There is no cliff edge

The EU specialises in arguing based on fatuous and misleading analogies. We used to be told the UK had to stay in the convoy, an unfortunate image given twentieth century European history. Then we were told we must not miss the train, though many of us did not want to take a train to Brussels Central to be told what to do. Now we are told we will fall off the cliff if we just leave.

There is no cliff or cliff edge. There are numerous deals, contracts and joint activities which will continue after exit as before.People and businesses from Non EU member states fly to the EU, buy and sell with people in the EU, undertake joint ventures with the EU, come to EU universities. So will we once we have left.

I have still to hear from another member state what barriers they wish to impose on their citizens trading and travelling to the UK. It is difficult to see why they would want to get in the way, but if they do the WTO and other international laws and treaties will stop them doing damage to us.


  1. Lifelogic
    September 8, 2017

    Indeed, the EU certainly specialises in arguing based on fatuous and misleading analogies. But then so do most spin doctors and politician in general.

    It would however be far better if the PM was not a daft, socialist, climate alarmist, tax increasing, central planning, gender pay obsessed, PC, lefty interventionist. Then we could have cheap energy, far more investor confidence and an economy rather more conducive to growth.

    We could even get a health system that actually worked, real competition in education, a simpler lower tax system, a state sector of a sensible size and even build sufficient new homes.

  2. Duncan
    September 8, 2017

    Let the EU (as opposed to individual EU member states) do its worst. If the EU decide to play hard ball and try to damage the UK they will also damage the interests of EU member states.

    The EU and those who control this body have revenge in their hearts. They are supported by people like Osborne, Blair, Mandelson, the upper echelons of the British Civil Service and this party they call Labour who are all determined to undermine the democratic will of the British people.

    And I now see Labour have doubled down and are now the party of anti-Brexit. This is nothing more than a direct challenge to its core vote but more importantly a direct challenge to direct democracy. I expected nothing less from a party that in recent times has dredged along the bottom on most policy issues

    The Conservative Party need to understand one thing when it comes to Brexit. Labour’s core vote mostly to a man voted Brexit. Labour is on the wrong side of history, again and the Tories can do Labour huge damage on this issue.

    Labour have nowhere to turn on Brexit. I understand the mindset of the northern, white working class, Brexit voter. They are decent, hard working and patriotic but they do not appreciate being taken for fools. Look them in the eye, be honest with them and they will back you. Thatcher did this in the 1980’s and they backed her.

    The Tories need to stop messing around on Brexit. Be bold, aggressive and point the finger at that Marxist rabble across the despatch box. Target them and expose their anti-democratic stance, target their ignorance, target their rejection of their core vote, target their extremism

    Get on with Brexit, get us out of the EU and let’s confront those vested interests plotting to prevent Brexit

    Thanks for your efforts JR

  3. Freeborn John
    September 8, 2017

    The fundamental problem of the EU is on display day after day now, which is their “Berlin Wall” mentality whereby they prefer to make it difficult to leave rather than to build an EU that adds value such that people would genuinely want to be part of it. In the long-run that mentality is bound to lead to collapse.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 8, 2017

      Indeed but the whole structure of the EU with 28/27 heads plus the interests of the Brussels bureaucracy make it slow, misguided, often corrupt and totally incompetent. We need government to be small, efficient, honest and light but also to be fleet of foot when needed.

      The EU is the complete opposite, sclerotic, obsessed with misguided religions like human “rights”, climate alarmism, the single currency and the general one size fits all lunacy.

    2. Know-Dice
      September 8, 2017

      …EU that adds value such that people would genuinely want to be part of it…

      Agreed, yes that is the enigma of the EU.

      The EU apparently wants to “educate/punish” us for leaving, but if it was such a good and desirably organisation why would they be worried that this [Brexit] would be a path that other countries would follow?

    3. bigneil
      September 8, 2017

      The EU would be quite happy with “collapse” – once they have took every Euro from every country in the EU – – and flooded them with millions from the 3rd world.

