Trade wars and the car industry

Mr Trump regularly condemns the German car industry for selling too many cars to the USA. He thinks it unfair that there is a 10% tariff on US cars into the EU but only a 2.5% tariff on cars into the USA. Surely it would be better and fairer if the EU removed its tariff completely or took it down to a relatively unimportant 2.5%? The US has opened a formal S 301 review of car trade and will doubtless find that there are trade problems that need to be remedied.

This part of the trade war is not yet fully joined. The USA are still busy trying to get decent reform from China, where trade terms are skewed in China’s favour and where China allows abuse of intellectual property. This set of actions followed a comprehensive report into China’s handling of IP under a S 301 enquiry. China has promised more enforcement of IP protections, and more market opening. This will benefit the UK as well as the USA, as under WTO rules China has to offer the same improved terms to all members.Now Mr Trump is talking about a 20% tariff on EU cars anyway

If the EU accepts Mr Trump’s case about the lack of fair trade in cars then that means the end of the 10% tariff for all WTO members. That too will be a good outcome for the UK as we leave the EU. The sooner we are free to wield vote and voice for fairer and freer trade the better. This is a time of change for world trade where the UK could make a great contribution to reform. The WTO has made clear that there is a vacancy for a substantial country to lead the case for freer trade within the WTO framework. They point to substantial gains anyway fro m last year’s Facilitation of Trade Agreement which they think will cut costs of trade substantially.

Mr Trump asks how it is that the US has a massive trade deficit and Germany and China have massive trade surpluses. He points out that the US has many fine companies with great technology and great skill levels . He thinks the terms of trade are unfair, and need amending.

The UK too has a large current account deficit. Part of this comes from  the substantial EU contributions and overseas aid we pay out. Stopping the EU payments will reduce our deficit by around 15%. The EU has always done more to open goods markets where Germany is strong, and less to open service markets where the UK is stronger.

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  1. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    I would say that far from being the idiot that the media like to portray, Trump is a very astute man. He recognises things are not on an even keel and does something about it. No climate change crap for him. Why are we lumbered with a government who likes saying yes to Brussels? The sooner we are out of the EU the better. If we have the tenacity and guts we can forge a new way ahead which could benefit many. I am not holding my breath. It would be nice to see Britain at the helm of things again instead of taking orders from Germany.

    • Hope
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:19 am | Permalink

      Absolutely. Why no protest from Hammond and Gove over the German car emissions scandal?Hammond tells us cars our killing us and taxing us to stop buying cars. Why no temporary ban on German cars, no fine, no protest to the EU, but willingly sign up to Paris agreement, let the EU decide UK Environment policy, Eu decide UK Energy policy costing while costing us a fortune based on this EU absurdity as well.

      We read today May has already agreed in January and is signing up to the French proposal of an EU military pact? Why? Has she lost every ounce of sanity or devoid of any ability to negotiate anything? We are NATO for all the reasons cited for the alleged need of an EU military force. This is to give the EU military might to enforce its foreign policy. We are leaving the EU to have our own foreign policy! The UK can cooperate with any country it wishes. Why is May tying the UK to the EU which will cost money and resources (19 EU countries not paying or contributing for us keeping them safe!), does this mean the UK being bound by ECHR, ECJ etc. And for nothing in return! Recently the UK was threatened by Barnier that the UK will not be trusted or allowed to use Gallileo or share intelligence and our fruitcake of a PM is giving away security and intelligence for nothing in return at high cost to the taxpayer!

      At what point will the leave MPs actually take any action to oust May from her obsession to give away everything and anything to the EU and keep the UK in the EU by any means possible while telling everyone the UK has technically left?

      • Malcolm Edward
        Posted June 28, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        I agree

    • Chris
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      I think you are absolutely right about President Trump. Our government is going to have to do a lot of making good after our, what I consider, disgraceful treatment of him and comments about him.

      • Andy
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        I concur. I think President Trump is far more astute than those who jump up and down and froth at the mouth at the mere sound of his name. I think he is a refreshing change. I’m sick of all these career politicians who seem to be uniformly useless.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:30 pm | Permalink

        Decent Americans are beginning to boycott Trump after his disgraceful decisions about immigrant children which is slowly turning his country in a worldwide pariah state. And people here are looking forward to becoming the 5st US state after Brexit? Warped.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

          Recent polls show Trump is popular.
          Who says they want the UK to become a 51st state of America?
          Stop making stuff up.

        • Woody
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 8:03 am | Permalink

          Are these the same sort of obscure people who apparently now wish to vote to stay in the eurocracy … made up figures that suit the poorly argued attacks against a democratically elected choice. Trump may not be nice … but he is effective.

        • NickC
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

          Margaret Howard, The immigration conditions in the USA now are exactly what they were under PotUS Obama. Did you protest then? Thought not.

          Worse, the iconic photo of the crying child was fake news, just to attack PotUS Trump. And you fell for it. According to the father, his 2 year old daughter was not separated from her mother, and her mother took the child against the father’s wishes.

        • Gawd?
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

          M. Howard.
          “Trump’s policy” on immigration is identical to that of Obama. That is why he had to intervene and SIGN as President to change at least temporarily Obama LAW. Didn’t you see him? Why aren’t you complaining in his using his Office to flout US Law and to flout the ex-President Obama?
          By the way. it is normal for all states in the United Nations to separate adults from their offspring and indeed their homes when they have broken the law. It happens every day in the UK.

          ADVICE. Do not try to enter France without passport from the UK with children. Do not attempt to live there without passport without various authorisations and without proof the children actually belong to you. You could end up in a French prison for quite some time and “your” children looked after by social workers in Home a hundred miles away across France

        • libertarian
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 4:14 pm | Permalink


          Trump didn’t make that decision, its been in place following a US Court Ruling since Obama was President

          Please dont fall for fake news some of the pictures shown were from 2014

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. Why are we lumbered with a government that likes saying yet to Brussels?

      Gove’s back stabbing of Boris to thank for that alas. That and the fact than most Tory MPs and lefty career politicians & essentially Libdims. Also we have to suffer a government that want ever higher taxes and tax complexity, ever more waste, ever more green crap, ever more daft regulation and ever more attacks of the gig economy.

      Let us hope Uber win today. I certainly will never use a London Black Cab again if UBER are banned.

      • Richard1
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Would Boris really have been up to being PM? He is undoubtedly a thinking man as his writings show, and his ‘gaffes’ are played up by his enemies, but I think he probably has gone too much overboard now ever to be PM.

        • Hope
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:23 am | Permalink

          But he is human with normal qualities which the public connect with that few possess in parliament. They are shit scared of him because the public like him and he proved to defy polls in London by being elected mayor.

          He does not have to be perfect, he has the intelligence to get people to fulfil roles that he could not and people to carry out work that is unable to do. What he also has is judgement for what the public want unlike May who is utterly useless, untrustworthy, lie as if we are stupid, underhand, socially awkward, physically uncomfortable, extremely poor judgement, vindictive and spiteful and totally unsuited to the her former role and current role. She has failed to deliver any of her substantive points on leav No thenEU and is doing everything she can to remain in by another name. She is still banging on about the single market and customs union, we voted leave. Read Soubry’s letter to her constituents and contrast with May’s statements, one of them is not telling the truth.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

      You and Trump are forgetting branding and what consumers want: consumers like buying into the German brand. They basically think Germans build technologically better and more stylish cars than Americans.

      You and Trump may agree or disagree with whether German cars are better than American cars or not. Doesn’t really matter. What matters is what the consumer thinks. It’s the market that ultimately has the ultimate say. Not politicians.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        And politicians can’t change the market (this is the big lesson, i think, Trump is going to learn about tariffs). Politicians can help the market (entrepreneurs in particular) but they can’t change it. Not as dramatically, anyway, as Trump thinks.

        Not surprising as Trump has no experience of working in a company that creates technical / high tech / digital brands. His business experience is limited to property and big investment.

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

          I hear even Harley Davidson are threatening to defy Trump and build a factory in Europe.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

            Similar to BMW with their plant in America then.

          • NickC
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:04 am | Permalink

            Margaret Howard, It is not to “defy” (whatever that means) PotUS Trump it is to avoid EU tariffs. And the production will be switched to H-D’s existing plants throughout the world (Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand), and merely sold into the EU.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

      Wall Street Journal now reporting, ‘Harley-Davidson to Shift Production Overseas to Offset EU Tariffs.’

      This is a direct consequence of Trump thinking that he has far more control over the markets, when he clearly doesn’t (he has some control, but far less than he realises).

      At the end of the day, it’s about consumers, brands and the market. These are the real ones with the power. Not politicians. Sorry but this is just how capitalism works!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      ‘Trump is a very astute man’

      – I think he’s very ‘astute’ at winning general elections.

      He’s not very astute in his knowledge of the high tech / digital industries, and how branding and the markets in this work (and closely connected to this, the German auti industry). This doesn’t just require experience (he’s hardly a Steve Jobs or a Bill Gates) but also a high level of creative and deep strategic thinking (he certainly lacks deep strategic thinking and tries to make up for it with being ‘tough’ – which really doesn’t work in a sophisticated, modern capitalism).

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

        Ed. Who cares how he gets it done as long as he does. The Americans are warming to him and as far as climate change goes, he’s got more sense than the rest of them put together.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink


          ‘Who cares how he gets it done as long as he does’

          – How exactly has he – himself, as opposed to market forces – ‘got there’, for example how has he helped to build up America’s economy exactly (in particular high tech / digital where so many of the best jobs are, as well as high tax revenues and high quality exports0? And in a positive way for the long-term future? Please explain.

