The good things we can do as soon as we leave the EU – lets cut green taxes and much more

One of the extraordinary things about the main Opposition parties in the Commons and much of the UK establishment is their failure to engage in working out all the good things we will be able to do as soon as we can make our own laws, set our own taxes and spend our own money.

One of the areas I identified and pursued before the referendum was the question of tax cuts that are illegal under EU law. There seemed to be near universal support for the abolition of VAT on sanitary products, so I trust that repeal will go through the Commons easily as soon as we are free. There was no opposition to the idea that we should abolish VAT on green products. Currently we have to charge VAT on controls for boilers and heating systems, on draught excluders, insulators and much else that can cut fuel bills. I hope a Conservative Chancellor will propose an early removal of these charges which impede reducing needless fuel use and keep more people on low incomes struggling to pay the fuel bills. I am disappointed that the Green party does not make a bigger noise against these taxes on fuel saving.

A more expensive item is VAT on domestic heating fuel itself. We are not allowed to remove this all the time we remain in the EU. Given the political sensitivity about fuel bills and the general view in the country that they are too high, removing this tax charge would make a welcome inroad into this difficulty.

Then there is the question of spending levels. Both sides agreed there would be substantial savings of contributions when we left, though there was a long and largely pointless debate over whether you should look mainly at the gross or the net figure. I would like us to leave and cease all payments by the end of March 2019, and would like to see some of the savings announced as extra spending on health and social care in the March 2018 budget ahead of departure.

We can reform our fishing policy to reclaim and improve our fishing grounds. We can design a farming policy that promotes more home grown food. There are so many opportunities. It is high time we had a proper debate about the upside to becoming a self governing country.

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96 Comments

  1. Liam Hillman
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    How about we leave any savings made in Taxpayers’ pockets instead? Individuals know better how to spend their hard earned money than Politicians or Civil Servants ever can. Many may even decide to invest in Private Medical Insurance, thereby relieving the State-sponsored medical monopoly, the NHS of some of its burdon, or open a Private pension fund, resulting in a more prosperous, independent retirement. However they decide to dispose of their money, it will stimulate the economy, to the benefit of all of us.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Dear Liam–Agreed–Instead of the inevitably trumped-up phony arguments between Parties (it is the nature of the beast) about which particular tax to reduce or drop it seems unarguable to me that Way To Go is reduction in the Standard Rate. What would be not to like?

      • Liam Hillman
        Posted August 29, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        My thoughts exactly, Leslie!

    • NickC
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      Savings depend on how completely and cleanly we break from Brussels control.

      At the moment it is not looking good, with Labour officially U-turning on support for the Leave vote. Indefinite transition deals mean continued EU control, CJEU jurisdiction, and ongoing payments to the EU. So no savings.

      It seems to me that the combined force of the establishment, big business, and continuity Remain have now won the post Referendum battle. So now it is 1 – 1 all.

      Can the government with a tiny majority, and Remains in its midst, pull off a clean true Brexit or will we get a worst-of-all-possible-worlds expensive fake Brexit where we are still beholden to the EU in all but name?

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Indeed and lets stop all the damaging subsidies for the rent seeking purveyors of green crap. Let them get it working and competitive than people will buy it without any tax payer bribes for moronic schemes like imported bio fuels, pv and wind.

    I see that “lets piss tax pauers money down the drain” HS2 is already causing huge disruption to trains today with Euston shut for the weekend. Why can no one in government think or do sums? Not their money so what do they care.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      “Why can no one in government think or do sums? Not their money so what do they care.”

      Sums up nicely the general impracticable, incompetent and self-serving nature of Politicians. How can anyone appreciate a concept of “Check and Balance” if there is no direct personal accountability?….and I am clearly not speaking about the EU…that is tacit!

  3. Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    “Single Market” does not exist: it is in fact supported by two pillars. The EU/EEA is just one of them.
    You can do nearly all of the above when we leave the Single Market (as agreed) and join the European Free Trade Area.
    One of the major problems with the current drift is that, at midnight on 30/3/2019 we become a third country – outside all trade with the Common Market.
    Inside the EFTA/EEA we remain a full EEA member but get free of the CAP, CFP and ECJ.
    Taxes are fixed inside the EFTA countries, not by the new EU Finance Minister (already in the pipeline) and, of course, our contributions are much reduced too.
    I simply cannot understand why this so obvious solution, which includes a solution to the Irish border question, has not been adopted.
    Can anyone out there explain?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Yes, but as you never listen it’s not worth bothering.

