The EU seems intent on No deal

The EU decided to reject the proposed UK/EU partnership they think the UK wants before the PM has even set it out! It was further evidence that the EU either does not want a deal or thinks the UK will just take dictation for a very bad deal.
They need to consider that any deal has to be put into UK legislation, and needs to pass muster with the Brexit majority in the UK to do so. Why would Parliament vote to give the EU large sums of money with no full free trade agreement and fuller partnership on offer? How could Parliament pass legislation to give the EU powers back that we had just reclaimed through the Article 50 process thanks to the referendum decision?
The EU offered Mr Cameron far too little in his renegotiation and lost a valuable member as a result. Now they run the risk of messing up a favourable trade and partnership relationship for them by being so negative and unhelpful.

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  1. duncan
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    With Marxist Labour now backing the UK to stay in the EU Customs Union with, no doubt, support from Tory Remainers it seems the Eurosceptics will have no choice to bring down May

    Labour is determined to circumvent the EU referendum result which doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. A party wedded to the politics of authoritarianism is hardly going to back democracy

    With a Eurosceptic leader at the helm of the Tory party we would now be out of this EU straitjacket. Unfortunately we are led by May and if she dare to side with Labour she is finished

    I say we need to appeal to Labour’s Eurosceptic traditional electoral base. I know my parents would vote Tory if they promised to take us out of the EU and take back total control of the UK

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      An alternative to deposing Mrs. May is for the Government to do nothing until 29 March 2019 and just Leave, having made as many contigency arrangements for a No Deal. In reality the Government has nothing in the past 11 months, hopefully it has been making No Deal plans already. EU threats and waffle from the socialists across Parliament has become a clear threat to democracy and evidence of hypocrisy unworthy of our history.

      • jerry
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        @A.Sedgwick; Not sure they could do that! Even if the 1972 Act that took us into the EEC doesn’t need to be repealed by parliament (which I believe it does) there is the ‘little’ matter of 45 years worth of EEC/EU law to deal with – hence the -so called- Great Repeal Bill.

        Anyway, even if the Govt. was able to do what you suggest, would it not totally trash one of the main campaign points for Vote Leave and others, about democracy residing in the elected UK Parliament and not just an autocratic executive, the Conservatives would likely be totally trashed come the next GE…

      • Marcus Rose
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        I believe Theresa May has done a great job. She included people for and against in her cabinet that gave balance. I love the way things are developing now with a bit of backbone being added to counter the torrent of abuse from the continent. My main hope is a complete split with total self government. If we get a trade deal it will only be marginally better. What David Cameron started by helping industry benefits us all by giving work to the young so keeping them off the streets. Having a country wealthy only in one sector leaves too many behind, even in a very wealthy country as the UK is.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted February 25, 2018 at 11:18 pm | Permalink

          You’re a May family member?

        • Richard1
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 12:19 am | Permalink

          There’s an unusually positive post for these parts!

        • Bob
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:08 am | Permalink

          “My main hope is a complete split with total self government.”

          Yes, indeed that is what we voted for but the Quisling Remainers (that includes the BBC) are using bogus economic predictions and threats of Irish terrorism in an attempt to undermine that vote. Shame on them.

          @Mr Redwood,
          Why has the BBC been rewarded with a Licence Fee increase?
          It doesn’t directly affect those of us that don’t pay it, but it does give Common Purpose a boost in their quest to overthrow our hard won freedoms.

          Seems to me that the Licence Fee should be phased out, not increased.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted February 27, 2018 at 7:08 am | Permalink

          Are you on some happy pills or something?

    • Hope
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      I have to say May has allowed this debate to gain traction as the most important part of leaving the EU. It is not. May as allowed economics to scare people over two years, with support of govt departments, to scare people into accepting leaving in name only or as close as possible. Her alleged cabinet met this week loaded and skewed with remainers to shout down the few leavers. None of the remainers should have been allowed any voice in this matter full stop. Why would anyone entertain allowing some EU regs to still apply to traded goods! We voted leave which part does May, Hammond, Rudd or Greg Clarke not understand?

      Labour in tandem with the traitors of your party are trying to remain in the single market and customs union which means remaining in the EU. Why would the EU entertain any form of negotiation knowing this? The EU aim was never about trade it was and always has been about political unification of nations with power retained at the epicenter with puppet govt’s pretending democracy. These political traitors willing to sell out their country and fellow citizens. Time to out these people for what they are. I hope all Labour voters will leave the party in protest over Labour lying to them in its manifesto and voting in parliament to leave the EU. Corbyn even sacked MPs fo refusing to accept to leave thecusroms union only to now accept their view! Clearly if there is a policy change to remain in the customs union the dishonesty of Labour and the Tory traitors must be exposed for what it is.

    • jerry
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      @duncan; “With Marxist Labour…

      That sort of wild comment says far more about its author than it does anything about Labour policies. Either the author dose not understand “Marxist” philosophy or, if they do, it tells us how far to the right they must be to mistake democratic socialism for Marxism.

      “I say we need to appeal to Labour’s Eurosceptic traditional electoral base.”

      Good luck with that one…!

    • Peter
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink

      Eurosceptics do not appear to be in any hurry to bring down May.

      The EU have clearly stated no single market access without rule taking.

      A fudged BRINO, once again, seems the likely outcome.

  2. Norman
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Brexit is an existential threat to the EU, so its leaders cannot help but to behave in this way. Mrs May has distinguished herself in being friendly and reasonable, so far. She must now stand firm, as well. I hope she will be vindicated, but if not, then so be it. History, and reasonable, sensible people on both sides of the Channel, including the voting public here in the UK, will ultimately honour her for it.

  3. Oh Oh Prigger
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    “The EU seems intent on No deal” Well this is what we have said on here repeatedly.

    The EU is now awaiting the outcome of UK local Elections in May which it hopes will strengthen the hand of its cooperators in the UK Parliament in order to undermine Brexit, absolutely.

  4. georgeP
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Am afraid your thinking is wrong on this John..we should not be too concerned with talk of free trade with them

    The EU have already said very clearly that cherry picking is not an option- the UK government has come up with the idea that it wants a deal with divergence built in which implies we will take the bits we like and discard the bits we don’t, but that is not what the EU is about. The EU is about convergence in all respects and so that is why the UK position is at odds with the EU and is what Mr Tusk calls an ‘illusion’- can’t understand how Mrs May would not have known this in the first place?

    We are leaving on 29 March what’s more to say, we have already agreed the terms of our departure in December which we are now honour bound to fulfill- money included. We are going to reclaim all powers then and will have taken back control and will depart so why go on about transition periods, and not paying money already agreed to etc? especially if talks are leading nowhere.

