Simple negotiating

I am glad the government is going full ahead with showing how the WTO option can work for the UK, and will do what it takes to make sure we trade and do business after March 2019 if there is no deal. That is a sensible contingency plan, as well as a good negotiating strategy.

It is quite clear from the different tone of remarks coming from Mrs Merkel, the Commission and elsewhere within the EU that they are very worried at just how popular the WTO model is with many UK voters. Brexit voters understand that this model delivers us full control over all our money from March 2019 with no additional payments, full control over all our laws including the laws transferred from the EU with the end of all ECJ jurisdiction, and full national control of our borders from day one out of the EU. That is what we wanted from Brexit. That is what “taking back control” was all about.

The wider partnership agreement that the UK wants mainly revolves around adding a free trade agreement to that list of advantages from simple exit. The debate is going to be over how much damage should we allow to the many advantages of just leaving in order to secure that free trade agreement. Some seem to think it is worth billions in extra payments, and worth keeping some ECJ involvement. I don’t agree.

I suggest the government starts from a different perspective. It should remind the EU that a deal will only be acceptable if it is indeed better than the WTO “no deal” option. That does not leave  scope for giving money away we do not owe, or for accepting continuing EU jurisdiction. So first secure the WTO choice, then I suspect the EU will be more willing to seek tariff free trade which we know it wants. We do not need to pay to trade, especially when it is much more import than export. We certainly do mot need to pay for talks.

Some say we do need a transition period after we have left. There is sufficient time to put in place all that is needed to conduct our EU trade on the same basis as we currently conduct our non EU trade under WTO rules before we leave. That should be the government’s overriding practical aim for the next seventeen months. We will only need some implementation period beyond March 2019 if we have an Agreement reached late in the negotiations that requires something different from WTO border arrangements.

I am receiving numerous messages to get on with Brexit and keep to the March 2019 deadline to leave.




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  1. Lifelogic
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    Exactly right.

    Patrick Minford is exactly right on this issue. It is more in the EU’s interests (also certain vested business interests) to have a deal, but we do not need one and should plan for none. The cost of living in the UK should decline by circa 8% as prices fall to world levels and we remove the input tariffs, rather than suffer the over priced EU levels.

    They can fall further when we move (as we should) to a far smaller state sector, far lower & simpler taxes, a bonfire of red tape, cheap on demand energy, relaxed planning and easy hire and fire. It is hard to see us getting this with Corbyn light and McDonnell light in nos 10 and 11. Let us hope the budget is not as dire and damaging as I fully expect it to be.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      I doubt Mr Redwood knows too little about WTO rules, economics and the actual circumstances of businesses in the UK to make apparently better informed remarks. This must clearly be yet another example of pandering to the insufficiently informed.

      Clearly, the EU’s historically aware officials and especially the heads of government of the leading EU members, must be torn between two ideas: One, to grasp this opportunity offered by a vocal minority of the Conservative Party to finally get rid of a member with a reputation for exceptionalism and disloyalty and Two: to retain and in as far as possible, educate, facilitate and ultimately, assimilate a fellow European country with historically strong economic and cultural ties to its neighbours: The Irish Republic and the riparian states of the North Sea, Channel and Atlantic.

      The Referendum decision and subsequent events in Britain can give (prospective) treaty partners only one message: this is a United Kingdom unable to commit itself to anything of importance that could become the object of mob rage tomorrow, because the mob is too intimidating for those who claim to be governing.

      Hence it would make sense for them, given that there are another 18 months to go before the separation becomes effective and irreversible, to do little, be charitable to the poor woman who wanted to be PM and make no mistakes negotiating. A simple task.

      • NickC
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Rien, If you want to swap your national democracy for rule by unelected EU “officials” you go for it. I don’t see much practical difference between Funk’s and Juncker’s plans for a continental trading bloc dominated by Germany. It didn’t work in the past, but you might be lucky this time.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      One of the joys of reading Prof Minford’s suggestions is to look at some of the consequences, for instance the effect on the financial position of the 60% of UK households with a mortgage. An 8% fall in the cost of living (simplistically) would probably go hand in hand with a commensurate fall in labour incomes (not to mention the farmers and manufacturers who would have to compete with the cheaper imports that would cause the fall in the price level. Suddenly a fair percentage of those mortgages would become problematic. Likewise, house prices might very well (with a lag of course) fall as well. Of course those would be merely adjustment problems and in his model Minford has (inevitably) an equilibrium situation where prices stabilize, earnings recover, farmers and manufacturers find alternavive sources of income. Or maybe, just wither away.

      • Edward2
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps movements in the floating currency in the UK will ease your fears of these things happening.

      • Hope
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

        Utter tosh. Worry about yourselves not us. If you were not concerned you would not write scare stories. Try publishing you might be able to earn a living from it in Eastern Europe.

  2. Lifelogic
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:22 am | Permalink

    Any Questions Yesterday had, as usual, a collection of dire lefty remoaners. The BBC seem always to have either 4:1, 5:1 or a full house of them.

    Hilary Benn MP, the CBI’s Carolyn Fairbairn, and the totally potty Anna Soubry this time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      Plus invariably the presenters are lefty, PC, climate alarmist, arts graduate, remainers too. Do the BBC employ anyone front of screen who is not? Andrew Neil perhaps. He at least is fair, competent and middle of the road, but even he seems to be used rather less now.

      • rose
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

        He was got rid of from several programmes when the “gender pay” row blew up. John Smith’s daughter Sarah is now in his place. She has a deep Scottish voice but it is not the same.

      • Collie Dog
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Oh please no more Andrew Neil. BBC This Week is not half as funny as it thinks it is. As a politico I loved it but it is just nonsense now. It is not clever journalism to say “I understand that but…” then vomit up something out of context a politician said twenty years ago. Twenty years ago my ex-wife told me she loved me. She now says she was an idiot. She still is.

        • NickC
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          Collie, Politicians can change their minds like everyone else. But unless they openly admit their previous views were wrong, it is perfectly valid to highlight what they said twenty years ago. Not just valid but necessary – in order to highlight hypocrisy, fraud, and irrationality.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted October 23, 2017 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

            Indeed John Major, Ken Clark all the Libdims on the ERM/EURO etc….. all these spring to mind.

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic, A close acquaintance was invited on a FiveLive program. There were 3 Remains, and 2 lukewarm Leaves who sounded like Remains to me. Only she stood up for taking back control. The BBC praised itself for balance on that program!

      The BBC is institutionally incapable of seeing its own bias. Out of prejudice it called the Referendum incorrectly. It is self evidently not serving half its customers. One solution that approaches the pay-to-view model, is for the TV Tax to only be required for watching the BBC. Other providers to charge how they see fit.

      • Bob
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 8:37 am | Permalink

        There is a debate in Parliament on Mon 20th Nov. about abolishing TV Licencing. This is something that is long overdue in the digital age.

        Our police and court service are already overstretched, without having to enforce collection of BBC’s revenues.

    • Disabled pussycat
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:04 am | Permalink

      They believe in Limp Brexit or better still Spayed Remain

  3. David Price
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Your fourth paragraph recommending a change of perspective says it all, take WTO as the start point rather than the current EU-centric basis which has failed so many people and the majority have rejected.

  4. Helena
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    We do not currently conduct our non EU trade under WTO rules. We conduct that trade on the basis of the large number of bilateral and multilateral deals struck by the EU – inform yourself by looking at this list – Once the UK is no longer a member of the EU, we lose the benefit of these deals.

    Your error on this point has been pointed out so many times that I question your motives in repeating false information.

    Reply Then why are we well advanced with transferring the EU’s trade deals to us and to the residual EU?

    • Helena
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      We are not well advanced. No such transfer is occurring. No State will give the UK as a good a deal as it gives the EU, because the EU is bigger and more powerful.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        I think it is now clear that these agreements will simply be novated to the U.K. assuming both parties – the U.K. and the third country – agrees. No country has any interest or reason not to do so and none have said they won’t agree to such immediate novation. This issue is a dead duck for Remainers who need to move on and find other arguments.

        • Helena
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 5:08 am | Permalink

          No country has said it will agree to such immediate novation. No country will. Every country is considering the terms it will offer to the UK, which is ten times smaller and less powerful than the EU

          Reply Your comment is wildly untrue

      • zorro
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

        Name one country which has said that it would object or refuse to trade with us in the same manner – come on name one. You are being clearly irrational.


        • Helena
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 5:09 am | Permalink

          Name one that has said it will let the UK have the same deal as the EU

          • NickC
            Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

            Helena, One better . . . Trump said a FTA between the USA-UK was “100 per cent certain”.

            Many other countries indicated soon after the Referendum that they wanted a free trade deal with the UK. They’ve probably given up now because our government has taken Remain advice to appease the EU, and they realise our establishment is going to sell us out. Again.

      • acorn
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        Helena, my WTO detailed post failed moderation today. Brexiteers are starting to realize, that the game is nowhere near as easy and quick as they thought it was; they are having problems handling the truth of it.

        Assuming this MP’s blog still exists in Q1-2019, come back then and perhaps we can all hold hands and walk into Brexit nirvana.

        • NickC
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

          Acorn, As a Leave voter, I have never said that a deal with the EU would be easy. Far from it.

          I have said on here, and elsewhere for more than 4 years, that if anyone thought that the EU would be reasonable (or even follow the EU’s own rules) they haven’t paid attention for the last 45 years.

          It was for precisely that reason that I advocated not using Art50, instead giving 12 months diplomatic notice, so that we secured our independence first and only negotiated after, on an equal footing, and if the EU seriously wanted to.

      • NickC
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:06 pm | Permalink


        We are not well advanced.
        How can you possibly know?

        No such transfer is occurring.
        It can’t because we are still in the EU. But advanced preparatory work can be done and agreements made, only requiring ratification at exit hour.

        No State will give the UK as a good a deal as it gives the EU, because the EU is bigger and more powerful.
        You mean the EU is only a mafia protection racket? You are right of course. However as James Dyson has explained the EU is not a single market, so its size is moot as an advantage for securing an RTA.

        Really, how do you suppose any country can exist outside the EU if what you think were true? Yet most countries in the world are as free of the EU as we will be shortly.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:25 pm | Permalink


        A huge number of big states dont even have an agreement with the EU. You are as usual talking drivel, you clearly dont have the first idea about trade or what a trade deal is.

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Helena, Your error on this point has been pointed out so many times that I question your motives in repeating false information. The RTAs are a relatively small part of the over-arching, fundamental WTO principles signed up to by all WTO members.

      In any case we have already signed a joint letter (11th Oct) with the EU, for the WTO at Geneva, which states the UK’s position on trade with third countries after Brexit:
      “… the UK will remain a Member of the WTO …”
      The UK “… will have its own separate schedules of commitments for goods and services, to take effect immediately upon leaving the EU.”
      “Specifically the EU and UK intend to maintain the existing levels of market access available to other WTO Members.”

      Since “non-discrimination among trading partners is one of the core principles of the WTO” (WTO website), it follows that third countries in the WTO will reciprocate the unilateral declaration by the UK/EU to maintain access both ways at existing levels pro-rata. That means existing RTAs will be accepted; or improved upon, which the UK can do quickly as a single country.

      • Chris
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        It is a well known tactic in certain circles, NickC, that if one repeats a myth often enough….Perhaps that is what Helena is doing? I believe that she won’t make any progress on this website where individuals seem to be well informed.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      I’d be quicker to question your motives, Helena.

    • PaulDirac
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      These FTA’s are not the HUGE unanswerable question you seem to imply.

      The simplest solution would be to initially replicate the EU’s FTA with those countries, this maintains a status quo ante for both sides.
      In time we can sharpen those to be specific and more bilateral, essentially losing huge layers of the stuff which isn’t relevant to the UK.

      So this isn’t an “error”, it is one of the easier things we need to do before Brexit.

