Questions on cars for Greg Clark

I share the Business Secretary’s concern for the health of the UK car production industry. I do not share his  view that without an enhanced Customs partnership  with the EU complex supply chains will slow down too much. Complex supply chains work just fine today into the UK from outside the EU, demonstrating you do  not need to be in the Customs Union to run them successfully. We will control access to our markets once we leave the EU so why would we want to slow down important components coming in?

What I want Mr Clark to do is to stand up for the UK car industry today. Over the last year there has been a sharp decline in sales and output, led by a big fall in diesel cars.  This followed a nine month period of great growth after the Referendum vote, and dates from the March 2017 budget. So will Mr Clark  now intervene, as he likes to do, to stop the output fall and job losses?

Will he challenge the Chancellor about the impact of the higher rates of VED introduced in 2017?

Will he seek some easing of policies which have been restricting car loans on new vehicles?

Will he reduce the attacks on diesel cars? Surely if he wants to see big switch away from  diesel cars  over the next twenty years or so he needs to pace the change so it does not damage existing investments and output.  Modern diesel cars are about as clean as petrol vehicles and meet much higher standards on emissions than previous generations of cars. The UK worked hard to attract inward investment into car diesel engine production, only now to turn round against the products.

Mr Clark says he is running an industrial policy to promote more business. He needs to revisit the government’s policies towards cars where output has been hit. As we are still in the EU this fall has nothing to do with Brexit.

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  1. bigneil
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Every single one of us knows that a successful supply chain isn’t the point . . .it is keeping us tied to the EU, throwing them piles of cash and being dragged further and further into their clutches, along with our extermination that is the point,

    • Peter
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      I also suspect Clark was encouraged by Mrs. May.

      If she thinks the local elections were an endorsement of her she is very mistaken.

      • Hope
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

        The media is encouraging remainers to vote against leaving the customs union because the leavers will be out voted. This means remaining in the EU. Parliament has shown recently if this happens it serves no purpose to the people. Electoral democracy will be gone forever.

        What has May done to those who voted and speak against govt policy? Nothing. Says all you want to know about her. Robbins should be gone by now for the two disasterous agreements made with the EU. May should have been forced out after her actions in December. Kit Kat policy made by civil servants to keep cost and ties away from public knowledge, May has agreed this or she would have them investigated or sacked by now.

        • Peter
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

          I agree with what you say. I have a very slim hope that something will trigger a general election and we have a chance to see off the intransigent remainers.

          Other than that, we will get a fudge and all we can do is take it out on the government at a later date.

          • alan jutson
            Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink


            You do not need a general Election to change a leader.

          • Hope
            Posted May 7, 2018 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

            I am afar d the Leave MPs have no choice but to bring May down. It is inconceivable all the remainers tactics were not with her sanction or blessing while forbidding leave ministers to state the benefit of leaving which is govt policy. All this and the delays are to change our minds and the EU insists on punishing the country as an example to others for daring to leave! May has accepted this with the first two appaling agreements. What other country in the world or what other deal has been agreed at such huge cost just to trade? The purpose of leaving the EU is not solely about trade as May has steered the debate to be discussed as n a daily basis. This theme is used at very election to scare or win people over thinking personal finance is more important to voters than any other issue. Conniving May has allowed this over the past two years. The U.K. Should have left by now! Not wait another two years, pay vast sums of taxpayers’ money for decades while making huge tax hikes at home to pay for her fanciful dream that the majority of the people voted against.

            I don’t like the result of the council elections can they take place again after debating it for two years? Or how about there must be compromises for those who lost? It is not right to accept the result because many many people voted for the other side, how will you take the country with you? All those who voted Tory will cause thousands of job losses, the economy will plunge into recession. Could the Treasury help by writing a fake report with something similar? I am surprised Carney has not intervened with BoE forecasts that GDP will plunge because of the uncertainty of mixed councils throughout the land! You will not be allowed to buy and drive diesel cars in Tory held councils?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        Hugely mistaken, May is only very slightly better than the dire Jeremy Corbyn and his sick & rather evil joke of a shadow cabinet. But she is mistaken on nearly every policy in just the same way as Corbyn just slightly less. She thinks the state is the answer – wrong, wrong, wrong dear. Someone need to explain how the economy actually works to her, rather slowly!

        Then explain to her just how useless Cameron, Heath, Major & May were at winning elections and how Thatcher won four (one with Major as her man) before the public rapidly sussed him out. So why is she copying all the failures?

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

          L/L Never a truer word spoken about the success of Thatcher and sadly we see none of her courage now with our present so called leader. If we ever needed ministers to stand up and say we need change it is now. Let’s get the job done instead of obeying the EU masters. We must get out and carve our own destiny before it is too late for the UK.

        • ChrisS
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

          I watch your posts with interest, Lifelogic – I even agree with most of what you say. I would like nothing more than a return of Thatcherism led by a powerful leader in the mould of our heroine.

          However times have changed. The Left are so much more vocal and the electorate have gone soft. It’s a sad reflection but I don’t think a 21st Century Margaret Thatcher could win over the electorate, she might even lose to a left-of-centre Labour party. It would have to be led by someone more credible than Corbyn, obviously.

          I can’t see anyone in the current Conservative Party that would be in the same league as Mrs Thatcher. They have to find a replacement for Mrs May before the next GE but who ?

          I think we have to rule out JRM and it certainly won’t be Hammond or Rudd. Gove is probably the best bet among those in the current cabinet.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted May 9, 2018 at 4:55 am | Permalink

            I do not see Gove pulling in the vote very well (he even wanted 20% vat on private school fees). JRM is perhaps the best option even if he does suffer from rather irrational religious hang ups. At least he is sound on the main issues and charismatic in many ways. Surely the electorate would not choose the SNP & Corbyn’s dire band of magic money tree, politics of envy, con trick failures over JRM. Would they?

    • Peter
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      It is the ongoing power struggle between Remain and Leave factions in the Conservative party. May is just as worried about the former as the latter.

      Remain do seem to be winning the battles though. Brexit in Name Only seems the likely outcome.

      I cannot see any circumstances where we would leave on ‘No Deal’ terms unfortunately. ERG people seem to be all talk and no action.

      • Hope
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        No deal is by far the better option on the table at the moment. No other country in the world in any trade deal has given £100 billion just to talk about trade, given away territorial waters and fishing stock, ECJ to continue to apply after we leave, welfare benefits to EU people not even born, mass immigration from EU to continue, trade policy decide by 27 other countries and she w prepared to give away N.Irelandmif not stopped by the DUP! May has lost the plot. She has encouraged all remainers to speak and plot with abarnier, allow fake reports and project fear to be born, forbid anyone in cable net to talk about benefits of leaving! Good grief will the leavers allow her to sale all the UK silver as well? Add to this she has not kept her word on anything g substantive and let the EU edit her Florence speech.

  2. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    To repeat some of the substance from those of my comments submitted yesterday which are still in moderation –

    “As for the supposedly intractable problems at the Northern Ireland border and also at Dover pro-EU senior civil servants seem to have started by ruling out the “do nothing or as little as possible at the borders” option and instead have decoyed the government into a choice between two alternatives both of which are designed to be traps.

    For a quarter of a century since the advent of the EU Single Market we’ve allowed goods to flow in from the EU without intercepting and checking them at the borders, so where will be the pressing necessity to change that just because we ourselves will no longer be in the EU or its Customs Union or its Single Market?

    Will those car parts being brought in by Toyota without any checks at the border suddenly need to be checked?

    Or will their hauliers immediately start to smuggle in contraband, or engage in people trafficking, to an extent which they are not doing now while we are in the EU, and will Toyota be unwilling or unable to deal with that collateral damage from Brexit?

    Or is Greg Clark concerned that this disreputable company Toyota could not be trusted to pay any new customs duty which the UK government might decide to impose on the parts they are bringing in from the continent?

    And how would it help to continue to impose EU tariffs on everything we import from outside the EU, as Theresa May’s principal Brexit adviser wants?

    All this is the most unspeakable garbage, none of it makes any sense at all, even I find it shocking that apparently ministers and MPs can be so easily led by the nose by pro-EU civil servants, and to be frank I’m getting really fed up hearing the same rubbish all the time without any common sense rebuttals coming from the government.”

