The EU gets it, and decides to become more giving and forgiving

April 1

I hear that in a timely way EU leaders meeting in private have become alarmed. They are getting reports of a growing revolt in the UK against the long and unhelpful Brexit talks and have decided they need to take it seriously. After all, what would it achieve if they beat the UK government into submission only to find that UK voters were once again insistent that they just want to leave. Last time they succeeded in crushing a UK PM in negotiations it led directly to the vote to leave. This time it could lead to an early exit without any deal.

Germany is very worried they will not be able to export all those cars and manufactured goods tariff free. All countries are worried they wont get the £40bn leaving present which will so ease the financial pain of the UK’s departure. They are concerned that the UK may not be such a willing strategic partner, carrying a disproportionate share of the defence and Intelligence burden for the continent. The UK might become even less willing to take unemployed people from the continent and welcome them into jobs with benefit top ups.

As a result sources close on this special day tell me they are now resolving to let the UK have all it wants in terms of a future trade and economic partnership in the hope that will be enough to assuage the growing concern in the UK about the extent of the give aways. There is even discussion that as the EU thinks you need to pay to trade maybe they should do the paying, as they are the ones with the big surplus and with most to lose. Perhaps all those Remain commentators and politicians who have been telling us how the EU will be nasty, keen to give us a lousy deal, were wrong after all. Maybe the rest of the EU is learning that democracy is a fine thing and the UK has made a democratic decision. Maybe they see the advantages for them. Mr Macron can wield more power without the UK there, and Mrs Merkel can help complete her political union without the Uk trying to hold her back. As a result it is possible the UK will be allowed to eat cake, indeed encouraged to eat cake. Then all the rest of EU all can eat cake as well.

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95 Comments

  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 5:16 am | Permalink

    The UK might become even less willing to take unemployed people from the continent and welcome them into jobs with benefit top ups.

    Do other EU countries do this for us? Not in my experience. This is a very good reason to leave without a deal. Tax payers have a hard enough job funding the welfare state now without adding foreigners to the burden. We fund free schooling, translators, health care, housing etc. There are so many of our own people struggling with everyday needs, paying taxes without having to give away benefits to the rest of the world. Let Macron and Merkel get on with fleecing the rest of Europe. We need to get the hell out of it. We’ve been a cash cow and soft touch for too long.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

      Indeed it was reasonable that people here should become intolerant of it.

      We are well aware that it was our own political class rubbing our noses in it because no other EU country dishes out welfare like we do.

      Brexit is a revolt against a sneering UK political class rather than against the EU itself.

      I confess. I really get off on seeing Andy and Newmania losing their tempers.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

      It’s give and take but somehow everything is one-sided on a net basis …

      It’s true that they give our people some jobs, but they take far more; it’s true that they give us some money, but they take far more, and so on. In fact that is the whole point of the give side as far as they are concerned. to disguise the much larger take.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Indeed one of the big problems we have is low paid workers who undercut home workers yet pay nothing net into the system (beyond what they get back in immediate benefits, health care, schools and the likes). Often this is a very large net negative for other tax payers. We of course need a points based immigration system but Theresa (wrong on almost everything) May has ruled this out.

      May and Hammond like to blame employers but they have to be compete in the market or go bust. Anyway why pay people £1 an hour more if they only keep about 5p of it (and you have to pay more employers NI on it too)? The same reason they are often reluctant to do overtime Hammond’s idiotic tax and benefit system tells them not to bother.

      Now that industry has wasted perhaps billions on gender pay reporting what has been achieved. We all know that women do different jobs (more likely to be a stewardess than a pilot, take career breaks, tend not to study computer studies, physics and maths so often and make different work life balance choices in general.

      Well done May for pissing this money away on a non existent gender pay gap! What is the gender pay gap at premier football clubs I wonder?

    • NHSGP
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Politicians have no clue as to the costs.

      3K a year for the NHS, 2.5K a year for the common goods, 6.5K a year for schooling. All sold for 1.3K in tax from Mr Min wage.

      Costs for a min wage earner are higher. Housing benefit, tax credits, income support, ….

      That’s without the knock on effects.

      So lets have 4 simple rules.

      1. No criminals.

      Lets bar those with criminal records from the UK. In the case of EU nationals with criminal records, lets deport them. At midnight, on the 29th, lets have Learco Chindamo, killer of Phillip Lawence, on a plane to the Philipines or the EU. He chooses.

      2. No recourse to public funds. No recourse to other tax payer’s money, directly or indirectly. 12K a year minimum tax to get your annual residency permit.