      • Len Grinds
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 5:12 am | Permalink

        Paul, you make the classic error of the Brexiter, which is to assume this can all be done by the UK on its own. You can ASK to replicate the EU’s FTAs. You will be laughed at. No third country is going to treat the UK in the same way it treats the EU. The UK has a lot less to offer, the EU is a market of 600 million

        • NickC
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 9:14 am | Permalink

          Len, You make the classic error of the Remains, which is to be overawed by size, thinking this means power. Most economies in the world are smaller than the EU’s it is true. But also smaller than the UK’s as well. The EU may behave like a mafia protection racket; the UK doesn’t.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:40 am | Permalink

          And you make the classic error of the Remoaner, which is to side with the enemy against the country to which you owe your loyalty.

  5. eeyore
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    No sooner does Mrs May gather up her papers and start looking for the exit than the EU sings small. There’s a surprise!

    If only they read this blog in Downing Street. In fact, here’s my tip for the PM: depute some lowly spad to trawl daily through all the political blogs, yea, even unto the comments, and make a report to Mrs May’s top people. It may be a mighty dunghill, but it contains many a nugget of useful gold.

    • Jane4brexit
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      I emailed this page to the ’email 10 Downing Street’ website email address eeyore, maybe if you and others send it too it might actually get to her!

  6. Peter Wood
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    AT LAST…!

    Forget the EU commission/Barnier, total focus by government on finding and implementing the advantages of WTO trade. Find and mitigate all the problems and issues. 17 months is short but with focus it can be done. You’ve got 20 billion pounds to find solutions!

  7. Bob Latham
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I wish the government would simply state to the EU that there will be no ECJ or EU rules on us after March 2019 under any circumstances and we will only pay what we have signed up for. Unfortunately I don’t think they can do that because of a weak majority in the house caused by the person who wrote that manifesto. Did they do it deliberately?

    • Mark B
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

      Don’t worry, I believe the said person who wrote the manifesto lost his seat.


  8. Turboterrier.
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    It never ceases to amaze me about the sheer arrogance of all the people both in politics and business who blindly abide by project fear when communicating about the EU.

    Never once have I heard one sentence let alone a speech giving me one reason to doubt my vote and the country leaving the EU.

    For me like a lot of the population, membership was a one horse race and an easy way (their way) for politicians and business people to pass the buck and basically lose their competitive cutting edge.

    I still firmly believe that this great country is still expected to abide by the old control process of the shovel system operated by the EU.

    When they shout crap we jump on the shovel.

    We legally owe them nothing as a loyal member we have always paid our dues and a strong leader would not bend to their threats and blackmail.

    We are a proud nation and history has shown us that we have never given in to such behaviour and here in 2017 is not the time to start.

  9. Richard1
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    What is your answer to those – such as Lord Mandelson – who say the loss of ‘preferential access’ to the EU single market will be disasterous for services exports, leaving aside tariffs?

    Reply We will not lose access, as they will still want access to our market

    • John Soper
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:32 am | Permalink

      The question is about the consequences of loss of “preferential access”, not “access”.

      Mr Redwood therefore has refused to answer your question, Richard! Telling …..

      Reply I have written at length about passporting if that is what you mean by preferential access.

      • Richard1
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        The threat of such loss of access is purposely vague from the likes of Mandelson. And such people are not challenged. It is clear there is an issue with financial passporting, though it may be regulatory equivalence will mean we continue in much the same way. What other preferential access there is, other than no tariffs, is not clear.

        • zorro
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          What about MIFID II….


      • libertarian
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:44 pm | Permalink


        Not sure who and what your business trades in but mine doesn’t enjoy and never has had preferential access when dealing with Germany whilst in the EU so being out of it makes hardly any difference

        • John O'Leary
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

          Believe me when it comes to UK access to the German market versus the rest of the world’s access to it you are getting preferential treatment.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

            J O’Leary

            Believe me as someone that does business there and in non EU countries I can assure you we are NOT

          • John Archer
            Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Permalink

            So what, precisely?

            Do tell. The suspense is unbearable.


          • John O'Leary
            Posted October 23, 2017 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

            @Libertarian The fact you are doing business there speaks for itself. Most of the rest of the World’s products are locked out (for reason of non-tariff barriers as much if not more than tariffs).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Even if we did lose all access to EU markets (which is highly unlikely as it is not in the EU’s interests), it is only a tiny percentage of the UK’s overall GDP anyway. This could (if required) be switched to production for the home market and for other overseas markets quite easily.

      There is thus no cliff – unless of course (thanks to the hopeless May and Hammond) we end up as Venezuela – as we clearly will if Corbyn and McDonnell get in. That is the real cliff!

      • billR
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic..Michael Gove said that things would work out ok ..provided we took the right decisions- so have faith

        • Lifelogic
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

          Is that the Michael Gove who lumbered us with socialist May, by foolishly knifing Boris?

          • rose
            Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

            It wasn’t as simple as knifing Boris. He had come to the conclusion as he said, that that horse wouldn’t run. We may disagree. But Gove knew, as was quite widely known, that Boris didn’t have the necessary support in the H of C that he needed to get on to the final list of two. He probably still doesn’t.

            As when Keith Joseph fell out and Margaret Thatcher then fell in, Gove was trying to preserve the programme by then standing himself. It wasn’t his original plan. It didn’t work because the media wouldn’t let it. They wanted Mrs May and so did the majority of the parliamentary party.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      I’d say that as we’ve actually got so little from the EU single market:

      Mandelson is deliberately exaggerating the losses we’d incur from leaving it and no longer having that “preferential access”.

      And I’d also say that as an ex-Commissioner Mandelson knows perfectly well that none of the member states have actually got much from the EU single market and he is doing what he does best, namely lie through his teeth.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply. A simple and accurate answer John. Brilliant.

    • Charles v
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:32 pm | Permalink


      There is no point asking for detail, none will be forthcoming.

      I don’t believe that our host or anyone else really believes that no deal is a credible option. If they did they’d have been able to articulate a plausible plan in an appropriate level of detail.

      This is about posturing and putting pressure on the wing of the conservative party who wants a softer brexit. Our host knows we will end up with a deal, a deal involves compromise all this posturing now will give them cover to carry on their trueleavemoaning for ever and a day – I think this is what it’s all about.

      The other reason for this approach may be to make the alternative leadership of the conservative party look irrational and disorganised that the EU realises that they are better off going soft on Mrs May. However, I suspect that this would be crediting our host and the rest of the ultraleavemaniacs with too much rationality.

      • NickC
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Charles V, no one would negotiate to buy/sell a car or a house on the basis you are advocating. No business would negotiate your way either. And I’ve seen no evidence that nations do so. Minford, amongst others, has done detailed work on a “no deal with the EU” scenario, using the WTO deal with zero tariffs.

        Really, it is as though continuity Remain just can’t believe that there are any countries in the world operating successfully outside the EU. I will let you into a secret . . . . . there are – lots of them, big and small. We can do the same.

        • Charles v
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:43 am | Permalink

          Thanks for the patronising reply. Given the appalling quality of the papers the government has put, the paucity of detail, the lack of consistency from one day to the next, the lack of personnel and money being expended – I think it is obvious that there is no detailed plan and not other credible option. Nothing our host says gives me any reassurance on this.

          You are also wrong that having a detailed alternative plan is shooting yourself in the foot. Going into a negotiation where the other side can see that you have a credible walk away option maximises your negotiating position. Part of any commercial negotiation to buy a good or service is to convince the counterparty that you are seriously looking at the alternative and to share enough detail with them to convince them that this is the case.

          No deal would have been a credible option if we had planned for it properly before we invoked Article 50. We didn’t so it isn’t.

  10. Duncan
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Brexit voters want their country back in its entirety. Any grubby political deal by the pro-EU Tory party leadership will surely mean defeat at the next GE.

    The political fortunes of the Conservative Party are irrelevant compared to the reassertion of all those facets of a sovereign independent nation

    A total removal of all ECJ involvement, influence and persuasion. We need laws passed by Parliament to prevent pro-EU judges from taking their direction from ECJ rulings

    Personally, when I see May and Merkel with each other, smiling and grinning like 2 Cheshire cats, it all appears far too cosy and convivial.

    If only we had 30-40 UKIP MPs. We’d now be out of the EU

    The irony is that those voters who voted to leave the EU (traditional Labour voters) then made the error by voting for Labour at the last GE rather than UKIP. Now Labour have stabbed their electoral base in the back, they are facing a situation where their wishes of leaving the EU may never be fulfilled or realised

    Finally, I do not trust May nor Hammond to adhere to the result of the EU referendum. I believe we will see a capitulation or some form of grubby deal that handcuffs the UK. The blame will lie firmly at the feet of Tory party backbench MP’s for electing May as their leader knowing full well she was an ardent pro-EU supporter

    • Mark B
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      . . . . . it all appears far too cosy and convivial.

      Because it is ! They are ALL part of the same cosy little political club. A political club we are not invited to, yet we are expected to pay.

  11. oldtimer
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Right now the Project Fear 2.0 is making all the running with no rebuttal from official sources. The Florence speech was supposed to be the agreed Cabinet position. It seems Mrs May has gone beyond that; if so she has gone too far. Once we know the size of the EUs demands (to the nearest £1 billion) then it will be necessary to win public opinion over to the WTO choice and to hoist Mr Corbyn with his own petard (of paying up whatever the EU demands). All this presupposes a united Cabinet and Conservative party. Is that still possible? Is May going to live up to her previous statements about bad deals? And does her definition of a bad deal match yours?

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      Mrs May, backed by the Remain civil service, is looking only at tomorrow, or next week at the most. Our civil service needs to take a couple of steps back (their job) and ask how these negotiations will be perceived in 40 years time. Just like in 1972 it will be seen as appeasement.

      Yes, the Eire/N.I. border is a problem but there already exist technical solutions both for trade and migration. The other two cited by the EU are just invention. EU nationals to have the same rights as any other visitors to Britain, overseen by UK law and courts. No upfront payment for trade talks. Frankly we should walk away from them because the WTO deal is the best, given the circumstances.

      • Len Grinds
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 5:17 am | Permalink

        Would you be so kind to share with us what these “technical solutions” are? Strange that you think they exist when obviously the best minds in the UK and the EU haven’t found them (David Davis was laughed at when he airily said technology would cope – it won’t)

        • NickC
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

          Len, You are assuming that the current EU imposed systems for, say, migration actually work. They don’t. Illegal migration across a porous N.I. border by itself is an improvement over the porous border of the entire UK due to us being in the EU’s single market. For God’s sake under the EU we have slavery back in this country.

  12. BartD
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    I’m glad that JR sees things clearly because I don’t. He can see that Mrs Merkel and the EU are very worried but I don’t see it- surely our politicians should have thought all of this brexit stuff well through before we started on this road. A50 has been triggered and to tell you the truth i don’t think the EU gives a toss what the UK does. I don’t think there will be a future agreement with the EU so then no need for a transition period- March 2019 is the deadline, that is what we voted for so best to get on with it and plan for all of this new global trading with partners overseas we were promised.

    So hands up! all those who are tired of all of these useless old slogans- “taking back control”- etc- ECJ, an extra 350 for the NHS and WTO free trade.. why don’t you tell us something about the new Britain you are promising? will it be something like back in the 1950’s when we had plenty of merchant ships trading with the four corners of the world or will it be a more condensed version where we rely on shipping largely owned by companies in the EU countries to supply us while we take our summer hols in Blackpool and Brighton again indifferent to the larger world outside but where we are happy in our own company- a bit like the workers paradise that Corbyn has in store for us..just wondering?

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      BartD, Interesting . . . . Remains say we didn’t know what we were voting for (though they never do explain how they “know” this); then when we say in reply we want to take back control of the powers ceded to the EU over the last 45 years, the Remains wail: enough of “these useless old slogans”.