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

      “Co-ordinated Remain Effort to Back Customs Partnership”

      Among those quoted are three MPs who in my view are not fit to be MPs.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        “She should remember that there is a majority in both houses of parliament for a customs union.”

        Yes, just as back in 2008 there were majorities in both Houses in favour of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, which inter alia made it explicit that one “logical consequence” of the EU customs union, the EU’s common trade policy, was an exclusive competence of the EU:

        While at the same time there were majorities against asking the people in a referendum whether they wanted that treaty.

        • Hope
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

          What has Clarke done to force the EU to take action against Germany over the VW scandal that polluted our planet for about fifteen years against the EU rules? Rather than wreck our own car industry or damage our own economy what did Hammond do to advocate Germany has failed to the to action, and what has either May, clarke, or Hammond done to protect U.K. Customers and environment against VW Deisel emissions?

          Trump has Not been in office for just over a year, customers have had their cars replaced multi billion dollar fines against VW etc. No action from May’s UK govt, nothing! They damage our own economy, allow our people to be harmed by the emissions, harm our environment. Yet blindly Willing to follow the EU energy policy not have coal! Complete Idiots without an regard for our own people or country. They are a disgrace and are not fit to hold any public office.

          I Really do not think the politicos in Westminster understand the mood of the country, life exist beyond London.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 8, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

            OK Hope but what has Farage done about it, or other MEP members in the EU Parliament, what is the point of us paying their wages if they don’t pack together to represent UK interests and insist on these fines.

    • L Jones
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      I think that is the salient point – no rebuttal from the Government about any remainder rubbish that is bandied about. Do they believe they should ignore it and it will go away? It doesn’t. It feeds the remainder rats that are looking for any scrap to leap upon.

      Shout Brexit benefits from the rooftops! Shout down all this remainder tripe! Let’s have a Government that will stand up for its people and the good of the country.

  3. Rien Huizer
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    As you must know from your previous work in government, the Japanese business community is highly organized and so far the signals coming from them are becoming increasinly less discreet. It is not a matter of maintaining supply chains under a variety of tariffs and NTB’s, it is something much more important. There is no such thing as a British car industry, in the sense that it is controlled by Britons and headquartered in the UK. Different from the Japanese, US, French etc ones where home markets and HQ locations coincide. Toyota has made it clear under what conditions it will be prepared to maintain or expand incrementally,. its investment in the UK. That is not a British motor industry decision because for Toyota, the UK is merely a host to its business, like Thailand, France and (less so, the US is Toyota’s second home market) the US. Given that the UK is not a priority market for Toyota and the chance that the UK ends up with a Minfordian trade regime, it is more than likely that when the UK would no longer qualify as a EU or EU equivalent location, cars for the UK market would be imported, possibly from Japan or Thailand. and cars for the EU would be built in the EU. The same happened in Australia where exports from Australia became increasingly less viable and simultaneously, imports mucch less costly through FTAs with ao Thailand. The result was complete closure of their manufacturing in Australia and imports from Thailand and Japan and occasionally (Honda) rom the US.

    Reply Japanese companies do not normally make such interventions unless they think the government wants them to. The motor industry told us if we did not join the Euro investment would go abroad, but proved to be untrue.

    • NickC
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Rien, This government has said it will ban the sale of new internal combustion engined (ICE) cars from 2040. That means few customers will buy a new ICE car after about 2030, only 12 years away. That is much more disruptive of car manufacture, whether in the UK or in the EU (assuming we continue to import so many from the EU), than the UK leaving the EU.

      A minor adjustment to customs procedures is hardly of the same magnitude as changing the entire design, supply chain, manufacture, maintenance, energy use, and infrastructure for new cars. Oh . . . I forgot . . . you EU fanatics don’t do technology or even practicality. You think everything magically changes if you write a new EU Regulation. Which is why Dieselgate happened in the first place.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

      Start with the presumption that Toyota invested here originally not because we are part of the EU (they now have 27 other possibilities for that, and had multiple options at the time), but because we have flexible working practices, welcome overseas investment, reasonable wage levels, plenty of golf courses, and have a good market for their product too.
      What’s changed?

      • ian wragg
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

        People like May, Hammond and Clark are more interested in what Brussels and Tokyo think rather than the 17.4 million who voted leave.
        Would this be the same Toyota and Nissan that threatened to leave unless we joined the Euro. That went well didn’t it.
        May writes in the Sun on Sunday that we are leaving the CU and the very same day Clark is talking about a customs partnership mark2.
        It is the complex computer programme that is required for the CP which will take until 2023 to complete. I believe the Civil Service will make a complete dogs breakfast of it and cancel it thus keeping us in the EU.
        We already have the infrastructure for customs for 60% of our trade so why should it take any time for Ex EU trade.

        • ian wragg
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

          21 CAPTCHA panels. Is this a record.

    • stred
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      According to this ONS information trade in cars between the UK and Japan has been growing and the other charts showing trade with the US and the rest of the non -EU is also growing. Let’s get our information right.

      Greg Clark does seem to be a person who dwells on detail but cannot take in the overall picture or understand the actual simplicity of filing a certificate on repeat orders for large batches of parts that are going to be exactly the same before or after we leave the customs union. Probably his lack of ability was seen as like mindedness by our equally dim PM and Europhile MPs.

    • Alan
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

      How do we know that investment did not go abroad because we did not join the euro? Some of it may have done so. The euro did not cause the financial crisis, remember. The crisis was a major change that brought about many unexpected consequences and trying to disentangle the consequences on the car industry of not joining the euro from the impact of the financial crisis is a hopeless task.

      Similarly we will not know whether the car industry fails because of Brexit or the difficulty of introducing electric drive and self-driving cars, or some as yet unforeseen problem. We will not know whether it succeeds because of Brexit. There are just too many variables in most cases for people to be certain what is the primary cause for each consequence.

      I’m in little doubt that Brexit will harm British industry but I don’t expect to be able to prove that for industries as complex as car manufacturing. I don’t expect those who advocate Brexit will be able to demonstrate that things that go well were caused by Brexit: I will nearly always be able to argue that things would have gone even better if we had stayed in the EU.

      Reply The car industry upped its investment when we stayed in the pound

      • Alan
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

        But maybe it would have upped its investment by more if we had stayed in the euro. There is no way we can know.

        • Ghost of JB
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          Alan, if we follow your logic, since we can’t both take a course of action and simultaneously not take that course of action then we can never really know the outcome of taking or not taking that course of action.

          This is true of all hypotheses and leads to the sort of decision-making paralysis that we have observed for the last two years.

          Sometimes you’re just got to go with your gut, Kevin this instance, with the wisdom of crowds, which generally trump’s experts.

          We ca

    • graham1946
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

      It would cost billions to abandon what they have here (not just Toyota, but Nissan also) and the tax regime is better and will be lowered further when we leave. Without the UK contributions, EU taxes are headed only one way. Seems like an expensive way to save money. We will get an FTA with the EU in the end when they realise it is becoming serious, so none of the nonsense about Customs checks etc will come about.

  4. Bob
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    People have deferred buying decisions until uncertainty over taxation and restrictions on internal combustion engines is removed.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Bob, there is also all of the German and French rhetoric over Britain and threats to us repeated statements in our news services, why buy those models if you don’t know what the future holds, if supply chains fall down as they predict then better buy models made predominantly in this Country that are planning on remaking parts over here. I know people changing fleet policies, I know people changing from years of buying Ford, Vauxhall etc buying Kia, Nissan, Lexus and Mitsubishi.

  5. iain
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    I worry about the poor quality of many Government ministers which you highlight. Can Mrs May not choose the right people or are the Tories sadly lacking in able people ?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Dear Iain–Seems unarguable to me that she is not there because of her ability to choose the right people–Indeed she is hopeless at it–Her decision making in general has been and continues a disaster. The best that can be said about her is that she is there by default but that is hardly inspiring. Did she read Liam Halligan yesterday who totally demolished this so-called Customs Partnership nonsense? Make Boris PM forthwith–At least we wouldn’t nod off when he has something to say.

      • NickC
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. We had such opportunities to grasp when we voted Leave. Timid, weak Mrs May seems unable to see any, so they are trickling through her fingers. Frankly it is tragic: we are a country in terminal decline because our leaders fail to grab the opportunities in front of their faces, but won’t relinquish power to those that will.

        • getahead
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

          Mrs May is more cunning than timid. She works, through Hammond, for the the big business and establishment elites, the same people who put her in the job in the first place. She is doing as instructed.