          ‘The Americans are warming to him’

          – Lots of people have warmed to dangerous politicians in the past. He’s a charismatic figure. But don’t be fooled by charisma. ‘Warming to’ is not necessarily a good thing.

          ‘as far as climate change goes’

          – My main interest in this is to see how politicians respond to the huge market potential for creating technology that people want to meet their concerns of climate change (whether you believe in climate change or not – there’s massive opportunity to make money – I don’t see Trump saying anything about this at all, nada).

  2. Mark B
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    North Korea !

    President Trump was vilified for his aggressive approach to NK. Now they either laud him or condemn him for speaking to President Kim.

    Now he is taking the same hardlime stance. And once again they are up in arms. Never learn, do they ?

    What all the others do not understand is that they need the USA market more than the USA needs theirs. Perhaps President Trump should ask the EU to pay his country a large lump sum per annum for the privilege of selling to them ?

    • Hope
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

      The EU has not threatened nor fined Germany for breaking its rules on trade surpluses, car emissions etc. Trump, unlike the half wit at No.10, understands that when there is a trade deficit the onus is on the other party to adjust or lose out. This appears too difficult for May and Hammond to grasp or they know but are willing to pay the price and place the burden on us taxpayers for their ideological dream of remaining in the EU. Heath paid the price on us taxpayers, the EU fleeced our country and May is allowing it continue after we leave!

      Trump should allow freedom of movement, ECJ rule over his supreme court, pay the EU £100 billion to talk about trade deficit and give away his territorial waters and fishing stocks. Oh, and provide welfare payments to EU citizens who do not live in the US including those not yet born and provide FREE Health care and treatment to EU citizens living int he US and any family member who wishes to move there! Trump will undoubtedly plead for an ‘implementation’ period for an unlimited number of years as a vassal state until an agreement can be reached!

      It is so absurd the world must be wondering what sort of idiot in No. 10 would agree to these terms!

      • NickC
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:06 am | Permalink

        Hope, Excellent.

      • Chris S
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

        I’ve made the point here many times : we should apply a “USA test” to everything the EU demands of us in the negotiations. In other words “Would it be acceptable to any American President, even an Obama ?”

        If not, as a fully independent sovereign state, we shouldn’t accept it either.

        We are being royally screwed by a PM who has shown no resilience. She made an absolutely catastrophic mistake right at the beginning in agreeing to Barnier’s phasing of the negotiations. The other side simply couldn’t believe their luck. If we had said no and walked out they would soon have come back, so desperate were they to get their hands on our money.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        Someone who is not in charge of a superpower..Bullying without backup is pointless. And what is No !0’s backup?

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink

      Not forgetting the US’s contribution to NATO – though Remainers have it that it is the EU that kept world peace.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

      Foreign affairs and the economy are two different things.

      Trump’s doing well, so far, in Korea. But whose to say another Republican President wouldn’t have the same success, not forgetting how desperate N. Korea is getting economically? Plus, I’m not sure if sabre-rattling is the best approach to foreign policy overall?

      Regarding the economy, America doesn’t need a President with a ‘hard approach.’ It needs a President who is simply business savvy (creative and strategic-minded) about the world of technology / high tech / digital industry in general. This is where America’s real potential in the exports of goods really lie. I don’t think he really gets this?

      • Mark B
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 5:10 am | Permalink

        The point about NK which you seem to have missed is the way in which President Trump deals with problems. Like a business man he tackles it head on and uses every advantage he has to get a better deal.

        You are indeed correct, the USA does, and now has, a businessman in charge. We do not, and it shows !

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 8:43 am | Permalink

          Hi Mark,

          Putin’s a businessman as well (not just a politician). Like Trump, he’s got a massive property and investment portfolio. They might have got there via different routes (Trump initially thanks to his father’s inheritance, and Putin through politics). But the outcome is the same (they say Putin’s far wealthier).

          Although i think Putin is the far cleverer of the two overall. Would you like a Putin in charge of the US or the UK? Or would you prefer someone such as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, who focused on creativity, branding, R&D and deep-thinking business strategy to build up their tech brands, providing great jobs and high tax revenues and high quality exports abroad?

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

            (Perhaps i exaggerate about Trump … a bit).

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

            (And Democrat Maxine Waters calling on people to publicly harass Trump politicians is just as bad).

  3. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Slightly off-topic, I saw somebody asking a rather unusual and interesting question – is it really a good idea to have some car components crossing the Channel five times?

    Well, I don’t know, maybe the car companies have been gradually seduced into going too far with the fine optimisation of their transnationally integrated just in time supply and production networks and they have now left themselves too little flexibility to cope with any change to the current legal and practical arrangements.

    What I do know is that personally I object very strongly to their idea that I must remain subject to EU law for their convenience.

    Indeed when you stop and think for a moment it seems a quite extraordinary idea that the whole country, and all businesses including the 94% or so that never export anything to the EU, and every other organisation, and every person, in the UK must bow the knee to EU federal rule so that the 6% of UK businesses which export 12% of GDP to the EU can minimise their customs declarations and avoid potential delays with shipments.

    And one has to ask why that should be the case, rather than having a more rational system whereby concerned companies are allowed to agree their own special fast track customs arrangements to enhance their operations.

    • Andy
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Name a specific EU law to which you object and outline your reasons for the objection.

      Most Brexiteers can’t name any – but you can always Google it.

      Reply The wasteful fishing policy which is bad for our fish and our fishermen

      • Edward2
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink


      • ji
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

        Clinical Trials Directive – too much bureaucracy hampers drug research in UK.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:52 pm | Permalink

        The promotion of diesel cars to reduce co2 – According to one “EU expert ” they “poison children”

        GDPR – Poorly thought out, unenforceable and productivity killer

        VAT MOSS – Insane to make micro businesses who aren’t registered for vat pay ( forced 300,000 small businesses out of business)

        MIFID2 – 12,000 pages of pure drivel easily replaced by mutual recognition, allows “dark trading” & spreads bad FX habits to equities trading

        Article 13- Goodbye EU, you have just consigned the EU to a lowly backwater in new tech

        EU vacuum cleaner regulation –Implemented soley so German/Italian manufacturers could avoid competition from superior models made in UK

        CFP, CAP,

        My favourite , the one remainers say is a myth

        Regulation (EC) 2257/94

        Thats your starter for 10 Andy , theres 1,000’s more

      • Andy
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

        Three points.

        1 – Inside or out of the EU we need to have quotas to preserve stocks. Fishermen will never be happy with this unfortunate reality.
        2 – Fish are a shared resource. Most of what we eat is imported from the EU- most of what we catch is exported to the EU. Brexit will not change this.
        3 – Fishing is worth far less to the UK economy Airbus.

        • Andy
          Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          Than Airbus.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

          1. Quotas will be part of the Us independent fishing policy.

          2. The reason we import fish is huge ships from the EU come and take the lion’s share of the fish UK people prefer to eat.

          3. Fishing used to be a big rich industry employing more than Airbus before the EU wrecked it.

        • NickC
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:14 am | Permalink

          Andy, So we were unable to preserve our fish stocks before 1973? An interesting take on reality. Fish within our own 200 mile EEZ are our resource not a “shared” resource. Airbus may be concerned we will make our own civil aircraft – we already make the engines, the systems, the wings and the undercarriages. In any case Airbus is 20% owned by BAE.

          • hefner
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

            Welcome to 2006 when in April of that year BAE Systems sold its 20% share of Airbus.

          • NickC
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, You are correct. I mixed up the 2006 sale with the 2001 transfer of ownership of the wing making plants.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

            Yeh an Airbus blagged £350 million from UK tax payer in 2009 To “save jobs” that otherwise would have to be moved to other countries…. Anyone spot a pattern here ?

      • Richard1
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

        Well fishing policy is bad but it’s a v small %age of GDP.

        I’d instance the following: the CAP; external tariffs on goods; the energy policy which promotes killer diesel fuel and wasteful wind farms; the financial regulation which has made banks riskier by increasing fixed cost, now augmented by the 1m paras of MIFID 2 which no one yet has much idea about + the continued threat of a transaction tax; the Schengen Agreement, a passport for criminals, illegal immigrants and criminals; monetary union and the (unenforced) no bail out rules which have led to perma-depression in deficit countries; the putative EU army which will duplicate obfuscate and confuse the role of NATO, the setup which has kept the peace in Europe for 70 years.

        Will that do for starters?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 4:52 am | Permalink

        Almost all of them.

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        The 2014 EU charge I most disagree with is the charge to the UK on untaxed drugs and prostitution, meaning those of us not using these black economy services are charged by the EU as though the government were collecting the tax on an estimated 10bn or near 1% of our GDP!

        From the Telegraph 29.05.14 This is part of a raft of changes being made to the national accounts that will increase the level of GDP in 2009 by between 4pc and 5pc. This will include the contribution of “non-profit institutions serving households” such as charities, universities and trade unions, which is the ONS have valued at £24bn, or 1.7pc of GDP. People who build their own homes will also be included as a category, which contributes £4bn, or 0.3pc to GDP.

