Trade is mainly about companies and individuals, not governments

The good news is governments  need to promote and tolerate trade as well as unfortunately doing their best to harm it. Governments like to tax trade, with excise duties, VAT, other sales taxes and customs dues. This both harms it, but also gives them a rationale to want to promote more of it at the same time.  They like to regulate it for a variety of good and bad reasons. They rightly want to stop people selling dangerous items that could be misused and want to supervise the safety of everything from planes to drugs, but they also often want to control the style, performance and method of manufacture of things where variety might not be harmful.  The EU both poses as an advocate of more trade within its zone, and acts as an impediment to more trade outside the zone by imposing a barrage of controls and taxes on items coming in from non EU sources. The US objects to VAT on its sales into the EU, as well as to the higher tariffs like the ones on food products.

In the never ending UK Parliamentary debates on trade the advocates of us staying in or rejoining the EU customs union, or inventing a customs union with them similar to one we are leaving, never give up and never find any new and convincing arguments. Three times Parliament voted down staying in the customs union by a large majority. Last night Parliament voted it down yet again by a small  majority. As someone who likes Parliamentary democracy and thinks things should be settled here by lively debates and votes, I am also allowed to ask how many more times do we have to make the same decision? I want this Parliament to tackle issues like housing, economic growth, real wages and the other things that matter to voters, but its ability to do so is constrained by so many MPs wanting to go over the same old topic day after day.

I am an MP who wants business to succeed and wants to see more prosperity and more better paid jobs in the UK. So why don’t I want a customs union? Let me have one more go at replying to the tired old statements of the Remain campaign that we hear daily in Parliament on this subject.

1  Remain claims that industrial business operating Just in Time supply chains with imported components will not be able to work efficiently  from outside the Customs Union!

a) Many businesses today in the UK operate Just in time systems with components coming in from the USA, Japan, China and other sources that are outside the EU. Some JIT systems operate well with seaborn deliveries from outside the EU. They know how to get their products through the docks in London or Southampton just fine. The products have been many days at sea and the short time taken at the port is minor compared with total travel time.

b) Both EU and non EU components come in under a system of Authorised Economic Operators. They file electronic manifests of the consignment, and the calculation of any  VAT, customs dues ,excise and other taxes occurs as the goods transit. The lorry driver at the port does not have to wait whilst they work out the payments and pay them by cash or card in a queue of trucks. There has been a long standing system of TIR trucks, with sealed cargo sections that have permission to cross borders because the authorities know what is in them.

c) Both the EU and the UK are members of the WTO. Its Facilitation of Trade Agreement covers the main issues requiring member states to minimise friction at borders.

2. Remain claims that any non EU system of imports will be too expensive and administratively difficult, especially given rules of origin which require specified proportions of local content.

a) The current EU system also requires substantial electronic paperwork and complexity. The EU levies VAT which requires great detail about process and where value was added, with issues over transfer prices. It also needs to police rules of origin. Importing from outside the EU need not be more onerous, and once out of the UK we will design our own system which can be friendly to business.

b) The information the authorities need to police and tax is very similar to the information the company needs to supply to its customers and counter parties. If you are supplying a component for a complex machine like a plane or vehicle you need to send great detail about how and where the components was made, what the tests results were, and  what its price is. Modern manufacturers require individual component traceability in case something goes wrong . It means the information the authorities need is already known to the company  and in its computer, so a simple computer programme can extract and present the relevant information for transit papers.

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  1. Nig l
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Another detailed explanation. Thank you. Why then are some large companies making this a big issue? It is reported today that Rolls Royce are looking to pull their inventories forward.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:35 am | Permalink

      Looking at the ministers at Farnborough it would seem that the Rolls Royce/Airbus statements were entirely political encourage one imagines by the EU and government to assist with May and Hammond’s Brexit means sweet FA agenda.

      I too wants business to succeed and wants to see more prosperity and more better paid jobs in the UK. Also to ensure we have a solid tax base to fund the rather few things that the state can actually do better.

      To this end we need far less government, far fewer regulations, easy hire and fire, far fewer lawyers, cheap reliable energy, the gig economy leaving alone, decent infrastructure (particularly roads), low and simpler taxes and the like. Alas Hammond and May give us the complete opposite. Hammond even taxes profits that are not being made. Some people are even taxed at over 100% of their income in years when they move house!

      “NHS pledge raises pressure for higher taxes, warns OBR” alas higher tax rates from here is produce lower tax revenues, fewer jobs and a smaller tax base. We are taxed far too much already to be competitive! The NHS clearlyneeds to charge people and encourage more to go privately. It is a disaster killing thousands every year. Cannot even do simple hernia operations in a timely manner it seems. You have to wait until they get really bad!

    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Nig 1,


      (1) Companies are reacting to uncertainty (a position UK wouldn’t be in if Cameron had stayed in place and implemented a clean Brexit)
      (2) perhaps it is analogous to rent-seeking (some companies will have a competitive advantage with current rules, or abnormal profits, and these may be eroded. Companies that have a disadvantage, or even don’t exist because of burdensome regulations are automatically less heard).

      • Caterpillar
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:49 am | Permalink

        Also, are all of these big manufacturers really running pull/JIT inventory systems? They are not all high volume, high mix, repetitive operations.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:17 am | Permalink

        My reason was *uncontrolled* immigration and I am unashamed to say so.

        Businesses demanding freedom of movement are getting off-books taxpayer subsidies that are so huge it shows up in the national debt figures.

        The policy is not economically viable.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 5:03 am | Permalink

          Why be ashamed? What is wrong with some quality control on immigration as many other countries have. Take only people with the skills we actually need or those who will not be a burden on the other tax payers. Do this from all countries & not just the EU. The EU good rest bad is a racist system. We cannot, after all, take everyone who wants to come.

          • N Eagle
            Posted July 19, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            Proof, if ever it was needed, that people do not read accurately before posting replies. Dear Lifelogic, don’t ask the commentator Anonymous ‘Why be ashamed?’ when Anon clearly states s/he is UNashamed.

          • Lifelogic
            Posted July 19, 2018 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

            Good point! Speed reading does not always work perfectly!

      • Hope
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        The EU trade deal with Japan did not have all these problems referred to be extremist remainers like Hammond, Clarke, Grieve and Soubry, no single market or regulatory alignment that is being proposed, no customs union no ECJ, oversight by a panel under WTO terms. A simpler form used. No ECJ arbitration, no immigration, no ties to Environment, employment, energy or tax. No bribe of £100 billion either! Let us not go into the sham Irish border problem. Again we could look at Canada EU trade deal. The true reason these fake issues are being used is because a small number of people who happen to be MPs do not like the result of the referndum. Tough.

        My local Tory MP emailed me yesterday to say that he thought EFTA was a good way forward. Idiot. But his reply shows he is rattled by the large public discontent with underhand May.

        Greive today says there is a crisis and extremist remainers now calling for a cross party government! They have truly lost the plot and it is clear they want to betray electoral democracy. The 12 extremist remainers in the Tory party who meet every Tuesday afternoon need to be ousted from public life. If we had the right to recall they would be gone. The Lords would also be abolished. I hope this is high on the agenda after the recess.

        • Ben
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

          Why do you describe the Irish border issue as ‘sham’?

        • Kevin
          Posted July 26, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

          What was that about “electoral democracy” In which country is that in existence certainly not here in the UK.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:35 am | Permalink

        Yes. Un certainty is more crippling for companies than any likely change in the rules. The reason is obvious to anyone who has been involved in company strategy. Alas most MPs have not so they don’t understand. And those that have regard it as so obvious as to not need stating. They need to say clearly: there is only one sensible response to high uncertainty in a broad range of regulations and that is to reduce or cancel further investment and to start looking for more certain regulatory regimes, ie to relocate geographically.
        Known changes in rules can be dealt with by a wide range of options, but they can be managed one way or another, and not necessarily by re-locating.

    • Ian
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Because, basically, they are lazy and enjoy the protectionism of the EU

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:47 pm | Permalink


        Our country (and much of the Western World) is burdened by a serious lack of work ethic (greed also classifies as lack of work ethic, not just laziness) – from the working classes, through the middle classes right up to the ruling classes.

        Work ethic is the oil that keeps a country running smoothly – business, public workers, neighbourhoods, and family life.

        Sadly, our modern world has killed off God (according to Friedrich Nietzsche), and morals such as work ethic, and we’re paying a massive price for it.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

          NOT saying non believers don’t have work ethic. But I am saying that the ‘killing of God’ by modern society has dramatically had an impact on traditional Christian moral values and work ethic of countries in the Western World in general.

        • David Price
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

          The issue is so much more complex than that. It is not a lack of “work ethic” but the devaluing of work that leads to a lack of motivation. The prime driver is not a move away from your (or anyone else’s) god but globalisation and crony capitalism. What do you think is going to happen as robotics and AI progress even further and the range of worker input that is valued enough to be employed becomes even more constrained and reduces.

          If anything, the work ethic used to motivate people to work will become the primary cause of dissatisfaction as it requires people to value themselves in terms of their job which is fast disappearing. What is the use of a work ethic if there is no “work” to be done.

          One consequence is that everyone except a very few will become dependent on government handouts to some degree or other. A recent estimate has over half of all US citizens already in this situation.

          I would rather be motivated by how much I meaningfully contribute than be assessed for my work ethic quotient by some priest or bureaucrat who do not and cannot contribute as I do.

          We need to address this issue or there will be trouble, and the solution will not involve returning to your chosen deity.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted July 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

            Firstly, I agree with Mr Redwood who said few articles back that new types of jobs come into being all the time, over time (or words to that effect).

            Secondly, I think ‘work ethic’ is broader than just work (whether as an employer or employee) although that’s fundamental. Work ethic is also closely associated with family duty / public duty (which also ties in with patriotism – a philosophical / religious virtue). So there’s lots of opportunity to exercise ‘work ethic’ outside the workplace as well (if I understood you correctly?).


