Preparing for No deal

The EU’s comment yesterday that it will take a miracle to get early trade talks with the UK is not an accurate statement of the position. It would apparently take the UK offering them shed loads of money to get trade talks going. I am glad the UK is not doing so. We should pay them nothing for talks, as they need trade talks more than we do. We should pay them nothing for a Free Trade deal, as that would be against the spirit and probably against the rules of the WTO.  If they want each side to have to pay to trade, then WTO tariffs is the cheapest and easiest way of paying for trade, and would be legal.  I remain to be persuaded that we owe them anything other than our regular contributions.


As the EU is clearly now overplaying their weak hand, the UK needs to show it is serious about gong for No Deal.  That would also be the best way to get them to talk about trade, when they realise we are prepared to put tariffs up against their food exports.


Today I invite all those who think No Deal would be bad to write in with specific problems they think will arise. I will then respond with how we coukd fix any that might be an issue.

Some say the planes will not be able to fly because there will be no Air Services Agreement in place. Work is underway to ensure the reciprocal landing rights UK and EU carriers already   enjoy are continued.

Some say there will be queues of lorries at Dover carrying all our imports that will cause customs chaos. Work is underway to have registered traders filing details of consignments electronically so lorries can proceed quickly and tariffs can levied electronically. We are also building a  huge  lorry park to deal with French strike days which can be used if anything else goes wrong.

Most just say there will be a cliff edge without having a clue why. There is no cliff. The day after we leave French farmers and German car makers will still be sending us their exports.In return we will still be selling things on the continent. The cliff edge has all the potency of the Millennium Bug.






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  1. formula57
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    There is a cliff edge looming for those who have yet to realize that the Evil Empire is evil and have yet to understand that it is inherently hostile to the UK.

    • Hope
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      What happens to foreign owned energy and water companies? The same for other infrastructure that citizens here need.

      We read yesterday how Davis did a 180 on EU citizen rights. May is giving in at every turn. Have you not being paying attention to the Florence speech that the EU co authored for the sums we will give them!

      May is capitulating as expected.

      Election please. We want Venezuela Marxist Labour.

      Reply Nothing happens to foreign owned companies here – they carry on as before.

      • Martin C
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:50 am | Permalink

        Yes, I would love to see Mr. Macron’s face when Jeremy Corbyn and his merry men tell him that EDF’s British holdings are being nationalised, and that the payment for that will be in government bonds (i.e. British government debt) and that he will not be getting fair market value for it but will be getting what John McDonnell and his new chums in the Treasury deem to be appropriate.
        There would be an international incident, I should think.

    • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      Let’s look at some (3) characteristics of “empire”:
      1-Military subjugation; 2-concentration camps; 3-military atrocities.
      The USSR, the Third Reich, the British Empire, they tick all these boxes.
      The EU doesn’t tick any of them. So from now on, be more careful with your use of “evil empire”, ok?

      • eeyore
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

        As a little boy soon after the war I visited Holland and France with my family. I remember Boy Scouts standing by the roadside, saluting the GB plate on the car as we rumbled by.

        That was in gratitude to Britain for liberating them from a true evil empire. Alas, gratitude is now just the expectation of favours to come. I guess I’d go many a weary kilometre now before getting a salute from a Dutch Boy Scout.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

          @eeyore: Bragging about WWII again? I never hear this from Russians, Canadians, Americans, etc.etc. only from some British. Living in the past? And no, you don’t need to thank me for your glorious revolution.

          • James Matthews
            Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

            If you don’t hear it from Americans PVL you should get your hearing checked (or perhaps write the kind of stuff you so assiduously write here on some right wing American Blogs).

            Russians tend to take it for granted that they were solely responsible for defeating the Nazis and regularly commemorate it.

            Canadians I will grant you. Far to polite to mention how much you owe them, even though you do.

          • miami.mode
            Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

            But Peter, if Britain had capitulated in 1940 then the outcome would have been entirely different and the US may not have been involved at all in Europe and eeyore was basically referring to a time soon after the war, and surely you must have seen some history-bending Hollywood WW2 movies.

      • stred
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:43 am | Permalink

        British, Flemish and French empire building or colonialism was mainly achieved through movement of population, commerce, deal-making with elites and removal of small nations or tribes with their systems of government. By this standard, the EU is empire building, undemocratic and corrupt. OK?

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

          @stred: I don’t think the Dutch were very nice colonialists and neither were the British. The EU is a 100% voluntary club, and aspirant members are still queuing up. And it is democratic (and expected to be even more democratic in future).

          • Ian G
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 12:27 am | Permalink

            How many of the aspirant members will be net contributors to the EU budget? In fact, all will be net takers, and this is why they wish to join, to receive handouts and to be looked after by the richer countries, not because the EU itself is a good thing.

            The EU is basically a mechanism whereby Germany and France pay other European countries for the right to tell them what to do.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        And you Peter be a bit less provocative in grouping the British Empire with regimes that murder tens of millions of people and led to the deaths of tens of millions more in wars.
        You as a Dutch man should realise the difference.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

          @Edward2: You’ve got a point. I sometimes get exasperated by all the EU-hate of some of the contributors.

          • NickC
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            The EU is a political system, an ideology, not a person.

          • stred
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

            Peter. Most of us just hate paying unfair contributions to a system run by bureaucrats appointed non-directly and expanding its reach. Your army is now run by a German division and the ‘High’ representative for foreign policy and the new armed forces is an ex?- communist. The Dutch citizen pays even more per person into the EU to finance this an, because Dutch (like British)agriculture is efficient and honest, you get much less back than the French and Italians.

            Why don’t you stop flagellating and join us? We really like Dutch people and would not prosecute ex-EU collaborators.

          • stred
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

            Correction. A lot of us do hate that weird Belgian ex-PM who keeps slagging us of and demanding money.

      • A.Sedgwick
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        The British Empire created the free and democratic world based on the rule of law. You may have heard of its voluntary successor, The Commonwealth. The British Monarch and Privy Council are still voluntarily part of numerous constitutions.

        • Michael O'Sullivan
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

          Yes we know all about the British Empire over here in Ireland!

          • NickC
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

            The fact that most of the ex-British Empire nations are now voluntarily in the Commonwealth says as much about the nature of the British Empire, as your comment says about the nature of Irish republicans.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          A.Sedgwick: I can acknowledge that.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        21st century empire Peter. The goal posts have changed and now trade and travel can be used to subjugate.

        As an EU apparatchik you should be more aware of this than most.

        The EU thrives on Stockholm syndrome as our home grown remainers demonstrate all too well.

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

          @Narrow Shoulders: We obviously have a very different view about the EU. Do the aspirant EU members already suffer from the supposed Stockholm syndrome or does that kick in later? 🙂

          • Ian G
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 12:28 am | Permalink

            How many of the aspirant members will be net contributors to the EU budget? In fact, all will be net takers, and this is why they wish to join, to receive handouts and to be looked after by the richer countries, not because the EU itself is a good thing.

            The EU is basically a mechanism whereby Germany and France pay other European countries for the right to tell them what to do.

      • James Matthews
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        The Netherlands empire met two of those characteristics (at least). Your Boer and other ancestors were no less imperial than the British, just less successful. The main characteristic that British concentration camps shared with to those of the Soviet Union of Germany was the name. They were not otherwise comparable.

        The EU’s insatiable appetite for increasing control and continued expansion is certainly quasi imperial. The exercise of power is equally insistent, though (mostly) more subtle.

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          @James Matthews: I see no reason to excuse the Dutch colonial past.
          I have a rather different view about the EU than you.
          Did the EU try to expand into Britain? NO, it was the UK that kept asking to become its member. Same with the other aspirant countries.

      • APL
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        PvL: “The USSR, the Third Reich, the British Empire, they tick all these boxes.”

        How convenient for Peter that he can whitewash the colonial activities of the Dutch, simply because the British took over many of their original colonies.

        New Amsterdam, now New York
        Dutch Ceylon, subsequently Ceylon now Sri Lanka
        New Holland, now Australia

        And so on…

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

          @APL: See my reaction to James MAtthews above

          • stred
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

            The treatment of the Boers in concentration camps was disgraceful, as was the pushing of opium to the Chinese. But in those days they treated British citizens and soldiers like that too.

          • APL
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

            PvL: “See my reaction to James MAtthews above”


            “I see no reason to excuse the Dutch colonial past.”

            Yet you did.

    • NickC
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Formula57, Indeed. The seeds of our exit from the EU were sown by Sir Con O’Neill when he said: “Swallow the lot, and swallow it now” in 1972. The UK government is still making the same mistake.

      Whoever thought that the EU will be friendly, reasonable, even rational, hasn’t been paying attention for the last 45 years. However thinking that the WTO trade option will be without (short term) difficulties, hard work and disruption, is being unrealistic.

      The government has succumbed to a soft Brexit stance which will result in a severe and continuing governmental and constitutional crisis lasting decades. WTO difficulties pale into insignificance compared to that.

  2. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Having dealt successfully with Russian sanctions on Dutch agriculture exports, I expect we can deal with the English if they were to turn nasty. A world of third countries trades with us and when Britain turns into a third country our trade will continue. A WTO tariff could make less difference than the falling pound. Any queues at Dover are more an English than a Dutch problem.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      The EU has never been known for having any flair in diplomacy – its weapons are spite and personal attacks … but when we leave the EU with no deal, then perhaps you will all be more happy to talk about trade when your exports slump.

      BTW – It is the BRITISH that are leaving the EU, it will not be just the English that turn difficult towards those that try to hurt us

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        @Bryan Harris: I love whisky and couldn’t bring myself to even contemplating the Scottish turning “nasty” on “their friends and partners” on the continent. 🙂
        P.S. No Brian, I’m quite sober 🙂

        • Bryan Harris
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          The way EU fanatics behave, one could hardly call them friends to the UK … especially the arrogant EU elite that want to control everything.

        • Tony Henry
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

          Hello Peter.

          I’m Scottish and Brexit can’t come soon enough for me.

          I’m not turning nasty on our European neighbours (my girlfriend is French) but just want to stop sending money to ungrateful autocrats who haven’t been elected.

          Is it ok with you if we keep trading and being nice to each other but if you don’t mind we’d like to make our own decisions concerning our country now if that’s ok with you Peter. Cheers from Scotland

      • Tabulazero
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

        Wrong. 6 Nations tournament. Who is against England ? … absolutely everyone. Same with Brexit.

        I can sing Flower of Scotland if pushed.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

      Peter. Sat in Brussels you must be perplexed that we field David Davies who is the epitomy of good manners when your delegates are pig ignorant.
      We are not the ones being nasty. It is the unelected, undemocratic numpties in Brussels.
      Trade is only a small part of the vote to leave.
      Daily the musings of Juncker and co. reinforce the reasons to leave.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        @Ian Wragg: I believe that David Davies is unelected, just like Barnier.
        You just suffer from hating the EU.

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink


      “I expect we can deal with the English if they were to turn Nasty….”

      Afraid you have it the wrong way around Peter, it the Eu that is trying to turn the screws on us, so do not be surprised if we say enough is enough and decide WTO terms are a rather fairer option.

      We have offered Free Trade, it is the EU who wants us to pay to get it, thus it ceases to be “FREE” trade !

      By the way it is the UK who are involved, not just the English

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

        It is being suggested by some sections of the media today that Mrs May will eventually (after the Conservative Party Conference) be offering the EU another £20-30 billion to try and get the Brexit talks moving.

        If this is true, then the Conservative Party need to get rid of her as leader immediately, and certainly before anything like this is offered.

        It is utter madness to offer anything just to get talks moving, this is not the way free trade works as this is simply giving in to extortion.

        If after the last giveaway, with EU citizens having been offered ECJ benefits, a £20 million gift. and a so called transition period, we would be absolutely mad to continue along the path.

        Time TO STAND UP and CONFRONT THE EU BULLY and if they will not move their position, then WALK AWAY.

        • alan jutson
          Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

          Sorry for £20 million, should read £20 Billion.

      • Helena
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        The UK has not offered free trade. The UK has free trade right now. The UK has voted to leave, and to tear up the EU rule book on free trade. It can’t leave and expect things to stay the same, alan! You need to grasp that the problem here is the UK, not the EU. The EU has not voted to wreck the system. the UK has.

        • zorro
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

          ‘Wreck the system’ eh?…… Well, it is not free trade because it costs us a lot of money to be part of the protectionist single market and extenall tariff ridden customs union. Food is more expensive as we have to deal with the prices mandated by the CET.

          Do yo work for the Civil Service, EU or otherwise have skin in the game?

          We have on multiple occasions stated that we wish to continue tariff free trade with the EU i.e. ‘free trade’ but this does not need subjugation to ECJ, or free movement, and such an arrangement is not replicated elsewhere in rhe world.


        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:16 am | Permalink

          So if this is tearing up the rule book explain the FTAs the EU is trying to negotiate with Japan, Australia etc. Is there somewhere in the treaties that says an FTA cannot be negotiated as part of the Article 50?

        • NickC
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

          Helena, The UK has offered a free trade deal, based on the one we have now, as JR has told you.

          We are leaving the EU, but would prefer to have a FTA. The EU has FTAs already and apparently wants more. Trade is ok, political domination is not.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          Not this garbage again … you need to pay better attention.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

        @alan jutson
        Let me try a combined response to the reactions about “nasty” – sorry if that were too strong a word:
        * The staged approach in the negotiations (1: three orderly withdraw items, 2: the future relation) in the negotiations was already agreed as the first session.

        * A financial settlement is about the orderly withdraw only. Thus there is absolutely no pay for Free Trade (without free trade the settlement would be exactly the same), it is about the UK honoring (or not honoring, which I would see as “nasty”) its financial commitments already made as 1 of 28. In its Florence speech the UK is coming round to that view as well.

        Negotiations should thus mainly be about HOW to pay for its commitments:
        – Lumpsum? – not good for NHS.
        – Paying back a loan over a long period, say annually never exceeding 1/1000 of the UK GDP – that would reduce the £350 million a week UK bonus to still more than £300 million a week – better for the NHS.
        I trust that between these two poles a healthy compromise can be negotiated.

        • NickC
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:17 am | Permalink

          PvL, You miss the point (as you often do, possibly because your excellent English beguiles you into assuming you understand like a native).

          It is not the word “nasty” that is objected to, its the cheek of your using “nasty” to describe us, given the sheer venom exhibited by the EU apparatchik.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

        Offering to pay two more years for single-market access and not mentioning past liabilities is a bit of an obvious fudge, don’t you think ?

        I think the European public would appreciate not being taken for a bunch of idiots every time one of your Brexiter politicians speak.

        Public diplomacy could have helped but since your autistic government failed to engage in it, it’s too late now.

        • David Price
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:08 am | Permalink

          The tone of this engagement and relationship was set initially and maintained since by EU functionaries threatening “punishment” and less than diplomatic behaviour.

          Without a change of attitude and personnel on the EU side and some form of rapprochement I don’t see this ending satisfactorily for the EU.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

      OK I will come clean.
      For months I have been reading Dr Richard North’s blog.

      Still there anyone?

