Tariffs and trade

Tariffs can be damaging to trade. That is why I want us out of the EU customs union, because it imposes high tariffs on lower income countries wishing to sell us better value food. I want us to be able to negotiate a lower overall tariff package for ourselves than the EU wishes to do with the rest of the world. It is particularly foolish and unfriendly to levy high tariffs on food we cannot grow for ourselves because it comes from a non EU country.

I find it curious that the EU claims to be scandalised by Mr Trump threatening a 10% tariff on German cars which sell in large numbers into the US, when the EU itself imposes just such a 10% tariff on US cars into the EU. Germany runs a colossal trade surplus with both the UK, inside the EU tariff wall, and with the US, outside the tariff wall. Mr Trump identifies the asymmetric tariffs and some other barriers as one of the reasons the trade is so lop sided, and wishes to do something about it.

Meanwhile it is typical of the EU that they are telling the UK that we cannot exempt ourselves from the US steel tariffs, though we would probably be in a good position to do so on our own. It is reminder of why we need to get on with our exit so we do have control over these matters. I also read that the EU is still pursuing tax cases against us and argues that we owe them E2.7bn of underclaimed customs dues which the UK Treasury contests. We have lost a lot of revenue before from EU tax cases and now have to argue against making yet another additional payment to a body we are leaving. Clearly they think we should be levying higher tariffs on non EU imports than we think are owing because they wish to keep these products out, and to harm UK consumers.

This is not the wonderful free trade EU some think we must stay in at all costs.

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  1. Mark B
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    Meanwhile it is typical of the EU that they are telling the UK that we cannot exempt ourselves from the US steel tariffs . . . .

    I am afraid the EU is quite correct. We have signed up to being a member and must abide by its rules all the time we are in. This means that UK cannot enjoy any special privilege other members do not. It is President Trump playing divide and rule and I have to say, I really rather like watching it 🙂

    I also read that the EU is still pursuing tax cases against us and argues that we owe them E2.7bn of underclaimed customs dues which the UK Treasury contests . . .

    I have mentioned before the, ‘hidden costs’ of membership of the EU. It is these costs that need more airtime on TV, radio and in the papers. More, because I believe the people of this country will realise just what a rip-off the EU is.

    Mr.Redwood MP sir and all here, is there a way to find out ALL the extra charges we have been made, either throughout our membership or, over a reasonable period of time ? I think this is important.

    • alan jutson
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Mark B

      Agree with your last Paragraph.

      Not enough publicity (nothing at all) is being made of all of these extra charges.

      I believe a Percentage of VAT and import Duty also goes to the EU, not all to our HMRC.

      • Peter Davies
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:46 pm | Permalink

        It’s an 80 20 split, 80 goes to th we eu

    • Know-Dice
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Are you sure Mark?

      The proposed steel tariff being applied by the USA on USA companies that are importing steel, is it relevant to the exporting company/country?

      Do the EU have any agreement with the USA on steel imports/exports?

      Does this come under WTO rules?

      I don’t know 🙁

      • David Price
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

        This confused me also – if it is the US that imposes tariffs what rational does the EU have for threatening the UK as an exporter even if we are part of the EU. The only recourse the EU has must be to the WTO dispute resolution procedure.

        Or, does the EU propose fining the UK for being treated differently?

      • Mark B
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

        If you look at your passport, assuming you have one, it will have the words on it; “EU Citizen”

        You may not think that is significant, but I, and many others, do ! We are EU Citizens first, and members of our respective countries second. Please take some time to dwell on this.

        The above of course, is due to the Conservative government of John Major and the Maastricht Treaty. A treaty that changed something about us that we were never consulted on or asked to give our consent to.

        And the man to this day has the gaul to argue against the Glorious Referendum of 2016. The Year of the Plebs 🙂

        • Know-Dice
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink


          Don’t misunderstand me…I’m on your side and generally agree with your posts 🙂

          But….my passport says on the front in small letters “European Union”
          Then in larger letters United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

          And on the page with my picture it says “Nationality – British Citizen”

          In any case, I’m suggesting not withstanding WTO and any other agreements Trump could give a reduced tariff to anyone he wants to, whether that be England or Chipping Norton or where ever. Certainly as a member of the EU we can’t waiver customs duties on imports from the USA.

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      Open borders policy is never subject to counter terrorism costs/NHS costs/crime costs/congestion costs in any cost/benefit analysis.

      It’s all an unalloyed benefit according to Remainers.

    • acorn
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      I did it yesterday but it was deleted at moderation.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

        If true Mr. Redwood MP sir, than I must protest. You and others may not consider it to be that important but, the monies extorted from us by the EU could be used for better things here at home.

    • Andy
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      It is perfectly possible for the USA to decide not to impose a tariff on UK steel. It is up to them – they are the importer and it is for them to decide how they apply their tariff. The EU might have pretensions to be a State but it isn’t one last time I looked. Unfortunately we can’t reciprocate by not apply tariffs to USA goods because we are part of the stupid EU.

      • real libertarian
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Once we’re on our own the only certain way to get ourselves in a good position to get exemption from any US tariffs would be if we sit, down, roll over and beg. No more no less.

      • Dee
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

        They have threatened to sue because Liam Fox said he was going to ASK the USA to exempt us from the 10% in which case they can sue, A bad move by Liam. However if he does NOT ask and the USA decide NOT to put that 10% on UK exports then there is nothing the eu can do. Having said that and now knowing how the eu perform, chances are the eu would say no deal if the UK accepts the USA offer. Mind you that would suit me.

        • Mark B
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 5:04 am | Permalink

          A bad move by Liam.

          Or was it ? 😉

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      I don’t think we’ll ever know how much EU membership has cost us over the years, just in economic terms, not with any kind of precision.

      I think we can be certain that it would work out to be a net cost not a net benefit, notwithstanding the routine claims of those who support EU membership in their own selfish interests, but putting an accurate number on it is impossible.

      On the other hand while I reject their deliberately exaggerated claims about the benefits of EU membership – and therefore the potential economic losses when we leave – I’m also inclined to reject similarly exaggerated claims about the costs – and therefore the potential economic gains when we leave.

      I come back to the irrefutable fact that the long term trend growth rate of the UK economy has been close to 2.5% a year back to just after the Second World War, while the EU Commission’s own boasts about the benefits of the EU Single Market centre around 2% added to the collective GDP of the member states.

      And as for the effects of tariffs, I read that when the UK joined the EEC the average common external tariff on imports from outside the EEC was about 17%, while now it is maybe a fifth or a tenth of that level – there are various estimates, but they are all much lower than 17% – and that would translate to a very small loss of GDP if we left the EU without any special trade deal.

      Presumably this is why the most recent dire predictions deliberately leaked from the Treasury fall back on guessing how much damage non-tariff barriers would do to us. Only to us, of course, not to any of the other countries …

    • Tad Davison
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink


      At the suggestion of my late friend and fellow Brexiteer, I asked the then MP for Cambridge, the Lib Dem, Julian Huppert, for a comprehensive account of those costs and liabilities. That was shortly after his election in 2010 – and I’m still waiting!

