The German and UK elections – some political arithmetic that affects the talks

The pro EU media and papers in the UK wrongly reported both the UK and the German elections. They told us Mrs May and the Conservatives lost the UK election, whilst Mrs Merkel won the German election. It is a good idea instead to consider the actual results, now we know the final tally of top up seats in Germany.

Let’s take the popular vote first of all. Mrs May and the Conservatives won 42.4% of the popular vote. This was up by 5.5 percentage points from 2015, and was the  highest proportion of the vote taken by the Conservatives since Mrs Thatcher in 1983. That was a Conservative win.

In contrast, Mrs Merkel’s combined vote for her CDU party and her coalition sister party the CSU fell by 8.6 percentage points to just 32.9%, a new low. Mrs Merkel’s own CDU only polled 26.8%.

Mrs May stayed as Prime Minister, with many more seats than the next placed party. Mrs Merkel may stay as Chancellor, but has a lot of work to do to get the votes in Parliament to support her

Then let us consider seats lost. The Conservatives in the UK lost 13 seats, taking them down from 330 to 317. The CDU/CSU lost 65 seats, taking them down to 246. The CDU alone lost 55 seats.

As a result of the German system Mrs Merkel with her CSU allies control just 34.7% of the seats in the newly expanded 709 seat German Parliament. Mrs May and the Conservative party control 49.4% of the seats in the UK Parliament.  Mrs Merkel’s own CDU only has 26.8% of the seats.

Mrs May and the Conservatives in coalition with the DUP have a majority of 14. Mrs Merkel needs to mend her relationship with the CSU, and persuade the Greens and the Free Democrats to enter an arrangement with her in order to construct a coalition.

It is commonly assumed that the May-Merkel exchanges will be very influential over the outcome of talks about the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Doubtless Germany, as the largest country and economy in the EU and the largest paymaster of the EU, will continue to be more influential than its overall percentage of EU Council and Parliament votes. However, it is also likely to be the case that Mrs Merkel will find it much more difficult to offer decisive leadership given the need to make more  demanding and more frequent compromises over the German position  to keep a coalition going, assuming she is able to form one.  In contrast Mrs May’s DUP partners are likely to be solid on Brexit, as they were a pro Brexit party in the last election.

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  1. Mick
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:28 am | Permalink
    It’s about time people like heseltine clegg were forced to show why they are so hell bent on staying in the eu could it be money, they couldn’t give a toss about the UK just there self interest in getting money in the form of subsidies or pensions from the eu.
    Can someone tell me if Westminster or Brussels vote against a deal we will still be coming out of the dreaded eu in March 2019 even if no deal

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Under Article 50 we will, unless all the EU member state governments including our own agree to extend our membership beyond March 29th 2019.

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

    • Hope
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      JR, pure drivel.

      Your party should have had a landslide against the extreme left Corbyn Marxist opposition. She had an incredible lead and it plummeted because of her left wing dementia tax. Followed quickly by the attrocities which happened during the campaign highlighting her appalling record on mass immigration, lack of border controls making us insecure, unsafe from terror attacks. It brought her inability into stark focus at the wrong time.

      Not satisfied with her stupidity she went further with nonsensical strap lines, stable and strong, enough is enough, Brexit means Brexit. People saw through her insincere left wing views. She is taking your party left of New Labour! May wants an extension to stay in the EU to change our minds, under the false guise of transition.

      We have project fear back in full operation with Labour basically saying his party are staying in by another name. This is because May cannot control your party, particularly the chancellor, and clearly wants to stay in the EU or as close as she can.

      Disappointingly Johnson’s red lines lasted two weeks which will harm his chances in the future. The Traitors of the remain faction in your party, Morgan, Soubry, Clarke, Grieve care more about the EU than the party or country.

      • lo
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        How can facts be pure drivel. Don’t think the Tories will risk another election with a Blairite. Peak Corbyn is over, he failed dismally so suck it up Corbynite.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        It is clear that despite them taking oaths of allegiance to the Queen there are now many parliamentarians whose primary loyalty is to the EU. The reason is quite simply that the main political parties have been preferentially selecting europhile candidates for decades, gradually purging Parliament of patriots so that now they are probably in a minority in both Houses. Similarly it will take a long time to cleanse Parliament of its disloyal occupants.

        • Timaction
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:08 am | Permalink

          Add all senior positions of power in in the Foreign Office, Home Office and leaders in all our politically correct public and health services. All soft left anti English and British. Root and branch reform is required to remove all the quislings and challenge pc each and every time ensuring best person for any job not just anti English people!!

      • APL
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Hope: “Followed quickly by the attrocities which happened during the campaign highlighting her appalling record on mass immigration ..”

        Don’t forget her ” Britons benefit greatly from Sharia law ” remarks.

        Some might think promoting within the Queens Realm a competing legal system to that of the Crown – The Queen is still head of the Church of England – might be the very definition of treason.

        Who knows? These days, absolutely anything goes.

        Reply There is only one law in the UK and that is the one promulgated by Parliament.

        • Hope
          Posted October 17, 2017 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          JR, This is not what May said. She said Sharia law has a place. Everyone on this site argued there should only be one law. That is also a corner stone reason for leaving the EU.

          You might recall Cameron promoting ban the hoody, but some how the Niqab and Burka are okay! Pure nonsense. Face coverings have no place in an open free equal society. I have entered Asian households where men speak for their women. Schools and universities segregating men and women, where women expected to sit at the back. Sadie Khan photographed addressing segregated audiences, as did other LABOUR POLITICIANS, WHERE SEGREGATION WAS TAKING PLACE. This is not acceptable in this country. May focusing on stupid points last week does not describe the whole picture or problems that need to be addressed in our country. Casey needs to be implemented so everybody integrates to our society with our language, our values, our customs and our laws. May’s PC claptrap harms society and prevents social cohesion.

    • Oggy
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      That’s a very good question Mick.
      Ken Clarke (another EU groveller) and a cross party group of MP’s are looking to add an amendment to the EU withdrawal bill that would veto a ‘no deal’ scenario for our exit and it seems they have a lot of support. Just how that could work is a puzzle, if such an amendment was added to the Bill, the EU would then offer the worst possible deal they could – which the UK could never agree to, so then what ? do we continue to negotiate for all eternity ?
      The interesting aspect of it is that we’ve already sent in our resignation letter – Article 50, so we leave in March 2019, whatever happens with the EU withdrawal bill. Any help with this conundrum anybody ?
      Dr Redwood is there enough support to get such a ludicrous amendment added to the bill ?

