The EU Council decisions

The EU Council endorsed the new proposals for European Parliament seats after 2019. The 73 UK seats disappear, with an overall reduction of 46 seats. Germany at 96 (n/c), France at 79 (plus 5) and Italy at 76 (plus 3) will be the largest in the new Parliament out of a total of 705. It shows that some of the planning for the UK exit soon is progressing.

The 27 agreed a line on Brexit which is far from friendly to the UK. They are only holding out the hope of some “political declaration” about the future relationship, yet seem to expect the UK to sign up to the very one sided Withdrawal Agreement they have in mind nonetheless. To make that worse they are still insisting on some “back stop” for the Irish border, which is their way of trying to get the UK back into the Customs Union we voted to leave. The UK would be wise to point out we have no need to sign any Withdrawal Agreement unless there is a really good proposal for the future which would offset the penal terms of their Withdrawal document.

The Cabinet will be seeking to hammer out a more detailed proposal on the future relationship at their meeting at the end of next week at Chequers. I trust they will recognise the so called New Customs Partnership is badly holed, and was rejected by the Brexit Cabinet Committee when last examined. They should also veto any idea of ending up in a version of the customs union and or single market just for goods. The EU is the big winner from the current goods arrangements, so the UK has no need to pay to continue those arrangements, and must ensure it takes back control of its laws and trade policy when we leave.

I repeat my advice to the government. Table a comprehensive free trade agreement for goods and services. If the EU is well disposed, then negotiate over it. If the EU is not, then just leave without signing any Withdrawal Agreement The government says all is going well with plans to leave with No Deal, so lets make sure the EU know that. So far the EU has turned down every constructive UK suggestion. They have even managed to turn a very generous UK offer on defence and security into a UK demand they cannot meet!

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  1. jerry
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    Final paragraph – spot on John. It’s not often that I totally agree with you!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:15 am | Permalink

      Why do you not often agree? He is right on most things, but rather too understated, constrained as he is rather by being a politician.

      • jerry
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        @LL; Many ideas/polices are right in theory, but fail once in the real world – the curse of unintended consequences.

        • Hope
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

          May has written in the DT today, she fails in her fist paragraph. She needs to think how she decided who get public honours recently. Was this fair irrespective of background, was in line with her pledge to reform the honours list. Once again, you cannot believe a word she says. May is taking us all for idiots thinking we cannot remember what she said. Unfortunately her actions do not match her words. Untrustworthy underhand PM who failed to to implement any one of her main points in her Lancaster speech about leaving the EU who ran off at night o make a unitlateral capitulation to the EU in December and failed to tell the DUP the previous week what was going in the text until hours before!

          • G Wilson
            Posted July 1, 2018 at 7:33 am | Permalink

            Worse than untrustworthy, she’s a socialist.

            Look at the last sentence of that paragraph you write about. “A country that works not just for a few, but for every one of us.” By plagiarising Labour’s slogan, May endorses it. Corbyn should be paying her for doing his advertising.

          • jerry
            Posted July 1, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

            @Hope; Or to put it another way, she failed to give someone the honour you think they deserves. But I agree, the Honour system is totally discredited now, when it is not being ‘establishment’ it is ‘populist’, perhaps it is time to call time on it.

            As for Brexit, what do you not understand about the sentence, “Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”? I hope @Hope never gets called for jury service, considering how he always prejudges others, he would likely decide upon guilt before he hears the evidence, perhaps before he even enters the jury box! 🙁

          • rose
            Posted July 1, 2018 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

            The worst thing she is doing at the moment is leaking that she is going to stand up to the Brexiteers, and that she is going to see off a leadership challenge. How about standing up to the EU and seeing off the Brussels and Remainiac bullies?

      • Hope
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        JR, perhaps you forgot May stated in her Mansion House capitulation that she would not resort to WTO terms and has stupidly stated that the Irish border is a U.K. problem when international aw makes it clear it is not. She has NOT kept her word on any key point in her Lancaster speech about leaving the EU. Prey tell us what strap line, red line or key point in leaving has she kept her word? Her unilateral capitualtion in December is nothing short of a humiliating disgrace. She has given away our territorial waters and fishing stocks after we leave! Looney tune Davis remarked on this nothing has changed! The point is after we leave it should!

        We read yesterday May in typical unde hand KitKat policy fashion has pledged to give hundreds of millions of taxpayers money to help Germany off the hook for the EU mass immigration plan! Her unfunded promises with our money has no bounds!

        Still no action against Lords or MPs who threatened to collapse the govt! No action against civil underhand dishonest policy of hiding costs and ties to EU after we leave and no action against Treasury Hammond or Greg Clarke for taking action against govt policy to leave the EU. It is reasonable to assume it was with her blessing. Soubry appealing to CCHQ presumably to get hidden support from May to help her after she did May’s bidding? These people in the real world would be out on their ear, no ifs or buts.

        So JR your fanciful wish list does not resent reality and you must accept responsibility for not ousting May. She is still,pursuing staying in the single market and customs union by another name. What do you not understand?

        • Hope
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, Davis and Braverman made it publicly clear that the £100 billion plus give away money to the EU will be paid before any trade deal agreed. Therefore the it is nonsense to say nothing agreed until everything agreed when two Brexit minsiters confimed to select committees thus is Not the case.

          • jerry
            Posted July 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            @Hope; More Fake News (no doubt from UKIP). They did no such thing, how could they. The timetable is quite clear, any Brexit deal can not enter force until the EU’s eurocrats, the UK government, the EU parliament and now the UK parliament have all agreed and either signed off or voted on it, all that is very unlikely to happen until a few weeks before March 29th 2019 at the rate things are going.

            What both Davis and Barnier said was that phase 1 (withdrawal arrangements) of the negotiations had to be agreed, not signed off (see above for why), before Phase 2 could begin. It is possible that both phase 1 & 2 get agreed in negotiations but then fail either due to the MEPs or now UK MPs. If that happens the UK could well end up leaving on WTO terms owning nothing, paying nothing.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

        Though I am against capital punishment personally. Unlike, it seems, parts of the NHS who want it even for patients. This especially with the UK appalling CPS & UK criminal court system.

        • Hope
          Posted July 4, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, utter drivel without fact or evidence. Read what I wrote not what you would like to think I wrote. Braverman stated it quite clearly to the select committee as did Davis. Get your facts right. Nothing about Barnier. Idiot.

    • Zorro
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Indeed – I totally agree with the last paragraph. In reality, this negotiation is REALLY simple. Offer them a comprehensive free trade agreement. If they don’t bite – we leave, lick, stock and barrel on 31/03/2019. Tap turns off. However, we need a PM who will do it and she won’t. Her weakness and ineptitude (along with th fifth columnists) has just egged on the EU to refuse every proposal knowing that she won’t push it…..

      Why is she signing up to more extra budgetary commitments to support the EU? What do we get in return? – continued insults/threats from Barnier!

      What fool would fall for that silly stunt letting her hold the Belgian football shirt and grinning inanely. She is a total embarrassment on the world stage. Who can respect that?


    • Mark B
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 4:26 am | Permalink

      The EU cannot negotiate with itself. The UK has to leave first. For the EU to agree on a FTA it has to agree with the other member countries on a common position. Then the FTA. That will take years. This is all pie in the sky stuff.

  2. Peter
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:38 am | Permalink

    It is all down to internal battles within government now.

    EU have been so intransigent that No Deal no seems the most sensible option. In fairness to the EU they seem to mention it as often as we do.

    Unfortunately we have weak and conciliatory leadership who do not wish to leave. Can they be persuaded/forced to do so?

    Or will they go for a last minute BRINO which breaks various red lines but is cleverly worded to try to hide the fact?

    • jerry
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      @Peter; “Unfortunately we have weak and conciliatory leadership who do not wish to leave.”

      I see no evidence of that, had it been the case the government would have already agreed and signed off on our Brexit T&C with the EU.!

      What the UK government has done is retain the legal and moral high ground since June 2016, having done so it will now be easier to walk away on WTO terms if the EU’s intransigence continues, owing nothing, paying nothing & doing so with the understanding of the non-EU27 international community.

      I would add, if the EU wants the cut off the UK’s access to their Galileo system and criminal intelligence database etc, the UK having contributed financially to such projects, then why should we feel the need to carry on paying for the current EU budget up to 2022.

      • libertarian
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink


        Agree , good post.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

        @jerry: The UK (as 1 of 28) doesn’t want third countries to have equal access to the most secret Galileo data, and now wants to become a third country itself. For certain judicial cooperation, recourse to the ECJ or to the ECHR is the safeguard for all, but the Tories don’t want these courts anymore.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

          Peter, The UK is not just any old Third Country…

          We have contributed over £1 Billion to Galileo and how much British blood has been spilt on main land Europe over the last 100 years defending it against tyranny – and this is all the thanks our ancestors get?

        • Stred
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

          The US, Canada, Australia and NZ are third countries. Will the EU not trust them to share security information? We only trust certain EU security services on s national basis. The attitude of the Commission is disgusting bearing in mind that the UK has been saving people from the terrorism resulting from EU policies.

        • jerry
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

          @PvR; Again you make irrelevant mutterings. As members of NATO the EU27 will have to give the UK access to the most secret Galileo data anyway! As for criminal intelligence, are you seriously suggesting that Interpol is not allowed access?

