There is no cliff edge

I have been asked to write about the so called cliff edge if we leave the EU without a deal. That is easy to do.

There is no cliff edge.

It’s another of those silly metaphors that have characterised much EU debate for years, like the instruction that we must get on the train, or be part of the convoy. The EU was never either a train or a convoy. It is a set of ever increasingly complex laws and rules, a single currency, common borders, the four freedoms and the rest as they progress to political union.

If we leave without a deal the planes will still fly from Paris to London on 30 March 2019, the Danish pig farmers, and French dairy industry and the German car industry will still send us their products.

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64 Comments

  1. Richard1
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    the alarmist position is that there might be disruption as imports and exports wait for customs clearance or regulatory unclarity as to whether goods and services are authorised for sale. On air travel the threat made is forward sales of tickets won’t be possible if it isn’t clear whether or not the open skies agreement continues etc

  2. Duncan
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    These idiotic and some would say pernicious idioms are used to incite a negative emotional response from the public. Some will be influenced by such statements and of course that is their purpose, to invoke fear and uncertainty

    It falls upon the broad shoulders of decent public servants like yourself to challenge such cynical ploys and to challenge them forcefully and with reason and fact

    Fear is the enemy’s greatest weapon and our enemy knows it

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Indeed unless, that is, they want to harm themselves more than they harm the UK for spiteful politicial reasons. What is certain is there should be no significant payment from the UK to the EU and certainly nothing at all in advance of a deal that is proven to be working well for both parties.

    What is needed urgently though is some sensible Conservative vision from the current Corbyn light, PC, lefty government we have under May. She needs to turn round and start rowing in the right direction. Cheap enegy, lower simpler taxes, HS2, green grants & Hinkley cancelled, the state cut down to a sensible size. More real competition in banking, legislation and cut the number of bureaucrats, parasitic experts and lawyers everywhere.

    Hammond for once said something true about the state sector. They are (with pensions included) about 40% over paid. Many deliver little of value, many nothing of value at all and many are just a huge inconvenience to the productive. The 20% living largely off the backs of the 80%. We have a government mainly concerned about the 20% and rarely about the 80% who pay for it all.

  4. Helen
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    Trade happens in the 21st century where governments allow it. Please stop peddling this fantasy that we do not need a deal.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Loads of countries around the world trade with the EU countries without having any special trade deal beyond the WTO agreement.

      They may well have agreements on some of the practical aspects of trade with the EU, but not on its general permissibility.

      If you are saying that the EU might refuse to maintain such agreements with the UK, despite supporting the recent WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement:

      http://www.tfafacility.org/trade-facilitation-agreement-facility

      then that doesn’t say much for their trustworthiness, does it?

    • E.S Tablishment
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      The Green agenda is finished too. You have just over two years Helen to move to Iceland to avoid the seas around the UK boiling. The good news is we will not need to cook OUR fish, and in the long-term saving the planet by not cooking with fossil fuels.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Helen

      Please explain how the rest of the world still operates then. Oh you cant because you have not got the first idea about international business and trade

    • Edward2
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

      Politicians will soon realise they are powerless to stop world free trade.
      The EU lives in the past.
      What will they do to stop millions of companies on line selling to hundreds of millions of consumers.
      They will find those that try to stand in the way will get voted out.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Helen

      Agree you may have some problems in trading with North Korea (unless it was something to do with weapons) but you can trade with who you like in most of the World if you meet their product criteria.

      Would be nice if you could list some sensible countries as an example to prove your case.

    • zorro
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      Oh, is that like when we trade with a non EU country like USA, Canada, Japan, Korea, India or China? Is that why our trade is expanding with the countries? Because we do ‘cliff edge’ trade with them? Oh please 🙄….

      zorro

    • NickC
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 4:31 pm | Permalink

      Helen, Please stop peddling this fantasy that we need a deal, if by “a deal” you mean a comprehensive trade deal. We already trade with the rest of the world without comprehensive deals. We use the WTO rules. You may have heard of it.

      • bratwurst
        Posted July 21, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        NickC
        No we don’t. Our trade deals are by being a member state of the EU. If we leave with no deal these trade agreements stop unless we have a deal to continue them – which is, by definition not a ‘no deal’ scenario. No major economy trades solely on WTO rules, e.g. the US has 38 agreements relating to trade with the EU.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

          Yes, the EU and the US have a range of practical agreements to make sure that trade can be conducted relatively smoothly. Not to permit trade, but to facilitate it. The idea that the US will refuse to continue with the substance of such agreements with the UK after we have left the EU is plain nonsensical. Why should they do that? Because they are as stupid as you evidently think the EU is?