          • rose
            Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

            Moreover she knows exactly what she is doing when she promotes a nonentity: she thinks she is preserving her own position. Why else is JR not the Chancellor? Why is Bernard Jenkin not at the Home Office? Or Ian Duncan Smith? Why is Dominic Raab kept out of the Cabinet? Why was Gauke moved from the department he had mastered in all its detail? Why was Jo Johnson moved from Universities just as he was taking them on? Why did she try to moave Hunt?

            She doesn’t want to be outshone. And whenever she wants to rat on Brexit, she does it when Boris is abroad. She and the people round her in the kitchen cabinet are not the dutiful, patriotic people their spin would have us believe them to be.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Poor quality Prime Ministers never appoint people they think are cleverer than they are. I have had dealings with both Clark and Brandon Lewis in a previous incarnation and I can assure you they are very uninspiring.

        Not much difference in private enterprise. If a 45 year old highly qualified person goes before a 28 year old duffer for interview he/she will not get the job. Its the way things are.

        • rose
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          One of her worst appointments must be the Northern Irish one. If ever we needed a wise, experienced, and diplomatic minister who knows how to behave in the most old-fashioned part of our country…
          and I mean old-fashioned as a compliment.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink


      Quality of MP’s, Lack of able people ?

      Afraid its down to Career Politicians straight our of University who have never had any experience of Industry, Construction, Commerce, Selling, Purchasing, or even People management in the real World.

      They think they know it all because they have been taught the theory by a lecturer who has also very often never had any real Business experience.
      Thus we have the blind leading the blind. !

      Not much to say about your posting today JR it’s spot on !

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    Here is another of the consequences of the government’s chronic failure to respond to criticisms as they arise, with nonsensical anti-Brexit, in fact anti-British, propaganda being spread around completely unchallenged across the EU:

    “At Northern Irish border, Brexit risks hard-won peace”

    And I increasingly find myself asking “Which side is our Prime Minister on?”

    She says she wants Brexit, and Brexit means Brexit blah blah blah, and she goes into print in the Sun on Sunday to trumpet her “absolute determination to make a success of Brexit, by leaving the single market and customs union”:

    yet I read this morning that she plans to silence members of her own government and her own party who want exactly that, when she should be silencing those who trying to dilute delay and ultimately thwart Brexit.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

      Two faces, not by intelligent design, but because she’s swayed by the last person she spoke to.

  7. formula57
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    I for one interpret your post today as a devastating indictment of this government’s industrial and fiscal policies.

    In Clark and Hammond we have two who could not emerge unpunished from an appearance before an UnBrexit Activities Committee, alas.

  8. Peter
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Never mind car production, I want Clark to shut up about Customs Partnership. His other suggestion of dragging Brexit out until 2023 also needs to be dismissed.

  9. Ed Mahony
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    I think it’s crucial the UK catches up with other countries in terms of R&D spending – for the high tech industry in general, affecting car industry to a degree as well:

    (% of GDP)

    – UK: 1.7

    – USA: 2.7
    – Germany: 2.7
    – Switzerland: 3
    – Sweden: 3.2
    – Austria: 3.1
    – Denmark: 3

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Scientific innovation is key. But so is developing the best skills in product design and branding – as this plays a key role in today’s market.

      In the car industry, for example, leading German car designer, Peter Schreyer, is now working in South Korea playing a key role in developing the Kia brand.

      • Robert Christopher
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

        How many in the Cabinet know what Science is, let alone Scientific Innovation?

        Surely, it’s all about Man Management and Political Subterfuge! 🙂

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

          Maybe you’re right!

  10. steveL
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    More to the point..why don’t you challenge Mr Clark, the Chancellor and the government since you are sitting there right alongside them? If as an MP you cannot make inroads on this which as you say, has nothing to do with the EU or Brexit, then what’s the point in taking back control..control of what? just who is going to have this control..certainly not the MPs in the House by the looks of it?

  11. Newmania
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The point is not whether John Redwood believes we can have workable supply chains .The point is whether Toyota think they would be better off in places which have not chosen isolation . Inertia counts for a lot but it seems clear that Redwood has cost many real highly paid manufacturing jobs .

    I found the sight of Greg Clark explaining why we should not have voted to jeopardise thousands of vital jobs , whilst supporting a government set on doing exactly that , quite astonishing. He seems to be oblivious to the fact that more than half the country do not want to impoverish whole regions in the cause of some odd wish to return to the 1950s ..
    The EU has no intention of allowing us to have the benefits of Customs Union or the single market without bearing the financial and political cost , outro pf the club , means out . Greg Clark was pretending there was a solution when there is nothing of the sort on the table

    PS Is there any business that John Redwood does not think he knows more about than the people actually doing it , I merely enquire ?

    Reply We were warned that if we did not join the Euro leading car makers would go elsewhere with their investment, but proved to be untrue. Why do you bother to read my remarks and reply if you have such a low view of my knowledge and experience?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

      So what do you think the EU will do when we arrange with Toyota for the trucks bringing in their parts from the EU to continue to whizz through the port of Dover unchecked, or to be absolutely precise with no more checks and delays at the border than there are now and have been for the past quarter century since the advent of the EU Single Market?

      Because that is what Greg Clark was fretting about, that unless the UK government enters into this ridiculous “customs partnership” with the EU then the same UK government might impose all kinds of new impediments and create new delays for those trucks.

      As Jacob Rees-Mogg pointed out yesterday it will be for the UK government to decide what formalities shall apply on goods coming into the UK from the EU, and it would be utterly perverse for the UK government to order the introduction of entirely unnecessary impediments which will damage the UK economy.

      So what do you think your friends in the EU would do in response to a sensible decision by the UK government not to hold up Toyota’s parts as they come in at Dover? Do you think they would “retaliate” by ordering unnecessary impediments to create unnecessary delays on their side? Is that what they are like, is that the kind of people and organisation you support?

    • NickC
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      Newmania, Why are you so bothered about the c11% of our economy dependent on our exports to the EU, but not at all by the other c89%? You should be about 8 times more concerned about the rest of the economy, to keep a sense of proportion. I suspect that your talking about trade is just an excuse to disguise from even yourself that selling out your country to a foreign power gives you a thrill.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

        Nick C

        You are getting carried away again

        • NickC
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          Hans, Are you attempting to argue that the UK’s exports of goods and services to the rEU (taking the “Rotterdam” effect into account) is much more than about 11%? Or don’t you do facts and figures?

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink


            the figures are as you state but you ae just getting too emotional in your conclusions not emotional conclusions

    • libertarian
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink


      Countries that have chosen isolation , you mean aren’tin the EU, like say the USA , where for example BMW’s largest single global factory is?

      Remainers are entirely made up of rent seekers and people with no knowledge of business and international trade

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:32 am | Permalink


        I really thought your liberal and informed view on life, gave you a better insight for nothing making such oversimplified and rather ill informed conclusions

        • libertarian
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink


          Who asked you? Either contribute to the debate or find someone else to pester

    • Newmania
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      Nick thats a bit like saying why worry about thje piffling 45 lof genes we do not share with chimp. I think you would notice the chnage ….well I hope so anyway

      • libertarian
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink


        No its NOTHING like that DNA & Chromosomes are not remotely similar to trading overseas . Its a fact that 86% of our economy is INTERNAL trade . Thats the point. Yet remainers ( none of whom seem to have any experience of actually trading) keep on banging on about single markets, trading blocks, yada yada . Just 9% of economic activity is with the EU. I trade overseas if in the unlikely event that I could no longer do that, the bulk of my business would still exist.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

          External trade brings 90% of our money.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 9, 2018 at 12:07 pm | Permalink


            No it doesn’t

  12. Alan
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I’d be interested if readers would post some examples of complex supply chains that go outside the EU. My impression is that some parts of the car industry have developed production methods that are unusual in requiring a large number of movements of parts between nations. I presume other technically advanced industries are in a similar situation, but it would be interesting to hear if the car industry is unique.

