Why we will be better off out of the EU

Prosperity, not austerity.

That must be our aim.

Prosperity will be easier won once we are out of the European Union.

Restoring the freedoms of a once sovereign people.

That is the overriding task we face.

On June 24 2016 17.4 million voters gave a great mandate to Parliament

To take back control.

During the referendum campaign I was asked one of the questions designed by Remain to damage the cause of freedom.

Would you, the media avidly asked, accept being poorer in order to regain lost freedoms?

I replied that fortune meant there was no so such choice before us.

The very right to govern ourselves that we wished to reclaim

will allow us to follow policies that made us richer, not poorer

As an optimist I anticipate we will do better out than in.

No-one can be sure what loss there might be in store if we remain in the EU

Or how many gains we will seize out of the EU.

What we do know is our fortune will rest more on our own decisions once we are free

So let me begin my account of life after Brexit by explaining how we can be better off.

I appreciate this will be at variance with several modelled forecasts put out by an establishment afraid of freedom and scared of change.

It is an establishment that has a proven track record of error. They told us the ERM would bring us a golden scenario of more growth and low inflation. Instead it brought a deep recession.

They told us if the UK stayed out of the Euro it would be deeply damaging to our business. Instead our business flourished with the pound and the Euro area had several years of crises and low or no growth.

They said the big build up in debts prior to 2007 were fine because banks had found new ways of managing risks. That forecast didn’t work out too well either.

My forecast will be criticised, for it is not backed up with a model nor expressed in precise figures. It does however come from someone who did forecast the ERM crisis, the problems in the Eurozone and the banking crisis.

I must warn that no-one can deliver a precise and accurate 15 year economic forecast. I have no intention of trying to deliver one.

Too many things will change.

I can, however, point to the opportunities and the favourable changes that we can expect in the few years that follow Brexit that will boost whatever our growth rate then is. I do not expect a sudden fall in growth or income thanks to Brexit. The Treasury’s short term forecasts of such an outcome for the year after the vote have already proved wide of the mark.

In future as in the past the main forces shaping our growth rate will be the pace of innovation, the monetary and fiscal policies being pursued, and the state of the world economy.

The most obvious gain that the anti-Brexit forecasters rarely put in to their models is the chance to spend our tax money on our priorities.

The £12bn we send every year to the EU and do not get back is lost money to the UK.

Worse still it is a large drag on our balance of payments every year.

To pay that bill we either have to borrow more money from abroad to pay it

or we have to sell more of our assets to overseas buyers, cutting the investment income we earn on those assets.

Stopping that drag will boost our economy.

Spending the £12bn at home each year will mean more jobs and more items bought from UK suppliers.

That will boost our economy with extra growth of 0.6% of our total income. That’s a one third increase in the current growth rate in the year we start it, with the same extra output in every year that follows

In the referendum campaign I set out a draft budget to illustrate how we might spend the money

I recommend it to the government.

I also recommend that we advise the EU that if they do not offer a wide ranging and sensible free trade agreement anytime soon we should discontinue payments to them on March 30 2019 and start the benefits for us.

There is no need for a Transition or Implementation period if there is no good deal to transit to.

We know we can trade well under WTO rules and with WTO tariffs, as that is what we do today with most countries outside the EU.

Out of the EU we will be free to fix and levy our own taxes.

We were told by past governments that tax was a red line issue

That we would always be able to decide our own taxes

That proved to be untrue

Out of the EU we can take VAT off feminine hygiene products

We can remove VAT from green items ranging from boiler controls to draught excluders.

Promoting fuel efficiency without the drag of extra VAT will help us keep warm and be better off. We could do more to combat fuel poverty by cancelling the VAT on domestic heating.

We can also levy the amount of tax we wish from larger companies.

EU tax judgements on UK corporation tax have made us repay tax we thought had been fairly and legally levied.

Lowering taxes, spending our own money and boosting industries like fishing and agriculture which have been damaged by EU membership should add more than 1% to our output, which is more than belonging the single market has ever done.


  1. Fedupsoutherner
    February 23, 2018

    Your post is very positive John. Just what is needed right now. I wish the cabinet were thinking on the same wave length as you. We have a great opportunity to go forward and build this country up again. Please don’t let May and Hammond waste it.

    1. Lifelogic
      February 23, 2018


    2. NickC
      February 23, 2018

      Whilst neither May nor Hammond want Brexit and are not helping, it’s more the civil service that needs to be taught a lesson. It is quite happy taking instructions from the EU and by-passing our elected politicians. May’s lack of clear-thinking, resolution and strength means the civil service can get away with it. We are losing the benefits of Leave as a result.

  2. Henry Spark
    February 23, 2018

    Here we go again. “We know we can trade well under WTO rules and with WTO tariffs, as that is what we do today with most countries outside the EU”. Simply untrue. We trade today with almost NO countries outside the EU under WTO rules and with WTO tariffs. We trade today with most countries outside the EU on the basis of the deals (on free trade, on customs cooperatioon etc) struck by the EU. And we lose the benefit of every single one of those deals the day we leave the EU. it is the biggest step back from free trade the world has ever seen. Please Mr Redwood, it is time to speak the truth on these matters

    1. Ed Mahony
      February 23, 2018

      As far as i understand it, the EU doesn’t have deals with USA, China, India or Japan although deal with Japan is pending, and deals with USA, China and India being negotiated.

      So as far as i understand it, Mr Redwood is correct.

      My argument with Hard Brexiters is:

      1) We can’t afford the jump from EU to non EU. It’s the jump that’s the problem, not whether we can trade or not, in theory, well, outside the EU (yes, we can).

      However, i think most people don’t want to become more like the USA (or Hong Kong or Singapore). They see themselves as Europeans (culturally, socially, politically and economically), more like Sweden, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

      2) We don’t have the leadership to implement something as complicated ‘as a moon landing.’
      Nor the strategy.

      3) We don’t have the real support of the country. For most people, Europe is 20th on their list of concerns.
      Nor the real support of Parliament (and we’re a Parliamentary Democracy not a Plebiscite).

      4) Hard Brexiters have nothing to say about how we’ll be safer and more secure outside the EU (they make the false claim that the United Nations has kept the peace in Europe. It hasn’t. Prosperity has, with the EU playing a key role in that).

      1. Ed Mahony
        February 23, 2018

        I’m not saying we couldn’t leave the EU successfully, either. But the evidence points (as i see it) at the moment, that we’re simply not ready (for many reasons not just financially)

        1. Hope
          February 24, 2018

          No such thing as a hard Brexit or are Brexiteers. Stop making smears and labels you previously claimed to be against it. Make your mind up. We as a majority in the country voted leave in its entirety. We vote regularly at elections, even close voted like 2010. No harping on about it for two years and prevent the result.

          It is Not difficult or complicated to leave the EU. The imaginary specious problems or hurdles being placed in the way by political traitors or civil servants who failing their duty who wish to be ruled by a foreign power. Time they were outed for what they are and hat they are trying to subvert democracy by any means possible while pretending to be civil about it.

          Time to roll up the sleeves and sort them out. If these people love the EU so much the choice is really easy, move to one of the 27 remaining countries, it is part of the freedom of movement they love so exercise their choice and leave us alone.
          Ed, Your pious clap trap still make the false claim of Wurpeans and Europe. We are leaving the Political construct called the EU our nation can never leave the continent of Europe simple geography.

          1. Ed Mahony
            February 25, 2018


            The problem is your approach could leave us closer to, not further from, the EU in the future.

            Because you need the right strategy. If not, you could end up with unintended consequences.

            Problem at moment is 1. Lack of money 2. Lack of leadership 3. Lack of strategy 4. Lack of real support from country.

            So we could end up back in the EU, with worse conditions than before, plus our country wasting 10+ years of building up its economy and country overall.

            That’s just good, old British common sense. If people want to leave the EU – completely – fine. But timing and approach is key. Just like in business or the military.

            Best wishes

      2. Helena
        February 24, 2018

        Ed, you are badly misinformed. The EU has hundreds of deals (of varying types) with most of the countries in the world, including the US, China, etc. They are all in the link below. And if the UK chooses to trade on “WTO only” terms then of course all these deals are lost – that is what WTO only means. But even if the UK wanted to keep these deals post Brexit, it could do so only if the other country agrees. So far Mr Fox has netted exactly zero such agreement . I hope this helps you


        1. NickC
          February 24, 2018

          Helena, Look on the WTO website at the RTA database. There are only 42 RTAs which the EU has registered with the WTO, not hundreds. That includes the EU and the EEA deals which we’re leaving anyway. Most are quite minor like the trade deal with the Faroe Islands. Some of them are exploitative.

          The WTO’s own rules are global, comprehensive and cover 98% of world trade. The RTAs and MRAs are additional and useful but hardly essential. We will make our own trade deals.