    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      Maybe they are making it a big issue because treacherous Remainer elements in the government and the civil service have encouraged them to make it a big issue to put pressure on those who want a proper clean break with the EU system. Not, as one silly Tory MP said on TV this morning, to cut all our links with our neighbours, but to break free from the EU system of supranational, quasi-federal, government. And as a result of that unscrupulous covert manipulation of the public debate we are now heading for a continuation of our present legal subjugation to the EU at least in respect of 20% of our economy, that part concerned with goods, and any goods not just the fraction exported to the EU by maybe 3% of UK businesses, and notwithstanding the attempted Wilsonian deception that our Parliament will still decide whether or not we accept any proposed changes to the EU rules.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:46 am | Permalink

      Nig 1, that is a very specific action and could be a response to a very specific risk. Since the specifics of Mrs May’s deal are very far from specific I doubt whether Brexit is the justification. If it is a response to Brexit I would say it is likely being done as a relatively cheap and reversible measure for some political purpose, most likely at the request of some Remainer Minister asking for something more concrete than the pathetically unconvincing threats from Airbus and BMW, now known to be at the request of a Remainer minister.
      One should note that if it is meant to be a genuine response it is unsustainable: the whole point of Just-In Time delivery from the supply chain is to reduce stock holdings in the long term so as to reduce the fixed costs of warehousing.

      • Peter D Gardner
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:52 am | Permalink

        May would count dead money tied up in stock as a separate benefit but I would count that as a cost of warehousing. I don’t know but it could just be a decision made in order to reduce tax on profits because the cost of stock is tax deductible. It doesn’t reduce shareholder value because capital is not reduced, just transferred to stock.

  2. Mark B
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I am surprised that those who wish to Remain in the CU want to make us poorer by making us pay more for goods via tariffs. I voted Leave because I wanted to get out of the CU and make the EU compete for my custom with the rest of the world. Currently I am in a captive market where choice, a strong Conservative value, is denied to me. I want to be able to choose the best products for the best price no matter where it comes from.

    Free trade frees people and spreads wealth. It creates new ideas and products and reduces prices and waste. It makes lives better.


    • Caterpillar
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Mark B,

      Agreed. Fundamental reasons for Brexit,

      a) no CU, it is trade diversionary and can weaponise economics (expanding and developing approaches for frictionless trade facilitation overcomes this)
      b) UK should make not take laws to maintain accountability.

      • Hope
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

        Japan secured it in their deal with the EU. Why cannot the U.K. Ask remainers as Guido points out.

  3. Peter
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    “Last night Parliament voted it down yet again by a small majority. As someone who likes Parliamentary democracy and thinks things should be settled here by lively debates and votes, I am also allowed to ask how many more times do we have to make the same decision? ”

    You made a good speech yesterday. You said “The public will not accept higgling at their decision to leave the EU”. I had to look up “higgling” though. It’s a new word to me and spell checker tries to replace it too.

    The media prefer to report on the shouting style MPs but the public will listen to quiet well reasoned arguments.

    • margaret
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:00 am | Permalink

      You should realise that this is a composite word of haggling and things becoming higgledy- piggledy. It saves time with long laborious sentences which say little.

      I have always said that the entrepreneurs are the leaders whether they have stolen the ideas or not because they get things into practice and governments trail behind making things difficult .

    • Mockbeggar
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      Nice old word ‘higgling’. I will try and find somewhere to use it.
      As one who is interested in history, it is worth noting that when the US fought for its independence, most of its external trade was with Britain. That trade did drop for a year or two after independence, but then quickly grew subsequently. No doubt there will be a drop in trade with the EU post Brexit, but we’re not exactly at war with the EU27, so I expect the drop to be very low in spite of what the big companies with an interest in maintaining the status quo (to keep out competition?) might say.
      Oh look! Spellchecker doesn’t like ‘Brexit’ either!

    • Peter Parsons
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      It is worth highlighting the actions of Brandon Lewis in respect to this last night. He managed to get things right 7 times by honouring the pairing when it didn’t matter, but then make an “honest mistake” twice when things got dicey. Following on from the disgraceful treatment of Naz Shah, there are some who need to take a long hard look at themselves.

      • libertarian
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        Peter Parson

        Totally agree, shameful behaviour

    • Bob
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink


      “how many more times do we have to make the same decision?”

      It’s not the “same decision” that Brussels wants, it’s a different one.

    • getahead
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

      Looked it up in my old, no-covers Oxford dictionary and yup, it’s there.

  4. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    Some good news over here toot: The Japan-EU FTA was signed yesterday and covers a third of world GDP. E.g. Dutch Gouda cheese export to Japan might even almost triple (a plus of 180%). A benefit for Japan will be the tariff free export of cars into the EU as it catches up with South Korea. This will make it less logical post-Brexit to assemble Japanese cars in the UK before export into the EU27.

    As for Brexit, the UK can choose according to its so-called red lines to become like Norway, Switzerland, South Korea, Canada or China, all different types of “third countries”. It cannot expect the EU to deviate from its own red lines, the EU never chose a Brexit.

    • Stred
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:47 am | Permalink

      The Japanese don’t like cheese. They think it makes them smell. You can try selling them raw fish though, which they have in common with the Dutch. You have plenty of electrocuted herring from British waters.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

        @Stred: In 2014, already 31% of Dutch cheese exports to Asia went to Japan, disputing your preconceived ideas. Apparently, the Japanese are also fond of Australian cheese.

      • Adam
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

        Apparently, we Britons smell of dairy products to the Japanese, owing to our different consumption; unsurprising.

        The notion of the EU offering Japan a better deal than to the UK is rather like the banks & telecom cos who offered non-customers better terms to join, but which their existing loyal customers of even 20 years duration were banned from receiving. Penalising loyalty is a stimulus for leaving. Good riddance EU too!

        • David Price
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

          Yet it is far more costly to gain a new customer than it is to retain one, competition of providers is a major factor.

          There will be consequences to EU companies who “punish” the UK and some like Unilever make things easier by their reliance on branding. It is easy enough to find an alternative to Marmite if that is your cup of tea, and to find a replacement for PG Tips for that matter.

    • Martin
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      The EU could hardly choose to exit itself. And it naturally doesn’t like the idea of its premier cash cow escaping its clutches.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        @Martin: Germany is more of a cash cow to us in the Netherlands. Anyway, we will still have a lot of export to the UK, even if purist brexiteers vow to spit on anything from the continent. They are not to be taken seriously.

        • Nig l
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:30 am | Permalink

          What I spit on is such arrogant and uninformed comments. Presumably as well as accepting Germany’s cash, in the U.K. we call that being in someone’s pocket, you are also believing the agitprop.

        • NickC
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

          PvL, Actually your corrupt and spiteful government, goaded by Remain in the UK, is exactly the reason that we will re-consider whether to buy products coming from districts such as Holland, Germany, France, Eire, etc. Don’t make the mistake of not taking us seriously again. Our leaders may be Quislings, but the rest of us aren’t.

        • Ex-NHS medic
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

          Not taking brexiteers seriously is not a sensible strategy for such a small country that supplies produce readily available outside the EU.

        • Martin
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

          Nor are the votes of 17.4 million people apparently.

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

          “even if purist brexiteers vow to spit on anything from the continent”

          Gisela Stuart? Really?

        • David Price
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 3:34 am | Permalink

          Don’t bet you pension on it sunshine – you didn’t expect the UK to vote Leave, what makes you think you can predict or dictate reactions to your arrogant posturing.

    • alan jutson
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      So a Country outside the EU can agree a so called free trade deal with the EU.

      So pray tell me why its is impossible for the UK to reach such an agreement.

      Does Japan have no borders, is it close in distance to the EU, is it in the Euro, are there free movement of people involved, does Japan pay the EU billions each year, is its home industry forced cooperate under Eu standards.

      Perhaps those politicians on both sides (EU and UK) should open their eyes and minds.

      • billR
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        alan jutson- yes .. but I believe free trade between Japan and the EU only applies to certain goods ..also it takes years to work this agreement out

        • Charles
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

          The delay comes from 27 competing interests. Why people remain under the misconception that the EU seamlessly negotiates deals with complete unity is beyond me.

          Case in point – Italy still ‘negotiating’ about the EU-Canada deal.

          The UK will be able to reach bilateral agreements a) much more effectively and b) more importantly agreements that are specifically tailored to OUR economy, not the lowest common denominator EU deal.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:33 am | Permalink

        @alan jutson: The EU has always stated that an ambitious FTA with the UK is very much possible! Contrary to some of your prime politicians it has the experience that an FTA takes time to agree. Your “implementation time” may prove too short, but it could at least be tried.
        Just like South Korea, you don’t need the euro, the single market, a customs union, free movement etc. etc. Just don’t try to have your cake and eat it. Out is out. Because of all the economic damage you will cause in the process, don’t expect any kisses or cuddles.

        • alan jutson
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink


          Not expecting any kisses and cuddles never have, but unfortunately our Prime minister thinks if thats what she gives the EU politicians (her friends) it will help.

          She of coarse is deluded, but she carries on regardless, so yes I agree the EU have played their hand far better than our own Government, and thus will get a better deal out of it than the UK.

          Long term however things may change a little as people and politicians realise our present Prime Minister has sold us down the river on a very expensive trip, with a confused itinerary.

        • David Price
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          The EU is in no way innocent in this mess, they caused us economic and societal damage, which is one motivation to leave, and they knew the consequences though thought they could bully the UK electorate in to submission.

          Being establishment focused the EU presumably though it enough to merely suborn the UK establishment thinking the UK populace would simply toe the line, they were wrong.

      • Adam
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

        An excellent contrast. Well-expressed, alan jutson.

      • matthu
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        Is this perhaps because they all have a hard border between themselves and Republic of Ireland whereas we want to maintain a border pretty similar in appearance to what we have already (although perhaps enhanced with electronic manifests etc.)?

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

      The EU is intransigent.

      Even with a major leader – on the eve of a vital referendum on the EU – pleading to give on some of those red lines it stayed fast.

      The EU seems oblivious to the *real* far right movements emerging on the Continent, with *real* shots at power. Thankfully Britain has none of those. The BNP was rejected outright and garnered a pitiful 550,000 voters at its zenith.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous: From where I stand populism has become rather mainstream in the UK. If you thin that that is a good development, good luck to you!

        Obviously the continent is experiences enourmous challenges, including from the far right.

        • matthu
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

          What do you mean by populism?

          Would that be support for the concerns of ordinary people as opposed to special concern for the elite?

          It is the clearly the case that if you already enjoy preferential treatment by virtue of the fact that you are a member of the elite, or the civil service (in this country), or the EU bureaucracy, or any other special sector receiving large handouts from the EU, then you may well want to oppose any increased concern for ordinary people, those who pay the increased import tariffs, or subsidies on energy prices or the tax free pensions of EU MEPs and Commissioners.

          But do please let us know why you don’t support more populist concerns for ordinary people.

        • Anonymous
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

          Populism has become a word that is used in the pejorative in western democracy.