    • NickC
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Mike, It seems the Remains are completely, and oddly, desperate to remain under the control of the EU in some fashion. In almost a last ditch measure you advocate EU control by fax as happens as a result of the EEA agreement with some EFTA countries.

      There is nothing terribly difficult about being independent of the EU. Most of the world is not in the EU (164 countries, counting EFTA nations as controlled by the EU). There is absolutely no reason why we should not be the 165th.

      Can anyone out there explain why Remains fear freedom and independence so much?

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, but this is such a GNOSTIC argument:

        The EU: evil Remainers: idiots The UK: Utopia

        The reality is more grey. The EU is both good and bad. Remainers, like Brexiters, make good and stupid arguments about the EU/Brexit. And the UK is, sadly, not Utopia but riddled with all kinds of serious economic and social and cultural and political problems, whether we were in or out of the EU – and problems far, far, far worse than whether we were in or out of the EU. And we’re self-indulgently ignoring all these problems that need addressing – NOW – by focusing so much time and energy on the EU / Brexit

        • NickC
          Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          Ed, It has been generally the Remain politicians who have described Leave voters as thick and not knowing what we voted for. That sort of language has not been typical of Leave politicians’ opinions of Remains.

          The UK is definitely not Utopia, and hopefully never will be. But we can only correct such evils as we find in the UK if we have the power to do so. Hence we are wresting that power back from the EU.

          The EU is evil. The EU is corrupt, centralising, bureaucratic, technocratic, cultural-marxist, anti-democratic, anti-Christian, corporatist, and its power structure is a self-serving, self-appointed oligarchy. The EU has no redeeming features whatsoever.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

            @Nick

            I certainly don’t think Brexiters are stupid (SOME say stupid things, same for remainers). I think they make a lot of good arguments. But overall, i think we’re better in BUT that the EU has to be reformed.

          • NickC
            Posted August 28, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

            Ed,
            “… I think we’re better in …”
            Who is the “we”? Especially when “we” (ie the UK) disappears due to “ever closer union” into the USE. And, better in what way?

            “… the EU has to be reformed.”
            Indeed. But what “reforms”? And since it hasn’t happened in 44 years, why is it different this time?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

          But nobody has said anything like that, Ed, it’s all pure invention on your part!

    • alan jutson
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

      mike

      There are well over a hundred other Countries we can trade with who are all outside the EU are they all paupers.

      Just because we leave the EU does not mean we cannot trade with them or them with us, so I see no problem at all other than perhaps a delay at the borders but that can cut both ways ion they want to be difficult.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        ‘so I see no problem at all’

        – What sort of business do you run?

        Then let’s see what others in your industry say, about leaving the single market, and why.

  4. Bryan Harris
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Yes – It is time:

    – time we started to think for ourselves;

    – time to use taxation effectively;

    – time we created our own future, devoid of dogma.

    JR – you have touched on some things that need to change – but to be honest, these are just the tip of the iceberge… we need so much more – in fact, we need a Blueprint for our future

    Let’s show that we are taking back full control of our country by putting down a design that we can work towards – and that would include everything from infrastructure, to education, and how we as a country make better use of the pool of talent that retiree’s could provide.

    OH YES, It is time for that debate….

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      ‘time we started to think for ourselves’

      – Yes, and be more critical of the press who often write all sorts of sensationalist nonsense (mixing truth with lies), getting people into a frenzy, and diminishing their readers’ faculty for critical thinking / thinking for themselves.

      (And worst are those politicians who used to be journalists, and using those skills now for similar reasons as the press).

  5. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Well, it seems the eurofederalists have finally won the battle in the Labour party:

    https://www.theguardian.com/global/2017/aug/26/labour-calls-for-lengthy-transitional-period-post-brexit

    and so thanks to Theresea May throwing away her Commons majority in an unnecessary general election urged upon her by Jean-Claude Juncker:

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/jun/10/election-nicky-morgan-theresa-hard-brexit

    it may turn out that none of these desirable things are possible for four to six years:

    “In a move that positions it decisively as the party of “soft Brexit”, Labour will support full participation in the single market and customs union during a lengthy “transitional period” that it believes could last between two and four years after the day of departure, it is to announce on Sunday.”

    Or maybe they will never be possible, until the EU decides they should be possible.

    Of course there’s always the possibility that Labour will switch back; that might be more likely if David Davis could just get his PR act together and launch an effective mass media counter-attack to the ongoing pro-EU anti-Brexit propaganda campaign.

