The German election and the collapse in support for Mrs Merkel

Mrs Merkel lost a lot of ground in the German election, plunging from 41.5 % to 33% .  She lost around 65 seats. In her place the anti Euro AFD soared to 13% to give it  94 seats, where it had none before. This is a contrast to the UK Conservatives rising from 36% to 42 % for their share of the vote in the last election.

Mrs Merkel may be able to soldier on at the head of a difficult coalition, but she has lost substantial authority for her EU policies as a result of this voting collapse. If she and the potential alternative left of centre coalition both refuse to include the AFD one of them would have to govern as a minority. Only a further CDU/SDP coalition can get her to a majority. This Grand coalition between the two main rivals is not easy, especially now both parties see how damaging it is for them electorally.So far indeed the SPD have said no deal. Germany has voted itself into weak and unstable government. The BBC calls this a Merkel win!

The UK government has to see this is a further strengthening of its negotiating position. It looks as if the EU has rejected Mrs May’s generous offer and suggestions in her Florence speech, as appears to be the case from Mr Macrons words and from the reactions of the EU Commission. The UK government should in the event that the EU does confirm it refuses to widen talks and seek a positive future agreement soon make clear the offer is withdrawn given the lack of any positive response.The position anyway should be being reconsidered in the light of the   German election.

The Prime Minister made a very generous offer but made clear all had to be agreed before any offer is confirmed. Circumstances are now different so the UK needs to firm up its position and intensify its preparations for no deal to show it is serious. Then the EU may start to talk about the things that matter to both sides. If they continue in saying they will not even talk about trade and the future relationship there is no point in being generous. We should neither pay to get talks started nor pay for a trade deal.

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219 Comments

  1. formula57
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:13 am | Permalink

    “This is a contrast to the UK Conservatives..” – there are more of course, for example the CDU being led by a woman able to deliver strong and stable leadership.

    Two points on the German parties that suggest nothing too much may change, certainly as regards the UK: –

    1. I saw reported that the SDP’s Mr. Schulz has ruled out forming a fresh grand coalition, thereby denying the AfD the role of chief opposition party.

    2. The AfD has transformed from the early days and now seems to be mostly about being anti-immigration (it is upon that stance that it wins support) and very much less concerned with the Evil Empire and the Euro currency.

    • acorn
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      If the AFD had been the far right wing of Merkel’s CDU, it would have won outright, the same as Brexiteers beeing the right wing of the Conservative party boosted its vote. The cloak of respectability has fallen from both factions and exposed them as overwhelmingly anti-immigration anti-refugee.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        So you think it is respectable, and sensible, to invite all the poor of the world to your country on the pretext that they are fleeing persecution.

        Did you see the Panorama programme about the illegal immigrant trail up through Africa to Libya and then across the Italy with the help of the navy provided by British taxpayers for their defence?

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0962gny

        “Africa’s Billion Pound Migrant Trail”

        Well worth watching

        • acorn
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

          What a fine job the west made of taking democracy to countries that could only be run by strong men with a monopoly on the guns. Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen and Afghanistan. Now they are all failed states, filling up with opportunist bandits.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            acorn

            as usual you avoided answering Denis’s question, stop moving the goalposts and answer the question

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

            That doesn’t answer my question.

          • Mitchel
            Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

            At least there’s some hope for Syria now.No thanks to the West (and it’s paymasters) though.

          • Edward2
            Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

            Does that then mean it is only reasonable to invite tens of millions of these people to Europe?
            No controls means no limits.

    • Hope
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      JR, I am bit lost with your cave in position. May gave a first offer weakening any negotiating position. She offered taxpayers money, staying in EU for another two years, ECJ having a say over citizens in this country and not stopping immigration but a partial registration system when we already had 5 atrocities this year through the pour out border checks. We voted leave by 2019 not stay in for five years to change our minds by kicking into the long grass like the MPs expenses sham.

      You must have heard what arch remainers are saying how to stop usnleVing and they think what May said was music to their ears. May has sold the public out. No if or buts about it. I am confused by your appeasement stance of May after all your blogs.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        The EU will reject the reasonable offer.

        • Hope
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

          Remainers claimed they would accept the referendum result. How many are saying this at the moment? Labour has changed it whole position. They are still trying to rally support helped by the media.

          Hammond and Rudd should be long gone on their record alone before their extreme remainer views.

          May is a complete disaster. Davis appears dull, boring enjoying the kudos of his role with no substance in negotiating. Why would he support what May just said?

          • Hope
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

            The U.K. Navy is still collecting more voters for a Merkel in the med from dinghy death death traps.

        • Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          I think it could happen that the government, as led by a closet remainer, will steer things into a situation which will seem dreadful to the majority of Brits.
          After that, the idea of taking up a Norwegian option, say, will seem a more attractive outcome to what fear might suggest..

      • Tad Davison
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

        I have tried to lay off with my criticism of Mrs May for the sake of Brexit, but it is very, very hard to do!

        I knew all along that unless we had a strong Brexiteer as Prime Minister, we would get a progression of fudges and back-sliding. May either needs to get this sorted without any compromises, or make way for someone who can.

        I am sure I am not alone when I say weak leaders make me sick!

        There’s nothing more frustrating than watching a ditherer when decisive action is required.

        Tad Davison

        Cambridge

        • Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

          Surely it’s becoming apparent that she is dithering intentionally.

          We can sit and watch our chance slip away, or we can do something about it. The 600 plus MPs need to wake up to what is taking place … and quickly. It was the strongest vote in our history and those steering the ship are trying to fool us that they are doing their duty.

          I say mutiny, me hearties!

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,
    Dr. Redwood, please encourage the 1922 Committee to put into action your suggested course outlined in your penultimate and last paragraphs; this is the only logical way forward and needs to be implemented without delay. Without the ‘encouragement’ of the 1922 I fear Mrs. May will dither and prevaricate further.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

      Mrs May was a remainer and one prepared to attempt to trick the voters into a remain vote by lying to them that they had “control of their borders through Schengen”. She must have know this was a blatant lie having been Home Secretary for years. So why should we trust her now? She is clearly just another misguided Heath, Major, Cameron lefty, interventionist, tax borrow and waste type and is a huge electoral liability. No change no chance.

      • hefner
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        I cannot help noticing the number of people here complaining about the Conservative Party, Theresa May et al. When will people finally wake up to the fact that British system of parties and the voting system need being revised/replaced? There are a full range of opinions in both the Labour and the Conservative parties, with in fact very little in common, say, within the CP, between the small state, low tax, anti-EU extremist group and the more middle-of-the-road one-nation Conservatives. To have a system that amalgamate such different people with so different ideas and even expectations of life within the same party has been playing tricks on the electorate again and again. Why can’t we have a proper range of parties from far-left to far-right so that we can finally get some real feeling what ideas the candidates are really linked to. I guess that in such a system, the British elections with a more proportional voting system would not look so different from what Germany ones have just produced.

        • sm
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

          Hefner, yours is a valid question, but you need to consider just who would set up these Parties and – even more importantly – who would fund them and ensure a coherent organisation?

          The LibDems have been going for years now, but cannot gain real and lasting traction; the Greens may field plenty of candidates but rarely achieve real success; and we have all seen the mess that UKIP have made of themselves, splitting and re-splitting until they have become a laughing stock.

          Looking at the endless compromises (and months of weary negotiating) that take place in States that have many Parties and proportional voting, I have yet to see that the system is in way an improvement on our own, less than perfect, one.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

          hefner

          agree entirely about parties, but would go much further, why bother with parties at all? Why not just have candidates stand as PM and let the people vote directly without all this constituency cobblers etc Its the 21st century and we need 21st century solutions its about time out political system left the 19th century behind

        • Edward2
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

          Isn’t that what happens every time Parliament votes?
          Then every few years we the voters congregate and give our verdict in the ballot box.
          Parliament is an amalgamation of all our opinions.

        • Hope
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

          You are of course correct. But with thevEU in charge it mattered not whether Tory or Labour were in power as both were there to implement then EU regs, directives and laws through quangos to offset the blame to any given party.

          Both connived to get rid of UKIP, breaking the law if necessary.

          Your comment supports dissatisfaction around the world in general elections. May supported the world order of countries with her UN speech. No doubt she agrees with the EU as part of the world order structure. Then she tried to fool her own party with the Florence speech. Her position is kick into the long grass and hope over time we change our minds to leave. Both parties recently voted to leave and within months have changed. A complete u turn.

        • Dunedin
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

          @hefner “the small state, low tax, anti-EU extremist group”….

          Do you seriously believe that it is “extremist” to:

          1. reduce the size of the state to stop politicians wasting taxpayers money on unnecessary vanity projects and virtue signalling,
          2. leave taxpayers with more of their own money to spend as they see fit, and
          3. want decisions make by a UK parliament which is accountable to UK voters.

      • Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

        “..scared of challenging the forces that put her in office”

        It seems likely to me that there are considerable forces from which she is taking instructions. It just doesn’t make sense to me that she’s just a lone wolf who, in a powerful position, is pushing her own agenda.

        The EU project is gathering power, like a super cyclone. Although its leaders appear to us as stupid, I think they are more likely to be smart, dictatorial and corrupt.

    • Liam Hillman
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Hear, hear!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Well, doing that now would seem a bit premature, it would be better to wait and see how the next round of actual negotiations go.

      • Mockbeggar
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        Denis, You are right. Provided we stick to the two principles, that are: that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and that no deal is better than a bad deal, we can keep the upper hand in our negotiations with Barnier et al.
        For us to start making ‘walk away’ noises at this relatively early stage would simply look as though we are throwing the toys out of the pram. The more the EU ‘negotiators’ (in inverted commas because I see no sign of them actually negotiating anything, or any wish to do so) refuse to budge their position, the stronger will be our case for walking away and the easier it will be to sell the ‘no deal’ internally within these shores.
        Unlike most contributors to this column, I’m afraid there are many people in the UK who agree to accept the referendum decision but are still frightened of the Project Fear arguments. We must convince them that we really are up against a brick wall before we walk away.

        • Hope
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

          No it would not. We are leaving. Lord King again states today that we should walk away. We made that choice.

          BY 2019 there would be three years transition period, how much longer is required! More uncertainty by any transition period than not.

          We did not vote to stay in the EU for another five years allowing control over our money, courts, laws and borders! All these specious plays by remainiacs are just that. They said they would accept the result. Look and listen to Clegg, Hammond, Clarke, Blaire, Soubry, Morgan, Grieve, Rudd,and the whole Labour Party!

