Some big businesses contradict themselves on Brexit

The large companies that still want us to remain in the EU are pushing back hard on the government.
They contradict themselves. They say an early exit with no deal will be bad for their UK activities, yet their main demand is continuing access to lots of cheap continental labour after we leave! They must be planning to expand their UK businesses whilst suggesting the opposite.
As many of them recommended the disastrous recession creating Exchange Rate Mechsnism to the UK, and thought the Euro would be good for the economies of Europe the UK government should be sceptical of their judgement.

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83 Comments

  1. alan jutson
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

    Afraid many businesses decisions nowadays are about short term profit.

    Chief executives are hired on huge salaries with very big share options, they are not in it for the long term, but to maximise their share options and move on to the next company.

    Thats what you get when the pay structure is not based on any sensible long term performance criteria.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      Executive are indeed very often paid far too much, many while running their businesses into the ground in the “Sir” Fred Goodwin mode. The shareholder controls over executive pay need to be hugely strenthened to give more control.

      Directors are not the same as footballers (where you can only have 11 on the pitch and so want the very best). Even a good executive are often better replaced by two who are 95% as good or three who are 90% as good. Many get huge pay packets but are useless anyway.

      • Hope
        Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        I sincerely hope people vote with their feet to hurt business, secondly I hope people will not forgive Tories if we do not leave lock stock and barrel by 2019. No transitional deal is needed or required.

        These types of demnds by the EU have not been imposed by the rest of the world and business has not called upon the govt either. This is sheer nonsense to keep us in the EU by stealth over the long term. Clean break now and get on with it.

        We read today that the govt will allow people to self identify gender! What utter rot. How about the majority who clearly understand that we are either man or woman and that the consequences of Greening’s stupidly lefty agenda will make the majority feel uncomfortable and vulnerable when in a state of undress i.e. in public toilets, changing cubicles, cells, etc. Moreover, what about our young children who need stable advice and guidance? Does she realise how much this might cost the NHS or society as whole financially as well as socially? Why do the majority continually have to be ignored, labelled or stigmatized for the minority? Tolerance and equality getting confused with changing our society from norms that most of us do not want. Where w this in the manifesto or Queens speech?

        • stred
          Posted July 24, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          Children age 16 are to be able to have a sex change, without guidance from a GP or anyone else. At 16, a lot of children are confused.Maria Miller and Greening are conservative ministers. The opposition agrees with them. Most people would not want their children taught in a school where teachers force this sort of pro- gender bending ideas. Now we are expected to vote for a PM and ministers who want this lunacy.

  2. Tabulazero
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    While we are at it, shouldn’t the public also be skeptical of politicians that promised £350m per week of extra funding for the NHS ?

    • NickC
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

      Tabulazero, Show me where the actual “promise” was made to fund the NHS with an extra £350 million a week, with references.

      Even the slogan on the side of the Leave coach was an example, not a promise. The campaign literature made it abundantly clear. It’s like saying: “If you give up your 20 a day habit, you can fund a holiday”. It is normal English.

      The only reason the Remains twist the English meaning of this slogan is they have nothing else to complain about in the Leave campaign. It’s a sign of how weak the Remain case is.

      • Hope
        Posted July 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        This acceptance has the hall mark of Cameron. First he wanted May to reach out to other parties, he got all the experts to speak out for his fanatical dream to stay in the EU and now passing it on to May.

        No. We, the majority, voted to leave by 2019. Business should not have wasted time over the last year. However, first the delayed sending of the letter, court cases and every other excuse to get the remain propaganda to change our minds. Then an election that she was not going to call and now stretching out further under the guise of a transitional deal. No. We voted to leave, no more money, borders secure, our courts our laws.

        No to Barnier’s divorce bill, no to ECJ overseeing deal or citizens rights, no to ECHR, no to child or welfare benefits for EU citizens beyond Brexit. Does the EU want to trade free from tariffs or WTO standard, that is all that has to be agreed. The rest is up to the U.K. Not EU.

        • stred
          Posted July 24, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

          Surely, in 18 months it would be possible to produce non-tariff barrier forms for businesses to use, which confirm that the product complies with EU regulations, as it did the day before we leave. WTO tariffs are applied to RoW and firms should just apply the same the day after. If we trade less as a result then there will be a bigger market for the goods at home. The delay is just to allow the next election to reverse Brexit.

      • sjb
        Posted July 24, 2017 at 12:35 am | Permalink

        We send the EU £350m a week let’s fund our NHS instead
        Setting aside the accuracy of the amount, using the word instead – i.e. as an alternative – meant all the money would go to the NHS.

        Thanks, though, for revealing that the weight to be attached to a Leaver’s statement depends on the medium used:

        bus = example
        campaign literature = promise
        beer coaster = just joshing?
        vellum = solemn and binding promise?

        • NickC
          Posted July 24, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

          SJB, No, the word “instead” simply refers to instead of the money going to the EU. It is perfectly normal English usage to give examples of what the EU bill could be spent on, instead. Some of the money could be spent on potholes and schools, instead, as Leave in fact did say in their leaflets, as examples.

          Unlike Remain, which majored on warnings and predictions (specific ‘if … then’ predictions on the economy, pensions, etc) the Leave campaigns instead concentrated on aspirational issues like sovereignty (take back control) as well as the gross cost of the EU.

