UK’s establishment tries to undermine UK Brexit position again

I read today criticisms of the PM’ s sensible approach to Brexit talks from a former a senior civil servant in the Brexit department. He thinks the UK should concede on ECJ jurisdiction as if we were to remain a member state under their control when we left! Why do some people in the UK establishment just want to take dictation from Brussels and want to undermine the generous and good offer the UK is making?

I also hear some in business thinks the needs of the City are being ignored. Of course they are not, but the needs of the nation as a whole drive our offer. The City is well looked after within that.


  1. Bert Young
    July 1, 2017

    We do not want to have continued jurisdiction from Brussels the moment we are “out”. Theresa should not be undermined on this issue .

  2. Lifelogic
    July 1, 2017

    You ask – Why do some people in the UK establishment just want to take dictation from Brussels and want to undermine the generous and good offer the UK is making?

    Not alas just “some” alas it is very many. Main in the state sector, half the Tory party, most lawyers, almost the entire lefty BBC and most of academia. Plus of course about 80% of the Lords.

    The one thing that must be clear is that we escape anything which might mean that Parliament and UK courts are not fully supreme going forwards.

    1. Lifelogic
      July 1, 2017

      ECJ jurisdiction over anything is totally unacceptable.

      1. Hope
        July 2, 2017

        Grow a pair and sack those who seek to undermine or work to their own agenda. Ministers need to take control by understanding their brief, get into the detail and sack a few michievious civil servants.

    2. Lifelogic
      July 1, 2017

      Infact it is probably circa 85% of “the establishment”. They nearly all suffer from the PC, misguided opinions of the Libdims & the BBC. A pro EU “group think” belief, a “belief” in catastrophic climate alarmism & so the called “clean renewables”. The absurd belief that trains and bikes are somehow “holier” than planes, trucks and cars. Also that an ever bigger state, higher taxes, more regulation and more government is always the answer to everything.

      They even like the dire virtual monopoly that is the NHS, despite its appalling record of killing far more than Genfell Tower roughly every week and keeping others waiting for months or years.

      They similarly like the virtual monopoly of second rate state schools because they are dreadful but “fair” and promote “equality”.

  3. ian wragg
    July 1, 2017

    Nearly all civil servants are Europhiles and the City is staffed by Goldman Sachs type people who care nought for the population of Britain.
    We have a very large 5th Column and a lot of them share the same building as you John.

  4. Peter Wood
    July 1, 2017

    Good afternoon,
    Your post is in the ‘hard to believe’ category, so here’s an equally disturbing one; just seen the coffin of the late Helmut Kohl draped in the EU flag! Do they not realise what message this sends; Germany runs the EU! EUROPEANS, WAKE-UP!

    1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      July 2, 2017

      @Peter Wood: Apparently you miss that the message is the exact opposite, i.e. Germans being subject to the EU, not running it.
      You would believe that if a Scottish politician’s coffin lies lies draped in the UK flag (in stead of a Scottish one), it symbolises Scotland running the UK???
      You obviously wouldn’t have understood the spoken contributions either if you had listened.

      1. Peter Wood
        July 2, 2017

        Good Morning Peter,
        You miss the point. Your comparison is not correct, IF a Scots wanted the Union flag, he is entitled to it, because the United Kingdom is a nation state that includes Scotland. There is no nation called the EU, (it shouldn’t even possess a flag). Mr Kohl was German and therefore should have the German flag.
        As a Dutchman, you really need to start to realise you are agreeing to become a province of ‘Germania’, and are being told what to do by Berlin through the EU commission. Do you accept that future?

        1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          July 2, 2017

          @Peter Wood: I humbly suggest that I know more about Germany, the Netherlands and the EU than you. I can hear and understand all opinions in their original languages, be they Dutch, German or French. I’m not as dependent as you on the over-simplified messages media would like you to believe. Nevertheless, thank you for your well-meant warning.

          1. Andy
            July 2, 2017

            Well, you are obviously no student of history. You might convince yourself that Germany has subordinated her self interest to the EU but experience shows, particularly since reunification, that Germany wants control. She might mask that ambition, but that is her aim and purpose. The UK was always an irritant to that ambition. History shows this will end badly, particularly for The Netherlands.

      2. James Matthews
        July 2, 2017

        There have been times. some of them quite recent, when you could be forgiven for believing that Scotland runs the UK.

        That (and flags) aside, your comparison is not apt. Germany clearly calls the shots in the EU, economically and, more recently, on migration policy. It looks set to continue to do so. Good luck to the rest of you in subjecting Germany to your will, that should be interesting.

        1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          July 2, 2017

          @James Matthews: I’m sorry James, but that is an oversimplification and caricature.
          The most powerful institution in the EU, the European Council (did you know that it didn’t exist nor was foreseen at the time of the treaty of Rome?) usually decides by unanimity or consensus. In case of voting (for the complex voting rules consult the internet) Germany has just over 8% of the votes (like the UK, France and Italy), the Netherlands some 3.5%, Malta 0.85%. You may know that the Netherlands and Malta have smaller populations. Nordic countries like the Netherlands, often agree with German positions, Southern countries often agree with French positions. So if Germany and France manage to work out a compromise it more easily leads to forming overall consensus. With the Visigrad countries there are also other divisions, but all this would become a bit complicated to briefly expain. In short, Germany doesn’t call all the shots, even though it is an influential member. You might simply be confused with the British Empire, in which one country could call the shots (and even fired them occasionally if a population wouldn’t agree). That is not the EU reality. No more shots fired.