    I am a bit pessimistic about the vehicle industry anyway, which is confronted by the need to move to electric drive, and the need to develop self-driving vehicles, both of which I expect to have a far more profound effect on the industry than Brexit (bad though that will of course be).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Actually it is very foolish to move to very expensive, rapidly depreciating and very range limited electric cars before the technology is remotely ready. Often too light and rather dangerous too. There only advantage is that they pollute at the power station rather than in town (but often rather more over the cars lifetime as the battery production is so environmentally damaging and energy intensive). But this advantage can be had from far more flexible and cheaper hybrids that can do say 30 miles on battery. Or indeed from Natural Gas or other cars. Keeping running you old car is almost certainly the best option in cost and environmental terms (unless it is some huge gas guzzler.

      Electric car sales are very low and buyers are often hugely disappointed.

      When the technology can compete without subsidy fine. Currently you can buy a far better more flexible car than a £80K+ Tesla for about £4,000 second hand. Like wind turbines and solar arrays electric car only make sense with massive tax payer subsidies that should not be there. Why should tax payers subsidise some wealthy virtue signaler?

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

        ‘Actually it is very foolish to move to very expensive, rapidly depreciating and very range limited electric cars before the technology is remotely ready’

        – Fine. But, at an economic level, the UK needs to be aware of things such as how Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are investing €50 billion to develop electric cars. If there is a big future in electric, then our government needs to see what it can do to support that here in the UK.

        • Robert Christopher
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

          The Government should have some idea where all this electrical power should be generated for the electric cars.
          Our National Grid is near to collapse when it’s cold, dark and windless.
          And the German NG needs to sort itself out before it can power an appreciable number of electric cars.

          • APL
            Posted May 9, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

            Robert Christopher: “Our National Grid is near to collapse when it’s cold, dark and windless. ”

            In 1945 British scientists ( and former Nazi scientists ) built the British nuclear bomb – from nothing.

            Today, we have to buy our nuclear power stations from EDF.

            Why can’t the British government stimulate a new nuclear energy programme based on a new technology, for example Thorium salt technology?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

          Not really the technology only makes sense currently due to the tax breaks and sloped pitch. R&D fine but roll out of expensive & premature duff technology with subsidies from other tax payers is stupid. Get it working & competitive first!

        • Leslie Singleton
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

          Dear Ed–Did anyone even remotely answer the point that in a solely battery-driven car getting stuck in a snowdrift means rapid death by freezing? And what about the pavements between the sockets and the cars? To my mind the talk of “electric cars” is misleading–We had battery-driven milk floats a century ago but they never went on motorways or indeed anywhere other than locally. Battery improvement, which would make all the difference, hasn’t kept up with the blurb, and its not particualrly obvious it ever will.

        • APL
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

          Ed Mahony: ” such as how Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW are investing €50 billion to develop electric cars.”

          They also invested billions in efficient diesel engine technology only because the government incentivised them to do so. Now it looks like that’s all been for nothing too.

          The problem with electric vehicles is the battery technology isn’t sufficient for the task. Batteries are heavy take a long time to charge and the weight of the fuel cell ( unlike fuel in a fuel tank ) doesn’t decrease as the energy in the cell declines. An electric car always carries the dead weight of the battery with it, regardless the battery is fully charged or flat.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        Electric cars have tax and legislative (parking & congestion charge) advantages which are totally unjustified and irrational. A subsidy from poorer tax payers to rich virtue signalers.

        Needless to say the wrong on every issue (and endlessly climate alarmist bogus science pushing) BBC just love them.

        etc ed

        • Adam
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          He he! Whereas a picture may be worth 1,000 words, the 2 short words ‘etc ed’ reveal efficient images of JR judgement.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

          L/L As usual, right on every count!!

      • Alan
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        We need to get emissions down to deal with climate change, and subsidies are necessary to get new technologies started so that they become economic. You are forgetting that emissions have a cost in the form of climate change and health problems: if petrol and diesel engines had to meet those costs they would be seen to be uneconomic.

        We don’t have a choice about eliminating CO2 emissions: it is a matter of survival. If the worst comes to the worst we will have to give up cars and all transport that emits CO2 apparent from that which is absolutely essential. Moving to electric drives (and wind, wave, and tidal power – and if all else fails, nuclear – for electricity generation) might enable us to avoid that.

        • NickC
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

          Alan, Pollution is bad, but carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It’s really only politicians who go on about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) nowadays. Some scientists even claim that CAGW was devised by “climate sceptics” to discredit climate science.

          Clearly the level of CO2 cannot be the issue because the planet would have become a cinder a long time ago with levels in the Cambrian and pre-Cambrian at least 6 times current levels, if CO2 provided solely a positive feedback and no other mechanisms operate. And no one is suggesting we will reach anywhere near those levels.

          Some AGW may exist, but it is only masking the likely current medium term cooling due to declining sunspot activity. I am much more worried about that cooling than the government claimed warming.

        • ian wragg
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          Alan, the majority of electricity is generated from fossil fuels that emit CO2. It has not been proved that CO” is harmful to the planet as it is an essential plant food.
          The CO2 emitted during the construction of the wind turbines probably exceeds that emitted by CCGT plants, particularly the thousands of tonnes of concrete for the bases.
          All renewable is intermittent and generally useless for the modern world.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

          We don’t have a choice about eliminating CO2 emissions: it is a matter of survival.

          Drivel, the climate is not that sensitive to CO2, it is a huge exaggeration or con trick if you prefer. Anyway are you suggesting we all stop breathing and kill all the animals that breath too? You cannot “eliminate” C02 emissions.

          Anyway a bit hotter is balance is a positive thing as is a bit more CO2 for the greening of the planet which we have seen already. Also for crop yields.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Not just car loans that are artificially restricted and this is very damaging to the economy.

      • anon
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

        The current weight of the batteries is anything but light?

        Combustion engines in cities are not a good idea. Zero emission mode only in cities.

        Burning diesel is dirty with particulates or soot. Ask any window cleaner in a city! That’s what you breath in all the time unless your passing through to the country.

        Would you like to cost in the health costs for asthma etc.

        You may feel different if we piped the exhaust off an inner city road into your garden or pathway 24/7.

        The technology is ready for public transport vehicles. It is nearly close to mass production for private cars.

        Car batteries will be and are being recycled.

        Capital intensive industries need impetus to change, until Tesla et al came and provoked that change.

        The e- competition is coming and combustion engines in cities should only be by special permit.

        Perhaps we should have a clean air tax a tax on all emission save co2 , H20 and water.

        I know it could go to help offset the cost of a TFL pension somewhere:)

        I think the policy should be better calibrated and easier to understand.

        In other words put the cost on the source fuel.

        Turbine diameters and power are such that subsidies may soon not be needed at all. Some co-siting of gas,wind and solar will finish off coal/oil and likely make nuclear seem recklessly expensive and dangerous, unless for Mars mission or similar.

        Some of the cheapest deals at the moment are 100% renewable. Yes subsidy is part of it for now.


        The London Array cost £3bn for a 1GW, with 3.6mw turbines. Today’s turbines can be double this. So when re-powered costs will continue to fall.

        The cost of Nuclear is going runaway in the other direction. Another May decision to tie us in to the EU. How many London Arrays could have been built for the same money before they even finish.

    • NickC
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      Alan, One example is your mobile phone. It was probably designed in the USA, with a processor designed in the UK (now owned by the Japanese), manufactured and assembled largely in China, with software written all over the world.

      Another is the local supermarket. A month or two back, I looked at the origins of the produce I had bought: UK; Senegal; Morocco; Columbia; USA; Chile; India; Kenya. Only the lettuce was from the EU (Spain).

      In many cases products that criss-cross borders can be manufactured differently. It’s only done that way to suit the big corporates, not the countries that are the hosts. There are alternative products and materials from all round the world. We really don’t need the EU. I for one am now avoiding EU products where I can.

      • Cis
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:03 pm | Permalink

        Avoiding EU products seems misguided to me. As I understand it, the 27 export more to us than we do to them, so they stand to be the bigger losers if Brussels insists on a punitive customs deal. Continuing to trade with them should be a constant, niggling reminder of how much they could lose if they let the Eurocrats control the Brexit negotiations. We need the 27 to stand up to them on this, and maintaining trade is one of the best arguments we have.

    • Alison
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      The oil industry has complex supply chains. The UK’s oil industry players have been instrumental over decades in bringing in and maintaining just-in-time work and supply flows, standardized (globally, NOT on a European basis) and achieving huge productivity gains. UK and Norway in particular re oil.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink


      Lots of industries have complex global supply chains.

