Why won’t so many in the media ask questions of the EU?

For a year many in the media have recycled old tired materials from the referendum. They have invented something called soft and hard Brexit and have gone on and on trying to find weaknesses in the UK government position, and trying to shift the negotiating aims. They have failed to show impartiality by doing the same to the EU. Why aren’t they ringing round their contacts in other member states governments and business and finding out their differences on what the EU wants?  Why don’t they analyse all the different claims and protests the EU Commission has made, and set them against the views of individual countries? You could make a programme about all the varied claims for large sums of money which seem to have no legal basis whatsoever.

So far what has been fascinating about the rest of the EU debate is how unlike the UK media and Commission briefings it has been. I have not heard the Irish government say they think high tariffs on Irish agricultural products into the UK is a price worth paying to teach us a lesson. The Dutch government do not say they want their farmers to pay tariffs or stop supplying us with all that market garden produce and all those flowers. The German government has been noisier about how the UK must not gain from leaving, but has fallen short of saying a 10% tariff on cars is a good idea. Why don’t the media do more interviews to establish what are the economic and business interests of the rest of the EU? And why don’t they say the UK offer meets their needs far better than the Commission’s general idea of punishment for the UK which would mean more punishment for the rest of the EU given the balance of trade. In a world where the UK was forced by the EU to accept high tariffs on agricultural trade, the UK would gain the option of buying cheaper product elsewhere  by cutting tariffs or growing more at home where we are able to, which the EU under their own rules would not be able to do.

The UK right from the beginning said we wanted to reassure all EU citizens living in the UK they are welcome to stay. In turn we would need the same reassurance for UK citizens living in the rest of the EU. Why didn’t the media put more pressure on the EU to agree to just this decent and sensible approach? Why did the EU want to delay, and want to propose changes to a sensible arrangement? I have never thought the EU would end up forcing UK pensioners out of their homes on the Costa Brava, so why not say so immediately? I am glad that the EU now agrees this issue should be one of the first to be tackled. I hope they will not continue to make pawns of people living abroad, and look forward to the media directing their questions to the EU over this.

The UK also made clear in its Article 50 letter of withdrawal that it accepted the EU view that you cannot stay in the single market and Customs Union when you leave the EU. This letter and supporting policy was backed overwhelmingly by the Commons when it was debated and voted. It was also placed in the Manifestos of the Conservatives and Labour who went on to get 82% of the vote in the election. Maybe the media should recognise this.

In summary the people decided to leave the EU. The last Parliament voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU and sent the letter which means we are leaving the EU. The aims for the future relationship are straightforward and cross party. We seek continuing tariff free trade on a  similar basis to today, and many collaborations, joint investments, student exchanges, tourism and the rest as close neighbours should. This is not the UK begging favours. It is commonsense, in their interests as much as ours. What’s stopping them sorting out the detail to back this up?

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179 Comments

  1. formula57
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    Perhaps because so many in the media rather than being journalists are just infotainment industry operatives so it would be novel for them (and doubtless well beyond their capabilities) to seek out “contacts in other member states governments and business and finding out their differences on what the EU wants” or to ” analyse all the different claims and protests the EU Commission has made, and set them against the views of individual countries”.

    Also, the government has not challenged the infotainment industry in the way you have done today so it must accept some responsibility for the failings.

    • hefner
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      And is JR not infotainment? It certainly is for me.

    • outsider
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes formula57, the broadcasting media, in particular, has consistently taken an insular, little-England attitude to “Europe”. Brussels aside, the rest of the EU has remained “foreign” all the time that broadcasters have followed a relentless pro-EU agenda. One doughty Dutch citizen has probably provided more regular input to political debate on this site than all the politicians of the Benelux countries have on the BBC.
      If the BBC had really felt that we were part of a greater Europe for all these years, it might have included a continental politician each week on Question Time in place of a make-weight “celebrity”. Many of them speak better English than most of us do.

  2. Mick
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/819009/queens-speech-theresa-may-jeremy-corbyn-amendments-tim-farron-majority-DUP-snp
    Who the bloody hell do these politicians think they are, we’ve just had a GE and the Tories won, get use to it, if lab/libdims think they would win another GE then there living in cloud cuckoo land, the lib/dims were lucky and Labour have maxed out with the young vote, and I think most older voters would go out and vote Torie , we don’t want to go back to the 70s with the lab/libdims rabble

    • JoolsB
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Trouble is if there was another election, Corbyn could very well win. Who’d have thought he was capable of taking seats away from the Tories in England, southern ones at that? Don’t agree he has maxed out on the youth vote. Many students didn’t register to vote but may very well do so next time, momentum is growing because of his promise to abolish tuition fees. And who can blame them? Meanwhile May has alienated the grey vote with her ‘dementia tax’and animal lovers with her love of fox hunting.

      The Tories won seats in Scotland because the winter fuel allowance wouldn’t have been scrapped there and £9,000 tuition fees don’t apply there and the proposed dementia tax wouldn’t apply there nor would the repeal of the fox hunting ban. All these things only apply to England and if this Tory Government doesn’t stop this discrimination against England’s young and elderly, is it any surprise that England’s young and elderly are turning their backs on the Conservatives?

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 23, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

        Yes, JoolsB but I saw students openly bragging on social media about using two votes. Any student requesting a postal vote or being registered at two addresses should be checked by the Electoral Commission.

        I agree about English students being the only ones in the Union to be punished for studying with a graduate tax of 9% over £17,500pa and £21,000 for the 2012 intake now working. The eye-watering interest of 6% is obscene and should be removed immediately as a starting point. It was Osborne that made the student loan virtually unrepayable until 30 years is worked by putting up the loan to at least £27k for 3 years or £36k for a four-year degree. Then we let EU students off repaying their loans that the British government give them, The Conservatives are going to have to give us a break or I can feel our goodwill snapping.

        Macron created a Centrist government with rookie MPs and lots of EU help to move their agenda on from right and left. Let’s not forget Macron Law though that was for a very protectionist France with loss of free movement of goods and workers through France.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      I hope you’re right but opinion polls would suggest not. The tories need to get their act together and start doing what they didn’t do in the election which is 1) make a positive case for an enterprise economy, rejecting Corbyn’s Venezuela style socialism, complete with property seizures and 2) start painting a specific and positive case for Brexit. They wasted 2 months asking people to vote for ‘Theresa May’s team’ with no info as to what it would do other some general anti-business guff, which if people really wanted they would vote Labour to get anyway.

  3. Turboterrier.
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    The answer to your question surely must be:

    The BBC is not an impartial and unbiased communication agency. Never has been and never will be because all the political classes have failed in controlling them to adopt a middle of the road agenda and be like the man in the middle being seen to be fair to both sides.

    At least with the newspapers you know before you pick them up where they will be coming from.

  4. Rowan
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    John, I am getting concerned. You have explained to us that the UK is in a very good position because the rest of the EU will want to keep selling us goods and services. But yesterday we saw David Davis accept that there will not even be talks about trade links until the UK has paid a large bill. This seems to be inconsistent with what you have been saying.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      Agree, Maybe this is to get our ‘first concession’ out of the way in order to keep things on track. We don’t know what the bill will be but it will keep the lawyers happy when it lands on May’s desk.

    • Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

      If JR’s analysis was anything like half right the EU would not be sequencing the talks. They would be acutely conscious of the limited time passing and moving straight into framework / transitional arrangements. Secondly in his presser Barnier made clear that even when “trade” talks begin that (a) they will be limited to a scoping exercise in the first face and (b) he also made clear that what he called “the detail” of the future relationship ie a signed deal (if any) will only follow years after we have left the EU. That is the reality many of us have been aware of since we first read Article 50.

      So in the absence of any such deal the question for us and indeed Mr Redwood, is what does the UK look like on Brexit +1 ? And on this question various senior Eurocrats keep saying that the UK has yet to submit any detailed proposals at all. There is therefore nothing to negotiate.

      One is drawn inevitably to two conclusions. Leaving the EU is not the simple matter many would like us to believe. And secondly the PM and her “team” do not seem to have the first clue what they are doing. Sir Ivan Rogers – who clearly does know what he is doing – was forced out. And now I think in total 10 SpAds from No 10 have quit, which tells its own story.

      Finally I still live in hope that JR will explain to us what trade advantages we can hope to get with the rest of the world if we continue to operate tariff free with the EU MS. It makes no sense at all. We want tariffs on French wine please, and a sharp reduction in the same for third world offerings. That is just one simple example.
      In both cases of course the revenue will go to our Treasury and not the EU coffers.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    Exactly, it is actually in their interests even more than ours, so what’s stopping them? Just the bureaucrats who are more interested in pushing their anti-democratic project, than they are in acting in the interest of their members.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      Carney talking down the UK again I see, and pretending the BoE can “support” business. Just get the government out of the damn way please. The government are the brakes on the economy in the UK not the support.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 20, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

        Mr Hammond in the Mansion House Speech: “We must not lose sight of the unchanging economic facts of life. Funding for public services can only be delivered in one of three ways; higher taxes, higher borrowing or stronger economic growth.”

