The EU is not ready to negotiate yet

Listening to the EU reactions to Mrs May’s generous and sensible proposals on residence and citizenship, I concluded we are still months off the EU being ready to discuss our future relationship in a productive way. They seem to think it is our problem, not a joint problem. They seem to think we have demands, when they have rather more demands that we do not have to grant.

It will take time for the EU to understand that they are the ones who want us to pay them money when there is no legal basis for such a claim. They do not seem to be proposing paying us to leave. They are the ones who have large exports in agricultural products and cars where under WTO rules we could impose tariffs that will hit demand for their products. Most of our exports to them are tariff free or low tariff under WTO rules. They are the ones who wish to take advantage of our jobs market for many unemployed people on the continent. The UK is not seeking more access to jobs in the rest of the EU.It is the EU that values all the intelligence and security support and back up we give them.

The good news from their point of view is we do not wish to place barriers in the way of their trade with us. We will not throw out the many people who have come here legally to live and to work. We will continue to offer them security and Intelligence assistance. All we ask is similar treatment in return.

It is quite normal of the EU to leave agreements to the last minute. They may well go on posturing and misunderstanding for many months. It is crucial that all the time the EU think the UK will shift its position or change its mind the UK government remains strong and shows we have no need to make concessions or change our stance. The UK is making a generous offer which will be much needed by businesses and farmers on the continent, by EU citizens living in the UK and by all EU people who benefit from the UK’s many contributions to the life, trade, culture and security of our continent.

Over the months ahead more voices on the continent will demand that their national governments and the EU put in place good arrangements to carry on with our trade and other links. The UK media should calm down and realise this is all going to take time, and see that the UK must not shift its stance at all during what could be a period when the EU misjudges and thinks they are in a strong position to dictate.

They need to keep in mind the government’s instructions from the UK voters – take back control of our money, our laws and our borders. That is exactly what we will do. That leaves plenty of scope for a strong and good future relationship, without us being under the jurisdiction of the ECJ and without us paying them money we do not owe them. There is plenty of time to ensure border checks work, trade flows, planes fly and tourists arrive, just as happens today, and as happens for non EU countries into the EU.

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  1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Mrs May is not in the negotiation team, serious proposals have to be submitted by Mr. Davis to Mr. Barnier. Likewise, that is the place where EU reactions matter.

    • DaveM
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:18 am | Permalink

      Does it not irk you at all that you have no voice? A Dutch friend of mine is most annoyed by the fact that his country is negotiated for by the EC.

      • Hope
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        60 percent of the Dutch population voted against Ukraine acceptance to EU, the parliament ignored their voters and voted in stark opposition to accept what they were instructed from the EU not their electorate. This clearly demonstrates the EU dictatorship and lack of electorate mandate from the Dutch people in the vile organisation. The Dutch have no say over how they are governed who enters their country or what will happen to them socially economically of politically. One day they will wake up and realise what is happening. Brought to you by cheer leaders like PvL what a patriot to his country.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

          Well said, and it’s also worth recalling that the Dutch people voted heavily against the EU Constitution in their 2005 referendum – 62% against 38% on a 63% turnout – but then the Dutch government and parliament accepted virtually the same legal changes in the form of the Lisbon Treaty and made sure that the people would not have the opportunity to vote it down again in another referendum.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          @Hope: this “60%” amounts to 1 in 5. What an overwhelming recommandation to the Dutch government this appeared to be! The Dutch government and both houses of parliament dealt with it by an appendix to this treaty in which all the arguments and fears of the 1 in 5 were adequately laid to rest.
          Misuse of referendums by campaigning on lies and false expectations can be best seen in rep WWII Germany (4 referendums). No surprise that in March 1975, Margaret Thatcher quoted referendums as “a device of dictators and demagogues”

          • Hope
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

            Your govt no longer represents its people! No point having referendums or elections in Euolland. This is how revolutions start. PvL, you know that Rutte and the cobbled together govt has stood up for the EU in contrast to the Dutch people’s wishes. How many Ukrainians allowed to move at will to Holland? As many as they like the people and its govt have no say or control. Go with your begging bowl to Menacng Merkel.

            Frankfurt has more foreigners than German nationals. The German people will wake very soon.

        • Bulb heads
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

          Naa, the Dutch ar pretty sleepy. They richly deserve the deterioration of their country. They had votes, they used them badly. Odd for a people invaded in WWII. Maybe they have Stockholm Syndrome or suffering the failure to ban drugs. Whichever, it is their own fault.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

            The Netherland’s GDP per capita is 25% higher than Japan’s, 10% higher than Canada’s, and 35% higher than New Zealand’s. Not that bad, surely? (In the world rankings of GDP per capita it is only two behind America).

          • stred
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

            Brothels count as GDP. The hotel I stayed in was well out of the capital’s red light area but had 3 within a short distance, with the oldest horizontal sex workers imaginable. Drugs probably count too. No wonder they are so productive. Possibly an area for the EU to take a cut.

          • stred
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

            Could I add that I did not enter the Dutch brothels. They put them in a shop window lit up with red light to make them look better, like butchers do with meat.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

            @stred: Why not stay in a more civilized part of the Netherlands? Why did you need 3 brothels within a short walking distance? It never seem to be enough for our British friends. 🙂
            P.S. Thank you for boosting our GDP!

        • Richard Jones
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          Isn’t Rutte still trying vainly to form a 5 or 6 party coalition to govern?
          The Wilders failure, even with 20 seatsagainst Rutte’s 33 in a 76 majority house was trumpeted by the EU and globalists as the end of ‘populism’ in Holland. Why do we not here from Wilders and ordinary Dutch Volk that this is actually not really true at all.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

            @Richard Jones: The current information cycle is still for a 4 party coalition. Let’s make no mistake – the Netherlands has become far more right-wing and xenophobic, unfortunately. The “cordon sanitaire” around Wilders’ ( like the BNP but worse) is a good thing but it cannot hide the move towards xenophobia. I just have to hope and be optimistic that it will be temporarily.

          • rose
            Posted June 30, 2017 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

            Dear Peter

            Wishing to preserve a nation’s integrity is not the same thing as xenophobia. We have the same bigoted name calling here and over the same subject. This hate-filled bigotry no longer works as a means of censorship: people have seen through it and now stand up to it.

      • margaret
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        Have you read JR’s previous article about the distribution of power and it’s concomitant voice in internal politics?

        • Hope
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

          JR, when will your party learn? Today we read Letwin and ministers arguing for higher taxes for public spending when May is still refusing to cut overseas aid. FFS. Davies was right in parliament today despite the idiotic jeers of your left wing and Labour. £14 billion, she cannot afford care for the elderly or public services but can waste £14 billion of our taxes! Has she lost leave of all her senses? What drives her views in opposition of the public? A sixth of overseas aid goes to the EU to spend, the UK does not get a say how our taxes are spent! Just get rid of her, clearly useless to the level of Brown.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

            It would be bad to get rid of Mrs May. She’s the best we have at the moment. Not just that, it would be destabilising to the party in general, helping Corbyn get into power.

            If Corbyn gets into power (and it’s a possibility now), then it won’t be Brexit that’s screwed, but our country as well. If you don’t want that, then please support Mrs May (at least until we get some stability for a bit).

          • getahead
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

            Who drives her views in opposition of the public?

          • stred
            Posted June 30, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

            Who drives her views? She follows civil service advice and they follow UN advice. France, Germany and others ignore it. Civil servants found Tezza easy to work with. The plebs are just there to pay for it.

          • rose
            Posted June 30, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            “£14 billion of our taxes!”

            Unfortunately one gets the impression ministers care more about the look of this than the reality of how it is spent and what could be done with it instead. They like to feel they are giving more than any other country bar the US and enjoy feeling they can hold their heads high in the world.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        @DaveM: Our joint civil service (the EC) only acts with the consent of its masters (the European Council), just like your Mr. Davis will only act with the consent of the UK government. That is how I see it, and via our government (i.e. Rutte) we have our voice in the EU-27. Your Dutch friend may appreciate that we having some 400 million people at the negotiating table would be a bit over the top. Through his parliamentary democracy he has his (Dutch) influence on the process. Did your friend not agree with the EU-27 position on EU nationals in the UK and UK nationals in the EU set out on 12 June 2017 and available online?
        (Position paper on “Essential Principles on Citizens’ Rights”)

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

          The UK government is directly elected. The EU Council isn’t, so those 400 million people can’t change those on it. That in essence is why we’re leaving.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:20 am | Permalink

            @Sir Joe Soap: Currently the European Council comprises 28 heads of government, 28 “Theresa May’s” if you like. They can all be changed by their own people.
            The UK government is “appointed” after constituency electionsin the whole country, not directly elected into their positions.

            Reply The German Parliament can change governments without asking the people. The people voted for Mrs May leading the Conservatives and that is what they are currently getting.

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

          PVL are the votes of the European Council weighted in terms of contributions to the EU (including vat and duty), or numbers of people in each Country or GDP or is it one Country one say so that Ireland and Malta get the same weight and decision power as the Dutch, the UK or Germany?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

            @a-tracy: Usually the Council continues deliberating until it reaches consensus, hence the sometimes long meetings. Some decisions also require unanimity, but there is a voting system with different options for different cases, e.g. accepting a proposal by so-called “qualified majority” (55% of member states, representing at least 65% of the EU population, vote in favour)

        • Mark B
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          1/27th of one voice. That is what you have. Both in the EU and internationally. Outside the EU the UK will have its own voice and will speak for itself and act in its own national interest.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:30 am | Permalink

            @Mark B: That is true, but also you are only 1 out of some 63 million, without guarantee that all these millions will always agree on what would be in your national interest.