        11 Oct 2016 – Students from the EU currently owe £1.3 billion of the English loan book and the backlog is set to grow, then there is the amount to the Scottish, Welsh and N Irish loan book who estimated £2bn and how does the UK government apply the 9% graduate tax once they leave the UK? Do any of them pay back from EU companies and self-employment in the EU or is it just English students that pay back the loans? Under current student finance rules, EU students are eligible to receive undergraduate tuition fee loans and Master’s loans if they have resided in the European Economic Area for at least 3 years prior to study. EU nationals who have resided in the UK for over 5 years are also able to apply for undergraduate maintenance support. Similarly, under EU law, EU students are also eligible for home fee status, which means they are charged the same tuition fees as UK students. Other non-EU, international students do not have their tuition fees capped in this way.

    • margaret
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      Quite, and putting it a domestic perspective when buying a household item I ask myself which weighs up as more expensive: travelling to see a cheaper option or buying more expensive locally. On- line buying can be dodgy and if we see the item in a particular area cheaper prior to buying on line we still have to originally travel. Ten pounds spent on petrol and time could be more expensive in the long run.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    I am always in favour of lower taxes and freer trade. Alas the current fake “Conservative” government have given us the highest taxes for 40 years and clearly are intending to go into the next election promising to increase them very substantially yet again. Despite the appalling quality and value delivered by these (so called) public services.

    On intellectual property law I do think it does far more harm than good on balance. It creating lots of uncertainty and essentially parasitic jobs in legal services and bureaucracy and reduces economic efficiency. It can have benefits but on balance it is negative (another tax on the productive in time and patent fees) as currently structured.

    Hammond’s absurd stamp duty rates (and other daft property taxes) are damaging receipts from stamp duty, damaging job mobility, preventing people moving, damaging the property market and reducing receipts from other taxes substantially too. Surely it is time to replace this economically illiterate, tedious, electoral liability?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:01 am | Permalink

      As Allister Heath sensibly put it:-

      Taxes are already at their highest level as a share of national income since the savage recession of 1981-82, and any further increase would put us on course to overtake the peak reached in 1969-70. How could a Tory government live with itself if it smashes that sorry record? Especially given that it continues to spend on unpopular vanity projects – high levels of foreign aid, HS2, various subsidies to business, to name but three.

      There is another reason the Tories cannot afford to tax more: the economy cannot bear it. The higher end of the housing market is in shreds because of stamp duty, and working in Britain is becoming increasingly unattractive.

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

        I do not think that taxes (better: gvt revenue) are already at near record levels. During the past 20 years the level has fluctuated between 35.5 and 37.5 % of GNI. Current level is right in the centre of that range. Some specific taxes (like VAT) are above historical levels, but income tax and especially corporate tax are lower.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

      Why not privatise the NHS, give everyone a tax cut (or some subsidy) equivalent to the average individual share of NHS cost and let people pay a premium from now on. The rising cost of healt care would no longer be a public, but a private concern. Much lower taxes and no change in welfare..

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 4:54 am | Permalink

        Exactly give people real freedom of choice on health, rather than this dire take it or leave it incompetent rationing system and state monopoly.

      • NickC
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        Rien, Unfortunately that would not work in practice. You only have to look at the electricity generation industry to see that – nominally capitalist and privately owned but totally controlled by government. Any initially independent health service would go the same way because of the politics.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

          It works in other countries even those with compulsory insurance.

          • NickC
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:03 am | Permalink

            Rien, In other countries being the operative phrase.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      The UK housing market is dangerously overpriced, even in areas with obsolete economies. Stamp duties are a great deterrent to fuirther speculative price increases. Of course that does not solve the housing shortage (even at current prices to few houses are built while in other European countries there are house building booms: market failure?). By itself, stamp duty is an inefficient tax. Flat rates for corporate and income tax, a higher rate of VAT and no further taxes except property/council taxes plus user fees (including cost based stamp duties) would be optimal. However that would not be politically feasible. No gift or inheritance tax would be suicidal for any party.

      • NickC
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:24 am | Permalink

        Rien, England is the most densely populated country (excluding minor countries/city states etc) in Europe. Officially there are over 9 million people in the UK not born here. In reality that figure is probably double (NINos far outweigh IPS figures).

        If 12 million of those 18 million went home there would be a surplus of housing, plus far less pressure on the infrastructure. Anyway that will have to happen when your kind EU stops sending us food!!

        • hefner
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

          Netherlands, Belgium: are they minor countries/city states?

          • NickC
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, No they are not minor countries/city states. But neither are they as densely populated as England.

          • Chris S
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink


          • hefner
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

            NL 393 /km^2, B 337 /km^2, UK /267km^2

          • NickC
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

            Hefner, England, not the UK.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

          Yes they are.
          Belgium especially.

        • Rien Huizer
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

          Any idea what would happen to output if 12 million (possibly in their productive years) would leave?

          • libertarian
            Posted June 30, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink


            Yes. House prices would plummet, wages would rise and we would make the current skills shortage even worse. Might finally encourage the idiot government to stop trying to send everyone to university

            As far as output is concerned, it would vastly accelerate the deployment of AI, IoT , and robotics. Industries that th UK are world leaders in already

        • hefner
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

          NickC, indeed England’s density is higher at 411/km^2. But what about Zuid-Holland? As such it also is a constitutive part of a larger entity recognized as a country.
          But the Z-H case might not fit too well with the DT’s or DM’s narrative, might it?

  5. billR
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    Populist protectionism is in it seems..Trump kicked it off..Erdogan and others are all taking their cue dusting off the old text books about the rise of nationalism in the 1930’s..fake news is king.. illiberal democracy is the accepted way happened here with the referendum slogans and 350 on the side of a bus and now that we are leaving the EU and about to become an important player in the WTO it much change in such a short space of time it’s hard to keep up..and as for the future..well it can be anybody’s guess? but in the absence of certainty about anything these day’s we’re probably heading for quieter times, backwater times, when we have taken back our borders..very likely the next thing to be disbanded by Trump and others will be the UN itself and then we are back into the 19th much to wonder what’s that you were saying about tariffs?

    • sm
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Will anyone miss the UN if it is disbanded, other than those who benefit from its nice gravy train?

      Please do not mistake my comment for approval of the US President, but I suggest he was elected and maintains much of his current popularity for appearing to represent the ordinary voter’s view, rather than the sneering, disdainful opinions of the ‘liberal’ bien pensant class.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

        Truman hoped that the UN would become a federal world government, he likened it to the formation of the federal United States of America.

        You can read about that in Chapter XIII, “The Birth of the United Nations”, in his memoirs “1945 – Year of Decisions”, now available for a mere 84p.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      If Trump does have the gumption to disband the UN, we can move forwards into the 21st century, and away from the uppity SJW League of Nations Mk. II!

      Btw, if you have so much to wonder about, that would explain why you post on here so frequently, always under constantly different pseudonyms, and always very easy to spot.

      I’m surprised our kind host puts up with you.

    • David Price
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Protectionism never went away and is practiced by many countries, but especially in the EU and in particular by Germany and France.

      President Trump didn’t kick things off, instead he recognised the disparity that has been there for years had gone on far too long and acted to do something about it to protect the interests of his people.

      Would that our own politicians and government put our interests rather than the EU’s interests first.

    • NickC
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      BillR, Certainly the Remain referendum slogans were so unhinged that Remain became a joke in its own lifetime.

    • Dennis
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      billR – “…350 on the side of a bus …” if you still don’t understand that poster after 2 years what can you understand?

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    JR, you mention the new WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement, which entered into force on February 22nd 2017, and I wonder whether the UK has yet established the system of risk management required by Article 7.4.1?

    If so, what modifications will be required when we leave the EU, or more precisely when the implementation period terminates?

    For example, will a normal, regular component being sent across from a car factory on the continent to another car factory of the same company in the UK have to be reclassified, overnight changing from being classified as of such low risk that there is never any need for inspection at the border to being very high risk, as high as some unfamiliar product from a country known to have a very dodgy legal and regulatory system, and so needing to be intercepted and inspected before it is allowed to enter the UK?

    • Hope
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink


      You might not have heard, Fox is happy to remain as a vassal state for longer while he is being paid for a non job! He makes the excuse that a few months after forty years is nothing to worry about. First, we have not waited forty years. We have waited for two years (June 2016) and now are being told there is an extension and and extension to that extension for no good reason whatsoever other than to change our minds. Secondly, it is not a few months it is years, about seven years after the public voted to leave and about four years after we have technically left! When Fox speaks like this you have to wonder if he has lost leave of his senses or has any respect for the public vote and mandate to leave in June 2016 expecting to fully leave by March 2019. A clean break leave not half hearted remain dragging on for years hoping to incrementally get back in by stealth by signing up to associated treaties like the EU military pact etc.

      • Dennis
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

        Denis not Dennis!

  7. Original Richard
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    The fact that we have a massive £80bn/year trading deficit with the EU shows that the SM & CU are not working us.

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

      not working for us.

  8. Adam
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    Trade wars are folly.

    Nations initiating tariffs attempt to defend their ineptitude by using expense to make efficient suppliers as incompetent & nearer to worthless as their own.

    • Woody
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Sums up the eurocracy totally.

    • NickC
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:30 am | Permalink

      Adam, EU tariff on cars 10%; USA tariff on cars 2.5%. Looks like the EU is engaging in trade wars in the real world.

  9. Prigger
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink


  10. hans christian ivers
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    The fact is the US has imposed tariffs on steel form a number of countries illegally and on the basis of national security, which is actually not the real case.

    Talking about the UK being a bigger voice in the middle of a trade war, where we are being hit as well seems a bit premature and also rather naïve.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      We are being ‘hit’ because we are still a member of the EU, so still forced to impose the outrageously protectionist EU tariffs.

