The CBI gives bad advice again on the EU

I see the CBI is going to Downing Street to urge delay in leaving the EU and urge that we keep as many of the features of our membership as possible.

We should remember how they lobbied and lobbied to get the UK into the European Exchange Rate Mechanism which gave us boom and bust, and a  large recession, which did considerable damage to their member companies.

They then thought the Euro a good idea and claimed we would lose out by not joining it, especially in the City. Instead the City grew and flourished outside the Euro.

Now they want to prolong the period of uncertainty by demanding a Transitional period, and delay making our own trade agreements. Above all they seem to want to cripple the UK economy for longer with large transfers of money to the rest of the EU, with the consequent big drag on our balance of payments.

They could be helpful to their member firms if instead they concentrated on lobbying the EU not to impose any new barriers on their trade with us when we leave. It’s the EU which pretends to want new barriers, not the UK.

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  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    You couldn’t make it up. This is just to make sure that we, the plebs, change our minds when we see what a ‘disaster’ Brexit is. I doubt Mrs May is strong enough to fight back.

  2. Duncan
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Of course it’s the very fact that the public can see the CBI has been invited to Downing Street (PM or Chancellor?) which is far more important. I am sure these type of discussions could take place behind closed doors but the fact that this as been made public confirms in my mind that this PM has no intention of achieving full Brexit.

    Such a visit by the fanatically pro-EU CBI is intended for public consumption to signal that May is indeed on the side of the EU

    I have no doubt in my mind that this PM will betray the EU referendum result and democracy itself

    Who’s to blame? Well, evidently those Tory MP’s who backed a pro-EU politician as leader of the Tory party

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Perhaps the CBI needs clarity; tell them to prepare for WTO terms. The Government needs to make this the default arrangement with the EU. fFund it, plan for it and if needed implement it. You either give the money to the EU or spend it at home on planning for WTO trade terms. Not a very difficult decision.

  4. eeyore
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    So the CBI asks government to ask the EU for something. When one party in a negotiation wants something, the other party will name its price. What price does the CBI think worth paying? Is the CBI offering to pay it?

    • Timaction
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

      CBI receives grants from the EU from recycled British taxpayers money. You couldn’t make up the EU,a propaganda machine that infiltrates everywhere. Most worrying is education that effects All of our children. Hence the young people vote!!

  5. mickc
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    The CBI is a self serving bureaucracy whose advice, as you point out, has usually been wrong….just another lobby group.

  6. DaveM
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Clearly all groups are entitled to voice their concerns and opinions. (Unless of course those groups represent white English heterosexual males who work, abide by the law and pay taxes!)

    What is of more concern is that the PM will cave in to whatever demands are put to her. I do hope she has someone strong and pro-British in the room with her.

  7. Lifelogic
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    Indeed the organisation is profoundly misguided and has been for year. Often just a lobby group for vested interest and rent seekers. Or large businesses wanting protection from smaller ones.

    The IoD which now has Barbara Judge as Chairman is becoming almost as bad politically.

    What is May going to do about the irrational, misguided and hugely damaging attacks on UBER and the gig economy in general from the courts. I have not heard anything from the government on this issue. Why not? Why are the government so anti business?

  8. sean
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Just leave! I’m sick to death of delay tactics.
    Politicians make life gard than they need to be.

  9. oldtimer
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    The CBI represents the interests of big business, not of UK voters. They want continued unfettered immigration of low cost immigration and the continuation of the EU system of creating Directives which is open to lobbying to restrict competition from smaller and new competitors.

    • oldtimer
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Should read “low cost labour”.

  10. Ian Wragg
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    The CBI is controlled by multinational companies and receives funding from Brussels.
    Nough said.

  11. Tasman
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    You are being dishonest in claiming it’s the EU which pretends to want new barriers, not the UK. The UK leaving the EU turns it into a third country. It can no longer enjoy the benefits of the EU club. It is dishonest to pretend that Brexit has no consequences. It does, very bad ones for the UK

    • Mark B
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

      And pray tell what are these consequences ? Are the same ones that apply to all the other non-EU countries around the world, like China and the U.S. ?