  4. Prigger
    September 8, 2017

    The cliff edge is the point where the electorate wises up to the Remoaners in Parliament. Their constituency voters need individually campaigning. The same bad-penny faces each time in the House, the same cliches of the Remain campaign. In less tolerant nations than ours their continued stabs in our faces would land them in jail with some EU funded human rights organisation paying our tax-payers money seeking their release.
    What don’t they understand about the word democracy. Nothing actually. They merely despise it and with it our people.They are extremely intelligent and wonderfully educated pieces of ancient deleted narratives. Post 1889 Nietzsches.

  5. Roy Grainger
    September 8, 2017

    The 2-3 year transition period is often justified by reference to avoiding the cliff edge, however all it seems to do is postpone the cliff edge for 2-3 years. Those advocating the transition should explain more clearly what the point of it is.

    1. APL
      September 8, 2017

      Roy Grainger: “Those advocating the transition should explain more clearly what the point of it is.”

      We are currently in the EU, we have ceeded all our negotiating rights to the EU, we cannot legally negotiate any trade arrangements with other countries until we leave the EU.

      When we leave the EU, all trading arrangements negotiated on our behalf by the EU, ( Thanks Kenneth Clarke – and the rest of the Tory party ) will cease to apply.

      A transitional period will allow us to continue under the existing arrangements, yet not be restricted by our membership of the EU to negotiate new trade or other bilateral agreements with other countries- or indeed the EU.

      1. APL
        September 9, 2017

        A perfectly anodyne comment in moderation for 24 hours.

    2. Lifelogic
      September 8, 2017

      It is just a back door way to try to force the UK to stay in.

      I suspect it might well work, now that T May has given away her majority with her bonkers “vote for me and I will tax and punish you even further and hit you pensions and capital in old age” manifesto.

    3. Denis Cooper
      September 8, 2017

      The point of it all – the court cases, the parliamentary delays, the media campaigns the insistence on agreeing a transitional deal which is very close to the existing deal – is simply to gain enough time for public opinion to be reversed, in the hope that the EU will then agree that we can stay in after all.

      That was openly stated shortly after the referendum, for example:

      “With no constituents to fear and a conviction that remaining in the EU and helping it reform would be a much better option than plunging into the unknown, they would defy the whip, which cannot inflict the same pain as it does in the Commons. The Lords would be resoundingly “not content” and could remain a blockage to the legislation for up to one year.

      Much might change in that time. The EU might even concede that the UK was not the only country which needed to see some curbs on free movement and make changes. Then their lordships might argue that there was a good reason to call that second referendum and hope for a very different result.”

      That from unelected legislator-for-life Baroness Wheatcroft.

    4. rose
      September 8, 2017

      Their point is to keep us in. We should have none of it.

  6. Peter Wood
    September 8, 2017

    Good morning,
    Dr. Redwood, your critical point here is the possibility the EU autocracy will insist on the re-introduction of trade and travel barriers. (Understandably, since trade is their only lever on us.) Trade and travel needs to be the main theme of our efforts until we have some form of deal. All members of cabinet, especially the PM, should be talking with their opposite numbers around the capitals of Europe to make this point: The EU bureaucracy are going to cause enormous harm to all members unless they are told to do what is best for the European people and businesses, not their own incomes.

    1. Mike Stallard
      September 8, 2017

      “I have still to hear from another member state”
      No. This is wrong.
      The “Single Market” is run by the whole of the EU under the Commissioners who take an oath to support the EU and not their own country. Negotiations are firmly in the hands of M. Barnier. Individual states, as Mr Trump struggled to understand when with Mrs Merkel, are not permitted to make their own arrangements.

      We need to leave the EU and to aim at complete independence under WTO rules.
      We also need to remain in the European Economic Area.

      We can do both these things by joining EFTA, as M. Barnier hints and as the Icelandic government are inviting us to do.

    2. Anonymous
      September 8, 2017

      The only deal should be that we like each other’s goods and services enough to want to buy them above all others.

      The introduction of trade barriers is unfriendly.

      The introduction of travel barriers is sensible – indeed it was their removal (and the welfare subsidies which were needed to compensate for their removal) which caused Brexit.

      For those who say freedom of movement was an economic success I point to the rise in national and personal debt.

      This is the bottom line on the accounts sheet and it shows that the general policy has failed economically if nothing else.

