The UK needs to strengthen its negotiating position

Instead of asking for a transition period prior to any Agreement the UK should ask the EU do they want a comprehensive free trade Agreement with us or not. If no, we should just get on and leave in March 2019 under the WTO option. We would pay them nothing and be able to put in our own border, fishing and other policies immediately.

If the answer is yes then set a deadline to sort it out this year and see what else we might agree to in return. Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed. There is no point in paying them lots of money for a worse deal than the WTO option. Nor should they stop us getting on with negotiating free trade agreements with others over the next year to be ready for April 2019.

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  1. Nig l
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    Agree totally and to do that you need to strengthen your negotiating team. Hammond has now truly broken cover. He needs to alter his position or go.

    • Hope
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      JR, you blog is inaccurate and not correct. Phase one agreed makes it clear whether there is a deal or not regulatory alignment will apply to the whole of the U.K. That means staying in the single market. Rudd’s letter to all EU citizens applies whether there is a deal or not, against govt policies for immigration and Brexit. Why no rebuke or correction from May. We were told all EU citizens living here could remain, not an open invitation to all their families at any age of their life! Why has May said irrespective of leVing security and defence will continue! No, we do not want to be part of the EU army or their defence and security pact. Why would she give this away for nothing before any negotiation? This is continuing irrespective of leaving, again against govt policy for Brexit.

      Why would any right minded body or person allow a foreign court to rule over citizens living here to talk about trade! Does this apply to the rest of the world? It is unpresidented and unheard of. A ridiculous demand and a ridiculous acceptance! Bad deal.

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        We will have to meet EU standards to continue selling to them and they to us. However, UK companies that do not trade with the EU should no longer be required to obey the same rules. Any more compliance than this is not actually leaving the EU. Regarding military co-operation, it should be only under the auspices of NATO.

      • Hope
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        JR, Davis confirms free movement continues after March 2019 but EU citizens will register so that the govt in 2021 can form an immigration policy. So your party and govt lied to say freedom of movement ends when we leave. Regulatory means staying in the single market after the same date. ECJ still applies and May has pledged to give away twice the amount of contributions as well. What part of leaving the EU actually applies in real terms not some legal technicality?

        Your party will never get in govt again fir lying to the people. Your party and govt lied to 17.4 million people and is defying electoral democracy. Letwin said that acting on the referendum vote was more important than any issue coming before parliament. He was right and now your party must be held to account for the biggest betrayal of the public in history.

        Oust May and oust the govt. It has served no purpose for us.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I wonder how many people have been to see the new film “Darkest Hour”, with Lord Halifax playing the part of the appeaser in the Churchill government which is now being performed by Phillip Hammond. There was only one solution for the Halifax problem and there is only the same solution for the Hammond problem, he must be removed so the government can present a united front against the EU. Not that I would liken Theresa May to Winston Churchill, of course, but the problem is similar and over the months Philip Hammond himself has shown that there is only the one solution to the problem he creates, and that is his removal from office.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:57 pm | Permalink

        Hammond will stay until Mrs May herself leaves or he decides voluntarily to leave. If you want him gone before 2022, you will have to replace Mrs May first. Despite the Government, the economy is doing well. Generally a Chancellor only gets pushed out when the economy is doing badly. It is an odd relationship. The PM is supposed to want things done, yet the Chancellor controls what taxpayers money will be used for.

    • getahead
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

      I’d settle for go. A leopard cannot change his spots.

  2. David Murfin
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Quite right, but it needs leadership with backbone.

    • Peter
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      And there is no prospect of such leadership in the near future.

      Instead we have a shambolic negotiating process leading to delays and concessions.

      This suits both the civil service and many politicians.

      If Brexit politicians were going to gain control and present a more robust case in dealings with the EU they would have made their move by now.

      • Hope
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        There is no negotiation. May and Davis have given in to every demand and we are currently stayed by in by another name, a vassal state complying without a voice! They have made the U.K. a colony of the EU to accept millions of unwanted citizens and pay tens of billions for nothing in return. They have lost Leave of their senses. We voted leave not some clever legal technically they are trying to deceive the public about.

        Govt needs ousting. Never should the Tories ever be elected in power again. Start with local elections.

  3. Mark B
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Good morning – again

    I really do not understand why people simply keep banging on about trade deals with the EU ? The EU cannot give us a better deal than we currently have as that would encourage others to demand the same. We cannot negotiate any sort of trade deal in the time frame we have as that requires uninimity of the rEU27. And bearing in mind what happened with regards to Canada that is very unlikely.

    What the UK needs is a off the shelf transition using the EEA. It parks a lot of issues, like the Irish border, but allows the UK to get FTA’s with other countries. We will not be subject to the ECJ and will be out of the CFP.

    Our payments would be less and we could eventually leave once we have our house in order.

    Many here do not like this as this is not leaving in one fell swoop. But is a genuine transition period and better than the one being negotiated.

    • Hun
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      EEA = free movement of people. Not acceptable to many.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:00 pm | Permalink

        Policed by the ECJ either directly or through the EFTA court, which is bound to follow ECJ guidance and case law.

        • Mark B
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

          In do not know if you have been following the debate, but I think you will find that the UK government has negotiated, that the UK shall be under the jurisdiction of the ECJ throughout the so called implementation period. Only, it is a far worse deal since we will not have any say. But under the EEA the EU Commission has to take into account what members want. Plus. The EEA does not cover fisheries.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        When it comes to immigration, non-EU immigration is running far higher. And it is this immigration that the UK can control but chooses not to. The for which I can only assume, is because it suits big business.

        So whether we are in the EEA or not, and under the current negotiated proposals EU Citizens shall still be able to come here by the millions, immigration is not going to be controlled until people vote in a party that is committed to controlling it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Here’s an interesting update to the earlier Open Europe paper:

      “A new customs union with the EU is not the answer”

      “Nor would a UK-EU customs union fully solve the question of the Irish border. As has become evident, the operation of an open Irish border relies heavily on continued “regulatory alignment” between Northern Ireland and the Republic. This relates to the relationship the UK decides to strike with the EU single market, not just the customs union. Although the UK has made clear its intention to leave the single market, it may still be possible to maintain an open border if both sides agree to cooperate on regulation relating to the key sectors that trade across this border.”

      Or alternatively regulation relating to the few UK businesses which want to export goods across the border, goods worth about 0.1% of UK GDP.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

        That’s the earlier Open Europe paper referenced in the comment which has not been published, the one that completely knocks on the head the mistaken idea that the so-called “Norway option” would solve the Irish border problem …

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      I cannot understand why this comment has not been published. Do we really want people erroneously believing that if only we were like Norway then there would be no problem with the Irish border?

    • NickC
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

      Mark B, You trust the establishment to honour that? The reason we don’t like the EEA agreement route is because it would, for all practical purposes, lock us in the EU in perpetuity. We voted Leave so that we could, well, . . . . leave. Odd, huh?

  4. Joe Sixpack
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    “strengthen its negotiating position” ??? Labour,quite rightly for once, has asked the government “What IS your negotiating position?” The government treated the question as if they were asking guidance on how best interpreting slick moves in the Kama Sutra. It does not HAVE a negotiating position! The only thing sorted out is that 3 million foreigners can stay here and vote plus their relations irrespective of how may of them they choose to make or make by accident.

  5. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

    Of course.
    Tell T May.

  6. Lifelogic
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    Exactly – but May and Hammond are far too daft to see this.

    T May even thought that a “vote for us and we will punishment you manifesto” was a great plan at the last election and that “being out of Schengen” gave us control of our borders. Hammond presides over the most absurd tax system and makes it even worse and more taxing every time he breaths. Neither have a clue what they are doing. Oxford Geography and PPE graduates with zero grasp of maths, logic, reason, science, engineering, energy systems, history, the costs of over regulation and over taxation, or of selling themselves, or the importance of a positive visions or indeed an understanding of human nature in general.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      L/L Agree totally. Land Rover/Jaguar are now cutting back production after doing so well because of the ridiculous stance on electric cars and wanting to penalise diesel. Talk about a government who just stabs itself in the back and the people with it.