      Apart from the obvious, food & drink and clothing. Mobile phones as an example. Designed in the US, using chip technology from UK, assembled in China, shipped to Europe ( hint there are NO EU mobile phone makers)

      According to the Supply Chain Industry

      When it comes to having the most complex supply chains, Industrial lighting and luminaries takes the cake.

      Aerospace, Chemicals, Pharma, Oil and energy all have complex global supply chains

      This is why the EU as a so called “single market” and so called single trading block is a joke. Its a bureaucrats idea of a market . Most markets operate globally

  13. Edward2
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Now we read articles in the press saying the Government and the EU intend to totally ban all petrol and diesel engined vehicles sometime in the future.
    Only hybrid and pure electric will be allowed for sale.
    Additionally hybrids will have to travel a minimum of 50 miles on electric power.
    This means all the current hybrids are not acceptable to our leaders.
    There is going to be a huge drop in residual values and a huge rise in unemployment in the industry if green minded politicians do not come to their senses.
    New MOT test comes on 20th May with toughet emission standards which will result in many older car owners being told their car is now scrap.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      The government once again forcing people to expensively do totally the wrong things and thus damaging the economy.

    • Mark
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      I heard they are even planning to ban all hybrids as well. They seem determined to shut down first the automotive industry, and second the wider economy, since many will lack any viable transport – as will our goods. Green madness that I cannot vote for.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Hybrids, although a good idea in theory will shut themselves down. A few years ago when everyone was on petrol or derv, with bigger more greedy engines, petrol stations were being closed by the oil companies in similar proportion to pubs nowadays. If the need for petrol falls by say half, who will manufacture the fuel and who will pay to keep open petrol stations that even now are only just profitable?

      • libertarian
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        Politicians have been trying to ban cars for 20 years. They all reside in London where a car isn’t needed or viable

        • a-tracy
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          They make decisions based on London and the surrounded well serviced by public transport areas and leave rural teenagers stranded and relying on the free taxi service of their parents and unable to get to access jobs or work flexible hours.

    • stred
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

      According to LBC last night, our so called Brexit cheerleader Mr Gove is covering himself in greencrap and saying that hybrids will have to be banned too. The car industry is just in the process of bringing out lots of Toyotas, Nissans, Minis and Jags which, being hybrids, can travel the same distances as diesels without having to stop for hours queuing for a charging point or running out of juice for the aircon or heating. Even the new electric taxi, with millions of tax spent subsidising it, is a hybrid. But forget buying a hybrid- they are going to be banned. How helpful to the car makers.

      By the way, 60% of PM particles comes from tyres and brakes. Electric cars have tyres and brakes. The next thing will be Mayor Khan banning wheels. The extension of lifespan forecast by banning all ICE vehicles and gas burners in central London is in weeks, for a person living their whole life over 85 years in the more polluted areas. Pollution has actually been reducing by a huge factor over the past 40 years. It would be interesting to know whether Mr Gove has a clue about the facts of just accepts the inaccurate waffle from the Green civil servants with arts degrees that infest his ministry.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

        Hybrids will only be allowed if they can travel at least 50 miles on electric power alone.
        But you are right stared, there is a great focus on just private cars.
        Only 20% of air pollution in cities is from cars.
        The rest comes from lorries, vans, buses,coaches, taxis,trains, river boats, planes, building site construction equipment, gas stoves, gas boilers and from log burning stoves and charcoal bbq’s.

        • stred
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

          Last year they had diesel and petrol cars producing 8% of total NOx in central London. Then they suddenly upped it to 31% of road transport, which is almost half of the total, ie 15%. TfL buses were 16% of total and are now 16% of road transport, ie 8% of the total. It is wonderful what they can do with statistics when they need to put through EU policy.

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

          50 miles????!!!! A trip to our local town with major shops is 56 miles return trip. Oh, well, a coffee break to recharge will be needed even if we don’t want one. Who thinks up these stupid policies? Life as we know it? You’re having a laugh.

    • Andy
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

      Great isn’t it.

      Not that it matters anyway. Little Britain will have no say in what cars look like in future. Manufacturers will make them fit for the rules in big economic areas like the EU, China, US. Our rules will either have to follow or we will have no cars.

      No one is going to manufacture cars specifically Brexit Britain’s tiny market.

      • NickC
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Andy, They already do. You may not have noticed but we drive on the left whilst the rEU drives on the right.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

        One your most hilarious posts Andy
        The UK is a huge and valuable market for vehicles.
        Try Google.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


        Fool. Britain is Germany’s 4th largest market . Britain has by dint of being the home of advanced automotive development in the motorsports business pioneered most of the advanced technology now used in modern cars .

      • Adam
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

        Could not a nation of some 60m citizens have the capability to produce cars that suits its own needs & preferred domestic transportation arrangements?

      • Richard1
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

        True not computers or mobile phones either. So what?

  14. mick
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink
    It’s flaming obvious to anyone who’s loyalty is to our country and not the dreaded Eu that the Eu are going to try every trick in the book to thwart us leaving with our money because that’s the crookes of it our money, well we are leaving next March and that means also the custom union and the single market, so all these remoaners had better get use to it or leave and go live in your beloved Europe

    • Alan
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      That’s a bit tough. I didn’t ask that you should emigrate to New Zealand when we were in the EU. I tolerated you living here and voting for UKIP. Can’t I go on living here as I have for the last 70 years and maybe write the occasional comment saying that I wished we had stayed in the EU? I might even be allowed to vote LibDem. Perhaps even the occasional comment pointing out that Brexit will not be the paradise that people were led to expect or that the Brexit government looks as though it could not organise a round of drinks in a public house. It’s not much to ask for the remaining few years of my life.

      We do all have to live together. You can’t expect 48% of the population to leave.

      • NickC
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

        Alan, What a peculiar parade of non sequiturs. No one asks Labour voters to leave the country if a Tory government is voted into office. I tolerate you living here even though you are a Remain. What we do expect is for Remains to accept the validity of the 2016 Referendum. Especially as you expected us to live in your EU paradise.

        • Andy
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

          The difference is that after a general election you get to vote again in 5 years if the party in power does not deliver on its promises.

          With Brexit even though the Leavers are demonstrably already failing to deliver on their promises there can be no vote ever again – and everyone has to apparently both like it and not question it otherwise they are traitors.

          • NickC
            Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

            Andy, It was 41 years between the first referendum (1975) and the second (2016), not 5 years.

            I am quite happy for you to have another referendum in 41 years time. We can’t bob in and out of the EU every 5 years. Even your EU wouldn’t accept that.

            But we haven’t even left the EU yet.

            Because Remains are stopping us. Remains don’t have to like Brexit, simply accept the result as valid as you would any other election or referendum, and not prevent the vote being implemented.

          • a-tracy
            Posted May 8, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

            It is the remainers in charge of this current government, this needs to change soon.

      • Andy
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        Well said. If the 48% did leave the rest would be in trouble. Most of the 52% are retired and/or benefit claimants. Who will subsidise them if the tax paying remainers all emigrate?

        • graham1946
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

          Any figures or just another Andy brainless rant?

          How are you getting on with putting your 30 employees on the dole? Are they all pensioners and Leavers who we subsidise?

        • alan jutson
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:58 pm | Permalink


          If all Remainers left ?

          We could import some younger one’s to keep us in the lifestyle to which we have become accustomed, if that’s what you really believe.
          Thats the beauty of running a controlled immigration scheme, if they are what are needed by the Country you let them in, if they are not, you keep them out.

          Such a simple plan, really do not understand why so many politicians are against it when other Countries in the World practice it.

        • Anonymous
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Unemployed and over 65s in the UK total around 13 million. (1.6m unemployed)

          Nearly everyone I know is in work and voted Brexit.

          Stop tainting people who happen to have a different opinion to you.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

          The majority of remainers work for the state.
          Who is going to be generating all the taxes to enable them to draw their salaries and pensions?

        • fedupsoutherner
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          No Andy, I think you will find that many are still paying taxes and many are still working. Benefits? What are they? Oh, you mean the pensions we all paid in for all our working lives. Get a life. Our generation built this country up.

      • anon
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Yes remainers are welcome to stay and disagree with sensible reasoned comment.

        They are entitled to use democratic methods to overturn things like referendums and elections. That is the whole point of leaving the EU.
        We can choose to change course but we should never consider giving that up for a construct like the EU from which democracy dies.