      Then the discredited Remain manufactured complaint about £350 (million?) for the NHS. Given that the Thatcher rebate is paid a year in arrears, the annual figure of c£18bn+ gross is true. Therefore the c£350m pw is true. No one promised that the whole £350m pw would be spent on the NHS; alternative possible recipients were suggested, one of which was the NHS, as an example, without specifying an amount.

      Why is it that Remains pop up with problems about leaving the EU, and assume, simply because they have just thought of them, that no-one else ever has? I haven’t seen one single Remain objection that has not been already considered by eurosceptics years, sometimes decades, ago.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:48 pm | Permalink


      Oh dear oh dear oh dear. You are so far out of touch that you a probably from a galaxy far far away. I can’t even be bothered to deconstruct your drivel but for a start 80% of our economy is in SERVICES , they aren’t delivered by boat. Oh and I’m going on holiday to the Caribbean and then the USA , I am allowed holidays outside the EU aren’t I….. what a berk.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Did you ever tell us what you expected for the EU in the future?

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      The New Britain will be much the same as it is now. All the problems will continue, except possibly get worse.
      Whether or not we are in the EU is a minor detail.

      • hefner
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 7:46 am | Permalink


  13. Caterpillar
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, you are correct but this is not the Tory remainers’ position nor the Labour party’s, both these groups seem to be working against the result of the referendum.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      I should add that the Govt’s response ( to the ‘Leave the EU Immediately’ petition is a bit weak e.g. end of direct jurisdiction of ECJ – what is the word direct for? Vast contributions evey year will end – what is the every year for?

      To respond with such wriggle room is concerning.

      • John O'Leary
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Yes, that, along with the fact that the government has not given formal notice that we will be leaving the EEA on 29th March 2019 is quite telling isn’t it? If gives me some cause to be cheerful that we might yet settle for continued EEA membership by rejoining Efta. It is looking more than a bit tight though.

      • Jane4brexit
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

        You are right to be concerned about wriggle room as when we paid the EU that extra £1.7billion, after I thought Cameron had said we would not, I checked exactly what had been said and in that case he had said that he would not pay it by the due date…which was 1st December 2014.

        So I now realise that meant that all other possibilities were possible including the one which happened ie: him paying it and even more after the 2015 election. The examples you quote no doubt also mean only exactly what they say and nothing else can be assumed.

  14. Mick
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink
    I think it’s about time someone did some digging to find why all these anti British people want to stay in the dreaded eu and published could it be money

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      It is their EUtopia, with a pension, and the political mechanisms to stop us being independently minded and responsible for our own lives, our own families, and the freedom to make mistakes, and be generous to others, or not – it is all about our own and our nation’s sovereignty!

    • Brit
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      They wish to stay in the EU because they European people. We should stop calling them Remoaners. They are European people. We are British people. Fair enough!

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Oh, yes, yes, yes!!!! Spot on Brit.

    • Norman
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      One cannot be other than thankful for your resolute clarity, JR. One also hopes that you have the support of others, behind the scenes, whether in or out of Parliament.
      Given the potent controlling EU spirit that’s permeated everything these past few decades, it was a wonder that we ever had a referendum, and that it turned out the way it did. To my mind, the very nature of the struggle we are witnessing confirms this is an EXISTENTIAL BATTLE for the historical entity we’ve known and loved as ‘Britain’ – and in saying this, I’m going back generations (go into any parish churchyard, and read the gravestones.) Wow – through thick and thin – what a wonderful country we’ve had: such freedom, and at such great cost, all now so very fragile and at risk, for the deeper reasons I’ve touched on before.
      One can also see that the very people who are opposed to Brexit confirm what I’m saying: at best, they’re misguided through lack of vision; and at worst, they are traitorous to our sovereignty as a nation (nothing to do with money really, Mick). The whole EU concept, like the revised ‘Roman’ Empire it truly is, seeks to expunge all such sovereign identity.
      I see the very nature of this battle as a final, gracious, warning to our nation: ‘CHOOSE THIS DAY WHOM YOU WILL SERVE!’

      • Mark B
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        Great post !

  15. Jack snell
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:40 am | Permalink

    The emphasis has to be on ‘simple’

    Are you aware that they are reading all of this nonsense over in Brussels as well?

    • Oggy
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

      JS – ‘Are you aware that they are reading all of this nonsense over in Brussels as well?’ – I truly hope so, they may begin to understand how we really feel.
      – G’day Donald, Jean Claude and Michelle.

      • John O'Leary
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        Michelle? Isn’t that an old Beatles song?

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      Jack, If you stop writing it, they won’t be able to read it. Win-win for us and Brussels.

  16. Michael
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    In reality our Government will not be ready in March 2019. The EU will continue to string us along and the electorate will become even more disenchanted with politicians.

    There is a great danger the Government will fall into the hands of the Left and for years hence the Tory party will carry the stygma of mismanaging Brexit.

    Now is the time for government to ready the country for March 2019. It will pay a high price for delay.

  17. David Murfin
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    “I am receiving numerous messages to get on with Brexit and keep to the March 2019 deadline to leave.”
    I am pleased to hear it, and trust you will pass the message on to those actually negotiating.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Just leave the “negotiation” will go on for evermore anyway, prior to leaving and indeed after leaving.

  18. Rob Jump
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Paying extra money to the EU is unacceptable. EU jurisdiction over anything is unacceptable. Implementation periods are unacceptable. Threats from bloated EU bureaucrats are unacceptable. It is high time that the British government show they have a spine and tell the EU that unless they offer something we want at a good enough price no deal is what they’re getting. We should leave now if that’s going to be the way it is. What. exactly, are we staying in for?

    • Brit
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      We are being stabbed in the back by large elements of the Labour Party/SNP. The EU are holding out time-wise hoping these undemocratic people will overturn our negotiating position and leave us staying in the EU.

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Rob, Absolutely agree.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:34 pm | Permalink


    • John O'Leary
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      So you think 44% of our export market overnight on 29th March 2019 due to the fact that we will no longer be certified as conforming to EU regulations is acceptable do you? Millions thrown out of work as a consequence is acceptable is it? A hard border in Northern Ireland leading to a reawakening of the troubles is acceptable? All because you can’t stomach the 4 freedoms inherent in EEA membership?

      I voted to leave the EU on the basis that I thought a sensible Conservative government would realise that leaving would be something to be done over a reasonably long period of time, not as long as took us to get this far embedded, but lets say decade or so. Trying to do it over the 2 year Article 50 period is ridiculous.

      If the actions of this incompetent government and its Ultra Brexiteers force us to crash out without a good deal you can look forward to the demise of the Conservative Party and the prospect of a far left Labour government for the foreseeable future.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        John O’Leary

        What the hell are you talking about? No longer certified….. ha ha ha ha you people make it up as you go along. Some of us on here are actually real business people who do real trade every day.

        Millions thrown out of work….. what planet are you on. Look I’m fed up with people like you. People who know nothing, can’t even google basic facts and spout made up drivel to support your emotional arguments

        • John O'Leary
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

          What basic facts are they? The like spouted by Liam Fox yesterday when he said the rest of the world trades with the EU under WTO rules. He lied! No major economy trades under purely under WTO rules they all have trade agreements with the EU. When the trucks are backed up along the M2o and around the M25 you may well be laughing the other side of your face.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        The article 50 period was always 2 years.
        The EU were never going to stomach the loss of our contributions easily.

      • E.S Tablishment
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:35 pm | Permalink

        “I voted to leave the EU on the basis that I thought a sensible Conservative government would realise that leaving would be something to be done over a reasonably long period of time,” Then you did not pay attention did you! Mr Cameron said he would trigger Article 50 on the morning of 24th June 2016 .and that in two years, no ifs, no buts we would be “Out of the Customs Union, Out of the Single Market and Out of the EU” This mantra was played by the media repeatedly and stated again repeatedly by the Leave Campaign. Please take more care when you get out of bed in the morning.

        • John O'Leary
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          @E.S Tablishment

          FYI As an EFTA EEA member we would not be in the EU Single Market but would have the next best thing when it comes to access to it. As for the EU Customs Union you might like to know that you actually have to be in the EU to be a part of it. As we are leaving the EU we cannot be part of it. We could form ‘A’ customs union with the EU, but that is not the same thing and as with Turkey would have different rules. Have you seen the queues at the Kapikuli border crossing? and Turkey is in a customs union with the EU. Without EEA level access expect far worse here.

  19. alan jutson
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Never did understand why the government was so slow and reluctant to plan for this option in the first place.

    Had we been firm at the outset, we may have saved 5 months of dithering negotiations and gained some time for so called transition at the outset.

    Free trade is trade that you do not need to pay for, otherwise its not free trade, but blackmail or bribery

    • John O'Leary
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

      The WTO is a free trade organisation right? Even so it has quite a lot of employees and a maintains a number of premises around the World. That costs money! Quite a lot I would think. Who do you suppose pays for that if not its members?

      • alan jutson
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:33 pm | Permalink


        We are seeking to trade with the EU with no tariffs as I understand it, and not on WTO terms..

        WTO is our second choice.

        WTO terms are not free, they work on a range of agreed tariff agreements, so there is some cost to exports, and some gain on tariffs from imports.

        Thus my original statement still stands.

        Free trade should come with no financial cost, otherwise its not free trade !

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:50 am | Permalink

        Come on then, tell us how much the UK pays each year …

        • John O'Leary
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

          According to the WTO website we are budgeted to pay 7,579,535 Swiss Francs or £5,830,832.21 this year.

      • NickC
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        The 2016 UK contribution to the WTO’s costs was SwF7,446,595 (about £5.74 million) (source: WTO website, About WTO, Budget).

        • ZerrenY
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

          If our weekly contribution to the EU is £350,000,000 (equivalent to £2,083,333 per hour) then the annual cost of the WTO works out to about two-and-three-quarter hours of EU membership.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:03 am | Permalink

            A good way to look at it.

      • David Price
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:49 am | Permalink

        The WTO total budget is 160 million Swiss francs per year shared between members, compared to how many billions we alone have to pay the EU? However, we are already a member of the WTO so I would imagine we already pay our subs.

        Also, the WTO doesn’t demand we accept four freedoms and unrelenting interference in our affairs, laws and life that the EU imposes.

  20. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    JR:”The debate is going to be over how much damage should we allow to the many advantages of just leaving in order to secure that free trade agreement. Some seem to think it is worth billions in extra payments, and worth keeping some ECJ involvement. I don’t agree.”

    Those advocating that we pay for free trade with the EU never consider asking the EU, which has a £70bn surplus with the UK, to pay for continuing free trade access to our market. They never question the attitude of the EU in these so-called ‘negotiations’ whilst continually sniping at the government’s stance. They, along with the modern day William Joyces in the broadcast media, feed us a daily diet of EU sycophancy and project fear mk2 in order to see the result of the referendum overturned and the UK entrapped in the anti-democratic EU.
    They must not be allowed to succeed. I hope you and your colleagues will press the government “to get on with Brexit and keep to the March 2019 deadline to leave.”

    • rose
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

      The BBC’s pro EU agent in Brussels even told us a day or two ago that the EU realizes Mrs May is in political hot water at home and is therefore going to help her to pay the money. And she didn’t mean chip in.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Correct, and although David Davis leads a department expressly set up to pursue the official government policy of withdrawal from the EU he cannot be bothered to fight back against those who are waging a propaganda war to frustrate that policy.

      This day of the week could be renamed Remoanerday, with Remoaners allowed free rein in both the printed and the broadcast media, but his civil servants are all busy having nice Remoanerday roast lunches with decent wines and none of them are on duty in the department and manning the twitter account …

  21. Mike Stallard
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Let me introduce your readers, Mr Redwood, to some useful acronyms:
    AEOs. BCPs. REACH, NTBs – I think that will do for the moment.