      3. No discrimination. Same rules for EU, for Ireland, for the commonwealth, for non EU. Race, gender, religion, etc, irrelevant.

      4. No cap.

      Yep, no cap. The reason is that very few will meet the other tests, that you don’t need a cap. Why bar people who are a benefit to the UK?

      • Andy
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

        Why not extend your restrictions to native borns? Kick out those who do not pay their way.

        Then we could have another referendum and Remain would get about 99% as those who sponge off the state would mostly be gone.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

          The blame really lies with the system and the politicians who put it in place – not the benefit claimants who are just acting rationally in claiming the benefits given the system that pertains. Just make them get a job.

        • Anonymous
          Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

          The morbid obesity crisis isn’t among the over 65’s. I wouldn’t bank on longevity for those younger.

          The physical state of many young people is unprecedented and an utter disgrace.

          I enter marathons and Iron Man challenges. My BMI, heart rate and cholestorol rates are excellent.

          I still work but only in what I choose. I have produced TWO doctors via the state education system.

          You’re likely to have me for at least another 40 years, I’m afraid.

        • Edward2
          Posted April 1, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

          Another survey showed most remainers were state funded workers.
          Most leavers were working in the private sector.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted April 2, 2018 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Andy

          Who are the spongers exactly?

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted April 2, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Given that the lowest average expenditure per head in 15/16 was the South East at 10K per person then to contribute to the pot an immigrant (or indeed Andy someone born here but that is a different matter) needs to be earning (and spending for VAT receipts) close to 28K to break even (including spend on alcohol, cigarettes and petrol). I suspect that the average immigrant does not achieve this and many bring their children.

        I have never fully understood how the figures that show immigration is an overall contributor to the economy really measures. I suspect that it just confirms there are more customers for our companies to fleece. Other than improved food I don’t see (mass) immigration which stretches resources as a positive contributor.

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    on this fine day of the first of April, Dr. Redwood seems to have conjured up Santa Clause as well!
    We can all dream; I dream of a UK government so brilliant that its incompetence, acquiescence, duplicity and general distain for the people who voted for Brexit, is some kind of brilliant, tactical, negotiating plan, and it will all turn out alright on the night. I may be mistaken.

    • L Jones
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Yes, Peter, for as long as I could I stayed optimistic that Mrs May was playing the long game, and being clever – but, sadly, I think we both were mistaken, and the only plan was to sell us down the river so comprehensively that we’d drown before we realised that we were being betrayed.

    • John Finn
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

      Could you tell us how you think the government should proceed? I voted to leave the EU but I can see that the government has a problem within the HoC if it wants to play hard ball with the EU. Parliament is likely to reject any such move which will mean negotiators are forced back in a weakened position or May will be forced to fall on her sword which could lead to a General Election.

      Don’t be fooled by polls which suggest that the UK electorate just wants to get on with Brexit. (1) The same polls also show more people think that Brexit is a bad idea than a good one. (2) The strength of feeling on Brexit is questionable. May thought a sizeable majority was a realistic prospect in 2017 . She didn’t get it. (3) Despite all the negative publicity surrounding the Labour party recently including membership of a Customs Union – Labour’s support is still hovering around 40% in the polls.

      Basically Brexit for most Labour Leave voters is a lower priority than a Corbyn government.

      The government are seeking a beneficial (or least damaging) Brexit. If that can be achieved then the Tories will maximise their chances of winning the next GE. If not – they’re gone.

      • Peter Wood
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

        Yes I will.

        1. Call an emergency meeting of EU Council and present a full, workable FTA and tell them that this is what the UK will agree to or we leave on 30-03-19 and not pay another penny. Agreement to be in place by 30-06-18.
        2. Following 1. no more time wasted on EU negotiations.
        3. Employ all available government resources to preparing our Nation for a new relationship with the rest of Europe on WTO terms.

      • getahead
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        Brexit is about regaining Britain’s independence. You don’t define what you mean by a least damaging Brexit but you need to be aware that for the last 40 years EU membership has been of no benefit to the UK. We were doing better before we joined.

  3. Cheshire Girl
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    Off topic I know,but I wish you and your family a very Happy Easter.

  4. David Price
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:15 am | Permalink

    They have got to be kidding. The EU has been “nasty and keen to give us a lousy deal”.

    First impressions count and the EU and it’s prime movers decided it’s best course was to insult, punish and rip off of the people of the UK. They are unreliable “friends” and can never be trusted.

    No amount of trade deals that likely only favour the city will make up for the contempt they have shown for us, nor the ineptitude and disloyalty of our government.