      Kier Starmer also said today that Labour have no objections to staying under the jurisdiction of the ECJ after Brexit (although that is an oxymoron).
      I thought these people were supposed to be democrats ! I don’t recall any part of the EU referendum question asking about dealing with the EU only leaving !

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Furthermore had socialist Theresa had an agenda for sensible economic growth, lower taxes, deregulation, cheaper non green crap energy, more houses, quality immigration only agenda and not a “vote for me and I will punish you I am a socialist robot” agenda she would surely have done far better. What was needed was some uplifting and encouraging we can do it vision.

    She and Hammond have the highest government expenditure and tax rates for about 30 year and yet still run appallingly poor and severely rationed state services with dire and dangerous virtual monopolies in health and education. High taxes and tax complexity of itself hugely damages productivity, the economy and jobs.

    Reports suggest that Hammond is considering lowering taxes “for young people” and cutting air duties. Of course he retains the extra 3% stamp duty and double landlord interest taxation to push up young tenants rents by circa 15% and he attempted to attack the gig economy to tax them further. Plus he put up insurance tax by 20%.

    If he want to lower taxes he first needs to stop pissing money down the drain on greencrap, HS2, Hinkely C and the feckless, bloated inept and totally misdirected government. It seems to me he is pathologically incapable of this given his record so far. He still had not kept the £1M IHT each promise made by Osborne and the Tories many years ago.

    He is surely to soiled already with his tax borrow and piss down the drain (and undermine Brexit too) agenda to remain in his position. Better to move him now before he does any more damage.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      Hammond is surely far, far “too” soiled already I meant. If he does not get rid to the absurd stamp duty (up to 15% levels), the bonkers double taxation of landlord’s interest, keep, at long long last, the Tory £1M IHT tax promise and cut (and hugely simplify) taxation in general at this budget he surely must go. These measure need time to work for the next election after all. The country needs fairly to be sure that Corbyn will not win for confidence.

      He should also get some new incentives to encourage the wealth and hard working to come and stay in the UK rather than chasing them all overseas with his shout yourself in the foot attacks on the rich, the gig economy and Non Doms.

      He should also kill all the insane white elephant “grand projects”, the inequality audit and all the absurd green crap subsidies.

  3. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:52 am | Permalink

    Without the Tory disunity (at some places described as civil war) Mrs. May might have been strong.

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      You mean Remainers collaborating with the EU.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: the Singapore based ‘Business Insider’ speaks of “Tory civil war deepens”, not my words.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          Who are seen as the civil war factions Peter? I tried to google the article but couldn’t find it – is it Ken Clarke, Soubry, Nicky Morgan?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 16, 2017 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

            The article’s heading was ” Theresa May’s Brexit timetable thrown into chaos as Tory civil war deepens”. I still find it easily with google.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      Peter, you could be right there about internal feuding, but, that is of her own making by choosing a cabinet of those that wish to remain in the EU.

      I suspect that the reality is she is a good constituency MP, but not prime ministerial material 🙁

      Any news on that Dutch government yet? 🙂

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        She’s been my MP for twenty years, as a constituency MP she is good enough and I do not see her as a bad person.

        • John C.
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          Do not confuse being a bad prime Minister with being a bad person.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        @Know-Dice: Dutch overall government plan (compare manifest) has already been presented and debated in parliament – now finding ministers (usually mixture of current MPs and “experts” from outside parliament). There doesn’t seem to be too much hurry (we now grow 2x as fast as the UK, but have similar challenges to the UK)

        • Timaction
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

          Is it true growth based on economic efficiency,s or just mass immigration increasing GDP?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 16, 2017 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

            @Timaction: as far as I know the first as there is no mass immigration now. 3.3% annual growth would be difficult to achieve from immigration.

        • a-tracy
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          You can’t trust our ONS figures Peter its reported this morning they’ve got them completely wrong, they appear not to have a clue so how they know whether we are growing or not is beyond me and perhaps we can drop our bill to the EU now as we’re so much poorer than they calculated we were.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

            @a-tracy: If you cannot trust ONS, don’t ask us to do that.
            Should we trust the new figures? Or is it just postering, pretending to be poor?

        • libertarian
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

          Peter V L

          now finding ministers (usually mixture of current MPs and “experts” from outside parliament).

          These “experts” how are they examined and tested to know their expertise and what happens if they dont live up to expectations and what happens when their “expertise” proves to be outdated?

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 17, 2017 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian: Individual minister may face a motion of “no confidence” or – softer “regret” in parliament. Also in the second case an adoption of that motion would be quite enough for the minister handing in his/her resignation

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      PvL–You will scramble your brain dreaming up these continual snide comments

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

        @Leslie Singleton: see my reaction to “anonymous” above, not a dream but a quote.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

          PvL–You are the definition of snide

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 16, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

            @Leslie Singleton: I look forward to the new issue of the Oxford Dictionary. 🙂

    • Briton
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

      Three people in the Cabinet stating three marginal differences of approach is hardly civil war or disunity. But Remoaners can wish upon this particular dark star.. It keeps them off the streets, literally.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        @Briton: “Tory disunity” is casting a wider net than just “government”

    • oldtimer
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

      She would have been much stronger if she had not called the election which eliminated her majority and helped elevate Mr Corbyn from also ran to contender for office. She is the author of her own misfortune.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        @oldtimer: I agree.
        It seemed a good plan at the time . . .

        • rose
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          A lot of people on here didn’t think so.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      Peter vL

      Mrs May would never have been strong because her election manifesto was complete pants, her personal performance was dire and the CCHQ party machine were their typical out of touch, incompetent selves.

      Yet they still smashed the main Remain opposition into oblivion… getting the message yet?

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: Well, I hope so for you, but now I read about cross-party opposition to “no-deal”. Amusement for a continental spectator but very difficult for the EU27, because all kinds of UK changes could still happen.

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          PvL–All kinds of changes could happen to rEU and probably will–Let’s hope existential

        • John C.
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

          The problem is that we have many conflicting policies and politicians, who feel free to have their say, whereas the 27 countries of the E.U. are unified in not seemingly having a view at all, and leaving it to 2 or 3 Brussels bureaucrats. How very odd.

          • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
            Posted October 16, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

            @John C. : The EU27 have discussed their common view at length and then put it in a mandate for Barnier, to be revisited at the end of this week. The EU27 have so much more to attend to then just Brexit.