        No mention of efficiency or cutting down the the state should not be doing (usually very badly) anyway.

        Hammond could stop pissing money does the drain on moronic things like Hinkley C, HS2, wind/PV % bio subsidies, the climate change act, the Paris agreement, much of the often corrupt overseas aid. This and the vast other sums that are wasted on countless things that are not remotely “public services”. He could easily be far, far more efficient too and encourage far more self reliance rather than having half the population living of the other half via the teat of the state.

        He could get stronger economic growth by cutting red tape, gender pay reporting, not trying to mug the gig economy, non forcing worker on boards, having lower simpler taxes, abandoning quarterly reporting, not mugging landlords/tenants or pension pots and the likes. Raising tax rates from the current position will raise less tax not more and damage the tax base. Get real Hammond and stop being such a misguided socialist dope like your short term boss.

        Much of the “public services” delivered by the state are dire and of rather little value anyway, look at the free at the point on non delivery NHS. They cannot even regulate the banks properly or prevent people fitting flammable cladding to tower blocks for example. They cannot even deal the aftermath of the entirely preventable fire and the people rendered homeless efficiently.

        HMRC cannot even be bothered to answer the phone most of the time and if they do they rarely know anything or ever sort anything.

  6. eeyore
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Exasperating, innit? One of the many miseries of being a politician is that you rely on others to get your message across. You own the words but they own the megaphone. Even worse, it’s a wonky one and distorts everything you say.

    Meanwhile all the other wonky megaphones are also bellowing away. It’s a miracle anyone hears anything at all.

    These are the glories of a free media. But we must have faith. Somewhere in the cacophony the necessary information is being presented and the important points made. Thank heavens our host puts himself to the unique trouble of running his own daily blog, so he can say exactly what he wants and a few of us, at least, can listen.

  7. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Not entirely sure why, but it might be partly due to the common objective of the media and EU to annihilate national identity. The EU is dogmatic about freedom of movement to secure their position and the media go along with it, as opposing this policy makes them appear to align with the far-right.

  8. Doug Powell
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    We come back to the usual rectangular ogre in the room – the biased B B ******* C! NO journalists, just echo chambers for the Blairite /Neoliberalist/Globalisation poor losers!
    I couldn’t believe the semi truths and untruths it spun out of the Hammond interview!

    Negotiations? Apparently these will begin with the divorce settlement! That shouldn’t take long, because I thought every serious Brexiter was of the opinion that such a payment had no legal basis.

  9. Duyfken
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    If the media will not do it, it may be because there is little incentive. Why leave it to them? May I suggest that Brexit-inclined MPs might themselves provide copy for the hacks, by embarking on a series of fact-finding visits to various countries on the Continent. This could be accompanied by lecture meetings to explain and generally advocate Brexit to the locals.

  10. Nig l
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Agree totally but why aren’t you including messrs Soubry, Clegg, Morgan et al in this?

  11. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    The article 50 process is dealing with Brexit, not with trade deals which work according to a different calendar (see Canada-EU – easily 10 year negotiations). Hence the surprising unity among the 27. If the UK want more than negotiating from the default WTO situation, it would have to say so and opt for some temporary transit arrangement (Norway or Swiss model?) It is all up to the UK.
    Over simplifying citizens’ rights arrangements in empty declarations is to nobody’s benefit. The UK (worse even, Theresa May herself), not the EU has suggested these up as pawns in negotiation. The EU has suggested the opposite, i.e. that some UK nationals may want to keep EU citizen rights after Brexit and granting those.

    • Hope
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Tripe. Stop peddling fanciful star gazing. Look at the EU, it is a disaster for all those citizens under its control. Loss of homes business and forced mass immigration by Merkel. Instead of a inter government organisation it is a supranational construct without public mandate. It has to be because it would never be accepted. It was a deception on the public by the politico elites. The remainers are out hoping beyond hope that leaving will not happen. EU wants to show those remaining how the UK leeaing will be punished. If it were a success or seen to be so the public would rise up. Let us hope for the latter.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        @Hope: There has been a supranational component in the European project ever since 1952 (ECSC), so even before the UK walked away from it the first time (in 1955, Spaak Committee).
        The current outlook for the EU or within it the Eurozone is is reasonably good. With the UK basically punishing itself, why would we want to add to that???

        • Hope
          Posted June 23, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          No it is not that is why the EU is desperate tonspend700 million on youth unemployment. Greece is not good, or Spain nor Portugal. Italy is a basket case in the making where they are discussing whether to bail out their banks or not. PvL your reply is not even good spin. Empty hollow unsubstantiated words.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Hard Brexit is being insisted upon by the EU.

      I quote from another blog:

      “This of course is dependent on May holding on as Prime Minister for some time, which again the media are trying their best to prevent. I can only hope she is strong enough to realise that now the election is kind of won, she can really settle in for a year or two before quitting – enough to give time to the Brexit team to have more of less completed the negotiations.

      Oddly, the piece I see a lot of commentators missing is that there is this ‘negotiation failure’ mantra. Actually, with the terms above there is little to negotiate in reality – basically we agree a big settlement payment, Irish border issue and EU citizens rights – then onto a trade deal. The trade deal may end up in a transitional agreement, but as it will be for goods and not services, this is really not that hard to do.

      An actual negotiation, which Labour and others are ignorantly promoting as part of their populist binge, of trying to stay in the Single Market but with restricted immigration – that would be tough to do! Sensibly, we are not even trying it.”

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous:
        If you define “hard” Brexit as becoming a third country like Canada or Australia, I would agree that this follows from the rules the EU has set for itself (e.g. the 4 freedoms). That doesn’t hinder a very good trade (or trade & services) deal to be brokered, but these things obviously take time. So I see no other way than an interim phase in which the UK takes on an existing model e.g. like that of Norway. You would still have the certainty that over time (say 5 years) you’ll be completely freed and liberated from the “dead horse” (EU) you feel that you being shackled to! 🙂

    • libertarian
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Peter vL

      WTO is absolutely fine by me. One of the many failings of the EU is precisely that it can take 10 years to NOT agree a trade deal. The EU is a joke

      Your statement about EU nationals is just a barefaced lie, retract it

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

        @libertarian: I don’t read the Daily Express, hence our disagreements.

      • hefner
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

        Libby, Theresa May, 4 July 2016. It does not look like a lie to me.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/228848/7310.pdf

      “2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of
      its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the
      Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the
      arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future
      relationship with the Union.”

      It is their, and apparently also your, ridiculous misinterpretation that “its future relationship with the Union” cannot include its future trade relationship.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        @Denis: With my maybe poor comprehension of the English language, I read “framework” as being already clearly stated by your government:6.Leaving the single market, leaving the customs union, no more European (ECJ)jurisdiction. Doesn’t that define the “framework” of future relationship?
        As soon as there is more clarity on the divorce side, maybe as early as October, the future relationship can be detailed further ( security cooperation, foreign policy cooperation, starting free-trade negotiations etc.)
        With all the damage that is going to be caused anyway, I cannot imagine that the EU-27 would object to some temporary transition arrangement (which the UK government likes to call “implementation” arrangement).

        How ever mighty and great the UK may be, I cannot see a trade deal being fleshed out within say five years (and that is me being optimistic and hoping for good free trade arrangements).

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

          The framework for the future relationship will be a framework agreed between the two sides, not that laid down by just one side. The question is whether that framework should include important economic matters such as trade. That is not excluded by the text of the article, it is only the EU which has the idea that it should be excluded.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            @Denis: In my view it is even better for Britian than you state, it is the UK which basically can chose the framework: for example in/out of the single market (=trade). What is obviously not possible is to to go against the treaties (all duly agreed, accepted, signed and ratified by the UK governments). You cannot have the benefits without the obligations. Simple to state, but very complicated to flesh it out in all details, that is why trade deals take a long time (unless you just want to sign on the dotted line – a Trump trick which you might expect in future)

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      VL–Last I looked, you had nothing to say about that French lady cabinet minister (I bet you know whom I mean) who was oh so very sure when (and only when) it suited (translation: when it suited the EU’s latest plan) that “a win is a win” with all its consequences, even if by the smallest of margins, as was very much the case–much closer than 52-48 as I remember.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton: A win is a win, no argument there – but your government’s interpretation of what that meant didn’t (still doesn’t?) seem to take account of the wishes of the minority. With your new minority government, let us wait and see how hard (or clean) the Brexit will turn out to be. Including Scotland, N.Ireland, and the City of London in the UK negotiation – preparation teams might be a good start. Otherwise a cross-party team. But it is none of my business, so forget that I even suggested it.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          VL–You are certainly right that it is none of your business. Taking account (how much account?) of the wishes of the minority (a) obviously can only be done up to a point on any basis and (b) does not extend to gainsaying the original vote, eg with another Referendum, or perhaps I should say as many as are needed, in accordance with the proven and pernicious bullying EU approach. When Charles I had his head chopped off (68 – 67) there was no going back (except to the extent of having it sewn back on for his burial) to some sort of half way house, which is clearly what you or perhaps your British wife hunger after and indeed IMHO lower yourself for. Is it true BTW that you Netherlands types cannot agree where your capital (Amsterdam or the Hague or both) is? I know nothing of this, and care less, and may even have the country wrong (Holland?) but I recommend against it. Similarly such is the worth of your comments to us.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

            @Leslie Singleton: Sorry Leslie, with your lack of interest in us you have forfeited your right for another glorious revolution: No more Dutch invasions and we won’t provide any spare Dutch royals to put on your throne! Sorry for all that but you’ve blown it and I’m deeply offended! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 12:36 am | Permalink

          You are indeed right. It is none of your business. What is your business is that the EU’s destination of choice is to become a German dominated Federal European SuperState, for which there is no popular mandate whatsoever. A draft European constitution was put to the electorates of France and the Netherlands and was rejected at referendums.

