Shopping for Brexit

When we first joined the EEC and the public by majority voted to stay in I used the common market as it was intended. I bought a German car and French wine. I went on family holidays in Spain, bought Danish bacon and Dutch market garden produce. I noted that the businesses I worked for usually traded globally but made little or no progress in selling to the continent whilst doing well in the Americas and Asia. I also watched as UK industrial businesses struggled against the competitive strength of many continental challengers, from German cars to Italian clothing and textiles.

As the EU and individual member states from time to time made statements and decisions which were clearly against the interests of the UK and its economy I started to change my shopping habits. First to go were the foreign cars. I have bought UK manufactured vehicles since the early 1980s. I replaced French red and white wine with English whites and Australian reds. More recently over the last decade or so I switched to an annual holiday in England rather than the continent. I give priority to English food products when I go to the supermarket. This summer it has been possible to buy salad items, vegetable and fruits entirely from English farms.

Every time someone from the EU threatens us as their idea of a good way to negotiate I check the labels on products more carefully in the local shops. There is plenty of scope for us to make and farm more of what we need at home, which is exactly what we will do were the EU to seek to impose farm tariffs on their trade with us.

I note that still no member state has said it wants to impose new tariff and non tariff barriers on their trade with us. One day perhaps the EU will get round to talking about how they can keep their great access to our market. Meanwhile they should not upset all their customers in the UK too much. I saw other shoppers checking the product origin labels carefully on my last visit to the supermarket.

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  1. Peter Wood
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    I think this is the essence of our ‘problem’ with the EU; we are talking about different things. There is trade, which nobody wants to disturb, and there is the political project, to unite the EU nations under one government, which is the EU. The EU bureaucracy, NOT the people of Europe, has conflated these two issues as though they are inseparable.
    Our negotiators and political leaders, need to make this point much clearer to both the UK audience and the EU, so that we know who is holding free trade to ransom.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” – Mark Twain

      “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

      “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only a page.” – St. Augustine

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        I’m not saying leading Brexiters are prejudiced etc … but some/many who voted for Brexit are (just as some/many who voted for Remain don’t like patriotism).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Apologies, i didn’t mean to write this silly comment and the ones that followed. Please delete. Thank you.

    • Hope
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      JR, in all the papers today it states May is trying to keep it quiet that she is prepared to pay£50 billion. Is she mad? This money could be spent on our overwhelmed public services. Farage makes it clear what we owe. A small contribution for budget headings until mid 2020 to meet the EU cyclical budget that the UK agreed. There is nothing in article 50 or the treaties. Therefore no obligation as Barnier falsely claims.

      I am not interested in the EU problems. The Uk has enough of its own. When is Rudd and May going to secure our borders and make us safe? I also note an Islamist hate preacher calling the the destruction of Britain is allowed int he country and allowed in Parliament! Trump banned hate preacher allowed. Says it all about the corrupt rotten Westminster institution.

      If she wastes our money this way and continues to impose huge tax hikes upon us expect opposition for a long time.

      Reply Why believe such an obvious false plant?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

        David Davis steered a careful course on the Marr programme this morning, dismissing that reported figure but arguing that the UK is a country which always meets not just its legal but also its moral obligations. However as far as I’m concerned the most important point is that in the long term this will be a relatively minor issue, which could and should be remitted to a joint working party of legal and financial experts to sort out on the side in parallel with discussions on more crucial long term issues and especially trade. As David Davis indirectly hinted this morning there is nothing in the EU treaties which means that Michel Barnier has been appointed to some kind of presiding officer status for these negotiations, whatever the europhiles in the UK mass media may think it is not for him to unilaterally decide that the negotiations must be conducted in a silly, inefficient, way and it is past time for the UK government to point this out and put the blame for slow progress where it properly belongs, with the EU and its chief negotiator.

      • Tom Rogers
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        I see no reason why Britain should continue budgetary contributions to 2020. When we leave, we stop paying. However, if we do in the end decide to go beyond our legal obligations, that should be on the basis of a quid pro quo: we get something in return for continued payments. Quite what we would get of value from the EU is anybody’s guess, but I just mention the principle.

      • Hope
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Because she imposed the European arrest warrant on upon us when there was no need or obligation to do so. She gave away our rights built up over hundreds of years to despots! The same with gay marriage, her record as HS appalling: the three recent atrocities in London because she failed to secure our borders and ban those who want to harm us, criminal justice system a complete mess- murder and manslaughter only get a few years, biggest increase in immigration since records began, while claiming to reduce to tens of thousands, some of whom known murderers and terrorists. Cameron claimed he would not pay the extra £1.7 billion to the EU- he gave more, he would not allow euro zone countries to use EU institutions- he did, he would not pay £90 million for Strasbourg- he did, he claimed to have reformed the EU, his Bloomberg speech you lauded etc should I carry on? FCO paper 30/1043 which demonstrates political collusion to give away our country to unelected elites in the EU! At each and every turn your govt has deferred or capitulated to the EU. With respect your reply based on facts since being in govt is nonsense.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        But is it false John. You are talking about a 3 year transition phase when full payment will have to be made to Brussels. That means 6 years since the referendum of £54 billion nett.
        Then I’m sure there will be some agreement that we pay several billions towards some spurious projects to prove how nice we are.
        It will destroy you at the next election if that turns out to be the case.

        • Tabulazero
          Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          You are not about to vote Corbyn… so no it will not destroy the Conservatives at the next elections.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      When DD seemingly starts to lose his sense of humour, then we are in the shit big time. This am on Marr he was sending a clear message that the UK can and will negotiate a good deal. We don’t actually have 27 EU members against us, we have 27.75 – Remainers, Labour, SNP, LD, BBC, Media, Anarchists blah blah blah.

  2. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    A farmer told me that a colleague has an English farm. He runs it productively. When the season finishes, he moves his equipment to Spain and grows lettuces over the winter. He has a son who works in Poland and who shares the machinery with the home farm in England.
    My next door neighbour has a Volvo car. (Swedish). The engine is made by Ford (American/British) all over the place: he bought two new brake pads which were made in Korea, for instance. My son has been driving a hired Jaguar which was once British.
    Spanish and French fishermen fish in British waters.
    After all these decades, we are joined very deeply to Europe as a geographical entity.
    Two miles up the road there is an old POW camp where the migrants come for harvest. They were once Poles: now they are mainly people from the South.
    My point is that Europe and England are so intertwined that talking of “English produce” seems a little outdated.

    • Prigger
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      … talking of “English produce” seems a little outdated. ” I shall continue in eating English and British eggs., not Dutch. Thank you for volunteering as being UK Dutch egg Chief Food taster if we ever buy them again. Warning: Do not eat more than 1.7 medium sized Dutch eggs per day as advised by Dutch and German authorities in the know. British eggs however, put your feet up, make yourself at home, relax, dip your bread in!

      • rose
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        And don’t foget the problems with continental pork. British pork is free of infection.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Dear Mike–Think, rather, “were so intertwined” and perhaps you’ll get it

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Most of the time it isn’t hard to choose UK products.

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:23 pm | Permalink


      Please, just get over it and stop reading that poisonous North blog.

      Nobody is suggesting that we should cease international trade.

