Let the UK flourish as an independent country

It was amusing to read yesterday morning that the UK has emerged as the second most influential country in the world after the USA in some new assessment of power, influence and diplomatic success in the year after Brexit. This position can be strengthened if the UK sees through Brexit in a positive and outward looking way.

UK voters who voted for Brexit had confidence in our ability govern ourselves, to spend our money on our own priorities and to make our own way in a world where power and economic might is shifting to the Pacific regions.

Now many Remain voters also agree that we should get on with implementing the decision. The fears about the short term economic consequences put round by the Remain campaign have been proved comprehensively wrong.

The oddity is how negative so many in the UK establishment are. It is senior lawyers, large company executives, senior civil servants and some MPs who are the ones who refuse to take back control and have such a low opinion of our country and its capabilities.

Some senior officials seem to want to stay wedded to Brussels instructions instead of fashioning a new global presence and UK policy. Trade associations that have spent the last forty years trying to stop or amend EU regulations now often want to protect every last one and sign up to all future ones as well. When MPs and MInisters urge the UK machine to develop the capacity it needs to develop new UK solutions there is often a reluctance to welcome the freedoms we will soon enjoy fully.

The UK has much to offer the world. We wish to remain a reliable ally and partner of the EU, but can see ways to improve and amend our government for the conditions of the modern world. It makes it strange to see so many of the establishment huddled in the EU legal cell, the door now wide open, asking to be shut in again as they think the world too big and interesting for them. They should take heart from this latest survey, and ask themselves how we can we do more to enhance the lives of UK citizens and to contribute more to the exciting growing world as a whole.

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63 Comments

  1. Peter Wood
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    Dr. Redwood, your positivity does you credit, can you bottle it and make it available in the bar?
    Our vote to leave is about independence, we voted to stay British and rejected becoming a citizen of an EU super-state. It appears that very few remainers are reading the ‘future plans’ being promulgated by the EU bureaucracy; there will be no separate nations in the EU, only one nation-state called the EU (effectively controlled from Berlin). I would like to hear from your european readers if they realise and accept this. I recently saw a sticker on a product, ‘made in the European Union’ not France or Italy. When will they wake up.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

      Indeed it was about having UK based democratic control. Not as the remainiacs would have it about isolation and stopping immigration. We wanted control of immigration and the ability to be more selective also to be able to take the best from anywhere in the World not just anyone and everyone from the EU.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        The Government will refer Rupert Murdoch’s £11.7 billion bid to take full control of Sky to a further inquiry because of “concerns over media plurality”.

        What about the appalling bias and unfair competition from the BBC? What are they going to do about that. What about some more plurality in heath care and education rather than fairly dire, virtual state monopolies?

        Reply “Minded to” not “will” at this stage

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

        Dear LL & JR–Taking back democratic control sounds very fine and high minded but I am with Nigel Farage in thinking and saying that that sort of consideration was as nothing compared with the straightforward desire to stop immigration in its tracks

    • Posted September 13, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      I cannot resist this quote which sums up the EU so exactly:

      “How should cities and principalities which lived under their own laws be administered after being conquered?
      “By letting them keep their own laws, exacting tribute, and setting up an oligarchy which will keep the state friendly to you.”
      Who said that?
      Machiavelli, the Prince, Chapter Five.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        The Prince was absolutely right.Oligarchy is the very worst form of government for a sovereign people.The idea was tested to destruction in the late 18th century when Europe’s two largest countries,the oligarchic Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and the absolutist Tsardom of Russia faced off against each other.The favour of the (not very noble)Nobles of the Rzeczpospolita was bought by the neighbouring powers and the country partitioned and wiped off the map.

        Later,in August 1879,the American journalist,Wharton Baiker,reported on an audience with Tsar Alexander III quoting the latter justifying his absolute rule :”The vote in the hands of an ignorant man,without either property or self-respect,will be used to the damage of the people at large;for the rich man,without honour or any kind of patriotism will purchase it,and with it swamp the rights of a free people.”

