Mr Macron’s EU vision

In a long speech the French President sought to wrestle the EU agenda his way at the moment of maximum weakness for Germany following her election.

His speech was very like that of the President of the EU Commission. He seeks an EU budget, Finance Minister and much more integration. He wants a stronger EU foreign policy backed by EU forces. The speech was well received in Brussels.

The problem he still faces is this vision will only happen on German terms. Mrs Merkel is weakened by her election losses. If she survives as head of a wobbly three party coalition there  will be  severe limits on her room to move the German position in the direction France wants. Like Mr Macron she is happy to move to political union. Unlike Mr Macron she will need to concentrate on common economic policies as a discipline on the Eurozone. She will not be able to offer a proper transfer union channelling German money to the poorer EU regions on a bigger scale. She will not want a proper common budget, as Germany would be the main paymaster of that.

The traditional German position is they want more European control of national budgets and more  EU pressures for structural reform in the deficit countries. That  is very much the view of the Free Democrats that Mrs Merkel now needs as supporters. She will also have to trim over migrant numbers, where her old coalition partners the CSU have strong views and were badly bruised by her policies in the election.


So Mr Macron will get more  EU power but not more EU money. Money  after  all is going to be short  assuming the UK leaves without paying the future  bills. Meanwhile Mrs Merkel has to get used to having just 200 MPs in her party in a Parliament of 709.  Even with the CSU who are now unhappy allies, she only has 246. Germany will be weaker, but that does make Germany more compliant to France, given the direction France wants to go in. Without the UK helping pay the bills Germany will become more of a budget hawk. The rest of the EU will soon run out of German money to spend, which will limit their integrationist ambitions a bit.



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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Your analysis is surely right.

    As you say “assuming the UK leaves without paying the future bills”, but with ex(?) remainers, big government socialists May and Hammond at nos 10 and 11 we certainly cannot be at all sure of this. Nor does it look that likely that we can avoid Corbyn and his vision for the UK as the new Venezuela/Cuba.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      I hope the thuggish behaviour of the Spanish government and police in the Catalan referendum will be condemned by the EU with the same force with which they have denounced governments such as Poland’s and Hungary’s.

      • zorro
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 5:46 am | Permalink

        Fat chance!


  2. Bryan Harris
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:19 am | Permalink

    The EU is somewhat like the old GLC that pushed money in all directions without achieving anything worthwhile. If the EU were to stop the bribes to supporters, and put a stop to the inate corruption and waste of taxpayers money, all they would need to do then is get proper budgets and stick to them, to achieve most of their aims – but no, just like the GLC, those are steps too far for this socialist entity that would rather ask for more money than become efficient.
    What a shame Mrs T isn’t around to close down the EU, as she did wit the GLC.
    As for the Macron speech – he’s one of the incrowd, saying what his bosses want to hear, but it won’t change much.

  3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    While some brexiteers tend to tell themselves soothing stories about a past long gone and not to return, the French tend to dream up great philosophies which never really come to complete fruition.
    More interesting for me is whether the EU27 will move towards an EU of inner and outer rings or whether integration will continue its current path.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Good morning Peter,
      I think you should remember the old business school saw: if you look up ‘merger’ in the business dictionary it says ‘refer to take-over’. Are you ready for that, you are unlikely to get a vote on it.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

        @Peter Wood: Instead of merger I would compare the EU to “joint venture”. When I (decades ago!) for a short time lead a European joint venture, I was accountable to a board, which like the European Council (government?) set out the guidelines and policies and took the major decisions.

        • libertarian
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          Peter vL

          The only way you could report to a single board in a JV is if the parties involved set up a new company. So Peter Wood is right. It was a takeover

          Anyway if I were you I would keep a low profile. Anyone supporting the monstrous facist dictatorship that is the EU after todays disgusting attack on democracy in Catalonia should be totally ashamed. If the EU has any credibility then Spain will be ejected from the EU for the most flagrant breach of Article 7 of the Treaty.

          Anyone using state force against their own people will be expelled.

          I suggest you shut the **** up unless this is invoked.

          I’m outraged, never before have I wanted to take up armed struggle , but what I witnessed today in a West European state is beyond anything acceptable, a full scale assault on democracy.


          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            @libertarian: Catalonia (or Scotland, Vlaanderen etc. ) is a national affair and has nothing to do with the EU, is not sponsored or encouraged by the EU either.
            You are falsely looking for scapegoats. Try and study a little better!
            W.r.t. JV – you might compare that with the EC, but the parents (national entities) are the bosses.

    • sm
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:08 am | Permalink

      1. Those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat the same problems.

      2. Take a look at Spain today: that ‘successful’ merger of two major regions, Aragon and Castile, took place more than 5 centuries ago, and stilliasn’t worked properly – so ‘integration will continue its current path’?

      3. Scotland and England were joined by formal treaty 4 centuries ago, and that union is being hacked away at by discontented parties – so ‘integration will continue its current path?’.

      You frequently condemn people who look to the past Peter; the lesson I draw from history is that just when the Empire creators think everything is going really well and it’s all been sorted is actually when it is all starting to crack up.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

        Those who refuse to learn from the past are doomed to repeat the same mistakes.

        Indeed, but unfortunately the youthful Corbyn supporters are too young to remember what a basket case the UK was under labour, nationalisation, 98% income tax, the IMF and the state sector unions. This until Thatcher actually started to sort the damn mess out. Corbyn sounds even worse than that was. These youngsters really do think there is a magic money tree and even think that governments can run things well.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

        @sm: You’ve got a point there, I tend not to look too far back. For learning about our common past, I would recommend the award winning book “Passage to Europe”, which sadly took 4 years to be translated into English. I hope that the follow up book (announced today – ‘de nieuwe politiek van Europa’ won’t take that long to appear in English.