          Says all you need to know about how it’s going.

          I thought popularity was what free choice was all about.

          • Anonymous
            Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

            Deny us a Thatcher you get Brexit. Deny Americans a Reagan you get Trump.

        • Mike Wilson
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

          Obviously the continent is experiences enourmous challenges, including from the far right.

          In case you mix me up with someone from the far right – I vote green.

          Do you ever wonder why there is a rise in parties of the right in some countries across Europe? I mean, if everything is largely okay, we have food and shelter and jobs and a bit of disposable income and public services … why the rise?

        • Timaction
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Unless you’re Macron and you win the world cup. Then populism is ok for the night. Give it a rest Peter and mind your own business. How’s that free movement of Ukrainians referendum doing Mr EU!

        • Stephen Priest
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

          “Obviously the continent is experiences enormous challenges, including from the far right.”

          Au contraire mon ami, from where I sit on my chaise longue the threats come from the fact that former centre left parties are moving far left:

          UK – Labour lead by a communist.
          German Social Democrats moving left
          USA – Democrats far more left wing than in their Kennedy era commie hating past.

      • Pragmatist
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        Parties do things, sometimes, because of other parties not in power, for if they don’t those parties WILL be in power.
        The AfG for example has motivated those parties in power to stop its rise. by doing some of what it wishes. The BNP hasn’t gone away. It will win if the Tory Party fails to deliver, that UKIP continues to wipe itself out by internal struggles and fails to deliver. That a new version of UKIP by another name fails to deliver.
        Then there are the groups to the right of the BNP, believe it or not, in the dark realms of evil.
        Better for Brexiteers in Parliament, for the good of all,to succeed. Remoaners know not the ingredients of the full political bag of what they are trying to usher.

      • Jagman84
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        The BNP is/was Socialist in its policies. Many of its former councillors are now with Labour. Not exactly the definition of hard right!

      • Ex-NHS medic
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

        BNP were far left. Current battle is nationalist vs globalists so your right/left labels are meaningless.

    • Yawning Height
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      You would be interested in what the consumers of Japan are likely to buy from the EU or anyone else for that matter and the smallness of the likely quantities. Unless the countries of origin are heavily disguised or are part of a greater more complex product of Japan with Made in Japan

      • David Price
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

        This is the game they have played in the UK.

        Tariffs or not I want all products to carry marks to indicate country and degree of origin so I can decide for myself which I wish to buy.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Thank you for the Brussels line on Brexit.
      Tell me does Japan have to accept Freedom of movement. ECJ oversight. EU social, environmental and taxation regulatory alignment.
      Thought not.
      Shut up and eat your Gouda please.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:38 pm | Permalink


        behave yourself, please

    • Andy
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Well said. Post Brexit the UK will have to do a new trade deal with Japan – and it will be less favourable than the one just agreed.

      EU v Japan is 500m people vs 100m. The EU is 5 times the size and has huge clout.

      Japan v UK is 100m people vs 65m. They are more powerful.

      As we have seen, South Korea in particular has no interest in giving little Brexit Brexit as favourable a trade deal outside the EU than it gets in it. Your Samsung’s and LGs will soon be getting more expensive Brexiteers!

      Reply The UK will agree transfer of Korea and Japan deals

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        You have no grounds for saying that a Japanese deal with the UK alone would inevitably be less favourable that a deal with the EU where there are competing national interests to be accommodated within the EU negotiating position, nor as a mere psittacine could you have any real understanding of whether the deal with the UK really was more or less favourable than the deal with the EU, but in any case if JR will be kind enough to break his usual rule and publish my factual comment backed up by internet links then you will see that it is all of very marginal economic value anyway. Free trade is good, no doubt, in general terms, but also in general terms we have long had sufficiently free trade to reap most of the benefits and we are now into diminishing returns. Except for those who make their living from trading, of course; they will always want to increase the volume of trade they do whether or not that increased level of trading activity results in any overall benefit for the rest of us.

      • Reno Fardner
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        I am sure the UK will agree. But Japan and Korea will not

        • NickC
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

          Reno Fardner, How do you know Japan and S.Korea won’t agree? Are you their spokesman?

      • billR
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

        reply to reply..don’t think so.. EU will not agree .. Japan will take note of EU /UK situation and not want to step on toes.. therefore we’ll probably have to start again from scratch via WTO rules. In any case by then we’ll be working everything through WTO

      • Peter
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

        New EU Japan Trade Deal

        No Tarrifs

        No Customs Union

        No Single Market

        Sounds like a good model for an EU UK Trade Deal

        • Edward2
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          No freedom of movement as well.

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:56 am | Permalink

        Spending power in the EU is unequally distributed.

        You speak of the EU as if it were a country. I don’ t recall that proposition in any manifesto.

      • Peter VAN LEEUWEN
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:58 am | Permalink

        Whether Japan and Korea from their side will agree to transfer the FTA’s to the UK is still much of a question. Size does matter in FTA’s.

        • acorn
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

          All countries will be waiting to see what the deal is going to be between the EU and the UK before they make a move. They won’t know that till after the UK has left and is well into the transition phase, if there is one: and, we have paid the final bill to close Art 50.

        • Jagman84
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

          Tell that to Iceland!

        • NickC
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          PvL, EU apologists like yourself may be transfixed by size, but the rest of the world is not. In any case most economies in the world are smaller than the UK’s.

          And if you are implying that the EU will force a smaller economy like S.Korea to refuse a trade deal with the UK, that merely confirms one of the reasons to Leave. It will also be an indicator to the WTO and the rest of the world exactly how nasty the EU is.

        • Timaction
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. Our economy is equivalent to the 19 smallest nations in the EU, the 5th largest in the world! Right after Japan in 4th!

        • ChrisS
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          Trade deals are not just about population numbers.

          The EU’s trade with the UK is vastly greater than their trade with Japan and, treated as a third country, we are already the EU’s largest export partner.

          They send more goods to the UK than they do to the USA and they have a trade surplus with us in goods that is almost as large as the EU’s total trade with Japan.

          The only reason they might choose not do a similar deal with us would be because they are intent on punishing us for leaving.

        • Know-Dice
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:19 am | Permalink

          PvL, You could be right that “size matters”, but I would and will suggest that a FTA between smaller economies especially where multiple countries are NOT involved will be easier than with a multi-country agreement…

      • Richard1
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:20 am | Permalink

        the Japan deal will apparently take 10 years to remove all tariffs on cars, as an example. this deal will novate to the UK upon confirmation of both parties. the UK should then seek to improve upon it e.g. by accelerating the reduction of tariffs to bring them into effect immediately.

        Why do relevant sizes make such a difference? – this is a constant EU line – the UK is like a mouse vs the elephant of the EU in the words of one French politician. Australia and NZ have an extensive and balanced FTA – an excellent model for the UK in the future – though Australia has nearly 10x the GDP of NZ. Australia and the US have an excellent and balanced trade deal (which took 15 months from start to finish) though the US is > 12x Australia.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink


        Are you talking about long-term or short to medium term?

        I think long-term, the UK will be fine economically outside the EU (as long as we focus on building up our high tech and digital industries – just like the USA has both strong high tech as well as financial services industry- and not aiming to be a 2nd Singapore or something, we’re too big for that).

        The challenge is the short to medium term. That is where we should be really pressing politicians to be clear (on their plan). Otherwise Hard Brexit could go belly-up with serious economic / political / social consequences (whilst we return to the EU or something).

        With respect, I think your criticism is too subjective (in every sense). Hard Brexit could work out great. Or the opposite.

      • Edward2
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

        Numbers of people isn’t the main power point in trade negotiations.

        It is more about what goods and services each can supply and the demand for those goods and services in these two nations.
        Just because one nation has more people doesn’t mean they will buy more goods offered by the other nation.

      • NickC
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

        Andy, Outside the EU, the trade deals we will agree will be better. The reason being that they will be designed to suit us and our trade partner rather than 27 other competitors.

        Your view that Samsung’s and LGs will be more expensive is yet another corker from your Hall of Remain Rants. The UK does not need any trade deal to unilaterally lower our import tariffs because, out of the EU, tariffs are under our own control.

        • Andy
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

          Yeah – and as I keep pointing out, tariffs are not the issue.

          The reason prices will go up because of the non-tariff barriers you voted for.

          As the great President Obama pointed out earlier this week it is easy to debate with people who disagree.

          It is not possible to debate with people who deny facts. And that sums up Yeump and the Brexiteers. Fact deniers.

          Reply I did not vote for non tariff barriers, and under WTO rules the EU and the UK cannot put up new non tariff barriers but need to implement the Facilitation of Trade rules.

          • Edward2
            Posted July 19, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

            What non tariff barriers?
            Please give examples.
            The UK has never said it wants non tariff barriers on goods coming into the UK..

          • libertarian
            Posted July 19, 2018 at 10:29 am | Permalink


            Oh dear….

            Currently a Samsung s9 costs

            UK $1020

            Germany $1049

            France $1060

            Italy $1109

            Please explain what non tariff barriers will be put in place in only the UK which will raise prices ( in line with the EU) and by how much?

            You wouldn’t know a fact if it hit you on the nose

    • jerry
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

      PvR; “The Japan-EU FTA was signed yesterday

      Oh goody, the EU can now trade with Japan! Err, we have been buying Japanese cars, TV’s, motorbikes, Video recorders, video camcorders or what ever else since the 1960s if not before, well before the UK joined the EEC/EU – and even with EU tariffs such goods have always been as cheap, if not cheaper, that EU made goods.

      “[the Japan-EU FTA] covers a third of world GDP.

      Your point being, other than to highlight the other 2/3rds of the words GDP, much of which trade very successfully under WTO rules…

      “A benefit for Japan will be the tariff free export of cars into the EU as it catches up with South Korea. “

      As the UK knows, to its cost, that will also mean (eventually) more imports into the EU from Japan car makers too, watch out WAG, PSA Group etc, people dumping their luxury German cars for those made by Luxus, never mind their cheap & cheerful marques.

      As for Red lines, the one red line the EU can not avoid is from the WTO.

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

        Jerry, not only cheap/cheaper to purchase, more reliable…

        • jerry
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

          @Know-Dice; I respectfully disagree. Call it insider knowledge! 🙁

      • Edward2
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

        Well said Jerry.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:58 am | Permalink

      So you’re saying that the EU made another free trade deal against the interests of UK industry. Nothing new there then.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:59 am | Permalink

      Here is the link to the EU Commission press release:

      I note that:

      “The agreement will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan”

      So how does €1 billion of duties compare with the total GDP of the EU?