      Once we leave, that will change. We can – and should – introduce low tariffs or better still declare UTF.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

        The Eu did not start the trade war so this is a a load of nonsense

        • mancunius
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

          But of course we are being ‘hit’ because we are a member of the EU, and forced to accept its protectionist tariffs – that is self-evident.
          Once we have introduced our own low (or better still zero) tariffs, we shall be better able to free up and frame our trade policy as we wish.

        • NickC
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

          Hans, EU tariff on cars = 10%; USA tariff on cars = 2.5%. Germany also benefits from Euro mercantilism. No wonder its car industry does well. And you have the nerve to say the EU did not start this trade war? It’s that sort of totally blinkered, one sided greed from the EU that has resulted in Brexit. The EU has more enemies than you think, and all self-created.

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink


            I have given up fighting with your lack of knowledge, you win

        • libertarian
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 11:16 pm | Permalink


          Rude, unnecessary and wrong but at least you’re consistent

    • David Price
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      The fact is that it is not for you to say what is or is not a matter or national security for someone else’s country, that is up to that country’s government.

      But then, you euphilics were never short on arrogance and contempt.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 5:30 am | Permalink

        So Canada is a national security of the US, wake up

      • hefner
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

        Are they attracting pollinators?

  11. oldtimer
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I suspect that Trump does not want an actual trade war but to level the playing field so far as tariffs are concerned. He also believes he has enough leverage to make offers the other party would be foolish to refuse. Time alone will tell if his reasoning is correct. The point of the EU customs union is protectionist – to provide a barrier to the outside world. Germany, backed by a very strong industrial sector and the structure of the eurozone, has elevated earning huge trade surpluses into an art form. It has long experience of this; IIRC Bismarck used a customs union to help build Germany out of the multiple small states that preceded its formation.

    • Beecee
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

      Mr Trump keeps reminding the others who the ‘big dog’ is.

      Time they learn’t he is a businessman, not a politician, and that he deals in outcomes which do not harm his business, which now is running the USA.

      • Andy
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        And yet it has taken Harley Davidson all of 3 days to move production to the EU. And one factory which makes nails says steel price rises was cause it to close down by September.

        In a trade war everyone loses – and the US will not beat the EU.

        • Edward2
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

          Well, say it might move.
          It will take a lot longer to get a European production facility going.
          And why not?
          BMW has a plant in America.

        • NickC
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

          Andy, H-D has not moved production to the EU. It will export its motorcycles to the EU from its existing plants in Australia, Brazil, India and Thailand.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 11:19 pm | Permalink


          HD Has NOT moved production to the EU. You are consistently wrong. I guess you just make it up to make yourself feel better

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink


      Part 1.

      The Zollverein or German Customs Union was a coalition of German states formed to manage tariffs and economic policies within their territories. Organized by the 1833 Zollverein treaties, the Zollverein formally started on 1 January 1834. However, its foundations had been in development from 1818 with the creation of a variety of custom unions among the German states. By 1866, the Zollverein included most of the German states.

      Part 2.

      Most interest part…..The foundation of the Zollverein was the first instance in history in which independent states had consummated a full economic union…”without the simultaneous creation of a political federation or union.”

      Does Part 2. ring a bell?

      • oldtimer
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

        Thanks for that. Evidently I did not recall correctly!

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 11:27 am | Permalink


          You are correct in most parts. Bismark did indeed consummate the political part very effectively: Interestingly, from a historical perspective, commerce always finds a way to do business in a sensible and generally equitable manner (listen up EU)….only when Politics discombobulates for self-interest (as usual) does the proverbial hit the fan! Oh, for the days when politics is eliminated from our lives? An impossible dream!

  12. JoolsB
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    I notice you don’t make any suggestions about cutting the ridiculous arbitrary aid budget which is unpopular with the public.

    • Andy
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

      Not having the death penalty is also unpopular with the public. But, despite the attempt of the Tory Brexit pensioners, we still do not have mob rule in this country.

      Sometimes you just need politicians who do the right thing. And giving a small amount to the world’s poorest people is the right thing to do.

      The fact that a bunch of angry pensioners who contribute little don’t like it should be an irrelevance.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

        Actually recent polls show little desire for a return to hanging.
        So your claim falls flat

      • JoolsB
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        £20 billion by the end of this parliament is hardly giving a small amount. No-one wants to see an end to aid, but aid where it is needed and not for the sake of it. This country has always done it’s bit. But to have an arbitrary percentage of our GDP set in statute and see an extra army of civil servants employed just for the sole task of desperately trying to give our money away is madness.

        Talking of which, what on earth have pensioners got to do with the aid budget????

      • Edward2
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

        When you talk about “an angry bunch of pensioners ” I assume you are referring to the House of Lords.
        Or does their pro EU stance make them cool in your young eyes?

      • Capt Mannering
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

        …despite the attempt of the Tory Brexit pensioners, we still do not have mob rule in this country.”
        Reminds me of the Monty Python sketch where a group of rowdy women pensioners gang up on teenagers in the street hitting them with their handbags.
        You are funny Andy

      • NickC
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Andy, Being ruled by the angry EU Quislings for the last 46 years was certainly undemocratic mob rule. They never did ask the people for approval of their precious EU treaties – no wonder because we would have rejected them as the Dutch, French and Irish did.

    • Dennis
      Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      I don’t know if we still give aid to India but they have announced they will build the tallest statue in the World costing $500,000! Yes half billion.

  13. Newmania
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    We have the smallest current account deficit since the third quarter of 2012, not that its good or bad thing one way or another. In fact this obscure stat was only dug up by Brexit propagandists to imply the Germans were cheating us by selling us nice car,( which they would like to make more expensive.)
    The US is quite a closed market largely due to non-tariff barriers and in particular its horrendous legal environment. The EU is “super-open” internally which is why there has to be a level of protection against external free riders – I don`t feel Mr Redwood has grasped this at all .
    One of the points of the EU was to deal with the US on equal terms, an advantage we do not have , Mr Redwood appears to think Trump will do us a favour . I am dubious, but then I am a grown up
    One of the advantages, for the UK, of the EU is that while our economy is already open, others have barriers. In the EU`s negotiations with third country ( as we now are ) .As one the big three we were able to judiciously trade barriers we do not have to gain more access for our goods, we had little to giveaway.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      I noticed the Remain propagandists are conveniently ignoring the woefully low turnout for the pro EU march on Saturday. 70,000 according to police reports.

      Bothered to go, did you ?

      Car manufacturers call Britain ‘Fantasy Island’ btw.

      • Newmania
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

        A great many remain voters are fully employed and rather busy . We can`t all be retired or”left behind ” you know

        • Anonymous
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 6:05 am | Permalink

          It seems that the vast majority of you had better things to do, going by the figures for the march.

          • hefner
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

            Can’t you see (I don’t even ask you to understand) that there are also a lot of people who might have voted Remain, have accepted the result of the vote, and are now in fact very keen to have the whole saga done and dusted.
            To me at least on this blog there are also a number of angry Leavers who consider that the slow pace is all because of Remoaners.
            Get real, a good deal of the problem is because of the present Government, of the tensions existing between its different factions, of the improper preparation of the top Leavers beforehand and since the vote. It has now been two years. How comes the ERG (or its predecessor entity) has not been able during that time to produce a proper plan, discussed with their contacts in the business community, accepted by the Conservative Party (and possibly some bits of the Labour Party), been able to change the PM and have their plan accepted first by Parliament, then by the EU27.
            It is hardly the fault of the original Remain voters if the top Brexiters are not able to sell their masterpiece, because to this day it still appears full of holes. From the day of the vote, the EU27 have been waiting for such a plan, putting clearly, in writing in numerous documents and published for anybody to see, their “red lines”.
            The UK whatever its strength in some areas is still the country leaving the EU. Why do you expect the EU27 bloc to grant its requests?
            If you cannot accept such a situation, do a hard Brexit as soon as possible (and stop spending your time moaning).

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


      “Mr Redwood appears to think Trump will do us a favour . I am dubious, but then I am a grown up”

      “I am a grown up”……questionable?…..for your puerile rudeness smacks of adolescence!

    • NickC
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Newmania, The EU is a “closed” (I assume you actually define this as “difficult”) market to the rest of the world with its multiplicity of unnecessary regulations, tariffs for everything imaginable (just look at their product codes), and non-tariff barriers. The EU is also “closed” to our services exports as well, even though we are inside the EU’s internal market.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink


        I have exported services to the entire Eu for twenty years with no barriers so just stop this rubbish you really do not have a clue.

        Source. PWC, Deloitte, Roland Berger, BDO, and so on

        • libertarian
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink


          Well I’m exporting services to the EU RIGHT NOW and you are talking cobblers. Especially in Germany, there are barriers, licences and costs that aren’t incured anywhere else in the so called “internal Market”

          The EU is right now about to shut down the basic uses of the internet with article 13 , despite Spain having tried it and almost destroying their own media industry in 2015

          Er did you miss EU VAT MOSS ? 300,00 micro service businesses ceased trading in EU because of this nonsense legislation

          I’m afraid its you who are clueless hans

        • libertarian
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          oh and hans this is how you provide a real fact rather than one of your pompous assertions

          A report into the barriers to services in the EU

          Here’s a quote from the report as I know you won’t read it as you dont like facts to upset your beliefs

          “EU and national policy-makers argue that the single services market is a key to EU growth, but that many barriers to services market access remain. Grasping the scope, nature and economic meaning of these barriers, however, has proven rather difficult”

          You owe NickC an apology

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink


            I owe nobody an apology .