      Given their EU fanaticism, one might reasonably expect the Lib Dems to shout these ‘virtues’ from the rooftops. Instead, they hide behind a screen of misinformation and false assertions in order to con people to vote their way. Who could forget the way Nigel Farage wiped the floor with Nick Clegg – a fate Cameron was keen to avoid. We’ve had this all along from the remainers. This truly is a lop-sided campaign where the vested interests of the EU have to be fought against every single day so the truth gets out there.


      • NickC
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:42 pm | Permalink


        “This truly is a lop-sided campaign where the vested interests of the EU have to be fought against every single day so the truth gets out there.”

        Brilliant comment. That’s how it is.

      • Mark B
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

        Another Lib Dem who got a Knighthood, was the man who negotiated the most expensive energy contract in the world. And our PM allowed this man back into parliament by calling another GE.

    • bigneil
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Mark B – you have as much chance of finding out those figures as finding out how many immigrants have come here – and done absolutely NOTHING to provide for themselves. Just sat down and enjoyed their bone-idle, all on the taxpayer, lives. I would also like to know what they have all cost us. Anyone who can’t support themselves after 3 month is supposed to leave. NO chance, why leave when staying here gets you a free life? No struggling through the snow to get to work for them to get money. Just sit back and turn on the satellite tv, while the govt puts cash in their bank account. No lost days pay for them.

    • Helen Smith
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      I want to know how much of the monies collected under the common external tariff goes to the EU. I think if people knew the truth there would be a riot.

      • NickC
        Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        Helen, This has been repeatedly answered here. Imports from outside the EU have the EU’s tariffs applied and collected by HMRC. The EU regards 100% of these tariffs as its own resource, but allows us to keep 20% as the cost of collection. So the answer is 80%. That money is part of the c£20bn annual EU fee, and is not extra to it.

  2. Ian wragg
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    You forget to mention that the 80% of tariffs go back to Brussels and is a major source of their income.
    Why would they want free trade.

    • Adam
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      As you indicate, Ian, the EU doesn’t want free trade, but to charge & restrict those who do.

      Our leaving the EU reduces their grasp on the fees we kept paying them to keep freedom beyond our reach.

    • Andy
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

      Exactly. And that is why I don’t believe the EU wants a deal with the UK because the tariff income derived from UK/EU imports will fill a large hole in the EU Budget. I believe it will leave a short fall of just 3-4 billion Euros which they will be able to cover with a few spending cuts.

      • getahead
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

        And yet Phillip Hammond, for the sake of his business elite friends, wants to keep us tied to this crooked organisation. This is the man who is supposed to be managing the country’s finances.

    • Rob Drummond
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

      excellent point

      • Rob Drummond
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

        By the way we also have to hand over a slice of all VAT collected in the UK

        The customs duties and VAT contributions are IN ADDITION to our membership fees – so add on £5bn pa to whatever the net membership fees are.

        • Robert Betteridge
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

          By EU reckoning we provide 1/5 of its income, around €28 billion or £24 billion.

        • Jagman84
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          It’s about 50% of our gross membership fee. No rebate on these payments, unfortunately! It is detailed on the EU website. The remainers were correct in their assertion that the £350 million on the bus was incorrect. However, not in the way they intended…. 🙂

        • Helen Smith
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

          That £350m bus figure didn’t even scratch the surface of what this country pays to the EU.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

          Plus the billioms of hours wasted operating the absurdly complex and idiotic VAT system and all the fraud it incubates too.

        • Mark B
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink


    • acorn
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Customs Duties after collection costs (2016) €3.2 billion. VAT €3.3 billion. The largest contribution is €15.2 billion based on UK Gross National Income; less the €5.9 billion rebate.

  3. Mick
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Far to many like this muppet in Westminster, the snooner the better preferably after Brexit to have a GE so we the patriots of Great Britain can replace all the undemocratic mps with true believers and who carry out there manifesto they get voted on, and not hidden agenda ones

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

      Dear Mick–Wonderful system we have wherein (words left out ed) like Cable gets knighted and Farage doesn’t. Impossible to justify (other than the pathetic “That’s the way we do it”).

      • Dee
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        Farage has been knighted, we have pronounced him Sir Nigel Farage, Knight Champion of the People of the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland. A far more worthy accolade than the ‘green shield’ bought knighthoods given today. To Brexiteers he will always be a Knight. I just wish he would take up the sword again.
        For those who are not aware, ‘Green shield’ were stamps that were given by various venders which you could exchange for goods from a magazine and some shops. Very very popular at one time.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

      Indeed “Sir” Vince Cable and now “Sir” Nick Clegg pushing dire lefty loon economics, climate alarmism and love of the anti-democratic EU. Neither liberal nor Democratic and very unpopular politically too. Effectively calling 52% of referendum voters old white racists is not likely to make them more politically popular is it? I wonder which (unsuitable person ed) will replace him next – he is after all 74.

      • Prigger
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

        It is hard getting EU countries to understand “Sir” titles. Its like “von” for them , as in Manfred von Richthofen. Great flyer, useful, successful,
        whereas our Sirs are none of the above

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      A little gem, this article. Also the comment : “we the patriots of Great Britain can replace all the undemocratic mps with true believers ” I am sure Mr Redwood could help you identify those undemocratic MPs (unelected I guess yet in Parliament?) Maybe they should be taken to special treatment facilities.

      Excellent editing, Mr Redwood!

      • mancunius
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Over here in Britain, MPs represent their constituents, and if they fail to do so, and vote in Parliament against their constituents’ interests, are voted out at the following election.
        In your own system, in the German Bundestag, the government that has taken six months (=12.5% of the electoral term) for its well-paid politicians to cobble together, the people have been allocated the government, the policies and the degree of representation the politicians decide to give them. As a result the current massive government stitch-up between the two main parties has only 46% support in the German population.
        That doesn’t seem very democratic to us.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink

          Once again, I am not German. I like both England and Germany (and some 50 other countries) but I am not English or German and do not live in either country although I have an English degree, lived in a Commonwealth country for a long time and speak German as well as a few other languages. Oh, and I am in favour of the UK leaving the EU because I believe UK membership is and has been non-cooperative. OK? Do not call me a German again please, nor a remainer. I am just an interested spectator with a relevant background. And as a spectatoir I believe the UK government has done a bad job, by deceiving its population in a variety of ways. However, the alternative government might be worse..

          • NickC
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

            Rien, You could of course have said what nationality you are instead of giving us a potted personal history. You may not believe you are a Remain, but you certainly retail Remain propaganda. That includes the canard that the UK was the non-co-operative member. Actually the UK has been too conscientious in obeying the EU especially compared to, say, France.

          • mancunius
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

            Well, if you use German expressions and German syntax, you can hardly blame us for drawing obvious conclusions…
            For an ‘interested spectator’ living abroad you seem to have a huge anglophobic chip on your shoulder. It would be interesting to know what your ‘interest’ in our national affairs is. You seem to have plenty of time to indulge it.

          • Prigger
            Posted March 14, 2018 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

            Rien you are un-British which, judging by your EU-Love the “un-” is an applicable prefix for whatever nationality you attempt to be.