          Angela Merkel boasted publicly that the Lisbon Treaty was the same as the draft constitution, but with the order of the clauses changed, and the document called a Treaty so that referendums were not required.

          Small wonder that after the Brexit vote, the rulers of Germany, France and Italy met on the island birthplace of an Italian Communist who was one of the founding fathers in order to rededicate themselves to European Union. Two of these three rulers have now lost office. Toxic cause, toxic outcome.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 22, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

            @Lindsay McDougall: I must confess that I’m not very impressed by the quality of referendums. I prefer parliamentarians working 24/7 on the complicated issues and deciding for us. We get to chose our members of parliaments.
            For rather simple issues like whether or not to have a road or railway or shopping center I don’t mind a advisory referendum.

            I have no fear of a German Federal European SuperState. The EU is and will remain a hybrid organisation. It is not to be compared with the British empire or with the USA.

          • Lindsay McDougall
            Posted June 23, 2017 at 12:53 am | Permalink

            We had an example of a politician ‘taking decisions for us’. His name was John Major. He accepted the idea of the Euro and failed to veto the Maastricht Treaty. Had he done so, we would have separated from the European Union 25 years ago (because the EU would split) and been spared years of pain.

  12. Peter
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    There is a still strong establishment position that Brexit is undesirable and must be thwarted or delayed.

    Hence any sign of weakness is seized upon as an opportunity to do just that.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Particularly the anti Brexit press and BBC.

      The BBC aren’t just reporting on negotiations – they’re trying to stop them and doing their part to incite insurrection at home.

      The demonisation of Mrs May over recent tragedies has been particularly bad but she has put herself in a weak position because of a disasterous election and campaign.

      A Corbyn government seems innevitable but this is because of the BBC. Let’s remember how many people don’t want it – the BBC does not speak for Britain.

  13. Sean
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Just leave already, that would shut them up for an hour.

    I’m bored if the feet dragging, just walk or lose Brexit.

  14. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I recently heard the problem summed up quite well. It may have been on here.

    Most trade deals seek to remove barriers to trade, these negotiations are about which barriers to reinstate. It is in few EU country’s interests to introduce restrictive barriers when we run a deficit with the EU. Trade in services attracts no barriers other than being able to move about freely, a 10 year business visa would solve this.

    So it comes down to freedom of movement and fees. These are of most interest to the EU as an entity not to the 27 countries so it will be interesting to see if pressure mounts on the EU negotiators if we look like walking away.

  15. Mark B
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    As I have said on numerous occasions, this is about regulation not trade. Even the EU have stated that trade negotiations can only come ‘after we have left the EU. Quite why our kind host keeps banging on about this is beyond me.

    The other 27 members of the EU have all agreed to say very little and leave it to the EU to negotiate for and on their behalf. This is exactly what happens when the EU negotiates trade deals and regulations on the many international standards committee around the world. International Standards Committee that we will once more be engaging on our own and for ourselves, sitting next to the EU Commissioner responsible, whilst the other 27 members sit outside waiting to be told what they have been given. For the likes of Ken Clarke MP that is real power and not your pathetic ‘influence’ we were lead to believe was worth membership of the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      We already meet International Standards for goods and services we sell to export countries.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Well, Article 50 makes it clear that the EU will negotiate as one party with one agreed common position. But there is nothing which clearly states that trade negotiations can only start after we have actually left to the EU. That is just their perverse and stupid misinterpretation, and UK diplomats and agents around the world should be tasked with persuading other governments to lean toward our side of the argument.

  16. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    I certainly hope that the other parties don’t try and scupper the Queens speech. Corbyn would love another election in October and then I don’t see us getting a solid Brexit.

    If we know what we want from the negotiations then why not just list them and then say we are walking away if we don’t get it? If they don’t want to negotiate then why are we wasting our time?

    The media are a disgrace. If members of the public are aware of the different angles and options then why aren’t they picking up on it. We have been saying this for a long time. Of course, the other parties aren’t too bothered about the BBC as they nearly always find in their favour. It is the Tory party that bears the brunt of the slagging off as we have seen from the debacle with the recent fires in London. To show Kahn and Corbyn with their arms around each other was enough to make me switch off. How shallow can you get?

  17. Caterpillar
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

    1 Few, if any, in the BBC demonstrate any ability to analyse, and none appear polite.
    2 On the face of it, many desire to ‘look clever’ rather than model reasoned and reasonable behaviour.
    3 Much of the UK media dislikes the UK, I don’t know why.

    The selection pressures are giving us what we want (always a bit dumber than we are), not what we need (a bit smarter than we are).

  18. DaveM
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood.

    The media does what the media does. Most people don’t really care that much – they’re more interested in whether Ronaldo will go back to Man Utd and whether this weather will last long enough for them to have a decent “staycation ” this year.

    I don’t care that much either any more. What I do care about is that we are in a bad way in this country right now in so many ways and yet the people at the helm are lame ducks. The PM appears to be a weak puppet with some kind of committee behind her which in turn resembles the factions behind the 16th century monarchs. The only people who appear to have the ability to get a grip are tied up with things like Brexit negotiations and future trade plans.

    We have an ever more popular opposition which – if elected – would be a serious threat to the country on so many fronts. The PM is determined to squander money abroad whilst watching the health service go down the pan, depleting the security services during a period of sustained domestic attacks, and seeing local councils so starved of cash that the roads are worse than some third world countries.

    As recent polls have indicated, there is a strong split in our society – most sensible people would look to compromise in this situation and yet you argue and blunder blindly onward threatening to leave our kids and grandchildren with the worst mess since the 1940s.

    For heaven’s sake – all we can do is put our faith in our politicians. Is there any chance you could stop squabbling like children and get on with your jobs? Neither side of the HoC is making anyone happy or making anything better. Can you not see that?

    I’m fed up to the back teeth with broadcast media bias, but politicians right now are less popular than I can ever remember. The Labour Party doesn’t have the answer; the Conservative party might, but with the current front bench it is on a one way highway to self destruction and oblivion, and it’s going to take the UK with it.

  19. alan jutson
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    The reason is simple John, it is much easier to find fault and criticise for headlines, than seek the truth which is often boring.

    We do not have reporters anymore, instead we have presenters who think they are celebrities in their own right, that their views are the only views, because they are self proclaimed experts.

    Not heard a single thing about the EU demanding that should those who have settled in the UK be given a right to stay, they want them to be covered by EU Law not UK Law, which will clearly lead to absolute chaos.
    Likewise those citizens of our Country who have settled abroad will also be covered by EU law.

    The sensible take on this is surely, you accept the law of the Country you reside in.

    But no, not a peep in the news about this.

  20. stred
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    It was good to see Michel Barnier and David Davis getting on well yesterday and to hear that they have known each other for a long time. Barnier seems eager for the process to be completed as soon as possible and will obviously be after as much of our cash as he can get, in order to pay for their new army, the Junker Youth salaries and a new expensive parliament building without Nigel Farage to disturb the process of building their empire.

    It would be a good idea to perhaps offer to pay the pensions of British redundant EU functionaries and retired commissioners, then we could tax these exorbitant amounts here, as we set our own rules. Bearing in mind that these people have been working against our interests for so long, bunging our money to any other country but our own, a rate of 80% would take the pain of paying the Mandelsons and Kinnocks while having to listen to them.

  21. Edward
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    A useful tool I have been using in all Brexit related matters and also recommending to anyone who cares to listen is “What is in the best interest of the EU?”

    Invariably the answer is the same for the UK.

    Why so many commentators are, in effect, saying that the EU should punish themselves is beyond me.

  22. Old Albion
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    “Commonsense” and “EU” Not often you see those words together!

  23. Bert Young
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The EU cannot speak with one voice ; individual country members have all different economies , needs and priorities . The Eastern bloc have been adamant that they will not accept migration quotas and have been very vocal in their determination . The media decide that putting all these differences together is not in their interest – the subsidies they receive from the EU are the reason .