    • NickC
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

      Tasman, It is dishonest to pretend that Bremain has no consequences. It does, very bad ones for the UK. Like us disappearing altogether as an independent nation.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      If you could be bothered to read the EU’s own treaties you would know that the EU is breaking numerous provisions. That is before we get to the recent WTO treaty on trade facilitation. Your hypocritical untrustworthy friends in the EU pretend that it is based on the rule of law but they only apply the law when it suits them.

  12. Bert Young
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    The CBI have many members who are the subsidiaries of EU member countries ; they also are the recipients of a direct grant from the EU . From these two facts alone it is no surprise that they will toe the EU line . IF businesses cannot get themselves in order to face the challenges of competition – no matter from what source , then they should close down . The world is out there with opportunities . Hammond probably is right behind them .

  13. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, please can you explain in simple language why we must not join EFTA?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:48 pm | Permalink


      I too would like us to join EFTA but will they have us ? After all, we were once a founding member.

    • NickC
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

      Mike, There is nothing particularly bad about joining the EFTA, although rather pointless. What would be bad is then signing the EU’s EEA agreement, which puts us straight back under all the EU’s single market rules including unrestricted movement of capital and labour. And no, the EU wouldn’t allow us to stop the unrestricted flow of labour because they’ve already said so.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:56 am | Permalink

      Mike, try reading my long comment further down the thread.

  14. Tabulazero
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    UK CPI number reaches 3.1% vs. 1.6% for Germany.

    Are you still sure this is only about council tax, utility bills and higher petrol ?

    • John
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

      Germany has far higher volatility rate on inflation.

      The track is near identical to the UK if you ignore the wild volatility in Germany’s inflation.

      That proves it mirrors global prices just as we do, just we are more staple.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 6:28 pm | Permalink


      Considering Germany has failed totally to meet its CO2 targets and is building coal fired power stations, while the UK has reached its targets and isn’t building any new power generation and the green tax adds a huge amount to our living/runnning costs I dont really think they are comparable

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 15, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        What would happen if we hadn’t reached our target? is there a fine structure in place and are Germany facing those fines?

  15. Alan
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:25 am | Permalink

    Well, the ERM and the euro decisions were a log time ago. If they’ve been getting things right since then, maybe we should take their advice.

    • John
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      What you mean that there is no limit to corporate borrowing, the advice from the investment bankers worshiped by the CBI ‘Masters of the Universe’ as they were called?

      I don’t think the banking crash can’t be seen as getting it right.

      I don’t think their prediction of 950 thousand job losses and £100bn loss to the economy of we voted to leave last year came true.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      They haven’t been getting things right.
      We don’t even know who they represent, who are their paying members?

      • libertarian
        Posted November 14, 2017 at 6:34 pm | Permalink


        CBI has 1,500 direct and 188,500 indirect members. There are 140 trade associations within the confederation . The indirect members are the numbers of members of the trade associations etc. The National Farmers’ Union with its 55,000 members is the largest component of the 188,500 indirect members the CBI claims to have.

        There are 5.6 million businesses in the UK so they represent less than 0.05% of businesses

        • a-tracy
          Posted November 15, 2017 at 10:10 am | Permalink

          Thank you, that’s pretty much what I thought. Are the British Chamber of Commerce a direct member? Do you know if the Forum for Private Business and the Federation of Small Business are direct members or are they autonomous?

          I wonder if the Farmer’s Union is every farm worker or solely farm owners?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      The ECB is still buying up bonds issued by eurozone governments!

  16. Pat
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    The rules of the single market are framed to favour incumbent big business over foreigners and more importantly start ups. Expect the CBI to lobby for the continuance of those rules. They spent much energy lobbying for them.
    But future prosperity depends on successful start ups.
    Today’s ftsi is composed of past start ups, not past incumbents.

  17. zorro
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Indeed, why are they not demanding that the EU secure a free trade agreement with us which we have already offered in principle? The EU cannot comprehend this unfortunately without their four inviolate pillars. A bizarre arrangement which is mirrored nowhere else in the world!


    • a-tracy
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Exactly the CBI should be representing UK interests in the EU not EU interests in the UK, they should be beating the drum for free enterprise and opening up trade channels with the rest of the world. Does this business organisation really not see any future potential, really?

  18. Rob Jump
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The CBI acts for big international businesses and is not in the business of promoting UK interests and certainly not the interests of it’s people.

