What the German car industry wants

I read that some in the German car industry think a long transition for the UK leaving is a good idea. This is presumably because they dont fancy 10% tariffs on their large exports to the UK.

I gave good news for them. The UK is happy to offer them continued tariff free as part of a clean Brexit in March 2019. Were we to leave under WTO rules the German industry would of course still have its excellent factories in the UK. It would need them even more as it could make product for the UK market tariff free here in the UK, and would be most welcome to do so.

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  1. Duncan
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The UK is a major export market for many EU member states. This gives us huge bargaining power. Unfortunately the EU is only concerned with POLITICS and political control.

    I have no doubt the EU and those tasked with these tedious negotiations will willingly sacrifice economic considerations to retain any political and legal control over the UK

    We are dealing with a pernicious entity. Juncker and his ilk despise the fact that we have decided to take back full control of our nation. Juncker is personally offended by such temerity. He will exact some form of revenge in collusion with EU acolytes like Blair, Major and all the other UK politicians who pray at the altar of the European project

    If May fails to retrieve full sovereignty and independence for the UK and chooses to betray the EU referendum result and the British people I will vote for Labour under Corbyn if he promises to take us out of the EU in its entirety

    My father feels exactly the same as I do. He will vote Labour if the tories betray the British people

    • Hope
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      May’s left wing govt walking over a cliff edge with the electorate. We voted to leave by 2019 not remain by another name in the hope to change our minds which has happened since last year. She has placed many obstacles in our way. None succeeded to date. More extreme left wing rot by Greening about self identifying your gender. Not in manifesto or Queens speech. But nor was gay marriage. The public will not stand for it.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

        Dear Hope–Absolutely right–What Greening is doing in the Conservative Party I cannot imagine

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 26, 2017 at 5:56 am | Permalink

          Indeed but half the Tory pary are essentially Libdims who clearly thought there was more chance of a seat and career in the Tories than in the Libdims. May and Hammond included.

      • Hope
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

        Guido reveals, easyjet, mini, and Amozon creating more jobs and staying post Brexit.

        What worries me more is the rubbish coming from Davis’ mouth about EU citizens rights. No more ECJ talk. Take our court system or nothing. It is not hard to grasp.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted July 26, 2017 at 2:09 am | Permalink

          Dear Hope–Absolutely right again–Other places have split and survived to tell the tale–Yugoslavia comes to immediate mind–The idea of each part retaining control over its people in the other part is preposterous–Life is well known to be a bitch and it is not always possible to get a perfect result for everybody–Can’t make an omelette and all that

    • NickC
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Yes, Duncan. I believe that is what happened already at the election. It is why the Conservatives failed to get a majority. Since autumn it has been obvious that the government, with notable exceptions such as JR, do not have good faith in implementing UK independence in a timely manner.

      That is why I have pressed for the route of 12 months diplomatic notice. The EU might then see sense and deal in those 12 months: it would concentrate minds. If not it is their loss when we change our tariffs on cars from the EU’s 10% to our 5%, for example, thus making their cars 5% dearer and rest-of-world cars 5% cheaper.

    • bigneil
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      ” the fact that we have decided to take back full control of our nation ” – -thanks Duncan – that will be my best laugh of the week. The govt (ours as well as theirs ) have absolutely NO intention of us being free.

      ” Corbyn if he promises to take us out of the EU in its entirety ” – -Would that be the same sort of promise that Cameron gave on “getting immigration down to tens of thousands” – – – or the one where he said he would trigger Brexit straight away if the referendum was for “Out” – and he just resigned.

      The Kalergi plan is in full motion – those enforcing it want to be sat at the “super-elite” table – and nowhere else – no matter what the outcome is for every one else.

    • Richard1
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Great idea. Almost all Labour MPs are Remainers. Even the communists favoured EU membership. Corbyn is now professing to be in favour of Brexit but is in a hopeless confusion over all the key issues such as the single market and the customs union. A Labour govt would mean back into all the worst aspects of EU membership – but probably without the protections which the EU offered us in the 70s and 80s from extreme socialism.

      • Roy Grainger
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        No. Corbyn is a strong Leaver. He is more confident in expressing this since the election. In fact if he wasn’t a Leaver the referendum would have been lost – compare his lukewarm campaigning then with his far more effective performance in the general election.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        “Even the communists….”

        Wrong!Here’s a selection of headlines from the “Morning Star”;not my normal reading but a little research is usually advisable before making assertions out of your comfort zone:-

        “The EU functions for unconfined monopoly capitalism.It cannot be reformed,it can only be opposed”

        “Vote to get out.Why EU exit is the key to combating austerity”

        “It is an embarrassment that the loudest voices against the neo-liberal bloc are those of ukip cranks.”

        “The single market will not tolerate socialist policies”

    • nigel seymour
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more. The fact is that the EU want to stop any of the 27 from leaving and will use the UK as a model for leaving. I would never vote Labour and would go UKIP if Farage decided to stand. Farage said last week that we are in danger of leaving the EU in ‘name only’…

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      I agree with all that you say….except “if Corbyn promises he will take us out of the EU, I/we will vote labour”

      The major flaw in the argument? I just can’t bring myself to believe any Politician, regardless of their flavour of politics, will execute an agreed plan of action that benefits the citizens of the UK?

  2. fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    When you see the amount of German cars on the roads over here then it would be a win, win situation for them! We have to stick to our guns over trade and not roll over.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Indeed but “number” surely. We have the better hand to play and should use it to the full. If they want to play silly let them, we can supply our own market or switch to other offshore markets as needed. Or have subsidiaries or partner companies within the EU.

      We should indeed become far more like Singapore, but alas we have socialists May and Hammond in charge with their tax borrow and waste, greencrap, interventionist agendas. Wanting dire virtual monopolies in health, education, high taxes, a huge bloated state and endless payments to augment the feckless.

      Even today they are announcing yet another interference in free contracts entered into (in leasehold housing). If you do not want a leasehold house they do not buy one. All that is needed is a rule making sure solicitors make it clear to their clients what they are buying. They are after all getting the leasehold more cheaply than the freehold would be. You pays your money and takes your choice. If people are daft you cannot easily stop them being so.

      As we saw clearly with T May and her “vote for me and we will punish you” election manifesto.

  3. Tabulazero
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, Deutsche Bank is mulling whether to shift about EUR300bn from the balance sheet of its UK entity to Frankfurt as client trading and assets migrate to the continent following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. The project, dubbed Bowline, calls for trading in Frankfurt to go live in September 2018 and for the assets to be moved by March 2019.

    How do you say “one is never careful enough” in German ?