          1. pete
            July 5, 2017

            Appreciate the theory of what you say and I have studied it, however the in practise we see your supreme leader Mr Juncker reporting back to Mrs Merkel, we see David Cameron negotiation with Mrs Merkel, we hear about an ex Greek finance minister negotiating with German bankers……

            Face it the EU is nothing but an obfuscated larger Germany using EU institutions as cover.

      3. Hope
        July 2, 2017

        No Merkel makes unilateral decisions on reining Greece, mass immigration and coups in Greece and Italy to rid the country of leaders who do not wan the EU to rule them. In Holland ththe govt ignores its electorate and does what the EU tells it i.e. Freedom of movement from the Urkraine. This is because Germany has always sought to March east in land grabs across Europe. Euolland no longer exists until its people rise up.

  5. James Matthews
    July 1, 2017

    ” Why do some people in the UK establishment just want to take dictation from Brussels and want to undermine the generous and good offer the UK is making?”

    Surely a rhetorical question. They do not believe we should leave the EU. They want to make it as easy as possible to reverse the decision of the electorate and to ensure that we retain as many as possible of the disadvantages of being a member while gaining as few as possible of the advantages of leaving. They are the establishment and believe they should rule, not the electorate. Plus ca change …………………

  6. NHSGP
    July 1, 2017

    Offer the EU a coin toss.

    ECJ justice or UK justice. Heads and the ECJ goes and all EU decisions get subject to UK law.

  7. NHSGP
    July 1, 2017

    On the city, just tell the EU to get on with it and impose a Tobin tax. 1 Euro every time you use an ATM. Then tell them the UK is going banking secrecy and tax haven for non UK nationals.

    Quelle horror for Brussels.

    1. Lifelogic
      July 1, 2017

      An excellent plan. Also restore all the non dom rules (that the idiot Osborne killed) that brought so much wealth, jobs and talent to the UK.

  8. Denis Cooper
    July 1, 2017

    On the second point, the government has said again and again that it wants to negotiate a good deal on financial services, and there is no justification for the Telegraph to pretend otherwise, and moreover proclaim that “The City must come first in Brexit deals”.

    Because of the openly and repeatedly stated dogmatic, quasi-religious, determination of the EU leaders that their “four freedoms” cannot be separated, regaining control of our immigration policy must come first. When we have left the EU we can have our national debate about our preferred policy on immigration from the EU, but if that debate is to have any meaning we must regain complete control of that policy area.

    As to the first point, I have always had my doubts about David Davis’s rosy picture of all the civil servants who have transferred to his new department accepting that the people have made their decision, and being willing to use their best endeavours to get the best outcome for the country; and those doubts are reinforced when I read this:

    “A former Daily Mail journalist, Mr Chapman was George Osborne’s director of communications before becoming Mr Davis’s chief of staff at the new department for exiting the EU.”

    “Mr Chapman stopped working for David Davis at the election and is now a partner at lobbying company Bell Pottinger.”

  9. Ed Mahony
    July 1, 2017

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    I have great respect for you but I really think you’re getting it wrong over Hard Brexit.

    1) The referendum wasn’t black and white about what leaving the EU meant (I have lots of video clips of leading Conservative Brexiteers arguing in favour of some kind of Norway-style model to a Swiss-style model Brexit).

    2) The voters rejected Theresa May’s Hard Brexit in the elections (and Labour’s leadership in Parliament has been hijacked by socialists who have always hated the EU, plus they want to keep their arguments straight-forward and not get caught out, and many Labour MP’s are putting their careers before the country like they did when they supported Blair in Parliament over Iraq).

    3) Many Tory Brexiteers want Swiss-model Brexit, not Hard Brexit. There simply isn’t the leadership in Parliament to implement Hard Brexit (not forgetting how David Davis suggested that aspects of Hard Brexit are more complicated than a moon landing).

    4) Many people in business are extremely concerned about Hard Brexit with one in five business managers rejecting it. Not forgetting those in the City of London as well as the less competitive businesses who depend on the closeness of Europe (in terms of geography and cultural values as well as business streamlined regulations) for their survival and success.

    5) We have a big debt to pay off. And that will only increase as we try and re-jig our economy. Meanwhile, the opportunities outside the EU have been greatly exaggerated (look at Japan’s, Canada’s, and New Zealand’s GDP per capita, and compare that to Sweden’s, Netherland’s, and Denmark’s, and how Germany has fantastic trade outside EU because it sells great products and services not just depending on weak Euro).

    6) As soon as more austerity bites, and people lose their jobs and suffer lower wages, people will demand a closer relationship with the EU to whom we export 40% of our goods and services.

    7) Trade deals take years to finish. We have relatively few with the necessary skills. Consider how we’ve already annoyed Japanese, Chinese and American investors and their governments who have been using the UK as a gateway into the EU. And we can’t rely on Donald Trump. He’s too all over the place. And we can’t rely on an American-style economy because America is too different socially, culturally and historically for that too work. Our people demand 5 weeks holiday a year. There would be riots if their holidays were reduced to 2 weeks like in America.

    8) And many more problems regarding Hard Brexit: N. Ireland, Gibraltar, working with the EU to fight migration from Africa and the Middle East, working with the EU to stand up to countries such as Putin’s Russia, working closely with the EU over big commercial projects we can’t do on our own e.g. building satellite and expensive jet planes and so on. Educational ties.
    A secure, more peaceful and prosperous Europe is good for us (just look at how Ireland went from poverty to wealth thanks, to an important degree, to the EU and is now an important trading partner of ours). Many problems with the EU. But we could play a leading role in trying to reform it for our benefit and Europe’s – which is quite different than just trying to get concessions for the UK.

