Talks about trade

I have in the past said trade talks between the UK and the EU could be relatively short and straight forward. I have never said they would be. I have always acknowledged that if the EU wants to make them long and complex they can do so.

The first question the UK must ask when the talks begin is the simple one. Does the EU want a comprehensive free trade Agreement with us or not?

If the answer is yes, we can get on with translating our current tariff free arrangements on goods into a WTO registerable Free Trade Agreement, along with the access methods for service covered by current EU arrangements. This is largely a scissors and paste job, ensuring continuity of trade. As I understand it the UK is happy to offer this.

If the answer is No, then the UK needs to ask the second question. What new tariffs and barriers does the EU wish to impose on our exports to them, given that we will likely impose identical barriers on their exports to us?

If we take goods, the EU could if it wishes impose the same tariffs on our goods and food exports as they do to other non EU countries under WTO rules which govern us both. This would mean they would face high tariffs on their large farm exports to us, where they run a £20 bn surplus. We have a year to source alternative cheaper food from around the world and for our farms to gear up to produce more at home behind the tariff wall. If the EU for example wants a high tariff on meat there are plenty of other suppliers who would like to sell us more.

There is then the question of what impediments they would want to place on services. They have never completed a proper single market in services. There are still many national regulatory, language and qualification barriers around. The UK allows considerable access to its markets that helps continental business.

If the EU wanted zero tariffs on goods but more restrictions on services the UK could say it sees a trade off between the two.

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127 Comments

  1. Ian Wragg
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 5:27 am | Permalink

    The EU will string out talks till the last minute and try to bounce us into staying in the single market and customs union.
    We all know how it will end with May rolling over in the end.
    EU in all but name.

    • Richard
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      The EU can now see a huge pot of gold. The UK should now make the EU earn it.

      If WTO is the result in April 2019, that will not help EU Europhiles in the June 2019 EU Parliament elections.

      So the UK still holds a decent hand – if it chooses to negotiate properly.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Ian,

      It was interesting listening to the Nigel Farage Show on LBC this evening. The point was made that EU nationals already here will be able to bring their families with them after we ‘leave’, so free movement won’t exactly stop and it’s immigration control in name only too.

      There’s a lot of extended families out there. So it looks as though a lot of people will still come to the UK unless the wording is tightened up.

      And that defies what most people voted to leave for, but hey, the politicians secretly want immigration because they want to grow the economy on the back of it so they’ll try every trick in the book to fool the rest of us into thinking they are carrying out our will when in fact the opposite is true. It matters not that immigration isn’t really the panacea they claim it is.

      Then the sneaky ones who foist these things on us wonder why they are so detested and held in such contempt.

      Tad

    • Jobatan
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 6:30 am | Permalink

      Ian, that already happened last Friday. To avoid a border in Ireland, we have committed to stay in the single market

  2. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Off topic: Commenting on Brexit drama has become far too addictive, so I have decided to take a break until 29-3-2019. Only then will there be clarity (being optimistic here). I realise that I haven’t always been 100% in agreement with everything posted here, and I compliment the moderator for usually being quite tolerant. Some narratives seem to be in search of an enemy, but in my perception the EU is not the real enemy. Have a lovely and less busy Xmas than me to all of you, and best wishes for peaceful negotiations.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Thank the Lord for that. You have enough problems in Holland without interfering in ours.
      Have you been moved to the Visegrad immigration re education department.

    • Prigger
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Peter, Peter , Peter. You must know that we British have a perverse sense of humour. I would be very sad indeed if you failed to appear here. The truth is, we British LOVE arguing, quarrelling. It is part of us. Not a good part perhaps but it is us. We LOVE people who argue. That is why so many of us, against the sound advice of parents and commonsense, get married.!
      You must not leave!!!!

      • Stred
        Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        Ere ere. Don’t let Junker boss you about assume another pseudonym .

    • Know-Dice
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

      A good Christmas to you too 🙂

      I have found your input interesting even when I don’t agree with most of it… 🙁

    • rose
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Dear Peter

      I have left an answer to you under “No Agreement to Talk”.

      Have a Happy Christmas. Holland is top country today.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      And you Peter.

    • Anonymous
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Happy Christmas, Peter.

    • Chris
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Been posted to another website?

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 12, 2017 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Makes me wonder too Chris. They seem to descend on us when they want to cause trouble. A debate is one thing, and I don’t mind that, but gamers and trolls are just a nuisance. Proves one thing though, if they’re prepared to use such tactics, we must have them worried.

        Tad

  3. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:20 am | Permalink

    Spot on John. Nothing needs to be complicated or long winded. We already trade with them and have done for many years so long talks are unnecessary. They already know what we want so let’s get on with it. If things are going to be difficult then let’s go early and get on with talks with other countries that are keen to do business with us.

  4. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    More importantly, don’t let them make all the moves. Get in first and don’t pay any more money.

  5. oldtimer
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    The only justification for the £35-40 billion bung, dressed up as a transitional period, would be free trade reciprocity on goods and services. Of course that would not require a transitional period and reveal the bung for what is – a bung. Therefore I expect the EU will seek to complicate matters, miscalculate and risk a hard Brexit. Agreement on anything will be left to the last minute and beyond – if the UK continues to leave the initiative to the EU.

  6. Mark B
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I have reviewed what we have already signed up to, and given this government’s abject failure I will not be surprised that they will give the EU all they want, with little in return, for the pleasure of them selling more to us than we will sell to them. And they will succeed in making us pay for such a privilege.

    It is in the rEU27 to have a FTA not ours. If they want one let them come and ask. All the time we make ourselves the begger we will always be the ones to ask.

