The EU offers some helpful guidance

Whilst the EU carried on with colourful and misleading language about parts of Brexit, its document issued today also showed it is beginning to want to look after the business interest on the continent and help with sensible business continuity. In particular it confirmed that  current contracts which span the exit date will of course remain valid with parties fulfilling them. It thinks the UK should   be part of the Common Transit Convention to speed transport crossing borders. It gets close to saying the UK out of the EU will of course have high standards of data handling so there will still  be close arrangements for data transfer.

One of the welcome features of the short document was the repeated statements that much of what needs to be done to keep trade flowing is down to individual companies and member states, who are likely to want it to work well. The EU comes close to suggesting member states roll over certain permissions where the UK  will still meet the same acceptable standards after exit.


  1. ian wragg
    July 19, 2018

    Barnier only wants to talk about the Irish border backstop which means for all intents and purposes us staying fully in the EU until Dublin allows us to leave.
    If that was voted through parliament you would have riots on your hands.
    The GFA in no way impedes the ability of the UK to leave the EU.

    1. Steve
      July 19, 2018

      @ Ian Wragg:

      yeah just goes to show the EU will stop at nothing to prevent BREXIT, any dirty trick.

      I think there’s going to be riots in any case, been a long time coming.

      These EU countries wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t the UK, why we even need to negotiate with them defies belief.

      1. Tomtit
        July 19, 2018

        Steve.. think your’e wrong about this..the Eu are putting the stakes so high that it will be impossible to prevent a brexit..their demands will be so high that the UK will be unable to match and have to leave with no deal

    2. Denis Cooper
      July 19, 2018

      Oh, but we the UK electorate must take the blame for the intractable problem of the Irish border, which has only arisen because we voted to leave the EU and thus make that land border an external rather than internal border of the EU.

      Of course we could just have said last year:

      “In view of the strong views expressed by the new Irish government we have decided that we will make no changes at all on our side of the border; we will simply continue to allow both goods and people to come across just as freely as they do now, as they have done for the past quarter century; we hope that we won’t need to collect any customs duties, but if it turns out that we do then we will take pains do that away from the border and we will just accept that it may be less than perfect collection and so we may lose some small sums of revenue.”

      But, oh no, Therolly had to gratuitously accept responsibility for making sure that the Irish and the EU also did nothing on their side, and offering to prohibit the export of any goods which did not comply with EU requirements would not be enough for that even if that solution was considered, it had to be that the whole of the UK would be kept under the thumb of the EU; which of course is exactly where Therolly wants it to be kept, no matter how the plebs may vote.

      1. Steve
        July 20, 2018

        @ Denis Cooper

        I now see in the news the Irish are threatening to prevent UK flights over Eire airspace.

        Fine, we should reciprocate the threat.

        Same with any of ’em, they threaten us, we should do something back.

    3. mancunius
      July 19, 2018

      Fortunately one of the four ERG amendments to the Trade Bill now prevents any political or economic treatment for NI that is different from the rest of the UK. Clause 37 makes it unlawful for Northern Ireland to be part of any customs territory outside that of the United Kingdom.
      Sometimes it appears the RoI and the EU deliberately take NI’s majority vote for *the UK* to remain in the EU as evidence of support an *NI* to leave the UK and remain in the EU by joining the Republic (something for which there is very little support, even among nationalists).
      The GFA abolished the Republic’s irredentist claim to own Northern Ireland, which is no more a part of the Republic than Wales or Scotland are English.

      1. mancunius
        July 19, 2018

        Sorry, I realise I made a slip there: Amendment 37 was to the *Customs Bill*, not the Trade Bill.

    4. Anonymous
      July 19, 2018

      I certainly think it’s a mistake to assume that Brexit voters are feeble old people.

      1. Prigger
        July 19, 2018

        You know, as the former USSR began to break up just like the EU, it was largely pensioners who were for its continuation. It was said they were vulnerable and wished stability, afraid.
        But here, according to letfie-liberals, our pensioners are absolutely fearless and seek Independence and Freedom whatever the cost. We are a glorious people to the death!!!