      Well, just on a quick search, according to this:

      in 2017 the EU’s GDP was about €15.3 trillion, so the duties which are being abolished amount to less than 1 part in 15,300 or 0.007% of EU GDP.

      But perhaps the benefits are on a larger scale than the 0.007% of EU GDP which EU companies will no longer have to pay to the Japanese government?

      Yes, indeed, one could spend all day going through the voluminous documentation on the EU website to investigate that question, or one could provisionally take the word of the author of this article:

      which says that the EU’s exports to Japan may be increased by 13.2%, worth an additional €13.5 billion; but dividing that much larger number by the EU GDP of €15.3 trillion still corresponds to an increase of only 0.1%.

      Moreover in that article it is claimed that every €1 billion of exports from the EU supports 14,000 jobs across the EU, and as this fantastic trade deal covering one third of the whole world economy – worth about €70 trillion – may boost the EU economy by €13.5 billion that will create about 0.2 million new jobs, which as a fraction of the existing 221 million jobs:

      would also be about an 0.1% increase in employment, therefore of the same small order of magnitude as the projected relative increase in the GDP of the EU.

      Now I don’t dismiss the value of a 0.1% increase in the level of employment – we’re very happy to see UK employment rising on average by about that percentage every month, month after month, “despite Brexit”:

      but it isn’t exactly an earth-shattering result for a new trade deal encompassing a third of global GDP which has taken five years to negotiate with 18 intense rounds, and after how many decades of trading without any special deal?

      And my own explanation for the marginal economic effect of such a trade deal is that in general terms we long ago entered a domain of rapidly diminishing returns from further liberalisation of international trade; which is why the creation of the EU Single Market has been worth so little, especially to the UK, and why TTIP would have been worth so little to us and CETA will be worth so little and also the new favourite, TPP, would almost certainly be worth not very much to us.

      Oh, here’s an EU factsheet with some of that data presented directly:

      And it says:

      “The EU stands for trade that is free and fair. We want to continue to look outwards, rather than turning towards isolationism. The EU is open for business.”

      Except with any ex-member of the EU, which may get a punishment beating …

      • Know-Dice
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

        Denis, I don’t understand 🙁 (I know that this comes from the EU press release”…

        “The agreement will remove the vast majority of the €1 billion of duties paid annually by EU companies exporting to Japan”

        Why are EU companies paying to export?
        Surely it’s the importer that pays duties?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:11 am | Permalink

          Quite so, loose language.

    • Nick
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      The EU-Japan FTA’s coming into force would have happened whether we stayed in the EU or not. But by being outside the EU, next year, the worst thing that could happen to us in respect to our car exports to the EU, which is that tariffs might be imposed by Brussels, is mitigated by Sterling’s having depreciated against the euro (by about the same amount as Brussels can tax our car exports). So I’d wager that, whether we get an FTA or not, Japanese car manufacturers will be staying put.
      P.S. You might wish to contemplate the length of time from the inception of the EEC to the conclusion of its FTA with Japan. Do you think we would have taken as long?

    • libertarian
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:30 am | Permalink


      Hi Pete good news on the Japanese FTA, so you now have free movement of people with Japan, $39 billion they paid to belong and they are in the SM & CU…. awesome

      Or maybe not

      All that this agreement has proved beyondd doubt is that its the EU causing all the trouble with UK leaving, its the lies, obfuscation and down right nastiness of trying to punish us. So now we know.

  5. Mick
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:33 am | Permalink

    After listening to Parliament the last two days
    Heidi Allen

    Guto Bebb

    Ken Clarke

    Jonathan Djanogly

    Dominic Grieve

    Stephen Hammond

    Philip Lee

    Nicky Morgan

    Bob Neill

    Antoinette Sandbach

    Anna Soubry

    Sarah Wollaston.

    These remoaners should be kicked out of your party and go join the lib/dems, they surly are un democratic , they do not respect the referendum result or there voters or manifesto pledges no matter how much they say they do, just cannot wait until the next GE when we can see the smug look wiped of there faces when they are given there marching orders

    • Nig l
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

      Mainly lawyers and doctors. Both professions in my experience pretty arrogant. Not one entrepreneur. A microcosm of the far bigger problem with Tory politicians.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:52 am | Permalink

        Doctors I usually find are fairly sound but doctors who become politicians perhaps more suspect. Lawyers are really a problem. This as they tend to think the more law, complexity of law, human “rights”, vagueness, ambiguity and contradictions in law and the more levels of courts the better. The better from the point of view of lawyers’ incomes that is, but worse for nearly everyone else.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

          Defensive medicine (to avoid litigation) plus the distractions for doctors and surgeons and the huge costs to the NHS (and industry) almost certainly injures, harms & kills more people than the benefits (if any) it produces.

          By its very nature litigation is lots of people earning money while producing nothing of any real value. Just moving money from one person or company to another taking perhaps 50% off on the way!

          Do we want doctors and surgeons to be treating patients & doing operations or to be in court or filling out legal statements?

          The long and uncertain court process is damaging even to injured patients very often too.

      • Hope
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

        These extremist remainers got elected on a manifesto to leave the EU, leave the single market and customs union. I think there is an integrity issue here. Yesterday they are an amendment against the manifesto and govt policy in the hope to bring down the govt. Instead of CCHQ supporting them it should encourage associations to deselect them ASAP. They are trying to bring the govt down. They rather have Corbyn than be outside the EU.

        Better still right to recall and if the MP is removed during parliament the party can substitute with another from that party, the exemption being a minister. This will keep stability of govt and give the public the power to oust dishonorable useless MPs who do not have high standards or fail to honour what they were elected on.

        Similarly change the discipline panel so only lay members can vote on whether MPs are investigated or disciplined. MP members only to guide and advise of procedure.

    • jerry
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:10 am | Permalink

      @Mick; Nonsense on stilts! The Conservative party might not be many things but it is democratic. If it isn’t, if the party is the (only one opinion allowed) totalitarian disgrace you wish it to be, why weren’t Brexiteers kicked out by Mr Cameron and told to go join UKIP, why didn’t John Major cast such people into the political wilderness?…

    • Anonymous
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Why are those who side with the majority vote in the referendum called ‘rebels’ ?

      We saw the same word play by the BBC in Ukraine.

      • jerry
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

        @Anonymous; They’re not, these days the MSM use the term to refer to those who wanted to Remain. Those, like our host, are described as Eurosceptics.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

        Because they are rebelling against the “people who know better”!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

      Plus of course Theresa May, Philip Hammond, Jeremy Hunt and much of the rest of the cabinet.

    • Newmania
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

      I agree there must be a new Party for remain Conservatives. I was thinking about running as one. After all , with 4,000,000 votes Nigel Farrage managed to inflict his agenda on the country so it doesn’t take many votes to make a difference

      Reply Do you remember the pro Euro conservatives that a former Conservative MEP set up – it got practically no votes and was abandoned

      • Newmania
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Then the time has come for a futile gesture

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        Most of them migrated to the Liberal Democrats!

      • libertarian
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink


        Speak to Andy he joined the new Pro EU party set up called Renew or something… That lasted a whole month before they all fell out over the “different versions” of remain

      • Anonymous
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        It was Remainer aŕrogance that got us Brexit, in fact.

        Do carry on.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

          what a load of nonsense

          • Jagman84
            Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

            Thanks for your continued co-operation. I am sure we can rely on you to confirm our arguments into the future. You cannot help yourself, can you?

      • Lifelogic
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:59 am | Permalink

        The ideal is:-

        1. a low tax, clean Brexit, cheap energy, small government, more freedom Conservative party,
        2. the wrong on every issue EUphile Libdims with the duff wing (1/2) of the Tories.
        3. the lets steal everyone’s property and be like Venezuela with inflation at 1500% and raid the magic money tree + Labour party.

        Real Tories would win by miles.

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:00 am | Permalink

        It is time for the Tories to ask themselves the Lenin question:”Kto,Kovo?””who(will destroy) whom?” and act upon it to clear out one faction or the other completely.

      • ian wragg
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        That was the Euro which no one wanted, we are talking about EU membership which the people don’t want but politicians do. Different kettle of fish.
        You only have to watch the increase in UKIP membership and polling data to see the difference.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

          John Major was just one politician who wanted the euro, quietly.

    • L Jones
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      It constantly strikes me as outrageous that, long after a democratic vote, in which a clear result was produced, many MPs STILL allow themselves to be labelled ”remain”.

      The choice has been made, the decision taken to leave. ALL people in government should now be working to leave this self-serving ‘organisation’, whatever their own personal proclivities. To carry on undermining their own country’s position, showing disloyalty to their party and the electorate, and attempting to subvert the will of the people is abhorrent.

      As you say, Mick, these people should be named, shamed and kicked out.

    • JoolsB
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

      Spot on Mick. This latest customs amendment was an act of sheer vengeance by them in retaliation for May’s acceptance of JRM’s amendments. Not only are they traitors to the people but they were willing to bring down their own Government in their determination to overturn the will of the people.

      Unfortunately because of Cameron and May reneging on the right to recall and because of the safe seats system, it won’t be that easy to kick them out at the next GE.

      • Timaction
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

        Targeting leave constituencies with remainer MP’s is a shoe in. Then look in descending order thereafter. The above named won’t be smiling if this Government collapses which is now on the cards! Hopefully, so we can get our vote honoured.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      It’s comments like this that push me back to being a remainer. It’s part of our mature democracy that we can have people like them challenging the whole process of Brexit (Brexiters weren’t black and white about what leaving the EU meant). I hate the political side of the EU. I genuinely think it’s a bit evil. But I also believe in the ‘lesser of two evils’ / ‘better the devil you know.’ Hard Brexit could work out great. Or the opposite if we don’t plan for it properly. I think this is where you should be focusing your analysis.

      Ultimately, it’s now down to pragmatism. Hard Brexit could work out great but only if we’re pragmatic about having the best plan about how to proceed. If not, then it could really fail. Remainers might be annoying. But the real enemy is whether we have a strong plan or not to deal with the inevitable short to medium challenge / crisis of leaving the EU next year.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        ‘But the real enemy is whether we have a strong plan or not to deal with the inevitable short to medium challenge / crisis of leaving the EU next year’

        – And if we don’t, then we wait. I want our political leaders to be like Napoleon in terms of strategic/tactical thinking / planning. Waiting for when the time is right (and working towards that, if needs be, it won’t just happen by chance). Rather than like Headless Chicken Lord Raglan in the Charge of the Light Brigade.