  6. Old Albion
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

    You should go to the BBC and explain this positive outlook. Oh! wait a moment. The Beeb doesn’t do positive Brexit ……………

  7. agricola
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Yes I too hope that the individual can be made to feel better off through the tax regime and that industry is given every incentive to invest and succeed in the World market place post Brexit.

  8. Andy Marlot
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    VAT was introduced because we joined the EEC now EU. Surely it should be repealed now we are leaving?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Dear Andy–Makes sense to me

    • sm
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      Yes, but didn’t we used to have something called Purchase Tax instead?

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Dear sm–Yes of course–But from (deteriorating) memory tended to be 5% not 20% and also as I recall much less paperwork indeed responsibility unlike now where HMRC gets excited quickly

    • agricola
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

      Fix the spending side of the account before cutting the income stream.

  9. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    You could also cut the unemployment count by a fifth by simply taking control of the border and determining who should actually be here. However I do not believe the Conservative party has any serious intention of ever doing this.

  10. Michael
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Consumers NOT business should be our main concern.

    We must end protectionism . Why should consumers be forced to pay more than the world market price for things. Why should uncompetitive industries be protected from competition at the expense of consumers.

    If we want highly productive industry protectionism must end. Propping up industry is a recipe for suboptimal economic performance.

  11. Alan
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    The government is already spending more than its income. Its income will go down as the UK economy is damaged by the disruption of leaving the EU. We will probably end up paying large amounts to the EU, we may even have a continuing payment to the EU for the extent of the transition period, which could drag on for years into the future. There will be extra demands on the government’s money for all the new arrangements for customs, regulators, trade negotiations, etc.

    There will be no reduction in VAT as a result of Brexit. It’s not wise to count chickens when there is little change of them being hatched.

    Our politicians need to devote serious attention to the practicalities of leaving the EU or, much better, to convincing the electorate that they made a mistake in voting for Brexit and should change their minds.

    • Prigger
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      We need to convince Remoaners who from top to bottom will not respect democracy that they should go and live in an EU country. Who knows, we may offer them temporary seasonal jobs back on our farms picking turnips. They will need an extra bob or two living in most EU nations. They are poor lot.

      • Alan
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        It’s a novel idea of democracy to expect all your opponents to leave the country.

        Unfortunately, quite a few of them will, and the rest of us will be worse off in consequence.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

        You mean you have no friends or family who voted remain? If so, how can you talk in that kind of language. 48% voted remain, most of them young to middle ages, and concerned about their jobs, mortgages and so on.
        I don’t challenge you for voting leave. But i think you could show a bit more empathy towards millions who have genuine concerns about the future, and how they’re going to pay their bills and provide for their families.

        • Prigger
          Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

          The result of the vote in which both sides agreed would be a choice “once in a generation” was LEAVE. The Remoaners had every opportunity, in fact a majority in Parliament, to stage a referendum with the idea that it would not be a choice “once in a generation” but a choice “every single day” I believe mosquitos are said to have a “new generation” each day. But they did not have the vote. Though I guess the SNP would have been in favour of them having a vote and even under 18 minutes of life mozzies too.

          Incidentally “millions” of people who voted Remain are not moaning about how the vote went, only a tiny minority who WILL NOT accept democracy. I blame the parents and the schools. No standards!

    • Longinus
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      The government doesn’t generate any income, it just steals taxpayers’ money. I think the Tories should announce some reduction in overall tax burden and link it specifically to Brexit. Then watch the proportion of remainers drop further.

      • Alan
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        You are dreaming: there will be no reduction in the tax burden, whether linked to Brexit or otherwise.

  12. JoolsB
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    It isn’t just the main opposition parties John who don’t think we can exist outside the EU. As you well know, there are many in your own party who given the chance would thwart the will of the British people given the chance and carry on being governed by Brussels.

    As for a Tory Chancellor doing good things when we leave. That would be true, if only we had a Tory Chancellor. As far as I can see, the party calling itself ‘Conservative’ is stuffed with socialists.

    When you say we can reform our fishing policy, do you mean Scotland, Wales, NI and the UK seeing as many in Government have promised to repatriate even more powers back to Holyrod, Cardiff, Stormont and London? In other words the Scots, Welsh & NI Parliaments and the UK Parliament but as usual no mention of any powers at all for England. Does that mean the Scots, Welsh & NI will decide, as with so many other things, their own fishing policy but England’s will continue to be decided by MPs from across the whole UK? If so, that is surely a recipe for disaster. How about using some of the money saved in contributions to give the English a fairer deal – equal funding for instance? Your party, you know, the one which would not exist without England, could perhaps use it to STOP their blatant discrimination against England’s young, sick and elderly!!