        The autocrat of All the Russias did have a point!

    • Terry
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

      World Catalogue OCLC number 31002821 refers.

    • Terry
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

      Sorry an error. A copy is held in the British Library and not the Museum as previous stated.

  2. Duncan
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    ‘if the UK sees through Brexit in a positive and outward looking way.’

    When an arch Brexiteer uses the word ‘if’ in this context, it is here that I start to become concerned about how this appalling PM and her sidekick Chancellor will carry out our exit from the EU

    I still believe the pro-EU political establishment will find a way to defy democracy and circumvent the will of the British people. This vested interest, this unaccountable rabble who try to engineer circumstances that protect their position and influence are nothing more than a stain on this nation’s history, dignity and pride

    If only the Tories could see that this opportunity they now have to extend their appeal to the northern, white working class. Labour has defied their electoral base by opposing Brexit and this should be taken advantage of by the Conservatives.

    The Tories could wipe the floor with Labour on this issue alone. They need to ditch May and Hammond, go after Labour’s core vote in the north with a full Brexit promise and then cut their taxes.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I’m not sure our host could bring himself to invoke the spirit of Lenin(perhaps he could borrow Mr Corbyn’s cap to get into character) but the Mariinsky Orchestra under Valery Gergiev did a very good job of it at the Proms last week(Prokofiev’s Cantata for the 20th Anniversary of the October Revolution):

      “Marching in closed ranks,we are singling ourselves out as a special group who have chosen the path of struggle,not the path of compromise.

      We don’t need hysterical outbursts,we need the measured tread of the iron battalions of the proletariat.”

      Shame Gergiev couldn’t use the machine guns of the original(Health & Safety,I guess!) but marvellous nonetheless!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      I’m not quite sure what Labour is up to.

      They now have the TUC saying we should stay in the EU Single Market and the EU Customs Union in perpetuity, in other words we should stay in the EU; but on the other hand if they came out and agreed with that and successfully fought for it then millions of Labour voters would rightly feel that they’d been cheated.

      So I suspect that their plan is to make a lot of noise fighting hard against various subsidiary aspects of the wicked plans of the evil Tory government, but in the end narrowly fail to stop them and so just fail to stop Brexit.

      I recall all those years ago trying to work out what Labour was really up to about the Maastricht Treaty, when basically their opposition to the Major government was just a party political game and not based on any principle:

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/labour-will-allow-maastricht-treaty-bill-to-pass-1481286.html

      “Labour will allow Maastricht treaty Bill to pass”

      “Although the Shadow Cabinet has yet to take a formal decision, Mr Cunningham’s statement shut the option, carefully left open by John Smith late last year, that Labour might oppose the Commons final, third reading of the Maastricht legislation, expected around Easter.

      Last year, the open option helped to heighten government uncertainty and maintained delicate Shadow Cabinet unity. But Mr Cunningham told the Independent last night … ”

      Etc etc.

  3. DaveM
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Yes, it’s funny how us ‘little Englanders’ are the ones who want to get out and about in the world and the so-called globalists want to shelter under the wings of their Big Brother in Brussels.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Nor do ‘little Englanders’ want to stick their noses in other countries’ affairs.

      I don’t see why this quality is a cause for derision.

      • DaveM
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

        I wear it proudly Anon…and I’m not little either!

  4. Posted September 13, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    “Some senior officials seem to want to stay wedded to Brussels instructions instead of fashioning a new global presence and UK policy. ”

    Yesterday, in The Times and the Independent, we saw Crawford Falconer, a former member of the Legatum’s “special trade commission”, backing a paper produced by the Institute last year. What makes this interesting is that the New-Zealand-born Falconer was last month appointed chief trade negotiation adviser to Liam Fox’s Department for International Trade, and now has considerable influence in Whitehall.

    What amounts to Legatum’s Brexit template wants us to leave the EEA in order to negotiate a series of free trade agreements with a “Prosperity Zone”: nations which include Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Canada, US and possibly Mexico and Switzerland. Access to UK markets will be offered in exchange for commitments to regulatory reforms, especially in the service sectors, potentially enabling the UK economy to make substantial gains.