  19. LiamB
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Thats’s right John, everybody’s wrong except you!

    You know if Liam Fox could only give us some more information about new trade deals overseas- it would ease the pressure about all of this. Listening to Sir James Dyson yesterday morning was like a breath of fresh air- he is completely at ease with himself- talking about walking away and whereas that might suit some businesses it probably won’t suit all.

    We have to decide if we walk away that we are not going to have anything more to do with the EU again- no new trade deals- all business stop- no services- no travel- nothing- a complete severance for this generation and probably for generations to come- if that is what we want as some are wishing for then the way things are going they may very well get their wish and very soon. But you know what they say about being careful about what you wish for?

    • zorro
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

      Don’t be silly – who is saying no more travel/business or trade with EUrope for this and the next generation? What nonsense!


    • NickC
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 12:00 am | Permalink

      Liam, You’re just making that up. “Walking away” or “No deal” refer to the putative trade deal with the EU. You know – the one that doesn’t exist because the EU won’t talk about it.

      So the only deal that we can use to trade with the EU when we leave (that we use already for our exports to the rest of the world) is the WTO trade deal. Not so bad is it?

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      How can Liam Fox give us anything we’ve been hog-tied by the EU not to negotiate future deals until we leave.

    • libertarian
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Liam B

      Oh my word…. dumb and dumber springs to mind

      The fact you haven’t got the slightest clue about trade would lead me to believe you’re probably still a schoolboy

  20. Alan
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I have often wondered what would have happened if we had re-joined the ERM or joined the euro – they were really one decision taken twice, not two separate decisions. The Eurozone with the UK inside it would have been a very different thing from the Eurozone with the UK on the outside.

    At the time I wanted us to join the euro, largely for the personal reason that I wanted my pension to be paid in euros, which would not be devalued, instead of in pounds which would be devalued. Well, I got that right.

    But I also thought that using the euro would have assisted those exporting to the rest of the EU, which was almost certainly true. More questionable was my hope that the euro would make our governments more careful over their management of the economy by removing the “get out of jail free” card of devaluation every time things went wrong. I also hoped that this would halt the trend towards a low wage economy and encourage the development of more productive manufacturing industries where there would be an emphasis on better equipped factories to make best use of expensive labour.

    I certainly did not foresee the financial crisis, although I was conscious that the banks were behaving foolishly by lending to, for example, Greek companies at the same rates as to German ones. The problem of cheap lending to non-productive projects remains with us, perhaps accentuated by the current very low interest rates, although recapitalising the banks at the taxpayers’ expense perhaps will mitigate the consequences of another failure. It may be endemic in the way we allow banks to operate.

  21. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    I see on TV that the CBI is telling the UK government to get on and sort out our future trade arrangements with the EU as a matter of urgency. Nobody chose to comment that they should be saying that to their friends in the EU, and complaining to them that it was not only stupid but contrary to the EU’s treaty commitments for them to refuse to discuss trade from the very start in parallel with discussions on other matters.

    I suppose what the CBI wants is for the UK government to give in to the EU’s extortion and hand over as much UK taxpayers’ money as they choose to demand.

    I’m still waiting to see an itemised invoice of how much the EU thinks we should pay to settle up with them; instead all I hear is that they expect us to make an offer, or a better offer. I struggle to see why should we make them an offer to pay either more or less than can be justified, the ball is in their court to say exactly what they think is owed.

    • HenryS
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Denis..however itadds up I thinkthe total will be about 60 billion, a nice round figure

    • Beecee
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

      As was said in Parliament today – why should we pay to have a balance of trade deficit of £80Bn when we can have that for nothing?

    • Mark B
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 5:40 am | Permalink

      This is what Digby Jones was saying not too long ago. “Just pay them what they (EU) want”.

      Easy for him to say but I would bet that he never took that reckless attitude when he was a Captain of Industry ?

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    It would be interesting to know which major companies are in the CBI and more to the point, which companies are not. It would also be interesting to know more about who is actually behind such statements; are they approved by all members or a small group?
    James Dyson runs a very successful business, is he a member? The other day he was urging Brexit at once without paying a penny.

  23. Tad Davison
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    There’s only one thing worse than bad advice – when people in positions of power and influence can’t see the flaws in that bad advice, and do as these errant people suggest.