        • Anonymous
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:37 am | Permalink

          Well that spikey comment certainly needed no translation.

        • sm
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

          Thank you for your courteous reply. I believe you can only understand why things are as they are today if you understand the background.

          Therefore, I can understand why many Western and Central European countries want to make a different system (the EU) work – many were military dictatorships within my lifetime, many have been unable to make their own parliamentary systems work for any practical length of time.

          That does not mean that I look back on the British political past through rose-tinted lenses, however: our system works (reasonably) well for us.

          We haven’t succumbed to a fascist dictatorship, we haven’t had a civil war since the 1640’s, we’ve had a gradual (sometimes rocky) development of Parliamentary rule since the reign of Edward l, and while most of us are pleased that your Prince of Orange helped to settle our monarchy, some of us recall that it happened because the invitation came from our Parliament.

    • eeyore
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Europe comes together only to fall apart. Profoundly fissiparous, it has all the virtues of variety and none of those of uniformity. At the other end of Eurasia is China, a land profoundly united, which falls apart only to come together. I think those who wish to make Europe like China do not understand the continent whose problems they aspire to solve.

      Incidentally, the methods by which the disparate tribes of China were welded politically and culturally would make even the mass-murdering European dictators of the last century blench.

      There are good reasons why this poky little continent, the knuckle-end of Asia, now sets the tone and pace for the whole world, and they have nothing whatever to do with hankerings for a unity that neither Caesar nor Charlemagne nor Charles V nor Napoleon managed to impose.

      I am especially saddened at the readiness with which the Dutch, who 400 years ago bought their freedom with blood, and paid in full, are now willing to abandon it to strangers. One of the iron laws of European history is that your neighbour is your enemy and you neighbour’s neighbour your friend. Are you quite sure, Peter, you’ve thought this through?

    • Richard1
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      I think on a 5-10 year view an EU with an inner and and outer ring is quite likely. The outer ring ought to be much looser than the current set-up and focused on free trade and voluntary cooperation. A successful Brexit is quite likely to be a catalyst for this.

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:48 am | Permalink


      The EU will eventually move in the direction its peoples desire, but only if those people show such desire, otherwise the politicians will move in the direction they see fit.

      So its up to people like you and others, to speak out for what YOU WANT.

      I will look on with interest.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

        @alan jutson: Europe (I mean the EU) is becoming already much more political and has larger issues to deal with (i.e. immigration and climate change in stead of food safety standards). For that the debates and struggles in the European Council (highest EU authority) have to become more open and public.
        Personally I would favor a Europe of inner and outer rings, as it would facilitate a possible close alliance with the UK in an outer ring, i.e. not part of political union but part of economic cooperation and á la carte “opt-in” cooperation. NB that would be different from cherry-picking and might sit well with older and younger UK generations.

        • alan jutson
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink


          Perhaps your vision has some merit, but the EU Council is going against your views, it wants more integration not less, it wants more Euro not less, it wants more control not less.

          Yesterday was a disaster day for Spain, please compare how we handled Scotland.
          Let the people speak and then act, but for goodness sake do not try to stop people speaking, as that is an attack on democracy.

          We are leaving because we feel we have absolutely no voice or influence whilst within the EU, we bashed our heads against a wall for 40 years at great financial cost and got little in return, hence time to leave.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      What strikes me is the way that neither France nor Germany is at all interested in Brexit. Over here in UK, it is central: not so in Europe.

      • Dame Rita Webb
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        I do not know where you are picking up the lack of interest vibe in Germany. The state broadcasters are obsessed with it with regular programs about Germans who are going to return home because of the ‘”rise in post referendum xenophobia” and other such cobblers. While the English section of the elite’s in house mag “Der Spiegel” always has an article about how the UK is about to commit economic suicide. Also AfD’s share of the vote just about confirms what my German friends have been telling me for ages that a lot of them would like to get out too. Its not just a right wing thing either, the far left Die Linke want to cure the EUs obvious democratic deficit too, which would also include nationalising the Eurozone’s biggest banks.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        @Mike Stallard: I think that all continental countries ARE interested and not at all happy about Brexit, but have to wait and see. Could we agree that the UK position sort of has “evolved”? Will it still be the Florence agenda in one year from now? How unified is your country in reality? (I’m being assured on this website that the government is totally unified, so are some hymn-sheets printed out more clearly than others?)

    • Bert Young
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      PvL – or whether it will continue to exist !

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

        @Bert Young: A clear possibility! With less than 1% chance of happening, according to me.

        • Bert Young
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

          PvL . Were I a Dutchman living in Holland I too would be very upset by the UK leaving the EU ; certainly I would do everything to try to prevent it . The many relationships that have existed in the past and continue to day between our two countries are indicative of the bond that exists . I fully understand why your responses are barbed against we hard lined Brexiteers . Nonetheless you must accept that we are leaving and we will restore our independence . The future of the EU is a very uncertain one and I don’t think ill of you for trying to convince us otherwise .

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:14 am | Permalink

            @Bert Young: It may well be for the best that Britain departs as it has never been comfortable within the EEC/EU. If I’ll be still around in 20 years from now we might see a new alliance or even membership in an outer EU ring (if that would be the way for the EU to develop)

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          Peter, you are wasted here.