    And the person following this agenda is Mrs May. She is now expected to give formal notice to leave the EEA in her speech due within the next two weeks. In anticipation of this, the EU has announced it is postponing next week’s scheduled round of talks with the UK, while they wait to see what she has on offer.

    Sources are suggesting that Mrs May might abandon the UK’s attempt to agree a comprehensive free trade agreement and instead by-pass the Commission by calling for direct talks with EEA members. The target would be a replacement EEA deal, under a different name, focusing on services and shorn of unrestricted freedom of movement.

    Things can change very rapidly but anything close to this would confirm that the Legatum Institute is shaping Brexit, bringing it closer to the agenda of its New-Zealand-born sponsor, multi-billionaire Christopher Chandler.

    Much simpler really to join EFTA…

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Mike, you should not just copy and paste such large chunks of somebody else’s text without at least giving a reference to the original, it looks like plagiarism. But on the substance: how could the UK by-pass the EU Commission and hold direct trade talks with the 27 EEA member states who are also EU member states? If you recall they didn’t even want to discuss the fate of their own citizens who were already settled in the UK, those EU governments which were approached in 2016 politely told Theresa May that those discussions would have to be at the EU level and moreover would have to await the service of the UK’s Article 50 notice.

      • ian wragg
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Denis you’re wasting your time. I am convinced Mike is RN’s Brother in Law or his script writer.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 14, 2017 at 8:25 am | Permalink

          Not his script writer …

  5. Nig l
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    There seems to be some indication that Theresa May is going to make a major speech to ‘unblock’ the EC negotiations. On the basis that it is the UK doing all the running and the EC not liking one part of it, that can only mean we are about to make major concessions.

    I hope that ‘your’ influence keeps this to a minimum. The shenanigans in parliament over the last few days and by people still wanting to remain, have been disgraceful. The electorate want to get on with it and are in no mood to give in to the EC again. Our whole history with them is loudly announcing red lines then giving in. As in your excellent comment we want people to stand up for the UK. This is what May should be doing.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 8:31 am | Permalink

      Seems like Mrs May’s speech can only go two ways…

      1. Allow Barnier & Co. to walk all over us, soft Brexit [really no Brexit] with bells on…
      2. Say enough is enough, we walk away from the EU’s pseudo-negotiations and go to WTO…

      Lets see what her true metal is…

    • Peter
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Yes, May is a worry.

      However, she might say that progress is not what she had expected and repeat ‘no deal is better than a bad deal’.

      She could then ask for ‘contributions’ to be justified by the EU side and firm up a date for an exit on WTO terms.

  6. Mark B
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Of course when they say the UK is not up to the job what they really mean is, they are not up to the job.

    The EU has allowed a small elite and big business to manipulate and control our market through regulation. Making it hard for small independent companies to form and grow. It and the Single Market and Customs Union are nothing short of a protection racket.

    • zorro
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      This is the truth.

      zorro

  7. Bertie Wooster
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    This depressive lot at the top of our society. They pull our people down. Possibly drive them into medical depression. It is not just Brexit. They lack Country. Labour politicians feed off despair inflicted from the top. Spread it like an opiate. Even Mrs May speaks of those “just managing”. Yeah most of us live in a shoe box in the middle of the road.

  8. eeyore
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 6:39 am | Permalink

    You missed academics and teachers from your list of pessimists. Given the Leftist, statist, Remainer cast of mind they so often have, their access to manipulable young intellects should surely be a concern for those who form public policy.

    I’d like to see encouragement for large companies which take on themselves to start and fund schools and colleges. Their involvement would lead more engagement with the real world in such places, and might go some way to countering the sinister and damaging groupthink of so many educators.

  9. David Murfin
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Centralised control leads to the rise of ‘yes-men’ incapable of independent thought. You have only to listen to the EU leaders to see where the problem lies – lots of daft rules with moderately bright people whose sole aim is to put them into effect instead of analysing and solving the actual problems.