          Of course the £350 million per week is not accurate – it should have been £370m pw, instead. Now it’s nearer £400m pw. But of course the EU costs us a lot more than that. Thanks for highlighting the underestimate.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 24, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

          sjb

          Try 1) understanding English, nowhere is there a promise to spend £350 million per week on the NHS , by the way we ALREADY spend more than that each week on NHS

          2) You are right the £350 is a massive under estimate

          3) I guess government issued pamphlets about what the referendum means and the action to be taken as a result are advisory?

          4) The only argument you can come up with for staying in the EU is a bus slogan says it all really

          5) Here are some other recent bus advertising slogans which you will agree based on your logic must be true and accurate

          a) There really is a God
          b) There probably is no god
          c) Coca Cola makes you happy

          In fact just google bus slogans the NHS ooh matron ones are pretty funny

          • hefner
            Posted July 24, 2017 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

            Libby, Ever tired of being so funny?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      This supposed promise was for AFTER we had stopped contributions to the EU, which we haven’t done yet. However the Remain campaign’s promise of 500,000 job losses is the year following a Leave vote has been shown to be flat out lie.

    • old salt
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

      On the subject of the so called promise of £350m a week for the NHS a Mirror article of 29 March updated 30 March:
      http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/theresa-admits-350-million-pledged-10124021

      The Boris photo shows “Let’s give our NHS ….” while the caption below the image the Mirror morphed “Let’s” into a “pledge” & “would” – “Boris Johnson on the Vote Leave campaign trail on 14 May 2016 with the pledge saying £350m a week would be given to the NHS”

      The bus picture also shows “let’s fund our NHS …… ”

      So when and where did “let’s” mean “would” and “pledge”? – in Mirror and Remoaner speak.

  3. Mark B
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Business need to be told one, and only one simple truth. Our leaving the EU has got nothing to do with trade but everything to do with governance. The referendum was about membership of political union. We chose to leave and not be part of it.

    Business is trying to get its collective snout in on this so they can shape it to suit themselves. They need to be put in their place.

    The to the minimum wage there is no such thing as cheap labour. And business is increasingly turning to automation and the internet. The world is changing and the economic model of the past century or more of bringing in masses people in no longer work.

    • NickC
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Mark, That is true: we voted to become an independent nation. That is an absolute principle. Trade negotiations come after, and are secondary.

      Why doesn’t the government keep banging on about the principle of our independence? I suspect because the majority of the government machine (civil servants and MPs) are pro-Remain.

      Unfortunately we expected the establishment would accept the democratic result. They haven’t. We must challenge the Remain vested interests every time with the principle of independence.

  4. DaveF
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    The considerations of big business should have been taken into account a long time ago- having meetings with them now is much too late. The dye is cast- A50 has been activated- if big business wants to keep trading with EU countries then they have the means to locate some parts of their Ops and Services over there- I’m sure. – I don’t buy the line that labour costs will be a problem- surviving and expanding into the future has to be the only consideration.. So there is no point in listening to remainer politicians whinging now, we’ll all just have to get on with it and make the best we can.

    Information coming my way is that the UK order books for high quality German cars to be delivered 2018 are filling up- with a lot of interest is coming from big business people- so at least someone sees which way the wind is blowing..

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    Exactly, what big business (and big charities) really want is ever more regulation that prevents smaller competitiors from competing with them while affecting them rather less. They also want grants and other “rent seeking” funds from governments. Things such as the renewable grants, the daft manipulation of the energy market, CAP grants and the likes. They also like large goverment contracts and subsidies to do daft things like HS2, Hinkley C, corrupt overseas aid, defence contracts and the likes.

    Many have, after all, invested huge sums in lobbying the EU and on so called “consultants” who are close and infulential within the EU bureaucracy. Just look at the insane laws that they pass (on recyling, CAP, energy, fishing, the environment, employment, fire regulations, building standards, chemicals, energy performance certificates, health, sale of works or art, transport and the rest. It is clearly driven to a large degree by the interest of big business over those of the public just look at the directive they pass to see this.

    The UK government is nearly as bad though, but hopefully under rather closer control by the elected representitives.

  6. Duncan
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    It is evident that many leaders of large conglomerates are being actively targeted by EU officials to force the UK govt to construct a set of arrangements or indeed circumstances that prevent Brexit. This cannot be allowed to happen.

    These behind the scenes pressure tactic could well scupper Brexit. It is incumbent on all democrats to force the UK govt to carry out the wishes of the electorate

    The issue has been debated and voted upon. The electorate has expressed its will and decided that the UK must leave the UK in its entirety

    The EU and big business will try to scupper Brexit and they may well succeed. We no longer have honest politicians like MT but ‘politicians’ like May and Hammond who, put simply, cannot be trusted to do the right thing

    If we can’t trust the Conservative party to take back our country who can we trust? I despair

    • Duncan
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      ‘The issue has been debated and voted upon. The electorate has expressed its will and decided that the UK must leave the EU in its entirety’

      • Tabulazero
        Posted July 24, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Fancy a second referendum or is the electorate allowed only to speak once ?

        Reply We have just had a General election where 82% voted for pro Brexit parties!

