Let’s pick some truth from this continuing EU debate

A few noisy Remain supporters, including now much of the Parliamentary Labour party, persist in spreading falsehoods from Project Fear and the referendum campaign.

We now know that their predictions about the first year after the vote, and after the Article 50 letter, were wide of the mark. Unemployment did not surge. House prices did not plunge. Commercial Property did not tumble. There was no first winter recession post the vote. The economy continued to generate a lot of extra jobs and housebuilding expanded at a lively pace.

Today they still assert that the UK will lose the benefits of the 50 or so free trade Agreements the EU has with other countries when we leave. This includes particularly important ones with Switzerland, Canada and South Korea. There are no such agreements with USA, China, India or the other large economies. I have every confidence that all these FTAs will pass to the UK as a member state co signatory, as they are entitled to do under international law. The only thing that could stop them passing is if the non EU state that entered into the Agreement wished to block. None have said they will block the UK keeping these agreements.

It is still fashionable for them to argue that the EU will have to punish us for leaving, to discourage others from doing the same. This is a bizarre view of friendly neighbouring countries that they wish us to stay close to. If the EU is as good as they say why would others wish to leave? Many of them are net recipients of cash, unlike us, so they certainly have no incentive to leave. The reason they are wrong is that the EU does not have the power to punish us once we have left. They cannot give us worse trade terms than they afford the rest of the world, as they are co signatories of the WTO protocols and agreements. We have rights under the WTO to trade redress if they tried heavy handed tactics. We would also have common cause with many other countries who will not want the EU using UK departure from the EU as an excuse to turn more protectionist against the UK and all the other WTO members in consequence.

There is a strange wish on the part of many establishment figures in the UK to send lots more money to the EU because that is what the EU would like us to do. They need to grasp two simple points. The first is we owe them nothing other than our usual contributions up to departure. Secondly UK voters will be livid with them if they try to give large sums to the EU with no legal basis. We do not need to pay to trade – indeed that is illegal under WTO rules. If they want to charge us to trade it has to be done by imposing tariffs, where they are limited on what they can do by the WTO schedules.

There is also a stupid pessimism about the UK’s abilities to run a borders and customs system once we are out. We have to run a policed system at the moment. Lorries and planes arriving at UK ports have to be checked for illegal migrants, terrorist materials, animal welfare, plant health and other matters. Non EU trade has to be assessed for tariffs. It is well within the UK’s ability to have a functioning border to trade with the EU as we trade with the rest of the world if we have no deal by 30 March 2019.

Some say there will be huge problems with too many parked lorries in Dover and Folkestone. We do sometimes have a big problem with parked lorries when there are French strikes, and for that reason are putting in a huge lorry park near Ashford at the moment to cope with this eventuality. It will not normally be needed once we are out, but is a useful contingency for disruption if there are more French strikes.
Others say planes will not be able to fly! Try telling that to French and German airlines who will make sure they have rights to come to the UK and in turn will understand we need landing rights in their countries.

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82 Comments

  1. Henry Spark
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 5:35 am | Permalink

    None of these FTAs will pass to the UK. Why should South Korea or Canada offer the UK a deal as good as the one they offer to the EU, when the EU offers them a market ten times bigger and more profitable than the UK’s? Only someone naive of the reality of international trade negotiation could believe such nonsense. So, Mr Redwood, do you really believe it?

    Reply Get ready to eat your words. I expect this part of our new trade arrangements will be arranged quite swiftly.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      So, Henry, explain why those or any other countries should want to cease trading with the UK just because the UK has left the EU. I could understand it if at present they were being forced to trade with the UK against their will because the UK was part of the EU, but how close do you think that is to the reality? Do you think that Korea and Canada would really prefer not to trade with us, and so they will seize the opportunity to use Brexit as a pretext for cutting trade relations they don’t want?