    5. Tad Davison
      July 19, 2018

      They might have riots on their hands anyway if May remains Prime Minister – and I do not jest!

      It isn’t just her pathetic performance on Brexit that riles people, the latest crime statistics have a restless dissatisfied and disaffected public chomping at the bit!

      We are absolutely fed up with inadequate politicians. We need change, and we need it now!


      1. Lifelogic
        July 19, 2018

        Well the police and the courts have virtually given up it seems to me. Over about 50 years I have had to report about a dozen serious crimes (burglaries, credit car fraud, thefts, muggings, car thefts, criminal damage, people threatening others with a knife and embedding it in their door, people threatening other people with acid ….. ) in all of the cases the police did nothing of substance at all (just a victim of crime letter). This even though plenty of information was available. Mental health issues was the main excuse for total inaction in the serious cases. Why on earth is mental heath issues a reason to do nothing until someone is actually killed or stabbed?

        The numbers of serious crimes committed by people recently released or on parole or temporary release is huge.

        One large LONDON BOOK shop has shoplifting of over £1 million PA. Again nothing is done by the police (this is many crimes per day). They even announce they will do nothing about shop lifting under £200 to encourage shop lifting one assumes.

        Taxes go up and up and up thanks to Hammond and yet ‘public services’ get worse and worse and worse by the day.

      2. Prigger
        July 19, 2018

        They say that jailing them doesn’t any good in reforming them. Might as well keep them there for more years then. Train them how to build more jails.

      3. Anonymous
        July 20, 2018

        Tad – It is extremely frustrating to see criminals getting away with it when there is absolutely zero tolerance for a 5mph speeding infraction. The fine imposed (and insurance costs) are far more punitive than anything meted out for a crime.

        Of course certain fraternities are allowed to drive around unregistered and take over grounds and beer factories with utter impunity.

        We no longer trust the police, we no longer trust the government, we no longer trust ombudsman services, commissions, banks, agencies … whatever.

        1. Lifelogic
          July 20, 2018

          Indeed or one minute over time on a parking meter or one tyre in an (empty) bus lane for a second. The state is very interested in mugging, taxing, licencing or fining people so as to pay their salaries and gold plated pensions. Parking rules, box junctions, bus lanes and the likes are clearly intentionally designed quite specifically to catch people out as much as possible.

          They are only very rarely interested in providing any real ‘public services’ to the public.

        2. Hope
          July 20, 2018

          Speeding is income generation, nothing to do with stop road accidents.

    6. Hope
      July 19, 2018

      So why is Raab today still promoting May’s underhand white paper, here and abroad, and asking for the discussions on it to be accelerated? What change has happened? Please explain because the paper as it stands still condemns the U.K. to be a vassal state on goods, subject to ECJ and subservient to EU policies on Environment, energy, employment etc.

      The amendment by the Tory twelve to stay in the customs union, against manifesto, govt policy, election, referendum etc, was an attempt to bring down the govt. why no action against them?

      1. Chris
        July 19, 2018

        Quite right, Hope, and it seems Tory Brexiter MPs are going to let the White Paper rest till October? That inaction will speak volumes to ordinary people outside Westminster.

      2. Denis Cooper
        July 19, 2018

        As Dominic Raab explained again today we will indeed be a vassal state under Therolly’s Chequers masterplan, but our vassalage will be limited to the extent necessary to provide frictionless trade at the border.

        “The UK proposes a UK-EU free trade area underpinned by a common rulebook, including on agri-food, but only for those rules necessary to provide frictionless trade at the border.”

        Now my view is that if some article – let us say, just to be provocative, the dreaded US-style “chlorinated chicken” – is in free circulation within the UK national market, but UK law ensures that nobody ever attempts to move it out of the country across an international border, then there will be no way that article could ever create any friction at said border.

  2. Former Tory
    July 19, 2018

    You sound completely desperate. In 2016 you told us the UK holds all the cards, and the EU would offer us a great deal quickly. In 2018 you fearfully try to tell us the EU “comes close” to offering us a fraction of the benefits we enjoyed when we were a member

    Reply Not so. I report changes in their approach, as they are beginning to take a No Deal exit seriously. The UK does have a strong hand, and needs to play it.