    We should be happy now with our lot because that is what our betters advised us to do and that is what we voted for- we did not vote to leave only to want to go back in again with some other kind of a deal- we want a clean break- or am I missing something? all of our political advisers, including Tory MPs and MEP’s have said we don’t need them

    When it comes to the EU- ‘politics trumps economics everytime’-, just as when we voted to leave- ‘politics trumped economics’- it’s just the way things are- so we shouldn’t be too surprised at the EU reaction to Mrs May’s proposal for divergance- the EU is only protecting it’s own rules and cohesion- frankly they are not overly concerned with british political all makes perfect sense to forward to negotiations in march with the EU council when things will probably come to a sudden halt

    Listening to Dr Fox on the Marr show this morning he seems very self assured about new international trade deals in the pipeline so we can now forget all about deals with the EU now since so many people want to get away- and as you are forever saying and as Dr Fox repeated several times this morning, the most important thing is we can take back control

    • Mark B
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      Great post. Indeed, the EU will always put its needs before those of member states. Something I have been saying for quite a while now.

    • graham1946
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      We have not agreed our terms of departure, money and all.

      Remember it was the EU which made the rule which categorically stated ‘Nothing is agreed until all is agreed’.

      We have made an offer (far too generous, but there it is), and we can take it back if the rest is not agreed. In fact we must take it all off the table and close the talks right away. Only then will the EU maybe see sense and negotiate in good faith. If not, so be it, its their choice.

      • georgeP
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Graham1946..yes we did agree about the Irish border that there would be no hard border no matter what. We further agreed that the movement of uk and eu people in and out would be allowed and respected pending a permanent negotiation and we agreed a certain sum of money to cover for past and present budgetry considerations and commitments made by uk for projects into the future which covers pensions of Eu workers..and none of this is subject to any future was David Davis who put a spin on things by saying nothing is agreed until everything is agreed

  5. Lifelogic
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Indeed about time our government woke up to this and prepared for it properly.

    This by becoming more competitive with tax cuts (especially in IHT, SDLT, IT, CT & NICs) , big cuts in the bloated and inept government, cuts in regulation, easy hire and fire, real freedom in healthcare and education, cheap on demand energy, relaxed planning, getting fracking and the likes.

    Excellent document published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation I see:-
    GLOBAL WARMING A case study in groupthink
    How science can shed new light on the most important ‘non-debate’ of our time
    by Christopher Booker.

    Still no significant warming at all for the last 19 years, so how much long before the group wake up to the real science I wonder?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      L/L Too much money involved in all of this for the few while the many pay for it in numerous ways.

  6. Helena
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    You sound rattled, and I can see why. There is a large majority in Parliament for staying in the customs union, and soon you and your far right colleagues in the European Research Group are going to be hung out to dry by Mrs May

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      A large majority in Parliament which is unrepresentative of a large majority outside of it.

      A highly dangerous situation.

    • John C.
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

      Have you the faintest conception of the meaning of the phrase “far Right”?

  7. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

    The EU states that as a matter of principle it is not possible to “cherry pick” sectors of the EU Single Market that you want but reject others. That’s unless you’re Norway, when you can do precisely that under the EEA Agreement which excludes farming and fishing.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      Amusingly, Robert Peston asked some Labour chap whether Labour would go beyond signing up for a customs union with the EU to signing up for Norway’s status as part of the EU Single Market, when Norway a) is not in a customs union with the EU, and b) it does not in fact have unimpeded access to all sectors of the EU Single Market, while c) it is still bound by the inseparable “four freedoms” of the EU Single Market including virtually unfettered freedom of movement of persons with the EU. It’s one thing for the man in the street to get a bit confused about it all but these journalists are paid handsomely to get it straight in their heads so they can clearly explain it to the rest of us.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        And here is the same kind of thing:

        “… it is right that Labour seeks to take all necessary steps to ensure the UK permanently participates in a customs union on the same terms as we do now …”

        “… But our commitment to social justice dictates that we should also seek to participate in – not simply have “access” to – the EU’s single market …”

        “… So – as a minimum – Labour must clearly and unambiguously set as a negotiating objective the goal of remaining part of the European Economic Area, in order to participate on a permanent basis in the single market. Other non-EU countries are in the European Economic Area … ”


        “… Above all, the prospect of a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland poses a threat to the Good Friday Agreement … ”

        “… Colum Eastwood, the leader of our sister party the SDLP, said this week that “the people of Northern Ireland want – but also need – the UK to stay in both the single market and customs union to protect us from a hard border” … This is a view reiterated by the Irish government … ”

        So, listen up, chaps, here is what we need to do, according to the insanely muddled thinking in the Labour party:

        Because we must stay in the single market, and not just have “access” to it, and we must also stay in the/a customs union, we will seek to remain in the EEA as a non-EU member which just has “access” to some but not all parts of the single market, and is not in the/a customs union with the EU.

        • rose
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          Did you hear the EU-fanatic Mark Mardell on radio 4 yesterday morning? He was asked who was in Schengen and who was in EFTA. But he wasn’t expected to answer, nor could he. On his colossal salary he was given a week to find out!

  8. lojolondon
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    John, you have hit the nail on the head. The biggest threat to the EU that has ever occurred is if Britain leaves and our economy thrives. Then they will have the French, Dutch, German and every other seperatist group in Europe fighting to leave. So they will do their best to ensure that we fail. They think that by stopping us from trading with Europe they will do so, but they forget that 150 years ago Britain was trading with the Far East, Australia, Africa and both Americas, there is no country better placed for global trade than the UK, and no country that will thrive so much out of the EU. We will be much better off if they forgo the £30B and we can spend it on developing our trade elsewhere. I look forward to a very bright future!

  9. Iain Gill
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    And the labour party seems hell bent on full fat Stalinism.

  10. Chewy
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

    I think there’s a deal out there for us that would be acceptable, and there’s a lot of brinkmanship on the part of the EU. But that’s understandable. Ideally they’d be happiest with Britain Remaining and second happiest with us being closely tied so that there are no conceivable benefits from leaving or also that we couldn’t effectively compete with them.
    I suspect they’ve been reassured by some of the noble and patriotic Remain MPs who’ve visited Michel Barnier that Parliament will not allow us to to leave with a No Deal scenario.
    I’d like to ask anyone reading this, put yourself in their shoes and position and wouldn’t you be doing likewise. But if the government can get through its current difficulties eg the CU amendment and can show a little backbone, (you can always hope), then at the last conceivable minute as per normal with EU deals something positive should be achievable.
    And they don’t want to include services in a deal? So that would I presume give us carte blanche to deregulate our markets to hell, to make sure Frankfurt and Paris are less attractive?

  11. Michael
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Brussels is confident it can beat the British people into submission. It must be taught again that the British people do not submit.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      But clearly our politicians do !

    • John C.
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:11 pm | Permalink

      It is confident that there are enough E.U. supporters in positions of power, from the prime Minister down, to ensure that we will basically stay in. They are not beating down a defiant and rebellious state; they are conducting an elaborate and devious dance with people who are basically “of their sort”.