    • APL
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Tabulazero: “Deutsche Bank is mulling whether to shift about EUR300bn from the balance sheet of its UK entity to Frankfurt as client trading and assets migrate to the continent following Britain’s decision to leave the European Union. ”

      This is one Redwood and the government should keep a very close eye on. These operations could sanitize ( take as an example Deutsche bank – not a particularly healthy operation ), moving the liquid assets to Europe and leaving the toxic bank in London.

      Kind of like a dooms day machine.

      If they choose to move, they take everything including the crappy assets too.

  4. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    The miscalculation here is that the German car industry is no negotiation partner. Besides, the German car industry has stated to have EU unity and integration as a much higher priority, and it might even move some of its UK industry to South East Europe in case of a hard Brexit, according to Reuters.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      So they move production away from their main market to a much smaller one?
      I’m sure JLR, Toyota, Honda and Nissan would be pleased if they did.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

        @Sir Joe Soap: For the manufacture of cars for the EU27 it might make business sense to move some industry to S.E. Europe. Supplying the UK might still be done from German-owned factories in the UK. This is not so much about politics as about business. A highest priority for the EU27 and its integration also makes longterm sense for German (and Dutch) business, even the UK government has stated that it wants a strong EU27 as its future partner – no problem with this on our side.

        • Hope
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

          The EU is investigating the fraudulent German car makers after recent claims they all colluded with each other to cheat the world about emissions from their cars. Audi has now recalled 850,000 cars. What a shame. What about this Paris agreement Merkel harps in about! Good to see the US voting on the gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, is this another Paris success? Allowing anyone their country to supply energy?

          Of course the gutless Eurolland govt goes along with the EU against the Dutch public wishes over Ukraine. Your voice is needed in your own country to regain democracy, no time to waste here on this site.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        The UK in the scheme of things is not a huge market either. Cars produced in the UK tend to be exported to the rest of the EU and the world. They are not meant solely for domestic consumption.

      • hefner
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

        For 2016 value of car exports (cars actually built/finished in the country) ($bn):
        151.9 Germany
        91.9 Japan
        53.8 USA
        48.8 Canada
        41.3 UK
        37.5 S.Korea
        35.6 Spain
        31.4 Mexico
        30.3 Belgium
        18.8 Czech Rep.
        18.4 France
        15.5 Slovakia
        15.2 Italy.
        Main point: UK is a non negligible car exporter.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted July 26, 2017 at 4:26 am | Permalink

          @hefner: Now that BMW has decided it will produce the electric Mini in Oxford, it must have weighed the likely outcome of Brexit negotiations and apparently is not too worried about them, which is good news.

    • Know-dice
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      To repeat myself 🙁

      We shall see when reality bites with the loss of German jobs…

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        @Know-dice: Time will tell. So far no German jobs were lost due to Brexit. Likewise, the Dutch agro industry didn’t suffer unduly when Russia banned imports as a counter measure to EU-sanctions because of Crimea.
        Maybe the UK won’t suffer that much from Brexit either, even without a service agreement and with only a next-best trade agreement. We’ll have to be patient.

        • Hope
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

          Leaving the EU is not primarily about economics. You must get it right in your head. It is about being a free sovereign country able to make its own laws, secure it sown borders and ruled by its own courts. Economics comes Secretary nod as it does with all our relationships with countries around the world.

          Holland govt unfortunately failed its people on more than one occasion because it is too weak to stand up to the EU. That is what your govt claimed when going against its public wishes. Holland needs to regain dignity, pride and the govt should act on what the public demands. The Dutch public will eventually wake up to realise what it’s govt up to. Like you PvL they are a little slow on the uptake.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted July 26, 2017 at 4:14 am | Permalink

            @Hope: In order to play ball together you need a common referee, like you would in international soccer. The ECJ is such a common referee, with judges from all 28 member states. If you want to play ball with yourself because it would make you feel more sovereign in this era of interdependence, that is up to you. The Netherlands is not an island, nor does it want to become one.
            Next time England will play in international soccer championships, it will be with only English umpires? Good luck for trying. 🙂

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

          Now we are talking sense, Sir!

          • Edward2
            Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

            There is a fundamental difference between “interdependence” and being a nation ruled by the EU.
            Most nation are not in the EU.
            They carry on their business and trade in a friendly and satisfactory way.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

            @Edward2: Your mistake might be that you (influenced by decades of anti EU tabloids) view the EU as some outside force. It is not, it is a cooperation between 28, soon 27 democracies. Sadly, the British EU-attitude for all this time seems to have been a mixture of disinterest and ignorance about the EU. Amazing how misinformed even the three politicians in the Brexit team (supposed “professionals”) have shown to be time and again.
            I really wish the UK all the best as a soon to be “third country”. If its economy were to blossom, that would be good for us (in the Netherlands) as well. Who knows, one day your country may become less divided than it is currently showing to be.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 26, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

            Its one vote for the UK versus 27 with reducing powers of veto and the supremacy of the European Court over us to back it up.
            A club where 9 pay in the rest take out and all get to vote does not seem democratic to me.
            I hope the EU will be a success.
            But I’m glad sooner or later the UK will be able to rule itself once again.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      I agree with Peter VL here, plus the German car manufacturers will only want a long transition period until they find their new markets to replace the UK then they won’t care. The UK need to be just as ruthless for our future needs and stop messing around.

      • graham1946
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        Manufacturers never wish to ‘replace a market for a new one then not care’. They want to increase their markets and keep what they have. If they haven’t been able to find a bigger market than the UK in the wide world by now, why do you suppose they will be able to do it in a transition period? I agree our ‘Brexit Bulldog Master Negotiator’ (Thanks to Dead Ringers for that) needs to get a grip and counter all the negativity and give us something positive for once.

    • Nig l
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Thank you peter for reminding me one of the reasons I voted to leave, namely the politicians are more interested in the project than the welfare of its citizens, especially Germany, and Holland of course being in its pocket, who have and are benefiting massively at the expense of vast swathes of the unemployed in places like Greece and Portugal.

    • Bob
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      That’s akin to a child who threatens to hold their breath until mummy buys them some sweeties.

    • forthurst
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      I think you will find that the German motor manufacturers have been told what they think.

    • Nig l
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

      According to a press statement BMW has chosen Oxford over sites in Germany etc to produce a new electric mini directly contradicting your statement. Another example where EU politicians are out of touch with commercial reality.

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

        Correct (though you are rather selective with the data)….but does not include the engines?

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

          However, the electric motor will be built in Germany before being shipped to Cowley for assembly.

      • hefner
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        It is not a new Mini, that’s the same body, so using the same Cowley plant makes sense. The electric engine and batteries are the new bits designed and produced in Germany, then shipped to Britain, where the final assembly will take place.
        Depending how one looks at it, it is certainly good for UK workers, maybe not so much for the supposedly accelerated development of the electric car industry in the UK, as most of the R&D on these electric engines (within the BMW group at least) will not happen in the UK.