    All the offers must be taken off the table and we should not agree any trade deal, nor continue provide the level of aid and support they have enjoyed over my lifetime.

    Let them demonstrate this new found attitude of cooperation and see what they can offer with no promise of anything in return.

    • David Price
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      … but a good wind up for April 1st

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

      “They are unreliable “friends” and can never be trusted.”

      Which supposedly is why the EU must erect strong defences along the Irish border; apparently while the UK is still in the EU it can be sufficiently trusted not to send rubbish across that border that there is seen to be no need for routine checks on goods at the border, but once the UK has left the EU that will no longer be the case, the UK can no longer be trusted, and whatever the UK does on its side the EU and its Irish puppet will have no choice but to make it a hard border, with all the risks of a return to Irish nationalist violence that is said to imply.

      Unless of course the UK agreed to maintain all of the present EU Single Market laws for the whole of the UK economy, when maybe the EU would stretch a point and agree that this was an adequate guarantee that the UK would not start to send rubbish into the Irish Republic which would have to be intercepted at the border; on the other hand a new UK law saying in effect “It will continue to be a criminal offence to throw rubbish over our neighbour’s fence, and we will be checking, and you will be punished if we find you doing it” would not be sufficient because the UK cannot be trusted unless it is subject to EU law and the ECJ.

    • NHSGP
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

      Spot on.

      Simply state, the UK will play tit for tat. It’s then the EU’s choice.

      If the EU wants to restrict access of UK banks etc, then the UK will introduce banking secrecy and tax haven for EU nationals.

      If the EU wants the UK will introduce a no recourse to public funds in full. Not only does that mean no welfare, it means you have no recourse to tax payer’s money. 3K for the NHS, each year, 6.5K for your kids schooling, 2.5K for your common goods. 10K a year for your state pension. Tax deductible, so there’s no rip off.

      EU plays silly buggers over flights, then 80% of transatlantic flights go via UK airspace. They can’t get 100% of their flights via the 20% remaining. It’s their choice.

      Fish, UK confiscate all fishing boats found fishing illegally, no AIS turned on etc.

      ..

      Tit for tat. It’s the EU’s choice.

      Start with say Airbus. Put 1000% tariffs on the wings, after taking out large put options on Airbus stock with German and French banks.

      They will be bust before they can retool, and the UK makes massive amounts of money, we can buy the company off the liquidator for pennies.

      • Richard
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

        ‘Tit for tat’ is the optimal negotiating strategy in any Prisoner’s dilemma negotiating scenario. The ‘doormat’ strategy is the worst.
        https://brexitcentral.com/gravity-models-remain-prejudices-distort/
        (see #3 Game Theory)
        “In Game Theory, laying down whatever cards one could use to threaten the other side, and going naked into the negotiating chamber, is known as the ‘Doormat’ strategy. It has been shown, in numberless game simulations, to be catastrophic in terms of the outcome for the side using that strategy. Here, again, it is noticeable that the Remain side, who seem to want us to concede multiple points before we even start the negotiation”

        So in April 2019, when EU-UK FTA negotiations get detailed & with the one-sided Withdrawal Agreement already signed & approved by parliament, which negotiating strategy will the UK employ?

  5. mickc
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Very good if true; I remain sceptical. The EU is to bureaucratic to understand such subtleties.

  6. Peter
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:36 am | Permalink

    April the first?

    No. We know that Brexit in Name Only is now inevitable. May will just hand the EU everything and a compliant media will try to spin the outcome as a success. No Conservative is prepared to do the necessary and remove her.

    The party will suffer the consequences in the long term, but that is little comfort to all of us who wanted a clean and timely Brexit

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The date wasn’t lost on me either.
      Although it is quite possible that many of the minor EU countries are concerned about the UK leaving, they will be snapped into line by the Brussels juggernaut.

    • Anonymous
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Then we don’t need Westminster and this (like the BBC) will be easy to close down.

      We simply do nothing in the case of both.

      Don’t turn out to vote.

      Don’t pay the licence fee.

      Prepare for Corbyn, by default.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

      Don’t forget that Brexit in Name Only will still be Brexit as far as the EU treaties are concerned, and the only way back would be through Article 49 TEU. There are those who delude themselves that it will all be such a disaster in every respect that by 2022 the UK electorate, cleansed of some of its racist xenophobic extreme nationalist old fogies of course – “Demography favours Remain” – will be ready to vote to rejoin the EU on whatever terms the EU might care to lay down.