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      @ JoolsB

      Well said

  13. formula57
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Brexit likely will be followed by myriad missed opportunities arising from the myopia and indolence and stupidity of the UK establishment. A government department should be created to plan measures for when our liberation comes.

    Another example of what ought to be done is provided by scientific research, where swift and liberal procedures for issuing work permits to researchers and (importantly) their spouses or partners would do much to make plain how nonsensical were the claims about the death of British science post Brexit from Remainer enthusiasts, some even eminent in the research community.

  14. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Removing VAT on fuel bills and green products doesn’t go far enough John even though I am sure it would be welcomed by the public in general. Removing the carbon floor tax on gas and removing the subsidies for polluting bio mass, solar and expensive incentives for wind would be a better option. The budget for all these things has far exceeded what the government intended and the costs are rising. Every farmer we know in our area and I can assure you there are many, are jumping on the bio mass wagon and heating areas of their farms that do not require heating. All they are doing is counting the pounds that come in from it and we all have to pay for this. The government needs to get a grip and realise just what is going on on a grand scale. Until then, we cannot compete economically with other countries for manufacturing. South East Australia has the highest prices for electricity because of their renewables rate, Germany is fast catching up and the UK isn’t far behind.

  15. alan jutson
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Agree we need to look to capitalise on the future opportunities, not moan about the past.

    Shame so many MP’s cannot seem to move onwards and forwards.

    I see the Labour Party have got themselves confused even more with their statement this morning about remaining in the single Market and Customs union for an undefined period.
    Thus agreeing to remain in the EU in all but name.

  16. MikeP
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Will there be a March 2018 budget? I thought they were moving to the Autumn?
    Your post today coincides with with Sir Keir Starmer back-tracking on Labour’s position and perpetuating this myth of ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ Brexits. It’s important for the Government to stick to its guns to secure the smoothest, speediest, least costly departure, none of which should require ‘softening’ our approach at all.

  17. Mark B
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    And what about doing the things that we can do whilst still being in the EU ? Such as reducing both EU and non-EU immigration ? I state this because, it is in the governments ability to control, certainly the latter, but it refuses to do so. It is this refusal and the fact that this is a faux-Conservative government that leads me to doubt much of what our kind host says. I have not doubt about the sincerity of hosts words, but he is not the one making all the decisions.

    VAT On fuel, and not just on home heating, brings in much revenue. How is this possible going to be replaced ? You can save more by getting rid of the Green Levy / Tax that our own parliament voted for and, this currently parliament and government currently support. Again, many words but not one sign of a deed to be done.

    We cannot keep blaming the EU for just about everything when, it is our own government that is causing much harm to the nation. Leaving the EU will only, and quite rightly, place the sole burden of blame on our elected representatives. But are they up to the job post BREXIT ? Me thinks not.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Mark B

      You are not alone.

      Sadly for us (the country) our host is not making decisions.

      At least he has vision and belief in the country.

    • anon
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      One step at a time. Its remarkable what can happen when politicians are held to account in a proper democracy. I only hope we copy the Swiss a little more.

  18. Sally
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    I am getting increasingly concerned that the ‘remainers’ are winning the media war. Even this morning we are hearing all about labours position on the single market as the lead item on Radio 4.
    I understand that the conservative negotiating position needs to be kept close and not talked about in the media in case it alerts those in Brussels what our position is but I think a good PR company is needed to get these excellent points out into mainstream media and make the remainers think a bit. I mean, who could argue against the points you’ve made?
    I hope David Davis holds firm but with the BBC constantly negative I have the occasional wobble!

    • DaveM
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Sally,

      The remain side had control of the media battle from the day Cameron announced the referendum. They lost the only thing that mattered though, which was the referendum itself.

      I would be more concerned about Strong and Stable backing down to those who shout loudest in her ear. That’s what she does unfortunately.

  19. MickN
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I would like us to leave and cease all payments by the end of March 2019, and would like to see some of the savings announced as extra spending on health and social care in the March 2018 budget ahead of departure.

    I didn’t think there were to be any more March budgets or did I get that wrong.