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:06 am | Permalink

          So exclude us from Galileo and refund all of the contributions (plus interest) that we have already made. Can’t you get into your head that European countries are places we holiday in and do business with. We do not wish to share institutions of government with them.

      • Stred
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 4:30 am | Permalink

        We should also nationalise the satellite companies and ban cooperation on completion of Galileo then withdraw support for the EU army and pull ours out of the Ukraine and Baltics. The Commission would not be popular.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 10:42 am | Permalink

        @Jerry, Agreed…

      • Original Richard
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

        The UK should be leaving the EU’s Galileo project and developing our own or as part of CANZUK.

        It will not be prudent to have our military intelligence data shared with 27 (soon to be 34+ as the EU expands further) countries, many of whom cannot be trusted.

        Nor to have the possibility of our access denied in the future by an unelected EU bureaucrat.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      I share your lack of confidence Peter.

    • Hope
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      Correct. At the moment it is the worst of all possible outcomes. Our nation a vassal state for years under a punishment agreement made by May, allowed by Davis, paying hundreds of billions to talk about a trade deficit, allows a foreign court to rule over citizens in UK, pay welfare to EU citizens who do not live here and not yet born, invite all their families here free of charge for housing and public services and give tens of billions in hidden costs like £3.75 billion EDF on top of £14 billion overseas aid, EU Turkey immigration plan. The say to U.K. Citizens your taxes will increase to pay for council services and NHS! May is an EU fanatic or idiot that cannot add up.

      JR please demonstrate this is not correct to date.

      • Bible Prophecy
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Correct. At the moment it is the worst of all possible outcomes. Our nation a vassal state for years under a punishment agreement made by May, allowed by Davis, paying hundreds of billions to talk about a trade deficit, allows a foreign court to rule over citizens in UK, pay welfare to EU citizens who do not live here and not yet born, invite all their families here free of charge for housing and public services and give tens of billions in hidden costs like £3.75 billion EDF on top of £14 billion overseas aid, EU Turkey immigration plan. The say to U.K. Citizens your taxes will increase to pay for council services and NHS! May is an EU fanatic or idiot that cannot add up.

        This all has to be reversed.

    • Stephen Priest
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

      Unless things change very quickly Theresa May’s legacy will be:

      1. A very bad Brexit deal that leaves the UK at a complete disadvantage, because political fashion dictates you must not dislike the EU, not matter how much its leaders threaten and belittle our great nation.

      2. A poisoned relationship the United States of America because political fashion dictates you must not like Donald Trump.

      3.Electoral defeat to an extremely left wing labour leader.

      It would not be a complete surprise if she suddenly finds all support for her in the cabinet has drained away, triggering her resignation.

    • Dan H.
      Posted July 2, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

      Have you taken into account some past behaviour of the EU which is really very anomalous indeed? Specifically when Greece essentially went bust, the EU did not summarily kick it out of the Euro, even though doing so would have had a truly galvanising effect on all the rest of the feckless Club Med countries?

      I think there was a reason behind this anomalous behaviour; not petty empire building or bureaucratic inertia, but actual and real fear. I think that the EU’s banking system is much, much more precarious than they are letting on, and that currently they have realised just what a precipice they are standing on the edge of. Worse, of all the contributory EU states, the only non-Euro major funder is the UK.

      We are currently their main source of non-Euro funding. When we go, their little club Euro is entirely reliant on the Euro staying put, and if the Greek performance was anything to go by, their edifice is very, very shaky indeed. This is the reason for all the procrastination and doubt: the EU banking elite are absolutely bricking it because they know that they are past the point of no return, and all they can do is kick the can down the road. They are absolute masters of this, but can-kicking is a game with a time limit.

      The problem lies not with our negotiators, but with them: they really do not want an agreement and think that we will not perform a hard Brexit if they carry on burbling long enough.

  3. Collina
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:45 am | Permalink

    You told us during the referendum campaign that the UK holds all the cards. Now you whine that the EU is refusing to offer the UK a good deal. You have been consistently wrong about the whole process. Don’t you think it’s time for you to stop digging this huge hole of inaccuracy you have put yourself in?

    • eeyore
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      Rather unfair, Collina. Our host cannot command the EU to be sensible, nor did he ever pretend he could. He merely noted that its interests and Britain’s are convergent. We shall yet see whether the interests of the EU bureaucracy and its own member states are the same. One doubts it.

      What he and other MPs from all parties can do is veto an unsatisfactory deal. The default is not a bad deal but a WTO deal, which will suit us just fine.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Well said eeyore.
        As you say, “No deal” is an incorrect description.
        In effect it is WTO deal.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      This is incorrect. Mr Redwood has continually said that it’s in the EU’s interest to put forward a deal, but that should they not do so we should walk away. While Mrs May and other remainers have been contorting themselves into odd shapes to accommodate the EU, Mr Redwood along with 52 percent of the UK population and including most commentators here have consistently taken that line.

      • Col Bellion
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        I think the EU knows better what is in its interests than does John Redwood. And it is not in the EU’s interest to let Britain walk away but enjoy special treatment. If you had a party for 27 people, all of whom had brought food and drink, would you give houseroom to a 28th that shows up empty handed on your doorstep telling you your house is a bit rubbish anyway?

        • zorro
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          Empty handed! We have paid billions in extra contributions during evry year of our membership!! How dare you say we turn up empty handed. We have contributed vast amounts of money to the project. You need to get a grip on the reality of the situation instead of your rodiculous analogy! Go pray at your EU altar!!


        • Spratt
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          You might if the 28th guest had previously helped stock your wine cellar and freezer plus paid for a large part of the crockery, cutlery and glasses whereas several of the other guests had only provided a few peanuts.

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          We brought more to the party than any guest except Germany, and once we add our NATO commitments in we are paying for the party.
          The French say the English work like dogs – yes, we have to free them then support their party over 70 years.

          Now the music must stop and the paymaster leave.

        • Adam
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          The 28th person is a loyal consumer, purchasing the food, drink & other products the 27 need to sell outside. What they do in their party is a matter for them.

        • R.T.G.
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

          @ Col Bellion

          “If you had a party for 27 people, all of whom had brought food and drink, would you give houseroom to a 28th that shows up empty handed on your doorstep…”

          Yes, since you are referring to the 28th that had shown up for this annual shindig holding a case of champagne for several decades previously. Furthermore, the host should enquire if there was a problem this year, which the host and other partygoers might be able to alleviate.

          Table 3. UK net contributions to the EU/EC Budget 1973-2022/23. Forecasts after 2017.

          Your analogy is disgraceful and brims with ingratitude.

        • L Jones
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

          ”Empty handed”, Col B? Perhaps you’d like to rethink that analogy.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 4:33 am | Permalink

          Bad analogy. We have been paying for the food and drink for most of the others for nearly half a century.

          The EU certainly know what they are doing and want. They want this over with. They want the UK out and to get on with business. Trouble is, our lot want to stay in.

        • Stred
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 4:38 am | Permalink

          Actually, has being paying for the running of the house for forty years while being the only member which gets little in return. They want an amicable divorce but the lawyers in Brussels want to make more money and are pushing for the leaving party to be cleaned out.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

          Currently at the EU party only 9 of the 27 guests bring any food and drink.
          But being the majority they decide what music they want on.
          And when these 18 free loaders go home at the end of the evening they even take all the left overs home with them.

      • Hope
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

        JR has no influence and is not prepared to oust May. So there is no point wringing when he fails to act.

        • Mark B
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 4:39 am | Permalink


        • hefner
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 9:42 am | Permalink


        • Simon
          Posted July 2, 2018 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

          +1. All hat and no cattle.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        ” Mr Redwood along with 52 percent of the UK population and including most commentators here have consistently taken that line”

        The usual gross misrepresentation by an ardent Brexiteer. 17m voted for Brexit out of a population of 65m.

        The analysis of the vote carried out by the social research institute NatCen, showed the following :
        middle class liberals, 92 per cent of whom voted to stay
        younger, working class Labour voters 61 per cent voting Remain and 39 per cent Leave.
        whilst 95 per cent of the economically deprived, anti-immigration segment voted for Brexit.
        It also found that Brexit was far more popular among voters who didn¿t vote in the 2015 general election than those who did. Of the people who didn’t vote in 2015, 60 per cent voted for Brexit compared to 49 per cent of those who did vote in 2015.
        By party the following:
        UKIP 98 per cent leave 2 per cent remain
        Conservative 58 per cent leave 42 per cent remain
        Labour 36 per cent leave 64 per cent remain
        Lib Dem 26 per cent leave 74 per cent remain

        • Sir Joe Soap
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

          And your point is?
          Remainers didn’t know what they were voting for?

        • Original Richard
          Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

          NatCen’s funding from Remainer sources – Government (Civil Service), Universities and un-named “charities” – does not bode well for independent and unbiased “research”.

          Re :
          “middle class liberals, 92 per cent of whom voted to stay”

          Anyone who voted to remain in an undemocratic institution where we cannot elect and remove those who govern us simply cannot call themselves “liberals”.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      Collins, john was only talking common sense with a deal that would be good for all sides. It is not his fault if the government and the idiots in the EU don’t listen.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately our host is not in government – maybe you haven’t noticed that – and unfortunately many of those who are in government, including the Prime Minister herself, tend to the opposite view.

      That is why she was so ready to accept the appalling advice of Sir Ivan Rogers and set out on the utterly despicable course of trying to use decent well-behaved people who we had allowed and invited to settle here as bargaining chips.