        • Tabulazero
          Posted July 24, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          And what kind of Brexit do you think 82% voted for ?

          Let me guess: the best kind.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Not can we trust the current Tories under T May not to be empty headed, tax, over regulate, borrow and piss down the drain, greencrap socialists.

      She is however slightly better than the rubber cheque profering, Father Christmas figure of Corbyn who would destroy the economy in very short order.

  7. mickc
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    As Gove said, the public have had enough of “experts”.

    Furthermore, if “investment banks” wish to leave they should be encouraged to do so, I doubt that Germany will support them in the next crash they cause.

  8. Freeborn John
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The reality is that business bodies like the CBI will defend any status-quoin matter bad and can easily agree with unlimited migration irrespective of their expansion plans because they know it drives down wages.

    • sjb
      Posted July 24, 2017 at 1:09 am | Permalink

      Most of the EU27 workers return home when they have made enough money, so it seems inaccurate to class them as immigrants.

      UK business relies heavily on EU27 workers. For instance, 200,000 in hospitality – a sector unattractive to UK workers, even before we joined the EU (EEC, as it then was). If businesses think they will lose EU27 workers, then they will lobby hard for alternative sources of labour. At lower income levels – such as in the hospitality sector – that need is most likely to be met by citizens from Commonwealth countries with very low wages.

  9. Iain Moore
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    One of our great problems as a country is productivity. We apparently work longer hours than others , and though having millions of’ hard working immigrants’ our productivity figures are just getting worse. Could the problem be found in that when you flood a labour market with a lot of cheap labour, you negate the need to direct resources to the most value added activities, and employers don’t have to bother investing in training or in productivity.

    For many Brexit was about immigration, the pressure it puts on wages, housing and public services. If we allow employers to undermine one of the core reasons people voted for Brexit, mass immigration, and one of reasons why our economy has been performing so poorly , then when we will have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory when we voted Brexit. Don’t let them do that.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

      Well what damages productivity?

      Expensive greencrap energy, expensive land, building and rates, over taxation and over complex taxation (so you have less to invest in modern plant and expansion), over the top red tape in every area, restrictive employment laws making it hard to fire poor staff, restrictive planning rules, over crowded roads and runways, expensive housing (see restrictive planning), lack of any real ompetition in banking (see rent seekers), the threat of wealth confiscation by Corbyn/Ed Miliband types, daft new laws like the May gender pay reporting laws and workers on boards, the totally misguided Mathew Taylor report into employment and the GIG economy, employment tribunal laws, the BBC tv licence, CAP, greencrap subsidies, HS2, Hinkley C ……

      So in short what damages productivity most of all is over big government and the over protected rent seekers they indulge. The daft “do gooders” – who are essentially interventionist socialists like Theresa May – actually doing net harm because they just do not understand economics.

      Big government is like a hair shirt come straight jacket, that business people are forced to wear and pay for too.

  10. DaveM
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    Let’s hope the govt continues to be sceptical – they ignored bits about the Euro and got stung by the ERM so no reason to think otherwise.

    OT: Just heard Clarke on 5 Live. Oh dear. Talk about an anachronism. If he’d spoken about non-white people the same way he spoke about the English he’d be out of a job by Monday.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

      Ken I assume (wrong on almost everything all his life).

      Greg Clarke rather similar too another SDP/Libdim/interventionist/greencrap type and so promoted by T May needless to say.

  11. Bert Young
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    The underlying truth is that businesses seeking a transitional period are those who have not prepared themselves for Brexit . This “wait and see” attitude emerges from statements such as those made by Hammond ; the planning and preparation that is necessary is simply stalled and left for when there is no other choice .

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

      Bert

      Absolutely agree, if we even wanted and got a transitional arrangement that some supposed businesses want, if that again finished without the Government coming to a new trade arrangement, they will want yet another extended transitional deal (even more negotiation).

      What a waste of time all this would be, we would never stop paying, we would never stop negotiating, and all time constraints would pass into the future with time just drifting on !

      Time to concentrate the mind and do a simple once and only deal which takes account of the date that goods and product are ordered (not delivered).
      Thus original terms apply to all ordered goods.

      If you want to stop deliberately extended lead times (for the clever clogs of this World who over order on scheduled delivery well into the future to try and circumvent the above), then make it apply to only goods ordered and fully paid for into an legal and guaranteed escrow account, goods could then be delayed/delivered on the existing trade terms as ordered.

      Businesses have 18 months to sort themselves out, it really should not be a problem.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

        @ alan jutson

        Have to agree with both you and Bert bang on the money.

        It for me is asking to accept that all these exporting companies have never experienced a tender situation. When the time is set it is just that, no chance of an extension. I can accept that the politicians, some of them, might struggle with these sort of rules but if that is the case then they should not be dealing in the hope that their rules will apply. We know what the tender conditions were and included, it is now time to put up or stand down.

