Why do some commentators and many in the media exaggerate the economic impact of Brexit?

Brexit is a very important political event. Taking back control of our laws, our money and our borders means restoring democracy to these islands. That is why so many voted for Brexit. We didn’t expect a magic wand once we are free again. We do want to live in a country where the government is answerable to the people and can be kicked out if it gets too much wrong. We do not like what is happening on the continent, where people cannot change their economic policies when they fail because they are controlled by the EU. As Syriza in Greece found, you can win on a ticket of changing policy but the EU does not let you. You remain in their case lumbered with mass unemployment and more cuts in cash wages .

The UK already has considerably more control over its economy than a Eurozone member. It can still create money, control its own banks and set its own interest rate. It can influence its own exchange rate. Its budget, however, is burdened by EU contributions, it is meant to follow the Maastricht criteria on deficits, it has to impose various taxes that it cannot remove and finds that elements of the rest of its tax system are altered or controlled by ECJ judgements.

Now we have voted to leave many ascribe every twist and turn of our economic performance to the Brexit vote. They usually credit Brexit with any negative figure, and express surprise at positives. They often add to a positive figure some comment that it may deteriorate at a future date, or say it has improved despite Brexit. Much of this is nonsense. The car market rose sharply from June 2016 to March 2017. This was not mainly owing to Brexit. It then fell and stayed low since then. This was nothing to do with Brexit, and everything to do with the Chancellor’s decision to sandbag the market for new cars with higher VED on dearer cars, and for the government to cast a shadow over diesel cars in general.

The further fall in the pound in the summer of 2016 had much to do with the Bank of England’s decision to halve interest rates again, and to create more money. This seemed a needless idea given that consumer confidence remained high and growing after the vote. The fall off in turnover in the housing market and the slowdown in price rises started in April 2016 before the vote, when the Chancellor made a tax attack on BTL property and hit the upper end of the property market with much higher Stamp duties.

Whenever a new figure comes out, good or bad, I ask myself how would we have explained this without the Brexit vote. In most cases the explanation today will be the same as before. I do not ascribe the excellent rate of jobs growth in the UK to the Brexit vote, as that had started well before the referendum. Nor do I attribute most of the fall in sterling to the vote, as that too had started well before.

On Thursday morning I almost fell out of bed when I tuned in to the Today programme and heard the business interviewer ask a guest what positives could come for him from Brexit. I soon relapsed into my view that the BBC does not do positive Brexit when the interviewer followed up with the suggestion that Brexit would allow the UK to slash the employee protections in employment law! Why don’t they follow the Brexit plot at all? Where were they when we kept repeating that we have no wish to remove people’s employment protections and intend to keep them all? It must just have been mischief making for Brexit again as it usually is.

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141 Comments

  1. McBryde
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    “Why do some commentators and many in the media exaggerate the economic impact of Brexit?”

    It seems clear to me that at least the TV news networks are somehow in bed with the EU Commission.

    Irrational and pessimistic comments like this about Brexit demonstrate the force of the internal conflict within our collective consciousness – reflecting our historical tug of war with Europe.

    At this stage the main power seems to be with the latter, even though the peasants (and the monarchy?) wish for independence.

    I see it all as a delaying tactic, like the laughable so called divorce bill, to kick the can down the road until the BBC & Co can get the Labour Party behind the wheel for a ‘soft a Brexit.

    • agricola
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      The BBC regularly take the EU shilling, end of story.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        I think it is rather more than just the financial incentives. The sort of people the BBC employ are all very similar. They are generally pro EU, leftish, read the Guardian, usually lacking in much understanding of numbers, science or real economics, religious believers climate alarmism (with zero understanding of it) and people who think big government knows best. Just listen to Newsnight or Radio 4 for a week and you could surely not think anything else.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

          They then reinforce each others views in a BBC “group think”. The interviewers often seem totally astonished when some sensible engineer, scientist or economist points out reality to them. Not that they have such sound people on very often – as they have their tame “on message experts”.

          • margaret
            Posted September 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

            A member of my family works for the BBC and is nothing like you suggest. Stop generalising and see people as individuals . You project your ideas onto others and put them into types quite incorrectly.

          • getahead
            Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

            Margaret, it doesn’t matter what your family member thinks. You only have to watch BBC to see it follows a left -wing liberal agenda. Normal people are shouted out or interrupted whilst they try to offer their opinion. The BBC license needs to be cancelled.

          • craig weaver-martin
            Posted September 6, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

            A member of my family works at BBC NEWS and in the news section at least it is exactly as described. The day after the referendum there was mass absenteeism, people literally sobbing at their desks and total panic. The main topic of conversation in the news room that day was how could the northerners be so stupid and selfish. Disgusting.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          I read a the spectator coffee house email that:

          David Davis was also keen to reassure the EU that the UK wouldn’t involve itself in any kind of ‘race to the bottom’ on standards post-Brexit. Given that one of the EU’s main worries is that the UK will do just that, this was a sensible move. (they say).

          It it not a “race to the bottom” it is the way to get to the top!
          For “standards” read “pointless, costly and damaging red tape and very high taxation then pissed down the drain on HS2 and the likes by socialist interventionist like May!”

      • See-thru TV head
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        “The BBC regularly take the EU shilling, end of story.” The BBC journalists at the top end could resign. They know they do wrong. They are extremely intelligent. Makes it worse. They could work for CNN or Pravda. No-one believes a word they say. They would do no harm.

        • Mitchel
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          Actually many of them probably believe in the project – like many intellectually gifted people in the Soviet Union believed in it until more-or-less the end.That’s what happens when you inhabit an echochamber!

        • Posted September 2, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

          No-one believes a word they say

          Unfortunately, a very large number of my friends think the BBC is the only impartial network. That’s what the Beeb relies on. My friends get rather angry when I try to tell them that it’s actually The National Propaganda Network for Globalism.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

          I am not so sure that most of them do really know what they are doing. I suspect most of them do actually believe the lefty, greencrap, pro EU, PC, group think tosh that they come out with every day.

          I think T May is deluded in this way too.

      • Terry
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        The problem the BBC will not address is that it is the British tax payers who first provide those shillings to the EU as part of our gross contribution. In effect, our BBC is being bribed with British money. Our money.
        The BBC, amongst so many others who also pressed us to remain , are beneficiaries of our so-called “Rebate”. Over which we have no control as to its subject project or cause nor its destination. This money is in addition to the cash grabbed from the Licence Fees, of course. How much do these profligates need?

        Post Brexit, I trust our Government will not be providing any more money to our National unbalanced Broadcaster as they, so undeservingly, receive too much already.
        Their anti-Brexit stance’ is based on what they can get out of the EU rather that what they can do for OUR country.
        I note that the EU rules are such that any complaints or disparaging remarks about the EU from a recipient fund, will forfeit their funding and may be required to repay it.
        What a wonderful organisation to want to be part of. Yuk. But the BBC apparently are happy with the deal and totally conform to Brussels rules. When is somebody going to take charge of the BBC and bring them to heel?

    • Doug Powell
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Mc, correct on all counts. The aim is to reduce the population to a perpetual state of boredom, so that remaining in the EU would come as a welcome end to the tedium!

      The time has come for ACTION! Why pay, at minimum, 2 more year’s worth of contributions? By March 2019 the negotiations will have hardly moved forward, and the traitors’ agenda will then be to contrive extensions ad infinitum. Therefore, put an end to Barnier calling the shots and spreading the attendant propaganda.

      The time has come to cut the crap, and make a dash for WTO – NOW!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        It’s worth recalling that just as there is nothing at all in the EU treaties about any exit fee to be levied on a departing member state so too there is nothing at all in the EU treaties about the EU’s chief negotiator having the right to act as a kind of presiding officer and unilaterally deciding the agenda and schedule for the negotiations.