      For example here, Wolfgang Munchau in the FT last August:

      https://www.ft.com/content/9f4fd278-790e-11e7-a3e8-60495fe6ca71

      “The Article 49 strategy to keep Britain in the EU”.

      The headline is even more delusional than the piece itself.

      http://www.lisbon-treaty.org/wcm/the-lisbon-treaty/treaty-on-european-union-and-comments/title-6-final-provisions/136-article-49.html

      “Any European State which respects the values referred to in Article 2 and is committed to promoting them may apply to become a member of the Union … ”

      That could not “keep” Britain in the EU.

  7. Bryan Harris
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    Nice attempt at an April fool’s joke JR: “…they are now resolving to let the UK have all it wants in terms of a future trade and economic partnership in the hope that will be enough to assuage the growing concern in the UK about the extent of the give aways. “

    The EU will fight to the end to keep some control over the UK, while giving us the worst deal possible….. Leopards just do not change their spots, and these ones are too mean to be concerned for our feelings.

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Well we shall see. The EU bureaucrats seem to have been acting mainly in the interests of the EU bureaucrats, rather than the interests of the people who live in the member states. But the UK do seem to be rather poor at negotiation, lacking backbone, vision and failing to prepare properly for a no deal Brexit.

    May seems to see no positives from Brexit, just saying “it is going to be different” when asked. Let us hope she come back from her wet walking in Wales with a bit more gumption, drive and vision. Their are huge positives from a clean Brexit and we need a leader who can see this and grab them.

    “Last time they succeeded in crushing a UK PM in negotiations it led directly to the vote to leave, This time it could lead to an early exit without any deal”.

    Thank goodness Cameron proved to be so useless at his “thin gruel” negotiation. This happened because Cameron was as pathetic as T May in his approach. He also failed to prepared for the likely Brexit vote and then just abandoned ship on the result. We should demand he returns his PM’s salary and pension as this was a gross failure of leadership.

    Had Cameron actually been just the captain of a ship he would surely have been charged with gross negligence (in failing to prepare for both outcomes) and of abandoning ship.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

      Or was this just an April Fool?

  9. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    So is this post an April’s fool joke John? Not very funny if it is when most of us are seething over the inept, weak crawling way our Brexit team has performed so far.

  10. Pete Else
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    This is an optimistic view and it would be ideal if we did just walk away from all the huge give aways that so mnany in government are desperate for the UK to give. Sadly I seriously doubt that Theresa the Appeaser, Boris the Clown and all the hangers on have the spine to do it. They are too busy trying to divert attention from their failings with ridiculous accusations against Russia.

  11. Nig l
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Interesting article in the Daily Telegraph from an ex US trade adviser who allegedly has provided advice to our cabinet ministers and the civil service saying that to date, we have been too weak and to toughen up to negotiate, as the independent country we are, to meet our needs rather than a collegiate approach also worried about the EU’s. No surprise there with all the Europhiles involved.

    Let them sort there own problems out. I read David Liddington is trying to ban Big Ben pealing out on Brexit day. We know where his loyalties lie. That is a disgrace.

  12. agricola
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Much of what you say is plausible. Even if the EU still lives in it’s bubble of the unreal, those most affected, nation states and industry, are beginning to appreciate the downside of only offering us punishment. However I judge it somewhat over egged or you had too much pop last night. Like all good propaganda it must contain a scintilla of truth, so I put it down to 1st April. Good try though.

  13. oldtimer
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    …and, believe it or not, Blair and Heseltine have become true Leavers!

    • jerry
      Posted April 3, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      @oldtimer; Yes indeed, they want to all EU28 member countries to leave the EU and join the USE! 🙁

  14. jerry
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    Just remember that anything written about the EU as an (April) joke can be turn on its head, after all it is not just the EU who can bluster and say and do daft things, some on the Brexit side have made howlers too. Funny how our host only seem s to ‘try it on’ whilst preaching to the already converted -bar a few doubting Thomas’s who try and balance out some of the more outlandish opinions, in both diary and comments.

  15. JoolsB
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Yes, we the people are getting angry at all this dithering by May & co. but the EU aren’t dealing with us are they? They are dealing with those who are supposed to be representing our views and are discovering they are a pushover who will will give the EU everything they demand whilst capitulating on every red line they are asked to.

    May’s ‘no deal is better than any deal’ was just words and they know it.

  16. Adam
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Irrespective of what the EU reassesses is in its own interest, we being free to act in what is ours is better still.