    Barnier does ultimately have to take his negotiating position to the different countries in order to obtain a majority consent ; he will run into many obstacles and , most likely , will fail . During the negotiating period different elections will throw out more defiance to EU bureaucracy and show just how fragile its “union” is . Added to this problem is the dire economy of most EU countries and the increasingly weak position of the ECB .

    The media face a considerable challenge ahead and will not be able to continue their cover up .

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Basically the mass media are controlled by people lacking any journalistic integrity let alone any trace of patriotism. Most of them are constantly rooting for the EU and willing the UK government to fail and have no scruples about the lies they invent and repeat.

  25. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    From 24/06/16 the UK’s exit from the EU in a clear and unambiguous manner seemed unlikely.
    1. Cameron resigned when I believe he had stated he would trigger the A50 letter promptly if not immediately.
    2. Say 70% of Conservative MPs were Remainers, hence the non election for a leader. Your choice of Andrea Leadsom is looking increasingly a better option than the politically wooden incumbent.
    3. The non recognition of Nigel Farage’s lead role in the campaign and omission from any role in the exit process. When you see all the nonentities in the dreadful of HofL, a peerage is the minimum he should have been offered.
    4. The EU is an authoritarian organisation with a veneer of democracy and can only be negotiated with as such. Basically our approach should have been much more decisive, hard nosed and unilateral e.g. EU citizens employed in the UK should have been given residency status in the A50 letter. Now even David Davis is beginning to look worn down by the battle.
    5. Scotland and N.Ireland have to decide whether being in the EU is more important than being in the UK. If their MPs deny the clear UK EU Referendum result and bring down the Government, so be it. Hopefully there would be benefits for their most important customer – England.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

      2. We Leavers were assured that May was a safe pair of hands and that Leadsome lacked experience – so we got a Remainer in charge of Brexit and one with a terrible pro EU/mass immigration/border force cuts/police cuts record in the Home Office.

      I said then that full Brexit wasn’t happening. That this was a swindle.

      From a good majority, May stalled and stalled and then went for further consensus on Brexit and lost it.

      We are now faced with the very real – perhaps unavoidable – prospect of a Corbyn government.

      Unthinkable six weeks ago.

      My. Those string-pullers are clever people. They would destroy this country sooner than see a successful Brexit. Having the BBC on side is their greatest strength.

  26. iain
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Let’s be honest and say that balanced journalism is on it’s last legs. The future is social media and the sooner the Govt spreads it’s message that way the better and bypass so called journalists completely. Nobody since Alastair Campbell has been able to control the UK media but those days are long gone.

    • hefner
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      So you want to stay in your social media bubble. Fair enough but do not expect to get any real news.

  27. Julien Tabulazero
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Dear sir,

    Let me refresh your memory a little bit : the first major UK politician to have put into question EU nationals’ right of residency post Brexit is no other than Theresa May in a bid to shore up her Brexit credentials during her leadership campaign. Not even Nigel Farage had put those rights into question before her.

    Now, this could have ended there but no, this was then followed by Mrs Amber Rudd, a Minister in Mrs May’s government, proposing during the Conservative Conference that UK companies list their EU nationals so that they could be “named & shamed”… Do I need to describe you how well this went in continental public opinion ?

    And last but not least, there was the utilisation of 3mm EU nationals not as a bargaining chip but rather as a ploy to prod the EU’s position of “no negotiation before article 50”.

    As you well know, your dear colleague and lead Brexiter Michael Tomlinson did sent a public letter, which you happily signed, to Donald Tusk to undermine Michel Barnier’s refusal to discuss expats right before article 50 is served (which was what the treaty required you to do first, by the way).

    The attempt to blame the uncertainty stemming from Brexit on the EU was widely seen therefore as despicable & cynical, especially knowing the fact that this topic had already been discussed and rejected in a private conversation between Prime Minister May and Chancellor Merkel.

    One may wonder what were you hoping to achieve other than test the will & cohesion of the EU or publicly embarrass it ?

    One may also note that had the government been genuinely concerned by the situation of the expats on both side of the Channel, there are plenty of things that it could have decided by now that do not need to be part of the Brexit negotiations because they are out of the EU’s remit.

    For example, do you think the government should index state pensions on EU inflation for the British citizens retiring in the EU ? It is a very important question for British expats. If you have the answer, please let us know.

    Now, I did not even have to touch on Secretary Johnson’s antics or Michael Howard threatening war with Spain.

    The bottom-line of all the above is that, while Brexit means Brexit, the run up to the start of the negotiation has been a complete omni-shamble as seen from the continent.

    The people running your side of Brexit seems to be more concerned by the intricacies of Tory internal politics & leadership contests than thinking about how their actions can be perceived from abroad, let alone how to better serve the UK’s national interest rather than their political careers.

    It is neither the fault of the press nor of the EU if the UK’s approach to the Brexit negotiations show acute signs of autism.

  28. WingsOverTheWorld
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I suspect you know the answer to your question, sir.

    The mainstream media are not in the business of reporting news; they are in the business of pushing opinions as fact, to suit their narratives. That is why they accept briefings they agree with without question, but forensically examine policies they don’t.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      The only media we should mind is the BBC. All the rest should be free to push their own opinions. But NOT the BBC.

      It is paid for by a magistrate court enforced tax – the others are by means of civil court.

  29. acorn
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Why would the, mostly foreign domiciled, owners of the UK media, have the same level of paranoia as Brexiteers? UK citizens understand little about the EU or how it works. If the Daily Mail and the broadly dominant right wing press say EU bad; Supreme Court Judges bad; Corbyn bad, so vote “leave”; that is what they will do. QED. Headlines about Eurocrats with foreign names, don’t sell UK newspapers.

    Trying to divide to conquer, as you are suggesting, individual member states of the EU from Brussels, will be tricky. Juncker’s first defence move was against such an attack to his flanks. Hence Michel Barnier has deployed his troops on 27 national doorsteps.

    Its times like these when you need a Winston Churchill.

    • hefner
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      And sorry, JR, but you are not a Winston.

  30. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    One despairs. Are they hand-wringing cringing wimps? Deliberately deceitful? Intent on undermining the UK’s position in the negotiations in order to damage to UK? Bovinely stupid? Insane? If it were not for the fact that a very large proportion of the general public, one could shrug it off, believing most people have more sense. But I think I am having to revise my opinion of the public downwards: they do believe this rubbish in the media!
    Mind you it would help if the Government said more!

  31. Jane Roberts
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I came to the conclusion long ago, that there are people out there who would love to see us fail, just so they could say ‘I told you so’ . They lap up everything that politicians like Tusk and Merkel say as if it were Holy Writ, accept every threat without argument, and ignore or rubbish every bit of good news on our economy. Why are they so afraid of standing on our own feet as a truly independent nation?

  32. Shieldsman
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I find it strange that Barnier talks about no concessions. Surely our leaving means the Brussels Commission are no longer our Administrators and there main task is to hand back all those task they have assumed, and for which we have paid the administration fee. Fisheries and Agriculture, in leaving the EU we want to return to the pre membership situation whereby we assume administrative responsibility, so what is there to negotiate?

    The media and the remainers after a year are still running around trying to find an off the peg trading agreement, but, are there actually any on offer. I have yet to see one, will Micel Barnier present one. The are hardly likely to offer the Lichenstein opt out on freedom of movement.

    Christopher Booker in saying: – we would discover that our aircraft no longer had any legal right to fly outside UK air space, gives no reason why this should pertain. Why cannot there be a smooth handover of resposibilities?

  33. oldtimer
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    The short answer is that the view you express does not fit the prevailing media narrative – so they ignore it.

  34. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    The media in general is pro EU. They take their lead from the BBC who receive funds from the EU.
    It’s good Davies clarified that we will be leaving the single market and customs union.
    Let’s just hope there is no massive exit fee.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Mrs Merkel needs our ‘exit fee’ to be as large as possible so that she can tell her electorate that its not just them that is paying for the EU. (Her election is coming up) She has instructed Junker, who in turn has instructed Barnier, to squeeze the pips! One has to hope that our response is that we’ll pay our lawful dues, and no more.

      • rose
        Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        They are all united on the ransom – the contributors and the recipients. Probably the only thing they are united on.

        The media never report from the continent if they can help it, and then only very superficially. They just toe the EU line, black propaganda and all, because it is easier for them and their hearts are in it.

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      I’ve no doubt the EU would love us to pay a massive exit fee. Otherwise their members will have to pay more and receive less. Unfortunately for them that isn’t a good enough reason.

    • Les Buchanan
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

      ” The media in general is pro- EU” – where do you get this stuff?

      • ian wragg
        Posted June 20, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        You obviously don’t watch the BBC, SKY, Channel 4 etc. etc.
        I don’t include the newspapers as there coverage is so low.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        Les B

        Er from the media?

      • getahead
        Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

        From reading the papers and watching television.

      • zorro
        Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

        By reading and watching the media in general I would guess….

        zorro

      • James Matthews
        Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Insert “broadcast” before media and it is self-evidently true.

