In the customs doldrums – again

The House of Commons keeps returning to the issue of customs. Yesterday the Opposition decided to spend virtually the whole day once again rehearsing the same old arguments.

Labour presented it latest version of its policy. Apparently they want to be in a customs union with the EU but not in The Customs Union the EU already has. They want a “strong single market deal based on shared regulations and shared institutions” which sounds much like staying in The single market, but assume “freedom of movement will end”. Gone are all the fine words of the Labour Manifesto setting out how the UK will have a distinctive independent trade policy after Brexit. It is difficult to see how this latest view would ever be negotiable with an Institution which has always said belonging to the customs union and single market comes with the four freedoms attached, including freedom of movement. It also requires payment of budget contributions and acceptance of the European Court’s supremacy. It also led to a massive Labour rebellion on one of the votes.

Why has Labour changed its stance from the General Election, which was to back Brexit and set out on an independent path? We were told yesterday again that they are worried that manufacturers running just in time systems in the UK will not be able to import parts from the continent if we leave. How bizarre! UK manufacturers runs complex supply chains with just in time deliveries at the moment using parts from outside the EU, and that works fine! The continental suppliers would have every incentive to carry on supplying in time, as their jobs and income depend on it. Why do Remain MPs now pretend we did not know we were voting to leave the single market and customs union, when both official campaigns in the referendum told us just that and actually agreed on this point!

Meanwhile the government seeks to negotiate smooth border arrangements and sensible customs arrangements. It would be a good idea for the Uk to offer tariff free trade and see if the EU does want that or not. Some wrongly say they have not yet invented the computer systems to handle customs charges without stopping trucks at borders and working it out on a calculator there and then. They need to go and visit a large trucking firm and see that there are already smooth ways of paying customs dues on line with electronic filings which we and the rest of the EU use for the non EU trade which does attract customs dues.

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  1. eeyore
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    I think Remainers talk about trade so they don’t have to talk about politics and remind people the EU is a political,project dressed up as a trading bloc. But why? What’s in it for them?

    • Peter Wood
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      Quite right, The EU is a political project (funded mostly by Germany for its own objectives), the bureaucracy couldn’t care less about trade. They are just going through the motions in the hope we are stupid enough to pay the 40 Billion and not notice we don’t have a FTA, or anything close.
      WE ARE THE IDIOTS HERE! Or rather the May government….

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      It Is about similar regulations, standards and non-tariffs we have align this is much more important than anything else to have the trade continue without barriers

      • libertarian
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink


        OK I hear what you say, however its a customs union so in fact there are non tariff barriers , there is no internal market in services and 80% of UK trade is services, and quite frankly the range of regulations that the EU has produced recently are a disaster… the worst one being the up and coming Article 13.

        Considering that 1) We as does everyone else have to conform to other local regulations, standards and tariffs when trading with Non EU countries
        2) Our trade with the EU is going down as is the share of the EU’s global market 3) There are a number of barriers to trade in certain countries within the EU, Germany for instance 4) It costs us £12 billion per year

        The question becomes … Is it worth it? My answer is no, its far more lucrative for the UK going forward to negotiate our own Free Trade deals

        • hefner
          Posted June 16, 2018 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

          Obviously, it is not worth it, and I am really looking forward to the day when the UK will be out of the EU free to create the FTAs with the RoW, and to go get whatever fresh air will be available from the high seas. As I have said before, the sooner the better for everybody concerned.
          I am just looking with an amused smile at all the contortions the UK is presently going through, as in my own little small case I planned for the worst and am now hoping for the best.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        ‘We’ don’t have to align anything. Exporters do the aligning. They’re very good at it, it’s their job. All the state needs to do is ensure MRAs are in place. Trying to pretend this has to be enforced by an arsenal of EU law and the ECJ is just a pompous pretence by Brussels.
        What the CBI wants is to prevent SMEs from winning their business, by perpetuating the juggernaut of regulation they have spent years and a lot of money in lobbying in Brussels for. That is not ‘alignment’, it is anti-competitive moat-preservation.
        We need to tear down this cosy cartell.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      As far as ”ordinary” remainders are concerned (ie the persons in the street) there’s nothing ”in it for them” – they just don’t like to proved wrong. Our country hasn’t suffered from the Brexit vote, as they wanted it to – except in the conduct of many of our politicians.
      Why does our Parliament appear to be so self-absorbed, Dr Redwood?

      • Hope
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Why has May not taken discipline action against Clarke, Grieve or Soubry?They stood on a manifesto to leave the single market and customs union. Acting and consorting with people who are vigorously acting against govt and party policy?

        Grieve’s amendment in accord with May’s Mansion House capitulation not to walk away or resort to WTO terms. She will not cry in her beer if forced to remain in by another name. If they are not going to tow party line withdraw the whip and go fr deselection.

    • MIke Stallard
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      If my comment has not been deleted, please do read it. It is the only show in town at the moment.
      Mrs May is in for the same “Swedish National Anthem”* treatment as Mr Cameron got because she is simply not listening to M. Barnier who repeats (64 times) what the deal is actually goinmg to be – take it or leave it!

      *Stand up, look respectful, sit down, get on with the business of the meeting.

    • Adam
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:12 am | Permalink

      It’s a curious puzzle, eeyore. Remaniers’ irrationality is odd, but knowing the answer to your question might reveal the means of removing their attempted obstructions, to enable what the majority intends.

    • NickC
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      Eeyore, You’re right – Remains don’t talk sense. It’s almost as though they have no rational argument in favour of the EU.

      Remains insist we should remain in the EU’s internal market (sm/cu) yet totally ignore that we export more to the rest of the world than we do to the EU. And we’re definitely not in a customs union or single market with the rest of the world.