      • Jagman84
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

        Part of it is due to the horrendous weather on the US eastern seaboard. It happened about 22 years ago as well and caused frequent shutdowns in production.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Also electric cars can use more fuel (at the power station and in manufacture) than an efficient diesel. They are simply not practical for most users despite the tax advantage and other subsidies.

        A second city car for some rich virtue signalers perhaps.

    • getahead
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

      “May and Hammond are far too daft to see this.”
      They are not too daft Ll. They simply do not regard the voters as being of any consequence. Hammond works for the CBI and business elites. May does as Hammond tells her. May should not be prime minister. Lord knows what she believes in. Perhaps nothing, like Cameron.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        A “vote for us and we will punishment you manifesto” is pretty daft unless you want to lose. So are many of the absurd tax rates that Hammond has well above the Laffer point.

        Yes they clearly are daft.

  7. Duncan
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

    A solution to this whole debacle is within your grasp and within your control. It is to remove May as leader of your party and replace her with a Eurosceptic leader or certainly one who is determined to carry out the wishes expressed in the result of the EU-ref

    Then replace Hammond. This person needs reining in. His arrogance defies belief. He’s almost gloating and taunting 17.5m voters

    • Hope
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Agree. He needs sacking. It is not as though he is a good chancellor. May needs ousting or the govt brought down. May’s language is clear that she is remaining in name only. Phase one applies whether there is a deal or not. So the phrase nothing agreed until all agreed us utter nonsense. May stating the UK would continue with intelligence and security irrespective also gives away our military to the EU foreign policy not our own! Rudd’s letter was also clear whether there is a deal or not.

      May claims we want to FEEL decisions are made here, no we want decisions made here not a deception like the last forty years!

      • Hope
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

        Let us also stop this nonsense about transition. It is nothing of the sort it is an absolute extension if we rely on what Davis told the select committee Nd Walker told Andrew Neil this week. Now they are trying to smooth over now the cat is out of the bag. Davis should resign, one because Green has left, two because he has proven to be not up to the job or open and transparent.

        Still no mention what the EU gave us in phase one of the talks? What did it concede in our faviour? All we know is what we have capitulated to in order to talk about trade! Walk away.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      The problem is that about half of Tory MPs are wet, Libdem, climate alarmist, high tax, big government, EUphiles.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink


        ‘The problem is that about half of Tory MPs are wet’

        – Careful.

        That’s exactly the sort of thing some said about the anti-slave trade Conservatives during the time of Wilberforce’s abolitionism.

        (Some Tories supported the slave trade, others opposed it).

        Rather, it was the pro-slave trade Tories who were really the ‘wets’. They had plenty of bravado (false courage) which they used to suppress their conscience and empathy for other people in terrible conditions. Selfishly putting themselves first.

        I’m not accusing you of being ‘wet’, but this word has been used throughout history to suppress a million wrongs and evils.

        It wasn’t the selfish slave traders who made the UK great at this time, but people like the Quakers, and their work ethic, who established many great companies. And lucky there were plenty of good Tories in Parliament who supported abolitionism.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          When you used words such as ‘wet’ you have to say what you mean exactly and defend it (as ‘wet’ has a moral connotation, about whether someone has courage or not). I referred to the slave trade as ‘wet’ is exactly the kind of language the pro slave trade Tories would have used against the Tory abolitionists (and it wasn’t that long ago).

          Better than using emotionally charged words like ‘wet’, better to make your point using arguments and backed up with evidence.

    • Chris
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      Agreed, Duncan. There is only one remedy for this situation, but each time May gives a little (this time she has eventually ticked off her Chancellor apparently) and that seems to satisfy those who are trying to honour Brexit. However, it seems she has a track record on this, trying to throw a morsel to keep the baying hounds satisfied, and then just carrying on in her soft Brexit mode, regardless, with her predominantly Europhile MPs and civil servants guiding her way.

      As Charles Moore has written, May has already demonstrated her type of Brexit, through her “complete capitulation” in the preliminary talks. The EU already regards these agreement as set in stone, and, unless there is no final agreement, and the whole lot is thrown out, May’s “complete capitulation” policy will come into effect. May’s fudge is NOT what we voted for. It represents a betrayal of the voters, in my view.

    • getahead
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      John, please note what Duncan says. Please get us out of this mess. It is so bloody depressing.

  8. Anonymous
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    We have a capable POTUS on our side too despite all attempts to insult him in the UK. He is far less tempestuous than given credit.

    I used to think that you can’t preside by Tweet but it’s only way to cut through the lefty/celebrity grip on news and entertainment. I can see him getting a second term.

    Newmania, Blue and Gold, Andy – never mention the cost of membership to the EU when they talk of free trade.

    This omission is a bigger lie than anything painted on the side of a red bus.

    • Hope
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

      Leaving is not solely about trade. Remainers have created this myth. We voted leave irrespective of trade, so to give up on money, court, laws, freedom of movement and ECJ is a bad deal.

      • Mark B
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink


    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      Indeed lower taxes, go for cheap energy and watch the economy grow. I too can see him winning again – what odds can you get?

      He was quite right to tell the foolish, PC come gender pay gap warrior T May to:-

      “Theresa @theresamay, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!”

      He should have added – drop the PC drivel & green crap and cut taxes too dear!

    • acorn
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      The cost of membership of the EU is about 0.31% of GDP. The cost of the 56 EU regulations that Brexiteers say cost more than they benefit the UK, is about 0.9% of UK GDP. Over half of that percentage is down to two UK Tory government policies that will remain, we are led to believe, after Brexit. The Working Hours Directive and the Renewable Energy Strategy.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:53 am | Permalink

        The cost of those EU regulations may be 0.9% of GDP or it may be more than that, potentially much more.

        In the past the EU Commission itself expressed concern that excessive or inappropriate regulation could be holding back the economy in the EU by much more than that.

        “In fact that works out as benefits of the EU Single Market = 1.5% of the collective GDP of the EU countries, while the costs = 5.5%.”

        As I’ve said in the past I’m not expecting a bonfire of EU regulations and an economic bonanza after we leave, I’m expecting some improvements which will be fairly small in themselves but nonetheless in aggregate more than enough to offset any losses from a reduction in access to the EU Single Market, should the untrustworthy hypocrites running the EU decide that they wish to unnecessarily restrict the existing trade with the UK.

    • Dennis
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      There was no lie on the side of that bus – a suggestion cannot be a lie.

      This continuous comment on that bus sign surely indicates the abysmal level of UK education as even ministers, MPs, the Dimblebys etc. cannot understand a simple sentence in English.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

        Indeed the bus says “lets fund our NHS instead”. Mind you the NHS is nearly as dire as the EU.

      • Andy
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Well said sir.

    • getahead
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      Exactly Anymouse. What’s free about a £10 billion annual contribution to the EU?

  9. alan jutson
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    Such a simple, logical and sensible thought.

    It should have been the very first question of the talks on day one.

    I agree entirely, our Government and so called negotiation team have completely lost the plot and are thus doing exactly the opposite in what is in all but name, appeasement.

    I posted very many months ago, would Mrs May reach a Neville Chamberlain moment, it now does not seem far away.

    If you have to pay to trade, then its not Free Trade, Simples.

    • Robert Betteridge
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      A cynic would have difficulty believing that you’re that naive Mr. Redwood. Events to date suggest that a deal has been agreed last year but it is dependent on May staying in control, the Brexiteers not getting too incensed and the 27 staying in the EU fold – being inexorably sucked towards the Euro. Everything else is the smoke and mirrors of Political Machinations shrouded in diplomacy. The constant delays are a device to let the steam out of the situation, whilst hoping that time and propaganda will allow a reversal of the vote.
      No one spoke for Petition 200165 (get us out Now).
      In the light of the Brexit vote the EU has come to the conclusion that it doesn’t want us in the ‘Tent’ unless our spirit is broken and we are brought to heel as a vassal state, forever as a milch cow – in the short term it needs our money for as long as possible.
      Have you not noticed that He with the worst motives is always the first to cry ‘thief’? Germany and France have been reaping harvests of our ‘cherries’ for the last forty years, whilst fending off agreements on Services.

      • Hope
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        You are spot on. Oust the govt and ever let Tories near power again.

    • graham1946
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

      Nor is it Free Trade if you have to keep out products you might want to buy from ‘Third Countries’ just to prop up EU corporations and Farmers.