    • hefner
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Ian, Are you only reading the Guardian, the Daily Mirror and the Financial Times?
      From reading the DT, the Sun, the Times, the Daily Express in my preferred coffee-shop, they do not look very pro-EU to me.
      So how do you get to that conclusion?

  35. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Most of the broadcast media is anti-Brexit and only too happy to belittle their own country. They have become propagandists not impartial journalists. I have suggested before they should begin their EU reports with “This is Brussels calling, Brussels calling”. Whilst thinking back to the war years, can you imagine how today’s broadcasters would have responded to the Dunkirk evacuation which started on 26th May 1940 just over 2 weeks after Churchill became Prime Minister on 10th May 1940?

  36. Trimperley
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    Hadn’t you noticed that the media stopped reporting on news years ago? Most papers are full of opinion pieces or diary columns because its easier to pay a commentator than run a foreign bureau.

    • Tom William
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      Once upon a time the Daily Telegraph said it was “a newspaper not a viewspaper”. Now it, and nearly all daily papers, can be read from cover to cover fairly quickly. This has not stopped the papers getting thicker and full of supplements because they desperately need the advertising revenue.

      Many of the stories/articles by named editors/correspondents for science, social affairs, consumer affairs, medical affairs etc. are trawled of the world wide web and are neither original or interesting. Long articles by celebrities, often about their emotions, are tedious. Many reports have multiple “authors’.

      If there were fewer “journalists” to be paid, less paper used and more actual news the price could come down and perhaps more papers sold. Or have serious papers had their day?

  37. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Very very good article indeed and so unarguably true–When I regularly moan at you about my not seeing enough articles of yours elsewhere (and I think almost never letters) especially ones like this; and having learnt that it is hard work finding anybody who can respond to “Have you read John Redwood today?” I weep. I am going to write to the Torygraph today and ask them why they have not just asked but implored you to write for them each week on Brexit–opposite the letters in the middle. I shall also ask whether they have themselves read today’s.

    reply the Guardian took an article yesterday and the FT for tomorrow

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

      Post scriptum–No sooner said than done, viz & to the DT:

      Is there any reason why you only very rarely seem to publish articles by John Redwood—and prominently in the middle of the page opposite the Letters? I ask because he is an exceptionally good asset for the Brexit cause, absolutely one of the best, his articles yesterday and today being especially brilliant (Sorry about any journalistic bruised egos today). The situation is becoming desperate so kindly oblige by arranging for him to contribute regularly.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Have to confess I didn’t know you were writing for the enemy–I suppose it is a moot point whether better to do that rather than jolly along supporters. Personally I couldn’t bear to read the Guardian under any circumstances.

  38. Kenneth
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    The BBC is treating the eu as untouchable and faultless and pretends that it speaks with one voice while at the same time it is constantly trying to undermine our negotiation position.

    The BBC and like-minded media has invented the totem pole of “soft Brexit” (i.e. Remain) for its political friends to dance around.

    Mr Redwood, the BBC is ignoring you and your like-minded colleagues and prefers to feature its Remain friends along with some “I voted Remain, but…” Conservatives.

  39. Anonymous
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    The EU is never scrutinised. All is going swimmingly with it, of course.

  40. jack Snell
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    The media is a business like any other and they are only concerned with TV viewing rates and the selling if newspapers etc. So in the case of the uk public the media are chiefly concerned with local politics and what uk politicians are saying.

    As regards the EU countries remaining in the eu – they can have little to say about anything at the moment given that the UK negotiation position is still very unclear- so they can hardly be expected to make considered contributions about anything at this stage.

    Neither should we forget that we started all of this brexit business – so the running on everything including A50 deliverance etc was all our doing- we are the ones making the changes not the EU – they are only standing by trying to pick up the pieces.

    However I have no doubt that after the German election things will pick up when Macron and Merkel get their heads together, as the eu commission has really little to do with anything now that the Barnier team has been appointed. It’ll be up to the EU Council and the Parliament eventually more so now as things move along. So however it goes the EU are not going to allow their four basic freedoms to be breached which the uk side already has accepted and taken on board, and given that we are also leaving the customs union as well we should really be out there now looking for new trade deals world wide. Incidentally haven’t heard a word from Liam fox for a long time?

    Anyway there’s no point in blaming media for not focusing on foreign attitudes to brexit, The EU 27 are determined to hold the line and there won’t be any comment from any of the individual countries until the hard negotiation is completed- I expect they have all been well drilled in this.

    Lastly it is not correct to use the figure of 82% in this way because that was the combined numbers who voted for both conservatives and labour according to their manifestos- we can have no way of how many remainers and so called soft brexiteers were in the mix- more fake news I suppose?

  41. Trust Fond
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Mr Carney of the BoE is employed still.

  42. Twitterer
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Prior to widespread Social Media, we could not compare. Now in any major news event, in Europe and the world,mainstream media is lost.The only news, detailed and otherwise comes from Periscope, Twitter and Facebook etc, These Social Media do not show EU nation states or their peoples exhibiting hostility to the UK. There were reports of people in France laughing at Theresa May’s Election performance. However, this was only reported from British Remainers here in the UK. Not even a smile from French people.
    It seems it is only our own mainstream media which obsesses about Brexit.
    There are tens of thousands of French holiday accommodations who know their governement is not going to hinder British tourism in any way. Also no panic from French wine makers and farmers. They have huge power.

    • hefner
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      “Not even a smile from French people”: You must not have listened to France Inter, France Info, RTL or read French media recently. It was not so much a smile as incredulous smirking. As for some French stand-up comedians, they had a field day (week) last year after the referendum, and again last week after the GE.

      As for the usual comment about French wine (and cheese) makers and farmers, get real, there is a tiny bit more possibly coming from France (nuclear power stations, TGV-style trains). And what Macron and his government want as an objective for 2020 is the present (2016) number of start-up companies to be multiplied by 10.

      So baguette, Camembert and garlic, anyone?

      • Twitterer
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

        hefner.
        You are right.No I’ve “not listened to France Inter, France Info, or read French media recently”
        Do you get your information and a sense of public opinion from the BBC and Sky News? Because you’ve jsut validated the truthfulness of their French counterparts Even the President of the USA says it is Fake News. But I do not need him to tell me. Listen to him hefner!!! Oh and get a Twitter account and see the converstions between French people.
        As for your second paragraph, I shall have to study it.

        • hefner
          Posted June 22, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          Just in case you do not know these things, getting a Twitter account and using it is the best way to get fed information which fits your profile, as created (very quickly, less than a week for a regular user) .

          So looking regularly at all types of news from far-right to far-left might be the best way not to be pigeon-holed and fed only, say, Trump-type achievements.

  43. MPC
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    We need you to continue with this relentless logic Mr Redwood, and on TV if you are invited, even if you are finding it tiresome. There is still misunderstanding, or worse, about tariffs. I’ve heard Leanne Wood saying they would apply to all product components rather than completed products. Also it’s annoying not to hear certain views challenged properly – a former economics correspondent such as Evan Davis surely knows that the imposition of tariffs would be entirely an EU decision rather than an aspect of a wilful ‘Tory hard Brexit’!

    • battleaxe
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      MPC
      “relentless logic”.
      Brilliant description.
      Well done JR for being relentless.
      Is that Paddy Power Dover thing on Order Order a spoof ?
      If not that too is absolutely brilliant

  44. Antisthenes
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The bulk of the media appears to have little appetite for the truth or in presenting impartial and balanced information. Self aggrandisement and toadying to vested interest is their first consideration. To that end they sensationalise, stir up outrage and distort the facts by omission or by manipulation. The objective of course is to increase advertising revenue, score political points or to promote favoured causes. There is also an element of sloppy and incompetent research and lack of the intellectual capacity to present analysis that is well understood and thoughtful. Most of which is banal and inaccurate.

    This sort of corrupt and mediocre behaviour is prevalent in our society today. Particularly observable in politics, in government, public sector, corporate and charitable organisations. Dependent upon how far to the left they are or how much they depend on taxpayers largess. This rush to the bottom has been facilitated by the rise of progressive socialism which despises merit, entrepreneurship, personal responsibility and self reliance. That promotes welfare, education and public ownership believing it will bring greater social justice but only results in impoverishing the better off and productive and does little to improve the standards of the less well off. Society suffers as whole so that we do end up with a media and much else that is not fit for purpose.

  45. graham1946
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Why did we waste a year in which they could do this? Cameron said he would instigate Article 50 right away if the vote went to ‘Leave’, but instead ran for the hills.

    Why did Mrs May waste another 9 months before putting in the letter then call an unnecessary election which wasted another 2 months? All this has cost us another 10 billion which would have gone a long way to sorting out problems at home.