        • Mitchel
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

          Er,Napoleon famously advised “on s’engage et puis….on voit!”.An exhortation quoted by Lenin when encouraging his followers in October 1917.

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

            Also, geniuses often go for the more unusual / least popular option. In Churchill’s case that was to defy the Nazis, when all around him (in the 1930’s / beginning of the 1940’s) he was abandoned by fellow Tories. Really. Shocking but true.

            Most people either support Leave or Remain (or verge on indifference). There’s also another option – although unusual / the least popular – and that is first to try and reform the EU – strip it of its political power but maintain close economic, cultural and security ties.

            We really haven’t tried that before (Cameron just tried to get concessions for the UK – he never tried to reform the EU). I think it is the most exciting option. And easily the best for the UK (and the EU).

            Reply This idea is out of date and dead for the UK. We endlessly tried to reform the EU. Blair tried and failed, Major tried, Cameron tried. They would not even reform the CAP

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

      Actually some of them represent constituents who voted to remain in the EU with a big majority, so let us just get the facts right here

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      lots of them had constituents where a majority voted to remain so they were just doin their job for the local community thank you

  6. alan jutson
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:52 am | Permalink

    When you have so many Mp’s with little or no Commercial business experience, you end up with the farce we have had for the last two years.

    Anna Soubry made a great play about visiting a factory recently, as if that was a substitute for actually working, or managing one.
    How many Mp’s have purchasing, planning, scheduling, designing of products and services, or indeed real life sales experience ?

    Far too many Mp’s seem to be reliant upon outside vested interests or lobbyists for information, and given their own lack of practical knowledge on industry and commerce, are simply unaware of the right questions to ask, in order to filter out the facts from fiction and the nice to have dreams of some organisations.

    Given many of those working in the Civil Service who are trying to control the way business is done, have also never had experience of Commercial work and business, you have the recipe for a perfect storm of chaos.

    Hence we are where we are.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:39 am | Permalink


      You’re half right, I think. But (successful) people in people are also ruthlessly objective. And they plan for everything to the nth detail.

      You just focus on Anna S. What about Boris Johnson and Michael Gove? They might have been great at writing essays at university and writing articles for newspapers. But what real commercial experience do they have? They are the ones embarking on the big enterprise of leaving the EU. Anna S. is supporting the status quo. The status quo might be a devil. But better the devil you know, unless you are someone with extraordinary commercial experience to both mitigate the risks and grab the opportunities that may well lie out there.

      So by the logic of your argument, the emphasis is more on Brexiters being commercial wizards than the Remainers (I mean how is Boris Johnson or Michael Gove more of a commercial wizard than Lord Heseltine who successfully set up and ran his own multi-million publishing brand that exports / publishes around the world?).

      Again, I’m not ditching Hard Brexit. I’m just saying we all have to think as objectively as possible if Hard Brexit is going to be a success (and really, really plan hard for it like any successful person in business would).

  7. Stred
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Sky showed the Labour side of the Commons frothing about the finding of the all-remaining electoral commission that Leave had overspent, ignoring the fact that Remain had spent much more and also had meetings between various campaigns. They were calling for the whole referendum to be cancelled.

    Then some tubby blimp on to Tory side said that the whole thing was so disgusting that it should be blown up. I thought he was talking about the electoral commission, but apparently he meant Brexit should be blown up. Guy Fawkes may have to be re-invented.

    How can honest Conservative MPs stand being in the same party as these welchers?

    • Lifelogic
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      How indeed, but there are only about 80 – 100 solid & sound Tory MPs it seems.

  8. jerry
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Can someone on the floor of the HoC remind Mps and others that the TIR convention was operating before the creation of the ECSC never mind before the UK joined the then EEC. The current UN treaty can trace its parentage back to an agreement between a number of European countries in 1949, the first UNECE treaty being 1959/60.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Good link.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Good post Jerry and the link is very useful too.

  9. Fedupsoutherner
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    We’ve taken two years going over the same old things. If we’d just left which is what we voted for, we might have completed trade deals with other countries by now. Instead of that, we argue amongst ourselves with no firm outcome yet while the world moves on without us. Now we have the recess coming up which takes us to within 6 months of actually leaving. I sure as hell am glad this lot aren’t deciding how to plan a war. We’d all be dead in our beds by now. We have too many stuffy old politicians who can’t move forward. Please, let’s just do what we voted to do and move on.

  10. DUNCAN
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    Material wealth is physical and real. Democracy and independence is non-physical and unreal. Remain therefore will target the real in their plan to weaken the unreal. Democracy is being sacrificed on the altar of political centralisation using the fear of material destruction

    The fear of a reduction in all material supplies to the island of our UK shores as per WW2 is being used by Remain to create the idea that taking back to control will lead to rationing and ‘starvation’. It is the most basic of political attacks, underhand and vile but effective

    Why focus on democratic accountability when the person doesn’t understand what that is anyway? What they do understand and what they see everyday is the price and quantity of goods and services. Remain will focus their attacks on the real and the visual.

    Fear is a very effective tool of social control. Remain understand this only too well though I think they may have underestimated the tenacity and reality of the British people.

    It’s very sad to see May still in office. She’s pushing on with her plan for every wider industrial intervention in the running of private companies. Her EU obsessions are now reflected in some of her domestic policies. She’s becoming a danger to our party and to our country

  11. Javelin
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    A friend of mine owns/run an international same day delivery service. He knows customs processes back to front. According to him leaving the EU will make no difference except “ticking a button on the screen and once the software is updated we wont even have to do that”. He voted leave.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

      Goods can be held in customs, but only if something irregular or dangerous is suspected, and then only by UK customs for incoming goods, so we have complete control. Aircraft wings and car parts for two wouldn’t fall into these categories. This is being blown up for political purposes.

      • WalterP
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:56 am | Permalink

        Not exactly customs have assumed the powers to also inspect outgoing goods..also you try to leave the country with more than 5000, 5000 of anything, in your pocket without being able to explain to them and it could be fact they have been known to withhold sums as little a 2000 if they suspect someone is going abroad but has not paid his taxes..truth is nobody seems to know the rules anymore because they make it up as they go along..and with the hard brexit coming next year my guess is we’ll see more of this..just like back in the 1950’s and 1960’s

        • Edward2
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:00 am | Permalink

          Just show some evidence which bank account the cash was withdrawn from.
          It isn’t difficult to do if the cash is legitimate.
          The rules on carrying cash through airport security checks can be read on Customs website and some airport websites.

    • Reno Fardner
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:35 am | Permalink

      Does he deliver food? Plants? Animals? Medicines?

    • libertarian
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm | Permalink


      Absolutely , there was a great letter in the FT a week or so back from a UK exporter who went through the detail of how they export and showed leaving wouldn’t make any discernible difference to their operations

  12. Anonymous
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Off topic (sorry)

    The overspend by Vote Leave is dwarfed by Remain’s off books activities during the campaign:

    – invitation to the PotUS to speak on behalf of Remain

    – the £9m leafleting campaign in support of Remain

    – the 2 day extension to voter registration (beneficial to Remain) after a mere 2 hour shut down of the system.

    Of course. None of this needed to be declared so that’s OK.

    • Nick
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

      I lodged a complaint with the Electoral Commission about the extension of the registration period. They explained that it was a decision by a [Remainer-dominated] parliament. So that was OK then.
      Your list could also have included liaisng with non-US governments to put out dire warnings about Brexit. Proof of this will trickle out in the years ahead. And one of the Sunday papers ran an article about how No 10 pressured companies to big-up comment about Brexit risks in their annual reports.

  13. Andy
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:03 am | Permalink

    Of course all of your arguments about trade are demonstably untrue.

    You only have to go an existing EU external border – say with Norway, Turkey or Switzerland – to see the extra red tape in action.

    Delays and bureaucracy for goods at each of these borders vary by location and time, but the fact is that none are as seemless as what we have now. And delays mean higher prices for consumers. That makes little difference to me, I can afford it. But plenty of people who voted for Brexit can’t afford it. That’ll be funny to watch when the penny drops.

    Of course it is perfectly possible to import from outside the EU. But there is also more paperwork involved. Out means more bureaucracy than in. It is a simple unavoidable fact. Not that facts matter for Brexiteers.

    What is important to remember in all this is that during the referendum campaign the Vote Leave cheats promised Brexit would mean less bureaucracy, not more.

    And yet here they are, two years on, plotting hair-brained schemes to introduce armies of new pen pushers.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

      Go to Felixstowe and see the movement of containers in and out of the UK without problems.
      With the majority going to and from non EU countries.
      One container every 5 seconds.
      Last time I visited snd entered some non EU countries there was less delay than coming back into a crowded UK airport.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink


      You need to take a long hard look at yourself, you really are so out of touch with the real world.

      Global trade has been seamless almost everywhere for more than 40 years using the TIR system, you’ve been told this so many times now

      Heres the data from HMRC

      ~94% of goods cleared in 5 seconds
      >96% cleared within 2 hours
      Only 3% of imports (all from outside the EU) are subject to documentary checks
      ~95% of those checks cleared within 2-3 hours
      <1% of imports are subject to physical checks by HMRC

      When the Penny finally drops with you Andy that the EU is conforming to global trading systems NOT the other way round you might actually wake up

      The extra "paperwork" involved in exporting as a non EU country involves putting a tick in one more box on the software system… So tell us again about your facts Andy

      • Edward2
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

        Well said Libertarian
        Those of us who actually have filled in paperwork to transport goods to other countries and have made goods that meet technical and quality requirements in each separate marketplace realise that there is very little extra work required to trade with non EU nations compared to European nations.
        And a point about “just in time” systems.
        The buffer inventory is held by suppliers rather than the end user.
        Sometimes we had to rent space in a customers assembly plant where our parts were kept and used on a just in time basis.
        The end user was able to claim zero stocks but there were stocks…just held by us at our cost
        If there were the delays that Remainers claim, and I don’t think there will be any, then larger levels of buffer stocks would be held.
        Problem easily solved.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:41 am | Permalink



    • David Price
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      So demonstrate it, but consider – why would we make things more complicated than they need to be to import goods. Like many Remainders you seem to continually confuse the extent of EU control when we are no longer in it.

      You also seem to think we would not reciprocate “spoiling” actions by the EU. You may be forgiven for thinking this because the craven attitude of our governments encourages this behaviour as described by Dennis Cooper and others. But we will not have these people for long and they need to be replaced by those who have the UK’s interests at heart rather than those of the EU.