  7. Brexit Facts4EU.org
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    It’s interesting how simple things are when a common sense politician like John Redwood explains them. And no, it’s not naive, it really can be straightforward if the parties want it to be.

    It remains inexplicable that Dr Redwood is not currently able to bring this common sense to bear as a minister.

    Best wishes, the Brexit Facts4EU.Org Team

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      “It’s interesting how simple things are when a common sense politician like John Redwood explains them”

      As the man said – For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” For Britain, the European Union is such a problem, and John Redwood’s answer si such an answer.

  8. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:45 am | Permalink

    UK asks “do you want a comprehensive free trade agreement?”

    EU answers “yes”, “and to get this you must be part of the CAP, give us access to your territorial waters and respect the four freedoms, now how should we charge you each year?”

    Welcome to Teresa May’s and much of Parliament’s leave policy.

  9. alan jutson
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:06 am | Permalink

    Rest assured JR it will be complicated because politicians on both sides are involved and the EU wants to be in charge.

    You are looking at it from a commercial and common-sense approach, afraid politicians tend to look at everything in a totally different way.

    I hope it all goes smoothly, but my instinct tells me different.

    Only time will tell if we cave in from a very strong position.

  10. sm
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    John, common sense would say that it is in the best interests of everyone across Europe, including the UK, for there to be sensible, credible and beneficial trade agreements between us all.

    But EU ideology – the mantra of ever-closer union – cannot allow the UK to leave without inflicting severe damage, in case that leads to other countries wanting to go. And that is why these lengthy negotiations are a farce, a shambles, an appallingly expensive waste of time.

    It is now time for the Government to say to Junker: take it or leave it; let Varadkar and Sturgeon make their vacuous noises and play their silly games, they will come back again and again to suck on England’s teats while screaming that they have achieved independence.

  11. Lifelogic
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Exactly.

    You say:- “If the EU wants to make them long and complex they can do so.”

    But EU bureaucrats (indeed government bureaucrats in general) generally want to make everything as long, complex, costly and damaging as possible. They are, after all, in the regulation business.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Look (for example) at the absurd complexity of the UK tax system, employment laws, pension rules, health and safety and the likes. All of which does so much damage productivity and distract people from productive activity and into essentially pointless parasitic and even damaging jobs and activities.

      Bad government is nearly always the problem, very rarely the solution to anything.

    • Chris f
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Excellent last paragraph as it cuts through all of the wider rubbish and shines a spotlight on the entire reason for their existence

      Spot on

  12. Roy Grainger
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    They’ll want to leave all those areas where they run a trade surplus with the UK to be left unchanged and all those areas where they don’t to be subject to tariffs. They will also demand annual payments for this access to the free market. And they will want the same access to UK fishing grounds as currently. They will also demand harmonisation on things like corporation tax and VAT to prevent “unfair” competition.

    That was easy.

  13. Alan
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    I think the next phase of talks is about the transition period, not the final trade agreement. I expect that in the transition period we will still pay into the EU budget, still adhere to EU regulations, still allow unrestricted travel across the Northern Ireland border, but not have any voting rights or ability to appoint or elect people to EU posts. We might possibly be able to limit to some extent who can come into the UK from the EU, except in Northern Ireland.

    When it comes to the final trade agreement we will be very hampered by our undertaking to align our rules with EU rules. Having made that commitment I think we have to honour it. We won’t pay directly into the EU budget, but I suspect we will find ourselves paying a lot to keep the commitment. It will require inspections by EU authorities, which will have to be paid for.

    Having said all that I still think this is the best agreement we can reasonably hope for given that we have said we will leave the single market and the customs union. Anything else will be worse.

  14. Emile
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Yawn. Same old garbage. UK has voted to leave. UK now a third country. Benefits of EU membership surrendered. Which bit of that can’t you grasp?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      The “benefits” bit in particular.

    • mickc
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

      And liabilities abrogated! All that is grasped by everyone except our rulers; and a hard Brexit is entirely acceptable and beneficial in the long term.

    • getahead
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      Can’t grasp “benefits of EU membership”. There are none.

      • Leslie Hemery
        Posted December 12, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        No tariffs, no national regulatory barrirers. Didn’t you even do Mr Redwood the courtesy of reading his post?

  15. Nig l
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    So is this agreement Theresa May is going to sign, legally binding or not? If not what’s the purpose, if yes, there seems to be a lot of spin that it is not really that important. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. Your statement?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Dear Nig–The agreement is conditional on what’s to come also being agreed–Bog standard so far as I am concerned in any tricky negotiations–Especially when written clearly at the top–One simply has to be able to put ideas forward and then take them back chopping and changing if and as necessary till compromise reached–What’s not to understand?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      It’s common enough for important international agreements to be signed without them becoming legally binding until some further stages have been completed. For example, the EU Constitution was signed by plenipotentaries of all the EU member states but never came into force because the French and Dutch governments were unable to get it ratified. By signing it they expressed a genuine intention to take the agreed text and get it approved domestically, so it was not a meaningless or deceitful act, but nor did their signatures alone legally bind their states.

  16. Turboterrier.
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    our farms to gear up to produce more at home behind the tariff wall.

    Not only with farming but fishing, politicians should be shouting from the roof tops the potential markets that will and are available if these sectors are prepared to grasp the nettle and change their operations to meet the new demands that will be made upon them.