    I really urge you to compromise so that we don’t contribute in anyway in the destabilisation of the EU that could really come back to bite us, and that we press on with Brexit compromising on the best deal for the UK and the EU.

    Lastly, you’ve got so much to offer. To admit to being wrong on some things is NOT weakness but strength. I think you are wrong on some important issues (but then I might be wrong and you right). But if you are wrong, then I urge you to change course and compromise more. I’m sure others, including Remainers, would be encouraged to admit they were wrong about things as well. And then we can all work better together for the benefit of our country for its long-term future in Europe and the rest of the world.

    I won’t comment here again. Thank you very much. And whatever you do or don’t do, blessings to you.
    Regards, Ed

    Reply No such thing as a hard or soft Brexit. We just want to be like the many other independent countries in god world who trade with the EU I just fine. The UK will become a world free trade leader.

    1. Ed Mahony
      July 1, 2017

      Thank you for all your articles and checking my boring comments. Please don’t take any of my comments personally (a lot of them were agreeing with you although not so much about Brexit). I argue / debate (friendly) all the time with my family and friends. Life v. boring if we all agreed all the time.

      Hope you have time off from Brexit, work and Parliament over the summer, and enjoy yourself whatever you’re doing.

      Best wishes.

    2. Charles v
      July 1, 2017

      Ed Mahony’s comments are spot on. We are a divided country and there are a range of views on what form Brexit should take or, indeed if it should take place at all. Expressing these views (whatever position you are in) is entirely legitimate and healthy.

      Or is the the suggestion that people should not say anything which contradicts the view of the government on the most important issue of the day? If so, I do look forward to our host whole heartedly supporting the current government over the lifetime of this parliament. Unfortunately, we all know this will not happen. If you are willing to undermine a conservative government and usher in 13 years of europhile labour government leading to a financial disaster once you will almost certainly be willing to do similar or worse (and a Corby government would be a LOT worse) again.

      You do realise what will happen Mr Redwood if you are unwilling to compromise and continue to complain when the government is unable to secure the pure form of Brexit that you insist on? We get a more europhile labour government – the complete opposite to what you say you want. Please explain to me how that is a good thing? That is where this ends. This may be fine for you but not for this of us with businesses, jobs, mortgages etc… who will actually have to pay the price.

      Reply We need to deliver Brexit to avoid the Labour government. Failing to implement the result of the referendum would be disastrous.

      1. a-tracy
        July 3, 2017

        What Country doesn’t have divided opinions Charles v, how many Countries rule with an absolute party in charge that is a democracy?

    3. ferdinand
      July 2, 2017

      What a sad despondent commentary.

  10. Epikouros
    July 1, 2017

    What part of leave do remoaners not understand. Perhaps they do not have a dictionary or are too lazy to open one. We voted to leave. The act of leaving means a total physical exit after which we can engage in all sorts of activities together or not as the fancy takes us. However if our whole being does not exit then the fancy is denied us and we can only act under severe restrictions. So we have not fulfilled the act of leaving and have not honoured the referendum result.

  11. hefner
    July 1, 2017

    Oh I love that: JR, 30 years as a MP, various jobs in the public domain, is not part of the UK’s Establishment. A shrinking violet, isn’t he?

    1. outsider
      July 1, 2017

      Yes Hefner, Mr Redwood is a member of the British Establishment in just the same way as you are one of his “intelligent admirers”.

    2. libertarian
      July 2, 2017


      Interesting though that you seem to want to comment on trade, business, economics etc without ever having skin in the game. So maybe opinions from inside or out can still be valid?

  12. Prigger
    July 1, 2017

    “I read today criticisms of the PM’ s sensible approach to Brexit talks from a former a senior civil servant in the Brexit department. ”
    Few in many walks of life even of very lowly positions have power to express themselves about the business of former employers. I can’t. Yet I was only one link of five in filling a plastic cup with tea bag, sugar, milk and boiling water.
    If I had been in a position to give away the negotiating positon and redlines in my ex-company’s biggest deal for decades…well… legal action against me would have been a blessing. I would literally have expected a contract “accident” on me.

  13. Duncan
    July 1, 2017

    It is an absolute travesty that there are some in the UK today who believe this country’s divine sovereignty, its legislative and judicial independence can be simply bargained away like a sack of potatoes

    Mr Redwood, we as humble, silent people cannot make our voices heard but you and your colleagues in Parliament are able to do so and also apply considerable influence to achieve what the EU referendum result demands, total and irrevocable independence in all areas

    The supremacy of UK law cannot be be sacrificed. Nor can the ECJ be allowed to dictate and reign supreme when we leave the EU. That would be an intolerable position for an independent, sovereign nation

    You and your colleagues with the LML’s pressure group should tell the PM in no uncertain terms that total independence means just that, OR ELSE the consequences will be a Labour govt

    1. Lifelogic
      July 1, 2017

      It is an absolute travesty that there are some in the UK today who believe this country’s divine sovereignty, its legislative and judicial independence can be simply bargained away like a sack of potatoes

      And bargained away by traitors who do not own it, it belongs to the people.

  14. Terry
    July 1, 2017

    What is it with our Civil Servants? Is it a power struggle with them? I believe that within the EU, the Civil Servants have the real power and therefore conclude that this person is just following that Europhile power line. They all seem oblivious to the fact that they are not elected into their positions but are there as advisers NOT operators.
    It is very clear that Sir Humphrey is not dead. His legacy lives on and on and on.