      “According to reports in The Times and the Spectator last August, Sir Ivan Rogers, former Britain’s ambassador to the EU, also advised the Tory leadership to use the 3 million EU nationals in the UK as “bargaining chips” in Brexit talks because “he thought it would be the only bargaining chip Britain had.””

    • acorn
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

      Collina, this site has never understood that in this Brexit process, the EU holds the winning hand and always has done. If you voluntarily leave a club, be it the EU or the Freemasons; you should not expect to retain any membership privileges, that are not already allowed in that clubs rules.

      Today, we have, “IDS reveals Britain could EASILY paralyse EU by withholding £40bn”; utter nonsense. If I am very generous, I could say the UK makes, on average €10 billion net contribution to the EU. To replace that €10 bn each year, the EU27 would each have to increase their contributions to the EU budget by a mere 0.1% of their GDPs.

      The UK would save 0.4 per cent of its GDP, by ending payments and receipts from the EU budget. But, the UK’s economy would only have to shrink by 0.6 per cent (£12 bn), as a result of Brexit, for that fiscal gain to be wiped out by tax revenues falling. I am willing to bet large amounts on the hit to the UK economy, being much larger than 0.6%.

      As long as you are in the top 10% of UK households income distribution, a hard Brexit will not affect you that much. Below median income, including most pensioners … this is what you voted for.

      • getahead
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        The winning hand for the UK acorn, is to cleanly leave the EU and to trade under WTO rules. This would be be much cheaper than paying for EU membership.
        Certain businesses that have EU attachments do not want to leave the EU. Sadly for the referendum result, it is these certain businesses through Phillip Hammond, who are pulling Theresa’s puppet strings. They are happy to be receiving a portion of the taxpayers largesse.

      • hefner
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        While I agree with the gist of your comment, the 0.1% increase (from 1 to 1.1%) is somewhat misleading, as the remaining contributing countries among the EU27 would have to pay much more. Depending on various scenarii (which have been discussed but obviously not agreed (yet)) including or not limits/cuts on some programs (specially after 2021), reorganisation of contributions, … it can be as low as 1-2 % up to 8% for some countries. Documents describing the alternatives are available on the eu websites.

        As for your last paragraph, I can only agree (as much as I regret it).

      • Edward2
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

        I find it funny when remain supporters call the EU a club.
        It is a very odd club.
        28 members, yet only 9 of them pay, in but all get a vote.
        Tthe management committee make all the rules but they are not voted in by the general membership.

      • Sir Joe Soap
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

        More figures. Have you never thought about who you’d like to be making your laws?

      • libertarian
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:43 pm | Permalink


        Oh my word… Please give up now.

        The EU doesn’t hold anything of the kind. We are leaving and ALL we are asking for is a Free Trade Agreement with the EU, just like the EU try to negotiate with many other countries outside of the EU. We dont want any membership privileges , we voted to leave because we didn’t want those things . Its remainers that are trying to keep us in the internal market in goods and the customs union

        If the EU dont want that, then thats just fine, we will trade with the 27 countries under WTO rules just like everyone else .

        The EU has far bigger problems to worry about

      • Rien Huizer
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

        Not bad. Very difficult to argue with, imo.

      • Original Richard
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

        Freedom is priceless

        • acorn
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

          I wish you lot would come up with a list of these “priceless freedoms”, 27 million households are going to acquire from Brexit! What will we all be able to do, that we can’t do now?

          Remember, Downing Street can change the unwritten UK constitution with a mere 326 votes out of 650 whipped lobby fodder MPs. Most modern countries require a super-majority of 2 to 1, to change a written constitution.

          Brexit and Fixed Term Parliaments Act are major constitutional changes. The latter could easily be changed by Downing Street to ten years or more in the interests of national security you understand; or post Brexit insurrection, Trump style.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 1, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

            Then at the next election it can all be altered back.
            With the EU we are one voice in 28.

      • Mark B
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 4:51 am | Permalink

        I have always argued that in the short term the EU was in the stronger position. After all they are the ones not leaving. But in the mid to longer term the UK would be far better off. I still hold that view despite the fact that this government seem he’ll bent in remaining in the EU via other means.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink


        Well written and not far off the pole

        • libertarian
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 11:00 am | Permalink


          As you’re an expert on German business have you offered to help German car companies who are in dire trouble right now?

          I think you should

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted July 2, 2018 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

            I would rather work for then than you thank you and I already do so thank you for the recommenadation

  4. Denis Cooper
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    The largely fabricated ‘problem’ of the Irish border seems to have moved to the forefront – indeed it now comes first, second and third according to the Dutch Prime Minister – and rather than pursue either of the customs options which have been proposed as the only possible solutions but both of which have already been rejected by the EU Theresa May should adopt my proposed solution and send the letter to Leo Varadkar that I drafted last night, which I still hope will pass moderation in due course:

    That is a very reasonable offer, both sides would agree to make no changes at all at the border and the UK would actively assist the EU in protecting the integrity of its Single Market through export controls.

    If the EU agreed to provide us with a constantly updated list of the goods that it did not want to enter its Single Market – as presumably it does now – then we would promise to use our best endeavours to prevent any of those goods crossing the border from Northern Ireland into the Irish Republic – whether or not we were allowing those goods to be imported into or produced within the UK including Northern Ireland.

    That seems to be a very fair offer to me, and an offer we should make publicly so that the rest of the world can clearly see where the blame lies if there is no agreed solution.

    • forthurst
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      If the EU is not going to be reasonable over the Irish land border than we can do likewise. We could insist that only perishables and live animals can be moved over our border; anything else would have to be exported and imported via the UK. This would encourage personal shoppers to engage in smuggling and would generally undermine the South’s authority.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      I read the letter Denis, and it seems fine and workable. But these politicians and negotiators aren’t on the same plane as the rest of us. Their logic is suspect. They prefer instead to bow and scrape and run away scared, rather than face down these pumped up over-inflated bully-boys in Brussels. And that continually frustrates me. We entrust our leaving the European Union to people who simply are not up to the task.


    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

      Worth reminding Mr Varadkar or should that be Herr Varadkar the EU puppet which side his bread is buttered…

      85%? of ROI exports go to/though the UK
      65%? of ROI exports are to UK customers

    • Andy
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      Personally I’m sick to death of hearing about the stupid Irish Border. We can police our borders as we see fit. It is for the EU to decide what sort of border it wishes to have between the UK and the EU, but that border has to conform to WTO Rules, so it must be the same as between Switzerland and the EU etc.

      Time Mrs May grew some backbone. She is useless.

  5. Len Pratt
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    We already have a comprehensive free trade agreement. It’s called the Treaty of Rome. It is the biggest inter-state free trade area in human history. And you want to leave it, you want to turn your back on free trade

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

      We’d prefer Free Trade Agreements which don’t tie us to taking in half of Europe’s waifs and strays alongside various migrants which might have arrived on their shores.

    • Adam
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      Len Pratt:

      ‘Free’ trade costing expensive EU payment is backward. We are leaving to regain freedom.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Yet the countries that have had the largest increases in their trade with European nations recently, are America, China and others who are not signed up.
      And the EU’s share of world trade has fallen.

      Free trade is what the UK wants.
      It is the EU that wants tariffs and protectionism towards those around them.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      The free trade aspects of the EU are indeed the good part, although it doesn’t apply to most services as it should do and was intended to do. But the EU does come with other baggage like: the Eurozone and it’s associated policies; the CAP and the CFP; dangerous and /or wasteful and delusional regulations such as those promoting diesel and wind power but blocking shale gas fracking and GM foods, the tariff barriers and other protectionism against the rest of the world, a flood of regulations which are imposed without proper public scrutiny or parliamentary debate like MIFID2 and GDPR, and of course the increasingly imperial character of the Project with its common foreign policy and nascent army.

      So it’s a bit more than a trade deal – if it had stuck to free trade it would have been much better.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      It’s not free trade, we have to pay a substantial amount for our trade deficit with the rest of the EU. Furthermore, we have to add tariffs for imports of things we don’t produce here, just for the sake of protecting another country’s industry.
      Free trade – what a good idea! But let it just stop there, and not tack on all the political agenda. If they had just dropped the free movement of people dogma, the UK would have voted to remain. Don’t you think?

    • Zorro
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      It is NOT a free trade agreement, and it is certainly NOT free!!!!


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Pity about the underlying federalist plot, which successive UK governments long tried to pretend did not exist even though the intent had been expressly laid out in the 1950 Schuman Declaration which the EU takes as its starting point.

      See for example:

      “And because it is a political project its leaders may well be prepared to sacrifice some of the prosperity of their citizens to make a kind of political point, namely that if you dare to try to escape from our prison we will beat you up.

      Some of its British supporters think that’s fine, it’s what their idiotic compatriots deserve, and they are firmly on the side of the EU.”

      That’ll include you, Len Pratt.

    • Ghost of JB
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      It’s not a free trade agreement, but a customs union, which imposes significant burdens to importers designed to protect inefficient EU industries and penalise poor countries.

    • Woody
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 12:24 pm | Permalink

      You must be referring to the trade agreement that costs us c 20 billion a year to be a member of. Its certainly not free. OK, we get a pittance back … to spend on what the unelected eurocrats choose.