        • libertarian
          Posted July 28, 2017 at 1:40 pm | Permalink


          The fact that you actually believe that R&D especially breakthrough technology is undertaken by one company in one country is absolutely laughable.

          You’ve clearly never been involved in business or R& D or indeed innovation of any kind

    • libertarian
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

      Oh dear PvL & Tabulazero

      Steer clear of business fellas stick to whining that you lost

      BMW have announced that the new electric model of the iconic Mini will be manufactured in the UK, not in Germany. The car will be built at the firm’s Cowley plant, near Oxford. Business Secretary Greg Clark said the move was a sign that the UK is now “the go-to place in the world for the next generation of vehicles“.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

        Oh look chaps

        CBI Quarterly Trends survey, a long-standing survey of 397 blue-chip manufacturers which shows the state of Britain PLC. This quarter is astounding when you remember the predictions of economic disaster rolled out by George Osborne last year. The numbers are awesome:

        32% of manufacturers said employee numbers with headcount increasing at the fastest rate for three years and hiring intentions for the coming quarter also improved.
        Expectations for growth in export orders improved to a four-decade high.
        Export optimism is strong, 43% of firms said the volume of output over the past three months was up – the highest since January 1995.
        35% of businesses reported an increase in total orders.
        Domestic orders were up +19%, with export orders growth remaining strong at +17%.
        Alongside robust expectations for demand, firms accumulated raw materials at the fastest pace in forty years and stocks of work-in-progress expanded at a record rate. Strong confidence levels saw stock building of raw materials (+20%) which was the strongest since April 1977 (+22%), whilst stocks of work-in-progress rose (+16%).

        • Edward2
          Posted July 26, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

          Odd that this report didn’t seem to get onto BBC TV nor BBC radio

  5. agricola
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Offering tariff free trade to the German car industry is fine , but not in isolation. We do not want pick and mix tariff arrangements which might suit a few big players in the CBI. For me it is either tariff free trade on everything or reversion to WTO rules.

    Discussions with German car manufacturers should emphasise that to achieve their ends, pressure needs to be brought via the German government on the EU. The EU are only interested in the integrity of what they have constructed. There is no evidence that they care for their citizens, quite the opposite in fact. It is up to the players and their governments with huge economic interests to achieve tariff free trade.

  6. Nigel
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Sterling has come down in value against the Euro by more than 10% since the Brexit vote, so UK manufacturers should be in a position to absorb the potential 10% WTO duty. On the other hand, EU manufacturers would need to face not only the 10% WTO duty, but also the increased cost of producing in Euros.
    The German motor manufacturing organisation has suggested that if there is no deal, that could affect investment in the UK. This sounds like they are running scared, and beginning to realise the problems they would face.
    We need to play hardball.

  7. Richard1
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Until a couple of weeks ago we were hearing from Continuity Remain that a trade deal with the US was a pipe dream, especially with a protectionist President like Trump. During the last week or so it’s looked more likely there will be such a deal, but the opposition has switched – now we shouldn’t want a trade deal with the US because we might have to eat chlorinated chicken and animal welfare standards might be lowered. It sounds a desperate point – why is a trade deal with the US less attractive than one with the EU? I’ve never worried about what I eat in the US or Canada or been poisoned with chlorine – has anyone else?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      No, you are right. We of course need to get ourselves into a position whereby we can replace most or all of what we buy from Europe. If the EU is insistent on placing barriers to trade, fine, we shop at home or elsewhere. An intent to replace some of those European products with N American ones will not only bring our trade more closely into balance with both the US and EU, but will itself help Mr Fox to secure a good US deal. A weaker dollar and stronger Euro will only reinforce that trend.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      Correct. I think in many ways American consumers are more savvy than us. The chlorine chicken story is yet another leg of project fear. Chlorine kills the bugs so prevalent in UK birds.
      I find American food excellent.
      You have to ask why would German car manufacturers want to move production.
      When Peugeot closed the Ryton plant they lost loads of corporate business.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Dear Richard–Everything is a chemical when you come right down to it and besides as I read it the European Safety people are happy, it being the EU that is causing trouble. Didn’t notice any smell of Chlorine when I lived in America. America is litigious beyond belief so the idea that what they are doing is dangerous is hard to believe. The Chlorine is there for a reason, which I would have thought the recent reports about dangerous chicken (E coli, Salmonella) in our supermarkets would have made highly understandable. The chicken I understand merely gets washed (ie on the surface). I’d trust America over the EU anytime–Could easily believe that the EU is on some protectionist and/or political kick.

      • Richard1
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:20 pm | Permalink

        Indeed consumer choice and power is a much better protection than regulation

      • stred
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

        I just heard Emily Matlis, who thinks she is worth an Evan and is certainly much more attractive, in Washington asking Dr Fox whether we would be accepting terrible things like chlorinated chicken BECAUSE IT IS CHEAPER TO PRODUCE. No Emily, cleaning the birds to reduce salmonella costs money and it is bette than eating dirty continental chicken.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Enjoy your chicken then… the death of the British poultry industry that does not utilize chlorine … and the imposition of a hard border in Northern Ireland as the EU takes a dim view of chlorinated chicken being re-exported from the UK to the EU.

      I am always surprised that British people would pay so little attention to food safety. Has the people forgotten about mad cow disease yet ?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        If – and it is only “if” at the moment – we allow the importation of American chicken which has been given a chlorine treatment then obviously British producers will have the option of using it as well. They would not be able to then export it to the EU but as I recall we import far more poultry products from the EU than we export to them.


        “Britain buys more than double (€40 billion) the agricultural produce from Europe than it sells to it (€16 billion), something that also holds true individually for poultry, pork, beef and dairy.”

        I think lamb is one of the few exceptions in food and drink where we are a net exporter to the EU.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          The chicken we import from the EU may actually be less safe than that produced in the US, according to AndyTheScientist here :


          “We’re now been told it’s about the cleanliness of the chicken in the first place. In the US pre cleaning around 14% contain salmonella, in the EU it’s 15% – 20% salmonella. The USDA refused to accept this level of salmonella which is why they are being washed, in the EU we accept the high level of salmonella. It is this stricter control that requires washing. Which is a bigger health risk chlorine or pathogens? The USDA believes it is pathogens that are a bigger risk, and i don’t disagree with chicken in the UK leading to 250,000 cases of food poisoning per year, and Salmonella being responsible for 2500 hospital admissions per year.”

      • libertarian
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink


        Yes tell me about mad cow disease the one the EU banned British Beef for the one that resulted in……. Oh absolutely nothing….