  2. Newmania
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    We export more to Ireland than to Brazil , Russia China and India combined . As an open economy already we cannot increase our trade much by opening it more anyway. There is no third country with a magic border , not Switzerland even .In any case it would only put the costs and delay out of view.
    The question for the referendum was not “ Are we leaving the EU the EEA the ECJ the customs union and the rest of the European Institutions a we rely on for trade ?” ….had it been it would have been lost , end of !
    In fact had the referendum been limited to the people who knew what the single market was, leave would have lost badly . That is not a mandate and when Mayhem asked for a mandate she was told she could not have one even facing a Bennite Socialist who hates Europe more than John Redwood does .

    You cannot risk our jobs and impoverish our children on this fraudulent basis

    • getahead
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

      Britain is not dependent on the Brussels mafia in order to trade with the countries of Europe. Do try to be rational Pneumania.

  3. Stred
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:19 am | Permalink

    But we will need the existing computer systems ready at the main ports and, unfortunately, May and Hammond have prevented this, deliberately to make WTO a non option. It is almost as if they are working for the EU and want us to keep paying for them to sell us more than we sell them in order to keep the City of London as the EU banker.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      I agree. This is the point, the Govt, opposition and civil service have decided not to be ready as a route to ignoring the referendum. Added scale should have been implemented by now and should be seeing tested with public results. However much the viability is pointed out, it is irrelevant when our institutions prefer to talk than walk.

    • L Jones
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      ”Almost as if they are working for the EU….” What? SURELY not! They couldn’t be so duplicitous….. could they?

    • NickC
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:47 am | Permalink

      Stred, Mrs May says the government is working on the WTO deal option. That’s possible. However, as is generally known, if not by her, she has a trust issue.

      So I want to see actual evidence of that work, and a project timetable to show it will be complete by March 2019, before I believe it. What is the critical path? What infrastructure is being planned (and executed)?

      JR, where is that evidence?

      • mancunius
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:56 pm | Permalink

        I too want to know the answer to that question. So far, I’m convinced May has given up on planning WTO – which is the UK’s real ‘backstop’.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink

      It is hard not to arrive at the conclusion that May and her remainer apparatus is not colluding behind the scenes with the EU. First the huge £100 billion bill with assetts. The EU citizens rights, never the English. Then the unnessary extension now the extension to the extension. Your Government are close to loosing the mandate to rule with your appeaser in charge! When are you going to get rid of her and the uncertainty and lack of trust she brings?

    • libertarian
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:17 pm | Permalink


      Actually the recent World Bank report stated that currently UK ports clearing goods being shipped to other Non EU countries takes on average 5 seconds per container…. Yes 5 seconds

      • Stred
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

        Last time I went through French customs they were taking 3 minutes per person. The end of the queue was outside the entrance to the airport and the rain was torrential. The customs at Dover do not seem to have cameras up for lorries.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 4:44 pm | Permalink


          The report is based on container shipping which is how the bulk of non EU goods are transported

          • hefner
            Posted June 16, 2018 at 3:38 pm | Permalink


  4. Nig l
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    It is the Joseph Goebbels effect. Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth. They think we are stupid whereas the linguistic contortions they are pulling, shows they are.

    A shame members of your Cabinet can’t see it.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      That only works in the absence of effective rebuttals.

      • NickC
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

        Indeed. What about a civil service team (from DExEU?) to do that job rather than (just) politicians? After all if the team’s rebuttals are confined solely to the verifiable facts there should be no problem with bias. Should there?

  5. Mark B
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I know our kind hostvdoes not like me mentioning this, he puts me on moderation every time I do, but it is important to remember who it is that pays the Customs Duty. It is the consumer not the retailer. ie You and me !

    The seller passes on the duty to us. It therefore makes buying goods from others more expensive.

    It is clear that the EU wants to keep the UK in the CU to make imports from other non-EU countries more expensive. This hits UK consumers especially those on a low income.

    I have noticed that other contributors to this site (e.g. Hope) no longer seem to be posting. Strange that 😉 But never mind, there will be plenty of others, usually off topic our repeats of what they have been saying for years.

    • Stred
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      We don’t have to put duty on EU products that we wish to import cheaply and the same rates would apply to none EU imports, reducing consumer costs. We could raise tariffs on cars and encourage purchase of Jags and Japanese instead of Peugeots and BMWs.

    • A.Sedgwick
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      I find your last paragraph rather daft to assume all our lives revolve around daily posts. Some of us have other things to do and get bored making the same comments. As BJ said the Leave campaign made a big tactical error in not continuing the message after the Referendum, one exception is our admirable host.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

      the general level of tariffs of imports t the Eu is on average 3 % and in the US it is 2.5%, so let us not get too worked up about what the EU is imposing on the consumer

      • libertarian
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:20 pm | Permalink


        Good point…. So why are you getting worked up if we had to pay it as a third country?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:37 am | Permalink

      It’s not strange, it’s frustrating … however this is JR’s blog, and if he chooses not to publish any of my last seven submissions then that is his prerogative.

      • NickC
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

        MarkB, Denis, I suspect JR has simply been rather busy lately with late night divisions.

        The problem of course is that we, the people, have got so used to being frustrated and denigrated by the Remain establishment that we now see it as the norm. Then again, maybe we’re allowed to vent on here as a way of keeping us out of mischief!! How deep is the rabbit hole?

      • Hope
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

        I have, but not getting through moderation.

      • Mark B
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

        Denis your are indeed correct. But what our kind host puts up is not the question, it is what he does not. Maybe if he was to apply his rules more strictly and fairly, certainly with regards to those with posts that are off topic with numerous links, I think you will come to better understand.


      • libertarian
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

        Denis Cooper

        You are one of the very informative people on this site and you nearly always post with links to real hard evidence. When I do the same a similar thing happens. JR has to not only check the post but the links too and also the veracity of the links and that is incredibly time consuming .

        It why Andy, Newmania etc who post fact free abuse get their posts on, theres basically nothing in them other than cry cry, old people, EU good coz i say so. Then when I fail to get my post with counter facts in it through moderation , I have to resort to giving them abuse back. Then hans comes along and calls me arrogant…. That is the way of things I’m afraid evidence is just too inconvenient when you are being driven by emotions.