  12. Tabulazero
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Because the British side refuse to understand that they will not be allowed to have their cake and eat it.

    You do not want to be part of the EU ? That’s perfectly fine but do not expect to have the advantages that comes with membership.

    The EU is not willing to tear up the legal basis on which it runs simply to please 62 Conservative MPs like yourself.

    On a personal note, I do not understand why yourself and your followers on this blog do not still get that ?

    The EU is doing what it said it would do and yes this is likely to mean pain for both sides. What else were you expecting ?

    • Mark B
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      I understand, and more will in time.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      We do get it. We keep saying no deal.

      The 62 MPs represent the 52%

    • John C.
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Ah, schadenfreude! The Remainer’s favourite emotion.

  13. anon
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    The political bureaucratic head of the EU cannot reach any sensible agreement with the UK, whilst we are members of the EU.

    That much is evident and is proven beyond doubt for all to see. Its existential for their EU dream.

    If we want ” trade deals ” without the political-legal EU supremacy & control.

    The quicker we exit , then the low probability of a deal goes up slightly.

    We should exit early.No transition. No payments.

    We should then concentrate on World trade via WTO rules and i suggest we should prioritise agreements with the ROW.

    We have given too much time, treasure and of our sovereignty to the EU, for very little in return.

    Those who still back any kind of extended membership should not be anywhere near power. Unless its with a one way ticket and engine propelled.

    Hello World! .

    Goodbye EU.

  14. Helen Taylor
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    Hope they do, then we can leave on wto rules. Start taking some of our money back.

  15. Tabulazero
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    I will answer your two questions though you already know the answer:

    1) the money is for past commitment the UK had entered as a sovereign nation during its 40 years as a member. Brexit means the EU institutions present in the UK must leave. You are not a member anymore. Long-term leases have to be broken and the lessors are entitled to compensation. Why should the EU pay for that ? The UK is not paying for access. It’s being asked to make good on past commitments.

    If you are unhappy about it, ask Mr Farange to give up his fat EU pension.

    2) Because the U.K., and not the EU, has asked for a transition period during which it will continue to have full access to the single-market. It will therefore continue to follow all the rules of the single-market like every other members who do not have the option to opt out of what they do not like, Why should you be treated differently ? Doesn’t it strike you a little bit odd if during the transition period the UK could sue countries or companies in front of the ECJ but the reverse would not be true ?

    Why should you have a special treatment ?

    • Peter Lavington
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

      Regarding Farage’s pension, he probably won’t get it. The deal is that the pension comes with strings – you only get it if you swear allegence to the EU for the rest of your life. Do you think the likes of Clegg and the Kinnocks would put their fat pensions at risk?

    • John C.
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

      This sums up nicely the whole attitude of Europhiles, the very essence of the small-minded, grasping mentality that caused the UK to vote out. All “asking” and “compensation” and “following rules” and “treated differently” and sneers about someone called “Farange”. Total indifference to wishes and freedom and independence and national pride and unelected officials deciding what we should do.

  16. Fairweather
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood
    I agree that the EU will not give us a trade deal( no cherry picking)
    Also as Mr Ambrose Evans-Pritchard says ( Telegraph 22 Feb) ” what if Euro MPs vote down the final settlement? What if there is a late ECJ challenge? By then it would be too late to fall back to World Trade. Organisation terms since that requires at least a year of preparation” this would then lead to a total capitulation.
    Of course if the Goverment made preparations for WTO rules NOW, wouldn’t this be a better negotiating position?
    WTO only deals with trade, there are many other important things like air travel and radiopharmaceutical (To mention just two) which need sorting out. What is HMG up to!

    • Tabulazero
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

      Working on the sectorial assessment perhaps ?

  17. iain
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    I have always thought that the prime aim of the EU negotiators is to get as much money out of us as they can. They seem to think that by conceding virtually nothing that we shall buy our way out of the EU. It needs our Prime Minister to spell it out that WE are being forced into a no deal scenario by the EU stance which would be acceptable to the UK. I am at a loss to understand why T May will not issue such a statement. It seems that she cannot see the wood for the trees.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

      You know, seen from the other side of the Channel, it strikes me as if the Brexiters have a massive chip on the shoulder.

    • John C.
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      It would be hard for her to blame people with whom she clearly has sympathy and to whose wishes she has submitted time after time.

  18. Billy Elliot
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    No they are not messing up a favorable relationship or favorable trade deal. They are just protecting their interests. Clearly the free trade deal UK is proposing is not in their interest. Out is out.

    • ian wragg
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      I wonder what the German car manufacturers and French farmers think of that. Of course Brussels won’t ask them as it’s all about the purity of “le projet”

      • LenD
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink should ask IDS about the German car workers since he knew everything about them before the referendum and as regards the French farmers and wine growers Michael Gove was the expert, again before the referendum

      • Tabulazero
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

        The German car manufacturers will want to preserve the integrity of the single-market which allow them to seamlessly move car parts across their various plants.

        The single-market is a British invention, by the way.

  19. forthurst
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Whilst in the EU, we are in the Single Market and the Customs Union; we are bound by the Climate Change Act, the EU Asylum law and the ECHR. So what could CMD have negotiated? We could not have had three and a half freedoms; we could negotiate our own trade deals whilst in the customs Union: perhaps the right to family life with dogs but not cats? The return of some of our fish? Higher milk quotas? A higher refund?
    It was in the power of the EU to give us back what was ours by right but the EU have always seen us right from our accession to the EEC as the donor nation to be ripped off by our old enemies.

    Let’s get out under WTO rules so that we cease being obligated to the EU in any possible way and have a fair basis to build up our indigenous industries.

  20. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Dear John–They need it continually explaining to them where they are going wrong in their thinking–They should be pleased that we are leaving so that they can (that is if they can) pursue their own agenda unfettered but at the same time maintain good relations with us–Why isn’t that obvious?–If it should come to blows, possibly serious blows, they would only have themselves to blame–For us to contemplate “Leaving” whilst somewhow staying in “the or a” Customs Union (the very heart and soul of the EU) is what is, to use Tusk’s word (whoever he is), delusional–Speeches on both sides are useless it seems to me when there is so much animosity and disagreement

  21. forthurst
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    …we could NOT negotiate our own trade deals whilst in the customs Union

    • John O'Leary
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Firstly we cannot leave the EU and remain in “the customs union” as it is an integral part of the EU treaties which will no longer apply once we have left. We could however form “a” customs union with the EU as Turkey have done. Secondly if we did enter into a customs union then yes we could still negotiate our own trade deals. What prevents us doing so while we are in the EU is the Common Commercial Policy (CCP) which has nothing to do with a customs union. Customs unions are all about a common external tariff.