        Many UK journalists are so used to kneeling at the altar of Brussels that they assume that if Michel Barnier says “”First we must agree how much money will be extorted from the UK, then we can talk about other matters” then he must be right and that must somehow have the force of law.

        Unfortunately it seems that David Davis still has not realised that there is an ongoing propaganda war, and he is losing it badly.

        • Mark B
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

          It depends on whose hearts and minds the EU are trying to win ? Most people are not bothered and just want to get on and leave. And in 81 weeks, 5 days and 11 hours time we shall.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 2, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

            This propaganda war is not restricted just to the UK.

          • rose
            Posted September 5, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

            “This propaganda war is not restricted just to the UK.”

            My Texan friends told me that when they heard from the BBC that we now had no negotiators, they thought, “My God! No negotiators! What a state for a country to be in – they had better get out quick!”

        • getahead
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          I’m not sure but I think Davis is doing not too badly. What we need is our PM to say enough is enough and terminate the “negotiations”.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:43 am | Permalink

    Why do some commentators and many in the media exaggerate the economic impact of Brexit?

    Because it fits in with their half baked belief systems. The BBC in particular is stuffed with lefty art graduates who have little grasp of numbers, logic, reason or science. Almost all want more EU (and thus the death of UK democracy), they absurdly believe in the climate alarmist “science” (and the so called “renewables” agenda), they love rather absurd (with current batter technology) electric cars, they think Al Gore is some religious guru, they want more and more government and PC drivel, higher & higher taxes and more and more regulation of virtually everything. Plus of course the retention of the grossly anti-competitive BBC licence fee tax and all landlords put in jail.

    Socialist Theresa May even kept repeating that she wanted not only to retain to EU employment protections but “to build on them” – a very fooling thing indeed to do. We should be cutting them. They do not help good employees just the dire ones, lawyers, HR consultants and other essentially parasitic activities. They destroy jobs, productivity and reduce the chance of getting a job. The only meaningful protection for employees is lots of other available jobs. If you do not like the one you have you can get another.

    Employment “rights” damage employees by killing available jobs, businesses and productivity.

    The BBC used to tell us we were going to summer water shortages due to man made climate change and need to plant drought resistant plants in our gardens. But now (post Texas etc.) they are telling us we will all be deluged with water. The latter clearly makes more sense if we did get any warmer (no significant increase since 1998). But more precipitation is, in general, a net benefit to the world.

    Best if it does not all come all at the same time though.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      ‘The BBC in particular is stuffed with lefty art graduates who have little grasp of numbers, logic, reason or science.’

      – Great science is as much about creativity as it is about logic ‘Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere’ – Einstein)

      Just as great art is inspire by the scientific. Look at Leonardo da Vinci.

      One problem with modern man is that he has separated logic from imagination. Just as you are doing here. Rather, the goal is to unify the two. And when you get that, you get true genius, whether it be in science, the arts, business, and human endeavour in general.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, Ed.

        The industrial era may well be blamed but it could be the very thing that saves the animal kingdom from asteroids, solar flares, coldarra…

        Without these advances the animal kingdom might not be saved as previous extinctions without the benefit of human advancement.

        The Left are adamant that all things industrial are wicked.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

          Industry put satelites into space, created lazers, monitoring….

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

          Hi.

          I don’t see what this has to do with me?
          I’m completely pro science and anti the left!
          What i said is that we shouldn’t divorce imagination from logic, as the two go together, to create even better science, arts, and human endeavour in general.
          Not only is imagination + logic working together great for our material world (in both creating industry as well as creating solutions to helping us from the ravages of industry) it’s also great for our emotions, the intellect and souls!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      I agree, there is a lot bad about the BBC, in particular, lefty journalism, too much entertainment commercial TV broadcasters can do, and too many marketing men etc …

      Saying that, don’t throw baby out with bathwater. BBC was behind the brilliant 1995 product of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. And does, and can in the future, make great programmes in drama in general, as well as documentaries, the arts, history, children’s programmes film and so on.

      And whilst being fair and balanced here. I think you should also look at some of the right-wing media who also spout a lot of nonsense. In particular, the Mail, Express, Telegraph and Sun (now i’ll only read the FT, The Spectator – even though it can be prejudiced as well – and Private Eye).

      • getahead
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        Ed you are missing the point. We are not talking about Jane Austin or any other drama production. If the BBC was restricted to drama there would be no problem.
        The problem is the BBC’s politics which are determinedly left-wing, liberal, Guardianistic nonsense, shouting down any poor soul who is of a different opinion.

      • lp
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

        We don’t have to subsidise our right wing media through a compulsory tax and it’s not funded by the E.U.

    • Posted September 2, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      “..summer water shortages due to man made climate change and need to plant drought resistant plants in our gardens. But now (post Texas etc.) they are telling us we will all be deluged with water…”

      Solution: BBC recommends we grow rice in paddy fields!

  3. formula57
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Re. BBC coverage, I was astonished the other day to see it report expectations of a rise in petrol prices, these flowing from the effect of Hurricane Harvey and not attributable to Brexit. Perhaps though I missed its report about Harvey being a consequence of Brexit and if there was no such report, I expect Remoaners will still know the truth.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      formula57 ,

      As far as the vile BBC is concerned , Harvey is a consequence of “Climate Change” .

      John , how about a tax of 100%+ on luxury London hotels and restaurants , massive land tax on London postcodes so that the elites who the BBC is run for end up paying for it rather than us plebs ?

      Most of us are sick to death of having to fund propaganda aimed at our destruction .

      • David Tomlinson
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

        I’m no defender of the BBC’s news output but in fairness I must point you to their website which has a very interesting analysis they commissioned from a Texas A&M University professor. He does not blame climate change but the unbridled paving over of land with urbanisation – a serious problem in this country too.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          Agree David. Much of what we are doing is to blame for the decimation of protected species. For instance, just recently a big wind farm has been given permission in what is known as the Flow country in Sutherland Scotland. It is home to many rare and endangered species of bird and mammal and yet they are to plough it all up and erect wind turbines which we all know are a hazard to birds in particular. When these birds become almost extinct I shouldn’t be at all surprised if climate change or global warming was to blame. In fact it is man ‘saving the planet’ or in Sturgeon’s case, milking the community benefit and stuff the wildlife.

    • Prigger
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      🙂
      On the complementary point ..petrol price rises…there is no reason objectively, for petrol price hikes. Have we forgotten what they said when oil went down in price and we wanted a reduction in petrol prices? They said “it is not that simple”. We pointed to the Futures market and they replied “It is not that simple”.
      These companies are merely sucking us dry. Many refineries had stopped refining anyway as usual at this time of year for practical maintenance reasons and the Texan refineries will only be out of action for three weeks, perhaps a little longer. Speculators are making the Oil Futures rise. An exaggerated and temporary move,. The world is gushing over with oil and petrol. Shop around for best prices for our car fuel!The government should heavily fine petrol companies if the price at the pump jumps and thus claw back their ill-gotten gains.

      • David Tomlinson
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        Some time ago the Telegraph published a time graph of UK petrol prices against crude prices (adjusted for exchange rate) which demonstrated average pump prices tracked crude costs up and down remarkably closely.
        The UK market is intensely competitive which is why so many outlets have closed and several companies have withdrawn. What puzzles me is that so many motorists don’t seem interested in filling up at cheaper outlets. So they will wait till they’re on a motorway before filling up and then complain about the price (largely due to the Governmen’s high site rental charges).
        By the way, I don’t work for the oil industry – I just like accuracy!