    • Peter
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

      Maybe Lifelogic could provide tips on how to get replies posted on here?

      • bigneil
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Especially when it can be 20+ in ONE day, or a reply to his own reply, which in itself, was a reply to a comment by . . . ???

    • bigneil
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      ” the EU wants to keep the UK in the CU ” . . yes and also wants a European wide transaction tax, which will be widened and widened to eventually include everything. Why should we pay for that lot in Brussels as well, when we already pay for our own? Greed, sheer greed.

      • Ian wragg
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

        A good proportion of the EU budget comes from the CET and our contribution is circa £3 billion. This is why there is such a look of shock and horror when Trump suggests the EU reduced tariffs.
        It is also the main reason they want to keep us ensnared.

    • Augustyn
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

      This really is nonsense..
      Firstly it is up to the UK to decide what if any tarrifs might apply to EU produce and products. Pragmatism is likely to be the order of the day and an increase in costs to U.K. Consumers on Purchases from the EU is far from a certainty.
      Secondly please understand U.K. Consumers are already paying more than they need to on non EU products because of EU tariffs (most of which is sent to Brussels).
      Put simply Brexit will put EU produce and products sold to the U.K. on a level footing with the rest of the world. Basic economics suggests that competition will reduce prices and improve quality.

    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    To save Brexit and retain trust in democracy you know what needs to be done Mr Redwood. Depose May, install a pro-UK leader and carry out the wishes of the 52%

    It is unfortunate that our party contains MPs who agree to a referendum and then refuse to accept the result of that referendum because they find the outcome unpalatable.

    Tory voters couldn’t give a monkey’s about Marxist Labour. We are all conscious of their hypocrisy, lies and duplicity. It is what Labour do well. To witness our own leader, the PM, behave in the same manner defies belief

    We want May gone and we want her gone now. Her time is up. She’s betrayed the electorate and conspired to subvert the EU referendum result. She commands zero respect and she’s little more than a EU trojan horse.

    This PM leaves a sour taste in the gullet almost on a par with Corbyn

    • Edwardm
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      I agree

    • Bob
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      She excels at the use of weasel words.
      She has always served to undermine what should be the Tory party’s core values, i.e. conservatism.

      Her 2017 manifesto was designed to weaken the Tory Party.

    • formula57
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      The key task Mrs. May has still to perform (necessarily awaiting events) is to take the blame for a Brexit deal that will satisfy no-one at all. (Hopefully she then spares us some exculpatory memoires.)

      Her replacement can then try to pretend Mrs. May’s exit wipes clean the slate of past failure. If it is the people’s Blue Boris, that may even be possible.

    • old salt
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The wishes of a more convincing 65% on a constituency basis which is the UK measure of counting.

    • BOF
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      Duncan, for the party to continue with the weak, vacillating Mrs May is likely to play into the hands of Corbyn. The country needs strong leadership now with someone who is committed to leaving and is not in thrall to pro EU civil servants who seem to be setting the agenda. And also a leader who is prepared to fully confront the treacherous few who contrive to overturn the Referendum.

    • old salt
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

      Makes me wonder why she called the GE only to lose her majority with that apalling manifesto.
      Trust in our democracy is ebbing away fast if not already lost and once lost….

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      There is an excellent article in the new edition of the Spectator-just posted online-by Peter Hitchens:”Marxism didn’t die.It’s alive & well and living amongst us-New Labour was a triumph of the reborn left,made to seem like a takeover by the right.”

      Amongst much else it recounts Tony Blair’s Trotskyist past (which has long been known about by some of us)and quotes his chief ideologue and,when PM,Head of Strategic Communications,Peter Hyman:-“New Labour was infinitely more revolutionary than anything prposed by Jeremy Corbyn.”

      Given that the Tory party,under it’s recent leaders is little more than continuity Blair,should you expect it to be any different?It’s not Corbyn’s rather quaint version of Marxism-Leninism you should be concerned about.It’s the Trotskyism dressed up in a Paul Smith suit….or adorned with a Frida Kahlo bracelet.

    • Derek Hnery
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      It should be clear to all by now Duncan. The Conservative party didn’t want Brexit in the first place. Every action it takes supports that view.

      All they are deciding is how to mug us off.

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Oh dear the government relaxed immigration rules again, I could see voters at home screaming never to vote conservative again.

    Outrageous disgusting political class completely out of touch

    • Cheshire Girl
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      We need the Government to rescind the silly rule that Nurses have to take out loans to train. Whoever thought of that was not living in the real world. I’m sure it has made the problem of recruitment worse. Bring back bursaries!

    • Edwardm
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      I agree – I think the Conservative party forget their electorate.

      We need to train or re-train British people for these roles, especially younger people who find themselves under-employed after having completed their studies, instead of taking foreign skilled people away from contributing to their own countries.

      I for one am an older worker who cannot get work (as a qualified engineer) – being a British worker seems to count for little in our own country.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink


      We do seem obsessed with increasing labour ahead of capital. Housing and infrastructure is not switched on at the speed that a people can enter the country (or even reproduce), somehow we need to get our capital growing (substantially) faster than our labour for sometime. The model that we are running seems to be one where we take in the labour to approximate a whole economy – doctors, builders … but they obviously come without the physical capital. It is like taking a million people out of an economy, with an appropriate mix of skills, ages etc and putting them in a very large field and saying get on with it, we need more physical capital to go round.

    • Andy
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      And yet, when you get sick, I bet you demand immediate medical attention and complain if you don’t get it.

      The biggest problem with immigration is education. If you’re properly educated you really don’t care where someone comes from.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

        I care only that migrants add value to my country and are not subsidised.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Very few care where people come from.
        But there has to be a better system for managing immigration than our current one.
        Most nations have a control process to allow in a sensible number each year and to encourage the kind of skills the nation need.
        Several hundred thousand people a year net, is not a sustainable number.
        And I’m “properly educated” like what you are Andy.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

        Would you agree there is a lot of difference between a skilled immigrant whose talents we need, regardless of where they come from, and an unskilled EU immigrant that we don’t?