      • forthurst
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 11:39 pm | Permalink

        If we formed a customs union with the EU, then we would share common external tariffs for produce covered by that customs union; we would be able to negotiate FTAs with third countries but only insofar as they also had similar agreements with the EU. We also would be able to have FTAs with third countries for produce which was not covered by the Customs union. We would not be able to import goods under a free trade deal which did not also apply to the EU. We neither need not want to be in a customs union with the EU.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

        “Secondly if we did enter into a customs union then yes we could still negotiate our own trade deals.”

        You should ask the Turks about that one. Or ask Barry Gardiner, who has just reiterated that the Turkey arrangement would be terrible but explained that clever old Labour would negotiate something infinitely better. So much better, in fact, that it is not clear why the EU should ever allow us to have that piece of cake and eat it any more than any other piece of cake.

  22. ian
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    It’s all good then, the EU is doing leave votes work for them even if their politician in parliament are not, anyway the people who vote to leave did not vote for a for a new deal with the EU or new partnership, they voted to leave the EU.

    • MikeP
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Putting it like that offers an interesting perspective. Saying now that we will just ‘Leave’ (completely) on 29Mar19, as we’ve said we will, then our negotiating stance could immediately shift to, “well we are leaving and our contributions will end; we’ll sort out our trade with the rest of the world from 30Mar19, be attending WTO on our own behalf, be very happy to receive your goods tariff free providing you allow ours to do likewise, let us know if you have any alternative proposals that might interest us, cheerio!”

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink


        Very well said. I am sure a lot of us think the same way as yourself.

      • DaveM
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        I thought tgat was what I voted for!

  23. Adam
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    It was fortunate for us that Cameron could not gain anything worthwhile from the EU. Had he done so, the prospect of our leaving may have been made less likely. Historians may look back on his unintentionally good performance!

  24. mancunius
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    “Why would Parliament vote to give the EU large sums of money with no full free trade agreement and fuller partnership on offer?”

    We should beware of the Treasury civil servants – they have a history (e.g. at the period of the 2010 GE) of giving the EU billions of our money just because the EU has requested it and they act to forestall a countermanding order they know might stop the payment. The Treasury should have an order slapped on it preventing it from now on from sending any money to Brussels that has not been expressly OK’d by Parliament. Hammond’s say-so should not suffice.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

      Hammond should not be allowed anywhere near tax payers money or the tax system. He should have gone long ago, he is desperately incompetent as are the treasury in general.

    • Andy
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      John will correct me if I am wrong but once the 1972 Act is repealed there is no legal basis to pay the EU anything.

  25. graham1946
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    What Brexit majority in the UK?

    Do you mean the people who gave their instruction to Parliament but which now seems set to be ignored by EU loving MP’s, or Parliament itself where as far as I can see there is no Brexit majority? How could Parliament do it? Because they will, their self serving interests are more import than democracy. They like the easy life of taking orders and not having to take the blame. or work at putting together new laws, rather than just take dictation.

    Labour are gearing up to sell us out with their idea of never leaving but staying in the Customs Union. I can see that going down well in the Labour strongholds of the north. Why is Starmer so strong and the leadership in hock to him and his cronies like Umunna and Abbott? Maybe this will finish Corbin off.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink


  26. Lifelogic
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    What on earth is Archbishop of Canterbury on about with his “Brexit and a Broken Britain” drivel? What a very, very silly man he seems to be. If he is so concerned about “the ugly disparity between mansions and the housing of the poor” perhaps he should split up all the ones that bishops and the CofE occupy into bedsits – perhaps all the empty churches and install dorms too.

    Do bishops have to pay tax on the benefit in kind on their palaces or do they get a special tax exemption, I assume the latter? At least the owners of these private mansion have pay for them themselves – thus generating many jobs and paying much tax.

    He is however right about being Grenfell being a metaphor for our nation’s failings. The failing are far too much state & subsidised state housing, group think green crap religion deciding to clad towers in flammable insulation (for no rational reason) and this combined with incompetent fire regulations and regulators, poor escape routes, incompetent advice given to tenants for hours after the fire started (and was not put out) and general state sector incompetence in every direction you look – all done a vast expense to tax payers. This paid by other under threat of imprisonment.

    • Tom William
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      As the EU has not given any details of the commitments it believes need compensation and has just plucked figures out of the air it is not surprising that millions of people regard the demand as blackmail or an attempt to waste time before the two years expires so that no decent deal is possible.

      One reason for asking for a transition is the tactics of the EU have, deliberately, made it desirable. But not, please note, essential.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      He of the dwindling congregation – rather like The Guardian.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

      The subject has not yet been invented on which Welby cannot infallibly find the wrong thing to say.

    • rose
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Skyscrapers should not be built for people to live in. No-one likes living in them and no-one wants them blocking out the light and view. Architects and planners finally came round to the public’s way of thinking and they would have been demolished – except that Tony Blair and subsequent PMs then decided to allow the whole world and his wife to come and live here. So the skyscrapers were needed.

      How can the Archbishop criticise the consequences of overcrowding without criticising its cause? On the contrary, he criticises us for not embracing and celebrating that cause.

  27. Original Richard
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    As in their negotiations with Mr. Cameron, the EU are playing hardball in the belief that either the UK will capitulate or failing that, they will be able to inflict severe damage on the UK “pour encourages les autres”.

    The EU will not care what effect such a deal may have upon the EU nations it represents.

    This belief is encouraged, as before the referendum, by the UK’s EU supporters having a far greater say on the Brexit debate via the EU funded BBC and other MSM outlets.

    The irony is that Mr. Cameron/the EU would never have allowed the EU referendum to have taken place had they not believed the BBC’s biased reporting and hence thought they could easily win the referendum.

    The EU’s tough stance in the negotiations could see history repeat itself and they should not believe the mood of the country via BBC reports and programmes.

  28. L Jones
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    I’m still not clear about this money that has been all but promised for a trading deal. Isn’t it illegal to give money to foreign officials in the interests of trade? Isn’t this ”bribery” by any other name, according to our own Bribery Act?
    Can someone here elucidate?

    • Helena
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

      No money has been promised for a trading deal. The money promised – about £60 billion so far – concerns only existing obligations. That’s a lot of money that Mr Redwood and others told us wouldn’t be paid. But it will be. And if we do want a trading deal, that will be a lot more money to pay. But that’s what you Leavers voted for – unless you were stupid enough to think we could leave the club but keep all the perks of membership

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

        Have you seen an itemised invoice, then?

  29. Jonp
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    There is no UK/EU partnership as you suggest..there is only the EU and the UK soon to be a third country that was formerly a member of the EU, ie. one of 28 countries that has now decided to split and go it’s own way.

    Clearly the EU majority 27 remaining countries have enough on their own plates without being very mindful of what is going on in British Tory politics. They know that something will be worked out in the end some day..something like a Canada plus deal..but it will probably take years to negotiate.