    • John O'Leary
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

      But is isn’t free-trade is it? The EU is a protectionist bloc.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

      The EU is “protectionist” and it’s not “free trade” when you have to pay for it in so many ways.

      Nine countries pay in and the rest take out and explain why should those countries be able to out vote the nine with QMV?

    • mancunius
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      Like most EU propagandists, you confuse free trade with protectionist trading cartells (=customs unions).
      Free trade is precisely that – free. A simple concept that is still quite alien to most of the countries of Europe.

    • Andy
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      The Treaty of Rome isn’t a Free Trade Agreement. It is anything but.

    • Original Richard
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      But we don’t have a “a comprehensive free trade agreement”.

      We’re members of an undemocratic empire’s customs union for which we pay £20bn/year gross and lose control of £15bn/year as well as losing control of our laws, borders and assets.

      It is also a trading arrangement which is not working for us as we have a trading deficit of £80bn/year with the EU.

      I would rather we went to WTO terms with the EU and stopped being the EU’s piggy bank.

  6. Peter
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    Allegedly Mr. Gove physically tore up plans for a customs partnership in a recent cabinet meeting. That does seem totally out of character for him, so it is difficult to believe.

    Other stories are that May is prepared to drop more red lines and does not want to walk away if Brussels reject her proposals. That seems more believable. She is the weakest link.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Spot on. Mrs May actually sees nothing wrong with UK being ruled by the EU even as a third country. Her aim has always been to get a deal. She is like a bad used car salesman who fails to understand that without a profit in the deal you’re better off without it.

      • getahead
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

        Phillip Hammond works for those businesses who benefit from EU membership. Theresa May is Hammond’s puppet. It is those same business elites who manipulated Hammond and May into their positions in the first place. Why else would there be sorry remainers in charge of leaving the EU?
        That sums up why we will not get a clean Brexit.

  7. Iain Gill
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    So the NHS thinks people having clawed hands and unable to move their fingers is ok, cos trigger finger surgery is now unnecessary according to them, or people dripping masses of blood every time they use the loo because hemaroid surgery is apparently off the list of approved surgery.

    Not content with only offering out of date treatment in crap conditions after a long wait, with masses of rationing, they now openly want to refuse basic care.

    And they are getting massive cash boost.

    How more badly could the political class run this system?

    FFS John tell them to get a grip

    • Zorro
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      To fund more trans gender operations doubtless…. 😏


    • bigneil
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      Of course the NHS will get worse. The whole planet can turn up to be a patient, but the bill always lands on the UK taxpayer.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        Bang on. And this is what the vast majority of the populace think.

        Those in the bubble haven’t a clue. They have lost control. This is manifest throughout the EU and America too now.

  8. Ian wragg
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    So now we have Gibraltar thrown into the mix. It is obvious that anything we propose will be rejected.
    The EU doesn’t want an agreement just total capitulation.
    You are being watched.

    • old salt
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

      Ian – Meanwhile the EU, I hear, is pushing through as many laws as possible and ramping up spending billions and trillions on various projects across the world, not forgetting the Greek debt, also trade deals with Japan and Canada all binding us after we leave. Check it out.

      The priority for me is a ‘CLEAN’ Brexit free of EU political subjugation along with all their pasturalisation of UK industry etc.

  9. Peter Wood
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    The latest EU ‘agreement’ on immigrants was all about saving Mrs. Merkel. If she manages to sell that worthless document to the Bavarians then she deserves her position. The larger issue now is, can she keep selling the idea to the German people that it is worth throwing more of their savings at the EU. (Germany is by far the largest financier of the EU and ECB) The payoff for this largess is Germany in control of the United States of Europe. This dream is increasingly becoming a nightmare where all that money, and so much more promised, will not be repaid as the EU falls apart.

    Mr. Macron sees his opportunity to replace Merkel as the defacto presidente, but he deludes himself, Germany will stop paying unless a German is demonstrably in control.

    • bigneil
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

      And when the EU falls apart, will there be any investigation at to where all the money went? The Panama Papers was clearly covered up. The EU Papers will make it look microscopic. I hope I see all of them jailed or worse, before I die.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

        Indeed. The EU IS falling apart.

        Blinded by its own sanctimonious piety over uncontrolled immigration.

        Disenfranchise your own voters first, you idiots !!!!

        (Thanks sooo much to Andy and Newmania for documented evidence of the true contempt for ordinary English people.)

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 11:20 am | Permalink


          There is no doubt there are major faults with the EU migration policy which needs to be worked on pretty quickly, but where is this uncontrolled immigration currently coming from?

          As far as the Eu figures are concerned it is down by 94% from 2017?

    • Mitchel
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Last month M Macron was awarded the Charlemagne prize, receiving it symbolically at Aachen from the hands of a previous winner,Angela Merkel.

      When the original Charlemagne was succeeded by his son,Louis/Ludovicus the Pious,the later had the legend,”Renovatio Regni Francorum”(Renewal of the kingdom of the Franks)added to the coinage.Unfortunately the period of his reign covered three civil wars,three contested partitions and the ultimately the division into states we would broadly recognise as France,Germany and (Northern) Italy today.

      I wonder if Emmanuel the Pious would like to tempt fate by having “Renovatio Regni Francorum” added to the Euro!And in a further echo of Charlemagne I see he was in the Vatican City this week to be installed as “First & Only Honorary Canon”.

  10. Nig l
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

    Excellent advice. We will now see the true colours and courage of the cabinet. The EUs latest response has been emboldened by the Remain Quislings, Soubry, Clarke, Grieve etc consistently making enough noise to make Brussels believe they can roll us over.

    The question is what will you, the ERG group, who I hope become more vocal, do if we are sold out.

    • Adam
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:19 am | Permalink

      Nig 1:

      Remain voters were mainly folk tolerating a membership they didn’t like, preferring to avoid some discomfort from the process of change. Leave voters act with the determination of intent, to strive for better.

      The answer to your question is: 17.4 million Leave voters can form an Awkward Squad party & form a government fit to pursue the democratic choice of UK people. Take Control!

  11. Richard1
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Perhaps Mrs May will surprise us all by turning tough and adopting such an approach. And perhaps it will turn out that sufficient preparations have been made to allow withdrawal with no Deal without disruption in March. But it certainly doesn’t feel like it now. You can hardly blame the EU for their approach – nearly all their demands have in principle been met by the govt, and to the extent anything hasn’t been it looks like remainers in parliament spurred on by business lobby groups will deliver the rest!

    It seems it will be vassal statehood for three years. The next question from March will be how to get out of that or move to the next stage – and how to do so before the next general election. When the public wise up to such a surrender the result at the ballot box will not be kind. Replacing Mrs May immediately will be the first step.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Richard 1

      Perhaps Mrs May will surprise us all by turning tough and adopting such an approach.

      What ever you are drinking can you market it ? It just ain’t going to happen.

      • getahead
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

        Mrs May is only the secretary.

  12. Sakara Gold
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:24 am | Permalink

    The Irish Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, recently crossed the open border at Newry and made a goodwill visit to Ulster. Unbelievably, he met with the Grand Master of the Grand Orange Lodge of Ireland Edward Stevenson and became the first Irish PM to visit their HQ, where he saw senior Orangemen – including their leadership from the Republic of Ireland. During a full day of engagements Mr Varadkar was presented with some Galway crystal – a replica of the Boyne Obelisk which was blown up in 1923.

    Many people do not realise that there are more protestants in Eire than than in Ulster; they are active in the business community there and are well integrated with their local communities.

    Not to be outdone – and to show that there is goodwill on both sides – last weekend the Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster attended a major Gaelic games match for the first time. She was seen among the crowd at the Ulster GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) football final between Donegal and Fermanagh in County Monaghan. Mrs Foster took her seat for the match near Sinn Féin’s leader Michelle O’Neill and was seen to stand during the Irish national anthem. Previously unthinkable political developments are occuring in Ireland on an almost daily basis!

    The EU should stop trying to stir up trouble in Ireland; John Redwood has proposed modern and workable technical solutions to tracking goods across the border which should resolve any customs union issues.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:21 am | Permalink

      Indeed. Leave an open border and let the local politicians sort it out without interference from London or Brussels seems the best way.
      Particularly, keep stirrers like Major, Barnier, Blair etc. away from that border.

    • stred
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Vardakar cancelled the modern and workable solution that Irish customs were working on when he became PM. They do not want a solution, except forcing the UK to stay in the CU and accept control by the EU, while paying as before and more. He is working for the Commission and if we say no and go to WTO, his dairy and meat industry will lose UK exports. Then he will be begging for zero tariffs. Let’s hope the Orangemen pointed this out to him.

      Good to read that the NAO says the HMRC is speeding up the workable solutions and might even be ready by the time we leave, having been held up along the way. And Cryogenic have written to the FT to let them know that what the head of HMRC said about it costing £30bn was hogwash. Let’s hope the C in HMRC is on the UK side. Re Guido. Whether the French will have their workable solution in place is another question. Perhaps we should put it in for them at Dover.

      Meanwhile, we learn that Theresa has bunged an extra £340m to help the Shengens get out of Merkel’s troubles and more may be given to their ‘make Africa a lovely place to stay in’ project. Strange that they can find money for this but not cameras and a lorry park.

    • Richard1
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      Interesting post, I have not seen any reference to this in the U.K. media.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:34 am | Permalink

      It may be more than coincidence that our negotiations with the EU seemed to run into trouble not long after the Irish general election of June 14th 2017, when Leo Varadkar took over from Enda Kenny as Prime Minister.