      • Henry Spark
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        Denis, they do want to continue to trade with us. But they will not grant us such a good trade deal as they give the EU, because our market is so much smaller than the EU’s, and so we have less to offer them.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

          If a country already has a broadly satisfactory trade deal agreed with the UK via the EU, why on earth should it want to go through the process of renegotiating that deal to deliberately downgrade it for the UK when it could simply agree that we will carry on as before?

          That is, unless the present deal includes some particular sore points for them, which they decide they want to be rectified.

          This is very much EU-think. The EU member states solemnly agree treaties with multiple clauses saying that it should work towards liberating trade not only across Europe but around the world, see my not necessarily exhaustive list of relevant articles here:

          http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/08/30/mr-draghi-wants-more-free-trade-so-why-not-accept-the-uk-offer/#comment-886295

          but then if a country decides to leave the EU it sets out to deliberately reintroduce unnecessary obstacles to trade; and we are supposed to want political union with such untrustworthy hypocrites?

        • Richard1
          Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

          They don’t have to grant anything, they just have to agree to continue with current arrangements. The biggest misconception in this whole debate is one country does another a special favour by ‘granting’ free trade access. Is mutually beneficial, irrespective of the relative sizes.

        • David Price
          Posted September 10, 2017 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

          According to the EU’s DG trade statistical pocket guide, (January 2016) we account for 14.4% of goods and 13.8% of the services imported in to the EU market.

          Once we leave the EU market becomes smaller and those numbers change to 16% and 16.9%. By our leaving the EU exports also shrink as we account for 11.6% of goods and 22.4% of services exported from the EU.

          Would Korea really decline the 16% of exports to this region or would they rather instead look to increase them in place of the German cars and washing machines that the EU wishes to have us pay higher taxes on?

        • lojolondon
          Posted September 10, 2017 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

          Henry, you are listening to the wrong people as just a moment’s thought will demonstrate. Almost every country in the world wants to deal with the UK – we are a compact, wealthy economy, traders and conusmers on a massive scale. So they all do want to sell to us. Secondly, I can’t think of any country in the world that puts tariffs on EXPORTS. So they will all be competing to increase sales to us, and we will be able to choose the best products at the best price. If a country decides to put taxes on supplies to the UK then we will buy from their neighbours. The UK is going to be a far better place after Brexit – stop listening to the ‘experts’.

      • Hope
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        Dennis, I am afraid you are correct and have mentioned several times the lack of PR unit from David Davis’ department. All these fanciful notions have one purpose: to prolong and change our minds in the hope of a second referendum if any poll claims there has been a huge swing. May caused the problem by her prolonged stance allowing every obstacle to be thrown in the way without blame to her. I think the blame does rest with her.

        Carney should be gone by now, Hammond sacked, more leavers should be in cabinet to represent the public view of leave. After all May is all about fair representation of society in her in fair equality babble. Now she is confusing young vulnerable children by allowing schools to let boys dress as girls under the guise of diversity! How about the majority and what it does to their minds?

        JR, is quite right, but why is this not coming from Govt? Has beens are getting more air time to present the same arguments as they did before the election. Good to watch Farage beating the drum in Germany, very balanced and hard hitting facts. Where is Boris?

        • Hope
          Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

          Given the apocalyptic warnings we have been given it is no surprise Blaire is back to warn us of the dangers, perhaps weapons of mass destruction, he has form for that sort of thing. Does any right minded person believe this descredited soul?

          Change rules to stop former Minsters profiting from their former position and contacts. People were killed and maimed because of this person, yet the govt still him from legal proceedings. There was no noble reason or cause for the Iraq war, none whatsoever. We are still suffering the consequences today.

          • Hope
            Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

            BTW was it not Blair who told us we would have a referendum on the L isbon Treaty, then Brown scuttled off behind doors to sign without us having a say. Now Blair speciously claims the public should have a say once it was known what the deal is. Incredulous he could speak such rot or why anyone would believe anything he said.

          • Chris
            Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

            Mr Blair seems to be a deluded individual.