    • Simon Platt
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      “English produce” outdated? What nonsense!

      Let us take the example of cheese. I like cheese, and am fortunate to live in a place where there are many varieties of locally produced cheese available. As a result I buy English cheese almost exclusively. I like to try other cheeses, and do so, but mostly I eat cheese made within 10 miles of my home. Because it’s some of the best.

      And there is, where I live, a supermarket chain that prides itself on sourcing local produce. Many things we can’t produce in England, of course, and, unlike John’s, my cupboard contains wine from France, Italy, Spain – even China. But most of what we eat and drink, at least, is local or at least English: bread, butter, milk, meat, vegetables, beer…

  3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    The “anglosphere chauvenism” really makes me smile as I don’t know such bias in my personal life!
    My recent wines came from Chile, Australia, France and Spain, my cars usually came from Japan, I brought 11 cheeses from our summer holiday in England (where we both got the impression of more inequality in some cities), I see no reason to favour Dutch producers, but local products can be quite competitive. I’m on to studying my seventh language, not very good at it at my advanced age, but as a European, I also feel a global citizen! This will increasingly be the case for many Dutch and even more so for the well-connected younger generations.

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

      I am now studying electronics and continue to study (and teach) music (European and Latin American.) I have already studied (and taught) martial arts (Japanese/Brazillian) extensively but have given them up in recent years because of advancing age.

      I would love to speak a different language well; alas, this would take immersion which would be expensive in time and money and there isn’t the local opportunity nor the need. Besides – everywhere I have travelled people speak my language better than I could speak theirs, so my efforts are far better expended on other interests and there is no chauvenism about it as those interests are often foreign.

      No matter how good or bad things get I can’t see there being a time when an English person would usefully employ their time learning languages and those that do mostly end up in lowly hospitality jobs.

      Perhaps this is why Britain has often been at the forefront of innovation. Less time is consumed learning languages here.

      More how to *do* things than to *say* things. Though I’d agree that this has changed since the advent of the comprehensive education system.

    • Hope
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      You live in a subservient dictatorship. Your Dutch govt went against the vote of its people. You should learn to speak up in your own country so that the people have a voice. No need to worry about us we are leaving the EU dictatorship. Get back in your box and do as you are told.

      Everyone living on the continent of Europe is by definition European, this is different from giving away your freedom for a life of servitude under an EU dictatorship where it is proved your people have no voice over its govt. Creating a country called the EU is completely different. I am surprised by such a stupid conflation of ideas.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Dear Hope,

        Good riddance and please do not let the door hit you on the backside on your way out.

        Best regards

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

        @Hope: your rant is rather far away from the blogs topic, but apparently you had to let off some steam. Feeling better now?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      PvL–Being Dutch (personally I could not, like many others I suspect, find where you live, at least not accurately, on a map) I suppose it is reasonable for you to wish to become European but, as ever, what’s that got to do with us? As for my own personal life I am happy to have forgotten what little French and Italian and even some German I ever learnt. Do keep going with your mindset of pretending there are no borders across Europe but it’s not doing you a great deal of good, I reckon, though maybe as I say you have little choice. Anyway, remember it is the EU we abhor not Europe. I am personally coming round to the view that I would rather we in the UK cosied up a bit more to Russia than to the wretched Commission. As I pointed out the other day Russia seems to have a civilised ever so quiet border with Finland and maybe we could learn from that. Anything rather than listen to what Juncker et al do or do not want. Mind you it is pretty scary (joke) that he is trying to wind down his use of English–your excellent personal English may soon be worthless.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton: I live a 25 minute cycle ride from Gouda if you must know.
        Young people over here have never known the time before border-less travel in most of Europe, before the euro, before the smartphones or the internet. They won’t ever want to return to a state more akin to yours and most will remain proudly multi- lingual I suspect.
        Russia has indeed a quiet border with most of the EU, however, if you want to become to Russia like Finland, you’d first have to leave NATO. Propose it on you r next party conference? 🙂

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

          PvL–You are confused–Gouda is a (rubbery) Cheese (I used to use it as fishing bait or was that Edam?)–And I thought I was clear what I was saying, which is that you foreigners on the Continent are indeed and ineluctably heading for the amalgamated Tower of Babel that you personally hunger after–I too would get fed up with all those borders and names – Holland, The (once Spanish) Netherlands, which used to include Belgium, Zeeland, wherever that is or was, United Provinces, Utrecht, The States etc (Yes I agree I know little about this and even that’s confused) and try to escape individual nonentity-hood by ganging up with the rest of the Continent……but, one more time, what has that got to do with us? BTW given that you raised it the other day William III was a grandson of Charles I (I think–Cannot be bothered to check).

        • stred
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

          Peter. I went to visit family in Sweden recently. I found that young people there text using English, as it is quicker. Everyone, including Finns, Germans, Swedes and obviously Canadians spoke English and it was a second language in restaurants. Much the same in Holland recently.
          I tried to learn German at night school and initially, because the pronunciation is similar, I was making progress. Then the detail os declensions etc came and, as an English speaker, we think ‘why is all this crap necessary- we manage without it’. Then I read that in Germany it is a serious crime for a pedestrian to cross a road when the red light is showing and no cars are coming and I thought ‘who would want to visit or live in a country like that’. My tuition fee was wasted. I have tried to speak French and get by alright, but the clipped pronunciation and speed prevent me from following conversation. At the table I just turn off and think thoughts to myself in English.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted September 4, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

            @stred: I expect that English as a global lingua franca will only gain in prominence, so you are well positioned. (Maybe call it “globish” because over time it may increasingly deviate from UK-English.)
            There are great cultural differences between the Dutch, the Belgians and the Germans (our direct neighbours), but aren’t there between the English, the Scots and the Irish? Does it need to be a minus, or could it just be an enriching challenge?

          • margaret
            Posted September 4, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

            I am trying for the third time to learn Spanish to add to my school girl French . As I get older I find that I do quite well on the day and then a week goes by and I have forgotten everything . I simply love the question marks at both sides of a question , but cannot find an upside down one on the keyboard. We have a lot of English people living in Spain , so as respect to them I think we ought to learn their language.

      • Hope
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

        There borders. Austria recently sent troops to defend against unwanted immigration. Italy begging EU for help to stop mass immigration on its shores. Greece the same and begging for financial help. Germany happy to make Greeks starve, destitute as an example to others! The same Germany who European countries all graciusly let off war reparations. UK did not stop paying its war debt until 2006! Germany needs lessons in humility, compassion and humanity.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          @Hope: temporary challenges. Around the Netherlands there haven’t been any borders (who would want to live in the Netherlands anyway? 🙂 )

    • Prigger
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Yeah we’ll help you out the next time you are liberated by an EU neighbour. Count on us.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        No. This time we are all on Germany’s side. See… we can learn.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          Tabulazero Well let’s hope that history doesn’t repeat itself as it often does.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink


      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        @Prigger: How kind of you! 🙂

    • Captcha King
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      PvL – Personally you can afford to be internationalist. You have your home and your education and are clearly well established.

      I voted Brexit for the sake of my children, though to read the Remain argument you would assume that I had nothing vested in the future and did so recklessly.