    Rather than blaming MSM for what they do, making up the news if there is nothing better on offer, I’d rather blame your government for shilly shallying and giving them a chance. Many of us believe this was deliberate in order for the Remainers to get up a head of steam and said so many times. Can’t see any reason to change my mind. Seeing our negotiating team in the papers today which seem to be one politician and the rest time server civil servants, I am less optimistic about a good outcome. Why no proper experienced hard nosed negotiators?

    reply it was the law courts that delayed the letter

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      She could have cut the delay by deciding not to appeal to the Supreme Court against the High Court judgment. In the end she had to get Parliament to pass an additional Act, basically to confirm what the government and many others believed had already been approved as part of the referendum Act. And she could have avoided further delay if she had rejected Juncker’s advice that she should hold an early general election.

    • hefner
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      As described by JR himself around the 8 February, it was more than simply the law courts that delayed the letter.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      Reply

      If Cameron had kept his word the letter would have been in before the court case, so it’s still your lot that caused the delay. The HoC voted in favour of issuing the letter on 1st February so another 2 months was wasted at nearly a billion a month. Also this case could have been avoided altogether along with the costs had the vote been given immediately the case was lodged. Re-writing history does not absolve your government.

  46. Noyce
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Mr Hammond in his Brexit Speech did not smile in his speech. Not even in a jocular duet with Mr Carney. Maybe the former is concerned about medical procurement and Local Authority NHS procurement post Brexit. He has great interest in medical companies. One wonders why he is not in Mr Hunt’s position. Maybe he does not share Mr Hunt’s love of riding a bicycle on the cluttered, dangerous and fast movinging traffic streets of London. But that does not mean he should remain Chancellor.

    • hefner
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

      I do not remember smiling being the nec plus ultra consideration to become Chancellor, or riding a bicycle.

  47. Antisthenes
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    “mises.org/blog/after-brexit-germany-and-eu-will-look-asia” This is well worth the read at least it was written by a competent writer who understands the subject he is opining on unfortunately it is quite long. However it reinforces your observations on Brexit and comes to many of the same conclusions as you with some interesting additional ones.

  48. Caterpillar
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, would you be able yo remind Mr Hammond that frictionless virtual customs is possible (canad-usa, sweden-norway). Reports do seem to indicate he is wavering on Customs Union.

    • hefner
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Canada-USA trade is part of NAFTA, Sweden-Norway trade is part of an European Trade Cooperation (interegional) agreement.
      So it might be frictionless now (but beware The Donald) but it needed agreements.

  49. Anonymous
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Remain/BBC would sooner make the country ungovernable than see Brexit/real Tories in power.

    Grenfell Tower is being used cynically.

    The only acceptable politics (to them) is Blairism.

  50. bigneil
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Any questions for the EU about the trouble at Calais erupting again? Now a driver has been burned to death after crashing into trees deliberately placed across the roads by all those “surgeons, engineers, etc” so desperate to come here and get their taxpayer funded lives. The Med water taxi service is in flow bringing in more – mostly young males, all knowing the extended family can be brought over to “contribute” to our society, once they have got here – -even if getting here means killing an innocent driver.

  51. brian
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    The media are more concerned with Westminster politics rather than trying to give us news or, heaven forbid, actual analysis. It’s all X-Factor now.

    • hefner
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      And BTW, that’s also what the owner of this blog is providing.

  52. Lifelogic
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Hammond in his Mansion House speech today:-

    “Stronger growth is the only sustainable way to deliver better public services, higher real wages and increased living standards. I thought we had won that argument. But I learned in the General Election campaign that we have not. That we must make anew the case for a market economy and for sound money. The case for growth. And we need to explain again how stronger growth must be delivered through rising productivity.”

    True but it is rather a shame that Hammond and May are both essentially socialist, interventionists & rather against free markets. Also against the gig economy. They certainly kill free markets in health, education, much of housing, on pay rates, price controls, gender pay reporting and the likes. Also Carney & Hammond are very clearly totally against sound money.

    The main obstacle to being competitive and improving productivity is the government, the over regulation and taxation of almost everything and the generally dire public services. Just look in the mirror P Hammond and T May your bloated and incompetent state is the main barrier.

  53. Chris S
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    Another near-perfect analysis of the position as of Mis-June 2017.

    You ask “what’s stopping them sorting out the detail to back this up?”

    We posting here all know the answer :

    David Davies is adopting an entirely sensible and pragmatic position however we are not negotiating with parties that are sensible and pragmatic.

    Brussels and Merkel are terrified that a good deal will lead to other net contributors leaving. Merkel knows that this will inevitably lead to the end of the Euro and that all important low exchange rate that German business has exploited so ruthlessly.

    Equally important, Juncker knows that without the structural funds to blackmail the former Eastern Bloc members to fall into line, he won’t be able to control developments and the 27 will break up. He might persuade Germany to replace our contribution but losing another net contributor would certainly be fatal.

    So we should not be surprised if the deal on offer is so unattractive that the Government refuses to accept it. Whatever the protestations from Remoaners and business, there is no doubt that no deal is very definitely better than a bad one.

  54. Terry
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Why don’t they ask the EU questions? Because they are all part of the MSM elites and none want us to leave that cabal.
    I have little doubt there is a secretive global movement plotting to eventually take control of the Western World. Their advocates already hold senior positions in numerous Governments (the EU included) , the Judiciary, in Education like Unis and Big Corporations. And they OWN most all MSM.
    They have taken a knock in the USA when Donald Trump was selected by the people over the Establishment controlled candidate Clinton. But they are still trying to bring him down to get their puppet installed. Such is their determination and their power.
    Across the wold and in the EU, Big Corporations are now inlfluencing the daily lives of all citizens. They adore the EU because the EU is conforming to their expensive lobbying campaigns and deliberately reducing their competition with masses of Red Tape and extra taxes and rules that cripple the smaller firms.
    Meanwhile, the new-born World of the East grows while the West declines. And the papers seem to keep those tales under wraps too.

    This country desperately needs a truly independent newspaper and an independent TV Station that will always ask the same questions of all parties and give no bias to any. I can dream.

  55. LenD
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    There is no need for negotistion we just leave then we will take back control and be free to trade with whoever we like..simple

  56. Ms April Showers
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    June 20th 2017 .Wokingham is 28-30C. Just shows you that Climate Change deniers are silly. We ought to call it Flaming June. I should patent the term. 🙂

    • ian wragg
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

      Hottest day for 40 years. So what, perhaps it will be 40 years until we get a similar temperature.
      The Romans grew grapes in Northumberland, wen had the Thames freeze over for months on end in the 18th century.
      The climate has always changes and always will. No amount of harassment from the UN or taxation by government will stop it.

    • zorro
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      LOL…. exactly, but we do appear to be dealing with the goldfish generation!

      zorro

    • Terry
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      I do NOT think there are are many Climate Change deniers per se but there are very many Archaeologists, Geologists, Physicists AND Climatologists who do not believe that it is influenced by CO2 emissions nor by mankind.

      When you consider that CO2 is an essential gas required for plant growth on Earth and represents just 0.04% of our atmosphere and that readings from the Greenland Ice Core dating back over 800,000 years prove that rising CO2 is a RESULT of an increase in Global Temperature and DOES NOT therefore cause Global Warming as these figures demonstrate a CO2 increase LAG of several centuries behind an increase in Earth’s Temperature, you can understand why these scientists think that way.
      AGW has been proven a non-runner, to put it politely. The USA which has been spending around $6 Billions each year supposedly ‘combating’ it has now decided to stop, based on substantial evidence presented by Scientists of the Heartland Institute.

      So, now instead of fighting a mirage, let’s focus on the less well-equipped Nations to prepare for the effects of Natural Global warming. If indeed, they will actually suffer any.

      • hefner
        Posted June 23, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Terry, Where have you been these last ten years? Your CO2-temperature connection has been debated for years, with a nice summary on the question in the New Scientist on 16 May 2007. And things are a bitty more complicated than what you think.

        And by BTW, the 400ppm CO2 concentration is not an argument, there are roughly 80% N2, 20% O2 in the atmosphere, and they do not play any role as they are linear molecules with possibilities of vibration between atoms giving rise to absorption mainly in the ultraviolet spectrum (wavelengths smaller than 0.4 micron). On the other hand, CO2 is also a linear one but with possibilities of vibration and rotation between atoms, which give rise to emission-absorption lines most of them in the infrared spectrum (larger than 4 micron wavelengths). And the more CO2 in the atmosphere, the greater this emission-absorption. And even accounting for a number of negative feedbacks, the higher the temperature.

        Spectroscopy 101, anybody?

    • matthu
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Apparently we are in for the hottest summer since 1976.

      Hang on …

    • James Matthews
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Refer to records for 1976.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      It’s nice to be back to proper summers like June July of 1976, it reminds me of my youth, still it doesn’t seem to be lasting as long.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      When its colder than average somewhere, climate alarmists say “its localised weather”
      But when its hotter than average somewhere, climate alarmists say its definite proof of climate change.

  57. Anonymous
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Grenfell Tower (sorry to revisit.)

    Those flats were £350k. Nearly £2k a month to rent – in prime London.