        • Richard Clark
          Posted September 13, 2017 at 9:49 am | Permalink

          Nigel Farage being ” very balanced”. Wow! Who are you kidding?

    • Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

      @Henry

      I’m fascinated to know how Henry can be so sure that the governments of Canada and South Korea, etc., will decide to cease all trade with Britain? I’m also eager to know how he thinks those governments will enforce these authoritarian dictats across all sectors in their respective countries, including the unregulated and non-regulated ones?

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

        I bet Bombardier of Canada or Samsung of Korea would be a bit miffed if their governments told them that they couldn’t trade with us after 31/03/19.

    • Richard Clark
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      Oh come on! There is the little matter of intellectual property rights affecting the 57 trade deals and which the EU may understandably have concerns about unconditionally handing over to the UK. This could lead to protracted legal wrangling and which could have serious economic consequences. I do wish Mr Redwood would stop making simplifications about complicated issues. This behaviour is disingenuous to say the least.

  2. eeyore
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    “We do not need to pay to trade – indeed that is illegal under WTO rules.” I didn’t know this, but if ever there was a knockdown argument, here it is. Well done JR.

  3. Tasman
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    You write – “They cannot give us worse trade terms than they afford the rest of the world”. Well, of course, but that is not the point: leaving the EU means leaving the massive trade advantages we get as members of its single market. That’s 45 % of our trade you want to make worse off. Crazy

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

      What “massive trade advantages” would they be, then?

      The 1% or so added to our GDP through the creation of the single market:

      https://www.bertelsmann-stiftung.de/fileadmin/files/BSt/Publikationen/GrauePublikationen/Policy-Brief-Binnenmarkt-en_NW_02_2014.pdf

      but with a chronic, “massive”, trade deficit?

      Or do you mean the “massive trade advantages” for some other country?

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

      45% of our exports, not total trade, go to or via the EU, with which we have a huge trading deficit, and of which c 8% is for non EU destinations via Rotterdam.

      EU exports are c. 10% of UK business.

      Because we are members of the Single Market and Customs Union, the other 90% of our business has to trade and operate under EU rules.

      You clearly think this is a good idea – I am with those who think it is not.

    • Richard Clark
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Well said. Interesting to note that business leaders unable to recently endorse the Maybot’s pathetic appeal to them to support her Brexit strategy. One of them referred to it as chaotic. After all what do business people know about creating jobs and wealth as opposed to right wing politicos like John Redwood?

      Reply I have run large industrial companies and know about creating and protecting jobs

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Exactly. The EU member countries will, in the end, act in their own interests which will be in the UK’s interest too.

    I see that Lord Harris (in the Times yesterday) has been attacking Mrs May as hopeless, weak, dithering and no Lady Thatcher. I think we all can see that.

    If however, like Mrs May, your compass is usually pointing in the wrong socialist, PC. greencrap direction and you think an election is best fought with a punishment manifesto – then dithering is perhaps rather better than not dithering.

    Please can someone provide T May with a working compass and make her get real.

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    You say house prices did not plunge. Well even if they had this would largely have been due to absurd levels of stamp duty land tax of up to 15% and the taxation of non existant profits on landlords (and thus hitting tenants too). These were introduced by the economically illiterate George Osborne and kept by the similarly misguided Philip Hammond both remainers.

    The expensive Central London areas, hardest hit by this damaging 15% turnover tax, have in fact declined very significantly. Not due to Brexit but due to incompetent over taxation by misguided tax borrow and piss down the drain Chancellors.

  6. Peter Wood
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    The trouble with your analysis, Dr. Redwood, is that we, Mr. Davis, is talking to the wrong party! The EU bureaucracy has no ‘skin in the game’, they have different objectives to that of reasonable continuing terms of trade.
    This is why you and your colleagues really need to take the discussion to those that do care, the businesses and capitals of the larger members of the EU, particularly Berlin.