            But if you need help in Germany, then please let me know.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink



            1) You didn’t read the EU’s own report into the barriers

            2) You fail to understand the issue

            3) You then offer to sell me consulting services having already displayed your ignorance about the issue

            Oh dear, I’m happy to help you with coming to terms with business basics

            You should always apologise when proved wrong… basic manners and prevents you looking pompous and arrogant

        • NickC
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

          Hans, The UK exports of services to the EU is £90.37bn; our export of goods is £145.47bn (Pink Book 2017). Given our economy is about 80% services our exports to the EU are clearly skewed the wrong way – so even we find it more difficult. As I said. Moreover the EU admits the single market in services is not fully implemented. So just stop your rubbish you really do not have a clue

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

            Hainvg exported services to the EU for the past 25 years and still doing it, I find your and libertarian arguments all rather hollow

          • libertarian
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:46 pm | Permalink


            Maybe because you’re not in the same business as us you haven’t experienced the same barriers? Blimey someone who sets themselves up as a NED , Consultant and business mentor really should have a far better grasp on the practicalities

            Or even try reading the EU’s own report into the problems they admit they have with internal barriers.

            Think about this before you reply, because you are making yourself look incompetent

  14. Anonymous
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Trump is turning out to be an effective POTUS. The BBC simply cannot stand it. Don’t get me on Graham Norton who has appointed himself chief rotten tomato thrower in the UK.

    It was predicted that we were going to all be dead within six months of Trump’s inauguration. It is easy to see a second term as he is hugely popular outside The Bubble.

    On Saturday we got the proof we needed that the so called clamour for a second referendum is a figment of those in The Bubble’s imaginations. The London pro EU march was a flop otherwise the BBC would be banging on about it all morning today.

    Millions of Remain voters couldn’t even be bothered to get on a bus or a tube to make their feelings known – or, more to the point, they accept the result and want us to get on with it.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

      The only figure I’ve seen for the march is Leo McKinstrey’s. 100,000.

      Pathetic. Only 10% of the 1 million predicted – and that would have been pathetic too !

      The People do NOT want a second referendum, or a second vote or whatever they want to call it.

      • formula57
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

        Keep in mind though that many young persons (all Remoaners, allegedly) will be too obese to actually march.

  15. Peter Miller
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    Isn’t that the main point of the Eurozone, it is to provide Germany with an artifically undervalued currency in order to boost that country’s manufacturing?

    If Germany still had the mighty Deutschmark, and not today’s Euro, much of its manufacturing capacity would have had to relocate elsewhere in Europe for economic reasons.

  16. Trumpeteer
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Trump does not put his workers and country second . Or joint nothingburger with 27 other.

  17. Ian wragg
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Why would the EU want to reduce tariffs when a sizeable amount of income is derived from the CET.
    Brussels cares not one jot about what’s in the interests of the members just maintaining their bloated budget. I see May and Hammond are still trying to revive the Customs Partnership again. No doubt so we can rejoin the Customs Union when her idea proves unworkable.

  18. Glenn Vaughan
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink


    I can’t decide if the key word for today is “skewed” or “screwed”. Both seem to be valid.

  19. formula57
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    “Mr Trump asks how it is that the US has a massive trade deficit and Germany and China have massive trade surpluses.” – and has answered his own question by stating both are currency manipulators. He has relaxed that view as regards China, not so in the case of Germany. Interesting times ahead that an adroit UK government (were we to have one) could exploit.

  20. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    ‘As we leave the EU’.

    But when will be free? How long before that happens under disastrous duplicious May? Will we ever?

  21. William Long
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    This encapsulates the commercial case for leaving the EU and it is unanswerable. Why is the Government not making it? We do not even hear it from supposed pro-Brexit ministers such as Davis and Fox.

    • You what?
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

      Even if, but but but…the “commercial case” is spot on, what relevance has this in relation to the democratic decision of the UK population to Leave? The vote was Leave. That should be carried out. Full stop. No ifs, no buts.
      It is the prerogative of our people to get things right or wrong. That is democracy. Let that sink in.
      Dictatorships also get things right and wrong. Democracy is our way of conducting our affairs. Stop being anti-British!

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      Brexiters make strong economic case for leaving the EU.

      But whether you like it or not, there are powerful people in business and millions of ordinary people who will come back like a tiger if they feel their business and economic interests and jobs and standard of living are threatened by any ‘bad deal’ with the EU.

      Don’t you see this? Yes, there are tigers in Breixt. But tigers in the Remain camp, as well, especially when it comes to money. And that is why this ‘war’ could go on for years and years and years. The only solution is to come to a compromise – try and create a non-political EEC (which makes Europe safer as well, as a political EU could easily collapse in the future, and if that happens, then we’ll be brought down with the EU whether we’re in it or not).

  22. Mike Stallard
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, Allow me to ask you, have you read Dr North’s blog recently on
    I realise that you both do not like each other: I am not naif.
    However, I think you ought to. His Airbus arguments are conclusive. If – when – we leave the EU/EEA, unless we stay in the EEA there is a very real risk of economic melt-down which will last – how long?
    Please allow me to ask you just to read yesterday’s offering.
    His character forbids him to take sides and he is totally dedicated to the truth – however unpleasant. But in no way is he a diplomat!

    Reply I have never expressed any dislike of Dr North. I just happen to disagree with his view that we need to stay in the EEA. 160 countries in the world get on fine without belonging.

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      EEA leaves us with the same rotten deal as we have now. Dr North talks out of his backside and is as wrong as you are.

    • Andy
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Not true. Many countries do NOT get on fine being outside the EEA.

      There are 195 countries in the world. There are 32 in the EEA – plus the little ones (Andorra, San Marino, Vatican, Monaco, Liechtenstein). ALL EU and EEA countries (and the little ones) are in the top third of the wealthiest nations, per capita.

      The poorest 130 countries are ALL outside the EEA – and more than half of the richest ones are all in it.

      Sure Britain will eventually do alright outside the EU and the EEA but the evidence is now beyond doubt that we will be poorer out than we are in. It is not even worth debating it anymore – the economy has tanked already, we are poorer than we would have been.

      Those of you who dismiss what is happening resemble those on the desk of the Titanic as it slid to the bottom of the sea yelling ‘Don’t panic it’s unsinkable!’

      On the Titanic it was mainly not the rich who drowned. The icy waters of Brexit will be the same.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:16 am | Permalink

        The economy has not “tanked already”
        Ridiculous statement Andy.

      • NickC
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

        Andy, there are 196 countries in the world unless you are a shill for China. And countries comparable to us do get on fine outside the EU and outside the EEA. Those countries that are poor, are poor for reasons other than not being run by the EU.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink


        You might want to actually check which countries are members of the EEA ?

        Hint your list is wrong

        Just so you know the acknowledge most successful country in the world Switzerland is also NOT a member of EFTA/EEA

    • mancunius
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Mike – Like Richard North is so obsessed with his own opinions that he has no interest in anyone else’s. Like his friend Mr Booker, he has become so petulant on the subject of EEA membership that he doesn’t seem to have noticed how bad it would be for Britain.
      Look, the EU is determined to ‘punish’ Britain – every week sees such explicitly Cold-War announcements of that kind from Brussels and Berlin. The EEA (or even Efta) are structures that the EU now actually owns (as an ‘institution of the EU’) alters, adjudicates, and manipulates, far more wilfully than North, Booker and Hannan realize from the now-superseded 1990s model.
      It would be economic and political Stockholm Syndrome to join the EEA – we would be even more helpless than as a member of the EU. A bit like agreeing to remain tagged on parole, instead of taking the opportunity to escape from prison.

    • Eh?
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

      Who is Dr North?

  23. ChrisS
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    I failed to understand why President Trump didn’t demand an equalisation of tariffs on cars between Europe and the USA when he introduced his aluminium and steel tariffs.

    I know nothing about the arguments over the metals but how has any US president allowed the disadvantageous rates in cars to continue for so long ?

    The new EU tariffs of 20% also applies to the small number of America’s iconic Harley Davidsons sold in Europe but the increase the EU has stupidly imposed on motor bikes only doubles the existing rate so is no more than an additional 10%. A piffling amount compared to the retaliatory 17.50% tariff increases President Trump is proposing on the hundreds of thousands of far more expensive German cars sold in the USA.

    Sadly that rate will also apply to Jaguars.
    Another reason to escape from the one size fits all EU approach to everything.

    • Hope
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      It is clear to Trump that Germany is ripping off the EU and the US. He fronted Merkel on it and she does like it. Tough. He has fined VW $15 billion dollars and has had cars exchanged for his citizens and protect his country’s environment. What has May or Hammond done? Nothing! Instead Hammond taxed us to make us stop buying cars to hurt our economy!

      • Rb
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 1:19 am | Permalink

        Merkel really hates Trump

    • Jagman84
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Hence the reason why he urged us to get on with leaving the EU, ASAP!

    • mancunius
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

      ChrisS – I assume Trump didn’t make any request because 1) he doesn’t much trust the EU to ‘talk fast’ – and 2) his primary aim is to throttle the penchant for German car ownership in the US while (as a secondary aim) gaining more of a price-sensitive foothold in the EU market. So it’s a form of protectionist ‘nudging’ that may alter and rebalance US consumer habits.
      It’s a dangerous game, but the bluecollar US citizens who elected Trump wanted him to do it, and he promised to.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

      “Sadly that rate will also apply to Jaguars.”