  4. alan jutson
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Your Post is absolutely right JR, but the fact is the German people know where Mrs Merkel stands on her polices, difficult though they may be to get through.

    The Uk does not really have a clue about Mrs May, who of late seems to be following a Labour type agenda.

  5. Newmania
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I wonder under what circumstances Mr Redwood comes up with these brilliant ideas .I imagine he is lying in his bed , resembling , perhaps Scrooge with night cap and gown, muttering “ Damn foreigners … Hammond … bah “ and then inspiration strikes
    “Thats it , I shall tell the tale of the elections and omit any reference to the entirely different electoral systems !!!!!! Mrs Brexit , bring me my quill this instant and wake up the intern ….. oh yes this will fox them …. Ha ha “
    I doubt either of our current clapped out duopoly would survive if anyone had a choice . May asked for a mandate for Brexit , and did not get it despite facing a Lenin cap sporting comedy Commie , flanked by Stalinists under the impression people were trying to escape form West Germany into East Germany. She remains in her job only because the Conservative Party are terrified on an election or a referendum on the alternatives. She could not be weaker and has no mandate to to risk out jobs services and the future we leave our children. Its not complicated volks .

    Reply There was a 10% difference i n share of popular vote between Mrs May and Mrs Merkel, which does not depend on the voting system

    • Anonymous
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      So stuck in the catflap together we are then, Newmania.

      You’re not letting me go and I’m not letting you stay.

      Sneering contempt for the ‘oiks’ such as yours predates the referendum, indeed, it caused the referendum.

      You are the best recruiting sergeant for Leave that I’ve ever seen. If only more could see your postings. (I can almost hear other remainers squirming in their seats “Shut up, Newmania. SHUT UP !”)

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

        May asked for a mandate for Brexit and then piggy-backed a leftist punishment agenda onto it.

        What is important is that the party you stood for (LibDems) got wiped out and its leader lost his seat, it being the only party that offered a second referendum.

        Corbyn stood for Brexit too. The majority voted for Brexit.

        • Chris
          Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

          Your first sentence, Anonymous, absolutely sums up why May lost. Not only does it illustrate her credentials as a left of centre politician, but it also demonstrates, in my view, her quite astounding arrogance and lack of common sense in thinking that she could actually do this.

        • John C.
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

          You are right and it’s important to remember that the election weeks involved almost no discussion of Brexit, which was put to one side, while we discussed May’s version of neo-socialism. You are extremely right when you point out that the two openly pro~E.U. parties, the LibDems and the ScotsNats, had poor elections.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Remember, that the Labour party manifesto was clearly Brexit focused – out of the SM and CU and their adherents trusted them on this point because Corbyn in his heart and soul is clearly anti EU…… The Lib Dems and SNP with their pro EU stance FAILED MISERABLY!


    • Peter Parsons
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      The Electoral Reform Society have estimated that about 20% of the votes cast in the 2017 election were cast tactically, so the voting system used clearly does affect share of vote. If the UK used a system where tactical voting wasn’t necessary, the shares would most likely be different.

      If the UK used the German system, voters could vote for who they want rather than voting against who they don’t or voting for no purpose at all (the ERS also calculated that about 2/3rds of the votes cast in 2017 served no purpose in determining the outcome).

      The sooner the UK system is changed so that all of have an equal stake in the outcome of elections and a vote worth using, the better.

    • Richard1
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      On this point Newmania is correct -you cannot compare vote shares in a PR system with ours. Under our system the parties are themselves coalitions and votes for minor parties (unless regional Separtists) are wasted. Under PR more parties have a realistic chance of representation. In the UK if you are even vaguely pro market you need to vote Tory, unless maybe you think EU federalism is the supreme cause inwhich case, LibDem. In Germany I would be voting FDP I assume.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink


      I think Mr Redwood is decent for publishing critical comments (to say the least) on his own website.

      Anyway, Scrooge—happy ending ..
      Christmas Carol is genius Christian, moral tale inspired by The Prodigal Son (and The Good Samaritan). I first took the religion of our country seriously after living a very Scrooge-like existence myself (perhaps, still am), until I experienced something i can only call a miracle. One day, out in the beautiful British countryside when it was snowing, I experienced—explosively, like a miraculous, ecstatic experience—the peace, joy, beauty and love of The Divine (of Christ / The Trinity) all at one. I love Christmas Carol because it reminds of the moment Scrooge wakes up in the morning and realises he’s been given a second chance and he has so much to look forward to. And he just experiences ecstatic joy. That’s what i experienced (but even more – that’s why i don’t think it’s sentimental). And similar experiences over the years (with suffering too). Nothing special about me (although we experience The Divine in different ways, as well as similar).
      The more our British people embraced our national religion (its Spirit not just its moral laws important as they are), the happier, more interesting, better in general our country would be.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        ‘Anyway, Scrooge—happy ending…Scrooge-like existence myself’

        – Not implying Mr Redwood is Scrooge—the opposite.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      ‘Yes! and the bedpost was his own. The bed was his own, the room was his own. Best and happiest of all, the Time before him was his own, to make amends in!
      “I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future!” Scrooge repeated, as he scrambled out of bed. “The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. Oh Jacob Marley! Heaven, and the Christmas Time be praised for this! I say it on my knees, old Jacob; on my knees!”
      – Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

      “I don’t know what to do!” cried Scrooge, laughing and crying in the same breath; and making a perfect Laocoön of himself with his stockings. “I am as light as a feather, I am as happy as an angel, I am as merry as a schoolboy. I am as giddy as a drunken man. A merry Christmas to everybody! A happy New Year to all the world. Hallo here! Whoop! Hallo!”

      – Lastly, don’t forget, in the Prodigal Son, the father (representing God and us when we forgive others), ‘runs’ to the son. Now i know from scripture study that the prodigal son was justn’t bad, he was a real, shameful scoundrel (worse than Scrooge). But his father doesn’t just forgive him, he ‘runs’ to him (which would have been considered very undignified in Jewish culture in this context). And then what does he say. ‘Let’s have a party!’

      The spirit of Christmas Carol captures this brilliantly including the scoundrel whose being forgiven and what that is like—exactly how I felt:
      ‘light as a feather’
      ‘happy as an angel’
      ‘merry as a schoolboy’
      ‘giddy as a drunken man’

      Don’t mean to talk about myself. And nothing special about me. But just trying to share an experience that really happened, and that ties in with Christmas Carol and The Prodigal Son, and why our country would benefit profoundly from Christianity if people took it more seriously.

    • Newmania
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Of course it does .