      We pay twice over, firstly in EU subs and secondly by Foreign Aid instead ao trading with Third World Countries and helping build them up and who would love access to the markets. Not only is it expensive, it is also immoral.

    • getahead
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

      Presumably Alan you are not talking about Chamberlain’s declaration of war on Germany.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink


    Unfortunately there are too many siren voices wailing about loss of access to the single market and planes not being able to fly. You and similar thinkers are painted as ultras.

    To strengthen our negotiating position the Department for Exiting the EU needs to grasp the initiative, show the EU to be a bully and slow to adapt and win the media position and assuage fears that no deal is a disaster.

    The EU has convinced it’s demos that no deal is not the end of the world so it can negotiate freely and from a united position of strength we need similar.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

      The Department for Exiting the EU is still following the longstanding official Tory party line, or maybe that should really be “lie”, that our prosperity depends heavily upon our trade with “Europe”. The fact that we run a chronic and massive deficit on our trade with the rest of the EU is glossed over, it is baldly stated that we cannot afford to lose that vital trade. And the fact that according to the claims, or boasts, made by the EU Commission itself the EU Single Market has added only 1% or maybe 2% to the collective GDP of the EU member states is ignored in the hope that nobody will be bothered to check what they say and maybe do some simple sums, as here:

      And as for the UK, we have probably gained less than that average 1.6%.

  11. agricola
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    The UK has a very strong negotiating position already. Our team just need to express it and act on it. I fear there are too many fellow travellers for remain among them who will settle for the camel rather than the stallion. If they had a similar position as yourself there would be no need to negotiate. As I have oft repeated it is, do you want a tariff free deal on goods and services, causing minimum disruption or do you want WTO rules. Make up your minds and let us know, then we can discuss the detail.

    If our team read your diary they probably dismiss it as Cameron did Farage, but to his cost. So it is left to around fifty of you in the HoC to make our team aware of the consequences of getting it wrong. Mrs May plans to speak on the subject shortly. She needs to be clear and unequivocal when she does.

  12. Ian Wragg.
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    Under May and Hammond we will become a Vassal 8
    Hammond made that point during his speech. The transition is actually an extension with no positives and many negatives.
    May has to and quickly.
    The status quo is not leaving the EU.
    There will be civil strife if you try and stitch us up.
    We are not stupid.

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink


  13. am
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    this post sets out the correct way forward. obviously the reason it is not the current negotiating position is ..

  14. Freddie Trey
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    We have now signed a MOU which we have committed to honouring. Otherwise, by definition, there will be no Phase II transition – a transition we have asked the EU for. The walk out option is therefore no longer an option. Or are you saying we shouldn’t honour the MOU?

    Also, how would your position reconcile with Ireland and the commitments you and your Prime Minister made?

    • NigelE
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      I disagree. An MOU is not a binding document. It is an indication of what is desired if certain terms and conditions are met. If the EU offer a poor trade deal, we can reject the deal and the Stage 1 Agreement.

      Nothing’s agreed until everything agreed.

      A good mantra. Repeat many times, several times a day.

      • Hope
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        No, phase one agreed regulatory alignment whether a deal is made or not.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      As I understand the EU is reserving the right not to honour it …

  15. L Jones
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    That seems so sensible when it’s put like that. But there are an awful lot of ”shoulds” there. It’d be more reassuring to hear our Government and its representatives use the word ”shall”.

  16. Bert Young
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    This straightforward approach is exactly what we should be doing ; instead we are fumbling around playing to the EUs’ fantasies .

  17. Michael
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    The approach being taken by the government is baffling and frustrating.

    Until the basic question you pose is answered talking about a transition period is otiose

    The PM needs to lead or step aside.

  18. ferdinand
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Everybody knows that is what leaving means but we are hamstrung by the remainers in cabinet who don’t have the spunk to confront their beloved EU.

  19. Peter Wood
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood, I think you are preaching to the converted on this website with this piece. Perhaps you and government colleagues could better spend time and your travel allowance and go to have these kind of discussions in capitals around Europe, in an effort to get them to put pressure on the EU bureaucrats to come up with an answer.
    Grandstanding at Davos and addressing frivolous issues is not very productive. Mrs May has again shown she is ‘siting on the fence’ instead of making a strong, clear policy statement. Can Mr. Rees-Mogg write her speeches please?

    • Nig l
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      My guess is that this is read more widely than us bloggers although no one would admit it. A clever way by JR to ensure his views and ours reach a greater audience.

    • Chris
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Far better for them to stay in the UK and pressure their Europhile colleague who are doing their utmost not to honour the referendum result. The simplest of steps should have been to establishing immediately a rapid rebuttal unit, as suggested by Denis C, to firstly deal with all the misinformation and propaganda that is being put out, and secondly to promote the positive vision of Brexit. However, the government seems to have done none of that. They wouldn’t have lasted more than a few minutes if they had been trying to run a business. I wonder what additional frank language Alan Sugar might have used when saying “You’re fired”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      I don’t think he disagrees with much that she said in her Lancaster House speech a year ago. The disagreement is over the apparent gradual but significant departures, to put it bluntly “backsliding”, from the position that she laid out then.

  20. Andrew
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    100% agree. Please push this strategy with the PM and DD.

  21. Rogm
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    You talk nonsense,,and you know you talk nonsense,,we are heading for a Norway plus style agreement and that’s it,,the rest is just window dressing. If there was an altetnative out there or if there were other trading options, don’t you think wr would have heard all about it from Liam Fox by now..Mrs May DD and the inner cabinet know full well of our dire straits the country is in and can only sew up whatever agreement they’s all to do with the impossible position that the electorate, largely ignorant electorate, have put the government and the country in. It’s hard to know why JR continues in this vein when he himself is so very close to the thinking of the upper tory circle?? I suppose all to do with self promotion and stirring it up?

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:46 am | Permalink

      What a load of tripe. “the largely ignorant electorate”… boy you are a prize prick aren’t you.
      I don’t propose to understand why the country voted Leave but I know my own reasons.
      40 years of lies and treachery by the 3 main parties. We joined on a lie and it has proceeded along those lines since.
      I am neither stupid, uneducated or any other negative adjective you would deem to use.
      it is because of people like you that we voted out.
      Get back in your Brussels bunker etc ed

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:37 pm | Permalink


        your language and your personal attacks are an embarassement and if this is the level you are able to argue, I have very little to add because it would be a waste of time

        • Ian Wragg.
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          So it’s ok for your mate to insult 17.4 million people calling them stupid.
          You’re as bad.

        • NickC
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Don’t be so precious. We Leaves have been attacked by Remains as “thick”, “knuckle-draggers”, “uneducated”, “didn’t know what we were voting for”, and various other epithets, and ad hominem attacks too crude to repeat here, ever since 24th June 2016. I don’t recall you criticising them. You Remains dish it out, but can’t take it back.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      We have heard about it, but you were not paying proper attention.

      What “dire straits”? You mean like when the Labour government presided over more than a 6% loss of GDP during a twelve month period?

    • Fiddling about
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      The most genuinely sickening aspect of EU membership is that it has made so many young people believe our country is disabled.

      The UK in the EU could be personified and seen as the central character Tommy in the movie of the same name starring Roger Daltrey. He breaks out and away and rises, rises…

    • graham1946
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      More Remainer insults to the elctorate. Presumably you are one of the intelligent ones? If so, we have yet to hear cogent reasons for staying in – perhaps you can assist?

      I can only find insults and dire warnings. I have never heard a Remainer make a positive case for staying in and paying all the money, joining the Euro, supplying an EU army, elimination of the nation state and becoming a member of a federal government. All this is coming to the EU.

      I can understand the Europeans doing it because of their recent history with dictators etc. but that is not our history for a thousand years. We are a mature democracy – most of the Continentals are not.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

      It is a sign of the Remoaner’s weak arguments that they do often resort to insult rather than argument . The “ignorant” Leave voters you talk about were the ones who didn’t believe there’d be 500,000 job losses in the year immediately following the vote ?

    • sm
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

      Ah, the ‘ignorant electorate’ schtick rears its unpleasant head again.

      If only we were all as clever, enlightened and, no doubt, as young as you, we would have voted ‘correctly’ in the Referendum!