      3. zorro
        February 24, 2018

        Complete nonsense about the UN, we say no such thing. NATO arrangements have helped keep the peace along with more developed democratic regimes within Europe nad a wish to avert war.


        1. Ed Mahony
          February 24, 2018

          ‘more developed democratic regimes within Europe ‘

          – which the EU helped to establish through investment in these countries

          ‘and a wish to avert war’

          – every generation wishes to avoid war.

          Sorry, but you present pretty flimsy arguments over something as important as the peace and safety of Europe, not forgetting the negative affects of 20th century global political on the UK:

          WW1. Communism and socialism. The Nazis. WW2. The Blitz. The Holocaust. The IRA. And so on.

          1. zorro
            February 25, 2018

            So my flimsy argument according to you is my mentioning NATO as the effective shield within Europe, and pointing out your falsehood about the UN. The EU has not improved the democratic deficit and has provoked conflict in Yugoslavia and The Ukraine. You don’t fool any of us Ed.


          2. Ed Mahony
            February 25, 2018


            I really thinking you’re over-egging the NATO argument. However, an argument you have neglected (in your favour) is the one about global capitalism helping Europe overall. That Europe no longer needs the EU because of global capitalism.

            Saying that, i still the EU needs something like the EEC. Looking at history, Europe has always done well with close trading and cultural links. The problem with the EU is the political side which is superfluous and potentially dangerous.

            So i think most Brexiters and most Remainers are fighting the wrong battle (because they’re being too binary in their thinking). The real battle is to reform the EU so that it has the political side of it shaved off, leaving only the economic, trading side of it.

          3. Ed Mahony
            February 25, 2018



            1) The problem isn’t whether the UK can do well outside the EU in theory (in theory it can). The problem is the process of getting out of the EU (1. we don’t have enough money 2. no leader 3. no clear strategy 4. not enough people really feel strongly about Hard Brexit).

            2) Although the global situation of Europe isn’t the same as the 20th century, there are still serious global issues to consider. A serious jolt to our country – if we’re not properly prepared and led – could have serious repercussions economically / politically / socially / politically. And not just in the UK. But further afield.

            3) If the UK decides it wants to do well outside the EU, fine, but then we have to have a proper vision (and be able to afford leaving the EU etc). Being more like the USA, Singapore or Hong Kong is not what most people want. Most people would rather be more like Sweden, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark (economically / politically / socially / culturally). And part of this is to focus more on the high tech industry – which is huge – which Brexiters don’t talk that much about. But instead just seem more focused on deregulating the financial services industry, when important as this is, we 1) don’t want so many eggs in one economic basket 2) look at how the banks had to be bailed out 3) money men – like everyone else – have to be regulated, as we all have desires that can become excessive and become dangerous if not regulated

          4. Ed Mahony
            February 25, 2018


            Lastly, i don’t hear Brexit leaders talk that much patriotism (patriotism as opposed to nationalism). Patriotism (genuine love of country – people, country and culture, including sense of work ethic and public duty without feeling superior to or fearful of other countries doing well) is what makes a country really function and do well at every level, including being truly patriotic.

    2. NickC
      February 23, 2018

      Henry Spark, Here we go again. About 61% of our exports (Pink Book 2017) are to the rest of the world and traded under WTO rules. Despite rather excitable Remain propaganda the reality is that the WTO’s own rules are universal and comprehensive in their own right, and cover 98% of global trade. The EU has to obey or leave.

      There are a few trade deals negotiated by the EU, mostly minor or far from completion, registered at the WTO. If we and our trade partners choose, these RTAs and MRAs can be novated or re-negotiated. However we will probably prefer to negotiate our own deals. And the WTO does not set the tariffs, we will.

    3. Richard
      February 24, 2018

      The DIT said that they would be busy in 2017 & 2018 ‘repairing’ (with counterparty & WTO) all these existing 700+ air services, customs cooperatioon, mutual recognition agreements etc. One reason for their 3,200 employees.

    4. A different Simon
      February 24, 2018

      Quote “We trade today with most countries outside the EU on the basis of the deals (on free trade, on customs cooperatioon etc) struck by the EU.”

      The deals the EU has struck with for instance African countries are the very opposite of “free” and are about creating a winner (the EU) and a loser (Africa) .

      They render African processed goods uncompetitive and force them to remain an exporter of raw materials thus condemning Africa to never develop .

      The EU’s iniquitous protectionist model has run out of time and has no future yet they refuse to accept that trade deals have to be win-win in the long term .

      1. NickC
        February 24, 2018

        A different Simon, Excellent point. The EU really is rotten to the core and a bane on the lives of everyone who has to suffer it.

    5. libertarian
      February 24, 2018

      Henry Spark

      Here we go again , another remainer without the slightest clue about international trade trying to tell us stuff.

      You are Wrong. I trade from the UK with the USA , the EU has NO trade deal with the USA, in fact the EU has very few trade deals with the larger and growing economies around the world.

  3. Peter Wood
    February 23, 2018

    Dr. Redwood,
    you seem to be fighting a battle that has already been won, why is that?

    The issue now is do we have a government that will implement the decision. I think a timely speech to parliament about fulfilling their obligations to the principles of democracy, to uphold the trust held by each member to carryout the lawfully declared will of the electorate, regardless of personal preference.
    There should be no prevarication; I’m sick of hearing ‘we didn’t vote to be poorer’, or we don’t know what the deal is that we may or may not obtain. That is irrelevant, we did vote to leave the EU. There was no mention on the voting slip of a FTA or implementation period, or some other arrangement.
    The Government must carryout the will of the people without delay.

    1. Peter Wood
      February 23, 2018

      BTW, see Germany is increasing its men (and women) in the top places in the EU.
      When will our European friends wake-up to the reality that they are becoming German provinces?

      1. Ed Mahony
        February 23, 2018

        Whoops. Apologies. Please delete. Just back from pub.

    2. NickC
      February 23, 2018

      Peter Wood, Yes it’s odd isn’t it? MPs seem to think they currently have a choice. Well they did in the past but Parliament decided to hand the decision to the people. MPs cannot have it both ways. MPs only derive their legitimacy from being elected by the people; they do not come ready-made as in a dictatorship.

      Remain civil servants and Remain MPs are making a serious error that will come back to haunt them. They are meant to be getting on with the job, not second-guessing the electorate. Frankly it is outrageous; and very damaging to democratic consent. If they won’t listen to our first Referendum, why should we listen to their second, or anything else?

  4. Tabulazero
    February 23, 2018

    Good. Please by all mean do the above. In the meantime, the EU will only take a large chunk of your industrial and service base. Thank you very much for the jobs.

    1. Jagman84
      February 23, 2018

      That was achieved decades ago. Please try to keep up! All the more reason to leave our pretend friends in their protection racket. Or Customs Union, as they call it.

    2. Anonymous
      February 23, 2018

      Credit to our people that they understood becoming poorer could be a risk and they went ahead with it anyway.

      There was more to the referendum debates than a battle bus.

      Prime Minister Cameron showed he had no influence whatsoever in the EU – even on the eve of a crucial referendum on an issue causing disatisfaction throughout the EU (mass immigration.)

      Our people stood against anti-democracy in 2016.

      Now the President of the EU Commission venerates Karl Marx with a statue.

      Remain respond to the referendum with fomentation of hatred and division between generations.

      Our young are brainwashed into thinking that importing competition for their jobs, housing and services is good for them.

      They are indoctrinated to hate their grandparents. They ‘no platform’ and ‘safe space’ and their is a push to abolish the free press.

      So much for the EU being a force for unity and democracy.

    3. NickC
      February 23, 2018

      Tabulazero, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head. Not your prediction – that’s just a silly guess with no foundation – but your attitude. It’s one of the reasons we voted Leave – because the EU is nasty, hostile, and a thief. As you boast.

  5. duncan
    February 23, 2018

    The EU is a political construct. It concerns itself not with the economic well-being of its members but the expansion of its own political powers.

    Being a member of the EU and the Eurozone is not a panacea for a country’s economic ills. If this were so then why are there 10% of French people unemployed compared to 4% of British people? Why do we see 21% of Greek people unemployed? Spain, 17%? Italy, 12%?

    Out of all the major EU economies only Germany has a better unemployment rate than we do at 3.5% while the UK sits at around 4.2%.

    The very low German unemployment rate is very telling and instructive. It reveals the true nature of the Eurozone. It is that all member nations of the Eurozone have deliberately sacrificed their own productivity to allow the German economy to expand unimpeded for without Germany the EU and the Eurozone project would quite simply implode.

    The UK’s prosperity is a direct result of the energy, drive and ingenuity of its private sector and its people. We are a trading nation. Trading is what we do best. Our nation’s prosperity does not depend on being a member of this backward, clunky, inflexible construct.