  20. Dave Andrews
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    On the subject of VAT, I suggest a priority should be a zero rate on domestic services and building work. Having moved into a new house recently, a big part of the decision on who to engage depends on whether the business charges VAT. This puts the small business at an unfair disadvantage compared with the sole trader.

  21. Jason Wells
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    More pie in the sky, the sands are shifting and we are in fact going nowhere, reality has finally dawned, and how to get out of this dreadful mess that is brexit is the big puzzle of the day for all enlightened and well meaning leaders, both political and business.

    When we voted in 2016 the true depth and scope of the pro’s and con’s of what we were about was not laid out in an open and honest way and so the people were deceived by Tory knaves, dreamers, and by UKIP losers with nothing else left to lose, and also the ones who got their daily dose from the rag press. Then add in the swathe of disgruntled disillusioned old ie. the retired who were in their prime way back in the 1950’s and have long wished for the days of glory back- but no one was speaking or thinking of the young or planning for the future and how things would be, or could be? well now we know.

    D Davis and his team understands full well of the problem we face now as does the PM and next week and the coming months will tell a lot. the central point is that we are much much too intertwined with the EU and with EU European institutions to make that clean break that some of us would like. Cherry picking the best points of Europe like importing BMW’s without paying extra taxes and french wines etc etc and then on the side acquiring new global trade deals to compensate for the remainder is a non runner and realistically we just have to get used to a new relationship with the EU, whatever it is going to be. By now our negotiators know we cannot escape altogether from the ECJ, or the restriction on the freedom of movement of EU peoples, and there is not going to be a hard Irish border either as politically it would put us back into the 1970’s.

    So here’s looking to the future- we can of course always opt for the cliff edge, but at what cost?

    • Oggy
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      The so called ‘Cliff edge’ sounds good to me.

      • MikeW
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        Oggy .. from what I remember of the 1950’s, with rationing still in place, i don’t think you’d like the cliff edge very much.

        • alan jutson
          Posted August 27, 2017 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          Mike

          I somehow think rationing was caused by yet another problem in Europe which unfortunately was resolved, but only after millions of lives were lost.
          Unfortunately we paid a heavy financial price at the same time.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        If you were a parent with three children, struggling to pay a mortgage you simply wouldn’t be saying that. Same if you were a business owner who depends on exports to the EU.
        You might have qualms about the EU. You might even have voted Leave. But no way would you be that confident about ‘cliff edge.’

        • Oggy
          Posted August 28, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

          What makes you think I don’t have a family of 3 children ?
          The point I am making is that a no deal scenario is better than remaining in the evil empire at whatever cost.
          In other words if it came to it – it’s better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 28, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            ‘The point I am making is that a no deal scenario is better than remaining in the evil empire at whatever cost’

            – Hans Solo said to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

            ‘it’s better to rule in hell than to serve in heaven’

            – that sounds like lust for power which only brings misery.

            Only God, the Christian God of infinite power, can bring us the happiness we want.
            Best wishes

    • forthurst
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Try selling to the young people of Japan, China, India etc the idea that they should open their borders to all and sundry and surrender their sovereignty to an unelected dypsomaniac in Brussels and they would believe you to be insane; of course, the governments of those countries would never tolerate the grooming of their young by an enemy within to believe in the destrucion of their country, its history, and traditions.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

        ‘by an enemy within to believe in the destrucion of their country, its history, and traditions’

        – this sounds pretty sensationalist. Like a quote from the Express or soemthing.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      Try to free your mind from all this nonsensical doom and gloom; our future will be as an independent sovereign state, like the 160-0dd other independent sovereign states around the world outside the EU proto-federation.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        But they all sell to their closest geographical neighbours, helping the weaker businesses who can’t to do business further afield (1. cheaper to travel to and send goods over shorter distances 2. cultural differences, e.g. easier for a UK businessman to sell into the Netherlands than into Japan). And even then it’s hard enough, with Japan’s GDP only 41%, South Korea only 38% and New Zealand 37% (Netherlands’ GDP is 51%, Sweden’s 50%, and Germany’s 48%). Also, many of these countries are involved in trade deals which we’re not in and would take years to complete.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 28, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

          I take it you didn’t see the Australian High Commissioner pointing out that they had no choice but to trade with remote markets around the world, and did so very successfully.

    • NickC
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      Jason, Your Remain theories would make perfect sense except that the majority of the world is not in the EU. How ever can they manage?