        • eeyore
          Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

          Every skilled immigrant who comes here is a skilled worker lost to their own country. Is it not odious, and frankly colonial, to rob poor nations of their brightest and best? Why can’t we train up our own people instead of pinching theirs?

          • Tad Davison
            Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

            Agreed, but let’s see what a remainer thinks.


          • rose
            Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            It is cheaper to pinch already trained people from poor countries than train people up in a so-called rich country. the NHS has been doing it for decades.

          • Stred
            Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

            It would help if the NHS management didn’t p off newly qualified doctors and nurses to the extent that half of them left for Australia, NZ and the US.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 15, 2018 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

            Once again the problem of NHS staff shortages is caused by government .

            Blair introduced degrees for nurses , the amount of training places plummeted as the university fees are too high and there are not nearly enough bursary places. Meanwhile nurses shipped in from the commonwealth ( where they still train in the old way, without degrees) make up the numbers

            Trouble is, as with Universal Credit government rarely admits when they have made a complete cock up. If you want more nurses scrap the stupid degree rules…. very very simple

  8. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:42 am | Permalink

    An opposition’s job is to oppose, Labour will vote tactically on most issues to cause maximum problems for the government, and they are doing quite well aren’t they ? The government’s real problems lie with those in the Conservative party who are voting, or threatening to vote, to subvert Brexit. The Conservative’s problems are entirely of their own making, leave Labour out of it.

  9. Mick
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Why has Labour changed its stance from the General Election, which was to back Brexit and set out on an independent path?
    It isn’t just labour but Soubry Clark Grieve have also gone against what there manifesto said , they repeatedly go against what the country voted for they should be kicked out of your party and join the libs/dems because they are surely not democrats , Soubry said yesterday that she was fed up of being called a remoaners and Remainer TOUGH you should have thought about that before you went against what you got voted in to do for your country, hopefully come the next GE all these Eu loving mps will be given there marching orders then if they still feel European then pack your bags and go live in your beloved Eu

  10. Lifelogic
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

    Exactly. But where is the leadership, vision and sense of direction from T May. She cannot continue saying totally different things to the two sections of the divided Conservative party. A party stuffed as it is (thanks to Major & Cameron) with anti-democratic, big government, pro EU Libdims and appalling people like Anna Soubry.

  11. Henry Spark
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    You ask – “Why do Remain MPs now pretend we did not know we were voting to leave the single market and customs union”

    A better question would be “Why does John Redwood pretend we voted to leave the single market and customs union”.

    Neither the single market nor the customs union were on the ballot paper, and leavers as varied as Owen Paterson, Nigel Farage, and Daniel Hannan made it very clear that they wanted to stay in the single market, like Norway

    • stred
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      They said we should have ACCESS to the single market- like most non-EU countries.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Cameron repeated over and over again that leaving would mean leaving the customs union and single market.
      Leaving the EU does not mean that we automatically ‘stay in the single market’, let alone be part of the EEA. The treaties make it clear that the four ‘freedoms’ (or rather, four chains) are indivisible. Which means either you accept limitless immigration, or you turn your back onm the single market.

      What we want is Free Trade as the WTO (and world history) understands it – the EU has spent fifty years pretending free trade doesn’t exist.

  12. Leinster
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    Your final paragraph proves – yet again – that you have no understanding of modern trade. Please go and read a basic textbook. The issue is not tariffs and customs. The issue is non tariff barriers, safety checks and technical standards. In the EU, we comply. Outside it, we don’t. End of

    • Ian wragg
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      We seem to manage with the rest of the world.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink


      We export FAR MORE to non EU countries. Therefore we have to comply with a range of regulations, safety features, tariff and non tariff barriers. As we ALREADY comply with EU regulations it has NO effect one way or the other whether we are in or out from a regulatory point of view

      Dont read a book, actually sell goods and services internationally as some of us do.

      • John Barleycorn
        Posted June 16, 2018 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

        In 2017 we exported 47.8% to the EU and 52.2% to the rest of the world (ONS figures on That’s ‘more’ rather than ‘far more’.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 18, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

          John Barleycorn

          The proportion of total exports to the EU was 49 per cent in April 2018. Over the past 18 months, this has ranged from 39 per cent to 51 per cent.

          Meanwhile YTD exports to non EU rose 9.8%

    • stred
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

      We will declare safety and technical standards on the electronic form along with duties paid, as already with WTO exports. End of.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

      Of course exporters comply with tech standards – easy peasy. Non tariff barriers are an attempt at importer protectionism, and their scope is now limited by the WTO.

      We should declare Unilateral Free Trade – that is what the EU is most scared we’ll do, hence their attempts to jockey us into a customs union.

  13. alan jutson
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

    These Parliamentary discussions are getting more and more and pathetic.

    FACT. The vast majority of MPs voted to leave the EU, by voting to enact Article 50.

    FACT. By enacting Article 50 we will leave the EU in its entirety after the designated automatic timescale of 2 years. (unless both parties agree to extend it)

    Labour are dancing on a pin head about differences on our so called negotiation stance, which we as a Country have complicated (not the EU’s fault) because we want to try and agree some form of terms with the EU before we leave, instead of us saying at the outset WTO rules will always apply as a backstop, unless it is thought more favourable terms can be agreed by both sides beforehand.

    If we had said the above loud and clear to the outset, then the worst position would be known in advance, and business could have been prepared with 2 years notice, so no cliff edge argument.

    Our Government and Parliament as a whole are in my view to blame for this entire negotiation fiasco, we knew in advance what the EU policy was about the Customs Union, and the so called Single market, so why are we surprised they are not willing to change their mind.

    All our Parliament is doing with this constant squabbling over detail, and talks about talks, with opposition MP’s getting involved in seeing EU officials, is strengthening the EU’s resolve.

    The old adage about “Keep It Simple Stupid”, has never been more worthy of being repeated than at present.