    I have read that these people were instrumental in holding up the Brexit process in it’s early days, frustrating the efforts of elected Ministers to get on with the job the public had set them. Could that be described as “Treacherous”?
    Is there any way to tame these contemptuous and arrogant Mandarins?

  15. Chris
    July 1, 2017

    If you include the BBC in a wider definition of “the establishment”, then this article on The Conservative Woman website by Kathy Gyngell on Evan Davis and his bullying and contemptuous interview of David Jones is yet another vivid and very concerning illustration of what is going on.
    Kathy Gyngell: Evan Davis personifies the contempt of BBC elitists for Brexit

    “Scenting Tory blood, the BBC cranks up its anti-Brexit propaganda. That was the conclusion I reached at the end of the BBC’s shameless last week of anti—Brexit coverage a year on from the referendum victory. The Tories’ election debacle appeared to have given them carte blanche to revolt.

    Now they have declared all-out war. On Wednesday night’s Newsnight Evan Davis used that time-honoured tactic to justify what is clearly now the BBC’s official stance. He rewrote history – in this case the very recent history of the election result.

    In an aggressive and rude interview with David Jones MP – a minister in the Brexit department until the election – Evan Davis asserted as a fact that the ‘Theresa May plan for Brexit’ was one ‘which clearly didn’t grab the population in the election’. How he was party to this knowledge we were to find out….”

  16. Prigger
    July 1, 2017

    “UK’s establishment tries to undermine UK Brexit position again”
    We have in our history had “Establishment’s” who preferred foreign Courts and Powers to rule us.
    There are many times in world history when citizens from one or more countries were deliberately “settled” in a host country. I believe Ancient China was the first to implement it and subsequently to suffer from it big style from diverse Powers east and west.

  17. Bryan Harris
    July 1, 2017

    It’s called the enemy within

    We truly are a country split between those that can see a great future for the UK out of the EU, and those that have given up on life and are happy to succumb to a power that will tell them how to act. think, and live.

    It’s time to identify those actively working against the UK and lock them up (Only half kidding) (:

    1. Charles v
      July 1, 2017

      No, people just disagree as to what approach is likely to be best for the country. Having a different view to our host does not mean people have given up on life, it just means they think he is wrong!

      It’s comments like this which do make we wonder if people have taken complete leave of their senses. We should be able to have sensible and open debate with those we disagree without saying those we disagree with “have given up on life”!

      1. Bryan Harris
        July 2, 2017

        It would be nice yes to have sensible discussions but when people lack the capacity to see what is really going on then it becomes worthless.

        Wake up to the fact that there are people actively working against the best interests of the people of the UK – and they are not being reasonable about it either.

      2. Denis Cooper
        July 2, 2017

        Some people just disagree on the best approach for leaving the EU, but others are not prepared to accept that we are leaving the EU and look to obstruct and delay the process by all possible means. And this is not just speculation on my part, because some of them have openly admitted that is their plan.

      3. Peter D Gardner
        July 3, 2017

        I disagree, Bryan. Charles means there are those who do not want Britain to leave the EU and are doing their best to ensure it does not. It is not just a handful. It is a great many, and they are in positions from which there is a very real possibility of their preventing UK leaving the EU. In doing so they accept that they may cause UK to end up in a worse position, no say in EU policies and decisions, subject to them, punished and crippled as a result. This sort of action cannot in any way be described as being in the interests of the country. It is at best negligent, not caring a jot about UK, at worst wilfully acting against UK’s interests, sedition, or treason. They really do want to damage Britain, they are the enemy within.

  18. Bob
    July 1, 2017

    The Guardian has an article about senior EU officials preparing for a cancellation of Brexit, so on Matt Frei’s Sat morning LBC phone-in he invites contributions from an Italian finance minister and Michael Heseltine.

    He and Jon Snow should stop pretending to be jounalists and stand for election, if the Lib Dems can’t find them a safe seat, I’m sure Labour would.

  19. agricola
    July 1, 2017

    Obviously a disgruntled member of yesterdays people. Democracy to them is a tool to be manipulated until it is no longer democracy. The fact that such behaviour sows the seeds for more extreme reaction is of no consequence to such people. They still litter the H o C, some prominently ,some obscurely, fuelling dissent at every opportunity while of course spouting the mantra of respecting the will of the people. In fact they hate the people for their decision and would overturn it given a real chance. On Brexit the ECJ is an EU court with no jurisdiction within the UK whatever, and at the moment it would appear that Mrs. May has no intention of it being otherwise.

  20. Michael
    July 1, 2017

    Just what one would expect from a senior civil servant; remoaners all. It is simply not possible to take back control if the ECJ continues to have jurisdiction.

    More than ever it is important for leavers to speak out loud and clear. No backsliding.

  21. Mark
    July 1, 2017

    Frankly I was astonished to read Mr Chapman’s remarks. As an insider who plainly did not fit in at DEXEU, he should have kept his thoughts to himself, and should have been bound to do so under the Official Secrets Act.. I guess the fact that he previously worked in the Treasury under Osborne was a clue that he might not be suitable.

    1. Lifelogic
      July 1, 2017

      Indeed! But Hammond is clearly yet another Osborne!

  22. forthurst
    July 1, 2017

    Perhaps someone in a previous life who had been an architect of Project Fear might not have made the ideal candidate to promote Project Freedom. It is also a sad fact that many journalists live in ivory towers where their opinions, even if totally deluded, are protected, whilst they are paid to attack those with whom they disagree.