          Surely your talent would be more useful in trying to get the 14 disparate Dutch parties to run a Government for the direct benefit of the Dutch citizens, not the self absorbed bureaucrats in Brussels (The Netherland’s masters)

          I for one would like to here your opinion on the Dutch Government and the Dutch people’s concerns…rather then what is happening in the UK?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      PvL–There are other possibilities which might not fit in vastly well with your two tidy scenarios. To keep JR happy I will euphemistically mention “civil unrest”–to say the least, for just about anything could happen and probably will very soon in Catalonia. I feel genuinely sorry for you people being dragged along now willy nilly in to a Union that has already gone too far too fast.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      A past long gone.

      I was too young to have been there, so don’t know.

      What I do know is that France has a far bigger problem with right wing extremism than we do.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        And Spain seems to have a problem with referenda whereas we support them, whatever the results.

    • Yossarion
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

      without the Germans ever allowing a Transfer Union, it can only ever be inner and outer rings

    • Mark Watson
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I think of more concern to you is that 6 months after the election your country still doesn’t have a government.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    The BBC’s Click programme was promoting “home batteries” today. These make no sense at all unless you are not conected to the grid. They only store pennies worth of electricity, waste up to 30% of the energy in the charge and discharge, cost a fortune, degrade rapidly to become useless, worthless and rather unpleasant waste, cost a fortune, use nasty unenvironmental chemicals and rare earths, can be a real home fire risk and they make zero economic sense. So why does the BBC never point any of this reality out? Are they paid by the greencrap industry or do they do this daft propaganda for free?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      At least the Tories seem to be finally doing something for people who want to buy a first home – even if they do mug them for up to 15% stamps duty when they do buy. But why irrationally limit it only to new homes?

      Relax planning hugely, reduce utility connection charges, relax the green crap OTT building regs, some help raising deposits, abolish stamp duty for 1st homes (and reduce it hugely for everyone) and get more real competition in banking. This is all needed and needed very quickly to win the next election. That and replacing (or reprogramming T May to make her a Tory) now.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:51 am | Permalink

        And abolish the affordable homes and planning gain taxes which kill so many potential developments. These are just yet anther tax on some home buyers to unfairly subsidies some others – so why?

        • hefner
          Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

          For a £300,000 starter home, there is no stamp duty on the first £125k, 2% on the amount between £125 and £250k, 5% on the remaining £50k, so a total of 1.67 % stamp duty.
          I am truly fed up by your repeated 15% comments, which apply only on second properties above £1M.
          What do you think is the average property price in Britain.
          Not everybody is in the South-East, nor a non-dom.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 2, 2017 at 1:35 pm | Permalink


            He said UP TO….. its not difficult fella

            Try this, why should there be stamp duty on any domestic property at any level? Whats it paying for?

      • Kevin Lohse
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 2:38 am | Permalink

        Conservative housing policy initiatives together with the refusal to control immigration will result in an increase in demand but virtually no increase in supply. What could possibly go wrong?

    • alan jutson
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink


      The BBC are the promotion and marketing side of the green crap, so called renewables, twisted logic, so what more would you expect.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      I assume part of the reason is that hardly anyone working at the BBC has a science degree, they all have arts degrees.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Indeed I have heard their “expert” environmental reporters talking of “positive feedback” (in relation to global warming) as a good thing – so lacking in basic engineering & science are they.

        I suppose to a reporter or actor it is!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Dear LL–And just the manufacture thereof produces enormous quantities of carbon dioxide.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Given the very wide span of views between her long standing partners, the CSU, and potential coalition partners the Greens, it is possible she will not be able form a government. That could cause another election and an extended period of uncertainty.

  6. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    If Macron wants an EU foreign policy backed up by an EU military, he had better start spending the 2% of French GDP that will be necessary.

    Incidentally, the MoD recently buried an anouncement that the minehunters HMS Atherstone and HMS Quorn will be scrapped to save a few coppers, along with the Fleet Flagship HMS Ocean, the helicopter carrier. Its time the defence establishment realises that the first priority of govenment is to defend the realm and starts properly funding our military. Fallon’s “growing Royal Navy” is still suffering cuts to pay for the carriers….

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:00 am | Permalink

      All navy cuts make sense if we are to be further absorbed into the EU and no sense at all if we really are leaving it.

    • DaveM
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      SG. The cuts are not due to the Carriers, the Trident replacement, or any other equipment programmes. They are due to the fact that the government tasks the Navy to conduct an increasing number of tasks then refuses to give it the amount of money required to do so. The result is that the Navy tries to do more things with fewer people, and it is activity that suffers, thus leading to retention issues etc.

      Incidentally, the black hole in the Defence budget is roughly equivalent to what the govt CONTINUES to send the EU every 4 and a half weeks.

    • Peter Wood
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      Yes, I seriously question the true value to ‘defence’ of the carriers; magnificent machines undoubtedly, but defensive? I’d much rather have another 5 attack submarines and a couple more squadrons of land based fighters.

    • sjb
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:34 am | Permalink

      I think France and Germany will drive forward EU defence, because (a) UK will no longer be there to block it and (b) President Trump’s erratic behaviour and, in particular, his failure to explicitly endorse Article 5 of the NATO Treaty when he gave his speech at NATO’s HQ in Europe earlier in the year.

      There are huge procurement savings to be made. The US has one battle tank, four classes of frigates/destroyers, and six types of fighter ; the EU has seventeen, twenty-nine and twenty respectively.


  7. stred
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    If Emanuelle wants to be the new Napoleon, he could consider paying a fair share of the EU budget. At present he is paying a third that of Germany and half that of the UK.