    • John C.
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

      You have the negative, sour and condescending tone of a pure Remainer. You round it off nicely with an insult to our host. Why you have this tone when we have a government which is clearly doing the sort of things you applaud, I cannot understand.

    • getahead
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Dire Straits, Mark Knoffler? Excellent musicians. Sultans of Swings etc.
      As for the rest of your comments, they are incomprehensible. The country is not at all in dire straits. It is thriving regardless of excessive immigration. The country, that is to say Britain , is doing very well and will do far better once free of the constraints of the protectionist EU.
      Not to mention our sovereignty and the odd £10 billion per annum.

  22. oldtimer
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    The idea of a transition period is a trap laid by Remainers to frustrate Brexit. The refrain “No deal is better than a bad deal” is a deceit. No deal means, in the mind of Remainers, carrying on more or less as as before. This is the “no deal” being negotiated by May, aided and abetted by the civil service, many MPs and most of the House of Lords. It seeks to string out the process ad infinitum.

    Brexiteers have been encouraged to believe that “No deal” means a hard Brexit and that, if need be, that is what May would advise if need be. This is, I believe, a fatal misinterpretation of what will happen. May will return from the negotiations, like Cameron before her, saying she has this wonderful deal when, in reality, nothing much will have changed except for the worse. She will will return with and will recommend a bad deal and claim a negotiating triumph.

    • Hun
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      And then consign the Tory party to many decades in the political wilderness.

  23. Roy Grainger
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    That’s just your opinion John. It is clear May/Hammond disagree, as do a majority in the HoC. If you want to change things you need to jettison May now.

  24. mickc
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Yes of course that is what the UK should do. But it won’t… May is even more useless than Major was.

    The Conservative party is still basically Blairite.

  25. NigelE
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I fully support your comments here. But without apology I repeat my comment from yesterday (Transition to what?)

    Who (if anybody) was responsible for the Govt’s negotiating “strategy”? We are NOT a supplicant/beggar nation! From the start, the strategy should have been to state that we are leaving and will trade under WTO rules UNLESS there is a better deal. This, I think, is what “No deal is better than a bad deal” meant. We should have refused to discuss any Brexit payments to the EU, the Irish border and any transition period UNTIL a trade agreement was made, because all three issues are dependent on what is agreed. (The UK & EU citizen’s rights issues could have been agreed in parallel talks within a joint civil servants committee.)

    It is still not too late to tear up the Stage 1 Agreement (nothing’s agreed until it’s all agreed …) and start again. In the short term, this will raise howls of protest, hit the £ and probably the markets but these will be short term only.

    Will our politicians – any of them, and I include you, Dr Redwood – have the guts to do this? The polite answer to that question is No. The full answer is unprintable.

    I despair.

    • John C.
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

      The great despair is still to come. The sort of faux-Brexit that May and co. will present us with may very well destroy the Tory Party. The numbers who will vote for it out of fear of Corbyn will be insufficient to prevent a disaster.

  26. Beecee
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    It would help if the Hammonds of this world stopped trying to derail the process by offering the EU hope that we are not serious in a full Brexit!

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

      It was called “appeasement” when another H was doing it …

  27. Tabulazero
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    John Redwood is finally realizing that the UK holds very few cards in the negotiations and that it will be given its Brexit on the EU’s terms not yours.

    How long has it taken you to realise that, Mr Redwood ? 1.5 years ?

    Backseat driver.

    Rep,y i think we have a very strong hand but we now have to play it

    • ian wragg
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      We are the supplicants John if you believe him and the likes of Andy and Rogm.
      Get rid of may and Hammond. Just what is Graham Brady doing?

    • NigelE
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      It is because the govt has been such an inept negotiator that the likes of Tabulazero can make such asinine comments. We do not have to accept any terms from the EU: WTO rules are fine.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Dear Tabu–I agree with John that we have a very strong hand–There is a ton of upside and no down apart from the risk of a few smallish tariffs and there are those, including myself, who see this “downside” as the best route anyway–Nobody is going to persuade me that being on the same footing as the rest of the world (“no deal” is a complete misnomer) is any kind of problem.

    • BlakeS
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

      Sorry John..we are in a holding pattern and will be allowed to land only when Brussels says..and on the runway they designate

    • Tabulazero
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:37 am | Permalink

      The I suggest that you organise a coup against Theresa May and show us how it is done.

      Otherwise, I am very afraid you will get the “Brexit but in name” many Conservatives in the higher echelons secretly crave.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      £60bn trade surplus with the EU, £8.1bn contributions to the EU, Trident protecting the EU, GCHQ eyes and ears for the EU…

      If we have few cards to play then it’s because our own negotiators refuse to play them.

  28. sm
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Watching Rees-Mogg’s courteous disembowelling of David Davis in committee was painful, but sadly revealing. It’s time for DD to step down and hand over the baton to someone with more energy and determination.

    • Mitchel
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      I never understood why much hope was placed on DD -right from the start he came across tired and blase.As if Brexit was just a debating school topic and debate over,job done.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      And let the minority view dominate?

      • NickC
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

        Rien, 17.4m voters say it is the majority. The government is implementing policies to keep us locked to the EU with “very modest changes” as Hammond stated. This is what Remain want – BINO – yet they complain when they are handed it on a plate by our government and civil service.

    • Chris
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      He is reported as saying that he wants to get out once Brexit happens. To me he has been a huge disappointment, but his failure was probably in large part due to the pressures from May and the rest of her Europhile team and civil servants. He seems to have given up or at least appeared very laid back when Jacob Rees-Mogg was addressing him. That looked very bad to me and was, in my mind, indicative that Davis has lost the plot completely, and really does not seem to care. I hope I am wrong, but there is not the luxury of time to give him further leeway. I think that not only should May and Rudd and Hammond go, but probably Davis as well, and instead a pro Brexit team put in place very swiftly indeed. That can only happen obviously with a change of leadership. I believe there is a lot of talent there amongst the Tory Brexiter MPs, but they need a leader they can believe in. I think they have one, but they need to act.

  29. ChrisS
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    When we have the Chancellor undermining the whole negotiation strategy, no doubt assisted behind the scenes by the Home Secretary and others, I wonder how we will ever present a sufficiently united front to achieve any kind of acceptable deal.

    Hopefully the 5th column in the cabinet will keep their collectively gritted teeth hidden inside firmly closed mouths when David Davis outlines his strategy for the transition period.

    1. It has to be a genuine “Transition,” 21 months max to the end of the EU budget period

    2. To be a genuine “Transition,” FOM and the influence of the ECJ should come to an end
    no more than 12 months into the period.

    3. We must conduct official negotiations on our new trade deals around the world during
    the period, not secretly behind closed doors.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      “Our new trade deals” . What do you have in mind? Negotiating with The Commonwealth of Australia or The Queen in Right of New Zealand in a stadium? Maybe that is not what they want.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

        Rien Huizer–Absolute piffle–They are the same people as us and of course we will be able to work something out rapidly to our mutual benefit–Apart from all else, the negotiations will each be one-on-one with Common Law countries and unequivocally in English instead of with a 27 constituent Tower of Babel so there is every reason to be positive and hopeful.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

          Two common errors among the English: the Antipodeans are not as Anglo as you may think (although they speak English) and have a Common Law based private law system (but what is the relevance of common law to trade treaties? they are a branch of international public law). Second, if you would follow Australian news like I do you would see very little effort being made towards facilitating brexit, while a trade agreement with the EU is top priority.

          • Leslie Singleton
            Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            More piffle–Little “effort” will be needed between the UK and Australia–Just a straightforward one-on-one deal between two members of a family–What exactly do you imagine the Australian newspapers should be saying at this stage?–Re the EU and Australia, Yes, I can imagine both would like a trade agreement but notwothstanding the “top priority” it is plain for all to see that there has been no result to date–And the reason for that is that the EU is a hodgepodge and can of worms that it is intrinsically close to impossible to negotiate with–All the stops have to be pulled out and still nothing happens.

      • NickC
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Rien, You don’t seem overly concerned about what we want, why do you pretend concern for what New Zealand wants? Shouldn’t you let New Zealand speak for itself? You demonstrate almost daily what I have long concluded – that the EU is our enemy.