    Outside of the EU we can become Europe’s focus for capital investment. This of course terrifies the EU. If we constructed our tax laws to attract foreign capital this would prove intolerable for the EU. No wonder the EU strive to keep us from taking back control. Of course they want regulatory alignment because they appreciate that without it we would become a major haven for capital flows

    Let’s take back control of our nation and all its affairs. Expose backward Labour and their devious plans to keep us inside the EU. Explain to decent, traditional Labour voters (who voted to Leave the EU) that their party is trying to con and deceive them.

    Finally, we need a defiant, strong leader of the Tory party. A proper conservative.

    No more EU, no more May, no more Hammond, no more Heywood.

  6. Mick
    February 23, 2018

    You’ve hit the nail on the head this time Mr Redwood, why not copy and paste this statement and pass it on to all your fellow remoaner mps , I see Corbyn is to put a statement out early next week saying we should stay in the custom union then what stay in the single market muppet, talk about a final nail in ones coffin the Labour Party really are clueless they will be wiped out come the next GE ,

  7. Bryan Harris
    February 23, 2018

    Prosperity will be easier won once we are out of the European Union.
    This can only be achieved if the following happen, because we all know that one of the driving forces for us getting into the EU was the dire political situation at the time, with Unions trying to run, and ruin, the country:-
    – no more labour governments… they are too destructive;
    – Conservatives have to act like their name, and not emulate labour – too many Tories are prone to socialism;
    – tame the unions – I MEAN, “REALLY” tame the unions. Mr’s T started, now complete it;
    – roll back socialsm and pc now so inherent in our society;
    – tories need to help kill the current 2 party setup – exchanging places with a socialist party, on a rolling basis, is the worst possible way to take the country forward;
    – encourage a new right of centre political party, and help them survive – that will be to the countries advantage… and te tories should do it because they care about the country…

    1. 37/6
      February 23, 2018

      “– tame the unions – I MEAN, “REALLY” tame the unions. Mr’s T started, now complete it;”

      You mean abolish them, effectively.

      The proliferation of strike actions is blown out of proportion by the press. Most union workers have never been involved in industrial action and stoppages other than for local issues are banned.

      This is particularly true for the railways which has over twenty train operating companies. Only a handful have been in dispute – in this regard privatisation is successful.

      In ‘taming the unions – I MEAN “REALLY” taming them you will grind the country to a halt and even if successful much of the workforce will simply retire as they are of that age with pensions and property.

  8. Lifelogic
    February 23, 2018

    Just lowering taxes, cutting regulation, cutting the vast government waste and going for cheap energy would add far more than 1% to UK out output.

    Excellent piece by A Heath yesterday. Corbyne would be a disaster just the threat of him (augmented by May’s uselessness) is hugely damaging.


    Then again the absurdly high taxes we have from Hammond can easily take 90% of your wealth off you over just 20 years. We are taxes far too much currently and for virtually nothing of much real value in return. Up to 22,000 death a year from drug errors in the NHS for example:-


  9. Mike Stallard
    February 23, 2018

    Mr Redwood, nobody likes the EU any more than they like having cancer. It is headed in completely the wrong direction.
    Everyone wants things to go on as they are economically – that is what we voted for in the 1970s. We need to trade with the whole world and the EU as well. Freely.
    We are all headed in the same direction.

    The real question is how do we excise the EU cancer?

    With a saw? (WTO option).
    Not bother and just live with it (The “transition period” leading to Mr Verhofstadt’s Associate Membership.) An expensive option and colonial status.

    Or keep in the Common Market (EEA) by leaving the EU and joining EFTA. This would be like being on life support until we can finally negotiate our complete freedom.

    My problem: why has this not been considered?

    1. NickC
      February 23, 2018

      Mike, It was considered years ago. And discarded because it won’t work. Firstly the EU’s EEA agreement is in the gift of the EU, not the EFTA. The EU may not offer it at all, or only offer it with extra strings attached.

      Secondly, whilst re-joining the EFTA is fairly benign, locking ourselves back under EU control is what we’ve just voted against in the Referendum. You Remains have a nerve thinking you can just ignore our vote to Leave, arbitrarily deciding on some other form of relationship with the EU that suits you.

      1. hans christian ivers
        February 24, 2018


        and you have have an interesting nerve as well.

        Every argument seems ot be based on unsubstantiated hypothesis or subjective opinions, with little rlaltion to facts or figures.

        But anybody wo disagrees has to be put into some remainer box, so it all fits into your own world view, it is all rather sad and not with very much human horizon or perspective of open debate.

        Try and raise the view of the World a little, it would do you and the people around you a lot of good

    2. Lirrytoner
      February 24, 2018

      So basically Mike, you want us to stay in the EU, with free movement of people. NO. That is not what we voted for

  10. Helen Taylor
    February 23, 2018

    Listening to this mornings news that the RBS is finally making a profit was the next paragraph that the Chancellor wants to now sell the shares at less than half of what the taxpayer paid. Does this man know what he is doing????

    1. graham1946
      February 23, 2018

      Yes, he does. He wants to sell it off cheap to his City chums before it becomes very profitable, thereby as usual nationalising the losses and privatising the profits. Its what they do.

    2. Lifelogic
      February 23, 2018

      No, Hammond has not got a clue what he is doing only a complete and utter idiot would have 15% stamp duty, attack non doms, rob pension pots, thief off landlords and tenants or have IHT at 40% for example.

      But yes he should sell RBS as soon as possuble.

  11. Peter
    February 23, 2018

    “Restoring the freedoms of a once sovereign people”?


    I think you are sensible not to offer precise figures for anticipated financial benefits. It may well be the case that the economy performs to a similar standard outside as inside the EU. I suspect we will not notice huge differences when the various pros and cons net out.

    We will be a proper nation state once more and we have taken that for granted for too long. We are only just noticing how it is gradually being stripped away from us and for the time being we are powerless.

  12. Nig l
    February 23, 2018

    Another concise and clear statement of your position that offers an enlightened future. If Soubry and her other Remoaners wanted both my sympathy and ear for their view they would, as you have, set out objectively the counter benefits of their position.

    The fact they haven’t, maybe something to do with their coordinated dissembling in the past and they have nothing but generic attacks, says volumes. No vision. No hope. No idea.

  13. Mark B
    February 23, 2018

    Good morning.

    What we do know is our fortune will rest more on our own decisions once we are free . .

    Assuming that we do indeed leave the EU, I think our kind host has come to a very sound position here. Out of the EU we will make mistakes, yes, but they will be our mistakes and we will be able to correct them and not rely on 27 other, often conflicting, voices to get some changes. Look what happened with regard to CMD’s thin gruel proposals ?

    As to the choice between freedom and wealth, one has to ask; “By what measure do we compare wealth to. Switzerland or Greece ? ” 😉

  14. Peter
    February 23, 2018

    I still worry about Mrs. May’s resolve.

    BBC reports hint at compromise. That is always code for huge concessions to the EU and Remainers.

    Brexit in Name Only remains a huge threat.

  15. Excalibur
    February 23, 2018

    Seminal, JR. I see there have been predictions of an economy making us the Singapore of Europe. Perhaps we could begin towards that end with a two year conscription period as they have there.

  16. acorn
    February 23, 2018

    Please would somebody tell me what Mrs May means by the phrase, “three baskets approach of “managed divergence,” where Britain takes back control over rules and regulations, but maintains the equivalent high goods standards of the EU in key areas to protect trade and jobs.”

    BTW. Don’t forget to keep up with the latest episodes of the saga, now with pictures for the UK hard of thinking. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/brexit-negotiations/negotiating-documents-article-50-negotiations-united-kingdom_en

    1. Peter
      February 23, 2018

      “Divergence” is the new weasel word. No precise definition. Open to interpretation.

      Its appearance is a prelude to more equivocation and further muddying of the waters. This has been the negotiating stance of the British government for far too long now.

    2. James Snell
      February 24, 2018

      Acorn..simple..the mrs may wants to be able to cherry pick the parts of the EU she likes..it won’t fly..a waste of time

  17. Richard1
    February 23, 2018

    So Corbyn is apparently to do a U turn and say that Labour will now support the U.K. remaining in ‘a’ customs union with the EU. I hope BBC interviewers will be quick to ask whether that means Labour are now happy (1) for the U.K. not to have an independent trade policy with an ability to do trade deals with other countries and (2) for the U.K. to be obliged to enforce the EUs external tariffs against the rest of the world, with those tariffs of course being decided by the EU with no say for the U.K.

    They could also ask why it is that none of those European countries which have some association agreement with the EU, such as Switzerland Norway etc, have chosen to join the customs union.

    1. Richard1
      February 23, 2018

      Absolutely pathetic interview by the Today Programme’s Sarah Monague with Chukka Umunna. mr Umunna did the normal Remainer thing of insulting his opponents – Rees-Mogg had just spoken. But Ms Montagu failed to ask him re the customs union whether he is happy for the U.K. to impose the EUs tariffs against the rest of the world, with no say as to what they would be, and whether he is happy that the U.K. should not run an independent trade policy.