      Only whilst we are in the EU. Had we left yesterday, as was the plan, and today signed a free trade agreement with the USA, those Jaguars would be exported without the tariff applying at the US port of entry, and they’d be taking market share from BMW/Mercedes.

      Funny that JLR hasn’t come out with this riposte to the government for not leaving the EU in a timely and effective manner.

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      BMW already manufacture in South Carolina and Mercedes already manufacture in Alabama. As such, many German cars sold in the US will be completely unaffected by Trump’s actions.

      Meanwhile, Harley-Davidson have announced a decision to shift some manufacturing from the the US to other international locations.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Peter Parsons

        Glad you agree with Trump, thats exactly what he said too

        Harley is moving some production in order to avoid EU tariffs

        They are moving it to one of their current plants in Australia, Brazil, India or Thailand

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

          German car makers largely unaffected and US bike makers reducing US production. That’s a good outcome for US workers.

          • libertarian
            Posted June 26, 2018 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

            Peter Parsons

            Oh my word…let me explain again.

            German cars aren’t all made in the US, so if German cars are to be unaffected then they will need to build more in the US and employ more people in the US…

            HD are producing Bikes for the EU market, yet notice they’ve moved production to existing plants… none in the EU

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 7:51 am | Permalink

            BMW’s USA plant is the largest car plant in the US already. It exports 70% of its output, and Trumps actions (and the responses they have generated) are likely to have a negative impact on those exports, which will free up production for the domestic market. On that export percentage, BMW could more than treble the number of domestic sales from their US plant without hiring a single additional worker.

            If Trump thinks his actions will create additional jobs in the US, he will find out that he is wrong and it is ordinary Americans who will pay the cost of his protectionism.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

          I see Trump is now threatening to tax Harley-Davidson “like they’ve never been taxed before”.

          It’s all going well, it seems…

          • libertarian
            Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

            Peter Parsons

            BMW’s exports to where will have a negative impact and why ?

          • libertarian
            Posted June 29, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

            Peter Parsons

            Your concerns about German car makers only seems to involve Brexit & Trump.

            To take you seriously I would have also expected you to mention Germany has a crisis far more existential than its World Cup exit. Its car industry is staring down the barrel of Trump’s tariffs and Brexit killing its vital UK sales. VW executives are being jailed Volkswagen announced plans to refit up to 11 million affected vehicles, fitted with Volkswagen’s EA 189 diesel engines, including 5 million at VW brand, 2.1 million at Audi, 1.2 million at Škoda and 1.8 million light commercial vehicles. SEAT said that 700,000 of its diesel models were affected. In Europe alone, a total of 8 million vehicles are affected. In Germany, 2.8 million vehicles will have to be recalled, followed by the UK, with 1.2 million. In France, 984,064 vehicles were affected, in Austria around 360,000, while in the Czech Republic 148,000 vehicles were involved (of which 101,000 were Škodas). In Portugal, VW said it had sold 94,400 vehicles with the software. Mercedes are recalling 600,000 cars over the diesel scam, Porsche 60,000

            VW has so far paid out $25 billion in the US in fines and compensation

    • Billy Elliot
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      Jaguar is owned by TATA. An Indian company.

  24. Pragmatist
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Stereotypical, let us admit, Russia respects strength. Less known, China, from street trader right to the top vistas of the Changbai mountains, expects,understands and actually loves haggling. It is her Way.

    China comes out with short infrequent replies to Trump. It knows.

    Quietly behind the scenes China and the USA have already and quickly reached major preliminary agreements in this “trade war”. Nothing is agreed until all is agreed.

  25. NickC
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    The main problem is, unlike the USA with PotUS Trump, the Remains – as demonstrated on here – are hampering reform. Remains don’t want the corrupt, undemocratic EU reformed, and they don’t want the Brexit reforms to succeed.

    • hefner
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

      How ridiculous can you be, Nick? Do you really think that the few Remainers on this blog are hampering reform? You really give them an awful lot of importance, and if anything you are just showing a rather fetid side of the British society.
      Have a cold drink, and maybe a cold shower if at 8:25 you are already getting too hot under the collar.

      • NickC
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink

        Hefner, Bit close to the bone, was it? Actually, yes, you are hampering the Brexit reforms. You’re obviously not doing as much as Ken Clarke or Lady Nugee, but you are aiding and abetting.

        In 1975 the Remain decision was implemented immediately, and nobody in Parliament tried to actually halt it. But Remains hate Brexit so much they would jeopardise democracy to get their way over the heads of the people.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:41 pm | Permalink


      We do not need to answer any questions you have all the answers for us even if we are or not remainers, so thank you

      • NickC
        Posted June 27, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

        Hans, Yes, sorry I forgot, you are not a Remain, you are an ersatz Remain. Is that better?

  26. Mick
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Off topic but not by much
    All these groups want is another chance to thwart Brexit and keep us in the federal union of Europe, because they all slipped up big time in 2016 thinking that the general public would not vote to get us out of the dreaded Eu , why not have the best of 3 or 5 or 7 we voted out and that’s it you lost get over it, and have as many marches as you want, but if by chance you did overturn the 2016 referendum I would come out marching against us staying along with 17.4 million and growing muppets

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:36 am | Permalink

      Only 70,000 turned up for the march for a second referendum on Saturday. Pathetic. Out of 8 million supposed Remain Londoners gifted the best city transport on the planet.

      Obviously England’s youth side trouncing an third world team was more compelling.

  27. Bob
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    There were two major rallies on Saturday to mark the vote to leave the EU. One was in favour of Brexit and one was against.

    Guess which one was all over the news and which one was ignored by the MSM.

    • IwasGnarth
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink

      100,000 seems an overestimate to me. Regardless of that, what on earth did those people expect to achieve? (Other than that blue and yellow clothing is more appropriate for clowns).

  28. Andy
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Alas – leaving the EU is already harming the economy and will continue to do so. The deficit will simply grow as we get poorer.

    The biggest barrier to global trade, bar none, is non-tariff barriers. Tariffs are largely an irrelevance. Brexit was a vote to raise non-tariff barriers.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      For the sake of 14000 jobs Airbus want us to take in 300k Eurozone refugees every year.

      We can well do without businesses like that I am very sad to say. They are actually costing us if they dictate the terms of border policy. These are the distortions the culturally suicidal EU imposes on member states.

      Bigger businesses than that shipped themselves out of the UK long before the Brexit vote.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:58 am | Permalink

      Leave campaign never spoke about wanting non tariff barriers.
      Free trade yes.
      Stop making stuff up Andy

      • Andy
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

        True – they never spoke about it, because they either didn’t understand it or because they lied about it.

        Which was it?

        • Edward2
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

          Leave spoke about offering tariff free trade deals.
          You said they wanted non tariff barriers
          Which neither leave nor remain have ever said they want.
          More nonsense from you Andy

    • libertarian
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:04 pm | Permalink


      One day you will get to find out how to use Google, then you can finally learn that the WTO ALSO has regulations limiting non tariff barriers… OGH and Germany operates NTB’s WITHIN the internal market

      1/10 Must try much harder

    • NickC
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Andy, Brexit is not harming the UK economy, and you have no evidence for it. Some businesses are shrinking or closing, other businesses are expanding or starting up. That’s normal in a dynamic economy. Stop making things up. Around 89% of our economy is not derived from the EU, and Brexit gives us the chance to reduce trade barriers within the UK and with our trading partners in the rest of the world.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink


        You are absolutely right Brexit is not hurting the economy as we do not know what any deal is going to look like.

        However, as of today I am not sure the UK Auto manufacturers agree with you s they have halved their investments this year.

        • libertarian
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 12:58 pm | Permalink


          Do you never look at what is actually happing in the world? Do you just tout whatever you read in the Guardian / Independent ?

          Jaguar Cars announced 2 days ago a £20 billion investment in UK

          As the car industry is suffering at the moment because of the EU about turn and the UK governments stupidity over diesel and the phasing out of tax incentives for electric vehicles I’m not at all surprised that investment is down. It has nothing to do with Brexit though. Germany sells the UK 780,000 cars per year , mostly diesel, so German car plants are in the same boat .

  29. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Oh, and now I read:

    “Not my job to sort the border, says Leo Varadkar”

    “Varadkar comment piles pressure on Theresa May”

    “Mr Varadkar said yesterday that it was “not my job” to help Theresa May, the British prime minister, find a solution to avoid a hard border.”

    Well, his attitude would certainly “pile pressure on Theresa May” if it did not also offer her with an excellent opportunity to step back from her ill-advised decision to unnecessarily, gratuitously, accept responsibility for solving the fabricated ‘Irish problem’ in her Mansion House Speech of March 2nd 2018:

    “We have been clear all along that we don’t want to go back to a hard border in Ireland. We have ruled out any physical infrastructure at the border, or any related checks and controls.

    But it is not good enough to say, ‘We won’t introduce a hard border; if the EU forces Ireland to do it, that’s down to them’. We chose to leave; we have a responsibility to help find a solution.

    But we can’t do it on our own. It is for all of us to work together.

    And the Taoiseach and I agreed when we met recently that our teams and the Commission should now do just that.”

    Well, now the Taoiseach has openly said that he is not prepared to help, he does not want “all of us to work together”, so it would be perfectly in order for Theresa May to say that her March offer no longer stands.

  30. Bob
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I hear that Mrs May no longer wants the UK to be a first tier power but would rather divert our defence budget to build the EU into a first tier military power.

    Much as I always expected from her.