  10. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:00 am | Permalink

    “The oddity is how negative so many in the UK establishment are. …. who refuse to take back control and have such a low opinion of our country and its capabilities.”

    These people are clearly not capable of doing their own job properly if they cannot see the potential BREXIT will provide – We don’t need such people, and they should get out of the way for others with competence.
    They may be stuck in the startrek dreamworld, but I suspect they are really frightened people who cannot cope with real authority.

  11. Richard1
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    The French government are clearly trying to lure business from the UK, and have just succeeded in getting Chubb to move its HQ there. This is excellent stuff and just what we need – active competition between governments. But Mrs May and Mr Hammond need to wake up and move swiftly to ensure UK competitiveness. It’s no good Mrs May making all her pronouncements on business an attempt to curry favour with the left – they won’t vote Conservative. Attacks on business by Conservative ministers should happen only when really needed – the effect is to ‘do a Ratner’ and just damage the Conservative product. We need a robust defence of free market capitalism and active measures to strengthen U.K. Comptetitiveness.

    Reading a few more papers on it , I’m increasingly of the view we should go for unilateral free trade post Brexit.

    • Terry
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

      Yes Chubb, the US insurer, is moving its European HQ to France. But what damage will that do to the UK economy? We have bus loads of insurers here already and I doubt our main ones are going anywhere.

      • ian wragg
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

        I think Chubb will find it very difficult doing business in Europe. Services are very heavily regulated over there and it’s difficult to break in.

  12. David Murfin
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    I turned from here to Google News and found a Guardian article:
    “Brexit’s buildings: how the negotiating halls could affect Britain’s fate ” an article which clearly demonstrates how to look at the wrong issues. Apparently Mrs Thatcher’s refusal to compromise on an EU budget line was because the building was hot, and similar problems are due again.

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

    Yes John, I have never really understood the establishment attachment to the EU. It seems to go beyond economics into something undefined. It also thinks that sacrifices in democratic processes are wholly justified or if not justified then irrelevant. What is this undefined something “fear”? the worry about not being “nice” or something else?

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      A loathing of Englishness.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Replacement for vanished old Empire-they see themselves as the administrative class of this new Empire plus it has been decided that we will have world government.Fortunately,we have the growing strength of Russia and China to disabuse them of that,although so much has already been banked on achieving the end of history that not to achieve it might cause systemic collapse – in the West at least.

    • Norman
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      Sarah – it is definitely ‘something else’, outworked in our history, especially since the Reformation.
      As to the respect accorded Britain throughout the world, I’m not at all surprised. People look at our Constitutional Monarchy, and marvel at our sense of freedom and individual dignity – such things are so easily taken for granted, and could never be worked-up by human resolve – they are divine graces, wrought through the faithfulness of a few through our long history. Even our landscape reflects this ‘something else’. If anything, I think many foreigners quietly admire the very fact that the British people have voted to value their freedom – and that the decision is binding! But as at other times in our history, there are contrary forces are at work, which is why there’s such an incredible fight going on ‘behind the scenes’. The outcome will impact the whole world – a similar turbulent trajectory is evident in the USA.

  14. acorn
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Imagine just how a UK would “flourish as an independent country” and run by the likes of the Henry Jackson Society, it is the spiritual home of the Westminster neo-cons.

    The Parliamentary Commissioner eventually got it out of the HoC; it was using and funding two All Party Parliamentary Groups, chaired by the usual suspects, as its administrative headquarters; but would not disclose where it was getting its money from.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

      I share your concerns about the Henry Jackson Society.

  15. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    You have to remember we have a generation that doesn’t know of life before the EU. The main establishment positions are filled with left wing bodies who despise Britain and anything British. These are the same mentality who supported (some named dictators ed) and the kids are brainwashed into believing EU good GB bad.
    You have had 7 years to redress the balance but choose not too as much of the government should be in the LimpDumbs.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    I see that Corbyn would give a pay rise for all the state sector (from his huge magic money tree one assumes). May too has opened the door to increases. What about the 80% who work in the far more productive private sector? They already earn far less (when pensions are included only about 67% of of the state sector employees). What are they going to do for the 80%?