      “David Jones MP has said that Enda Kenny’s government seemed more positive about finding solutions to the border issue.”

      So when people say “It’s two years since the referendum, and very little progress has been made …” those two years might break down roughly as follows:

      1. Six months of legal challenges against serving the Article 50 notice.

      2. Three months before the notice was served.

      3. Three months of fairly sensible negotiations.

      4. A wasted year of trying to navigate around the mountain that the new Irish government has insisted on making out of the border molehill.

    • Col Bellion
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 5:38 am | Permalink

      Redwood and his mates keep telling us there are modern and workable technical solutions to tracking goods across the border which should resolve any customs union issues. But they never tell us what those solutions actually are, or why they are not in use right now anywhere in the whole world.

      Reply They are. Its how we trade with non EU at the moment!

      • libertarian
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

        Col Bellion

        And another one arrives, you remainers are like buses, you all arrive at once.

        You post the same drivel as the last lot that came along, thinking you’re being really clever and original , you then get demolished by those of us that are actually doing the things you claim can’t be done.

        So one more time the solutions to cross border tracking are these systems

        TIR and in the UK CHIEF ( Google them and learn something about trade) I realised you probably dont know how to use google so here’s the link

        Heres a statement from HMRC

        ~ 94% of goods cleared in 5 secs
        > 96% of the rest cleared < 2 hrs
        ~ 3% of imports (from outside the EU) are subject to documentary checks prior to clearance
        ~95% of documentary checks cleared within 2-3 hrs
        #HMRC ready for #Brexit

        If you had ever run a business or knew the first thing about trade you would know this. Theres also a great letter in this weeks FT from a Director of Operations of a UK manufacturing business that sells to the world as well as EU explaining in detail why a WTO option adds very little ( less than £3k on £10 million of business ) cost to their operations and that cost is just a small change in paperwork handling

  13. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:26 am | Permalink

    If Mrs May gives in to their demands we will be forever at their beck and call. We will be the puppet with them pulling our strings. Sandie Shaw comes to mind! Was she singing about the UK back in the sixties? I just hope we see some real guts from the cabinet which can finally set the UK free in the world.

  14. Richard1
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    Hats off to Liz Truss for making a proper public call for free market policies. A real breath of fresh air after two years of unispirational leadership from Mrs May in no obvious direction, but with a statist feel. Unless Mrs May surprises us and we do end up leaving the EU and ‘transitioning’ into an EU colony, Mrs May must go immediately post Brexit. We then need a proper open competition for a new leader in order 1) to get out of vassal statehood asap and 2) to set out a clear pro-growth agenda for the next election.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink


      We’ve already seen Cameron walk off into a perma-holiday, breaking his promise about issuing Art 50, without any plan or any recourse for not having one. Brown spent until the till was empty and did the same.

      Some discussion here around the kitchen table as to whether PMs should face the consequences of their actions, and the general consensus was Yes.

      May took this on, she completes it properly before walking away, or hands over professionally to more capable hands.

      • getahead
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

        Sir Joe, Theresa May is a minion. She will only leave her post if she is allowed to do so by the controllers who installed her there in the first place.

  15. Lifelogic.
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

    You advice is surely the way to go. But it will not happen under the visionless appeasers May and Hammond. We need to be competitive too but this government are making us less competitive by the day with ever more tax, endless waste, greencrap lunacy, daft employment laws and idiotic regulations. With increasingly dire public services too.

    Who on earth would want to remain in the EU when they behave as they are doing? They can do us far more harm (and they were doing) within the EU than they can outside it.

    Boris is spot on about the wrong on every issue Euro, ERM enthusiasts CBI and some big businesses looking to reduce competition. Stick with the sound JCB, Dyson types.

  16. Lifelogic.
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

    It is the time of year again when we get ‘do as I say not as I do’ and ‘homeopathic treatments for cattle’ enthusiast Prince Charles’ annual travel expenditure of over 1 million.
    The hypocrisy, lack of real science and stupidity of the green religion priests knows few bounds. How many ‘months to save the world’ was it? Doomed anyway now then!

  17. formula57
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    At last! “The 27 agreed a line on Brexit which is far from friendly to the UK.” Yes, the Evil Empire is a hostile power and recognizing that should inform the UK government’s actions.

    As for EU Council decisions, what madness made the UK party to defence deals outside NATO?

    • Ian wragg
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      The EU (not Europeans) are indeed hostile to Britain. This has been evident since Degaul.
      The EU is run entirely for the benefit of France and Germany hence the pre meetings to establish an agreement.
      No other countries ever attended until now they have begun to realise that they have been stitched up.
      Italy must be really worrying Brussels.

      • rose
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink

        Italy, Austria, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, are all worrying the EU. We led the way whatever the propaganda says. Holland looks as if it might wobble, and Sweden. Denmark is already alienated. Macron said the French would vote out if given the chance. Germany doesn’t look too sound on the subject of the Project. If the Commission cut off the money to the V4 as a punishment, there is nothing to stay for.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        Ian are you talking about de Gaulle?

    • bigneil
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      The EU want the UK’s money . . and the UK destroyed by mass immigration.

  18. Lifelogic.
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:18 am | Permalink

    Theresa May has only herself to blame for the ‘mad riddle’ Brexit has become. As Charles Moore sensible says in the Telegraph today.

    I blame Gove myself for lumbering us with this dithering, lefty, remainer dope myself. The Tory membership would never have chosen her.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      She seems to have this propensity to be “last (wo)man standing”.
      It’s her only quality, so far as I can see. Certainly not judgement, intelligence, leadership or decisiveness – all pre-requisites for a good PM.

      I’m just not sure how out of 66 million people here, we’ve ended up with this one at the top.

      It really makes one start to doubt our system.

    • Zorro
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      Onlt Theresa May could have ‘negotiated’ something worse than EU membership. As I have always said, she is the Tory Gordon Brown in more sense than one…. Doubtless she will be offering to set up migrant camps for the EU in the UK to assess eligibility for entry, in order to curry favour with them whilst grinning inanely.

      Well, it looks like we won’t be removing anyone anyway now that Virgin have said that they will refuse to remove deportees from the UK. I’m sure that this idea will catch on with other airlines! How weak can we be?


      • rose
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

        Have we still got the RAF?

  19. oldtimer
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    The government would be foolish to sign up to the aptly named “bog roll Brexit”, which would be made no doubt with the ballot papers of those who voted Leave. I trust that those Ministers who campaigned to Leave will prevent such an outcome.

    • Peter
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink


      I never trust anything relating to Brexit. It is a matter of watching the outcome of power struggles between various government factions.

      That may result in genuine Brexit or it may result in ‘bog roll Brexit’. Who knows?

  20. DUNCAN
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    Ask yourself one question. Do you trust Theresa May to take back control of our laws, money and borders? In other words will May reassert the UK’s sovereignty and independence?

    I don’t believe she will. I believe she’s part of the difficulties we face today. Indeed I would say she’s in concert with the EU to create such difficulties.

    The UK under her stewardship is authoritarian and highly politicised. She isn’t a conservative. Her interventions are there for all to see and her liberal left obsessions of race, gender and sexuality are deeply offensive

    She’s a PM who refuses to confront certain issues due to her liberal left sensitivities. I don’t want a PM who panders to screeching minority activists.

    What we are seeing is a PM even more grotesque than Blair

    This PM will betray the UK and she’ll do it using stealth and subterfuge

    And those Tory MPs who elected her as our leader are part of this whole facade

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink


      Ask yourself one question. Do you trust Theresa May to take back control of our laws, money and borders? In other words will May reassert the UK’s sovereignty and independence?

      NO NO NO never in a million years

    • Chris
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

      I wholeheartedly agree with what you have written, Duncan.

    • rose
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      Has any other PM in our history presided over the holding in prison of political prisoners?

  21. Turboterrier.
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Good post John. Every day I read your posts and those about the EU never cease to amaze me. May is negotiating by the death of thousand cuts procedure. It is all like a big game of cards and she has not a clue when to hold, fold, walk or run. When she took the job the message from the nation was very clear and she surrounded herself with die hard remainers and not once has she grasped the sword and led the charge. Her selection of personnel to the key jobs within the cabinet is and was basically flawed and she has dithered and tried to be all things to all people.

    The EU want our money no more no less and are determined that we are trodden down to prevent a mass exodus from the bloq which if over half the media reports are to be believed the ground swell is building day on day. The EU has not moved with the times and now far too late they are trying to introduce a major change of policy because with the UK leaving and the new kids on the block no longer interested in towing the line the writing is clearly all over the walls. The non elected leaders are falling over themselves trying to stop their ship from sinking and the damage has been well and truly done not over the last two years of with Brexit but decades of not being flexible and only focusing on the dream of the USEU to be bought about by any costs.

    The battle lines are well and truly drawn and it is time to walk away and not carry on being involved in negotiations based upon the last man standing. In that situation there are never any real winners. Today at Chequers the ultimatum has to be thrown onto the middle of the table to all those present. TOTALLY SIGN ON OR SHIP OUT NOW.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      Yeah love your last sentence. Those ministers and we all know who they are, who want to twist the vote into an eventual capitulation need to be sacked and replaced. They are traitors to their country and their government. That includes the PM.