    The conditions for exiting agreed to before Christmas are just that..conditions agreed to for exiting…so what was it again? The irish border, the movement of people, and the money owed for uk budget and UK commitments already made..nothing to do with the future.

    They suspect the UK would like to set up a different economic bloc in Europe with Britain at the head and are not in the least disposed to be helpful with this and so cherry picking our way to a future relationship with them to suit ourselves is completely out of the question

    But I believe you are quite correct when you say- the EU it seems is intent on a No Deal..we saw signs of that again a few days ago when Tusk said something about the UK bargaining poisition being an illusion- must say I kinda agree with him

  30. RupertP
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    The EU knows that the UK had only a small majority for Brexit and isn’t ready for a no deal Brexit in March 2019 – They are playing a long game to demonstrate to everyone in the UK and elsewhere in the EU that leaving is a bad idea. For them, it is an important but unstated policy goal that Brexit must be seen to be a failure, so that no other country dares to attempt to leave the EU.

    The EU is able to force the UK to take whatever terms they want, as the UK isn’t willing to suffer the pain that would result from a hard, no deal Brexit – Remember that there was only a small majority in favour of Brexit and there was never a majority for Brexit amongst MPs in the House of Commons.

    So why would the EU give the UK anything it wants, when the UK will undoubtedly sign up to endless transition (BRINO) to avoid a cliff edge in March 2019 whatever happens? Once the UK is out, the EU can keep the UK in “vassal state” mode with the cliff edge always being a year or two away (which is bad for business confidence / investment) for a very long time, until the country / politicians change their mind and want to come back in again, all be it on worse terms (no rebates, join the Euro etc) than before.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      Do you mind Rupert? I’m just thinking of going to bed and you put a nightmare scenario in my head!

    • stred
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      That is the plan and the British civil service and Remain ministers, including May, are deliberately not putting customs measures in place which will allow WTO rules to be put into action in March 2019. They plan to keep transition until reversal is agreed. The collaboration has been going on since the vote went their wrong way.

      Get May out and sack the leading civil servants- or we will not be leaving in anything but name. Emails and records of contacts with the Commission should be searched and charges for subversion brought if plotting has been occurring and not in the interests of the British electorate and the promises made by the government and approved in the HoC.

  31. Martin Conboy
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Labour are changing their position, and now are claiming to wish to remain in “a” Customs Union with the EU. They are also claiming that this customs union will mean Britain will be able to negotiate trade deals with third countries jointly with the EU.
    Firstly, any Customs Agreement that locks in the EU’s huge trade advantage but does not allow us equal access for Services where we have a smaller but worthwhile advantage is a deal simply not worth having.
    Secondly, Labour do not explain what “jointly” actually means. The EU does not share power in any meaningful way. It is just conceivable that Labour could negotiate some kind of rubber-stamp on future trade deals that we would be invited to apply in a compulsory sort of way, again a deal that is not worth having.
    I personally welcome Labour’s hardening and clarification of stance. Up until now it has been difficult to attack them over it as they simply claim they actually meant something else. That will now change, they have a defined position and must defend it.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

      Labour probably hope their voters will not notice they have reneged on that important election promise. I suppose they think because they also reneged on their other main election vow to write off student debt, they can now get away with anything.
      That gamble may or may not pay off.

  32. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    I’ve watched four politics programmes this morning and on each there was at least one person who assumed as a matter of course that being in the/a customs union with the EU was the key to keeping an open border in Ireland. I would like to think that the government has been laying a cunning trap for Jeremy Corbyn, and also the rebel Tory MPs, and is just waiting until after his speech tomorrow before forcibly pointing out that a customs union would certainly be not sufficient for that purpose, and in fact most probably it is not even necessary for that purpose. However now I’m no longer sure that the government itself understands this, despite what was written in its position paper last August.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

      However now I’m no longer sure that the government itself understands this . . .

      I mentioned yesterday that people like your goodself seem to be changing their positions. It was, of course, placed in moderation so no one could read it.

      Does not change the fact Mr. Redwood MP sir that people are beginning to wake up. Should have gone for the EEA Option and a transitory phase. So much simpler.

      • L Jones
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps you’d like to tell us then, Mark B, what ”benefits” we would find now by remaining? I don’t believe that any of us who were convinced at referendum time, and are even more convinced now in the UK’s ultimate runaway success of independence from the execrable EU, have changed our minds ”woken up” as you so patronisingly put it. That is wishful thinking by Remainders.
        Wake up to what, exactly?

        • Mark B
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 6:16 am | Permalink

          Glad you asked 🙂

          You have to understand that the UK has allowed the EEC/EC/EU to basically do more and more for it over time. As a result we have closed down embassies and lost many skills other countries take for granted eg negotiating, or haven’t you noticed ?

          The EEA Option is NOT a final destination. In fact, the government is trying to negotiate a bespoke EEA Option which will keep us into the SM, the CU and the ECJ. All this under the pretence of a Trade deal.

          The EEA Option offered the UK an off the shelf alternative. I have never liked it myself and if we were offered it BEFORE joining the EU I would vote “No !”. But as a way of extracting ourselves it is useful but only for a limited period – say 5 years.

          What the government is currently negotiating is a worse deal than this. It has conceded to Regulatory Alignment (Single Market and Customs Union) and is prepared to negotiate our fishing waters. Outside the EU but in the EEA the Common Fisheries Policy would not apply. ie We get our waters back. Now given the current governments uselessness at negotiating (see above) how confident do you feel of a good deal.

          We were promised that; “No deal is better than a bad deal”. But exactly how bad a deal has it to be ? By my measure one that is worse than the EEA Option. What’s yours ?

        • rose
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

          I think Remainers may be waking up – to the true nature of the EU and the true extent of its hold over us, and its abuse of that hold. After all, many of them thought we were an independent country with a sovereign parliament.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

        Unfettered freedom of movement of persons through the EEA Agreement would be no more acceptable to the UK electorate than unfettered freedom of movement of persons through the EU treaties.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      It’s that wretched Art. 49 Davis allowed into the Joint Report on 8 December. I surmise it must have been written by a Remainer civil servant, or by someone who knows nothing about NI.

      • Helena
        Posted February 26, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

        Typical Leave guff – blame everyone but yourself. Truth is that Leave NEVER had a plan to deal with the Irish border – and that is now coming back to bite you.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          Goods worth 0.1% of UK GDP …

        • stred
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

          The plan is as stated. Put in cameras for pre-agreed loads and use NI stamps to control illegal migration. Have a light touch on illegal small time smuggling of fuel and hoovers, as goes on now in the former. Shopping trips still permitted. If Barnier insists on building a 250 mile hard border, with fences and customs posts- that the Irish on both sides don’t want, let them pay for and operate it. It will be their fault, not ours. If they want a 40% tariff on S.Irish cheddar, made with N.Irish milk, it is up to them. We want 0% tariffs. Even an Irish lawyer should be able to understand this.