        • Hope
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

          Do not tell lies. Rutte and co went against the Dutch people’s wishes over the Ukraine and the Dutch govt claimed it was too weak to resist the EU! Democracy my foot. A weak servile country doing what it is told by the likes Junker and wet dream Tusk. No govt in operation in Holland, it dens to Brussels. No say, no borders no independent right to live life for its people. Now PvL, get on and do what you are told. Do not bother us your Govt needs you to peddle myth at home.

        • Timaction
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

          Dear Mr EU,
          You are Dutch and have no say over the British who have voted to leave the undemocratic EU. We have all the cards on trade (£80 billion deficit with the EU) and its net contributions of £10 billion and rising. Our security infrastructure to help keep you safe, that can be withdrawn. Our cooperation to share on projects that benefit both parties. We just want our sovereign democracy back which despite you and other EU apparatchiks is going to happen.
          Why don’t you concentrate on all things Dutch and see if you can regain some of your own democracy. In case you haven’t noticed you are ruled by the EU Commission who are unelected and decide most things for you. Visa free travel extended to Ukraine against the will of your own people in a referendum. Totally ignored!!!

          • hefner
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

            Mr Timeaction, you (properly, I think) question why PvL intervenes on this blog. Why do you not question in the same way Mr Redwood’s fixation on the EU these days. I would so much prefer him to comment on the details of the UK Government’s positions in the ongoing UK-EU discussions.
            It always interesting to realise how basic JR’s tactics are …

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 30, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

            I only contribute to the comments when a topic is about the EU (i.e. me 🙂 ) and even then only a few times. With so much interesting developments in the EU and with our British friends leaving us anyway, I would simply not have the time available. I’ve taken care not to comment during campaigning periods.
            Ultimately I’m not too worried about the end result of this Brexit. To quote your magazine ‘The Economist’ of 19 November 1955:
            “Unless the British Government will say what it will do, not simply what it will not do, a time may soon come when it will find that it has missed a bus that it will wish it had caught.”
            The Economist was proven right within a decade: after the UK left the Spaak Committee in 1955, which was discussing how to move on from the 1952 ECSC, it made a U-turn and applied for EEC membership).
            This time round, a UK change of mind and heart may take several decades but I’m convinced (strengthened by the younger generations / future voters) that there will be very very close cooperation and possibly renewed UK integration into the European hybrid structure called “EU”.

        • DaveM
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

          No, he doesn’t really care because he is a Dutch national working temporarily in the UK. He is a Dutch patriot who believes in cooperation and friendship, but not the surrender of his country’s sovereignty.

          And as for having 400 million people negotiating – uncharacteristically silly comment from you PvL – we don’t have 60+ million negotiating for us, but the person(s) doing so on our behalf are members of the UK government and crown-appointed civil servants. Don’t kid yourself that Mr Rutte would stand up for your country – he’ll do whatever his EU masters tell him.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      Our serious proposals are about trade Peter. The protectionist EU is trying to extract its pound of unearned flesh before trade talks are commenced.

      We will end up walking away.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        @Narrow Shoulders: I don’t quite see it your way. UK and EU appear to agree on current priorities. If all goes well, I expect the serious trade proposals to come as from October.

        • Narrow shoulders
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

          Dear Mr Barnier

          We like Europe and feel very warm towards the EU and its members. We have an arrangement which appears to work quite well at present but which the people of the United Kingdom wish to change slightly.

          From our side we wish to remove payments made to your organisation, we will take back jurisdiction for our own laws, we will control access to our territorial waters and decide how our farmers produce food and control their land, we will offer residency to all productive EU citizens who have been here for five years or more and look favorably on those who have been here for less time but have family ties here. Those arriving after 23 June 2016 will unfortunately have no automatic right of settlement and for EU citizens coming to work in this country after this date a permit will be required. Holiday makers can continue to arrive unrestricted but there will be no access to UK benefits or social housing to anyone without residency.

          We will erect no barriers to trade, now Mr Barnier, given that there are few barriers for trade between our two areas which ones would you like to erect? Please do tell your members that it is you who has put the barriers in place and not us.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

            @Narrow shoulders: Seems quite a reasonable letter in general, but the date 23 June 2016 poses a slight problem: until the UK leaves the EU, it is still bound by all the treaties it signed and ratified. I believe that the real date would be 29 March 2019, but only if you can give absolute guarantee that you (UK) won’t change your mind on leaving before that date. 🙂

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

            @Peter those who came after we voted out knew the score and are only covered by treaties while we a signatories to those treaties.

            I can forsee no circumstances where the UK will continue to be in the EU after March 19. The concessions extracted by your club would be more punitive than those they will try to foist on us when we leave.

            In short staying would be more costly than the worst case scenario for leaving.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the Brussels angle. You’ll be telling me next that Angela isn’t part of the negotiations.
      A good article on Conhome yesterday highlighting that Brussels is acting like an empire.
      Imposing their will in the form of the ECJ.
      Switzerland has rebelled and refused to ratify a treaty putting them under ECJ jurisdiction

      Many other countries are watching events.
      Did you know Peter 9% of Dutch exports come to Britain.
      The EU wants to leave everything till the last minute and try to panic us into a shabby deal.
      They know nothing about us. We

      • Know-dice
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        “9% of Dutch exports come to Britain.”

        Ian, it would be interesting to see how many Dutch jobs this equates to that could be lost?

        • Richard Butler
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:21 am | Permalink

          The Netherlands should push for the European Union to keep strong trade ties with Britain after the British quit the EU, a report commissioned by the Dutch parliament said on Tuesday.
          Britain is the Netherlands’ second-largest trading partner, accounting for 9 percent of exports, according to the paper by two members of the Dutch parliament.
          “Any restriction on free trade with Britain would inevitably be at the cost of Dutch exports, prosperity and employment,” it said.
          For the Netherlands, allowing Britain to crash out of the EU with no agreement in place would be “very undesirable” because of trade tariffs that would “without doubt damage the Dutch economy,” the report said.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

            @Richard Butler: the negotiation process will indeed be about damage control. But be aware please, that nobody can prevent the UK from “crashing” out of the EU if it chose to, it is a sovereign country after all.

      • Hope
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

        Ian, the EU is asking for such ludicrous terms that it is obvious to all it is deliberately using it as a delaying tactic to hope for a change of heart by eroding our will to leave, no deal will be achieved, such appalling terms if the UK is stupid enough to accept the EU walks away telling the 27 this what happens if you try to leave. What country would allow the ECJ to continue to rule over citizens in their country! The US? No. Labour should be hammered on this point.

        How many EU citizens are actually here? The NI numbers are three times higher than being claimed by May in her proposal, and she is still saying £30 million of taxpayers’ money can be sent to children in EU counties who have never set foot here! Their living standards being completely different to the standards here. Is she’s mad? What sort of negotiator would countenance this? Cameron claimed he reformed the EU and was going to stop this. Stop it now.

        About time our politicos got firm and state unequivocally negotiate sensibly or we walk now.

        • stred
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

          Hope. No hope! Mrs May negotiating reminds me of going shopping with my wife. Ever time she has a choice it ends up more expensive.

          • Narrow Shoulders
            Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

            Many a true word spoken in jest

        • a-tracy
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

          Hope, is it just basic Child Benefit May has said we will pay or Child Tax Credits and Working Tax Credits for children still living in the EU rather than in the UK? Has she said anything about these figures being adjusted to cost of living in each recipient Country?

          I thought this was one of the big sticking points we voted out of.

        • Chris
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

          “Is she mad?” Well, Philip Davies, Cons MP, in the H of C today asked Theresa May in no uncertain terms to reduce the foreign aid budget and use it to spend on prioirities at home. I suspect he will understand where you are coming from, Hope.

          What is very concerning, and revealing, about this videoclip of H of C today is the shouting and apparent mocking of Philip Davies when he posed the above question. It seems yet again that so many MPs are divorced from the people they are supposed to represent/serve.
          Mr Redwood, this is not true democracy, but a charade in my view. We have a political elite who apparently seem determined to do things their way and not let “the people” get in the way. Did they pick this up from all our years in the EU?

        • Caterpillar
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          The problem with delays, or even Hammond’s transitionary period, is that businesses can start to think long run not short run. Fixed resources become variable, they move.

          No deal now may be better than an okish deal then.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        Angela might not always get her way though.Are you following developments regarding the proposed Nordstream 2 gas pipeline which the Germans insist is a bilateral matter between themselves and the Russians whilst the EU and some of its more exposed members are unhappy that not only will this pipeline increase European dependency on Russian gas but also on Germany as a distribution hub for that gas?

        • Mitchel
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          Oh…and the Americans are also trying to apply pressure because they want the Europeans to be forced to buy expensive US-produced LNG rather than cheap Russian gas.

        • Ray Veysey
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

          I cannot imagine why anyone is seriously surprised at this, this is all about the Germans, who own most of Greece failed companies and airports already?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Indeed and most of the flowers, cucumbers and watery tomatoes could easily be grown in the UK competitively especially is we go for cheap energy and franking.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink


    • Bert Young
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      PvL Barnier is merely the front . The consent of EU member countries is required and that will cause common sense to enter his position . Several of those countries are very sympathetic to the UK and want to retain a sensible trading relationship with us .