        • NickC
          Posted July 22, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          Bratwurst, Hahaha, nice try but no coconut. Whoever said that “no deal” with the EU meant no deals with any other country?

          Out of the EU we start with WTO rules but regain the right to make our own supplementary trade deals. And we will do so – many countries have already indicated their eagerness for trade deals with us. I think they will be pre-negotiated and signed on day 1.

          That is the trouble with you Remains – you are stuck in the habit of thought that we cannot do anything unless allowed to by the EU. Come on, we’re free now.

  5. Peter Wood
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    We are in the early stages of this negotiating farce, which will continue as long as we have to talk to an EU appointed bureaucrat. (We are a nation-state with an elected minister of the Crown working for us, why should he have to talk to an office temp!) When this phase falls over, we will receive terrible threats of biblical retribution for not doing what we are told, and then if we hold strong, we will at last get to talk to the real decision maker in Berlin to conclude a reasonable deal. WE want to continue to trade; the EU wants to punish us and frustrate trade.

    • DaveF
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      re Peter Wood: The center of EU power has shifted- Macron is the real decision maker now- we will continue to trade but by WTO rules

    • Edward2
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      Great post.

  6. alan jutson
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    There is no cliff edge because there are World Trade terms, of which all business should be aware.
    If not aware, then they have 18 months to do some planning and research.

  7. Turboterrier.
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    It seems to be the way that certain politicians and the media now operate with metaphors that are more at home in a comic book.

    Who created hard and soft brexit, saving the world, grand children’s children? It is far easier to use metaphors than apply facts and figures, but sadly the metaphors win every time which in someways is a reflection on how the education system has changed over the years. The sensational headline followed by very little substance seems to satisfy the critical mass of the population which it could be said do not want to know the facts behind the headline. That is why we are where we are, when texts and tweets have taken over from the skill of conversation and debate

    How many times do you hear “facts and figures re boring”? Companies have to invest heavily on internal training programmes to instil into it staff the critical importance of understanding of data collection, facts, performance and measurement to maintain and improve efficiency.

  8. Nig l
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Looks like the Remainers are winning. News that there will be a transitional deal is all over the papers.

    • Prigger
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

      The papers don’t know what’s going on. They do not have access to negotiations. Most of threir business jounalists would not understand the slightest of the technicalities involved.

      • hefner
        Posted July 21, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

        Neither do most of the incontinent writers on this blog!

    • NickC
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Nig, The Remains keep up a constant barrage of propaganda which the Leave side and the government fail to challenge adequately. For whatever reason.

      What we want is what we voted for, and is straightforward:
      1. To become an independent nation free of EU control;
      2. To leave the EU, and not remain in parts of it;
      3. To restore the primacy of UK law (and UK courts);
      4. The quickest exit possible;
      5. No transitions;
      6. No payments, beyond the annual bill up to the day we leave;
      7. Full 200 mile sea rights from day one;
      8. Full control of our own borders from day one;
      9. No sacrifices for a trade deal

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      Nig 1,

      Yep, remainers have nearly won. There is no cliff edge because there is no edge. It does look like the Govt is going to simple repackage remain as transition. So three years after the electorate voted to leave there will be transition, probably the worst possible result.

  9. Ian Wragg
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    Can you tell your cabinet colleagues that as the majority being remainiacs think the world will stop after we leave the EU.
    I see Barnier is insisting the ECJ continues to rule after Brexit. He couldn’t answer when asked which other countries had foreign courts adjudicating their law. He had no answer.
    Why are the EU demanding we tell them how much we will pay when surely it’s for them to present a detailed lawful bill.

  10. Anonymous
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    A pity that we are not allowed to use ‘cliff edge’ to describe what has happened to our children’s fortunes (millennials) whilst in the EU and long before the referendum was in prospect.

    Houses now ten to fifteen times wages (mine was only three), wage depression, tuition fees, national and personal debt…

    Since 1997 their standard of living was thrown into reverse and has fallen dramatically.

    The whole Gordon Brown *growth* miracle was based entirely on packing the country with as many people as possible and driving up house prices.