  12. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Certain pro-EU business organisations and think tanks are trying to push the government into effectively ignoring the EU referendum result, and it increasingly seems that they are succeeding. The government department charged with managing our withdrawal from the EU cannot be bothered to counter the constant stream of propaganda flooding out through the media; anybody can make any false pro-EU argument they like and get it spread around and even embroidered by the media with impunity, without any need to fear rebuttal by that department. This may be David Davis thinking that it’s enough for him to appear genial and confident and that will get him through parliamentary scrutiny, without worrying that the Remoaners are now winning the propaganda war inside the highest levels of the government as well as outside. In particular, many businesses want an indefinite continuation of uncontrolled and unlimited mass immigration from the EU, and it seems that while they may not have not quite achieved that they have now got promises of an extended transition period, no doubt renewable, during which we will continue with unfettered EU immigration under the jurisdiction of the EU’s court. The fact that polls show that the great majority of UK citizens want an end to unfettered EU immigration under the jurisdiction of the ECJ is considered totally irrelevant; it is what business wants that counts here, not what the British people want.

    • Chris
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      You are right, Denis, and I think it is a very serious state of affairs. I believe the Remainers have been allowed a free hand are going to scupper the Referendum result. I believe the Leavers have got to act and quickly. Leaving it over the summer while May is away, and Fox and Johnston too, with Hammond left at the helm with his Remainer colleagues is a disaster waiting to happen, in my view.

      • Turboterrier.
        Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

        @ Chris

        Agree

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Mass immigration causes ‘heat’ in the economy through overcrowding. The average person gets a smaller slice from a bigger cake.

  13. Epikouros
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    All vested interests have learnt that if their propaganda is well presented then regardless of strength of the facts backing their demands the chances of them being acceded to is high. Crony capitalism and giving largess to every cause that claims victim hood however dubious they may be are well established and have become government’s policy wherever possible to support. So blatantly holding to two contradictory views at the same time and believing both are right is no longer an obstacle to being believed. It appears whilst we progress by leaps and bounds in the fields of science and technology intellectually we are going in the other direction just as rapidly.

  14. agricola
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I know and you should know, they are not exercising dispassionate judgement, but self interest. The big players will loose a seat at the table from which along with their continental counterparts they have exercised control of their particular market. The bureaucratic EU has been complicit in this as the epitome of protectionist operators. Who in their right mind but the EU would have allowed a monster like the CAP to exist. A construct that heavily penalises all it’s customers, ie. it’s citizens.

  15. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    If the Department for Exiting the EU had any effective rebuttal unit they would be replying to this article today:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/23/worse-richard-iii-brexit-team-bbc/

    pointing out that despite its membership of the EEA Norway is considered to be a “third country” by the EU, and it is outside the EU customs union, and while it has extensive although incomplete free access to the EU single market it is not actually in, or a member of, the EU single market.

    But they just can’t be bothered, it seems that they are perfectly content to allow this misinformation to gain wider and wider currency.

    Here’s a suggestion: bring back that chap David Jones who lost his job after the election and put him in charge of media communications for the department, with a remit to slap down this kind of Remoaner nonsense at every turn.

  16. Peter
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    No ‘transition’, Mr. Fox.

    Leave as soon as possible. The talks are now mostly delaying tactics on the part of the EU.

  17. Prigger
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    British business people need a trip to Poland. They will find cheap land to farm, build factories, 38 million people of which 20 million are ready to work to build, make, grow, harvest their products.
    Poland is “centrally situated” in Europe. Great transport links.
    So, British business must make the case of why it is here and not there? Why it has not been there since Poland joined the EU in 2004…What has British business been up to for the last twelve years not being there? What advantage profit-wise has British business been receiving over-and-above by being here rather than there. It must be something.

    • agricola
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I’m just guessing, but do you think the present CAP beneficiaries would welcome the agricultural production capacity of Eastern Europe or would they draw up the drawbridge in as many subtle ways they could find. Some contributions from some of the farmers of Poland might be quite informative.

  18. Peter Wood
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    Good afternoon,
    There is much optimism from government for obtaining a ‘good deal’, referring to trade arrangements. It is to be hoped that this will come about. However there should also be adequate preparation for ‘no deal’ or simple WTO terms. Will our host kindly confirm that the government is ‘trying for the best but planning for the worst’?

    Brexit is about more than trade, it is fundamentally about sovereignty; we need to keep our principles clear on this and raise its importance, it will help to define our relationships, political and commercial, with the EU nations.

  19. Richard W
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    “They contradict themselves. They say an early exit with no deal will be bad for their UK activities, yet their main demand is continuing access to lots of cheap continental labour after we leave”.
    Firstly, even if this is actually their position, it is not a contradiction. Secondly, I’m not sure any of the big businesses has actually said or implied that their “main demand is continuing access to lots of cheap continental labour “.

    • NickC
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Richard, The contradiction comes from the statement that “no deal with the EU” is bad for their business (ie business contraction), yet they still want more migrant workers (ie business expansion).

      Secondly, here is a report in the Telegraph (7th May 2017): “European workers are crucial to the success of UK businesses and the wider economy, and the government must not shut off access to those staff, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has warned.” That seems like big business to me.

  20. miami.mode
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    The biggest possible pool of labour suits large employers.

    Subsidies via tax credits etc suppress innovation and productivity. If the pool of labour diminishes and wage bills rise accordingly, then employers are generally forced to turn to technology and innovation to stay in business.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

      It is not as if we haven’t got experiences handed down to us from history. When the Black Death wiped out 30% of the population, the state attempted to legislate for workers to remain in their jobs and receive no more pay than they had six years earlier. It didn’t work, people moved to the most valued added jobs that paid the most, and landowners had to change their ways and crops , which resulted in the mechanisation of agriculture, and perhaps the industrial revolution.