    Politicians of whatever party has to show these sectors how valued they are and start talking these sectors up. Like the village shops “Use Them or Lose Them”

  17. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    We already deal tariff-free with the EU, so what you’re talking about here is merely the defensive aspect of staying where we are now. The EU is a relative dead-duck for us in terms of our balance of trade. We want to be able to deal tariff-free with countries and regions where we have the potential to sell more but don’t.

    The key aspect will be which impediments the EU tries to place on us dealing tariff-free with other third countries, whether by *regulatory alignment* with the EU or other weasel phrases.

  18. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    So May has now got into a row with the Irish because she didn’t make it clear at the time that, despite signing a “no way out” clause to regulatory alignment last week, it isn’t actually agreed. I think when she dug herself a hole like this she might have been smart enough to pull a ladder down to be able to climb back out again, rather than relying on the other guy to throw her a lifeline.
    But no.
    Just not up to it, I’m afraid.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Both you guys on the back benches and the EU will eventually get fed up with the way she does things. This dithering, uncertain, quivering ending up in half-baked half-agreements which end up in perfidy later. Not because she is dishonest, just because she’s incapable of standing up to ANYBODY, so ends up rowing with everyone.

      This is surely what K Clarke meant by her being “b…… difficult”.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Heading in totally the wrong (essentially a Corbyn light) direction and so she is obviously b***** dim too. How else can one explain the last, absolutely moronic, punishment manifesto and the appalling election campaign?

  19. Jobatan
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:36 am | Permalink

    Brilliant, you kill our services exports at a stroke

  20. agricola
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Well put, this agreement to date is nothing to get excited about. For instance, what is regulatory alignment. If it means we sell them what they want and do not produce it with slave labour then it only means we treat them as a customer with a free choice. If however it means we continue to take into our legal system a stream of regulations created by the EU, it then continues to impinge on our sovereignty and should be thrown out. When the EU buys from Japan it does so because the goods on offer are desirable not because it has any say with the internal running of Japan. In this sense we should be just another Japan. Mrs may and her supporters should not be allowed to get away with another Ted Heath type, only tell them what we want them to know, as the recently published FCO document makes clear.

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

      Regulatory alignment means that we must keep our internal market in line with theirs. They set the rules and we must follow regardless whether or not it is in our best interests. A sell out !

      It will mean large corporates will set the rules that will keep smaller, cheaper producers at a disadvantage

  21. Bert Young
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    Individual EU countries see things in a different way to the “EU”. Germany used to have the biggest “say” and according to their newspapers , want a free trade with us . France is a different matter and always will be as long as their young and very inexperienced leader is in place ; he seeks to pinch service companies from us and invoke damage to our economy . The Eastern bloc of Poland , Hungary , Czech Republic and Slovakia basically want “out”; they will not accept central EU policies on immigration .

    This leaves the central bureaucracy of the EU with a quandary , it cannot put on a solid front and it will not be able to trust that it has overall support . We must stick to a harder front now in the negotiations ; we have nothing to lose and much to gain .

  22. David Murfin
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Perhaps the question needs to be
    “After March 31 2019, when we become a third country, will you at once begin negotiations for a free trade deal under the terms of Article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty.”
    Article 8.
    1. The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.
    2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, the Union may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned. These agreements may contain reciprocal rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking activities jointly. Their implementation shall be the subject of periodic consultation.

    That seems to me to have much the same effect as the delayed leaving schemes being considered, but better, clearer and more flexible, and certainly better respecting the UK referendum result.
    If the answer were to be ‘no’ we should at least know the EU is not seeking a friendly relationship (and does not abide by its own treaty).

  23. Richard1
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    It seems the EUs attempt to shoehorn the U.K. has failed -Mrs May might have come close to unacceptable concessions, but it seems to be clear this deal depends on an acceptable final deal, so we can make our minds up in March 2019. We should not agree a free trade deal that doesn’t include services, including financial services. It is essential the Govt prepares in earnest for no deal. Only by being credible with the walk away option is there any chance the EU will agree a sensible deal.

  24. formula57
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    If there are price, security of supply or extra advantages whether a deal is struck with the Evil Empire or not, should not we be anyway acting where “We have a year to source alternative cheaper food from around the world and for our farms to gear up to produce more at home behind the tariff wall”?

    The Evil Empire (itself afflicted by intractable problems) has revealed itself as essentially hostile so anything the UK can do to lessen reliance upon it would seem prudent.

  25. Chris S
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    We cannot allow the EU to take full control over the next round of negotiations in the way that they did with the first. Agreeing to the sequencing of talks was a massive mistake. This has allowed the likes of Cable, Clegg and their allies in the Media to make the PM’s life so difficult in the last year.

    We need to come out of the starting blocks first by immediately tabling a formal offer of tariff-free trade linked very clearly to a similar arrangement over Services.

    The 27 must come to understand that for there to be a deal and for them to get any money at all, it has to be both. An offer on goods without one on services will mean no deal and no money.

    The good news is that this is a very generous, clear and easy message to understand so when the 27 but up obstacles, which they will do, it must be very obvious which party is causing the problem and threatening to damage our economy and that of the EU.

    Only in that way can we gain the upper hand, neuter the Remainers and counter the inevitable bluster from a Labour Opposition which is a complete shambles on Brexit.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      We cannot allow the EU to take full control over the next round of negotiations in the way that they did with the first.

      The EU are the big boys in this negotiation and hold most of the cards. May and Davies at least have understood this.

      “The 27 must come to understand that for there to be a deal and for them to get any money at all, it has to be both. An offer on goods without one on services will mean no deal and no money.”

      So you are recommending that the UK walk away from commitments it has made last week. If we do, no one will trust us to meet other commitments. How is that going to help us get lots of new trade deals?