      I have my children. I may well have another 40 years to live myself !

      The fact is that England has become a choice destination for economic refugees from the failed Eurozone. As a result, housing and jobs are more difficult to come by and our youth had already gone over an economic cliff edge before the referendum – though they are indoctrinated at school and college to blame ‘boomers’ for this.

      The contempt for us and our relative good fortune is now palpable.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        @Captcha King: I understand your point. I wonder if that is due to EU immigrants.
        * Underprovision of housing and services may well prove to be a home-grown problem for which immigrants are easy scape goats.

        * In the Netherlands, the economic effects of immigrants had been independently studied and established as mainly beneficial already 5 or more years ago, your government is only just now launching such a study.

        * In the Netherlands, I see more solidarity across the generations: Pensions have decreased to make room for facilitating jobs. In Britain, some of my family in law have actually complained that their civil service pensions keep rising (government policy), while their children struggle to find more than just temporary work.

    • David Price
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      We are both European but while I am a UK and Anglosphere chauvinist you are an EU chauvinist, it is more an issue of culture than simple geography.

      What confuses me is that while the EU believes and behaves as if it is the superior entity, supporters such as yourself spend so much effort whining so much about us barbarians leaving the “civilised” EU.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        @David Price: Me an “EU chauvenist” – you’re rigth, that is a fair observation, moreover as in this area of mainly anti-EU contributors I hardly ever write about my own EU criticism.
        My “EU-chauvenism” doesn’t influence my shopping behaviour nor holiday behaviour, it is more political (believing in the idea of EU peoples gradually coming together for mutual benefit and believing that current EU institutions will gradually be reformed to bring them closer to the citizens).
        I don’t whine about you exiting the EU, I think it will be for the better of the EU and have stated that before, just hope for a sufficiently gradual Brexit that countries will be able to adapt economically. I do expect that younger generations will in future take the UK back to the continent, but that won’t necessarily imply a new full EU membership.

    • Simon Platt
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter,

      Do you realise how condescending you sound to English ears?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        @Simon Platt: Dear Simon, I’m sorry if I come over condescending, I certainly don’t set out to be that. It can become a bit of a battleground, this blog, when a completely different opinion is entered. I applaud the moderator for allowing (most) of my contributions.
        Can you imagine that I equally perceive some of the reactions sometimes receive as talking down to me? I sometimes give as good as I get and sometimes I tease, but I’ve never called anybody e.g. a traitor or even a fanatic as far as I know.
        In this blog today, I perceived (only my perception!) a clear “anglosphere chauvenism” and I have voiced that. If that sounds condescending (I don’t think it does), so be it.

      • Chris
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        No, I don’t think he does. It does not help him win arguments either.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

        Dear Simon–He is a continual and unwarrantable and simply rude intrusion in to our domestic affairs

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          And has been for many years.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted September 4, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Not to worry Denis, I get less and less time for my unwanted “intrusions”.

  4. Henry Spark
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    “I saw other shoppers checking the product origin labels carefully on my last visit to the supermarket.”
    John, John, that was me! Making sure I don’t buy anything from whiny, entitled, narrow-minded English producers. I wish you’d said hello!
    Reply No it wasnt. I did talk to one shopper who said he was checking to buy Enlish product

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I’ve just bought my third Honda and before that a Nissan. The quality is equal to any similar priced vehicle on the market.
      Having worked (seconded) to French and German countries since 1980 I have never bought anything French or German unless absolutely forced.
      These two countries in particular give precedent to their own manufactured goods which if we did the same, they would cry foul.
      have you ever seen a British or Japanese police car in France or Germany, I certainly haven’t.
      In or out the EU I shall continue to support the UK whenever possible and I certainly won’t eat Dutch or Belgium eggs.

    • Melvin Cornwell
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Dream on Henry. John is correct. It IS happening, and as long as British producers are sensible and don’t get greedy, a massive groundswell of Buy British fervour is under way.
      But don’t you worry, eh? Just carry on being foolish and obstructive, whilst the majority of us pull for our country.

  5. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Interesting insight to just how hacked off you (JR) seem to be with the EU, and I can readily duplicate that feeling – they are not friendly neighbours, they simply want us under their control and everything we have.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      ‘they are not friendly neighbours’

      – That’s exactly what they think of us as they argue they’ve given us so many concessions over the years and that we just ask for more and more and more. They’ve basically had enough now because if they carry on giving us more concessions then this could lead to the fragmentation and break-up of the EU which could have considerable economic consequences for each country in Europe as well as the world economy (and us).

      The best companies, those with the best long-term, stable growth, are those that work on a WIN-WIN basis with their business partners. As opposed to WIN-LOSE. Whatever you think of the EU, you can’t deny that it has offered us many concessions over the years.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink


        Why settle for concessions when you can do what you like when you want to. We are our own country we do not need concessions. We certainly don’t need to go bowing and scraping to the EU.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

          ‘Why settle for concessions when you can do what you like when you want to.’

          – Because you misrepresent the amount of freedom we really have. We need strong economic ties with our closest European neighbours. And have to COMPROMISE with them because we can’t all get what we want all the time. Europe had decided the best way to keep peace and security and to keep Europe economically strong is to create and develop the EU. Especially after so much war and violence and poverty and economic turmoil in Europe during the first half of 20th century, not forgetting we’re in a global world now, with large countries such as USA, China and others to compete with, with various threats we all face in Europe from Russia, mass immigration from Africa and Middle East, terrorism and so on. Not forgetting that so many companies in the UK say that the single market plays a key role in their stability and success.

          I disagree with so much of the EU. And I believe we should NOT accept everything the want. We should fight hard for a EU that works for us and is good for the EU’s long-term future. Saying that, we can only do that if we’re inside the EU. Not out.


          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 4, 2017 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

            Btw, although i originally voted Remain (but not by much). I quickly turned to Brexit (even Hard Brexit as i couldn’t see point of Soft Brexit). But have returned to Remain again (as long as we reform the EU) because the EVIDENCE demonstrates there is a lack of leadership to implement something as controversial and complicated as Brexit (described by David Davis as a ‘moon landing’).

            And it stands to logic, that if you don’t have strong leadership to implement something controversial and complicated then you have a serious problem on your hands, and that it would be unwise to proceed until you have the right leadership in place.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        “you can’t deny that it has offered us many concessions over the years”

        Indeed, such as:

        “As a concession, you can keep your own currency for the time being”

        The truth is, Ed, we should never have joined in the first place, and for that egregious mistake I blame our politicians much more than theirs.

      • David Price
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

        “Concessions”? As in they take less? The EU has not offered concessions and has reneged on commitments it has made.

        What about the concessions given to other members – we are not the only country to get an abatement, has Germany or France given over agricultural land in the same proportion as our fisheries. How many of the trade agreement the EU has negotiated or made included provisions for ourt interests in finance and services?

        Finally, if you believe EU governments or companies are in it for win-win then you clearly have no clue about business.

        • rose
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          Blair gave up a good chunk of our rebate in exchange for the concession of CAP reform – except that they kept the rebate and we didn’t get the reform.