        Reply When I was Competition Minister petrol retailing was referred for an impartial enquiry which also concluded it was on the whole very competitive and prices reflected world oil prices – plus a great deal of tax of course. Tax is the main reason petrol prices do not come down proportionately to the oil prices as some elements of tax are fixed, not ad valoram

        • Prigger
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          Reply to Reply “Tax is the main reason petrol prices do not come down proportionately to the oil prices as some elements of tax are fixed, not ad valoram ” No flies on government and its Treasury as Mr Fixit.

        • acorn
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          You can buy today, on the spot market, R95 Unleaded for 29.1 pence per litre. Diesel for 33.5 pence per litre.

          “Demand for road transport fuels equates to 45 million litres of petrol and a little over 77 million litres of diesel per day. Other than jet fuel, the market for transport fuels is mature with little overall growth in demand and in the case of retail fuels sold on the forecourt, this sector is virtually stagnant. Sales of petrol currently represent 37% of road transport demand by litres sold, whilst sales of diesel now represent 63% of total demand.” (See UKPIA site)

    • David Tomlinson
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Oil prices in UK reflect dollar exchange rate and crude prices, not refined product prices. We don’t import refined products from USA.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:52 am | Permalink

        Yes we do.

        • David Tomlinson
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

          I stand corrected, and in any case my rebuttal was too simplistic.
          First, US shares for petroleum products exports in 2016 by destination were:

          Mexico—17%
          Canada—17%
          Netherlands—6%
          Brazil—5%
          Japan—4%

          UK is not in the top 5, but they only account for 50% of US exports. Clearly a lot of small amounts to a lot of countries to make up the other 50%.
          Any disruption to refinery production has knock on effects, as a shortage (say) in exports to Mexico may lead them to import from (say) Trinidad who may in turn have been exporting to UK, so prices go up.
          Product tankers are also not so readily availble as crude (and are much smaller) so the cost of chartering them may well go up with longer disrupted supply routes. So, yes, a shortage ex USA can have impacts all over, but they are complex and may not be as immediate and direct as imagined.
          Many, many years ago I was involved in handling oil supply crises in a major multinational and we took immense pride at keeping supplies going at minimal extra cost.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    Retaining workers right also mean that the good workers often have to work with bad, lazy, time serving and incompetent ones and often to carry them. This depresses the good one’s wage levels and can even be dangerous for them and others.

    Still you go and “build on workers rights” dear lets destroy some more jobs and kill productivity. Rather like your daft energy policy, your over taxation policy and the tip down the drain HS2, Hinkley C, sitting duck aircraft carriers without aircraft policies.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Good Morning LL.

      Question, do you EVER wake up and feel good about life; happy to be alive and free to speak your mind…?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

        Every morning! I am not a politician and work for myself so I can just say the obvious truth.

    • The Worker
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic
      Employers do not necessarily protect and nurture good workers. I know this seems counter-intuitive but I am certain you yourself have come across such. There are many reasons why whole tiers of management up to and including CEO level do not wish Mr X to do his best. In fact sabotage him or her and make life hell. If you wish to make yourself really unpopular at work with all, then do a brilliant job consistently, work with all your might, do not take time off for illness and take your holidays in the interests of productivity. Honesty is another reason you could be dismissed. The key one, in fact.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Indeed they do not always, but the ones that do usually out compete the ones that do not and grow. This while the others often decline. Private businesses have, after all, to compete in the World or go bust. Unlike the state sector they cannot just put their hand in the tax payer pocket endlessly and produce almost nothing of value or product that no one wanted.

        Not can they tax all their competitors get a subsidy and then under cut them – as the NHS, state schools or the BBC do.

    • Bob
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      ” good workers often have to work with bad, lazy, time serving and incompetent ones and often to carry them.”

      employment law has gone too far. So often staff work faultlessly for the first two years before “unfair dismissal” protection kicks in, and then they start slacking and complaining.

      No wonder zero hour contracts have become so popular.

  5. alte fritz
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Chukka Umuna was given time yesterday to attack David Davis for inflammatory words when DD refused to let his country be blackmailed. It does not occur to the BBC interviewer to ask why Britain should gratuitously pay into an institution of which it is not a member.

    The price of fuel is likely to increase following the devastation in Texas. Guess where the blame for that price rise will be laid.

    • sm
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      It is perfectly obvious that the Texas flooding was caused by Margaret Thatcher.

      Next question….?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        To the BBC and the left this is bound to be exactly what they believe.

  6. David Cockburn
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    We should not be surprised at all this nonsense. All the levers of power, apart from the vote remain in the hands of remainers.
    They sold the voters on the Common Market, the people gave it their best shot for forty years and then, when finally given the chance, voted to leave despite all the threats and blandishments from those who had benefited so much from membership.
    We have to continue to hold firm.

  7. Freeborn John
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    I see Davis Davis is proving an incompetent negotiator yet again by undermining himself with a proposal that the UK could pay the unwarranted ‘brexit bill’ on an ongoing basis in the future “as the price for good relations”. The EU will surely pocket that concession and be looking to extract payments from us forever in return for a useles treaty that recreates the EU ties we voted to remove. The Uk government must say we will not pay a penny for which there is no legal Justification either on departure or an ongoing basis afterwards and will be happy to trade on WTO terms collecting tariffs on their trade surplus.

    One niave aspect of Davis Davis is that he has not put anything on the table which the EU27 want. He should example say that freedom Of Movement for Workers between the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain (note: not Northern Ireland) has served its time and will end after Brexit with Irish citizens not having any more rights in Great Britain than other EU citizens. This would give Ireland something of value to them to defend. Similarly it must be made Clear to Eastern European countries that the UK will not come to the defence of countries that are actively trying to punish the UK and extort money from us. And to France that the UK-France defence treaty will end. Currently all these countries fell they are just losing our EU budget contributions and it is time they realised they benefit from good relations with us that they are allowing the EU Commission to destroy.

    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/849117/David-Davis-UK-Brexit-bill-pact-EU

    • Posted September 2, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      FJ “…Davis Davis is proving an incompetent negotiator yet again…”

      I don’t think any of these people who are supposed to be representing us are particularly stupid.

      So far, even through DD seems to be more genuinely a Brexiteer than his boss, etc, it really looks to me like the whole thing is just a matter of business as usual (i.e. globalism at the expense of sovereignty) with a facade of trying to satisfy democratic obligations.

  8. Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    In an interview with David Davis, the ex PM of Iceland asked him why he didn’t join EFTA and thus stay in the EEA while we negotiate? It would, he made clear, be a temporary position. Also we can assume that we would be welcome in EFTA/EEA.
    I have read Mr Davis’ answer, but, to be frank, I simply cannot understand it.
    https://www.pscp.tv/w/1yoKMpMqylnxQ

    Let me therefore ask: why are we not joining EFTA to give us much more time to negotiate our way out of the EU?

    Reply We don’t want to negotiate our way out, we just want to leave. The EU just needs to say how many tariffs and barriers they want to put up, which all have to be within permitted WTO rules. It need not be difficult!

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      The exPM of Iceland, is this the one responsible for taking the decision to crash all their banks instead of supporting, with many British investors including lots of Councils losing small fortunes, which resulted in higher rates for the rest of us to prop up Council investments and pensions! If it is I refuse to listen to anything they have to say!

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      Mike being the spokesperson for that we’ll known remain blog disguised as a leave blog cannot understand that if we go to EFTA/EEA that will become the destination and we will still be an EU member indirectly.
      This is the position adopted by Momentum so we are just a stepping stone from full membership.
      Here in the East Midlands our local Labour MP saw her majority collapse and I’m sure many more MPs worry for their future due to Momentums position.
      As for the Brussels Broadcasting Company it’s time it was subscription only instead of the iniquitous tax people pay.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        The owner of that blog has openly admitted that the EEA could end up being the final destination, not just a preferred route out of the EU:

        http://www.eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=86554

        “But, with nothing better than the EEA on offer, the danger is that the transitional becomes permanent.