      “The good news is that this is a very generous, clear and easy message to understand so when the 27 but up obstacles, which they will do, it must be very obvious which party is causing the problem and threatening to damage our economy and that of the EU.”

      Why should the EU27 deal with a country that demonstrates it will not meet its commitments?

      Only in that way can we gain the upper hand, neuter the Remainers and counter the inevitable bluster from a Labour Opposition which is a complete shambles on Brexit.

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Prepare your self for many further disappointments. This is your mess and if it were not humiliating the rest of us it would be funny.

  26. nigel
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    It is interesting to note that as soon as anyone on the UK side (Arlene Foster) suggested that there might be no deal, the EU immediately made concessions (albeit only small ones). Did anyone in our negotiating team understand this? I doubt it.

  27. JoolsB
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I would hardly say trade will be free when May has already promised to hand over billions for the ‘privilege’. Who knows what else our useless remainer PM will promise. You know it and we know it John – the EU needs a free trade deal as much as we do so why are your stupid colleagues willing to jump through hoops to get it making us look a desperate and weak laughing stock in the process?

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

      Agreed.

      As I have been saying, the EU should have been treated as Plan B.

  28. Prigger
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    After months of intensive ……..negotiations EU citizens can stay here and British citizens can stay there. I would have thought negotiations were unnecessary and it would be more a less a simple YES or NO. Mr Davies should compile a tick sheet, not with Mr Bercow assisting, of simple YES/NO answers EGS
    1/ Peas YES?NO
    2/ Cars YES/NO
    3/ Gouda Cheese NO
    4/ Dutch eggs NO
    5/ Italian whisky NO
    6/ Cabbages YES/NO

  29. Christine
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    After the recent capitulation to the EU, I have no confidence in this Government’s ability to negotiate a good trade deal. This whole negotiation is just a farce. The EU will string us along until we have to accept whatever terms they offer because time has run out. Their main aim is to punish the UK. Until we have a new political party, the people of this country who voted to leave the EU have no voice through the ballot box.

  30. Peter
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    A sensible method of negotiating.

    However it assumes both sides are acting in good faith.

    I suspect the EU will continue to drag things out.

    In the end it depends whether the UK have the number of politicians prepared to go to No Deal and walk away. If the EU thinks they have, then a reasonable accommodation can be reached. If not the UK will be saddled with a bad deal.

    It may be that the UK negotiators want to see all the cards on the table before anything like No Deal occurs. That is my hope.

    Or it may be that the UK negotiators are too weak to stand up to the EU. That is my fear.

  31. Original Richard
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    The right way forward is for the UK to trade with the EU on WTO terms as it cannot be worse than the existing FTA (SM/CU) agreement for which we pay £10bn/year net (if not more in reality) for access and results in a £100bn/year trading deficit.

    In addition our current terms allows the corporates through FOM to import cheap labour rather than invest in technology and training and is demonstrated by our diminishing productivity.

    Mrs. May’s wish for a “deep and special”/”full alignment relationship with the EU, rather than embracing AI, is not going to create the wealth necessary for our non-contributory health and welfare benefits the country desires.

  32. John Finn
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    John I’m getting increasingly concerned about the “alignment” clause. I’m sure we are all aware of the main issues, e.g. does it restrict our ability to do trade deals with non-EU countries.

    David Davis has stated that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed and I’m happy that is the case for most of what is in he joint report. However, the “alignment” clause refers specifically to the fall back position in the event of NO deal. In other words even if we sever all ties with the EU we will still have “full alignment” in some areas.

    Now I would hope that the UK negotiators will be fully aware of the implications of what was agreed on Friday but I don’t see how we can fully break free if we need to.

    • Jobatan
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

      Correct. Friday was the day we agreed to stay in the single market. Paras 49-50 of the Agreement make that clear, and they apply even in the event of no deal

  33. Prigger
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    existed

  34. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    As mentioned previously the EU and its member states are under treaty obligations not only to seek close and friendly relations with neighbouring countries in Europe but also to contribute to the further liberalisation and facilitation of international trade:

    http://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2017/08/30/mr-draghi-wants-more-free-trade-so-why-not-accept-the-uk-offer/#comment-886295

    “It’s not just Mario Draghi who wants more trade, ostensibly that desire runs all the way through the EU treaties and our diplomats and other representatives should be actively pointing that out to governments and other influential bodies around the world and making sure they fully understand that when they are dealing with the EU they should always expect to be dealing with hypocritical and untrustworthy people … ”

    There is nothing about “But only if each of our trading partners agrees that if they so wish all 512 million of our citizens can migrate to their territory”.

  35. A.Sedgwick
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    I don’t know why we have to import meat, apart from Eire, if, of course, that government gets real. We appear to export live animals to the EU for questionable slaughter, why?

    As a vegetarian I have a very biased view but the trend does appear to be away from meat eating and the concern over farm animals increasing. In the discounted, last date section of our local supermarket, meat and milk dominates the shelves, purely anecdotal information but revealing to me.

  36. The Prangwizard
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    It is the EU which has been dictating terms so far and with May in charge they will continue to be allowed to do so.

    All the spin about her ‘success’ so far is rather sickening and it’s time we stopped taking the niave vew that we are dealing with reasonable people. They demand, we concede seems to be the method adopted.

    It’s time we started demanding but fat chance with May. And she has no opposition within the party worth speaking of.

    I notice that the broadcast media and mainly with Sky that they have reverted to the stance of some years back referring to ‘eurosceptics’. They seem to be happy that the deal struck so far keeps us in the EU in all but name. Anyone who opposes it is part of an extremist minority.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      “It’s time we started demanding”

      Outers have been demanding sicne Artcile 50 notice was served. It’s not working because the UK has a weak position.