    1. agricola
      July 19, 2018

      Your reply is absolutely correct. No deal reversion to WTO rules means the EU lose a £40 Billion transit payment and £7Billion PA on duty differences. They must also be aware that much of what they sell us will come under almost immediate pressure from other sources in the World both on price and quality. In terms of trade, EU membership comes with restrictions on who we can trade with outside the EU. Irish border problems, queues at Dover are EU constructs designed to breast feed remainers. They do not have to be a problem under any trading regime. Time to be really hard headed and wait until all the free trade building bricks are in place and only then tie it down to a deal.

    2. Hope
      July 19, 2018

      We read Barnier wants confirmation of the withdrawal agreements first i.e. Money and Irish border. Where does Raab stand if he tries to negotiating nothing agree until everything agree?

      Secondly we have it reported the silly Irish PM threatening not to allow UK flights over Ireland. How will he enforce that?

      1. Hope
        July 19, 2018

        IMF highlights loss of GDP to all EU states! My goodness the IMF. It keeping solidarity with the EU. Does it think May is a goner and no deal will happen?

        1. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
          July 20, 2018

          @Hope: ANother messenger for brexiteers to shoot? 🙂 🙂 🙂
          Yesterday the LSE was mortally wounded by fearless Brexiteers, today the IMF? The Brexiteers may still have had enough of experts, excluding one lonely economist (forgotten his name, sorry) who predicts future glory to the converted Britons.

          1. libertarian
            July 20, 2018


            The reason these things are laughable and dismissed is simply this

            The IMF report was a guess at what things would be like in 12 years time. The fact is they, like us haven’t got a clue what will be happing in 12 years time. For all you know Holland may be part of Russia by then…

      2. Gareth
        July 19, 2018

        Of course he can refuse UK flights over Ireland – we’ll be out of the EU and will no longer have the commercial aviation air freedom rights to traverse EU a Memer States’ airspace. Just as we can stop Russian bombers entering U.K. airspace.

        1. libertarian
          July 20, 2018


          Lol, nonsense

          When will you people realise that the EU is a small backwater of the rest of the world?

          Ireland is a signatory of the The International Air Services Transit Agreement signed in 1944 ( as are all the individual countries in Europe) There is no such thing as EU airspace. Oh and the UK controls most of Irelands airspace

        2. Butties
          July 20, 2018

          Gareth can you list those wholly UK owned airlines that this may apply to?

      3. Jagman84
        July 19, 2018

        UK airspace totally surrounds Irish airspace so we could ground all of his aircraft if we so wished. Not that we would, I’d assume. He should be careful about what he says.

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      July 19, 2018

      Reply to reply. Right on John. We should have taken a former stance from day one.

  3. Ron Olden
    July 19, 2018

    This is interesting We haven’t heard much from the EU in the past week or two when so much controversy has been going on here.

    Perhaps it’s sinking into to their heads that it’s going to be near impossible to get any deal through Parliament here regardless of whether it’s a Hard Brexit type one or a Soft Brexit type one.

    It’s perfectly possible for the UK and the EU to agree all the necessary arrangements to keep things running normally, without any ‘Deal’ at all.

    Which is what some of us have been saying all along.

    Only yesterday Varadkar was telling us that Ireland is now planning for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit.

    1. alan jutson
      July 20, 2018


      They have not done much in the last couple of weeks because our Remain MP”s are doing it for them, but then we have been negotiating with ourselves for a couple of years now, so its no wonder they have given us diddly squat so far.

      They are simply waiting to see how/if Mrs may will survive (they want her to survive) because she is such an easy push over, before they make their next move.

      The closer she is seen to be at threat, the less they will object to her plans.

      Thus the resignations have had the benefit of us showing enough is nearly enough.

    July 19, 2018

    Meaningless. We want May gone and our country back. As long as she remains we will never be rid of the sclerotic presence of the EU and her dreaded politics

    You lot got rid of Thatcher, one of the greatest PM of our generation, and you land us with the utterly grotesque May and still she remains.

    Jesus wept.