          • David Price
            Posted September 4, 2017 at 5:05 pm | Permalink


        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          ‘Finally, if you believe EU governments or companies are in it for win-win then you clearly have no clue about business’

          – WIN-WIN is morally neutral although good wisdom. All it’s saying is, ‘you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.’

          – Yes, of course, WIN-LOSE works in some business situations more than others (although, frankly, i wouldn’t want to work in such a business situation – life’s too short, i’d rather be poorer and travel and see the world or something and focus on having a happy family life etc..).

          But when it’s at a country level, you have to have WIN-WIN relations with other countries. Trump thinks that he can have WIN-LOSE relations but he’s wrong. It will cost in the long-term.

          Lastly, it’s even possible to be clearly, positively morally benevolent in business. Just look at the famous companies the Quakers created and ran in this country or of leading Christian men in business such as Frits Philips, voted Dutch entrepreneur of the century, a hero and legend in his home city of Eindhoven, and lastly, Righteous Amongst Nations for helping Jews during WW2.


          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 4, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

            Business is a great thing to be in. But at same time, it can easily screw you up as well. So you have the choice of being an honest and hard-working businessman such as Frits Philips (an exceptional case, granted) or a businessman who is aggressive, dishonest and takes short-cuts – leading to all kinds of problems with one’s own personality as well as affecting those around you.

            (And lots of honest, hard-working people in business is good for capitalism and a the stability of a country’s economy where as lots of dishonest, aggressive, businessmen, taking short-cuts etc, is bad for capitalism and the stability of a country’s economy).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted September 4, 2017 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

          Lastly, A Christmas Carol is a great Christian moral tale about the danger and tragedy of greed (in business). Although a bit sentimental, there’s a lot of truth to the tale.

          I don’t know whether Scrooge is dishonest. But he’s certainly greedy. And it’s certainly true to say that greed can destroy a man. Scrooge has to be haunted so he can see the true state of his soul.

          But even a hardened old sinner like Scrooge can be transformed (in line with the Christian teaching). And by the end is transformed to ecstatic joy (this too is in line with Christian teaching, this is what it is like to escape one’s old ways, in this case greed in business – very similar to an experience I had when I began to take Christianity seriously).


      • Bryan Harris
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

        I wouldn’t describe them as concessions when all the time they have been taking away more of our liberties. It has been a one way path with the EU demanding more and more. We have just been trying to preserve some of the freedoms we had.

        The simple fact is that most Brit’s want something different to what the EU is becoming, and it doesn’t help that the whole show is run by third rate political bullies.

        The EU is unable to let go – they have gotten so used to us conceding powers to them and us doing whatever they demand, that they simply cannot act like sensible people and negotiate to the advantage of both of us.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        We are not in the Euro (thankfully, for all concerned!), and we are not in Schengen (how is that going?). We did try to avoid the Dieselgate scam, originating in the corruption caused by worshipping at the altar of Climate Change, encouraged by the UN and it’s lapdog, the EU.

        So many opportunities for self-abuse, the wonder is why Euro-agenda are so masochistic.

    • bigneil
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Bryan – -100% spot on.

  6. Old Albion
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I’ve been checking for English products for years. They are hard to find among the Scottish, and British ! items.

    • Spratt
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

      I always buy British if possible except for cars. The car choice will probably change when we replace the current German one and that is at least partly because they aren’t as good/reliable as they used to be. One problem though is misleading labelling (designed in U.K. Not made here) and one can also be caught unawares when a relatively expensive classic product one assumed would be British e.g linen tea towels turns out to have been made in China.
      But seriously Mr Redwood, did you ever really buy Danish bacon? Shome mishtake shurely.

    • John
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

      I was going to make the same point Albion. I Never buy produce from Scotland, Wales or Irish (North or South) and I never buy anything that says British. Until England gets parity with the Celtic countries in the UK my stance will never change. I will take JRs advice and now add the EU to the list.

  7. agricola
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    More a message for the Continent I feel, but I do think you should give the New Zealand whites a run through your palate. At least you have a vast choice in your supermarkets. In Europe it remains largely parochial, 95% Spanish wine in Spanish supermarkets and possibly even more so in the case of French wine in France. It does not demonstrate a common market.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      It demonstrate the superiority of Spanish & French red wines… though I will concede a d’alliance with Barbaresco. Mes culpa.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Tabulazero Superiority??? That depends on whose drinking it and their taste. Some French wines are ok and a few Spanish reds are ok but I prefer NZ wine and I’ve had some great British sparkling wines too from Chichester. Could match any French champagne.

      • stred
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

        My management is a Francophile and buys French wines. In France though she often complains about the quality of wine in restaurants. Occasionally one is ok and the same goes for Spanish. I stopped buying Italian when I read that they had been adding antifreeze to improve the flavour.

        Sometimes, for a quiet laugh, I put a cheap Australian or Californian into an empty French bottle and keep quiet when she comments about its superior quality.

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink


      I agree about New Zealand white wines. I especially favour those from the Marlborough region. They are more expensive, but I consider they are worth it. I have tried French and Italian wines, but I don’t enjoy them as much.

      Everything else, I try to buy British if I can, but it can be difficult. ‘Made in China’ is on too many things!
      Up here in the North West, our local supermarkets readily show fresh produce with the Union Flag symbol, and I make a point of buying it, until it is no longer available in the winter, when I have no choice but to buy salad items grown in other countries.

  8. Original Richard
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    I have not purchased French agricultural produce since September 1990 when French farmers set fire to one truckload of British sheep, killing 219 of them.

    This was not the only incident. They poisoned 94 sheep on one truck, slit the throats of sheep on another and doused animals on a third truck with insecticide to prevent their meat from being sold.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      Same here, that was barbaric and I have no wish to aid and abet such people.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Too right Denis. I cannot understand how people can think about purchasing Pate de Fois Gras. Cruelty beyond measure. I think you’ll find that as a whole the Europeans don’t place so much importance on the welfare of animals particularly in Spain.

  9. Tabulazero
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    North Korea would surely approve, Mr Redwood, but did you know that on average 40% of the parts in your “British” made car came from the continent ?

    At the end of the day, the choice facing you is hard Brexit or EFTA membership. I simply hope a decision is made soon enough so that if it is hard Brexit then there is enough time for the custom infrastructure to be put in place.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Your first paragraph is plain daft – of course JR will be well aware of the extended supply chains for the automotive industry without you having to tell him – while your second paragraph is plain ignorant.

      Let me clarify for you: the EFTA countries are not in the EU customs union and whatever customs infrastructure problems might arise through the UK being out of the EU and its customs union would still arise if the UK rejoined EFTA.

  10. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Living in Scotland at the moment I noticed loads of goods in the supermarkets with the Saltire on them advertising the fact and in writing that it is made in Scotland. How come we don’t see much of this in England. In fact I don’t think I have seen anything in the supermarkets with the English flag displayed. I am amazed with what is going on at the moment that people are still considering buying something as expensive as a French or German car. I wouldn’t touch one with a barge pole. Give me something made in the UK or nothing. We can buy just as good produce and often better at home.