      Perhaps you would be less confused if you didn’t operate so manysock puppets – Andy, Andrew, AndrewJohn321, HarrogateAndrew and no doubt many more.

  14. Sakara Gold
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:14 am | Permalink

    As I see it, the advantage of JIT deliveries to UK manufacturers is that the components are effectively stored in transit on ships or inside containers on HGV’s instead of in the purchasing factories as inventory. This saves considerable costs and the unnecessary locking up of working capital.

    As you say, modern methods of tracking goods are available. I found yesterday’s debate tedious in the extreme, many MP’s wanted to have their say about the customs union without being properly briefed or having an understanding of the issue. My American friends staying here found it highly amusing!

    • Nick
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Or the manufacturer could on-shore more of its supply-chain.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:44 am | Permalink

      Apparently they don’t want to understand or recognise or accept that it was not the original EC Customs Union which made it possible for goods to be waved across the borders between EU countries, it was the later advent of the EU Single Market which led to the removal of border checks. The government knows this perfectly well but has allowed the fallacy to become widespread and deeply rooted. Why?

      • NickC
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

        Denis Cooper, To answer your rhetorical question of why. This is a government of the Remains, by the Remains, for the Remains. It is led by a Remain PM who cannot see that she is a laughing stock as she continues to insist in Parliament that “Brexit means Brexit” in answer to a question from Andrea Jenkyns MP.

        Mrs May authorised Olly Robbins to write a second, secret, White Paper, thereby knowingly deceiving her own Ministers. Her (Robbins) WP swaps the EU treaties for new bi-lateral treaties to achieve almost the same subservience to Brussels as we have now. I did not think we could be caught out by a lying PM again after Blair, but we have been.

    • stred
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      We are being told that JLR brings in parts only hours before they are fitted to the final product. How much capital would be tied up if they were delayed for an hour at customs. And why not tell the parts manufacturer to send the lorry an hour earlier in order to arrive at the original time. This is all Remainer cobblers isn’t it?

      • Jagman84
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        As I said earlier, a logistics company is contracted to deal with all of this, including monitoring stock levels. JLR concentrate on the core business of manufacturing vehicles.

    • ian wragg
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:07 am | Permalink

      Correct, my brother in law owns a transport company and delivers to Nissan. He has a warehouse and makes daily deliveries according to their demands.
      The items are not going daily from the manufacturer but via middle men.

    • David Price
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

      The time to ship goods can work to advantage – I can’t remember if it was on this blog but someone mentioned the 30 days transit of beef from South Africa which provides the necessary aging as part of the transit.

  15. ferdinand
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    How many more times does it have to be said that business is between buyers and sellers not Governments. Remainers have a lot to answer for.

    • Turboterrier.
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink


      Too true the remainer think affliction for the last 40 years has created a order taker mentality and destroyed a selling one. These people with their companies took their eyes off of the ball and slowly declined into the sit back and wait for the phone to ring iinstead of being pro active in creating and securing new markets. Ooops forgot they told me they couldn’t do that as it was against EU rules. Silly me.

    • sm
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      It’s a nice theory, ferdinand, but I wonder how many sophisticated societies and their manufacturing and trading sectors have ever seen it like that?

      The importing/exporting of wool, made-up cloths, timber, spices and alum, for example, was constantly used as bartering tools during diplomatic inter-governmental negotiations during the C15th and C16th for a start!

      • Mitchel
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        And nations can rise and fall when trade patterns and routes change.Arguably,Russia came into being because of the development of the route from the “Varangians to the Greeks”(connecting the Baltic with the Byzantine capital,Constantinople)after traditional east-west routes had been disturbed by the disintegration of the western Roman empire and the Arab conquest of the Middle East.Bear in mind new developments like China’s Belt & Road Initiative , Russia’s North-East Arctic passage and the Indian-Russian-Iranian North South International corridor will all be out of the west’s control

      • libertarian
        Posted July 18, 2018 at 4:21 pm | Permalink


        Oh please….. mercantilism is NOT trading. Explain what the Dutch government would do with 1500 tons of wool. You must at least make an attempt to understand that politicians insert themselves into the process in order to try to make themselves relevant and to extort taxes. They do NOT create markets or buy or sell products . Why do you think cross channel smuggling was such a huge market back then

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

          Because customs duties and similar routine imposts and rents and so on were a substantial, and usually uncontested, part of the sovereign’s revenues, which did not involve having to persuade/compel the elite to part with some of their wealth as a lump sum subsidy.

          Now the state has far superior methods of extracting money from the population and customs duties barely figure in its overall income.

    • Mitchel
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

      Trade is always subject to foreign policy.Look at how many countries are currently under sanction by the US and how third parties who dare deal with those sanctioned countries are themselves sanctioned.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

      who are these so called remainers to they all fall into one group or are you just making a very vast generalisation with no proof?

      • libertarian
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 11:48 am | Permalink


        Let me introduce you , pot this is kettle

  16. Prigger
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink

    “Modern manufacturers require individual component traceability in case something goes wrong”
    During the horsemeat scare, the government had to ask a major supermarkets to delve into its supply chain. Well it had to do it afresh. Nothing was known. That is the reality.

    As to Just in Time supply chains as you say are based on long sea voyages. Remoaners , not knowing much, imagine Just in Time means making a phone call from a British town for delivery from Indonesia and it turns up in their factory”Goods-In” unloading bay two hours later. What happens if lorries are held up at Dover they innocently ask, for a couple of hours? What happens if there are big waves around the Horn of Africa?

    • agricola
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:48 am | Permalink

      Perhaps in the case of the horsemeat scare too many in the food industry sit too close to government, and are too lightly regulated.
      In engineering ISO9000/QS9000 are the norm resulting in traceability from the melt of metal to the finished product. I had to cope with the Kobe earthquake in the supply of automotive components to the UK. We had 40 days supply on the sea, or about three ships, and airfreight to allow the Japanese to get back in production. We in the UK do not have the ability to cope with leaves on the line, frozen points, melting roads and warped lines. Thank God our earthquakes are only tremors. It caused the Japanese to re-think JIT. They built warehouses adjacent the end user.

    • Jagman84
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:09 am | Permalink

      Most large manufacturers employ logistics companies, such as D*L, to deal with just-in-time systems. For overseas suppliers, buffer stocks are held local to the customer. A 4 hour lead time is quite feasible in this way. Key suppliers will have operatives on site to deal with any quality issues that would restrict the supply chain.

  17. jerry
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Something very strange in moderation, there appears to be far to many people either being automatically published by bot whe n our host connects with the WP server (or nodded through unread), when on-topic comment is held back.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:28 am | Permalink

      Could be because there is no “L” in jerry 🙁

  18. Blue and Gold
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    Just why do the Right wing extremist Brexiteers think they know more about importing/exporting than the CEOs of British manufacturers and business ?

    Reply MPs who wish to implement the d3cision of voters are not extreme. We agree with the many CEOs who just want to get on with Brexit and know we will trade ok once out.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

      Most of the CEO’s you mention have simply been asking for clarity about the deal, ie they would like to know from government what the future holds.
      And if I was doing their job then I would too.

      Business needs clarity about the future.
      And they don’t like change.
      It is more about these two things than a total remain desire from these CEO’s

  19. agricola
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    You make a number of valid points which all should take on board. I do not know whether to accuse remainers, who come up with all the doom and gloom, of ignorance or black propaganda. If the latter they are hoping to feed on the ignorance of the electorate. However more of the electorate work in the fields of QS9000, JIT and logistics than populate the benches you sit on. Can I suggest that in the recess all remainers be sent on courses to learn and then perhaps we will not be forced to listen to the level of drivel coming from the pushy blonde who sits behind you.

  20. Kevin
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    JR writes the following:
    “Many businesses today in the UK operate Just in time systems with components coming in from the USA, Japan, China and other sources that are outside the EU”; and,
    “The lorry driver at the port does not have to wait whilst they work out the payments and pay them by cash or card in a queue of trucks.”

    That does present an absurd picture. It seems that at least some opponents of this democratic referendum are failing to live up to their billing as “elite technocrats”.

  21. robert lewy
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    Per Patrick Minford 3-07-18:

    “In 2016, the World Bank Logistics Report recorded that the median developed country border post processed 98% of its trade without any border checks at all, while processing the remaining 2% within a day.”

    A statistic which sets Remainer claims in bold relief.

  22. Adam
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    Consumer demand pulls suppliers’ output to where it needs. Producers & end users do not need Govts interfering beyond preventing adverse consequences.

    Govt riddles commerce with madcap complications. All production exists for consumption, so Govt should derive its income from a simple End User charge: Purchase Tax. Instead, it builds a pile of paper regulations as long as Hadrian’s Wall to obstruct those whom it is supposed to serve.

  23. Iain Gill
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:27 am | Permalink

    We already have an economy heavily manipulated by politicians.

    Wide availability of work visas in some professions has squeezed Brits out of those jobs, and put incentives in the system to use cheap imports rather than train Brits.

    Our mandated expensive anti pollution and safety regime in manufacturing here, while tolerating indeed encouraging imports of the same products from countries without such measures pushes up net world pollution and work injury while killing industry here.

    Our measures to slant the economy in favour of financial services are there for all to see.

    And our massive public sector slows us all down.

  24. Norman
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:47 am | Permalink

    Though it’s such a long and weary battle, I think it’s now abundantly clear to the discerning public the cynical nature of nearly everything to do with the Remain cause. When they next get a chance to vote on the affair, there should be some resounding clarity. However, tactical voting will cloud the issue, because of the risk of a very leftish government. Splinter groups will only muddy the waters further. This is why the work you (the ERG) is doing ‘from within’, hard going though it is, is so vitally important to the outcome of a successful Brexit, and the recognizable future freedom of the UK.
    Who would have thought that it would be such a fierce battle? It’s as I have said from the beginning – it’s ideological, historical, spiritual.

  25. Annette
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Well said. We are heartily fed up of time wasted re-running the already debunked referendum arguments, like goundhog day, instead of getting on with planning properly for our independence.

    Serious question. What is going to happen to VAT on 30th March 2019? It will then be foreign tax collected for a foreign power. Will we be collecting & remitting this tax, less our ‘admin fee’, to the EU? Will HMG be keeping the taxes so collected? Are we going to hear that the delay ‘transition’ includes collecting & remitting more money to the EU – a clear indication that our taxes still fall under their control? Will we have control?