    • John C.
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      It is evident that May and co. need to understand that the word “transition” implies a change from one state to another. What they have in mind is simply an extension of the present arrangements (presumably because they can think of nothing better.)
      This is like the transition of a caterpillar into a butterfly, except that at the end, the case will break open and a remarkable similar caterpillar will crawl away.

  30. Alan
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    I thought we had already agreed that, in the absence of any other agreement, we would remain “fully aligned” with EU directives?

    • NigelE
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      Nothing’s agreed until everything’s agreed. We can tear up the Stage 1 document if a suitable deal is not on offer.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:18 am | Permalink

      Dearest Alan–“Subject to” old chap, “Subject to”.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

      That is where the “constructive ambiguity” comes in …

    • mancunius
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      No, only insofar as they affect NI/RoI trade and commerce (Art.49 & 50 of the 7.December 2017 Joint Report). And those terms are only provisional, and not in any way legally binding.

      Legally, in the absence of any final agreement with the EU, we may and should withdraw *all* provisions of that joint report. Which is all the more reason to stop these fruitless discussions, to leave the EU, and resume FTA negotiations once we’re safely outside it while withholding further payment.

    • getahead
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      If that is so Alan, God help us. And God help the Tories.

  31. Edward
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

    Fully agree John. In fact I believe the UK Government should not be constantly weakening its hand by not having a vision of the future.

    Unless I have missed it, so far the UK Government has not produced a position paper which sets out in clear terms what it actually wants as a FTA with the UK that is somewhere between what we have now and WTO terms. It is no use them keeping harping on about CETA++ without actually writing down what it means in practical terms for the UK and the EU.

    Once it does this it will, I believe, become readily apparent to the EU and here in the UK that everyone is a winner, we leave the EU on terms acceptable to us, the EU does not damage its industries and gets our money. But I guess more importantly the EU will be able to inform its citizens that the UK has had to ‘pay a price’ for leaving the EU. It’s federal project can keep going on unhindered by malcontents such as the UK.

    Also, as a side note, it is high time that the remainers, the media and others stop painting the WTO as a ‘cliff edge’ – it is essentially a highly favourable trade agreement.

  32. Dennis Zoff
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Good morning John,

    Do you have any thoughts on the below and would this not be a good negotiation opportunity? Thank you.


    Exclusive Brexit Facts4EU.Org analysis of EU’s demands for defence & security from UK

    – UK to provide defence of EU unconditionally
    – UK to continue to pay
    – UK not to alter any bilateral defence arrangements it has with individual countries
    – UK (NATO’s 2nd biggest funder) to have no impact on NATO’s EU relationship
    – UK to obey all EU military sanctions against other countries
    – UK to provide military & intelligence staff, equipment, and money
    – UK never to lead an operation and to take orders from EU militaries

    Source: Internal EU27 preparatory discussions on the framework for the future relationship: “Security, Defence and Foreign Policy”, ad-hoc committee, 23 Jan 2018

    Link for full overview:

    • Duncan
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      I find that, if proven to be accurate, truly shocking. It is little more than ‘rubbing our noses’ into the dirt with the boot of the EU stamping down on the back of our neck

      John – your government, yes, your government and your leader ARE A DISGRACE TO THE UK AND ITS PEOPLE

      We demand action. Never in all my years have I seen such appalling treatment of my country and such treatment handed out with a vicious smile

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      Highly amusing interpretation of standard negotiating topics..

      • NickC
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

        Rien, Standard for the EU, presumably? I think we got that first time around. Even though our government/civilservice machine is too dim to see.

    • Chris
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      This is hugely concerning, and I have commented several times on this site that we have already signed up to so much with regard to the EU defence policy without the public realising. The treachery is that much of this has been cemented and expanded SINCE the referendum.

  33. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    The ONS estimates that the UK economy grew by 0.5% during the last quarter of 2017, up from an estimated 0.4% during the previous quarter.


    As always these numbers may be subject to later revision so they should not be treated as precise, but added together we have had UK GDP growing by 0.9% in just the second half of 2017 which would roughly match the lower estimates for any likely loss of GDP arising from the UK’s withdrawal from the EU Single Market.

    As for the higher estimates, well, taking those more pessimistic estimates we might lose the equivalent of one year’s average growth, but roughly speaking we have already made up enough ground over the eighteen months since the referendum.

    This is despite the downwards trend in economic growth rate which started around the end of 2014, long before the EU referendum, when it peaked at around 3.3%:

    and which may now be flattening out.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      However it seems Mark Carney and his assembled experts at the Bank of England didn’t notice that pre-existing downwards trend in the growth rate:

      “The economy has slowed since the June 2016 vote, losing 1 percentage point of growth last year, which will deteriorate to a 2 percentage point loss this year, he said in Davos. That is £20 billion annually, or £700 million a week and far bigger than had previously indicated.”

      Yet again, nothing in response from the Brexit department, not even to ask

      “So where do you get that “1 percentage point” from?”

      when the chart shows the drop to be more like half that.

    • acorn
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

      Denis, where are you getting these numbers from? It is currently accepted in number crunching circles,that after peer reviews, of the Treasury Brexit Report; that larger long – run effects are in the same ballpark, as the benefits that the UK has gained since 1973 from being part of the EU.

      In a recent survey of the evidence of the impact of EU membership, Crafts (2016) concludes that EU membership raised UK GDP per capita by between 8.6% and 10.6%. Economists under – estimated the benefits from EU membership because they focused on static trade models of the kind we have employed in Table 1. The bottom line is that the costs of Brexit could easily be about three times larger than those in the static analysis shown in Table 1. (

      If the Brexit Department reads the above link; having a read of “Four principles for the UK’s Brexit trade negotiations”, they might learn something!

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        And if you read what the EU Commission says about it then you may learn something … try my recent comment here:

        The one that starts:

        “This seems to have gone missing, which is a pity because people need to understand how little the EU Single Market is actually worth to us … ”

        There are indeed a number of other studies, outliers, such as the one you cite, some of which seem to be deliberately designed to greatly exaggerate the benefits of EU membership, but which strangely enough have not been seized upon by the EU Commission – not even by Michel Barnier, when he was the Commissioner in charge of the EU internal market.

        I would also refer you to another comment:

        about a critical analysis of the Treasury Report produced before the referendum, which analysis runs to nearly nine pages and highlights more than twenty significant inadequacies which make that report entirely unreliable – as we are increasingly seeing.

  34. Kenneth
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    I cannot see what we are supposed to be negotiating.

    We offered free trade, citizen reciprocation and we sorted out the Irish borders.

    We are still waiting for the eu member states to decide what to do.

    As assets continue to go abroad in the form of eu subs, I think it is reasonable for us to put a deadline of no more then 60 days for the eu states to make up their mind.

    We can then get on with leaving the eu.

  35. Richard1
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    No point entering any negotiation unless you are prepared to walk away. If you aren’t prepared to walk away then it’s probably best just to ask the EU what they are prepared to offer and beg for a little bit more. It doesn’t feel like Mrs May is contemplating the walk away /WTO option under any circs. That doesnt bode well.

    • Mark B
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink


      I view your post as a very important moment. Whilst many here have raged against the PM on the way in which negotiations (sic) have been going, you have in the past shown good loyalty to the Conservative Party and the PM. But even you now are growing tired of the shenanigans going on. If the Tories lose diehards such as your good self then they are truly finished.

      A warning to our kind host and to his colleague’s.

      • Richard1
        Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        Well I hope I’m wrong

  36. Lifelogic
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Nick Timothy in the Telegraph the other day said that the Chancellor is fond of saying “Nobody voted to make themselves poorer”.

    So why I wonder is Hammond doing so much to make them so with his economic illiteracy and endless tax (and tax complexity) increases?

    Anyway, I and many others would rather be poorer and restore UK democracy than be a mere region on the dire & anti-democratic EU. Not that I think we will be poorer from Brexit quite the reverse. If we get a sensible government in charge for a change we will roar away.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Surely your would not be a majority view. If people were sure they would be poorer (Mr Redwood cs suggest the opposite) they would would like an alternative that would make them relatively richer. If you agree to that, there would be a minority in favour of the “poorer” in order to make the country more “democratic”. As far as I know there is no credible research as to what people would prefer (Poorer + more democratic to the status quo) but i suspect that you would be in a minority and that would undermine your aim to make the country more democratic. Democracies are supposed to respect minority views but not be guided by them.