  37. English Pensioner
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    The EU is hoping to get more and more concessions from us. The talks will be long and convoluted. Their hope is that they will get so many concessions that we will effectively still be in the EU, but not having a say in its running. They clearly expect Parliament to refuse to agree to a Hard Brexit if nothing has been agreed, and I expect the same.

    I thought Mrs May would stick to her words when she was appointed, but it’s now clear to me that she’s a Remoaner at heart and will, in the end, concede anything to to get a, so-called, agreement. She’s much like Cameron, lots of talks with the EU about “concessions”, and a “great agreement”, but in reality zilch.

  38. Epikouros
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    Even better than trade talks is for the UK to declare that the UK will not impose tariffs to anyone. After the repeal of the corn laws that is what in essence was what Britain did and it had considerable economic benefits. Despite all the many arguments against free trade it is nothing to be afraid of there is not a single argument against it that cannot be shown that it is misguided or irrational nonsense.

    The EU have already declared that they will not give the UK a special arrangement on trade so it appears the trade talks are not going to produce any agreement before leaving. After which a trade deal will have to take it’s normal protracted course with no guarantee of success. Of course the UK will have to go through the motions as a formula to sort out the problem of the Irish border has to found. A declaration by the UK of unilateral free would deal with that only having border checks for the movement of people between the North and South to be instituted.

  39. Loudbarker
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    “I have in the past said trade talks between the UK and the EU could be relatively short and straight forward. I have never said they would be. I have always acknowledged that if the EU wants to make them long and complex they can do so.”

    Why on earth should one expect trade talks to be quick? No country has ever managed that because they are complicated. Buying a house takes on average 6 weeks. Why on earth should something infinitely more complex take less than a year?

    There are two ways for trade talks got be quick: one is for there to be none and we have to find a way that deals with the northern Ireland border and risk the Good Friday agreement (more Irish people killing each other anyone?), or we stay in the EU.

    And if you think all Britain has to do is to turn up and tell the EU what it needs to sign – well that solution isn’t working very well so far. That’s because the UK is a little boy playing in the playground with lots of big boys. It’s all the Outers’ Fault. They are in charge, they have what they wanted, and it’s not working out well.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

      https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/07/how-long-do-trade-deals-take-after-brexit/

      For 20 bilateral trade deals negotiated by the US it averaged 18 months from start to signature and 45 months from start to implementation, the shortest periods being 4 months and 18 months respectively.

      • Loudbarker
        Posted December 13, 2017 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        @Denis Cooper

        Thank you for this. I was not aware of it before. Some questions:

        1. With all due respect to Canada and Australia, will these countries really replace the EU markets we currently have free access to in terms of volume and value of trade?

        2. Where are China, India, Japan, Brazil, Russia, South Africa? These are the real prizes, with respect t Peru, Jordan and Morocco.

        3. Do these deals involve services – which is what the UK has a competitive advantage at? Is there much market for services in these countries, compared to (say) Germany, Frances, Italy?

        4. Are we sure a deal with the USA is gong to be on terms that are acceptable? Will we be able to do one that allows us to reject chlorinated Chicken, GM organisms and compulsory privatisation of the NHS?

        5. Would it not be better to negotiate with the EU as equals to the US rather than as a rule taker from the USA?

    • Original Richard
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

      “There are two ways for trade talks got be quick: one is for there to be none and we have to find a way that deals with the northern Ireland border and risk the Good Friday agreement (more Irish people killing each other anyone?), or we stay in the EU.”

      Yes, Mr. Keir Starmer made the same point on the Andrew Marr show yesterday when he said :

      “I really don’t how see it is the worst of all worlds (to remain in the SM/CU with no representation in the EU) to have a solution which works in Ireland. 3600 people or so were killed – murdered – over 30 years in Northern Ireland……

      So the EU and the UK’s EU supporters (including the “deep and special relationship” Mrs. May) will be using the threat of the return of terrorism and violence in Northern Ireland to ensure that the UK remains in the SM/CU/ECJ and still paying a fee for a £100bn/year trading deficit with the EU and still not in control of our assets (fishing grounds).

    • Mark B
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      No it is the fault of the remainer CMD. He failed to plan.

  40. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I think somebody should remind the Irish government that they agreed to the negotiating guidelines issued by the European Council on April 29th 2017:

    http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/04/29/euco-brexit-guidelines/

    Which guidelines started with a section 1 on “Core principles”, which included this:

    “… the principle that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed … ”

    In other words that principle is not a new and unilateral and treacherous invention of the UK government, it is a core principle that the Irish government long ago accepted even if the present Irish Prime Minister has forgotten that.

    Therefore when the two sides issue a Joint Report :

    https://ec.europa.eu/commission/sites/beta-political/files/joint_report.pdf

    with prefatory Remarks referring to:

    “… the caveat that nothing is agreed until everything is agreed …”

    which clearly conditions everything that follows the Irish government should not leap upon its high horse when a UK minister simply points that out.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      So, nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. However, this particular agreement says that if nothing further is agreed then full alignment is nevertheless agreed. Or perhaps not.