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        @Bert Young: Obviously I agree with you, Bert. But the EU-27 consent also included the negotiation procedure and principles, which now have to be implemented by Mr. Barnier.
        Recently (maybe still?) being the UK’s third largest trading partner for both UK imports and UK exports, the Netherlands has a huge interest in a smooth negotiation process leading to a very friendly and easy new relationship with the UK, trade and all included. I’m pretty confident that such will be the end result, only that it may take 5 to 10 years to get there.
        Be aware though, that the Dutch, just like the Germans or the Belgians or the . . .etc will in the end always chose for the EU above trade with the UK.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

          The point is that continental Europeans always chose to trade amongst themselves over with the UK. We will however be free to choose whom we trade with and on what terms hereafter so the boot will be on the other foot to some extent at least.

        • Ajay Gajree
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          There in lies the issue for the EU, they are more interested in keeping their own gravy train going than representing their people.

        • Timaction
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

          You really don’t understand the British mindset. I and my Countrymen would rather be poorer and free than part of an organisation that is spectacularly undemocratic and dictatorial. Good luck to you EU slaves. Free and British!! Just keep doing as you are told it seems a very Continental mindset. We can buy all your products elsewhere in the world and you loose on every tariff you choose to impose.

        • Caterpillar
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

          Why EU timescales of 5 to 10 years? Trade already exists, supply chains already exist. A system of virtual customs needs to be put in place, this has been achieved with US and Canada, Norway and Sweden – customs unions are no longer necessary for frictionless trade.

        • NickC
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Such an extended time as 5 to 10 years is regarded here as a threat, and an unnecessary one at that. It is clear that the EU hasn’t learnt from its mistakes negotiating with David Cameron. The EU effectively gave him nothing. The electorate found that intolerable and voted to leave.

          Our option is to set a time limit. My preference is 12 months notice plus the offer of continuing to trade under current arrangements. After all we will be using your laws for some time until we can rectify them. Pressure here for a time limit will increase in proportion to EU intransigence.

        • getahead
          Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

          If the UK has to fall back to WTO trade rules it will still be cheaper than Single Market membership. No more mass immigration, no more EU-imposed laws, no more EU politics.
          Just good profitable trade, the way the rest of the world has done it for years

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      The UK government and Parliament decide who negotiates on behalf of the UK. If it is decided to have Theresa May negotiating in person on some occasions then that is how it will be. It is not for you to decide, or for governments of other EU countries to decide, or for any of the EU institutions to decide. Article 50 TEU and then Article 218 TFEU specify how the EU shall proceed with its side of the negotiations, including who shall conduct the negotiations, but they do not control who negotiates for the UK.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper: I believe though that the UK has agreed to the proposed negotiation format. That is where it happens. Other comments, by either side, are food for media and the home crowds. E.g. Mr Barnier has never mentioned a figure of how much the UK (if anything) has to pay when brexiting.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted June 29, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          There is nothing in any agreed negotiation format which would preclude Theresa May from negotiating in person. You will have to get used to the idea that in future your chums in the EU will not be telling us what to do, and in the meantime your continued arrogant interference in our affairs confirms that we made the right decision last year.

      • Timaction
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        That’s the bit they don’t get or understand. They no longer dictate to us. That mindset has yet to be understood!

    • Mark
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

      It is the EU Council that sets the negotiating guidelines and it is wholly appropriate that they be told directly that the position adopted by the Commission and Barnier needs to be sensible. As JR points out the EU hasn’t done the proper preparatory work. Their position is based on getting even more control than they have now even while supposedly we are leaving.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

      Peter vL

      Any thoughts on the EU suddenly waking up and producing a paper about the total black hole in EU funding when the UK leaves? I see that among their brilliant ideas are a raft of taxes ( all paid directly to the EU ) Including a tourist tax ( seriously , FFS a tax finally killing all southern European economies) A green car tax ( good idea the car manufacturers in Europe will love that) A financial transaction tax ( yes please, everyone will decamp to London)

      You seriously want to be governed by these utterly incredulous buffoons? Seriously ?

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    As previously stated; the EU Bureaucracy has no intentions of agreeing any deal with the UK, whereas the EU member states most probably do. The sooner the EU member states realise this truth, the sooner we’ll see some progress.
    Please use your good offices and request all your colleagues to press this point home with their counterparts in friendly EU nations.

  3. eeyore
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Quite right. That’s the way to negotiate. Adopt a minimum position and stick to it like a limpet. Only idiots make extravagant claims inevitably followed by damaging concessions.

  4. Nig l
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Yes, but surely there has to be a deadline and this seems to be the subject of some debate between the blob of Hammond and Davis’ more direct approach? Hammond seems to be saying that British business must be given time to adjust to the changes but if those are delayed, our actual departure will be even further away. As an old cynic, I can see the EU deliberately using procedural delaying tactics to take this past the date of the next election, don’t forget to include parliamentary time to have it all approved, in the hope there will be a change of government albeitvtyeir track record on negotiation is hopeless.

    HMG needs to insist on the two years being met, set out publically what we will do if it is not and and have the contingencies in place if that is the case and this includes ensuring business has similar contingency planning. Presumably switching to WTO tarrifs etc cannot be done at the press of a button.

    Maybe you could share with us the plan, hopefully with SMART objectives or is it out there and I have missed it? Certainly we need a countdown clock or a massive thermometer To show the mercury rising as progress (hopefully) is made.

    • Man of Kent
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Hammond seems to be suggesting a modern form of purgatory .

      He would like us to be in a halfway house between heaven and hell while ‘an honest priest ‘ says mass to try and tilt us upwards .

      Many feel that the transition period [purgatory ] will be extended and extended …………indefinitely.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        And he is a lousy tax ’till the pip squeak Chancellor too. His fiscal and attempted Ni muggings helped lose the Tory Majority, why are he and Carney still there?

      • ian wragg
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

        As Norman Tebbit says, stuck in the cat flap.

  5. Freeborn John
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    The only way that the EU wil come to value the trade surplus and other benefits a good relationship with the Uk gives them is through a prolonged period without those benefits. After a few years of German manufacturers paying customs duties on their car exports they may come to their senses and stop trying to dictate one-sided terms to the UK and instead seek a mutually advantagous trading relationship. It must be obvious to the UK government that there is a very strong probability that UK and EU will be trading under WTO terms after Brexit. It is imperative that the Uk government prepares business and public opinion for this likelihood immediately in order to minise disruption in March 2019.

    The Prime Minister must also fire the Chancellor at the earliest opportunity. He is obviously not concentrating on the day-job, instead finding the time to go to Berlin to make jokes about the foreign minister and undermine the UK negotiating position in Brexit talks. His behaviour is totally unacceptable. If he cannot support the cabinet position on Brexit then he should oppose it from the bank benches. According to newspaper reports he is in the running to become prime minster but that would be a catastrophic blunder for the Tory party. He has no personality being a grey version of John Major. He has no political vision, being yet another Tory drifter whose only policy contribution while in office has been to delay, in his case to delay balanced budgets. He has the charm of Gordon Brown without his record of competence as Chancellor. He should be jettisoned from the cabinet tent for the mess he is making inside it.

    In the meantime I cannot see why we are providing a defence guarantee to EU countries that are trying to damage the UK economy and undermine NATO through EU defence initiatives and inadequate contributions to its budget. We will need new defence alliances in the 21st century against the EU and need to start work on improved relations with those who can help defend us from it (including Russia).

  6. Mark B
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    You are not listening !

    This about administration not trade. The sooner we can start to talk about what really is going on the sooner we can find solutions to problems.

    We spoke yesterday about the power and influence, especially with regards to the MSM. The other advantage of the internet is that it brings together a large number of differing minds. These minds can provide unique insights into things. But it only works if people listen ! And our kind host is not listening.

    Theses talks are not about trade. The EU is not negotiating or does not care about trade. It does not care about its citizens or member countries. All the EU cares about is itself. To that end may I please offer some advice. Do NOT offer the EU anything. Tell it what you want. Tell it that you want to guarantee the rights of UK citizens to work in the EU. If they say no the we tell EU citizens in the UK that once the UK leaves they will no longer be able to live, work or claim entitlements here. The EU only respects strength. The ONLY PM ever to go to Europe and come back with something was Lady Thatcher. Why ? Because she was strong. May and all the others are weak and the EU knows it. If you really are in a strong position, you do not ask or offer, you take !

    Please stop telling us what we voted for. We voted to leave a political union and nothing more or less. When we become an independent sovereign nation again the EU will see us as a Third Country and, unless we do not get reciprocal treatment for our citizens then those here will have to leave.

  7. Anonymous
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    The BBC reports a poll that nearly 50% of the public would like a tax and spend policy.

    So what ?

    We’ve had hundreds of polls that wanted a return of hanging by a much larger margin.

    Report Strange they did not report a majority do not want higher tax and more spend!

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Experience in California shows that voters will reliably vote in favour of all proposals which increase government spending and against all proposals which increase taxes.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      And 50% don’t !

    • a-tracy
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      When creating these polls it should ask the respondents how many of them work in the public sector, are retired and thus pay no NI, or are students. Or simply how many are private sector workers paying 20% tax, 11% NI, 3% NEST, plus having an employer contribution of 13.8% NI plus 3% NEST.

      Perhaps it’s time to ask the public sector workers if rather than have their final salary pensions guaranteed by future taxpayers they’d prefer NEST and more pay today then you’d get nearly half of that pay back in taxes and more from the VAT when they spend it and they’ll feel the benefit today and will be retiring with the same worries and at the same age.