        In that, I have a great deal of sympathy with those who oppose the EEA because of the danger of it becoming permanent. Where I have less sympathy with these people is with their inability to come up with sensible alternatives that will give us something better.”

        Well, the sensible alternative is to go straight to a bespoke agreement which recognises that the economic and political relationship between the EU and the UK does not have to conform to any of the existing templates previously designed for other third countries.

        When you have people saying “We could be like Liechtenstein” or maybe “We could be like Albania” or even more absurdly “The EU would treat us like the Solomon Islands” they really have lost the plot.

        As for whether two years will be long enough for negotiate at least the bones of that bespoke agreement, if it isn’t then that will be down to the EU. We already have them wasting our time on their unsubstantiated blackmail demand before they will even start to talk about the future, when the sensible thing would be to set up a joint working party of lawyers and accountants to argue about it in parallel to other discussions.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      How could joining EFTA “give us much more time to negotiate our way out of the EU” when a country cannot simultaneously be a member of the EU and EFTA? If that was possible, if the EU did permit its member states to also be member states of EFTA at the same time, then there might be some sense in your argument, but why do you think we had to leave EFTA when we first joined the EEC?

      What could give us more time to negotiate our withdrawal from the EU, if we wanted that, would be an extension of the two year negotiating period laid down as a guideline in Article 50 TEU; but a) the government has ruled out seeking any such extension, it has said we will leave the EU on March 29th 2019, and b) any such extension would have to be agreed by all the EU member states.

      I suppose that if we were getting close to the end of the allotted period and certain issues were still some way off being finally agreed then all the parties might agree to a three month or six month extension to avoid the infamous “cliff edge”. The two year guideline in Article 50 TEU has the effect of reassuring a withdrawing state that it cannot be kept in the EU against its will for longer than those two years, at the end of which the EU treaties will automatically cease to apply to it.

      All the talk about a “ticking clock” presupposes that at least one of the negotiating parties would adamantly refuse to allow it to be reset, no matter what. In other words, it’s yet another instance where the EU and common sense are seen to be fundamentally incompatible.

  9. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Like you John, I am sick to the back teeth of all the negative reporting I hear. Next we’ll be hearing that the bad weather is because of Brexit!! Some of the comments on your blog are preposterous and smack of people wanting to overturn the vote instead of focusing on the positive points. Your diaries have been great this week. Please keep it up.

  10. ChrisS
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Another incisive piece, John, and one with which I wholeheartedly agree.

    One point on Deficits and budgets. The Deficit for England is only £218 per heard of population. In the rest of the UK it’s as follows :

    England £12bn % of UK Population 84% Deficit Per person £218.10
    Scotland £15bn % of UK Population 8% Deficit Per person £2,862.60
    Northern Island £10bn % of UK Population 3% Deficit Per person £5,089.06
    Wales £14bn % of UK Population 5% Deficit Per person £4,274.81

    Why is the Government allowing this situation to carry on, particulalry in Scotland ?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      ChrisS,

      You can probably add “Barnett” to those figures…:-(

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Indeed there is no sensible reason to subsidise these regions. They would be better off (after some adjustment) standing on their own feet for a change. Does the government think the people off Scotland, Wales and N Ireland are somehow inferior and cannot figure out how to earn a living without other people’s money?

  11. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Its’ almost as if Hammond together with Carney thought up all these extra taxes and payments so as to put the economy under pressure and make people think it was all happening because of Brexit in the hope we would all demand another referendum to change our minds. I despair. As you say, a lot of what Hammond introduced was unnecessary and the extra taxes have slowed down the car industry and the housing market too.

  12. agricola
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    They are not just a Devils advocate, it suits their belief in remain to try to vilify Brexit whatever the reality. They will be bemoaning the fact of Brexit ten years hence, because their political life glass is always half empty.

  13. Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Appropos your piece, will this Conservative government address the problem of the BBC? It is a blatantly obvious now that it is fundamentally anti-British organisation, an arm of the enemy Establishment, that spews demoralising propaganda 24/7. On a personal note, I used to enjoy listening to Radio 4 and you might even say it felt very English and patriotic to do so. Things like the Third Programme, the Shipping Forecast, even Women’s Hour, were interesting, informative and gently enjoyable. A few years ago, I stopped listening completely as it became apparent that the entire station has been captured by cultural revolutionaries who had ruined the programmes with dreary politically-correct nonsense.

    The concept is out-of-date any way: we do not need a state broadcaster in the digital age. But instead of ‘reforming’ the BBC, I should like to see it dismantled entirely, its archives burnt and its buildings razed to the ground. A scaled down version of The World Service can be retained and run out of the Foreign Office, as I believe happened in the past.

    When will the government at least address the question of the BBC in a proper way instead of paying this important issue lip service? The licence fee itself is unjust, archaic and outrageous, but as stated above, the answer is to abolish the entity entirely, not tinker with it. Throw them out on the streets. Yes, many of them will find work in the private sector, but at least by abolishing the BBC, a source of their power will have been removed.

    • Tweeter_L
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Hear hear, Tom R. I too used to love BBC Radio 4 – or the Home Service as it was previously. Now I think the BBC is only really worthwhile for the Proms and its Wimbledon coverage! The World Service used to be a force for good –“soft power” and all that: now it’s a shadow of its former self.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Perhaps its because a majority of all MP’s support the BBC’s propaganda. The penny has dropped with the electorate. How long before the politicos in the Westminster bubble catch on? I rarely except by accident listen or watch the BBC and wish I could not subscribe without paying this unjust tax.

  14. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    JR – I know you are a busy man – but still some responses awaiting approval from Sep-1 …and I’m sure many of your readers would like to see these comments.

  15. Turboterrier.
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The answer to today’s question is that the BBC are desperately holding on to the belief that labour will regain power, that will dilute the effect of Brexit and that in some form of shape or another will help them to fight for more funding for their ongoing allegiance in fighting Brexit.

    When we now know how much the staff get paid and the corporation waste it can surely come as no surprise that the reporters and presenters are going to be wanted to be seen as loyal to the cause so as to keep their overpaid, over rated positions.

    The one good thing that has come out of all this process it has finally exposed the BBC for what it is, out of step, out of touch and not fit for the purpose intended. For all our sake’s I would hope that it will be dismantled, rebuilt and reformed to deliver a service to the licence payers fit for purpose operating in the 21st century.

  16. Nerwmania
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Brexit caused a more than 20% drop in Sterling ( at least), it, quite literally , could not be more obvious. The Brexit recession forced the country to debauche its proxy monetary Policy, reschedule its debts forward .This urgently needed demand boost caused the consumer boom which disguised the shock of “National Self Harm Day” until post article 50. The piper must now be paid
    I`m sure the BBC would love to find a respected economist to dispute this as they would love footage of real unicorns or a boxing pundit to have called the Mayweather fight for McGregor.
    The soundtrack to failure must now be written :

    It has nothing to do with Brexit
    Stop talking the country down
    We said it would awful
    So take off that silly frown

    No one promised magic money
    No-one said we would be rich
    The bus that never happened
    Isn`t rusting in a ditch

    At least we got nebulous undertaking to allow us to copy an EU trade deal with Japan, drafted without our interests being considered, if we look after Japan when we leave the EU , which we cannot, for £60bn odd . Yay !

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      “Brexit caused a more than 20% drop in Sterling ( at least), it, quite literally , could not be more obvious. ”

      It could be more obvious, because it is not obvious at all from the charts here:

      http://fx.sauder.ubc.ca/cgi/fxplot?b=GBP&c=USD&c=EUR&rd=*&fd=1&fm=1&fy=1993&ld=31&lm=12&ly=2017&y=daily&q=volume&f=svg&a=lin&m=0&x=

      What I see there is the pound peaking against the dollar in the summer of 2014 and then following a downwards trend which is probably still running, and the pound peaking against the euro in the summer of 2015 and then following a downwards trend which is still running; I do not see any significant break in either curve in the summer of 2016.