    • Bob
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Vince has got his cables crossed, he’s conflating EU migration with skin colour?
      As far as I can see most Europeans coming to live and work in the UK are white, so what’s his point?

      • rose
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the Remainers wanted to stay in a fortress Europe and practise protectionism against African farmers as well as discriminating in favour of European immigrants and against immigrants from the rest of the world.

        He shows himself to be an ignorant old fool on many fronts, but none more so than in his wish to set aside democracy. All of these undemocratic people who are trying to overturn the referendum vote should understand they are showing the way to Corbyn. Once he gets in, why should he not set aside democracy too? Why should he hold elections at all?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        He wants to retain the clearly racist EU good. Everyone else bad, regardless of merit, agenda.

        Indian doctor bad, EU professional criminal come this way Sir.

    • real libertarian
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      Amazing comment. I think we should also have a truly democratic debate about what to do with all those non true believers. I personally think we must not allow non believers to hold the blue passport. Let them keep the burgundy one like a stain on their character. And we’ll know who is a blasphemer when we’re queuing in Dover!

  4. duncan
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    What an orchestration we are seeing. May and pro-EU cabal are playing us for fools as they create the positively public impression that they batting for the UK against an aggressive EU but all the while both parties (May’s pro-EU cabal and the EU) are planning to frustrate the exit process and to stop Brexit in its tracks

    I have said so many times before that May is not too be trusted. Hammond is not too be trusted. Heywood is not too be trusted. All three are working to prevent Brexit.

    The simple fact is, we are still members of the EU. If UKIP had twenty or more MPs we would now be a sovereign, independent nation once again. This PM has deliberately frustrated our exit. She’s a Europhile through and through. She’s not a believer in the UK, its place in the world and the sanctity of our sovereignty and independence.

    17.4m voted to leave. 16.1m voted to remain. It’s indicative of western politics today that the tail is wagging the dog. Minority dictates to the majority. Leave won and yet democracy is circumvented by a minority with regard to morality, decency and truth.

    Thanks Theresa

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Some of us will have the opportunity in the local elections to express our dissatisfaction with Mrs. May. It may be counter productive but this could be the fallout the grey suits and the Conservative Remoaners refuse to acknowledge. In any organisation other than government she would be out, that is if she had the job in the first place.

      • rose
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

        If there are bad results in the local elections, Gavin Barwell will tell her it was because of Brexit and the result will be even more remainiacs in government.

      • JoolsB
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

        Let’s hope UKIP put themselves forward in the coming elections. They shot themselves in the foot not putting candidates forward against so called Brexiteers in the GE. There would be a lot more of them around now if they had have done although the Lab/Con parties have got the system sown up between them – 4 million votes in the 2015 election and not one MP – and we call ourselves a democracy!!!!!!

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Is UKIP still around?

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

        Rien Huizer

        “Is UKIP still around”

        No. They served their purpose. Incidentally extreme parties such as the BNP never mustered more than a chip shop full of support.

        Contrary to reports the British are not instinctively racist. We are the land that spawned and loved Ken Dodd, Morcambe and Wise, Spike Milligan, George Formby and most definitely NOT Hitler.

        And before anyone jumps in and says we’re a bunch of jokers I’ll pre-empt that.

        The British sense of humour requires the sort of tangential thinking that problem solves and outwits others.

        • getahead
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

          Actually Anymouse, UKIP is still around. I still pay my subs.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      “May and pro-EU cabal are playing us for fools as they create the positively public impression that they batting for the UK against an aggressive EU”

      Indeed she is.

      • bigneil
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        And every day she “battles” she gives them another £55m.

    • Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      “What an orchestration,” “playing us for fools,” “a minority with (no) regard to morality, decency and truth.”
      Thanks, duncan. They are aiming to destroy our nation and our society and our country will be a wreck, once they have succeeded, no longer ours. I cannot put into words the contempt I feel for them.

      • Dee
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        If what you say is true then Brexiteers will be left with two choices, to meekly accept it, or fight it. It is no good just moaning about it, actions will be needed. Britons are not good at being ridden rough shod over and are very unlikely to lie down and accept that undemocratic rEUmoaners can overide the decision of the 17.4Million Democratic Brexiteers. There was a majority of 1.2Million overall but in England there was a majority of 1.92Million. Nobody can say that was a ‘small’ majority. So we fight. 17.4 Million people makes an awfull big army plus there are the real Democratic Remainers who accept the decision of the majority.
        (words left out ed)
        We have been shown by a majority of MPs that they do not believe in Democracy except when it gets them voted into office or it goes how they want it to go. We have to show them that this land was built on Democracy and we will not easily let it go and end up as a servant of the eu. …………….Brexiteers have stayed quiet and dignified, we have tolerated the abuse of so called leaders of men, who are the very people we looked upon to uphold Democracy, instead they are too busy in self interest. For 40 years we have been lied to by politicians, Wilson, Heath, Major, Brown, Cameron. They lied as much by what they didn’t say as much as by what they did say. Is May going to join this list too?
        I doubt if the moderators will let this comment through, but I have tried.

    • NickC
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

      Duncan, Sound as always. Thank you. If you watched the biased BBC crowing about the victory of Tony Blair in 1997 you would think that John Major and Blair were polar opposites. Switch to post Referendum and you cannot get a cigarette paper between them. Underneath the surface differences perhaps the LibLabCon parties are all the same, despite a few honourable MPs.

      The Referendum is a mandate to Leave under the conditions set by Parliament. To be fair to Mrs May she is surrounded by Remain politicians and a Remain civil service who think they have a right to second-guess the electorate. Her problem (our problem) is that she does understand the clear principles of Brexit, particularly that our independence is not up for grabs by the EU. So she is hostage, at best.

      • NickC
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

        Oops!! Mrs May “does NOT understand the clear principles of Brexit”, of course.

  5. Roy Grainger
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    At the moment, at some times in the year, we pay a 16% tariff on oranges we import from South Africa. THAT is how committed the EU is to free trade.

  6. Nig l
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    Since when did logic play any role in politics. Politicians the world over rely on their voters to be naive and uninformed. As you saw with Brexit, when they are not, the liberal elites hate the outcome and call it populist rather than democratic. We saw it yesterday with Vince Cables absurd and frankly insulting comments.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      “Populist” something some politicians, actors, the BBC and bureaucrats do not like but that a majority of others do (people they like look down on).

      That is why “the arts” are so very keen on vast public subsidy, otherwise they might have to put some entertainment on that these dreadful populists might pay for with their own money.

      • eeyore
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

        LL – As they are so contemptuous of popularity, these superior people would surely take it as a badge of honour were they to become known as Unpopularists.

      • rose
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        For me, a populist is a realist.

      • miami.mode
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, LL, perhaps we should move more to sponsorship for the arts by companies or patrons, as often happened with some of the great composers, rather than direct state spending which all too often seems to be confined to some sort of inner circle.

        To make it attractive it could be made tax deductible which would, in effect, replace direct state payments.

  7. Peter
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    Well it looks like the fix is in for a sellout now anyway.

    Even Rees-Mogg, who usually speaks on behalf of the European Research Group of Tory Brexiteers, is now talking about compromise.