  23. Mark B
    July 1, 2017

    Good afternoon.

    We voted to leave a political union that was moving in the direction of becoming a State in its own right. Part of any State, and a fundamental component, is that of a judiciary. The ECJ being just that. There should be no court higher than our own.

    The decision to leave the EU was a political one. At this point I have to criticize our kind host. It is he that discusses trade when talking about the EU and not governance, so he cannot complain when business wants to be included in any deal. This to me has never been about business and trade, but governance, as that is how the UK government should approach it.

  24. Ed Mahony
    July 1, 2017

    Just want to add, whichever path we take now with the EU, Labour are going to remain a serious threat. I don’t know how to diminish that. But ultimately I blame the Referendum and Brexit for the Labour threat because without Brexit we could have focused on paying off our national debt and getting our economy into shape in general but time, energy and attention has been focused elsewhere.

    What I am pretty certain of though, if we leave the single market, our economy will take a hit on top of the already existing large national debt we have to pay off, and jobs and living wages will be affected and this will be blamed on the last (the current) government in power (the Conservatives) with Labour sweeping into government (crippling our country’s economy even more, with no doubt, a demand from people in general for a second EU referendum in order to redress the imbalance in our economy).

    Perhaps Labour will get into power, anyway, but with a reduced majority if we go for a compromise over the EU, for example, a Swiss-style agreement with the EU which leading Tory Brexiteers such as Daniel Hannan, David Davis and others appear to be going for. But dropping out of the single market could lead to an even greater victory to Labour at the elections sometime in the future.

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 2, 2017

      “What I am pretty certain of though, if we leave the single market, our economy will take a hit … ”

      I don’t know how you can be certain of that, even “pretty” certain. But supposing that your belief is literally correct, how large do you think that “hit” will be?

      What if I was able to prove to you that while there will indeed be the “hit” it will only amount to 0.001% of GDP? Would that economic loss still sway you, or would you say that the economic effects while negative will not be significant, and so they can be disregarded when you are forming your judgment?

      As far as I’m concerned I note that natural economic growth since the referendum has already been close to matching any likely loss from leaving the EU.

  25. ian
    July 1, 2017

    Unless he is under a gagging order from the gov he is in titled to say what he likes, and if the newspapers want to print what is said, that up to them. Anyway anyone in the establishment at this time having a view on anything is like showing red flag to a bull to the majority of people who cannot stand them anymore, and that goes for politicians as well. The public are starting to wise up to the neo con lib and the neo libs policies against them. They are now looking looking for people who will stand up for them and their country, and fed up with the media keeping up the states quo with hand of political parties that believe in neo liberalism, which is a form communism to keep the rich rich by using the people money and treasury to keep zombie banks, companies and people afloat. It same policy as in communist china, with 60 million members.

  26. Norman
    July 1, 2017

    Whatever happened to Civil Service loyalty and discretion, Mr Chapman? Disgraceful!

  27. brian
    July 1, 2017

    Was not the moaner about the ECJ a former adviser to Remainer Osborne and a former Daily Mail journalist? Now a lobbyist IIRC. The press will regurgitate any nonsense by anyone who had a fleeting presence in government but who now has to justify their existence to their new employer.

  28. ian
    July 1, 2017

    Democracy is only a illusion.

    1. Edward2
      July 2, 2017

      It wasn’t when I voted in my local council elections, the Referendum and recently in the General Election.

  29. Tweeter_L
    July 1, 2017

    It’s hard to see what he feels he has to gain by these remarks. I have to say that, upon hearing his criticism that the PM was inflexible on her red lines, my first thought was “Well, yes, so she should be! ” The government seems endlessly to be criticised both for not having a negotiating position and for standing firm on its negotiating position……

  30. outsider
    July 1, 2017

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    You are right that the needs of the nation must come first. The international wholesale finance industry and its useful idiots are in the forefront of attempts to stymie or effectively cancel Brexit. That is understandable from their point of view and is well represented at the highest official and political level, not least because “the City” has contributed disproportionately to tax revenue.
    M. Barnier has, I feel, a dual brief: to minimise disruption to the remaining EU and to punish the UK. This can be achieved by leaving trade in goods and non-financial services as seamless as possible while attempting to hit “the City” in favour of Frankfurt and other eurozone financial centres. M Barnier is ideally equipped to do this as the architect of the eurozone’s single banking market and regulatory system.
    City-based banks will presumably have to set up regulated eurozone subsidiaries and financial trading businesses may find themselves shut out or disadvantaged in various euro-related markets. Some routine wholesale finance industry jobs will move to the Continent. As you say, however, the detail can be negotiated because M Barnier well knows that any attempt to inflict heavy damage on the capacity of the City as an international financial centre would be self-defeating.
    Investment banking has been a UK powerhouse for the past 25 years but that has come at a heavy price for much of the rest of the economy. I am confident that the City will continue to prosper outside the EU but, just as IMO Brexit is a prerequisite for reversing the hollowing out of the British economy, so also is some re-orientation away from policies primarily designed in the interests of investment banking.

  31. PaulW
    July 1, 2017

    The problem for some in the brexiteers camp is that they cannot understand that there are very middle of the road people out there who think very differently from themselves on these matters. Not everyone is so hung up on terms like ‘taking back control’ or on jurisdictions whether british or ECJ. What they want in the end is a deal that will allow them to get on with their lives with the least amount of disruption to themselves their business and their families.