  7. zorro
    September 8, 2017

    Thank you John, and it would be really helpful if you could advise T May/DD to stop using this silly phrase….. I was reading a Guardian piece yesterday about the ‘transitional deal’ and DD rejecting EFTA membership because… ‘The simple truth is membership of EFTA would keep us within the acquis and it would keep us in requirements for free movement, albeit with some restrictions but none have worked so far’…. OK, fair enough but then why are they effectively intending to all intents and purposes on keeping the aqcquis alive with this continual talk of a transitional deal (on something not yet negotiated) for at least several years and not signing trade deals as soon as possible after 31/03/19!

    Even Guy V was laughing at this when briefing members in the EU committee the other day by saying that the EU had suggested this all along and that effectively we would be keeping the acquis and doubtless continued payments to the EU to do so. I really do not understand why we are giving ground here and not effectively countering this nonsense.


  8. Whelk stallist
    September 8, 2017

    Some business persons are a trifle naff about THE cliff edge. The whole thing is like a tale from a Rupert Annual. If they dropped their toast face down on a morning they would shoot their dog for his GROSS error in woofing it back without permission. How did they ever start a business in the first place?

  9. Mick
    September 8, 2017

    After watching the debate at Westminster and newsnight last night the more I’m convinced that the Labour Party are trying to keep us in the dreaded eu, lets have another GE and see all these lying toe rags given the boot out of Parliament , the British people voted to leave the eu and not to be part of it in any shape or form, these lying backstabbing pro eu loving MPs had better get a grip of it or face being completely wiped out at the next GE

  10. Tasman
    September 8, 2017

    No member state wishes to impose barriers on their citizens trading and travelling to the UK. Why would they? What sort of idiotic comment is this? The problem is the barriers to UK exports to the EU which arise as an automatic consequence of the UK deciding to surrender the favourable trading terms of EU membership and reverting instead to the vague, weak and poorly enforced terms of the WTO.

  11. Bryan Harris
    September 8, 2017

    JR – you are too kind to the EU – They lie and bl;uster constantly, giving out false data when they can’t bully us

    If the EU had not been so badly mismanaged, it might have worked, but they are inept and incapable of doing what they need to do – rather they try their best to keep us tied to their laws and sucking us dry of resources to fund their nightmares.

  12. Gaggle it
    September 8, 2017

    One or two MPs are barking on about people “trolling” them. Many people haven’t a clue what they mean.Essentially it means a few MPs have not the mature presence of mind for Parliamentary work.
    Membership of online messaging services is not a requirement for MPs. Such services, for many young people, mimic online the playground type interaction of kids, say anything outrageous makes you a tiny tiny twinkling star amongst your “gang”.
    So to moaning MPs, if it is too hot for you then get out of the playground. Cancel your membership of the online playground. If as an adult you wish to avail yourself of more mature news and investigations, then alter your online identity not presenting yourself as Head of Upper School who ALWAYS has a nicely pressed and clean shirt or blouse and ALWAYS does as the teacher says and never never swears. Grow up!!!

  13. Martin
    September 8, 2017

    I note you mention travelling. Is this story true?

    Once again we see an important item, perhaps even more important post Brexit, being delayed for no good reason. Perhaps you could put forward an amendment to Mr Davis bill “and all extra airport runways, extension and related matters shall be deemed to be given planning permission.”

  14. stred
    September 8, 2017

    It is the EU which is facing a cliff edge when the second biggest contributor goes. Germany gains much from the low Euro and is willing to pay for the privilege, but will they and others face up to the missing billions of contributions and taxes. At the same time, they are planning the next phase of integration and expenses on defence and foreign aid while the migration crisis is causing divides, as central countries refuse orders from Mrs Merkel’s stooges.

    No wonder they and their collaborators in the UK are so keen on spinning the process out and are discussing with the likes of Herr Blair about the way to reverse their disaster.

  15. Mark B
    September 8, 2017

    Good morning.

    I stand between the arguments put before us by both our kind host and that of Dr. R.E. North. I do not believe either is completely right, or completely wrong. We will not fall off a cliff, and we will not carry on as if nothing has happened. What I believe will happen is that we will suffer some slowdown and maybe a small recession, but nothing that we have not had whilst in the EEC/EC/EU and before then. Let us face it, disruption, even if handled the Dr. North way, is inevitable !