    Reply All untrue

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

      Hopefully it is untrue but she is wrong on almost every other issue. The size of the state, building on EU worker’s rights, green crap, the NHS …

      As Charles Moore puts it on the NHS:-

      Seen from almost any point of view, the government’s decision to increase spending on the NHS is disgusting. It is cynical in its timing to coincide with the Health Service’s 70th birthday in England; weak in its refusal to tie the increase to any improvements; mendacious in its claimed link between the increase and a Brexit dividend; evasive in its refusal to present this as a straightforward tax rise; constitutionally improper in its efforts to ‘take the issue out of politics’ by trying to agree it for many years ahead; and, as always, for those who still think the NHS is ‘the envy of the world’ (have they actually asked the world?), ‘too little, too late’.

    • Bob
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:28 am | Permalink

      Mr Redwood,
      According to The Sun 15th March 2018.

      “tapes passed to The Sun reveal senior civil servants secretly pledging to continue spending taxpayers’ cash propping up Brussels defence and foreign projects — including the controversial “EU Army”.”

  31. a-tracy
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    “Now Mr Trump is talking about a 20% tariff on EU cars anyway.” Business negotiation strategy go in high then the reduction is seen as a reduction – his aim is probably the same 10% Germany charge. Other than Tesla what top range American car does well in Europe?

    You have got to wonder when Germany is so strong and doing so well why all the concessions are their way. The same with their low contribution to NATO, if we only paid the 1% of GDP on defence then we would have the other 1% to spend on health without increases our taxation.

    The USA car manufacturers need to step up and step into the diesel replacement vehicle design and promotion in the UK, apparently we are going to have lots of factories with skilled workers going spare and a need for left hand drive cars that are suitable for our future use made and manufactured here because all the supply chains are going to get cut off to us and the queues at Calais will mean JIT delivery cycles will end and we need to make more on our little island, our government members tell us the British can’t possibly work this out for ourselves so the Koreans, Japanese or the Americans with big car making facilities already will have an open market especially if they can improve our fuel use and make cleaner cars with new design, especially if our government gets behind this with taxation concessions on improved designs to encourage a switch.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      ‘You have got to wonder when Germany is so strong’

      – Because the Germans understand the auto market and produce great cars or at least cars that Americans and others love to buy, with strong brand loyalty (doesn’t matter what you or i think of German cars but what consumers think). Sorry, but this isn’t rocket-science economics.

      ‘Now Mr Trump is talking about a 20% tariff on EU cars anyway’ – daft. The EU retaliated with tariffs to which Harley Davidson have replied by saying they’ll move jobs out of America to Europe (just been reading Wall Street Journal). Again, this isn’t rocket-science economics. Trump just simply isn’t as powerful as he thinks he is. Rather he needs to think HARD and STRATEGICALLY about how to help the car industry in America, as well as the high tech / digital industries in general – he’d be far more powerful and effective here than trying to act macho over tariffs.

      ‘The same with their low contribution to NATO’

      – Fair point. But you don’t apply the same approach to this as to trying to improve your economy, in particular cars, high tech and digital industries …

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

        Ed, I understand your point about German cars we’ve owned several over the years and used to buy them for my company, however, this wasn’t the concession I referred to, I wondered why the EU charged the USA 20% tariff on imported cars when they had a better concession from the USA. I think that was daft for the USA to take.

        Germany are so strong, leading the EU, a manufacturing Country to be admired they should pay their fair contributions in taxes too.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink


          ‘Germany are so strong, leading the EU, a manufacturing Country to be admired they should pay their fair contributions in taxes too’

          – i agree, to a degree. But that’s a different issue to the one of Germans understanding the car market, consumers and branding in the car tech sector, etc .. which is a crucial point in trying to win an economic war. In other words, the economic war is really won by people in business NOT politicians!

          Also, it was the tariff war of the 1930’s, along with intense nationalism of the time that went with it, that was one of the main (but not only) reasons that led to WW2. Fact. Yes, Presidents Reagan and Bush got involved in tariff battles but not to the scale that President Trump seems to threaten – he seems to threaten a world-wide tariff war (against China, Europe, Canada, Mexico and more). Tariffs need to be addressed but not like this (he’s too petulant as opposed to being a deep strategic thinker).

  32. Excalibur
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    If President Trump had not been elected he would need to be invented. He is like a breath of fresh air sweeping through the musty halls of entrenched interests. He has overturned the illusion that diplomatic and trade affairs must be conducted in the manner they have always been. I, for one, delight in his ruffling of the liberal/progressive feathers.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      Me too.

      He’s turning out to be effective.

    • eeyore
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink

      I’m reminded of another forceful and frequently alarming maverick, President Teddy Roosevelt, when I see Mr Trump. I also well remember the sneers from the elitist Left that greeted Ronnie Reagan.

      Anyway, since when did nice people make good leaders?

      • Realpolitik
        Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:45 pm | Permalink

        I used to be “public-facing” in a job though not political. Also it was my public-face..for the company. I worked in finance. Hated it. But I have limited talents, really, and I was acceptably good at it because I had to stick in it for decades, so I got better.. I have never been lucky enough and bright enough to choose my occupation.I put on an act. It worked and paid the rent.
        I guess some leaders, perhaps many, how could we know,are actors in some degree.
        I find all British leaders don’t eat babies, usually.

    • Andy
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

      You are delighted that he keeps keeps kids in cages? That he violates international and US law? That he refuses to condemn the far right? That he thinks the way to deal with school shootings is more guns?

      • a-tracy
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

        No one is delighted that kids are in cages and have been for years, ignored, a problem to be hidden away. At least the light is shined on this practice now. However, the American people don’t want total free movement from Mexico and 2,500 children in a month now detained, which doesn’t include those that managed to get through is a lot of children and adults. If the Democrats want to run on free movement of people and children into the USA they should be honest and run for election on that manifesto.

        If there is no free movement agreed then how should the children and their parents be held waiting to return to their home base, in Disneyland? Is there no proper route into America for people, don’t they have a way to get in legally I thought they did? Apply, wait your turn or skill up in a desirable skill such as nursing. Canada are much more relaxed about immigration and obviously need more lower-skilled labour there should be a way of forwarding them over the border as the EU states do with the UK.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:11 am | Permalink


          ‘No one is delighted that kids are in cages and have been for years, ignored, a problem to be hidden away’

          – You’re fundamentally misrepresenting the situation. Yes, true, children have been detained in the past (and not defending that either). But this was a BLIP as opposed to a POLICY (under the Trump admin.) of deliberately detaining children and using them as a deterrent to stop immigrants coming into the USA.

          Significant moral difference here. And an evil of the past doesn’t justify an even worse evil of the present. Law is subtle. And powerful. And its there to predict us from tyranny and corruption that can creep into our way of life very easily, very quickly and very powerfully if we’re not careful.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

            ‘tyranny and corruption that can creep into our way of life very easily, very quickly and very powerfully if we’re not careful’

            – And it’s not just about protecting us from possible worse evils in the future. It’s about saying as well, that this type of behaviour is just wrong – NOW – and just very unamerican (and unbritish – we are the country, after all, that gave the world Magna Carta and the spirit of).

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted June 27, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

            ‘Law is subtle. And powerful’

            – I mean the spirit of the law not necessarily the law itself (when you can have bad law that can be used for cynical political motives – as under Trump admin).

            Again, I’m a Conservative. A Republican. And want to be tough on immigration. But not like this. Not at any cost. Conservatives are gentleman / ladies who first and foremost protect the interests of vulnerable children.

      • Realpolitik
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Andy.Cages. Will you READ accounts of the “incident???????”
        Your case is considerably weakened because you do not at least cite the opposite view and evidence, and bring what evidence which you believe conflicts with it.

        • Dennis Zoff
          Posted June 26, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink


          If you are new to John Redwood’s blog, apologies if not….most do not bother to respond to lefty adolescent Andy’s nonsense….he just takes oxygen away from sensible erudite arguments and has little to add other than puerile self-indulgent blathering, and will try to wind you up at any given opportunity.

          If you continue to feed him oxygen, he will continue to spew sciolistic bile! If this was not our kind host’s blog that gives everybody free speech, Andy would be history.

          • Pragmatist
            Posted July 2, 2018 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

            Dennis Zoff. I like Andy! I had arguments in the past which resemble his in some ways. I thought I was as right then as I think I am right now. Which one is correct, the old me or the young me? Another few decades on my back…will I think much differently than I do now? It bothers me.

      • Eh?
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink

        Why would anyone condemn the far right Andy? How odd! Trump is not “far right btw which is a failing.

  33. GilesB
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    There are only three situations where tariffs, and/or state aid, should be allowed.

    Protect national defence. For armaments this is only symbolic as very few countries have the technological capability to be self-sufficient and are dependent on imports. Food supply is different and there are also powerful ecological grounds for protecting self-sufficiency. Energy supply could similarly justify protection, although most countries already have significant economic incentive to decrease imports.

    Fade out of sunset industries. Closing Port Talbot overnight would be disastrous in economic terms with thousands of tax-paying workers becoming dependent on welfare. So some subsidy/import tariff makes sense to avoid an overnight closure. But this should be tapered. Over the long-term, say twenty-five years – a generation, it makes more sense to import steel if it can be manufactured more cheaply elsewhere.

    Cultivation of new industries. It is difficult for new industries to get started and up to scale if imports from established markets can undercut on price. This is particularly true for developing markets. State aid/tariffs can be justified for an initial finite period. The challenge is how to choose which industries to support. Should only be one or two per territory.