    • Jack snell
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

      Denis..don’t be so touchy..do you not realize the Irish will be holding the fort for us pending the reintegraton of the UK back into the EU family of nations.. at some as yet undertimed time…this will be brought about by a more enlightened generation when they realize the awful mistake we have made by listening to the likes of JR, IDS, Boris and Gove..what the EU is at right now is damage limitation for the future of UK peoples so that things can be easier repaired..am afraid there is no other way..we should be listening more to the Irish..they know only too well of what the nonsense is of walking a solitary path and the price to be paid.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted December 12, 2017 at 11:27 am | Permalink

        It’s not “touchy” to point out that the Irish government has not only adopted an absurd extreme and intransigent position but also has apparently forgotten what it agreed previously.

      • rose
        Posted December 12, 2017 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        The EU is not a family of nations: Une Europe des Patries is what De Gaulle wanted it to be but his wishes didn’t prevail.

        If the EU recognized us as a nation we wouldn’t have to wait until regaining our independence before being able to sign a treaty with them.

  41. Philip Walker
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    The question arises too as to what the UK government might beneficially use those tariffs for. A simple across the board VAT cut, or cash to the NHS, or support for business either general or targetted? And there is also the prospect that, if the EU does not want a free trade agreement, it may find itself getting very little of the £39bn (or more) currently offered by the UK government based on the assumption that the EU is willing to play ball.

    Surely in total all that adds up to well in excess of £350m per week? All in all, quite a tempting cash purse for a UK Chancellor to play with, not that our current UK Chancellor seems to have noticed.

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      Problem is that tarrifs are counter productive. If they werent no body would bother with free-trade in the first place.

  42. ian wragg
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    It’s that time of year again, the electricity grid is at about 47.5GW and wind is supplying 4.04GW. Coal and nuclear are running at 100% and there is no import from the French or Dutch interconnectors as they have no spare.
    The frequency has been allowed to drop to 49.5 hertz. and this is only the start of winter.
    When can we expect power cuts.

  43. Rien Huizer
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Absolutely

  44. Duncan
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    If the author of this blog and his Eurosceptic allies do not topple May and Hammond the UK will become a vassal state of the EU. The Conservative Party, its leaders and their MP’s will have betrayed the nation, democracy itself and generations to come

    Is that what you want Mr Redwood? The UK to become a slave nation of the EU?

    My party makes me sick with anger

  45. Simon
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    You keep banging on about the EU doing things to us or placing impediments or trade. The way the EU treats and deals with third countries is set out in the treaties and is very well known. They do not need to do anything in particular.

    • rose
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

      See David Murfin above:

      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:58 am | Permalink

      Perhaps the question needs to be
      “After March 31 2019, when we become a third country, will you at once begin negotiations for a free trade deal under the terms of Article 8 of the Lisbon Treaty.”
      Article 8.
      1. The Union shall develop a special relationship with neighbouring countries, aiming to establish an area of prosperity and good neighbourliness, founded on the values of the Union and characterised by close and peaceful relations based on cooperation.
      2. For the purposes of paragraph 1, the Union may conclude specific agreements with the countries concerned. These agreements may contain reciprocal rights and obligations as well as the possibility of undertaking activities jointly. Their implementation shall be the subject of periodic consultation.

    • Richard
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Except, as John says, the EU in 2016 had a £96BN surplus on goods with the UK. Particularly on high-tariff cars and agricultural products.
      http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-7851#fullreport
      The UK is the country with whom Germany has its largest trade surplus. http://facts4eu.org/news_oct2_2017.shtml#am

  46. Tad Davison
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    That’s all very well and sounds simple enough, so why isn’t it cutting through to the UK government and its team of negotiators?

    It seems to me that unnecessarily complicated dealings, dramatic early morning flights to Brussels, and florid terminology, are frequently being employed to blind the public as to the UK’s poor negotiating skills. The UK side have at least looked as though they tried even if their attempts continue to fall well short. Clever people make things easy, only idiots make them hard.

    The EUs reluctance to give us a good amicable deal in case other EU countries want the same and thereby the whole EU project disintegrates, is palpable. The bureaucrats are unlikely to endorse anything that will see their gravy-train jobs go, and their pet projects shelved. The realisation must now set in on this side of the Channel that the EU just wants to squeeze us until the pips squeak and make an example of us. The problem is thus intractable unless the UK’s capitulation is part of the negotiating strategy.

    The EU has its own anthem, we leavers ought to have ours, I suggest Cast and Walkaway – really great song.

    Tad Davison

    Cambridge

    • Leo
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 6:38 am | Permalink

      Tad, why should the EU offer the UK a good amicable deal? It’s the UK that has chosen to walk out . Every problem we face is created by the UK. The EU has not changed its position at all. This is the UK’s problem. Not the EU’s

      • Tad Davison
        Posted December 12, 2017 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        The UK ‘walked out’ because the British people voted not to belong to an EU that is self-evidently well on course to becoming a United States of Europe, controlled from the centre, with the diminution of the nation state that makes up its number.

        We want no part of that. We wish to restore our sovereignty and be a self-governing entity. The ‘problem’ is, we haven’t yet left and the British government is holding things up when, as JR rightly indicates, the UK’s departure could be a whole lot simpler. The EU could help in easing that process.

        Your reply seems to recognise that EU’s intransigence and reluctance to give ground is a complicating factor. My view is that in the absence of a good deal from the EU, the WTO option is better than the bad deal currently on offer.

        The EU could make things easy for everyone, give the UK a good deal, and still trade favourably with the UK, but they are scared stiff they would lose face. They have their image to consider, evidently putting narcissism before pragmatism.

        Tad

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted December 12, 2017 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        In that case let’s revert to the EEC of 1974 and hold the referendum again. We’d vote to stay.