    One has to look at what has happened to all those countries that broke up. Let us take two – The former Yugoslavia and, Czechoslovakia. Neither at that time were members of the EU. One descended into chaos and civil war, whilst the other transitioned into two nation states peacefully. The question is why ? There are many reasons but the one that in my opinion carries most weight is, that in the case of Czechoslovakia all parties wanted to part company amicably, where as those in the former Yugoslavia, did not. It is therefore a question of both political and social will.

    The social will of the people of the UK has been demonstrated by the Glorious Referendum of 2016. The then EEC accepted the UK’s wish, via referendum, to ‘remain’ in the EEC in 1975. Therefore I argue, the EEC/EC/EU has laid precedent that the national will regarding membership is a recognised thing and many of its current ‘Leaders’ seem to agree.

    As for our own politicians, they have asked us, got the answer, and are now in the process of implementing the will of the people. So both the social and political aspects are catered for.

    The EU is bound to be on friendly terms with near neighbours but, since up and until we leave, we are treated as any member would be treated who dares test their will – witness Greece or any of the other nations.

    I have still to hear from another member state what barriers they wish to impose . . . .

    And you never will. Because they have even less say over their lives than we do ! The Commission, or to give it its true name, The High Authority, is all powerful.

  16. zorro
    September 8, 2017

    By the ridiculous ‘cliff edge’ analogy, more than half (and growing) of our external trade with non EU countries is conducted on a ‘cliff edge’!! What nonsense – This analogy only makes sense if the EU intends to impose a Napoleonic style Continental System effectively blocking trade with the UK. I have to tell our EU neighbours that this would be madness and contrary to A8 TEU which effectively mandates the EU to ease/free up trade with neighbours and would contravene WTO…. Unless I am missing something John?


  17. Narrow Shoulders
    September 8, 2017

    Maybe our Prime Minister could go to the EU Parliament and lay your above reasoning out in a speech. Public dismissal of the EU’s threats is the best way to negate them.

  18. Nig l
    September 8, 2017

    What we are seeing is differences beginning to emerge between Barnier and the Commission and the member states. Barnier and co used to treating the members like vassals who give in to bullying is finding that this will not work with the UK and does not know what to do next, hence the personal outbursts.

    The member states are now becoming more pragmatic putting their own needs and the benefits they get from trading with us, over the political needs of the Commission desperate to punish us to discourage any others.

    Now might be the time to,open up some bi laterals with the Eastern bloc countries as to how we can support them if the EC punishes them for their stance on migration. I am sure part of our vast foreign aid budget could be diverted to our Polish friends to make up for any funding shortfalls that the EC might impose. Now I would like to see the looks on Junckers and Barnier’s faces if we did that!

  19. Ian W
    September 8, 2017

    There is now more than an air of fantasy around the arrangements for, and impact of Brexit. The latest assessment from the British Chambers of Commerce makes for grim reading (subscribers only):

    For non-subscribers, the BCC says that the reduction in the value of Sterling has failed to boost exports – whilst making the majority of goods more expensive for consumers due to rising input/import prices.

    This is despite the story pedalled by the pro-Brexit/extreme-Brexit brigade that the devaluation of Sterling is a good thing.

    As someone who voted remain, I strive to search for the silver lining, but I am disappointed by the fantasist conjecture on the Brexit deal which fails to be borne out by facts – very much a continuation of the Leave campaign.

  20. David Price
    September 8, 2017

    The EU principals – Juncker, Barnier, Verhofstadt backed up by the French and German leaderships have no interest in a mutually beneficial arrangement, their sole concern is to minimise the impact of the UK leaving on their finances and power.

    They will manufacture a “cliff edge” or it’s like and no matter what we do, say, offer or pay will reduce that because they cannot afford for our success or attitude to infect the vassal states of the EU. The negotiations are a sham and the EU clearly does not wish to be realistic or reasonable.

    We must instead focus our energy, talents and resources where we get some benefit and more of our people can prosper.