  8. Duncan
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    It is becoming evident that the EU or should I say certain persons within the EU are more committed to a policy of slandering and punishing the British people than any meaningful negotiations regarding out exit from this sclerotic, poisonous, anti-democratic organisation

    Who can we trust in a world of smokes and mirrors except people like Mr Redwood and his fellow Eurosceptics who I believe have the best interests of the UK and its people at heart

    I don’t trust May and Hammond, Corbyn or the Lib-Dems. I do trust those Conservative MP’s from LML who have embraced the UK’s sovereignty, independence and direct democratic control of all of this country’s affairs.

    Do your best for this country fellas and aggressively assert your influence at every turn.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Indeed no deal, no fee and WTO rules are far better than the current membership arrangement anyway. Better still would be a sensible mutually beneficial agreement, but if they want to harm themselves just to discourage any others from following so be it.

    We do however desperately need a real Conservative government in the UK, one that cuts red tape, cuts taxes, goes for cheap energy, real growth and cut the vast size and incompetence of government.

    Not a daft soft socialist led one as we have now. The problem is how on earth do we get this now that T May and has made such a complete mess of things? How do we avoid Corbyn destroying the economy. Just the threat of this is already damaging confidence hugely.

    • Chris S
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, while I agree with your views on tax and spend, we cannot go in that direction without a majority of the voting public in favour of it. it’s obvious that we don’t have that at the moment.

      Regrettably, it has always been the case that the electorate has a very short attention span and even poorer memory. Otherwise why would a Labour Government ever have been voted in more than once ?

      Currently, the young people supporting Corbyn know nothing about Labour’s dire record in office and probably don’t care. We will have an uphill struggle to convince them that they will end up a great deal poorer with the Marxist McDonnell in Number 11.

      Until that war of words is comprehensively won, we cannot go for a low tax small state solution.

  10. formula57
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Perhaps for the EU (possibly in contrast to some member states) the objective is not to obtain a deal but to see the UK suffer even while it inflicts harm on its own members in traditional “pour encourager les autres” fashion. It is what evil empires be like: when will our strong and stable government wake up to that fact?

  11. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    Generous is not the word for it. Thats one nil to the EU from an own goal by the UK. The Visegrad countries must be rubbing their hands in glee that one social problem will not be coming back.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I would say “generous” is one word but another would be “decent”.

      These people are not illegal immigrants, and nor have they even blagged their way into our country by stretching or bending immigration rules: on the contrary they were in effect invited to come here by our government and Parliament.

      We elected the MPs who approved the accession treaties allowing their countries into the EU, knowing that by doing that they were also approving the extension of the EU free movement of persons to those populations. In the case of the 2004 accession countries our MPs agreed that the government would not even take advantage of the transitional periods allowed under the accession treaties.

      Surely there must be a realistic happy medium between falsely characterising them as a “social problem” which we would really like to disappear, and falsely praising them to the skies as indispensable contributors to our country and its economy and pleading with them to stay.

      Interestingly the Polish government has launched a programme to try to persuade Polish emigres to return home, clearly it does not see them as a problem.

  12. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Our team should just sit there with their arms crossed until the EU team make reasonable offers (or not). We are prepared to walk away so if the EU wants a deal the onus is on them.

    Start processing residence claims for EU citizens who have been here five years (this is within current rules ) if the EU sends back our ex-pats sobeit but we need to improve our messaging nationally and globally that it is the EU being intransigent and blocking progress.

    Until there is pressure within and without the EU there is no reason for them to move. They only see the small picture which is to protect their organisation.

  13. margaret
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    Negotiations cannot be finalised in a couple of weeks. I don’t know what some are thinking. Decisions can be made with alacrity yet there will be much pussyfooting around as the EU try and liken us to Grexit. We are in a stronger position with the rest of the world despite a few problems. I do not think that personalities or those blessed with powers of persuasion will make any difference. Remember we are dealing with languages not just positions and 27 others will not understand anything but nu speak.

  14. Bob
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    “take back control of our money, our laws and our borders.”

    what about UK fisheries?

  15. Peter
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    “It is crucial that all the time the EU think the UK will shift its position or change its mind the UK government remains strong and shows we have no need to make concessions or change our stance. ” Indeed.

    Defeatist attitudes need to be challenged. Cliff edges are not a problem.

  16. A.Sedgwick
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Our Government continues to show weakness – devastating in negotiation. A50 letter should have been sent last July, as you say talks will only become meaningful late on, so we sit on our hands for a year or more listening to tripe from Barnier, Juncker, Tusk. The terms for EU citizens legally here should be as published and not negotiable. I doubt if Spain will want to see the Brit retirement market collapse. Then we wait for their proposals on other issues making clear we are out of single market, customs union, ECJ, their immigration rules and any financial settlement either way will be audited and proved, not gifted as a part of the negotiation. We seem to be taking a happy clappy approach and they are playing tough cop.

  17. zorro
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Thank you John for reiterating what I mentioned in a comment recently about not reframing offers when they say it’s not enough. It just needs Mr Hammond to not keep rocking the boat. Their EU negotiation should be clear to everyone, just keep saying ‘no, more’ for two years. It is absolutely imperative that you keep the UK government firm in their negotiation strategy. Funnily enough, the election strategy gives you more influence on this matter. I would have worried about the suppose ‘soft Brexit’ stance if May had 60/70 seat majority as I suspect that you would have been sidelined.


    • Hope
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

      Well said and spot on. The EU is not negotiating that is obvious. Merkel continues her threats.

      I have had enough of Merkel’s unilateral menacing behaviour over immigration, expansion east into Ukraine ousting an elected PM, coup of Greece and Italy and economic destruction of Greece, threats of consequences to us. How dare she. Time to respond with kind ie blind intransigence what we want. Treat Merkel with hostility and get US and Russia onside to assist. She wanted mass immigration without consultation to the rest of the EU countries. No quota swamp Germany.

      People voiced concerns over unification making Germany too strong within Europe, no one listened and thought Russia was the bigger threat. They were wrong.

      • Andy
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        Funny how the 21st century has begun with exactly the same problem as did the 20th – Germany.

      • Mitchel
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        The problem with your suggestion is we appear to have no relationship with Russia.Boris is a clown as FS(sorry you dwindling band of Boris-fanciers but it’s true) and that part of our establishment which is not in hock to the Saudis and/or neo-cons is still playing the “Great Game”,moving imaginary military assets around to protect hallucinated imperial possessions from the Bear.And,as for the Americans,no-one knows what their foreign policy is or who is charge of it -it changes almost daily.Ted Malloch (who views the EU as similar to the Soviet Union) was widely tipped to be made US ambassador to the EU-and extensively interviewed-after Trump was elected seems to have vanished without trace-I believe the post remains unfilled.

  18. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    All very true John, but I hope we don’t give the EU forever to decide on what they want. We already know what we want and it is fair treatment for all. If the EU don’t want to play ball then let’s all get out of the playground and into the adult section. Once we have our ducks in a row and everything in place to proceed, then just walk. There will be many countries within the EU that want a sensible deal so it is up to the EUs negotiators to get this for all.

  19. John S
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    My worry is that if we negotiate sensibly as you recommend, the EU will sense that Parliament, whether in the Commons or the Lords, will defeat the government if the EU itself adopts a hard line. It is therefore not incentivised to come to a reasonable deal. It wants us to continue to pay into the EU coffers as part of the single market and be part of the customs union which means we cannot negotiate independent trade deals with other countries.
    If the conservatives had managed to achieve a landslide majority, then the EU’s attitude would have been more pragmatic.

    • stred
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      M.Barnier said that, if the UK does not pay his bills, the result would be ‘explosive’. With the Commission’s plans for an EU army, airforce and navy, the Junker Youth salaries, the plans for Mrs Merkel’s and MSF’s ferried economic migrants, new parliament buildings, along with saving bust banks and southern countries, the loss of British contributions will certainly blow a hole in the budget.

      They know that they have massive collaboration in the UK, which can be used to derail Brexit and the more unreasonable their demands the more ammunition they give to Remain collaborators. The broadcast media, the education establishment and those in parliament are lined up. President Tusk has ‘a dream’.

      Instead of replacing Brexit ministers with remainers, Mrs May is helping the Commission by choosing Remainers. She even listened to Junker’s advice to call an election. If we are not to be decieved and finish paying far more than we did before, every decision the Maybot make will have to be scrutinised and approved by some more competent politician.

      We must ensure than Tusk’s dream is a wet one.

  20. Nigel
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    The book recently published by Yanis Varafoukis, the former Greek Finance Minister, gives a good insight into some of the EU negotiating tactics. David Davis would do well to read it, if he has not done so already.

  21. Bert Young
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    A good post today John . The EU will find it very difficult to co-ordinate a negotiating position that will satisfy all of its member countries ; certainly it will take them more time than us and reveal many differences of opinion . During this time the EU will face many challenges to its centralising policies and cause disruption . Their biggest problem is the discrepancy of wealth between them . Sharing does not seem to be the view of the better off ones .

  22. Julien Tabulazero
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    “Generous & sensible”. Really ?

    The EU’s offer on the table was far more generous than what Theresa May has offered. Theresa May’s offer basically gives indefinite right to remain to people who for the vast majority are eligible for it anyway while saving the tax payer the millions it would have cost to process all their applications under their current 85 page format. While it may be a “sensible” move to avoid wasting tax payers’ money it is far from “generous”.