    I can only assume that having an incompetent like May appeals to the Tories sense of masochistic pleasure

    Why does my party always have to make things so much more difficult than they need to be?

    The Tory party is indeed an enigma, at times

  5. Steve
    July 19, 2018

    The EU offers guidance….HA !

    For decades they’ve been ripping us off, dumbing down our people, plundering every resource this once proud nation had, and filling our country up with immigrants that should have been sent back to the non – EU countries they came from.

    I’ll take no ‘guidance’ from that ungrateful lot.

  6. graham1946
    July 19, 2018

    As time gets closer they will become more amenable. It’s just the way they are. We never fitted in with the Continental way of doing things and they cannot understand that we do things our way. Most of them have lived under dictatorships in the last 100 years, whereas we have’nt, so they think being bossed about by unelected panjandrums is normal.

  7. Denis Cooper
    July 19, 2018

    “It thinks the UK should be part of the Common Transit Convention …”

    Which is here:

    So would/could that render redundant Therolly’s over complicated customs plan, under which we would carry on collecting the EU’s tariffs on goods which arrive in the UK but are only en route to the EU, but they would not return the favour?

    Is this why eurocrats are reportedly laughing at us for the silliness of the Chequers plan and the new White Paper with its barmy Paragraph 16?

    “… where a good reaches the UK border … it will pay the UK tariff if it is destined for the UK and the EU tariff if it is destined for the EU … “

    1. Chris
      July 19, 2018

      Mrs May apparently seemed to falter trying to explain it to the Liaison Committee, if reports are to be believed. One MP apparently called her plans/explanation “baffling”.

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 20, 2018

        That will be broadcast on the BBC Parliament Channel at 8.30 tonight.

    2. acorn
      July 20, 2018

      We are already members of the Common Transit Convention (CTC / TIR). Read all about it in the HMRC Customs Manual Vol 3 Part 2. Yet another Brexit factor, Brexiteers are clueless about me thinks.

      Could someone tell me the source of “It [the EU] thinks the UK should be part of the Common Transit Convention …”, I can’t find it other than in Mrs May’s fantasy brexit document.

      BTW No Deal means: Authorisations granting the status of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) and other authorisations for customs simplifications, issued by the customs authorities of the United Kingdom will no longer be valid in the customs territory of the Union.

      Reply Its in the official EU response yesterday as I explained!

  8. Adam
    July 19, 2018

    So much time has been recklessly wasted, reducing the value of what can now be achieved.

  9. alan jutson
    July 19, 2018

    Never expected the EU to cave in on these negotiations until the very last minute, when the pressure would really be on both sides for a solution.

    So sad therefore that Mrs May and our Politicians have argued amongst themselves for the past couple of years, to the point where we have capitulated to ourselves, before even giving negotiations with the EU a proper chance.

    Mrs May has now boxed herself in with the Chequers option, and the EU now knows what she will accept, thus almost impossible for her now to ask for any more, as she has shown her hand to everyone.
    The only way to get a better deal now is to get rid of May, and start agin with someone else.

    Afraid Mrs May, and Oily Robbins her advisor, have made us look an absolute laughing stock in front of the World given the way that have thrown away a winning hand.

    The EU must be rubbing their hands with glee !!

    Are Japan paying Billions for a trade deal, accepting free movement of people, accepting ECJ rules on all goods, including those produced for their home market.
    Have Japan given up on their borders, are they being constrained on the environment and agriculture, are they giving up some of their own fishing rights to the EU.
    Answer NO in every case.!

    1. Chris
      July 19, 2018

      She had already boxed us in with the Dublin agreement (“complete capitulation” according to Charles Moore), AJ.

    2. Peter VAN LEEUWEN
      July 20, 2018

      @alan jutson: You are repeating a erroneous argument: Only countries like Norway and Switzerland pay a contribution to the EU, countries like Korea, Canada or Japan do not and do have FTA’s with the EU.

      1. alan jutson
        July 20, 2018


        Apologies, I thought the EU were trumpeting a new and wonderful trade agreement with Japan and Korea last week.

        Surely they were not telling porky pies just to taunt us were they !