  6. Nig l
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Comment please on how you will deal with all those amendments, from your own side, Nicky Morgan, Soubry etc, all big Remainers claiming it us all about parliamentary transparency etc but actually trying to delay/stop it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Almost all of the amendments are designed as grit to cause the Brexit engine to grind to a halt, but some, a few, do have a kind of point which the government could accept and agree to incorporate into the Bill.

    • Hope
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Both of whom got elected by the skin of their teeth. Proper Tories do not want them.

    • stred
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      Ken Clarke has got together with some Labour quislings to propose that unless the two- year delay, while upholding EU law and regulations and paying Barnier’s demands, goes ahead, then the Bill will fail. Will the Conservatives fight the next election with these MPs such as Morgan and Soubry as candidates? At the last one the Remainers were all re-selected by pro-Remain head office. Do you want the Marxists to ruin this country? I see Mrs May chose to have a dead female feminist Marxist on her wrist during her funny speech, or was this a bad dream.

      • APL
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        stred: “Ken Clarke has got together with some Labour quislings ”

        Surely, in this case, Clarke is the Quisling??

        But to be fair to Clarke, he hasn’t changed his spots.

        In the UK we need a Steve Bannon, who can help clear out the Tory traitors, it shouldn’t take too long, we know who they are.

        The result might be a Tory party a patriot could vote for.

  7. Oggy
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Excellent summing up JR, you should send this to the BBC and other EU grovelling main stream media.

  8. oldtimer
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    What you say is true. But that said both face fractious coalitions and with them uncertain futures.

    Both have to decide if money (with future economic well being) trump’s politics (asserting the supremacy of the UK or EU respectively). The scope for miscalculation by either side is huge. At the moment it seems to me that Brexit clearly was a political statement to take back control (despite project fear). At the moment, it seems to me, that money (in the form of inordinate demands from the EU) drives Merkel’s so far unrelenting stance as the EU’s paymaster. On past form Merkel has a record of miscalculation (rather like Mrs May). I see no reason why that should change.

    Given the so far negative response to the Florence speech the chances of no deal must be high. Both leaders are in a weak position to exert their will over their respective parties and partners. It is unclear who will provide the decisive influence in resolving the current impasse.

    PS The Florence speech went further than I am happy with as a basis for a deal. I note that project fear is alive and kicking again. It will only serve to do great damage to the UK interest.

  9. Jason Wells
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Don’t understand why JR goes on about the German elections and Mrs Merkel so much?
    We voted to leave and so most of us have absolutely no interest in German politics..just wonder why JR goes on so much about them?

    As far as the miserable DUP is concerned, they were pro brexiteers just to be different from Sinn Fein and also to show slavish loyalty to the Tory right wing but they won’t have much to crow about at the next elections in NI when their own Unionist Loyalist farmers will roast them alive for being so short sighted and when they start to lose their CAP payments.

    Reply The UK will put in its own farming subsidies

    • rose
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:05 am | Permalink

      Nothing slavish about the DUP. They are the last truly principled party left. And nothing slavish about the way they stood up to being shot and bombed in their youth.

      • rose
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

        PS we have every interest in what happens on the Continent as we are Europeans. If only the BBC etc understood that. We never get any proper coverage of the Continent, only America which they are obsessed by and love going to on expenses.

        • John C.
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

          Thoroughly agree. Despite being so strongly in favour of the E.U. their reporting of what actually happens across the Channel is very sketchy.
          By the way, what would happen if Mrs May ticked the “I’m not a robot” box?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

      I suppose John is just providing some balance to stories in the UK media like the one I saw today that the German government is worried about the weakness of May’s government and whether they will be able to make agreements stick. The obvious flaw in this is that there ISN’T actually a German government at the moment because Merkel hasn’t yet managed to cobble together a coalition between assorted disparate minority parties (like her own) and there is no agreement amongst them yet on what policies they will follow.

      • Tasman
        Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:17 am | Permalink

        You make a very good point, Roy. Mrs May and Mr Davis are severely handicapped in their negotiations because everyone in the continent can see and read that people like Redwood and Rees-Mogg and Johnson are undermining them at every step .

        • rose
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

          If you read the Government papers and Mrs May’s speeches on the EU you will see that the gentlemen you mention are reinforcing her position: it is the Chancellor, the Home Secretary, the Cabinet Secretary, the Governor of the Bank of England and other powerful people, past and present, who are undermining her – and us.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          Merkel has pro and anti EU factions in the German new Govt too.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Monsieur Jason, we can replace them easily from our tariff bonanza 😀💪


    • JoolsB
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: I’m sure the UK Government will go out of their way to make sure NI (and Scotland and Wales) will not lose out re. Cap thanks to the generosity they will bestow on them via English taxes. But no doubt, if present and past form by this Tory Government is anything to go by, England will come last in the pecking order when it comes to farming subsidies or anything else for that matter post Brexit. That’s probably because the Scots, Welsh & NI will be able to make their own decisions whereas as usual, only the UK Government full of it’s self serving MPs will know what’s best for England.

    • Fred
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      No, thAt is wrong. Profe Minford has made clear there will be no farming subsidies. Free trade is the plan, please do not object to that mr redwood

  10. agricola
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    In the EU one is dealing with a wounded animal in many respects. Merkel on the wane, Macron in the ascendency, but only in his own mind. The French don’t seem to see it that way. Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary at odds with the EU over immigration. Austria possibly about to elect a right wing government. Spain suffering internal strife. EU and particularly the Italian banking system in serious trouble. Greece no doubt awaiting the next handout. Above all the very real prospect of being £12 billion short in their budget from March 2019 onwards. An expression comes to mind on the impossibility of herding cats.

    My advice to David Davis and his team is to have a generous plan for EU citizens working or retired in the UK and vice versa. A workable electronic border between NI and Ireland that is barrier and flow free. The hard border being at Welsh, Scottish and English points of entry but even that can be electronic for goods. Then sit tight on all else until the EU are prepared to discuss future trade arrangements. They will slowly work out where their interest lie.

    • John C.
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      Davis and co. are not discussing anything with the E.U. They are simply being told what to do by 2 or 3 Brussels bureaucrats who have the simple mandate to punish us as a warning. Are our chaps discussing fishing with Spain or washing machines with Italy or cheese imports with Holland? No, no, no.

  11. Mark B
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I think our kind host is comparing apples to oranges again.