  47. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I watched David Davis being interviewed by Andrew Marr for twenty-odd minutes and at the end if it after much verbiage I understood little more than I had understood at the start, and now David Davis has added more confusion …

    https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2017/1211/926436-may-westminster-brexit/

    “Davis says border pledge ‘is legally enforceable'”

    “What I actually said yesterday in terms was we want to protect the peace process, want to protect Ireland from the impact of Brexit for them, and I said this was a statement of intent which was much more than just legally enforceable,” Mr Davis said.

    “Of course it’s legally enforceable under the withdrawal agreement but even if that didn’t happen for some reason, if something went wrong, we would still be seeking to provide a frictionless invisible border with Ireland.”

    In a brief comment to the media at an event in Dublin today, the Taoiseach said he was very happy with today’s clarification from Mr Davis.”

    Well, I’m glad the Taoiseach is happy about it, whatever it may mean.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      For crying out loud, I listen to what David Davis says on LBC this morning:

      http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/nick-ferrari/david-davis-i-dont-have-to-be-very-clever-to-do-my/

      and he is wrong about what he said yesterday according to the transcript:

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/bsp/hi/pdfs/10121703.pdf

      I give up, nothing he says about anything can ever be taken as a final version.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Dear Denis–Either he is playing a blinder or he is completely clueless

      • rose
        Posted December 11, 2017 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

        I was irritated by his throwaway remarks about having to hang on a day “for the DUP to sort themselves out.”

        This is outrageous. The DUP had asked for the text 5 weeks in advance and finally got it after Mrs May had left for Brussels on Monday. This wasn’t any old text but absolutely crucial to our country; after the last minute reprieve they managed to get on Monday, the DUP were expected to digest it, correct it, and negotiate with the PM for those corrections to be accepted and inserted, all in a day. They managed to get an extra day. That was not sorting themselves out, but being as conscientious as they were allowed, and it clearly wasn’t enough time. Mrs Foster and Mr Dodds are both able lawyers, used to this sort of work, but it very much looks as if someone was trying to cut them out of the process.

        What sort of standard of behaviour and way of working is that? How long did HMG spend on the text itself before Mrs May went rushing over to Brussels in the small hours on Friday?

        Having read it, it looks a shambles, or as Charles Moore puts it, the oddest document he has ever seen signed by a British government.

  48. Javelin
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Do you feel the the civil service has been politicised?

    If you do then it needs to be tackled with new laws.

  49. GilesB
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed.

    This has to be said often. It would be good to have it on the side of a bus.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      Except for full alignment which is agreed even if nothing further is agreed?

  50. Mactheknife
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

    Bearing in mind what we have just witnessed and the non-agreement we seem to have reached where nothing is really settled. I foresee that Junker and co will see this as an opportunity to extort more from us and May, Davis etc will give in as they have done. Negotiating with the EU, as Yanis Varoufakis pointed out, is not really a negotiation at all as the EU/EC are as slippery, devious and back-stabbing as any common conman.

  51. Peter
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    An interesting take on Brexit in The Guardian. It is always useful to know what (internal) opponents of Brexit think. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/10/brexit-deal-theresa-may-arlene-foster

    They give credit to May for avoiding dismissal but believe the EU helped keep a weak leader in place because it was better than the alternative. They acknowledge that the agreement is a fudge that can be interpreted to suit both sides.

    Their main interest (like mine) is when it gets down to the major agreements on trade if true Brexiteers will resign or refuse to accept what their leader has negotiated.

    Senior Tories believe that when these issues have to be resolved, there is a serious chance not just of cabinet resignations but of pro-Brexiters leaving the party should May opt for the “soft Brexit” option in order to ensure maximum market access. One Tory veteran said: “Clearly, there are differences of views between those who want access and are happy to be rule takers, and those who want much less access and be rule makers. The PM is going to have to decide. There could be a group of people who will say, we are just not going to put up with this. How many? That’s a question mark.”

  52. am
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    the eu always drag things out if they think that advantageous to their position. they will do that here to try and force a cave in from may. no deal will be her only option at the end of negotiations which she won’t take as an option and so we will be tied to the eu for a long transition. the eu have her summed up well.

  53. MPC
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    But aren’t we now irrevocably committed to what the EU is willing to agree to in the trading arrangements? Surely a prior economic appraisal of WTO vs an EU Trade Deal would have shown the former to be by far the better economically, especially now given the £ multibillion payment Mrs May has undertaken to make. If the government was sincere in saying we won’t pay the EU unless the eventual deal is better than WTO then it would have made that clear without any ‘divorce’ payment promises.

  54. mancunius
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    We should never underestimate the iron will of the Brussels EU Commission staff to put politics and totalitarian uniformity (in the name of ‘equality’) above the economic welfare of Europeans, nor the shoulder-shrugging willingness of European taxpaying voters and their government leaders to accept that straitjacket. We’ve already had ‘officials in Brussels’ yesterday briefing the press that the UK ‘could not be given an advantageous free trade deal’ because then ‘other trade treaty partners would demand the same’.
    I forsee many internal battles within the EU before this game is played out. Even after any deal is signed, Brussels will try to re-interpret its language and enlist the ECJ in order to renege on it.

  55. Jkavanagh
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    This is exactly what should have happened from the beginning. We have allowed the EU dictate to us. This is a weakness they are exploiting This is not a good situation to be in

  56. John S
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

    You will not get a simple Yes or No from the first question.

  57. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    I understood that you meant that there was an easier way to play a more fruitful straightforward game, but would have been greatly surprised if this happened. Delays and awkwardness support those who make thousands on the way. Delays support those who are not concerned about the outcome as their motive is to screw brass out of the situation. That is the world we live in .