    Not only do I not have confidence in the likes of the CBI, I don’t have any confidence in remainers who have still not learned from bitter experience and who would still have us emasculated and subsumed by the EU.

    What is this madness that afflicts these remain people so badly?

    Tad Davison


  24. alan jutson
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Mrs May should simply play them a recording of the interview that Andrew Marr had with James Dyson yesterday morning.

    Such a breath of fresh air (from a BBC programme for a change) to hear how he is already trading with not only the EU but the rest of the World under WTO rules, with no problems at all.

    Simply Inspirational when compared to the doom mongers who 0nly ever want to complain.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      She ought to watch it herself. What makes you think she holds opposing views to those of the CBI?

  25. Richard Bond
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I do hope someone in the cabinet and Brexit department are listening to you.
    While I agree with what you say, it does seem sometimes to sound like a voice in the wilderness.

  26. Epikouros
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    The CBI is the cheer leader and lobby for big business and their greatest wish is for subsidy and regulation so as to see off competition and make a profit without need to satisfy consumer demand. So it is no surprise that they love the EU who love to dole out largess funded from taxpayers pockets to their cronies at the political and business level. Who also love to protect big business and governments from foreign competition whilst incidentally restricting new domestic entrants from entering the market place by introducing onto the statute books more and more rules and regulations.

  27. formula57
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    If the CBI is taking up anyone(*) in Downing Street’s time it is ill use of taxpayer funded resources.

    (*) including Larry, obviously.

  28. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I saw Andrew Marr interviewing James Dyson. The transcript is here:

    He said things that our government should be saying, out loud and in public and to the world at large, albeit perhaps couched in slightly more diplomatic language.

    Asked “… how confident are you that this government will actually deliver Brexit, given the way things are at the moment?”, his reply was forthright:

    “Well, I don’t think it’s the government’s fault. I think it’s a problem with the people we’re negotiating with … demanding you know, billions and billions to leave is quite outrageous and demanding it before we’ve negotiating anything is outrageous. And so I would walk away. I think that’s the only way to deal with them … There’s no way to deal with them. You have to walk away … We shouldn’t give them any money, we should just walk away … we’ve tried very hard. We’ve been very reasonable. They’ve been incredibly unreasonable. And I think that it’s now the time – time has come to walk away. ”

    I’m very close to agreeing with him. As I said in March:

    “I hope that Theresa May’s letter will make it clear that she is notifying the EU of the UK’s intention to withdraw using the Article 50 procedure, but without prejudice to any general right of withdrawal under wider international law. They should know from the start that we are not binding ourselves to stick with that procedure if they try to mess us about.”

    In fact they are not just messing us about, whether or not David Davis and Theresa May can see it they are taking the mickey out of us, and of course most of the UK mass media – and a lot of MPs – are cheering them on against our own government.

  29. Doug Powell
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    “The CBI gives bad advice again on the EU.”
    Nothing new there, but the PM doesn’t have to listen, let alone accept it! But she will! She never makes the right decision when the wrong one is available!

    Failure to send Article 50 immediately! – Stupid decision to sacrifice a working majority! – Decision to have a campaign that was 4 weeks too long, thus giving the opposition more than ample time to organise a powerful and sustained counter- attack! – A ‘Strong & Stable’ slogan arrogantly parroted that came over as elitist and pathetic!

    With that record, can ‘Grovel and Sell-Out’ be far behind?

  30. Mockbeggar
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    Off topic slightly, but I’ve only just read your item on the EU overplaying its hand on 12th November.

    Most of the contributors (including me) support your view, and many of them would like us to walk away now, as would I. We must remember, however, we need to be sure that a good majority of people in the UK are convinced that we are negotiating with a brick wall. Therefore it is, perhaps, necessary for David Davis to continue to try to negotiate until the EU’s intransigent stance becomes clearly visible to such a majority here.