    It clearly fall short of the current rights EU and British (let us not forget about them) currently enjoy and well short of the promises made by the Leave camp that “nothing would change”.

    If Settled status is indeed akin to the current Indefinite Leave to Remain as it appears to be the case, then this mean you can lose it should you be absent from the UK for more than two years. What will the people do if they are being posted abroad by their company for more than two years, a common occurrence on civil engineering projects ?

    Also, the situation of the people arriving between the referendum date and the day the UK leaves the EU is still unclear let alone on who will fall the burden of continuous residence or what exactly does continuous residence mean. The devil will be in the details.

    An finally, have you bothered to the average Daily Mail reader that Theresa May’s offer implicitly means “no more retirement on the Costa del Sol on a state pension post Brexit” if the EU was to adopt her positions?

    No ? I thought so. I guess they will have to enjoy Old Blighty after all.

    Good luck with getting this through the EU Parliament who as you know will have a say in approving any Brexit deal. It might prove not to be the same pushover at its UK peer.

  23. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Negotiations will not start seriously on EU side until after German elections.

  24. agricola
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    The EU is a priesthood in a very flawed religion. Their flock, the citizens of the EU, are those most affected by their flat earth beliefs. Eventually it is their flock who will demand a re-think of the credo.

    We should continue to offer a generous, logical, solutions to our departure and emergence as a sovereign state, but sit tight and await acceptance. If they cannot accept what Brexit means and a mutually beneficial solution then last resort becomes inevitable. What we might collect in WTO tariffs will exceed what the EU can charge in WTO tariffs, proportional to the imbalance of trade. The difference should go directly to UK exporters to the EU to allow price reductions to compensate for the EUs imposition of WTO tariffs. make sure HMRC have such a scheme in place and ready to roll.

  25. Gyges01
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Everyone is assuming that the EU are capable of negotiating a Brexit deal. Check out their track record on such matters and you’ll find that they are lacking. It looks like we’ll just fall back on our BATNA …

    ps for those who are unfamiliar with the acronym BATNA blame our media. We’ve been looking at this negotiation for months but as far as I’m aware no one has explained to the electorate about BATNA, ZOPA, positional negotiations, interest based negotiations and many other aspects. When you’re familiar with those terms (via your favourite search engine) you’ll have an idea of what I mean.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      I think most people are aware of these terms but do not need to use consultant speak to define best, worst and walk away outcomes.

      What the worriers need to be told is that walk away is a feasible option and that we can make it work well.

  26. Know-dice
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The ECJ comment is very important.

    We can only have one legal system in this country that covers everyone. We can’t have some people covered by the ECJ, just as we can’t have some people covered by Sharia Law.

    One law for everyone.

    Oh, unless you live in Scotland 🙁

    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Hear, hear.

  27. Andy Marlot
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile your Remainer ministers and even the Leavers seem to want to have a “transitional” stage for 2 years. That hardly indicates strength Mr Redwood. What we should do is cut the BS, tell Brussels we’re leaving by June next year and they either do deals or they don’t. The longer this goes on the longer the Remainer traitors have to derail the whole thing.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      But doing the deal is not necessarily the end of the story, the deal may require some legal and/or practical measures to be completed for its full implementation.

  28. Not Bovvered
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t give a Dutchman’s Daff about what the EU’s reaction is. THIS is all about us (UK) and our earliest departure. What we don’t need is ‘permission’ to leave this wasteful, incompetent,seriously failed project led by a few with their own personal and National agenda and administered by ‘wow – job for the boys brigade – get on board everybody’. Tossers¡¡

    • getahead
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      No NB. What we need is a government with a backbone. For God’s sake let’s get rid of Hammond. He does not work for the electorate.

  29. JJE
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    That headline made me chuckle. It’s up there with “Fog in Channel, Europe cut off” for arrogance and insularity.
    Have you given any thought to what our efforts must look like from the EU side of table? Why on earth would they negotiate seriously when who knows who will be representing the UK by this time next year and what their position will be?

    • Julien Tabulazero
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      Fair point. Brexit will require concession from both sides and concessions require spending political capital.

      Why would any EU leader spend political capital on Theresa May knowing she can unseated at any time ?

      It is not outside the realm of possibilities that she get ousted in the not too distant future.

      Wouldn’t it be more logical to keep any “present you may give” for the next guy ?

    • libertarian
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


      Lol any chance you’ve read the EU paper published this morning suddenly realising the massive black hole in their budget when the UK leaves. Seriously the EU is run by a total bunch of buffoons

      • Bob
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink


        “the EU paper published this morning suddenly realising the massive black hole in their budget”

        they will be diminished in size and income. Brussels will need to be hugely cut back, and Strasbourg will be to be cut entirely.

  30. a-tracy
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    May needs to show she is ‘Strong and Stable’ like she self-promoted throughout the election by stopping headlines by cabinet members playing games such as ‘May’s top team splits over Brexit’ The Times and ‘Cabinet Chaos on Brexit’ i. Who is briefing this? Find them and sort this out. Replace the team with people singing from the same song book.

  31. ChrisS
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    I could not agree more with your approach.

    Unfortunately an unholy alliance between cowardly and treacherous UK politicians, our media people and the Brussels elite will make it almost impossible for the Government to take this eminently sensible route.

    Mrs May’s catastrophic election campaign has emboldened all the forces ranged against core Brexiteers like us who have correctly assessed our position. ( By “us” I mean yourself, the other “Bastards” the small number of Labour people like Gisela Stuart, Kate Hoey and Frank Field and a majority of the regulars posting here).

    It is likely that an overwhelming cacophony of Remainers and doom merchants will do the EU’s job for it and force compromises on us that we do not need to make.

    Already Starmer is suggesting a special court consisting of ECJ and UK judges to adjudicate on the rights of EU citizens living here. Does he not realise that this will create two classes of people living in the UK and it will be our own people who will be the second-class citizens ? What is it about the word “Sovereignty” he doesn’t understand ?

    I have said here before that, throughout the negotiations, we should apply a US test : in other words, over every single aspect of the prospective deal we should ask, would it be acceptable to the fiercely independent USA? In many cases I fear that the answer will be no in which case that should be our answer as well.

    We should be playing hardball in the knowledge that as the fifth largest economy in the World and a truly global player, we can easily prosper under WTO rules.

    I have no doubt that our most effective former leaders, Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill, would have led this call to arms to success. Unfortunately in the current government we have nobody remotely able to emulate them.

  32. James neill
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    If david davis and our negotiating team are of the same frame of mind as JR then there is only one possibility to the outcome of talks- we will crash out- the EU will string us along until the last moment- and we will crash out

    If we continue with this style of belligerent rhetoric then i am afraid that there can be no meeting of minds.. don’t forget we are the ones who started all of this brexit confusion and now the onus falls on us to extricate ourselves in whatever way.. the eu side are standing by and waiting.. if decency was on our side from the start we would have granted all eu citizens here full rights and without conditions or negotiations.. we would have granted them months ago.. but decency is not on our side..sorry to say

    • CvM
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      regarding decency, how about the UK citizens, such as myself, who live in the EU? Would not a unilateral decision as you propose leave us at the mercy of negotiations. Should it not be a quick, reciprocal and pretty much identical solution in both directions, enforced by the local judiciary with some international recourse available as may happen for most treaties?

  33. Epikouros
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

    The EU are past masters at dragging their feat and playing for time because they are not equipped to do anything else as their bloated bureaucratic system favours inaction. As does Merkel when it comes to difficult choices unless it involves ensuring Germany’s interest are prioritised above all others . Germany after all is now de facto the ruler of the EU. Ironically Brexit will cement that situation so they at least should be anxious to conclude a deal quickly. It may be German business and ambition that may in the end speed things up. The Brussels elite also wants to drag it’s feet for as you say they are playing for time in the hope that the Conservative government negotiating team will be replaced by a more compliant one.

    Unfortunately whilst EU hawks are in the ascendancy negotiations will be structured to drag on indefinitely in the hope of spreading alarm and despondency into the peoples of the UK. Aided by the the usual UK MSM, politicians and vested interest suspects who favour progressive and remain views. In fact the ones who are always wrong on most subjects and never regret the damage they do by being so. The task for Theresa May is to convince the UK people that it is the EU and not the UK who are being unreasonable. A very difficult task under the circumstances and also because I suspect she is not the right person to be able to do so.

  34. Helena
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    John Redwood is literally the only person in the world who thinks this is about tariffs. Everyone else knows that it is non-tariff barriers that matter, and that the UK, as a third country when it leaves the EU, will be horribly damaged by them.
    No wonder Mr Redwood gets nowhere near the corridors of power nowadays!

    Reply Glad you agree tariffs are not a problem. Tell me which n on tariff barriers the EU wishes to erect, bearing in mind it will hit them as we will reciprocate.

    • Helena
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Your reply confirms you do not understand this. The EU will not erect any non-tariff barriers. It will simply require that exports from the UK comply with its standards, as it requires of all trade from outside its borders. Then it is the UK that has a huge problem – all of a sudden 45% of our exports are subject to restrictions that were not applicable when we were members of the EU. We could get round that by promising to keep our standards in line with the EU’s but of course that would mean agreeing to be policed by the Commission and the Court

      Reply Nonsense

      • Mark B
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

        Most standards are international. The EU may gold plate them but, outside the EU so could the UK

    • Prigger
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      “John Redwood is literally the only person in the world who thinks…..” Well there are not so many, it is true. But if one man in the world said water is wet and everyone else said otherwise it would show one facet of “the tyranny of the majority”. He would still be right.
      May be you would also agree in part, Helena, with Henry David Thoreau’s assertion that if he himself thought something was right he had a natural majority of one. I believe he was a bit of a “leftie”, given his time. But we shouldn’t hang him for it.