  7. Duncan
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    Let’s focus on the facts and the most important fact is that a simple majority of the British people voted to leave the EU. That this is true is beyond argument. All else is hot air and political posturing with menace

    Of course we need all honourable MP’s and other interested groups who believe in the sanctity of direct democracy to focus their attention on those individuals and groups who are working tirelessly and under the radar to derail our exit from the EU and in the process overturn the referendum result

    • Hope
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, you are quite correct. However, it would be fair representation if a leave MP was PM and the majority of cabinet reflected the public wish to leave. The opposite is true. May has dithered by not sending the letter, allowing all obstacles to be placed in the way, calling an election which w not necessary and she refused many times, by not securing our borders, by not cutting immigration, by not being firm with the EUto say that unless they treat our negotiators with respect and uphold norms of private discussions the U.K. Will walk away and fulfill our legal obligations to the letter not spirit. Unfortunately her record in office as HS and PM is appalling.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    They just never give up do they?

    It really is time to name and shame the perpetuators of the lies being spread.
    In a normal world, you might get the BBC to do that, but they are big perpe-traitors already.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      Many of them hide behind pseudonyms.

  9. Dauber
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Successive governments educated our people, not. Not in basic politics. It financed”Uni” nutjob academics pushing leftie-liberal crap instead. So, “much of the Labour Party” spread blatant lies to a gullible electorate. This is how politicians have wanted the electorate. No use complaining.
    But with all political movements, much is below the conventional radar. Hence things suddenly blow up both figuratively and street-wise. I hear London Bridge has now chunks of concrete on it. Must be something MPs did not say,Something the government failed to educate people about. Huge, chunky, ugly political truths. They are the only works of art in London.

  10. agricola
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Nothing to worry about providing our borders in all respects are adequately resourced, and our fisheries protection is brought up to strength.

  11. Dick Whittington Cat
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    If Parliament conducted itself importantly, if it conducted itself with the organisational skill even of a village raspberry tart competition meeting; then, there would be an end to repetitious sterile debate. Boris would say “Surely we have the wit to do it?” Of course! It is just a typical parliamentary question of hard or soft wit and, when the number of MPs is reduced to a realistic 150

  12. Norman
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    Thanks, John. Another breath of much needed fresh air. There are people I come across who are becoming despondent about what they believed was a great victory at the Referendum, and one of them told me he was heartened from reading your blog, which I had recommended him to. Don’t give up. Keep going!

  13. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Once again John, a great piece explaining things concisely and openly.

    I don’t know about other people but I thought the BBC Last Night of the Proms was an utter disgrace. After about 10 mins I went to bed. I’m surprised there wasn’t a riot there last night. Talk about anti British! Perhaps many of them were Lib Dim and Labour supporters??

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      Turned off, should have watched “Emma” instead …

  14. Excalibur
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    You have a special capacity, JR, for the explication of apparently complex issues that demolishes the opposing arguments. After the gloom pumped at us daily by the MSM, one is imbued with a new optimism. Thank you.

  15. Mortar Bored
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Some person from Westminster is bullying my local council in building more houses ( Urgent ). Never mind our green spaces. Why? Mine is one horse town and it needs somewhere to graze. We thought immigration is stopping. Why build houses only needing pulling them down again in ten years?

  16. Richard1
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Any view on the solution to the Irish border issue?

  17. Tabulazero
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    You do realise that a hard Brexit means you have to implement a new custom software by 2019 ? The next one has been 10 years in the making and is still not ready.

    You better get cranking, Mr Redwood, you truly do.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      So what is your recommended solution, as a foreigner?

  18. formula57
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Indeed, and some 170 or so other countries around the world seem to cope somehow (I have no idea how!) with being outside the Evil Empire so there is every hope that the UK might.

    Your message needs to be relayed strongly and forcefully by cabinet ministers at every opportunity to counter Remoaners and the quislings who manipulate them. Why is the government so mute?

  19. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Hopefully you will be offered a 30 minute spot on the Marr show to counter Blair’s 30 minute monologue.