    We know that if and when he walks away he will be met with howls of objections from many people who have a better platform (access to the media, the BBC in particular,) for voicing their views. The voice of the silent majority, as expressed in the ballot box, must be unequivocal.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    Somewhat off-topic, I’ve just been reading this article by a Tory MP:

    “James Cartlidge: We should consider joining EFTA – which would give us the brake on unskilled EU migration that we may need”

    The first point to be made is that the EFTA we might consider joining now is not governed by the same treaty as the EFTA we helped to found in 1960. It’s easy for advocates of that exit route to say “rejoin the EFTA we helped to found” but the reality is that EFTA has not existed in its original form since the 1960 Stockholm Convention was supplanted by the 2002 Vaduz Convention, as previously detailed here:

    The second point is that one of the changes made was a new commitment to the EU’s “four freedoms”, including freedom of movement of persons:

    “Resolved to deepen the co-operation instituted within the European Free Trade Association, further facilitating the free movement of goods, aiming at the progressive attainment of free movement of persons … ”

    “ARTICLE 2


    The objectives of the Association shall be …

    … (c) to progressively liberalise the free movement of persons … ”

    I really don’t see how the UK government could conscientiously sign up to that when its stated policy objective is exactly the opposite, namely to reimpose restrictions on the free movement of persons – and note that it is “persons”, not just “workers”.

    And nor can I see how the existing EFTA members could conscientiously allow the UK to join them when it has been publicly stated as a matter of official policy that the UK no longer supports the principle of the unfettered free movement of persons, and moreover it has been publicly suggested by various commentators that the UK could brazenly abuse a “safeguard clause” to unilaterally impose not just short term or emergency restrictions but permanent limitations on immigration from the other countries.

    Yes, tiny Lichtenstein obtained a special dispensation when it joined the EEA in 1995, and has since managed to keep it, but we are not Lichtenstein and it is not 1995 and it seems very unlikely that the other countries would agree to allow us a similar derogation.

    Thirdly, even if the four existing member states of EFTA were all minded to be obliging and allow the UK to join them but with a new special, one might say “bespoke”, right to unilaterally restrict immigration of their citizens, the next problem would be getting the same “bespoke” concession from the EU and all of its member states so that the UK could remain in the EEA as an EFTA state rather than an EU state.

    It seems to have been forgotten that David Cameron tried hard to recover some power to control EU/EEA immigration but ran straight up against the quasi-religious doctrine of the indivisibility of the “four freedoms”, so why should it be supposed that the EU and its other member states would now agree to allow the UK to stay in the EEA but with control over EU/EEA immigration?

    It seems pointless to even suggest that, and of course the UK government recognised that it would be pointless when Theresa May said in her Lancaster House speech:

    “… when the EU’s leaders say they believe the 4 freedoms of the single market are indivisible, we respect that position.”

  32. NickC
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

    JR said: “[the CBI] seem to want to cripple the UK economy for longer with large transfers of money to the rest of the EU, with the consequent big drag on our balance of payments.”

    Indeed, but worse: our exports to the EU are turnover; the UK’s large continuing payments are made from profit. Profit matters; it increases our wealth. Profit is sanity, Turnover is vanity; something the CBI seems to ignore. Giving our profit to the EU is insanity.

    Our exports of goods and services to the EU amount to c£214bn (Pink Book table 9.1 for 2016, less Rotterdam effect) so at a back of the envelope 10% profit we make c£21.4bn out of trading with the EU. The CBI insists we should remain in, paying a net c£12bn annually, more than half our notional profits.

    That’s not counting the economic benefits (inc balance of payments) of retrieving our fishing industry. The CBI needs to wake up.

  33. forthurst
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I notice the largest membership group of the CBI is the National Farmers Union’s 55,000 members. Why do farmers want to prolong their incarceration in the CAP rather than opting for a tailor made package of support from HMG as soon as possible; if they like being paid for set aside then we certainly don’t like paying for it as we don’t like paying any other fit persons for idleness .

    • rose
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know any farmers who voted remain – only the other way. Farmers must be ill-served by their union leaders.

  34. Prigger
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Government alone listens to the CBI.
    There was a time when the late Mrs Thatcher stopped the cosy beer and sandwich regular talks with trades unions in Downing Street. Mrs May should stop her chats with the CBI . The annual Mansion House Speech should be replaced by getting some work done too.

  35. Richard1
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Two things I find strange about calls from Remain-inclined business leaders are their insistence that a deal must come soon, when their own experience must surely tell them that most negotiations run to the wire, and their willingness to see the UK commit to hand money to the EU which is not legally due under the treaties. Does any company director freely hand over his / her shareholders’ money to a negotiating counter-party without requiring a proper contractual basis for payment?