    • Mark
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      So you think that the EU will fail to honour its treaty obligation to promote free and fair trade, and to be a good neighbour to third countries.

      • Helena
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:57 am | Permalink

        The EU has a Treaty obligation to promote free and fair trade. It does not have a Treaty obligation to allow non-members the same access to its market as members
        Where you and Mr Redwood are ignorant, is you assume the UK can stop paying the club membership fee and yet still enjoy free drinks. It does not work like that. The UK is choosing to throw away Treaty-guaranteed rights to trade with our main partners

        • anon
          Posted July 1, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

          We want, to exit the eu, exit the single market, exit the customs union, full control of our borders and resources and laws and courts. Full primacy of our damaged parliamentary democracy which we need to bring closer to the people via direct democracy.

          WTO terms are acceptable to us.

          What do you propose which is remotely in the UK ‘s interest to accept?

    • Julien Tabulazero
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Diploma recognition is important for an economy whose main export is services.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:10 pm | Permalink


      Bit of a patronising post considering you haven’t got the faintest clue about non-tariff barriers. Heres a hint try reading the WTO

      Ive even provided a link in case you dont know how google works either

    • acorn
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      Your still not getting this non-tariff barrier thing. Just like up the page, there is comment about subsidising exporters to compensate for EU import tariffs, strictly illegal under WTO subsidy and anti-dumping rules.

      As Helena infers, there is frequently a reduced or tariff free volume of goods the EU lets in, before the third country tariff kicks in. The EU calculates these things to three decimal places to be fair to much smaller trading blocs; unlike the USA that just slaps on huge tariffs.

      I think we have pissed off Brussels enough so far, for them to try and shift as many of these tariff free volumes on to Brexitania that it can. The EU27 states will like that. New Zealand Sheep meet exporters to the EU will not, for starters. UK domestic Sheep farmers won’t like it either.

      The EU always attempts to put imports on a par with sustained justifiable profit margins, of its domestic producers; Steel products from China for instance. This is far to sophisticated an approach to managing an economy, for a laissez faire Conservative government to understand.

      Reply we can return tariff revenue by tax cuts etc. We are sorting out the tariff quotas on a no loss basis in accordance with WTO rules.We will take the average of the last three years volumes. Why write about things you do not know about.

      • sjb
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Having read your diary for eight years, Mr Redwood, I always look forward to reading acorn’s comments because they are invariably interesting and informative.

      • acorn
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 6:21 am | Permalink

        What sort of numbers do you think I have been crunching for the last three months; and, how many WTO members can have grounds for quota

      • Len Grinds
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        Truly, Mr Redwood, it is you who does not understand the matter of tariff quotas. acorn gets it. The UK cannot resolve this by itself because under WTO rules it is locked into the EU’s existing quota. Any changes need the agreement of the EU plus all affected third countries. You have a lot of homework to do on the WTO

        Reply Good progress has been made on this matter at the WTO and the Uk has found a proposal which does not disadvantage others. To be non compliant a proposal has to make things worse for other WTO members. Why do you take so much delight in trying to make life difficult for our country by not understanding the rules ?

        • acorn
          Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Interesting. as I understand it the WTO will not commit to anything until the EU re-submits its ex-UK schedules. The WTO will do what the three major trading blocs, tell it to do.

  35. Len Grinds
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    The first sentence of this post is based on either ignorance or dishonesty. The Commission tabled a proposal on the matter of citizens’ rights several weeks ago. The truth is that Mrs May’s intervention was a response to the EU – and it is a lot less generous than the offer made by the EU.
    Inform yourself here –

    Reply Mrs May made her first offer almost a year ago. The EU did not make an offer – they asserted they intend to keep jurisdiction over us.

    • hefner
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Strictly speaking, the future position of EU nationals in the UK was debated in the Chamber on 6 July 2016 with James Brokenshire as the Minister in charge, with JR intervening around 3:35pm.
      Mrs May became PM on 13 July 2016, and started talking up EU nationals in the UK vs UK nationals in the EU.
      The EU did not make an offer, just stating they wanted the statu quo ante to go on, obviously unacceptable as it included the ECJ’s oversight. The first detailed (fair & serious) offer as now appearing for the first time as such on HMG’s website came on 23 June 2017.

  36. Eric Sorensen
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    The EU simply cannot afford a decent agreement with the UK: it would show other countries a door marked Exit from the “ever closer Union” before it is too late.

    There are occasions when one just cannot negotiate a deal and must walk; this is. Better to state in public what a decent deal consists of, gain sympathy with voters, and stay put until the agenda is re-stated in a fair manner.

    For businesses to know that WTO’s standard terms are coming must be preferred to today’s uncertainty and vague promises by politicians with no idea about said WTO terms.

    The current way of negotiating is not benefitting anyone but Mr Corbyn and the EU.

  37. Vanessa
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    Apologies for going back to the Grenfell fire but this piece on is very interesting. It seems that because EU Legislation takes precedence over British Regulations that helped in the Grenfell fire fiasco. The second para is very telling.

    Extract – “Much is made of the claim that other Member States can adopt their own standards, and they can do so on the same basis that we use BS8414. All other Member States have implemented Regulation (EU) No 1025/2012, and have adopted EN13501, together with EN13823. They may have banned PIC in high rise buildings, but then so have we.

    But as of yesterday it was reported d that an 11-storey building in the German city of Wuppertal was being evacuated because it had similar cladding to Grenfell. The Germans, like us, are having to accept lower testing standards to conform with EU rules. “

    • stred
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      There have been 2 posts here confirming that the EU regulation requires that safety should not be compromised. The British regulations have been that the external walls of high rise building shall not support fire spread for over 40 years. The present regulations refer to testing methods. Where these requirements have been met, the spread of fire has been contained. Where defective, as in S.London fire spread and lead to loss of life. The enquiry in this case took 4 years and no-one changed the rules.

      There is confusion about the standards applied in the case of the recent disaster. Some are reporting that the highest grade insulation was used. But the planning application dated Oct 2012 names FR5000, which is medium grade. The name of the type will be on the undamaged sheets lower down the building. The building work took place between 2014 and 2016 (wiki) and a Building Notice was made to the council dated Sept 2014 for the cladding ‘completed but not approved.

      However, the manufacturer of the insulation produced a new technical advice note dated Feb 2015 for their insulation called RS5000, which ‘ is the first PIR board to successfully test to BS 8414-2-2005 for rainscreen cladding systems meeting performance criteria set out in BR 135’. A rainscreen cladding is shown using incombustible cement based board, unlike the aluminium sandwich used at Grenfell.

      It would appear therefore that it would not have been possible to use the FR5000 and cladding used before 2015, and it was ‘completed not approved’ in 2014. During the construction period the work was inspected by local authority building inspectors 16 times and then signed off. The existing regulations are clear. The limit for the lower grades was 18m high. Grenfell is 67m high. According to Regulation B, a building above the highest limit is ‘not allowed’ without sprinklers. Some LAs such as Brighton are now reported to be fitting them following the fire.

      • stred
        Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

        Correction. It would not have been possible to use the RS500 board before 2015.

    • Know-dice
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

      Read at face value this BBC article is quite informative…

      Why do England’s high-rises keep failing fire tests?

      • stred
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        Having read the BBC piece by theie newsnight editor, it is misleading. The quote advice given by the BCA to building inspectors and the NHBC and also suggest that private building inspectors may have been involved. It is reported that the councils building inspectors visited the work 16 times. The regulations quoted are clear. The combined cladding including insulation has to pass a period of fire resistance. This is not the same as spread of flame on the surface.

        The manufacturer published a pamphlet in 2015 about their product RS5000, whichthey say is the first to meet BS8414-2-2005. The cladding was put up before then, as the building control note dated 2014 shows,re wiki Grenfell. The BBC and wiki state that RS5000 was used on Grenfell but the board before this was available was FR5000. It may be that FR5000 has been used elsewhere. It was named in the planning document. Re Euan Mearns- Towering Inferno blog.

        Some insulation is still intact at Grenfell. The grade will be marked on it. Could you or someone in government please have an inspection of remaining insulation made and let everyone know whether it was the middle grade FR or the one recommended by the manufacturer, RS? Don’t let the evidence disappear and false claims be published.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      The thing is, even if the tail is pinned to the EU donkey, the beautiful thing from a political point of view is, no one in that sphere will ever resign much less ever be prosecuted. And that is why the political class and civil service love the EU. No accountability when things go wrong.

  38. Jack snell
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    Taking back control of our money, our laws and our borders is just plain old fashioned sloganeering again. We have been listening to this nonsense along with 350 million extra per week for the NHS since the beginning of the campaign- it’s not going to happen now- as we are tied up too much with european and international institutions. We might get back some semblance of independance but it will be only window dressing.

    Firstly as regards money it passes over borders nowadays with one or two clicks of a computer mouse, then as regards of our laws we can take all the laws back from eu but we will still be subject to some european and international ones which we have ratified over the years..there will always be something bearing down in us so we will never reach true independance in this regard..and lastly as the matter our borders there are now so many foreigners from everywhere in the world here now swarming about that i’m afraid it is a lost cause..whatever new controls we put in place now for borders will not matter one bit as england as i knew it growing up in the 1950’s is well and truly gone.. old conservative and labour governments saw to that!