    • Dee
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      Yes, I think that saddened me as much as anything since Independence Day. My thoughts were that we had lost another Brexit champion. Only his actions in the coming days will show us which way he is jumping.

      • Andy
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

        I enjoy the fact that Brexiteers talk about an Independence Day for a country that has been independent for hundreds of years.

        In two words it sums up the ridiculousness of Brexit.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

          Wrong as usual Andy.
          A nation that has foreign courts supreme over them and the majority of law directives and regulation made by the EU cannot possibly be described as independent.

          • rose
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

            And that isn’t allowed to decide who comes to live in it.

        • NickC
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

          Andy, You have frequently been told about Declaration 17 of the Lisbon treaty which states unequivocally that EU law has primacy over UK law. That makes the UK a vassal state generally without independence. We retain partial sovereignty in only a few areas of policy, one being the power to leave the EU.

      • Peter
        Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:13 am | Permalink

        Paradoxically Hammond has been more supportive of Brexit recently – with the notable exception of our fishing grounds and I suspect that is due to his metropolitan lack of interest in regional industries.

        I think all Conservatives have been given instructions to appear united and stay on message

    • Lifelogic
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

      May is clearly going for a compromise that will far be worse than worthless and cost a fortune too. Rather like JS2 and the renewables.

      I assume we well get even more taxes and tax complexity from Hammond tomorrow. CHEWING GUM, CRISPS and lots more it seems. At least the GUM and CRISPS will not affect me.

      Lots more unproductive jobs for tax advisors, consultants and lawyers I suppose, another distration to disrupt the productive and further damage to the UK’s ability to compete. I suppose he might prove me wrong tomorow but I would be amazed if he did.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        HS2 I meant.

  8. BartD
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    It’s all a state of mind..just like religious beliefs..some believe whilst others don’t..If you think about it in terms of the EU bloc..well they have enough food growing within their own borders to feed the EU population, with some exceptions like tropical fruits etc..if you look at it only in UK terms then you see we don’t grow enough food by ourselves in England to feed ourselves. Scotland on the other hand has a population of only five or six million so presumably by itself it has enough food home produced to feed itself or it could if it wanted?

    As regards Trumps tariffs- and the question of what is fair or not fair- all of this can be worked out at the WTO level presumably so I don’t see why we have to be too bothered about it. These groupings Germany the EU and the US are big boys, they have their own lawyers, economists, big banking etc so we hope that they can work things out. The other argument largely forgotton is that anyone who can afford to buy one of these high end mercs or BMWs can also easily afford to pay the extra 10 per cent tax’s..d’ye think?

    This diary again today is another anti EU whinge.. and in the end is leading us nowhere. We could have had negotiations for our departure from the EU straightened out a long time ago if it was not for the incompetence and messing around, wasting time of this Tory led government..and we all know it..so please spare us the whinge..if we had acted as we should have Liam Fox could today be sitting over there with Pres Trump making deals instead of having to wait until March 2019.. it’s all only our own fault

    Lastly you conveniently forget that we sat at the EU table for 45 years drawing up these rules that we spend so much time now complaining about..

    • Ian wragg
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      Being outvoted and side lined at every opportunity. We never won a vote.

      • BartD
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Ian- we were one of the biggest players in the field, playing in the big leagues, if our MEPs and EU Council representatives failed to match up then we can hardly blame it on Luxembourg, Finland or little Belgium

      • Andy
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

        Just to put your ‘being outvoted everytime’ in to context…

        Vote Leave claimed the UK was outvoted 72 times between 1999 and 2016. That’s 72 times out of nearly 2500 votes. According to Vote Leave figures. (And 16 of the votes Vote Leave claimed the UK had been outvoted on were not independently verifiable either – so it may be an over-estimate).

        So British ministers, diplomats and civil servants voted in favour of EU rules on more than 95% of occasions. And abstained on more than 3% of the rest.

        So your claim about us being outvoted ‘everytime’ is completely accurate – apart from the fact that is is complete and utter tosh.

        You really do your case no good when you spread falsehoods.

        • Edward2
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

          On major issues the UK has been outvoted and ruled against by their courts the majority of times.
          Now with increased QMV it is inevitable that figure will increase.
          27 members all with a vote yet only 9 paying in is not a system which is fair.

          • rose
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

            Just one example: every time we tried to outlaw the live exportof farm animals we were over-ruled by the ECJ. For a nation of animal lovers that is not independence. Now we will have to wait until we are properly out to carry through this law.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink


          We are as much against British Eurocrats who are in general agreement with the EU on our behalf but with measured (bry referendum) mainstream disapproval at home.

          But even they – where they disagree with the EU (mainly on agricultural issues, so far) – find that they have little influence when it comes to it.

          It is worse. Under QMV it is near impossible to get consensus on a specific policy dear to a nation. This is particularly iniquitous for a densely populated country contributing the second largest amount to the EU.

          David Cameron was unable to effect even a change to a modest change in position on freedom of movement at a time that the UK was in crisis over the EU with a referendum looming and he leading one of the biggest economies in the EU.

          If no influence then, pray tell when ?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      Very hard to argue with..

      • NickC
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Rien, Very easy to argue with, actually. Except for the bit about using the WTO in order to sort out the tariffs – something you Remains constantly whinge can’t be done.

        Almost all the EU’s rules were “drawn up” without the UK’s input, often in outright opposition to us. We are constantly taken advantage of – from the EU stealing our fish to your attempt to annex Northern Ireland. As for BartD’s imaginary idea that Liam Fox could be “sitting over there with Pres Trump making deals”, you know that the EU is preventing us doing that too.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:13 am | Permalink

          Do you really believe the UK had no influence in EU politics? Competition policy, the Single Market, enthusiastically embracing the freedom of recently joined East Europeans to come and work. All pushed by British Commissioners and politicians. Maybe you would consider them “traitors” but they have left a legacy. Curiously some of the most popular arguments pro-Leave were features added by Britons.

          • Mitchel
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 11:16 am | Permalink

            Not curious at all – the British political(former imperial) class saw the EU as a reverse takeover oppportunity for themselves-the cost(no cost to them)being selling out the rest of us.

          • NickC
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

            Rien said: “Do you really believe the UK had no influence in EU politics?” Almost none. One of the prime problems was the unwillingness to even comprehend our positions. What fun it was to out-manoeuvre the awkward UK!!

            Your citing the Single Market is an exact example. The SM was constructed in opposition to our desire for a free trade area based on mutual recognition rather than the centralised top-down model favoured by the EU which we had imposed on us.

            By your own admission you are so far off that you don’t even recognise that as a problem. Or perhaps you will not, which is what we finally concluded about the EU.

    • Bob
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink


      “Lastly you conveniently forget that we sat at the EU table for 45 years drawing up these rules that we spend so much time now complaining about..”

      our inputs were routinely dismissed, so would have had little influence on the outcomes, but in any case, if were leave. then the remaining members can make whatever changes they consider to be desirable.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

        Indeed, but what can you do as one of so many members with very different interests. Who would like to share out UK fishing waters? Hands up, so that is 26 to one, quelle surprise! Next motion.

        Or probably unanimous when Heath was PM.