    The German system is not the same as ours and does not, by design, lead to majority governments. The fact that Chancellor Merkel cannot form a strong majority is because the German Left of Centre Party, the SPD, have decided to become official opposition to stop the AFD from taking that role. Hence why she is in the situation that she is in. She is not weakened providing the SPD can assure her of a, ‘Supply and Confidence’ vote on certain key issues, similar to that supplied to the Conservative Party with the DUP.

    In terms of objectives the UK GE is a little more complicated and highly debatable depending what position, out of so many, you wish to take. For example:

    The Labour Party did not succeed in getting a majority or enough seats to form a government in coalition with others. Clearly on that count, they lost. But Jeremy Corbyn clearly won because he did better that even his own critics in his party thought. Hence he is still party leader.

    The Conservative Party did indeed win the election. They got the most seats, vote share and their party leader stays in office and at Number 10 – at least for now. But they lost their majority when clearly they set out to increase it. On this, and this alone, it is fair to say they lost since the main objective was not achieved, or why hold an election in the first place ?

    The only winner I can see out of all this is, President Macron and France. Why ? Because ever since France dropped the ball and let Germany and Chancellor Merkel make all the running, they have been lead a long like reluctant French Poodle on EU and other matters and now, at last, have the chance to steal it back.

    With so many French people living and working in the UK, I think a deal that settles French and UK concerns would be far better. And I understand that the next round of talks involves the naming of certain products – eg Champagne. I personally think this is a matter for trade talks ‘after’ we have left the EU, unless someone can convince the UK negotiating team otherwise 😉

    Sorry for the long post. But I have just one a day and :

    a) keep to the subject in question
    b) do not put up multiple posts, usually about something unconnected
    c) repeat that what I have said umpteen times before.


    • John C.
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      Interesting idea that Corbyn won because nobody held any hope for him.

  12. brian
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    The UK media are only interested in “clicks” and emphasise only the antics of pranksters.

  13. Jack snell
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    So who’s been priming the DUP…could it possibly be Michael Gove?

    It’s hard to believe the DUP by themselves are so concerned about Hammond

    • rose
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Why would they not be? They are highly intelligent and independent minded people. they can see what is going on even if other people can’t or won’t.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      It’s a good job someone is standing up to him.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Dear Jack–Brexit not Hammond

  14. Anonymous
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It’s the sour Kuenssberg face that determines the political mood here – not the numbers.

  15. Yossarion
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” ― George Orwell, 1984

  16. formula57
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    So in terms of election results, Merkel did less well than May who in turn did less well than Macron. But who has more authority?

    • rose
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      The Conservatives did better than Macron and En Marche. Look at the figures, including the turnout

  17. Lifelogic
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    John McDonnell on Marr just now said of the EU bill if it is legally due we will pay it. Hopefully he will take the same approach if (heaven forbid) he ever gets into office and start confiscating and devaluing other people’s assets all over the place. I doubt he will, indeed he would not have the money to do so as it will largely have fled.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      And apparently the lawyers employed by the UK government could give a definitive view on the UK ‘s liabilities, which will not depend on a) whether or not there is any agreement between the UK and the EU, or b) what the EU claims.

      As far as a) is concerned, the preponderance of legal opinion is that unless the UK agrees otherwise with the EU it will have zero legal liability on leaving, while as far as b) is concerned the EU will fabricate the highest bid that it thinks has some chance of succeeding, which would be much higher if Labour was in government.

  18. Prigger
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    We hear more now about EU politicians and EU nation-state politicians than we ever did prior to the Referendum. People can barely recognise more than three or four elected Labour politicians and couldn’t give a bratwurst about German ones.
    Die Linke led by Katja Kipping and Bernd Riexinger is the German equivalent of the Labour Party, I believe.Yes, I had to look up their names too. We know nothing about them in the same degree that our Labour Party knows nothing about economics.

  19. Duncan
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Merkel’s weakness is an opportunity for the UK. Her personal and her party’s rating is at a nadir. With this in mind we need the Tories to remain firm on the EU referendum result. We must be seen to be honouring the wishes of the people. Maintaining that trust is absolutely essential.

    I have just seen the Stalinst McDonnell on the Marr show. He’d take any deal the EU offered which essentially translates into the UK never leaving the EU. This is a policy stance in direct contradiction to the stance of many traditional Labour voters who voted to leave the EU in 2015.

    This conflict between the Labour party and its core vote on the EU is a massive opportunity for the Tories. The Tories must grasp it with both hands.

    Vote Conservative and we will leave the EU. Vote Labour and your referendum vote will be betrayed by Labour

    • rose
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      I think McDonell wants to come out but not until he has secured that remainiac vote. Listen carefully to what he says.

  20. Keiring hell
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    The likes of John McDonnell ( Labour ) is more important than Merkel. I saw him on the Marr Show today and he will say absolutely anything however daft. He says “Asset managers want a planned economy”.He says he “talked to them” . He sounds like the old Colonel in Fawlty Towers ” I met a woman… once…I didn’t like her.”

    • Mitchel
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Mc Donnell is actually reasonably correct – Big Finance does like the planned economy.Google “Financial Capitalism vs Industrial Capitalism” by Prof Michael Hudson;it may open your eyes.

  21. Tabulazero
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    80% of the German voters voted for a pro-EU party. That’s the political reality Mrs Merkel has to contend with.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

      In the last UK election 80% of votes went to parties in favour of leaving the EU.

      Parties promoting the policy of remaining in the EU lost votes.

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      So what for us?


  22. Keiring hell
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    My typing spelling, grammar and words in Comment often change the moment I click Post Comment.

  23. graham1946
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    Mrs. May had to buy her majority with money from the magic money tree which she said din’t exist and which we (not the Tory Party) will have to pay back. If there was more sense in the political class a coalition should surely have been invoked which is what the result tells us the people voted for with no party having a majority to do its lunatic schemes unhindered and which is what is happening in Germany.

    Mrs. Merkel may not be able to offer decisive leadership because of numbers, whereas Mrs. May cannot offer decisive leadership because of dithering.

  24. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    But I think Angela Merkel may have one advantage over Theresa May, namely that she will not have almost all of the German mass media including the broadcasters, and aligned with most of the so-called civil society in Germany, determined to wage an incessant, intensive propaganda campaign against the most important policy of her government in an attempt to prevent its implementation. And once again I ask when the government, and in particular David Davis’s Department for Exiting the European Union, will start to hit back hard at those who are campaigning to prevent or dilute Brexit, and rebut at least some of the utter garbage which is being pumped out day after day by anti-democratic Remoaners.