    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Put away the sweetie jars and they will go somewhere else. Why do you think they keep swarming around Calais trying to get into the UK and not stay in France ?

  39. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Since when has the EU been reasonable towards the UK about anything?

    They will keep on with their bullying tactics, right to the very last day, and then they will blame the UK for every possible little thing they can imnagine is wrong.

    We should be in no doubt about the EU, as an entity it is so full of its own BS that it simply cannot and will not allow any other viewpoint – It will continue to be anti-UK no matter what we pay or what concessions we make!


    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      In the short term the EU clearly has the advantage. Medium to long term it’s all belongs to the UK.

    • Chris S
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      I am very much afraid to say that Bryan is absolutely right.

      There appears to be almost no chance of a satisfactory deal being achieved for the UK but I fear that pressure from spineless and/or treacherous opposition politicians, the Liberal/leftist News Media and equally spineless voters will result in Mrs May being forced to sign up for what most of us posting here would regard as a very bad deal indeed.

      That will prove to be a huge mistake.

  40. Sean
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Eu wants to delay for months, then years, still no Brexit.

    Wasting more time getting nowhere fast, pathetic.
    Time to just walk away.

    • Mark B
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Can’t delay our leaving. Article 50 letter sent and deadline is for the end of March 2019.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Under Article 50 TEU if there is no withdrawal agreement the EU treaties will cease to apply to the withdrawing state after two years, unless both sides agree to extend that period. So Brexit could only be delayed with the consent of the UK government.

  41. Freeborn John
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I think the two most pertinent facts in relation to the negotiations are:
    – The EU is not yet considering the cost/benefits relative to the walk-away position, I.e. WTO trading. They are still focussed on costs/benefits relative to the status quo ante (EU membership) which is potentially a benefit to UK negotiators if our negotiators are clear-sighted enough to realise it.
    – A gulf has opened up between the EU27 and its supporters in the Uk who are not asking for anything that is on offer from the EU27. In past negotiations over then future EU treaty changes these two groups were aligned and consequently powerful. UK based supporters of the EU are now fairly marginal to the outcome while the ‘punishment brigade’ hold sway in Brussels as it will be hard for them to argue in front of the British public for punitive terms.

    • Freeborn John
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      I should add the two above facts both make WTO trading the most likely outcome. The EU appears to be negotiating in the hope of “encourging” a return to the status-quo ante of EU membership while under-estimating the benefits to the UK of the walk-away position or the difficulty that EU supporters in the UK will have in defendung a deal designed ‘pour encourager les autres’.

  42. I'll buy that.Thanks
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    I am waiting to hear just one negotiating stance of the EU with which Labour disagree.

    Labour is every second-hand car salesman’s dream.

  43. Newmania
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    So hands up who voted for a trade war started by us for no good reason …what no-one ? No-one up for being poor then , no one up for going to war with our suppliers clients and a market 8 times our size ? Seriously no-one ?
    I think we are already reaching a stage when leavers and remainers should get together ,leave blame at the door and figure out how on earth we get ourselves out of a mess inflicted on us by the political class at the least possible cost.

    The Brexit bill is mounting every day already

    • David Price
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Trade has always been difficult with Europe, always. I was in the international commercial world almost four decades and trade was always easier outside the EU, always. You may call it war but I wouldn’t, many on the continent are simply very parochial and protectionist. The EU extends that attitude based on the desires of the most influential countries – Germany and France. Contrawise our governments are not protectionist enough, it would seem because the city holds so much power and they make money by trading companies and assets rather than creating and building them.

      But then this is not solely about trade, who we can trade with and how we can trade. It is about who decides how we spend our money, who makes our laws, who upholds them and who decides who can and cannot come into our country and exploit our social and economic benefits.

      From my perspective EU is only interested in us as a source of money, market and resources, they have never protected or furthered our interests, quite the opposite.

      The most striking thing about the referendum was that no attempt at all was made to sell the benefits of being in the EU, instead the overwhelming attitude was one of threats.

  44. JonP
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    As time goes by we will see that in the end it may very well be the EU that walks away from the talks and not the UK. Looking at the sentiments expressed by JR today and comments above i see little hope of a satisfactory outcome- it’s very likely this blog is being monitored in brussels as well..if they see that we all think alike then they could very well use the first opportunity to wash their hands of us..furthrtmore i dont really think the eu has any intention of doing future tradr deals with us- they already regard us as more trouble than worth.

    • anon
      Posted July 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      “they already regard us as more trouble than worth.”

      Not true.. if it was in their power to prevent or delay any country leaving as a result of a referendum they would use it.

      Even more so larger countries or net contributors.

      If only it was so.

  45. Derek Henry
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    It is fast becoming a joke they think we are bluffing about no deal, no fee and WTO rules. It’s time to show them we are serious about this. The real question is how do we do it.

    As for taking back control of our money after watching Chris Grayling on the Daily Politics show today. He clearly has no idea how it works.

    Household budget, household budget, household budget, brainwash, brainwash, brainwash.

    We’ve left the gold standard if we are going to take back control of our money supply from the liberals in that the neoliberals control the central bank and money issue on behalf of the corporations and finance in some global way – according to some constitution that states “No powerful creditor will ever lose out ever” – even though that undermines the very basis of capitalism. All democratic states are vassals of that organisation and subsidiary – Greece being the poster child.

    Once we take back control of our money supply. Then we need to learn to use fiat money properly and not some gold standard fantasy.

    Case in point you’ll be lucky if 2% of posters here know where their taxes go when they pay them. That’s got to change after Brexit otherwise what’s the point of it all.

  46. Derek Henry
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    The Bank Of England has finally started to manage the commercial banks on the asset side of their balance sheets instead of the liability side.

    I couldn’t believe it when I saw it because it’s what we used to do for many years and flies in the face of the neoliberal control structure. Will powerful creditors lose out for making bad loans or will they still socialise the losses ? The jury is still out. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    At least this is a right step of taking back control of our money supply.

  47. Tom William
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Anyone who is wondering about the EU’s negotiating tactics should read what Yanis Varoufakis has written about them. Ruthless.

  48. lojolondon
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Dear John, please could you clarify something for me? If we were to adopt the ‘phased approach’ which is being touted (despite Article 50 being very specific about a 24 month leaving timetable) – I trust that the UK would not be paying for the privilege of purchasing goods from the EU during that ‘phase-out’ period?

  49. ian
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Could be the case that the EU are happy to let UK get on with it in the HOC with the repeal bill, cos i do not think the EU has to change any of there laws. As for money that up to the UK not the EU, but as you all know the UK parliament gives away the peoples money at every opportunity it has. Myself in future would charge EU for troop deployment & equipment into the EU, and any services they request.
    Of cos politician here will notice the diffidence if you leave the EU, it would be like going back 50 years in time in parliament, where they are responsible for everything, which the majority of them do not want. When look at the con party which has losing a lot ground troops in a lot of areas for elections. They have to change fast in there attitude towards the votes and the way they want to run the country for the few by putting on there thinking caps, and getting rid of a lot of MPs in the party who are only there for the beer.
    Someone has just told me that the con party now want to get rid of the flu jab for older people and leave them unprotected in the winter to save a couple of bob. How low can you get.

  50. Andrew
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    John, here is the reality. We need a deal from the EU more than they need a deal from us. Much more. They get to keep the EU medicines watchdog, EURATOM, the open skies agreement, the single market, friction-less borders and all the other stuff. We have nothing which they want except a decent deal for their citizens. Sure, they may sell us slightly few cars and a little less prosecco. None of that matters to them. They have said as much.

    We can see how this sort of deal making works with the deal with the DUP. They could easily have walked. We couldn’t. We ended up paying $1b for the privilege in a deal which is widely seen as squalid.

    When we have lorries queuing back from Dover because they need to go through customs checks and when UK airports can’t get planes airbound for weeks because the agreements have all gone… Then WE have a problem, not the EU.

    The thought that we’ll make up for lack of access to our largest single trading block, through non existent deals with third world countries is frankly unreal. Where is Liam Fox these days, by the way?

    Anyway, this will play out and if you are right you will be feted. If you are wrong and the working person suffers in any way because of our exit from the EU , then you will have finished the Conservatives for a good few elections.

    Reply Your fears are not going to happen

    • Andrew
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      “your fears are not going to happen” — this is the same sort of lazy thinking that thought we’d get a 100 seat majority and that our deal with the DUP would be wonderful.

    • Know-dice
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      “When we have lorries queuing back from Dover because they need to go through customs checks and when UK airports can’t get planes airbound for weeks because the agreements have all gone… Then WE have a problem, not the EU. “


      So, there will be no lorries stuffed with French and Spanish agricultural products stuck at Calais, no planes stuck on the runways of Schiphol, Paris, Berlin, Madrid,
      Rome etc.

      There are two sides to this story…

  51. NHSGP
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    They are the ones who have large exports in agricultural products and cars where under WTO rules we could impose tariffs that will hit demand for their products.

    Here’s a suggestion.

    Ask the WTO if we can put 40% tariffs on French agriculture.

    The WTO will say you can’t because the UK and France are “bound”. It’s illegal and the French can and will claim damages under WTO rules.

    You need to ask it that way round. Can the UK do this?

    Then you go to the EU and say, sorry, you can’t impose any tariffs. The reason is that being bound means tariffs and barriers to trade have to ratchet down, unless BOTH sides agree to an increase.

    Why would we vote for tariffs?

    Why would France agree to 40% tariffs on agricultural goods?