  17. Epikouros
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    It would appear wiser heads not influenced by hubris and intent on bolstering their own position by punishing the UK for her impertinence by attempting to leave EU members are expressing alarm at the intransigent and belligerent nature of those who run the EU. The Brussels clique. Punishing dissent has not had the effect of cowering other members states into obediently following the Brussels line and instead caused further dissent in their own camp.

    Maybe the EU negotiators will now act toward negotiating a Brexit deal with more sense and sensitivity. Although past performances and Brussels imperious attitude in the manner in which they direct EU affairs would suggest that are are more likely not to
    will brazen it out carrying on as normal. Why not they have done so before with success. If they do considering how much member states have to lose by having a bad or no deal it will in all probability lead to a serious EU constitutional crisis.

  18. IwasGnarth
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    ‘After all, what would it achieve if they beat the UK government into submission only to find that UK voters were once again insistent that they just want to leave.’

    Indeed. This aspect has long been on my mind. If those of a leaving persuasion had lost the referendum then surely most would have shrugged at what seemed inevitable and got on with their lives, no? As it is, they are awake and perhaps feeling thoroughly insulted too. There is no going back to sleep on this, I think.

    Thank you, Sir, for your tolerance and let us wish for a peaceful Easter.

  19. James Matthews
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Sadly it is the first of April.

  20. L Jones
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    This was written on 1 April, wasn’t it?
    Wouldn’t it be good if it were all true?

  21. robert lewy
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Irony too can shine a spotlight on truth.

  22. Lifelogic
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Simon Heffer is spot on today. Surely we have seen enough of the Blair, Major, Clegg, C Patton, Cable, Osborne and BBC think types. They all helped dig the messy hole that we are trying to escape.

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/31/remainers-need-get-lost/

    Also election watchdog faces calls to resign after almost half of its board have attacked the pro-Brexit campaign. The forces of remain are still very powerful and we still have an ex(?) remainer PM who can only say of Brexit “things will be different”!

  23. Beecee
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

    Ha Ha

  24. sm
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    John, I hope all your readers will remind themselves that you have a very dry/wry sense of humour! Happy Easter.

  25. Andy
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    The most amusing part is the ultimate joke will be on people who voted for Brexit.

    Virtually everyone will lose out of it. But the people who voted for it will, largely, lose the most.

    You will not be laughing then. (But we will).

    • libertarian
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      Andy

      “You will not be laughing then. (But we will).”

      Seriously, you will be laughing as you sack all 30 of your ( alleged) staff, You’ll be laughing as you put them and their families out on the street, you’ll be laughing that you personally have ruined their childrens future. That is probably the most sinister, horrible and dare I say it evil post Ive seen on this forum. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

      My guess is that many people who voted for it felt they had nothing to lose.

    • sm
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

      Andy, may I ask you a serious question?

      Just for the sake of argument, if in about five years’ time, ‘virtually everyone’ does NOT ‘lose out of it’, and the UK manages perfectly well as a friendly neighbour to the EU, would you admit you were wrong?

  26. Stephen
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    April fool!

  27. Thames Trader
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    April Fool’s day wishful thinking ?

  28. Norman
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    My, never mind the cold easterly winds, the Cuckoo is amazingly early this year!

  29. Ian Murray
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I note that, unlike your other posts, this one is preceded by the date!

    Ian Murray

  30. duncan
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    Ah, it’s a joke. I’m not good at ‘getting’ jokes though I know two very good jokes.

    One’s the EU
    The other one’s Theresa May

    Together they are a danger to all our liberties, freedoms and sovereignty

    • Lifelogic
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

      Some more jokes – “The Tories are a party of low taxation, freedom of the individual and economic competence”.

  31. William Long
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    In other words, an outbreak of common sense. I hope very much you are right, but history leads me to say that I will believe it, albeit with a good deal of pleasure, when I see it!

  32. BOF
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Happy Easter to you and yours Mr Redwood. It is the 1st of April after all, so well done on today’s diary item!

    For a reality check I would suggest your readers look at Facts4EU.org to see what is happening with regard to the EU space program as well as worrying developments with defense and also take a very sobering look at Veterans for Britain website.

    If the UK defense force is tied to EU we will not have left the EU.

    With all the spin we are fed re immigration can someone please do an accurate assessment of the contribution of immigrants taking into consideration the costs of education, health care, benefits and what money they send home, never to be seen again?