      Day by day he shows the coming DOOM which will hit us at midnight 29-30/3-19.
      And it is all there, in enormous detail. No, I am not going to summarise it for you. If you care about the country (and I do very much because I love it) then you can easily go there. Here is the link.
      Mr Redwood’s comments do address the problems, but the devil is in the detail. That is why Mr van Leeuwen’s comment deserves to be taken very seriously indeed.

      • David Price
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        I donated to North before the referendum thinking his work could contribute to formulating a plan of escape. But I realised quite quickly that he was not capable of working effectively with the people he needed to in order to get his ideas implemented.

        He presents as a doom merchant and churlish with it to the point that I find reading his blog is an act of self abuse, so I don’t any longer. To my eyes he is no different than all those who complain about the impact on the UK but pointedly ignore that the impact is both ways, such as passporting.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:34 am | Permalink


        This will all come out in the wash. There are going to be some very embarrassed MP’s who, let us be honest, will neither admit to their errors or, suffer from them. But we shall. All one can do is be prepared.

        On the up side, we have been in far worse situations than this before. A UK that can no longer afford to by expensive EU goods and services will seek alternatives elsewhere. This is what happened when Napoleon first introduced a ‘Customs Union’ onto the continent of Europe and enforced it on the other European countries to try and starve the British. So we went elsewhere and founded an Empire built on trade.

        Things will be tough. But to do this we need tough politicians. Sadly, there are few out of 650 that fit the bill.

        • zorro
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

          Exactly, as we have pointed out ad infinitum, and the Continental System didn’t work then either!


    • a-tracy
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Nasty? Such a mean word to use Peter when Mr Davies is talking about “charm, co-operation and European solidarity”.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        @a-tracy: I tend to believe Mr Davies, he seems to be a good diplomat as well as a tough negotiator.

    • Edward2
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      What is”nasty” about trading with the UK under WTO tariff arrangements or “nasty” about trading with the UK on a tariff free basis?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

        @Edward2: about “nasty” See my comment to alan jutson above.

    • David Price
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Why should we turn nasty, why shouldn’t we simply copy the German and French consumers and not buy your products. We can instead make stuff here or import from other “third”countries who I am sure will be happy to trade with us.

      The question is why has the EU turned so nasty, why are so many of Verhofstadt’s pet ankle biters infesting the blogs and threatening us so much.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

        @David Price: I view the EU (negotiator) as rather precise, not at all “nasty”

        • David Price
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:26 am | Permalink

          You accuse the English of “turning nasty”, that is not the case at all. It is the EU that has threatened punishment and to make our lives difficult.

          The commission negotiator has not been “precise”. Article 50 paragraph 2 is quite clear;
          ..the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the
          framework for its future relationship with the Union

          The EU negotiators refuse to comply with that stricture with regards to trade, borders almost anything else yet the EU has officially declared that the future relationship involves them punishing the UK. These threats have come out of the mouths of your commission’s president and EP “negotiator” so they are quite official. The German MEP, Hans-Olaf Henkel has accused the commission of doing this so you cannot pretend the EU nastiness is imaginary.

          Given the EU’s clear statement of nasty intent why should we give anything, commit to anything or cooperate?

    • Hope
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      PVL, there is Dutch in name only. Your govt does what it is told by the EU even if it is against the public s wishes. You have no rights or say anywhere on he continent. Do as you are told and pay do a just keep.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        @Hope: The Netherlands has influence relative to its size and economic strength, just like the other 27. If anything, rather more than less – otherwise a tiny nation like Malta would have absolutely no influence. Even Malta has to be brought on board for unified decisions, of which there are many.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Hi PvL,

      It’s a two way problem, at the moment the EU’s position seems to be we want loads of concessions from the UK but will not tell you exactly what we want…If I was personally in that position I would say either tell me what you want (your Red lines) then negotiation can begin, otherwise I will walk away.

      By the way, I think there is not much lorry space at the Hook of Holland, so just as much a Dutch problem…

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

        Well, I can only give you my (Dutch amateur) perception of the red lines:
        – On the N.Ireland border – as the divorcing partner it is for the UK to provide a detailed solution, which would not be dependent on what kind of future UK-EU relationship is found. A difficult challenge, but not impossible.
        – On UK and EU citizens now living on each other’s territories: all their current rights to be guaranteed as life-long rights. (I don’t see continued EJC oversight as a red line but a negotiating stance to force the UK Home office to become more trustworthy.)
        – On financial settlement, surprisingly, I see no red lines as yet, just tough negotiations.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 9:35 am | Permalink


          Your points

          1. As far as the UK is concerned the ROI/NI border could just stay as is. I reckon that in reality it is a joint issue EU/UK regardless of who triggered the separation (I really don’t like the term ” divorce”).

          2. Yes agreed, but certainly citizens in any country cannot be under different jurisdiction to their neighbours. So, no ECJ and no Sharia law…

          3. Whilst the EU published what I will call a “wish list” which has been comprehensively discounted by the UK negotiators. They [Barnier and co.] really need to clarify and justify what they expect as the checkout bill.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        @Know-Dice: P.S. Rotterdam is frequented by Chinese mammoth container vessels of each more than 10000 TEUs (requiring 5000 to 10000 trucks in case of road transport), and has rather good road- and train infrastructure.
        Hook of Holland only has a small harbour, with connections to Harwich, not Dover as far as I know.
        Maybe future lorry queues at Calais??

        • David Price
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:34 am | Permalink

          Fleixstowe will serve us quite well thank you for ultra large container vessels so no lorries needed at Calais for there.

          In fact the 100th megaship of 2017 docked at Felixstowe around September 14th, the 18,270 TEU Matz Maersk from Asia.

          Since the EU will force us to trade elsewhere I would expect the volumes to pick up with China and the rest of Asia. This may even reduce the traffic and revenue at the continental ports.

    • stred
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      Facts4EU > have analysed contribution and receipts for the EU countries today. Holland is about the only country apart from the UK which is paying far more in per head of population. Belgium and Luxembourg take almost as much as the UK pays in. France pays far less than the UK and Holland per person. I am surprised that you don’t decide to join us, unless you have an EU job or pension.

      By the way your chief EU accountant is worried that you will be £12bn pa short if the UK actually leaves, not 10 or 8 as the BBC repeats. If we keep paying in at this rate for another 5 years, that’s £60bn, plus the extra for the military services May has given away. You must be having a chuckle at UK while we have such a soft touch taking instructions from your agents in our civil service.

      The takeover by Remainers is going to plan. Andrew Neil has been relegated to a late night show, (a civil servant ed)in no 10 undermining David Davis’s already undermined Dept, some Sir Civil Servant Remoaner has been put in charge of Statistics and now Rona of the FT, BBC and HSBC is sent to the Ministry of Trade, no doubt as recommended by the Head of Project Fear. They must be counting on the British being rather a dozy, tolerant and inept nation. We must be to have arranged a choice between a Marxist or Liberal PM when Conservatives won the election.

      • stred
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:32 am | Permalink

        Correction.The population of Belgium is 11m ie 1/6th of UK. They receive about half the amount that we pay in per person. Luxembourg is by far the biggest beneficiary per person, which may account for their average earnings being getting on for twice the British. No wonder herr Junker is so keen to have our money.

    • James Matthews
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      So WTO it is then PVL and everyone contented.

      By “turn nasty” I assume you mean respond to EU nastiness in kind, or refuse to submit to blackmail by paying more money than is legally or morally due.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        @James Matthews: see my reaction to alan jutson above.

    • Finbar Murphy
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      It is the EU which is threatening to turn nasty, not the UK. We want a free trade deal; they don’t appear to.

      • Helena
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:24 am | Permalink

        You have a free trade deal now. You voted to leave it

        • Original Richard
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

          No we didn’t!

          We voted to leave the EU and its desire for “ever closer union” to regain our sovereignty and hence be able to elect and remove our leaders, make our own laws and trade deals, be able to decide our own taxation and spending and take back control of our assets (fishing grounds).

          Our government believes that an FTA with the EU is in our best economic interests, but there are those who believe that we would be better off with trading under WTO terms given that we have a trade deficit with the EU of £80bn/year.

        • zorro
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          It is not free!!! Can you not see this simple fact?


        • NickC
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

          Even the EU is negotiating free trade deals with third countries, without requiring them to join the EU, or be run from Brussels.

        • Jagman84
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

          We have a £10bn a year fee trade deal, so it’s far from ‘free’. For that we end up with a £60bn a year trade deficit with the rest of the EU. Oddly enough, we run a surplus with the RoW. And some have the nerve to call the English xenophobic?

        • stred
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          Helena. This is why we are offering to continue with tariff- free trade with access to the market, as happens with other countries. They are refusing to talk without extorting £12 bn p.a. for years. We pay far more per person than other EU countries. They need to continue milking the UK. Do you work for them or a recipient of EU subsidy?

    • NickC
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      PvL, Oh dear, poor you . . . if the English were to turn nasty?

      At the moment the EU demands money with menaces, and refuses to discuss a trade deal. Whilst “England” is promising to sign back up to a huge chunk of the EU in a new defence treaty, promising extra money, accepting the trade deal talks embargo, and wanting to stay in the rest of the EU until at least 2021 and beyond when Corbyn becomes PM.

      WTO is not “nasty” it’s just the other deal. Given the behaviour of the EU it’s the one I, and an increasing number of British people, prefer.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

        @NickC: See my reaction to alan jutson above

    • Mark Watson
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

      Yes Peter.You have dealt successfully with Russian sanctions on your agricultural products.You’ve exported more to the UK.Ooops!

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        @Mark Watson: 🙂
        And many many other countries.

        • stred
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

          Peter. Who probably sell the cheese on to the Russians.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      ” I expect we can deal with the English (British) if they were to turn nasty”

      At which point did the British turn nasty in the negotiations with regards to the Netherlands, or signaled an intention to turn nasty?

      As far as I can see , it is the EU that has used nasty bully tactics to try to get their own way, because they know they have a weak hand, as do the Netherlands!

      Not sure I understand your personal belligerency towards the British people. What have we done to receive such antagonism?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

        @Dennis Zoff: please see my reaction to alan jutson above

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted October 3, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

          I believe “NickC” comment above, in reply to your comment, regarding “nasty” amplifies my reply!

          I am fully aware the Dutch like to say it as it is…but sometimes it is not pleasant to use inflammatory language to make a point.

          The EU would be wise to watch their language towards the British. We are sensitive to ill informed comments and have demonstrated in our history, we do not take kindly to belligerents in any shape or form!

          If push comes to shove…we are quite able to shove!

    • keith
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      As UK buys substantial Dutch agricultural produce including bacon, cheese, butter, flowers, fruit and salads perhaps they may be concerned if there are delays exporting into UK.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Or competition from cheaper alternatives on the WORLD MARKET ?

        • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          @Mark B: the cheaper alternatives are there in most countries the Dutch export to. The word “world market” already signifies that.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

        As far as possible I avoid buying anything Dutch.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

      If trucks are queued up along the M20 waiting to get to Calais then the trains and ferries cannot go to France to board trucks with goods for the UK market. In English we call this ‘a snarl up’. What do you call it in Dutch?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        @John O’Leary: No such creative richness in Dutch language, I would say “verstopt raken” ( = become clogged)

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Why should we turn nasty ? All along has been that we’re patient and hospitable – so tolerant that we can no longer handle the numbers wishing to live with us.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous: I said “were to turn nasty”. Deporting EU citizens? Increased foreigner hate? I meant the (mis?)use of “nasty” about UK honoring its divorce obligations, see reaction to alan jutson

    • zorro
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      How are we turning nasty? It is the EU which will not respond to our offer of tariff free trade. How dare you?

      We want nothing but trade and friendship and you want the blood and sweat of our money. You are just not interested in negotiating. Ask Greece. You want submission and us to bend our knees. Never!


      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        @zorro: “free trade” is not yet on the agenda, see my reaction to alan jutson

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      The English problem is not the prospect of queues at Dover but limp politicians in power. If they were simply to get on with it there would be no queues.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      Peter van Leeuwen, I find it very curious that all the obstructionists in UK throwing up their hands in despair saying we won’t be able to trade, queues from Dover to central London and so on, have never actually been able to show us photos or videos the queues of trucks queuing up at the EU’s other external borders. That is because a border is not a problem if you get organised.
      Similarly where is the map of industry supply chains showing all humming along smoothly inside the EU, a dark clear border, and then more humming away outside the EU but none across this virtual firewall and physical mile high barrier along the EU’s borders.
      It is all nonsense.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        @Peter D Gardner: I don’t believe in long Dover queues either, at least not permanently.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

      The English are not the ones turning nasty. We are offering to trade and remain friendly but not under any cost. We are the ones being blackmailed. The EU seem to be suggesting they need are money. We need our money for OUR elderly and our youth. Our young pay a high price for education while others get it for free and our elderly are not receiving the care they need. NO DEAL.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        @Fedupsoutherner: This has nothing to do with trade, even under a no deal (=WTO) outcome the financial settlement required will be the same. The UK is also lacking in making sufficient progress on citizen’s rights and in a detailed proposal for no hard border between N. Ireland and the rest of Ireland. WHy has the UK already wasted so much time? Internal UK squabbles???

        • David Price
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

          Yet the position has been made clear that there is no legal basis for payments beyond our annual subscription up to the point we leave.

          The EU can’t even itemise what they are claiming.

        • NickC
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          PvL, There are two sides EU vs UK. You can’t (and don’t) speak for us. For us it has everything to do with trade.

          Point to the “requirement” in the treaties for a “financial settlement”. We already paid over the top on entry (our fishing grounds), and we continued to pay net cash extra every year.

          EU “citizens” will have to take their luck with British law. If they don’t like it they can go back. No hard border is needed in N Ireland because we and Eire can check passengers – you may not have noticed but we’re both islands.

          We know why the EU is wasting so much time – they’ve said so. It is to punish us for leaving to deter others. In doing so you are pissing us off and making other countries see the EU for what it is.

    • Original Richard
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

      “Having dealt successfully with Russian sanctions on Dutch agriculture exports, I expect we can deal with the English if they were to turn nasty.”

      Turn nasty ?

      It is perfectly clear that it is the UK (not the English BTW) are proposing an FTA whilst the EU is stalling and hence threatening economic retaliation for leaving the EU, at times even sounding like it wants to implement trade sanctions.

      As Mr. Hollande said 07/10/2016 about Brexit :
      “There must be a threat, there must be a risk, there must be a price….”

      Given the £billions we have paid into the EU coffers over the decades of EU membership as a major contributor, whilst the majority of countries are net recipients, the ingratitude towards us because we have held a democratic referendum which resulted in a decision to leave is breathtaking.

  3. am
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink
    Useful legal article by Martin Howe which shows that Britain is able negotiate trade deals now before brexit as long as they have effective date the day after brexit. Contrary of course to remainers and eu negotiaters. This eu bluff just has to be called and a quick deal effective 2019 (post-brexit) just has to be made. Just ignore the reaction from the eu and remainers.