    The whole stupidity of the situation can be summed up when an MP resigns from the Government on a so called matter of principle, then abstains from the very vote he was protesting about.

    Madness, utter and complete madness. !!

  14. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Dear John–Don’t see how anybody could argue much against what you say this morning–Have you considered (rather than some high tech wizardry that will be voluntary of access) pinning posts (simple paper copies I mean) on a prominent Notice Board in preferably both Houses of Parliament?

  15. agricola
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Basically labour are ignorant of the mechanisms of trade. If you ask them to explain Kanban you would probably get a blank stare. Other than the above they are opportunistic, coupled with the fact that their party is in disarray and internal conflict as to what to do about anything, they mouth off in all directions.

    Your own party might be better informed, but they are equal to the task of spreading black propaganda while saying they accept the referendum result. They do not accept the result and try every trick in the book to reverse it. For current and past behaviour they are deserving of the ride to hell in a hand cart.

    Yes the EU should be offered a free trade treaty in goods and services or a reversion to WTO rules. The EU would react politically to preserve their union by discouraging any members from taking the same route. The member states might see it in a totally different light. Either way they have a clean unequivocal choice. Our negotiating team, half of whom would prefer to remain or live in some half way house like the EEA or EFTA, need to acquire a much more Trump like approach. If you believe half the noises emanating from Brussels the current approach is a failure and subject to continual rebuff.

  16. Richard1
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Most Labour MPs, advisers and activists, do not and never have worked in private sector enterprises. They are in reality clueless about business and are just mouthing words and phrases they have heard which they think tick a remain box. Corbyn would pursue any policy and change 180 degrees if he thought it would get him into power so he can get on with implementing Socialism in One Country. So all these contortions are designed to fool as many remainers as possible into voting for Venezuela-style socialism.

  17. Andy
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    It’s all rather fun.

    The Brexiteers have proven themselves beyond incompetent. Most of you had not even heard of the customs union until well after the referendum. You did not know it existed – and now you pretend otherwise to try to save face. It is not working.

    During your epic 40 year whinge against the EU none of you bothered to come up with any better solutions. The EU is far from perfect. But it is now evident that the customs union is infinitely better, cheaper, less bureaucratic than ANY idea you have.

    Remember YOU promised Brexit would allow us to slash bureaucracy and now it is evident it will creat more of it. Where is the immigration points system you promised? The extra money for the NHS? These things were the willl of the people – they are not optional extras.

    You promised the people a 5* meal in a luxury restaurant. You’re serving them a week old mouldy sandwich in roadside layby. It is not the Brexit people voted for.

    How’s Galileo? Oh – wait it crosses one of your self imposed red lines. Oops.

    • libertarian
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink


      For someone claiming to own a 7 figure profit service business that will crash on Brexit to the extent you have sack all 30 staff , calling people incompetent leaves you looking rather silly and….. incompetent

    • Stred
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:58 am | Permalink

      As the Commission has refused to let the UK participate in Galileo on security grounds, despite UK expertise having built most of it, why are we still offering to participate in their new army, pay more than them and pass them information from 5 eyes about their terrorists?

  18. Helen Taylor
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Good Morning John, I totally agree with you has 2 years really passed, I have just seen Lord Adonis on tv this morning, and the reporter yet again saying we did not know what we were voting for. Well maybe we don’t know what the final destination will be as that is an exciting unknown. We sure as hell knew what we were voting against. No one has mentioned the fact that if we stay in the EU we will be trapped in purgatory. It was not about what we are in now and that is bad enough, it is what the EU is planning and what is coming that will be the disaster. Although Mr Clegg firmly denied the EU army well that was a lie, and what about a central taxation and the open boarder policy that Mrs Merkel started. When are the remain politicians going to open their eyes to what will happen in the future if we stay in. The EU commission is showing its true colours now. We are not the only Country that doesn’t like it. I like many others are so sick of the remainer’s old record, they are so stuck in the past.

  19. MIke Stallard
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Conflict Resolution (Fisher and Uri 2011)
    1. Separate the people from the problem: Whatever the referendum campaign did wrong – and it was full of incomplete information and misinformation – it is now history. Two years ago this month.
    2. Focus on interests not positions: The leave voters wanted to leave the EU. The remain voters wanted to remain in the EU. And that is all both sides voted for. The two sides both represented a big fraction of the voting population. Both should be listened to carefully.
    3. Invent options for mutual gain: “Both sides benefit”. We must leave the EU on 30/3/19. That has been agreed by everyone, including the EU. We need to leave both the EU itself and the Single Market (EU/EEA). On the other hand, we do not want to be cut off from the continent because that would wreck our economy and perhaps cause untold disruption to world trade at a very difficult time. Nevertheless, by remaining in the trading area of Europe (the EEA) we can continue trading. By joining Efta we have no less than four standing committees with the EU to discuss our future relationship. Immigration, CAP, CFP, ECJ, future and present Directives, Galileo and all the other points of disagreement can be carefully talked over without a deadline and together we can build a future which will benefit both EU and us.
    4. Insist on objective criteria: The Remain side want us to keep talking to the EU and to keep our trading and service industries on track. The Leave side want us to be an independent country in the world with our own views respected as a nation. All this will become apparent over the coming decade.
    Immigration is a topic which needs serious long term discussion within the EU. Or a clean break with the EU. This topic costs both sides votes. So it should be properly dealt with within the EEA where there are four committees which regularly meet to discuss EU-Efta arrangements and Directives (Liechtenstein has already done this with some success).

    I simply do not understand why this simple solution is so controversial. Do you?

    • John Barleycorn
      Posted June 16, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Great to hear someone talking of sensible compromise. Unfortunately, there are too many hot-heads around who think they’ll be able to get exactly what they want, and unite the country, by ignoring and disparaging everyone who disagrees with them.

      I live in hope that some time in the next 9 months, someone will starting talking about how we build a united country outside the EU. So far, no-one is.