        Give it up…youre clueless

    • Beecee
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      The Remainers do not not let a drop of tap water cross their lips.

      And only bottled water is available in the BBC canteens.

      Oops – forget about the ice cubes

  8. formula57
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    And their UK factories could export to countries with which the UK establishes favourable trade agreements too! Oh dear! Remoaners and associated quislings are going to be in tears over this.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Sorry, no. The man from the EU, Mr Van Leeuwen, insists that the Germans will deny themselves that opportunity by moving their car plants from the UK to Zagreb, or somewhere similar.

  9. Alan
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    It’s perhaps worth remarking that it is not the German car industry that will pay the customs tariff’s on cars that we import: it is UK residents, the buyers, who pay the tax.

    • Know-dice
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Yes, but that makes their cars potentially even more expensive and the tariff would go to the UK government not the EU in Brussels.

      • CvM
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Some comments on that:
        1. There is in no way sufficient capacity in the UK car factories to absorb the volume, so the consumer wouldn’t have the choice to buy UK made cars, there are not enough of them
        2. Top end consumers of high value imported cars could probably quite easily afford an extra 5 or 10%
        3. If you ran a German car producer what would you be doing right now, I think you’d be planning for tariffas and a bit of a loss of business (10% of your business – probably not much different to natural cycles) and finding replacement markets. IPA beer for export to India first came about when UK brewers lost access to their previous market, Russia, and so had to adapt. I am sure BMW and Mercedes would do similarly.

        In short I think the German car makers concern andgle of Brexiteers is rather overblown. And anyway I think the EU would act politically first.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

          Your point 1. is quite true, one of the many factual details I posted here back in March:


          However with imports running at about 85% of the UK car market there would be a lot of scope for UK manufacturers to maintain their production even if the EU stopped all our exports and we retaliated by stopping all their imports into the UK.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

          More to the point, what would you be doing now if you were a top-end US or Far East car maker? That juicy UK market for BMW/Mercedes/Porsche/Audi is there for the taking, guys.

          One good turn deserves another. Deutsche Bank et al can move their business to Frankfurt, so we’ll move our car-buying business to Gaydon, Crewe, Tokyo and Michigan.
          Not to mention Maserati, Lambo, Ferrari. The Germans and Italians have better places to sell their cars tariff-free, apparently.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Hence we would buy Honda, Toyota, Nissan, JLR, Chevrolet, Tesla…. or Mini.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        That’s been my policy for years. I’m on my third Civic and mighty fine cars they are.

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Yes, I agree and that will make the cars much less attractive when there are competitors like Lexus, Mitsubishi, Tesla here wanting their market share. It’s a shame we sold up Rover and Mini now isn’t it especially when they’d just started to get their acts together at the time.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

      Yes but in a competitive marketplace you can only sell at a price the market will bear;that may involve importers absorbing at least some of that extra cost.

    • Bob
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink


      “it is UK residents, the buyers, who pay the tax.”

      and they have the choice between buying an EU car or buying a tariff free British made car or Japanese, Korean, American etc.

      Any tariffs raised on EU imports could be used to provide subsidies to British car manufactures to offset tariffs charged on their exports to the EU.

      It’s just a “money go round”, and due to the trade imbalance, the UK would benefit most.

      • Know-dice
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        “British made car”


        That should probably read “British assembled car” 🙁

  10. BartD
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    All very well but I have just come up from France and many there are not in favour of a long transitional period. In any case i’m sure those who can afford new german cars can also afford to pay the extra 10 per cent tariff charge. Don’t see that there is a problem

    • Bob
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      The French would be in favour of a “long transitional period”?
      Really, what a surprise !

      I hear that the other 26 would also be in favour of a “long transitional period”? 🙂

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Well, the French will regret it when their roads are clogged with trucks backing up over the border to Brussels because all goods trade with the UK has ground to a halt the day after we leave without all the proper practical arrangements in place … oh, no, sorry, I forgot, of course that will only apply this side of the Channel, where we will very quickly descend into food riots once the supermarket shelves have been stripped bare as confidently predicted by one blogger. That is, unless we see sense and follow his exact prescription for the process of leaving the EU …

  11. DancerJ
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Who cares what the german car industry wants we can always buy japanese and korean. After march 2019 we’ll be out of the single market and out of the customs union so we will need to get used to the idea of WTO rules. That is what we voted for and that is what the government is bound to deliver. Going soft now eg. Liam Fox and David Davis is not an option and will not be acceptable to the majority.

  12. Peter
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Clean Brexit. No transition. Yes please.

    Unfortunately remainers are shouting more loudly than leavers.

    • Bob
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink


      “Unfortunately remainers are shouting more loudly than leavers.”

      Since they are the majority in Parliament, the BBC and MSM it comes as no surprise. They seek to control us, they do not accept democracy unless it agrees with their ideology.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      David Davis now has many hundreds of civil servants at his command but he cannot spare a dozen to make sure those shouting remainers are contradicted.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        His are working whilst theirs only have the opportunity to complain.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Only when the workers or workers unions within the EU start to press their own Countries about their own jobs, reliant on continuing and future trade with the UK, will some proper pressure be put on the EU’s negotiating team.
    Until then we will need to hold firm and resist suggestions of payment or other forms of EU controlled add on’s for trade.

    First we need all of our Politicians to get fully behind our negotiation team.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:28 pm | Permalink


  14. Ben Hur
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Peugeot Citroen unit sales in China, I read very recently, have declined 48% in this last twelve months. They do not have an issue with diesel fume creative accounting technology nor accusations of creative liaising in regard to other price and technology issues like the German car industry.
    Not a time for European car makers to lose a British market.
    Didn’t someone on here say we didn’t as a nation have our own car manufacturing base?If true that could be a blessing in disguise. China, Iran, and India have not only worked out how to make fireworks and create alphabets and languages, they know how to build a car. They found that if they put four of those chariot wheels…which they invented long before Charleton Heston drove a chariot in AD 26 , and put a scrap engine…….then….

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      If it’s a choice between driving the lastest BMW but being under EU diktat or driving a Chinese MG but being free, where do we stand?

  15. Richard1
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    I just heard a hilarious interview with a professor tim Lang from city university who declared a trade deal with the US would be a battle over food cultures – do we want to go on with the great Europeanisation of our food culture under which pizza has become childrens’ favourite food (Q: is this good & isn’t it also true in the US?) or do we want the “macdonaldisation of our culture”? He made an erroneous reference to the repeal of the corn laws, saying that was a question of do we want cheap food from the colonies in return for lower ‘standards’. It was not – the repeal of the corn laws was akin to leaving the CAP – agricultural protectionism, vigorously defended by the landlowning class, was abandoned in favour of free trade, which led to lower food prices.