      • Richard Elsy
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Much as I may agree with you insofar as UK often voted against the majority, I’m afraid you possibly ignore both the beavering efforts of our Civil Service representatives both in the Commission and UKREP to embed our country so deeply into the fabric of the EU that extrication would be nigh on impossible, as well as ignoring the Home Civil Service which excelled at gold-plating the EC Directives before their implementation. The PAT scam is a manifest example of this by which electric kettles, and other electric appliances, used in any workplace require costly testing and certification. I know a chap who makes a tidy sum by doing this, as a sideline as the work is non-existent, bar plugging whatever it is in and noticing that no smoke is produced and signing a certificate. It’s a marvelous example of the EC and HMG creating a whole new barrier for businesses, schools and other institutions which they must climb over and pay for – and yet, there is absolutely no assurance that the electrical goods which are ‘tested’ under this bogus scheme will work any better than they would otherwise. My chum hasn’t had to tell his customers to bin a single appliance in some five years. I’m guessing that the customers have managed to replace failed appliances all by themselves without the European Commission’s ‘benevolent’ supervision. There are some similar examples of the collusion by agencies of HMG with the EC in a range of sectors, not least farming and fisheries. Weaning our civil servants off the Brussels’ mindset will take at least ten or 20 years.

        • NickC
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

          Richard Elsy, Excellent points.

    • Dee
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      the trouble is that the politicians who sat at those tables didn’t tell us what they had agreed they simply picked out carefully selected bits so we wouldn’t get suspicious. It was not until the referendum that I learned that our laws were subservient to eu law.
      Then when Brown didn’t give us a Treaty referendum, nor Major then Cameron said he would then said no he would not, Then I find out that Brown had brought the treaty draft to parliament during recession and the MPs were given 24 hrs to read, understand and digest a 3000 page treaty. So many MPs voted on something they knew nothing about because they had no time to read it. Each one of them knew we were giving away our Country yet said nothing. So less of the WE.

  9. hans chr iversen
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink


    You are absolutely right it does keep a number of tariffs which we wold be much better without.

    But is it is still the single biggest free trading zone in the World for EU members and associated countries

    • Richard1
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Yes that’s the good bit of the customs union – free trade within it. The bad bit is the external protectionism & loss of independence over trade policy. So why don’t we have our cake and eat it – continue with free trade with the EU and then lower or remove the external tariffs? The only impediment to this obviously mutually beneficial policy is the EU’s demand that if you are a European country you can only have free trade with the EU if you also agree to political union. There is no economic or commercial rationale to this it is pure empire building.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        R 1,
        You don’t take your analysis to its logical conclusion; the EU bureaucracy is just that, a bureaucracy working for someone… There is a plan and its the long game being played by the EU paymaster, Germany. Nobody is going to allow Luxembourgers, Belgians and other minor nationals to remain in charge of all Europe, they are puppets, Berlin is pulling the strings.
        The United States of Europe is the objective, under the guiding hand of Berlin. Their brilliance is that they’ve almost achieved it, and they’ve had the UK , mainly, and some others, help them to pay for it!
        We are the fools here.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

        You are forgetting rules of origin. If the UK is part of a customs union and adheres to union rules (tariffs, NTBs) it can participate in free trade with the other members. If it does not it may be autonomous in dealing with non-union countries but it would have to submit to rules origin etc. A simple binary choice, with only degrees of content negotiable.

        • NickC
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

          Rien, The EU is not a free trade area – it sits behind a fortress of tariff and non-tariff barriers, and costs a lot for all the centralisation. As well as being an excuse for empire building.

          ROOs are also an excuse. Importing into the UK, only to warehouse, sell, repack, transport and export to the EU adds considerable costs likely to exceed directly importing by the EU, even with your high tariffs.

          • hans chr iversen
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink


            you are getting carried away again about empire building.

            Who is “your high Tariff”?

          • NickC
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

            Hans, My point is even more valid if your tariffs are low.

            As for the EU being engaged in its own empire building you need to have a word with Verhofstadt and Juncker about that. And read Lisbon.

      • Bob
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:28 am | Permalink


        “Lastly you conveniently forget that we sat at the EU table for 45 years drawing up these rules that we spend so much time now complaining about..”

        yes, that’s what the EU is about.

        • Bob
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

          Correction (due to paste buffer issue from previous comment)

          “it is pure empire building.”

          yes, that is what the EU is about.

      • jonP
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

        Yes Richard1..wouldn’t we love to have the Empire back again, then we could dictate terms to everyone to suit ourselves. Alas.. time has moved on and we are in a different bubble!

        • sm
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          No, those of us who know some British history would NOT like the Empire back, because – apart from any other reason – we know that the administrative costs were, by the early C20th, outstripping the material benefits.

        • NickC
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

          JonP, No, we are leaving the EU empire. Why would we want it back?

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Little Europeaner !

    • Woody
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      I can’t quite get my head round how people consider the EU is a free trade union for members like the uk when we have to pay c 19 billion a year to be in it. That’s twice or more what we would pay on tariff for the amount we export annually.

    • cornishstu
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      It is not free! We pay more than most to be a member and probably benefit one of the least as shown by our trade deficit with the rest of the EU.

    • Robert Betteridge
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      We haven’t learned much from the potato blight in Europe of the 1840s
      Capitalism isn’t perfect and we need to curb it to produce as fair an outcome as possible.
      Money attracts money and the poor get poorer.
      Tariffs work the wrong way round, instead of inhibiting purchases they ought to be designed to act on Sales.
      On food we shouldn’t be protecting rich French farmers at the expense of our ‘income challenged’ or poorer nations, with the proviso that we don’t want the price of staples in exporting countries being raised so that people can’t afford to feed themselves.
      We need to reinforce WTO rules so that standards in the developing world are improved, the fat don’t need to get fatter.

      • Robert Betteridge
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

        If Yanis Varoufakis is correct that the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has been placed in the role to ensure talks fail, and in the light of the next EU Budget the Republic of Ireland will have to decide if it is prepared to accept the new cost loadings of enforcing the EU’s Tariff regime, or becoming a free country again.

    • John
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Where most earn significantly below the UK.

      Where most can’t buy anything from the UK’s high value market because they are too poor.

      Most of our potential buyers are outside of the EU.

      UK buyers are not Eastern European and Mediterranean farmers but high earning high skilled people in the Americas, Asia and Antipodean areas.

  10. alan jutson
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    Like Trump or not, he is certainly stirring up the establishment, both at home and abroad, and not before time.

    What a shame we do not have anyone in power that can think and do the same here.

    Stupid to pay our Billions in Aid to many corrupt Governments/organisations, when encouraging them to trade and grow their way out of poverty and make them less dependent, would be more sensible for all.

    • rose
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      He also knows how to set a trap for the EU – and they have stepped right into it! What he is doing is legal and carefully timed, but what they threaten is not.

  11. Gareth
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    What you say is perfectly correct. The E.U. has only ever been free trade within the EU – it’s not been about free trade especially since it has always had the goal of self sufficiency in food and raised high tariff barriers to non EU food. Presumably they are worried about another war and severe winters like the late 1940s.

  12. agricola
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Yes the EU is a protectionist entity where the tariff structure is designed for the benefit of it’s agricultural sector and the German car industry. It bodes well for the cost of imported food in the UK when we finally cut loose.