      • acorn
        Posted February 26, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Lord Kerr, a former UK ambassador to the European Union, wrote Art 50 and no doubt would have had a hand in all the Title 6 – Final provisions articles 47 -55.

        • mancunius
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          I was not referring to Art. 49 of the Treaty of Lisbon, but Art. 49 of the Joint Report dated 8 December – a government document published by Dexeu, whose Section 49 states: “The United Kingdom remains committed to protecting North-South cooperation and to
          its guarantee of avoiding a hard border. Any future arrangements must be compatible with these overarching requirements. The United Kingdom’s intention is to achieve these objectives through the overall EU-UK relationship.” So far, so reasonable.
          But then ends with the insanely rash promise “In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all-island
          economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement.”
          It is obvious to a blind bat that the EU and RoI will now blankly refuse to “agree any solutions” – even though a hard border is patently unnecessary, and a soft techno-border perfectly feasible to maintain free cross-border movement.

      • rose
        Posted February 26, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        Probably dictated by a Eurocrat.

        • rose
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

          Don’t forget the lecture the young Portuguese lawyer gave to the EU Parliament on all the ways to do down and break up the UK. N Ireland played a large part.

  33. agricola
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    To date there has been no proposal on UK/EU trade or partnership after Brexit. I await T. May’s Friday proposals which need to be high in substance and low in rhetoric. There are already rumblings of Boris Johnson’s disquiet over the UK’s retention of EU regulations on traded product. An exporting norm is that you sell the customer what he wants. The EU is just one customer. If any other customer worldwide or the home market wants something different from what the EU wants , then that is what we produce. The EU cannot demand any future say in such matters.

    The time has come to get seriously tough with the EU. If they wish to throw their toys from the pram in a fit of pique they get WTO rules, end of story. On current trade imbalance we are still the winners to the tune of £7 Billion per annum. The added bonus is that we do not have to discuss any two year transit/implementation agreement at £10 Billion per annum, win win. There is plenty of time for EU exporters to the UK to assess the effect of this. EU national governments are not going to like this. When confronted bullies back down the EU are no different.

  34. Rien Huizer
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    What it says is that the UK would be wasting everyone’s time by coming up with solutions that conflict too much with EU arrangements, both internal and external. A very reasonable rely to what are still mere, vague suggestions.

    And if the consequence should be a precipitous exit, that is exactly what the riparian states facing the UK are preparing for. I noticed Mr Fox’s remarks about divergence between central EU (I take it that he was referring to the Commission) and individual states’ positions. Highly plausible that different states have different desiderata. However, if those would become dominant in the negaotiating process (ie there would be open conflict between a Commission and several states’ positions (and states among themselves)) it would ne nigh impossible to have a consensus on the contents of a “deal” because any deal would be “mixed” and require unanimity. In fact, if the UK has any idea about its future relative to the EU (and within the set of compatibilities with EU constraints), it would be wise to agree soon and then bite the bullet internally. A mess inside one of the parties is less important than a mess in relations with the UK’s main trading partner and the raison d’être of much inbound direct foreign investment.

    So, it is indeed quite likely that the UK exit will be sudden and without adequate preparation.

    • mancunius
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      You’ve said it yourself – under the surface the individual 27 states are not really a united federation at all, and 27 different countries at loggerheads with each other will never succeed in ratifying a mutually agreed deal in 27 or more different parliaments.
      Frankly, we can do better by just leaving and trading on WTO terms: eventually the EU will wake up to the fact that 13% of its market has just walked off, EU countries suddenly have 65.6 million fewer customers in the single market, and a lot of aggrieved third countries who suddenly find a big chunk of their EU market missing.

      We are preparing for that. It is rather the EU that is inadequately prepared for the various financial and strategic losses their intransigence will cause them.

      • Helena
        Posted February 26, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

        And the Uk will wake up to the fact that it just walked away from 47% of its market! Great plan sir, shoot yourself in both feet why don’t you

        • Edward2
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

          Are you really suggesting that trade between Europe and the UK will cease after we leave the EU?

          • Rien Huizer
            Posted February 26, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

            No, but it will be very different. The UK as a location for exports to the EU will suffer. Keep in mind that “the UK” does not export and provide private sector jobs. And in the case of UK/EU trades many of those jobs are provided by foreign owned firms that maintain one or two locations in the EU. They see the entire EU as a domsitic market. Once the UYK is out of that domestic market, the rationale for maintaining a presence becomes much weaker, becaue the UK market often lacks scale for such a presence. That is not just a matter of tariffs, but other barriers to trade, red tape.
            My -reasonably informed- guess is that EU exports to the UK will suffer less than vice versa, in other words, the deficit with the EU will grow rather than shrink. One of the reasons is the strong global position of many European brands with pricing power. BMW has no competitors, because no one else makes BMWs and that goes for French wine, Dutch produce etc. Of course, in five, six years those things might change, But by that time Japanese cars would come from Japan, not Sunderland, investment bankers would have gone back too New York, etc. And, because of GBP depreciation, living standards expressed in Euros would be far below Western European..

        • mancunius
          Posted February 26, 2018 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          It’s the EU that wants to fill its own harbours with rocks. Our harbours will be obstacle-free. Indeed I hope we shall have a largely zero tariff import policy, offset by carefully calibrated state aid to any sectors ailing as a result.

          And let’s not forget that EU trade accounts for just 12% of GDP.

  35. Edward2
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    I have always thought that the EU has no intention of doing any kind of deal.
    Be it the kind of deal our PM wants or the kind of deal Labour now says it wants.
    The EU has a natural desire to maintain order and discipline amongst the 27 member nations.
    Even if that stubbornness reduces EU citizens standard of living.
    The aim seems to extend the timescale for the UK to actually leave whilst keeping us paying billions more in fees to them.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      The EU representatives signal consistently that they are open to discussing arrangements that are not to different from existing ones in terms of rights and obligations. Those are: (1) staying in (maybe on the current, favourable basis)(2) leaving w/wo transition and something “Norwegian” (3) as (2) but “Canadian”. Everything but (1) will struggle to accommodate difficult services (banking, air traffic) and need additional treaties in areas such as nuclear, conflict resolution and security.

      The point is simply that the more you deviate from exiting template, the easier it will be for countries and political actors within countries to sabotage the process, either willfully or inadvertedly because UK negotiators have suggested ways to do things that do not conform to the template but could make life easier for officials (incl politicians) in the UK. Simple, no? There is no malice here, just self interest on both sides that seem to have difficulty with (it feels better if your newspaper tells you you are heroic rather than misguided if you want something objectively impossible. The Express for instance has elevated this to an art form. They present this abject, spiteful persona that wants to do harm to the UK for rather vague reasons. Interestingly, I am not aware of any newspapers on the continent that threat the UK in the same way..