    The objections of some of these Continuity Remain types and the prominence given by the BBC to their scares is becoming ridiculous.

    Australia has just signed a trade deal with the US. Have Australians abandoned any care over food standards? The question is absurd.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      But the popularity of pizza in the UK may have developed more from Britons watching US television programmes and films than from Britons visiting Italy. Now there’s a research topic for some lucky student …

  16. Peter
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Ryanair spokesman now claiming there will be no flights from Britain after Brexit.

    Ryanair try to bully airports and cities into subsidising them for using their particular airports. Now they are trying to bully a whole country.

    Fly off Ryanair!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

      Interesting one this.

      Supposing the US copied the EU-US open skies agreement into a UK-US agreement but the EU spitefully refused a UK-EU agreement, where would that leave US airlines who would have insufficient capacity to replace LHR flights for onward connection to EU airports with those to multi-various destinations within the EU? It’s possibly a high value card which we hold, effectively LHR is a gateway to and from the world to the EU.

      Ryanair is an inconsequential sprat in this scenario.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Looks like Ryan Air will be shoved out by Easyjet then

      EasyJet has announced its largest ever intake of new cabin crew, recruiting an enormous 1,200 extra staff. More than half of that number will be based at London Gatwick.

  17. JM
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The reason they want a long transition is so that they kind unwind their supply chains in an orderly fashion. It is a Trojan horse.

  18. Peter Wood
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Lets look at this issue logically; tariffs are just a threat, a negotiating ploy. Nobody, BUT NOBODY wants tariffs! It must be apparent to all with a pulse that returning to hard boarders would be extremely costly for all especially EU nations, 27 of them, who would have to gear up to check all imports from the UK. Barnier the temp, if he’s still around at the end, will give way on tariff free trade IF we pay a leaving fine. Lets call the German bluff, since it is they who will benefit most from our paying a fine.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

      BTW, isn’t it fun to see a Frenchman worry about the timetable! Is there any more obvious indication that he’s working on German instruction?

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted July 25, 2017 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Yes if only DD had replied “yes but it’s a Swiss clock”. Sometimes you need to be quick.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Why on earth should we pay “a leaving fine”? Are we doing something wrong by leaving the EU under a withdrawal clause which they said they wanted to be put into the treaties – first via the EU Constitution, then via the Lisbon Treaty – and which says nothing at all about any “leaving fine”to be levied on the departing state.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      My supposition is this divorce bill scam is a cover for not having to delve into all the minutiae of the EU’s finances, which have been unaudited for decades. Our asking for proof of any liabilities is a de facto audit.

  19. Prigger
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    Shadow Secretary of State for International Trade Barry Gardiner on CNBC yesterday was largely non-critical of Liam Fox and his Trade trip to America.
    Gardiner was asked about China no doubt becasue he seems unusually zealous about Sino-British trade. So, he had much more to say about prospect for that than with US-UK trade. Maybe he was firing a canon volley across the bows of America. He did receive an American downward lipped look. So they did duck.
    He never mentioned Germany.

  20. Original Richard
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I would have thought that trading with the EU under WTO rules would mean the German car manufacturers would like to increase their car production in the UK to overcome the UK tariff and non-tariff barriers, especially if the UK signed FTA deals with other countries.

    I would also think that the German government and certain car manufacturers will be worried about action from the UK as a result of their continuing diesel emissions cheating scandals once the UK has left the EU vice.

  21. oldtimer
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The recent comments from Europe sound like, and probably are, the EU variation on project fear. If the German Finance Minister, Schauble, says that Brexit will be a disaster for Germany then I am ready to believe him. It is no surprise to me that public comments by German industrialists will likely be adapted to reflect that concern and to influence British thinking.

    There are many comments, from within the EU, that the British position is unclear. I thought the position was and is very clear – we are leaving the EU and have offered to continue to trade freely with the EU. It is for the EU to decide how to respond to that offer. If the EU decides to revert to WTO terms of trade then inevitably there will be an adjustment in markets to that change. There will also be a market adjustment to any free trade deals that the UK concludes with other countries.

    For example if the UK concludes a free trade with the USA it would, presumably, include motor vehicles. Tariff free car imports from the USA would surely have some impact on the UK car market especially if the EU had opted to accept a 10% duty on its exports to the UK. No doubt the manufacturers would respond – perhaps even to the extent of the German manufacturers supplying the UK from their US factories rather than from Germany if this was the more economic alternative. Meantime Jaguar Land Rover is well on the way to completing its new assembly plant inside the EU in Slovakia (a decision that was taken well before the Brexit vote).

  22. Mick
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The only reason along with the remoaners that the Germans want a long transition period is so that can try and keep us in the eu, don’t take us for idiots, When I voted out I knew it meant customs union out and single market out because it quite clearly said so.
    I think all the people who voted for that are all been let down and we all knew this would happen. If the Tories do screw us and do keep us in the eu by the back door then you will at your peril at the next GE

  23. hans chr iversen
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    according to the New York Times this morning, “We will have a fuzzy Brexit with a long transition period.”

    So, John’s talk about a clean break in March under WTO rules is just another of his many illusions.

    • miami.mode
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      hci. Your comment is akin to saying that a football spectator on the terraces knows more about his team’s strategy than one of the players.

  24. Bert Young
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    The German car industry is linked to this country in many ways apart from vehicle imports . Design and research has always been one of the features of our automotive industry and is one of the reasons all – except for Ferrari , of the Formula One teams are located here . British designers have for many years headed up the creative and technical departments of the German auto industry largely the result of the training of designers from Royal College of Art in London . The Germans are very good follow up manufacturers .

    Of course the Germans want to continue the links with this country . They earn a lot of their GDP through our purchases and our skills .

  25. Peter D Gardner
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    Whatever the German car industry might want, I yearn for something, anything, in the media that indicates Mrs May’s government is not going to allow ECJ jurisdiction, freedom of movement, or pay anything, in order to trade with the EU. Why is it so difficult? UK should not be giving in to anything the EU wants unless doing so would give UK a clear advantage over countries that do not and never have belonged to the EU. Even then only provided sovereignty is not compromised. It should not even be considered. Why is it so difficult? Yet every day any number of gross penalties to UK are reported as being under consideration. Would the government please get its act together?
    And to add insult to injury the government is busy on all sorts of irrelevant trivia, like gender assignment and other silly nonsense.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    If there was a real economic case for the UK to stay in the EU (or in its single market or in its customs union) then its advocates would not find it necessary to constantly resort to partial information, distortions, deliberate exaggerations and outright lies.