      But don’t let facts get in the way of your hysterical polemics.

      • Timaction
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

        …………….or the fact the the EU Bank of England Governor dropped interest unnecessarily to prove his own predictions to 0.25%, the lowest in our history, whilst continuing the quantitative easing programme. Just saying.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          “But he only lowered the rates and printed more money because of Brexit” – I hear in reply

      • Nerwmania
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        The specific falls in sterling happened in hours of real time, and can be referenced against bad Brexit news by the headlines on that day. For example as John Redwood simpered at Theresa May’s hard Brexit speech at the Conservative Party Conference, the pound duly fell again.
        Your chart brings out a point I frequently make, which is that pricing in the Brexit disaster happened long before the generally recognised step changes. It is my view that the loss has been far more than 20%.
        The plummeting currency prompted the lie that this was a good thing for exports . This lie is still being used so perhaps you should settle on which lie you prefer?

        LIE A – It is a good thing
        LIE B It never happened

        Please confirm your option.

        By the way “Hysterical-polemics “ is horrible .Think about your words you use ,don`t just put down slabs of guff in the hope that their Latinate quality will sound impressive .
        http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit/

        Barbarians, the lot of you

        • Captcha King
          Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

          “Barbarians, the lot of you”

          Keep it up. Insults make me want to leave more than ever.

          Name calling got you Brexit but you’re clearly hard-of-learning.

          PS, Thanks for the good work with the LibDems. Affirming in the last election that we do not want a second referendum. Who else are you going to affiliate yourself to ? Corbyn’s Labour party ?

          etc ed

    • Captcha King
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      Ah.

      Sterling falls. Sooo – nothing to do with years of low interest and bouts of QE then.

      As Denis correctly points out – 2014, shown graphically.

      The wonder is how Sterling has remained so strong for so long.

  17. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink


    Why do some commentators and many in the media exaggerate the economic impact of Brexit?

    The answer is easy – when did the Tories last offer bribes to the various media?

    The EU has done so on a fairly regular basis to get the media clowns on their side.

    There should be a health warning on all news bulletins:

    “THIS PROGRAM MAY CONTAIN ESTABLISHMENT BIAS AGAINST RATIONALITY, AND SHOULD ALWAYS BE TAKEN WITH A LARGE PINCH OF SALT”

    The government failed utterly to do anything effective with the BBC when its charter was renewed – IF ONLY we could turn the BBC around into something sensible and honest, the other media would follow suit – but why is this government so laid back about allowing socialist dogma to rule everything – time to move against it before it takes over completely!

  18. Alan
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The fall in the value of the pound was certainly a consequence of the Brexit vote. It started from the time the result became clear. It had oscillated around about €1.25 in the first half of 2016.

    But it is true that the immediate cause of the fall was the Bank of England’s decision to reduce the interest rate, and that in turn seems to have been based on an erroneous belief that there would be an immediate loss of business confidence as a result of the Brexit vote.

    So, do we blame the Bank which acted out of the best of intentions but based this on an erroneous belief, or do we blame the Brexit vote, which caused the Bank to act? I blame Brexit. Mr Redwood – I hope I interpret him correctly – blames the Bank.

    We can’t expect that after Brexit our institutions will always make perfect decisions. Some of the erroneous decisions will be because they don’t know how to cope with Brexit because it has made the economic situation more complex. Those of us who argued for Remain were conscious that the turbulence would cause mistakes to be made. Those who argued for Leave said they would not matter, I think. This is an early example of the sort of mistakes that will be made and which the Leave side will explain as not being their fault. But it is their fault really. They have to accept responsibility, not find excuses.

    The mistakes that I think are being made in the Brexit negotiations are probably another example of the situation being too complex for our (and the EU’s) institutions to handle. The Leave protagonists will explain that it is not their fault that the negotiations are going badly. I will point out that we would not have to do them at all if they had not voted for Brexit. It is their fault.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      Alan,

      It has been repeatedly pointed out that sterling’s most recent downwards trend against the dollar started not at the time of the EU referendum last June but two years before that in the summer of 2014; while sterling’s most recent downwards trend against the euro started in the summer of 2015, a year before the referendum; and in neither case is there any clear sign that something happened in the summer of 2016 which radically changed the already established downwards trend.

      Just look at the charts, man, don’t keep repeating the same fallacies.

      http://fx.sauder.ubc.ca/cgi/fxplot?b=GBP&c=USD&c=EUR&rd=*&fd=1&fm=1&fy=1993&ld=31&lm=12&ly=2017&y=daily&q=volume&f=svg&a=lin&m=0&x=

      “The Leave protagonists will explain that it is not their fault that the negotiations are going badly.”

      And they will be correct. The EU has set out to be obstructive and unfortunately has so far been allowed to get away with it.

      “I will point out that we would not have to do them at all if they had not voted for Brexit. It is their fault.”

      And I will point out that we would not have to do them at all if our political class had not inveigled us into the EU federal project against our will.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        “I will point out that we would not have to do them at all if they had not voted for Brexit. It is their fault.”

        That really is daft. We might as well get rid of Parliament, burn all rules, forget democracy, open our borders to all and just let whatever happens happen. On this logic, it would all be good, because we wouldn’t have voted for anything worthwhile or difficult to achieve.

  19. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    The weakening pound should not be exaggerated as it reflects a long term trend.
    Because of the fixed entry rates it is possible to extrapolate the euro value into the past.
    So here are a few dates with behind them, the amount in euros 1 pound would have bought you:
    01-01-57 2.67
    01-01-73 2.28
    01-01-02 1.64
    30-08-17 1.08
    The pound’s value has a clear sense of direction.

    • Tom William
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      How did you calculate the value of the euro before it existed or had even been proposed?

      • Brian Tomkinson
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Good question, Tom.

        • zorro
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

          Haha – I love that incisive analysis by PVL – ‘extrapolate the Euro value into the past’ – Are you seriously positing that as a sensible analysis of currency fluctuations without any consideration apart from a trend line? Extrapolating into the past before it even existed??

          zorro

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        @Tom William: Hi Tom, I used a converter website. In my google search the heading reads:
        “Currency converter in the past with official exchange rates from 1953”
        (to spare the moderator I won’t write the actual URL.
        I assume the website uses some average when converting pounds to euros. When I use e.g. German currency (DEM) which I can extrapolate forward the pound declines a little more.
        Try it for yourselves please.

        • miami.mode
          Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          Agree with you on this Peter. All the currencies converted into the euro were precisely calculated (the Dutch guilder was @ 2.20371) and thus it is relatively easy to compare rates prior to the euro.

        • Captcha King
          Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

          I get PvL’s point too.

          The trajectory was established a long time ago. We have been sustained by credit for a long while and though, while Brexit ‘Bad News’ may herald immediate falls we have been in for a correction for a long while.

          Dual incomes and easier lending gives the impression of wealth.

          In reality we are living beyond means. Bad for the dep0sit account and bad for the environment.

          Brexit will be blamed for the day of reckoning but the fact is that a failure to balance the economy is what is at fault.

  20. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    The answer to your question is quite simple – it’s because they won’t accept the result of the referendum and are determined to overturn it and keep the UK in the EU. It has become almost impossible to listen to the broadcasting media with their daily anti-Brexit tirade.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      If David Davis had somebody like Alistair Campbell at his side then the broadcasters would never be allowed to get away with their torrent of anti-Brexit, anti-British and anti-government propaganda. He doesn’t seem aware that they are trying to cut his feet away beneath him, if he is aware he isn’t bothered.