  11. CharlesE
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Wrong john..there is a cliff edge for the very reason that the uk side is grappling, trying to make some headway through by old style negotiation techniques while the EU side on the other hand is standing firm by it’s rule book. Barnier is not there to negotiate only to see that all the EU concerns are met. Talks will succeed only when the UK side negotiates it’s way up to meet the EU rules standard. If we can’t do that then there will be a cliff edge.. talk about transitional periods is all pie in yhe sky

    • stred
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Our products will still comply with the EU rule book when we leave, as the regulations are being transferred. It is not the same as for a joining country, although it appears M.Barnier would find it much easier for a non-EU country to be accommodated. They are simply after as much money for their expansion plans as they can blackmail us for.

      They know they have their agents in the UK media and Westminster, such as the Lib Dem members of the House of Cronies who, as uniquely in Facts4EU>, have been over to Brussels at Taxpayer’s expense and suggested that we should pay up. Mrs May would make herself popular by getting rid of these unelected quislings but, of course, she will not as they all want to have somewhere to be important when no longer electable.

    • Prigger
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      When Remoanerse awoke the next day after the Referendum vote, many were surprised they had not perished overnight and still cannot believe they are still alive.Many fear they have turned into Zombies which accounts for their personal survival. There will be the second stage of Zombism when we Brexit.

      • Strong
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

        When I awoke that day I knew that truth would win.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Tony Blair is holding onto London residential property and buying up London commercial property.

      This tells us a lot. Either Brexit will succeed or we are staying in.

      But no cliff edge.

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Dr. Fox fully committed to a two year transitional period in an interview yesterday.

    Why is it being discussed at all?

    It is clear Barnier, Eurocrats and certain others are determined to fight us all the way pour discourager les autres.

    It is very sad that such a petty approach should be dominant.

    • Helen
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Yes. First Davis, now Fox, facing up to reality. Is anyone left who believes the EU needs us more than we need it?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Up to two years, but there is no reason why the period should not be shorter for one aspect of the agreement but even longer for another aspect.

      I tire of saying this: it is absolutely commonplace for international treaties to include transitional provisions. That means the treaty can be ratified and come into force but allowing extra time to sort out some of the practical or legal problems.

      As I have said before ad nauseam: when the six founding countries wrote their 1957 Treaty of Rome they included such transitional provisions, including a twelve year period in which they would set up their common market step by step.

      Personally I would prefer people to stop talking about a “transitional agreement” or a “transitional deal” or a “transitional period” or even “implementation period”, and instead start talking about “transitional provisions” written into withdrawal treaty or treaties.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

        I read your excellent informative pieces with great interest

        Transitional arrangements are more understandable in the development of the EEC from the European Coal and Steel Community, which started late 1940s. Brexit is the first and possibly fatal reversal of the federal dream of many continentals. The Polish situation is interesting too.

        The federal diehards are currently in charge of the “negotiation” and it is not a mutual interest exercise so the quicker no deal is accepted or we play hard ball the better. Talk of any transitional period is a very weak approach to what should be a rational business agreement.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 23, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

          As I have repeatedly pointed out it is absolutely commonplace for the parties to a treaty to write in transitional provisions. As far as the new agreements with the EU are concerned there is really nothing to be concerned about doing that provided they are the right transitional provisions including clear time limitations. This is not the same as agreeing to some transitional state such as remaining in the EEA with the danger that we would then never leave.

  13. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    We are already committed to paying our share of various EU activities, such as the European Space Agency etc until 2020. How this all adds up to the 60b Euro that the Germans and French are demanding defeats me though. I though we were going to save £12b to spend on the NHS if we left!

  14. Alan
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    “If we leave without a deal the planes will still fly from Paris to London on 30 March 2019, the Danish pig farmers, and French dairy industry and the German car industry will still send us their products.”

    No they won’t. The UK becomes a third country and will have to negotiate agreements for these activities to take place. If we go off a “cliff edge” none of these things will happen. It is very unlikely that Calais and Dover could cope with imposing WTO tariffs unless there is previous agreement on how to run the customs arrangements. The supermarkets would actually run out of food. Buying cars will be the least of our concerns. An agreement of some sort is essential. It is very irresponsible to pretend that no agreements are necessary.

    Politicians who supported Brexit have a responsibility to make sure that there is a realistic way to achieve it. If they cannot do that we should not exit the EU at all.