  36. forthurst
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I see that Lowestoft Fishermen are complaining that their port owner is deprecating them in favour of a potential off-shore windfarm. The port owner claims that the few fishermen allowed to operate by the CFD means their income from the fishmarket is diminished.
    When is the Tory government whose previous PM gave our fishing grounds away gratis to the EU going to tell our fishermen and their landlords how many more English fishermen will be allowed to fish in our waters post Brexit?

    When will the government kick their rentier economy into touch so that people who wish to work are not obstructed? When will the government stop paying parasites with taxpayers money to own property or install windmills?

  37. blairB
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    All reports say we are going to leave well before March 2019 so the period of uncertainty will be well shortened- that should suit CBI and everyone else needing to make plans

    • BenM
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      BlairB…Yes but why are we not building ships now to get ready for our new circumstances?

  38. hans chr iversen
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 2:50 pm | Permalink


    we asked for the divorce not the eu

    • rose
      Posted November 13, 2017 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      It is not a divorce: we are resuming our independence, which we had as a country for about 1,000 years before we were tricked into paying to have it taken away.

      • Pierre
        Posted November 13, 2017 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

        Rose..the people never ever had true indepenence in UK. UK is a class ridden society with royalty and The establishment at the top that everyone stuck in the class system sucks up to. In or out of the EU alas- your lot will still be the same..sorry to say

        • rose
          Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

          Freedom and independence do not entail being rich, royal, or aristocratic. It is possible to be all of those things and still be just a citizen of the EU.

  39. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink


    It is notable how silent European business organisations are about the EU insisting on having a payment agreed before moving negotiations on. How many businesses would tolerate such an approach?

  40. libertarian
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

    The problem with the CBI ( who incidentally represent very few UK businesses ) is that like the IOD and others the “leadership” of these organisations occupy the same bubble as politicians and do no associate freely with the local business community and therefore dont really “represent” the broad views of all their members, let alone the wider business community

  41. stred
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    The leader of the CBI owns a hotel for the wealthy in the South of France. It would be so good if the overpaid bosses, who gain from their EU lobby, suppressing competition through regulation, low- cost labour, subsidies and renewable schemes, would take themselves off there and not come back.

  42. Rien Huizer
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    The EU will treat the UK as a third country or better if that would be agreed. I do not see any “new barriers” other than the ones the UK chose to have.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      Don’t be stupid, we have offered tariff free and frictionless trade and it’s your friends in the EU who’ve intimated they don’t want to agree to that DESPITE ALL THEIR INTERNATIONAL TREATY COMMITMENTS , the hypocrites.

      • Tabulazero
        Posted November 15, 2017 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        Yes and you never bothered to try to understand why this could be the case, Denis.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted November 15, 2017 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          I have long understood very well that the EU is run by untrustworthy hypocrites, what I don’t understand is why the UK government is still not explaining that to the world at large.

  43. Andrew Gardner
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Two days ago during a BBC interview Jacob Rees Mogg stated (With regard to concerns raised by Toyota) that “…there are no tariffs, even under WTO terms, in components that are imported and then re-exported in the process of manufacture…” Sir James Dyson said much the same in another BBC interview yesterday as already referenced here.

    I think that this information is important but have been unable to verify it for myself. (I have come up with figures of around 2.5/4.5% tariffs but the WTO pages are not clear to me at least).

    Could someone here point me to the source of this information?

  44. margaret howard
    Posted November 13, 2017 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

    The city flourished not because it traded outside the euro but because it has become the biggest money laundering organisation in the world. Meanwhile the euro has thrived becoming the world’s reserve currency after the dollar

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted November 14, 2017 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Great for the Greeks that the euro is the world’s second reserve currency. Who is concerned about mass unemployment and the power being cut off and hospitals running short of basic medicines when the money they lack is the world’s second reserve currency … same for the Irish and the Portuguese and the Spanish and the Italians etc etc, all their sacrifices are worthwhile so that the euro can become the world’s second reserve currency. Yours is just the kind of attitude which shows why we made the right decision to stay out of the euro and why we have now made the right decision to get out of the organisation which spawned the euro.

  • 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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