    • Timaction
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Exactly. He even looked a bit embarrassed trying to sell us his hogwash. The patsy Marr just sat there and didn’t raise to any significant challenge as he does when interviewing Mr Farage or other Brexiteers. Same old, same old. Move on we’re leaving!!

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

        Marr is typical of “BBC think” – wrong on every major issue, a lefty, pro EU, climate alarmist dope with almost zero grasp of science, engineering, energy, economics, logic, reason, risk/reward, competitive advantage or maths. He is a total patsy (as you say) to anyone other than the few sound Tories or Farage.

        Even he says admits he was a raving lefty at university, English, Trinity Hall, he has not grown up much if at all.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Yes and he spoke utter garbage as usual. I don’t know why they bother with him as he has been shown to be exactly that – a has been !

  20. Doug Powell
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Have just seen Anthony of Iraq on TV rubbishing Brexit and Brexiteers, pressing for a second referendum etc., etc.

    One could write a book to refute his arguments, but that would take too long. So, I offer a simple rule of thumb, by which to assess Anthony’s words.

    “You can always tell when he is lying – he opens his mouth!”

  21. Anonymous
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Then there is the issue that if the EU pushes us over the ‘cliff edge’ (for a malicious push is what is needed for that to happen) then the impact of Britain and London tanking will be cataclysmic for the global economy and particularly the EU economy.

    So let’s all play nice.

    Some Remainers say “Ah. It’ll be more gradual than than. A slow exodus of business.” OK. Maybe. But that is not a cliff edge. We will have time to cope with that.

    (Thank you for this long awaited post, Mr R. Most reassuring.)

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      You are also right to point out that the continuance of EU membership is not a guarantee of avoiding trade blockades at our borders – petty nationalistic French unionists have been the most capable of causing those.

      I don’t recall a ‘little Englander’ movement ever stopping French goods the other way. So much for Continentals always being the enlightened and fair minded ones.

  22. oldtimer
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    I see that Mr Blair is at it again this morning on the Marr programme. He seems to have forgotten – or forgot to mention – that we were threatend with doom and destruction by the establishment, aided and abetted by the then President of the United States, before the referendum. No doubt he is acting with the full support of the EU Commission to keep the UK gravy train delivering its £multi billions ad infinitum so tht it may continue to live in the manner to which it has become accustomed.

  23. Bert Young
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    Post Brexit all that will happen is in our hands – and much of that will depend on the Chancellor . If he is wise , he will institute a regime of low taxation ; this will spur manufacturers and service organisations to make the most of it .

    The EU will suffer if it imposes restrictions on the trade they do with us ; this will impact on the economies that provide most of the income to its funds . With the world open once again to the sort of basis that existed before we joined the Common Market , we will be free to exploit it ; any constraints that occur will be of our own making .

    The City of London has skills and experience second to none ; try as they will other EU centres will not be able to offer this tradition with the same consistency and trust that is necessary in financial markets . Duplicating this background will border on the impossible .

    Overall I have always believed that we have nothing to lose and much to gain from “leaving”. We need to breathe the fresh air of independence asap .

  24. Duyfken
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    In the DT today, Simon Heffer approvingly cites JR as one of the more intelligent (yet shamefully unused) Tory MPs, and goes on to say this daily diary is compulsory reading for him. If he and others of the media and political circles are so inclined, I wonder if they also trouble themselves to read the comments. Further, much as I like and align myself with the contributions from such a LL and Dennis Cooper, it would be even better were Mr Heffer, those of his ilk and prominent political figures to add their opinions to these columns – what stops them?

    • Bert Young
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

      Simon Heffer has always been a journalist of principle and forthright opinion . His understanding and expression of current events has always satisfied my political instincts .

  25. Jon Neale
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    You say “I have every confidence that all these FTAs will pass to the UK as a member state co signatory, as they are entitled to do under international law.”