    • Mark
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      The difference is that a trade deal separate from Article 50 requires the full ratification process, and is explicitly in the control of the EU Commission, whereas if arrangements are made under Article 50 ratification is simplified to a QMV vote and Europarl majority, and the negotiations are controlled by the EU Council. It is therefore preferable to agree as much as possible under Article 50 – but there is nothing to preclude that from covering trade issues.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:55 am | Permalink

        I’m not sure how much of that is actually true!

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Legalities aside, UK will not do anything without first seeking approval of the government’s colleagues in Brussels.

  4. Mark B
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    As I have stated on these very pages – time will tell.

    All this talk of trade and deals is in fact misleading. What the UK and EU need to agree on is the settlement of our affairs and what arrangements are to be made before we become a Third Country.

    The EU can only discuss a FTA only after we have left the EU. On this matter either our kind host is being ignorant or, misleading.

    Things will continue so long as everyone wants it to continue.

    • Liam Hillman
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:02 am | Permalink

      Trade and affair settling are inextricable and cannot be dealt with separately.

      Take the Northern Irish border for instance. How can that affair be settled if we don’t know what the details of cross-border trade are going to be? Both we and the Irish want an invisible border with trade and people flowing across it, but this will not be possible if the unelected gnomes in Brussels decide to go the WTO route.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

        Firstly, it is people like our kind host and others that favour WTO, but only as a back up.

        Secondly. We seem to want a FTA along the lines, but not the same, as that of Switzerland. Not possible in the time frame. Hence, PM May’s offer of an extension.

        • zorro
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

          A deal could be done very quickly as we have equivalence effectively. The EU will not countenance it for fear of others leaving. The are being disingenuoous and have absolutely no intention of cutting a sensible quick deal. They want our money ad infinitum.


        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:24 am | Permalink

          Really? The time frame doesn’t seem to be any issue at all for the EU to negotiate an FTA with Japan and Australia.

    • David Price
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      A trade agreement can be discussed before we leave, it just can’t be activated. The determining factor in both is simply the attitude of the EU.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        No it cannot. And neither can it be done in the time frame.

        • zorro
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

          Yes we can discuss it with the EU but they are refusing as I have stated above.


        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:26 am | Permalink

          The EU does not want to do it, that is a different issue entirely.

        • NickC
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:29 am | Permalink

          Mark, Who says it can’t? You? The EU? What actually physically prevents such negotiation?

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      We do not have to negotiate anything to leave. We have already given our notification under the agreed terms of Article 50, we can leave when we like.

      The so called negotiations are a sensible route to try and continue to avoid some early years of disruption on both sides of the channel.
      If one side will simply not talk at all, then that makes it rather difficult to make any sort of sensible/frictionless agreement.

      To pay to trade, is not free trade by its very nature.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      You are wrong. The EU can discuss a FTA with us any time they like as Barnier, Junker and Tusk have all confirmed, all they’ve specified for them to start is progress on three other areas.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Links please

        • David Price
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

          Reported in MSM 29th September 2017, this from the Guardian but also on Sky News, ITV News;

          Juncker says miracles are needed for progress on Brexit talks

          Jean-Claude Juncker has in effect ruled out a widening of the Brexit negotiations next month to take in a future trading relationship between Britain and the bloc, despite an acknowledgement by senior EU officials that Theresa May’s speech in Florence last week was “full of concessions.

          There have been a number of statements from Barnier et al to the effect that sufficient progress must be made before trade talks (phase 2) can begin.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      I think some/many Brexiters fail to understand the complexity and challenge of doing business / exporting abroad. It’s hard work! The majority of my father’s exports (in textiles) were to Japan but it took him years to learn how to do business well in Japan and build up his business there. It was much easier doing business in Europe but he selected Japan as a key export destination as it worked out well for him and he had the ability / talent to do it. Others don’t (like me – I wouldn’t have been able to do what he did!).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

        He also claimed he was lucky in his ventures in Japan. He had contacts who helped him get on there and to teach him how to do business well there. But my father said that many European businessmen floundered trying to do business in Japan because they just didn’t understand well enough business culture in the country, and not forgetting of course, how different it is in so many other ways to doing business back here in Europe.

        These subtle things are only the sorts of things you can learn from the specific experiences of people in business. You can’t learn them from pie charts or from data reports. Although the evidence does show that many, many businesses in the UK are great concerned by a ‘cliff edge.’ It is people in business who are really using this phrase. And they know their own businesses better than politicians do!

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        True. But business is about building relationships first. Never an easy thing with differing cultures. That is why we did and do so well in terms of trade with the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Many countries we turned our backs on for that pottage of an EEC/EC/EU.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

          ‘USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand’

          – So you admit language / culture is important? (I agree).

          I’d argue, it’s just as easy doing business in Europe than these countries you mention in terms of language / culture. I mean the Dutch speak perfect English. And culturally they’re not that different from Americans, Canadians or Australians compared to the Japanese or Chinese.

          Also, it’s much easier, cheaper and quicker to travel and export to Europe than it is to the countries you mention.

          (Lastly, there’s nothing stopping us from exporting / trading with the countries you mention and/or trying to find new ways of exporting / trading more without some massive re-jig of our economy).

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        Before the days of t’internet.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:33 am | Permalink

          Don’t over-egg t’internet.

          It’s useful but not nearly a replacement for everything that goes into the work of finding customers outside the EU and trading with them in goods and services.

      • zorro
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:59 am | Permalink

        Why on earth would he choose to build his business in Japan if, as you say, it was so much more difficult there, and so easier in the wonderful EU/single market?

        How curious……


        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink


          You’re making a sweeping insinuation about a very specific business case!
          Japan just happened to be the place perfect for my father’s particular industry / business model (not China, not Brazil, not the USA, not Australia – but Japan AND Europe!).
          As i also said, business is Darwinian. The strong can do well out of Europe. The weak not so well or not at all. My father said it was extremely difficult doing business in Japan. He was smart, lots of energy and charisma (unlike me – I, and many others, would have failed to have had the success he had there).


          • David Price
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:58 am | Permalink

            I worked for the largest telecoms vendor in the world and even from the UK we had better success selling to Japan, China, Australia, Taiwan, India and elsewhere then we did in the EU.

            It was nothing to do with culture, language, “strength” or product capabilities (we had to comply fully with international and local standards everywhere). The simple answer is that the EU is protectionist and the Germans and French nationally protectionist.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

            ‘It was nothing to do with culture, language, “strength” or product capabilities’

            – Yes, it does! You worked for the ‘largest telecoms vendor in the world’ not some small to medium sized business (without the resources and perhaps abilities to sell further afield). And as I said it’s also Darwinian. The strong will survive and do everywhere in the world (and that includes BMW and so on, selling to the UK with high tariffs!). But not the weaker companies.

    • McBryde
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      Yes, I’ve seen you stare this before, Mark.

      Perhaps it’s time this was addressed….. JR, is he right?

    • Edward2
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

      It can discuss whatever it wants.
      It is only a formal signed FTA deal that cannot be completed until the UK has formally left the EU.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

        No ! As a member of the EU we have to agree to the terms of our own FTA. That is bonkers ! FTA only come after we leave.

        • David Price
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          What you suggest does not agree with Article 50 para 4.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

          Then it is just as bonkers that as a member of the EU we have to agree to the terms of our own withdrawal agreement; on that argument any such withdrawal treaty can only be agreed after we have left.

    • Hope
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      Walk away as Lod King suggests. Leave, by March 2019.

    • Dominic Johnson
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Thats like saying we can write a will before we die….

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink


      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        Well it would be pretty pointless trying to do so after the fact – the will that is.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      “The EU can only discuss a FTA only after we have left the EU. On this matter either our kind host is being ignorant or, misleading.”

      Who says that we and they can only discuss a trade deal after we have left, and on what basis, and why do you assume that this is correct?

      Article 50 TEU, which was originally part of the EU Constitution, Article I-60, and was subsequently resurrected as part of Angela Merkel’s “Reform Treaty”, agreed and ratified by all of the EU member states after she had made the Irish people vote on it twice, lays down that:

      “In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union.”

      There is nothing there I can see to prohibit discussion, negotiation and conclusion of a trading agreement with the withdrawing state BEFORE it leaves, as part of “the arrangements for its withdrawal”, and that would of course be the common sense way of proceeding.

      And surely whatever convoluted legal argument may be brought forward to rule that out must also apply to ALL the arrangements for the withdrawal and not just to that one part; logically if EU law prevents a state leaving with a trade agreement already finalised and ready to come into force at the instant of its departure, in order to ensure a seamless transition with no legal hiatus, then how can there be any other agreements finalised and ready to come into force?

      If the governments of the other EU member states so wished they could include that in their guidelines; and who would have the legal standing to gainsay that, and why should they, and how could objectors prevent the national governments acting together in the European Council from doing what they want to do?

      They have freely chosen to write in their present guidelines:

      “While an agreement on a future relationship between the Union and the United Kingdom as such can only be finalised and concluded once the United Kingdom has become a third country …”

      and without citing any legal basis to justify that ridiculous position.

      • John Soper
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Denis, you are right. But the reason why this is not happening is that the EU has the whip hand. I have now learned (too late!) that all the promises made by our host that the EU needs us more than we need it are Scotch mist and fairytales.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          The reason it is happening is because Theresa May has decided we must be nice, very nice, too nice, to the EU and its other member states.

    • Mark
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Not correct. There is nothing whatever to prevent Council directing Barnier to discuss trade with the UK as part of the necessary arrangements for our withdrawal under Article 50, except that they have yet to agree on a common position. The fact that Tusk even talks about the possibility of moving on to discuss trade says as much, and the fact that he says that he would not recommend moving on to discuss it merely reveals his own unpreparedness as EUCoPresident.

    • NickC
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Mark, We voted to leave the EU. We are out by a set date, and how we run our own country subsequently is not the EU’s business. So the only thing we may discuss is a trade deal.

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        I agree with your first and second sentences. However, we do have obligations that we have agreed to and sums to be paid up to and perhaps beyond that date. We are an honourable people and we wish an honourable settlement. But on what has been already agreed.

        • NickC
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          Mark B, We agreed to both “benefits” and obligations as part of the EU. We are exiting the EU, therefore we lose the obligations just as much as we lose the “benefits”.

          You seem to forget that we paid extra on entry to the EU by giving the EU our 200 mile limit fishing grounds for free. We’ve also paid extra net cash each year.

  5. eeyore
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    No Deal is a grave political problem. Government has given the impression that securing a deal is both vital for Britain and a test of its own competence. The media and public can hardly be blamed for taking it at its word.

    If we really are staring No Deal in the face (personally I hope we are) the next move should be a government publicity blitz emphasising its advantages, running parallel with effective attempts to fix the blame on EU intransigence, duplicity and greed.

    Neither should be difficult. They are, after all, true. But without them No Deal will be seen as just another May failure which the Tories – and the country – can ill afford.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

      As you say – “Government has given the impression that securing a deal is both vital for Britain and a test of its own competence.”

      Indeed and this is another huge mistake by the May government.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      The government has repeatedly, and correctly, said that no deal would be better than a bad deal, and that does not give me the impression that securing a deal is vital or a test of its competence. How the media would see it is another matter, as most journalists are viewing everything through the distorting prism of their own pro-EU anti-Brexit anti-British and especially anti-English prejudices, and we can be sure that whatever rubbish they propagated would go unanswered.

      But clearly an orderly withdrawal would be better for everybody, apart that is from a few eurofanatics who actively want the transition to be as disorderly and as damaging as possible in order to deter any other countries from following us out of their precious EU. Which I personally think is in any case unlikely to happen any time soon, because the UK is unique in the extent to which the minor advantages of EU membership are greatly outweighed by the major disadvantages.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Inclined to agree. Fiat currencies are built upon confidence, yet these remainiacs always seem to want to talk this nation down in order to create a perverse disincentive. It’s as though they want to create a situation where they can say, ‘I told you so’ regardless of the damage they do by their constant negativity.

      We shouldn’t really be surprised by that however. They have been pinning their true colours to the mast of a foreign ship for the past forty years.

      Soothsayers they absolutely are not. Wreckers they most certainly are and should always be seen in that context.

      Tad Davison


    • zorro
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

      Two faced civil servants are actively conspiring to subvert the will of the people. Why is a Stalin/Communist lover advising T May?


    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      What a novel concept, media and the public taking the government at its word. They never have except when convenient to argue the government has not kept its promises. Any new good policy is always greeted with scepticism. Politicians have been perceived as less trustworthy than used car salesmen for as long as I can remember.

  6. Bryan Harris
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    I’m all for a NO-DEAL… but is there any truth from big exporters that it will be impossible to penetrate the EU market, or do new deals?

    We are told that our service industry will suffer?

    We are also told that our banks will not be able to operate effectively?

  7. Dame Rita Webb
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    Please remember it is Mrs May we are dealing with here. There will be a deal and it will contain the same tripe that Cameron brought back in February 2016. Prepare to be sold down the river

  8. Richard1
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    I’m afraid it’s a game of whack-a-mole. Each time you point out, correctly, why the latest cliff edge scare is baloney, another one pops up. Last week we heard that UK pensioners living in the EU might not be able to get their pensions paid from the UK by UK providers (it did not say why). Yesterday the governor of the BoE said there will be a great problem with derivative contracts due to confusion as to the law (he didn’t say why). It’s a cliff edge scare a week. I’m not sure what the answer is. The plain fact is many informed people in business think there will be big problems, so we need to find some formula to allay fears.

    It is certainly right that the government must prepare for no deal. This work should have begun the day after the referendum. In any negotiation, however much you would prefer to get to a deal, it’s essential to be prepared to walk away. These EU negotiations are another demonstration of this.

  9. Cortona
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    What about financial services & passporting ? There would be huge consequences of no deal for this sector which as you know as someone working in this field is the most important part of our economy.
    I have huge respect for your usual analysis but am surprised this does not warrant a mention in this article so would be very grateful for any potential solutions you can offer to this complex challenge?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      “the most important part of our economy”

      Hardly, and certainly not the small part which involves trade with the EU.

  10. Freeborn John
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Looks like Davis has made more unilateral concessions giving EU citizens more rights in the UK than British citizens will have, and the catastrophic concessions that ECJ jurisdictions the “direct effect” of EU law will continue. This will have consequences for any 2ns phase of negotiations where the EU will demand the same for its product standards in the UK market with no mutual recognition of UK standards in theirs. It will also hamper UK trade negotiations with 3rdcountries as we will have no control over what constitutes a product that can be sold in the UK.

    Davis cannot negotiate. He has sold the farm and not got one single thing in return. You could not make up how incompetent this government is. The level of incompetence exceeds anything in living memory and probably you would have to back to George III to find a British government so completely incompetent as this.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      But that is not what he actually said.

      “But we must also acknowledge that a major question remains open between us – it relates to the enforcement of citizens’ rights after we leave the European Union.

      The UK has been clear that, as a third country outside of the European Union, it would not be right for this role to be performed by the European Court of Justice.

      But we have listened to the concerns that have been raised – and as a direct result of hearing those concerns the United Kingdom has committed to incorporating the final withdrawal agreement fully into UK law. Direct effect if you like.”