    On the news at the moment they are going on about the crisis in the NHS this winter. Lack of money apparently.. when are they going to wake up and realise that our ministers are perfectly happy to pay the EU billions but not a few measly million for the services of our doctors and hospitals? Also being reported is the concern of Mrs May of a rebellion on the back benches over the European Reform Bill as it is widely expected many will vote against this because of concerns over watering down of employment laws etc. No doubt it will give the SNP great pleasure to cause uproar but I do hope none in your government decide to vote with them. It just might be the last time I vote Conservative if the Tories decide to vote against the will of the people.

    Watch this space.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Because sales of such products in Scotland or Wales would plumet ?

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        TAB I was trying to point out that while Scotland shouts their identities from the rooftops the English either don’t want to or it if frowned upon.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry, they won’t. Self interest will top any principles (if they have any). There may be bluster and shouting at the moment, but when push comes to shove they will realise that to bring down this bill will bring down the government and almost certainly install Corbyn in Downing Street. Labour will want that of course, but then the end of Brexit will be certain so if any on that side have any principles about it they won’t join in. The bill will go through. I worry more about what the government are planning on giving away at the negotiations and whether we actually get full Brexit that way.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        Nobody is counting the potential rebels among the Labour MPs, there could be quite a few and maybe there will be more than enough to counterbalance the pro-EU Tory dissidents. However while I think that the Bill will get through the Commons without any major amendments – there may be the odd tweak where the original drafting could have been better – it then has to get past the mainly europhilic unelected legislators-for-life in the House of Lords.

    • Robin Wilcox
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I bet the deluded lefties would complain that the England flag was racist. But yes I would like to see this.

  11. David L
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Doe that mean you will also stop using our foreign-owned railways?

    • Capt Mannering
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      I’ve been looking around for a toilet seat made in France for my new bathroom suite. Not found any so far.

  12. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Yes, there is little comment in the press as to how the choice of 17 million people to vote to Leave the EU, followed by the EU’s intransigence has affected shoppers’ habits, yet it must have done so.
    Local farm produce must be fresher and should be more trustworthy in its provenance than foreign. It’s important to support local beer production from the 2000 craft brewers in the UK. Perhaps we should get back to producing brewing ingredients here in the UK.
    For industrial products, we will have more elbow room to increase and improve our own products outside the EU. At the design end, we have the skills here and we will be able to attract talent worldwide. However we desperately need to improve our ongoing training and attitude towards investment-heavy industrial production before we can replace overseas products fully here.

  13. Richard1
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    The German car companies will simply supply the UK market tariff free from their factories In Mexico, once we have done a trade deal with the US / NAFTA. It is the unions and the politicians in Bavaria who need to worry, rather than the companies themselves.

  14. Mark B
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    You ‘Little Englander’ you, Mr.Redwood MP sir ! 😉

    Buying UK made cars does not necessarily mean you are buying from a British company. Unless its from Morgan.

    I too like to buy from UK, and preferably English made companies. I also like buying from the ‘Little man’ in the high street or market stall.

    It is not only UK based stuff that we can buy. As our host alluded to with his wine purchases, we can by non-UK and non-EU products and without tariffs. That is providing we leave the EU Customs Union. And as I have said many times before, it is not our contributions that they will miss, or unfettered access to our market, what they will miss is the fact that they can sell their goods at inflated prices because we are a captive market and they have little competition. Out of the EU the other EU 27 will have to compete against those Australian, South African and US wine producers. They will have to compete in other areas as well against countries like Kenya, who produce flowers in abundance. The Dutch will not like that !

    And as the pound continues to fall against the Euro, so to will the prices of their goods rise making them even less competitive.

    I was listening on YouTube to, David Davis MP who was giving a speech to our American friends. Very encouraging ! He talked about trade but also talked about regulation and the UK’s part in global standardisation in the future. Standardisation comes in many forms and, the one he spoke of was to do with Services which we are strong in. In the EU the UK has made little progress in this area as I suspect both France and Germany have stalled as they are no where near as strong. Outside the EU the UK can, through organisations such as the, Bank of International Settlements (BIS) and the IMF, can shape global markets more to our, and the USA’s liking. This is bad news for little EU !! DD also talked about what helps people out of poverty. Like our kind host he mentions free trade. Free trade and not a closed market like the EU Customs Union will inspire innovation and invention. it will lead to better and newer ideas and more productivity.

    The idea of the EU was created by two men. Jean Monnet and Sir Arthur Salter. They were both born in the late 19th Century and met and formulated their ideas in the early 20th century. And that is where the EU belongs – 100 years ago ! Times have changed and the world has changed, but alas they, the EU, have not. We are untying ourselves from a 100 year old corpse ! And whatever the trials immediately ahead, we have a far better future.

    • Simon
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

      Yes but really JR seems very keen on on maintaining our links with the protectionist EU by continuing to offer zero zero tariffs and hence maintaining tariffs and non tariff barriers as they are with the rest of the world. Cheap and better wine from New Zealand is unlikely to materialise any time soon. I wish it would.

      It is a complete nonsense. The falling pound has already altered prices more than tariffs would.

      Reply Why do you deliberately misrepresent me? We want out to be able to bring tariffs down with the rest of the world.

      • Simon
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 11:38 am | Permalink

        Yes but outside the protective exclusion of a regional fta tariffs need to be applied at the same level to all countries. So following yr proposal of zero zero for the EU means zero tariffs on everything worldwide. Cheap certainly but unemployment will rocket. That is not misrepresenting you. It is stating accurately how the WTO works. You are inconsistent on this matter and offering an attractive but unattainable economic vision prohibited by WTO rules.

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    For perspective and to give the whole story Mr Redwood, are your UK made purchases generally more expensive, less expensive or the same price as the goods on offer from the EU? And value?

    Reply They are good value

  16. formula57
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    “First to go were the foreign cars. I have bought UK manufactured vehicles since the early 1980s. I replaced French red and white wine with English whites and Australian reds.” – !!! Let no-one say you have not made very substantial sacrifices for your country.

    Re. the cars, this is why I asked for a Daimler-Benz manufacturing site here in England. Despite this being a magic diary (my request for a Brexit government fulfilled in under two weeks) I regret I still await news. (I hope the Johnson-Lavrov non-aggression pact is not similarly delayed.)

  17. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The mood music from the EU seems to be going towards WTO rules on trade. They have backed themselves into a corner in their “UK cannot have a better deal outside than in” mantra and their insistence on an exit bill.
    It seems to me that business should prepare itself for a trade barrier arrangement with the EU.
    We can buy British and from other countries that we arrange tariff free trade with, but I am concerned that major manufacturers – for example cars, where manufacturing plants need to serve the entire Europe area, that they will plump for the continent on the basis that the market is much bigger and taking a hit on the tariffs into the UK is the lesser evil.

    • Captcha King
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Those car parts cross the Channel umpteem times during their manufacture.

      The factories will go for sure if they face barriers every time if this happens. (Though how this dislocated method of manufacture could be economically viable in the first place is confusing.)

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

        Nissan have just announced that UK sourced content is being increased from around 40% to 80% within the next 2 years. I’m sure the other manufacturers are doing likewise. My brother in law who’s company ships components says his business has almost doubled.