    So for example we would not have Cameron visiting a UK car factory and extolling our car industry as one of our great exporting industries without having the honesty to point out that the UK car industry is indeed very successful in exporting outside the EU, where it runs a healthy trade surplus, but it is not so successful in exporting to the rest of the EU where it runs a chronic and massive trade deficit, which then more than counteracts the surplus with the rest of the world.

    There is an argument that we could actually be better off with tariffs on the trade in cars with the EU, which would cut back their penetration of our domestic market, and we are being very generous by offering to continue with tariff free trade. The idea that we should then pay them an annual fee to continue with a trading system which is to their net benefit is of course totally barmy, as barmy as the idea that if you want to have free trade in cars then you must also accept uncontrolled and unlimited migration.

  27. Toffeeboy
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    The level of economic illiteracy in these posts is staggering. The only reason we have a car industry is because we’re in the single market. Our domestic market on its own is insufficient to support modern car manufacturing. When customs checks choke off imports of both components and the cars themselves, manufacturers are certain to quit these shores.
    And who can really blame the EU for wanting to steal this manufacturing activity from the UK. FDI has resulted in us being massive beneficiaries of being part of THEIR single market. The trouble is, the Brexiteers have never had the honesty to tell you there were actually one or two goods things about our membership of the EU!

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

      You don’t need to be an economist to understand that international supply chains can work very well without being in a ‘single market’. But you do need to understand a bit about manufacturing logistics and IT. It is only a matter of practical organisation and technology. That is all.

    • Chris S
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Utter rubbish.

      We are the fifth largest economy in the world and 2.6m new cars were registered in the UK in 2016. We manufactured 1.7m cars here so there is plenty of scope for manufacturing in Britain to expand and satisfy our domestic market.

      We lost our British-owned manufacturing base because of staggeringly inept management, Union intransigence and a lack of political willpower. It’s regrettable that others had to come in and show us how it could be done but that’s water under the bridge. UK plants are the most efficient in Europe and our cost base is low.

      With recent reductions in the exchange rate, no sensible manufacturer is going to move out of the UK. After all the pound has fallen by more than the 10% that tariffs would add to the price of our cars in Europe.

  28. Prigger
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Also Mr Speaker was actually wrong. He should take some form of medication as is his wont and impertinent advice at every turn and re-read the sentence, noting it was spoken English, but even if it were not, it would be correct.
    The Scottish National Party was not 21 fewer but 21 less. The Scottish SNP MPs,( not mentioned ) were 21 fewer .
    Bercow should go. His Englishness is wanting

  29. Chris S
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    If the EU was acting logically and sensibly there would be a trade deal done before the end of the two year exit period. Unfortunately as always in Brussels, they put the interests of the Union ahead of those of the member states or the people.

    In the case of Germany, nobody is under any illusion that it’s Germnay that’s calling the shots on everything these days. Of course Merkel is going to put the survival of the Union first, but it’s the survival of the Euro in its present form that she is really concerned about.

    She knows that if the Euro were to break up, the new currency that Germany would end up with would appreciate by at least 40% against France, 50% against Italy and 25% against the pound. Who will buy German cars then ? They could not be produced in Germany and sold at a saleable price almost anywhere else.

    Merkel is playing a game, doing the absolute minimum to keep the Euro alive. But she’s been lucky : up to now she has been able to keep the Euro going without collectivising the debts across the Eurozone. However, while she runs such a huge trade surplus with the other members (breaching EU rules in the process ) the problems of the EZ just get worse.

    She has to protect the Euro at all costs. Everything else is subservient to that. Ultimately she cannot succeed but the single currency will flounder on for a long time yet.

    Brexit is a side show. She is perfectly prepared to sacrifice the sales of German cars in the UK and the jobs of German car workers as long as it keeps the Euro project alive.

    Reply Germany has lent 850 bn Euro interest free to poorer EU countries via the ECB

    • Chris S
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      “Lent” is the term Merkel would use but we here all know that this vast sum will never be repaid but do the German taxpayers who provided the cash realise this ?

      Merkel is propping up the whole house of cards by pretending, in the case of Greece, that the money will be repayable when even the IMF are saying it’s impossible and that debt relief is essential to enable that country to get out from under. For domestic political reasons Merkel seems to be unable to agree to this.

      Not sure what the current situation is but the IMF was refusing to participate in further support for Greece unless debt relief was part of the package.

  30. EdG
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    From what I see the WTO is even more complicated an organisation that the EU, it is probably bigger than the United Nations itself with just as much bureaucracy. so I can’t see what’s to be gained from joining such an organisation by ourselves which is so powerful that it can compel sovereign countries to change their own laws and regs if they are out of step with WTO rules? Then there is the question of the talks on disputes and other matters etc that are held in secret- closed to the public and the media- I say ‘out of the fire and into the pan’- not exactly taking back control- and where is the democracy?

    So I don’t know what’s to be gained by leaving the customs union where all of that extra work falls on the EU administrators, for only probably more WTO bureaucracy and paperwork, and coupled with that we are going to be the new boys on the block, it will take years before we gear up and are able to hold our own at the WTO talks- not very encouraging, is it?

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

      You seem not to understand that the EU has to comply with WTO rules. It is not an alternative. It is part of the same system, only a part, and, as a protective customs union, one that is tolerated rather than welcomed..

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      “we are going to be the new boys on the block”

      Hardly: the UK was a founding member, and in its own sovereign right albeit on the premise that it was a member state of the EU.

  31. Mark B
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    I think you are losing the argument. It looks like we are going to go the EEA route. Trouble is this will, in time, lead to changes to the EU which will place the UK as an Associate Member. All the bills but none of the say. A far worse position than we currently have. All that will happen is that the UK will not join Schengen or the Euro.

    As someone here pointed out a while a go – “The fix is in !”

  32. Trumpeteer
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    Our Donald has just spoken
    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 1m minute ago
    Working on major Trade Deal with the United Kingdom. Could be very big & exciting. JOBS! The E.U. is very protectionist with the U.S. STOP!
    172 replies 300 retweets 1,220 likes
    Reply 172 Retweet 300 Like 1.2K Direct message

    • hefner
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

      In this major trade deal, the UK will (unfortunately) be the supplicant and the USofA the provider if Liam Fox goes on as he started.
      “Big and exciting”! I am not so sure if with chlorine chicken, we also get antibiotics-reared beef, and various kinds of non-labelled and potentially GM foods. As pointed above, this might not be a problem if all products were to be properly labelled as to allow real consumer choice.
      But who will defend the British consumer? Liam Fox, Michael Gove? It will be rather interesting.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 28, 2017 at 1:47 pm | Permalink


        This kind of quite frankly idiot statement just makes you look absurd .