    Most London commuters could not afford that, hence they are commuters.

    Over the years, has anyone calculated how many London road commuters have been killed getting to work ? I would venture thousands – but does anyone care ?

    Are these people – middle class and working class, mostly white – not victims of London overcrowding and financial constraint too ?

    • Richard Butler
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

      If you saw what I see every day in my business you would be staggered. I cant say too much but lets just say the progressives ‘they come here to work, not to claim benefits’ is a grand myth. Somehow they took control of the national narrative by firstly assembling ‘evidence’ to back up a view.

      That ‘evidence’ came from studies done by like minded University folk that interviewed highly accessible ‘nothing to hide’ migrants.

      A day in the office here would up-end years or ‘progressive; myth making.

      BTW this new breed of well-off client is emerging. This week an old retired west indian bus driver now selling his £3.4 million London home which he bought from the council for £26k 3 decades ago.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

        It’s nice to hear of a bus driver winning. He worked hard all his life. My only hope is that his house was paid for with real money and not borrowed – otherwise we’re all in a lot of trouble.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

          Only a few people can cash in like this before there is a ‘run’ on London property. The crash will happen not because of Brexit but because of a gold rush when people of a certain age realise there is a limited window of opportunity.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

      They are victims of the regulators, fire experts, building control people & others who, unbelievably allowed the building to be clad in flammable insulation. How could they do this? You do not need to be an expert to see how dangerous this was likely to be.

      Incompetent government once again. I already hear signs of a cover up from some.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      ‘Are these people – middle class and working class, mostly white – not victims of London overcrowding and financial constraint too ?’

      – No. These poor people are the victims of some human beings too mean / negligent to spend an extra $5,000 on safer cladding.
      Everything else is irrelevant, except to add to the cold, callous disregard of the value of these people’s lives.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        But lives of killed and maimed commuters don’t get *regarded* at all !

        The narrative here is “wicked Brits (Tories) neglecting minorities again” when in fact we’re being sacrificially generous.

        This tragedy was not deliberate. It was an accident.

        Statistically you’d still be far, far safer as a London flat dweller than a London worker commuting daily by road.

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

          Further commuters by road pay a disproportionate amount of tax to the welfare state – road tax, congestion charges, parking… all from taxed pay.

          My point is that to demonise the Tories over a technical building issue is wrong and politically opportunistic. The money was available to do the job right and that it wasn’t is down to local mistakes.

          It is wrong to suggest that a Tory government has singled out a particular social class for neglect.

          The most neglected are those excluded from London property but who must get to work there.

          The people suffering just as equally from London overcrowding are those who were unable to afford to live in London and who were killed getting there – mostly conservative people just trying their hardest.

          Killed in their thousands over the years.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        You assume meaness but if several products to chose from are all approved for use by the experts, why would you chose the most expensive?

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

          ‘why would you chose the most expensive?’

          – To reduce the risk of fire, considering this particular cladding’s been banned in America and flagged up as ‘flammable’ in Germany.

          Either way, its meanness and/or negligence, resulting in a third-world-like fire in one of the richest cities in the world.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Anyway, i don’t see why you’re so keen to defend the position of those connected with the cladding in some shape or form and the saving of £5,000 for the cheaper cladding, over the lives of the 79 who died. Whatever you think, 99% of people think, including 100% of Tory voters I’ve spoken to in private, think this fire was deplorable and down to human meanness and/or negligence. And whatever, you or i think on culpability, I’m pretty certain the Conservative government will do all it can to make sure the victims of this fire are well looked after.
          Best wishes.

    • Treetop
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

      Anonymous
      Are you saying that social housing in that block has a rent of £2k per month?

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        If you were to rent such accommodation without state assistance as most commuters would have to do then yes. £1500 to £2000 a month I read.

  58. Posted June 20, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    It’s a disgrace John. Nothing but pure propaganda and framing.

    It’s all based on gold standard, fixed exchange rate thinking. Neo classical economics that do not realise we have left both.

    This is what happens when you use this tripe to support your household budget anologies when it comes down to the budget deficit and the national debt. Yet, somehow they will see it differently when it comes to trade.

    You reap what you sow John this is the outcome of fiscal conservatism which is built on gold standard, fixed exchange rate lies.

    Trade and inflation are the two most misunderstood topics in economics. No wonder when students are trained to believe we still use the gold standard and fixed exchange rates.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

      Ah the magic money tree printing press school of economics.

  59. Dennis
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    So when you, Mr Redwood, asked the media what did they say?

    What! – you haven’t them?

    Reply They deny imbalance but have no good answer

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      Why is Ofcom so impotent? Is it not their job to ensure broadcasting code, which demands accuracy and impartiality, is enforced?

  60. Mitchel
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    John,

    Your article in today’s Guardian is proving a hit with it’s readers -1200 responses already!

    • outsider
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Yes Mitchel, it is a brilliant example of how any civilised discourse needs someone to take all the time and effort required to moderate comments as Mr Redwood does.

    • getahead
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      The most of it kicking and spitting!

    • ice cube
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Guardian comments didn’t mention Corbyn or DUP much, or the vast numbers of European Awake youth or the majority of the British public who all want and are going to get out
      Shame the people who will get us out have to be pilloried but hopefully they realise it’s a circus, a show, a war against globalism and a tiny elite.*******

    • zorro
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, more like non responses and usual abuse instead of addressing issues. I even read something from ‘hefner’ talking about ‘intelligent’ people writing on this site. Good to know that hefner holds us in such high regard 😂

      zorro’

    • Casanova
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      If I told my neighbours I read the Guardian they would look oddly at me and tell their daughters they could do much better for themselves than marry me. Despite my very good looks!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, and nearly all totally misguided & wrong headed just as one would expect.

  61. Richard Butler
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    What we’re up against is a Remoaner tribe desperate to prove themselves right all along.

  62. IgnoreThePolitics
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think the media is necessarily pro-EU … I think in general the quality of journalism has declined as the aim has become to try and catch-out politicians or prompt a headline. If they actually did some thinking/analysis before opening their mouths then the adversarial nature of questioning would often disappear. As the above article indicates (the story is not soft/hard BrExit but why isn’t the EU open to the kind of deal they would love to do with USA etc). I often cringe when I hear a journalist starting an interview, including on the BBC. I often think to myself, “you know the answer to that question” or “only someone who does not understand the situation would ask that question.”

    Many journalists hold politicians in low regard; they consider themselves superior. I suspect the average intelligence of a politician is somewhat above that of a typical journalist. Or the average journalist is so stressed by the need to tweet or report an update every hour that they neglect to ‘add any value’ by putting their thinking-cap on. They are on auto-pilot.

  63. Bert Young
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

    How coincidental that Hammond and Carney went “public” almost at the same time singing off the same hymn book !. The BBC loved it .

    Hammond is re-profiling himself for a leadership bid ; he knows he is losing out in the race and he is pulling out the stops . The strong arm of the Conservative Party have to put him in his place .

    • rose
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      It looks as if he was happy to lose the election and is now happy to lose the negotiations, both with the DUP and the EU, just to be able to say “I was right.” Carney the same. Why can’t they develop a belief in the national interest? Other remainers like Oliver Letwin have.

  64. Freeborn John
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    May needs to slap the Chancellor down (as she did many brexiteer ministers before) for disagreeing with government brexit policy or simply fire him. She will never regain authority if a faceless grey robot like Hammond is allowed to undermine her with impunity. Better for her to go down fighting than be savaged like this by a dead sheep.

  65. Ian Stafford
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    1. Spot on about the failure of the BBC to challenge the negotiating stance of the EU. There is too much assumption that UK is a supplicant asking for the best she can get. I do think the government needs to play its part in turning the trade argument into the line, tariffss are zero now what tariffs will the EU impose on British goods and we shall impose the same.
    2 We cannot grant “amnesty” to EU nationals in UK without giving them some form of document. Otherwise when they go on holiday how is Border Force to know that they are the ones with the “amnesty”? What documents are being discussed?
    3. I am not sure why the UK-ROI border is such a problem. The CTA continued to exist and was able to exist because both UK and ROI are outside the Schengen agreement: not the fact that both countries were in the EU. A EU border is not created by the UK leaving the EU but only if ROI joins Schengen.

    • stred
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 7:11 am | Permalink

      The problem with the free passage between the ROI and NI is the EU migrant who arrives saying they wish to work in the ROI but moves on to the mainland UK without check. This could be resolved by moving the UK border check to the ports between NI and the rest of the UK. ROI and NI citizens would be waved through but other EU or ROW people would have to declare a reason for visit and their details taken, as happens when we go to the US. Their name could be circulated if they then tried to stay or get a job.