      That last sentence, “Direct effect if you like”, was unnecessary and confusing; it cannot mean that EU law continues to have direct effect in the UK or that the UK is subject to the jurisdiction of the ECJ, so why create confusion by saying it?

      It is surely time for the UK government to publicly ask the EU when they intend to allow third country citizens in each EU country the right to appeal cases from that country’s national courts, and also from the ECJ, t0 the courts in their home third country. For example, US citizens living in France would have the right to ask US courts to overturn judgments of the French courts. How about that?

  11. Duncan
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Politics is about perception and in politics perception is all important. If a No Deal is perceived by the electrate as political weakness or indeed a political failure then this may cause considerable problems for my party, the Conservatives. I would not want to that to happen.

    This country can ill-afford a hard-left, union dominated Marxist rabble in 10 Downing Street. We will get one with this weak and ineffectual PM at the helm

    I don’t confess to understand why the Conservatives chose a Remain MP as their leader but I do know one thing. This blatant act of sheer stupidity, PC pandering and short-sightedness may mean we leave the EU but become a EEA member (which of course is the intention of the parasitic British Civil Service) we get a Labour government and our sovereignty is never regained

    If the Tories are able to elect a Brexit leader, one who actually believes in Brexit, and can appeal to Labour voters in the north ie those Labour voters who voted Leave and are now being betrayed by Corbyn on both EU membership and mass immigration, then I am certain we can remain in office for a generation

    The voter can smell a fake a mile away and May is a complete fake. She doesn’t believe that the UK should become a sovereign, independent nation. That may acceptable for the rabble on t’other benches but it’s not acceptable for a Tory Prime Minister

    The message is simple. Get rid of May

  12. Nig l
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    It is being reported that Theresa May has somehow crumbled re the European court still having a say in the U.K and she has already said we will give them money in a speech purportedly partly scripted by Brussels.

    All she ever seems to do is compromise and I think the EU negotatiators have realised this and believe eventually she will give them what they want, hence they think they can wait.

    Even peter thinks a no deal would work and let’s not forget umpteen billion pounds plus the additional WTO tariffs immediately benefit our exchequer, so what is their to lose?

    However as we get closer to that position, beware an alluring last minute titbit offer to trap us back in.

    Finally I agree with another blogger, start banging the drum big time on the benefits and how simple it would be to achieve operationally.

  13. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    The biggest problem with no deal is people worrying about what will happen when there will be no deal.

  14. Ian Dennis
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    An important consideration is entirely ignored.
    We look at the current volumes of trade and then think, that we have to build an infra-structure to manage that trade on WTO terms.
    We won’t, because of what I call product displacement.
    To take a simple example. The EU has just introduced 16% tariffs on oranges, to protect Spanish growers against the South African growers.
    In the future South African oranges will be less expensive to us – 16% and EU oranges more expensive. The lorries that are currently driven from Spain to Dover, will no longer be there.
    Multiply this effective many thousand times over as home grown and world produce replaces EU produce and the infra-structure problem will be a lot smaller than it is today.

  15. Gary C
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    “We should pay them nothing for talks. – We should pay them nothing for a Free Trade deal”

    When are we going to hear strong words such as these from Theresa May and David Davis?

  16. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    It might be instructive for you to catalogue the effects of a true absolute 2 way halt in trade. My guess is that the Irish would be in trouble far ahead of the UK.
    Germany would be laying off car workers – new cars aren’t critical from Germany before we lined up alternatives.
    France would have cheese and wine problems.
    The Japanese, Koreans, Australians, Americans and New Zealanders would be jumping for joy at this unexpected new customer opportunity, and frankly the EU could go to the back of the queue.

  17. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Carney says there are problems with cross border contracts predicated on EU membership. (Today prog this week). Can you lay that one to rest please?

  18. Andy Marlot
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    You are quite correct in what you say Mr Redwood. The problem is that Mrs May wants to give them money and now they know it. It is her that has sabotaged our bargaining position just as much as all the Remainer’s dire warnings.

  19. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    ‘Today I invite all those who think No Deal would be bad to write in with specific problems they think will arise. I will then respond with how we coukd fix any that might be an issue.’

    – I think you can only give general answers, Mr Redwood, not specific ones.

    The real challenge isn’t for government (challenging as that may be) but for businesses (who make up 40% of our exports to Europe).

    Business is Darwinian. The strongest will adapt OK, but it will still take time. But the weakest will struggle. It’s always easier and cheaper to trade with your nearest geographical neighbours. So perhaps you could please respond to business concerns such as (in context of trade with European countries versus ones outside the EU and further afield in distant parts of the world)

    1) Transport of goods is cheaper and quicker and easier to organise
    2) Travel to meet clients is cheaper and quicker
    3) Communicating with your clients is easier for linguistic and cultural reasons (consider doing businesses in the Netherlands versus doing business in Japan)
    4) Business regulations are more similar in Europe compared to countries outside (consider setting up and running a business in Amsterdam versus setting up and running a business in Tokyo)
    5) UK workers are happier to work in Europe than say having to move all their family half way or all the way across the world to live.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      Not, forgetting of course:

      6) The extra cost of tariffs
      7) Customs checks

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        8) Products and, to a degree services, regulation same throughout Europe / different outside Europe
        9) Protection of the law for businesses different outside Europe than inside Europe
        10) Easy hiring of EU employees for British businesses, this will become more difficult

        I’m sure there’s more. But there’s 10 big problems UK businesses will face outside the single market.

  20. Lifelogic
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    No deal looks very likely and we should fully prepare for it. The EU are clearly not negotiating in good faith. Perhaps we should withdraw now and stop paying now given this lack of good faith.

    On pensions liabilities (for EU staff who just happen to be British) where does it say these are anything but an EU liability? Did the UK government contract to pick up this liability – I suspect not. They were largely working against the UK’s interest anyway. Would anyone care if people like Mr and Mrs Kinnock did not receive all their bloated pensions?

    • Andy
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

      You can’t have liabilities without also looking at ‘Assets’. The EU wont do that.

  21. DaveM
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:35 am | Permalink


    Every Conservative MP should read page 12 of today’s Sun.

  22. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    The only person actively talking up Brexit is Boris with predictable snide and sneering comments against him by the arch Remainer and quiz show favourite Ruth Davidson who, showing a massive lack of self-awareness, says he isn’t a serious politician. I know which one of those two I’d sack.

  23. David Risbridger
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    Thank you for your interesting analysis. One example which I am looking at is the legal profession, something of a crown jewel in the expert market. Take the fifteen or so firms established and operating in a country which is named by many as one we should do a trade deal with South Korea. My profession only operates there due to the EU/ SK trade deal. Fine we will need to do a UK/ SK deal but here is the issue. You speak to the Koreans and they will tell you the deal the EU got is not one the UK will get.

    One example is the legal profession. This was given up by them for the wider benefit of the EU deal. It’s way more important to the UK then the EU and the Koreans know it.

    This is the type of issue I am personally struggling with.

    Many thanks for the efforts blogging it cannot be easy with all the nasty horrible comments from both sides.

    Kind regards David.

  24. Student
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    My major concern is that the UK government will not replace the funds currently received by the EU for academic research, and also that movement of scientists & knowledge between the UK and the rest of Europe (that we currently enjoy) will be hindered by future complicated immigration policies.

    Although there have been claims among politicians/the conservative party that these funds will be replaced and that it is both in the EU’s and the UK’s interest to continue to allow freedom of movement for scientists & research, history has shown that politicians in the UK view Universities as easy targets for cuts and savings. With Universities such as Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial and UCL ranking so highly in recent Times World Rankings, it is clear that higher education is one of our greatest industries. And yet, politicians feel the need to berate some of these high-performing Universities for paying vice chancellors what they deem ‘excessive’ sums (a surprising view from the conservative party, as it seems to chime well with McDonnell’s view that parliament can set the ‘market value’ of pay and rent prices?) in an effort to save a few £100k to students/tax payers. This is a ludicrous and poorly calculated attempt to get back on the right side of young voters angry about house prices and tuition loan interest rates.

    Outside the EU, politicians will be free to slash University funding as well as place caps on staff pay, deterring the best academics and the best research from around the World coming here. I am a final-year student at University, and I know of a few internationals who took their undergraduate degree in the UK, but are now taking all that knowledge and innovation to MIT, Cal-Tech, Harvard etc. to undertake their PhD in the US simply because they are concerned that the UK government appears to be anti-higher education. They fear that after the UK leaves the EU, Universities here will lose the EU’s support and be reliant on this government to match that support and to focus strongly on ensuring that the collaboration between scientists across Europe continues. Given the government’s criticism of Universities, its limited attention given towards the student loan interest rate concerns of young voters and its so-far poor Brexit negotiations (which absurdly have offered no credible threat of a no deal option to the EU, but have instead conceded £20bn in just 6 months for nothing in return), I fear that outside the EU, the UK will not be able to get these necessities for its Universities.

    It is also likely that students going to the US will not be tempted to come back to this country after obtaining qualifications there, since US venture capital investment in start-up initiatives as well as high-tech engineering pay is notoriously higher in America. A competitive, well supported and broadly boasted-about higher education system is what will give the UK the best global companies of the future. After Brexit, these companies will be able to hire who they wish regardless of applicants being in or outside the EU, and investment in these companies can be made easier. However, for these companies to actually exist we need the government to have a concrete plan about how to continue to increase UK University prosperity with no deal outside the EU.

  25. Caterpillar
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    In this article paragraph 4 indicates bilateral arrangements will still be possible if/when passporting is lost and paragraph 6 indicates that some firms might not actually need them if they are not advertising in Europe, but just being sort out by customers.

    I’d like to read a clarification on this since one often hears/reads the end of London story based on the loss of passporting.

  26. Dave Andrews
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Currently, we enjoy exporting to the EU with practically no administration needed.
    My concern is that post Brexit the government will weigh in with its bureaucracy machine and load us up with yet more paperwork.
    Can we be sure that there will be no further red tape whilst we continue to export to the EU?

  27. a-tracy
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Macron’ s Law In 2015, France adopted a law called ‘Macrons Law’, it concerns the French minimum wage in the transport sector. The minimum wage applies to cabotage and all international transport operations …
    It was on track whether we stayed in the EU or not, what we need is to prepare the U.K. answer to this for our ports.

  28. agricola
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I am of the same mindset as yourself on the need to be clear that any further prevarication on trade talks beyond the end of the year should lead to an explicit statement that from March 2019 we trade on WTO terms only.

    By all means clarify the status of EU and UK citizens resident in each others territory and the management of the NI border. Security ,policing cooperation, aviation and many other areas can progress in sub committees of negotiators at their own pace. However any involvement of the ECJ in a subsequently sovereign UK or payment for trade beyond March 2019 are absolute red line no go areas. The basic nett £10 billion per annum membership fee should end in March 2019, no ifs or buts.

    The only weakness in such a position is the number of fellow travellers in the cabinet who were and still are against leaving the EU. If T. May is not prepared to reign them in and draw a line in the negotiating sand that is 20/20 visible to the EU, then the whole process is in jeopardy as is her future political career.

    Question? While the UK is seemingly making concessions on payments and transition periods, can you name anything of significance that the EU has conceded. If there is anything it is well below the radar. Their forte seems to be collective whinging from Brusesls. Given their mindset they do not accept our future sovereignty so we have to take it for ourselves. When you think you have an agreement be prepared for years of carping over the details. The EU has all the symptoms of an organisation in terminal decay. A wounded animal is more dangerous than a healthy one. We are negotiating our sovereignty, they are negotiating their survival from all the internal forces that will bring them to an end.

    • agricola
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

      I remain puzzled as to under what bizarre system of moderation the above piece remains in the waiting queue.

  29. Lifelogic
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    As you say – We should pay them nothing for talks, as they need trade talks more than we do.

    Mrs May’s offer to pay for two further years is already far too generous. She does not really seem to understand negotiation. Whatever we office it will not be enough for the EU bureaucrats – just leave and the soon we adjust the better.

  30. Woody
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I do find the argument put forward about “passporting” problems for our financial operations to be somewhat disingenuous. If Singapore, Hong Kong, China, America and the likes can have vibrant financial activities with the world, including Europe, why cant the UK? No reason that I can see.

  31. Sir anthony
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    You told us we’d get a great deal quickly. Now you say we dont need one. Every day a new story

  32. William Long
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    You ask for any problems we can see with ‘No deal’. I in fact think there would be much to be said for it. You have often pointed out that financially we would be gainers from our trade with the EU under a WTO tariff regime. We trade happily with the rest of the world so I can see no problems save those of perception, except for one, which is a huge one, and that is that I have seen no sign that the Government is preparing for a ‘No deal’ outcome. It seems to have learnt nothing from the Cameron Government’s failure to prepare for the Referendum outcome that they did not want. Are you able to say something that will prove me wrong?

  33. Biggles
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    You say no deal is fine. You say planes will fly because we will do a deal. Do you realise how silly you are making yourself seem?

    • John Finn
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      Can you read? You appear to be confused between a trade deal and an agreement on landing rights. Tricky stuff, I know. A lot of those “better educated” remain voters do seem to have trouble with this issue.

  34. Iain Moore
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The level of humiliation the British establishment are willing to accept from the EU I find a rather disgusting sight. There is no pride to be found in them, they cut a cowed and grovelling spectacle. When Barnier lays down the law to them, telling them what they have to do to ingratiate themselves with the EU, like some pompous school master ordering around an oik , they don’t tell him where to take a hike, instead we see the revolting sight of them saying ‘yes sir, no sir , three bags full sir’ , and ‘please sir have we done enough sir?’

    In light of the defeatism that has been at the heart of the British establishment since the 1950s , where the Foreign Office decided its role was to ‘manage our decline’ , a policy we were only given some respite was when Mrs T was in office, but has been part of the narrative ever since that has led us to Brexit. I suppose it was too much to expect that Brexit would put an end to the grovelling , and in light of that I fear any EU deal would just give the naysayers a lifeline to continue their misery. So perhaps the best thing would be to leave without a deal as soon as is possible and so leave these naysayers with no where to go.

  35. Norman
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    Brilliantly expressed JR. There are two parallel scripts – the one for home consumption, and the other for EU negotiation purposes. The PM’s Florence speech was amicable, reasonable and and mutually responsible. The EU response was predictable, and I doubt it really had any alternative. However, if anything, it shows the strength of the UK position. The outcry at home was also predictable, being part of the political impetus of Script One. The Conference will now be pivotal. I think its the EU that needs a miracle, whereas He Majesty’s Government must maintain good grace. We have shown ourselves reasonable, and must now get on with the deal – or not – as the case may be. The sooner the better – firmly, fairly and transparently. A testing time for everyone at the sharp end.

    • Norman
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Sorry, M’am – Her Majesty’s Government

  36. THS1982
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Hi John,

    I hope you are well. How will No Deal affect service industries dealing with EU countries, especially financial services? I would think the EU will still need to access UK based financial services and so could not restrict them but can you explain the ins and outs of it?

  37. Christopher Hudson
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Theresa May and her people are leaden

    They’re holding everybody back

    She’s stuck in first, even neutral where everybody else wants to put the foot down

  38. Bert Young
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    This coming few days will expose whether the Conservative leadership will support the will of the people and whether the EU will be rocked once again to the core from the Catalonian spike in its side .