  10. Prigger
    July 19, 2018

    It must be complex for the EU in preparing plans for a No Deal given the interconnectedness of its remaining nations, their industries and supply chains. Perhaps they are building a half a million strong 24 hour helpline with multilingual telephone operators with up-to-date online databases. One is sure it will be frictionless for them if they cover themselves with an appropriate heavy… grease. ( no pun intended)

    1. alan jutson
      July 19, 2018


      Oily Robbins seems to be a slippery character, perhaps that is why he has been promoting a certain type of friction free trade.

  11. Prigger
    July 19, 2018

    Meanwhile Mrs May falls down her rabbit hole and lands into Northern Island where the DUP is anxious to Surrender.

  12. stred
    July 19, 2018

    The Commission reads all the internet arguments and follows the political channel. On the one hand, they may be building up WTO in order to present reasons to avoid it, or avoid being blamed for loss of exports. On the other, they may realise that their dimwitted agent is in deep merde and are backpedalling, as they are worried that she may finish up on the end of a rope after treason charges are successful.

  13. Jason wells
    July 19, 2018

    Nobody believe the EU really cares too much about business interests large or small, they are a political bloc and anything they have put out there at this time is probably just a smoke screen to cover bad news coming down the tracks- or as someone else said when you have to give bad news you have also to find some other piece of news as a sweetener or a diversion- it’s all about how things look when the smoke clears-

  14. margaret
    July 19, 2018

    I can offer some guidance:- If you look at Love Island ,Reality shows and other shows that are less serious you will see the way the future is going . If you listen to the level of socialising and matters which concern them , you will see what those children of our past future have done with their degrees. I cannot say it is good or bad as they and their ilk buy. They are the ones who create the market. It is research in an ongoing way .

  15. John
    July 19, 2018

    I’m not so sure we should welcome this in its entirety.

    GDPR from what I have seen is part of what George Osborne stated in Q4 of 2015, that the EU is raging war on the UK financial services industry.

    I agree with him when he said that in some official speech. The EU has long stated and committed to wanting to destroy the UK financial services industry. Working in the industry I can tell you that GDPR if one of the tools to destroy it. It is near on impossible to comply with it and at the same time give good advice to companies.

    We saw with Google that the EU sees large companies as a cash cow. Well, so will the City of London become the EU’s cash cow under GDPR.

    We need to leave the EU!

    1. libertarian
      July 20, 2018


      The EU doesn’t like the Financial Services industry thats true , they are using the awful MIFID 2 to do that. GDPR is the second of 3 attacks on the digital tech industry. GDPR is a fiasco, its not fit for purpose and is a business killer. The fist attack was VAT Moss ( as usual with the incompetent old boys at the EU that went spectacularly wrong). The third attack is coming Article 13 which changes copywrite law on the web to ensure that you can’t share, retweet or use another postings without paying a usage fee….. They tried it in Spain in 2015 only lasted a few before the Spanish media demanded the government rescinded it because it killed their revenue models stone dead and Google just switched off news in Spain

      The EU is a backward looking organisation trying to protect its outdated markets. The service industries in which the UK leads the world in two of them scares them to death as they dont understand it so they try to shut it down

  16. Prigger
    July 19, 2018

    Some students in Manchester have replaced a mural of Rudyard Kipling saying he represents colonialism, imperialism etc etc.
    I used to have their politics and think somewhat like them. One tuning point was when I suddenly started really understanding poetry. I never had.

  17. Nig l
    July 20, 2018

    I see HMG is going to give us weekly ‘advice’ on what a No Deal means and how to cope. The cynic in me thinks it will be a weekly Project Fear exercise, think millennium bug, avian flu, trying to weaken our resolve so when we are presented with a cave in agreement, we will be grateful to accept it.

    Dr Redwood get ready to combat any No Deal agitprop. We need you.

  18. DaveK
    July 20, 2018

    John, not really part of this thread, but may I ask that when you refer to a document you have read, that a link or keywords be added to allow us to spread the information. Regards.

  19. Feste
    July 21, 2018

    Not a surprise! Link to EU statement please. Thanks

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