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

            As I’m sure you recall David Cameron disregarded the obvious flaw in the referendum Act which failed to lay down in express terms what should ensue from a vote to leave the EU, opening the door to vexatious legal challenges, and he made sure that there were no contingency plans in case the vote went against him, and he said that if we did vote to leave then Article 50 should be triggered straight away, and he said that he would carry on as Prime Minister until we had left the EU … that is why you should blame him, not Theresa May, for the nine month delay before that was done, and why you should not count them in as part of a “transition period”. At least she has said that it will then be just the two years more laid down as a guideline in Article 50, even though many people say that will be too short and the EU side may well try to make sure that it is too short.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

        It’ll take the ’22 Committee a week to get their game-plan sorted, so you’ll get your answer. However consider, replacing T May = more delay and strife, so keep May. Give May some backbone and clear instructions from ’22 to ‘get on with it’ meaning 1. give Davis hard targets or walk away, 2. most importantly, get the entire civil service working on exit with no deal – this is going to be the biggest challenge since WW2 for them and they’ve got 18 months to get the country in a state capable to manage it. There is no more time to ‘wait and see’.

        Reply The 1922 does not meet when Parliament is not in session.

      • Mark
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

        There will be no progress until Barnier gets a new mandate for a start. The EU 27 don’t even meet to consider that until October. Tusk meets May tomorrow: she needs to make it plain that the UK expects the EU to honour its obligation to negotiate and to promote free trade and neighbourly relations.

  3. stred
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Thank Gott the Commission is being even more greedy and has rejected auntie May’s offer to make the British taxpayer borrow to pay for their expansion plans and to that’no country shall pay more or receive less- except the UK of course. Take away the present and make them weep as the situation becomes ‘explosif’. Barnier blew it and the booty has gone.

    Next time make sure the speech isn’t written by the Project Fear chief propagandist and a Stalin supporter. And make sure that she understands what she is reading so nicely.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:23 am | Permalink

      Indeed you do get the impression she is just a dim actor, reading the vacuous lines put in front of her.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        Absolutely, her UN speech last week was a barely disguised attempt to promote a neo-con agenda and get the Chinese-Russian Security Council veto diluted.I’m not sure what was most to the fore ,her irrelevance or her impotence.

    • stred
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:32 am | Permalink

      http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-17-3427_en.htm

      Above, M.Barnier’s welcome for the offer to ensure that ‘no country shall pay more or receive less’. He must have celebrated when he heard that. There’s nothing like negotiating with a mug.

      • Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        How can we pay less if no one receives less ? This must be Diane Abbot type maths. So “vast payments” are going to continue ? Funny I thought per JR as soon as we Brexited we would be awash with spare bunce for all manner of worthy causes. That indeed is said to be a major reason for leaving. Control of our money seems now to being in control, then giving it to the EU for its worthy causes like Ethiopia.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

          Some of them could pay more.

          However for the sake of goodwill I am not against offering to make sure that ordinary people elsewhere in the EU will not lose out over the remainder of the agreed seven year multiannual financial framework running up to 2020, which will in any case only be for a short period – one year or two years? – after we have left on March 29th 2019. If we were at a different point in that seven year cycle then that could have been a different matter.

          • stred
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            The May speech offered Barnier what he was demanding. He needs to cover the expenses of the new armed forces, the expanded foreign office, the Junker propaganda youth, integrating economies with central taxation and subsidy for southern and eastern ex-countries, subsidy for ports and bribing traffickers south of the Sahara, bribes for Erdo, distributing Merkel’ guests etc etc. Cameron signed us up, expecting to win the referendum and Junker gave him nothing expecting the same. They lost and are now facing big increases for northern countries such as Ireland, which paid little before.

            May now says ‘no country will pay more and none receive less’. This means no more subsidy from Germany, Holland, Belgium, Sweden and Ireland and more planned subsidy for the others, but implies that we will cover the difference. Barnier must be laughing his chausettes off.

    • Hope
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      She will offer more no doubt about it. Cameron asked for little and got less, yet he heralded he reformed the EU and we must all stay in!

    • graham1946
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      She had it right with her January speech. There was no need of this cave in, although many of us have known since the beginning we were going to be sold out in an effort to kill off Brexit. Big business and their donations to the Tories are her first concern.

      She Could have stood firm and let time tick on, forcing either the EU to sensible negotiation or a simple exit with nothing offered by the UK. The Civil Service Unions will have noted that all that is needed to achieve anything they want is to simply stonewall a useless dithering Premier. Stand by for a winter of discontent then another cave in.

  4. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Agree with every word–The, or perhaps an, average WTO tariff seems to be given as 3% (quoted by you a few times) but there are a lot of people who don’t have faith in this figure or understand what the assumptions behind it are. As I have asked before, why isn’t it obvious that we need something authoritative on this (therefore not these days from the Treasury) to support rational thought on whether we want to go WTO? This is crucial but seems just a matter of opinion at present. No idea why. One sheet of paper should do it. Like everything else it’s just pluses and minuses. If it is truly only 3%, personally I cannot see why all the fuss given the huge saving in hard cash.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      Postscript–And of course that’s before the (completely overriding in any event) issues such as Sovereignty, Freedom, Re-joining the rest of the World and in particular our kith and kin.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      Just like Animal Farm – The Corbynistas’ have been brain washed it to “Single Market, Customs Union good, WTO bad”…(BBC TV News last night)

      And as been previously said on this blogg, the Single Market has probably added less than 1% to our GDP over its operating period.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        Dear Know–Along same lines as my comment above about WTO tariffs averaging only 3%, where does the addition to GDP of only 1% come from? Is there anything authoritative and half-way independent backing that up? A mere 1% seems astonishingly low–Would suit me as a Leaver of course for it to be that low–But even so cannot believe it and if it is true what are we all talking about??

        • Know-Dice
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

          Depends how much you respect Denis Cooper’s posts 🙂

          I’m sure that he will be along soon…

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

          Well, according to the EU Commission itself the average gain for the EU as a whole has been about 2% added to GDP.

          And when I refer to the “EU Commission” in general terms that includes Michel Barnier himself when he was the Commissioner responsible for the internal market, and provided the Foreword to this 2012 EU publication entitled “20 years of the European Single Market”:

          https://publications.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/c505dbb4-64f1-40a6-8062-ebdea6240bd4

          The most interesting claims were on page 13, under

          “Main Macroeconomic achievements and impact”:

          The collective GDP of the EU member states in 2008 was 2.13% higher than it would have been if the Single Market had not been launched in 1992.

          Over the same period, the Single Market helped to create 2.77 million new jobs, a 1.3% increase in employment across the EU.

          Interestingly those meagre improvements in GDP and employment corresponded to a very much larger increase in the volume of intra-EU goods trade – in other words, thanks to the Single Market a lot more stuff was being shipped around within the EU, but that had not actually made the inhabitants significantly more prosperous.

          This report did not try to gauge how the average or overall benefit had been distributed across individual EU member states, it was this other source:

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

          which suggested that for the UK the gain had been below the average, more like 1%.

          • Andy
            Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

            People need to face a few facts. The so called ‘Single Market’ is of negligable value and is really unimportant.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Stop it.

        We dislike it when we’re told we’re brainwashed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      I’ve just seen some entrepreneurial lady on TV saying that the government should get on and “set out its stall”, as she put it, because at the moment she has no idea what the plan is. Firstly, of course, it is not down solely to our government to determine what will happen, any more than it will be solely down to her to decide the outcome of any business negotiations she undertakes. But secondly she claims to have no idea what the government even wants, despite its multiple, and multipoint, and I have to say increasingly repetitive, public statements of what it wants. So how has this come about? I’ve said again and again that there is an ongoing one-propaganda war, but it is largely a one-sided war because those in government who should be actively defending its position and debunking the various myths being circulated by the media apparently can’t be bothered.

    • BillyElliot
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      @ Leslie S

      WTO might have tariff of 3 % but only to certain point. Quotas are complicated. After quota has been exceed tariff can go to 40%.
      As an example car parts – like piston – can go EU-UK -EU-UK and then maybe once more to EU as a “complete car”. If car industry needs to pay tariff every time it will be a disaster.
      And their JOT system might be totally messed awith possible custom procedures.
      So WTO is not exactly optimal solution.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

        Dear Billy–I asked whether 3% is an (of course accurate and meaningful) average, repeat average, but am no nearer an answer–Or if such cannot be assessed that should be stated.

      • David Price
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 2:39 am | Permalink

        WTO doesn’t mandate we impose a tariff, only that any tariff is applied equally unless there’s a registered trade agreement.

        Why would we impose a tariff on goods we want to buy?

  5. oldtimer
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:39 am | Permalink

    Germany faces a period of uncertainty as Merkel tries to form a government with a working majority. Previous coalition partners such as the SPD and FDP have been badly burned – cf LibDems in the UK. In the circumstances Brexit is likely to be low on the priorities list. In these circumstances I agree with your conclusion. It will be difficult to get an agreed revised negotiating position out of the EU. In its absence the UK government should withdraw it’s offer and be ready for a hard Brexit.

  6. Mark B
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    We cannot conclude a trade deal whilst still members of the EU. What these negotiations are about is our future relationship, settlement of assets and liabilities and what EU programs do we wish to continue with.

    I like the fact that you mention Chancellor Merkel’s percentage and seat share has been reduce but, when comparing her election and the one that was unnecessarily called by Chairman May, you neglect to mention the number of seats you have lost and that you too needed the help of another party – the DUP. Pot calls kettle black, me thinks 😉

    It is the EU that is doing the negotiating. And as we all know, the EU is immune to elections and the wishes of the people. So it does not matter who the German’s vote for, they do not get a say no more than I do.

    Are we sure that the ‘offer’ can or will be withdrawn ? And I thought no deal was better than a bad deal ? Because it seems to our kind hosts readers from yesterday’s posts, and elsewhere, that our government is just about happy with a bad deal, and that’s it !

    The Conservative Party is doomed. It needed the help of the LibDems in 2010 to get into power. It needed to frighten people with the specter of a SNP / Labour Government to get a feeble majority in 2015. And then, despite being the one to decry its own part as nasty, the last election needed the likes of UKIP (they withdrew from certain constituencies to give the Tories a clear run) and Ruth Davidson’s conservative revival north of the border, to save the PM’s job, the party and the nation. Such lack of gratitude I see !

    The PM in her speech has made in the eyes of our kind hosts readers him out to be, at best, a naive fool or, at worst a teller of tales. I personally do not know which ? I guess time will tell.

    😉

  7. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Iain Dale’s interview with Heseltine on LBC last week is worth a listen. There will be no deal on terms other than those that are completely injurious to the UK as a warning to anyone else considering ending their membership. If Heseltine can see the futility of trying to obtain a velvet divorce well why not just break now?