      It would be interesting to know why they didn’t debate rather than speak one after the other. I’d put money on it being Umunna who refused to debate Rees-Mogg.

  18. agricola
    February 23, 2018

    The dangers and challenges of being outside the EU are as nothing to the dangers of hesitancy about leaving, epitomised by the clan gathering at Chequers. The decision is as significant as any taken to achieve the outcome of WW2. Such decisions are not achieved by irresolute committees such as we appear to have. I reserve judgement until I hear what Mrs. May has to say on the subject before it is spelt out to the EU.

  19. hans christian ivers
    February 23, 2018

    Great news exports to the EU have gone up significantly with a 24% increase to Franc compared to last year and anything between 6 and 12% compared to last year (2016) to a number of other EU countries, whilst it ahs fallen by 5% to the US.

    We most aim to make sure we are able to continue this very successful export-boom to the EU, also whilst the EU is growing so well.

    This is what we need to sort out all our own domestic challenges

  20. formula57
    February 23, 2018

    The Government should be making this case, and re-stating it daily. Instead, quislings and remoaners make their points with little challenge.

  21. Ian wragg
    February 23, 2018

    Sadly John you are preaching to the converted on this site, excluding Andy and the rest of the EU trolls. For years now Parliament has been lying to us and MPs have been taking money under false pretensions. First we were told something would never happen, then it was only a proposal then hey ho suddenly it’s EU law. Nothing we can do cry the MPs.
    Now we have Labour about to support remaining in the Customs Union and no doubt freedom of movement thus betraying their core supporters. Is there any wonder politicians are despised.

    1. mancunius
      February 24, 2018

      Labour knows that the worst that can happen in a GE is that the core Labour voters regret ‘having to vote for’ a party that seems to equivocate on the Leave they voted for, but their candidate will do the whole ‘working man’ schtick and claim to want to speak up for their concerns, so that’ll be OK. A few may stay at home, but none will vote Tory, as the shock of actually supporting the Conservatives would make grandpa turn in his grave.
      Few voters follow parliamentary debates or read Hansard, so they don’t know how their MPs vote in the House. Many MPs have a trick of saying something vaguely but media-catchingly noble, but then voting against it. (One notes how sensitively MPs react when their votes are recorded in the press.)
      My own MP is uninterested in any except what she calls ‘the views of the majority of her constituents’ – ie those who voted for her. As far as she is concerned, her constituency voted to Remain in the EU, and remain it shall.
      It is a rather lordly and not uncommon attitude of Labour MPs in metropolitan areas to non-Labour supporters within their constituency.

  22. Eric Sorensen
    February 23, 2018

    You mention the sneaky issues of tax and how this is a red line crossed. Taxes are outside the EU’s damp hand under treaty stipulations. Mr Juncker’s government did many tax deals with major companies during his tenure in Luxembourg, which are now being attacked by his Commission.

    Again, what is missed in the vast majority of UK debate is the key issue: ever closer union.

    In a true UNION there are no red lines.

    1. Richard
      February 24, 2018

      John refers I think to the “£80 billion lost to the Treasury after the European Court of Justice forced tax rebates to multinationals” (all additional to the £12Bn pa): https://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/840390/Brexit-latest-weekly-cost-Britain-EU-membership
      Bruges’s Robert Oulds refers to Luxembourg in the comments: “surely we should make the rules in line with international conventions, and not the ECJ’s ridiculous interpretations of the 1961 OECD Convention. … the ECJ has continually been making decisions that allow certain corporations to escape billions in tax. This just puts more of a burden onto SMEs and the taxpayer….The President of the European Commission, Jean Claude Junker, is notorious in this area for making sweetheart deals in Luxembourg that would then be used under EU law to avoid tax. We are paying the price for this… Where there are changes at the EU level, these are brought about by the G20 whose leaders are thoroughly fed up with the ludicrous interpretation of international tax law made by the EU’s top court. The EU is a racket for those with access to get the policies they want particularly when it comes to tax.“

  23. Bert Young
    February 23, 2018

    John – very well explained with all the detail no-one can deny . The meeting at Chequers ought to have had this document in front of them when discussing what sort of a deal to reach with the EU . I am fearful that the likes of Hammond will have retained influence and the outcome will , once again , be a compromised fudge .

    A clear vision and determination has to be built into our negotiating position with the EU – preferably without a transition period . They are the ones to lose not us .

  24. Andy
    February 23, 2018

    Your argument seems to be that because Brexit enables us to remove 5% VAT on tampons – that we’ll get rich.

    You really are not wrong when you say you don’t have an economic model for Brexit and that your view is based on a hunch.

    I asked on another thread for you to outline what happens if (as the vast majority of experts believe) your hunch is wrong?

    I had no answer that time. Let me try again as my children’s future depends on it. What if you are wrong Mr Redwood?

    What is your back-up plan?

    I should also add it is far easier for you to risk your economic future when you earn £77k from your first job as an MP. If you’re a single parent on minimum wage – and Brexit goes badly – your choice is whether to pay your rent or feed your children. Which do you suggest Mr Redwood?

    This is the choice your Brexit will present to some people. You should help them.

    1. Anonymous
      February 23, 2018

      “your choice is whether to pay your rent or feed your children. ”

      In most cases make the dad accountable and force him to work.

      In the EU we became a nation of bastards in more ways than John Major suggested.

    2. Edward2
      February 23, 2018

      Yet you are very confident of a wonderful prosperous future in the United States of Europe.
      If you look at the situation in Cyprus Greece Portugal Spain and Italy for example I don’t see much more than high unemployment low growth and falling living standards.
      Germany is doing well but many others are not.

    3. NickC
      February 23, 2018

      Andy, How do you know that remaining in the EU will make us wealthy, when being in for the last 45 years hasn’t? Just a hunch, huh?

      1. Andy
        February 24, 2018

        It has. You are richer than you would have been. You continent is more advanced than it would have been. Your products are better. Your country is cleaner. You have more rights. And yours is the first generation which has not had to send its children off to die in a foreign field belonging to our nearest neighbours.

        1. Edward2
          February 24, 2018

          The same has happened in non EU nations Andy. Australia Canada South Africa New Zealand Brazil Chile USA China India etc etc
          You forget that the world has improved too.
          Human progress.
          Which you claim is totally because of the EU.

        2. NickC
          February 24, 2018

          Andy, Our apparent increase in wealth is primarily due to technology (not the EU’s doing), and inflated house prices (exacerbated by EU migration). Many EU countries have lost out in the wealth stakes (Greece), and many non-EU countries are wealthier (Switzerland). It’s not the EU.

          There is more pollution now under the EU, it’s just not as visible as it once was. Hence the increase in asthma, behavioural disorders, and allergies. And product improvement has come about due to technology, not the EU.

          Especially we do not have more rights, we have fewer. The EU being an artificial political construct has no rights of its own. The EU has stolen rights from its constituent nations. The EU then doles those rights out praising itself as it does so. Dupes like you believe it.

          1. stred
            February 27, 2018

            Actually, we have far less pollution now since all levels have fallen since 1991. It’s because we burn less coal and engines and filters have improved, as in non- EU countries. The current scare and plans to ban IC engines is an Agenda 21 UN plan put into operation behind the scenes.

    4. Richard1
      February 23, 2018

      Take your children on holiday to Switzerland and have a look round – it is possible to have a prosperous and comfortable existence outside the EU. The most gloomy outlook for employment for young people anywhere in the developed world is in the periphery countries of the EU.

      1. Andy
        February 24, 2018

        I voted Remain and would happily accept a Swiss model – it’s far inferior to EU membership but it would do. You might want to run it by your fellow Brexiteers first though as it would outrage them (outrage is their default position).

        Switzerland is in EFTA. It has a series of bilateral agreeemnrs which, effectively, make it a member of the single market in most areas – except banking. (Which is kind of important in Switzerland). Switzerland has to accept most EU law, despite having no say, it is in Schengen and has to accept free movement. So you want a Swiss model?

        As for your claim about youth unemployment. It has been tough in some places as a result of the global recession – the longest and deepest since the 1930s. But it is getting better. And the EU is no more responsible for the Greeks being unable to run their economy as it is for the Tories being unable to run the NHS.

        1. NickC
          February 24, 2018

          Andy, The EU unemployed in the south of the EU pay for German mercantilism. The EU doesn’t care about you, you’re just a pawn.

    5. A different Simon
      February 24, 2018

      Andy ,

      Do you even know what the EU’s biggest export to the UK is ?

      I’ll tell you . It’s their unemployed people .

      Youth unemployment levels in most countries of the Eurozone are a tragedy which forces peoples children to leave their home country .

      You may not agree with the results of elections and referenda and the choice at UK general elections seems to be less appealing every time but it is better to do democracy badly than not at all and turn into a tyranny – which is what the EU is fast becoming .