        Brexit is being executed by remainers “Don’t you get it?”.

        We should have exited immediately and unilaterally to avoid all this nonsense and faux negotiation.

        Article 50 etc was trying to keep things nice but honestly the EU are bad faith actors! You really cant see this?

        Our democracy is hanging by a thread and we need desperately direct democracy and recall.

      • Alison
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        Of course not (re emigrating). But we do want to live in a country where we can vote out the people who impose laws on us.
        That is why we desperately need Brexit.

  15. oldtimer
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I agree with every word of this. The government`s attitude and policy towards to the car industry has been abysmal, from the taxes imposed by the Chancellor to casual comments by ministers about banning diesels from the roads. This has had predictable and immediate effects on demand as is clearly evident from the sharp drop in sales.

    What is extraordinary is that these taxes have been imposed by a self confessed Remain Chancellor. All the latest talk (from Mr Clark) about protecting the industry by recreating the customs union should be treated with the contempt it deserves. The Remain faction in the cabinet are the authors of the industry`s recent sales decline. It also seems that the CBI is complicit, judging by their endorsement of Mr Clark`s views immediately after his interview on Marr. Project Fear has been reactivated in an attempt to justify the Great Betrayal of the Brexit vote. Mr Clark also appears careless about the implications of last week`s local election vote for the Conservative party.

  16. Andy
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I find it staggering that a bunch of backbench Tory MPs – most of whom had clearly never heard of the customs union until AFTER the referendum – think they know more about the motor manufacturing industry than people who run the industry.

    How about this Mr Redwood – put your money where your mouth is. We will agree to no customs partnership providing The Conservative government guarantees, in full, the salaries of workers in those industries which are at risk. Those guarantees are not to come from taxpayer money – but from Conservative party funds and donors. If you are confident you will have no problem doing this as you keep telling us there is no cost.

    Reply I have run large industrial companies with complex supply chains and UK factories! Never had any problem with non EU components.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

      Ridiculous comment Andy
      Can you guarantee jobs in the whole automotive industry in the future if we remained in the EU?
      Do you remember when Ford closed down their Southampton plant and moved to Turkey part subsidised by EU money?

      • Andy
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

        Yes – I remember that the Ford decisions didn’t happen at all like that but that it made another very convenient Leave lie.

        If Mr Redwood and his colleagues are so confident they can put their party’s money where their mouth is.

        You all seem very confident there will be no negative Brexit impact so you should have no qualms acting as guarantors.

        Or are you only happy to play Russian roulette with the economy – if the gun is pointing at someone else?

        • NickC
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

          Andy, Are you only happy to play Russian roulette with the economy by remaining in the EU, if the gun is pointing at someone else? Don’t forget that only about 11% of UK GDP derives from our exports to the EU, the other c89% doesn’t.

        • Edward2
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

          It’s no lie.
          Ford moved away whist we were in the EU
          The EU gave Ford a very cheap loan.
          According to you there is no changes or movements in the automotive industry whilst we were in the EU
          My example proves that is not the case.
          I note you fail to comment on the future of the industry if we remained in the EU.

    • Andy
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Which companies and when?

      • stred
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

        Andy. As a matter of interest, would you mind telling us what your company and your 30 staff, that will have to be made redundant when we leave the EU, makes or supplies? I just can’t think of anything that will fold up when we exit. Have you told your mum that you are about to wield the axe and will she be cross?

    • NickC
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Andy, The customs union is an intrinsic part of Lisbon and hence the EU. It is you who shows your ignorance by talking about it as a bolt on accessory. When the “Norway” option was discussed during the campaign it was clearly stated that Norway had to obey EU single market rules (“fax diplomacy”) but was free of the EU’s customs union, so could negotiate its own trade deals. It is absurd that you want us less free than Norway. And even more absurd that remaining in the EU’s CU and SM is, in any sense, Brexit.

      • Andy
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

        I agree. There is no sense in remaining in either the single market or customs union if we go ahead with Brexit.

        We will unquestionably be poorer as a result but it will be you, and not me, who has to justify that to the electorate.

        Frankly Brexit is just an absurd idea pushed through by economically illiterate ideologue. As the public will be finding out.

        • NickC
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink

          Andy, I question your assertion that “We will unquestionably be poorer as a result [of Brexit]”. Otherwise the entire world would be clamouring to join the EU.

          Australia has just stated that they would not outsource its trade policy to a bunch of other nations. And I am sure the USA wouldn’t. Likewise all the Commonwealth nations precisely took their independence from London administering their trade.

          Do you Remains never look up from your blinkered EU world?

        • Original Richard
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          “We will unquestionably be poorer as a result but it will be you, and not me, who has to justify that to the electorate.”

          No justification will be necessary.

          A majority voted to leave the EU despite being told by everyone (Mr. Cameron, Mr. Osborne, Mr. Carney, the OECD, the POTUS, the EU funded CBI and IMF, the EU, the hedge fund managers, the financiers, the banks, the corporates and the world’s wealthy elites who do not even live in the EU etc. etc.) that Brexit would bring economic ruin to the country.

          But over 17m people believed freedom is worth more than a few pieces of silver and took the only chance they had in over 40 years to tell their governing elites in Parliament that they did not agree with their illegal giving away of the UK’s sovereignty.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        Remainers just want to be proved right. They wish their nation ill in their egotistic quest to get this country to fail.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:42 pm | Permalink


      Please kindly inform whether you were a non-exec or an executive in the mentioned companies?

      Repky I was the Chairman who led the team and knew the problems and strengths of the business

    • Original Richard
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      A majority in the UK voted for the UK to be a free and independent country understanding that whatever the EU may try to do to harm the UK outside of the EU it is nothing compared to the damage it could wreak upon a UK as a member of the EU.

  17. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    A bit of a mixup here between supply and demand. I think Mr Clark needs to explain how consumers of non EU products from free trade deals we negotiate will be helped by having to pay EU tariffs then reclaim them.
    The answer is that other FTA s won’t be able to be negotiated and tariffs paid won’t be reclaimed, leaving us department facto in the customs union.

  18. Hope
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    Bosch claims it thinks it has solved the diesel emmission problem. Moreover, the German Govt has still not taken any substantive action over VW cheating emissions. The US has. E US has forced VW to replace cars, fined it heavily etc. the German Govt is dragging its heals somewhat. What is Mr Clarke doing to force the EU to make Germany take action? What about EU environment policy?

    Greening, Clarke Soubry, ken Clarke, Grieve Morgan Doing everything they can to keep the U.K. In the Eau. Soubry made it clear she does not care what the call it as long as the U.K. Remains in the customs Union which means staying in thenEU.mthey are,all gong against the public vote, two votes in parliament, Tory manifesto, Cameron’s promises in parliament, the govt leaflet, and promises to leave the EU.

    JR, but let us be clear May created this by agreeing to a backstop position making it the U.K. Problem and knowing that the EU would refuse every offer our country makes. She was stupid,to agree to this or conniving to do so knowing this was the enivetable outcome. She deliberately left the door open for this by her moronic backstop position.

  19. Lifelogic
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink


    Greg Clark is as bad a Ken Clark. He is a strong remainer, has clearly swallowed all the climate alarmist bogus science exaggerations, he worked at the BBC (Controller, Commercial Policy) and was president of Cambridge University Social Democrats. It says it all really.

    He presumably is in the Tory Party only because it gave him a better chance of winning a seat than the Libdims. Especially in Tunbridge Wells.

    In short he is just like May and Hammond a lefty, high tax, interventionist dope who is wrong on almost every issue and thinks big government and the EU know best.

    He is clearly batting for T May (with her authority) just before she kicks the electorate and the sound Tories in the teeth with her Brexit means absolutely nothing agenda. What are the sensible wing of the Tories going to do about her? She is an economic, Brexit and electoral disaster area.

    We had to suffer her all thanks to back stabbing Gove!

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      Yes and no.
      Greg Clark seems to be a Japanese car industry veteran with myopia on what’s actually best outside his supply chain. He’s really fighting a rearguard action against the electorate who voted for sovereignty ahead of his “muda”, or waste, which his Japanese masters think could happen if the EU cut up rough with us over free trade.
      He, and his Japanese masters, need to be reminded that we’re a sovereign nation. The very fact that Nissan is located in Sunderland indicates muda in supplying that plant from the continent, so perhaps he should be suggesting more local suppliers to Sunderland, Burnaston etc. to the Japanese?