    Boris has set out very clearly where he stands and Theresa has to go along with his position or to resign . Statements made by her are already over generous and , hopefully , she will be told in no uncertain terms that what she has offered go beyond what the public want ; early freedom from the EU is the priority .

    As one who has had the experience of withdrawing business from Europe and concentrating on markets elsewhere with success , I know that all businesses can do it – be they manufacturers or services . Facing up to reality with determination is a characteristic not unknown to this country ; the world expects this of us and it is time to deliver .

  39. Michael
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    Well done for being prepared to throw out this challenge.

    The government needs to step up to the plate and make it clear that the negotiations have a bottom line below which we will not go. It needs to have arrangements in place so that if the bottom line is not reached we will leave the EU under our own steam.

    BTW the four red line points made by Boris in the Sun today concerning a transition/implementation period are spot on. Until they are met we will not have left the EU

  40. Tabulazero
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Cross-border insurance policies sold while Britain is in the EU might not be valid after Brexit. This would impact both the selling of new policies but also payments on existing contract.

    Moving the policy to an EU subsidiary is possible but it necessitates getting courts involved which makes it a slow and expensive process.

    How do you propose to remedy to this situation in time knowing the courts have only a limited capacity to process such cases ?

  41. Lifelogic
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The cliff edge has all the potency of the Millennium Bug.

    Or any of the other hugely exaggerated scares:- Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Climate Alarmism, BSE, Asbestos, SARS, Vaccine worries, Japanese knot weed … lots of money to be made from scaring people!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      Plus – E coli, Edwina Curried eggs salmonella, DDT, leaded petrol ………..

      • Norman
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        On such misinformed views (re animal and public health issues) I decline to be drawn. Laissez-faire by reverting to the Law of the Jungle – or Corbyn’s Forest of Magic Money trees – which is the most destructive to the common good? For the benefit of all – including all those who paid with their lives – let’s hope a responsible and orderly and approach to Brexit prevails.

  42. MPC
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Surely the problem Mr Redwood is that perceptions = reality, notably in the eyes of our PM it seems – we have to avoid a cliff edge at any cost. The PM talking of a ‘deep and special partnership’ including a new Treaty on security is surely unwise. We want a relationship of mutual respect and cooperation only.

    The EU will continue to play it long and extricate more and more concessions. The Government is now losing all good will – from reluctant Remainers, many of whom I know, who accepted the referendum result but wanted us to get on with leaving; from we Leavers who thought we’d be seeing the back of EU dominance from 2019. It wouldn’t surprise me if we end up with a second referendum following a legal challenge that a fresh mandate is required to assess the eventual EU ‘proposal’ . That might be no more than a hobson’s choice of staying in or ‘leaving’ on the EU’s terms.

    Also one aspect of the 2 year transition which seems to be being ignored is the likely spur this is going to bring to further large scale inward migration of the low skilled. This will no doubt include a substantial number of the 1m migrants welcomed into Germany by Mrs Merkel. So much for ‘security’.

    We know how hard you work for us in the cause of restoring our democracy and I hope you can give us some grounds for optimism as you’ve done so often in the past.

  43. Paul Cohen
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Surely the penny has dropped by now JR that the EU have no intention of negotiatng a proper agreement. Their strategy all along has been not to negotiate, making a few encouraging noises now and then to string us along – all as predicted by Yanis Varoufakis at the outset.

    ]The UK decision to enact Article 50 is not respected by the EU and they are treading the well worn path of obfuscation and delay to try to reverse this decision. They have their own joker in Juncker who cannot resist spilling the beans regularly.

    I am fed up watching Mrs May being sidelined, and the UK being used as a potential milch cow, time for some assertion of intent.

    Quite impressed by the new UKIP leader who speaks with some authority, depite trying to get a word in edgeways politely with the interviewer!

  44. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    JR, if you happen to bump into David Davis at your party conference please could you ask him why his department, which is described as the “Department for Exiting the European Union”, even bothers to have its own twitter account:

    when it can never be bothered to use that means to counteract the stream of pernicious pro-EU anti-Brexit propaganda prevalent in the mass media day after day.

    Is that because his senior advisers in the ministry are not committed to leaving the EU and will be happy to see it obstructed, delayed and ultimately prevented?

    Is it because the Prime Minister has taken the advice of her senior advisers and issued an instruction to all ministers that there is to be no fight back of any kind against those who are trying to frustrate her stated government policy?

    Or could it be because her senior advisers have transmitted that message to senior civil servants in all departments without her knowledge?

    On the website of David Davis’s ministry, which could perhaps be better described as the Department for Pretending to Exit the European Union, there is this:

    which claims that the Permanent Secretary for the department is one Oliver Robbins, when in fact he has been transferred to serve Theresa May herself:

    “Brexit Department head Oliver Robbins leaves, throwing government plans into chaos”

    “Senior civil servant to move to new ‘coordinating’ role in Downing Street”

    That was nearly two weeks ago now, so who has taken over his previous role, and is there any good reason why we should have any greater trust in that person?

    The fact is that we’ve now had more than four decades of natural selection operating to produce a British civil service which is generally accustomed to the idea of serving our quasi-federal overlords on the continent. We could bring in a Test Act to try to weed out all those who refuse to transfer their primary loyalty back to this country and its people and its government, but of course many of those who are committed to the EU would simply take the oath with their fingers crossed behind their backs. In any case getting any such Test Act through Parliament could itself present something of a problem when the great majority of parliamentarians could not conscientiously take the prescribed oath. It will take decades to thoroughly cleanse all elements of our governmental system.

  45. English Pensioner
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    Hold-ups at the ports will do the EU, and certainly France, more harm than they will do us. Our exports are largely manufactured goods, whereas much of the French and Spanish exports are agricultural produce. A few days of delay and they might as well keep the produce, our customers won’t want it!

  46. margaret
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Now we are talking.

    The only cliffs edges we need to sort at present are the Dover whites. My main concern is holidays and buying property on the continent . Are we going to be safe living abroad , buying holiday homes and will there be extra charges for Brits renting facilities e,g shared swimming pools?

    Reply The EU has to treat us like any other non EU state once out. There cant be special charges or taxes on Brits that others do not have to pay.

    • hefner
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      Which is a rather strange answer as your contract for a holiday home or swimming pool will likely be a private contract. Only in case of very serious disagreements, will you go to a trade tribunal to try settle the matter, and only then will you eventually get any whiff of “EU legislation”.
      But I agree with the main point, I do not see why British people would be considered differently from any other foreigner doing private business on the continent.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Where my mother-in-law lives the locals rely heavily on the ‘expat’ (immigrant) community for business in restaurants, shops etc. There is nothing to be gained by hostility in either direction.

  47. Prigger
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    Will “Do Deal” mean we will leave and EU citizens will not be allowed to vote in our local elections? If so, we should leave without a deal, certainly.
    Davies is fighting against EU wishes. He is advocating EU citizens should vote in our elections for evermore. He said so in Parliament looking directly at Mr Keir Starmer. I saw him. I wrote it down. I placed it in his file.

  48. acorn
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I assume somewhere in Whitehall, someone is preparing some WTO schedules strategies. Supposedly the UK and the EU will have to submit new schedules for the division of tariff rate quotas and agricultural support commitments at least. “WTO members’ acceptance of the UK’s schedules will likely be contingent on what they negotiate with the EU, and vice versa, especially regarding tariff rate quotas”, according to Gregory Shaffer, WTO scholar based at University of California, Irvine.

    Shaffer adds, “… negotiation of EU and UK schedules will be conducted in light of the impact of Brexit on reciprocity, since WTO members’ concessions were made with the idea that the UK was part of the EU. Thus, the terms of Brexit could affect the final negotiation and acceptance of the EU’s and the UK’s schedules to the WTO. Consequently, it would be advisable for the EU and the UK to determine their proposed revised WTO schedules (what is called ‘rectification’ in the WTO to indicate minor adjustments) as part of the Brexit negotiations and then present them to the WTO membership.

    Schedule changes like everything at the WTO takes ages because it works by consensus. The results from the 2007 and 2013 EU enlargements remain uncertified. Then there are WTO members who will want to stick the knife in; Spain for Gibraltar; Argentina for the Falklands and a few more ex colonies.

    IMO trade will continue much as now; planes will still fly; shipping containers are mostly inspected, certified and customs sealed at the export end under international rules, so I don’t see lines of trucks on motorways.

    The biggest danger for the Brexit party government, is that prices may go up and/or cause empty shelves and showrooms. The voters will not forget that quickly.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      The EU has no up to date WTO schedules, as I’ve told you before.

      • acorn
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Did you not read my third paragraph where I said such? Schedules are put into operation long before they are certified. The reality is the WTO is no longer a match for the power of the EU or the other two global trading blocs. The big three get the answers they want from the WTO.

  49. Prigger
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    We should make arrangements for leasing ferries from other nations and companies to carry EU citizens to a number of foreign destinations of their choice. They can pay in cash, or verified Direct Debit card. Letters should be sent out to them now, informing them of the date of our Brexit and that their stay here has not so far been legitimised by the EU. The option of starting the take up of British citizenship should of course be a first option and so rid themselves of a vile uncaring EU

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink


  50. ian wragg
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I would venture that the majority who voted for Brexit are not too worried about a trade deal. Trade has been high jacked by the Remoaners to try and overturn the referendum result.
    No doubt Brussels has briefed them that if they are intransigent then the talks can be spun on endlessly until we lose interest.
    There are many in the government who would risk humiliation by asking to revoke Article 50, any price to stay shackled to this monster.
    May must go NOW and we should refuse any more talks until Brussels starts behaving like grown ups.
    As for agreeing that EU citizens will have special status within the UK after Brexit deserves to lose you the next election.

  51. Anthony
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the offer of explaining how the problems will be dealt with, John. Might I suggest putting together a pamphlet and circulating it in the media to help the public and business understand how the risks will be mitigated?

    My concern is over conformity assessment. When goods from other countries cross borders it is not enough for the goods to meet the relevant regulations, the importing customs authorities have to verify that the regulations have been met. While it is in our control to recognise foreign regulations as being met when goods cross into Britain, how can we ensure that when a UK widget, built to EU standards, arrives in calais, the French authorities will accept that the regulations have been met?

    This appears to be outside of our control and under the WTO approach (which I’m not afraid of, incidentally) there may be backlogs at Dover because the Channel tunnel is backed up all the way from Calais as the Widgets are checked…or won’t it?

    This does appear to me to be a risk and if it is a risk, not one we can mitigate except by sending our EU-bound exports to other ports to spread the load, but which would also increase costs.

    But if very much like to be wrong about this!

    • John Soper
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:29 am | Permalink

      You are not wrong. You are right.

      But you are doing detail. Mr Redwood does not do detail, I have learned.

  52. Original Richard
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    There are many reasons as to why the EU is not prepared to negotiate at this stage.

    They are looking to get a big exit fee from the UK.

    They want to punish the UK. Or rather, weaken or continue to control the UK (hence the request for the ECJ to still have jurisdiction in the UK)

    They want to show other EU nations how difficult it is to exit the EU by making the negotiations long and arduous and probably use this as an excuse to introduce legislation preventing any other country from leaving. As Mr. Verhofstadt has just said “Brexit is a waste of time and energy” – meaning “forget the democratic rights of EU citizens to leave the EU if they so choose”

    They are hoping that by delaying matters they can not only continue to receive UK remittances but are ever hopeful that an event will occur so that the UK’s EU supporters can somehow reverse the decision.


    These are typical negotiating tactics.

    The UK should of course continue with the negotiations as there is much to settle but if there is no change in the EU’s attitude by the end of the year then the UK should prepare for there to be no trade deal and hence will be working on WTO terms upon exit.

    We will need to make these preparations anyway even if there is a trade deal as we will be a third country as far as the EU is concerned. The only difference will be the tariff values entered into the computerised customs system.

    Just as Labour have said they are preparing for a run on the pound should they win the next GE, so the government should be planning now for a “no deal” scenario with the EU.

  53. Andrew Chantrill
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    The UK has two great strengths in its negotiations: we buy more from the EU than they buy from us, and the EU is largely dependent on London for its banking.

    The longer a deal takes to negotiate, the longer Frankfurt et al have to get their own banking up to speed, and the weaker our hand becomes.

    I do not fear a “no deal”, rather I believe if we make clear we relish it the EU will capitulate.

  54. Kenneth
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    The key to this is the civil service.

    Actions speak louder than words.

    Right now Whitehall needs to be enthusiastically planning for a no deal

    Not only planning, but believing in it to.

    Any that think no-deal planning is posturing or bluff, should be relieved of their jobs.

  55. RupertP
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    How do you propose handling non-tarriff barriers in a no deal scenario – e.g. regulatory conformity assessments, labelling, REACH (for chemicals) etc. Countries that trade with the EU on WTO terms do still have agreements with the EU covering these types of things, but we would not have equivalent agreements in place.

    Practicalities – Will the EU have the ability to process the much larger volume of border assessments and checks that will be required once the UK leaves? Or will the goods just pile up a the border waiting for inspection… This might also be an issue for the UK, but at least it is in our control to put in place adequate customs inspection facilities etc.

  56. RupertP
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Here’s a simple example of what is likely to go wrong:

  57. Epikouros
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    It appears the EU has decided it’s conditions and financial demands for a Brexit deal must be met or they will do nothing until they are. So unless T May wishes to and she might seeing as she is a remainer go against the wishes of the British people she will declare now that we are leaving the EU in 2019 and will proceed to put into place all the conditions necessary for the UK to act as a third country. It would then be up to the EU to state what they will do about trade and cooperation whether they want to come to special arrangements or simply follow international rules and both sides arrange other matters such as the position of expats in ways they see fit. This will give both sides nearly two years to put in place systems for operating under third world conditions.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      This morning on the Andrew Marr show:

      Page 14:

      “We will leave the European Union in March 2019″

      Page 16:

      AM: If we get no deal, which you have said is possible, if we get no deal what happens immediately after that?

      TM: Well, as I’ve said, we are recognising that – I’ve used that phrase of no deal is better than a bad deal. Government is working on what would need to be put in place if there was no deal. What we’re also working on is ensuring we get a deal and
      we get the right deal for the United Kingdom.

      AM: But things like would the planes keep flying? There’s lots and lots of practical things. Out there there are tens of thousands of business people who are scared witless about the prospect of no deal, which they still think is possible and I’m asking you what happens on day two after no deal?

      TM: And that’s why government departments are looking to see what changes are needed, what we need to put in place. It’s not just government departments doing that. The EU Withdrawal Bill and other legislation that we will bring through in the wake of that will actually be setting the scene for yes, us having a deal, but also the possibility of a no deal.”

  58. bigneil
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Deal ?- -No Deal ? – you might as well get Noel Edmonds at the talks. He’d make a better job than this lot. Just becoming an ever more costly farce.

  59. hans christian ivers
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:27 am | Permalink


    This is not about having a theoretical conversation about a deal or no deal, this is about us running businesses and having responsibility for creating wealth in this country, having a clear idea about the environment we are going to compete in gong forward and for the coming years.