  36. Anonymous
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Mr Cameron’s lack of progress with the EU showed that it could not be influenced from within despite what Remain say – not even with a referendum on the horizon.

  37. Anonymous
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Mass immigration is still up, if not from within the EU. There is little effort to stop it.

    What is the point of voting Tory ?

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Anonymous. Don’t you mean, What is the pointing in voting for anything?

      • Caterpillar
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink


        Indeed, this failure of democracy is being confirmed in front of our eyes. A national referendum voted to leave and this is simple fact is being ignored/long-grassed/worked around. The UK was a country that, at its best, represented liberty and trade, having spent so long in the EU, the UK is lost in finding its way back to such decency.

  38. acorn
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    PM to Brexit Cabinet, top secret.

    As we do not have the competence or resources, let alone understanding, to prepare a UK version of the Art 50 Withdrawal Agreement, we will let Mick (Barnier) do it for us. He will come up with something that quotes every EU rule in the book; and, would be a bullet proof winning hand, in any international court; if Art 50 protocol allowed such.

    Meanwhile, we have to keep up our ambiguity play, we need more meaningless one-liners like Brexit Means Brexit; Distopians R Us etc. Try not to make anything clear to the public or media. Be meaningless and ambiguous at every opportunity

    By Q4 2018, Mick will lob the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) across the Channel, on a take it or leave it; full and final basis. I will stick the WA to a Bill of some other HoC antiquated process with no debate; and have the HoC give it a yes or no vote; just like the referendum.

    If Corby plays it right, we will get a “no” vote and I will then call a general election. Then we can reset the nation back to long before that dumb arsed referendum; and reset the party with a cull of the “Brexit Ultras”. 😉

    • Mark B
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Closer to the truth than you think.

  39. James Snell
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    Gosh seems odd how you’ve got only 4 responses so far to this important topic?

    • ian wragg
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps John has a life at home as well as the blog. Unlike you being a fully paid up EU troll.

      • acorn
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

        wraggy, was it you who was predicting massive electricity black-outs this winter?

      • Tabulazero
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        Comedy value is the only currency we accept for all our effort. We get plenty of it with Brexit

      • Mark B
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

        How comes you get away with calling someone a troll, but when I do it, I get moderated ? 🙁

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      James, what a silly comment.

  40. alan jutson
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    Amazing but no surprise.

    The EU politicians are going to make the citizens of all 28 Countries suffer, simply because of some idealogical political dogma.

    Thank goodness we made the decision to leave before we were completely integrated more fully, imagine the problem if we had joined the Euro. !.

    May should nevertheless-less put forward her plans and get an official reply, then simply walk away, no deal, no payment, and implement WTO terms after 31st March 2019.

    If the Eu come back to us after that, then talk, but on our terms.

    The EU only want a deal if they are in control, afraid that is simply not acceptable on any level, which is why Labours position is so absurd.

    • Miss Brandreth-Jones
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

      Exactly it is simply ‘we have the power scenario’ and we don’t want the UK to win , Childish , stubborn and what is more damaging to all 28 . Get on with it EU and do not be silly. Business have done without you for a long time before Brussels got their hands on the power to pull purse strings . It is simply a flexing muscles exercise and reminds me of the naive play at school playgrounds.The powers that be are pathetic. Human Kind is the most emotionally immature lot of animals around and my contempt for these power games leaves me cold…….yet these lot are superior …God forbid .. to the bombings and cruelty overseas..I don’t know why a greater proportion of us have some degree of emotional intelligence and let these hard faced morons control us.

  41. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    The EU offered Mr Cameron far too little They offered, in practice, NOTHING, and they imagine they can mess us about in the same fashion, as they did Cameron – confuse the situation, with multiple voices condemning us, then continually make accusations that we aren’t playing the game…

    They really are doing a great immitation of a socialist state that has run out of ideas …

  42. Original Richard
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    If the government wants a “no deal” or “clean” Brexit whilst keeping the majority of the UK population onside then one method is to negotiate in such a way that the EU makes the decision for a “hard” or “clean” Brexit.

  43. Andy
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Your vote, your fault.

    Time to start owning the blame for this mess Brexiteers.

    It was always entirely predictable.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      But we haven’t been allowed to have Brexit.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      Andy, this is not what we voted for in case you hadn’t noticed. If our politicians are too spineless to carry out the result of the vote and what we were offered in that vote then it is hardly our fault.

  44. Bert Young
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    If it’s true that the EU do not want a deal – so be it . This will clarify where we stand and we can make a clean break sooner than expected .

  45. formula57
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    “Why would Parliament vote to give the EU large sums of money with no full free trade agreement and fuller partnership on offer?”

    But, in your own words of some while ago, why would we pay to trade?

    And why would we want a “fuller partnership” with a failing organization that is an evil empire and that we have decided to leave?

  46. Mark B
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    The EU offered Mr Cameron far too little in his renegotiation . . . .

    That is not how I, or history, remembers it !

    Jacob Rees-Mogg has described David Cameron’s EU reform plans as “pretty thin gruel”, saying that people expected much more.

    Our kind host needs to re-familiarise himself with the aquis. Once a power is ceded (to the EU Commission) it can NEVER be returned ! CMD was bound to fail from the start.

    I am all for blaming the EU, but not for the failing of others, especially those in parliament who should know better.

    • Chris
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      I think may in Parliament, Mark B, were completely ignorant of “things European”, and their attitude to the EU was summed up by such MPs as Caroline Flint and others who had apparently not bothered to read the Lisbon Treaty. I do not include John Redwood in this, but there are may other Conservative MPs who did not have much idea at all.

      • Chris
        Posted February 25, 2018 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

        “may” = “many” in above comment.

  47. formula57
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Can we at long last and if not too late have a Cabinet Minister for “No Deal” implementation?

    • Andy
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

      We have Steve Baker.

      Excuse me while I laugh out loud.

  48. Tom William
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    If anyone wondered if any of the EU’s “negotiators” actually wanted to negotiate the recent appointment of Martin Selmayr as Eurocrat in Chief makes it crystal clear that the UK must walk away NOW. It is time to stop believing that there is any hope of a reasonable agreement. The UK is being played like a fish which, if it is played too long, will die.

    When more and more knowledgeable journalists point out what is happening it is time to pay attention. We have strong cards to play and must not be afraid to play them.

  49. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    I honestly cannot make sense of this plan:

    “The UK will not automatically take every new rule that comes out of Brussels.”

    We should not automatically take ANY new rule that comes out of Brussels.

    “Just as importantly, the UK will demand the power to diverge from EU rules. It will, under the Chequers proposal, not have to ask permission to do this.”