    6. zorro
      February 24, 2018

      Absolute nonsense and you present no facts or analysis whatsoevr to back uo your vision either! We can and do trade effectively with non EU co7ntries and will no longer need to contribute lots of money for a poor deal with EU ones. End of!


    7. libertarian
      February 24, 2018


      You really shouldn’t be allowed to look after children, you’re not bright enough.

      86% of ALL UK economic activity is internal. Therefore can only be affected positively by leaving the EU

      Food will be cheaper outside the EU

      The change in VAT isn’t only on female hygiene products, it will also be on domestic fuel, and that is one of the major things that has hit low income families ( thanks for that EU)

      Youth unemployment across the EU is over 20% and in some states is over 50% so why you think your children future job prospects will be any better in the EU we can only guess. Still if we stay in the EU they will have work during their 2 year conscription to the EU Army

      Andy you seem oblivious to the world around you. Your claim that we are the first generation not to have sent people to war…. Lol Do you honestly live under a rock?

      Yeh silly me the EU invented computers, the Internet, smartphones, container shipping etc .

  25. Graham Wood
    February 23, 2018

    Thank you John for another superb, common sense, and practical summary as to why we should leave the EU without any “strings”.
    Overall these clear sound reasons certainly must reflect the wishes of the electorate which this government purports to back in their referendum vote but is too timid or afraid to spell out.
    If Mrs May is sincere in her oft reiterated “Brexit means Brexit” then it is a gross dereliction of her duty not to publish a similar summary of the Government’s view of what that means in practice.
    You are spot on again with : “There is no need for a Transition or Implementation period if there is no good deal to transit to. ” Absolutely!

    Incidentally if you did not provide such a well informed survey of the options and main priorities for Brexit, it seems we will never hear these from Mrs May, or David Davies and we would still be in the dark as to what these are.
    What a great pity that at such a critical time in our history our PM is simply unable or unwilling to articulate what you have been spelling out for many months.
    That is why her tenure in No. 10 needs to be very limited indeed.

  26. John S
    February 23, 2018

    Don’t expect Theresa May to implement any of your recommendations. Her tenure as Home Secretary and PM has been marked by schlerosis.

  27. rick hamilton
    February 23, 2018

    The chief Japanese negotiator of the Trans Pacific Partnership has just said that the UK would be welcome to join after Brexit. Although the USA is not joining yet, the other 11 are forging ahead and it includes many friendly and/or Commonwealth countries with whom we want closer ties. The British could be pioneers – as we have been so many times in our history – as a European country joining a major multilateral trade pact which doesn’t depend on geographical proximity.

    The members are:
    New Zealand

  28. David
    February 23, 2018

    When did you forecast the banking crisis? Not because I doubt you, but I would love to have the url to show my Gordon Brown loving friends

  29. nhsgp
    February 23, 2018

    Restoring the freedoms of a once sovereign people.

    How do we get freedom from you?

    How do we get information about what you have done and hidden?

    How do we consent?

    How do we say we aren’t consenting?

    Why do you require violence or its threat to get your way?

  30. Epikouros
    February 23, 2018

    Freedom from the dominance of others and the right of self determination have been an aspiration that has driven the human race to resort to conflict, the acceptance of hardships and suffering. Many have eschewed relative prosperity and stability in favour of them. We value them above all other things not the remainiacs apparently they wish not to allow there fellow citizens their legitimate preferences but instead prefer to ape the dictatorial attitudes of the Brussels politburo and tyrannical EU institutions. Like people who have been incarcerated for years when offered freedom regret leaving the prison that have lived in for so long. As you point out there are many other sound and rational reasons for leaving but even if there were not then the right to be free would be reason enough. So anyone who derides sovereignty has a serious intellectual deficiency.

  31. frankD
    February 23, 2018

    What you make are some fine arguments in some places, in other places it is harking back to the 19th century but you forget time has moved on and the world has moved on and our place in it is not so Great anymore. Some of you brexiteers bear heavy responsibility for putting us in this place as history will record and as future generations will look back in disbelief at the stupidity of the whole thing.. Of course, they in their own time will rectify things and put UK right back in the European fold where it belongs..so you see John- I can paint a picture too

    Information leaked from the Cabinet meeting yesterday is that we are to leave the CU and SM..so OK and that we will then seek a Canada Plus kind of deal with some bespoke arrangements, leaving behind NI which will have to remain in a customs arrangement to avoid a hard border and that’s what the UK side would put to the EU..a fudge on our part.. but will it be acceptable to the EU27? For my part I don’t think so..they are not going to allow their four basic freedoms to be exposed to open to change- not even by UK..so am afraid it will be back to drawing board again. However you look at it we cannot completely break from Europe if we are to have a functioning economy going forward

    1. mancunius
      February 24, 2018

      ” leaving behind NI which will have to remain in a customs arrangement…will it be acceptable to the EU27?”
      More immediately to the point: Will it be acceptable to the DUP? If not, they might well pull the plug.
      Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom. It seems distasteful to regard a self-governing Province of the UK as a mere pawn in the EU’s game to be sacrificed by London at will.

  32. JoolsB
    February 23, 2018

    John, is it true that May has offered to repatriate 111 new powers back from the EU to the Scots Government and no doubt similar to Wales & NI?

    If so, as someone who purports to speak for England, will you or any of your colleagues with English seats be banging on the door of no. 10 asking May if England is going to get any of the powers they already have? Will you demand that there is no way that 117 Scottish, Welsh & NI at Westminster can continue to vote on everything to do with English only matters whilst having no say on those same matters for their own constituents?

    Or are you all going to carry on ignoring the fact that when more and more powers are being given to the devolved nations post Brexit, England will still have no more power to govern herself than she does now?

    Once this happens, how much longer do UK Governments of all colours, for reasons of pure self interest, think they can deliberately choose to ignore the English Question and the West Lothian Question or the fact England, the only net contributor to the UK coffers, gets far less money per head than the rest of the UK. Will you have a word in May’s ear for us please John and tell her that she and the Conservatives continue to ignore the rotten deal England gets at their peril?

    1. mancunius
      February 24, 2018

      Well said.

  33. Adam
    February 23, 2018

    Well stated JR. Strong on substance & supporting rationale. Full of the natural goodness that Freedom enables.

  34. alan jutson
    February 23, 2018

    Looks good.

    I have programmed it in for recording.

    I hope the BBC do not edit it too far

  35. Chris
    February 23, 2018

    It is reported today that the meeting at Chequers resulted in the inner Cabinet agreeing to “taking back control of our laws”. What on earth have they been doing in the meantime as that is exactly what we voted for over 18 months ago?

    To add insult to injury, it is also reported that:
    “…But, in a concession to pro-Remain ministers, the pace and scale of any future divergence is likely to be fudged for months…” Link below.

    What is this all about, Mr Redwood? Why has this been allowed to happen? I think we all know the reasons: a government led by a Remainer, a team full of Remainers, a civil service apparently committed to the EU, a weak and apparently incompetent PM. This not acceptable. The country deserves better.


  36. Denis Cooper
    February 23, 2018

    The electorate may have given Parliament a mandate to take back control, but it is now clear that a lot of the present parliamentarians prefer the EU to keep control.

    Of course the obvious answer would be for the British people to rise up and sweep them out of Parliament like the unrepresentative and unpatriotic garbage that they are, and replace them with new representatives who actually believed in the sovereignty of their own parliament, our national Parliament.

    But the last general election, which according to one bizarre story Theresa May called on the urging of the President of the EU Commission, for God’s sake:


    “Theresa May was urged to call the general election by Jean-Claude Juncker … ”

    did not have that effect even for the one House to which it applied, and all it achieved was to destroy her party’s majority in that elected House of Commons.

    In neither House is there a solid majority or even a plurality for Parliament to take back control, and reportedly the Tory whips are now fearful that MPs will vote against the UK regaining the legal power to negotiate and conclude its own trade treaties.

    This is Theresa May’s doing; either because she is prone to accepting bad advice, as I was previously prepared to accept, or because she is deliberately seeking to dilute and delay and if possible prevent our withdrawal from the EU, as I now believe.

    1. Mark B
      February 23, 2018

      . . . she is deliberately seeking to dilute and delay and if possible prevent our withdrawal from the EU, as I now believe.

      The PM has a history, dating well before her time in parliament, to selling her electorate out. I should know, I was once a resident of the borough she was in charge of.

    2. miami.mode
      February 24, 2018

      DC. Another story which only did the rounds once, was that David Davis was a prime mover for an election as the next one was due in May 2020 and he felt that as the proposed implementation period would last until the end of March 2021, there could be problems. I don’t think he envisaged the problems that subsequently arose.

      With Labour’s apparent change of direction on a customs union, this could precipitate a lot of trouble because Jeremy Corbyn will do anything to upset the Conservatives as he now believes he has a chance of becoming PM and relishes the thought. After seeing Dominic Grieve on TV today, he seems to see a customs union as an excellent idea and sees any resultant catastrophe as collateral damage. Grieve with a grievance spreads grief.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 24, 2018

        I really have no idea why this comment should be rejected.