    • hefner
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:21 am | Permalink

      According to, the countries’ contributions to the EU budget in 2015, published in 2016, were, in percent:
      Germany 19.0, France 16.63, the U.K. 13.45, Italy 12.49, Spain 8.55 …
      So what exactly are you talking about, and where did you get your figures from?

      • David Price
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:46 am | Permalink

        Not sure where Stred gets the data but if you look at the Euorparl site, “EU budget in a glance”, you’ll find a similar picture

        – UK 18,206 M Euro contribution (after 6,086M rebate), 7,457 M Euro spending.
        – France 19,012 M Euro contribution, 14,468 M Euro spending.

        So the effective contributions are around 10,749M by the UK and 4,544M by France, Germany’s is 13,270M (they get 11,013 spending from the EU).

      • stred
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        From the 2015 EU budget spreadsheets according to facts4EU. It is from an item last week about 4 articles down. The figures include all the benefits, not the headline subscription.Her Oettinger, the budget commissioner is concerned that when and if the UK leaves, he will have to find an extra £12bn, not £10bn or the £8bn repeated by the BBC.

        Please have a close look and explain where these figures are wrong or not. My favourite is Junker’s (country ed), where average income is far higher than the UK the population less than a major town and they make second to Belgium in net receipts. No wonder he is into lying and blackmail in order to maintain the goodies.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink
      • Sceptic
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Your figures are for Gross contributions but when you deduct payments from the EU to reach the Net contributions France is some way behind both Germany and the UK:

        However, you should also be aware that the The European Commission estimates that there are more than 30 ways to calculate net figures for budget contributions.

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

          Dear Sceptic–Yes but why should payments In to us count at 100 pence on the pound of payments Out–The way I see it is that payments condescendingly given (back) to us by foreigners on the other side of the Channel are nothing like as valuable to us as ours to them. If this flies in the face of what the EU thinks it is trying to do (in other words relentless homogenisation) that is just all the more reason for getting out of this crazy system and the sooner the better.

  8. agricola
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Let them squabble among themselves over whatever it is they want. Ultimately I predict it will fall apart, for the simple reason that none of them in the EU plan to take their increasingly restive people with them. The system they operate is corrupt and undemocratic and therefore doomed to failure with every indication that the journey will be painful. Why so many UK politicians would wish us to stay with this mad ride is way beyond me.

    • Linda Jones
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

      I imagine, Agricola, the reason ”so many UK politicians wish us to stay” is through self-interest – on a personal level. Why would they want to give up the prospect of a well-paid sinecure, if there’s just a chance they could get it?

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Here’s a little snippet worth noting:

    “A more sensible person would be conscious that, in setting his entirely arbitrary “red lines” for the so-called “transition period”, Johnson was contradicting the basic requirements already set by the European Council and therefore seeking things which simply cannot be delivered.”

    You see, the European Council is in charge of these EU withdrawal negotiations and it has already set the basic requirements which cannot be contradicted because that would be to seek things which are impossible, which simply cannot be delivered.

    I’m glad the person who wrote that is not heading up our negotiating team. On the other hand, I worry that our negotiating team may have too many members who think in much the same way as the surrender monkey who wrote that nonsense.

    “Leave the EU immediately”

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

      Did you notice there is one (1) vote from the Vatican City, I wonder who that was. Spain has got 127. Wokingham constituency has 71.

      The BBC should do a program on weekly petition scores. If a petition scores over 5% of registered voters, 2.5 million, we could have a phone in referendum, just like “Strictly”. Simples 😉

    • NickC
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      The civil service, in particular the FCO prides itself on “soft power”. That would be delusional even if the FCO were any good at it.

    • Hope
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 1:51 pm | Permalink

      Thank you. I did something at your request and passed it on to others.

      • Linda Jones
        Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        As did I.

    • acorn
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

      GQR polling published today by POLITICO shows British voters disagree with Theresa May’s repeated claim that when it comes to the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, “no deal is better than a bad deal.”

      When given a choice between two opposing statements, as follows: “Cooperation with the EU is essential to our economy. Leaving without making a new deal on things like trade and border controls would be a disaster for Britain”; OR, “No deal is better than a bad deal. If the EU will not offer Britain a good deal then we should leave without one,”

      52% picked the former and only 34% the latter.

      Brexit, is getting to a familiar stage of all such political arguments, where the politicians who find themselves on the wrong / losing side of a Westminster Punch & Judy argument, have to find a Teflon lined escape route, that lets them slither into the long grass and disappear for a while.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:49 am | Permalink

        Acorn – It would help greatly with unity if Remainers accepted the properly held and counted votes (general election, referendum, Parliamentary votes) than clutched at straws to cite mini polls which happen to support their position – you want to insert mini referenda within the referendum ?

        “No deal is better than a bad deal”

        Is a position that every person negotiating any deal should have.

      • David Price
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        If you look at the actual data of that poll those aren’t the numbers at all, Q48 offers 32 and 22 (so 46 didn’t know).

        However this was a poll of 1203 people and we have seen just how much you cannot rely on polls on this issue.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

        It would depend on how bad the bad deal was. As there is no theoretical limit to how bad the bad deal it is obvious that no deal could be better.

        • acorn
          Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

          Yes but Denis, we don’t know how bad a no deal is, because it is exogenous, that is, not controllable from within the Brexit system boundary.

          The bad deal is endogenous and can be correlated with the sweet deal (remain in the EU). Hence, within the Brexit system boundary’s endogenous factors, we can rate a bad deal in terms of fractions of the sweet deal.

          For example say: “taking back control” of our fishing. The UK government, subcontracts catching UK fish quota to big foreign fish factory ships. The UK catch is fish the Brits don’t eat so, it is off-loaded in other EU ports that do eat such fish. The fish the Brits do eat, is imported from other EU states ports.