      • rose
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

        Northern Irish unionists don’t want this because they see it as putting Ulster outside the UK. It would certainly be seized on as a victory for the republicans.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      I wouldn’t use the word “amnesty” because it carries the suggestion that these people have done something wrong but we are prepared to forgive and forget. That could only be appropriate if they were illegal immigrants; but they are not, they are immigrants whose entry, residence and employment have been not only legal but effectively at the open invitation of our Parliament and government. However you’re right that they will need some documentation to confirm their right to be and work here for as long as they like and to leave and re-enter as they wish. A UK passport would do that, but notionally at least it would require them to give their allegiance to the UK. At one time such a person could have been given the status of “denizen”, falling short of the status of full “citizen”.

  66. James
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    I work in the media and feel ashamed to be associated with what comes out of the industry on Brexit and many other subjects.

    Truth is, the company that I work for is staffed substantially by foreign nationals, from both the EU and further afield. I believe the same is true of many other publications.

    Almost all, including the home grown staff members, are rooting to see this country harmed and many practically cheer or whoop each time a negative piece of economic data emerges. They instantly attempt to connect it with Brexit – even if there is no connection whatsoever.

    Simply put, these people fit one of the two following descriptions:

    A) They have no interest in impartiality or in doing anything that would aide this country, or disadvantage the EU, in any way during the Brexit process.

    B) Their belief system does not allow them to recognise or see anything other than the utter Domesday scenario propagated by much of the media. Cognitive dissonance. They live in an alternative reality.

  67. PaulW
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    The uk shouldn’ t have waited to grant assurance to all those eu immigrants in uk.. it should have been done months ago at the time of activating A50.. it would have been the decent thing to do.. but our politicians were too busy squabbling amongst themselves and so now we’ve reached this stage that we can’t be sure now if we’ll even have a government next week?

    Out is out and we should get on with it now.. theres no point in having a go at the media because they are not chasing politicians in europe.. europe is not our problem now.. we have only to think of ourselves and our future by taking back control and sealing our borders.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      When she became a candidate for the Tory leadership Theresa May accepted bad advice about that from the UK’s senior civil servant in Brussels. As a result the UK has lost the initiative in putting forward detailed proposals and must wait to see what excessive demands may be made by the EU.

    • rose
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      If the government had granted nationality to the EU passportholders last summer, the EU would still now be demanding ECJ oversight and various unreasonable conditions. See the EU guidelines for these. It is as if they are designed to make the talks break down at the very beginning.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        I agree it’s quite possible they would now be making unreasonable demands, but as least having made reasonable proposals our government would have been in a stronger position to reject their demands as unreasonable.

  68. Duncan
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    The EU and its supporters in the media have been persistent and committed to the propagation of the idea that those who oppose the EU and support Brexit are racist, nationalistic and xenophobic. This political tactic has proven extraordinarily successful in shutting down discussion for fear of damaging accusations, slurs or slanders.

    Thankfully millions of decent British people refused to be bullied by these pro-EU bigots and chose to follow their instincts and vote to reassert the UK’s sovereignty, independence and the supremacy of British law inside its own borders.

    A victory for decency over the politics of identity

  69. MikeW
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    We voted for out and now we hear chancellor hammond and others trying to soften the line. Leaving the eu means just that and also means leaving the customs union and it doesnt matter if business is going to be worse off or not.. the people dont care we want our democratic rights recognised- we just want out.. and the sooner the better… so whats the point in going on with these senseless negotiations and talking about what the uk media think about the european side.. at this time it makes absolutely no difference on what goes on in the eu

  70. Norman
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

    I checked the above article, and some of the responses. I was shocked at how far-left The Guardian has become: quite disturbing, with plenty of ‘hate-speech’, in my estimation. How polarized, confused and hypocritical our country has become. Living in a rural part of the country where people are still reasonably decent towards each other, quite frankly, I am simply not used to that degree of nastiness. But how glad I was to see your article, John, holding the line, right there in the lion’s den!

  71. Mark
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    A very obvious question the press should be asking the EU is how do you provide certainty for an agreement concerning migrants if is part of the Article 50 agreement which isn’t agreed until everything is agreed (and may never be agreed)? Surely the only way that can be done is by treating it as a separate agreement that is ratified immediately (the Article 50 framework for doing so would make sense – a vote of support from Europarl, and at least QMV support in Council, which then makes it binding).

    Setting such a precedent by having a separate agreement opens the way to other separate agreements. It is also likely to set several other precedents for other areas of the negotiations. Something else that has been overlooked by the London media.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      The UK government should be actively pointing this out as just one of the defects of the EU’s insistence on sequential negotiations with nothing agreed until everything is finally agreed. It may feel compelled to go along with that approach but there is no reason why it should do so without voicing its objections to the rest of the world. So much of what the EU wants to do is plain stupid, or at the very least sub-optimal, and therefore even it gets its way that should be at a cost, at a minimum a reputational cost, to the EU as well as the UK. I’m fed up with the UK mass media putting forward the EU’s point of view without any attempt at proper rebuttal by the UK government.

    • rose
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      And how do you agree what to do about the NI border when you haven’t decided on your trading arrangements?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Precisely. I’m not impressed by the way our government has been proceeding but the EU approach has been even worse.

  72. Ed Mahony
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    The Telegraph, The Sun and, in particular The Express are just as bad, i think, as the Mirror, The Independent and the Guardian over Brexit. I find most newspapers in the UK, pretty dire now, except perhaps the FT, The Spectator and Private Eye.

    • rose
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      The newspapers are as nothing compared to the BBC, Channel 4, and Sky. The newspapers which matter are the ones read by those broadcasters, namely the Guardian, and in the case of Nick Robinson, the Times.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        I watched Sky and I thought they were easily the most anti Brexit of all the broadcasters. But then a lot of people in business were also anti Brexit and are against us pulling out of the single market now.

        Whatever happens, the EU needs to reform and our country won’t be able to sustain a shock to its economy, whilst carrying a large national debt. Most likely, Labour would get back into power, and scupper all Brexit plans after borrowing so much money, that we’d have to ditch Brexit, and focus instead on getting rid of our national debt.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

        24hour rolling news gives the impression of perpetual crisis even when nothing is happening. “Breaking news !” and stern faced presenters trying to entertain and sound urgent when there is nothing really to say.

        It is a bad thing for democracy. It sets agendas and steers policy.

  73. rick hamilton
    Posted June 20, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I suspect most BBC and other news commentators have no interest in business or the tedious facts and figures that go with it. They inhabit a world of words: opinions, argument, rhetoric, needless hysteria and manufactured outrage. It’s 24/7 entertainment, not education.

    Since we are leaving the political union of the EU what remains is a largely commercial relationship which will of course continue. As for tariffs, in my experience of international trade with over 60 countries mostly outside the EU, the exchange rate is the number one risk. Duties once fixed can be dealt with, especially at current WTO levels.

  74. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    There is no real independant media – they all fly the same flag which is not the British ones. They fight anything rational and have forgotten that their job is to be impartial – they push the message they are paid to push.

    To restart the process of impartial media we first have to deal with the BBC – close it down and kick start it from the bottom up…… If the BBC can be revamped into something worthwhile then there’s a chance other media would follow, but that requires leadership from someone in government to take on the left wing establishment and reintroduce common sense.

  75. Original Richard
    Posted June 21, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    The BBC and others constantly predict the future of the UK outside of the EU, specialising on a dire economic future.

    But no-one asks questions of the EU as to how the EU will look and function in the years ahead as it expands further eastwards, continues to accept vast numbers of Middle Eastern and African migrants, and pursues its “ever closer union” and EU army objectives.

    A vote to remain in the EU was a vote to remain in this project for the next 40 years, not just 4 years, and as just one nation in 28 (and shrinking) we would just have to accept our fate as decided by the majority whilst still being forced to be a major contributor to the EU funds.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 21, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      And no Remainer said in the Referendum “We want from the EU…” or what their expectation would be on our inclusion(or not) in the euro, an EU army, fiscal union…

      All they campaigned on was the dire consequences of leaving the single market – Sturgeon most.

    • Len Grinds
      Posted June 22, 2017 at 5:26 am | Permalink

      Pack of lies, sir. The Treaty cannot be revised without the UK’s agreement. We have an opt out from the Euro and a veto over military cooperation and taxing. We also control our own borders – try walking through Heathrow or Dover without showing your passport if you do not agree. None of the bad things you fear can happen. Brexit was built on scare stories and lies

      • stred
        Posted June 22, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        LG. ‘We control our own borders….’ Show your EU passport at Heathrow or Dover (Calais or Dunkirk actually) and walk through, even if you are one of the many picked up by MSF and others, ferried to Sicily and put on a bus going north, to collect your EU passport before long. 800 a day extra who need housing and the NHS currently.

        • hefner
          Posted June 23, 2017 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

          Have you ever looked what the conditions are to obtain a German, French, Spanish, Italian, … passeport?
          I guess not, otherwise you would not write “collect your EU passport before long”.
          Looking at the relevant national governments’ websites, it appears that except in special circumstances (e.g., having served in the French Legion Etrangere, in which case it is only 2 years), France, Spain and Italy ask for 5 years residence, Germany for 8 years.
          So stred, …

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