    • Hope
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

      Dennis, is he allowed? Look at how Johnson is slapped down by May but Hammond allowed to go on a wrecking spree.

      Everything Johnson wrote was in govt policy, this was not true with Hammond or Carney interventions, May was silent which in itself speaks volumes.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

        Yes, one could wonder whether he has been told to let the Remoaners have free rein and do nothing to keep the public behind government policy.

  25. Tasman
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Anyone who imagines that the May-Merkel exchanges are significant has not the first clue about what is going on. Mrs Merkel has many things to worry about that are a lot more important to her than Brexit. She has left Brexit to Barnier. It is the UK’s exchanges with Barnier that matter. And, as Barnier keeps saying, the clock is ticking

    • Hope
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      If May was serious about no deal being better than a bad deal she would have walked by now not offered keeping the UK in the EU for another two years, paying billions of our taxes, allowing a foreign court to rule over citizens living in this country. That sound and is a bad deal to me when we voted leave by 19/03/2019.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      As you’re so impressed by what Michel Barnier says now maybe you should have a look at what he said about the benefits of the EU Single Market here:

      “20 years of the European Single Market”

      The most interesting claims were on page 13, under

      “Main Macroeconomic achievements and impact”:

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

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

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

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

        Your last paragraph/sentence can be discussed: I would argue that past the increase in prices linked to the adoption of euro, for a continental person the increase in intra-EU goods trade had a positive impact. If anything the development of Lidl and Aldi all over Europe has helped keep food prices down by strengthening the competition between food outlets, the possibility for any continental to buy their car(s) in euros across largely non-existing borders was a very big plus and a lot of continentals benefitted from it, as seen for example with French people buying their German cars (VW, but also more expensive ones) from Belgium-based dealers.
        Similarly it has been with some leisure activities, e.g., the cruise market, where continentals (and Brits in the know) have been able to check prices across borders to get their cruises more easily at the lowest prices.
        It might not have made all continental EU inhabitants more prosperous, but some have certainly been.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 18, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

          The fact remains that according to the EU Commission itself the huge economic benefits of the EU Single Market amount to about 2% added to EU collective GDP; but even that small benefit is not evenly spread and by another study it is only half of that for the UK.

      • hefner
        Posted October 17, 2017 at 7:30 am | Permalink

        Ah, ah. This time, not simply more than a 24 hours delay in posting my little contribution but “censorship” by JR (Sic transit gloria mundi).
        How low can one fall?

    • Tabulazero
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:43 am | Permalink

      Frankly, Barnier is said to be far keener to get a deal done than Macron or Merkel. A successful negotiation means a shot at Junker’s job.

      It’s quite ironical to see how much flak he takes from the Brexiteers while he may be their best advocate.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Barnier only represents the views of the heads of governments of the 27 members.
      If he cannot negotiate a deal he will be told to alter his current attitude.
      Germany will drive this change if Merkel feels a deal is in her political interest.

    • rose
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      If Brexit is not important to her, why has she put so many spanners in the works, and why is she holding out for so much money?

    • zorro
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      The sooner it ticks to 2359 on 31/03/2019 the better 😀😀


    • Roy Grainger
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

      You are wrong. Barnier has no scope at all to negotiate because he has been given very narrow parameters by Merkel and the national leaders. This will change later – for example when Merkel’s fishermen ask her about her campaign promise to them that they will retain access to UK waters.

  26. Epikouros
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    One difference Merkel is a leader that has an intellect, experience and a track record of making decisions that right or wrong that are acted upon. The same cannot be said of Theresa May has never done anything to indicate her worth except avoid criticism. The same is happening on Brexit she is showing no leadership no doubt hoping that whatever happens she will not take the blame if it is not popular but accept the praise if it is. I cannot see Merkel changing her stance on Brexit whatever the future German coalition looks like. Regardless of the election results whilst T May is prime minister the UK has the weaker hand.

    • Original Richard
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      “One difference Merkel is a leader that has an intellect, experience and a track record of making decisions that right or wrong that are acted upon.”

      Mrs. Merkel and Germany have been without an opposition as a result of her party (CDU/CSU) being in a coalition with the next largest party, the SPD.

      A situation akin to a coalition of the Conservative and Labour Parties.

      A quite ridiculous and undemocratic political stitch-up that left the country without an effective opposition to hold the government to account.

      No wonder Mrs. Merkel was free to make disastrous decisions such the one to invite millions of unchecked migrants from the Middle East and Africa into Germany/Europe.

  27. Tad Davison
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    But that is an inconvenient truth that doesn’t quite fit in with the picture the doom mongers wish to portray.

    Theirs is to peddle a pessimistic narrative at a time when everyone needs to be upbeat about our future and see the fantastic opportunity we presently have to move this nation forward. They are so blinkered and myopic, they cannot see any other way than the EU way, so it must have been a great shock to them to see the gains others are making, and away from the liberal philosophy of their beloved ‘Mutti’ (although personally, I would drop the last letter).

    The EU is creaking. It is festering from within. It is not delivering for its people who are struggling to free themselves from under its undemocratic and somewhat authoritarian heel. Yet still its adherents refuse to see it. And even that supposed doyen of fairness and civil rights, Hilary Clinton, extols the EU’s dubious virtues as if it the best thing since sliced bread. The fact that the EU has actually taken the bread from the mouths of many millions of people right across the continent must have passed her by.

    I smell a rat. Another stitch-up by the liberal elite that would see them continue to keep ordinary people down and themselves in positions of power and influence. Let us hope people continue with their reawakening and Merkel’s reversals continue to happen.

    Tad Davison


    • Oggy
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ted,
      Could be another bloody nose for the EU today as conservative Sebastian Kurz looks to have been elected in Austria who says he will close Austria to further illegal migration. It is also suggested he may go into coalition with the even further right party. Mr Juncker will be having an extra drink (or two) tonight.

  28. Attila on ship
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Whatever you feel about the AfD, at least they sound different from all other parties in Germany. The broadly green “we dun bad with the war” leftie-liberal mantra makes German politics appear artificial. I believe it is artificial. Germans think and tell me one thing and to a man vote for what I conclude they believe the world wishes them to vote not what they actually believe. I do not sense a settled love of the EU. They appear more critical than ourselves, seeing their money propping up Greece and making iffy deals with Turkey. I have not found an acceptance of migration. The British media showing endless photos of odd facially affected fixed smile German women stood at railway stations with signs ( written in English) “Refugees Welcome ” seem more to reassure the West and the East (!) about their reformed non-nazi, non-racist sentiments than the reality of public opinion. Eventually, I feel, they’ll vote for what they actually believe in, it’ll be AfD. But as a landslide.