  21. Ian Wragg
    September 8, 2017

    Any MP who tries to derail Brexit should worry for their future.
    I do not wish for a second referendum on principle but I’m sure if we had one it would be 70/30 for OUT.
    Afterall when Blair and Mandleson are for staying it must be a con.

    1. Anonymous
      September 9, 2017

      I’d say 70/30 for OUT is a good estimation – because that’s exactly the ratio I would have guessed at the time of the referendum but which did not come to fruition because most Remain voters actually wanted to vote Leave too !

      Exceedingly few people were actually enthusiastic about the EU.

  22. Richard1
    September 8, 2017

    The Government needs to prepare a comprehensive paper setting out the consequences of no deal and the policy choices (eg reciprocal tariffs or unilateral free trade) which the UK would then have. This should have happened before now. It may be assserted that there is no cliff edge, but plenty of people still believe in it, including many business people, and – it seems – government ministers. This being the case, the EU will continue to invoke the terrors of the cliff edge to force concessions from the UK. The only way to counter this is to have it all clearly set out by the Goverment in a comprehensive document – what will happen if we leave with no deal. Only when public opinion is sanguine as to the walk-away option, will ministers be able to negotiate a sensible long term arrangement with the EU.

  23. Ian Wragg
    September 8, 2017

    John. The puzzling thing about the so called transition period is that all it will do is delay the so called cliff edge.
    If for example we said on WTO terms cars would be taxed at 10% nothing for 6months then rising 2.5% every 6 months, I could understand that.
    To do nothing for 2 years and then impose 10 % strikes me as a delaying tactic designed to pay Brussels tribute and never ever leaving.
    Please clarify what is to happen in Hammonds so called transition period.

  24. Brian Tomkinson
    September 8, 2017

    This language is all part of the propaganda war being fought by those determined to defy the will of the people as expressed in a democratic referendum and keep the UK in the EU. The broadcast media is massively anti-Brexit. It is irksome to continually hear presenters accept subserviently without question, any declaration by the EU whilst deriding statements from our own government. One of the most irritating aspects is the wilful mendacity of the Remoaners who state that they respect the result of the referendum and then go on to describe what they want to happen which is tantamount to keeping us in the EU. Just precisely why they are so desirous to be subservient to a foreign power has long been a mystery. Some gain directly financially, others have worked for the EU and sworn allegiance to it others seem to be clueless in the absence of instructions from Brussels. All share the EU’s loathing of direct democratic control. Such support for a foreign power against your own country was once regarded as treason.

  25. Anonymous
    September 8, 2017

    I do understand but the friendly and reasonable Mr Mike Stallard’s concerns need to be addressed in detail as regards trading standards and cross border frictions after May 2019. The man is clearly on our side and if he’s worried then so am I.

    1. Simon
      September 8, 2017

      Unfortunately Mr Redwood and others of his ilk resolutely refuse to grasp or acknowledge what being a third country with no deal with the EU and excluded from all the EU deals with other third countries actually means in practical terms.

      Reply Do stop the lies. The EU trade deals with other countries will transfer to us.

      1. Lawyer
        September 9, 2017

        “The EU trade deals with other countries will transfer to us. ” – you are the liar, Mr Redwood. This is simply untrue, as any lawyer will tell you

        Reply Watch this space – they will

        1. David Price
          September 10, 2017

          @Simon & @Lawyer – Lawyers for Britain disagree with you and provide a reasonable argument for their position.

  26. Ed Mahony
    September 8, 2017

    No cliff edge but gradual decline over years that will amount close to a Cliff Edge.

    Weaker businesses need the safety of the single market. Easier and cheaper to trade in the Netherlands than in Japan.

    This will put big burden on businesses and economy. As will reduction of investment from outsiders using UK as gateway into Europe. We also have large national debt to pay off whilst we re-jig our economy. And the socialists breathing down our neck, threatening the economy and Hard Brexit. And trouble in N. Ireland (and Scotland and Gibraltar). Meanwhile younger to middle-aged right-wing voters don’t share the older right-wing voters vision of 1950’s UK (and older generation just dying off sooner, so less of them in 10 years time, plus a lot of them already feel guilty about voting to leave the EU, diminishing the UK economy, and increasing the stress on their children and grandchildren). They’re more international. Lastly, most people not that bothered by the Europe question. Economy more important. So when the economy being to shrink, people will really begin to question Europe.