  21. Mark B
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    The media is only following orders. But I am unconcerned, as we are leaving in 81 weeks, 5 days and 16 hours. The we will see.

  22. David Murfin
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    “The UK … can still create money, ”
    The government can print notes. The banks can ‘create money’ by lending to customers they judge will repay, but without actually holding the money they lend.
    If this is done by private enterprise, it is called forgery or fraud, devalues the currency, is thought bad for the economy, and punished by gaol sentences.
    Why is this?

    • Captcha King
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      Car salesmen are now money printers in effect.

      Yes. A sovereign state can print its own money but there comes a point where other nations notice what it has been up to.

  23. Iain Moore
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    In regards to our country, given the chance to call a cup half full or half empty , the BBC won’t even give us consideration of being half empty, for them there are no redeeming features, its all empty for them.

    • Posted September 2, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      Type ‘BBC bias’ into Google and in a quarter of a second you’ll get 765,000 results.

      I hope that shows that the end is nigh for Auntie.

  24. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    The media and the interviewees it chooses present leaving the EU as so difficult, and a fact so obvious that it needs no explanation.
    Well I’m sorry, I need explanation because I don’t understand why it should be that difficult. Sure, imports and exports will have to go through customs, but beyond that I don’t see any problems.
    It would be nice to have an informative documentary on the subject, but that appears beyond the wit of our media and its sloppy journalism.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      A BBC “newsreader” actually asked somebody whether leaving the EU was proving so difficult that really it should never have been put to a referendum.

  25. E.S Tablishment
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    The usual media mind-control is to exaggerate possible negatives… add one or two positives bye and bye to make it sound more reasonable, slam the positives down histrionically due to commentators’ lack of acting skills, then more negatives then a sudden realisation the POSITIVE ( wide open surprised eyes..taught to them in some poorman’s Rada ) then, they think “They ( the ignorant masses ) will think they have churned everything up in their petty little minds and come to a proper conclusion all by themselves )
    This time though it is largely negative. It started with Trump. Trump and Brexit ride side by side in media circles. A connection in themes made by the media. One gets the conspiracy feeling that everything is being dictated by a US-UK leftie-liberal elite. A renunciation of the democratic vote, ( democracy ), for Trump and for Brexit.

  26. a-tracy
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Many, many of our employment laws and social wage payments are higher and more generous than the majority of EU members. The Working Time Directive stipulates 20 days paid holiday we provide 28 minimum. Many say the EU have more public holidays but not all is as it seems, many are on weekends, not all are paid. When we align workers productivity with that of Germany then British companies can afford to give extras and often do without government compulsion. Those that couldn’t afford to have simply given rise to the gig economy, much more automation, service cuts and trims, and those left paying all the bills trying to carry on growing as they did since the 80’s, well they either sell up and many are retiring or closing down. This would all be put down to Brexit but it isn’t- it wasn’t all there when we all started businesses but has crept in like bind weed.

  27. Duncan
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I couldn’t give rat’s ass about what the media write about Brexit. The real battleground if Brexit is delayed by scheming quislings like Blair and Marxist Labour will be for the votes of the white working class

    At the next election the Tories must appeal to these decent people who saved this nation from becoming nothing more than a region of a sovereign state called Europe

    Now Labour has declared its support for continued EU membership in direct contradiction to their core vote the Tories need to emphasis this important point, assuming of course that this Tory govt want to take back the UK and reassert its independence and sovereignty or whether the pro-EU duo of May and Hammond conspire to keep us within the EU in some shape or form

    The Tories must say to the WWC. Vote for us and we will give you your country back. The WWC is patriotic and many are monarchists. Even more of them are anti-EU.

    Unfortunately we have a PM who is useless, hopeless and utterly unconvincing when what the pivotal WWC desire is someone who is decisive, clear, confrontational and committed

  28. NHSGP
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    We do want to live in a country where the government is answerable to the people and can be kicked out if it gets too much wrong.

    ==========

    OK, you’re part of the government, you say you will answer.

    My Question, how much does the government owe the public for their past pension contributions?

    Present value will do.

    Reply We have done all that before and I did set out the NPV of the future liabilities. It is a large number in what has always been a pay as you go scheme. it was never a savings based asset based scheme.

    My bet, on past experience, is that you aren’t answerable, and won’t answer the question.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

      The question is why the government can allow itself to run a Ponzi scheme like this but limited companies get taken to the cleaners for doing so?

  29. Bob
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Your government missed an opportunity to reform the BBC at the last Charter review.

    Then there was a No.10 petition calling for the abolition of the TV Licence which exceeded the required threshold to trigger a debate in Parliament, and the debate was conveniently cancelled due to Mrs May’s decision to hold a snap election.

    Strikes me that the BBC has undue influence over the powers that be..

  30. Everlasting Story
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    The media psycho-apologists say people prefer bad news “Bad news is good news”. They example clinical psychological tests.. Lies.
    “…and they lived happily ever after” is the ending which our human condition requires. So, unless the media has up its sleeve ” …and despite all the problems, pitfalls, dragons, wicked witches, Junckers, goblins, Corbynistas, it all ended happily ever after because Good President Trump and Brexit led us all to “much happier times where everyone can breathe and have such free speech they cry with joy, please, please, please, no more, I cannot stand it, we have so much free speech now we can’t stand it anymore, it is so good, so sweet, Believe me…Believe me!” ( an exact quote from Trump in many of his multi-thousand strong rallies.

  31. Peter
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    There is a liberal elite BBC mindset on most issues. Occasionally a political or economics commentator slips through the net. Paul Mason, for example, found neither the BBC nor Channel4 were radical enough for him. Mason is very much an exception though.

    • lp
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      Paul Mason, the former teacher with a music and politics degree? That economic genius?

  32. Kenneth
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

    The problem is that there are still plenty of people who respect what they hear on the BBC.

  33. Norman
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    The argument will eventually be won by cool, fair-minded reasonableness, that will shame the EU into compliance. The nations of Europe should, after all, be our allies, but with a clear distinction being made on vital issues of truth and rectitude. Sadly, there are many in our country who do not identify with such values, and are somehow motivated to occupy positions of influence and power. The Brexit project, and especially those at the helm, are therefore fighting on two fronts. They need our resolute support if they are to prevail. It is a David and Goliath situation, so please bear in mind David Davis and that qualing army of Saul behind him!

  34. Peter
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Liberal Democrat Tim Farron has come up with a particularly laughable Brexit consequence.

    According to Tim, inflated transfer prices in football are all due to Brexit.

    I suppose Brexit is also the reason a French club paid a Spanish club £200 million for the Brazilian player Neymar?

  35. Oggy
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Dear Dr Redwood,
    You mention employees rights and other powers that will be returned to Westminster and the media’s suggestion that the ‘Great continuity Bill’ is just a power grab and a way of watering down existing legislation.
    It’s not just the media you need to convince – yesterday I received this email from my MP (she’s Labour and no I didn’t vote for her and no I don’t agree with her either).

    Quote …………
    ‘I accept and respect the result of last year’s referendum and the Government must now secure a good Brexit deal to safeguard jobs, security, and rights and protections.
    However, in my view, the Government’s Bill as it stands at the moment is not fit for purpose. Concerns have been raised about the extent of powers that have been outlined in this Bill to allow Ministers to make changes to other laws. I believe these are sweeping powers that require effective oversight or accountability. However, such safeguards are currently lacking from the Bill. The Bill also lacks clear enforcement mechanisms.
    Brexit should not result in any detrimental change to workers’ rights, equality law, consumer rights or environmental protections, and so I will fight against any attempts to diminish, qualify or limit these throughout the consideration of this Bill.