  58. Denis Cooper
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Good.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/dec/11/theresa-may-forced-accept-brexit-scrutiny-committee-revolt-henry-viii-powers

    “Theresa May forced to accept new Brexit scrutiny committee”

    It’s a natural successor to the longstanding European Scrutiny Committee:

    http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/european-scrutiny-committee/role/

    Instead of sifting through new laws as they come from the EU the new scrutiny committee will sift through proposed changes to retained EU laws.

  59. Prigger
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    I heard Mrs May reporting back to the House today on the Agreement/negotiations for Brexit.
    I fail to understand why such intelligent people in the House permit their discourse to be repetitive. Same questions, same answers.On Brexit, we hear these repetitions every other day. The SNP, LibDems and Labour just will not behave democratically. They have funny-face grins too when they ask the questions knowing full well they are wasting tax-payers money just by their very presence as MPs even if they did not rant like the proverbial parrot.
    I know some people would have them hanged for some form of treason. I really don’t agree . They should instead be trained to sit quietly on a perch and on ones shoulder and repeat “Pieces of eight, pieces of eight ” and “Poor poor, Rob-in-son” They cannot help what they are. We are all dealt a hand of cards when we are born. They got their hands after the 52nd card.

    • Dave
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 3:32 am | Permalink

      You can count the labour MPs with a decent functioning brain on one hand; Frank Field, Kate Hoey, Caroline Flint err err.. I think they are in the wrong party sometimes and would like to propose a football style transfer with Soubry, Nicky Morgan and Heidi Allen for starters.

      The majority of labour MPs are an absolute treacherous disgrace who will hopefully get their retribution at the next election.

  60. Andy
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    People who don’t like the deal we have expect to like the inferior deal we will be forced to accept.

    None of you have thought this through very well. You particularly have not thought through rhe inevitable electoral consequences for the Conservative Party.

  61. Raymond
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    I don’t agree that ‘free’ trade between nations is best for the UK. While acknowledging levels of complexity beyond my knowledge I would aim for something like a low tariff of free trade on food, a moderate tariff on manufactured goods (around 10%) and up to 25% on luxuries. Thus home manufacturing gets some incentives, the balance of payments may improve and the national debt can be begun to be tackled.

    • Leslie Hemery
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      And other countries do the same, so exports are cut, and everyone is worse off. This is international trade, class 1.

  62. Richard
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    The agricultural products-for-services trade is clearly mutually beneficial, even without the huge Withdrawal Deal carrot.
    In economic terms the EU needs this FTA just as much as the UK does. The UK should set out the FTA terms that would allow the EU to earn its unjustified pot of gold and simultaneously loudly prepare for WTO in case there’s no movement by EU.

  63. James
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

    John
    Could this be an opening gambit on trade:WTO rules apply, until both sides prepared to sign a comprehensive deal for Goods AND Services.
    The continuous flow of tariff in our direction might just concentrate minds in Brussels, as we acquire tastes for Japanese cars and African / commonwealth foods.

  64. Chris
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May and her “humiliating state of cringe”. Lord Lawson, you are absolutely right, in my view. Tory Brexiter MPs please take note. Inside the Westminster bubble all seems well, with MPs rallying round in the H of C. However, there is indeed “trouble at’ mill”.

    https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/890975/brexit-negotiations-progress-eu-trade-deal-Margaret-Thatcher-Lord-Lawson
    ‘Enough is enough’ Margaret Thatcher would HATE state of Brexit negotiations, fumes Lord Lawson. MARGARET Thatcher would have been “deeply concerned” about the progress of Brexit and the Government should give up its “fruitless quest” for an EU trade deal, former Chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby said tonight.

    In a stinging attack on Britain’s second female Prime Minister, the pro-Brexit Tory said Theresa May had got Britain into an “humiliating state of cringe”, begging Brussels for a good deal it had no intention of granting. Instead she should be preparing to take the country out of the European Union without one, so that it could make the most of its freedom from Brussels dictat.

    “We must get up off our knees. Enough is enough,” he declared.
    The peer was delivering The Fourth Annual Margaret Thatcher Lecture, at a dinner in London hosted by the centre established in her name to educate people about the late politician’s life and values….”

    • Loudbarker
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Ah yes Lawson. The man who loves the UK so much he lives in France.

  65. treacle
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    One thing has been bugging me. We are offering to pay £39 billion as the price of extricating ourselves from the EU. Other countries will in due course want to leave the EU, especially as it accelerates into a United States of Europe. If every country has to pay £39 billion as the price of leaving, and they all leave, what happens to the thousand or so billion that the rump EU ends up with? Or will it be the case that only the UK has to pay tens of billions for the privilege of leaving, and the other countries will be allowed to leave for nothing?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      Presumably the net recipients will be paid to leave …

    • rose
      Posted December 12, 2017 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Only Germany would have to pay as much or more and they would find it very hard with their political system to leave.

  66. Fed Up
    Posted December 11, 2017 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    This is just silly, your Prime Minister has sold the whole country out already. She has zero intention of ever going to WTO and will accept the worst possible trade deal that keeps us ‘aligned’ with the single market for ever. I will never vote Conservative again after this sellout, just witness the celebrations of Soubry and Clark, they know what’s going on all too well.

  67. Jason wells
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    Trump wants to send austronauts back to the moon..it’s a pity he doesn’t volunteer himself And bring some of his cronies with him

  68. John S
    Posted December 12, 2017 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I am a believer in reverse psychology. If we hadn’t banged on about trade; on the contrary if the EU had the idea we might want trade barriers in view of the trade imbalance, it may well be demanding free trade itself.

  • 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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