      • NickC
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Rien, You don’t seem too bothered about our majority to leave the EU, though. You are the snake oil salesman that sells the gullible “security” if only they give up liberty. Unfortunately for you history has shown that universally people want liberty. And, once free, they also get better security too.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Dear Lifelogic–Cannot understand why anyone pays any attention to Timothy who was the principal architect via his input in to the idiotic Manifesto of all our present misfortunes. If only we still had Henry VIII–He would have known what to do with him.

    • Pugwash
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Yes, he is faithfully performing the mantra first vented by ex-LibDem Leader Tim Farron. Given the ecosystem as it were, of the preparation for and cross-party agreement to, the parameters of the Referendum , it is a primitive and repulsive sneer at representative and regular democracy unworthy of anyone in official office.

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      It turns out lots of us who voted Tory at the last election DID vote to make ourselves poorer given Hammond’s changes to dividend tax.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        An much of this other many tax increases. A 20% increase to Insurance Premium Tax for example.

    • Original Richard
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      “Nick Timothy in the Telegraph the other day said that the Chancellor is fond of saying “Nobody voted to make themselves poorer””.

      In the referendum campaign the PM, the Chancellor, the BOE, the IMF, the OECD, the (EU funded) CBI, the banks, the financiers, the hedge fund managers, the BBC etc. all made it perfectly clear that we would be poorer if we voted to leave the EU.

      The Chancellor had even put a precise figure for it on a board behind him at a press conference.

      But despite being told we would be poorer a majority voted to leave the EU having decided that sovereignty and freedom was more important than a few pieces of silver.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Also many thought correctly that they were lying or mistaken. They were usual the same people who were EURO of ERM enthusiasts. Dire Ken Clark, Osborne and S Dorrell types.

    • John C.
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      In 1914 and in 1939, we as a nation opted to become very much poorer to maintain our honour. I wonder what we would have voted for if we had been presented with a referendum in August 1914 or September 1939.

  37. Epikouros
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    Could not agree with you more. However there are far too many who will not agree with you for spurious and nefarious reasons. I realised a long time ago that rational, logical thinking and honesty were not attributes that predominated in our societies anywhere in the world. So we just muddle along mostly making poor choices but haphazardly making the right ones. There are pockets of exceptions where societies have stumbled upon ways to enhance decision making. The private sector and free markets is one but then others do their level best to disrupt them using politics and government laws and regulations because they do not fit into their emotional and subjective views on life.

  38. agricola
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    What is all this about agreeing a transition period before you know what you are transiting to. To me it looks like booking the church , deciding on the service and then going out and finding a bride. It would seem more farce than negotiation, what do our negotiators think they are being paid for.

  39. English Pensioner
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    From my time in the Civil Service, I am convinced that the Civil Service has no-one capable of negotiating a business deal of any kind. You can see this in the Carillion affair and in other government contracts where poorly written requirements often result in an equally poor job at increased costs.
    As most Ministers rely on their Civil Servants for professional support, unless the Minister has personal experience of negotiating elsewhere, you can be certain that we will get a poor deal, probably made worse by the fact that most senior Civil Servants appear to be remainers.
    The government should have brought in experts from outside who believe in Brexit and have negotiating experience.
    The way things are going we can be sure that we will get a bad deal.

  40. a-tracy
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Were restrictive covenants in the original agreements when we signed up to the EU, if not I just don’t see how they can be asked to be put in after our notice period has been served as a matter of law. I understand the EU wants to protect themselves from a competitive unrestricted UK but we must also protect our own people, their jobs and their future otherwise and be allowed to sign trade agreements that come into effect at the end of this period or there is no point transitioning.

    I also heard May and Hammond were going to agree to the EU making new laws up in the transition period that we had no say in but we had to implement, surely they’ve not agreed to this? If they have then the UK public need to be aware what the possible implications of this are during that two-year transition before it is formalised so they can say NO we aren’t prepared to do this.

    Citizen reciprocation with regard to work and training but not be entitled to benefits and housing allowances they or we hadn’t contributed to in Europe for a period of around five years whilst a contributions record was set up was a big reason for leaving that lots of people gave me. The simple concessions that DC went to the EU to ask for which they refused outright should be a top requirement.

  41. James Matthews
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink


  42. formula57
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I am bemused by your comment : –“Nor should they stop us getting on with negotiating free trade agreements with others…”.

    What has L. Fox and his department been doing all this time? He might be part of a weak and vacillating government but his duty is clear. Surely there are many agreements now negotiated only awaiting 19, March 2019 (the day of our glorious liberation) to become effective?

    As for any interference from the Evil Empire, US diplomat Victoria Nuland’s famous remark must be our response too.

  43. William Long
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    I quite agree that the UK needs to strengthen its negotiating position and it could quite easily do so as, properly played, it holds a very strong hand. However, it is becoming clearer by the minute that the only way this Government will achieve what is desired, is if it changes its leader and Chancellor. The existing team suffer from total lack of vision and are not even marching in step, or more likely, they are, and Mrs May just does not dare admit it.
    We are told that 40 Conservative MPs have now signed up to a leadership election. Surely it is possible to find another 8 with the necessary guts. No doubt you will say that this is no time to change horses, but staying with the present duo poses an even greater danger.

  44. Rien Huizer
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Mer Redwood, what do you think the response would be? It is already clear what the EU negotiating position is and if your idea of a “comprehensive free trade agreement” (whatever that may be) is something like CETA, the response would be: OK, I guess. So that is not the hard part and should not be too difficult to negotiate. It should also not be too hard to figure out what thew transition would entail. Most likely, the EU would not give up their most recent version of requirements (ECJ, contributions, no external FTAs etc) because that would weaken the EU as a global trading power with nothing in return.

    Your other post about exchange rate movements wonders what the impact on inflation should be. A better question would be: is this perhaps – as the financial press and specialist analysts (not that I care much for currency analysts but some people do) uniformly suggest- that the impact of “the brexit vote” (Note; not brexit itself, it has not happened yet) may well be behind the GBP rise, in other words, Sterling is moving back to its direction and level pre-vote. Within that theory, most of the GBP/USD performance (appr 6% in January so far can be explained by the parallel EUR/GBP movement plus a 1% outperformance of GBP vs EUR.

    • Dee
      Posted January 28, 2018 at 1:40 am | Permalink

      A trade deal with the EU is what May and Hammond and big business want, real Brexiteers wants May to tell the EU where to go, walk away and no deal is better than any deal and WTO rules just fine. Big business is not worth all the money that it could cost the taxpayer. May is giving away the taxpayers money hand over fist. You must remember that big business only makes up around 10 to 15% of our GDP the most is made from the City and small to medium businesses. Businesses will have had 3 years to sort themselves out by 3\19. There is no surprises, take steps to cover ANY contingency and if they are too incompetent to do that they shouldn’t be in business anyway. Cliff Edge is just a means of trying to keep or delay our freedom.

  45. Andy
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    This is not a question for the EU. It is a question for Brexiteers.

    You voted against the comprehensive free trade agreement we have.

    This is fine – it’s your choice.

    But what happens next is down to you, not the EU.

    Your decision is simple.

    How much is your dislike of foreigners worth?

    Brexit will make you poorer.

    How much poorer is the compromise you have to figure out.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink


    • NickC
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink


      Clearly the question is also a matter for the EU . . . . they are one of the two sides in a negotiation.

      We don’t have a “comprehensive” FTA at the moment: the EU is not even a proper single market; the 2006 Services Directive (you know, our biggest industries?) is not fully implemented.

      It is our choice. Have you accepted that yet?

      What happens next is partly down to us, but also partly down to the EU.

      It is not dislike of foreigners but dislike of being arbitrarily and distantly governed by a self-appointed, corrupt, unelected, dysfunctional oligarchy.

      We were told before the Referendum that Brexit would make us poorer. We still voted for Leave. In any case history proves you wrong: there is a yearning to self government, mostly due to the desire for liberty, but also in recognition that the fruits of our labours should not be frittered away upon bureaucrats on distant shores.