    Anyway congratulations to the AfD on their achievement. The German electoral system allows my friends to effectively show their disgust at the way the country is going with its collapsing infra structure, unaffordable rents etc. Their success runs far beyond concerns about what happened in the Summer of 2015. JR regardless of your share of the vote this year and the implosion of UKIP I do not think any dissatisfaction with the political class in the UK has gone away.

    • Richard1
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Not sure about the AFD they seem to be similar to what UKIP will be like if this anti Muslim woman wins the leadership – a sort of BNP. The FDP seem to be the most sensible voice in German politics.

      • rose
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        Except that the FDP want the EU as it is and the AfD want a Europe of nation states. Surely the latter is the most sensible position for a German party.

        The BNP are in favour of nationalisation etc. and protectionism. A left wing party. Are the AfD?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      The UK government would first need to prepare the world for the worrying news that the UK had finally had enough of being messed around by the stupid, spiteful, greedy, untrustworthy, and destructive EU and had no choice but to walk away from the negotiations without an agreement.

      “When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

      So far all the world has heard from Theresa May is that we think our neighbours are lovely and we want to stay cuddled up as close as possible to them.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Indeed May’s offer was far, far too generous. As it has been rejected it should now be be withdrawn we should assume no deal and fully prepare for it. We should also prepare to cut the green crap subsidies, cut taxes, cut red tape, cut the bloated state, cut the vanity projects and finally get the economy growing properly.

    Another pusher of wind energy propaganda on radio 4 just now. It wind is so cheap and efficient why do they need such huge subsidies and rigging of the market in their favour? Why do the BBC interviewers never ask any sensible questions of them? It seems that we have lost the only sensible BBC interview,er Andrew Neil from both the Daily and Sunday politics. Hopefully he will return and they can find some more like him rather than the wet, lefty, scientifically illiterate, innumerate, climate alarmist dopes they tend to employ. Even the alarmists admit they have been proved totally wrong.

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-were-wrong-worst-effects-of-climate-change-can-be-avoided-say-scientists-k9p5hg5l0

  9. Richard1
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:10 am | Permalink

    It is reported that the civil service – presumably due to the absence of instruction from ministers – Has not been making the preparations we need to avoid a cliff edge in the event of no Deal, such as customs arrangements etc. Can this be right & if so, can senior civil servants or ministers be called to account for such a terrible dereliction of duty? Surely it is now understood that if the UK has no credible walk away option the EU will agree nothing & will just wait for the UK to cave in?!

    If the EU council in October refuses to start trade talks, the UK must pull out and say call back when you are ready to talk.

    Meanwhile it is reported that the senior civil servant transfered to advise Mrs May was an anti capitalist leftist (he may or may not be now) who favours a very soft brexit. I see that he has never worked at all outside the civil service.

    The government needs urgently to bring in private sector business and negotiating capability and to order urgent preparations for no Deal as that is now the most likely outcome. We are being very ill served right now.

  10. eeyore
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Much hand-wringing in the media about the success of the “Far Right”. They mean a nationalist party. But is it actually a right-wing party at all, espousing free markets, small government, low tax, individual liberties? I doubt it.

    The historic problems in Germany were of course caused by the nationalist Left. “I have always been a socialist,” said the most notorious exemplar of the phenomenon, and, judged by his policies, he was too.

    Meanwhile JR’s take on the consequences of the German election for Britain and Brexit is heartening. I hadn’t appreciated that Mrs May’s recent offer was “without prejudice”. I hope she and her team take the most careful note of this development.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

      Were Bismarck and the Kaiser also of the nationalist Left?!You could probably trace the “German problem” all the way back to Charlemagne and the First Reich!

    • mickc
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      Yes, when the MSM say “far right” they are talking about a party which is probably just nationalist. And of course only Third World countries can acceptably be nationalist….

      • ju
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        like Scotland and Wales…

  11. alan jutson
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    Agree with your comments and suggestions JR, how much support for what you suggest do you think there is amongst the UK parliament.

    We can surely only offer the olive branch once.

    For Politicians the World over the writing has been on the wall about taking the people, power and decisions they make for granted.
    The backlash is now underway in many countries, and it will surely grow further and faster.

    Population movement on the vast scale Europe has allowed in recent years simply must come to an end or else civil unrest and unstable governments will grow further.

    The sooner we remove ourselves from this EU mess the better.

  12. am
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    The UK Conservatives are being led over an electoral cliff by Mrs May. But such is their desperation to remain in Europe they hold on tight with their eyes shut. Of course they may be forced to let go if Europe rejects her offer. But how unseemly, if their is a rejection of her offer by the EU, she then offers even more. That will spur the much needed leadership election by the firm exiters that remain in the tory party.

  13. Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    I am really looking forward to hearing what the Labour Party has to say about the EU and Brexit. After the debate, where everyone will get a speech at Conference in Brighton, the Party will come to a resolution and that will be the way forward for the whole country when they win the election which is just round the corner.

    What? Subject not mentioned? Are you sure?

    Oh Dear!

    • TomTomTom
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Of course they don’t want to talk about it.

      Just like they didn’t want to talk about the deficit.

      It’s much, much more exciting to talk about how you are going to spend lots of other peoples money.

  14. Nig l
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

    When you lend someone some money, if on repayment date, they have not responded, you can make demand and sue. However in reality what often happens is that close to the date you start being told that sueing we’ll get nothing but allow more time and small amounts will come dribbling back, albeit unspecified in amount and time but always with an initial small sum as the carrot.

    My worry is that no terms will be offered/agreement possible until near our leaving date when a few carrots will be dribbled out sufficient to keep Remainers and the Hammonds arguing against No Deal, thus keeping us attached for umpteen years.

    You, Boris, Pritti Patel, JRM etc must be as ferociously tenacious as you can be to keep No Deal in the frame and more importantly ensure Sir Humphrey does the necessary preparatory work.

  15. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:53 am | Permalink

    It is time to put pressure on the Hammond camp – describing Johnson as “simple minded” certainly shows the quality of those supporting remain – When socialists and EUrophiles are losing they go for the throat and attack the individual – this is unacceptable, and it is time for Hammond to go.

    As for Frau Merkel, IMVHO, she is just one point more acceptable than Schultz, and he is the worst kind of EU nutcase – Decisions made by Merkel will now be watered down perhaps, but in which direction – for the people or for industry?

    • Beecee
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      The problem is not Boris!

      Mrs May is more scared of the Hammond/Rudd/Soubry axis and is being dangled like a puppet by the Remainers.

      Industry does not need a transitional period to continue to export to the EU on the same terms as now, nor is the other 91% of UK business going to be affected except the EU lock on the rules etc etc under which it has to operate will be released.

      If it has to be a WTO deal then 18 months to adapt from now is more than enough for business which exports for a living. The switched on Companies have already taken the appropriate tomes off the bookshelves and will be well versed in the modus operandi.

  16. Duncan
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    How can we be certain that May’s speech is not part of some elaborate coordination between the British government and the EU designed to give the impression of discord but whose conclusion is already sealed?

    The capacity of politicians to deceive is absolutely limitless and on a vital issue such as the EU nothing should be discounted regarding the actions and behaviours of the main players

    Do I trust May, Hammond and the British Civil Service to do the right thing? No. Therefore, it is incumbent on decent Tory politicians to do the honourable thing

    • Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      The time is here:
      So, I want you to get up now. I want all of you to get up out of your chairs. I want you to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick your head out, and yell: ‘I’m as mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!’

  17. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    What May should do is appoint someone senior, and possibly create a new department, to manage all preparations for the customs checks and so on that would be needed both for a WTO solution and to handle future trade deals with third parties. No-one could object to this as it will be needed either way. This would send a strong signal to the EU that we are getting ready for WTO should they continue to refuse to negotiate.

    Merkel’s problems in getting a coalition together will make the Conservative/DUP deal look like a walk in the park.

  18. stred
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Please explain to Mrs May how insurance companies always put the premium up for existing customers. The only way to get a much better deal is to walk away and the market always throws up a better price. Then the original company miraculously will phone with a matching deal, at which point I always enjoy telling them that it is too late and they should not have tried to rip me off in the first place. The same will happen when the Commission realizes it is going to lose the lot by playing hardball. They are in the explosif and expulsif.

    Incidentally, I could not care less if the city slickers who always play this game all went over the cliff edge and never came back. The country is overpopulated and hard working people with a real job would not miss being ripped off.

  19. The PrangWizard
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Indeed so, and if Mrs May does not wish to withdraw the offer and the whole of the offer, and quickly then she should resign or be pushed and be replaced by a leader in your party who will, and only by a leader who will. She cannot be allowed do dither over it.

    And as for the media, they report that the rise of the AfD is an affront to democracy and not acceptable. They like democracy only when it produces parties they like.

  20. Peter
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    Mrs. May will need to be removed as leader first.

    Only then, with a committed Brexiteer in charge, can any progress be made.

    Otherwise the conciliatory tone will continue and true Brexit will never happen.

    • mickc
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

      There are no committed Brexiteers anywhere near likely to become leader….

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Theresa May’s tone has been more than just “conciliatory”, and personally I have found it nauseating. However I can see how that kind of tone adopted in public could have diplomatic advantages in connection with that “decent respect to the opinions of mankind” mentioned above. First we show the world that we are not motivated by hostility to our neighbours and seek a close and warm future relationship for our mutual benefit. Then when they respond to our conciliatory offers with spite and stupidity, as they are, we point this out to the world, and we also highlight the many articles in their own treaties which they are breaking to show how they are also untrustworthy. Then if finally we do have to walk away from the EU negotiations we are more likely to get a sympathetic hearing from governments around the world … but that is only theory, as Theresa May and David Davis are evidently intent on sucking up to the EU and will not fight back against the constant barrage of pro-EU, anti-Brexit and anti-British propaganda then the world will probably conclude that we are the ones in the wrong.

      • Hope
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

        Not in the wrong, just weak and pathetic. She might as well follow Cameron and hug a huskie. For me no matter how you polish a turd it is still a turd.

    • getahead
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely Peter, this so-called transition period is simply a way for the corporates to prolong their time at the EU trough – at the expense of the British tax-payer.
      And unless Hammond is removed the two-year period mentioned will be just for starters.