  29. rose
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    We hear the shock horror news from Germany that “Herr Seehofer is treating her like a little girl!” Well about time.

    We also read in the Investors Chronicle, not known for fake news, that there may have to be a second election.

  30. BertD
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Don’t know why we are so concerned about mrs merkel..her power in EU matters is not the same as it was before the german elections. We voted to leave so we should walk away with no deal..we did not vote to leave and then to join again in some other way.
    It’s time to be mindful of what Michael Gove said “the people have had enough of experts”

    • hefner
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      Has JR become an expert on German matters?

      • John C.
        Posted October 16, 2017 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

        I cannot imagine why he allows such sarcastic, unhelpful sneers to be published. If you disagree with him, look at the facts he published and point out of them are wrong.

  31. MPC
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Presumably you are implying that Mrs Merkel has been weakened such that she’ll pressure the EC to be more flexible in the Brexit talks – pointing out to them that German exporters will suffer under ‘No Deal’ tariffs. I don’t think so as the Commission simply does not respond to such requests – as those of us who’ve had to work with the EC well know.

    I agree with those contributors to your site who want us to talk up the benefits of No Deal and call it something more appropriate. Perhaps something like the Conventional Option, being akin to how other non EU nations trade and operate with the EU (and not within a ‘deep and special partnership’ which the EC interprets as a sign of weakness). This would surely put the self appointed philosopher kings such as Clegg and Branson firmly on the back foot.

  32. Bert Young
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Comparing the election results in Germany with the UK is rational ; the results in both countries determine whether or not a decisive political programme can follow . In Germany there is no doubt that its former policy on immigration was a mistake ; in this country it had a major influence on the Brexit result . Merkel is now faced with the dilemma of how she can create some sort of coalition to keep going forwards ; here Theresa did just that with the DUP .
    Merkel will have to make many concessions now and Theresa is in the same boat . Uncertainty in both countries play into the media hands and give them opportunities of expression that mislead the public and disrupt the implementation of direction and control . I abhor this situation and pray that something or someone will emerge and re-create trust ; when this happens we will all gain from its stabilising influence .

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    I’ve just been watching the Robert Peston Sunday programme and I was shocked to hear from Keir Starmer that leaving the EU without a deal would be the end of co-operation on counter-terrorism. The Tory MP Nicky Morgan was a guest in the studio and I wondered whether she would dismiss that as complete nonsense but she didn’t, instead she agreed with Robert Peston that leaving without a deal would mean the immediate end of all flights between the UK and the EU countries. Apparently public opinion is shifting strongly against leaving the EU, that was said by Andrew Marr as well as Robert Peston, and apparently leaving the EU without a deal would be an economic catastrophe for the UK, and nobody on the TV programmes contradicted either of those propositions. So I thought I would look to see what the Rapid Rebuttal Unit in the Department for Exiting the European Union had to say, maybe on twitter; but of course there is no Rapid Rebuttal Unit, and the Remoaners are still being allowed to get away with any rubbish they like without any fear of contradiction, presumably because David Davis can’t be bothered to organise a small group of his hundreds of civil servants to perform that role.

    • Nig l
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Yes it’s pathetic. Can you imagine big bad Al Campbell taking this, JR writes beautifully crafted pieces and debates cleverly but the Leave side needs a couple of heavyweight bruisers plus your aforementioned rebuttal unit.

      Knock knock. jR. Is there anyone listening out there?

      Incidentally the NHS came out top of an international poll recently. Anybody hear the sound of trumpet blowing.

    • Oggy
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

      Hi Dennis,
      I’d also noticed a lack of response to all this scaremongering being spewed out by the remoaners, it’s increased in amount since talk of a no deal became a reality earlier in the week. Lots of remainiac plotting going on behind the scenes methinks. Including ………….

      a post I did earlier about a ‘no deal – no exit’ amendment being added to the EU withdrawal bill and it’s contradiction to the A50 terms which I would have liked to hear your views on but our host didn’t allow it through.

      I see Mrs May and DD are going to Brussels tomorrow to meet Messrs Junker and Barnier, I suppose the only question is how big is the bung they are going to offer the EU !

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:11 am | Permalink

      I just don’t think they realise the damage to our trust and faith in our institutions and political representatives, great long-term damage is being done. Headlines like “Britains Missing Billions”.“Half a trillion pounds has gone missing. This is equivalent to 25pc of GDP,” said Mark Capleton, UK rates strategist at Bank of America.” Who is responsible for this miscalculation – if you’ve lost half a trillion pounds then you all need sacking so I suggest you find it.

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    And now I’ve watched the Labour politician Barry Gardiner saying that after leaving the EU we will need a transition period during which nothing will change from the current position, and the government has now come round to agreeing with his party on this, and this idiocy went unchallenged …


    “The process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.”


    “A period during which nothing changes from the original state or condition”

    There are words which describe the latter, including “stasis”, but not “transition”.

    And yet again I check to see whether David Davis’s department has had anything to say about this asinine argument from Labour – maybe at least clarifying that the government does not in fact agree with Labour that after we have left the EU there should be a period of change during which nothing changes – but of course they have nothing to say, probably too busy tucking into nice Sunday lunches with decent wines.

    As you may be able to tell, JR, I am now getting mightily peed off with a Department for Exiting the European Union which simply can’t be bothered to defend the government policy upon which the very existence of the department depends.

    • rose
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      I couldn’t agree more with you on the Rapid Rebuttal Unit. Unfortunately, the Cabinet Secretary and the Chancellor almost certainly don’t agree with us and without them it won’t be established.

  35. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Crikey, some French bloke says on TV that if there had to be further changes to the port of Calais after Brexit then they could cost 20 – 30 million more than is already being spent on making improvements, and that would be a big problem.

    I’ve just done a quick google to get some idea of the monetary value of the trade flowing through Calais, and have found it described as “our £100 billion trade route”:

    Taking that as accurate, apparently this huge potential problem at Calais would need extra expenditure equivalent to say 0.03% of the value of the annual traffic.

    I think that’s it really, obviously we should cancel Brexit …

    • Carlah
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      Nonsense, you rosbifs never stop complaining. As soon as you leave EU we will dismantle Calais as we will have little need for it then as a port. You can ship whatever goods you have by WTO rules through Rotterdam or Antwerp. Bye bye

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        Pity about all those French exports to the UK which are presently being moved through Calais, they will have a longer trip. Enjoy it.