        You have rebel Tory MPs threatening to join with Labour and the rest of the opposition and force us to stay in the/a customs union with the EU partly on the utterly specious argument that doing so would keep the Irish border open, and yet I am not allowed to point out that it is an utterly specious argument.

  37. Toffeeboy
    February 23, 2018

    Strangely next to no mention of what’s going to happen to exports beyond your unsubstantiated assertion we can trade well under WTO rules. Pretty much everyone is telling you the contrary is true, other than a select band of doctrinaire economists such as Patrick Minford. Blinded by ideology and a fanatical hatred of all things European, he thinks the UK can do just fine without a manufacturing sector. Do you agree? I understand you don’t wish to listen to the ‘experts’ but maybe you could explain why the UK was the second fastest growing economy in the G7 in Q2 2016, and is now the laggard. Not doubt you’ll try to shift the blame away Brexit and onto the BoE. Fortunately it looks like Labour will be coming out for remaining in A customs union, if not THE customs union. I suspect such a proposal is going to stand a strong chance of getting through parliament, which would mean the electorate having a real choice at the next election, which I suspect is not long off. It must be galling that having got this far your fantasist vision of sunny uplands and an extreme version of Brexit is in danger of evaporating?

    1. Edward2
      February 23, 2018

      Over 17 million voted to leave.
      The referendum leaflet and our PM stated clearly what leaving the EU meant.
      You remainers keep forgetting this important fact.

      1. Tasman
        February 24, 2018

        Yes, Edward, I have my leaflet here – voting Leave means keeping Turkey out of the Eu and £350 mill a week for the NHS. Good job on turkey! but where is the money for the NHS?

        1. Edward2
          February 24, 2018

          Turkey joining the EU is an EU policy.
          Towards the overall empire building ambitions of the unelected Commission.
          It has nothing to do with the UK anymore.
          We voted Leave

          We still are playing billions to the EU
          Until we leave this will continue
          Therefore no savings to spend elsewhere until we have left
          Got it now?

  38. Recurring Theme
    February 23, 2018

    Mr Hunt reckons the further computerisation of the dispensing of medicines will cut errors “by half”.
    Yeah we all except for Mr Hunt it seems know the meaning of error reduction using computers.know the meaning of error reduction using computers.know the meaning of error reduction using computers.know the meaning of error reduction using computers.know the meaning of error reduction using computers.know the meaning of error reduction using computers.know the meaning of error reduction using computers.

  39. Denis Cooper
    February 23, 2018

    “I also recommend that we advise the EU that if they do not offer a wide ranging and sensible free trade agreement anytime soon … ”

    I think we have now reached the point where we should assume that the EU will reject whatever the UK may propose about this, short of our total capitulation.

    Therefore I believe the time has come for the UK government to announce that it will no longer be seeking any kind of special trade deal between the UK and the continuing EU, and explain how it has been very reluctantly led to that decision by the intransigent and punitive attitude of the EU, and propose that instead efforts should be concentrated on facilitating future trade under WTO rules.

    And as a first step, a unilateral step and therefore not dependent upon the agreement of the EU, the UK government should state its intention to pass a new UK law to ensure that all goods exported from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic across the land border will continue to conform with all relevant EU requirements and therefore will no more require to be inspected at the border by the Irish or EU authorities than at present.

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 23, 2018

      We already have a system for “approved exporters”:


      with one special case for exports to Turkey:


      “Guide for completing form C1454 for Turkey only”

      so I see no reason why that kind of system should not be adapted for goods exports from Northern Ireland to the Irish Republic – which amount to about 0.1% of UK GDP – in effect providing the Irish and EU authorities with a new legal guarantee that they need not check those incoming goods at the border, as used to happen before the EU Single Market was established in December 1992.

  40. Time and Tide
    February 23, 2018

    “Why we will be better off out of the EU” and that is why we urge everyone to vote Leave in the forthcoming Referendum.
    Of course Article 50 should, as promised by Mr Cameron and other most senior Tories have been signed and delivered ” the very next day after a Leave vote”
    We should have been leaving this year, just a few weeks from now.
    The debate is over.

  41. L Jones
    February 23, 2018

    Thank you. Optimism gives a good feeling. You have described the ‘’broad, sunlit uplands’’ excellently and you’ve put into perspective the negative slant that Remainers and the BBC manage to apply even to good news. I do wonder why it is that Remainers really do seem to get a kick out of being gloomy about the future of our country. They always sound so gleefully excited at the (erroneous) idea that we might fail in some way – though in what ways they don’t tell us, now that Project Fear is being so conclusively rubbished.
    I think we all hope that this ‘’transition’’ or ‘’implementation’’ tosh will also be rejected. What are we in now, if not a ‘’transition period’’?
    It would be helpful if it could be explained why this immense ‘’payment for trade talks’’ is not in fact bribery? Isn’t any payment to a foreign power in the interests of trade bribery by any other name? And isn’t that illegal?
    Otherwise, we’ve got an awful lot to be optimistic about!

  42. bigneil
    February 23, 2018

    We may be out of the EU but with TM’s constant agreements to take in yet more and more , along with the EU’s demands for Open Borders – It is clear that the EU will be in the UK, with us paying Billions for their lives here.

  43. forthurst
    February 23, 2018

    Belonging to the EAW will no longer be justifiable as an administrative convenience because as soon as we leave we can kick out all the undesirable aliens and prevent any more coming here because free movement of persons, however undesirable, will no longer be a right and entering our country will become a privilege.

    We will be able to render VAT at whatever rate we want on whatever product we want.

    We will be able to repeal the Human Rights Act so that undesirable aliens will be obliged to enjoy their family life with their cat outside of the jurisdiction of English law.

    We will be able to enforce the UN definition of Asylum against that of the EU so that whilst France still remains a safe country in parts, anyone arriving from Calais claiming Asylum of any claimed age can be returned without further ado.

    We will be able to repeal the Climate Change Act which has been instrumental in ensuring fuel poverty for poorer people and the transfer of our industry to those parts of the world where CO2 production, apparently, has no effect on its atmospheric concentration, by means of the nonsensical concept of carbon-trading which should be made illegal for the City.

  44. Doug Powell
    February 23, 2018

    Well worth the read, JR.

    There is a programme currently broadcast on the ‘history’ type channels called “The Day When … Churchill Went to War*.”..It is a re-enactment of the War Cabinet discussions that took place in late May 1940 when the Nazis were pushing the Allies back to the sea.

    The naysayers of the day were imploring Churchill to negotiate immediately with Hitler, because he would get a better deal than if he waited until the Nazis had made further gains.
    Talk about history repeating itself! The EU arguments of today are practically verbatim of those in 1940. However, Churchill believed in Britain, and his instinct and knowledge of history led him to reject the siren voices!

    * If of interest, google the title for further information.

    1. The Prangwizard
      February 24, 2018

      Sadly, today we don’t have a Churchil as a leader. We have a Lord Halifax.

  45. Denis Cooper
    February 23, 2018

    Off-topic, a lot of people are getting really fed up with this kind of thing from Theresa May and her Remainer colleagues:


    “May U-turn on rights for EU migrants after Brexit”

    Immediately after the EU referendum a very small minority of extremists were taking the unreasonable and unjust position that all the EU citizens already settled here should be deported. Theresa May accepted bad advice from a senior civil servant and said that they could stay provided that politicians in their home countries offered the same kind of deal for UK citizens settled in those countries, thus opening the way for repeated accusations that she, and by extension we the horrible British people, were trying to use innocent human beings as “bargaining chips”. Then it was going to be that the cut-off date would be the date we left the EU, even though it would not have been unreasonable to have made it the date that we voted to leave the EU because from then on they knew that it was going to happen and there would be a change in the legal position. But now it’s to be only at the end of this bloody stupid oxymoronic transition period during which nothing will change, and that’s if it ever has an end which is itself now being called into question.

    She’s just trying to string us along, JR, the same old Tory tactics.

  46. Bob
    February 23, 2018

    The EU said they will close down flights to and from the UK and now they said they won’t recognise British driving licences. Churlish or what?


    1. L Jones
      February 23, 2018

      Panicking, or what, I think! Would they be so peevish as to shoot themselves and their Union in the foot?

    2. Tasman
      February 24, 2018

      But this is what you voted for, Bob. The UK has taken back control of its laws, and so the EU is taking back control of its laws. Why should the EU recognise British driving licences if Britain is not part of the EU?

      1. Edward2
        February 24, 2018

        They did before we joined.
        As we did here in the UK for foreign drivers.

        In certain countries you needed in addition an International Driving licence form to be carried.

      2. Denis Cooper
        February 24, 2018

        Rubbish. The US is not part of the EU, the last time I looked. The EU may decide to be spiteful towards the UK, but do not try to justify that.