    • Richard
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Quite. http://facts4eu.org/news_marc_2018.shtml#def2
      Scroll down for 57 Articles showing growth of EU Army over the last year.

      https://twitter.com/VeteransBritain/status/975847326551035905
      Defence is the only part of the Draft Exit Agreement with scope beyond transition and the only part that can be amended during the transition. This flexibility allows the EU to capture UK consent before repercussions are understood

      https://brexitcentral.com/beware-european-threat-uks-defence-autonomy/
      The Agreement allows us to participate in PESCO projects and enter into a new defence relationship before the end of the Transition Period. This reflects the urgency with which UK and EU officials are keen to sign Britain up to the Defence Union. According to Lt-General Jonathon Riley, the Agreement “provides a u-bend route for the UK to come back fully under EU authority in the future”.

      • Richard
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

        blocks 2&3 above are quotes from the links cited.

  33. Mark B
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    And happy April Fools Day 😉

  34. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    I assume you will take this down after 12.00? But nice try, humour has been noticeably missing from the leave debate so far. It could have been so much easier and amicable if all in the UK had just got behind maximising our negotiating position.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Happy Easter as well as April 1

  35. Ian wragg
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I read with a smile the article on the front of the Sunday Telegraph the EU to build a new Royal Yacht
    The giveaway was the 27 staterooms and longest bar.
    It is April 1st after all.

  36. Dioclese
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    Twigged it, John. It’s April 1st
    Nice try tho’

  37. Tom William
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I haven’t yet spotted an April Fool story in the press but, very sadly, this was easy to spot!!

    • ian wragg
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 3:49 pm | Permalink

      Read front page of ST.

      • ian wragg
        Posted April 1, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Page 4

  38. Dee
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I think our Mr Redwood is having a little 1st of April joke at our expence as all the newspapers show a very diffent scenario. Nice try John..But the revolution is brewing and when it blows, then we will get our Brexit on our terms which is walk away, ditch the EU, withdraw ANY defence cooperation. Verhofstadt said our Countries should unite in defence matters. Tell me Verhofstadt, what has the EU got to offer in the way of defence? Germany has an army that is not fit for purpose, their equiptment is the same. Soooo, that leaves only France? Well good luck with that one, rather you than me. So at the end of the day you have nothing and are looking to the UK to defend you while you slag us off? No thanks.
    By the way Mr Redwood, you have been very quiet concerning Selmayer and Junkers. A step that showed who is the boss of Europe. Junkers promotes Selmayer twice in the space of 9 minutes to the top job in the commision bar Junker. No discussion, no interview, no qualifications for the job, no other candidates. 30,000 Euros a month and nobody can sack him, he is untouchable. Some in the EU Parliament were incenced by this lack of oversight and demanded Junker be brought before the Parliament to explain his actions. The vote was blocked by the EPP, the biggest party by far in the Parliament who with their usual array of hangers on can outvote all of the rest. Who is the head of EPP? Surprise, surprise, Junkers himself. That is why whatever Junkers wants he knows he will get rubber stamped through Parliament. So much for Democracy in Europe.
    Happy Easter.

  39. Denis Cooper
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    A really hilarious April Fool’s joke from the EU Parliament, not:

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/04/01/april-fools-day-2018pranks-fake-news-around-world/

    “The European Parliament has poked fun at Britain – and, specifically, our new blue post-Brexit passports, with its April Fool’s joke.

    It claimed that “all EU passports [are] to become dark blue” – which would render our symbolic passport choice useless.”

    The only problem is that the EU document cited in its tweet:

    http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:41981X0919:EN:HTML

    is not a spoof, as it should be for the purpose of such a joke.

    It is in fact a real EU Council Resolution from 1981 and it is about the introduction of a uniform EU passport, because they were “anxious to promote any measures which might strengthen the feeling among nationals of the Member States that they belong to the same Community” – which is just the kind of political or geopolitical objective that most the British people have never wanted.

    Moreover it expressly stated that the colour of the cover should be burgundy red.

  40. LukeM
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    Don’t know where you get all of this stuff from- dream it up I suppose?

    We voted to leave- we didn’t vòte to leave and then have another deal?

    In any case we have so many red lines in place now and that puts us way out of
    range of having any meaningful anything with them- or am I missing something?

    All talk about german cars is just that..these are high value cars and anyone who can afford a BMW in the first place can easily afford to pay the extra 5 – 10 % taxes that are coming down the line- or am I missing something again?

    The 40 billion will have to be paid..it is already agreed..no matter what the outcome is this money is part of the leaving agreement?

    I could go on..what is bei g put forward here is pie in the sky stuff and is out there to confuse people..only thing is that you are setting out to co fuse the wrong people?