  18. Pauline jorgensen
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    That’s so true we do the same as far as shopping and cars are concerned and you can see the trend to local produce in M&S and Waitrose plus of course the increase in the size of local farm shops

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Indeed if they insist on a silly trade wars UK companies can just switch to supply more to the home market or other overseas markets. Most UK businesses are either not exporting at all or not exporting to any significant degree anyway.

    It is however possible that the EU negotiators (and the EU’s absurd & cumbersome structures with all the members needing to ratify) will not do the sensible thing for their members. If so, so be it we will be fine.

    Or we will be fine if we can also:-
    A. Get May to do a complete U turn & become a real (low tax, cheap energy and small government) Tory or
    B. Replace her with someone who is.
    C. Prevent J Corbyn & J McDonnell ever getting near number 10 where they would kill the UK economy in very short order, with their fake (and largely fraudulent) promises of magic money for all.

  20. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Ditto, glad that our household is not alone in pursuing the UK and non EU products. Those speaking for the EU have plumbed depths I did not imagine although I did expect a backlash but more subtle and nuanced rather than desperate. I grew up in the 1940s and 1950s and the UK has changed beyond recognition, the backbone has gone in many sectors and ways.
    The Remain propaganda is preposterous, we will prosper outside the EU. There is every possibility we will stop exporting manufacturing too. As most Conservative MPs are Remainers it is difficult to see a clear cut EU exit.

  21. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    The evidence shows that only a small percentage of people care about Europe/Brexit that much.

    Most people care a lot more about the economy. And the freedom to spend their hard-earned money as they wish – whether German cars, French wine, American iPhones. Whatever.

    I think you’re a really clever politician. But i think you’re over-doing it with Europe/Brexit when there are so many more issues to deal with than just this (important as this is). Plus there’s far, far more to life than politics!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      ‘Plus there’s far, far more to life than politics!’

      – Apologies, i didn’t mean to get personal there. Please ignore this comment.

      • Moby
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

        We could talk about plastic bags. They need an airing. I’m forever driving fifty odd miles to the coast and dumping my plastic bags into the sea. I always put a rounded pebble in each one so I can fling it as far out as possible so it will catch the tide and end up on my holiday beach destination in the South Seas come summer. My online grocery delivery driver always asks if he can have them because he too loves driving miles and dumping them into the sea. I know many people just put their bags into the wheelie bin but they are just not trying. There should be more TV programmes about plastic bags and how we can stop whales spurting all over the place and making that unearthly uuerrrrrhhhhhh!!! sound.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      There were people here last week saying he is not spending enough time on Brexit when he does try some other issues. Can’t do right for doing wrong, poor devil.

      17 million people voted for Brexit and 16 against – don’t think that is a minority interest. The Brexit entries here are always very numerous and strongly held.

  22. Peter
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    ‘Buy British’ campaigns have been tried in the past. They were not a great success. Individuals may follow that policy but the nation as a whole tends not to.

    • graham1946
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      As a nation, we generally want ‘cheap’ mostly because the government take too much of our money. The posh German cars and the posh supermarkets are for the minority who are doing well out of globalisation, not ‘the poor bloody infantry’ to coin a military phrase.

  23. Peter
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Alarming reports are emerging that May is now prepared to gift the EU £50 billion as part of a so-called ‘Brexit bill’.

    We should pay nothing other than our existing obligations and we should leave now.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Smells like desperation from the British side after a disastrous second round of negotiation.

      Did you know that this round started on a Tuesday because the negotiating Team from the British side did not want to go to work on a bank holiday ? … amazing isn’t ?

    • graham1946
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      They’ll fly the 50 billion kite and settle at 30 billion and say how well they’ve done, by the expedient of 3 years transition at 10 billion a year like I said the other day. No doubt I’ll get told ‘rubbish’ again, but we’ll see. Hope I’m wrong, but I have less faith in May and Hammond than JR does.

      • stred
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

        We could always cancel HS2 (£50-100bn) to pay for railways, roads and armed forces run by an ex? communist in the EU. Then they may let us sell less to them than they do to us and eventually might even allow free movement of financial services as well as people.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter–The figure being asked is so preposterous that I can hardly believe what Barnier and Co spout even in their own terms–On any basis this Budget that we supposedly signed up to (Imagine the overall size if 100 Billion is just our part), did we really individually sign up and commit to anything at all or were we outvoted 27 to one or whatever–or perhaps Juncker and Co signed for us? Budgets can be changed or can slip or show variances. I cannot imagine being less impressed. The Agincourt salute is definitely what’s wanted. Pray God we are completely free soon.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink


        We talk about budgets but normally we have to see itemised invoices to judge what the coming budget should be. We have seen nothing. I would like to see the budget for the oncoming entertainment jollies the top knobs in the EU are going to attend in the coming year and how much that will cost us.

  24. Christine
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    I always try to buy British where I can but often a product will just state that it’s made in the EU so you don’t know what country it is from. I’ve always bought British built cars and will continue to do so. I’ve always thought that Europeans are more patriotic in their choice of cars. The French drive French cars and the Germans drive German cars. We on the other hand drive cars from every corner of the world, which is why we are such a great market to export to and is why the EU countries won’t allow trade barriers to be erected. Just stay strong in the Brexit negotiations and have faith in this country.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      Then you must either be driving a McLaren or a Morgan. The rest of the cars built in the U.K. belong to foreign-owned companies

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

        Tabaluzero That’s as maybe but Christine is like me. I buy a car that has mainly British technology and is made in the UK so supports British jobs. Land Rover.

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The UK needs to get on with the clean Brexit decision and putting in place customs infrastructure both real, and where possible virtual and frictionless. A review of tariff schedules and any supply chain impact has presumably already been carried out.

  26. BOF
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    And how much better when southern hemisphere wines and many other items of produce that the UK needs can be imported without paying EU tarriffs. Also cars from countries outside the EU.

    I predict a big increase in sales of these goods and a drop in sales of EU goods unless the EU negotiators come to their senses, which looks unlikely as their negotiating team seem hell bent on damaging EU business.

  27. Captcha King
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I don’t want to discriminate against manufacturers on anything other than price, value and quality.

    A fair and level playing field.

    It would have been better if Europe had prospered but it didn’t. One of the causes of Brexit was an excess of economic refugees from the failed Eurozone unable to get employment manufacturing Spanish, Italian, French … goods.

  28. Norman
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    ‘Buy British’ is a reaction against ‘globalism’ in present circumstances. Whilst patriotism is natural, and not to be despised, when we are truly free, we should be generous in trading amicably with others, based on overall merit. In an ideal world, that is…

  29. William Long
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    For once I disagree with you! I believe in free markets so I buy what ever suits me best at the best price I can find. If the Germans or Japanese, or even the Koreans, produce the best car for my purpose I buy that. It cannot help home industries to encourage them to produce the wrong thing just because they are not foreign

  30. Bob
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    I avoid Dutch tomatoes and Danish bacon, they’re very poor quality.
    I pay a premium for New Zealand wine, so I look forward to the removal of import duty on NZ products.

