scotland up to £60m of tax payers cash over the SNPs botched farm payment system. The report concluded that to date the governments programme had not delivered ‘value for money’. Just about sums up the SNP and generally politicians who do not understand how evil EU legislation can be. Just who is this helping? Certainly not us but the coffers will be heavier. This is what I am fed up with. Fines do not always help anyone.

  76. ian
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

    Governments do not change they minds once a decision has been made, and brexit decision would of been made before the election, so what ever that decision was it would still be the same, because there has been no change of government at this time, and that will apply to the EU as well. What you are seeing now is politicians and parties fighting for media coverage because they know that the next election will be in the next three years. The media are causing as much trouble as they can because that’s what makes them money.
    As for the ref. It was better for the neo con libs hear and the neo libs in the EU to have ref now than having one later on because of the new EU budget, which will be known in 2019, and when the people in england would of seen the amount they would being ask to pay there would been a out cry, and demands for a ref, which the neo con libs would of lost by bigger margin than the one they had last year, with the EU plans and budget in tatters. So how much are they going to ask for, 22 billion a year with no rebates, and 100,000 refugees a year to be taken into the uk. Well you could see what a problem that would of been in 2019 with everyone calling for a ref, but we have still have to wait to see what the neo con lib government has already decide to do. That as good as starting another oversea aid budget. That’s what Neo con libs, and neo libs politicians stand for, taking the bread out your mouth and giving it away to overseas countries, and taking in their people at the same time. Politician like Clegg, Hesltine, cam, wet & mad, in all around 500 or more politician sitting in your parliament. I call it death by a thousand cut, that’s why i favour the commies, one cut, all done, and no more money going out of the country after bankruptcy.

  77. adam
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    If hard Brexit means hard Brexit, does that also mean BBC-exit.

    BBC would rather live in the EU so can we move them to EU-land and make europeans pay.

    This Brexit negotiation policy would save us all money

  78. stay cool
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    We will Brexit one way or another and the Eu will collapse in its present form shortly after.
    Each person must take back his own power and not look for a messiah ( or have JR running dementedly round doing it for them )

  79. Iain Gill
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    Labour making hay with the tower block fire, and pointing out a lot of bloomin obvious truths about the state of our building regulation and fire safety enforcement.
    Speaking as someone who bought a house which had been signed off as meeting building regs, which in fact did not, I agree with them. Why are the people signing off new builds as meeting building regs not liable to real sanction if the home owner discovers they were wrong. In many cases the building inspectors are friends with the builders, and drink in the same pubs on a Friday night, and are actively being bribed to sign off houses. All this needs breaking up and fixing.
    Where is the Conservative party with its good ideas on housing? Just like the election the Conservatives seem to have nothing sensible to say at all.

  80. P2017
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    It doesn’t matter how many times you say the world is flat, it’s not.

    There is foolishly self-harming way to leave the EU (‘no deal is better than a bad deal’), aka your way. And there is a sensible way to leave the EU aka stay in the EEA.

    And because you refuse to ever answer detailed questions and rely on bland ‘it will be fine on the day’ arguments, I don’t credit a world you say. Anymore than I would credit someone telling me the Earth is flat. The facts speak against you.

    If you want people to stop ‘negociating amongst ourselves’, you will actually have to provide answers to these facts, rather than relying on generalisations about how everything will be fine in Mr Redwood’s fantasy world.

  81. Slim Jim
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    As far as I can see, there is absolutely no way we will be able to negotiate a satisfactory deal within the allotted timespan (<2 years, and clock ticking!). I suspect this was the intention behind article 50 – to deter member states from leaving. It would seem, therefore, that some transitional deal will have to struck before we can untangle from over 40 years of engagement with the EU. We are already members of the EEA, and we can rejoin EFTA (hopefully). Then we can access the single market, and strike trade deals with other countries. Immigration is not necessarily problematical with this option. Dr. Richard North (see eureferendum.com) is way ahead of the game, and the lack of knowledge within the political and media classes is staggering. We need to be very careful if we want to succeed.

  82. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Why is there any need to negotiate?

    We will leave on March 29th 2019.

    Our payments up to and on leaving will cover the net annual amounts payable to the EC. We will pay that portion of EC employee pensions that are down to us.

    On leaving, we will neither charge tariffs nor impose non-tariff barriers on imports of goods and services from EU Member States. If they impose such on us, we reserve the right to retaliate.

    Leaving early: We will make one additional payment of, say, £10 billion if we are allowed to implement trade deals with non-EU countries from 1st January 2018.

    We will use legislation in parliament, backed by the Royal Navy if necessary, to recover sovereign powers in full. That includes non-recognition of the ECJ.

    The Republic of Ireland may retain a soft border with Northern Ireland if it co-operates with the UK’s immigration policy and Republican terrorism is not resumed. As for the Good Friday agreement, if Sinn Fein won’t join in Government in Stormont or Westminster, that’s fine by me. Who needs them? The Good Friday agreement may lapse.