  20. Richard1
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    One or two recent incidents have confused me re the EU. We are informed that a cow crossed an EU border to a country outside the customs union and single market and then back again. How can this have been so & there wasn’t a hard border such as we are informed will be needed in Ireland? Also, the EU being a ‘rules based system’ which can’t show any flexibility, how come this unfortunate animal was not immediately destroyed in accordance with EU rules, but is still with us, a living challenge to the ‘integrity of the single market’? (after all who knows what dangerous contamination it could have acquired during its sejour outside the EU?

    On a separate topic, why was Donald Tusk at the G7? I thought the EU was not supposed to be a state, just a club of independent states? Should the secretaries-general of eg NATO, the Commonwealth, the UN, the WHO etc attend in future, or is the EU a different kind of club?

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 15, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      Not only Tusk but also Juncker and Christine Lagarde.

      Meanwhile,across the other side of the Pacific,the real power partnership re-shaping the world-Presidents Xi and Putin,at the SCO meeting,were at work.

      (message to the media-not covering it won’t make it go away!)

  21. Adam
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Labour acts like a confused organism with 7 different brains, each taking turns to present a sham of fairness for the weak (sic) but pulling in its own childish direction. Wednesday’s one was full of woe. Thursday’s has far to go to reach anything sensible today, but tomorrow is another Labour giveaway.

  22. Nig l
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Ps. Just seen voting records on the last two days. Soubry and Clarke regularly voted against government. Presumably Clarke will stand down at the next election but I guess Soubry thinks she is too important to do that.

    Obviously she doesn’t want to support the party on whose manifesto she fought, so time for the whip to be removed, let her fight the next election as an independent if she wants to.

    Then we would see what her voters think of her.

  23. alexP
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Let’s be clear- nobody, including the Tory right wingers J R-M and IDS etc, want to leave now without another deal in place- they know that to do so would not be sensible- especially now with no other international trade prospects yet in place- so just where are all the new trade deals anyway as promised by Dr Fox and M Gove?

    Question is- what Red Lines are we going to remove to get a good deal? – because so long as the Red Lines are in place there will be no deal except maybe Canada Plus Plus

    Next question – then what kind of deal will the EU be prepared to agree to?

    Also consider- if we are going to water down our position so much now to get a deal then what is the point in leaving in the first place?- we may as well just cancel A50- if we can? and stay where we are and at least then have some say at the top table- accepting that ‘Taking back control’ is only a worn out slogan a bit like Trumps America First or the Wall

    Lastly as far as Corbyn and Labour are concerned, they are a disgrace- up until now they have been sitting on the fence, so much so, that their contribution has been worse than negligible – so then no point in even discussing them.

    • Jason Wells
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      alexP — it’s all BS..there will be no deal because the rest of the EU don’t want a deal they have had enough of the english whinge..they only pretend to negotiate for appearance sake..ten years of purgatory awaits before any meaningful talks next stop then is the start of the blame game..and the EU is not going to be caught out when history is written..wanna bet?

    • Oggy
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:43 pm | Permalink

      Have you learnt nothing ? Leaving the EU is NOT about a trade deal it is about regaining our sovereignty.

  24. William Long
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    The bureaucrats are terrified of a reduction in bureacracy – they will tell any untruth to maintain it!

  25. Peter
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    In the doldrums suits the Remain-minded majority of MPs.

    They are going to do what they want and ignore the referendum.

    I am not sure what we can do to prevent it. Not voting for them at the next election will be too late.

    May might survive a no confidence vote with support of those who do not want Brexit. A Brexit Prime Minister might get nowhere with a Remain House of Parliament. An early election with Brexit as the single issue and deselection of Remain Torres seems to be the only hope.

    • NickC
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      Peter, What worries me is the total lack of direction and management. Parliament asked us, and we gave them our decision. Yet they’re still bickering about the decision itself rather than getting on with the job of implementing it.

      Meanwhile it has been two years – TWO YEARS!! – and we don’t seem to have even a Gantt chart yet for the Leave project. If Mrs May was a Project Manager she would have been sacked 23 months ago.

  26. Original Richard
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    “It would be a good idea for the UK to offer tariff free trade and see if the EU does want that or not.”

    Surely the EU bureaucrats are not in favour of free trade as a large proportion of their income derives from the 80% of the EU’s import customs duties which they collect from all member states ?

  27. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    My second point would be that the Irish land border is a special case and must be treated differently from the other points of entry into the UK.

    Because of the pre-existing Common Travel Area agreement we will not be seeking to control the movement of people across that border, it will only be matter of what to do about the movement of goods; moreover the volume of that goods trade is actually small, with our exports amounting to about 0.1% of UK GDP.

    So looking at it just from our side the obvious answer, the answer which our civil servants should have presented to ministers right from the start, rather than getting them bogged down in ever more complicated and unworkable and expensive schemes, is that we should do nothing at all at the border; we should leave it exactly as it is now, with completely free and unchecked movement of both goods and people.

    The UK authorities could be seeking to collect small amounts of customs duties, if tariffs were being applied, but that could be done away from the border and if there was some evasion and loss of revenue then that could be tolerated.

    If the Irish and the EU wanted to build something like the Berlin Wall on their side then that would be their concern, and it was foolish of Theresa May to accept that we have any responsibility to stop the EU being stupid.

  28. John Finn
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Why has Labour changed its stance from the General Election, which was to back Brexit and set out on an independent path?

    They haven’t, John. They were always going to oppose whatever strategy the government adopted. They saw the EU and Brexit as a weak link in the Conservative party and thought this was a good opportunity for a power grab.

    Brexit isn’t a priority for them. A Corbyn-led government is far more important. If that means sabotaging Brexit then so be it.

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Of course,any good Leninist will tell you-Power first,policies later!

  29. They Work for Us?
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    It is time to state some political home truths.
    Scotland is a minor component of the UK and England is the major component and chief funder. The Scottish Assembly/ Parliament is equivalent to a County Council and should be told so and treated as such. England must either take its place or secede from the UK.