          Post Brexit, UK fish landed in EU27 ports will be subject to an 11% import tariff. Now, is that (a) a no deal. (b) a bad deal, compared to (c) the sweet deal? 😉 😉 😉

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 3, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

            You miss the point that however bad the no deal was it would still be possible to devise a deal which was worse.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

        If ever a survey was asking a loaded question to get the answer they wanted this is a very good example.

  10. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    It seems that both the BBC and Sky doubt that the independence referendum in Catalonia is really illegal. Apparently that may be just the arbitrary, incorrect view of the Spanish government, and there is no need to highlight any rulings of the Spanish courts.

    These are of course the same BBC and Sky who are full-on supporters of the EU and can see no reason at all why we should not gradually merge our country with Spain and all the other EU member states, and have no qualms at all about the democratic merits of the Spanish government and all the other EU governments, nor about the impartiality and reliability of Spanish courts and courts in all the other EU member states.

    Personally I don’t take a view about whether Catalonia should separate from the rest of Spain, unlike some people I generally prefer not to interfere in the political affairs of other countries of which I am not a citizen. However I do wonder what BBC and Sky would be saying if Nicola Sturgeon had allowed journalists to mislead her into believing that she had the legal right to unilaterally “call” another independence referendum, and we were now seeing the same kind of scenes in Scotland.

  11. Juiliet
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    Macron wants more EU deep integration, weakened Merkel wants the same, France-German shaping EU integration future. Socialist EU is taking shape as UK steps outside. The recent joiners do not seem to share the vision, not having everyone on board is going to be an issue. Eastern bloc countries left communism and joined EU now EU is seeking more integration

  12. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Euro or Bitcoin, which is the safer currency?

    • acorn
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Bitcoin or Dutch Tulip Bulbs, which is the safer currency?

    • hefner
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

      Look at, specially over a longish period and make your mind.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      If you are in Sterling, can you still afford either ?

      • acorn
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        With a trade deficit like the UK, the old economic rules say the currency should fall to make imports more expensive and exports cheaper. The reality is that foreign central banks will buy up the exchange value of Pounds to keep their own economies exports affordable in the UK. They have an infinite capacity to do this.

        Lower value Pounds means that UK exporters have to raise the Pound price of their goods, to have more Pounds to import foreign currency priced components and commodities. There is never a sustained export boom when the Pound drops, there wasn’t in 2008 when the Pound crashed.

  13. What the deuce?
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Mrs May on Marr this morning named “a run on the pound” as Labour’s Freudian slip coming to power. Of course Marr hit the ball back at her with “What about the Brexit run on the pound”. An experienced politician does not feed an adversarial interviewer such an easy return shot directly to his racket. Hard to believe Mrs May is not deliberately losing most of these matches. Losing the EU negotiation too. Such is an old politician’s ruse. If you secretly do not agree with party policy you feed the Opposition with the ball. Bribed footballers do it too. She should resign soon! Red carded!

    • Original Richard
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      Mrs. May unfortunately missed a golden opportunity to counter the EU supporters’ argument that since the referendum there has been a “run on the pound”.

      Compared to the pound’s value on the eve of the referendum, which was expected to result in the UK remaining in the EU, the pound has fallen 9% against the USD and 13% against the Euro.

      This does not represent a “run on the pound” and is easily within normal currency fluctuations.

      In fact, given the economic and political uncertainty caused by the UK’s EU supporters in fighting the democratic decision made by the UK to leave the EU, the value of the pound is surprisingly stable and high.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

      WTD, I think you are correct that she is intentionally losing these matches. And now the Conservatives are following up existing huge resource misallocation with an extension /rebirth of right to buy. It is somewhat unfathomable why all the major parties this century have sought to destroy/damage the country and its people, rather than improve things. It is becoming impossible to see anyway forward with any of the current political parties.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Clearly she cannot be allowed to fight the next election. She is trying her best, but alas she is genetically clearly a lefty, lacks any real vision, is robotic and repetitive in her delivery and thinks, just like Corbyn, that the state has the answer – when really it is the main problem.

  14. formula57
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    None of the things sought by Mr. Macron will ever happen for did not Mr. Clegg so assure us during our referendum? Poor old Macron, so out of touch.

  15. Law Abiding Citizen
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    “Nicola Sturgeon‏Verified account @NicolaSturgeon 18m minutes ago
    More Nicola Sturgeon Retweeted Sky News
    Some of the scenes in #Catalonia this morning are quite shocking and surely unnecessary. Just let people vote.”
    Sturgeon would love to have her official credentials as First Minister taken from her.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      The referendum is unconstitutional and involves an illegal use of public resources directly contrary to rulings from the constitutional court. Does Nicola Sturgeon think that the Spanish government should turn a blind eye to this blatant illegality, which could even be categorised as a treasonable act of rebellion? How would she react if she had finally achieved her ambition of becoming the leader of an independent Scotland but then some part, let us say the Shetlands, decided to hold an illegal independence referendum and use public resources for that purpose?

  16. Francis Meter-Reader
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I didn’t catch Macron’s speech. Had it been anti-British and sufficiently anti-Brexit the BBC would have screened it LIVE with simultaneous verbal and subtitle English translation with a discussion programme following with a “Large Tent” of views from Vince Cable, Stephen Kinnock, Michael Heseltine, and Nicola Sturgeon

  17. Epikouros
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    EU supporters and those still working to fulfil all the objectives contained in the vision of those who thought it up are undertaking a task massive in concept but sparse on the means to achieve it. Even if the UK remained as a member the likelihood of success is not possible at least in the long term. With Brexit and a growing discontent of many from the common citizens through to national leaders and the enormous financial burdens for ever increasing such an institution generates the EU is now going to hit the buffers soon of too many unsolvable and intractable problems and costs.