    1. We won
      July 1, 2017

      There isn’t a “brexiteers camp”. There was prior to 23rd June 2016. The referendum vote was Leave. The vote in Parliament was Leave. There is only one camp now called Remoaners who refuse to accept democracy. The rest of us, now the overwhelming majority of the British people, are waiting to Leave and for everyone else to stop being crybabies.

      1. sjb
        July 1, 2017

        overwhelming majority [for Leave]Looks like it may have disappeared.

        “If there was another EU Referendum held tomorrow, our poll shows that the result from 12 months ago would be reversed, with Remain on 54% (+3 from our last poll) and Leave on 46% (-3).”- Survation, 1 July 2017

        1. mike fowle
          July 2, 2017

          The referendum was a genuinely once in a generation vote. The previous one lasted 40 years. We are not going to have another one. I have seen polls that say either side has increased its share. It’s all pointless. Just a distraction from moving ahead with what the people voted for. I think Mrs May gets that.

    2. Bryan Harris
      July 2, 2017

      You are talking about a fudge then? Half in and half out – that is no solution.

      The only real answer is a total break from the influence of the EU – We don’t need their irrationalities

      Neither do we need their regulations that permitted the wrong type of cladding that caused that awful fire!

  32. Atlas
    July 1, 2017

    I wonder what the correct term is for these people?
    Are they Appeasers, Quislings, Fifth Columnists, Fellow Travellers or Collaborators ?
    Or are these terms too harsh for people who seem to want us to be run by others…

  33. ferdinand
    July 1, 2017

    The city thinks it will be an easier ride for them if we dilute our leaving. They cannot see beyond the end of their noses. The opportunities outside are enormous for the city. People deal with people not with countries.

    1. The Town
      July 1, 2017

      “The city” , I know what you mean but in reality there are no people who constitute “the city”. It is just a convenient term for the media to distinguish some rich business people who think their individual voices count more than someone else coughing and spluttering in the fantastic capital CITY they live in.

  34. AdamC
    July 1, 2017

    I have absolutely no idea about what the PM’s sensible approach is – nor do i know anything about generous offers made but i can tell you one thing that if we are to make progress in any of this we are sooner or later going to have to concede on some things…otherwise the cliff edge awaits

  35. Cloverdoguk
    July 1, 2017

    I’m not aware the UK has made an offer on anything, except on the position of EU citizens in the UK where it was responding to the EU position paper. In spite of it being the UK triggering Brexit, the EU is driving everything. Time the UK got its act together.

  36. Jack snell
    July 1, 2017

    Being british english with some irish and scottish mix, i also have a little french and dutch in the background and that makes me a proud european. So i find it hard to understand how some others see things only as UK vs the rest. ‘Ode to joy’ played today at helmut kohls funeral on euro news was a treat to listen to..brought tears to my eyes

    1. Lifelogic
      July 1, 2017

      I used to rather like Beethoven’s 9th, until the EU stole it and turned it into an advert/anthem for the dire, anti-democratic EUSSR.

      1. Chris
        July 1, 2017

        Agreed. From the archives about a certain R Coudenhove-Kalergi, it is stated that on October 1926, at the first Congress of the Pan-European Union meeting in Vienna, the Ode to Joy was played. Apparently Coudenhove proposed to adopt this as the European anthem. He also proposed the establishment of a “Europe Day” and a single currency.

        Interestingly it was chosen as the anthem for the Council of Europe in 1972, and for the EU in 1985. Below is a copy of C-K’s letter on 3 August, 1955, suggesting that it be adopted in 1955

    2. Caterpillar
      July 1, 2017

      Jack Snell,

      I don’t think Dr Redwood presents it as UK vs the rest. It is presented as indept UK looking for good relationships with the whole of the world for mutual benefit, and a relation with the EU ideally with free trade as an agreement and as frictionless customs as possible – this again being mutually beneficial, sharing of knowledge for security, sharing of commitment for shared international interests etc – from the perspective here I cannot see it as an us vs them situation. The UK. Govt does need to make clear, beyond the position on EU citizens in the U.K what we are offering and just get there.

  37. lojolondon
    July 1, 2017

    John, you are totally correct, the question is what to do? The answer, until now, has been to do nothing. we have tolerated pro-EU statements and propaganda endlessly from the establishment and from the BBC on the basis that “they mean well, they just want to warn of the dangers”. The government has to change this, because it is not working. If people do not support the direction, then they must find a new job, and organisations that undercut and sabotage the Government cannot be funded by the taxpayer. No ‘retrenchment on full pension’ because that sends the wrong message. Time for a few firings for disloyalty. And time to STOP THE TV TAX.
    The alternative is to do nothing and hope. As Einstein said, the definition of insanity is to keep trying the same thing and to hope for a different result. If you want a different result, you need to try something different.

  38. Dennis
    July 1, 2017

    So who was this former a senior civil servant in the Brexit department? Is it a secret?

  39. Tabulazero
    July 1, 2017

    Why should the City trust a government that does not seem to be able to get fire safety right or make trains run on time ?

    1. rose
      July 1, 2017

      Enoch Powell: “Does every generation have to learn afresh that there are more important things than running the trains on time?”

      In case you missed it, he was speaking of freedom as opposed to dictatorship.

      1. Julien Tabulazero
        July 3, 2017

        @rose: not his most famous quote.

        You may also notice that the City is sending its own negotiation team to the EU to hash a deal. This should tell you something about the level of trust the City and its trade bodies have in the current government’s ability to sort out some kind of agreement with EU.

        a.k.a.: none.

        This bout of “private” diplomacy in what is supposed to be the biggest negotiation over the past 30 years is absolutely unbelievable.