    They prove that we need to stay in the EEA when we leave the EU.
    We can do it through joining EFTA.

    Reply We can have our own versions of any such arrangements that are worth having

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

      I see Richard North’s hysterical scaremongering over REACH has spread far & wide. Leaving aside the fact that REACH is an overly burdensome chemophobic green nightmare… it really is not a problem to sell chemicals from outside the EU into it. In the world of specialty chemicals, if you need it, you need it, where so ever it comes from. To give but one concrete example.. my company uses a particular niche acrylic resin made in Japan. No one else makes it & the Japanese couldn’t be bothered to engage with the regulatory regime, so we registered it ourselves along with 3 competitors, sharing the cost. Job done.

      Frankly much of the industry would be happier if REACH didn’t exist. I am perturbed to hear HMG wishes to perpetuate it in another form.

    • hefner
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply: Obviously, we can. But how long after 30/03/2019 will the UK versions of these “acronyms” become active?
      And are the EU-repatriated trade deals with the rest of the world be operational from 01/04/2019. I hope you are right, but deep down I doubt it.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        That is, or could be, the kind of valid reason for agreeing to have a transitional period (or various transitional periods) after we have left the EU.

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

      “We can do it through joining EFTA.”

      Let me introduce you to the fact that even if we were foolish enough to want to do that it would only be possible with the consent of 31 other countries plus the EU, it would not be automatic or even straightforward as you seem to be implying.

      • John O'Leary
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        That is very debatable. I believe we would only need the consent of the EFTA states as we are already members of the EEA. Even if you are right and the EU’s consent is required then I believe it would be forthcoming. They would breath a sigh of relief as it solves all the problems in one go and they can get on with their political integration without us. Yes we are on the EU side of the EEA agreement at the moment, but we are nevertheless individual signatories. If we were to arrange to join Efta at the moment the clock strikes midnight on the 29th March 2019 the amendments to the agreement necessary to keep us in would be minimal. It would seem to me to be the least worst of the options now available to us.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          It’s not debatable at all. We could not just waltz into EFTA without the consent of all the existing EFTA members, that’s 4 countries. And nor could we just transfer ourselves from the EU list of countries in the EEA Agreement, which is where we are at present, to the EFTA list in the Agreement without the consent of all the other EEA countries, that’s 27 on the EU list and then again 3 on the EFTA list. Add those up and that’s the 31 countries which have to agree. And as the EU itself is a party to the EEA Agreement it too would have to agree to what you are so glibly proposing. You are doing what some Remoaner has just accused Brexiteers of doing, assuming that if we say we want something them we can have it without needing the agreement of other countries. Richard North and Christopher Booker know all this is true but refuse to admit it, they are content to continue misleading their followers.

          • John O'Leary
            Posted October 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            I think the EU have come as close as they dare in suggesting that we remain in the EEA by rejoining EFTA. I doubt very much that there would be much problem there. It is a far easier route and would save their time and effort as well as ours. I did state that we would need the approval of existing EFTA members. Pleas reread what I wrote. Compared with the impossibilities that the government is presently demanding it would have been a walk in the park.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

            It would not be a walk in the park, nor would it even be a walk to where we want to go, and nor have I seen it seriously suggested by any influential voices elsewhere in the EU.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Several times I have explained that REACH Regs are a false fear for the UK when we exit the UK
      Most chemicals and chemical substances come into the EU from outside the EU currently.
      Those non EU nations register under these regs quite easily.
      The UK currently registers under REACH
      We just register as a non EU supplier.
      It’s not difficult.
      Stop worrying Mike.
      It’s just one more bit of red tape engineers and manufacturing industries manage every day.

  22. Peter
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Yes indeed I would prefer going straight to WTO terms as soon as possible. Any improvement could be addressed once we are out.

    I think the biggest problem is those within the UK who seek to frustrate and undermine Brexit. They do the EU’s work for them.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      See you on the dole queue then!

      • Edward2
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

        Is that the same dole queue that is now supposed to be 500,000 larger by now due to the shock of voting leave?
        More of your ridiculous Project Fear.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

        John O’Leary

        Lol you are so funny. We currently have 750,000 unfilled job vacancies None of them are dependent on the EU. The EU is a tiny tiny part of our overall economy

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 1:12 am | Permalink

        Remain’s biggest argument against leaving the EU is that Britain will fold without the continued influx of foreign workers.

        I wish they’d make their minds up. They tell us we will lose jobs and then tell us we will be unable to fill jobs.

        • Jane4brexit
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          Not just jobs prior to the referendum, project fear told us house prices would go up if we voted leave and yet down if we voted leave too.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 25, 2017 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Indeed and that alas includes about half of the Tory MPs and much of the Cabinet.

  23. Nigel
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Excellent summary. We need to keep the pressure on.

  24. Know-Dice
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    It amazes me that our Government, Opposition main steam media seem to be unable to understand how to form a coherent negotiating strategy.

    I see constant undermining of David Davis and his team (even by May and Hammond), this is not helped by very poor media handling by his department.

    Emily Thornberry claims that you can’t go in to a negotiation whilst threatening to walk away if you don’t get what you want – Rubbish, the party you are negotiating with needs to know from day one what your red lines are, if they are not going to even make an effort to approach those, then there is no negotiation.

    To date we have not seen the EU move one iota…

    • Brit
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:08 am | Permalink

      There have been national elections in the last few days in Austria and the Czech Republic, to our advantage. Le Pen has now started campaigning again as Macron has accomplished zero so far. Italian regions are getting enthusiastic about independence. The EU fiddles while Brussels burns

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

        Theresa May does need to get on with it, while there is still an rEU on the other side of the table.
        On second thoughts, that is like wondering how to get across one of the internal border posts in the old USSR after its fall which meant that the post was unmanned: just drive straight through!

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      Emily Thornberry would never negotiate to buy a car or a house on the same basis she advises us to negotiate with the EU. Why doesn’t anyone on the media call her out on this?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        She might well, as she clearly is not very bright. She was even daft enough to do her white van Tweet. Described as ‘drippingly patronising’, even by Nick Clegg.

    • Penury awaits
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Correct. The EU has not moved one iota. Remember John redwood promising we’d get a great deal, and quickly, because the EU needs us so desperately? Untrue!

      • John O'Leary
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

        That is because JR doesn’t understand what the priorities of the EU are. It is not to conserve the prosperity of its members it is to ensure its long term survival and the completion of its political aims of a European superstate.

        • Mark B
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          Correct !

      • NickC
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Penury, That is because Dr Redwood assumed that the EU were sensible, reasonable gentlemen. I on the other hand always knew that the EU was composed of sordid spivs imposing a mafia protection racket to support their invented oligarchy. But when I said so – guess what? – all the Remains said I was being a howwid waycist, and wouldn’t listen. Perhaps you will listen now that you see the evidence

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:07 am | Permalink

        No, unlike you I have followed his blog for years but I don’t actually remember that. Perhaps you could come up with a reference.

  25. Kenneth
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Yet the unelected forces are substantial.

    The civil service; the BBC; universities; endless quangos and think-tanks – many funded by the eu; the Lords; charities, again many funded by the eu.

    All of the above versus the People.

    On top of that some MPs may end up defying the will of their own constituents in order to side with the unelected.

    They know that the argument to just leave with no transition – with or without a deal – is overwhelming on every level. So, rather than face an argument they are bound to lose, they muddy the waters by deliberately over-complicating the issue.

    Keep plugging away John.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed please make sure that these dreadful “BBC think” people do not win.

    • lo
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      MPs should not forget that the British electorate are watching their every move like hawks. We have long memories and will exact a terrible revenge where necessary. The danger is that the Westminster-media bubble start to believe their own nonsense and they forget us. We don’t need any of them.

      • Anonymous
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 1:14 am | Permalink

        Certainly not if we stay in the EU.

  26. Cobwatch
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    I would much prefer we exited cleanly from April 2019. I hope that the PM has not agreed to further money transfers as rumoured. Paying to talk is ludicrous. Unfortunately the “transition” seems baked in even though the EU have rejected it on this first pass, an opportunity to drop it and walk back surely?

  27. A.Sedgwick
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I admire your glass half full optimism but I thought Mrs.May a poor, easy choice for PM. Her early approach was wrongheaded e.g. confirming Hinckley C. She is wavering on basic Conservative values e.g. welfare and allowing falsehoods about our exit and the Referendum result to abound. Her interview on LBC was another indication of her lack of political nous, but I suppose filling the Cabinet with Remainers says it all.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Indeed no vision, HS2, Hinkely, green crap subsidies, the David LammyPC discrimination/grievance agenda, building on EU employment red tape, huge further increases in taxation and red tape, daft attacks on the gig economy & a total failure to cut the state down to size and relay planning laws.

      Why did she join the Tory party when she is clearly a LibDim at heart, rather like Soubry really.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Indeed May and Hammond have no positive Tory vision. HS2, Hinkely, green crap subsidies, the David LammyPC discrimination/grievance agenda, building on EU employment red tape, huge further increases in taxation and red tape, daft attacks on the gig economy & a total failure to cut the state down to size and relay planning laws.

      Why did she join the Tory party when she is clearly a LibDim at heart, rather like Soubry really.

    • NickC
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      A Sedgewick, Exactly.

  28. MPC
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    You say we will only need some implementation period if we have an Agreement reached late in the negotiations – and that is surely the EU’s trump card. They know about all the efforts by the likes of Mr Umuna to keep us in or keep us in for as long as possible. The EU will put forward some superficially sounding attractive deal just in time before March 2019 which lacks clarity in all areas and therefore requires an ‘implementation period’ to tie up all the details.

    I agree with your proposed approach but now have to agree with other contributors in wondering whether Mrs May is the person to stand firm and put that view forward.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

      It is commonplace to write transitional provisions into treaties. In the case of the 1957 Treaty of Rome founding the EEC the six countries wrote into it that they would set up their common market in stages over a period of twelve years after the treaty had come into force. Compared to that it would be nothing to write in transitional periods of up to two years for after we leave the EU.

  29. michael mcgrath
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    As part of the preparations for leaving, should we not also put in hand arrangements for our fishing fleet to be increased to take over the volume catch currently taken by foreign boats. Perhaps support for British yards to increase build capacity in the shape of low interest loans for equipment and training. Also training courses for aspiring fishermen to develop the skills in fishing techniques and boat and equipment education to provide the optimum level of high productivity and fisheries stock management to safeguard future stocks.
    And, of course, can we please have an urgent building programme and training programme to provide the fisheries protection vessels which will certainly be essential.

    • danR
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Michael McGrath…we slso need a huge building programme for merchant ships, container ships with capacity for carrying refrigeration product in particular, and until I see signs of that then I’m afraid that i will still see all of this brexit business and new trade deals with countries worldwide as just that, pie in the sky.

    • DaveF
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Michael McGrath.. we will need to initiate a serious ship building programme as well for new merchant ships, especially for large container ships that have cargo holds atmosphere controlled, and that can carry large numbers of refrigerated units. Until I see signs of this type of development then am afraid that all talk about new trade deals with countries worldwide and far away is all pie in the sky as far as I am concerned.

    • Dennis
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      How can you see the Marr Show at 9.04am, is it? when the show starts at 9am or was it a recording or are the times posted in this blog wrong ?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

        Dennis, I think the times here have always been GMT.

  30. Turboterrier.
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Just endured watching a disaster of a car crash interview with the Communities Secretary and Andrew Marr on BBC.

    Surely this is not the best we have? Couldn’t answer a single question.

    It was like a lamb to the slaughter.

    The party has got to get it’s act together pretty damned quick if we have any hope of staying in power for the long haul to the next GE.

    The back benches have a abundance of very knowledgeable and competent members just being passed over, and for what purpose?

    You cannot make it up.