  21. agricola
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Ascertain the EU attitude post Florence. If, as I suspect, their position has not changed, a position they aim to attain through the erosion of political will in the UK, then they must be told in words of few syllables that we leave with no transition or further payment after 29th March 2019. Acceptable EU citizens resident in the UK should be told that their rights are the same as UK citizens apart from the need to register. The internal Irish border should remain as it is with free movement for indigenous Irish citizens to the UK as it has been for a long time. The hard border should retreat to our seaports and airports on the mainland. The EU should then be asked in which areas it wishes to continue existing cooperation in security, crime, research etc. We should withdraw our aid with border enforcement in the Med., it will be needed in UK waters to protect fisheries and maintain our own border. All UK ministries should be made aware of their responsibilities and be told to be up and running by March 2019.

    If the situation becomes clear by the end of this year then Barnier and his cohorts will have a year to make their thoughts known before we leave in 2019. The EU negotiating stance reminds me of that of the French at Versailles in 1918. We all know where that led so they should not be allowed to get away with it.

  22. Ian Wragg
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    At last the Western world is starting to wake up and see the real globalist agenda. A race to the bottom brought on by mass immigration mainly of unemployable youth.
    I see the Remainiacs have another ploy. Leaving the EU is so complicated that we need a 5 year transition phase. No one ever fleshes out what will happen during the so called transition period only that we will continue to be in the EU and abiding by its rules.
    That sounds more like an extension to membership not a transition.
    Then again that’s the plan.

    • bigneil
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Not only the extension of 5 years – – early this morning on the radio – someone, didn’t catch his name – said that there might have to be ANOTHER extension – PAST the 5 year.
      Is the policy just to keep “extending” the transition period until everyone who voted out has died. It damn well seems so.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      I’ve just been reading this:

      https://openeurope.org.uk/today/blog/open-europe-responds-theresa-mays-florence-speech/

      “Open Europe responds to Theresa May’s Florence speech”

      “Theresa May today set forward the UK government’s agreed position for a sensible and time-limited “standstill” transition arrangement.”

      One might ask how standing still can be represented as any kind of transition.

      You can move from one place to another while standing still, if you are standing on something which is itself moving, but any movement of the EU will certainly not be in our preferred direction of travel.

  23. Bert Young
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    The result in Germany only goes to show how important the issue of immigration was . It echos the referendum result here . The proportionate representation system in Germany will make it hard now for Merkel to obtain a majority situation without Schulz ; the AFD will rub its hands in glee .

    Meanwhile in France the green behind the ears Macron will attempt to seize the leadership position of the EU . Germany was always able to dictate what used to be decided with Merkel leading the way and the EU had always bent in her direction , now it is a different matter . A rudderless EU presents a dilemma to the negotiations with us and we should certainly take advantage of this . Macron will not be an effective substitute – the Eastern bloc will stop him .

    Time will tell , but the time that will elapse before anything concrete will emerge has to be our advantage . As John suggests – we have to review the stupid offer hidden in May’s speech .

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      Macron will have enough on his hands dealing with the wave of strikes planned in France to thwart his market reforms.

  24. Iain Moore
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Yes I noticed that, the BBC headlines yesterday evening were that Merkel had won, there was little or no mention in the collapse of her party’s vote share, and it isn’t hard to imagine how differently they would have treated the same result here, they would have gloried in every fraction of a percent the Conservative vote had dropped.

    We were told Brexit negotiations would to move into another gear after the German election , but as we are going to see months of uncertainty as Maerkel tries to cobble together a disparate coalition with the FDP and Greens it would seem that not much is going to happen on Brexit, and we need to begin to plan for a clean break .

    • oldtimer
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

      I noticed that too. The CDU/ CSU plus SPD vote share of the previous Merkel led coalition dropped by a massive 13% points. This share was gained by the AfD and FPD. She will have difficulty forming a new majority coalition that includes the FPD and the Greens. Indeed her days as leader may be numbered as Germany moves to the right.

    • rose
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      I am tired of hearing that Frau Merkel is the leader of the Western world etc. She has shown no leadership, only trimming. When faced with an unprecedented invasion of Europe she decided she couldn’t do anything other than say, “Oh alright, come on in then, we can manage.” Mr Orban and Mr Erdogan saved us from catastrophe, yet she continually abused them, Mr Orban in particular, as she does our American ally. I am tired of hearing her extol “our European values” and then endanger them. I was hoping she would suffer a rebuff at the polls and so it has turned out. The media and she were hubristic.

      Most worrying is the appearance on the streets of so many German cities, of Antifa-type mobs, intent on intimidation, just as in the USA when Trump won their election. I fear our Corbinysta youth will be the same if they lose the next election here.

  25. Michael
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Agreed. You have a lot of support.

  26. a-tracy
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Yes, it is interesting to see how this is reported by the British media in comparison to Mrs May’s win.

  27. eeyore
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Completely OT, if JR will permit: John McDonnell tells us today that under a Labour government “Parliament will decide the market value” of shares in industries it nationalises. Shareholders would then receive government bonds instead.

    So the market won’t decide market values. Parliament will. And those who have invested in a company will find they have instead made a forced loan to government.

    We now know for certain that Labour will indeed expropriate or, in plain language, steal.
    I predict that those who think legal safeguards for private property will protect them will be mistaken. A government willing to steal will not scruple to pack the courts too.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Oh I’m sure the ECJ will strike down McDonnell’s plan if Labour also follow their otherbpolicy of staying in the single market.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      Those shareholders include pension funds, so in essence Labour is proposing to steal from people who are saving for their old age …

      • Mark
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        Brown did that long ago when he taxed pension funds to the point where they were no longer viable.

    • Beecee
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Mr Corbyn on Marr seemed to imply that shareholders would get back only their original investment and not the increased market value if the share price has grown over the years.

  28. jack Snell
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    I see it differently, Mrs Merkel’s hand has been greatly weakened therefore Germany will have less influence in EU and world affairs, meaning the EU Commission will step in to pick up the slack.

    She will not be there with strength to speak sense to the BMW car workers as IDS would have us believe nor will she be in a great position to stop any further EU integration. In fact it might be construed now by the EU that the only way to stop the afD’s gallop is by further EU integration, both fiscal and defence as they see it.

    On the other hand if she can get a grip on the migration problem over the next year or so then things could change a lot by the time of the next election in four years time and the afD could go off the boil by then. Either way it’s not looking good for us from a point of view of our negotiations as it seems Barnier, Junker and Verhafstadt hold the cards now- Macron is not on our side either and Merkel is in no good position.

  29. VotedOut
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    In August this year the UK borrowed £5.7 billion.

    The UK has the biggest debt in history.

    The British people voted out of the EU on June 2016 – completely out i.e. no more money.

    Therefore, how exactly can the PM make “generous” offers of up to £50 billion and rising?

    • bigneil
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      ” how exactly can the PM make “generous” offers of up to £50 billion and rising? ”
      Simple answer – The PM herself won’t be paying it back – the taxpayer will. Just like the taxpayer is paying for the NHS – but the rest of the world can come and use it for free, and we can’t get appointments because they take so long and need translators
      ( again WE pay ). Foreign Aid. Throwing the taxpayers cash away is what govt’s do.

  30. Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    > Germany has voted itself into weak and unstable government.
    >The BBC calls this a Merkel win!
    Rather like the result of the 2017 general election here.

  31. Prigger
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    Our media and allegedly democratic parties have an odd view of democracy. Love them or hate them, the AfD is a legal party with 13% of the vote. Yet the BBC and German media think it quite alright for there to be a move to exclude the AfD and the 13% from any role whatsoever in the German Parliament and society.

  32. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Your first para is very presumptuous. The AfD are “on the block” as were UKIP with Farage in charge. Do you really think that in the presence of an (interestingly named) “AfUK” they wouldn’t score above 13%? Probably nearer 30% today.

  33. margaret
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel is a clever lady and speaks to her audience in her own ground on equal terms. She does not undermine any one and listens to all views. There is much jealousy toward her however Germany is suffering from similar problems to us except I don’t think they are as aware as the UK what may become of us. Claude Junker works under blinkered perceptions of an all powerful and united EU , and these results may be signs that Angela will not be allowed to go his way.

    • rose
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      She didn’t listen to the million voters who deserted her for the AfD.

  34. Peter D Gardner
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Even after 15 months I struggle to believe the UK has still got little idea of what the No Deal option entails. How can it hope to have a clear idea of what it needs from the negotiations without understanding what will be the status quo: no deal? I am speechless at the idiocy of it.
    And why did it not start 15 months ago to plan and implement all the things it will need to do in order re-establish sovereign independent government and discharge its responsibilities and which do not depend on any negotiations with the EU? For example, how will it discharge its responsibilities under the UNCLOS for managing marine resources, including oil, gas, fishing and other minerals in its EEZ, establishing policies for exploitation, and policing and enforcing its regulatory oversight? Even if it does just copy and paste the CFP how will it police it? We have no maritime surveillance aircraft, inadequate naval parol ships.

    What are they all doing down there in Westminster? You barley have time to discuss anything with the EU. Just get on with Brexit. they’ll follow if they want to, and we need very little from them. Fee trade if we can but not essential. Just restore UK to the same relationship every other country in the world has outside the EU, get ourselves on an even keel and only then after 5 or 10 years consider any further entanglement with the EU. By the end of Mrs May’s latest transition plan the EU will already have made its next moves towards completing economic union and founding the Federal State of Europe.
    It is hard not to conclude that what the Remainers in the Cabinet really want is not Brexit, but a holding treaty enabling UK to slip back into associate membership or tier 2 status in the forthcoming Federal State of Europe. they can’t decide what that should be because the EU has yet to define associate/tier 2 status.
    Would we get a second referendum when that option is on the table? I doubt it.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Having seen how UKIP has been depicted as a neo-Nazi party in this country I guess that the AfD is nowhere near as black as it is painted by the media in Germany and here.

  36. Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Dear John;
    I have absolutely no idea why you should describe the completely vacuous speech of the PM in the absurdly theatrical fiasco of schlepping all the way to Florence to a disused building as some kind of generous offer – one you say now rejected by the EU.

    Every single part of her speech was designed to paper over the cracks in the cabinet and the party – nothing more than that. As such they bore no relationship to reality at all. La La land stuff.

    The EU has been asking for months for progress on the major items in the Withdrawal agreement and none has as yet been made – Irish border, citizens, divorce bill. As we will see this week when Barnier gives David Davis yet another spanking on TV.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      And no doubt you will root for Barnier if he gives Davis another spanking.

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      What absolute drivel. We have made an offer, Barnier wants a figure of £80 billion without and justification.
      It is the EU that is getting a whipping. Just look at the German election results and the backlash starting in other EU states.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

      John is well able to explain his position himself of course but my guess is he’s relaxed with May’s offer because he’s sure (as I am) the EU will reject it out of hand.