  41. Derek
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    As long as we Leavers gain the TOTAL freedom we decided upon in the Referendum and that we British Tax payers do not have to pay any more than the EU is due, we should be happy.
    Any deviation from those lines will be seen as a betrayal and I expect serious public and Parliamentary challenges to any such deviations.

    As a dedicated Leaver, I cannot understand why the UK should pay around £12 B per year for the privilege of spending £80 Billions more with EU members than they do in this country.
    I do not understand why there is a problem with the Irish border when there is no problem with the closely comparable non-EU North/ EU South border in Cyprus. It is nothing but a cheap red herring concocted by Brussels to try to weaken our position. It must be ignored.
    If fact the EU should be ignored until they do fully appreciate our custom for the UK is their largest single customer.
    Finally, talking of fish, any proposed extension to the CFP or indeed, the CAP should be rejected for the Benefit of British Fisher-folk and British Agricultural workers and the sentiments of their EU competitors ignored. Just as they have ignore our plight and loss of correlated jobs over the past decades.
    However, as always, Freedom is Priceless.

  42. LukeM
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    April ist apart we shouldn’t be joking about these things

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted April 1, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      There were many things you could have joked about but this isn’t one of them. True Brexiteers can see nothing amusing about the government ignoring democracy and not giving the voter what they voted for. I do have a sense of humour and indeed, many of your posts have been both clever and amusing but if this is meant as a joke then don’t bother.

  43. Doug Powell
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

    JR,

    I was about to comment, but then noticed the date! This is too important a matter to joke about – please tell us this isn’t a wind up?

  44. Godfrey Smith
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    JR Surely this is just an April Fools prank? Please confirm!

  45. Peter D Gardner
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

    Would be a funny April Fool Dr Redwood if there were any sign that Mrs May’s government actually stood firm on anything. As it is the momentum of concessions is now so great that were UK to stand firm on something it would be an earthquake shattering the now unremarkable daily routine of EU politics with a totally submissive UK.

  46. Robin Wilcox
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    Says it all really when what would mainly be a sensible scenario and a win for both is so unlikely it’s pitched as an April Fool. The sooner we are out of this dysfunctional EU shambles the better.

  47. Prigger
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 1:54 pm | Permalink

    April Fool’s Day indeed in believing the EU has changed its spots. For Leave activists and for those in the general public who earnestly voted Leave and not just had a “least of the two evils” toss up, what the EU thinks, believes, wishes has ceased to be of any importance or interest at all.
    We used to follow the EU negotiation news. Not any more.Patience has run out. We should leave, and deliberately without a deal of any kind. The EU can talk later when its nation state leaders are off the de vin, the schnappes, palinka, whiskey and can speak lucidly. WE British have a border in Ireland. The EU can talk between themselves about THEIR side of the border to the year 3000AD if they wish. “Have a drink or two while you do it, time will pass faster and you’ll be red as well as blue in the face.!!”

  48. Philosopher the Hun
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    When you want a boulder firmly blocking a cave don’t ask an Italian soldier to do it.~~~ “Meditations of Mrs Marcus O’Really May”

  49. gregory martin
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    April fools , everyone?
    May fools no-one !

  50. Andy
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    There is no win for both sides. Brexit is lose for almost everyone. (A few very rich Tories with offshore financial interests will be okay but few else).

    You voted for trade barriers with your biggest trading partner. That will make trade more difficult and more expensive. It will cost jobs.

    The question is not whether Brexit will make you poorer, it is how much poorer it will make you. The latest estimate is that, so far, we’re around £300m a week worse off as a country.

    That’s a lot of nurses and teachers. Still you claim you all knew what you were voting for – even though you don’t agree with each other about what it was.

    • Edward2
      Posted April 2, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

      Your Project Fear propaganda gets more ridiculous by the day.
      Average tariffs are less than 5%
      We in the UK are offering free trade.
      Will the EU refuse and demand tariffs?

      PS
      Please give sources for you 300 million claim.

  51. mancunius
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Well, you may jest, JR, but one of these days the EU will suddenly start a charm offensive and Bad Cop will pretend to turn into Good Cop. The former has had signal success in rolling May over; I fear the latter will find her even easier prey.

  52. Peter Parsons
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Is this April Fool finally a tacit acceptance that the UK can’t “have our cake and eat it” and the EU doesn’t “need us more than we need them”?

    If a full week’s work doesn’t pay enough to live on without requiring benefits, then that is the fault of those in Westminster, those who over the past few decaded have delivered an economy so skewed towards London and the South East, with the consequent impact on population and housing costs in the bottom corner of the UK, while ignoring large areas of the rest of the country. That has nothing to do with Brussels or the EU.