    As you will be aware, VAT is an EU construct tax brought in to replace the old ‘purchase tax’ applied to ‘luxury’ items. As the country’s only ‘benefit’ of collecting this tax is the ‘cut’ from net receipts, we could immediately remove this charge from utility bills to help the poorest, & yes other things like sanitary towels which made news, without much impact.

    THESE are the type of things that I want to hear about from Parliament, not the continuing undermining of a clear democratic instruction. If we continue to collect & remit, we have not left. I’m still waiting to hear of one single power that will revert to us as of 11pm GMT 29th March 2019.

  26. alan jutson
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Well the voting just about went the right way in the last couple of day’s, so well done to those MP’s who worked hard and stood up for the Referendum result.

    Now to solve the big problem of how to avoid Mrs May working on yet another secret plan/scheme with Oily Robbins during the summer recess in order to blind side Parliament and her Party again.

    Clearly the Brexit Department is but a shadow of its former self with David Davis now gone, along with we are informed 50 of his old staff (now Transferred and under Oily Robbins control)

    Vigilance and an ear to the ground is the key now more than ever, as the date for departure gets closer and closer.

    Who would have thought that Mrs May would have deceived David Davis, his Department, and the complete Conservative party, by saying one thing for many many months, and then planning the opposite in secret.

  27. Pragmatist
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Sir Cliff Richard has just won his case against the licence-payer funded BBC. Two thirds of £200,000 , one third of that against taxpayer funded South Yorkshire Police plus the £400, 000 awarded against the latter previously.
    In the coming weeks Sir Cliff will learn of his said legals costs outstanding of two and a half million pounds to be paid by the tax-payer and TV licence fee payer.
    What deductions in salary is the government going to levy on the salaries of the BBC staff and the staff of South Yorkshire police?

  28. Ed Mahony
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood / Jacob R-M, and others,

    RE: Strategic Hard Brexit Battle Plan for Short to Medium Term

    Right now, my concern, and of millions of others, above all Business, is what is the Strategic Hard Brexit Battle Plan for Short to Medium Term (NOT the Long Term – different matter)?

    If we can produce such a plan now, then more businesses will remain in the UK. And our economy will remain stronger. So far, I see no detailed plan. I mean like a Business Plan where everything is absolutely clear (that would have to be if, say, you wanted a business loan from a bank – with that kind of clarity and detail).

    You can have a great idea, but unless it’s backed up with a proper, detailed, strategic plan then it’s worthless. So far, I’m not getting any detailed Hard Brexit Plan for the Short to Medium Term (I accept we’d be fine outside the EU in the long-term, but it’s the short-term medium term that’s the real question / DANGER).


    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

      (And anyone would be asking the same question, whether it was a military campaign, business proposition, whatever – you can have a great idea, but the idea has to be backed up by finance / resources and above all, detailed plan, for it to work properly – that strategy and tactics have to be as sharp as possible / fine-tuned otherwise you could end up with long-term failure – a bridge or bridges too far – and/or something tragic like the Cobra Effect – because of not enough detailed planning and finance / resources to back up plan)

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Maybe Hard Brexiters think we’ll get a deal with the EU. Fine. But if so, we’ll only get the best deal if we have a proper Short to Medium plan now. The EU will take us more seriously.

      If Hard Brexiters aren’t going for a deal at all, then we still need a detailed short to medium plan. Mainly to keep as many business in the UK as possible and to calm the markets as much as possible. I still don’t see this detailed business plan for the short to medium term?

  29. Pragmatist
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The Marxist dilemma of Corbyn is whether he should nationalise Southern Rail owned by the French government with a non-Socialist President and Government or how his marrows are doing in this dry spell on his allotment.

    • hefner
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      Southern Rail is operated by GTR and owned by Go-Ahead (65%) and Keolis (35%) (see the CityAM website 11/01/2017 owns-uks-railways-well-not-british-firms-many-cases) and a look at Keolis on wikipedia makes your claim a bit thin.

      • Pragmatist
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:28 am | Permalink

        Southern Rail was mentioned by a female member as being owned by the French government in the House of Lords yesterday. The assertion was not challenged by any of their Lord and Ladyships . If they are in error surely it must be a first.

        • hefner
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

          If you believe so, it must be.

  30. Ed Mahony
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood, apologies, I said I wouldn’t comment. But my main concern right now is Detailed Battle Plan for Hard Brexit – Short to Medium Term (the crisis period – I’m not interested in / worried by the long term, i’m sure we’d be fine long-term). And a plan that deals with 1. Calming Business and the Markets 2. Keeping Tories in power 3. Everything else (financial reserves / detailed plans for dealing with borders etc ..).

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      ‘i’m sure we’d be fine long-term’ – as long as we focus on building up our high tech / digital industries – that lead to high brand quality exports, high productivity (it’s been proven that high productivity is linked to manufacturing high tech / digital products (not forgetting the services that go along with these), not putting all our economic eggs in one basket, rich tax returns ..

    • Ken Moore
      Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      ‘I’m sure we’d be fine long term’..

      I’m not so sure about that.

      To be clear, the British economy is in very, very big trouble. A whole range of measures and observations point to the same conclusion.

      As one example, just take the consumer. Shops, pubs and restaurants are in melt-down. Consumer credit has been rising dangerously, and arguably is now ‘maxed out’. Car sales, having been sustained by easy credit, have now turned down.

      Britain is now just one global recession, one world financial crisis or one oil price spike away from disaster.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink


        ‘To be clear, the British economy is in very, very big trouble’

        – I know. I said my concern was the short to medium term. Not the long term.

        Sadly, the debate has been so generalised between whether being out of the EU is good or bad economically, when there are those like me, who see a third option, that being out of the EU could be really bad in the short to medium term but we’d be fine in the l0ng-term.

        I’d rather we first tried to reform the EU, stripping it of its political power (including getting rid of or curbing freedom of movement of people) – but not of its close economic ties (and cultural / security ties – and that does NOT mean joint army). This would satisfy lots of Hard Brexiters and Hard Remainers. And this would also guarantee more the global political economic prosperity and peace of Europe (the two go together). But if that is not possible, for whatever reason (I mean at moment, hardly anyone is talking about this seriously), then I’m just challenging Hard Brexiters to prepare well for Hard Brexit with proper Battle Ready Plan.

        Reply Mr Cameron asked for modest reform and got practically nothing. Your idea was always a non runner, because the project is political union.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

          ‘Fine in the long-term’ – as long as we try and build up our high tech / digital industry so that we can match the USA and Germany, relatively-speaking, in this valuable industry. And not depending so exclusively on financial services (absolutely important as that is as well).

          So we have to model our economies on the USA / Germany (regarding high high tech / digital industry) and not on Singapore / Hong Kong which are much smaller than us / very different cultures / locations etc ..

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:45 am | Permalink

          ‘putting Europe into economic, political and social turmoil’

          – Not forgetting how Europe and the Western World narrowly missed falling into economic depression which would have been catastrophic from one degree to another. As well as problems of Greece and so on to deal with. The EU is in a lot of trouble and requires radical reform (stripping of political power but other reform as well). But it has to be done cautiously too with a huge amount of planning.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:25 am | Permalink

      As Boris said, the government has not even seriously considered No Deal and has not even tried to present a free trade deal to the EU. Mrs May’s plan all along has been to offer only her BRINO deal to parliament so that rejection of it would mean an unprepared, and presumably therefore, chaotic exit. Again yesterday Mrs May said to a Parliamentary committee (Liaison?) that she would inform the public of the consequences of No Deal if parliament were to reject her deal. She meant she would embark on another Project Fear, which is consistent with her plan from the day she became PM.
      She said the government is to write to businesses and individuals in September and October also warning of the consequences of No Deal and what they must do to prepare for it. More Project Fear.
      It is most frustrating that nobody is putting real pressure on her to prepare properly for No Deal. If she did it would not be anything to fear and she could write to everyone what the Government has done to ensure it is nothing to fear.
      Mrs May is a threat to UK’s future prosperity and independence.

  31. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Michael Gove has just pointed out two facts which should be more widely known.

    1. We run a substantial trade deficit in food with the EU, and two of the few exceptions to that general rule are shellfish (including crustaceans) and sheep meat.

    2. US-style “chlorinated chicken” is safe to eat, the only issue relates to the questionable animal welfare standards allowed on chicken farms in some US states.

    Why are these facts still not widely known?

    Because Therolly decided at the start that nobody in the government or civil service would ever rebut any of the nonsense that was being spread around by Remoaners.

    After all, until a few weeks before ministers and civil servants had been actively spreading it around themselves, and why should they change their habit of a lifetime just because of some silly mistaken vote by the public?

    Instead it would all be allowed to fester and ferment until such time as public opinion reversed, and they could get away with calling a halt to our withdrawal.

  32. Gordon Hetherington
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    Yesterday’s Japan / EU free trade agreement shows what is deliverable with a “clean” Brexit. Under WTO rules, can the EU deny us the same terms they have agreed with Japan?

  33. Brit
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

    PS Personally I do think I would have agreed with Corbyn’s position, it would be very rare for me, but that is not the point

  34. Andy
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I note today that a report into the impact of your Brexit on the dairy industry concludes that milk, butter, yoghurts and cheese will become ‘luxury’ items. This is because of the tariffs your Brexit will cause and the additional bureaucracy suppliers will face in dealing with your Brexit. This is what the head of the UK’s biggest dairy expects, along with actual economists from the LSE.

    But don’t worry! These fears can not possibly be true because how can industry experts possibly know their subject better than Jacob Rees-Mogg. A man who has clearly bought milk on more than one occasion.. By this I mean sometimes his staff buy it for him. I doubt he’s ever actually been to a supermarket himself.

    Tell me, post Brexit should I buy my own cow to guarantee supplies?

    • Stred
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

      British dairies and dairy farms will have a welcome boost as EU cheese and yogurt faces tariffs and UK customs responding to French slow customs. Brie will be so ripe it will run off the lorry.

    • Edward2
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

      More Project Fear nonsense from the LSE

    • margaret
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

      I adore Lancashire crumbly and cheddar cheeses .Our fruit cheeses are something to behold and our blue cheese’s are magnificent with bran and oat English biscuits.Then, all those glorious pickles to make so we don’t waste our fruit at the end of the season. Wow so English that bad?