      • getahead
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

        Simon seems to think that telling the EU ‘No’, is getting a whipping.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        We can but hope…

  37. The Meissen Bison
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    I am puzzled that the government doesn’t make any and all the concessions necessary to move the negotiations on to talk about trade.

    Once the trade and other negotiations are adequately concluded but not entirely in accordance with the UK’s opening poision, the initial concessions can be renegotiated and diluted on the standard EU negotiating principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

    Purists might cavil and claim that Britain had not negotiated in good faith or that this was not the British way of doing things. However, it is very much the EU way of doing things and the only way to treat with the EU.

    • Cobwatch
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      My thoughts exactly. Tell them what they want to hear. Then have a proper analysis of any offer and backtrack as needed. The EU will only pretend to be offended.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      No. The British government should give the Brussels regime a date by which they must either agree to free trade as now, or accept that we will opt for WTO, the better option for us, in any case. That would enable our exporters and HMRC the necessary certainty to plan for the future; as to other issues of contention, insofar as they are not obligations of a third country wishing to trade with the Brussels regime, we should simply refuse to talk. The Brussels regime needs free trade far more than we do.

  38. Duncan
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Hammond & Co declares that Brexiters are ‘simple minded’..Are you ‘simple minded’ Mr Redwood?

    Give me Redwood over Hammond any day of the week

    Time to confront the duplicity and Machiavellian sleaze of Hammond, Rudd and their ilk

    • margaret
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      There was a time when ‘simple’ was an insult. Those who called others simple were trying to puff themselves up in attempt to look superior. Today ‘simple’ has other connotations . The same being that they can look through the tangle of undergrowth and see the wood. They can see clarity where others cannot see a goal. They can see prosperity where others can only see survival. They can see the ‘tricks of the human trade’ and put them aside as complex con merchants who will twist themselves into a downward spiral. They can work with intricacy and truthfully throw away the flotsam and jetsam.
      Some think that complex issues and complicated convoluted paths are high minded and attempt an insult on that premise. What ever is being said needs to take into consideration the perception of the speaker.

      • margaret
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        p.s Originally spellcheck would not let me through with Jetsun or jetson so I took the nearest option . I suppose it is debris which has been jettisoned.

  39. David Murfin
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    If we withdraw our offer and walk away, there are many future years to negotiate trade deals with European nations as well as the rest of the world.

    • Peter
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Walk away and make improvements after, if and when the other side is more amenable.

      Tory unity seems to be the number one priority.

      A stalking horse is need to trigger a leadership election.

      Only when a true Brexiteer is actually driving this process will anything happen.

      Otherwise we will just drift in transition limbo not out but not fully in either.

      • getahead
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        Pandering to the vested interests of big business and the CBI is the number one priority. As I said before, at the expense of the taxpayer.
        We need a change of cabinet failing that a change of government.

        • Fedupsoutherner
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

          Well God help us if it is Labour or the Libdims

  40. Epikouros
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel either sits on her hands and does nothing or makes decisions like her one on inviting into Europe immigrants in countless uncontrolled numbers that is proving disastrous. If she was doing these things just for Germany then that would be entirely their affair but because of the EU what she does effects all of us. At least the Germans are now showing their distaste for her we do not have the same luxury to oppose her or any of the rest of the EU members and Brussels elite who do things in our name and who we have not voted for.

    What we did vote for is Brexit so we would cease to be at the mercy of the Brussels oligarchy and the likes of Merkel and Macron. However they are doing their utmost aided by the twisted and misguided thinking of UK remainers to thwart it. If Theresa May and her Brexit negotiating team do not press ahead regardless with Brexit even if that means leaving without a deal then they will succeed.

  41. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    The UK government has to see this is a “further” strengthening of its negotiating position.
    Further???
    The inter-cabinet warfare the UK media are reporting are another sign of a disunited kingdom with a disunited government. Lets just leave it to Mr David and Mr Barnier. In the end (March 2019) I still expect a Norway option, but sometimes is seems that the UK longs for a worst deal possible (nothing better than a bad deal, AKA “no deal better than a bad deal” 🙂 )

    • a-tracy
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      On the contrary, I feel the Leavers in the government are being very controlled and careful, not being seen as squabbling at all, in fact the only quibbles reported in the media seem to be from the remain MPs like Hammond. I’ve yet to see the likes of Fox; Hannan; Davies; IDS speak badly of the top table negotiations so hardly any sign of ‘warfare’.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        @a-tracy:
        OK, maybe I looked too much at the media reports, government ministers appear to have agreed with Mrs Mays speech. The only voices that matter to me (as a spectator) is that of David Davis and Mr Barnier.

        • Mark
          Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

          Mr Barnier’s voice doesn’t matter. He is only a messenger. He has no authority.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

            @Mark: of course, just like Mr Davis is a messenger. But as you may have heard expressed again in the press conference yesterday – progress will only be measured by what passes in these negotiations, not by what is stated (through media) by Mrs May, Mrs Merkel, Mr Juncker or anybody else. A lot of that is media-foam. An interesting point in time may be the next EU summit, whether Mr Barnier may receive new instructions.

          • ChrisS
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

            Peter : You are being disingenuous here : you know only too well that there is a world of difference between Barnier’s position and that of David Davis.

            Barnier has to report and take his orders from 27 very different countries, most of whom want different outcomes from their colleagues and all of whom have parliaments to satisfy. In addition, Barnier has the almost impossible task of satisfying members of the European Parliament like that self-opinionated idiot, Verhofstadt.

            David Davis, however, reports only to Mrs May and the cabinet, in which there is much more concensus than the media make out. At the end of the day a simple majority of the cabinet will be all that is needed.

  42. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Mrs Merkel has been in power for 10 years and maybe the voters are telling her to go, especially after her gaffes on immigration and non negotiation with Cameron. The numbers and the parties seem incompatible for a coalition so another election seems very possible, if allowed in the constitution.

    We must hope this muddies the water sufficiently for more to realise no deal has been the only realistic outcome since 24.06.16.

    Whitehall farces have taken on a completely different meaning from the Brian Rix version in recent times.

  43. Newmania
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Ms Merkel`s position is, of course, a thousand times stronger than Ms May`s or indeed the wider Brexit support. Any insecurity on the part of EU leaders will make them more, not less determined to sustain the EU against the challenge posed by the British Right, and its pan European Fascist allies.

    The tone of delight adopted in this blog at any perceived weakening of the EU gives the lie entirely to May`s claim that the UK is negotiating in good faith. The EU is right to see the Brexit mob as their enemies weak and with no mandate to impoverish the country

    Why would they give any concessions to people who wish them harm ?
    They will not

    This is yet more evidence of the small minded parochialism upon which Brexit us based. Outside the EU in the 60s our continued slide into penury punctured such arrogant nonsense.

    The madness continues

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      I consider such talk traitorous.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        When you took part in the referendum you agreed to accept the result !

    • zorro
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      God forbid Newmania that you would revel in any perceived weakness in your mind of the UK position! However, with this news, I do sense some worry in your words. I think that Merkel has big potential problems in managing a coalition and I am glad that the EU has been stupid and venal enough to refuse May again, and this will make our leaving the EU an easier choice. The British people know that the EU does not do negotiation, only demand, bully and control. We will leave and we offer them tariff free trade. The choice is theirs to make. We should also ensure that we do not give away our security and defence expertise but make them respect us and value it in collaboration.

      zorro

    • Oggy
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      ‘The madness continues’…………. more drivel continues.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

      It is indeed a valid observation that a bad result for Mrs Merkel appears to be celebrated over here, while a bad result for Mrs May in the June elections wasn’t celebrated in Germany. Schadenfreude is no way to get a good Brexit result.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:12 am | Permalink

        The BBC, Remain and the EU made much of May’s weakened position.

        I am certainly not happy about the rise of the far right in Europe and even less so over the immigration destroying it.

  44. BOF
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    If the BBC can be believed, it sounds very much like Mutti will have to rely on smaller parties for support so effective government in Germany could be some time away, so any influence on the Brexit process from Germany could be muted until a coalition is in place.

    So far as the UK is concerned I would be more afraid of the EU negotiators taking Mrs May up on her generous offer as I see this offer as nothing short of disastrous capitulation and misuse of taxpayers money. Two years (or more) will not in any way give certainty to business and will also decidedly damage our prospects of trade deals outside the EU.

    Last Thursday’s speech can only be the result of the extreme remain view in the cabinet having prevailed, Namely Hammond, Rudd and Green, assisted by appalling civil servants . What on earth can a sensible man like DD be thinking?

    • rose
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      Frau Merkel doesn’t consult others when taking political steps. She didn’t when she extended Free Movement of People to other continents and she didn’t when she tried to save her face afterwards by making an expensive arrangement with Turkey. She did, however, send David Cameron the bill, and he of course paid up.

      I wonder if she asked anyone in her coalition when she announced she was going lukewarm on NATO, or when she decided not to pay the full fee. Did she consult anyone when she drove Turkey into the arms of Russia?

      If she wants to do something daft or even illegal, she will, whether there is a coalition in place or not.

  45. Chris
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Apparently in the former East Germany, the vote for AfD was 20% and they came second, and interestingly among male voters the AfD registered the highest percentage in former EG.

    • Mitchel
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

      There is a very good feature article,”Divided Germany”,in last week’s New Stateman which highlights the ongoing political problems (and costs) associated with the former East Germany.

      Taken together with the truculence of the Visegrad 4 and Turkey’s turn away from the West(now buying advanced Russian air defence systems despite being in NATO),the Empire,like it’s Roman forebear,is crumbling in the East.

      • Chris
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

        Thanks, M. Will look at it.

    • Diogenes
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      It might be worth reading “The Shortest History of Germany” by James Hawes, in particular his analysis of East vs. West Germans, and then see what/how Mrs Merkel is going to deal with the AfD.

      • Mitchel
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

        James Hawes is also the author of the New Statesman feature I mention above.

  46. Cobwatch
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    This result weakens Macron as well. Merkel will have to actually consider the effect of policy upon domestic concerns. Government will need to be firmer about managing migration. The EU will blame the Visegrad 4 to deflect from Merkel’s errors. Brexit will be less of a priority when this all blows up which will only futher EU intransigence. Hammond is back to the insults i see…although sufficiently cowardly to require a proxy. Expect a withering put-down from BJ at conference.

  47. Tabulazero
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Theresa May’s Florence offer is basically that the UK would pay to continue to access the Single-Market & Custom Union.

    That’s pretty much a given. That’s what Germany does, France does, the Netherland does…etc

    The UK is not being generous. It is simply offering to pay for access just like the rest. You were not seriously hoping that it would come for free ?