    So the following likely to happen:

    – Second referendum in around 10 years time. Country votes to return to the EU (reluctantly but with sizeable majority). But we lose all the concessions we had. And forced to join the Euro. And so on.

    – And/or. A new centre party emerges, appealing to the younger generation and to right-wing and left-wing remainers. Bit like like in France. And the Conservative and Labour parties will diminish / disappear.

    Unintended consequences of Brexit.

    1. Anonymous
      September 9, 2017

      So no Cliff Edge then.

    2. APL
      September 10, 2017

      Ed Mahony: “No cliff edge but gradual decline over years that will amount close to a Cliff Edge.”

      Then look at British industry in the thirty years after the second world war, and compare that with the 43 years of our membership of the European union.

      There is nothing as bad that could happen to us outside the EU that hasn’t already happened to us while members of the EU.

      It is largely entirely the fault of the politicians. These are the people who, could – one minute be living in a box under Waterloo bridge – no qualifications, no assets, not much experience, and the next be promoted into a £70,000 pa job. We’d probably be better off if we recruited MPs exclusively from Waterloo bridge!

      They have screwed over the British steel industry, they argued over the British rail industry, they squabbled over the British mining industry they meddled with the British ship building industry, they ruined Morris Motors by the forced merger with Leyland . None of those industries escaped without serious injury caused by British government meddling.

      They tried to launch British flagship of New technology Inmos it failed but the British government, thankfully completely overlooked ARM.

      Any industry outside of Banking, that has succeeded in the United Kingdom over the last century, has done so despite the British Governments best efforts.

  27. Ed Mahony
    September 8, 2017

    Instead we should be focusing on remaining in the EU to reform it to our advantage (never done, we’ve only really tried for concessions).
    Meanwhile, we pay off our national debt. And focus on rebuilding up our economy, in particular, supporting start-ups and helping start-ups go international, in particular, in the high tech industry but other industries as well.
    To me, this makes the most sense. The most logical, practical and realistic approach to keep our country growing, and strong and stable.

    1. APL
      September 9, 2017

      Ed Mahony: “Instead we should be focusing on remaining in the EU to reform it to our advantage (never done, we’ve only really tried for concessions).”

      It may never have been done, but that is because it can’t be done. The EU isn’t reformable from within. It is going in exactly the direction its other members want it to go.

      It’s there in the founding documents. Ever closer Union – in effect the goal is a single state.

  28. Anonymous
    September 8, 2017

    What is the world saying about the UK ‘cliff edge’ ?

    There was widespread panic about Portugal or Ireland or Italy or Greece or Spain dragging the global economy down the plug hole.

    Yet Newmaniac has it that if Britain goes down (particularly the London colossus) we will do so on our own and all other nations will be laughing up their sleeves, safe and insulated from its effects.

    Remainers are having it both ways.

    On the one hand they say Britain’s Leavers cannot expect to live in isolation from the rest of the world and then – in the same breath – they tell us that our demise will only benefit surrounding economies.

    If London tanks then it is taking the European (therefore the global economy) with it.

    1. Anonymous
      September 8, 2017

      5th paragraph should read:

      On the one hand they say Britain cannot expect to be insulated from the rest of the world and then – in the same breath – they tell us that our demise will benefit surrounding economies and that we will suffer in splendid isolation.

      If Britain tanks in Cliff Edge style then it is taking the European (therefore the global) economy with it.

      It will make the PIIGS problem look like a cakewalk.

  29. Bert Young
    September 8, 2017

    Why bother with the negotiations ? . We simply want ” out ” asap . Trading will depend on whether one side wants what we have to offer and whether the other side has something we need . Pricing from both sides will have nothing to do with a ” trade deal “. If goods and services are not competitive , no-one will buy them ; if they are sought after – for whatever reason , they will be purchased .

    Control at our borders is key . Our population has reached a point where we are no longer able to sustain all the support facilities it requires . No-one should be allowed through unless they are subjected to a scrutiny we enforce . Anyone who is permitted to reside here has to accept our language , customs and law ; those who do not abide by this simple code of living have to leave and return from whence they came .