    The House of Commons briefing paper on the EU-Canada Free Trade agreement quotes your government, which disagrees with your view:
    “The Government’s analysis is that on leaving the EU, the UK will lose access to the trade preferences set out in CETA “unless arrangements to do are put in place as part of [its] negotiations with the EU”.
    http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7492#fullreport

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

      To continue the quote:

      “The Minister states that his Department is “examining options for the UK to enjoy continued access to its current trade preferences to provide continuity for UK businesses … ”

      I don’t think there can be many people claiming that there will be no need for any diplomatic communication or negotiation at all to straighten out the position; the question is whether that would be along the lines of:

      “Right, we will have to go right back to where we were many years ago before we started the negotiations for this trade agreement”,

      or more like:

      “We’d like to carry on as now, is that OK with you or do you have some objections we need to sort out?”

      As I see it if a country is happy to trade with us now while we are in the EU then it will very probably be happy to carry on trading with us after we have left the EU and on similar terms. Maybe a little tweaking will be necessary or desirable, but even that need not be done immediately before trade can continue.

      In any case as I have repeatedly pointed out the economic significance of these EU trade deals is greatly exaggerated: on page 5 of the report “in the long run, the benefit to the UK economy will be of the order of £1.3 billion per annum” and a footnote explains that this would be around 0.07% of our GDP.

  26. fedupsoutherner
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    OMG. It is impossible to watch the TV lately without some kind of reference to Brexit. Sundaybrunch on Channel 4 has Jeremy Vine (normally associated with anti Brexit BBC) and other guests comparing ingredients with anti Brexit and pro Brexit votes. You couldn’t make it up. Naturally all the guests are anti Brexit. No surprise there then. Is it any wonder the public are confused when they are bombarded with crap from all channels? I cannot remember a time when much of the establishment was so intent on reversing democracy and actually changing a democratic vote.

  27. jonP
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    You paint an optimistic picture, but the truth is that come midnight on 29th March 2019 the port of Calais will all close down.They will switch the lights off and go to bed. The town will go back to being a sleepy little place that it once was. Now fast forward a bit- after some time, maybe months, maybe years, some kind of trade will pick up again but it won’t be by lorries and trucks through the port of Calais but more like containers being shipped to the port of Rotterdam for inspection and onward clearance to EU destinations. Information is that the french have had enough of British trucks trundling up and down their highways and are determined now to bring about the changes they see as necessary to suit themselves – One thing for sure is that after 29th March 2019 nothing will be the same again.

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

      Perhaps you could provide a scintilla of evidence proving this “truth”.

      • Ian Wragg
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Denis. My brother in law owns a transport company and he assures me that about 65%of the trucks are Continentals. They really would be cutting their nose off………..

    • Oggy
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

      jonP – ‘One thing for sure is that after 29th March 2019 nothing will be the same again’.
      Your right there – we will be a self Governing country again !

      • AdamC
        Posted September 10, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Yes Oggy, we’ll be left sitting in the dark, self governing but poorer, much poorer

  28. Nigel
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    Forget what happens when we leave. If we were to remain, it could be a lot worse. This quote from the Gatestone institute gives an example:

    :The European Union’s highest court has rejected a complaint by Hungary and Slovakia over the legality of the bloc’s mandatory refugee quota program, which requires EU member states to admit tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the European Commission, the powerful executive arm of the European Union, has the legal right to order EU member states to take in so-called asylum seekers, and, conversely, that EU member states have no legal right to resist those orders.”

    Just imagine how many of Frau Merkel’s invitees they would oblige us to accept.

  29. Michael
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    My view is that the EU will not give us a favourable trade deal even though it will mean they too are worse off economically as a result. Deep down in the DNA of many EU politicians is a dislike of the British. We have been the enemy to many of the 27 for long periods of history and they see us as having been high and mighty.

    They each now have an opportunity to level the scores.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      And yet there are some in this country who crave political union with such people … every time there is another threat issued by or on behalf of the EU and the other member states it reinforces the case for leaving the EU, not for staying in it.