  15. Oggy
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    What is going on ?? all this talk today about transitional deals when they should be concentrating on an actual deal.

    I’m reading today that yet again Hammond says he has full cabinet support on a transitional deal including upto 4 years of free movement for EU citizens into the UK. Since when was he the minister for ‘Exiting the EU’ ? – he even has the support of Vince Cable !

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/brexit-latest-news-cabinet-ministers-free-movement-uk-leave-eu-citizens-theresa-may-philip-hammond-a7852191.html

    As Jacob Rees Mogg put it this is an attempt to overturn the referendum result and keep us in the EU indefinitely.
    Dr Redwood you need to speak to some of your colleagues.

    Also the EU ‘DEMANDS’ we don’t deport foreign criminals or perform criminal record checks on any EU citizens who come here – in other words free movement for criminals and terrorists. Who do the EU think they are ?

    This is NOT what we voted for last year – remember ‘taking back control’ ?
    JUST LEAVE !

    • old salt
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      For Transition do we read Remain? Talk of a transition period !– had over a year already and only less than four months into the two year exit term. What guarantee is there of a proposed transition time limit anyway and would this be adhered to. The EU will do what it takes to keep us subjugated along with our contributions as long as they possibly can.

      Do we still have a democracy or did we have a democracy? Big business seems to have bought our so called democracy in having their say in effectively keeping us in the EU as that is what a transitional deal would mean in the end with the questionable intentions of some of the so called Brexiteers.

      Increasing stories of impending gloom and grief to change our minds on leaving brought about by those Remainers who cannot accept and abide by what democracy we still have. Do they really want to end up with the ruinous Euro and everything else that staying entails. What hope for democracy after?

      Echoes of other countries who didn’t vote the right way e.g. France, the Netherlands, Denmark, Ireland and Greece.

      Outside the EU we can become richer, safer and free at long last to forge our own destiny — as America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other great democracies already do… If we stay, Britain will be engulfed in a few short years by this relentlessly expanding ¬ German dominated federal state.

      https://ec.europa.eu/priorities/publications/five-presidents-report-completing-europes-economic-and-monetary-union_en

  16. Peter
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    There is no cliff edge but it is a usual phrase for idiots like David Lammy to trot out in support of a fudge.

    We really need some Brexit champions to loudly hit the headlines and make all the running. The battle is not over but many on the leave side have taken a rest and allowed remain to dominate the news.

  17. Peter
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Walk away is now my preferred option. The sooner the better.

    The EU are not acting in good faith. They do want to delay and then punish Britain.

    Best to get out as soon as possible.

  18. Prigger
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    A transitional period was always, as far as I am aware, spoken about right before the Referendum campaigns began. It is merely a method where contracts and other lose ends come to a satisfactory close as it is not a question to moving from the imperial to metric system which as we all know was accomplished overnight according to most people’s yardsticks.

  19. Beecee
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Less than a month into it and we are already giving way!

    Since Mrs Thatcher stood up to them, dealing with those that followed her has been a doddle and the EU believes that we shall continue to give way in order to get an EU preferred compromise – and the signs are that we are.

    Hammond seems to be playing the organ quite well in the background and the EU knows that.

    What has happened to regaining control of our Finances, Borders and Laws?

    By leaving it to our Civil Service Academics to negotiate a pro-EU outcome was never in doubt: to them the process is the most important, the result much less so!

  20. Bert Young
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    What is finally agreed will be the result of both parties arriving at a sensible understanding of their position ; if a state of delusion exists by one party it will be rebuffed by good argument . I agree with John that there will be no “cliff edge “. We will know what our legal requirements are and we will be able to maintain a course of discussion to achieve our exit without “punishment “.

    The EU has a monumental problem to face due to the loss of our financial contribution ; they will not be able to borrow from international markets to be able to continue as they have done in the past ; they know this and they face a considerable cut-back in the way they allocate resources . This does not mean that they can “punish” us for this . They will simply have to cut their cloth according to their means .

    • anon
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

      They have the central bank, they do not need UK money at all.