    Many Remain MPs (assuming they have no personal financial interests that want to see us stay in the EU) are fuelled by the affront to their dignity that the electorate have had the temerity to try to dictate policy to them via the referendum. They see this as an outrage that cannot be allowed to succeed and that must never be allowed to happen again.

    Local Conservative Associations and MPs must deselect these MPs and insist that the local asspociation selects all candidates and not central office, on a basis of that no local funding, canvassing or other or election support will occur if power is not returned to the constituencies.

  30. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    Off the topic of customs, I note that not only a majority of members in the House of Lords but also 303 members in the House of Commons are so utterly besotted with the EU that they believe that we should remain subject to the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights even after we have left the EU. I think thoughtful people in our erstwhile colonies and dominions would be shaking their heads in disbelief at that, even without knowing the extra twist that originally we were promised that we would not in any case be subject to that Charter, which was famously dismissed as no more binding than the Beano.

    • NickC
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Denis, Yes, and Ken Clarke voted against the government on every one of the amendments except one. He must have the whip withdrawn.

    • Andy
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      To which of the fundamental rights do you object?

      If you read the charter you will find nothing at all objectionable in it to any reasonable person.

      However, I doubt most objectors have bothered to read it.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        It is a question of who is legally supreme.
        I prefer that our Parliament passes laws and that our Supreme Court is supreme.
        Human rights can be enshrined in UK law and cases decided upon by us here in our own country.
        Human right were not invented by the EU.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

        If you read the charter you will find it confirmed that it is the EU’s charter, and we will no longer be in the EU. So starting with the first line of the preamble, referring to an ever closer union, that will no longer apply to us; if you recall we have taken a vote, and we decided to longer be part of that process.

    • Hope
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      So has this been accepted?

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 15, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        Not by the Commons, the motion to disapprove that Lords amendment was passed despite those 303 MPs who voted against the motion. Of course we must wait and see whether the unelected legislators-for-life decide to abuse their position by reinstating it. No doubt if they do some lovers of democracy like Andy will be cheering them on.

  31. Ron Olden
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    During the Referendum it was the Remain campaign, which was most clear in repeating to us time and time again that a voting Leave meant Leaving the Customs Union and the Single Market.

    In any case, what else could voting Leave have meant? The EU IS the Single Market and the Customs Union.

    So why do they now imagine we didn’t know?

    No sane person would vote to Leave the EU, whilst intending to stay in the Customs Union and Single Market. I myself would have voted Remain rather than Leave whilst still staying in these institutions.

    This Labour Party ‘policy’ (sic), is being made up on a day to day basis to satisfy whatever the question is at the time. No one seriously believes that Corbyn agrees with any of it, or even cares.

    The divisions in the Labour Party on the subject leave the Tories standing. With the exception of a small number of Remainer nutcases, most Tories are content to do the best we can and get the best deal we can.

    We CANNOT be in THE Customs Union. There’s a strong case for some sort of bilateral agreed Customs arrangement with the EU. But that needs detailed negotiation, and agreement can’t be guaranteed. Parliament certainly can’t vote it into existence.

    And what’s a ‘shared single market’? A ‘single market’ is a ‘single market’, full stop.

    I do however agree with John Redwood but would go slightly further. Tell them that there will be Tariff Free Trade when we leave the EU unless they impose any first.

    Then, if they are the first to impose tariffs, we can decide whether we want to as well. The fact that they choose to shoot themselves in the head wouldn’t necessarily mean that we’d do so as well.

    • BenM
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Ron Olden..great should be up there with the DD team..we voted to leave..we did not vote to leave and then do another deal with them..barnier at least knows there will be no deal..only pretend talks to wind down the clock..and the summer break should take care of a good portion of that and then we only have the October Council meeting to get through..following that they will be busy getting ready for the next EU parliament May or june next year..also some officials like Junker will finish their terms and have to be replaced..but none of this will matter to us because we will be well clear of it all.

  32. John Bee
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

    There is no point in Brexit MPs calling for May to be replaced since they are in a minority and any replacement would not be a Brexiteer like JRM or BJ but just another Remainer. People are also worried that challenges to May would “ just let in Corbyn”.

    I think that if May is allowed to have her way and we end up tethered to the EU, in the worst way possible, the Tories will not recover for many, many years – if ever. We’ll end up with Corbyn anyway together with a CP blamed for stitching us up on the EU. Far better for the true Brexiteer MPs to resign from the CP, perhaps joining UKIP and re-formatting it into a proper Conservative party (small government, low taxes, aspiration, vision etc).

    Sadly it’s not going to happen

  33. Peter Parsons
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    It’s good to see that Somerset Capital Management are so confident in the outcome of all this that they have set up a vehicle in Ireland, listing Brexit as one of the risks in its prospectus.

    The company has also told its clients that a no deal Brexit would increase costs and make it difficult to pursue its objectives.

    • Timaction
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      This will work in reverse by a huge margin with an annual trade deficit of £80 billions! German car manufacturers may want to move to the UK!!

    • libertarian
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Peter Parsons

      The route Somerset has taken, setting up an Irish collective asset management vehicle, or Icav, was made possible by Irish regulators in 2015 to allow fund companies to set up legal structures in Ireland that outsource the management of the funds to professionals in other countries, typically the UK.

      The Somerset Icav “feeds” into the master or main version of the fund, which is based in the UK. Well known investors such as Neil Woodford have also taken this route, along with LGIM, Axa Investment Managers, Fidelity, JPMorgan and M&G.

      The Senior Partner of Somerset stated … This has NOTHING to do with Brexit

      • Jason Wells
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        I wonder who that senior partner could be?

        • hefner
          Posted June 16, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

          Not JRM. Although one of the initial investors in SCM his success as a Emerging Markets “specialist” has been rather limited (to say the least). Now JRM is happy to get a few pounds each month from SCM for a few hours’ work.
          And anybody really interested in EMs is better off looking elsewhere.

      • hefner
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

        Nothing to do with Brexit, just a company responding to the anxieties of some of its clients. And given SCM’s links to Singapore and Cayman, they should be reassured for the safety of pensions.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 15, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink



          Really any evidence for any of that?