    It is not the state sector in general that is hard done a large proportion of them could be laid off without anyone even noticing. Many do positive harm to the economy by distracting, inconveniencing and over regulating the productive. Also making them pay taxes for lunacies like HS2, Hinkley C, premature electric cars and the likes and making them use overpriced unreliable energy. Thus rendering them unable to compete efficiently.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      Since the global financial crash public sector workers in the UK have got off lightly compared to those in some other affected countries such as Ireland.

      From December 2009:

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2009/dec/11/ireland-public-sector-pay-cuts

      “Ireland faces bitterness over public sector pay cuts”

      “Other public servants such as teachers have also been badly hit by the cuts announced by the finance minister, Brian Lenihan. The 31,000-strong Irish National Teachers’ Organisation says the average primary teacher’s salary of €60,000 will be reduced by a fifth after this week’s 6.5% pay cut, combined with two other cuts in pay last March and April.”

      The difference lay in the ability of the Bank of England to create new money and use it to buy up gilts from the secondary market, so making it possible for the UK government to continue to borrow massively to cover its budget deficit – a quarter of all the money it was spending – and so sustain its public expenditure.

      The problem is that most people, including most public sector workers, still do not understand that without the cushion provided by QE the suffering would have been a hell of a lot worse.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      I don’t usually pay much attention to PMQ’s but I happened to see one of the SNP MPs, Ian Blackford, exposing his ignorance and lack of understanding:

      “The Government can find the money for quantitative easing — £435 billion since 2009 — but they cannot find the money for fiscal measures to grow the economy.”

      So where does he think that £435 billion came from, and where has it gone?

      Answer, the £435 billion of new money was created by the Bank of England, and minus minor transmission costs it has been passed to the Treasury via the gilts market, and the Treasury has then spent almost all of it into the economy.

      • acorn
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

        In the beginning, the £435 billion was spent into existence (created), into the economy, by the Treasury, as the sovereign monopoly “currency issuer”. It turned up as “reserves” at the BoE, and was mirrored to the penny by “deposits” placed in high street bank accounts for pensions; goods and services the government bought.

        Some of those deposits were used to buy government bonds (mainly Gilts) as savings instruments, by persons and pension funds in the private sector. A quantity of the Treasury “reserves” at the BoE, were subsequently moved to the Treasury “securities” account at the BoE, (by pressing keys), identical to the cost of the savings securities (Gilts) purchased. QE reverses that process.

        The government Treasury does not have to borrow its own monopoly issued currency from anyone. It has a silly rule called “full funding”, whereby it issues Gilts to match its spending. There is no operational requirement to do this. But, it does enable the government to pretend that its spending, is the same as a “currency using” private sector household or business; and, artificially create the concept of “austerity” and balanced budgets.

        In the 2008 banking crisis the UK government’s finances were never threatened, as Denis says elsewhere. There was no Sterling required bailout it couldn’t cover. The UK Treasury was back-stopping dodgy private sector banks and keeping them afloat with multi billions that dwarfed the domestic budget deficit. The full funding rule does not apply when the government is bailing out banks.

        If the government found they had to backstop some foreign currency risk at a bank, it would do a swap with a foreign currency central bank. Just like in World War 2 where nobody had a problem with government deficits per se.

  17. Bert Young
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    In terms of influence and international recognition and diplomacy we do deserve the ranking announced yesterday ; in terms of economy we do not . Most of our economic problem is due to the very high – and irresponsible personal debt that lenders have encouraged ; our society is badly let down by this condition .

    The link to Brussels since our joining the Common Market has been an embarrassment ; they have never matched our skills in diplomacy and have made many decisions that have impinged on the running of our country . The sooner we can restore our freedom the better .

  18. Tabulazero
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    You have to admit there is something ironical in Jean-Claude Juncker announcing the opening of free trade negotiations with Australia & New-Zeland before the UK.