    Without significant changes in the areas that I have outlined I will be unable to vote for the Bill at its Second Reading in the House of Commons in September. I hope the Government will listen carefully to the points that have been raised, and make the improvements that are necessary. ‘ ….. Unquote.

    So you will have to convince or even add safeguards into the bill to overcome opposition from Labour, the Lib Dims, Greens, the Welsh and SNP, not forgetting their Lordships, to get the bill through.
    You have a fight on your hands.

    Reply Not much of a fight – Ministers powers are all subject to Parliament and limited to technical consequentials, not to altering the law! There will be no watering down of EU employment legislation. I suspect Labour will not vote against this Bill on 2nd Reading.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      “… these are sweeping powers that require effective oversight or accountability. However, such safeguards are currently lacking from the Bill.”

      Ask her if she’s noticed Section 16 of the Bill:

      https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2017-2019/0005/18005.pdf

      “16 Regulations

      Schedule 7 (which makes provision about the scrutiny by Parliament and the
      devolved legislatures of regulations under this Act and contains other general
      provision about such regulations) has effect.”

      And looked at Schedule 7, which says for example:

      “A statutory instrument containing regulations under section 7 which contain provision falling within sub-paragraph (2) may not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament.”

      “Any other statutory instrument containing regulations under section 7 is (if a draft of the instrument has not been laid before, and approved by a resolution of, each House of Parliament) subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament”

      It seems to me that she is planning to vote against the Bill without having bothered to even read it.

  36. Epikouros
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Brexit doomsayers and detractors are in my understanding mostly in favour of progressive doctrine who if not disparaging Brexit are are attacking merit and excellence. They espouse mediocrity so it is no wonder that they themselves are mediocre in their capabilities and detest anything that spotlights their lack of abilities and requires them to make efforts that they are incapable of or of which they lack enthusiasm.

    So they champion causes and institutions that allows them to shirk responsibility and feed off the largess of others. In this regard promoting social justice(equality, diversity and the like) frees them from having to compete for heir job and gives other unmerited benefits. Demanding governments who favour high tax and spend, redistribution of wealth and other equally dubious actions(the EU and left wing parties all fit this bill) frees them from having to satisfy customers (The state will ante up) and in some cases in having not to gain employment at all or at least productive employment and the means to take that to which they are not entitled.

    So the BBC and others will denigrate by fair or foul means anything and anyone who will seek to deprive them of their unwarranted and unearned rights, privileges, rewards and protected positions. Hence their endorsement and defence of anything that promises to maintain and expand that situation. The EU, progressive socialism, trade unions and the public sector all promise that so they will elicit support of these groups, individuals and organisations.

  37. VotedOut
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    The case that the EU, its single market and customs union is needed for the UK to prosper is another broken record playing an irritatingly repeated tune.

    For the right its the economy. For the left its workers rights. Both are ridiculous. Your article clearly notes the economic reality.

    The idea that we need the EU to provide protection for workers is equality absurd. A cursory glance through parliamentary history shows laws from the 1833 Factory Workers Act to the 1880 Elementary Education Act 1870 to name just two. Both these acts show the UK Parliament acting to protect employees and provide basic rights to children. We did all these things and more without the need for ‘jovial gentlemen’ in Brussels.

    To listen to the BBC one would think that prior to January 1973 nobody in the UK laughed or had anything to be happy about. Well, we did.

    Personally, I gave up listening to the BBC a long time ago. It costs far too much and unlike all other TV channels, produces products that are inaudible – but that’s another story!

    • Prigger
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      (BBC )…” produces products that are inaudible ” Some of their video interviews remind me of Miss Haversham in the film Great Expectations communicating down a Speaking Tube. The photography then was better. BBC interviews tend to cut out and the pictures break up.Well worth a licence fee of 6d per month though.

  38. acorn
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    How do you know the media exaggerate the economic impact of Brexit. The “leave” campaign has never proffered any data that would rebut the “remain” campaign!

    Have a look at column AJ in the 2014 sheet at http://ec.europa.eu/budget/library/biblio/documents/2014/Internet%20tables%202000-2014.xls

    Basically in 2014, the UK made a national contribution of €11.3 billion after the deduction of the €6.1 billion rebate (that never actually crosses the channel). Add €2.8 billion for TOR Customs Duties gives €14.1 billion.

    In 2014, the EU spent €7.0 billion in the public AND private sectors of the UK, £108 million a week. If you are planning to paint a big red bus, £213 million minus £108 million a week, would be nearer the truth.

    Reply These figures are untrue. See UK Red Book.

    That makes the UK net contribution to the EU about 0.3% of GNI. That is, three pounds out of every thousand pounds of national income.

    • acorn
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      Red Book does not detail EU transactions. Table C1 in PESA 2017, does detail EU transactions (prepared by the OBR). But does not include EU payments directly made to the UK private sector. Which is why the net contribution in 2014 is £7 billion not the “Brexit” £10.1 billion.

  39. Martin
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    To answer your question – they are not. What would white van be paying for a litre of unleaded petrol if we have not voted to leave the EU? Under a Pound!

    Harold Wilson would be chuffed if he new how many Tories now support his pound in your pocket devaulation stuff !

  40. Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    If the EU negotiators continue to stonewall/blackmail the UK we should, later this year, set a deadline for early next year at which, if trade talks have not begun, we will announce that we are going the WTO route and not paying any “divorce bill”.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Agree totally. The rest of the world are doing it!!

      • bratwurst
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:37 am | Permalink

        Don’t think you’ll find a single country trading with the UK only under WTO terms.

        • bratwurst
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

          Sorry, should read “Don’t think you’ll find a single country trading with the EU only under WTO terms”.

  41. M.W.Browne
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    The BBC constantly pushes their anti-BREXIT agenda because they are funded to the tune of many millions of pounds by the EU.
    I voted for BREXIT because of the democratic deficit resulting from EU membership, and the huge costs associated with this.
    When/if we leave, it will be interesting to see if businesses, newly released from the EU, will export more.
    I believe that the more likely result will be a continued poor performance, compared with Germany, Belgium, Netherlands etc., and that the real reason for this is the laziness and inompetence of British business leaders.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      It was actually 2 million for the 3 years prior to Brexit and was only for research into 3D Hd and technical issues. It could not be used for programming or news gathering.

      Still, don’t let facts spoil a good argument.

  42. jonP
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Taking back control of our laws, our borders etc.. all very well but just what does it mean? who exactly has the control? a bunch of unelected grandees in the house of lords and another bunch of tory upper class twits that have led us into this very brexit mess by trying to outclass a bunch of UKIP losers.

    So what is this control? I remember a time forty years ago coming into heathrow after been away overseas for a while and pulled over by customs who were concentrated on where i bought my wristwatch, how much did it cost? did I have a receipt etc etc? on an on until I missed my connection! is this the control we want back? It’s all BS and the road to giving power back again to the little people- control some control

  43. Terry
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    The offerings, past and present, from the Guv at the BoE do nothing to further the cause for OUR freedom. I emphasise ‘OUR’ because he is not British and will not have any of the British psyche.
    As the Governor of our own Central Bank, he should have never commented on OUR referendum as it is not his job to do so. In fact, professional etiquette dictates otherwise.
    How he was allowed to further cut interests rates when completely unnecessary, makes me question the real strength of Mrs May’s leadership and her determination to get us out.
    His outrageous interference, prior to the Referendum was completely outside of his mandate, no doubt encouraged by a key Remoaner at the Exchequer and his boss in Downing Street.
    Therefore, I remain bewildered as to why he has retained his job when the country is under new management.