          Its an emerging market fund they have set up in Ireland in order to attract Irish investment and as it says in my post the new rules implemented in 2015 in Ireland enable Irish investment funds to be managed from in this case the UK

          SCM are tiny they only have 49 staff globally

          Remainers obsession with Brexit continues to highlight that most remain voters have no idea about international business and because the “single market” sounds like a good idea it must be…. except it isn’t, because its got nothing to do with trade and business , its a protectionist customs union . If we had a Free Trade Agreement between the 28 European countries that would be great and it does NOT require the institutions and Federal State set up of the EU in order to facilitate it.

          All a bit difficult for you no doubt

          • hefner
            Posted June 16, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

            “All a bit difficult for”me “no doubt”. My poor head spins reading so many words of wisdom.

  34. Peter
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    More clarification on Rees Mogg position. He will not move against Mrs. May. He believes concessions to Remain will clog up the works and made an acceptable alternative difficult to arrive at in good time. He trusts the whips to know the numbers necessary to achieve a successful Brexit outcome.

    He could be strung along until the last minute with that attitude unless he is very clued up about the internal manoeuvrings within the Conservative party. May plays her cards very close to her chest too.

    Alternatively he could just be saying these things, but acting very differently.

  35. Politico
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

    I do not raise the subject on doorsteps. How the public is thinking about these remoaner shenanigans I honestly dare not ask. I watch and listen infrequently now to BBC Parliament. The repetition has become, well…offensive.

    • Andy
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      I can tell you that amongst my friends they are disgusted and enraged at the stupid behaviour of some of John’s ‘colleagues’. Talk of King Henry VIII powers, wish that they were. He would have had most of them sent to The Tower and quite a few dispatched on Tower Hill.

      If some of them are so opposed to Brexit and vote against their own Government as a few did last night and the night before, they should be honest AND honourable about it. Resign their seats and seek election as an Independent on a specific anti-Brexit manifesto. But they don’t do that. They seek to wreck Brexit in underhand and dishonest way. When history comes to be written none of them will be treated well, and rightly so. They have done untold damage to the UK by their shameful self-indulgent and arrogant behaviour.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        But leaving the EU is a manifesto promise by both parties.
        We the people voted by a majority to leave the EU.
        MP are entitled to vote as they see fit.
        On either side of the debate.
        And at the next election we can decide who to vote for.

  36. KZB
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I can’t understand how politicians on all sides keep on about “a” customs union and the like. It’s not in their gift. It would have to be begged for and the EU has already said NO many times.

    It’s cake and eat it, the very thing the EU won’t allow. Yes it would be in the interests of the populations of both EU and UK to have a bespoke deal such as this, but we all know that it would be catastrophic to the integrity of the EU project and therefore will never be allowed.
    So why do they keep on about it?

  37. Woody
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I was listening to a pundit on bbc news last night who was adamant that it was perfectly rational for the 48% to keep moaning on about losing the referendum and perfectly reasonable for them to demand a rerun. Now it occurs to me what would be the position if the vote went to remain by a similar margin ? Anyone think that the remainers would accept for a second any talk about a second referendum ? No way, smacks very much of typical remainer hypocrisy.

  38. ian
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    There will be no customs union.

    • BenM
      Posted June 14, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Ian..i absolutely agree..the EU crowd looking on from Brussels have to be convinced now that they would be nuts to enter into any new agreement with this present Tory government about future trade between the UK and the EU..theY know only too well by now that they would be stabbed in the back by DD and his first rest assured there will be no customs single cherry picking or having our cake and eating it either…all that remains now is to wind down the clock

      • Oggy
        Posted June 14, 2018 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

        Roll on 29 March 2019.

  39. Augustyn
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    Your point that the Customs systems already exist to manage third country imports is not only correct but also important. If more MP’s actually understood the mechanisms which exist now which allow seamless trade to take place between the EU and third countries then I suspect there would be less argument about customs unions and single market access.

    On single market access I fear again that people just don’t understand how the systems work. At it’s simplest third country goods enter the EU and pay whatever tariffs are due. at this point the status of the goods changes to being in “free circulation” and can be moved to any country in the EU just as if they were EU produced goods. As JR has again previously correctly pointed out there are existing systems in place for trusted traders to manage all this electronically with deferred accounts allowing goods to pass seamlessly across borders.

    There’s an awful amount of wind being passed by MP’s and Lords who have never exported or imported a thing in their lives.

  40. Mick
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink
    I don’t think I’m the only one getting pretty cheesed off with this handful of remoaners trying to hold the referendum vote to ransom, why don’t they just go and join the lib/dems then let Mrs May have a confidence vote, then if she loose call a GE then aim at the 17.4 million and have a huge majority

  41. Mick
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    I notice the bias bbc are still up to there old tricks by not letting the public know that grieve is on Question time tonight so as to protect there beloved remoaners from any sort of insults by the true patriots of this great country

  42. rose
    Posted June 14, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

    So the Saboteurs are feeling double crossed!

    I don’t know what anyone said to them to make them feel that way but I do know an awful lot of us are feeling double crossed by them. Parliament voted 6-1 to give us a referendum. The government sent us leaflets to each individual household to say they would carry out our instructions – implement what we decided. Then Parliament voted overwhelmingly to activate article 50. This was done by the Government. Then an unnecessary election was fought in which both main parties and one minor one undertook to bring us out of the Single Market, Customs Union, and ECJ.

    Now these people are trying to overturn all that, having been very much part of the solemn undertaking. If they didn’t mean any of it, then they should have resigned and fought on a different manifesto as independents.

  43. ian
    Posted June 15, 2018 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Mick, they are not a handful, they can call on over 180 Tory MPs to back them in parliament at any time, that why Mrs T. May keep giving gov jobs to the ones that are main threat so they cannot vote against her and to keep remainders like the chancellor in the cabinet to neutralize him.

    You try to keep your worse closest to you.

  • 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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