    In the meantime, no mention were made about covering legacy costs such as the pensions of the UK’s MEP and officials or relocation costs for the EU institutions that have to leave the UK as a result of Brexit. Leave means Leave after all.

    The EU will not pick-up the tab for Farage’s retirement benefits and that is, I think, fully understandable.

    Of course, Mr Farage could solve this issue and help untangle the negotiations by waving his benefits… but something tells me that is not going to be the case. Good old Nigel.

    Finally, I am sorry to pop your bubble (good news for the Leave side has been scarce these days, I know) but If you look at the upcoming Bundestag composition, 80% of its members will belong to pro-EU parties.

    Chancellor Merkel still has bigger odds of still being Chancellor by the end of the year than Theresa May to still be Prime Minister by the same date.

    I still do not understand why you cling to her despite her abysmal handling of the negotiations. She is no Thatcher.

  48. Bob Dixon
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood

    What is Amber Rudd, at the Home Office, working on, so that we have put in place measures to deal with immigration and those migrants already here, after March 2019?

    What are HMR&C (Customs & Excise) working on, so that we have put in place measures to deal with imports and exports after March 2019?

    • Fed Up and Angry
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      She’s not working on anything – I guarantee it. This government has no intention of taking us out of the EU – look at what they do, not what they say etc.

  49. ChrisS
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Brussels has made it very clear that they are absolutely desperate to get their hands on more of our money. That’s fine, Mrs May could and should have used that lever to good effect in her speech but utterly failed to do so.

    The £20bn offer should have been conditional upon the 27 signing a heads of agreement paper on an outline of a trade deal acceptable to the UK.

    The Heads of agreement needs to be agreed and signed before we leave on March 2019.
    That would have concentrated minds very nicely.

    We can only hope that David Davis makes good this ommission in his meetings today.

    As you said, John, if they refuse to play ball, the offer should be withdrawn and we should just leave in March 2019 and let them sort their own budget problems out.

    • getahead
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      They (the EU) will play ball. After all we are merely continuing EU membership for the foreseeable future. A win win situation for the EU.

  50. Doris Tinctwattle
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    “Germany has voted itself into weak and unstable government. ” Historically this is the behind-the-scenes natural condition of Germany. It will become more unstable until it is as unstable ours.
    We have a wholly unrepresentative Parliament and Cabinet.We voted for the actors on a mixed bag of issues. But the one issue… well I need a transition period and pay VAT on it before I mention what it is.

  51. JM
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    This is the same result as we have seen right across Europe in recent elections: a hollowing out of the centre as voters, disillusioned with same old same old, flock to the periphery seeking an alternative. When will the political “mainstream” wake up and understand that they have moved too far away from the public they proclaim to serve?

  52. Ian Dennis
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    “The UK government has to see this is a further strengthening of its negotiating position.”

    Is this a parody?
    Teresa May last Friday exterminated the UK negotiating position.
    It is dead parrot sketch dead.
    She conceded the money question, the defence question and for good measure ruled out wanting to be “competitive”.
    And she did that for free, no concessions required from the other side at all.

    Any election result Merkel suffered is nothing compared to this calamity.

  53. Iain Gill
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Funny the way the BBC reported it she had a landslide, and everyone was fantastically happy with her open doors immigration policy.

    I guess she is switched on though as all those extra immigrants will have German EU passports long before the never ending transition period for Brexit is done, so they will all move here and leave Germany with far less problems.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      The BBC views German politics entirely through the prism of UK politics, they like Merkel because they believe she is going to promote an anti-Brexit anti-Conservative position via the EU. Inconvenient facts about her – like her opposition to gay marriage and her reliance on somewhat extremist coalition partners – are swept under the carpet. In fact German politics is far more complex and interesting than the BBC know.

  54. James Matthews
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I hope our government will heed our host, but I am not optimistic. The main EU negotiator seems to be our Chancellor. Perhaps someone should explain to him the difference between the German office with that title and our own.

    If he is not curbed he will lose the Conservative Party enough support to ensure a Corbyn Government.

  55. Prigger
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Anyone know the turnout figures not just up to 2pm? Also the number of population and percentage including non-German nationals who do not figure on their electoral registers?
    Politicians and media often flatter themselves that non-voting is a case of “voter-apathy” rather than “We hate all of you and will not vote because you are liars and cheats”
    I have noted on my travels recently that in the UK there are many occupied houses ,buildings and flats whose occupants do not feature at all on the electoral records nor most if not all available documents. Who lives there?
    I think what we are actually seeing in the Germany and UK elections, in reality, is less than 50% of all people living here, having a vote, giving a vote or being eligible or registered to vote, not “75% turnout “. I must say I had rather suspected this in the past as work conversations revealed entirely different “voter” opinions that that which materialised in election results. The UK and Germany have got BIG trouble!
    I can tell you that few people who would vote for say “an extremist party” do not vote because they feel their vote and identity is viewed by the authorities. It is too! Professional people in particular are most concerned about secrecy and they are right. Dark Times! I think we may assume there are many more silent supporters of the AfD than shows up openly. Germans aren’t stupid!

  56. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200165

    “Leave the EU immediately”

    “The Government should walk away from the Article 50 negotiations and leave the EU immediately with no deal. The EU looks set to offer us a punishment deal out of spite. Why wait another 18 months when we could leave right away and fully take back control of our country, lawmaking powers and borders?”

  57. Dennis Zoff
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Time for the Brexiteers in Government to push their weight around! Germany are certainly political weaker.

    Germany today:

    Remarkable shift from other Political party voters towards AfD.

    Voter shift towards AfD, in numbers by party:

    Union – 980,000
    SPD – 470,000
    Greens – 40,000
    FDP – 41,000
    Left – 400,000
    Previous non-voters – 1,200,000 (they came out in force)
    Other – 690,000

    Source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung – political analysis

    The election analysis.

    The remarkable success of the AfD in Germany is sounding alarms bells for the political elite, especially in the most conservative of places Bavaria. This was not expected in Bavaria and is a major concern for CSU, Merkel’s perennial supporter.

    Yesterday. I spoke to family, friends and colleagues in Germany to ascertain the mood of the ordinary Germans. In summary (their opinion) many German citizens were previously reluctant to be seen to associate with the AfD, due to the German MSM’s vilification of AfD as an extreme far right party. But this is no longer seen as true.

    What we are seeing in Germany now is a shift in opinion and more importantly Germans feeling less afraid of social out-casting, should they be seen to vote for AfD. The AfD are no longer viewed as extreme far right, but actually, as a party that really understands the German mood and more importantly, focused on German needs, not just outsiders.

    Key note analysis: Now that the AfD is in a position to access Political resources, including access to the Media outlets in Germany, there is a view AfD will grow exponentially!

    Additionally, Brexit is no longer seen as such a bad idea, as portrayed by the German controlled media, but a slight beacon of hope for many that previously would not have shared their opinions in the open about the EU debacle!

    Interesting times ahead for Germany.

    • Prigger
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

      Our media gives a distorted view of European politics. The AfD has views rather more liberal, humanitarian, democratic and anti-racist than those of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, Albania , Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Poland

  58. getahead
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    Meanwhile, closer to home, Chancellor Hammond is already softening up the public for his next announcement the that the Brexit extension period will be longer than 2 years.
    Hammond needs to be removed.

    • Chris
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Immediately, in my view.
      One newspaper stated that it would be a battle to the end between Hammond and Boris. Hammond does not hide his intentions, nor Rudd, and they are not apparently those of committed Brexiteers, but rather individuals intent on destroying the Brexit we voted for and giving us an associate type membership of the EU. NO! This not what we voted for.

      • Chris S
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Alongside Hammond, commentators have mentioned Rudd as one of the leading Remainer candidates to succeed Mrs May. They seem to forget one thing : She lost more than 4,000 votes and after a recount only retained her seat with a majority of 346.

        It’s a certainty that Labour and the LibDems will target her seat at the next election and as she isn’t a popular or charismatic MP, she probably has a less than 50% chance of retaining it.

        Personally I don’t think she would be much of a loss to the party.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

        God, and to think some want Rudd to replace May!!?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Well, there should be no “Brexit extension period” at all.

      There could be, under Article 50 TEU:

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/228848/7310.pdf

      “3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.”

      But so far the UK government has said that it will be just the two years, and the EU has agreed that it will be just the two years, and that is how it should stay.

      Nor is it necessarily the case that there must be just a single transitional period or implementation period after March 29th 2019. It is quite conceivable that legal or practical obstacle A could be sorted out in just three months, while it would take much longer, maybe two years, to deal with obstacle B, and so on.

      The danger here is that politics will get in the way of practicalities and at best we will end up with a single transition period which is much longer than is really necessary for most of the practical purposes included, or at worst it turns into a never-ending “standstill” non-transition.

  59. Tony Henry
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    ‘The UK government has to see this is a further strengthening of its negotiating position.”

    Well not really as our negotiating position is to stay in the EU in all but name and the EU’s position is not to negotiate.

    If only we had leaders worthy of the name prepared to walk away and resolved to cease sending Brussels billions and billions of our money. No matter how many billions we send, they always want more and I’ve never heard a word of acknowledgement for the half trillion sent over the past 40 years. This tells you all you need to know about the kind of people we are dealin with.

    As an arch leaver, I now think we will not be allowed to leave the EU. Every trick will be pulled by the EU dictators along with the anti democratic 5th columnists in this country to frustrate the will if the people. Sadly, by playing the long game I believe they will win.

    Our only hope is a change of leader before Christmas who will deliver the real Brexit that people voted for.

  60. BillyElliot
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    @ Leslie S

    WTO might have tariff of 3 % but only to certain point. Quotas are complicated. After quota has been exceed tariff can go to 40%.
    As an example car parts – like piston – can go EU-UK -EU-UK and then maybe once more to EU as a “complete car”. If car industry needs to pay tariff every time it will be a disaster.
    And their JOT system might be totally messed awith possible custom procedures.
    So WTO is not exactly optimal solution.

  61. Oggy
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I was delighted the AfD took 94 seats in the Bundestag.
    It seems the German media also suffers from ‘selective democracy’ when it doesn’t go the way they want it.

    JR -‘It looks as if the EU has rejected Mrs May’s generous offer’
    – Dr Redwood I truly hope so. If that is the case then it’s time to pack our bags and leave, we’ve been flogging the dead horse long enough.

    Final point – someone needs to tell Hammond to put a sock in it.