      • Jason wells
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        NickC..agreed but in a geographical sense our EU trading partners are right on our doorstep..the sensible thing to do is to find a way to continue trading with them and not going off in a huff looking for some new trade deals in the south atlantic or some other remote place. The rest of the world is not slap bang up against an economic bloc of 500 million consumers who have spending power. Lucky us if only we can get over the foreigner thing?

    • Ar Cod Monger
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      If we are so intertwined with the EU then we should cut our way out like Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn did in those riverside weeds in “African Queen”. Love died somewhere after 1951 when that film was made. That and cheap fish and chips.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        If we are so intertwined with the EU then we should cut our way out like Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn did in those riverside weeds in “African Queen”

        – This is real life not Hollywood.

        • Ar Cod Monger
          Posted August 28, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          So, what you are saying is they didn’t sink that German boat?????

    • Anonymous
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Most of us have kids.

      Of course we were thinking of the young !

      The average Brexit voter was mid forties – not eighty five… the difference between us and the young ? We’ve actually raised children to adulthood and helped put then through university. Does that not count for something ?

      • Anonymous
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        PS, Most Brexit voters could well have fifty years to live and so have their own futures to worry about too.

        The EU has not suddenly cured its economic ills since we voted Brexit.

        Macron has not turned back the tide on Continental extremism since his election.

        The EU borders are still broken and the EU is in a state of incredible flux, not the status quo that Remainers claim it to be.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        ‘Most of us have kids’

        – Also, how can you not challenge those who make such aggressive, hostile, comments about remainers, many who are the kids of parents who voted leave?
        They have genuine concerns about the economy. How they’re going to pay off their mortgages. And so on. It’s one thing to vote Leave or Remain but it’s another thing to use aggressive and divisive language against those who voted the opposite to you (and sure, remainers use aggressive language as well, but then all i can say to them is: GROW UP).

    • Captcha King
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      I can’t think why the young would want freedom of competition for their jobs and housing. It’s not as though many of them could make their way in France, Italy, Spain, to redress the balance.

      It is clear that England is the destination for economic refugees (youth) from the disaster area that is the eurozone.

      So why else would our own young consider that open borders are good for them unless through indoctrination ?

  22. William Long
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    You are quite right that these are all things that could and should be done when we leave the EU. The question is, will they be done? I think it is very unlikely the present government will give most of them any consideration. We need a different Prime Minister and a very different Chancellor.

  23. Bert Young
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    There are so many ridiculous controls and regulations that have come from our being a part of the EU – almost too many to mention . Those that John has highlighted today effect each and every one of us ; I hope that we can rid ourselves of them in March 2019 .

    If we were French we would have disregarded anything that we considered not in our interest and simply got on with our ordinary day to day lives ; as a law respecting country we now face the possibility of a ” Fine ” when we leave – this on top of the huge contributions we have made year on year . The EU has failed for many years to have its accounts ” signed off ” by its Auditors – obviously it has imbibed in forms of ” assistance ” and ” payments ” that have failed scrutiny . We should NOT subscribe a further penny until all of its dubious history has been revealed and OKd .

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Well said Bert!!

  24. Prigger
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Nesh is a good word we used in Yorkshire more than now.Taxation is bad. But insulating and heating homes in the UK much of the year should only be used when entertaining a snowflake from the LibDems.

  25. Oggy
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Getting rid of the VAT on energy and other products not presently allowed by the EU should have been part of the last Tory manifesto and not the ‘punish the Tory voters’ manifesto released by the Government. Please tell Mr Hammond it’s not too late to put it in the Autumn budget.

    According to the media today (The Observer and the Brussells Broadcasting Company) Labour’s ‘new’ stance on the EU is to get a deal with the EU whereby we stay in the single market and customs union on a possible INDEFINITE basis.

    Could anyone enlighten me as to how this is ……..
    a) Leaving the EU
    b) delivering on the referendum result and the will of the majority of the British people.
    c) getting back control of our borders, money and laws,

    To Mr Starmer and Umunna et al we all know it’s just another ploy to keep us in. You are seriously out of touch with what the majority of people want !

  26. Kenneth
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    What about Conservation?

    The movement to switch to so-called renewable energy has masked what I consider to be a far more worthwhile pursuit of reducing how much energy we need in totality.

    Companies like Versarien in Cambridge are developing graphene-based materials that may mean a car will be so light you could lift up one end with one hand.

    There are countless other innovations that have the capacity to dramatically reduce our power footprint.

    It seems from the enquiries I have made that no-one knows the long term effect on nature, climate and tidal flows of our siphoning energy from the air and sea.