    • graham1946
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

      The only fly in that ointment is that May has said we will not undercut the EU. Make of that what you will. I think she intends to stick to EU rules and possibly tariff levels.

      • Caterpillar
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink


        I think you are correct to be concerned. These are the questions that a decent opposition would be asking rather than siding with the EU against the country.

  13. Andy
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    And outside the EU is not the panacea you claim either.

    We lose significant international clout and become a bit player. A vassal state.

    Fact is that every bit of credible research shows that you are making my children poorer.

    Let’s see how well that works out for you as an electoral strategy.

    Bye bye Tories, bye bye.

    Incidentally – I enjoyed Sir Vince Cable’s comments about white nostalgia.

    He seems to have hit a Tory nerve. Strange that.

    • Edward2
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

      Wrong on “every bit of credible research”
      There are many reports far more optimistic than the one you have decided to believe andy.

      • Andy
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        Nearly all of the ‘far more optimistic’ reports are from Patrick Minford and his small group of geriatric economists – whose outdated models have been throughly discredited by mainstream economists.

        Minford is almost certainly wrong. But let’s be generous to the man and give him a 50/50 chance of being right.

        The coin falls on heads – you win. Brexit makes you and your children much richer. The coin falls on tails – you lose. Brexit makes you and your children much poorer.

        Why are you reckless enough to gamble your children and grandchildren’s future in this way? More to the point – as I really don’t care about your family – why are gambling my kids’ future? I didn’t vote for this entirely predictable car crash you are inflicting on me – and nor did 73% of the population.

        • Richard1
          Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

          There are plenty of distinguished economists who have an optimistic view of Brexit. Roger Bootle, Alistair Heath etc. Patrick Minford – I do find your ageist insults odd – has the merit of having been right on every major issue of economic policy since 1981,when he was one of very few economists to dissent from the consensus view which rubbished the Thatcher Govts policy. Right on Thatchers reforms, right on the ERM, right on the Euro. Time will tell whether he is also right on Brexit.

          You must at least be happy for the sake of your children that the U.K. did not join the euro – as urged in dismissive and insulting language such as you use – by most of the political and economic establishment, and that the outlook for young people in the U.K. is far better than it is in the stagnating mass unemployment peripheral Eurozone states?

        • Edward2
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          We’re the previous reports you favour accurate?
          No they were not.
          Yet you still hang onto their 15 year predictions.
          Don’t go betting on horses on this basis Andy.

        • graham1946
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

          Staying in is a dead cert for being poorer. 19 of the 28 countries are poor and getting poorer and rely on handouts. Youth unemployment is disastrous, so if you or your kids move there be prepared. Don’t ever try to be a bookie Andy.

    • NickC
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:18 pm | Permalink


      And inside the EU is not the panacea you claim either – it’s rotten, corrupt, expensive, self-serving, steals national rights, hates its own citizens, and is only admired by those gullible enough to idolise “leaders”.

      The EU loses significant international clout and become more of a bit player when we cease to be its vassal state.

      Fact is that every bit of credible research shows that you are making my children poorer by remaining in the EU empire.

      Let’s see how well that works out for you as an electoral strategy.

      Bye bye Remain, bye bye.

      Incidentally – I enjoyed Sir Vince Cable’s comments about white nostalgia.

      The old duffer seems to have hit the lolz button. Strange that. Not what he wanted.

      • Andy
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:34 pm | Permalink

        LOL – as the young people say.

        You really need to read more than just the Daily Express.

        (Though I understand it’s handy for stairlift ads).

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

          Plenty of craggy old white men running the EU.

    • Libertarian
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink


      As each of your statements is demonstrably incorrect I was going to refute them one by one but frankly you dont take any notice of facts, preferring to live in a fantasy world

      I’m sad that you dont think you can look after your own children adequately… but bad parenting isn’t the topic here

      Dear old duffer Vince is a bit confused ( you know he’s 74 and in your book therefore a dispensable non person) . EU immigration to the UK is from 99% white people , so Cable as usual is talking double b***ocks

      • Andy
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:53 pm | Permalink

        LOL. My kids are fine thanks.

        We can afford good schools – which is just as well as the Tories have stuffed up the state ones.

        My son is 6. He knows Brexit is bad.

        My daughter is 9. She knows why it is bad.

        She can vote in 2027. He can vote in 2032.

        My family should be the next generation of Tories to replace those who are dying out.

        Actually, we’ll help bury you. When you’ve permanently lost families like mine you have a major electoral problem.

        I’ve told you this. You’ve chosen to ignore me. That’s fine by me – but it won’t look so smart to you in late June 2027.

        • Anonymous
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          2027 the EU will be over.

          • Anonymous
            Posted March 13, 2018 at 9:25 am | Permalink

            I expect your daughter 9 knows which EU party your MEP stands for and what policies they have.

            The question is, do you, Andy ?

        • NickC
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Perhaps if your 9 year old daughter knows why Brexit is bad, she might inform you. Because you certainly don’t. And perhaps you should be teaching your children to think independently rather than swallow Remain propaganda.

  14. Adam
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

    Check perspective:

    The EU claims mutually-levelling a 10% tariff threatens.

    Computer says No !! Correction is needed:

    Anti-equality tyrant seeks sympathy for victimisation.

  15. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand why anyone wants to buy Western cars when far Eastern cars are so good.

    In the rough, with my life depending on it, I’d want a Toyota or an Isuzu.

    • NickC
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Anon, Certainly German cars are much over-rated.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      What about that Britsh icon Landrover? Indian but not Western. Or do you need a tray?

  16. Newmania
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    As a post entitled “How shall we spend all the tariff money”, apparently meant to say , we will have less money overall ,I’m not sure what this means and we may have to wait a month for retrospective clarification.
    Frankly I doubt the odious President Trump will do us, or indeed anyone, any favours. Certainly he will extract a ferocious price given the small weak mendicants position our political class have decided upon . As a strategy for the country its strikes me as imbecilic but no doubt I am a deluded dupe of the EU if not on its pay roll. As George Osbourne remarked , it is no good talking about free trade whilst presiding overthrow the protectionist lurch the country has ever seen.I notice fair amount of confected astonishment that the EU also have political objectives it may priorities over economic wellbeing to a relatively small extent .

    Ironic and quite funny in a bleak way

    • APL
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Newmania: “As a post entitled “How shall we spend all the tariff money”, apparently meant to say , we will have less money overall ”

      You have less money every year as a direct result of government policy anyway. 2% decrease in your spending power each year and every year.

      Whinge about a gnat, but swallow the camel!

    • Anonymous
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

      Sneering such as this got us the ‘odious’ Trump and Brexit.

      Alas you were too stupid to disenfranchise the public before you started doing it.

      • Anonymous
        Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        The EU doesn’t seem to be concerned about money – more about political principle.

        So why is that alright for them but not us ?

    • NickC
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, It’s that odious President Trump, innit? He only wants the EU’s 10% tariff on cars to be level with the USA’s. How evil is that? There is no surprise that the EU puts “political objectives” “over economic well being”. But it does rather give the game away.