    If, you as a so-called responsible politician wish to fiddle around with theoretical or non-theoretical conversations, whilst the rest of us try and make ends meet also in the future.

    Waste of time

  60. James Matthews
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    “The day after we leave French farmers and German car makers will still be sending us their exports”

    Not a problem if they don’t though. Plenty of other suppliers. Often cheaper and better.

  61. Nigel Evans (not MP!
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    John, a thoughtful article and a worthy offer: but do you think there are many readers of your blog who worry about the ‘cliff-edge’? Perhaps a short article in a newspaper where on-line comments are allowed might generate the response you seek.

  62. Excalibur
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    I completely agree, JR. There has been enough back-peddling. We need now to state our position clearly, i.e No Deal has become the preferred option, owing to the EU’s intransigence. Once free of the EU trade straightjacket, there will be huge trade opportunities for us.

    I have concerns too regarding Theresa May’s apparent promises of Defence support to the EU. We should make no Defence commitments outside of our NATO obligations.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      yes we will have to increase our exports to India, china, US and Australia by 60% just for some products, I am sure taht is not a high mountain to climb, or maybe it actually is?

  63. John Finn
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink


    This is a useful post. I’d very much like to say the issues you’ve highlighted addressed by those on both sides of the debate.

    • John Finn
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      That should be “see” not “say”.

  64. Duncan
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink


    The sooner Tory MP’s like your good self withdraw support from the pro-EU Theresa May the quicker we can implement the electorate’s decision of leaving the pernicious EU

    Why anti-EU Tory MP’s support a leader who is unashamedly pro-EU is utterly beyond me..

    The message to many Tory MP’s is simple. Do not take our vote for granted. If you do we will see Labour in 10 Downing Street and the UK still in the EU

    • Doug Powell
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

      Agree totally! The PM lacks the merest hint of political nous. She is trying to attract the youth vote by offering to cap tuition fees – while Corbyn’s policy is to scrap tuition fees! If you were a student, who would you vote for?

      The Conservatives have to ACCEPT that the youth vote has gone until Corbyn fails to deliver, which means a Labour Govt at the next GE.

      As much as I would not wish to endanger Brexit, I believe the time has come to put the Tory EU grovelers on the spot! First, get out of these farcical negotiations immediately. Then say to the EUGs – ‘Vote for a WTO Brexit and a Tory Govt with time (4.5y) to establish a post EU nation, or vote against and give the country a minimum of a 5 year Corbyn EU Govt!’

  65. forthurst
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

    “The cliff edge has all the potency of the Millennium Bug.”

    The ‘Millenium bug’ was real; businesses knew it was coming and retested all their suites of software to simulate the conditions of approaching, arriving and passing the year 2K correcting all conditions that were not correctly handled. The moral of the story is that businesses plan to survive but they cannot plan if they don’t know what they are planning for.

    Business needs to know whether we have WTO or free trade so that they can start to plan. The government needs to give the EU a date by which the EU will say whether it’ s free trade or WTO and they better not try to bribe the EU with our money to get free trade because WTO is probably the better option anyhow and would have the bonus effect of dragging out the Irish Republic with us.

  66. Mark
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    The reason why the EU is not going to discuss trade with the UK at the talks is simple: they have yet to discuss it among themselves and agree a position, so they have no position to discuss. There is also likely to be a divergence of opinion depending on the nature of the trade country by country and the degree to which it might be subject to tariffs or viewed as essential. To negotiate with the UK, the EU must first negotiate internally. Someone should say so publicly.

    • Tasman
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:56 am | Permalink

      You don’t know what you are talking about. The EU has made its position very clear – the money, the Irish border and citizens rights need to be resolved first. No talks on anything else until then

    • rose
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      This is why we should have repealed the 1972 Act and left without using article 50. We should have said thank you and good bye. We are happy to continue the same trading terms if you are. Otherwise WTO.

      The EU would then have had to sit down amongst themselves for as long as it took them to alter the status quo on trade. Maybe they would never have agreed. In the meantime we would have been trading normally.

  67. jack Snell
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    Mark B above says it all for me- talks will continue as long as both sides wish them to continue.

    All talk about pulling out without a deal in place is pure speculation and in itself I believe would not be very wise, for despite what some are saying there are no new trade deals out there waiting for us.- just go ask Liam Fox or ask Boris?

    What we’re at now is a game of bluff with the EU which, it seems, DD is not getting very far with and so we also have this diary blog today trying to talk things up- it’s OK to talk things up but we have to be realistic as well.

    That there is a lot of ill will towards Britain in the EU today is a fact and we can be sure if we leave without a deal being in place this bad feeling will quickly translate out onto the ground at the sea ports and airports at customs and immigration official level. It won’t be the politicians or government officials that will feel the cold wind, but the ordinary travelling public and businessman trying to get by- I remember well how things were back in the 1950’s and 1960’s- not good

    First of all we have to agree the three items for exit and then the transitional arrangement leading on to some kind of new trade deal. I don’t think WTO rules by themselves will be any where near enough to compensate for loss of membership of the EU- looking at things realistically

    • Mark B
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Thanks 🙂

  68. Gabriel
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    What will happen to the Irish border without a deal? This strikes me as the most difficult thing to get right in the whole process. What’s the minimum agreement needed to keep an open border between northern and southern Ireland?

    • gregL
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      Make the EU border in the Irish Sea, allow Northern Ireland to remain inside the customs union and also Gibraltar since 90% of it’s people voted to remain.

  69. Doug Powell
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I support you 100% in the No Deal/Bad Deal debate, but with respect, you have posed the wrong question today.

    The manner in which the PM panders to all groups except those who voted Brexit leads me to believe she will NEVER adopt the ‘No Deal’ position. The question you should have set your followers is (Apologies to the Sound of Music): “What do you do with Somebody Called Theresa?”

    With her intervention in the Brexit negotiations, one feels she was really asking the EU how much it wanted!

    Also, she is pandering to the youth again! A waste of time! Corbyn already has the youth and will keep them until he is elected and lets them down.

    There is an enormous amount of goodwill in the country from those of all parties who voted Brexit, and for whom it is still the most important order of the day.

    For God’s sake DO RIGHT by THEM! – DELIVER a Brexit we can be proud of!

    Brexit has got to be right, and seen to be right, otherwise, after the next GE, there will be a bloody great hole in British Politics – where the Tory Party used to be!

    I am half expecting the PM’s speech to conference to begin:

    Comrades, Young People and Juncker, I come to bury Brexit, not to praise it!


    “What do you do with Somebody Called Theresa?”

  70. ian
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I like cliff edges because that when thing get done. I am still of the opinion that a letter should be sent to the eu after October if trade talk are not going to start by December 2017, saying, That if trade talks have not started by December 31 2017 the uk will leaving the eu on the 1st of January 2018, we the uk will still be open for talks after we have left, but at this time we do see that there will adequate time for the talks to be concluded by the dead line in March 2019. We have thought about transitional talks after the dead line, but in the interests of businesses and people we have decided to let everybody know where they stand so that life can go on with any more confusion on what is going to happen.

    Good-bye-ee! Good-bye-ee! Wipe the tear, baby dear, from your eye-ee. Tho’ it’s hard to part i know, I,ll be tickled to death to go. Don’t cry-ee don’t sish-ee! There’s a silver lining in the sky-ee, Bonsoir old thing, cheerio, chin chin! Nah-poo! Toodle-oo! Good-bye-ee.

    It’s a Chamberlin moment for the uk, and we all know how that ended and, as i am one who dose not care if we are in the EU or not, if a decision has been made to leave the EU, it should be carry as soon as possible with no thoughts given to anything else. but leaving.

  71. nigel seymour
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this (son) of Uxbridge & SR”

    I want nothing more than TM to stay on but if push comes to shove and compromise after compromise is offered then BJ will get my vote.

    • graham1946
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      You won’t get a vote. Which is why the Tories always choose the wrong candidate. Have done since Mrs. T. Every one a loser.

  72. sm
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Coincidentally, the lead article in the online Telegraph today is about ‘Party grandees’ having told the Prime Minister to prepare for No Deal to take place at the end of the year if no further sensible progress has been achieved (and more strength to their elbows if that’s true).

    Were you asked, John, if you were now counted as a Party Grandee, would that elicit a very wry smile?

  73. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    Also, Mr Redwood, i think Brexiters might be forgetting that trade wars are ultimately down to consumers not politicians. I mean, consumers want German cars enough, they won’t mind paying more for them. This is all part of branding (the look/feel of the car / the functionality/reliability of the car / and not forgetting how long people stay in a car for each day / and that German cars have an element of luxury value about them than pure functionality). How much do the leading Brexit politicians understanding the power of branding in a trade war? Raise tariffs, but UK consumers will stand demand German cars.

    The same can be said, to a similar degree (although not as strong) to French wine, cheeses, fashion etc.

    What strong British brands can we depend on for the Germans and French to want to continue to buy (not saying there aren’t). Not forgetting that the German car brand and their sales are relatively huge. And similar (although not as much) for French wine, cheeses and fashion etc.

    Also, where weaker UK businesses will have to go searching for more business outside Europe which is more difficult than inside Europe, weaker companies in Europe instead of having to find new customers outside Europe (which they can do any way) for British customers, they can look elsewhere in Europe for new ones).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      ‘are ultimately down to consumers not politicians’

      – I meant where consumer brands play an important role in exports and those brands are more luxury than utility (utility are easier to find replacements for / where as consumers have more brand loyalty to luxury brands as opposed ones purely for utility, and are in the wealth bracket to pay more if faced with higher prices).

  74. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    How many Brexiters in Parliament have actually set up their own brand (as opposed to a niche business), of a significant size, and exported around the world?

    Perhaps Lord Heseltine understands this better than most in Parliament, because he’s done just that. He’s created a multi-million brand that ordinary consumers buy not just in the UK or Europe but all over the world—US, India and Hong Kong.

    If anyone knows the challenges of setting up and growing a business to export abroad, whether to Europe or further afield. He does. And more people should listen to him and take him seriously as a very successful businessman of mass-consumed brands as well as a politician who has held high office in government.

  75. Jonp
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    All talk about payment is at the heart of the discussions is what David Davis is doing, so first of all we have to accept we owe for this current EU budgetry period and then we owe for commitments already made by us for projects or other into the future. To put spin onto this at the general public level and pretend it can be anything else is not helping any of us to come to terms with the consequences of leaving.

    Again talking about the EU having a weak hand is a kind of propoganda like fake news..some will believe.. so what you’re at is preaching to the converted- others think differently.

    The EU side will not talk about new trade deals until the exit business is agreed, that had been said by them very clearly and talking about how the agenda can be changed at this point is only nonsense..they will not be pushed around..that is my feeling about the whole thing. Time is on their side and it is also an untruth to say that they need trade talks more than we do.. don’t know how you can come to this conclusion..just plucking it out of the air i suppose..a delusional stand

  76. APL
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    JR: “I invite all those who think No Deal would be bad to write in with specific problems they think will arise..”

    First among all the problems is the Islington set won’t be able to buy Brie or their favourite French wine. Since they are Jeremy Corbyin idealogical running dogs and make their living largely in the State financed Broadcasting sector.

    The Tories will be hammered in the Media. And none of you have the spine to stand up to it.

  77. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    According to SCAB, the Sky Campaign Against Brexit, we actually export nothing outside the EU apart from gold, and Brexit supporters were telling lies when they said we did. I don’t expect any response from the Brexit department or any other part of government. After all although it may be official government policy for the UK to leave the EU there is no reason why the government should ever stoop to defending that policy.

  78. Denis Cooper
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Looks like somebody’s been keeping this rod in pickle since January:

    “Boris Johnson caught on camera reciting Kipling in Myanmar temple”

  79. Brexit
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, the strong opinion we have from our postbag is to walk away now. Your views are seen as being sound, alas the PM’s stance is viewed as far too weak. Even the Cabinet Brexiteers are viewed as being much too soft, and the Chancellor & Home Sec are seen as being beyond the pale. Only three readers who vote Conservative are minded to support the collective Cabinet stance, out of loyalty alone. Most Conservative readers are incensed and some threaten never to vote Conservative again.
    Our own view is that the EU is incapable of a sensible deal in the interests of its citizens, for their own purely political reasons.
    We’re sending this so that you have as many views as possible ahead of Conference.
    Best wishes, the Facts4EU.Org team

  80. Simon
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    Well Mr Redwood we are certainly going to be up for your open invitation.

    As a starter for ten points: when DExEU commissioned 50 different sector by sector impact assessments reports on the effect of leaving with no deal (which we paid for) why has it not published them ? And answers about compromising our negotiating position will not cut it. The EU understands the consequences of no deal already as does our own Treasury. The only people who have not had it as yet explained; are us; the apparently poor uneducated idiots – the Tory leaver voters and other plebs of a similar ilk.

  81. James
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    No Deal might be a good starting point for some industries.
    John, do you think that fishing would do well with total control out to the 200nm limit, even if the EU put up non-tariff barriers to our exports?

  82. Al
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Imagine that the EU administration would if it could impose sanctions on the UK like the US did on Cuba. Irrespective of the financial cost to the individual member states.
    It would not be about what it costs them, it’s about inflicting the maximum harm to the UK.
    To the EU brexit would be perceived as an existential threat and as such a different rule book would apply.
    If they can cause uk car factories to close by any means and cost – do it.
    If they can disrupt global air travel at huge global cost and it leads to Heathrow’s destruction as one of the world’s main hub airports then do it.

    If they can disrupt London causing a huge amount of business to shift to New York leading to huge UK and European job losses then do it – it’s the damage to London that counts.

    If what I have described is the EU mindset, how do you stop it being a cliff edge John?

  83. A Baverstock
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Tell me John this new electronic system to manage a hard border at the channel. When will it be ready? When are you rolling it out to users since know one I know has even heard of it? When is your government going to start building to house the people and the technology? Where will you be building? When will you be recruiting the new staff? As important has the EU started building an inferstructure to deal with our exports?

    Reply HMRC are undertaking a computer u[grade to our customs systems currently. Our border already copes with tariff trade from outside the EU, so we know how to do it.

    • hefner
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      Ooooh, a computer upgrade! If it is as successful as the one recently done by HMRC to deal with self-assessment, we are all going to have fun.

    • A Baverstock
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Except as you know that system is designed to handle goods moving in ships on containers. It is not designed to handle lorries leaving a factory and arriving a few hours later at customs. It has no number plate recognition. It’s also not even installed at the channel links. So even if it works, and it’s only due to be delivered in early 2019. Where are the building to house the customs officers who will need to manually check every lorry? Indeed, where are the customs officers?

      Sounds like a trump wall to me.

  84. Peter Wood
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

    Have you heard from Mrs May or Mr. Hammond yet…. just wondering..

    Wouldn’t it be good to hear from the PM at Conference ” … we have tried our utmost to maintain our trading relationship with our fellow European nations, but it appears that the EU does not wish us to do so, therefore until our European trading partners see fit to instruct the EU bureaucracy to agree new free trade terms with us we shall not waste more time with fruitless discussions with the EU” or something like it.