    In a decade or so it will wither and die or at least the vision will be no more. However if people start to use common sense and work together as independent sovereign nations, drop political and economic union then there is some hope that some of the more sensible bits of the vision can be realised. Like a truly free single market for anyone to join or leave and cooperation in areas of mutual benefit.

  18. Bert Young
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    On the eve of the Conservative Conference I mentioned yesterday – and I reiterate today , why I considered it necessary for Theresa to go along with Boris’ views on the need to restrict the transition period . If she does not recognise the need to stitch the Conservative Party together and at the same time to acknowledge the will of the people , then she must ” go” . My response also mentioned the dilemma of Catalonia being a thorn in the side of the EU . Since then I have witnessed the way Theresa was treated at the EU leaders meeting and the indignity she suffered .

    Today John has blogged on Macron and Merkel and the extent of their influence on the EU . Macron has exposed his youth and inexperience as a politician ; he seeks identity and prominence at a time when he feels the stage is his . He should be more cognisant of the voices and popularity in Eastern Europe together with that in Austria , these messages should tell him to get with reality . Unity in the EU is far flung imagination ; Michael Portillo has got it right and with his Spanish links he is also more sensitive and tuned in to the affairs in Spain , he probably made his comments for the same reason I did .

    Merkel will not be able to release German wealth into the EU ; it has never agreed to do so in the past and it will be more difficult for her to do so now . Germany will not make the economics of France better for the sake of Macron and it will not do so for the sake of anyone else . Northern Europe is distinctly different to the South and common policies created in Brussels will not be able to overcome this .

    All this is a clear message to the meeting in Manchester ; get out of the mess and get on with our independent future . Unite the Conservative Party and make Labour look more ridiculous than ever . There is nothing ” moderate ” with these views !.

  19. ian
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    At least he has a vision, while the uk has been left in limbo for at least another 4 years or more. Capital flight coming by the very same people who want the uk people to stay in the EU, they are moving their assets offshore and selling up, because they think con party has had it and, labour will win the next election, and not repaired to take the risks with their money.

  20. DaveM
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    For any Rugby fans here – maybe Macron is trying to solve the question of Italy’s perpetual weakness and Georgia’s persistent pleas to join the 6 Nations. The reformed competition will be England, Wales, Scotland, N Ireland, EU, and Georgia. Simple. 😄 The only question is which of the unelected EU presidents will attend the matches?!

  21. Richard1
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

    Will you be posting a response following yesterday’s invitation to people to submit cliff edge scares? The ones I identified were: lorries queuing up to be inspected and fill in paperwork; the seizing up of pan-European supply chains; financial services providers being unable to continue with business currently conducted under the passporting regs; UK citizens in the EU not being able to get pensions from UK providers; chaos in the derivatives market due to uncertainty over governing laws on contracts (this one provided by the Governor of the BoE on the radio).

    I think there needs to be a methodical approach to addressing cliff edge scares as and when they arise. This should happen in parallel with preparations for no deal. That’s the only way to get public opinion behind a sensible negotiating position – which is being prepared to walk away if there isn’t a good enough deal.

  22. ian
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    I mean , not prepared to take risks with their money, not repaired.

  23. Duncan
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    Macron’s a coward. He refuses to implement reforms at home simply because he realises that this would cause massive disruption and so makes a pathetic attempt to transfer French sovereign debt risk over to the German taxpayer through a subtle pooling of sovereign debt risk

    Macron’s aim is indeed the pooling of EU member state debts with the German taxpayer as the guarantor.

    As an aside, the Spanish police are doing the bidding of the EU by using appalling violence against innocent people in Catalan. We will see more of this brutality when Poland and Hungary realise their own nations democracy is under direct attack

  24. Sue Doughty
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    If the EU gets control of defence forces, that can be used as aggression first strike forces they could be a risk to world peace one day. All it takes is for an omnipotent Presdent of all Europe have ambitions of world domination and there is nothing anyone could do to stop him.
    In he meantime our council taxes are being kept lower by income from investing council reserves in supporting the euro. Very lucrative investments with German taxpayers paying us excellent dividends but this may now be at risk.

  25. BartD
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    With UK breaking away the EU bosses now see that reform of the EU is very necessary to hold the rest together and that will probably mean closer integration of the budgetry sense and banking first.

    Secondly it may mean closer military alliances are necessary to protect the EU 27 frontiers- I can’t see anything wrong with this and fail to understand why we are even discussing Macron and his vision since we are leaving and will have no say whatsoever in how this EU bloc moves ahead.

    It would be much better if we put our energies into looking to see how we are going to manage by ourselves moving forward.

    To get out of the EU quickly i suggest the following:

    1/ Agree to allow EU citizens to travel freely but for those staying more than three months
    introduce ID cards- ID cards should then be slowly introduced for the whole population.

    2/ Make the new border with the EU in the Irish Sea leaving Northern Ireland inside the customs union with the EU since they voted that way. Than would make Belfast and Dublin the main frontier sea ports for practical reasons.

    3 Agree quickly on the mechanism of working out what we owe and then quickly move on to some kind of transitional arrangement- presuming the EU will agree to such a move?

    There is little point in discussing Germany or France’s intentions because at this stage it can only be assumption and speculation. We don’t even know what the make up of our own government might be in six months time never mind what Europe could look like.