    • Chris
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      I have just posted a comment which basically supports what you have written i.e. that we have a very poor team (predominantly Remainer) supposed to be effecting Brexit, led by a weak and, in my view, incompetent PM. The Remainers and the media are having a field day with May’s Brexit team/strategy and, as Denis Cooper states very clearly, we have no rebuttals team organised by government to deal with the 24 hour media and the EU propaganda. It really is beyond belief. There are many posting on here, Mr Redwood, who are voicing real despair, frustration and anger with the PM and the Conservative Party.

    • E.S Tablishment
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

      I take it you are referring to The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP . I only heard an edited clip. Generally he was okay with some people in Grenfell Tower likely being here illegally and occupying flats illegally and had to forgive in advance unlawful actions by criminals just to get a list of tenants.
      He should not be speaking, if he is, of building more homes and borrowing money. He should perhaps borrow money to find out who is living in this country. Social and private landlords cannot be trusted to do the job.It will cost billions. But worth it. An investment for the future. Until then, the result , not one more house or flat should be built except jails to house landlords social and private. And some of their “tenants”.
      The Home Secretary could be involved too if you can pull her off surfing social media looking for naughty people and the most inexperienced unintelligent terrorists the world has ever known who somehow get internet access. . She can do that in her spare time after she has finished her Home Office work, which should be marked afterwards.

  31. Stephen Berry
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    I have long felt that if we are looking purely at our economic relationship with the states that comprise the EU then it would be best to end all cooperation with Brussels – including sending them money. There would be no negotiations over trade. Free trade should simply be allowed by the UK, even if the EU were foolish enough to restrict it on their side. At the same time we could declare free trade with the rest of the world. That would be the best economic choice for the UK, and it is ironic that the negotiating strategy of the EU might actually push us into this correct position.

    Given that the UK government has begun talks with the EU mainly for political reasons, it should continue the talks with the EU in a polite and constructive manner. If anyone should end the talks, that should be EU. It needs to be made clear to the many countries in the world outside the EU that Britain did its best to form a constructive relationship with the EU.

    When the UK continues to prosper after it has left the EU, one of the side effects of talks which did not lead to a deal (unlikely) would be that in a WTO Europe of low or non-existent tariffs, people might begin to wonder if ANY nation actually needed the EU.

    • William Long
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      The only people who get any perceived benefit from the EU are second rate politicians (most of them nowadays as we are seeing) who like to be able to demonstrate that they are part of something BIG.

    • Robert Christopher
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      I agree.
      And the last thing we want is any possibility for the rEU to dig out some paragraph from behind the sofa that forces us to change course, accompanied by the inevitable arrogance that can only eminate from Brussels and its environs, with an unavoidable target of hurting Britain and even themselves.

      History isn’t kind to them at all.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink


      the majority of the 500 million Europeans in the Eu fortunately feel very different about the EU than you do. Including 71% of the Danes who are significantly more successful economically than we are because of the Eu as well

      • lo
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        The majority that are net recipients?

      • libertarian
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink


        How does that explain the 4 richest European countries that aren’t members of the EU?

        What evidence do you have that a majority of Europeans feel the same as you about the EU?

        • hefner
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          Which are these four European countries? And please state the metrics used to define them? GDP, GDP PP, or any other one that you like.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

          actually the richer countries are contributing more per capita than the UK and are net contributors not recipients, Denmark, Germany Holland and Sweden.

          • stred
            Posted October 25, 2017 at 10:52 am | Permalink

            You are repeating your lies. Don’t you ever read replies to them or check the official EU website, Europarl?
            The net contributions per head are Sweden 205 Euros, Holland 195, UK 163, Germany 162, Denmark 79, France 67. Net receivers include Poland 253, Belgium 296, Luxembourg 2165. Adjusting for net income per head, Luxembourg makes 4651.

            To think you recommend reading your publications for advice. Please advise how Denmark gets away with pating so much less than Holland. Both countries are pig farmers. Perhaps you make money from wind subsidies?

          • stred
            Posted October 25, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink
        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

          I am afraid I do not know of four countries in Europe who do not have very strong links with the EU or are part of it?

          I was referring to the fact that the four countries who have had elections in Europe recently, the majority in Parliament belongs to parties who support continued membership of the EU, that was my reference, I hope that explains my statement

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted October 27, 2017 at 4:08 pm | Permalink


            the statistics are as follows from 2000 to 2015 the net contributors in terms of size per capita were
            1) Netherlands
            2) Germany
            3) Sweden
            4) Belgium
            5) Luxembourg
            6) Denmark
            7) France
            8) Austria
            9) Italy
            10) Finland

            No lies and I am sorry I do not know where you find your statistics.

      • Stephen Berry
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 8:11 am | Permalink

        Hans, in all this talk about the EU and trade deals we can lose sight of the fact that it’s not international bodies and trade treaties which make individual countries successful economically. What counts is whether the environment within a particular country is friendly to the production of goods and services.

        Thus, I would say Australia and Singapore are successful economies without being members of the EU. Equally, being members of the EU has not turned the economies of Italy and Greece into success stories these last 15 years. As for the UK and Denmark? I think both countries would prosper within or without the EU and I congratulate Denmark on its rise up the lists of economic freedom these last 20 years.

        I assume this fondness for the EU means that Denmark will be joining the Euro soon?

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

          Danish kroner is pecked to the EURO so they do not need to join

          • Stephen Berry
            Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:45 am | Permalink

            Hans. How wise are the Danes. That also means they can leave that peg when they want. The Italians must wish they had been so wise.

  32. Epikouros
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Brexit has beset the EU with numerous problems major ones being; a budget black hole, cooperation and free trade arrangements that without the UK causes major economic and bureaucratic dislocation and the setting of a precedent that may encourage other members to fallow suit. They appear prepared to sacrifice the second to solve or at least ameliorate the other two by insisting upon a draconian and a wholly illegal divorce bill. In fact they are fixated on that objective which they will find if the UK rejects it that by ignoring the second the other two will become considerably worse. The EU will find that not being sensible while the UK remains implacably so will be for them to cause their own demise. The EU will fall apart. It will not survive the disruption, recriminations and resentment of the remaining members of creating yet another crisis(cock up).

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      Interesting theory but I see no factual evidence of that happening over the next ten years

  33. majorfrustration
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Yes get on with WTO rules. If the EU see us working to that end they can always come up with a deal which the UK can consider post 3/2019

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      this is not quite as simple and will not be completed by the end of 2019 as I have tried to explain to john earlier yesterday, we are members of he WTO but all our membership is based on tariffs set up by the EU on all 28 behalf and we need to re-negotiate that whole set of agreements, that will take a long time

  34. Ed Mahony
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,

    I’m genuinely a fan of yours (I like you personally as well as much of your thinking in particular on transport and energy, and to a degree the EU, but disagree with you overall about the EU. Plus i think you’re pretty smart – way smarter than me, anyway).

    I hear a lot now in the media about Thatcherism in the context of Brexit (Thatcherism pro hard Brexit). And that you are a Thatcherite. I believe you are a Thatcherite (of sorts at least)?

    Can i please just challenge you. I think Mrs Thatcher was a great woman. I hate socialism (not socialists) and i think Mrs Thatcher was one of the best socialist dragon-slayers in history. But i also think power and politics went to her head somewhat, and she became, frankly, too much of a hard capitalist. I would have loved to have been alive to meet her and say, ‘well done, Mrs Thatcher. You did a great job defeating socialism. But you are WRONG, WRONG, WRONG about hard capitalism (of course, I might be wrong, she right ..).

    Hard capitalism (Thatcherism) (in particular, too much deregulation) leads to instability in economy over the long-term. Rather, we want soft capitalism which is all about supporting the strong to do well, whilst ensuring that they don’t get up to mischief either … (hence an appropriate amount regulation). And that we build up our economy through hard work / work ethic, respect towards employer and employee, supporting and financing skills for the workplace, soft investment in infrastructures, focus on the tech industry (building up Apples, IBM’s, Oracles, Amazons, Googles, and so on of the future) and not relying so much on financial industries and The City (important as it is of course).

    Also, hard capitalism (/ Thatcherism) does nothing to address or build up patriotism. Patriotism is love of country, involving love of one’s own people, culture, arts, nature, history, language, heroes, monarchy, army and so on. Hard capitalism is too focused on the quick buck. And patriotism is essential not just for a safe and secure ‘society’ but also to support our economy, as patriotism encourages work ethic / public duty and so on (so people work harder, and do more charity work, are less of a burden on the NHS and public services in general).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:56 am | Permalink

      I challenge anyone here to defend Thatcherism. I might be wrong, of course. And open to persuasion. But i think our country and Tory Party needs to ditch hard right Thatcherism (but not Mrs Thatcher’s great legacy in defeating the dragon of socialism although ironically it’s returned to a degree, as a result of our politics lurching too far to the right as well as for other reasons including Blair and Iraq War) and instead turn to more moderate, soft right-wing, Conservative capitalism. Both for the long-term sake of our economy, patriotism, but also to stay in power and keep the socialists out.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        Also, in the old days, Conservatives used to say, ‘With power comes responsibility,’ whether you were a country landlord, a mayor or anyone with power. That seems to have gone out the window in recent years.

        We need to return to the day when more of the poor respected the rich / weren’t jealous of the rich, and at same time, and when more the rich didn’t look down on the poor / treated the poor with respect.

        We now live in too much of a dog-eat-dog world which destroys patriotism, public duty, work ethic and the stability of our economy. And I’m afraid that hard capitalism feeds the dog-eat-dog world where as soft capitalism (driven by work ethic) doesn’t although there’s still competition.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          Hard capitalism?
          The State and quangos and NGOS have more power and spend more of our money than at any time in our history.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Ed M

        There is NO SUCH THING as hard capitalism, even the term capitalism was a derogatory term invented by Marx. Free markets and individual freedom and responsibility is what it really is. It was the hallmark of Thatcherism but she was stopped from implementing it fully by the vested interests of the liberal elite. Those of us that lived through the socialist hell of the 1970’s can see exactly the same left wing arguments and anti capitalist sentiments being played out again

        We do not and never have lived in a dog eat dog world thankfully because we’ve never been a communist country. Free markets has never ever been and never will be dog eat dog. You just dont understand real business if you think that is the case . Free markets work because they serve the agreed needs of all parties to the transaction freely entered into.

        My defence of free markets and of Thatcherism can be found in the data provided by the website All human health wealth and happiness has been provided by free markets.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          I was wrong to challenge here like this. This isn’t my website. Arrogant of me to do so. And I apologise again to Mr Redwood. I love debate and I generally only debate those I respect (including friends and family).

          I’m a capitalist (and anti socialism, and anti social liberalism). I’m not an economist so can’t go into much detail. But i think there are different levels of capitalism – how much you regulate, how much you privatise, how much government invests in infrastructure, and so on.

          So I definitely think one can differentiate between hard and soft capitalism (as opposed to the more pronounced definition of capitalism seen in the context of anti-socialism which i think is a reaction to the hard socialism of the 1970’s).

          • rose
            Posted October 24, 2017 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            I don’t think we have had capitalism since Lancashire in the 1840s. That is what Marx was observing and it was very far away from what we have now.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Apologies, Mr Redwood, sir, for writing this overly-personal comment and starting a conversation which isn’t my website to do.
      Thank you.
      And best wishes.

  35. Edwardm
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    You’ve said it exactly.
    What you’ve said should have been put to the EU in the first place, none of the pandering, and leave the EU to make its unrealistic demands in a vacuum.
    The EU does itself a great disservice, as it shows the rest of the world too, that it has serious cognitive dissonance, and therefore wary when dealing with the EU.
    Pandering to the EU does not do our own image any good, but if we now take a clean straight forward approach (as you have written), that sends a clear message to the world about the determination of the UK.
    We need to deal with the rest of the world who are not demanding that we pay them anything, and stop wasting time on the EU.
    Thank you for your efforts and for putting the Brexit case so clearly when you are on the media.