    As for Brexit, no mention was made… which should not surprise you since Brexit is not making much headline news on the continent as you know very well.

  19. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Why is this a surprise with Remainers in the top two positions in Government. Neither have said and are very unlikely to say that they were wrong in supporting the EU. Mrs May is Hobson’s choice as PM and perversely her bad general election has secured her role. As to Mr. Hammond I do not expect any vision or strong leadership (oxymoron) in his forthcoming budget.

    The Government PR effort is nil for Brexit, perhaps another £9m on a leaflet on the benefits to every household!

    The doom and gloom build up to the Referendum now looks beyond laughable and yet those responsible are still being unanswered in their continued diatribes.

  20. Duncan
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 9:19 am | Permalink

    I think John will need to sit down when he reads the thoughts of Juncker expressed today. His commitment to EU expansionism, the creation of EU armed forces, the further erosion of member states sovereignties and powers

    Juncker is a danger not only to himself but to European stability. the man is crazed

    • miami.mode
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

      Duncan. Have just read that Herr Juncker says “the wind is back in Europe’s sails”, but surely this wind is from the UK’s exhaust pipe.

  21. Epikouros
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    As the Brexit negotiations rumble along much is revealed of the thinking and of the character of those involved those who support both sides of the debate. Those who work for or support the EU are showing a lack of clarity of thought and a propensity to be obnoxious and childish in defence of their case. A case which is bereft of substance because it relies on subjective emotional speculation not hard facts and for some the need to protect their privileges and highly rewarded positions.

    Those against remaining in the EU appear to be far more reasonable in their assertions and put forward reasons that to the rational speak of common sense and logic. Leavers can at least call upon evidence even if it is mostly indirect and historical based on similar situations. Remainers do not have such a luxury as the EU does not throw up any evidence to support them as it’s performance to date has been abysmal. Reliance on future performance being better and achieving the objectives of the remainers is fraught by the fact that leavers have used that evidence to show that institutions that have tried to achieve the same by similar means have always failed. Open borders, common currencies and political and economic unions have never worked for long in the past and have ended in disaster.

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      [quote]”Open borders, common currencies and political and economic unions have never worked for long in the past and have ended in disaster.”[unquote]

      Perfectly true, but we can qualify this by adding that it is inorganic unions that run into difficulty. The basic problem with the EU isn’t the federal concept, but the lack of a demos to underpin it. Europe is a continent and, in the broadest sense, a civilisation, but it is not a nation.

  22. James Neill
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    Voting to leave the EU was a political decision made by the people without thinking it through properly, it was not an economic one taken after calm deliberation and logical arguement, the people were caught up in the heat of the moment, just like at the last night at the proms- wishing for the old days back

    ‘Taking back control’ is an overused slogan increasingly made by some in an attempt to keep the committed on side and has not yet been tested or well thought through either but in the end it will make little difference to the ordinary man just trying to get by.

    Here we are about to turn our backs on a market of 500 million people with huge potential and spending power, located right on our own doorstep in favour of some gamble that things will be the same and better by aligning ourselves with different partners on the other side of the world and then pretending that we have taken back control and so trade will flourish because we are independent- it’s all pie in the sky- and will vanish in a puff of smoke just like 350 on the side of a bus. This is why big business, all thinking politicians and forward looking honest academics are concerned- well, we won’t have much longer to wait to see the signs – and who in the end will pay the price for this misadventure? not the old ones- but only the younger generation of course and the generations yet to come.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Same old stuff …

      • James Neill
        Posted September 13, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Yes Denis..somebody has to try to put a bit of balance into this debate. If we keep looking out of the same window all of the time we will see only the same things JN

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      What utter rubbish
      The market is more like 200 million and part of a protectionist racket.
      Future generations will be amazed how the British were conned by this organisation of failed politicians and hangers on.
      There’s a big wide world out there. Embrace it.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

      Sorry couldn’t resist it 🙁

      “500 million people with huge potential and spending power”

      Lets get it straight…9, soon to be 8 countries out of 28 [27] pay more in to the EU than they take out each year, so their economies are not exactly flush with cash.