  26. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

    This morning both the BBC and Sky have wheeled out that old ….. Heseltine, again, and against everything that they have consistently said both before and since our EU referendum the unscrupulous (spinner ed)pretends that the leaders of the other EU member states might now be willing to abandon their long-held quasi-religious doctrine on the indivisibility of their “four freedoms” and change their policy on freedom of movement of persons.

  27. Martin
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    So what about your vision for Wokingham rather than the EU?

    Will it be a place where if an old lady moans about new housing developments that you will take her side or will at long last politicians have the courage to say sorry but our young people can’t afford £200 to 300k for a starter home?

    • hefner
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

      In Reading, the average property price rose by 9.5% in 2016 mainly due to the future 2018 arrival of Crossrail: The average property price in the Reading area is now £300,000

      (so, and only for Lifelogic, that means a 1.67% stamp duty for a first time buyer).

  28. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink


    Considering about 10 countries are paying more into the EU per capita than the UK, I am sure the 450 million Europeans can find th net UK budget of $ 9 billion covered elsewhere, but you do seem to think we in the UK are more important in Europe, thn is actually the case

    • getahead
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Hans. It’s not a question of who is more important.
      It’s a question of how soon will the UK leave.

    • Chris S
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      If they can find the money elsewhere, why are they so absolutely desperate to screw a massive amount out of us ?

      So much so that they are prepared to put their own trade in jeopardy by not being prepared to even discuss a trade deal !

    • libertarian
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 8:03 pm | Permalink


      Thanks for sharing your lack of knowledge how money works…cheers for that

      Any thoughts on Spains flagrant breach of Article 7 of the treaty, will they be expelled from the EU this week or next do you think?

    • Edward2
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      Per capita is a wierd way of counting.
      Its the total cash we pay that counts.

      • hefner
        Posted October 2, 2017 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        No, don’t be daft: that’s the per capita sum that is being felt by individual people. Otherwise how can you compare the sums from the 75M Germans to that from the 66M British to the one by the 17M Dutch or to the …
        And per capita is only relevant for countries with similar living standards. Otherwise, strictly speaking you would use figures per capita purchasing power equivalent.
        That’s Economics 101.

    • stred
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      Hans. Could you name these 10 countries that are paying more per capita than the UK please. This directly contradicts the charts for net receipts shown by Facts4EU last week, where countries such as Belgium with a population of 11 million are receiving billions. Luxembourg must receive most per capita. Perhaps Denmark and Holland pay as much as the UK. Germany, pays more but with a larger population is not much different. Perhaps Cyprus pays more.

  29. nigel seymour
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Looking forward to your blog John…

    Legislation banning full-face Muslim veils in public spaces has gone into effect in Austria.
    The government says the law, which says faces must be visible from the hairline to the chin, is about protecting Austrian values. It comes ahead of a general election later this month which could see gains by the far-right Freedom Party.
    Muslim groups have condemned the law, saying just a tiny minority of Austrian Muslims wear full-face veils.
    The law bans Muslim veils such as the burka or niqab, but also places restrictions on the use of medical face masks and clown makeup.
    An estimated 150 women wear the full burka in Austria but tourism officials have expressed fears that the measures will also deter visitors from the Gulf.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      “…but tourism officials have expressed fears that the measures will also deter visitors from the Gulf.” Eating an ice cream or a family holiday snap can’t be fun either. Having fun is a big part of western culture – incompatible.

  30. Mark B
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Good afternoon. And a good article from our kind host.

    I think President Macron sees an opportunity to wrestle the EU ball from Germany. The financial difficulties of France and other EU countries compared to Germany have allowed the German’s and Chancellor Merkel a far greater say in EU matters than ever before. All President Macron has to do in encourage others to support him in the EU for more money, always a winner, and more centralisation. This would weaken Germany, especially in the EU, which has always been the aim of the French.

    By also trumpeting his very pro-EU credentials he is signalling to the EU that he is the man that they want to deal with as, as our kind host points out, Chancellor Merkel is weakened and cannot commit to either more money or, as the EU lovies like to call it, “more Europe”. This will weaken Germany’s hand in the EU and strengthen France with many siding with President Macron.

    I think it would therefore be wise to move politically and diplomatically closer to France and President Macron. After all, he does like the older woman* 😉

    With the EU Commission eyes on BREXIT they are not properly paying attention to what troubles lay a head in their own house. A more Machiavellian politician can make great capital from this. 😉

    Interesting time a head.

    * I wounder how many of you will be spitting out you afternoon coffee / tea over that little jibe ? 🙂

    • Andy
      Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      I have never really rated Merkel – I long ago came to the conculsion that she was actually rather stupid and only looked at the very short term. In this light she was very dim to drive the UK out of the EU because when the UK leaves the balance of power (under QMV) will tilt very much against her and very much in favour of the Southern States, which you can be sure will be lead by France.

      As to her diving up more German cash, I think she is now in a bind. She can’t not if she wants to save her beloved Euro.

  31. margaret
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    With deeper integration , language snobs may be upset where the needs of integration mean communication must be more fluent. Frerman ?
    What do we call weakness, and what do we call strong , going with the flow and getting others to execute the nastier work or being number one?