  53. GregH
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

    Here’s the thing,,before another five years passes there’ll be a united Ireland..Scotland will be well on the road to independance..and England and Wales, if wales decides, will remain in a kind of rump britain outside of the EU..UK will have taken back control..all as per Nigel Farage IDS, DD, Gove and all of the other misguided tories including Boris and our host JR..hard to believe Brexit could bring about such change?

  54. Helen Smith
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    On this special day, that would be April 1st then lol.

  55. Prigger
    Posted April 1, 2018 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

    “So far in 2018, 46 people in London have been fatally stabbed, shot or injured compared to 50 in the US city.” BBC
    Time for MPs to repeal the Second Amendment of our British Constitution and make London at least, a Gun Free Zone. What do you expect when anyone including idiot or a member of the LibDems can just walk into Mother Care and get an assault rifle for the price of a dozen nappies and a plastic rattle?!.

  56. Tabulazero
    Posted April 2, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    It’s not an April Fool joke, Mr Redwood.

    It’s basically a summary of all the things you sold to the British public during the referendum and did not come to pass.

    Do you still remember the “they need us more than we need them” or “Britain hold all the cards” ?

    • Edward2
      Posted April 2, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      You are obsessed with trade.
      We voted for freedom and independence.

  57. ChrisS
    Posted April 2, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Sadly, this is about as realistic an expectation as the idea that Juncker is commissioning a “Bateaux de Trade” modelled on the Royal Yacht Britannia !

  58. Miss Brandreth-Jones
    Posted April 2, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    There still may be an element of irony in this. Remembering my late mothers birthday. Shakespeare’s fool carried truths and warnings in his lateral ‘verse’. One never knows what is really going to happen .We will still be linked to many others and cannot avoid the knock on effect; good or bad.

  59. nigel seymour
    Posted April 2, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    J, Let’s consider the DE piece regarding NHS expenditure. It seems that EU citizens are receiving healthcare at much less the cost of UK citizens in the EU. So, as the DE points out, we are a soft touch and probably one of the most desirable countries on the planet to visit. As long as we keep providing the NHS service to everyone outside the UK then they will keep using it. When will we start to seriously debate not what the NHS is about but who it should be there for?

  60. Ron Olden
    Posted April 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    It’s often forgotten that the Leave Vote wasn’t merely in response to a Brexit Referendum conducted in a vacuum.

    It was vote following David Cameron’s ‘renegotiation’. And Mr Cameron conducted the campaign as being a choice between the new terms and the leaving

    I myself was never a particularly hard line Brexiter, and although I would likely have voted Leave if asked the question, would have been quite content with some sort of new relationship involving modest concessions to our concerns, and would have praised Mr Cameron for getting any. He did after all do well in the earlier budget negotiations.

    But the ‘deal’ that Mr Cameron was offered in early 2016, was a disgusting insult to the UK and in recommending acceptance, he diminished his own standing. In fact it was such an insult that Mr Cameron would have had better chance of winning the Referendum without renegotiating at all.

    It was all an historic mistake on the part of the EU.

    The consequences of failing to get a free trade agreement, are not merely confined to trade in finished goods such as German Cars etc.

    Although that on its own would be bad enough for the continent because they export £60 Billion a year more in goods to us than we export to them it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Serious problems will arise in the tariff free movement of car parts etc, and other business inputs between different parts of companies and their suppliers operating in different countries. German companies for example to do make, or even always assemble, all the parts for a finished item solely in one country.

    It’s not just Northern Ireland that needs a ‘soft border’. We all need a ‘soft border’ in terms of the movement of goods and services.

    I agree with what some Remainers say insofar as the claim that ‘leaving without a Free Trade agreement is ‘unthinkable”. But it’s equally, or more as ‘unthinkable’ for the rest of the EU as it is for us.

    And by unthinkable I don’t (like the Remainers), mean that if the EU says NO, or insists on punitive terms, we either take whatever they offer, or we abandon Brexit altogether.

    I think the £40 Billion ‘Leaving Present’ is also one of our trump cards. Easily the most obstructive and bloody minded party in these negotiations is the EU Bureaucracy itself. They never suffer the the consequences of the EU’s own failure.

    But this £40 Billion is money that they themselves will receive and desperately need. They’ve already budgeted to spend it.

    Without it they, including their pension funds will be insolvent, which explains why they were so intent on getting the offer up front and why they have been somewhat less abusive since it was agreed in principle.

    The negotiations will turn out fine because it’s in everyone’s vital interests to make them succeed.

  • 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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