    • rose
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      LL it is wishful thinking to keep asserting the PCP would have short-listed Boris. Gove knew, and Boris knew, what the chances were. Alas. It is that same PCP refusing to back Brexit now.

  20. agricola
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Anyone who gets a Phd on a thesis entitled, “The effectiveness of incentive payment systems, an empirical test of individualism as a boundary condition.” I would deem unemployable. If you cannot communicate in plain English you are not much use in government or industry.

    Gordon Brown promoted diesel in 2001, causing an acceleration in sales. various green operatives, the chancellor and some European governments decided to put the boot in when Volkswagon and others were discovered to be grossly over claiming emission figures.

    My first question is what is an economist with a bizarrely titled Phd and a remain advocate doing as business secretary. Second does he have a handle on all the latest developments at Loughborough University and at Bosch. Chances are Greg Clarke has never heard of them. In my judgement he is presiding over the biggest business cock up we have experienced for a while. Just for starters a 26% drop in production in three months at LRJ plus 1000 redundancies. The story in the rest of the UK car industry is as yet unquantified. This is a disaster way in excess of anything Angela Rudd achieved, but because the House of Commons and Government are a technological desert nobody has the whit to realise it.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

      Making a compete fist of energy production too with the over prices Hinkley C, the absurd green crap subsidies, bio fuel lunacy and all the rest! Please get a decent engineer or physicist in charge please!

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

        L/L You should be in parliament. Hear, hear to that. When are we going to get a common sense policy on energy?

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 5:00 am | Permalink

          When they put a decent engineer or physicist in charge! Rather than lawyers, duff economists or PPE graduates.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 8:55 am | Permalink

      Mr Clark’s thesis subject and title are neither bizarre nor irrelevant. The topic is central to the theoretical framework that business schools teach regarding managerial compensation in the interest of business owners. Be glad that someone intelligent enough to complete a PhD in a highly relevant discipline, is prepared to do ministerial work.

  21. VotedOut
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Speaking as a gas turbine combustion engineer of 30 years, I can say that the current pollution situation from diesel engines was entirely predictable.

    Diesel engines are inherently more prone to produce high levels of NOx and particulates. These are despite manufacturer’s assurances to the contrary.

    By far the most hazardous pollutant are the particulates. So called modern diesel engines fitted with filters produced nanometre sized carcinogenic particles (PAH’s). Due to their size, these particles pass through the nasal passages, into the lungs and go directly into the blood stream. They can and do cause cancer as well as promote blood vessel clogging with any fats that may be there – hence cardiac risk.

    This was all known about years and years ago.

    Our problem is that commons select committes have MPs with PPE’s from august institutions like Oxford who believe that they know best. Well, they do not. The ‘expert’ advice they seek is at best – highly dubious.

    The result now is that the government has piled on the brakes for diesel so the consumer is not interested in diesel cars. This combines with the absurd drive for 3 cylinder 1.0l petrol ‘eco’ cars that cannot provide the performance needed in today’s urban, motorway or any traffic, has led to most people holding off buying cars. People don’t want these low powered 3 cylinder put-puts.

    If you pushed now for more 4 cylinder 1.2l petrol cars instead of diesel, we would see a reduction on Nox and particulates. This would be sensible interim measure while battery powered vehicles and the much needed (but never ever talked about) infrastructure of charging points is worked out.

    I will leave the need for 7 new power stations just to charge up all these cars for another commons select committe to get wrong – again.

    Its not rocket science. Try asking the right people into your committees.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

      Indeed get someone like Peter Lilley in Charge of the committee.

    • Mark
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      While what you say may be true, it is also true that the consequences of NOx and particulate pollution from diesel vehicles have been grossly exaggerated and misrepresented in the media and in government circles. For a proper analysis of these claims search for

      Mortality from Diesel Car Pollution in the UK

      where you will find that Euan Mearns deconstructs the falsehoods, and shows that there is at worst a diminution of life expectancy measured as 2-22 days on average, very likely more than offset by the benefits of having transport available in the first place.

      • VotedOut
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Mr Mearns may or may not be correct. Multi-variant systems are complex to deconstruct to single prime causes. However, it is a self evident fact that when I have used an emissions measurement kit anywhere near a UK road I have seen NOx levels invariably twice the WHO recommended limit. 30 years ago this was not the case. True, traffic levels may be higher now, but then that only serves my point

        Particulate levels are clearly an issue. Look at any any PVC windows near a UK road. Within 1 week you will see a build up of particulates. You don’t need any emissions measurement kit to see than.

        Further, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in particulate matter are proven to be carcinogenic. I do not believe anyone is suggesting otherwise.

        I might add I am not against diesel powered vehicles as such – just those being used for run-abouts. It is a question of numbers.

        • Mark
          Posted May 8, 2018 at 6:40 pm | Permalink

          Clearly you have not read his piece, which analyses the statistics, not the medical issues.

        • stred
          Posted May 9, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

          Pollution levels exceeded EU limits in some roadside positions when the limits were lowered and lawyers argued that action had to be taken, even though background levels had fallen. Then WHO lowered their limit below EU levels to some ideal that they guessed would eliminate health risks. This limit is greatly exceeded all over the world, particularly in third world countries and those with deserts. Western Europe has worst levels of 100 and only occasionally. China, India and others have worst levels over 1000. WHO have said that the people suffering seriously are those with cookers with no flue inside their houses and in areas with old industries and where soils are whipped up by wind. Europe and the US, Canada and Australia are the cleanest countries on the planet. Cancer and heart deaths have reduced and are no higher in professional drivers who are on the road all day. Dementia is higher in women and relates to age, not pollution.

    • miami.mode
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      VO, agree about expert advice the committees receive as the individuals called often have an agenda for which they receive some income.

      Au contraire on the 3 cylinder models, as those with a turbo are quite fast and can out-sprint many more expensive models.

      • VotedOut
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

        Re: 3 pot engines, I will test drive one tomorrow!

    • ian wragg
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I spent about 50 years as a Gas Turbine erector and commissioner and was part of the GE low nox programme, the simple expedient of re- routing the air to the combustion liner dropped nox from 340 to 160.. No one predicted such success. Siemens tried it with their V94.2 series but the flame was unstable and could only be used above 80% load.
      I often feel the Germans are wrongly admired for their technology, things are generally over engineered and too complicated.

      • VotedOut
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

        Indeed so. The Siemens chaps would say: But for what load range? For what ambient? Etc…

        You are quite correct in your assessment of German engineering. I make a living out of fixing their complex systems – who am I to rock the boat?

        GE is a very pragmatic company and despite some complex DLN systems, they have been able to offer highly flexible solutions. That’s why as you know, they have 70% of the market.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    An whilst considering the future of the car industry, and important question to ask is about the electricity generating and distribution industry if we are to achieve the government’s target of all electric cars by 2040. Neither the generation or distribution systems could cope with the huge load.
    Questions should be also asked as to how the changeover is to be managed between the production of petrol/diesel vehicles as clearly the demand for such vehicles will start to fall within the next decade.
    The usual answer is that we will have better more efficient batteries, but that is only the equivalent of fitting a larger fuel tank to your car; It stall has to be filled!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      Indeed a battery is just a fuel tank. But one that cost about 1000 times as much to make, is heavy, bulky, stores far less energy, deteriorates & depreciates rapidly, takes many hours to charge, wasted much of the fuel in the process of charge and discharge and causes huge environmental damage in production and is expensive to recycle.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        We need lighter, cheaper, more energy dense, cleaner and more quickly charged batteries. There is still some considerable way to go. When we get them fine go electric but not yet!

        • stred
          Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

          The price of lithium has already quadrupled. Elon Musk is so worried that his car production has stalled. He scrapped his own Tesla by sending it to Mars.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        L/L And don’t forget the damage being done to the environment in places like China where children are forced into hard labour to provide the elements for these batteries. A disgrace. One we can ignore though as it doesn’t affect us. Typical. It goes on in other industries but it doesn’t make it right.

    • alan jutson
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm | Permalink


      Just think of the disruption of putting all those charging points outside houses in built up areas, do you remember the chaos of broadband with hundreds of miles of pavements dug up and then poorly (Laugh) made good.

      Cables which should have been 450mm below the surface sometimes as shallow as 75mm.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 3:53 am | Permalink

        Also electric car make a little more sense as city cars where most people live in flats and have no parking!