  35. James Snell
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    Mrs may is still talking about cherry picking from the EU while trading around the world for the rest..not the real we will hear from the EU very sopn

  36. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    I am no fan of Boris Johnson, but he has given a cracking speech and it is even clearer to me now that either the Olly half of the Therolly combo should go or the Ther half should go, and I suggest it would be much easier and less disruptive for the nation to either give the Olly half indefinitely extended gardening leave or shove him off out of the way to somewhere he could do far less harm, maybe as a special adviser to the government of St Helena.

  37. L Jones
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 3:54 pm | Permalink

    Therefore, given that trade is about companies and individuals, not governments, why should we be offering the EU some £40 billion to bribe them to TALK about trade?

  38. Chris
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    It would appear, from reports of the PM’s appearance at the Liaison committee, that she has not only deceived Tory Brexiter MPs about her Brexit plans but that she is also incompetent and quite simply is not up to the job of effecting Brexit. She has to go.

    May on the ropes: Bewildered PM sounds CONFUSED AND BAFFLED in brutal Brexit grilling

    PRIME Minister Theresa May struggled to explain the tariff system laid out in her own Brexit White Paper, leading Yvette Cooper to exclaim that the proposal was “really baffling”.

  39. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    O/T Sir Cliff

    “The Health and Safety at Work, etc. Act 1974 states that directors can, in specific circumstances, be found personally guilty of a health and safety offence in their capacity as directors, e.g. under Sections 36(1) and 37.”

    We would hope, nay expect, that the BBC governors will be subject to this ruling.

  40. hans christian ivers
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    This is why Honda have told us that they need to spend “2.1 million extra on documents and paper work if we only go for WTO solution as oppose to the trade we have with the EU today.

    So, yes the information is available but it just becomes more cumbersome and more expensive and not any easier with a WTO solution only.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 12:01 pm | Permalink


      Honda did NOT say that . What they actually said ( according to the Swindon Advertiser lol) was that IF a NEW Customs IT System was introduced it would cost an extra £2.1 million per year. They never mentioned WTO

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 3:15 pm | Permalink

        plus further staff, yes but they were referring to “No Deal”

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


        Let us stick to the facts, according to the FT , if we left the Customs Union and had to trade under some WTO scheme they would have to fill in another
        60.000 documents a year and hire more staff as well. This could of course al mean a new IT system, but their estimate it would to delays of 24 hours or more, according to their estimates.

        Not sticking to the facts you loose even more credibility

        • Edward2
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

          Another project fear prediction from the FT

        • libertarian
          Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          I answered this very silly post elsewhere where you posted it again.

          You dont understand TIR , you dont understand JIT

          HMRC say the only extra document that MAY be needed is a certificate of origin and seeing as this is already needed for non EU stuff its not actually a big deal really is it.

          You would have to ask yourself why they are sending so many parts overseas, the factory is in Swindon, surely the parts are being shipped to Swindon by their suppliers for assembly into finished products ?

          Oh and once again you confuse a fact with someones guess. The PR spokesperson who said this provided no evidence or facts what so ever to substantiate his claim

          • hans christian ivers
            Posted July 20, 2018 at 7:38 am | Permalink


            you mean no evidence like most of your notes, where everybody is ignorant except you of course

  41. Denis Cooper
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    Theresa May’s appearance before the Liaison Committee was a total catastrophe.

    It must be deliberate, it must be intended to wreck our withdrawal from the EU.

  42. Andy mclean
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    You guys are sunk for what you are doing to this country.. and barnier hasn’t even spoken yet..they will burn your ass!

    • Edward2
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

      ThanksAndy it sounds like just the kind of organisation the UK wants to be involved with…..

  43. Simon Coleman
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    You know well that the Single Market’s frictionless trade cannot be replicated in any deal. That’s what JIT depends on – fric-tion-less. Your denial that there will be any economic impact from No Deal is absurd – and indefensible. David Davis said the other day that there will be a ‘hit’.

    To change the subject. Are you or any Brexiteer going to apologise for the Vote Leave’s breach of electoral law? You keep telling us what a committed democrat you are and how the referendum was a democratic result that must be respected. Shouldn’t the rules be respected in order for the result to be respected?

    • libertarian
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:37 pm | Permalink

      Simon Coleman

      Ha ha ha the clueless strike again

      JIT supply happens ALL OVER THE WORLD , between all countries . It was actually invented in the far east

  44. Ron Olden
    Posted July 18, 2018 at 11:28 pm | Permalink

    This is fact.

    People always talk about ‘we’ selling things to foreigners or ‘we’ making things, as if we live in some sort of Maoist Commune.

    ‘We’ don’t make or sell anything. It’s businesses and individuals that do the making and selling and get all the money from it.

    • libertarian
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:38 pm | Permalink


      Not all the money , the government take a large whack too

  45. Peter D Gardner
    Posted July 19, 2018 at 1:14 am | Permalink

    The fact is that most of the MPs demanding the UK remains shackled in some way to the EU do not understand what is involved in exporting either to the EU or to anywhere else because they have no experience of it. WTO rules would not be difficult for companies because most exporters already export outside the EU as well as inside and because rules of origin require all exporters within the EU alone.
    Neither do these people understand supply chains, not basic matters like queuing at Dover. We have this ridiculous claim that a 1 minute delay will cause queues of lorries along the motorways of Kent. In response the government’s plan is to make extra land available for lorry parks. it is insane. When Mrs May says as she did yesterday, if there is No Deal she will make the consequences known to the public she means she will embark on Project Fear Mk IV or however many marks we will be up to by then.
    Elementary lesson 1 in queuing theory. If the rate of arrivals equals the rate of exit from the process the length of the queue does not change. If the rate of exits decreases even by as little as the equivalent of 1 minute in processing time, the length of the queue will increase and go on increasing indefinitely.
    It is very easy to produce alarmist figures based on queuing theory. The obvious thing to do if processing time increases, even by one minute over one hour is to change the process or increase channel capacity, ie you hire one more person and provide a cheapo PC for him or her to operate. Oh yes, and a desk and chair.
    Has no MP had the wit to ask HMRC if they had considered how to increase capacity of processing or to accelerate the process?
    The fact is that what we actually have in Parliament is a simple divide that is only indirectly connected with the prospects for the economy and the success of businesses. It is between those who believe that UK should be a self-governing independent sovereign nation state and those who believe the sovereign nation state is an obsolete anachronism. Mrs May, as Jacob Rees-Mogg detects, is in the latter camp.
    Mrs May must go, and go now. Under her, it is only a matter of time, the general election of 2022 at the latest, before the Tories become wholly unelectable.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:48 am | Permalink

      ‘The fact is that most of the MPs demanding the UK remains shackled in some way to the EU do not understand what is involved in exporting either to the EU or to anywhere else because they have no experience of it’

      – I don’t think Boris Johnson, Michael Gove or Liam Fox have real experience in exporting. Do you?
      – Lord Heseltine, on the other hand, runs a successful international company.
      – The emphasis is on the Brexiters to be the commercial wizards as they are the ones embarking into unknown waters in a big way (which might be great or equally disastrous – as opposed to the current statue quo that Remainers support).

      So your comment is tinged with subjectivity, instead of objectivity (like many Brexiters’). And this concerns me, as I think Hard Brexit will only be a success if we’re ruthlessly objective and pragmatic about it, including how we plan for it. (I don’t like Remainer subjectivity either, but remaining in the EU won’t sink the ship, at least in the short to medium term, but leaving the EU, Hard Brexit style, COULD. BUT, I also accept that Hard Brexit could also be great for our country as well. It all depends how we approach it, and how objective and pragmatic we are. And if there is any hint of the ship going down – things could spiral down quickly – we have to pull back and wait to leave the EU or else abandon it until we are properly ready – in terms of planning and finance).

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted July 19, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        We also have to consider how leaving the EU could also lead to Europe plunging into economic / political / social chaos (not forgetting how we didn’t escape economic depression by much in recent years) that would be bad for us as well as them. Perhaps seriously so.
        And what type of economy we want post Brexit – Singapore / Hong Kong
        (which I think we’re the wrong fit for geographically, culturally but above all in terms of population). Or to be more like USA and Germany in terms of how strong they are in the high tech / digital sectors, not just relying on financial sector as we do so much (important as financial sector is of course).

  46. Nigel Seymour
    Posted July 19, 2018 at 6:51 am | Permalink

    I hear TM is on the offensive and will be pleading her case to the town hall’s – wonder if she will take the quick trip from Sonning to Wok town hall…will be very interesting how she get’s on in Redwood country seeing they are largely remainers?

    Reply Not so. We are all leavers now, apart from the 10% who voted Lib Dem last time

    • Nigel Seymour
      Posted July 19, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      That is indeed good hearing John.
      p.s you made a great point yesterday re ‘nobody is standing in boxes collecting money’


  47. Ed Mahony
    Posted July 19, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Sorry, to be a pain in the ass. I’m not objecting to Hard Brexit per se, just saying we have to be very careful and plan hard for it (not forgetting how we only recently escaped a serious economic depression – I don’t want the UK or Europe or anywhere else, going near there again). (And let’s not forget the horrors of Europe in the 20th century that were caused largely by economic chaos).

    At same time, I totally get why Brexiters say the political side of the EU is a bit evil. I totally get and support the importance of national sovereignty and control of borders etc … (but not at any cost – we also have to consider the lesser of two evils argument, and this applies when considering how well prepared and ready we are to leave the EU). Patriotism is a good thing. A blessed thing. And much of Brexit is about patriotism. But there is also the ugly side of Brexit as well – just as there is the ugly side of Remain as well.

    I’m just saying we have to be very cautious (and brave – not mutually exclusively). Calm. Pragmatic. Objective.

    Reply The ERM caused a major recession in the UK, and the Euro crisis caused major dislocation in Greece,Ireland, Spain etc. Our being out of the EU will give us some protection from EU inspired economic disasters.

  48. Ed Mahony
    Posted July 19, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    Lastly, I’m 95% certain Mrs Thatcher and Winston Churchill would be supporting the idea of reforming the EU – stripping the EU of its political power BUT that we retain close economic (and cultural and security) ties with Europe. In fact, I’m certain 95% of the country would support this if put to the vote.

    Not just because they were visionaries and people of strong will but also because they experienced the dangers of economic depression in the 1930’s (and the terrible consequences of that – and we nearly experienced economic depression recently), the ravages of extreme fascist nationalism and WW2 – of Europe at war with itself (they also experienced Communism, Revolutions, Republican violence – all things that result, ultimately, from economic chaos in Europe). And because they were also pragmatists (as were all the best political leaders of our country throughout the centuries). We need both pragmatism and vision (as well as the will to carry through).

  • 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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