    • Dee
      Posted January 28, 2018 at 1:03 am | Permalink

      Change the tune, that old song has become boring. The UK has never done so well for many years as it has done since Brexit and your doommongering will have as much effect as it had before Independence Day, Non

  46. Sean
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    A conservative Minister said yesturday, that our so called transition period after 3/2019 we will still have the ECJ and single market until at least 2021.

    How is that Brexit?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      It is not. It is a sick Theresa Brexitina May joke.

    • Dee
      Posted January 28, 2018 at 1:22 am | Permalink

      You are quite right, it means we are still in the EU for another two years and longer if some have their way. Which is why we have little chance of success as long as May is in No10. We have to get Moggmentum going hard and depose May and her crony’s and let a real Brexiteer steer the ship. Moggy in No 10. John Redwood in No 11, an all Brexit Cabinet allowing for true remissive leavers. Get shut of the House of Lords, strip all party elected Lords of their titles. Let us all join the Conservative Membership and become the Conservative Momentum. let us decide who will be selected or deselected. Let us shape the Parliament how we want it. That doesn’t mean wholesale butchery but it does mean that Politicians will stop taking the electrate for granted and realise that People do count.

  47. Christopher Hudson
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Hammond and May seem to be cosying and allying themselves closer to Europe by the day

  48. Bob
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    This confirms something that I have suspected for a long time. Analysis finds that just 3.2% of guests talking about the EU on the Today Programme over ten-year period were pro-Brexit.

    How BBC kept Leavers off the air for a decade:

  49. Duyfken
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    I speculate as to what is going on behind the scenes within the Tory Party. Unless it is fake news, the 1922 committee has received about 40 letters asking for May to go. Now, with the Mogg also at the helm of the ERG, is there some increasing unstated pressure on May to observe the strict terms of BREXIT (ie clean and punctual), with the threat of another 8 letters or more being submitted to the ’22?

    If 40 letters have have been submitted, should that not be sufficient for May to realise the game’s up and to resign honourably, or does she think it better to emulate Henry Bolton?

  50. A P Cox
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    It makes no sense for Hammond to be seemingly “kow-towing” to the EU and “rolling-over” when they demand outrageous sums of money, whilst we have a 60bn trade deficit with it.
    What does make sense is to use our stong bargaining position to say to the EU “either agree to a Free Trade deal or we walk away and dare you to impose tariffs”

  51. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Not entirely off-topic, here’s an article about Turkey and the EU:

    “Free trade pact would break EU-Turkey deadlock”

    Anybody who thinks that maybe we should contemplate the same kind of relationship with the EU as Turkey has now would do well to read this article.

    I would just highlight:

    “Turkey’s convergence with the EU acquis on business regulatory areas going beyond customs union* could ease the tension in the EU revolving around Turkey’s membership prospects in an era of decaying democratic norms and institutions.

    Such an option would also disperse Turkey’s long standing grievances on trade deflection due to its obligation to undertake the EU’s common commercial policy without the right to shape it.”

    I can’t see why on earth we should want to get ourselves into a position where we would also have similar “long standing grievances”.

    * That is, not the EU Customs Union itself but the extraneous customs union which has been formed between the EU Customs Union and Turkey.

  52. PaulDirac
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    From the DT 25/1/2018 (Telegraph view, regarding the ECJ)
    “Mrs May needs to give an absolute guarantee that at the end of the two years the breach will be complete. Out means out.”

    Her assurances are irrelevant, ask yourself this – Why is the EU insisting on ECJ jurisdiction being maintained during “transition”. This seems very odd, after all once we leave we can repeal anything we don’t like.

    My answer is that they are planning on a Trojan horse project using the ECJ, to delay or prevent our exit. Essentially they do not want to lose any of their tools of controlling the UK.
    However, the same reasoning should work in reverse in our decision making, the ECJ is another serious potential land mine on our way to Brexit, why should we agree so readily for it’s jurisdiction during the so called “transition”?

  53. Helena
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    We have a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU. We have chosen to quit it. You seem unable to grasp that voting for Brexit means voting for trade restrictions: you cannot trade with the EU as if you are a member unless you are a member.

    • NickC
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Helena, So you are saying the EU’s pronouncements are like an Ed Stone? Immutable? For ever and ever? Interesting.

      Actually I prefer to trade with the EU on the same terms as we trade with the rest of the world, using the comprehensive WTO rules on international trade in goods, services, and intellectual property. And never mind the footling RTAs negotiated by the EU.

  54. James neill
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Just listened to the Davos Trump speech which was well crafted andwide ranging about the economic concerns of the US, plenty about the US stock market and chances for FDI but said very little, in fact nothing, about world affairs. It is obvious the speech was written for him by technocrats, but in any case he stuck with the script all the way..job done..and all to keep him from blabbing off..he might have well stayed at home and tweeted it

  55. mancunius
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I completely agree 100% with JR’s critique of what the government *should* do – but that’s no use as long as it carries on doing the opposite! Hammond’s speech at Davos is a perfect example. It looks very much as if the whole government is buckling under pressure from the CBI and IoD, who prate constantly about ‘preparing for No Deal’, when what they mean is urging their members to take their businesses out of Britain if they don’t get the comfy EU-continuity single market deal they want, and – in essence – threaten to punish the voters with unemployment if they don’t back down and accept the subverting of the referendum decision by quislings.
    The true social and financial costs of the EU have never been borne fully by grasshopper big business.
    I could go through the whole list of FT ‘big business sources’ and our pro-Remainer politicos, and show how each one is suborned by personal/financial /property/political interests in the EU, but I realize it would not be wise to publish them.

  56. graham1946
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    Negotiating is about getting agreements that both sides can live with. We have heardthe EU demands and know about the cave in of a our weak government just to get talks about talks going. Anyone know what the EU have conceded in exchange?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      They have allowed “negotiations” to continue. Which is already a favor, because these negotiations are a distraction and they are costly. Of course they are not going to agree to what is often suggested here. But they are giving the UK a fair chance at finding ways to limit the brexit damage. Unfortunately there are people who do not believe that there will be damage. Those people are either deluded or are looking for personal/group advantage. For the avarega Briton, brexit will be no bonanza and for the average exporter, there will be lots of red tape, transition costs and loss of existing customers.

      • graham1946
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

        Wow, letting the talks continue, even though it is part of Article 50 anyway. We are so grateful for the sacrifice. So as I thought, nothing at all gained from the EU for the huge amount of money offered and the offer of continued free access to our markets. Seems about right. We have had 40 years of being preyed upon by this corrupt setup. Personally I would make a charge to the EU for the access which is far more in their favour – don’t come up with the 27 against 1 argument again, most of the EU are bust and have their hands in our pocket.

        For your last sentence, you simply cannot get away with something like that. Where are your facts?

      • NickC
        Posted January 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Rien, The EU has “allowed negotiations to continue”. Well, we must be truly grateful for that. According to you. Which just goes to demonstrate the depths of arrogance emanating from your corrupt, dysfunctional oligarchy in Brussels. And, remember, us now, but you’ll be next at some point.

  57. Denis Cooper
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    It’s almost as if Philip Hammond is asking to be sacked.

    “The Chancellor is doing that thing again. Speaking in Davos yesterday on a CBI platform, Philip Hammond argued for only “very modest” changes in the relationship between the UK and the EU after Brexit. If that didn’t raise enough doubts about his commitment to a proper Brexit, he also went out of his way to praise the CBI Director General’s recent call for what the Chancellor called “the closest possible future relationship” – a speech in which she explicitly argued for the UK to enter into a customs union with the EU, to start from a presumption of mirroring EU regulation, and to opt for something far closer to Norway than to Canada.

    Hammond’s choice of the place, the host, and the things he said was not accidental. He knew exactly what message he was putting across. Notably, his comments on Twitter after the fact played the game of sounding like a correction without actually correcting anything. Yes, his speech noted that Britain will leave the EU, and its Customs Union and Single Market, but that recognition is no rebuttal of the wider implications of his speech – not least on the UK’s future freedom to strike trade deals and set our own regulations as we choose.”

  58. Chris
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    What a breath of fresh air Trump is at Davos. In his address are so many lessons for our government and Brexit, not the least of which is his message on immigration, which I agree with wholeheartedly: (Reuters videolink/info from Westmonster website).