        According to you and PvL and the EU apologists the EU is a collection of 28 countries who come together to determine their laws and regulations. Therefor to answer your silly quest the SAME people who do it now, i.e. civil servants in the various DEFRA, Food Safety etc etc departments of state . For crying out loud why do you people think that countries can’t operate without unelected politicians ? there are 48 countries in Europe and 197 in the world, the WTO regulate international trade and 27 little protectionist countries in EU are well behind the curve. In general US food standards are far HIGHER than EU ones.

  33. The Prangwizard
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    There is too much talk generally about what we will import under any new arrangements around the world. I want to hear what we will export . We must absolutely insist on others buying our stuff in exchange for allowing their products in. We are in great need of a programme to expand our depleted industrial and manufacturing capacity. We can’t talk about cars all the time.

    The City and services has for too long also has been getting too much attention. It is draining the rest of the economy dry of talent.

  34. Tabulazero
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    But what does the British poultry industry want ?

  35. Tabulazero
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

    I see many comments about car manufacturers but have most of the people on this blog realised that all those cars factories built by the German and the Japanese were not solely meant to service the UK domestic market but for re-export to the rest of the EU and the world ?

    The UK represents 19% of new registrations which is big but behind Germany 22% and not too far from France’s 15%. Put together Spain and Italy and you have a bigger car market than the UK.

    German and Japanese manufacturers already operate plant outside the UK in continental Europe as you all know.

    When a new model needs to be produced, there is actually a competition held among all the different plants. Nissan Sunderland is competing not so much against Audi or BMW but rather directly against Nissan Barcelona or Nissan Avila which will have going forward the advantage of being inside of the single-market and not exposed as such to tariffs.

    That’s going to be a tough nut to crack for Sunderland, especially if Spanish authorities suddenly decide to woe the Japanese manufacturers and why wouldn’t they since there are some good paying jobs to potentially bring back to Spain ?

    Production, capex and ultimately jobs are very much likely to move back over time to the continent if tariffs are imposed.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Oh give up

      You haven’t got a clue what you are talking about . I can’t be bothered to show show the data refuting all of your silly nonsense

      Its instructive that hard liner remainers are so absolutely ignorant of business and trade

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps we could protect our Sunderland and other UK plants by insisting mobility funded cars are assembled in the UK.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      It’s not tariffs that dictate where a car company sets up or moves to.
      Workforce skills and costs, taxation, law and order, transport links, local sub con suppliers,land costs and taxes etc
      The recent fall in the pound v the Euro now makes it 15% more competitive to export to the EU from the UK versus a max 10% tariff

  36. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    It would be nice if we could make a bilateral trade deal with Germany but it would require a sea change in the policy of the EU and Germany. Still, there is no harm in asking. They can only say ‘no’ and asking might lead Germany to apply pressure to the protectionist Member States.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 25, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      The Germans can only say ‘no’ while they are in the EU with its customs union and common commercial policy. Interestingly according to Labour’s Barry Gardiner the Turks can only say ‘no’ as well:


      “Other countries such as Turkey have a separate customs union agreement with the EU. If we were to have a similar agreement, several things would follow: the EU’s 27 members would set the common tariffs and Britain would have no say in how they were set. We would be unable to enter into any separate bilateral free trade agreement. We would be obliged to align our regulatory regime with the EU in all areas covered by the union, without any say in the rules we had to adopt. And we would be bound by the case law of the ECJ, even though we would have no power to bring a case to the court.”

      “More important, were, say, the EU to negotiate an agreement with the US that was in the union’s best interests but against our own, our markets would be obliged to accept American produce with no guarantee of reciprocal access for our own goods into the US.

      Turkey faces precisely such an asymmetry with Mexico, with which the EU negotiated an agreement 20 years ago. Turkey still faces a 20% tariff on its clothing goods exported to Mexico, while it imports Mexican cars on a tariff-free basis.”

      He correctly concludes:

      “Labour has been right to say the government must focus on the outcomes rather than the structures. The key is not to try to fit these political and economic requirements into inappropriate existing bodies such as the EEA or the customs union, but to develop a bespoke agreement based on what both sides need.”

      Which is what the government has been saying.

  37. ian
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    APL. Deutsche bank is all talk, first of all they would have to inform their investors of the move to see if they want to move, or stay where they are or move to a new investment house. As the 300 billion they want to move out of 1.8 trillion, is less than 20% of there investment hear. If a fall out happen in the market, or mark to market came back, that 300 billion would fall to 30 billion over night. So if i was you i would not lose any sleep over it, and any way they all going to get rid of their staff, because all going be done by AI.

    I have never bought anything from germany that i can think of, and most properly never will.

  38. John O'Leary
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    Do you really think this is all about tariffs or are you just being obtuse?

  39. ChasE
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    The German car industry is not the EU and neither is JR on the UK negotiation team. So if we’re out of the customs union, which is likely the way it’s going to end up, then tariffs will have to apply according to WTO rules- probably 10% charges on imported cars. The only way around that is to buy domestic- what’s so hard to understand?

    • David Price
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 4:55 am | Permalink

      The US, Korea, Japan and China also manufacture cars and trade agreements allow for variations from the generic WTO position.

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Off-topic, a quite decent article but with a poor headline, here:


    “European law will apply ‘for years’ in the UK, says EU judge”

    I’ve said in the past that in twenty years’ time we may still have the odd EU-derived law unchanged on the statute book simply because so far there had been no pressing need to amend or repeal it. That is the situation in a post-colonial country like India, where after seven decades of independence they are still sorting out remnants of the legacy of the British Raj. There is no need to worry about it, provided that the most important of the EU-derived laws are dealt with in the early years after we leave.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 2:35 am | Permalink

      Dear Denis–Is of no consequence where any law originated, or how long ago it was transferred, provided from day one we can alter any law as and when we see fit

  41. ian
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    As you keep on insisting on voting for parties you will have to put up with what you get forever, because it will never change to you change,, You are all living in a fool paradise controlled by the corporate media. I don’t blame parties and their MPs, it’s you, because you know what your going to get before you go down to the polls to vote, but you hang on to the belief that it will be different this time or in the hope that it will, when you know full well in your mind that won’t.
    As i have said before, you deserve everything you have got coming, and no matter what you think about coming out of the eu, it is going happen anyway, it cannot be stopped.
    By sometime in the 2020s your be crying in beer or wine, and kicking yourselves for being the bigger fools because you listen to parties politician back up by big businesses media who are all controlled by investment bankers in the back ground. You listen to their propaganda like it is was the gospel. Even the next big a event you will back to doing the same old think, because know no better, like one man once said, doing the same thing over and over again and always coming up with the same result is a sign of madness.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      You need to get the Greens Lib Dems and SNP to have enough MPs to form a Govt.
      They are the only real remainers.
      Labour and Conservatives have voted to send Article 50 and want to leave the EU

  42. LenD
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    If we offer the EU tariff free then we have to offer all other WTO countries also tariff free? I can’t see how this is going to work as there will have to be some order for prices and quality if nothing else.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Not if tariff-free is part of a trade deal between the UK and the EU.