  30. Toffeeboy
    September 8, 2017

    Mr Redwood, you’d better hope Mr Trump doesn’t make the WTO redundant!

  31. A.Sedgwick
    September 8, 2017

    The delay in issuing the A50 letter was pointless and effectively created a transition period. Mrs.May assumed office 13/07/16, immediately she showed her lack of judgment and history by not sending the letter next day – Bastille Day – nicely symbolic.

    It has been clear to many of us and politicians there will be no deal without the collapse of the EU as we know it. The EU is anti free trade by design, the Single Market is the EU and the vested interests that include the Council i.e. 27 Governments are wedded to its survival. We are wasting our time in negotiating a trade deal, it is very clear we will not get the so called benefits of the single market without paying for it. Which Government in their right mind pays another country to trade with it?

    We should just accept now WTO rules will apply and concentrate on the logistics of implementing those.

  32. Kenneth
    September 8, 2017

    I think the eu member states and Council will be reasonable when the time comes.

    At the moment we have a phoney war where the commission is spouting propaganda and nonsense and the BBC are lapping it up.

    When the member states and Council get a grip of the talks and muzzle the commission yapping dog and the BBC finally accepts we are leaving I think things we become more sensible.

  33. acorn
    September 8, 2017

    JR, is there any indication that some corner of the UK government, is working on a specific set of WTO schedules for rapid deployment post Brexit? Particularly the “tariff rate quotas” split from the current EU versions.

    “Under WTO rules, the EU has struck 124 deals, outlining the quantity of products such as chicken, butter or beef it allows its trading partners to import every year.” “The final, and preferred option, is to lower the EU quota and have Britain add a new quota itself.”

    Tariff rate quotas affect shop prices and, if the quota is too large, will kill the more expensive domestic production.

  34. wduddy
    September 8, 2017

    Just as i thought..its getting vrry serious now

    1. Anonymous
      September 8, 2017

      Of course it’s getting ‘vrry’ serious.

      Let’s not pretend that the British economy can go off a cliff edge without grave consequences for the global economy.

      Remainers want it both ways. “You can’t expect to live in splendid economic isolation” they tell Leavers when they ask for reasonable immigration control. Yet Remainers say that Britain will tank in splended economic isolation when it suits their argument.

      Britain going ‘off a cliff edge’ will cause a domino effect.

      We had better be treated carefully.

      We have non EU debts to pay. We had better be left in a fit state to pay them. Our assets had better be left in a worthwile state too as many rich foreigners have vested interest in them.

      Reply Remain currently argue both that going off an imaginary cliff edge will plunge us into recession like the one they predicted for last winter and that our main problem will be a shortage of workers from the EU!

      1. Anonymous
        September 9, 2017

        Reply to reply – A very good observation.

        I have also noticed no rush to sell London housing.

        I’d take a Remainer more seriously if he’d already sold his house and parked the money in a safe foreign currency waiting for the downturn he predicts.

        Either he’s wrong on the Brexit outcome or he has little business acumen. Not to be taken seriously.

  35. Know-all Atheist
    September 8, 2017

    Mr Rees-Mogg MP is getting some stick from this moment’s normalists. The Guardian which has never so much as tried giving a health warning on its attempts at journalism, says he is a joke and also a bigot. If only their mothers had known how they would turn out before they were born.
    Mr Rees-Mogg does not come over as a bigot. I honestly do not know the exact time strands of DNA become a human being. Given the number of Guardian readers, it could take decades for all we know. Even then, is it Life as we know it?

  36. Denis Cooper
    September 8, 2017

    As I’ve said before, more than once, it’s common for international treaties to include transitional provisions to smooth the movement from the present arrangements to the desired and agreed new arrangements. And it’s also common for the parties to a new treaty to agree to the provisional application of some or all of its provisions before it has been formally approved and ratified by all the parties, and it is also not uncommon for the parties to an existing treaty to agree that some or all of it will continue to apply for the time being despite some major changes of circumstances.

    It all depends on what the parties wish to achieve and what they can agree together.