        Reply IN a free society others can go and talk! The final deal will of course be government to government.

  40. English Pensioner
    July 1, 2017

    Why do some people in the UK establishment just want to take dictation from Brussels?
    It has always struck me as a way of being able to avoid direct responsibility “It wasn’t me guv, I didn’t have any choice. They made me do it”. Much the same as those MPs who want to remain in the EU. With huge pieces of legislation coming from Brussels, it not only reduces their workload but when something goes wrong they can tell their constituents that it was all the fault of Brussels and couldn’t be avoided.

    1. Bryan Harris
      July 2, 2017

      Good point – By allowing the EU to be supreme some of our false leaders could take the stage without the responsibility

  41. Chris
    July 1, 2017

    I hope there is no truth in this, Mr Redwood. It would be totally against what we voted for and represent a betrayal. This is apparently based on comments by James Chapman, former chief of staff to David Davis until the election:

    “…The Conservative Brexit and Foreign Secretaries are reportedly pushing the Prime Minister to drop her “red line” opposition to the UK staying subject to rulings of the European Court of Justice. ..”

  42. Chris
    July 1, 2017

    I think Damian Green is not being very constructive either to the PM (or Brexit or Conservatism) as he seems to have misunderstood what the voters have been telling the Conservatives. In fact, I believe his is a disastrous appointment. This reported Bow Group tweet has put it rather well:

    If after the last decade of UK politics your conclusion is more metropolitan liberalism is required, your time has passed @DamianGreen

    1. Lifelogic
      July 1, 2017

      Indeed he, like Hammond, Soubry, Nicky Morgan, Osborne and the rest is just dreadful.

  43. rose
    July 1, 2017

    I am glad you have tackled these two maddening reports.

    What a contrast betwen the sacked David Jones, loyal and patriotic, and this former civil servant. Trust the BBC to dredge him up.

  44. A.Sedgwick
    July 1, 2017

    This is not at all surprising, for me the key components of the Establishment are the civil service mandarins principally in the Treasury and FO and the HofL. What has developed in recent decades is a natural association and gravitation towards similar EU personnel and of course cross employment. The emphasis to date has been on the single market and customs union, maybe leaving these is now recognised as inevitable across the board, but the ECJ is the next spurious essential being promoted.

  45. Frazer Broomby
    July 1, 2017

    Conservatives are too passive, they need to have a vigorous / professional/ thrusting agenda that gets a daily airing by a media savy believable trustworthy spokesperson (Rudd?). BBC are either biased or unhelpful – work on other media until BBC WANT to get in on the act. Labour are way ahead in this regard.

    1. DaveM
      July 1, 2017

      The Conservatives need a different leader, simple as that. Unfortunately, in her own words, “this is not the time”.

      All I’ve seen for the last few days is a fantastic collection of events at every level, from the Lions and the Henley Regatta down to local astro turf-based 5-a-side tournaments and morris dancing festivals. The only thing bringing this country down at the minute is the government. I read earlier an accurate and sad comment which said that it is worrying to see far more talent on the govt back benches than on the front benches. Please do something John, for the sake of England and the UK.

  46. getahead
    July 1, 2017

    Indeed why, John.
    Surely it is not that this person or some of his friends would personally gain from continued ECJ control?

  47. Leslie Singleton
    July 1, 2017

    Dear John–In the Middle Ages the offence of Preamunire (roughly the assertion of control from outside England, especially then by the Pope) was punished by having the offender’s head chopped off; and I must say I have heard worse ideas. Who does this assistant fellow think he is? Getting rid of the ECJ’s jurisdiction over us is second only to controlling immigration, and so say most of us.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      July 2, 2017

      Praemunire of course–Sorry

    2. Bryan Harris
      July 2, 2017

      I am in total agreement with that Leslie

  48. Charlie Darwin
    July 1, 2017

    Still. No mention of John Redwood as even being shortlisted even in the event of Ministers passing away in their sleep, for a Cabinet position. Why? There are people in the Cabinet who are so wet behind the ears they appear to be evolving back to fish with head gills. Already most of them are deaf in atmosphere.

    1. Charles v
      July 1, 2017


      Because he was willing to undermine a government and give us Tony Blair and more European integration. Doesn’t sit well for those who don’t much like Europe or labour government. Still, I’m sure he’ll do his best to bring about the same again from the back benches

      1. Rupert Bear
        July 3, 2017

        Charles v
        Senior politicians rather like being in power themselves. People generally hate others who are more successful than themselves or they see as likely to be more successful than themselves. Branch union officials and branch Party officials ( all parties ) systemmaticlly get rid of competitors. UKIP destroyed itself in this way and continues. It used to be called “The Stalin method of leadership” but it is too general a method to retain that patent title.

    2. Leslie Singleton
      July 2, 2017

      Dear Charlie–I have periodically given here to his face so to speak my tuppenceworth in answer to your question but it is difficult because of course I realise it just looks like criticism and to so little effect. People somehow acknowledge that he is sensible and logical and largely correct but equally somehow he seems to have a PR problem of some kind. If he had been PM, which I would support, I doubt we would have had a Manifesto with which there was so much wrong one could write a book. Apart from all else we the good guys were taken by surprise by so much of it, and there was so little we could do about it when it was presented as an overnight fait accompli. When one combines that with the fact that it was felt necessary to combine that with a vastly unnecessarily long election period the mind boggles. The Manifesto should have said little (We were doing very well, remember?) and the period (for the same reason) should have been 48 hours max. Took real skill to throw it all away like this, never mind the content, which was appalling in itself. Again a few heads chopped off sounds a good idea.