        “How to Drive in Europe”

        “If you’re planning a European vacation, you’ll no doubt want to know if you can legally drive a car during your stay using an American driver’s license. Luckily, many European countries recognize U.S.-issued driver’s licenses and others simply require that you also carry an International Driving Permit … “

  47. Tad Davison
    February 23, 2018

    The ‘economist’, Vicky Price, appeared on today’s Daily Politics Show and tried to discredited Brexit by saying that the UK’s economy is now slowing whilst the rest of the world’s economies are growing faster. I have a different more positive take on things. I would say the UK, as a free and independent sovereign nation could and should take advantage of these growing markets.

    Emancipation is a wonderful thing, whereas the introspective pessimists who would have economic enclaves with rigged markets are history, not the future.

    I just hope the likes of May, Greive and Soubry are listening!

    Tad Davison


    1. Mark B
      February 23, 2018

      . . . Vicky Price, appeared on today’s Daily Politics Show and tried to discredited Brexit by saying that the UK’s economy is now slowing . . .

      etc ed

      Odd though that the above person should say something like that whilst we are STILL IN THE EU. But little things like that are lost on some 😉

    2. Denis Cooper
      February 24, 2018

      Well, you can look her up … I well remember replying to her husband’s newspaper letters when he was inventing specious reasons for joining the euro …

      1. miami.mode
        February 24, 2018

        Denis. He even co~wrote a book about it, Both Sides Of The Coin, and he, of course, was on the wrong side. It is still on sale for 1p (plus postage) on the web. The cost succinctly values the worth of his opinion.

  48. PeterB
    February 23, 2018

    No I don’t believe so, and as time moves on i am more convinced now than ever that we made a terrible mistake. In my own case I believed all of the old argument from Boris, Gove, IDS and others about taking back control and new international trade deals..then there was 350million per week extra for the NHS?

    I now believe we were horribly lied to and that now the country is in a real bad place..in the end it will come down to this..terms will be dictated by the EU which we will have no choice but to accept because it appears the EU side are running rings around our DD and Mrs May..so much for a quiet life and the summers in Spain I was hoping for..i don’t think conditions will be right or that I could even afford it into the future..Sigh

  49. Helen Smith
    February 23, 2018

    The ‘people didn’t vote to be poorer’ line is one of the most annoying of all Remainiac lines.

    Firstly, we won’t be poorer, for all the above reasons we will be richer.

    Secondly, it was laid on with a trowel by Remain that we would be £4,321.87 per person poorer if we dared to vote Leave, and as over 17m of us did dare by that token obviously we did vote to be poorer.

    1. Andy
      February 23, 2018

      You did vote to be poorer and you will be poorer. We fully expect you to whinge when you get what you voted for.

      1. Denis Cooper
        February 24, 2018

        You have no idea what you are talking about. Still, we shall see.

      2. NickC
        February 24, 2018

        Andy, We voted to be independent. Whether we will be poorer or not we will have to wait and see. Certainly conquered nations in previous empires have tended to be poorer. So I expect us to be richer than we would have been as a subject nation of the EU.

    2. Mark B
      February 23, 2018

      Poorer relative to whom ? Greece or Switzerland for example 🙂

  50. Dennis
    February 23, 2018

    I hadn’t realised, nor many others it seems that there is a part of the UK (mainland) which now is not in the EU nor in the UK!!

    Does anyone here know? I give a clue – the Queen is not permitted to enter it without permission.

    1. gregory martin
      February 23, 2018

      reference :
      Halsbury’s Laws of England: Custom and Usage §601
      City of London
      Now perhaps the financial services are all ‘off-shore’ ?

  51. Richard
    February 23, 2018

    The 2016 GDP of the USA alone was c.34% higher than the GDP of the EU27: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)
    The USA is also much more of a seamless single market (language, tax, regulation), particularly for Services than the EU27. Since the US government is also far keener than Brussels on increasing mutual trade with the UK, I expect the UK’s trade with the US alone to rapidly overtake our trade with the EU. In either of Canada+++ or WTO+++ scenarios.

    And in all non-EU FTAs the UK will gain market access simply by granting access to the UK’s very seamless single market. Not via ex-gratia payments.

    1. Richard
      February 23, 2018

      Over-egged US alone, but great scope to expand all bilateral UK-RoW trade. How well incumbent EU businesses can defend their UK market share will depend greatly on Brussels playing fair with the UK.
      The DIT’s several bilateral working groups seem to be one of the bright lights.

  52. Richard
    February 23, 2018

    The UK’s Goods & Services exports to the EU are (i) around 40% of all UK G&S exports and (ii) around 12% of UK GDP (after adjusting for the misallocation due to the Rotterdam Effect, estimated at c. 2-4% of total exports).

  53. Richard
    February 23, 2018

    The only analysis I have seen of the actual worth to the UK of CETA+++ was by James Arnell who prudently/pessimistically put it at EUR 12 Bn, if the whole ‘win-win’ value was given to the EU: https://www.conservativehome.com/platform/2017/10/james-arnell-ready-on-day-one-for-brexit-1-money-if-theres-no-deal-and-the-eu-doesnt-play-fair-we-shouldnt-pay-it-a-penny.html
    But do the EU really want to impose WTO terms on everyone in the EU immediately before their June 2019 EU Parliament elections anyway??

    1. Denis Cooper
      February 24, 2018

      From last August:


      “In reality that EU-Canada trade deal is economically insignificant for both sides, but especially for the EU and then in particular for the UK.

      The EU Commission doesn’t like to come out and say that openly, but that is what their numbers say … ”

      “This is why I remain cautious about how much can really be achieved by Liam Fox’s department; I do not expect the total economic gains from the UK’s new trade deals to be enormous; they may well outweigh any small losses we take from new impediments to trade with the EU, but I doubt that it will be the kind of cornucopia some suggest.”

      1. Richard
        February 26, 2018

        Thank you Denis. There is a lot of good information on that link.

  54. Iain Gill
    February 23, 2018

    So when are we plebs going to be told what was decided at Chequers?

    1. Iago
      February 23, 2018

      Sometime next year, Iain.
      In the meantime, reason won’t have much effect on Mrs. May and her no-borders cabinet, which is what “global” means to them.

    2. graham1946
      February 23, 2018

      It will probably be drip fed to the media via ‘leaks’ before our parliamentarians and eventually the paying public find out. Seems government by leaks is the strategy now whereas in days gone by of ‘honourable’ members, people would have resigned for such.

  55. Richard
    February 23, 2018

    I agree with John’s assertion that HM Treasury’s track record of accurate forecasts when the counter-party is the EU over the last 3 decades has been fairly awful. As this article says: https://capx.co/when-will-the-treasury-be-called-to-account/

    1. Richard
      February 23, 2018

      ‘John’s assertion’ should be ‘the implication’ (no edit function)

  56. Chris
    February 23, 2018

    I see that Morgan, Soubry, Umuna and other Remainers have apparently tabled an amendment that would mean that we would have to be in a customs union with the EU, and they think they will have a Commons majority for it. The Brexiter MPs must have seen this coming and yet they let May stay in place to ensure that Brexit never happens. It is going to be sabotaged by the Remainers, and that includes Theresa May, I fear.

    Please will Tory Brexiter MPs act now and ensure that we have the referendum result honoured. It will be a disaster for the country if the Remainers win, a disaster for democracy, a disaster for trust in government, and a disaster for the Tory Party. The last deserves a disaster. The Tory Brexiters have watched the disaster unfold and have refused to take the necessary action to ensure that Brexit would be honoured. May should have been replaced after the election which saw her majority removed. If nothing is done at this late stage then Brexit will not happen.

  57. mancunius
    February 23, 2018

    It’s heartening to read such common sense from JR after the lengthy political speech (under the guise of an interview) that snake-oil saleseman Tony Blair was allowed on Radio Four’s lunchtime news programme.

    If the Soubrys and Morgans really do vote with Labour against the Prime Minister’s (and Opposition’s) clear pre-2017 election pledge on this substantive issue, then the government should be prepared to trigger and deliberately lose a vote of no-confidence, and call a General Election to back their vision of a growth-orientated future for Britain outside the EU single market and customs union.
    MPs should be required to clearly state if they back remaining half-in the EU in any one of the million ways the Remainers seem to have devised, or if they back our Leaving the EU and its control of our laws entirely. MPs who are unhappy with that should be replaced with candidates who agree with the clear government policy line.
    Most voters understand the obstructive motives of Remainer MPs by now, and would be happy to see them deselected. The result – unless Mrs May kicks her supporters in the teeth the way she did so insouciantly last time – would be a Conservative government more united and with a larger majority to carry negotiations with the EU more confidently forward.

    It’s all very well talking about the primacy of parliament, but when individual government party MPs connive with the Opposition on such a vitally important constitutional issue, against the views of most of those who voted for them on party grounds at the previous election, they cannot be said to maintain their democratic mandate. 2022 will be too late to get rid of them – and they know it.