      And whatever money we have, we get by our own efforts, in or out of the EU. Or do you really think the EU is a philanthropist ladling out cash just for the UK? If that is the case, where does all the cash come from?

      You do know that c72% of UK GDP comes from trading with ourselves, c17% from exports to RoW, and only c11% from the EU, don’t you? When you can explain why c89% of the UK economy must be subject to EU rules and costs merely for the sake of 11% GDP, then you might begin to be credible.

      • hans chr iversen
        Posted March 13, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink


        So 89% is of the goods traded or service industry as well?

        • NickC
          Posted March 13, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

          Hans, The figures are for goods and services, excluding payments to the EU and investment income/payments, from the 2017 Pink Book (so 2016 figures) using 4% of exports for the Rotterdam effect, compared to UK GDP for 2016.

    • Libertarian
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink


      It seems you dont know that the EU is the biggest protectionist block on the planet

      Irony indeed

  17. Anonymous
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

    The left slag off Trump but he speaks after they criticise him and 20% of the viewership for the Oscars and Super Bowl disappear.

    This is what happens when you demonise ordinary people. Take note Andy.

  18. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    The EU is a protectionist organisation. They and their Remainer disciples in the UK can see no hypocrisy in their response to President Trump. Not surprising, as to them, this protection racket is like religion and can do no wrong.

  19. Epikouros
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    The first thing to note are that all tariffs are pernicious and the effects are in the end counter productive. However there is a long way to go before that fact becomes universally accepted as a blindly obvious. So have until then to talk about tackling them piecemeal under the current usage of them.

    You correctly argue that the EU is holding the UK back from having the ability apply tariffs that best fit her economic and social circumstances. Then the EU does have this type of ingrained bureaucratic mindset that in all of its policies; a one fits all solution that is so called expert lead not market or those users most affected lead where the best solutions are devised by simple democratic process. In the case of the market it is by voluntary interaction and exchange by ordinary people, institutions, organisations, commercial enterprises, businesses, inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs most of who are strangers to one another. In the case of users it is by debate and vote partly at the domestic ballot box and partly at the domestic legislatures where solutions which are far more appropriate for national and local conditions are hammered out. Parliamentary democracy is not an entirely satisfactory process as it does allow dictatorship of the minority by the majority but by far much better than a dictatorship of everyone by a bunch of self important unelected apparatchiks who inhabit the the EU HQ in Brussels. A place for most EU members is a foreign land.

  20. BOF
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

    Looking at some of the figures for EU/US tariffs, I am surprised that US allowed such an unbalanced situation to develop. Did the EU bullies even win against hard headed US negotiators.

    I am with Duncan and confident that May & Co will sell us out and we will be in a very poor trading situation with our ‘friends’ across the channel and no Donald to help us out. What is particularly shocking in our case is all the money going straight to the EU from tariffs set on goods imported to the UK from countries outside the EU.


  21. formula57
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    A secondment of D. Trump to the Department for Exiting the Evil Empire is urgently required perhaps?

  22. Thomas Dillon
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    I am not sure the EU can force the US to impose high tariffs on UK products. The authority of the Commission on trade does not necessarily prevent our obtaining exemption.

    • mancunius
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      True, but until we actually leave the EU we are prevented from lowering our own tariffs on US imports below the EU’s CET.
      Yet another argument for ditching the transition period and getting on with our own WTO arrangement.

  23. Prigger
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    We should be able to export steel to Canada before and after NAFTA negotiations which may find its way to the US. I guess it will be up to Canada if she wishes any other EU nation state’s steel…as she is not obligated to buy it under her agreement with the EU

  24. D Gardener
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I trust you, John and your band of patriotic Brexiteers, will hound the Government to comply with the demands of the British people and not do a shady deal with the too many Remoaners in Cabinet.
    We have given the Government OUR orders and it is for them to get us out of the EU. We voted to LEAVE THE EU! We voted neither for a Soft Brexit nor a Hard Brexit for there was no ‘Brexit’ on the ballot paper.
    We voted to LEAVE, to regain control of OUR Country, to build its future and to create a brighter future for our children, where the British people can select those that govern us and ultimately remove them, if necessary.
    The EU does not permit such democracy and that is another good reason the Leave.

    • HenryS
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

      D Gardener..so sorry for your dashed hopes.. the band of brexiteers you refer to have gone noticably quiet of late..it looks like somebody has shone a light and what they see is not too pretty. It is only a pretence to think that government will pay any attention to OUR democratic orders to them..I know what we voted for but democracy is a term used by the upper classes and the establishment to placate the lower orders only..always was, always will be..they well know they made a big mistake in giving us the vote in the referendum..that is a mistake that they will ensure will not be repeated again..now they are working very hard to get us a half way deal..probably some kind of a customs union deal like a Canada plus.. because truth is there is no altetnative trading bloc or trading relationships out there waiting for us that could ever compensate for our losing the EU trading benefits..and that’s the truth..we were horribly lied to by misguided self promoting political types and UKIP charlatans..so sorry

      • D Gardener
        Posted March 13, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

        Gone quiet have we now? Can it because we know we have won? Or that we do not feel the need to shout out continually for we are grown ups? And where on earth did you dig up your form of democracy? It contradicts the good old Oxford English.

        Now, given your allegiance to Brussels , perhaps you can help me. I want to know what is so good about the European Union where no member of the public is allowed to vote for the Head Shed Commissioners nor are they allowed to view the various internal debates which conclude new Laws for my country without any reference to those who live here. There is no Hansard in Brussels is there?
        What is so good about the EU that you would sacrifice OUR country to the whims of those that presume to dictate European Law? As they are not elected nor are they accountable to the people they, by definition, must be Dictators. Albeit without an Army. Yet!
        Isn’t that the reason why we fought the Nazis? To stop them taking control of OUR Nation?
        Just tell me what is so amazing with the EU that that our National Sovereignty can be handed to Brussels indefinitely for their “safe keeping” LOL and that we can never ever challenge them? Doesn’t that sound slightly Marxist to you?

        When it comes down to National Sovereignty and the Independence of a Nation like our own. Costs, if any, are irrelevant. Just look around the World and see those Nations that fought for just that. They even fought us to get their countries back. Now I wonder why they would want to do that? So why should we stay under the jackboots of the Brussels regime?

    • Nadine
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree! I am increasingly coming round to the view that it is this man Michael Barnier who is the problem. He is a civil servant who is not looking after the expressed will of the British people. Mrs May should SACK him immediately. Then maybe we can get a proper person in to regain control of our country and also to force the EU to keep all trade routes open, as we voted for

    • Alison
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

      I echo D Gardener, Duncan, and so many others above. The thought that Mrs May will sign the UK into a ‘transition’ period when we are under EU law and have no say on new EU laws (not that we had much in the past), makes me extremely worried. I believe that the EU wants to incorporate severe punitive measures relating to the transition period … What if the EU brings in laws which are detrimental to the UK?

      PS hats off to Mr Trump re tariffs.

  25. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

    Brilliant post!
    Hits nail on head.

  26. Original Richard
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    “This is not the wonderful free trade EU some think we must stay in at all costs.”