    • Prigger
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      “…someone needs to tell Hammond to put a sock in it.” Oh I would fight for his right to speak against all of you. I don’t agree with him. He must personally have self-validated reasons for his opinion. Anyone who has lost in a vote knows how horrible it is. You doubt yourself, the intelligence of the voters, the honesty of the procedure of voting, the fairness of the oppositions campaign. But you make yourself look like a sore bottom if you, eventually, do not accept the vote. He does not, there is something in his smile which tells us so. It has been a year. Epsom salts on the nether regions may provide some relief and earnestly sucking a Fisherman’s Friend.

      • Anonymous
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

        Why is he where he is ? In such a powerful position to subvert the result ?

        That’s why he’s smiling.

  62. Tad Davison
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    I see the liberal left are absolutely shocked that anyone could possibly ever vote for the AfD. That shows a closed blinkered mind, and a wholesale rejection of any thing or any philosophy other than the one they have been brainwashed into thinking is the true path of enlightenment. Some have even suggested that the AfD be banned. Isn’t that a form of ‘liberal fascism’?

    BBC take note!

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

  63. rose
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    A very good summary Mr R. Thank you.

  64. lojolondon
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Dear John, the EU has made it quite clear that it has no intention to negotiate, but that is not really important, what is important is the realisation that the EU has no power to agree anything. That is because, whatever terms Britain agrees with the EU, if 26 other countries agree, and one single member state disagrees, then there is no deal.
    For that reason, we need to plan and start to implement ‘no deal’. As should have been done in July 2016, then we would have just 10 months of this ghastly garbage left, before we can start to trade with the rest of the world.

  65. Treacle
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I think Mrs May’s plan is to delay Brexit until another couple of million immigrants have entered the country, and then hold another referendum. With a slightly higher immigrant population, Remain would probably win.

  66. Gerrit
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    A very good summary. A strong show for the classically liberal, free trade friendly FDP (not to be confused with the libertarian AfD) should look promising for Britain, too. A coalition with them and Merkel’s party would mean a lot more common sense in economic matters than the current, ideologically driven, europhile Grand coalition.

    The FDP will probably claim two of the “major” offices of state, with a clear preference for the finance ministry, and/or the foreign office. Both of which would improve the current political situation for Britain. Because this would probably make the German government more amenable to economic reason.

    Even currently, Mrs. Merkel seems to be on a charm offensive to woe back the SPD to renew their coalition, an arrangement she personally found a lot easier to deal with than the so-called “Jamaica” coalition with the Greens and FDP, the safest bet around is still the three party arrangement with two junior parties.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

      The problem with having a coalition with the SPD again is that as the third biggest the AfD become the official opposition with rights to chair various parliamentary committees as a result – one assumes the SPD will not allow that to happen.

  67. Peter
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Oliver Letwin has revealed that little has been done to prepare for ‘No Deal’

    The former cabinet minister Oliver Letwin was appointed after the EU referendum by David Cameron, then prime minister, to lead the Whitehall unit charged with preparing to leave the European Union. Letwin told the Observer: “My sense is that the work is beginning inside government now, but I don’t believe it has yet reached anything like the level of intensity that it needs to reach. That is OK – there is still time, but it will have to be done in the next few months, because that is detailed work and it is implementation work. It requires clear thinking and administrative competence.”

    The EU will never yield any points. It will continue as a stand off. We need to be able to walk away and at the moment we cannot.

    Tensions in the cabinet between Hammond and Boris will hopefully provoke a leadership election in the meantime. Otherwise Conservatives are just going down with the ship.

  68. Fed Up and Angry
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    I agree with what you’ve written, however it’s obvious that Mrs May will not. Instead she will see it as her ‘globalist’ duty to give away even more in the negotiations if only to help out Mrs Merkel, now that the German’s Chancellor position is weakened.

    In short, I don’t believe Mrs May will put the UK first since loyalty to the EU takes precedence to globalists.

  69. Chris
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    An interesting development with regard to reporting about Philip Hammond:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/09/25/philip-hammond-refuses-endorse-theresa-may-tory-leader-next/

    I suspect the pressure against Hammond will build up prior to him being removed. About time that he was replaced, in my view. Oh for a JR or a JR-M as chancellor.

  70. Douglas Summers
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    The behaviour of the EU is entirely predictable. No one has left before and to discourage others the process must be long and arduous. Ideally the leaver must suffer economic damage for same reason. But to inflict damage on the UK will also involve damage to the EU. Thus rational negotiators will seek to avoid that outcome. Unfortunately there are some stupid people in the EU, who are insulated from harm, who may well let it happen. An exit with no agreement is now a real possibility which must be prepared for.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Maybe they should stop and ask whether there is any other member state for which the disadvantages of EU membership outweigh the advantages so heavily. I think all the others get something out of membership, maybe not everything they might want but at least something and enough for the overall balance to be positive.

    • ju
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Algeria and Greenland both left the common market/EEC.

  71. Tabulazero
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    Hammond apparently refuses to endorse May as next Conservative leader. Are the knives finally coming out ?

    • Chris
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I believe so, as I hinted in my post above. It is just a matter of time. There is not room now for both Hammond and Boris in the cabinet.

  72. gregL
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    At the end of the day there will be an agreement of sorts- probably something like the Norway deal, we will have to remain within the customs union or some type of customs union with the EU, because and despite what Liam Fox and others have been trying to sell us- there are no new global partnership deals out there waiting around the corner. We did the dirt on OZ and NZ when we turned our backs on them to enter the EEC in 1973, they are not going to change their trading patterns now to suit us. Thinking of the USA? who in their right mind could think of aligning themselves for trade matters or anything else with that madhouse? We have already tried India but that one is not flying either. So the whole thing about finding new trading partners to compensate for a loss of trade with EU countries is nonsense-

    So if we want to leave the EU that much and to take back some control back, well OK! but we will never be able to completely escape the orbit of the EU as it is now constituted so better to quieten down and adjust our thinking and get used to the new way of doing business for the future- we can always pretend to ourselves that we have taken back control but does it really matter? there is no country on the planet that is completely free from its neighbours- so lets get real

  73. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    John,

    How do you know all this from the German election campaign, that if Merkel is potentially weak, there will be no deal with the EU.

    This is all speculation and not really thought through.

    And talking about German politics the two parties that might be supporting CDU/CSU the FDP is not left leaning, they are more liberal than Mrs. Merkel, but this is of course a small detail in your propaganda war against Merkel?

  74. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    It turns out that it is quite possible to have simultaneous parallel negotiations about several different issues:

    https://www.gov.uk/government/news/programme-for-fourth-round-of-uk-eu-article-50-negotiations

    “Note: There are three negotiating groups covering citizens’ rights, financial settlement and other separation issues.”

    It is at the insistence of the EU that there is not a fourth group covering trade.

  75. Ken Moore
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    It is 15 months since the public chose “Brexit” – but Mrs May’s latest gambit seems to put back the exit date by 24 months….

  76. GreesT
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

    At least the stage has been cleared a bit..now we know that communication by the back channel with Macron and Merkel is out of the question so all we have to do is concentrate on the talks with Barnier

  77. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    I admire from a technical viewpoint the way the EU are negotiating – they have already got plenty without having moved at all. May makes them a long fairly detailed offer and Barnier has a press conference and sighs the EU is still waiting for a concrete offer. All predictable of course as they are good negotiators. I hope our next move will involve more stick than carrot, otherwise they’ll just keep doing more of the same.

    • nigel seymour
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      Agree 100%. Let’s see What Tusk comes up with after DS talks…

  78. Edwardm
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    We need someone like yourself to be leading us – who is clear sighted and will stand up for our country and our self determination.
    I find it worrying that there are many people both in and out of parliament who wish to live under a foreign autocracy and pander to its preposterous demands, and who want to prevent the democratic will of the electorate.

  79. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 25, 2017 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, said i wouldn’t comment, but can i please just say:

    – We need to be aware of three big dragons: the far right, the far left, and social liberalism

    During the 1930’s and 1940’s my grandfather was shot at by Communists in Spain and Nazis in France (and my other grandfather in Burma against the Japanese). Surely something similar for most people here. We mustn’t forget the lessons of history and how history often repeats itself – not in exact ways, but in similar ways, over time.
    During the 1940’s, the Nazis murdered millions of Jews, led to the deaths of 30 million people in the West, the destruction of many UK streets and buildings and, to a degree, of our economy that took decades to recover.

    So we need to be very wary of the right wing, and how it can quickly turn extremist and nasty.

    And the same can be said for the left wing. Look at how socialism has helped to break up our economy over the years, and led to envy of the rich, and look at the profound damage and destruction Communism did to Eastern Europe and Russia, in so many ways, as well as the Gulags, and the Russian Revolution, and the Terror in France. Etc ..

    And look at how social liberalism, has led to gay marriage, the break up of family families, abortion, and so on.

    And so we need to be wary of all forms of extremism, and how quickly people and countries can turn extremist and nasty like a quickly spreading disease, than in the end just brings resentment, hatred, anarchy and destruction (both self destruction and destruction of others), whether through violence or words or both.

    Let’s do what we can to slay the dragons of extremism, whilst keeping calm, keeping our sense of humour, and our love of people, country, the arts, the natural world, and our British life in general.

    (Not forgetting, we are the country of Douglas Bader, Jeeves and Wooster, Wilberforce, Jane Austen, Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare, Samuel Johnson, Sir Thomas More, Sir Isaac Newton, Nelson, The Duke of Wellington, Charles Dickens, Brunel, and so on——We are not a country of extremists. But we must be aware of how dangerous extremism is and quickly it can spring up and spread, even in our great country).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

      Btw, my comments were addressed to some of the comments here that seem overly pally with the AFD. The way to address concerns about immigration is through our Conservative Party in the UK, and the equivalent in Germany (the nearest being Mrs Merkel’s party i think), not through more hard-right, populist parties.

      ‘This is England, not Spain’, the Duke of Norfolk says to Sir Thomas More in A Man For All Seasons, meaning we are a moderate country, in the best sense of the word, not fanatical (with all the over-zealousness and theatricality that goes with it).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 25, 2017 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

        And by ‘right-wing’, I meant a party that drifts too far from the centre-right. The Conservative Party, at its best, is centre-right. And the country, in general, at is at its best in the centre ground (preferably centre-right, obviously as I’m a Conservative).

        Centre-right gives the rich enough room to make money whilst keeping an eye on things like our borders/immigration, creating a sense of patriotism (including British work ethic and sense of public duty), strong on crime, and so on. But you don’t want to go beyond this as it all becomes a bit over–zealous, fanatical, humourless—and terribly unBritish.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:38 am | Permalink

          You mean Blairism. Far Left in 1980s money.

          There are no right wing Conservatives that I see today.