  31. Capt Mannering
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    I saw Labour’s Mr Benn MP on Sky News a little after the Marr Show featuring Labour’s Mr Starmer MP on the BBC. They each presented with great accomplishment,ingenuity and in perfect agreement with just what Mr Barnier has said and demanded of we foreigners.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      These people have sunk so low that they are giving aid and comfort to the enemy, or at least to those who are choosing to behave as though they are our enemies.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Off this topic.

    Watching Keir Starmer on the Marr programme this morning I found myself wondering how it could possibly be right for the country’s chief criminal prosecutor appointed by a Labour government to later morph into a senior Labour politician.

    To me that means he should never have been appointed to run the CPS, a position that will always have some political sensitivity needing transparent political impartiality.

    However more to the point he was talking absolute, and disgraceful, rubbish about the government apparently wishing to seize unprecedented powers through the European Union Withdrawal Bill which will come up for its Second Reading this week.

    I submitted this information before but as it has not been published I will repeat it:

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

    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 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 in the mass media to get away with pretending to the public that this Bill represents some kind of illegitimate seizure of power by the government.

    • Spratt
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely! I was under the impression that Senior civil servants are not permitted to be active in party politics although they can be an ordinary member of a party. How on earth could the DPP step down and move straight into a safe Labour seat, kindly vacated by a retiring Labour grandee? It is self evident that he must have been active at a senior level in the Labour Party while holding an unelected public office. If not, there would be a lot of party stalwarts passed over for a new party member which seems unlikely.

      Reply It does not prove he was active when in public office. Labour might just have wanted someone who had his experience without him having served the usual political apprenticeship.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I echo your misgivings about the ex CPS head.

    • acorn
      Posted September 3, 2017 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

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

      The elected dictators that form the government “Executive” and wrote the parent Act, are the ones who also get to restrict, if not remove, any chance of it’s delegated secondary legislation, being overturned in parliament by a positive or negative SI procedure.

      There are third world countries with better democracies than the UK. Our Prime minister can be changed by the Westminster elite, without any popular vote by the electorate. The Westminster elite decide which candidate we will be allowed to vote for at a general election.

      Education would have been a wonderful thing for the UK electorate. “… Barnier said Brexit would be “an educational process” for the British public who voted to leave the EU. “I have a state of mind: not aggressive … but I’m not naive,” he told the Ambrosetti forum, an annual economic conference in northern Italy. UK’s approach to Brexit is ‘nostalgic and unrealistic”. “There are extremely serious consequences of leaving the single market and it hasn’t been explained to the British people,” he said, according to the BBC. “We intend to teach people … what leaving the single market means.” (Guardian)

      Reply Any policy or legal change of any significance post Brexit will be done by UK primary legislation, unlike today when much of its done behind closed doors in Brussels with no right for the UK Parliament to amend or reject. Technical matters handled under SIs are also of course subject to Parliamentary debate and vote anyway.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 4, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

        I’m not happy about the massive expansion in secondary legislation which mostly is allowed to pass without proper scrutiny – that itself is one reason why I object to the EU model for the government of our country. However if MPs want to debate and vote on a particular item then they can do so, it is their choice that they allow so many to be nodded through at the end of the day or even pass without any parliamentary procedure at all. I’m hoping somebody will challenge Keir Starmer to explain why Labour MPs have allowed so many SI’s to pass unchallenged year after year in the past and yet now they are concerned that this is eroding parliamentary democracy. In reality we are dealing with a load of hypocrites who have no scruples about taking advantage of the public’s general lack of awareness of the details of legislative procedures.

  33. Open Rathaus
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    A German popular online newspaper in English features one of their MPs who is fighting against the tendency as he put it, of young Germans preferring English to German. He highlighted Berlin’s German waiters who even between themselves speak in English… even the menus are in English and not German. He says it is a “hip” thing to do and regrets the “anglicisation” of Germany. He notes that many migrants speak English, learn English and it is preventing them from learning German and integrating into German society more successfully. Well, perhaps the migrants in Germany have a plan.

  34. Terry
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    That’s the spirit, Buy British, Sell the EU. Down the river, preferably.

  35. Epikouros
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    EU single market is not place of trade that offers equal opportunity. Because of it’s regulatory system and the EU’s raison d’etre it gives advantages to a few and disadvantages the many. The most disadvantaged are consumers as they are denied access to goods and services at the quality and price from wherever they are offered. It disadvantages non members with tariff barriers and most members with uniform standards, a euro currency with a one fits all value and common policies that are mostly a bribe to vested interests or unfairly reward one section of the population at the expense of other sections.

    It advantages Germany and France because they are used as the benchmark from which standards, currency value and common policies are set. The UK was never a fit for this type of arrangement. As we have been advocates of unrestricted free trade and competition and favour an economic model that is alien to most of continental Europe. Joining the EU because of that was a mistake so Brexit gives us the opportunity correct that gross error.

  36. backofanenvelope
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Let’s keep a sense of proportion about this. On our weekly supermarket shop we buy British if it is obvious – union jack symbol. But I am not going to check the baked beans. Or things we don’t grow, like coffee. Our newest supermarket has an attached Cornish food hall, and we try and shop in there. I am not going to buy tea grown in Cornwall or English wine, because they are both over priced.

  37. Anna
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I have always bought Commonwealth foodstuffs as well as British as I feel we treated the Commonwealth, our own flesh and blood who had fought and died for us, very shabbily when we joined the EU.

    I don’t know why supporting our own markets is regarded as ‘chauvinistic’; the Germans are very patriotic about supporting their own producers.

    I am fortunate to live in a farming area in mid-Wales so I buy from small suppliers of local produce which is abundant and high quality. I even chat to Doreen, Audrey, Mabel and Edna, some of the hens who produce my eggs.

    I am glad to see that Tesco and other supermarkets are now heavily promoting Welsh lamb, beef and dairy products. British food has undergone a revolution in recent years: cheeses, organic meat and vegetables, chocolate…the list is endless. These innovative and entrepreneurial producers often found at the farmers’ markets that have sprung up, need, and deserve, our support.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 4, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Anna. It would be nice to see more products in the supermarkets with the English flag proudly displayed. England can and does produce some great food stuffs and if it’s ok for Scotland and Wales to display their flags why do we have to put up with the union flag in England?

  38. Robin Wilcox
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Some good points Mr Redwood. I too have been trying to buy British when I can and to be honest I prioritise goods from the rest of the world above the EU.
    What we need is for the Government to organise a buy British campaign. It would be good for our economy and it would send a message to the EU.

  39. margaret
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what I have done. It was exciting at first experiencing the flavours and influences of Europe. In classical music foreign influences have always been around and the German and Austrian music cannot be bettered. It is stretching things a little far expecting to have all holidays in this country. I did this as a child at St Ives , Tenby etc , but I am more concerned these days with getting enough Vit D from sunlight. We really need this in our country as arthritis and rheumatism soars up as a disabling condition.

    I will buy British though and it is not something to be mocked PVL. Firms will not prosper without loyal customers.