    • Jack snell
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Michael..that’s exactly how I see it. And add to that the amount of abuse and personal insults hurled at their most senior political figures like junker and Verhofstadt by Farage and otners including the british tabloid press for decades..we can be quite sure that they are not going to do us any favours. The french too are also waiting in the long grass.

  30. Lifelogic
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    More of the usual drivel from Blair this morning on Marr. Can the man not just go away and repent for his total mismanagement of the economy and worse still his dreadful war on lie – or whatever these catholic converts do.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      When asked whose side he was on in the negotiations between the EU and the UK he lied through his teeth by saying that he always puts our national interests first. He also revealed a new-found enthusiasm for referendums on the EU …

  31. Mark B
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Come March / April 2019, we will find out who is wrong and who is right. And then let us see if any of the the protagonists have the honour of falling on their sword.

    And we have 80 Weeks and 4 Days to find out.

    🙂

  32. Paul Cohen
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    The EU are trying to seem the superior authority in the talks. Their negotiating strategy is not to negotiate, but to first and as a pre-condition extract the maximum payment they can as an exit fee – this smacks of the reparations demanded of Germany by the allies after the first world war.

    Under Article 50 there is no provision for any such financial recompense other than a negotiation for any monies agreed that are owed.

    Necessity of proper talks will eventually bring the parties together in a sensible and constructive manner in order to avoid the disruption and damage it would cause if they don’t.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      The EU doesn’t see it as a negotiation but a disciplinary hearing.

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    “It is still fashionable for them to argue that the EU will have to punish us for leaving, to discourage others from doing the same. This is a bizarre view of friendly neighbouring countries that they wish us to stay close to.”

    Well, either it is a bizarre view or the reality is that these are not friendly countries. Or maybe they recognise that it is a highly conditional sort of friendship, along the lines of “We can be excellent friends provided you do as we say”.

  34. Epikouros
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Why do so many of us have the propensity to ask questions when the answers have already been supplied often repeatedly so and also interpret statements and events that do not reflect what was said or done? Lack of intellectual ability and/or just being mischievously belligerent and obstructive is the obvious answer. The EU and remainers are being all that. Labour changing like the weather on Brexit is nothing more than childish games to gain political advantage. Others are just being obtuse to further their nefarious aims of keeping us in the EU.

    The Brexit debate is following the usual path that debates do when there are entrenched position which is most of the time. It is descending into farce where insult, ludicrous and irrational claims are substituted for rational argument by the side that has a weak or no case. Born out of a paucity of knowledge on the subject matter and lack of evidence. The EU and remainers are guilty of this behaviour which is no surprise considering that all faith based groups religiously defend their ideology and visionary fantasy in exactly that way.

    Let there be no doubt the EU is no more than a faith based institution the product of minds that looked to make Europe a more peaceful and prosperous region. All faiths have this as one of their basic tenets for their region and people. Those of us who look for evidence would say there is none that indicates they have furthered that objective but there is plenty that tells us that the cost of following that vision is far higher than the value of it. The EU and remainers disregard this truth and cling to their faith with zealous intensity and are fighting tooth and nail to hold onto their EU religion.

  35. Danni
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    ‘ I have every confidence that all these FTAs will pass to the UK as a member state co signatory, as they are entitled to do under international law.’

    If this is correct, will the UK need to abide by all the EU regulations etc in those FTAs? If we adopt all the EU laws we currently follow on the day of Brexit, as is planned, presumably we will have to continue to adopt them as they evolve, or we we will be breaching the terms of these existing FTAs?

    Reply No, of course not. Once it is our FTA it will be for us and the other country signing it to agree any relevant changes to each other’s arrangements, and most laws will have nothing to do with trade or the Agreement.

    • Posted September 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      “Agreeing to each others arrangements” sounds very much like sharing sovereignty to me n’est pas ? I thought that was a “bad thing” and we wanted to be independent ? Or is it OK to agree say common standards for washing machines with China but not with Brussels?