    Hurrah! Just what we were expecting! Oh, hang on:

    “Rather, both sides will be able to take the other to an independent dispute resolution panel if they feel the other is trying to gain an unfair advantage by cutting regulations.”

    Oh, right, so we increase our efficiency by trimming back some regulations which are too complicated or go beyond what is really needed or are counter-productive or just plain daft, and then we get accused of gaining “an unfair advantage”.

    And this would apply to the whole of the UK economy, not just the 12% or so of output which is exported to the EU, and not just the 6% or so of businesses which export to the EU, but every part, every nook and cranny, of our national economy – including those parts which are actually connected to our trade with the rest of the world.

    Why is Theresa May still prepared to extent this extraordinary privilege to the EU, that because we do some trade with them we must allow them to control the whole of our country and our economy? Why does she not offer the same deal to other countries, that as we do some trade with the US we will all obey every US law, that as we do some trade with China we will all obey every Chinese law, etc, etc?

    “It might not make economic sense to diverge too much from EU rules right now in certain sectors, but this arrangement would not stop future governments from doing so when the time is right.”

    The time will never be right, will it?

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 12:03 am | Permalink

      I think the key words here are “unfair advantage”. These are actually weasel words, as any rule changes made unilaterally in the UK could be seen to give us an “unfair advantage”…. changing the rules on the degree of acceptable “bend” in a banana would give us an unfair advantage vis a vis the banana market here, so that EU citizens in the UK would have access to cheaper bananas than their family members in France etc, and that would in turn improve our economy disproportionately.

      It is de facto NOT leaving the EU.

    • acorn
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      If you want to remain a member of the EU Club for another two years, it is up to the Club, and only the Club if they will allow such a request.

      Should the Club allow this “time-out” request, then all the Club rules continue to apply, including the fees payable.

      BTW. “Not paying any money if we don’t get a deal” and phrases like it on this site. WTO does not allow trade agreements that appear to be coupled with payments up front. AND, if you welch on paying your final account on leaving the Club; you will get blackballed by every other club you want to join.

  50. Owl
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Well well

  51. Andy
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

    Labour’s move today is welcome.

    Next they’ll advocate staying in the single market – and, at that point, Brexit becomes completely pointless anyway.

    At least we will have a choice at the next election – and even if the hard-right Tory pensioners win they’ll see clearly from shifting demographics that their time is done.

    We’ll wipe them out within 2 elections – and what a great day that will be.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 25, 2018 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

      Still using the “hard right” lie slur Andy.
      Are Labour hard left?

      • acorn
        Posted February 26, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

        According to Duncan and Richard they are. Not that they understand the difference between the Marxist and the Non-Marxist Left.

    • Richard1
      Posted February 26, 2018 at 12:27 am | Permalink

      Yes if the policy is to stay both in the customs union and the single market it would be better just to stay in the EU. Therefore I doubt Labour will be able to so hoodwink voters. I don’t think the Marxists have any chance of defeating the Conservatives, people are too sensible. The only way the left can win is if he ‘moderates’ like Umunna and Mary Creagh either throw off the Marxist / momentum yoke or grow a spine and get out of the Labour Party and do a macron, maybe by reversing into the LibDems. With the Marxists in control of Labour I think the Tories will win even with Theresa May as leader.

  52. robert lewy
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    Examination on EU priorities for standards:
    “Today, under the subsidiarity principle, fire safety in buildings is regulated at the level of Member States. This is due to important differences in local conditions between EU countries.

    For example, certain Member States do not allow inflammable construction products to be used in buildings while others do not have such a requirement.

    The EU should only undertake action if the objectives of fire safety cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States.

    Today, the Commission has no compelling proof that national regulations are not reaching this goal.

    For this reason, we consider that it is not justified for the Commission to regulate at EU level in order to ensure the fire safety of buildings.”

    “The regulation applies to unripened green bananas, and thus to growers and wholesalers rather than retailers.[3] The main provisions of the regulation were that bananas sold as unripened, green bananas should be green and unripened, firm and intact, fit for human consumption, not “affected by rotting”, clean, free of pests and damage from pests, free from deformation or abnormal curvature, free from bruising, free of any foreign smell or taste.[1] The minimum size (with tolerances and exceptions) is a length of 14 cm and a thickness (grade) of 2.7 cm. It specifies minimum standards for specific quality classifications of bananas (Extra, Class I, Class II).[1] Only Extra class bananas have to comply fully with the shape specifications. Class II bananas, for instance are permitted to have “defects of shape”; Class I bananas are permitted only “slight defects of shape”.[1][4] This is not true, however, of the size specifications; sale of bananas below the minimum size is almost always prohibited (with exceptions only for bananas from a few regions where bananas are traditionally smaller”

    Could there be a better example of EU priorities? Bananas to leave standards for Bananas
    to National Standards but Building fire safety is unimportant enough to be left to national standards.

    How can one expect a rationale negotiation on Brexit with this lot!

  53. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted February 25, 2018 at 11:53 pm | Permalink

    Treating this situation in a business-like way, we would be frantically but quietly seeking alternative suppliers and customers which we could immediately turn to when this contract expired. We have to trust that this is happening. If not, then whatever Labour might be, the Tories will be toast.

  54. Breeze Block
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    So tomorrow’s papers are are calling a weather temperature which changes water to ice “The Beast from the East” and that 325 million Americans drink bad milk.
    I call freezing point and below, a typical British winter.
    I found USA milk the same as our own. What’s happened to our media?

  55. Epikouros
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    I believe we can safely say that the EU has decided that the UK walks away without a deal or capitulate. Probably anticipating the latter as they believe in their confident that we will be too disadvantaged by a no deal that we will not find that acceptable. They are totally wrong that it will disadvantage to us as much as they believe but it will certainly harm them far worse in any event which they are obviously too arrogant to realise. The problem is the fear factor and many in the UK will believe they are right. Many are misguidedly voicing that fear even without the EU having to indicate that is what they intend should be the result. In this age of safe spaces I doubt a thin red line will be appear as is the British tradition and face down the EU so that this time fear will win.

  56. Peter D Gardner
    Posted February 26, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    It is all very well to criticize Labour on Brexit but the Tories are almost as bad, just different. David Davies said after the Chequers meeting the position is that ‘the UK will demand the power to diverge from EU rules’.
    I don’t understand. I thought that if a country is not a member of the EU it automatically has the power, by virtue of being independent of the EU, to diverge from what the EU does. Why is it thought necessary for UK to ask the EU to give it this power after Brexit?
    But only in certain areas. So the Tories will also be asking parliament to approve giving powers to Brussels UK has only just got back .
    David Davis has also confirmed that the £39 billion ‘divorce’ payments will be made during the transition stage, ie before we have a final agreement. The statement that ‘Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed’ is worthless.

  • 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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