    Firstly, the EU’s SM/CU is not free.
    We pay a £20bn/year gross (£10bn/year net and £15bn/year loss of control) membership fee. Plus of course loss of control over our money, borders and assets (fishing grounds).

    Secondly, either the rules of the SM/CU are unbalanced, or the application of the rules is being flouted throughout the EU, resulting in a trading deficit of £80bn/year as compared to the rest of the world where we have a trading surplus under WTO rules.

    If this is not corrected we will go bust.

  27. Dee
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    All the more reason we should NOT have this stupid transition period. Frankly business is not worth the cost. £40Billion+All the £ trade losses we will encure by not signing Free Trade Deals with other Countries for another two years. Plus all the agro with the eu as they try to screw even more money out of us. Business will have had three years to prepare for Brexit, any good businesman will prepare for ALL eventualities, they are simply asking for the implimentation period as a delaying tactic to give them more time to try to stop Brexit. I hope for the sake of peace in this Country that they do not succeed.
    We should walk away NOW, tell the EU we have left, we are not waiting the two years and do what we do with the majority of our overseas trade and what we will do once we leave, WTO. I do not know why rEUmoaners are so scared of WTO, we have been using WTO since its inception and is used by every (non eu) Country in the World.

  28. duncan
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

    Ditch the EU
    Ditch Theresa May
    Ditch Hammond
    Sanction Heywood and purge the civil service
    Purge and depoliticise every public institution –
    Legislate to protect press freedom and plurality
    Privatise the BBC and let them finance their own political outpourings from their own revenues

  29. Dee
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    What needs to be done is that Liam Fox should NOT ask the USA to exempt us from 10% steel tariffs but wait for the USA to decide itself. If we ask then the eu has grounds to sue, if the USA decide not to impose those tariffs on the UK then there is nothing Junkers can do about it only ask us to refuse and err like we are going to do that?……The 10% tariff the USA is going to impose on the eu and what junkers is up in arms about really shows the hypocracy of the eu because the eu impose a 10% tariff on USA cars already.

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:25 pm | Permalink


    “Former Cabinet minister backs legal bid to force second EU referendum”

    “Mr Grieve said: “This court challenge raises an important constitutional issue.

    “While alternative views on the meaning of the 2011 Act may be advanced it is entirely legitimate that this matter should be examined in court.

    “Parliament provided for a referendum mechanism in the 2011 Act to ensure the public should be consulted on any significant EU treaty change.

    “The terms of our departure and of transition are going to have major implications on our constitutional framework as and when they come into force.”

    We’ve actually had a referendum specifically on the subject of a very significant change to the EU treaties, namely their complete termination as far as the UK is concerned.

    Now anti-democratic sore losers, including this inveterate eurofederalist hypocrite, are desperately looking for any possible way to try to frustrate that result.

    I don’t recall him worrying about our constitutional framework when the government used carefully inserted fine print in the 2011 Act to avoid referendums.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink


      “William Hague: no UK referendum on EU treaty changes”

      “Changes to the fundamental rules of the European Union will not lead to a British referendum, William Hague has insisted.”

      “… Lidington in October 2011 explaining how Hague had used one of the loopholes in his newly passed “referendum lock” law to avoid a referendum … “

  31. ale bro
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    The UK should be following Trump’s lead and be preparing anti-dumping cases at the WTO.

    The EU has permitted dumping by China in many products, e.g. rolled steel and solar modules, but it seems to be following an economic policy that allows China to flout WTO rules.

    But we all k now the chances of Britain standing up for itself are pretty low – getting a scrap from the table of an ally may be seen as a easy win for the government, but it does nothing to address the underlying problems cause by dumping.

  32. nigel seymour
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    As I’m typing this Ive just heard corbyns response to the pm’s statement. I couldn’t quite believe what I was hearing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Prigger
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      What was it? You are lucky to hear it? Can’t find it online. Did he find a slight..erm…

  33. The Prangwizard
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Got to mention the Russian issue. May has got her tactics wrong as usual. She should have approached the Russians by now and had their answer. What if they play for time. Will she let them? What’s the point of giving them to ‘the end of tomorrow’, when is that exactly? They will probably put some spin on it which will take the shine off any action she does take and she will appear to have lost the initiative. We don’t want this to be dragged out. We want action. Now. No more dithering. She remains useless in my view.

    • Prigger
      Posted March 12, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      There will be other tests…independent… made in Salisbury.

    • Mitchel
      Posted March 13, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      She’s done so well with Juncker and Tusk,she now feels emboldened to take on the world’s most formidable operator!

  34. Non Angli Sed Angeli
    Posted March 12, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    Nuncle — pleeeeezzz . Something on Russia – we beg you! Stop being so oblivious to the news of the day.

  35. Ron Olden
    Posted March 13, 2018 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    The Customs Union is NOT a ‘free trade’ body.

    It’s a PROTECTIONIST CARTEL where the members agree to impose the same external tariff on all the rest of the world.

    The EU is now moaning about Trump’s steel and aluminum tariff. And I agree. It’s bad for American consumers and industrial steel users, and bad for everyone outside America.

    But it’s exactly the same thing that the EU itself does. The EU imposes high tariffs on food an wide range of other things, many of which are directed at countries where large numbers of the population are living in poverty.

    And because of it, we have to pay more for things we buy. A tariff is a tax on domestic consumers and businesses, and directed at the very suppliers who offer the best value for money.

  36. Ron Olden
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    According to the Spring Statement it appears the the OBR has finally worked out the likely cost of the Brexit divorce bill.

    The OBR says the total cost of the financial settlement with the EU will be £37.1bn. Which in itself is very much lower sum than the 100 Billion Euros the Euro imperialists were demanding.

    About £28bn will be paid over the next five years but it also says that pension promises require the UK to carry on paying around £2.5bn up 2064.

    Why are we expected to pay the pensions liabilities of a foreign trade cartel, of which we are no longer a member? And why do they extend beyond 2020?

    Our liabilities end when we leave. Perhaps we do have a moral obligation to pay up till 2020 which is the end of a five year budget period which we agreed. But surely even that has to be the subject of vote in Parliament, as they are large payments for which there has been no Parliamentary authorisation and for which there is no existing treaty obligation

    In any case these pension liabilities were incurred by, and in the name of, the EU, not us. The EU should have provided for, and funded these pensions properly, in exactly the same way that they expect industrial companies to fund them. i.e. save up to to them out.

    Not dump the liabilities on people who are not yet born.

    On a brighter note the OBR also estimates that Brexit will free up around £3bn a year to spend on other things by 2020-21, rising to £5.8bn in 2022-23 after taking account of “financial settlement transfers”. Presumably it assumes that the sum will rise after that when most of the ‘financial transfers’ end.

    For deficit forecast purposes the OBR assumes that this money will be recycled into extra spending, rather than used to reduce the budget deficit. Needless to say the OBR never considers that it might be better used for a tax cut in (e.g.) the ruinous Business Rates that small high street business are having to pay.

  37. Martin
    Posted March 14, 2018 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I note your comment about food. Isn’t the government just re-branding the Common Agricultural policy as a British clone?

    If so then that has implications for food prices remaining high.

    Down with the Corn Laws!

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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