      Now we get the same whingeing , oh we need cheap labour to break their backs in the fields. At the same time we are also being told that robots will remove 30% of the jobs. We seem to have a malfunction in the joined up thinking department of the British state that has an idea of what is going to take place, but still seems to be intent on pursuing the old ways and the abysmal economics of cheap labour. Already there are prototype crop picking machines that will pick crops like strawberries, what seems to be missing is the will. If we cut off the supply of cheap labour, attitudes will rapidly change, and ways will be found to over come any challenges and introduce the robots by tomorrow.

  21. ian
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    It’s hard to make up my mind of who is worst, big companies or the eu or your own parliament & government, or maybe it all their millionaire & billionaire friends who want more subsidies, more tax breaks, or to be able charge double the a mount of money on goods they sell to the government, which in some cases are already 10 times or more, than you can pick up in the high street, but there one thing i am sure about, they all want 100 million people living the country by next week supported by government money out thin air to put into their pockets, and to keep overseas factories running at full production.

  22. zorro
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    These ‘big companies’ know that they are on to a good thing with the protected EU market which stifles competition and innovation in favour of restrictive practices. This by no means translates to a good thing for the UK. These companies have effective state subsidies for employing cheap foreign labour and get good tax deals too. I am for sensible, sustained business growth but not at the expense of unsound money, expanded state debt (not on infrastructure projects), out of control immigration, weakening social cohesion, more expensive housing, and lower wage growth.

    There is no reason for the state to be paying colossal sums in social security when business oppirtunities and jobs are a plenty. We must bite the bullet here.

    zorro

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      Indeed the government policy is basically to encourage and augment the feckless at every turn.

      This at the expense of those who work hard, provide for themselves and are responsible.

      Many people (who cannot afford to have a child or a second child) cannot afford it because they are paying huge taxes for someone not working down the road with perhaps four to ten children.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 23, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        Or unable to make parenthood, killed or injured whilst commuting to work in central London by road because they cannot get on London council housing lists.

        Tom Watson has no concern for them and we can’t use this counter his claims that Grenfell Towers was the murder of a social class because – to the BBC – it would be heresy to mention it.

        Ordinary opinion is stigmatised and public debate in Britain is restricted by the BBC.

  23. rose
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    The contradiction is only apparent: they have no intention of allowing us to leave and their demand for transition is only tactical. They want to stay and continue to have acccess to cheap unlimited labour from Europe and other continents as the inhabitants of those make their way to Europe; they want to keep the red tape which destroys the chances of small startups to compete; they probably want even more integration.

  24. bigneil
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    OFF TOPIC

    An article in last few days says that there is a massive rise in “homeless children and families” being looked after in emergency accommodation – – -so where is there ANY sense in continually importing all the “migrants” that are coming – NOT to work – but to just get a life on the taxpayer?
    What year has the govt got in mind for the total collapse and destruction of our country?

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      @ bigneil

      What year has the govt got in mind for the total collapse and destruction of our country?

      At the rate they are going, sooner than any of us would like to think.

      Long gone are the days that you don’t get owt for nowt.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Well the whole Big Business demand for more immigrants has less to do with cheap labour than with economic growth (so called) through overcrowding.

      The ramping of property and increased building activity has meant homeowners borrowing and spending more.

      The Left loves mass immigration too – the last thing it needs is a content and prosperous people.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        PS My area has changed dramatically. Any chance of rehousing troubled families to Lewes ?

  25. Jason wells
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    Big business is only looking after it’s own interests..and at the end of the day they will have to observe the laws of the land if they wish to stay or else they can relocate to the continent if that is their wish.

    A50 has been activated and there is no changing that.. we will leave the EU in March 2019 and so businesses have time now to make whatever plans necessary to relocate.
    And despite what some politicians are belatedly putting about that there will be a transitional period of three to four years.. this is all pie in the sky..for many different reasons..but mainly, the two year law giving notice was put there for a specific reason to bring order to the exit process plus to bring about a clean cut.. also as those of us who read french and other european matters know full well a large number of eu countries won’t stand for transitional periods..a transitional period is only something in the minds of the UK set it seems and not even thought about or discussed by the europeans.. so brexiteers rest assured that we will be completely out by 30th march 2019.. and trade with other countries from that time onwards including with eu countries will be according to WTO rules. Seems very clear to me- hope it is to the government

  26. English Pensioner
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    My impression is that many companies like the EU as they can influence directives so that they can often achieve a near monopoly by making them difficult for small companies to obey. They also manage to get older products banned in favour of newer (and far more expensive) ones which are allegedly safer.
    Garden chemicals, I would suggest, are a good example where products which have been around for donkey’s years are now deemed ‘unsafe’ and superseded by far more expensive ones made by a handful of large companies. There was also an attempt a few years ago, which fortunately failed, by a German car manufacturer to try to make it mandatory for all maintenance work on cars to be carried out by a manufacturer’s authorise service facility or inspected by that facility.
    No wonder large companies love the EU.