  22. Timaction
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    They act and behave this way because of the appalling capitulation by Mrs May and Messrs Robbins and Davis. They treat them and us as fools as they have behaved so. They have all brought National embarrassment and should leave and appoint Brexiteers.

    • rose
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      I thought DD had been marginalised after the election and that Robbins was the new Brexit Secretary.

  23. Michael
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Well said. But do certain members of the cabinet have what it takes to deliver on your advice?

    The first sound of gunfire has them retreating.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:05 am | Permalink


      But do certain members of the cabinet have what it takes to deliver on your advice?

      NO NO NO you will have to wait for hell to freeze over first.

      I assume that you do include the leader as a member of said cabinet?

  24. michael mcgrath
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    “So far the EU has turned down every constructive UK suggestion.”
    Of course they have. They are not interested in coming to a sensible arrangement with the UK as this could well precipitate moves in other EU member states to follow us out.
    A major purpose in this “negotiation” is to provide a threat to the 27 that leaving is extremely damaging.
    This is the time to follow the precedent of General De Gaulle and say NON.
    If there is a financial penalty resulting from loss of trade, so be it. At least we will not be coughing up 39 billion as a starter with who knows what to follow
    I do not want a fight. However, I am not prepared to let these unelected empire buiders dictate my future.
    I believe that I am not alone

    • mickc
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      You are certainly not alone! The “negotiations” should simply be ended and a “hard Brexit” accepted now. “Business” would then have the certainty it says it wants; strangely enough I have always found business (the occupation, not the lobby!) uncertain. The only certain business is a monopoly, which is what the business lobby wants.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Mickc I second that. Mcgrath certainly is not alone. We all feel the same way. There are not many on this site that think it is all going well.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:08 am | Permalink

      michael mcgrath

      I believe that I am not alone

      Far from it, but it would appear our voice and views don’t count

    • sm
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      Michael, no, you are not alone. Brussels’ obdurate stance was totally predictable from the very start, and I still cannot begin to understand why UK negotiators ever believed their direction would change.

    • Mark B
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 5:35 am | Permalink

      Great post.

      Whatever the hardships, independence is key.

  25. agricola
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Your last paragraph is clear enough, I hope this White Paper is equally clear, leaving the EU in no doubt as to what is required. Any more prevarication or threats from the EU should switch us into a clean break in March 2019, reversion to WTO rules and an electronic but physically open border with Eire.

  26. Peter D Gardner
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Now that the EU Withdrawal Bill is through Parliament and part of UK law there is nothing the EU can do except undermine Brexit through negotiations.
    So the best thing for UK to do now and until 29 March 2019 is nothing. At the very least desist from any further negotiations with the EU on withdrawal arrangements and the future relationship, which can only lead to further concessions strangling UK’s future. Try independence. It works for the majority of countries. Why not UK?
    By all means leave a free trade deal on the table and discuss it informally but under no circumstances engage in any negotiations.
    Guy Verhofstadt carefully explained to the Commons Brexit Select Committee only last week why that is so. Until UK has left the EU it is bound by EU rules. Therefore this is not a negotiation in the classical sense of the word. Until then the rules cannot be changed. So cancel the transition and shelve the future relationship – other than as an informal framework iaw Article 50 – until UK is free of those EU rules on 30 March 2019.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:38 am | Permalink

      This is indeed the best way.

    • Peter
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      “Now that the EU Withdrawal Bill is through Parliament and part of UK law there is nothing the EU can do except undermine Brexit through negotiations.”

      Peter D Gardner

      Well they can also wait and hope that the EU supporters within government and within parliament nobble Brexit from the inside. It’s worked well so far.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      The rules can be given different interpretations; so when Article 50 says:

      “… the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union … ”

      that could easily be interpreted as permitting extensive negotiation on the future trade relationship, and possibly even conclusion of an agreement.

      Instead our weak government not only accepted that we would first have to leave but quite gratuitously agreed with the EU’s preferred legal interpretation:

  27. Tabulazero
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    Brexit is going absolutely according to plan: it is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the EU27 to poach jobs, businesses and a tax base from the UK. It is not going to pass on it.

    It was obvious from the start that it would end up like this but you thought you knew better, Mr Redwood.

    • zorro
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

      And your evidence for this is what???


    • Mark B
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 5:37 am | Permalink

      They were doing that before we were even offered a referendum.

  28. DaveF
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Security and Defence arrangements are already agreed under other umbrella groups like NATO and european defence so no need for Mrs May to make offers in this regard- it is a red herring and seen by everyone as such. Mrs May was Home Secretary for a long while and might feel comfortable in this role as saviour of Europes security needs but others in europe don’t count on it for much, they have their own security forces and are well able to cope.

    As regards JR’s suggestion about government tabling a free trade agreement for goods and services only- well this won’t work because according to the EU Rules they have their four basic freedoms for Goods, Services, Capital and has been said time after time that the EU will not allow any change or watering down of this, which in the past we were part of the same EU Bloc that set it up – it is all or nothing with them- but we have all the red lines in place and so are going absolutely nowhere with this- only wasting time

    If we plan to leave with no deal as suggested then there’s no point in letting the EU know in some other way as well..we have already activated A50 and that means we leave 29th March next..what could be more clear?

    Just wondering what constructive offers has the UK made that can have any bearing on the withdrawl divorce proceedings/ or indeed on any future agreement and just cannot think of anything?

  29. Alan Joyce
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Redwood,

    It seems that Mrs. May has learned one thing during her visits to European Council meetings and she intends to put it into practice at the forthcoming Cabinet away day at Chequers.

    She will keep Brexiteers awake all night until they plead to be allowed to go to bed. They will be ready to sign up to anything.

    Theresa May has not got the guts to just leave without signing a Withdrawal Agreement. All things point to a very soft Brexit in name only with a few tidbits thrown in by the EU to try to convince us that she has been battling for Britain and has a great deal for the UK.

    ‘The government says all is going well with plans to leave with No Deal, so lets make sure the EU know that.’ I doubt very much that you believe this Mr. Redwood!

    The EU has been very hostile to the UK during the Brexit negotiations especially over the NI/ROI border. However, this also allows Mrs. May to claim that a clean break from the EU is impossible because of the danger of a return to the Troubles. Thus, she can use the issue to keep the UK in some form of a customs union or partnership.

    The negotiations have been an unmitigated disaster from the very beginning.

  30. Yorkie
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    The pressure mounting from within each of the 27 other EU nations ferocious. They met and spoke mainly of migrants.
    Their great united result was a stupendous agreement to disagree each and every one of them and do or not do exactly what each of them wishes. In this respect the EU is getting better!
    So in negotiations we face an EU “army” where each of the generals will adhere to his own battle plan in the field irrespective of what the others are doing. Advance!

  31. Paul Cohen
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

    The time has come to end this charade that these talks are progressing and are meaningful. The EU plan has suceeded in as much that they have created so much dessention by their responses that progress is impossible. Mrs May and “team” have been suckered into thinking that they are in an ongoing process where the opposite is true.

    There is no turning back to a status quo and now need to bring this dispiriting process to an end. Whereas in the UK we follow rules and regulations to the letter, those opposing us don’t and take advantage if they can. Good to get those shits Barnier and Juncker off the screen. May should at the next meeting with the EU as her first words take the £39 million offer off the table and follow the last para of JR’s post.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Paul, You say, May should at the next meeting with the EU as her first words take the £39 million offer off the table and follow the last para of JR’s post.

      Could we be that lucky?

      • Paul Cohen
        Posted July 2, 2018 at 3:32 am | Permalink

        No! Just looking at wish list.

  32. Caterpillar
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    I do not believe that the PM and Govt are prepared for no deal, and prepared to walk away. Giving then abandoning red lines is a clear signal that the UK will not walk away. All signals seem to be that any (expensive) deal is better than no deal.

  33. Fishknife
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Brexit isn’t Cinderella at the Ball. Nothing actually changes at the stroke of Twelve.
    I’s a Game of Chicken.
    Brussels has nothing to loose by saying anything other than “4 Freedoms” & “No”.
    Brussels isn’t going to pick up the Tab. That’s down to the 27.
    Brussels know we are happy to offer Free Trade. That ship can alter course.
    I believe Mrs. May is doing a fantastic job under the circumstances.
    She’s “Steady as she goes” – waiting for everyone to catch up with the reality that “Brexit means Brexit”.
    No more Milch Cow Britain.
    No more Milch Cow USA.
    Hello Mr. Putin, Erdoğan, and refugees.
    Germany isn’t going to offer it’s udders.
    Brussels doesn’t have any of its own.
    The Trade War with Trump is going to hurt.
    Which side to take?
    Bob & Weave.
    Keep kicking the can Mrs. May.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

      Sorry, but she’s just not that bright!

  34. Blue and Gold
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    This whole Brexit mess that the Conservative party has got the country into, needs to be addressed by a Coalition of Parliamentary parties. We should not be leaving the EU on purely a Right wing ideology.

    The Conservatives simply cannot be trusted. They have had an internal dispute over the EU going on for years, which will continue for years to come. The cabinet are fighting like rats in a sack. Everyone knows that leaving the EU is bad for this country but Theresa May hasn’t got the guts to put a stop to exiting.

    Labour are dithering and unsure which way to turn.

    The excuse is ‘It’s the will of the people’. The EU is not responsible for areas of the country feeling neglected, it is the fault of successive Conservative and Labour governments and their policies.