  23. Epíkouros
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    I know the Conservative party since Margaret Thatcher has been slowly evolving into just another left wing and progressive party. That is illiberal, progressively socialist leaning and intellectually dumbing down with very few true blue civil liberties loving capitalists left. So that those we used to term the wets are growing in numbers and the old guard are becoming a bit on the damp side. True some are still standing up for what is right like Brexit and capitalism if in a somewhat watered down version but little else. The writing appears to be on the wall for the Conservative party as the wets are becoming more numeros, vociferous and act more like Antifar everyday with the same lack of maturity and rational thinking. As the Conservative party is now being taken over it is time for a new party of the right. One that is stocked with true believers in democracy, civil liberties, freedom of choice, action and speech. Perhaps named the Conservative Liberal(classical) party and carry on the work that Margaret Thatcher started.

  24. Jason wells
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Yes John but that was before all of this bad blood was was a time before the Tories lined up with UKIP,s Farrage in throwing obscene personal remarks accross thc floor of the EU was a time before ‘let them go whistle’..A50 has been activated now and there is no going back not even if we had the road to Damascus conversion..the EU crowd are determined that we go out..’out is out’..all talk now is only that and is just mainly about the niceties and how things look..and how they will look after we are out. for the writers of history

    So then we can trade according to WTO Rules as has been advocated now by so many like JR, IDS Rees-mogg Fox etc..the EU crowd are not going to let us back in again until we are squeezed..until we squeal..and then only after ten twenty years or more..and of course with WTO rules trading will come the forever whinging at long queues at ports, sea ports and airports courtesy of pissed off customs and immigration officials on both sides of the channel and that’s when they are not on strike..something to think about..all of this for taking back control?

    • Roy Grainger
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      And the results of ignoring the outcome of a democratic election would be what ?

      • Jason wells
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

        Roy Grainger.. unfortunately there is little any of us can do now to change the direction that the country is taking ..very likely we will be out by march 2019 and it is doubtful now that we will have new trade deals in place by then so there will be many years of idleness and speculation until we find a new way forward again.

        The referendum campaign was fought on lies and sloganeering so that a lot of people voted the way they did for very different reasons..for this reason we can hardly call it democratic..I have no doubt that knowing what we know now a new election would throw up a whole different result- but it’s much too late for that now so we have to make the best of what we have..well we’ll just have to consolidate, cut back, grow more food for ourselves, start to build merchant ships again, redevelop some of the old sea ports..just make way for a different will take some planning but it will need to be done

    • NickC
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

      Jason Wells, Why do you think the c11% of UK GDP gained by our exporting to the EU is more important than the c89% that is not?

      • Adam
        Posted May 7, 2018 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        A strongly-contrasting retort, NickC. Too many seem unaware.

  25. Ford Prefect
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Much of Mrs May’s Remainers have a brain straining from a sedentary if not squatting position and seem not to like cars. Give them a doll!

  26. Michael
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Why on earth would the Conservative Party go in a direction the people who vote for it do not like? A customs partnership is not leaving the EU. It would be part and parcel of it. The Party must not betray it’s electorate

    • rose
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

      The Conservative Party has been betraying its electorate ever since November 1990.

  27. lojolondon
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    The government is intentionally damaging the UK car industry and unnecessarily raising the motoring costs for everyone on the basis of ‘global warming’ – which clearly does not even exist! The British public is still waiting in vain for the government to remove their taxation foot from our throat, so that our economy can thrive once again. I thought that the Chancellor would watch and learn from Trump (in the same way that Thatchernomics and Reaganomics did) – but no signs of that. Verily, we need a Cabinet of thoughtful, courageous people, no more of the shallow grey wimps that dominate our lives.

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Agreed – the local establishment follows blindly those that lie about climate change, while having no concept of what is truly happening…. we have lemmings in too many government departments – but they’d better get rid of them, because after BREXIT, we will have to think for ourselves, and we cannot indulge in untruthful propoganda. It’s too painful.

  28. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    – new cars and petrol to tax;
    – motorists to pay more than their fair share of taxes;
    – motorists seen as the devil for filling the roads to congestion….
    What would governments do?
    They encourage unnecessary car production, while still making life intolerable for those with cars – they have failed, miserably to provide adequate infrastructure and transport links.

    I hope Greg Clark reads this blog….

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

      Bryan. It should be made law that Greg Clark reads this post. He is an idiot but sadly one of many.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

        Agreed – All real tories should read it…..but I’m afraid there are too many tories now edging towards the dark side

  29. Ron Olden
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    This is a fact. How do these Remainers imagine we manage to trade with countries outside the EU today?

    More of our trade is already with countries outside the EU than within it, and we don’t need ‘Customs Partnerships’ with them, so why the EU?

    I can’t imagine a MORE self harming proposal than this. It’s worse then staying in the EU itself.

    They want to us to collect customs tariffs at a rate charged by a foreign Protectionist Trade Cartel of which we are not members, and then demand that our own businesses reclaim the tax if they can prove they weren’t liable for it.

    And if they don’t, we just hand the money over to the EU.

    The unremitting problem with all this, is the existence of the EU’s Protectionist Trade Tariffs themselves.

    As for declining car sales, the decline has now stopped. April 2018 was 10% up on 2017.

  30. Adam
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Fuel efficiency is important economically, & there are easier ways Britons can take back control of much motor travel waste.

    If people ate less, the amount of weight vehicles waste in fuel would reduce, both from their body weight & cutting dopey distribution of the needless food. More value would be available to use sensibly.

    Driving many tonnes of mineral water, from France to Leamington Spa, where local tap drinking water is adequate, runs vehicles into ridicule.

  31. hans christian ivers
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm | Permalink


    Very interesting perspective I am not sure I agree completely with you on the supply chain and EU neither do all the UK car manufacturers including Nissan and Toyota.

    However, on the diesels, this is happening all over Europe on the diesels, so what can the UK government actually do on falling demand across Europe for diesel cars?

    Reply UK policy has made it worse here

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 7, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink


      Considering the UK is a very small of the European diesel market your answer really does not cover it John

      • Edward2
        Posted May 8, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

        The UK is very important market for all world major vehicle manufacturers.
        It is not “Very small”
        Millions of vehicles per year.
        Google it.

  32. They Work for Us?
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    How many times must it be said. The government has NO mandate from the electorate to allow them to prohibit petrol engines in cars and expensive decarbonisation in general.
    Like many other matters, this one is too important for politicians to be allowed to decide on our behalf. A decarbonisation yes or no referendum is essential with proper and fair debate on each side. Or more simply defer further decarbonisation for at least a hundred years until alternative technologies are established and proven.

  33. duncan
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    WE WANT THIS LEADER DEPOSED NOW before she destroys our party and our Brexit victory

    May and her pro-EU allies in cabinet are a disgrace to my country, our democracy and our party

    She is a liberal left socialist and we do not want her

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 9, 2018 at 5:10 pm | Permalink


      You really need to look up the various definitions of the political spectrum because you obviously have no idea

  34. stred
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink
    Perhaps Mr Clark would like to read about synthetic fuel, which captures CO2 and can use the huge supplies of coal, methane and biomass. When petrol runs out and prices double synfuels become economical and we can still drive long distances with the heater on and fill up at existing petrol stations. About ten big nuclear power stations or lots of little ones will have to be built though. Windmills , solar and tidal are nowhere near adequate. Let’s hope the government hasn’t killed off the engine factories in the meantime.

  35. margaret
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    I think I am right by saying it isn’t long since Vauxhall and Citroen joined forces

  36. Original Richard
    Posted May 7, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    “What I want Mr Clark to do is to stand up for the UK car industry today”


    I am reminded of a recent interview on a BBC 5 Live programme on Brexit of the CE of the Food & Drink Federation, an organisation that describes itself as “representing the interests of the UK’s food and non-alcoholic drinks manufacturing industry and specific food sectors”

    He said :

    “Our consumers and shoppers in the UK are now used to the most fantastic array of choice at all price points and telling them that they have to get their Brie from Somerset rather than from France is not going to be something I would want to do.”

    Even the BBC interviewer was taken aback by this lack of support for UK cheesemakers.

    • Eh?
      Posted May 8, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      Brie? For heavens sake!!What will become of us??????

  • 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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