    I believe we made a mistake in the 1980s and 1990s by focussing on “recycling” to the detriment of “re-use” and “no-use”.

    A similar thing appears to be happening today where the media and politicians are driving renewables when the emphasis should surely be on using less energy in the first place.

    The Conservative Party should be at the vanguard of conservation, a word that has almost fallen out of use.

  27. Norman
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Dear John: I would like to thank you for holding the line all these years; and despite a tide of confusion and opposition, patiently setting out what COULD come of Britain getting back on course. I can well see that at times you must feel overwhelmed and exasperated, even by some of the comments here. It is a pity you could only have fulfilled this role from the back-bench, as the place where, for the time being, you can make the most impact. Keep going, and don’t be deflected from your path.

  28. Turboterrier.
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    One of the extraordinary things about the main Opposition parties in the Commons and much of the UK establishment is their failure to engage in working out all the good things we will be able to do as soon as we can make our own laws, set our own taxes and spend our own money.

    That really sums it all up in a nutshell.

    It is the perception of a lot of people out in the real world that the failure was has always been, that since the Brexit vote we have not had a pro Brexit government. The real driving forces are all sitting on the back benches and even more disturbing is the few that are in the cabinet are not performing. Everyday there are contradictions giving in to this and that, not one candlepower of anything resembling team work and co-operation. The EU must be overjoyed in the fact they have turned up for a final and the opposition are from the blind school. What an embarrassment for the country. No wonder the media are producing their articles they do and are having a field day. If the PM really has the concerns for this country she claims, she would act and not wait until a diluted form of Brexit is allowed to take place to announce her intended leaving date.

  29. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I cannot agree that the money we retain once we have left the EU should be spent as described. Tax changes of the type outlined ought to come from future economic growth, which many say will arise increasingly as we become free and independent. There will be no lasting political gain, such credit will soon be forgotten. Indeed it will be criticised as ‘is this all we get then?’. And it is not beyond the stupidity of Chancellors to re-introduce the taxes later. I regard this as frittering the money away.

    All the savings should go into some form of Brexit Independence Investment Fund, added to with an amount calculated to be the amount we would have continued to pay annually had we stayed in the EU.

    The contents of the Fund should then go on capital projects which we would not have been able to contemplate otherwise or for some considerable time. But even then it ought not to be regarded as money which must be spent.

    And not forgetting the big billboards over all construction sites making it clear where the money was coming from.

  30. Beefeater?
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The public wished the government “to get on with it” for twelve months following the Referendum vote.
    What followed were tri-weekly iffy soundbites from Mrs May. We wondered “Does she really mean we’re leaving?” Then she decided on an election, wishing greater involvement by the DUP. Then her sad face was metamorphosed on the box with the cheerful lineaments of Mr Hammond which would be good for ship scuttling if Johnny Korea ventures his elastic-band powered fleet into Scapa Flow.
    We the great British public could ask of our Leaving the EU “Where’s the beef?” We know where it is, not here. Hopefully it is not on Dutch egg farms . Then again, if the beef isn’t there we could have already eaten it with a side-salad of Nothing to Worry About.

  31. I Ron Hick
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    I’ve just been reading some stuff from the anti-brexit campaign group. First, why should any democrat be in a a campaign group against what has just been decided by a fully democratic vote and not yet implemented? Well this anti-democracy campaign group which does not yet state openly allegiance to extreme fascist, anarchist or communist groups says the UK counter-intuitively will lose out economically on Brexit and the EU will gain. Good. We British enjoy doing inefficient backward EU nations favours. So why is the EU setting up so many obstacles, so many ifs and buts if it gains by our leaving?
    We should not be part of the EU as it would seem it likes losing out economically to the detriment of all EU-nation states.

    • Alan
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      The EU is not setting up obstacles: it is waiting for us to explain how we are going to leave and how we will deal with those consequences that materially affect the EU – the treatment of its citizens who live here, the amount we can reasonably be expected to pay for the commitments we entered into, and how to deal with the Northern Ireland border. We said we wanted to leave: it is up to us to work out how to do it. The EU is waiting to hear.

      • I Ron Hick
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

        “the EU…waiting for us to explain how we are going to leave..”
        We are leaving. Full-stop. We do not have to give the EU any explanation at all. If they care to hear our suggestions of how a lump of flesh and a major organ can be torn out of their body-politics and economic welfare which will not cause their weaker members severe injury lasting generations then we can help.