  32. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    Never mind M Macron. Your own leader is fast running out of runway.
    This looks desperate. Burden graduates with even more debt, as 6.1% compound interest builds up more principle while it isn’t being eroded as they get £360 temporarily in their pockets. Burden homebuyers with more “Help to Buy” rubbish, inflating demand and prices in a supply-constricted market.
    Your party needs to rid itself of support for housebuilders and dodgy-debt merchants, not succumb to them.
    Be HONEST with students. They can’t all go to Uni and stack up a load of unpayable binge debt. The country cannot afford to take it on either. Cut the Crap Courses, put them into work and vocational courses where they can be of some use to themselves and the country.
    Be HONEST with homeowners and housebuilders- they can’t forever have mortgages at 1% and be propped up by depositors and (again) the government. Tightening is needed, rates increase and prices reduce if they must.
    Get your government to be HONEST with citizens. Coming out of the EU will involve fundamental changes, but nothing that can’t be handled by a competent government and hardworking population.
    May was equivocating about whether or not EU laws which are changed in her transition period will apply here- for goodness sake, the Prime Minister can’t even tell us whose laws we should obey 2019-2021!!!! The answer was easy. UK laws enacted by a UK Parliament out of the EU.

  33. Norman
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    For the benefit of all – including all those who paid with their lives in the past – let’s hope a responsible and orderly and approach to Brexit prevails. It must be so demanding for the PM to keep a steady hand on the tiller, with so much emotive and ill-informed clamour and spite going on around her.
    ‘What can we do to help?’ In the divinely inspired words of the Apostle Paul: “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (AKJV – copyright vested in the Crown).
    Such influence from the faithful came to bear at other crucial points in Britain’s history – the Reformation, giving the common people access to the above text in our own tongue; the defeat of the Armada; the Glorious Revolution; the stemming of the great Cattle Plague of 1865-7; Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain; El Alamein – to name but a few. Though the former preconditions are unmet, where there’s a heart and a voice, there may yet be hope to intercede, as St.Paul directed.

  34. CharlesE
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

    After we leave- the EU will move ahead at it’s own pace and it will matter little to us about Macrons and Merkels intentions are since we will have no say in any of it.

    What Mike Stallard says above is very true about there being little interest in europe amongst the general populations about what UK is up to – people are just getting on with own lives.

    Today again we have the stalking horse Boris out there on manoevres again stabbing our PM in the back and at this crucial time for the party and for the negotiations team only weakening our bargaining position further in the face of the EU commission. One wonders where it will all end- the cliff edge and in tears as I suspect

    So whatever happens in uk one thing we can be sure of is that Macron won’t be put out too much by any of it- so then why should we even bother to discuss him.

  35. harryB
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    On another note- who should we suspect is behind this latest move by Boris to oust the PM..could it be DD or could it be liam fox? I expect we’ll not have much longer to wait before the scoundral shows his hand

  36. Chris S
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Your analysis is over-optimistic.

    Merkel was going along with Macron and Juncker’s policy of further integration but not supporting it overtly. In reality she has always known that the German taxpayer would never agree to a transfer union so she has done what she does with everything she finds difficult : she kicks it into the long grass. eg the absolutely essential restructuring of Greek debt.

    The influence of the FDP and the CSU will now prevent any further integration but Merkel will no longer be able to just sit there nod at what Macron and Juncker want to do. At some point, sooner rather than later, she will have to say no.

    At that point those backing the Euro will finally have to accept that the idea of a transfer Union and full fiscal integration is dead.

    Currency experts have predicted that without these, the flawed Euro will inevitably fail.
    It’s just that for years the Eurozone has stumbled from one crisis to another in the hope that eventually German will give in and send billions South to the ClubMed countries.

    Now Merkel can’t and therefore won’t be able to go down that route.

    The only question is now how bad will the outcome be and how long will it take ?

    • Chris S
      Posted October 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

      PS Now that Merkel has forced Schäuble out of the finance ministry, perhaps there will be progress on the Greek debt situation. ( She is going to have to give the job to the FDP )

  37. Tabulazero
    Posted October 1, 2017 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Could I remind you that your PM Theresa May had to pay up £1bn in quasi ransom money to the DUP to save her government and your party’s hold on power ?

    To make matter worse, her own Foreign Secretary is briefing the public against her with a total disregard for the Cabinet Collective Responsability and she has not yet fired him.

    Chancellor Merkel, even in a weakened state, is more of a leader than she will ever be.

    The Conservatives are not the nasty party anymore. They are just the mad as a hatter party.

    • rose
      Posted October 3, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Mrs Thatcher, a very strong leader on a very strong mission, led a government of ministers who regularly said what they thought. They were a talented lot too, and covered the whole range of opinion. You can have cabinet responsibility and yet be allowed to express yourself. Boris does not brief against anyone, least of all the PM. He is without malice, but unfortunately is on the receiving end of a great deal of it. The fact is the remainiacs want him sacked because he puts the Brexit case well and generally makes people feel better.

  38. The Prangwizard
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    But Mrs May wants to pay, doesn’t she?

  39. Peter
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I am more worried about the UK than Europe. Mrs. May limps on with the Conservative party in turmoil but unsure what to do and fearful of another general election.

    I would at least like to see evidence and a regular detailed report on ‘No Deal’ preparations by the UK team. We are told there will be more work done on this. I don’t believe it. I want to see evidence of such work. It is completely independent of the EU team so we can crack on at speed if we are so minded. A sound plan for ‘no deal’ would help concentrate the minds of EU negotiators.

    The trouble is I don’t believe the remainers in charge of our Brexit negotiations have the heart for this. They keep hoping something will turn up to enable a deal. This is a recipe for disaster. We are being strung along.

  40. margaret howard
    Posted October 2, 2017 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

    As long as Mrs Merkel doesn’t pay a £1b bribe to an unsavoury fringe party, the Germany public will be happy.

  41. Russ
    Posted October 3, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Mr Macron’s EU vision

    One day we will be ruled by people who really do have visions.

  • 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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