    All co-operation with the EU will be on a mutually beneficial basis.

  83. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    I see that John McDonald wants a million people on the streets to protest and get rid of Mrs May. Well how bloody irresponsible is that? How much is policing this protest going to cost us and how many police are going to be required to keep London safe? If it turns into a riot, which it very well could with the tensions running high at the moment after the fire, then who will hold their hands up and admit it was their idea? And we want McDonald and Corbyn in power?? I don’t think so. They are no better than the rabble they will be calling upon to cause mayhem. What is it about this country that some cannot accept a democratic vote and the results? It’s all sickening.

  84. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 15, 2017 at 11:36 pm | Permalink

    No matter how many times you and others explain that IN or OUT of the EU is a black and white binary decision, the focus of the argument has shifted to an entirely different question: what is the new relationship to be and does UK get there in the same package as leaving, or does it leave without agreement on a new relationship? The implied possibility of not having a relationship at all serves to provide a backstop too ghastly even to contemplate, never mind being seriously debated.
    If there is to be a transition from EU membership into a new formal relationship, it is clear that agreement on the new relationship, or at least a framework and process to continue after leaving, must all be agreed within the timescale of Article 50: two years.
    It is also perfectly clear that the new relationship may be based on free trade, wholly or partially and must include agreements on trade barriers, tariff and non-tariff, and these may be sectoral, applied to specific products (eg. a species of molluscs) and services (eg. personal car insurance), involve any manner of trade-offs from fishing rights to immigration and investor state dispute resolution. there are precedents for all of these. Someone has worked out that there are no less than 41 different types of relationship the EU has with third countries. So almost anything is possible.
    Even if everyone accepts that leaving the EU means leaving membership of both the single market and customs union there remains the question of the government’s intentions for the future relationship that takes the place of membership. On this the government has lost the trust of both Leavers and Remainers. That is the fundamental problem. And as far as I can tell the reasons are entirely to do with Mrs May’s premiership – not entirely her fault, she’s just the wrong person for the job, so I am gladdened to read that others are now making sure she corrects her behaviour as mush as she can. But I fear that will not be enough.
    So the problem with Brexit is that Mrs May’s intentions are not clear to the public. It is not enough to say that disclosure would disclose the UK’s hand in the negotiations. The fact is that there is much that could be said within such constraints that has not been said, even when the government is questioned directly.
    For example on fishing rights, now being raised urgently by Ruth Davidson, previously Mrs May had said nothing and her minister conceded no more than the obvious and already well known fact of UK’s legal rights under the UNCLOS – and omitting UK’s obligations. That is not what we need to be told. It is that UK will replace the CFP by establishing a new national regulatory regime for UK’s EEZ including exploitation, management of stocks and environmental protection; and, where required by UNCLOS, negotiations with contiguous states will be undertaken, for example on the management of stocks that cross the EEZ boundaries and on access for fishing. UK will be responsible for enforcement and will extend its maritime capabilities to ensure compliance with the UK’s regulations.

    That can hardly be said to disclose UK’s negotiating plan. It is nothing more than what the EU, which does understand the CFP and UNCLOS very well indeed, would expect. But it would help to dispel the lack of trust the British public, which does not understand these things well, have in Mrs May’s government. That is the big issue for Remainers and Leavers alike.

  85. Ed Mahony
    Posted June 16, 2017 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    The Conservative Party’s main goal right now must be to keep Jeremy Corbyn at bay.

    As a reluctant Remainer (really, I wanted the government to try and reform the EU, mainly over immigration), I changed to Hard Brexi over time (what was the point of Soft Brexit?) But I think this election result has been a disaster for Mrs May and the Tories and hence for Hard Brexit. Hard Brexit requires leadership to deliver. That leadership is no longer there. In order to keep Corbyn at bay, we really need a leader now like Ruth Davidson. But she’s a Remainer. There’s no one from the Tory Party who can both keep Corbyn at bay whilst implementing Hard Brexit.

    Meanwhile, we have to remember, that we have a huge national debt to pay off. Time is ticking. We can’t carry on indefinitely with this whole EU thing. Sorry, but that’s the reality.

  86. Mockbeggar
    Posted June 16, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    If 12 was a record, LL has now beaten it with a score of 15 above.

  87. Andrew Whitchurch
    Posted June 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

    John, please can you explain to me why these statements are only being released by Brexiters now and were never discussed before 23 June 2016 when several of your Brexiter allies pushed Norway as an example of being outside the EU?

    Reply Nonsense. This is the same as I was saying with Vote Leave throughout the referendum. We made it clear throughout, as did Remain, that the Uk would be leaving the single market and customs union. Leave also made it clear we had no wish to do a Norway or a Switzerland.

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

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