  85. Augustyn
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    I agree there is no cliff edge. It is a myth spread by politicians who have never traded, imported or exported anything in their lives. Clegg and Stammer spring to mind as examples.

    The single market is also a myth – there is an area where the same rules are meant to apply but frequently do not. What there is though is 27 countries where it is possible to move goods pretty much seemlessly between any of the member states. The goods are said to be in free circulation. The good news for uk exporters is under existing rules third party countries’ products on payment of any tarrif (or promise to pay) would have their customs status changed and they too would be in “free circulation”. They would then be able to move about the EU just the same as any product manufactured within the EU. This process of importing goods into EU Europe from outside is well established, is easy and there does not have to be any delay in moving goods.

  86. Ed Mahony
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    ‘Britain Still Believes in Fantasies on Brexit’ – Wall Street Journal

    ‘The government of Theresa May has far less leverage in the talks than it is willing to acknowledge’

    • James Matthews
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Link and author please EM. WSJ often publishes articles by Brits, expatriate or otherwise. Statement has no credibility without a credible source.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:24 am | Permalink

        Just copy + paste and whack into Google. Will take 3 to 4 seconds total. And you’ll see the article (a pretty important article considering the Wall Street Journal is more impartial on Brexit than our media, and is right of centre in politics, and is making a big claim about Brexit).

        (I don’t like adding links that our host has to check)

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink

        ‘EM. WSJ often publishes articles by Brits, expatriate or otherwise. Statement has no credibility without a credible source’

        – Not forgetting of course that it’s ultimately down to the editor not individual writers for setting the tone of the Wall Street Journal in general and its overall approach to big political issues such as Brexit.

        (And sure, perhaps, its approach to Brexit is more pragmatic and changing than ideological and static).

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      It’s true that a lot of Britain does still believe in Remainder fantasies, that’s why the referendum result was a lot closer than it should have been.

  87. Mick
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Brexit means Brexit, no deal is better than a bad deal, now we’re have I heard that before oh I know the connn servatives , well now there’s a new sheriff in town at the helm of UKIP, so liebour/lib ???/ connn servatives had better be ready for mass wipe out at the next GE if they don’t give the 17 million and growing what we want and is full control of our country and don’t try and con us because we are not fools and we are your masters you had better start remembering that fact

  88. Jon Davies
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    Whilst no deal is not necessarily disastrous, there are some practical concerns. As an example we annually export over 2.4 million tons of Refuse Derived Fuel (essentially shredded household waste which is diverted for burning rather than disposed of at landfill sites). The incinerator capacity does not exist in the UK so it is sent to places like Holland and Germany where it is burnt to generate electricity. This market exists as we don’t manage our own local waste properly and waste companies seek to avoid landfill taxes. There are solutions BUT they are not instant. The thought of being swamped with huge amounts of waste which has go somewhere is not appealing, The consequences for public health and the environment could be quite negative. Not impossible to solve but needs urgently addressing with a well thought through plan.

  89. Simon Coleman
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Ok, here’s a question. If we leave without a deal, how will goods and people continue to travel freely across the Ireland-Northern Ireland border? Both the UK and the EU say they want no infrastructure.

  90. lojolondon
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

    Negotiating skills? – May says : “EU citizens can stay”. “We will support EU military” “We will pay £20B”. EU says “no progress, need more”.
    We need to point out that talks have failed and do the walk away. Offer off the table. No money, no time to think, no ongoing arrangements. Then the EU can PAY us to share intel, to support their forces militarily, to sell us items they can pay us. That is how it can and should be.
    Unfortunately, first, we have to entirely defund the BBC, because they are on the side of the EU and against Britain, and specifically the Conservatives.

  91. A Question
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    UKIP are on telly again. Does anyone know how they getting 4,000,000 votes some time ago but as they know, cannot get a tenth of that now, will compel the media to show them for hours as a mainstream party?

  92. Tabulazero
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Roll-on / Roll-off traffic through the port of Dover, account for 25% of U.K. Export to the EU. This equates to 10,000 trucks a day, most of which are going to Calais.

    Meanwhile, there is very little facilities to process non-EU imports at Calais and the French government has not announced plans to remedy this and could not do much anyway given the layout of the port.

    Rotterdam is the EU main gateway for non-EU imports but it is optimized for containerized traffic from large Ocean going vessels.

    How do you plan to get the neighboring countries to incur the costs attached to Brexit and when do you plan to incentivize them to do so as no work has started yet ?

  93. Tabulazero
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    Driving a HGV requires special training and a licence. Inside the EU each country recognize each other’s licence. Once the U.K. is out, British drivers will lose this recognition while U.K. Freight companies will lose the legal basis on which they can operate inside the EU.

    It makes economic sense for a British driver to pick-up a new cargo inside the EU once he or she has delivered the initial cargo and continue driving inside the EU.

    What can you offer to the British drivers to make sure they remain competitive when compared to their EU counterparts ?

  94. Tabulazero
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    According to City sources, around. 7-8% of its revenues are directly linked to activities conducted under passporting. These activities generate in themselves another 7-8% due to ancillary services and hedging. Compared to the rest of the UK’s economy, these services represent 1.5% to 2% of GDP.

    These services will cease to have a legal basis once the U.K. Leave. What do you propose to remedy to this shortfall ?

    Reply The biggest volume of passported business is through UCITs which are all registered in Dublin or Luxembourg, so no problems there!

    • Tabulazero
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Not quite.

      The ESMA position paper on UCITs and Brexit published this July makes for a somber reading.

      Have you read it ?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      1.5% to 2% of GDP, less than the average annual growth of GDP.

  95. Tabulazero
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    The existing Custom IT system (called CHIEF) is due to be replaced by a new system (called CDS). It is being developed internally by the limited resources of the Border Force.

    CDS is already 7 year late and even prior to Brexit its status in project-management terms has been changed to amber-red as it is seen as subject to major risks and in need of immediate remedial action.

    With Brexit, you are now talking about a massive extension of both its scale and its scope under a very limited time constraint.

    The UK’s track record of running large scale IT program is abysmal. Think NHS digitalisation push.

    How do you plan to avoid what has all the hallmarks of an industrial disaster ?

  96. Up to the neck in it
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    Capillary action and pathways in the politics/economics of a number of EU-nation states are even more blogged up than our own bureaucracy. We may have to leave the EU without a deal because of pure pragmatism. The EU is blocked, figuratively and actually. You can’t have motions when the flush mechanism won’t work.

  97. John O'Leary
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    What’s Wrong with the WTO option? I know you don’t like hyperlinks so here is the full text. I hope The Leave Alliance will not judge me too harshly:

    The WTO Option is an approach to Brexit much favoured by some groupings. It is an approach where the UK leaves the EU without having negotiated any trade agreements with the EU, either within the framework of Article 50 negotiations, or on the margins. Instead, it relies entirely on multilateral WTO agreements covering trade-related matters.

    The general thrust of the WTO Option argument is that: “Were the UK to leave the EU, it would continue to have access to the EU’s markets, as World Trade Organisation rules prevent the EU from imposing unfair, punitive tariffs on UK exports”. In reality, the WTO rules only afford very limited protection against discrimination, and then only in respect of tariffs – which are no longer central to trade matters.

    As the WTO site itself says, “by their very nature RTAs (Regional Trade Agreements — as is the EU) are discriminatory”, and, under WTO rules, an amount of discrimination against third countries (and that would include the UK) is permitted. The WTO observes:

    Modern RTAs, and not exclusively those linking the most developed economies, tend to go far beyond tariff-cutting exercises. They provide for increasingly complex regulations governing intra-trade (e.g. with respect to standards, safeguard provisions, customs administration, etc.) and they often also provide for a preferential regulatory framework for mutual services trade. The most sophisticated RTAs go beyond traditional trade policy mechanisms, to include regional rules on investment, competition, environment and labour.

    The crunch issue here is the “preferential regulatory framework”. Unless goods seeking entrance to the EU Single Market (i.e. British exports) conform to the regulations which comprise the framework, they are not permitted entry. Thus, the assertion that, if the UK left the EU, “it would continue to have access to the EU’s markets …”, is simply not true. And ,  to spell it out,  if it’s not true, it’s false.

    With or without tariff issues being resolved ,  which are actually irrelevant to the access issue , the claim is false. Tariffs do not prevent access to a market. They simply impose a tax on entry. The actual barrier is the regulatory conformity,  what is known generally as a non-tariff barrier (NTB) or, sometimes, as technical barrier to trade (TBT).

    Nevertheless, it is generally recognised that, in order to access the Single Market, goods must comply with EU rules. Conformity is the way of overcoming the NTB. But what advocates of the WTO option have not realised is that there is more to it than that . Much more. Potential exporters not only have to ensure their goods conform, they must provide evidence of their so doing. This requires putting the goods through a recognised system of what is known as “conformity assessment”.

    We are at this point entering serious nerd territory. If your eyes are beginning to glaze over, all we can say is welcome to the world as it really is. It has taken years of mind-numbing, tedious study to understand this amount of detail, and either you know it, or you don’t. If you don’t, you are going to make serious mistakes. And that is just what the WTO Option advocates have done. In a moment we’ll see why their mistakes are not so much serious as catastrophic.

    And, for all that, the fundamentals are quite simple. The point about the Single Market is that border checks have been eliminated. The common rules are monitored by relevant national authorities and there is mutual recognition of standards. Thus, if you so desire, you can load a truck with grommets in Glasgow and ship them all the way to Alexandroupoli on the Turkish border, with just the occasional document check.

    But the moment we leave the EU, this stops. Your component manufacturer may still comply with exactly the same standards, but if the product requires independent testing , any testing houses and the regulatory agencies are no longer recognised. The consignment has no valid paperwork. And, without it, it must be subject to border checks, visual inspection and physical testing.

    What that means in practice is that the customs inspector detains your shipment and takes samples to send to an approved testing house (one for the inspector, one for the office pool, one for the stevedores and one for the lab is often the case). Your container inspection is typically about £700 and detention costs about £80 a day for the ten days or so it will take to get your results back. Add the testing fee and you’re paying an extra £2,000 to deliver a container into the EU.

    Apart from the costs, the delays are highly damaging. Many European industries have highly integrated supply chains, relying on components shipped from multiple countries right across Europe, working to a “just in time” regime. If even a small number of consignments are delayed, the whole system starts to snarl up.

    Then, as European ports start having to deal with the unexpected burden of thousands of inspections, and a backlog of testing as a huge range of products sit at the ports awaiting results, the system will grind to a halt. It won’t just slow down. It will stop. Trucks waiting to cross the Channel at Dover will be backed up the motorway all the way to London.

    For animal products exported to the EU, the situation is even worse — if that is possible. Products from third countries (which is now the UK) are permitted entry only through Border Inspection Posts (BIPs). Only at these can they be inspected and, if necessary, detained for testing. But, for trade between the UK and EU member states, the capacity of BIP is entirely inadequate. Until more capacity has been provided, trade in these products stops dead — say goodbye to a £9 billion export trade.

    If the way out of the country becomes blocked, very quickly the return route gets blocked and incoming trade from the EU starts suffering. In the UK, goods from the EU are no longer delivered. Trade slows. Manufacturers which depend on imported components start struggling and then have to close. And while the naysayers talk about losing three million jobs if we leave the EU, we are looking at twice that and more — seven or eight million jobs are at stake.

    At this point, you might say, “But how can this possibly happen?”

    The WTO Option advocates will tell you that countries such as China, the United States and Australia all trade with the EU without formal trade agreements, and therefore operate under WTO rules. They don’t have these problems so why would the UK? The answer, however, is remarkably simple. These countries don’t rely solely on WTO rules.

    What the WTO Option advocates have done is make a very basic but fatal mistake. They’re so obsessed with tariffs, they haven’t begun to focus on non-tariff barriers. Thus, by and large, they are only looking at trade agreements dealing with tariffs — a sub-set of international agreements which are registered with the WTO. But there are many different types of agreement and many which involve trade, either directly or indirectly, which are not registered with the WTO. These, for our WTO Option advocates, remain under the radar. To them, they are invisible.

    Yet one of the most important types of trade agreement is the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on conformity assessment. This gets round the problem of border checks, as the EU will then recognise the paperwork on product testing and conformity certification. Throw in an agreement on Customs cooperation — to ensure that official paperwork and systems mesh — and you are on your way to trouble-free border crossings.

    China has a Mutual Recognition Agreement on Economic Operators, signed in May 2014, the United States has one on conformity assessment which runs to 81 pages, agreed in 1999. Australia has one on conformity assessment.

    All of these are outside the remit of the WTO but they are nonetheless trade agreements, and vital ones at that. But look then what the think-tank Global Britain — another WTO Option advocate — is doing. “As an example”, it writes, “Australia has no trade agreement with the EU…”. It then goes on to cite an EU web page, which actually tells us:

    The EU and Australia conduct their trade and economic relations under the EU-Australia Partnership Framework of October 2008. This aims, apart from cooperation on the multilateral trade system and trade in services and investment issues, to facilitate trade in industrial products between the EU and Australia by reducing technical barriers, including conformity assessment procedures.

    What is the EU-Australia Partnership Framework, if not (inter alia) a trade agreement? In the detail, it sets the framework for the all-important MRA on conformity assessment. One MRA runs to 110 pages, with an amendment running to a further 20 pages.

    There are, in fact, 82 agreements between the EU and Australia, of which 18 are bilateral. There are 65 between the EU and China, of which 13 are bilateral. Between the EU and the United States, there are 135, of which 55 are bilateral. As regards trading agreements, not only is Global Britain incorrect in its assertions, its authors apparently don’t even read their own reports.

    Such is the importance of agreements such as the MRAs that the UK would have no option but to seek a deal with the EU, for which there is a facility within Article 50. But, the moment it sought such deals, it would no longer be relying exclusively on WTO rules. It would now be seeking bilateral agreements along the lines of the so-called “Swiss option”. This comes with as many problems as the WTO Option, if not more, not least the length of time it would take to agree a Swiss-type arrangement (10 years or more?)…And that’s assuming the EU wants another complex Swiss-type arrangement, which it doesn’t.

    One can say, unequivocally, that the UK could not survive as a trading nation by relying on the WTO Option. It would be an unmitigated disaster, and no responsible government should allow it. The option should be rejected.

    • R.T.G.
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      @John O’Leary.

      It would indeed be foolish to underestimate the devil in the detail, but are you not trying to compare the Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) between other major trading entities and the EU with the agreements which the UK already has in place with the EU?

      ‘Incorporation of direct EU legislation’ (Clause 3) under the heading ‘Retention of existing EU law’ of the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill, enacts that:
      (1)Direct EU legislation, so far as operative immediately before exit day, forms
      part of domestic law on and after exit day.
      (2)In this Act “direct EU legislation” means—
      (a) any EU regulation, EU decision or EU tertiary legislation, as it has effect
      in EU law immediately before exit day…etc.

      Are you not concentrating a little too much on what you think we would lose from the WTO Option, instead of seeing the very considerable disruption to EU members if they refuse to co-operate with the UK.

      When you say, “It would be an unmitigated disaster, and no responsible government should allow it”, that would, presumably, apply also to the EU.