    • Javk snell
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Re Terry..just another example of the little englander mentality that pertains in this country. Trouble is some of us are still living in the 19th century, in fact it is true to say a lot of people here missed the 20th century altogether..yearning for a past that is long gone. I’m quite sure Mr Carney will depart these shores, a wiser man, Asap and as soon as his contract is up..we have some cheek alright talking about people in this way. Very soon the lights will go out in england and europeans from the french shore will point out across to a land that once was able to regard itself as ‘great’ and then try to explain to children about what went wrong. Stupid stupid

      • Edward2
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

        Why will the lights go out?

  44. Peter Lavington
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    I know it’s a bit petty but it’s a matter of principle – the EU has decreed that I am not allowed to buy a vacuum cleaner of more than 1Kw. We are leaving the EU – what would happen if UK just ignored this rule and allowed high powered cleaners into the country? Will we have EU tanks coming down the road? The cleaner ruling is ludicrous but I bet nearly every other EU country will ignore it.

  45. nigel seymour
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Portugal’s former Europe Minister, Bruno Maçães‏ pointed out on Twitter yesterday that there’s a burning contradiction in Barnier’s bluffing that the Government and our press are yet to highlight. For years the EU has stated that the ‘advantages’ of the EU’s single market can be enjoyed by third contries, as part of a more ‘Global Europe’, with trade deals likes the one proposed with the United States promising ‘frictionless trade’, somehing now branded as been ‘impossible’ by Michel Barnier. Yesterday Michel Barnier also described the UK’s plans for a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) between the UK and the EU as ‘impossible’, yet the EU’s Canada agreement has an MRA, as well as Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland and the USA. When will the anti-Brexit British press call begin to call out Barnier’s bluff?

    • BertD
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      Nigel.. it has been spelt out quite clearly by the EU people that we are not going to have a trade deal with them that wil put us in a better place than we are right now- barnier junker verhofstadt all have said this loud and clear.. So we should get on with maki g deals with japan Oz and Nz etc etc..and if you believe all of that then you can believe in the man on the moon..or liam fox’s tooth fairy.

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    “Brexit: Labour demands big changes to Great Repeal Bill”

    Any chance of David Davis or anybody else in his department laying into them?

    Here’s a House of Commons Background Paper on Statutory Instruments:

    http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN06509

    It says:

    “In the region of 3,500 SIs are made each year.”

    Many of which implement EU laws, but Labour has never worried about that.

    “Many SIs are not subject to any parliamentary procedure, and simply become law on the date stated.”

    And nor has Labour ever worried about that either.

    “Whether they are subject to parliamentary procedure, and if so which one, is determined by the parent Act.”

    As mentioned above the draft Bill does have such provisions; if there are gaps which have been missed by the parliamentary draftsmen, or some of them need to be strengthened, then, fair enough, that should be done through amendments; but let’s not allow Labour and their pro-EU allies at the Times get away with pretending to the public that this Bill represents some kind of illegitimate seizure of power by the government.

    When is David Davis going to wake up to what is going on?

  47. Posted September 2, 2017 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Sir James Dyson Talking about his business and Brexit
    Watch this at:
    http://uk.reuters.com/video/2017/08/31/spotlight-billionaire-inventor-sir-james?
    videoId=372437668&videoChannel=2603&channelName=MOST+POPULAR

    I watched this video with interest and especially towards the end when he talked about Brexit. I highly recommend watching it.

  48. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just watched Sky “News” give about 8 minutes to Lord Turner to tell us from Italy how awful it will all be, once again completely unchallenged by any pro-Brexit voice.

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Denis, I’ve just been reading the HoL report on the EU Customs Union and learn that at the last count the CET made up 13.6% of the EU revenue and a disproportionate part of that came from the UK.
      I wasn’t able to find any figures but this money is over and above our £20 billion annual subscription I believe.
      Perhaps John could clarify. Why would they want an FTA when they are going to lose all that revenue.

    • Realpolitik
      Posted September 2, 2017 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      Never heard of him. Googled Images. Never seen him before.

  49. margaret
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    John. last year we could access your videos of interviews etc easily and now it is nigh impossible????

  50. margaret
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    This withdrawal bill is the most frustrating piece of legislation . There isn’t any fluency whatsoever. The cross references make it impossible to continue reading without darting all over the place. Why can’t plain language which all would be able to read easily ,dominate? There isn’t anything clever about the cross referencing. There isn’t any deep text . It’s lay out simply amounts to obscurity. Reading Kant is much easier.

  51. MikeW
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    Just left a pub in berlin where i swapped ideas about brexit with gemans daness and one guy from the czech republic, they all think we are crackers.. to leave a ready made economic bloc of 500 million consumers which we are already members of in favour of a trade deal with Japan..pure madness.. english madness, might be like something like too much sun maybe. Jeez

    • Edward2
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Your assumption that we will leave the market in Europe for more trade with Japan is ridiculous.
      It’s the EU we are leaving.
      Many nations trade happily with Europe without agreeing to freedom of movement, nor agreeing to their courts having supremacy, nor being in the single market.

    • Tom William
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      Sounds like a typical pub discussion by people who don’t know what they are talking about, or even what sort of economic bloc it actually is.

  52. Mick
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/02/back-brexit-get-corbyn-damian-green-tells-tory-rebels/
    I think these rebel MPs and all the other eu loving MPs should remember is the voter put them back in there nice cushty jobs to do what we wanted and not them, we voted OUT get over it and if you try and screw your constituents then on your head be it, if you want to be ruled by the eu then pack your suitcases and go live in a eu country but not here because we want freedom to make our own rules and mistakes

  53. Original Richard
    Posted September 2, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    The BBC is biased and this needs to change. It is ridiculous that we have the same presenters, commentators and guests on news and current affairs programmes year after year after year.

    A small group of people who decide the agenda often being presenters one week and guests the next week.

    If the BBC is to continue as a national broadcaster with its currently enormous media coverage then means should be found to ensure that a wider range of views are aired and a wider range of news items are covered.

    In the case of Brexit, the 52% who voted to leave are not represented by any BBC journalist, reporter or presenter and are always in a minority in any group discussion or programme about Brexit.

  54. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    Yes, it’s true that the BBC doesn’t do positive Brexit. I think you forget that to some extent it reflects views that it regularly encounters. The BBC will have picked up a real sense of disquiet about Brexit running through many institutions and sectors of our economy and society. The CBI, the City, universities and research institutions, NHS bosses, customs officials, farmers, civil servants, and all manner of businesses that recruit from the EU or trade with it all are deeply concerned. Have you visited a university recently? You’d be pushed to find anyone in the entire organisation – lecturer, student, researcher, administrator, executive or vice-chancellor – who supports Brexit. The BBC is picking up on this type of disquiet, which is what you would expect. If it’s painting a negative view of Brexit, it’s because there’s so much concern and disquiet out there – among people who have some idea about the future. As well as this, the BBC naturally has to interrogate the views of leavers more strongly than remainers, because they won the referendum. It’s just doing its job here as well.
    You are clearly paranoid about the BBC. And in your posts there’s never a suggestion that concern over Brexit is widespread (not merely confined to the BBC) or even something to be taken seriously. You and your colleagues are in denial about these things.

  55. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 6, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    More outrageous BBC scaremongering – now over the government’s proposals to slash unskilled EU immigration. From a leaked Home Office paper…those disgraceful, unpatriotic Civil Service remainers leaking things again. And the BHA’s claims are obviously wildly exaggerated, if not completely invented.

    “The British Hospitality Association said: “If these proposals are implemented it could be catastrophic for the UK hospitality industry and for those who enjoy the hospitality it brings.” The BHA claims 75% of waiters, 25% of chefs and 37% of housekeepers in the UK are EU nationals and at least 60,000 new EU workers are needed every year to fill vacancies. The organisation said it would take 10 years to train up enough British workers to plug the gap and some businesses would fail in the meantime, “taking UK jobs with them”.”

  • 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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