    1. Tasman
      February 24, 2018

      I thought you voted Leave to bring back power to Westminster. Now you seem to say that you will refuse to recognise the majority will expressed in Westminster. I am not sure you even understand what Parlaimentary democracy is

      1. Edward2
        February 24, 2018

        You only get power back to Westminster if we actually leave the EU
        If the voting fails to bring that about with Labour reneging on another recent manifesto promise then we could end up with another election.
        Then we will see who has a new majority.
        Interesting times.

      2. NickC
        February 24, 2018

        Tasman, I am not sure you understand what Parliamentary democracy is. Our MPs derive their legitimacy and power from being elected by us, the people. Ultimately sovereignty resides with the people. That’s what a democracy is.

        MPs then gave us back the choice: Remain, or Leave. We, the people, chose Leave under the conditions set by Parliament. Yes, the result is divisive but so are all referendums and elections.

        I am quite sanguine about a second referendum to choose either the EU’s punishment deal, or the WTO deal. But we cannot have a second in/out referendum since that would undermine all referendum results, including the second referendum itself.

  58. Newmania
    February 23, 2018


  59. Anonymous
    February 23, 2018

    It seems that the democratic Leave result was to be obstructed and thwarted from the outset. What has followed since has been a two year attempt to force us to reverse that decision by our own hand – a cover up over the dictatorial nature of UK politics.

    Keep voting until we deliver then right result.

  60. Anonymous
    February 23, 2018

    To those who say we’ve lost influence in the EU I say rubbish.

    On the eve of a referendum about membership of the EU, with everything at stake for one of the EU’s few net contributors (both in money and deed) our PM went to the the Continent and asked for one measly concession which would have delivered a Remain result. He came back with thin gruel.

    So much for influence.

  61. Harry
    February 23, 2018

    Looks like we’re going to be out of the EU in everyway so the brexit hardliners win. No CU deal..no Single Market.
    Tusk the Council president.the man who said there would be no cakes for anyone but only salt and vinegar is now confirming this..he says UK side post brexit plan is based on pure illusion..so whats more to say..march 2019 and out we go..over to you Dr Fox and m.Gove..IDS and our host JR

    1. Andy
      February 23, 2018

      I hope you are right. Within a decade we will be back in – the Tory party will be dead and the hard-right English nationalist cancer which brought Brexit will have been permanently eradicated.

      1. Edward2
        February 24, 2018

        The hard right slur lie again.

        Are Labour hard left Andy?

        1. Andy
          February 24, 2018

          Yes – they are. Did you not notice?

          And hard-right is a statement of fact. UKIP without the guts to admit it.

      2. NickC
        February 24, 2018

        Andy, You have never explained why you are so transfixed by the concept of the EU making us a subject people. Really, your blind faith in unelected politicians is extraordinary. You are the “useful idiot” that all demagogues need.

    2. mancunius
      February 24, 2018

      “[Tusk] says UK side post brexit plan is based on pure illusion”

      MRDA (Mandy Rice-Davies Applies)

  62. PeterB
    February 23, 2018

    Again..and Nero fiddled while Rome burned

  63. ian
    February 23, 2018

    I still have full confidence in Mrs T. May to do the job right and bring home the bacon to share out among her people, it may only be 12 billion a year at this time/ but will grow as time goes by.
    As for MPs, they are supplicant to the people, their votes in parliament have no voice in law on this matter of leaving the EU and for that matter how the UK leaves the EU/ if MPs wanted to have a say on how the UK leaves the EU, they should have stated that at the time on the ballot paper and in the leaflet hand out to the people before the ref, but all the MPs were adamant before the ref that leave meant leaving the EU in its entirety.
    There is no court or judge in the kingdo0m of the UK /if a person on the leave side was to take it to court the court would not find in the parliament or government favour the person would win the case, the reason for that is/ the MPs refuse to have a vote on leaving the EU themselves and the decision was left to the rules of the UK, the people, at that point, MPs in parliament wash their hands of any decision or votes on the matter of leaving the EU with only the lelflet and the ballot paper left to make a decision on for the people of the UK, and what more the people are still waiting for their decision to be carried out in full.

    As I say MPs are supplicant to the people, they do not rule over you, they only give the appearance that they rule over you by way of joining a party and sticking together, that is the only power they have over you is the party, without the party they are just like me and you and would have to do what the people in their areas wanted them to do/ but as MPs have party to hide behind, they do not have to take any notice of people and what they want/ but on this instant matter of leaving the EU MPs have not got a leg to stand on, they had their vote before the ref and hand it over to the rules, the people.
    I fully agree with the EU/ no cherry picking you are either in or you are out and they are right.
    The time for talking about the future of the EU and UK is when the UK has fully left the EU and not before, the thing I can think of worth talking about is people who are not living in their own union at the moment.

  64. Fedupsoutherner
    February 23, 2018

    From what I hear on the news tonight there us no way some in your party are going to let us have what we voted for. We are not coming out of the EU and because of the likes of soubry we will find ourselves in a worse position than we are now. I am truly hissed off with politics and can guarantee that if we don’t get a full Brexit then I will not bother voting again. Its pointless. What an utter farce the whole thing has been from beginning to end. I always said the establishment would never let us leave. Democracy is dead and we will be forced to vote again until we come up with the right result and capitulate like the slaves we are.

  65. Chewy
    February 23, 2018

    Eloquently and succinctly put by John Redwood. As with Boris Johnson’s recent speech there’s a world of difference from someone believing in something and someone just following the instruction of the electorate. I felt rather refreshed after seeing non stop Remoaning and conspiring against the electorate all week in the news.
    I don’t buy into a lot of the vitriol against Theresa May on this site. She became PM following her famous “ submarine strategy” during the biggest political event of this generation; I joked its a bit like a footballer saying “sorry boss I’ve got a bit of a twinge and better give this one a miss” on the eve of FA Cup final day in political terms.
    Had Remain won she expected to be seen as a unity candidate upon David Cameron’s departure. I can’t blame her for being ambitious and lets face it she won by default. The election was a right Horlicks for which she was badly at fault and the buck has to stop there, but that’s gone and we are where we are. Thersa May has no authority because she has no mandate either from the referendum or election.
    The customs union vote is going to be mighty close. If it goes the wrong way suddenly no deal becomes more appealing than any possible deal under the constraints of being locked in to the Customs Union, and I suspect it could spell the end of the road for Theresa May as PM. Of course a change of leadership is chaotic at such a time but the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of Remain Conservatives and an unscrupulous opposition. And this point can be eloquently and repeatitivly rammed home. A new leader faces the same maths but maybe takes the nuclear John Major option of attaching leaving the CU to a confidence vote, and who if necessary is prepared to take the matter back to an electorate browned off with elections and campaigns with the blame once again being pinned on Remoaners who won’t accept the result.
    Oh well the misses forced me to watch 50 damn shades tonight, bluntly I find John Redwoods article a lot more stimulating.

  66. Oh Oh Prigger
    February 24, 2018

    “Why we will be better off out of the EU”
    Because we will not need to remember foreign names unless it’s a package tour destination

  67. hans christian ivers
    February 24, 2018

    British bef is 30% more expensive than imported beef.

    We should support our farmers, but there also has to be some reality in the predictions on what we should be doing after Brexit and what we are able to do and can afford and this proposal, might turn out to be quite expensive for the consumer, if all British products will be 30% more expensive.

    What do you think John?

  68. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    February 24, 2018

    An interesting lecture John bringing together most of the points made on your blog site.It is such a pity the lecture cannot be brought to a wider audience. Ssh! don’t say you are not keen on sushi ,we need to sell to these people .

  69. Ron Olden
    February 25, 2018


    Blair and the Remainers make me laugh.

    They opposed holding the 2016 Referendum, voted for the Maastricht Treaty which created the EU in the first place (before that we were the EEC), without any Referendum, and then brought into law the existing Lisbon Treaty without any Referendum either.

    Blair even wanted to join the Euro without a Referendum.

    Now he’s totally converted to the idea of Referenda and wants another one to decide whether we should to accept the Brexit agreement.

    I assume he means ‘take the deal or stay in’. I doubt if we’d be asked whether we want to ‘take the deal or leave without one’.

    Nick Clegg however, takes this (one sided ed) approach to Referenda even further. He wants a Second Referendum in which the minority Remain voting demographic he’s identified, get two votes each and the rest of us only get one.

    It might have escaped the attention of these two jokers, that (legally speaking at least), we are not leaving the EU as a consequence of the Referendum. We are leaving, because Parliament (including a majority of Labour MPs), voted to bring in a law empowering the Government to invoke Article 50.

    And they can thank Remainiac Gina Miller and the Supreme Court for that.
    It was she who got the Court to insist that the vote had to go before Parliament.

    Incidentally, it was also Blair who ‘negotiated’ the Lisbon Treaty which contains Article 50.


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