          • Anonymous
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

            The country has never been less humourless. Unless you like left wing humour, which is all that is allowed.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

            I take that as a slur sir/madam, but will let it go …

            I’m a centre right, moderate Conservative who thinks Blair spent too much money and didn’t save enough money (and Gordon Brown sold our gold), amongst other things, including his failure to create more of a political/cultural link between Scotland and the rest of the UK whilst devolving power.

            I’d also argue that Blair got it right over N. Ireland and managed to create a sense of feel-good factor, to a degree, between different classes and groups of people here in the UK. This is important in a leader.

            ‘Unless you like left wing humour’ – Let’s not politicise humour. I like all humour, whether it be from the right, left or centre, whether it be from the mouth of Maggie Thatcher or Dennis Skinner.

            ‘left wing humour, which is all that is allowed’ – no point complaining about it, rather let’s fight back with wit / humour.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

            And happy to argue that centre-right Conservative economics is the best for this country’s long-term growth and stability (too far to the right, and it just leads, eventually, to anarchy in the markets, to far to the left, and it leads to thwarting of enterprise).

            Not just that, the Conservative Party has the best chance of being elected when it is centre right. If it drifts too much to the right, it quickly become irrelevant to the electorate and gets voted out of power. And then Labour just gets in and screws up all the good work of previous Conservative governments.

        • Monza 71
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          The traditional labels applied to parties are no longer relevant.

          For example, serious opposition to immigration was a very right wing policy in the 1950s and continued to be regarded as extreme right up to the Blair Government. When he deliberately attempted to change the UK by opening the floodgates to people of a totally different culture, more and more people objected to the influx.

          This was perfectly reasonable and understandable – nobody likes the culture of their country changed. But it did not mean those people became of the Far Right. It’s mainstream opinion that has moved in response to a policy they did not like.

          What happened in Germany in 2015 could never have happened here. The outcry would have been immediate and whoever tried to open our borders to a million refugees would have been out on their ear within 24 hours.

          In Germany, however, with it’s elected dictatorship and complete lack of a functioning opposition born out of the grand coalition, there was no big party prepared to stand up to Merkel. Her own CSU coalition partners opposed the move as their powerbase of Bavaria was facing the worst of the problems but they were overruled by Merkel and the SPD.

          Is it any wonder that millions turned to the AfD ?

          It does not make those voters Neo-Nazis or even far right wingers. Just people whose desired to preserve their own country’s moral and cultural values have been ignored by those they had previously elected.

          The surprise is that Merkel was re-elected at all on Sunday. That only goes to show how weak and ineffective the SPD are these days.

          It might even be that voters saw Schultz for what he is : an EU apparatchik who would have sold Germany down the river to save the Euro and a Chancellor who would have pushed ahead at full speed towards a Brussels-led superstate that almost nobody wants.

        • rose
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          Of course we must learn from history, Ed, but we mustn’t keep fighting the last war.

          The danger in the future is not National Socialism or Fascism as we saw them in the thirties. They were mass revolutionary movements based on homogeneous nations. There are no homogeneous nations left in Western Europe now. Our nations are more like the USA but even more multicultural. The US insists on loyalty to the state and the flag but Europe doesn’t.

          Both the USA and Europe suffer from street mobs of violent left wing young people trying to overthrow democracy.

          Europe suffers from many different nations with different customs not integrating.

          These are the things we should be worrying about.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

            @Rose,

            History reveals very predictable patterns.

            ‘Of course we must learn from history, Ed’ – every generation says that, Rose, and so often they don’t! (sadly).

            ‘Europe suffers from many different nations with different customs not integrating’ – wha’ ?!
            The younger generations (18 to 50’s) integrate just fine. (And so do the older generations, to a degree, although not so much).

            The real problem isn’t nations failing to integrate properly (we all, basically, share the same Indo-European language, share the same Christian religion / heritage, share the same basic Greco-Roman culture, and so on).

            The problem is more immigrants from outside Europe – who are far more different, culturally, religiously, and in even in terms of language, as well.

            But the real danger lies in the racists (they’re the ones with a history). They’re not so much bothered by culture but by race – of races outside Europe.

            Europe isn’t the problem here (political union is i agree). The challenge is how we respond to immigrants and immigration from outside Europe.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 27, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

            ‘Europe suffers from many different nations with different customs not integrating’

            – Also, the great writers, artists, poets and painters have always looked at other cultures within Europe for inspiration. All the greats.
            And we should do the same. The UK would be so much greater if we looked to what the Germans do best. I learned a lot and really enjoyed working closely with Germans in a high tech companies for nearly 4 years. I love German/Austrian music, in particular, Bach, Mozart and Handel. And German culture and language in general, and travelling in Germany and Austria. And the Germans do have a sense of humour!

            And, yes, Germans could learn just as much from us as well!

        • Chris
          Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

          The present Cons are not right of centre – more like Blairist clones.
          May, in trying to rid the party of her self concocted term the nasty party, has kept the Party well to the left (Cameron began the disastrous remodelling of the Party trying to steal the mythical centre ground voters) and some of her work with Lynne Featherstone on the Equalities Act seems to be straight out of the cultural Marxism book.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted September 26, 2017 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

            ‘The present Cons are not right of centre – more like Blairist clones’

            – We are in fairly extraordinary times at moment. Due mainly to the harsh recession. If you want to risk going too far right, then the Lefties and Liberals will get into power and screw things up even more. Do you want that Chris? Because that’s what will happen. And it will be the right-wingers in the party to blame (just like they were to blame for Blair getting into office and governing for so long – the Tories simply lurched too far to the right, became out of touch with the electorate, and so were voted out of power). Really that simple. But I’m afraid power goes to people’s heads. And at times i think there’s a massive power bubble in the Conservative party at times. Sadly. Because I don’t want the socialists getting back into power. But they will, unless more in the Tory wake up into reality!

          • rose
            Posted September 28, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

            Dear Ed

            When I said many different nations, I didn’t mean European ones.

            The question is, for each European nation, which extra-European nation will come out on top as the generations go by?

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      An acceptance of moderate conservatism is a brake on all of those things but the demonisation of it has let the Left run riot and turned conservatives towrds Trump/Brexit AfD…

      Recent mass immigration risks blowing the lid off.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 26, 2017 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, not sure i follow, but i think right-wing (as opposed to moderate, right-wing) Conservatism is a gift to the lefties/socialists and liberals).

        I don’t want Labour getting back into power. But that’s exactly what some right-wingers in the Tory Party will bring about through the unintended consequences of their politics.

  80. look back in rage
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 3:15 am | Permalink

    The media has not even bothered unpicking John McDonnell’s proposed cancellation of Labour’s PFI contracts and the cost let alone the costs of organising as he calls it “in-house” replacements. His economic proposals have become embarrassing and you can’t help hoping tourists here don’t understand what he is saying.
    So, he takes the EU for granted in allowing his nationalisations. He thinks the money for it would come from thin air. He is old enough to recall the “success” of nationalisation so he cannot be forgiven. There is giving youth hope then there is trashing their self-respect when they eventually realise they have been taken for a ride. Many of us were taken for fools in the 60s, with demos about and against everything. We were easily led by dinosaurs. Today our youth is being led by etc ed

  81. McBryde
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 5:23 am | Permalink

    Distancing the UK from the US by publicly criticizing trump it looks like she is trying to skupper a trade deal. Also in her UN speech she aligned the UK more with the EU than the US (eg climate).

    Let’s now watch and see if she chases the EU with a more generous offer.

    I think that should confirm that she’s is a traitor to her queen and country. Let’s pray she doesn’t.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      Yes.

  82. margaret howard
    Posted September 26, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    “Germany has voted itself into weak and unstable government. The BBC calls this a Merkel win!”
    What an odd remark by Mr Redwood considering Mrs May paid a bribe of £1.2b to keep the 10 DUP MPs on board to prop up her failing government.

    • The Black Fingernail
      Posted September 26, 2017 at 11:32 pm | Permalink

      You can imagine the quarrels in the Budestag when Merkel starts on about greater EU Integration with Macron. I believe there will be a halt to EU cosying up. It is already not working. People still don’t know what Macron is about.

  83. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 27, 2017 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

    “Then the EU may start to talk about the things that matter to both sides.” So the Irish border question and ex-pats’ rights aren’t issues for both the UK and the EU? These are two of the critical issues to be dealt with during the Brexit process and and they’re obviously of no interest to you whatsoever, Mr Redwood. Brexit has created these problems and they affect millions of people but, apparently, it’s not incumbent on any of the Brexit politicians to put forward solutions. In the end we might be grateful to the EU for demanding progress with these issues at an early stage of the negotiations, especially regarding Ireland. To assume the Irish border can just be thrown into the negotiating mix as part of the general customs questions shows your appallingly cavalier attitude to such a sensitive – and largely separate – issue. The same with Boris Johnson who merely said that a solution ‘isn’t beyond the wit of man’. 15 months since the referendum and no sensible ideas on Ireland and ex-pats. You people don’t even want to have a negotiation with the EU, do you? We’ll just send them a goodbye letter and sail off into the sunset – what a joke!

    Reply If the EU accept our offer re trade there us no border problem for NI!

    • rose
      Posted September 28, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      And if the EU had talked in a civilized way about reciprocal rights last year when the PM went all round the 27 and got most of their agreement, there wouldn’t be an impasse there either. Their demands now that the ECJ should rule in our country are unreasonable and one has to conclude were designed to stall talks.

  84. a-tracy
    Posted October 4, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    How the media treats women in powerful positions is very interesting to me. Merkel rarely has her personal beliefs and policies that don’t gel with the modern electorate even questioned. She’s said to have a “twinkle in her eye” when enjoying her power by Moore.

    Now contrast that to Theresa, they try to set vipers pits up for her to fall into all the time. These so-called feminists are trying to bring her down using the most anti-female rhetoric. She is written about as being a procrastinator. Just some of Moore’s words Empty, broken, relentlessly miserable, disconnected, android, none smiling, not empathetic, doesn’t reveal her inner life (do we expect men to? Is the same asked of Jeremy or Keir who also has a personality rather like our PM). On the other hand cheerful, jokers like Boris aren’t serious enough, too boisterous. Who on earth would want to be a politician?

    To me TM is like a Head Mistress, competent, strict, no-nonsense, but able to see the funny side when someone’s a little naughty.

    This joker getting so close to May whilst she was talking is alarming, however, even the gun-toting Americans get people walking up to the lectern during Trump’s speech.

    It takes all sorts to make successful teams and it wouldn’t do for us all to be the same, lets hope he was close enough to catch her strep throat to give him a few days off from his relentless self-promotion the left are going to give him.

  • 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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