  40. James Neill
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the thing, I believe that belonging to the EU is a matter of identity. Some people here in Northern Ireland regard themselves as British and that is understandable. Me, for my part, I am Irish, I hold an Irish passport and I am also EU European, and very proud of that status. I can also count myself as British if I wish and which I do from time to time, so although I am Catholic nationalist I am a member of many clubs, and I am also Ulster unionist when I like or EU unionist. So when the dust settles on all of this I do hope that I will still be able to remain a unionist, Ulster and EU., and also British/Irish. Sorry to say but you guys in England appear to have lost your way a bit and am not sure how you can find an honourable way out now. Maybe you should take a closer look at Ireland and see how we manage? So sad to see English people tearing each other apart over this brexit business as I have many good friends and family over there

    • stred
      Posted September 4, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The Irish north/south problems seem to have settled down and it would be a pity to mess up the present arrangement, with farmers in the North having a share of the dairy businesses in the South and vice-versa. As an English person, it would seem to me that having an open border with the EU would give advantages to UK and Eire people, just as today. Having police act as customs at airports and ferrys would be useful to the UK and give better security both ways. The S.Irish are no more keen on open borders with the EU than we are. They could co-operate with the Ulster police whenever migrants from the EU arrived and we could then have details to deny NI cards etc. The DUP should have these advantages explained to them. They will not vote to let Corbyn and hisdodgy friends into no 10.

  41. Peter
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    David Davis was very good on Marr’s show. He denied the £50 billion story. He also agreed that Rees Mogg was correct that we have no legal obligation for a parting gift. He then went on to say he wanted an amicable parting though walking away was still an option. He did not show his hand but he was reassuring.

    No doubt his words will be edited to suit particular positions.

    I must admit I am impatient. I would like to leave straight away to enjoy the benefits of sovereignty again. Remedial work could be done afterwards if the EU came to its senses.

    I would like someone to put up a case for not leaving immediately. I am sure I am not the only leaver who is puzzled as to why this is not the preferred route after so much time wasting.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 4, 2017 at 9:12 am | Permalink

      I think the case for leaving immediately is getting stronger by the day. The more they mess us about, the more inclined I am to say “Enough, we have made an honest attempt to use the withdrawal procedure laid down in the EU treaties, as we agreed back in 2008 when we ratified the Lisbon Treaty, but you have made it impossible for that process to work and so now you can take this as a notice that we are abrogating those treaties including that exit clause Article 50 TEU.”

  42. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    “It is easier to pay off Europe by instalments”

    Of course, the Danegeld was often paid in instalments.

  43. James murphy
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Just as an aside, the Irish hurling final is on at the moment, you might catch it on sky, waterford vs galway, a game that happened in the midst od time, the same game is called shinty in scotland..there is no game to match if you can and enjoy

  44. David Webb
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

    “I note that still no member state has said it wants to impose new tariff and non tariff barriers on their trade with us.”

    Probably because they don’t want to. However if we leave the Customs Union and Single Market without a comprehensive Free trade agreement (ie a hard brexit) then they will have no choice but to impose tarrifs and non-tariff barriers in order to protect the Customs Union and to comply with WTO rules.

  45. nigel seymour
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    I now only buy products from outside the EU. Once we have come to a win win deal and left the EU, then my attitude may change…

    “I note that still no member state has said it wants to impose new tariff and non tariff barriers on their trade with us. One day perhaps the EU will get round to talking about how they can keep their great access to our market. Meanwhile they should not upset all their customers in the UK too much. I saw other shoppers checking the product origin labels carefully on my last visit to the supermarket”

  46. miami.mode
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    It would appear that shortly after devaluation in 1967 (the pound in your pocket!) Harold Wilson backed an “I’m backing Britain” campaign – and M. Barnier has the cheek to accuse us of nostalgia.

    • Prigger
      Posted September 4, 2017 at 4:49 am | Permalink

      The accusation of “nostalgia” is a racist taunt ( ” racist”as termed and seen as such nowadays, by some ) against the English. It suggests irrespective of our station in life we British are colonialists in nature, attitude, thinking and historical perspective quite unlike Mr Barnier’s fellow French who never possessed the advanced civilisation to mount a battle more than but a few miles into British fishing grounds looking for something, anything to satisfy their hunger due to continuing failed harvests and dying diseased livestock.

  47. adam
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    John why are the EU warning us about the consequences of exit while at the same time demanding money from us?

    Can we tell them to get consistent. If we are in danger they should be helping us.

  48. Simon Platt
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    You say “I noted that the businesses I worked for usually traded globally but made little or no progress in selling to the continent whilst doing well in the Americas and Asia.” I know a fellow who owns and runs an engineering firm making equipment for factories. He sells a lot domestically and overseas. He tells me that the three main overseas markets in his sector are Germany, Japan, and the USA. He sells a lot to Japan and the USA. But he’s never made a sale in Germany.

  49. Know-Dice
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

    So, Monsieur Barnier is going to punish (whoops “Educate”) the British an unfortunate turn of phrase which I think he will live to regret…

  50. Michael O'Sullivan
    Posted September 3, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    You guys are so stupid- you belong to the greatest economic club in the world with 500 million people and you say that’s not good enough, now you want out and to do a deal with Oz and NZ Japan also Papua New Guinea, and somebody else said The Ivory Coast and Cameroon- well God bless your merry hearts..
    So the way things are going now it looks like your going to get your wish and Barnier Verhofstadt and Junker are the boys to see to it..idiots.. and adios/ from Michael O’sullivan living 20 years in Germany/ European and very proud of it

  51. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 4, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink


    This is a very insteresting and rather insular and naive approach to shopping.

    80% of all car-parts for manufactures in the UK are supplied by the European supply chain and the value of the cars are in the parts not the assembly of the cars.

    Last time we ran a “Buy British Campaign” it made no difference and we export 80% of our farm produce to the EU

    So, I am sorry this is just the sort of thinking that makes no difference but only helps pre-disposed insular thinking

    Reply On the contrary. There are programmes in motors now to up the local component proportion which are making a difference. The UK needs to bring its b of p deficit down.

    • David Price
      Posted September 4, 2017 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      Have you explained to the Germans, French and Italians how naive and insular they must be? What was their reply?

  52. ale bro
    Posted September 4, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it is wise to boycott Welsh or Scottish groceries.

  53. Dauber
    Posted September 4, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    The Scottish idea of money back on your returned plastic bottles and cans could make a fortune for the people of Fleetwood in Lancashire .It’s as pretty as a Tate Gallery Abstract. Mesh green fencing with bottles stuck a third of the way through suggest the elongating tapering off of ones life, supped off at the end.

  54. Freeborn John
    Posted September 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    There is a pattern in current meetings indicating that the EU wants the UK to stay in the customs union, which of course would defeat many of the biggest benefits of Brexit. The Irish government are meeting the EU Commission and Barnier today and calling for Britain to stay in the customs union. Phillip Hammond met the same Irish politicians in Dublin before they went to Brussels and presumably also wants to the same. And the EU appears to be asking for the Uk to sign a ‘politician agreeement’ on Northern Ireland around open borders during the 1st phase of negotiations which presumably would be used later in the 2nd phase of negotiations on trade as only being possible if the UK stays in the custom union. This would forestall all future trade agreements between the Uk and the USA and other countries accounting for ~25% of our exports so really needs to be nipped in the bud immediately. We have to leave the customs union and merely have a customs arrangement that facilitates the new trade arrangements.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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