      Most of the newly assimilated Eastern European countries have wage rates running at 4 to 6 times less than the minimum wage in the UK.

      So how many of those 500 million are ACTUAL potential customers for UK goods?

      And has been said many times, we are still part of the EU so until we leave the £350 million that we lose control of is still being paid to the EU…

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 14, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

        The Eastern European countries have been incorporated but not assimilated-that is just one of the problems for the EU at the moment.Remember the experience of the old Empires – Russia (which was better than most at assimilation) could never quite assimilate Poland nor could the Austrians fully assimilate Hungary …and best not to mention the Balkans!

    • Tom Rogers
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

      @James Neill

      Where has it been said that we wish to turn our backs on a market of 500 million people? Who in authority has made this announcement? Please, name the bounder and we will take him or her to task.

      As far as I am aware, nobody has said this. It’s just your over-strained, doom-laden imagination at work. We will continue to trade with the Single Market, and the EU cannot prevent this.

      Face it: you’ve lost.

    • Oggy
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Your persistent, consistent, negative comments wouldn’t normally get an answer from me and I wasn’t going to give you one ………….. but didn’t you watch Mr Juncker’s speech this morning ? if anything should fill you with dread then what he had to say should have done.

  23. VotedOut
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Most, though not all people who become MP’s are now from families where generations have been MP’s. These people go to the same universities, study the same courses, marry people from the same backgrounds, become assistants to party officials etc. before becoming MP’s. This has for decades been a nice life. You can ignore the British electorate for most of the time and only really get slightly worried every election time. Since most people vote under semi-tribal left of right banners the risk of loosing your seat was minimal. Once finished in Westminster or if the worst happened at election time, there is always a very nice and high lucrative job in a lobbying company in Brussels.

    The unique contribution of the British to the world is government by consent and not by rules. In the referendum consent was not given and it is highly amusing for me to see day after day these people struggling to come to terms with their cosy lives shattered. A former PM was the most recent example.

    Changes in the order of things happen. If they are resisted, popular uprisings boil up to bring down the decadence. The greatest thing the British developed was a mechanism for ordered change to a political order. Far from the British being ‘educated’ about Brexit, the EU by its threats and bluster shows how far behind true democratic representation they really are.

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

    I’ve just watched Mr Juncker’s ‘State of the Union address’ – basically more, (much, much more) EU integration, fiscal, military, foreign policy, Schengen and immigration policy and then unbelievingly said the EU has to be ‘more democratic’ !!
    All gave him a standing ovation with the exception of the British and some others.

    Then Mr Farage told them in his usual style that the EU has learned nothing from Brexit, and by undemocratically interfering in Hungary’s and Poland’s internal affairs they (Hungary and Poland) must be reminded of what it was like living under the Soviet Union.
    Well said Nigel and yes I agree, I too am glad we are leaving, let’s just leave them to it.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 13, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      And his [Juncker’s] “Window of Opportunity”?

      Sorry Herr Juncker, that went out the window when David Cameron came back from his “Grand Tour” with less than nothing, now you are suggesting that the EU can reform.

      As we like to say here – “Too little, too late” 🙁

  25. Terry
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    If the existing Remoaners do not have vested interests within the EU they are suffering from the dreaded ‘Normalcy Bias’, which diminishes the sense of optimism. It is sad that such people are so affected and so afraid of change yet still consider themselves as British.

  26. The Prangwizard
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    When I heard Mrs May is to make a speech on Brexit my heart sank. I fear she will announce concessions.

    I sincerely hope for the country’s sake (and mine) I am wrong. We need strength and determination in our leaders. We do not want to hear the words compromise or co-operate.

  27. getahead
    Posted September 13, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    “Some senior officials seem to want to stay wedded to Brussels instructions.”

    And how many of those gain financially or otherwise from continued EU membership, I wonder?

  • 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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