    • David Price
      Posted July 24, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      It is the 3E strategy – “embrace, extend, extinguish” which has been practiced by most companies that enjoy a monopoly position in a technology market. You embrace the open standards process, drive much of it’s formulation allied to an establishing portfolio of key patents then trade access to those patents as necessary with other large companies to solidify market dominance. The small enterprise rarely gets a look in.

      Driving and contributing to standards is an important element of the R&D and marketing process, it is an investment to gain market share and ascendancy. Standards can definitely enable solutions that otherwise would not happen such as the global mobile phone service, but are also a vehicle for companies to compete “unfairly” for market share. With market share comes employment and taxes and so political influence which perpetuates the cycle – “low energy light bulbs” etc.

      You cannot prevent this happening so for UK PLC to succeed we need to be as effective at this process as our competitors. Part of the problem is that there is no sense of “UK PLC” and the CBI, BBC etc attitude is clearly one of loyalty to the EU rather than the UK. Ways need to be found to adjust that attitude.

  27. Prigger
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is being rattled by…well the media..in equalising the pay of its high-flying women staff to that our their male peers. It is said th BBC is thinking of cutting the pay of males but this is being challenged by female journalists.Yes it is wrong.
    You should not assume anyone on a lesser salary deserves by right because they wear a brown hat the same pay as others who do not. Futhermore, a cut in male salaries is a very good idea. Then a cut by at least 70% of the pay of all high-flying staff irrespective of whether they wear a brown hat or not.
    Plainly they are not worthy of the money for the quality and amount of work they do. The BBC should be allowed to employ workers from the Continent to fill their positions. Their positions should be advertised in EU publications, now. Many Bulgarians, for example are perfectly capable of reading a pre-prepared idiot-board as well as BBC staff

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      The BBC needs a board elected by license payers. (Peter Hitchens’ idea.)

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 24, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

      The gender pay gap is not the issue it is the huge pay rates for people with little talent. In an organisation where many capable people would work for almost nothing anyway.

      Also women take more career gaps, make different work life balance choices are far less likely to have studied STEM subjects and (surveys have show clearly) they are less motivated by money anyway. Thus if they do get to equal gender pay it can only be by done by heavy active discrimination against males. This particularly heavy in some industries.

  28. Waughter Wells
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Corbyn is a unique leader, even for the Labour Party. Every problem he says YES to giving our money to it. It is worrying anyone thinks his views anything but a sick joke.

  29. forthurst
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

    Businesses which are dependent on cheap foreign labour are not worth having. Let them go bust or go elsewhere. They are parasitical on the taxpayer who absorbs the social cost of their low wages. That is a business model which the British people implicitly rejected when they elected to leave the EU.

    There is no excuse for delaying Brexit with a transitional deal. So what if the agencies charged with protecting our borders are not prepared; they are not prepared now as is testified by the vast number in the country with no entitlement to be here. Let them call in the army even if it means withdrawing troops from undisclosed meddling in the ME because protecting the homeland, is the first responsibility of the armed forces not the last as many crazed neocons would have us believe.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      Indeed, we are currently pursuing the economics of the mad house, where we import cheap labour that needs subsidising , and then tax the added value enterprises to pay for it, so burdening the very enterprises we should be encouraging.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

      I agree there is no excuse for delaying Brexit, but transitional provisions written into the withdrawal agreement(s) would not delay Brexit but rather would just delay some of the thornier practical or legal effects of Brexit. Going back to my example of the 1957 Treaty of Rome setting up the European Community, the six founding countries became members of the Community when that treaty came into force on January 1st 1958, but under Article 8 they had allowed themselves another twelve years to set up their Common Market step by step:

      https://ec.europa.eu/romania/sites/romania/files/tratatul_de_la_roma.pdf

      “ARTICLE 8

      1. The common market shall be progressively established during a transitional period of twelve years.

      This transitional period shall be divided into three stages of four years each; the length of each stage may be altered in accordance with the provisions set out below.

      2. To each stage there shall be assigned a set of actions to be initiated and carried
      through concurrently.”

      The correct debate is not whether there could be transitional provisions written into the UK’s withdrawal treaty or treaties, obviously there could, but what any such provisions should cover and how long they should each last.

      • forthurst
        Posted July 24, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

        The equivalent transitional period for the UK would be the period after leaving the EU and having absorbed all their laws onto our statute books, when we then proceed to unravel those which are damaging us, starting with the most damaging. I suggest removing the EU Asylum law which allows anyone from anywhere, having entered our country either legally or illegally to claim the right to live in our country in perpetuity on the basis of any cock-and-bull story; this law was clearly designed to accelerate the destructive multiculturalisation of Europe. In fact we now have the ridiculous situation where these same people are now being presented as ‘migrants’, which would not appear to give them any rightful claim to enter our countries, who are being trafficked into Europe by criminal organisations posing as charities of which the UK has its fair share.

        Let’s start talking about a period when we transition from laws concocted by the haters of Western civilisation ensconced in the EU Commission to laws which are designed to benefit the common good.

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Plain overcrowding has been confused with economic growth – consumerism funded by tax and welfare.