    “….“America is a cutting-edge economy but our immigration system is stuck in the past. We must replace our current system…with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially and to strengthen our country.”

    Trump also insisted that America First does not mean America alone, but that his nation’s interests would always come first…”

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

      Three cheers for Trump! At least he wants to put America first. Our numpties could learn a lot from him.

  59. Andy
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to David Davis we now know what Brexit will look like at first.

    It will look EXACTLY the same as EU membership.

    Except we will now have ZERO say.

    We used to have one of the loudest voices in the room.

    Now we have none.

    Brexit – an incoherent idea from an incompetent government.

    I am embarrassed for you Brexiteers. You have humiliated our country.

    • getahead
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      Andy, you can be as embarrassed as you like. We still want to extract our country from the EU ponzi scheme.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:38 pm | Permalink


      Then let’s scrap Trident, GCHQ and our £8.1bn net contribution – if we are to be poorer then our £60bn trade deficit with the EU will reduce too.

      We have not humiliated our country.

      The Remainers still in charge of it have.

    • L Jones
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 12:40 am | Permalink

      And we Brexiteers, Andy, are embarrassed by naysayers like you and your ilk. Our country does not NEED the EU, as has been argued far more cogently than I am able to do. We believe in our country, we know that we are poised to be great again without the dead weight of a moribund, self-aggrandizing, expansionist ”organisation” to pull us down. If you really believe we ”used to have one of the loudest voices in the room” then you have obviously been listening at the wrong keyhole. Surely you must be aware how disloyal and insulting your words are. Perhaps you are an agent provocateur.

    • NickC
      Posted January 27, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

      Andy said: “We used to have one of the loudest voices in the room.” What does that even mean? If you mean the EU took notice of what we said, you are totally wrong. And I know a UK civil servant bod who negotiated for us in Brussels.

      We didn’t get our way over the last minute theft of our fishing waters in 1972. Mrs Thatcher didn’t get a single market based on mutual recognition. Tony Blair rolled over for unlimited EU migration which the country didn’t want. We didn’t get a referendum on the EU Constitution, or Lisbon. David Cameron merely got a flea in his ear. Nor do I know of any major EU policy that has gone the UK’s way. Do you?

  60. Iain Gill
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I carnt believe the Conservative party is in this mess.

    Nothing learnt at all from the last general election, when firing shots at their own voters went down like cold sick. IR35, stealing peoples house in old age, open doors immigration, tax perks for big business while the little person is hammered, political correctness gone mad, all flying in the face of everybody on every street corner.

    Where are the joined up sensible policies going to come from?

    Severe danger Corbyn will be the least worst option, thats how bad its getting.

    • Anonymous
      Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

      I think the Tories are banking rather too much on Corbyn having peaked already.

      The fact is that they are yet to realise how far they’ve slumped themselves.

      I won’t be turning out.

  61. The Prangwizard
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    President Trump made a similar speech a few weeks ago which wasn’t covered here. Very inspiring to those who look at the world with a positive vision. He respects the individual. He respects freedom of the individual.

    It raised my heart.

    Yet Mrs May depresses me. I have family in the USA. They are better off there. I am planning to join them. England has a death wish.

  62. Chris
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    The rot set in a long time ago, but my question is, how much more of this are the Tory Brexiter MPs going to take. See this latest article in the D Tel online tonight:
    “Exclusive British officials in secret discussions with EU to extend Brexit transition period to almost three years.”

  63. Mike Stallard
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    It ain’t going to happen.

    The transitional period will be prolonged for ever although it will have to be periodically renewed.
    The government will pretend that it is working to get us out of the EU although it will be very happy with associate membership.
    The economy will be saved – the WTO option will cause untold misery as the NTBs and AO system breaks down.
    But the payments and demands on us will increase slowly as the EU falls further and further into third world status.

  64. mancunius
    Posted January 26, 2018 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    In Davis’s speech this evening, and in his joint letter with Hammond and Greg Clark to ‘business leaders’, the claim is made that “First, in order that our terms of trade remain unchanged during the implementation period, it will need to be based on the existing structure of EU rules and regulations. And for these common rules and regulations to work effectively, they will need to remain common to both parties. We will therefore maintain continuity with rules during the period. Of course this will require both parties to continue to act in good faith.”

    The words ‘coach and horses’ came to mind when I read that wording: for one of the EU’s ‘rules’ is that any new legislation passed in Brussels must be implemented forthwith. So if we (mistakenly) were to agree to ‘the existing structure’ we would be agreeing to enact whichever new laws Brussels is pleased to impose between April 2019 and 2021. They can easily think of a few that will majorly affect and hobble us.
    I suspect Davis is well aware of this, and is trying to beautify the corner Hammond and May have pushed him into.

    And when I read the last three words, I had my first good laugh of the day. What on earth makes Davis think the EU is acting ‘in good faith’? It lies, sneers, prevaricates, insults, stonewalls, fearmongers, and actively works with fifth-columnists to subvert the democratic vote of our sovereign nation. It has done so for years, and particularly before and after our referendum. We already have every evidence before us the EU does not ‘do’ democracy, just as it does not ‘do’ free trade. Yet May is like some poor battered wife, returning for more punishment in the fond belief it will all be different tomorrow.

    Away with them all.

  65. Chris
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

    A strongly worded opening salvo in the letters in the D Tel online. Says it all:
    Letters: The Prime Minister is letting Philip Hammond betray the Brexit vote

    Absolutely spot on, as is this comment in said letter
    “…To state constantly that we are leaving the EU while staying for years in the single market and under the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, with continuing free movement, is a cowardly farce”.

    The writer goes on to make another critical point:
    “The fact that Mr Hammond and Amber Rudd, the Home Secretary, remain in their jobs indicates that the Prime Minister supports this position…”

    The last point is key, and has been blindingly obvious to anyone with any intelligence and common sense since day one.

  66. Yogi Bear
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 3:43 am | Permalink

    In truth, it’s all gone wrong for the Remainers. You can tell by the body-language. They know they have lost-out even beyond the Referendum vote. Our economy only had to tread water as ongoing proof their predictions were wholly unfounded. But it has done better than that.

    Stock markets in the whole world go higher breaking all records led by Trump. We are on a roll. It wouldn’t surprise me if the EU hasn’t asked us behind the scenes for the “transition period” to be extended. For no-one loves the EU. No-one to its east, south, west, and even to the north.. polar bears can be seen guarding clutching their fish unnaturally hard to their chests. ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ They can sense what they EU is like, anything for a free meal.

  67. Ken Moore
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood,

    Still a detail free zone I thought you would have moved on now and spelt out how the WTO option could work. I now presume your commentary is not serious and just you posturing to your electorate – easy when the media have proven they are incapable of understanding the issues beyond a very superficial personality driven level. You have a fine mind but for some reason have decided not to use it fully. Where is your response to Richard North ?

    WTO is not some ‘silver bullet’ that can replace all of the existing relations. If the Uk becomes a ‘third country’ it cannot trade in chemicals, aircraft and automotive parts etc.
    The EU has been quite clear ..’no a la carte Europe’.

    Reply Just not true! The rest of the world trades fine with the EU and we will once out. Airbus will still wings to put on its planes!

  68. Chewy
    Posted January 27, 2018 at 10:54 pm | Permalink

    A two paragraph article that’s both simple and clear. I wish more MPs shared these sentiments. And here’s my concern.
    We need to be able to walk from these negotiations to avoid getting a bad deal. But despite both main parties intentions to leave the single market in their manifestos, Labour also clearly stated that “No deal is the worst possible deal”, and I fear the recent trip by Remain MPs to see Michael Barnier will have assured him that Parliament will not allow a No Deal scenario. I feel if there is a threat of that Labour will join with Conservative Remainers to keep us bound via a Norway style option, which would suit the EU top brass both in terms of continued payments into their coffers and there being no political gain, sovereignty, trade deals etc, to tempt other members to leave. Which in turn will guarantee a bad deal being offered! Frustrating.
    Of course their are Labour Brexiteers. JR will have a much better idea how the maths and situations could play out, and also if he and his like minded colleagues will torpedo a bad deal? (I think it’s nailed on Labour will vote against any deal brought forward as not good enough).

  • 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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