    Your error John is in assuming that because we leave the EU, treaty obligations under the WTO change

    Reply They do as we cease to be in the registered customs union so the external tariff of he EU applies to us.

  52. Jason wells
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know whats brought this tone of discourse about today and can omly say that it is not being very helpful. We must remember that UK started all of this upset by voting for brexit in the first place so it is now our responsibility to sort it out. Going on about what the EU is doing or not doing is not our problem..we can only make our own position very clear to ourselves and to them..something that up until now we have failed miserably to do..if the uk government is divided on the matter and the uk people are also divided and in disarray we can hardly blame that on the europeans.. So before we go any further mrs may and david davis should set out the path that we intend to follow-as already said if we as a nation don’t know where we are and where wer’re going thenwe can hardly expect the EU side to know

  53. agricola
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    That we do not like the EU as presently constituted is reflected in our desire for Brexir. We are not alone, there are many in the EU as individuals and possibly as nations who are having second thoughts on the way it has and is destined to develop. Switzerland being the very latest example that has expressed strong reservations about being drawn into the federal EU master plan.

    How about a debate in this diary regarding the type of Europe we in the UK would find acceptable. Personally a really flat playing field common market would be attainable and acceptable over the next fifty years. Nation states that remain sovereign with mostly their own currency. Dreams of a USEU can wait until the turn of the century, but only if it is the democratic desire of the people of Europe. What does everyone else think.

  54. ian
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    Yes the con party is going have to put on it thinking cap and start earning the country some money, instead of putting everything on peoples bills, especially on the young people, and without rising taxes on people, and do away with the inflation policy, because most thing now are getting smaller in size, especially in food area. All this bullying of votes is not going work anymore, and if they carry on with policy of trying to frighten people to get more money off them to give away to big businesses and to other countries to make themselves look good to there neo con lib mates around the world, and telling the people that they can afford it because they are rich country, and that it does not matter that you have nowhere to live or means of hospital treatment or other services which they want to take away from them. They will fine themselves out of office for a very long time with no one in con party club not willing to support them anymore.

  55. E.S Tablishment
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    A deliberately duff election manifesto.
    A year’s delay in triggering Article 50
    The glum family remoaners in charge of the Tory party

    It is all looking like a complete betrayal of the referendum vote.
    Of course the EU are not going to come to an agreement in two years. They cannot scratch both cheeks of their bottom in that time

  56. E.S Tablishment
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I would not wish the bunch of Ukippers in power. But Farage is very likely to be PM .
    I would have never thought that possible. But you would have to be stupid to think the UK government is genuinely negotiating brexit. It will say “Whoops the remoaners have amended so very much but”We made the best possible deal”
    No you will not have, and no you didn’t intend to. The final deal WILL be voted upon here in the UK and rejected. We will remain in the EU until Farage comes to power in a whirlwind of revolt.Sturgeon’s “I’m not bluffing” will be replied to “We don’t care whether you are bluffing or not! Full stop!
    Enough is enough.
    UKIP will make a lousy terrible govenment but this is what the Tories have brought us to. We have no choice!

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 29, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink


      UKIP’s manifesto was the best of all the parties. I hope Farage does come back. His country needs him.

      • Know-dice
        Posted June 29, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        I kind of agree with you, but, the number of good (potentially good) UKIPers can’t even reach the small finger on my left hand 🙁

        Farage, Suzanne Evans, who else 🙁

  57. fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I sincerely wish the EU would get on with negotiating our exit and then we can ditch the stupid Climate Change rubbish. As Professor Hughes says here when talking about CCS and coal and renewables etc.

    “We have spent countless millions trying to get carbon capture to work for coal-fired power stations. But in the future coal will mostly be used in the developing world, where CCS is going to be too expensive. Everyone else is moving to gas, for which CSS isn’t yet an option.”

    And even if the technology can be made to work for gas, it would come at a price that “would make renewables and nuclear look cheap”. This is in part because of a lack of joined up policy, as Professor Hughes explains:

    “Successive governments haven’t thought their policies through. The focus on renewables is making CCS – already a marginal technology – even less viable. A coherent strategy could reduce carbon emissions at a fraction of the current cost by switching to gas with the option to install CCS if/when it makes economic sense.”

  58. Until the end of tim
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Carney says rate rise coming soon
    Carney says rate rise coming soon

    I met a woman once……who had a boyfriend like him

    • Bob
      Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      @Until the end of tim

      I think he said he was waiting for the unemployment rate to fall below 7% 😂

      • Until the end of tim
        Posted June 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

        Yes, come to think of it, I recall that too 🙂

  59. Original Richard
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    “They need to keep in mind the government’s instructions from the UK voters – take back control of our money, our laws and our borders.”

    And our assets, such as all our fishing grounds, up to the 200 mile limit, where applicable.

  60. Simon Platt
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, the “UK media” do not seem to be on our side.

  61. Bony
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    Absolutely correct – so why is Theresa May bending over backwards promising EU foreigners rights generations of us don’t even have? Why, despite our huge financial burdens and deficit, is Theresa May, promising to further load our children with huge unpublished burden of costs for eu foreigners and their families, the number of which may be 5 million?

    Why is Theresa May so willing to support a Franco/German empire that will one day present a grave danger to this country with untold £billions in British financial assistance rather than investing same in curtailing this existential threat?

  62. Anonymous
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    It is a worry that the Left/BBC and usual suspects have ruined relations and opportunities with the US President whilst France has played it cleverly.

    They are determined to ruin this and to make Brexit impossible.

    I blame then entirely for any ill that befalls us.

  63. Dennis Zoff
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Thought this would concentrate the Brexit negotiator’s minds?

    Source: UK Trade OfNS – Apr 2017

    EU exports to the UK vs imports from the UK – 2016 (Switzerland included)

    Germany exports to UK £64B – Imports from UK £32.7B (-£31.3B)
    France exports to UK £40.4B – Imports from UK £19.5B (-£21.0B)
    Holland exports to UK £34.9B – Imports from UK £18.6B (-£16.3B)
    Ireland exports to UK £13.4B – Imports from UK £17.1B (+£3.7B)
    Bel/Lux exports to UK £24B – Imports from UK £11.9B (-£12.1B)
    Italy exports to UK £17.4B – Imports from UK £9.9B (-£7.5B)
    Spain exports to UK £15.8B – Imports from UK £9.7B (-£6.1B) (not including UK tourists)
    Swiss exports to UK £10.1B – Imports from UK £9.2B (-£0.9B)
    Sweden exports to UK £6.3B – Imports from UK £4.6B (-£1.7B)

    Total EU/Swiss exports to the UK £226.4B vs Imports from UK £133.2B (-£93.2B)

    In contrast, UK exports to the USA £47.4B vs imports from the USA £36.6B (+£10.8B)

    The top European exporting countries badly need the good will of the UK, regardless of the puerile EU sabre rattling.

    Commercially, the UK is in a very strong position with the EU….we should negotiate from a position of strength!

    Link for further information:

  64. Ken Worthy
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    A very good explanation of the dream world the EU leaders live in. Do you think we are helping ourselves by making preemptive concessions? The best approach to negotiation is to avoid if possible making the first concession, and make small concessions rather than large ones. We have already agreed to the sequence of negotiations the EU wants, and made a “generous offer” on EU citizens here. After a negative reaction by the EU, we now seem likely to make yet another concession, on setting up an independent panel to adjudicate on citizenship issues. Given your view on where the EU is, we seem to be negotiating with ourselves, and losing.

  65. Berries and cream
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Labour’s amendment to the Queen’s Speech debate and vote was shown on the tele. Labour lost again. Is this time and money-wasting bad behaviour what we can we can expect from Labour? They had only just protested minutes and hours before the Tory-DUP arrangement which would defeat their amendment before it was even placed.

    The BBC has taken to reporting attempted Parliamentary sabotage as “keeping the balance”. If a Tory Minister says the Cabinet will discuss something at a regular meeting in three days time the BBC reports for three days”The Tories are in chaos, not knowing what to do” . In fact the journalist Laura Kuenssberg, said similar tonight. “They are in chaos” . How can they be in chaos if they have not even met and talked?
    They take our licence fee payments by Direct Debit and for granted. I can lie to myself for free, why should I pay the BBC to do it?

    • anon
      Posted July 1, 2017 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

      You can choose to cancel your licence fee. Do not expect vested interests in parliament to change the status quo.

      Use other legal methods of getting media, its a little easier now than in the past.

      • hefner
        Posted July 2, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Seconded. And not watching TV is likely to have a positive impact on your blood pressure, I guess from the usually vituperative comments against the BBC et al. on this blog.

  66. Two plus two
    Posted June 28, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    SkyNews says 48% of the public support tax rises so more can be spent on services. I know of no-one in my heavily Labour dominated town who supports any rise in income taxes,or Council taxes at all for any purpose whatsoever. Fake News again.
    Also they report Walsall just don’t know what they could possibly cut more . They show an art gallery and libraries. Well cut them!!!
    My Labour town, I could go through 100 metres and show tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of waste by the Council.So could anyone else irrespective of Party allegiance. If Walsall would like me to enlighten them I could solve their finanacial problems very soon. We can start by cutting the number of Councillors of Walsall MBC from 60 to 20 before I get there and then we can discuss more Councillor redundancies while I instruct them on their 2 and 3 times tables.

  67. British education
    Posted June 29, 2017 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    “Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau ” Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929

    Now merely an ever so humble Paper lad, Osborne had a great teacher.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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