  36. Original Richard
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    In the first half of the 20th century we had UK citizens who would have preferred if the country was run by the USSR.

    From the second half of the 20th century until today we have UK citizens who believe our country should not be sovereign and would prefer it was run by the EU.

    To achieve this they lied about how little influence the EU makes on our sovereignty and lives and now that we have voted to leave the EU they say that we are so dependent upon and entwined with the EU that it is all too difficult, complicated and risky to do so.

    These EU supporters said that we needed to be part of the EU to prevent war, when it was NATO who assured peace.

    They said we needed to join the Euro to prevent economic meltdown, when it has now been shown that we were far better to keep our own currency.

    They said again that we would suffer a “bad or very bad” economic downturn if we just voted to leave the EU. Again they have been proved to be wrong.

    Having lost the arguments on sovereignty, the freedom to elect and remove our own leaders, the ability to make our own laws and control our immigration, and the affect on the economy, the EU supporters have now just one argument left.

    This is the threat that we will be punished by the EU for leaving. As Mr. Hollande said 07/10/2016 about Brexit :

    “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price….”

  37. Mick
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Just watched Blair on the marr show what a muppet, the whole interview was a pitch for him to secure himself a job in Brussels if he can con the voter to stay in the dreaded eu, I’ve news for you Blair we are leaving on march 2019 come rain or shine and if you don’t like it along with all the other remoaners then get out of our great country and live in your beloved Europe

    • Oggy
      Posted September 10, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

      I saw him too – well said Mick.

  38. MrsEthel Dumble-Down
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    The Tories are getting too many things right. Unbelievable numbers of jobs created.Labour responds by saying “they’re the wrong kind of jobs” which is equivalent to the famous “wrong kind of snow”. “Unemployment down to historically low levels” Labour response “But the wages are too low” “Our people voted out of the EU and the Labour Party voted out” Labour response is to burn its last manifesto and destroy all available copies of Hansard and as a grand finale play dumb on its lucky bag plastic whistle

  39. miami.mode
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    …….It is still fashionable for them to argue that the EU will have to punish us for leaving………

    Unilateral decisions by individuals or small groups of people often predominate in politics and Juncker, Barnier and Verhofstadt are certainly making noises that are extremely unfriendly towards us.

    The European Union (Withdrawal) Bill is currently going through the HoC, so let’s hope that this Withdrawal Method is more successful than some others.

  40. Helen Taylor
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    Someone on the radio today recommended a question for a second ballot and was told that it would be too complicated for a referendum question. I would like to make a suggestion. In the words of Noel Edmonds ‘deal or no deal’ cant be easier than that. I think we should just do no deal, and see how long it takes the EU to come crawling

    • Richard Clark
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Dream on…

  41. JohnOfEnfield
    Posted September 10, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink

    Going back to basics – Trade is for MUTUAL benefit. The concept of a trade agreement with the EU which disadvantages either one of the parties is a nonsense. A complete and utter nonsense. The EU is also bound by its own laws and regulations to work actively to promote good relationships with its immediate neighbours. How on earth the so-called “EU negotiators” can pretend that otherwise is beyond me. I use the term “so called” because they are not negotiators in any sense of the word. They have been given a set of terms to merely impose on us. They are not allowed to retreat from any of these. They are all “red lines”. I also find the stream of abuse and ridicule from these “negotiators” & the senior Commission members aimed at the UK and its government most offensive, possibly even counter-productive to good relations. And if a junior Foreign Office graduate can pick fundamental holes in their legal position for 3 hours, no wonder they were upset, they’ve been found most wanting. We will leave in 2019 and thrive.

    • Posted September 12, 2017 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

      It was an exquisitely neat touch to let the intern do the presentation !

  42. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    HM Revenue and Customs still don’t know if their IT systems will be able to cope with 300 million declarations annually, if we’re out of the Customs Union. A genuine concern – not just ‘stupid pessimism’.

  • About John Redwood


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

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