  32. Curly Marks
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Toryish readers of this blog possibly are unaware of the volcanic activity in the Labour Party just now. Think of it. Half a million members ( they say ) and the Labour Annual Conference scheduled 24-27 September 2017. Yet overnight, from members’ perspectives, Party policy on complex issues such as the EU change instantly a month before,with a Sunday paper MP writer or one interview by one Labour MP on the Marr show.
    So two Labour MPs with two different versions of Brexit set conflicting policies and 499,998
    are completely voiceless. My word, it almost sounds like a Socialist Republic!

  33. Terry
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    What you suggest JR is right on target but why are we not hearing more of it from the Leave Campaign?
    We seem inundated with reasons why we must remain but few for why we must leave.
    Furthermore, there are no direct challengers to the Remainers in Parliament demanding that they list their reasons for wanting this country to stay and be governed by Brussels. Why not?
    Could it be that there are none to benefit this Country only those that personally benefit those whinging Remainers?

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

      ‘Could it be that there are none to benefit this Country only those that personally benefit those whinging Remainers?’

      – Do you have any friends and family who voted remain?
      Can you not understand why some people might be concerned by the future, in particular the young who largely voted remain?
      I respect your position over Brexit, but not your aggressive language, which is hostile and divisive, and completely unnecessary. If you want to sway opinion, do so with sound argument not with hostile language.

      • Terry
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        None of my family nor any of my Naval friends voted to remain. We are British.
        And do grow up. “Aggressive language, hostile blah blah” What is the matter with you? Where have you read that? Or does the truth hurt?
        I am a British patriot, I stood up, prepared to fight for my country and its independence. And you would do what? Kow tow to the unelected and the unaccountable?
        I supposed we should be thankful we had Mr Churchill and no one of your naive type in 1939 else we’d all be under the jack boot by now.

  34. nigel seymour
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    J, Labour are so desperate to gain power again that they have to play the Brexit card. They will continue to keep changing their stance hoping that the nation will stand up and defy the referendum. TM has clearly stated that on March 2019 the UK will be leaving the EU, reclaim our borders, reclaim our fishing industry, reclaim our CAP rights, repeal the ECA and ‘manage’ EU free movement.

    The big question is whether or not some of your fellow BB’s will defy the party and vote down the bill on the 11th Sep. I would love to know your thoughts…

  35. Ian Stafford
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    There seems to me to be an underlying factor in the negotiations which has the capacity to make them complicated. This is that negotiating to retain the status qu0 but outside the EU ( or at least as near to the status qu0) is inherently complicated. We keep hearing reports that some item of other will have to be replicated and this will be difficult. Thus, it seems should this be true, that the UK is negotiating a form of derogation however extensive. What she
    should be doing is approaching the negotiations in the spirit of assuming everything is disjoined but for a few which we could negotiate on.

  36. Peter
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    There are many things we could be doing that are not dependent on leaving the EU but we don’t.

    For instance controlling non EU migration, deporting illegal arrivals, cracking down on jihadis etc.

    Time would be more profitably spent on these issues rather than pondering post Brexit policies.

    However, as was the case when May was Home Secretary, nothing will actually be done about these matters.

  37. fedupsoutherner
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    I would like to believe we are actually leaving the EU but from what I hear from Labour now, I would very much doubt it. If Labour actually call and election and they get in then we are doomed to staying in the EU. Many of us never really believed our votes would count for anything when most of the MP’s from whichever party wanted us to stay under the control of the EU. I cannot imagine why. The British public will never trust another politician again after this fiasco, because that is what it is, and if we don’t actually come out of the EU lock, stock and barrel.

    I despair because if we don’t get out then it means democracy has totally failed the electorate and stand for nothing.

  38. lojolondon
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Agreed, john. So, a Conservative chancellor would be able to promise all these things to the British public – as soon as we leave the EU. Unfortunately our current chancellor is not doing any blue-sky thinking, preferring to explain how hard this all is and how bad it will be for us and how we must try to delay all the good things that his citizens are planning. Very bad.

  39. lojolondon
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 9:52 pm | Permalink

    Sorry finger trouble, apologies – “John”.

  40. Ed Mahony
    Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

    Whoops, apologies for writing so many comments.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted August 27, 2017 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

      And apologies for being a bit sharp with some commentators here.

      • DonaldDuck
        Posted August 28, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

        It’s okay. We all went to early school and played cards with kids who cried and stamped their feet when they got Snapped!!!

  • About John Redwood


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

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