  36. Bert Young
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    Politicians should respect the will of the people – Starmer in particular who wants to side up with the Tory remoaners and obtain a final say on the Brexit terms . Recent polls have also shown that there has now been a significant shift from remainers to now back Brexit . The last thing the public want is for the HoC to turn its back and disregard the public .

    History has shown so many times that autocratic regimes all tumble to the weight of the ordinary person in the street . Imposing restrictions that ignore the public is a signal to the likes of Starmer and Soubry that they are doomed and their race has been lost . We have won the first stage in the battle with the EU not by the action of politicians but by the vote of the people ; the second and third stage also depends on continuing this approach .

    Theresa must not buckle to the pressure that exists within the ranks of MPs to sacrifice one penny more than is reasonable and necessary and , above all , she must not ignore the supremacy of our laws to that of the ECJ . Starmer can rest knowing that we have as much interest in the protection of our working people and the success and happiness of everyone . Our negotiations are not a General Election .

  37. David Williams
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Use the 20bn punishment fee to cut corproation tax.

  38. formula57
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    The Evil Empire has shown us hostility (contrary to its values as espoused) and we would do well to point out to its member states individually that the UK will have a long memory.

    Security seems now to be a Brexit topic: we cannot be expected to assist in future those who spurn us as we liberate ourselves from the Evil Empire.

  39. Mark B
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The government’s proposal of a two year extension is a far worse situation than just asking for an extension under Article 50 whereby, the UK would still maintain full membership and benefits as it currently does.

    I do not believe everything will be in place but I also do not believe that there is some cliff that we will fall off. There is too much to lose on both sides and all this is just a rouse to get some sort of ‘deal’ through.

    The WTO option, although not my preferred option, should have been Plan A right from the start. A ‘deal’ with the EU should have been treated as Plan B and they should have been treated as such – ie with total indifference. We should have made our ‘red-lines’ clear, like taking back full control of our fishing grounds and denying EU and other nations access from day one. Any licenses can only be issued to trading nations we have a FTA with.

    There has been too much pandering to the EU by a weak and feeble PM. Mrs. T was never like that and, she still remains the only PM to go to Brussels and come back with something. And that is because she was strong !

    • Caterpillar
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

      Mrs T gave up Hong Kong and Kowloon.

      • David Price
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Kowloon lease was up and HK island wasn’t viable as an independent entity considering all power and water came from the mainland.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      We must make sure that a two transitional period is not just an extension. Once again I point out the definition of “transition”:


      “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”

  40. Chris
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Theresa May appears a complete amateur in her task to effect Brexit. She has got herself into a position of great weakness with the EU by playing all the wrong cards, and conducting herself in a subservient and sometimes grovelling manner. For what reason is not clear, other than she is not a committed Brexiteer, she has a predominantly Remainer team within Cabinet and is supported by key civil servants who are apparently committed Remainers. What a ridiculous situation. This country deserves far better from its PM and her government, in my view.

  41. Prigger
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    Mrs May does focus. According to Sunday Politics which also shows the usual MP timewasters, maungy failed Labour Leaders, she is involved in stopping information via the internet. This is book burning.

  42. English Pensioner
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    As I read the reports about the negotiations each day, I become more convinced that we have absolutely no-one who is capable of carrying our negotiations in a business like manner.
    As you say, our starting point on Day 1 should have been, “What can you offer us which is better than our reverting to WTO terms?”. So far the EU has offered nothing and are simply demanding money to discuss the issue.
    Indeed EU is acting just like e-mail scammers who ask for money before they will show you how to claim a fortune that has been left to you. Presumably our negotiators are the sort of persons would fall for all these scams!

  43. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Not once has anyone said we have an itemised bill for what ‘we owe’. It could be any figure they care to conjure up. The awful Thornberry woman said this morning that No Deal won’t be voted through the commons so why are we even talking about it? Of course, being from the Labour party she thinks any amount of money is fine. The British plebs can pay it!!

    • Beecee
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

      I am not sure she is right.

      Mr Corbyn’s plan for a Marxist UK cannot be delivered if the UK is subject to EU’s rules and regulations and the ECJ.

      He may (no pun intended) just tell his MPs to abstain.

      Just a thought!

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 1:17 am | Permalink

        Still the same result beecee.

  44. NHSGP
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The UK and France are bound.

    Neither side can increase tariffs or barriers to trade where none exist now unless the other agrees.

    Why are you talking about tariffs being introduced?

    You do not understand the WTO and that’s very worrying.

    Equally we here May is going to make good will payments to the EU.

    What’s an acceptable level of nurses and GPs being sacked to pay the EU?

  45. Ian Wragg
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    The majority who voted Leave expect nothing less than a clean break.
    No tribute.
    No ECJ.
    No CET.
    No free movement.
    Anything less and you will be slaughtered at the next election.

    • Dennis
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      The trouble is the Con. will be elected later on in the future, near future probably, so no problem about losing the next one.

      And who will you vote for in the next election if Brexit goes wrong?

    • rose
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

      And our fishing grounds back.

    • Chris
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      The Conservatives seem to be relying on the fact that the electorate would be too scared of voting in a Corbyn government. What a pathetic way of running the country, and running the Conservative Party. Please, Mr Redwood, get your Party to go back to Conservative grassroots, and abandon the aping of left wing policies.

  46. ferdinand
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Companies have had a fair time to study and re-plan for a possible WTO exit from the EU. i should not be surprised if business soon calls for a WTO exit so that they have certainty in their planning.

  47. Oma Butterkish
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Lots of words but no beef from Davis and Barnier. We are awaiting Barnier getting a possibly revised ticksheet for negotiations from his EU High Command.Meantime Starmer and Co are snapping at our heels in harmony with EU bullet-point positions against the UK.

  48. J.White
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I am very pleased you are receiving messages to get on with Brexit and stick to 2019 deadline, please can you advise the cabinet if they go ahead with paying billions of our money to EU for trade or transition period and accepting rule of the ECJ it will be rejected by the public and we won’t forget being ignored.. Please reinforce to the cabinet what we voted for as they seem to have forgotten. Today we have Brussels demanding Theresa May shut down Boris Johnson and all brexiteers or no trade deal, who do they think they are to demand the UK government do anything. They know if they can get rid of Boris and the Brexiteers the remainers in the cabinet and opposition parties will agreet all their demands. The EU are scared of Boris hence they want to rid of him. Make Boris more prominent instead. WTO rules and completely out by March 2019, no more money to the EU and everything money, borders, laws under our control. Businesses have known for some time the date we leave if they didn’t start on making arrangements for leaving then that’s their problem. The current plan for transition and accepting everything the ECJ throw at us for even two years or more is totally unacceptable! The cabinet and remainers should read your blog they might learn a thing or two. Keep up the fight please.

    • kenD
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      J.White.. The EU don’t give two hoots about Boris or anyone else- they are only playing with us

    • Chris
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Precisely, JW. Boris and Rees-Mogg among many other true Brexiteers e.g. JR should be brought into Cabinet pdq and Hammond and Rudd removed. Of course the EU fear Boris, but it is their arrogance in apparently demanding openly the removal of Boris by May that is quite staggering. It would appear that they think they have May just where they want her i.e. a puppet on strings.

  49. Oggy
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Exactly Mr Redwood, but there are 2 problems,
    firstly the cabinet is full of remoaners who deep down don’t want to leave the EU at all, secondly Mrs May doesn’t appear to have the testicular fortitude to tell the EU we are no longer playing their silly games so therefore it’s ‘WTO !’

    I see project fear was alive and well on the BBC this morning via Chuka Umuna, saying no deal would mean miles of lorries at Dover and planes would stop flying – utter nonsense – but nobody from Government has yet responded to this scaremongering.

    He went on to speak about several Amendments to the EU wihdrawal bill, including that the ‘Transitional period’ should be written in Law and that any deal should be approved by parliament before acceptance.
    This really mystifies me because any such arrangements on transition or deals needs EU agreement, and what if there is no agreement ? and even more mystifying as to what purpose these amendments serve as we leave via A50 regardless in March 2019. The only reason I can see is to try to delay and frustrate the will of the British people.

  50. George Brooks
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Your second paragraph sets out exactly what we voted ‘Brexit’ for and the Cleggs and Blairs of this world should stop insulting us by stating that we did not know what were doing or likely to get.

    Your fourth paragraph sets out an excellent approach and our politicians should stop being over polite. We need to adopt a straight forward business approach and completely ignore the EU’s time wasting tactics. They are spinning out the time in the hope that we might give up and many remoaners have the same aim. As I have commented here before that would be a complete disaster and the EU would wreck this country out of pure revenge and because several of their members have wanted to ‘take’ the UK as they have been trying to do for nearly a 1000 years.

    Several comments today refer to the BBC’s approach and stance on Brexit. I have to say that when it reports on events and meetings in Brussels it does remind me of Lord Haw Haw’s broadcasts during the 39/45 war. Every statement or comment by the EU is dressed up to be a ”winner” or ”game stopper”. One has to wonder as to whether any of William Joyce’s DNA has infiltrated the BBC’s editorial offices?

  51. Chris S
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    The slight case of EUphoria that we have seen since the summit is false. The EU has only been kind to Mrs May because they fear that if they maintained their belligerent stance and sent her home with nothing, she might well be replaced by Boris.

    If anything Merkel and Macron have hardened their stance on money and a future role for the ECJ. In fact the demand for a huge Brexit Payment is just as firm as it was. The more public opinion moves in favour of No Deal, the likely they are to get worried about their future trade. After all it’s the German car industry and French agriculture that have the most to lose if tariffs are introduced.

    Mrs May must maintain and build up the threat of No Deal and WTO terms, not rule it out as Thornbury stupidly did on the Marr show this morning.

    There was an interesting piece in the Express this morning suggesting that David Davis might suggest that the issue of money might be referred to an independent tribunal to allow trade talks to commence.

    This would be an excellent move. I would think the idea would be rejected outright by Merkel, Juncker and Co because they already know from their own legal advice that there is no legal basis for their demands.

    Their refusal to go to arbitration would prove to voters beyond doubt that the demand for a mountain of our cash is nothing more than blackmail.

  52. E.S Tablishment
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:37 pm | Permalink


  53. Jonp
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Liam fox seems to be a little outside of his brief today talking on ITV Peston, surely he should be concentrating on these new worldwide free trade deals that he is lining up for us instead of being concerned about what Macron said or didn’t say.. or am I missing something? He now says that he would like to have a deal with the’s hard to know what to believe anymore? The people voted out but now senior government ministers who are supposed to be planning for our exit are saying they want to go back in..seems to me? Jeez it’s hard to know what’s going on

  54. Ian Pennell
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Dear John Redwood,

    It is good news to see that the European Union in general, and Angela Merkel and the Dutch Prime Minister in particular, is inching at last towards making some concessions in the Brexit negotiations. It seems that this is out of concern that Theresa May is in a weak position and that she could be ousted in favour of a Euro-sceptic, so they are softening their stance so that Mrs May has a deal that is at least palatable to the British Public.

    Theresa May is in a weak position: There are (as there has been in recent weeks) continued reports that Labour will woo Pro-EU Tories so that wrecking amendments are put to the Brexit legislation so that Parliament can vote against Britain leaving the European Union without a deal. The Shadow Brexit Secretary Kier Starmer is confident that there are enough Tory rebels to force the Government in at least 12 areas to amend the critical Brexit legislation.

    If this happens, we effectively remain in the EU in all but name, pay a massive Brexit Bill and the Conservatives will lose the next General Election. Millions of Britons will be disgusted at the apparent disregard of the Brexit Referendum result, but it will be the Conservatives that suffer from the electoral backlash, not Labour.