    • graham1946
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      We can offer tariff free to anyone we like and Professor Minford has promulgated that we would be far better off doing this to the whole world, even if it is not reciprocated. Tariffs only result in extra costs for our citizens and the EU at present gets most of what we are obliged to charge, in addition to our membership fee. So, although JR says our membership costs a net 10 billion, the actual cost is 13 billion. Tariffs in the EU are mostly to featherbed inefficient businesses within the EU, nothing else.

  43. Anonymous
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    BBC/NHS “Nurses are leaving because of Brexit”

    No. Because of our soft currency – the decline of which was overdue and started a year before the referendum.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      No, because of an NHS which is not run properly leading to stress for nurses and doctors and the chance of a better life in Oz or NZ.

  44. Chewy
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Right now I think the German car industries bricking it, and it’s looking likely that Merkal is going to need to do a deal with a business friendly party that wants to defend the industry.
    Donald Trump is a businessman not a politician, and he wants a trade deal with us quickly. Him being president and not the anti-British Obama or Clinton is like mannah from Heaven for our country. The prospect of German cars facing tariffs while tariffs are removed from US cars could be huge for a president who pledged to put American workers first. Compare this to the attitude of the EU elite who put the project first and the welfare of its citizens second.
    No wonder Remainers are trying to pour cold water on such a trade deal as it will blow their hopes of keeping us in the customs union out of the water. You can be sure the Japanese will also want to exploit the coming opportunity. And this should ratchet pressure on the EU.

  45. JonP
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

    Listening to liam fox on newsnight..i think we are sunk..then listening to trump talking about his AG and his tweets..i know that we are doubly sunk

  46. lojolondon
    Posted July 25, 2017 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    Rich man buys a German car for 100k, pays no tax. Poor man buys a Korean car for 6k, pays 20% tax. I say tax the Europeans, at exactly the same rate as we tax the Far Eastern suppliers.

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    The latest news is that Germany intends to manufacture its new electrically powered mini here in UK. We can, I think, take it that Germany wants free trade in cards to continue.

    The only real potential problems that we might encounter post Brexit relate to imported food products. The US wants to sell us GM crops, hormone treated beef, chlorine washed chicken etc. which it asserts are perfectly safe. I think I’m up for it but the EU may make problems for us because these products do not comply with EU standards. I can imagine the protectionist nations in the EU alleging that there is a danger of our reselling US products into the Single Market. And we can expect Prince Charles to take the EU’s part in this.

    There’s one issue we need to consider: how much protection should we give our farmers? Or put another way – how self sufficient in food do we need to be if we are ever faced with fighting a war?

    • graham1946
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      There is much in what you say about food production. However, despite modern technology, this country could not now be self sufficient. During World War Two the country had a population of about 48 million and we dug up every square inch of land for the ‘Dig for Victory’ campaign but still had to endure harsh rationing even up to about 7 or 8 years after the war. I still remember going with my Mum to the butchers with her ration book to be given a small portion of meat to last the week. Some say we were much healthier then, and perhaps we were, but I don’t want that again. Hopefully in negotiations with the US we will find a sensible solution and the negotiators have what you say in mind.

  48. Tasman
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 5:04 am | Permalink

    It is certainly a tough choice for German carmakers. Either they carry on operating in a market of 400 million consumers in the EU-27 or they rush to rescue the Brexit fantasies of John Redwood. I wonder which way they will jump?

    Reply They will choose to serve both markets!

    • Tabulazero
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

      For now.

      But ultimately they may be tempted to move production to the most efficient / lower tax base. It might not be the UK anymore, especially if Corbyn ever get to be PM.

      Reply They do that whether a country is in or out of the EU. We have lost production to East Europe whilst being members

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Do you have some kind of problem with John Redwood?

    • a-tracy
      Posted July 26, 2017 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

      Talk like this is very damaging for German, and French for that matter vehicle manufacturers presently. The EU shouldn’t be playing political games with business it isn’t fair. People in the UK will put off buying/replacing large ticket items until they are sure they will be cost effective, fully serviced with low-cost replacement parts and that replacements will be found quickly. My husband’s German car has been off the road now for over a week due to a missing tool, it’s getting quite old now and is due for replacement. Instead of rushing ahead we will wait and see.

      Of the 27 EU countries, there are only about five or six that are actually contributing I don’t think you’re factoring that in Tasman. The EU are encouraging these smaller Countries to get into tremendous debt, as indeed the UK has also been blindly getting up to the neck in Government and individual debt and it’s to be hoped May’s government doesn’t do some stupid deal, where we pay in with no say because that would be totally ridiculous.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted July 26, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Business in France and Germany will do as their respective political classes will tell them. Just look at the Russian sanctions as a recent example, with Chancellor Merkel puting foreign policy ahead of economic interests.

        I would not put too much faith in the Great EU Peasant Revolt Mr Redwood seems sometimes to wish for in his posts to solve the UK’s problem with Brexit.

        If there is a revolt, it will have more to do with Labour reform than Brexit.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 28, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink


      Dont ever go into business, you haven’t got a clue.

  49. ian
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Hi, Mr Edwards how are you, getting fed up with my bad English again, i was’t actually writing about stay-in the eu, because i don’t like the eu and never have, i was writing about when you come out it will be business usual with the two main parties making decision for people of the country, and doing the things as usual that people hear do not like, wasting money on big white elephants and so on, with the beer or wine comment meaning that you going to vote to have shirt rid off your back.
    I nearly hit my target of 1.6 growth 3 months late, but book fiddling is out of my control, and the 10 year bond hovering at 1.25 percent, which is quite away up on last year, and will need a big sale assets to sort out like RBS. See you at the bottom in the 2020s Mr Edwards, less of course your a person in the know and wear two shirts.

  50. Labour convert
    Posted July 26, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    So we were told get rid of petrol cars and buy diesel. Now get rid of everything, being a bad idea because electric cars will be the norm. Anything, anything, no matter how ridiculously expensive and requiring absolutely debilitating major infrastructure and manufacturing changes than reduce the population in London by one third.

    The Tory Cabinet and its communal brain has gone AWOL. The sooner the totally incompetent Labour Party under Mr Corbyn gets into power the better. Even if he has such disastrous industrial and economic ideas his government will be so bureaucratic and incompetent that none of it will come to pass. VOTE Corbyn and save the UK!!!

  • 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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