  36. Nig l
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Janet Daley in the Torygraph has it spot on with her article about us being fed up with insolent Remainers drumming up false anxieties about Brexit. Now purportedly Amber Rudd is trying to save the Chancellor. Why I wonder? Surely nothing to do with the fact that her sympathies are with Remain and he is doing their job to perfection?

    • Fred
      Posted October 15, 2017 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      Well, the Leavers said the EU would have caved in by now. Have they?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:27 am | Permalink

        References please.

  37. ian
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Never was a fan of the repeal bill, always thought going back to 1972 laws would be better. with more court cases to determine the laws with parliament intervening if needed. The problem is MPs do not want to do the work, especially con party MPs/ because it would interfere with the running of their own businesses and other commitments. A lot of them would leave right away if this was the case, but now the repeal bill going to be used to stop the no deal option/ and without a no deal option there are no options. It only by having a no deal option or the walk away option which will bring the UK a good deal at the table with speed. Mrs May should bring forward a law in parliament to stop any more interference on the no deal option, outlaw any talks on Brexit in parliament, to a deal is done. It, not parliament business anyway, it the peoples business. The repeal bill can be brought in after you leave the EU if needed.

  38. jack Snell
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    It’s nothing to do with Merkel any more- she has her own problems, the French are not in any mood to help either so that leaves the way clear for Junker and Barnier with Verhofstadt in the background, and as long as we are arguing amongst ourselves then our bargaining position is greatly reduced as we will see at the EU Council meeting on Friday?
    Makes you wonder what the DUP has got to do with anything?

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Just to get it in before the North/Booker repeaters appear – the EU classifies Norway as a “third country”, that dreaded fate is not to be avoided by staying in the EEA.

  40. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    The opposites you talk about remind me of Manchester where if one wants to go into management, they put you back to the very start, if someone is good at their job, they are sneered at and the message that goes out is that they are rubbish, if they are slow on the uptake and cannot see a con, then they are good.!

  41. acorn
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Having spent the last week in Dubai talking to people (GITEX), I am not holding out much hope for our post Brexit global trade bonanza. Most there seem to think the UK is committing economic suicide. Most seem to think their governments are not going to screw up deals with the EU, to do the UK a favour for old times sake.

    The Brits were there but not nearly enough of them, considering the parlous state of the Conservative “austeritised” UK economy. The UK actually has a head start in the UAE. A lot of its government systems are based on UK systems, they even use the same 13 Amp sockets. A lot of Brits actually run things there.

    BTW. If you hear a UK politician say the “UK will be a world leader in digital something or other”, ignore it, consider it a North Korean style statement.

  42. Mick
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 5:55 pm | Permalink
    Am I the only one sick to the back teeth of the total bias of the eu loving BBC , you can bet your bottom dollar that every time there going to have a debate or so on the BBC that it’s going to be one sided, mind you other channels and papers are just as bad, bring on March 2019 and a General Election and hopefully we the voter can kick into touch all the eu loving anti British MPs and get rid of BBC

  43. LenD
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    JR you’re such a dope, we’re not negotiating with Mrs Merkel but with the EU and since we voted to leave that is what we should do. We did not vote to have new deals with the EU, instead we understood and were promised that we would have new global deals with countries overseas. So why go on about german elections and mrs merkel?

  44. Monza 71
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    The biggest problem with Mrs May’s government it its absolutely appalling record on defending itself and its policies.

    They never seem to come out and refute the accusations against them made by Labour or anyone else, nor do they make any response to Juncker or Verhofstat these days when they tell blatant lies.

    Put simply, Mrs May takes every opportunity to loose the argument.
    Do they have a PR department at all ?

    If they do they should all be sacked and replaced. They should take a lesson from the Blair Government which had the media under control and a rapid response was made to anything and everything.

    By comparison, the record of this government is as dire as it’s possible to be.

    This morning we heard O’Donnell on the Marr programme say with a straight face that Labour would deal with whatever financial mess the Conservatives left them.

    We all fell about laughing

    Had the Conservatives responded by the lunchtime news with chapter and verse on Labour’s record ?

    Of course not !!!! So Labour wins yet another argument by default.

    Youngsters are flocking to Corbyn because they have no idea of the disastrous economic record of every Labour Government since the war. They won’t find out about it unless the Conservatives make sure they hear about it – often.

    Corbyn might not have enough seats to win the next election outright but he’s well on the way towards a governing coalition with Sturgeon.

    That would be an even bigger disaster than Labour governing alone !!!

    Get off your collective backsides now and get in there fighting and campaigning

  45. Prigger
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Young Labour, The UK Labour Party’s youth section ages 14-26 has passed a motion to leave NATO on the basis amongst others that its Head (has political views they don’t like ed). The Head of NATO is Jens Stoltenberg a former Norwegian Labour Party leader. You can see where Corbyn gets his strength and popular support

  46. Prigger
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    If a Briton fighting with the Kurds, and a Briton fighting with the Iraqis, simultaneously shoot and kill each other, will Mrs May invite their Mums and Dads to Downing Street for a nice cup of tea and a beef meat paste sandwich made posh by cutting it triangularly and then praise their fighting for their Country or, say how we need better education with Grammar schools? She is right in a way of course.

  47. Peter
    Posted October 15, 2017 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    I think comparing Theresa May’s electoral result with Angela Merkel’s is not particularly useful.

    As others above have already pointed out there enormous forces against Brexit in this country some of them Conservatives.

    The EU have taken a stance of doing nothing just delaying and denying on trade talks.

    Britain needs to drive Brexit forward. Sadly there are a lot of obstacles in the way.

  48. Prigger
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    I wonder if Mr Speaker will ban Austria’s new leader Sebastian Kurz . He hasn’t done anything bad either.

  49. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Mrs. Merkel has already amended her relationship with the CSU, which is significantly more solid than the relationship with teh DUP

    • rose
      Posted October 16, 2017 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      She has reached an unwilling accommodation with the CSU which will not endear her to the Greens. There may have to be either a minority government or a new election.

  50. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 16, 2017 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    Many of your supporters on this website are mystified by your bizarre support of May. Quite obviously, she can’t run a government, keep a cabinet united, stick to a clear policy or run an election campaign. She has the leadership skills of Aethelred the Unready, and commands about as much loyalty. So just what is it that you find so admirable about her? I think I have the answer: she’s uttered the magic words ‘No deal is better than a bad deal’.

  • 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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