    Yourself, Sir along with as many of your Conservative colleagues in Parliament as possible need to remain ultra vigilant to the machinations of all Bremain -groupings in Parliament that seek to undermine the Brexit process and weaken Theresa May’s position. What do you think Mr Barnier makes of the fact that our government really doesn’t have the teeth to make the European Union do anything – what hope do we really have of getting a decent deal??

    The upshot of the 2017 General Election has been an unmitigated disaster for our Government. Would it not be better to urge Theresa May to go to the country again (or make way for someone who is willing) – This time on a Manifesto commitment to just walk away and not pay the European Union a penny more. We can also pledge to slash Foreign Aid and use the money to invest heavily in more affordable homes and much-needed income tax cuts to help the economy. I think we stand a good chance of turning the tables on Corbyn as such a Conservative Manifesto would appeal strongly to voters- especially those struggling to buy a home and those concerned at how Brexit is currently starting to look like it might not be Brexit at all.

    I wish you all the best in making sure that Brexit actually happens!

    Ian Pennell

  55. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    JR, I know how the simple claim that “No deal would be better than a bad deal” started life but surely it is time to clarify that this is just about a trade deal.

    Otherwise you will continue to have fifth columnists in this country falsely implying that “no deal” means there would be no deals on anything, eg on customs arrangements, or on security co-operation, or even on mutual defence under NATO.

    As you link a “no deal” scenario to reversion to the WTO regime for trade:

    “I am glad the government is going full ahead with showing how the WTO option can work for the UK, and will do what it takes to make sure we trade and do business after March 2019 if there is no deal.”

    clearly in your mind it is just about trade, not about other aspects of our relationship with the EU countries such a security – which was in fact what Amber Rudd was talking about, when she said “I think it’s unthinkable that there would be no deal … ”.

    If we do come to an impasse on future trade arrangements it will be because the EU holds as a matter of fanatical quasi-religious doctrine that trade and immigration must always be linked, and the “four freedoms” of their single market cannot be separated into three (goods, services and capital) plus one (persons).

    Before Cameron embarked upon his futile attempt at renegotiation they made it clear that they were not prepared to consider a trade deal with the UK which did not involve all of their citizens being given unfettered freedom of movement into the UK, and since our EU referendum they have made it perfectly clear that this is still the case now.

    • ChasE
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Denis Cooper..Denis you seem to have NATO mixed up with the EU, they are far from being the same, just as we have this hang up about should know that the EU countries have their own security and what they havn’t got after we depart I’m quite sure they will develop in quick fashion. On another note if we are going for a no deal scenario then we have other things to be concerned with like building a few more deep sea sea container ports to accomadate all of the extra shipping that will be coming this way from overseas and will be needed when the trade via Dover winds down.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:18 am | Permalink

        Did you miss the “fifth columnists in this country falsely implying” bit?

  56. Denis Cooper
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    “We will only need some implementation period beyond March 2019 if we have an Agreement reached late in the negotiations that requires something different from WTO border arrangements.”

    Well, I have no difficulty imagining that some legal and practical changes made necessary by our withdrawal would have to be completed after we have left the EU, and I have no problem with the principle of transitional provisions being written into the various agreements.

    But I would emphasise three points which seem not to be fully understood, in some cases deliberately misunderstood.

    1. The transitional provisions must operate AFTER the treaty as a whole has come into effect, so in this case the transition is completed AFTER WE HAVE LEFT THE EU.

    2. It must actually be a transition, a series of changes from a starting point to an agreed finishing point, not this silly nonsense of a “standstill transition” which would be just a continuation of the status quo.

    3. There must be a defined schedule for the transition to take place, it cannot be a case of it just allowing to be dragged out longer and longer.

    • Chris
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

      I rather wish you were on our negotiating team, Denis.

  57. Turboterrier.
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    On Sunday Politics they interviewed a Brexiteer and the way he was talking you could not be mistaken in that he was implying about other forms of payments we might be required to be met.

    It begs belief that how far are we down the road and even those that say they want to leave have a problem in presenting a united front. No wonder the media and the remainers wipe the floor with us. Is it too much to ask to present a united front?

  58. Robert Afia
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    When will the EU begin straight talking? Every month that passes brings Brexit closer, and without a deal, more uncertainty. This means more contingency planning and more cost for planning for all eventualities by both government and business.

    18 months to go and £18billion on the table. How about reducing the money by £1billion for every month that passes with no “sufficient” progress by the EU team?

  59. Dennis Zoff
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Succinct, clear and to the point! No more to be said on the matter.

    “It should remind the EU that a deal will only be acceptable if it is indeed better than the WTO “no deal” option”

    This is the solution! The rest is mere background noise!

  60. Original Richard
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    It is imperative that we leave the EU in March 2019 with a complete and clean break as it may well be our last chance to do so before the drawbridge is closed through a new treaty.

    It appears that the issue of most concern to the EU is our exit fee, the large size of which suggests that either the £10bn/year net we are told we pay the EU is in fact far smaller than the true figure of our future commitments or it is fallacious.

    Although the government is right to fight the EU hard to protect the UK taxpayer from false EU claims the government should finally offer the EU a generous financial settlement.

    Firstly to come to a deal which means that in the short term the EU does not carry out its recent threats to treat us as a rogue state (stopping flights etc.) but more importantly because in the long term whatever the amount offered it will be less than that it will cost us to remain in the EU.

    The EU is a bottomless pit, and our contributions will only increase as the EU rapidly expands both through the accession of further eastern European countries and through continued immigration into the EU from the third world.

    Furthermore, our contributions will not be controllable as already, before further expansion, net recipients can outvote net contributors on QMV issues.

    Freedom is priceless and the figures quoted are no bigger than those the government intends to waste on such projects as HS2 (£50-£100bn) and Hinkley Point C (currently £50bn+ to build and support but will certainly increase as the French do not even know yet how to build this nuclear reactor).

  61. Tad Davison
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    I’m still convinced the only way to get a proper deal, and the one most people want, is to have a panel of negotiators and civil servants who are solidly for Brexit, not people with EU leanings or who secretly wish the UK wasn’t leaving at all.

    Personally, I want a total separation and that can be a massive advantage to the UK. Making closet remainers see the strength of that argument is an uphill if not impossible task, and their employment in any capacity is an impediment to a process that should be quite straightforward.

    Quite where that leaves Mrs May is a moot point, but perhaps, looking around at the alternatives, we are stuck with what we have until a better qualified person steps forward to take up the reins. And as god is my judge, it isn’t for the want of me trying to convince possible replacements of the dire need for urgency and strong leadership.

    Tad Davison


  62. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:10 pm | Permalink


    You are really getting beyond your self again. The WTO solution for the UK business and with less that 16 months to go it gives UK no alternative tan to open subsidiaries in the Eu to enable them to continue trading as they already are. It will be expensive and it will mean the loss of thousands of jobs.

    But as a politician you keep just going on you bandwagon about WT, which will mean lower living standards and a big expenses for UK business and employment

    I just wish people could see through your anti-EU propaganda. You have been away from business so long that you really do not have a clue of the consequences for what you are agitating. Poor John

    • PaulDirac
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

      I understand your fear of being alone (as a country), you need the fatherland to look after your interests, and all the good luck to you and Denmark with the unification of the EU.

      The majority here were never under the boot of the third Reich and don’t much fancy the next Reich either.

      Napoleon famously called us “a nation of shopkeepers”, we laughed and then Waterloo happened to the poor chap, imagine his disapprobation as he was sent to St Helena by the same shopkeepers nation.
      There is a lesson there for the (presumed) sons and daughters of the great Viking heritage.

      We in the UK prefer freedom.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 2:17 pm | Permalink


        as we all do in Europe with a long social liberal tradition, whether we are members of the Eu or not, thank you for your contribution

    • getahead
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      hans, the EU is too expensive. Britain does not need it. In any case regaining our county’s sovereignty is more important than a few trade wobbles.
      And no need to be so bloody condescending towards the author of this article. He is absolutely correct.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

        thank you for your comments but this is more than a few trade deals and I am afraid I do not share your idea of sovereignty which we have already lost a great deal of being members of all sorts of organisations.

        No, John is not correct because his arguments do not stack up to the facts and figures with the consequences of a WTO deal.

        So, sorry you are not on the right track on this one

    • libertarian
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:12 pm | Permalink


      It has obviously escaped your notice that the vast majority of UK businesses that operate in the EU already have subsidiary offices in the various European countries er just like we do in non EU countries. Please name a business that doesn’t have a business. These 100’0’s of job losses Hans name a company that will be losing 1,000’s of jobs due to opening a EU subsidiary , name one

      • hefner
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 8:12 am | Permalink

        Certainly not thousands of jobs, more likely some hundreds: this spring there were news of Lloyd’s of London, HSBC, more recently Goldman Sachs, taking practical steps to set up subsidiaries in Brussels, Dublin, and Frankfurt.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

        Ferrabyrne Ltd and hundreds like it as part of the European supply chain they will need to open thank you for your contribution and feedback

  63. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 2:13 pm | Permalink


    the majority of the 500 million Europeans in the Eu fortunately feel very different about the EU than you do. Including 71% of the Danes who are significantly more successful economically than we are because of the Eu as well

    • lo
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      How do you know what the majority of Europeans think about the EU? Recent election results in Austria, Germany and Czech republic would suggest you are talking out of your arse.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        I gave an example of the Danes and there will be no more exits and as far as I know all the majority parties in each of the countries support continued member ship of the Eu, so what is the problem?

      • hefner
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Lo, In the three countries that you point out, the electorates did not give the majority to anti-EU parties.

  64. PaulDirac
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Well said JR.
    I do think we need to step smartly on the accelerator, the EU is now trying for a bear hug i.e. looks like a friendly gesture but is intended to suffocate (and possibly devour the subject of the hug).
    We need to spend all the money needed for a “no deal”, my reasoning:
    1. The EU can make all the right moves and negotiate a fair deal, but the deal will fall through at the last step, leaving us unprepared and at their mercy (what mercy?)

    2. The EU will not talk seriously to us unless we have a plan for an alternative.

    3. The talk of “implementation period” is nonsense, all it means is a continuation of EU obligations (at a higher price), as you say, implementation assumes something is to be implemented i.e. an existing agreement.

    The referendum gave us an opening which will not be repeated, we have to get out.

  65. getahead
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

    Hammond only popped up with his “transition period” idea to delay Brexit for his corporate chums. I wish he would instead work for the British people who voted to leave the EU.

  66. John S
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    The one thing that concerns me is that WTO rules do not cover the service sector which is the mainstay of our economy. How badly will the City of London be hit?

    • libertarian
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      John S

      The EU doesn’t cover the service sector either, passporting for the financial services small players will be replaced with equivalence , MiFID 2 and the fact that 99% of financial service companies already have European subsidiaries. City of London job vacancies have risen 13% since June 2016, Goldman Sachs are currently building their new European HQ……. In London

    • Len Grinds
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      You make a good point, John. Mr Redwood tells us that trade under WTO rules is fine. There are no WTO rules for services. And the UK is a service economy.

      reply Yes there are and the doctrine of equivalence will work fine.

      • David Price
        Posted October 24, 2017 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Wrong – WTO – GATS – General Agreement on Trade in Services. The WTO RTA database lists agreements which cover both goods and services.

        It is easy enough to find out such things yet for someone who lectures others on trade you seem to know bugger all and do very little basic research.

  67. VotedOut
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    The ‘Deep State’ is clearly working hard to over-rule the referendum.

    One parliamentary official suggested recently that Parliament was within its right to ignore the referendum of 2016 and stay in the EU. This clearly ignored the fact that Parliament gave the right to the people by enacting the referendum legislation.

    This is but one example of how the elite are after a period of profound shock, regrouping and working towards staying in the EU regardless.