  21. Bruce Knight
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    There is a cliff edge and it is in March 2018.

    Business need certainty on trade, market access and regulation business. It takes 1 year for most business to adapt their models. So broadly speaking businesses will have to take decisions on changes to business model by March 2018

    In the absence of any clear commitment from EU/UK on post Brexit relations, business will plan for worst case and start relocating business, changing investment plans and restructuring supply chains. Impact on UK economy will kick in within 3 months so by mid 2018, and will become fully apparent over the next 5-10 years

    Project Fear was wrong about the timing because the Brexit decision per se did not impact business decision making, but will kick in when firms have to start making real Brexit decisions. March 2018 – if you are in the UK, be worried.

  22. Eh?
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    I can’t think of a previous time in my life when the losers in an election or vote just did not accept it. Perhaps in fake democracies where “The Leader” miraculously always gets 85% of the vote but not here, not until now.
    Of course the cliff edge according to Ex-politican Osborne would start the very next day after a Leave vote. Then the Cliff Edge got moved by Remoaners to “You’ll see what happens just after Christmas (2016 ). “It will probably be the last decent Christmas your children will see”. Yes they actually said that. Duck Eggs! Now the Cliff Edge is 30 March 2019,. Then the Remoaners will move it to “After the Transition Period”. Then to the date they finally stop bedwetting.
    It is about time Remoaners were told to “Grow up!”

  23. Shieldsman
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    In the “UK in a Changing Europe” group we have publicly funded pro-EU academics with time on their hands and no knowledge of International Civil Aviation advancing the hypothesis: So would planes actually stop flying between the UK and the EU27? In principle, absent measures to mitigate the impact of no deal, that is possible – if only because their lawyers would not let them.
    They make the crass statement: The rules in the European Common Aviation Area – the EU plus a number of neighbouring countries — are simple: any airline that meets standard technical and financial fitness criteria and is owned by the nationals of an EU member state can operate whatever routes it wants within the European Union. Aviation in the rest of the world, by contrast, is governed by an intricate system of bilateral agreements. These air services agreements, which have the status of full diplomatic treaties, set out which airlines from each of the two states are permitted to operate services.

    They are of course referring to the ICAO five Freedoms of the Air bilateral agreements, under which the airlines of EU member States fly to the outside World. When we leave the EU the five freedoms will still apply and regulate flights between the UK and our neighbours in the EU. International Aviation is not reliant on membership of the EU or EEA.

    The Brussels Commission is the EU administrative arm and has assumed the right to negotiate and award Air Traffic Rights on behalf of the member States within the EU and externally through the Chicago Convention (ICAO). The right to control which airlines fly into, land, and fly through a Countries Airspace rests with that Country.

    The United Kingdom has been and on leaving the EU will continue to be a major participant in the advancement of Civil Aviation in Europe and the World. Without agreement to continue participation in some of the projects, flights between the UK and EU member states will revert to the International bi-lateral agreements. The Airlines of our European neighbours I am sure will want to continue to operate into the UK and will have to do so under the bi-lateral ICAO five freedoms, which still apply to Airlines outside of the EU.

    The UK through NATS has responsibility for a major ATM scheme in Western Europe Airspace and paticipates in the Single European Sky. The United Kingdom will remain a member of EUROCONTROL, European Civil Aviation Conference, EASA, OECD and many other organisations.

    Only RyanAir and EasyJet operate flights using the EU’s seventh freedom.

    The various possibilities are being considered by Parliament and reference should be made to CBP-763.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    There could be a cliff edge if the EU decided that there should be a cliff edge. I think we can assume that the UK government wants a smooth and orderly withdrawal, so if there was in fact legal and practical chaos the blame for that would lie with the EU not the UK.

    But you’re unlikely to see that being said anywhere in the UK mass media, which is mostly run by people who always have been and still are on the side of the EU, and for whom the sun shines out of the backside of their favoured negotiator, Michel Barnier.

  25. Mark W
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Just to clarify my position, before it looks like I’m a remainer stooge. I voted leave, actively campaigned for leave (Leafleting) and would vote leave if the vote were tomorrow. I changed my mind on the EEC/EU after Maastrict Treaty.

    I’m not a fan of catch-all soundbites like “Cliff edge”, but is there some substance. In my persoanl life I have hobby purchases that originate in Mexico, USA and South Korea. These enter the UK/EU on WTO terms I believe.

    In my work we make large purchases from the EU (plant in excess of £110k per unit). My concern is that as orders are generally made 9 months in advance is there a chance that if we jump to WTO terms I would see a price jump if a tariff were imposed. Or could delays occur if customs had to start going through products with a fine tooth comb for parts sourcing?