    • Edward2
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      We have had coalitions.
      They don’t produce brilliant government either.
      What you want is a government that does just what you want.
      Good job we all get to vote.

      • Peter Parsons
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        and a frustration that, for most of us, voting is a complete waste of time.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

          And where you have PR you get useless coalitions.

          • Peter Parsons
            Posted July 1, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

            Useless is a word some use on here to describe the current FPTP government and some of its senior members. “Strong and stable”, losing a majority despite a significant increase in share of vote.

            PR is no guarantee of coalition, ask the Scots.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 2, 2018 at 11:53 am | Permalink

            The Scottish system is odd because the cities have many constituencies…which tend not to vote Tory and the countryside constituencies are few and huge in area…where there is a better chance of Tory MSP’s
            The result is a monopoly of left wing parties currently the SNP promising generous spending on their client state voters using other people’s money.
            Not a good example of PR in action.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

      This Brexit mess is an EU mess.

      Discontent is widespread and mainstream throughout the EU.

      Britain just leads the way – and not for the first time in history.

      Be proud !!!

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

      Blue and Gold, your last sentence has it spot on.

      The UK has an electoral system which permits both the Conservatives and Labour to neglect large areas of the country as, under the FPTP system, those areas are either a “dead cert” or a “snowball’s chance in hell” (delete as appropriate based on which part of the country you are talking about and whether your rosette is blue or red), so not worth bothering with.

      The saddest thing is that, post-Brexit, that neglect will carry on as before and nothing will change unless the system does.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 10:21 am | Permalink

        You just dont like the way voters choose to vote when it fails to agree with your political views.
        I live in a constituency one described as safe.
        Now it is not.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

          I just don’t like a system where more than 2/3rds of the votes cast are worthless and count for nothing.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 2, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

          Why worthless?
          We all vote in secret.
          If everyone voted differently there would be a different result.
          The majority of voters in safe seats must be happy with the result otherwise they would vote differently.
          I live in a constituency that used to be described as safe.
          Now it has all changed.

        • Peter Parsons
          Posted July 2, 2018 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

          Furthermore, no constituency should be “safe”, no vote should ever be considered a “waste” and there should be no need for voting tactically against want you want least rather than for what you want.

          These are all features of FPTP voting, all of which I find objectionable.

          Switching to STV or Open List PR would do away with all of these while retaining the principles of voting for individuals with 100% constituency links.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 2, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            In nations where similar systems exist I see no fairness nor stability of governance.
            I see lengthy horse trading with minority parties holding disproportionate power.
            Manifestos people voted for being ripped up and forgotten
            Weak government.
            Unstable government
            Italy and Spain as just two examples.

    • Prigger
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 12:44 am | Permalink

      Can’t you understand its over? You lost. The only people in the UK who are listening to you are Brexiteers , out of politeness,. The public are just yawning at you Remoaners

  35. Richard1
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    The EU is ratcheting up the tactic of belittling the U.K. presumably to soften up the Govt pre negotiations. mr Veradker the Irish PM said the relationship between the U.K. and the EU can “never be one of equals”. The BBC managed to find a French En Marche MP prepared to say that the relationship of the EU vs the U.K. was “like an elephant against a mouse”. Such statements if uttered by Donald Trump in another context would produce howls of outrage. I don’t think it’s good tactics though – I rather think such an approach will backfire. The likes of Lord Adonis and Anna Soubry should be asked whether they agree.

  36. Andy
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    We already have a comprehensive free trade deal for goods and services with the EU.

    We’ve have Margaret Thatcher’s single market.

    By far THE most comprehensive free trade deal for goods and services in the world.

    But you voted out of that because you didn’t like the negligible obligations which go with it.

    Your position is illogical and incoherent.

    No wonder the EU, business and the same half of the population is looking for clarity.

    • zorro
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

      You are a bit challenged aren’t you? Can you read? We must have said and showed about 282 times on this blog that the SM does NOT cover services. Do you have a business? Have you tried to trade with EU countries and some of the weird and wonderful obstacles they put up to protect their own markets? Clearly not, because you continue to repeat this nonsense!


      • Andy
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Yawn. The single market does, indeed, cover some service. You are correct it does not cover all services – but it does include some and things are slowly improving.

        It is here, however, where you meet a problem of your own making. THE biggest problem for free trade in services is non-tariff barriers. This is not about countries being bad or difficult – it is simply that they have different rules for doing different things. No trade agreeemnt in the world seeks to remove these non-tariff barriers in the way the single market does – because it standardises rules. A British lawyer, for example, can’t easily be a lawyer in France because French law is completely different. Would mutual recognition work in such an area? No. Only significant retraining. Could it / should it work in areas like architecture, medicine, scienece – yes but, again, significant training may be required. Are there still closed professions? Yes. Should there be? No.

        So the only way to eliminate these non-tariff barriers for services is to standardises rules. But wait. You don’t like standardised rules. It was one of the main reasons, we are told, that Brexiteers voters for Brexit. You want MPs in Westminster – who have screwed up all the things they have complete control of – to not pool any of their powers they currently do to facilitate trade.

        So what you going to do? Again – your position is completely illogical. No country will do you a trade deal recognising all services unless you standardised all rules. But you don’t like standardised rules. But then, like most Brexiteers, I suspect you didn’t vote Leave because of trade.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 11:24 am | Permalink


        There are barriers in services in the Eu which really should not be there, but having sold both professional services ,leadership development and large transformation projects across Europe for the past 20 years do not recognize what you are talking about.

        Please, kindly elaborate?

      • rose
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

        Anyway, the EU is a political Project, not an economic one, and so is Brexit. We are going for Independence, not Foreign Rule.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Thank you sooo much for providing evidence for the contempt for ordinary English voters which exists in the Remain camp.

      Time and time again you’ve done it.

      Well done to JR for publishing you, the embodiment of true Remainian sanctimonious piety.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

        barely 70,000 turned up at the Remain march last week.

        Not even you.


        • Andy
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:45 am | Permalink

          True – I didn’t go on the march. I had something else on.

          But I don’t have to march against Brexit to demonstrate that it is a lousy idea.

          It is better to try to engage with Brexiteers to try to change minds..

          That’s why I like this site. You are the hardcore Brexiteers. The valiant ones who will fight for Brexit til the death.

          And, without exception, you all hate how Brexit is going!

          You all realise it is going wrong. You all realise it is not what you voted for – not that you knew what you were voting for of course – and you all all genuinely outraged at the wealth of stuff you’d failed to figure out before the referendum.

          You are all in grief for your failed Brexit.

          There are 5 stages of grief. You have all been through the denial phase. Now you are in the anger phase. Next comes bargaining, depression and acceptance.

          Don’t worry – you’ll all get there.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 1, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

            The five stages of grief applies to remain supporters far more readily.
            You only need to read your posts over the last few months to see how well they fit your theory Andy.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted July 2, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink


          Grow up and try to keep it at a certain level even if you do not think it is the case for the counterparty, you are really lowering your standards

          • Edward2
            Posted July 2, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

            Well it’s trust.
            Only 70,000 turned up.
            A million was promised.
            Sunny day
            Poor turnout.
            You are a bit too sensitive hans.

    • Prigger
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 12:41 am | Permalink

      Will you still be looking for clarity in nine months time? Get someone to put you on the path to the nearest optician.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 5:57 am | Permalink

      Lady Thatcher wanted a single market that promoted free trade and helped much poorer nations to easily trade with Europe.
      The current single market does neither.
      She would be 100% against how it is now.
      Costly, complex and protectionist.

      • Andy
        Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        The people who worked closest with her disagree.

        And I think they know better than you, or I, or today’s crop of politicians – including those who knew her and who claim to act in her name.

        Thatcher would have voted Remain.

        • Edward2
          Posted July 1, 2018 at 10:24 am | Permalink

          Hilarious rewrite of history Andy.
          I suggest you read some of the many books on this topic.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 1, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink


      Germany has been using its veto to stop the single market in services for years as everyone ( apart from hans ) knows there are lots of non tariff barriers in place to stop service businesses competing in Germany

      Therefore THERE IS NO and never has been a EU Single Market in Services

      You claimed to have a service business with a 7 figure profit, you also claimed that due to Brexit you would be sacking all 30 of your staff because Brexit had ruined your business. You better tell us what area of services you’ve been operating in unless of course you made it all up.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 2, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink


        Just because I disagree with you and have sold services across Europe for years does not mean you have to make it personal, but this is of course your way of arguing, when we do not agree with the professor so no surprise there

  37. BOF
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Those closest to Mrs May, and we all know who they are, when they read your good advice John, are seemingly giving Mrs May an entirely different message. A message of obfuscation, delay, compromise and capitulation. Are they blind to the fact that not one compromise has been reciprocated?

    Are they as eager to hand us BrINO as Mrs May is to accept it? There is a crying need for many more sheets of paper to be ripped up and others in the Cabinet need to join Michael Gove.

  38. Shieldsman
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Why can’t the remainers who comment here realise the EU is a bunbling Monolith. Every time the 28 Council Ministers meet they demonstrate their inability to unite in solving their current problem.
    Chancellor Merkel’s created economic migrant crisis meeting ended in another fudge. Most Members refused to take Germany’s unwanted migrants, nor those still attempting to invade Italy as Asylum seekers.
    The voluntary nature of the Brussels plan to build EU migrant detention centres descended into farce as European leaders lined up to refuse to host them. One EU Diplomat said: ‘This is a bit of paper that will never become reality. It is a mess and will discredit the EU because it is unworkable and everyone knows it is unworkable.’