      1. Charlie Darwin
        July 3, 2017

        No-one in the Cabinet has the charisma to win a General Election decisively. Mr Corbyn is about ready to come off his high, so to speak.
        His MPs look and sound like pupils of St Trinians. Also the “young people” who are said to have voted Labour will be shortly into something else. Not politics, they’ve been there, done it, got the tee-shirt ( literally ).
        Someone will emerge

    3. A.Sedgwick
      July 2, 2017

      Similarly for Nigel Farage not to be involved in some capacity, if only as a voice in the Lords, is a further sign of denial of the Referendum result by many with influence.

  49. treacle
    July 1, 2017

    The ECJ issue is easy. Australia, Canada, the US and India are independent countries. Do they belong to the ECJ? No? Then the UK should not belong to it either.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      July 2, 2017

      Dear treacle–Absolutely Yes–But why just them? – Surely no countries outside the EU submit to its jurisdiction. And it’s more than that because I don’t suppose there are many, if any, pairs of countries, certainly not Sovereign countries, who feel the need for a supranational Court. The very next time the EU opens its mouth on this, and much else, we have to walk away.

  50. Freeborn John
    July 2, 2017

    I am fed up of the City bleating that national policy should be set based on it’s perceived interests simply because they pay a lot of tax. Is national policy based on the interests of top-rate taxpayers in any democracy in the world? Plutocracy lies in the direction of setting policy based on the lobbying of the rich. With the EU openly panning to raise its future revenues from financial transaction taxes let’s see how many really move to Frankfurt or Paris.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      July 2, 2017

      Two very good points, John

  51. Peter
    July 2, 2017

    ‘Why do some people in the UK establishment just want to take dictation from Brussels and want to undermine the generous and good offer the UK is making?’

    To wear Brexit-minded people down?

    I am sure I am not the only one tired of the constant stream of negative suggestions and caveats that appear daily.

    Remainers are determined and emboldened.

    Brexiteers need an equally determined champion. Maybe Nigel Farage will return to the fray?

  52. Peter
    July 2, 2017

    Occasionally there is a crumb of comfort in the media

    May be absolutely nothing in it, but the real positive is that appears in the media at all.

    At the moment equivocators and remainers hold sway.

    1. Peter D Gardner
      July 3, 2017

      Peter, I too hop that such hysterical reporting simply means that someone in the negotiating team does actually understand how to conduct a negotiation. It is only a standard approach that in the first weeks of the formal negotiations an early breakpoint should be established at which to decide whether to break off negotiations, leaving a best and final offer – free trade with no political overlays – on the table.
      Conversely, there is no evidence that Mrs May does plan this. Somehow she manages to avoid saying anything helpful, anything that might inspire confidence. She would not be giving anything away, because it is just standard practice, to say this: UK will seeks a free trade deal with the EU, there is no reason to pay for it, UK will not accept ECJ jurisdiction in UK and UK seeks co-operation in other areas such as defence and security and is prepared to walk away if a point is reached when there is little point to continuing negotiations because there is much to be done independently of the EU from which we cannot be further delayed.
      I suspect the EU is very surprised she has not made such a sensible statement to allay concerns at home. It would make no difference to the EU.

  53. John AW
    July 2, 2017

    Well said John

  54. Peter D Gardner
    July 3, 2017

    Dr Redwood asks, “Why do some people in the UK establishment just want to take dictation from Brussels and want to undermine the generous and good offer the UK is making?”
    Rhetorical question surely? Well no, not in his own blog.
    Human nature.
    1) for some, life is easier if some unseen is making all the rules when you are still in a position highly paid n the assumption it is your responsibility.
    2) For some, it is convenient to hide behind the EU.
    3) For some the EU offers a wider and more interesting panoply of comfortable cllegiate fraternity than the narrow confines of UK.
    4) For some the wider scope and larger numbers both in UK and elsewhere, prvide for better and more varied career paths.
    5) For some, going abroad outside the EU and representing 500 million people gives them far greater status and respect, freebies and entertainment than representing a mere 65 million.
    6) Officials and politicians abroad outside the EU really do kowtow to those representing 500 million compared with 65 million.

  55. Peter D Gardner
    July 3, 2017

    Looking back I wish Cameron had done as he promised and triggered Article 50 the day after the referendum or that Mrs May had done so as soon as she became PM. My argument was that the process of leaving the EU was nowhere near as important as doing all the things that we need to do in order to make UK a properly functioning sovereign independent self-governing nation; that being embroiled in lengthy and arduous debates and negotiations was an unnecessary and damaging distraction to little purpose and small gain; and would only risk giving plentiful opportunities for the Remoaners and wreckers to do their dirty work and, for events beyond UK’s control to intervene and alter the course of UK for the worse at this vulnerable time.
    All I feared is coming to pass and there is no sign Mrs May now understands the need for speed any better than when she took office and buried herself in paralysis by analysis, what she loves best. She sets a timetable and sticks to it, regardless of events demonstrating time and again, the dangers of her rigidity. It is not too late to speed things up. At one point I argued the first weeks of the formal negotiations should be used to establish an early breakpoint at which to decide whether to break off negotiations, leaving a best and final offer – free trade with no political overlays – on the table. I live in hope that rumours of ‘Mrs May threatening to storm out of negotiations’ signal that someone does actually understand how to conduct a negotiation. It is only a standard approach after all even if there is little sign of Mrs May having such knowledge and ability.

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