    We now have the disgraceful situation of the police saying that they have no money to police remembrance day events – yet our PM meekly agrees to pay €60 billion euros – on absolutely no legal basis at all.

    Where exactly is the leadership in that?

    Day after day we have a diet of doom and disaster. No mention of the obvious huge benefits.

    Gone is the PM’s insightful speech in the 2016 conference stating that to ignore the referendum result would threaten the whole British political system. Now we have concession after concession to appease who? A bunch of unelected people in Brussels who are in the weakest of negotiating positions. They are on their knees.

    We have the official leader of the opposition actively working against the referendum result – 4 months after saying he was 100% behind it!

    The political class in the UK are a total and utter disgrace

    • E.S Tablishment
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      The next time we have a Referendum, it should be added “And if there are any Remoaners after the result they will have their property auctioned off within three days on the basis that any bid is better than no bid.

    • Abe Lincoln
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:30 pm | Permalink

      “The “Deep State” I believe you mean to be similar to that said of the Clinton administration. Involved in odd money movements internationally, people going missing or run over in sequence who were going to whistleblow…connections to big business which strangely preferred a somewhat socialist agenda to one of free enterprise.

  68. paulW
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    The Cabinet knows it, JR knows it, IDS knows it, Michael Gove and Boris know it- from a negotiation point of view we are bunched- it was a kind of high stakes game of bluff that didn’t quite work out as we planned so now we are into damage limitation control..

    When I saw Liam Fox on Peston this morning- I could hear the nuance changing and then with the absence of some of the other star brexit players now from the TV media, putting it all together, it tells it’s own story- all of the bravado talk is fast disappearing.

  69. Simon Coleman
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    Most Brexit voters don’t know what WTO means! And the government has no business talking up no deal as May’s appeal for support for an uncompromising negotiating stance was rejected at the election. Your democratic credentials are non-existent, as you 1) reject that Parliament should have any say in the final deal, 2) support Henry VIII powers, 3) ignore the general election result, 4) ignore the powers of the devolved administrations and 5) claim that the referendum result was a vote for no deal. There’s no bigger enemy of democracy in Parliament today than you but, laughably, you claim that a transfer of power from Brussels to Westminster is in itself a return of democracy.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

      How do you know “most Brexit voters don’t know what WTO means” ?
      Have you asked all 17.3 million?
      Ridiculous comment by you.

    • rose
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      “Most Brexit voters don’t know what WTO means!”

      In my experience, remainiacs don’t know all they should about the EU, including many so called reporters. That goes for WTO too.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

      Simon Coleman

      Lol…… Deluded fantasist

  70. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    Here is why the WTO solution is not as easy as john makes it out to be:

    We are not embers of the WTO but as part of the EU. If, we do not get a deal with the EU seperately, we either have to enter new negotiations with the WTO which will leave us in a legal limbo in the meantime, or take on the tariffs already agreed with the Eu and now call them British as well.

    However, that will not make it easier for multinationals operating across the Eu as they would then have to pay the tariffs between members of the WTO and not just exchange for example goods as we do in the Eu today.

    For farming we would also have to make new deals if we wish to subsidize farmers for domestic production, which John is agitating as a farming solution.

    So, a WTO solution is not as straight forward as john has made it out to be and there will be a lot of bumps along the road.

    So, do not just take John’s solution at face value.

    Reply We are full paying members of the WTO in our own right and they are glad we will regain our vote, voice and own schedule the day we leave the EU

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:07 pm | Permalink


      that will require long negotiations and is not as simple and as easy as you make it out to be, if only you were right we might have a viable alternative, but you need to look closer at the facts

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      And Croatia is a member of the WTO but not as an EU member, along with Romania and Bulgaria and Poland and Cyprus and … because the EU has not yet updated its schedules from when it had only 15 members … but nobody cares.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted October 23, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

        but they are still part of the tariffs taht the Eu has negotiated with the rest of the World through the WTO, and that is what we need to renegotiate unless we just write Britain instead of the Eu, fact and thank you for your contribution

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted October 24, 2017 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          No, they are not, because as stated perfectly clearly above “the EU has not yet updated its schedules from when it had only 15 members” and so the national schedules of the 13 newer EU member states have not yet been included in the EU schedules, and nor have those schedules been negotiated for them by the EU. But as I also say nobody cares about that, at least not enough to say that they will stop trading with the EU countries until its schedules have been sorted out.

  71. nigel seymour
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    J, I think a lot of the UK people have had enough of the EU and obvious desire to make the ‘UK Pay’. We need to make it clear to all anti-leavers that the UK will become stronger outside the EU club and once again be able to hold our head high as GREAT BRITAIN come March 2019. Suggest Scottish SNP voters listen to Graeme Souness interview (I know he has a book out but seems to speak from the heart). This UK land is steeped in history and countries around the world respect our heritage and who we are…that’s why some many people want to come here!

  72. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    Just reading an article ‘What’s wrong with the WTO option’ and there are some disturbing reasons stated why this would not be easy at all. If anyone has come across this article perhaps an answer to the foreseen problems could be given.
    BTW if anyone knows how I can highlight a reference in this blog site I would be grateful.

    • John Soper
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 5:42 am | Permalink

      No answer can be given to the foreseen problems. Mr Redwood has been spinning you a fairy story

  73. John Finn
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 8:11 pm | Permalink


    Do you have an opinion on the reported US-led rejection of a deal between the UK and EU to divide agricultural import quotas?

    Is this just a small hitch which might be expected in these sorts of negotiations or is this just the start of a period of lengthy hard bargaining before we can even begin to trade on WTO terms.

  74. hans christian ivers
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    YOu are absolutely right and I am sure John will read the article as well

  75. KatC
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    One hundred years ago the germans were screwed at the talks leading up to the treaty of versailles. Today it is the Uk’s turn to be in the hot seat and so we in similar fashion will be screwed by the germans and the french just for the cheek of causing them all of this trouble..wanna bet?

  76. Edward
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    you seem to be very much in tune with Mr. Charles Moore writing in Saturday’s Telegraph, he said in effect very much what you propose [above], splendidly.

    I say we should immediately move to WTO terms, of course we desire to trade with the Continental nations within the EU, why would we not? As others have pointed out, Britain happily abides by WTO rules as do all of our EU fellow members, so what is the problem?

    Get on with it, get us OUT on WTO trade terms and then, we can dicker. Sovereignty means Britain not beholden to the spavined tort and arbitrary rulings of that part time court named the ECJ and it’s nigh identical twin sister the ECHR – in division, really only in terms of Geographical praesidiums and Jesuitical nicety. Forthwith, we need to bin the twain. The ECHR was drafted in the aftermath of WWII designed to protect the rights of people moved about on the Continent, Churchill and the UK government never meant for its Aegis to stretch across the channel – we had no need of it, we didn’t then, we certainly don’t now.

    WTO and OUT.

  77. E.S Tablishment
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 10:39 pm | Permalink

    “The City” is concerned about this and that of Leaving. They did get a vote in the Referendum. Forgetting to vote is no excuse for trying to cause trouble now. They must ask themselves if “Business” is a viable career path for them and think of trying something requiring less thought and preparedness.

  78. boyd
    Posted October 22, 2017 at 11:05 pm | Permalink

    All very well and good but we do not have the leisure of having JR leading us out of this union of the dammed. Indeed, neither do we a leader or party capable of countermanding the nonsense fed daily by the politics of hate and division orchestrated by socialists. JR is led by a liberal democrat who doesn’t even believe in what she’s leading. Id’e happily die fighting to free us from this tyranny but who would die for a leader who doesn’t even believe in the cause?

  79. Chrome Auto Phil
    Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Will there be an EU soon? “Millions of people in Lombardy and Veneto, both run by the once openly secessionist Lega Nord party, voted more than 90 percent for “yes”, ” for automony

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted October 23, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      but they are still part of the tariffs taht the Eu has negotiated with the rest of the World through the WTO, and that is what we need to renegotiate unless we just write Britain instead of the Eu, fact and thank you for your contribution

  80. Chrome Auto Phil
    Posted October 23, 2017 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    better autonomy

  81. dennis perrin
    Posted October 23, 2017 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    Big issues that dominate the media dominate politicians’ minds. Brexit. Catalonia. The EU. Trump. Meanwhile Julian Assange is holed up by the government in the Ecuadorian embassy in LONDON. He has a wife and family he has not seen for years. Let’s care about the rights of individuals kept prisoner in our own capital city and speak out for them please.

    Please Back Bencher.

  82. Ron Olden
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 4:24 am | Permalink


    I really do despair of these Remainiacs. They appear deranged.

    How can you possibly have a ‘transition deal’, if you haven’t negotiated and agreed (or at least agreed most of), what the final deal is going to be?

    You can’t have a ‘transition’ into the unknown. You need to know what your supposed to be trying to gain transit into. There’s no point in getting on a flight to Buenos Aires, and then en route agreeing with your partners that you really wanted to go to Mumbai

    To date the EU has refused even to start negotiating the final deal. They haven’t even yet met to decide whether or not they want a deal at all, or what they want from it.

    There’s no point in ‘business groups’, (i.e. big business), and Remainiac MPs demanding ‘more clarity’. No one in this country, including Mrs May, is in a position to deliver it. All we can do is prepare for No Deal at all, whilst carrying on trying to get something suitable.

    These ‘business groups’ and Remainiac MPs, should go and protest to the EU, not to Mrs May.

    Alternatively go and see a shrink

    • hefner
      Posted October 24, 2017 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      The point, as hinted/said by Barnier from the beginning, is that the EU27 do not see any reason to be flexible towards the UK, the leaving country. Once you understand that, the whole “negociation” process is clear: the EU27 want to know what the UK wants. As long as the UK is not able to define properly which agencies/programs/previous agreements it wants to keep (access to), all these talks are practically of no use.

      In that respect, a quick “no deal” looks certainly better, but will the UK government and the various tribes of MPs have a better perspective when they enter the negociations with the RotW? and how long will that take?

      These points had clearly not been addressed during the referendum campaign, and I would guess were out of reach of most of “the People”.

  83. agricola
    Posted October 24, 2017 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    WTO rules are what we deal under for the 60% of our trade which is not with the EU. Most exporting companies will export under EU and WTO rules. They have the systems in place as does HMRC. It would only be a rebalancing act were we to go WTO for 100%.

    Assuming no change in trade levels after the introduction of WTO rules to EU trade we Collect £12 billion in duty on EU sales to us and exporters spend an extra £5billion on duty paid to the EU. HMRC could on direction from government credit UK manufacturers the £5 billion against their corporation tax. We as a country then have £7 billion with which to reduce the deficit or whatever we choose.

    Is it correct to assume that the £20 billion that T May has offered is to cover an implementation period of two years after a final agreement on trade and other matters has been finalised by 29th March 2019. If we are on WTO rules at this point there is no need for implementation or payment. There is an awful lot of rubbish being talked about WTO rules mostly by people who have no experience of world trade.

    I would make a further point on this £20 billion. It takes our membership to March 2021. In effect we will have covered all our EU budget commitments to 2021. The last 7 year EU budget was approved in November 2013. Add 7 years and you have November 2020. In effect the EU have a bonus from November 2020 to March 2021. What budget commitments they make in November 2020 are strictly their responsibility. Our only responsibility will be for our share of any joint ventures.

    As I see it the EU is the only loser under WTO rules, both in terms of their trade and their membership income. Further clarification is necessary as to when we are free to establish our own trade deals. Is it after 29th March 2019 whatever happens. This is very important because therein lies our ability to buy imported foodstuffs much cheaper than at present. Politically there is little better than a demonstrable reduction in the cost of the shopping basket so watch out for the supermarkets during the transition. When Spain went from the Peseta to the Euro a cup of coffee went from 100 Pesetas to 1.0 Euro, an increase of about 130%

  • 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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