      If the EU wishes to cut off the noses of their member states to spite their faces, it’s not clear what alternative our Government has, but to move forward with the WTO option, even though, agreed, it would not be a very helpful option for all concerned.

    • stred
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      What this boils down to is that, although the Commission knows that our products comply fully with EU regulations, they will deliberately block trade by imposing unnecessary tests and inspections. However, we will have the option of doing the same or not. We will be able to zero rate and not test Irish cheddar made with British milk, not tested by the Irish, and this can replace Dutch cheese held up on the Autoroutes. If they want to play silly enculeurs, two can play that game. If they want to test Minis built with some German parts, which we can allow in, then we can sell them to a non- EU country and re-sell them to the EU. But they won’t ban products from factories owned by German companies. We could always nationalize the car factories if they threaten to move them and use them to supply the British and ROW market until they see sense.

    • Norman
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

      JR: from my own experience of how fraught international trade bureaucracy can be – often for political reasons – John O’Leary’s post sounds credible. I wonder what David Davies’ answer would be – or would that be regarded as too sensitive at the moment, in view of ongoing negotiations?

  98. Beeb out!
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Is the BBC breaking its whatever it is, by at best putting the Catalonia Independence actions in a psuedo-balanced way? The EU would definitely disapprove, would obligated to put such an declaration and action down by whatever means if the Madrid Government were against it from a legal standpoint. It is like the BBC saying grand theft may be okay and may not be okay depending on the one hand on the thieves’ opinion and on the other hand on the legitimate owners’ opinion and legitimate standing..
    #We still have to pay the TV licence fee.

  99. Martin
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    How does “No Deal” work in practice?
    Suppose I am a lorry driver delivering a load of machinery from Birmingham to Milan. At present I can drive all the way with no stops. Post Brexit “No Deal” what happens when I get to Dover. Is my lorry checked? Do I submit a load of paperwork. Do I get stopped at other frontiers across Europe?

    Reply No need for us to stop a lorry exporting when it reaches Dover.
    French will presumably apply same arrangements to UK lorries as they do to anyone else’s lorries when entering France. The already handle lots of lorries from non EU countries.

    • Tasman
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      How many lorries from non EU countries currently pass through Dover/ Calais, John? Precisely none. The reality is that that both ports will be completely overwhelmed by paperwork and customs checks if we follow your reckless advice of “no deal”. If our lorry driver is carrying anything perishable, I’d tell him to sell it in Droitwich, he won’t be getting to Milan in a hurry

  100. The Question!
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know obviously, being a non-Parliamentary mortal, whether Boris would be a good and appropriate Prime Minister. I always recall however his being on BBC Question Time when Salman Rushdie’ s book The Satanic Verses was being discussed as being essentially and simply right or wrong. He said “The question is…is it literature?”
    If he becomes PM, I shall give him five years before I look to see if Boris is Literature…

  101. Phil
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    John. Great work keep it up.

    My only concern relating to no ‘implementation period’ is Financial Services & the impact on currency passporting.

    UK financial services continuing to have licence to issue their products with EU member states.

    Can you address this please in your thoughts.


  102. MikeP
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

    Just as you invite anyone to come up with reasons why we shouldn’t go for a No Deal, you might equally challenge us to suggest any reason why the EU would let us have the “strong and special partnership” touted by Theresa May, without encouraging other States also to leave. There is no way they can agree to a deal without substantial cash flows from a leaving nation to the EU and that must not happen, they’ve had 40-odd years of UK net contributions already. So, they pretend to negotiate in earnest (though not very convincingly given all this hot air about “insufficient progress”) but really are just stringing us along to a pre-determined screenplay where the UK will be blamed ultimately for the breakdown of talks, for our apparent intransigence. It’s time to show some good old British grit and seize the initiative.

  103. John
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    I would have liked to have seen government information films on our trade, tariffs we pay, the income we would get from WTO, the bulk of world trade being outside of the low paid EU countries etc.

    All preparing the public for a no deal and that a no deal would be largely fine. It would cause some disruption but overall good. Instead, because of that lack of ongoing communication on the positives we are still fighting the referendum campaign even though we won.

  104. Soft Brexit
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    We lack the customs infrastructure and customs IT systems to deal with no deal. No doubt you will respond how all will be fine. Yet every source of actual information disagrees with you. For instance, The new CHIEF system won’t be ready on current predictions, as the Treasury Select Committee has flagged up.

    If you can give me any actual evidence for how these problems won’t arrise in the event of no deal, I’m all ears. But please try to do better than just writing ‘it will be fine’. I admit my hopes aren’t high on that one, but suprise me.

  105. Richard
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    In a ‘no deal’ scenario, would we not loose the EU’s VAT reverse charge mechanism ? I have used this in the past when conducting transactions in other EU countries. It gives the advantage of only dealing with our own VAT authorities instead of 28 authorities. The loss of this would increase paper work and potentially reduce VAT recovery as you can be tripped up be unfamiliar procedures in another country.

    • Tasman
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Of course you would lose it. “No deal” means we’re no better off than North Korea. That’s why it is so dangerous. But Richard, you are right to be asking these kind of detailed questions – but don’t expect any detailed answers from Redwood and his head-in-the-clouds cronies

      • Mark B
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Richard and Tasman

        Outside the EU we would also be able to set our own VAT and what should and should not be covered by VAT. It is a case of swings and roundabouts !

        Any post BREXIT FTA could well take this into account but, I am afraid Tasman is correct. This is why I keep saying to people that we need to be realistic and plan – NOW !!!!!!! People like our kind host so not know of each and every individuals circumstances, why would they ? It is up to you. But long term things will improve.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

        ““No deal” means we’re no better off than North Korea.”

        What a load of rubbish …

  106. Richard Elsy
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    I realise that the Party appears to be less than 100% supportive of the PM and I can understand some of the reasons for this. Negotiating with the EU was always going to be an almost impossible task given the expressed wishes on their part to either punish or educate us or, at the least, ensure that we end up demonstrably worse off than we would be if we’d remained in the club. It’s as clear a case of ‘pour encourager les autres’ as one could find.
    I believe that IDS has promoted the right idea, insofar as the relevant government departments should, belatedly, be preparing for a ‘no deal’ scenario and that MPs should be trying to ensure that Ministers are able to assure us, the electorate, that we will be as well placed as possible for this. Such assurances don’t require regular press briefings or leaking of confidential plans which might affect the largely meaningless talks with the EU. Most voters would be happy to hear straightforward statements concerning the key sectors – trade, immigration protocols, air space rights, EHIC, agriculture and fisheries.
    The sham of negotiations over a mythical and legally unsubstantiated divorce bill, EU citizens’ rights in UK and the Irish border has gone on far too long. The PM’s offer, last year, of the right of abode to EU citizens was adequate. The EU Treaties and EC Directives make no mention of separation payments, or indeed, repayment to UK of the value of shares of common assets. I strenuously doubt that the European Commission or the Council of Ministers either care about or understand the question of the border with Ireland. It’s a silly, time wasting, exercise which is designed to frustrate the single biggest democratic exercise in British history.
    The PM has a chance to redeem some credibility at Conference next week. A repeat of her speech in Florence, as measured as it was, isn’t going to carry much weight with the electorate. Whilst it’s true that both Chancellor Merkel and President Macron face major national problems of their own, it would be foolish to suppose that this will translate into a positive for a Brexit deal. It won’t, whatever the Danish Foreign Minister might say.
    To quote a lovely French song from the First World War ‘…c’est bien fini, c’est pour toujours.’.

  107. PaulDirac
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

    No deal is probably the best we can hope for, the EU were never serious about reaching an agreement, all they want is a fully paid up extension to our payments.

  108. ChrisShalford
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

    With our government in disarray, the EU is now in a position to strike a deal which benefits them. However, as John points out, they are overplaying their hand, hence a mutually disadvantageous No Deal looks increasingly likely.

  109. Peter D Gardner
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    Dear Dr Redwood,

    I have received your message inviting “all those who think No Deal would be bad to write in with specific problems they think will arise. ” You assure me that you will, “respond with how we could fix any that might be an issue.”

    I think you have mis-directed your invitation. Should it not have been sent to Nos 10 & 11 Downing Street?

    Had Messrs May and Hammond done what any sensible business person would have done and start planning the negotiations on the basis of ‘no deal’ they would have had a clear idea of what they were trying to achieve by negotiating with the EU.
    We now have a two year minimum transition period in which there will not be any actual transition. A new treaty will be in place so technically UK will have left the EU, It will contain only one paragraph stating this.
    Meanwhile the EU will proceed – as promised by Juncker and Verhofstadt only this week, with the plan in the Five Presidents’ Report (June 2015) on completing economic and monetary union as the final preparatory step to founding the Federal State of Europe. the treaty changes will be in place to take effect from 2025.
    The May/Hammond plan brings UK’s timetable neatly into line with influencing the EU’s definition of Second Tier or Associate membership and the threat of Brexit – laughed at in Cameron’s time – will still be real enough to persuade the EU to listen to UK. the hope is that Tier Two membership will be slightly better than vassal status.
    Then UK will have a second referendum inviting us to vote on whether to join Tier 2 or be full members of the Federal State of Europe.

    I look forward to your easy ways of preventing this occurring and ensuring that UK will be detached and fully sovereign independent of the EU within our lifetimes.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

      And the answer, Dr Redwood, is not Mrs May’s or Mr Hammond’s, that since the EU will no longer exist but will have been replaced by the Federal State with new members so it is not even the same membership as the EU, the Government will have deliver on its promise of ‘Brexit means Brexit’.

  110. Peter
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    “The UK needs to show it is serious about going for no deal”

    Unfortunately there is no sign whatsoever that this is the case or is likely to be the case in the near future. Consequently the EU is free to take the mickey, asking for more and more but conceding nothing.

    Without a strong leader prepared to drive a clean Brexit deal I fear the country will be sold down the river.

  111. Dioclese
    Posted September 30, 2017 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    As the EU side have effectively told us where to stow our, in my view, overgenerous offer made in Italy we should now tell them that that deal is now off the table.

    This is a game of ‘who will blink first’ and we will not get anywhere by fluttering our eyelids.

    You don’t fold your cards when you have the strongest hand. They have more to lose than us, so let them stew until they decide that punishing us just isn’t going to work. Like Boris, we should tell them to go whistle…

  112. Conference
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 1:15 am | Permalink

    Mrs May’s idea of getting students to support Conservatism by giving a 5p bonus refund on returned plastic bottles will not quell the revolutionary zeal of the anti-imperialist struggle and the fight against revisionism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, homophobia, xeno phobia. If she suggests upping it to 8p, lock her in the Tower until after the Party Conference.
    She’s about as with it as blue suede shoes and winklepickers

  113. Helena
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    You say that “The day after we leave .. we will still be selling things on the continent”. But we will be selling them at a much higher price, because of the tariffs that will apply, making our exports less competitive. And we will be selling them only if they are shown to comply with EU rules, which means checks, and will cause huge delays, not at Dover, which you erroneously think is the problem, but at Calais, Hook of Holland, Zeebrugge etc. What you propose is to do is to take almost half our entire export trade, that which goes to EU – and hugely weaken it. It is grossly irresponsible.

    Reply Half of our exports will be tariff free and the average tariff below 3%. Have you forgotten our 15% devaluation against the Euro which makes us a lot cheaper?

    • Soft Brexit
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

      As usual, Mr Redwood completely failed to answer your points. As usual, everything will be fine, we are told.

  114. John Finn
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:44 am | Permalink


    A few people have raised the issue of passporting for financial services. I know that you have written a post on this some time ago (i.e. Pass The Port) which I found useful.

    However, I wonder if it now needs updating. Have there been any developments in the past 12 months which have either confirmed or forced you to revise the opinions you expressed at the time you wrote the post..

  115. Martin C
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    We really need to be preparing for a no-deal outcome. There are two things we can do immediately both in preparation for this result and also to further the perception in the EU and elsewhere that we are preparing for it.
    1) Make it clear that WE are not going to implement a hard border between Ulster and the Republic of Ireland. Our tariffs are going to be low or in many cases non-existant, and we can collect them using soft-border techniques. The responsibility for implementing the tariffs, rules and regulations that comprise the Acquis Communautaire will no longer be our problem after March 2019.
    2) Determine precisely what our tariffs are going to be w.r.t. the rest of the world post-Brexit, and then publicly file this schedule with the WTO. This will enable European and other businesses who wish to continue to export to us to start preparing for our tariffs when they arrive, and will enable the Europeans to accurately calculate what a no-deal Brexit will cost them (over and above losing our continued contrubutions).

  116. David Price
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    The British Cambers of Commerce website maintains market snapshots for some countries which include an indication of ease of trading across borders. The measure used is what it takes to import a standard container of goods into that country;

    South Korea 3 docs, 7 days, £432
    China 5 docs, 24 days, £614
    Japan 5 docs, 11 days, £584
    Australia 5 docs, 7 days, £366
    USA 5 docs, 5 days, £1315
    Malaysia 6 docs, 8 days, £259
    Russia 11 docs, 36 days, £1930

    Poland 5 docs, 16 days, £102
    Czech Republic 7 docs, 17 days, £720
    Hungary 7 docs, 19 days, £527
    Slovakia 7 documents, 17 days, £927
    Slovenia 8 documents, 14 days, £499
    Romania 6 docs, 13 days, £922

    Granted this is superficial but it would appear that trading with the EU compared to outside the EU being cheaper, quicker and less bureaucratic is a bit of a myth. More interesting is the seeming lack of commonality between countries in the internal market.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      Fascinating, thanks.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      For most goods, it’s not about customs officers (if that’ what you meant) but trading standards officials in EU members states, to check if goods meet legal EU requirements if they are to be sold in the EU (you can export most stuff into the EU which doesn’t meet the CE — Conformité Européenne — mark but you’re not allowed to sell it).

      (As far as i understand it).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 4, 2017 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      If you’re referring to goods that need to be checked by customs then i imagine the procedure / rules is pretty similar for most countries in the developed world whether in or out of the EU.

      (Again, as far as i understand it – i’m no expert on these details of the EU).

  117. Jon Appleton
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Totally agree. The issue being that business would get frightened by a more combative stance by the UK.

    The direction of travel of the negotiations is becoming an economic threat to the UK possibly as big as war has been to us in previous centuries. We need big politicians, we need unity in parliament, we need the country to talk with one voice, we need vision and finally confidence in our choices.

    In truth though, the rise of strong leadership can only happen once we are plunged into immediate and current danger.

  118. ian
    Posted October 3, 2017 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    I fancy a trade war with the EU, just to see who come out on top. A trade war is about jobs and taxes, not volume. Companies income for the gov would hardly be hit but jobs would be but not by much, car might be the biggest hit but the EU countries are already cutting back on UK cars buying, so would say that Brexit would open new market to export to and would mitigate the overall tax loss on jobs to the gov. It would make companies look for new market while the gov gives them some support from the money saved from being in the eu. After things had settled down, the trade war would be over and the UK would have much more business and exports than we had before and the gov with more taxes coming in.

  • About John Redwood

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

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