    WTO terms of trade should ban all other tariffs and protection.

  34. Billy Elliot
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    USA has 25% tax for trucks and pick ups. If they would lower that maybe EU would lower car tax?
    As whole EU – USA tariffs are pretty much on same level. Mr POTUS just don’t have a clue how to do his job.

  35. The Prangwizard
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    It’s my understanding that President Trump wants free trade. He would like to offer it if trade tariffs or practices are reduced or eliminated where he considers them inequitable – in the meantime he puts pressure where he thinks it is due in the hope of meeting his objective.

    It must be borne in mind that the US is a massive economy and a great innovator. We trail well behind. We have not created any big new businesses to rival those in the US. We are over-regulated and too short-termist. We do need someone to talk us up nor down.

    Building the 3rd runway immediately will be a good sign.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Will he scrap farm subsidies too? Open the US market for military equipment?

  36. ChrisS
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Off Topic :

    The Express is reporting today that Britain is ready and willing to sign up to Macron’s proposed European fast reaction military force together with Germany, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Estonia, Spain and Portugal. The force is supposed to be entirely separate from the EU.

    The fact that our government is so keen to work alongside Macron in this beggars belief. After all, it is France and Germany that are the prime movers behind excluding us from the secure military side of the Galileo project.

    This is yet another example of how the UK fails to defend its interests. Mrs May should be telling Macron in no uncertain terms that if we aren’t regarded as a secure partner in the military side of Galileo, we won’t be joining his RRF.

    I despair at how our PM fails to use our undoubted leverage at every opportunity. As far as negotiations are concerned, Mrs May’s government is the most inept I have ever seen.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      Maybe the UK does not want to be left out of EU defense cooperation. Remember that the most important thing in defense policy is spending. Outside the EU the prospects for UK-made defense equipment are not good. If you want a share of the nearly 1% of GDP that Germany, Belnelux and Denmark are going to spend above their current spending (to comply with US demands), they are certainly not going to spend that in the US or the UK, but will spend that “at home”. Under NATO rules, that counts too.

      • NickC
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 10:36 am | Permalink

        Rien, So you’re saying EU countries procure their defence equipment solely on the basis of nationality not effectiveness? That is speculation on your part, and seems to take your hatred of Brexit beyond the rational.

  37. Rien Huizer
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    Even as an admirer of the US president (as befits and ERG member)you might have mentioned that over 80% of all passenger cars exported from the US are made by German brands (but not in the Rust Belt). The same brands he
    wants to punish here.

    Also, those great US corporations like Apple etc produce the vast bulk of their products in China using contract manufacturers. Ever bought a Callaway golf club or Nike shoes? Of the roughly 15 non-services corporations in the DJ index, the vast majority doe substantial (contract) manufacturing in China. Walmart and Amazon are the largest non – Chinese buyers of Chinese products. US?china trade is symbiotic and essential for firms like Apple. Intel relies heavily on Chinese manufacturing for its US-made chips. I could go on. This is a misuse of trade politics for domestic political gain, by pandering to economically ignorant voters sensitive to quasi-news. Maybe Mr Fox shares his views too? That would help in recruiting replacement trade partners for the UK’s manufacturing industry.

    • NickC
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 10:39 am | Permalink

      Rien, PotUS Trump hasn’t said that he doesn’t want trade, he just insists that the terms are fair. The EU has to learn it can’t get its way always and every time it squeals.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

        Sorry are you talking about the Eu or Trump now?

        • libertarian
          Posted June 28, 2018 at 1:00 pm | Permalink


          fairly much the same thing, the EU and Trump both want protected markets rather than Free trade

          What make me laugh are all the “liberals” squealing about Trump whilst also banging on about how important the EU protected customs union is….

  38. margaret
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Whilst there are so many arguments about trade , businesses will just get on with it and look for the best deal they can despite tariffs. We can only hope that the white paper users agree with businesses.

    • HenryS
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      Margaret..unfortunately it’s not business leaders that are negotiating in brussels..we have to depend on politicians and their aspirational wishes for the future..politicians have little to lisr..they ard well paid..some will be kicked up to the lords either way while the rest will be cushioned by’s the businesses and industry that may go to the’s callec taking back control

  39. Jacey
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    To consider the E.U. as a free trade area is surely to misunderstand its structure. It is and has been resolutely protectionist in character. The Community External Tariff clearly indicates this. This set of tariffs have been designed to assist the German economy in particular. Yet I sense the winds of change are starting to blow from across the Atlantic and perhaps from across the English Channel as well.

  40. ian
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 1:39 pm | Permalink

    China all that and more while you are messing around with your Micky mouse city of London. you might want to go to war with China but what you have to remember is that China can build 3 to 4 aircraft carriers to the west one for same money and firepower and build them in a third of the time.

  41. We are doomed!
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink


    • HenryS
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes we are doomed if we don’t pull our socks up..there is little point in ministers going out to Afghanistan there are no trade deals to be done there

      • Dennis Zoff
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 12:03 pm | Permalink



        Politicians do what Politicians do best…waste public taxes which benefits no one unless of course, you are a worthless politicising self-indulgent political parasite! (just a personal opinion that does not include John Redwood)

        In my line of business, I have met many Politicians in the UK and Internationally….few of which have any idea of commerce and usually get in the way or negate sensible proceedings. I could give an exhaustive in-depth insight into the nefarious politically driven business shenanigans from my own experience, drawn from the past 35 years….but our kind host would, no doubt, not post my comment.

        One day I may write a book on my past experiences…which I am sure would make you laugh, shudder and commercially cry…….The EU is just the tip of a very large, insidiously political, commercially negating iceberg unless one is in favour….no names mentioned, but it does have a German sounding name?

      • We are doomed
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

        The “an” was a correction of “a” in my previous longer comment but the original longer comment was not published

  42. Freeborn John
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    Why hasn’t Phillip Lee been deselected yet? If he is Conservative MP at the next election I will have to vote Labour.

  43. Iain Gill
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    UK and USA depend on leading intellectual property, China and India tend to benefit by using this IP without aherm paying the license fees, and ever faster leaking of IP both legally and illegally. That is one of the core problems. Me I’d like to buy USA made cars with less barriers.

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

      IG, yep asymmetric treatment of tariffs, exchange rates, IP, rentseeking … the long term effects of all have been ignored for the short term gain of some. POTUS is right, but some (perhaps politically motivated) economists will come out and give the short term arguments. Free trade all round, equal protection of IP, equal entry into markets.

  44. Ed Mahony
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    (and apologies for being arrogant)

  45. Derek Henry
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 6:08 pm | Permalink

    The EU will be begging for a Brexit deal by August

    Trump’s car tariff to come early


    The reality of US car tariffs could have a profound impact on the Brexit discussions. The UK is the largest export market for German car makers, followed by the US. If the US imposed tariffs, and if the Brexit talks were to collapse, the German auto industry would have to face crippling tariffs in three of its four largest export markets. The third one is China which is due to to slap car tariffs on US-made cars, many of them by German companies, in retaliation for the tariffs imposed by the US on Chinese goods. The EU clearly has no interest in a hard Brexit in this situation.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:46 am | Permalink

      The UK is the party that may want a hard brexit. The EU has several soft brexits on offer that the UK could accept without too many problems (except with the brexiteer community).

      • NickC
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 10:43 am | Permalink

        Rien, Without breaking up the UK, harming our internal market, or putting us under the control of the EU? I don’t think so. The WTO deal is the only one that’s realistic for an independent nation, and available now.

      • Gawd?
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

        Oh do stop it with “hard brexits” and “soft brexits”. Such terms are not worthy of intelligent conversation.

  46. Drachma
    Posted June 25, 2018 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know why we ate going to spend all this money on another runway when we know that business and travel will contract after brexit..iy would be bettet to put the money into upgrading the porys and buolding cargo ships

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 25, 2018 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

      Gloom and doom from Dracula

    • NickC
      Posted June 26, 2018 at 10:45 am | Permalink

      Drachma, You don’t “know” any such thing. Whilst we haven’t left yet, we are on our way out of the treaties, and the economy is expanding.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted June 26, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        so our economy is expanding yes at the lowest rate of any G7 nation for the 5 quarter and that has not happened any time in the past 12 years. (UK Statistics)

        • NickC
          Posted June 27, 2018 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

          Hans, What part of the difference between expanding and contracting don’t you understand?

  47. Rb
    Posted June 26, 2018 at 1:16 am | Permalink

    Trade wars or announcements of them are good for Forex trades.

  48. Martin Conboy
    Posted June 26, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    I’m not quite sure what he EU has just done to the USA with its new schedule of tariffs on items such as motorcycles, denim jeans, etc. Under WTO rules it is very illegal for a country to impose selective tariffs against another country and noone else. So does this mean that the EU has imposed a 25% import duty against All non-EU motorcycle manufacturers? So Honda, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki are also forced to pay 25% tariffs? If not, then the EU is totally and utterly in breach of WTO agreement and are acting selectively. They might just find they have picked the wrong enemy.

  49. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 27, 2018 at 12:26 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, please stop this nonsense. Just tell the EU that trade between the UK must be tariff free, otherwise it’s No Deal.

    If you had to nominate the two political bodies in the whole wide world that are most hostile to the UK becoming a sovereign, self governing country, it would be the European Commission and the Irish Republic – far more hostile than Russia will ever be. Yet these are the two bodies that we are allowing to control the negotiations. It’s madness.

    Take back control. Stick the boot in.

  • 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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