  30. Gandalf
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    I switched just now from a BBC talk-cum-interview on Soft v Hard Brexit to
    “FILM: Eragon (2006) – 1.30pm
    A young farm boy discovers a dragon’s egg, which hatches into the last surviving specimen of its mighty race. His friendship with the winged creature soon comes in handy when he discovers he is destined to overthrow the evil tyrant who has taken control of the kingdom. Fantasy adventure, starring Ed Speleers, Jeremy Irons, Robert Carlyle and Sienna Guillory, with Rachel Weisz providing the voice of the dragon”

    It turned out much like the talk on Hard and Soft Brexit

    http://tvguideuk.telegraph.co.uk/

  31. ian
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Housing market momentum has gone to nothing now, just waiting to see if prices start to retreat at the end of the year or not, as usual it will be blame on brexit, and not mismanagement by the con party chancellors of last few years or the worldwide recession that now starting bite as banks pull back, nationwide with it new man at the helm who has just increased his pay by 1 million, is going to be using saves money on housing projects that have never been try before, and i would of thought that other banks will follow suit. If it works, back to 5 to 8 percent house price rises, with 2 percent pay rises if your lucky, if not, bail-out or bail-in, cut interest rates to 0%, with more QE. At this time i am not seeing a big pull back, just a mild correction in housing and stock that will last a few months. Maybe few percent in housing, that if they go neg at all, but stocks will have a bigger pull back, but as you know john anything can happen, with a weak & unstable government at the helm. This could be big businesses chance with their MPs to put the breaks on brexit for good.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 24, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

      Silly stamp duty levels of up to 15%, tax attacks on landlords and tenants, ratting on the £1M IHT threshold promise and regulatory restrictions on mortgage lending are the main reasons.

  32. FrankG
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

    It doen’t matter what big business thinks..we voted out and that is what we’re going to get..if theresa may or d davis, liam fox or others change their minds or soften up on this then they better be prepared because the whole house will fall in..”brexit is brexit and we’re going to make a success of it” and “taking back control” is what matters..52 per cent or 17 million voted for out and nothing less is acceptable. So JR you had better get in there and tell them there will be massive protests on the streets and maybe even civil unrest if brexit is not delivered in full march 2019

  33. RDM
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi John,
    I believe it would be better for everyone, if we left the Customs Union yesterday (ASAP). There might some cost, but, in the longer run (next election) it would be better for all! Stop the whining!

    With the Single Market there at least two things to be considered. One is the movement into, and through parliament (can be done in our own time), and secondly, the Trade and Regulations dispute mechanism. And most of this, I would say WTO rules would be better! There might be more, but these are the two best to start with. Why try to get an agreement up front, why not have WTO, and work through the issues, as they come up, and then the company’s directly involved can be consulted.

    How long would take? It would not matter, if you default to WTO! And a better mechanism sort along the way!

    I wonder what the motives are of the people arguing for a transition period are?

    I am not saying there aren’t some company’s out there that have some challenges, but I think they ( and the rest of use, including Mr Hammond), need to get on with it.

    So, Hard Brexit now please, and a process of discussion to mitigate the Risks along the way. Simple!

    If She wants a hand, I somewhere in France, lost 😉

    Regards,

    RDM.

  34. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    O/T for which I apologise but Jeremy Corbyn’s word has been proven to be worthless. “I will deal with it.” Sounds like a promise to me.

    http://www.nme.com/features/jeremy-corbyn-interview-2017-cover-feature-labour-2082433

    NME: You’ve pledged to scrap tuition fees, which has gone down well. But it’s also kicked up a question for people who already have that debt, or people who are currently in university. What does it mean for people who’ve already been paying £9,000 a year?

    JC: “First of all, we want to get rid of student fees altogether. We’ll do it as soon as we get in, and we’ll then introduce legislation to ensure that any student going from the 2017-18 academic year will not pay fees. They will pay them, but we’ll rebate them when we’ve got the legislation through – that’s fundamentally the principle behind it. Yes, there is a block of those that currently have a massive debt, and I’m looking at ways that we could reduce that, ameliorate that, lengthen the period of paying it off, or some other means of reducing that debt burden. I don’t have the simple answer for it at this stage – I don’t think anybody would expect me to, because this election was called unexpectedly; we had two weeks to prepare all of this – but I’m very well aware of that problem. And I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after. I will deal with it.”

    Conservatives should be getting “I will deal with it” badges made up

  35. JonP
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    Liam fox talks about a transitional period for big business up to 2022 but not after because it needs to be out if the way before the next uk general elections- as if the eu has no need for elections or nothing else will be happening on the european side. This guy should get a grip ..if he thinks the junkers and barniers of this world are going to fall for that

  36. ian
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    I would kike to point out that big businesses now get most of the overseas aid budget, with the government taking back chunk of the money out for it self. It just another way that parliament has found to give your money to big businesses without you knowing, yes bailout are still going on, and the people doing their books cannot even read them, themselves anymore,with mark to market gone for ever, with the gov not looking at anyone books anymore. Most big businesses are zombies in this country, and are kept going by fiddling the books, and kept going by subsidy from people treasury, financial instruments from the markets and banks, with over charging for their goods which they sell to the government. The new labour lead know where he is getting the money for his plans, big businesses, by taking back all the money that has been given to them over the years, and when they go bankrupt selling all there work off to smaller & mid size british businesses, which will pay more tax, employ more people on better wages, and a cut in the price the government has to pay for goods. It all win win, and top of that, gel will get you out of the eu the next day, so he can carry out his plans, I don’t know what your worry about, it got to be better than death by thousand cuts, and you don’t like you can get rid of him, but he the one at the moment you can vote for who has a plan.