    However there has to be a well-grounded presumption that all the parties are acting in good faith, and saying that to get an orderly rather than a disorderly change you want to make use of one or more of these devices – transitional provisions, provisional application, temporary continuation of an existing treaty – or any other expedients, while your real hidden intention is to stop all or part of the change happening – to give permanence to what was supposed to be temporary – then that is not acting in good faith.

    Which is where the Labour party is at present, as let slip by its deputy leader: pretend that you want some transitional arrangement which in fact would be very close to the present arrangement, and then plan for it to become permanent.

  37. Garretg
    September 8, 2017

    Well said JR except it was a little too much on the lecturing style.i rather liked what Lady harmon had to say in a few words..

    Again listening to IDS last night..and looking at the sour puss of Bill Cashman sitting on the benches i now know that we are on the wrong fact it’s more than that..we are sunk

    Bringing back laws here so that we can fingerprint EU nationals and think we are then going to get away with that and then get some kind of a future bespoke deal as as barnier said..that is not going to happen

  38. Freeborn John
    September 8, 2017

    The government have to prepare public opinion and industry for no deal and trading on WTO terms. It is perfectly obvious the EU has no I ntention of offering a reasonable trade deal that includes services. The likelihood is that they would want us to pay for a trade deal that covers only the goods where they have a surplus and accept free movement of people too. If the government persists in chasing this will-o-the-wisp trade deal it opens itself up to being held over a barrel as March 2019 approaches. It is imperative the Uk makes plain its plans at the WTO to have its own trade schedules. It has to be 100% clear to the world that the UK has completed all preparations to trade on WTO terms from March 2019 or the EU will sense a golden chance to punish the UK. Stringing out de-facto EU membership or forgoing the benefits of brexit (such as a trade deal with the Trump administration) because the EU itself is jerking us around is not an option!

  39. Terry
    September 8, 2017

    I am pleased to say that I now treat every claim coming from Brussels over our Brexit, with the contempt it has earned.

    1. hefner
      September 9, 2017

      The problem is that, as seen last week from France, the same could be said of everything coming from Britain, being taken over there with first incredulity and second amazement at how weak DD’s and by extension the UK’s position is.
      A comment I heard (not statistically significant obviously, but from somebody rather knowledgeable in economics) was how amateurish the whole UK stance still is fourteen months after the referendum. For anybody familiar with French, the Brits are now the best proponents of “la methods Coue’ “.

      It seems clear that the UK-EU27 discussions heavily mix politics and economics, but the UK would appear weak on both fronts.

  40. Jack snell
    September 8, 2017

    There is no cliff edge, agreed, but if we leave without agreeing the EU exit terms then there can be no future deal either and so no transitional period. That is not the cliff edge- the cliff edge is if we have nothing else in place ready to compensate for the 50% trade loss on our departure 29th march 2019- as someone said before then the lights will go out.

    Reply We wont lose trade on departure

    1. jack Snell
      September 8, 2017

      reply to reply- we will if the French backed by Junker, Verhofstadt, Tusk and Barnier have anything to do with it.

      1. zorro
        September 9, 2017

        Would you really want to be linked in any way, shape or thought to anyone capable of thinking that they could ban all trade!


    2. Simon
      September 8, 2017

      If we are going to lose no trade why is Liam Fox at panic stations trying to get “trade deals” (whatever they are supposed to be).

      Reply He is not at panic stations but trade deals elsewhere can improve our position – why not do that when we are able to?

  41. Simon Coleman
    September 8, 2017

    It’s thousands of UK businesses which believe that there will be a cliff edge. Why not talk to some of them instead of endlessly pontificating about the EU?

    Reply That’s exactly what I do! Business people can also read Hansard, see my tweets or visit this blog.

    1. hefner
      September 9, 2017

      Indeed, they can read Hansard, see your tweets, visit this blog: and so what?
      What is your real weight in the present situation? One among the 40ish signatories of the coming ERG letter?

      Reply Clearly of sufficient weight for you to spend time trying to damage me here on my blog

      1. Anonymous
        September 9, 2017

        Reply to reply – You’re master of the one-liner. A great gift you have there.

        1. hefner
          September 10, 2017

          Anonymous, Agreed, stand-up comedians are usually very good at one-liners.

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