    I’m aware that in my case this would occur if the UK reacted in equal measure to EU rumblings and threats. I believe our government has no desire to do this but surely they’d have to hold this card on the table to support the risk of the reverse happening to our exporters.

    In my case there is an alternative supplier based in North Africa, who’s product has been catching up in terms of quality over recent years but I’d not wish to see our exporters on the reciprocal end of such a situation.

    I’ve lost faith that the might of German car manufacturers, French food producers and Italian white goods manufatcurers are going to win the logical debate in this test.

    The EU negociaters are not accountable to an electorate and therefore do not have a dog in the race if the above industries suffer. Not directly at the time of calamity. Their interest is the dominance of their grubby EU. Our media and oppostion parties seem to take the view that our Government is the pantomime villan in this and the EU the good guys.

    And as the media and remainers seek for us to get a bad deal and the Government look incompetent and the bad guys I fear this will not go well.

    You (JR) are not responsible for your party but I do wish the Conservatives would actually fight back and make the Conservative and Leave cases.

  26. E.S Tablishment
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Air Traffic Controllers are warning today that the skies are full over the UK. Thank Heavens Ryanair and EasyJet are moving away. Problem solved! For a week or so.

  27. G
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    There is definitely a cliff edge. Or something like one. Actually more like the edge of a steep pit that we have to climb UP!

    And all the while the irate European government crowding round the top willing to hurl down anything to prevent us from climbing out!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 21, 2017 at 11:02 pm | Permalink

      A steep pit with a maximum depth of about 1% of GDP, and it would take us less than six months to grow our economy to recover that loss even if it happened.

      • G
        Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

        Absolutely! Just playing around with the metaphor….more like a single bound then?…

        • G
          Posted July 22, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

          I can’t help thinking that they have more of a strangle hold over us than that though. We have been following their plans for quite a while. I’m sure they have some hidden leverage which will only gradually become apparent. I think it would be sensible to recognise that

  28. Prigger
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Not much comment today from UK media on the DAX falling by 1.66% ; Euro Stoxx 50 by 1.37%; IBEX 35 by 1.35%; CAC 40 by 1.57%

  29. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 21, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    I cannot believe what Gove is contemplating for farmers. Yes, reduce farm payments for those just playing at being farmers but linking it to saving the planet? He needs to join the planet.

  30. Simon Coleman
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 12:30 am | Permalink

    ‘No cliff edge.’ It just amounts to astonishing arrogance to dismiss all the concerns of business leaders about exiting the EU. If they say they need a transition period, then who are you to say that they don’t know what they’re talking about? You’re supposed to be an MP with principal interests in business. You must listen to a very narrow, unrepresentative clique of business people – if in fact you ever listen to anyone.
    You say there are no hard and soft Brexits. Wrong. There are a variety of possible relationships with the EU, while remaining outside it. Your black and white arguments will unravel well before March 2019. And in any case, you Brexiteers have done so much damage to the Conservative Party that it could fracture before we finish the negotiations. Your party is the only vehicle that can actually deliver Brexit and you can’t even keep it roadworthy. And as for potential replacements for Mrs May – as usual, the Tory Right doesn’t possess a single credible candidate. As a group, you people are a complete joke.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 22, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Labour cannot even decide if they want to leave or remain.

  31. gyges01
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    Good to see you using discourse analysis for your political critiques. More of the same please.

  32. Troy Bowler
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Can you please give us more information on why you think there will be no issues with plans flying between UK and EU airports following Brexit? I appreciate that the UK media tends to have a bias towards anti-Brexit narratives but do we need to have a deal of some sort? I am pro Brexit but I do have concerns about this issue.

    Reply Most flights occur without an Air Services Agreement between the two countries of departure and arrival. After we leave we just continue with the reciprocal landing rights we already have and fike flight plans as usual. Frech and German airlines will remain welcome to come!

  33. ian
    Posted July 22, 2017 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    The only cliff edge i know about is the one when you join the eu, and everything went down hill, from schooling to manufacturing, and still on the cliff edge every year with new rules coming in all the time, but big businesses like that, because it does away with competition,just in case bankers loan money to wrong people to compete with them.

  34. Strong
    Posted July 28, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    All these comments. Cant read them all, sorry.
    You’re doing a fab job. Stay strong.

  • About John Redwood


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

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