  37. Colin Hart
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

    The only people saying anything are Goldman Sachs. The only people the government listens to are Goldman Sachs.

  38. ian
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Only joking about gel, just showing you what you should be doing, and what your islanders are thinking. Could do with another 15 new banks with bank managers at the branch to set up new businesses, and lend more money to the smaller ones we already have. This business your party has got it self into of communism for the rich and big businesses is not going to wash forever, it will have to stop, and the money redirected to build better and more businesses. Before and after the war your country had loads of british car companies, today you have two or three little ones now at a time when you leading in F1 racing, do most the car design, but cannot make your own cars, because the the people in control won’t lend the money for it to happen, what are you going about it, and not just cars it everything, it seem like only overseas companies are allowed to do anything hear. Things will have to change in the uk and quick or people will start to look elsewhere for a leader like gel. Your islanders will not put up with it forever. At the moment your votes have not seem the communism your party protecting for the rich people, big businesses hear and overseas, which being lead by the eu and the deep state in the usa, but it won’t be long before catch on, and all hell will break loose. They see it, but they do not believe it just yet, they say the con party would not do to us, but you have, but they will when next big market fall out happens, because it will be there for all to see. More bail for rich, more bail for their banks. companies, and nothing for them again. Your on borrowed time brother.

  39. Simon
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Hilarious John. You have been telling everybody for years how simple leaving the EU would be. Now your own Cabinet is rallying around what is described so far as a three year transitional period at least ie about six years since the ref.

    When Sir Ivan Rogers tried to point out some of the more practical difficulties of leaving he was forced out of his job. As was Lord Bridges who until very recently was in charge of the Repeal Bill.

    • longinus
      Posted July 24, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps he believed Clegg’s claim that only 15% of our laws were derived from the EU.

  40. Chewy
    Posted July 23, 2017 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

    Question half linked to topic. Good news about trade talks beginning and positive vibes re USA trade deal. Also seen idea refloated about us possibly joining NAFTA.
    Is this realistic? If so could prove to be a nasty surprise for our EU colleagues come March 2019.
    Personally I wouldn’t give a twopence for the bellyaching of big business or the CBI. They don’t represent the opinions or have the concerns of most voters and have been woefully wrong in the past.
    Also too much hullabaloo about the big banks commissioning offices and transferring some operations into EU countries. In their shoes I’d do the same ( and yes I do run a business).
    Covering their options, making sure they can trade within the EU regardless of if there’s a trade deal or not. And despite EU rumblings about not allowing our financial services to run shell companies while keeping their main operations in the U.K. I can’t figure out in this era or easy commuting and electronic deals exactly how they can police financial institutions in this respect.
    My main worry is in the event of no deal there’ll be chaos on our roads and long delays for exported goods; not bacause this is necessary but because the French in particular will make sure they are as pedantic as possible. And could bring members of NAFTA neutalise this potential problem?

  41. Juliet
    Posted July 24, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    Big businesses such as (retail, food & drinks, construction, healthcare, public sector) have erroneous built their post recession resource models on cheap labour from the EU and alone to blame for the high influx of people from eastern europe EU10 countries. Since 2008 big businesses have saturated the low skilled job market with surplus migrant workers, they have stagnated and decreased wages for UK workers, that have caused an abnormal surge in zero hour contracts, and irregularities in self-employment.

    Not convinced for one moment that a 2-3/4 year transition is needed. It doesn’t take two years to transition in any large scale radical transformational change, Brexit with all its complexities is no different. Banks are the only industry faced with EU regulatory disruption (passporting) and not dependent on low-skilled migrant workers in the UK. Yet it is the Finance & Banking sector that have taken action mobilised impacted banking divisions and set up contingency plans, moving specialist teams into EU subsidiary locations. If Banks can ready themselves 2 years before the leave date why can’t other industry/sectors that persistently campaigned to remain in the EU change

    The same industry/sectors (retail, food & drinks, construction, healthcare, public sector) are again trying to deliberately frustrate Brexit. They are not onboard and will never be ready whilst busy writing letters in the Guardian & FT forecasting a cliff edge because their status quo has been challenged and warning their businesses face skill shortage if they cannot import low-skilled & unskilled EU migrant workers. These businesses conveniently fail to mention that their huge increase in profits is at the expense of taxpayers who are forced to subsidise imported low skilled unskilled people from the EU which cost taxpayers more in welfare payouts, unpaid taxes, shortage in housing, overcrowding in schools GPs, infrastructure conjestion, increase pressure on public services & hospitals

    Some big businesses are slow to change, they’ve had from 2016 and will have 2017-18 to change their business models to improve and reduce cost, improve supply-chain processes, reduce dependency on importing low-skilled unskilled EU workers, upskilling/utilising local UK workers, investing in automation mechanisation digital technologies; practically 4 years till 2019 is long enough to be ready. It would seem we are leaving in name only because certain industry/sectors are dictating and failing to manage expectations and adapt to change in workplace where there will be little demand for low-skilled migrant workers in the future

  • 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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