    Its just another bit of EU Grandiose Show like the Paris Climate Agreement. The EU signed up to throw money at those Countries burning coal for their energy needs, most of which had no intention in changing. The UK with its politically correct MP’s being one of the few to pay up.

    Barnier does not want to negotiate a trade agreement with the UK outside of the EEA.

    At some stage before zero hour on 29th March 2019, Commissioner for Transport Bulc or her representatives will have to come to the negotiating table and sign a new Air Service Agreement with the UK.
    Philip Hammond has said it is “theoretically conceivable” that all flights between the EU and the UK could be suspended on the day Britain leaves the EU. He should have added between the EU and the USA.

  39. Claudia
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    It is extraordinary that Mrs May is even listening to the EU/Varadkar’s proposals for the Irish border because both proposals which have been put forward by the EU are in breach of the Belfast Agreement that they purport to be safeguarding. I refer to the border in the Irish sea and a backstop that only applies to NI. Any proposal that aims to create division between Britain and NI without a referendum and the approval of a majority in NI is illegal, being in breach of an international treaty between the UK and the RoI. Why is Mrs may not pointing this out loudly, denouncing it for what it is and refusing to even hear about it any more? The previous Irish PM was working with NI in developing a technological border. Varadkar scrapped the plan in order to further his political ambitions. Britain should tell the EU that is either MaxFac or nothing.

  40. Prigger
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    The BBC, the font usually of most fake news, says the water companies indicate people use much more water in hot weather. I wish I’d thought of that.

  41. Oggy
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    So what can we expect next Friday/Saturday to come out of the ‘Chequers’ cabinet meeting, given as I am informed they consist of 15 remainers and 10 leavers. It’s a no brainer – capitulation on all red lines as Mrs May is desperate to get a deal ( any deal!) – completely going against YOUR last manifesto and the Lancaster house speech.
    By Sunday Boris will have resigned as FS and will commence working on Mrs May’s downfall.
    Putting it simply unless the Government respects the referendum result and we get back control of our money, laws, borders and seas, Mrs May and the Tories will soon be toast.

  42. J.White
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    The hypocrisy from both the HOC and the HOL is absolutely astounding! The remainers now bleat about sovereignty of parliament, yet for 40 + years they have been very happy to hand it over to the EU without any reference to the electorate. If the government do not stand by getting control of our sovereignty, money and borders and instead turn us into a vessel state of the EU they will have shown contempt for the 17.4 million voters on the largest turn out ever. Beware treating us with contempt will prompt the electorate to treat parliament with the same contempt. That goes for all parties.

  43. PaulW
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 1:19 pm | Permalink

    Plans are moving ahead in the EU in preparation for a no deal brexit..for example The Netherlands has recently recruited one thousand more customs and immigration officers to beef up it’s border controls..Dublin and Rosslare ports have already upgraded and made plans to suit the new circumstances. It seems the only ones who think a deal might be possible now is the UK government..but they are deluded..with the Red Lines in place leavers can rest assured that there is not the slightest chance of this happening..the two sides are worlds apart..

  44. JoolsB
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    If only there were more like you in the cabinet John instead of the pathetic capitulating bunch we have now. Unless you and your fellow Brexiteers stand up to May and Hammond, they will betray us and keep us in the customs union.

  45. mancunius
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    I hope we shall not be disappointed or outraged by the White Paper.
    I fear that we shall be. Has May let the same civil servants write it who wrote Art. 49 of the December Joint Report?
    When she comes to read the White Paper before signing it, will she do so more presciently than she read the Joint Report?
    The omens are not good.

  46. Jack snell
    Posted June 30, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink

    The white paper will very probably include something about a customs union to get over the irish border problem but M Gove has already torn up the paper so it looks like sparks will fly ..and then with the summer hols just around the doesn’t look good for auny kind of a future deal with any case we did not vote for another deal and it does not matter about what we propose to them..the EU is in a wind down mode now hen it comes to better instead enjoy the sunshine while it lasts

  47. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 1, 2018 at 1:33 am | Permalink

    Spot on, but you need to say it in parliament.

    Reply I do! And say it direct to Ministers in meetings. This site is not a secret either!

  48. Original Richard
    Posted July 1, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    We’ve had a referendum and an election showing a majority in the UK wish to leave the EU, plus Parliament overwhelmingly voting to trigger the EU’s leaving article 50.

    The EU’s Lisbon Treaty states that it will negotiate a deal with the leaving state but the EU has refused to negotiate and instead, together with its UK supporters, threatened us with :

    – A return to violence in Northern Ireland
    – Chaos at EU ports so that the UK becomes short of food and medicines
    – Closing down aircraft movements and communications between the UK and the EU
    – The corporates closing down factories in the UK
    – A run on the pound.
    – Openly discussing ways to produce legislation and policies to hurt the UK financially.
    – Visa requirements on UK nationals travelling to the EU.

    In return our PM has offered to share our intelligence information, our military and our fishing grounds and still wishes to be part of the Galileo project.


    • Simon
      Posted July 2, 2018 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Well it would have helped if people understood the consequences of leaving the EU – a subject on which Mr Redwood and others were suspiciously quiet – before they voted for it. The EU have made no threats at all.

      • rose
        Posted July 3, 2018 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        It would have helped if the Remainiacs had said they weren’t going to accept the result unless they won.

  49. Dioclese
    Posted July 1, 2018 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    As a retired accountant, I thought I understood maths. The UK leaves so the parliament is reduced by 79 seats. Oh no, sorry! 46 seats…


    Why was it necessary to change the seats for all the remaining 27 countries? Other than to justify the existence of some highly paid EU bureaucrats, I just don’t see the point.

  50. Rien Huizer
    Posted July 1, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood. Even if the UK leaves without a withdrawal agreement alon the lines agreed earlier, there will be a bill,. or the UK could be declared in default of sovereign obligations. Some of the payments agreed in principle are discretionary, related to continued membership of/association with certain EU bodies (not available in the case of the UK walking out) but others are curremtly existing obligations and contingent liabilities (eg for the EIB). It would be interesting to see how much would be involved but my guess would be more than half the 39 are actual positions that the UK cannot cancel unilaterally.

  51. a-tracy
    Posted July 2, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Would the British people mind a reciprocal free movement of workers within the EU, I don’t actually believe they would. Free movement of benefits and housing seems to be the sticking point that most people talk about, DC did try to get this adjusted to stop tax credits, child tax credits, housing allowances, jumping up the social housing ladders when they lose low skilled jobs and then can’t pay their private rentals (overtaking Brits waiting on housing lists for a decade who are having to stay in expensive private rentals trapped), I have said before if he’d have got this concession I don’t think Brexit would have happened.

    If EU immigrants couldn’t obtain benefits within a suitable three-year working time [not whilst a full-time student] window, this would stop low paid job moves whose tax credit top-ups are more than they can earn in a month in their own Country being shipped back to their families. They cut down on their earnings by taking three months off unpaid too, more checks need doing on this practice as tax credits and child tax credits should only be available if you are here to work 46 weeks per year (plus holiday allowance). Wouldn’t that then give you ‘free movement’ but where in the treaties does it say ‘free housing’ ‘free top-up low wages’ ‘free schooling’ ‘free healthcare’?

  52. Simon
    Posted July 2, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    The exact form of having regard to the framework was set out by the EU in December when they said it would be in the form of a joint political declaration. They further made it clear it will not be complete by this October. And yet the PM , DD and others, supported by a dim witted media have persisted in the myth that trade talks are in progress, that they are due to conclude soon – and thus the country will be able to consider the WA and the Trade deal in parallel.

    And yet JR now suggests this is an unfriendly act and one which is surprising. It has been quite clear to anyone who has read Art 50 in the TFEU, or who paid any attention to Sir Ivan Rogers that a future deal will take years to conclude (hence after we have left). Since the EU statements in December it has been expressly so. Why people like JRM & Co insist we can somehow trade the WA against a future trade deal, and why people like Mr Redwood perpetuate this myth I have no idea, but it has skewed the understanding of the sequencing completely. And us to now table, ex cathedra ; some type of trade offer just before the long EU summer holiday when the WA needs to go for ratification in October would simply be tilting at windmills.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 2, 2018 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

      The EU have refused to even begin trade talks until everything else is agreed
      Including a large leaving payment.
      It is not a recipe for a deal being concluded.

  53. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted July 3, 2018 at 2:17 am | Permalink

    So No Deal is now the best deal. Just say it and put the ball in the EC’s court. No Deal would have some disadvantages for us but it would be catastrophic for the EC.

    Of all the political bodies in the whole wide world, the two most hostile to the UK becoming an independent State are the European Commission and the Republic of Ireland. The former wants to control us and take our money. The latter covets our territory in the North. Yet these are the two bodies with whom we are negotiating with one hand tied behind our backs.

    The time has come for rough wooing. We should flesh out No Deal as we see it and await the response.

    M Barnier says that the clock is ticking. On 29 March 2019, we should say to him: “Ask not for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

  54. Steve
    Posted July 8, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I’ve a better idea; just tell the EU to sling it’s hook now.

    Make me Prime Minister and I’ll show you how to deal with bullies.

  • 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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